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House Appropriations Committee Increases IRS Enforcement Funding

Last winter, the Secular Coalition for America, the Freedom From Religion Foundation, and the American Humanist Association prioritized better enforcement of the Johnson Amendment by the Internal Revenue Service and began lobbying members of Congress on this issue. The IRS has been lax, to put it charitably, in enforcing this section of the tax law …

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Heretic on the Hill: Dropping a Dime on Campaigning in Churches

Church and state are becoming less and less separate in churches. Churches, other faith-based institutions, and in fact all nonprofit organizations are prohibited from participating in most political campaign activities but many churches are crossing the line or just ignoring this prohibition. The consequence should be losing their nonprofit status but the IRS has been …

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Heretic on the Hill: Religion Is The Opiate Of The Supreme Court

In March the White House presented its proposed $773 billion for defense in 2023, a four percent increase. The top Senate Republican on defense spending immediately stated that the budget “woefully” underfunded defense given the state of the world and the effects of inflation and said “That budget will go nowhere as is.” We could …

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Heretic on the Hill: Defining Religious Freedom Down

Senator Daniel Moynihan once wrote a scholarly paper in his spare time, the kind most Senators just don’t write, called “Defining Deviancy Down.” He was using the sociologist’s meaning of deviancy: different from societal norms. His point was that the nation had become so accustomed to gun violence that what was once front page news …

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Heretic on the Hill: Visas for Religious Workers — Who Thought This Was A Good Idea?

What if you could start your own religion, get it sanctioned by the IRS, and bring some of your believers from overseas to work at your faith-based nonprofit? Well you can! There is a special visa program known as the R-1 Nonimmigrant Religious Workers Program.  “Noncitizens working in the United States temporarily as a minister …

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