Home Church JUDGE: TAX THE PASTORS by Tony Perkins


3 min read

If the name Barbara Crabb sounds familiar, it should. The Wisconsin judge has long been synonymous with religious harassment since before she first struck down the National Day of Prayer as unconstitutional more than 7 years ago.

In 2013, she turned her hostility to religion on our nation’s clergy — striking down as unconstitutional the longstanding law giving pastors tax-free housing allowances. The Seventh Circuit later overturned her ruling citing a lack of standing. The anti-faith extremists at Freedom from Religion Foundation (FFRF) (the same plaintiffs who — not so coincidentally — sued in Crabb’s court against the National Day of Prayer), came back with a second lawsuit — again arguing that ministers should have to pay taxes on any income that is designated for their housing payments. On Friday, Judge Crabb struck down the housing allowance once again.

The FFRF and their friend Judge Crabb step over the fact that, going back to Patrick Henry in 1785, society has tried to relieve the clergy’s housing burden because of the tremendous social benefits churches offer the culture and because so many clergy, despite their exceptional educations, receive only modest salaries. Congress has long used tax-breaks and incentives to encourage that which is beneficial to society as a whole.

What’s changed in the last eight years that would create an environment where such a lawsuit would be taken seriously?

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