Church leaders are upset after a recent article in The New York Times revealed that the Internal Revenue Service can use undercover agents disguised as members of the clergy as a means to gather privileged information.
Following the Times' report last weekend that over 40 federal agencies use undercover agents disguised as attorneys, doctors, news media and other positions to gain access to privileged information, church leaders are appalled to find out that IRS agents are also allowed to pose as clergy, even though the agency doesn't have a crime-fighting function that warrants such a use of undercover tactics.
In a Tuesday interview with The Christian Post, Director of the Christian Defense Coalition, Rev. Patrick Mahoney, said he thinks it's an "absolute disgrace" that the IRS is allowed use undercover agents disguised as clergy. He added that he couldn't think of any justifiable reasons as to why the agency should be allowed to disguise agents as clergy. more >>
A New York high school has rejected a student's request to have a Christian club on campus, prompting possible legal action by a Texas-based organization.
Wantagh High School of the Wantagh Union Free School District recently denied official recognition for Elizabeth Loverde's proposed club "Dare to Believe."
In response to the rejection, Loverde and her family contacted the Plano, Texas-based Liberty Institute, which sent a letter Monday to the principal, as well as to other school district officials. more >>
A lawsuit accusing a South Carolina public elementary school of proselytizing Christianity by hosting its fifth grade graduation ceremonies in a Christian chapel and encouraging student speakers to include prayer in graduation speeches, will be reheard in U.S. District Court after an appeals court remanded an earlier district court ruling that sided with the school district.
The American Humanist Association filed a lawsuit seeking a preliminary injunction against the Greenville County School District in 2013 after Mountain View Elementary School allegedly violated students' first amendment rights at the school's graduation ceremony, which was held at at a local Baptist university's chapel auditorium.
The association's lawsuit additionally claimed that school officials also encouraged students that were picked to give a speech during the ceremony to write out prayers that were to be recited during their individual graduation speeches. more >>
A 40-year-old Christian man was arrested for blasphemy in Lahore, Pakistan, and has been charged with insulting the Prophet Mohammad, the same offense that Christian mother-of-five Asia Bibi is facing the death penalty for.
Qaiser Ayub, a computer science professor, had been a fugitive for close to three years, Fides News Agency reported. He was charged in 2011 of having written blasphemous comments on his blog, and has been avoiding police ever since.
A school board in Florida is moving to ban the distribution of Bibles and other Christian materials after a satanist group requested to distribute its literature.
Orange County Public Schools decided last week to adjust its "passive distribution policy" so that no religious materials, Christian or satanic, can be put in public schools.
Shari Bobinski, senior specialist of media relations forOrange County Public Schools, provided The Christian Post with a statement from the school district on the matter. more >>
A federal appeals court in Washington has upheld the accommodation in President Obama's healthcare law for religious nonprofits to opt out of providing abortifacients and birth control coverage, rejecting the argument that it imposes a substantial burden on their expression of religion.
In a 3-0 decision, judges of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit said that religious nonprofits can "express what they believe and seek what they want" just by writing a letter or filling out a two-page EBSA Form 700 to opt out and allow a third-party to cover the products and services.
"That bit of paperwork is more straight-forward and minimal than many that are staples of nonprofit organizations' compliance with law in the modern administrative state," wrote appeals judge Cornelia Pillard, an Obama-appointee, according to The Associated Press. more >>