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April 24, 2004

Clue needed

by Feòrag

United States: Texas state Comptroller Carole Keeton Strayhorn is peeved. The Ethical Society of Austin, a humanistic religious organization whose goal is to search for the good in human life, has won the latest court case in its battle to be recognised as a religious organisation, and so be exempt from property and sales taxes. The Texas Supreme Court declined to hear Strayhorn's appeal, and she is unhappy:

But Strayhorn said granting the group religious status will prompt any wannabe cult who dresses up and parades down Sixth Street on Halloween to apply.

She neglected to explain how this is different from a cult dressing up in fancy frocks and waving smoking handbags around. The US Constitution guarantees freedom of religious belief, and separation of church and state, which means a state cannot give privileges to one religious group, and not another.

The case reaffirms that religious protection in the United States extends not just to large, well-recognized religions but to people of all faith, said Pete Kennedy, who represented the Ethical Society for the American Civil Liberties Union.

And unlike certain 'Christians', the Ethical Society really is acting on a point of principle, pays the tax it owes and stands to gain little from winning exemption. Austin group wins round against Strayhorn - Houston Chronicle, 23rd April 2004.

Posted in Church and State at 14:02. Last modified on September 28 2006 at 23:42.
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1: Posted by: Andrew Ian Dodge | April 25, 2004 3:48 PM

Very easy solution to this problem...end tax avoidance for Churches and religious institutions. Many of them are multi-million dollar outfits.

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