Atheist Group Decides Not to Appeal Clergy Housing Allowance Case to the U.S. Supreme Court

The atheist group, Freedom from Religion Foundation, that filed the federal lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the clergy housing allowance exclusion announced on Friday, June 14, that it will not file an appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court in the case.  Given the decision by the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals ruling that the clergy housing allowance exclusion is constitutional, the decision not to appeal leaves the federal income tax exclusion for ministers intact – it continues to be the law of the land.

A press release issued by the atheist group specifically mentions the work of ECFA in opposing the atheist group’s efforts to end the clergy housing allowance exclusion.  ECFA is a national organization that accredits Christian organizations in the areas of board governance and financial integrity.

Many churches and members of the clergy had been concerned about the impact that would result, both financial and otherwise, if the exclusion were ruled to be unconstitutional.  This battle is over and faith-based organizations and clergy have clearly and decisively won it.  Whether the war is over remains to be seen.  Freedom from Religion Foundation says it hopes to be “part” of a future constitutional challenge to the law.

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