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WASHINGTON, D.C. – Family Research Council today criticized a ruling by U.S. District Judge Barbara Crabb declaring the clergy housing tax allowance unconstitutional. Family Research Council's "Watchmen on the Wall" pastors network is composed of over 40,000 churches from across the country for whom this issue is of great importance.
Family Research Council President Tony Perkins released the following statement:
“The anti-faith environment created by the Obama administration goes a long way to explaining why such a lawsuit could be deemed to be anything more than religious harassment. Militant secularists have a longstanding friend in Judge Crabb who is infamous for striking down the National Day of Prayer as being unconstitutional.
“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 used tax-breaks and incentives to encourage that which is beneficial to society as a whole.
“I’d like to ask Judge Crabb: Where are the atheist-run soup kitchens, clothes closets, relief agencies, orphanages, adoption agencies, counselors, and hospitals. No, it is the pastor-led churches that primarily provide these benefits to communities and society in general. Americans donate over $100 billion to religious charities, including churches, every year because they believe it makes a positive difference. Churches have been central to the relief efforts in the aftermath of hurricane damage in Southeast Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico.
“I believe this case will mirror the outcome in the National Day of Prayer case: in embarrassment for Judge Crabb,” concluded Perkins.