By Charlie Butts
Atheists may have opened themselves up for a challenge as a result of a lawsuit decided in Kentucky.
OneNewsNow –Atheist group American Atheists filed suit in Kentucky federal court claiming that giving religious groups and pastors tax exemptions discriminates against atheists.
The court disagreed, ruling that atheists can’t claim discrimination because they had not applied and been rejected for the same benefits.
Attorney Harry Mihet of Liberty Counsel explains that the legal test for a religious or nonreligious organization does not involve believing in a deity.
“So interestingly enough,” he says, “the court is suggesting that the atheists can receive the same types of benefits because they themselves are a religion or religious.”
Mihet calls that a “remarkable concept,” one Liberty Counsel has been pursuing in the courts for some time because it has important implications.
Why? Because subjects such as evolution are allowed to be taught in schools but creation science is denied.
Mihet explains: “Because if atheism or humanism are religions themselves, and public schools decide to teach the tenets of those religions while excluding the tenets of other theistic religions, then that is discriminatory treatment in and of itself.”
So the Liberty Counsel attorney contends that in claiming discrimination, the atheists may have opened the door for challenges from Christians and other faith groups in the future.
On its own website, the atheist group reported it filed suit in 2012, complaining that secular non-profits do not submit the same IRS filings and report the same information as religious non-profits.
In 2012 the U.S. government filed a motion to dismiss, arguing the tax laws don’t harm the group. The federal judge ruled in favor of the government’s motion to dismiss May 19.
Report via OneNewsNow
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