Why Atheist Leaders Are 'Ministers of the Gospel'

(UPDATED) Legal challenge to pastor tax break takes 'fascinating turn.'

Update (Aug. 21):USA Todayexamines the irony of the federal government seemingly "calling the bluff" of an atheist group's challege to parsonage tax breaks for pastors.

Such housing allowances last came under scrutiny in 2002 when the IRS challenged Rick Warren on his exemption, leading Congress to revise the law. CT offered its own take in an editorial.

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The Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability (ECFA) has been tracking the ongoing attempt by atheist activists to overturn tax breaks offered to clergy for housing expenses.

Recently the case took "a fascinating turn," as ECFA notes the federal government, in defending the current clergy housing allowance, is arguing that atheist leaders would likely qualify for equal tax breaks if they would bother to apply for them. (Forbes also notes the irony.)

ECFA writes:

According to attorneys for the U.S. Department of Justice, not only is the law constitutional, but atheists might also be considered ...
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