Clergy Housing Allowance and the Bible both Under Attack

Date:       April 25, 2018
Host:        Jim Schneider
Guest:      Mat Staver
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​​Jim’s guest today is attorney Mat Staver – Staver is the founder and chairman of Liberty Counsel and is also heard daily as speaker on the radio programs Faith & Freedom, as well as, Freedom’s Call. Staver has also authored several books. Besides beginning the show with commentary on several legislative issues, Jim ultimately asks Staver to shed light on two very significant issues that at one time in our nation, would have been considered unthinkable.

First up is the current attack upon what is known as the Clergy Housing Allowance; an allowance available to Pastors (ministers) through their service to the Church. Section 107 of the Internal Revenue Code allows Pastors ‘ministers of the gospel’ to exclude some or all of their financial income from the Church as a housing allowance from their personal income for federal income tax purposes. The Freedom from Religion Foundation (atheist group) claims that this benefit violates the 1st Amendment establishment clause – does it? With the case very soon being heard in the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals (and decision by the end of 2018) Mat Staver offers his argument. 

As if that attack upon the Church is not enough, Jim then asks Mat Staver about AB 2943. What is that you say? Right now in the state of California, legislation has passed recently (by large margin, 50-18) which could ultimately ‘ban the Bible.’ Staver lays it all out for Crosstalk listeners explaining how the bill is ‘two fold.’ First, Staver says the bill would prevent so called conversion therapy saying ‘if approved, victims of sexual abuse can no longer get counseling if they develop (as often happens) unwanted urges to engage in same-sex behavior or become gender confused.’ This bill would declare that any ‘change efforts with an individual’ would be deemed a ‘fraudulent business practice.’ Secondly, AB 2943 would also make it ‘unlawful for any person to sell books, including the Bible, counseling services, or anything else that directs people to trust in Jesus Christ to help them overcome unwanted same-sex attraction or gender confusion.’ Staver says AB 2943 would ‘ban the Bible’ and that the Church today is ‘in the cross hairs of the issue.’ Crosstalk takes your calls.

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