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Entries in Freedom of Religion (73)

Wednesday
Oct222014

Daily Signal - The Real Story on Who Got Obamacare Coverage 

Monday
Oct202014

Daily Signal - Government to Ordained Ministers: Celebrate Same-Sex Wedding or Go to Jail 

Friday
Sep052014

FreeKeeneNews - Three NH Churches Appeal Tax Exemption Denials 

NH Churches Take Tax Exemption Denials to Court

Freedom-friendly churches file appeals in Grafton, Cheshire superior courts. 

Ministers of three New Hampshire churches have filed tax exemption appeals with the Cheshire and Grafton superior courts. Peaceful Assembly Church, Shire Free Church: Monadnock, and  Church of the Sword were each denied tax exemptions for their properties. Peaceful Assembly sought an exemption for their church building, while the other two sought exemptions for parsonages.

 

Brandon Ross, the attorney for Peaceful Assembly Church, was surprised by the town’s decision to deny exemption for their church building in Grafton, pointing out, “Peaceful Assembly Church has been around for several years. Seems plain as day they're entitled to the tax exemption.” According to the filing by Ross in Grafton superior court, “the Grafton Selectmen argued that Peaceful Assembly did not 'do enough' for the community to earn a tax exemption (perhaps incorrectly believing that [tax exemption is] a quid-pro-quo arrangement).”

 

The filing adds, “the Town's tax assessing agent, Avitar, basically recommended that the exemption be denied because they weren't an IRS recognized church.” Of course, there is no requirement that a church apply for IRS recognition within NH statutes, nor should there be. Churches do not need government approval to exist and to be tax-exempt.

 

The ministers of the Shire Free Church: Monadnock argue in their appeal filed in Cheshire superior court, that Keene tax assessor Mary Ann Robator engaged in viewpoint discrimination when she said, “When you refer to activists, I think that flies in the face of your church status.”  Mark Edge, Shire Free Church minister says their church meets all the legal requirements and that, “The Keene government's denial of our application is nothing but religious discrimination.”

 

Shire Free Church: Monadnock ministers filed their appeal without the assistance of an attorney. Their six-page filing cites multiple constitutional provisions as well as the New Hampshire statute that authorizes municipalities to accept “voluntary payments.” The church encourages the city to accept its voluntary contributions (approximately 45% of each tax bill at this time) in lieu of property taxes, rather than continuing to pour taxpayer dollars into costly attorneys’ fees in a fight to crush religious freedom.

 

While the churches are independently organized, Peaceful Assembly Church and Shire Free Church: Monadnock share similar missions of fostering peace. The Peaceful Assembly Church associates with Christianity, but welcomes all who believe in peace and forgiveness.  Shire Free Church is an interfaith peace ministry, open to all who are of peace and who have signed the Shire Society Declaration.

 

Church of the Sword, whose mission is different from the other churches, filed their appeal via attorney Daniel Hynes in Cheshire superior court regarding the town’s denial of their parsonage in Westmoreland. The church self-describes as interfaith and their website states, “We believe in studying and applying the martial path in the judicial and legislative arenas, as well as in self defense.”  Church of the Sword minister Kevin Bloom says they weren’t even sent proper notice of denial, "To this date, we have not received a letter of denial that the Town of Westmoreland claims was mailed on August 26th. The only reason we learned about it at all is due to our attorney's diligence."

 

Stay tuned to FreeKeene.com for the latest on these attacks on religious freedom.

 

More information about each church can be found on their respective websites:

http://www.peacefulassemblychurch.org/

http://church.shiresociety.com/

http://www.churchofthesword.org/

 

If you have questions for the attorneys or ministers involved in these matters, please reach out with inquiries to:

Ian Freeman

Minister, Shire Free Church

603-513-2449

Monday
Aug042014

ALG's Daily Grind - Thune bill restores union transparency that Obama degraded 

6

August 4, 2014

Permission to republish original opeds granted.

John Thune bill would restore labor union transparency that Obama degraded
Thune's bill would restore full transparency requirements on items such as union executives' compensation packages, transparency that while expressly required by the Labor-Management Reporting and Disclosure Act of 1959, was eliminated by the Obama administration.

Time running out to stop Internet giveaway
When Commerce's contract with the Internet Corporation of Assigned Names and Numbers ends in September 2015, if FY 2015 funding for the Commerce Department is already in place, it may be too late to use the appropriations process to stop the administration's Internet giveaway.

Climate alarmists never quit
World doomed: Effort continues to convince everyone that it is humans, not the sun, oceans, and other natural phenomenon, and that requires abandoning fossil fuels in favor of "renewable" wind and solar energy.

Investors.com: IRS strikes deal with atheists to monitor churches
"A lawsuit filed by the Wisconsin-based Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF) asserted that the Internal Revenue Service ignored complaints about churches' violating their tax-exempt status by routinely promoting political issues, legislation and candidates from the pulpit."

Friday
Jul182014

NHDP - Havenstein Refuses to Stand Up for Women’s Affordable Access to Health Coverage (Again)

Manchester, NH – Once again, failed CEO Walt Havenstein refused to stand up for women’s health as he remained silent on the Hobby Lobby "fix" legislation that was blocked by Senate Republicans, which would have ensured women receive health coverage for their full range of basic health needs regardless of their boss's personal religious beliefs. 
 
It’s no surprise Havenstein has stayed quiet. Whenever he's been pushed to show his true colors on critical issues, he's proved to Granite State women why he can't be trusted to protect their right to affordable health care. 
 
In recent weeks, Walt celebrated the Supreme Court’s far-right Hobby Lobby decision that allows bosses to come between a woman and her doctor, and voiced his opposition to buffer zone measures that protect women and workers accessing reproductive health clinics.
 
“Walt Havenstein has shown time and again that he can't be trusted to stand up for New Hampshire women and families,” said Julie McClain, Communications Director for the New Hampshire Democratic Party.“Given his disturbing stances on the Supreme Court's Hobby Lobby decision and buffer zone laws that protect women's safety and privacy, we're left to wonder where he stands on a number of other issues critical to women’s health that he refuses to answer.”
 
Below are just a few of the key questions Walt Havenstein has refused to answer on women's health:

Would he support the Bill O’Brien agenda to defund New Hampshire Planned Parenthood clinics?
 
He's already said he opposes New Hampshire's bipartisan plan to expand critical health coverage to tens of thousands of working women, including coverage for contraception. Would he also work to repeal our state's Medicaid expansion? 
 
He supports allowing employers to compensate women less than men by refusing to cover a woman's full range of basic health care needs while covering those of her male co-workers. Would he also work to repeal the New Hampshire Paycheck Fairness Act that helps ensure women receive equal pay for an equal day's work? 
 
Would he support restrictions on women’s health clinics that were considered in the state legislature last spring?
 

And what other health coverage does he think men deserve but women don't?