WASHINGTON- Republican (Utah) Senator, Mike Lee, addressed concerns that faith-based schools and institutions would be at risk of losing tax-exempt status for upholding traditional marriage beliefs should the U.S. Supreme Court deliver a pro-gay marriage ruling this month. At Wednesday press conference held in the senator’s Capitol Hill Office, Lee and other members of the evangelical higher education community voiced concern over comments made in the Supreme Court’s oral argument by Solicitor General Donald Verrilli.
Verrilli, who testified as a friend of the court on April 28 was in favor of making same-sex marriage a national right. When asked by Justice Samuel Alito whether making it a constitutional right would allow for the IRS to revoke tax-exempt status of faith-based schools/universities that supports traditional marriage, Verrilli claimed that it may be an issue.
Lee commented that he reiterated the response four times that it would be an issue, and doesn’t deny that is is a very real possibility, if not a probability for these institutions. This poses a challenge for the schools because tax-exempt status for religious institutions has been granted because they want to keep government out of interfering with religion.
Lee very poignantly proclaimed, “It (government) really ought not to be in the business of disrupting the business of a church or religious institution.”
Lee plans to introduce the Government Nondiscrimination Act which would prevent the federal government from taking action against any institution based on their belief of the biblical definition of marriage.
Lee didn’t comment on when he plans to introduce this bill into legislation, but may after the Supreme Court ruling in June.
In the U.S., there are 29,000 faith-based preschools, elementary schools and high schools. There are 1,700 faith-based colleges. If they lost their tax-exempt status, Dr. Samuel Oliver (evangelical Union University of Tennessee) says that it would create a burden on taxpayers. He further elaborated to say that even if 100 institutions closed, 400,000 students would be put in the education system.
“If faith-based education ceases to exist, the state educational system will not be able to accommodate the number of students who are dumped into the pool,” he added. “To force students, by default, to attend secular schools is a form of mind control.”Religious institutions weren’t the main concern, however. Even religious broadcasters are concerned that they would be in jeopardy of losing their license.
Our Two Cents:
- Faith based institutions may lose their tax-exempt status, which may result in school closings.
- An overly packed education system would experience greater strain by this, and MORE children would enter into public schools thereby increasing class sizes.
- Teachers would be even more stressed out because not only have they been subject to tax cuts in education, and experience high degrees of stress due to large classroom sizes, they would have an even greater burden being placed on them due to closures.
- Taxpayers will feel the burden of financing more children being put through public education. Someone has to fund the system, right? Tax hikes would also be expected to compensate for this decision.
It seems as if EVERYONE is being penalized for one decision and a lack of compensation for those that uphold the traditional definition of marriage. Why are Christians being penalized for upholding their beliefs? In a “free society”, ideally shouldn’t our rights be protected as well? Why are we continually being forced to give up what we stand for? How is that “American”?
Really, it isn’t. What we run the risk of is silencing our Christian voices because licenses may be revoked. We stand the risk of seeing secular radio and television solely on the airwaves, or they may have to compromise in order to stay on the air. Is this the world YOU want to see, and that you want to expose your children to?
Christians, I urge you to use your voice and make sure your fundamental rights are protected! Canadians, be wary as well because what is passed in the U.S. often occurs here as well.Click here for reuse options!
Copyright 2015 Faith Filled Family
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