In a column for USA Today, Michael Farris looks at the implications of legal gay marriage for Christian schools. He writes:
If the court rules in favor of same sex marriage, how can religious colleges that refuse to acknowledge such unions avoid [losing tax-exempt status]?
No one should think that IRS implications will stop with colleges. Religious high schools, grade schools and any other religious institution will face the same outcome. And this includes churches.
All of these entities are exempt from taxation under the same section of the IRS code. And even though churches can be exempt without application, their exemption can nonetheless be revoked.
Even if it takes the IRS years to begin the enforcement proceedings against such institutions, we can expect other fallout from this decision to begin shortly after the release of the Supreme Court’s opinion.
Colleges and universities that receive federal funding will be coerced into immediate compliance. Accreditation agencies will ratchet up their bullying of Christian institutions, as has already been done against Gordon College in Massachusetts. Threats to accreditation are fatal. Colleges may not legally operate in several states without it.
Christian colleges and churches need to get prepared. We must decide which is more important to us — our tax exemption or our religious convictions.
If you think this outcome isn’t possible, you aren’t paying attention. This has always been the endgame for the activists. They want to marginalize and destroy all dissent to the sexual revolution. And that means they have to target people of faith. The best way to destroy religion’s institutional base is to have their tax-exempt status removed. It’s coming. Read the rest here.
Couldn’t this be stymied by the schools refusing to take any federal dollars? We have a college here in Michigan that does that (Hillsdale). Though I’m sure that it would make the cost of education there a bit more expensive, (or really make professor’s salaries a bit lower as a result).
I believe college’s/ universities, as well as private K-12 schools could get around this if they refuse any federal funding. Love to hear anyone else’s thought on that.
Ian, you are clearly confused. Most Christian schools and churches receive no federal dollars. This isn’t about federal money. I’m not going to explain it.
In the 5th excerpt from the article is states, “Colleges and universities that receive federal funding will be coerced into immediate compliance.”
That is why I brought up the point about federal funding as MANY Christian universities do except federal dollars, though few do not. Accepting federal dollars does have something to do with compliance, as those that do no accept those funds, shouldn’t have to cave to anything.
Larry:. When they say colleges accept federal dollars I believe they are referring to student loans and grants (i.e. PELL grants) and many students of necessity will following the money.
Then it is clear they have a choice, stop discriminating or lose federal dollars. They have the same rights as any other school, no more, no less. How many can survive on their own.
Discrimination, in and of itself, is not a bad thing. Christians universities clearly have principles that drive what they do and how. If the government has a say in what the school teaches, then all colleges should become national universities (as they are in other countries) and higher education should be free (as they are in other countries).
However, if the school wants to dictate by what basis does it learn, and who is the cornerstone for all learning, I guess a decision will have to be made. Not taking federal dollars can happen, but changes will need to be made.
Hey, Ian, what do you mean discrimination isn’t a bad thing?
The word and it’s meaning has a neutral meaning. People hear the word and immediately think the worst case scenario. I discriminate against green vegetables. Not as much as I used to, but I still do. Is it wrong for me to discriminate against green vegetables?
Just saying, it’s all about the context that’s being framed. The word itself and it’s meaning is not a negative, but most people often perceive it to be negative and inflammatory in it’s very existence.
The basic meaning of the word is to recognize legitimate differences or distinctions and to respond to/treat such appropriately. In this sense we all discriminate. Some discrimination is positive (ever hear of a “discriminating palate”?) and some, based on injustice or prejudice, is negative and invalid. My parents did not treat the neighborhood children in exactly the same way they treated my siblings and me; their actions were discriminatory based on their respective relationships. Yet on what basis would the neighbor boy complain of discrimination (in a negative sense) if he were not invited to go to Disneyland with my family?
Sandra: They don’t have the same rights as any other school. Other schools can discriminate freely against Christians (and do regularly) and still receive federal dollars. How many students at Vanderbilt are getting federal aid, for instance? Moreover, this is also about tax exempt status. GLAAD can retain its tax exempt status, for instance, but will churches and church schools be allowed to retain theirs? Would GLAAD survive on its own without its tax exempt status? But is GLAAD required to hire Christians who disagree with its principles? I understand GLAAD isn’t a college, but the underlying principle should be the same, shouldn’t it?
Gus, no actually Christians have the same anti-discrimination protection as other religions. A tax exempt status is legally a different kettle of fish than federal funds that schools receive directly and indirectly i.e. busing from a local school district for a Catholic church school. I happen to know that GLADD has a number of Christians on staff.
If Scientology can be tax exempt, anything can be tax exempt.
dr. james willingham
I tried to write a comment earlier today, but had some funny results with this bog and another. First, there was a very small window for typing a response (like 4-5 words). Second, it had the “please use first and last name,” but it had no place for them and no “post comment.” Then I tried to contact you, Dr. Burk, and I found that by typing in my information on the contact forms that I got my email and I suspect that you did not get one. I suspect that there is deliberate interference with Christian blogs (and there are centers with the capacity to handle as much as 19,000,000 bits of information per every person on the face of the earth per second). They have had quantum computers since the 80s as one book on the NSA that I read in about 2000 indicated. The computer needs for nuclear weapons, etc., is of the highest magnitude. Besides the NSA is building computer centers around the USA to keep tabs on every bit of the communication Americans have with one another. In addition our tvs, especially the more modern ones, are fitted to listen in and, perhaps, view what we are doing in our homes (this is done through the companies that make them). I was told this by a young man some four or five years ago who knew about the electronics involved. He had a new tv and went in and disconnected the relevant connections, and, so he said, he had a contact within a few days. I was skeptical until this past week, when our local CBS affiliate had a report on companies listening on our tvs. If the reporter had added, government, she would have completed what the young man told me. In any case, I was told some 20-30 years ago by a man who worked for a company that constructed buildings on military basis. He said they had to be careful and not use steel rods in the concrete as an enemy could use that for listening in on conversations in the building. Imagine that.
In any case, I think this decision by the Supreme Court will throw this nation into turmoil like you have never imagined. In short, we might soon have a full scale civil war, something I dread considering my children, grandchildren, and friends. This thing was not done on the spur of a moment; it was planned long ago. President Franklin Roosevelt (not one of my heroes by any means) stated that “nothing happens in public by accident.” This court decision is designed to really hit the church and the Christian community hard, to weaken, and eventually for all practical purposes destroy it as an effective force in America. Sad, when one considers that our predecessors and, in some cases, our ancestors labored, fought and died that we might be free. I live just a 50 minute drive down US 40 from an American Revolutionary War battle occurred in which at least one of my relatives was a participant.
What we need now are days of fasting and prayer for a visitation, a third great awakening, that we might avoid such a calamity, God willing.
Christians have asked for this
most churches are feminist ( even the comp ones) and that it self is a huge revolution from biblical standards…
this next step is just a flow on effect…