Wednesday, March 24, 2004

Religion!

A couple of religious issues are before the Supreme Court that could have some profound consequences.

The pledge of allegiance case is finally before the SC, they will decide whether the court in California that decided a while ago that the phrase "under God" was an improper endorsement of religion. I don't know anyone besides The Big Guy whose name is God. And while God has quite a monopoly, what with the Jews, Christians and Muslims all trying to chat Him up at the same time, there are some people who still believe that separation of church and state is an important thing. This is different from mere tradition (like the various oaths and blessings uttered by individuals), this is a law proclaiming students must acknowledge God.

And a Jewish tax accountant is suing the IRS to allow his deduction for religious schooling. Why? Because the IRS allows the Scientologists to deduct the costs of their educational training. And nobody else. Formed by L. Ron Hubbard, a science fiction writer of dubious background, Scientology has educational requirements and charges adherents for the educational services and materials. By secret agreement, the IRS allows Scientologists and nobody else to deduct religious expenses. SECRET AGREEMENT?!!? It should go without saying, but that's bullshit. I'm not even sure any religious "donations" should be deductible, but this is blatantly unfair. And just a little creepy. It doesn't say how he found out about the secret, I'm betting a client accidentally let it slip.

Here's to hoping our Supreme Court makes some good decisions.

EDIT: The spell checker wants to change Scientologist into scintillated. Interesting.

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