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I became a leader last century – actually, in the closing decades of the last century! Back then, and earlier, there were already lots of lawsuits amongst Christians and churches, but I was blissfully ignorant. I operated from the assumptions that I just needed to try my best and nothing bad would happen.
An attorney and a psychologist — those are going to be different points of view. We hope that those different points of view will give you depth perception, the way two eyes, looking from a slightly different angle, help you see the whole picture...
This post introduces the efforts of two seemingly quite different people to come together and help missions sort out the many issues involved in caring for people and the legal environment.
Preventing child abuse, particularly child sexual abuse, should be a top concern for churches and ministries, given the tragic effects on children and the ethical and moral responsibility of an organization that works with children to care for those children. The most important reason to address these issues is that abuse can wreck children’s lives and cause effects going on into adulthood. Children, spouses, and families of victims also suffer. In addition, the impact of the child sexual abuse scandal on Catholic and other churches shows that an organization’s life can be nasty, brutish and short when it is hit by major litigation.
Although it doesn’t have much independent value as a precedent, a recent case is an eerie factual copycat of the recent U.S. Supreme Court decision in Hosanna-Tabor v. EEOC, an employment law case that applied the constitutional ministerial exception doctrine. Herzog v. St. Peter Lutheran, an August 2012 memorandum opinion out of the federal Northern District of Illinois, faithfully applies the Hosanna-Tabor principles to a similar set of facts.
One area of religious liberty that has been challenged a few times recently is the right to share one's faith and hand out religious literature on a public sidewalk. The Muniz lawsuit is only in the initial stages, but will revolve around the religious liberties principles.
Blog post by Lauren Burson, Telios Law intern summer 2012
In an effort to demonstrate open-mindedness and be welcoming to all, our society sometimes takes tolerance to the extreme, essentially erasing diversity by bulldozing protective measures that would otherwise help to maintain a unique identity.
Christians in Rutherford County, Tennessee, have battled for two years against the construction and opening of the Murfreesboro mosque. Not only are the “Christian” actions in Rutherford County unconstitutional, they are short-sighted. If they succeed in changing religious liberty protections for Muslims, they change them for everyone. They are sowing the wind, blithely unaware that when it is time to harvest, all people of faith will reap the whirlwind.
The Catholic sexual abuse scandal has been horrific but has fascinated many. People involved have interests and agendas. Victims seek healing. Both victims and opportunists often seek large sums of money. The Church has worked to protect a current generation of children, to determine how to discipline erring priests and protect innocent ones, and also to survive organizationally in the face of an enormous financial threat. Some attorneys have made millions suing the Church, and others, like me, have been on the defense side of investigations to assist the Church in serving victims and in limiting damages. With literally thousands of articles written, news stories have been profitable for the media and have intrigued readers.
This memorandum describes the annual information return filing requirements for religious organizations and other tax-exempt 501(c)(3) organizations (excluding private foundations and supporting organizations).