Expanding abuse reporting requirements: Texas, South Carolina, Colorado and National Trends

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Legislative changes to child abuse reporting statutes can significantly impact daily operations of these organizations. Leadership must stay abreast of statutory changes in abuse reporting requirements.

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Supreme Court weighs a church’s right to advertise services

Pastor Clyde Reed of Good News Community Church, center, his wife Ann, and Kevin Theriot, of the Alliance Defending Freedom, back left, on the steps of the Supreme Court after their case had been argued to the Supreme Court justices. Religion News Service photo by Lauren Markoe

The Supreme Court on Monday (Jan. 12) considered a tiny church’s curbside sign in a case that could raise the bar on government regulation of speech, and make it easier for houses of worship to advertise their services. The Alliance Defending Freedom, the advocacy group that represents Pastor Clyde Reed and his Good News Community Church, bills the case, Reed v. Town of Gilbert, as a religious rights case. But their attorney mostly argued it on free speech grounds.

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What’s next for health care reform?

The Supreme Court decision on the Obama health care reform

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Picking a fight with the IRS: The politics issue

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From the founding of our country until 1953, churches and their ministers enjoyed complete freedom to address social, moral, Biblical and political issues. Churches have enjoyed exemptions from federal income tax in every income tax law enacted since 1861 without any restrictions on the political activities of the church. But in 1954 all that changed. As part of the Internal Revenue Code of 1954, then Senator Lyndon B. Johnson added a new condition to the tax exemption for all nonprofit organizations: no political activity. This amendment to the Code prohibited all nonprofits from doing anything that would support or hinder a candidate for elective office. (For purposes of this article, I will use the prior sentence as the definition of “political activity.”) This amendment was added at the last minute without any discussion or hearings.

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Under fire: The ‘ministerial exception’

There is a blockbuster religious freedom case that is currently pending before the United States Supreme Court. Courts have generally believed that federal employment discrimination statutes do not apply to church employees performing religious functions.

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Should churches and ministries care about trademarks?

“A good name is more desirable than great riches,” says Proverbs 22:1 but it takes an effort to keep it that way.

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New privacy law aims to prevent misuse of genetic information

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The federal Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA) which took effect on March 21, 2009, is intended to protect the privacy of Americans.

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Does the church bake sale threaten your tax-exempt status?

In this modern era, many churches are offering more and more services to its congregants to attract new members, retain established members and create revenue to operate the church or fund its programs. Common examples may include a bookstore or coffee bar. As a general rule, a church is not taxed on its income or revenues from an activity that is substantially related to the religious or charitable purposes of the organization.

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