We, the signers of this petition, herein express our opinion that Internal Revenue Ruling 70-549 should be revoked as being contrary to fact, contrary to law, and contrary to the theology popularly promoted by members of the religious group it was designed to benefit.
The government background file and other records demonstrate that the ruling was obtained during the Nixon administration as a direct result of the pressure exerted on the IRS at the highest level by George Bush, Sr. and Omar Burleson who were working on behalf of Abilene Christian University (ACU) and its employees.
The ruling effectively recognizes, contrary to fact and law, that ACU and similar schools (i.e., Pepperdine, Harding, OCUSA, etc.) are integral agencies of the churches of Christ.
However, such schools are organized and maintained as a matter of fact, law and theology so as to NOT be integral agencies of any religious organization.
The ruling resulted from a compromise of the IRS, a compromise of the law, a compromise of the church, a compomise of the private schools, and a compromise of the principle of separation of church and state.
The ruling allows employees at such private schools to register as ministers and take ministerial tax exemptions (i.e., income tax free housing allowances and exemptions from Social Security tax); costing the U.S. Treasury millions of dollars each year in lost revenue.
This should not be!
The law allowing ministerial exemptions was never intended to be extended to employees at private schools who register as ministers (i.e., basketball ministers, math ministers, maintenance ministers, ad nauseum).
Revenue Ruling 70-549 should be revoked!
Robert Baty, the sponsor of this petition, is a member of the church of Christ and retired IRS Appeals Officer.
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