Pastors May Lose Housing Allowance?

17 Mar

The following is a letter that the Alliance Defending Freedom sent recently. Please read down below:

Dear Pastor,

You may have heard that a federal district court in Wisconsin recently declared the minister’s housing allowance to be unconstitutional. The ruling was in response to a lawsuit brought by the Freedom From Religion Foundation, and if it stands, will affect countless pastors who have claimed the housing allowance as part of their compensation package from the church where they serve.

Thankfully, the district court stayed its ruling until all appeals in the case have been exhausted, so the housing allowance remains intact, for now. I am writing to make you aware of an opportunity to allow your voice to be heard on this important issue.

Alliance Defending Freedom is preparing a friend of the court brief (also called an amicus brief) in support of keeping the minister’s housing allowance. We are seeking churches to represent in this amicus brief. This simply means that churches interested in taking a stand on this issue would be listed on the brief.

If you would like your church to be represented, all you need to do is email us at Put your name, the name of your church, and your contact information in the email and indicate that you would like to be a part of the amicus brief on the minister’s housing allowance. We will then list your church as one of many churches who wish to be heard before the Court on this important issue. We will need to hear from you no later than end of day on Friday, March 21 if you want to participate. Unfortunately the Court’s schedule is such that it demands a short turnaround. Thank you in advance for giving this prompt attention.

The minister’s housing allowance is constitutional. It has been a part of federal law for a very long time and should remain so. However, this ruling illustrates the need for the Church to be active and have its voice heard. Remember, the laws we pass are only as good as the judges who are appointed to apply them. Put another way, elections have consequences that matter to real people.

Make your voice heard, and email us at to be listed on the amicus brief to the Court of Appeals.

May God bless you as we stand together for freedom.

Erik Stanley
Senior Legal Counsel
Director, Church Project
Alliance Defending Freedom

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Posted by on March 17, 2014 in Uncategorized


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