When Sklar filed a similar lawsuit several years ago, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals rejected his case but not before recognizing that Sklar had a valid point. The Circuit Court admitted that "it appears to be true" that Scientology's IRS agreement violated the First Amendment.
Sklar's current lawsuit should reach the U.S. Tax Court in late October or early November. While Sklar represented himself in the first lawsuit, he now has a pro bono lawyer. He won't be satisfied with a simple rejection of the Scientology agreement, though. "The government has now been doing this for 10 years, and if the only thing they would do is simply stop, the government would then have been giving a religious preference to a particular group for 10 years. There's nothing to stop it from trying to do it again."
Instead, Sklar wants the IRS to allow all people of every religious persuasion to write off religious education. "If the net result of this is that the only ones who are entitled to a religious deduction are the Scientologists and the Jews, I've really accomplished nothing. This really has to be for every religion in the book," he explains.
The idea of deducting religious education will surely provoke heavy opposition from the left. Many liberals feel that Sklar's proposed deductions would constitute state establishment of religion -- even if the state is allowing people of all religions to deduct. Judge Barry D. Silverman of the 9th Circuit, certainly feels that way. In the first Sklar case, he wrote: "The remedy is not to require the IRS to let others claim the improper deduction."
But the leftist argument that encouragement of religion in general establishes one religion in particular is fallacious. America was founded on religious tolerance and the freedom to observe religion without government encroachment. As John Adams stated, "Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other."
If our public schools have discarded Judeo-Christian ethics for the amorality of multiculturalism, Adams' America rests on those Americans who educate their children in private schools. If Sklar wins his case, perhaps some good can come from thetans after all.
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