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Pastor, Church & Law

written by Richard R. Hammar, J.D., LL.M., CPA

Legal Briefs

Volume 4 . Chapter 9

With the ever-increasing amount of legislation imposed by federal, state, and local governments, questions have arisen as to the application of these laws and regulations to religious organizations. After all, it is one thing for a statute to apply to a local dry cleaner or fast food restaurant. But it is quite different to apply the same law to a church, since churches are protected by the First Amendment guaranty of religious freedom as well as similar provisions in state constitutions.

How far, then, can government go in applying these laws to churches and ministries without violating the First Amendment? The willingness of religious organizations to comply with some regulation is not seriously disputed. For example, few protest the application ...

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