Friday, October 20, 2006

Times Series On Religious Exemptions Continues, As Does Comment On It

The New York Times today ran a fifth installment of its series on the benefits religious organizations receive from regulatory and tax exemptions. (See prior posting.) Today's installment, titled Ministry's Medial Program Is Not Regulated, focuses on exemptions of medical bill-sharing ministries from state insurance laws. One such group, the Christian Care Ministry, is facing a hearing next week on a complaint by the Kentucky Office of Insurance that the organization should in fact have to register as an insurance company.

The Times series has led to an unusual amount of editorial comment, both pro and con. The Times itself ran an editorial last Monday that argued "the wall between church and state is being replaced by a platform that raises religious organizations to a higher legal plane than their secular counterparts." However, yesterday the Weekly Standard carried an article by John DiIulio, Jr., first director of the White House Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives, strongly critical of the New York Times series. [Thanks to Steven H. Sholk for the lead to the Weekly Standard.]