Skip to comments.New Rule Excludes Religious Workers from Benefits Offered to Others (PSLF)
Posted on 02/16/2012 11:56:05 PM PST by Salvation
As the recent battle for a proper understanding of religious liberty shows, our culture and many of our government leaders and organizations are becoming increasingly secularized and hostile to religion and religious practice.
Yet another example of this is a recent rule change in the Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF). According to this program, a person who has been engaged in Public Service employment for ten years, can have the remainder of their Student Loan form the government forgiven, presuming they have faithfully been paying it up till then.
However, a recent rule change now excludes those who are involved in any work of a religious nature. In the Washington Post On Faith section Brad Hirschfield writes the following to explain the change:
What counts as public service?
Until the end of January, the government definition was clear and inclusive. It read as follows: Qualifying employment is any employment with a federal, state, or local government agency, entity, or organization or a non-profit organization that has been designated as tax-exempt by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code (IRC).
Now though, the rules have changed. At the end of the description of who qualifies for this program, a new paragraph appears and its striking not only in that it re-defines things, but that it does so in a way that seems purposefully disingenuous.
Generally, the type or nature of employment with the organization does not matter for PSLF purposes. However, if you work for a non-profit organization, your employment will not qualify for PSLF if your job duties are related to religious instruction, worship services, or any form of proselytizing. 
Thus, the new policy explicitly goes out of its way to exclude religious work. In effect it implies that such work is NOT public service, merely because it is exercised through a religious organization for a religious purpose.
Consider that the PSLF program exists because work for a tax exempt organization is generally considered to be of special value to the community. Many tax exempt organizations (like the Church), and those who work them provide care for the poor, special outreach to immigrants, pro-bono or lower cost legal assistance, and the like. The Church, in particular, runs shelters, soup kitchens, schools, hospitals, dental clinics, and so forth.
And, further, there was a traditional appreciation for the fact that religious instruction, and the care of souls, was something that benefited the entire community, since such care helps to instill personal stability, generosity, commitment, respect for law, strong families and other civic values.
In recognition of the value of such work, and in order to encourage others to undertake it, programs like the Public Service Loan Forgiveness are offered, and churches, non-profits and other 401-C3 organizations have been granted tax exempt status.
Again, note the reason, they are tax-exempt and receive certain other benefits in recognition of the fact that they provide a valuable service to the the community.
The new wording of the law says, in effect, that offering religious benefits and services, the care of the soul, is no longer to be considered worthy of the benefit, that is, such work is no longer to be considered valuable enough that such workers will qualify.
Endless arguments will likely ensue as to the Church/State debate. But note that this is a CHANGE in the law. Those involved in religious work have always been included until now. Mr Hirschfield in his article asks,
Are clergy and teachers of religious faith/thought public servants? Is their work on par with that of others who work for 501c3 non-for-profit groups and for government agencies? It used to be, but as of January 31st, the federal government has changed its mind about that .
While religion can be abused in the most horrendous ways, it remains a source of enormous social good and unprecedented public service. The new regulation seems to uphold only one of those truths, and in doing so, is actually taking a position on faith (dare I say, establishing one?) a hostile one. 
Yes, hostile would seem to be the word. And that, in a word, is increasingly what secularization is coming to mean: Hostility to religion. In the recent past we who are believers considered secularization to be an unfortunate forgetfulness of God or a disregarding of things spiritual and Godly. But in recent years secularization has increasingly taken on a direct hostility to religious faith, to its existence in the public square, and to its practice anywhere outside the four walls of a Church.
The new PSLF wording illustrates and proceeds from just that kind of growing and accepted cultural hostility. Mr. Hirschfield concludes:
While church-[state] separation is a wise and necessary policy, separation is not about discrimination against, or hostility towards, religion. The regulation, as newly reformulated is clumsy at best, insensitive for certain, and may even be illegally hostile to religion. This one needs to change. 
New Rule Excludes Religious Workers from Benefits Offered to Others. Another Example of Hostile Secularism in the Federal Government
**Yes, hostile would seem to be the word. And that, in a word, is increasingly what secularization is coming to mean: Hostility to religion. In the recent past we who are believers considered secularization to be an unfortunate forgetfulness of God or a disregarding of things spiritual and Godly.**
Will the Bishops speak out on this too?
The next step is to do away with the tax deduction for donations. These pillars hold one another up. If that tax deduction stands alone then they will go after it.
This regime is actively seeking CW2. First, they came for industry. Then, they came for health care. Today, it is religion. Tomorrow, it will be our guns.
The Constitution means nothing to the regime; they want it gone. They want absolute power over us and will not settle for anything less. This is the most fearsome enemy we have ever seen. It is treason within our own walls.
In Dante’s Inferno, the lowest ring of Hell is inhabited by Satan with three heads. In each mouth, a loathsome traitor is constantly torn apart by Satan, reassembled and ripped apart again, for all eternity. The traitors merit this for their horrendous sins: Judas for deicide, Brutus for regicide and Cain for fratricide. Satan will need a new head for the architect of democide (a government that kills its people).
Why are any student loans being forgiven as a policy? And what a racket - 6.8% interest!!! I wouldn’t let my children take out one of those.
EXCOMMUNICATOON ....This device is the most formal and pronouced response particularly to the so called group of nuns supporting the governement position as well as politicians ...is the only measure left to the Catholic bishops if they intend to be considered viable force. .
Easy. They want to be able to tell your child where, when and for whom to work. If you owe the feds thousands of dollars and they tell you "Pay up, now unless you are willing to work in ghetto as a public servant" what choice will you have. The student loan program was federalized by Obama care. It's way to create indentured servants to the feds.
New Rule Excludes Religious Workers from Benefits Offered to Others. Another Example of Hostile Secularism in the Federal Government”...
We need to review the government activity going on in the 1930s in Germany..The parallels between that time in that country and what is taking place in America today are shocking to anyone who wants to take a look..I am currently reading IN THE GARDEN OF BEASTS, LOVE, TERROR AND AN AMERICAN FAMILY IN HITLER’S BERLIN..This book perfectly explains how bad people can intimidate and totally control, psychologically and physically, an entire nation. Is it happening here?
What else can we expect with a Muslim in the White House?
If people think that religious persecution could never take place in the USA, they are VERY wrong. It can happen anywhere. These words of Pope Benedict seem prophetic to me:
The church will become small and will have to start afresh more or less from the beginning. She will no longer be able to inhabit many of the edifices she built in prosperity. As the number of her adherents diminishes . . . she will lose many of her social privileges. . . As a small society, [the Church] will make much bigger demands on the initiative of her individual members.
He goes on, saying: [the church]
It will be hard-going for the Church, for the process of crystallization and clarification will cost her much valuable energy. It will make her poor and cause her to become the Church of the meek . . . The process will be long and wearisome as was the road from the false progressivism on the eve of the French Revolution when a bishop might be thought smart if he made fun of dogmas and even insinuated that the existence of God was by no means certain . . . But when the trial of this sifting is past, a great power will flow from a more spiritualized and simplified Church. Men in a totally planned world will find themselves unspeakably lonely. If they have completely lost sight of God, they will feel the whole horror of their poverty. Then they will discover the little flock of believers as something wholly new. They will discover it as a hope that is meant for them, an answer for which they have always been searching in secret.
And so it seems certain to me that the Church is facing very hard times. The real crisis has scarcely begun. We will have to count on terrific upheavals. But I am equally certain about what will remain at the end: not the Church of the political cult, which is dead already with Gobel, but the Church of faith. She may well no longer be the dominant social power to the extent that she was until recently; but she will enjoy a fresh blossoming and be seen as mans home, where he will find life and hope beyond death.
More: The Coming Catholic Church of America
The shadow of the jackboot
Elizabeth Scalia (the Anchoress) has hit the nail exactly on the head!
Mark my words, a new American revolution or CW2 WILL happen at the rate things are going. The seeds are being planted.
As proof, have heard that gun sales have gone up last year.
I was born into a Catholic family, raised Catholic, attended Catholic school for 8 years and then “left” the Church. The time was the 1970’s and 1980’s.
I left the Church as a young person and while some in my generation took to the exotic drugs...I took a spiritual excursion. At the time I could not put my finger on exactly why I left the Church and sought God in everything from “atheism” to evangelical to wicca.
Now here I am 3 decades later watching the Church of my youth finally standing up for what they teach. Time, age, and experience has given me new understanding to my wandering off...to my spiritual walk-about. The Church teachings at the time of my youth were hollow and the Church did not have the “guts” to stand in their faith.
In fact, as any truth speaking Catholic knows the Church was turning and bending to the social justice ideals. As a young person immersed in the religion, needing to believe...and finding the faith of the church at that time empty I left to find the God that seemed to be missing.
It is very good to see the faith of my youth finding that which they had lost. And yes, I agree with the Pope we are about to witness the “great falling away.” I disagree that this is a “test” to Catholics. It is the separating of the wheat and the chaff not just of the church, but of the world. Wheat is wheat and chaff is chaff one cannot become the other but for the miracle of Jesus.
I have been tempted to venture into a Sunday mass lately. Out of the 3 local churches only one does not mention their duties of ‘social justice’ in the community. I am thinking this one is where I will go and see if the faith of my youth, the faith I was taught...is there.
I can now say I left the church 30 odd years ago, because the church appeared weak and wavering to me.
I am a “revert” myself, having left the Church in my youth and then sincerely searching for the truth. That search, the prayers of my Mother and some fairly thorough research to get to the truth led me back. It was a 15 - 20 year process...and I now understand how truly ignorant I was.
God is patient and He is VERY GOOD.
The above link may be a good source of help for you...and If there is anything I can do to assist, I certainly will. Remember that God is purifying His Church and there are still many in the Church (lay and clerical) who do not follow the Teaching Magisterium..but we are, INDEED, on the cusp of the great sifting. Those parishes that are loyal to the Teaching Magisterium of the Church are full and vibrant and growing!
Look for a Latin Mass parish near you.
Its easy to see where this is going; the gov’t goes anti-Religion and puts those with religious affiliation in the position of being anti-gov’t, if only by implication. So, what’s next? Loyalty oaths? The wretched secularists are intent on marginalizing the devout to the point of near extinction.
Interesting thing about this however is that God has had an interesting way of dealing with the Anti-God types in the past; the Old Testament indicates that in their unbridled pursuit of secular values of earthly wealth, power and dominion of their fellow humans allways ends in their personal, very personal, destruction. God made this human existence profoundly simple; God is the ultimate and only authority and his laws, while simple, are mandatory for the preservation of the earthly human body and the eternal soul. The secular humanists ignore this, deny this, rail against this at their ultimate peril.
From what I’ve seen however, the sad thing is that once captured by the lure of the secular humanist philosophy, people are near impossible to talk to. The so-called “Liberal” elements in Western societies have so fully embraced and propagandized their societies with this philosopy that its become near untouchable and its agenda is soaked through the education process such that its nearly seamless in its application. It isn’t that it isn’t questioned; its incoporated so thoroughly into daily activities in the schools that it isn’t an apparent issue.
The UK presents a fascinating case study of the perils that the secular humanists encounter in their societies as a by product of their wiping out of any thing Godly in those societies. In England for example, their health care service is suffering exhorbitant strains because of record high alcoholism rampant throughout the culture. Having no purpose in life, no hope beyond this shabby earthly, materialistic existence, the English seek solace, seek to fill the void of emptiness with booze in mass quantities. So now their Health boards are recommending, as a fix to the problem that exorbitant taxes be imposed on alcoholic beverages. That might work to some extent, but it points to the fact that the Liberal Elites are utterly blind and clueless to the underlying problem and they are so because they’re invincibly ignorant of the root cause of the problem, that being the fact that human existence without God as the central focus of life is intolerably miserable and pointless. And the Liberal Elites react as they always do when confronted with a problem that threatens their “Greater Good”, i.e., their manufactured, centrally controlled human society. They impose more controls over personal behavior and become ever more intrusive into peoples daily lives. And we know where this ultimately ends up; the Nazi regime in Germany, the brutality of Stalin’s Soviet Union.
This has the potential, if not the probability of ending very, very badly for all concerned. All we can do now is daily pray and do daily penance in seeking God’s help, mercy and guidance. I’m hopeful and I’m actually expecting we may well witness a Marian intervention in the form of another miraculous apparition. Let us pray we live long enough to see it.
You’re absolutely correct; that is profoundly prophetic.
Meaning that we could very well see a second American revoultion or civil war in our lifetimes, unless something of a Heavenly miracle takes place.
Very good post!
More external planning by the rats in charge = Less real life for the rest of us.
Freedom is where “it” is at, subject only to God’s simple, moral, timeless rules and truths.
Your post is the most frightening of all to me this morning. I have no doubt about the parallels. I just don’t think any of us want to think about them.
Thanks for your insights and links.
We welcome you back.
The weak bishops of that time (I call them Bernardin’s boys) misinterpreted Vatican II and did a lot of damage to life in general by not supporting Humanae Vitae wholeheartedly.
Today the Church and the current Pope and Bishops are reaping the whirlwind of their poor decisions.
May God have mercy on us!
Thank you very much for the link.