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1 of 1 DOCUMENT Austin American-Statesman (Texas) June 26, 1997 Godless group gets religious exemption; Comptroller's office - says BYLINE: Ken Herman SECTION: Metro/State; Pg. B1 LENGTH: 751 words The silver atheist necklace against his black T-shirt tells you that David Bagley claims no god. But Bagley, a member of Austin's tiny Ethical Culture Fellowship, claims he has religion. And now the State of Texas agrees. Last month, it looked like the Ethical Culture Fellowship -- a nontheistic religion'' that includes atheists and believers -- didn't have a prayer of gaining tax-exempt status as a religious organization. This week, Comptroller John Sharp's office reversed itself and put the godless group in the same category as Baptists, Jews, Catholics and others that do not have to render unto Texas. For Bagley, an Ethical Culture Fellowship board member, it's a major step toward redefinition of religion. The idea is that we have a group that's a nontheistic religion that provides guidance, ethics or morals without someone saying some god is going to strike you dead and burn you in hell forever,'' he said. The comptroller's office originally ruled in a May 14 letter that while the Ethical Culture Fellowship espoused worthy goals,
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This note was uploaded on 03/29/2011 for the course ED 101 taught by Professor Propas during the Spring '11 term at Grand Valley State University.

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