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Should Churches Lose Tax-Free Status?

By freak80 following x   2012 Jul 20, 4:39am 4,229 views   16 comments   watch   nsfw   quote     share    


Since much of American religion is just an extension of existing political beliefs, why are churches exempt from taxes?

Both the "Religious Right" and the "Religious Left" are more interested in projecting political power than "ultimate questions."

1   PockyClipsNow   ignore (0)   2012 Jul 20, 4:42am   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (2)   quote   flag        

Everything and everyone should be tax free.

The feds should just print all the money they need from thin air and leave us alone. We already have this as 'the inflation tax' just double it and eliminate all other taxes.

Isnt half the federal budge now printed money the treasury buys half the bonds needed for deficit spending.

Also the govt could make money by leasing/selling more land - they own most of the damn country (except in TX which is massively privately owned)

2   someone else   ignore (0)   2012 Jul 20, 4:52am   ↑ like (2)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

PockyClipsNow says

The feds should just print all the money they need from thin air and leave us alone. We already have this as 'the inflation tax' just double it and eliminate all other taxes.

Yes, sometimes I wondered myself if an explicit inflation tax would actually be best. It would definitely reduce paperwork! Of course tax accountants would lobby against it for that reason.

But I think it would be too unfair, because the very rich have a much smaller fraction of their wealth in cash. They have it mostly in stock and in land, which rise exactly with inflation. So the very rich would end up paying essentially no tax.

I'm still in favor of a land value tax to replace all other taxes. It's very simple, public, unevadable, fair, and does not harm the economy.

3   Tenpoundbass   ignore (15)   2012 Jul 20, 5:05am   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (4)   quote   flag        

wthrfrk80 says

Since much of American religion is just an extension of existing political beliefs, why are churches exempt from taxes?

It's a righteous thing, you wouldn't understand.

4   freak80   ignore (4)   2012 Jul 20, 5:33am   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

Well I was wondering if American churches should lose tax-free status since they are primarily political organizations. Whether they should have to pay an inflation tax or a land tax is secondary.

5   Tenpoundbass   ignore (15)   2012 Jul 20, 7:00am   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (3)   quote   flag        

wthrfrk80 says

Well I was wondering if American churches should lose tax-free status since they are primarily political organizations.

Now you're touching on something I have always agreed with. That is, if a religious organization or Union for that matter instructs members on who to vote for, or endorses political candidates, then I would be for that organization losing their tax exemption for at least 4 years.

Not all churches are political shills.

6   HonkpilledMaster   ignore (5)   2012 Jul 23, 12:57am   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

Absolutely. Churches should be taxed on missionary work, their bingo games, etc. They should certainly pay property taxes at least. I believe Plano, TX is in a fiscal bind because of the sheer number of churches.

7   freak80   ignore (4)   2012 Jul 23, 2:46am   ↑ like (3)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

thunderlips11 says

They should certainly pay property taxes at least.

I think a case can be made for that. Churches require police, fire protection, water, sewer, roads, etc.

I was making a more political statement though. It seems a lot of our "loony" politics (on both the Left and Right) start in our churches. It seems to me that churches have become a tax-free conduit for the promotion of extremist politics.

8   HonkpilledMaster   ignore (5)   2012 Jul 23, 5:42am   ↑ like (1)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

wthrfrk80 says

It seems to me that churches have become a tax-free conduit for the promotion of extremist politics.

Just as Jefferson feared. Man, do extremists hate Jefferson. Always have:

+On July 4th, 1798, President of Yale, Rev. Timothy Dwight, preached that Christians dare not support "the philosophers, the atheists and the deists" in the coming election, including Thomas Jefferson, who was running for President. Dwight proclaimed that "our churches may become temples of reason" should Jefferson win the election. (see The Godless Constitution, by Isaac Kramnick & R. Laurance Moore.)

+Rev. David Caldwell on July 30, 1788, stated that the Constitution's abolition of religious tests (religious qualifications, or tests, were common in Europe) was, heaven forbid, "an invitation for Jews and pagans of every kind to come among us." (See " Original Intent," by Susan Jacoby in Mother Jones magazine. Also see here.)

+Rev. William Linn, a Dutch Reformed minister, authored an anti-Jefferson tract in 1800 complaining about Jefferson's "disbelief of the Holy Scriptures; or...his rejection of the Christian Religion and open profession of Deism." (this and all subsequent quotes, see Against Religious Correctness.)

+Dr. John Mason preached that Jefferson was "a confirmed infidel."

+The New England Palladium wrote: "Should the infidel Jefferson be elected to the Presidency, the seal of death is that moment set on our holy religion...some infamous prostitute, under the title of Reason will preside...."

http://www.religiousrightwatch.com/2012/04/the-conservative-christianization-of-thomas-jefferson.html

9   Automan Empire   ignore (2)   2012 Jul 23, 5:55am   ↑ like (1)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

I agree, preach POLITICS=lose tax exempt status! Totally goes against the letter and spirit of the law and constitution.

As an aside, whenever I see wthrfrk's avatar, I always think it's a laser printer cartridge, not a locomotive. :))

10   freak80   ignore (4)   2012 Jul 23, 5:56am   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

Don't forget the "Religious Left" too. Although that's a more recent phenomenon.

11   freak80   ignore (4)   2012 Jul 24, 1:03am   ↑ like (1)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

Examples: Liberation Theology, the Catholic Workers, Jeremiah Wright, etc.

12   CL   ignore (0)   2012 Jul 31, 10:44am   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

Automan Empire says

As an aside, whenever I see wthrfrk's avatar, I always think it's a laser printer cartridge, not a locomotive. :))

So do I!! :)

freak80 says

Examples: Liberation Theology, the Catholic Workers, Jeremiah Wright, etc

If your argument is against their tax status, I'd say it's because Governments, through tax policy, either encourage or deter activity. Since religions can be deliberately affected by, or manipulated by tax policy, they need to remain exempt if we are to have real freedom of religion, no?

freak80 says

Don't forget the "Religious Left" too. Although that's a more recent phenomenon.

freak80 says

Examples: Liberation Theology, the Catholic Workers, Jeremiah Wright, etc.

But those are the right interpretations of the Gospels!

13   anonymous   ignore (null)   2012 Jul 31, 11:07am   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

If we are to have freedom of religion, churches need to pay real estate taxes just like everyone else that is utilizing land (and hence all the public services that come along with it)

How can I be free of religions if they are able to suck up so much good land, without paying their fair share for using it?

14   elliemae   ignore (0)   2012 Jul 31, 11:29am   ↑ like (1)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

CaptainShuddup says

wthrfrk80 says

Since much of American religion is just an extension of existing political beliefs, why are churches exempt from taxes?

It's a righteous thing, you wouldn't understand.

I believe that you're the one who doesn't understand that it's not a self-righteous thing. I'm referring to your constant personal attacks, such as the one above.

Churches should be taxed on their income, just as all other corporations are. They should be able to write off $ they use for direct assistance such as feeding the poor or helping needy families. Instead, they make millions upon millions of dollars and pay no taxes. Examples are the Mormon church & Scientology.

http://www.nytimes.com/1991/07/02/us/income-of-mormon-church-is-put-at-4.7-billion-a-year.html

http://www.rickross.com/reference/scientology/history/history44.html

15   freak80   ignore (4)   2012 Aug 1, 1:11am   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

elliemae says

Instead, they make millions upon millions of dollars and pay no taxes. Examples are the Mormon church & Scientology.

And don't forget the "Megachurches" and douchebags like Rick Warren and Joel Osteen.

16   HonkpilledMaster   ignore (5)   2012 Aug 1, 1:46am   ↑ like (1)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

And the TV Evangelicals like Creflo Dollar and Benny Hinn.


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