Church tax
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16-02-2016, 02:14 AM (This post was last modified: 16-02-2016 02:25 AM by FreeBeer.)
Question Church tax
Dodgy apparently I'm supposed to pay church tax (which is not that much). The only way to avoid this is to officially renounce one's religion, which would be just fine by me Confused, but I guess you guys know whats coming...

I looked at this as a opportunity to officially come out as atheist and out of principle I do not wish to financially contribute to the problem as well as continue with "going through the motions".

While my parents are just fine with me and my brother being atheists and they themselves being closet atheists, it will come as a shock to my grandparents who are VERY religious, and I have been advised not to cause them stress as they are rather ancient (over 80) and physically fragile.

My parents are also uncomfortable with me declaring that I have no faith. This is understandable considering how religious society here really is on the surface, despite many ppl being closet atheists themselves. Basically ppl go to church, send their kids to Sunday school and so on, but most ppl below 60 do not really believe, its just "going through the motions". Most of the kids are the same, which is why the church mainly has old ppl visiting. (yeah its dying, sort of) Despite this atheism is frowned upon..wtf.

It is still seen as a stigma to openly declare one is atheist, sort of like painting a target on one's forehead. (but I don't see whats the point as I already openly say to ppl who inquire that I don't believe)

The matter is also a bit complicated as the priest and his family are kind of "family friends" of some sorts and not paying church tax would mean I can't get buried in the cemetery. To be honest I don't really care what happens to my corpse, however I don't want to make life needlessly complicated for my family just in case I die.

For the above reasons I am considering just paying that yearly small tax and not stirring up the waters...for now.

Tongue got any advice ?

“Truth is stranger than fiction, but it is because Fiction is obliged to stick to possibilities; Truth isn't.” ― Mark Twain
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16-02-2016, 06:54 AM
RE: Church tax
I'd renounce the religion - and tell your grandparents that it's a protest against the government intruding into religion. Encourage them to do the same....

.......................................

The difference between prayer and masturbation - is when a guy is through masturbating - he has something to show for his efforts.
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16-02-2016, 06:55 AM
RE: Church tax
No matter when you decide to declare yourself as an atheist, people will try to blackmail you emotionally into not doing so. This year it's your grandparents, in five years it'll be your Aunt Mary with just a few months to live, in 10 years it'll be "how can you take away the living of the pastor who's helped so many people through the years."

I believe the possible negative effects on your grandparents are being grossly overestimated.

Do what you think is best for you, but recognize that there will never be a "right" time. When/if you come out as an atheist, it's possible you will motivate other atheists in your community to come out of the closet, which would IMO be a good thing. Things like religion taxes continue because of inertia, and "because we've always done it this way" is never a sufficient reason to keep something going.
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16-02-2016, 09:19 AM
RE: Church tax
(16-02-2016 06:54 AM)onlinebiker Wrote:  I'd renounce the religion - and tell your grandparents that it's a protest against the government intruding into religion. Encourage them to do the same....

I like this suggestion. It may not even be a fib.

"If we are honest—and scientists have to be—we must admit that religion is a jumble of false assertions, with no basis in reality.
The very idea of God is a product of the human imagination."
- Paul Dirac
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16-02-2016, 09:27 AM
RE: Church tax
Do what is right for you and your life. I would love to see people to come out, so to speak but it really is an individual choice. IMO, the only way for people to throw off the shackles of religiosity is for others to show it's not fatal to stand up and be true to yourself. But for you that might be different, so... it's consideration for your grandparents now, then it will be for your own parents later, then it will be don't rock the boat for your other family members. When is it time to be your own person? That is really the question.

No one lives your life but you so do as you feel right and good about. Which choice will make you feel you are being your best person?

Personally, I have no interest in living life in disguise, but that's me. I'm a "damn the torpedoes, full steam ahead" kind of person. However, I live in America and that is not a dangerous choice for me.

Hope you find what works for you. Smile

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16-02-2016, 09:37 AM
RE: Church tax
I think it's nice that you are trying to look out for your grandparents, but if it were me, I would not pay the church tax. I don't believe in funding or supporting that entity in any way, shape, or form. I also agree with the other posters who have said that you need to do what is right for you and your life. Let the decision be your own and not based on what would make others happy or what others would prefer.

"Let the waters settle and you will see the moon and stars mirrored in your own being." -Rumi
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16-02-2016, 09:50 AM
RE: Church tax
It's your life, not your grandparent's.

If your grandparent's can't cope with the idea of you being an atheist then it's their problem.
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16-02-2016, 11:13 AM
RE: Church tax
What business is it of anyone's what your arrangements with the tax authorities are?

I'm not clear what that has to do with telling your grandparents anything. I don't tell my family what I earn or how much tax I pay or what I can offset against tax.

If you renounce your religion doesn't that renunciation remain a private matter between you and the authorities?

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17-02-2016, 01:45 AM (This post was last modified: 17-02-2016 01:49 AM by FreeBeer.)
RE: Church tax
(16-02-2016 11:13 AM)Silly Deity Wrote:  What business is it of anyone's what your arrangements with the tax authorities are?

I'm not clear what that has to do with telling your grandparents anything. I don't tell my family what I earn or how much tax I pay or what I can offset against tax.

If you renounce your religion doesn't that renunciation remain a private matter between you and the authorities?

No It will most likely be kept from the congregation (they don't advertise this stuff), however as I said, my family and the priest's family are rather "buddy-buddy", so the priest will inform my family to say the least and I have to deal with these people regularly.

I'm pretty sure my grandmother will slap me and issue threats (what she did when her son declared atheism), parents & brother won't really be bothered outside of a concern for how this "makes us look". It could affect their relationship with the priest tho. Not sure if that is a positive thing or not.

In the meantime I'm happy to inform that I found another atheist here Tongue...and through him several others.

I am doing it however mainly because what this thread triggered in me. I am actually kind of anxious, which means fear, which in my book means that I have to do it. If something is frightening and the chance of me getting killed by it is minimal Tongue I feel obligated to do it...

“Truth is stranger than fiction, but it is because Fiction is obliged to stick to possibilities; Truth isn't.” ― Mark Twain
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17-02-2016, 03:53 AM
RE: Church tax
(17-02-2016 01:45 AM)FreeBeer Wrote:  No It will most likely be kept from the congregation (they don't advertise this stuff), however as I said, my family and the priest's family are rather "buddy-buddy", so the priest will inform my family to say the least and I have to deal with these people regularly.

Then the priest will be breaking confidentiality about your tax affairs - and I don't know about the legal system where you live, but I would regard that as actionable in law. It's also a breach in confidentiality about matters of conscience.

So if a priest did any of that to me he would be legally, ethically and morally in the wrong. Perhaps you might remind him of that if and when the time comes.

The invisible and the non-existent look very much alike
Excreta Tauri Sapientam Fulgeat (The excrement of the bull causes wisdom to flee)
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