Taxing the Churches
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01-08-2013, 10:12 AM
RE: Taxing the Churches
If you regard both nations and religions as social constructions i.e. organisations / institutions for like-minded peoples; like a club you might join with rituals and rules and governance and management policies, then you can equate taxation to Membership Fees.

The difference, of course, is that you can join a club and can choose to leave, you are born into a nation but can choose to leave, you don't get much choice about joining a religion and some religions have harsh rules regarding opt-out.

So....

Give unto Caesar what is Caesar's and pay your tithes if you want to but should one social model be able to ask for funding from another social model?

Or to put it another way...

Should the churches be allowed to tax the states?

Consider

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01-08-2013, 12:37 PM
RE: Taxing the Churches
If we tax churches, how can we still keep them from not having a direct say on legal issues, politics, etc.? One of the primary defenses for keeping religion out of public schools, courthouses, public parks and other related areas is that these are funded by public money, but if we start taxing churches, how can we still say these things are not funded by religion and also deny them a direct say in how they're run?

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01-08-2013, 12:52 PM
RE: Taxing the Churches
(01-08-2013 12:37 PM)eksyte Wrote:  If we tax churches, how can we still keep them from not having a direct say on legal issues, politics, etc.? One of the primary defenses for keeping religion out of public schools, courthouses, public parks and other related areas is that these are funded by public money, but if we start taxing churches, how can we still say these things are not funded by religion and also deny them a direct say in how they're run?

This is the catch that most people don't realise. Churches to retain their tax free status are not supposed to engage in the political process (thats the rules they are just never enforced) if they are taxed they have a right to get directly involved. Personally I think it's worth it since they already break that law anyway might as well let em put skin in the game.

(31-07-2014 04:37 PM)Luminon Wrote:  America is full of guns, but they're useless, because nobody has the courage to shoot an IRS agent in self-defense
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01-08-2013, 02:06 PM
RE: Taxing the Churches
(01-08-2013 12:52 PM)Revenant77x Wrote:  
(01-08-2013 12:37 PM)eksyte Wrote:  If we tax churches, how can we still keep them from not having a direct say on legal issues, politics, etc.? One of the primary defenses for keeping religion out of public schools, courthouses, public parks and other related areas is that these are funded by public money, but if we start taxing churches, how can we still say these things are not funded by religion and also deny them a direct say in how they're run?

This is the catch that most people don't realise. Churches to retain their tax free status are not supposed to engage in the political process (thats the rules they are just never enforced) if they are taxed they have a right to get directly involved. Personally I think it's worth it since they already break that law anyway might as well let em put skin in the game.

The problem is, most churches do openly tell people who to vote for and it comes straight from the pulpit. Sure they know they're not supposed to, but I've heard them argue they had a moral duty to "inform" their flock.

Also, many small churches just wouldn't survive without the tax break -- it would force them to merge with mega churches -- which could push their agenda even more than they do now.

Just my 2cents


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01-08-2013, 02:14 PM (This post was last modified: 01-08-2013 03:03 PM by Bucky Ball.)
RE: Taxing the Churches
(01-08-2013 12:52 PM)Revenant77x Wrote:  
(01-08-2013 12:37 PM)eksyte Wrote:  If we tax churches, how can we still keep them from not having a direct say on legal issues, politics, etc.? One of the primary defenses for keeping religion out of public schools, courthouses, public parks and other related areas is that these are funded by public money, but if we start taxing churches, how can we still say these things are not funded by religion and also deny them a direct say in how they're run?

This is the catch that most people don't realise. Churches to retain their tax free status are not supposed to engage in the political process (thats the rules they are just never enforced) if they are taxed they have a right to get directly involved. Personally I think it's worth it since they already break that law anyway might as well let em put skin in the game.

They're already involved directly and indirectly in the political process. Taxing non profits is complex, and I wouldn't want museums and seriously charitable institutions to have their revenues taxed that they can show are plowed back into their primary out-reach function. But that also means that the churches could/should be exempt from income tax, if the laws are non-discriminatory. BUT, there could be tax consequences for the organization, if the execs ("pastors") are paid above what an average in the community is.

However everyone and every thing should pay local property taxes. They all make use of local fire and police and infrastructure as much if not more than anyone else. Often the wealthy churches occupy VERY expensive property. THEY should be taxed, simply by virtue of where they CHOOSE to locate.

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01-08-2013, 05:30 PM
RE: Taxing the Churches
(01-08-2013 12:37 PM)eksyte Wrote:  If we tax churches, how can we still keep them from not having a direct say on legal issues, politics, etc.? One of the primary defenses for keeping religion out of public schools, courthouses, public parks and other related areas is that these are funded by public money, but if we start taxing churches, how can we still say these things are not funded by religion and also deny them a direct say in how they're run?

This.

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01-08-2013, 10:40 PM
RE: Taxing the Churches
(01-08-2013 07:48 AM)Logica Humano Wrote:  
(01-08-2013 02:21 AM)Likos02 Wrote:  I saw a Bill O'reilly interview where he told his guest that it was unconstitutional to tax churches.

That's because it currently is.

Please elaborate...If we tax a church its not violating religious freedom because we would tax ALL churches not just christian ones. Taxation without representation is not valid because almost all repubs identify with a christian church...So how exactly would taxing a church be unconstitutional?

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01-08-2013, 10:48 PM
RE: Taxing the Churches
(01-08-2013 05:30 PM)earmuffs Wrote:  
(01-08-2013 12:37 PM)eksyte Wrote:  If we tax churches, how can we still keep them from not having a direct say on legal issues, politics, etc.? One of the primary defenses for keeping religion out of public schools, courthouses, public parks and other related areas is that these are funded by public money, but if we start taxing churches, how can we still say these things are not funded by religion and also deny them a direct say in how they're run?

This.

They already way more influence on all those things. They tell people who to vote for right from the pulpit.

No group who claims to be persecuted recieves more deference than evangelical Christians living in the US.

But on the other hand if churches are taxed it opens the door for other organizations like museums and charities.


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02-08-2013, 06:00 AM (This post was last modified: 02-08-2013 06:06 AM by Logica Humano.)
RE: Taxing the Churches
(01-08-2013 10:40 PM)Likos02 Wrote:  
(01-08-2013 07:48 AM)Logica Humano Wrote:  That's because it currently is.

Please elaborate...If we tax a church its not violating religious freedom because we would tax ALL churches not just christian ones. Taxation without representation is not valid because almost all repubs identify with a christian church...So how exactly would taxing a church be unconstitutional?

Check out the Lemon v. Kurtzman case of 1971 (where the statement, "...more than 200 years of virtually universal practice imbedded in our colonial experience and continuing into the present..." was made) for more info on the Supreme Court's ruling. The constitution prevents the government from enacting authority over religious institutions (and vis versa). Keep it in mind that I am of the opinion that churches should be taxed since their exemption is, in fact, giving the institution preferential treatment.

(01-08-2013 05:30 PM)earmuffs Wrote:  This.

Religions already lobby politicians.

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03-08-2013, 02:32 AM
RE: Taxing the Churches
So tax the fuckers, what the fuck do I care, I don't even live in your damn country! Big Grin

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