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Old 08-28-2013, 05:24 AM
 
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(1) Yes

(2) No.

Next question?
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Old 08-28-2013, 06:52 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Synpyre View Post
I recently went through an article at Notes | We Are People 2, titled "Religion - The Parasitic Institution".

It discusses how churches are exempt from taxes and other forms of restrictions from the government but receive all the benefits that the government provides (usually at the cost of the non-religious taxpayer).

One could consider taxing churches, but they do provide services for their community that can't be overlooked like soup kitchens and schools...or so they claim. We only have their word to go by as the IRS can't physically check their expense books.

Would taxing them impose on their capacity to help their communities? Or is the 71 billion dollars they receive annually more than sufficient?
They should remain untaxed. Churches are a non-profit welfare organization, they are built to help the poor. Ummmm, yea, aside from mega-churches I don't know of any churches that receive 71 billion or even 71 thousand dollars annually. They are legitimately struggling, and yet still continue to give. I've seen church economic printouts. The church doesn't make money, it looks like the $45k earned, -$43k various expenses (running the church, donating to charities, soup kitchens, etc). In some cases, it's actually the other way around, the church spends to the point of debt.

What you are proposing is to tax such places out of existence. I don't generally care about people's belief systems, but I find this very offensive. Churches are hardly leeches, on other hand, look at your average welfare program and how much these handouts cost the govt in debt. This is not a state matter, because this is the very reason we have freedom of religion, not so people can have freedom from religion (they're entitled to that too, so long as they don't impose it on others), but so religion can work freely without the added burden of taxes.
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Old 08-28-2013, 07:40 AM
 
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They are organizations that survive by peddling myth and superstition. That they do some missionary work is not the point. There is nothing they do in the charitable line that cannot be done better outside of religion - and without the charity in one hand and the evangelical package in the other.

That they can do it on their own account is their choice, but they should pay their taxes like everyone else. That they are struggling to make ends meet means that they should downsize rather than expect to be propped up. Their product is not selling so well? Tough. They should go into another line of business.

Thanks to the recent financial screw -up, we all found it tough. We still had to pay our taxes - even at a higher rate as the banks sought to claw back the money we'd lent them. The churches have never yet paid a cent so far as I know.
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Old 08-28-2013, 10:33 AM
 
Location: Vernon, British Columbia
3,020 posts, read 2,699,369 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bulmabriefs144 View Post
They should remain untaxed. Churches are a non-profit welfare organization, they are built to help the poor. Ummmm, yea, aside from mega-churches I don't know of any churches that receive 71 billion or even 71 thousand dollars annually. They are legitimately struggling, and yet still continue to give. I've seen church economic printouts. The church doesn't make money, it looks like the $45k earned, -$43k various expenses (running the church, donating to charities, soup kitchens, etc). In some cases, it's actually the other way around, the church spends to the point of debt.

What you are proposing is to tax such places out of existence. I don't generally care about people's belief systems, but I find this very offensive. Churches are hardly leeches, on other hand, look at your average welfare program and how much these handouts cost the govt in debt. This is not a state matter, because this is the very reason we have freedom of religion, not so people can have freedom from religion (they're entitled to that too, so long as they don't impose it on others), but so religion can work freely without the added burden of taxes.
Good post, and the best argument either way so far. I think some posters on here have a very poor understanding of economics and finance, and thus cannot figure out the difference between a business and and a none-profit organization.

It was 50 years ago today that we had the march on Washington, and along the same lines I think some people can't see through their own hatred today. It's like arguing with a Truther that 9/11 was not an inside job in that no amount of reasoning will convince the prejudice that churches aren't leaches.
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Old 08-28-2013, 11:07 AM
 
Location: Parts Unknown, Northern California
41,082 posts, read 18,595,226 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bulmabriefs144 View Post
They should remain untaxed. Churches are a non-profit welfare organization, they are built to help the poor. Ummmm, yea, aside from mega-churches I don't know of any churches that receive 71 billion or even 71 thousand dollars annually. They are legitimately struggling, and yet still continue to give. I've seen church economic printouts. The church doesn't make money, it looks like the $45k earned, -$43k various expenses (running the church, donating to charities, soup kitchens, etc). In some cases, it's actually the other way around, the church spends to the point of debt.

What you are proposing is to tax such places out of existence. I don't generally care about people's belief systems, but I find this very offensive. Churches are hardly leeches, on other hand, look at your average welfare program and how much these handouts cost the govt in debt. This is not a state matter, because this is the very reason we have freedom of religion, not so people can have freedom from religion (they're entitled to that too, so long as they don't impose it on others), but so religion can work freely without the added burden of taxes.
Then if none of them are making any money, they would have nothing at all to fear from an income tax being leveled upon them.

Right, churches?

Look how every donated dime went to the poor...










As opposed to those spendthrift secular organizations...a homeless shelter


Last edited by Grandstander; 08-28-2013 at 11:20 AM..
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Old 08-28-2013, 12:37 PM
 
Location: WA
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At the very least, they should be held to the same accountability as non-profits.
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Old 08-29-2013, 06:17 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Glacierx View Post
Good post, and the best argument either way so far. I think some posters on here have a very poor understanding of economics and finance, and thus cannot figure out the difference between a business and and a none-profit organization.

It was 50 years ago today that we had the march on Washington, and along the same lines I think some people can't see through their own hatred today. It's like arguing with a Truther that 9/11 was not an inside job in that no amount of reasoning will convince the prejudice that churches aren't leaches.

I'm afraid that you will have to do better than just claiming that we don't understand the difference between a business and and a none-profit organization. I have my doubts that churches are non -profit organizations. If it suits them to register as such in order to make even more profit through not paying tax, that should be stopped.

That they may not make profits or even lose money through making their ministers rich or not being very attractive these days is not the point.

The point or points are open to discussion. Again, you will have to do better than just comparing us to truthers or racists. So far the unwillingness to consider reasons why churches should no longer have tax -exempt status would put you in the ranks of those who can't see through their own hatred - of anyone perceived as being anti -religion.
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Old 08-29-2013, 06:37 AM
 
Location: Northeastern US
14,197 posts, read 9,092,754 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AREQUIPA View Post
That [churches] may not make profits or even lose money through making their ministers rich or not being very attractive these days is not the point.
Most of the Independent Fundamentalist Churches of America and General Association of Regular Baptist churches I was exposed to in my formative years were small and pretty much eking out an existence, but what they were doing for the community I couldn't say. There were no soup kitchens or free workday child care or anything like that; such things were derided as "social gospel" and a distraction from proselytizing. The closest we came to community service was offering Good News Clubs, a form of release-time classes, to public school students -- which was, again, a form or proselytizing via a legal loophole that allowed students to be released from school to "voluntarily" attend (after we had pressured / marketed their parents into giving permission for the classes, which were in what we'd now call the latchkey timeframe between the last class period of school and when mom & dad got home from work, hence, free "baby sitting").

I don't see how we earned our nonprofit status for that unless you define it as a community benefit to provide religious services to the community, which admittedly include "marrying and burying" -- though these services, in the absence of churches, would continue to be available via a low to zero cost justice of the peace, and via funeral homes.

Aside from all that, when I moved to the "big city" I started to encounter churches the looked exactly like the ones I had grown up in, except that they seemed more subjectively vibrant and exciting and hip (or what passes for hip in FundieLand), but with an interesting difference: the pastor and his wife showed up in a shiny new Corvette, all blinged out. Or in another case, the church was planning and constructing a retirement community next to the church on church-owned land, again, allegedly not for profit. Another more recent example from the 90's that I was aware of because it made the news where I was living at the time was a church that got creative and sold shares in itself to its members. They had a laundry list of grandiose exciting programs, but were unable even to finish their new pole barn -- er, church -- before the "leadership" made off with the collected funds. Many church members filed bankruptcy as they had "given until it hurts".

So having seen the gamut of churches from humble rural churches to overwrought nascent megachurches, I'd have to say that the nonprofit nature of those operations were all suspect.
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Old 08-29-2013, 07:50 AM
 
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yes they should be taxed. so much more they could do to help their communities than to build mega churches.
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Old 08-29-2013, 08:56 AM
 
39,198 posts, read 10,872,385 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mordant View Post
Most of the Independent Fundamentalist Churches of America and General Association of Regular Baptist churches I was exposed to in my formative years were small and pretty much eking out an existence, but what they were doing for the community I couldn't say. There were no soup kitchens or free workday child care or anything like that; such things were derided as "social gospel" and a distraction from proselytizing. The closest we came to community service was offering Good News Clubs, a form of release-time classes, to public school students -- which was, again, a form or proselytizing via a legal loophole that allowed students to be released from school to "voluntarily" attend (after we had pressured / marketed their parents into giving permission for the classes, which were in what we'd now call the latchkey timeframe between the last class period of school and when mom & dad got home from work, hence, free "baby sitting").

I don't see how we earned our nonprofit status for that unless you define it as a community benefit to provide religious services to the community, which admittedly include "marrying and burying" -- though these services, in the absence of churches, would continue to be available via a low to zero cost justice of the peace, and via funeral homes.

Aside from all that, when I moved to the "big city" I started to encounter churches the looked exactly like the ones I had grown up in, except that they seemed more subjectively vibrant and exciting and hip (or what passes for hip in FundieLand), but with an interesting difference: the pastor and his wife showed up in a shiny new Corvette, all blinged out. Or in another case, the church was planning and constructing a retirement community next to the church on church-owned land, again, allegedly not for profit. Another more recent example from the 90's that I was aware of because it made the news where I was living at the time was a church that got creative and sold shares in itself to its members. They had a laundry list of grandiose exciting programs, but were unable even to finish their new pole barn -- er, church -- before the "leadership" made off with the collected funds. Many church members filed bankruptcy as they had "given until it hurts".

So having seen the gamut of churches from humble rural churches to overwrought nascent megachurches, I'd have to say that the nonprofit nature of those operations were all suspect.
I don't deny that Churches can do a lot of useful charitable work and that has every right to get tax exemptions. The Organization for peddling myth should not.

There is some suggestion that the future of the church should be as a sort of social mentor and I can see that as a compelling argument. While I would like to see that done in a secular or humanist context there is a case for it being done on a spiritual basis, though they can leave their Holy books and tracts back home. It would be enough that the charitable work might get a load of converts where any more rational argument was not even produced.

Perhaps the cut -off point is where they are providing a needed service for the community and where they are using tax free cash to peddle their own ideas. I would not want tax exemptions for people searching for Bigfoot, Atlantis or UFO's. I don't see why those trying to argue for the Arq, Dinosaurs living with men, evidence of ID or YE or indeed of the reality of god and the reliability of the Bible should be excused taxation to do it.
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