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Old 08-26-2013, 10:18 AM
 
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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?
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Old 08-26-2013, 10:41 AM
EA
 
Location: Las Vegas
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The good churches do is greatly outweighed by the harm they do.
Tax them right out of business. That is what they are after all, a business. A business that sells nothing, and business is good.
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Old 08-26-2013, 10:45 AM
 
Location: South Africa
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Default Your "tax dollars" hard at work

Having served on a financial committee, I know the lengths they would go to to reflect a loss or a break even. Here churches would be taxed on profit but they never pay taxes as they tend to make it all magically disappear. If you have too much moolah, you simply hire a new pastor and his salary becomes a write off.

They would achieve this well within the confines of tax laws. It is really a business and ironically when I asked a pastor in my early days, where does the money go? That was his exact answer. Here they all have trusts which is a convenient place to defer excess income to, slow or bad months they make a withdrawal from the trust.

$70Bn is a mere pittance in the bigger scheme of things. One would hope there are enough caring churches to balance the likes of the TBN clowns who are only it it for the moolah.
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Old 08-26-2013, 10:48 AM
 
Location: Parts Unknown, Northern California
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Synpyre View Post
One could consider taxing churches, but they do provide services for their community that can't be overlooked like soup kitchens and schools..
Tax them and provide exemptions and deductions for their charity work, the same as is done for any business. If they can write off their charity work, but have to pay tax on those sources of income which get spent on the Bishop's limo or paying off molestation lawsuits, then perhaps more will be spent on charity and less on things like glass cathedrals and religious theme parks.
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Old 08-26-2013, 11:56 AM
 
Location: Northeastern US
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Originally Posted by Grandstander View Post
Tax them and provide exemptions and deductions for their charity work, the same as is done for any business. If they can write off their charity work, but have to pay tax on those sources of income which get spent on the Bishop's limo or paying off molestation lawsuits, then perhaps more will be spent on charity and less on things like glass cathedrals and religious theme parks.
Exactly. Let them demonstrate the actual value they add to society and exempt them for those bits. Tax them like everyone else on the rest.
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Old 08-26-2013, 01:31 PM
 
Location: Victoria, BC.
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I wonder how many soup kitchens 70 billion would support...They definitely should be taxed.
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Old 08-26-2013, 03:46 PM
 
Location: Vernon, British Columbia
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What is meant by "taxing churches"? Since most churches are not-for-profit organizations, income tax would not apply, so I am assuming that the OP is talking about church property tax which is often waved by towns and cities. The other tax policy that should be mentioned would be the charitable donations tax credits given to individuals who give to churches. Instead of taxing churches, eliminating or reducing this tax credit would actually go further toward satisfying the atheist's wet dream of shutting down all the churches.
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Old 08-27-2013, 06:20 AM
 
Location: Northeastern US
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Originally Posted by Glacierx View Post
What is meant by "taxing churches"? Since most churches are not-for-profit organizations, income tax would not apply, so I am assuming that the OP is talking about church property tax which is often waved by towns and cities. The other tax policy that should be mentioned would be the charitable donations tax credits given to individuals who give to churches. Instead of taxing churches, eliminating or reducing this tax credit would actually go further toward satisfying the atheist's wet dream of shutting down all the churches.
I think what is meant is that they don't deserve their current non-profit status, in the main. They can continue to be exempted for soup kitchens and the like but to run a business enterprise wholly exempt from tax is something that in an ideal world would be reexamined and withdrawn as it's based more on social taboos and tradition than on actual criteria for what represents an actual nonprofit.

Of course this isn't going to happen anytime soon so it's mostly a theoretical discussion at this point.

While I still think New Atheism can be needlessly strident, much of its open disdain for religion and its deliberate tweaking its nose at the "free ride" of zero criticism that religion generally gets, is, I think, an attempt to begin to dismantle the sacred cows and taboos that prevent us from being openly critical of religion and requiring it to hold its own like any other meme that's competing for special privileges. If they deserve to be untaxed, let them make logical arguments and present actual evidence. To the extent they deserve a break, they can have it. But the fact that I could start the First Church of the Mordant today and get complete, no questions asked tax exemption for it simply because it's a religion, is nuts as far as I'm concerned.
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Old 08-27-2013, 09:24 AM
 
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There are some megachurches with star preachers that draw in 1000s of people and rake in millions of dollars every year. It would be very interesting to follow the money trail. I wouldn't be surprised if much of the money goes into building churches and distribution bibles in third world countries. American Christian associations have a history of funding things to advance their own agenda even in extremely poor places like Africa.

Many Christian Charities in Africa have refused to fund contraception (e.g. condoms) and this has not helped control the spread of diseases like AIDS - and needless to say that this in turn has resulted in deaths of many women and children. This is borderline criminal!

Last edited by sandman249; 08-27-2013 at 09:32 AM..
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Old 08-27-2013, 10:06 AM
 
916 posts, read 1,763,764 times
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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).
I'm less concerned with the government benefits they receive than the politics they participate in. If they want to campaign for candidates and parties, or to advocate political positions from the pulpit, let them pay the price of admission like everyone else. Tax them--income, property...all of it, just like the rest of us.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Synpyre View Post
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.
Tough luck for them. Other organization find a way to deliver services while paying taxes. They can, too. Remove their tax-exempt and non-profit statuses, and tax them!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Synpyre View Post
Would taxing them impose on their capacity to help their communities? Or is the 71 billion dollars they receive annually more than sufficient?
It'll impose on them the same way taxes impose on the rest of us. And somehow we manage to get by.
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