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Old 09-11-2011, 05:00 AM
 
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The question has always been, who is going to 'bell' the cat? What government is going to risk trying to abolish tax - exemption for religions?

Ain't gonna happen until the overwhelming majority of the population is at least firmly irreligious, if not atheist. I don't expect to see it in my time as it is asking for a general preference for educated reasoning over religious instinct.
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Old 09-11-2011, 10:18 AM
 
6,039 posts, read 9,225,065 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mickiel View Post
Well perhaps I am wrong about it, I was thinking of giving the small churchs a break; but if they are going to form committes and get involved directly in politics and yeild influence, then I think they all should be taxed.
Wow, Mickiel...you just gained several notches of respect from me for admitting that you are willing to reassess your thoughts based on additional facts. Good for you. You don't have to agree with me, of course, but the fact that you're willing to think about it is good.
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Old 09-11-2011, 10:31 AM
 
Location: Warren, Michigan
5,298 posts, read 3,908,113 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mercury Cougar View Post
Wow, Mickiel...you just gained several notches of respect from me for admitting that you are willing to reassess your thoughts based on additional facts. Good for you. You don't have to agree with me, of course, but the fact that you're willing to think about it is good.

Well since the advent of mega churchs some years ago, I changed my view on them, " Because of them"- they were making just too much money. So I formed the view that only " Rich churchs " should be taxed. But I looked at your link, and if these small churchs join any effort to influence politics, or they join in on small businesses and make money, then target political causes, well then I think they should be taxed.

There was a time that I believed no church should be taxed, but in time I knew I was wrong about it. I quess I just need to come full circle, and not exclude small churchs.

Besides, the government could use the extra money.
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Old 09-11-2011, 11:20 AM
 
Location: Logan Township, Minnesota
15,511 posts, read 12,550,311 times
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Many if not most Mosques in the USA do not claim Tax exemption status. Then again many Mosques have no income and the Mosques is supported by the Imam. If we can live without any tax exemptions, the churches should be able to. Although a Mosque does qualify for tax exemption as a religious institution, I do not personally know of any that use it. It just is not worth the hassle and the paper work when you have no income from one. We do not tithe to the Mosque. Our tithe is to give to the needy either directly or through Charitable organizations. Even then many of us do not claim any deduction for charitable organizations. As we believe when we give, we do not tell who we give to or how much we gave. We have a saying "When giving Charity, not even your left hand should know what your right hand gave."
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Old 09-11-2011, 12:41 PM
 
Location: Victoria, BC.
30,040 posts, read 30,718,228 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Woodrow LI View Post
Many if not most Mosques in the USA do not claim Tax exemption status. Then again many Mosques have no income and the Mosques is supported by the Imam. If we can live without any tax exemptions, the churches should be able to. Although a Mosque does qualify for tax exemption as a religious institution, I do not personally know of any that use it. It just is not worth the hassle and the paper work when you have no income from one. We do not tithe to the Mosque. Our tithe is to give to the needy either directly or through Charitable organizations. Even then many of us do not claim any deduction for charitable organizations. As we believe when we give, we do not tell who we give to or how much we gave. We have a saying "When giving Charity, not even your left hand should know what your right hand gave."
Good on you, that is what I call pure charity, when there is no tax advantage taken by the donor and the gift is anonymous.
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Old 09-11-2011, 12:50 PM
 
4,172 posts, read 5,863,600 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AREQUIPA View Post
The question has always been, who is going to 'bell' the cat? What government is going to risk trying to abolish tax - exemption for religions?

Ain't gonna happen until the overwhelming majority of the population is at least firmly irreligious, if not atheist. I don't expect to see it in my time as it is asking for a general preference for educated reasoning over religious instinct.
Tea party is supposedly the most rabid movement against tax breaks. If you look below the surface, most of them (in the current supposedly 'adultrated' version of tea party) are extremly religious. So, you are right - it is not going to happen in the US.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Woodrow LI View Post
Many if not most Mosques in the USA do not claim Tax exemption status. Then again many Mosques have no income and the Mosques is supported by the Imam. If we can live without any tax exemptions, the churches should be able to. Although a Mosque does qualify for tax exemption as a religious institution, I do not personally know of any that use it. It just is not worth the hassle and the paper work when you have no income from one. We do not tithe to the Mosque. Our tithe is to give to the needy either directly or through Charitable organizations. Even then many of us do not claim any deduction for charitable organizations. As we believe when we give, we do not tell who we give to or how much we gave. We have a saying "When giving Charity, not even your left hand should know what your right hand gave."
In grad school, I had some friends from South / East Asia. They confirmed in Pakistan, it was common for the rich to donate and not proclaim that donation to the world. Same went for many rich Hindus in India and Bhuddists in the east, I am told.

All I can say is with this kind of non-christian charity with no deductions or less emphasis on marketing and revenue collection, the preacher can never get to drive a nice car or live in a nice house. Apart from some sections of christianiity, most religious preachers in other religions do live a simple life. They need to get some tax breaks and make it more about money - the real god. Afterall, can you imagine a christmas where money is not important?

Last edited by calmdude; 09-11-2011 at 01:17 PM..
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Old 09-11-2011, 12:50 PM
 
Location: NJ
18,677 posts, read 16,470,566 times
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I agree with the OP, with one caveat. They should ALWAYS have been taxed.
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Old 09-12-2011, 03:26 PM
Status: "Build the damn wall!" (set 17 days ago)
 
Location: The Haunted Mansion
15,240 posts, read 8,259,946 times
Reputation: 1547
Quote:
Originally Posted by InsaneInDaMembrane View Post
How many assistants (ministers) does he have? In big churches like those, they have boards and hordes of ministers to delegate all kinds of other responsibilities to. I WISH I could fly to Haiti and Africa and help the poor on a church's money. Great way to see the world for free and besides, I'm sure those ministers are not sleeping in the dumps with those people. They are probably staying at some palace of a hotel ON the church's money.
Yes, he does have assistants. He still works much more than 40 hours per week. My church operates a free medical & dental clinic, a food pantry, after-school care for at-risk kids, & a construction ministry for the poor in our community. That all takes many people to operate.

Yes, our church pays for our pastors & members to go on mission trips. I'm not sure why you have a problem with that. The pastors & the members fund the work of the church.

No, they don't stay in posh hotels while on mission trips.
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Old 09-12-2011, 03:27 PM
Status: "Build the damn wall!" (set 17 days ago)
 
Location: The Haunted Mansion
15,240 posts, read 8,259,946 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sanspeur View Post
The church brought in $80m last year. Osteen is personally wealthy: after his first book sold 5m copies, rumours swirled that he received an eight-figure advance for his second. Even tithing 10% still leaves him with an immense chunk of change.

Yup, I guess I got into the wrong business too...A famous quote from P.T. Barnum would be appropriate here...You know the one I mean.
You're making assumptions, as always. Let's see some evidence.
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Old 09-12-2011, 03:29 PM
Status: "Build the damn wall!" (set 17 days ago)
 
Location: The Haunted Mansion
15,240 posts, read 8,259,946 times
Reputation: 1547
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mickiel View Post
I think there are more local small churchs that net less than 25,000 a year, than are those popular churchs that net over 100,000 a year. I understand both poor and rich are taxed, but in the orginal seperation of church and state in the consitution, the intent was to not mix the two; and give the churchs a tax break. Its these mega million making churchs that gives that orginal intent a need for revison, but I don't think small time churchs need to be included in that.
What do you think is happening with that money?
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