27 March 2009

Tax the churches!

With the government dishing out frighteningly-large sums left and right to stimulate this and bail out that, and with most Americans (at least, those not "earning" seven-figure bonuses for helping to screw up the economy of the entire planet) already overtaxed, the crushing national debt left over from the Bush binge threatens to grow even bigger. Most of the foreign countries which buy our Treasury bonds are in much worse shape than we are, and simply letting the printing presses roll would risk inflation. We need a new source of money.

It's time to re-examine the tax-exempt status of churches. Yeah, I know, it's supposed to be rooted in the separation of church and state -- the churches don't pay taxes, and in return they stay out of politics. But lots of entities which are just as clearly separate from the state lack any such exemption, and church non-involvement in politics has long ceased to be anything but a pious fiction -- with threats up to and including excommunication for votes on specific issues such as abortion, some of them are taking clearer and more exact political stands than political parties themselves do. In fact, with tax-exempt status being granted purely on the basis of an institution's claim to be religious (and given to few non-religious entities), it seems like an actual violation of the establishment clause -- religious groups get a special and very valuable privilege granted to few others, solely because they are religious. That looks an awful lot like government promotion of religion.

Let's face reality. The churches these days are all over politics like priests on an altar boy, and that's not going to change. We should let them act openly, just like the NRA and the AARP and every other outfit with a cause to push. And they should be subject to taxation on their income and property, just like everyone else is. No more legal hairsplitting about what is and isn't religious, and no more special privileges.

It would require guts for any politician to take up this cause, of course. But with Americans' religious belief declining, respect for institutional religion at an all-time low, and the economy under strain, the time is surely ripe to chivvy these sacred cows into the milking shed.

7 Comments:

Blogger Ranch Chimp said...

This posting is one of them that hit the nail on the head Mr.Infidel. I've been BMB (bitchin, moanin,bellyachin) for year's over these churches.I have had so many folk's over the year's ask me...what I have against churches? I also hear the BS constantly about the seperation of church and state. Put it this way, there is no goddamn seperation of the 2, the church sleep's with the financial banker's and Wall St as well as Washington. The church has more goddamn influence in Washington then the goddamn peoples do...and they invest heavily especially in real estate, then of coarse all the other market's globally such as oil and such...directly or indirectly...it doesnt matter...the fact's are...their little paw's are into anything that makes a buck. The Vatican and of coarse the Southern Baptist's are big player's in our market's, and you have the other's as well who get a piece of the action. These big player's are nothing more then modern day organized crime syndicates in my opinion. I am one that never felt a need to attend church, although I do on occasion for wedding's,funeral's and such. But I have been thinking about starting to attend sunday services recently...only to be there when they hand around them collection tray's ...to remove money instead of putting in money when my hand is in it. I'd take the shirt's off their back if I had the chance. Is that stealing? Or is it god's money? Hell no! God dont need no goddamn money! God own's own's heaven...they say,they dont even have recession's!That money is for the body and foundation of the church which is the people. So the next time one may be in a church, and that lil ole collection plate comes around... do the right thing for change! And God Bless F'n America!

Thank You Sir....

27 March, 2009 08:05  
Blogger Infidel753 said...

only to be there when they hand around them collection tray's ...to remove money instead of putting in money when my hand is in it.....do the right thing for change!

Now that's [spare] change we can believe in!

27 March, 2009 08:50  
Blogger Ranch Chimp said...

Can I get a witness...and an Amen to the brother?!!!

27 March, 2009 09:44  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am a fundamental-believing Christian but I also think the whole "separation of church and state" is a scam. If the "churches" would take the money they draw in(usually based on someones guilt rather than giving from the heart)to help folks instead of building one building after another for more parties and what-have-you(bowling alleys, coffee shops in church buildings ought to tell-the-tale)then it would be different. While they may hand out a few bags of food there is a whole lot more that could be done. If they were taxed on what they actually did with the money, I think it would make a lot of difference in where they spread the loot.

Just my take on it.......

27 March, 2009 12:57  
Blogger Ranch Chimp said...

I would like to comment on what Anonymous said here. There is much truth to that. I have a friend/neighbor named Edith, she is a retired accountant and investor who also was raised as a Southern Baptist here in Texas. She also volunteer's one or two day's a week at a local food pantry for the poor, she does not attend church...or hadnt in year's and does not think very highly of the church either.Most of the rest of the time she loves to travel around the world and take in art as a hobby.She was doing accounting and tax related work for a mega religious institution at a time( I am not at liberty to mention who) which when I say "mega" ...I mean it...and she was in the thick of the business endeavor's for this institution...let me put it this way...they have their paw's into everything...even business endeavor's that would be termed as contradictive by most fundamental christian's, nor will I mention what and who with they were. But one of the biggest investment's was buying up of mega real estate deal's ... some of the investment's actually include land in a western state where it's county has legalized prostitution for one thing.This institution has a set amount that they are expected to hand out in charity to communities and such, no matter what they rake in...they never exceed the limit/boundaries.. nor once just randomly chose to help any of the homeless or hungry. This woman...who is now I her late 70's and also a respected member of the first retired business women's association in Texas is outraged about what these churches truely do behind closed door's that the public or even it's congregation's do not even know as far as playing the money market's and investment's are concerned. She still is a fervent believer in god...but she will not attend a church...nor donate any money to them. I dont ask her much about it...because she is simply in her late year's and trying to enjoy life,travel and such..and she is a dear friend as well.Being in her late 70's might sound old...and is...but she get's around like a 50 year old...and has a hell of a sense of humor as well!

Thank You.....

27 March, 2009 17:30  
Blogger vamp said...

It's gonna be hard to tax the churches when they are closing down now too. But shit yeah, they should be taxed, just like any other business. Because, c'mon, it IS a business.

27 March, 2009 20:25  
Blogger mendip said...

I agree with Vamp. With all the varied groups running around, it is virtually impossible to define what a church and/or religion is - there are simply too many exceptions to whatever rules one can make up. But I can define a business - and almost all of these groups fit that definition quite nicely.

28 March, 2009 07:57  

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