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View Diary: It's Time to Tax The Churches (72 comments)

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  •  You're arguing from the wrong direction. (1+ / 0-)
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    lgmcp
    If church & state are separate then I should not have to support churches by allowing tax exemptions and tax deductible donations.  If the church does other works, those should be set up separately and allow exemption and tax deduction.
    And yet, other nonpolitical nonprofits aren't taxed, and can accept tax-deductible donations—so you're suggesting that religious organizations specifically be discriminated against by tax policy, in having to pay taxes that other nonprofit organizations don't have to pay.

    That would seem to me to violate the separation of church and state.

    "When I give food to the poor, they call me a saint. When I ask why the poor have no food, they call me a communist." --Dom Helder Camara, archbishop of Recife

    by JamesGG on Mon Feb 11, 2013 at 11:21:41 AM PST

    [ Parent ]

    •  Not at all (0+ / 0-)

      I am only suggesting that religious organizations that provide no other service than their religion not be tax-exempt.  Reread my previous statement.  If a church does other works, then put that in a separate organization that would be treated like other not for profits.  The religious part should not receive benefits from the state.

      The better I know people, the better I like my dog.

      by FTL BILLY on Mon Feb 11, 2013 at 12:49:54 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Why should religious services... (0+ / 0-)

        ...be treated any differently from any other service delivered on a not-for-profit basis?

        In other words, what do you suggest specifically distinguishes religious services from other activities for which the ability to engage in them by nonprofit organizations isn't being questioned—like theatrical or musical performance, counseling, meditation/prayer, education, etc.?

        In essence, a religious ceremony is a sequence of musical activities, staged readings, a speech, guided meditation, and theatrical performance; the nature or substance of the content communicated within that sequence of events cannot be consequential in the eyes of the law. And yet, I doubt you would question the tax-exempt status of a community theatre organization, for example, or an organization that provided free counseling to people, or an educational nonprofit.

        So you're essentially arguing that if I start a nonprofit orchestra and choir that performs Bach cantatas open for free to the public, that's all well and good and tax-exempt— but the second I hang a crucifix, don vestments, and call that very same performance a religious service, despite having made exactly the same nonexistent profit and not changed what my organization is doing in the slightest, my organization should be taxed.

        Again—how is that not calling for the state to actively discriminate against religion, by taxing religious organizations for doing the very same things that nonreligious nonprofits aren't taxed for doing?

        "When I give food to the poor, they call me a saint. When I ask why the poor have no food, they call me a communist." --Dom Helder Camara, archbishop of Recife

        by JamesGG on Mon Feb 11, 2013 at 01:08:42 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

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