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  •  Tax the Churches (2+ / 0-)
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    OldDragon, apimomfan2
    Amendment I

    Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof

    When you make a law that exempts a corporation from taxes with respect to its business being exercise of religion, you are making a law respecting an establishment of religion. When you tax a religious corporation you are not prohibiting the free exercise of its religion, any more than you prohibit a tea selling corporation from freely exercise its tea sales by taxing it.

    The whole religious tax exemption is and always has been a scam exactly opposite the very first instructions in the Bill of Rights.

    Churches that do work the government would do but doesn't have to are entitled to make tax-exempt corporations that do that work. That's the only justification for tax exemption. Its exemption no more or less justified by the religious motivations of the people who own it or give it money than are the exemptions of non-religious people who own other corporations doing that kind of public service work.

    For a long time Americans were fooled into thinking that churches did government's work for it by educating and encouraging behavior that protected people generally in society - so the church should be tax exempt. But when churches insist on doing harm to people, where the government must protect the people from them, that old con is busted. That support of the public welfare is no longer the core activity of churches, as they have become different from the majority of practice of the people in the country. So there is no justification for subsidizing their practice with tax exemption: it's not substituting for the government work that is legislated and executed on behalf of the expressed will of the majority, but rather is opposing it.

    So long as churches don't prevent people from doing what the churches do by preventing people from being members or employees of their corporation, maybe they can ride a largely undeserved exemption from membership and employment rules. But if a church prohibited women, or Mexicans, or Germans, from any employment because of its unprovable beliefs, it should be as liable for employment discrimination as any corporation. And if it prohibited employing, say, voluntary pants wearers, it should probably be forced to allow them, too. Likewise as being gay is increasingly accepted by an overwhelming majority of Americans, as the culture changes to accept it rather than merely tolerate it, churches won't be able to rely on an archaic belief to justify its discrimination. It will take a long time, but only because of the political and economic power churches have kept from the time when they dominated everything. So when we have the chance to be just, we can do the right thing.

    Tax the churches. The free ride is over, especially for people abusing the people with their subsidized status.

    "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." - HST

    by DocGonzo on Fri Jan 13, 2012 at 09:34:55 AM PST

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