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View Diary: 71 Billion ? – Forget the Corporations, Tax the Churches (313 comments)

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  •  religion is a business. (1+ / 0-)
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    Old Iowa Liberal

    it provides a service, tho some would claim it's also a drug, so take your pick: service or product-related, it's still a business.  obscenely successful or just scraping by, it's still a business.

    businesses should be taxed. if a business wants to conduct charitable work, good for them, but they shouldn't be tax exempt just b/c they do, besides, isn't doing charitable work the main function of christian-based religions???

    let's stop playing semantic games & call it for what it is: a business.

    •  REC was not intended...however, (1+ / 0-)
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      yeah, I have thought about the benefits to my church of abandoning our building and meeting in member's  homes, and many ways it could be a good thing for us. Probably not so good for the  non-profit preschool that uses a good chunk of our facility every week day without being charged any rent. Or perhaps not for the 12-step and similar other groups that meet in our facility rent free. But as a small congregation in a church much larger than we need, it might be better for us to meet in our homes or rent space. Would you still want to tax us then?

      We  currently I believe, pay a local tax for water treatment based on the size of our parking lot, and we agree that this is a good thing.

      •  short answer: yes. you & i can argue about (0+ / 0-)

        the merits (or lack of) associated w/religion, but it comes down to simple connotation -- i view religion as an entity that provides a service, & you see it as something much more mystical & essential to human existence (at least, i'm assuming you do, but please feel free to correct me if i am wrong).

        i do not associate religion any differently than any other business, good or evil -- & see its primary function as making money.  while it's true that some religions put the welfare of their members, & even those less-fortunate members of the public community, above generating income, i doubt many religions would exist for long w/o money, & therein lies the difference between our perceptions of it.

        i see any entity that exists to make money as a business, & you apparently do not.  oh, & for good measure, i rec'd you.

        •  If we took in no money, .... (1+ / 0-)
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          we could still exist as a faith community. We could meet in member's homes, we could read and study and pray and sing without asking anyone for money. Not certain what we would do about the minister; in the past lots of ministers were not paid. It was probably difficult for their  families, and today they would have to work at a paying job.

          It would be difficult for us not to want to collect and send money to people who have been hard hit by disaster, and we would want to collect and contribute money to our local food bank, and non-profit service  agencies that help people in need, but surely that would not be taxable income.  We would still be the church and we would not be requiring any financial support, as far as I can see, from others in the community. This model would be more like the early Christian church, and might in many ways be very good.

          •  & under those circumstances, i would not (1+ / 0-)
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            Old Iowa Liberal

            consider such an arrangement as a business, & certainly not subject to taxation -- & i couldn't agree more that it would be exactly what christ had in mind & what he wanted his followers to do.

            it's a real shame when a good idea gets perverted.

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