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View Diary: Separating Religious from Secular Marriage (8 comments)

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  •  If they do this (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    thomask
    religious institutions that provide charity to the needy by handing out food to those who are hungry or helping to develop low-income housing should be rewarded for doing so
    they should have to prove it to the IRS and THEN receive any appropriate tax credits to be used against the regular amount of tax they (should be required to) pay up front just like everybody else.
    •  That's a logical solution (0+ / 0-)

      But not a practical one. Many churches don't have the resources to hire an accountant with sufficient skills to do the sort of tracking you suggest. The government tends to tread very lightly when it comes to dealing with religious bodies, presumably based on their understanding of the Establishment Clause and Free Exercise Clause of the First Amendment. In other words they want to make it easy for churches to function. Whether or not that's fair or appropriate is a separate question but it seems to me that as long as churches (I use the term broadly so as to also include synagogues, mosques, etc.) don't stick their necks out by wading into partisan politics I don't have a problem with them keeping their tax exemptions. I would like to see the current understandings enforced more vigorously; that  would take a toll on the evangelicals and dominionists but...well...too bad. Any religious institution that tries to make the entire government the means by which it forces its views on all citizens sort of has it coming to them.

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