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View Diary: New front for GOP in Obamacare: War on Churches (97 comments)

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  •  So basically (0+ / 0-)

    The "churches" are saying, "Obama is the anti-christ, now give us our gubbamint money!"

    As always, it is only and ever about the money. The conservatives will scream and yell and stamp their tiny feet about how evil the damned gubbamint is, until there's the possibility of a handout for ME! Then it's gimme the money!

    Gimme, gimme, gimme.

    Wait a minute, aren't these guys tax exempt anyway? Don't they already HAVE access to 20-30% more cash than a comparable business based on their total income? Why the hell do THEY need a government subsidy? They really ARE asking for a handout and not receiving something they have a right to as participating members of the economy.

    Why am I not surprised?

    Tell ya what? END the tax exempt status us churches, let them pay taxes for a few decades, and THEN they can participate in all that free gubbamint money stuff.

    •  Participation in the exchanges is a subsidy? (0+ / 0-)

      Do tell.

      Economics is a social *science*. Can we base future economic decisions on math?

      by blue aardvark on Wed Aug 07, 2013 at 02:16:30 PM PDT

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      •  No (0+ / 0-)

        The subsidy some businesses get along with low-income people is a subsidy. The churches are asking to be allowed to participate in the exchanges so they don't lose customers. They are asking to be a part of a government program they despise and politically oppose ONLY so that they can keep their profit centers. Not to mention that they are still demanding special exemptions from participation.

        So yeah, since they will be receiving government subsidy money from subsidized participants in their health plans, they are asking for access to subsidy money.

    •  i'm interested in (0+ / 0-)

      where you get this from:

      Don't they already HAVE access to 20-30% more cash than a comparable business based on their total income?
      what does that mean, exactly?

      Politics is like driving. To go backward put it in R. To go forward put it in D.
      Drop by The Grieving Room on Monday nights for support in dealing with grief.

      by TrueBlueMajority on Wed Aug 07, 2013 at 02:33:26 PM PDT

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      •  If they are not paying taxes (0+ / 0-)

        They have that money for their own personal uses. In most cases that amounts to 20-30% of the money that a tax-paying business with a similar income would have.

        Since churches serve no real function other than as a social club and political organization and their primary function is to raise money, they are, frankly for-profit businesses, not really any different from a bowling alley or a gym, and should be treated as such.

        It is long past time we stopped pretending that churches and priests keep the big bad sky God from smiting us all and thus pretending they serve a useful function deserving of special treatment.

        All churches should pay taxes just like any other politically-oriented business organization. And should have to report the sources of their funding and their expenditures just like any other political business.

        •  i don't know any churches that make a profit (0+ / 0-)

          but i don;t live in megachurch land either

          sorry you've had such a negative experience.

          i assume it is impossible for you to believe that all churches are not as you have painted them.

          Politics is like driving. To go backward put it in R. To go forward put it in D.
          Drop by The Grieving Room on Monday nights for support in dealing with grief.

          by TrueBlueMajority on Thu Aug 08, 2013 at 08:16:44 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  No, basically (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      hamletta, wmspringer, TexasTom

      Not all churches quite fit into your cartoon caricature. In fact, very few of them do. As for "tax exempt," that would come as a big surprise to our part-time pastor (the only compensated employee we have), who seems to pay taxes just like you and I do on his pay.

      Yes, our church grounds are exempt from the local property tax, but in exchange for that tax exemption, our little congregation donates a portion of the land to the community garden, where 16 families have a secure place to grow their own vegetables. The produce from two plots is turned over to the local food bank agency, which then distributes it free-gratis to people in the community.

      The lower floor of our building is rented out as the day center for the homeless family program, providing a safe space for families to live while they search for jobs, and mainstream back into housing. I suppose the princely rent of one dollar a month should be taxed to the max, but the program would probably spend about a thousand times that much for a comparable facility from a for-profit landlord.

      We also provided meeting space for census worker training during the last go-round, citizenship classes for the local Bhutanese community, and three other user groups. All as part of our ongoing commitment to the community that we realize is part and parcel of our non-profit, charitable status.

      But we'll give that up in a heartbeat, Captain Frogbert, the second you take it all over. And remember, none of that "gimme, gimme, gimme" stuff; you do it for nothing, not even a tax break, because you don't need no gubbamint subsidies, right?

      •  Perhaps your church (0+ / 0-)

        gives back to the community, but I live in megachurch Texas. These folks don't give a penny to anyone who isn't a part of their club. They spend their money on multi-million-dollar buildings with million-dollar sound systems while taking a huge bite out of our property tax base. Since property taxes in Texas are among the highest in the country, this is a huge deal.

        I'll gladly help pay for all the good things you mentioned and more. I want higher taxes on us all to help pay for the care of the poor -- not to count on the generosity of religious or charitable institutions or people to help them. Daddy Bush's "Thousand Points of Light" campaign is seen by most as a wonderful volunteerism campaign. I don't want to diminish  volunteers -- I am one. But you're kidding yourself if you don't think a big part of the appeal to GOOPers is that it's an argument against gummit intervention and that the "underclass" should be grateful for whatever they get from churches and/or volunteers.

        I have lived in Texas for more than fifty years, and was raised and a part of one of the largest church groups in the state (Church of Christ) for more than thirty (even though I was alway rather agnostic). Since the mid-1990s though, I have walked away from religion and my conservative roots in part because I could not continue to be involved with the inherent selfishness of the churches in this area.

        Yes, I am an liberal atheist democratic socialist from West Texas. There ain't many of us, but we do exist. :)

      •  Sorry (0+ / 0-)

        your church may be an exception, but the vast majority of churches not only seldom do the things you claim your church does, if and when they do such things they demand religious conversion and donations, service and political support from the converted. Churches NEVER do anything without a self-serving quid pro quo.

        Which is why the programs you describe should be state-based, paid for through taxes and overseen by the government rather than predicated on religious extortion and maintaining the political power and profits of a church.

        •  Somehow I don't think you're sorry (0+ / 0-)

          Can you give me a citation for "the vast majority of churches" and what they do? Because I very strongly suspect that your characterizations have been pulled directly from your nether region.

          You want to hate on folks and make irresponsible assertions? Be my guest. But maybe the broad brush isn't the proper tool, because it makes you look like a Class A Jerk.

          •  Oh, please (0+ / 0-)

            Stop using the tired old, "I command you to cite chapter and verse and PROVE to me what I will refuse to believe no matter what you say." It's a lazy old trope used by conservatives and people without a valid argument.

            If you don't know the history of religion and churches, do the research yourself. You clearly won't believe it anyway.

            Religion is a cancer on the human race. It exists to allow priests to control people and steal their money and for no other reason. If they do some slight good somewhere it's an unintended byproduct.

            People have understood this for millennia. It's one of the reasons Europe has so little functional religion: They have too much experience with religion controlling government. That America seems destined to go through its own religious civil war at the hands of the tea party and religious conservatives is hardly a recommendation for the benefits of "the Church."

            "Man will never be free until the last king is strangled with the entrails of the last priest." - Denis Diderot
            “Mankind can never be free until the last brick in the last church falls on the head of the last priest.” - Voltaire
            By the way, I can see your religious tolerance and the holy grace of God in your response. When was it again Jesus called the people he argued with a Class A Jerk? Why is it the folks who claim to want to do as Jesus did, never seem to actually do it?
          •  Captain Frogbert has a lot of assumptions (0+ / 0-)

            and anti-church prejudice and i don't think either one of us can make a dent in it tonight.

            i feel bad though whenever i run across people whose experience of church folks has been so horrible as to create views like this.

            Politics is like driving. To go backward put it in R. To go forward put it in D.
            Drop by The Grieving Room on Monday nights for support in dealing with grief.

            by TrueBlueMajority on Thu Aug 08, 2013 at 08:15:30 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

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