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View Diary: Vermont moves to tax churches (34 comments)

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  •  I don't think your historical argument... (1+ / 0-)
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    ...helps your case.

    The Founding Fathers remembered their history, didn't want a repeat of what their ancestors went through, and separated religion from government.
    So can you show me any evidence that the founders of this country advocated the taxation churches at the same rate as businesses? Because the Supreme Court, in 1970, wrote that Walz v. New York, "it is significant that Congress, from its earliest days, has viewed the Religion Clauses of the Constitution as authorizing statutory real estate tax exemption to religious bodies." That would seem to me to be a pretty strong indication that the founders of the country saw absolutely no conflict between the First Amendment and the idea of exempting religious organizations from taxes.
    Oh, and more recently (within the last 65 years), my parents taught us that religion should never be discussed anywhere in public, but only at home or in church.
    Because what your parents taught you should definitely be the basis for public policy, and an excuse for restricting the rights of others. Yep, that's how it's supposed to work.
    IMHO, give the reichwingnuts the freedom OF their religions..., as long as they stay OUT of government so the rest of us can properly exercise our freedom FROM their erroneous and hypocritical moralizing that wants to institute laws according to THEIR religious beliefs (especially the laws they want passed that control women's bodies like we're livestock), but not the religious beliefs of others, or the non-beliefs of still others.
    There's a lot to unpack here.

    A. So you think that religious people—or maybe just right-wing religious people, I'm not sure—should have their right to freely exercise their religious beliefs contingent upon their not taking part in government? In addition to adding an asterisk to the First Amendment, you'd also like to add an asterisk to "no religious test": "* Unless you're right-wing and religious, in which case you're barred."

    B. I agree that right-wing governments should not have the power to infringe upon individual rights—including reproductive autonomy—nor to make laws based solely on their religious preferences. The courts have historically held such as well—but only because Republicans haven't been able to completely pack them yet. Want to absolutely annihilate one of the main locations of progressive community organizing in urban areas? Tax the churches to death. Then the Republicans will win every election.

    I've turned my TV off permanently.  Unless it's via a video on DK or C&L or the like, I don't listen to any of the teahadists, reichwingnuts, or hypocritical politicos, which means I'm exercising my freedom FROM religion.
    Good for you. But that doesn't mean that you have the right to tell others what they can and can't watch, nor to tell others what they can and can't broadcast on TV or say in public. Your right to "freedom from religion" only goes so far as those spaces you own or have a legal right to control. You do not have the right to demand that those who engage in religious speech in public stop doing so.

    "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 Tue Nov 26, 2013 at 01:44:20 PM PST

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