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The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) received $67,862,160 from the federal government in 2011, down from $69,377,785 in 2010, but a larger percentage of their income – 34.6 percent in 2011 compared to 31.5 percent in 2010. Nevertheless, USCCB president, Cardinal Timothy Dolan, "lauded Paul Ryan as a ‘great public servant,’ praised Ryan’s ‘call for financial accountability and restraint and a balanced budget’ as well as his ‘obvious solicitude for the poor,’” and told his audience “I’m anxious to see him in action.”

As Scott Wooledge accurately noted in his diary, “Catholic Church revving up its ‘beat-down the Democratic vote’ operations," the bishops are doing what they have done in past election years – declaring Democratic solicitude for the life, health and human rights of women and gays to be “intrinsically evil” and, therefore, faithful Catholics must vote Republican. Then the bishops tell us (if they mention it at all) that Republican unjust war, torture and the poverty the GOP imposed on this nation (“sharp drops” in life expectancy for the poorest Americans, suicide has surpassed car accidents as the No. 1 cause of injury-related death in the US) are matters of “prudential judgment” which any good Catholic can certainly embrace.

That the U.S. episcopate is using our taxes to carry out this campaign needs to be repeated.

Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Denver unabashedly states: “through our charitable ministry, [we] seek to influence the political, social, and cultural environments in which we serve.”

The national office supporting all US Catholic Charities received $2.90 billion (62 percent of income) from the government in 2010 and $2.64 billion (69 percent) in 2009 according to the latest year available of the Forbes list of the 200 largest US charities. The bishops themselves contribute only 2.7 percent of the Church’s annual spending to charity.

Catholic Relief Services, the international agency also controlled by the bishops, received $517 million (56 percent of income) in 2010 from the government and $361 million (61 percent) in 2009, according to the same Forbes list.

Both Catholic Charities USA and Catholic Relief Services are members of Caritas Internationalis, once a highly respected global humanitarian agency but now under total control of the Vatican. In 2011, the Vatican directed that the first order of business for this Caritas Internationalis is “promoting the Church’s social teaching” (i.e. gender and LGBT politics) and secondly “helping those in need.” Caritas officials must vow to obey the pope, as do the bishops.

In addition to “influencing politics,” Catholic Charities provides adoption services, foster care and pregnancy counseling according to the misogynist and homophobic teachings of the Church.

Catholic hospitals “are being run with more than 50 percent of taxpayer dollars.” Yet when the decision was made to save the life of a woman pregnant with her fifth child whose chance of dying was “close to 100 percent,” the nun who sat on the ethics committee of the St. Joseph Hospital and Medical Center which approved the abortion was excommunicated. Although her excommunication was later lifted, Phoenix Bishop Thomas J. Olmsted’s declaration that the hospital was no longer “Catholic” is still in effect.  

And so all remaining Catholic hospitals and clinics must deny emergency medical care (Plan B) for rape victims, provide reproductive medicine to women or men – if at all - on a limited basis, and cannot save the life of a pregnant woman unless the fetus’ survival is guaranteed in order to maintain a bishop’s imprimatur.

While our tax dollars are paying for what the corporate media and bishops keep telling us is the “great charitable works” of the Catholic Church, two questions come to mind.

Of course Catholics do admirable charitable work, but do non-Catholics not do the same without obedience to a foreign head-of-state’s geopolitical goal of plutocratic hegemony?

Should the Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships be eliminated entirely as a federal agency? Established by George W. Bush as the Faith-based and Community Initiative, his first act after taking office in 2001 in consultation with the USCCB, it has been called the greatest assault to the separation of church and state in our nation’s history.

(Clermont is author of The Neo-Catholics: Implementing Christian Nationalism in America )

Originally posted to Betty Clermont on Tue Oct 02, 2012 at 08:51 AM PDT.

Also republished by Street Prophets .

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Comment Preferences

  •  So the Catholic Church is still non-profit and (12+ / 0-)

    mooches off the government too??
    Does the government give money to other churches too?

    What the hell happened to separation of Church and State?

    "Time is for careful people, not passionate ones."

    "Life without emotions is like an engine without fuel."

    by roseeriter on Tue Oct 02, 2012 at 09:00:09 AM PDT

  •  Should all charities that receive (6+ / 0-)

    federal funding be prohibited from taking positions on issues that have a bearing on politics?  

    There are 501(c)(3) organizations that receive federal funds in some way that advocate for issues that you like.  Are you willing to have the same standard apply to them?  

    That's a legitimate question.  Presently the law does not require that a 501(c)(3) organization stay out of politically charged issues, on either side of the aisle.  (They can't do specific things with respect to campaigning for a particular candidate).  Maybe that should be changed, but if that happens, it is going to affect organizations that advocate for positions on both sides of the political spectrum.  

    •  That'a a good question and a good topic for (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      discussion. To me the question isn't "should charities which receive federal funding be prohibited from taking poistions?" but rather should charities be receiving tax payer funding? What gov't official should decide and how should they decide which charity should or shouldn't receive our money?

      •  What's the difference between... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        ...a "charity" and a "nonprofit"?

        Further, what's the difference between government contracting with a nonprofit organization to do things like administer social services or help the homeless, and government contracting with a for-profit construction company to build a highway?

        Do you realize just how massively disruptive a ban on all government contracting with any private entity would be?

        "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 Oct 02, 2012 at 09:53:54 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  As far as I'm concerned (0+ / 0-)

      churches should receive no tax exemptions.  If the churches choose to run charitable operations, let those operations be firewalled from the church's own budget and administration.

      •  Churches get exemptions if (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        lcj98, erush1345, VClib

        they meet the requirements of section 501(c)(3).  

        Because of the First Amendment, the federal government has to treat them the same as other 501(c)(3) organizations, religious or not. And there are a whole lot of 501(c)(3) organizations out there that are not affiliated with a religion.

        See the IRS publication here

      •  So the only churches you want to survive... (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        lcj98, rmabelis, VClib, erush1345

        ...are churches that cater to and attract the wealthy, and are located far enough away from major urban areas that their property values won't be very high.

        Because most urban churches—which you might also know by another name, that being "one of the Democratic Party's most loyal constituencies"—sit on pretty valuable land and serve people who aren't particularly well-to-do, meaning that if property taxes were assessed, they'd have to close their doors and sell their buildings (and in all likelihood be replaced by something that does the neighborhood a whole lot less good).

        "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 Oct 02, 2012 at 09:59:05 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Ask Jesus (0+ / 0-)

          how he felt about the survival of churches.  I'll bet he didn't believe it took comfy piles of money.


          •  "Comfy piles" of money? (4+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            lcj98, VClib, erush1345, Magenta

            You obviously haven't been to one of my church's vestry meetings, if you think we're sitting on "comfy piles" of money.

            If we had to pay property taxes on the value of our land, which is in an up-and-coming neighborhood in NW DC, we'd have to dramatically scale back what we do if not shut down entirely.

            And for the record... Jesus's disciples did have a communal purse, a practice Jesus doesn't breathe even a word of objection to in the Gospels. And the first generation of apostles after the Ascension in Acts set up an entire group of leaders whose whole task was administering the community's work. So it's not like Jesus opposes the idea of the body of believers having some kind of community property.

            "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 Oct 02, 2012 at 10:07:10 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  I'm unaware of Jesus's (0+ / 0-)

              tax exemptions with the Roman authorities.  Actually, I don't think Jesus had any status with the authorities.  I don't recall a passage in the NT where he complained about that.

              •  There's really no equivalence... (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                lcj98, VClib, erush1345

                ...between the taxes levied by the Romans occupying Judea in the first century CE, and contemporary structures of taxation.

                And you still haven't addressed my original point, which was that if religious organizations had to pay property tax, it would be the ones that serve the poor, and the ones in urban areas, that would be the first to close their doors—and the rural/suburban/exurban churches that cater to the wealthy (i.e., the ones that are much of the problem) would be the ones that would remain open.

                Even if one accepts on a policy level that this is a good idea—though I can scarcely imagine how it would make my neighborhood better if my church, which serves the poor and homeless, operates as a center for numerous community events, and advocates for economic justice, were replaced by another Yuppie Condoplex—the fact remains that you're basically telling a significant chunk of the most loyal base of the Democratic Party to go f### themselves. That would be a one-way ticket to political irrelevance.

                "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 Oct 02, 2012 at 10:20:07 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  I don't see why it's government's business (0+ / 0-)

                  to establish policies that facilitate churches.  And as I've said before, if the churches in question really do carry out charitable activities, I'm perfectly fine with tax-exempting the activities if they're firewalled fiscally and administratively from the sponsoring churches.

                  Oh, and there are plenty of poor churches whose members (and administrations) are quite right-wing, so I reject your implication that I'm doing this to trash Democrats.

                  •  I'm not implying that you're proposing this... (3+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    VClib, erush1345, Magenta

                    ...with the intent of trashing Democrats.

                    I'm telling you that the policy you propose, even if it were a good idea on every other level (which it isn't), would have the effect of harming one of the Democratic Party's most loyal constituencies, and would be seen as a slap in the face to religious Americans by many Christian Democrats, myself included.

                    Mark my words: If your position ever became the position of the Democratic Party, the Party would be politically irrelevant within days. I know that I personally would never vote for anyone who supports your position.

                    "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 Oct 02, 2012 at 10:29:46 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  heh. (0+ / 0-)
                      Mark my words: If your position ever became the position of the Democratic Party,
                      Rest assured it never will.  I do remain firm in my contention that religion does a hell of a lot more harm than good, and that government shouldn't be supporting it.
                    •  I don't think you understand my position at all (0+ / 0-)

                      1) Eliminate the Faith-based and Neighborhood Coalition and return to the policies of the Clinton administration
                      2) Require all corporations, including the Rove and Koch SuperPACs to make full financial disclosure.
                      If any non-profit or religion wants to accept the civil benefits afforded to corporations, then they assume the civil duties of a corporation. If any non-profit or religion doesn't want the protections of a civil corporation, then they shouldn't incorporate.

                    •  I agree. (0+ / 0-)

                      Completely politically untenable.


                      by Magenta on Wed Oct 03, 2012 at 06:15:00 AM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                  •  These aren't policies that facilitate churches. (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    VClib, erush1345

                    These are policies that facilitate nonprofit organizations.  

                    To come under those policies, churches have to meet the same IRS standards for nonprofit organizations as anyone else.  Lots of nonprofits are organized to promote particular views -- the ACLU, the Sierra Club, the Human Rights Campaign come to mind.  The Government cannot (because of the First Amendment) treat a particular nonprofit organization that meets 501(c)(3) requirements differently because the views it promotes are religious ones, I think.

                    •  Government could always redefine (0+ / 0-)

                      what constitutes a nonprofit organization, a matter that was of course no concern to the Founding Fathers; and such a redefinition would no doubt pass constitutional muster as long as it treated all religions equally.

                      But as I just responded to someone else: Rest assured that the cushy treatment afforded organized religion by the federal government will never change, so relax.

                      Oh, and as I've already posted to you elsewhere: Down with the HRC. :-)

                      •  I think it would be constitutionally (3+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        VClib, erush1345, cany

                        problematic for Congress to pass a law saying that any organization that was affiliated with a religious institution could not get 501(c)(3) status.  That's a pretty clear First Amendment, and 14th Amendment problem.  Government can't assign negative consequences based on the religious beliefs of a group.  I cannot imagine that rewriting 501(c)(3) to say it applies to any group that meets the legal requirements  EXCEPT for groups that have a religious affiliation would possible pass constitutional muster.  

                        That would be like saying that you can't be a 501(C)(3) group if you are a primarily Asian group, or if you are a primarily female group.  Religious rights are just as constitutionally protected.  Government cannot give you less favorable tax treatment based on your race, ethnicity, gender, or religious beliefs, I would think.  

                        •  You just don't read my comments (0+ / 0-)

                          before posting, do you?  Just do a "find" search on the word "firewall" in my comments on this thread.

                          •  I think your comment is quite clear. (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:

                            You're suggesting that the operations of religious organizations that aren't specifically "charitable" in nature should not be tax-exempt. However, you have not called for any change in the tax status of other nonprofit organizations based on common interests (like, say, the local Astronomical Society).

                            That's functionally calling for government to discriminate against religion, by granting tax exemptions to nonreligious nonprofit affinity or interest groups while taxing nonprofit affinity or interest groups simply because they have religious ties.

                            That would be a pretty clear violation of the First Amendment.

                            "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 Oct 02, 2012 at 11:41:29 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  nope (0+ / 0-)

                            "while taxing nonprofit affinity or interest groups simply because they have religious ties."

                            Not for having religious ties, but for being religions.

                            And "discriminating against religion" is hardly unconstitutional if one discriminates against all of them equally.  Furthermore, denial of a privilege is not "discrimination."

                          •  Calling discrimination something else... (2+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Magenta, VClib

                            ...makes it no less discrimination. In this case, your proposal appears to be based not on any sound legal principle, but rather on your own animus toward religion.

                            Not for having religious ties, but for being religions.
                            Here's your first challenge: Provide an operative definition of how we could determine what organizations qualify as "religions."
                            And "discriminating against religion" is hardly unconstitutional if one discriminates against all of them equally.
                            Sure it is... it would, in effect, be an establishment of "no religion" as a state religion, in that nonreligious nonprofit interest or affinity organizations would enjoy a tax break while religious organizations (which are nonprofit interest or affinity organizations whose interest or affinity is religion) would not.
                            Furthermore, denial of a privilege is not "discrimination."
                            So you wouldn't think it was "discrimination" if a state decided that they were only going to issue drivers' licenses to men? After all, a drivers' license is a privilege, not a right, as the drivers' ed instructors remind us so often; denying women that privilege, by your own reckoning, would not be an act of "discrimination."

                            "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 Oct 02, 2012 at 02:11:17 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Your last comparison is ludicrous; (0+ / 0-)

                            if you can't obtain a driver license, you can't legally drive.  But you can operate a church even if you don't have a tax exemption.  

                            As for the "establishment" of "no religion" as a state religion on the basis of not granting tax exemptions, well, that's funny.  As in chuckle-provoking.  Would nonbelievers be getting tax exemptions for being nonbelievers?

                          •  Okay, let's try another example then. (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            if you can't obtain a driver license, you can't legally drive.
                            Since you see a tax exemption as a "privilege" whose granting is inherently unable to be an act of discrimination, would you call it "discrimination" if the federal government decided tomorrow that all men would get a $2,000 tax credit, but no woman would get it? I know I sure would.
                            Would nonbelievers be getting tax exemptions for being nonbelievers?
                            Functionally, yes. Irreligious organizations would get tax exemptions for not talking about religion or professing any religious beliefs. Making religious discussion off-limits for nonprofit organizations that want to remain tax-exempt is, in effect, codifying discrimination against religion.

                            "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 Wed Oct 03, 2012 at 05:58:16 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                  •  Even when "fire-walled", charity still creates (0+ / 0-)

                    good will towards a specific religion. As a Vatican official just told a meeting of Catholic Charities USA, "The pastoral priorities of the New Evangelization (i.e. proselytization)should also be taken up by our (charitable) organizations, since they are organizations of the Church."

                •  I agree that all religious groups should not be (0+ / 0-)

                  penalized for the abuses of some. That's why I'm suggesting the all corporations, including non-profits and religious, be required to make full financial disclosures.

                •  So many of those churches are already closing. (0+ / 0-)

                  You're quite right. It would be a deadly blow if in addition they had to pay taxes. And it would be a loss in many communities.

                  People seem to think churches are all the megachurches that do sit on comfy piles of money. That's not even true of most Roman Catholic congregations, though.

                  Actually, I'm honestly amazed that Romney would mention bringing up an end to the deduction for charitable donations. That also would be devastating to churches along with many other organizations. Surely, the right-wing can't favor that idea. I work for a church, and believe me, the pattern of giving is certainly influenced by the fact Christmas falls in December, but that sure isn't the only reason donations increase that month. It's also that end-of-year deadline to get the deduction.


                  by Magenta on Wed Oct 03, 2012 at 06:13:50 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

            •  How do you know how much "comfy piles" of (0+ / 0-)

              money the Catholic bishops are sitting on? See my diary about the immeasurable wealth of the Catholic Church

              •  I don't know how much money they have. (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:

                But I do know how much money my church (which isn't Roman Catholic) has—and it's not nearly enough to cover what would be a massive property tax bill if we had to pay it.

                Don't assume that all churches are in the same financial situation as the Roman Catholic Church, and don't punish other churches for the actions of the Roman Catholic Church.

                "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 Oct 02, 2012 at 10:23:21 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  I'm not assuming anything and I have specifically (0+ / 0-)

                  said that eliminating tax exemptions would punish all religions for the abuses of some. That is why I am suggesting only full financial disclosure for all corporations including non-profits and religious.

        •  I want all churches to rely on voluntary donations (0+ / 0-)

          not taxpayer dollars.

          •  Why? (0+ / 0-)

            The greatest trick the Devil ever pulled was convincing online commenters that they have anything to say.-- B.F.

            by lcj98 on Tue Oct 02, 2012 at 10:26:12 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Because under the separation of church and state (0+ / 0-)

              government funds should not be given to religions. Even if used for charity, that charity creates good will and gratitude of the recipients and others who know about it towards a specific religion.

              •  Umm... (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:

                The government isn't giving money to "religions".  It's given to groups/charities that are religiously based.  And those groups provide a vital service in areas where voluntary donations isn't going to cut it.  The these groups get aren't for proselytizing or recruitment...

                The greatest trick the Devil ever pulled was convincing online commenters that they have anything to say.-- B.F.

                by lcj98 on Tue Oct 02, 2012 at 11:29:44 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  The gov't itself provides services for the poor. (0+ / 0-)

                  If inadequate, they should be expanded to provide a suitable "safety net". The gov't can care for the poor without regard to gender and sexual orientation or whatever criteria used by certain religions to deem some human beings more worthy than others.

                  A Vatican official just gave a speech at a meeting of Catholic Charities USA. He said, "The pastoral priorities of the New Evangelization (i.e. proselytization) should also be taken up by our [charitable] organizations, since they are organizations of the Church."

                  Even without blatant proselytization, charity creates good will and gratitude towards the religion.

        •  Eventually (0+ / 0-)

          we will have to take tax exemption away from the Catholic church. It is either that or give tax exemption to the klan, the nazis and Christian identity. It is clear bigotry against gays will some day be considered as vile as that against blacks. And when we find the Catholic church will still not change its mind on its rejection of gays its tax exemption will be in great danger. At that point it will be politically necessary to take tax exemptions away from all religious organizations, alas.

          •  ??? (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            The Catholic Church is the same as the Klan and Nazis?  Seriously?

            The greatest trick the Devil ever pulled was convincing online commenters that they have anything to say.-- B.F.

            by lcj98 on Tue Oct 02, 2012 at 10:36:32 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Gay rights as civil rights. (0+ / 0-)

              If you are going to see the gay civil rights issue as the 21st century equivalent of the black civil rights struggle of the 20th century then it is easy to see how the Catholic church can be equated with the Klan and Christian identity. The Klan is bigoted against black people, the Catholic church is bigoted against gay people. At this point the question is when will the gay rights movement realize not everyone who opposes gay rights is a bigot?

          •  If the Klan and Nazis incorporate as a 501(c) (0+ / 0-)

            they already receive certain exemptions.

          •  rmabelis - the Catholic Church has every legal (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            and constitutional right to oppose same sex marriage, to them it is an issue of faith and morals. The IRS has given churches wide latitude to be active in public policy and political issues, particularly when it involves issues of faith. The IRS has also given the churches a safe harbor of 20% of their budget as the amount they can spend on political activity. However, they cannot endorse candidates by name.

            "let's talk about that"

            by VClib on Tue Oct 02, 2012 at 11:45:22 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Yes, the Catholic Church as every legal and (0+ / 0-)

              constitutional right to oppose same sex marriage. But it is NOT an issue of faith and morals. It is a carefully selected issue meant to GOTV for Republicans. If the Religious Right really cared about the "sanctity of marriage" and "threats" to marriage, they would concentrate their efforts on changing the divorce laws since Jesus expressly forbade divorce.

            •  Of course they do (0+ / 0-)

              But if you believe bigotry is the only reason for opposing gay rights you are not going to be willing to give them this right.

  •  The more the bishops push (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Cedwyn, corvo, rmabelis

    ...the more Catholics support Obama.

    America, we can do better than this...

    by Randomfactor on Tue Oct 02, 2012 at 09:09:38 AM PDT

    •  The non-Hispanic Catholic vote is for Romney (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      corvo, VClib

      consistently for the past year. It is only in mid-September that it became close to a tie. Latinos are a higher percentage of Catholics than in the general population and it is the Latino voters skewing the "Catholic" numbers for Obama.

  •  so let me get this straight (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    corvo, tytalus, CitizenOfEarth, madhaus

    (pun intended)

    The Catholic church argues that government should not be able to provide or to mandate coverage for women' health services or birth control because it offends them. The Morman church pays to keep gays from marrying.

    At the same time, they use my tax dollars to spread this noxious and toxic view which is abhorrent to me.  Add to that the free services which I provide for them- fire, police, water/sewer infrastructure, armed forces, roads and on and on and it is the furtherance of an incredible scam for the large cults which call themselves religion.  And add to that the tax breaks provided for giving to one's particular cult.  The rest of us have to pay more in taxes to make up the difference, but have no say in how the donated money is spent.  ( It can build huge cathedrals, pay for lavish lifestyles, or run businesses which compete with businesses which have to pay taxes.)

    I have never understood the stretch from not requiring a religious test or establishing a state religion to the notion that those of us who are not religious are required to pay for and support those who are.

    Now, those special institutions are even inserting themselves into the political arena and attempting (often successfully) to drive public policy to give them even more money.

    It is corrupt and dangerous.

    As my father used to say,"We have the best government money can buy."

    by BPARTR on Tue Oct 02, 2012 at 09:15:10 AM PDT

  •  I work with a lot of Catholics (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    CitizenOfEarth, cany, Magenta

    most of them are voting for Obama.  We have a 1,700 year history of ignoring official pronouncements from the bishops.

  •  ACTION link? (0+ / 0-)

    I wish Daily Kos had editors to keep us up to date with ACTION links for issues like this one.

  •  People who enable pedophiles.... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    ...should not cast stones.

    •  Right. Our taxes are paying for the attorneys who (0+ / 0-)

      fight against the victims of clerical sex abuse and to pay for the Church to lobby against changes in the statutes of limitations which would provide justice and healing to all victims of sex abuse.

  •  Don't take the money if you don't like the policy (0+ / 0-)

    My issue with nonprofits who gladly take tax money is that they shouldn't then be complaining about government policy. If they don't like the policy, don't take the money.

    Of course, since nonprofits are most surely part of the 47% of Americans who don't pay federal income taxes (and that's only part of the taxes they don't pay) and who are dependent on the government for their survival, I would never expect them to stop taking the money. That's not my job, after all, to care about them.

    Snark aside, this thread has an in depth discussion of nonprofit law and how it is difficult to change the law without being unfair to some nonprofits. All well and good.

    Now let's talk about another aspect of fairness. I pay all sorts of taxes--real estate taxes, state income taxes, federal income taxes, Social Security and Medicare taxes, sales taxes, capital gains taxes, and so on. I get to "influence" how my representatives spend those receipts by voting, contributing to campaigns, and participating in the electoral process. Terrific.

    A nonprofit group also gets to "influence" how its representatives spend those receipts by voting, contributing to campaigns, and participating in the electoral process. (But me no buts about how a church or other nonprofit doesn't "vote"; if its leaders are twisting arms to get members to vote a certain way, it's about the same thing.)

    But the nonprofit group is exempt from a bunch of taxes that I have to pay.

    That, from my point of view, is the fundamental unfairness about the whole deal with nonprofits--and all right, I'll say it, religious organizations--taking tax money and then biting the hand that feeds them, so to speak.

    So thanks, Betty, for laying out just how far into the trough of public funds these religious nonprofits have stuck their snouts.

  •  Faith-Based Initiatives (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    rmabelis, cany

    I was against George Bush's 'Faith Based Initiatives when he started them and have seen strong justification ever since for the immediate cessation of those expenditures.  Like Medicare Advantage,  Faith-Based Initiatives lose much of the funds to 'overheads' where the entities use government funds for their own agendas instead of using the funds for what was intended.  
    The government would certainly save much of that money if it were to perform the service themselves.  Always eliminate the middleman wherever possible.

  •  Intrinsic evil (0+ / 0-)

    If you are going to argue, as the Catholic church does, that only certain sexual sins are intrinsically evil, you are going to wind up taking a pro-Republican position. Since abortion, contraception, and same sex sexual relationships are intrinsically evil the Church believes you can't support a politician or political party supporting them. But since geed and other economic sins are not intrinsic evils the Church can support politicians and political parties which advocate them. That the economic sins are far worse in terms of their effect on society doesn't matter. Church leadership is obsessed with sex to the point where nothing else matters. The entirety of Catholic teaching must be ignored in order to wage a futile war against the sexual revolution of the 60s.

  •  I think the problem for me is this: (0+ / 0-)

    I don't mind, so much, the granting of funds to religion-based groups to provide services in communities. HOWEVER, where I abruptly jump ship is when those religious organizations LIMIT (in the case of health care) what that money can be used for in accordance with their faith. THAT is wrong.

    I don't give a damn what the RCC church believes about birth control or abortion. They can BELIEVE whatever the hell they want. But when the SERVICES they provide eliminate ME (birth control/abortion) while my tax dollars go to them... now THAT pisses me off and is wrong.

    If the RCC wants to have RCC hospitals based on religious tenets, fine. They can pay for their own hospitals w/o public moneys.

    202-224-3121 to Congress in D.C. USE it! You can tell how big a person is by what it takes to discourage them. "We're not perfect, but they're nuts."--Barney Frank 01/02/2012

    by cany on Tue Oct 02, 2012 at 01:32:24 PM PDT

  •  Rumor has it that if Romney becomes President, he (0+ / 0-)

    is going to cut off all funding for charitable organizations other than the LDS.  Hey Cardinal Dolan, do you still think pushing for Romney is a good idea?

    Good Sense is Seldom Common

  •  bishops against god and bible (0+ / 0-)

    “A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behaviour, given to hospitality, apt to teach; / Not given to wine, no striker, not greedy of filthy lucre; but patient, not a brawler, not covetous; / One that ruleth well his own house, having his children in subjection with all gravity; / (For if a man know not how to rule his own house, how shall he take care of the church of God?) / Not a novice, lest being lifted up with pride he fall into the condemnation of the devil.”
     Bible quotes

  •  the church becoming an arm of the republican party (0+ / 0-)

    the church supports the very party that hates , steals, hates the poor, is for the wealthy, they stand for everything the bible is against, if 'god is love " and republicans hate then they must hate god.

  •  Time for the IRS to grow some balls (0+ / 0-)

    and remove their tax exempt status.....

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