The tax deductible donation: It hasn't come up yet. So all spirituality aside, I'd like to talk about religious organizations as a business.
These are businesses, they make profits, and should be taxed. People pay the church, temple, etc. money for services. Getting married in a religiously owned building costs money, attending services costs money.
As a business strategy, I guess it's great, people just give money out of fear. What is it that people who pay religious organizations think they are getting out of it?
CyborgBetty CyborgBetty
36-40, F
4 Responses Aug 20, 2014

"He loves you and He needs money", I miss George Carlin.

I've been told that many of the religious programs on religion channels on TV are registered as churches, and therefore the money they bilk out of the audience is tax exempt.
A typical 503c corporation in the US, although tax exempt, has to account to the IRS for how it uses its income. It is my understanding that churches do not have that requirement. One can easily see how abuse sets in, with the heads of these religions living extravagant lifestyles.
A good example of this is the late Paul Crouch of TBN and his wife who had separate mansions, next to each other. Just look at the lifestyle of any of the televangelists, who register themselves as churches.

It really boils down to charity. Most food banks are run by churches. Most homeless shelters are run by churches. Many hospitals are church owned. While not all churches and clearly not all of their money.. but most churches donate and without those donations, Atheist or not.. Humans would suffer all over the nation.

For the record.. I am agnostic. I don't care either way

Where I am a good chunk of food banks and shelters are not run by religious organizations. NYC also had a problem with some churches only being homeless shelters sometimes. The city runs the most I think. And trying to convert the homeless ad kicking them out for not converting.
Considering the wealth of the Vatican this is obviously not just "charity".
Ultimately these charities shouldn't even be charities but rather government programs.

Churches that run food or clothing banks could still do this if they were taxed. They should be forced to form a separate non-profit corporation and run the food bank under that. A tax exemption for a corporation whose sole duty is to provide such social services is not unreasonable.
This way, tax money would not be used to subsidize the church building, the clergy, parsonage or other activities that serve only the members of the church. The church building, properties, etc. would be taxed at the same rate as a regular property owner.

Yes they would still be able to run charities as separate corporation.
I am not against charity.
I think that we all better off when help is actually government assistance, it's more cost effective and reaches more people. It's also not discriminatory, lots of people don't want help specifically from christian organizations due to past experiences with those organizations trying to convert them and then refusing to help them.
The government could tax religious organizations and use that money to open homeless shelters, for example.

They get a sense of contributing. The bible talks about tithing, it's a religious duty.

But what makes me angry is that those religious organizations pay no taxes, income or property, and yet are very politically active, utilizing that money to lean on public officials and dispel hate in the community, and try to influence secular law. If they want to break down separation of church and state, they need to start paying their fair share.

I get angry about the same things. It's like my real estate taxes pay for their property.

It also sounds like a scam to to convenient to have millions of people believing if they don't give an organization money, they'll go to hell, or something.

I'd rather pay property taxes for a church that actually does good for the poor than pay for the poor to buy drugs with my tax dollars. We have to many government programs for the 'poor' as it is.

well, there you have it. The conservatives have spoken.

This is a serious issue. And it will not get resolved through any legislative body or government taxing authority simply because the Christians and Jews are in control of every branch of the federal government save one.

This is not a tin hat wild eyed conspiracy theory. To the best of my knowledge, there is not one single atheist in the US congress. Taxing authorities are appointed by ... who else ... Christians

The taxation policies are clearly unconstitutional as they force non believers to subsidize and support the religious groups and organizations and their religious activities on every level, excusing them from paying property taxes, which include paying for fire departments, Medic One, police, schools, etc, exempt them from local and state business and occupation taxes, and of course local, state and federal income taxes.

In other words, the Christians have forced atheists and other non Christians to support the very people that work constantly to deprive non Christians of their constitutional rights and freedoms.

Even as they deprive us of OUR rights, the Christians constantly demand THEIR constitutional right of religious freedom, complaining daily that their right to 'practice' their religion is being unconstitutionally infringed upon by our 'secular' government.

You would assume, per their howls of outrage, that the evil, unGodly secularists in America have driven the Christians to near extinction.

I stated that they control all branches of government (and control all political appointees in all aspects of governance) save one. That one remaining branch is, of course, the Supreme Court of the United States.

And they are really just ONE member away from controlling the SCOTUS. Just one will tip the balance of power in the Court. So they are working diligently behind the scenes to make sure the next vacant spot is filled by one of their own.

I should take this moment to explain that it's the CONSERVATIVE Christians that we need to be concerned about. They make up about 35% of this country, but wield probably 90% of the power. Not all Christians in government are hard core conservatives. And too, there are members of government who list themselves as Christian but are not 'practicing' and others who don't even believe, but know that to declare their atheism is political suicide.

I think the expectation is the next two members of the SCOTUS slated to retire are liberal.

If they retire in the remaining term of the Obama administration, it is very probable (but not a guarantee) that Obama will nominate liberals to replace them. Of course, they will face a very hostile vetting process from the Republicans ... virtually all hard core Christian conservatives ... whose goal it is to prevent any liberal appointees.

If the jurists retire during the next administration. ... and the Republicans have the presidency ... we, and the nation, are screwed.

The conservative Christians have been planning their strategies for bringing lawsuits against every liberal social advance.

I really can't stress strongly enough what a precarious position non believers are in right now.

That was very spot on.


To finish that post ...

The only way we can get tax equality is by suing the United States in federal court for class discrimination.

It would be a difficult process at best, since there would be strong judicial resistance on every level.

Not to mention the death threats that would come from enraged Christians.

You notice that none of them have stepped forward (yet) to acknowledge the unfairness of the taxation policies.

Wow. There's a surprise.

Another really cool thing about the churches is they are a 'cash' business. There is no practical way for the government to track the amount of money they take in.

But I'm sure the good Christians keep perfect records of all that cash ...

Lots of businesses are cash and still manage to be honest(ish).

Yea conservatives never want government programs. I once worked with a Christian felt all assistance programs should be through the church, he told me go to hell since I said giving money to religion was against my much for helping everyone.

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