ANSWERS: 27
  • Interesting and thought-provoking, indeed. But, aren't the churches already involved in politics?
  • I think the two questions should not be joined. I think that discussing political questions is central to the function of most churches. But supporting political parties is not. I.e. a church can discuss abortion, but not tell you to vote for a particular party. As an atheist I thing that churches should pay taxes on their purely religious activities. However, I can see that it would be very difficult to work out how to levy such taxed. For example, a church is neither a residence not a business, but that is how most local taxes are structured. And most churches (there are exceptions) would not have the money to pay much tax, so would go broke. Which, in the UK, would lead to historic buildings being sold off.
  • I agree, there is a big scandal here in Australia at the moment that The Brethren has been helping out with campaign funds. In Australia we have a thing called GST its the way the government makes sure everybody pays their taxes. Then there are the poor suckers that work for a living and they pay taxes on their wages and GST on everything they buy. I call it double dipping.
  • I agree. I have no objection to anyone or any entity getting involved in politics, but if they are using funds from the collection plate to promote an agenda, they should be taxed. I don't understand why churches are considered non-profit entities anyway.
  • Churches should, at best, be able to get listed as nonprofit organizations, and thus become tax-exempt, NOT have kidglove treatment because they're religious institutions. And I don't think most, if any, church could easily get listed a nonprofit. And if they can't, they should pay taxes like the rest of us. Freedom of religion means to me that we pass no laws infringing upon or harming, but also not supporting or aiding, religious worship or religious institutions. And laws that make sense, like having your face visible when getting a driver's license, and then showing it to a police officer if asked, should be enforced regardless of religious beliefs. Effectively, the law should behave as though religion doesn't exist.
  • Churches should have to pay taxes just like any other business! Lets see how many people still go to church every sunday if they are forced to pay an entry fee!
  • What do you mean by being involved in politics? Should a church be penalized by loosing tax exempt status because it speaks out on something that it sees as a moral issue (gambling, prostitution, abortion, social policy, etc.)? If so, then I think that you are overstepping the bounds of what is allowed by the constitution and trying to tell churches want they can and cannot say in public discourse. Churches have a right and a duty to speak out on moral issues. On the other hand, if by being involved with politics you mean endorsing specific parties or candidates, then I would have to agree with you. My own religion go into trouble in its early days because it endorsed specific candidates for office. Those that didn't get the endorsement got upset because the members tended to vote as a block which they did not get. Those that did get the vote were afraid of losing that support. In the end both came to fear the political power wielded by the early leaders to influence elections and so both sides turned on the Church. As a result of this, my Church no longer speaks out on issues that it sees as purely political in nature. It will not be silent on what it sees as moral issues. The Church teaches morality and then tells its member to vote for which ever candidate each individual thinks will best represent the principles taught.
  • I'd have to agree with that! I think the churches need to keep their noses out of politics, just as the governments need to keep their noses out of religion. Here in the States, we're supposed to have separation of church and state...although the current administration seems to continually ignore that fact as Dubya has tried time and again to impose his personal beliefs upon the laws of the land. It's a dangerous combination and needs to be kept separated!
  • I would have to agree with the sticker.
  • I agree with that bumper sticker. Churches should pay taxes if they want to be involved in politics.
  • I have no problem with churches paying taxes. But whether or not they pay taxes does not take away thier freedoms of religion or speech. The Catholic Church is primarily a spiritual body. But she is also a moral teacher. If people are going to make moral issues into political ones then they should not complain when the Church uses its freedoms of speech and religion. When you look at the 1.1 billion believers worshiping in over 200,000 parishes worldwide you can see that the Catholic Church is a spiritual entity. However the Church is also a moral teacher and has been teaching the world what she believes God thinks is right and wrong for almost 2,000 years. The Church looks to protect human dignity and human rights and does not for look for political power. Church leaders are barred from political office by Church law (not civil law). Jesus said, "Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you." (Matthew 28:18-20) The Catholic Church has been teaching world governments what it believes is right and wrong since the ancient Romans stopped persecuting it and long before anyone heard of the freedom of speech. The Catholic Church protested about the blood sports in the Roman Colosseum and they were stopped. The Catholic Church supported the Polish Solidarity movement and the Soviet Union fell apart. I don't think the Church is going to (or should) stop teaching the world governments what is right or wrong now. Remember the Catholic Church proposes. It does not impose. With love in Christ.
  • It is a simple rule, any church or tax exempt organization cannot outright endorse a candidate, but they can speak about issues such as abortion, etc., and let their congregation know which candidates support or oppose that issue. That is not getting involved in politics, especially if you are talking about specific moral issues.
  • Tax 'em. If they own property, if they live in America, if they enjoy our freedoms, tax them. The Catholic Church alone could easily help wipe out the National Debt in just a few years. Tax 'em. Save Social Security.
  • Yeah I would agree w/that. But the churches have always run the Govs. That's probably why they don't pay taxes anyway.
  • I agree, but churches already ARE involved in politics. It'd be difficult to force them start paying taxes now.
  • anytime you control the votes of a group of people you have political power, so when your preachure or father (id prefer not to leave any one out but...real world) starts telling you how to vote, I hope you have will enough to NOT return to that church.
  • if welfare recipients want to get involved in politics they should start paying taxes. at least the church is made up of tax payers.
  • yes!!! i'd have a cross burned in my front yard if i suggested that or wore that bumper sticker on my car.
  • They should be paying tax anyway, whether or not they get involved in politics. In fact they should be giving all their money to the poor.
  • No, religious organizations should not pay taxes. When you get down to the core of religion, it is a belief system, you would be taking money from people already paying taxes for having a belief. Look for example at Islam. In Islam, the people pay a certain amount of their annual income to help give money to the poor. Are you suggesting that tax-payers should pay a tax to give their money to the poor that would then get taxed before it got to the poor? If that is the case, wouldn't the poor then get nearly nothing for the sake of politics?
  • It's old hat, but i agree. It was the silly assed conservs of the 50's who introduced that foolishness and now people seem to think it was written into the original bill of rights, like "IGWT" on money, etc..
  • Interesting concept.
  • Yes, I agree. With the exception of money spent on charity, churches should pay taxes regardless of them speaking of politics or not.
  • I couldn't care less if they get taxed or not. Mainstream churches make a killing with gullible churchgoers. This is the reason why many wealthy preachers are under federal investigation. In today's world, spreading the Gospel has become a very profitable business.
  • The church is comprised of it's members. The members pay taxes. But now I'm wondering if the government wants to legislate church matters and prayer maybe they should be required to pay tithes!
  • Religious organisations are made up of people...some with jobs, some without...and those people have already PAID taxation via their work...any tax on their religious connections would become a second tax on the same person...so...NO. Most religious organisations operate solely on donations...so they are NOT businesses...Although when you look at the RCC, it does look very much like BIG BUSINESS..but to my knowledge, no religion receives government handouts...on a regular basis... In the past they have been granted land rights for church building. And the government is supposed to BE the people anyway...
  • Churches should never have been exempt from taxes. Some mega-pastors are multimillionaires. Reverend Billy Graham who died recently left $27,000,000 to his heirs. Reverend Joel Olsteen has $40,000,000. Religion is con game. There is no valid reason why it should be tax exempt.

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