The Instigator
patrick967
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
kiraaa
Con (against)
Winning
3 Points

Churches Should be Taxed

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 1 vote the winner is...
kiraaa
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 6/3/2014 Category: Religion
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 785 times Debate No: 55994
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (5)
Votes (1)

 

patrick967

Pro

If I were President, I would tax churches only .5%. Think about it. If a church makes $100, we (the government) are only taking fifty cents of that. If five churches make $100, the government will only get $2.50. "What does the government get out of this?" you may ask. Well, where I live, in Ohio, there's at least ten churches in about 10 square miles. And they make (most likely) more than $100 dollars. Churches can go on their missions that don't really help, and the government gets more money to pay off China. Everybody wins.
kiraaa

Con

To me, the separation of church and state is one of the most important principles of our nation. In such a diverse country, secularity is crucial. Should the government decide to tax churches, or any other spiritual or religious organization as I assume you do not mean particularly Christianity and its denominations, the separation of church and state would be violated. One of the fundamental doctrines of the state. While an economically intriguing idea, this is not a good idea.

I apologize for taking so long on my response.
Debate Round No. 1
patrick967

Pro

The separation of church and state would not be as severly violated as it has been in the past. Kentucky has given out Bibles in public schools, a family of Jewish children was repeatedly harassed after complaining about the promotion of Christian beliefs in their school. One of the students was forced to write an essay on "Why Jesus Loves Me." The taxation of churches and other religious institutions would not be as severe as forcing the beliefs of Christianity onto Jews or Muslims. As I said, it would only be .5% taxation. Then they could go on their merry way and do whatever they want with the rest. It's no secret churches have abusing extra money and such. I'm not saying all churches are, just some. Also, the government is not intruding on the ceremonies of the religious, just collecting money. We're not shutting the churches down, we're just taxing them very little.


Source: http://archive.adl.org...
kiraaa

Con

I understand your outrage at the violation of church and state that has occurred in schools across our nation. I agree that it is indeed a severe problem, especially as it pertains to the punishment of young and innocent children, still developing their ideas about the world and finding their spiritual and religious truth. However, I fail to see the relevance of these instances to our topic. Yes it is a violation of church and state but so is the taxation of churches. The severity of one does not negate the other, nor does it lessen the impact on our society.
Let me give you an analogy to clarify my point. Let us say you are a kid at school and there is a bully in your class. His favorite color is red, and he picks on all the kids who don't wear red shirts. Sometimes he makes kids in class wear a red shirt even if they don't want to. You see this and know it is wrong. You should take action. But say you decide to take some of his lunch money every day. You are physically able to take this kid's money. But should you? No. Just because what he does is bad, doesn't make your bad actions good. It is against the rules. It is not right.
Similarly, it is "against the rules" for the government to tax churches. They may have violated the separation of church and state themselves, but you would also be violating it.

You wrote that "It's no secret churches have abusing extra money and such. I'm not saying all churches are, just some." This is not justification either. You cannot take someone's money because they are not using it well. Even if it somehow was justification, which it is not, if you were to only tax those that do misuse money it would be discrimination. But to enact a widespread tax on all churches regardless of their abuse or not because some churches, which may not even be in the same city or state have misused money? If you are trying to reach fairness, this is not it.

Another point, it seems as though you are focusing this primarily on Christian establishments, not synagogues or mosques or temples as well, but singling out Christian churches. If you tax only religious organizations of a certain religion, that is discrimination. May I remind you of the First Amendment in the Bill of Rights.
"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof;"
Throughout many decades and conflicts, this has been clarified and interpreted by the Supreme Court. In 1947, Justice Hugo Black said
"The "establishment of religion" clause of the First Amendment means at least this: Neither a state nor the federal government can set up a church. Neither can pass laws which aid one religion, aid all religions, or prefer one religion over another... No tax in any amount, large or small, can be levied to support any religious activities or institutions, whatever they may be called, or whatever form they may adopt to teach or practice religion. Neither a state nor the Federal Government can, openly or secretly, participate in the affairs of any religious organizations or groups and vice versa."
Your proposition violates most of this. Should your proposition only affect Christian institutions, that would be classified as aiding or preferring one religion over another. He clearly states that "No tax in any amount...can be levied,".
Your idea is a violation of church and state. Against the law. Any violation of the law, no matter how small or what other violations have occurred elsewhere, is in violation of the law.
Debate Round No. 2
patrick967

Pro

Wow. I believe I have lost this debate. I am going to forfeit; there is no way I can beat you, stubborn as I am. I believe the evidence you have put forth has put me in a position that I can only help but see that your point is stronger than mine. Congratulations.
kiraaa

Con

Thank you so much! You were a good opponent and had a good idea. Just happens to be against the law. whoops. Thank you again!
Debate Round No. 3
patrick967

Pro

patrick967 forfeited this round.
kiraaa

Con

thanks for debating with me :)
Debate Round No. 4
5 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 5 records.
Posted by Gabe1e 3 years ago
Gabe1e
I think they should.
Posted by iamanatheistandthisiswhy 3 years ago
iamanatheistandthisiswhy
This made me lulz "and the government gets more money to pay off China"
Posted by MyDinosaurHands 3 years ago
MyDinosaurHands
I will take this if nobody does after a while.
Posted by Crescendo 3 years ago
Crescendo
"And plenty of nonprofits accept donations."
Posted by Crescendo 3 years ago
Crescendo
Why? Aren't churches nonprofit? I mean, churches aren't established to make money. Money is used to accomplish whatever it is a church plans on doing. And plenty of donations accept donations.
Having a political agenda wouldn't make an institution for-profit, as the ACLU and GLAAD and NAACP are all nonprofit, or so I heard.
So, forcing nonprofit churches to pay taxes would effectively be discriminating against a religious institution, which the First Amendment of the American Constitution forbids.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by Themba 3 years ago
Themba
patrick967kiraaaTied
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Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: Graceful Concession. Interesting points such as 'More money to pay off china' and the hypothetical scenarios brought by Pro and Con. Con wins due to the fact that this violates separation of church and state, even pro acknowledges it in a less extreme way. However, an acknowledgement is still an acknowledgement. That brings us our concession with inspiring levels of civility. Hence points to Con.