The cost of Government must be shared EQUALLY, by all. Not in proportion to income, race, gender, age, religion, wealth, etc. Per capita, plain and simple. Anything else is theft by one group against another. We are either equal under the law or we are not. Exemptions from paying tax cause distortions, which reduce equality. We must discontinue the free ride if we are to be free.
Very simply, churches are built in the country. Church goers drive and walk on Government roads. They require and receive free services, and on top of this receive untaxed dollars from members. Separation between church and State pertains to freedom of Religion. Let's not also pretend like Religion does not influence societal opinion or political discourse. Very simply, pay your taxes like everyone else.
If anything, that would seem to be to in favor of taxing churches. Why is a church given any special designation by the 'State'? It should be treated like any other business. To be "separate" doesn't imply special treatment.
A church is a business, plain and simple. They should be taxed and required to follow the same rules as all other businesses and organizations.
I think a better question would be "What makes a church "special" to get this exemption?" Or even better, what exactly is a "church"?
Churches use their money to fund campaigns, influence legislation, and try to infringe on the rights of others. They pay no tax but exercise a huge amount of influence over our government. This is wrong. Either stay out of politics (which they won't) or start paying tax like every other politically influential business.
The general discussion revolves around separation of church and state. As the argument goes, if the churches are taxed then the government and the church are no longer insulated from each other. If taxed, then this insulation factor is removed and directly interferes with religious freedom. Also it is reminded churches put monies back into society and thus pay for much which therein the government need not. Therefore, no taxes.
Churches are portrayed to support good morals and values, operate with empathy and extend themselves for works of good. However we all know the church has more hypocrites in one place at one time than anywhere else. Go ask an honest pastor/leader and they'll support this statement and likely remark to this is why church is important.
Paying our taxes does what? It supports the well being of our Country, funding a multitude of programs and services. These are good works which most of time are of direct benefit to the majority of citizens. Roads, education, health, bridges, disaster, you name it.
So how is it the churches would not want to pay their taxes which go to the good of the majority of their own Country who provides them the very freedom they enjoy? How is it the churches would not want to pay their fair share to support our education, bridges, roads, military, famine and disaster relief? As a world power, why would the churches in the USA not want to pay their fair share of taxes and provide good for the world?
For the churches in the USA to reject paying taxes is to reject their own Country and all the good citizens therein. Paying taxes equals the playing field and sustains religeous support for freedom. Paying taxes does not suggest nor imply the Federal Government is directing or supporting any particular sect.
It is time for churches to accept responsibility, support their Country, its citizens and pay taxes.
They are feeding of the hard work of the poor and living the high life: first class travel; fancy clothes; best homes and food-- they are nothing but parasites who prey on the ignorance of the uneducated and the vulnerable.
1) I had an income of $16.2 billion in 2005.
2) I pay no tax in any country
3) I am the largest property owner in Australia. Probably the wealthiest property owner in the world!!!
4) I employ 150 000 people
5) I openly practice gender and religious discrimination and have been involved in other heinous crimes including child sex abuse
6) I own my own country and can make or break many political leaders.
YES …the Catholic Church
If the church wants to get involved in matters of the government, of course they should be taxed, just like everyone else. So much money goes to waste for keeping churches alive anyway, for something that exists only in their imagination. Church people, stop the hypocrisy already and pay your share, stop hiding behind an invisible man in the sky.
The Church should ABSOLUTELY pay taxes. Not only does the tax exemption force all taxpayers - even those who are in no way religious and oppose religious doctrines - to "support" religion, but it also gives an unfair PRIVILEGE to the Church. Because that's what the tax exemption is: simply a privilege, not a right.
1. The cost of government must be shared equally by all. Exempting churches from this is an act of discrimination
2. Churches have become a political entity, and a tax exemption could be seen as supporting those political ideas
3. Tax exemption for churches increases the amount of tax that others have to pay, as well as denying the government a valuable source of income
If churches remain tax exempt, we lose 83.5 billion dollars each year. There's no reason for churches to be tax free when there's citizens on welfare who live in small, poor houses that have to pay taxes. Not only that, our politicians are making decisions based off of their religion.
It seems we have a misunderstanding... The federal government DOES NOT subsidize churches in any way! None of your tax dollars are going towards churches, like so many seem to think. The churches are only exempt from taxes because they are non-profit organizations, which means that they are not working to make money. Churches are treated just like any other non-profit, it's not unfair and it's not against the First Amendment. It would be unfair to make them pay taxes while other non-profit organizations are tax exempt.
I am at a church where many members are pacifists. To tax the church would be to use their money (since it is the members who provide the financial contributions which make up the church's budget) to fund causes they do not support for religious reasons. That would place government above religion and, in effect, cause a violation of the first amendment.
Making Churches pay taxes would not only affect Churches but non-profit expenditures and others since they fall under the same category. Forcing non-profit organizations to pay taxes would also legally allow churches to be classified as business entities and have all of the same responsibilities without receiving any benefits whatsoever.
Don't get me wrong. I'm not saying the same old Separation of church and state baloney (the actual words separation of church and state are nowhere found in our constitution. They are words penned by thomas jefferson in personal letters). This goes against our second amendment of the freedom of religion. Here's why:
1) Churches are on an equal playing field as other non-profit organizations because of their tax-exempt 501c-3. These are Religious, Educational, Charitable, Scientific, Literary, Testing for Public Safety, to Foster National or International Amateur Sports Competition, or Prevention of Cruelty to Children or Animals Organizations. That means that your local women's shelter doesn't need to pay taxes, and your favorite "charity" like the american cancer society.
2) Being a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization directly limits the control that the government can have on how the organization is run.
3) If churches are stripped of their 501(c)(3) status, then the government can tell them and essentially force them to do and say what the government wants.
4) So it follows that taking away a 501(c)(3) tax exempt status from churches takes away the freedom of religion.
5) To all those who are not a part of any religion, this is still important because it limits certain freedoms of the people of the united states. If you were a person of faith, wouldn't you want to be able to choose which faith you want to believe in? Or would you be perfectly fine with the government forcing you to believe a certain way? Or for that matter, how would you feel them forcing you to be a person of faith? Limiting freedom is limiting freedom either way you look at it. Stripping constitutional freedoms away from any people group is a sign of a deteriorating and controlling government.
Separation of Church and State...Hmmmmmm...
America was founded on the basis that the government would not enforce of prohibit any type of religion. People, in America can practice any giving religion FREELY. The Catholic Church has a great deal of money, but that is not owned by the United States government. What is under the power of the government is the churches on our soil. Let me put it this way, my local Catholic Parish has just enough money to get by week to week. But let me tell you how much charity these churches do, it is astounding. Churches do more to help the needy than any other organization, including the government, why does that need to change?
No, the Christian Church, nor any other religious organization, should pay taxes in the United States. The reason that religious organizations do not pay taxes is due to the concept of the separation of church and state. To force religious organizations to pay taxes would be in violation of this concept.
Gathering at a church is like gathering at someone's back yard and listening to music and meditating. The money exchanging at church is like all of these people putting some money in a hat and giving that money to the local homeless guy. Do you really want to tax the money these people gathered on their weekend to give to the needy?
My church provides far more to the community than the government could receive in taxes. But for most churches they don't put that on billboards...It would be interesting to see the numbers...Anyone have an idea please email me firstname.lastname@example.org. I would be interested in seeing the numbers of what they think the federal government would receive and how much in charity churches give out to others.
Well, when it comes to this topic, it is stated that when this country was first established, they made it clear that church and state were two separate entities in their own right. So doing this would be completely unconstitutional. I'm not saying this doesn't need to be changed, but as of now it would be the wrong thing to do by constitutional standards.
I have to agree with what Cobo said. And not all churches are on TV...The money they get aside from keeping the building in one piece, goes to getting supplies such as food and clothes to people in need when there are not enough of those items donated. Also taking away money from the church essentially means less money for those who need it. And not everyone is forced to donate in church.