Opinion Question
Argument
Posted by: osei

Do you like discrimination?

  The tax code is written specifically for ANY organization meeting certain criteria to be a tax free enterprise as non-profit organizations. Many of the fledgling atheist organization are taking advantage of the same processes, as are many charitable and other not-for-profit organizations. If the only reason you would deny this status is for religious organizations - welcome to bigotry. You'll have a dandy of a time convincing anyone that such a selective exclusion should apply ONLY to religious organizations because of .. Agh, accusations of deceit? Its a process that would never survive a court challenge and a complete waste of time. It's just one more thing that a growing militancy in atheism has managed to get wrong. And remember atheists, the more you attack thing under false pretenses and exclusionary standards, the more you invite a response. Eventually, there will be push back.
TrustmeImlying says2014-03-28T21:32:41.363
"Do you like discrimination?"

It's discrimination that churches specifically get a unique tax-break that are different from even non-profit and non-for-profit. Non-profits still have to answer and report to the government, and aren't automatically given autonomy and tax exemption like churches are.

I support the freedom of religion, and would fight to preserve it. However, this is the government giving preference to religious organizations, which is a violation of church and state.

"And remember atheists, the more you attack thing under false pretenses and exclusionary standards..."

That's more of the churches gig, they've perfected it to an artform. (An art of which is spreading tax-free of course)

"...The more you invite a response. Eventually, there will be a push back."

Religion has been pushing itself onto the rest of the world for thousands of years, I wouldn't expect the tried and true tactic to change now.

All generalized and vaguely threatening statements aside, the church isn't held as accountable as non-profits. This places the church under special circumstances, (exclusionary standards, as you call them) and shouldn't be allowed.
neutral says2014-03-29T05:37:54.443
Its not specific to churches.

Its a non-profit tax code. The only exclusion here is the atheistic attempt to remove tat protection JUST from churches. And that is discrimination.

Please bear in mind that the new 'atheist' organizations, like American Atheists, use this EXACT SAME TAX CODE - and they arguably do a hell of lot less charitable work ... Unless you consider hijacking the Christmas display in San Diego to block Christmas displays to be an act of charity?

Religion is a part of the world, and this emotional presentation of it as aggressive and somehow victimizing people is setting atheism up for a fight. That is it.

The Establishment Clause allows people to freely explore faith's of all kinds, and ow that makes it aggressive? How that means religious people alone should not be able to form organizations that are not for profit and get tax exemptions?

That is simple prejudice brother.

No one denies you your atheism. You are very much attempting to strip away equality from religious people. That is action that over time will only breed strife.

Please look at history, and see what has resulted when people deliberately pick a fight with religion. Has it EVER gone well?

It might make more sense to ACTUALLY falsify the religion, correct? Like Christians did with Rome's Pagan Gods? Perhaps, but atheism isn't being very successful on that count is it?
Yoshi says2014-03-29T17:39:20.497
"Many of the fledgling atheist organization are taking advantage of the same processes"

Give us one example? Note that Churches own land and don't pay for power, water so on.
neutral says2014-03-30T07:10:59.103
American Atheists.

And what planet are you on where you could honestly state that churches don't pay for the land they are on or the utilities they use? Are you serious? Are you actually seriously making that claim? Am I conveying the sense of total shock at the sheer ignorance of that claim?

Where did you even come across such a ludicrous belief?

The non-profit tax exemptions apply to ALL NON-PROFIT organizations that file for and receive the exception. Because there is this establish clause thing, the criteria is NON-RELIGIOUS in nature. You attempt to make it exclusionary based solely on religion is discrimination.

And discrimination and base ignorance are a horrible basis for policy.
TrustmeImlying says2014-03-31T14:04:44.970
"Its not specific to churches."

The tax code itself isn't. However there are rules set in place, such as in section 7611 of the tax code, that are especially designed for churches (and greatly in their favor). The IRS even calls this "Special Rules Limiting IRS Authority to Audit a Church". These rules can only be enforced from the highest levels of the treasury with written proof of fraudulent activity.

"Its a non-profit tax code. The only exclusion here is the atheistic attempt to remove tat protection JUST from churches. And that is discrimination."

Despite the amusing use of discrimination in your sentence denouncing it, you'd still be correct. If anyone wanted to remove tax-exemption for anything simply because they don't like what is being spread, that may well be discrimination. However, this is not the case.

"Please bear in mind that the new 'atheist' organizations, like American Atheists, use this EXACT SAME TAX CODE - and they arguably do a hell of lot less charitable work"

Yeah, I mean, who's ever heard of:

The ACLU
Amnesty International
Doctors Without Borders
Donorschoose.Org
EWB Canada
EWB USA
Goodwill Industries
Kiva.Org
Oxfam
The Natural Conservancy
Population Connection
Rotary/Rotary International
The SEED Foundation
Union of Concerned Scientists
The UN Children's Fund
The Wheelchair Foundation
Planned Parenthood
NARAL
Engender Health
GLAAD
Lambda
NEA
The National Center for Science and Education
And many many many more.

Unlike some people believe, religion has nothing close to a monopoly on charity. And these organizations won't even hold their support hostage until you pray with them, they'll just help.

"Religion is a part of the world, and this emotional presentation of it as aggressive and somehow victimizing people is setting atheism up for a fight. That is it. "

There may be many who approach the concept of religion with emotional negativity (or positivity), however this a fallacious approach, and the vast majority come to this conclusion with a sober and objective mind. That is it.

"The Establishment Clause allows people to freely explore faith's of all kinds"

To which I would openly support, as I mentioned above.

"and ow that makes it aggressive?"

I never claimed the 1st amendment made religion aggressive.

"How that means religious people alone should not be able to form organizations that are not for profit and get tax exemptions?"

I've never made the claim that the religious should be singled out, or that they alone should be denied tax-exemption status.

"That is simple prejudice brother."

I agree.

"No one denies you your atheism."

I live in the deep south, people try to deny me my atheism all the time. Sometimes by ostracizing me, like my family and friends. Sometimes through threat of violence. And the most common threat of hell for rejecting the notion of complete and total compliance with someone elses unwavering faith.

"You are very much attempting to strip away equality from religious people."

No, I'm demanding equality. Stripping equality away would be attempting unfair audits, or higher taxes on churches. (similar to sin taxes levied by the "moral majority")

"Please look at history, and see what has resulted when people deliberately pick a fight with religion. Has it EVER gone well?"

This would only help to point out religions intolerance to outside influence. Sometimes "picking a fight" is simply pointing out logical conclusions that religion has gotten overtly wrong, or challenging the moral absolutism of the religion. Regardless of our chances of success at challenging an absolute system based off of flawed logic and dogma, as compassionate humans we should challenge any institution that would peddle such dangerous notions.

"It might make more sense to ACTUALLY falsify the religion, correct? Like Christians did with Rome's Pagan Gods? Perhaps, but atheism isn't being very successful on that count is it?"

You can't logically falsify something that is in a vacuum of emotion and faith. The Christians didn't "falsify" pagans, (as there are plenty still around) they simply beat them into submission. A tactic that Atheists have historically held back from.

By the way, atheists are highly successful at falsifying religion, when the religious are open-minded, that is.

If atheism was considered a religion, (which it isn't, but you may see it that way) it would be growing faster, statistically, than all other religions combined. In fact, in the past 5 years, atheism has grown 25%.

This is besides the point, however, as we're simply discussing the question of if the church should be taxed, and why.
neutral says2014-03-31T15:45:23.993
You may want to check your own source:
(2) Reasonable belief requirements
The requirements of this paragraph are met with respect to any church tax inquiry if an appropriate high-level Treasury official reasonably believes (on the basis of facts and circumstances recorded in writing) that the church—
(A) may not be exempt, by reason of its status as a church, from tax under section 501 (a), or
(B) may be carrying on an unrelated trade or business (within the meaning of section 513) or otherwise engaged in activities subject to taxation under this title.

In short, you cannot investigate a church to REMOVE ITS TAX EXEMPT STATUS unless you have legitimate grounds for believing its violated its non-profit status.

That code appears to be written specifically to prevent people who started this forum for carrying our their prejudice to exclude based solely on a church being a church.

There are plenty of tax codes that offer specific benefits to MANY DIFFERENT types of non-profit organizations. And by going through an highlighting only those specific to the one kind or organization you dislike? We see the problem of unifocuses discrimination.

You shouldn't by the way be denying this adamantly without evidence and based solely on emotion either.

And sure as hell should not be seeking desperately to undermine the Establishment Clause of Constitution.
TrustmeImlying says2014-03-31T16:57:30.243
"In short, you cannot investigate a church to REMOVE ITS TAX EXEMPT STATUS unless you have legitimate grounds for believing its violated its non-profit status. "

I wasn't suggesting you could use the code to remove tax exemption, I was simply countering your point that churches do no receive special care in regards to the tax code, which they evidently do.

"And by going through an highlighting only those specific to the one kind or organization you dislike? We see the problem of unifocuses discrimination."

You've mentioned discrimination several times in our few interactions, but you fail to realize that we're discussing the singular topic of churches tax exemption.

By focusing on the topic of the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki have I denied all the other bombings in the world? No.

Attempting to obfuscate the conversation with a bias understanding of how I may think will not help move the discussion along.

To answer your point - ANY organization that gets exclusive treatment based on public favor or preference through power I would call into question. The church get's exclusionary treatment because it's a church, not because of how it operates or what it provides, but the fact that the preferential treatment is inherent in it's religious affiliation.

"You shouldn't by the way be denying this adamantly without evidence and based solely on emotion either."

I've made no claims from a place of emotion, I claim that the government provides preferential treatment to churches in the form of tax exemption. If you'd like further reasons why I believe this, more detailed descriptions can be read on the "Yes" side below my name.

And further, I'm not "adamantly" denying anything. This is a credit to my point that the religious deem simply questioning or denial of their absolute thinking as "attacking" religion. I simply state my point, and you claim to know my intentions, and how passionate I am about them, both of which are fallacious and deceitful.

"And sure as hell should not be seeking desperately to undermine the Establishment Clause of Constitution."

Comments like these that keep appearing in your statements should imply who's truly coming from a place of emotion. While my grammar and lack of swearing has remained constant, yours is declining as the conversation goes on.

You make fallacious statements and attempt to obfuscate the conversation, with overt bias to what I may or may not believe.

You HAVE, however, disregarded my list of non-religious affiliations that act to make the world a better place. You have not approached my counter-points.

You have also left out your claims that Christians "falsified" Pagans (and what that even means), and why they're still around if this is indeed the case.

You have also left out your counter to the incorrect claim that Atheists are on the losing end of being able to "falsify" Christianity. Making this claim despite the fact that while Christianity shrinks worldwide, Atheism grows faster than all religions together. Am I to assume we've concluded these claims in my favor?

As you so aptly put it, you shouldn't be denying this adamantly without evidence and based solely on emotion.

If we're going to play tennis, let's play it with the net up - no matter who's serving.
neutral says2014-03-31T17:11:13.103
Avoiding discrimination is not special treatment, is it?

And yes, when you attack someone's faith, attempt to place it in a discriminatory position and deny it both respect and equality (a decidedly emotional action), you will get people riled up.

Tell me? Why are you more worried about the tax status of churches rather than say ... 501c organizations, who appear to be violating the premise of the exemption writ large? Undermining our democracy? Corrupting the political process? Providing undue influence and access to the rich?

Why do you think the NFL should be tax exempt? But not churches?

Tell me, why are you not concerned with social and recreational club tax exemptions? 501c6? Agricultural subsidies?

No, the entire point of your campaign here is to remove religious exemption merely because they are religious with not a single sentence addressing the cost and benefits of doing so. Just the mewling case that it is not fair ... Until we actually examine the tax code ... And find its hardly unusual at all.

Your biggest complaint in the code is that there is a tax code that prevents you from doing exactly what you are attempting to do ... Attempt to strip a non-profit organization of its exemption MERELY because its religious.

That is called prejudice. You can call it an emotional reaction, but people subjected to naked prejudice generally tend to get upset by it when it happens.

Stop being prejudiced, and viola, the anger god sway. Shocking logical isn't it?
TrustmeImlying says2014-03-31T17:53:06.793
"And yes, when you attack someone's faith, attempt to place it in a discriminatory position and deny it both respect and equality (a decidedly emotional action), you will get people riled up. "

Incorrect, and blatantly fallacious. You make a post on an opinion piece labeled "should the church be taxed" and claim that because I disagree I'm being "emotional" and deny respect and equality. (of which you demonstrably deny me from an admittedly emotional standpoint.)

You work towards my (evident) point that you're simply making ad hominem attacks and steering the course of the conversation wildly away from established points, because you have no counters.

"Tell me? Why are you more worried about the tax status of churches rather than say ... 501c organizations, who appear to be violating the premise of the exemption writ large?"

Because we're not on an opinion poll discussing Credit Unions, insurance companies, or cemeteries. We're specifically discussing the church, (of which is a 501C, by the way).

If you bring me evidence on the proper forum that a non-profit is violating their conditions I'd probably agree with you. But like the points I made in regards to bombing, which you entirely ignored or missed, just because I don't explicitly discuss something else, doesn't mean that I'm automatically in support of it. This circling back to your wildly incorrect assumptions that only serve to distract us from the point, which is the church.

"Why do you think the NFL should be tax exempt? But not churches?"

I have never made this claim. It's possible I've never made this claim in my entire life, in fact, and it only serves to prove my point at your desire to avoid my points because you have none to give in return.

"Tell me, why are you not concerned with social and recreational club tax exemptions? 501c6? Agricultural subsidies?"

I'm concerned with many things, none of which will I allow you to use to strong arm this conversation away from it's inevitable conclusion. The conclusion of which has nothing to do with a farmer being able to buy a John Deere tractor tax free.

"No, the entire point of your campaign here is to remove religious exemption merely because they are religious with not a single sentence addressing the cost and benefits of doing so."

I have no campaign, only an opinion that an entity that makes such a gross amount of money shouldn't be considered a charitable organization, and should pay taxes like any other business. I have provided my reasons, of which you either ignore, avoid, or start talking about the NFL or farming in a desperate attempt to change the subject.

"Until we actually examine the tax code ... And find its hardly unusual at all."

The exact problem is that it's usual. I've made no claims that it's a rarity. (More of your words falsely suggesting claims I make)

"Your biggest complaint in the code is that there is a tax code that prevents you from doing exactly what you are attempting to do ... Attempt to strip a non-profit organization of its exemption MERELY because its religious."

Incorrect. I seek a tax code that doesn't exempt religious entities simply because they're religious. I want no positive or negative action taken against religious organizations. Currently there are advantages, and I want them equaled out.

"That is called prejudice."

You have no concept of the word, and amusingly keep using it in almost every sentence against me.

"You can call it an emotional reaction, but people subjected to naked prejudice generally tend to get upset by it when it happens."

I suspect you're emotional because you've been faced with cognitive dissonance. You know you're incorrect, and you haven't a leg to stand on. You've been rude and presumptuous, and poorly worded and quick to temper. While I may have thrown in a light jab in response to a tragically close-minded statement you've made huge leaps in logic, you've outright lied, made false claims, twisted my words, and used a handful of fallacies to try and scramble away from the topic. (Hardly an equal tactical response)

I suspect you will attempt to rationalize your world until it is in compliance with what you desire it to be. Unlike you, however, I respect my opponent enough to allow them to save face. A gracious offer of which you not only refuse, but eagerly disregard with every statement made.

"Stop being prejudiced, and viola, the anger god sway. Shocking logical isn't it?"

I just wanted this quote to be here to help prove my point. Look upon it and see that it is good. (For so many reasons)

Also, you failed to counter any of my points to your initial response. They all stand uncontested, if you do it again, we'll move on from them in the assumption that you cannot challenge them and concede.
neutral says2014-04-01T07:03:53.880
Actually, I went with your very first point and countered it.

I have subsequently demonstrated how the fixation is ... Zealoteous, rather than an actual disagreement with 'unfair' taxes.

You have yet to acknowledge that there are many tax codes that are clearly damaging and certainly unfair. You have completely avoided the general claim, that non-profits organization (including atheist ones) get the same treatment.

You BIGGEST and primary concern, which you claim I am avoiding, is a tax code that prevents churches from being 'audited' merely because they are religious. Wise corporations acknowledge the constitutionality of the Establishment Clause and write POLICY to ensure that it is adhered to ... Especially when, as both this poll, and your fixation on religious institution, strongly indicates there are those who would indeed seek to use the tax audit process to attack faiths they disagree with.

You think the ground zero mosque might have had people attempt that tact?

What is curiously absent your lineage of victimization, is any actual halt from this 'unfair policy'. Seriously, who is hurt by needing evidence of wrong doing to initiate an audit?

The answer is no one.

There are far more pressing and serious issues with the US tax code, corporate hand outs that have eviscerated the middle class, 501c political groups undermining facts based democracy, pop immediately into mind.

Ergo, there is a certain point at which this intractable focus on religion, while hurling accusations of mental health issues mine you, rather clearly becomes something that is not tied to anything remotely like 'tax fairness'.

Its just an attack on our faith because we have faith and our PROTECTED choice for some reason pisses you off? OK? Well, there is a point at which you will simply be told to bugger off.

You can rationalize that as an appeal to emotion, but the simple reality is that it is the natural human reaction to a single minded pursuit of a personal issue that is simply not justified within the framework you are making - this is clearly NOT about tax fairness.

Its about an atheist desire to attack religion ... And that is what the tax code specifically, and correctly, bars. Taxes should not be a weapon for a person to attack and bring down and organization they disagree with.

This that keep pushing for it anyway? Who ignore reason and rationality to stop? Well, the real response will come if you somehow manage to convince enough people that this is a good idea. Not only will there be a reasoned rebuttal, but those who signed up for the policy will likely be shredded by the angry electorate who views an elected official unable to withstand the pressures of a group of zealots as too weak to be holding office.

That is the reality.

Its no different than what atheists did in San Diego, where they rigged the system to block the traditional Christmas display and put up a bunch of atheist propaganda instead. The result was predictable backlash. A back lash that both they, and you, are clearly blind of.

And the only thing that can blind someone to consequences that are obvious to others? Its bias and prejudice.
TrustmeImlying says2014-04-01T13:41:51.907
"Actually, I went with your very first point and countered it."

You've counter nothing and make weak attempts to change the subject in your desperation.

"I have subsequently demonstrated how the fixation is ... Zealoteous, rather than an actual disagreement with 'unfair' taxes."

You suggested with contrary evidence to your claim that they are fair, and countered none of my points while you were at it.

"You have yet to acknowledge that there are many tax codes that are clearly damaging and certainly unfair. You have completely avoided the general claim, that non-profits organization (including atheist ones) get the same treatment."

I'm losing track of how many claims you've made in my place, and how many times you've tried to deflect the conversation with other topics. If we were discussing any other non-profit, than that would be the topic of discussion, however we're not.

"You BIGGEST and primary concern..."

My concern in reference to this topic.

"...Which you claim I am avoiding..."

Which you are, and continue to try to do.

"Wise corporations acknowledge the constitutionality of the Establishment Clause and write POLICY to ensure that it is adhered to ..."

Except the church, who is exempt from such concerns unfairly.

"Especially when, as both this poll, and your fixation on religious institution, strongly indicates there are those who would indeed seek to use the tax audit process to attack faiths they disagree with."

You complaining that our focus is taxing the church on this poll makes as much sense as you complaining that everyone is talking about history in a WWII museum. You can't walk into a topic of discussion, try to yank the topic away because you fail at conversation, and get mad when your obvious attempt at deflection doesn't work and claim we're "fixated".

"Seriously, who is hurt by needing evidence of wrong doing to initiate an audit?

The answer is no one."

I've never made the claim that there was a victimized party left in the wake of an audit requiring evidence. My singular point is that churches get special permissions simply because they're churches, which is wrong.

"There are far more pressing and serious issues with the US tax code, corporate hand outs that have eviscerated the middle class, 501c political groups undermining facts based democracy, pop immediately into mind."

Feel free to create a poll on the matter. I will not let you steer this one off course.

"Its just an attack on our faith because we have faith and our PROTECTED choice for some reason pisses you off? OK? Well, there is a point at which you will simply be told to bugger off."

This is a blatantly false and ignorant statement, but at least you're consistent.

"You can rationalize that as an appeal to emotion, but the simple reality is that it is the natural human reaction to a single minded pursuit of a personal issue that is simply not justified within the framework you are making - this is clearly NOT about tax fairness."

The title is "Should the church be taxed" my response was stating that it should because I believe it would create a foundation of tax fairness. You're the singular person who can't grasp this.

"Its about an atheist desire to attack religion ..."

No, it's about tax fairness.

"Taxes should not be a weapon for a person to attack and bring down and organization they disagree with. "

Absolutely correct.

"Not only will there be a reasoned rebuttal, but those who signed up for the policy will likely be shredded by the angry electorate who views an elected official unable to withstand the pressures of a group of zealots as too weak to be holding office."

Isn't it funny you wield the threat of controlling politics, (of which you do with great amounts of money) with the very money you claim the church ISN'T getting from tax breaks?

"That is the reality."

*You're fantasy.

"Its no different than what atheists did in San Diego, where they rigged the system to block the traditional Christmas display and put up a bunch of atheist propaganda instead."

Yes, as long as the law is in your favor it's fair, but when it's equal and someone petitions to (rightly) have a singular religious holiday removed, it's a "rigged system".

Funny how that works.

"And the only thing that can blind someone to consequences that are obvious to others? Its bias and prejudice."

Amen, brother. I wish you could see how right you are.
neutral says2014-04-01T13:58:33.307
Right, I've been countering your points, and your rebuttal is that I a not - gotcha.

And really, as YOU attempt to strip away 'unfair' taxes based on THAT reasoning, I am sure that it'll be me that has to face the righteous wrath of atheists here ... Because THEY get to keep their non-profit tax incentives, but we must give our up ... Paying no attention to the level playing field of the non-profit industry in general.

Yet, I am sure there is about to be a veritable riot unless we strop this away immediately.

Bonkers.
TrustmeImlying says2014-04-01T14:31:37.890
"Right, I've been countering your points, and your rebuttal is that I a not - gotcha."

You've countered nothing, and the last part of this sentence makes no sense.

"I am sure that it'll be me that has to face the righteous wrath of atheists here"

Righteousness is a theological concept of which atheists do not posses. You know nothing of atheism, but today you learned a little bit.

"Because THEY get to keep their non-profit tax incentives, but we must give our up ..."

"Atheist" or secular non-profit organizations don't make billions a year because they're non-profit. Churches make billions a year under the guise of a non-profit organization, and should be held financially accountable at the very least, and treated like a business at most.

"Yet, I am sure there is about to be a veritable riot unless we strop this away immediately."

You've nothing else to add, I'll consider this your conclusion after several rounds of false claims, twisted words, fallacious statements, and allowing my points to remain uncontested.
Leave a comment...
(Maximum 900 words)

By using this site, you agree to our Privacy Policy and our Terms of Use.