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End the Tax Deduction for Church Contributions

Discussion in 'Cesspool' started by Waquoit, Nov 27, 2012.

  1. SubbaBub

    SubbaBub A honked up experience

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    Once again the religious right is telling people what to do and crying oppression when they say no thanks.

    My closing the door (politely) when LDS shows up isn't religious discrimination and neither is taxing religious or other non profits. You can argue it's a bad idea, but it's not discrimination.

    I see no reason why the religibusinesses should not be taxed when they stray from the core rituals and practices of their particular faith. Anyone raising money for political activities shouldn't skate for free.

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  2. Waquoit

    Waquoit

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    That's not true. I compared giving to a church with paying country club dues. Country clubs are secular institutions. I remember when they occaisionally had two collections. The first was the regular collection, the second was for the Bishop's charity fund or for the retired nuns, something like that. I consider the first dues, the second charity.
     
  3. OneTrickPony

    OneTrickPony Fearless Spectator...

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    What do you think the role of religion(s) in society should be if not providing guidance in how to live morally and ethically driven lives? And what organ of society would replace religion in this role if it ceased to exist?
     
  4. OneTrickPony

    OneTrickPony Fearless Spectator...

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    Which government agency should make the decision as to which "core rituals and practices" are appropriate to each religion or religions in general?
     
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  5. Scalito

    Scalito Eeyore

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    Your comparison doesn't change the effect of your proposal because it is a faulty one. Charity is when you give something for nothing. Country club membership fees are part of a quid quo pro---payment in return for membership benefits. Charitable donations to churches (as opposed to payments in return for specific benefits) are not at all the same.

    Have you ever given to the UConnClub? It's a good illustration of the distinction the law draws. I donate money every year, and I get a tax deduction every year as result. However, my deduction is never dollar for dollar. It is only a fraction of my actual donation because the school rewards my largesse (points that give me favorable access to tickets, etc.). I could receive a dollar-for-dollar deduction, but to do so I would have to reject any and all incidental benefits from the school. Because I take the pro, my quid is not entirely charitable in the eyes of the law.

    Here's another example: When I paid a rabbi and pastor to perform my wedding ceremony, I didn't get to deduct the fees from my taxes. Because I received something from them in return for my payment. The payment was not something for nothing.
     
  6. Scalito

    Scalito Eeyore

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  7. Waquoit

    Waquoit

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    We'll agree to disagree. I don't see the distiction you are making. Clearly folks that give to and attend church are paying in return for benefits. If they didn't feel there was a benefit, they wouldn't go.
     
  8. SubbaBub

    SubbaBub A honked up experience

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    You're confusing religion with the church.

    If it involves the transfer of money to groups outside the church it should be taxable. Whatever the.church uses to.sustain itself and it's spiritual operations can be exempt. There is no constitutional protection against taxes.

    In fact, a strong argument van be made that exemption from taxes violates the establishment clause as gov't sponsorship of religion.

    Let the burden be on the church to prove which of it's activities are protected.

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  9. Druken Friar

    Druken Friar

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  10. RS9999X

    RS9999X There's no Dark Side .....it's all Dark.

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    It's survived the test several times in the court. The law is rooted in the Virginia squabbles and the use of taxes to re-establish a church (Anglican) and the disestablishment of others while commanding license fees and other forms of financial interest to preach and to perform other acts for the public good.

    The long held tradition is simple: taxation on a preachers income but not the property. Assessments can be made for sewers and other common services. Church business income can be taxed; donations can not. Religious Donations are treated like any other charity--if a homosexual group can declare itself a non-profit so can a church organization in opposition.

    The misnamed Human Rights Campaign (or HRC, the LGBT org not the UN Human Rights Commission the real HRC) is subject to the same laws as everyone else.

    Read below

    >> The Human Rights Campaign announced on Thursday that it has officially thrown its support behind President Obama in his bid for a second term at the White House.

    In a statement, HRC President Joe Solmonese said his organization endorsed Obama because of what the president accomplished for the LGBT community during his nearly two-and-a-half years in office.

    “President Obama has improved the lives of LGBT Americans more than any president in history,” Solmonese. “In 2008 we were promised change and profound change is what we got. More remains to be done and ensuring that President Obama is able to continue the forward momentum toward equality for another term is an absolute priority of the Human Rights Campaign.”<<
     
  11. RS9999X

    RS9999X There's no Dark Side .....it's all Dark.

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    Im San Francisco logic the HRC is protected by law and the churches should lose their exemption which I think was a point made early about this thread being an anti-church screed based on a political (and sexual) position and nothing more
     
  12. OneTrickPony

    OneTrickPony Fearless Spectator...

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    You either missed or adroitly avoided the point of my question...to wit, which government agency should be entrusted to adjudicate these issues...the IRS...a panel of theologians...or do we automatically litigate every instance...the question is just how do you propose to regulate religion (or individual Churches) in this country, Big Brother?
     
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  13. Druken Friar

    Druken Friar

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    Donations to the Human Rights Campaign are NOT tax deductible.
     
  14. RS9999X

    RS9999X There's no Dark Side .....it's all Dark.

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    HRC does have an educational and research "arm," the Human Rights Campaign Foundation (HRCF), a 501(c)(3) classification. Donations made to HRCF are tax-deductible and eligible for employer matching gift programs. Though they cannot qualify you for an HRC membership, they are put to efficient and effective use.
     
  15. Druken Friar

    Druken Friar

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    And it is not involved in political activities.
     
  16. RS9999X

    RS9999X There's no Dark Side .....it's all Dark.

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    In the smae manner the Catholic Church Charities aren't :)

    Here's one of their iPhone apps: "The Human Rights Campaign Foundation's Buying for Workplace Equality App is your guide to brands and products from businesses that support LGBT rights"

    Here's one fo teh foundations funded Initiatives.

    The HRC Religion and Faith Program

    The HRC Religion and Faith Program, which is changing the conversation about lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people and faith. The program amplifies the voices of clergy who support LGBT equality while also equipping and empowering people of faith to talk about LGBT issues from a religious perspective. It is committed to building a world where no one has to choose between their faith and their sexuality or gender identity.



    [​IMG]
    President Barack Obama delivers remarks at the Human Rights Campaign Gala at the Washington Convention Center in Washington, D.C. October 1, 2011. (Official White House Photo by Samantha Appleton)​

    Yesterday night, President Barack Obama gave a speech at the HRC Fundraising Dinner, entirely consisting of gays and lesbians. The crowd strongly applaud Obama when he mentioned the repeal of Don't Ask, Don't Tell.

    But the most electric reaction, however, came when Obama sharply criticized the GOP presidential candidates for staying silent when audience members at a debate booed a gay soldier who asked a question about DADT.
     
  17. Waquoit

    Waquoit

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    If the role of religion is "providing guidance in how to live morally and ethically driven lives", they've failed miserably. Actually, the first role of religion is, like corporations, to survive. That trumps all else. Is it moral to look the other way when a child is being molested? Yet that is what priests are required to do by their Holy Orders. If you look back over the years, forward progress in the moral and ethical issues of the day came from secular society not religions.
     
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  18. OneTrickPony

    OneTrickPony Fearless Spectator...

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    The first order for every being, corporate or otherwise, is survival...you can't fulfill your mission if you don't exist. I'm not sure what about this troubles you, but it's a good primary directive for you to adopt, as well...

    Catholic Holy Orders do not require that priests look the other way when children are molested. The Catholic Church hierarchy has failed miserably in this regard, to their eternal shame. Like the Inquisition and countless other failings, the Church is subject to all the weaknesses of the human beings that make it up...as all governing bodies are. I can tell you from my own first hand knowledge that the laity won't tolerate such behavior, and the Church hierarchy is having to adapt its 2,000 year-old feudal authority structure to render onto Caesar in this and other similar matters. If your standard is perfection, Mr. Waquoit, you must've had a very disappointing existence thus far...feet of clay appear to be de riguer on this mortal coil...

    You are right in that refinements to our moral and ethical processes emanate from quarters beyond religion...not exclusively...but to a great extent. The older an institution becomes and the larger it becomes...the turning radius increases geometrically. That is a welcome source of stability and a troubling source of inflexibility both. But religions are depositories of our collective wisdom with regard to ethics and morality, and they...unfortunately...have no secular equivalent. So even though the tension between religious orthodoxy and our rapidly evolving society seems inefficient...it still provides a solid foundation from which we can evolve.

    The fact that so few secular Progressives spend any time on moral and ethical issues has troubling implications.
     
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  19. RS9999X

    RS9999X There's no Dark Side .....it's all Dark.

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    It's my body and its my money. That's the new mantra which evolved from the "ME" generation.

    Make no mistake either, the churches had civilizing influences in schools and hospitals when the state provided none. The bans on abortion, prom, alcohol, Blue Laws, sodomy, etc were largely rooted in religion and religious morality
     
  20. Waquoit

    Waquoit

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    I think it's pretty presumptous of you to make such a declaration. In fact, it's downright haughty. I don't think that's true. If fact, I believe the opposite to be true. I know it is in my case.
     
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  21. Waquoit

    Waquoit

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    In fact, it does. Holy Orders requires priests to obey the dictates of their superiors. One of those dictates is to keep quiet about molestation. And that quip about perfection is just another of those red herrings (including ellipsis...) that give you such self-satisfaction. My standard is not perfection. However, what is perfection is the track record of priests and molestation. The last I heard, no priest has ever testified (or even spoken out) against a fellow molesting priest.
     
  22. OneTrickPony

    OneTrickPony Fearless Spectator...

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    I speak from my own experience...and in my conversations with secular Progressives, few seem willing to discuss moral and ethical issues...whether because of inability or reticence, I cannot say, but I do find it troubling whether you think it haughty or not. Perhaps you're the exception though, Mr. Waquoit...let's see.

    A common theme among secular Progressives is the Church's insistence on forcing their views regarding the sanctity of life on non-members. The debate doesn't hinge on moral and ethical considerations, because a woman's right to privacy renders the moral and ethical decision a personal one. But there is still a moral and ethical decision to be made. Please tell me your views on how sanctity of life decisions should be made and your moral and ethical justifications?
     
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  23. RS9999X

    RS9999X There's no Dark Side .....it's all Dark.

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    There's a group of 'Progressives' that likes to dismiss the entire Western Canon of Philosophy, Theology, Literature, Art, and Culture because it's all rooted in religion. Their genitals--Ahh!. That's the new reality! Rap a little about their genitals, make a YouTube video about their genitals, and get a degree in sports management and dismiss everything else in their controlled little world where only they are intelligent enough to dismiss everything else but their genitals.
    Male Connecticut Snookis.
     
  24. Waquoit

    Waquoit

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    Let's face it, when you say sanctity of life you mean abortion. And I believe it's up to the women to decide and no one else. Old and middle-aged men should have no say in the matter.
     
  25. OneTrickPony

    OneTrickPony Fearless Spectator...

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    Pointing out the imperfections of members of any group, as evidence of the failure of the group as a whole is simply stereotyping fueled bigotry that should curl the toes of any real Progressive. That you indulge in it with such vigor reveals much more about you than it does about the people you attack, Mr. Waquoit. If a conservative indulged in such a bigoted display of profiling, I can only imagine your haughty admonitions...

    I know priests personally that have left the Church over this issue, and others that remain within the Church working with lay groups to ensure that this scandal never recurs. There is nothing to suggest that the clergy is more afflicted than any other segment of society...but if you have some objective evidence please do show us.
     
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  26. OneTrickPony

    OneTrickPony Fearless Spectator...

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    That's fine Mr. Waquoit...but it begs the question about the moral and ethical issues surrounding that decision...are you really going to dodge this question so soon after offering yourself as exemplar of the moral and ethically-driven Progressive? I have yet to meet a Progressive that will entertain this discussion, so I can't say that I'll be surprised..perhaps only more presumptuous and haughty about the matter, in future.
     
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  27. OneTrickPony

    OneTrickPony Fearless Spectator...

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    Abortion is the best topic, but the answers you give on your moral and ethical views will also shed light on your feelings about things like euthanasia and eugenics...some of the slippery slopes Progressives have fallen down in past...
     
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  28. boba

    boba Somewhere around Barstow

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    Please inform this humble scholar as to the sects that Plato, Aristotle, Epicurus and Zeno belonged. I am under the apparently mistaken belief that various western religions co-opted the teachings of various irreligious scholars and incorporated them into their belief system. That is, these advantages you claim are not rooted in religion but rather grafted on to it.
     
  29. cohenzone

    cohenzone Old Member

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    It is when they introduce those beliefs into legislation that there is a problem. And your statement seems to assume that religious institutions always have the only correct definition of morality or that various religions have total agreement on whats okay. The fine church lady in Kansas who bakes pies and sells them at a function open to the public wouldn't be let out of her house unveiled in Saudi Arabia because she would be immodest. The idea that religions have some absolute moral truth is the kind of theory that bothers people like me who see the gross hypocrisy of a party that claims to respect individual privacy rights but wants to control probably the most individual and private things that humans possess. How many of these ethically, morality driven people drive gas guzzling cars at 20 miles over the speed limit? Isn't there a moral imperative there? How many of these morality driven people cheer when the needle is shoved into an arm in a death chamber? How many of that group thinks it is dandy when a guy who owns 3 houses and 6 cars thinks he has to lay off a few hundred or thousand people who take home a small fraction of what the mogul thinks he needs to live a proper human existence? Betcha that crowd includes lots of the ethical, moral bunch schooled in an interesting set of religious beliefs. Morality has many faces. If you want to talk about tax write- offs, fine, but holding religious institutions up as a great source of an objective morality in its adherents invites, let's say, an interesting and different discussion.
     
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  30. SubbaBub

    SubbaBub A honked up experience

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    I think it'd be fairly easy, they already need to be granted NP tax status as religious entities. All church income is taxable minus deductions for the rectory, chapel, employees, and other costs of the stated spiritual functions of the church. The shelter or soup kitchen can be a NP as a separate entity. Same for the school and hospital but under different rules. The TV network and funding for political activities, not so much.

    The alternative is to remove the tax exempt status completely. So long as it is not a tax directed solely at religious entities, it should pass Constitutional scrutiny from the strict constructionist on the Court.

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