It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.

Please white-list or disable AboveTopSecret.com in your ad-blocking tool.

Thank you.

 

Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.

 

1,500 Pastors Defy IRS Ban on Preaching Politics

page: 16
27
<< 13  14  15   >>

log in

join
share:

posted on Oct, 19 2014 @ 01:59 PM
link   

originally posted by: HillbillyHippie1
If you can tax anyone who has a political issue they wish to speak about, you might as well discard freedom of religion. A government or its people could make anything political, if they wanted too. Trying to tax religious organizations under the guise of the separation of church and state is the dumbest idea I have ever heard of, and only an idiot would not see it is meant to eradicate religious speech entirely.

If one wanted too, they could make the historicity of Jesus or reincarnation a political issue. Attempts to tax churches for their speech are merely attempts to create ground for making such things political to silence the religious. The religious see this, and the non-religious support it not having thought through the implications, for once the government clandestinely creates a religious group who speaks about what you want too, it will be taxed and have to government sanctioned as well.


You have it backward, we aren't creating any new tax, we already have taxes in the books that we apply to every one else.

They agreed to the terms of tax exempt status, and those terms clearly state that if you fail to follow these terms we will tax you. We didn't wake up and decide "Let's tax people for being religious!". It's not a war on religion, these aren't new taxes we want to create just for them, these are taxes they've avoided paying because they made an agreement. There are repercussions to breaking agreements.

Under this agreement you can speak out against homosexuality, but you can't say vote for candidate A! You can speak out against abortion, but you can't say vote for candidate A! You could talk all the values you want, but you can't turn your church into campaign headquarters for any politician.

Seems fair to me.




posted on Oct, 19 2014 @ 04:56 PM
link   

originally posted by: NavyDoc

originally posted by: Tangerine

originally posted by: infolurker

The best way to ensure that no one will read a long-winded rant is to post it in a thousand-word block of print with no paragraphs. Thank you for doing so.


There have been a lot of positions bantered about. Yours in particular would be?


I already stated my position which is that if ANY organization holding tax exempt status violates the rules they should lose their tax exempt status.



posted on Oct, 19 2014 @ 04:57 PM
link   

originally posted by: beezzer

originally posted by: windword
a reply to: beezzer

Hi Beez,




But I see many who would replace religion with government.


Can you explain, for me, the difference between governance and religion?



Religion is the formal structure of faith. It provides a moral foundation for society based on the instruction of the religious focus.

Government (governance) is the formation of a series of rules/laws based upon a geographical group of individuals.

Just off the top of my head, but I hope that it answered your question.


"(b)ased on the instruction of the religious focus". Hmmm. And who creates and enforces said "instruction" other than people in authority (ie. government)?



posted on Oct, 20 2014 @ 12:26 AM
link   
Here's my solution.


1) Churches, of any denomination, even the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster, are allowed to say what they want, promote any politician they want, bash any public figure they choose -- with the exception that they cannot promote/incite violence.

2) All churches are taxed on their revenue -- donations, revenue from non-worship operations, and investment income.

3) Churches can reduce the taxes they owe by spending on non-denominational community services, such as food/shelter for homeless, job reeducation for displaced, drug rehabilitation, sheltering battered women/children, building low-cost housing, building playgrounds, etc.


So if a typical mid-sized Baptist church in some mid-sized NY town makes $2 million a year, their taxes might be $400,000. If they spend $200,000 on community service, their taxes are $200,000. If they spend $400,000 on community service, their taxes are 0.



posted on Oct, 20 2014 @ 01:50 AM
link   

originally posted by: SkepticOverlord
Here's my solution.

DO IT.

I bowed out of this thread early because even as an atheist I can see a massive disconnect between making no political statements and being an institution that deals with morals, ethics, and principals. Such a take on it may also allow the potential for more secular / gnostic religious beliefs that don't necessarily have a sky daddy, physical body time sharing program, or claim to being every single thing at once.

Pinke for example would like to start the church of Christopher Walken, who reads good, does other things good, and gives things to homeless folks too. Instead of just being a joke at religious people, the church of Walken pays taxes unless it does piles of charity. That would be neat.



posted on Oct, 20 2014 @ 06:22 AM
link   
Ran across this on another thread although I am not sure if anyone has posted it to this one.

www.youtube.com...

in this video he is talking about God transferring the wealth from the ungodly to his godly followers. Okay bear in mind that the terms "godly" and ungodly" are kind of open to interpretation here. To some the "godly" that deserves this abundance of wealth could just be their favorite friends and buddies!

The downfall of our economy occurred on bush's watch (one of those that the religious right thought of as "godly" and deserving. Many people have since watched their savings dwindle and in some counties outright taken from them "to save the banks". There's been a massive transfer of wealth and when you take the real inflation that is present well it makes it much worse. Add the real inflation rate with the 0% interest rate and well us ordinary savers who just put our money into the bank are having our wealth transferred more and more every month!
And well who is really benefiting from this transfer is the question. I am not talking about the cheap cellphones or $100 dolllars of food stamps more people are getting here. Who earned the money for designing the obamacare site? who heads the banks that are receiving the bulk of the money because many are not getting much at all? who is heading the main companies that are being stimulated from war and those shovel ready projects? Who's running those companies who went into business as "charities" and are now providing assistance to people as they apply for the many welfare programs? Who's had their lifestyle enchanced through the economic crash?
Just wondering here... are they the "Godly and deserving"?
IF so then
Theft and Fraud have no place with God!!!



posted on Oct, 20 2014 @ 07:01 AM
link   

originally posted by: Chronogoblin

originally posted by: Krazysh0t

So is it ok to take away their tax exempt status then? I don't serve any master. Master implies slavery.


You want my opinion? NO ONE SHOULD BE TAX EXEMPT. Especially the corporations of the World, paying little to NOTHING in taxes every year. Please don't mistake my faith for naivete, I am a realist at heart. No church should ask for a tithe, the pastor/priest should work a regular job, and give sermons too. If I, or anyone else, can work and still get to church, then they can as well.


Well we don't live in a world like that do we? Sometimes you have to be able to divide reality from idealism. In this reality entities pay taxes to fund the government. And the tax laws in this country say that in order for a church to be exempt from those taxes they can't preach politics during a sermon.


As for the slave thing, yeah... just try to leave. Try to leave it all behind, leave your money, your debt, and all your responsibilities behind. Can't? Right. Yeah, I think we are all slaves to something.


I COULD do it. I don't know about you. Dropping off the grid isn't hard if you know how to survive alone. I currently don't want to do it, but it's not like it would be impossible. It's just a matter of willpower over comfort.



posted on Oct, 20 2014 @ 07:09 AM
link   

originally posted by: OccamsRazor04
First of all that is taxes paid by PEOPLE, not a church. Last I checked people who belong to a church pay taxes still. Maybe you can show me what church has members that are exempt from taxation?


You are missing my point altogether. Those biblical quotes show that Jesus advocating 'paying Caesar what is his.' Now, I'd be the first to say that our tax system is screwed all to hell and overburdensome, and I would honestly argue that businesses--churches included--should not have to pay taxes because, in my view, it's double taxation.

BUT, since we live under such a burdensome tax code that has random, arbitrary tax breaks that both permeate but are inconsistent throughout the system, if churches do no want to adhere to the rules that govern what a tax-free organization must abide by--in this instance, bringing politics into the building--then they are choosing to be subject to a different tax rule altogether and should pay the taxes.

Religion has become big business, and if that big business wants to become partly political, that's its choice, but it comes with consequences.

And keep in mind, the tax that Jesus paid for him and Peter was a Temple Tax, not an income tax. It's completely different, and more inline with my point than your rebuttal, as a tax on a church would be paid from members' tithes, so it would come from the individuals, but just paid once by the church instead of millions of times by individuals.



posted on Oct, 20 2014 @ 07:42 AM
link   
a reply to: SkepticOverlord


The church was never intended to find any societal justification in its charity work. That was something they just did anyway. Now it defines them in many eyes.

They cannot maintain their constitutional position, no law inhibiting the free exercise thereof, if they are bound to any government agency or revenue stogies. The constitution would have to be changed and in this case the very Bill of Rights.



posted on Oct, 20 2014 @ 08:56 AM
link   

originally posted by: Krazysh0t

originally posted by: Chronogoblin

originally posted by: Krazysh0t

So is it ok to take away their tax exempt status then? I don't serve any master. Master implies slavery.


You want my opinion? NO ONE SHOULD BE TAX EXEMPT. Especially the corporations of the World, paying little to NOTHING in taxes every year. Please don't mistake my faith for naivete, I am a realist at heart. No church should ask for a tithe, the pastor/priest should work a regular job, and give sermons too. If I, or anyone else, can work and still get to church, then they can as well.


Well we don't live in a world like that do we? Sometimes you have to be able to divide reality from idealism. In this reality entities pay taxes to fund the government. And the tax laws in this country say that in order for a church to be exempt from those taxes they can't preach politics during a sermon.


As for the slave thing, yeah... just try to leave. Try to leave it all behind, leave your money, your debt, and all your responsibilities behind. Can't? Right. Yeah, I think we are all slaves to something.


I COULD do it. I don't know about you. Dropping off the grid isn't hard if you know how to survive alone. I currently don't want to do it, but it's not like it would be impossible. It's just a matter of willpower over comfort.


But therein lies the problem. Any sermon that talks about values could be construed as political depending one who is doing the "monitoring" and it can be pretty subjective. Pretty much every political issue does have a "moral" element to it, be it abortion or the Gulf War or the environment and there are many churches on both sides of many of these issues and "political preaching" would be very subjective and the government's monitoring of it could be rife for political abuse and favoritism. A violation would have to be something very specific--such as endorsing a political candidate, otherwise the law would just degenerate into yet another partisan joke.



posted on Oct, 20 2014 @ 08:58 AM
link   

originally posted by: Pinke

originally posted by: SkepticOverlord
Here's my solution.

DO IT.

I bowed out of this thread early because even as an atheist I can see a massive disconnect between making no political statements and being an institution that deals with morals, ethics, and principals. Such a take on it may also allow the potential for more secular / gnostic religious beliefs that don't necessarily have a sky daddy, physical body time sharing program, or claim to being every single thing at once.

Pinke for example would like to start the church of Christopher Walken, who reads good, does other things good, and gives things to homeless folks too. Instead of just being a joke at religious people, the church of Walken pays taxes unless it does piles of charity. That would be neat.


AS long as there is more cowbell.

I agree, there should be no tax exempt organizations. Every organization, religious or secular, should be taxed and then simply deduct what they really use for charity from their taxes. That is what I have to do as an individual, so why shouldn't they?



posted on Oct, 20 2014 @ 09:02 AM
link   

originally posted by: Gryphon66

originally posted by: beezzer

originally posted by: Gryphon66
a reply to: beezzer

Government and religion were the same thing for most of human history.

There certainly are many who want to recombine the two; but that is anathematic to the American way.



I agree.

But I see many who would replace religion with government.


I don't disagree.

But I see many who would replace government with religion.

That doesn't make me sleep any better at night; how about you?


I have to agree. I've given up with religion. I certainly don't want it to replace religion and have yet another religion (government worship) shoved down my gullet--which is why I am for less intrusive and a strictly regulated government. Well put.



posted on Oct, 20 2014 @ 09:02 AM
link   
a reply to: NavyDoc

Well I'm sure that is why the government, for the most part, has been very hands off in its approach to monitoring it. It's not like there is a special agency tasked with sending agents out to monitor sermons in random churches around the country. But it most certainly can be done if the churches keep abusing their obligations.

While moral issues such as abortion or war could be hard to argue as being politically driven, telling your congregation so to vote for and who not to vote for very much IS being political. So at the very least, we can start there.

Oh and one more thing, if the church wants to just avoid having this problem, it is more than free to just pay taxes. Again this is a PRIVILEGE we extend to churches, NOT a right.



posted on Oct, 20 2014 @ 08:43 PM
link   

originally posted by: Logarock
a reply to: SkepticOverlord


The church was never intended to find any societal justification in its charity work. That was something they just did anyway. Now it defines them in many eyes.

They cannot maintain their constitutional position, no law inhibiting the free exercise thereof, if they are bound to any government agency or revenue stogies. The constitution would have to be changed and in this case the very Bill of Rights.



I have no idea why some people think the bill of rights is some holy, infallible doctrine which is actually even required.

Change if need be.



posted on Oct, 20 2014 @ 08:48 PM
link   
Any pastor that preaches politics should lose their tax exempt status as per the law, and probably their status as a pastor with the Catholic Church too.

Preaching politics at Church is an absolute no-no, both with the Catholic Church and the IRS.



posted on Oct, 20 2014 @ 08:50 PM
link   

originally posted by: babybunnies
Any pastor that preaches politics should lose their tax exempt status as per the law, and probably their status as a pastor with the Catholic Church too.

Preaching politics at Church is an absolute no-no, both with the Catholic Church and the IRS.


Case in point?




posted on Oct, 20 2014 @ 11:31 PM
link   
a reply to: beezzer

I had to watch that again. There is no politicking in that sermon. He's condemning all governments, and he list them, Rome, England, Japan, Germany and America. He doesn't tell anyone who to vote for, or who not to vote for. You may not like what he said, but he didn't violate any regulation by preaching that sermon.



posted on Oct, 21 2014 @ 04:56 AM
link   
Wright isn't a catholic preacher and I'd be surprised if there is much political preaching within the catholic church.. It's some of the other groups doing the preaching.



new topics

top topics



 
27
<< 13  14  15   >>

log in

join