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Religious Tax Exemption and Christians who openly claim their faith is Not a Religion.

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posted on Apr, 25 2012 @ 11:33 PM
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It's well known that the US and some other countries consider religion, and it's various organizations and churches as untaxed.
atheism.about.com...

Apparently this is so because religious groups are seen as charitable and a benefit to society, and the convention stretches back to the first settlements.

Certain religious groups and cults even came to the US in order to gain tax-free status (for example Rajneesh, who always denied founding a religion in India, but claimed his sect was religious after re-locating to the US), and others re-labelled therapy groups as religions, and get very upset when the religious nature of the organization is challenged, like Scientology.

However, for a while it has become apparent that some Christian groups openly preach (including on television and ATS) that their brand of Christianity is NOT a religion.
It's a personal relationship with Christ or something to that effect, but it is succinctly described as NOT a religion.

Now, how is a religion defined?
What do they mean when they say they are not a religion?
Perhaps they mean they just want to drop some selective traditions and baggage, but at the core they really still are religious?

Nevertheless, shouldn't any church or sect that openly denies that they are a religion lose their tax-exempt status?
edit on 25-4-2012 by halfoldman because: (no reason given)




posted on Apr, 25 2012 @ 11:37 PM
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reply to post by halfoldman
 


A Christian who preaches on the weekends here and I couldn't care one bit about tax exemption. There are many churches that won't even give you a receipt to declare it on your taxes. As for whether or not it is a religion? The definition you should be looking for is the one in the tax code not from Christian churches that believe we should have an individual relationship with God.



posted on Apr, 25 2012 @ 11:46 PM
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Here is one clip that clearly says Christianity is not a religion.
Indeed, their interpretation regards Jesus as destroying religion.



While I'm sure there are churches or groups who don't seek tax exemption, I'm far from convinced that the larger groups who spread this idea to delineate themselves from other Christians are untaxed.



posted on Apr, 25 2012 @ 11:50 PM
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The way I see it, they're community organizations and "tithing" is just making donations to the club. Heck, you can even go to church without paying tithes, so it doesn't even count as club dues.

They're non-profit because they collect those dues to keep the meeting hall open, do community outreach and junk, and to pay the workers...much like other community organizations and non-profits.

I don't really get why people are so obsessed with taxing churches and yet also want desperately to keep church and state separate. If they have to pay taxes, then they can start having much more active and direct say in these elections.

The religious right in the U.S. is a powerful force to be reckoned with. Taxing them suddenly turns them from non-profits to corporations. Do we really want to give them even more power than they already have?



posted on Apr, 25 2012 @ 11:51 PM
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reply to post by halfoldman
 


Dear halfoldman,

What is your point? What is religion? Our definitions are probably not the same. The bible does not tell us to be "religious", it tells us to love one another. If that is religious then any real Christian is religious and the ones that don't love one another are not religious.



posted on Apr, 25 2012 @ 11:54 PM
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reply to post by halfoldman
 


Christianity is a religion only in the technical sense. A chair is technically speaking a tree (if it's a wooden chair). Christianity is more of a relationship -

Relationship - re·la·tion·ship (noun) - The way in which two or more concepts, objects, or people are connected, or the state of being connected.

Christianity is the relationship between man and God. Jesus was called Emmanuel - meaning God with us. Jesus is the Way, the Truth, and the Life - and no one comes to the Father, except by Him. Through Jesus, we are connected to God. This doesn't make us God, or gods, but instead we share love with each other. God guides us, teaches us, protects us - just like any Father would.




posted on Apr, 25 2012 @ 11:57 PM
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reply to post by halfoldman
 


Well, you can go back to the original debate for the 1'st amendment, you know that silly thing all our liberties are based on...well, you can read the federalist papers for their definition, the one they used to draft the explicit language used and their definition is...now you might have to go and do your due diligence of course, if you are really seeking truth.
Their definition was pretty much this.
Biblical Christ based Christianity was refered to as "true religion"
The rest were known by them as "false religion"
Now wordsmiths like yourselves have skewed definitions so you have to seek what the intent was...if truth matters to you.
Other than that we deny the religion label because so many dimwits have grouped false religions with true religion and the original words have the wrong meanings for us to accept it because the word means something different now, something we cannot be wrongly associated with.
My suggestion is that you read C.S. Lewis "The Abolition of Man" to see where this conundrum has you stifled.

edit:
seeking to tax more is kinda like the guy who wants others to bleed more, or a slave seeking to bind another slave so as to feel better knowing another is more in bondage than himself.
I think a slave might seek another avenue, another alternative like you wanting to be sovereign and wanting your own tax exempt status where only your gain is taxed and not your every move, your very sweat, your every breath.
I am concerned you are seeking more bondage to a system, not less because you are bent wrong. Why is that?
Does it really make sense to you to argue who are what is in more bondage? Or should be? Is this evidence of too much t.v.?
edit on 26-4-2012 by manna2 because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 26 2012 @ 12:02 AM
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reply to post by AQuestion
 

It's not so much a point as a question, or a discussion for clarification.

When people preach that they are not a religion, should they get tax-exempt status for their organizations?

A belief in God, or love and goodness is not necessary to make a religion.
There are many groups that don't preach these and have religious status.

In fact, it seems that one gets a religious status from claiming it.

Now if groups deliberately reject that status, they should not be tax exempt on religious grounds.

It's not personal, it just seems logical.

Or maybe they only have very specific aspects of religion they reject?

In that case it can be a dangerous word-game in the long run.



edit on 26-4-2012 by halfoldman because: (no reason given)

edit on 26-4-2012 by halfoldman because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 26 2012 @ 12:09 AM
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reply to post by AQuestion
 


Whoa there buckeroo. The bible dosen't tell us how to be religious? What bible are you reading cuz? I want to sign up for that one.



posted on Apr, 26 2012 @ 12:11 AM
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Originally posted by halfoldman
reply to post by AQuestion
 

It's not so much a point as a question, or a discussion for clarification.

When people preach that they are not a religion, should they get tax-exempt status for their organizations?

A belief in God, or love and goodness is not necessary to make a religion.
There are many groups that don't preach these and have religious status.

In fact, it seems that one gets a religious status from claiming it.

Now if groups deliberately rejects that status, they should not be tax exempt on religious grounds.

It's not personal, it just seems logical.

Or maybe they only have very specific aspects of religion they reject?

In that case it can be a dangerous word-game in the long run.



edit on 26-4-2012 by halfoldman because: (no reason given)


Dear Halfoldman,

You are not looking for clarification, you are trolling. It is for the government to determine if some organization qualifies for tax exemption. If people believe that they can have a personal relationship with God and the government defines that as a religion then they should be tax exempt because that is the law and Christians are told to obey the law. As for taxes, Jesus was asked about them. He responded that the person who asked him the question should take out a coin. The man did and Jesus asked him whose picture was on the coin and the man said the image of Ceaser. Jesus said to give to Ceaser that which was his. If Ceaser asks for it then he can have it.



posted on Apr, 26 2012 @ 12:12 AM
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reply to post by halfoldman
 


The way I see it, anytime there is $$ involved, but not only that, the Government is involved...which are tied together, it's a compromise.

On one hand, all organizations, whether it be church, a shelter, goodwill, whatever, needs financial income in order to operate. On the other hand, the focus on the cash takes away from the actual deed, and in the case of Christianity, probably more so than other "good will" services.

In the end, I believe our society is set up to screw with people in general. The hypocrisy people see in the church is because they are public about the standards they have for themselves, which as any Christians know, is an impossible standard to obtain. I think it's funny how culture sees a church, which mostly has become social justice organizations as hypocritical, but it's ok to pay thousands of dollars for a lawyer to lie for you in court for you.



posted on Apr, 26 2012 @ 12:13 AM
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Originally posted by TerryMcGuire
reply to post by AQuestion
 


Whoa there buckeroo. The bible dosen't tell us how to be religious? What bible are you reading cuz? I want to sign up for that one.


Show me any scripture where it says we are to be "religious". Find the word in the bible and then find where it says to be religious.



posted on Apr, 26 2012 @ 12:17 AM
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reply to post by AQuestion
 


ya you're right on...

in fact if you do a word study of the word "religion" in the Bible, there is really only one place where it's seen in a positive light. The rest of the time it's getting bashed



posted on Apr, 26 2012 @ 12:26 AM
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While searching for more on such statements, it seems an atheist site gives a reply which would make it very hard for any form of Christianity not to be considered a religion.

It also reminds the reader that many other faiths have denied being a religion in the past (although few do so openly and repeatedly nowadays in tax-exempt countries).
In that sense it's a marketing tool for a certain teaching in religion to set itself apart from the rest.
It can be "a way of life", "a spiritual science", a "righteous path" or whatnot.
But it will always be a religion to the atheists:
www.debunkingskeptics.com...
Isn't that ironic - atheistic arguments on Christianity could keep it tax-exempt, even as it denies being a religion?



posted on Apr, 26 2012 @ 12:31 AM
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reply to post by AQuestion
 

Dear AQuestion

Before it is up to the government it is up to the organization to approach the government, and if they teach that they are not a religion and still approach such a government for tax exempt status on religious grounds, then it follows that they are a bunch of hypocrites.

Either that, or they are saying we shouldn't take them literally.


edit on 26-4-2012 by halfoldman because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 26 2012 @ 12:43 AM
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Originally posted by halfoldman
While searching for more on such statements, it seems an atheist site gives a reply which would make it very hard for any form of Christianity not to be considered a religion.

It also reminds the reader that many other faiths have denied being a religion in the past (although few do so openly and repeatedly nowadays in tax-exempt countries).
In that sense it's a marketing tool for a certain teaching in religion to set itself apart from the rest.
It can be "a way of life", "a spiritual science", a "righteous path" or whatnot.
But it will always be a religion to the atheists:
www.debunkingskeptics.com...
Isn't that ironic - atheistic arguments on Christianity could keep it tax-exempt, even as it denies being a religion?


Dear halfoldman,

You started this thread to show hypocrisy and you found it coming from the atheists and found it ironic. Many groups don't think of themselves as a religion, they think of themselves as having a human and spiritual experience. It is only recently that we began thinking that we were nothing more than flesh machines. We as a nation thought that you shouldn't have to pay taxes for having your spiritual beliefs. The founding fathers didn't want taxes to be the reason that people went to one church or another.

I said it before, I couldn't care less if they removed the exemption. Anyone who would change their beliefs because they got a tax break doesn't really believe anyways. Do you know why God told people to tithe? It is not as if he is getting the money. He could care less about the money. It is about people letting go of the things of this world. It is about not caring about money. Peace.



posted on Apr, 26 2012 @ 12:49 AM
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you simply miss the intent.
Now this thing about having to ask the government for permission does make the state the head of the church.
I agree with you, this is an abomination.
The original idea behind a 501c3 tax exempt corporation betrays the Church, you are actually right here.
But the idea is not to tax the same wages twice.
If a person wants to support an org. with his money that has allready been taxed then there is no reason whatsover to tax those wages again.
Thats the intent.
So, drop the tax alltogether.
Make tax only on gain.
If a church gets into the business and makes a gain, like what the JW's, mormons and RC's do.
Thats big business baby and they should be taxed on their gain.
But not the person and His contributions.
In fact the original tax was only meant to be on your gain.
Your food, clothing and housing and the labor for it is not gain. If you make investments and profit from it, that is taxable gain.
Sound about right?



posted on Apr, 26 2012 @ 12:51 AM
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Originally posted by halfoldman
reply to post by AQuestion
 

Dear AQuestion

Before it is up to the government it is up to the organization to approach the government, and if they teach that they are not a religion and still approach such a government for tax exempt status on religious grounds, then it follows that they are a bunch of hypocrites.

Either that, or they are saying we shouldn't take them literally.


edit on 26-4-2012 by halfoldman because: (no reason given)


Dear Halfoldman,

What? Who goes to the government asking to pay taxes? The government sets the rules. What the church files as is as a non-profit organization. If we are to follow the law then we must correctly answer the questions when forming a church. The catch 22 is the governments problem. And they can tax whatever they want, even if it is higher than what others are taxed. Don't care.



posted on Apr, 26 2012 @ 12:53 AM
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reply to post by manna2
 


Dear halfoldman,

I told you, I don't care what they tax us. I don't care how they determine how much to tax us. I don't care about taxes. It is their money.



posted on Apr, 26 2012 @ 01:14 AM
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Originally posted by AQuestion

Originally posted by TerryMcGuire
reply to post by AQuestion
 


Whoa there buckeroo. The bible dosen't tell us how to be religious? What bible are you reading cuz? I want to sign up for that one.


Show me any scripture where it says we are to be "religious". Find the word in the bible and then find where it says to be religious.
Let me see here. A book came through the middle ages. Through the fall of it's first empire. Survived when the tomes of other ancients fell by the way through the natural rise and fall of civilizations.

A book that formed the religious backbone of western civilization? This is the book you say does not teach religion? A book that says read ME and not those others. I really think you are being too selective in your biblical interpretation.



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