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No tax, no blessing!

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posted on Sep, 28 2012 @ 05:59 PM
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Didn't pay your believer taxes? No sacraments for you!

BERLIN (AP) — The road to heaven is paved with more than good intentions for Germany's 24 million Catholics. If they don't pay their religious taxes, they will be denied sacraments, including weddings, baptisms and funerals.



In Germany, the surcharge for Catholics, Protestants and Jews is a surcharge of up to nine percent on their income tax bills — or about (EURO)56 ($72) a month for a single person earning a pre-tax monthly salary of about (EURO)3,500 ($4,500).

You read it right. 9% tacked right onto your tax bill because you're a practicing Catholic, Protestant, or Jew. Of course, all that money totaling into the billions goes right back into the church. The state wouldn't keep any of it, they're just too honest.



"This decree makes clear that one cannot partly leave the Church," the bishops said in a statement. "It is not possible to separate the spiritual community of the Church from the institutional Church."

Look folks, you're either in, or you're out! Better take that letter we just sent you seriously!

Germany isn't the only one who has found a way to bilk more from the people. Lets add Switzerland, Austria, Denmark, Finland, and Italy.

Thinking about trying your luck in the courts? Forget it. The state and the church have joined together for this fleecing.

So far German courts have stood by the bishops' decision. This week the country's top administrative court threw out a lawsuit against the archdiocese of Freiburg by retired theologian Hartmut Zapp, who has spent years fighting the Catholic Church over the tax.


How long before this becomes a trend with much further reach than just a handful of European countries? And how long before you pay taxes because you are a member of something not even related to religion?

Source 1
Source 2

Pay to pray anyone?




posted on Sep, 28 2012 @ 07:22 PM
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reply to post by Klassified
 


Are Hindu’s, atheists’, Muslims, Druid's, Agnostics and all others taxed too?



posted on Sep, 28 2012 @ 07:38 PM
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reply to post by guitarplayer
 


I'd say not. The article doesn't mention them.



posted on Sep, 28 2012 @ 09:36 PM
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If you'd like to explore this further, check the thread on this topic, here:



www.abovetopsecret.com...



posted on Sep, 28 2012 @ 09:45 PM
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reply to post by charles1952
 

Thanks Charles, much appreciated.



posted on Sep, 28 2012 @ 09:47 PM
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Actually, as I understand it, this is a mandatory government tax, and the only way that you get out of paying it is by saying that you're not a Catholic or Lutheran or whatever. So the Catholic church is just saying "okay, if you're not a Catholic, then you're not a Catholic", and sacraments are not available to non-Catholics and never have been.



posted on Sep, 29 2012 @ 12:13 PM
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reply to post by adjensen
 


and sacraments are not available to non-Catholics and never have been.

But, there isn't a doorman and a bouncer checking people's membership IDs at the door, either.



posted on Sep, 29 2012 @ 01:06 PM
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Originally posted by wildtimes
reply to post by adjensen
 


and sacraments are not available to non-Catholics and never have been.

But, there isn't a doorman and a bouncer checking people's membership IDs at the door, either.


True, and there's nothing barring anyone from going to Mass -- it's the sacrament that matters, and Mass isn't a sacrament. I went to Mass quite often with my wife when I was a Methodist, I just didn't participate in the Eucharist. But they don't have anyone checking IDs up at the altar, either.

However, if a person believes in what the Eucharist represents, they would also believe that it is a very grave mortal sin to take it when they are not in communion with the church, and if they don't believe in it, then why take it?



posted on Sep, 29 2012 @ 01:28 PM
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reply to post by Klassified
 


This topic reminds me of a recent experience I had with the Catholic Church. I was raised Catholic and my dad still attends a local Catholic church in our area. My wife and I have been sporadically attending a local Baptist church instead because she isn’t fond of Catholicism. My dad was really pushing me to have my young children baptized (Catholics do it at birth while Baptists wait until the child requests it) and I finally gave in and agreed. I asked him to talk to the priest and set it up.

THE PRIEST REFUSED to baptize my kids! He said he would not baptize my children because I was no longer a practicing (dues paying) Catholic. The Baptist church we attend wouldn’t allow my child to its preschool program because we were not active, practicing (dues paying) members there either, even though I offered to pay the full tuition. Apparently they wanted my weekly contribution as well.


Religion these days seems more like a money making scheme to me….I’m a bit disillusioned by the whole thing to be honest.



posted on Sep, 29 2012 @ 02:18 PM
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Originally posted by seabag
reply to post by Klassified
 


This topic reminds me of a recent experience I had with the Catholic Church. I was raised Catholic and my dad still attends a local Catholic church in our area. My wife and I have been sporadically attending a local Baptist church instead because she isn’t fond of Catholicism. My dad was really pushing me to have my young children baptized (Catholics do it at birth while Baptists wait until the child requests it) and I finally gave in and agreed. I asked him to talk to the priest and set it up.

THE PRIEST REFUSED to baptize my kids! He said he would not baptize my children because I was no longer a practicing (dues paying) Catholic. The Baptist church we attend wouldn’t allow my child to its preschool program because we were not active, practicing (dues paying) members there either, even though I offered to pay the full tuition. Apparently they wanted my weekly contribution as well.


Religion these days seems more like a money making scheme to me….I’m a bit disillusioned by the whole thing to be honest.


As someone who has been intimately involved in the financial operations of two different churches, one Methodist and one Catholic, I suspect that your confusion between "practicing" and "donating" is unmerited. A well known statistic in church finance is the 80/20/50 rule -- 80% of the money that a church brings in comes from 20% of the members, and about 50% of the members (actual congregation, not visitors) give nothing, not a dime, ever. That doesn't mean that the half of the people who don't donate are denied services or treated differently, however.

More likely, at least in the case of the Catholic priest, is that you are not a practicing Catholic and would not be likely to raise your kids in the Catholic church. When you have your kids baptized, you take an oath that you will raise them in the church, so the priest is obligated to not perform that sacrament if he believes that the parents aren't serious about the Catholic faith, which would be the case for you, since the only one in the picture who is still a practicing Catholic is your father, who probably told the priest that your wife isn't keen on the church, as well.



posted on Sep, 29 2012 @ 02:36 PM
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reply to post by adjensen
 



As someone who has been intimately involved in the financial operations of two different churches, one Methodist and one Catholic, I suspect that your confusion between "practicing" and "donating" is unmerited. A well known statistic in church finance is the 80/20/50 rule -- 80% of the money that a church brings in comes from 20% of the members, and about 50% of the members (actual congregation, not visitors) give nothing, not a dime, ever. That doesn't mean that the half of the people who don't donate are denied services or treated differently, however.


People are certainly denied services in the Baptist church….it happened to me. My in-laws, who are active members of this church, constantly tell me how their pastor spends a lot of time trying to get people to donate more money. Tithe of the old-testament was 10% of your income and that is what’s expected here; he’s said it openly many times.




More likely, at least in the case of the Catholic priest, is that you are not a practicing Catholic and would not be likely to raise your kids in the Catholic church. When you have your kids baptized, you take an oath that you will raise them in the church, so the priest is obligated to not perform that sacrament if he believes that the parents aren't serious about the Catholic faith, which would be the case for you, since the only one in the picture who is still a practicing Catholic is your father, who probably told the priest that your wife isn't keen on the church, as well.



It seems a bit ridiculous that a Catholic priest would deny the baptism of a child (one of God’s children) simply because the child’s parents aren’t members. But I understand what you mean about the process and oath…..I guess that was the reason.

Thanks for the insight.



posted on Sep, 29 2012 @ 03:40 PM
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Originally posted by seabag
People are certainly denied services in the Baptist church….it happened to me. My in-laws, who are active members of this church, constantly tell me how their pastor spends a lot of time trying to get people to donate more money. Tithe of the old-testament was 10% of your income and that is what’s expected here; he’s said it openly many times.


Oh, that's what they'd like to get, of course. But I'd be very surprised if the 80/20/50 rule didn't apply to their church, as well, and that's what motivates the constant fund raising.

What I meant about being denied services was that, regardless of how much you give, as long as you're a member, you can still get married in the church, or have your funeral there, or expect that the minister will visit you in the hospital. If that's not the case, find another church -- the only religion that I'm aware of that treats people in that manner are the Mormons. There, they will audit you, and if you aren't paying 10% of your gross income, you are prevented from going to the Temple (there are lots of horror stories about parents who couldn't go to their own kids' wedding, because they were behind in their payments.)


It seems a bit ridiculous that a Catholic priest would deny the baptism of a child (one of God’s children) simply because the child’s parents aren’t members. But I understand what you mean about the process and oath…..I guess that was the reason.


Catholics take the sacraments very differently than Protestants do. If one were to be baptized under a false premise (such as saying that the child would be raised Catholic, when there is no intention to do so,) it can be argued that it is not a valid baptism, and the parents would be committing a mortal sin. Marriage is another one, probably more clearly stated -- if you were a Protestant marrying a Catholic in the Catholic church, and during your interview with the priest, it was clear that you didn't view marriage as a voluntary, lifelong commitment with the stated goal of having children, the priest would be obligated to decline to marry you.

That's because, in the Catholic church, marriage isn't just a ceremony, it is a sacrament, so if you don't agree with the terms of it, going through the sacrament would be a mortal sin. Catholic annulments are often misunderstood, but they are couched in this very notion -- a sacrament cannot be dissolved, and so the only way that an annulment is granted is for it to be demonstrated that there wasn't a sacrament in the first place because of some preexisting rejection of it ("shotgun weddings", for example, are universally annulled, because one cannot be forced to accept a sacrament.)


Thanks for the insight.


Always happy to help



posted on Sep, 29 2012 @ 05:39 PM
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The whole idea of this article though folks, is the state and church have formed an alliance, however loose the association may be at this point. Right now, it's all about draining the people of their resources. But it will grow into a behemoth of sorts, it always does. And the potential is there for a rejuvenated theocracy.

I would think even European churches wouldn't want the state in the business of religion, but that doesn't seem to be the case. If you can't get the "faithful's" money by hook, then you involve the state, and get it by crook.
edit on 9/29/2012 by Klassified because: reword



posted on Sep, 29 2012 @ 06:15 PM
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Originally posted by Klassified
The whole idea of this article though folks, is the state and church have formed an alliance, however loose the association may be at this point.


Actually, it's a holdover from the days of "Christendom" (the time when society itself was Christian) and before, at least in Germany:


The church tax is historically rooted in the pre-Christian Germanic custom where the chief of the tribe was directly responsible for the maintenance of priests and religious cults. During the Christianization of Western Europe, this custom was adopted by the Christian churches (Arian and Catholic) in the concept of "Eigenkirchen" (churches owned by the landlord) which stood in strong contrast to the central church organization of the Roman Catholic Church. Despite the resulting medieval conflict between emperor and pope, the concept of church maintenance by the ruler remained the accepted custom in most Western European countries. In Reformation times, the local princes in Germany became officially heads of the church in Protestant areas and were legally responsible for the maintenance of churches. Not until the 19th century were the finances of churches and state regulated to a point where the churches became financially independent. At this point the church tax was introduced to replace the state benefits the churches had obtained previously. (Source - Wikipedia, due to my continued laziness, sorry)


I'm surprised that it's still around, but it isn't anything new.



posted on Sep, 29 2012 @ 06:41 PM
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reply to post by adjensen
 

Thanks for posting that, it's good info.



I'm surprised that it's still around, but it isn't anything new.


As am I. My point isn't that it's new. But rather that the agenda is being pushed with renewed fervor it seems. I guess I find it more disgusting than the average person. When I read things like this, the snowball effect always comes to mind anytime the state is involved in anything.



posted on Sep, 29 2012 @ 06:55 PM
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Originally posted by Klassified
My point isn't that it's new. But rather that the agenda is being pushed with renewed fervor it seems.


Well, I don't know the whole history of it, but from the first article you posted, it sounds like this is being driven by people who are against the church, not the church itself.


So far German courts have stood by the bishops' decision. This week the country's top administrative court threw out a lawsuit against the archdiocese of Freiburg by retired theologian Hartmut Zapp, who has spent years fighting the Catholic Church over the tax.

Zapp argued that a Catholic should be free to stop paying but remain a member of the spiritual community and that his religious beliefs could not possibly be tied to a tax payment.

The archdiocese responded in a statement that "those who lack solidarity bid farewell to the community of believers."


This Zapp guy tried to sue the church and the courts agreed with the church, whose policy, as I said before, is "If you say that you're not a Catholic, then you're not a Catholic and we won't pretend that you are." If one is required to repudiate their religion in order to stop paying the tax, that's the fault of the government that wrote the law, not the fault of the church.



posted on Sep, 29 2012 @ 07:04 PM
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reply to post by adjensen
 

Just a quick thought. So Zapp went to the State, asking them to force the Church to keep him as a member? I saw this phrase somewhere else on ATS: "That's wrong on so many levels."



posted on Sep, 29 2012 @ 07:08 PM
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Originally posted by charles1952
reply to post by adjensen
 

Just a quick thought. So Zapp went to the State, asking them to force the Church to keep him as a member? I saw this phrase somewhere else on ATS: "That's wrong on so many levels."


Yep, that's my read of it -- he doesn't want to pay the tax, which is (apparently) his right, but he also wants to continue to be a member of the church after rejecting it, and he doesn't have the right to do that.



posted on Sep, 30 2012 @ 06:55 AM
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reply to post by adjensen
 



Well, I don't know the whole history of it, but from the first article you posted, it sounds like this is being driven by people who are against the church, not the church itself.

Yet the church supposedly gets all of this tax(extortion) money. Seems they have a vested interest in it to me.



If one is required to repudiate their religion in order to stop paying the tax, that's the fault of the government that wrote the law, not the fault of the church.

I don't see the church standing up for their parishioners to the state. They not only gladly accept the money, all of their actions show they support it. If the church opposed this extortion, their actions would be different.

And why does ones name need to be on a membership roll? You either belong to the body of Christ, or you don't. If the church, whatever denomination, wanted to do what is right in the sight of the God they claim to love and trust, they would never withhold "sacraments" from anyone because of money. They would oppose government extortion, and monetary control of the church at every turn.

But they don't, and won't, because they have a vested interest in money, not the well being of their congregation.
edit on 9/30/2012 by Klassified because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 30 2012 @ 07:00 AM
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Originally posted by charles1952
reply to post by adjensen
 

Just a quick thought. So Zapp went to the State, asking them to force the Church to keep him as a member? I saw this phrase somewhere else on ATS: "That's wrong on so many levels."


No Charles, what's wrong on so many levels, is that the state ever was, or is now involved in matters that don't pertain to them. This should never have been a matter for the courts to start with, considering their should be no tax that forces the "faithful" into this kind of predicament.

It is pure extortion, and the church leadership has proven by their actions they condone it.






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