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Time's article is WAYYYY overdue.
Churches should never have been tax-exempt, and it should have been written into the constitution. They are a business, like any other...that's entertainment. If you buy tickets for a Broadway show or a circus, the tax is included in the overall price.
With honest bookkeeping, small congregations would probably not have to pay anything. Of course mega-churches don't know the meaning of "honest," but I'd love to see them go bankrupt the way Robert Schuller has. They deserve it just for being arrogant,
Time's article is spot on. But, like Loren said, premature. I hope to see the day government lives up to the admonition that Congress shall make no law respecting the establishment of religion by giving them tax exemptions. Unfortunately, I don't think it will be in my lifetime.
On another note, here's a great video courtesy of a reference by Brother Richard. The glaring difference between an adult who learned to hate, and a child who learned love.
Time magazine's article is yeast in the mix of questioning the heavy emphasis on religion in USA. I agree, Loren, it is premature, and it is a seed.
That's one hell of a statement Time magazine makes, there, Carl. I see a serious problem with it, though, in that it would tend to ruin the small congregations which may or may not be innocuous, while the mega-churches with millions in their coffers would be able to survive, though taking a substantial monetary hit. Exactly HOW churches would be taxed, on what scale and at what rates, would be the topic for endless debate all by itself. Indeed, with all the god-talk that goes on in Congress as it is, how such a bill could get out of committee, never mind getting an up-or-down vote with the current make up of the House and Senate, is a question mark at best.A further problem would be that the US government would be accused of pulling a massive about-face on its principles and indulging in clear persecution of religion, with butt-hurt christians leading the way, of course. Personally, I see such a move while religion remains dominant in the US as a non-starter. Reduce that influence with grass-roots action as atheists, agnostics and freethinkers are doing now to the point where we more closely resemble England in its religion attitudes and it might be a lot more possible.I'm glad Time did what they did. I just think it's premature.
Daniel, Time magazine just published a editorial advocating that religious organizations should lose their tax-exempt status.
Now’s the Time To End Tax Exemptions for Religious Institutions
I had a devil of a time getting this posted. So I copied and pasted it on another site and it was posted. Now, I see this one was finally posted a minute ago. Sorry for the duplicate.
If there were a god he/she/it would be giving the same message to each nation on every continent. The imperative would be to live in peace with justice for all. The purpose would be to create a world of people making the decisions in the interest of the health of individuals, tribes, communities, nations, and religions. There would be no fight over doctrine. There would be an emphasis on community building. Voluntary population control would be part of the litany. The focus would be on cleanliness to prevent disease spread and an emphasis on problem-solving and conflict resolution. The highest value would be win/win with each one having a valid right to contribute and consume.
What does exist seems to be an appetite for the accumulation of wealth and treasure. There are hierarchies that create class systems.
A participatory structure based on need and availability of food and resources requires discipline to manage. If god existed, he/she/it would guide in setting limits. Sexual appetites based on desire would provide birth control instructions that work.
If there is no god, any gods, and there is nothing listening or answering prayers, and there is no savior to redeem us, and there is no heaven, hell, nirvana or whatever, then Homo sapiens have to take charge of their lives. Stop depending on imaginary powers to solve problems.
Begin to think in terms of taking responsibility for ones' safety, security and stability. Provide food for all and teach our children how to be self-sufficient. Provide work in maintaining our infrastructure. Develop strategies for access to life-long education and health care. Create the means to care for elderly through the aging process until death.
Because there is no god, and Homo sapiens evolved from the great apes, and because Homo sapiens have the ability to see what is real, identify problems, search for options, develop action plans and evaluate progress, we, unlike great apes, can manage our lives.
The churches and their leaders are morally bankrupt. It's time to stop supporting them financially. When churches don't pay taxes, we are supporting them. Even atheists are supporting them through our tax dollars.
"The next time Congress is looking for an extra couple billion to finance a war, tell them to look no further than an income tax on religious payroll. Better yet, tell them today, and let them know you intend to VOTE accordingly"
"Change cannot possibly happen." So the followers of Jesus, or, rather, the followers-on who told stories about him and started a religion, had no business changing the clear knowledge of everything good and right and holy that came before! /s
LoL sk8ey cat, on “I wonder if the churches will ever be as financially bankrupt as they are morally. (Then all the land they own could be put to better use, for one thing.)”
Enjoyed your video, Loren!
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