Friday, February 3, 2017

Be Careful What You Wish For

At the National Prayer Breakfast yesterday Trump called for the repeal of the Johnson amendment, the law that prohibits churches from supporting individual political candidates and still be exempt from paying taxes.

The logic behind the amendment is clear: If a church wishes to be a tax-exempt entity which can receive tax-exempt contributions, then it also must steer clear of participation in partisan politics. Not that it doesn’t already. It clearly does, as can be easily seen just by the list of church-backed organizations supporting the Gorsuch nomination. But by and large, it separates the political activity by carved-out nonprofit organizations which are separate from the church entity itself.

Churches should be careful about what they wish for, because gutting this amendment would put their tax-exempt status at risk. The Catholic Church would be ponying up a lot of money if this amendment was gutted, and that would be the beginning.

I am totally in favor of churches paying taxes.  And that means all of them, from St. Patrick’s Cathedral to that little brown church in the vale.  At the very least pay property taxes on the land they own that isn’t used specifically for worship services or non-partisan church business.

If they want to go around telling people about mythical history and warning of retribution from some mean magical sky faerie if we don’t vote for their favorites, they should have to pony up for the privilege.

4 barks and woofs on “Be Careful What You Wish For

  1. I am totally with you on taxing churches. That was one of the themes of the movie Foul Play; it woke me up 30 plus yrs. ago. Why the IRS isn’t tracking these slush funds under the guise of contributions or tithing just boggles my mind. I harken back to that church of Ted Olsen here in Tx. who was robbed of $600,000.00 a couple of yrs. back. That sounds more like drug money. How can anyone but churches keep that kind of money laying around and not have to explain it is incredible.

  2. YES! Right On!! I’ve always been against tax exempt status for churches. They build elaborate churches (Crystal Cathedral in Calif comes to mind). People hand over $ because it’s for gawd. Think of all the good works that $ could be used for (in gawd’s name), food for the hungry, shelters, medicine for the poor, etc. Damn, this sounds like sumin’ jeebus would do. This really gets to me.

  3. It’s important to connect Trump’s announcement that he would “totally destroy the Johnson amendment” to two other things: a) the draft executive order on “religious freedom” leaked to The Nation, and b) the nomination of Neil Gorsuch, whose judicial record (including the Hobby Lobby case) strongly supports exemptions from civil law based on religious beliefs. This isn’t just a random outburst by Trump, but a coordinated campaign to erase the barrier between church and state, which, btw, our Attorney-General-to-be doesn’t believe is constitutional. The religious right put Trump in the White House, and this is the payoff.

    • Yes, Soflanewbie, smell the “thank-yous”: Religious Right, Banks/Corps/ NRA/ Immigrant Haters/The Poor/disabled ,Anti -Women , Media, Well HELL, The Constitution in general! Esp. that pesky 1st Amend…

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