Monday, January 21, 2008

ANOTHER REASON WHY RELIGIOUS INSTITUTIONS SHOULD NOT BE TAX EXEMPT

This article highlights one more reason why religious organizations should be made to pay their fair share of taxes as do secular organizations. I see no legitimate reason why churches and church bodies should get a pass on taxes! Indeed, such a pass may be seen to help promote most churches within the institutional Church tenaciously adhering to, being apologists for, the status quo, as well as their being enmeshed with some of the most reactionary forces within society.

In this case, two girls were kicked out of a "Christian" school for allegedly being lesbians! "The school is owned by the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod, the nation's third-largest Lutheran church body. The California Lutheran High School Association, comprising three dozen churches and religious schools, operates the campus."

John McKay, the school's attorney said, "You can't infringe upon the basic rights of a religious group and their right of association by forcing them to accept people who don't believe in their values."

That statement supports my argument! If a religious organization is akin to any private club or organization that can select those they want as members, then they should be treated no differently than those other private clubs or organizations that do pay taxes.

Even if churches and church-run organizations weren't discriminatory, I'd still advocate for their taxation!

The Church's mandate in this world is to be an agent of God's love, and preach and seek to live out the Gospel of grace! As practiced in fact, it is usually little more than an arm of the State, largely condoning, fostering, and ignoring the discrimination against, and the oppression of, others; practicing the politics of exclusion in the name of God; rarely dealing with corporate and State initiated and approved sins but, rather, dealing with personal sins that serve to inculcate insufferable guilt upon others as well as help bring more money into their coffers.

Moreover, if they can't make money judging other people's sins (something Jesus forbids us to do), such as divorce and re-marriage that Jesus condemned (save for reasons of fornication--Matthew 5:32), as probably about half their congregations are made up of such people, they choose issues that are not sins and label them as sins to continue their false religion of exclusion and even hate and receive tax exemption for so doing.

It is inconceivable how any Christian can exclude others from fellowship, and engage in discriminatory and judgmental rhetoric and behaviors that Jesus precisely told us not to do! (Matthew 7:3)

And we're going to continue to allow such organizations to be exempt from paying taxes?
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4 comments:

Jos76 said...

Thanks for your insight. Exclusion is the worst thing that many fundamentalist churcjes have going for them right now. I am a member of UNited Church of Christ and my partner and I are very well respected and appreciated. You can read more about our Gay Christian Marriage on my blog.

Jos76
www.jos76.wordpress.com

Jerry Maneker said...

Thanks Jos76. First of all, a belated congratulations on your second anniversary! Many churches in the UCC are "open and affirming," and it's great that you both go to such a church where you're welcome and appreciated. Any Gay person who goes to a church that isn't fully accepting (And Fundamentalist Churches aren't the only culprits here.), allowing full integration in the life of the church and in partaking of all of the sacraments, is a masochist; is partaking of an organization that can and does cause great violence to people.

DON CHARLES aka "STUFFED ANIMAL" said...

"If a religious organization is akin to any private club or organization that can select those they want as members, then they should be treated no differently than those other private clubs or organizations that do pay taxes."

Right on, Jerry! You said it in a nutshell. If you haven't posted this one at Pam's House Blend, please make plans to do so.

Unfortunately, I can only view your blog two days a week now! Your website has been fully blocked on my work computer.

Jerry Maneker said...

Thanks Don Charles. I did cross post it at Pam's House Blend on Monday.

Unfortunately, so many churches have become little more than social groupings akin to private clubs that pay inordinate attention to incestuous socialization and building beautification, with little, if any, concern with the oppression of others. Indeed, many of them fuel the oppression of others, largely because of the psychological, social, and material gains that they derive from their exclusionary rhetoric.