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7 years ago  ::  Jan 27, 2008 - 5:51PM #31
pompeiijazz98
Posts: 1
[QUOTE=agnon1;212781]Should  houses of worship in  the US, whether Christian, Muslim, Jewish etc, be tax exempt? Why or why not?[/QUOTE]

The Constitution says, "Congress shall make no law affecting the establishment of Religion."
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7 years ago  ::  Jan 27, 2008 - 5:51PM #32
pompeiijazz98
Posts: 1
[QUOTE=agnon1;212781]Should  houses of worship in  the US, whether Christian, Muslim, Jewish etc, be tax exempt? Why or why not?[/QUOTE]

The Constitution says, "Congress shall make no law affecting the establishment of Religion."
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7 years ago  ::  Jan 31, 2008 - 11:33AM #33
TPaine
Posts: 9,288
[QUOTE=pompeiijazz98;245140]The Constitution says, "Congress shall make no law affecting the establishment of Religion."[/QUOTE]

Actually, it says, "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof:"

"Religion & Govt. will both exist in greater purity, the less they are mixed together." ... James Madison
"It is always to be taken for granted, that those who oppose an equality of rights never mean the exclusion should take place on themselves." -- Thomas Paine: Dissertations on First Principles of Government (July 7, 1795)
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6 years ago  ::  Apr 20, 2008 - 2:33PM #34
Sacrificialgoddess
Posts: 9,496
If churches tell you who to vote for or how to vote on certain bills, they can lose their tax exempt status.  But that doesn't happen enough, in my opinion.  When I was a kid, one of the deacons in my parent's church tried to slip one of those "voting guide" produced by some religious right group into the weekly newsletter.  My dad works for the IRS and threatened to report it, if it wasn't pulled.  They pulled it.  But that deacon hated my dad for the rest of the time they were both at that church.
Dark Energy. It can be found in the observable Universe. Found in ratios of 75% more than any other substance. Dark Energy. It can be found in religious extremists, in cheerleaders. To come to the conclusion that Dark signifies mean and malevolent would define 75% of the Universe as an evil force. Alternatively, to think that some cheerleaders don't have razors in their snatch is to be foolishly unarmed.

-- Tori Amos
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6 years ago  ::  Apr 20, 2008 - 2:52PM #35
Sacrificialgoddess
Posts: 9,496

Friend! wrote:

Under  current tax laws churches potentionally could lose the ability to give tax deduction receipts to donors if the IRS prosecutes the church for a violation.  There are only TWO things that are violations: (1) church official campaigning for or against a candidate, or (2) church fundraising for or against a candidate.  These are the only two things that will cost a church its IRS decuction status, but THE CHURCH IS STILL NOT TAXABLE!  The only penalty is the loss of ability to grant tax deduction receipts.

As for voters guides, churches are entirely free to distribute non-partisan voters guides.  You dad was wrong if the voters guides merely asked religious values questions of the candidates and accurately reported them. 

If you want more information about the rights of churches to give out voters guides IN THE CHURCH or IN BULLETINS, see the Alliance Defense Fund website or Liberty Counsel or ACLJ.org.  They are all specialists in First Amerndment rights.





They were partisan.  And they did say what candidates to vote for.  :rolleyes:

Dark Energy. It can be found in the observable Universe. Found in ratios of 75% more than any other substance. Dark Energy. It can be found in religious extremists, in cheerleaders. To come to the conclusion that Dark signifies mean and malevolent would define 75% of the Universe as an evil force. Alternatively, to think that some cheerleaders don't have razors in their snatch is to be foolishly unarmed.

-- Tori Amos
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6 years ago  ::  Apr 20, 2008 - 8:44PM #36
TPaine
Posts: 9,288

Friend! wrote:

Quote: They were partisan. And they did say what candidates to vote for.

Yes, partisan guides telling for whom to vote could invite IRS interest.  A better way is to use non-partisan guides.

Out church uses guides published by Focus on the Family, by the American Family Council, and the state and national Citizens Concerned for Life.  These groups reflect the values of Jesus Christ and the Bible, and the IRS and the courts give them their blessing.  No problems with these, yet they very effectively tell people where the candidates stand on important social issues of interest to God's people.



In their tax guide for Churches and Religious Organizations, the IRS uses the following two examples as relates to voting guides:

Example 1: Church R distributes a voter guide prior to elections.
The voter guide consists of a brief statement from the candidates
on each issue made in response to a questionnaire sent to all
candidates for governor of State I. The issues on the questionnaire
cover a wide variety of topics and were selected by Church R based
solely on their importance and interest to the electorate as a whole.
Neither the questionnaire nor the voter guide, through their content
or structure, indicate a bias or preference for any candidate or
group of candidates. Church R is not participating or intervening in
a political campaign.

Example 2: Church S distributes a voter guide during an election
campaign. The voter guide is prepared using the responses of
candidates to a questionnaire sent to candidates for major public
offices. Although the questionnaire covers a wide range of topics,
the wording of the questions evidences a bias on certain issues.
By using a questionnaire structured in this way, Church S is participating
or intervening in a political campaign.

Anyone interested in reading this guide can use the following link:

http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/p1828.pdf

"It is always to be taken for granted, that those who oppose an equality of rights never mean the exclusion should take place on themselves." -- Thomas Paine: Dissertations on First Principles of Government (July 7, 1795)
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6 years ago  ::  Apr 20, 2008 - 9:25PM #37
Gandalf_Parker
Posts: 1,188

Friend! wrote:


And suppose we did tax all these groups.  How much money would churches pay in taxes?  ZERO, ZIP,  NADA, NOTHING AT ALL!  Why?  All their DONATION income goes back into business deductions like pastor's salaries, building funds, missions work, soup kitchens, poor benevolence etc.  There are no profits left over at the end of the business year.  And if there ever were excess cash, all the churuch would need to do to shelter it would be to donate the money to another church or missionary or charity or seminary or church college etc.


Im not quite sure if that would be true. The definition of a religious mission is expanding beyond just a church and its actions to include schools and hospitals, and to include operations as obscure as a biblical theme park in Florida and as upscale as a retirement community at Notre Dame.
Those venerable tax statutes did not envision the reality of modern congregations that operate athletic programs in their own gymnasiums or fitness centers, as well as bookstores, music and video production units, coffee shops, counseling services, ice cream parlors, child care programs and multimedia ministries that beam their messages from satellite dishes or television transmission towers. And lets not even get into the allowance of gambling and not taxing that.

The line that is drawn gets abit grey and hard to see when it involves a church. Putting them all on equal footing with other charities, or even a business (which as you say could have them breaking even anyway) would at least allow for better auditing and fairness.

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6 years ago  ::  Apr 20, 2008 - 9:26PM #38
Sacrificialgoddess
Posts: 9,496
Gambling?  :confused:
Dark Energy. It can be found in the observable Universe. Found in ratios of 75% more than any other substance. Dark Energy. It can be found in religious extremists, in cheerleaders. To come to the conclusion that Dark signifies mean and malevolent would define 75% of the Universe as an evil force. Alternatively, to think that some cheerleaders don't have razors in their snatch is to be foolishly unarmed.

-- Tori Amos
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6 years ago  ::  Apr 20, 2008 - 9:53PM #39
Gandalf_Parker
Posts: 1,188

sacrificialgoddess wrote:

Gambling?  :confused:


In the tax laws its referred to as "games of chance" with only one being mentioned specifically which is Bingo. Technically that is gambling and is controlled under gambling laws except when churches (usually very specific churches) do it. The rules about innocent games of chance such as a carnival would do, and outright gambling, tend to not get much enforcement when a church is involved.

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6 years ago  ::  Apr 20, 2008 - 11:41PM #40
JohnQ
Posts: 5,637

Friend! wrote:

Out church uses guides published by Focus on the Family, by the American Family Council, and the state and national Citizens Concerned for Life.  These groups reflect the values of Jesus Christ and the Bible, and the IRS and the courts give them their blessing.  No problems with these, yet they very effectively tell people where the candidates stand on important social issues of interest to God's people.




Focus on the Family, American Family Council, and Citizens Concerned for Life reflect the opinions, values, and biases of Focus on the Family, American Family Council, and Citizens Concerned for Life.......not Jesus Christ....nor, the Bible.

Peace!                 
------

Christian LIES wed Christian HATE......Begot a child....it’s named Prop 8! 

Supreme Court let it stand.....which means we can vote away the rights of others in our land.

Sad as that may be...it hurts all of us.....not just me.
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