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And We Allow The Catholic Church Tax Free Status…Why, Exactly?

It never ceases to amaze me that right wing religious figures are granted a tax exempt status in return for not meddling in political affairs. That’s the point, right? The government cannot interfere with or influence religion and religion doesn’t interfere with or influence politics. At least not overtly.

Well, like all right wing anything, they want their cake and they want to eat it, too.

Meet Bishop Daniel Jenky, another in a looooong line of religious right hypocrites that would simply explode if it was suggested his church pay taxes. Yet, he had this to say:

Hitler and Stalin, at their better moments, would just barely tolerate some churches remaining open, but would not tolerate any competition with the state in education, social services, and health care.

In clear violation of our First Amendment rights, Barack Obama – with his radical, pro abortion and extreme secularist agenda, now seems intent on following a similar path.

So, to summerize, telling religiously affiliated institutions that they cannot force their religion onto other people is somehow violating the First Amendment and is just like Hitler and Stalin. But preaching politics in clear violation of the IRS’s rules is not big deal because if they revoke your status it would be an “attack on religion.”

You know, as atheism continues to be the fastest growing “religion” inthe United States, I cannot wait until real pressure is applied to strip these churches that play politics of the cushy little scam they have going. If you’re going to act as a partisan political entity then you’re no longer just a religious institution, you’re part of the political system. Time to pay your taxes, thank you.

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9 thoughts on “And We Allow The Catholic Church Tax Free Status…Why, Exactly?

  1. Every church should be taxed if they’re going to give their opinions on politics. I’m tired of seeing them talk the wildest BS and get to keep their money–while I’m giving tax dollars to their organizations. Enough.

  2. Tax exempt charities ARE allowed to give opinions. What that are not allowed to do is advocate for specific votes on ballot items or candidates. The above example seems to be a violation.

    • dragondeathlord on said:

      Jim Kay good point most people do not even read Section 501(c). But like I said Churches Do not need one .

      501c3 Church Facts

      Lyndon B. Johnson, LBJMost churches in America have organized as “501c3 tax-exempt religious organizations.” This is a fairly recent trend that has only been going on for about fifty years. Churches were only added to section 501c3 of the tax code in 1954. We can thank Sen. Lyndon B. Johnson for that. Johnson was no ally of the church. As part of his political agenda, Johnson had it in mind to silence the church and eliminate the significant influence the church had always had on shaping “public policy.”

      Although Johnson proffered this as a “favor” to churches, the favor also came with strings attached (more like shackles). One need not look far to see the devastating effects 501c3 acceptance has had to the church, and the consequent restrictions placed upon any 501c3 church. 501c3 churches are prohibited from addressing, in any tangible way, the vital issues of the day.

      For a 501c3 church to openly speak out, or organize in opposition to, anything that the government declares “legal,” even if it is immoral (e.g. abortion, homosexuality, etc.), that church will jeopardize its tax exempt status. The 501c3 has had a “chilling effect” upon the free speech rights of the church. LBJ was a shrewd and cunning politician who seemed to well-appreciate how easily many of the clergy would sell out.

      Did the church ever need to seek permission from the government to be exempt from taxes? Were churches prior to 1954 taxable? No, churches have never been taxable. To be taxable a church would first need to be under the jurisdiction, and therefore under the taxing authority, of the government. The First Amendment clearly places the church outside the jurisdiction of the civil government: “Congress shall make NO LAW respecting an establishment of religion, nor prohibiting the free exercise thereof.”

      Religion cannot be free if you have to pay the government, through taxation, to exercise it. Since churches aren’t taxable in the first place, why do so many of them go to the IRS and seek permission to be tax-exempt? It occurs out of:

      Ignorance (“We didn’t know any better”)
      Bandwagon logic (“Everyone else is doing it”)
      Professional advice (many attorneys and CPAs recommend it)

      Does the law require, or even encourage, a church to organize as a 501c3? To answer that question let’s turn to what the IRS itself has to say.
      Churches Need Not Apply

      In order to be considered for tax-exempt status by the IRS an organization must fill out and submit IRS Form 1023 and 1024. However, note what the IRS says regarding churches and church ministries, in Publication 557:

      Some organizations are not required to file Form 1023. These include:

      Churches, interchurch organizations of local units of a church, conventions or associations of churches, or integrated auxiliaries of a church, such as a men’s or women’s organization, religious school, mission society, or youth group. These organizations are exempt automatically if they meet the requirements of section 501(c)(3).

      I get annoyed with Bible thumper Telling me how to live to but it is there right and you can not TAX a church or a church falls under the influence of the state. Witch Violates are First Ammendment to the point it no longer exists.

      The amendment prohibits the making of any law respecting an establishment of religion, impeding the free exercise of religion, abridging the freedom of speech, infringing on the freedom of the press, interfering with the right to peaceably assemble or prohibiting the petitioning for a governmental redress of grievances.

      Taxes allow Government to control Religion. Thats the reason they do not pay tax.

      • Dragondeathlord, I appreciate your long and detailed response. But I must continue to dispute you understanding of the facts.

        To claim that churches have never been taxable is to deny world history. It is also to deny American history. Church activities which have been ruled ‘commercial’ rather than ‘church’ have long been taxable. To claim that churches in America have never been under government jurisdiction is to ignore such things as the long-running child molestation scandle affecting the Catholic Church. If the long list of priests who have been tried in civil courts doesn’t demonstrate this, what will? How about churches being held to zoning codes, building codes, etc.? The 1st amendment ‘protections’ for religion are much narrower than you seem to recognize. Those protections are for ‘religion’ and not for ‘churches’ which are only the ‘organized religion’ infrastructure.

        Historically, governments have attached churches by ‘taxing them to death.’ These attacks have generally been in response to churchs becoming powerful rivals to goverment by their accumulation of vast properties and wealth. Property tax exemptions lead to churches accumulating donated property which they can hold at little or no cost. Over decades and centuries, this leads to economic crisies when the church owns a major fraction of the airable land.

        Religious activity is protected but churches often go far beyond that and deserve no protections for those activities.

  3. religious figures are granted a tax exempt status in return for not meddling in political affairs is a myth it was never required , it threatens there Section 501(c) that allows them to be corporations but not really required .

    Not fond of that site as there very anti-anything not catholic and are right wing Koo-coos but they at least get there facts right.

    I am a Wicca Priest have been for 30 years, so yes I know what I am talking about , So Please Do the same. Get you facts straight. As i hate defending people that want to Kill ME!

    But Taxes have been used Historically in Europe to Close and Control and Gag Churches SO THEY HAVE TO BE EXEMPT! Section 501(c) is realistically unconstitutional and a Violation of the First Amendment Except the IRS knows that and Dose not nor EVER HAS taxed Churches that Violated and lost there Section 501(c). YOU want them to loose it? Cool all it dose is complicate Paper Work For IRS and mean the Church in question can dump its Board or Elders.

  4. A church is like a Park it is created by a community (that Dose payed taxes) and it serves a social need , Like a park or a zoo. A Church might be absurd and Worship the Great on Powerful Elvis the Pelvis, But thats not my Call to say what is ans is not absurd. So a state can not build public churches, nor can it create Universal Churches as many must have grounds Owned solely to them as part of there Faith, So The state Builds Zoos and parks and an taxes us for them but dose not Tax us for churches and leaves it for the community to build them and dose not tax them.
    To do less or more opens the Door to a Church State and if you did not Know Atheism IS a resisted Church. A church dose by the way not require a God or Gods. Buddhist being a Example. Buddhist in there purest Form ARE them selves Atheists.

  5. Maureen Kilgour on said:

    Not just the Catholic church. Look at involvement of LDS (aka Mormon) church with prop 8 in California and it’s MAJOR influence in ALL policy decisions in the state of Utah. This year for the FIRST time in DECADES the LDS church leadership did not have it’s annual pre-legislative meeting/breakfast with State reps. Decades for republican reps and I think about 10 years for dem. reps (few and far between). Interesting that they picked the year a member of the LDS church is likely to be the candidate on GOP ticket to NOT have these meetings. Maybe they figured it would draw attention to the amount of undue influence they have on the state. The LDS church has also purchased Main Street in SLC and just bought a street in Provo for the new Tabernacle reconstruction.

  6. It’s time to end the free ride…

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