Thursday, October 4, 2012

Why We Need to Tax God

Have you ever been to a church service and the pastor announces that a special guest visitor would like to address the congregation. It's not a guest minister, but a political candidate running for Congress, City Council, or stating some position about an upcoming election. Maybe the pastor himself tells the church how it's the last days, "we are a Godly people", we must vote our principles, or amazingly, advises the church to  not vote at all. Maybe the pastor tells you to vote for a particular political party for whatever reason, real or imagined.

Appalling? Disgusting? It happens all the time in the South and when that happens, the tax man should immediately send the church a tax return because churches are being poisoned by capitalism. Churches aren't taxed and participate in so called "faith based programs" and it's something we all accept like the sky is blue. But no one really examines why we don't tax churches, especially now since they are in the political game.

“THE constitution does not require the government to exempt churches from federal income taxation or from filing tax and information returns.” It's a privilege, not a right, which means it's revocable. When the founding documents of this country were written, for instance, churches tended to be small congregations of like-minded people who worshiped their deity in the same way, and any money given by a church’s flock was hopefully going to support church-sponsored functions like charity work.
TBN's Palatial Headquarters
Now, even Religion has been poisoned by crony Capitalism to the point that we have these mega-churches that rake in millions of dollars and commercialize their church’s message to the point that a Coca-Cola billboard and a Rock of Christ Our Lord Who Gave His Life For Us on A Cross on the Side of the Road at Mt. Calvary Tabernacle (seriously, church names are redundant) billboard. What I’m saying is that God has a butt load of cash and merchandise that he doesn’t pay Uncle Sam a dime for…and maybe that needs to change. You have a system rigged full of televangelists running lucrative things such as recording studios and selling oil and gas under cover of the religious exemption, highlighting a serious regulatory failure at the heart of America's charitable sector.

However, ever since the Religious Right started commandeering the Republican party, churches have become more and more active in politics, and still all along they’ve gotten millions of dollars tithed to them, without having to pay a single tax dollar. I seriously attended a church service where the pastor said, "I require all employees of this church to tithe. The money is automatically deducted from their checks, or they can't work here" So, let me get this straight, you pay the employee's and then require them to pay that money back to you? No one saw a problem with this but me. How is this not a religious sanctioned extortion racket?

Show Me Da Money
These super-mega-corporate churches rake in more money than your mom and pop convenience store, or your local movie theater. Make no mistake, churches have becomes titans of business, and yet every year they file no taxes. Yes, they are supposed to be non-profit, but one has to wonder just how much oversight we get into the books. As taxpayers, we should all be concerned that churches are more and more becoming fronts for large sums of money to be divvied up among pastors, preachers, church executives and whatever political causes they see fit. These tax shelters for God need to be more thoroughly scrutinized, but in a modern world, why shouldn’t churches be taxed once their revenues, excuse me, tithes reach a certain amount of money? These churches lobby against the tax payers interests time and time again and that's not what the church was designed to do. I have no better example than TBN (the blasphemy network), these charlatans spread their hokey brand of prosperity nonsense gospel to the mindless, they send in their checks and the owners of the networks sit on their tacky gold thrones (the old white guy that always wears a gray suit and the lady with the purple wig).

Is it really fair to the working class Americans in this country, that Pat Robertson can bring in astoundingly large sums of money every year for his 700 Club and that none of it will be taxed, beyond what the person tithing pays as income tax, of course. He’s going on TV every day, asking people to send them money to reserve their room at Hotel Heaven, and where exactly does that money go? For him to tell more lies and spread more intolerance and hatred on gays, women, and abortion.
File:Yoido Full Gospel Church.jpg
Is This A Church or The Staples Center?

I’m sure the 700 Club funds all kinds of Christian-based charities (buying soggy sandwiches, rubber arm bands, and invasive female procedures), and they probably do fine work. But I’m not convinced for one second that none of it goes towards political campaigns or candidates. After all, the 700 Club has interests it wants to protect, like making sure two adults who love each other can’t get married if they both happen to have a dick, and you know, compassionate stuff like that. Does it not raise any red flags that a man who espouses the teachings of Christ, who said that it’s easier for a rich man to eat a hundred tacos in an hour than it is to get into Heaven (or something like that), is by all accounts worth at least 100 million dollars, and probably, much, much more? Shouldn't a man who is dedicated to the work of a man who gave no merit to money, and who runs a church that is supposed to be non-profit, is filthy rich? But it's a testament to a man's faith and how much faith he has by how much money he has acquired, in the new gospel.
It’s time for America to treat churches the same as any small business and hold them accountable as well as transparent. If the church in question really is non-profit then there’d be no need to tax them. However, if a church is running deep into the black, paying its ministers six or even seven figure salaries, he's drives a Bentley, boasts about a $500 dog, a private jet, multi million dollar homes, solid gold toilets, private chefs, claim a so called "parsonage allowance" to have the church pay their mortgage and is spending millions on advertising their drug God, then it’s time to tax them. Tax them at 15%, or 20%, but a church with millions in revenues left over after they’ve paid all their expenses for the year has every obligation to kick into the country’s infrastructure. Since they love America so much that they can opine about how we need to try and save it by voting for certain people or not voting for certain people. You know America has gone down hill since we took prayer out of school... After all, it’s this country’s extremely liberal and secular stance on religion that allows them to operate as massive profit centers anyway. Why do you think Scientology became classified a religion instead of the crackpot fake psychology money bilking scheme it really is. Tax exemption. But, no one thinks about that...

Christians hold Jesus to be the Christ.
Haven't I Given Enough?

Conservatives should love this idea. After all, they contend no one deserves a free ride in America. So that applies to God, too, right? So pay up you dead beat!

1 comment:

GL21 said...

So much truth in this's scary.