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Now’s the Time To End Tax Exemptions for Religious Institutions - Mark Openheimer

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  • Now’s the Time To End Tax Exemptions for Religious Institutions - Mark Openheimer

    Well, at least one person on the other side started saying it in the open.

    Read it here.

    Source: Mark Openheimer

    Two weeks ago, with a decision in Obergefell v. Hodges on the way, Sen. Mike Lee of Utah introduced the First Amendment Defense Act, which ensures that religious institutions won’t lose their tax exemptions if they don’t support same-sex marriage. Liberals tend to think Sen. Lee’s fears are unwarranted, and they can even point to Justice Anthony Kennedy’s opinion in Friday’s case, which promises “that religious organizations and persons [will be] given proper protection.”

    But I don’t think Sen. Lee is crazy. In the 1983 Bob Jones University case, the court ruled that a school could lose tax-exempt status if its policies violated “fundamental national public policy.” So far, the Bob Jones reasoning hasn’t been extended to other kinds of discrimination, but someday it could be. I’m a gay-rights supporter who was elated by Friday’s Supreme Court decision — but I honor Sen. Lee’s fears.

    I don’t, however, like his solution. And he’s not going to like mine. Rather than try to rescue tax-exempt status for organizations that dissent from settled public policy on matters of race or sexuality, we need to take a more radical step. It’s time to abolish, or greatly diminish, their tax-exempt statuses.

    © Copyright Original Source


  • #2
    Originally posted by Leonhard View Post
    Well, at least one person on the other side started saying it in the open.

    Read it here.

    Source: Mark Openheimer

    Two weeks ago, with a decision in Obergefell v. Hodges on the way, Sen. Mike Lee of Utah introduced the First Amendment Defense Act, which ensures that religious institutions won’t lose their tax exemptions if they don’t support same-sex marriage. Liberals tend to think Sen. Lee’s fears are unwarranted, and they can even point to Justice Anthony Kennedy’s opinion in Friday’s case, which promises “that religious organizations and persons [will be] given proper protection.”

    But I don’t think Sen. Lee is crazy. In the 1983 Bob Jones University case, the court ruled that a school could lose tax-exempt status if its policies violated “fundamental national public policy.” So far, the Bob Jones reasoning hasn’t been extended to other kinds of discrimination, but someday it could be. I’m a gay-rights supporter who was elated by Friday’s Supreme Court decision — but I honor Sen. Lee’s fears.

    I don’t, however, like his solution. And he’s not going to like mine. Rather than try to rescue tax-exempt status for organizations that dissent from settled public policy on matters of race or sexuality, we need to take a more radical step. It’s time to abolish, or greatly diminish, their tax-exempt statuses.

    © Copyright Original Source

    And the "the power to tax involves the power to destroy."
    Atheism is the cult of death, the death of hope. The universe is doomed, you are doomed, the only thing that remains is to await your execution...

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jbnueb2OI4o&t=3s

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by Leonhard View Post
      Well, at least one person on the other side started saying it in the open.
      Not quite sure what you mean by this. I've never supported churches having tax-exempt status. Even when I was a Christian I thought it was a bizarre thing.

      Originally posted by seer View Post
      And the "the power to tax involves the power to destroy."
      No, it's "with great power comes great responsibility".

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Starlight View Post
        No, it's "with great power comes great responsibility".
        No it's not. The power to tax is the power to destroy or the power to control. Which is exactly what you leftists want.
        Atheism is the cult of death, the death of hope. The universe is doomed, you are doomed, the only thing that remains is to await your execution...

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jbnueb2OI4o&t=3s

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Leonhard View Post
          Well, at least one person on the other side started saying it in the open.

          Read it here.

          Source: Mark Openheimer

          Two weeks ago, with a decision in Obergefell v. Hodges on the way, Sen. Mike Lee of Utah introduced the First Amendment Defense Act, which ensures that religious institutions won’t lose their tax exemptions if they don’t support same-sex marriage. Liberals tend to think Sen. Lee’s fears are unwarranted, and they can even point to Justice Anthony Kennedy’s opinion in Friday’s case, which promises “that religious organizations and persons [will be] given proper protection.”

          But I don’t think Sen. Lee is crazy. In the 1983 Bob Jones University case, the court ruled that a school could lose tax-exempt status if its policies violated “fundamental national public policy.” So far, the Bob Jones reasoning hasn’t been extended to other kinds of discrimination, but someday it could be. I’m a gay-rights supporter who was elated by Friday’s Supreme Court decision — but I honor Sen. Lee’s fears.

          I don’t, however, like his solution. And he’s not going to like mine. Rather than try to rescue tax-exempt status for organizations that dissent from settled public policy on matters of race or sexuality, we need to take a more radical step. It’s time to abolish, or greatly diminish, their tax-exempt statuses.

          © Copyright Original Source

          Meh... I know a few pastors who would be more than happy to tell the Government where they can shove their tax exemption should it come down to that. In all honesty- should things REALLY get that bad- I'd prefer that churches lose their tax-exempt status than constantly risk being blackmailed by the state to violate their conscience. Churches don't need the tax exemption, though it certainly makes them more efficient in their ministry.
          Last edited by Chaotic Void; 07-15-2015, 06:45 PM.
          Mercenary Maxim 37: There is No 'Overkill.' There is merely 'Open Fire,' and 'I need to Reload.'

          Chaotic Void's Recommended Advice for Trump's Opposition to Punt him from the Oval Office: Git Gud

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Chaotic Void View Post
            Meh... I know a few pastors who would be more than happy to tell the Government where they can shove their tax exemption should it come down to that. In all honesty- should things REALLY get that bad- I'd prefer that churches lose their tax-exempt status than constantly risk being blackmailed by the state to violate their conscience. Churches don't need the tax exemption, though it certainly makes them more efficient in their ministry.
            But then they become a for-profit business and thus will likely lose first amendment protection.
            "I was the CIA director. We lied, we cheated, we stole, it was like... we had entire training courses. It reminds you of the glory of the American experiment." - Mike Pompeo, Secretary of State (source).

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by seanD View Post
              But then they become a for-profit business and thus will likely lose first amendment protection.
              right...
              Atheism is the cult of death, the death of hope. The universe is doomed, you are doomed, the only thing that remains is to await your execution...

              https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jbnueb2OI4o&t=3s

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by seer View Post
                right...
                that would require overruling Citizens United, etc., which I know the Left wants to do anyway, but...
                Don't call it a comeback. It's a riposte.

                Comment


                • #9
                  The biggest tax advantage for Churches, in my opinion, is the ministerial housing allowance, which is also under attack. I expect it will eventually go away, but meanwhile it helps smaller Churches pay their ministers a "bigger bang for the buck" salary.
                  "Neighbor, how long has it been since you’ve had a big, thick, steaming bowl of Wolf Brand Chili?”

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    If we substituted the Fair Tax for the Income Tax the problem would go away. No tax exemptions along with all the fiscal benefits of doing away with the whole tax structure. Of course we will never the the Fair Tax because that would take away masses of government control of peoples private lives. Control of people is what liberals are all about. This in the tax system, gun control and lots of other areas.
                    Micah 6:8 He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the LORD require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Jedidiah View Post
                      If we substituted the Fair Tax for the Income Tax the problem would go away. No tax exemptions
                      So you're in favor of getting rid of the tax-exempt status of Churches (since they would not be tax exempt in your ideal Fair Tax system)?

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Spartacus View Post
                        that would require overruling Citizens United, etc., which I know the Left wants to do anyway, but...
                        Populist right wing people I know aren't exactly fans of it either.

                        Why even have this tax exemption in the first place?

                        edit:

                        Also, the link doesn't work in the OP

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Although I do have some issues with the ministerial housing allowance, I honestly don't have any problem with the tax exemptions offered by 501(c)(3) registration.

                          Interestingly, if these exemptions were to disappear, so would the rules which disallow 501(c)(3) organizations from directly taking part in politics. Pastors would be completely free to endorse specific candidates or legislation from the pulpit or to require that their congregations vote a certain way in order to retain membership. I honestly don't think that many of those people who are calling for the end of "religious tax exemption" have realized that they may actually be opening up something which they oppose even more strongly.
                          "[Mathematics] is the revealer of every genuine truth, for it knows every hidden secret, and bears the key to every subtlety of letters; whoever, then, has the effrontery to pursue physics while neglecting mathematics should know from the start he will never make his entry through the portals of wisdom."
                          --Thomas Bradwardine, De Continuo (c. 1325)

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Boxing Pythagoras View Post
                            Although I do have some issues with the ministerial housing allowance, I honestly don't have any problem with the tax exemptions offered by 501(c)(3) registration.

                            Interestingly, if these exemptions were to disappear, so would the rules which disallow 501(c)(3) organizations from directly taking part in politics. Pastors would be completely free to endorse specific candidates or legislation from the pulpit or to require that their congregations vote a certain way in order to retain membership. I honestly don't think that many of those people who are calling for the end of "religious tax exemption" have realized that they may actually be opening up something which they oppose even more strongly.
                            I don't think you understand how most churches operate. The notion that a pastor would (or could) "require people to vote a certain way to retain membership" is totally unrealistic.
                            "Neighbor, how long has it been since you’ve had a big, thick, steaming bowl of Wolf Brand Chili?”

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Jaecp View Post
                              Why even have this tax exemption in the first place?
                              From what I understand, it's so that charities/community service type groups can make their fund-raised money go further.

                              I like to joke that it's the Goober Mint's way of conceding inefficiency, since it's not exactly the world's best-kept secret that private charities typically provide more bang for your buck.
                              Mercenary Maxim 37: There is No 'Overkill.' There is merely 'Open Fire,' and 'I need to Reload.'

                              Chaotic Void's Recommended Advice for Trump's Opposition to Punt him from the Oval Office: Git Gud

                              Comment

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