Double Standard? Feds Seize Muslim Property... But is the Vatican Guilty too?

Nov 14, 2009 Full story: lezgetreal.com 40

Federal Attorneys in Manhattan filed a civil complaint in the federal court seeking the forfeiture of more than $500 million in assets of the Alavi Foundation, which describes itself as a charitable foundation, and a company, Assa.

I am not going to say I have any love for the Theocratic Dictatorship of Iran, because I don’t. I think them dangerous and in opposition to everything I hold dear. But I do feel the takeover of mosques will raise serious constitutional questions around the right of freedom to religion and I do think there is a bit of a discriminatory double standard being put forth here by the US Government…

Because if you are going by the details the Justice Department is putting out in this case… this situation has been going on a long time before Iran even became a problem child, and the last time I checked the Vatican was also officially another country that at times has been hostile to US policy, and has organizations in this country collecting and laundering money that will be later used against US citizens

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Speedieg

Atlanta, GA

#1 Nov 14, 2009
Catholic money is only used against GLBT Citizens and that is fine with everyone. In fact they can do it tax free.
EDC

Arlington, TX

#2 Nov 14, 2009
anyone who can not see what Islam is doing only proves
1. they have never been to a Muslim Country (I've been to 4)
2. is selfish - only sees things with a personal angle
3. does not see the Spiritual plan
4. is an idiot

Islam has a plan, idiots can not see it... anything we do stop them is victory.

You people please stop being so stupid and open you eyes.
EDC

Arlington, TX

#3 Nov 14, 2009
you should watch
1. the movie Obsesion
2. the movie Inside the Revolutilon

you should travel
you should talk to people outside your bubble
you should think outside you tiny box

When or If Islam "wins" the whole of our LGBT circle will be destroyed. And not in some simple way -- look and see what they do today, to their own....

Wake Up!!!!

Since: May 08

Location hidden

#4 Nov 14, 2009
No one defended Islam in this article... and while I do think it a slippery slope for the government to seize religious sites... in fact no one even said the the government is out of line for seizing the properties .

But your comment show the very Double Standard pointed out here in the article... because Islam and the RCC both would love to see LGBTs and Women second class citizens.

and the only difference is that the word and deeds come from a predominately brown male face in the case of Islam while it comes from a predominately white male face with the RCC.

Rev Ray T

Topeka, KS

#5 Nov 14, 2009
EDC wrote:
anyone who can not see what Islam is doing only proves
1. they have never been to a Muslim Country (I've been to 4)
2. is selfish - only sees things with a personal angle
3. does not see the Spiritual plan
4. is an idiot
Islam has a plan, idiots can not see it... anything we do stop them is victory.
You people please stop being so stupid and open you eyes.
Looks like the blind are leading the blind here.

Every statement you made applies only some of Moslems. Every thing you said can apply equally to some Christians. Murder for religious reasons is still murder and an abomination in the eyes of a god who loves all those beings this god created. Kill people in another country by flying a plain into a high-rise building. Murder an abortion doctor, crucify a young man on a barbed wire fence, chain a young man to the back of a pick-up and drage him down the road until he is dead. I fail to see the difference. Murder is murder and numbers do nor count.
Duped since birth

Havre De Grace, MD

#6 Nov 14, 2009
Paula excellent article, and your comment as well. Except for one thing, "Islam and the RCC both would love to see LGBTs and Women second class citizens." Just the choice of words - they don't WANT to see, they see. Women and LGBTs are second class citizens to them.(Now can someone please explain to me why there are female members in the RCC?)

“God made in the image of man”

Since: May 07

Sausalito, CA

#7 Nov 14, 2009
EDC wrote:
you should watch
1. the movie Obsesion
2. the movie Inside the Revolutilon
you should travel
you should talk to people outside your bubble
you should think outside you tiny box
When or If Islam "wins" the whole of our LGBT circle will be destroyed. And not in some simple way -- look and see what they do today, to their own....
Wake Up!!!!
You are the one who is missing the point. The author of the article took great pains to point out that they were NOT in sympathy with Iran and had no issues with the action as such. However, the point is that the Vatican behaves in similar ways in this country, specifically with regard to LGBT folks -- AND THEY DO!

So you've been to four Muslim countries -- big woop -- but have you ever been a gay person in this country and borne the of Catholic opposition supported with tax-free dollars? Has your marriage ever been nullified through the actions of the Catholic organizations with the blessing of the Vatican?!!! Talk to us again when that has happened to you!

Until then, I say no tax-free status for ANY religion -- Islam, Christian or whatever -- which endeavors to terrorize US citizens by involving themselves in political actions.

“ reality, what a concept”

Since: Nov 07

this one

#8 Nov 14, 2009
Just to clarify a point in the article, the feds seized buildings belonging to the Alavi foundation, the tenants of which happened to be Mosques, they haven't closed the Mosques or seized their assets.

This wasn't an anti-Islamic act, but an act against an accused violator of the embargo against Iran which has been in place since 1980.

The best the author of this article can do in linking the Vatican to anti-abortion terrorism was that they "tend to quote the Vatican Theocratic Dictatorship a lot", but the reality is that most of these terrorists are far more often the product of fundamentalist Protestant teachings, which while similar to the Vatican party line, isn't the same thing.

What people need to grasp is that as a part of American society, religious denominations and faith based groups aren't without a say in this country's policies, whether we agree with their position or not. While we are supposed to have a separation of Church and state in this country, it's far from an absolute and tends to favor the Church. They have a right to lobby their position to elected officials, just as any other group of citizens with a common interest. if the author of this piece imagines that at any point in the future that we are going to break diplomatic relations with the Vatican and start treating the Church and its subsidiaries as we do Iran, she needs to re-think her medications...

Since: May 08

Location hidden

#11 Nov 14, 2009
Rick in Kansas wrote:
if the author of this piece imagines that at any point in the future that we are going to break diplomatic relations with the Vatican and start treating the Church and its subsidiaries as we do Iran, she needs to re-think her medications...


I did not say we should break diplomatic relations with the Vatican... I said the the Vatican tends to be hostile to the rights of portions of our population and our government seems to put up with that.

The native hierarchy this particular religous group could very well be viewed as agents of a foreign power, since the Vatican is a sovereign state and they take their direction from the recognized leader of that state.

As for supporting terrorist... most terrorist sponsoring states won't take credit for their work.... since if they do this country tend to react badly... and drop smart bombs in their swimming pool, but you also don't hear a lot of condemnation of the terrorist acts either.... kind of like the big silence we heard from the Vatican after the Tiller murder.

EDC

Arlington, TX

#12 Nov 14, 2009
don't miss the big picture, for short term gain...

we all are effected - but we will surrender the future... for short term, zero gain ideas. that only sound "cool" but only rip our home land apart....

See reality, open your eyes.

or in other words see the simplicity or the attack and do not fall to simple plans - know the big picture and do not fall short.

Magsk

Winthrop, MA

#15 Nov 14, 2009
Speedieg wrote:
Catholic money is only used against GLBT Citizens and that is fine with everyone. In fact they can do it tax free.
It has been used against the victims of priestly abuse of children. That was in the midst of a campaign to silence the victim by invoking the "confessional".

Some of the greatest evils of this world have been performed by the Catholic Church. Don't dismiss the insult they make to religious freedom as "only used against GLBT Citizens and that is fine with everyone".

Since: May 08

Location hidden

#16 Nov 14, 2009
Magsk wrote:
<quoted text>It has been used against the victims of priestly abuse of children. That was in the midst of a campaign to silence the victim by invoking the "confessional".
Some of the greatest evils of this world have been performed by the Catholic Church. Don't dismiss the insult they make to religious freedom as "only used against GLBT Citizens and that is fine with everyone".
That was another point that could have been made in this article... that the same seizure law should have been used in the abuse cases... especially those in Boston where the church really went outside the bounds of common decency to cover up the crimes... yet as we see the Archdiocese of Boston is still the owners of the Cathedral of the Holy Cross
michael

Marquette, MI

#19 Nov 14, 2009
So a class action lawsuit accusing the Catholic Church of Genocide- of Crimes Against Humanity of deliberately killing, Native Americans.

A lawsuit- accusing of Genetic Cleansing- does anyone realize for over a hundred years, the Catholic Church would take young Native American children away from their parents, to place them with Whites, to "promote the ending of Native Tribes"

A class action lawsuit against the Catholic Pedophiles and the Bishops and Church policy that moves them from one parish to another and shielding them from disclosure, arrest or other punishment for their crimes and sins?

The Catholic Church is the heirs to the Sadducees of Jesus's Time. And the Sacred College of Cardinals is the same as the Sanhedrin that condemned Jesus to be turned over for the Romans to Kill him.

The Catholic Church even passed laws that you could be executed for owning a Bible.

The Catholic Church, bishops, cardinals etc, owned Slaves and encouraged slave owners that their rights to slaves was in the Bible.
formergaycatholi c

Port Orchard, WA

#44 Nov 14, 2009
The difference is, the Vatican is Christian, the Iranian situation, of course is Muslim.

I am not trying to trivialize the situation at all. In fact I agree with the article. The Catholic church does in fact funnel huge sums of money from all over the United States directly to Rome. Then the church takes hostile political stances against the United States, which in my interpretation does harm to some of our citizens ( in particular gay citizens).

But as a society we turn a blind eye towards their activities, as we tell ourselves that we were founded on Judeo-Christian values.

As a gay man in the United States, and a former Catholic, I feel the church has directly harmed me,and it is a valid discussion that they should be treated no differently than the Alavi Foundation

“RAINBOW POWER!”

Since: Oct 08

I Am What I Am.

#46 Nov 15, 2009
EDC wrote:
Islam has a plan, idiots can not see it... anything we do stop them is victory.
Right wing Christians have a malicious plan too. Truth is, ALL religions are dangerous. They're like a cancer on the collective mind, fueling superstition and hate, and misleading millions of people down a path of self-destruction.

“God made in the image of man”

Since: May 07

Sausalito, CA

#47 Nov 15, 2009
Rick in Kansas wrote:
Just to clarify a point in the article, the feds seized buildings belonging to the Alavi foundation, the tenants of which happened to be Mosques, they haven't closed the Mosques or seized their assets.
This wasn't an anti-Islamic act, but an act against an accused violator of the embargo against Iran which has been in place since 1980.
The best the author of this article can do in linking the Vatican to anti-abortion terrorism was that they "tend to quote the Vatican Theocratic Dictatorship a lot", but the reality is that most of these terrorists are far more often the product of fundamentalist Protestant teachings, which while similar to the Vatican party line, isn't the same thing.
What people need to grasp is that as a part of American society, religious denominations and faith based groups aren't without a say in this country's policies, whether we agree with their position or not. While we are supposed to have a separation of Church and state in this country, it's far from an absolute and tends to favor the Church. They have a right to lobby their position to elected officials, just as any other group of citizens with a common interest. if the author of this piece imagines that at any point in the future that we are going to break diplomatic relations with the Vatican and start treating the Church and its subsidiaries as we do Iran, she needs to re-think her medications...
Rick, you seem to have a clear grasp of this topic. Just for interest's sake -- would you care to clarify for us the activities in which religious non-profits are spicifically PROHIBITED from participating in this country? Do any limits in fact exist in the law?

“ reality, what a concept”

Since: Nov 07

this one

#48 Nov 15, 2009
Umninimuzi wrote:
(see above)
You can see for yourself, I've cut and pasted the entire extent of the IRS guidelines for political and lobbying activities by any organization with a 501(c)3 status and any IRS guideline short enough to fit into the 4000 character limit of a Topix is going to be vague enough to drive just about any activity through without getting in trouble.
The Restriction of Political Campaign Intervention by Section 501(c)(3) Tax-Exempt Organizations
Under the Internal Revenue Code, all section 501(c)(3) organizations are absolutely prohibited from directly or indirectly participating in, or intervening in, any political campaign on behalf of (or in opposition to) any candidate for elective public office. Contributions to political campaign funds or public statements of position (verbal or written) made on behalf of the organization in favor of or in opposition to any candidate for public office clearly violate the prohibition against political campaign activity. Violating this prohibition may result in denial or revocation of tax-exempt status and the imposition of certain excise taxes.
Certain activities or expenditures may not be prohibited depending on the facts and circumstances. For example, certain voter education activities (including presenting public forums and publishing voter education guides) conducted in a non-partisan manner do not constitute prohibited political campaign activity. In addition, other activities intended to encourage people to participate in the electoral process, such as voter registration and get-out-the-vote drives, would not be prohibited political campaign activity if conducted in a non-partisan manner.
On the other hand, voter education or registration activities with evidence of bias that (a) would favor one candidate over another; (b) oppose a candidate in some manner; or (c) have the effect of favoring a candidate or group of candidates, will constitute prohibited participation or intervention.
The Internal Revenue Service provides resources to exempt organizations and the public to help them understand the prohibition. As part of its examination program, the IRS also monitors whether organizations are complying with the prohibition.
Lobbying
In general, no organization may qualify for section 501(c)(3) status if a substantial part of its activities is attempting to influence legislation (commonly known as lobbying). A 501(c)(3) organization may engage in some lobbying, but too much lobbying activity risks loss of tax-exempt status.
Legislation includes action by Congress, any state legislature, any local council, or similar governing body, with respect to acts, bills, resolutions, or similar items (such as legislative confirmation of appointive office), or by the public in referendum, ballot initiative, constitutional amendment, or similar procedure. It does not include actions by executive, judicial, or administrative bodies.
An organization will be regarded as attempting to influence legislation if it contacts, or urges the public to contact, members or employees of a legislative body for the purpose of proposing, supporting, or opposing legislation, or if the organization advocates the adoption or rejection of legislation.
Organizations may, however, involve themselves in issues of public policy without the activity being considered as lobbying. For example, organizations may conduct educational meetings, prepare and distribute educational materials, or otherwise consider public policy issues in an educational manner without jeopardizing their tax-exempt status.
Here's the link to the "substantial part" test, it is essentially on a case by case basis:
http://www.irs.gov/charities/article/0,,id=16...
Link to the main article: http://www.irs.gov/charities/charitable/artic...

“God made in the image of man”

Since: May 07

Sausalito, CA

#49 Nov 15, 2009
Thank you -- that's the most helpful post I've seen here in all this time we've been debating religions' tax-free status. And like you said, it's been written in such a way to cover everyone's asses in the event of failture to take legal action, but still provide the excuse to go after those whom they have the political will to shut down! There are a couple of phrases that one almost wants to apply to the Prop H8 situation, but then other disclaimers pull the rug out from under your feet. No-one is going to investigate the Vatican, obviously, nor even the Mormon Church for that matter, so we're back to the status quo.
A Southern Gentleman

League City, TX

#50 Nov 15, 2009
michael wrote:
So a class action lawsuit accusing the Catholic Church of Genocide- of Crimes Against Humanity of deliberately killing, Native Americans.
A lawsuit- accusing of Genetic Cleansing- does anyone realize for over a hundred years, the Catholic Church would take young Native American children away from their parents, to place them with Whites, to "promote the ending of Native Tribes"
A class action lawsuit against the Catholic Pedophiles and the Bishops and Church policy that moves them from one parish to another and shielding them from disclosure, arrest or other punishment for their crimes and sins?
The Catholic Church is the heirs to the Sadducees of Jesus's Time. And the Sacred College of Cardinals is the same as the Sanhedrin that condemned Jesus to be turned over for the Romans to Kill him.
The Catholic Church even passed laws that you could be executed for owning a Bible.
The Catholic Church, bishops, cardinals etc, owned Slaves and encouraged slave owners that their rights to slaves was in the Bible.
michael wrote:
So a class action lawsuit accusing the Catholic Church of Genocide- of Crimes Against Humanity of deliberately killing, Native Americans.
A lawsuit- accusing of Genetic Cleansing- does anyone realize for over a hundred years, the Catholic Church would take young Native American children away from their parents, to place them with Whites, to "promote the ending of Native Tribes"
A class action lawsuit against the Catholic Pedophiles and the Bishops and Church policy that moves them from one parish to another and shielding them from disclosure, arrest or other punishment for their crimes and sins?
The Catholic Church is the heirs to the Sadducees of Jesus's Time. And the Sacred College of Cardinals is the same as the Sanhedrin that condemned Jesus to be turned over for the Romans to Kill him.
The Catholic Church even passed laws that you could be executed for owning a Bible.
The Catholic Church, bishops, cardinals etc, owned Slaves and encouraged slave owners that their rights to slaves was in the Bible.
That was mostly the Protestants and other Christian denominations. Catholics were, for the most part, despised in the US and were often times held in the same regard and even lower than blacks and other minorities. Either you're deliberately lying on the Catholic Church as I've seen many people do here before, or you've been fed some extra nutty BS.

While we're on the subject though, the indians were not exactly the "noble savages" that we're indoctrinated today. Indian tribes killed, raped, enslaved, stole land and razed the villages of other tribes. And the tribes that were peaceful, that actually still existed when Europeans arrived, could enjoy such a luxury living in a tribal society because they kicked the most ass and took the most land and people early on. So they didn't have to fight, other people did it for them. Europeans were no different than the tribes that were already here, they just happened to have lighter skin, better weapons and more people.

Indians aren't the only people in this world who've been kicked around and have had their culture beaten out of them. Look up the Cajuns for example, a people that are overlooked and often times from my experience, not widely known to exist.

Moving on though, the Catholic Church never made a law that it was illegal to own bibles in general. Many people refer back to the Middle Ages to support this claim and it's not true. Many bibles and scriptures were burned and lost from the days when the Roman Empire carried out campaigns to eradicate Christianity from most of Europe. As time passed, it wasn't long after Christianity was accepted that the Roman Empire fell. The Church never had enough time to truly reorganize and was faced with what we know as the Dark Ages.
A Southern Gentleman

League City, TX

#51 Nov 15, 2009
Bibles were scarce at that time and what few did exist, were in the Church's possession. It was virtually impossible for anyone outside of the church to be in possession of one. And if you did have one and were not part of the church, chances are you stole it from a church. Theft in general back then carried a hefty punishment, but theft of church property was even worse. On top of that, bibles at the time were only in Latin, a language that the majority of people outside of the Church did not speak.

It would take one very skilled monk an entire year to make one whole bible. The church had to keep what little there was left safe so they could make more copies to have for the future. Furthermore, the Church made great efforts to produce bibles translated in languages besides Latin after they became better established. The belief that the church tried to stifle education and keep scriptures from people is another ridiculous lie pushed by anti-Catholic bigots.

I'll agree that there have been people who've perverted the Church and it's teachings to meet their own ends. Refer to any country, religion or any organization today and you'll see periods where this has happened in their history or is even happening today. And if people can justify destroying the Church based on this fact, while overlooking all the good the Church has done around the world, then I guess they'd support nuking the planet as well. And to further address the slavery comment, what was socially acceptable in the past, isn't today; Just as what's socially acceptable today and "just", will be looked down upon in disgust tomorrow. That's just one of the facts of life.

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