Religious Exceptionalism: The legal right to discriminate

Jul 10, 2013 | Posted by: Rick in Kansas | Full story: www.dailykos.com

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances ...

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“RAINBOW POWER!”

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#21
Jul 13, 2013
 

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Europa Report wrote:
Chief Justice John Marshall said, "The power to tax is the power to destroy".
Under that reasoning, NO one should be taxed. The government needs money to function though. Yes, they spend too much, and sometimes on the wrong things, but that's a separate issue.
Europa Report wrote:
A "wall of separation between church and state" MUST include the non-taxation of religious institutions.
No, the separation of church and state only includes that the government can't create a State Religion or prevent the free exercise of religion (as long as it doesn't include anything illegal) and that religious groups can't legislate their beliefs and impose them on everyone else. There's nothing about the taxation of church property and business dealings.

Anyone who thinks the big "megachurches" aren't just profit-driven businesses is deluding themselves, and for most people, church is mainly a social gathering, a club, with varying degrees of exclusivity or inclusivity, depending on the church. Many religious organizations exist primarily to take advantage of tax exemptions. Heck, there's a guy living in my town who turned part of his house into an exclusive church for family members.

Yes, some churches do good things for the community, like run homeless shelters or soup kitchens, but most of those that do, that's a tiny fraction of their religious activity. I see nothing wrong with homeless shelters and soup kitchens themselves being tax-exempt, but the rest of the religious establishment should pay up.

“Building Better Worlds”

Since: May 13

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#22
Jul 13, 2013
 
Wolfgang E B wrote:
<quoted text>
Under that reasoning, NO one should be taxed. The government needs money to function though. Yes, they spend too much, and sometimes on the wrong things, but that's a separate issue.
<quoted text>
No, the separation of church and state only includes that the government can't create a State Religion or prevent the free exercise of religion (as long as it doesn't include anything illegal) and that religious groups can't legislate their beliefs and impose them on everyone else. There's nothing about the taxation of church property and business dealings.
Anyone who thinks the big "megachurches" aren't just profit-driven businesses is deluding themselves, and for most people, church is mainly a social gathering, a club, with varying degrees of exclusivity or inclusivity, depending on the church. Many religious organizations exist primarily to take advantage of tax exemptions. Heck, there's a guy living in my town who turned part of his house into an exclusive church for family members.
Yes, some churches do good things for the community, like run homeless shelters or soup kitchens, but most of those that do, that's a tiny fraction of their religious activity. I see nothing wrong with homeless shelters and soup kitchens themselves being tax-exempt, but the rest of the religious establishment should pay up.
I did not argue that there should be NO taxes.

What I have ALWAYS ARGUED for is LOW taxes, balanced budgets, financial discipline, transparency, accountability, and prudence in government.

"Render unto Caesar what IS Caesar's." (Luke 20:25).

And btw, the last Manhattanhenge of this year is today.(Make sure you all bow down and face the east at sunset and worship Michael Bloomberg. <s>)

(yes, "Manhattanhenge" is real).

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#23
Jul 13, 2013
 
DNF wrote:
<quoted text>By giving tax exemptions to religious groups, Congress IS violating the 1st Amendment. I thought REAL Libertarians understood that.
The tax exempt status is in reality a trick to CENSOR religion.. To keep their tax extempt status churchs have to walk a thin line on what they say on many things . By declining the tax extempt status My Church can say what ever it wants on any issue it wants to.
Im all for ending the tax extempt status for Religion so all Churchs would be free to say what ever they want to

DNF

“Liberty AND Justice”

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#24
Jul 13, 2013
 
californio wrote:
<quoted text> The tax exempt status is in reality a trick to CENSOR religion.. To keep their tax extempt status churchs have to walk a thin line on what they say on many things . By declining the tax extempt status My Church can say what ever it wants on any issue it wants to.
Im all for ending the tax extempt status for Religion so all Churchs would be free to say what ever they want to
I've worked for both non profits and not for profits. The idea that these two groups pay no taxes is inaccurate at best, plain stupid at worst.

How many non profits are able to go to a gas station, show their tax certificate and then get to avoid Federal excise, gasoline and sales taxes?

NONE!

Yes they are able to avoid State sales taxes and many others, but they DO in FACT pay taxes. If they didn't then none of the people who work there would be filing tax returns and putting down children and medical expenses as deductions.

A wise man once said, "It's better to remain silent and let the world think you are a fool than it is to open your mouth and remove all doubt".

And Churches can't lose their tax exempt status the way you describe. The ONLY way they can have that revoked is if it's proven they are using their tax exempt status illegally.

Keep these points in mind next time whoever's hand is up your butt working your mouth!

DNF

“Liberty AND Justice”

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#25
Jul 13, 2013
 
californio wrote:
<quoted text> The tax exempt status is in reality a trick to CENSOR religion.. To keep their tax extempt status churchs have to walk a thin line on what they say on many things . By declining the tax extempt status My Church can say what ever it wants on any issue it wants to.
Im all for ending the tax extempt status for Religion so all Churchs would be free to say what ever they want to
List a single minister, rabbi , mullah or priest in the last century who the Government jailed for what they said in church.(I know of one but I'll bet you don't know of any). There was even a movie in 1994 about him.

http://www.youtube.com/watch...

BTW at that time it was Illegal in Mississippi and Alabama as well as many other states to publicly speak against segregation!

Now shall we discuss ALL the verses in the Bible that tell you anti-gays to obey civil laws? I have about a dozen bookmarked for you.

DNF

“Liberty AND Justice”

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#26
Jul 13, 2013
 
californio wrote:
<quoted text> The tax exempt status is in reality a trick to CENSOR religion.. To keep their tax extempt status churchs have to walk a thin line on what they say on many things . By declining the tax extempt status My Church can say what ever it wants on any issue it wants to.
Im all for ending the tax extempt status for Religion so all Churchs would be free to say what ever they want to
In this nation EVERYONE is free to say whatever they want. The problem isn't what is said. The problem as I see it is that people don't want to be held responsible for WHAT they say.

A skinhead isn't afraid of being jailed for something they say. Yet you are.

HMMMMMMM

You are feeding into the political agenda of hate groups like the KKK and many others when you claim religious speech is in danger.

Here's an example: If I say my religion says such and such, I don't have to worry about consequences as long as I am not advocating doing things that are illegal, like promoting murder or riots.

Your argument was used by the ministers who called for the death of abortionists. They were charged not with illegal religious speech but were charged with advocating murder. They have been charged with inciting violence.

To most people, understanding the concept of it being wrong to falsely shout fire in a crowded theater isn't that difficult.

But then you folks can't seem to understand that marriage is both a noun and a verb.

Defining marriage as "one man one woman" means you can't let a carpenter marry one piece of wood to another or a chef to allow his seasonings to marry with the food!

Your side claims that the Federal DOMA law that Congress passed somehow made SSM illegal. The idea was that you'd avoid challenges to the States Rights issue.

What you actually DID was make SSM an OPTION under States Rights!

It's no wonder God gives Michelle Bachmann so many migraines!

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#27
Jul 16, 2013
 
DNF wrote:
<quoted text>List a single minister, rabbi , mullah or priest in the last century who the Government jailed for what they said in church.(I know of one but I'll bet you don't know of any). There was even a movie in 1994 about him.
http://www.youtube.com/watch...
BTW at that time it was Illegal in Mississippi and Alabama as well as many other states to publicly speak against segregation!
Now shall we discuss ALL the verses in the Bible that tell you anti-gays to obey civil laws? I have about a dozen bookmarked for you.
Did not say they would go to jail. but they would lose their Tax Extempt status.
From the IRS own web site (Churchs are 501(c) groups

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.


My Church refuses the Tax Extempt status so we CAN engage in the above.

DNF

“Liberty AND Justice”

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#28
Jul 16, 2013
 
californio wrote:
<quoted text> Did not say they would go to jail. but they would lose their Tax Extempt status.
From the IRS own web site (Churchs are 501(c) groups
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.
My Church refuses the Tax Extempt status so we CAN engage in the above.
Oh I see now. Yes am very familiar with that section for a while. And I'm impressed your church decided as it did.

I worked for the NFB"s National Center for the Blind in Baltimore. They began in the 1940's and opted to be not for profit because it gave them more freedom from government micromanagement.

But here's the thing and I think you may agree, the the judicial and executive branches have really been lenient with most major denominations, especially the RCC on this. Every anti gay group I know of was basically begun under the assistance and encouragement of the National Churches.
And the churches themselves? I don't know of any who have jeopardized their tax exempt status when they endorse or oppose political issues in the Church Newsletter.

DNF

“Liberty AND Justice”

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#29
Jul 16, 2013
 
"...opted for not for profit instead on nonprofit because..."

DNF

“Liberty AND Justice”

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#30
Jul 16, 2013
 
DNF wrote:
<quoted text>In this nation EVERYONE is free to say whatever they want. The problem isn't what is said. The problem as I see it is that people don't want to be held responsible for WHAT they say.
A skinhead isn't afraid of being jailed for something they say. Yet you are.
HMMMMMMM
You are feeding into the political agenda of hate groups like the KKK and many others when you claim religious speech is in danger.
Here's an example: If I say my religion says such and such, I don't have to worry about consequences as long as I am not advocating doing things that are illegal, like promoting murder or riots.
Your argument was used by the ministers who called for the death of abortionists. They were charged not with illegal religious speech but were charged with advocating murder. They have been charged with inciting violence.
To most people, understanding the concept of it being wrong to falsely shout fire in a crowded theater isn't that difficult.
But then you folks can't seem to understand that marriage is both a noun and a verb.
Defining marriage as "one man one woman" means you can't let a carpenter marry one piece of wood to another or a chef to allow his seasonings to marry with the food!
Your side claims that the Federal DOMA law that Congress passed somehow made SSM illegal. The idea was that you'd avoid challenges to the States Rights issue.
What you actually DID was make SSM an OPTION under States Rights!
It's no wonder God gives Michelle Bachmann so many migraines!
apologies to californio:

just re read this and shouldn't have been so harsh. And I didn't want to imply as I did that I meant your ministers. I was stirred up asnd shouting at the opposition rather than to you as a person. I was wrong and I'm sorry.

My Mom always said saying sorry doesn't make it right and that's true.

But I know in recovery programs the goal is to continue to take personal inventory and when wrong promptly admit it and to use prayer and meditation to improve the conscious contact with God.

apologies and...

Namaste.

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#31
Jul 17, 2013
 
DNF wrote:
<quoted text>apologies to californio:
just re read this and shouldn't have been so harsh. And I didn't want to imply as I did that I meant your ministers. I was stirred up asnd shouting at the opposition rather than to you as a person. I was wrong and I'm sorry.
My Mom always said saying sorry doesn't make it right and that's true.
But I know in recovery programs the goal is to continue to take personal inventory and when wrong promptly admit it and to use prayer and meditation to improve the conscious contact with God.
apologies and...
Namaste.
Apology accepted.
And I do know many churchs on both the left and right do violate both the letter,spirit and intent of the law knowing they can get away with it. How many predominantly Afro American churchs where all but Obama re election HQ during the last election?
But just cause you can get away with some thing does not mean you should do it. And a Church should hold itself up to a higher standard then the general public if it wants respect.

“Building Better Worlds”

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#32
Jul 17, 2013
 

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californio wrote:
<quoted text> Apology accepted.
And I do know many churchs on both the left and right do violate both the letter,spirit and intent of the law knowing they can get away with it. How many predominantly Afro American churchs where all but Obama re election HQ during the last election?
But just cause you can get away with some thing does not mean you should do it. And a Church should hold itself up to a higher standard then the general public if it wants respect.
When is Eric Holder and his Justice Dept. going to prosecute all those black churches for violating federal laws, and stripping them of their tax exemptions ?

Oh wait. I'm sorry. What was I thinking ?! Blacks don't have to follow the law. They can just do whatever they want, the law be damned.

DNF

“Liberty AND Justice”

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#33
Jul 18, 2013
 
californio wrote:
<quoted text> Apology accepted.
And I do know many churchs on both the left and right do violate both the letter,spirit and intent of the law knowing they can get away with it. How many predominantly Afro American churchs where all but Obama re election HQ during the last election?
But just cause you can get away with some thing does not mean you should do it. And a Church should hold itself up to a higher standard then the general public if it wants respect.
I consider myself a Christian mainly because I truly believe His message found in two parables says it all. The parable form Matthew about the goats and the sheep and the parable from Luke about the Good Samaritan. The proof of a person's morality is not in their words. It's by their actions and by their fruits that we know them. Look how they treat the least among them!

Every anti gay "true christian" is going to be surprised that they are not the sheep in Gods eyes they counted on being.

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