Religion and Government Interactions

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What is the proper relationship between religious bodies and the government?

There should be a single state religion, which would make any competing religion unnecessary.
0
No votes
Most religions should be allowed, but there should be an established state religion that participates actively in government policy and receives a government subsidy.
0
No votes
All religions should be allowed and each religion whose adherents reach a threshold percentage of the population (e.g., 5%) should receive a government subsidy.
0
No votes
All religions should be allowed, and those that provide faith-based services under contract with the government should be allowed to do so with minimal government oversight.
1
5%
All religions should be allowed, but there is no formal interaction with the religions; if they provide services, they compete with secular organizations for government contracts.
9
45%
All religions should be allowed, but because they use community resources, they should pay their fair share of taxes.
7
35%
All religions are tolerated, but they are regulated in the kinds of activities that they can engage in.
1
5%
Religion is harmful to the people, so all religious gatherings should be prohibited.
2
10%
 
Total votes : 20

Re: Religion and Government Interactions

Postby NH Baritone » Tue Feb 12, 2008 6:18 am

whoosanightowl wrote:What requirements are there to becoming tax exempt? Do the same rules apply for churches as for any other "non-profit" organization? If so, then they should be treated equally, but if it's true that churches are not held fiscally accountable to the IRS while others are, then it's only fair to tax them. Then maybe we'd stop seeing a different church on every corner if they had to pay property tax.

That's the rub. The same rules do not apply.

The IRS does not require churches to file a yearly report on income & expenses. They never have to apply for non-profit (501C3) status, as do other non-profit organizations. (I've worked for non-profits for most of my career.) They are never required to undergo an audit, even if the the pastor is also the bookkeeper. And it's not only Federal taxes -- it's also the local government taxes, whose services the churches are most likely to make use of.

And what's more, Fred Phelps' Westboro Baptist Church in Kansas is getting the same tax breaks as St. Mary's Roman Catholic Church. A church, synagogue, or mosque can promote misogyny, racism, homophobia, child abuse, and provide no community services for anyone but its membership, yet still pays no local taxes. Any other non-profit with such an agenda would be refused non-profit status.
Diversity is the offspring of Liberty. Nonetheless, frightened, mainstream ideologues treat diversity like a bastard stepchild, instead of like a welcome indicator of our overall well-being.
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Re: Religion and Government Interactions

Postby whoosanightowl » Tue Feb 12, 2008 10:35 am

Hark, I feel I'm being led by God to start a new church!
Alice:`There's no use trying, one can't believe impossible things.'
Queen:`...you haven't had much practice, When I was your age, I always did it for half-an-hour a day. Why, sometimes I've believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.
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Re: Religion and Government Interactions

Postby darkumbra » Tue Feb 12, 2008 10:49 am

whoosanightowl wrote:Hark, I feel I'm being led by God to start a new church!


When in High school and on through University, myself and a few reprobate friends sketched out, in some detail, a new church/religion. The idea was that there were enough gullible people to attract a sizable congregation in almost any large city. We drew up the mythos, we created the rituals, defined the arguments, surveyed the overlap with other religions etc. etc. and decided it was a go - after all, if Hubbard could do it, if John Smith could do it... we could just as easily lose non-existent tablets etc. then we could do it.

Why didn't we? It was an interesting intellectual exercise. financially it would make great sense. There was only one small problem. We were all handicapped with too much integrity. With head held high, we regretfully dropped the idea. I'm only joking on the 'regretfully' part.
The "god experience"? I have no idea what you are talking about. This sounds like COMPLETE BULLSHIT that you are just making up. How do you define "god experience" in objective scientific terms?-Mitch - a Christian beyond compare.
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Re: Religion and Government Interactions

Postby Shadrach » Thu Jun 26, 2008 11:49 am

darkumbra wrote: myself and a few reprobate friends sketched out, in some detail, a new church/religion. The idea was that there were enough gullible people to attract a sizable congregation in almost any large city...

It was an interesting intellectual exercise. financially it would make great sense. There was only one small problem. We were all handicapped with too much integrity. With head held high, we regretfully dropped the idea. I'm only joking on the 'regretfully' part.

i too worked out a basic plan with some friends to do something similar but we had morals. it was fun to think of new gods and scriptural passages.
Not all religions can be right but they can all be wrong.
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