Posted on Jun 29, 2015
SGT Infantryman (Airborne)
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I'm speechless! People of faith will always find a place to worship. Underestimating the strength of worshipping can only make it stronger. IMHO

Mark Oppenheimer writes the biweekly “Beliefs” column for The New York Times and is editor-at-large for Tablet. He also reports for The Atlantic, The Nation, This American Life, and elsewhere.

The Supreme Court's ruling on gay marriage makes it clearer than ever that the government shouldn't be subsidizing religion and non-profits.

http://time.com/3939143/nows-the-time-to-end-tax-exemptions-for-religious-institutions/
Posted in these groups: World religions 2 ReligionImages %283%29 GovernmentChurch logo Church
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SCPO David Lockwood
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Edited 7 y ago
There are two types of Churches:
Churches = people of the congregation
churches = the building

Ending tax exemptions may bring an end to churches but it will never bring an end to Churches.
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SGT Infantryman (Airborne)
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SCPO David Lockwood, Yes Sir, that's my thinking also.
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SSG Physical Security Nco
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People can have church in private homes unless that's in Arizona.
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PO1 Dustin Adams
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It's not just about Churches but all religious institutions, to include universities and hospitals. There are certainly organizations out there that abuse the tax exempt status for profit but for the most part being tax exempt lowers operating costs for these organizations, allowing money that would otherwise have to be paid in taxes to be used to further their mission.

The writer argues that charity from these organizations would decrease by an unknown margin but that it could be made up for by the additional monies the government would receive. The problem with that is it is based on the assumption that the organization would still be able to operate and pay these taxes and that the government would use the additional money to subsidized what charity (soup kitchens, food banks, etc.) was lost.

I also have to question what the impact is in changing the non-profit/charitable status to that of a "for profit" business when it comes to protecting religious freedom under the various federal and state laws. The precedence has been set by the cases in several states that "for profit" businesses cannot decline to provide their services for events that go against their religious beliefs. So if an evangelical Church holds weddings they would not be able to deny a same sex couple from getting married there, or a Catholic University/Bible College not recognizing a same sex marriage for cohabitation housing.

In the end taking away the tax exempt status may cause the Church building to close its doors but the body will still find a way to gather and worship, it is those in need in the local communities whom these organizations support and provide comfort that will suffer the most.
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SGT Infantryman (Airborne)
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7 y
PO1 Dustin Adams, both of us think the same thing. The wood and brick can be torn down, but the Church people will live on to worship wherever they can find.
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SSG Gene Carroll SR.
SSG Gene Carroll SR.
7 y
All I have to say if the government would do as much for people as the church's do around the world. We would be better off. The government tax and tax and still dose not know how to manage money, all they can is barrow more and give to other nations instead of helping a lot of people in the USA that need help. with real health care and food shortages. WE used to have food given away by the government years ago. But no longer, We sending everything overseas. If they could learn to manage the funds better then they would need the church money and other organizations money. Blessed is those who labor and work and get away of thing somebody owes them the world.
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TSgt Joshua Copeland
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As an Associate Pastor of a small church, I am all for ending tax exemption for Churches as a whole. Allow their charitable arms to be tax exempt. IE. the church itself should be taxed, but any transfers it makes from it's O&M budget to it's charity arm which would be tax exempt in it's own right (say a soup kitchen) would be a tax deductible donation for the church.

Here is why I don't think a church should be tax exempt. The IRS gets to determine what is and isn't a church. They even have a document that helps define it (http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-tege/eotopica94.pdf). You will often hear about the "14-Points" the IRS uses.

1. Distinct legal existence
2. Recognized creed and form of worship
3. Definite and distinct ecclesiastical government
4. Formal code of doctrine and discipline
5. Distinct religious history
6. Membership not associated with any other church or denomination
7. Organization of ordained ministers
8. Ordained ministers selected after completing prescribed courses of studies
9. Literature of its own
10. Established places of worship
11. Regular congregations
12. Regular religious services
13. Sunday schools for religious instruction of the young
14. Schools for preparation of its ministers

A Church doesn't have to have all, but the IRS ultimately determines if a church qualifies. That said, churches are automatically exempt (http://www.irs.gov/Charities-&-Non-Profits/Churches,-Integrated-Auxiliaries,-and-Conventions-or-Associations-of-Churches) and don't have to apply for 501c3, but the IRS can come back and retroactively say a church isn't church enough to be tax exempt. I think a reasonable person can clearly see this is a true violation of the establishment clause and the only way to NOT violate the establishment clause is to not grant exemption to church, but only to the actual charitable functions themselves.

/rant
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SGT Infantryman (Airborne)
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7 y
TSgt Joshua Copeland, so how would your church fare if it were to lose any tax exemptions? Several churches in Pasadena have shut their doors despite having the tax exemptions. If those same churches, in their beginning, did not receive exemptions, they would have never opened the doors at all.
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SGT Infantryman (Airborne)
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Thanks Msgt.
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SSG Gene Carroll SR.
SSG Gene Carroll SR.
7 y
What would it be like for me to loose my 501c3 I'm under the church pastor but my program is strictly helping veterans and their families of all wars that we when threw and those going threw now. Even if we don't do any marriages. Vets loose too.
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TSgt Joshua Copeland
TSgt Joshua Copeland
7 y
SSG Gene Carroll SR., you would likely qualify for 501(c) status on your own without the church.
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