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(Denver Channel)   Satan still makes good pretense for humping congregants   (thedenverchannel.com ) divider line
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28333 clicks; posted to Main » on 30 Nov 2004 at 12:58 AM (11 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2004-11-30 03:28:00 AM  
kartofelkopf:

When was the last time you saw a church with vast empty lots surrounding it? In the "bible belt" south, an average church takes up -32 house-sized lots, with another next to it that's used for recreation/storage buildings (a shed, dirt parking, and the church itself are not at all uncommon)

Are you kidding? There's a HUGE one right by my house and I live in PA-- plus the fact the land has skyrocked in value since they moved in. Now they own a ton of property which has gone up in value and are expanding like crazy.

http://www.calvary-fellowship.org/

Where do you live that the church is strangle-holding the land and killing the government?

What sometimes happens is a church will start in the middle of nowhere, but then the land will go up in value and a community will form. The church will expand, build a school and a few other things but isn't paying any tax on the land. so then the residents don't want them expanding anymore.

I'm not talking little Catholic/Protestant churchs, I'm talking about the new school ones. Ever hear of the "Church of Jesus Christ"? They also started to do the same thing-- and they are NOT a non-profit Church... they freaking rent out hershey park for cryin' out loud!

heap:

the thing that gets me...there is nearly no oversight of this tax exemption. once you clear that threshold, you're pretty much in the clear.

I completely agree, but no congressman is going to attack that law.
 
2004-11-30 03:28:07 AM  
Crazy Lee
R.A. Wilson?
 
2004-11-30 03:29:35 AM  
strange_aeons
i can't see where tearing down a church to put in some other repetetive business would improve the economy.
I didn't see anyone calling for tearing down churches, just taxing them like all other businesses. Making gas stations pay taxes doesn't cause them to be torn down, I honestly don't get your point.
 
2004-11-30 03:31:55 AM  
sorry, c.m. priest. i knew the point i meant to make, but i guess i didn't articulate it very well. sorry for the confusion :)
 
2004-11-30 03:34:40 AM  
CMP
How many private (i.e., non-corporate) gas stations do you see around?

That's what tax-exempt status does-- it prevents small churches from going broke paying taxes, allowing for a larger variety of religious choices for practitioners.
 
2004-11-30 03:35:10 AM  
strange_aeons:

Tarrant84, could i please prevail upon you to educate me? in regards to "hurting the local area/ economy" the apparent ratio of chrches to strip malls/fast food chain stores/drug stores/gas stations/etc seems to weigh heavily in favor of the latter.

Listen. I'm using very basic economic theory. When you have an institution which

- doesn't pay taxes
- purchases new land and expands
- in areas where property value is increasing

...it's a drag to the local residents.

i can't see where tearing down a church to put in some other repetetive business would improve the economy. as far as church goers go

I didn't say tear them down-- but if they're profiting they should be at LEAST paying a tax on their profits, or they can pretty much just expand like crazy. Great example, take my college-- Villanova University. We make millions and millions every year, we keep buying up property, and the local residents are PISSED.

Another good example (not a church) is Temple, the university caused a lot of urban blight... they can buy up surrounding areas and then just condemn them, creating a "ring" seperating the rich people for the po' people
 
2004-11-30 03:35:39 AM  
strange_aeons

when there's obvious scams being run, i'm not one for the 'let god sort it out' mentality. the same logic was proffered for child molesting priests, and i didn't buy it then, either. there are societal rules we all have to play by.... saying 'god' 4 times every sentence doesn't excuse you from them.
 
2004-11-30 03:35:48 AM  
strange_aeons
sorry for the confusion
No call to be sorry, if you think of how to articulate your point so that my alcohol-pickled brain can parse it, I'd like to hear it. I'm just curious why anyone would be against taxing religious institutions - it seems very fair and reasonable to me, but maybe I haven't heard the best reasons yet.
 
2004-11-30 03:36:04 AM  
because a religion is not a business. it is an organization designed to educate people about a particular belief structure. it has no "cover charge", nor does it sell products/services. as far aa i can tell, it mainly depends upon the money people decide to contribute to the plate being passed around, which i never noticed to be forced, per se.

Someone needs to tell that to the Scientologists.
 
2004-11-30 03:39:19 AM  
ok, i got it, thanks. but everything expands, not just churches. new housing pops up like weeds, more of the the strip malls i mentioned, everything in civilization grows and increases in space. profit or non-profit. i guess i thought it was all proportional. as far as the tax/don't tax thing goes, please pardon me while i politeley step out of that circle, as i have noticed there is no clear solution to make everyone happy.
 
2004-11-30 03:41:24 AM  
strange_aeons:

but everything expands, not just churches. new housing pops up like weeds, more of the the strip malls i mentioned, everything in civilization grows and increases in space.

Yes, and they pay taxes and engage in commerce-- creating money for the local government and jobs for the residents.

as i have noticed there is no clear solution to make everyone happy.

Are you telling me you don't think it's fair for organizations like scientology to pay taxes?
 
2004-11-30 03:42:12 AM  
I'm just curious why anyone would be against taxing religious institutions - it seems very fair and reasonable to me, but maybe I haven't heard the best reasons yet.


-small churches have deck stacked against them from the get-go
-poor churches get dicked... only rich people get to worship
-setting standards for who gets exempt and for how much and for what is hard to do: who gets to decide?
-religious freedom is guaranteed... should we start taxing for speech?
-the protestant majority in the US might decide that they want to tax Muslim mosques more heavily or disallow exemptions for ::fill in Islam-specific cost here::
 
2004-11-30 03:44:19 AM  
kartofelkopf

How many private (i.e., non-corporate) gas stations do you see around?

That's what tax-exempt status does-- it prevents small churches from going broke paying taxes, allowing for a larger variety of religious choices for practitioners.


Okay, perfect devil's advocacy point here: Why should the 'mom and pop' religions be given special rights the 'mom and pop' business owners are not given? God isn't going to take his ball and sulk off to another planet. If businesses can survive under these rules (and new ones start every day), why do you think Gods followers are so much more inept?
 
2004-11-30 03:45:14 AM  
sorry, heard of scientology, but not familiar with how it works. therefore, i have no business commenting upon it, or incorporating it into my points.
 
2004-11-30 03:47:05 AM  
CMP

Well, all religions are given rights that businesses aren't... people are guaranteed the right to worship, and if they have to pay for it, then that right isn't guaranteed to everyone, only those who can pay for it.

Why is voting free? It costs the state a lot of money every year, so we ought to set up a system where people pay to go to the poll to off-set the cost of running it.

(just a returned DA point... poll taxes are teh suck)
 
2004-11-30 03:47:22 AM  
kartofelkopf:

-poor churches get dicked... only rich people get to worship

Have you been to the ghetto lately? There's a church on every corner! I volunteer teach in North Philly, all my kids go to church.

-setting standards for who gets exempt and for how much and for what is hard to do: who gets to decide?

It's very simple. You turn a profit, you pay taxes.

-religious freedom is guaranteed... should we start taxing for speech?

So are movie theaters tax exempt? Are televisions tax exempt? Are books tax exempt? This is a really really weak argument.

-the protestant majority in the US might decide that they want to tax Muslim mosques more heavily or disallow exemptions for ::fill in Islam-specific cost here::

[unlikley]. That'd NEVER hold up in court.
 
2004-11-30 03:48:48 AM  
Total side note, but Strange_aeons = HP Lovecraft fan?
 
2004-11-30 03:50:02 AM  
kartofelkopf

No need to reference `guerrilla ontology' when only the crudest of dissections is required to expose the rot. All sorts of `voodoo' seem resurgent, but the fact is that it's dead and too dumb to lie down.
 
2004-11-30 03:50:16 AM  
yup
 
2004-11-30 03:51:26 AM  
kartofelkopf:

-small churches have deck stacked against them from the get-go
-poor churches get dicked... only rich people get to worship


do you think a poor church would turn a profit? own large properties? you just described the very organizations deserved of a tax exempt status. small, local church organizations have one of the best track records for community service as can be found anywhere. rarely do you see the pastor of the bumblefark congregation driving a BMW. they put the money back into church services and charity.

-setting standards for who gets exempt and for how much and for what is hard to do: who gets to decide?

the same people that do currently. the IRS. as is, the threshold is 'are they a religion'....not 'are they running a profit producing business?"


-religious freedom is guaranteed... should we start taxing for speech?

commentary like this just makes you seem like a ninny. another one of those conversational brick-walls that i'm unwilling to mash my forehead up against.

-the protestant majority in the US might decide that they want to tax Muslim mosques more heavily or disallow exemptions for ::fill in Islam-specific cost here::

again, the threshold should be the same as it is for any other not-for-profit organization. whether you yodel to the east 5 times a day, hit sunday mass, or bark at the friggin full moon for services is inconsequential.

this isn't asking for an itemized list of religious related items. this is a pretty clear cut statement... if you make millions a year, you aren't a not-for-profit. pay some friggin taxes like the rest of us.
 
2004-11-30 03:53:19 AM  
heap, i think you've won me over just a little bit more, there.
 
2004-11-30 03:55:16 AM  
Tarrant84
And how many of those ghetto churches would be there if they had to pay taxes on the property, their income, etc, etc...?

Refer back to the private gas station example. Poor churches would not be able to stay open.

Also... what constitutes "turning a profit?" Seriously; a church puts its income back into the church and the community. I've yet to meet the wo/man who got rich at the average church.

As for taxing speech... it's been done before. The Sup. Court heard many cases on cities requiring people to pay for permits to assemble, speak in public, go door-to-door, etc... It's happened before. TV, movies, etc, are private media.

And as for that not holding up in court... gay sex was illegal until last year. It's a bit naive to think that it could never happen.
 
2004-11-30 03:58:20 AM  
kartofelkopf

Well, all religions are given rights that businesses aren't... people are guaranteed the right to worship, and if they have to pay for it, then that right isn't guaranteed to everyone, only those who can pay for it.

You aren't inserting costs where there was complete non-payment before - they currently have to buy the land and any goods they sell. I'm saying if they choose to buy land or sell goods, level the playing field with the other potential consumers of land/sellers of goods. In order to worship, you don't absolutely need a fixed place. This wold actually affect the huge property owners/sellers of vast quantiteis of merchandise more than the poorest of religious startups meeting in members living rooms.

Why is voting free? It costs the state a lot of money every year, so we ought to set up a system where people pay to go to the poll to off-set the cost of running it.

(just a returned DA point... poll taxes are teh suck)


agreed, and poll taxes completely cut off voting for those unable to afford it. You can always worship without purchasing a separate church/temple/bobsled.
 
2004-11-30 04:01:07 AM  
Heap

That conversational brick-wall is the constitution and people have had to pay for freedoms before (poll tax, assembly permits, defence lawyers, gun permits, etc...) Ignoring an issue doesn't make it go away.

As for the rest... who determines what a religion is? And if we charge people for practicing their religion (regardless of size), is it still a guaranteed right, or is it a right reserved for those who can afford it?

And what is a profit? How much, and form what? If all of Church A's parishoners donate 1k a week, and Church B makes the same ammount from a bake sale, who gets charged for what?
 
2004-11-30 04:01:10 AM  
kartofelkopf: I've yet to meet the wo/man who got rich at the average church.

i suggest you visit vatican city on your next vacation.

for some reason, this just doesn't seem to be sinking in.

I AM NOT TALKING ABOUT YOUR AVERAGE CHURCH.

i am talking about religions that essentially have a business wing, and run all manners of profit producing side lines, all the while paying nary a cent in income or property taxes.

take your example. a church purchases a gas station. should they pay taxes like the independant gas station up the block? or should they be tax free because a church owns it?
 
2004-11-30 04:01:33 AM  
Kiss my aura, Dora

So a fat, old nun and teh new hotness nun are talking about Pastor Bush. The young one says, "Did he show you the spirit of the lord? He's put it into me several times." The old one replies, "He's always told me that was Gabriel's horn and he's been having me blow it.

It is nice to see that it isn't always young boys getting buggered by god.

There's no such thing as a "good Christian". There smart nice people, and stupid ones. Smart nice people are nice because they've reasoned it out. Stupid ones suck preacher prongs in church basements, or whatever else they're told to do by god.

/window, please
 
2004-11-30 04:02:13 AM  
kartofelkopf:

Alright, I'm getting sick of repeating myself, but I'll explain it again.

And how many of those ghetto churches would be there if they had to pay taxes on the property, their income, etc, etc...?

They're not TURNING A PROFIT-- they wouldn't have to pay. Just like the poor people who attend the church, they would be tax exempt.

Refer back to the private gas station example. Poor churches would not be able to stay open.

See above. They are NOT going to get government subsidies in order to stay open-- I should not have to pay for your religion or anyone elses, it's as simple as that.

I've yet to meet the wo/man who got rich at the average church.

Jim Baker?? Pat Robertson? L. Ron Hubbard? Those crazies who are your TV set after hours? Gimme a break! These churches made multi-millions off religion! Savy businessmen are realizing this is a very easy way to make tax free millions.

As for taxing speech... it's been done before. The Sup. Court heard many cases on cities requiring people to pay for permits to assemble, speak in public, go door-to-door, etc... It's happened before. TV, movies, etc, are private media.

Taxing a church is no more taxing free speech than taxing Barnes and Noble for selling books. In fact, B&N is taxed when they sell the Bible. C'mon. Get real.

And as for that not holding up in court... gay sex was illegal until last year. It's a bit naive to think that it could never happen.

Relevance? What the hell does gay sex have to do with imposing a tax on religion? You can bet your ass that if they did begin to tax churches, it would be a flat tax which applies to any and all religions equally.
 
2004-11-30 04:05:10 AM  
heap, i'd say that a business owned by a church could be taxed as such, i don't see why not, as long as that income was separated from the money earned by donations given by the congregation. it seems to me like that should be separate. i guess it does get tricky when a church expands to such a degree.
 
2004-11-30 04:07:11 AM  
kartofelkopf

its a conversational brick wall because you insert it where it does not belong. you might as well condemn taxes on gun purchases, as the 2nd ammendment says i can have a gun. sounds stupid, doesn't it?

i am not stating that you should be taxed on a per communion basis. i'm not stating that you should pay a tax for every hymn sung on sunday. i'm not stating that anyone's religious freedom should be maligned.

i'm stating that churches that run profit producing businesses should be taxed like any other business.
 
2004-11-30 04:10:17 AM  
kartofelkopf
As for the rest... who determines what a religion is? And if we charge people for practicing their religion (regardless of size), is it still a guaranteed right, or is it a right reserved for those who can afford it?

I don't see where there is any cost to a startup church under my plan. If you can't afford property taxes, buy a smaller church or meet in member's houses until the buying decision makes sense - the taxpayers can't be responsible for helping every little wanna-be deity that can't provide for his followers.

And what is a profit? How much, and form what? If all of Church A's parishoners donate 1k a week, and Church B makes the same ammount from a bake sale, who gets charged for what?
This is where I differ from some of the other advocates of taxing religions. I say keep it really, really simple. Religions pay the same taxes a business would pay (i.e. property + tax on sales of goods). Startup religions would have zero cost unless they have purchased property or are selling holy mackerels, e-meters, or father joe's hair jel jism.
 
2004-11-30 04:11:37 AM  
Answer to thredjack: Flat Consumption Tax, Don't care who/what you are buying it for, pay tax.. no discrimination.

Boy, those women are da most stoopid ever; didn't even get the tshirt - "I slept with Tragic Johnson and all I got was HIV"
 
2004-11-30 04:16:14 AM  
ChildMolestingPriest:

Religions pay the same taxes a business would pay (i.e. property + tax on sales of goods).

Here is where the legal difficulty comes in-- many churches make money from "tidings". When you are a church, what constitutes a service being rendered? If I attend the services and donate 30% of my income (as many churches make their members do), am I paying for services? Also, be that as it's earned income, if I donate it to the church and it gets taxed, isn't that double taxation (see "estate tax").

Other churches, such as the Unification Church (another great example), drive around and sell things like windchimes in cash. The Moonies are one of the most profitable organizations in the world. (I wonder if the Washington Times has to pay taxes)
 
2004-11-30 04:20:29 AM  
Tarrant- i thought you could deduct donations (like to a church) from your taxes. if that is the case, you'd get a break instead of being double-taxed, which isn't right, of course. tidings are requested of church goers by God, and donations are separate, i think. i don't think tidings is a euphamism for 'payment for services', although i could see where it could be construed as such.
 
2004-11-30 04:22:46 AM  
Wowsa...

The short answer is that the Sup Court recognized that politicians are douche bags and might be tempted to discriminate in taxation. The founding fathers recognized that politicians are douche bags and might be tempted to discriminate in your religious practice.

When the government introduces a perfect set of codes for taxing business-driven income for those "NOT YOUR AVERAGE CHURCH"es out there, I'd love to tax them.

However, why should the size of your church's billfold determine whether or not you pay property tax? It's an either/or thing-- either we should make all religions pay the same taxes for the same things (effectively eliminating the poor's right to have reasonable religious facilities), or none should have to pay for the land they own.

The main point I have is that the government farks shiat up all the time, and if we really want to avoid religious entanglement with government, we ought not to have beauracrats controlling religious coffers.


That said, it's 4 am, and I've finished the paper I was working on intermittantly here.


This has been a good discussion... it's nice to find intelligence out there (esp. when it disagrees with me). Check yall out in the morning.
 
2004-11-30 04:25:39 AM  
tarrant84
Here is where the legal difficulty comes in-- many churches make money from "tidings". When you are a church, what constitutes a service being rendered? If I attend the services and donate 30% of my income (as many churches make their members do), am I paying for services? Also, be that as it's earned income, if I donate it to the church and it gets taxed, isn't that double taxation (see "estate tax").

Holy smokes 30%, when I was growing up, church I went to only charged 10% - Roman Catholic trip to heaven is teh cheap ;-) Seriously though, I think it would be easier just to skip donations (defined as used getting no explicit good or service in return), and only tax property and sale of material goods or explicit, individual services rendered in exchange for a payment (i.e. healing your broken arm, raising your dead aunt Mabel, telling your future).

Other churches, such as the Unification Church (another great example), drive around and sell things like windchimes in cash. The Moonies are one of the most profitable organizations in the world. (I wonder if the Washington Times has to pay taxes)

Yes, definately I would tax the windchimes and newspaper sales, as per my examples above.
 
2004-11-30 04:27:05 AM  
tarrant84: Here is where the legal difficulty comes in--

not really. tithing or just plain old donation, use the same yard stick as any other not-for-profit donation. if you gave 30% of your salary to the united way, it should be no different (and tithing is already applicable as a donator tax deduction.)


re: double taxation... if i write you a check for 30% of my income (that i've payed tax on) ...when you declare it as income, don't ya think it'd be taxed again? we're double taxed by default already (tax on income, tax on sales. if you make money, spend money, or just look at money the wrong way... the gov. gets a slice.) tangential, but why not try for a threadjack of a threadjack.
 
2004-11-30 04:30:02 AM  
tarrant- yeah, i suppose money is re-taxed all the time in various ways, open or not.. to be honest, i just never paid much attention.
re: threadjacking- i am hard put to recall a conversation i've ever had that wasn't composed of a myriad of tangents.....
 
2004-11-30 04:32:55 AM  
strange_aeons
i've ever had that wasn't composed of a myriad of tangents

And where do you suppose this horde of male sun worshippers comes from?

/bad pun, no treat
 
2004-11-30 04:34:13 AM  
It's not "tiding," it's "tithing."
 
2004-11-30 04:39:25 AM  
All I know is, Mike_71's going to be royally pissed that you're all talking about his god behind his back. People have been excommunicated for less...
 
2004-11-30 04:39:25 AM  
ChildMolestingPriest:
Holy smokes 30%, when I was growing up, church I went to only charged 10%

I'm using the crazy examples-- Unification Church takes more than 30% (I dated this girl whose parents were Moonies. Hot but really weird), the Church of Jesus Christ takes 30%, etc.

heap:

re: double taxation... if i write you a check for 30% of my income (that i've payed tax on) ...when you declare it as income, don't ya think it'd be taxed again?

Logically you would think so-- but consider the estate tax and it's repeal. Even though the money is changing hands and the person inhereting it is claiming it as income, they declared it to be double taxation. I believe in this case you can write off church donations, but I've never given a signifigant enough amount to a church to try it. It's sort of the same argument with the dividends tax and double taxation, in that shareholders and corperations are paying taxes on dividends...

Anyway, its been fun. I'm off to bed.
 
2004-11-30 04:43:07 AM  
Well, I better check out - have flex time at work, but hate getting in late and having to stay late.

Was an interesting thread tonight - quite amazing how civil it was.

- especially considering that you all are a bunch of fundamentalist asshat communist sheep farkers.

- I'm joking about the last part, I'm sure not all of you are commies
 
2004-11-30 04:44:20 AM  
Quote:
ChildMolestingPriest


BiggerBastard
Are you willing tax God? You know how much you hate paying tax. What would God do in retaliation? I wouldn't want to be on the receiving end of that. :|

Depends on which God(s) you believe in, some will order entire civilizations wiped out (even the babies), or drown everyone (even the babies) in a great flood. However, are you going to let a pycho murderer extort money from you? Grow a pair - poke the psycho in the eye and piss in his cheerios.


That plain just didn't make any sense at all! The reason people get whiped out back before the new testiment was because of dumbasses spewing things like your post that just confused God. In confusion you get angry and do things you normally wouldn't, like whiping out civilizations. OPPS!!! I highly believe the numbers were stacked on the stupid side of death in those events. Yes, babies are stupid too.

Maybe kill yourself before you get us all killed?

Thanks,
BB
 
2004-11-30 04:44:53 AM  
tarrant84:
consider the estate tax and it's repeal.

i've never had somebody give me a pissload of money, and i've never given somebody a pissload of money, so i'll take your word for it. by 'estate' tax, you don't mean solely inheritance, do you? cuz that would sorta be in a different ball park.

I believe in this case you can write off church donations, but I've never given a significant enough amount to a church to try it.


that much, i do know. its placed in pretty much the same category as any other donation/charity deduction. the odd thing is a lot of people don't claim it....as they are told that it was god's money, not theirs.
 
2004-11-30 04:48:28 AM  
Better women than children I say.
 
2004-11-30 05:03:17 AM  
Satan is the pretense for EVERYTHING about Christianity....

/just saying.
 
2004-11-30 05:06:19 AM  
As for whether churches rake in money: My local catholic church owns two entire city blocks. I've heard rent is between $800-$1000 a month (which in California is pretty low actually) but with two entire blocks of houses, which is about 16 I think, they're raking in the money. $120,000+ a year if my math is right.

Meanwhile, our firefighters have to stand on main street with their boots extended to on coming traffic.

God Bless America!
 
2004-11-30 05:11:44 AM  
BiggerBastard:your post just confused God.

Hahaha. I can't stop laughing.
 
2004-11-30 05:13:28 AM  
equusdc- you're a 'holy grail is half empty' kinda guy, huh? ;)
/just sayin, too..
 
2004-11-30 06:11:18 AM  
maybe if firemen would start saying that satan was going to burn down your house, they would get more action
 
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