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(AATTP.org)   Government subsidization of religion is declared unconstitutional by a US district court and likely to be appealed to the Supreme Court. Get the popcorn ready, folks   (aattp.org) divider line 268
    More: Interesting, United States District Court, Judges' Rules, Supreme Court, landmark ruling, state religion, tax exemption  
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5539 clicks; posted to Politics » on 23 Nov 2013 at 3:12 PM (21 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



268 Comments   (+0 »)
   
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2013-11-23 12:05:55 PM
Popcorn anyone? I have popcorn.
 
2013-11-23 12:15:55 PM
Yeah, we'll see.
 
2013-11-23 12:53:33 PM
I sense a 5-4 decision coming

/either way
 
2013-11-23 12:56:33 PM
This isn't directly taxing chuches which I'd be opposed to. This seems like a loophole that should not be provided to "priests".
 
2013-11-23 12:57:07 PM

MaudlinMutantMollusk: I sense a 5-4 decision coming

/either way


No

This is not going to have a majority. This is one of those things thats going to result in a plurality
 
2013-11-23 12:57:28 PM
School vouchers are also a dressed up government subsidization of religion that needs to be excised.  I hope this sticks
 
2013-11-23 12:58:34 PM
I'm okay with churches being largely exempt from taxes. They should pay some, though. Certainly exempting the pastor's house is BS. Also, any church, regardless of political bent, needs to pay taxes if they venture into politics. And many have. Either way, it's:

cdn.bleacherreport.net
 
2013-11-23 01:02:46 PM
government can't profit from religion in the form of taxes

Government can't profit from anything.

This article is horseshiat.
 
2013-11-23 01:03:40 PM

jaylectricity: government can't profit from religion in the form of taxes

Government can't profit from anything.

This article is horseshiat.


Well we did profit on the bailouts...
 
2013-11-23 01:09:24 PM

jaylectricity: This article entire website is horseshiat.

 
2013-11-23 01:13:36 PM
I predict a deliberately narrow ruling that will throw out the tax exemptions on personal property gifted to church leaders but allow (or ignore the larger question of) whether or not the government can tax the churches.

The churches should be taxed, IMO.  Here in Illinois the Archdiocese raised a huge derpfest over the state legalizing gay marriage and held exorcisms for Governor Quinn, and the guy who actually runs the state (Speaker Michael Madigan).  And this wasn't some lone priest, this was a bishop.  And when religious leaders get embroiled in criminal conspiracies and hide behind their churches, I think RICO cases should be brought against them and their assets seized in the name of equal protection under the law.
 
2013-11-23 01:15:24 PM

jaylectricity: government can't profit from religion in the form of taxes

Government can't profit from anything.

This article is horseshiat.


Exactly, because by giving religious organizations ANY type of tax exemption the government is (IMO) violating the Establishment Clause.
 
2013-11-23 01:16:36 PM

Stone Meadow: jaylectricity: government can't profit from religion in the form of taxes

Government can't profit from anything.

This article is horseshiat.

Exactly, because by giving religious organizations ANY type of tax exemption the government is (IMO) violating the Establishment Clause.


How so?

They aren't giving them money.
 
2013-11-23 01:20:14 PM

cman: Stone Meadow: jaylectricity: government can't profit from religion in the form of taxes

Government can't profit from anything.

This article is horseshiat.

Exactly, because by giving religious organizations ANY type of tax exemption the government is (IMO) violating the Establishment Clause.

How so?

They aren't giving them money.


It looks like you didn't read the article or the decision.  Let me help you with that.

"The Court's decision does not evince hostility to religion - nor should it even seem controversial. The Court has simply recognized the reality that a tax free housing allowance available only to ministers is a significant benefit from the government unconstitutionally provided on the basis of religion."
Judge Crabb wrote a very strongly worded, prefaced it by quoting the Supreme Court:
"Every tax exemption constitutes a subsidy."
"A desire to assist disadvantaged churches and ministers is not a secular purpose and it does not produce a secular effect when similarly disadvantaged seculars organizations and employees are excluded from the benefit."
 
2013-11-23 01:21:12 PM
Now you've done it, America. You want to see Christians get truly nasty? You just went after their money.
 
2013-11-23 01:22:08 PM

Stone Meadow: Exactly, because by giving religious organizations ANY type of tax exemption the government is (IMO) violating the Establishment Clause.


I'm with you but there's no way that would get through today's SCOTUS.

I am however, happy to start taking money from churches (like oh say the Mormons) who dump money into political causes, like Prop 8 in California. That one should be automatic and a no brainer.
 
2013-11-23 01:23:39 PM
Given the long history of the Church (and other more personal factors) I'd be okay with the Church paying property taxes - throw in an exemption for Homestead (25k here) and another usually reserved for seniors (add'l 25k). Locally, those taxes help fund a number of things needed by every resident.

Any church that is involved in politics - esp promoting any particular candidate - will pay taxes on all monetary donations.

Put up or shut up.
 
2013-11-23 01:24:05 PM
Want to fix religion in this country?  Make Christianity the state religion and ban all the other ones.  Prove me wrong.
 
2013-11-23 01:24:53 PM
Churches should be taxed like any other multinational megadollar corporations.

I have no problem letting them deduct any charitable works they do, but giving them an exemption on property taxes is just stealing money from things like education, infrastructure and such as.
 
2013-11-23 01:26:57 PM

Irving Maimway: Stone Meadow: Exactly, because by giving religious organizations ANY type of tax exemption the government is (IMO) violating the Establishment Clause.

I'm with you but there's no way that would get through today's SCOTUS.

I am however, happy to start taking money from churches (like oh say the Mormons) who dump money into political causes, like Prop 8 in California. That one should be automatic and a no brainer.


I would like to see that too, but the problem is you're going to have significant, bipartisan reluctance to enforce this at all.  Conservatives are obviously not going to go after Mormon and other megachurches, and liberals are not going to go after predominantly African-American churches, or the Catholic churches, for that matter (can't alienate Hispanics).

This ruling will attract bi-partisan condemnation, even from the liberal establishment, mark my words.
 
2013-11-23 01:28:09 PM

Mike_LowELL: Want to fix religion in this country?  Make Christianity the state religion and ban all the other ones.  Prove me wrong.


This is why we need 30-round magazines.
 
2013-11-23 01:28:35 PM

Mike_LowELL: Want to fix religion in this country?  Make Christianity the state religion and ban all the other ones.  Prove me wrong.


I'll explain it to you, but it might take a while.

Let me fetch The Comfy Chair.
 
2013-11-23 01:29:20 PM

Mike_LowELL: Want to fix religion in this country?  Make Christianity the state religion and ban all the other ones.  Prove me wrong.


That WILL fix it, but not the way people will think you mean.
 
2013-11-23 01:31:57 PM
"Every tax exemption constitutes a subsidy."

THIS, THIS, A BILLION TIMES THIS.
 
2013-11-23 01:34:52 PM

Mike_LowELL: Want to fix religion in this country?  Make

Anabaptist Christianity the state religion and ban all the other ones.  Prove me wrong.

Modified.  Let's do this.
 
2013-11-23 01:36:27 PM

Fark It: cman: Stone Meadow: jaylectricity: government can't profit from religion in the form of taxes

Government can't profit from anything.

This article is horseshiat.

Exactly, because by giving religious organizations ANY type of tax exemption the government is (IMO) violating the Establishment Clause.

How so?

They aren't giving them money.

It looks like you didn't read the article or the decision.  Let me help you with that.

"The Court's decision does not evince hostility to religion - nor should it even seem controversial. The Court has simply recognized the reality that a tax free housing allowance available only to ministers is a significant benefit from the government unconstitutionally provided on the basis of religion."
Judge Crabb wrote a very strongly worded, prefaced it by quoting the Supreme Court:
"Every tax exemption constitutes a subsidy."
"A desire to assist disadvantaged churches and ministers is not a secular purpose and it does not produce a secular effect when similarly disadvantaged seculars organizations and employees are excluded from the benefit."


They were talking in a rather specific case. Your statement was incredibly broad.
 
2013-11-23 01:40:09 PM
Government tax exemptions for churches carries the implicit assumption that churches are something we all want to encourage.

*I* don't.
 
2013-11-23 01:40:37 PM
Any organization that advocates for or against any political candidate, law, or policy should be taxed at the same rate as every other organization that engages in the same activity.  Whether they are affiliated with "Team R" "Team D," or "Team JC" should not be relevant.

I'm just fine with tax exempt churches, as long as they stay out of politics, but if you want to choose the tune, you have to pay the piper.

Tax exempt housing is a different matter.  I can think of no secular purpose for exempting ministers from property taxes on their homes that doesn't also apply to teachers, psychologists, and medical professionals.  Ministers don't do anything that those other professionals don't also do, so unless we want to start exempting teachers, nurses, and psychiatrists from property taxes, we should not exempt ministers either.
 
2013-11-23 01:43:16 PM

parasol: Given the long history of the Church (and other more personal factors) I'd be okay with the Church paying property taxes - throw in an exemption for Homestead (25k here) and another usually reserved for seniors (add'l 25k). Locally, those taxes help fund a number of things needed by every resident.

Any church that is involved in politics - esp promoting any particular candidate - will pay taxes on all monetary donations.

Put up or shut up.


Now you've done it. That Farker who's name I forget will be in here screaming about how you're taxing him twice somehow, and because the Church is the only one who does charitible stuff, and so shouldn't be taxed.
 
2013-11-23 01:45:12 PM

jaylectricity: Mike_LowELL: Want to fix religion in this country?  Make Christianity the state religion and ban all the other ones.  Prove me wrong.

That WILL fix it, but not the way people will think you mean.


I would be happy to see that proposal enacted.   I had my dog "fixed."  It prevented her from reproducing.
 
2013-11-23 01:57:09 PM

grumpfuff: parasol: Given the long history of the Church (and other more personal factors) I'd be okay with the Church paying property taxes - throw in an exemption for Homestead (25k here) and another usually reserved for seniors (add'l 25k). Locally, those taxes help fund a number of things needed by every resident.

Any church that is involved in politics - esp promoting any particular candidate - will pay taxes on all monetary donations.

Put up or shut up.

Now you've done it. That Farker who's name I forget will be in here screaming about how you're taxing him twice somehow, and because the Church is the only one who does charitible stuff, and so shouldn't be taxed.


You know what scares me about being screamed at on Fark?

nothing
 
2013-11-23 01:58:53 PM
All we really need to do is enforce the current laws - churches that get involved in politics are supposed to lose their tax exemption.  The problem isn't the law, the problem that it is not enforced.   Because Jesus.

In this case, the judge did make a broader statement as part of the ruling (any tax exemption is a subsidy), but it's a very narrow ruling indeed, applying only to ministers who are provided housing by their churches.  Just like in any other case, employer-supplied housing is a taxable benefit.
 
2013-11-23 02:10:27 PM
Tax them. They use our public utilities, they are protected by our police, fire departments, military, EPA, FDA, all the services we are paying for. They need to pay too.
 
2013-11-23 02:18:45 PM

parasol: grumpfuff: parasol: Given the long history of the Church (and other more personal factors) I'd be okay with the Church paying property taxes - throw in an exemption for Homestead (25k here) and another usually reserved for seniors (add'l 25k). Locally, those taxes help fund a number of things needed by every resident.

Any church that is involved in politics - esp promoting any particular candidate - will pay taxes on all monetary donations.

Put up or shut up.

Now you've done it. That Farker who's name I forget will be in here screaming about how you're taxing him twice somehow, and because the Church is the only one who does charitible stuff, and so shouldn't be taxed.

You know what scares me about being screamed at on Fark?

nothing


Oh I agree. I was just kinda hoping he does show up with his self-righteousness, I could use a laugh.
 
2013-11-23 02:36:45 PM

grumpfuff: parasol: grumpfuff: parasol: Given the long history of the Church (and other more personal factors) I'd be okay with the Church paying property taxes - throw in an exemption for Homestead (25k here) and another usually reserved for seniors (add'l 25k). Locally, those taxes help fund a number of things needed by every resident.

Any church that is involved in politics - esp promoting any particular candidate - will pay taxes on all monetary donations.

Put up or shut up.

Now you've done it. That Farker who's name I forget will be in here screaming about how you're taxing him twice somehow, and because the Church is the only one who does charitible stuff, and so shouldn't be taxed.

You know what scares me about being screamed at on Fark?

nothing

Oh I agree. I was just kinda hoping he does show up with his self-righteousness, I could use a laugh.


who is it? maybe if I type the name three times......
 
2013-11-23 02:50:58 PM

Relatively Obscure: Mike_LowELL: Want to fix religion in this country?  Make Anabaptist Christianity the state religion and ban all the other ones.  Prove me wrong.

Modified.  Let's do this.


As a descendent of Swiss Anabaptists, I'm OK with this.
 
2013-11-23 02:58:57 PM
The author's formatting style is very annoying and it reminds me of certain people on fark that do this.

Regardless, I always feel like my eyes are bleeding when people format text like this, and anyone that does it needs to be taken outside to the woodshed and thrashed until they learn their damn lesson.
 
2013-11-23 03:02:48 PM

Elegy: The author's formatting style is very annoying and it reminds me of certain people on fark that do this.

Regardless, I always feel like my eyes are bleeding when people format text like this, and anyone that does it needs to be taken outside to the woodshed and thrashed until they learn their damn lesson.


One might say...it's taxing.
 
2013-11-23 03:12:07 PM

grumpfuff: parasol: Given the long history of the Church (and other more personal factors) I'd be okay with the Church paying property taxes - throw in an exemption for Homestead (25k here) and another usually reserved for seniors (add'l 25k). Locally, those taxes help fund a number of things needed by every resident.

Any church that is involved in politics - esp promoting any particular candidate - will pay taxes on all monetary donations.

Put up or shut up.

Now you've done it. That Farker who's name I forget will be in here screaming about how you're taxing him twice somehow, and because the Church is the only one who does charitible stuff, and so shouldn't be taxed.


So, we should cut money from food stamps because the government shouldn't be providing charity, we should give money to the churches so they can provide charity (Which costs them nothing since it's subsidized by the government)
 
2013-11-23 03:17:54 PM
I think churches should be taxed with an exemption that would protect the small ones.
 
2013-11-23 03:19:25 PM

Benevolent Misanthrope: All we really need to do is enforce the current laws - churches that get involved in politics are supposed to lose their tax exemption.


That's not true.   Churches that advocate particular candidates CAN lose their exemption, but they don't necessarily have to.  Other non-profit groups are beholden to the same rules, like the Sierra Club.  Churches can advocate for a cause just as much as any other non profit and they can even do a little bit of lobbying.

Most of the liberal outrage about non profit tax exemption exists because liberals usually don't understand what it entails, so they get into a frothy clusterfark where they feed off bad information from one another.
 
2013-11-23 03:19:47 PM

MaudlinMutantMollusk: I sense a 5-4 decision coming

/either way


Oh no, this one's going to be 4.5-4.5. We'll have either Alito or Roberts split right down the middle.
 
2013-11-23 03:23:04 PM
If the "state" is going to have nothing to do with religion, then religions can't enjoy ANY special protections.

They need to pay taxes, period. Hopefully that will mean a bunch of churches close down and we can slowly begin the transition away from that crap. Religion is a curse on humanity.
 
2013-11-23 03:23:21 PM
"...it was passed in 1954"

As were a number of other things like inserting "God in the Pledge of Allegiance, etc.  All that stuff rushed through in a Commie panic by people desperate to prove how American they were.

Today, their descendants would have us believe that not only were these things deliberately and carefully considered and passed but that they have been so since before we were even a country. Religious indoctrination gets tiring.
 
2013-11-23 03:24:16 PM
About time, hope it holds up.
 
2013-11-23 03:24:47 PM

cman: Stone Meadow: jaylectricity: government can't profit from religion in the form of taxes

Government can't profit from anything.

This article is horseshiat.

Exactly, because by giving religious organizations ANY type of tax exemption the government is (IMO) violating the Establishment Clause.

How so?

They aren't giving them money.


You're dealing with people who think the government is entitled to everything existing or produced within its borders, and essentially lends it out to the people.
 
2013-11-23 03:26:51 PM

Millennium: You're dealing with people who think the government is entitled to everything existing or produced within its borders, and essentially lends it out to the people.


Um. No?
 
2013-11-23 03:28:27 PM

Mike_LowELL: Want to fix religion in this country?  Make Christianity the state religion and ban all the other ones.  Prove me wrong.


Get that unAmerican bullshiat out of here, you fricken dickwad.
 
2013-11-23 03:29:00 PM
Good.

That's a start, now wake me up when the IRS starts pulling tax exemptions from exempt religious organizations who openly engage in politicking.
 
2013-11-23 03:29:01 PM

Millennium: cman: Stone Meadow: jaylectricity: government can't profit from religion in the form of taxes

Government can't profit from anything.

This article is horseshiat.

Exactly, because by giving religious organizations ANY type of tax exemption the government is (IMO) violating the Establishment Clause.

How so?

They aren't giving them money.

You're dealing with people who think the government is entitled to everything existing or produced within its borders, and essentially lends it out to the people.


What?  That makes no sense.
 
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