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Are Tax Exemptions For Religious Organizations Unconstitutional?

There are many excellent arguments against current laws that appear to favor religious organizations in contradiction to our Constitution.

http://taxthechurches.org/

Also, Obamacare is being refashioned for political purposes to accommodate the complaints of various organizations. Read some of the comments following this article: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/02/02/us/politics/white-house-pr...

Weigh in here on the DP with arguments for and against tax favoritism and please cite the constitutional basis for your argument.

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No, taxing everybody else is though.

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Patriot Cell #345,168
I don't respond to emails or pm's.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?NR=1&feature=endscreen&v=qo8CmO...
Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution, inevitable.

Taxing wages is unconstitutional.

Taxing individuals is unconstitutional.

Free includes debt-free!

Not taxing churches

has a very long history in Western Civilization. That is because the Christian West thought more christian-ly than we do now.

Some background....In the days of the Roman Empire they believed that the emperor was divine, a god, which gave him all power over every aspect of life. As god, the emperor could tax and control whatever he wanted. He was it; the government was it.

Over the course of a few generations Christianity "turned the world upside down." People began to understand that the emperor/ government was not god, after all, which over time naturally curbed the government's power. The idea of "sphere sovereignty" began emerging. That means that the government, the Church, and the family each had its own areas of sovereignty. The government could not control the Church through taxation! We today all know that taxation is a form of control.

The American Founding Fathers understood the Christian concept of sphere sovereignty, and also knew that taxation was a means of control. This is where our tradition of not taxing the Church came from.

That is our heritage, but we have rejected it for the ancient pagan notion of the state as god, which necessarily carries with it state tyranny. If the state, which includes demos (The People), is the zenith of power on earth, if there is no power that exceeds it, then it is god and can tax whatever it wants.

One last comment: churches are tax immune, not tax exempt.

Please forgive me-

for laughing at your historical regurgitation of 'God/gods'...

Gibbon's "Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire" places the decline of the Roman Empire starting with Domitian's reign ("Gladiator"-for those who get their history from movies) and he was correct...except he neglected to see the forest for the trees - to take into account what was transpiring behind Domitian's rule...the advent of the Roman Catholic Church. How could Domitian be was worse than Nero when it came to persecuting Christians? Because the same god-wanna bees (TBTF) were taking over the Roman Empire-just changing the name to -Roman Catholic Church - long before the Roman Empire started to decline- but which they saw coming.

They were not 'Popes' at first, but mere mortal political elites from the glory days of the Empire...but soon to become... God on earth...for the next several millenia.

And with that said...the world did turn upside down...and churches became the most privileged class on earth for several thousands of years...through brute force - not consent, not 'belief', and not faith...but shear force of the tyrannical wealth and power of 'the church'.

Lessons were learned, who in their right minds would argue against The Church?

"If you want something you've never had before, you have to do something you've never done before." Debra Medina

Deleted.

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Why did you delete

'freedom'? You made a great statement for the 1st Amendment...

"If you want something you've never had before, you have to do something you've never done before." Debra Medina

Sorry JPS, guess I'm just

Sorry JPS, guess I'm just paranoid. Don't like giving out too much personally identifiable information. :) I'll repost because hey, there's probably a drone overhead right now anyway and privacy has gone the way of all our other rights.

I said that my church has not and will never apply for 501(c)3 nonprofit status. First of all, religious organizations are exempt anyway and don't need to apply. Secondly, because we are not under this status, we don't have to abide by all the government regulations that go along with it. We are free to speak and believe as we see fit. We pay taxes, even though we don't have to, so that we may, as far as possible, live peaceably with all men.

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sounds like my kind of church!

"If you want something you've never had before, you have to do something you've never done before." Debra Medina

Of course not-

the tax exemptions for religious organizations were to prove to us minions that the authority (legislators) that granted such exemptions were by extension, moral. That use to be important early in our existence-that authority be perceived as 'moral'.

Had nothing to do with the Constitution, yea or nay. So there is no citing from the Constitution to be made.

You are a devil's advocate, Velveeta, and I like that.

"If you want something you've never had before, you have to do something you've never done before." Debra Medina

I believe Taxes on all individuals/organizations and U.S.

businesses are unconstitutional.

Hey we have a winner!

16th amendment was never ratified properly.

Which portion of the

Which portion of the Constitution do you cite to support your position? Certainly not Article I, Section 8, Clause 1, which grants Congress the authority to "lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States..."

the 16th was never ratified propperly

Also some basic logic on your part would help here but think for a moment.

Why did they have to amend the constitution in order to get an income tax through?

If it were constitutional to tax income before the 16th...then why did they even bother putting the 16th amendment in?

Article I, Section 2, Clause 3:
Representatives and direct taxes shall be apportioned among the several States which may be included within this Union, according to their respective Numbers

In Pollock v. Farmers' Loan & Trust Co., the Supreme Court declared certain taxes on incomes — such as those on property under the 1894 Act — to be unconstitutionally unapportioned direct taxes. The Court reasoned that a tax on income from property should be treated as a tax on "property by reason of its ownership" and so should be required to be apportioned. The reasoning was that taxes on the rents from land, the dividends from stocks and so forth burdened the property generating the income in the same way that a tax on "property by reason of its ownership" burdened that property.
After Pollock, while income taxes on wages (as indirect taxes) were still not required to be apportioned by population, taxes on interest, dividends and rent income were required to be apportioned by population. The Pollock ruling made the source of the income (e.g., property versus labor, etc.) relevant in determining whether the tax imposed on that income was deemed to be "direct" (and thus required to be apportioned among the states according to population) or, alternatively, "indirect" (and thus required only to be imposed with geographical uniformity).[12]
In his dissent to the Pollock decision, Justice John Marshall Harlan stated:
When, therefore, this court adjudges, as it does now adjudge, that Congress cannot impose a duty or tax upon personal property, or upon income arising either from rents of real estate or from personal property, including invested personal property, bonds, stocks, and investments of all kinds, except by apportioning the sum to be so raised among the States according to population, it practically decides that, without an amendment of the Constitution — two-thirds of both Houses of Congress and three-fourths of the States concurring — such property and incomes can never be made to contribute to the support of the national government

I know the american people are a stupid lot and I don't put much past them, but how fucking insane would they be to say hey lets pass an amendment that allows these arseholes to take our income?

I'm playing the devil's

I'm playing the devil's advocate position for educational purposes. ;)

Which Constitution? The

Which Constitution? The organic or the corporate one?

My 'given' name is Clay Adam. My 'sir' name is Carey

Clay Adam Carey is a fiction, created by and through the goberment documents that contain that name. I am NOT a surety for that fiction, but the Beneficiary. Need proof? What does that "security" line on your check say? (Your checks and where you sign) The line with the small, almost un-noticed little 'mp' after it? You sign YOUR name right across the top of this 'line'.I assume,that you knew this line was actual print, but others may not know. When you 'sign' a check, you are signing as the "authorized agent" FOR the fiction(al) you.

Good example: You go to court. Your asked, are you "clay adam carey"?
Then you say "yes"....or you state your name as such...

What proof do you (or they) have? Were you witness to your own birth?
Was ANYONE in the court room? You (they) have ONLY hearsay as evidenced by PAPERS. Side note: MOST of these kind of 'papers' were not needed prior to 1933.

Government is ONLY a FICTION. It can ONLY compel action or demand performance from other fictions. Thus, the "all capitol you". It only has the "power" you give it. It IS IN YOUR MIND ONLY.

QUIT contracting with these un-educated heathenistic bastards and start living as a free man, Subject ONLY to your creator and as protected by the constitutions, both Federal and State.

If you OBEY one statute, one regulation, or one "law", out of fear from government retaliation, then you are a SLAVE. YOUR GOOD FOR NOTHING EXCEPT DOING THE BIDDING OF YOUR MASTERS.

It's called, "CIVIL" disobediance. QUIT TALKING about it and LIVE IT.
Learn how to say, "I am NOT going to follow your damned orders anymore, I want to be left alone by you money grabbing highway robbers and desk sitting thiefs".

We don't need to hide. We don't need to "take back our government". WE NEED TO SHOW THAT WE ARE THE GOVERNMENT!We need to ignore them and stop their funding.

Venting is done...before anyone starts giving me a "practice what you preach, speech, feel free to look me up on Missouri's case net, (the missouri courts system). My family has paid dearly for my learning process, but I AM learning. Any idea's?...e-mail to: dallascounty at live.com

And I feel "FREE" for the first time in my life.

Weebles, this post was not directed AT you. Most of what has been stated, you already knew (if not all).

The grand hypocrisy of it all, is that the goberment had it right when they were teaching us all how to, "Just Say No".

Good night my friend.

Heathenistic?

Heathenistic?

Congress shall make no law...

Respecting the establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; - 1st Amendment

So... people can gather religiously and pool resources to its own religious ends, and government has to keep its mits off. It's a powerful freedom, one of great value to preserve. As I understand it, churches don't even have to file with the IRS because of this. Most do to provide their contributors with tax exemption info.

Ron Paul has often described how charitable organizations, such as churches, used to meet many of the social needs now used to justify welfare services, healthcare mandate, etc. We should defend any and all rights relating to churches, even if we don't like what many do in the world. Most churches are full of good people.

"Congress shall make no law

"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion..."

By allowing churches special exemptions from taxation is this not law that respects an establishment of religion? On the face of it, it certainly appears to be unconstitutional.

thoughtful point

But it seems to me that taxation implies subjugation, or in other words "prohibiting the free exercise thereof". I interpret the 1st Amendment as basically saying churches are sovereign - outside of state jurisdiction, regulation and taxation powers - so the "special exemption from taxation" is written into this "government, you can neither define a church nor incorporate it into your purposes" clause.

"Establishment of religion"

meant that the feds couldn't have a state church, like most of the states had.

Read the first volume of the

Read the first volume of the Statute at large. 'Our" Congress sent missionary's, under the gaurd of the army, to the "heathen" inhabinants to "convert as many as possible". This was NOT seen as a violation of the Constitution, niether was it, as our government 'lent' armed protection to ALL religions that sought the same goal.

Now to put it to something "we" can all use.

It's called, "EQUAL APPLICATION OF THE LAW". What is good for the goose is good for the gander.

Say you find out by a visit to the county clerk that your nieghbor is only paying 5% because he has a tree in is front yard.Then plant a tree and pay only 5%. Got 'tax free' groups in your county?....Become one.

Great thread!

I think this is a great topic. It's an issue that I've always struggled with. I've gone back and forth myself, and I'd love to hear what other people think on this issue.

Here's a followup question: if you think churches should be taxed exempt because of the first amendment, are gun manufacturers tax exempt by the second amendment?

EDIT: Considering I don't even take a position in this post, I'm not sure what the downvoter could possibly be objecting to.

Interesting argument

Interesting argument regarding taxes on firearms, I never thought of that before. Hmm...

veddy interesting-

Me thinks 'Happy's" on to something here.

Religion is basically a First Amendment right. So why do they deserve property tax exemptions?

Since the 2nd Amendment allows us guns to express (1st Amend.?) our right to protect/defend ourselves from a multitude of IMmoral acts, should guns not be tax free as well?

I say absolutely-no sales tax on guns, and no constrictions on gun ownership...that violates the First Amendment if Religious tax exemptions are to be any guideline.

Whew! That was taxing for me! But it resonates!

"If you want something you've never had before, you have to do something you've never done before." Debra Medina

And what about other First Amendment protections?

Can the government *Constitutionally* levy taxes on books, magazines, videos or movies without interfering with the First Amendment protection of free speech?

The key to answering ALL these questions is the fact that the Supreme Court is the final arbiter of what is or is not "Constitutional." If they say it is, then it is, by definition. And that's a problem with the Constitution, hm?

Recommended reading: The Most Dangerous Superstition, http://www.amazon.com/Most-Dangerous-Superstition-Larken-Ros...

"Free speech"... Does it mean

"Free speech"... Does it mean free from taxation or freedom to express one's thoughts, regardless of taxation?

"Freedom" means freedom from taxation.

The power to tax is the power to control -- or destroy. If the government can levy any tax it pleases on various forms of speech, the sense in which speech is "free" eludes me.

Try a thought experiment. Governments commonly lay a tax of about 10% on the sale of books. If you accept the principle that they have the right to do this, where do you draw the line? Would a 15% tax be acceptable? Ninety-five percent? How about a flat fee of $300 per book? If they have the right to levy the tax and to decide its amount, then NOTHING (except their fear of the public response) prevents them from taxing your "free speech" out of existence.

And here's another thought: most people don't protest about guns being licensed by the government -- often with extortionate licensing fees . . . and the ever-present possibility that the license may be revoked or used to identify gun owners for purposes of confiscation. Does the government therefore equally have the right to license churches? Or books, magazines, videos, etc.?

What part of "shall not be abridged" is unclear to you?

Recommended reading: The Most Dangerous Superstition, http://www.amazon.com/Most-Dangerous-Superstition-Larken-Ros...