Friday, May 18, 2012

Render to Caesar? [Quigley Cartoon Blog]

Church vs. $tate: $71,000,000,000 to $0

Churches pay no taxes on the income or the property they own. It is estimated that this deprives the federal Government of at least $71 Billion a year.
Here's a breakdown of what churches get while not paying into the system, and while states fret over what cents on the dollar they get back from the federal government from the tax dollars collected.
  • Federal income tax subsidy $35.3 billion
  • State income tax subsidy $6.1 billion
  • Property tax subsidy $26.2 billion
  • investment tax subsidy $4.1 million
  • Parsonage subsidy $1.2 billion
  • Faith-based initiative subsidy $2.2 billion
Grand Total $71 BILLION
So churches take whatever money they can from the federal government, which comes from those who pay taxes. Some also have tithing as a requirement for salvation which is like a tax on their congregations. It appears that while others, not they, “render unto Caesar” that which is his, they eagerly wait in line for anything Caesar might give away. So those who own mega-churches and “Jesus Lands” are able to have many cars, multiple mansions, and fancy bling because they are spending the nontaxable contributions for all this in the name of the Lord, instead of feeding the hungry, aiding the sick, giving shelter to the homeless, or caring for those in need.

And while accepting a handout from taxpayers via the government, the churches tell their congregations who to vote for (usually those that are in their favor) and what bills to support. They don’t pay into it, but they constantly try to run the government. They also tell their congregations which groups of taxpayers to hate and reject, while also doing whatever they can to tamper with the inalienable rights of certain groups of citizens.

People duly elected to the Executive and Legislative branches of governemt pledge to uphold and defend the Constitution, not the Bible. They sometimes seem to forget that.

It seems wrong that if churches fail to win people over to their beliefs through teaching and example, they are allowed to force people to those beliefs by legislation. If I am not a Baptist, why should I as a citizen of this country be made to follow their beliefs by their being enshrined in civil law? If I am not Catholic, or Jewish, or Muslim or Budhist, why am I legislated into the beliefs of these religions?
The first Amendment states, "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof”. It doesn’t say that religion or the tenets of them can be forced on people through legislation, especially when done by those who do not pay into the system, but do withdraw from it.

The free exercise of religion allows people to go to their church of choice and hold to whatever beliefs they choose. It does not mean they are free to force their religious beliefs on others, or attempt to infliuence the government to do this for them as well.

1 comment:

Americans United for Separation of Church & State/Oklahoma City Chapter welcomes civil discussion about the stories posted on this blog. To that end we moderate comments first before posting. We will do this as quickly as possible after the comments are submitted.

The comments function can also be used to send us your questions about activities or membership in AU.