Last updated on: 8/2/2016 3:43:14 PM PST

Should Churches (Defined as Churches, Temples, Mosques, Synagogues, etc.) Remain Tax-Exempt?

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PRO (yes) Comments (16)

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  • +7 +18 -11 chris Apr. 10, 2013
    "D. The IRS exempts many organizations under the 501 (c)(3) nonprofit status besides churches, organizations such as: Americans United for Separation of Church and State, American Atheists, American Humanist Association, Freedom From Religion Foundation, the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation and Mother Jones, and the leftist magazine. So what's the problem? If the problem is that churches (like Hillsong) make too much money and live to lavishly, then we should be pushing for a national body to oversee charities and to avoid speculation surrounding charities doing legitimate work in the community."
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  • +6 +8 -2 Mr. Wanna-Be-Burger May. 17, 2016
    "People giving to the church are trying to give to the church, not the government."
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    • 0 0 0 anon Jul. 13, 2017
      "The government is already linked to the church, as we can see when the main argument for pro-life laws and gay marriage laws (as well as "treatment therapy") is because it goes against the word of the bible and god, so by arguing the church shouldn't pay taxes because they're not linked to the government... too late."
  • +6 +19 -13 Suzie May. 28, 2014
    "If churches are into politics...taxes should apply."
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    • +1 +2 -1 Gangway Gary Oct. 29, 2014
      "Suzie...Right now churches cannot endorse one candidate over another. However, if churches were taxed, they would have every right to be actively engaged in politics. To deny them this right would be taxation without representation."
  • +4 +17 -13 Tax payer in Texas May. 14, 2013
    "Many churches are like small resorts, example is Lakewood church (joel osteen). This pastors net income alone is $500 million per year. Most churches encourage members to donate a tenth of their income to the church. To me these are businesses and should be taxed accordingly. The vatican pays taxes as does every church in Italy, pulling them out of debt. We should follow suite. We cant afford to take away benefits from seniors and disabled, but not touch churches. It is unethical."
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    • +2 +3 -1 Idaho May. 23, 2013
      "Joel Osteen's income is not tax exempt. He has to pay personal income taxes on any money he receives from the church or from his publishing efforts.
      I doubt his income is $500 million a year. I doubt he clears $50 million."
    • 0 +1 -1 Chloe Feb. 2, 2014
      "Even if he doesn't make 500 million, 50 million is still a lot to make off of a "non-profit" organization."
    • -1 0 -1 Julia Anne Jul. 17, 2016
      "Most ministries are living high on the hog and aren't helping anyone else but themselves."
  • +2 +21 -19 Idadho Mar. 1, 2013
    "What part of " Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.." ?
    Churches and their members and all who hold to a religious faith are not to be restricted in any way.
    Those churches that have sold their soul to the IRS by claiming 501(c)3 status are subject to whatever the IRS and Congress choose. Those Free Churches shall remain free from government intervention. Those non-religious charities that want the same property tax and other exemptions just need to get a Constitutional Amendment passed and ratified granting them the same exemptions."
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    • +2 +6 -4 Brent May. 23, 2013
      "I've heard this same ridiculous argument again and again. Taxing churches does not prevent freedom of religion. Not holding churches to the same standards as other non-profit organizations however does effect us all. Give me any reason at all where a church has to file paperwork to continue to remain tax-exempt harms their freedom of religion at all. If it will cause the church to shut down, then people either need to give more, or the church needs to handle its money better."
    • 0 +3 -3 Kay Mar. 2, 2014
      "From government intervention really.. Its a government intervention for a church to pay taxes just like the rest of us!! If that's the case I am going to open a "Church" so I can have people come over and worship this character I made up!! and never have a pay taxes on my house! Do you really think that government would let me do that!? No, and don't churches take money from people, pass the plate and filling the booklet with quarters so take that money and put it to taxes. I am done with people and their religious faith!! Do what the rest of us to!! They are trying to make native Americans pay taxes so before them churches should have to pay!!!!"
    • 0 +3 -3 james May. 31, 2013
      "We also have freedom of speech. So according to your logic, "freedom of" means we subsidize it. Therefor we should be giving big tax breaks to actors and actresses and anyone else (Cliff Clavin, Politicians, etc) that talk a lot. Those that don't talk as much will have to pay higher taxes to make up the shortfall."
  • +1 +1 0 Say No to Taxes Nov. 27, 2018
    "Churches should be tax exempt because if they weren't it would be a violation of the 1st amendment. People who go to church are still paying income, federal, state and property tax. A church is simply a building where people come together to give back to Christ. The church does not have an income, it runs on donations. If you don't go to church, then just give to some other charity for your tax break..."
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  • +1 +9 -8 Trevor Miles Nov. 6, 2015
    "I would like to say that as an active church member, my small Wesleyan church wouldn't survive a tax burden. We barely make enough to stay afloat, and I hate mega-churches, but taxing churches would imply government jurisdiction over religion, which the gov'n doesn't have, thereby violating the 1st Amendment."
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  • 0 +1 -1 Natalie A. Mar. 15, 2018
    "Churches should continue to be exempt from property taxes. Religious groups provide many generous donations and help above and beyond what they would pay if they had to pay property taxes. Religious groups make it their obligation to serve others in need, whether they live in or out of our country, and for the poor."
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  • 0 +6 -6 Jace Wright Aug. 24, 2016
    "Taxes are theft. Me paying taxes for your library and fire department and police department is me subsidizing you! Is your faith in the government any better than my faith in Jesus Christ? You essentially say, give me money or I will lock you in a cage. if you don't get in the cage I will shoot and kill you. This is justice."
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  • -1 +4 -5 Julia Anne May. 27, 2016
    "I think ministers and churches should pay the same taxes as everyone else. The Lord will always provide. The Bible give unto God was is due and give unto Caesar what is due."
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    • +1 +1 0 Jace Wright Aug. 25, 2016
      "If we give unto God what is due, there is nothing left for Caesar."
  • -2 +4 -6 Jonathan Apr. 17, 2016
    "The churches should pay taxes and get back in the business of speaking out on matters of public concern. Stop taking the 501c3 bribe!"
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  • -2 +10 -12 Bob Nov. 5, 2015
    "Churches are not a business, and the money they earn is put to good use."
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    • 0 0 0 Nihil May. 16, 2016
      "Churches are totally a business... the best business on the market! They take your hard-earned money and use it for themselves (very good use, by the way). That's a business."
    • -3 +2 -5 Lindsay Jan. 11, 2016
      "I agree. If churches are trying to make the world better with the money they have why limit it and make them less capable to do more?"
  • -3 +15 -18 Austin Apr. 2, 2014
    "im pro because its the last bit of hope left. I don't believe there should be any property tax anywhere. It is unconstitutional to be taxed on your property and as to this day an individuals property is not taxable. However that being said the land does not belong to you therefore it can be taxed and biblically speaking the land belongs to God anyway. Taxes in this country are out of hand. If the churches are taxed they will close and the only ones that will stay open are the ones that are only doing it to make sells. You will see people gathering in homes for religious worship. Pastors and Priests will cease to exist and religious schools and degrees will fade away.

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    • +1 +1 0 Jace Wright Aug. 24, 2016
      "I agree. Taxes are theft."
    • +1 +2 -1 John Apr. 24, 2016
      "The Bible is a misinterpreted fairytale. I don't see God fixing the roads and the infrastructure of the place you live in. The invisible man does nothing because he does not exist.wake up America to the biggest scam ever invented religion!"
    • 0 +2 -2 Dean Feb. 11, 2015
      "We can only hope what you say is true."
    • -1 0 -1 Michelle Jul. 18, 2016
      "Italy taxes churches and yet they manage to stay happy healthy religious people. They will never stop collecting property taxes or will they start taxing churches unless people care enough and we get a president with enough backbone. Most are too afraid to rock the religious boat. Italians don't riot like they do here. Wake up?"
    • -1 0 -1 Michelle Jul. 18, 2016
      "Italy taxes their churches, the Vatican pays taxes. It is only fair. The churches that will disappear will be the excess churches. Yes there is such a thing. The churches despite what you think are not closely monitored the spend lavishly. It is not difficult to pocket money. Not all of them help the poor. Many of them emphasize tithing which means giving money to help them. We need to weed out the bad apples anyway. Joel lives in a 10 million dollar home with 3 elevators. Total celebrity lifestyle. They have a private jet now for selling the nights of hope. Very expensive too. What you don't see on TV is how Victoria gets up Sunday's and her main emphasis is tithing the church. I happened into a upscale dermatologist clinic downtown and Victoria get bored and fillers. Funny if you do any volunteer OMG for the church to go help feed homeless or mission trips everything is self funded. They do not give a penny to help volunteers. In one weekend the church makes millions.If you try to go talk to them and get an autograph you need to be in a roped off area. I live in Houston. Victoria should be on the real housewives of pastors. No joke. Churches should be taxed this is a big reason why."
  • -5 +13 -18 Just Because, God May. 1, 2014
    "People at church aren't forced to give any money at all, they just choose to. They choose to because of the fact that if they didn't give any, there wouldn't be a church, and they like to worship God. The true real God, Jesus Christ, Hosanna"
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    • -2 0 -2 Michelle Jul. 18, 2016
      "They chose to because they believe if they don't tithe they will go to hell. And they care what others think If they don't put money in the basket they will feel embarrassed. Most people's thought s are not about church closing down. They already get more tax breaks than the average person."
  • -5 +9 -14 Loco Taco Mar. 19, 2014
    "I have looked at both sides of the argument and I have come to a conclusion that some major churches are already having financial issues any more and there will be foreclosures on some of the most important churches in America Congress can find other ways to make extra revenue such as taxing unmoral companies like strip clubs and adult video taxing churches in my opinion can be defined as taking religion from america"
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    • +2 +3 -1 Lucifer Mar. 4, 2015
      "They already tax those places, a lot actually. But from what I have seen lately churches are becoming political. So they should be made to pay taxes, else they need to stay out of politics and leave the rest of us alone. Before you say that churches don't get into politics let me give you a couple of examples; Gay Marriage and Abortion. Thank you , and have a nice day."
  • -5 +9 -14 DM Jun. 21, 2013
    "I think after they make a certain amount of money they should have to pay taxes. but not all churches should."
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    • +1 +1 0 MdM Jan. 12, 2014
      "tried to change my no to a yes-maybe writing a response is what should be done - Yes churches should pay taxes - Born, Raised and Once Believed In the Authenticity of Churches - Now I question EVERYTHING About "CHURCH""

CON (no) Comments (45)

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  • +21 +28 -7 Jagger Apr. 28, 2014
    "If every time I make a dollar, and the government takes away a third of it, why is it that a church can completely avoid taxation? Lets say I have 3 dollars (small numbers are easier to work with) the government gets one of them, I get one, and I "donate" the third or "pay" the church for their "service." My employer is taxed on what he makes, then I'm taxed on what i make and now technically the church is generating an income (same as my employer who is taxed) should they not be taxed as well?"
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    • +1 +2 -1 Thabias Jul. 23, 2017
      "It's simple. Because church's are non-profit which means the money they use comes from donation and the government does not put a tax on donation. If you were to tax donations, then ALL non-profit organizations would be taxed too."
  • +20 +40 -20 Sadie Aug. 27, 2013
    "They need to pay taxes. I didn't make a billion dollars reading people fairy tales."
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  • +18 +31 -13 James May. 31, 2013
    "'"What part of " Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.." ?
    Churches and their members and all who hold to a religious faith are not to be restricted in any way.' - Idadho

    Freedom of speech does not mean we are going to give huge tax breaks to people that speak a lot. Not restricted does not mean subsidized!

    We have freedom of religion. But we also have freedom from religion.

    Why am I forced to pay for your religion?

    Our founding father's had concerns about this:
    "Because religious belief, or non-belief, is such an important part of every person’s life, freedom of religion affects every individual. Religious institutions that use government power in support of themselves and force their views on persons of other faiths, or of no faith, undermine all our civil rights. Moreover, state support of an established religion tends to make the clergy unresponsive to their own people, and leads to corruption within religion itself. Erecting the "wall of separation between church and state," therefore, is absolutely essential in a free society." -- Thomas Jefferson"
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    • 0 +1 -1 Cathy Aug. 17, 2015
      "Jefferson was writing against the establishment of a state religion, the way England established the Church of England. He was not writing against the tax question. Jefferson believed, as the other Founding Fathers, that religion was necessary for the development of a moral citizenry."
    • -4 +2 -6 Idadho May. 31, 2013
      "james, you are misstating the meaning of tax exempt. Only the church is tax exempt. The employees of the church are still required to pay taxes on their income. There are no HUGE tax breaks to people that (sic) speak a lot.
      If you don't like the 501(c) laws, blame them on the great liberal Lyndon B Johnson who pushed them to try to get control of churches."
  • +15 +25 -10 BZ Nov. 24, 2013
    "Enough already. Pay your fair share - we can't afford to ignore this injustice any longer. And no I don't belong to any church."
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  • +11 +18 -7 Pat May. 24, 2013
    "If a town consists of two properties, a church and a house, why should the owner of the house pay taxex for the church?

    Inability to make that simple example fair to both property owner and church means that there is no fair basis upon which to confer benefit to one while burdening the other with the tax rightfully attributable to the church property.

    Multiplying that example and applying it to all property is the extent of unfairness built into the property tax system, due to overreaching government."
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    • +1 +1 0 Jace Wright Aug. 25, 2016
      "Neither should pay taxes.

      Your question is like asking, if there are two children, why should we kill one and let the other live; kill both.

      It's pretty obvious you should kill neither."
  • +7 +18 -11 YesWeHaveTheInternet May. 7, 2013
    "An international viewpoint:
    While your American churches avoid involvement in politics (theoretically), there is absolutely NOTHING preventing them from actively meddling in politics overseas, in the name of "missionary work", especially in Africa.
    For example, maybe you've noticed things like the "Kill the Gays" movement in Uganda in recent years? Just Africans being savages - right? Follow the missionary trail (google is your friend) and find out which "non-political" US churches are exporting their failed culture wars over there, meddling in top-level politics, and providing huge amounts of funding to anyone who'll promote the more extreme opinions that they wouldn't get away with expressing in America.
    Several of your "non-political" US churches are in fact actively promoting mass murder elsewhere in the world. And you thought it was only Muslim extremists who did that - right?"
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    • -1 +1 -2 Cathy Aug. 17, 2015
      "Details, please? If you've done this research, you should be able to name names - at least a few. Otherwise, all you're spreading is innuendo."
  • +6 +10 -4 Chloe Jun. 25, 2014
    "Churches really are the same as every other building nearby. Why should they get a freebie? To me it simply sounds unfair that churches won't be taxed, but even the homeless people are."
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  • +6 +16 -10 Harton Dec. 13, 2013
    "They should pay taxes as long as they continue to interfere in affairs of state."
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  • +6 +15 -9 OAK Apr. 7, 2013
    "no they shouldn't a place of religious worship who may do charitable work on the side is not the same thing as a charity.I'v seem churches abuse there tax exemptions just to push there agendas to impose there beliefs on others are try to discrimate against others.while it doesn't apply to all churches I do think like any person business school they should pay taxes like everyone else.i mean they get donations for worship can afford to lavishly decorate there church but shouldn't pay any taxes even when its clear not all of the money they use is for charity. the only people who deserve a tax break in my opinion is military soldiers. who put there lives in danger with minimum pay who usually come home with signs of ptsd or with both there legs blown off. I have way more respect to what military men and women do then pastors who abuse tax exemptions to profit for themselves...
    no offense to religious people but unless you are willing to put your life in danger for your country just pay your taxes I've seen churches with my own eyes they are not broke.if you want to claim tax exemptions on separate charity work you do fine.however any object or anything you buy house whatever should be taxed.including the church building itself."
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  • +5 +20 -15 eddie1247 Feb. 28, 2013
    "Perhaps if I saw the Catholic church doing more to help those in need, instead of amassing even more of a fortune that does nothing but increase in size than I might think the church deserved a tax exemption. As it stands now they are just another corporation hiding behind a tax exempt status by calling themselves a church."
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    • +2 +3 -1 Cathy Aug. 17, 2015
      "The Catholic Church is the largest provider of social services in the world. Look up Catholic Relief Services for a start. The first hospitals (in the world, both hemispheres) were begun by Catholic monks in the 300s A.D. Several of the first foreign aid workers who died in the recent Ebola crisis were Catholics. And, if you're one of those people who think Mother Theresa was a self-serving hypocrite (an attitude not likely shared by the hundreds of thousands of people she and her sisters picked up out of the gutter), look up Father Damien of Molokai. Or Maximilian Kolbe. Or Dorothy Day. Alternatively, visit a Catholic school in the slums of your city. Or a soup kitchen run by the church. Or an AIDS clinic."
    • 0 +1 -1 Patrick Mar. 22, 2015
      "The Catholic Church pays taxes in Italy, but not in usa."
    • -1 +2 -3 Idadho Mar. 4, 2013
      "The 1st Amendment does not say " Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof " if they do charitable work and help people in need. In fact,when the state first established welfare programs during the Great Depression, the state started pushing churches out of the care of the disadvantaged and needy. LBJ pushed even more churches out of welfare work, which was his goal since spearheading the 501(c)3 code into law. Conservatives and church goers consistently give more money to charity efforts than liberals and non-church goers."
  • +4 +11 -7 Al Apr. 4, 2014
    "And Jesus said to them, "Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and to God the things that are God's" Other wise pay your taxes.
    Churches should not be tax exempt, the only thing that the so called founding fathers were saying was we had the right to worship as we wanted. This did not mean religious leader could get wealthy and hide behind the church that is HYPOCRISY. They need to Pay like any other business, as a business owner I pay all kinds of taxes maybe all businesses need to become a church that way none of us have to pay taxes."
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    • 0 +1 -1 luke Nov. 4, 2015
      "A church is not a business. churches aren't established to make money they are established so religious people can have a place to do their religious things and they are funded by people of that faith by tithe, donations etc...
      taxing churches is against the first amendment of the constitution, and churches are and should be able to worship freely."
  • +2 +5 -3 Kasem Sep. 18, 2014
    "Same people who want us to pay for their churches, and houses of worship refuse to pay for women's and mens contraceptives because it goes against their religious views. Nowhere does it say in the constitution or in reality that if we don't pay for your houses of worship that will prohibit the free excercise of your religion, much like if you refused to pay for my meeting to promote a secular society would not infringe on my right to the practice of free speech. Its my meeting, where my members are willing to go, we should be the ones willing to pay. You want to worship? No one is preventing you, but everyone shouldn't have to pay because you want to practice a religion that large number of the population don't follow"
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  • +2 +6 -4 angelique Oct. 18, 2013
    "no I known someone name believer bill, Who is not a pastor, that went to college. He is a fake. He use his so called church, that he calls united recovery. He got all kinds of money. And he used the people to get them agaist his wife, so he could get custody, of her adopted neice. She left, because he molest the child. The courts do not believe her."
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  • +2 +11 -9 john compton Feb. 28, 2013
    "No,churches should pay taxes,they are as much social clubs as not,churches direct their members to spend far to much time and money in legal battles agianst gay rights,schppl prayer,miany time a country allows a tax break to a church,that money may go to out of country charity,pushing legal fight like gay rights,their own out of control plays,weddings,pushing anti abortion stance. A single person without deductions today has difficult time,and couples often both have to work and pay taxes. This is not a religous state. While children are in poverty,churches spend money on plays,sound systems,often uneeded buildind up grades.let them pay"
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  • 0 0 0 John May. 17, 2018
    "Any person owning property in any local county could have their property tax REDUCED SIGNIFICANTLY if the property of ALL religious organizations was taxed (at FULL-VALUE!). Local governments would have ore money then they know what to do with, which would negate the need for federal and state "subsidizing" of local counties! Churches bring in more money then illegal drug cartels or the mafia, and should have the money taxed to the MAXIMUM EXTENT POSSIBLE!"
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  • 0 +1 -1 Elise Apr. 20, 2017
    "I think not one of the 'churches' should benefit from tax-payers doing what they can to avoid taxes. I think non-profits should be done away with except those that actually HELP those who can't help themselves, IE those truly diagnosed with special needs."
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  • 0 +1 -1 Joanna Jan. 12, 2017
    "Why isn't this a thing looked into sooner!? I've educated myself with a casual curiousity for many years on the benefit and detriment of organized religion. My mind has been open for the insight of personal choice versus religious devotion to the written word. While religious concessions have given rise to many deviations, denominations, interpretations, and diversity of accepted alternatives, there has also been a rise in an alarmingly acceptable form of civil and constitutional exploitation that is comparable to Ponzi schemes and hedge funds. Semantically speaking, it is the same thing! The only keeping this from open recognition is the stigma of questioning God(or other religious idols), marking one for the misplaced judgement of millions of devout people who are themselves victims unknowingly. These leaders are paragons of the paths in which the guide those of us seeking a unified ideal. Which is why this makes confrontation a dubious but righteous cause! Being a statistical majority in America, with a morally driven dogma that influences every facet of life, it is ethically right to be taxed. Taxes that help us all, nationally, protect what is so fervently lamented by our local communities religious leaders."
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  • 0 +2 -2 Will Nov. 4, 2015
    "The first step should be full financial disclosure so we can properly determine that a church has not violated any law and involved themselves in politics."
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  • 0 +5 -5 Fishbone96 Apr. 29, 2014
    "either give the exemtion to all churches or none at all not to just orthodox"
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  • 0 +5 -5 Travis T Feb. 9, 2014
    "There should be an expanded definition for barring any church meddling in politics. It is not enough to focus on a single endorsed candidate because that endorsement usually comes from the policy standpoint to begin with. To allow churches to actively engage in the political discussion regarding any public policy is the slippery slope to a theocracy. Just look how some current leaders have been pushing the concept that the US was founded on Judeo-Christian principles.

    It takes taxes to run a society and while some church organizations provide charity relief, it often comes at a cost in the form of proselytizing and serves as a promotional wing of the church. We can and do have truly secular organizations that perform the same task. Churches use and even abuse the infrastructure. Maybe a slightly lower tax rate could be constructed if an organization can prove charitable works that have no religious bearing?"
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  • 0 +5 -5 Chloe Feb. 2, 2014
    "I'm in a bit of a rush as of typing this comment, so I will just list my points.

    a. Even though some churches give back to the community through soup-kitchens and what-not, the government does not exempt other organizations that use the whole of their time to helping humans. This shows a bias in the government towards religious institutions.

    b. The tax exemption forces Americans with secular views to support religion whether they would like to or not.

    c. Mega-churches, a trend among religious institutions that is quickly spreading, rake in hundred of thousands of dollars every year that quickly go to support pastors beyond their means.

    d. Oftentimes those who receive the benefits of their church being untaxed are the same people who don't support their tax dollars going to people who don't work, when in reality, the are the ones feeding off of the system. They could just as easily go find a job if they think it's as easy as they say and then stop "working" at a church and begin an honest income, so those two arguments collide with each other."
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  • 0 +10 -10 michelle May. 4, 2013
    "I do not believe that they deserve tax exempt status because more time is spent on indoctrination of particular belief systems rather than actual charitable activities. Churches teach more about discrimination than any other secular non-profit. They break the laws about endorsement of politicians, and actively try to lobby for the united states to base its legislation based upon their belief system, mostly christian. The buildings and pastors benefit more monetarily from being tax exempt, than any actual charitable activity. Charity and good will does not depend upon religion and should not require its recipients to "pay" with their indoctrination."
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  • -1 +5 -6 Abigail Apr. 7, 2014
    "Many people think that churches shouldn't pay taxes because of how much "good" they do. However, If churches were to start paying their fair share this would lessen the burden on everyone else."
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  • -1 +6 -7 Mike Apr. 1, 2014
    "If religious institutions insist on getting involved in politics, then the government needs to revoke their tax exempt status and see how quickly they take a neutral approach to political issues."
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  • -1 +6 -7 Beth Jan. 5, 2014
    "Churches seem to think that they are above the law, and can refuse to cover birth control in their health plans "because family values" when people of all faiths or lack thereof are expected to pick up the slack from the taxes that they can't be bothered to pay."
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  • -1 +12 -13 Mike Feb. 28, 2013
    "We pay taxes, so should churches. What value do they add anyways when they constantly are the center of molestation scandals and of bigotries against homosexuals."
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    • +1 +1 0 Chloe Feb. 2, 2014
      "The problem with the argument of churches being charities is the fact that charities that donate all of their time to helping people, animals, etc. aren't tax-exempt, but an organization that takes in so much money from all the people willing to give 10% of their income is."
  • -1 +10 -11 Howard Austin Feb. 28, 2013
    "With respect to the charitable works they do, religious and secular organizations should be treated equally under the tax laws. Moneys collected and used for the furthering of religion should taxed. In the USA, government(s) are not allowed to support religion. One example is keeping Creationism (aka Intelligent Design) out of public schools. Teaching mythology as fact is allowed in the USA but not supported by the actions of government or public institutions."
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  • -2 +1 -3 non religious May. 11, 2016
    "It is troubling that so called religious bring the government to court over contraceptives and not wanting to pay or have anything to do with them and at the same time, the people they discriminate against must pay more in taxes to help out said institutions. Why should a woman or someone with a alternate lifestyle, pay higher taxes, in their communities while being discriminated against?"
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  • -2 +1 -3 Joe Marra Apr. 24, 2016
    "Best scam ever invented by man. I don't believe any of the superstitious nonsense and so am I subsidizing this. Now the so-called religious freedom laws are making bigotry and repression the law of certain states Jim Crow laws are back! Religion does far more harm to society than good. Someone in Congress with half a brain should propose a law to at least tax the property that these churches have and exploit at the expense of the rest of us."
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  • -2 +1 -3 Jeff Apr. 17, 2016
    "Funny how you argue about Separation of Church and State when it comes to the concept taxation, yet expect US legislation to reflect your "values" at all costs. The lack of property taxation for churches places an unfair burden on the rest of the people in a community; there's no reason why the Church shouldn't pay property taxes. As far as taxation on income is concerned, I think that's a more complicated issue as some Churches do actually provide charitable services to their community; it would be complicated, but perhaps splitting out the charitable activities and deducting from their income and paying tax on the difference would be the fair way to handle this. Allowing Churches to continue tax free is unacceptable; time to pay their fair share."
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  • -2 +1 -3 FollowJesusonly1 Apr. 8, 2016
    "According to the bible, churches are to pay their taxes. If they do not then they are children of the world, not children of God in Christ as we are not to be of this world. They must go against the commands of Jesus who they claim to believe in to enjoy the tax exempt status. Going against him means they are no longer a church of his, which in effect makes them no longer eligible for the status. Bottom line, if they are a Church of Christ they are commanded to pay taxes, if they do not pay taxes, then they are not a Church of Christ."
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  • -2 +1 -3 matcat Feb. 6, 2016
    "So the pro side states that churches would not survive without a tax advantage. Assistance, help, welfare, whatever you want to call it. I'm so glad that's over. I was tired of not being able to have free speech concering taxes and churches. Churches are on welfare. End of story. Please join millions of Americans in calling for churches to pay taxes. Amen."
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  • -2 +1 -3 Al Milligan Nov. 21, 2015
    "No. Because tax exemptions for religion is unconstitutional. It establishes churches and so religion in general. The establishment clause...Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise about religion in general not churches, that means any religion. Tax exemption allows richer communities a hedge on forming a church."
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  • -2 +2 -4 Patrick Mar. 22, 2015
    "The Intent of the first amendment was to separate church and state. Reasonable but open to interpretation and sadly even Supreme Justices can't agree. So why not an amendment to try to define the meaning? In allowing tax exemptions for religions Government have given preferential treatment to some people over others. That is not constitutional. A separation of church and state does not mean churches must be free of tax but that they must not be taxed harsher than any non-religious organization. The government was also wrong to try to silence churches for political involvement for their tax exemption status. That status is unconstitutional and so is trying to buy their silence in return for exemptions. Two wrongs don't make a right. Churches have every right to speak out for/against whomever/whatever - that is freedom of speech, for heavens sake! (Pun intended). Jefferson's intent was right. governments and justices have screwed up. It only remains for each citizen unfairly and unconstitutionally affected by this tax exemption to establish their own church, evade taxes and enjoy $65million personal jets from their misguided supporters whose taxes support their pastors properties. God bless America! (Is that constitutional?)"
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  • -2 +3 -5 Vilette Dec. 6, 2014
    "Why should the church not pay taxes when I do? I know a lot of people involved with the church say things like they don't want to support things they don't believe in such as abortion, etc but then again there's stuff I don't believe in such as the church not paying taxes or locking someone up because they had a little marijuana but I'm still paying taxes, why shouldn't they? they're spending A LOT of money on stained glass windows so I'm sure they can pay the monthly tax."
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  • -2 +3 -5 Chris Acosta Jun. 28, 2014
    "Churches should be required to have their tax exempt status reviewed on a yearly basis. There are many organizations masquerading as religious groups when they are really commercial enterprises.

    Tax exempt land should remain the property of the town it is in and at the time of any transfer of ownership it's status should be determined by a town vote. Any land on the tax rolls that is being considered to become tax exempt should be approved by a town vote. These votes should be required to have at least 60% of the town's registered voters participating. Further there should be a limit to tax exempt land within a town's border unless the land is for a park or recreational purpose in which case it actually an asset to the town. For religions only land with the actual house of worship on it should even be considered for tax exempt status.

    It is time for the United States to completely revise the tax exemption for religions which is the most abused statute in the entire tax code."
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  • -2 +5 -7 Jacob May. 4, 2014
    "This, along with "In God We Trust" on our money and "Under God" in our Pledge of Allegiance, is a breach of our constitution.

    They can worship whatever bronze-age mythology they want, but that shouldn't mean they get a free ride. If they want to earn tax deductions by, say.. feeding and housing the poor? SURE! I'm all for that.

    But they don't deserve special treatment just for being a religious organization."
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  • -2 +5 -7 Monkey Man May. 1, 2014
    "The "Religion/GOD" business is no different than a used car lot or a Bank and should be taxed equally."
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  • -2 +3 -5 reggie salazar III Mar. 28, 2014
    "just because its a holy place dosent mean the should be exempt tons of these places are corrupted and just keep the money themselves and only give the bare minimum to charity."
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  • -2 +4 -6 D Hamming Feb. 7, 2014
    "The Catholic Church is the most wealthy organization in the world, and a large share of their "good works" has been the cover up of an enormous and horrifying system of child sexual abuse. I guess everyone knows that by now. But did you know how they have paid (and are still paying) the billions of dollars to settle with the permanently scarred victims in this scandal? Not with the fortune they are sitting on; no, they are paying by assessing all their parishes with additional monies collected from their parishioners; campaigns not identified under the correct premise of lawsuit payoffs but under different guises such as "for the missions". If there is corruption within other tax-exempt organizations, as well, and because the constitution maintains the separation of church and state, time to send them all a tax bill."
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  • -2 +4 -6 Carol Feb. 4, 2014
    "I think it's about time the churches contribute to our taxes
    like everyone else. Our government is in debt, and there
    are too many people out of work and homeless."
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  • -2 +7 -9 Adam Lucero Oct. 28, 2013
    "George Carlin (I know he's a comedian) this is my favorite quote "Religion easily has the greatest bull**** story ever told. Think about it. Religion has actually convinced people that there's an invisible man living in the sky who watches everything you do, every minute of every day. And the invisible man has a special list of ten things he does not want you to do. And if you do any of these ten things, he has a special place, full of fire and smoke and burning and torture and anguish, where he will send you to live and suffer and burn and choke and scream and cry forever and ever 'til the end of time! But He loves you. He loves you, and He needs money! He always needs money! He's all-powerful, all-perfect, all-knowing, and all-wise, somehow just can't handle money! Religion takes in billions of dollars, they pay no taxes, and they always need a little more. Now, you talk about a good bull**** story. Holy ****!" now after reading that this is what I got "He loves you, and He needs money!" that is my point, "Religion takes in billions of dollars, they pay no taxes, and they always need a little more." and that is my evidence well he can see I can only hope America will learn how."
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  • -2 +6 -8 Matt Oct. 4, 2013
    "The Constitution and founding fathers (especially James Madison) were quite clear on this. They should not be given special treatment. Period. Yet, they are."
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  • -3 0 -3 cakebatter Apr. 17, 2016
    "Mega churches make up a small minority of even evangelical churches, nevertheless christian churches as a whole. The Government could put caps on parsonages and yaghts (Sea Org), and personal jets, which the vast majority of chiristians or churches would welcome and support. This would only affect megachurches and groups like Scientology, leaving smaller churches to continue running charity work within their local communites"
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  • -5 +3 -8 anthony Oct. 11, 2013
    "because some people use that to get rich and not pay property taxes and keep their money and that's not right to other people who pay their taxes and have property taxes too ."
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