If Churches Make Laws, Why Don’t They Pay Taxes?

The Mormon Temple, San Diego

It’s the morning after, America. It was a terrible day yesterday. North Carolina voted to ban marriage equality for all citizens, gay or straight. The bill also had some terrible provisions against unmarried heterosexual couples. Are the people affected by this law bad people? Are they criminals? No. They just don’t fit into the church’s moral view. They may be living in sin or, heaven forbid, gay. Apparently the Almighty wants laws passed to hurt these unfortunates and religion will use as much tax-free money as it wants to accomplish His will.

When the Constitution was drafted, churches were houses of relatively humble means. Ben Franklin thought it best they pay no taxes as they were places which poor could turn to in times of need. Churches were certainly not the 700 Club. They’ve grown tremendously, as you can see, in wealth and power. Some churches are more wealthy than others, obviously. Regrettably, the church seems to be dictating an awful lot of policy lately. Ever since Reagan’s Moral Majority, the fundamentalists have gained power, primarily on the right. Yet they don’t pay one penny in taxes. I find this abhorrent and unfair.

Romney made millions of dollars from Bain Capital and diverted stock to the LDS Church. The church made millions from Romney’s business acumen. That’s allowed by law. What’s not kosher about this charitable donation is how the Mormon Church spent $70 million to legislate against Prop 8, the California anti-marriage equality bill. They were eventually fined for impropriety.

The Christian Right is pretty influential in politics. The Right is still winning in the area of contraception . The church seems to care so much about issues like whether the Ten Commandments, religious doctrine, can be displayed at an Alabama Courthouse. Or whether a woman has the right to choose 39 years after Roe v Wade. There are hundreds of causes the church directly funds that has led to laws passed that mimic church law, not Constitutional law. These churches get countless sums of money as charity then use it to further its own agenda by literally buying legislation. Tax free. Tax free. Makes you think a little, doesn’t it? Churches do good things sometimes, like provide help for needy patrons or feed the poor occasionally. But they can be selfish in promoting their platform and should pay the same taxes everyone (maybe not everyone, cough cough, Romney) pays. As one who is free from religion in general, I find this offensive in my society where freedom of religion and/or freedom from religion is the law of the land.

One thought on “If Churches Make Laws, Why Don’t They Pay Taxes?

  1. I am a citizen of North Carolina, in a small town comprised primarily of cranky old Conservatives with sexual insecurities. That, along with the drooling and easily rallied youth in this town, was what made up the majority of votes “for”, I’m sure. The simple fact is that the Church has been allowed to run rampant under the guise of “Freedom of religion.” No one has yet to stop them under the law “Freedom from religion.” People are simply afraid to attack dogma for fear of being intolerant.

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