Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Church Tax?

"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances." Sounds good, doesn't it? For those from the world outside America, and even for some within, this is the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States of America. Simply put it says: "No laws about religion, No stopping free speech, No stopping the press, No stopping peaceful protests and No stopping petitions to the government." Man, America must be a utopian society, with such a statement, right? Wrong. Let me explain.

Straight up there is to be no law for or against religion or religious practices. There are laws that prohibit certain practices, but those laws apply to everyone, not specific religions. This is why churches pay no tax. That would violate the first amendment. Fortunately there is a flip side, churches can't have their beliefs made into law. Or they shouldn't. They spend millions of dollars annually to get laws passed. Something must be done.

I have seen many things whilst goofing around on the net. It is from these things that I became a 'militant' (see: outspoken) atheist. I have seen many non-religious people crying to have the churches taxed. I disagree. To tax the church would cut the first part of the amendment out entirely, justifying their spending with no way of stopping it without being hypocritical. Many churches in America do not lobby, and can only afford to continue as is by being tax exempt. The ones that do try to pay for law, are the giant mega churches, whose business like structure are certain to find a way around paying appropriate taxes anyway.

No, what needs to happen is a firmer enforcing of the first amendment. Stop them from lobbying, if that's even possible. That would be mire in-line with the state the founding fathers envisioned. However, because of the power the church holds, no such law will come to fruition. Neither will they ever be taxed. The people won't stand for it. The president of the US must be Christian, or from one of it's splinter religions. This isn't a legal issue, but a social one. If an Islamic person ran for president, he'd be drowned in bad publicity from the get go. And an atheist wouldn't even get to be a senator. The church is powerful, rich and incredibly sly when it comes to politics. This is a dangerous combination. Add to the mix a general dislike of education and love of bigotry, and you can see a problem. Finally, sprinkle on some holy righteousness, and what have you got? A shitstorm of hate and regression.

America? We need to talk.

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