T O P

Why do we still allow churches to be classified as a charity and offer them special tax benefits? This seems terribly outdated as more and more atrocities committed by these organisation come to light.

Why do we still allow churches to be classified as a charity and offer them special tax benefits? This seems terribly outdated as more and more atrocities committed by these organisation come to light.

dudleydidwrong

I would be happy in the US if churches had to file IRS 990 forms like other non-profits. It would show a lot of corruption. And it would make it a lot harder for church leaders and big donors from using the church for tax evasion of personal funds. Honest churches should be eager to have all churches file 990 forms. But unfortunately large and politically powerful churches are probably the ones who have the most to fear from disclosure.


singularineet

This is a really important point. Any corporation can avoid paying taxes by the simple expedient of not earning a profit and filing the right paperwork and doing the right accounting tricks. That's not what's special about churches. What's special is that they can avoid a lot of that paperwork, and don't have to do any accounting tricks.


dudleydidwrong

One other factor is that 990 reports are public records. That means members would be able to see and assess the financial activities of their churches. It would be much harder for them to be sitting on $150 billion (like the Mormon church) and make a case for why their members should be donating to them. And public disclosure of 990 information would help watchdogs and prosecutors uncover financial fraud under the cover of religious exemption.


Cicada-Music

What's to keep any non profit from declaring itself a church and skipping the paperwork? Are there special requirements to be a church?


HawkspurReturns

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Our\_Lady\_of\_Perpetual\_Exemption


Adezar

Praise be!


adhocadhoc

Link wouldn’t open correctly on mobile https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Our_Lady_of_Perpetual_Exemption


grammaticalerrorz

Hallelujah!


DM699

It's the only church I would ever call myself a member of.


kaz3e

I dunno, Satanic Temple members and Pastafarians are generally cool, too.


DM699

Touché. Haha


prof_vannostrand

I'm an ordained [Dudeist Minister.](https://dudeism.com/ordination/)


noobviousreason

Far out. me too man.


pauz43

In His Eye.


AimingForBland

It's pretty easy to do but not as good of a solution as ending the loophole. Also, it's kinda awkward for a secular charity to have to pretend it's also a religion.


Alistair_TheAlvarian

I worship the God of there is no God let's build an ai matrioshka brain machine God. Then if there is a God, that isn't dead yet, let him know we're coming. Now give me my tax exemptions.


pauz43

> if churches had to file IRS 990 forms like other non-profits. It would show a lot of corruption. And there is the exact reason the churches will fight to the death to NOT have to file those 990 forms.


Corner_beat

Facts. If they have nothing to hide they have nothing to fear.


LoboChristian

That’s not how our system of justice works. 5th amendment, right to be free from unwarranted search and seizure in our cars and homes….


Zesty-Meatloaf

not sure the same applies to churches built on dead children ... right?


LoboChristian

I missed the part about the dead children. Can someone provide a link?


L0neKitsune

Definitely not the first time somebody has found a mass grave at a religious institution, but this is the one op is referencing. https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/toronto-children-kamloops-first-nation-b1861263.html TL;DR Catholic Church with support from the Canadian government ran a program to forcibly take Native American children from their parents institutionalized them in horrible conditions and forcibly convert them to Christianity, lots of kids died.


Monty_920

Rights are for individuals, not churches.


LoboChristian

So how does that work? Got any case law or moral standing to cite on that? Can police search a church building without a search warrant as well?


Monty_920

Well, I know this might be hard for your religion addled brain to comprehend, but as I said before rights are for people. In your poor example, no of course they couldn't. But the warrant would be in relation to whatever crime the law suspects the resident child moles- *ahem* sorry, "priest" of committing. The priest is obviously protected by the 4th against unlawful search and seizure, however the church is not, because that would be stupid.


gormster

Wait, do they not? Presumably they have to file some stuff with the IRS, do they get their own special form?


dostiers

> Presumably they have to file some stuff with the IRS, do they get their own special form? Nope. Not so much as a postcard saying thanks. Religions, unlike all other non profits, do not need to [file their accounts](https://www.irs.gov/charities-non-profits/churches-religious-organizations/filing-requirements) with the IRS. They don't even have to register as a charity with the IRS. Secular charities do. There are also [special rules](https://www.irs.gov/charities-non-profits/churches-religious-organizations/special-rules-limiting-irs-authority-to-audit-a-church) which inhibit the ability of the IRS to investigate churches.


wombelero

Agreed. For me one of the funnier reports really recent was the mormon church. Their members apparently are not even allowed coffee and certainly not gambling. But the church went to the moon and invested millions in the Gamestop hype. And made a lot of non-taxable money. The hypocrisis is so blatant it is stunning. Most churches make investments with their funds. And the winnings are non taxable. Losses don't matter, it's money they can ask their congregation again. It's like stealing from your Workplace to go for Blackjack and slots, but legal. And: No taxes.


[deleted]

It's always been about power. Right now image doesn't matter because of generational brainwashing and anti science views that perpetuates the ongoing problems now. Religious people are easier to be dupes in general anyway.


starmartyr11

They are definitely fucking dupes. Unbelievable that people belive in this shit


51st-state

Because it would cost any administration too many votes to change the laws. It’s fucking ludicrous but there it is. We live in sad, bad times.


slskipper

But doesn't that beg the question? Why do so many American citizens think that what the churches do is socially beneficial?


MillenialShan

Indoctrination.


Gufurblebits

You misspelled 'brainwashing'


VladimerePoutine

Maybe he meant choir boy insemination.


mkglass

Potato, potato


TistedLogic

Mash em,boil en, stick em in a stew


totti173314

I wish I could but I don't wanna be inhuman to anybody. no, not even ~~child molesters~~ priests and their rainwashed cultists. they're still human.


pauz43

Yep. Starts in childhood. Get 'em early...


Krypt1q

The double entendres are killing it today


oldendayz99

Because they have it figured out. They have been running this scam since the beginning of time on a populace that hasn’t figured it out. Credit where credit is due.


walrusdoom

Seriously, this is how I've seen it even since I was a little kid.


stump2003

One of my roommates was telling me about his home town church in Iowa. He said the town had extended the city water lines and the church could connect to it if they wanted to. However, they couldn’t afford the work. He said, “can you believe the town government won’t pay for the church to connect to the city water?” I said, “they don’t pay any taxes. They shouldn’t get any services.” He responded ,” that’s a good point… but wouldn’t it be nice if they did it anyway?”


Frambrady

Jesus Christ


Greeempire

Good idea, why doesn’t *he* just pay for it? I mean this whole operation was his idea


pauz43

As I recall, Jesus was none too happy about the money-lenders in the temple. Don't bring him into this -- it could get ugly!


stumblios

The same reason so many citizens think America is the best country in the world and everyone is jealous of us - propaganda and an inability to think critically.


pauz43

You've got that right!! I've been telling friends in Canada and Russia about our medical system and why the US is on par with third-world countries when it comes to maternal mortality. They honestly don't believe me! I've sent them links to material that documents our for-profit medicine that heals Capitalists first and the rest of us not at all. They're HORRIFIED!!


Lard_of_Dorkness

We're kinda stupid.


51st-state

Yes.


notacanuckskibum

In many places and in many small ways they are. In many places the church runs the soup kitchen, and the thrift store. And provides a youth centre, and space for AA to meet. And provides a low cost summer day camp for kids... in big cities this is often done by the government, but in small towns the church does it.


flekkzo

Soup kitchens because they fight tooth and nail to stop any political initiative to combat poverty, mental illness, etc. It’s bullshit imho.


olderaccount

49% of the nation voted for Trump last year. After knowing everything that happened the previous 4 years. That should show you how religion still has a strangle hold on this country's politics. It will be another decade or more before their membership and power decline to the point where reform is feasible.


Rinnosuke

How about we just enforce the laws on the books then? You politicize from the alter and you get taxed, simple as that.


FlyingSquid

There are *some* churches that do charity work and deserve to be a 501c3. But they are not like normal 501c3s, they don't have to have open books. I would be very happy if churches were forced to have open books even if they didn't have to pay taxes. It would be a big step in the right direction and people deserve to know exactly what and how much churches are spending.


51st-state

There are *some* churches that are *actual* churches. Many of them however are huge scam operations run by slick, very wealthy con men.


Nonexpert

E.g., Mormon church.


51st-state

Televangelists, Scientology, etc etc


AllAboutMeMedia

One of the first religions was even a pyramid scheme.


rubinass3

And some of them pass off card tricks as "miracles". (Paraphrasing Father Guido Sarducci)


Wolv90

That's the angle they all use. They have all their little unique denominations, synods, archdiocese and whatnot so they can always point fingers and say, "Well, we are good people who deserve money/tax exempt status" yet when those examples that are horrible pop up in the mouths of politicians suddenly they're all in it together and it's a "war on religion".


Dicho83

That's bad enough, but my concern is with churches that are basically political organizations, funding attacks on anything *their* religion doesn't like, putting pressure on politicians, basically working to enact their version of a fundamentalist religious state. Completely defying the principal of the separation of church and state, while not paying a dime in taxes.


51st-state

Good additional point yes, that aspect of it is sinister and worrying.


BrewertonFats

>There are some churches that do charity work and deserve to be a 501c3. We just need a clear way to distinguish the ones running soup kitchens and providing homes from the ones buying jumbo jets for their leadership.


Aussie_Turtles00

I think they should have to show they give a certain percentage to help others(charity-like you said soup kitchen, etc.) to claim it, if not, they get taxed like every other business.


riphitter

That's a tricky one since most of there income is cash "donations" and even then , a lot of charity work they do is fundraised by the members. When I was little and still a part of a church we used to run clothing drives, a soup kitchen, I used to rebuild cars for families in need . I even went to mexico a few times to build houses for family's who lost theirs in natural disasters. While all of that is charitable (and had a great impact on the community and the families effected) , a lot of that was funded through fundraising OUTSIDE of the weekly 10% of most members income . like my plane ticket, food, and tools for the house were all paid for by me (not like my out of pocket money but I had to raise it through volunteer work and guiltily asking for handouts from family ) , all the food and clothes were donated by members, the Cars I used to fix up were donated . SO I don't think this is that straight forward. the Church helped facilitate all of that, and provided the building , they are the cause of all of that work, but how can you tell what money was provided directly from them. Can they claim the fundraising from members as THEIR contribution , the donations? and if they can't how could you even tell they lied about it without interviewing members? ​ 10% of your income is a lot, and multiply that by the 1000s of people in the church, you're looking at a heafty income for the church. So I guess I never understood why we needed to raise the funds ourselves. wasn't that the point of the offering?


anonymousforever

>That's a tricky one since most of there income is cash "donations" Not so much anymore. There's churches that want a copy of your w2 so they know exactly what you make so they can then say you "owe" 10% tithe of your pre-tax earnings (so they get a bigger chunk of money) and here....we even have this auto pay form so we can suck it out of your bank every 2 weeks for you, so you don't forget! ....nevermind if you got bills to pay or need to pay for meds cuz your kid got sick...they wanna make sure that you pay the church first, even if you can't afford it this paycheck.


flugenblar

Yep, I work for a large non-profit and one of the conditions for this status is that all employees must put in X hours of community service every single year.


olderaccount

But demons fly commercial. They can't risk sharing a plane with demons.


questionmark576

They deserve to also operate a 501c3, which they can use for all their legitimate charitable work.


anti_echo_chamber

Churches are *not* charities, nor are they classified as such in the US. They're non-profits. There are many non-profits that aren't charities, like some schools & hospitals, political organizations, social change organizations, private foundations, etc.


vermiliondragon

Social clubs. Yup, that private golf course with the $50k buy in and $1000/month dues is nonprofit. The NFL from 1944 -2015 was.


bignuggetsbigworld

I’m on the board of my local church, and if someone requests to see the books, we have to allow it. Not sure what the rule is, but I was under the impression everyone did?


drikararz

That might be the policy of your church or the denomination, but it isn’t legally required at the federal level at least. My parents’ church for instance publishes their budget in the weekly bulletin, but again it is because they opted to, not because the government is requiring them to.


mlperiwinkle

What denomination, if I may ask?


bignuggetsbigworld

Wesleyan- might just be us apparently


BigOldQueer

At this point IMO churches are like the police - an institution beyond reform


SLCW718

The tax-exempt status is supposed to be balanced by the requirement that they stay out of politics under the Johnson Amendment. However, churches, especially evangelical Christian churches, have increasingly involved themselves in politics, in some cases intertwining far right-wing nationalism with the tenets of their faith. And yet they continue to take advantage of their tax-exempt status. There's apparently no political appetite for it, but the government should start enforcing the Johnson Amendment, and stripping tax-exempt status from organizations that repeatedly flout the law.


JakTheRipperX

Good times ahead, dont worry. Thanks to the internet there are more and more atheists, less than people becoming religious, even in the very strict nations like SaudiArabia. In about 40 years, when the final generation of hardcore religionists have died off, the world will be a better place. Or if Aliens visit us, that'd make very quick work of it all too.


killabeesplease

You say that, but I dated a girl years ago who’s dad was literally a traveling evangelist. I asked him what that would mean for his belief if aliens showed up or contacted earth, his response? Those would most certainly be demons in that case sent by the devil to sway christians beliefs


JakTheRipperX

Well ofcourse, anything to justify it.


GeebusNZ

"If something happened that proved me wrong, then it wouldn't be reliable." Its classic willful ignorance. Their position can't be challenged, they can't be proven wrong, the only option is for people to make room for them.


Dunerot

Just saying, "aliens" don't have to be part of this dimension; i.e made of flesh and travelling in ships and the like. And an alien "life"-form coming from another dimension could legitimately be associated with spirits, demons, or angels. In reverse, it is also true - if God and/or spirits/angels do exist, then they do not reside in this dimension either.


theblackfool

I firmly believe something else will just take religion's place. The world won't be better if there's still greedy conmen trying to dupe the populace. Look at QAnon, that's basically a religion in terms of brainwashing and has blown up in popularity.


gsz72gwj

In about 40 years the planet will be undergoing environmental collapse and the economy will only exist for the benefit of the 1%. The boomers and their religion have already won. It's over.


MerryMarauder

This dude knows what's up


xerdopwerko

The Internet we knew is almost done for now - consolidated in capital-friendly corporate clusters that allow misinformation, disinformation, and only speech and discourse that are comfortable to those in power and their businesses or institutions. It is no longer the internet of 25-10 years ago where messages were decentralised and not dependent on sponsors and algorithms. If corporate sponsors deem anti-religious discourse "uncomfortable", it will be silenced; almost like TV.


BackAlleyKittens

>Why do we still allow churches to be classified as a charity Because we haven't organized enough.


trailrider

Because here in the US, the majority of people on both sides of the political spectrum are religious and view it as a positive. This is because our society had been indoctrinated to believe this from a young age. It's also easy to brush off the horrible shit some religious people do w/ the Scottsman fallacy. That the individual wasn't a true christian and we can trust that those who ascribe to a religious faith and "properly" practice it simply can not do wrong. Yes, it's a bullshit argument but it's what people believe here.


GunpowderCash

There’s a lot of outrage lately with all the data coming out showing how little billionaires pay in taxes. Lots of people calling for higher tax rates for the rich. Tax churches while we’re at it. Think of the good that could come from the tax revenue…


pinkielover20

Churches need to be taxed. It is a great injustice that they can get away taking money from people without contributing anything to society. If they refuse to pay taxes, then they should be forcibly closed down or seized like any other business.


mahatmakg

It's because they still hold power through public support. It'll take time to fade


FifiBunny

I worked for a faith based non-profit for five years (I was laid off last May). They should definitely have to pay taxes, as they use monies from their fundraising efforts, to buy lobbyists to push laws that favor them. The group I worked for was also completely racist, and a known predator (minister) was allowed to abuse the younger/vulnerable employees.


cerpintaxt44

Because the churches lobby the gov and most political figures are religious who will never consider taxing religion


Kamelasa

Why? Legacy issues. Well, and people still believe religion. It's just as bad as the other "alternative facts" and conspiracy theories that are currently assisting in leading the US to fascism. Believing nonsense, with no idea that gee, maybe I'm mistaken, is something that I hope gets evolved out of people soon, but I won't live to see it.


[deleted]

[удалено]


Embarrassed-Ad-6310

And, let's face it, most mega churches are hardly charities, existing primarily to line the pockets of the preaching staff (most of whom also have broadcasts, write books filled with bad advice and worse theology, and make special appearances at their satellite church with the arrangement that they will get the lion's share of the offering). I'm a Christian but I loathe the idea of a preacher living high while his parishioners are sending tithes from very meager funds.


Heckate666

For the same reason that you can't hold a political office in seven states if you're an atheist.(MD, AR, MS, NC, [SC, TN](https://SC.TN) and TX) Religion is control and they are scared shitless of losing it.


Old-Leadership-265

If we're supposed to have separation of church and state, then religious organizations shouldn't get any help on governmental issues, like taxes.


pauz43

Casinos make a fortune off people believing in fantasies. Casinos also pay TAXES. Religious institutions also make a fortune off people believing in fantasies. They DON'T pay taxes. Therefore lies the proof that blood magic works. Further proof is evidenced by the personal wealth of Jimmy Swaggart ($10 million), Joel Osteen ($40 million), Creflo Dollar ($27 million), Kirk Cameron ($20 million), Franklin Graham ($25 million), John Hagee ($6 million), Jimmy Swaggart ($12 million), Paula White "and STRIKE and STRIKE and STRIKE and..." ($6 million), Peter Popoff ($12 million), Mike Huckabee ($18 million), TD Jakes ($149 million), Benny Hinn ($42 million), Kenneth Copeland ($760 million), Rick Warren ($25 million), Juanita Bynum ($10 million), Joyce Meyer ($8 million), Pat Robertson ($100 million), and Ray McCauley ($14 million). As the King James bible (Luke 16:13-31) says: No servant can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon. Mammon, it seems, is winning the argument.


max1mise

Taxation = representation. I know Churches/Religions loophole there way into elections and law making, but seriously, you wouldn't want them to insist that they get to legally throw their weight around (and they would be right to ask for it). Pushing the line is one thing, as they obviously do influence their congregations etc, but you don't want them to openly enter lobbying. They would fucking dominate. Goodbye separation of church and state.


YeetusFoeTeaToes

They just always says that it's in their culture or tradition or some other bs, bruh in some places a grown adult could impregnate and marry a 9 year old child just because "it's our tradition" bruh am bad with sources so sorry in advance if this isnt supported


mrstrust

The first amendment protects from government involvement in religion. This makes churches tax exempt. It has nothing to do with whether they are charitable or not.


cotton2631

Several years ago, a Georgia mega church “minister” went on TV begging for 69 million so he could buy a new jet. A lot of people called the TV stations and his church about this. He tried to back track and said that this was only meant for his congregation. The jet was so he could do missionary work. All I can think of is how many more people could have been helped with 69 million? This was to replace his current jet.


AmnesicAnemic

Because churches always have had a healthy amount of political power.


whisky_jar

It's worse really. The money the church receives from donors is tax deductible for the donor (within limits, I'm not an expert). So from a tax revenue standpoint, it's doubly damaging.


NeutralLock

"We" (voters) could change all of this, but you would need enough politicians willing to speak out. Religious folks are still a voting block and non-religious are not - i.e. tax the church / don't tax them means only a little bit to an atheist but a LOT to someone who regularly attends Church. I think you'd need to see the rate of religious go down to 15% or less (maybe 50 more years?) before you'll see the tax benefits start to evaporate.


Ladikn

I did a research paper on this in college, and actually changed perspectives on it due to my research. Turns out the reason that churches must be filed that way (not allowed, must) is because legally it prevents them from being able to participate in the political process. Not saying it's enforced, but that's the purpose behind it.


Lausn

And yet they are intricately tied to the political process anyhow.


blindeey

Isn't that true for ALL 503c (charities) organizations? Regardless if they're a church or not? Only the church has special privileges.


roseknuckle1712

Why? Because the American electorate are idiots and will suck down whatever bullshit they are fed from the pulpit and the sedition caucus.


Big_Burning_Ace_Hole

Humans, in general, are just plain dumb. These dummies are easily controlled by church, the guys in charge like that.


abraxas1

I think this is why Qanon embraces the whole government subsidized pedophilia talk. they know their very own churches are tax exempt and both politically active and centers of pedophilia. but it must be the democrats fault. a twitching of the cognitive dissonance struggle. socialism for corporations and churches. you reap what you sow.


mardavarot93

I just signed a [change.org](https://change.org) petition to tax the church. It's not much but its an honest try. The petition is actually doing well.


ASDFEE55

It's the go-along, get-along game. If you're powerful enough to put an end to it, you likely rose to that power *through* them and would never put them in your crosshairs.


kale_boriak

Because most Americans are insane.


mrtreehead

I live in Georgia and saw signs outside of churches saying VOTE PRO LIFE. If that isn't crossing the fucking line between church and state, I don't know what is.


muppethero80

Churches are not classified as charities. They are not required to do charitable work. They are classified as churches.


pauz43

Politicians pandering for votes have made sure that religious institutions get their tax breaks. Even after Jesus made it very clear how he felt about people making money and getting power through "faith". I have all kinds of faith -- I have faith that the scum always rises to the top. I have faith that the majority of religious leaders are in it solely for the dollars and the power. And I have faith that the people who follow Donald Trump and his Republican believers just *looove* their churchly teachings.


ColdShadowKaz

Is it strange that for a charity to be a charity I want them to do actual charity work?


Healthybear35

Churches are too powerful because they have the money to buy politicians. I find it infuriating when people say shit like, "the country is only going downhill because god isn't in people's lives enough! We need god back in schools to save the country!" And other things like that. They seem to be able to ignore all the atrocities caused by religion, in the name of god.


fund0us

In the US, the wording of the First Amendment to the Constitution is interpreted as prohibiting taxation of churches: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; …”


rufas2000

That phrase doesn’t mean what they think it means.


fund0us

It seems clear that one would not even have to be a very good constitutional lawyer to make a decent case that a law taxing churches is in effect prohibiting the free exercise of religion. And it would take a really excellent lawyer to successfully argue the other side.


aftrthehangovr

It also indirectly has to do with separation of church and state.


crlcan81

Which sadly has been abused by both sides of the aisle, for votes. There's churches that politicize from the pulpit but get away with it because their denomination is one of the more popular forms of Christianity. You see an atheist, islamic, or anyone that's not either Jewish or any major Christian denomination and they'll get laughed out of anywhere they speak if even a small portion are or were raised 'god fearing' since most of those are some form of those two religions.


aftrthehangovr

Very true .. agree 100% I grew up in Oklahoma and every local Politician made that church circuit to grub for votes and money. At times I’ve seen pastors shill for a candidate (anointed by god).


aftrthehangovr

We don’t have a state religion in America but we nearly have a de facto state religion.


crlcan81

Which is one of the reasons they had the separation of church and state be such a sticking point of the US in the beginning, so many had left one group's control over the government, as well as their inability to control others because they weren't part of that denomination.


unlimitedpower0

This has always been one of the better arguments imo. I dont agree with it, but I can see how it makes sense


aftrthehangovr

Having the state be able to tax religions opens up the door for abuse. You have you keep in mind the founding fathers dealt with European monarchies that used the government to either support or destroy religious movements. At times when the king or queen changed the state religion would as well. I think in modern times they should be taxed. It’s outdated.


Antsint

What happened in Canada?


Dangerous_Future2719

[https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-57325653](https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-57325653) The preliminary discovery last week of the remains of 215 Indigenous children - students of Canada's largest residential school - has prompted nationwide outrage and calls for further searches of unmarked graves. Last week, Tk'emlúps te Secwépemc Chief Rosanne Casimir announced that the remains of 215 children had been found near the city of Kamloops in southern British Columbia. Some of remains are believed to be of children as young as three. All of the children had been students at the Kamloops Indian Residential School - the largest such institution in Canada's residential school system. The Kamloops residential school was one of more than 130 others like it. The schools were operated in Canada between 1874 and 1996. A linchpin in the government's policy of forced assimilation, some 150,000 First Nations, Métis and Inuit children were taken from their families during this period and placed in state-run boarding schools. When attendance became mandatory in the 1920s, parents faced threat of prison if they failed to comply. The policy traumatized generations of Indigenous children, who were forced to abandon their native languages, speak English or French and convert to Christianity. Christian churches were essential in the founding and operation of the schools. The Roman Catholic Church in particular was responsible for operating up to 70% of residential schools, according to the Indian Residential School Survivors Society. "It was our government's policy to 'get rid of the Indian' in the child," said Chief Bellegarde. "It was a breakdown of self, the breakdown of family, community and nation." TLDR:- the Church committed genocide against the local Indigenous population. Forcibly separating kids and enrolling them in "residential schools" and then murdering them?


Ender914

You asked why...? Because we keep voting for people who are more concerned about their donors needs than the needs of the people. Is there a lobbying group directed toward requiring churches to pay taxes? If so, I'll donate. But my guess is that they are not nearly as influential or well funded as the church lobbies. Instead, we need to support politicians that will either tax the churches or make it illegal for them to give political donations. How does it make sense that the church doesn't pay taxes, but is allowed a say in government at all? It's representation without taxation....


DeFex

They should earn a tax break like anyone else who gives to charities, and missionaries don't count, everyone else has to pay their salesmen.


succpickleforanickle

Although I agree somewhat, I think it needs to be said that any person/corporation is capable of doing good. No matter what despicable things they do they are still able to doing good. Punish them and charge them with said horrible things ofc, but they are still able of dong good. A charity is a charity, and as long as it is funding something that benefits people its still a good thing to have. If someone commits a crime, they should be charged with the crime and not much else. Just because someone did/said some fucked up shit doesnt mean everything they say is automatically horrible. Put in systems to stop corruption, but a charity is a charity no matter who supports it.


wheelfoot

6 of the 9 sitting Supreme Court Justices are practicing Catholics.


charliedog8

Never underestimate the cowardice of elected officials.


roseknuckle1712

Why? Because the American electorate are idiots and will suck down whatever bullshit they are fed from the pulpit and the sedition caucus.


Appropriate_Action79

It’s not that I don’t agree, but realistically, what politician do you think will be able to convince the majority public that Churches should be taxed? Dems and Republicans are filled with religious affiliated members, and even agnostic or atheist voters most likely pertain parents that are religious. It will happen, just no time soon. Anyone who tried to tax a church will be accused of being the “anti-christ” or whatever the fuck and have their entire career destroyed


sabometrics

Any institution should be EXTREMELY WARY about being given preferential tax treatment. Sociopaths will ALWAYS do whatever they can to exploit every loophole which they can and they always end up corrupting these institutions - whether they are churches, universities (many of which are just the marketing branches for wealth funds at this point), etc.


Lurker-DaySaint

Here's a compromise: Three strikes rule. If we find out your religion has committed fraud or covered up criminal activity or anything along those lines, and this was done three times - Uncle Sam gets to tax you 25% and appoint a watchdog to keep an eye on you for the existence of your organization.


thedvorakian

If they were taxable than politicians would pass laws to increase their wealth, just like any other corporations. It's saddening to see churches taking advantage of the State, but it could get much worse when the state bends to the will of the Church. But this is happening already so idk


m4rkoh

Dude the amount of legal circumventing they're allowed to get away with is absolute fucking bullshit at this point.


flekkzo

Because virtually all politicians, judges, etc are in on it on account of being in the cults… Next question?


CaptNoypee

Question: Why do countries still allow churches to be classified as a charity. Answer: Because countries are still under the thumb of the religious majority.


WingsOfVanity

250 was the number of children they *buried*


Corner_beat

This is why I stopped giving tithes. If Christian places of worship are really "charitable" then they would gladly pay their taxes and donate all that extra income to the homeless and needy. That's what I do!


not_a_moogle

I agree with you, but from a legal standpoint, a church isn't providing any direct goods or services. Any money it has, is technically 'donated'.


Archsys

It's not just that they're tax exempt, it's that they don't actually follow the requirements of other charities. Special treatment is horseshit.


ALBUNDY59

Too many people still giving them money and believing in there BS.


Nylon_Riot

They are supposed to be tax-free on the condition that they don't engage in politics. Any church or religious organization that breaks that tenant should not only have to pay taxes but lose their tax-free status for an allotted number of years depending on the severity of the infraction.


MiketheImpuner

We could start here. OP should run for office on a platform to take tax benefits away from churches. You'll find the answer to your question on election day.


rjjm88

Because the people who are in charge of that decision use religion to manipulate people into voting for them. And not just Republicans, the Democrats try and appeal to the churchies too, just not has desperately and obviously.


suavecool21692169

Ty, like literally all the thousands and thousands of deaths that can be directly or indirectly to the churches across the globe that preached to not wear a mask, god will fix you, and let's gather with hundreds of people in a crowded church without masks so we can infect old and disabled people into their grave


le127

Members of churches and church sympathizers are still the majority in control within the US. I can't wait to see what happens when the tipping point arrives.


nhphotog

Yeah I agree. Especially those mega churches that make tons of money. It’s bullshit. You’re right it does seem outdated and unfair. I’m so glad I wasn’t brought up with religion I feel like I dodged a bullet.


wageslavelabor

Is there a change.org petition or something out there to start bringing attention to this fact? Like let’s defund their tax exempt status. It’s way overdue. More harm than good comes from churches.


Academic_Radio

It’s because the Conservatives are buying votes


Whovian_boss90

It is likely a never ending circle of hush money. People do horrible sh*t and then pay the churches to cover it up. Probably the families of the priest. Why we let it go on is because we will never have that amount of money to buy their confessions. But we don't want to be a part of this because that is the epitome of corruption anyways.


[deleted]

The church is the best money laundering organization the criminals have access to.


Count55

Not to mention the hundreds of years of oppression, control, murder in the name of "God", the literal holding back of society's natural evolution. Religion is a crutch! I am so surprised that ppl are not more angry at the church for their detrimental role in our civilization over the last 2000 osh year. Fuck that!


noah_river

They should have to spend a large percentage of money on improving their communities to earn that privilege.


AimingForBland

Because whenever atheists try to sue over this and get it taken to the Supreme Court, they get told they have no legal standing. Stupid things like "Well your org can just claim its a religion and get the exemption too." Never mind how insulting it is to an atheist to be told that atheism is a religion or how weird it is to advise people to lie! Straight-up secular charities have no real claim to being religious organizations. Every time we come close to stopping this BS, it gets thwarted. And no one will just pass a law changing it; it seems like it does have to come from someone suing and taking it to the Supreme Court.


clickwir

So let's talk about it. First thing to consider, taxation means representation. Taxing them comes with a huge risk. And they certainly aren't going to give away tons of money and not expect something for it.


theaviationhistorian

Strong lobbying for decades & our Congress is a useless feck that has strong desires to become whatever Trump wants. The only hope of light is that many are seeing that BS & smaller churches are ending up bankrupt.


SpookyDoomCrab42

For a long time churches did a lot of charity work to help the local community and were involved with education of kids, helping the homeless/disabled/hungry, providing help to members that needed it. That legacy for hundreds of years lead to legislation being put in place in the US a long time ago to classify them as charities. Nowdays many churches are definitely not charities and deserve to be taxed like every other business. Megachurches and places that I drive by frequently that own huge lots in expensive areas where they have a small, low membership church and the pastor's home on site deserve to be paying taxes. You could filter out the charitable churches and the non charitable by making them file 501c documents and doing audits like other charities in the US


tomhud9181

There is no logical argument against removing the tax exemptions. None whatsoever, which is saying something.


Frontrider

Taking tax benefits from churches who just collect money: sure. Taking tax benefits from churches who do actual charity: big no.


roscocoltrane

You allow it because you talk about it on reddit and not to your politicians. Also your politicians earn a share of the money from the churches, don't be naive.


Fre4kyGeek

I recently watched Leah Reminis docu series about Scientology and holy shit is religioun destructive. Being tax exempt for being homophobic, abusive, child molesting, controlling pieces of shit all in the name of "god"!! If being in an organisation like that is the way to god, then im quite happy sailing my way through to whatever realm awaits. Also for anybody that hasnt seen it, check out Eliots speach about god from Mr Robot.


xerdopwerko

The function of churches as an apparatus of power is to disseminate ideas that are favourable to capital, to have a monopoly on community that excludes opposing ideas, groups and viewpoints, and to legitimise violence and abuse that also serve to perpetuate power structures that are favourable to those who accumulate power and resources. Thus, it is not favourable for the powerful if the state were to tax them. They serve a valuable function to the powerful and the capital they hoard.


spiritbx

So... We need more non-religious charities to ALSO kill a bunch of children!


halfassfisherman

Religion is the biggest scam in human history. No other institution has inflicted more pain and suffering on the human race. Period. Tax the FUCK out of them!


Legeto

The US government is outdated and is manipulated so the powerful remain in power.


thewatisit

I never understood why tax exempt organisations exist. Even for actual charity organizations. Just add the amount donated to the non-taxable part of the tax form.


kaffie27

How do we come together and petition the U.S. government?


vbcbandr

To get an idea of how pathetic the IRS is when it comes to corporations/churches vs. the average individual they harass is the Scientology situation. It was blatantly obvious to every single person who took 5 minutes to learn about Scientology that they wanted tax exempt status solely for the tax status and ability to buy real estate. John Oliver's episode where they become a "church" is hilarious and disheartening.


_db_

Churches have political power.


Thrylos85

I am sick of fucking religion. If there was a way to work against it and getting it eradicated from existence I would sign up this second. It took over 3 decades of my life, my family and my wife of 12 years… FUCK CULTS


AlbinoShavedGorilla

What the fuck happened in Canada?! Murder of 250 children?!


ThinkerZero

Not recently, at least for a certain value of recent. There was a mass grave at a residential school discovered by a first nations group in the area, 250 kids is the best estimate of how many kids went missing. AFAIK they haven't dug it up yet to confirm, that was several days ago though and I haven't been keeping up to date. If there's details I missed someone should correct me, you can Google for more information if you like there's plenty out there.


flaninpan

Can you share a link to news about the event you mentioned?


Dangerous_Future2719

>https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-57325653 > >The preliminary discovery last week of the remains of 215 Indigenous children - students of Canada's largest residential school - has prompted nationwide outrage and calls for further searches of unmarked graves.


flaninpan

Thanks!


Unnecessary-Spaces

Most older people still follow religion heavily. Most of them also still vote regularly. Religious votes keep conservative politicians in power. They wouldn't change anything to harm this cause. Just look at the way that they've coerced the United States to come a "Christian country" over the past century.


zyscheriah

Even when I was very religious I found it weird that they're exempted from taxation, in my country and city they got lots of businesses ie. Schools, business space leasing(I wont complain they're cheap to rent) etc.


modern_medicine_isnt

Its simple. By giving the churches tax exempt status, those churches have more money to donate to politicians.


scarabic

Because A. possession is 9/10 of the law, and B. the country is deeply partisan and very divided. A. At this point every ministry large and small is operated on a budget that does not account for taxes. Right or wrong it would be deeply disruptive to change that now. It would be fought as government encroachment on religious freedom. B. Which brings me to ‘B.’ Can’t you already just play out how this would go in today’s political environment? It would be a blue/red issue in a flash and the sad truth is that more conservatives would be united against this than liberals would be united for it. By far. Many liberals would actually fight it. It would not even be a fight. It would be over before it began. It wouldn’t begin, even. That’s why, I’m afraid.


Dangerous_Ad7552

Politicians don't want to upset their imaginary sky friends.


MDrok6172

I feel like if churches started paying taxes then the right would freak out and start having fits about left wing charities like BLM. Claiming that they're terrorists and that they're funding left wing parties.


flaninpan

When the government asks the church to do it, I don't think they're likely to punish the church for helping with their program. The Canadian government was onboard with this, bit who's going to punish them. Luckily, these days, churches have less power than governments and can be held accountable. No amount of budget shuffling by Trudeau is going to bring those kids back. Some countries can get away with genocide.


[deleted]

I do believe some of these corrupt churches are like these but not all in general cuz some of 'em, they're doing a "literal" charity cuz of you know.. compassion, generosity and doing *"god's work"*


Crabuki

Because it would be political suicide to try and change it.