The Taxation of Religion

Written by Punkerslut


The Taxation of Religion

By Punkerslut

[Author's Note: Written on Monday, November 8, 2004, withrepparttar Salt Shaker of Doom (TM) -- a salt shaker full of Codeine, Valium, Klonopin, Xanax, and sugar. Completion made on Friday, December 3-5, 2004, while high and drunk.]

Why should an atheist pay more taxes so that a church which he despises should pay no taxes? That's a fair question. How canrepparttar 137339 apologists forrepparttar 137340 church exemption answer it?

-- E. Haldeman-Julius, The Church Is A Burden, Not A Benefit, In Social Life

It has been a historically valid argument that churches never contributed to society, but have hadrepparttar 137341 habit of leaching off of it. For allrepparttar 137342 morals they purport to have given us, whether it wasrepparttar 137343 infamous and treacherous silence duringrepparttar 137344 Jewish Holocaust, orrepparttar 137345 embers they supplied torepparttar 137346 millions of human burnings,repparttar 137347 church has done nothing but suck atrepparttar 137348 sweetness that honest humans have labored to created. The thoughtfulness of our nation's creators gave usrepparttar 137349 freedom from having to support these churches. Unfortunately, some framers ofrepparttar 137350 states decided to form state constitutions that authorized one religion over another. It cannot be expected that all humans shall followrepparttar 137351 road to freedom all atrepparttar 137352 same time.

While it happens to be true thatrepparttar 137353 church cannot receive tax money,repparttar 137354 are allowedrepparttar 137355 exemption of paying taxes -- which one might accurately say isrepparttar 137356 same thing. Ifrepparttar 137357 collective running ofrepparttar 137358 society of money requires so much tax money, exempting one or two parties only means thatrepparttar 137359 others are required to pay more, are required to work more to maintainrepparttar 137360 same degree of luxury, whilerepparttar 137361 exempt parties are allowed more luxury withrepparttar 137362 same amount of work, orrepparttar 137363 same amount of luxury with less work.

This dissertation is not aboutrepparttar 137364 deceit and villany thatrepparttar 137365 church has provided humanity with. It is not an attack onrepparttar 137366 ideals that preachers claim that they are guardians of. It is not an assault onrepparttar 137367 principles which are part of Christian doctrine, or any religious doctrine for that matter. The bitter irony that religion is a source of spirituality as much as it is of hate and violence,repparttar 137368 thousands of books which have been sacrificed to flames byrepparttar 137369 heads ofrepparttar 137370 church,repparttar 137371 cloak pastors have placed overrepparttar 137372 eyes of their churchgoers in order to turn them in to sheep -- all of this I have elsewhere written at length. This essay is not aboutrepparttar 137373 past crimes of a heartless regime. It is aboutrepparttar 137374 present policy that our civilization has enacted: that is to say,repparttar 137375 tax-exempt status that churches and other religious organizations currently are allowed.

The first argument that must be considered is this: what church proceeds are going to be used for. The church apologists argue thatrepparttar 137376 fundsrepparttar 137377 church receives by donation are used for charitable purposes, that these churches improve their communities and help people better their lives. I cannot say that this is always wrong, but no honest person can say that it is always true. Yes,repparttar 137378 churches do use their funding to create some community things. In most cases, before one can use these community activities, one must be a member ofrepparttar 137379 faith, not using alcohol or drugs, and must be Heterosexual. The home ofrepparttar 137380 scripture that reads: "Love thy enemy" is inhabited by a priest, a pastor, and a preacher whose words speak: "Jew, Muslim, and Hindu, begone. Those who intoxicate and indulge, whether to make their lives easier or to discover sublime and revered truths, begone. Men who lust after men and women who pine after women, these satanic abominations, begone."

The churches are private organizations. If it is their will to excluderepparttar 137381 teaching of Evolution from their sunday school, it is allowed. If they also wish to teach children that women are inferior to men, thatrepparttar 137382 Bible is a good book and must be obeyed when it reads: "Women are to be silent," then it is taught. As a private organization, they are allowed these liberties and freedoms. If a church be so bold and daring as to refuse admittance of black people to their ceremonies, they are allowed this right. Universities of our era, or so-called "institutions of learning," have passed rules that disallow blacks and whites from courtship -- a ruling that predates at least three decades of progressive and humanizing reform. If churches wanted to donate some of their excess income to these universities, there would be no way to stop them. If they wanted to focus and centralizerepparttar 137383 income, by preaching against secular schools and supporting racism inrepparttar 137384 classroom, and by donating only to those places which promise to oppress blacks, then that is their right, as a private organization.

The church knows no end to cruelty, and this is not an indictment againstrepparttar 137385 church. It is a fact that has been recognized, year after year, person by person. However, it must be accepted and understood that when it comes torepparttar 137386 funding ofrepparttar 137387 church, we will find some ofrepparttar 137388 most merciless and brutal acts that arrise out of our own human frailties. Perhaps we will find a church that refusesrepparttar 137389 rights of blacks to even enter or use their charity money. Churches were oncerepparttar 137390 divine guardians ofrepparttar 137391 institution of slavery. Today, they do nothing to stoprepparttar 137392 slave traffic that continues to flourish,repparttar 137393 wretched one byrepparttar 137394 name of Capitalism. Today,repparttar 137395 churches have done little to nothing to fosterrepparttar 137396 ideals of acceptance, tolerance, understanding, open-mindedness, forrepparttar 137397 sole sake that to preach these ideals is to denyrepparttar 137398 divinity ofrepparttar 137399 Bible -- to admit thatrepparttar 137400 cruelty inherent in those pages came fromrepparttar 137401 heart of man, notrepparttar 137402 mouth of god.

How to Forgive By Faith

Written by Jeff Doles


Jesus said, "If you have faith as a mustard seed, you can say to this mulberry tree, 'Be pulled up byrepparttar roots and be planted inrepparttar 137260 sea,' and it would obey you" (Luke 17:6).

Wait a minute--did I getrepparttar 137261 right verse for this topic? What do mustard seeds and mulberry trees have to do with learning how to forgive?

Quite a lot, actually. Earlier, Jesus had been talking about offenses and how to deal with them:

"Take heed to yourselves. If your brother sins against you, rebuke him: and if he repents, forgive him. And if he sins against you seven times in a day, and seven times in a day returns to you, saying, 'I repent,' you shall forgive him" (Luke 17:3-4).

Now, people donít generally mind rebuking a brother. In fact, it comes quite naturally (at least in our fallen human nature). But when Jesus said to rebuke, it wasnít a license to act mean and nasty, or to be self-satisfied, which often seems to be what we mean by "rebuke"--when someone offends us, we want to "tell them off."

Thatís not what Jesus was talking about. Yes, there are times when we must deal seriously with a matter, and we should never back down from that. But we must always be careful to do it in love, seekingrepparttar 137262 good ofrepparttar 137263 other person involved.

We donít mind repentance, either, as long as it is somebody else who is doing it. If someone offends us, and then comes back and apologizesówell, we can often just go ahead and let it go, and it makes us feel, you know, sort of magnanimous. (We have a nasty habit of making everything about us, donít we? Itísrepparttar 137264 fallen nature again.)

But seven times in one day? Thatís pushing it. I mean, how much of this treatment are we supposed to take? Plus, its one thing when they offend us, and then they repent. What about when they donít repent? Are we still supposed to forgive?

Yes.

In another place, Jesus said, "Whenever you stand praying, if you have anything against anyone, forgive him, that your Father in heaven may also forgive you your trespasses" (Mark 11:25). No repentance mentioned here, not even a hint. Just forgive.

Okay, that really tests our limits now, doesnít it? But weíre not in bad company, because it testedrepparttar 137265 disciples as well. When Jesus told them to forgiverepparttar 137266 brother seven times,repparttar 137267 disciples suddenly became aware of a great inadequacy in themselves, particularly in their faith.

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