Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Washington Post assails Non-Profit Status for Churches

Certainly Ben Shapiro is correct in the context of his article. Writers like Dylan Matthews and Matthew Yglesias are the "bad cops" in the mainstream media, bullying religious groups with the threat of losing their tax-exempt status.

Our churches have become soft and pliable by relying on the non-profit privilege. If the state can grant something, it can also take it away. If the privilege seduces us into complicity with evil, then we ourselves should throw off its shackles.

Non-profit status for churches gives the government leverage and influence regarding church policies. Government moves (as in the California legislation discussed below) to rescind tax-exempt status of churches that "discriminate" are examples of using the non-profit exemption as a club to beat Christians into submissive silence. Churches will be under exponentially increasing pressure from the federal government to recognize and perform same-sex marriages, provide contraceptives to church school children, support abortion on demand, advocate physician assisted suicide, etc., in America's demonic push to outdo Sodom and Gomorrah.

It is time for the Orthodox Christian jurisdictions in America to seize the moment and pro-actively rescind their own tax-exempt status. Such a move would immediately evict the government from any influence in Church life by removing its only weapon, the non-profit status club. 

Then when the government begins to use naked force to order us to comply, its evil will be fully revealed, just as in the Soviet Union almost a century ago.

Washington Post assails Non-Profit Status for Churches, rips Americans for giving.
by Ben Shapiro, Breitbart News — 8/23/2013

The assault on America’s churches has begun, with commentators like Dylan Matthews of the Washington Post and Matthew Yglesias of Slate calling on the government to tax churches. “Whichever faith you think is the one true faith, it’s undeniable that the majority of this church-spending is going to support false doctrines,” Yglesias wrote on Thursday. He added, “upgrading a church’s physical plant doesn’t enhance the soul-saving capacity of its clergy.”

This is part of the new assault on religion in America that has seen its apex in the New Mexico Supreme Court decision to force religious photographers to cover same-sex weddings, and the California legislature’s bill that would strip non-profit status from any religious organization that “discriminates” on the basis of factors including religion or sexual orientation. 

The fundamental basis for this assault lies in the left’s core belief that religion in America is a net negative, and that the state has no interest whatsoever in forwarding the religion broadly throughout the country. Yglesias’ theory that religions are mutually exclusive misses the point – Judeo-Christian religion fosters morality among members of the public. The founders understood that truth, Americans historically understood that truth, and the left wishes to undermine that truth. Separation of church and state, according to the left, means that the state not only must be banned from fostering religion of any sorts, but that the state must override private religious practice on behalf of secularism.

The Post’s Matthews quickly followed up on Yglesias’ piece by suggesting that Americans are dupes for handing their charitable contributions over to their churches. Matthews wrote:

The full scale of subsidies religions get is pretty staggering...When people donate to religious groups, it’s tax-deductible. Churches don’t pay property taxes on their land or buildings. When they buy stuff, they don’t pay sales taxes. When they sell stuff at a profit, they don’t pay capital gains tax. If they spend less than they take in, they don’t pay corporate income taxes. Priests, ministers, rabbis and the like get “parsonage exemptions” that let them deduct mortgage payments, rent and other living expenses when they’re doing their income taxes. They also are the only group allowed to opt out of Social Security taxes (and benefits).

Matthews estimates the total amount voluntarily given to religious organizations in America at $82.5 billion per year. No mention is made of the amount seized from the American population by the states and federal government, which often amounts to in excess of $2 trillion, or 24 times as much cash each and every year – and that doesn’t even come close to the amount of debt racked up by the government, which will eventually be made up by seizing more Americans’ wealth.