For far too many decades Religious institutions have received tax exempt status by Republican politicians. Is this about to change? Church Hierarchy, Television Evangelists, and other members of questionable religious organizations have received tax exempt status for decades. Although they frequently live in mansions, live lives of luxury and privilege while traveling on private jets, they have failed to contribute to America.
Religions are not protected by the Constitution. The only stipulation in the Bill of Rights is that no single religion will become the dominant religion in our nation.
Trump is claiming that his “tax reform” bill passed by Republicans in congress will change the way our nation’s people pay taxes for generations. He is not lying but the truth is that it will damage our nation for decades. Our nation’s middle class will pay for tax reductions for the wealthy and our nation’s fiscal security will be greatly damaged by deductions for large corporations.
An unexpected act of justice has been revealed as a result of this legislation regulating the distribution of taxes in America. What should have been a change in our tax structure decades ago will now be partially implemented by a partisan law. In several situations churches will now be taxed; a decision long overdue in our nation’s fair taxation policy.
In the mid-twentieth century our government engaged in a secretive arrangement with major religious institutions which would prevent taxation predicated upon an agreement that these groups would not engage in interference in our governmental process. They promised that they would not become politically involved in our Washington’s deliberative process. They lied.
In general, the men who lead major religions are no different than the CEO of Exxon; they are greedy and ambitious. But the fact that they are now a lobby for a single religion, they must not receive all the blame. In an effort to receive votes Republicans have embraced the Christian religious right in direct violation of the first amendment.
Finally, the facts. The taxes imposed on churches by Trump’s failed tax reform are small. They will not pay taxes on most of the billions of dollars they fleece from men and women every year.
However, fear of being fairly taxed in the future has prompted 600 over 600 churches, thus far, to sign a petition demanding that Republicans repeal the tax immediately; because regardless what Jeff Sessions says about the Christian bible command to obey the government, the faithful say they are “exempt” from that particular bible passage like they are exempt from contributing anything of value to America.
My belief is that if the Supreme Court upheld “Citizens United,” claiming that corporations are people, churches must be treated in similar fashion. The truth is that forcing religious institutions to pay their fair share would immediately begin reduction of our national debt.
Please tell others about my blog; they deserve the truth.
Op-ed by James Turnage
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