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Should churches and clergy pay regular taxes? Why should the fireman teacher and nurse have to work to support the freeloading clergy? How is that a separation of church and state?

By MauiMike
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17 comments

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Early in America's history the Supreme Court declared "the power to tax is the power to destroy", McCulloch v. Maryland, 1819. The First Amendment prohibits any law which prohibits the free exercise of religion. Any attempt to tax churches would be challenged on the grounds that that tax prohibits the free exercise of religion. The challenge would probably succeed. It would take a Constitutional Amendment to tax churches. Don't hold your breath waiting for that to happen.

Prophet Level 1 Dec 17, 2018
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Clergy pay income tax like everyone else. I believe churches have non-profit status.

maturin1919 Level 8 Dec 16, 2018
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They do have some exceptions others do not get such as Housing [irs.gov]

@NoMagicCookie A parsonage exception, yes.

@maturin1919 . . . Give this a read. [nydailynews.com]

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Churches should be taxed like any business. I could be wrong, but I think clergy does pay taxes.

Gwendolyn2018 Level 7 Dec 16, 2018
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Absolutely so, and the money should go into funding Universal Health Care, just as Jesus would have wanted it to go.

Nevermind345 Level 7 Dec 2, 2018
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It’s seperation of Church and state because of our Declaration of Independence from England was based upon taxation without representation.

So if we tax churches and their clergy then they will be entitled to hold and/or create political positions within our government and I don’t need to remind anyone how that worked for Europe and now the Middle East

48thRonin Level 8 Nov 25, 2018
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Clergy pay income tax. The church itself does not and that has nothing to do with the Declaration of Independence. The concept is if churches can be taxed a hostile Government could tax them out of existence.

@Bobby9 Ok Bobby so our independence from England had absolutely nothing to do with taxation without representation?

Because my books said ummm yes it did.
And books written by men such as Thomas Payne, Ben Franklin and Jefferson pretty much state they didn’t want any church to have the ability to have a controlling interest in our government such as the Roman Catholic Church and the Church of England.

But if you can show where your concept came from I’ll be willing to check it out. Well unless you pulled it from your ass then I’ll pass.

@48thRonin Since the subject is if a Church should be taxed, NOT you, your conflation of the two is simply wrong. Your books do not say the Declaration of Independence had anything to do with taxing any church. The people you stated (and many others) certainly didn't want churches to have any, no less controlling interest in civil matters, however again there is no connection betwee that and church taxation.

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Has not Congress made laws exempting churches from taxation? Is that not a violation of the First Amendment?

uuberdude Level 6 Nov 25, 2018
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All churches need to taxes!!

19Dawgfan69 Level 4 Nov 25, 2018
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Firefighters p c

fmalowski Level 3 Nov 24, 2018
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You are correct Frank.....if I've offended, I apologize. Based on the age of the post....it won't let me edit? Interesting fact....there are about 386,000 paid firefighters in the US. (2/3 are volunteers) Of those actively engaged in firefighting about 4% are women.....of those, about 7% identify as Athiest or Agnostic...leaving roughly 1080 godless woman firefighters in the US who pay taxes to support freeloading clergy in their communities. Intersting but not to say that anyone can't be offended by gender biased language.

Edited

No offense, just trying to make the world perfect. Ha

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To the extent that their “income” is derived from donations of their members, no. To the extent that they raise money by sales, yes.

Santanaman9 Level 6 Nov 23, 2018
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Everyone should pay taxes, including churches, nonprofit foundations, and universities.

doug6352 Level 7 Nov 22, 2018
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Of course they should!

Xena Level 6 Nov 21, 2018
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I'm pretty sure firemen, most teachers, and some nurses work for not for profit organizations. So yes it is an unfair advantage for churches. In some cases a huge advantage. Why do you think The Church Of Scientology fought vigorously for many years to get that status. It was a mega windfall for them. Now with the new RFRA laws it seems very relaxed. We had a guy in Indiana file for and get religious tax exempt status for yes, The First Church Of Cannabis.

WayneMan Level 4 Nov 21, 2018
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Yes they should. Think how much more things could be funded like new schools better healthcare etc

Chooseluv Level 5 Nov 21, 2018
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I guess I'll play devil's advocate here. According to the tax code Churches are non-for-profit organizations, like Rotary or the Cancer Society, which are exempt from taxes because as a society we want to encourage their work in providing beneficial services to the public. You and I might question the value of some of the services they provide (religious counseling, ministry work, etc.), although many churches do a lot of good work in their communities.

I would argue that it would be discriminatory to not allow churches to have not-for-profit tax status just because we don't agree with the premise of their faith. But I'd be happy to hear someone argue why they shouldn't qualify...

RationalThinker Level 4 Nov 21, 2018
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To the extent that churches are doing real charitable work I would agree....I was speaking more about clergy and pastoral employees of the church who receive enormous tax deductions not available to secular citizens. The biggest is the home exemption or 'parsonage' exemption that can totally shield the entire amount of income from any federal taxes and often does. Clergy are also exemt from paying FICA taxes under certain circumstances. ......

I worked on a Job a few doors down from the American Cancer Headquarters in NYC. I believe its on East 57st and you could not get into the door. Everyone drove a Mercedes Benz which was parked under the Bldg. I also worked at Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in NYC where I think the cheapest operation goes for like 50k+ and people come from all over the world to get treatment. The rooms start at 4K a night which is why the outpatient runs 12 hrs a day.. People standing out in the street with an IV hookup smoking a joint. Like the Drug Companies they have the cure but will never let you know.

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Of course they should taxes.The reason they do not taxes is because the majority of the pathetic,indoctrinated public love and support these stupid monuments to superstition and are in favor of them not paying taxes

nonbeliever1 Level 4 Nov 21, 2018
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They are a business and should pay taxes like everyone else.

Marine Level 8 Nov 21, 2018
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I don't see why not. Tax laws are not made specific to undermine religion. They are there to tax income. The churchs income should be taxed if they take in more than expenditures. The tax law in general does not violate the 1st amendment. Its the tax code that could. Its complexity could be used to tax religion out. To be able to tax a religions income, the tax code must be eliminated and flat tax type of system used.

Or just quit dicking around and change income tax to sales tax.

Veteran229 Level 7 Nov 21, 2018
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