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irony: Liberal Church May Lose Funds Over Sermon





gonzo
Quote:
Nov 8, 2005

LOS ANGELES

The Internal Revenue Service has warned a prominent liberal church that it could lose its tax-exempt status because of an anti-war sermon a guest preacher gave on the eve of the 2004 presidential election, according to church officials.

The Rev. George F. Regas did not urge parishioners at All Saints Episcopal Church to support either President Bush or John Kerry, but he was critical of the Iraq war and Bush's tax cuts.

The IRS warned the church in June that its tax-exempt status was in jeopardy because such organizations are prohibited from intervening in political campaigns and elections.

The church's rector, J. Edwin Bacon, told his congregation about the problem Sunday.

"It's important for everyone to understand that the IRS concerns are not supported by the facts," Bacon said.

Bacon later said he chose Sunday to inform the congregation because Nobel Peace Prize winner Archbishop Desmond Tutu was in attendance and because he believes a decision from the IRS is imminent. He called the IRS threat "a direct assault on freedom of speech and freedom of religion."

An IRS spokesman in Washington declined to comment Monday, saying he could not discuss particular cases.

Some All Saints members said they feared the 3,500-member church was being singled out for its political views.

All Saints has long been vocal about its positions. Its Web site mentions the upcoming special election in California and says three Republican-backed propositions would "alter the very fabric of our lives as a democracy by limiting the right to representation and the right to express a political point of view." Regas, who gave the 2004 sermon, retired 10 years ago as the church's rector.

Marcus Owens, the church's tax attorney and a former head of the IRS tax-exempt section, said the agency offered to drop the proceedings if the church admitted wrongdoing. The church declined the offer, he said.

The IRS has revoked a church's charitable designation at least once. A church in Binghamton, N.Y., lost its status after running advertisements against Bill Clinton's candidacy before the 1992 presidential election.


source



Now maybe that the minority is being inconvenienced will they "allow" the majority loose of the tyranny of the IRS tax exempt laws.



Rolling Eyes
LeviticusMky
Oh how I love America.

Wasn't this country founded so that it's citizens could be critical of the government? So that we could speak out without having to fear supression or whatnot?

Maybe we WILL have to revolt sooner or later.
illini319
It's a territory thing, and I begrudgingly agree with the government threatening taxation on these institutions. Separation of church and state is a two way street. As long as this holds true, no religious agenda will be taught in public schools AND no political agenda should be directly preached in churches.
The Philosopher Princess
illini319 wrote:
Separation of church and state is a two way street. As long as this holds true, no religious agenda will be taught in public schools
In your dreams Smile ! As long as there are “public schools”, which I understand you to mean government schools, there will be a “religious agenda” taught in them. The biggest religion taught in government schools is the faith-based religion that Government is the Almighty, that Government is the solution to people’s problems, and that more power to rule over people should be given to the Government.

Let’s look at some logic. A Catholic Church school likes to push its faith/religion of Catholicism. A Seventh Day Adventist school likes to push its faith/religion of Seventh Day Adventism. A Government school likes to push its faith/religion of Government. And so on. Schools exist to push their agenda. What's their biggest agenda item? To stay in existence. (I would like to see someone attempt to disprove this.)

These groups of faith only continue to exist because they are pushing their particular religion, keeping the converts, and converting more. Otherwise their religion would die out. Getting people as early as possible is the key so they can convert them before they have a chance to learn to think for themselves.

Why are children taught the following as early as possible:
** to stand in a line,
** to be quiet, shut up, and do what you're told,
** to follow the leader (not just any leader, only the leader assigned by the ruler),
** to wear school uniforms (or other methods to eliminate individuality),
** to show up for attendance-taking ("count the butts in the seat, not what was actually learned"),
** to take tests that have been devised with the masses in mind,
** to not spend time on subjects they like but on subjects the rulers want them to learn, and
~!~!~!~ drum roll please ~!~!~!~
** to say the Pledge of Allegiance?

Of course, it is all to prepare the little ones to believe in the same religion of the big ones. They learn the religious trinity: Government is your father, Government is your mother, and Government is your holy spirit. Do not go against the Government or you will be punished. Help others to understand these rules and you have a possibility of being saved.

Oh yes. Government schools teach their religion. Its methods fit every main criteria of all religious schools. Work through other comparisons yourself.
~~~~~~~~~~
I appreciate the sentiment of Separation of Church and State. When will you appreciate the sentiment of Separation of School and State (which in one sense is the same thing)?
illini319
The Philosopher Princess wrote:
illini319 wrote:
Separation of church and state is a two way street. As long as this holds true, no religious agenda will be taught in public schools
In your dreams Smile ! As long as there are “public schools”, which I understand you to mean government schools, there will be a “religious agenda” taught in them. The biggest religion taught in government schools is the faith-based religion that Government is the Almighty, that Government is the solution to people’s problems, and that more power to rule over people should be given to the Government.

Let’s look at some logic. A Catholic Church school likes to push its faith/religion of Catholicism. A Seventh Day Adventist school likes to push its faith/religion of Seventh Day Adventism. A Government school likes to push its faith/religion of Government. And so on. Schools exist to push their agenda. What's their biggest agenda item? To stay in existence. (I would like to see someone attempt to disprove this.)

These groups of faith only continue to exist because they are pushing their particular religion, keeping the converts, and converting more. Otherwise their religion would die out. Getting people as early as possible is the key so they can convert them before they have a chance to learn to think for themselves.

Why are children taught the following as early as possible:
** to stand in a line,
** to be quiet, shut up, and do what you're told,
** to follow the leader (not just any leader, only the leader assigned by the ruler),
** to wear school uniforms (or other methods to eliminate individuality),
** to show up for attendance-taking ("count the butts in the seat, not what was actually learned"),
** to take tests that have been devised with the masses in mind,
** to not spend time on subjects they like but on subjects the rulers want them to learn, and
~!~!~!~ drum roll please ~!~!~!~
** to say the Pledge of Allegiance?

Of course, it is all to prepare the little ones to believe in the same religion of the big ones. They learn the religious trinity: Government is your father, Government is your mother, and Government is your holy spirit. Do not go against the Government or you will be punished. Help others to understand these rules and you have a possibility of being saved.

Oh yes. Government schools teach their religion. Its methods fit every main criteria of all religious schools. Work through other comparisons yourself.
~~~~~~~~~~
I appreciate the sentiment of Separation of Church and State. When will you appreciate the sentiment of Separation of School and State (which in one sense is the same thing)?


That's an interesting digression from the subject... For the sake of THIS thread, I will NOT address the comments you make that are pertaining to yet another 'government is bad, let's dismantle it' vein; I will only address your comments which are germaine to the topic at hand. oh... I guess I'm done then.
illini319
oh but I just can't resist, as you seem to have taken one line of mine and ran with it to the moon....

Everyone or every group (by definition) has an agenda. In nearly all cases, these agendas tend to be self-gratifying, self-sustaining and clearly selfish. We call this 'revelation' reality.

As religion and governance both require the same from its people (compliance), there are obvious similiarities between the two institutions. HOWEVER, religion is a faith-based value system whereas our government (at least, ideally) is a society-based value system (i.e. we, not a God, decide what is acceptable and what is not).

Am I surprised that Catholic schools mandate that every student (catholic or not) take a religion class? no. Am I surprised that public schools require students take social studies, or government, as part of the curriculum? again, no.

To be fair and balanced, should parochial students be taking classes placing atheism, or better yet satanism, on the same level as catholicism? Should a public school, with funding from the public, require their students to consider anarchy as a viable alternative to government order? What organized institution, education or not, would promote its own people to turn against it? This is what I would call illogical.
gonzo
The Philosopher Princess wrote:
illini319 wrote:
Separation of church and state is a two way street. As long as this holds true, no religious agenda will be taught in public schools
The biggest religion taught in government schools is the faith-based religion


yes, Marxism is lauded by the public school system. How much more depraved could they be? oh, yeah, free condoms.



Quote:
before they have a chance to learn to think for themselves.


When did faith become the antithesis to thought?

Quote:

I appreciate the sentiment of Separation of Church and State


I'd appreciate if either of you would point out both the SOURCE and CONTEXT of the phrase "separation of church and state".
illini319
gonzo wrote:
When did faith become the antithesis to thought?


http://news.google.com/news?q=kansas+board+of+education+and+evolution&hl=en&lr=&sa=N&tab=nn&oi=newsr

Take your pick of which news source you want to read. I never thought of Kansas as an academic-minded state. Given the current state of events, nor will her citizens.
gonzo
illini319 wrote:
gonzo wrote:
When did faith become the antithesis to thought?


http://news.google.com/news?q=kansas+board+of+education+and+evolution&hl=en&lr=&sa=N&tab=nn&oi=newsr

Take your pick of which news source you want to read. I never thought of Kansas as an academic-minded state. Given the current state of events, nor will her citizens.



And your link addresses my question how?
The Philosopher Princess
Thanks for asking:
gonzo wrote:
When did faith become the antithesis to thought?
At the very beginning.

As soon as there existed thinking, there also existed faith.

Faith is what is “needed” when the logic of reasoning (i.e., thinking) is not providing the “needed” answers. Faith is a purposeful suspension of logic. Individuals solve questions by using faith or by thinking; some do more of one; some do more of the other.

A “person of faith” will claim that they always have their faith, and in one sense they do, because they know they can resort to believing based on faith anytime thinking is not convenient. However, even “people of faith” do not always resort to faith. They don’t stand in front of trains coming down the track, because they know, based on rational thinking, that they will be hurt. They don’t build a house without first building a solid foundation because, in that particular area, faith-based house builders know just as well as reasoning-based house builders that a house without a foundation won’t last.

But when it comes to some more difficult questions -- like How did the universe get here?, What is my purpose in life?, Why do animal fetuses look so similar to human fetuses? -- the people of faith will tend to not be comfortable with saying “I don’t know.” nor to want to do the extra work to find a reality-based, rational answer that does not need faith to believe.
~~~~~~~~~~
For people new to this kind of discussion, I should suggest that context switching be avoided when possible. (This is another area of thinking that requires effort.) The terms thinking and thought, herein, do not refer to casual definitions such as “to have something in mind”, but instead to deeper definitions such as “to employ one’s mind rationally in evaluating a given situation”. While everyone does the first kind, people do the second kind to varying degrees.
The Philosopher Princess
gonzo wrote:
I'd appreciate if either of you would point out both the SOURCE and CONTEXT of the phrase "separation of church and state".
There is not necessarily “the [one] SOURCE and CONTEXT” because the phrase is so commonly used and commonly understood. But it, like terms such as rights, democracy, and thought, do need specific definitions at times. And so you’re right to ask when something’s unclear. If you’re after general information, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Separation_of_church_and_state has the following and much more:
Wikipedia wrote:
The separation of church and state is a concept and philosophy in modern thought and practice, whereby the structures of state or national government are proposed as needing to be separate from those of religious institutions.
If you want more specific information on what we’re saying, you could ask a more specific question. I would be happy to delve deeper on this with you.

I’ll also add that, the following that you quoted.....
gonzo wrote:
Quote:
The Internal Revenue Service has warned a prominent liberal church that it could lose its tax-exempt status because of an anti-war sermon a guest preacher gave on the eve of the 2004 presidential election, according to church officials.
.....shows how a church entity is being, at least somewhat, controlled by a state entity (IRS), and thus there is no Separation of Church and State there.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
illini319 wrote:
I will NOT address the comments you make that are pertaining to yet another 'government is bad, let's dismantle it' vein;
You are a great kidder! I like that about you, illini319.

There’s no denying your unbridled enthusiasm when you are defending your faith in government. And golly gees, there’s so much to defend on a thread where faith in government is conflicting with faith in church. You are sorely needed. But then, you knew that! Smile
The Philosopher Princess
illini319 wrote:
I will NOT address the comments you make that are pertaining to yet another 'government is bad, let's dismantle it' vein;
If I am so lost by my not believing that “government is [good]; let’s [not] dismantle it”, then I just know you want to set me straight, don’t you Smile? Please allow me to ask you point blank: Why do you believe that government schools work so much better than free-market schools?

Why has government -- since the very beginning -- used a monopoly of force as its claim to legitimacy? If government schools are so wonderful and teach the youngsters so well, why do they need a monopoly to do their brilliant work? And why do they have to be forced on us by law? Why do they need to confiscate funds (taxes) from citizens -- by force -- to support their outstanding teaching services?

Doesn’t the USA promote the concepts of (1) people who work well should reap the benefits, and (2) people who don’t work well should figure out something else to do? Well then, why do government schools do so poorly and still reap the benefits?

Tying it back to this thread’s topic: Do you not agree that it is not fair that religions/churches have a difference in their taxes owed (tax-exempt versus huge tax bites) if they speak politics, but when governments speak politics, or teach their religion, they continue on as if everything’s hunky dory?

Why do you support government schools teaching religion in government, but you don’t support them teaching religions of various gods, messiahs, gurus, etc.?
The Philosopher Princess
illini319 wrote:
as you seem to have taken one line of mine and ran with it to the moon....
Yep! I can take a one-line bike ramp and turn it into a moon shot! Smile

Seriously, I believe it is important to run some things “to the moon” -- especially when countering something said in passing on an issue that is very important -- and when that statement is fallacious.

You said, and you apparently believe, that “no religious agenda will be taught in public schools” if there’s a Separation of Church and State. I believe this is extremely important to not be wrong on. And I gave an introduction on the “religious agenda” currently taught in government (public) schools.

It’s typical to believe that faith in communism, socialism, democracy, and/or any sort of governmentism is not a religion. But it is! The mark of religion is abiding faith, not open-mindedly seeking scientific proof.

Your view of there being “no religious agenda” in public schools is today’s popular view of, dare I say, non-thinkers. For the record, “non-thinkers” does not (always) mean, “not smart”; very often people are quite smart but not thinking on a certain subject. For example, I have caught many people believing that free government schooling was helping the poor. Some of these people, when presented with logical evidence that they are hurting, not helping, the poor, change their minds about government schooling for the poor. A light turns on, but it takes work to go against the norm.
The Philosopher Princess
illini319 wrote:
That's an interesting digression from the subject... [not] germaine to the topic at hand
On the contrary; it is extremely germane. The topic involves churches losing tax-exempt status for engaging in politics. Now, where did they get that tax-exempt status in the first place? The same place that newspapers got their “right” to publish: the First Amendment of the US Constitution (a political document), and the Supreme Court’s decision that because “the power to tax is the power to destroy…”. In order to protect religions against being destroyed by the government, it was important that government should not have the power to tax religions.

So religions got a special privilege of not paying taxes, giving them an advantage over you and me and everybody who is forced to pay taxes.

What is germane is that there is a special privilege, granted by government, which government threatens to withdraw, if the organization holding that privileged status violates the (ever-changing) rules of the government.

Of course it isn’t fair; government is a monopoly of power.

It’s unfair to others because by not taxing churches, the church religion is thus being promoted by government. It’s not fair to churches because their tax-exempt status is used, by government, to stifle their freedom of speech.

Likewise, if (and I say it’s true that) government schools are doing similar political -- and also religious -- things, then they also should not be given special privileges, which give them an advantage against competitors.
The Philosopher Princess
illini319 wrote:
Everyone or every group (by definition) has an agenda. In nearly all cases, these agendas tend to be self-gratifying, self-sustaining and clearly selfish. We call this 'revelation' reality.
Absolutely true! That is exactly why we should not support monopolies. Everyone has their agenda. So let’s let the free market decide which agendas are better and which should die out.

When taxes are used to support monopolies, then you’re giving special privileges to those monopolies’ agendas. That means that even when those agendas are not good and should die out, they are instead allowed to keep living. Not only that: They are living off the backs of people who do not (voluntarily) support those agendas.

Supporting monopolies is an initiation of force against those competitors who have possibly worthy agendas. Monopolies get special privileges over others who don’t get the special privileges. When one supports government schools (or tax exemptions for churches when others have to pay taxes) then they are supporting an agenda, and doing it as a bully does things: with initiation of force.

Let’s let people voluntarily decide which agendas are worthy.

It is fine to support one’s desired agendas and for entities to support their own agendas. But it is not fine, because it is anti-Freedom, to support those agendas by using force against other people.
The Philosopher Princess
illini319 wrote:
[With] our government... we, not a God, decide what is acceptable and what is not
If only that were true! In reality, the personal preferences of each person gets merged together with the personal preferences of all other persons, and is reduced down to such an extreme point that they don’t resemble anything that anyone really wants. (Discussion on the Not Voting is Reasonable... Frihost thread is relevant here.) People vote for bads all the time because they aren’t given any decent choices. (Most people, I think, realize this too, but they feel impotent to do much about it.)

No one can reasonably say that people voting mostly for the betters of the bads are people really making decisions. (Given the choice, Do you want to be raped over here or over there? is not a real choice, and one answering that question is not making a real decision.)

If you, illini319, care about people being able to “decide what is acceptable and what is not”, as you mention, then you would not support government force or any other kind of force; you would instead support Freedom. So-called decisions in an environment of force are not really decisions; they are at best coping mechanisms. Only in a free society, can true decisions be made.
illini319
The Philosopher Princess wrote:
Thanks for asking:
gonzo wrote:
When did faith become the antithesis to thought?
At the very beginning.

As soon as there existed thinking, there also existed faith.

Faith is what is “needed” when the logic of reasoning (i.e., thinking) is not providing the “needed” answers. Faith is a purposeful suspension of logic. Individuals solve questions by using faith or by thinking; some do more of one; some do more of the other.

A “person of faith” will claim that they always have their faith, and in one sense they do, because they know they can resort to believing based on faith anytime thinking is not convenient. However, even “people of faith” do not always resort to faith. They don’t stand in front of trains coming down the track, because they know, based on rational thinking, that they will be hurt. They don’t build a house without first building a solid foundation because, in that particular area, faith-based house builders know just as well as reasoning-based house builders that a house without a foundation won’t last.

But when it comes to some more difficult questions -- like How did the universe get here?, What is my purpose in life?, Why do animal fetuses look so similar to human fetuses? -- the people of faith will tend to not be comfortable with saying “I don’t know.” nor to want to do the extra work to find a reality-based, rational answer that does not need faith to believe.
~~~~~~~~~~
For people new to this kind of discussion, I should suggest that context switching be avoided when possible. (This is another area of thinking that requires effort.) The terms thinking and thought, herein, do not refer to casual definitions such as “to have something in mind”, but instead to deeper definitions such as “to employ one’s mind rationally in evaluating a given situation”. While everyone does the first kind, people do the second kind to varying degrees.



I agree - existentialist questions tends to be the litmus test for people's convictions. You will find those who will embrace faith as the explanation, those that will use pure and rational thought, and those (for whatever reason) that mix the two together (Intelligent design folks...).
illini319
The Philosopher Princess wrote:
Tying it back to this thread’s topic: Do you not agree that it is not fair that religions/churches have a difference in their taxes owed (tax-exempt versus huge tax bites) if they speak politics, but when governments speak politics, or teach their religion, they continue on as if everything’s hunky dory?


I believe that my very first thread addresses this issue; and I did say that I agree that it is NOT fair for religious institutions to politicize. Religions enjoy tax-exempt status... they should not abuse that. Please keep in mind that the richest institution in the entire world was, and still is, the Roman-Catholic church.
AnGeLicK
pathetic... i love how they say we have freedom of speech... but if u don't support the things we do we'll cut your funding
gonzo
The Philosopher Princess wrote:
illini319 wrote:
Everyone or every group (by definition) has an agenda. In nearly all cases, these agendas tend to be self-gratifying, self-sustaining and clearly selfish. We call this 'revelation' reality.
Absolutely true! That is exactly why we should not support monopolies. Everyone has their agenda. So let’s let the free market decide which agendas are better and which should die out..


huh.. so why is it the teeny tiny itsy bitsy anti-god minority BELIEVE they are entitled to overpower the majority? tsk tsk

SharKay
I find the pic impeach God...disgustingthe stupidity of some....they can denie God...shut Him out...but He has the finial say.
The Philosopher Princess
gonzo wrote:
huh.. so why is it the teeny tiny itsy bitsy anti-god minority BELIEVE they are entitled to overpower the majority? tsk tsk
I don’t know if you’re kidding on this one with your “tsk tsk”, but if you’re serious, please tell us why you believe that they believe this. And, who are they? It’d be nice to get some of your examples of any “anti-god minorit[ies]” trying to “overpower [any] majority”. Your signature picture is nicely provocative but does not imply that the picketers are trying to “overpower”; the only thing I can tell from that is they don’t want to be overpowered.

For the record, being anti-monopoly is neither pro-god nor anti-god. There are secular groups that work against initiation of force. But there are also some very religious groups who are quite principled and believe strongly that monopolies (of force) are immoral. While they want to spread their religion as they see fit, they do not advocate using force on people to do so, nor of others using force to prevent them from doing so.
~~~~~~~~~~
SharKay wrote:
I find the pic impeach God...disgustingthe stupidity of some....they can denie God...shut Him out...but He has the finial say.
Understood, SharKay. But what do you think about some of the issues being discussed on this thread? Should people be forced to pay taxes to support religions with which they don’t agree?
SharKay
Quote:
be forced to pay taxes to support religions with which they don’t agree?


What about all the taxes that we all are forced to pay....

there is a tax on most everything...what about the tax on fuel...home loans...what about the high taxes...why not focus on high taxes and not just on religions...Your tax dollars are not just paying taxes to support religions...think about it....
The Philosopher Princess
SharKay, you’re being a Frihoster after my own mind! I couldn’t agree more. (I was limiting my discussion to religion-related taxes because I was trying to stay on topic for this thread.)

SharKay wrote:
Quote:
be forced to pay taxes to support religions with which they don’t agree?
What about all the taxes that we all are forced to pay....

there is a tax on most everything...what about the tax on fuel...home loans...what about the high taxes...why not focus on high taxes and not just on religions...Your tax dollars are not just paying taxes to support religions...think about it....
My answer is: I don’t support stealing of any kind. Taxes is one form of stealing. Therefore, I don’t support taxes of any kind.

Okay, what about you, SharKay? You’ve offered us a good challenge, with the above. But you haven’t given your position on taxes.
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