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Tequila
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30 Dec 2012, 11:19 am

Raymond_Fawkes wrote:
The easiest solution is don't go to church. Over the past century, I believe the numbers of parishioners who actually attend have been rapidly declining, and this trend will probably only continue.


In fact, amongst Christians it's really only the black churches in places like London and Birmingham and the Polish Roman Catholic churches that are still popular.



Vexcalibur
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30 Dec 2012, 4:47 pm

AgentPalpatine wrote:
Also, the analysis seems to treat labor expenses of a church as some sort of "administrative overhead". From my experence, those "employees" are dedicated to helping people, not all of whom are of the same religion.

From my experience, most of those employees' time is spent not in helping people of other religions. Some of the time might, every second full moon maybe, but just spending some money in some charity work does not make you a charity and does not justify not spending $100,000,000,000 in taxes. Also, if you get involved in politics, then no question, you are a political lobby group and not a charity. Oh and btw, it took me less than 1 second to find this link: http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2012/09/23/m ... candidate/

And even when they do charity to people that is not in their religions they still evangelize while doing so.
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I support requiring ALL charities to have 3rd party reporting of charitable contributions (just like mortgage interest and tution payments).
So, yeah, start taxing churches that don't.


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slave
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30 Dec 2012, 5:01 pm

TheValk wrote:
If you are so eager to see a lot of clergy (already struggling for survival) driven to poverty, go ahead and support this 'cause'...


ROFLMFAO!! !! !! !! !

struggling BAHAHAHA.....poverty BAHAHAHAHA!! !! !! !! !! !! !! !! !! !! !!

you are hilarious unless you actually believe that


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Vexcalibur
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30 Dec 2012, 5:08 pm

Those poor pastors: http://www.christianpost.com/news/repor ... ors-46779/


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30 Dec 2012, 6:10 pm

slave wrote:
TheValk wrote:
If you are so eager to see a lot of clergy (already struggling for survival) driven to poverty, go ahead and support this 'cause'...


ROFLMFAO!! !! !! !! !

struggling BAHAHAHA.....poverty BAHAHAHAHA!! !! !! !! !! !! !! !! !! !! !!

you are hilarious unless you actually believe that


I know some personally, and I assure you they haven't tucked away any large sums of money since they wouldn't have anywhere to get it in the first place. It is not uncommon for them to rely on outside jobs to get by (Orthodox priests are expected to have a family and as a rule have many offsprings), not to mention that being a priest often entails completely foreign functions such as those of a construction foreman without which one simply wouldn't have a functional building to hold Liturgy in. The social demands are also set very high, forcing one to hire workers who are essentially parishioners that volunteer to serve on a daily/regular basis for a very formal salary that resembles pocket money a kid from a working class family would receive as opposed to an actual minimum wage, let alone worth envying.

The world is bigger than you think.



Pileo
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30 Dec 2012, 6:18 pm

Let's make it clear that there are multiple types of churches with different incomes and we should not be judging them under the same banner. From my understanding, if they are to be taxed, they will be treated as such.



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30 Dec 2012, 6:39 pm

Vexcalibur wrote:
AgentPalpatine wrote:
Also, the analysis seems to treat labor expenses of a church as some sort of "administrative overhead". From my experence, those "employees" are dedicated to helping people, not all of whom are of the same religion.

From my experience, most of those employees' time is spent not in helping people of other religions. Some of the time might, every second full moon maybe, but just spending some money in some charity work does not make you a charity and does not justify not spending $100,000,000,000 in taxes. Also, if you get involved in politics, then no question, you are a political lobby group and not a charity. Oh and btw, it took me less than 1 second to find this link: http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2012/09/23/m ... candidate/

And even when they do charity to people that is not in their religions they still evangelize while doing so.
Quote:
I support requiring ALL charities to have 3rd party reporting of charitable contributions (just like mortgage interest and tution payments).
So, yeah, start taxing churches that don't.


Vexcalibur, we appear to have different definitions of charity work. Speaking of churches that I personal knowledge of, they would meet my definion of charity, they engage in community outreach, they teach children (I know you may disagree on that one), they give advice and counsel to people (not just members of the church), they host community events, they engage in food drives, they hold musical events, and they offer history lessons.

Churches, as I personally understand the concept, match up well with other institutions that are lumped in the "charity" area, such as art museums, schools, research foundations, universities, libraries, and so forth. With the exception of education, which I realize that you may disagree with, I'd say churches, as I understand the concept, would meet the definition that most people associate with a "charity".

My comment about the 3rd party reporting may have been misunderstood. Mortgage Interest, Student Loan Interest, and Tution have "3rd Party Reporting", where the payee reports the (often tax deductable) portion to the IRS, which then matches the reports to an individual's tax return. There are also 3rd party reporting requirements relating to automobiles, boats, and airplanes. I'd like to see the reporting requirements for mortgage interest extended to charitable contributions of all types, both to improve ease of filing and to reduce erronous charitable contribution amounts.

As of 2012, there is no such requirement, so there would be no reason to tax charities that don't file a return that does not exist.


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slave
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30 Dec 2012, 6:49 pm

TheValk wrote:
slave wrote:
TheValk wrote:
If you are so eager to see a lot of clergy (already struggling for survival) driven to poverty, go ahead and support this 'cause'...


ROFLMFAO!! !! !! !! !

struggling BAHAHAHA.....poverty BAHAHAHAHA!! !! !! !! !! !! !! !! !! !! !!

you are hilarious unless you actually believe that


I know some personally, and I assure you they haven't tucked away any large sums of money since they wouldn't have anywhere to get it in the first place. It is not uncommon for them to rely on outside jobs to get by (Orthodox priests are expected to have a family and as a rule have many offsprings), not to mention that being a priest often entails completely foreign functions such as those of a construction foreman without which one simply wouldn't have a functional building to hold Liturgy in. The social demands are also set very high, forcing one to hire workers who are essentially parishioners that volunteer to serve on a daily/regular basis for a very formal salary that resembles pocket money a kid from a working class family would receive as opposed to an actual minimum wage, let alone worth envying.

The world is bigger than you think.


You have no idea what I think.


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Since the birth of civilization, small sets of dominant individuals have controlled the numerical majority. Even a cursory reading of world history will substantiate this claim. Kings, Pharaohs, Emperors, Sultans, Czars, and Dictators have imposed their will upon their subjects. This pattern has not changed over the millennia and it remains so, today. Our Masters rule over every nation and no one can defy them. They will attain Absolute Power as we reach the Singularity. All those who oppose their will, will be destroyed. Given the obvious futility, I will not resist. 2+2=5.


1000Knives
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30 Dec 2012, 10:08 pm

slave wrote:
TheValk wrote:
If you are so eager to see a lot of clergy (already struggling for survival) driven to poverty, go ahead and support this 'cause'...


ROFLMFAO!! !! !! !! !

struggling BAHAHAHA.....poverty BAHAHAHAHA!! !! !! !! !! !! !! !! !! !! !!

you are hilarious unless you actually believe that


My priest only makes like 20-30K a year, and him and his wife both do extra work from home. Free parsonage, though. That's from Orthodox Church of America. Greek Orthodox Archdiochese pays like 60K a year. Then again, the average OCA church doesn't have a lot of people compared to the average Greek one.

When I was a Protestant Charismatic, I went to a small church in a rented office building, and all 2/3 pastors worked outside of church, all had working wives, too.



1000Knives
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30 Dec 2012, 10:10 pm

TheValk wrote:
slave wrote:
TheValk wrote:
If you are so eager to see a lot of clergy (already struggling for survival) driven to poverty, go ahead and support this 'cause'...


ROFLMFAO!! !! !! !! !

struggling BAHAHAHA.....poverty BAHAHAHAHA!! !! !! !! !! !! !! !! !! !! !!

you are hilarious unless you actually believe that


I know some personally, and I assure you they haven't tucked away any large sums of money since they wouldn't have anywhere to get it in the first place. It is not uncommon for them to rely on outside jobs to get by (Orthodox priests are expected to have a family and as a rule have many offsprings), not to mention that being a priest often entails completely foreign functions such as those of a construction foreman without which one simply wouldn't have a functional building to hold Liturgy in. The social demands are also set very high, forcing one to hire workers who are essentially parishioners that volunteer to serve on a daily/regular basis for a very formal salary that resembles pocket money a kid from a working class family would receive as opposed to an actual minimum wage, let alone worth envying.

The world is bigger than you think.


Oh, you're Orthodox?! Cool! We should have a big Orthodox club on WP.



visagrunt
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31 Dec 2012, 2:44 pm

This all seems very broad brush.

Tax the churches? Tax what, precisely.

Income tax? Well, we don't tax non-profit entities, even when they do business. I am involved in several not-for-profit theatre companies, for example. We do business--we create a product and we sell it. We have employees. But at the end of the day they are entitled to keep their surplusses free from tax provided that those are not paid out to the members of the societies, and provided that they are used to further the societies' purposes. Why should a church be treated any differently.

Value added/Sales taxes? Well, churches in this country have to pay tax on the goods and services that they buy. If they operate a social enterprise, then that enterprise is subject to the same rules regarding GST registration and remittance as any other business entity operated by a non-profit. Their income from fundraising and donation is, of course, exempt, because it is neither a good nor a service.

End the tax credit for donations to them? Well, in this country if a charity spends more than 10% of its time in political activity, then it loses its registered charity status (and that has enormous tax implications). So provided a church is spending less than 10% of its time engaged in political activity, why should it be treated differently than any other charity?

Frankly, the only place where I can see a meaningful argument is to end the exemption from tax for property held by religious congregations. After all, the church and the manse need municipal services like every other property. They need water and sewers, they need road access, they need police and garbage collection, they need fire protection. I see little objection to expecting a church to pay property tax like any other landowner. But that's the extent of it.


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ruveyn
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31 Dec 2012, 6:43 pm

visagrunt wrote:
This all seems very broad brush.

Tax the churches? Tax what, precisely.

Income tax? Well, we don't tax non-profit entities, even when they do business. I am involved in several not-for-profit theatre companies, for example. We do business--we create a product and we sell it. We have employees. But at the end of the day they are entitled to keep their surplusses free from tax provided that those are not paid out to the members of the societies, and provided that they are used to further the societies' purposes. Why should a church be treated any differently.

Value added/Sales taxes? Well, churches in this country have to pay tax on the goods and services that they buy. I


Churches should pay tax on their property just like any other non-profit firm.

A certain amount of local resources must be allocated to proved fire services and police protection to church property. The churches should pay their share for the service rendered.

ruveyn



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31 Dec 2012, 7:44 pm

The vast majority of churches are NOT megachurches, and even megachurch salaries vary immensely. Pastors that make enough to devote themselves to ministry typically work hours that amount to less than minimum wage. Pastors that don't make enough for full time ministry either get a regular job as well or rely on a support network to get by, with the former being by far the most common. Not only that, but the pay is quite low for a job that usually requires at least a master's degree.


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31 Dec 2012, 10:11 pm

So how come tele-evangelists are billionaires?



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31 Dec 2012, 10:50 pm

androbot2084 wrote:
So how come tele-evangelists are billionaires?


I think they're only millionares.

I dunno, because they ask for money and people give it to them. Not that hard. Actually, not really. The ones that make lots of money (like, say, Joel Osteen or what's her name... Joyce Meyer!) don't usually do it from pledge drive type things, they make it from writing books and doing speaking engagements or what have you. The same way, say, Tony Robbins makes his money. Motivate people and you get money.