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  1. #1
    Ferris Bueller's Avatar
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    Should Religious Places of Worship Pay Taxes?

    Lets start another debate guys.

    Now since most intelligent people on here are athiest I would think this would be biased. Here goes anyways.



    To start this debate, we need some definitions. What are taxes? "a sum of money demanded by a government for its support or for specific facilities or services, levied upon incomes, property, sales, etc." dicitionary.reference.com

    Why do we pay taxes? http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/p2105.pdf

    Basically people pay taxes so that the government can supply them with things they can't afford. I.E Health care, roads, schools, etc...

    Churches in America have been tax-exempt since its founding. Is this right?

    Now churches are defined as non-profit organizations. They run on donations from people. They don't generate profit by selling and what not.

    I believe that, just like any other non-profit organization, churches should not be taxed.
    Last edited by Ferris Bueller; 03-19-2014 at 07:51 PM.

    "“Religions are, by definition, metaphors, after all: God is a dream, a hope, a woman, an ironist, a father, a city, a house of many rooms, a watchmaker who left his prize chronometer in the desert, someone who loves you—even, perhaps, against all evidence, a celestial being whose only interest is to make sure your football team, army, business, or marriage thrives, prospers, and triumphs over all opposition. Religions are places to stand and look and act, vantage points from which to view the world. So none of this is happening. Such things could not occur. Never a word of it is literally true.” .”
    I was Martin Johnson

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ferris Bueller View Post

    Now since most intelligent people on here are athiest so I would think this would be biased. Here goes anyways.
    HILARIOUS and so true haha. Yeah I agree, as long as they are legitimately using the money for the betterment of the community. They do a much better job of it than the government itself in my opinion.

    However, I think non-profit qualifications should be more stringent and/or better enforced. The NFL is considered non-profit, which I think is a load of crap.
    Last edited by Thefurball; 03-19-2014 at 10:46 PM. Reason: Accidentally said NBA I mean NFL

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    They should be taxed if they exceed a limit of income.

    Now of course, separation of church and state, but the fact is that most mega-churches only spend the money on themselves and their growth, NOT on the community.


    Non-profit is a good argument, but when you realize how much money is being poured into what doesn't really help the community, yeah.....it needs to be fixed.


    + The amount of space and cost a mega-church can take up of the community income is astounding for the nothing it gives back.


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    Quote Originally Posted by Empire View Post
    Now of course, separation of church and state, but the fact is that most mega-churches only spend the money on themselves and their growth, NOT on the community.
    Source?
    One contradictory example, and definitely not an outlier, is Rick Warren who wrote a book called "The Purpose Driven Life" which hit #1 seller in NY Times, Wall Street and USA Today back in the early 2000s. He is a pastor of one of the largest mega-churches in the US. Over 90% of the sales profit from this went to charity, not into making their building pretty.
    Although I would argue regardless of where the donated money ends up going, it doesn't matter in terms of being taxable or not. There's other categories I would cut before a religious institution, such as 501(c)(2), 501(c)(4), 501(c)(6), 501(c)(7), 501(c)(12), 501(c)(15) <see link below>
    http://www.irs.gov/publications/p557/ch01.html
    Even if a religious body does absolutely no good to the community, much of the time it could still be defined under a counseling organization even from a professional standpoint, since many worship leaders actually have a dual-degree in counseling.


    Quote Originally Posted by Ferris Bueller View Post
    Now since most intelligent people on here are athiest I would think this would be biased. Here goes anyways.
    I would venture to guess that the MPGH population is skewed towards people with "loose" morals, no? We are here for hacking games, right? So there's probably not a lot of religious people here to begin with, and most that are here probably aren't wise enough to realize that hacking goes against their own religion...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nico View Post
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  5. #5
    Empire's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by maddoggy00 View Post

    Source?
    One contradictory example, and definitely not an outlier, is Rick Warren who wrote a book called "The Purpose Driven Life" which hit #1 seller in NY Times, Wall Street and USA Today back in the early 2000s. He is a pastor of one of the largest mega-churches in the US. Over 90% of the sales profit from this went to charity, not into making their building pretty.
    Although I would argue regardless of where the donated money ends up going, it doesn't matter in terms of being taxable or not. There's other categories I would cut before a religious institution, such as 501(c)(2), 501(c)(4), 501(c)(6), 501(c)(7), 501(c)(12), 501(c)(15) <see link below>
    http://www.irs.gov/publications/p557/ch01.html
    Even if a religious body does absolutely no good to the community, much of the time it could still be defined under a counseling organization even from a professional standpoint, since many worship leaders actually have a dual-degree in counseling.



    I would venture to guess that the MPGH population is skewed towards people with "loose" morals, no? We are here for hacking games, right? So there's probably not a lot of religious people here to begin with, and most that are here probably aren't wise enough to realize that hacking goes against their own religion...
    I don't have any sources.(neither do you and your point was on a single individual not a church). That's just my experience from the mega-churches that I've been to and read up on. If you want to go to a church and ask them what their spending plan is, I'd be shocked if over 50% went to charity, if that. Most of the mega-church money goes into the pockets of the pastors and then into the expansion of the church.


    I'm not going to argue how they can get away without being taxed, as there are tons of ways to do that even for the individual. But should they be taxed is the topic.
    -------------------------------------

    On mpgh.

    1. Hacking, although obviously the objective, is not that big anymore.
    2. Hacking is not against people's religion any more than "camping" or using a "cheap" tactic. Regardless, assuming hackers aren't religious or are is pretty silly as most people have no real ethical qualms about it.
    Last edited by Empire; 03-20-2014 at 12:50 PM.


  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Empire View Post
    They should be taxed if they exceed a limit of income.

    Now of course, separation of church and state, but the fact is that most mega-churches only spend the money on themselves and their growth, NOT on the community.


    Non-profit is a good argument, but when you realize how much money is being poured into what doesn't really help the community, yeah.....it needs to be fixed.


    + The amount of space and cost a mega-church can take up of the community income is astounding for the nothing it gives back.
    Here's the thing though, what you are saying happens in most non-profit organization, not just churches.

    Check this article out: http://www.cnn.com/2013/06/13/us/worst-charities/

    Guess what, most non-profit organizations are useless but they make shit tons of money. Let me just quote the aforementioned article, "Over a decade, one diabetes charity raised nearly $14 million and gave about $10,000 to patients. Six spent no cash at all on their cause." I think that's alot more money than most every day churches.

    I do agree with you that most of the money doesn't go towards the people however churches(religious places of worship) contribute to the people in more ways than just sunday school, food, and shelter. Religion has kept people in check for a long time, so they must be doing something right(or wrong depending on the way you see it.)

    Anyways i think as long as global warming charities and charities like American Tract Society aren't paying tax, then churches shouldn't.

    "“Religions are, by definition, metaphors, after all: God is a dream, a hope, a woman, an ironist, a father, a city, a house of many rooms, a watchmaker who left his prize chronometer in the desert, someone who loves you—even, perhaps, against all evidence, a celestial being whose only interest is to make sure your football team, army, business, or marriage thrives, prospers, and triumphs over all opposition. Religions are places to stand and look and act, vantage points from which to view the world. So none of this is happening. Such things could not occur. Never a word of it is literally true.” .”
    I was Martin Johnson

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    The Void Aroma's Avatar
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    The fact that an institution is centered around a religion does not mean that it should be exempt from taxes. That's just silly.

    If the institution actually helps with common societal issues such as poverty, then maybe.

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    Quote Originally Posted by The Void Aroma View Post
    The fact that an institution is centered around a religion does not mean that it should be exempt from taxes. That's just silly.

    If the institution actually helps with common societal issues such as poverty, then maybe.
    They're not exempt because they're centered around a religion, it's because they're a non-profit organization.

    "“Religions are, by definition, metaphors, after all: God is a dream, a hope, a woman, an ironist, a father, a city, a house of many rooms, a watchmaker who left his prize chronometer in the desert, someone who loves you—even, perhaps, against all evidence, a celestial being whose only interest is to make sure your football team, army, business, or marriage thrives, prospers, and triumphs over all opposition. Religions are places to stand and look and act, vantage points from which to view the world. So none of this is happening. Such things could not occur. Never a word of it is literally true.” .”
    I was Martin Johnson

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    WhyIsItReal's Avatar
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    The Catholic Church made $170 Billion, and only donated 2.7% to charity. That means that the rest (97.3%) was used for Church related things. That means that the Church made $165.41 billion dollars - more than Apple.
    Not only that: it's unconstitutional. The very first line of the Bill of Rights start out by saying "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion," and making them tax exempt is clearly making a law respecting them. It wouldn't be so bad if churches actually had to file for non-profit status, but they don't. Illegal? Yup.
    Churches are not charities. They may donate money to charities, but they aren't. Comparing churches to global warming charities makes no sense.
    Finally, churches don't pay taxes because they're non-profit, but they're non-profit because they're churches.

    Quote Originally Posted by maddoggy00 View Post

    I would venture to guess that the MPGH population is skewed towards people with "loose" morals, no? We are here for hacking games, right? So there's probably not a lot of religious people here to begin with, and most that are here probably aren't wise enough to realize that hacking goes against their own religion...
    So basically, what you're saying is that atheists have '"loose" morals'? Atheists believe in doing things for the good of doing it, while theists (especially monotheists) believe in doing things so that they go to a paradise. Sound selfish?

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    Quote Originally Posted by WhyIsItReal View Post
    So basically, what you're saying is that atheists have '"loose" morals'?
    No. I'm saying everyone on here whose main intention is to hack games has loose morals. I'm also saying most religious people who are on here to hack games and outwardly proclaim their religion are idiots who can't even see the conflict in their own doctrines vs. their behavior. Most <intelligent> religious people who practice their doctrines in real life would not be hacking games. Therefore, there is a skewed population.

    Quote Originally Posted by WhyIsItReal View Post
    Atheists believe in doing things for the good of doing it, while theists (especially monotheists) believe in doing things so that they go to a paradise. Sound selfish?
    So theists can't do good deeds for the same reason? Sounds ignorant.
    So atheists can't do good deeds for the good feeling that comes from it, peace of mind, and probable physical rewards resultant from their actions down the road, but can only do so as a mindless, numb robot? Also sounds ignorant.

    Also completely off-topic to the original thread, just saying.

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  12. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by WhyIsItReal View Post
    The Catholic Church made $170 Billion, and only donated 2.7% to charity. That means that the rest (97.3%) was used for Church related things. That means that the Church made $165.41 billion dollars - more than Apple.
    Not only that: it's unconstitutional. The very first line of the Bill of Rights start out by saying "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion," and making them tax exempt is clearly making a law respecting them. It wouldn't be so bad if churches actually had to file for non-profit status, but they don't. Illegal? Yup.
    Churches are not charities. They may donate money to charities, but they aren't. Comparing churches to global warming charities makes no sense.
    Finally, churches don't pay taxes because they're non-profit, but they're non-profit because they're churches.


    So basically, what you're saying is that atheists have '"loose" morals'? Atheists believe in doing things for the good of doing it, while theists (especially monotheists) believe in doing things so that they go to a paradise. Sound selfish?
    Except we're not comparing them to charities.

    Churches don't pay taxes because they are a non profit organization, not a charity.

    And like i mentioned in the thread previosly, a large number of charities are flat out bullshit. And they make just as much money.

    Guess what, most non-profit organizations are useless but they make shit tons of money. Let me just quote the aforementioned article, "Over a decade, one diabetes charity raised nearly $14 million and gave about $10,000 to patients. Six spent no cash at all on their cause." I think that's alot more money than most every day churches.

    I do agree with you that most of the money doesn't go towards the people however churches(religious places of worship) contribute to the people in more ways than just sunday school, food, and shelter. Religion has kept people in check for a long time, so they must be doing something right(or wrong depending on the way you see it.)

    "“Religions are, by definition, metaphors, after all: God is a dream, a hope, a woman, an ironist, a father, a city, a house of many rooms, a watchmaker who left his prize chronometer in the desert, someone who loves you—even, perhaps, against all evidence, a celestial being whose only interest is to make sure your football team, army, business, or marriage thrives, prospers, and triumphs over all opposition. Religions are places to stand and look and act, vantage points from which to view the world. So none of this is happening. Such things could not occur. Never a word of it is literally true.” .”
    I was Martin Johnson

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ferris Bueller View Post


    Here's the thing though, what you are saying happens in most non-profit organization, not just churches.

    Check this article out: http://www.cnn.com/2013/06/13/us/worst-charities/

    Guess what, most non-profit organizations are useless but they make shit tons of money. Let me just quote the aforementioned article, "Over a decade, one diabetes charity raised nearly $14 million and gave about $10,000 to patients. Six spent no cash at all on their cause." I think that's alot more money than most every day churches.

    I do agree with you that most of the money doesn't go towards the people however churches(religious places of worship) contribute to the people in more ways than just sunday school, food, and shelter. Religion has kept people in check for a long time, so they must be doing something right(or wrong depending on the way you see it.)

    Anyways i think as long as global warming charities and charities like American Tract Society aren't paying tax, then churches shouldn't.
    Its just a way to get around taxes, if you aren't putting the money towards the community it shouldn't be exempt.


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    Quote Originally Posted by Extravagant View Post
    The problem is that we're people. People are shitty beings, you just gotta keep that in mind.
    "Science is interesting, and if you don't agree you can fuck off." - Richard Dawkins
    "Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former." - Albert Einstein

    Quote Originally Posted by Lehsyrus View Post
    Troll nomination. Allah and Muhammad for 1400 years of bullshit.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 666HiddenMaster666 View Post
    Televangelists
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=me2H7Ja93Wg

    "“Religions are, by definition, metaphors, after all: God is a dream, a hope, a woman, an ironist, a father, a city, a house of many rooms, a watchmaker who left his prize chronometer in the desert, someone who loves you—even, perhaps, against all evidence, a celestial being whose only interest is to make sure your football team, army, business, or marriage thrives, prospers, and triumphs over all opposition. Religions are places to stand and look and act, vantage points from which to view the world. So none of this is happening. Such things could not occur. Never a word of it is literally true.” .”
    I was Martin Johnson

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