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 Post subject: Christian Right and Those Pesky Tax-Exemptions
PostPosted: Wed Mar 16, 2005 10:29 am 
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What does it take for religious non-profits to lose their tax-exempt status for violating its tax-exempt status?

Over the past decade or so I have watched as the Christian Right have walked up to, and then stepped across the line into political advocacy. Now I am a democrat – small “d” – to the bone. I want every American to participate in the political process. But when a tax-exempt religious group does so they are violating the terms of their contract with the nation.

If they want a different tax law for religious political activity then let Congress debate it. But the Christian Right is not about to do that, for two reasons. First, it fears they will lose that vote. And, if the DChristian Right won, it would mean non-Christian tax-exempt groups would jump into the game in opposition to their agendas.


But they don’t have to do anything because, with a Christian-friendly administration in power, they already have the best of all possible worlds. They can aggressively push their evangelical Christian agenda in the political arena without worry that this administration will yank their tax-exempt status.

How sure are they? Pretty damn sure. Just feels the cocky surety in a story in today’s Washington Post:


"To fundamentalist Christians....the fight to teach God's role in creation is becoming the essential front in America's culture war. The issue is on the agenda at every meeting of pastors he attends. If evolution's boosters can be forced to back down, he said, the Christian right's agenda will advance…."If you believe God created that baby, it makes it a whole lot harder to get rid of that baby ....If you can cause enough doubt on evolution, liberalism will die."

The story goes on to explain how the Christian Right is launching a nationwide push to force public schools to give so-called “Creation Science” equal billing with the teaching of evolution. And they are not limiting themselves to just shouting down secular school boards either. These Christian soldiers are marching right across the political barrier:

“From offices overlooking Puget Sound, Meyer is waging a careful campaign to change the way Americans think about the natural world. The Discovery Institute devotes about 85 percent of its budget to funding scientists, with other money going to public action campaigns.”

So, why aren’t these groups under IRS investigation for violating their tax-exempt status? If they want to play in the political arena they should have their assets taxed. If they want to keep their tax-exempt status they can do so by simply keeping their teachings where the law intended, in church.

But don’t expect either Republicans or Democrats in Congress to do anything about this trend. Republicans are happy to see their superficial “moral agenda” on the march, not because they are moral but because polls show that churchgoers tend to vote Republican. So for the GOP the Christian Right is a stealth-recruiting device.

Democrats are terrified by the whole faith-based phenomena. They quake in fear that anything they say against the Christian Right will only result in them being accused by these proselytizing little energizer bunnies of being secular godless heathens.

While the Christian Right is complaining about how schools are not teaching the whole story on evolution, maybe the rest of us should insist they also teach the full story about just how the Puritans ended up camping in mud huts in the New World.

In grammar school we were taught that the Puritans came the New World because they were being “persecuted,” in Europe. Well, yeah, sorta. But there’s two sides that story. Europeans chased the Puritans out when -- as the Brits like to put it – they got tired of those sanctimonious, goodie two-shoes “getting up everyone’s nose” about everything all the time.”

Now they are getting up our noses – and getting tax breaks to boot.


Update: A reader's brilliant suggestion:


"Perhaps it is time for those who do not believe the biblical story of creation to start saying that if real science, such as evolution, must come with a warning label then so too should every bible. I suggest something like this:


"WARNING: This book contains information about "God" or "Jesus". There is no scientific proof of the existence of a "Supreme Being," nor any scientific proof of the possibility of a "virgin" birth, nor has any historical evidence ever been found that proves any person identified as Jesus Christ was the son of a supernatural being. Such statements made in this book are only theories."


Thanks to "P.H."


Link: http://www.newsforreal.com/

Catherine

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 Post subject: Re: Christian Right and Those Pesky Tax-Exemptions
PostPosted: Wed Mar 16, 2005 2:01 pm 
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Catherine wrote:
theories


And based on the context by which it was used, not the scientific type, as Morris Sullivan describes:

"Many people use the term 'theory' as a synonym for 'opinion.' However, in a science classroom, 'theory' means something very specific. A scientist formulates a hypothesis which may explain a phenomenon. He or she then tests the hypothesis through some means of experimentation or seeking supporting evidence. If the hypothesis passes the test, then it is tested again and again by other scientists to see if it passes it consistently. If the testing supports the hypothesis over and over, it becomes a theory. If it doesn't pass consistently, another hypothesis is sought. Sometimes, a better hypothesis comes along that explains more or better. In that case, the old theory is discarded and the new adopted.

"A theory should not only explain what has happened, but predict what will happen. Theories about the Earth's movement in the heavens, for example, accurately predict when the sun will rise. In science, a theory must be tested using empirical means. In other words, at some point, the scientist must be able to perceive evidence for the theory with normal human senses. Even then, the theory is not considered 'fact' unless it becomes somehow empirically observed. For instance, the theory that the earth is round can be 'proved' either by travelling all the way around it or by flying into space to look. Only then does it become fact.

"In science, there are relatively few 'facts.'"

"Creationists make it sound as though a 'theory' is something you dreamt up after being drunk all night."
-- Isaac Asimov

Catherine,

I believe you're already well aware of that. I only wanted to point that out to others who may read. I hope that's alright.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Mar 16, 2005 4:45 pm 
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Fine with me, Hyperion. 8)

Point out anything you like whenever you wish.

Catherine

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That other party, they work for people who don't need help.
That's all there is to it."

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