Monday, March 30, 2009

AIG, taxes, and religious bodies

Hey I'm a Baptist. I believe in absolute freedom of religion. No government has any right sticking its nose in any matter having to do with religion. A few weeks ago I wrote a post about a movement of folk trying to get the LDS church in trouble for supporting prop 8 and that their tax exemption should be reneged.

I said "no" to this in spite of being staunchly opposed to their stand on the presenting issue.

I also made a statement in that post that puzzled a few people... Common wisdom is that non-profits don't pay taxes because of the benefit they provide to the community and the argument follows that when a non-profit breaks its covenant with the community, its tax exempt status is a benefit that can be removed. I said, "Religious groups are not taxed because the government has no say over them. The power to tax is the power to control and the state has no power when it comes to religion."

This power was demonstrated in the AIG mess when congress proposed a new tax law to tax the bonuses received by AIG workers at 90%. The power to tax was clearly the power to control. And that is why religious bodies are not taxed. If they could be taxed, then the government can control what they do and say. Indeed, that is precisely what those who wanted to remove the tax exempt status from the LDS were/are trying to do, control the actions of a religious organization through the power of the government.

1 comment:

Howie Luvzus said...

Nice to see a Baptist who still believes in the separation of church and state!