Last week, as I was filling out my 2005 tax return, I noticed a lot of stipulations regarding church involvement: “Do you work for a church? If so, skip line 7 and proceed to throwing this form in the bin. We don’t tax God’s people.”
OK, that’s a bit of an exaggeration. But not by much.
I’m tired of attention-seeking zealots saying that Christianity is being attacked and discriminated against in America.
Just remember this, my faithful friends: Not everyone gets to enjoy tax-exempt status as you do. So quit whining, you ungrateful bastards.
Not too long ago in Florida, a Christian theme park called The Holy Land Experience went to court to contest its property taxes. It won the case and was able to shift its tax burden back to ordinary taxpayers.
A theme park, with admission ticket, merchandising and concessions revenue, doesn’t have to pay taxes? One with a locust plague simulator and an interactive “stone the heretic” exhibit where guests get to knock the noggin off condemned “animatronic” characters? Holy shit.
Next Disney will declare Mickey Mouse a “god“ to get out of paying taxes. Stranger things have happened.
The reason for exempting religious institutions from paying taxes has never been clear to me. Is it that they’re ostensibly doing something “good” for people? I’d ask Catholic sexual abuse victims how much good the church did them. It's no given.
Is “goodness” the reason Bush has pushed “faith-based” prisons, where the rapes and stabbings are done in strict accordance with Old Testament precedent? Hmm.
Were some Christian organizations to have their tax-exempt status rescinded, I imagine millionaire Christian broadcaster Pat Robertson would declare that the IRS was going to be “taken out” by God.
“Now folks, I’d be worried if I were the Internal Revenue Service, waving a tax form in God’s face like that. They may be looking at some earthquakes, floods or possibly a meteor from God here as a result. As the very least, they can expect Sick Building Syndrome to afflict them right around tax time (April 17). God doesn’t want His monies divvied up and itemized like that.”
It’s as big a crime not to tax a theme park or the disgustingly wealthy Catholic church (among others) as it is not to tax the disgustingly wealthy British Royals while saddling their subjects with huge taxes. (Are they still on a free ride over there? I haven’t kept up with the Windsors.)
To churches and church-oriented institutions I say this: You folks may cheat death via eternal life, but you shouldn’t be able to cheat your way out of contributing financially to the society you’re seeking to co-opt. Buck up and pay your taxes like everyone else.