Discussion Separation of Church and State

Grey_Beard

Member
Sep 23, 2014
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Seems that there is a breakdown of how the government funds activities in this pandemic. Not only did they resist being transparent with the PPP funds, that large health systems got Billions of dollars but still furloughed staff and now this. There are so many breakdowns from this administration it will take generations to fix. These are on top of the anti-regulation and anti-environmental things that have been done. I guess the new motto is if we screw it up so bad that even the next administration will struggle to get things moving in the right direction.

From the article:

But the past few months have seen a near-complete collapse of this principle at the national level, at least with respect to government funding of religion. Under the Payment Protection Program, which has allocated $669 billion in subsidies to support small businesses during the coronavirus pandemic, the government has extended funding to churches and other houses of worship. This program is unprecedented in terms of the sheer amount of money involved and the religious nature of the activities, including payment of clergy salaries, that the government is subsidizing.

 

tweaker2

Lifer
Aug 5, 2000
11,068
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How odd it is that churches are in the eyes of the gov't non-political/non-profit (socialist?) organizations owned and operated by its members thus granting them tax exempt status yet here we have so many of their religious leaders hard selling political dogma from their pulpits with no penalty.

Nothing like having your cake made of holy water and eating/selling them at political rallies eh?
 

imported_tajmahal

Diamond Member
Jul 9, 2009
8,954
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I'm still waiting to see where the separation of church and State is mentioned in the Constitution.

If you have a church running a preschool and observing all the laws and regulations of a preschool, shouldn't they be paid for their work? If a church is providing homeless services and running a food bank, shouldn't they be entitled to the same payments other non-profits receive?
 

ch33zw1z

Lifer
Nov 4, 2004
28,576
7,699
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I'm still waiting to see where the separation of church and State is mentioned in the Constitution.

If you have a church running a preschool and observing all the laws and regulations of a preschool, shouldn't they be paid for their work? If a church is providing homeless services and running a food bank, shouldn't they be entitled to the same payments other non-profits receive?
Only if they're Christian, this is a Christian nation.
 
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Commodus

Diamond Member
Oct 9, 2004
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I'm still waiting to see where the separation of church and State is mentioned in the Constitution.

If you have a church running a preschool and observing all the laws and regulations of a preschool, shouldn't they be paid for their work? If a church is providing homeless services and running a food bank, shouldn't they be entitled to the same payments other non-profits receive?
Freedom of religion, by its very definition, means that the government doesn't favor particular religions.

Also, if you hadn't noticed, religious organizations are frequently tax-exempt in the US. Why should they get that break and government subsidies? It'd give religious non-profits an unfair advantage (again, violating the spirit of freedom of religion) and encourage misuse.
 

tweaker2

Lifer
Aug 5, 2000
11,068
2,326
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Taken to some level above and beyond the call of religiosity, methinks quite a few sermons in churches across the nation will transform into virtual political campaign rallies for Trump and his "conservative" lackeys in the Senate and House.
 
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ivwshane

Lifer
May 15, 2000
26,993
6,494
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I'm still waiting to see where the separation of church and State is mentioned in the Constitution.

If you have a church running a preschool and observing all the laws and regulations of a preschool, shouldn't they be paid for their work? If a church is providing homeless services and running a food bank, shouldn't they be entitled to the same payments other non-profits receive?
You are right. Churches are not taxed and that is a violation of the constitution as the tax law has been written to exempt churches and as you noted congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion.
 
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Starbuck1975

Lifer
Jan 6, 2005
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Freedom of religion, by its very definition, means that the government doesn't favor particular religions.

Also, if you hadn't noticed, religious organizations are frequently tax-exempt in the US. Why should they get that break and government subsidies? It'd give religious non-profits an unfair advantage (again, violating the spirit of freedom of religion) and encourage misuse.
But in the scenario he mentioned, government isn’t funding religion but the services they provide, which many people prefer when local governments are incapable of providing such services themselves.
 

Jhhnn

No Lifer
Nov 11, 1999
59,170
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I'm still waiting to see where the separation of church and State is mentioned in the Constitution.

If you have a church running a preschool and observing all the laws and regulations of a preschool, shouldn't they be paid for their work? If a church is providing homeless services and running a food bank, shouldn't they be entitled to the same payments other non-profits receive?
If none of those things hold true, what then? Are they being funded as entertainment venues, or what?
 

Grey_Beard

Member
Sep 23, 2014
154
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I'm still waiting to see where the separation of church and State is mentioned in the Constitution.
I love this argument as religion benefits from all the exemptions that other businesses that worship money do not have. They do have an imaginary friend, though, maybe that’s the difference. I thought churches were not to be political, but many on Sunday hear a rant that boarders on a political rally and not the lessons on living a good life within a book written by men about a person (??) who may have lived over 2,000 years ago. Interesting that they think a guy who lived 2,000 years ago in the Middle East is white.

If you have a church running a preschool and observing all the laws and regulations of a preschool, shouldn't they be paid for their work? If a church is providing homeless services and running a food bank, shouldn't they be entitled to the same payments other non-profits receive?
They are. Like all non-profits, they get money from donors called donations. The church tells parishioners to give 10% of their income to the church, as well as the services the give to them. Corporations send them donations of goods, services and money. The donations are tax-exempt. The income they make on investments are tax-exempt. They do not pay property taxes. They do not pay sales taxes. They support the community by doing these things after the community supports them through the reduction of their tax burden.

Will they except all children, even those of other faiths? Will they teach the State approved curriculum and not a faith-based one? Will they feed the homeless and do the food bank without any religious propaganda in the services they provide?

Cannot have it both ways and then ask the community to support it twice.

If they did pay taxes and did not take donations that are tax-exempt, you have an argument. Without that your point is misinformed.
 
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ivwshane

Lifer
May 15, 2000
26,993
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They used the exact reasoning I just posted too. Creating a law specifically in regards to religion is illegal. Therefore tax laws that exempt churches are also illegal.

Sounds like this will open up the flood gates for lawsuits against laws that exempt religious entities.
 
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hal2kilo

Lifer
Feb 24, 2009
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They used the exact reasoning I just posted too. Creating a law specifically in regards to religion is illegal. Therefore tax laws that exempt churches are also illegal.

Sounds like this will open up the flood gates for lawsuits against laws that exempt religious entities.
Yes. Definitely.
 

imported_tajmahal

Diamond Member
Jul 9, 2009
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If none of those things hold true, what then? Are they being funded as entertainment venues, or what?
These things happen every day in some churches. Unless you are making a claim that they don't provide food, shelter (in some cases emergency red cross shelters), education or child care?
 

imported_tajmahal

Diamond Member
Jul 9, 2009
8,954
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In holding with their standard jurisprudence SCOTUS has once again ruled that religious groups must be given all the benefits of society but bear none of the costs.
Do churches have to cough up payroll taxes for their employees ? Of course they do. You are being blatantly dishonest making the claim that they "bear none of the costs". But you know that.......
 

Grey_Beard

Member
Sep 23, 2014
154
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Do churches have to cough up payroll taxes for their employees ? Of course they do. You are being blatantly dishonest making the claim that they "bear none of the costs". But you know that.......
What are you talking about. The taxes are related to the employees not the organization. You show again a woefully bad understanding of these items. Do they employees get a tax deduction for donating to the church? Of course they do. Try staying with the concept that churches cannot take from the community and then expect the community to pay them again for the things they do for the community to qualify as a non-profit.
 
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