Further reminding me why on a Sunday morning I’m in a house of learning over a house of worship, Church in the Valley, a small church in Leakey, Texas, has decided to flout federal law and endorse a candidate in the least intelligible way possible.
Several points spring to mind as I read this.
- Well, at least everything is spelled correctly.
- Why exactly do churches have tax-exempt status if they are going to break the law?
- Texas. Of course it’s Texas.
Putting aside that it’s in the south (because of course it is) – why the hell are my tax dollars propping up this idiocy? Because ladies and gentlemen, your federal tax dollars do currently prop this up. From houses of worship being exempt from income (tithing) tax, to not having to pay property tax, to discounts on purchases for their ministry, religion in America is big, big, business. L. Ron Hubbard was a crappy sci-fi writer, but a shrewd businessman when he set up his ‘religion’ of Scientology. And you, and I, and every other tax payer out there supports them. The real kicker? All they have to do to stay out of trouble is follow several small rules. During election season, these rules include not supporting or opposing a candidate, either from the pulpit or on their grounds. This isn’t difficult. And while some would like to scream “free speech!”, I’d counter that when they’d like to pay their fair way, they get to say whatever they like. But since the federal government loses an estimated $71,000,000,000 (that 71 billion) a year in lost revenue from not taxing religious institutions, they can STFU.
Of course, this is all moot unless the IRS comes after them, which occasionally happens, and then the churches cry about religious persecution, and everyone freaks out, and they are allowed to continue breaking the rules, all while thumbing their nose at those of us who don’t feel like paying for their idiocy.
So, I’ve had a brilliant idea – I am going to start my own church. It will be great! I’ll get a ton of tax credits, and I’ll get to say and do whatever I want and cry if people say I should follow the law, and best of all, it will be on the good Reverend Ray Miller’s dime!
AMMMMMMURICA! FUCK YEAH!