People Explain Whether They Support Taxing Churches Or Not
The United States Supreme Court has held that tax exemption for churches is constitutional under the Establishment Clause. Moreover, the Court has found that churches and religious organizations may be subject to a general sales and use tax; however, the Court has not addressed whether government may enact a specific "church tax."
The constitution of a number of countries such as the United States could be and have been interpreted as both supporting and prohibiting the levying of taxes unto churches; prohibiting church tax could separate church and state fiscally, but it could also be favorable treatment by the government.
When you consider that many churches have made unsavory headlines for engaging in political activity anyway, it's no wonder why the separation of church and state—and whether or not churches should be stripped of their tax-exempt status—remains such a hot topic.
To that end, the idea that churches are threatened by government overreach is also a hot topic, particularly on the more conservative side of the aisle. For example, in October 2021, Tennessee Republican Senator Marsha Blackburn made the odd claim that President Joe Biden aimed to "close the churches" as soon as Democrats could pass a much-scrutinized infrastructure bill.
Blackburn's assertion that churches would be closed down as soon as the bill is approved appears to have materialized out of thin air. In fact, where the infrastructure bill does mention churches is quite positive. The bill, which the Senate ultimately passed, provides $50 million in grants to nonprofits, including religious congregations, so they can upgrade their buildings with new energy-efficient heating and cooling systems.
We did tell you this is a hot-button issue. People were all too eager to share their thoughts with us after one Redditor asked the online community,
"Would you support taxing churches? Why or why not?"
"The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints..."
"The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (Mormons) had over $130 billion in the stock market many years back. Yet they are tax exempt."
And did you know that news outlets reported in 2019 that the Mormon Church amassed a fund worth more than $100 billion so its members could prepare for the "Second Coming of Christ"?
Yeah, that was a thing.
"If churches were nothing more..."
"If churches were nothing more than local parishes who served the community, collected donations to keep the lights on, and the priests were working class folks who took the job as a "calling" rather than a business opportunity?"
"I'd be more than happy to let them slide. It would be like taxing a soup kitchen, and who wants to do that?"
"But if the local 'pastor' has a Gulfstream? Tax the sh** out of him. And if they even bring up politics from the pulpit? Tax the ever-loving sh** out of them."
Religious doctrine will always have political implications. Makes sense, right?
"I'm a Christian..."
"I'm a Christian and have served in church leadership, I'm in favor of taxing churches. Churches exist in society and should contribute to it. I do have some caveats."
"One: I think governments should use taxes for the betterment of communities. That includes physical infrastructure, but also caring for the poor, sick, elderly, etc. All of that is a part of the church's overall mission. I see no reason why the church shouldn't be in favor of the government doing those things, and paying taxes in support of that."
"Two: I think churches should be able to write off any charitable giving. That would obviously have to be well defined; however, I think it would incentivize churches actually helping people, rather than misusing funds (which tons of churches do. There are good churches out there that care a lot for their communities, but there are many that don't)."
The ability to write off charitable giving is the devil in the details. No matter how you word it. It will be worked around. There are tons of lawyers whose only job is to know the tax code and give rich people/corporations tax breaks.
Still, this is surely an improvement over a default charitable status that is only reviewed under an occasional audit.
"Churches that provide..."
"Churches that provide community social services should be tax exempt. Churches that have large holdings, or church leaders with lavish homes or engage in political activities should not."
It would be soooo easy for a rich pastor to claim he's compliant with the tax free requirements.
If a church is doing enough social service to actually qualify as a non-profit, then they can file as one. There is no reason to give them any special rules or exceptions.
"I do believe..."
"I do believe in separation of church and state. I feel if a church is donating more to the people than the church then no taxes. I'd rather have the money go to the people than the government."
As I recall, this is the original idea. Churches are not supposed to have influence on the political process and thus would be exempt from taxes because of that. But the church has not been keeping their end of the bargain.
"My aunt runs a church."
"My aunt runs a church. Over 90% of donations actually go towards charity work, such as healthcare and food for the homeless, clothes and school supplies for children. In many impoverished communities, churches are the only institutions truly keeping people housed and fed."
"Churches should be audited, as should any nonprofit. Saying they’re all bad is ignorant. Taxing them all would be robbing the poor."
If only things were this simple. Alas.
"Send your videos..."
"Well you can certainly get them in trouble by recording their sermon telling you who to vote for. It’s against the law for these religious institutions to influence anyone to vote for or against any political candidate."
"Send your videos and complaints to the IRS."
This was a big deal in Kansas over the last few weeks, particularly ahead of a crucial campaign that secured a win for reproductive rights activists after citizens voted to enshrine reproductive rights in the state constitution, the result of an effort to ensure the state—typically Republican and conservative—remains a safe haven for abortion in the Midwest.
"Yes, primarily because I think if churches or religions in general want to be playing a larger role in the politics of the world, as the various Christian denominations seem to desire in the U.S., then they should have to provide revenue and contribute to the nation or they should shut up."
Straight and to the point, I see!
"Churches should have to go by..."
"Churches should have to go by the same rules as any other non-religious tax-exempt charity. File taxes proving where your money came from and where it went to prove you're using it for charitable purposes."
"Preaching is not, in and of itself, a charitable activity IMHO, so church buildings/expenditures used solely for church services don't deserve tax exempt status. Want to have something not taxed? It had better be actually helping someone."
Now if only we could fund the IRS appropriately...
"I think any business..."
"I think any business that makes a profit should be taxed. If you truly are being charitable then you shouldn't be making profit, all that excess income should be going back into growing the business and helping more people with whatever service you provide. Religious affiliation should be irrelevant."
Reforms would be pretty simple, provided there is bipartisan support in Congress. Enforcing them, however? Another matter entirely, and that's why it's important to stay on top of this issue.
This is a complex issue that is not likely to be resolved soon, and the impact of religious lobbying in Congress is certainly felt more than ever.
Would stripping churches of their tax-exempt status solve quite a few problems—namely the polarization and shoddy campaign finance laws—that have metastisized in American politics?
Answering that is not so easy.
Have some opinions of your own? Tell us more in the comments below!
It's interesting what people are initially attracted to about a person.
Some are drawn instantly by one's appearance based on a person's general attractiveness or how they dress and groom themselves.
Others seem to be turned on by one's attitude–like how a person presents themselves in public and how much confidence they exude without an air of pretentiousness.
If and when the object of one's affection is romantically obtained, the way in which the next step in the relationship progresses could be a sexy success or a total deal-breaker.
Curious to hear strangers recalling a deciding moment, Redditor JokeRadiant3881 asked:
"How did you feel the first time you saw your partner naked?"
These were triumphant reactions.
For Lack Of A Better Word"I literally said 'woah' out loud."– ALIEN_Human_HYBRID
Romantic Thrill Ride
"Like a kid at Disney world. Hadn’t been on any rides yet but was excited to be there nonetheless."
"don't remember, no blood flow to my brain at that point."
Complete Looney Tunes
"Remember that cartoon dog where his jaw hits the floor, tongue rolls out, and his eyes bulge out to the sound of an old timey car horn? Basically that."
Confidence levels were challenged but these Redditors were pleased with the results.
We Are Not Equals
"Felt sorry for what I had to offer in return."
"Same! I’ve had four kids and had a lot of extra skin and sag. Man did NOT care. He seemed just as stunned as I was."
Embracing It All
"I felt the same way for a bit, with my hubby after baby. But every time I'm naked, even though I don't like where my body is at, he looks like he hit JACKPOT. So I feel better, knowing he thinks I'm hot, sexy, beautiful, even more so then before because I'm the mother of our child."
Physical endowments were admired.
Life In Real-D
"She had deceptively big boobs."
Object Appeared Larger Than Expected
"I felt like WOWZA im one lucky girl."
"Well, I’m 54 and got out of a marriage where my ex never felt comfortable being naked around me. My new fiancé has no problem getting naked and gives me a little show each morning she gets dressed. And she’s got an amazing body at 55!"
I'm very self-conscious when it comes to my body, but nothing says sexy like seeing the physical response from another man giving me a huge thumbs up, so to speak, after seeing me in my birthday suit.
Verbal affirmation isn't all that it's hyped up to be.
But body language? Now that is everything.
In every relationship, there are bound to be some tough conversations, like how to budget and deciding whether to move somewhere new.
But there are other conversations, like getting a paternity test or going through someone's phone, that potentially imply a lack of trust.
Redditor BlueSharker asked:
"Women, would you care if your husband wanted to do a quick, basic, cheap DNA test to make sure the kids are 100% his? And why?"
"I love the wording of a 'quick basic cheap' test, like hey, it's no big deal, this is a totally normal quick little thing healthy strong couples do!"
"Like, Baby, it's no big deal. I just want to test the kids' DNA to make sure I can trust you."
"I just asked my wife this, and she said, 'I will rip your nads off and feed them to you if you want that d**n test.'"
"So yeah, they care."
Holy Insinuation, Batman
"Asking for this test either means:"
"1. You think I cheated on you but don't want to actually accuse me directly of it and deal with the fallout of being wrong which is both cowardly and insulting and also didn't work."
"2. You have been spending time on unsavory red pill internet sites and are dumber and more gullible than I thought when I married you and I've now lost all respect for your critical thinking skills."
"3. You don't want to be married or be a father to our kids anymore and are looking or an excuse to leave. Perhaps you are yourself cheating, or you are hiding some other secret or opinion from me and have been for a while."
"None of these scenarios are good. I would 100% be rethinking the whole marriage at this point. What else are you going to blindside me with and when? Probably better to just leave on my own terms than wake up one day and find you gone and all the accounts drained."
Lack of Trust
"I wouldn't be opposed to the actual request because I have nothing to hide."
"But the fact that he felt the need to ask 100% indicates his lack of trust in the marriage and that is the bigger issue that I would be seriously concerned about."
"That would generally be my same response to any hypothetical requests for my husband to look through my phone. Like superficially, I don't care. It's just memes and pics of our kids. But the inevitable longer form conversation that gets triggered by that is why is the trust gone."
Quiet the Haters
"I’ve offered it to my boyfriend for our one and only child to shut up all the naysayers in his family who were telling him it wasn’t his."
"And he said my offering is even more suspicious than not offering."
"Which, I don't know how the f**k that makes any sense, but whatever dude. The kid is yours. Do it or don’t. I don't care."
The Terrible Mother-in-Law
"My ex-husband’s mom was really weird about our firstborn not looking like him."
"He and I are very different in looks, where he’s black hair, and tan skin, and I’m strawberry blonde, and very fair."
"The son was born with brown hair and blue eyes."
"He tans a bit but definitely doesn’t look like his dad... because he looks like a darker-haired version of MY dad."
"The crazy s**t was, my ex was cheating on ME for most of the marriage and both kids are absolutely his because I don’t play stupid games."
Child Support Conspiracy
"My father tried telling everyone I wasn't his kid (I was conceived maybe a week or two before he got caught cheating on my mum)."
"My nan took one look at me and laughed in his face. She eventually convinced him to acknowledge me and pay his child support. I love my nan."
Going No Contact
"When my parents’ divorce started getting nasty, my father accused my mother of cheating, and that I was the result of it."
"He asked me over and over again to get a test and sure enough, I’m his biological son. He didn’t believe the result and kept asking me to do more tests."
"Among other reasons, I don’t speak to him anymore."
Taking the Estate
"I got my revenge on my dad's family who never believed I was his (my parents were together for 30 years but never married)."
"He passed away without signing his will. At his funeral, his sisters poked at my nose and pulled on my ears, questioning whether I was really their niece."
"So I got a posthumous paternity test done. The entire estate went to me and I didn’t give them a dime."
"I would not care. My husband found out late in life that he has a different biological father due to DNA testing and it crushed him. I would understand that the test has more to do with that circumstance than his trust in me."
"That being said, even after going through everything with his dad, he never tested our kids, but I told him multiple times to go for it and I’d be totally fine!"
"One of my best friend's dads bought her and her two sisters Ancestry.com tests only for her older sister to get a 'Congrats! You have a half-sister!' email after my friend’s results were submitted."
"Obviously, she called her dad like 'What the f**k is this,' and he had them retest the results twice."
"He had to be the one to break the news to my friend. He absolutely had no clue before this happened, and he broke down crying and told her that she was still his daughter regardless."
"We were 24 at the time, and I genuinely can’t imagine how it must’ve felt to be either of them receiving that news."
"Her mom even tried to deny it at first before finally coming clean."
Grocery Store Antics
"'Here's a picture of my kid' … 'and here is the DNA test proving it!'
"'Can I leave now, officer? He just likes to scream kidnap for fun…'"
"Sigh. I love taking them to the grocery store with me."
Dad Jokes Galore
"I recently discovered that none of our three children are mine biologically."
"I feel so stupid, I should have known something was up when they all existed before I met my wife."
"All kidding aside, as a stepdad, I do find it genuinely tragic when dudes completely abandon kids and withdraw all love because it's not theirs, not their problem. I understand complex emotions surrounding the marital betrayal, but I can't imagine just peacing out on a kid whose fault it categorically isn't."
What's the Point?
"Our kid looks so similar to my husband that her face unlocks his phone."
"Sure, do the test."
Not the Mother
"As a child, I overheard my Mom say to my Dad, referring to me: 'She is nothing like me. Are you sure you didn't cheat on me?'"
"I really never had much in common with my Mom, and at that age, I didn't know anything about how babies are made, so I thought she was serious and lived with that doubt for a few years."
While some people were able to make jokes or could otherwise point out why paternity testing had been helpful in their own lives, most were concerned about the lack of trust asking for a test implied.
Even in our progressive society, there are still far too many people with antiquated, mostly ludicrous, opinions of what it is to be a woman.
These are primarily from men in powerful positions.
However, some women also tend to look down on those who believe they are giving their gender a bad name.
This ignorant behavior is most commonly known as "toxic femininity".
"What are examples of toxic femininity?"
Caring About Your Image More Than Other People
"Girls who only support other girls when it’s convenient for their image."- flowerchild_3
Worry About Your Own Children, Not Other Moms
"Moms bullying other moms."- LollipopDreamscape
Men Are Parents Too...
"Dad of a 5 year old girl here."
"When my daughter was a couple of months old my wife discovered a nearby play group and was planning on taking her there for a session."
"I decided to take her myself as it landed on one of my days off and I wanted to spend some real time with my little girl and my wife deserved a break."
"The play group is taking place in a large community hall and there's quite a few people there with kids ranging from newborns to around 4 or 5."
"However I quickly noticed that out of about 30ish parents I'm the only man there and everyone stares at me."
"I think nothing of it and proceed to the soft play section for the babies to play with my daughter."
"Not 10 minutes pass however and I notice mums and even nans pretending not to stare at me and talk under their breath."
"At first I thought I was being paranoid because I was nervous being the only dude there but then I noticed it was several groups doing it.'
'I then overheard one of the mums in the baby section with us say to her friend/sister/who cares that I must be dodgy or on the offenders register."
"All because I happened to be the only dad there.'
"I picked my daughter up, told the women where she could stuff her opinions and promptly left."
'I told my wife what had happened and then she went back by herself and had a somewhat heated exchange with the organisers."
"Sometimes I think I married a dragon because she returned with a face so red with rage you'd think she just breathed fire."
"Play group mums can be sexist as hell."- LostMercenary99
Never Pass Judgement Without Knowing The Details
"Mothers shaming C-Section moms saying they didn’t give birth because the child was surgically removed."- Sufficient-Voice-210
"My wife could not produce enough milk for our children."
"When our first was born she tried and tried."
"I woke up in the middle of the night to her crying."
"She felt like she was a horrible mom to even bring up formula."
"There is so much pressure on moms, and it is incredibly stupid."
"Our kids are very well adjusted and were on formula the entire time.'
"I tell anyone who is expecting their first that the only 'right' way is the 'right way for that child'.”
"Damn everyone else’s opinions; do what is best for your family; not the mommy bloggers."
"My oldest is 10 years old and my wife is at peace with it; she worked through her guilt, which I totally agree she should not have any guilt: she is an excellent mother."
"The statistics on breastfed vs. bottle fed have other correlations which I don’t want to take the time to defend, anyone can read the studies, but adding other factors like home life and atomic households, the delta between the two are not as big as the breastfeeding fanatics point out."
"Lastly, anecdotally and take this as a a claim from a dad.'
"My kids are healthy and hyper-intelligent."
"My oldest has been consistently tested through school as top 2% composite intelligence, and she is thriving in advanced classes."
"I say this because there are people who say that IQ is impacted by breastfeeding."
"It just isn’t true, my children thrive, they are healthy and they know they are loved."- Lokitusaborg
If You Can't Take The Heat...
"Being verbally abusive and then playing victim the second the other person argues back or raises their voice."- No-Bumblebee4615
A "Real Woman" Would Probably Never Say This...
"Pulling the 'if you're a real man' card whenever they need something."- Reddit
Not Everyone Is Meant To Be A Parent
"Mothers telling women without kids that their life is meaningless and they can’t understand true love."- DontShowMomMemes
No Man Is Worth The Trouble
"Women who throw other women under the bus for a man, or the attention of a man etc."- KekeSmall
Happily Ever After Has Many Different Meanings
"That single women should be sad."- hallelujasuzanne
Being Self-Serving Ultimately Serves No One
"Women that only want traditional values when it benefits them."- SnooCakes653
Just because someone, no matter their gender, lives their life differently than you do doesn't mean they are deserving of your judgment.
Especially if they are happy with the life they are living, and aren't bringing harm to anyone else.
Anyone believing others aren't fitting their expectations of what it is to be a "real woman" or a "real man" might want to stop and re-examine their standards.
No matter how old we get, we still find ourselves keeping up with the latest trends.
Binging the show everyone's talking about, downloading the newest app, and partaking in the latest social media craze, all in an effort to appear cool to our friends and colleagues.
Of course, not all of these trends are "cool" to us.
In fact, sometimes we grudgingly partake in these trends, no matter how idiotic they seem to us.
While others have no concerns about being cool, and won't even think about joining in with everyone else, choosing instead to gleefully look down on them.
"What's something extremely popular but you just can't give a f*ck about it?"
What Exactly Are They Trying To Influence?
"They have a different vibe than I have/aspire to have, different ways of expressing themselves, different values, different beauty standards, etc."- smieklinsh
'My personal opinion."
"If you like them, cool."
'No harm done."- queen_tabby
"Isn't aren’t part of my life, so why should I take time from my life to think about the crap they’re doing?"- attention21Elon Musk Reaction GIF by Saturday Night LiveGiphy
Isn't It Good News Either Way?
"Gender reveal parties."- Back2Bach
Just Another Distraction
"TikTok never got into it."- thneakythnake660
How Many Strangers Are Looking At Your Pictures?
"Followers on social media."- Single_Goat3138Pop Tv GIF by Schitt's CreekGiphy
"Figure" Heads being the operative word
"The Royal Family."- Natasha_JB
Comfort Over Quality
"Like, I’ll indulge and buy a pair I think are really cool."
"But other than that, why tf would you spend $2000+ on a pair of shoes that actually cost less than $10."- eggtada
All Of Them!
"The Kardashians."- BeeImpressive7749Kim Kardashian GIF by E!Giphy
Fame Is Seldom The Same As Qualified
"I’d say entertainers who are so wealthy and think they are the voices of normal people."-mayoinstrumentalz
Or Anything Else About Him?
"Ye's Opinion."- SlimePrice
Just How Real Was It?
"Reality TV."- brycebrycehayeshayesPhaedra Parks Reality Tv GIF by Real housewives of AtlantaGiphy
Can It Even Be Considered A Chat?
"Since when was a fire emoji and a number a symbol of popularity and friendship?"
"I just don't have the time for this sh*t."- Yes-I-Have-Arrived
Quality Over Quantity
The best thing about opinions and personal taste is that they are unique to every individual.
No two people have to like the same thing, nor should we judge those who dislike something we like and vice-versa.
Even if it's hard to say it's unreasonable that not even two people should give Elon Musk or Ye any time of day.
Though again, that's just an opinion...