If environmentalists are evil, then tax the churches!

  • #1
Ivan Seeking
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Has anyone else noticed how the Christian right now associates environmentalism with evil? This has come to my attention a couple of times recently while dealing with a couple of customers. In fact I have noticed it for a long time but never thought about it explicitly. I guess the logic is that environmentalism is defined as a liberal agenda, and everyone knows that liberals are all evil. It also results from the belief that God will take care of everything and there is nothing that man can do - that we are powerless when pitted against bibilical prophecy.

What I finally realized is that many fundamentalist churches operate with clear and unjustified political agendas. I can see where political bias is justified [in their view] when it comes to social issues like abortion, or gay marriage, as these do go directly to the core of their beliefs, but anti-environmentalism is not justified. There is NOTHING that any church should have to say about environmentalism in the negative - though there is a religious justification for a church arguing about our responsibility as caretakers of the planet.

I am starting to think that there are a good number of churches that need to have their tax privileges revoked because many are clearly operating with pure anti-anything-liberal political agendas that go beyond the bounds of their beliefs; in fact it is painfully evident at this point. So why are these politically weighted churches still classified as tax exempt?

I think it's time to end this scam.
 
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Answers and Replies

  • #2
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I don't think religions should have any tax privileges anyways.
 
  • #3
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The bible never once mentions abortion or gay marriage.

Abusing our planet is actually a core belief for fundamentalists Christians. According to them, before the Judgment Day, our world will plunge into darkness and the Rapture will begin and all the correct Christians will go to heaven. Helping it along a bit is nothing to fear.

Why should they care about the planet when they know that they will spend eternity in Paradise? It is at the very center of their dogmatic ideology.

I do think that tax privileges should be revoked, but because it violates separation of church and state.
 
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  • #4
turbo
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I do think that tax privileges should be revoked, but because it violates separation of church and state.
Exactly. Churches are businesses and they are run as such. When I was a kid, our parish priest (in a tiny, poor mill-town) drove a loaded Buick Electra 225 and traded every few years. Few or none of the parishioners could have afforded that extravagance. Every few months, "missionaries" would visit us, begging for money for poor South American and African churches. During that same time, Catholic "missionaries" (con men) were visiting our relatives in Hartford, New Haven, etc begging for money for the poor Maine parishes. Crap! Tax churches. They have plenty of money, since the product they're selling basically comes at no cost to them.
 
  • #5
drankin
The bible never once mentions abortion or gay marriage. QUOTE]


Well, when the bible was written abortions weren't a known medical procedure. Let alone a thousands of other things modern technology has come up with since then. The bible has many passages speaking of the immorality of homosexuality, it's a no brainer that that would include marriage of homosexuals. Both points are moot.

Abusing the planet is NOT a core belief of Christianity. If you have scripture that suggests this, I'd love to see your reference. No offense, but you don't seem to have a grasp of what is actually in the bible. Just like everything else one is to base an argument on, please include a reference to back it up.

As far as taxing churches, I'm not for or against it. "Render to Ceasar what is Ceasars", something Jesus said. But you would have to include all other non-profit organizations in my opinion.
 
  • #6
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Charge them carbon taxes. Hell, tax all religious places, HEAVILY.
 
  • #7
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There is no tomorrow, an essay by Bill Moyers

This presents Moyers view on the topic discussed here. It sounds a bit anti religious as he points out the origins of the rapture, which didn't come about until the 19th century. Bear in mind Moyers is a religious person.

http://www.truthout.org/cgi-bin/artman/exec/view.cgi/38/8664 [Broken]
 
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  • #8
Ivan Seeking
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The point here is that churches only receive tax exempt status as long as they are not promoting a particular political party, or person.

The ban on political campaign activity by charities and churches was created by Congress more than a half century ago. The Internal Revenue Service administers the tax laws written by Congress and has enforcement authority over tax-exempt organizations. Here is some background information on the political campaign activity ban and the latest IRS enforcement statistics regarding its adminstration of this congressional ban.

In 1954, Congress approved an amendment by Sen. Lyndon Johnson to prohibit 501(c)(3) organizations, which includes charities and churches, from engaging in any political campaign activity. [continued]
http://www.irs.gov/newsroom/article/0,,id=161131,00.html

It seems clear to me that many fundamentalist churches are doing just that. I'm not saying that we should tax all churches.

Actually I know this all very well since we used to have a fundamentalist neighbor who would tell me all about their Sunday sermons. I know another fundamentalist from work who has told me about this nonsense for years - this all comes from his pastor who is also a prophet. :rolleyes: So this is clearly happening at the local level, and I would bet that a close review of Sunday TV preachers would reveal the same thing.
 
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  • #9
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Maybe a firebombing tax? Throwing to the wolves tax?
 
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  • #10
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Well, when the bible was written abortions weren't a known medical procedure.
Using a stick worked even back then. Abortion in any way is never ever mentioned in the bible, stick or otherwise.

Let alone a thousands of other things modern technology has come up with since then. The bible has many passages speaking of the immorality of homosexuality, it's a no brainer that that would include marriage of homosexuals. Both points are moot.
It only mentions male-male intercourse, never marriage. If you want to move away from the exact scripture, that move is unfounded.

Abusing the planet is NOT a core belief of Christianity. If you have scripture that suggests this, I'd love to see your reference. No offense, but you don't seem to have a grasp of what is actually in the bible. Just like everything else one is to base an argument on, please include a reference to back it up.
I never said it was a core mainstream Christian belief, but a core fundamentalist Christian belief. I've already explained why. The correct Christians will go to heaven before the Rapture so abusing our planet means nothing bad. It is even good, because it accelerates things.

For more on it, please view the documentary 'Jesus Camp'. Check Youtube.

The point here is that churches only receive tax exempt status as long as they are not promoting a particular political party, or person.
That could be tricky, as they can motivate much of their programs with their religion and as the government are a bunch of religious appeasers, there isn't much the will notice. Demonstrating against abortion in front of the white house or in relation to a talk given by a candidate etc. With fundamentalists and scripture, you can pretty much motivate anything. Where should the line be drawn?
 
  • #11
drankin
Ok, you are right, Moridin. I doesn't say you can't jab sticks at a fetus. Though it does say homosexuality is unnatural and immoral (this is why God destroyed Sodom), it certainly doesn't say homosexuals can't get married. Good points! :rofl:
 
  • #12
BobG
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Ok, you are right, Moridin. I doesn't say you can't jab sticks at a fetus. Though it does say homosexuality is unnatural and immoral (this is why God destroyed Sodom), it certainly doesn't say homosexuals can't get married. Good points! :rofl:
I hope you're referring to the Islamic version of that story. The Jewish/Christian version is rather bizarre and sends some mixed messages, to say the least.
 
  • #13
BobG
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Has anyone else noticed how the Christian right now associates environmentalism with evil? This has come to my attention a couple of times recently while dealing with a couple of customers. In fact I have noticed it for a long time but never thought about it explicitly. I guess the logic is that environmentalism is defined as a liberal agenda, and everyone knows that liberals are all evil. It also results from the belief that God will take care of everything and there is nothing that man can do - that we are powerless when pitted against bibilical prophecy.
I think your main point dealt with religions becoming tax exempt political action committees, but you're only half-way right about the Christian right and the environment. Caring for the environment has become a concern of evangelical Christians (Christian Right Turns, Sometimes Warily, to Environmentalism). And, yes, the traditional association between liberals and environmental causes is a key reason the Christian right took so long to associate themselves with the same causes.
 
  • #14
BobG
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Ok, you are right, Moridin. I doesn't say you can't jab sticks at a fetus.
Abortion was a common procedure, even in Biblical times. The stakes were just higher in that the most effective methods also jeopardized the life of the mother. The Chinese used mercury to induce abortions 5,000 years ago - the rationale being to adjust the dose high enough to induce abortion, yet low enough not to kill the mother. The safest, most effective method for most cultures of that era was to kill the baby as soon as it was born. In fact, in some cultures abortion or infanticide was mandatory if the mother were still nursing a previous child.

I'm not sure about the practices of Jews in Biblical times, but laws on abortion tend to be stricter in societies that do a good job feeding themselves and non-existant in societies experiencing prolonged or frequent periods of famine. I'm almost shocked the issue never came up in at least one story in the Bible. The Bible's position on abortion has to be implied from the Ten Commandments.

By the way, I'm not arguing a pro-abortion stance. Regardless of how custom may vary depending on circumstance, we're not exactly living in a country where starvation is common. Plus, a religion could justify being against abortion purely on its value of human life and still be pro-death penalty. That just makes it a pragmatic implementation of a general value vs. an absolute value. An absolute value would be adhered to even when it conflicts with itself (no abortion even though the likely result is death of a mother and two nursing children, no stem cell research regardless of the lives that may be saved, no death penalty regardless of how heinous the crime, etc). Notice, even though more restrictive abortion laws tend to be passed, it's still difficult to pass a law that doesn't make exceptions for the life or health of the mother, and it's hard to have it stand up before the court even if passed.
 
  • #15
russ_watters
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We should tax both!
 
  • #17
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  • #18
As far as rapturites go they believe that several people, including christians, will ensure the coming apocalypse through complacency and inaction and that those people will not be among those that go to heaven. Remember, only so many people will be "saved". So it does not follow that christian doctrine promotes the immanentization of the eschaton.

So what is a church allowed to do if not discourse on social issues? Hasn't that been its basic purpose for... ever?
 
  • #19
russ_watters
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Haha. Russ, are you ADVOCATING more taxes?
Not very clever, Smurf.
 
  • #20
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Currently evangelical churches are using a loop hole to get past the political/tax issue by not endorsing a particular candidate in the church building. People are directed to go to a web site to get the church's recommendations.

There was a very interesting series on CNN last week called "Gods Warriors" it went into detail on this topic and a lot of others. It was a three part series covering: Christianity, Islam and The Jewish religions.

Some video excerpts may be found in this link:

http://www.cnn.com/SPECIALS/2007/gods.warriors/
 
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  • #21
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As far as the relationship between religion and the environment, many Christians are environmentalists.

The more conservative churches see becoming involved with environmental issues as being related to liberals and look the other way.

The fundamentalists believe that the end of the world is going to come in the near future and that it is not necessary to worry about the environment.

I have a fundamentalist sister-in-law who insists that our polluted air and water are a definite sign that the rapture is near.:rolleyes:

My wife makes me take a vow of silence before family get togethers.
 
  • #22
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To my knowledge, severaö parts of the documentary 'God's Warriors' is available at YouTube.
 

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