Churches, Taxation and the Truth

The following is a response to some rather outrageous and deliberately disingenuous statements issued in response to a critique. I’ll leave it to the reader to determine who I am responding to, and why.

Given his history of this, I intend this to be the last time I directly respond to this particular Evangelical. There is little point in continuing to do so, given his unwillingness to address facts and how he mutilates logic and reason.

I guess he means this as some kind of powerful threat but to us, it is good news. We do not have to put up with his distortions anymore. The last line is what is a concern simply because he accuses us of doing something he always does.

Why would my paragraph be intended as a threat? A strange interpretation of my statement and a typically misleading one.

We do address facts but we will also do so in a manner that is on obedience to scripture. That means not casting pearls before swine. We have had enough facts trampled dunder by both MM and BG.

When you bring the truth, you will not be following the secular world’s rules when it comes to anything including logic and reason. The truth does not go by secular rules but by God’s rules.

The believer is to present the truth at all times and if it defies logic and reason, so be it. At least we have the truth and the unbelieving world is without excuse.

Later portions of this post will demonstrate pretty conclusively that the author of the purple text does not actually address facts. He does not bring the truth, he brings his version of it, and usually in defiance of what the truth actually is. After all, he openly admits to defying logic and reason, which are the best ways to arrive at an objective truth.

Religious organisations benefit from infrastructure but do not contribute to it.

This is another fine example of how MM distorts the truth and relaity. He forgets that the governments have provided a legal method for the church and other charities to avoid paying taxes.

If their exemption is approved by the government, then the church and other charities have permission not to pay those taxes. it is not like these organizations are illegally withholding money and then demanding those services MM talks about.

Then MM forgets or ignores that this permission does not deprive the church of receiving those same services. They are still allowed to benefit from receiving them with the government’s blessing.

I never argued that the government did not exempt religious organisations from taxes (FYI, the Church is not a charity). I made the point that the Church does not contribute to the infrastructure of the USA, in response to the author stating:

Faith-based organizations have been deprived of taxpayer money even though they are also taxpayers and part of the public. That is just one example of how unbelievers have used this clause to harm the church.

Extra emphasis on ‘even though they are taxpayers’. Faith-based organisations are not taxpayers, as made clear by the links and quotes my post provided. Even individuals can be exempt from taxes. I made no statement regarding the legality of the arrangement, I merely pointed out that it exists, in defiance of the author’s original and erroneous claim that faith-based organisations are taxpayers. They are not taxpayers for the most part. The author is attacking a point I never raised, which is merely another example of his dishonesty. It’s that or he did not bother to read the argument I raised.

Moving on, it is worth noting that there are Christians in government. Why their beliefs should trump everyone else’s is a mystery. Likewise with schools – why should Christian activities be forced upon anyone in a secular environment?

This is arrogant as who said schools are a secular environment? Plus why should the secular view trump Christian views? Everyone knows the secular views have failed for 5000+ years.

So we ask again, what are the atheists so afraid of when Christians use their faith to make a nation better? You will notice that both BG and MM ignore this fact and point and never honestly address it.

It’s more arrogant to assume that Christianity should be forced upon non-Christians en masse, especially given the history of violence and persecution inflicted by Christianity upon others. There is no evidence for the failure of secular views (whatever they are), but plenty of evidence that forcing religion down other peoples’ throats doesn’t usually make society better. Plus, religious schools exist, but state schools that receive government funding should never enforce religion upon students.

With that in mind, what harm is done to the Church through being deprived of taxpayer money? After all, if they’re not contributing, why should they reap the benefits?

To us, this type of question only shows that the atheist is greedy and doe snot want to share with their fellow man. MM forgets that the church is made up of tax-paying individuals and if they want their tax dollars to go to a church-related project, etc funded by the government then they have the same right as the atheist in this situation.

Why should Christian tax money be spent on atheist projects? Then supplying a bunch of bad quotes that support a bad idea does not make the idea true or right. it just shows that MM found some people who agree with his faulty position.

The Holy Spirit leads people to the truth not a bunch of quotes from serious sources.

Evidence leads people to facts and it is apparent that the author has a fear of evidence, hence his cowardly attempt to dismiss it. The Church does not get taxed, and this applies in various circumstances to individuals as well the organisation, so I will ask, again, why should taxpayer money fund Church activities if the Church is not contributing to those funds?

I’m not at all sure about the remarks on Mr Jefferson’s wisdom, and I dare say TEWSNBN doesn’t understand how generalisations work. I doubt Jefferson was referring to every last single American when he spoke of the establishment clause,

We have already dealt with this point and the establishment clause is just a sledge hammer unbelievers use when they want others to follow their ways, not God’s. They also use it as an excuse to disobey and ignore God’s instructions and commands.

It is not part of the constitution and it should not be looked at as law or a governing principle.

It is actually very easy to see that separation of Church and State is part of the Constitution. The First Amendment does not have to make it explicitly clear for it to have the intended meaning. There is a reason it has become a key approach to US politics, even if the religious right have long-desired to blur the lines and impose a theocracy.

What assurances can they offer that a Christian government would be fair to A: Christians from other denominations, B: followers of other religions and C: non-believers? How can the Church elevate the performance of government if said government no longer represents everyone, but instead only represents the followers of one specific branch of one religion?

This is very short-sighted and ignores the fact that the secular views in government do not represent everyone. The many babies aborted every year do not get that representation and are at the mercy of evil people who like to kill.

Also, the secular government often does not represent Christianity in many of its laws as the current president and his administration are doing. How are those groups not represented and do not get benefit from a system of government that is fair, just, and honest?

The government is elevated because it correctly follows God’s instructions. A dishonest government does not represent everyone but only those they favor. How is that better than a Christian government?

A pointless non-answer. A Christian government would not represent non-Christians or non-believers. In forcing Christianity upon them, it would have a serious and negative impact on the LGBT community, women’s rights, and followers of other faiths. As it exists currently, the US government is not preventing Christians from practicing their beliefs, they merely deny Christians the ‘right’ to force their beliefs upon others. This is the crux of the author’s objections to the Establishment Clause, the LGBT community, women’s rights and many other things. He terms many others ‘selfish’ because they don’t want to permit his beliefs to be forced upon them. He does not see the irony in his attitude, and I fear he never will.

Whether he likes it or not, interpretation of documents is a fact of life. The Bible itself is open to interpretation, as demonstrated by numerous different versions of Christianity all interpreting it slightly differently.

No, interpretation of documents is not a fact of life. it is just the way it is done because no one is brave enough to go for the truth. Then, the bible is NOT open to interpretation.

Just because some groups use interpretation does it mean that the Bible is open to that application. Neither Jesus nor God opened the Bible to interpretation. Jesus spoke of knowing the truth and being led to it by the Spirit of Truth.

It is not the Spirit of Interpretation that guides believers. The presence of different ideas about the Bible only proves that some groups do not want to follow and obey Jesus. he did say, why do you call me lord yet do not do the things I say.

Whether the author likes it or not, religious documents, including the Bible, have been open to interpretation or centuries. That is a fact of life, and it always will be.

What version of the truth does the author suggest we follow and use to form the basis of government? The Roman Catholic version? The Orthodox version? Baptists, Pentecostals? There are also different versions of the Bible itself! All these interpretations of Christianity will claim to be the objective truth

This is why MM is the great distorter. He creates problems even though the answers have been told to him over and over. We just gave the answer in the previous paragraph.

Wait, I’m somehow a distorter for not acknowledging this part of his response before he’d responded?! This is a seriously mangled piece of logic (how am I supposed to have been aware of it?!), and his previous paragraphs do not address my question anyway.

This looks pretty clear to me. If Congress (part of the US government) is not to make laws regarding religion, it seems clear there is the creation of a separation between Church and State (ie government).

Another distortion as that is not what the amendment says. But MM and other atheists will say it because it helps them fight religion and keep it out of where it can do the most good.

It is more of an excuse to grab power than an objective conclusion. We dealt with this amendment already as well.

Well actually, the 1st Amendment does say it will not make laws regarding religion. That makes things pretty obvious to any prudent person right? Congress is part of government, and therefore government will not interfere with religion. The two will be… what’s the word? Separated.

It’s also worth noting that the amendment draws no distinction between different religions. Would the author feel differently about the Establishment Clause if a different interpretation of Christianity was influencing government? How about Judaism or Islam? What of Buddhism or Hinduism? Would he be willing to accept the influence of those religions upon government?

If his meaning is in fact that it should be solely his version of Christianity that gets to determine the lives and fates of everyone, he would be a hypocrite, for as mentioned, the 1st Amendment makes no distinction between different religions. It does not say ‘pass no laws regarding Christianity’.

That is as far as we will go. When you take a close look at the atheist’s arguments you will see underlying ulterior motives that undermine their point of view.

They do not have the truth and they cannot be counted on to provide it. They want society to be their way and their way only and that is not fair to the millions of others who want a better society to live in.

I would urge the author to look the mirror here. He wants a theocracy, and wants to force his particular version of Christianity down the throats of everyone else. How is that fair? On the other hand, I have never once said society should be made in my image – I do not care if someone practices a religious belief. I care when someone uses that belief to deny others their rights and force a way of life upon others. Someone like the author. He has frequently, deliberately and dishonestly mis-framed my arguments and those of others (such as Bruce) to mean that we want to force people to accept our ideals. At no point has this been the case. It is the author and others like him who would gladly force their faith upon everyone else.

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