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View Full Version : Elections SC Church Begging for IRS Investigation


Cave Johnson
04-22-2008, 10:31 AM
JONESVILLE, S.C. -- The sign in front of a small church in a small town is causing a big controversy in Jonesville, S.C.

Pastor Roger Byrd said that he just wanted to get people thinking. So last Thursday, he put a new message on the sign at the Jonesville Church of God.

It reads: "Obama, Osama, hmm, are they brothers?"

Byrd said that the message wasn't meant to be racial or political.

"It's simply to cause people to realize and to see what possibly could happen if we were to get someone in there that does not believe in Jesus Christ," he said.

When asked if he believes that Barack Obama is Muslim, Byrd said, "I don't know. See it asks a question: Are they brothers? In other words, is he Muslim ? I don't know. He says he's not. I hope he's not. But I don't know. And it's just something to try to stir people's minds. It was never intended to hurt feelings or to offend anybody."

Obama has said repeatedly during his campaign that he is a Christian and attends Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago.

Despite some criticism, Byrd says that the message will stay on the sign. He took the issue before his congregation Sunday night, and they decided unanimously to keep it.

Byrd also said he doesn't want it to look like controversy forced him to take the sign down.

http://www.wyff4.com/news/15948849/detail.html

Cave Johnson
04-22-2008, 10:32 AM
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irishjayhawk
04-22-2008, 10:38 AM
And this is why I think they should be taxed in some way. Most likely property tax.

Where else is there a free pulpit to voters? Where else is disinformation running rampant? Okay, don't answer the second one. The mainstream media fits it.

banyon
04-22-2008, 10:40 AM
Wow I didn't realize Hog Farmer was also a pastor.

Does he let the pigs roam about the church pews?

jAZ
04-22-2008, 10:41 AM
Closing that tax loophole, please.

patteeu
04-22-2008, 11:44 AM
And this is why I think they should be taxed in some way. Most likely property tax.

Where else is there a free pulpit to voters? Where else is disinformation running rampant? Okay, don't answer the second one. The mainstream media fits it.

Closing that tax loophole, please.

What's the theory behind this plan to punish churches?

Edit: Maybe jAZ means just this one church, in which case I can easily understand the plan. But it looks like irish is saying we should be taxing all churches (unless he's commented on this particular church in the past). I don't see how that would have an impact on this kind of thing at all.

HolmeZz
04-22-2008, 11:51 AM
In fairness to them, pretty much everyone in South Carolina is related.

Mr. Laz
04-22-2008, 11:55 AM
where's that church bomber when you need him......

Mr. Kotter
04-22-2008, 01:10 PM
And this is why I think they should be taxed in some way. Most likely property tax.

Where else is there a free pulpit to voters? Where else is disinformation running rampant? Okay, don't answer the second one. The mainstream media fits it.

:rolleyes:

The Supreme Court respects the first amendment, even if you don't.

That said, this pastor and church are not too smart. They clearly enjoy the right to freedom of religious practices, but the court has also made it clear political activity by such churches.....can jeopardize their tax-exempt status. They are not being too smart about this....

Closing that tax loophole, please.

Same goes for churches openly pimping Obama from their pulpits too, then???? :shrug:

Otherwise, you'd be a hypocrite.....

irishjayhawk
04-22-2008, 01:30 PM
:rolleyes:

The Supreme Court respects the first amendment, even if you don't.

Actually, this has nothing to do with first amendment rights and everything to do with taxing. Everyone else gets taxed. Churches exploit the "not for profit" even when the people running it are profiting. And it's essentially a lobbyist group, and I believe lobbyist groups that have premises get taxed too.

But don't let that get in the way.

That said, this pastor and church are not too smart. They clearly enjoy the right to freedom of religious practices, but the court has also made it clear political activity by such churches.....can jeopardize their tax-exempt status. They are not being too smart about this....

My point.



Same goes for churches openly pimping Obama from their pulpits too, then???? :shrug:

Otherwise, you'd be a hypocrite.....

I've said nothing to the contrary yet you're heavily assuming I have or would.

irishjayhawk
04-22-2008, 01:32 PM
What's the theory behind this plan to punish churches?

Well, if you taxed a lot of churches for property tax or something similar, you'd make a shitload of cash. Think about how many there are. One on like every street corner. That's a lot of property tax. And the mega churches....

The plan would be to help alleviate national debt? Better education? Who knows what the money can be used for.....

[/quote]
Edit: Maybe jAZ means just this one church, in which case I can easily understand the plan. But it looks like irish is saying we should be taxing all churches (unless he's commented on this particular church in the past). I don't see how that would have an impact on this kind of thing at all.[/QUOTE]

I'm not saying tax churches solely because of it. I'm saying this is one reason. As highlighted in my other post.

banyon
04-22-2008, 01:35 PM
Actually, this has nothing to do with first amendment rights and everything to do with taxing. Everyone else gets taxed. Churches exploit the "not for profit" even when the people running it are profiting. And it's essentially a lobbyist group, and I believe lobbyist groups that have premises get taxed too.

The immunity of churches from taxation derives directly from the First Amendment. As Justice Marshall originally said "The power to tax is the power to destroy." This is a right we have respected for quite some time now. So long as they aren't overtly involved in political campaigning (as this church is), then there's no reason to tax all of them.

irishjayhawk
04-22-2008, 01:37 PM
The immunity of churches from taxation derives directly from the First Amendment. As Justice Marshall originally said "The power to tax is the power to destroy." This is a right we have respected for quite some time now. So long as they aren't overtly involved in political campaigning (as this church is), then there's no reason to tax all of them.

I don't believe taxing has anything to do with the first amendment. Just as long as you tax everything.

BucEyedPea
04-22-2008, 01:45 PM
Actually, this has nothing to do with first amendment rights and everything to do with taxing. Everyone else gets taxed.

Nope it has everything to do with First amendment rights...it's passing a law pertaining to an establishment of religion. They raise their funds for social betterment and to fund their own internal causes.

Churches exploit the "not for profit" even when the people running it are profiting.
They are not profiting in the usual sense of how the word is used.

And it's essentially a lobbyist group, and I believe lobbyist groups that have premises get taxed too.
No more than any individual or other groups. IMO I think this law on talking politics in the pulpit infringes on the First Amendment too. I think it should only be if they do politics only. Life is not compartmentalized. Every group, including the AIPAC ( both an ethnic, and quasi religious cause) lobbies our govt. Why not our own churches? If laws get passed that affect their values they have a right to participate.

irishjayhawk
04-22-2008, 01:48 PM
Nope it has everything to do with First amendment rights...it's passing a law pertaining to an establishment of religion. They raise their funds for social betterment and to fund their own internal causes.

Okay. So businesses can be exempt. They strive for social betterment through their products and fund their own internal causes.


They are not profiting in the usual sense of how the word is used.

When the man behind it all (priest) is making a living and affording trips, vacations etc etc, I consider it profiting.



No more than any individual or other groups. In I think this law on talking politics in the pulpit infringes on the First Amendment. I think it should only be if they do politics only. Every group, including the AIPAC ( both an ethnic, and quasi religious cause) lobbies our govt. Why not our own churches? If laws get passed that affect their values they have a right to participate.

It in no way infringes on the freedom of religion. The government isn't taxing ONE religion it's taxing ALL. Universal taxation. I don't see how that's infringing on one belief they have or making it impossible to carry out those beliefs.

It does mean the members will have to fork over more money to cover the taxes, but that's not infringing on their right to believe.

ClevelandBronco
04-22-2008, 01:48 PM
And this is why I think they should be taxed in some way. Most likely property tax.

Where else is there a free pulpit to voters? Where else is disinformation running rampant? Okay, don't answer the second one. The mainstream media fits it.

It won't happen in your lifetime.

irishjayhawk
04-22-2008, 01:49 PM
It won't happen in your lifetime.

What does that have to do with anything?

BucEyedPea
04-22-2008, 01:51 PM
Where else is disinformation running rampant? So we should have a govt information and thought control because of inaccurate, or crazy ( depending on whose pov it offends) viewpoints? Look, you may not like it but THIS IS a FREE country.

banyon
04-22-2008, 01:51 PM
Okay. So businesses can be exempt. They strive for social betterment through their products and fund their own internal causes.

When the man behind it all (priest) is making a living and affording trips, vacations etc etc, I consider it profiting.

It in no way infringes on the freedom of religion. The government isn't taxing ONE religion it's taxing ALL. Universal taxation. I don't see how that's infringing on one belief they have or making it impossible to carry out those beliefs.

It does mean the members will have to fork over more money to cover the taxes, but that's not infringing on their right to believe.


You are dead 100% bass-ackwards wrong on this one. Businesses aren't protected by the First Amendment, so that's totally irrelevant.

Let's try a question:

What if the IRS set the taxation rate for the Mormon church at 99% of all revenues received?

ClevelandBronco
04-22-2008, 01:51 PM
What does that have to do with anything?

I enjoy your frustration.

patteeu
04-22-2008, 01:51 PM
Well, if you taxed a lot of churches for property tax or something similar, you'd make a shitload of cash. Think about how many there are. One on like every street corner. That's a lot of property tax. And the mega churches....

The plan would be to help alleviate national debt? Better education? Who knows what the money can be used for.....


I'm not saying tax churches solely because of it. I'm saying this is one reason. As highlighted in my other post.

But the question this raises is whether you want to use tax policy as a penalty for political outspokenness the way it is sometimes used today or do you want to tax all the churches in order to raise a bunch of money but by so doing you lose the leverage you have against their outspokenness?

irishjayhawk
04-22-2008, 02:00 PM
So we should have a govt information and thought control because of inaccurate, or crazy ( depending on whose pov it offends) viewpoints? Look, you may not like it but THIS IS a FREE country.

That was actually a joke or jab at religion. It failed. :(

You are dead 100% bass-ackwards wrong on this one. Businesses aren't protected by the First Amendment, so that's totally irrelevant.

The First Amendment says freedom of religion. That's what it says with respect to religion. How does taxing ALL forms of religion discriminate or infringe on one's freedom of religion?


Let's try a question:

What if the IRS set the taxation rate for the Mormon church at 99% of all revenues received?

Sure, go right for the extremes. Obviously, that would be wrong and that's not what I'm calling for. Moreover, you make the mistake of saying that the Mormon church would be the only one. I'm advocating ALL of them are taxed by the property that they own. Therefore, bigger churches will be taxed more, but not between religions.

I enjoy your frustration.

Not frustrated. But thanks for the stevieray homage.

But the question this raises is whether you want to use tax policy as a penalty for political outspokenness the way it is sometimes used today or do you want to tax all the churches in order to raise a bunch of money but by so doing you lose the leverage you have against their outspokenness?

No. This just happened to be an avenue into my view.

I'm saying tax all of them. Not because they speak out but because they exploit the First Amendment and the non-profit label.

BucEyedPea
04-22-2008, 02:04 PM
Irish, the power to tax, especially today with so much govt, is the power to control. Start taxing a church, then it's you can spend it on this for a write-off, but not this....etc. etc. Once that starts and that is what has happened then freedom of religion is gone. The average person has already lost his freedom in the same way under our Income Tax law and codes.

It's already happening just having a rule about no politics in church....the threat of losing one's tax exempt status. That's another control. Let's not take it any further.

banyon
04-22-2008, 02:12 PM
Sure, go right for the extremes. Obviously, that would be wrong and that's not what I'm calling for. Moreover, you make the mistake of saying that the Mormon church would be the only one. I'm advocating ALL of them are taxed by the property that they own. Therefore, bigger churches will be taxed more, but not between religions.

Sure it's an extreme, but WHY is it wrong?

irishjayhawk
04-22-2008, 02:59 PM
Irish, the power to tax, especially today with so much govt, is the power to control. Start taxing a church, then it's you can spend it on this for a write-off, but not this....etc. etc. Once that starts and that is what has happened then freedom of religion is gone. The average person has already lost his freedom in the same way under our Income Tax law and codes.

Really? So then they shouldn't be taxing corporations because they are then controlling the corporations?

Freedom of religion does not or should not prevent them from being taxed UNLESS there is discrimination between denominations or religions. Otherwise, nothing is being controlled or infringed upon.

And if you argue what you do above as their defense, then I'd have to agree with you on the Income Tax issue.


It's already happening just having a rule about no politics in church....the threat of losing one's tax exempt status. That's another control. Let's not take it any further.

Then no churches on property. And property is owned by the city. That's why they can pull imminent domain and shit like that.

irishjayhawk
04-22-2008, 03:01 PM
Sure it's an extreme, but WHY is it wrong?

It's wrong because you made two errors in representing what I said:

1) No discrimination between denominations or religions. (You said Mormons only)
2) I said tax based on how much property they have. If they have tons of property and pay more than Local Church of Whatever, then they pay more.

banyon
04-22-2008, 03:18 PM
It's wrong because you made two errors in representing what I said:

1) No discrimination between denominations or religions. (You said Mormons only)
2) I said tax based on how much property they have. If they have tons of property and pay more than Local Church of Whatever, then they pay more.

Fair enough on point 1. Though an atheist president/congress could impose the same 99% prohibitive tax on all churches.

2. It's fine that you want to do this, but you'd need to amend the First Amendment to do it, because it is, strictly speaking a law abridging the free excercise of religion.

irishjayhawk
04-22-2008, 03:23 PM
Fair enough on point 1. Though an atheist president/congress could impose the same 99% prohibitive tax on all churches.

While it probably won't happen, I'm not sure that it still isn't feasible. It still doesn't infringe on their beliefs as much as the institution that profits on their beliefs. Some don't draw the line there. I do.

I should clarify that at the moment, I'm not positing this method. In fact, if there was an atheist congress and president, I'm going to bet there aren't very many faith oriented people around anyway....


2. It's fine that you want to do this, but you'd need to amend the First Amendment to do it, because it is, strictly speaking a law abridging the free excercise of religion.

Well, I just - still - don't see the infringement of the exercise of religion. They have to pay taxes for the land that they are taking up. Which, by all the stupid laws we have, is owned by the city. And the city has a government etc. You see where it leads.

Again, the taxing HAS NO BEARING on someone's right to believe what they want or to practice what they want. Just means they have to pay to have an institution on property the city owns. It's pretty simple.

Out of curiosity, does Scientology get the religious exemption? If not, I'd say that it would be a form of discrimination already present.

banyon
04-22-2008, 03:49 PM
Well, I just - still - don't see the infringement of the exercise of religion. They have to pay taxes for the land that they are taking up. Which, by all the stupid laws we have, is owned by the city. And the city has a government etc. You see where it leads.

Again, the taxing HAS NO BEARING on someone's right to believe what they want or to practice what they want. Just means they have to pay to have an institution on property the city owns. It's pretty simple.

The city doesn't own the property, it's private property, otherwise they'd be taxing themselves. And sure the tax has a bearing on someone's right to have a religious institution. There are plenty of homes every year that are foreclosed on because they aren't able to pay their property taxes.

Out of curiosity, does Scientology get the religious exemption? If not, I'd say that it would be a form of discrimination already present.

It's been/being challenged as phony. I'm not sure what stage it is in. You can't just make up your own religion (i.e., "I worship the church of my cat") and get tax exempt status, though.

Taco John
04-22-2008, 04:03 PM
If you're going to tax religious institutions, are you going to allow them to have religious representation within the system?

Saggysack
04-23-2008, 12:47 AM
If you're going to tax religious institutions, are you going to allow them to have religious representation within the system?

Have you been hiding in a cave? They already do by proxy.

I trust God speaks through me. Without that, I couldn’t do my job.–GWB July 9th 2004

If you are so blind that you cannot see the christian institutions that have a stranglehold of influence in our government, then I just don't know what to say.

irishjayhawk
04-23-2008, 01:13 AM
Have you been hiding in a cave? They already do by proxy.



If you are so blind that you cannot see the christian institutions that have a stranglehold of influence in our government, then I just don't know what to say.

RAmen!

BucEyedPea
04-23-2008, 07:53 AM
Have you been hiding in a cave? They already do by proxy.
That's true for all other denominations as well....including athiests and agnostics. There isn't enough of them is all. There's nothing wrong with this per se. You can't discriminate against them for this reason.

I think Taco meant that the official churches have legal reps in the govt.

If you are so blind that you cannot see the christian institutions that have a stranglehold of influence in our government, then I just don't know what to say.
I wouldn't go so far as to call it a stranglehold. Christianity has been the dominant make up of this country. Maybe if, the left didn't try to take away things they were content with at the local level, they may not have ever rallied as a backlash at the national level. Ev'r think of that?

Saggysack
04-23-2008, 08:34 AM
That's true for all other denominations as well....including athiests and agnostics. There isn't enough of them is all. There's nothing wrong with this per se. You can't discriminate against them for this reason.

I think Taco meant that the official churches have legal reps in the govt.


I wouldn't go so far as to call it a stranglehold. Christianity has been the dominant make up of this country. Maybe if, the left didn't try to take away things they were content with at the local level, they may not have ever rallied as a backlash at the national level. Ev'r think of that?

Tax them too. Be kinda hard to tax a athiest or agnostic beyond what they are already taxed individually though. Not very many places of worship for those guys.

And uh, yes it is a stranglehold. Domination is a stranglehold. Maybe if the religious fanatics wouldn't try to push their religious ideals and values by means of legislation down my throat at every turn of the heel I wouldn't have so much disdain for them.

BucEyedPea
04-25-2008, 07:50 AM
Really? So then they shouldn't be taxing corporations because they are then controlling the corporations?
The point is that govt shouldn't be controlling a church in such manner as it violates the First Amendment particularly the Establishment Clause which protects them. It's a curb on its freedom. This does not apply to general laws like stopping at traffic lights etc. But taxing would destroy them, it's a curb on freedom.

Freedom of religion does not or should not prevent them from being taxed UNLESS there is discrimination between denominations or religions. Otherwise, nothing is being controlled or infringed upon.

That violates their freedom as it restricts how, where and when they can apply their funds. It's not a secular entity subject to such restrictions on liberty. ( not that I agree with what we have on secular areas either) You're putting them into the hands of the state and intermingling the two.


Then no churches on property. And property is owned by the city. That's why they can pull imminent domain and shit like that.

What? Church's are not public property or on it it. They own it. It's private property.
Only a communist would say such a thing.

You are unfairly discriminating against religious freedom because you personally hate religion and have a vendetta.