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#31221 - 11/04/09 09:46 AM Re: Seperation of Church and State [Re: SkaffenAmtiskaw]
Satansfarm Offline
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Registered: 01/12/08
Posts: 352
Loc: america
Gee wiz, I should get a hold of those government forms and start
piecing together my own religion!!!!!! Do I have to have followers?
I'm not really that fond of having to entertain guests all the time. Do my followers have to be human? Maybe I can have plants as my congregation. Yes! The SACRED ORDER OF VEGETABLES !!!!!
Now, exactly how much dough can I get for this???? If the margins are too low, than it's not worth the effort. I wonder though, can those funds recieved from the government to fund the church be invested at the stock market? Hey, I know this guy who's really great with the ponies. Hmmmmmm, if its really alot of money, I can open my own whorehouse/resort/casino.

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#31224 - 11/04/09 10:38 AM Re: Seperation of Church and State [Re: SkaffenAmtiskaw]
Satansfarm Offline
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Registered: 01/12/08
Posts: 352
Loc: america
L. Ron Hubbard certainly did take this idea to an extreme level. The Church of Scientology continues to rake it in even though there are many detractors. I may not agree with all their methods
or beliefs, but they sure do have moxy.

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#31226 - 11/04/09 12:41 PM US Tax-Exemption/Church of Satan [Re: SkaffenAmtiskaw]
Michael A.Aquino Offline
stalker


Registered: 09/28/08
Posts: 2517
Loc: San Francisco, CA, USA
 Originally Posted By: MawhrinSkel
If you're feeling adventurous, you can actually found a religion and submit it to the government for approval. If it's approved, you receive annual funds based on your current membership number, as well as a number of other benefits.

Not in the United States. Tax-exempt status does not actively pay anything to you, just exempts you from taxes related to your religious/nonprofit functioning. But if you also function economically as a business, e.g. selling crucifixes, T-shirts, etc. to the public, that would not be exempt from sales tax.

There are of course other ways that federal & state governments routinely violate church/state separation, for instance the maintenance of Catholic/Protestant chapels on military bases and commissioning/payment of chaplains as military officers. All the way down to "under God" in the Pledge of Allegiance and "In God We Trust" on our currency. If you don't like this, these are the folks for you. ;\)

 Quote:
I don't know what happened with the CoS and their intentions to pay taxes regardless of being an approved religion. I read something about it once, but I forget.

In 1971 the LaVeys had finally taken the steps to incorporate the Church of Satan - an event to which the Church membership, including myself, paid little attention at the time on the assumption that it was little more than a formality for legal purposes. The Articles of Incorporation are Appendix #156 in my Church of Satan.

Although Anton later made a habit of stating that the Church deliberately refused tax-exempt status as a gesture of protest against religious tax-exemption, this was simply an excuse for the Church of Satanís failure to qualify for exemption. On September 16, 1971 a California tax-exemption was issued for the Church, conditional upon a federal exemption. When this was not granted, the California exemption was revoked in 1973. It was reapplied for in 1975, then revoked again in 1985. As of 1992 - the last time I checked - neither the California Attorney General nor the Federal Internal Revenue Service listed the Church of Satan as an exempt organization.
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#31228 - 11/04/09 01:15 PM Re: US Tax-Exemption/Church of Satan [Re: Michael A.Aquino]
Asmedious Moderator Offline
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Loc: New York
Just a guess on my part, but perhaps one of the reasons that they did not get the tax exempt certification was because they required a membership fee ($100) at the time for people to join. Membership wasn't open to everyone who wanted it, and it wasn't a voluntary donation. Also, I believe that the CoS (C/S) functioned as a for profit organization where the moneys collected were not solely used for church functions.

Edited by Asmedious (11/04/09 01:16 PM)
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#31236 - 11/04/09 04:08 PM Re: US Tax-Exemption/Church of Satan [Re: Michael A.Aquino]
GillesdeRais Offline
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Registered: 09/08/09
Posts: 141
I find it very difficult to believe that the Federal government would legally assign tax-exempt status to a LHP Initiatory organization. Unless you live in California.
\:\)
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Philosophy, n. A route of many roads leading from nowhere to nothing.

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#31237 - 11/04/09 04:48 PM Re: US Tax-Exemption/Church of Satan [Re: Asmedious]
Michael A.Aquino Offline
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Registered: 09/28/08
Posts: 2517
Loc: San Francisco, CA, USA
 Originally Posted By: Asmedious
Just a guess on my part, but perhaps one of the reasons that they did not get the tax exempt certification was because they required a membership fee ($100) at the time for people to join. Membership wasn't open to everyone who wanted it, and it wasn't a voluntary donation.

In 1971 the fee for joining the Church of Satan was $13 for a lifetime membership, and such membership [or annual dues] fees were not disqualifications for tax-exempt status. I was visiting 6114 one evening when Anton mentioned the IRS requirements, just said that he was not going to comply with them. He did not go into detail, and I did not question him.

 Quote:
Also, I believe that the CoS (C/S) functioned as a for profit organization where the moneys collected were not solely used for church functions.

If you will read its corporate Articles, you will see that it was set up as a nonprofit religious institution whose income was to be controlled accordingly.
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#31239 - 11/04/09 04:53 PM Re: US Tax-Exemption/Church of Satan [Re: GillesdeRais]
Michael A.Aquino Offline
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Registered: 09/28/08
Posts: 2517
Loc: San Francisco, CA, USA
 Originally Posted By: GillesdeRais
I find it very difficult to believe that the Federal government would legally assign tax-exempt status to a LHP Initiatory organization. Unless you live in California.:)

The Temple of Set qualified for federal & state religious exempt status upon its founding in 1975. Being a California corporation was not a prerequisite. But the state and federal review process was very extensive and took several months to complete.
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Michael A. Aquino

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#31263 - 11/04/09 10:28 PM Re: US Tax-Exemption/Church of Satan [Re: Michael A.Aquino]
6Satan6Archist6 Offline
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Registered: 10/16/08
Posts: 2509
You know, I had a lot of "fuck yeah" moments when reading TSB, but I think one of the biggest ones was concerning churches and how they should not be tax exempt. Churches bring in alot of revenue and I see no reason why they should be exempt from paying taxes. I have to pay a tax on alcohol so they should have to pay a tax on faith.
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#31371 - 11/06/09 08:21 PM Re: US Tax-Exemption/Church of Satan [Re: 6Satan6Archist6]
Satansfarm Offline
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Registered: 01/12/08
Posts: 352
Loc: america
If the US could tax the Catholic church, wow, then we could really bomb the hell out of everybody!!!!!!
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#32622 - 12/07/09 08:03 AM Re: Seperation of Church and State [Re: 6Satan6Archist6]
Gemini Offline
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Registered: 03/18/09
Posts: 56
Loc: Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
Going waaaay back to the beginning of the thread here, but:

 Originally Posted By: 6Satan6Archist6
It should be illegal for politicians to talk about god.


Moreover, it should be illegal for clergy persons of any tax-exempted religious institution, organization, or congregation to talk politics to their congregants, at any time - this also qualifies as a breach of the "Separation of Church & State". Any idea how many Christian pastors start talking about how much they like such-and-such Presidential candidate when election time rolls around? Quite a few - probably all, but I'm just guessing.
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#32628 - 12/07/09 07:04 PM Re: Seperation of Church and State [Re: Gemini]
Asmedious Moderator Offline
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 Quote:
Moreover, it should be illegal for clergy persons of any tax-exempted religious institution, organization, or congregation to talk politics to their congregants, at any time


I am very much in favor of taxing religious institutions, although I would very happily give that up for the abolishing of the income tax on wages. But thatís another story all together.

However, when people start talking about making it illegal for any individual to express their personal views in any capacity, it makes the hairs on the back of my neck stand up.

I understand the viewpoint, and as much as I would LIKE preachers to stop talking about politics, and politicians to stop babbling about religion, I would never go along with making it a law.

Even the way things are now, people from most of the professions out there, wether they work in the private sector or the public sector, often times have to chose their words so carefully as to not offend anyone, that most of them cannot express much personal opinion about anything, without having to fear some kind of backlash, or having their words taken out of context and twisted around.

I would go even further to say that no verbal or written speech of any kind should be be illegal or censored. No exceptions. I would definitely draw a solid line between words and actions though.
_________________________
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#32635 - 12/07/09 08:31 PM Re: Seperation of Church and State [Re: Asmedious]
Gemini Offline
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Registered: 03/18/09
Posts: 56
Loc: Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
 Originally Posted By: Asmedious
when people start talking about making it illegal for any individual to express their personal views in any capacity, it makes the hairs on the back of my neck stand up.

I understand the viewpoint, and as much as I would LIKE preachers to stop talking about politics, and politicians to stop babbling about religion, I would never go along with making it a law.

Even the way things are now, people from most of the professions out there, wether they work in the private sector or the public sector, often times have to chose their words so carefully as to not offend anyone, that most of them cannot express much personal opinion about anything, without having to fear some kind of backlash, or having their words taken out of context and twisted around.

I would go even further to say that no verbal or written speech of any kind should be be illegal or censored. No exceptions. I would definitely draw a solid line between words and actions though.


...I honestly can't say I disagree. I've never been a fan of straight-out censorship, and perhaps making such things "illegal" is the wrong way to go about doing things.

Ultimately, the point I'm trying to make is that once a pastor (or whomever) starts trying to sway his congregation's political views, to any degree really, it's violating the Separation of Church & State - especially when you start hearing such epic things that would lead the brainless to believe that "God wants so-and-so to be President, or Governor, or whatever", and I've heard that kind of babble before.

To be sure, it's a difficult line to draw.

Tax the fuck out of the religionists; their god(s) can't manage money worth a damn, anyway.



Edited by Gemini (12/07/09 08:31 PM)
Edit Reason: Bad BBCode
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#32640 - 12/07/09 11:05 PM Re: Seperation of Church and State [Re: Gemini]
CJB Offline
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Registered: 10/12/09
Posts: 125
Loc: Virginia Beach, VA
I find myself in a bit of disagreement. A pastor trying to sway his congregation to voting for whomever is no different than you doing it on a street corner, or a non-profit political activist group trying to do it.
Plus, if I'm not mistaken, I believe that a pastor/preacher/whatever still has to pay income taxes on what the non-profit (church) pays him? Someone please correct me if I'm wrong on that. Yes, even if that is the case, there are loopholes big enough to sail battleships through, but you have those everywhere in taxes.

I also think you're misunderstanding what separation of church and state menas. That means that the government cannot pass a law requiring you to be a member of a church, and (more or less) that it cannot pass a law based solely on religious doctrine. Abortion could be considered non-religious since there's scientific dispute on when life begins. Teaching ID in school would be considered religious since it requires some sort of god.

The purpose of the wall of separation is to keep the government out of churches and out of people's spiritual lives, not the other way around. Since government can't pass laws based solely on religion, than any hapless clergyman who wandered into politics would (theoretically) be very restricted on what he could try to accomplish.

Of course, in the U.S., if you have a sympathetic president, congress, and court, you could probably push whatever religious bullshit you could through.
Therein lies the flaw in democracy...it depends entirely too much on other people being intelligent, and a large enough majority of idiots can enact bad laws.
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"To say 'I love you' one must know first how to say the 'I.'"
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#32660 - 12/08/09 04:56 PM Re: Seperation of Church and State [Re: CJB]
Gemini Offline
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Registered: 03/18/09
Posts: 56
Loc: Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
 Originally Posted By: CJB
I find myself in a bit of disagreement. A pastor trying to sway his congregation to voting for whomever is no different than you doing it on a street corner, or a non-profit political activist group trying to do it.

It is different, if I'm not doing it with a religious foothold to use as leverage.


 Quote:
Plus, if I'm not mistaken, I believe that a pastor/preacher/whatever still has to pay income taxes on what the non-profit (church) pays him? Someone please correct me if I'm wrong on that. Yes, even if that is the case, there are loopholes big enough to sail battleships through, but you have those everywhere in taxes.

That's something I'd honestly have to look into; I'm not certain on this. If so, then that shuts my argument halfway up.

 Quote:
I also think you're misunderstanding what separation of church and state menas. That means that the government cannot pass a law requiring you to be a member of a church, and (more or less) that it cannot pass a law based solely on religious doctrine.

I'm not misunderstanding a damn thing. I'm perfectly aware of the meaning given in the Constitution of the United States; however, I'm also saying that our Constitution is hardly perfect.

In my opinion, revisions need to made which keep the government out of religion, and visa versa; otherwise there is no true separation taking place.

 Quote:
Therein lies the flaw in democracy...it depends entirely too much on other people being intelligent, and a large enough majority of idiots can enact bad laws.

Except we don't live in a democracy, and never have. Democracy, like Communism, can never actually exist and/or function. At best, the United States is a pseudo-Republican, Socialist Plutocracy.
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#32674 - 12/08/09 06:58 PM Re: Seperation of Church and State [Re: Gemini]
CJB Offline
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Registered: 10/12/09
Posts: 125
Loc: Virginia Beach, VA
 Originally Posted By: Gemini
It is different, if I'm not doing it with a religious foothold to use as leverage.


Should it just be using religion as a foothold? What about if you talk to your employees or co-workers about political stuff? Would you not be using your work relationship as leverage? That does seem a bit un-work-ethical, so let's take a step further: what about your friends? Would talking to friends about politics not be using your friendship as a foothold to use as leverage? People will use the power they get to influence people to do what they want, whether they be priests, CEOs, politicians, friends, or whatever.

Believe me, I'm not disagreeing that I think the world would be a wonderful place if preachers would just shut the fuck up (and not just about politics!), but I don't think the answer would be to make it illegal for them to talk, but would more ideally just be to ridicule the hell out of them until nobody listens to them anymore. I want preachers to keep talking! The more they talk, the more intelligent people realize they're full of shit.

 Quote:
I'm not misunderstanding a damn thing. I'm perfectly aware of the meaning given in the Constitution of the United States; however, I'm also saying that our Constitution is hardly perfect.


Touche...

 Quote:

In my opinion, revisions need to made which keep the government out of religion, and visa versa; otherwise there is no true separation taking place.


Ah, I see what you mean here. So here's a question, then, following up on what I said last paragraph: what else should politics be left out of and visa versa? Religion is, among other things, a philosophy. Should it just be philosophies that rely on a god that are separated? Or all philosophies? Should just people smart enough to actually understand what's going on actually be able to make a vote or take an action about it? Should it just be people that agree with the status quo? People who want change?

Ideally, I agree with you. Politics shouldn't discuss religion, religion shouldn't discuss politics (after all, most religions are more concerned with what happens after you die, anyway). But seeing as how so many people have so many ideas that come from so many different places, how should we decide what should be considered? If we never had religious people influencing politicians, we wouldn't have a lot of the stuff we have now (for better and for worse). To block out a voice because of a belief is to ignore a potentially valuable idea. What if the preacher teaches his congregation that politics are a worldy matter, best left to worldly people? I would gladly applaud that message and maybe even spend money to see it spread around!



 Quote:

Except we don't live in a democracy, and never have. Democracy, like Communism, can never actually exist and/or function. At best, the United States is a pseudo-Republican, Socialist Plutocracy.


...ok, true. Point conceded.
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"To say 'I love you' one must know first how to say the 'I.'"
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