Not that any number of questions do not have the potential of volatility but this question has exposed me to threats of physical violence as much as any question I ask. “Should the government be allowed to tax churches, places of worship, and religious ministries?” I am fully aware that there are churches and religious organizations that step over the line of being truly ‘non-profit’ and operate what could only be identified as businesses. Some of those, so suspected or accused, are funneling the monies into various ministries and charities and some appear to be building a massive financial war-chest which benefits a few without demonstrating a clear path to ministry or charity. This issue is one that people on both sides of the aisle have incredibly strong opinions and people within each group have wide disagreement among their contemporaries and colleagues.
Our founding fathers adopted the idea and belief that churches and religious institutions should not be taxed and in a measure that is rooted in a biblical directive found in Ezra 7:24, “We also inform you that it is not allowed to impose tax, tribute or toll on any of the priests, Levites, singers, doorkeepers, Nethinim or servants of this house of God.” In today’s world of secularism and progressivism that idea is offensive to many and for politicians who are truly money-grubbing and power-hungry they see those entities as sources of untapped revenue. Today, the ‘tax exemption’ of churches is frequently in the cross-hairs of some politicians and activist groups. I have to wonder if it is truly a desire to achieve ‘fairness’ or is it something more and sinister. I say that because although the Supreme Court, in times past, has upheld the ‘exemption status’ of churches, places of worship, and religious ministries the assault never ceases.
In one particular case challenging the ‘tax-exempt status’ of churches reached the Supreme Court the court ruled in favor of ‘exemption’ stating: “All of the 50 states provide for tax exemption of places of worship, most of them doing so by constitutional guarantees. For so long as federal income taxes have had any potential impact on churches – over 75 years [the time since the federal progressive income tax was originated] – religious organizations have been expressly exempt from the [federal] tax…Few concepts are more deeply embedded in the fabric of our national life, beginning with pre-Revolutionary colonial times.” Chief Justice John Marshall, one of our founding fathers spoke about taxing, “The power to tax is the power to destroy.” He knew, as should we, that if the government can tax, including churches, even if that tax was a seemingly minor and insignificant amount it would open Pandora’s box and a path to CONTROL which would ultimate ERADICATE the church and would virtually relegate it to being a Pawn of the State could and likely would occur. That would be a direct violation of the Constitution and Bill of Rights. John Dickinson, another of our founders said, “If they have a right to levy a tax of one penny upon us, they have a right to levy a million upon us, for where does their right stop? If they have any right to tax us, then whether our own money shall continue in our own pockets or not depends no longer on us, but on them.”
I find a ruling by the Supreme Court in 1874 powerfully important regarding the Power to Tax and the evidence of how it has completely destroyed various businesses, individuals and industries are impossible to miss. The ruling stated: “The power to tax is therefore, the strongest – the most pervading – of all the powers of government, reaching directly or indirectly to all classes of people. It was said by Chief Justice John Marshall, in the case of McCULLOCH v. the STATE OF MARYLAND, that the power to tax is the power to destroy. A striking instance of the truth of the proposition is seen in the fact that the existing tax of ten percent imposed by the United States on the circulation of all other banks than the national banks drove out of existence every state bank of circulation within a year or two after its passage.” TAXATION is a tool or weapon in the hands of politicians and if we want to maintain our Freedom of Religion and our Freedom as a Republic we must deal with the POWER TO TAX by dealing with those in whom that power is vested.
I hope this warning is sufficient to cause each of us to take note of what is happening in our nation and what can happen if we continue on the path we have embarked politically. The word I keep hearing in my spirit is “BEWARE and PREPARE!” So I urge you to take note, earnestly pray and STOP THE LEFTIST from further harming our nation.
God bless you and God bless America!