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mrsmajor
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RE: There is Sure to be Backlash
Reply on November 24, 2017 11:29 AM


I don't think we're talking about the God I serve, Ingrid, nor was it my intention to dismiss the subject of Church and state, and you know perfectly well that wan't the case, but as usual, some will continue to make light of such a ideal...its not funny! and that's what I don't like.

I have my own thoughts about the idea of tax exemption for churches, or religious organizations...I can see it for organizations that are seriously dealing with the needy...but not for some of these large television evangelical groups.

Many of these people make millions of dollars, that go into their pockets, under the guise of creating a better life for people...I'm not going into their tenets, Ingrid, simply discussing them in the matter of tax exemption.

Here's why I've come to my own opinion...a few years ago, there was a federal investigation in reference to the enormous amounts of money being made, and not being considered personal monies.

Some of these men/woman had two and three homes, at this moment one of these men is asking for people to send money so that he can buy a private plane...needed so that he could get around better...after already owning more than one family car.

These I feel are stealing money, from the government
by what they are doing, and also there are other kinds of private organization that do the same kind of things.

I have seen so many small churches, in my area, that would never be able to afford the kind of luxury that some do...I just don't think the laws were intended so that there could be this kind of profit making...and that's what's happening.

So its not God I'm talking about, its the kind of preferences the government have given these organizations...its the enormous amounts of money being made, for the personal use of these people.

Further, it makes perfect sense that they would like to continue to enjoy their status...that they would stand by trump, is to be expected...he's not really concerned with anything but their vote, and they want to continue to be free from any tax responsibility.

I don't agree with any organization that does that, no matter what they claim to do, and in my opinion, I don't think that's what the laws intended.

During the time of these terrible hurricanes one of these men, initially refused the use if his center for those that lost their homes, or were displaced.. changing his mind after the public became aware of it...only then did they offer to house some of these people.

No way should that kind of behavior be awarded tax free status..

Just Some Thoughts!



mrsmajor
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RE: There is Sure to be Backlash
Reply on November 24, 2017 11:29 AM << Modifed November 24 at 11:34AM >>






Sarkems
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RE: There is Sure to be Backlash
Reply on November 24, 2017 01:27 PM
Ingrid, I don't know who has 460 million dollars, but I do know that that painting was owned by a couple who live in Guernsey (about five miles across the sea from me) and they were originally told it wasn't genuine. They sold it for 45 quid. Imagine how gutting it would be for that to happen. Like winning the lottery and losing the ticket ...

Anyway, on the subject of taxes and the church, the Church of England is quite interesting. Years ago, the church received money in taxes in the for of 'tithes', which made it an incredibly wealthy organisation.

Today, it still receives about 12 million per annum from the government (we'll got on to why in a minute), but it relies many on historical investments and donations. It is asset rich, because of the land it still owns from its previously held governing position, but has recently had to sell a lot of land off, as fewer donations come in these days.

The church of England is somewhat different to the independent churches of the US. the Church of England has to maintain its thousands of churches nationwide. The Church of England has some 16,000 church buildings, in 13,000 parishes covering the whole of England, as well as 43 cathedrals. Together they form a unique collection of buildings; between 12,000 and 13,000 churches are listed, i.e. are recognised by the government as being of exceptional historic or architectural importance. About 45% of all Grade I buildings in England are churches. Though first and foremost a place of worship, churches are also often the oldest building in a settlement still in continual use. Even in industrial or 20th century settlements, they are a focus. The 12 million I mentioned earlier is for the upkeep of these buildings, many of which are hundreds of years old, and very, VERY expensive to repair, but because of their age, architectural style and historical significance, even the non-religious would hesitate at tearing them down.

Vicars don't tend to be driving around in flash cars. They don't even have the big houses they used to have (vicarages used to be the biggest houses in the village), but they still get a house in the parish.

It used to be the case that, the larger your congregation, the greater your wage (more in the collection plate), but because this was unfair to vicars in small parishes, they are now paid more of a standardised wage (not a lot).

Although the C of E does not pay tax on the money it makes from endowments, or donations, it does pay tax on any for profit businesses like book shops/coffee shops.

But precious little of the church's funds are spent on the poor and the needy. Whilst your average vicar might not be driving around in a Porsche, the money you put in the collection plate, or you spend on having your wedding in the church doesn't go towards assisting the needy. It goes towards keeping the Church of England going.

Most vicars today cover several parishes. The level of pastoral care, in terms of visiting the sick and needy (once a vital part of the job) has dropped simply because the vicars are stretched so thinly. The church can no longer call itself as rich as it once could. With fewer and fewer people attending church, but still the same number of huge, expensive ancient buildings to maintain, it's getting harder and harder to make the money to keep the vicars and the buildings. Oh, and the Bishops and Archbishops, who are pretty comfortably off).

It's not uncommon (and probably rather embarrassing for the Cof E) to see pathetic-looking hand drawn thermometers outside churches with a desperate plea for a donation to 'save the clock tower'. (It's always the clock tower. It's very rare to see a church clock that actually works).

So, though the C of E is still rich, it doesn't look like it in the same way that the churches with all the porsches and private jets do. Mostly because those kinds of churches aren't trying to maintain thousands of historical buildings, and probably have more in their collection plates. The C of E doesn't tend to get much folding stuff these days.

It probably should pay more tax on its endowments, but I sort of get why it doesn't. It's a massive organisation which costs a lot to run and has little other reliable income.

mrsmajor
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RE: There is Sure to be Backlash
Reply on November 24, 2017 02:06 PM
Sarkems,

This is very interesting, never researched this, I had no idea how different the system is in the UK...when it comes to the relationship between church and state...(if that's what it is)...are you saying the government owns the church, I want to make sure I underdstand what you mean,,

One of the arguments that some people have, here, and I understand it, is that because of their status some Americans feel they are supporting religion, against their will..and I can see that.

On the other hand some say churches earn the tax exemption because they contribute to the well being
of the people...but I don't believe all of that not from what I see...but of course I don't know all of that's done.

If you think of it in actually monies, one can imagine how much money the government looses (?) money...which could/might have been used for the public good...

There have been many discussion, of late on this subject, here,..there is also the thought that since pastors/clergy are allowed exemptions even for their homes wealthy ones become even more wealthy.

I think why this is happening here, is the growth of the evangelicals the more money they are saving, and their involvement in the political system...if we're going to have separation of church and state then it should be clear...not as is being done now, when trump hold meetings with the clergy to receive endorsements...I guess it would be hard to stop that, but either we are going to follow the rules or we are not.

I pay my taxes, and so should they...that may not be the opinion of many people..but so be it..

Just Some Thoughts!



Spiritual Echo
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RE: There is Sure to be Backlash
Reply on November 24, 2017 02:16 PM
Emma, I love when you open up and share your thoughts. They trigger memories and realities we were taught based on history.

What tends (nobody crawl down my throat, please)is that Americans begin tacking their history and its importance to when the pilgrims arrived in America. Many have limited travel and have not observed the world through others' eyes.

Europe and England oozes history and the culture of these nations has a slightly different cultural appreciation for not just hundreds of years, but thousands of footsteps that wore out the marble steps of their churches. It's humbling.

I remember my first trip overseas and was gobsmacked (not a familiar NA expression) by the face-to-face reality of centuries old artistic passion. The first time I looked up at the ceiling of the cathedral on Venice, I had no idea I was crying. To think, five hundred years ago, someone lay upside down expressing his faith--or trying to earn enough money to feed his family, was incredibly hard for me to process.

The church has always been at the core of our historical journey on this Earth, and I totally understand why both architectural homage and literary lessons continue to capture hearts and imagination.


gloria ...
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RE: There is Sure to be Backlash
Reply on November 24, 2017 07:31 PM
Canadian churches lose their non-profit charitable status after their income surpasses a certain level for the very reason they put downward pressure on struggling charities raising funds for their works. Cathedrals are fantastic architectural wonders containing volumes of rich history.

I just have another thing to comment about Backlash and the ineffable Roy Moore.

Words from a Moore supporter who is overly zealous in their desire to immediately condemn Hollywood, Democrats and Media sex offenders yet takes an opposite stance regarding allegations of sexual molestation charges against Roy Moore.

First, I doubt Mr. Moore did any of these things, but let's just say every word of the allegations the women are making is true and everything is totally factual. Everyone is saying the women involved in this matter are different people now, great...well...SO IS ROY MOORE!!!

The lecherous Mr. Moore of yesterday, is not the touchy-feely Roy Moore of today.

Not just the Bible, but history, and current events all show that people change over the years as events and circumstances give them wisdom. Some people age and get perverted, others start out off the rails and then over time gain insight and respect for others.

Roy Moore seems a good man now, time to leave it at that.


Let's use this statement as a starting point and hypothetically agree that yes Moore did the things the women said he did and yes, it's also true he no longer molests children. However now that the allegations are public Moore is faced with a moral dilemma--should he admit to the truth and personally face the consequences, or should he deny everything and make everyone else face the consequences? Moore chose denial. Rather than admitting to the (hypothetical) truth and asking for forgiveness he has committed new sins by his denial. He called the eight women liars. He called the forty corroborators liars. He called the paper that investigated and published the story fake news and threatened to sue them for defamation of character. He accused the GOP establishment and Democrats of being on a witch hunt to destroy his sure win to the Senate. His alt-right cronies continue to obfuscate the allegations in clouds of whataboutism. They also delivered robocalls pretending to be from the Washington Post offering to pay money for phony sex allegations against Moore. It was a failed attempt to smear journalists and the newspaper all done of the behalf of Moore.

So there is lots of attempts to cover up but these facts remain open for consideration.

IF these allegations are true, Moore by his denial is lying to everyone; his wife, his friends, his constituents, his church, the public and the world.

IF these allegations are true, Roy Moore is not a good or redeemed man. A redeemed man filled with moral certitude would step aside from the election and admit to the truth. His confirmation would give a much-needed and valuable lesson in the process of understanding, forgiveness and healing.

IF these allegations are true Moore proves himself to be a weak, corrupt and corruptible man easily seduced into lying by the trappings of power in an attempt to obtain a seat in the Senate while he is under the suspicion of child molestation. The people of Alabama should not be forced to make this decision. It should be Moore.

IF these allegations are true there is no way by any stretch of the moral yardstick his CURRENT actions can be considered those of integrity or honour. And the pastors who continue to support Moore all the while believing he is indeed guilty of child molestation are re-victimizing the victims in the process of defending the indefensible. That is hypocrisy at the very least.

IF Moore is guilty of these allegations, by his denials he is consciously deciding to bear false witness over and over again yesterday, today, tomorrow and every day after that, which makes him not a good man either then or now. You can't have it both ways folks, so what's it gonna be?






Sarkems
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RE: There is Sure to be Backlash
Reply on November 25, 2017 03:11 AM
It's quite complicated, Mrs M. It isn't that the government owns the church exactly. For many hundreds of years, the church WAS the government. In medieval times, people's lives were built around the monasteries. Priests and monks were the doctors, the scholars, the employers.

That was in the days of Catholicism, before the dissolution of the monasteries, and Henry VIII's defection to Protestantism.

But the Church of England, whilst never quite what the monasteries had been, was still a major part of governance. The church provided the bulk of education and alms to the poor. The link with education still continues today. I, like many of my peers, attended a C of E elementary school. Church schools are supported by their local Diocesian board of education both financially and in an advisory capacity, and as such, whilst teaching to the government curriculum, must include Anglican religious teachings ( we used to have daily religious assemblies, hymn practice on a Friday and observation of all the Christian celebrations).

Today, over a quarter of primary (elementary) schools in England are C of E still. Some more so than others, there are different degrees of control the church has over schools, depending on their status of dependence. It's all rather confusing, and I don't understand it well, but suffice to say the church still has influence educationally, and whilst it cannot directly dictate what is taught in state education, by retaining this level of connection with it, it still has some level of say. When I talk of C of E schools I am talking about state provided educational facilities, not private/independent schools, though the church has those as well.

Basically, the church and the government have a sort of mutual dependency, because, historically, they've been more or less as one. Churches are, technically, public buildings, and, as such, the government has a certain responsibility.

I don't know if any of this makes it any clearer, like I said I don't fully understand it myself.




gloria ...
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RE: There is Sure to be Backlash
Reply on November 26, 2017 01:38 AM
The biggest issue is the amazing support for the child molester in Alabama. WOW. Christians? How does this fly? Where is the OUTRAGE? Half the state is fine with child molestation? Is this the new or old Christianity that I missed somewhere along the way?

And Moore is the American politician and former Alabama state judge known for being twice elected to and twice removed from the Alabama Supreme Court for failing to uphold the United States Constitution. Sounds like just the kind of man you want to uphold the constitution.

But, it appears moral decrepitude and hypocrisy IS the essence Moore. He was elected to the position of Chief Justice of the Alabama Supreme Court in 2001, but was removed from his position in November 2003 by the Alabama Court of the Judiciary for refusing to remove a monument of the Ten Commandments commissioned by him from the Alabama Judicial Building, despite orders to do so by a federal court. And clearly among other despicable things he's accused of he has absolute no respect for the Ninth Commandment about lying and bearing false witness.


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RE: There is Sure to be Backlash
Reply on November 26, 2017 02:07 AM
I couldn't agree more. I think it should be noted that this support is not confined to this one race either. THIS is just the most insane example. This see no evil Evangelical Christian support is downright terrifying. AND it's a large segment of voters CONCENTRATED strategically.

I now know exactly how Muslims feel when they are treated like THEY are all in ISIS. I'm loathe to identify as Christian for fear I'll be associated with THOSE Christians.

How in hell can half the state of Alabama support a child molester? PLEASE, tell me.


gloria ...
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RE: There is Sure to be Backlash
Reply on November 26, 2017 02:35 AM
Hey I was hoping you could tell me on account of because you're American. Are you referring to the gerrymandering? Every once in a while I watch an American televangelist on late night TV and all they ever pray to God for is money and personal property.

It seems the US is in its infancy in understanding the detrimental effect of sexual molestation on a developing child's brain. I don't know for sure, but my guess is these folks don't think it's all that bad but they don't want to admit that is how they feel. Perhaps they should pay attention to the fact they are thinking about voting for a serial lawbreaker AND hypocritical Christian. The legal age of consent is 16, not 14 and Moore was 32 at the time and also a District Attorney. Moore is a prime example of why God wasn't included in the Constitution.

The US Republican party is rotten to the core.

   
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