Should the churches be taxed just like regular organizations?
Well, in the olden days, it was understood there was an agreed upon barrier between the church and the state. The Constitution forbids the Government from proscribing any religious anything. Hands off, and for the longest time it was understood that was a two-way street.
But since 1980 and the Religious Right’s total takeover of the Republican party, there is a serious blurring of the lines between church and state. Actually, (and I do not consider this an exaggeration) if you are a Christian today in Texas you are also most likely a Republican. Test it out.
In the olden days, when clergy started to lead social justice solutions, we were told we had gone from “Preachin’ to Meddlin’!”, meaning we had no business trying to have an influence outside the church.
Yet today, you cannot get elected to political office nationally and in many states without the Evangelical Vote leading your support.
And, oh the Rascal Masters who lead the church into politics! You may remember The Reverend Franklin Graham speaking publicly on September 12, 2001 and admonishing the Bush Administration to go immediately to Atomic War with the whole Middle East. Then, of course, President Bush called his milder response a Crusade, mirroring a time when the churches’ actually did hold power over the Kings themselves.
But on August 8th, 2017 according to Huffington Post, a Republican right-wing pastor who serves on Donald Trump’s evangelical advisory board claims God has given The President “full power” to launch an attack on North Korea anytime he wants, any way he wants. Robert Jefferies, head of the Dallas First Baptist mega church, told CBN that a biblical passage in Romans allows rulers to use “whatever means necessary ― including war ― to stop evil.” The good and famous Dallas Reverend shows he knows nothing of how the Constitution works. But his ignorance does not preclude him from assuming that his role gives him unique power in this government of the people, by the people and for the people.
So the church cheers on a war when its own ruler commands His followers to love their enemies, pray for them, and care for them. The churches’ real job is not to stop evil, but to overcome evil with love and light. To demonstrate love rather than promote fear and death.
The politically active Evangelical Right wants a war more than it wants to feed hungry Americans, clothe Americans and heal them with the right of free medical care.
Now, with that thought in mind, ask yourself if there really should be a separation of Church and State. If so, then we need to reel in the church leaders who are calling for nuclear war and giving their opinions as if God Himself were speaking.
But, since the churches’ command more than a trillion dollar’s worth of real estate, alone, we are not likely to ever see them allow the government to tax them for anything. Sad.
Chuck and Karen Robison broadcast a Consciousness interview show locally and internationally. Their work can be found at http://www.whatifitreallyworks.com/about/ .