Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Separation of Church and State

The Separation of Church and State.  It is a very powerful term.  Our founding fathers clearly meant that we would have no state mandated religion.  We, as American men (as women didn't count for much in those days), would not be forced to worship in anyone's church.  The founding fathers felt that this idea of freedom, extending from religion to the press to the right of protest was so highly valued that it is first on the list of amendments:
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
Now, in the long run, the separation of church and state has extended to the government does not tax church property and income.  Further, for individuals (and if I'm wrong, I'm sure you'll correct me), this extends that any income from church related activities (provided you are a minister, pastor or such) is not taxed.

BUT, the wrong wing goes on and on about how there shouldn't be a separation of church and state.  We're a Christian nation, they say.  Well, then, I say, let's tax the churches -- property tax especially.  Salaries for pastors, ministers, etc. tax them too.

No separation of church and state should mean -- NO SEPARATION!

God Bless

3 Comments:

Anonymous Brian said...

Just to let you know, ministers pay income taxes just like everybody else. Also some larger cities have been trying to get property tax exemptions for churches repealed. One could consider the exemption itself an establishment of religion. Ministers do get some benefits like parsonage use is tax free and they can elect not to receive Social Security benefits like the Amish. Check out Topic 417 from the IRS.
Also, one could read into the constitution that the government can't establish a state religion, but using religious principles in general to influence lawmaking is not prohibited. Just something to think about.

08 October, 2006 20:32  
Anonymous Trey said...

When I was in the 3rd grade, my teacher was a fundamentalist Christian....I know it seems ludicrous to believe that would happen in the south, but it did. I went to a Methodist church. On several occasions the teacher commented that if we were not "saved" then we were no better than a "dirty rag."
Having been exposed to only the church my parents took me to at that point, I was profoundly confused. On top of being confused, I was terrified that I had somehow missed something, and should I die, would be condemned to hell. I lost sleep over it, I sought the guidance of my mother, and it sewed a seed of doubt that an 8 year old child was ill-equiped to handle.
From that experience my belief in a separation of church and state was solidified. I taught school for 3 years, and used to face this topic in class as I was a history/current events teacher. I used to point out that if the separation of church and state were lifted, I would be free to teach my faith to my students. I am fairly certain that given that option, many of those parents who were clamoring for religion in schools would have been taught a good lesson as to why a separation of church and state is a good idea.

09 October, 2006 09:05  
Blogger Julie said...

Brian,

Thanks for the info, as I thought ministers did not pay taxes.

Trey,

I agree, if I were allowed to walk into a public school and teach my interpertation of the Bible, I'm sure many parents would say they want the separation of Church and State.

Blessings to you both.

Julie

09 October, 2006 11:45  

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