Mike Huckabee says churches should give up tax exempt status

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In a surprising move, Christian conservative and Republican leader Mike Huckabee is encouraging churches to give up their tax exempt status. Huckabee issued the following call for churches tounilaterally give up their tax-exempt status via Twitter on June 11:


"It's time for churches to reject tax exempt status completely; freedom is more important than government financial favors," tweeted Huckabee.

Huckabee first suggested that Christians “give up tax-exempt status and tax deductions for charitable contributions” on June 10, while speaking at the pastors’ conference prior to the annual Southern Baptist Convention meeting in Houston.

There Huckabee said: "I think we need to recognize that it may be time to quit worrying so much about the tax code and start thinking more about the truth of the living God, and if it means that we give up tax-exempt status and tax deductions for charitable contributions, I choose freedom more than I choose a deduction that the government gives me permission to say what God wants me to say."

Written By: Michael Stone
continue to source article at examiner.com

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  1. Ah. So he’s saying that treating homosexuals like trash and encouraging everyone else to do so is more important than money.

    Okay. Good luck to him! He’ll need it. I’m not sure he quite understands how much money conservative churches stand to loose lik this, and how little they fear the IRS ever coming after them when they break the rules.

  2. This is idea is being floated to gauge support and potentially mount a last ditch effort to reclaim the power the Religious Right once had. By removing the tax exemption, Big Faith will have the freedom to specifically endorse political candidates.

    Mike

    • In reply to #2 by Sample:

      This is idea is being floated to gauge support and potentially mount a last ditch effort to reclaim the power the Religious Right once had. By removing the tax exemption, Big Faith will have the freedom to specifically endorse political candidates.

      Mike… That’s a scary thought. I hadn’t considered that angle. OOH….very scary.

  3. Well Mike, I see that your hidden agenda is to have churches to be allowed more say in government. Churches should not be tax exempt, NOR should they be allowed to have a say in government. Are you still willing to give up your tax exempt status under these circumstances Mike?

    • In reply to #3 by holysmokes:

      Well Mike, I see that your hidden agenda is to have churches to be allowed more say in government. Churches should not be tax exempt, NOR should they be allowed to have a say in government. Are you still willing to give up your tax exempt status under these circumstances Mike?

      Once a church pays its taxes why shouldn’t it be allowed to endorse political figures or political positions? Every other corporation can.

  4. Hmmm – I wonder what he’s up to?

    Specifically, what does this mean: “I choose freedom more than I choose a deduction that the government gives me permission to say what God wants me to say.”

    Does he think churches that don’t take tax deductions will be better able to impose their religious will on the government?

    • oops — didn’t see the other responses when I posted. Looks like we’re all on the same wavelength — I think it shows grave desperation on the part of conservative Christians.

      I don’t think the churches will go for it. they love money more than they hate fags.

      In reply to #4 by Sara:

      Hmmm – I wonder what he’s up to?

      Specifically, what does this mean: “I choose freedom more than I choose a deduction that the government gives me permission to say what God wants me to say.”

      Does he think churches that don’t take tax deductions will be better able to impose their religious will on…

    • In reply to #4 by Sara:

      Hmmm – I wonder what he’s up to? Specifically, what does this mean: “I choose freedom more than I choose a deduction that the government gives me permission to say what God wants me to say.” Does he think churches that don’t take tax deductions will be better able to impose their religious will on the government?

      I think its a waste of time to try and analyze what people like the huckster say too deeply. They make their living by generating endless blather which is essentially all a promotion for their various marked up videos, site subscriptions, books, etc. My favorite is the one where they will send a fax to congress for you for only $25. (Not sure if that is one of his but others like him have done that)

      Logical consistency is not a requirement. I don’t think there is any deeper strategy beyond just trying to be controversial and say something that people will notice. That will drive more eyeballs to his site and will make it more likely that people will book him as a guest to promote his stuff, I mean talk about the issues. If he gave this any thought he would realize that his fellow hucksters are no more likely to give up their tax exempt status then,… well then he is. I’m sure he has at least one non-profit PAC associated with him.

    • In reply to #6 by zengardener:

      Giving up tax status will not allow churches to get around the wall.

      That wall, true. But it would take away the current penalty of losing their exempt status. Am I missing something else?

      Mike

  5. ” I think we need to recognize that it may be time to quit worrying so much about the tax code and start thinking more about the truth of the living God, “

    Reality is still to be worried about and thinking about delusion just gets in the way of that worry, Mike.

    • In reply to #11 by Drat:

      Wrong – the outrageous tax privileges should be summarily removed by government. Then religious groups should be barred from meddling in politics and government.

      Well that’s a problem. Some corporations regularly meddle in government, so what determines which should be barred from doing that?

  6. I can hardly believe it is Mike Huckabee making this point. If he got his way churches would be free to lobby all they wanted.

    The government would be out of the business of deciding which churches are legit and which are not.

    There is also the matter of fairness, e.g. corporations with a church connection having an unfair advantage over other corporations when in fact there is no difference between them.

    Churches are largely scofflaws, doing advocacy while still refusing to ante up any stake in the game. It is a bit like insisting on what kind of pizza the gang should buy then contributing nothing to its cost. Huckabee’s plan would eliminate that hypocrisy.

    There are so many groups doing work similar to what churches claim to do, who do not get the tax free status. Eliminating the loophole altogether would create a level playing field. There should be a corresponding tax rebate, possibly one unusually easy to donate to the charity of your choice.

  7. That Huckabee boy is so naive that still believes that religious organizations aren’t business concerns, but they care for the poor. He still believes in Father Christmas and the Tooth Fairy. I wonder how many of these organizations will give up their financial privileges. Wanna bet?

    • In reply to #15 by Odalrich:

      That Huckabee boy is so naive that still believes that religious organizations aren’t business concerns, but they care for the poor. He still believes in Father Christmas and the Tooth Fairy. I wonder how many of these organizations will give up their financial privileges. Wanna bet?

      Actually, I think the naive thing is thinking he was actually serious when he said this. He wasn’t. He was just trying to get attention. People like Huckabee and Palin are a business. They make millions by having people go to their web sites and pay for subscriptions, videos, books, and donations. IMO this was nothing but an attempt (a successful one since we are talking about it) to generate attention. He knows there is no chance it will happen. Also, due to the low information and intelligence level of his followers he can come out the next day and say that such a proposal would be a violation of church and state and no one (that matters to him) would notice.

  8. Once a church pays its taxes why shouldn’t it be allowed to endorse political figures or political positions? Every other corporation can.

    A document that forbids the two mixing. This could be a very interesting experiment.

  9. All in favour ? The ayes have it. Think about this for a moment. Which churches are losing members, and what are the age groups of the lost members ? Young people, who are turned off by the politics, sexual and others, of the evangelical churches. So, let them crank up the preaching machines, and let them fulminate against politicians and the LGBT community. I see this as an even faster way to drive the young away from those churches. With enough luck, they will collapse internally, with a large sucking sound. As for them affecting elections with their funding power, I think the only people they will convince are those who donated the money to pay for the adverts. A self-imposed death spiral.

  10. Sometimes someone with whom one always disagrees comes up with a suggestion totally contrary to their pathologically religious dogma!
    Perhaps the honest truth suddenly arrives as the dawn?

  11. Churches are already meddling in political affairs. Look at how the fundamentalists have flourished since the Reagan era. It really brought out the extremists. Religious intrusion also permits me from getting a drink on a Sunday in certain areas. Why can’t I have a champagne mimosa for Sunday breakfast? Oh fear! She’ll run drunken, whoring through the whole town! For years I’ve had the same gynecologist at a local Catholic hospital. I needed to call radiology for a mammogram and the message on the phone was different this year. It said something about medical care based on Christian principles and the faith of Jesus Christ. You can imagine what I’m now thinking. The fact that gay people cannot freely marry is – at the core – for religious reasons. We’ve also heard about religion in the military. During the last election, I noticed a mailer that discouraged a particular vote because it went against their faith. It wasn’t directly from the Catholic church, but select members who started their own organization – thus the Church indirectly trying to sway the election. Religion has been intruding all along. Shall I continue?

    Get rid of their tax status (They’ve never deserved it.) and they will start opening their mouths so wide that many church members will see once and for all the lack of love, understanding and compassion that really is in the back of the mind of many of these ministers and religious leaders. They might be good for the extremists, but it might cause a whole new group of people to finally wake up.

  12. I suspect Huckabee thinks paying tax on churches will mean they can organize as political forces, something we don’t do in the US. Until recently. But he’s in for a shock though. Most of us will take the taxes, but those old white power hungry men have pissed of too many people.

    I really want the Catholic Churches taxes. That would muzzle them dealing with the chaos for a while.

  13. This reminds me of that South Park episode where one of the kids gets made the head of Scientology. He’s coming up with all sorts of new ideas and the guy is saying “yes, yes, great” until one idea is that people should get to join for free. “WOAH…. no way!” Huckabee has made the same mistake. He actually wants to focus on the non-financial aspects of the church? Haha, what kind of idiot is he?

  14. I never understood the whole tax-exempt thing in the first place. As far as I can see, it’s unconstitutional. The government should make the poor folks tax-exempt, not these organizations that are usually richer than god (pun intended)…. BUT, as far as religious people go, Mike Huckabee seems to be a fairly smart and likeable guy. Well, as smart as a christian can be. My only real exposure to him was when the republicans were running a dozen people for prez a while back. And he stood out as at least having a partially functioning brain. Praises to Thomas Jefferson though. The separation of church and state was one of the best ideas those guys came up with.

    • In reply to #26 by fishhead:

      I never understood the whole tax-exempt thing in the first place. As far as I can see, it’s unconstitutional.

      No unfortunately its very constitutional. The beginning of the first amendment to the constitution is “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof;”

      To tax something you need to make a law that says you can tax it hence no tax on churches. I agree though that this is outdated but at the time I think it was an excellent idea. The US founders knew all the wars and persecution that Europe went through in large part due to religion and wanted to start a new country that was free from it.

      My only real exposure to him was when the republicans were running a dozen people for prez. And he stood out as at least having a partially functioning brain.

      I kind of agree but that makes Huckabee more dangerous IMO not less. He is a smooth huckster and he can come off sounding half way rational at least compared to the other lunatics but when you actually look at the substance of what he says he is as anti-woman, anti-science, as any of them.

      One other thing to remember is that Huckabee is a business. He makes money by driving people to his web site and selling them books, DVDs, subscriptions, or my favorite “we will fax your congressman for only $20″. Why is that relevant? Because when you are in a business like that the way to maximize your profit is to get your name in the news as often as possible and the way to do that is say outrageous things that will get attention. IMO that is all this was. He was never serious about the idea and he’s a supreme hypocrite since he uses all kinds of tax loopholes for his huckster business and would scream fascism if anyone tried to curtail them.

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