It is a permissible reading of the [free exercise clause]...to say that if prohibiting the exercise of religion is not the object of the [law] but merely the incidental effect of a generally applicable and otherwise valid provision, the First Amendment has not been offended...
"Today, Catholic politicians, bureaucrats, and their electoral supporters who callously enable the destruction of innocent human life in the womb also thereby reject Jesus as their Lord. They are objectively guilty of grave sin. [...] I therefore call upon every practicing Catholic in this Diocese to vote. Be faithful to Christ and to your Catholic Faith. May God guide and protect his Holy Church, and may God bless America.
And that's why our time-honored systems for keeping it from destabilizing our society shouldn't be tampered with by well-meaning crusaders whose emotionally-appealing arguments lack historical perspective. We've already gone too far toward dismantling that historical wall of separation, and it's already damaged the integrity of our society enough.
Drinky Die: They are tax exempt because they provide beneficial charitable services to the community. It's not about discouraging speech, but encouraging people to give back to society. Election ads are great and all, but I think polling will find people think we have too much of them and they don't need to be encouraged with tax free status.
"According to an official church Welfare Services fact sheet, the [LDS] church gave $1.3 billion in humanitarian aid in more than 178 countries and territories during the 25 years between 1985 and 2010. A fact sheet from the previous year indicates that less than one-third of the sum was monetary assistance, while the rest was in the form of “material assistance.” All in all, if one were to evenly distribute that $1.3 billion over a quarter-century, it would mean that the church gave $52 million annually. A study co-written by Cragun and recently published in Free Inquiry estimates that the Mormon Church donates only about 0.7 percent of its annual income to charity; the United Methodist Church gives about 29 percent."
JackFlash: So taxing churches directly, like any non-profit, is really non-productive because there is very little profit to tax.
The organization must not be organized or operated for the benefit of private interests, and no part of a section 501(c)(3) organization's net earnings may inure to the benefit of any private shareholder or individual
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