Dewey - Human history indicates a preponderance of bad results, in religion and everything else imaginable.
Yes, losing the Falwells would be great, but losing the Dr. King's would be a far greater loss. We will always have the Falwells; even if we restricted ministers as you suggest, the Falwells of the world will still drag us down. We need the Dr. Kings to bring us back up and help us climb above. Imagine the civil rights movement of the 60's without King.
I get your point, but I would hate to think that the civil rights movement of the 60s would have not occurred without religious involvement in government. I think it more likely that it would have occurred earlier or not been necessary at all without religious involvement.
Sorry, but you'll have to hate what you think or slip into delusion. Even if we take out Dr. King and the many other Christian religious leaders who played such a prominent role in the movement, the other half of the movement was led my Muslim leaders. Even the more radical and less blatantly religious civil rights leaders, like Malcom X, were heavily influenced by religious teaching.
I have no idea why you think the civil rights movement would have occurred earlier without religious leadership; doesn't make much sense to suggest that the movement would have occurred earlier if we remove all (well, most) of the movement's prominent leaders.
As a matter of history, the religious involvement is irreplaceable. This is not limited to the 60's movement. Abolition in the 1800's was motivated by religious ideas and spiritual leaders. Or we can look at Gandhi's movement in India; not blatantly religious, and Gandhi was certainly influenced by essentially secular thinkers like Jefferson and Thoreau (though, Thoreau took his ideas from Eastern religion, go figure), but Gandhi also drew a great deal from Hindu teaching and relied on his personal spiritual practice. Desmund Tutu in South Africa is another great example.
Can you point to any grand religious awakening that triggered these events? None of these religions underwent any major changes, yet the political climate shifted dramatically.
"Grand religious awakening" is a broad term. I would call the Christian opposition to slavery a great religious awakening; these people looked at chattel slavery and then at their scripture and realized the institution was without any justification.
My point is this, at what point did the scripture change?
If the scripture has not changed (which it obviously has not), then we can suppose interpretation of the scripture has changed, and this points to evolving moral norms manipulating how religion is practiced rather than how religion is practiced effecting moral norms.
Answer: It is therefore not in the best interest of governments that have a population of multiple religious orientations to give any tax-break indulgences to any religious sect.
It's a little hard for me to visualize a religious group so small as to escape all taxation but so powerful as to wield significent political influence...
Imo they should pay tax as any other organisation who recive money, specially that they take a zealous interest in reciveing money from naive and good hearted people.
Churches and religious groups generally contribute billions of dollars of free services to the economy every year. Taxing them because you don't like religion is not a particularly good argument.
They deserve tax breaks only and because they are not selling anything. As soon as they start to charge for anything (with sensible exceptions for cost recovery) they should pay tax. So, of course, Scientology should be taxed. They hide behind the good faith of many other religious organizations so they can peddle their nonsense for big money with the endorsement of their tame hollywood stars.
But why tax St Vincent de Paul, or the Little Sisters of Charity? How do you justify taxing selfless people trying to serve humanity?
Churches don't pay taxes. They don't even have to file income tax returns. They don't pay for the services they receive from government. The citizens pay for those services in addition to paying for their own services.
Why do we exempt the churches? Mostly, we wish to avoid the appearance of overstepping the constitutionally-required boundary between government and church. Also, we assume that sll churches provide valuable services to the community, including the charitable services already generally exempt.
The exemption is conditional. The constitutional boundary also applies to the churches. They are barred from engaging in excessive political lobbying and any political campaigning. And, religious organizations are supposed to pay taxes on business activities unrelated to their ministry.
So, how does all that register with you? Is it all a good idea? Is it all working the way it's supposed to? What, if anything about it, bothers you?