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Gromdor

Churches as businesses?

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Gromdor

https://apnews.com/8a34b6599602dbd751f2c1fcb93387fe

Recently Trump signed an executive order declaring churches as "essential businesses".  My first reaction was, "Well, whatever..."

But come to think about it.  Churches aren't businesses at all.  They are non-profits and exempt from tax.

Is Trump by executive order inadvertently declaring churches to be taxable?  Or is he in error and unable to enact the Defense Production Act to declare them "essential businesses"?

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third_eye

Key phrase, "essential to the economy"

~

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spartan max2
Posted (edited)

Churches aren't businesses.

But during this virus people decided to allow the government to close and open whatever they want based on whatever abitary logic they decide. So I'm not surprised.

Edited by spartan max2

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and then

If his action can be used to damage him or his support then you can be certain that attempt will be made.  This is about the First Amendment to me and nothing else.  Those who hate the idea of religious organizations being allowed a tax free status have no problem whatever with demanding zero mention of God in public places but refuse to acknowledge that taxing religious gatherings is a form of government meddling in church autonomy.  

Remember this?  We hear it all the time:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion,

but the other part of that amendment rarely gets mentioned:

or prohibiting the free exercise thereof

Those who generally hold religionists in contempt love to use 1A to teach them a lesson in public but rarely defend the OTHER part of the establishment clause.  By taxing churches - notice we never have the same discussion about Synagogues or Mosques? - the government can cause pressure to be brought to bear on the messages carried by those churches.  Recently there was a mayor in San Antonio (IIRC) who demanded to see all of the pastor's notes for his Sunday services.  That kind of creeping oversight is MUCH easier to accomplish when financial leverage exists.  Mega Churches make up a tiny % of total houses of worship in this nation.  Most congregations struggle to keep the facility in shape and pay its staff a decent wage. 

But, hate will have its way eventually.  The thing is, it always consumes ITSELF in the end. 

 

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weaselrunner

A number of years ago, l worked with a guy who was also a pastor. A very small congregation and getting smaller. We had any number of  conversations about church and its workings. Even coming from him, yes, church is nothing but a business. When he needed help from the southern Baptist board it was all about the money and numbers. Needless to say he became very disappointed in the system and finally got out of it. I have been to too many churches where it's praise the lord and fill the collection plate.

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Gromdor
19 minutes ago, and then said:

If his action can be used to damage him or his support then you can be certain that attempt will be made.  This is about the First Amendment to me and nothing else.  Those who hate the idea of religious organizations being allowed a tax free status have no problem whatever with demanding zero mention of God in public places but refuse to acknowledge that taxing religious gatherings is a form of government meddling in church autonomy.  

Remember this?  We hear it all the time:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion,

but the other part of that amendment rarely gets mentioned:

or prohibiting the free exercise thereof

Those who generally hold religionists in contempt love to use 1A to teach them a lesson in public but rarely defend the OTHER part of the establishment clause.  By taxing churches - notice we never have the same discussion about Synagogues or Mosques? - the government can cause pressure to be brought to bear on the messages carried by those churches.  Recently there was a mayor in San Antonio (IIRC) who demanded to see all of the pastor's notes for his Sunday services.  That kind of creeping oversight is MUCH easier to accomplish when financial leverage exists.  Mega Churches make up a tiny % of total houses of worship in this nation.  Most congregations struggle to keep the facility in shape and pay its staff a decent wage. 

But, hate will have its way eventually.  The thing is, it always consumes ITSELF in the end. 

 

That's a much more legally compelling and unfortunately completely different argument than the use of DPA to declare Churches as "essential businesses." 

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Cookie Monster
55 minutes ago, Gromdor said:

https://apnews.com/8a34b6599602dbd751f2c1fcb93387fe

Recently Trump signed an executive order declaring churches as "essential businesses".  My first reaction was, "Well, whatever..."

But come to think about it.  Churches aren't businesses at all.  They are non-profits and exempt from tax.

Is Trump by executive order inadvertently declaring churches to be taxable?  Or is he in error and unable to enact the Defense Production Act to declare them "essential businesses"?

Churches are businesses, and they have tax breaks under law.

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Gromdor
7 minutes ago, Cookie Monster said:

Churches are businesses, and they have tax breaks under law.

Not in America.  They are considered charities and their financial activities exist outside of the taxable economy. 

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Piney
25 minutes ago, Cookie Monster said:

 they have tax breaks under law.

Yeah, they don't pay any taxes. 

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Cookie Monster
34 minutes ago, Gromdor said:

Not in America.  They are considered charities and their financial activities exist outside of the taxable economy. 

I think where you are going wrong is you believe a business must meet the criteria of being a for profit sole trader, partnership, or limited organisation. In law, non-for profits such as charities and churches are businesses. So are state owned institutions like the army, the police, the civil service, and schools.

Corporate taxes apply to for profit organisations. Churches are exempt.

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XenoFish

Those mega churches have gift shops, make of that what you will.

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Gromdor
3 minutes ago, Cookie Monster said:

I think where you are going wrong is you believe a business must meet the criteria of being a for profit sole trader, partnership, or limited organisation. In law, non-for profits such as charities and churches are businesses. So are state owned institutions like the army, the police, the civil service, and schools.

Corporate taxes apply to for profit organisations. Churches are exempt.

Classifying them as businesses run afoul of our first amendment for multiple reasons.   It's why we went out of the way to classify them as charities- an important legal distinction for the sake of the Constitution.

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Cookie Monster
21 minutes ago, Gromdor said:

Classifying them as businesses run afoul of our first amendment for multiple reasons.   It's why we went out of the way to classify them as charities- an important legal distinction for the sake of the Constitution.

In law a business is an organisation of people seeking to achieve an objective.

The organisation can seek to make a profit in which case it is a sole trader, partnership, LLP, or incorporated entity. If it doesnt seek to make a profit it can be a private non-for profit or a state owned non-for profit. Examples are state owned institutions like the army, and privately owned charities or churches.

It is not a requirement in law that to be a business the organisation has to be for profit.

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bison

In the United States, decisions about  business closures, stay-at-home orders, and the prohibition of public gatherings, due to an epidemic, are legally understood to be the function of State Governors, and County Health Officers. It's held that these individuals are better informed and better equipped to respond appropriately to the localized conditions of an epidemic than are Federal Officials. This is not about political partisanship, it is about following recognized medical and epidemiological expertise. 

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skliss

I heard him say churches were "essential" but not "essential businesses". He said they were essential to people's mental well being and sense of community which many people were feeling bereft of. 

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Gromdor
28 minutes ago, skliss said:

I heard him say churches were "essential" but not "essential businesses". He said they were essential to people's mental well being and sense of community which many people were feeling bereft of. 

That's just it.  If it isn't the DPA, then by what authority does he have to override the governors? 

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third_eye

"Voters"

Quote
Indeed, it is impossible to accurately describe the religion–state relationship without an appreciation for religious lobbyists. These groups, ...
 
~
 
They may engage in lobbying activities as long as the lobbying does not form a “ substantial part” of their activities. According to the IRS, ..

~

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Hammerclaw

A non-profit business, also known as a not-for-profit organization, is a tax-exempt organization formed for religious, charitable, literary, artistic, scientific, or educational purposes. It is an incorporated business from which its shareholders or trustees do not benefit financially. Any money earned must be retained by the organization, and used for its own expenses, operations, and programs. A few well known non-profit organizations include Habitat for Humanity, Red Cross, and United Way....WIKI

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