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Someone Please Explain Why The Church Isn't Paying Tax

Other | Tuesday 29th March 2016 | Sabrin

There may be a decline of people identifying as Christians in the UK but that hasn’t made a difference to one of the most out-dated laws in our country. Every corporation, company and organisation in the UK is required to pay their taxes each year. It’s not up for debate and those who attempt to evade our tax laws will find themselves dealing with one of the harshest legal predicaments.

As UK citizens, each and every one of us are reqiured to pay our taxes apart from one organisation – the church. Christians in the UK are becoming  a minority so it's very odd that one of the biggest and most powerful institutions are let off the money grabbing system that is our taxes. Why? The church has more money than your brain can physically understand - The Economist calculated that in America alone, the Catholic Church has an annual budget of $170 billion. ANNUAL! And that's just in the States - the global figure is much, much larger.

If you're going to run the richest instituion in the world, you might as well dress the part...

The whole point of paying taxes (supposedly, anyway) is to give into the community so that our money can go into the things that society needs like healthcare and education. We're all doing out bit - why isn't the church? What is the church contributing to society other than scaring kids at boys schools into sexual acts and sending Bible bashers to my front door to sell Jesus to me? 

Does it make sense that we are just supposed to accept that the richest establishment in the entire world doesn't need to pay tax or contribute to society in any way when all they sell is an inconsistent fairy-tale? At least fairy-tale's end with a handsome prince saving the day – with the church, we’re all just going to be condemned to an eternity of flames if you go near anything that is actually fun. Lovely.

But asking churches to pay taxes could be worse than them actually paying it. Baptisms already cost, and marriage in a church is by no means funded by the good people so what sort of havoc would come about if the church were asked to pay taxes? They'll probably stop hosting AA meetings (probably the only useful thing the church has ever done) - who would pay for the tuition fees of the bishops and ministers? Priests already have the luxury of free education, housing and life tenure because of this generous tax exemption and it’s scary to see how they would deal with having these delightful privileges taken away from them; a child with no toy comes to mind.

Seriously?

Those who support the church like to talk about how much good it does for the world and how much money it gives to charity but where the fuck is the evidence for that?! Has anyone seen any receipts? I'm pretty sure Akon's out there saving Africa so what's the church doing that's got everyone singing their praises? It's bullshit.

Mosh pit or someone being ordained?

On top of that, members of a clergy have “a right to a living”. This means that no matter whatever happens to their status, they should be allowed certain comforts. So if they’re suspended, ‘disgraced’ or just just completely shit, they'll still be provided and paid for. How’s that for privilege! The things that go on in churches are ignored all the time and nobody's speaking up about it. And we all know what a priest being "disgraced" can mean. Hint: it's pedophilia. 

So they may give some money to charity and they may feed the homeless (the two strongest arguments for keeping the church exempt from tax) but in comparison, how much does it amount to? Everyone needs shelter yet we pay tax on our properties. All people need food, yet grocery stores pay taxes. It’s bollocks to say that churches don’t need to pay taxes because just like every money-making corporation in our world, the church provides a service and that service should very much be taxable.

 

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