Class Warfare Blog

April 6, 2019

Are We Violating the First Amendment?

The first amendment to the Constitution begins with the words “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof …” and then changes the subject. This “law” has been declared to apply also to state governments.

Currently, the IRS and state taxing authorities generally exempt churches from paying taxes. As a consequence, I must pay more in taxes to make up that shortfall. Therefore, I am being forced by the government to support those churches (even Scientology!). This seems like a violation of the spirit of the First Amendment at the very least and the letter of Constitutional law at the most.

I know some will object and say that churches are charitable organizations and qualify for tax-exempt status thereby. A study I read indicated that just a few percent of most churches incomes (<5%) goes to charity (most going to costs such as utilities, employee salaries, etc.), so that doesn’t hold water. Others claim that churches are non-profits and that doesn’t hold water, either. How is a church, an institution that gives out advice (some for fee, some pro bono) any different from a tax accountant or financial advisor? Granted they may not make much profit to be taxed but they could not sustain continuing losses, so they must make some profit, and some of the large property owning churches make scads of money. And taxes on profits are not the only taxes. Dentists are taxed upon their dental chairs and offices if they own them (property taxes). Financial advisors are taxed likewise. Churches? Not so much.

(And don’t get me started on prosperity churches and their jet plane owning pastors.)


  1. A law to exempt churches from taxation should not exist. Make no law is make no law. Not favoritism, not restriction, not aiding nor abetting. They should be taxed along with everyone else, not favored

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by jim- — April 6, 2019 @ 10:01 am | Reply

  2. Some churches provide housing for their pastor … another tax dodge.

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by Nan — April 6, 2019 @ 11:41 am | Reply

  3. Being like old Bugs Bunny (being a stinker), I have wondered for many long years why any church needs to be tax exempt. Oh, wait, the RCC (Rome/pope/) own so much property on this small planet that they would maybe have to hold a bake sale every day of every week to just meet the overdue add-ons to their late tax payments. Here in Loosely-Annie, we get property tax bills due in full in late November. Hell, it was the same in SoCal, but at least until I left that state in 2000, they allowed you to pay half by the end of December and the balance by late April with zero penalties.


    Comment by Walter Kronkat — April 6, 2019 @ 2:28 pm | Reply

  4. There are many ways the law is being broken. From no tax revenues for churches, to school vouchers, to freedom to deny people services based on gender/sexual orientation, to questionable funding for an ark scheme in Kentucky, to having Mike effing Pence as V.P.

    Why have laws and constitutions if we are going to ignore them? Or find ways to circumvent them?

    Let’s declare anarchy and say the hell with it…


    Comment by shelldigger — April 6, 2019 @ 5:28 pm | Reply

  5. Has anyone tried to fight this all the way to the SC?


    Comment by john zande — April 6, 2019 @ 5:57 pm | Reply

    • Good question. Considering the reception Madeline Murray O’hare got, I doubt it.

      On Sat, Apr 6, 2019 at 5:57 PM Class Warfare Blog wrote:



      Comment by Steve Ruis — April 7, 2019 @ 12:18 pm | Reply

      • Consider it a counter-move for their push to get abortions cases before the bench.


        Comment by john zande — April 7, 2019 @ 12:43 pm | Reply

  6. To qualify for tax exempt status in America religious organizations must provide proof of a charitable mission. Want to know what “mission” Scientology pitched to gain tax exemption? Don’t know if the pitch or sale is more disturbing, you tell me. Scientology gained exemption on the basis of their mission to provide “free personality tests”. I kid you not, kill me now!


    Comment by Notes To Ponder — April 7, 2019 @ 1:54 am | Reply

    • The story of how they got that exception came out on the TV series of Scientology by Leah Remini, a former Scientology star. It is astonishing.

      On Sun, Apr 7, 2019 at 1:54 AM Class Warfare Blog wrote:



      Comment by Steve Ruis — April 7, 2019 @ 12:20 pm | Reply

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