Mark Oppenheimer of Time wrote a piece that’s caused great consternation among conservatives regarding churches giving up their 501(c)3 tax-exempt status. In the piece, he argues:
“Rather than try to rescue tax-exempt status for organizations that dissent from settled public policy on matters of race or sexuality, we need to take a more radical step. It’s time to abolish, or greatly diminish, their tax-exempt statuses…
…And many churches and synagogues sit on exceedingly valuable tracts of land…The property taxes they aren’t paying have to be drawn from business owners and private citizens–in a real sense, you and I are subsidizing Mormon temples, Muslims mosques, Methodist churches.”
He goes on, but the thrust of his argument is that churches are antiquated in our modern society, and as such, shouldn’t be subsidized by the government. He notes that charitable giving would drop due to increases in taxes paid by the churches, but that the government would pick up the tab for charity. Excuse me while I laugh like a crazy person.
Thomas D. Williams of Breitbart writes:
“Just last month, the Church announced the closing of seven more churches, added to the more than 30 church closings that were announced last November.”
Williams also provides fantastic rebuttals to all of Oppenheimer’s points. But here’s the thing: I agree with Oppenheimer. No, not in the way he goes about it, pretentiously posturing against churches in favor of big government. However, I think it’s time churches gave up our 501(c)3 tax-exempt statuses.
It’s never been much of a problem before; churches were a protected class of institution, but as the social liberal agenda advances more swiftly than we could have ever imagined, that’s not going to be the case for much longer. I don’t want the government to have any power or influence over my church.
Churches are not allowed to endorse political candidates or “preach politics” as a rule. Many have defied that rule, but how long do you think those who don’t follow the rules will continue to do so without being sued into the Stone Age? As the monolith of leftist social ideology grows larger and more powerful, they’re going to come after churches with radical force.
Yes, I realize that many churches will likely have to close, given the intense tax burden. However, people will always find a way to worship God. People will give more to their church so that it can stay afloat, or they won’t. Perhaps they’ll find smaller, less adorned buildings in which they can worship God. Or they’ll split up and meet in houses. I’ve experienced all of the above: big fancy churches, small industrial churches, and house churches. You know what they all have in common? Love of Christ.
We will find a way. We always do. God provides.
There will soon come a time when it’s imperative to endorse candidates, and openly preach politics in the church. Contrary to what some Christians want to believe, politics and faith are intrinsically intertwined. As such, we need the government out of the picture; we need to get rid of the tool that the fed can use to influence our body.
We’re in the beginning stages of a culture war, one that will pit the government against people of faith, and we need to be armed and ready. Tax-exempt status is a form of control that I believe we should tear off, and with great joy, throw to the ground.
Anti-faith warriors believe the church is antiquated. I think the federal government is morally corrupt, and it’s time we disconnect from their feeding tubes.
No more 501(c)3.