Should Churches Be Taxed?
[Reprinted from an undated pamphlet, Simple Talks
on Taxation, published by the author]
... Here's a feller says the
churches ought to pay taxes.
think he's right. In fact, you'd think they'd want to, out of
But the church is the house
all we know, God might feel that he'd like to carry his corner
of the public expense. I'm inclined to think he would.
The churches ought to keep
all the money they can get, they do a lot of good all the time.
do you and I.
Yeah. And we can deduct
what we give.
can't deduct our whole income, the way they do, just because we
give some of it away, can we?
Oh! It isn't the same. They
don't do anything else but just good.
but they do two kinds of good.
How do you mean?
like the Rotary and the Lions, most of those clubs, they help
the needy, they give free meals to down-and-outers, do things
fox the blind ... That's one kind of good they do.
What's the other?
other's different. They give religious consolation, they battle
with sin. Some of them even forgive it.
Well, that's all good,
Well, yes, you could claim that, but it's only good for the
people of the particular church.
Still, it's good, isn't it?
only the game kind of good that an athletic club offers for
athletes, or a bridge club offers to bridge players, and they
pay their share of the public expense.
It isn't the same thing, at
Well, those clubs are just
for pleasure, for one thing.
are the churches.
You're crazy! They're for
hearing God's word! They're for worship! They're for ...
doesn't that give pleasure to a religious person? Going to
No. He goes to church
because it's his duty. He has to.
to? Do you ever have to go to a Moslem temple?
Me? To a Moslem temple! I
sure don't! I'm a Baptist.
you go to the church where all the Baptists go?
I told you. I'm a Baptist.
have any Moslem or Jews or Catholics at your church?
Certainly not. They have
their own churches.
it's Catholics to their churches; Jews to their synagogues, and
Moslems to their temples, huh?
Now you're talking sense.
they all cater to their own inside group, you might say that
they're exclusive worship clubs, huh?
I don't see that that would
mean anything. Besides, they're much more than clubs. They're
guardians of the people's morals.
about the law being the guardian of the people's morals?
The law takes care of
crime. The churches battle against sin.
if you're against sin ... no taxes! Is that it?
Sa-ay! I'm against sin! No
more taxes for me!