Happy Atheist Forum

Creation Museum Video

Re: Creation Museum Video
« Reply #15 on: July 16, 2008, 11:32:00 PM »
Here's some ways in which religion is currently subsidized by tax dollars:

Just over 20% of the market value of real estate in the US is owned by churches; the remaining 4/5ths of taxpayers make up the difference, so -

25% of all property taxes paid are paid directly to churches - you pay if you own, you pay if you rent, and you pay whenever you purchase a thing that includes the cost of property tax in production and sales overhead (literally everything you buy, product or service, originating in the US.)

And that's the tip of the iceberg, folks.

Of course, donations to the church are tax deductible - neither the donator or the donatee pay tax on money that would othewise be paid - twice.

Well - that's true of all nonprofits, you say, but - a secular nonprofit must produce the books and accounts, under law - as well as a list of contributors.

Churches are "special" - they are, ah, "separated" from the State (they play both sides of the fence), and need not produce - or even keep - books. The identities of congregation members and donators may be kept secret.

In this scenario, we have "religious communities" where the members donate all they have to the church, which responds by letting them keep actually keep and enjoy what they donate - like homes, land, and literally everything. The members pay tax on nothing - except to their church.

You could join such a scheme, but - very hard to make your own, for the separation of church and state now requires that the separated church be on the IRS Federally Approved list of denominations. THUS - while church and state are separate, the state determines what constitutes a religion.

AND OH, there's so much more...

Loffler

Re: Creation Museum Video
« Reply #16 on: July 16, 2008, 11:46:03 PM »
I meant how are we subsidizing the "Answers in Genesis" organization with our tax dollars.

Loffler

Re: Creation Museum Video
« Reply #17 on: July 16, 2008, 11:51:38 PM »
Quote
Just over 20% of the market value of real estate in the US is owned by churches; the remaining 4/5ths of taxpayers make up the difference, so -
What do you mean they make up the difference?
Quote
25% of all property taxes paid are paid directly to churches - you pay if you own, you pay if you rent, and you pay whenever you purchase a thing that includes the cost of property tax in production and sales overhead (literally everything you buy, product or service, originating in the US.)
On what grounds? When are they paid to the church? What's it say on the checks? I don't understand.
Quote
You could join such a scheme, but - very hard to make your own, for the separation of church and state now requires that the separated church be on the IRS Federally Approved list of denominations. THUS - while church and state are separate, the state determines what constitutes a religion.

That makes me wonder about a hypothetical.

What if a bunch of us atheists started a church. Not a new denomination, an actual church. We called it a Presbyterian church or something. But it was actually a meeting place for atheists, and a way to dodge taxes. What would be some possible results or consequences?

Re: Creation Museum Video
« Reply #18 on: July 17, 2008, 01:06:21 AM »
HEY Loffler! Congrats - you are drawing my same conclusions immediately!

First if all - if a government budget requires taxes, all benefit from the governments use of those taxes, BUT - IF some are excluded from paying the tax, while still receiving the benefits, they are being paid by taxpayers.

Those who DO pay the tax pay extra, to cover those that don't. This is EXACTLY equivalent to taxpayers paying that extra portion of the tax to the nontaxpayers directly, simple arithmetic - but face it, most people don't dig arithmetic. Those who do - Rule.

I, for instance, do not pay taxes - income OR sales. It's quite legal, too. Yet I have all I need, and all I want, in the material sense.

The same is true of donations. If I make a donation to a for-profit enterprise, I must still pay tax on the donation as income, and the recipient must ALSO pay tax on the contribution as income; so, taxes are paid twice on for-profit donations to - let's say - your children, or your elderly parents in a nursing home.

--------------------------------------------------

AH - the Church thing. I've always wanted to - now, I am in a position to do so.

For one thing, Atheists in the US greatly outnumber many tax-exempt religious sects, such as Buddhists - and even Jews, by a factor of about 7. Surely we are as entitled to the deduction as they are - and if we don't get it, we are left with a fabulous argument against giving ANYONE at tax break. Either way, we all pay less taxes, BaDaBingBang.

I was inspired recently by a big-buck evangelist church in Tulsa, OK - Guts Church. What I want is - Brains Church!

If you donate your money or property to the Church, I will give you an undated quitclaim deed (returning the money or property to you) which you may invoke at any time, without any required assent from the Church. The date you insert on the deed is the date you start paying taxes on the money or property again.

This would further include excluding everything you buy from taxes. Donate the money to the Church, the Church buys what you need tax free and gives it to you.

But actually, it's much simpler - as a Church member, you are a Church Officer, and may do this directly - as you do now - while paying an Operations fee to the Church that is a teeny, tiny fraction of what the Taxes might otherwise be, AND - you may keep all your finacial and property records a perfect, State-Approved secret. Now, NO ONE nows what you purchase or sell, not even vendors or customers.

Groovy! Lets start a new thread, eh?   :borg:

Loffler

Re: Creation Museum Video
« Reply #19 on: July 17, 2008, 01:22:32 AM »
Quote from: "Promethium147"
HEY Loffler! Congrats - you are drawing my same conclusions immediately!

First if all - if a government budget requires taxes, all benefit from the governments use of those taxes, BUT - IF some are excluded from paying the tax, while still receiving the benefits, they are being paid by taxpayers.
I don't buy into this paradigm. I think it's everyone's duty to figure out their own way to evade taxes. If other lobsters want to climb outta this bucket, I'm not gonna pull them back down.
Quote
Those who DO pay the tax pay extra, to cover those that don't. This is EXACTLY equivalent to taxpayers paying that extra portion of the tax to the nontaxpayers directly,
Not really. the churches are keeping their own money. You might as well say I'm stealing money from Burger King when I eat at Wendy's.
Quote
simple arithmetic - but face it, most people don't dig arithmetic. Those who do - Rule.


--------------------------------------------------

AH - the Church thing. I've always wanted to - now, I am in a position to do so.

For one thing, Atheists in the US greatly outnumber many tax-exempt religious sects, such as Buddhists - and even Jews, by a factor of about 7. Surely we are as entitled to the deduction as they are - and if we don't get it, we are left with a fabulous argument against giving ANYONE at tax break. Either way, we all pay less taxes, BaDaBingBang.

I was inspired recently by a big-buck evangelist church in Tulsa, OK - Guts Church. What I want is - Brains Church!

If you donate your money or property to the Church, I will give you an undated quitclaim deed (returning the money or property to you) which you may invoke at any time, without any required assent from the Church. The date you insert on the deed is the date you start paying taxes on the money or property again.

This would further include excluding everything you buy from taxes. Donate the money to the Church, the Church buys what you need tax free and gives it to you.

But actually, it's much simpler - as a Church member, you are a Church Officer, and may do this directly - as you do now - while paying an Operations fee to the Church that is a teeny, tiny fraction of what the Taxes might otherwise be, AND - you may keep all your finacial and property records a perfect, State-Approved secret. Now, NO ONE nows what you purchase or sell, not even vendors or customers.

Groovy! Lets start a new thread, eh?   :borg:
My mind is reeling.

Re: Creation Museum Video
« Reply #20 on: July 17, 2008, 01:59:15 AM »
Dude, you aren't getting it. Try this -

Let's say we both go to Burger King, and we each agree to pay for our own meal.

But when we get there and order, turns out - you forgot your wallet, so - I pay for your meal.

Thus,

1) Burger King (Government) provides two meals, and is paid for two meals.
2) I (taxpayer) receive one meal, but pay for two meals.
3) You (nontaxpayer) receive one meal, but pay for nothing.

Now, under this arrangement, in accordance with our tax laws,

4) Burger King will not give me a meal unless I pay for two, and give you one;
5) Further, Burger King is the only source of food available - due to your (nontaxpayer) votes.

You are being paid by me, no way around it; Burger King only cares because - You promote Burger King, scratchee backee, with votes - which are free.

I (taxpayer) don't like that arrangement.

I don't pay taxes, but - neither did Governor Nelson Rockefeller, ever in his life, not a dime.

We join with our Society not because our labors there produce something less or equal to what we can provide ourselves alone, but because putting our labors into Society provides each of us with MUCH MORE for the same labor. Human Society is far greater than the mere sum of its parts (individuals).

Each person figures how to minimize there taxes. They minimize them even more when they pay an accountant to do it (a Society). When many get together to avoid taxes, all involved avoid more taxes. A very effective example is - Churches.

Am I getting through?    :borg:

Loffler

Re: Creation Museum Video
« Reply #21 on: July 17, 2008, 02:17:26 AM »
You're getting through fine. Bill drives on the road Bob's taxes paid for. I just disagree that this is akin to Bob handing Bill some money. If it is, it is just as appropriate to say that if Bob wants the road built while Bill doesn't, but both are forced to pay for it, Bob stole money from Bill.

Both perspectives ignore the middle man who is really behind the movement of the money: the government. The addition of coercion renders lesser assessments moot. It's really more like a hostage situation. If a mugger demands $50 from you and me, and I cut and run, did I just steal from you? No, the mugger did.

Re: Creation Museum Video
« Reply #22 on: July 17, 2008, 03:29:48 AM »
Quote from: "Loffler"
You're getting through fine. Bill drives on the road Bob's taxes paid for. I just disagree that this is akin to Bob handing Bill some money. If it is, it is just as appropriate to say that if Bob wants the road built while Bill doesn't, but both are forced to pay for it, Bob stole money from Bill.

Both perspectives ignore the middle man who is really behind the movement of the money: the government. The addition of coercion renders lesser assessments moot. It's really more like a hostage situation. If a mugger demands $50 from you and me, and I cut and run, did I just steal from you? No, the mugger did.

But what if Bill, who doesn't pay taxes, drives a fleet of Semi Trucks pulling double trailers?  Bob only has his one little Mazda LX Death Trap.  Bill is using the road more often and putting more strain on the infrastructure, reducing its serviceable life (requiring more tax money that Bill doesn't pay to maintain/upgrade the roadway.)  I'd imagine that a Church in most places has a much larger footprint than most individuals (gas, water, electricity, sewer, fire/police protection, lot size, etc) which means (if my assumption is true) that the Church not only gets free stuff but actually gets more use of the free stuff than I would get from the stuff that I have partly paid for.

Though in defence of *some* churches that have an unofficial barter thing going.  Don't pay taxes but have food drives, clothing drives, provide volunteers and temporary shelter when some emergency happens.

Loffler

Re: Creation Museum Video
« Reply #23 on: July 17, 2008, 03:39:03 AM »
Quote from: "Jolly Sapper"
Quote from: "Loffler"
You're getting through fine. Bill drives on the road Bob's taxes paid for. I just disagree that this is akin to Bob handing Bill some money. If it is, it is just as appropriate to say that if Bob wants the road built while Bill doesn't, but both are forced to pay for it, Bob stole money from Bill.

Both perspectives ignore the middle man who is really behind the movement of the money: the government. The addition of coercion renders lesser assessments moot. It's really more like a hostage situation. If a mugger demands $50 from you and me, and I cut and run, did I just steal from you? No, the mugger did.

But what if Bill, who doesn't pay taxes, drives a fleet of Semi Trucks pulling double trailers?  Bob only has his one little Mazda LX Death Trap.  Bill is using the road more often and putting more strain on the infrastructure, reducing its serviceable life (requiring more tax money that Bill doesn't pay to maintain/upgrade the roadway.)  I'd imagine that a Church in most places has a much larger footprint than most individuals (gas, water, electricity, sewer, fire/police protection, lot size, etc) which means (if my assumption is true) that the Church not only gets free stuff but actually gets more use of the free stuff than I would get from the stuff that I have partly paid for.
Churches aren't one person, they're many people. They're not that inefficient a use of space.

Re: Creation Museum Video
« Reply #24 on: July 17, 2008, 06:27:41 AM »
OTAY, try again.

Loffler said:

You're getting through fine. Bill drives on the road Bob's taxes paid for. I just disagree that this is akin to Bob handing Bill some money. If it is, it is just as appropriate to say that if Bob wants the road built while Bill doesn't, but both are forced to pay for it, Bob stole money from Bill.

NO, I'm NOT getting through, methinks.

HIDDEN within the above example, the road is of general utility to both if Bill and Bob, where Bill drives to work on the road, creates wealth there, and some all Societies, human and animal.

Would you go to the Police? If they laughed at your complaint or ignored it (ran away), would you not be angry with them? Would you not feel defenseless against the world - unprotected by Authority AND your fellow men - and hide, proscribing your own freedom to walk the street?

Gimme a break - or better yet, gimme your wallet.     :borg:

McQ

  • *****
  • 3672
  • Foolproof and capable of terror.
Re: Creation Museum Video
« Reply #25 on: July 17, 2008, 06:45:04 AM »
Quote from: "Jolly Sapper"
Quote from: "Loffler"
You're getting through fine. Bill drives on the road Bob's taxes paid for. I just disagree that this is akin to Bob handing Bill some money. If it is, it is just as appropriate to say that if Bob wants the road built while Bill doesn't, but both are forced to pay for it, Bob stole money from Bill.

Both perspectives ignore the middle man who is really behind the movement of the money: the government. The addition of coercion renders lesser assessments moot. It's really more like a hostage situation. If a mugger demands $50 from you and me, and I cut and run, did I just steal from you? No, the mugger did.

But what if Bill, who doesn't pay taxes, drives a fleet of Semi Trucks pulling double trailers?  Bob only has his one little Mazda LX Death Trap.  

OK, so...
If Bill leaves Harrisburg, PA at 7 AM on I-76, traveling West towards Pittsburgh, PA at a speed of 70 mph. and Bob takes his Mazda from Pittsburgh, leaving at 7:30 AM, traveling East on I-76 at a speed of 65 mph, and neither ones stops for a pee break, who will reach Bedford first to find Sondra, the truck stop hooker and spend some "quality time"?

 :pop:
Elvis didn't do no drugs!
--Penn Jillette

Re: Creation Museum Video
« Reply #26 on: July 17, 2008, 06:46:42 AM »
POOP, the last post got the middle of it dumped somehow - try, try again.

OTAY, try again.

Loffler said:

You're getting through fine. Bill drives on the road Bob's taxes paid for. I just disagree that this is akin to Bob handing Bill some money. If it is, it is just as appropriate to say that if Bob wants the road built while Bill doesn't, but both are forced to pay for it, Bob stole money from Bill.

NO, I'm NOT getting through, methinks.

HIDDEN within the above example, the road is of general utility to both if Bill and Bob, where Bill drives to work on the road, creates wealth there, and some trickles down to Bob, Bob should pay - something. It is difficult to determine what - after all, if the road runs by both Bill and Bob' home, Bob may not drive, but - he gets police, ambulance, fire, mail, and someplace to walk. Since these are difficult to anticipate - everyone pays for this road equally.

BUT if Bill and Bob live in communities that are completely isolated from one another, economically and informationally, then - Bob paying for Bill's road is THEFT, nothing less, and would generally need to be done at the point of a gun - and often is.

Both perspectives ignore the middle man who is really behind the movement of the money: the government. The addition of coercion renders lesser assessments moot. It's really more like a hostage situation. If a mugger demands $50 from you and me, and I cut and run, did I just steal from you? No, the mugger did.

Now you express a sentiment which I abhor.

You would steal much more than $50 from me - you would steal my belief in the justice and altruism of my fellow man.

Tell me True - stand and be accounted - if I were to run and leave you to be robbed where we clearly outnumber the Oppressor and may overcome him easily, would you not be severely disappointed in me? Would you ever speak to me again? Would you tell other friends of it, that they might avoid me also - for my spinelessness?

Would you go to the Police? And what if they ignored the complaint, or laughed at it? Would you not feel defenseless - without support of your fellow man or Authority - isolated and alone? Would you not avoid the street from fear - and thus proscribe your own freedom to move about in public?

Altruism is central to all Societies, man and animal. It is a social duty, and I am nothing if not a man of duty.

Please - tell me you are not entirely lacking in concern for your fellows, a completely self centered individual - a sociopath - and withdraw the above.

Gimme a break - or better yet, gimme your wallet.     :borg:

Loffler

Re: Creation Museum Video
« Reply #27 on: July 17, 2008, 06:54:05 AM »
Quote from: "Promethium147"
OTAY, try again.

Loffler said:

You're getting through fine. Bill drives on the road Bob's taxes paid for. I just disagree that this is akin to Bob handing Bill some money. If it is, it is just as appropriate to say that if Bob wants the road built while Bill doesn't, but both are forced to pay for it, Bob stole money from Bill.

NO, I'm NOT getting through, methinks.

HIDDEN within the above example, the road is of general utility to both if Bill and Bob, where Bill drives to work on the road, creates wealth there, and some all Societies, human and animal.

Would you go to the Police? If they laughed at your complaint or ignored it (ran away), would you not be angry with them? Would you not feel defenseless against the world - unprotected by Authority AND your fellow men - and hide, proscribing your own freedom to walk the street?

Gimme a break - or better yet, gimme your wallet.     :borg:

Like I said, I understand. Just because I disagree with the normative conclusion doesn't mean I don't agree with the description of the situation. I don't think of taxes the way you do. Just because some government shlub tells me I owe taxes doesn't mean I accept their conditions. I owe money to people I choose to do business with, not people I was forced to do business with. The mugger example wasn't random. I pay taxes for the same reason I'd pay a mugger: my life has been threatened.

McQ

  • *****
  • 3672
  • Foolproof and capable of terror.
Re: Creation Museum Video
« Reply #28 on: July 17, 2008, 07:09:41 AM »
....and this has to do with the creation museum...how?  

Attempting to put the thread back on the rails it was on.... :lol:
Elvis didn't do no drugs!
--Penn Jillette

Re: Creation Museum Video
« Reply #29 on: July 17, 2008, 08:17:27 AM »
I see where we differ.

I have had this problem all my life - and have harnessed it.

When confronted with a threat - a very real threat - I smile, giggle, and sometimes guffaw. I realize this is a different outlook.

So, I'm sittin' in the coffee shop, after a complete massage, with the lovely masseuse. A large man I don't know walks by, stares angrily, and I smile - I never suspected he was her boyfriend (not ManFriend, apparently), and she laughed at him - which, of course, enraged him.

He then proffered his blade, and announced loudly and angrily for all to hear - "I'll cut your FUCKING HEART OUT!"

Being relaxed by an excelled massage, I smiled again, looked him in the eye, pushed out the chair for him and said, "NAWW. Sit - have some coffee."

He froze, made a high-pitched squeal, spun on his heel and dashed away.

It works, I say - but there's really no way to fake it.    

I do not fear death, or the process of death - I merely fear leaving things undone. I like it.   :borg: