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"Separation of Church and State"

NotreDame

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Unfortunatley for your chosen position, political speech IS part of the deal for being tax exempt. If such organizations wish to delve into political speech, they will simply have to start paying taxes like the rest of us.
Your position would be sound if paying taxes were a requirement to engage in political speech. However, the freedom of speech, including political speech, is a right and there is no price of admission in the form of paying taxes before anyone may choose to exercise this right. People do not pay taxes to exercise their free speech right of engaging in political speech. As a result, your view is untenable and illogical.


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Thoreau72

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Your position would be sound if paying taxes were a requirement to engage in political speech. However, the freedom of speech, including political speech, is a right and there is no price of admission in the form of paying taxes before anyone may choose to exercise this right. People do not pay taxes to exercise their free speech right of engaging in political speech. As a result, your view is untenable and illogical.


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What is at stake is not free speech itself, but a tax exempt status under IRS rules.

Free speech is a right. A tax exempt status is very much a privilege.
 

NotreDame

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What is at stake is not free speech itself, but a tax exempt status under IRS rules.

Free speech is a right. A tax exempt status is very much a privilege.
Great! The privilege of tax exempt status shouldn't be predicated upon whether a free speech right is exercised. Conditioning the privilege of tax exempt status on the condition of not exercising free speech renders "free speech" to be "at stake."

IRS: We offer tax exempt status, so long as you do not exercise your free speech right to political speech.

The government shouldn't condition its privileges on the basis its recipients choose to waive a specific right.
 

MaryAnne

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Tax exempt status should not be revoked on the basis "they cross over into Politics." I am not sure what "cross over" means, a very ambiguous phrase, but if the phrase is meant to include participation in or interjection into politics, then they should not lose their tax exempt status on this basis. "They" have as much a right and interest as anyone else to interject themselves and participate in politics. as A representative form of government cannot be representative when some are forced to sit on the sidelines to avoid being taxed. Tax exempt status is not and should not be predicated upon whether someone or some entity avails itself to the now very democratic process and the now very democratic system that was created to represent the entirety of us.

In addition, should the ambiguous phrase "cross over" include political speech, then tax exempt status should not be predicated upon the exercise of this free speech right. As James Madison acknowledged in the Virginia Resolution denouncing the Sedition Act signed into law by the Adam's Administration, political speech is of paramount importance to a democracy and republic, and must be zealously protected from infringement. Indeed, the U.S. Supreme Court has long recognized political speech as an important and fundamental aspect of free speech. Tax exempt status should not be revoked on the basis "they" chose to engage in political speech.
Preaching Politics from the Pulpit. Telling the Congregation who to vote for. That is crossing over,as you put it.
 

MaryAnne

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Your position would be sound if paying taxes were a requirement to engage in political speech. However, the freedom of speech, including political speech, is a right and there is no price of admission in the form of paying taxes before anyone may choose to exercise this right. People do not pay taxes to exercise their free speech right of engaging in political speech. As a result, your view is untenable and illogical.


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This does not concern paying taxes. This does concern Tax Exempt status.
 

Thoreau72

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Great! The privilege of tax exempt status shouldn't be predicated upon whether a free speech right is exercised. Conditioning the privilege of tax exempt status on the condition of not exercising free speech renders "free speech" to be "at stake."

IRS: We offer tax exempt status, so long as you do not exercise your free speech right to political speech.

The government shouldn't condition its privileges on the basis its recipients choose to waive a specific right.
No sir, what is "at stake" is the tax exempt status of a church.

Their speech is as free as anybody's speech, but when they break the tax rules, they lose the tax status.
 

NotreDame

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This does not concern paying taxes. This does concern Tax Exempt status.
I was clearly addressing another poster who most certainly made tax exempt status an issue. Or would you prefer to dictate to the rest of us what is or isn't the issue? As unfathomable as it my seem, other posters may have a different interest to be discussed from you.


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NotreDame

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"Separation of Church and State"

No sir, what is "at stake" is the tax exempt status of a church.

Their speech is as free as anybody's speech, but when they break the tax rules, they lose the tax status.
This ignores the fact the "tax rules" are conditioned upon not exercising a specific free speech right. As stated previously, and I reiterate a point you did not address, tax exempt status should not be conditioned upon not exercising a free speech right. No privilege of the government should be predicted upon not exercising a right.

People aren't taxed because they exercise their free speech rights. Neither should they be taxed for exercising their free speech rights.

A parallel to your view is the reprehensible conduct of conditioning the government privilege of financial assistance on the basis the recipient not exercise their 4th Amendment rights when some government representative comes to search their home or require they piss in a cup.

No privilege of the government should be predicted upon not exercising a right.



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A common objection of neo-conservatives is that the term "separation of church and state" is not found in the U.S. Constitution. This is true also of "the trinity" in the Bible. The term is not found, but the principle is. Obviously, "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof" contains this principle, but that is not the whole picture. States like the Commonwealth of Virginia had official state religion of Baptist a long time ago. At the time, this was not a violation of the "establishment clause" as the 1st Amendment was not binding on the states, but it was most certainly a violation of religious freedom as it took Jefferson's "Virginia Statue for Religious Freedom" to abolish the state religion.

The term "separation of church and state" gained prominence in American politics after the Supreme Court decision in Everson v Board of Education. If you read this decision and many others, you will understand that the 1st Amendment applies to the states through the 14th Amendment. Prior to the Civil War, the Bill of Rights was a protection that applied only to the Federal government. Many modern conservatives may find this hard to believe, but a state legislature could actually ban privately owned firearms and it would not be a violation of the 2nd Amendment as it applied only to the Federal government. This is basic "federalism".

After the civil war the 14th Amendment was "ratified" and was the first amendment which stated "No state shall..." The war and specifically this amendment turned the Constitution on it's head and started not only the vast growth in corporate power and corporate personhood "rights", but made the Bill of Rights applicable to the states which the courts expanded more and more especially throughout the 20th Century. These many court decisions will state the 1st, 4th, 5th, etc...is applicable through the 14th Amendment.

People can blame "secular liberals" or whoever all they want, but this goes back to the American civil war. My point is not to say which system was better or worse, but to give understanding to those who do not know this.
That's fine. And who, pray tell, made a high school valedictorian thanking a god in his speech a violation of the Constitution? What blithering idiot made a 17-year old girl thanking a god an establishment of religion by the government?
 

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That's fine. And who, pray tell, made a high school valedictorian thanking a god in his speech a violation of the Constitution? What blithering idiot made a 17-year old girl thanking a god an establishment of religion by the government?
Nobody. According to he U.S. Department of Education's Guidance on Constitutionally Protected Prayer in Public Elementary and Secondary School

"School officials may not mandate or organize prayer at graduation or select speakers for such events in a manner that favors religious speech such as prayer. Where students or other private graduation speakers are selected on the basis of genuinely neutral, evenhanded criteria and retain primary control over the content of their expression, however, that expression is not attributable to the school and therefore may not be restricted because of its religious (or anti-religious) content. To avoid any mistaken perception that a school endorses student or other private speech that is not in fact attributable to the school, school officials may make appropriate, neutral disclaimers to clarify that such speech (whether religious or nonreligious) is the speaker's and not the school's.

The 9th District, I believe, is a little more restrictive, holding that if the school reviews and approves the speech, that would give the impression of government endorsement. But that's still not a prohibition.
 

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Which 44 of them have the right to bear arms in them
You don't have to have it in there for it to exist. You simply don't have anything the regulates or limits it.
 

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Nobody. According to he U.S. Department of Education's Guidance on Constitutionally Protected Prayer in Public Elementary and Secondary School

"School officials may not mandate or organize prayer at graduation or select speakers for such events in a manner that favors religious speech such as prayer. Where students or other private graduation speakers are selected on the basis of genuinely neutral, evenhanded criteria and retain primary control over the content of their expression, however, that expression is not attributable to the school and therefore may not be restricted because of its religious (or anti-religious) content. To avoid any mistaken perception that a school endorses student or other private speech that is not in fact attributable to the school, school officials may make appropriate, neutral disclaimers to clarify that such speech (whether religious or nonreligious) is the speaker's and not the school's.

The 9th District, I believe, is a little more restrictive, holding that if the school reviews and approves the speech, that would give the impression of government endorsement. But that's still not a prohibition.
There is a problem since schools have, and do, claim it's separation of church and state that forces them to prohibit students from mentioning god.
 

pinqy

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There is a problem since schools have, and do, claim it's separation of church and state that forces them to prohibit students from mentioning god.
Perhaps, though they would be wrong to do so, but how do you know schools do this? Do you have any evidence or is it must so etching you've heard and believed?
 

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Interesting, but a distinction that needs mentioning is that in the 1700s and a lot of the 1800s there weren't "public schools" as we have them today. Federal dollars weren't used for classrooms, teachers, etc...

Why are religious conservatives so "dependent on government" to educate their children and use tax dollars to teach their children the Bible? Why can't "the family" and the church do it?
That's the wrong question. The right question is, what is the federal government doing being wasteful with money for education when you could just keep that money at the state level and not waste all that extra money on the federal bureaucracy? Or, What enumerated power gives the federal government the authority to run a department of education?

Either way, it's flawed logic to act like money from the federal government is a grant or a gift or anything when that money had first come from the states themselves.
 

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Re: "Separation of Church and State"

This ignores the fact the "tax rules" are conditioned upon not exercising a specific free speech right. As stated previously, and I reiterate a point you did not address, tax exempt status should not be conditioned upon not exercising a free speech right. No privilege of the government should be predicted upon not exercising a right.

People aren't taxed because they exercise their free speech rights. Neither should they be taxed for exercising their free speech rights.

A parallel to your view is the reprehensible conduct of conditioning the government privilege of financial assistance on the basis the recipient not exercise their 4th Amendment rights when some government representative comes to search their home or require they piss in a cup.

No privilege of the government should be predicted upon not exercising a right.



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Well I do understand your idealism, but sometimes reality crushes idealism.

Any church, any religion, should keep its religious trivia in the church house, and out of the state house.

Personally, I have trouble with granting the houses of worship any tax privilege at all. They should pay taxes just like the rest of us.

But that's just my idealism.
 

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Re: "Separation of Church and State"

Well I do understand your idealism, but sometimes reality crushes idealism.

Any church, any religion, should keep its religious trivia in the church house, and out of the state house.

Personally, I have trouble with granting the houses of worship any tax privilege at all. They should pay taxes just like the rest of us.

But that's just my idealism.
but if they had to pay, then they would be able to preach politics.
 

Thoreau72

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Re: "Separation of Church and State"

but if they had to pay, then they would be able to preach politics.
Yes, and that would be fine by me.
 

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I believe that case was a matter of the government interfering with the operations of a church or people's faith, not the other way around.
Well, it was the case of the Baptists, as a minority religion, not receiving the same rights and considerations from a Legislature made up of the majority religion.

I've never understood how people think a "one-way separation" could work. The majority religion would have an effect on the government, which would favor the majority religion and necessarily disfavor minority religions to at least not give them equal voice.
 

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Re: "Separation of Church and State"

Well I do understand your idealism, but sometimes reality crushes idealism.

Any church, any religion, should keep its religious trivia in the church house, and out of the state house.

Personally, I have trouble with granting the houses of worship any tax privilege at all. They should pay taxes just like the rest of us.

But that's just my idealism.
I am not discussing idealism. I am very much discussing facts as they exist. Such facts are 1.) First Amendment free speech clause, 2.) Political speech protected by the 1st Amendment Free Speech Clause, 3.) People are not taxed on the basis of exercising their free speech rights, 4.) Organizations, clubs, and collective speech, which includes churches, have free speech rights and they may 5.) Exercise those rights like the rest of society.

Any church, any religion, should keep its religious trivia in the church house, and out of the state house.
This is idealism you are espousing. The reality is the 1st Amendment Free Speech Clause permits them to speak on issues, just like anyone else. They do not lose free speech rights on the basis of being a church or belonging to a religion. In addition, people, whether individual or collectively as a group, club, organization, etcetera, may seek to have their beliefs, ideas, values, proposals, and views represented in "the state house" and this is an inherent feature of democracy, a republic, and a representative form of government. Now, to be sure, there should be and is a limit as to the extent, manner, and substance in which the values, proposals, and views of religious entities and people may be represented by the government. However, they have as much a right to seek to have "religious trivia" to be represented in "the state house." The U.S. government is not a government for "some" or a government only for those you specifically approve.

So I repeat my point, exercising free speech rights should not and is not the basis for taxation. Neither should tax exempt status be predicated upon foregoing to exercise a specific free speech right.

This isn't idealism I am discussing.
 

Thoreau72

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Re: "Separation of Church and State"

I am not discussing idealism. I am very much discussing facts as they exist. Such facts are 1.) First Amendment free speech clause, 2.) Political speech protected by the 1st Amendment Free Speech Clause, 3.) People are not taxed on the basis of exercising their free speech rights, 4.) Organizations, clubs, and collective speech, which includes churches, have free speech rights and they may 5.) Exercise those rights like the rest of society.



This is idealism you are espousing. The reality is the 1st Amendment Free Speech Clause permits them to speak on issues, just like anyone else. They do not lose free speech rights on the basis of being a church or belonging to a religion. In addition, people, whether individual or collectively as a group, club, organization, etcetera, may seek to have their beliefs, ideas, values, proposals, and views represented in "the state house" and this is an inherent feature of democracy, a republic, and a representative form of government. Now, to be sure, there should be and is a limit as to the extent, manner, and substance in which the values, proposals, and views of religious entities and people may be represented by the government. However, they have as much a right to seek to have "religious trivia" to be represented in "the state house." The U.S. government is not a government for "some" or a government only for those you specifically approve.

So I repeat my point, exercising free speech rights should not and is not the basis for taxation. Neither should tax exempt status be predicated upon foregoing to exercise a specific free speech right.

This isn't idealism I am discussing.
We agree that free speech and taxation are not connected, legally or otherwise.

But what you cannot quite grasp is that the tax exempt status given to churches and other groups is contingent upon certain rules. If they don't obey the rules, they do not qualify for the exemption. Similar rules exist in other government regulated areas, including aviation in which I participate.

If the church wants to enjoy it's tax free status, then it has certain obligations to receive that status.
 

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Re: "Separation of Church and State"

I am not discussing idealism. I am very much discussing facts as they exist. Such facts are 1.) First Amendment free speech clause, 2.) Political speech protected by the 1st Amendment Free Speech Clause, 3.) People are not taxed on the basis of exercising their free speech rights, 4.) Organizations, clubs, and collective speech, which includes churches, have free speech rights and they may 5.) Exercise those rights like the rest of society.
All true. However.....501(c)(3) status is a tax break to organizations that are charitable in nature. There are other tax statuses for political organizations and other non-profits. But the condition for being treated as a charitable organization is that charities should not be campaigning for political candidates. They want to advocate issues, that's fine. Note this applies to all charities and is not a special restriction on religion.



The reality is the 1st Amendment Free Speech Clause permits them to speak on issues, just like anyone else. .
And that is intact. There's no IRS rule saying they can't.
 

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Re: "Separation of Church and State"

All true. However.....501(c)(3) status is a tax break to organizations that are charitable in nature. There are other tax statuses for political organizations and other non-profits. But the condition for being treated as a charitable organization is that charities should not be campaigning for political candidates. They want to advocate issues, that's fine. Note this applies to all charities and is not a special restriction on religion.




And that is intact. There's no IRS rule saying they can't.
I'm not asserting there is a special restriction on religion. Rather, I'm taking the position government privileges, such as tax breaks, should not be predicated upon the recipient not exercising some constitutional right. In this instance, tax exemption shouldn't be based on recipients not engaging in s specific kind of political speech.



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