Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Taxes and Irony

I sometimes listen to the podcast sermons of a certain preacher.

He reached a new high in irony on pulpit Sunday.  As you probably know, that is the Sunday the fundies designated as a Sunday when all the preachers were supposed to announce that they would be deliberately and flagrantly violating the IRS code section that prohibits political activities by non-profit organizations by endorsing specific candidates from the pulpit.  

This preacher did not go that far.  But he did take the opportunity to begin by complaining about how the IRS is trying to “muzzle” the church by making them live in fear of losing their tax exempt status.  Completely ignoring that the law is a very simple and fair bargain.  If an ORGANIZATION (not just churches but any non-profit organizations including atheist groups) wants to refuse to contribute to the tax supported system, then the ORGANIZATION does not  get to use its tax exempt status and resources to  directly and expressly influence the very system it insists on not supporting.  If the ORGANIZATION wants to participate in the system as an organization, it is  welcome. It just pays  taxes like everyone else and it can say anything it likes.  No “muzzling.” Just a deal it accepts when it wants to avoid taxes.  

Within  sentences of having whined about being muzzled by the IRS for participating in the system without paying into it, he moved on to rebut the argument that Jesus set an example of not being involved in politics.  And the story he illustrated it with was the one where Jesus was criticized for not paying taxes.  And what did Jesus do in response to the criticism?  HE PAID HIS TAXES!!  This was offered as proof that Jesus was OK with participating in the political system. By paying taxes!  The very thing this preacher refuses to do. 

What fucking precious irony!   

And then it got better.  He then went on to preach that it was the church’s job to take care of orphans and widows etc.  He said we could think about paying “extra” taxes for such things.  Then  He claimed he talked to a “Senator”  and told him that they needed to let the church administer the welfare system because the churches know what people did last Tuesday with the money and can hold them accountable. In other words: “we the church refuse to follow Jesus’ lead and pay taxes,  but we claim the right to administer a system funded by someone else’s money so we can fulfill our obligation to feed the poor…. with funds to which we refuse to contribute and whine about being muzzled if asked to contribute! 

What double fucking precious irony!

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