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Old Nov 14th, 2007, 02:10 PM   #1
 
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The Mythical Separation of Church and State in the USA

What a joke!!

Catholic bishops instruct voters - Yahoo! News
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Old Nov 14th, 2007, 02:32 PM   #2
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The separation between church and state only refers to instituting a state religion and not to ensuring that churches are muzzled against their rights of free expression.

Attending churches in Canada it has been frequently suggested to me from the pulpit which party deserves my vote. I've variously been instructed to vote NDP, Liberal and Conservative while others I know have been instructed to vote for the Fmaily Coalition party in Ontario.
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Old Nov 14th, 2007, 02:37 PM   #3
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US churches are allowed to engage in politicking, but at the risk of losing their tax exempt status.

Info on church law

This is probably not enforced enough, but it's on the books. According to the constitution, "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof..."

No official religion of the US, and I read that to mean a neutral position on religious practice.
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Old Nov 14th, 2007, 03:24 PM   #4
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Attending churches in Canada it has been frequently suggested to me from the pulpit which party deserves my vote. I've variously been instructed to vote NDP, Liberal and Conservative while others I know have been instructed to vote for the Fmaily Coalition party in Ontario.
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One law that places restrictions on the activities of charities which are of a political nature is the Income Tax Act. To maintain its registered status under the Act, a charity must devote all of its resources to activities in pursuit of its own charitable purposes. In 1986, changes to the Act made it possible for registered charities to engage in limited activities that may be considered to be in pursuit of political purposes, so long as these are ancillary and incidental to activities that are also in pursuit of their charitable purposes. This eliminated any concern in connection with speaking out on issues involving ethics, morals and social justice, but Canadian charities also need to be aware of the regulations and restrictions that are imposed on them by provincial statutes and common law.

The staff, directors and/or trustees of charities need to understand the extent to which their charity may engage in activities that may be considered to be in pursuit of political purposes. An understanding of the underlying principles will help them maintain a proper balance between remaining faithful to their charitable mandate and staying within the constraints which Canadian law places on the activities of charities which may appear to have political overtones.

A body whose stated purposes include the attainment of a political purpose will not receive recognition as a registered charitable organization under the Income Tax Act, and both provincial law and common law have similar restrictions. A charity, therefore, cannot be a political organization. That does not mean, however, that charities are precluded from all political action. What a charity is allowed to do is determined by its purposes - the objects for which it was established - as set out in its governing documents. Since charities must be constituted for public benefit, whether or not a particular political purpose is for the public benefit is a political debate.

Activities in which a charity should not engage:

1. A charity should not seek to persuade members of the public to vote for or against a candidate or for or against a political party.

2. A charity should not support a political party.


3. A charity should not provide supporters or members of the public with material specially designed to support a political campaign or, for or against a government or particular office seeker.

4. A charity which publishes the results of research should not manipulate the information so as to present a partial view to support a preconceived position or objective.

5. A charity should not seek to influence public opinion or to put pressure on the government, whether directly or indirectly through its supporters or members of the public, to legislate or adopt a particular policy.

6. A charity should not participate in political demonstrations and should not conduct publicity campaigns indicating how individual members of parliament or parties have voted on a particular issue as a means of applying public pressure on those members or the government.

7. A charity should not conduct a referendum on a political issue, as opposed to a properly constituted study or survey.

8. A charity should not provide its supporters or members of the public with pro forma letters or other pro forma material to send to members of parliament or the government.

9. A charity should not overstep the boundary between education and propaganda. The distinction is between providing balanced information designed to help people make up their own mind and providing one-sided information designed to promote a particular point of view.

10. A charity should not finance political activities whether directly or through a third party, or whether by making a grant or by affiliating with the third party.
CharityVillage ® Research: To what extent can a charity engage in activities of a political nature?

Time to tax the churches......



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Old Nov 14th, 2007, 03:28 PM   #5
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anyone catch this??......incredible

NOVA | Intelligent Design on Trial | PBS

The judge to his credit went much further to ban religious intrusion under whatever guise into public space such as schools.

Quote:
The Judge Speaks

The 2005 trial of Tammy Kitzmiller, et al. v. Dover Area School District, et al. was the latest major bout in a long-standing legal battle over the teaching of evolution in U.S. public schools. The crux of the case was Dover's newly implemented policy requiring biology teachers to read to students a disclaimer purporting that "gaps" exist in Darwin's theory of evolution, and moreover, that there is an alternative scientific explanation called intelligent design (ID). The disclaimer suggested that students learn more about ID through a book called Of Pandas and People, 60 copies of which were available in the school library. (To read the statement in full, see Board vs. Teachers.)

Was Dover's ID policy a covert way to introduce religion into a public school, and therefore in violation of the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution? That is what Dover parent Tammy Kitzmiller and her co-plaintiffs claimed. Following six weeks of testimony from some of the country's leading biologists, as well as arguments from the nation's most ardent supporters of intelligent design, Judge John Jones issued a 139-page ruling on the case. In the following audio highlights, hear Judge Jones read some of his key findings.
http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/id/judge.html



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Old Nov 14th, 2007, 03:31 PM   #6
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anyone catch this??......incredible

NOVA | Intelligent Design on Trial | PBS

The judge to his credit went much further to ban religious intrusion under whatever guise into public space such as schools.



http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/id/judge.html
I did... I loved the comment "Intelligent Design makes people stupid"
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Old Nov 14th, 2007, 03:48 PM   #7
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I nearly got whupped uppside the head when, as a kid, I suggested that churches be taxed...even from the position of the churches showing goodwill.

I believe they should be taxed, and they should make deductions for charity they perform like any other corporation.
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Old Nov 14th, 2007, 03:59 PM   #8
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Last edited by MasterBlaster; Jul 17th, 2008 at 01:52 AM.
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Old Nov 14th, 2007, 06:28 PM   #9
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They are a business clear and simple.

Until the laws change I will keep my "church" going. Saves me a fortune in taxes and offers extra legal protection.

I know people that are the high priest of their religion that own furniture factories, saw mills, and other businesses done as property of their church.

Look at the legal advantages of being a Rastafarian.
For every one of them, there are 1000 ministers, priests and other workers who live barely above the poverty line while they try to help the community or the world.

I don't think anyone goes into any legitimate ministry for financial gain. With the exception of some evangelic churches, almost every church I know struggles financially.

Exactly what are the legal advantages of being Rastafarian? Just because your religion advocates a practice, it doesn't make it legal if it's against the law of the land. For example, Mormons cannot legally practice polygamy in Canada or the U.S.
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Old Nov 14th, 2007, 06:47 PM   #10
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hhk: The salaries of ministers and priests willould still be tax deductible, as would their charity work. If the church performed only charitable work, it would pay only property tax. In this way, churches woud be encouraged to shift their activities toward charity.
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