HCN Roundtable Article: Should the Churches be Taxed?

 

 

By Chuck Robison

 

Should the churches be taxed just like regular organizations?

Well, in the olden days, it was understood there was an agreed upon barrier between the church and the state. The Constitution forbids the Government from proscribing any religious anything. Hands off, and for the longest time it was understood that was a two-way street.

But since 1980 and the Religious Right’s total takeover of the Republican party, there is a serious blurring of the lines between church and state. Actually, (and I do not consider this an exaggeration) if you are a Christian today in Texas you are also most likely a Republican. Test it out.

In the olden days, when clergy started to lead social justice solutions, we were told we had gone from “Preachin’ to Meddlin’!”, meaning we had no business trying to have an influence outside the church.

Yet today, you cannot get elected to political office nationally and in many states without the Evangelical Vote leading your support.

And, oh the Rascal Masters who lead the church into politics! You may remember The Reverend Franklin Graham speaking publically on September 12, 2001 and admonishing the Bush Administration to go immediately to Atomic War with the whole Middle East. Then, of course, President Bush called his milder response a Crusade, mirroring a time when the churches’ actually did hold power over the Kings themselves.

But on August 8th, 2017 according to Huffington Post, a Republican right-wing pastor who serves on Donald Trump’s evangelical advisory board claims God has given The President “full power” to launch an attack on North Korea anytime he wants, any way he wants.

Robert Jefferies, head of the Dallas First Baptist mega church, told CBN that a biblical passage in Romans allows rulers to use “whatever means necessary ― including war ― to stop evil.” The good and famous Dallas Reverend shows he knows nothing of how the Constitution works. But his ignorance does not preclude him from assuming that his role gives him unique power in this government of the people, by the people and for the people.

So the church cheers on a war when its own ruler commands His followers to love their enemies, pray for them, and care for them. The churches’ real job is not to stop evil, but to overcome evil with love and light. To demonstrate love rather than promote fear and death.

The politically active Evangelical Right wants a war more than it wants to feed hungry Americans, clothe Americans and heal them with the right of free medical care.

Now, with that thought in mind, ask yourself if there really should be a separation of Church and State. If so, then we need to reel in the church leaders who are calling for nuclear war and giving their opinions as if God Himself were speaking.

But, since the churches’ command more than a trillion dollar’s worth of real estate, alone, we are not likely to ever see them allow the government to tax them for anything. Sad.

 

Interviewing Dr. Rich Massey, MD at The Unity in the Heart of Austin Church on June 22, 2017

This is an open invitation to join us for this very interesting interview.

Peter & Christopher Yarrow and STEWBALL!

Peter was in town on September 19 at the One World Theatre and his son Christopher accompanied him on the gut bucket. Great Night, Great Song, Great Duo!

Joe Lam for the Austin Kindness and Wisdom Series

Faith Roundtable / Hill Country News

Boom Box

20120220-_MG_Small6032By Chuck Robison

“Is religion an appropriate basis for political belief or does voting based on religious conviction ultimately impede the religious freedom of others?”

The church is a tiny voice in our society, and acts even tinier. The big voice, the thought leader, the decider is the Military Industrial Complex which includes Big Media. Media is the control room of public thought. Muslims, Jews, Christians, Hindus, even Scientologists and Mormons take their thought prompts from Big Media. And Big Media wants us to be afraid and anxious most of the time.

It is not surprising that when we think about the question before us, the mind immediately goes to the voting block known as The Evangelicals. This group of seeming like-minded Christians can be counted on to vote Republican regardless of who is running. And Big Government and Big Media court these Christians. That is, they gin up the fear in this group to ensure the right wing candidates will get their vote. Faith becomes fear. Would we really be so against taking care of our brothers and sisters in need if we had not been taught to fear our brothers and sisters getting “handouts” from Big Government with “our” money?

News reports this week suggest that, in Louisiana, these same Evangelicals who were all Trumped up two weeks ago have had a sudden change of mind about government handouts and are actually grateful that the Federal Government has been there to help relieve the pain and trauma of the current 500-year flood.

Our Faith matters very little in political issues, especially when it comes to taking care of our own people. The problem is that our faith is seldom used as a guide-post in political matters. We act as if our innate political insight is much better at solving problems than the guidance of our faith and the Golden Rule.

No church, alone or in concert with other churches, can solve some of our human problems when they involve millions of men, women and children forced to live in poverty, mal-nourishment and squalid conditions in America. The problems are too big, and require big support if we are even going to pretend to solve them. But then we are told by our Right Wing politicians that we want none of this fearful Big Government telling us what to do with our money.

The Military Industrial Complex with Big Media can tell Christians what to think and vote, and a large number do. The Church seems powerless to actually motivate people to choose between their fears and their faith.

We are actually much better than all of that. The current Pope seems to be the only big voice for Christian Values. He challenges even American Presidential candidates to act out their supposed faith.

But Stephen Colbert, the late night comedian, says it best:

“If this is going to be a Christian nation that doesn’t help the poor, either we have to pretend that Jesus was just as selfish as we are, or we’ve got to acknowledge that He commanded us to love the poor and serve the needy without condition and then admit that we just don’t want to do it.”

If the question posed for this Roundtable was critical, we would have to say that people do not vote their faith, but their fears, and this seems to be in line with how all of us are being programmed to think.

Notes From the Masters Class

This is the latest in our series of Notes From the Masters Class wherein we report of what we are learning from our life lessons with the Ascended Masters. We hope this adds something to your life experience, as it has to ours.

New Science on Forgiveness


Chuck Robison continues to refine his work on New Science and Forgiveness. This time at Unity in the Heart of Austin.

Austin Consciousness Explorers: Chuck and Karen present Our Adventure!

We were asked to present our definitions of Consciousness to the regular monthly meeting of the Austin Consciousness Explorers. We were delighted at the response that still keeps coming into this presentation. It gave us an opportunity to look back on the first thirteen years of our work together and to present what we think will be the next portion of our work, which will be based, primarily, in Austin. This presentation is in two parts:

Part One:

Part Two: