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Alabama proposes constitutional amendment to make churches "highly defensible property"

Discussion in 'Legal' started by old lady new shooter, Jun 21, 2019.

  1. herrwalther

    herrwalther Member

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    I agree. A bloated state Constitution will do nothing more than build on itself. Being a "Yankee" who came to the south, it is a minor source of amusement.
     
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  2. Jenrick

    Jenrick Member

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    Not from Alabama, and not familiar with their laws so the following is just conjecture.

    The highly defensible property, may be to give houses of worship the defense that someone forcing entry can be considered to be a deadly threat absent other information that would contradict that. Usually these types of presumptions (usually referred to at least casually as "castle doctrine") are designed to give a homeowner the legal defense that it's is presumed any one forcing entry into the property is a deadly threat absent contradictory evidence, thus creating a bigger hurdle for the prosecution.
     
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  3. WiTom

    WiTom Member

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    Tax exempt gives the govt. "rights", or at least, so they say. Just saying.
     
  4. P5 Guy

    P5 Guy Member

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    Maybe it is time to end the tax exemption?
     
  5. herrwalther

    herrwalther Member

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    I would expect pigs to fly in Alabama before any church be made tax exempt.
     
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  6. Tommygunn

    Tommygunn Member

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    I think churches are tax-exempt as it is, which is why the govt. says it can limit how the churches deal in politics.
     
  7. P5 Guy

    P5 Guy Member

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    That is not working well.
     
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  8. Tommygunn

    Tommygunn Member

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    True .... I wasn't saying it was working .... just that it was the way it was...uh... supposed to be.


    Our tax dollars .... hard at work .... are we happy yet?:evil:
     
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  9. labnoti

    labnoti Member

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    Don't get confused on churches and tax law. Many church businesses choose to incorporate as 501(c)3 non-profit organizations, but they do not have to do so to be considered tax-exempt. To be clear, 501(c)3's can receive donations that are tax-deductible for the donors without any burden on the donors, but the 501(c)3 is not totally "tax-exempt." For example, they must withhold income tax for their employees and those employees pay that tax. They pay sales tax and many other taxes. The tax code prohibits 501(c)3's from advocating for a candidate. "Lobbying" or work to influence legislation is not considered "political activity" but "lobbying," and is allowed. So the tax code does not prohibit a 501(c)3 from what most people consider political activity: lobbying.

    "The Blue Ribbon Coalition" is a good example of a non-church 501(c)3 that engages in political advocacy for your rights to access public lands. Your donations to the Blue Ribbon Coalition are tax-deductible, yet it regularly works to influence legislation to advocate for public lands access. It seems very political, but the IRS considers it "lobbying" and so long as the BRC doesn't advocate to elect "John Doe," it is not "politics."

    Individual officers of a non-profit corporation still have rights to advocate for candidates personally rather than officially on behalf of the non-profit. Their freedom of speech as individuals is not gagged.

    Churches, on the other hand, are tax-exempt without 501(c)3 status. They have never needed 501(c)3 status. They have always been free to speak or advocate for whatever or whomever they want since long before 501(c)3 was written which was in 1954. There is no law requiring a church to apply for 501(c)3 status, and in fact, they are exempted from being required to do so by section 508(c)(1)(A). Churches under 508 have no constraints whatsoever -- however, donors to those churches may have to take on the burden of proving their donations are to a church that is in compliance with the requirements of 501(c)3 if they want their donations to be deductible.

    Some people are simply concerned about the loss of tax revenue suffered as a result of giving churches tax-exemption. But churches are only a small portion of the 501(c)3 non-profits out there. In fact, there is something close to 2 million 501(c)3 organizations out there. Only about 400,000 are churches. Other 501(c)3 nonprofits include: Americans United for the Separation of Church and State, American Atheists, American Humanist Association, Freedom from Religion Foundation, Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason and Science, Project Reason, Planned Parenthood Federation of America, Anti-Defamation League, Secular Coalition for America Education Fund, Council for Secular Humanism, Catholics for Choice, Feminist Majority Foundation, Center for Reproductive Rights, Ayn Rand Institute, Southern Poverty Law Center, Clinton Global Initiative, the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD), NAACP, and PETA.

    What's more, 501(c)3's are not the only tax-exempt organizations. Labor unions, chambers of commerce, social clubs, and “social welfare” organizations such as the National Organization for Women (NOW), American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), and the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) are also tax-exempt.

    I've stated it earlier in this thread that I do not see a need for the church to have special-status with respect to the protection of its property ("highly defensible property"). I also do not see a reason the church needs special tax status. However, the only reason to try to remove the church's tax status without removing all those other non-profits' status, as well as those other types of unions, is to persecute the church for its conservative beliefs about sexual and reproductive morality. Similarly, to selectively enforce existing tax code also amounts to nothing but hypocritical persecution.
     
    Last edited: Jul 2, 2019
  10. lemaymiami

    lemaymiami Member

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    Well said... What the last administration did to injure and harass their political opponents was absolutely shameful (and what all of us should have expected from a "Chicago politician"....). I believe that historians long after I'm gone will be very critical of that facet of the Obama years....
     
  11. GEM

    GEM Moderator Staff Member

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    Let’s not wander into pure politics and away from the initial topic.
     
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