Comments about ‘In Germany, Catholics pay taxes if they want blessings’

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Published: Saturday, Sept. 29 2012 12:10 a.m. MDT

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azreader1
tucson, AZ

Coming soon to a country near you. The appeal of this concept to tax-and-spend liberals in the U.S. Congress may simply be too strong to resist. Imagine how inefficient the collection of tithes would be if the I.R.S. were to become involved. But hey, if it's good enough for the Europeans, it surely must be good us too, right? At least that's the way it seems lately with our Spender-in-Chief.

I M LDS 2
Provo, UT

Some people in AZ need to study European history before making uninformed comments.

This is really not too different than the LDS Church requiring its members to pay tithing in order to receive the "blessings" of the Temple.

toosmartforyou
Farmington, UT

I M LDS 2

I see a big difference in that taxes are generally not optional but tithes and oblations are. It appears the choice to pay is still left with the individual in this news story, but mixing government with church in financial affairs seems like a recipie for problems.

Paying money to a church is based upon faith and those who struggle to collect funds don't have the approach that develops faith among their congregations, otherwise collections would not be a problem. I'm sure you know that Joseph Smitrh talked about a religion requiring the sacrifice of all things and the faith such would produce and visa versa. He also said that anyone wanting to attend the dedication of the Kirtland Tample would have to be a tithe payer, so your statement does have some validity.

But taxes/government is different that tithing/free will donations, so maybe Az wasn't so far off, either. I don't want to mix the IRS with donations of ANY church in this country.

Joan Watson
TWIN FALLS, ID

State/government collected taxes to be given to religious denominations First step, voluntary; second step, enforcement; third step, enslavement. Word of advice - read and understand the freedoms that are guaranteed in the American Constitution.

Kalindra
Salt Lake City, Utah

@ azreader1: In Germany, there is a government office that makes no money - they merely collect the tax for church offerings and then turn it over to the churches.... how does this benefit the government? Your blind hatred of liberals is showing - even you should be willing to admit that liberals are only going to do something if they see some benefit from it. (And conservatives are the same way - they only do things that provide them some kind of benefit.)

@ toosmartforyou: Too late - we already have the IRS involved in church/charitable donations. Or did you not notice the line item deduction on your latest tax forms?

the truth
Holladay, UT

@Joan Watson

Exactly how if any different if it is just government alone? Does not work exactly the same way?

Adding religion to government is not the problem. It is adding the government to a religion!

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@I M LDS 2

The is one BIG difference.

Declaring payment of tithes is you on the honor system, no one is enforcing it. It is only between you and God.

Payment of taxes is not. The government enforces it.

Wonder
Provo, UT

This isn't going to happen in the US because of the 1st Amendment to the Constitution. Who cares what other countries do. It's none of our business.

William Gronberg
Payson, UT

Joan Watson:

You mention “enslavement” in your post. You also encourage the reading and understanding of “the freedoms that are guaranteed in the American Constitution.”

Are you referring to the Constitution that we have now in the early part of the twenty first century?

Or are you referring to the Constitution that was written in the late eighteenth century?

The eighteenth century Constitution was totally compatible with slavery. It was thus even with a Bill of Rights.

I am sure you consider the present Constitution superior to the original one.

atl134
Salt Lake City, UT

@azreader1
" The appeal of this concept to tax-and-spend liberals in the U.S. Congress may simply be too strong to resist."

Liberals despite the idea of gov't getting involved in collecting funds for churches, even if they're optional.

@toosmartforyou
"I see a big difference in that taxes are generally not optional but tithes and oblations are"

Actually this is an optional tax the way it's set up in Germany (otherwise anyone who didn't pay would be tax cheats) so it is rather similar to the LDS tithing thing.

@the truth
"The government enforces it."

It's an optional tax, the gov't isn't enforcing anything.

atl134
Salt Lake City, UT

@azreader1
I meant to type despise, not despite.

toosmartforyou
Farmington, UT

@ Kalindra

My comment was narrower that you read it. I am not talking about allowable tax exemptions, which include charities both religious and non-religious, I am talking about the collection and distribution of taxes. Why do the churches in Europe have the government do that for them? It may be because it's convenient but I hope we never embrace such a practice in this country.

Kalindra
Salt Lake City, Utah

@ toosmartforyou: This is a practice that has been going on for hundreds of years - it started when the church and the government were "one" and was a way of forcing "tithes". Since we already moved away from/rejected the practice (by not having it and having the First Amendment instead), it is doubtful that we will start doing it.

(When the US was colonies, and in some states prior to the 14th Amendment, this practice - or one similar enough to it to make no difference - did occur here.)

Joan Watson
TWIN FALLS, ID

Government collecting church tithes - to be sure it would not be long, if not already the case - that government would add something like a sur-tax for collecting collections. Who pays for such a breaucracy?
a more simple way? Malachi 3: 7-10

I M LDS 2
Provo, UT

When you give Tithes to the LDS Church, the Church keeps track of how much you give. They give you a "receipt" at the end of every year, ostensibly for "tax purposes".

Do they report the amount you gave to the IRS? And then the IRS can compare how much you declared with how much the Church received?

Then the Church has to file the proper forms with the IRS to demonstrate what portion of their "receipts" are not-for-profit and what portion are for-profit, and they pay taxes on the latter. Sometimes the Church may receive a "tax return" because they overpaid some taxes on their for-profit businesses. The IRS cuts them a check.

How different is that from the IRS just collecting it FOR the Church? Either way, the money gets to the intended place and the Government has full visibility into how much you gave and how much the Church received.

Does this make you feel morally superior to those poor souls in Germany?

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