"Kelo" Brings Church Taxation Closer

It’s not our homes that are most at risk despite this case. It’s America’s churches, synagogues and mosques.

That is the thesis of Donald Sensing's latest post on One Hand Clapping following the recent SCOTUS decision known as the Kelo case. As you might expect, I am all for taxing churches just like any business. Their tax exempt status is actually quite in opposition to the spirit of the First Amendment. I like Donald's blog. A lot of reason gets posted there. So I contributed the following of my own.

LOL! While I won’t say “I wish!”, if they replaced them with Schools and Public Athletic Centers (like ancient Greek gymnasia) there would obviously be a net advantage to Society. Obviously though, that is not the intent.

The problem is one of Individual -vs- Society. The ruling misses the Constitutional Point not because it’s bad reasoning, but simply because the US Constitution doesn’t proscribe the conditions for city building. It doesn’t spell out the reality that Cities are unique entities. Is a City the “property” of its most powerful elites? Or is the “property” of its consensus constituency? Can a city be legally viewed as an Individual? Yes, through Incorporation.

The Constitution assumes what is best for the Individual is best for the Society and it spells out ways in which individuals are allowed to come together and implement their consensus ideas. That is why we have “Incorporation” laws. So that Corps can have the same political voice as individuals. Good or Bad, this is the basis for the ruling and it is a legal reality which the Const leaves up to legislative discretion.

Back to the “churches at risk” point though: If History shows us anything unequivocally, it is that Religion is the bane of both Individuals and Society. It sucks resources from both in return for its intangible and esoteric assurance that we’re OK or not. Religion (aka, astrology, christianity, islam, voodoo, judaism etc…) is a scam that gets treated with respect that it simply and empirically does not deserve. Despite that fact, the Const is quite clear that “no law shall be made respecting (its) establishment.”

So, how to deal with this blood-sucking leach of belief rationally and constitutionally?

“Houses of Worship”, contrary to the wing-nut reading of the US Constitution, are not immune to the law. They are abusive drains on society which must be taxed as surely as any Car Dealer, Bank or Fortune Teller’s shop. If they were, they would have nothing to fear from eminent domain rulings.

OK, so I went overboard a little with the "abusive drains on society" op. The rest stands as written.

Happy Friday!!!


  1. Hi,

    Before we can come up with a rational, constitutional way to deal with this, we need to make a distinction between what religions SAY (ie their dogma) and what they DO. As far as I'm concerned, their dogma is completely irrelevant; people can believe anything they want to, even if it's manifestly idiotic or contrary to evidence. When that belief sparks ACTION is when it needs to be carefully weighed.

    Socially speaking, religious groups do tend to promote cooperation with people who aren't biological relatives; that's probably why they evolved in the first place. After all, every religion has some kind of family-like nomenclature.

    The problems occur when they start teaching that their members are somehow superior to other groups and/or become abusive to people inside or outside their fold. In practice, those go hand in hand, and are what we see happening today and at other times of crisis in history.


    My guess is because the mainstream religion(s) were originally tribal faiths that have since been stretched out of shape to cover a whole planet of people, developing huge holes in the process. When times are calm, the holes are ignored; but when there's trouble, the "true believers" of whatever faith start noticing that their beliefs do NOT in fact cover every possibility & fight hard to cover up that fact to themselves by eliminating the evidence/alternative viewpoints, if necessary.


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