This isn’t really a nonprofit issue, except insofar as the organized Religious Right is subsidized by the rest of us through the blessing of tax-exemption and tax-deductibility; but do the people who so disapprove of the pregnancy of Vice President Cheney’s lesbian daughter think that she ought to have an abortion?

Just wondering.


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3 Responses to “Conundrum”

  1. Gene Finley Says:

    Actually, I think they prefer that Lynn Chaney marry some guy that she can submit willingly to or whatever it was the Southern Baptists said.

    Here’s a tax problem that really annoys me. Ordained ministers working for churches or faith-based organizations can get a housing allowance. Under the allowance, mortgage payments, utilities, repairs, etc. are non-taxable income. It’s not uncommon for ministers to take more than half their salary as housing allowance and pay no income taxes on that portion of compensation. I know of a case of a person making $80k taking $45k housing and a person making $165k taking $35k and it’s perfectly legal.

    I think this deduction is a blatant violation of separation of church and state. I know, puns are a bad thing, but this is a sacred cow in the tax code.

  2. Nonprofiteer Says:

    I wasn’t aware of this aspect of the tax code–but since religions are exempt from the drug laws (see the cases about peyote use in religious rites) and the anti-discrimination statutes (the Christian Science Monitor is allowed to give preference to members of the “Mother Church”), I can’t be too surprised that they’re exempt from the tax laws as well. Perhaps the problem is that secularists don’t primarily identify as such, the way, say, Methodists do, so we’re less well-organized to make our opinions felt in the halls of Congress.

  3. Anita Bernstein Says:

    What Mr. Finley is referring to is “parsonage.” One of my ordained colleagues, a friend, gets this huge handout as part of his university salary package. He tells me his Social Security contributions/credits get reduced accordingly, to reflect only the taxable part of his income. Small consolation for us working stiffs!

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