Megachurches make millions

  • Delivis

    Posts: 2332

    Jan 14, 2008 5:31 PM GMT
    A recent blog outlined the efforts and results of one senator who is investigating the leaders of megachurches and demanding their financial records should at least be made publicly available.

    http://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/2008/01/megachurches_make_millions.php

    My favorite quote from the pastor who makes a million bucks a year...

    ""I pastor a multimillion dollar congregation. You've got to put me on a different scale than the little black preacher sitting over there that's supposed to be just getting by because the people are suffering.""

    Here is a question for all of you - is there any good reason why churches should not pay taxes like the rest of us?
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    Jan 14, 2008 6:24 PM GMT
    None.
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    Jan 14, 2008 6:27 PM GMT
    Well taking the the line about that poor black preacher over there I'm sure the poor preacher would argue he can't afford to pay taxes.

    I'm sure the mega churches could afford to pay, but it would only hurt the smaller congregations.

    But then you open the question why are you demanding the churches pay taxes. As an organization that doesn't sell a set product with an expected income they fall alongside the Red Cross and other organizations that are able to raise money, but not through normal sales or service methods.
  • jarhead5536

    Posts: 1348

    Jan 14, 2008 6:32 PM GMT
    Technically, a church, no matter how large, is a nonprofit entity and thus exempt from taxes. The way a nonprofit works differently from a business is that, at the end of the day, a nonprofit is supposed to spend every penny it brings in, with nothing left over. Churches do in fact do this, but nothing says that the pastor cannot be budgeted to receive a million dollar salary. Except of course for the conscience of the pastor...
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    Jan 14, 2008 6:40 PM GMT
    Technically, the religious folks rape the coffers and ride first class.
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    Jan 14, 2008 6:43 PM GMT
    I'm a member of the Tax the Churches League.
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    Jan 14, 2008 8:16 PM GMT
    Cause church is not for profit. but the preacher do pay income tax.
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    Jan 14, 2008 8:23 PM GMT
    I don't understand why a preacher needs 1 million a year. It's not suppose to be about the money, but if the preacher is zealously defending his right to make a million, I'd think twice about going to that church. That's just me though.

    I personally don't go to church. Lately I haven't been much of a religious person but if I was, I prefer having my own personal relationship with God and not go to some congregation type thing.
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    Jan 14, 2008 8:28 PM GMT
    Over the years I've known several folks who left their day jobs to triple their money with the RR.

    It's the biggest racket in the country.

    They prey on weak-minded folks. Many of them should be in jail.
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    Jan 14, 2008 8:53 PM GMT
    To force churches to pay taxes would be to deny them the ability to provide many social services that the state is either unable or unwilling to provide. The majority of the food kitchens, rescue missions, etc in the US are run by a religious organization.

    Also, that a few of you are generalizing to all churches and religious bodies based on the acts of the few is itself criminal. There are many religious bodies that have as part of their vows/mission to live an impoverished life (for example: the majority of the religious orders of the Catholic Church and most Buddhist monks take some form of vows of poverty.). That there are some preachers who pray off the weak and the needy does not give you the right to condemn all religions, preachers/pastors, etc.

    That's like saying that because one jock was stealing money out of the lockers at the gym, all jocks are thieves. Or if one gay guy spent excessive money on clothing and his lifestyle, that all gay guys are self-obsessed pretty boys.

    Stop generalizing your condemnation of one pastor to all religious leaders, regardless of your opinion of religion (institutionalized or otherwise) or Christianity in particular, there "will be weeds among the wheat" and it is better to let them grow than risk taking up some of the harvest with the weeds. That of course, doesn't mean you can't make it more difficult for the weeds to grow. icon_wink.gif

    Whatever or whoever your god may be, may he/she/it bless you all and rejoice in the hope and love that you have for one another.

    And if you're an atheist, well I guess you can just suffer and despair then, since there isn't anyone to bless you, nor for you to hope in or love for the sake of.

    (Okay, that was mean, I admit it... mea culpa.)
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    Jan 14, 2008 8:57 PM GMT
    I forgot to mention... I do support open disclosure of financial expenditures. I agree with the Senator for his investigation into the fraud of the mega-churches. That's just being prudent and actually living closer to the Christian message.
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    Jan 14, 2008 9:03 PM GMT
    jocksera saidAnd if you're an atheist, well I guess you can just suffer and despair then, since there isn't anyone to bless you, nor for you to hope in or love for the sake of.

    (Okay, that was mean, I admit it... mea culpa.)


    I'm sorry, did you say "mean" or "incredibly stupid and arrogant"? I wasn't listening.
  • jarhead5536

    Posts: 1348

    Jan 14, 2008 9:06 PM GMT
    jocksera,

    DUCK.

    Christianity is not well tolerated on this site...
  • cowboyathlete

    Posts: 1346

    Jan 14, 2008 9:10 PM GMT
    ebl333 saidCause church is not for profit. but the preacher do pay income tax.
    You are absolutely correct, and that is the angle I would take. Regardless of whether or not you think churches should be tax exempt, clergy do in fact have to pay income taxes under our current laws. In theory, any compensation they receive is subject to income tax, so if Reverend Ripoff makes a million smackers a year, he should be taxed accordingly.

    Of course, my view is who are these idiots that pay his salary?
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    Jan 14, 2008 9:20 PM GMT
    Churches should not pay taxes because they're helping bring souls to God. *wink*
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    Jan 14, 2008 9:20 PM GMT
    "who are these idiots that pay his salary?"

    The congregations.
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    Jan 14, 2008 9:21 PM GMT
    jarhead5536 saidjocksera,

    DUCK.

    Christianity is not well tolerated on this site...


    Hey, that wasn't about Christianity, Jarhead...that was about the fundamental contempt that religious folk constantly display to those of us without religious feelings. I have no contempt for Christianity...it would be nice if "Christians" could manage not to have any for my beliefs.
  • cowboyathlete

    Posts: 1346

    Jan 14, 2008 9:23 PM GMT
    McGay said"who are these idiots that pay his salary?"

    The congregations.
    My point exactly. There's a sucker born every minute.
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    Jan 14, 2008 10:18 PM GMT
    cowboyathlete said Regardless of whether or not you think churches should be tax exempt, clergy do in fact have to pay income taxes under our current laws.


    Grow up in a church, I've met many preachers. And their average income(small church) is about $20-40,000. None of them can survive if their wives didn't work to support the family.

    consider how many churchs there are, only handful are maga church. I can say most preachers' income never reach over 50,000 their whole lifetime.
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    Jan 16, 2008 11:28 AM GMT
    [quote]
    I'm sorry, did you say "mean" or "incredibly stupid and arrogant"? I wasn't listening.[/quote]

    Yup... you're right... it was rather arrogant and poor choice on my part. My sarcasm and cynicism just doesn't come off as well over the internet. My attempt at a wise crack turned into an ad hominim attack that was poorly written. So I apologize to those who it offended.

    But, mostly I said it because I feel that true atheists, who actually understand what it means to be an atheist, are few and far between. Most people who consider themselves atheists are rather anti-theists and agnostics with a grudge against formal religion because someone pissed them off.

    The remarks regarding Christianity were poking at those Christians who preach but don't practice. One of those little things that irks me about many religions. I used Christianity for my examples primarily because they are the most common in this great nation and those who provide the most social services, not to mention the most influential historically upon everything we know as being American. Thus, as a product of the Western Tradition, I understand Christianity better than most other faiths and feel more comfortable using it for examples.

    Whether Christianity is tolerated on this site or not, well that's you choice as an individual. But, remember if you want to be tolerated, consider being tolerant in return. Raging liberals who condemn the raging conservatives just cause the raging conservatives to condemn raging liberals.

    While Christianity is nice... I'll stick to my own eclectic mix of meditation and my new exploration, yoga. Didn't mean for this to be so long, but wanted to apologize and defend myself.
  • GQjock

    Posts: 11649

    Jan 16, 2008 11:44 AM GMT
    These Mega-"churches" aren't really Churches in any sense of the word

    These are Businesses....just as much as JC Penney and Merill-Lynch is
    and they launder money for people like Jimmy Swaggert and Benny Hinn
    These men are as holy as Donald Trump
    Tell them they'd have to preach without the money and you'll see how fast they start hawkin stuff on the Shopping Channel
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    Jan 16, 2008 12:21 PM GMT
    GQjock saidThese Mega-"churches" aren't really Churches in any sense of the word

    These are Businesses....just as much as JC Penney and Merill-Lynch is
    and they launder money for people like Jimmy Swaggert and Benny Hinn
    These men are as holy as Donald Trump
    Tell them they'd have to preach without the money and you'll see how fast they start hawkin stuff on the Shopping Channel


    *In best southern preacher voice*
    Amen Brother!
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    Jan 16, 2008 12:29 PM GMT
    Jocksera--

    No problem, guy. But if you think there aren't many of us, think again. I have no interest in stopping anyone from genuflecting to Sky Thing, or Thing That Lives In The Heart Of Trees, or any deity of their choice. I do not have a shred of feeling for any of this, and all I expect from the religious folk is that they stop shoving it up my snout.

    I do not attempt to "convert" anyone out of their beliefs. For one thing, I don't think it's possible, and for another, I have more rewarding hobbies.