I’ve long advocated that we should pass the Fair Tax which would eliminate all taxes on income, savings, dividends, capital gains, inheritance, and investments, and replace these penalties on our productivity with a tax on our consumption at the retail level. There’s an important benefit of the Fair Tax that we should especially embrace—it eliminates the IRS. In light of the illegal and unethical activities of the IRS in relationship to conservative, pro-life, and pro-Israel groups and their reckless disregard of the taxes they take from us by spending $50 million on their fun little outings involving luxury hotels, line dancing classes, and swag bags, maybe the public is ready to end the legalized theft of our finances and our freedom. Another benefit of getting rid of the IRS is stopping the government threat of “losing tax exempt status” to shut down the voices of churches. Now, think carefully about this—and I doubt everyone will agree with me. Maybe it’s time that churches quit caring about their tax exempt status and care more about being unfettered to speak with absolute freedom and clarity on the moral issues of the day. I brought this issue up last week when I spoke to the Pastors at the Southern Baptist Convention in Houston. I know that I’ve never given a dime of my tithe to my church for the tax consequences. For Christians, giving is not about getting the government’s blessing, but God’s. If someone gives money to God solely for the tax benefits, they should keep their money—they need it far worse than God. The empty threat that has caused many a pastor or church to water down their message in confronting the culture because of fear of reprisals from the IRS would end immediately. It is not the place of any agency of the government to evaluate the content of a pastor’s sermon and determine if it’s acceptable to the government. Even if the Fair Tax isn’t passed immediately, why not end federal government subsidies to all entities and organizations--religious or not—and let freedom ring. If you believe in something, be it political, spiritual, or economic—then pay for it. Leave the government out of it. For those who fear that churches would pay huge taxes, fear not. Churches use their funds for missions, staff, their facilities and ministries. There is little if anything left over for most congregations. It would of course mean that contributions wouldn’t be deductible, but there’s already a limit on how much one can deduct, so the benefit isn’t that big. As Daniel rejected the King’s food, so maybe people of faith ought to reject the Government’s goodies, but in exchange gain absolute freedom. And instead of worrying about whether our message will be threatened with government penalty, we would just tell the government to put it where the sun don’t shine. What we say and do in our churches should be driven by our faith, not by government limits on our freedom.
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