Holy Bejebus, how cold is Hell right now? This atheist agrees with former Governor Mike Huckabee!
Here’s a tweet Huckabee sent yesterday:
It’s time for churches to reject tax exempt status completely; freedom is more important than government financial favors.
— Gov. Mike Huckabee (@GovMikeHuckabee) June 11, 2013
No. I it’s not because I want all churches burnt to the ground and replaced with libraries. I’m a strong supporter of religious freedom (and property rights). My reasoning is twofold.
First, I agree with Huckabee that American citizens (including ministers) should free to speak their conscious without political interference. However, sine churches are tax-exempt, the actions and words of clergy are significantly restricted (as it should be). Huckabee had this to say during the Southern Baptist Convention’s annual meeting in Houston:
“You may not clap real loud for this, but at least hear me out and think about it and pray about it,” he said. “I think we need to recognize that it may be time to quit worrying so much about the tax code and start thinking more about the truth of the living God, and if it means that we give up tax-exempt status and tax deductions for charitable contributions, I choose freedom more than I choose a deduction that the government gives me permission to say what God wants me to say.”
Huckabee said it may be time for churches to say: “Keep your deductions. Keep the exemptions. We stand more faithful with what God would have us to say, and we choose our freedom more than our financial benefit.”
Second, according to Rich Smith’s article at Daily Finance, the revenue lost from churches not being taxed is more than enough to finance NASA and a manned mission to Mars. There is between $300 billion and $500 billion dollars of church property that is not being taxed, and this results in a revenue loss of $7.5 billion annually. Also, there is $46 billion dollars not being made from tithes and offerings churches receive. If you add to this the tax exemptions for parsonages and other church related deductions, this gives us a total estimated to be $71 billion dollars a year.
“In other words, enough money to pay for 28.4 “Curiosity” missions to Mars annually.”
Live long and prosper Rich!
FYI: NASA’s budget for FY 2014 is only $17.7 billion.
If Huckabee doesn’t get his way, we can always throw our support to Mars One. They plan to establish a permanent human settlement on Mars by 2023. Oh, and their taking applications.