Zmirak: ‘Gay Sharia’ Will Lead to Taxing the Churches

John Zmirak apparently lives in a world where up is down and black is white. He somehow thinks that Justice Kennedy saying that churches cannot be forced to perform same-sex weddings means that they will be forced to perform them or lose their tax exemption. Because of “gay Sharia.”

In an interview with Alaska GOP politician and conservative talk show host Joe Miller that was posted online today, Zmirak maintained that gay rights advocates pose a greater threat to the U.S. than ISIS since they plan to impose a version of “gay Sharia” where Christians will be forced to pay a discriminatory jizya tax…

In an interview yesterday on “The Eric Metaxas Show,” Zmirak predicted that all churches and groups that oppose same-sex marriage will now lose their tax-exempt status, claiming that Justice Anthony Kennedy surreptitiously suggested that churches will lose their freedom of religion.

“He was opening a door for the future destruction of orthodox Christian churches in America,” Zmirak said. “It was conscious, it was intentional and I think if we have a president like Hillary Clinton, in the first 100 days of her administration, you will see the tax-exemption of every faithful church and synagogue in America revoked. It will be presented as progress, ‘love has won and now it’s time to shoot the prisoners.’”

Metaxas claimed that the U.S. is now turning into “Germany in the ‘30s” when people “had no idea” where Nazism “would end up.”

Exactly. Just like churches were forced to perform interracial weddings after Loving v Virginia 48 years ago. Oh wait, they weren’t? They still aren’t? How about that.

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  • llewelly

    they will dwindle in bigotry.

  • StevoR

    @ ^ llewelly : Let’s hope so! They sure don’t seem to be getting better at making sense or calmly accepting reality yet do they?

    It will be presented as progress, ‘love has won and now it’s time to shoot the prisoners.’”

    That “love’ word you used there, John Zmirak, you really don’t understand it or what it implies do you?

  • Al Dente

    While I would love to see churches lose their tax-exempt status, I know this isn’t going to happen in today’s political climate. Charitable institutions should remain tax-exempt but churches aren’t charities. Some churches may run charities and those charities should be tax-exempt, but Our Lady of Perpetual Motion Parish or Washed In The Blood Of The Lamb Bible Chapel are social and indoctrination centers, not charities. Also too many preachers, pastors and priests are using their pulpits to expound political points of view, so those churches aren’t fulfilling their end of the religious tax-exempt bargain.

  • D. C. Sessions

    Give him this: unlike the others he’s not blathering about trivialities that don’t really matter like cakes, FEMA camps, fabulously jackbooted storm troopers rounding up Christians for Unification-style mass gay weddings, etc. He goes right to what really matters: those sweet, sweet tax shelters that he and those like him have been milking for generations.

  • bahrfeldt

    Like DCSessions says. The constitution states that government shall not recognize any religion, how can we exempt religions from any and all forms of taxation without recognizing and establishing them as approved religions. How? Because politicians of the major parties have long realized that even the slightest hint of opposition will result in the death of, at minimum, their careers.

  • lorn

    I’ve long thought that churches and other religious institutions should, to the extent they use public resources, and proportional to that use, pay taxes. Churches are consumers of fire and police protection, they use the roads and benefit from the many community resources and protection schemes. They should, as a matter of fairness, help pay for those things.

    If religious institutions did pay taxes as a matter of course they would be largely immune to threats of taxes being levied.

  • Steve Caldwell

    Al Dente wrote:

    While I would love to see churches lose their tax-exempt status, I know this isn’t going to happen in today’s political climate. Charitable institutions should remain tax-exempt but churches aren’t charities.

    I would be OK with a viewpoint-neutral “middle ground” approach for tax exemption and churches.

    Churches should be treated just the same as secular non-profit tax-exempt organizations. This would include releasing financial statements to the public that document what they spend their money on.

    This would not have a significant impact on most churches. Their soup kitchens and other charitable work would continue on. Even worship and Sunday School would qualify as tax-exempt activities by being either “educational” or “literary.”

    But public financial reports would ensure that religious groups are playing by the same rules required for non-religious tax-exempt groups. And it would expose any excessive spending to public scrutiny (e.g. “you spend thousands on silver for communion services?” “you paid your minister $2 million in annual salary?”).

  • Pierce R. Butler

    Al Dente @ # 3: … pastors and priests are using their pulpits to expound political points of view, so those churches aren’t fulfilling their end of the religious tax-exempt bargain.

    Under US tax law, “expounding political points of view” from a pulpit creates no problems at all.

    The law forbids – and a growing number of preachers practice – involvement with election campaigns by organizations given tax exemptions under section 501(c)(3) of the tax code. Preachers – and charities, schools, research groups, etc – can talk about, say, gay marriage, Middle East policy, racism, the potholes on Elm Street, whatever, all day long with no legal consequences – but (in theory) saying “vote for Jones” or “vote against Smith” brings the hammer down.

    In practice, the IRS has not enforced any of this since approximately the Clinton era. Under Obama, this was promised to have been fixed, but the Treasury Dept until recently claimed they had not worked out which bureaucrat should make the decisions necessary to act. Now that has supposedly been taken care of, but the machinery, sfaik, has yet to creak into motion.

    Follow Americans United for Separation of Church and State for further developments.

  • Al Dente

    Pierce R. Butler @8

    Thank you for the clarification and the link.

  • Crimson Clupeidae

    lorn@6: Actually, the tax free status is only guaranteed at the federal level. While many states follow suit, there are some (I found a list once) states, counties, or cities that charge local taxes for fire/police protection. They rarely pay the ‘fair share’ that the right wingers are always railing about, however, and get much in the way of preferred pricing, and free services. I know here in Az, the county actually charged a church that wanted to expand, to make them pay for the road improvements necessary, as if they were any other business. The whining was pretty spectacular, but they did pay.

  • Artor

    He talks about churches paying taxes like it’s a bad thing. I’m not seeing any downside here. Pay up, you freeloading motherfuckers!

  • whheydt

    To me, it seems that a major issue over having churches taxed like any other business would take IRS decisions out of the loop. As it stands, the IRS gets to decide what is or is not a religious organization. This was fought out in the courts decades ago over the the ULC. That’s bad for both churches and for the IRS. Thus, it would actually be for the *benefit* of churches (and the IRS) to get those decisions out of the hands of the IRS. Of course, one of the problems is, that like all cartels, the churches don’t want new competition springing up if the rules don’t favor the existing organizations and work against newcomers to the “market”.

  • magistramarla

    Posted this on another thread:

    The homophobes in my local paper really have their panties in a wad today.

    This is one of the opinion pieces:

    The next target after the ruling: religious liberty by Rich Lowry

    http://www.mysanantonio.com/opinion/commentary/article/The-next-target-after-the-ruling-Religious-6363730.php

    This guy says some awful things about Justice Kennedy and then predicts that the gays won’t be satisfied with the rights that they have just won, but will go after religious rights.

    “The move against religious groups will surely start small, with some isolated, unsympathetic Christian institution, and then grow until what once had been called unimaginable becomes mandatory.”

    There was good news in my Sunday paper. There was a massive gay pride event downtown with a mass wedding included.

    There is much gnashing of teeth and outrage going on in San Antonio today. I love it!

    The author of this opinion piece echoed what this Zmirak guy said:

    There is this little nugget in the article –

    “Already, there are calls to remove the tax exemption of churches, now opposed to what the high court has deemed a fundamental right.”

    The cons really are worried about their bottom line.

  • thebookofdave

    What is it with these fundie loons? They just can’t get the Gay jizya off their minds.

  • erichoug

    I actually support taxing churches and other religious groups. That way they can say whatever they want and we don’t have to support them through our increased tax dollars. Plus it would have the benefit of getting rid of some harmful organizations that use the front that they are a “Church” to largely operate lawlessly. Scientology anyone?

  • abb3w

    Clinton ain’t gonna be the one who does it; and gay marriage seems unlikely to contribute to causation on that. That said, the modern “Rise of the Nones” (and correspondent Decline of the Religious) may be revitalizing that old question.

    How old? It was part of the 1880s platform of the American Secular Union that Ingersoll helped lead, which platform was rooted in the Nine Demands of Liberalism first published in 1873, in a magazine founded in large part to focus resistance to the National Reform Association, who in turn had been organized circa 1864 to seek “to maintain existing Christian features in the American government; to promote needed reforms in the action of the government touching the Sabbath, the institution of the family, the religious element in education, the oath, and public morality as affected by the liquor traffic and other kindred evils; and to secure such an amendment to the Constitution of the United States as will declare the nation’s allegiance to Jesus Christ, and its acceptance of the moral laws of the Christian religion, and so indicate that this is a Christian nation, and place all the Christian laws, institutions, and usages of our government on an undeniable legal basis in the fundamental law of the land“.

    In short: this is a backlash against the Christian Right that’s been brewing since shortly after the Civil War. Also worth noting — the National Reform Association apparently didn’t finally run entirely aground until some time around President Obama’s term.

  • acroyear

    I think you all, in your support for taxing the church, are missing the Zmirak’s real point.

    It isn’t that he feared church taxation in itself. It is that he expressed that ‘that gay rights advocates pose a greater threat to the U.S. than ISIS since they plan to impose a version of “gay Sharia” where Christians will be forced to pay a discriminatory jizya tax’.

    Yes, paying taxes are worse than ISIS.

    Paying a little money to the government is worse than living around fundamentalist nutcases who behead and murder everybody who doesn’t conform.

  • acroyear

    Or taking ‘love has won and now it’s time to shoot the prisoners.’ – again, taxes are as bad as death. There’s no difference in his mind.

    How mentally bereft does one have to be to express that?