Monday, December 21, 2009

The Politics of "Charity."

Non-profit charitable organizations are granted tax-exempt status by the people of America through our elected government. The reason for granting charitable organizations tax-exempt status is so that they can use those funds to provide charitable services. To feed the hungry, cloth the naked, house the poor, heal the sick and provide for education.

When charitable institutions willfully abandon charitable activities, our government should reexamine their tax-exempt status. Taxes should be imposed on those institutions and the funds collected should, then be used to help the needy. This may be done through governmental social service agencies, or other legitimate non-profit charitable organizations. In this way, the poor, homeless, sick and needy will not be left without help. Those who are in greatest need, who have nowhere else to turn, should not be used as bargaining chips by non profit organizations. Non profit organizations which are financially subsidized (through tax-exempt status) by the people of this nation. It is an immoral offense against the needy to hold them as hostages. It constitutes a violation of the public’s trust and a sin against the God who these institutions claim to serve. Incredibly, this is what is happening in Michigan and in Washington, DC.

No religious group is required to grant religious marriage to anyone. The Catholic Church does not grant religious marriage to people who are divorced and wish to remarry (unless they are granted an annulment by the Church). Society; however, does grant anyone who has divorced the right to a new civil marriage. Likewise, no religious group will be required to grant a same sex couple a religious marriage; however, civil marriage is now granted to same sex couples by various nations and some U.S. states. It is no more the business of a religion to dictate to government what may constitute a civil marriage, than it is for a government to dictate to a religion what may constitute a religious marriage.

The late Ayatollah Khomeini called America “The Great Satan.” He accused us of this because we are the first government on earth NOT to have an established religion. The founding fathers learned, from the Thirty Years War in Europe and the religious persecutions both on the European continent and in England, the stupidity of trying to impose a religion on a nation. Sadly, religious fanatics will always attempt to do what God does not do, they attempt to force others to accept their beliefs.

This has been most recently illustrated in the immoral example of the Archdiocese of Washington, DC. Archbishop Wuerl has issued a de facto ultimatum to the government. He threatens a suspension of charitable services to the homeless unless his demands are met. His demands!? My dear Archbishop, the Papal States became extinct in 1870. You are living in the United States of America and we have elections in which the people select who will govern. Neither you, Archbishop nor your superior were elected to conduct our civil government.


Obama said...

When a cause is specified and the organization declares itself as non profit they must not divulge from their interest and start making money for themselves.This is wrong and also unlawful.

Unknown said...

You must have been reading my mind Geoff. When I read about the churches in Michigan and Washington D.C. choosing hatred of Gays over caring for the poor, the homeless, the downtrodden, I wondered how they will explain to God that hatred is more important than love to them.
I, like you, am so sick of religious organizations interfering in our political system. It seems to me that if you put 10 Christians together they can't agree on anything, yet they each believe that they have the right to tell everyone else how they should live.Tax exemptions to those who get involved in politics should go in my opinion.
Oh, I think I was wrong about the churches not agreeing about anything. Probably 7 or 8 out of the 10 would agree to hate LGBT people. Christ's commandment to love one another doesn't seem to apply to them.
Enough ranting, so I'll just wish you a Happy and Holy Christmas.

Frank said...

Why hadn't the Catholic Church abandoned their partnerships with governmental social services long ago...I'm sure they've had to provide spousal benefits to divorced/remarried couples, to atheists, as well as to to single gay and lesbian individuals and to women who may have had an abortion. So what make same gender marriage so different? It is disgraceful for the churches to use the poor and homeless to fuel the heretic-burning fires of hate.

Mareczku said...

I am disturbed by what is going on in Washington, DC. What does the Archbishop hope to prove by stirring up hatred against gay people. Whatever happened to loving one's neighbor as oneself? Is the Archbishop a pastor or a politician? Doesn't he realize the hurt that he is causing? Gay people are human beings too. When are some of these bishops going to accept that discrimination against gay people is ending in this country and they need to be gracious about it?

Perry Brass said...

I am really delighted to know about this blog and Father Farrow's feelings. I am deeply touched by what I have read here—his huge humanity, sense, and deep feeling of the nature of where religion, God, and human beings stand. This current awful confusion of religion and the state in the US, stems from the economic turmoil and insecurity so many of us find ourselves in. Also from the fact that most people no longer have a private, inner: religion has had to step in as the only legitimate offering of that. I grew up in the Deep South in the 50s and 60s, and we did not have aggressive religious fundamentalism then that I see now. Your religion was still, basically, your business. This has really changed, and it is appalling.
Perry Brass.

clawjack said...

The Thirty Years War in Continental Europe was part of the aftermath of the Reformation and counter-Reformation. The 100 Years War was between England and France in the 1300s and 1400s and featured Joan of Arc. Your reference I believe was to the 30 years war because in the earlier one there was only the Catholic Church and not about religion.

Will said...

Give 'em hell, Geoff! What's going on in this country is a wholesale sell-out of the Constitution, from the crucified Jesus on license plates in the South to imposed prayer in schools, and the meddling of the mega-churches in political campaigns.
I won't even begin to vent my feelings on the Hitler Youth-trained Pope's orders to Catholic legislators on how they should vote. This lunacy has to be reined in.