by Kenneth Justice
~Last week I wrote an article about a local charity that I have strong suspicious with regarding their integrity <article>
It brings me to another question; should churches be taxed?
Our illustrious culture has a long history of providing tax-free status to churches…but I wonder where all that money is going?
Hey, I don’t have a problem with beautiful church buildings…I love touring Detroit and taking pictures of Gothic cathedrals and I prefer attending Mass in a pristine 150 year old building than a circa 1970’s pole barn…..
I realize it takes money for the up-keep of those beautiful buildings
However, if Churches are merely using their tax-free exemption to pursue nefarious behaviors……has the time come to remove their exemption status?
I know of one particular protestant pastor who earns $150,000
I know of another who was granted a 3-month paid vacation
I know of another who drives a brand new Rolls Royce
I know of another who is a member of the most exclusive golf club in the state…he hob-nobs with celebrities.
I know of another pastor who lives in a gated community; in the most affluent city in the entire state
Most Pastors are more comfortable on the golf-course then in the ghetto
Hey, if everything in our economy was peachy keen….maybe these kind of extravagance’s could be justified…..but things aren’t so great.
It bothers me when I see parishioners who are unemployed…and who attend churches where the Pastor is living high-on-the-hog
It bothers me when I see single moms who are barely making it….who have very little help when it comes to baby sitting, house cleaning, and meeting the demands of life as a single mom…..
and then I see Pastor’s jetting off on vacation to Paris, the Caribbean, Prague….or wherever….
I only wish I was making these things up about Pastors…..but sadly I am not….
I know of one church that unanimously voted a great vacation package for their pastor….
and yet I know of a family in that church who is struggling to pay their bills, the family is struggling so much the young wife has to work 6 nights a week at a fast food restaurant in order to help pay for health insurance for her and her husband.
the new Pope intrigues me…..
Pope Francis, at least on the surface, appears to be ushering in an entirely new way we think of our church leaders;
Pope Francis seems to care about the poor, the lowly, the hurting, etc….
I am encouraged……
and yet…..when I look at all of the social ills which plague our society….and the way Pastors and churches tend to disregard these problems…..I am saddened
At what point should these high-on-the-hog pastors be held accountable?
Aren’t they giving a bad name to the church?
Fortunately I have my coffee…..otherwise I might get really pissed off!
Thankfully, Starbucks is brewing Veronna this morning!