Pope Francis Warns Churches To Practice Religion Or Start Paying Taxes

Pope image 4 - berating

It has been remarkable to watch a cabal of greedy, racist, and hate-filled maniacs hijack the Christian religion over the past thirty years and infiltrate the halls of government in opposition to the dictates of their Jesus in the Christian bible. Although the fundamentalist religious right does not represent the majority of so-called good Christians, with valuable assistance from Republican man-god Ronald Reagan and the GOP they have redefined the faith into the opposite of what Jesus Christ preached. Now, at long last, there is a Catholic Pope who not only appears to be a “true follower of Christ,” he is openly challenging Christians-in-name-only to adhere to their lord and savior’s teachings. For a secular humanist, it is stunning that this new Pope is calling out the near-heretical actions of many people who claim to be followers of Christ.

Since he has been Pontiff, Pope Francis has made some very provocative statements that certainly gave the impression that this new and improved Catholic leader is a true follower of Christ; the definition of a Christian. Not an American neo-Christian, or evangelical Old Testament devotee; a real follower of Christ’s teachings both in word and deed.  Of course, some of the Pope’s Christ-like messages immediately incited Republicans to question Francis’ religious leadership and dedication to Christianity because he does not supporting unrestrained capitalism and called for drastic action on global climate change; both sentiments that go against everything Koch Republicans stand for.

The Pope’s demand for action on climate change and insistence that, despite what evangelical Republicans claim, it is every Christian’s mandate to help the poor have won him praise and admiration from millions who are not Catholics and many who are not even religious because he is a humanitarian. Now, however, Pope Francis has finally sent a very clear message that will not be well received among America’s neo-Christian movement, but it should warm the heart of Americans opposed to supporting churches to the tune of $82.5 billion every year according to data from 2012.

Apparently, when the Pope discovered that “some religious orders,” or churches in American parlance, are using their tax-exempt status as a way to exploit their property for economic gain, it drove the Pontiff to say what many Americans have screamed for years; it is time for churches to start paying taxes. The Pope, as a true “follower of Christ,” is put off that there are churches refusing to accept refugees into the buildings they own because like greedy conservatives and American evangelicals, they only use the church to make money. For the record, and to demonstrate that in this instance the Pope is walking his talk, the Pope is taking in two refugee families who will remain “as long as the Lord wants.” Likely, Republican heads’ exploded at hearing the Pope welcomes immigrants with shelter and sustenance for as long as they need assistance and without remuneration.

The idea of any Christian, much less the Pope, calling for churches to pay taxes is an astonishing statement from a religious leader of any faith.  One can only imagine the mind-numbing rage it will incite in America for first, saying anything negative about religion, and second even insinuating that churches cannot be for-profit organizations. The Pope even gave an example that barely scratches the surface of the level of greed rampant in many churches and among many, many members of the clergy; particularly American clergy.

During an interview when the subject of finding shelter for refugees and immigrants came up, Pope Francis said

Some religious orders say, ‘No! Now that the convent is empty we are going to make a hotel and we can have guests and make money.’ Well, if that is what you do, then pay taxes! A religious school is tax-exempt because it is religious, but if it is functioning as a business, then it should pay taxes just like its neighbor. Otherwise it is not fair business.”

According to some religious observers, the philosophy behind Pope Francis’ demand “could very well undermine what mega churches and televangelists do in America;” one can only hope that is the case.

The Pope has shone a light on an issue that, curiously, many Americans are completely unaware of; instead of practicing their religion, these evangelical charlatans run religious businesses, make obscene profits, and do not pay any taxes or contribute anything whatsoever to society. As the Pope explained what is apparently a new Catholic doctrine, “if the church isn’t engaged in the business of the Church, then it’s time for them to pay their fair share of taxes!

There is a movement in America that believes very strongly that it is time for churches to pay their fair share of taxes even if they are in the religious “business.” Why? Because churches, like every business and individual American, use the same services that everyone else has to support. Of course the religious community disagrees and claim their “service to the community” exempts them from paying taxes and warrants taxpayer welfare. Yet police officers, janitors, trash collectors, school teachers, healthcare providers, and fire fighters all provide a valuable and much-needed services to the community and still pay their fair share of income, sales, and property taxes; many of them even pay church taxes in a scam known as “tithing.”

It will be worth watching to see if the Pope brings up the tax exempt, politically active church issue when he addresses Congress next week; particularly with Republican presidential hopefuls raging conservative hatred toward immigrants. In fact, the Pope reminded people that he himself is a “son of immigrants” that likely drove his very “blunt warning to any religious order that spurned his call to open their doors to refugees and immigrants.” One hopes the Pontiff brings that same blunt warning to Republicans and their hate-filled base when he visits next week because there is little difference between the vile sentiments among European and American nativists more interested in annihilating immigrants than helping them.

Some Americans may recall that last year, despite a George W. Bush enacted law to take in and protect Hispanic refugees, Republicans went berserk, called for armed militias to hunt down and kill child refugees, or send the United States military to wage war on Hispanics who dare approach the Southern border. Even now, while Republican presidential candidates are vying for who is the most anti-Hispanic and calling for enslaving immigrants and using weaponized drones to kill them, their greatest support is from their evangelical, so-called followers of Christ, base. One thing is certain, there are very few, if any, American churches opening their doors to immigrants and maybe their stance will change if they faced the prospect of having to pay taxes, because they certainly are profitable enterprises.

One does not have to be religious, a Catholic, or any kind of Christian, to appreciate Pope Francis’ and his attempt to steer wayward and pretend Christians toward being more Christ-like humanitarians and not greedy judgmental hate-filled Republican evangelicals. There is a reason Republicans hate the Pope and although their two primary complaints are his regard for the poor and the environment, he has exposed their blatant ‘Christian’ hypocrisy with every statement he makes.

Now that he has called for churches to either “practice religion” or start paying their fair share of taxes, it is likely Republicans truly hate Pope Francis for threatening their bases’ source of wealth and political power. He has also revealed what it means to be a follower of Christ and it is surely something that evangelicals or Republicans have no intent of taking lying down.

32 Replies to “Pope Francis Warns Churches To Practice Religion Or Start Paying Taxes”

  1. Good to see Pope Francis sticking to his guns. He’s a true Christian, people.

    Speaking of people, if you want a church that’s only about the money, may I suggest the just recently shuttered Our Lady of Perpetual Exemption?

  2. …just had a vision…{on multi-split-screen} of ALL these TelEvangelicals getting thier bill from the IRS on screen…and thier heads EXPLODE!!!
    …it was a…religious experience…{LOL}

  3. “According to some religious observers, the philosophy behind Pope Francis’ demand “could very well undermine what mega churches and televangelists do in America;” one can only hope that is the case.”

    No. They will not hear the message. If they do the mega churches will just go back to saying the Catholic Church is not “Christian.” Remember that it was not that long ago when Catholics and Mormons were not in the “flock” of Christians.

  4. So good to see someone in the church tell it like it is. So many in this country criticize the perversion of religion in other parts of the world but are in denial that it also exists right here.

  5. I think Pope Francis has practiced what he preaches. He refused to live in the luxurious Papal Quarters in the Vatican. He has busted bishops who spent lavishly on their housing. He has taken in refugees. He carries his own bags.

    Could he do more? Yes, but it is hard to change a 2,000 year old organization. I suspect the cardinals are already plotting how they can avoid another “mistake” when they elect the next Pope.

  6. As I’ve inferred recently, there is finally a Pope who is a follower of Christ’s teachings instead of one who wishes to be worshiped like he is a god. I love the fact that he is calling out these fake Christians for what they are, greedy charlatans. I’ll bet Mr. Boehner is really sorry about now about inviting him to address Congress.

  7. I was raised catholic, but not practicing. I love Pope Frank, he practices what my many years in catholic schools taught me. My twin brother and I love his name also. (Franchesca and Franko) Thanks mom!

  8. While we’re at it, let’s force churches to stay out of politics unless they give up their tax exempt status.

    Too bad the IRS doesn’t have the staff or the backing to go after churches that don’t deserve the exemption.

  9. Pope Francis is something very special. I realized this the moment we saw a gull on the chimney used to announce the next Pope(this happened proceeding the announcement). I felt it was the sign of a great man being granted to us.

  10. Charlatans like Robert Tilton should be in jail. He got into televangelism because he knew it would make him rich.

    He does NOBODY any good. He spent his donations on cars home and lots and lots of coke.

  11. …if I remember right; the churches got tax-exempt status from the LBJ Presidency by agreeing to stay the Hell OUTTA politics…they broke thier end o’ the deal LOOONG ago…the back tax bill will be a bitch!!!

  12. All churches in the U.S. should be paying taxes, as well as religious affiliated grade/high schools and universities. They are all for profit and conveniently hide behind God to avoid paying a fair share. It would probably rake in enough to fix Social Security for those who need it.
    Most Churches don’t do enough to support the communities they steal from. Francis certainly has a pair to even suggest it, but it’s still just BS. It’s like Huckabee claiming he’d be willing to do jail time for Kim Davis. He know’s it would be a great attention getter, but impossible to trade places. In other words, a safe bet/threat.

  13. Yes, it is good to see the Pope call Christians to follow the Church’s teachings on mercy, charity and justice. I hope that everyone here that is lauding Pope Francis for his teaching of true Christianity are also applauding him as he also speaks out against the sins of abortion, gay marriage, assisted suicide, and moral relativism. We should be less concerned about whether God is on our side but rather are we on God’s side.

  14. Churches are tax shelters and way to control the population.

    The leaders do what they need to do to stay on top of it regadless of the
    “church-brand”.

    The Islamic churches, are mandated to help their brothers in need.
    Q: Do you see the countries from the Saudi Peninsula opening ther doors to the migrants from the and next to them? Yet they are highly demanding of help from the rest of the world.

    The Pseudo-Christians,and the rest of religious fanatics of all kinds, need rescuing from themselves and the brain washing.
    But they will not see the light, they have stopped the search for wisdom..

  15. Churches should be required to use a minimum of 90% of the collection plate on helping feed, house, clothe those unfortunate souls that are in desperate need. Buying investments, homes, more gold crap with church money would justify being taxed. They spend millions on tv time, but refuse to help refugees needing everything for survival. Jesus would puke at the values of Americas’ churches.

  16. Have ever listened to the Preachers in the mega churches? They have never stopped calling the Catholic church non Christian..

  17. Bebe, sound advice. But remember, if the churches starting taking care of the poor, needy, and frail, etc. then for SURE the GOP would rip away safety nets.

    I can’t remember who from the GOP said it, but I do remember something about one of them saying..don’t need safety nets, let the churches take care of the poor. I say just tax the churches.

  18. You’re not the first to say it. Jesus speaking to the church of Laodicea:
    “…I will spew you out of my mouth. For you say, “I am rich, I have prospered, and I need nothing”; not knowing that you are wretched, pitiable, poor, blind and naked. Revelation 3:16,17.
    But at the same time we should be careful with our Schadenfreude, or we’re no closer to Christ’s standard while we gladly condemn others.

  19. Romney said it. He calls the disabled, the poor, paralyzed vets TAKERS! All while “taking” huge tax breaks with offshore accounts to avoid paying his share.

  20. This is completely taken out of context, which is not unusual for this Pope as people want to bend what he says to fit their desires.
    He was talking about Italy where laws are different. He was also talking about non-church buildings that churches own.
    At least be HONEST in your ‘reporting.’
    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3236725/Pope-tells-religious-orders-lose-tax-breaks-refuse-migrants-interested-making-money-helping-needy.html

  21. And this is the church guy running around the world telling governments they need to take in muslim refugees and I have yet to hear him say anything about telling people they need to get saved and turn their lives over to God. He is a political being.

  22. There is a very good chance that Jesus never really existed, even as a mere mortal ( http://www.deism.com/jesusexist.htm ). Based on the very ambiguous Bible which claims he did exist, he wasn’t a very good humanist. He attacked the Jews who did not want to follow the Hebrew Bible/Old Testament command to kill your children if they curse you. He made clear he believed the brutal and ungodly Hebrew Bible/OT was the word of God and that it will be in effect until “heaven and earth pass.”

    Thomas Paine was right when he wrote in The Age of Reason, The Complete Edition that we need a revolution in religion based on our innate God-given reason and Deism. This will do much to move our thinking out of ancient times.

  23. I try to.

    I really like this Pope, but then, I like all the Popes, but then, I’m not a practicing Catholic, but then, it doesn’t really matter.

    Yay Pope!

    Tax the Mega-Churches & the Teaparty!

  24. I’m spiritual, & mostly I’d say, like the Doobie Brothers, ‘Jesus is alright…’, but I had a very powerful religious experience when I was 11, & the gist of it is I made a deal with God:

    If I kill me, I lose.
    If God kills me, I win.
    Assuming God is not a loser, I should be ok, right?

    I’ve almost gotten killed or badly injured about a dozen times, but managed to correct the mistake before I did, things like almost falling off the roof of the house, bikes, skateboards, rock-climbing etc.

  25. The Daily Mail is a right wing, no let’s be honest neo-Nazi, rag. It is not considered trustworthy as a source due to its tendency to completelyi invent stories.

  26. Now that he has called for churches to either “practice religion” or start paying their fair share of taxes,
    I can think of one that I have watched, that play politics and critizes POTUS BO and Democrats on some of their decisions,
    that Religious television show is EWTN, they should pay taxes

  27. If a “Church” owns shopping malls,financial institutes and calls itself the richest church in the world, I do believe that have asked for this day to come.

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