That silly mosque

In all the coverage I’ve seen on the proposed New York City mosque (and that’s virtually all that’s been covered lately it seems), what sticks out to me the most is the religious-fueled xenophobia. Worst of all, it can’t merely be chalked up to politics. Of course, the Republicans only care about the ‘issue’ for political reasons, but much of the country has bought straight into the political fear-mongering (a classic tool of Republican…well, tools).

The real issue here isn’t that Muslims are going to be allowed to build a place of worship. It’s that any religious group is being allowed to build a place that is tax-free. Aside from being plainly unconstitutional (despite its wide-spread and even welcomed acceptance), not taxing religions implies, perhaps outright says, that religion has something worthwhile to offer society. Given that religion is entirely impotent to inform us anything about the world (if not, then what has it ever said that was not trivial?), society would be better served taxing religious institutions and investing that money into education, infrastructure, and bringing people out of poverty.

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10 Responses

  1. Absolutely true!

  2. The idea of taxing religious institutions and investing it in education is brilliant!

  3. Show me a study the links money spent on education to the quality of it. The answer to better education is not money, silly liberals!

    While you are taxing religious institutions (for no reason but to punish them for not agreeing with you) why don’t you look at taxing unions. There’s the reason why education is in the tank and cost are through the roof.

    Better education? Toss the teachers unions. Religious institutions are not all tax exempt but the ones that qualify under 501(c)3 are, http://www.irs.gov/charities/charitable/article/0,,id=96099,00.html just like private schools and the like.

    Side note: tax blogs and invest the money in education, they largely suffer from the same problems you just “identified” in religion.

  4. Money isn’t the only answer to better education; Christian ideologues trying to enforce their religious edicts on the entire school system is one of the biggest problems we have had in achieving quality programs for critical thought, essential science pursuits, and proper sexual education, just to name 3 of the main problems we face in society, today.

    Taxing summa dem Creflo Dollars would surely help in this endeavor, as well as open some eyes at his “church”.

  5. Religion is not any major part of the issues with our school system. Regardless of how well that would play into some atheist wet dream.

    There are far bigger and far more important problems.

    To name a few:
    Unionized labor
    Tenure (not really tenure so much as the quality of the teachers given tenure)
    Drop out rates

    Face the facts, all the “essential science pursuits” in the world are not going to help the drop out rate which isn’t going to lead to a better education on the whole.

    So religion is behind that? More likely a society that has shown how willing it is to accept failure.

  6. I really and truly hope that you are just ignorant, and are not lying through your teeth like your True Christian peers have been shown to do. Are you seriously saying that the Texas SBOE didn’t alter the curriculum for every student in the state just so that the kids wouldn’t learn about Thomas Jefferson being a part of the Enlightenment scene? Or that Phyllis Schafly was more important to learn about than Cezar Chavez.

    Finally, as a retired union worker, go fuck yourself, jagoff.

  7. I apologize. I don’t mean the workers so much as I do what unions have become.

    Unions have done tremendous good for the workers of America and almost everywhere else as well.

    Where I find problems is they care nothing for the success of the business or for the fiscal health of the public sector in which they operate. Its counter intuitive because if they drive a business out of business or a municipality into financial ruin, their members are going to lose their jobs.

    The teachers unions don’t care about the quality of education they care only for increasing teacher benefits and wages even to the point of breaking.

    I think that these behaviors hurt education more than anything you imagine religion does or could do. Your talking at most the elimination or reworking of specific parts of the curriculum. Perhaps a problem but certainly less of one than local political ideology/wrangling (on both sides).

    Whereas the teachers unions are bleeding the system dry of money. Leading to shortening school years, crumbling buildings and lower classroom budgets. In many cases even substandard teachers with failing classes being kept on only because they have tenure.

    I have nothing against union workers, both of my parents are union members.

  8. Wow. You seem to be saying “I don’t have a problem with the unions, it’s just that all those union workers are fucking assholes too selfish to think about anyone but themselves.”

    Where I find problems is they care nothing for the success of the business or for the fiscal health of the public sector in which they operate. Its counter intuitive because if they drive a business out of business or a municipality into financial ruin, their members are going to lose their jobs.

    Let’s see now; Unions have been around for almost 2 centuries here in the US. I wonder if they ever considered that if the company is doing well, the workers would benefit? I know that was how I and my peers approached this subject. Nice hearing how we think from someone who isn’t a union-worker. I’ll tell everyone we should stop considering the company itself, ’cause Nate sez we don’t care, anyway.

    As to your assertions about teacher’s unions, I’ll ask you to either post the evidence, or stfu.

  9. We have three separate entities here, The business or municipality, the workers and the union itself.

    I do have problems with unions that exist for no other reason than to expand themselves. My mother is a union member but more importantly she is an employee of the Maine state employees association. They are an SEIU affiliate and in her own words they “don’t give a shit about the members”. There are good ones and there are bad like with anything else.

    You want to be combative so nothing I say will get across, You are determined to snarl and bite and scratch.

    http://teachersunionexposed.com/

    I realize that site isn’t exactly impartial, but if you really care you can take a closer look at their claims on your own. You think all unions are something to be revered or some nonsense like that, while a lot of them do drive their businesses into ruin, but many don’t also.

  10. Nate,

    While you are taxing religious institutions (for no reason but to punish them for not agreeing with you) why don’t you look at taxing unions.

    No laws respecting establishments of religion means not granting special status to religious institutions and buildings. That’s the beef. As it happens, atheist organizations can get tax-exempt status. While I have to encourage that as a practical matter of playing fair, I would prefer to see no organization, no matter how much I agree or disagree with it, get tax exempt status unless it’s a charity or something sufficiently similar.

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