The idea surrounding this essay started a few days ago, well, that was a lie. It actually started years ago when I first joined Facebook. You may or may not know that I am an atheist and a good portion of my friends are atheists too. You also, may or may not know that I grew up in a Christian household. As it stands I am surrounded by an almost equal amount of Christians as I am atheists. With both sides, including myself of passing judgment on others and not following the old adage of “live and let live.” But that alone is for another essay because what currently sticks in my craw is atheists ranting about taxing all religions, but in particular, Christianity.
The thing you may find interesting is that governments (at least in North America) already tax churches. Examples are property taxes and people who work for the church in most, if not all, religions in this neck of the woods, pay personal taxes too and more still. As far as I know the only items that are NOT taxed by the government are donations. They are considered charitable tax donations. So let’s say we level the playing field and tax, and/or stop altogether, charitable donations to Cancer research, Alzheimer’s and other dementia related charities, Amnesty International, PETA, etc., etc., etc. I am pretty sure that if any government official suggested this idea that they would be run out of town the very next election. The problem, as I see it anyways, is that some bad apples spoil the bunch. Like televangelists and the hierarchy of the Roman Catholic Church. As far as I’m concerned televangelists and the Roman Catholic Church could and should give some of their donations back to the community that they reside in. But instead those guilty parties very rarely give back to their respective communities (or ANY community for that matter) and the rest of the time they resort to lip service or outright lies.
I also believe that most churches do more good than bad and if one can’t see that then I would suggest that one is not looking hard enough. What harm does a small church do to people like my grandparents and other fellow Christians? I believe that without this sort of support for my grandparents in a small rural town in Manitoba or Catholics in Rome many of these good people would slip between the cracks. And what difference is it when an atheist slips between the cracks or a Christian slips between the cracks? Absolutely nothing. We all know someone who has fallen on hard times, atheist and Christian alike. And if you think that taxing all religions is the be all to end all for answering societal woes then I question your knowledge, compassion and morality too.
We all could use a bit of a breather once in a while too and by that I am referring again to the old adage of “live and let live.” We also all could use a helping hand once in a while. And you or me, atheist or Christian should be able to help who they like, when they like and how they like without fear of being judged by people like you, me, atheist and Christian.