Politics is something I don’t care much for, and don’t get involved with much beyond the voting booth. I have my political positions, and I do express them on occasion, but I’m not a political activist, and I would never use a platform such as this blog to advocate a political stance, except when it’s an issue that strikes at the core of what I write about here in this blog.
In past posts, I’ve mentioned my opposition to exemptions in law that permit the parents of children who die, or endure harm due to the parents’ exclusive reliance on “spiritual means” of healing to avoid prosecution for child abuse or neglect. I’ve told of compelling stories of people who have suffered permanent physical damage due to untreated medical conditions when they were children. There are way too many stories of children who’ve died miserable deaths from easily treatable or curable conditions like obstructed bowels, appendicitis, and diabetes. Parents who stand by and pray while their children scream in pain and waste away should be held accountable for their harmful decisions. Too many faith healing religions are riding the coattails of exemptions brought into law in the United States by the Christian Science Church–with very tragic results. Fortunately, for most of us outside of the United States, such exemptions in law do not exist.
I also strongly oppose the billions of dollars per year in taxpayer subsidies that religious organizations enjoy in the United States and other countries to varying degrees. In the United States, and my own country, Canada, donations to churches are deductible on income taxes. In the United States, churches routinely do not pay property tax or sales tax as other businesses do, and you can’t convince me that much of religion isn’t a business, especially when people like Joel Osteen live in multi-million dollar mansions and fly around in private jets. I guess they forgot all about the background of the poor son of a Galilean carpenter they like to say they emulate. Tax deductions and exemptions ARE subsidies! Someone else has to make up for the lost tax revenue that provides much of the government services that these religious organizations benefit from just like the rest of us do. I’ll give you three guesses who makes up for it: you, you, and me. Make churches pay taxes! That is a nice quick way to cut taxes for the rest of us. The only activity of a church that should be tax deductible or tax exempt is direct charitable work, such as Salvation Army efforts to help the poor, and other such activities.
I’ll end this post with what prompts me to write this. It’s a call to action for my readers in the United States, regarding two companion bills currently working their way through the United States Congress. This e-mail came to me from C.H.I.L.D. Inc. yesterday. I urge you, if you are an American, to get involved and contact your federal representative and senator, if you oppose this proposed religious exemption to the law popularly known as ObamaCare (The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act). Trust me, the Christian Scientists will be doing it–on March 11th. I absolutely guarantee it. They will be out in full enough force that they will convince lawmakers that they are a much larger and more powerful interest group than they actually are. It is also worth noting that both bills have broad bipartisan support. The e-mail explains it all (the bold text is my emphasis):
- For more information on Children’s Healthcare Is A Legal Duty (C.H.I.L.D.) Inc, and their work, please visit their website.
- For a list of children who have died due to religiously-based medical neglect, click here.
- For bill text and information about the U.S. House of Representatives bill HR 1814, click this link (S 862 is an identical companion bill in the U.S. Senate).
- For information on how to contact your U.S. Senator or Representative, click here.
- For information on religious exemptions in law to the duty to provide proper health care for children, click here.
- My fellow ex-Christian Scientist blogger at Kindism has also written an excellent post on this very same issue, and includes a number of informative links.