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Should churches pay taxes? Show more Show less

Church tax exemption is hotly debated. Although several countries require church members to pay a tax, many consider churches as tax-exempt. In discussions related to this policy, a nation’s perception of religious freedom and the common good is pivotal. Does the tax-exempt status of churches protect or violate these values?

No, churches should not pay taxes Show more Show less

The tax-exempt status of churches protects religious freedom and the common good by making it easier for churches to survive and do positive work for their community.
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Tax-exemption of churches protects religious freedom

If the government can tax churches, they could restrict religious freedom in other ways.
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Context

The Argument

By forbidding taxation of churches, the law protects these religious institutions from suffering from government restrictions. For example, a church's failure to pay their taxes could lead to government closure. Some argue that government taxation of churches could lead to more restrictive policies. The government could demand that they approve all of a church's financial decisions. The United States Constitution's First Amendment guarantees religious freedom,[1] as does the Ninth Article of the UK Human Rights Act.[2] In light of this, many argue that the church tax exemption protects religious freedom and prevents conflicts between the church and government.

Counter arguments

Framing

- Church and state should be separated. - Individuals should have absolute religious freedom.

Premises

[P1] Churches not paying taxes removes the possibility of the government being able to interfere with their internal affairs. [P2] Therefore, it means that religious freedom is protected.

Rejecting the premises

Proponents

Further Reading

References

  1. https://www.law.cornell.edu/constitution/first_amendment
  2. https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/law-and-courts/civil-rights/human-rights/what-rights-are-protected-under-the-human-rights-act/your-right-to-freedom-of-religion-and-belief/

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This page was last edited on Wednesday, 29 Apr 2020 at 09:45 UTC