We, the undersigned, have become increasingly aware of the influence being exerted through "faith-based" organizations on political processes of our government. Though we understand the need for separation of church and state, we also see more clearly each day the influence these groups have on our political processes. It is with this in mind that we request the removal of "tax-exempt" status for faith-based organizations.The idea of this country to be free of Taxation without Representation should include the same principle of Representation without Taxation. Through the "charitable" contribution (tithes) of their members these groups avoid taxes on this collection of revenue. Their members also have the option of avoid taxes on the same revenue by listing it as a "charitable contribution" on their individual tax returns providing the same revenue with dual exemption from taxation.As churches and other religious organizations exert thier influence through their congregation and their "tax-free" revenue, their ability to apply undue influence in the governing of this country increases. Additionally, these same groups apply for and receive "tax-exempt", non-repayable grants from the government for such things as abstinence based education. The inequality then lies in the ability to acquire revenue and avoid taxes in three manners while continuing to lobby for their agendas.Thank you for your time in reading this petition. I hope you will join me in voicing your agreement or if not let me know your reasons for opposing such action. The time for Representation with Taxation to be over is now.Thanks again for your time,Richard O Harris
For most of this country's history, faith-based organizations (churchs and religious institutions) have been free from taxation. While I understand the need for seperation of church and state, I cannot see how this supports such a precedent.There was a time in the early history of this country when an action known as the "Boston Tea Party" was a symbol of rebellion against Taxation without Representation. Now it may be time to consider why we allow Representation without Taxation.As more and more churches and religious organizations begin to exert their influence into political matters through the use of their congregations and tax-free funds, perhaps we should have a "High Tea Party" on the Washington Mall demanding these groups pay their share of taxes just as we have to.Consider if you will, most of these groups receive "tax free" grants from the government that are not repayable for activities such as abstinence education. Additonally, their congregation members can right off any donations they give to these groups from their individual taxes. Finally, the donations (or tithes) are "tax-exempt" once the church or religious institution receives them. Here we have a source of revenue that is non-taxed twice over.Would we even need "bail outs" or other Federal Aid for the National Debt if these groups were taxed. I think not and I find it irresponsible that we continue to allow these groups to receive "tax-free", non-repayable aid from the government along with the "tax-exempt" donations of their members.It has become increasingly clear these groups are deeply involved in influence the governing of this country through their members and their funds. Let us meet on the Mall and have some understanding that Representation without Taxation is as unfair and intolerable as Taxation without Representation. Let me know how you feel on this subject and more importantly let your representatives know how you feel.Is it time for a "High Tea Party"