A nonprofit with sex scandals uses tax exempt funds to push for an abortion ban with no exception for rape.
“The Catholic Church gave over $750,000 to anti-abortion campaign in Kansas. Churches are normally prohibited from engaging in political campaign activity due to their tax-exempt status…- Popular Info.
Should a non-profit spend tax exempt funds on a political agenda? Should mega-millionaire pastors use their platforms to raise political donations or push a political agenda, and still keep their non-profit status? Who suffers if the ballot measure to ban abortions in Kansas passes?
Church plays politics with tax exempt dollars
- Pay no taxes on their investments, whether it be interest they earn on their investments or in capital gains.
- Pay no sales tax. This means that, when representatives of a religious entity make a purchase – office supplies, cars or travel, for example – they are exempted from whatever the local sales tax is in that area.
- Pay no income taxes for businesses they own, if they can show that the business furthers the objectives of the religion. For example, a bookstore that sells religious books would be exempt.
- Pay no property taxes. Property taxes are primarily used in the U.S. to fund local services like firefighting, emergency medical services and police department. – Alternet
Mapping the potential suffering in Kansas
People are busy. Attention spans are short. Issues are complex. Dark money is hidden. How can you explain what’s really going on? Make it easy to see at a glance? Easy to share? Dashboards makes it easy to understand what is going, see how it affects you personally and what you can do about it – all with a single image.
This dashboard shows the number of women aged between 18-44 who could be hurt by an abortion ban in Kansas (based on data from the US Census Bureau). This map was created with ArcGIS Online and also includes a Relationship Map created with Kumu which shows how the money flows from the Catholic Church to support to the abortion ban petition.
Making it easier for churches to meddle in politics
Trump signed an executive order making it easier for churches and other religious groups to engage in politics without endangering their tax-exempt status. He was surrounded by clergy and leaders of faith organizations during a National Day of Prayer event. The measure is designed to ease enforcement of a provision in the federal tax code known as the Johnson Amendment that bars religious institutions from endorsing or opposing political candidates and parties. It directs the IRS to “exercise maximum enforcement discretion” of the amendment, according to the White House. – The Hill
Churches mired in sexual abuse scandals push for abortion ban with no exception for rape
- “In 2018, bankruptcy court approved an offer from the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis to pay victims of clergy sexual abuse a total of $210 million in settlement, which was the second largest settlement for any United States Catholic Diocese and the largest by any United States Catholic Diocese in bankruptcy.
- On February 9, 2020, it was reported that five Catholic dioceses across the state of New Jersey had paid over $11 million compensate 105 claims of sex abuse committed by Catholic clergy. Of these 105 claims, 98 were compensated through settlements. The payments also do not involve 459 other sex abuse cases in these dioceses which are still not resolved.
- On May 5, 2020, the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Philadelphia announced that it now expected to pay $126 million in reparations. The archdiocese also said its Independent Reconciliation and Reparations Program, which was established in 2018, has received a total of 615 claims, and had settled 208 of them for $43.8 million as of April 22, 2020. That averages out to about $211,000 per claim, which is in line with what other dioceses have been paying under similar programs. The same day, the total amount of money which the Archdiocese of Philadelphia expects to pay in sex abuse settlements was soon revised to $130 million.
- The U.S. dioceses have tallied complaints from 17,000 people for what they paid out about $4 billion to victims since the 1980s. That figure could double given recent lookback laws that give them more time to sue.” – Wikipedia
“Widespread sexual abuse cases in Southern Baptist churches were reported by the Houston Chronicle and San Antonio Express-News on February 10, 2019. The report found roughly 380 clergy, lay leaders and volunteers had faced allegations of sexual misconduct, leaving behind over 700 victims since 1998. The extent of misconduct is further complicated by work within the Southern Baptist Convention to move sex offenders to other communities and resist attempts to address the culture of abuse.” – Wikipedia
Mega millionaire pastors
Religious endowments and investment accounts total in the hundreds of billions of dollars in the U.S.. Just how much money religious organizations have is hard to tell, as churches are not required to report such information. However, the net worth of some well-known pastors, like Kenneth Copeland and Pat Robertson, are estimated to run into the hundreds of millions of dollars. – Alternet
Kansans for Constitutional Freedom
Kansans for Constitutional Freedom (KCF) is a bipartisan coalition of reproductive rights advocates and allied organizations committed to protecting the constitutional rights of Kansans to make personal healthcare decisions free from government interference. Kansas already regulates abortion, just as it would any medical procedure. This amendment is an attempt to give politicians in Topeka the power to go beyond reasonable regulation and ban abortion completely. KCF is working together to defeat the August 2, 2022 constitutional amendment. Vote No on the Ban.
A tax break for churches forces all American taxpayers to support religion, even if they oppose some or all religious doctrines. “No church property is taxed and so the infidel and the atheist and the man without religion are taxed to make up the deficit in the public income thus caused.” – Mark Twain
TakeAway: Vote for your freedom to choose when and with whom to have a family. Watch for groups pushing their political agenda with your tax dollars.
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