I think our laws granting tax exempt status to religious organisations conflict with our human rights legislation – or at least the principles underlying that legislation. This tax exemption is based on the granting of “charitable” status to religions purely because of their advocacy of supernatural teachings. Consequently, humanist and other non-religious organisations cannot get similar tax exemptions (although they may qualify on other genuine charitable grounds) (see Taxation offense and, How to lower taxes).
So, it is a slap in the face to the non-religious to be forced to subsidise religious activity via tax exemptions. It’s even worse when organisations with tax exempt status engage in commercial activities for profit. Worse still when the religious tax exempt status supports commercial activity aimed at promoting attacks on science.
Posted in belief, Bible, Christianity, creationism, Darwin, evolution, intelligent design, religion, science, supernatural, superstition
Tagged Creation Ministiries International (NZ), creation on the web, Creations Science Foundation (NZ) Trust, tax, tax exemptions
We would all like to reduce the amount of tax we pay. So it’s no surprise that tax cuts are now often promised by political parties during election campaigns. Of course, the downside is that tax cuts could lead to cuts in public services like health care and education.
But I think there is a way of reducing taxation without influencing government services. I have just started reading the book The Purple Economy by Max Wallace which makes clear that in New Zealand part of our taxation is used to subsidise religious activity by providing tax exemption to religious organisations. Dr Wallace points out that “tax exemption for religious organisations is a subsidy from government which makes it effectively a tithe on the entire tax-paying population of New Zealand.”
This is an important human rights issue because we are all effectively financing supernatural organisations with which many of us disagree – and we have not been consulted about this! It is also important because the exemptions mean money is being diverted from more useful purposes which would benefit all New Zealanders.
Posted in agnostic, agnosticism, atheism, belief, book review, faith, New Zealand, politics, religion, supernatural, superstition
Tagged churches, Purple Economy, tax, tax exemptions, Wallace