Twogaa Sunday Post – 3.10.19 (Taxing Churches Delicate Subject)

Submitted by Diana Roberts on March 10, 2019

Tax Religion!

This sounds frightening to both sides, First Amendment Protectionism and those who pose creeping Theocracy, as well.

Indeed, the thought is both delicate and frightening. Is it a Knee-jerk reaction to what the religious right has gotten away with just to pay them back for undermining the Separation Clause, or was our logic flawed in the beginning regarding government taxation of religion and the Separation Clause? It is time to think about it, discuss in a civil way and move forward with political science clarity and not motivated thinking for political power.

Law professor Robert L. Tasi in his new book, Practical Equality, Forging Justice in a Divided Nation does not speak to taxation of religion, but he does give groundbreaking new tools and approaches to reducing our polarization. The starting point is coming back to the premise of creating equality for every citizen. Our Founding Fathers were good, but at the writing of the Constitution, it was impossible to be perfect. Perfection has a life of its own. Tasi states:

“We have to conceive a better plan to outwork our enemies of equality and bring together friends of justice. The stakes are high, given the modern government’s ability to destroy lives and deny opportunities. The state’s expanded capability to stratify individuals along with all kinds of dimensions, to sort and re-sort people in novel ways, calls for an equally crafty response to ensure equality and freedom.

So beware of purists who would lead you to glorious, spectacular defeats when everyday suffering can be reduced through less glamorous, persistent labor. I have argued the best way to do justice in the face of manifest inequality is to become grittier in our disposition, while broadening our tactics. Instead of flying higher into theory in a quest for gorgeously rendered concepts that can solve all of our problems at once, our goal should be to immerse ourselves in the squalor of human existence.”

“Our struggle for equality requires a double-fisted approach. Wherever possible, we should continue to call out forms of inequality that undermine the basis of our community. But where major resistance arises and the risk of a calamitous setback emerges, the answer isn’t to fight on against all odds. Nor is it to take shelter in a bunker and dream of more congenial circumstances. Instead, the battle ought to be waged on multiple fronts to probe for points of weakness, and to initiate lines of attack.

Pragmatic measures must be undertaken to reduce inequities even when – especially when – the direct of egalitarianism fails to when the day.”