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  • Mein Schatz 1:39 pm on March 8, 2010 Permalink
    Tags: Catholic, lesbian,   

    No Gay Preschoolers in Boulder 

    The daughter of a pair of lesbians was a student at Sacred Heart of Jesus Catholic School in Boulder, CO. She is no longer allowed to attend, since her parent’s bedroom antics have become public knowledge, and the school decided they no longer want toddlers with two mommies polluting their halls. Now, its hardly the child’s fault her parents are in violation of Catholic principles, but nevertheless, this is a private institution, with its own private rules for admittance. This conflict outlines one of the underlying problems in modern America: Universal Acceptance vs. Established Mores. These two ideas, one which values all people for their humanness, the other which realizes that a functioning society is built on historical precedent, are constantly at odds, but never more so than in the religion/constitution barrier. I have to fall on the side of private enterprise and cast aside the moral/ethical/religious aspect entirely. If this school had a rule that no students may be from families that have purple houses or work as garbage-men, it should be their right to do so.

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    • pslarkin 2:35 pm on March 8, 2010 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      ….and the institution keeps tax-exempt status?

    • Mein Schatz 2:48 pm on March 8, 2010 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      The fact that religious institutions get tax exempt status at all should be the question here, not whether certain ones should be denied it, just because they don’t fit some particular government agenda. Nowhere that i am aware of does it say that an institution with tax exempt status must abide by any sort of fairness of service laws. Perhaps I am mistaken..

      • pslarkin 3:48 pm on March 8, 2010 Permalink

        The argument -ignoring your question about the legitimacy in general- is that organizations benefiting from tax-exempt status must abide by certain standards. Abstaining from discrimination based on sexual orientation would be one of those standards. See: Bob Jones University v. United States, 461 U.S. 574 (1983).

        I’m just curious where law stands in this regard these days.

      • Mein Schatz 4:59 pm on March 8, 2010 Permalink

        Thanks, that’s sort of what I was looking for. It would seem the IRS does have the right to withdraw tax exempt status, but I’m wondering how they would go about that, considering there is a school and also a church, a very large church, involved. I’m sure this will be a continued issue for this diocese and the school in question, not to mention the nation at large, for the foreseeable future.

        I’m thinking would have just been a better idea to castigate and harass the preschooler until she hated her two mothers and by proxy all gays, priests, teachers, and schoolchildren in general by the second grade, thereafter going on a killing spree that included all those aforementioned and maybe a few innocent bystanders. That would teach those sinful lesbians a lesson. And I bet it would really improve standardized test scores too.

    • pslarkin 10:36 am on March 9, 2010 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      I imagine the revocation and authorization of 501(c)(3) status is a daily task for the Internal Revenue Service. Maybe churches that lose tax-free status are considered equal to other corporations. If you think about it most religious institutions are not much different than weight watchers, on a business model stand point. No offence to those that frequent weight watchers, of course.

      • Mein Schatz 1:11 pm on March 9, 2010 Permalink

        There are other types of non-profit/not-for-profit tax models than 501c, and I assume they have higher or lower grades of requirements. I am pretty sure some of the other 501 versions are quite a bit less strict than 501c, and I am unaware of the details of how church/schools are organized in this sense. It seems so convoluted to me, that even thinking about looking it up makes me a little dumber. Yet another example of how the federal tax code is specifically designed to bamboozle the average citizen.

    • pslarkin 1:54 pm on March 9, 2010 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Is your unwillingness to learn more about tax exempt vehicles the example? Or is the example the existence of these opportunities all together? It is goofy to suggest that federal tax code is complex because creators intend to confuse. Take a deep breath.

      • Mein Schatz 10:25 pm on March 9, 2010 Permalink

        tax exempt vehicles? i am confused by your statement. I don’t think its goofy to suggest the tax code is intended to confuse when they add thousands of pages a year to it, pages that require years of study to understand, or pay someone to do it for you.

    • pslarkin 7:42 am on March 10, 2010 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Tax exempt vehicles would be any flavor of 501 status, 527 or the myriad of other tools used to reduce the burden of taxes on businesses or individuals.

      To suggest that tax code is built with intended complexity, without offering any real proof, is goofy. If you can highlight the incentive required to disable the tax collection process, without participating in wild speculation, I’m all ears.

      I’m not arguing that filing for 501 status is not onerous. Nor am I suggesting tax forms are not complex. I just find it a silly suggestion that some nefarious tax lawyers are giggling with delight in the knowledge that they added another line to the 990 form. By the way, the form that a 501 organization must file is the 990, and it is a whopping 12 pages long. I wonder what forms are participating in your “thousands of pages a year” program.

      • Mein Schatz 12:05 pm on March 10, 2010 Permalink

        I didn’t say thousands of pages a year of forms, but rather thousands of pages a year of tax code. I found this website from 2006, and the numbers have most definitely gone up since then, outlining the size of the US tax code.

        “…if you go to the US Government Printing Office ( http://www.gpo.gov ), you can order a complete set of Title 26 of the US Code of Federal Regulations (that’s the part written by the IRS), all twenty volumes of it, at the bargain price of $974, shipping included…. it’s 13,458 pages in total. The full text of Title 26 of the United States Code (the part written by Congress–available for an additional $179) is a mere 3,387 printed pages, bringing the adjusted gross page count to 16,845.”

        The website is kind of funny. It has quotes about the tax code, mostly from Republicans.

        http://www.trygve.com/taxcode.html

        Various quotes from senators bemoaning the tax code put the page count as high as 2.5 million. A pretty impressive display of fuzzy math if you ask me.

        My point is this: it is expensive, time consuming, and beyond the reach of the average American to fully understand the tax code and its effect on himself and those around him. Intentional or not, this is fundamentally true. The basic flaw that I see in the system is that it establishes a set of rules and then provides thousands of ways to get around those rules, which end up being unavoidably abused by the informed, which tend to be “nefarious tax lawyers” etc. Even informed average citizens can’t utilize most of the tax loopholes created in this system, because they are generally designed for gigantic corporations (no-for-profit and for profit alike) or very rich individuals. I am all for reducing the tax burden, but I am of the philosophical position that you cannot effectively do this by expanding the tax code, only by simplifying it and making the knowledge truly accessible to the average American, not just available.

      • pslarkin 1:13 pm on March 10, 2010 Permalink

        I can understand your position, as would many citizens and business owners.

        I’ll take your comment that the federal government is trying to bamboozle as a frustration towards the entire system, and not those facets that facilitate social benefit.

      • Mein Schatz 2:51 pm on March 10, 2010 Permalink

        Right. I think those facets that are attempting to facilitate social improvement are in fact being used by the system as an excuse for the central authority to make more exceptions rather than simplify the entire system. They can say, “well, it wouldn’t be fair to tax this group in the same way as that group for such and such a reason (good or bad), therefore we will make another exception and another and another, further solidifying our control over the system by virtue of its complexity.

  • Don Lando 12:02 pm on March 11, 2008 Permalink
    Tags: , Catholic, deadly sins, , poverty, stem cell, Vatican   

    Vatican blesses earth with further instructions 

    With much pomp and trepidation, The Vatican has been so good as to offer additional guidelines for living as they see that God sees fit. The new list, presumably overlooked in the original Seven Deadly Sins, deals largely with social issues.

    I am still undecided on how I feel about this. It seems that the Holy See may have stumbled across some legitimate mankind-serving ideas here. But I suspect the Catholic church would be hard-pressed to absolve itself of sin #6

    The New-and-Improved 7 Social Sins:

    1. “Bioethical” violations such as birth control

    2. “Morally dubious” experiments such as stem cell research

    3. Drug abuse

    4. Polluting the environment

    5. Contributing to widening divide between rich and poor

    6. Excessive wealth

    7. Creating poverty

    In deference to objectivity, this link offers a different perspective from sources perhaps closer to the Vatican.

     
    • The Bruce 3:49 pm on March 11, 2008 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Dear Pope,

      As a young, white, male Protestant I understand that I am not your target audience, but I am having trouble identifying precisely who is.

      I first refer you to sin numbers two and seven which are clearly directed toward Nazis and third world dictators, while sins one and three most certainly apply to Colombians and Africans. Do they apply to me as well?

      Second, could you please be more specific with regard to what constitutes “pollution”? I currently buy carbon credits and am wondering if they will offset sin number four in the grand tradition of Indulgences.

      Third, please tell me which political party best follows sin number five. I don’t want to throw my vote away in a sinful act of support in the General Election.

      Lastly, I am confused as to what defines the “wealth” of sin number six. Isn’t the true follower of Christ the recipient of enormous riches beyond earthly means? If so, this is a big problem. One which I suggest remedying by issuing several more poorly defined lists of non sequiturs.

      Meekly,
      The Bruce

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