• Posts

  • Joined

  • Last visited

Everything posted by Kingfisher

  1. I'm not familiar with PA tax law, but it's my understanding that religious organizations in America still have to abide by the same 501©(3) regulations as other non-profits or they lose their exempt status. Pastors still have to pay personal income taxes, and there are restrictions on their personal property (that is, it has to be directly used in service of their church, you don't get a break just because you're ordained.) In some cases churches don't have to go through the initial approval process, being granted some measure of faith, but the hue and cry that they are exempt without obligation is misconstrued for political reasons. The problems with tax-exempt status, loopholes and corruption aren't limited to religious institutes. I could be wrong about any or all of the above points, this is not to be taken as legal advice. (Note to tech: please remove the "copyright" auto-formatting.)
  2. I went to a Franciscan university and majored in both Biology and Theology. I don't have a problem with a school teaching science and religion simultaneously, as long as the disparate subjects are kept in the appropriate classrooms. If our "grammar" schools also properly teach rhetoric and dialectic the students will be equipped to navigate the stormy seas of discord.
  3. No worries, just thought the time frame might help ya pin down the problem. Thanks for the update, glad it's nothing more serious.
  4. This started for me last week. Couldn't access the forum for a few days, got back through yesterday and was locked out again today. Figured you guys were doing some maintenance but I mention it because it wasn't just today.
  5. I don't pay income tax, but I do spend 25% of my $9,700 annual SSD/SSI income on property taxes (for a 30 year-old trailer on ten acres.) It's still cheaper than renting, but I'm effectively forced to repurchase my home every ten years. My elderly parents are in the same boat, watching their American Dream being taxed away in their golden years, losing everything they busted their tails for all their lives. Retirement? Hah! If you can't continually feed the ever-growing appetite of the machine then you obviously don't deserve to keep what you've made for yourself. They'll just take it and give it to someone who will "work harder" (read: pay more taxes) while convincing you that it's in your best interest. A serf has no real motivation to improve their condition because they know the fruits of their labor will be consumed by someone else. When one cannot be content with their own condition and/or take responsibility for their own growth, then Mammon becomes their god. It's why thugs and banksters (if that's not splitting a semantic hair) are frequently idolized, and why asset taxes on "the 1%" are becoming a more popular idea. Nobody cares how you get your money, if you can flash that swag then you must be an important person who is worthy of special treatment. It doesn't matter if you think the rich or poor are the good guys or the bad guys, if money is your measure of a person it's utterly dehumanizing. There is a great need for charity in the world. The problem isn't that welfare is a bad concept, the problem is that it doesn't work. In theory, it's a compassionate system that serves the needs of the poor. In practice, it's just a book of regulations that serves the bottom line of plutocrats.
  6. I'm sorry, I didn't think you needed me to hold your hand. This category is prayers and good wishes, not explain why I thought Elvis is a perfect example of the problem you don't have. But since you asked (in your own peculiar ego-prodding way), his isolation in the midst of abundance is why I chose that song of despair and hope. I think it's fair to say his obesity wasn't what killed him.
  7. Entropy is a scalar quantity, not a force. It's akin to saying the strongest force in the Universe is the kilometer. “Nature shows us only the tail of the lion. But I do not doubt that the lion belongs to it even though he cannot at once reveal himself because of his enormous size.” ~ Albert Einstein
  8. Sounds like moral censorship found it's way home. Bummer. Or maybe it was all that Dungeons and Dragons I played as a kid. Nah, probably karma.
  9. "If the Confederacy falls, there should be written on its tombstone: Died of a Theory." ~ Jefferson Davis
  11. I just got boots and books for Christmas (yay!) so this week it's going to be: Sacred Ties, by Tom Carhart Geronimo, by Geronimo Ahh, wisdom is the best gift ever.
  12. I reckon you could call this "my" opinion. {01:38:20 - is on Bodhicitta and relationships.}"Dear eternal Father, there is much unrest and disunity in the world. Help us to embrace each other and live in peace and harmony in the pagan way. Dear eternal Mother, we realize there are many different traditions of faith. Help us to see past the difference and unite as one family in total harmony and love. So Mote It Be"
  13. I caught Papa Francis' Christmas last night and I was reflecting on how easily I understood his message even though I speak no Italian. Our strongest power comes not from what we say, but reveals itself in how we behave. Though I frequently stumble in the practice, I have learned much wisdom from your way of relating to us. So in the spirit of the season, I just wanted to say thanks for not being here, and thanks for being here. If you know what I mean. May your lamp burn eternal, Rabbi.
  14. If dark energy wasn't stronger than gravity then expansion wouldn't be accelerating. Or to put it in humanist terms, my reason can beat up your reason.
  15. Icy wind of night be gone, this is not your domain...
  16. Everything we've ever made we copied from what we found around us. Monkey see, monkey do. That's just the nature of Life. The universe has been assembling and recombining larger bits from smaller bits for billions of years, so I'd say (paradoxically, of course) that our greatest achievement is convincing ourselves that we've accomplished anything at all. We are but pale shadows cast by the fires of creation, mere clay in the hands of the gods. "Today self-consciousness no longer means anything but reflection on the ego as embarrassment, as realization of impotence: knowing that one is nothing." ~ Theodor Adorno
  17. I like this new Pope. He's pretty hip for a Jesuit. "This church with which we should be thinking is the home of all, not a small chapel that can hold only a small group of selected people. We must not reduce the bosom of the universal church to a nest protecting our mediocrity." ~ Pope Francis I
  18. I was also raised RC, became a lay minister on a path toward Franciscan (TOR) seminary when I separated from the Church. Though I take issue with many points of faith, for me the most poignant struggle comes during mass, as I'm drawn to commune while wrestling with the knowledge that I'm not "properly" confessed. I can't conceive of a Saviour who would turn away from anyone who sincerely seeks Him, so I reject absolute obedience to man's dogma in favour of following the Lord's call. What are they gonna do, excommunicate me twice? Their doctrine tells me I am apart from God (depending on who you talk to my fate is already sealed,) but I still approach that altar with a confident faith. I brave the threat of hellfire not only for myself, but for all those who have been made to feel exiled from divine grace. The Church may lock her doors... but I know His arms are always open. Lord, I am not worthy to receive you, but only say the word and I shall be healed.