VonNoble

The non(s) have it - or do they?

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An interesting point raised recently by my very conservative neighbor. 

He LOVES his church.   I know this because he mentions it darn near every time I see him.

 

He has never actually invited me to attend but he has told me quite a bit about how he was a different man before going there.   His pastor is amazing and you all can fill in the rest.   One point I hear over and over and over is about the GREAT program for kids there (and it does sound like they have lots of stuff for kids to do)...then he continues about the super duper extra great teen program (and I bet the kids do love the outings and trips and weekend fun things.)

 

So are the non-church going people (and their kids) missing some social outlets that are important for balance? 

There are not too many programs other than athletics for teens, for example.   Most teens i know don't join scouting or 4-H these days.  Weekend dances at school never happen any more that I know of.....so this is a non-electronic social event for kids.  Do you think parents ever join in name only just to give their kids more do?  (or to get cheap child care for kids?)  

von

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It wouldn't surprise me if that were the case.  I know I looked into scouts for my middle kid, and realized it was now a major joke organization compared to what it used to be(at least in my eyes).  They gave out merit badges for such things as video games, and didn't go on any camping trips at all.

My wife is Christian, or at least religious.  She isn't 100% sure, and I don't like to label her.  But occasionally we end up going to church events because someone she knows will invite her.  I don't mind going so long as she has the understanding that if asked, I will answer honestly(so far nobody has asked at these events, almost amazing).  A lot of people there seem to be there primarily to socialize and gossip.

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42 minutes ago, VonNoble said:

Do you think parents ever join in name only just to give their kids more do?  (or to get cheap child care for kids?)  

von

 

My wife's family has a few examples of people who are Catholic purely for the sake of better schooling options for their kids. An old friend joined a church for free day care.

Many years ago, I probably would have joined First United Methodist in Charlotte, NC, if it had been a requirement for their "Thursday's At First" program. I really enjoyed hanging out with the retirees, helping put together care packages for prison inmates, ripping and rolling sheets into bandages, and learning how to quilt. And the food was amazing, of course... 

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4 hours ago, VonNoble said:

An interesting point raised recently by my very conservative neighbor. 

He LOVES his church.   I know this because he mentions it darn near every time I see him.

 

He has never actually invited me to attend but he has told me quite a bit about how he was a different man before going there.   His pastor is amazing and you all can fill in the rest.   One point I hear over and over and over is about the GREAT program for kids there (and it does sound like they have lots of stuff for kids to do)...then he continues about the super duper extra great teen program (and I bet the kids do love the outings and trips and weekend fun things.)

 

So are the non-church going people (and their kids) missing some social outlets that are important for balance? 

There are not too many programs other than athletics for teens, for example.   Most teens i know don't join scouting or 4-H these days.  Weekend dances at school never happen any more that I know of.....so this is a non-electronic social event for kids.  Do you think parents ever join in name only just to give their kids more do?  (or to get cheap child care for kids?)  

von

 

 

You raise different questions.

 

The Boy Scouts of America does not accept Atheists.  A scout must be "reverent".  

 

When I was that age, I had other issues.  I saw no reason to put on a uniform and take orders.  It was clear to me that I was not in the military -- and that I didn't want to join a social form of it.

 

Parents have different reasons to join churches.  It is not for me to judge.  Some thought should go into which group, to hand over their child.  Most mouse traps have bait.

 

If I were going to join a Christian Church, I would probably go with Methodist.  I do like good food.  

Edited by Jonathan H. B. Lobl

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Though not one of a church's primary functions, providing social interaction for adherents of all ages is beneficial for many reasons, the most obvious being that it strengthens the bonds of friendship/love among the congregation. Despite the fact that some have used the cover of religious authority to prey on the innocent, I still believe church activities are pleasant, positive experiences.

Edited by Songster

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Growing up, some of my neighborhood friends were part of a church version of the scouts. They did everything that the Boy Scouts were all about back then.

I think reasons for joining any of them now, or even the Boys and Girls Club, is mainly about keeping the kids preoccupied and out of trouble while under supervision. So, yeah, like day care or after school programs.

 

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2 hours ago, Key said:

Growing up, some of my neighborhood friends were part of a church version of the scouts. They did everything that the Boy Scouts were all about back then.

I think reasons for joining any of them now, or even the Boys and Girls Club, is mainly about keeping the kids preoccupied and out of trouble while under supervision. So, yeah, like day care or after school programs.

 

 

I used to be in the Boys Club.  Years after I had aged out, I found my old membership card and actually read the back of it.  There was a line that said I was to worship God as I thought fit.  I was astonished.  At the time, I had no idea that line was there.  

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All right to the heart of my thinking ...so thanks to all. 

If people do join for other than strictly spiritual reasons...and IF the churches are aware of this - do they pander to that fact.  Are they running programs to attract people like any business?    Are they amping up "profits: by using free labor of the members to grow the intake of money?  Is that ethical?  (I am sure it is legal) ...how does that play into running a business with tax exemption criticism?  (church day care for free taking money away from mom and pop trying to run a day care for profit? ) 

von

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2 hours ago, VonNoble said:

All right to the heart of my thinking ...so thanks to all. 

If people do join for other than strictly spiritual reasons...and IF the churches are aware of this - do they pander to that fact.  Are they running programs to attract people like any business?    Are they amping up "profits: by using free labor of the members to grow the intake of money?  Is that ethical?  (I am sure it is legal) ...how does that play into running a business with tax exemption criticism?  (church day care for free taking money away from mom and pop trying to run a day care for profit? ) 

von

 

None of this bothers me.  It's a church's business to attract a membership.  There's nothing wrong with baiting the hook.  

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Hmmmm......I am not sure I want tax exemption to someone competing in retailing efforts (gift shops in church)....restaurants (big ones have them complete with free child care) - it does give the church not only a recruiting tool but also a financial advantage.   Sort of.  Maybe.    If I were the coffee shop that has been opened  for years - and depend on my customers to make a living.  I would not be thrilled with a mega-church putting me out of business...on real estate upon which they pay no taxes (and I do) - and they use free labor (I have to pay mine the required minimum wage and all applicable FICA etc.) ......so while I get your point about the social activities...I am not sure the business model should be permitted.  It then becomes more than a draw.  It becomes competition to people who pay taxes and have to pay staff.   Just thinking it through....still weighing it all.......

 

Not that what I think one way or the other is worth a hill of beans to anyone but me.   :huh:

That too is one of the learning curves of aging.   It is presumed whatever you know - is outdated.    :lol:   (too often that is a correct conclusion with me) 

 

von

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20 minutes ago, VonNoble said:

Hmmmm......I am not sure I want tax exemption to someone competing in retailing efforts (gift shops in church)....restaurants (big ones have them complete with free child care) - it does give the church not only a recruiting tool but also a financial advantage.   Sort of.  Maybe.    If I were the coffee shop that has been opened  for years - and depend on my customers to make a living.  I would not be thrilled with a mega-church putting me out of business...on real estate upon which they pay no taxes (and I do) - and they use free labor (I have to pay mine the required minimum wage and all applicable FICA etc.) ......so while I get your point about the social activities...I am not sure the business model should be permitted.  It then becomes more than a draw.  It becomes competition to people who pay taxes and have to pay staff.   Just thinking it through....still weighing it all.......

 

Not that what I think one way or the other is worth a hill of beans to anyone but me.   :huh:

That too is one of the learning curves of aging.   It is presumed whatever you know - is outdated.    :lol:   (too often that is a correct conclusion with me) 

 

von

me too.:blink:

 

but think about it von.according to one of the stories in the bible,merchants were driven out of the temple.seems it is ok now.

 

whether or not it should be is decided by the property owners and the franchise operating said facility(s).and really,there is no free lunch,even in a mega church.

Edited by mark 45

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44 minutes ago, mark 45 said:

whether or not it should be is decided by the property owners and the franchise operating said facility(s).and really,there is no free lunch,even in a mega church.

 

Valid point - Jesus throwing money changers out of the temple (with a note of irritation if not anger)....still in cases where the mega-church is the owner of the land, building and all property therein .....there is money to be made. 

 

About 15 years ago - I became aware that the PASTOR of the nearest megachurch owned the land upon which the church was built (and collected hefty rent for a long term lease, the pastor also owned the building (not the church congregation) (but the pastor held the title) for which he collected rent as well.  They also ran a daycare, restaurant (which turned a profit) as well as a brisk retail store, exercise classes, dance lessons and rental property (again owned by the pastor) and rented to the church.    

 

I applaud the savvy business sense.   No law against being clever.

 

I somehow felt badly for the coffee shop (yes there had been one) right across the street that went out of  business.   I guess that is the nub of it.  One was operating as a business.   The other as a tax exempt entity with a built in clientele of hundreds.   The dude running the business had to pay taxes to operate.  The dude with the built in clientele did not.  Just didn't seem right somehow.    Yeah...I know life isn't fair.   But like many I root for the underdog often just cuz they have spunk against the odds.  Not everything legal is right. 

von 

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i think noboody should be tax exempt that makes use of anything taxes pay for, or in other words...everyone should be equal in tax law with no special treatment for religion.  they use the roads, the church i used to live across from in jonesboro il actually took over a section of the street by paving over it.  south illinois streer still looks straight on the gps but you have to do a partial square to get around the church now.  

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4 hours ago, VonNoble said:

Hmmmm......I am not sure I want tax exemption to someone competing in retailing efforts (gift shops in church)....restaurants (big ones have them complete with free child care) - it does give the church not only a recruiting tool but also a financial advantage.   Sort of.  Maybe.    If I were the coffee shop that has been opened  for years - and depend on my customers to make a living.  I would not be thrilled with a mega-church putting me out of business...on real estate upon which they pay no taxes (and I do) - and they use free labor (I have to pay mine the required minimum wage and all applicable FICA etc.) ......so while I get your point about the social activities...I am not sure the business model should be permitted.  It then becomes more than a draw.  It becomes competition to people who pay taxes and have to pay staff.   Just thinking it through....still weighing it all.......

 

Not that what I think one way or the other is worth a hill of beans to anyone but me.   :huh:

That too is one of the learning curves of aging.   It is presumed whatever you know - is outdated.    :lol:   (too often that is a correct conclusion with me) 

 

von

 

 

By definition, all nonprofits -- including churches -- should not be making a profit.  All profits should be subject to the same tax.  That includes salary for the clergy.  

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3 hours ago, Jonathan H. B. Lobl said:

 

 

By definition, all nonprofits -- including churches -- should not be making a profit.  All profits should be subject to the same tax.  That includes salary for the clergy.  

 

That may be what is suppose to happen.   I cannot say if it does or does not.   There were plenty of rumors about that particular church .... but gossip is often wrong.   Even if taxes were paid on the profits.... they were not likely paid on the land as most if the enterprise was under the more than a city block long church building.  

 

If the proper taxes were paid like any other businesss  - than I have no issue with it.

 

thx.   von

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