In response to ‘taxing churches’

In a recent Letter to the Editor, Mr. Merrick argues that churches should not be tax exempt. While he is entitled to his own opinion, he is not entitled to his own facts.

The Constitution prohibits Congress from establishing a government religion; passing any law restricting the free exercise of religion; and prohibits any religious test as a precondition for public office. I challenge him to show any other proscription of religion in our founding documents.

The founders prohibited any federal tax other than per capita (every adult pays the same amount of tax) as a protection against tyranny. That safeguard was in place until the 16th Amendment was ratified in 1913 (the beginning of deficit spending). Clearly, there was no original intent to tax churches.

As to what constitutes a religion, Chief Justice James Kent, considered one of the two fathers of American jurisprudence; in The People vs Ruggles (1811) stated: “…We are a Christian people and the morality of the country is deeply engrafted upon Christianity and not upon the doctrines or worship of those imposters (other religions)…”

America is tolerant of the practice of other religions (or none) but is not influenced by them. When the founders referred to “religion” they universally were referring to Christianity. See the charters for each of the 13 original colonies if there is any doubt about that.

Mr. Merrick’s misstatements regarding the importance of Christianity (and the role of churches) in the founding and preservation of the American Republic are historically insupportable. To a man, the founders unequivocally stated that the liberty embodied in the American Experiment could not survive without the moderation imposed by Christianity. History has proven them prescient in that regard, especially as courts have drifted from what the Constitution says to what activist judges wish it said.

For those actually interested in what the founders said, and meant, and did, an excellent resource is the exquisitely documented “Original Intent-The Courts, the Constitution, & Religion” by David Barton.

“Know the truth and the truth will set you free”

Frank D. Banta

Newnan



More Opinion

Georgia Says

The Macon Telegraph on damage being done under Gold Dome: It is a good thing our intrepid lawmakers will soon leave Atlanta. I'm not sure w ... Read More


And in this corner …

Two of the biggest players in our community are set to collide in an epic battle royale. It is a fight that has, and will, continue to be pl ... Read More


Not the Top 10 we want

Georgia has broken into the Top 10. We wish we were talking March Madness or David Letterman lists. Such is not the case. Rather, our state ... Read More


Rants, Raves & Really?!?

A look back at last week’s highs, lows and whatevers: RAVE: And congratulations to Kristin Skelly, who is the new head of school for T ... Read More


Georgia Says

The Macon Telegraph on airport's future: Once again the Middle Georgia Regional Airport is looking for airline service. Another extension h ... Read More

Helping those who make our community great

Over the course of the year, The Newnan Times-Herald is highlighting the multitude of non-profits located here in Coweta County. It’s ... Read More