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Friday, November 16, 2007

O They Will Know We Are Christians…

posted by on November 16 at 14:15 PM

…the way our very messy divorces expose our highly questionable “business” practices.

The Biblical Gospel of Matthew famously admonishes Christians not to try to serve both God and wealth. But a pastor’s estranged wife says he has blended the two so thoroughly that his church should be counted as an asset in their divorce.

A judge agreed in a decision published this week to hear arguments on the claim, and he ordered a financial appraisal of the church. Lawyers involved in the case said it could represent the first time anyone in New York state has tried to treat a religious institution as a marital asset.

The wife argues that her husband of 31 years used his Brooklyn church as a “personal piggy bank,” setting his own income, spending the congregation’s tithes as he pleased and running a catering business from the building, according to an account of the claims in state Supreme Court Judge Arthur M. Diamond’s decision….

The wife said $50,000 of the couple’s money went into starting the church, and she should share in value.

“That church is no different than any other business he might have opened,” said the wife’s lawyer, Robert Pollack.

A church is a business—in exchange for your your money you get guilt, hang-ups, and judgement—oh, and “salvation.” And every once in a while your kids get raped. Such a deal!

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i've never been too clear on this whole church thing. so, people give money to the church they go to? how does it work, is it really like the old collection plate deal, or is there a weekly fee and some sort of billing process?
what a scam. why would god need money? sheesh...

Posted by douglas | November 16, 2007 2:38 PM

Many churches truly earn their non-profit status and are an asset to the community they serve. I also think every church's non-profit status should be in question, just as any common 501(c)(3) group is scrutinized for theirs, come tax time.

Posted by Dougsf | November 16, 2007 2:38 PM

I'll just repeat what's been said on Slog many many times before...


Posted by monkey | November 16, 2007 3:28 PM

@3: It's been said a lot, but that doesn't make it smart.

Rather than revoke the tax-exempt status of all churches, and by so doing punish all those that perform legitimate nonprofit work for the community, why don't we beef up enforcement of 501(c)(3) rules and bust the frauds?

Posted by Greg | November 16, 2007 3:41 PM

I'll just say that the word "community" as used by 2 and 4 is one of the most meaningless and detestable catch-phrases going and should not be used as an underlying justification for tax-exempt status. It may have even eclipsed "freedom" in my book...

Posted by The Gay Recluse | November 17, 2007 9:08 AM

Christians are all peverts, tax cheats and idiots. That's because Christianity is a toxic cult.

Judaism teaches righteousness. That's why Jews are never caught in sex scandals or as tax cheats. The sooner we rid the world of Christianity the better.

Posted by Issur | November 17, 2007 11:52 AM

oh issur. we can always depend on you to be predictable and hilarious. thanks for my daily laugh. really.

Posted by ellarosa | November 17, 2007 12:42 PM

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