Always interesting to talk about how religious groups are under attack by the US government. I recently had a Facebook discussion about tax breaks for a religious theme park in Kentucky. According to Charisma News:
"By letter on Dec. 10, state officials told the theme park's developer, Answers in Genesis (AiG), that the only way AiG could participate in the rebate program is if AiG would agree to two conditions: 1) waive its right to include a religious preference in hiring, and 2) affirm that it will tolerate no "proselytizing" at the theme park."Some religious folks are upset because they feel that the government of Kentucky is persecuting the theme park builder. Here are a few comments and responses that I made about this on Facebook.
In my view, a tax rebate is not a right or entitlement. If a religious group takes funds from the govt they should be aware that strings come with those funds. Best that religious groups steer clear of govt funds/entitlements and rely on the generosity of religious people instead of govt tax breaks.What do you think about non-charitable religious groups who want your tax dollars?
I am not a fan of 501.c.3 groups that use tax deductions for things that are not charitable in nature. Many of these groups spend huge amounts of money on ornate buildings and inflated salaries. In contrast other 501.c.3 groups help the least of these as they minister to the poor, the hungry, the homeless and the imprisoned. So it is hard for me to have empathy for a theme park builder who is wanting tax-funded monies to offset his costs to entertain religious folks.
I am all for "the furtherance of the Kingdom" but struggle to see how most of the things that go on in religious groups have much to do with the kingdom that Jesus preached. Instead of inspiring humble compassion some religious groups seem to breed arrogant self-righteousness. It is time that folks stop whining about tax breaks and begin to passionately help the least of these in our country.