Churches campaigning

August 26th, 2014 at 4:00 pm by David Farrar

churchcampaign

A reader writes:

Hi David.  The Anglican and Methodist appear to have entered the election campaign, at least in Chch.  These huge 3-hoarding wide landscape erections (all with “Oops” but variant wording) have appeared at numerous church sites in the city, with various anti-Govt messages (such as national debt etc not just social policy or poverty as canvassed by the Sallies sometime sin a political framework).  Haven’t seen this before. I have sited them at two main Anglican and one Methodist one, so it is obviously coordinated.  

That reminds me that I must find time after the election to work on a members’ bill to remove tax free legal status from churches in New Zealand. They should have no special status beyond that of any other NGO.

 

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127 Responses to “Churches campaigning”

  1. Alan Wilkinson (1,878 comments) says:

    Who nicked all the comments???

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  2. Redbaiter (9,123 comments) says:

    Yep, and you should start with that Greenpeace church.

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  3. Monique Angel (291 comments) says:

    Yeah. Sucks to be you with your left wing churches. Here in U.S. we’re right and proud.

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  4. Judith (8,534 comments) says:

    Just to get this clear, are you saying that Churches should be punished because they are putting up signs that aren’t supportive to National?

    BTW I don’t think they should get tax cuts etc, but I would be a bit miffed to think you would advocate cutting them, because they weren’t supporting the right team.

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  5. All_on_Red (1,584 comments) says:

    “That reminds me that I must find time after the election to work on a members’ bill to remove tax free legal status from churches in New Zealand. They should have no special status beyond that of any other NGO.”

    Yes, praise The Lord. Please do. They can speak up and interfere all they like but not while being subsidised by the rest of us. And not having to pay Tax like the rest of us is a subsidy.

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  6. Monique Angel (291 comments) says:

    Fuck yeah!

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  7. Hugh Pavletich (225 comments) says:

    Off-topic … A copy of a General Email I just sent out … readers may find of interest …

    Subject: HUGE SCALE OF CHINESE PROPERTY BUBBLE AND BUST … MACROBUSINESS AUSTRALIA

    Huge scale in Chinese property bubble and bust | | MacroBusiness Australia

    http://www.macrobusiness.com.au/2014/08/huge-scale-in-chinese-property-bubble-and-bust/

    China: Big Bubble Trouble | Hugh Pavletich | Scoop News

    http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/WO1401/S00034/china-big-bubble-trouble.htm

    2014 10th Annual Demographia International Housing Affordability Survey

    http://www.demographia.com/dhi.pdf

    New Zealand’s Bubble Economy Is Vulnerable | Hugh Pavletich | Scoop News

    http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/HL1404/S00166/new-zealands-bubble-economy-is-vulnerable-hugh-pavletich.htm

    … estimated 49 million vacant housing units in China …

    China’s empty nests … Angus Grigg … Australian Financial Review

    http://www.afr.com/p/world/china_empty_nests_pAiDpjgyTQrWI4WiEGFYsL

    … with 8.2 million vacant housing units in Japan …

    Vacant homes in Japan reach record as outlying populations shrink … Nikkei Asian Review

    http://asia.nikkei.com/Politics-Economy/Economy/Vacant-homes-in-Japan-reach-record-as-outlying-population-shrinks

    … and too …

    Planned Chaos: Ludwig Von Mises: 9780910614009: Amazon.com: Books

    http://www.amazon.com/Planned-Chaos-Ludwig-Von-Mises/dp/0910614008

    Hugh Pavletich
    http://www.PerformanceUrbanPlanning.org and http://info.scoop.co.nz/Hugh_Pavletich

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  8. IGM (424 comments) says:

    Judith: Why are you leeching lefties experts on everything, succeeding in nothing, and never amounting to anything?

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  9. lurcher1948 (151 comments) says:

    Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see.

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  10. Judith (8,534 comments) says:

    @ IGM (72 comments) says:
    August 26th, 2014 at 4:08 pm

    I think you will find that I have succeeded at many things I’ve done, as well as failing at some, like most people. One thing I have succeeded at, is having enough intelligence to know that it is impossible to tell what a persons entire life is, simply from what they post on a blog – hence, I’ve succeeded in not making a fool of myself by posting comments insinuating I do know – such as you have.

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  11. Brian Smaller (4,023 comments) says:

    It used to be philu infecting this site. Now there is Judith.

    Churches should not be involved in political advertising. If they are then they shouldn’t have any tax breaks beyond those that every organisation that files a tax return does.

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  12. Rosa19 (25 comments) says:

    NZ children are raised in a village in which churches pay no rates, little or no tax on income and have millions in capital …

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  13. burt (8,275 comments) says:

    How many times the greater than the lowest wage is a minister/priest paid (after taking into account all allowances EG: wine for breakfast)

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  14. All_on_Red (1,584 comments) says:

    Hugh
    There’s this thing called General Debate…

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  15. davidp (3,581 comments) says:

    I don’t believe the 200x claim. Minimum wage worker makes about 30k a year. There is no way the average CEO is on 6million. Because most CEOs are employed by small or medium businesses.

    Apparently this church thinks telling lies isn’t a sin

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  16. lurcher1948 (151 comments) says:

    rian Smaller (4,025 comments) says:
    August 26th, 2014 at 4:18 pm
    It used to be philu infecting this site. Now there is Judith I THOUGHT IT WAS THE FUCKWIT IGM isil IS Nazis Republicans national party

    Churches should not be involved in political advertising. If they are then they shouldn’t have any tax breaks beyond those that every organisation that files a tax return does
    DAVID god im Smaller here im on my knees have your way what ever you post will tick and lick

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  17. freemark (581 comments) says:

    As someone pointed out elsewhere, 200 x minimum wage is $5.9M per annum. Not sure if we have any, let alone many execs on that.
    So it is probably just more politically motivated utter bullshit from a lefty who happens to be a priest.

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  18. Tarquin North (305 comments) says:

    Haven’t noticed a lot of poor unemployed preachers living on the breadline around our way lately. Most of them would appear to be too busy wringing their hads and making signs that blame the government.

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  19. Gulag1917 (930 comments) says:

    Advertising no doubt from liberal churches [which often have few pew sitters], and from where a lot of the social experimentation started.

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  20. RightNow (6,994 comments) says:

    “It used to be philu infecting this site. Now there is Judith.”

    I don’t think that’s quite fair, Judith is articulate and her comments can be easily read and understood..

    But if you had said “Now there is lurcher” I would definitely agree.

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  21. Monique Angel (291 comments) says:

    I blame MMP

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  22. Lance (2,662 comments) says:

    I think the message is clear from Jesus
    Churches should not get involved in politics at all. Rather they should ‘just do it’ and help the needy themselves.

    This is widely ignored unfortunately and many an unwise witness is perpetrated.

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  23. Aredhel777 (290 comments) says:

    Churches are not for profit organisations which cater to people’s spiritual needs. They should not be taxed. So what if they express a political view in an advertisement on their own property?

    If you force churches to pay tax, it will be used as a weapon by the state to inflict secular morality on religious people and interfere with church doctrine. The most obvious example is same-sex relationships. There is a reason that the church and state were historically separate. You would do better not to involve yourselves in church matters or meddle with historic freedoms.

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  24. Judith (8,534 comments) says:

    Its obvious that the history of churches receiving tax rebates was when they were basically the ‘welfare agency’ for disadvantaged people.

    I guess the argument is, do they still do enough of this type of work to warrant receiving some sort of rebate. In line with that, one would also expect their charitable work to be ‘unconditional’, that is, open to all in society and not just those who are members of their church.

    I would consider the Salvation Army to fall under this category, and I believe the Baptist City Mission is also similar. There may be others, just as there are some churches that don’t do anything. Perhaps there needs to be some sort of criteria that they must meet to qualify. It would be a pity to loose the community support of some that do make the effort.

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  25. RightNow (6,994 comments) says:

    On topic though, regardless of who they support I don’t think churches should qualify for charity status. Where they have charitable arms then they should separate those out to a separate entity and apply for charitable status for those entities.

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  26. Lance (2,662 comments) says:

    @Aredhel777

    And for that reason alone (and others) the churches should stay out of politics.

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  27. Judith (8,534 comments) says:

    @ RightNow (6,833 comments) says:
    August 26th, 2014 at 4:38 pm

    Yes, I agree. Some do worthwhile work in the community.

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  28. Gulag1917 (930 comments) says:

    “I would consider the Salvation Army to fall under this category, and I believe the Baptist City Mission is also similar. There may be others”.
    Do you need glasses?

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  29. lurcher1948 (151 comments) says:

    RightNow (6,832 comments) says:
    August 26th, 2014 at 4:34 pm
    “It used to be philu infecting this site. Now there is Judith.”

    I don’t think that’s quite fair, Judith is articulate and her comments can be easily read and understood..

    But if you had said “Now there is lurcher” I would definitely agree.

    RightNow im sorry if i upset you but these are my thoughts, im not scary im retired but working at what im good at training others ,but i have been there

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  30. redqueen (567 comments) says:

    Any charitable work should be tax exempt, but political advocacy (contrary to what the Supreme Court thinks and what Greenpeace thinks) really shouldn’t be exempt. This is just mocking us taxpayers and yet another two-fingered salute to us workers :(

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  31. Yvette (2,824 comments) says:

    I have seen this before – but then it was “The poor you will always have with you, and you can help them any time you want.” – Mark 14:7
    Likewise John 12:8, Mark 14:7 and Matthew 26:11
    Nothing unusual so far

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  32. Ed Snack (1,883 comments) says:

    Based on a $13 per hour wage and a 40 hour week, no allowances, that’s $27K a year. There are tax refunds but let’s ignore them and assume the person is single. Then 200 x 27K is $5.4M.

    There is no way that the average CEO in NZ receives that level of remuneration. Unless you exclude all but the largest corporations then I could accept 20 x, but this is the rankest of political propaganda.

    Jesus would NOT approve of lying in his name, but since most ministers in these churches no longer appear to accept the reality or divinity of Jesus I suppose that doesn’t bother them. (Mind you, not that I necessarily accept the same, but then I’m not claiming any special privileges or claiming some revelatory knowledge about the morals of the world).

    At the risk of misusing the quote, I believe that the “render unto Caesar…” quote is relevant, and it is the moral value, the “eye of the needle…” and all that, not the physical.

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  33. Aredhel777 (290 comments) says:

    “And for that reason alone (and others) the churches should stay out of politics.”

    Everyone believes in the separation of church and state, including Christians. We just have different conceptions of what the term means and how far it extends. Just as we all believe in “freedom of speech” but differ over whether the Ku Klux Klan have a right to express their views. Labels are extremely unhelpful. For my part, I can see no social ill or harm arising from churches expressing political views on advertisements on their private property. I can however see enormous harm arising from the collusion of church and state in 18th century pre-revolutionary France, or the state church in the Soviet Union.

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  34. Changeiscoming (190 comments) says:

    Good on them! Christians need to get a lot more involved in Politics and not be intimidated by the worldly response.

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  35. Murray (8,847 comments) says:

    I vote we cut out cafine for Hugh Pavletich.

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  36. Judith (8,534 comments) says:

    @ Gulag1917 (777 comments) says:
    August 26th, 2014 at 4:41 pm

    I don’t work with, or have anything to do with churches if I can help it – I had a bad experience in one decades ago where they insisted I keep something called a husband forever. A shockingly worded contract with absolutely no profit margin, so I’m reluctant to take too much notice of them today. The husband is still looking for the ‘out’ clause but has decided to obey the church and make me miserable forever, in the hopes that he will get 20 virgins he dies – I haven’t got the heart to tell him that the Church of England doesn’t do that!

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  37. jawnbc (87 comments) says:

    Yeah please start with the “church enterprises” like Sanitarium, which earns millions for the 7th Day Adventists.

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  38. Gulag1917 (930 comments) says:

    The Methodists hardly exist by name in Christchurch, either died out or merged. Politics has been the cause of death.

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  39. Aredhel777 (290 comments) says:

    It is a myth that churches have loads of money. Many churches are struggling financially because religion is in decline. The Anglican Church is practically broke.

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  40. Yvette (2,824 comments) says:

    It is noted in aTV3 profile that Cameron Slater is a Christian
    This may only go to show how wide this condition can be defined
    So why should not “Churches” state whatever angle on the Election they wish?
    National Review to Pike Rivers families have.

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  41. flash2846 (287 comments) says:

    Like the dumb fucks aren’t short of gullible donors already.

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  42. nasska (11,582 comments) says:

    …”The Methodists hardly exist by name in Christchurch, either died out or merged”….

    Truly an example the other sects should consider worth emulating.

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  43. GPT1 (2,122 comments) says:

    Do they need authorisation statements?

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  44. UrbanNeocolonialist (290 comments) says:

    So what would average CEO pay in NZ be? $200-300k? Paying perhaps $50-80k tax? vs $27k and $3-4k tax for the minimum wager. So in reality call it 5-10x minimum wage, and perhaps 3-4x average. Also paying 10-20x the tax of minimum wager.

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  45. Liam Hehir (125 comments) says:

    Churches do not have any special status beyond other NGOs. Like any NGO, they are eligible for some exemptions if they are charitable. The advancement of religion is itself charitable – and has been considered so for hundreds of years.

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  46. Yvette (2,824 comments) says:

    So what would average CEO pay in NZ be? $200-300k?
    Gross?
    So the lower salary referred to would be 300k/200 = $15,000
    $288 gross a week
    Well, one can see why they said lowest wage
    And you wouldn’t want tpput too much of that in the offering plate come Sunday

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  47. Odakyu-sen (679 comments) says:

    I am a firm believer in the separation of Church and State.

    The Church should stick to its knitting. It has no business interfering in the world of commerce; certainly not in the political world.

    To be sure, the church can offer moral guidance that politicians and businessmen may choose to follow in their pursuit of a better society, or that we as individuals may choose to follow to make our peace with the world, but that’s about it.

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  48. PaulL (5,987 comments) says:

    I am fine with churches having political activity, the same as I’m fine with unions. But I think it is important that the members of those organisations actually support those activities.

    It also strikes me that left leaning churches do pretty much what they want politically. But when right leaning churches get involved, they get pilloried (think the Hollow Men…..). So any right leaning churches stay quiet, whilst left leaning churches just do what they like with no comment.

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  49. peterwn (3,277 comments) says:

    See:
    http://www.anglicanlife.org.nz/Contact-Us/Diocesan-Staff

    Any familiar faces here? Also the Diocesan office (regional office) is temporarily housed at the pictured site – St Peters, Upper Riccarton.

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  50. Tom Barker (143 comments) says:

    Definitely time to obey the Biblical injunction to drive the currency traders out of the temple.

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  51. greenjacket (467 comments) says:

    “I can see no social ill or harm arising from churches expressing political views on advertisements on their private property.”

    Absolutely.
    But they should pay taxes just the same way that everyone else does. No-one is questioning the church’s right to say stuff (even if it is a lie) – it is just that they are doing it while getting away with not paying taxes.
    The Anglican Church’s tax-free status is a vestige of feudal privilege – end it now.

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  52. burt (8,275 comments) says:

    Aredhel777

    If you force individuals to pay tax, it will be used as a weapon by the state to inflict it’s anti wealth agenda on people. It will use it’s powers to diminish the benefits of working to appeal to unemployed voters …

    But that’s OK, there are only 4 million people in NZ, it’s not effecting as many as the special group [churches] – Doh !

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  53. burt (8,275 comments) says:

    Liam Hehir

    The advancement of religion …. yes we’ve got a few too many people on the planet – lets advance religion and get a few million killed off !

    FFS – You are welcome to your religion and your church – good luck to you. But why do I need to pay for it ?

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  54. cha (4,036 comments) says:

    Dopey pricks should’ve issued a wish list.
    /

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  55. burt (8,275 comments) says:

    Aredhel777

    It is a myth that churches have loads of money. Many churches are struggling financially because religion is in decline. The Anglican Church is practically broke.

    And that’s after being tax free and not paying rates – imagine if they had to stand on their own merit rather than enjoy some benefit they secured hundreds of years ago when the had so much influence that governments were scared of them.

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  56. Liam Hehir (125 comments) says:

    burt

    I am just stating a fact. It’s not correct to say that they are privileged over other NGOs. They aren’t – any exemption from taxes are just a function of the hundreds of years of settled law about what is and what is not charitable.

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  57. thor42 (971 comments) says:

    “…remove tax free legal status from churches in New Zealand.”

    Good stuff! I support such a move.

    Almost every so-called “charity” I can think of has become a left-wing mouthpiece.
    The Red Cross. Save the Children. Oxfam.

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  58. burt (8,275 comments) says:

    Liam Hehir

    I don’t think all NGO’s are tax free and don’t pay rates on their land/buildings ? Correct me if I’m wrong here.

    Sure it’s hundreds of years of settled law. The funny thing is though, the churches don’t have the ability to dictate to most of the town who they should vote for now. Those days are gone.

    You may recall Labour having a crack at the EB, specifically mentioning them in crafting electoral funding laws. I wonder how many Christians protested about that ?

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  59. RRM (9,933 comments) says:

    Murray (8,840 comments) says:
    August 26th, 2014 at 4:50 pm
    I vote we cut out cafine for Hugh Pavletich

    +1

    (Haven’t seen you here for a while Catapult…?)

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  60. MrTips (98 comments) says:

    How can you work on a members bill if you are not in Parliament?
    Pretty unsubtle dog whistle…

    It would be more useful to work on a Bill to make it compulsory for all those behind the scenes in parties and offering advice to MP’s to have the nature, quantum and period of advice/services/activities made public for all to see.

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  61. ShawnLH (5,293 comments) says:

    It’s a pretty thin reason David, and comes across as a little petulant. Three signs, three churches. That means hundreds that have no signs. And agree or disagree, none of the signs are clearly touting for any particular party.

    I doubt you will find a lot of support within National for your proposal.

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  62. rightoverlabour (108 comments) says:

    The Greens want to liberalize abortion laws. Yet there is a deathly silence from all the churches on this. It would be good if they could explain their position on this.

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  63. RRM (9,933 comments) says:

    MrTips: Why?

    All new laws are a matter of public record. Their debate in the House is a matter of public record.

    If a new law is worth having, then it’s worth having, irrespective of whose idea it was.

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  64. alloytoo (546 comments) says:

    @Aredhel777

    I fail to see why spiritual needs need to be any more tax free than physical or psychological needs.

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  65. ChrisM (103 comments) says:

    Yvette

    Did you do new maths or only go to school to eat your lunch?

    “So what would average CEO pay in NZ be? $200-300k? Gross?
    So the lower salary referred to would be 300k/200 = $15,000″ !!!

    So other than proving your innumeracy, what else can you contribute to the debate?

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  66. lolitasbrother (703 comments) says:

    Sorry can I read that again, is jesus on my side income [ $25k ] or not, and can I use the trash Anglican Church to support fascist

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  67. RRM (9,933 comments) says:

    And don’t people putting up this kind of material (political, but not seeking election) have to register as ‘third parties’ or some such with the electoral commission?

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  68. Liam Hehir (125 comments) says:

    All NGOs are eligible for some tax exemptions if they are also charitable. Along with education and the relief of poverty, the advancement of religion are the three main chartiable purposes (together with a kind of miscellaneous group). Churches have charitable status under the advancement of religion head – but are by no means the only organisations to do so. So if you want to change the law, you’d be better off removing the advancement of religion

    Of course, I think that religious activity benefits society in terms of social cohesion and the creation of social capital, so I would contest any moves to do that. Nevertheless, that’s where the debate is to be had.

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  69. dcrown (17 comments) says:

    So it took an electoral advertisement by a church, which you have a problem with, for you to recognize religions should not receive a special tax status?
    #NoIntegrity

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  70. ShawnLH (5,293 comments) says:

    “The Greens want to liberalize abortion laws. Yet there is a deathly silence from all the churches on this. It would be good if they could explain their position on this.”

    I might be able to help. As in general society there is a disconnect between leadership and laity. The laity (non-ordained) tend to be far more conservative than the leadership, but the leadership gets around this by creating a “social justice commission” which is stacked with lefties and then gets a monopoly on what the Churches say on political matters.

    The majority of laity, and for that matter a growing number of ordained people, are up in arms about this and other changes forced on the wider church by a minority of liberals.

    Within Anglicanism liberals still largely hold the power at the top (Nelson Diocese is an exception) but they are increasingly isolated. More conservative Anglican churches are growing fast, while liberal churches are declining even faster. Eventually this will mean changes at the top, and a more conservative approach to political issues. Until then we have to put up with liberal silliness claiming to speak for the church.

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  71. lolitasbrother (703 comments) says:

    HP this site is over run, and Farrar has decided to let the tide flow where it will

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  72. jakejakejake (134 comments) says:

    The PM and Cunliffe on the news every night seems more like political advertising than 3 shoddy signs outside churchs that most people wouldn’t bother reading.

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  73. Nukuleka (335 comments) says:

    I don’t think that this post should become an all-out attack on Christian churches in New Zealand. However, it is, to use the PM’s term ‘unwise’ of certain churches to erect clearly party political hoardings at an election time without it being clear just who is taking responsibility for these hoardings and having a clear mandate from their church members.

    As a Catholic I would be furious, for example, were my parish church to erect such a billboard and I would in fact feel justified in knocking it down. Particularly as the message is clearly a LIE!

    Bishop Victoria Matthews should be lobbied for allowing her Upper Riccarton parish to perpetrate such blatant untruths!

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  74. Adolf Fiinkensein (2,903 comments) says:

    David I agree with most of what you say. However, churches do vast amounts of charitable work so your proposed solution is a bit silly. By all means identify those parishes and remove their charitable status but not the whole caboodle.

    I expect the ‘Head Offices’ of the methos and anglos will be onto this piece of stupidity pretty quick and have them removed for fear of losing their charitable status. BTW i looked hard but could not see an authorization anywhere on those signs.

    Of ourse, these particular idiot anglos and methos will wonder why their membership suddenly declines as all their centre right supporters quietly move away.

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  75. EAD (1,129 comments) says:

    I think it is quite correct that the Church highlight the National Debt.

    1) Why are we passing on debt to generations unborn so we can live the life on Riley?
    2) Usury is outlawed in the Christian religion (and Islamic in fact). If our eye-watering national debt is not elephant sized case of usury then I don’t know what is.

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  76. adze (2,126 comments) says:

    Just as well they aren’t the Exclusive Brethren with their election advertising, or else the Labour Party and the Greens would be all up in arms I’m sure! :)

    Seriously though, could this be considered an election advertisement under the Electoral Act?

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  77. Judith (8,534 comments) says:

    In my opinion, the advertisement doesn’t actually directly or indirectly apply to any particular party or candidate. Some could argue it is a statement about inequality – an issue that precedes any election period and therefore doesn’t fit the other criteria of the act referring to Political Advertisements. Churches frequently have notices about social issues. It would be interesting to use as a test case, but it doesn’t look like it applies:-

    Meaning of election advertisement
    (1)In this Act, election advertisement—
    (a)means an advertisement in any medium that may reasonably be regarded as encouraging or persuading voters to do either or both of the following:
    (i)to vote, or not to vote, for a type of candidate described or indicated by reference to views or positions that are, or are not, held or taken (whether or not the name of the candidate is stated):
    (ii)to vote, or not to vote, for a type of party described or indicated by reference to views or positions that are, or are not, held or taken (whether or not the name of the party is stated); and
    (b)includes—
    (i)a candidate advertisement; and
    (ii)a party advertisement.

    (B) (iii)the information was routinely published in that medium before the commencement of the regulated period and continues to be published in that medium during the regulated period; and
    (iv)the information is published during the regulated period no more often and to no greater extent than before the commencement of the regulated period; and
    (v)the information is published during the regulated period in the same form and style as before the commencement of the regulated period; and

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  78. Adolf Fiinkensein (2,903 comments) says:

    Burt

    Churches actually do pay rates. Please get your facts straight.

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  79. nasska (11,582 comments) says:

    Adolf Fiinkensein

    They pay targeted rates such as water & sewage but no rates based on the value of land or buildings.

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  80. EAD (1,129 comments) says:

    Also, didn’t Jesus kick the money changers out of the temple?

    Matthew 21:12-13
    Jesus entered the temple courts and drove out all who were buying and selling there. He overturned the tables of the money changers and the benches of those selling doves.And He said to them, “It is written, ‘MY HOUSE SHALL BE CALLED A HOUSE OF PRAYER'; but you are making it a ROBBERS’ DEN.”…

    I would say full credit to the Churches for highlighting our National Debt to the money changers as it is grossly immoral – it is usury.

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  81. Adolf Fiinkensein (2,903 comments) says:

    nasska

    You are flat out wrong. They pay rates on ALL their properties. A discounted rate is applied only to places of worship.

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  82. CharlieBrown (1,015 comments) says:

    As a Christian it pisses me off when churches post billboards like that as much as it pisses me off when people say such sweeping things as “remove tax free legal status from churches in New Zealand”.

    First up – Christians should abide by the old commandment “Thou shalt not covet”. Those billboards are disgraceful and deviate from what Churches should do. Would they dare say something along the lines of “Our ministers earn 200 times as much as the average Ethiopian”.

    Secondly, “remove tax free legal status from churches in New Zealand” is an emotive and deliberately inflammatory statement. If you were to say “charities can not be involved in any form of lobbying the government and must be politically neutral to become tax fee” then I would agree with you. But all the Churches I have been involved with are politically neutral, and dedicate alot of time and money to the community and provides many charitable functions. There primary focus is a providing a community and place to worship; however they rely fully on donations from members, give back immensely to the community and are not a profit making endeavour.

    I do believe that not all Church’s should have tax free status, but they should not be excluded from that status because their primary purpose is to provide a place to worship. If you are going to write up a members bill then please make it something more broader around reducing the definition of charity to something along the lines of:
    Not a profit making enterprize
    Politically neutral
    No lobbying of government policy
    Provides some charitable service to the community

    Also, to be frank nearly everyone at my Church would be die-hard national supporters.

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  83. nasska (11,582 comments) says:

    Adolf Fiinkensein

    Fair enough but as you state they get a good rebate on the actual church which is surely the site of their core business.

    That’s bad enough but why should ratepayers support any other activities they involve themselves in?

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  84. Murray (8,847 comments) says:

    Got tired of wrestling with pigs RRM. Also married and spawned.

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  85. jcuk (693 comments) says:

    ChrisM (101 comments) says:

    August 26th, 2014 at 6:13 pm
    Yvette

    Did you do new maths or only go to school to eat your lunch?

    “So what would average CEO pay in NZ be? $200-300k? Gross?
    So the lower salary referred to would be 300k/200 = $15,000″ !!!

    My calculator disagrees with you … did it three times to be sure :)
    300,000/200 = 1500

    I believe that the church[es] are a conscience for the people but it seems the petty idiots on this thread are like Pinnochio and bewitched by the glittering world of materialism and a dislike of anybody getting away without paying tax that they have not been able to avoid.

    On the other hand three million is not unheard of ….

    I wonder if the original writer realises that ‘site’ is a place while ‘sight’ is something seen :)

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  86. scrubone (3,099 comments) says:

    Also, didn’t Jesus kick the money changers out of the temple?

    I can assure you, I’ve never seen a money changer’s booth in any New Zealand church. So, not a problem anyone need worry about.

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  87. scrubone (3,099 comments) says:

    Bishop Victoria Matthews should be lobbied for allowing her Upper Riccarton parish to perpetrate such blatant untruths!

    It’s even worse than that. If they have billboards about debt, that debt was used to continue otherwise unaffordable programs like Working for Families during the recession. That means, they’re having a buck each way – damned if you do, damned if you don’t.

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  88. nasska (11,582 comments) says:

    While on the subject of money…..is the collection plate still a cash only racket or do they accept credit & debit cards at the pew?

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  89. cha (4,036 comments) says:

    So, not a problem anyone need worry about.

    Of course not.
    /

    http://www.kiwiblog.co.nz/2010/03/eftpos_in_destiny_churches.html

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  90. Southern Raider (1,831 comments) says:

    Biggest landlords in the country.

    I hope Labour gets in and they have to pay a whole lot of capital gains tax

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  91. Adolf Fiinkensein (2,903 comments) says:

    nasska

    “That’s bad enough but why should ratepayers support any other activities they involve themselves in?”

    You idiot. They don’t.

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  92. scrubone (3,099 comments) says:

    NZ children are raised in a village in which churches pay no rates, little or no tax on surpluses and the established ones often have millions in capital used to support their charity work, which they carry out with little or no fanfare.

    (fixed it for ya)

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  93. Bogusnews (474 comments) says:

    I have to say this is becoming a bit disturbing.. National seems under attack from all Sides..It started with the media having a field day with the Hager book, the organised attacks on billboards the appalling songs and now even the churches having a go.. New Zealanders usually want a fair go for all so I hope people start joining the dots.. Regarding this church, they are heading a very fine line. If they get mid red with Secular matters, why shouldn’t they get taxed?

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  94. Southern Raider (1,831 comments) says:

    Auckland Anglican and Catholic Bishops have just issued a statement calling on the Government to demand Israel withdraws to pre 1967 borders.

    Fuck them all.

    Do I need to remind them we apparently killed their Lord.

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  95. scrubone (3,099 comments) says:

    Bogusnews: it’s not a church. I believe these are put up by an interdenominational committee.

    As for the idea that National is under attack from all sides, welcome to politics on the right – take a concrete pill.

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  96. DMS (54 comments) says:

    I might become a Christian! But what flavour? One grandmother was very Catholic; on the other side of the family was very Orange Lodge!
    No, we won’t go there. Let’s just get rid of Key and Collins, and take a punt on what follows!

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  97. scrubone (3,099 comments) says:

    Apparently cha is confused between the concepts of changing and donating money…

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  98. scrubone (3,099 comments) says:

    I recall a few years ago this issue coming up, and people linked to an article which “investigated” the “problem”.

    It has always amused me that the author said (and I paraphrase) “but we really don’t know how much tax is being avoided here, because the churches are sneaky and divert the money to charity hospitals and food-banks”.

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  99. greenjacket (467 comments) says:

    Yvette wrote: “300k/200 = $15,000″
    .
    With that maths ability, Yvette must be a BERL economist.

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  100. ross411 (842 comments) says:

    At some level, anyone chooses to associate with the mainstream churches, are complicit in a system which has harboured and sheltered child molesters. Even going so far as to move them and put them in positions where they can do more child molesting.

    If I lived near these billboards, I’d like to think that I’d spray paint “stop the child molestation” on all of them. Of course, I probably wouldn’t, because there’s certain behaviours we all agree to when we live in a society together. Unless you’re a priest, then you get a pass..

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  101. kowtow (8,524 comments) says:

    southern raider

    29 July, the catholic bishops of NZ sent a letter to the boss PopeFrancis about their pissed off ness with Israel over Gaza. This was after the news of Christians driven out of Mosul but before the Yazidi revelations on Mt Sinjar. This week Caritas Aotearoa New Zealand ( where ever Aotearoa is) have announced they are sending $20000 to Gaza.

    kowtow is of the Roman heresy, but giving money to Muslims in Gaza who are rocketing the Holy land and who have the backing of the richest oil economies in the world, while Christians suffer genocide at the hands of people backed by the princes of those oil economies fucks me off no end.

    It’s all about some bollox they like to call “social justice” which is just another name for communism. These guys were once a bulwark against communism, now they are fellow travellers. Useful idiots.

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  102. georgebolwing (870 comments) says:

    We had a looooong tread on charities when the Greenpeace decision came out.

    The key point in the New Zealand law, which is in turn based on UK precedent, is that “charitable purposes”, when used in tax statutes, has a technical legal meaning, rather than a popular meaning. In its popular sense, “charity” means giving to the poor. In tax statutes, however, it is used in a technical sense, based on British trust law, which held that there are four “heads” or classes within the definition of “charitable purpose”: relief of poverty; advancement of religion; advancement of education and “other matters beneficial to the community”.

    The key point about the advancement of religion is that ministering to the rich is in itself a charitable purpose. You can put $50 million in the bank (or indeed into any other money-making vehicle) and use the income, tax free, to pay for running any religious activity and caring for the poor doesn’t have to enter into it.

    Now, it I true that churches often have multiple purposes and good good works among the poor and the ungodly which would qualify as charitable under the other three heads. But then so would Satanists Against Poverty or Atheists for the Elimination of Want.

    My strong preference would be to remove “promotion of religion” from the charitable purposes definition, since I object to stat funds being used to advance the beliefs of the rich. The churches, like everyone else, should have to show that their charitable purposes involve the relief of the misfortune of others, but the betterment of themselves.

    Oh, and Greenpeace notwithstanding, I think the churches are putting their charitiable status at real risk by hosting those billboards.

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  103. kowtow (8,524 comments) says:

    DMS

    TheOrange and the Green

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  104. scrubone (3,099 comments) says:

    The churches, like everyone else, should have to show that their charitable purposes involve the relief of the misfortune of others, but the betterment of themselves.

    Spoken like someone who never gets up on a Sunday to listen to a half-hour lecture on being a better person, delivered by someone who is paid a pittance if at all!

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  105. Southern Raider (1,831 comments) says:

    Kowtow I think an appropriate response is for Israel to start demoing any Christian structures just like ISIS would and see how these liberal wankers respond.

    They seem to believe the answer to slowing down the loss of church members is to become more liberal when in fact the opposite is probably the case

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  106. Johnboy (16,718 comments) says:

    Great song kowtow. Loved it……Me Mither she was blue and me Faither he was red. But fortunately both were Orange!

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  107. CharlieBrown (1,015 comments) says:

    Southern Raider – they aren’t liberal, they are socialist, there is a big difference.

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  108. nasska (11,582 comments) says:

    ….”Spoken like someone who never gets up on a Sunday to listen to a half-hour lecture on being a better person, delivered by someone who is paid a pittance if at all!”…..

    Otherwise known as an orgy of masochism.

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  109. georgebolwing (870 comments) says:

    @scrubone

    I used to go listen to half-hour lectures on being a better person delivered by people who lived in a far better house than us and drove a better car and seemed to have better clothes until I realized that they were talking bollocks.

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  110. Johnboy (16,718 comments) says:

    http://www.sermonaudio.com/playpopup.asp?SID=121413102611

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  111. Mobile Michael (452 comments) says:

    It’s probably most upsetting to these Ministers that most of their congregation are National voters. Church goers generally are older, wealthier and socially conservative.

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  112. Rich Prick (1,705 comments) says:

    Well I suppose Jesus was on the minimum wage and judging by the sandals and ass transport, not having a Prius handy, would have most likely been a Green. The churches on the other hand … well, they would be capitalist bastards.

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  113. kowtow (8,524 comments) says:

    Johnboy, yer an Orangeman ?

    Fook, I’m goin ta haf ta join up wid dat basturd minus now!

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  114. The Bangles (53 comments) says:

    This is a huge worry. If the left gets in, the nation’s finances will be in real deep trouble. Churches should not be telling people how to vote. Its fine to talk about the issues, and each party’s position, and why one minister would vote one way. But let the people decide how they will vote. Its not up to any person to say to someone else how to vote.

    The other worry, is that churches could be behind charity work. They could be building hostels for those who can’t support themselves. But why do that if the government will take care of them. I’m of the opinion that churches that get charity status should do something for those in need. Those who support pay less tax, and then the government gets less, but oh wait a minute the churches have reduced the amount the government needs to pay in welfare.

    I think any charity should only keep its status if a certain amount of the money they use helps the poor. Well I guess that takes care of the White Ribbon Society. What do they do for people other then present men as heartless violent people?

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  115. Southern Raider (1,831 comments) says:

    Where does all the bloody money go?

    The Methodist church of St John surprise surprise owns most of the land in St Johns and probably 25% of Meadowbank. Putting aside the capital value of this land the ground rent must be huge

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  116. EAD (1,129 comments) says:

    re the money changers who enslave us in an usurious national debt:

    “the Bible forbids altering the quality of money (which, at the time and place, was entirely in the form of coins):

    Even the Bible is clear that altering the quality of money is an immoral act. We are instructed to follow the rules of “just weights and measures.” “You shall do no injustice in judgment, in measurement of length, weight, or volume. You shall have just balances, just weights, a just ephah, and a just hin” (Leviticus 19:35-36). “Diverse weights are an abomination to the LORD, and a false balance is not good” (Proverbs 20:23). The general principle can be summed as “You shall not steal.”

    http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2014/04/jesus-money-changers-modern-banks.html

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  117. Meatloaf (200 comments) says:

    Your onto it Southern Raider, according to the Treaty of Verona, the pope made an agreement with the king, that the church owned all the land in the USA. Constituent means someone who receives money. Constitutor means someone who collects money and pays to the constituent. Constitution is a document that spells it out. Land tax is in the US constitution. If its true about the Treaty of Verona, some of the land tax is going to the catholic church.

    Now you understand why churches don’t pay rates. The Amish are an ecclesiastical trust with the Catholic Church. Catholic means universal. Good spotting you deserve a point from me. Anyhow if you type in treat of verona , you will see I’m not making it up. The pope didn’t like the Magna Carta, and that’s what the treaty of verona is all about.

    Anyhow, if the land is not owned by the catholics here in New Zealand, it could be owned by the Anglicans, or the Methodists. That is, the land that isn’t owned by the Maoris.

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  118. Meatloaf (200 comments) says:

    Hi EAD, I’ve read Ron Paul’s book end the Fed. I also think we would gain by going back to a gold standard. Our exports would equal our imports over time. If our imports are greater than our exports, we lose gold. Our prices and wages go down, as money is more scarce. Lower wages and prices, mean we can export cheaper. Exports go up, we gain gold. More gold, our prices and wages go up, we export less, we lose gold. This was David Hume’s arguement that free trade would benefit countries over time.

    What is happening at the moment is a country can create money out of nothing, buy up our businesses with it, this affects our exchange rate. It means we have more money to buy Chinese goods, and that’s why we’ve have a trade deficit in 47 out of the last 50 years. When our exchange rate was quoted in gold, we were a much richer nation.

    The 2nd or 5th plank of the communist manifesto says a central bank. I’m not a communist so I believe in gold. And I trust your not a communist either.

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  119. burt (8,275 comments) says:

    So the message seems to be. If you’re exclusive brethren then you’ve got to attribute any political advocacy to a particular party and have an authorisation statement and stay within spending limits. If you’re Christian, fill your boots.

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  120. lolitasbrother (703 comments) says:

    The Bangles (10 comments) says above : August 26th, 2014 at 10:25 pm
    ” quote
    This is a huge worry. If the left gets in, the nation’s finances will be in real deep trouble. Churches should not be telling people how to vote. Its fine to talk about the issues, and each party’s position, and why one minister would vote one way. But let the people decide how they will vote. Its not up to any person to say to someone else how to vote. The other worry, is that churches could be behind charity work. They could be building hostels for those who can’t support themselves. But why do that if the government will take care of them. I’m of the opinion that churches that get charity status should do something for those in need. Those who support pay less tax, and then the government gets less, but oh wait a minute the churches have reduced the amount the government needs to pay in welfare.
    I think any charity should only keep its status if a certain amount of the money they use helps the poor. Well I guess that takes care of the White Ribbon Society. What do they do for people other then present men as heartless violent people?
    ” unquote
    to you specifically Bangles
    Within my life I have had the privilege and pain of taking quite a few men to the Salvation Army down there in South Christchurch. Then as well you have to give the Church some money to feed him.

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  121. Mark (1,488 comments) says:

    a church in Christchurch makes a political comment and DPF wants to remove the tax status of all churches? Just a tad over reactive perhaps :)

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  122. timmydevo (53 comments) says:

    A lot of concern about the church knitting club being tax exempt. I think we should be more worries about the global conglomerates that weasel their way out of paying their massive share of tax before the ageing church…

    Let’s remember that the church does do a lot of community service which the govt needs not to provide.

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  123. EAD (1,129 comments) says:

    @ meatloaf – you can be rest assured I’m not a communist!!

    I’ve read End the Fed and it was the perhaps THE book which made the scales fall from the eyes. I followed it up with Ron’s book “The Revolution – a manifesto”, which basically turned me from a typical right-winger but apathetic about politics into what I do now which is spend much of my spare time talking and educating people about monetary systems to those who will listen.

    The good thing about a true understanding of how money works and how it causes the business cycle, is perhaps the most valuable piece of knowledge anyone can have in order to understand how the world works and how to filter news (particularly economic) when it is reported. You have nailed it on point 2 – Central Banks are essentially a wealth transfer scheme to those closely connected to the issuance of new money (banks and politics) whilst businesses that create real wealth slowly get crushed by the burden of inflation, taxation and fluctuating exchange rates.

    “Lenin is said to have declared that the best way to destroy the Capitalist System was to debauch the currency. By a continuing process of inflation, governments can confiscate, secretly and unobserved, an important part of the wealth of their citizens. By this method they not only confiscate, but they confiscate arbitrarily; and, while the process impoverishes many, it actually enriches some… Lenin was certainly right. There is no subtler, no surer means of overturning the existing basis of society than to debauch the currency. The process engages all the hidden forces of economic law on the side of destruction, and does it in a manner which not one man in a million is able to diagnose.” – John Maynard Keynes

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  124. Scott (1,805 comments) says:

    “That reminds me that I must find time after the election to work on a members’ bill to remove tax free legal status from churches in New Zealand. They should have no special status beyond that of any other NGO.”

    The above is what DPF said on the”Churches campaigning” post yesterday.Now I am calling him out on it. None of this “after the election we will work on a member’s bill”.

    Put it to the electorate now DPF. Let’s put it to the electorate now that if national is elected they will remove the charitable status of churches and make them pay tax. You want democracy, take it to the electorate.

    See how that goes with national supporters that also attend church, of which there are hundreds of thousands. You want to make an issue of this, take it to the electorate now. The country is sick of private member’s bills making major changes to the laws of this land with no mandate to do so.

    In fact go and see John key this week and say I am sick of churches, I hate them having a prophetic voice in the life of the nation and as punishment I want us to tax them. See how that goes down with Mister Key?

    In fact let’s make it an election issue – National if elected will take away all charitable and tax-free status from churches! You just see how that goes down with the electorate.

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  125. EAD (1,129 comments) says:

    Well said Scott – we live in a dictatorship but the peons can’t or rather refuse to see it

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  126. burt (8,275 comments) says:

    Scott

    In fact go and see John key this week and say I am sick of churches voters, I hate them having a prophetic voice in the life of the nation and as punishment I want us to tax them. See how that goes down with Mister Key?

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  127. Scott (1,805 comments) says:

    burt- not making sense sorry. You may want to think before you write.

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  128. Meatloaf (200 comments) says:

    EAD, my biggest concern about central banking is how it encourages deficit spending, and higher house prices, but discourages business loans. You’ve probably heard of the money mulitiplier. You lend the bank $1,000, they lend out $900, that $900 is put in another bank, 90% of that $900 gets relent. But this is only part of the story. In the course called fundamentals of banking I still have a textbook which explains the money multiplier.

    The banks must keep a capital adequacy rate of 8% at all times. For business loans and personal loans, they have a risk weighting of 100%, for mortgages, they have a risk weighting of 50%. This means if you lend a bank $1,000, they must keep $80 on hand, if the risk weighting of the loan is 100%. This means if it is for a business loan, they must keep 100% of the $80 on hand. If its on property they don’t need to keep 100% of the $80 on hand. The risk weighting is 50%, so they only need to keep 50% of that $80 on hand. So because they don’t need to keep as much money on hand, only half as much, they make mortgage loans at about half the rate of business and personal loans.

    Well government loans have a risk weighting of even less than 50%, so that’s why governments can borrow at 2%. So these central banks encourage property prices to go up, which helps the councils and encourages government borrowing, at the expense of business growth. And this is what really ticks me off about it. Also the other reason is what I said about how a gold standard means our exports will equal imports over time.

    Anyhow, good on you for teaching monetary policy, going back to a gold standard would really help this country out. Oh and I’ve also read the book the creature from Jekyll Island, by Edward G Griffin, and secrets of the federal reserve by Eustace Mullins. These people teach quite a lot about the federal reserve. When my friend read Ron Paul’s book, he said I already know this, as my friend told me all about it.

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  129. burt (8,275 comments) says:

    scott

    I want to understand how placing a tax on a business ( Church ) is punishment but taxing individuals is not punishment? Can you define the boundaries between the right to advocate for/against a government and the requirement to pay taxes. Other than reverting to historic status quo as justification.

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  130. Scott (1,805 comments) says:

    Sure burt – DPF appears to have got the pip because some churches are advocating against the economic status quo. They are exercising their role of speaking prophetically into the life of the nation.So as punishment DPF urges them to get taxed and will work on it himself after the election, but not before the election. I am calling him out on this.

    However if you would like a more general comment about the tax-free status of churches because they are charities then I can do no better than refer you to George Bowling who comments previously in this thread.

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