On February 15, 2001 U.S. Marshals occupied and seized the building of the Indianapolis Baptist Temple in Indianapolis, Indiana. The worshippers were forcibly removed from the building. Those unwilling to leave while praying were overpowered and carried out on stretchers. The church was taken over by the Internal Revenue Service - the U.S. taxation department - allegedly for unpaid taxes amounting to $5.7 million. Really? A respected American Internet magazine, http://www.worldnetdaily.com published this explanation for our benefit on its Web site: "The Indianapolis Baptist Temple was illegally seized by the federal government not because, as many news reports suggested, it hadn't paid taxes. Churches aren't required to pay taxes in America. The church was seized because it refused to deduct withholding and payroll taxes from employees' paychecks. The church's reason was very sound: It did not want to submit to regulations by the federal government. In other words, the federal government didn't lose a penny of revenue because of the actions of the church. There isn't even any allegation by the government that it did. Employees of the church paid taxes individually - just as millions of other employees and independent contractors do every year." According to the information available from other sources, notably from http://www.freerepublic.com and http://www.sierratimes.com some time ago, the tax money sent by individual taxpayers was returned to them with a request than an identical amount be sent again - by the Church. The Indianapolis Baptist Temple was reluctant to cooperate with the Internal Revenue Service. Documents made available to us suggest they had a reason to do so. Documentation from FreeRepublic informs us that, in order to obtain their tax-exempt status as religious bodies, churches in the United States must: 1. Be incorporated 2. Have a recognised creed and "IRS approved form of worship" 3. Have "IRS approved code of doctrine" 4. Be neutral on political issues 5. Pastor must answer to IRS as to "daily activities of the church" 6. Pastor must supply a list of all donors - make the books available 7. Church must advocate and support racial integration 8. Church may not engage in activities opposing pornography 9. Church may not support legislation saying "children belong to parents" rather than "the state" 10. Church may not form a Political Action Committee nor support legislation "opposing lotteries and gambling" 11. Church may not publicly declare "we are to obey God rather than the government" FreeRepublic says there are 19 more requirements in the IRS publication 1826(9-94) Cat.No.21096G. No more comments.
Henry L. Marconi Pravda.Ru Sydney, Australia
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