A major family advocacy group in Canada has warned that Canadian PM Justin Trudeau is planning to abolish tax exemption for churches, which would have major and in some cases irreversible effects for churches and society:
Justin Trudeau’s Liberal government is laying the groundwork for denying tax-exempt status to faith-based organizations, a pro-family women’s advocacy group is warning.
The Liberal summer jobs abortion attestation is, in effect, a “dry run” for such a move, says Gwen Landolt, vice-president of REAL Women of Canada.
That controversial policy requires employers sign an attestation that their “core mandate” respects abortion and transgender “rights” in order to receive Canada summer job grants for students.
If the Liberals don’t experience “serious political fall-out” and “get away with the summer job program, and cutting out faith-based groups as they are now, I think that will serve as encouragement to proceed further,” Landolt told LifeSiteNews.
The House votes Monday on a Conservative motion opposing the attestation, and while “not perfect,” the motion should be supported to stop the Trudeau government from going further down this road, she said.
Landolt noted in a March 13 alert to supporters that the Liberals ran on a promise to review tax-exempt status faith-based institutions and organizations, but didn’t disclose a September 2016 report on the matter.
However, on January 30, a special Senate committee, consisting of four Liberal/Independent senators, and three Conservative, was formed with a mandate to review the charitable sector of the Income Tax Act.
It’s chaired by Independent Senator Terry Mercer, who introduced the motion to form the committee. Mercer is also the former director of fundraising for the Liberal Party of Canada, Landolt noted.
According to her calculations, the Liberals stand to “gain billions of dollars in taxes” if they remove the tax-exempt status from religious and faith-based groups.
Of the total of 860,191 registered charities, 330,114 are religious-based, or 38.4 percent, she told LifeSiteNews.
“I think this is deliberately set up, because the Liberals see this tax-exempt status to these groups as a loss of their tax money, and they want the money,” Landolt said.
And while the Trudeau Liberals would not at first “go so far as to remove tax-exempt status from churches per se,” Landolt is “almost certain” the senate committee is “going to change the eligibility of groups to receive a tax exempt status.”
And those dropped will be religious-based groups that the government deems “crazy,”she said.
Moreover, the Liberals have the cultural wind at their back. For centuries, the “church, faith, was uppermost, crucial, critical in society,” but for the “past 50 years, it’s been denigrated,” noted Landolt.
“It is argued today that the advancement of religion is no longer a charitable objective,” she told LifeSiteNews. “That’s something new in history.”
With their adoption of the summer job abortion attestation, and their refusal to drop it in the face of widespread and protracted backlash, the Trudeau Liberals show they neither respect nor understand religious faith, Landolt said.
Others have been warning that faith-based groups could lose their charitable tax status, the Catholic Register reported.
That includes Conservative MP Lisa Raitt and Barry Bussey, director of legal affairs for the Canadian Council of Christian Charities (CCCC).
The Abortion Rights Coalition of Canada is lobbying that charities that oppose abortion should not receive charitable status, Bussey points out on the CCCC website.
Since the Liberals are “highly attuned to the demands of the pro-abortion community,”this has got to be taken seriously,” wrote Bussey.
“This forms part of the reasoning which compels CCCC and other religious groups to push back against the CSJ attestation requirement. In short, the attestation is but the thin edge of the wedge.”
“We could be in for a major problem with charitable status in this country and ripping the carpet out from so many vulnerable people who depend on charities and their good work,” Raitt told the House March 1 during the debate on the Conservative motion.
It asks the House to agree that “organizations that engage in non-political non-activist work…be able to access Canada Summer Jobs funding regardless of their private convictions and regardless of whether or not they choose to sign the application attestation.”
A number of pro-family groups have been urging supporters to lobby Liberal and NDP MPs to vote for the motion.
Landolt says the Liberals will likely whip the vote, and the motion will be defeated. But the vote will be an “invaluable” public record of “MPs views on the discriminatory Summer Jobs Program.”
And, she notes, “undoubtedly, the Trudeau government will vigorously deny that it has any intention of removing the tax-exempt status from churches and other faith-based organizations. We will see.” (source)
Tax exempt status is a contentious issue with churches because, especially in the case of the USA, the government allows certain “charitable groups,” such as churches, to not pay taxes in exchange for not participating in political life. This is by its very nature the Church abandoning part of her role in society, as since she is the traditional “second estate,” she partakes of both the government and the people while also standing between the two as a buffer. It is impossible for the Church to NOT take part in government.
In spite of the claims of “religious freedom” and “separation of Church and state,” this issue has never been solved with any Church. It is a greater problem for the Catholic Church because the Catholic Church is not a “state church” in the sense of Protestantism, nor has it ever been, where it is subjected wholly to the government. Even in the most favorable times to her, the Church has always occupied a contentious place in society because by her nature, she is not and cannot be reduced to a mouthpiece of the ruling classes. This was also the reason behind the support of the Protestant revolution centuries ago by many noblemen, since they wanted the religious authority to give moral license to their rule and actions. This problem also can happen with smaller Protestant churches in a society where one specific Protestant denomination is recognized by the state.
America has been able to avoid this question by influencing the perception and beliefs of the people in society without changing the actual beliefs of churches. Christians will claim to be “American” and support popular ideas about teachings such as abortion or birth control but will then be active members of churches whose conditions of belief are in direct contradiction to their personal beliefs. It is also achieved by ignoring questions of absolute truth by saying that it does not matter if there is a difference between Catholics and different Protestant groups, or even differences between Protestant sects, since all people share a nebulous belief in Jesus and a “cultural Christianity.”
Both of these approaches have worked at keeping a general control on the disagreement and fighting that would have happened if they were addressed in society. However, what this has done is to replicate the same effect of the Protestant movement but in a different way. In Europe, Protestantism lead to the creation of state churches, which lead then to a “cultural” religion tied to the same Church, which is now passing away into a lack of belief in anything. In America, the promotion of a “cultural Christianity” based on “shared American values” has also lead to the same lack of belief by reducing Christianity to a shared set of cultural values that are able to be changed with the ethos of the times.
The logic in the mind of the common man is simple- if churches are merely social organizations, and since most social and charitable organizations pay taxes, what makes the churches special?
The reality however, is that most churches could not survive without the tax exempt status because the taxes levied upon them by the government would be so onerous it would be impossible to pay for their structures, let alone maintain the ministries they conduct. The result would be a massive confiscation of church properties and wealth by the government using “legal” means as opposed to direct seizure, thus giving the cover of legitimacy in what in an inherently sinister act.
It is true that there has been abuse by members of churches with government programs and tax subsidies. Only a fool or sinister person would dispute this, as there are many stories about it. Even the Protestant revolution used the abuse of church tithes and the selling of indulgences as an excuse for their revolt and formation of nationalist churches. However, far from healing the problems with indulgences, the Protestant revolution made them worse as the “reformers,” including John Calvin himself, gave explicit license to worse forms of financial abuse such as usury, which while practiced “unofficially” by Catholics at the time and was and still is a sin, Protestantism simply deemed it as not sinful.
While the tax exemption laws in Canada are far from ideal or what they should be regarding the Church in any society and abuses do happen, they are still something that allows for Christians to carry out their witness to Christ in society. To eliminate tax exemption would be a direct assault on all churches by shutting down their ministries and by extension disbanding to a large extend the communities build around the institutions. It is the analogy of “throwing the baby out with the bath water.”
This is also a warning to the USA as well, for just as American culture follows the cultural changes that begin in Europe often, since Canada is “between” America and Europe, changes there often follow in the USA.
Europe has not eliminated her tax-exempt status for churches. However, there is a general hatred of Christianity at large, especially of the Church in much of Europe that is for the most part restrained by the historical depth which the Church is ingrained into the society with the grace of God. Canada, being a part of the new world, has a history with religion similar to the USA, and so is more likely to interfere with the tax exempt status of a church if it is believed to be politically expedient to so do.
Our assessment is that the attack on the tax-exempt status of churches will come from the LGBT. Using the “hate” laws in combination with judicial activism, the LGBT has bragged that their intention is to silence the voice of religious groups who criticize them by eventually being able to compel the courts to rule that any groups who engages in anti-LGBT speech is a “hate group” and will be made ineligible for tax exemption.
As we noted in 2016, this will likely happen through “gay marriage”, because homosexual unions are in direct conflict with Christian moral teaching. If this happens, the argument will be that churches need to be stripped of their status for denying people of their “civil rights” in violation of Federal law.
This is one possible means, but what matters is the end and how that end is realized, which is the end of a Christian presence in public life and the relegation of holding the name of Christian to the taboo.
The horrors of the old world have now arrived in the new world, and they are being progressively realized. However, what must not be underestimated in the American ruthlessness at exterminating things deemed to be undesirable.
Once upon a time, America did not want slave revolts. All slave revolts henceforth were put down with brutal force.
Once upon a time, America viewed the American Indians as savages who needed to be exterminated. The tribes that were not slaughtered were gathered up and put in the first ghettos (reservations), where most of them still live today in poverty, misery, and government dependence.
Once upon a time, America did not want states to legally secede from others. After destroying many of states completely, including burning the entire state of Georgia to the ground, she then militarily occupied the states and subjugated the people to such an extent that the same states who rebelled will speak of secession yet are the biggest supporters of the military that subjugated them.
Once upon a time, America determined that parents were not the first schoolers of children, but the society was. The result is the disastrous public education system that advocates such as Charlotte Iserbyt warned about.
Once upon a time, America determined that certain classes were “protected.” The result was a decline in race relations that in spite of real problems had been improving consistently and the creation of a permanent underclass through the encouragement of socialized handouts.
As of the Pew Research Forum’s 2017 poll, 62% of Americans favor homosexual marriage, while 35% are against it. Put into raw numbers, the ratio is in favor of homosexuals 5:3. Broken down by age, only those born before 1945 are a majority opposed to it, with 41% in support. All generations born 1945 and after- the Boomers, Gen X, and Millenials, support it 56%, 65%, and 74% respectively.
The Silent Generation is dying off. The Boomers are also heading on their way out too- slower, but they are.
Considering only Gen X and Millenials, those in favor of homosexual marriage outnumber those opposed to it 2:1 MINIMUM.
Looking at the example of history in the USA, when the USA makes a significant social change, it will go in with full power and will force the change on the society. In the case of homosexual marriage, claims made of
“discrimination,” and tax exemption, it is only a matter of time before this is challenged and the LGBT will likely win because they have the support of the super majority of the society.
One might think that Christianity itself could not be forced underground in America, but never say never.
Remember that America was founded by Anglo-Saxons whose grandparents and great-grandparents less than a century before coming to the USA (in either the North Carolina, Virginia, or Massachusetts colonies) participated in annihilating the Catholic Church in most of the British Isles because their king at the time was angry with the pope for telling him that he cannot keep getting divorces.
And history always has an uncanny way of repeating itself, for times change but people do not.