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Tax religious institutions

September 29, 2008

Re "Pastors plan to defy IRS on politics," Sept. 25

I believe religious leaders have a moral obligation to get involved in politics, including speaking out from their pulpits, even supporting their preferred candidates by name -- but I should not as a taxpayer have to support them financially. Religious institutions should not be exempt from taxes, nor should contributions to religious groups be exempt on donors' income tax claims.

Another point: I have spent a lifetime as a student of Scriptures, and am upset when they are misused and misquoted by hate-mongers who simply lie when they say their actions are "biblically correct." They remind me of the German citizens who manipulated the teachings of their own churches to justify their participation in the Nazi party and in the terrible things they did -- not only to Jews but to Roman Catholic priests and nuns, to Jehovah's Witnesses, Mormons, Gypsies and others.

Don Fisher

Claremont

The pastors can say whatever they want when the church pays taxes. Why should churches have tax-exempt status in the first place? Many churches have vast real estate holdings. If the churches paid their fair share and we closed the corporate tax loopholes, we might actually have enough money to pay for things like schools and healthcare.

Stefanie Wiseman

Los Angeles

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