If Fred Phelps and his band of merry little hate mongers don’t boil your blood enough, check out this from Fox:
Westboro has been accused of being a hate group, but one detail that has been largely overlooked is that, unlike most hate groups, this group is not required to pay taxes because of its status as a religious institution.
Critics of Westboro argue that the church’s activities cross the line, but watchdogs of hate groups say these protesters carefully and deliberately don’t.
“They’re very legally savvy,” said Marilyn Mayo, co-director of the Anti-Defamation League’s Center on Extremism. “They’re familiar with the line of what is permissible within the law and what is not.”
Phelps is an attorney, as is a lot of his followers, so they know how to skirt the law. There is one perfect fix in my opinion – make churches pay taxes.
Over the past several years we have seen more churches crossing the line over into politics. It used to be a taboo for a church to endorse a candidate, but no more. It’s time to change that. Instead what should be done is to make the churches taxable the same way as business, but give them better deductions on civic activities. If a church is opened as a polling place (something I totally disagree with), then they get a decent tax credit on the use of their facilities. Do they help the poor? Fine – tax break. What that would do is leave a lot of churches still tax exempt, but people who try to abuse the law, like Phelps, ends up getting nailed by the IRS. Honestly I think such a move could gain bi-partisan support.