Sunday, September 23, 2012

Roman Catholic Church extracts tax on pain of damnation


According to the bishops of the Roman Catholic Church in Germany, any Roman Catholic – no matter how pious and devout – who refuses to pay the ‘Church tax’ is no longer a member of the Roman Catholic Church: ie, they are excommunicated. His Grace is loath to talk of simony or indulgences, but the extraction of money for the administration of the sacraments or the assurance of salvation simply isn't very Christian; indeed, it is quite evil

Church giving or tithing ought to be voluntary, from the heart, and with joy (2Cor 9:7). Yet the reality is that around 70 per cent of the German Church's revenue comes from the Church tax, so it is rather useful for paying the bills (and court fees). But you only need to look at who introduced the tax in Austria to see what a thoroughly bad idea it is. Such an inheritance ought to make the vigorous enforcement on pain of excommunication rather unpalatable to Christians. It would appear that the Roman Catholic Church in Germany is serving Mammon, not God.

His Grace received the following email on this matter from one of his Roman Catholic readers. Speaking of her reaction on hearing about this tax, she wrote: ‘...frankly, as a Catholic, it made me vomit’:
As a lifelong Catholic, I thought there was very little that the Church could still do to horrify me. I watched the betrayals of the spirit of Vatican II. I watched the horrors of the child abuse scandals and the unbelievable behaviour of those that tried to cover them up. I watched the routine crack-downs on anything resembling the intelligent questioning of the Church that is actually required of Catholics by Canon Law but punished severely if practised (ask numerous brave Catholic theologians who were silenced or censored).

Why this latest development should have hit me so hard, I have no idea. Unless it's for the sheer stupidity that has been displayed.

If you have the patience, you might wish to take a look at this link. If you haven't the patience, a short summary of it is this:

In the German taxation system, Germans officially registered as Catholics, Protestants or Jews pay a religious tax of 8 or 9 percent of their annual tax bill. They can avoid this by declaring to their local tax office that they are leaving their faith community – and many do. In the past years there has been a massive exodus from the Church, mostly in the wake of the sex abuse scandals. Now Rome has upped the stakes.

On Thursday – with the knowledge and full approval of the Vatican – the German bishops issued a decree stating that Catholics who left the church ‘to avoid paying the tax’ would be excluded from all the sacraments – Communion, confession, Catholic burial. The only exception to this was the anointing of the sick. They may not act as a Catholic godparent, and they must ask their bishop's permission to marry a Catholic.

In other words, a Catholic who withholds their ‘tithe’ from the Church for any reason, even if they donate that same tithe voluntarily to a Catholic charity, is excluded from the sacramental life of the Church.

There is a name for this. And it is simony.

Simony, for anyone unfamiliar with the term, is ‘the act of paying for sacraments and consequently for holy offices or for positions in the hierarchy of a church, named after Simon Magus, who appears in the Acts of the Apostles 8:9-24. Simon Magus offers the disciples of Jesus, Peter and John, payment so that anyone on whom he would place his hands would receive the power of the Holy Spirit’ (source: Wikipedia).

For any Catholics out there who still care enough, it is forbidden under Canon law.

I'm sitting here with my head in my hands. Even now, somehow still a Catholic, I have watched what my Church has done and what it has failed to do, and I have told myself that we are a pilgrim Church. We have had Popes who were adulterers, murderers, heretics, schismatics. The Church has gone on because it is greater than the fallible men who have attempted so many times to run the Barque of Peter onto the rocks.

We'll probably survive this too. But just how, how, how could the men in Rome manage to do something this stupid?

Please don't try to answer that.

Olivia Cook (Mrs)
His Grace weeps for those whose spiritual life is disturbed by this ecclesiastical bullying. "As soon as a coin in the coffer rings, the soul from purgatory springs" is a couplet attributed to Johann Tetzel, a German Dominican preacher who was well known in the 16th century for selling indulgences. Against him, there arose a protestor who wrote 95 theses as a disputation against all clerical abuses. One wonders how long it will be before the Roman Catholic Church in Germany produces another Martin Luther to declaim this evil. It appears there are already one or two emerging in the 'Catholic Blogosphere'.

124 Comments:

Blogger Garry Q said...

The tax is imposed by German federal law. Claiming not to be a member of a religion to avoid a tax yet claiming to be a member of a church in order to attend isn't very christian either

23 September 2012 at 11:57  
Blogger Christopher Gillibrand said...

There is a small problem with your argument Your Grace. All this has come about when "reform" has triumphed everywhere in the Catholic Church. Everything that Your Grace in life said about the Catholic Church has come true in the generation that your ashes are issuing monitums from beyond the grave.

23 September 2012 at 12:22  
Blogger John Knox's lovechild said...

So some people want the services of the Church, but despite being taxpayers, do not want a share of the tax they pay to go to the Church.

How very protestant.

23 September 2012 at 12:27  
Blogger Cressida de Nova said...

Mrs Cooke need not fret. If she was raised a Catholic she should know the truth of right and wrong which is made very clear from an early age.

If what YG says is true,no matter what the status whether it be priest Bishop or Pope, this new ruling of threat of excommunication for not paying Church taxes will lead the perpetrators to hell. Every cradle Catholic would know this.

There is no need to threaten Catholics. Practising Catholics should want to help financially if they can afford it. Even non prctising Catholics do.It is in the spirit of cultural Catholicism to be generous and giving unlike other Christian denominations and other religions.


Mrs Cooke should be relieved that no one is going to receive sacraments from these German devils.The Good will receive salvation and God's blessing.
The rest can go to hell (and will)

23 September 2012 at 12:54  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Archbishop. Custom and practice dear fellow. Over here, we place notes in the collection plate. Over there, it’s done upfront. Len will be on soon. He will damn the RCC as he usually does, and much to your pleasure it has been observed. Of course, if you want to sell off church buildings and reduce Christianity to an internet faith where we are all ‘priests’ in our on-line solitude, that’s up to you. But you won’t be doing it with the RCC.

23 September 2012 at 12:58  
Blogger bluedog said...

Cressida de Nova @ 12.54 said, 'It is in the spirit of cultural Catholicism to be generous and giving unlike other Christian denominations and other religions.'

Really?

Perhaps you should widen your circle of acquaintances, madam.

Start with the most excellent Salvation Army (they're Christian).

23 September 2012 at 13:09  
Blogger Cressida de Nova said...

Yes I agree everyone respects the generosity of the Savation Army but
the grinding meaness of some of the other denominations are legendary.Obviously I struck a chord there somewhere B Dog !

Madam has a large circle of acquaintances already and a lot of them only Christian in name and not in spirit.No doubt your experiences are entirely different but then again I live in the real world.

23 September 2012 at 13:34  
Blogger The Way of Dodo the Dude said...

Sounds to me like Mrs Cook has an axe to grind.

She refers to the"betrayals of the spirit of Vatican II", the "crack-downs on anything resembling the intelligent questioning of the Church" and "brave Catholic theologians who were silenced or censored.". Indeed.

This decree to German Catholics who want to publically seperate from the Church makes it clear that one cannot partly leave the Church. A statement from the bishops conference said. “It is not possible to separate the spiritual community of the Church from the institutional Church.” To publically leave the institutional church means seperating from the spiritual church.

Incidently, Church taxes bring in an equivalent amount for the protestant churches in Germany. Like Catholics, many dodge their giving to their respective churches. A major departure wave occurred in the early 1990s, when the government raised taxes to finance ex-communist eastern Germany. Since the levy was almost the same as the church tax, Germans could neutralise the tax boost by "quitting" their church.

Who designed this peculiar German tax law?

23 September 2012 at 13:56  
Blogger Gladiatrix said...

Brave theologians and betrayal of the spirit of Vatican II? Try telling that to orthodox practising Catholics who have been persecuted by liberal Catholics.

Moreover, what does Mrs Cook think is done with this money? Has it occurred to her that perhaps it is used to maintain the fabric of the churches in Germany that would otherwise be falling apart? If it weren't for this tax the Churches of all denominations would have to ask for Government funding - which they wouldn't get.

23 September 2012 at 13:57  
Blogger Christopher Gillibrand said...

It was a 19th invention, compensation for the loss of revenues from alienated property. The was a further reform under Hitler which I am investigating.

23 September 2012 at 14:15  
Blogger Christopher Gillibrand said...

There was

23 September 2012 at 14:16  
Blogger Cressida de Nova said...

What is a liberal Catholic? How are they persecuting the orthodox Catholics Gladiatrix? I did not think it was possible to be a liberal Catholic.

Other countries rely on donations. I wonder why Germany has this compulsory tax. Although they are a country who bans circumcision. They seem to have a predisposition
and a history of out of the ordinary unusual practices ( This is as PC as I can be!)

23 September 2012 at 14:34  
Blogger John Thomas said...

I'm an Anglican and always have been. I pay by S/O to the church I go to. If I cancelled my S/O, and kept going, I'd feel guilty. I've often thought that if I was made redundant, say, or had some other grave financial reversal, I might have to cancel quite a few payments, including to my church; and even then I'd feel guilty.

23 September 2012 at 14:37  
Blogger Archbishop Cranmer said...

Utterly bizarre (or perhaps not) that His Grace is being accused of 'bigotry' (by some of the more trenchant Roman Catholics) and even of fabricating the letter. Instead of addressing the matter at hand, they defame the messenger (who is by no means the first to draw attention to this).

The author of the letter doesn't possess a Blogger account (and is thereby excommunicated from His Grace's blog). But she has sent further emails, are reproduced with permission:

"Many thanks. It seems that some of the comments posted there are already missing the point but that really shouldn't surprise me in the Internet.

"If you haven't found it already, may I also direct Your Grace to one of the best Catholic blogs on the net - Enlightened Catholicism, written by an American woman with a degree in Theology (HERE) - it was she who brought my attention to this disgraceful behaviour in Germany.

"Awkward as a Catholic may feel at being compared with Martin Luther, I thank Your Grace very much for the compliment, and remind myself that he was also a faithful Catholic disgusted with the Church of his day, and that he probably would have been very happy to live his life out as monk and theologian if the Holy Spirit had not moved him to protest the abuses of Church power. I live in faith that God is not mocked, and that the Holy Spirit which has somehow kept the Roman Catholic Church afloat for two thousand years will continue to do so. But fervent prayers to be sent another Blessed John XXIII have not been working for the last 20 years or so :)

"God bless you, and thank you for your honesty and your blog."

23 September 2012 at 14:42  
Blogger Archbishop Cranmer said...

And this:

"Sadly if you see the most recent comments, you'll see why I don't post in the comments.

"My 'more trenchant co-religionists' are already out in force, claiming I clearly have an axe to grind on this subject, and utterly ignoring the point of the post, which is that to withhold the sacraments from someone who does not pay for them, no matter what the money is used for, is both against the Gospels and a violation of Canon law. Whether one considered oneself a right wing or a liberal catholic (or one of the despairing middle), the violation still applies, which is why they won't address the point.

"I don't have the energy to get into major arguments with people who aren't listening. All I hoped to do was nudge the minds and consciences of a few people whose minds are not already closed, and I thank you for giving me the platform in which to do it.

"God bless you."

23 September 2012 at 14:44  
Blogger The Way of Dodo the Dude said...

John Thomas

Yes, the British system is so much more appropriate. One takes the initiative and can through covenanted giving also ensure one's church receives the tax on the amount donated as charitable giving. It also ensures a reliable source of income for the churches.

In Catholic and traditional Anglican belief, the spiritual community of the church cannot be seperated from the institutional community.

23 September 2012 at 14:48  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

The Archbishop. His Grace is being accused of 'bigotry'

Perish the thought, old man. If that was the general opinion of you by the Inspector, you would have heard about it long before now...

Anyway, Mrs Cook does come over as rather shrewish. Obviously has more concern for freeloaders than for the faithful who do put their hand in their pocket. Withholding financial support to the church when one can pay is damn irresponsible. Comes under the ‘greed’ and ‘avarice’ definitions.

By the way chaps, Standing Orders and Direct Debits to support the church are somewhat old hat these days if you are in employment. Far better to use the payroll office GAYE facility (which your employer probably operates without broadcasting the fact, usually !). That way, the tax taken on the net amount can be claimed back at basic rate and also credited to the church, rather than it going to the chancellor who will pass it on to career scrounger families...

23 September 2012 at 15:02  
Blogger The Way of Dodo the Dude said...

Mr Cranmer

Your headline, Roman Catholic Church extracts tax on pain of damnation misrepresents the situation.

Here's a more balanced report from the Irish Times:

"Germany’s church tax has its origins as compensation for church property seized by state authorities in the early 19th century. Two centuries on, the tax, calculated as up to 8 per cent of income tax, raises approximately €5 billion annually for the Catholic Church; the Lutheran church receives €4 billion. It is collected by the state tax authorities and forwarded on to churches for a handling fee.

Anyone unwilling to pay can fill in a form at a state office. German bishops interpret this as a conscious break with the church but the Vatican said this step was not evidence of a clear “schism” and grounds for excommunication.

In a compromise with the Vatican, bishops will ask priests to write to anyone planning to leave, warning of the consequences and inviting them to meet.

“If the reaction of the believer . . . can be attributed to a schismatical, heretical or apostatical act,” the bishops write, “appropriate measures will be taken.”"


I doubt many practicing Catholics who attend regular services and participate in the sacraments would take such a step. Those who genuinely need to save money in these challenging economic times will receive a sympathetic reception. Those intent on tax avoidance and/or with registering protest against Church teachings, will not.

23 September 2012 at 15:04  
Blogger William said...

Gladiatrix

"Moreover, what does Mrs Cook think is done with this money? Has it occurred to her that perhaps it is used to maintain the fabric of the churches in Germany that would otherwise be falling apart? If it weren't for this tax the Churches of all denominations would have to ask for Government funding - which they wouldn't get."

That's ok then!

Now you've addressed the positive practical issues with this compulsory tithe perhaps you'd like to address the negative spritual ones?

23 September 2012 at 15:05  
Blogger Anglican said...

Is there any reason why a Catholic - or Lutheran - shouldn't choose to pay their contribution directly to the Church instead of via a secular (and possibly anti-Christian) state?

23 September 2012 at 15:19  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

This might be suitable moment to spare a few quiet thoughts for ‘Mr Cook’...

{AHEM}

23 September 2012 at 15:20  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...

Your Grace, perhaps your ghost can rattle its chains at the German government and order it to get the religious institutions out of the pickle by levying a "civil society" (or sum'thin' like that) tax on all, with options to direct it to one's religious institution of choice, to a certified charity or a civil project.

But I suspect something else is at play. As the tax law currently stands (if I understand it correctly), where a citizen is looking at a substantial financial relief or reward by formally rejecting his religion, it appears to me that the intent is to entice a huge number of Germans to officially proclaim non-affiliation and secularism as their new "faith."

Moreover, it seems to me that this law is prejudicial mostly to Catholicism, as it is a centralised faith with an official hierarchy. Orthodox Jews and Evangelical Christians can easily avail themselves of congregations in homes or community centres and cannot be excommunicated.

23 September 2012 at 15:27  
Blogger carl jacobs said...

I would refuse to pay this tax as a matter of principle. Two reasons come to mind.

1. No church should be funded by indirect sources - least of all indirect funding collected by the government. It makes a church dull and unresponsive. Why do you think the Episcopal Church in the US wandered off into the fever swamps of liberalism so far in advance of other American churches? Because it had boatloads of dead men's money stuffed away in bank accounts. It didn't fear the reaction of the laity because it's immediate financial security was not dependent upon the laity. Withholding of money is the ultimate check on corrupt church authority. Any mechanism that seeks to subvert it must be opposed. A church should always be funded directly by the people who walk in the door.

2. It privileges hierarchical churches. Obviously the gov't isn't going to manage distribution to congregations. It will transfer the money to a large hierarchy and let the hierarchy manage the distribution. This disconnects the gift from the giver and places all authority for spending in the hands of a church bureaucracy. The bureaucracy in turn feels no responsibility to the giver for the received money has been 'laundered.' But what if you don't have a hierarchy to receive the money? Well, then you are out of luck.

This is a terrible system and it should be abolished.

carl

23 September 2012 at 15:33  
Blogger Archbishop Cranmer said...

Now this:

"I note now that I am being referred to as 'shrewish' and pity is being expressed for Mr Cook :)

"Mr Cook (who is C of E) for the record finds this amusing but is of the opinion that it's confirming everything he ever thought about Roman Catholics. With the exception of the community at my local church who he thinks are a good bunch. Probably because they just concentrate on loving God and loving each other, and don't get hot under the collar about the stupidities that come out of Rome. Perhaps it's an example I should attempt to follow rather more often."

His Grace isn't sure how long he will sustain the role of mediatrix..

23 September 2012 at 15:36  
Blogger GGAANN said...

Naughty Cranmer - you know full well this is a more nuanced story - but I guess with the goal in front of you you have to take the shot.

Enlightened Catholics - sure

23 September 2012 at 15:38  
Blogger Bred in the bone said...

Who would want to register their faith with the state anyway

All faiths should refuse to register as a National Protest

23 September 2012 at 15:40  
Blogger Christopher Gillibrand said...

His Grace would be a mediator. History would have to be entirely re-written is she turned out to be a mediatrix. There is only one Mediatrix of All Graces and it is certainly is not His Grace. I can hear his ashes positively trembling in agitation at the thought, even here in far Wales.

23 September 2012 at 15:42  
Blogger Cressida de Nova said...

According to Mrs Cook's peculiar and most likely American Disney version of Catholicism the Holy Spirit is schizophrenic He inspired Martin Luther to break away but also keeps the 2000 year old institution afloat. I wonder if she thinks the Holy Spirit inspired Henry V111 to decapitate his wives and start his own religion as well.

23 September 2012 at 15:49  
Blogger AnonymousInBelfast said...

Carl:


"No church should be funded by indirect sources - least of all indirect funding collected by the government. It makes a church dull and unresponsive. Why do you think the Episcopal Church in the US wandered off into the fever swamps of liberalism so far in advance of other American churches? Because it had boatloads of dead men's money stuffed away in bank accounts. It didn't fear the reaction of the laity because it's immediate financial security was not dependent upon the laity. Withholding of money is the ultimate check on corrupt church authority. Any mechanism that seeks to subvert it must be opposed. A church should always be funded directly by the people who walk in the door."

This is news to me - but not news that comes as a great surprise. I remember the time when the diocese looked certain to impose/appoint Canon Jeffrey John (an openly gay and openly celibate clergyman with heavily liberal views on both homosexuality and theology in general) as Bishop. A large number of parishes threatened to withdraw their parish share (essentially its tithe to the main Church) in the event of his being appointed. In the three parishes I know quite well, this was a congregational decision, not just something the PCCs decided by fiat (though, obviously I can't comment as to whether this applied as a general rule). The calculation was made that had the number of protesting parishes done so (Evangelicals in particular tended to be the most active in tithing) the diocese would have gone bankrupt within three years. Funnily enough, it caused the Church leaders to back down.

23 September 2012 at 15:53  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...

Good points, Carl. I note in the Irish Times quote by Dodo that the German state takes a percentage as an "administrative fee." That made me giggle. As the bureaucracy grows and unions with fat pension plans and other entitlements get into the act, we can expect to see the "administrative fee" taking bigger and bigger slices of the pie. Imagine too what will happen when the state demands religious institutions to "get on with the times" and to apply "equal opportunity" rules and perform same sex marriages. What whill the German bishops do then?

23 September 2012 at 15:53  
Blogger AnonymousInBelfast said...

"His Grace isn't sure how long he will sustain the role of mediatrix..."

I've said it before, but never discount the possibility that Cranmer is a woman.

23 September 2012 at 15:54  
Blogger AnonymousInBelfast said...

Cressida:

He only decapitated Protestant wives you know ;)

23 September 2012 at 15:56  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

One hazards a guess that Mrs Cook has a cat. When a Catholic becomes seriously malcontented, there’s usually a cat about...

23 September 2012 at 16:09  
Blogger Cressida de Nova said...

Meaning? that he had a secret yearning for Catholic chicks?
You are mad Belfast but Ah lark yeww!

Cranmer reeks of testosterone, silly!

23 September 2012 at 16:09  
Blogger carl jacobs said...

Re: Women Theologians ... with apologies to Harry Enfield

Look at this Systematic Theology. A beauty isn't it. It's got 20 years of happy instruction ahead of it. Or has it?

Here comes a woman.

Which book is she looking at? A Theology Book. Oh dear. The wrong book.

"What lovely leather binding."

Yes but this isn't a Jane Austin novel my dear. This is a complicated theology based upon the principles of exegesis, logic, and reason. A book far too complicated for you to understand.

"But I know about embroidery and kittens. Won't that suufice? Oh. blow it, I'm going to have a try."

[Flip, flip, flip. Rippppppppppp!]

See. Now look what you've done. Your pretty little mind simply can't cope with a Systematic Theology. Women! For pity's sake. Don't think!

[skitters away and hides]

very bad carl

23 September 2012 at 16:10  
Blogger Archbishop Cranmer said...

"Cranmer reeks of testosterone, silly!"

Might (s)he not be a lesbian?

23 September 2012 at 16:11  
Blogger Mr Integrity said...

Your Grace,
It is good that you should bring this matter to your communicant’s attention.

Render unto Caesar that which is Caesar’s and unto God that which is Gods.

You can't eat a meal at one restaurant and pay the bill at another, but I do not believe that collecting tithes through the tax system is right. Let not your right hand know what your left hand doeth.

We are required to pay our tithes and offerings (which are over and above the tithe) so that we might be blessed.

Malachi 3; Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the LORD of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it.

God would not approve denying his blessings to those who fail in their giving but they can't expect a double portion.

Well done Your Grace for the boldness of your posts.

23 September 2012 at 16:13  
Blogger Cressida de Nova said...

From one well meaning Catholic to another disfunctional one
" Fac ut vivas Inspector"

from Pope Benedict's cat as well!

23 September 2012 at 16:14  
Blogger Cressida de Nova said...

Your lack of savoire faire comes as a surprise YG.
A lesbian can never emit the pheromones of the male.
She is a fraudulent male, not the genuine article...cannot make a real girl's heart sing!

23 September 2012 at 16:25  
Blogger Cressida de Nova said...

Carl you must have been to another Klan gathering recently to be sprouting all that misogynist fascist crap!

23 September 2012 at 16:28  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...


hmmm Cressida, twas only a matter of time before this man felt the sharpness of your cruel tongue...

23 September 2012 at 16:32  
Blogger carl jacobs said...

OIG

Her tongue is neither sharp nor cruel but simply clueless. Irony is totally lost on her, it seems.

carl

23 September 2012 at 16:35  
Blogger Cressida de Nova said...

You are too bound up in white sheets Carl to express an opinion of worth.

23 September 2012 at 16:43  
Blogger Turnip Ghost said...

This Kirchensteuer is also collected by the Swiss and Austrians; without it, the World Council of Churches would have to depend on voluntary donations, which they obviously don't want to do-income streams are important to all functionaries, Catholic and Protestant, as well as the Theologians in universities-you'll look for the very Left wing Dorothy Soelle to protest state involvement in collecting money, but apparently she had no problem with the government collecting money to pay for her salary and benefits and subsidize Theological faculties in state universities-apparently, she believed that all governments are hopeless and that anything they had could be taken by "progressive" forces without too many qualms of conscience.
And you're absolutely correct about the vast money of Mainline Protestantism being the cushion protecting "progressive" clergy and flunkies-now that these churches are scrambling to pay for repairs and salaries, they're having to take church growth seriously instead of preaching "god calls us to be faithful, not successful" or "we don't take polls when listening to be sure we're on the right side of history".

23 September 2012 at 16:49  
Blogger The Way of Dodo the Dude said...

Avi

Your Jewish friends in Berlin have already sussed the particular problem you highlight.

Churches can opt to collect the tax themselves:

"If, however, religious communities choose to collect church tax themselves, they may demand that the tax authorities reveal taxation data of their members to calculate the contributions and prepayments owed. In particular, some smaller communities (e.g. the Jewish Community of Berlin) choose to collect taxes themselves to save collection fees the government would charge otherwise."
(Wikipedia)

Carl

You're an American. This practice is a uniquely Europen one .

"The church tax is historically rooted in the pre-Christian Germanic custom where the chief of the tribe was directly responsible for the maintenance of priests and religious cults.

During the Christianization of Western Europe, this custom was adopted by the Christian churches (Arian and Catholic) in the concept of "Eigenkirchen" (churches owned by the landlord) which stood in strong contrast to the central church organization of the Roman Catholic Church.

Despite the resulting medieval conflict between emperor and pope, the concept of church maintenance by the ruler remained the accepted custom in most Western European countries.

In Reformation times, the local princes in Germany became officially heads of the church in Protestant areas and were legally responsible for the maintenance of churches.

Not until the 19th century were the finances of churches and state regulated to a point where the churches became financially independent. At this point the church tax was introduced to replace the state benefits the churches had obtained previously."

(Wikipedia)

I do agree it is time to reconsider the merits of this ancient practice. There are similar taxtion practices in Austria, Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Italy, Sweden, some parts of Switzerland and several other countries. Interestingly, it is to the protestant churches in most of these countries the law applies.

Cressida

Might Cranmer be a transgenderedmen who is a lesbian whose hormone treatment is proving ineffective? Just a thought.

And should that not have been: "Adepto a vita Inpector"?

23 September 2012 at 16:53  
Blogger The Way of Dodo the Dude said...

That should have read:

"A transgendered man whose ...."

(Must get a new keyboard!)

23 September 2012 at 16:54  
Blogger Hannah Kavanagh said...

Wow! I didn't even know this practice existed. Seems a bit of a strange one to me. I personally think it would be better for the Church or synagogue or temple or whatever to survive by the maintenance of its own members. Although I can't see what is wrong with a legacy by a devout person either. Should the state be involved? No way!

23 September 2012 at 17:11  
Blogger Cressida de Nova said...

No..... because
"Fac ut vivas" means the same thing but sounds very rude in English which was my intention!

If you start on about cats again Dodo I am not sparing you.Really.. labelling me as cruel is just so woozie of you and the Inspector. This mindless hatred of cats that you share with him I can only think is an indicator of a degree of self loathing that you misplace on innocent beautiful creatures.


The concept of trangenderism is
abhorrent and monstrous.It is very rude of you to suggest that HG could be a transgender.Even Anglicans do not support transgenderism (Do they?)Those trenchant Catholics
that HG was referring to earlier
were obviously you and the Inspector and possibly me which is bothersome because I don't fancy being in the Three Musketeer group with either of you!




23 September 2012 at 17:36  
Blogger Corrigan1 said...

Cranmer,

Since your authority on this matter seems to be Wikipedia, here's another page from that oracle: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apostasy

If you deny your faith, you are an apostate; if you are an apostate, where do you get off demanding the sacraments of the church from which you apostatize? The fact that in Germany the government levies the tax which funds the Church is the problem; in most countries, the churches fund themselves. If the Krauts did the same, there would be no issue. You either make a contribution or you don't. If this idiotic law was revoked, the problem would resolve itself, but while it is in place, Catholics who seek to avoid it must apostatize; unfortunately, we are not the Church of England. We don't make it up as we go, and we don't trim and tack with every sociological breeze that blows. If the price of saving a few Euro in tax is apostasy, we pay the tax. And just in case you still haven't got it, the issue is not one of money, its one of APOSTASY; that obviously has not meaning to an Anglican, but it means everything to us.

In the future I suggest you keep your anti-Catholic demons under tighter control. When a disgruntled Papist contacts you with a whine or a moan about the Church, don't be in such a tearing rush to give him or her board space. If they're whining about "the spirit of Vatican II", give them no time at all because no council of the Catholic Church has ever been more abused than Vatican II - that abuse has almost destroyed the Church, and now that the liberals are all clearing off, us traditionalists are rebuilding from the ground up, and we're not in a mood to treat with Church-bashers.

23 September 2012 at 18:25  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...

Dodo,

Alas, if I had Jewish friends in Berlin, the first thing I'd be telling them every day is to get out and the next thing I'd be asking them what possesses them to declare their status to the state, the German state to be precise. Also, I'd like to know what sanctions a self-declared "Jewish community" can impose when any observant Jew and a group of like-minded friends with a Torah scroll can start up their own synagogue anywhere they want with no one being the wiser. As I said before, this law will only penalize Catholics and members of other hierarchical religions with the ability to penalize and will alienate or totally lose the secularized majority.

23 September 2012 at 18:27  
Blogger Bred in the bone said...

Refusing to register with the German state is not leaving the church, is it, unless the bishops claim the German state and the church is one and the same thing

Is that the case

23 September 2012 at 18:33  
Blogger carl jacobs said...

Avi

Re: You are too bound up in white sheets Carl to express an opinion of worth.

I have just discovered that I am a member of the Klan. Who knew? Anyways, this presents me with a few dilemmas that I thought maybe you could help me with. I realize your initial reaction might be to completely disassociate yourself from me, but I thought you might help me for the sake of our past alliance. You see, I am going to have to re-learn a lot of arguments, so could you please direct me to some of those websites you constantly disparage? Plus, I only know one derogatory epithet for 'Jew' and it's ancient. Probably obsolete. My vocabulary needs considerable expansion.

Any help you could offer would be most appreciated.

Sardonically
novice klansman karl

23 September 2012 at 18:37  
Blogger The Way of Dodo the Dude said...

Cressida

Did I mention or even hint at cats or cruelty? I am having to reconsider my position on this given Pope Benedict's ststed affection for said creatures. However, I remain deeply suspicious of cat lovers and those who keep clowders of said animals.

As for a transgendered Cranmer, why not? I was merely offering a theoretical possibility given s/he posed the suggestion s/he might be a lesbian who reeked of testosterone.

Being a "trenchant" Catholic is a compliment. I'm not terribly sure the Inspector qualifies given some of his unorthodox opinions. And, my dear woman, you could never become a Musketeer unless you yourself transgendered which is a more complicated process for a woman.

23 September 2012 at 18:39  
Blogger Cressida de Nova said...

As stated Pope Benedict is a cat lover so it appears that you are deeply suspicious of him as well.

Transgenderism is not an issue for me.
I like being a woman . I also like real men. They are the ones who like straight women and do not have a horror of pussy.

23 September 2012 at 18:57  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Cressida. Cats are naturally protestant animals. It takes a lot of time, patience, and prayer to turn one papist. Even the pope only managed to do that with two of them...

If you must have one, keep it out in the yard in a hutch. It will expect a couple of cushions to be in there. And an old blanket. On no accounts let it in the house...

23 September 2012 at 18:58  
Blogger Cressida de Nova said...

Inspector you are a classic case of someone who needs a cuddlepuss
to share your bed with on cold wintery nights.
A Catholic cat is fastidiously clean,affectionate,generous (steals small items of laundry from neighbours' houses and brings them home as gifts) and comes when called (Catholic training)The 'Marmalade Boys" my two ginger cats are excellent examples of the above.

23 September 2012 at 19:26  
Blogger Lord Lavendon said...

Question : Why bother with Catholic Pussy (cats), when there are plenty of Anglican Tigers out there?

Ah, I am being taken back 50 years.... back to my bananas ...

23 September 2012 at 19:54  
Blogger Lord Lavendon said...

Carl,

A Yank, who understands Irony?? Why my good fellow : jolly good show, over?

23 September 2012 at 19:55  
Blogger len said...

Jesus said 'render unto Caesar what belongs to Caesar' and these words could equally apply to the Roman Church which is but a continuation of Pagan Rome mixed with Christianity.
The Roman Religion was initiated by a Caesar(Constantine)and the Popes have ever since have held the title of the Pagan Caesars..... 'Pontiflex Maximus'.

That the Roman Church charges a fee for' salvation' comes as no great surprise(to me at least)but Catholics would do better to find Christ who gives salvation as a free gift(free to us but He paid the real price)



23 September 2012 at 19:58  
Blogger david kavanagh said...

I quite agree with Avi on this one. I would also urge my fellow brothers to flee Germany .

23 September 2012 at 20:08  
Blogger david kavanagh said...

"Carry on" Lord Lavendon,

Irony abounds.

Didn't realise us Jews were called "Frum" in America, although after 4 weeks in Alaska, one is used to the possibility of bears out there.

Also, why bother with a Catholic Pussy (cat) or an Anglican Tiger, when there are Jewish Lions around?

Anyway, it is my round, so to His Grace , a bottle of Rioja 1973, to steady the ship?

23 September 2012 at 20:08  
Blogger The Way of Dodo the Dude said...

Here we go, a bit late but len comes as per usual. Once again though he follows the headline and misunderstands the plot. The Catholic Church does not charge a fee for salvation.

Lord Lavendon
From one past sinner to another, in my experience there is little to chose between a Catholic pussy and an Anglican tiger - or for that matter a Jewish lioness. Each has their own unique and rather splendid qualities.

But bananas ....

Cressida
Pope Benedict is not a "cat lover"! What on earth are you suggesting? He merely has a fondness for them and sympathy for the plight of strays. Unlike len, he does not collect hoards of them. And two well trained and disciplined cats is acceptable provided they are regularly wormed, have their skin checked for disease, wear flea collars and know their place at night.

Corrigan
Very well said, Sir.

Avi
I don't disagree with you. It seems one is registered at birth as a member of a faith group. I also think this practice is more protestant in conception than Catholic.

23 September 2012 at 20:29  
Blogger david kavanagh said...

Dodo,

Lioness? Ah, I see you refer to my sister, no?

23 September 2012 at 20:32  
Blogger Shacklefree said...

We may discuss the relative merits of paying through income tax or via the collection plate but what is clear is that the Church has allowed itself to become controlled by the state. The state has taken over many charitable activities which were financed in the past by the charitable giving of Church members.

Government and the United Nations gain credibility by giving money to charitable causes but it is our money they use and they use it to promote abortion and sterilization across the World. They fund reprehensible organizations like the Terrence Higgins Trust and prosecute people who speak out against their abuses. However when Church policy offends them they put the boot in. That’s why the Church closed its adoption agencies. They should have had the courage to take on the government but they have a history of appeasement. They have deliberately avoided political activity because then they would lose their charitable status. Thus they have become whitewashed sepulchres hob-nobbing with politicians who are much more astute than they are. Archbishop Dolan sits down to dinner with Barack Obama and in so doing probably assures the victory of one of the biggest abortionist America has ever seen. The archbishop probably thought that was the price of being able to say a prayer at the Democratic national convention. He may have thought he was being clever but he will rue the day especially when he comes to judgement. We live in a world controlled by the forces of satan and while we continue to sup with them they will suck our life blood.

23 September 2012 at 21:05  
Blogger len said...

Pope Benedict does not have a fondness for cats...Dodo....He Loves them!. according to one of his Cardinals..
Benedict obviously has a an essential element you seem to be missing Dodo?.

23 September 2012 at 21:06  
Blogger len said...

Dodo..... do Catholics still believe in purgatory that must have been a good earner?.

23 September 2012 at 21:08  
Blogger happyuk said...

What is going on in Dublin seems just as interesting. The top Catholic prelate Cardinal Sean Brady, is implicated in protecting child rapists in his diocese and may resign. His probable replacement, Archbishop Dermot Martin, has been forced to meet with ITCCS and ACCAW activists after they occupied Dublin’s main cathedral. Someone even manacled himself to the cathedral altar during a mass.

This direct action seems to have given them the jitters. Archbishop Martin’s assistant, Rev. Damian O’Reilly, said yesterday that it was their concern about further church occupations that forced them to sit down and try to directly negotiate with survivors like John Deegan of ACCAW (Anti Catholic Church Activists Worldwide, affiliated to the ITCCS).

Nowhere else on the planet has the church hierarchy actually bargained with opponents; they have generally relied on governments to shield them from the fallout from their dreadful crimes towards children. The fact that this is erupting in reputedly the most catholic nation in the world is a sign of how desperate Catholic leaders are becoming.

It proves that only direct civil disobedience gets results when it comes to the oldest corporation on earth.

The Vatican must do two things: defrock all child molesters, and those who protect them; and make every clergy and church officer, from Pope Benedict downwars, take a binding oath to protect children from predators and expose those who harm the innocent, even if doing so defies church laws and customs. More needs to be exposed of Pope Benedict’s personal complicity in protecting child rapists. As Martin Luther King said,

"The moral arc of the universe is long, but it bends towards justice"

23 September 2012 at 21:11  
Blogger The Way of Dodo the Dude said...

len
Yes, purgatory remains a teaching of the Catholic Church.

David
All three of your sisters appear to be quite a handful. You did well to survive unscathed, dear fellow.

23 September 2012 at 21:28  
Blogger happyuk said...

Great influence still emanates from the Vatican: its pernicious mind control over adherents, ruthlessness in preserving its secret societies and vast wealth.

The Vatican established a monetary system among tradesmen that included loans at usurious rates. Despite enactment of laws to prevent that practice, it continues unabated and has expanded to cover the globe.

The Vaticn has played a huge and destructive part in manifesting today’s shattered economy. The whole concept of tithing was developed by self-serving church leaders along with payment for absolution of sins. These payments fed their coffers and continues to this day to add to the Vatican’s untold wealth.

It is now common knowledge that a serious investigation into the Vatican’s financial affairs is underway. In additional to the rampant pedophilia, it will ultimately uncover a real cesspool in that tiny sovereign state.

It may sound like I’m picking on Catholicism, I think it’s going to be a difficult time when the full extent of the truth finally emerges. It will be shocking and beyond belief for most people.

23 September 2012 at 21:32  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Happy Chappy. Already been done. The Vatican has taken on board what us less charitable types have known for years. And that is that homosexual clerics cannot be trusted with children. The urge to sin being greater than the value they hold in their vows. Those fellows are only flesh and blood, pity them...

23 September 2012 at 21:32  
Blogger Shacklefree said...

We should also remember that the whole record of Judaeo/Christian history is littered with appeasers and traitors. The Old Testament is full of the records of Kings who did not follow the proper tradition but worshipped Baal. The number of those who were orthodox appears as a small percentage. Nevertheless Jesus still told the people to follow the teachings of the scribes and Pharisees because they occupied the chair of Moses. In other words, the actions of traitors should not convince us to make up our own religion.

Consider too that the bishops at the time of Henry decided that the God of Mammon was more likely to provide financial security and His Grace’s namesake even annulled the perfectly valid marriage of Catherine of Aragon among other things. Those who appeased received great preferment while priests who remained faithful were hunted down and killed. In Ireland, the forced payment of taxes was imposed on Catholics for the upkeep the Anglican Church. There has always been a great problem when the Church gets too closely involved with politicians. Nowadays we still have the appeasers and it is unfortunate that Church leaders do not have the foresight to break away. They will soon see that they will be broken anyway and a new and even greater reign of terror will occur.

23 September 2012 at 21:37  
Blogger Lord Lavendon said...

Ah, Dodo,

I think that you have only encountered Hannah and Rachel, who are indeed electric live wires, in some ways. Passions of youth eh?

And you will be pleased to know that they have two other older sisters Ruth and Esther and brothers David (who posts here) as well as Samuel and Solomon. Perhaps you were thinking of my grandaughter Louise?

23 September 2012 at 22:38  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...

Avi...I have just discovered that I am a member of the Klan. --Carl

What a novel turn of events, Carl. Mazel tov. Every man needs a hobby when that mid-life crisis rolls in, I suppose, and this one's safer than sky diving or rapelling. Has the wife said anything about the holes in bed sheets yet? Better not let your new buddies know about your Jewish and Black American ancestors, though; might lose that one-year free membership deal.

23 September 2012 at 23:08  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...

Dodo said, "I don't disagree with you. It seems one is registered at birth as a member of a faith group. I also think this practice is more protestant in conception than Catholic."

Naah, it's a European nanny-state thing. It was the same in Catholic Austria where we stayed for three years. Everyone was required to register his religion with the state and the public schools (I went to a boys-only Hauptschule fuer Knaben) all included Catholic education three hours per week. Me, a couple of Roma kids and a coreligionist of mine, an obese bully by the name of Rosenranz (we all went by our last names) were allowed to sit it out on a bench by the principal's office during the religious instruction hour, but the Roma kids were hostile and malodorous, Rosenranz took up too much space on the bench and so, out of boredom, I chose to attend the classes taught by a loud Dominican brother who liked to cuff the boys and yank their ears when they weren't paying attention. This was also my introduction to religion as a concept, for in Czechoslovakia we were all good atheist communists right until the Prague Spring in '68. When we moved to Canada my parents finally mustered up their courage to "come out of the closet" so to speak and we joined the Jewish community here. And me, I knew dozens of Catholic prayers and hymns (I sang in soprano) in Latin and German and knew far more about Catholicism than Judaism. Funny world.

23 September 2012 at 23:35  
Blogger david kavanagh said...

Dodo,

Indeed. I find my sisters a source of inspiration and fun.And yes, I do have 4 sisters and two other brothers.

23 September 2012 at 23:57  
Blogger carl jacobs said...

Avi

Every man needs a hobby when that mid-life crisis rolls in, I suppose, and this one's safer than sky diving or rapelling.

But I would have thought I would just buy a sports car. Something you can't put a car seat into. Now I have to wear a stupid pointy hat.

Better not let your new buddies know about your Jewish and Black American ancestors, though

I actually do have at least one Jewish ancestor, but quite a ways back. I think however that the real problem will be that some of my ancestors were ... French. But they were Huguenots! That's something at least.

carl

23 September 2012 at 23:59  
Blogger The Way of Dodo the Dude said...

Lord Lavendon
Yes Louise, the cousin "once removed" (and then returned?), is the third. Spirited young ladies, I'd say. Still, it's their time to shine and all the best to them too.

24 September 2012 at 00:27  
Blogger AnonymousInBelfast said...

Cressida:

"Meaning? that he had a secret yearning for Catholic chicks?"

Doesn't every red-blooded man? ;)

Dodo:

Can't you get onto the German bishops and sort all this nonsense out? Send the Inspector, he'll soon have 'em all dressed down.

24 September 2012 at 00:56  
Blogger The Way of Dodo the Dude said...

AIB

Through my connections, I'm pulling strings as we speak. The Vatican is trying hard to keep the German Church from acting too hastily.

It's always Germany - why is that?

24 September 2012 at 00:59  
Blogger AnonymousInBelfast said...

"It's always Germany - why is that?"

They were never completely conquered by the Romans. :)

24 September 2012 at 01:14  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...

Carl,

You must try to think outside the box. The pointy hat and the sports car are not mutually exclusive; get a convertible.

French? Did you say French? Well, I don't know, yeah, well, gotta go now...

24 September 2012 at 01:45  
Blogger outsider said...

Dear Happyuk

In your comment timed 21:11 you say the Vatican should "make every clergy and church officer, from Pope Benedict downwards, take a binding oath to protect children from predators and expose those who harm the innocent, even if doing so defies church laws and customs".
It is rather more than laws and customs. As I am sure you know, In Matthew 5, Jesus of Nazareth says (in my preferred translation) "Confine yourself therefore to plain Yes or No. Anything beyond that is wrong". Seems clear.

Re your Comment timed 21:32, you say "The whole concept of tithing was developed by self-serving church leaders". They were rather late in the day. Numbers 18, verses 20-24, probably written no later than 500 BC, records "The Lord" saying that the whole of Israel shall be tithed as the patrimony of the descendents of Aaron.

Perhaps only a heretic such as myself takes such details seriously.

I am not familiar with any instruction from Jesus or "The Lord" suggesting that those who dodged the tithe should be excluded but the appalling treatment of Ananias and Sapphira by Peter recorded in Acts chapter 5 gives a pretty clear pointer to his heirs.

24 September 2012 at 01:54  
Blogger Cressida de Nova said...

The pointy hat outfit and the convertible has made him even more delusional Avi. Now Carl fancies himself driving down the Champs Elysee suave and French honking his horn.

24 September 2012 at 01:57  
Blogger Cressida de Nova said...

Belfast I never did thank you for supporting me against the convert Magee a while ago.
Thank you.It feels like Danielle
in the lion's den here sometimes with a serious shortage of white knights:)

24 September 2012 at 02:07  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...

Some strange things on this thread. What's this about cats? Who doesn't love cats? I love cats and I miss our Nuisance and Ketzl and after they died, we decided not to get any more kitties because losing them was rough on us.

For cat lovers only: Nuisance was a sleek calico with huge eyes and ears, the smartest, most socialized cat in the world. She greeted people, fetched, played tricks on us, tried to "talk" and tailed my wife wherever she went. Ketzl, well, she was a starving runt who was pulled off her mom too soon when someone dumped her on us and I had to feed her with an eye dropper every couple of hours, 24/7, until she could handle solid food. She was my little darling who wouldn't leave my side and slept on top of my head entangled in my hair, which she would inexplicably chew in the middle of the night. A fluffy fluff-head of a butter-ball with about a dozen brain cells who would freak at her own shadow, literally, and every time we came home she would peel off thinking we were intruders until she remembered who we are. As all cat owner know, if you give cats plenty of love and attention, talk to them and treat them as family, they develop unique personalities as they strive to be like us.

24 September 2012 at 02:12  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...

Cressida, I've never heard the term "French honking." What does it...oh dear, never mind, I think I can imagine. O, my poor ears and whiskers!

24 September 2012 at 02:15  
Blogger Martin said...

My understanding of this issue is that the German bishops are viewing the choice of a person to formally declare that they are not a Catholic on the issue of taxation as a formal act of defection. The bishops are outlining the consequences of making a formal act of defection. I fail to see how it equates to simony.

24 September 2012 at 03:02  
Blogger Cressida de Nova said...

You are a very lovely person Avi. Cat lovers are especially nice people and those who are not, are missing an important dimension to their humanity.

French honking indeed! Thus, the importance of punctuation. Your coining of the term'French honking' will probably will now be introduced into the venacular,know as a Barzellian. I don't see Calvin Carl as a French honker.
A klutz klux honker perhaps!

24 September 2012 at 03:05  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...

Martin, the only comparison I have to go by is the Jewish concept of dinah malkhutah dinah..."the law of the land is the law." The principle being that one is required to observe the laws where one lives under free will. There are a number of exceptions, such as requirements to break basic tenets, to bow to idolatry, life in captivity or slavery and being singled out with prejudicial laws which do not apply to everyone equally.

Granted, Catholicism is not Judaism, that German Catholics remain in a democracy under free will and are not required to violate fundamentals, but if they as believers are being taxed more severely than non-believers, they are being unjustly discriminated against. They are not defecting; they are making a false declaration to the state not just to avoid a tax, but to avoid discrimination. Furthermore, it's a secular declaratrion, not a spiritual one, similar to the kind that a Catholic may make in a hostile country to avoid persecution and for which their Church would never penalize them for. What I find even more shocking is that their own bishops have turned against them by backing a prejudicial law with serious spiritual sanctions.

The other thing I find surprising is the amount of anger directed (not necessarily by you) against Mrs Cook for complaining. Through my personal filter again, I belong to a reigious community where everyone complains constantly about pretty much everything, but I'm also reminded of life in communist Eastern Europe where any criticism of the state, anything other than subservience and full, enthusiastic approval was met by stern rebukes and sanctions from all quarters, not only by the authorities, but by the public, friends and family as well. We know how well that worked in the end.

Why, thank you, Cressida, that's flattering. I once had a tee-shirt made with a pic of our two little kitties and a caption "Real Men Love (red heart) Cats." Not even a snicker by anyone, but truckers don't get a lot of those, especially after a few days on the road.

Hmmm, yes, the punctuation thing. The panda bear eats shoots and leaves...or, eats, shoots, and leaves. But seriously, what's this about Carl being a Klukker? He's pretty well the only one who consistently piles on any racist comment here and at most he's politically a centrist Republican, which puts him a little to the left of me.

24 September 2012 at 03:55  
Blogger Martin said...

Avi,
I think that its prudent to reduce your tax bill by any legitimate means that is open to you. As it happens I don't think state taxation is an appropriate way in which to fund churches, and I think the German Church should be proactive in seeking an end to that system.

That being said, I think to make a formal public declaration that your wish to no longer be considered a Catholic has to have repercussions and a person has to take responsibility for the choices that they make.

24 September 2012 at 04:23  
Blogger carl jacobs said...

Cats! Ruthless predatory murderous beasts that possess none of the canine virtues. Why, it's only because of my Ninja-like skills that I manage to survive living in a house with one. My daughter says "Dad, the cat is not trying to kill you." But I know better. And that's why I am still alive.

carl

24 September 2012 at 04:44  
Blogger carl jacobs said...

Re: at most he's politically a centrist Republican, which puts him a little to the left of me.

Wait a minute. I am to the political left ... of a Canadian!? Ohmygosh, ohmygosh, ohmygosh! That means I must be a BOLSHEVIK!

Shoot me now.

carl

24 September 2012 at 04:52  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...

Martin,

Yes, that's the crux of our disagreement; what is legitimate and ethically sound. In a secular democracy a declaration of "no religion" to a state is another way of saying "none of your business." All the more so to a state which discriminates unfavourably between the religious and the non-religious. Democracies have accepted the principle that an individual is entitled to to take immediate measures to avoid discrimination against his person. Whether this prejudicial action is a persecution in the rather dramatic form of being burned at the stake or a milder one, of being hit with a higher levy is immaterial. There is the issue of principle behind laws and as we know, circumstances can change rather rapidly....and radically. Within living history Germany made ... shall we just say improper... use of personal information on religious affiliation, a precedent which cannot be dismissed lightly.

You have a point that such a declaration should have repercussions; the state can sanction people for lying to it. But the state doesn't provide the option of "I'd rather not say" and moreover, doesn't want to touch this mess with a ten foot pole, probably for sound historical reasons. It takes the individual's declaration at face value and chooses to act or not act on it.

And here it's where things get screwy. By it's refusal to investigate the varacity of an individual's declaration the state also penalizes the lawful person, which creates another discrimination. And then, in jumps the Church...not every Church or religious body, mind you, and imposes a severe sanction. Another discrimination, as not all religious organizations have the ability or desire to impose sanctions. And if not enough discriminations have been hurled, it has no objections to or sanctions for Catholics lying in any other circumstances, say to their employers, or friends, about being Catholics, except where money is concerned. That would be the simony bit, I'm guessing.

Other than that, you and I agree that the state should stay out of taxing on behalf of the Church and that the Church should fight to end this system. Alas, it's doing exactly the opposite.

24 September 2012 at 05:24  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...

Uh, Carl, it's not you I worry about...take a look at your administration. Four more years of the same, or most likely worse, and you'll be at our borders begging for refugee status. Can you manage 13 or 18 gears and double-clutching? I might have a job for you.

24 September 2012 at 05:32  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...

PS: Bring a few cartons of Marlborough reds (soft packs, please) a few bottles of bourbon or, better still, a gallon jug of fiery Tennessee corn whisky moonshine.

24 September 2012 at 05:37  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...

Ah, missed your cat comment. You're probably right; the cat is trying to kill you. Try some shmaltz herring on her and she might negotiate a cold war treaty with you.

24 September 2012 at 05:49  
Blogger John Magee said...




I am certain there are just as many Protestants who are fed up with this church tax in Germany as Catholics and those of other faiths too and they will be doing the same thing, if they haven't already, and make an X in the religious affiliation box "no faith" on the tax forms.
If there is a new "reformation" type protest again in Germany it will be people of all faiths uniting to get rid of this church tax.

To be fair it's not as though this tax was forced upon some churches and not others and individuals asked that their money be sent to their own denomination. It is a tax all churches and other houses of worship benefit from.

The Pope took a drastic step and that's his privilidge. I don't know the details but I strongly disagree with what he did. This is an example of Pope's being infallible in matters of Church dogma but are infallible about other matters they should keep their noses out of. Still. I want to read his side of the story before getting too excited.

Not paying the Church Tax by refusing to indicate church membership on a tax form as an act of protest doesn't mean people have lost their faith. Germans have always been strong Christians. It's sort of a German version of the Boston Tea Party (an angry mob dressed as Indians dumping tea from warehouses into Boston Harbor)before the American Revolution when the Colonists refused to pay a special tax on tea imposed by King George III without having a vote on it by the Colonists law makers. Of course that tax revolt led to a revolution...

This is the kind of mess the Founding Fathers of the USA wisely avoided when they refused any connection between church and state and neither favoring nor discriminating in matters of religion in the the 1st Amendment of the USA Constitution in 1789.

Anyone who has traveled in Germany has to be amazed at how the many beautiful old churches and cathedrals are in mint condition and constantly being repaired. It's easy when the tax payers are footing the bill. Protestant and Catholics churches and the many mosques serving immigrant Turks and a few synagogues if you can find one are in well taken care of by this tax.

Imagine the luxury of being a minister or priest in Germany and knowing the church tax will pay your church's heating bill, repairs, and salary of your employees. Or the next time your church's roof needs repairs you don't have to beg the members of your church for more money.

It is good to live in a country that has no state church or where religion dominates people's lives by force.


24 September 2012 at 07:33  
Blogger John Magee said...

AVI

So you lived in Prague under Communism? Interesting. You must be older than I thought. Communism ended in Czechoslovakia in 1989. When did you leave? 1968? My grandparents house was in Vinohrady section eastern part of the city. As a native you must know it? They left in 1952. When I visited Prague in 1980 for the first time it had been divided into flats since they left (atcually immediatley after they left according to my aunt). A nasty mess after almost 40 years of neglect. Visiting Prague again in 1992 I discovered it was being returned to a private home again and being beautifully restored. My wife and I got a tour by the new owner. My grandmother is from Brno in Moravia. You must know that town too?

24 September 2012 at 07:51  
Blogger John Magee said...

martin

The sad thing is that the whole church tax thing was ever dreamed up in the first place. I believe it comes from the time of the last Kaiser before WW I and like all good intentions between church and state the concept soured with the German people a long time ago.

It had to exist at all it should have been a voluntary tax with the possibility to opt out with no reperscussions from any side.

The churches in Germany have become addicted to government handouts just like people do and like any welfare recipient they are sacred about how they will exist if this church tax is ever rescinded by the Bundestag. They must be in a panic at the possibility of a future with no more guaranteed government income and facing the everyday stuff that our ministers and priests take for granted as part of the financial headaches of their daily lives keeping their churches functioning. Things like paying their bills from their own church budget raised by donations from church members.

After the War with entire German cities destroyed, and smaller ones too, thousands of churches had to be rebuilt and almost as many had to be restored. This was something the church tax did that was positive. The Germans took pride in rebuilding them. These churches represent German culture many are beloved landmarks in German cities. This reconstruction and the men it employed was amazing. The stained glass window companies, and wood carvers, frescoe painters and other skills needed to finish these churches kept these craftsmen working until, in some cases, the late 1970's. It took almost 49 years to completely rebuild and complete the restoration of the Frauenkirche in Munich. Times have changed and people resent the whole concept and if the churches were wise they would volunteer and ask their representatives in the Bundestag in Berlin to the tax be done away with.

24 September 2012 at 08:22  
Blogger ENGLISHMAN said...

Why not go the whole hog,and sell tickets at the door,cut out the middle man and advertise who is playing this week,open a bar,catholics like a drink with thier idolatry,it cuts down the queue to the confessional when its your round.It seems that we have forgotten why we kicked this bunch of mummers out of the country all those years ago.

24 September 2012 at 08:40  
Blogger Nowhere man said...

"His Grace weeps for those whose spiritual life is disturbed by this ecclesiastical bullying."

Somehow I cannot help feeling that this tax is far less "outrageous" than the special tax levied upon British Catholics at the behest of the Anglican Church so as to force English Catholics into penury and/or conversion.

http://bit.ly/Q0fZa0

Take care your Grace - you live in a large glass house.

24 September 2012 at 09:54  
Blogger Edward Spalton said...

This system of church tax applies in many European countries, including those where the main church is Lutheran. The original principle which stayed the bloodshed of the religious wars resultng from the Reformation was "Cujus regio, eius religio" (i.e. the religion of the state would be that of the ruler). Taxes were collected to support the state church. Some of the more religiously liberal states, like Prussia, realised that they could attract talented people by extending toleration with the same system for registered minority churches. That system was restored after the violence done to it by the French revolutionary and Napoleonic wars.

I have not looked at it for some years but there used to be considerable official discrimination, amounting to persecution against smaller "sects" which did not fit the Roman Catholic/Lutheran mould. State registration of Churches is often a legal requirement in continental countries.

24 September 2012 at 11:58  
Blogger John Magee said...

"Render onto Caesar the things that are Caesar's and unto God the things that are God's" Matthew 22:21. This was asked of Jesus by hostile questioners who tried to trap him into taking an explicit stand on whether Jews should or should not pay taxes to Roman authorities.

The Catholic Cathecism says:

"Submission to authority and co-responsibility for the common good MAKE IT MORALLY OBLIGATORY TO PAY TAXES, to exercise the right to vote, and to defend one's country:
Pay to all of them their dues, taxes to whom taxes are due, revenue to whom revenue is due, respect to whom respect is due, honor to whom honor is due."

Since the Catholic Church considers paying taxes to a legitimate government a civic duty, and the present German government is a freely elected government, German Catholics have a moral duty to pay the Church Tax the same as members of all other religious groups. The Church Tax is not discriminatory unless you consider the fact it leaves out people who claim they belong to no religious organization or are atheists.

The Pope's view is some Catholics who want to become tax cheats and lie on their tax forms by pretending are no longer Catholics so they can avoid paying the German Church Tax has a valid point. These "Catholics" can't be "devout and pious Catholics" if they are telling a lie to the legitimate government in Berlin to get out of paying a tax they don't like.

They are liars and cheats. It's that simple and my bet is they haven't seen the inside of a church in years.

If they don't like the present Church Tax law in Germany then work to with people of other faiths to change change it.

The Pope has a point. People are lying to get out of paying legitimate taxes to the German government.

Last I heard lying was a sin.

Now that I have thought it over I think Pope Benedict XVI is correct.

24 September 2012 at 12:14  
Blogger Suzanne Michelle said...

Cressida de Nova and whomever else: It is _indeed_ possible to be a "liberal" Catholic. The right calls us "cafeteria" Catholics. But at its root, the RC has always giving the discerning conscience the right to dissent.

Collectively, no. Privately, yes. The dear RCC has a noble tradition of caring for most people (tho' of course, refusing some), a wonderful prayer life, and support for doing good works.

And while I believe Rome has the right to declare actions to be sinful, they should stop there, and stay out of "pelvic zone" politics of every ilk, including who should marry whom, and what constitutes "proper" sex.

The Catholic Church has no more or fewer problems related to managing sex scandals, they are just a bigger and easier target. Every organization that relates to children in some way must deal with adult-child interactions and safeguard the youth. The RCC never paid proper attention, is in denial, and is paying the price.

I never knew the Germans taxed on behalf of their churches. They should not do this. Simony is NOT to be tolerated.

24 September 2012 at 12:23  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...

John Magee,

You must have missed a lengthy post of mine somewhere where I gave you details about our adventures during the Soviet occupation, but to make a long story short, we split in '69 to Vienna through Yugoslavia because the Russians were tightening their stranglehold, the communists were returning to power with the help of collaborators and Dad would've been in big, big trouble for his protest activities with the other Charles University students, including making giant anti-ocupation posters and announcing on the ever-relocating free Czech radio which evaded the Russians well into 1970, after we left.

We lived about a kilometre south of Vinohrady, in Praha 4, in the Nusle district on Otakarova Street, right by Havlickovy Sady and its vinyards, in a once-luxury pre-War building that was subdivided into an apartment hovel, with us in a coal-stove one room and a kitchen unit, a shared hallway with a cold water tap and a toilet, and a cellar with monsters to which I was sent to haul the morning's coal. I was eleven when we left, so while I'd been to a lot of places, but I remember mostly odd stuff kids focus....like the gloomy royal crypt in the Karlstejn Castle but little else about the place we visited with my class. Dad visited about ten years ago and said our building is still there, including my primary school on Boleslavova street.

I've been to Brno with my Dad, we stayed there for about a week, but don't remember anything because I was seven or eight at the time and would have only focussed on "important" things like candy stores, delicatessen and movie houses which played Westerns, because I wanted to be an Apache brave.

24 September 2012 at 12:51  
Blogger John Chater said...

ENGLISHMAN…

You didn't kick us out, we are still here and more of us go to church weekly than our Anglican fellow Christians. It would be unnecessarily provocative of me to point out that unprecedented numbers of Anglicans are coming over to Rome because the Anglican Church has so cocked things up. So I won't.

Having leapt to the defence of the 'one true faith', I would have to agree that a state religious tax, imposed upon the religious in a 'secular' country, makes about as much sense as ENGLISHMAN's choleric outburst.

The exodus of 180,000 German Catholics, supposedly in response to the sexual abuse scandal, may be a one-off as the Church has pretty much got its house in order on this issue (and wait for the excoriating howls of protest on that one). But it will be interesting to see what happens from now on, with the prospect of tax-dodging Germans remaining unconfessed and unburied.

Must dash, as I have some witches to ignite…

24 September 2012 at 12:56  
Blogger John Magee said...

AVI

Where did you family exist during WW II? They couldn't have survived in occupied Bohemia/Moravia or the then independent fascist German ally Slovakia. If they got before 1939 out why did they return after the War?

Bohemia and Moravia were an SS "Protektorate" from March 1939 until the almost the last day of the War in May 1945. Not nice.

From the mid 1930's my mother attended Charles University, Leipzig University, and Freiburg im Breisgau University, and went to a school I do not know the name of for 6 months in Warsaw. She studied modern languages and spoke fluent German, French, Italian, English and of course related Slavic languages like Russian and Polish. As you know it is common in German and Central European universities to for students attend several different schools before they get a degree unlike here where students usually atend one college or university for all 4 years. Knowing one or two languages other than your own isn't that unusual there either. Most Czechs then spoke good German. When you live in a little country with an obscure and difficult language you must adapt to the big boys who surround you to survive. She spent several months in England in late 1938 to perfect her English by working as a maid. During the War she tutored then was assigned, like most unmarried Czechs, to factory work but not thank goodness next door in Germany with the problem of daily air raids.

Later in late 1945 when she left Prague for the British zone in Northern Germany she met my father who was an officer in the USA Navy at Bremerhaven, where with her Czech passport she got a good job as a translator for the USA Navy, which was a small American zone enclave within the British Zone for USA ships to dock and send supplies down south to the American Zone in Bavaria.

Sadly she died in 1961 when I was 13. That's life.One door closes another opens.

Your people and the Russians and Poles lived through a living hell.

24 September 2012 at 14:03  
Blogger The Way of Dodo the Dude said...

Pope Benedict has not made his position publically known on the "troubles" in the German Catholic Church. The offices of the Vatican are attempting to find a more balanced response from the Bishops there.

Whether the German tax law is appropriate or not, the Bishops take the view one cannot partly leave the Church for tax avoidance reasons. The spiritual community of the Church and the institutional Church are one. To publically declare one has left the institutional church means seperating from the spiritual church.

The "Vatican" thus far has said this step is not evidence of a clear “schism” and grounds for excommunication. German Bishops, in deference to Rome, will now ask priests to write to anyone planning to leave, warning of the consequences and inviting them to meet. Only if the reaction of the believer can be attributed to a "schismatical, heretical or apostatical act” will "appropriate measures" be taken. This seems fair enough to me.

The phrase 'mountain out of a molehill' springs to mind over this.

One should be proud to be a Catholic and not be reticient about declaring this. If it means the law of the land requires one to pay extra taxes to support one's faith, so be it. If the law is unacceptable, work to change it. If it is personally unacceptable, explain thE reasons to one's priest and make other arrangements. If one truely cannot afford it, explain this.

On the other hand, if it is because one is a liberal Catholic and one does not wish to remain in communion with the Church, then leave and declare oneself a member of another church or an atheist.

24 September 2012 at 14:16  
Blogger John Magee said...

Simony is the buying or selling of church offices or pardons and has nothing to do with the concept of the German "Church tax" which is individual Germans marking on their annual income tax form which religious denomination they want 8-9% of their paid taxes (not their earned income)to have their money. In theory it must have sounded like a good idea 100 years ago or whenever it was dreamed up. Churches and modern governments sharing money is always a very bad idea.

24 September 2012 at 14:53  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...

John Magee, my mother's parents were Czech Ashkenasim who were trying to get to Turkey on the old Orient Express and then on to the Palestine Mandate when they got delayed in Serbia and then held up for good in the then-Kingdom of Bulgaria.

My maternal grandfather, whom I never met, was a German-educated physician (U of Leiden, I think), a lung specialist and a radiologist who pioneered some diagnostic methods for the fluoroscope. Bulgaria, as few realize, began to gather its Jews for transport, identified them, imposed the yellow star, concentrated them at assembly points, villages and labour "batallions" and just before being herded onto the Poland-bound Bundesbahn cattle-car trains, the Bulgarian unions, academics, intellectuals, the Church and the King objected and stopped the transports. My mom's family were spared the brutalities of the essembly and concentration process due to my granfather being in high demand by important patients and were moved to a smaller town under false Bulgarianized names. Bulgarians do not have a strong history of antisemitism and, as the Germans fumed, showed a poor sense of "racial consciousness." Mom's family remained in Bulgaria where she met my dad, of Spanish Sephardi descent and from a tradesman, secular, communist and prominent, decorated partisan family which enjoyed some privileges after the War. Mom disliked Dad's family and the rough conditions in Bulgaria and eventually convinced Dad to relocate to the more genteel and less Stalin-esque Prague shortly before I shone upon the world.

24 September 2012 at 16:12  
Blogger Ignatius Baines said...

Does the Church of England not impose statutory fees for services such as weddings and funerals? I had no idea that these were in fact voluntary contributions. . .

24 September 2012 at 18:27  
Blogger The Way of Dodo the Dude said...

Suzanne Michelle said...

"It is _indeed_ possible to be a "liberal" Catholic ... the RC has always giving the discerning conscience the right to dissent."

Correct - the operative word being "discerning" facilitated by a properly informed and formed.

"And while I believe Rome has the right to declare actions to be sinful,"

How very Catholic of you.

" ... they should stop there, and stay out of "pelvic zone" politics of every ilk, including who should marry whom, and what constitutes "proper" sex."

Oh dear! How misinformed or improperly formed your Catholic conscience must be. Why not take the logical next steps? Homosexual marriage, divorce and remarriage, and even abortion? Maybe all this is too *liberal* for you. But not for some.

'Right' and 'left' in the Catholic Church, indeed! We are not Anglicans.

24 September 2012 at 21:27  
Blogger len said...

Dodo,
Not Anglicans...... well you could do a lot worse!.

Are you familiar with Malachi Martin?.In 'The Fatima Crusader' article, Malachi Martin, a scholar, Vatican insider, and best-selling author, said, “Anybody who is acquainted with the state of affairs in the Vatican in the last 35 years is well aware that the prince of darkness has had and still has his surrogates in the court of St. Peter in Rome.”



24 September 2012 at 21:49  
Blogger The Way of Dodo the Dude said...

And do you know why he said this?

If you're a supporter of this man and his views on the Church, then research his views on the Third Secret of Fatima.

24 September 2012 at 22:46  
Blogger Cressida de Nova said...

I have never heard the term cafeteria Catholic. It is a good one.It suggests bogus bull shit.. someone who has no idea about Catholicism whatsoever.
It is difficult for me to believe Suzanne that you have had Catholic
education and do not understand the basic concept of marriage.That is, it is an institution between a man and a woman. Even pagan Rome regarded Gaius Caligula's marriage to his boyfriend a perversion.

You may personally disagree with this but in doing so you really reject Christianity. Why not have the courage to declare yourself non Christian.

25 September 2012 at 04:50  
Blogger len said...

The reason I associated Roman Catholicism with' Caesar' is simple.

Christ made a clear distinction between Caesar and God.Christ said "Render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar`s and unto God the things that are God`s"(Mark 12:17)

The Catholic Church wedded God to Caesar. Church and State became one.

The popes have built a 'Kingdom' which is very much of' this World ',yet they claim it is 'God`s Kingdom' and they have made unholy alliances with secular rulers in the quest for power and the advancement of Catholicism. The Popes sit on Golden Thrones dripping with jewels whilst the Son of God had nowhere to lay his head.What a contrast!.Peter said "gold and silver I have none" None of the disciples 'peddled' the Word of God for profit' (unlike many Ministries today)

Christ made a distinction between His Church which He called OUT of this World. 'Then I heard another voice from heaven say: "Come out of her, my people, so that you will not share in her sins, so that you will not receive any of her plagues;'(Revelation 18:4)

I know there are many Christians amongst the Catholic church because God calls some of them ' MY people' and it is to these that the message of Revelation 18:4 is sent.


25 September 2012 at 07:48  
Blogger John Magee said...

AVI

Thank you. It's good to know where people are coming from to gain an understanding of why they think as they do here. Knowing this explains why people have the passions and points of view they want others to share with others about certain subjects that come up in in Blogs and chat rooms on the internet.

Our families (my maternal side only)experienced the most evil systems of the 20th century. Yours suffered the ultimate persecution under the Nazi's and mine total persecution on a far lesser scale under Communism in Czechoslovakia but just as personal to me. That system ruined the lives of my mother's family, stole their property, and killed two of my uncles. These events shape our lives and our thinking. I hate Communism and all it's sympathizers just as we both hate the Nazi's for the same reasons. Please understand why I will always want the sufferings and mass murders of those under Communism to never be forgotten. These historical events of the last century are being being ignored and this is my point. It in no way diminishes what the Nazi's did but to ignore the sufferings of another group who suffered enormous suffering, persecution, and death before, during, and after the Nazi era is under Soviet totalitarianism is wrong.

Of course Communioms's hatred and persecution of religion, especially Christianity because it was the majority religion in the countries it took over in Eastern Europe, is another reason I hate that system.

If you have the time someday look up the Slansky Show Trials in Czechoslovakia in 1952 when Stalin ordered a purge of the Czech Communist Party only 5 years after the 1948 Communist coup.

Are you familiar with the 1968 Prague Spring and the Soviet led Warsaw Pact Nation invasion that sam year? The leader of the Secretary of the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia (President) Alexander Dubcek and anyone else who took party in that attempted reform were arrested after the SOviet invasion. Dubcek was sent to work cutting down trees until Communism ended twenty years later in 1989 and tens of thousands of others, mainly intellectuals and professionals, lost their jobs. Scientists and doctors became janitors and street sweepers. Czechoslovakia sank into the Communist dark ages for 20 years and the world could have cared less.

Under Communism Czechoslovakia is a text book course in how to ruin a country, wreck it's economy. and take away it's people freedoms.

In 1939 the Czechs had the 9th or 11th highest standard of living in the world depending on the sources you read. By 1951 under Communism their economy was ruined by the usual idiotic Marxist idea of a centrally controlled economy.

The response time in Blogs a negative. Many answers become immediately stale after they are posted and appear, as you pointed out once in regards to my posts and rightly so, to readers as "manifesto's". When all they really are, are, people getting something off their chest.

I don't have the ability to "chat chat" about small talk here with the slow response time and my writing style is poor. Mainly "bullets" of facts but that's the best I can do. It's obvious I am not another Dickens.

What do you think of Obama's arrogance in not meeting with Netanyaho who is in the USA for the annual opening of the UN while he meets with American pop culture trash and appears on a stupid TV talk show that appeals to liberal women?




25 September 2012 at 14:14  
Blogger John Magee said...

While walking down the cafeteria line with their trays "cafeteria Catholics and Protestants" will naturally do what all children will do and pick only what they like or looks good. These "cafeteria Chritians" will naturally pick the most appealing and trendy religious concepts and sweetest spiritual goodies and avoid the nutritious meat and potatoes traditional teachings and values which are the basis of our Catholic and Protestant faiths.

These "cafeteria Christains will naturally get spiritual indigestion or maybe even theological poisioning and so will all their friends who made the same terrible choices.

Fortunately we have strong Christians who have commons sense and will eat a good home cooked traditonal values meal or go to a good spiritual restaurant and avoid the cafeteria Christian chose what what makes you feel good that day values cafeteria.

25 September 2012 at 15:00  
Blogger Unknown said...

@Bred in the Bone:

"Refusing to register with the German state is not leaving the church, is it, unless the bishops claim the German state and the church is one and the same thing".

## Which is why the whole business reeks of simony. HG's kindness in opening a thread for this matter is much appreciated.

26 September 2012 at 04:00  
Blogger The Way of Dodo the Dude said...

Which just goes to show somebody hasn't been following the argument on this thread.

Simony, indeed!

27 September 2012 at 13:42  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...

"Are you familiar with the 1968 Prague Spring and the Soviet led Warsaw Pact Nation invasion that sam year?" John Magee

Haven't ben reading my posts, have you John. Umm, yes, I'd answer that in the affirmative. I along with hundreds of other school kids tore down all the street signs in Prague before the Warsaw pact forces arrived after going around the city a few times, thanks to misdirected highway signs. That truly messed them up for months. Then, when the university students replaced the street signs with the wrong and made-up ones, they got confused and lost again. One of the few funny moments of the occupation. The other one was when Russians were plunging into the crowds to grap transistor radios people held to their ears. they were getting instructions from the underground station...no Tweeting or texting in those days, in case some of the younger crowd here is puzzled. My Dad was a regular in the undergoround free Czech radio station and we met president Dubcek in person.

As for Obama, apart from him being a petty and immature egomaniac who wants to "get back" at Bibi, I think that the hare-brained strategy he's playing is for the benefit of the isolationists on the left and the right. The way he's doing it is by fortifying the Walt-Meerscheimer trope about the "Jewish lobby" and of course, with the media fully behind him, this seems to be working at least with the Democrats and probably with a good chunk of the Paulistas as well, who might decide to sit out this election or waste their vote.

The other thing your Barry is attempting to do is, as I said in another post, is to re-frame Iran's attempt to develop The Bomb and its sabre rattling as Israel's problem alone. In that he's playing right with the clever Iranian tactic of obscuring the fact that a nuclear Iran will be a threat to its neighbours, to Europe and the US, both on the continent (as Iran has submarines and plenty of freighters capable of docking in any US port) and the US bases throughout the Middle East. We, here in Canada, know that our miraculous economic accomplishments and health will collapse if Obama is re-elected and presides over the destruction of the US economy and the rending of its social fabric. Anyone with two brain cell to rub together knows that if the US becomes just another country in the "community of nations," Western civilization...such as it is...will suffer a blow from which it may never recover. Over the past year I've come across a quite a few Americans who have moved to Canada or a sitting things out with relatives due to a fear of civil disturbances around election time, massive race riots if Obama loses, and even of an imposition martial law brought by a "Reichstag event." They are, in my opinion, over-reacting, but on the other hand....

27 September 2012 at 15:55  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...

PS, John, forgot to finish the transistor radio story. In those days we used black compressed coal dust briquettes for heating and these were rectangular in shape, about the size of the new transistor radios that were the rage. Not everyone had a transistor, but everyone had coal briquettes and a piece of straigh wire they could attach to them ("antenna") and hold to their ear at the rallies at the Vaclavske Namnesty. It was quite the sight to see Russian troopers confiscating briquettes from people and throwing them into their backpacks, thinking they'll be making a killing on the black market when they get home.

27 September 2012 at 16:04  
Blogger len said...

Dodo bit late coming to this but will give it a go anyway!.

If you're a supporter of this man and his views on the Church, then research his views on the Third Secret of Fatima.
(24 September 2012 22:46)

You mentioned 'Fatima' I believe this is extremely important and will have a lot to do with religion in these last days.

Catholicism and Islam will unite some time in the not too distant future.(I can hear you choking on this already)

How could Islam and Catholicism unite?.I hear you splutter. John Paul the second has said"Mary...should inspire all who cooperate in the churches apostolic mission for the rebirth of Humanity...The Church journeys through time...along the path already trodden by the Virgin Mary(.End of quote)
The ecumenical power of this 'Mary' is that she provides a' new deity'to which the followers of all religions can unite.

Bishop Fulton Sheen said"The Koran has many passages concerning the blessed Virgin.First of all the Koran believes in her Immaculate Conception and also in her Virgin birth.Mary is then for Muslims the true sayyida or Lady.The only possible serious rival to her in their creed would be' Fatima' the daughter of Mohammed himself.But after the death of of Fatima Mohammed wrote"Thou shall be the most blessed of Women in Paradise, after Mary(end of quote)

Catholicism and Islam and other religions will unite under Fatima/Mary and this will be the Woman who rides the beast ...the false church.

The statue in Daniel has feet made of clay and iron(don`t mix too well) and there are' two legs'.Rome and Constantinople.The' two Capitals' of Rome under Constantine.

30 September 2012 at 21:31  
Blogger Pilgrim said...

What a refreshingly interesting blog! I stumbled onto it through an unrelated Google search.

A point or two...
It is NOT a 'STATE' tax, it is a RELIGIOUS tax, set and mandated by the RCC. (and Lutheran, and some other church entities) Some of the larger 'church' bodies in Germany have registered with the state as a corporate entity, one form of which is entitled to 'tax' its members. Most of the smaller groups, cults, or the evangelical churches are NOT so registered, and thus do not receive 'taxes', since they are not legally entitled to tax their congregants.
That being said, such registered corporate entities MAY tax their members, and MAY collect such taxes themselves, in which case they have the 'right' to demand tax info from the government on their members...OR they may choose to have the STATE collect the tax on their behalf, for a percentage fee...but, have no doubt, it is a RELIGIOUS (registered as a corporation) TAX. The mandate is by the CHURCH. The state sets the maximum amount that may be levied...it varies from state to state, as does the percentage they charge to administer it.

The church 'could' waive the tax any time she wanted....but I guess that some 6.4 BILLION Euros is a HUGE incentive to maintain an unjust alliance with mammon.

While I understand the semantics being used to claim it is not simony....looked at another way, the reality is that the RCC is now on record as insisting that for one to remain a valid member, entitled to the sacraments (without which she claims it is impossible to gain salvation) and other 'spiritual' benefits....one MUST pay the 8 or 9% surcharge on top of his/her state income tax, therefore inextricably tying together a sum of money and dispensation of sacraments/benefits....which really DOES involve the 'sale' of spiritual benefits for filthy lucre.

By the way....I'm a lifelong 'canine' person....but...I don't discriminate....I've dearly loved the felines my wife brought into my life as well...Himalayans, Persians, an Abysinnian (sic), and last but not least, a Siberian.
Blessings,
Pilgrim

12 October 2012 at 05:50  

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