Archive for March, 2010

David Booth – Christian Peoples Alliance: I think that we have reached a point in time, where it is worth a re-think of the current popular politics and parties, as to whether they are really serving the interests of Christians.

Friday, March 26th, 2010

This is a guest post from David Booth of the Christians Peoples Alliance:

I think that we have reached a point in time, where it is worth a re-think of the current popular politics and parties, as to whether they are really serving the interests of Christians.  There are Christians in the main parties and they do try to influence proceedings, but how effective are they really at steering the course of our national and local government towards making policies and behaviour that follows scriptural morals in their parties?  I have time
and respect for Iain Duncan Smith’s recent research of society, but the leadership of his party has promised to promote certain civil activities that may sooner or later adversely impact upon churches.

The Labour party which now occupies the middle ground in politics has actively encouraged policies which have already and will have in the future, a very bad impact on our society and now the Dispatches program has revealed that the party has been infiltrated by a muslim group, called the Muslim Forum of Europe.

Our nation’s politicians of each of the 3 main parties, have been enjoying and promoting a liberal approach of endorsing the ‘rights’ of some groups in society, above the interests of others, following the fashionable causes of our time.  I believe that this will be seen in a dim light by a future generation.  We have also been led into wars with questionable motives and legality and even more questionable outcomes. Our sanitized term ‘collateral damage’ masks the reality, that we have used weapons which have killed and mutilated civilians, who were innocently trying to survive in wars which they had no involvement in.  They were simply ‘in the wrong place, at the wrong time’.  I wonder how a just God view this?

Our society is changing so rapidly, both in its demography and in its competing ideologies, but where in all this, is the Christian voice to lead us towards righteousness?  I believe that God has the power to bless a nation and people who do righteousness and seek Him, but conversely, I believe He also has the power to correct a nation that forsakes Him!  Our politicians have lost their vision for morality and instead, seek ‘every man, to do what “seems” right in his own eyes’.  This is why we have politicians interpreting rules, regulations and roles, in ways which exploit the public purse for their own material and monetary benefit – because each does what seems ‘right’ or ‘acceptable’ in their own eyes!  No wonder we as a society, don’t even blink when we are told that there are 200,000 babies aborted every year in the UK, as if they were ‘just another irrelevant statistic’, forgetting that each of those babies is a human being just as we are, ‘knitted in my mother’s womb’.  Yet don’t we find in the Bible, that God condemned nations who burned their children in the fire, or who killed children and babies?  What became of those nations?

Whilst, a Christian should be and is instructed to be concerned and care for the ill and dieing, day after day, we were hearing about the ‘pilgrimage’ of people from the UK, going to end their lives in Switzerland, yet now no one takes much notice, after all, if people want to end their own lives…haven’t we glibly accepted this as a nation already, without questioning not only the inherent dangers in such behaviour, but also the potential implications for the elderly, disabled or disadvantaged in our society in the future? Haven’t we all swallowed the pill of ‘de-valuing life’, in replacement of its sanctity?

Meanwhile, some of our cities will become predominantly muslim in a relatively short time, and they will be naturally seeking political representation for their faith in some form or other, as Islam is more of a political ideology than a faith.  So we can expect in time that both on a local and nation level, Islam will assert its values and expectations in a way which has not been seen before in the UK.  Already, it has been estimated that there are some 90+ Sharia courts operating in the UK, in a parallel legal system, which has been given the force of law by the UK government, where it does not contravene parliamentary laws. If later on, our parliamentary laws are changed by muslim pressure to reflect islamic preferences, then this will eventually open the door to a fuller implementation of Sharia laws in the UK, by Sharia courts, possibly leading to punitive justice (a somewhat worrying prospect!)

Also, a larger and larger proportion of the British population are being alienated from politics altogether and this is leading a growing number of people to support extremist parties and organisations, including the BNP, who I predict will attract support in this next election.  However, the underlying motivation of the BNP, is not of a godly nature, despite their references to Christ and Christianity, to mislead and attract voters who seek the ‘Traditional England’.  Anyone searching on YouTube, would be shocked to see some of Nick Griffin’s earlier speeches, where he was filmed openly describing his tactic of telling people things which were ‘appealing’ and ‘clean’, but that really his intention was to promote his agenda for the white anglo-saxon race exclusivity.  I can predict that in time, we will see a more intense violence on our streets with racist groups, muslim groups and anti-racist groups..all coming to a head!  Its all too predictable!

Moves to make the House of Lords into a mainly elected chamber, may remove our traditional ‘bullwark’ of Christian conscience from our parliament, by removing the privelege of the Bishops from their office in the Lords.  Once this has gone and I believe this is now only a matter of a relatively short time, where will the Christian voice be for our nation in Parliament?  Unless Christians are representing Christian views effectively, our parliament will drift further and further into secularism and its consequent legislation, with little regard for Christians to act according to their faith in matters of employment, business, socially or church.

So what can a Christian do in the middle of all this?  – just get on his knees and pray and then in the polling booth, close his eyes, vote for a non Christian choice in the hope that whoever he votes for will do God’s will?  In the past, when Christian values were more widely accepted by our society and hence by our politicians across all parties, then this may have had some credibility, but now…?

It is my view, that it is only people who recognise the mess and the dynamics that we are in, in the light of the gospel, that can choose to make a difference.  It never ceases to amaze me, how when I have mentioned politics to Christians, that many Christians have responded with negativity, varying from cynicism, to a response of saying that Christians shouldn’t be involved in politics or even shouldn’t vote.  Yet some of these same people will then go out to the polling booth and vote for a non Christian candidate whose party promotes values which are against Christian values, and even designs policies which may discriminate against Christians and churches!

It is time to change tactic from looking at short term politics and voting according to family tradition, to instead, voting for a sea change towards Christian values, not just for us, but perhaps more importantly, for our children and grandchildren.  We should not miss this opportunity and neither should we take our current democratic right to vote for a Christian choice, for granted.

I believe it is time for a change in politics and that it is now time for Christians to stand up and be counted, to say ‘enough is enough’ of ungodly laws and policies which will be to the continuing demise of our society and country.  The CPA seeks to offer this kind of change, by offering a Christian choice.

We need men and women with the discernment to see the mess that we are in and conversely, the vision of a Britain which puts compassion above greed, and righteousness before the rights of fashionable minorities at the expense of the church.

If you would be prepared to support the CPA or stand for election, (even as a paper candidate in the local elections), then contact the Christian Peoples Alliance party, via their website at: http://www.cpaparty.org.uk

Is it possible for the Bible to become an Idol?

Friday, March 26th, 2010

My friend and fellow blogger Polycarp featured the following letter on his blog, and I wondered if anyone had any thoughts on this subject.

The Ledger Letter:

Bible Becomes Idol

Recently, I received several letters scolding me because I refuse to take the Bible literally, obeying all of its supposed proscriptions. It is a sad commentary on those who, in taking the Bible literally, reveal that they have made the Bible an idol to be worshipped and obeyed. It goes all the way back to the 1500s when Martin Luther helped to initiate the Protestant Reformation. When Protestants no longer had to obey an “infallible” pope, many turned to their Bibles and made them an infallible substitute.

Fundamentalists who attempt to claim infallibility for their Bibles miss something so elemental, the basic reasoning in our 21st century world for their irrational claims. For there are many divergent gods within the pages of the Bible.

There is the god who ordered the massacre of a neighboring tribe, “every man, woman and child.” There was the god who ordered the death by stoning for gays and, at the same time, the stoning to death for children who are disobedient to their parents. Also, there is the god who ordered that adultery should be punishable by death.

Then there is the clash between the admonition to “be fruitful and multiply,” while the apostle Paul gave the opposite advice to remain single. Add to this the violence ordered by God against the Egyptians, with the words of Jesus saying “Love your enemies.” Whose God in the Bible do you then take seriously?

The scientific revolution of our time shows that biblical literalism is a form of mental delusion. The fundamentalist positions in the Scriptures of Judaism, Islam and Christianity are all a part of a tragic misinterpretation that is creating so much hate, estrangement and human conflict all over our world.

THE REV. ROBERT E. WILLOUGHBY

Lakeland

Micro Sculptor Willard Wigan has created a model of St Bartholomew’s Church Gloucestershire on a grain of sand!

Friday, March 26th, 2010

This is remarkable. An artist has sculpted a church in Gloucestershire from a grain of sand and mounted it in the eye of a needle. It’s far superior to watch this visually than try to explain it, so have a look on the following BBC link and watch the short video:

BBC – Sculptor carves Gloucestershire church in sand grain

The BNP’s Easter message + UKIP and the BNP – What’s the Difference?

Thursday, March 25th, 2010

Two interesting articles relating to the BNP today. The first comes from Symon Hill over at Ekklesia:

Turning on my radio on Saturday, I heard ranting right-wing rhetoric and a demand for a freeze on immigration. I could easily have mistaken the speaker for a member of the British National Party (BNP). But it turned out to be a report on the United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP), which came second in last year’s European elections and hopes to gain seats at Westminster.

So what’s the difference between the BNP and UKIP? The BNP is described as far-right, racist, fascist. It’s regarded as beyond the pale and many politicians refuse to share platforms with its members.

UKIP is seen as basically mainstream. It may be regarded as firmly right-wing and perhaps a bit wacky, but its members are not treated as pariahs. UKIP representatives regularly appear on BBC Question Time without demonstrations or record viewing figures.

As I considered this, I knew that my dislike for both parties might have led me to overestimate the similarities between them. So I decided to compare their policies. And I found that I had in fact underestimated their similarities. On most issues, the policies of UKIP and the BNP are largely indistinguishable.

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As I was ruminating on this article, serendipity struck and the BNP released the following:

Another Former UKIP Candidate Switches to the BNP

The second article comes from George Pitcher over at the Telegraph:

A charming and peaceful Easter message from Nick Griffin, the visionary powerhouse who runs the BNP, arrives on my desk. As an illustration for the most important festival in the Christian calendar, I rather expected the BNP’s creative geniuses to come up with a white chocolate egg, or a pagan attack bunny with St George’s cross.

But no. Old Nick’s epistle has an etching (though they probably think it’s a photograph) of “English king Richard the Lionheart holding back the Muslim tide at the Battle of Acre in the Middle East in the 12th century.”

As a political model, I rather suggest the Coeur de Lion leaves something to be desired. The BNP’s bovines are always eager to circulate videos of Muslim beheadings: They should know that, after the siege of Acre, Richard decapitated 2,700 Muslim prisoners.

Still, it’s this model of militant Christianity that the BNP wants to adopt over the Easter weekend: “Only the Nationalist parties of Europe, such as the British National Party, celebrate the legacy of the Christian heroes such as Richard the Lionheart and Edward I, both English kings who led Crusades,” raves Nick. “No other political party wants to preserve Britain as a Christian state!” he foams, referring to the forthcoming manifesto commitments of Labour, the Conservatives and the Liberal Democrats to dis-establish the Church of England (hint for BNP members: That last bit isn’t true).

Getting into his oratorical stride, Nick nearly bursts a blood vessel: “We will fight to the bitter end, just like our Crusader ancestors, to preserve our Christian culture and heritage. The spirit of the Medieval Knights lives on in all of us!” (Historical note for Nick: Richard didn’t fight “to the bitter end”, but beetled off back to Blighty when he heard John was usurping the throne – except he got arrested in Vienna).

And the worst “outrage” that Nick can summon up of Muslim oppression of our Christian heritage? A Yorkshire school with a large Muslim student population “banned” its traditional Easter Bonnet parade (perhaps they went to church instead).  Finally, Nick concludes his epic rallying cry with the words “Have a happy Easter and God bless”, which is a bit like Hitler finishing off at Nuremberg with “Don’t catch cold now.”

But what also catches my eye is that in referring to “Britain…being colonised by hordes of Muslim immigrants”, Nick says that “some areas are now ‘no-go’ areas for Christians.”

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Francisco Ayala, an evolutionary geneticist, molecular biologist, and former Dominican priest who argues there is no inherent contradiction between science and religion, is the 2010 Templeton Prize winner.

Thursday, March 25th, 2010

Here is some background on the Templeton Prize for you:

The Templeton Prize honors a living person who has made an exceptional contribution to affirming life’s spiritual dimension, whether through insight, discovery, or practical works. Established in 1972 by the late Sir John Templeton, the Prize aims, in his words, to identify “entrepreneurs of the spirit”—outstanding individuals who have devoted their talents to expanding our vision of human purpose and ultimate reality. The Prize celebrates no particular faith tradition or notion of God, but rather the quest for progress in humanity’s efforts to comprehend the many and diverse manifestations of the Divine.

Men and women of any creed, profession, or national origin may be nominated for the Templeton Prize. The distinguished roster of previous winners includes representatives of Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Hinduism, and Buddhism. The Prize has been awarded to scientists, philosophers, theologians, members of the clergy, philanthropists, writers, and reformers, for work that has ranged from the creation of new religious orders and social movements to humanistic scholarship to research about the origins of the universe.

What these remarkable people have shared is a commitment to exploring one or more of the Big Questions at the core of the John Templeton Foundation’s mandate. All have been seekers of wisdom, humbled by the complexity of the human condition but determined to chart a path forward with their ideas and deeds. Some Templeton Prize laureates have demonstrated the transformative power of virtues like love, forgiveness, gratitude, and creativity. Others have provided new insights into scientific or philosophical problems relating to infinity, ultimate reality, and purpose in the cosmos. Still others have used the analytical tools of the humanities to provide new perspectives on the spiritual dilemmas of modern life. The Prize seeks and encourages breadth of vision, recognizing that human beings take their spiritual bearings from a range of experiences.

Now this from Science & Religion:

Francisco Ayala, an evolutionary geneticist, molecular biologist, and former Dominican priest who argues there is no inherent contradiction between science and religion, is the 2010 Templeton Prize winner. He is accepting the award this morning at a press conference (and live Web cast) at the National Academy of Sciences in Washington, D.C. (Ayala is an NAS member and was nominated for the prize by NAS President Ralph Cicerone.)

For more than 30 years, Ayala, born in Spain and now a professor of biological sciences at the University of California, Irvine, has vigorously opposed blurring the boundaries between science and faith, seeing efforts to block religion from intruding into science as necessary to ensure “the survival of rationality in this country.” At the same time, he believes faith can help us better understand things like purpose, values, and the meaning of life. Science and religion have separate roles, he says, but both are valuable—and only seem contradictory and antithetical when they go beyond their scope.

In prepared remarks, he uses Picasso’s painting “Guernica” to illustrate his point:

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Even P Z Myers is duly impressed with this choice:

A politically brilliant choice, Francisco Ayala. He’s a former priest who has argued for respect for religion while not going quite as far as some of the other possibilities in endorsing it, he’s been fairly circumspect about not presenting ridiculous rationales for religion, but he’s also an excellent and reputable scientist.

It’s definitely an astute decision. The foundation went for someone whose primary claim to renown is as a scientist, not as an apologist. They are a canny bunch, those rascals — they avoided the obvious targets and picked someone who isn’t quite as easily mocked.

Presbyterian Church Peacemakers Omit Relevant Facts About Ghassan Kanafani

Thursday, March 25th, 2010

CAMERA

As stated in other CAMERA reports, the Presbyterian Church will be voting on a number of issues related to the Arab-Israeli conflict at its upcoming General Assembly scheduled to take place in early July. In addition to an overture accusing Israel of the crime of apartheid, and another calling on the PC(USA) to rebuke Caterpillar for selling products to Israel, delegates at the assembly will also decide whether or not to endorse a report about the Arab-Israeli conflict written by a partisan Middle East Study Committee established by the denomination’s 2008 General Assembly.

The report, issued in early March, has been criticized by a number of groups, including J-Street, which stated, among other things, that the report downplays Israel’s legitimate security concerns. This is remarkable in that many Jews in the U.S. regard J-Street as being guilty of the same sin.

When J-Street says there’s a problem, there’s a problem.

One of the ugliest parts of the document is a “historical analysis” authored by Frederic Bush and Nahida H. Gordon, two members of the committee. The narrative offered in this historical analysis, ironically titled “A Plea For Justice,” is not an attempt to help the average Presbyterian or the American people understand the conflict, but a one-sided recitation of Israel’s alleged misdeeds that serves to nourish and sustain a pre-existing animus toward the Jewish state amongst anti-Israel activists in the PC(USA) and elsewhere in the U.S.

One example of the manner in which Gordon and Nahida demonize Israel is in their discussion of Israel’s assassination of Palestinian writer Ghassan Kanafani. The authors describe Kanafani as a non-violent writer despite the fact that he was a high-ranking member of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) and met with the perpetrators of of the Lod Airport Massacre during which Japanese terrorists hired by the PFLP killed 26 people and injured 80 others.

On page 10 of their “analysis” the authors write:

… Israel has carried out targeted assassinations for more than thirty years. These assassinations were not always against militants who used armed resistance to Israel but also against those who used nonviolent resistance. Consider the case of Ghassan Kanafani, a Palestinian journalist, novelist, and short story writer, who as assassinated along with his young niece, Lamis, on July 12, 1972, by Israeli agents in a car bomb explosion in Beirut. By the time of his early death at the age of 36, he had published eighteen books and written numerous articles on the culture, politics, and the Palestinian people’s struggle. His works have been translated into seventeen languages. A college of short stories about Palestine’s children was published in English in 1984 and was titled Palestine’s Children. Kanafani’s untimely death deprived the people of an eloquent voice. (Emphasis added.)

The text goes on to quote a long passage of his writings, which the authors state “perhaps explains why he was deemed to be so dangerous.”

An article published on April 15, 2005 in Haaretz provides some background that Gordon and Nahida conveniently omit:

In 1972 he [Kanafani] paid with his life for his membership in George Habash’s Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP). In pictures published in Beirut newspapers, Kanafani – who was the PFLP spokesman, editor of the organization’s weekly newsletter Al-Hadaf (The Target) and Habash’s right-hand man – is seen photographed in his office with the participants in the massacre carried out by the Japanese Red Army organization at Lod airport in Israel in May 1972.

The author of an article in Haaretz about Kanafani’s literary career included information about Kanafani that the authors of a Presbyterian “historical analysis” did not.

It reveals that Kanafani was a member of the PFLP, an organization responsible for a number of hijackings and terror attacks in the years before Kanafani’s assassination.

It reveals that Kanafani was the right hand man to PFLP’s leader George Habash.

It reveals that Kanafani met with members of the Japanese Red Army who murdered 26 people and injured 80 others in the Lod Airport Massacre in May 1972.

In light of these facts, it is clear that Israel did not kill Kanafani because of his eloquent writings, as Gordon and Nahida suggest, but because he was a high-ranking member of a terrorist organization responsible for multiple hijackings and a terrible airport massacre that resulted in the death of Christian pilgrims from Puerto Rico. Kanafani met with the perpetrators before the attack and according to Stewart Stephen, author of Spymasters of Israel (Scribner, 1981), “had helped plan the killings.”

Gordon and Nahida’s deceptive omission of well known and relevant facts about Kanafani’s ties to the PFLP, and their effort to portray Kanafani as a non-violent writer is a sophisticated and devious act of incitement against Israel that should set off alarm bells within the PC(USA). It serves to portray Israel as a nation that would kill a journalist for his writings, not his involvement with a terrorist organization.

Gordon and Nahida were appointed to serve on a committee charged with providing the PC(USA) and by extension, the American people, a comprehensive report about the Arab-Israeli conflict.

The historical analysis they have written demonstrates that they were unable to meet the obligations of this charge.

Why Do We Anthropomorphize God?

Thursday, March 25th, 2010

Science & Religion Today

A theory put forth by me, John Cacioppo, and Nick Epley suggests that people anthropomorphize for three primary reasons, including the desire to attain social connection (when connection from humans is lacking) and the desire to make sense of one’s environment. An additional reason why people anthropomorphize—and why they might anthropomorphize God in particular—is simply because of how easy the human form comes to mind. There is perhaps no concept that we are more intimately familiar with than that of humans, or that of the self (the prototypical human). In cognitive psychology terms, the concept “human” is highly accessible and active in memory.

Given that the process of anthropomorphism can be thought of as a form of inductive reasoning whereby we reason about some relatively lesser known concept (e.g., God) based on a known concept, we are going to be highly likely to use the human form because it is so very known. This is close to what Xenophanes observed when he coined the term “anthropomorphism,” stating:

Ethiopians say the their gods are flat-nosed and dark,
Thracians that theirs are blue-eyed and red-haired
If oxen and horses and lions had hands
and were able to draw with their hands and do the same things as men, horses would draw the shapes of gods to look like horses
and oxen to look like oxen, and each would make the
gods’ bodies have the same shape as they themselves had

Of course, I prefer the Yiddish proverb, “If triangles had gods they would be three-sided,” but the point is the same: We can’t help but reason about a seemingly incomprehensible entity like God in terms of humanlike characteristics because our familiarity with the concept “human” makes it a readily available guide for reasoning about other entities.

Adam Waytz is a postdoctoral research associate at the Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience Lab at Harvard University.

Pharmacists across the UK have been told they can continue to refuse to prescribe items that might clash with their personal religious beliefs.

Thursday, March 25th, 2010

BBC

A revised code of conduct from the new industry regulator will allow staff to opt out of providing items such as the morning-after pill and contraception.

But they may in future have to give customers details of alternative shops.

The National Secular Society wanted the General Pharmaceutical Council to scrap the so-called conscience clause.

The General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC) is to take over the regulation of pharmacists, pharmacy technicians and the registration of pharmacy premises from the Royal Pharmaceutical Society later this year.

Under its new code, pharmacists with strong religious principles will still be able to continue to refuse to sell or prescribe products if they feel that doing so would contradict their beliefs.

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Secularism’s Ongoing Debt to Christianity

Thursday, March 25th, 2010

An honest article in the American Thinker today reflecting on the Judeo-Christian influence on our society from a secularist viewpoint. I don’t agree with all of the points, but refreshing to read nonetheless, as I feel that humanists, secularists and atheists often overlook these issues.

American Thinker

Rational thought may provide better answers to many of life’s riddles than does faith alone. However, it is rational to conclude that religious faith has made possible the advancement of Western civilization. That is, the glue that has held Western civilization together over the centuries is the Judeo-Christian tradition. To the extent that the West loses its religious faith in favor of non-judgmental secularism, then to the same extent, it loses that which holds all else together.

Succinctly put: Western civilization’s survival, including the survival of open secular thought, depends on the continuance within our society of the Judeo-Christian tradition.

Arguably the two most defining and influential Christian concepts are summarized in two verses of the New Testament. Those verses are Romans 14:10 and John 8:32.

Romans 14:10, says: “Remember, each of us must stand alone before the judgment seat of God.” That verse explicitly recognizes not only each man’s uniqueness, but, of necessity, implies that man has free will — that individual acts do result in consequences, and that those acts will be judged against objective standards. It is but a step from the habit of accepting individual accountability before God to thinking of individual accountability in secular things. It thus follows that personal and political freedom is premised upon the Christian concept of the unique individual exercising accountable free will.

John 8:32 says: “And you will know the truth and the truth will set you free.” Whatever the theological meanings that have been imputed to that verse, its implicit secular meaning is that the search for truth is in and of itself praiseworthy.

Although I am a secularist (atheist, if you will), I accept that the great majority of people would be morally and spiritually lost without religion. Can anyone seriously argue that crime and debauchery are not held in check by religion? Is it not comforting to live in a community where the rule of law and fairness are respected? Would such be likely if Christianity were not there to provide a moral compass to the great majority? Do we secularists not benefit out of all proportion from a morally responsible society?

An orderly society is dependent on a generally accepted morality. There can be no such morality without religion. Has there ever been a more perfect and concise moral code than the one Moses brought down from the mountain?

Those who doubt the effect of religion on morality should seriously ask the question: Just what are the immutable moral laws of secularism? Be prepared to answer, if you are honest, that such laws simply do not exist! The best answer we can ever hear from secularists to this question is a hodgepodge of strained relativist talk of situational ethics. They can cite no overriding authority other than that of fashion. For the great majority in the West, it is the Judeo-Christian tradition which offers a template assuring a life of inner peace toward the world at large — a peace which translates to a workable liberal society.

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The Greek government has announced it will start taxing churches as part of its efforts to get out of its financial crisis.

Thursday, March 25th, 2010

LifeSite (Hat-tip Polycarp)

The Greek government has announced it will start taxing churches as part of its efforts to get out of its financial crisis. A new draft bill to be tabled in parliament next week imposes a 20 per cent tax on the Orthodox church’s real estate income, reportedly worth over 10 million Euros (US $14.8 million) a year, the Wall Street Journal reports.

The Orthodox Archbishop of Athens Ieronymos said on Sunday that taxing the churches is unconstitutional and “unprincipled.” He told the Athens weekly, Real News, that the Church of Greece would challenge the tax in the Greek and European courts.

He proposed instead a calculation based on revenues and expenditures, rather than real estate income, with the Church paying 20 per cent tax on the remainder of their net income.

“The state is telling us that ‘we don’t know what your (Church) revenues are; yet, I want 20 percent of what you receive’. This is unconstitutional,” he said. The archbishop dismissed media accounts of the Church’s wealth. “Come and show us where this money is,” Ieronymos said.

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