Senator Grassley launched an investigation into the finances of religious organizations, after reports of abuses — you know the sorts of things that are common, like obscene salaries to ministers, active politicizing from the pulpit, etc. The Grassley report has been released, with a dull thud.According to the review, many of the ministries operate multiple non-profits, with the leaders drawing some form of compensation from each of them.
"The number and types of entities, including private airports and aircraft leasing companies, raises concerns about the use of the church's tax-exempt status to avoid taxation. However, given the four churches' refusal to provide tax information, we are unable to determine whether and the extent to which they are reporting and paying taxes on income earned in those entities," the review states.
Notice…six were investigated, but only two cooperated. The investigators declined to submit subpoenas to get to the heart of the potential scofflaws. Their final conclusion: these megachurches ain't doin' nothin' wrong. They make one big recommendation: maybe we should change our laws to allow church electioneering.
Big investigation. Scamming churches allowed to decline to participate. No wrong-doing found. Only significant conclusion is to increase the politicization of religion.
I think we were had. Grassley wasn't digging into malfeasance, he was throwing up a smokescreen to cover efforts to give further benefits to churches. - PZ Myers
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