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Reserve Xmas pews for church taxpayers: German officials

Discussion in 'News & Current Events' started by moondg, Dec 23, 2008.

  1. moondg

    moondg Member
    Site Supporter

    Jan 11, 2004
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    With churches expected to be packed this Christmas Eve, German officials are calling for pews to be reserved for church members to ensure they are not squeezed out by holiday-only parishioners.
    Politicians from the conservative Christian Democratic Union (CDU) and the liberal Free Democrats (FDP) told Tuesday's Bild newspaper it was unfair if regular attendants of church services couldn't find a seat at Christmas.
    "I support making services on December 24 open only to those who pay their church tax," a member of the CDU board in the southwestern state of Baden-Wuerttemberg, Thomas Volk, told the mass-market daily.
    Germans pay church tax along with their income tax unless they opt out.
    The head of the FDP's parliamentary group in Berlin, Martin Lindner, said it was intolerable that in the past, active members of church congregations -- often the elderly -- had been forced to stand through the Christmas service because the pews were full. "Church tax payers should not be kept outside during such important services," he said. "Church members should be given tickets, for example, to give them priority seating."

    I can not believe they could not spell Christmas in the story title.
    As for the story it is good that they think so many people will be there that they will not have room.
    Bad that the members are not welcoming the guests in. Instead of being worried about there seats.
    #1 moondg, Dec 23, 2008
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 23, 2008
  2. ktn4eg

    ktn4eg New Member

    Nov 19, 2004
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    I'm not sure if all of what I came to learn of the German "Church Tax" is still in effect the way it was when I was over in Deutschland on PCS orders issued by the USAF from1967-69, but I'm fairly certain that the basic concepts are probably still in place.

    Essentially, the German "Church Tax" is kinda like what each of our states do when it comes to registering automobiles--

    You got an automobile...say it's all bought and paid for...but you can't operate that car legally until it's registered by the authority of whatever state you want to have it made legal to operate. Of course getting that car legally registered isn't free--there's that tax that you must pay to the money-hungry bureaucrats in the state government called the registration fee.

    The same idea holds partially true with the German "Church Tax." How much a German citizen must pay is based (at least to some degree) on that citizen's income. Whether or not the rate is 10% [i.e., a "tithe"] I'm not sure (I don't think it's that high a percentage, but maybe it is.)

    Traditionally in Germany there are only two principal religions: Roman Catholic and what we here in America would call the Lutheran church. (Germans would refer to it as the "Evangelical" church.)

    If you're of the old school in America and still fill out your income tax forms by hand and snail mail it in to the IRS, one of things you get to look forward to every January is finding that most dreaded variety of hate mail that could ever be sent to anyone called Form 1040 (Why the IRS doesn't include the numerical prefix 666 on their Form 1040 I have yet to figure out!) :smilewinkgrin:

    In Germany they have their equivalent to Form 1040, and along with that they have a set of forms that they fill out for figuring out both the amount and to which principal religion their "Church Tax" they desire that amount of money to go.

    Where things get complicated is when the herr and frau claim different religions. (EX: The herr claims Lutheran and the frau claims Catholic.) In such case, the couple's "Church Tax" is doubled!

    But, say you're a Baptist and don't claim to be either Catholic or Lutheran ,and don't wish your "Church Tax" to go to either one of those traditional national religions. Unless things have changed since the 1960's, if you don't want to register as either Catholic or Lutheran, you're lumped in with all the other remaining non-Catholic and non-Lutheran religious groups and classified as belonging to a "cult."

    That really makes the German tax bureaucrats confused and mad such that "Ve haf our vays of dealink vit such volks!" say the Deutscher Mann (whose grandfather or great-grandfather was most likely a top member of Hitler's SS Guards)! And what those "vays of dealink vit such volks" are....Trust me, you really don't vant to know!:eek:

    Officially Germany has their kind of religious freedom, but their "Church Tax" still must be paid into their government---even if you register as an atheist!! (Where the atheists' "Church Tax" money goes to I'm not positive, but it does go into some governmental coffer somewhere.)

    If you think our government is far too socialist and seems to have intruded far too deeply into far too many aspects of our private lives, then I would cordially invite you to transfer your citizenship to most any European country.

    "But over there, anything you want or need is provided for you by the government!" you say. Well, that may be true to a point, but keep this in mind: Any government that gives you almost everything you need or want also has the power to take almost everything you've got!!

    Seldom will you ever hear of a German pastor plead for more money to fund whatever she (Most younger pastors over there are of the "she persuasion.") feels is important to her pastorate. She doesn't have to! Instead she fills out some supply requisition forms, and if the higher-ups in the German religious bureaucracy (whose great-grandfather's Iron Cross medals are secretly filed in one of that bureaucrat's desk drawers!) feel that her request meets the bureaucratic standards for whatever it is that she has requested, then she gets her funds for whatever.

    Sure beats having to sit through all of those bleeding-heart, guilt-trip laden pleas for money for which old Brother Smith is famous, doesn't it?

    But, wait a minute, where did those German religious bureaucrats find the money to fund their beloved sister's request? From the income that they received from the Deutschlanders' "Church Tax"!

    That's the German way. And, now think for a moment, do you suppose that if Sister VonLandfelt all the sudden gets a message from God [the Mother I suppose!] telling her to take a public stand against the evils of abortion and homos..xuality --both of which are officially approved and legally recognized in German constiutional law--that she is going to immediately become a public spokesperson decrying the evil and definitely un-biblical practices of both of these things?

    Remember, Sister VonLandfelt's salary, housing allowances and retirement funds are also all paid out from the coffers of the "Church Tax" as well. And that's the way that most German citizens apparently want it.

    Will such a thing ever take home here in the USA? I hope it doesn't, but it could very well happen in the near future.

    If my memory serves me correctly, just a few months back there was this American politician who chose to visit the German capital of Berlin and whose proposed public policy positions were highly lauded as being just what the throngs of German people felt that US as a nation needed.

    H'mmm...Now who was that politician who had an Irish-sounding last name? O'Henry...no. O'Reilly...no. O'Charley...nope, wasn't him either. It was O something or other.

    Can any of you BB folks out there help me out on this?
  3. moondg

    moondg Member
    Site Supporter

    Jan 11, 2004
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    Thanks that explains a lot I am like you I hope that never takes hold over here. But I am afraid we are starting to lean that way. We have hate speech now that they do not want certain things preached against in the church so what is next.

    Again thanks