The National Forum   Donate   Your Account   On Line Opinion   Forum   Blogs   Polling   About   
The Forum - On Line Opinion's article discussion area



Syndicate
RSS/XML


RSS 2.0

Main Articles General

Sign In      Register

The Forum > Article Comments > NZ High Court says interest-free mortgage scheme to 'advance religion' is legal > Comments

NZ High Court says interest-free mortgage scheme to 'advance religion' is legal : Comments

By Max Wallace, published 3/10/2011

A scheme that advances religion through housing loans can attract tax free deposits.

  1. Pages:
  2. Page 1
  3. 2
  4. All
I agree with the author but not for the reasons he gives. It is not a matter of the separation of church and state for which there is almost no legal warrant in Australia but that the church should declare itself free from state financing. When the state gives the church a free kick on taxation and on obvious businesses run by the church the church loses its autonomy and its character as a foreign body in the world. When the church is "established" in any way by secular authority it becomes it's creature and loses its character as a disturbing element in the world. There is something of a witch hunt in Max's articles that is disappointing. He would be better to do some theology to find better arguments than his obvious dislike of religion.
Peter Sellick
Posted by Sells, Monday, 3 October 2011 12:15:34 PM
Find out more about this user Recommend this comment for deletion Return to top of page Return to Forum Main Page Copy comment URL to clipboard
The Australian Government gives huge amounts of money to Churches for many projects including restorations as well as tax benefits. There was a case here where a Church based business ended up competing with legitimate businesses undercutting their prices because all of the labour was voluntary and there were tax concessions. Naturally this stopped after the business complained.

It is a human right to be able to practice a religion in this country but it is also not the place of the government to be funding groups including Atheist Conventions who exist purely to promulgate a belief system. These sorts of groups IMO can be self-sustaining and sit within the realm of 'the personal'.

There are so many pressures on government and so many worthy causes that is why I believe government funding should cease from all religious activity unless the group is providing work on behalf of government in the area of welfare and community assistance. Secularism is about separation of Church from State and as Sellick said State from Church.
Posted by pelican, Monday, 3 October 2011 12:35:45 PM
Find out more about this user Recommend this comment for deletion Return to top of page Return to Forum Main Page Copy comment URL to clipboard
...Surly it is the charitable nature of the fund in this instance, overlooked by the above two posters, and not the origin of ownership of the fund at stake in the argument.
Posted by diver dan, Monday, 3 October 2011 1:28:00 PM
Find out more about this user Recommend this comment for deletion Return to top of page Return to Forum Main Page Copy comment URL to clipboard
Sells: "I agree with the author but not for the reasons he gives." How superior to cede that the author might have got the right answer but only by using the wrong method. How reassuring to imply that you will now proceed to demonstrate how he should have argued.

"There is something of a witch hunt in Max's articles that is disappointing." How palsy to use the ingratiatingly personal "Max" until you have established that you are a regular, alright kind of guy, and then to slip into the dismissive third person "He would be better" when the time has come to remind people that other, seeming alright kinds of guy still have warts in unsuspected places.

How ironic that a Christian activist should choose "witch hunt" to denigrate a calmly and rationally argued viewpoint just because it scored a direct hit on a tender spot on one of the less well protected sections of his side's hide. And hide, surely, is what it takes for a Christian organisation to invoke God as cover to its attempts to obtain from the Government an advantage that for a secular organisation would be rebuffed for the con that it was.

As Bertrand Russell reminded us, there is as much hard evidence for a teapot orbiting in space as there is for an imperceivable, yet all-powerful and all knowing God who remains disinclined to raise a finger to prevent evil and injustice. Imagine trying to get people who don't believe in orbiting teapots to massively subsidise the proselytising efforts of those who would wish to turn us all in orbiting teapot believers.

You do not need theology to identify seriousness structural unfairness in a taxation system. All you need is a judiciary that is not still captive to yesterday's assumptions and a constituency that no longer fears that people who claim to have God's ear could be right.
Posted by GlenC, Monday, 3 October 2011 2:15:54 PM
Find out more about this user Recommend this comment for deletion Return to top of page Return to Forum Main Page Copy comment URL to clipboard
State and Church will go on contending the bone called Man until humanity is extinguished.

For us, people who have the ability to read this publication, hence wealthy and curious, the contest between the two institutions is a bit of theatre with a fun Judge

But theatre is not free. Someone pays for it.
Posted by skeptic, Monday, 3 October 2011 4:15:48 PM
Find out more about this user Recommend this comment for deletion Return to top of page Return to Forum Main Page Copy comment URL to clipboard
" ... the church should declare itself free from state financing."

Posted by Sells, Monday, 3 October 2011 12:15:34 PM

Yes, "the church" should maintain "its character as a foreign body in the world", and also maintain "its character as a disturbing element in the world."

"To do some theology to find better arguments" is a very tall order.
Posted by McReal, Tuesday, 4 October 2011 6:20:49 AM
Find out more about this user Recommend this comment for deletion Return to top of page Return to Forum Main Page Copy comment URL to clipboard
  1. Pages:
  2. Page 1
  3. 2
  4. All

About Us :: Search :: Discuss :: Feedback :: Legals :: Privacy