Churches should not lose tax benefits


Gage Skidmore

Former Texas representative Beto O’Rourke (image attribution in the bottom)

Michelle Memoly, Staff Reporter

When it comes to churches losing their tax exemptions if they don’t support same-sex marriage, I am on the fence. Both the freedom of speech and freedom of religion would be at risk. I want to support this movement as I want the acceptance of the LGBTQ community to be nation-wide, but this is not the right step to take.

On Oct. 10, former Texas representative Beto O’Rourke spoke out against church tax exemptions. O’Rourke believes that any church or religious institution that does not support same-sex marriage should lose their tax exemptions, according to an article by NBC News.

While his intentions are good, there are some things standing in his way to prevent this from happening. The United States needs to take a step back and look at this from a logical standpoint.

Tax exemption is seen by the government as a privilege instead of a right and can be taken away just as easily as it can be handed out.

I do not believe that this is the way to go when striving for acceptance of the LGBTQ community. To begin taxing churches would be a direct threat to the freedom of religion and freedom of speech that the constitution protects.

Whether we like it or not, we can’t control how others feel and trying to force change through a tax is only going to make the opposing side angrier. Even if we acted in the separation of church and state, churches are still technically non-profit organizations.

If we start to tax the churches, we would have to start taxing all non-profits which would be detrimental to a lot of public charities that aid our society.

I know O’Rourke’s intentions are in the right place, but he does not seem to be able to really think about the probability of his ideas being a success. Before we jump on board with his future ideas we need to do some research of our own and see if he’s worth our time.

Gage Skidmore from Peoria, AZ, United States of America [CC BY-SA 2.0 (]