Re: Religious exemption/denial of use of facilities
Bob Vincent (rbvincent@LINKNET.NET)
Wed, 17 Sep 1997 07:22:25 -0500
Mikele Hushing-Kline wrote:
> Can anyone give me some information on tax exemptions for churches? A
> local church has told me that they will no longer be allowed to let me
> their facilities (they do not charter any units) because they have been
> advised by a county tax official that their religious exemption prohibits
> use of their facility by ANY outside group, non-profit or not.
I have been a pastor for almost twenty-five years, and this sounds strange
to me. I have a couple of guesses.
1. They have misunderstood what the official said.
2. They have been involved in politics in more than in an educational or
voter registration way, such as using the church facilities actively to
campaign for a particular candidate or party and not simply to work for an
issue. Officials tend to ignore this, but if this church actively worked
for an individual or party opposed to the tax official, he/she probably
3. The county tax official could simply be ignorant; or he/she could be
harassing this particular church because of some unknown thing he/she has
against them; or he/she may simply be a neurotic power junkie. That's why
Kim Roman's advice regarding the American Center for Law and Justice is
good. They would be scouting and religious institution friendly unlike the
other legal organization with a familiar acronym. I used to belong to that
other outfit -- it was a sixties thing! Their name is a profound misnomer.
4. They simply want nothing to do with scouting and are shifting the
blame. That would indeed be a sad commentary on the person who told you
that, but remember that churches are hospitals for sinners, full of
imperfect people. Someone once told me if you find a perfect church,
please don't join and ruin it.
Yours in Scouting,
Robert Benn Vincent, Sr.
Beaver from Philmont's last Walking Woodbadge (94)
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City