Have I ever seen a “good” person begging for food?  I wouldn’t really know because I don’t know people’s heart.  I see people who are homeless and hungry.  I’ve known three ladies who went through a period of homelessness and I considered all three “good”.  Did these ladies beg for food?  I don’t know.  If I am eating out of a garbage can does that count as food?  In a half way prosperous community there ought not to be anyone eating trash.  The average American Christian citizen not only pays taxes that eventually support public programs, but they also give 10% of their gross income to their church.  They pay tithes because it’s required by their faith according to scripture.  These contributions fund the operation of the church, support the minister and various other things the church decides to do.  I am going to go out on a limb here and declare that I don’t agree with automatic charitable organization status (for tax purposes) for religious organizations that don’t in some way provide charity to the community (not just the pastor and members).  A charitable organization–by definition–should provide charity.  I believe most churches would provide charity to the community if such was required to maintain tax exempt status–many already do.  By making it a requirement, however, it would affect those churches that, at present, support nothing but the lavish lifestyle of the pastor and his or her family.  Some people would stop giving completely without the tax credit (but would then start giving to another charity that does actually provide charity).  Some churches would close (and they probably need to).  There would be great fuss at such a regulation but in the end it would separate the wheat from the chaff so to speak.  2016


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