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Response to badtoworse (Reply #11)

Thu Oct 25, 2012, 11:59 AM

12. No, general taxation has no free exercise implications

Last edited Thu Oct 25, 2012, 01:00 PM - Edit history (1)

Any law of general application that was not passed for the purpose of disadvantaging religion does not constitute an unconstitutional infringement of free exercise.

(Antonin Scalia, in the landmark ruling that drug laws trump the fact that some native American religions use peyote or mescaline.)

Saying that priests cannot drive drunk on communion wine is not an infringement of free exercise, it is a law against drunk driving that applies to everyone and was not designed to hassle Catholics in particular.

If owners of property generally pay taxes on their property then taxation of church property has no 1st Amendment implications.

If owners of property generally pay taxes on their property but churches are exempt from that tax, however, it is a facial violation of the 1st Amendment establishment clause.

American non-taxation of churches was not part of our constitutional system, it was a continuation of medieval European practice. (If it arose from the 1st Amendment then it would have been peculiar to America in 1800, but the opposite was true.)

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LineLineReply No, general taxation has no free exercise implications
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SomethingFishy Oct 2012 #14
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