Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Belief Media

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  • Deborah, in reply to Matthew Poole,

    Only if you elect to tax capital gains on a realized basis. If you elect to tax them on an unrealized basis (i.e. annual gains in value), then the churches, and everyone else, would be caught, whether or not they had sold their property.

    Manawatu City • Since Nov 2006 • 1303 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Matthew Poole,

    That would be one way to take care of Destiny Church and Scientology. The mainstream churches that have actual charitable activities would be OK, but DC and CoS would really struggle to meet the registration requirements.

    Don't Density have govt contracts for non-profit education/social services? Though 'non-profit' might take advantage of those church-only exemptions to the accumulation of worldly goods like flash cars, clothes and houses.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16478 posts Report Reply

  • Matthew Poole, in reply to Deborah,

    Yes, there is that option, but charities would ordinarily be exempt from any form of a capital tax in any case.

    The pit from whence crawl… • Since Mar 2007 • 3898 posts Report Reply

  • Chris Waugh, in reply to Sacha,

    those church-only exemptions to the accumulation of worldly goods like flash cars, clothes and houses.

    Now there's a loophole.

    Beijing • Since Jan 2007 • 2009 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Matthew Poole,

    wouldn't be surprised if we elect for a no-exemptions CGT like our GST is

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16478 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Chris Waugh,

    ..the size of a needle's eye :)

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16478 posts Report Reply

  • George Darroch,

    An interesting panel. I grew up in a household dominated by Christian media; Rhema was the only station my parents listened to, so I only heard the music and voices they broadcast (I did start wondering what the Beatles sounded like - in the age before YouTube), then Southern Star and Life FM as they expanded their empire. Similarly, the Challenge was a key piece of written information for the family.

    Though actively practicing Christians form a minority, and those who depend on Christian media to that extent a further minority, it's worth noting how deep that immersion can go. The effect is to enforce a degree of epistemic closure, something that besets all environments to varying degrees.* In an abstract sense I don't think of this as an entirely negative process - not all information is equally worthwhile, of course, but it is interesting to note.

    *The current xkcd makes humorous light of this (use different browsers).

    The People's Republic of … • Since Nov 2006 • 2132 posts Report Reply

  • Ben Curran, in reply to Sacha,

    No more than any other registered non-profit charitable organisations, totally.

    non-profit charitable organisations should have tax breaks for their charitable works. Likewise, the charitable works that churches undertake should be eligible for those same tax breaks. The incomes of churches that does not go towards charitable works however - that I think should be fully taxable.

    Since May 2011 • 44 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Ben Curran,

    Totally agree. Though removing religion as a charitable purpose in the Charities Act might not be a simple thing.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16478 posts Report Reply

  • Chris Waugh, in reply to George Darroch,

    *The current xkcd makes humorous light of this (use different browsers).

    Tried it in Maxthon. Wow. Maxthon promptly suggested an update. Not saying there's a connection between the comic and the suggested update.

    Beijing • Since Jan 2007 • 2009 posts Report Reply

  • Will de Cleene, in reply to Sacha,

    No more than any other registered non-profit charitable organisations, totally. Bringing in capital gains tax would affect the large land holdings of some churches.

    Heh (thinking of Henry Williams, the first great Pakeha landholder). There's arguments to be made on the division of time and resources between education and indoctrination, at least looking at a few of the religious NGOs in the developing world are concerned.

    Raumati • Since Jul 2011 • 105 posts Report Reply

  • Hebe,

    I have in my life varied from avowedly atheist to eastern experiments, to "there's something up there but I'm buggered if I know what and I'd like to keep my options open" to my present and relatively long-lasting relaxation with religion, or lack of it, or whatever makes sense to the individual. For me, I feel no need for religion, but tapping into spirituality is essential.

    My inner Catholic came bellowing out chucking rocks when Christmas at my children's local kindergarten did not include any of the beautiful songs like Silent Night, only inanities about reindeer on roofs and "happy holidays".

    I have no problem with my children learning about the Jesus story and its mores, as long as that is not the only option presented as religion, and at their state-integrated special character school it is not. Hare Krishna adherents sit beside near-fundy Christians and atheists and coexist happily; the fundamental is the respect for all mentioned earlier.

    Christchurch • Since May 2011 • 2573 posts Report Reply

  • Ross Mason,

    ..the size of a needle's eye :)

    One hump or two?

    Upper Hutt • Since Jun 2007 • 1491 posts Report Reply

  • Islander, in reply to Ross Mason,

    Heh!

    Big O, Mahitahi, Te Wahi … • Since Feb 2007 • 5643 posts Report Reply

  • Ross Mason,

    I'm buggered if I can see any relevance Kurt Wise has to religion and media???? Some nut associated with creationism of whom Dawkins says:

    Kurt Wise doesn’t need the challenge; he volunteers that, even if all the evidence in the universe flatly contradicted Scripture, and even if he had reached the point of admitting this to himself, he would still take his stand on Scripture and deny the evidence. This leaves me, as a scientist, speechless... We have it on the authority of a man who may well be creationism’s most highly qualified and most intelligent scientist that no evidence, no matter how overwhelming, no matter how all-embracing, no matter how devastatingly convincing, can ever make any difference.

    But if the discussion is moving along these lines then the proliferation of the versions of (any) religion can be argued were formed from power struggles. Access to the collection plate is a very powerful aphrodisiac. I get the jillywiggles everytime I hear of pacific island churches (especially) advertising how much folk are contributing. It should offend us all. And then to have the gall to suggest it is in the name of "christ".

    Of course the classic goon is our mate L Ron Hubbard. His classic quote is that "You don't get rich writing science fiction. If you want to get rich, you start a religion."

    He and his successors are doing very well thank you. And tax free.

    Back to media. Should any religious organisation be able to pay Sky or any TV station to take over the airwaves for the benefit of spreading rumour and propaganda? Is being able to afford such programmes be sufficient reason for TV stations to broadcast them? Or are these too just another way of filling the content quota?

    Upper Hutt • Since Jun 2007 • 1491 posts Report Reply

  • Islander, in reply to Hebe,

    For me, I feel no need for religion, but tapping into spirituality is essential.

    Now that, Hebe, is where I have huge difficulty.
    -“spirit”/“spirituality” are virtually impossible to define in a way that accounts for all variants.
    When I say, I feel a deep connection with certain birds and their calls, I am talking about delight, long experience, & knowledge. If someone tells me “O you have a spiritual connection with te mea te mea te mea” I snarl disagreement.
    When a paticular bird turns up to call, outside usual territory, I can only enjoy it, and know I dont know enough about it’s ranges and motivations. To call it “spiritual guardian’ as 2 people unwisely have done, is to belittle the bird.
    I defy *anyone* to adequately define ‘spirit’ or ‘spirituality.’
    They are nonce words and have no generality of meaning: any diffuse meaning changes further with each person’s experience (whether such person calls it ‘spiritual’ or not-)

    Big O, Mahitahi, Te Wahi … • Since Feb 2007 • 5643 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Islander,

    I defy *anyone* to adequately define ‘spirit’ or ‘spirituality.’

    I've seen spirituality defined as a connection with something greater than ourselves. That seems to encompass nature and humanity as well as traditional religions, to me.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16478 posts Report Reply

  • Hebe, in reply to Islander,

    I defy *anyone* to adequately define ‘spirit’ or ‘spirituality.’
    They are nonce words and have no generality of meaning: any diffuse meaning changes further with each person’s experience (whether such person calls it ‘spiritual’ or not-)

    But why must the word be defined? A one-size definition plays into the hands of those who would take control of yours, my and anyone else's belief "system" (or lack of system or coherence). I say spirituality precisely because it is nebulous; my ever-changing beliefs are closely linked to the emotions they evoke, not intellectual rigour. Every time I try to define "it", it skitters away out of reach. But if allow myself to feel rather than think, I get the peace and sense of oneness back. That is as far as I will go else that feeling dissipates, and now I have found it I prefer to keep it.

    For others to claim a bird or anything else is your "spiritual guardian" is, in my view, the height of bad manners and arrogance. How do they know where you find resonance and meaning, and how do they know what that meaning is. Pah!

    Christchurch • Since May 2011 • 2573 posts Report Reply

  • Hebe, in reply to Sacha,

    I've seen spirituality defined as a connection with something greater than ourselves.

    Some - particularly the fellowships - think of spirituality as "greater". I prefer at present to see as a connection to something that is an acknowledged or unacknowledged part of ourselves. But then that assumes spirituality is part of everyone and everything, and that is just my view. Others will differ.

    Christchurch • Since May 2011 • 2573 posts Report Reply

  • Islander, in reply to Hebe,

    But why must the word be defined?

    Because it has been, differently, in numerous tomes...which why I added the word 'adequately' - because it cant be...
    And one person's 'spiritual' is another person's nebulosity - and that, for me, to me, is good.

    But - because the word has been hijacked and fitted into a religious straitjacket,
    I think we all lose out...hey! I have a quiet gentle much-older-than-me friend who worships certain kinds of shrooms. They repay his love & esteem. He calls them 'spiritual essences' and for him, I'm sure they are...

    And Hebe - that last paragraph of your's?
    Absolutely how I felt - thank you!

    Big O, Mahitahi, Te Wahi … • Since Feb 2007 • 5643 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Barnes, in reply to Islander,

    I defy *anyone* to adequately define ‘spirit’ or ‘spirituality.’

    That which is nothing else.

    The wireless north ;-) • Since Dec 2006 • 4660 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Hebe,

    How about 'beyond ourselves'? Though I know that doesn't express a more holistic weaving of it through us.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16478 posts Report Reply

  • Islander, in reply to Sacha,

    For me Sacha (and not presuming to reply for Hebe!) it seems for a very long time to have been perceived as *part* of ourselves...

    Big O, Mahitahi, Te Wahi … • Since Feb 2007 • 5643 posts Report Reply

  • Hebe, in reply to Islander,

    And Hebe - that last paragraph of your's?
    Absolutely how I felt - thank you!

    It's not copyright heheh. I dislike those who 'play God''. and I dislike even more those who claim curatorial rights over the interpretation of "God's" messages.

    Christchurch • Since May 2011 • 2573 posts Report Reply

  • Islander, in reply to Steve Barnes,

    That which is nothing else.

    Man, the pun & the wordplay! Like it- but-

    Big O, Mahitahi, Te Wahi … • Since Feb 2007 • 5643 posts Report Reply

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