Posts Tagged ‘tax-exempt’

Druids get legal by establishing their own non profitFrom overweight 40-year-old men playing Dungeons & Dragons in Mommy’s garage to now, being an official tax bracket, it seems worshiping the sun, moon, stars and tree sap is finally paying off, according to The Telegraph (UK).

The Druid Network has been given charitable status by the Charity Commission for England and Wales, the quango that decides what counts as a genuine faith as well as regulating fundraising bodies.

It guarantees the modern group, set up in 2003, valuable tax breaks but also grants the ancient religion equal status to more mainstream denominations.

This could mean that Druids, the priestly caste in Celtic societies across Europe, are categorised separately in official surveys of religious believers.

“The Druid Network”?! Seriously?

Are we about to watch a gaggle of hooded trollish women about to instruct us on today’s top headlines? Now that these wanna-be Jawas from the set of “Star Wars” are too legit to quit, what’s next? Ask the lead Hobbitt from Tattooine:

Emma Restall Orr, founder of The Druid Network, added: “The Charity Commission now has a much greater understanding of Pagan, animist, and polytheist religions, so other groups from these minority religions – provided they meet the financial and public benefit criteria for registration as charities – should find registering a much shorter process than the pioneering one we have been through.”

See there? That’s what this is really about, folks. The Boys under the Hood want some kickbacks because all that traveling to Stonehenge can be costly. Air fare. Cab ride. And all that cheap fast food.

I know the robes are one size fits all, but even all those cheeseburgers and dancing under the stars really add the pounds. Good thing the ‘Network’ is banking. Maybe know they can join a gym. You know, with the Benedictine Monks.

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Maybe he can add a baptismal to give it credibility?

So, aside from his regular global telecasts, annual believers’ conventions and running his ministry from high atop a hill in North Texas, it seems Kenneth Copeland has been wheelin’ and dealin’ with his local government.

And that always makes for a salty headline when discussing a “mand of Gawd.”

According to the AP, the Tarrant County tax appraisal district has agreed to exempt the $3.3 million jet owned by Kenneth Copeland Ministries from property taxes. Get that? “Agreed” to do it. There was kissing up and shilling done under the table here.

Again, always good to hear when discussing a televangelist.

The Tarrant Appraisal District’s concession is at the heart of a settlement reached with the Newark-based television evangelist’s ministry last week. KTVT-TV of Fort Worth and Dallas reports the district also agreed to drop its requirement of salary information on the ministries’ directors.

See there? While little man here is in his staff meeting thanking God for his faithfulness, what lies at the heart of this matter is he had to rob Peter to pay Paul. How shady… and oh yeah, un-televangelistic like… is that?!

Essentially, Kenneth Copeland has been at the center of a vicious mudslinging federal investigation led by Sen. Charles Grassley where he wanted to know what was being used for God and how these six televangelists could bling like a New York City rapper.  A good metric for his suspicions would be to discover what he is paying his top executives (because you know his rank-and-file is making minimum wage or anointed food stamps).

Tarrant County thought that was a good idea so they took Grassley’s hand off and ran for the end zone. And, of course, they wanted to spike said ball down Copeland’s gullet. And wouldn’t  you know it, an agreement was made.

KCM agrees that the plane isn’t “totally” used for ministry activities and his triple-figure board of directors can be kept in seclusion – for now. Classy, and completely reeking of spirituality.

I suppose it’s a good thing that he made the jet his – and his alone. Why? Because when the cops come barreling down his door for tax evasion or some other ballyhooed IRS activity, he’ll be “leave-ing on a jet plane… and don’t know when [he’ll] be coming back again.”

Ah, I love the classics.

Times are tough these days. National unemployment is reaching 10 percent. And the dreary hand of the economy has touched the Church as well.

Neighborhood congregations can’t give like they used to do, and even megachurches are feeling a pinch in their linen and crushed velvet pockets.

Why? Because the Holy Spirit crashes there, I guess.

Why? Because the Holy Spirit crashes there, I guess.

But, thank Gawd, we have stories like that of David Cerullo and his trifling behind to let us know that just when you think the Church is uniting, we should tap on those brakes before we run our collective car through a stained-glass window.

At a time when Inspiration Networks has been cutting jobs, freezing wages and even adjusting the office thermostat to save money, the chief executive of the Charlotte-area broadcaster has invested about $4 million in a lakefront home under construction in South Carolina.

So, let me get this correct: More than half of Cerullo’s staff was sent packing without a severence check, yet, this dude still has enough cash flow to build – as the story reads – “one of the priciest homes in Western S.C.” Stay Classy, David.

It seems this false profit is one of – if not, thehighest paid evangelist in the world making a cool $1.5 million annually. You know, because God wants to “provide,” right?

What’s the use, dude? Really?

David Cerullo is one of the reasons the unemployment rate is through the roof, and yet, he is trolling Home Depot to lay Italian tile in his kitchen. And if that’s not bad enough, get this spin control:

A network spokesman did not respond last week to repeated calls and e-mails requesting comment about the new house. In a March interview, Cerullo defended his salary and said he’s turned down recommendations that he be paid more. He said that appeals to donors are based on the Bible, and 80 cents of every dollar donated is spent to spread the Gospel.

A couple of things about that retort, slick:

  1. Who in the world would want to pay a evangelist more than that? What board of yes mener, advisors would agree you are doing such a kick butt job that you need more cash when so many folk around you have so very little?!
  2. So, 80 cents of every dollar is spent to spread the Gospel. Technically, sure you can sleep well on that drivel. But um, do you mean your fancy, shmancy jet? That’s helping the spread. What about your tailor-made suits? Well, a brother has to look good spreading it. And, then there’s the staff you fired (yeah, I keep going back to that one). Them unemployed folks begging God for answers means you have success stories. Sounds like ministry to me. (sigh).

Yeah, that’s spreading it thick, all right.

Who is this dude? A preacher or Donald Trump?

Who is this dude? A preacher or Donald Trump?

Wall Watchers, do frauds like this really deserve tax-exempt status? Then why not more of the real people in the Church speak out for those – namely those without a gig thanks to Dimwit Cerullo – who can’t?! Where are we?

Okay, so here’s your challenge… do something for those who can’t do for themselves.

Here’s the link for David’s media folk. Use it.

And then, there’s the only person in America who may be able to put a stop to this madness, Sen. Charles Grassley (R-Iowa).

A while back, we posted on the Wall about Grassley’s televangelist witch hunt. Now while some of it is fishy and he is one ill-tempered curmudgeon, at least he is doing something.

If a preacher earns it in the for-profit arena, great. If he earns it in a non-profit arena, isn’t that an oxymoron?!

Here’s his link for some contact. Let him know what you think about the travesty going on in South Carolina. And if you can’t tell him your educated opinion, at the very least, read to the man:

Jesus said, “How difficult it will be for those who have wealth to enter the kingdom of God!” His disciples were astonished, as many in the “prosperity” movement should be. So Jesus went on to raise their astonishment even higher by saying, “It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the kingdom of God.” They respond in disbelief: “Then who can be saved?” Jesus says, “With man it is impossible, but not with God. For all things are possible with God” (Mark 10:23-27).

Now, before you begin scribing your pontification about how God wants us blessed… listen to this. That parable wasn’t just speaking about the money in this cat’s 401K or savings account. It was about the attitude of his heart. Money came first. Greed came first. Not God, nor his people.

Same goes for this pulpit pimp who is lounging while those he let go are languishing.

And believe me, with that kind of jackleg pimped-out attitude, it’s going to be very difficult to get into the kingdom of God. Now, spread that, David.

So, yesterday was an excruciating day – hot, stressed and full of angst.

I’m at work and get in what seems to be a weekly exploration by this one brother-in-the-making about “Why does God allow this?” You know, I’m planting seeds and God is blessing. Avoiding the obvious potholes and reeling in a big fish.

And then, without reservation or concern for Christianity, the most terrible thing happened – one of the frauds known for televangelism run-a-muck, promoting and prostituting stereotypes, and evenhandedly keeping Mary Kay consultants in business rears her Medusa-like head.

No, that's not an epiphany from God. It is actually an idea she had for another cash-grab.

No, that's not an epiphany from God. It is actually an idea she had for another cash-grab.

That’s right, kids. Paula White is back.

Fresh off the road from her world tour at “life coaching” (how’s that working for you, anyway), comes the opportunistic Paula to kick the dust of her ex-hubby’s bankrupt and destitute church, Without Wall-ets.

One week after her ex-husband resigned as senior pastor of Without Walls International Church, Paula White plans to take the pulpit Sunday as the church’s new leader, the Whites said in separate interviews late Friday. White, who held her first staff meeting Friday and spent time looking for a place to live, said she will officially take the reins when she preaches at its two morning worship services. The services will also honor Bishop Randy White, who founded the church with her 18 years ago.

Now, a few other Bricks on the Wall have opined wonderfully about this travesty, but here’s my two cents – spend them wisely.

  1. One week after” – The body wasn’t even cold, and there she is, ready to propagate living in a trailer park squandering gub’mint cheese to make it to where she is today. Keep it classy, Paula.
  2. She is going to lead… a churchDon’t you have to have some sort of pastoral calling to do something like that? I know she isn’t that familiar with the Bible. Sorry, not that familiar with properly applying the Bible. Nonetheless, pastoring is much different than life coaching. You have to you know, love the people… not just look for an opportunity to fleece the sheep and make a sweet Kashmir sweater for the trying winter months in frigid Florida.
  3. Can anyone say career change? This is a woman who decided after her marriage and all that Jesus stuff didn’t work out, she would hit the talk show circuit and leave TBN in the dust. Sure, a few of the mainstream folks were interested in her drivel, but when they realized her act, she was sent packing. Heck, even Tyra Banks kicked her pimped-out self to the curb! And now, suddenly, she has a heart for her nightclub… er, church once again. That’s Paula White if you need her.

“Did I see it coming? … I can say that Without Walls has never been out of my heart or my being, and I’ve never been out of theirs,” she said. “But I have stopped trying to figure out sovereignty and destiny.”

Well, of course she has stopped. She was doing it on her own, and realized she ain’t that bright!

He who trust in his riches will fall, but the righteous will thrive like a green leaf (Proverbs 11:28 NIV).

You know, when a notable person in – or despite – the Church makes a fall, it really makes a thud, huh?

And now, she went back to the only thing she has going for her in life (cough… to pay for all that Botox… cough). A bankrupt church full of innocent, mindless sheep waiting to be sheared.

And why did she have this abrupt change of heart? It seems Randy is ill, seriously. Now, while that is sad to hear, he had a real opportunity to take of his people… and didn’t. Stunning, right?

Instead, he does what regretfully most charlatanseh, pastors in his mega-position do – looks for the easiest transition and kickback for payola.

MEMO to said sheep dangling for a wool-cut, huddle up:

And that is what you want for a pastor?!

I just have one question, you know where a brother can get a smooth Kashmir sweater for the winter months? I get cold really easy.

The economy sucks. People need prayer. And the government claims “Church and State” as a rally cry until they go hoarse.

And now, that lovely troika has parked itself right in front of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

Moses UnemployedOf course, this issue will probably have to take the nickel tour and pray for a little notice, but hey, it’s making news because “We, the people” are finally making a big stink about pastors taking an unemployment check in the name of the Lawd.

Earlier this year, a survey by the National Association of Church Business Administration showed that 32 percent of responding U.S. churches had economy-related difficulties, up from 14 percent in August. Twenty percent said they had laid off staff.

So, there are a slew of church workers who surrendered to their call of the ministry and now surrendering for sacking groceries. Why? No unemployment. Again, why? No reason.

Said “separation” leaves folk pink sliped and penniless from churches, mosques and even synagogues because these religious institution don’t pay taxes, and because of that premise, they can’t fall at the mercy of the state.

What’s funny is legally these unfortunate, indentured servants for the Gospel may have a gripe and, at least, church secretaries may have an out.

According to the Church Law & Tax Report, New York law exempts from unemployment compensation coverage “a lay member elected or appointed to an office . . . and engaged in religious functions” and “a person employed at a place of religious worship . . . for the performance of duties of a religious nature.”

But here’s a salient thought: Why rely on the law and the government for these benefits in times of a storm?

If God’s children are supposed to be part of the same family, how is that those nepotism rights of passage don’t pass over when the father of the congregation gives them the boot?

Where’s the love, man?

Is the economy so bad that God’s generals have to pull ranks in times of difficulty and claim to have the salary of a private? Typical. And regretful.

Perhaps those upstanding, hopeful citizens of the New Jerusalem would be interested to know scriptures do not only apply to them. Take 1 Chronicles 16:21-23 NKJV:

He permitted no man to do them wrong; Yes, He rebuked kings for their sakes, Saying, “Do not touch My anointed ones, And do My prophets no harm.” Sing to the LORD, all the earth; Proclaim the good news of His salvation from day to day.

If I’m wrong, God will help each one of them find a job. But if I am right, I would hate to see what these leaders have to pay in the long run.