Tuesday, September 25, 2012
This story supports the American principle of separation of Church and State. Can you imagine the outcry in the US if a local, state or the Federal government collected a tax for a religion? As it is, German bishops appear greedy and unprincipled for insisting that Catholics pay their annual Church tax. However, it is important to remember that what has worked in one culture might not apply to any other. Until recently, religion-affiliated taxation appeared to be working in Germany. No one complained until the specter of child abuse among Catholic clergy became an issue. German Catholics are now apparently voting with their pocketbooks. From a PR perspective, religious taxation was never a good idea although it provided a steady source of income to denominations. German bishops now might have to look to other means for supporting the Church's work. From a US point of view, that might be better.