Tax the churches

Yet another compelling reason to deny churches and religious organisations tax-free status as well as preventing governments from paying grants and funding for political favouritisms.

This time it’s the Greek Orthodox Church.
It received $71 million of federal funding for its fifteen aged nursing homes over the last eight years.
The Church charges for it’s care from families and then charges rent from each of the homes.
The rent totaled close to $30 million over the same period, which according to both a council rates valuation and one of the state’s most senior commercial real estate agents is more than double the market rate.
Most of the homes have reported operating losses.

Then came the most lethal localised outbreak of C19 in Australia that killed 40 patients out of 120 in one of the homes.
Subsequent investigation demanded by bereaved families revealed substandard levels of care and administration, including inadequate and unhealthy food (no vegetables), improper hygiene practices, and appalling waste disposal management.
Twenty-five families are currently suing the Church and the homes for neglect.

Archbishop Makarios and the Diocese repeatedly refuse and avoid comment on these matters.
Makarios was appointed in 2019 and from the very start attracted criticism from parishioners for his extravagant tastes. Until recently both Makarios and the Diocese simply denied he was living in a luxury $6.5 million harbourside apartment with views of the Bridge, Opera House, and Harbour, but were forced to admit the truth when the Archbishop’s window-darkened luxury car (licence plate ARCHBM) had been witnessed and filmed continually entering and leaving the apartment complex over a period of months.
Makarios also demanded several sumptuous gold-threaded vestments each valued at around $30,000. In contrast, the previous Archbishop Stylanios favoured his vow of poverty and the usual inexpensive plain black cotton outfits.

Of course, the Federal Minister for Aged Care Services, one Richard Colbeck (who is also now current Minister for Sport and Recreation - replacing the former minister who was disgraced in a recent billion-dollar pork-barreling scandal - Jesus - when will these dishonest bastards ever stop?), a long term party stalwart, has managed to artfully dodge criticism and condemnation to keep his job (and pick up the second portfolio). The federal funding to the church will continue because the Liberals are fearful of losing ever-increasing numbers of votes in the upcoming election and in this case from the conservative Greek Orthodox community.

So the usual suspects, church and state, are co-joined in a dishonest misappropriation of taxpayer funds, all made possible by the lies and calls for trust from one man who made a solemn vow of poverty to his god and another who made a pledge based on this nation’s Constitution to serve all Australians and their interests.

Colbeck is simply a politician. Pity any who would put trust in them. He can be removed by a vote.
Makarios is the real villain here. He should face time in prison for his baseless claims to being a spiritual leader in view of his love of materialism. But it is not likely that he will never have to face a courtroom, so what else can be done with these "Elmer Gantry"s?

There will always be some pigs with bigger snouts than their fellows.

I knew the late Archbishop of Adelaide, Leonard Faulkner for 50 years. A competent and humble man, he always lived a very plain life style. One of only two catholic clerics I’ve known who I would call ‘saintly’.

However, as far as I’m concerned any religious business apart from charities should be taxed the same as any other business.

Nor should religious organisations be allowed to own property or accumulate assets from bequests. All property should belong the community which paid for it. If that community is no longer extant when the property (such as say a church and school) is no longer needed, the property should be sold and monies go to state government general revenue. Or to a specific use restricted account. Say to childrens’ hospitals

There are two parasitic organisations I would like to see drastically reformed; the churches and the British monarchy. (as long as Queen Elizabeth of England remains the Australian head of state)


Utterly and completely insane. Like the assholes are not already cleaning house with their damn nursing homes.

As a social worker I saw some of the Church Programs. JW had the elderly sign over welfare or retirement checks to them. These people were put into Church housing. Once a week some volunteer from the church would go to the food bank (hope you are familiar with that so you will understand) Buy $50 worth of groceries and deliver it. Canned goods, as much as possible, dried foods like noodles, rice mixes, oatmeal, etc… anything that was add water and cook.

I used the food bank for the Group Homes I was Director for. Trust me, you can get a whole lot of expired shit for 50 bucks. That was how the church helped. People lived like that until they had medical problems that welfare would not pay for. Then the families contacted and told to remove their ‘loved ones.’

1 Like

That will not stop parasitic individuals and organizations from parasitizing. They will just reregister, reorganize or “diversify” just enough to be classified as a charity, and then continue as before.

In another article, different news service, on the same subject, it was reported, “About 95 percent of St Basil’s $13 million in annual income comes from federal government grants, the records show.” That’s some omnipotent-strength grifting.

The shit show really starts with the fawning fake-Christian vote-hungry politicians and governments, left and right.
They should be ashamed of themselves. putting so much temptation in the path of godly men. Without the taxpayer rort, these charlatans might have to find real work in the cutthroat world of commercial finance rorting. I’m sure they would still be good at it. After all, parishioners are praying on eternal life no differently than investors do on humungous dividends. And I’ve seen lots of people get swindled by the smoothest of operators.

1 Like

This is the church that claims that it is impossible to spread ANY disease though the communion ritual. Where they put the same unwashed spoon in everyone’s mouth; during a pandemic.

Probably not the best idea, yeah…

Sadly true I think.

Jesus is reported as saying. Matthew 26:11 “The poor you always have with you–”
I think the same goes for the gullible and the emotionally needy (even more so)

Hi there ecoyne.

I just replied to this same request on another thread. Dual threads are not welcome.

Looks a lot like clickbait. Self promotion is not permitted.

I’ve flagged your post as spam.

They should be taxed into oblivion like those other merchants of death, the tobacco companies. The churches are all parasites feeding on human grief and frailty and preying on the innocent. I’m appalled that some of the tax I paid in Australia has gone to the Greek Orthodox Church.

I’ve only seen this post but I flagged it. I beleive it contravenes forum rules.
Ecoyne you have published some nasty claims about a person, provided contact details of that person, which is not encouraged in any forums afaik and encouraged some sort of pogrom against that person all on the basis of your claim she is engaged in a type of witchcraft, all of which you provide no evidence whatsoever, no quotes, no links.
Atheists arent pitchfork and flaming torch bearers. What I have seen so far of the woman you named, it seems she is merely an academic Catholic.

You need to show she weighs more than a duck.

Today’s piece of shite amateur theology[1]:

11 The poor you will always have with you, but you will not always have me.

In the infallible Book, our Lord Jesus Christ Josephson[2] tells us that it is more important to follow Him, and to leave the poor behind, not helping or caring about them. But more than that, in the big picture, Our Lord tells us that the poor will always be there, so there is no point in helping them, even if we can. Since the Bible is so clear about this, we must in fact do our best to keep things the way The Lord has ordered, namely to keep the poor in their place and not let them out of there. The poor should also know their place, by tithing to The Lord, and to give The Lord what belongs to The Lord. Thus, we fulfill the Holy Words of the Bible.

I’m playing the devil’s advocate here, of course, reading the Bible as the imagined Satan would. I started writing this as a joke. But as I was writing, I noticed that the essence of my shite-writing is remarkably similar to what lots of greedy-ass TV evangelists are preaching.

[1] One can argue that all theology is shite, but that is a topic for another thread.
[2] Son of Joseph.

1 Like

[quote=“Get_off_my_lawn, post:13, topic:1643”]
1] One can argue that all theology is shite, but that is a topic for another thread.

I’m quite happy to have a go here. My best won’t be any better in a special thread, I’m a weak philosopher.

Theology superficially resembles philosophy. The main differences I can see are: That theology presupposes the existence of a god . Bases arguments on the [imo] intellectually dishonest disciplines of biblical hermeneutics and exegesis

There was a famous radio debate in 1948 on the existence of god. Bertrand Russell, arguably the greatest philosopher of the twentieth century vs Frederick Copleston SJ ,a top Catholic Theologian. The best argument Copleston could manage was an argument from contingency. Aka teleological/cosmological/ First cause/intelligent design/irreducible complexity.

As far as I can tell*** this argument was first used the the Greek philosophers. (by both Plato and Aristotle) Then by Aquinas as one of his Five ways/proofs [of the existence of god] . The argument was flawed in the fourth century bce, in the 14th century ce, in 1948, and has remained so, unless I missed the memo.

*** As far as I know the same argument could have also been developed by the ancient Egyptians, Sumerians or Indians. Each civilisation seems to have had some very good minds. I don’t know to what degree orthodoxy may have stifled them, if at all…

1 Like

Nice summation Crank, I’m going to use it.
I see the real irony here is that the very early church in the first century broadly rejected the use of philosophy as practiced by the Gnostics as being impure and biased pagan Greek evil. But it didn’t take long before the church fathers recognised its usefulness and they began adopting and adapting it to suit the purpose of arguing their god into existence. Together with the threat of death and torture, theological philosophy contributed to the domination of the known world within 500 years proving to be more sustainable than mere armed warfare.
I recognise philosophy as a tool to determine if general arguments are valid or correct in themselves. Theists use it to promote their idea of the truth in their faith despite ignoring the fact that their arguments are based on unevidenced and unprovable presumptions. They persistently fail to recognise differences between philosophy and science.

Me too.

But I don’t rely on philosophy to provide truth statements. It can, but is not reliable as far as I can tell. As a broad generalisation, a logical inference will only be true if the premise is also true.

Metaphysics has questions which cannot be decided by logical argument ; Eg free will/determinism , and the biggie, the existence of god(s) or any immaterial thing. .

It is my position that god(s) cannot be argued into or out of existence. IE the question is unfalsifiable.

I accept science as the best way to answer many questions whilst accepting that 100% certitude is probably impossible. This position satisfies my skeptical disposition. I concede the possibility of error, no matter how slight.

I better stop here, If I keep going I’m going to get out of my depth.

There is a way to make it reliable. Sure, just limit yourself to conclusions that you are certain are logically true (typically true by definition). Their are special programs all over the world to teach this form of philosophy to children, but it remains somewhat unpopular. Largely because of this requirement of certainty.

If you haven’t figured out my “riddle”:


I’m talking about math.

1 Like

As a child I was subjected to those ‘special programs’ and was forced to attend math religiously. I proved to be an oburate inumerate. Years later I experienced a wonderous revelation during a protracted period of thought when the formula for the the area of a circle formed as if by magic in my head. I was left shaking and burbling as if I’d had a rapture. Numbers are powerful, geometry ballistic.

Wait a minute!!! Let’s not give charities a free ride. I am not saying “tax them.” I am saying, they must open their books and be subject to investigation so as to justify their tax free status.

I have worked for non-profits, and while they do not pay taxes, they still file with the government every year and their revenue sources and books are open to the public.


There is so much scamming that goes on in the private, non-profit world that it would make your eyes bug out. As long as you know how to cook the books and make everything work out at the end of the year, you are golden.


You’ve obviously done a lot more philosophy than I.

I was alluding to the Rules of inference I was taught in symbolic logic.

Each rule begins with If A . That is to say if and only if A is true.

Umm, I think that’s a tautology.

As far as can tell, personal certitude is less reliable than formal logic.

I think that’s the law here.

I disagree with taxing charities in principle. Rorts and dishonesties are a separate issue. I’m unable to agree with the notion of taxing all charities because some are dishonest.

I have not seen any evidence of such widespread malfeasance.