Monday, March 5, 2012

Tax exempt status

I've been noticing a disturbing trend on the internet lately of people demanding that churches lose their tax exempt status for one reason or another.  I've also seen people demanding that all churches lose their tax exempt status saying that the IRS should simply revoke the status.  There is one big problem with this demand.

Amendment 1 - Freedom of Religion, Press, Expression. Ratified 12/15/1791. Note
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.

The way I understand this amendment, the very first amendment in the bill of rights, churches are exempt from ANY taxes simply because Congress can't make any law that could affect the freedom of a religion.   All churches, regardless of what they preach.  I remember learning about this amendment in school and my teacher telling us that governments have used excessive taxation to control and even destroy religions.  So to keep our government from having the power to do anything of the sort here and protect religious freedom, Congress was barred from having any power over them.  Any thoughts?

Again, can't we go back to horses?

When Mike got into the car on Saturday to go to work, it freaked out on him.  First it didn't want to start and then when he finally got it going, he couldn't get any power from it and it began jerking around like crazy.  He brought it back home and got a ride to work from our home teacher, and we called his dad to come out and test the battery for us, hoping that was the problem.  Unfortunately, it wasn't.  My father-in-law played with the car a bit, and said he thought it was the fuel, either the filter, water in the fuel, or possibly the pump (ouch!).

We drove the car to Jiffy Lube, which is just around the corner, to test the fuel filter possibility.  We were told that our car doesn't have an external fuel filter, that if it was the fuel pump that the car wouldn't work at all, and that they thought it was a clogged catalytic converter.  They also warned us that if we kept driving it, we could damage it more.  So we brought it back home and parked it, and borrowed Mike's sister's car to go to church the next day.

This morning we called the tow company that our insurance pays for ($7 a year, and sooooo worth it!) and had them tow our car to the car repair place we use.  It was kinda cool how everything worked.  The tow company told us it would take 45 minutes to get here (10 minutes), the car place told us first that they might not be able to finish our car today, and then, after they diagnosed the problem, they told us the repairs would take a couple of hours and it was done in less an hour. Nice!

The bad thing is that the problem was more serious than we thought.  Our car is a four cylinder, and it was running on two.  Something to do with bad coil towers.  It cost $533 to fix.  Ouch!

Well, at least we got our car back quickly.

Uncle Jeff's reception

Mason wore the cutest outfit to his uncle Jeffrey's wedding reception.

Isn't he adorable?  The shirt came untucked almost immediately, and he had a cummerbund on at first, but it was way too big, and Mommy didn't have any safety pins or anything.

He was really really clingy most of the night though, unfortunately.  Lots of people he didn't know, and the reception started 30 minutes before bedtime.  Plus he had a really short nap that morning because Mommy and Daddy (mostly Daddy) were helping set up for the reception.

Later on in the evening he started playing tag around the faux fireplace in the corner with Grandpa Blake.
Then Grandpa caught him and wrestled him to the ground.

 After these games, he began to have more fun.  When the dancing started, Grandma started dancing with him, and once he got the hang of it, he really liked it.  I don't have a picture unfortunately, it was really cute!  When Grandma had to go dance with Uncle Jeffrey, Mommy had to pry him off her fingers, and dance with him.  Then he learned how to spin, and decided he could dance by himself, so the only way we could dance with him after that was to pick him up.

At the end of the night, Mason was exhausted.  In fact, he and Mommy left after this last picture so he could go to bed.  They missed the part where the bride and groom drove off, but he needed his sleep.

Weddings are interesting!

Here is a quick video of Mommy trying to get Mason to dance with her like he did with Grandma.  Daddy forgot how the video works so it is sideways.