>Five Points South…West, and Churches and Taxes

>I’m confused. I tried to understand something Larry Langford said.

In talking about his proposed Five Points West project he said “It will take on the same flavor as Five Points South.”

In the Birmingham News article that comes just after describing the improvements as having an Olympic grade swimming facility, an indoor track and an equestrain training center.

I drive through Five Points South almost every day and the closest thing to a swimming facility I see is the fountain. No sports facilities (billiards does not count).
An aside…
The Storyteller and picture from Bham Online.


Anyway, the mayor is right on one thing. An indoor track facility is needed if in fact an indoor track state meet was not even offered by the Alabama High School Athletic Association (as the article says) because they did not have a track at which they could host the event. But I remember going to indoor track events at Garrett Coliseum in Montgomery years ago (college level) and the coliseum is still there and lists hosting sporting events as one of its offerings. Maybe what Steve Savarese, executive director of the High School Association, meant was he had not been diligent in securing a place for the event.

Ok I read about this on another blog, and would reference it if I could find it again…but I also saw it on CBS 42.

“Hello, thanks for calling, I am currently on a prison ministry assignment from God in Atlanta, Georgia for the next few months. This prison ministry assignment has been totally underwritten by the United States government in the form of a grant.”

Those are the words of Rev. Gregory Clarke on his outgoing voice mail message.

So, intentional humor or not, we are to believe that this “assignment” was from God, that it was God’s idea for him to break the law just so he could end up in federal prison. Nice. If that is not molding God to fit your own circumstances I don’t know what is.

My personal opinion when I see “tax” anything and “church” in the same sentence is that churches should not have any tax exempt status. Period. Now I know this has nothing to do with Clarke’s case, but still.

A snipet in the Birmingham News (from wire reports) says “The IRS is investigating the United Church of Christ over a speech Sen. Barack Obama gave at its national meeting last year…Obama belongs to the 1.2 million member protestant group. In a letter the denomination received Monday, the IRS said “resonable belief exists” that the circumstances surrouding the speech violated restrictions on political activity for tax-exempt organizations.”

Haven’t numerous candiates from both parties made speeches in churches within the last few months that violate those restrictions. Especially around the Martin Luther King holiday. I mean, the candidates would not have made those speeches if they had not been runnng for president would they? And they did make the speeches to try to persuade voters didn’t they?

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