Time to End Clergy Tax Breaks?

Religious communities on both the left and the right can agree that government budgets are “moral documents.”  In my essay for the Acton Institute I offer a  suggestion for closing budget gaps while offering clergy an opportunity to show solidarity with the poor:

… perhaps those clergy who are advocating for more government spending would do their share for this cause by voluntarily—and very publicly—returning to the U.S. Treasury an amount equal to their parsonage allowance. Annually.

You can read the rest here.

In Christ,

+Fr Gregory

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  • Chrys

    Well said.  Leadership by example is a moral imperative – especially among those whose position is ultimately rooted in moral authority.  While it is easy to forgive a hypocrisy that arises, unintentionally, from striving for a standard beyond one’s reach (i.e., perfection), it is altogether different when dealing with hypocrisy arising from inconvenience.   Whatever justifications may be offered, promoting a position that is “right for thee but not for me” always betrays a damning lack of conviction or equally damning self-interest (in this case, acquiring the patina of virtue without incurring the cost).   Moral authority progresses geometrically: if our actions exceed our words, the words assume great authority.  If, however, our actions contradict our words, our words are not merely disregarded, they are treated contemptuously.  Thanks for shedding light on the need to lead by example – and the potential conflict that would erode precious moral authority.
    Forgive my wordiness here; I could have been brief – but it would have sounded snide (which is not my intent).    

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