Dominionism to rise again in the AZ Legislature?

Cross posted from the Arizona Eagletarian.

Multiple sources have reported to the Arizona Eagletarian that on Monday, a bill or bills will be filed for the legislature to consider yet another tax giveaway, this time property taxes which will validate the Baptist church in Tempe that houses hatemongering preacher Steven Anderson, who has advocated execution of President Obama and LGBTQ American citizens. From the Arizona Republic:

His message is that killing gays is a divinely sanctioned way to rid the world of AIDS.

“Because if you executed the homos, like God recommends, you wouldn’t have all this AIDS running rampant,” Anderson said on the video. […]

This isn’t the first time Anderson has created controversy. Five years ago, when President Obama was in town, the Baptist pastor says a Bible passage about how King David prayed against his enemies (Psalms 109:9-10) tells him he should hate the president.

And this excerpt from a transcript of a Steven Anderson sermon, the audio of which is posted at Crooks and Liars,

Nope. I’m not gonna pray for his good. I’m going to pray that he dies and goes to hell.When I go to bed tonight, that’s what I’m going to pray. And you say, ‘Are you just saying that?’ No. When I go to bed tonight, Steven L. Anderson is going to pray for Barack Obama to die and go to hell.

During the 2014 regular session, about two months after the SB1062 debacle, a similar proposal (to what we expect to see this week), HB2281, was passed by both chambers but ended up being vetoed by Brewer on April 22. HB2281 would have added a new section to the tax code that read, in part,

A.  Property, buildings and fixtures that are leased to a nonprofit religious assembly or institution and that are primarily used for religious worship shall be classified as class nine property pursuant to section 42‑12009.  If only part of a parcel of real property or improvements to real property is leased to a nonprofit religious assembly or institution that is primarily used or held for religious worship, only the portion leased qualifies as class nine property.

Here’s a link to Herrod’s website advocacy for this provision.

Class nine property is exempt from property tax.

According to ARS § 42-11109 A.

Property or buildings that are used or held primarily for religious worship, including land, improvements, furniture and equipment, are exempt from taxation if the property is not used or held for profit.

Strip malls are owned, held and operated for profit no matter who rents the space.

Anderson’s hate group meets in a strip mall in Tempe. They have to pay rent. The mall owner has to pay property tax for that space. The economics of the situation are such that the strip mall owner would get a tax break, but there’s no guarantee the break would be passed on to the hate group (or other similarly situated church/religious group).

The Cathi Herrod minion who introduced HB2281 in 2014 is ALEC state chair Debbie Lesko. I don’t know who the first sponsor is for the expected 2015 bill.

When the line separating church and state in America is blurring rapidly, when Dominionist advocacy in pulpits evades scrutiny and becomes more brazen and open every year, why would we tolerate the State of Arizona validating Steven Anderson’s hatemongering?

Whenever the bill does show up, sponsors no doubt hope Scrooge McDucey (who has had Herrod as an inner circle adviser at least since early in the election campaign) will sign the legislation this time.

Challenge the legislature and challenge McDucey. Advocating against so many citizens in our communities does NOT promote “opportunity for all,” one of McDucey’s Kochtopus inspired nifty campaign (and state of the state) catchphrases.

Echoing Charles Koch’s opposition to the minimum wage, it asserts that free market, low-regulation policies “create the greatest levels of prosperity and opportunity for all Americans, especially for society’s poorest and most vulnerable.” Yet, the memo says, “we consistently see that Americans in general are concerned that free-market policy — and its advocates — benefit the rich and powerful more than the most vulnerable of society. …We must correct this misconception.”

And while we’re at it, we should also challenge the corporate media (I’m talking to you Brahm Resnik) to make McDucey spell out exactly how he thinks laissez-faire economics and austerity could possibly foster “opportunity for all.”

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Today it is a case of the grasshopper pitted against the elephant. But tomorrow the elephant will have its guts ripped out. Le Loi, Vietnamese emperor, 15th Century

 

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