Satanic Taxes

I am a Minister for the Church of Body Modification. My forte is providing advocacy for those in need. I’ve helped teens talk to their parents, students find compromises with their schools, and helped employees educate their employers and inspire dress code changes. 

The CoBM was founded in 2000. It gained federal recognition as a religion in 2008. Being “federally recognized” is not a certificate or license. It requires two things: being incorporated and qualifying for tax exempt with IRS. I was part of the CoBM restructuring in 2008. I’m familiar with the laws in place. 

The Church of Satan (official) and The Satanic Temple are not the same entity. Even more interestingly, they don’t share some core values. 

The Church of Satan and The Satanic Temple are not the same entity. Click To Tweet

This is a fun read:

I’m not saying one is better. They’re just different. 

The Church of Satan believes that Churches should pay taxes. Even though they DO qualify for tax exemption, they will not take advantage of it. 

From the Church of Satan website:

“Strict taxation of all churches: If churches were taxed for all their income and property, they’d crumble overnight of their own obsolescence, and the National Debt would be wiped out as quickly. The productive, the creative, the resourceful should be subsidized. So long as the useless and incompetent are getting paid, they should be heavily taxed.”

The Church of Satan, “Pentagonal Revisionism: A Five-Point Program”

The Satanic Temple seems to believe that not taking advantage of the tax exemption is in some way rejecting being a federally recognized religion. Earlier this morning, I noted a few versions of articles titled “The Satanic Temple is now a Federally Recognized Church.” Eh, RELIGION, but whatever. They’re hoping to level the playing field with other mainstream religions.I think they’re both right. 

With regard to taxes, I side with Church of Satan, but the Satanic Temple is not wrong about arming themselves. There are uninformed or misinformed people out there who will point to the lack of tax exemption usage and use it as an excuse to deny religious freedoms.

Absolute Truth

My greatest sin is my commitment to the pursuit of perfect, raw data and the documentation of the unobserved truth.

We all have preferences, histories, and a whole host cognitive biases. It’s part of being human. Even the most balanced, ideal person on the planet has to interpret the relationship between the emotional mind and the logical mind within.

Sometimes I ponder the existence of Absolute Truth. Set aside the observer effect. Can one piece of data exist in its rawest form? Can you take every piece of information regarding X – may it be noun, verb, or adjective – and stick it in one “file”?

When I first started thinking about this, I likened it to a time when a friend thought she might be pregnant. She either was or she wasn’t – the fact that she didn’t know which it was didn’t change the biology. Maybe her mom saw “signs” that said yes. Maybe her boyfriend mentioned an illness. No. Stop. None of that is knowing the raw truth of the matter. She’s pregnant or not pregnant; not both.

If we’re talking about every truth for a given X, that “file” I suggested before would be infinitely large. A house has a longitude and an attitude, an address, a city, a county, a state, a country, a planet, a place in time, a history, length and width, colors, and capacities. The statistics on the existence of “every truth of X” is endless.

Rather than try and ponder every truth, what about a cosmic algorithm to access just the part in question? I just wanted to know if my friend was pregnant or not; I wasn’t after a full blood panel and the likelihood of future conception.

That is what I mean by the first line of this post.

God is either real in some form, or He isn’t. Bigfoot is either real in some form or they aren’t. Spirits. Ghosts. Aliens, UFOs, abductions. Maybe Evil is a force, or maybe humans are just capable of awful things. Maybe the world will heal itself overnight in some weird rebooting of our simulation.

Of greater use, we can either exceed the speed of light or we can’t. I think I can say that without caveats, qualifications, or considerations. The speed of light in a vacuum is fixed. Can we go faster than that speed? Maybe the answer is no, but, you can travel between two points instantly by doing XYZ. Okay. That answer is still no. That is an absolute, unobserved Truth. Unobserved, only to get around the observer effect.

I started applying the above ideas to my personal life. Silly things like, I wonder what that person actually said and I wonder what they actually meant.

Look at Washington State Senator Maureen Walsh. She has been in the news recently because she said, “nurses in smaller hospitals probably play cards for a considerable amount of the day” and there was a collective needle-dragged-across-the-record hard stop by everyone. My first thought was, is that what she really said? (It was public and recorded) Then I wondered, what did she really mean? I didn’t jump straight to damning her for the statement. She’s in Washington State. They have small towns. I would think that the smaller towns have someone who is the nurse and the fire captain, and someone who’s the grocer and the firefighter. There’s no sitting around other than what would be reasonable when on-call and not on-duty. But I’m only aware of that because of my life experiences. On the other hand, maybe Maureen Walsh is rude and entitled. How would I know the difference? It sort of matters. The only way to know would be to pursue that Absolute Truth.

The best I can hope for with an Absolute Truth is searching for data and organizing documentation. Maybe Maureen Walsh has said similar things online and has elaborated. Maybe she has a restraining order against her by her ex-husband’s new wife who is an RN in a small town. You can go after an Absolute Truth and I think that’s a worthy pursuit.

Some people don’t want their Absolute Truth known. Take into consideration the person who is either a criminal or someone who was in the wrong place at the wrong time – THEY know which is the case and maybe they DON’T want you knowing.

The strife I experience is frequently about that pursuit. I won’t lie for the sake of it. I may omit stuff, but more in an NDA way. I tend to not discuss things unless there’s a reason. It has to be relevant. If asked about something, I’ll either give you a straight answer or I’ll tell you I’m not going to talk about it. If I tell someone their conversation with me is confidential, I’m not going to talk about it. If you ask me a question, be prepared to accept my answer at face value. “Do these jeans make me look fat?” “I don’t know, but you own other clothing that I think matches better.” Look fat? I have no idea. I don’t know why your pants look weird, but if you want my observation and opinion, wear something else.

Does the concept of an Absolute Truth even exist? I don’t know.

Was Bigfoot on the Ark?

Recognize that it’s possible to discuss an idea without knowing the full story. Is Bigfoot real? Is God real? Did the flood in the Bible really happen? We don’t know with infallible accuracy.

Ask a rabid Star Wars fan about the Skywalker lineage. Oh, and sit down. This will probably involve diagrams and the possibility that the Force got a little rapey. #PicardIsMyCaptain 

Back to Bigfoot and Noah’s Ark. I don’t have a diagram, but I do have a meme.

Bigfoot is described as a bipedal mammal, probably having descended from the same ancestors as apes and humans.

In Genesis, God calls on Noah to bring on “two of each _____ .” The Hebrew word is “min.” In English, it’s usually translated to kind. As I understand it, it’s closer to “seed.” (I’ve seen this idea suggested in a few places, but I do not read Hebrew.)

That’s important: They’re talking about breeding pairs. 

Not just male and female. You wouldn’t breed a brother and a sister. It’s specifically breeding pairs. Lions, tigers, cheetahs, jaguars, house cats… those all could have taken different evolutionary forks off of the same breeding pair. You don’t really need two of every animal. Have you ever seen a Liger? Hybridizations happen, too. The contention is, God knew that.

So was Bigfoot on the Ark? 

No, there was no Bigfoot on the Ark.

But a breeding pair that resulted in Bigfoot? I think that fits within both canon.