Author Topic: Debate Opening Speech  (Read 1388 times)

Offline aceorange21

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Debate Opening Speech
« on: November 03, 2016, 09:38:37 PM »
I have a Debate tomorrow, and no matter how many times I try to fix it up, I start to lose focus near the middle, and so does the audience. I know that everyone says this, but it really is missing something. The topic is "Should religious institutions remain tax-exempt?" If you can critique this and give me some tips...? Thanks.


Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen. Today’s resolution, BIRT religious institutions should remain tax-exempt, must and will stand simply because to do anything otherwise would rid communities of charitable acts and cause a great uproar, socially and politically. I have defined “religious institutions” as places of worship, and “tax-exempt” as free from income and property tax.

    Charitable and nonprofit organizations have tax-exemption status underneath the Income Tax Act, yet some argue that religious institutions should not be classified as either of those. However, the common law of Canada defined the word charitable underneath four groupings: advancement of education, poverty relief, advancement of religion, and other beneficial services. Religious institutions clearly satisfy the advancement of religion condition, and yet the majority still contribute to the other three groupings. Twelve out of the twenty top charities in the world have some origin in religion and religious institutions are behind most soup kitchens, children groups, women’s shelters, and rehabilitation attempts. Religious institutions do not have to do these charitable acts to remain tax-exempt and yet they do them anyway. This is in direct contradiction with the allegations about high profile individuals embezzling money from religious funds.

    People complain that larger religious institutions are putting people’s donations into their own pockets. Yet the solution that they propose, taxing all religious institutions, isn’t a good solution. The government already has a rule set in place in their definition of charitable organizations that any institution that uses money in such a way that isn’t beneficial to the community is no longer tax-exempt. Therefore, this is not a valid reason to tax all religious institutions, and would, in fact, cause more harm than good. It would ignore the issue and make it seem okay that these high-profile religious leaders are pocketing the donation money, as long as they pay tax. I am not supporting their actions in any way, but this is an internal issue in the religious institution. Also, smaller religious institutions would be more affected by a tax than larger ones, therefore putting them out of the picture and leaving less competition for large religious institutions. On that note, are we willing to deal with the ethical and social ramifications if an institution couldn’t pay? The government would essentially be putting a religion out of business.

    In the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, it states that there is a freedom of conscience and religions. The Supreme Court itself recognizes that the power to tax is the power to destroy. The uproar about this issue is not worth breaking down the wall of separation between the religion and state. If you start taxing religious institutions and break down the separation wall, you have to accept them into our political systems. Then, they’re allowed to form lobbies and start funding political candidates. When religious institutions give political speech, or breach the separation of church and state, they lose their non-profit status. What happens to governments that breach that wall? Should they not be equally punished and lose their federal status? Not only that, these religious institutions could be using the money for funding political candidates to instead do charitable things. Where would they even get the money in the first place?

    If taxes came along, religious institutions would need to get their money from somewhere, and where would they turn? Their devoted followers. The pressure to donate would be too much for some, discouraging lower-income followers and taking away their open place to practice religion, as was mandated in the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Finally, the first recorded tax exemption for religious institutions occurred circa 312 in the Roman Empire. Anytime you try to get rid of a long-held notion, you have to consider if it’s really worth it. Should we tax these institutions, preventing them from being charitable and breaking down the wall of separation, allowing them to influence our elections and continue to pocket money? Or should we appreciate the organizations that are building our communities by being slightly less bureaucratic and seeing that tax-exemptions are a long-term investment in the betterment of our country?

    In conclusion, the resolution BIRT religious institutions should remain tax-exempt must and will stand simply because of the Canadian Charter and its promised freedom of religion. I close in asking you, patient audience, how can we have religious freedom if it’s not free? Thank you.


 

Offline aceorange21

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Re: Debate Opening Speech
« Reply #1 on: November 03, 2016, 09:39:23 PM »
By the way, this is my first (well, now second...) post! Hi!  :)

JewelAS53

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Re: Debate Opening Speech
« Reply #2 on: November 04, 2016, 02:05:23 AM »
Welcome, aceorange,

Please swing by the Welcome Board and introduce yourself. Our members will appreciate the opportunity to get to know you.
http://mywriterscircle.com/index.php?board=1.0

You might also find it helpful if you offer some comment on a few of the other items on this board.

Wishing you well with your debate.