23 November 2005

just a discounted bible keeps georgia on my mind

this morning on npr they did a story about how georgia doesn't charge sales tax for bibles. (the story was filed by my old friend georgia public broadcasting, complete with a report from hippy-dippy bookstore and crystal outlet, phoenix & dragon.) i'm gonna skip the part about how i'm slightly more interested in whether or not it's gonna break the freezing mark today or snow tomorrow than some feather-ruffling junk about how southerners are all assholes, and just say this: we don't need a fucking law to prevent this. it's a perversion of the constitution.

basically, the situation is as follows: they don't charge sales tax for bibles, but they do for other "religious and spiritual texts". so the ACLU thinks it's a good reason to take the state of georgia to court on a free speech rampage. personally, i think you should have to pay extra tax to buy religious texts, but that's beside the point. i see where people think it's unfair that you don't have to pay tax for a bible, but you do for text of lesser-known religions, like hinduism and ba'hai.

what was more annoying than the story itself was that they didn't mention until the very end that you don't have to pay tax on the koran and they didn't mention at all that you don't pay tax on the torah. it was slightly over-focused on the idea that it was the christian bible what was sold on the cheap, as though it was some mass conspiracy by the georgia state government to convert the entire state to christians (which, at its inception, it may well have been).

however, despite the aclu's whining and the moron who runs Phoenix & Dragon bookstore saying that it's telling people that by buying the bible they've chosen the "right religion," and if they want something different, it's telling them it's the "wrong religion", the story did manage to point out that any religious text or sect can apply for this tax-exemption; the koran became tax free only ten years ago (something tells me the torah was tax free as soon as the first jew found out there was no tax on the bible). so, really, there's no issue here at all. all that has to happen is for people to get their religious leaders to petition the gov't and they'll get their 7% discount, just like those holier-than-thou christians.

honestly, i just don't see why this is that big of a deal, and i definitely think they should charge tax on all these types of books. but no one needs to waste the court's time when you can just file a freaking petition!


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