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  #21  
Old 08.08.2012, 17:55
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Re: deregistering from church/religious tax

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The Church here is really struggling to cover their costs, in fact are getting further and further into the red. They have to cut staff, services to the community, the elderly, the infirm, etc- and have had to sell a large amount of their properties. Would you expect to go and play golf at a Club where you refuse to pay for membership? I have discussed this with some of the Vicars in my area - and they just don't know what to do- as they are getting further and further into debt.

Of course they want to do the Christian thing - but they still have to be paid and house, feed their families, pay for the minibus to take the handicapped and the elderly around, etc. How can they run a Church in a Christian manner for not money at all. And those good Christians who DO pay, however kind and open-minded, are getting a bit cheesed off with all those who say 'NO' on the tax sheet- but expect all the services to continue to be provided.
It's wrong in so many ways. I am NOT religious, and I don't pay my Church taxes - but I do support what they do for the community in other ways, and they respect that. Difficult to respect those who refuse to pay .. and then ask for support when they need it. Costs are enormous.
Community services shouldn't rely on religious organisations to provide them. Simple, really. If the same people want to do so on a charity basis then fine, and all money donated would go towards them, but that's not where all the church tax goes, so why should anyone pay taxes to support the spread of a religion they abhor?

I'd happily see all churches disappear without a trace, myself, but would gladly pay more tax to support a certain level of local services unrelated to any religion.
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  #22  
Old 08.08.2012, 18:16
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Re: deregistering from church/religious tax

Totally agree with you. What I am saying though, is that either you do, or you don't. As said before I wouldn't dream of asking the Church to do anything for me. But I can see that if people continue to expect their help, support, services, etc, etc, then they should contribute towards this. I don't, so I don't. Why should a handful of people pay for those who don't, but still expect the services to be provided?

Would you continue to pay your Squash Club subs if 2/3 rd of the regular players do not? I am an atheist, just like you. But I can understand the predicament the Church/es find themselves in. They have sold the maximum possible of their properties and vehicles, cut down the number of Vicars and other staff, etc, etc. But are still expected by the community to run all those services (not us of course, but most people do).

People who want to get married in Church but say to the Vicar, play down the God thing, we don't really believe in it. Or get their relatives to have a Church service performed by the Vicar, but with the same request. And expect it all for free?
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  #23  
Old 08.08.2012, 18:19
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Re: deregistering from church/religious tax

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Totally agree with you. What I am saying though, is that either you do, or you don't.
I don't think anyone's disagreeing with you about this (or the rest of the post I snipped).
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  #24  
Old 08.08.2012, 18:33
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Re: deregistering from church/religious tax

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I'm afraid that this is not quite true. When I first moved to CH, I put protestant CoS on the Gemeinde form and they called me to ask, literally, what type of protestant that is. (I thought of so many witty responses, but managed to refrain...) They ended up deciding that this made me Reformierte Kirche.
That happened to me but from the "Church of England". I also fell into the trap of naming a religion for my taxes, not realising that despite being a total atheist I'd have to cough up for the church despite never setting foot in one since being coerced into going when I was a Brownie so I could get my community badge. Anyway, I digress...

The dippy secretary in the company I worked for when I first came to Switzerland put my religion down as "Reformiert" when I said "Church of England". Apparently, it actually translates as "Anglikanisch" which is a non-taxable religion.

Since then, the secretary at a later job sorted it out for me but I also received a letter asking why I'd changed my religion . I just wrote back saying due to language problems at the time I had been wrongly paying taxes into a church I'd never been a member of.

I still had to get a letter from the "Reformierte Kirche" to say I was officially leaving it. Arguing seemed pointless so I just went ahead and did as they said. I've not paid church tax since.
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  #25  
Old 08.08.2012, 18:36
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Re: deregistering from church/religious tax

Tell them you are a pastafarian
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  #26  
Old 08.08.2012, 18:40
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Re: deregistering from church/religious tax

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Tell them you are a pastafarian
Or a Jedi Knight

Edit: Oh dear god, I just picked that URL at random from google, but on second reading it looks like they might actually be serious.
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  #27  
Old 08.08.2012, 18:44
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Re: deregistering from church/religious tax

its a recognised religion
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  #28  
Old 08.08.2012, 18:46
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Re: deregistering from church/religious tax

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its a recognised religion
I would join it just to get a light sabre and be able to move things using just my mind and a serious expression.

Write like this from now on I will!
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  #29  
Old 08.08.2012, 18:56
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Re: deregistering from church/religious tax

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before any one screams, search........i have tried !!

who do i write to, to do this? what do i say exactly?

my partner has been paying this for the last five years and he is not religious at all and does not attend church, so actually do not see the reason to continue doing so. incidentally can you claim any of it back?

live in zurich, work in zug currently if that makes a difference.

thanks in advance for the help
You write to your local priest / pastor and tell them that you want to leave. They'll call you and will ask why, so have an answer ready.

But beware: By leaving the church, they won't baptize your children, they won't marry you or your children and they won't give you a proper burial.

Re-entry at a later time is usually a major PITA - some local churches make you take a public oath. Some even send you to school before you can re-enter.

We left church and re-entered a couple years later when we wanted our son to be baptized.
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  #30  
Old 08.08.2012, 18:57
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Re: deregistering from church/religious tax

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/arti...umiliated.html

old but still good
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  #31  
Old 08.08.2012, 18:58
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Re: deregistering from church/religious tax

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You write to your local priest / pastor and tell them that you want to leave. They'll call you and will ask why, so have an answer ready.

But beware: By leaving the church, they won't baptize your children, they won't marry you or your children and they won't give you a proper burial.

i have decided to worship satan and have wild sex orgies and slaughter chickens or a cow in the case of people from geneva.....
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  #32  
Old 08.08.2012, 19:00
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Re: deregistering from church/religious tax

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its a recognised religion
not in Switzerland
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  #33  
Old 08.08.2012, 19:03
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Re: deregistering from church/religious tax

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not in Switzerland

i know that.. and exactly why you can say it here, no tax to pay, i actually prefer the church of the flying spagetti monster
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  #34  
Old 08.08.2012, 19:04
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Re: deregistering from church/religious tax

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We left church and re-entered a couple years later when we wanted our son to be baptized.
You could go to a Church of England and get him done there and just have to bung the vicar a one-off payment (same as you would for a wedding). But I'm curious why you would want to get your son baptised if neither parent is religious?

Neither my husband nor I are religious and thought it would be majorly hypocritical if we christened our son. If he wants to get religious when he's older, that's his own decision and not ours.

I know this used to happen in England if parents wanted their kids to get into church affiliated schools. They had to get them baptised or the school wouldn't accept them. I think even this has been stopped now, though.
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  #35  
Old 08.08.2012, 19:07
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Re: deregistering from church/religious tax

Sandgrounder you cannot believe the shenanigans some parents get up to to get kids in some of the Church schools in England

Dawiz - same questions. Why oh why, if you are not believers. You have, and so do the god parents, to make an oath at the time of baptism that YOU WILL bring the child in the faith- how can you if you are not a believer? I am not religious, but I respect those who are and couldn't say all these words with my fingers crossed behind my back, knowing full well I don't believe a word of this.
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  #36  
Old 08.08.2012, 19:09
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Re: deregistering from church/religious tax

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Sandgrounder you cannot believe the shenanigans some parents get up to to get kids in some of the Church schools in England
Most seem to have stopped it, though. My nieces are in a C of E school because it's their nearest and neither of them are even christened, let alone church-goers.
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  #37  
Old 08.08.2012, 19:10
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Re: deregistering from church/religious tax

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You could go to a Church of England and get him done there and just have to bung the vicar a one-off payment (same as you would for a wedding). But I'm curious why you would want to get your son baptised if neither parent is religious?

I know this used to happen in England if parents wanted their kids to get into church affiliated schools. They had to get them baptised or the school wouldn't accept them. I think even this has been stopped now, though.
For the same reason - I consider a deeper knowledge about Protestantism and the western church in general to be essential in understanding western culture. Without being baptized, our son wouldn't have been able to attend church-organized classes in primary and secondary school. If he chooses to leave church at a later time, that's his own decision. But for now, we're making that decision for him.

Apart from that: I do believe that at least a part of my church taxes is used for doing good (supporting charities, local youth work etc.). We made the decision not to give to other charities (other than the Red Cross, which we've been supporting for years) and pay church taxes instead. I personally consider myself agnostic - so church as an organization doesn't mean much to me - but seeing church taxes as a means of supporting the community makes being a member worthwile for us anyway.
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  #38  
Old 09.08.2012, 00:55
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Re: deregistering from church/religious tax

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Of course they want to do the Christian thing - but they still have to be paid and house, feed their families, pay for the minibus to take the handicapped and the elderly around, etc. How can they run a Church in a Christian manner for not money at all. And those good Christians who DO pay, however kind and open-minded, are getting a bit cheesed off with all those who say 'NO' on the tax sheet- but expect all the services to continue to be provided.
It's wrong in so many ways. I am NOT religious, and I don't pay my Church taxes - but I do support what they do for the community in other ways, and they respect that. Difficult to respect those who refuse to pay .. and then ask for support when they need it. Costs are enormous.
But this is the normal state of affairs for churches in many countries.

Parishoners tithe voluntarily. Those who believe in the mission of their church support that mission financially - freely, as their conscience and means allow. In other countries churches manage to repair roofs, feed their clergy, save a soul or two without the state acting as tax collector.

Here the church tax is something like .5% (my town in SZ) or 1.6% (my previous home in ZH); back home many people tithe the biblical 10%. Voluntarily. Because they believe in the mission, not because the state says they must.

Look at the mega churches - thriving, very well off financially. All on voluntary donations.

You see, for many of us, a church isn't a members-only club. It's not a quid pro quo type of organization. Indeed, the very idea that it should be is an anathema to me.

If the parishes I have visited are at all representative, I'll never get my head around the Swiss Catholic church. In my experience, and in contrast to my experiences elsewhere, it seems so very... well... uncatholic. (Small c ) The state-mandated church tax is part of that.

Well, their house, their rules - fair enough. I'll always be a Catholic in my heart - but I am not comfortable practicing here in Switzerland. And so I don't.

Last edited by meloncollie; 09.08.2012 at 01:29.
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  #39  
Old 09.08.2012, 11:20
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Re: deregistering from church/religious tax

In the canton of Vaud you pay church tax whether you like it or not, on top of which I believe some church officials are even paid, as civil servants, by the canton, because they fulfil some of the social functions that ought to be carried out by properly qualified personnel.
On a totally different note, when I went to Saudi Arabia about a year ago, the visa application includes a section entitled "Religion". I filled in "none" and the official in the mission crossed it out and put "Christian". I couldn't be bothered arguing as it probably would have meant no visa.
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  #40  
Old 09.08.2012, 15:01
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Re: deregistering from church/religious tax

When I first arrived in Switzerland I listed my religion on the forms, even tho I don't really go to church, I thought it was just for statistics or something. A few months or a year later when I noticed I was paying money to a church I never went to, I went back to the Auslanderkontrol or Fremdenpolizei or whatever, and asked why I was paying this. They said it's because I selected that religion on my papers. I asked them to remove it, and they did. I think I might have even got some of the money back, I don't remember.

I was a little angry that they didn't clearly point out that choosing an official religion meant having to pay taxes to them. Or maybe it was pointed out in German, and I just didn't understand at the time, in which case it would kind of been my fault I guess.

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But beware: By leaving the church, they won't baptize your children, they won't marry you or your children and they won't give you a proper burial.
How much is an improper burial going for these days? I'd be willing to go that route to save a few bucks while I'm still alive

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We left church and re-entered a couple years later when we wanted our son to be baptized.
Oh, that's a good idea, when I'm 90 years old and not feeling well, I'll sign up again for a religion so I can get that proper burial deal. Thanks for the tip
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