Descents into madness aren’t for the faint of heart, but they aren’t for the courageous either. Madness is the shanty town of the hopeless. We’ve all taken strolls down it’s muddy streets, rutted by the wagons of the collectors of the dead, ramshackle walls built around the broken dreams and silent screams of fates table scraps.

The Internet is an odd edifice, sort of a public square that only exist insofar and as long as we will it. It isn’t real in the traditional sense, it doesn’t require presence, attendance and yet it remains there, somewhere in the ephemeral ether of caffeine and insomnia fueled consciousness. We log in and out, completely unaware that we are participating in the life, death, and internetrebirth of society, community and democracy itself. The internet is our Zen moment and the point at which our mortality strikes with all the same force that the dawning of the nuclear age struck our predecessors. Everything. Has. Changed.

Why aren’t churches taxed? This seems like a legitimate question.

The First Amendment says this:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

We often only pay attention to the negative aspect here, that government shall make no provision for a state religion, that the state and the church shall remain separate. But the positive is just as important, that the people shall be “free” to exercise religion or, interestingly as an attached clause, the freedom of speech. No where does it enunciate or establish the acceptable content of either religion or free speech, yet it extends it protection. “Free” is an essential and necessary stipulation in this case. It establishes that in fact churches have always been exempt from taxes; taxes being a method of state control.