A Texas pastor has been accused by his congregation of holding communion hostage in return for their tax money.
Parishioners at Houston Unity Baptist church say that the Rev. John Goodman told them that if they didn't donate their tax refunds to the church, he would withhold the usual Sunday rite.
And he did just that.
Goodman acknowledged that he refused communion to his flock. The pastor also admitted that he referred to some in his 30-member church as devils and demons.
But Goodman told a Houston television station the name calling and withholding of communion wasn't because his members didn't donate their tax refunds to the church.
They were denied the rite, Goodman said, because they've failed to step up and help finance needed church infrastructure improvements.
While Goodman's combination of taxes and church business might not bode well for the members of Houston Unity, the minister's refund request does not violate any separation of church and state tax laws.
And any parishioners who might decide, with or without pressure from the preacher, to give their tax refund money or any other gifts to the church should make sure they get a receipt. It could help them receive communion and a tax deduction on next year's return!
Hat tip: TaxProf Blog
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