I’m being hit with taxes left, right and center. And it’s Him upstairs that’s putting the boot in, forgive my German. I’ve been getting literature through the door for the last while from the local church. I’ve never asked for it nor read it for that matter. But it’s been on my list of things to do, cancel the church pamphlet.
I mentioned this the other evening while we were out with friends who then said I could be in line for church tax! I suddenly thought of my history teacher in school telling us about tithes and taxes for the church and when the poor and destitute were “encouraged to pay.” I’m not poor or destitute but I don’t think I should have to pay taxes to the church.
This is when I should bring you up to date on my religious status. I’m a Roman Catholic and have been since the day I was born (ever heard the Monty Python song “Every sperm is sacred?!“). I was involved in the church all during school, as an altar boy, reading prayers and readings on Sundays and enjoyed it. I got something out of it and took it for what it was. I don’t think I’m deeply spiritual or anything but I like the quiet nature of churches and the chance to sit and think about anything for a while.
But then I went to college and it all went out the (stained glass) window. This was due to the fact that I’d moved from home, I’d started studying science and a “no one else was doing it so why should I”, kind of attitude. I don’t miss it but I still like to visit churches and feel that I may get “back into it” later in life. For the moment I’m happy to miss Mass and sleep a little longer on Sunday mornings.
But now, because I put down I’m a Catholic somewhere in my residency records here in Switzerland I’m eligible for the mail through the door and a tax bill for the church! As if the inherent guilt that comes with being Catholic is not bad enough, I now have to pay for it as well! Here’s what Wikipedia says on the issue:
There is no official state church in Switzerland. However, all the 26 cantons (states) financially support at least one of the three traditional denominations– Roman Catholic, Old Catholic (in Switzerland Christ Catholic), or Evangelical Reformed –with funds collected through taxation. Each canton has its own regulations regarding the relationship between church and state. In some cantons, the church tax (up to 2.3%) is voluntary but in others an individual who chooses not to contribute to church tax may formally have to leave the church. In some cantons private companies are unable to avoid payment of the church tax.
On top of that I’ve just been charged for “importation” tax on the jersey I ordered from Ireland (as Switzerland is not in the EU). It’s about half the price of the jersey! The things I do for my country…