Questioning the German Model.

Author:Cirillo, Robert
Position:Letters - Letter to the editor
 
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Rob Bostons column, "Church, State, and Taxpayer Support: Is America Moving toward a European Model?" (S/O 2017) is a very good and important one, but his claim that the German government imposes a church tax on its citizens isn't really correct. The famous German church tax (Kirchensteuer) is completely voluntary. When I moved to Germany several years ago and signed up for taxes all I had to do was check the box marked konfessionslos ("without religion") on the tax form and I was totally exempt. That being said, even though the German constitution requires neutrality on the part of the state towards religion, it doesn't prevent tax-payer money from flowing into the coffers of the Catholic and Lutheran Churches. This goes back to a time, more than a hundred years...

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