All these fiscal austerity measures may be good for something after all. Facing his share of Europe's (really the PIGS countries) ongoing financial troubles, the PM of Italy has announced he intends to tax the Catholic Church on its property holdings.
This is fantastic. I'm cracking a beer as I type this. (An extra beer that is, over and above my normal intra-blog post beer consumption baseline.)
To say the least, there are some entrenched interests that don't want to see this happen, so we'll see if this actually goes anywhere - this time. But the fact that the Italian government is even bringing this up in earnest is a very positive sign for the relationship between politics and religion (and taxes) on this planet. Just a few decades ago the most airtime this idea got was from George Carlin (check it out, but NSFW), though Bill Maher has brought it up more than a few times too.
USA PATRIOT Act
46 minutes ago