It’s time to abolish, or significantly diminish, the Religious and Educational Industrial Complex Tax-Exempt statutes in the USA.
- The federal revenue acts of 1909, 1913, and 1917 exempted nonprofits from the corporate excise and income taxes at the same time that they allowed people to deduct charitable contributions from their incomes.
- In other words, they gave tax-free status to the income of, and to the income donated to, nonprofits.
First, the religious exemption has forced the IRS to decide what’s religion and thus has entangled church and state in the worst way. Since the world’s great religious scholars can’t agree on what religion is, it’s absurd to ask a bunch of accountants, no matter how well-meaning.
- You can read part of the IRS’s guidelines for what’s a bona fide religion here; suffice it to say that it has an easier time saying what’s not a religion. The site gives the example of the rejection of an application from an “outgrowth of a supper club … whose primary activities were holding meetings before supper, sponsoring the supper club, and publishing a newsletter” but which professed a religious doctrine of “ethical egoism.”
- On the other hand, the IRS famously caved and awarded the Church of Scientology tax-exempt status. Never mind that the Scientology is secretive, or that it charges for its courses; or that its leader, David Miscavige, lives like a pasha.
Indeed, many clergies, rabbis, and witch-doctors have mid-six-figure salaries — many university presidents, seven-figure salaries — and the IRS doesn’t trouble their tax-exempt status.
- And many churches and synagogues sit on exceedingly valuable tracts of land (walk up and down Fifth Avenue to see what I mean). The property taxes they aren’t paying have to be drawn from business owners and private citizens.
- In a real sense, you and I are subsidizing Mormon temples, Mega Churches, Jewish Temples, Muslims mosques, Methodist churches, Cathedrals and every nut case witch doctor’s house of big buck worship like that odious Joel Osteen’s Christer Temple in Texas.
- We’re also subsidizing wealthy organizations sitting in the middle of poor towns.
- Yale University has an endowment of about $25 billion, yet it pays very little to the city of New Haven, which needs the money.
- At the boarding school, I attended (current endowment: $175 million), faculty houses, owned by the school, were tax-exempt, on the theory that teachers sometimes had students over for dinner, where they talked about history or literature or swim practice.
- The UK House of Parliment doesn’t open with some cracker chaplain leading it in prayer.
- But in the USA, give me a break, some jackass stupid witch doctor comes out there every 10 minutes leading this dreadful collection of political hacks in prayer while they destroy America.
- Unfortunately, we live in a country that was founded by illiterate, superstitious peasants (except for Colonialist like myself) believing a neurotic guy died on a cross, punished by his megalomaniac father, to create a church where some drag queen like the Pope tells its followers not to fuck unless you use a rubber.
Sky Gods help us!