Should atheist organizations be officially recognized as churches for tax exemption?

Are atheist organizations churches?

Update:

The role reversal is ironic here. Some atheists here are arguing that atheism is a religion, and Christians that it is not. Which is it?

Update 2:

Bear1: No true Scotsman argument?

15 Answers

Relevance
  • Jim
    Lv 7
    8 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    No. The tax exempt clause for churches is a means to keep the state completely out of the church. It is a logical extension of the 1st amendment. We've seen what the IRS has done to groups whose agenda this administration opposes. Imagine how they could harass a church. Atheism by definition is not a religion. Religion is a belief system in God. A belief system in no god is not a religion. It might be a philosophy, but not a religion.

    If churches were taxed, then our government would find a way to give tax breaks to churches who adhere to their political correctness. That would be a form of state control. As it is, churches provide a benefit to their communities by improving the lives of it's citizens. Churches do not exist for the purpose of making a profit for shareholders. The money that it takes in is almost always used to increase it's scope of ministry that it extends at no charge or to improve existing facilities.

    Keep the state completely out of the affairs of the church, and let atheists groups apply for exemption on the same basis as other non-religious not-for-profit groups.

  • Nous
    Lv 7
    8 years ago

    In the United States, atheism is protected under the First Amendment's Free Exercise Clause. In August 2005, in a case where a prison inmate was blocked by prison officials from creating an inmate group to study and discuss atheism, the court ruled this violated the inmate's rights under the First Amendment's Free Exercise Clause. The United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit affirmed previous Supreme Court precedent by ruling atheism be afforded equal protection with religions under the 1st amendment.

    Clearly setting out that atheism is NOT a religion but IS afforded the same protection as a religion under the constitution!

  • Anonymous
    8 years ago

    It's not actually "churches" which are given a tax break. It's "religious organizations". Remember that outside of traditional Christianity, there aren't many churches, but lots of religious organization.

    As for atheism... Atheism itself is not a religion, but that does not mean there could be an atheist organization which registers as a religious organization to receive tax-free status. The atheist organization could also register as an educational organization for tax-free purposes.

  • Anonymous
    8 years ago

    No. Because atheism has no beliefs. No doctrines. No leadership. And no teachings.

    However, fundamentalists are using a new tactic, in claiming that "atheism is a religon too." They do this to besmirch science. To say, biologic fact is the same religious cosmology. No difference. (Which helps religion, and hurts science.)

    So, if they are going to keep claiming athesim is just a religion. Then I say we atheists should be treated as such and live tax free like churches.

    And - since there's no central atheist organization - then every atheist's home is a church. So, all atheists should be exempt from taxes. (Which would convert half of the Christians into atheists, within 2 years.)

    EDIT: Ok. Stimpy....please tell me the beliefs, doctrines, leaders, and teachings of Atheism.

    Per your request, the dictionary....Atheism - the disbelief in the existence of a supreme being or beings.

    So how is the absence of a belief a belief?.....that's like saying "It's not that I DON'T have money. It's that I DO have zero dollars!"

    PS - I like your pic btw.

  • How do you think about the answers? You can sign in to vote the answer.
  • 8 years ago

    Not a religion as they do not espouse a belief in Divine Power.

    However, charity exemption is also given to non-profit orgs that promote well-being of community etc, use of the general welfare clause.

  • 8 years ago

    the problem is that Christ said those that believed in Him, He would give power to become children of God, so if the "Earth and the fullness thereoff belongs to the Lord." therefore the children of the Lord are free, this is when they asked Christ about paying taxes, but he said so nevertheless so that no one would say anything against them, to pay what was asked. Not every religious organization has Christ as Head of their church, and the believers the being the body, so therefore as Christ said they should be free as they because of their belief in Christ will be conformed into His image. so this why churches pay no taxes. since athiest do not believe in God, then they also would not believe that "Earth is the Lord's and the fullness thereoff." and therefore not counted as being children of God.

  • Anonymous
    8 years ago

    what atheist organizations?

    ""Some atheists here are arguing that atheism is a religion, ""

    NO actual atheists are arguing that..what you are seeing are a few Ignorant Trolls Pretending to be atheists, and arguing that..

    Notice no actual atheists supports them..

  • Anonymous
    8 years ago

    I wish they would go on and take the contradictory title. This attack on the tax-free status of churches is just annoying. We're not all rolling in cash.

  • 8 years ago

    Nope. God is nowhere in the picture, and a church is the house of God.

  • 8 years ago

    No, but, then again, churches shouldn't be tax exempt, either.

Still have questions? Get your answers by asking now.