Quote from: zachanson on April 02, 2009, 12:21:19 AMwhy? does it matter ...foundations in a mythology. I'm not, however, entirely disinclined to attend a religious affiliated school so long as they don't infuse their mythology and morality...
why? does it matter
Quote It matters because, as an atheist who abhors that religious organizations are tax-exempt I think there are good tax-policy reasons why religious organizations are tax-exempt independent of their status as religions. There are many, many, tax exempt organizations out there with often contradictory policy objectives. I think if you make the policy decision that one non-profit org is tax exempt, you need to apply that status to all of them. The income tax is fundamentally a tax on profits- a group that has none wouldn't pay much tax anyways. You would also into a ton of problems RE business expense deductions if you tried to tax religious orgs. For example, IRC Section 162 sets forth a deduction for "ordinary and necessary" business expenses. You would end up with constitutionally dubious cases where the government had to decide if buying things like holy water are "ordinary and necessary" to the functioning of the church. Therefore, those who support a separation between church and state should support tax-exempt status for religions. Note that there is a difference between merely tax-exempt organizations and tax-exempt organizations that you get a tax-deduction for donating to. They actually fall under different provisions of the tax code. I think there are better arguments for why religious groups should not receive that status.
It matters because, as an atheist who abhors that religious organizations are tax-exempt
The only reason these organizations aren't being taxed like they should, is because of their 'religious' foundations.
Quote The only reason these organizations aren't being taxed like they should, is because of their 'religious' foundations. I'm sorry, but that's false. Read the tax code- even without the religious organization exemption, churches would still be tax exempt organizations under IRC § 501. Many churches could probably get § 501(c)(3) status even if they became atheist's clubs because of their charitable activities. If they couldn't do that, they could get § 501(c)(7) status (which applies to community organizations and clubs). Additionally, simply holding on to a sum of money does not eliminate non-profit status. Assuming a normal economy, the university you attended probably operated at a substantial profit. That does not mean it's taxed as a for-profit enterprise. BTW: I strongly recommend taking tax while in law school (especially if you plan on having strong tax policy opinions).