by Dr. D ~ November 23rd, 2013
(IRS Logo: Wikipedia)
Several atheist organizations are suing the IRS over what they say is preferential treatment of non-profit religious organizations and churches.
Currently all tax-exempt organizations must file a Form 990 financial report listing their donors and details concerning their finances every year— except churches and religious organizations. Atheist organizations claim this is unfair since many of their donors would rather not be subjected to public scrutiny.
Here’s the story from the RNS:
The plaintiffs allege that because they must reveal the names of major donors, they are hindered in the amount of money they can raise.
“We have donors who tell us, ‘I would like to give more than this but I don’t want people to know I am an atheist,’” Muscato said. “That is hurting us to be held to that different standard.”
The suit also alleges that, because religious organizations do not file Form 990, there is little proof that the organizations’ activities benefit the public and should therefore be tax-exempt. It holds that such “subsidization of religious entities” costs taxpayers $71 billion per year.
Response: Churches and religious organizations receive so-called ‘preferential treatment’ because of the 1st amendment which requires the government to basically leave them alone as much as possible. The Constitution requires churches and religious organizations to be treated differently.
The recent controversy over the Obama administration affecting the IRS treatment of ‘tea-party’ and right–wing groups proves the wisdom of the government staying out of regulating churches and religious organizations.
Also, if the listing of major donors to churches became more open to public scrutiny than religious discrimination could follow and religious freedom could be diminished. The comments of the atheist donors prove that could be the case. *Top