This site is not maintained. Click here for the new website of Richard Dawkins.

← Research Report: How Secular Humanists (and Everyone Else) Subsidize Religion in the United States

Research Report: How Secular Humanists (and Everyone Else) Subsidize Religion in the United States - Comments

cheesedoff17's Avatar Comment 1 by cheesedoff17

Very interesting read. I hope they send copies to the Florida Firefighters, Teachers and Police Departments.

Wed, 16 May 2012 19:36:42 UTC | #941901

jel's Avatar Comment 2 by jel

the recreational activities of others.

What a great way to describe religion :-)

Wed, 16 May 2012 21:47:04 UTC | #941921

QuestioningKat's Avatar Comment 3 by QuestioningKat

Bravo! Bravo! When I was in the process of leaving religion, I first learned about the Parsonage deduction and many of the tax perks. One church I attended had major financial problems and much of what is written here came to light about the church I was attending. The membership of the church split in half overnight following an annual meeting. I have seen the power of financial corruption revealed. This was a New Thought church, which is as liberal and woo and you can get. Show people what is happening to their hard earned money and all thoughts of spiritual transformation takes a back seat.

The Hart ford Seminary estimates that the total number of ministers in this country is about 600,000.36 If you take an average salary for those individuals of $85,00037 and assume an average parsonage exemption of $8,000, you arrive at a subsidy of about $1.2 billion for the living arrangements of ministers in America every year.

.

Donations result in tax deductions for those making the donations. Religions do not pay income, property, investment, or sales tax. Ministers can opt out of SECA and receive a parsonage exemption. .

“If you use a generous 50 percent cutoff for indicating whether an institution is primarily a charitable organization or not (that is, they spend more than 50 percent of revenue on charitable work addressing physical needs), we doubt there is a single religion in the world that would actually qualify as a charitable organization.”

Most churches do absolutely nothing for the community. If a tragedy occurred we sat in prayer for a few minutes and extended "love and healing energy."

One church I attended would "charge" love donations for workshops which ran the gamut from meditation, Tai Chi, a book discussion, etc. The money went to the church and the person facilitating the workshop, yet it was not considered tax exempt. I often wondered where the money actually went.

The challenge is to get the word out to the general public that this is what is going on. This article should be sent to everybody and anybody at the IRS, federal, state and local level. Every mayor of every city, village, or township should get a copy of this article.

Also, loopholes will be found and need to headed off if possible.

Thu, 17 May 2012 00:18:33 UTC | #941943

rjohn19's Avatar Comment 4 by rjohn19

I just had one of those dizzying stomach turns reading this. I book-marked the page because, unable to finish, I wanted to save up a little anger for another day when I might need it for other purposes.

The Mormon (forgive that superfluous second 'm') contibutions of less than 1% curdled me. No wonder Mitt Romney, corporate raider and Gordon Gecko clone, thinks he is a pretty swell fellow. Compared to his church, he probably is.

Thu, 17 May 2012 03:09:26 UTC | #941960

dawkinsian-darwinian1859's Avatar Comment 5 by dawkinsian-darwinian1859

Religion should be stripped of it's assets, the government should stop subsidizing these immoral deluded individuals and organizations. We have to fight and fight to end religions reign of terror, it is polluting the minds of individuals and causing so many problems within society. Rational thought must prevail.

Thu, 17 May 2012 10:45:35 UTC | #942002

drumdaddy's Avatar Comment 6 by drumdaddy

I want my money back.

Thu, 17 May 2012 11:02:59 UTC | #942005

Peter Grant's Avatar Comment 7 by Peter Grant

http://c3414097.r97.cf0.rackcdn.com/120516SecularHumanism.pdf Research Report: How Secular Humanists (and Everyone Else) Subsidize Religion in the United States.

If you use a generous 50 percent cutoff for indicating whether an institution is primarily a charitable organization or not (that is, they spend more than 50 percent of revenue on charitable work addressing physical needs), we doubt there is a single religion in the world that would actually qualify as a charitable organization.

Thu, 17 May 2012 12:49:27 UTC | #942017