Author Topic: The Satanic Temple is now officially recognized as a church by the US government  (Read 595 times)

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Offline Quetzalcoatl

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I think it's great that a joke religion has gotten tax-exempt status. Because while the people may have serious and worthwhile goals and purposes in establishing satanic churches, I'm confident none of them actually worship Satan.

Satan is a character in the Judaic-Christian-Islamic religions who opposes the creator-God. Worship of Satan implies an acceptance of the theological framework in which Satan exists, and that the Satanist either believes that the creator-god who defeated Satan is the evil one, or that the Satanist supports evil.

Anything else is a satirical attack on the established religions that name God's nemesis "Satan" or just an outright joke. I applaud this. As a self-styled Pastafarian myself, I regard members of the Satanic churches as fellow travelers in the effort to mock religion. So I am quite pleased that one such church has gotten tax-exempt status.

Beyond this, I know nothing about any of the Satanic churches.

I completely share your reasoning. It is a way to delegitimize religion, helping to reduce its societal power and influence.
"I appear as a skeptic, who believes that doubt is the great engine, the great fuel, of all inquiry, all discovery, and all innovation" - Christopher Hitchens

Offline John Albert

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Yeah, I just looked. It's in the guidelines for the 501(c)(3) exemption.

Quote
Charitable Organizations

If your organization is applying for recognition of exemption as a charitable organization, it must show that it is organized and operated for purposes that are beneficial to the public interest. Some examples of this type of organization are those organized for:
  • Relief of the poor, the distressed, or the underprivileged,
  • Advancement of religion,
  • Advancement of education or science,
  • Erection or maintenance of public buildings, monuments, or works,
  • Lessening the burdens of government,
  • Lessening of neighborhood tensions,
  • Elimination of prejudice and discrimination,
  • Defense of human and civil rights secured by law, and
  • Combating community deterioration and juvenile delinquency.
https://www.irs.gov/publications/p557

Offline Quetzalcoatl

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I don't see why "Advancement of religion" as such would be considered to be in the public interest. Sure, religious organizations can engage in activities that are in the public interest, and then they should be eligible to be considered charitable organizations, unless they also engage in activities that are clearly not in the public interest. An example of this would be The Salvation Army, which engages in charitable activities, but also has some homophobic practices.

Of course, secular organizations can also engage in charitable activities. It really makes little sense to consider "Advancement of religion" as such to be in the public interest.
"I appear as a skeptic, who believes that doubt is the great engine, the great fuel, of all inquiry, all discovery, and all innovation" - Christopher Hitchens

Offline John Albert

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It's like "Advancement of superstition," or even more succinctly, "Advancement of bullshit."

 

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