Author Topic: The Satanic Temple is now officially recognized as a church by the US government  (Read 1217 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Online John Albert

  • Too Much Spare Time
  • ********
  • Posts: 6433
From the Satanic Temple's email list:

Quote
The Satanic Temple is Officially Recognized as a Church by IRS

A first in this nation's history, The Satanic Temple has been recognized by the United States government as a legitimate and legally protected Church.

The Satanic Temple (TST), the world’s most eminent modern Satanic religious organization, is celebrating their recent approval - recognition as a legally protected Satanic church, receiving 501(c)(3) tax exempt status from the IRS. This status, elevated beyond previous designation as a religious non-profit, is a culmination of years establishing itself as a constitutionally protected class, completely encompassing all attributes designated to churches that are uniquely distinct from other charities and/or religious groups.

The decision to pursue exempt status comes as a re-evaluation of prior principled refusal to accept religious tax-exemption after the passing of legislation to prevent the IRS from revoking tax-exempt status from churches as part of an IRS Funding bill. “In light of theocratic assaults upon the Separation of Church and State in the legislative effort to establish a codified place of privilege for one religious viewpoint”, says TST’s co-founder Lucien Greaves, “we feel that accepting religious tax exemption — rather than renouncing in protest — can help us to better assert our claims to equal access and exemption while laying to rest any suspicion that we don’t meet the qualifications of a true religious organization.”

To qualify as the first of its kind Church, as opposed to a religious non-profit, The Satanic Temple distinguishes itself from other non-theistic religious groups with its unique set of Tenets, as well as regular congregations and religious services, with an established headquarters located in Salem, MA.

The Satanic Temple’s continued efforts to participate in the public sphere, where other religious groups have been given favor, has faced various challenges and discrimination from government officials and agencies alike that continuously question or outright mock the religious identity and beliefs of its congregation. “As ‘the religious’ are increasingly gaining ground as a privileged class, we must ensure that this privilege is available to all, and that superstition doesn’t gain exclusive rights over non-theistic religions”, says Greaves. Thus, the designation of Church given to TST and it’s members affirms their rights as religious individuals and cannot be subject to question in legal proceedings.   

As Lucien Greaves puts it, “Satan is here to stay”.
https://mailchi.mp/thesatanictemple/us-government-formally-recognizes-the-satanic-temple-as-church

So now they're a religious 501(c)(3), which means they don't pay taxes and don't have to report income or assets. Official recognition as a religion presumably also means that their members can claim religious exemptions from certain laws under RFRA.

Offline Quetzalcoatl

  • Stopped Going Outside
  • *******
  • Posts: 5031
I'm against the idea of any special recognition for religion per se, but as long as that system is in place, I can't blame them.

I hope that the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster gets recognized as well. I know that they tried but failed in Norway.

And this is brilliant: Why has the ancient Sumerian religion Zuism become the fastest growing religion in Iceland?
"I’m a member of no party. I have no ideology. I’m a rationalist. I do what I can in the international struggle between science and reason and the barbarism, superstition and stupidity that’s all around us." - Christopher Hitchens

Offline 2397

  • Frequent Poster
  • ******
  • Posts: 2802
Yeah, I'd rather governments drop the category religion entirely.

Apply the laws that are applicable regardless. If someone wants to do charitable work, they should qualify as any charity has to. If someone wants to be exempt from some requirement, all individuals in a similar situation should be exempt as well. Based on their feelings if necessary, but their feelings shouldn't be disregarded because, unlike someone who is catered to, they don't happen to associate them with an officially recognized ideological group.

Online John Albert

  • Too Much Spare Time
  • ********
  • Posts: 6433
I'm against the idea of any special recognition for religion per se, but as long as that system is in place, I can't blame them.

The thing is, The Satanic Temple is opposed to tax-free religion as well!

But this is totally in keeping with their overall strategy to stimulate adherence to the Establishment Clause. I'm curious to see how far they'll push their newfound religious freedoms. Presumably, their members can now start citing RFRA to claim religious exemptions to all kinds of laws.

Offline PANTS!

  • One leg at a time.
  • Poster of Extraordinary Magnitude
  • **********
  • Posts: 11911
  • What seals? I auditioned for this job.
I'm against the idea of any special recognition for religion per se, but as long as that system is in place, I can't blame them.

The thing is, The Satanic Temple is opposed to tax-free religion as well!

But this is totally in keeping with their overall strategy to stimulate adherence to the Establishment Clause. I'm curious to see how far they'll push their newfound religious freedoms. Presumably, their members can now start citing RFRA to claim religious exemptions to all kinds of laws.

Here's hoping they start with abortion.
Now where I come from
We don't let society tell us how it's supposed to be
-Uptown, Prince 👉

The world is on its elbows and knees
It's forgotten the message and worships the creeds

Online John Albert

  • Too Much Spare Time
  • ********
  • Posts: 6433
I'm against the idea of any special recognition for religion per se, but as long as that system is in place, I can't blame them.

The thing is, The Satanic Temple is opposed to tax-free religion as well!

But this is totally in keeping with their overall strategy to stimulate adherence to the Establishment Clause. I'm curious to see how far they'll push their newfound religious freedoms. Presumably, their members can now start citing RFRA to claim religious exemptions to all kinds of laws.

Here's hoping they start with abortion.

I'm guessing psychedelic drugs, but maybe I ought to give then more credit.

Online wastrel

  • Great poster... or greatest poster?
  • Technical Administrator
  • Poster of Extraordinary Magnitude
  • *****
  • Posts: 13530
  • Science: A cold-hearted bitch with a 14" strap-on
The Satanic Temple annoys the hell out of me.  I much prefer the Church of Satan.

Offline 2397

  • Frequent Poster
  • ******
  • Posts: 2802
Or the People's Satanic Front.

Online John Albert

  • Too Much Spare Time
  • ********
  • Posts: 6433
The Satanic Temple annoys the hell out of me.  I much prefer the Church of Satan.

Fuck that.

LaVeyan Satanism = Libertarianism + Cosplay

The Satanic Temple actually have a very progressive agenda and do some good work in addition to the partying.
« Last Edit: May 03, 2019, 01:53:54 PM by John Albert »

Offline daniel1948

  • Isn’t a
  • Reef Tank Owner
  • *********
  • Posts: 8614
  • I'd rather be paddling
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.
Daniel
----------------
"Anyone who has ever looked into the glazed eyes of a soldier dying on the battlefield will think long and hard before starting a war."
-- Otto von Bismarck

Offline Ron Obvious

  • Not Enough Spare Time
  • **
  • Posts: 233
The Satanic Temple annoys the hell out of me.  I much prefer the Church of Satan.

Splitter!


Online arthwollipot

  • Reef Tank Owner
  • *********
  • Posts: 8878
  • Observer of Phenomena
Yeah, I'd rather governments drop the category religion entirely.

Apply the laws that are applicable regardless. If someone wants to do charitable work, they should qualify as any charity has to. If someone wants to be exempt from some requirement, all individuals in a similar situation should be exempt as well. Based on their feelings if necessary, but their feelings shouldn't be disregarded because, unlike someone who is catered to, they don't happen to associate them with an officially recognized ideological group.

In Australia, "advancing religion" has always been part of the definition of "charity" (Charities Act 2013 Section 12.1d). I was working in the nonprofit sector at a time when the government was doing a review of the definition of charity (of which the above act was the result) and I will always feel guilty for not doing more to bring this to the attention of the skeptical and atheist communities. As far as I could tell, only the charity sector even knew that the review was happening.
Self-described nerd. Pronouns: He/Him.

Tarvek: There's more to being an evil despot than getting cake whenever you want it.
Agatha: If that's what you think, then you're DOING IT WRONG!

Online John Albert

  • Too Much Spare Time
  • ********
  • Posts: 6433
In Australia, "advancing religion" has always been part of the definition of "charity" (Charities Act 2013 Section 12.1d).

That's gross.

Online arthwollipot

  • Reef Tank Owner
  • *********
  • Posts: 8878
  • Observer of Phenomena
In Australia, "advancing religion" has always been part of the definition of "charity" (Charities Act 2013 Section 12.1d).

That's gross.

It's very disappointing, yes. But I am given to understand that it's common to many countries. I'd be pretty surprised if the US doesn't include something like it.
Self-described nerd. Pronouns: He/Him.

Tarvek: There's more to being an evil despot than getting cake whenever you want it.
Agatha: If that's what you think, then you're DOING IT WRONG!

 

personate-rain