Where do people get the idea that religious organizations in the U.S. have rights unavailable to secular ones?

I frequently see questions that ask, essentially, "Why can't atheists start tax-exempt organizations?" Or, "Why are only religious organizations allowed to be tax-exempt?"

Are these questions SERIOUS!?!?!? Do people REALLY not know that there are thousands upon thousand of non-religious tax-exempt organizations in the U.S.? Some of them are even founded specifically to promote atheism! Do people really not KNOW that?!?!

Frankly, it should only take one example to prove the point, so:

http://www.richarddawkins.net/donations/new

So ... from where does this idea come that religious organizations have any rights in the U.S. unavailable to non-religious groups?

Also, I know I'm asking this from Y!A Canada, but I'm in the U.S. The U.S. version of Y!A has just become hopelessly convoluted and unpleasant to use. Once all the other Y!A's switch to that, I will probably just stop using it.

Update:

Jesse Gerinimo: Again, so do private schools, whether they are religious or not. So do Freemasons. So does the Lion's Club. So does the Kiwanis. So does the Rotary Club.

The private, FOR-PROFIT COMPANY I work for did that last week.

So where do you get the idea that only RELIGIOUS organizations can do that?!?!

Update 2:

Steven: That just plain isn't so!! Yes, there is a difference between "non-profit" and "tax exempt". But a secular organization can be just as tax-exempt as a church. Remember, I'm talking about in the U.S.

In the U.S., there is no Federal property tax. Each state has it's own property and sales tax laws regarding which organizations are exempt and which are not.

Sometimes, it can be rather complicated. For instance, certain medical practices are tax-exempt in some states ... but not in every county within that state. So, the "tax-exempt" organization my be exempt from state tax, but not from county or city taxes. But again, I know of no locality that extends these tax-exemptions only to religious organizations.

As far as reporting, here is a list of the tax-exempt organizations that DON'T have to provide a report to the IRS. Yes, churches are on the list, but so are many completely non-religious organizations. Political partie

Update 3:

Steven: That just plain isn't so!! Yes, there is a difference between "non-profit" and "tax exempt". But a secular organization can be just as tax-exempt as a church. Remember, I'm talking about in the U.S.

In the U.S., there is no Federal property tax. Each state has it's own property and sales tax laws regarding which organizations are exempt and which are not.

Sometimes, it can be rather complicated. For instance, certain medical practices are tax-exempt in some states ... but not in every county within that state. So, the "tax-exempt" organization my be exempt from state tax, but not from county or city taxes. But again, I know of no locality that extends these tax-exemptions only to religious organizations.

As far as reporting, here is a list of the tax-exempt organizations that DON'T have to provide a report to the IRS. Yes, churches are on the list, but so are many completely non-religious organizations. Political partie

8 Answers

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  • 6 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    I find that there is an element within atheism that whines like little babies. WAH WAH.

    Atheists incensed after IRS grants them tax exemption as religious group

    http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2013/aug/21/at...

    The leader of an atheist group reportedly is incensed that the U.S. government has granted it a tax exemption, citing allowances for religious organizations — and she’s even angrier at learning that she’s considered a minister under the Internal Revenue Service code.

    Boohooohooohohoo

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  • Steven
    Lv 7
    6 years ago

    For your information:

    Religious organizations are tax-exempt, not non-profit. There is a difference. Religious organizations do not have to make their financial statements open to the public. Non-profit organizations have to file a yearly form detailing how much they got in donations, how much was spent on salaries, etc.

    Church buildings are exempt from property taxes. The property owned by non-profits do not enjoy this privilege.

    These are just two of the many ways that calling yourself a "religion" gets you a pass on a lot of laws that everyone else has to obey.

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  • 6 years ago

    The pursuit of happiness is an American right. Canada is money touchy. Give to Ceasar what is Ceasar's and God what is God's. America has over 315, 000, 000 viewpoints on the matter of taxes. There have been times when taxes didn't need to be paid by anyone in America and this may happen, again, in the future. This probably won't be true for Canada, so one needs to look at it with the right pair of glasses.

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  • 6 years ago

    Why do they need Tax exempt organizations. Religions have places of worship. If athiest do not believe in God why do they need a place of worship. They can gather together anywhere and talk about how they hate religion and don't believe in God. They do not need to rent out a place for it.

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  • JJ
    Lv 7
    6 years ago

    In my town they get to block off the right lane of traffic for about 100 feet in front of the church, on Sundays -- for some sort of drop-off program.

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  • Anonymous
    6 years ago

    everyone wants a piece of that pie

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  • Anonymous
    6 years ago

    they want to complain about not getting their quarters sent to them on time.

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  • 6 years ago

    Did you come?

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