Con to the question "Should Churches (Defined as Churches, Temples, Mosques, Synagogues, etc.) Remain Tax-Exempt?"
“The Supreme Court's ruling on gay marriage makes it clearer than ever that the government shouldn't be subsidizing religion and non-profits... It's time to abolish, or greatly diminish, their tax-exempt statuses... [T]he religious exemption has forced the IRS to decide what's a religion, and thus has entangled church and state in the worst way. Since the world's great religion scholars can't agree on what a religion is, it's absurd to ask a bunch of accountants, no matter how well-meaning...
[T]he IRS famously caved and awarded the Church of Scientology tax-exempt status. Never mind that the Scientology is secretive, or that it charges for its courses; or that its leader, David Miscavige, lives like a pasha. Indeed, many clergy have mid-six-figure salaries — many university presidents, seven-figure salaries — and the IRS doesn't trouble their tax-exempt status. And many churches and synagogues sit on exceedingly valuable tracts of land (walk up and down Fifth Avenue to see what I mean). The property taxes they aren't paying have to be drawn from business owners and private citizens — in a real sense, you and I are subsidizing Mormon temples, Muslims mosques, Methodist churches."
"Now's the Time to End Tax Exemptions for Religious Institutions," TIME magazine, June 28, 2015
Experts JD's (lawyers), PhDs, US Presidents, federal appellate opinions, US Founding Fathers, Members of Congress, members of state legislative bodies, and individuals with graduate degrees and significant post-graduate involvement in, or related to, the churches and taxes issue and/or government, constitutional law, economics and taxation, theology, or other relevant fields. [Note: Experts definition varies by site.]
Involvement and Affiliations:
Opinion columnist, Los Angeles Times
Columnist, "Beliefs," New York Times, 2010-June 2016
Host, Unorthodox podcast, Tablet magazine
Lecturer in Religion and Literature, Yale Divinity School
Contributor, New York Times Magazine, The Nation, The Forward, Tablet, Mother Jones
Director, Yale Journalism Initiative
Recipient, Koret Young Writer on Jewish Themes award