Last updated on: 2/6/2013 | Author: ProCon.org

Desmond Vega Biography

Title:
Former Psychology major at the University of Tampa
Position:
Con to the question "Should Churches (Including Mosques, Synagogues, etc.) Remain Tax-Exempt?"
Reasoning:

“While some people may be bothered by the fact that there are pastors who live in multimillion dollar homes, this is old news to most. But here is what should bother you about these expensive homes: You are helping to pay for them! You pay for them indirectly, the same way local, state, and federal governments in the United States subsidize religion—to the tune of about $71 billion every year…

Hypothetically, the leader of a drug cartel could have one of his lieutenants start a church and file for tax-exempt status. Once granted, money from the sale of drugs could then be donated to the religion, which could use the funds to build extravagant buildings (including a ‘parsonage’), host extravagant ‘services’ (a.k.a. parties) for members of the religion, and pay extravagant salaries to its ministers (including the leader of the cartel). Drug money could be laundered through the church’s bank accounts with little risk of being caught by authorities. If drug cartels and the Mafia aren’t already doing this, we’d be surprised…

…[A]s the perceived ‘benefit’ to society of religions becomes increasingly irrelevant as more and more Americans cease to utilize their ‘services’ by disaffiliating, it will also be increasingly unfair for a large percentage of nonreligious Americans (almost 40 percent in some states) to subsidize the recreational activities of others. These subsidies should be phased out.”

Cowritten with Ryan T. Cragun and Stephanie Yeager, “How Secular Humanists (and Everyone Else) Subsidize Religion in the United States,” Free Inquiry, June-July 2012

Theoretical Expertise Ranking:
Organizations/VIPs/Others
Individuals and organizations that do not fit into the other star categories.
Involvement and Affiliations:
  • None found
Education:
  • Graduated, University of Tampa, 2012
Contact Info:
Phone
None found
Email
None found
Website
None found
Other:
  • None found
Quoted in:
Pro & Con Quotes: Should Churches (Including Mosques, Synagogues, etc.) Remain Tax-Exempt?