I see no good reason for religious enterprises to escape taxes, and many reasons for imposing taxes upon them. They invest in property that goes far beyond the rather conservative figures shown here.

hitchens67 Atheism WOW!! Logic and reason campaign

You give religions more than $82.5 billion a year

This is Joel Osteen. You helped pay for his house. (The Washington Post)

Matt Yglesias thinks we ought to start taxing churches. “Whichever faith you think is the one true faith, it’s undeniable that the majority of this church-spending is going to support false doctrines,” he notes. Even if you did direct the money toward the one true faith, it’d still be a bad idea, as “Upgrading a church’s physical plant doesn’t enhance the soul-saving capacity of its clergy.”

Regardless of whether you buy Yglesias’s logic, this raises an interesting question — exactly how much money are we talking about here? If, all of a sudden, churches, synagogues, mosques and the like lost their tax privileges, how much tax revenue would that generate?

Ryan T. Cragun, a sociologist at the University of…

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