I have just finished reading a collection of essays by Gore Vidal entitled “The United States…Eassays 1952-1992”. In his essay “State of the Union” on page 944 he writes:
The time has come to tax the income of the churches. After all, they are essentially money-making corporations that ought to pay tax at the same rate secualr corporations do. When some of the the Founders proposed that church property be tax-exempt, they meant the little white church house at the corner of Elm and Main–not the $25 billion portfolio of the Roman Catholic Church, nor the even weirder money producing shenanigans of L. Ron Hubbard, a science fiction writer who is now the head of a wealthy “religion” called Scientology, or of that peculiar Korean gentleman who or may not be an agent of Korean intelligence but who is certainly the boss of a religion: that takes in many millions of tax free dollars a year.
I tend to agree with Vidal. Anyone can arbitrarily initiate a "new’ religion at anytime by simply “hanging out a shingle”. According to the Encyclopedia of American Religions, at last count there were 1,584 religious organizations in the U.S. and Canada, from A Candle to Zotheria; most are Christian.
I don’t know about you but I think the time has come to for them to help with the tax burden.