There is no God. The Absence of God: The Church Owned America

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

The Church Owned America

The United States of America is a powerful country. It has the largest economy in the world, the richest people in the world, and the largest number of big corporations in the world. Did I forget something? Oh yes, I did: This country also has some of the most powerful churches in the world.

In this democracy we live in, a large amount of churches implies a huge amount of pro religion lobbyists constantly knocking on elected officials doors, gaining their support in return for some big bucks to fund their campaigns. In other words, big oil, big corporations, and yes, churches own us, in the United States of America.

The U.S gives huge tax breaks to religious groups. For example, donations to churches are tax deductible, and religious publications are sales tax free in most states. In addition, the U.S does not require ministers of any faith to pay income tax, and these same ministers also have the right to opt out of social security at the time of their choosing. Both of these rights are not extended to the regular United States citizen.

The United States courts also extend unique rights to religious organizations. For example, in the year 2004, a boy named James Nixon wore a shirt to school with the words, 'Homosexuality is a sin, Islam is a lie, abortion is murder. Some issues are just black and white!' The school naturally asked the boy to take this shirt off as it expressed hate to many different groups of people. But the boy refused and the parents sued. Now, I think we can all agree that the 1st Amendment which provides the right for free speech would allow the boy to wear this shirt to school. But the boy's lawyers did not sue the school based on freedom of speech. Instead, the lawyers argued that the boy had the right to wear this shirt because of a clause in the first amendment, which provides the right for freedom of religion. That's right, freedom of religion. The lawsuit was victorious, setting a new standard for what is now considered freedom of religion in the United States.

I could give hundreds of examples such as the one above, which I found in the God Delusion, by Richard Dawkins. But let me be clear: The United States must stop giving exclusive rights and unjust tax breaks to churches. Why? Because the constitution demands the separation of church and state.

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