On HBO’s Real Time, Bill Maher celebrated tax day by renewing his call for the taxation of all churches.
Maher called on the Supreme Court to take a case on taxing the churches, “The Supreme Court of the United States really needs to take a case about taxing churches because it hasn’t done that since 1970, and since then religion has become much less popular especially with younger people….Thirty-five percent of millennials want nothing to do with it, and the rest worship an ancient Jew born over 2,000 years ago. Bernie Sanders.
The Real Time host pointed out that atheists, agnostics, and anti-religionists are the second biggest denomination in America behind evangelicals. He said, “Almost a quarter of us in America are being forced to subsidize a myth that we’re not buying into. Maher followed up with his usual anti-religion talking points, but he did bring up an interesting question.
What would happen if a full nine-justice liberal tilting Supreme Court were faced with a case arguing that churches should be taxed based on tax fairness?
How would a system of tax on churches work? Would mega-churches be forced to spend more of their profits and resources giving back to the communities and benefiting those in need? The problem is that religion has become big business. It is a big untaxed business. It would be interesting to see what would happen if large churches were forced to spend more of their money actually helping people and communities, or they would have to pay taxes on their profits.
Not every single church is rich, and many churches do good work in their communities, but it is time to target the religious corporate interests who aren’t pulling their weight. There is a political movement to put an end to the corporate tax freeloaders, as Maher suggested it is time to expand that notion to the megachurches who are taking advantage of the system.