Mike Huckabee says so:
In a surprising move, Christian conservative and Republican leader Mike Huckabee is encouraging churches to give up their tax exempt status. Huckabee issued the following call for churches to unilaterally give up their tax-exempt status via Twitter on June 11.
“It’s time for churches to reject tax exempt status completely; freedom is more important than government financial favors,” tweeted Huckabee.
Huckabee first suggested that Christians “give up tax-exempt status and tax deductions for charitable contributions” on June 10, while speaking at the pastors’ conference prior to the annual Southern Baptist Convention meeting in Houston.
There Huckabee said: “I think we need to recognize that it may be time to quit worrying so much about the tax code and start thinking more about the truth of the living God, and if it means that we give up tax-exempt status and tax deductions for charitable contributions, I choose freedom more than I choose a deduction that the government gives me permission to say what God wants me to say.”
While Huckabee worries that tax breaks from the government places restrictions on political speech, many secular Americans will welcome Huckabee’s suggestion for the simple reason that the disparity of treatment between religious and secular non-profit organizations has always had the appearance of being unconstitutional. For many, the fact that the government currently gives preference to religious groups over non-religious groups and that tax codes treat churches differently from other non-profit groups, is simply unconstitutional.