For years I have supported the activism of The Satanic Temple. I had the pleasure of chatting with co-founder Lucien Greaves on my podcast where we covered the activism of both The Satanic Temple and their subgroup, Grey Faction.
Now The Satanic Temple has finally achieved tax-exempt status as a church! The Satanic Temple is a nontheistic religion that focuses on social justice and fighting against tyranny. Jack Matirko broke the story first and I’ll share a few quotes from his article below. A major takeaway from The Satanic Temple being tax-exempt is that it forces the government to think about tax-exempt status for churches overall. As Jack states:
Now, I know many in the atheist community are going to balk at a move like this since ‘tax the churches’ is something of a rallying cry and pointing out how much money churches avoid paying into government coffers has always been a big talking point. But think about it for a minute. This has always been TST’s modus operandi:
When churches handed out bibles in Florida, TST asked to hand out their coloring books and the school stopped letting churches hand out bibles.
When Christians dominate the bully pulpit of invocations at government meetings TST asks to be afforded the same privilege, seeks legal action when they are denied, or compels local governments to change their laws.
Jack also shared a quote from Lucien Greaves made a couple years ago on the issue:
“Another byproduct of this turn of events, of course, is that The Satanic Temple must re-evaluate its prior principled refusal to accept religious tax-exemption. This position now confers a total advantage of “none”, while our theocratic counterparts trample over the Constitution and all it previously stood for. It appears that now is a time in which a more principled stand is to meet our opponent on equal footing, so to as balance, as best we can, what has been a frighteningly asymmetrical battle. As “the religious” are increasingly gaining ground as a privileged class, we must ensure that this privilege is available to all, and that superstition doesn’t gain exclusive rights over non-theistic religions or non-belief. With the religio-political landscape suddenly so grotesquely deformed from what we previously recognized, it seems reasonable that non-believers should adjust their language accordingly, and insist that atheistic and secular non-profits, advancing a distinct religious opinion and/or opinion upon religion, are themselves rightful beneficiaries of religious tax exemption as well.” – Lucien Greaves, May 2017
Now that The Satanic Temple has tax-exempt status, Lucien had this to say:
“In light of theocratic assaults upon the Separation of Church and State in the legislative effort to establish a codified place of privilege for one religious viewpoint, we feel that accepting religious tax exemption — rather than renouncing in protest — can help us to better assert our claims to equal access and exemption while laying to rest any suspicion that we don’t meet the qualifications of a true religious organization. Satanism is here to stay.”
So donations to The Satanic Temple are now tax deductible. If Christians have a problem with that, then maybe they can reflect on why religious organizations have that privilege to begin with?