Monday, April 29, 2013

Should Any Organization Be Tax Exempt?

Recently, one of our local weekly papers published a Letter to the Editor from a gentleman who indicated he was upset that the Boy Scouts of America were tax-exempt. He felt that as they "discriminate" against gays that they should not be eligible to receive a tax-exemption. The writer made a point in his letter that he is on on the board of directors of one of our local Lutheran churches.  I responded to his letter with my own. The editor modified my letter slightly, which I repeat below, but did not change the general nature or intent of my original.
Regarding the recent letter writer who suggested the Boy Scouts of America should lose their tax-exempt status because he doesn't like their policies: perhaps he should consider how many other tax-exempt entities discriminate. 
The Girl Scouts: they are guilty of gender discrimination. They won't accept my son as a member. Like the BSA, their oath requires the members serve God and their faith. Surely that's a problem for girls whose families are agnostic or atheist. Cut them off. No exemption for them. Don't let them use the church facilities. Or how about the Black Chamber of Commerce, La Raza or Asian-American anything? Surely their names tell it all. They discriminate on the basis of race. No tax exemption for them. 
Or how about those Muslims, Catholics and Jews? You have to learn their Koran, Bible or Torah, and possibly (if male) get circumcised before you join those guys. You can't be an atheist and join those groups. Religious discrimination. 
Come to think of it, why are any of these groups tax-exempt? Why should I be forced to pay to make up for the lost revenue from any of the above sources? While I agree with the purposes of the BSA and the GSA, I'm against the ethnic this or that of anything, and just about every organized religion, including the letter writer's Lutheran religion. "He among you who is without sin, let him first cast a stone ... "