Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Register My Religion? Do I do That At The DMV? lol.

Registering Religion: This Independent story about fraud prosecutions of scientologists in France, contains this very odd idea to American ears:

The Church of Scientology in France went on trial today on charges of organized fraud. Registered as a religion in the United States. . .

Registered? Sorry that's not what we do with religions here. Note the Euro-undertone: The writer is trying to contrast the relative legitimacy of scientology in the U.S. with its prosecution in France. Legitimacy is something that government confers.

The US government, by law, cannot rule if a belief system is or is not a religion. See the 1st Amendment:

• "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion..."

But, a a department of the US government (the IRS) can extend a tax exemption privilege if you meet a certain criteria.

Internal Revenue Code 501(c)(3): The exempt purposes set forth in section 501(c)(3) are charitable, religious, educational, scientific, literary, testing for public safety, fostering national or international amateur sports competition, and preventing cruelty to children or animals...".

So, I guess it's only a matter of time before the Galactic Hanger of Xenu & Latter-Day Saints gets it's tax exemption, and can start enjoying all the money-making opportunities that Scientology now enjoys. And, I'll be able to write off all that expensive frozen space-caek (see video below) that I'm required to buy in order to be a member. Does that mean I still have to register my DC-8 flying-church with the FAA? I'll have to ask John Travolta.

Official Ceremony: Cutting of the Holy Frozen Xenu Caek

Official Ceremony Hymn: Cutting of the Holy Frozen Xenu Caek

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