Monday, October 4, 2010

Good News! Druids are Officially Recognized by Britain

Well, it's about time! Druidism (sometimes inaccurately called "tree worshipers") finally became an officially recognized religion in its own homeland. Britain's Charity Commission for England and Wales gave them charity status. Why did it take so long?

Or maybe the more sensible question we should be ask is whether any religion should be given charity status (here in the United States, we call it non-profit status). Why is religion given any special treatment at all?

Here in the USA our Constitution has a special rule prohibiting government involvement in religion. Yet churches have a special sub-section 501(d) in the United States tax system, which means the government has to be in the business of deciding whether something is a religion or not. Not only that, but their tax-exempt status gives them a LOT of freedoms, far more than other non-profit institutions. Here's the summary:
Churches, however, tend to benefit the most from the various tax exemptions available, in particular because they qualify for many of them automatically, whereas non-religious groups have to go through a more complicated application and approval process. Non-religious groups also have to be more accountable for where their money goes, while churches, in order to avoid possibly excessive entanglements between church and state, do not have to submit financial disclosure statements.

Tax benefits for religious organizations fall into three general categories: tax-free donations, tax-free land and tax-free commercial enterprises. The first two are much easier to defend and arguments against permitting them are much weaker. The latter, however, often creates problems.
Why are the Mormon and Roman Catholic Churches exempt from financial disclosure and able to run businesses, but the American Red Cross and Greenpeace are not?

Doesn't the separation of church and state tell us that churches should be treated just like any non-profit institution? It shouldn't matter whether they're Druids, Christians, Zoroastrians or Muslims ... or athiests, for that matter. They're either non-profit or they're not. A church shouldn't be any different than Public Radio, the Goodwill Store, your local PTA or Save The Whales.

England's Druids illustrate this perfectly. The government, which actually consists of people like you and me who have their own religious prejudices and biases, is put in the position of making a judgment about whether my beliefs are a "real" religion while yours are not.

That's baloney. The government needs to adopt a strict set of business rules that completely ignores the purpose of non-profit institutions. You're a non-profit because you don't make a profit. The opinion of some administrator in Washington or London shouldn't enter into it.

And all non-profits should be treated identically. Churches shouldn't get any benefits that aren't available to all non-profits. If a church gets a tax exemption, then so should a hospital or Greenpeace or the PTA.


  1. What confuses me is that Druids took longer to get recognized by England than the Jedi.

  2. Geez, everyone knows that the Jedi are real. They even had a six-part documentary movie series. Did Druids have that???

  3. Its only a matter of time that the druid/ witchraft/ sorcery/ vampire/ occult/ pagan rituals and black devil magic will be subconciously practiced by the masses in an effort for the homesexual politico elite to reign in their Modern New Age world religion. Surely, as the sun rises in the East it shall set in the West. As above, so below. The new day is coming.


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