The Supreme Court decision in Obergefell v. Hodges—or at least the opposition reaction to it—may have presented the best argument yet for removing tax exemptions for religious institutions. Some people might be surprised that exemption of religious institutions and donations to them is a relatively new concept in our nation’s history. It was not, as some would suggest, a necessary result of the First Amendment’s separation of church and state.
The backlash from Obergefell makes it clear that governors and state legislatures and presidential candidates are going to try to block the ruling any way they can, most notably with religious freedom or conscience legislation that will allow public officials—agents of the government—to opt out of doing their government duty if they object to taking action to further a same-sex marriage.
But organized religion can’t have it both handy ways. On the one hand, they want to be untouchable in terms of paying taxes because, well, God. And they also want to be selectively exempt from the laws of the land regarding what has been determined to be a fundamental right. This selective non-enforcement clearly takes religion out of the God sphere and into the public sphere. If they want to play in the public sandbox, they should play by the rules that everyone else does, and that includes paying taxes.
Even a kindergartner would understand that.