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An argument against granting tax-exempt status to religious organizations

Religious ConflictsInsuranceHealth InsuranceRepublican Party

So now the Republicans want to turn the debate over requiring insurance companies to cover contraceptives into a debate about religious freedom? They argue no one should be forced to support (with their tax dollars) activities that conflict with their religious views.

I'll set aside for the moment the argument that insurers covering free contraceptives actually save money in the long run due to reduced health-care costs. I'll also set aside the fact that most Catholic women don't agree with the all-male bishopric that is setting the rules for them.

But how about this: I can construct a list of activities of organized religions that conflict with my personal beliefs. Those religions benefit greatly from tax exemptions. Yet we collectively have to make up for those tax shortfalls by paying higher taxes.

So it seems to me I have a powerful argument that my freedom of (and from) religion is being violated. It's time to attack the tax exemption.

George Alberts, Columbia

Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
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