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The State of NY has denied tax exempt status for a pagan motherhouse on the basis that, because people live there full time, it is a residence first and a religious institution second. The property is owned by Matreum (a legally recognized religious org), not a private individual. They have designated ritual spaces in each bedroom and on the property. There is a communal ritual nightly, and larger ones on weekends, in addition to special events (solstice ceremonies, etc) and other individual rituals by anyone who may be staying there. They provide housing to initiates and to people in need of emergency shelter.
In other words, they do everything a convent does. The only difference is they aren't a convent, they're a pagan organization. Based on this court's definition of what qualifies, shouldn't monasteries and convents also lose tax exempt status?Answer Question
Answer by bandgeek521 at 7:56 PM on Aug. 10, 2012
Answer by theMOMmission at 8:00 PM on Aug. 10, 2012
Answer by 2autisticsmom at 8:01 PM on Aug. 10, 2012
Oh! And yes, I do believe that they should be held to the same standard. I think the issue is not should they be held to the same standard, but rather, because they both have the same rights and meet the same qualifications, those who would discriminate against one but not the other should be held accountable to the law.
Answer by theMOMmission at 8:06 PM on Aug. 10, 2012
Answer by Dardenella at 8:30 PM on Aug. 10, 2012
Answer by adnilm at 8:46 PM on Aug. 10, 2012
Yes. Or 'no' if they are willing to treat all such organizations fairly. As an atheist, I see this sort of 'tax-exempt' status as grossly unfair because there are other organizations that do the same sort of work - on a secular level - that have to jump through hoops or forget getting a tax-exempt status altogether. If they are going to allow that status for some groups, they should allow them for all groups that work as non-profits, regardless of whether or not they are faith-based.
Answer by jsbenkert at 12:01 AM on Aug. 11, 2012
Answer by adnilm at 9:50 AM on Aug. 11, 2012
Answer by SabrinaMBowen at 12:45 PM on Aug. 14, 2012