Exempting churches from taxes is simply illegal and unAmerican. Nearly everyone in this country is being pinched right now, and the government is in a deep deficit. How then, is it fair to say that a club, which serves NO PURPOSE to non-members, should not pay taxes because they believe in an invisible magic man in the sky?
"Recruitment" and "outreach" are just other words for "Sales and marketing", and very few synagogues, churches, or mosques do anything at all for their community. And yet, because they say they believe in a deity, they skip out on taxes.
And remember, the federal, state, and local governments have a budget -- a finite amount of income that must be met. So when that huge megachurch pays no taxes, the rest of us make up for it. In other words, the government is forcing every citizen to fund religion against their will.
It's not fair, and it should stop. If a church actually performs a good civil service, then that's a different story. But it's not my business, nor is it my intent, to fund religious buildings and services out of my tax dollars. If having to pay taxes means the church fails, this is not my problem, because it means the government was keeping the church alive by force all this time. Churches are the responsibility of the membership, not the whole community at-large.
American Atheists, for example, is not a religious organization. We declare our income, file taxes, work (mostly) for free, and have an open public library that anyone can use. Moreover, we volunteer to help people understand the plight of the nonreligious people in this country. We are TRULY non-profit. THIS is community service. BUT, if we did none of that, and we called ourselves religious, we'd get MORE of a tax break. That's wrong.
So TAX THE CHURCH (and the synagogue, the mosque, and the Moonies and Scientologists), and give the money back to the rest of us. Church members can donate the savings back to their churches, and I can pay my bills. <<