Submitted by Ash on Tue, 12/11/2018 - 14:34
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In the United States a "CHURCH" isn't recognized legally by the government or IRS without meeting certain criteria, some of which directly go against the tenets of many Pagan faiths.

FROM THE IRS:

"The term church is found, but not specifically defined, in the Internal Revenue Code. With the exception of the special rules for church audits, the use of the term church also includes conventions and associations of churches as well as integrated auxiliaries of a church.

Certain characteristics are generally attributed to churches.  These attributes of a church have been developed by the IRS and by court decisions.  They include:

  • Distinct legal existence

  • Recognized creed and form of worship

  • Definite and distinct ecclesiastical government

  • Formal code of doctrine and discipline

  • Distinct religious history

  • Membership not associated with any other church or denomination

  • Organization of ordained ministers

  • Ordained ministers selected after completing prescribed courses of study

  • Literature of its own

  • Established places of worship

  • Regular congregations

  • Regular religious services

  • Sunday schools for the religious instruction of the young

  • Schools for the preparation of its members

The IRS generally uses a combination of these characteristics, together with other facts and circumstances, to determine whether an organization is considered a church for federal tax purposes."

This is a clear violation of the FIRST AMENDMENT of the U.S. Constitution: "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof;"

and also violates the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment.

THE GOVERNMENT DOESN'T HAVE THE RIGHT TO STAND BETWEEN US AND OUR FAITH, OR TO DICTATE HOW OR WHERE WE PRACTICE IT.

WE NEED TO WORK TOWARDS ABOLISHING THESE RULES SO PAGANS AND PAGAN CONGREGATIONS ARE GIVEN THE SAME FREEDOMS ENJOYED BY OTHER RELIGIONS.

Some Pagan faiths are passed through oral traditions. NO LITERATURE. Some Pagans don't believe in "established places of worship." They *seriously* use "Sunday schools" as part of their criteria??? There isn't a single piece of this that shouldn't be struck down. The government should have NO REGULATION over how, when, where, who or what people worship.

Let's come together and petition the government for a redress of these grievances.

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