Could they do this here?

Is this for real? Of course, Denmark has a state church, right, which we do not - but-still could they pull churches tax exempt status here in the U.S.?

This has been discussed elsewhere so this thread may be moved.

A key difference is that there Church of Denmark is actually supported in part by the government, which funds (according to wiki) about 13% of the Church of Denmark’s budget directly. This is distinct from a specific Church Tax which is levied upon members of the Church and collected by the government (Finland, Austria and Denmark all do this). In Denmark, part of your taxes directly funds the Church.

In the U.S., the Catholic Church (as well as the ASPCA, the ACLU, various political organizations and anything within 501© territory) is indirectly funded by the government in that:

  • these organizations do not pay taxes on income received through donations, AND
  • donations to these organizations may be excluded from income on individual or corporate tax returns. That may is critical.
  • An individual may not file taxes - their donation is technically tax-exempt but is never excluded from their income.
  • An individual may file but not itemize - in which case the donation isn’t removed from their income, either.

The government does directly fund such organizations through things such as grants to specific charitable causes, or Dept of Education grants to 501© schools, or through matching funds from the Federal Election Commission, but again this is different from Denmark’s blanket handing over of 13% of the Church of Denmark’s budget.

So let that help frame the context of the separation between Church and State in the U.S. Could the government insist that the Catholic Church recognize gay marriages in order to keep its tax-exempt status? Sure, or at least it could try. I think the Church would allow that status to fall away and continue on its mission. Then the government has no leverage. I think that a far-off possibility - could you imagine the backlash of voters, not to mention that churches and religious organizations would rally the faithful against any politician who would implement it?

Hope you’re right yes there would definitely by a backlash or many conservative groups here.

commentary, and there is already a thread on the Denmark Lutheran Church, here:

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