Occasional thoughts on diverse subjects

Texas Comptroller declares Unitarian church non-religious

By Dave Menendez
Thursday, May 20, 2004, at 5:46 PM

Summary: The state comptroller of Texas has declared that a Unitarian church is not a religious organization, at least for tax purposes.

I haven’t read the article itself (I’m being picky about registering for newspapers right now), but, based on Mark Kleiman’s comments and the section quoted by Patrick Nielsen Hayden, it looks like the state comptroller of Texas has denied a Unitarian church in Denison tax-exempt status. Apparently, a religious organization must show that its members believe in God, gods, or some higher power. It is unclear how Buddhists fit into this scheme. Since Unitarians pride themselves on not requiring specific beliefs, they are apparently no different from “any wannabe cult who dresses up and parades down Sixth Street on Halloween”.

As Mr Nielsen Hayden puts it: “[T]o the State of Texas … a money-making racket founded by a third-rate science fiction writer qualifies as a ‘religion’ and the faith of Ethan Allen and Daniel Webster doesn’t.”