Last week, Democratic presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke argued during a televised town hall event that churches and other religious institutions should be stripped of their tax-exempt status if they fail to accept and affirm same-sex marriage. Honestly, I was reluctant even to address the issue in light of his comments because they were almost entirely irrelevant. Not only did I strongly disagree with former Congressman O’Rourke’s remarks, but so did the frontrunners in the Democratic primary as well as the Constitution of the United States. But even though the tax-exempt status of religious organizations is not presently under threat, I think we do need to know why tax-exemption exists and why it matters.
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