Robert Repino is an editor of religious studies and history for Oxford University Press, and his essays have appeared in Slate, Religion Dispatches, The Revealer, Flux,, and the OUPBlog. He is also the author of several works of fiction, including Mort(e) (Soho Press) and Spark and the League of Ursus (Quirk Books).

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Churches Shouldn't Automatically Get Tax Exemptions

by Robert Repino 04-13-2022

People pass an offering plate during a church service. Photo credit: Bob Daemmrich via Reuters.

I admit that if you catch me on a bad day, I might join the chorus demanding that the government take aggressive action. As a former Catholic, I often contemplate how the law may have helped the Catholic Church hide its crimes against children. But in an effort to find some common ground, my position simply is that religious institutions should have to earn the exemptions in the same way that secular nonprofits do. This means that they would have to show how much money they bring in and how they spend it.