Over on Half Sigma the site's owner posted an article titled A tax on being secular. His thesis is that the exemption on religious entities is essentially a tax on the non believer. Of course the exemption is an exemption and not a tax on someone else, but why quibble. It is the fairness that is at question.
Well, Mr. Half Sigma and all the anti theists are right, and wrong. Right in the sense that it is truly an injustice to be made to pay for that which one does not believe in and wrong if they claim to receive nothing in value.
I am living proof of the kind of value you get every day from the existence of religion, This is going to take a minute, so bear with me.
I am part of the boomer generation who left the inner city for the burbs. Getting there just in time to be enrolled in public school, I spent the first year in the care of the state. My parents were not impressed. The next year it was off to the tender mercies of the nuns.
Thus began eight years of struggle. I was a jerk. Whenever I could get away with it, I gave the nuns a hard time. Finally, in the eighth grade, they told my mother that I might be happier in the public junior high. What was unsaid was that they would be happier with me gone.
Public school was a change. The sisters had drilled and drilled and kept me after school so many days that I did almost no studying and still had no trouble keeping afloat. The culture of students was predatory, however, if you survived the nuns, you were prepared for a lot.
So how does my experience benefit the secularist. I believe that had the parochial school not been there, I would be homeless today. There was no public school teacher who I could not get over on, and had that been my fate, I would have drifted through all the grades, I would have drifted through and out into a life of drifting.
So think about, I am not unbathed and afflicting you demanding "Could I borrow some money for some Mad Dog, I mean medicine." I am not infesting emergency wards with numerous medical crises. You all benefit.
Still, I agree, no one should have to pay for something from which they do not benefit. If that were true a lot of public schools would be sending out rebate checks.
For good or ill, the nuns are gone. The schools they left behind are as politically correct as any in the land. So, tax 'em. That'll solve all our problems.