The U.S. Constitution does not mandate tax exemption for houses of worship. The practice is very old, stretching back to the pre-Christian era, and has been a standard practice in Western culture for many centuries. Tax exemption is also extended to non-religious groups, so the benefit is not an example of preferential treatment toward religion. All groups that receive tax exemption must be prepared to accept the conditions that accompany it. For example, all groups holding 501(c)(3) tax exemption are not permitted to intervene in elections by endorsing or opposing candidates for public office. Groups that don’t want to abide by this regulation are free to surrender tax exemption. Those that openly break the law should lose their tax exemptions.
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