Revenuers vs. religion?

ADF Attorney Erik Stanley has this commentary discussing ADF’s Pulpit Initiative in the Washington Times.  He writes:

Churches do not turn into political action committees simply because their pastors want to preach about what the Bible says on a political candidate’s positions. And that will be just as true when pastors participating in the Alliance Defense Fund’s Pulpit Freedom Sunday do that kind of preaching this Sunday . . .

AU assumes any tax exemption is a government subsidy. That would be true if the government owned all property and income, but in America, it doesn’t. Nonprofits are not tax exempt as some kind of compensation for their charitable work. They are exempt because they are outside the government’s appropriate tax base.

And churches are, specifically, all the more tax exempt. Tax exemption of churches is not a benefit but a right enjoyed by churches under the Constitution. Churches were tax exempt long before the IRS even existed . . .