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Creation Science Fiction™

Exposing The Lies One Layer At A Time

Our Local Secular Humanist Society Is In The News!

A couple of weeks ago I wrote about meeting Luke Douglas, Executive Director of the Humanist Society of Greater Phoenix, and giving him a tour of our local museum where I volunteer. I also visited their facility which is not far from the museum and discussed joining their organization and working with them on some upcoming projects. 

Luke and the HSGP just made the news because Luke is a paid director and when he files with the IRS for this year he plans on filing the same exemption church Pastors use to be exempt from paying taxes. Hemant Mehta, The Friendly Atheist, recently posted about this on Patheos.

"The key difference between HSGP and FFRF, besides their sizes, is that HSGP is an explicitly Humanistic group, not an atheistic one. And the courts have said in the past that Secular Humanism can be treated like a religion for the purposes of the law. They’ve technically said the same thing about atheism, too, but Humanism is less contentious.

So while the IRS said the exemption didn’t need to be expanded to include atheists, Douglas plans on applying for the exemption as is. That also means that if he’s successful, the exemption will remain in place for everyone including him. This would not be a challenge to get rid of the exemption altogether.

In that sense, it’s less of an existential threat to churches. But it’s also more winnable.

(Incidentally, readers may be aware that The Satanic Temple is now considered a church by the IRS, too, which means their director could be eligible for the exemption if they apply for one… Just saying.)

It’s worth pointing out that FFRF hit a snafu the first time they challenged this law because they didn’t apply for the exemption first; it was only after they did, and got rejected, that the courts ruled purely on the merits. HSGP is learning from that by asking for the exemption first and seeing what happens."

Luke was quoted in the AZMirror as saying:

“We perform a lot of the same functions that churches do,” Executive Director Luke Douglas told Arizona Mirror. “This case is about starting a conversation.”

Looking forward to working with Luke and the HSGP on future projects and a video interview soon!

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