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This is discussion archived from a time before the current discussion method was installed.

What... no love for the Unitarians?

Hmm... well, okay, informative and all that - but what's the trope?

Lee4hmz: This is a Useful Notes page, which isn't strictly a trope entry. That said, this does seem to be somewhat one-minded on churches' tax-exempt status, almost to It Just Bugs Me! levels. What do other people think?

Anonymous Mc Cartneyfan: It's not just tax-exempt. This entry is, as I write, about how the US Government has no right to legislate churches as it does most other institutions because of the separation of church and state. I think it should stay, but it needs expanding. After all, the freedom of religious practice applies not just to churches, but to anything... Maybe notes about the downside of freedom of religion and the uphill battle some American churches have trying to get Christianity, or at least Judeo-Christian values, back in schools - hopefully without leaving the door open for religious practices for religions they can't stand. The atheist approach to freedom of religion, and the resulting atheist war on evangelistic churches, might also need notice. (Once spreading the Word comes into play, things get very interesting.) And if this article is really to be useful, we need a partial list of the various kinds of churches. We have varieties that only appear in other countries because of evangelism movements. And, since we've no state church, we have more varieties of church here than anywhere else.

The Loris: What exactly is your point Anonymous Mc Cartneyfan? Talking about Evangelical Christians waging an uphill battle to get their religious values "back in schools - hopefully without leaving the door open for religious practices for religions they can't stand." as a "downside of freedom of religion" is just plain offensive. As for the reason I'm actually on the discussion page, the article says that many small Southern towns have only one local church. Unless you mean village, that's demonstrably untrue. Most Southern towns have a church on every corner. This troper's ex-boyfriend came from a small town of 400 people and 5 churches. That's the way it is in most of the South. We should probably update the article to get rid of a misleading statement.

Matthew The Raven: I agree on that point - my small Missouri town (5,000) has between 25-30 Churches. It's like William James' the Varieties of Religious Experience in town form. I honestly think that fourth paragraph is complete bullshit. Maybe it was like that in the 19th Century or even up to the 1930s (when the 19th Century actually ended in the South) but not today.

Nabi: Since it's a Useful Notes type of thing, I moved it to the Useful Notes part of the site. Likewise moved the discussion.

The Loris: I see what you mean now that you've edited yourself, Anonymous Mc Cartneyfan. You want to push religious values in public school classrooms. "The atheist approach to freedom of religion, and the resulting atheist war on evangelistic churches, might also need notice." That's a blatant misrepresentation of the atheist position. Atheists don't want any religions values pushed in classrooms. It's not just evangelic Christians, but also Muslim, Hindu, Jewish, etc. religious teachings. Our schools are publicly funded and any teaching of religion, outside of a class on comparative religions or significant historical impacts of religion on society (like the Reformation), is unconstitutional. You probably don't want your child being taught Muslim or Hindu values as truth and atheists (among other groups) feel the same way about evangelical Christianity. This is why we have separation of church and state. At the risk of being rude, atheists also think that people who so fundamentally lack in knowledge of science that they think the world is less than 10,000 years old shouldn't be involved in making policy decisions. This is because they're clearly not able to distinguish good evidence from bad evidence and make informed decisions. That's not a war on evangelical churches, but a war on ignorance.

Again, there's an actual point to why I'm writing here. Does anyone else think it's pretty crappy that the only religion described as "strange" is Jehovah's Witnesses. It's pretty shitty to call them strange and no one else.