reply to post by eight bits
Thanks for your views, which are clearly informed.
Shortly though, Osho/Rajneesh were simply a "charitable organization" in India, and the teaching was against dogma and religion. I recall this from
some previous posts I did on Rajneesh. When they came to the US they registered, or announced themselves on the forms as a religion, and many members
regarded this as a private joke, since Rajneesh was anti-religion, and then called it an "anti-religious religion". It was really just a cult.
ISKCON had similar problems of definitions. Although they are unquestionably a religion, the founder often denied that they were Hindu, although their
main benefactors in the West today are the Hindu communities. Some class it as a religious stream outside any other faith. It's a matter of
Scientology is another bizarre case. The last I heard three European countries did not accept it as a religion (including Britain). Notably for
conspiracy theory both Rajneesh and Scientology were said to have links with the CIA and mind-control programs. I'm not sure all those allegations are
true, but it would provide pointers as to why they became "religions" in the US.
A belief in God is not necessary to claim to be a religion, so it figures that atheist organizations could also fit the bill.
So far a legal definition for a "religion" remains elusive.
It says you can fill in the tax forms, but exemptions are not granted lightly.
In practice that is very unclear.
The fact remains - if you claim not to be a religion, or to speak for a religion then you have opted out of tax exemption on religious grounds.
But is this what is happening, or is it just metaphorical lip service?
As for the Muslims and Jesus - they claim that Jesus didn't found a religion, but they can still morally claim a belief in Jesus because in their view
He is a prophet of Islam. They don't say Islam isn't a religion.
Ultimately this is what taking religion out of Jesus and vice-versa amounts to.
I think it's a danger to Christianity.
On the US legal definition of religion see:
Legal theorists have made serious attempts to provide an adequate definition of what religion is for First Amendment purposes, and the Supreme
Court’s and other federal courts’ efforts have been manifested in a string of cases in the context of the First Amendment as well as in statutory
interpretation. These efforts should not be seen as entirely fruitless, but they have not provided a generally accepted legal definition of religion.
(For a detailed, general review, see Donovan 35-61.)
Well, some say just leave that all to the government.
But without any criteria (especially concerning potentially corrupt organizations funded by other tax payers and the poor for many municipal services,
like fire brigades for example) is that good enough?
Either you are a religion or not.
I'm not sure why people insist on being ripped off and being hypnotized into defending this nonsense from an ultra religious discourse in the religion
of Christianity that claims to be non-religious.
Religious non-taxation is arguably a drain on poor people for a number of reasons, but the point is that the category of religion was created partly
for the good that pious people contribute to society, and once you unravel that you've got a free for all.
And that's exactly what we've got from that discourse.
It's a laugh really.
edit on 26-4-2012 by halfoldman because: (no reason given)