Re: IRS definition of religion (Was: Back off! I'm Navajo!)

From: Ralph Lewis (
Date: Fri Oct 13 2000 - 11:06:46 MDT

Appears very biased to Western religious practices. If one was a Taoist, I
doubt if the IRS would accept it as a religion (anyone know if they do?).
Yet, Satanism would most likely be acceptable!

Odd times we live in.

Best Ralph

At 11:00 AM 10/13/2000 -0400, you wrote:
>Emlyn wrote:
>> What are the actual rules for setting up a religion? How hard is it to have
>> your brand new, out of the box, ancient religion gain the respect of the
>> legal system?
>IRS form 1023, Schedule A, shows some of the criteria the IRS uses for
>deciding whether an organization qualifies as a tax-exempt "church".
>1 Provide a brief history of the development of the organization, including
>the reasons for its formation.
>2 Does the organization have a written creed or statement of faith? Yes No
>If "Yes," attach a copy.
>3 Does the organization require prospective members to renounce other
>religious beliefs or their membership in other churches or religious orders
>to become members? No Yes
>4 Does the organization have a formal code of doctrine and discipline for
>its members? Yes No
>If "Yes," describe.
>5 Describe the form of worship and attach a schedule of worship services.
>6 Are the services open to the public? No Yes
>If "Yes," describe how the organization publicizes its services and
>explain the criteria for admittance.
>7 Explain how the organization attracts new members.
>8 (a) How many active members are currently enrolled in the church?
>(b) What is the average attendance at the worship services?
>9 In addition to worship services, what other religious services
>(such as baptisms, weddings, funerals, etc.) does the organization conduct?
>10 Does the organization have a school for the religious instruction of the
>young? Yes No
>11 Were the current deacons, minister, and/or pastor formally ordained after
>a prescribed course of study? No Yes
>12 Describe the organization's religious hierarchy or ecclesiastical
>13 Does the organization have an established place of worship? Yes No
>If "Yes," provide the name and address of the owner or lessor of the
>property and the address and a description of the facility.
>If the organization has no regular place of worship, state where the
>services are held and how the site is selected.
>14 Does (or will) the organization license or otherwise ordain ministers
>(or their equivalent) or issue church charters? No Yes
>If "Yes," describe in detail the requirements and qualifications needed to
>be so licensed, ordained, or chartered.
>15 Did the organization pay a fee for a church charter? Yes No
>If "Yes," state the name and address of the organization to which the fee
>was paid, attach a copy of the charter, and describe the circumstances
>surrounding the chartering.
>16 Show how many hours a week the minister/pastor and officers each devote
>to church work and the amount of compensation paid to each of them. If
>the minister or pastor is otherwise employed, indicate by whom employed,
>the nature of the employment, and the hours devoted to that employment.
>-- -- -- -- --
>Eliezer S. Yudkowsky
>Research Fellow, Singularity Institute for Artificial Intelligence
Ralph Lewis, Professor of Management and Human Resources
College of Business
California State University, Long Beach
Long Beach, California

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