Re: tax free status and what I meant by that remark, and I didn't expect to be absent for quite this long.
It didn't even occur to me to consider individual member benefits of a tax free status beyond the donations being a write off. I was thinking of two ways it might be genuinely useful, and one that's just funny to me.
1 - It's actually a perfectly reasonable way to structure a non-profit organization "disguised" as a church (a little role reversal never hurt anyone, aye?
) and has the benefits of having a sort of build in participation structure from the board of directors - Sunday mornings at <whatever time>.
2 - Whether theists see it this way or not, churches are in many way run just like any other business, with the distinct advantage of very little oversight outside of the church community and a tax exempt status that could be highly attractive. I can see the appeal to both scrupulous and unscrupulous people - atheists have the same cross section of human traits as any other group, at least a few of us are likely to be less than pristine
3 - It amuses me to think that this is just a well-orchestrated nose-thumbing at the exemption status of churches.