SALEM, MASS. — A Satanic Temple announces that they have received a tax exempt status from the IRS. The active group has been seeking a tax exemption as a religious institution to equal the playing field, gain legal footing in court, and gaining rights to their worship and public “prayer” in meetings as a religious organization, and gain access to government grants.
The activity of the Satanic Temple shows a very clear message: they claim to be a non-theistic group, founded by atheists, not to be seen as literal “satan worshipers.” They had to prove themselves as a sincere group, and follow the IRS guidelines to claim the church exemption status. According to the IRS guidelines a church must have, “a recognized creed and form of worship; distinct ecclesiastical government; formal code of doctrine; ordained ministers selected after completing prescribed courses of study; established places of worship and regular religious services.”
In February, the Missouri Supreme Court ruled again a member of the Satanic Temple, who claimed a pamphlet given to women prior to abortions with the purpose of “informed consent” was a violation to her religious beliefs due to a line stating that life begins at conception.
In August of 2018, the group called for the removal of the ten commandments in the state capitol of Arkansas, by hauling in a statue of the goat-headed and winged Bephomet, during a rally.
In 2014, a Black Mass to be held on the grounds of Harvard University was ultimately canceled after the announcement of the desecration of a consecrated host would take place. These plans were later denied by the Temple as well as the students at the university involved in the planning of the event.
At this point the IRS has not made comment to any of the media outreach.