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US religion is worth $1.2T/year, more than America's 10 biggest tech companies, combined

The largely tax-free religion industry is one of the biggest in America, worth $1.2 trillion/year, a number that includes religious "healthcare facilities, schools, daycare and charities; media; businesses with faith backgrounds; the kosher and halal food markets; social and philanthropic programmes; and staff and overheads for congregations."
The figure comes from The Socio-economic Contribution of Religion to American Society: An Empirical Analysis, co-authored by Georgetown's Brian J Grim and Newseum's Melissa E Grim, and published in the Interdisciplinary Journal of Research on Religion. The authors describe the estimate as "conservative" and note that while religion as a whole is declining in the US, spending on religious "social programs" has tripled since 2001, to $9T.

Grim and his co-author Melissa Grim of the Newseum Institute in Washington came up with three estimates of the worth of US religion. The lowest, at $378bn, took into account only the revenues of faith-based organisations. The middle estimate, $1.2tn, included an estimate of the market value of goods and services provided by religious organisations and the contributions of businesses with religious roots.
The top estimate was based on the household incomes of religiously affiliated Americans, and placed the value of faith to US society at $4.8tn annually.
The analysis did not take account of the value of financial or physical assets held by religious groups. Neither did it account for “the negative impacts that occur in some religious communities, including … such things as the abuse of children by some clergy, cases of fraud, and the possibility of being recruitment sites for violent extremism”.
The Socio-economic Contribution of Religion to American Society: An Empirical Analysis [Georgetown's Brian J Grim and Newseum's Melissa E Grim/nterdisciplinary Journal of Research on Religion]

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(Image: Lakewood interior, ToBeDaniel, CC-BY)


  1. Let's call it what it really is, the Superstition Industry.

  2. What is their contribution in terms of taxes paid to society?

  3. God exists! (This is Macondo)

  4. You didn't read the article. This was sourced by reported revenue by an analyst from Georgetown University. Read

  5. These numbers are inflated and misleading, and completely ignore the difference between taxable activity and tax-free activity.

    Here's a breakdown of what it would really look like if we decided to shred both the First Amendment and the concept of non-profits in America by taxing religion:

  6. Revenue is not the issue. The numbers are not the issue The issue is that we are witnesses to a great historic clash between reason and superstition and, absurdly, most nations are giving money and special access to power to the superstitious side. This is wrong, and it is stupid. Reason will always win if the playing field is level but it's never level because conservatives need superstition in order to harvest the useful idiots who vote again and again to harm themselves because Jesus.

    1. Very well said Mac, you're exactly right on the mark!

  7. Wolves in sheep's clothing, Billy Graham, Benny Hinn ad infinitum, have made themselves super-wealthy by bringing a false gospel to the world. When they depart this mortal coil Jesus will say to them those dreaded words of Matthew 7.23: "Away from me I never knew you" because they have led millions astray by being politically correct and not biblically correct. America & Britain find themselves in a parlous position, with national debts that can never be repaid, no wonder Jesus took a whip to the bankers of his day and threw them on the streets. Murder, crime, abortion and a host of other social problems are rife because the churches have told the world God's Laws for an ordered society no longer apply. That we are under 'grace' instead. It's because they don't want to lose their 501 (c) tax exempt status you see. Their end shall be as their works. Jesus reserved his harshest words for the religious leaders of His day, as it was then so it is today. Ecclesiastes: "There is nothing new under the sun, what has happened before will happen again". Take note, televangelists.

  8. The churches gives tithes and offerings that go directly to Israel to fund their oppressing and its not just Palestinian Muslims being slaughtered but Palestinian Christians as well and all the while these Christians have no clue! I AM AGAINST ALL DENOMINATIONAL CHURCHES FOR THE LIES AND FALSEHOODS THAT THEY PREACH! I HAVE CHARGED ALL OF THEIR ACCOUNTS AND THE DESTROYER IS UPON THEM!

  9. AND, if they're going to be getting involved in the government, they can bloody well start PAYING TAXES!!

  10. You're including hospitals, schools, soup kitchens, and kosher delis?

  11. The Big Lie industry, the biggest scam ever pulled on the world.


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