Marty Marty here doing his usual vaudevillian (love that tie) theologian's shuck n jive to avoid being seen taking a clear position which might be seen as disfavouring religions - myth based ideologies that make laughable truth claims and recruit their flock mainly through childhood indoctrination.
Let me just leave clear what Marty fails to: is exemption privileging religion at the expense of the significant percentage of the population which disfavours religion, ignores or disdains its institution, just? No it is not and no, not "never mind". If religions fail to survive or thrive without government favoritism, good riddance. Their survival should be predicated on the quality of their ideas not on government protection and largesse.
The United States remaining a "wonderful place in which religions can prosper" makes it the intellectual laughingstock of the world; just to scratch the surface: Ron L. Hubbard's Scientology, Mormonism complete with golden plates and Mitt Romney's holy underwear, and perhaps most disgracefully (a catastrophic failure of its educational system) over 40% of the US population rejecting evolution in favor of creationism - a population in the making qualified to wash the windshield on the CITV (Chinese Interplanetary Transport Vehicle).
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