But a church, notwithstanding:
"The IRS has given nonprofit status to the Salem, Mass.-based Satanic Temple, which bills itself as the first devil-worshipping church in the U.S. As Bloomberg notes, that gives the temple the same basic tax exemption as churches, synagogues and mosques. The IRS had previously viewed the Satanic Temple as a religious organization, a step short of a full-fledged church." Politico Morning Tax Wire
SJR: I can't help thinking this is a bit of a stunt on the Temple's part (who has previously declined to seek exemption). The Temple could have achieved the same result simply by modifying their operations -- the gap between "church" and "church organization" isn't all that wide. By filing for formal recognition, they create a public event and a repository for outrage.
Notwithstanding - and probably to the disgust of many of the fine people who advocate 1st Amendment Religious Freedom only in so far as it applies to their own religion -- The Temple meets the guidelines traditionally applied to determine whether they are a "church" -- therefore it is entitled to recognition (in the legal sense).
The exact nature of the church's doctrines is not a determinative factor for exemption. Think of it this way: Do you really want the IRS to be the arbiter of your religion's legitimacy?