PRESS RELEASE: Date 10-19-2005
From: Marc Perkel
Founder / First one – Church of Reality
TITLE: The Church of Reality get IRS non-profit recognition
The Church of Reality announces today that it has received 501(C)3 Tax Exempt IRS status. The IRS called today to confirm that the approval had been granted and that the paperwork will be sent in the next few days. The approval process taking nearly 2 years is finally complete after a long and complex process.
There were several complications with the Church of Reality getting it’s approval relating to technical definitions as to what constitutes a “Church”. Definitions of words mean different things to different organizations. The CoR recently amended it’s application to apply as a religious organization rather than a Church to fit into IRS guidelines. A Church – according to the IRS – is a building where wedding a funerals are performed – where people get together – where there is a youth program, etc. As a new religion that was created on the Internet the CoR didn’t yet fit this model and this created confusion in the approval process requiring the application be transferred to Washington for further scrutiny. The IRS is skeptical of Internet based churches.
Although the IRS looks closely at the religion itself it turned out that at no tome was the belief system an issue. There is no requirement that a religion worship a fictional deity in order to qualify as a religion. Much of the delay in processing was due to the IRS staff being overworked as agents are reassigned to investigate Islamic religious groups to see if they are funding terrorists.
CoR founder Marc Perkel says, “This is a big step forward for the Church of Reality. We could have become a church without applying for IRS status and that is perfectly legal. However we wanted to go through the process to demonstrate that we are a credible organization and that everything is legitimate. There is a psychological component to promoting a new religion and even though it’s not required, to have IRS status creates the appearance of legitimacy. It shows that the CoR intends to be a major player in the competition for the religious mind space.”
The Church of Reality is a religion based on believing in everything that is real. What makes it a religion is that what a person believes in is a personal choice. Most people choose to believe in some sort of fictional based religion. A Realist who practices Realism is someone who has dedicated himself to the pursuit of reality the way it really is and is committed to evangelizing reality to move society in a reality based direction. Realism is a doubt based rather than a faith based religion where truth is purified through scrutiny.
Information on the belief system of the Church of Reality can be found on the their web site at http://www.churchofreatity.org