Churches = Corporations? Y/N

I've mentioned before that corporations now fill the role that the church did historically, and governments have failed to realize this.  Today I'm going to ask what if Religions were considered corporations by our governments.  I have some precedents for this but first I'll establish some basic assumptions I'm going on:

• Yes there is a god. Yes he gives a crap about us humans insomuch as a god can.
• As stupid humans we cannot fully understand the nature of god, so we are forced to translate him into concepts we can relate to.
• We stupid humans do not know what comes after death, that unknown is deeply frightening and we seek solace and some sort of reassurance that there is *something* after this life which gives our existence some meaning.
• God knows what’s going on after death, and being the only being we can conceive of to shelter us through that great unknown we humans want to buddy up with god as best we can.

From those basic principles we have the universal reason for religions. They are in-essence peddling a product. That product is a reassurance that there is meaning to life, in return they do a bit of social engineering. They dictate morality and codes of behavior, it’s like a user-agreement really, you want their product you abide by the terms of use.  An example of one of the more common of those terms of use is “don’t marry people that have the same parts as you”.
Today many corporations have an equal or greater influence on our daily lives than any religion.  These corporations are able to dictate what is right and wrong and in some cases their user agreements influence our daily lives and personal morals just as strongly as religious tenants.  An example of this is "don't drive our car without a driver's license and insurance".  
Both my examples are policies that benefit a corporation or group of corporations backed by federal law.  The interesting part is that in the case of the religious example, the United States government has a constitution deliberately delineating church and state.  

"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof . . ." 
~ The First Amendment of the United States Constitution
The Corporate Equivalent to that restriction is in Antitrust law, the meat of which amounts to:
"Every person who shall monopolize, or attempt to monopolize, or combine or conspire with any other person or persons, to monopolize any part of the trade or commerce among the several States, or with foreign nations, shall be deemed guilty of a felony…"
What if governments established precedent to consider both churches and corporations the same thing?  If choosing the method one wished to pursue eternal life or nirvana, or reincarnation, or whatever had the same legal significance as choosing whether or not to buy an iphone or a blackberry?  But even more than that, what if one's religious beliefs had the same cultural significance as choosing a particular brand of vehicle to drive?

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About Helmsman

Importing a Vox Blog.
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