In any faith-based community, there is an important aspect that isn’t spoken about a lot and that is Monetary Stewardship (Stewardship in general comes in many forms, so let’s just worry about money for now). Many non-faith friends I have view the monetary pledges made by parishioners, or mosque or temple members as a “cash grab” and will usually tell that bad joke about throwing your money in the air, and what God wants, he’ll keep, that’s fine. All communities whether faith-based or not, need monetary support, so I have no big issue with giving to my church, and the fact that it is tax-deductible is good too. I have some friends who refuse to take the Tax break, they view this as ruining the spirit of giving, I have no such views. We are not talking about Fiscal Fasting.
If the government wants to give me money back for giving money to my church, or non-profit community organizations, who am I to argue? As long as you give with a good heart, I think taking the tax breaks is just fine.
I am going to look for Muslim and Jewish blogs today, to see what they say about giving (just for a little spiritual thrill seeking).