Separation of Philosophy and State

Why do we treat religion as a big exception? We don't tax churches. It's illegal to discriminate in employing someone based on his religion.

What is the difference between my personal philosophy on life and how one should live it, and a formal, government-recognized, religion? I would argue that it's not religion on which the law should be silent, but philosophy.

Some might argue that it's a belief in a supernatural being or deity is why it merits special classification.

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