Christopher Hitchens said it best when he said that talking about the goodness of the church was distracting from the main question whether gods exist, or not. “it's a time wasting tactic” Yet, whenever the subject of taxing the church comes up, people use it as a counter-argument. Let's look at the “good” the church actually does. Parochial support for affiliated charities. Direct financial support to affiliated charities. Giving people hope * . * IMO the hope (of heaven) the church provides is annulled by the fear (of hell) the church instills first. As atheist say; The church provides an imaginary cure for an imaginary disease. I can't estimate the amount of money parochial support translate into. Suffice to say that the churches own buildings and these would be unoccupied or under-occupied without these Christian charities. Opening these buildings, apart from maintenance costs and electricity, is free and it's publicity. More on that below.