The Nation: Salvation from Taxes

Hardenburgh, N. Y., a pastoral sanctuary in the Catskill Mountains only 100 miles north of Manhattan, may be one of the most ostensibly religious towns in the U.S. According to the applications for exemption from the tax rolls, at least 82% of the community's 236 residents claim to be ministers in the California-based Universal Life Church.

Why did so many of Hardenburgh's sheep suddenly decide to become shepherds? It was certainly cheap and easy enough—the U.L.C. ordains ministers for $2 down and $2 a month (TIME. Feb. 10, 1975)—but that does not account for the mass ordination. The turn to religion is...

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