They receive millions each year in state and federal aid.
They pay no taxes on their profits or on their houses of worship.
And now they want special exemptions from civil rights laws.
On Thursday, five U.S. bishops, including Cardinal-designate Timothy Dolan, deepened their union with right-wing religious organizations by signing an open letter titled "Marriage and Religious Freedom: Fundamental Goods that Stand or Fall Together."
The missive, which is addressed to religious leaders and "all Americans," is the latest addition to the ongoing push by conservative religious leaders to maintain what they see as their right to discriminate against committed gay and lesbian couples.