Renowned atheist Richard Dawkins has called the tax-exempt status given to churches a "disgrace," and has insisted that atheists and the non-religious are just as generous and good as religious people.

"Incidentally, because churches are automatically classified as charities for taxation purposes is a disgrace," Dawkins recently wrote in an op-ed for The Washington Post.

"Nobody denies that some churches do charitable work. But that doesn't mean that any organization should automatically qualify for tax-free status simply by calling itself a church. Each church organization separately should make the case that it does charitable work, just as anybody else has to when seeking tax exemption," he added.

The author of The God Delusion pointed to polls on religion in the United States by Pew and Gallup to show that freethinkers in America are on the rise and outnumber Mormons, Muslims, Jews, Hindus and Buddhists all put together. Freethinkers still remain marginalized by society because they do not believe in God and people assume that they are not as generous as religious people, the biologist positioned.