A sociologist explains a congregation’s contributions to the local economy. University of Pennsylvania sociologist Ram Cnaan has been researching the economic value of churches for more than two decades. Because some congregations would almost certainly close their doors without tax exemptions, Cnaan thinks proponents of taxing churches are misguided. Your research looks at the “halo effect” that churches have on their communities. What is the “halo effect”? It is the way that congregations contribute to the local economy. Churches spend money locally, and since they spend money locally, they enhance the local economy. So on a small scale, every church…