Oh Elizabeth...It's CapitOl Hill.Capital is the city,
Capitol is the building itself.
It's Capitol Hill, not "Capital Hill." Yes, Washington, DC is our
nation's capital, but the actual Capitol Building is spelled with an
"o," not an a.
I think instead of limiting charitable contributions we should insist that
non-profits makes public disclosure of their charitable contributions received.
Operating without the cost of taxes and the added benefit of tax-deductible
contributions should come with a public trust and disclosure.
"Hatch asked Elder Oaks to speak because of the LDS Church's long history
of helping the less fortunate, Karakai said."Okay a couple
things:-Hatch asked a Mormon to speak because Hatch is a Mormon and
wanted to represent his faith. Lets not twist this into who gives to the less
fortunate and who doesn't. And that statement is questionable, please see
below:-In regards to giving to the less fortunate, LDS is spending
more to build this condo/retail development than they've reported giving in
Humanitarian since 1985. They're spending more on a real estate development
than they've given to charity in 26 years! I know it's not tithing money but
it's still a religious institute using money in the name of God. How do you
explain that?-Lastly, although current business ventures are not
funded by tithing money, what originally funded them? Had to have been tithing
@VocalLocal,I completely agree. Tax-exempt corporations, as I call
them, run by profits, i mean prophets, should be completely transparent
financially. If the money's being used in the best way God wants it to be, why
hide it?Why hide it?
The Deseret News seems content to operate without the benefit of copy editors.
New business model.
The LDS Church is extremely wise and frugal in the way it uses the Lord's
resources. They are used in the way that the Lord sees fit. And...that is the
business of the Church and no one else's.The Church gives millions
for humanitarian purposes. That is for NON members of the LDS Church. The
Church also gives many millions in resources to help its members, operate it's
programs and conduct missionary work. The Church also refuses to accept
donations from anyone but members. If you are trying to imply that the Church
exploits people for money, you are barking up the wrong tree. Everything the
Church does is to help its members and others. I get so tired of
these people who are always trying to imply that the Church has some kind of
nefarious purposes in what it does. The Church uses the Lord's money under the
direction of the Lord. That's it. Plain and simple.
Re: LValfre. When I read the article, I learn the the debate is about tax
deductible contributions, not the for profit (taxable and tax-paying) businesses
of the church. Let's not get side-tracked from the subject. Elder Oaks will be
speaking to the subject at hand and I think we can do the same, can't we?
LValfre- Humanitarian aid is just one aspect of the donations the members of the
church give. There is alot of aid going to those in need in your neighborhood
and through out the world.The condo/retail development is being
taxed. That is for profit and not a charity. Which means the government is
collecting taxes from it.When a member gives a fast offering that is
then used to help someone with their medical or other bills, that is a
I don't know where people are getting their figures from re charitable work.
Alot of charitable work goes unnoticed except by the reciepents. The Church
has been helping the needy at the local levels for decades. This is not
reported in the newspapers. The Church is usually the first on the scene in
natural disasters, whether locally or abroad.
Re: LValfre | 5:35 p.m. Oct. 17, 2011 "I know it's not tithing money
but it's still a religious institute"As you know, or should
know, every dime spent on the downtown development comes from their commercial
arm and is fully taxable. Obama want to go after the money that the LDS Church
gives to the poor and needy which is tax deductible.Translation:
Obama wants to take food out of the mouths of poor people.
It is important that we make sure charitable giving is valued in society. I am
glad that these people will testify on its behalf. I hope that charitable giving
is always valued.@LValfreIt is okay if you see
conspiracies that is your choice, but I think it is best to believe what people
say. If Hatch asked Elder Oaks to speak because of the LDS church's charitable
contributions then that is the reason he asked him too, not because they are of
the same faith. If we took your thinking further then Hatch asked the man from
the United Way to speak because Hatch is part of the United Way. That isn't
necessarily the case. He is bring a large swath of Utah society to talk about
this important issue.The condo is also not being built in the name
of God. It will just be a condo/retail unit just like any other one. The
church's name will not be plastered on it. Your sentiments are unfounded.Before you start spreading unsupported and leading statements like your
last one, you should do your homework, not leave it for someone else to
As I commented on another article, the average amount the LDS Church has given
to "humanitarian aid", per LDS member, over the past 25 yearts, has
been about $4 and change.The "Tax incentives" given to
charitable organizations in this country have made many presidents and boards of
directors of such "charitable" organizations VERY WEALTHY.It is time to close the loopholes and stop the tax evasion that is being
carried out under the banner of "charity".
@LValfre"Lastly, although current business ventures are not funded by
tithing money, what originally funded them? Had to have been tithing money.
"Not necessarily, some people donate more than just the 10% and
if you go way back there was the United Order/Law of Consecration which is a
different system than the tithing of today.@Cats"The
Church uses the Lord's money under the direction of the Lord."Well... that's what the claim is. Obviously if one isn't a member they don't
typically believe it's under the Lord's discretion. For the most part (in-kind
prop 8 donating excepted) I haven't had much of a problem with what the church
does with its money even when I was LDS. The investments like the mall look bad
on face value but... what if you invest a billion in business, make an extra 500
million on it to get to 1.5 billion. Donate 100 million, then invest the 1.4
billion. Over time this could generate more than if the original billion were
just donated. I don't know how the church manages those types of things but it
is possible to have the investments help raise money to donate.
This is almost comical. Last I chrecked the for-profit business arm of the
mormom church far out-wieghed any non-profit business. Bottom line is the mormon
church is a business and contributes a small portion of thier earnings to help
others as any business does. This is the bottom line.
Why would a church have for profit arms? What purpose? How were
the profit arms funded? Tithing money at some point in history funded the
business arms as they're known now. Have any other answer?To those
saying it's spent the way God wants it. Why hide that? Shouldn't everybody in
the world model after they way God does it. I mean c'mon, be reasonable here.
There's no reason it's hidden unless they have something to hide.
LValfre,You seem so preoccupied with how the LDS Church chooses to
run its finances. I would ask: if the LDS Church did not have any for-profit
entities, where would you propose the Church instead generate enough funding to
operate 134 temples, to support over 28,000 congregations in neighborhood
meetinghouses, to maintain three universities, countless Bishops Storehouses and
welfare farms, historical sites, and so on? Why do you also fault a
Church for taking measures to keep the area around Temple Square in SLC from
degenerating into a dive? What do you tell the many thousands of men and women
who have found honest employment because of City Creek? What do you tell those
around the world who have benefitted from the $1.3 Billion in humanitarian
service? That the U.S. Government should have instead taxed that money first?
Do you tell them that the Church should not have been allowed to do any of this
at all???Personally, I'm satisfied to let the LDS Church manage its
affairs as it sees fit. It's none of my business otherwise. I'm grateful that
the LDS Church has helped so many people through so many different ways.
Re: LValfre | 7:24 p.m. Oct. 17, 2011 "Why would a church have for
profit arms? What purpose? "Funds used for humanitarian and
missionary are tax exempt. Monies used for commercial ventures which earn
income are taxable.Laws govern what is and isn't charitable, and the
LDS Church is careful to keep them separated. Why wouldn't the LDS Church have
ventures that raise capital?
To LValfre: Using that logic of "why hide it?" Let's look at it this
way...Say you had some disease that is shared by relatively few in this world.
In order to find a cure, they need to go through and publish your medical
records from the past 15 years including any STD tests (all hypothetically
speaking), etc...There are, thankfully, HIPAA laws preventing any unlawful
sharing of medical info...Why hide it?For those wishing to remain
anonymous in their donations, and to protect personal financial info...why
should the public be privy to access someone's personal life and/or the
instuitution to which that person donates? Regardless how you view the
institution receiving the donations, anyone should NOT be allowed to access
private financial info like that. If that be the case, I would like to access
your bank accounts and all its transactions with you and the rest of their
clients, PLEASE. Why hide it?
To LValfre:First of all, your comments are false, you obviously
don't have the slightest clue as to the many ways that the LDS church gives to
the less fortunate. Secondly, here's a thought, "let's go attack a church
that gives millions upon millions of dollars to the poor and destitute, that
sounds like a great use of my time."Would you be saying the
same thing if your own family were the one's receiving aid from the LDS church
after a tornado took down their house? That's what i thought.
@LValfre: every time you open your mouth regarding things LDS you show a depth
of ignorance that I didn't think was possible.What's the point of
your being here? Every post is one of mocking, berating and denigrating an
institution you know very little about. And then you want people to try to
justify why the church does what it does to satisfy your curiosity. As for Elder Oaks testifying, I couldn't think of a better man to testify
before Congress considering his extensive legal background including the Utah
Everyone talks about the need to change the tax code, as long as they get to pay
less than before.Charity is Charity. There should be no need to
receive a TAX deduction for it.Can someone tell me why there should
be a tax break for trying to convert some foreign citizen to Mormonism? Why
should tax payers help fund 60,000 missionaries in this endeavor?Not
picking on the LDS (all religions need to lose their tax exempt status) but this
is an LDS newspaper.
I think it's really sad that people attack institutions that are doing so much
good in order to try to justify their own sad little lives. And...claiming that
the Church gives what amounts to about $4 is pathetic. Since
virtually NONE of the Church's financial information is available, nor has it
ever been, you have NO way of knowing how much the Church gives or has given
over the years. I know from my own personal knowledge and experience that the
Church does untold good both in financial terms and in personal service by
members. I'd be interested in knowing just how much these
detractors give in charitable contributions and in personal service. Those who
engage in righteous works are always attacked by those who don't.
"Why would a church have for profit arms?"Ok, brace
yourself...because profit is not evil. If the church (or any private
institution) has $100 to help individuals with, why not hire those individuals
instead of giving them the money. Then put them to work doing something honest
and productive. Then when they make $110 you have made $10 in profit. Then you
repeat the process except you can help more people the next time. We used to
call it being wise, prudent, and industrious. Now we just call it evil profits.
Cats,Just to clarify. I have no doubt as to the
enormous amount of charity of the LDS church and its members. Much good is
done.I suspect that this would continue without the associated tax
deduction, which I believe should be done away with.Lastly, I do not
consider "conversion efforts" to be charitable.
Is it really charitable giving if you receive something (such as a tax break) in
return?@ Rifleman: I don't think LValfre was questioning how the
for profit vs. non-profit arms of religious institutions work, I think the
general question was why have two arms (profit and non-profit) in the first
place? What religious purpose is served by a for-profit arm of a church?@ Let's Agree to Disagree: Deseret Industries is a non-profit component
of the Mormon Church that does exactly what you posit in your response. Your
response does nothing to answer the question of why have a profit making branch
If the Congress were to require regular financial accountability from religious
organizations to the Federal Government for their expenditures, then it would be
making a law which makes religion accountable to government. In so doing, it
would be establishing religion. Not only that, but if any religion were
disqualified from being tax exempt for not spending in a way the Congress sees
best or by the will of a political mob, the Congress would be prohibiting the
free exercise of religion as well.The bottom line is that no church
has any responsibility under the law to disclose its finances, unless there is a
court order. In other words, the Federal Government can drop dead. We are
under no moral obligation to justify any expenditure to the government or any
other person or persons without a warrant.
As an LDS person I really get tired of people putting the "mall"
down!It was the church's money so what right do you have to decide how it
will be spent? And when I think of ALL the jobs that were given to people to
feed their families and clothe their children and keep them off welfare...
through the building of it and when it opens.. and those families who will have
jobs in an economy that is so bad... I thank the the Lord for the foresight of
the leaders of the church in creating this remarkable effort. Not only did it
clean up the area and make it more beautiful but it put people to work...
For one The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints has a profit making
branch to facilitate its purposes around the world. There is a ranch in
Nebraska that is used for raising beef and other things. It is not a welfare
ranch but one used for profit. We pay taxes on that property. The so called
condo/mall is being built by the LDS Church but without tithing funds. They
also buy and sell property for the purpose of making a profit. Since the early
1940s the LDS Church has operated in the black. As President Hinkley once
stated if the money is not there to buy something or to build something it is
tabled until the money is available. All temples, chaples, and other LDS Church
facilities are bought and paid for before the building is even put into
existance. In other words there is no mortgage. None of its ministers or
preachers receive a salary. They are all lay ministers. The members of the
Quroum of the Twelve and some Seventies receive a very modest income, not
extravagent by any means as some of you imply. You just don't know how it
Will truly charitable people give less if they don't receive big tax breaks?
Actually, Deseret Industries does make a small profit.The church
discloses SOME charitable finances - the Humanitarian fund. I've never heard
one word about fast offering finances - which I'm pretty sure dwarf the
Humanitarian fund. So the usual comments about how little the church does have
nothing to do with the total amount of good the church is doing. Having donated
a lot to the one over the years, but nothing to the other, and knowing many
other people do the same. We're all asked to donate to fast offering every
month, while the other funds are considered much more optional. And all of the
fast offering funds go to help the poor. And then of course there
is the newer funds like the Perpetual Education Fund - the donations are all
invested, and the income goes to the individuals, who also pay it back after
they finish their education. Hm, I bet at least some of it is invested in
Church owned, for-profit businesses. Probably a lot safer than the stock market
of the last 10 years!
Kalindra:"Is it really charitable giving if you receive
something (such as a tax break) in return?"For grins, lets
suppose my religion were to say it is charitable? Would it be yours, the
Federal Government's, or any political mob's business to decide that my
interpretation of virtue may not apply? You see, the government under the
Constitution has no business in the enforcement or adjudication of religious
principles. To put it even more bluntly, a religious organization is under
absolutely no obligation to serve the public interest in any way shape or form.
Because of this, no religious organization should ever feel guilty or defensive
for refusing to divulge any of its inner workings without a warrant. To require a religious organization to serve some public interest is to
legislate religion. That is all there is to it.
A few answers to questions and comments I have seen.1. Missionary funds:
Each missionary is expected to fund their own mission. In order to make it
possible for missionaries from all areas of the world to serve, funds are pooled
together, but they not truly a "donation". Church funds are not used
to fund individual missionaries service.2. For Profit: The LDS Church
teaches thrift and self-reliance. It would be hipocritical of the church to not
practice those principles itself. To that end, for profit arms of the church
exist as a way for the church to safely and wisely invest funds as a hedge
against economicly difficult times.3. Taxation: A church is a group of
people with a shared faith. Any money collected is simply the individual
members pooling resources for 1 of 2 reasons, either to provide places of
worship, or to do good works in the community. Since neither of those
activities are profit generating, there is no increase to tax. Taxing the
individual's portion would be crossing church/state boundries.
Foolish comments by the usual haters. What a sad way to live one's life. I
wonder how much money Pres. Barack Hussein Obama has given to charity? Has that
been disclosed? I know that Newsweek (and other publications) says that
Republicans tend to be more charitable than Democrats. That seems ironic to
me. The Church's investment arm is responsible for a lot of jobs in
this state and is very valuable for the economy of Utah.
@ Alex 1: Not giving a tax break for donations to religious organizations (or
any other non-profit) is different than requiring financial accountability from
said religious organization.If you belong to a religion that says
buying a service or a product is a charitable donation, you go right ahead and
spend your way into heaven.Telling an individual you don't care
where they spend their money or what they do with it, they have to pay taxes on
their full income in no way, shape, or form interferes with what a religious
organization does with money that is donated to it.You are trying to
combine two very separate issues.PS - My original comment was
directed towards followers of Christ: Matt. 22:37 - 40, Luke 16:19 - 31, and
for Mormons 1 Nephi 11:23. The fact that you are a different
religion makes no difference. Not giving you a tax deduction for money you give
to your Church or spend as charitable giving does not interfere with freedom of
religion - in your case it would offer additional protection of your freedom of
religion by relieving you of the obligation of meeting a secular definition of
LValfre-The published figures (that you say are so small) are for
HUMANITARIAN aid only to third parties. It is a significant amount of money.
Having said that, it is a miniscule amount compared to the donations of church
members in terms of time, labor, fast offerings and other personal sacrifices,
monetary and otherwise. This is where the most significant charitable work takes
Kalindra:"Not giving you a tax deduction for money you give to
your Church or spend as charitable giving does not interfere with freedom of
religion - in your case it would offer additional protection of your freedom of
religion by relieving you of the obligation of meeting a secular definition of
charity."Actually, the law of unintended consequence kicks in.
If a religious organization now pays taxes, then it is no longer under any
obligation to not endorse candidates or to otherwise be as politically involved
as it pleases. With taxation, religious organizations then become invested in
the political process intimately. Now, if you are comfortable with that, then
go for it.The whole idea of tax exemption for religious
organizations is to decouple the government and religion. Religious
organizations agree not to endorse candidates, and the government agrees not to
manipulate religious organizations with taxation. It is a mutually beneficial
arrangement, in my opinion.
LValfre asked "Why would a church have for profit arms? What
purpose?"Though your question is intended as a back-handed
swipe at the LDS Church, it is important to point out that "for-profit
arms" of churches exist across this country and come in all
denominations.For example: Trinity Episcopal Church, Phoenix, AZ
operates a sizable condominium complex adjacent to the church complex. In that
complex is a coffee shop and reading room. They use the profits from these
businesses to fund on-going operations of the church that are separate from its
ecclesiastical operations.Many churches, including some in Utah,
operate assisted-living centers or senior centers.A new trend in
evangelical churches in the south is the opening of Subway or similar franchises
in, on, or near church property. The profits from these businesses are used to
fund various church operations, outreach programs, or humanitarian efforts.In New York City, many of the big Manhattan churches operate apartment
complexes, senior centers, youth centers, and the like.It would help
for you to be better informed before you take swipes at the LDS church.
Lots of people inculde tithing and other deductions when preparing their taxes
only to find out that their deductions aren't as high as the standard deduction
is anyway. Even if their tithing does put them over the top, usually it isn't
much. I think the kind of deductions charitible organizations are trying to
protect are the large ones made by the very wealthy and which do a huge amount
of good. If a person gives "$50,000 dollars to the scholarship fund of a
college could the government really make more efficient use of it? If someone
donates $100,000 to the LDS church humanitarian fund, would the federal
government actually make better use of it. If a person donates $230,000 (the
amount of taxpayer dollars that was spent on the Obama family vacation in
Africa) to help starving children in Africa, should he be taxed on it?
LValfre,If you knew anything about Dallin H. Oaks and his history,
and anything about when the LDS Church 'steps in to say something' when it comes
to charities (including non-LDS charities)... then you'd realize how empty your
claim is.I dare suggest that rather than thinking "Hatch picked
him ONLY cause he's Mormon", we'd be safety to assume that you criticized
Hatch's decision, ONLY because he's Mormon. But there's really no point in
highlighting anti-Mormon criticisms on here as most anti-Mormon critics seem to
deny having any problems with the Church anyway. In fact, I've seen people say
"Mormon's shouldn't be free" and in the same breath claim that they
have no problems with the LDS Church.LValfre, now see how many
people have responded? You can take that as an offense and be upset. We all have
that choice. Rather, I kindly ask you to think about the judgement you made
against Hatch (who is a Human Being, as we often forget when seeing the word
'politician')... and consider that despite your views... the LDS Church isn't
exactly arguing a world takeover here... simply helping those in need.Would you stand apart from that?
LValfre it is sadly obvious you are speaking as a man of the world, not as a
person under the influence of the Holy Ghost. Obviously you have something
against a church that gives millions away in humanitarian aid yearly. Not just
in cash, but in goods and services as well as man power which you have obviously
not even come close to considering. The church runs farms, ranches, dairys, as
well as caneries, plants, and non-prophet training facilities and rehab
facilities and Store houses where it gives away MILLIONS in Food, Clothing, and
other necessary goods a year! I think you need to do some REAL investigation
before you go shooting off your mouth about things in which you have No real
sense of reality about! As far as the Realestate Developement in Down Town Salt
Lake, that is a business venture with ALL TAXES Licenses and labor FULLY PAID
FOR that will help to revitalize the Down Town of Salt Lake and keep it THRIVING
for years to come! Something our last mayor did everything he could do to divert
frankly because he didn't really care about the numbing down of our Society in
So Klarinda if you are contributing to a retirement plan did you know that is
before tax money. Therefore, you are getting a tax deduction just for paying to
the retirement plan.However, LDS as a whole pay tithing on the Gross
amount before taxes or anything is taken from the amount. With the current tax
laws is it fair that you get to take a tax deduction for paying money to
yourself but you are refusing me the ability to reduce my taxes by what I pay as
a charitiable expense to the Church of my choice?If you are not
paying to a retirement plan, donation to a Church or Charity but on your gross
then you are not being fugal in managing your money. For instance every
celebrity, every rich person has a charity or church they donate to so as to
reduce their tax burden. Currently most Americans are paying anywhere from
15-20 percent of their earned income in Federal Income Tax. Those below the
poverty line pay nothing in taxes each year. Take a look at the rich and you
find most pay taxes in the range of 25% each year.
"a religious organization is under absolutely no obligation to serve the
public interest in any way shape or form"Well, Alex, then can
you please explain why they should be entitled to taxpayer funding?
Bill in Nebraska wrote, The members of the Quroum of the Twelve and some
Seventies receive a very modest income, not extravagent by any means as some of
you imply. You just don't know how it works.Since the LDS Church
does not disclose its finances, Bill has no way of knowing what hes stated. One
may presume this, but it is only a presumption. If Im wrong, please show me your
Mr. Hatch, why vote for Iraq war? I read in Wall Street journal yesterday
that the top 50 richest people in our country are worth $700 billion---image
that---top 50 people in our country could have paid for Obamacare and for the
Re: JoeBlow | 3:28 a.m. Oct. 18, 2011 " can you please explain why
they should be entitled to taxpayer funding?"I was unaware that
the LDS Church receives any taxpayer funding. Unlike US Treasury Secretary
Timothy Geithner they pay their taxes honestly. Mr. Geithner, as you may
remember, got a slap on the wrist and had to pay his back taxes before becoming
The conversation is not about whether or not to tax religion - the conversation
is about whether or not individual contributions should be tax deductible.You are arguing a point that is not pertinant to the conversation.@ Demisana: DI is non-profit because they make no profit - anything over
operating costs goes to humanitarian efforts.
Christy asks, "Will truly charitable people give less if they don't receive
big tax breaks?"I'd say absolutely! Conservatives do it now.The big question for uber-Libs like you is why doesn't your side
contribute to charities of your own free will and choosing? All one has to do is
look at the published tax returns of your Dear Leader and other leading Libs to
know that Democrats don't contribute to charities. They are stingy with their
money and many of them don't even pay their taxes. Geithner, Daschle, Rangle,
Buffet and others as example.I'd say that Conservatives walk the
talk while Liberals continue stealing from their neighbor to give to someone who
will vote for them and complain that Conservatives aren't giving enough.
Personally, I trust churches and organizations like United Way over the
government on how to take care of the poor/needy. Anyone on this board want
charities run like the post office? I didn't think so.
Kalindra,You seem ignorant of non-profit laws. It's not true that
"anything over operating costs goes to humanitarian efforts."
Non-profits are allowed to keep any profit they make, they're only limited in
how they're allowed to use those profits.You also espouse a curious
viewpoint on tax deductions. You seem to consider not paying taxes as being
given something. Perhaps we'll just have to agree to disagree, but I don't
consider it a gift given to me by the government that they haven't demanded me
give my entire income to them.That point aside, ask yourself why the
government allows tax deductions in any case. Why does the government allow
mortgage interest payments or school tuition or alimony or state and local taxes
to be written off income? It's because either the government sees it as a good
activity and wants to encourage it (e.g., home ownership and higher education)
or because they consider it not a part of your income (e.g., local taxes and
alimony). I'd say that charitable contributions most definitely
fall under the first category. It'd be irresponsible of the government to not
encourage something so vital to the wellbeing of our country.
"I was unaware that the LDS Church receives any taxpayer funding"All depends on your perspective. Sounds like you are saying that
Charitable Tax deductions don't affect the amount of giving, so to lose it would
not hurt churches. Hey, we agree. Lose the deductions.Regardless,
it is hard to spin that missionary work whose focus is to convert people to
mormonism is charity.Yes, Geithner and Rangle are crooks for their
tax evasion. Did you expect me to defend them? I can see the crooks on both
sides. And I can call them out regardless of party.You should try
it. You may find it liberating.
Re: Kalindra | 9:04 a.m. Oct. 18, 2011 "the conversation is about
whether or not individual contributions should be tax deductible"If the USA can afford to send foreign aid to Libya we certainly should be able
to allow Americans to duct donations to hungry American children.Liberals are always happy to spend the taxpayer's money for them but stingy
when it comes to taxpayers giving to the poor and needy themselves.
@JKayDS 9:11You said, "As an LDS person I really get tired of
people putting the "mall" down!"I wouldn't lose any
sleep over it really. The fact of the matter is, critics of the LDS Church will
never be happy. No matter what the LDS Church says or does, the critics will
always find something wrong with it. Critics will attack the LDS
Church for speaking out on a specific social issue, then five minutes later
attack the LDS Church for not speaking out on another social issue. Critics attack the LDS Church when they see stories in the news about its
charitable giving after a specific natural disaster, then five minutes later
they'll attack the LDS Church for not being first on the scene at another
natural disaster. The fact of the matter is, with some people, the
LDS Church will always remain in a Catch-22, so why worry about their
opinion? If the LDS Church were to open all its financial books to
the public, do you really think the critics would just sit back and say,
"Okay, we're satisfied now, thank you?"
I give to the Church for humanitarian causes because I know that that money will
go for what it is intended - to help others, not to pay staff. That
there is a tax write off for what I give, I believe, is the government's
expression of good will - towards me, so that humanitarian giving towards will
continue, that it is a good thing. The Church is a WAY MORE
efficient resource for humanitarian causes (I don't care what Church), than
governmental red tape.
LValfre,The reason the church is developing the area around Temple
Square is to preserve it as a decent place that is safe and appealing to visit.
Temple Square is a sacred place for Mormons and the church does not want the
area around it to become a blighted urban disaster. The city, not just the
church, will benefit immensely from the undertaking. Please point me to another
US city where a private group is pumping that kind of money into the local
economy. I am amazed at the anger coming from you towards all of this free
money for the city. I can't begin to tell you how rediculous someone sounds
that criticizes everything the church does just because it is the church doing
it. Let's have a real discussion about tax deductions, etc., and not resort to
some ax you have to grind.
The income tax was supposed to be a temporary tax, so if we got rid of that tax,
no problem with the exemptions, right?
JoeBlow,For a multitude of reasons, the government has decided that
missionary work is considered charity and is not taxable. Whether that's
because of the powerful missionary lobbyists who have taken over Capitol Hill,
or because the government sees missionary work as something it wants to
encourage, it's been decided. If YOU can't see any benefit to it, then by all
means, call your representatives and let your voice be heard.As for
me, knowing that missionaries from many denominations perform a significant
amount of humanitarian service, improve the lives of people where they serve,
and come back from their service as better people and citizens, makes it simple
to see why the government would want to encourage the behavior.
Some critics have often suggested that tithing funds be transparent, and that
the members of the Quorum of the Twelve also must disclose their income... I
have some points for those who may agree:1) You believe transparency
is good, right? Well, not everyone does. And there is a difference between
transparency and forcing it on someone. That's why we have rights. How much
money I make, spend, etc. is my right. How tithing is used is how MY money is
used. I have more say in it's uses and transparency than you do as it is not
what you own, but what I own.This is simply another step towards
having the state NOT "secure to each individual the free exercise of
conscience, the right and control of property, and the protection of life."
The Church isn't some robot, it's people. Tithing is PEOPLE's money, who's
rights you threaten.2) So, in what universe are you justified in
demanding to know how money is spent and what Church leaders make without
disclosing your own information. Boasting such a claim without meeting that
same requirement? Such hypocrisy is what most self-righteous critics practice
anyway. No surprise here.
To all who responded to LValfre,Thank you. I applaud your efforts,
but alas, I think it was all a waste, an exercise in futility really. See, I
noticed from his many previous posts a long time ago that no matter what subject
is discussed, he almost always without fail displays such a bitter and deep
seated hate towards anything Mormon or have to do with the LDS faith. I think
he posts for one purpose only, and that is to criticize, to mock, to demean,
belittle, and put down the Church. I find that very sad indeed, but such is the
beauty of this marvelous gift called free agency that Heavenly Father blessed us
all with. Hope one day his heart will soften and forgive whoever or whatever it
was that offended and caused him to be so bitter towards the Church.
The Catholic Church has many "for profit arms" and many ways it has
chosen to spend said monies. I have no problem with Catholics donating to their
church and to all the wonderful things that they do around the world.There
are massive amounts of monies donated to online and TV Priests and Evangelists.
If someone wants to give money to them I have not problem with that. There are
good things they do also. The "Southern Utah Wilderness", you
all know them as an enviromental group, has massive amounts of monies. In the
name of the 'earth' their God, they are a nonprofit organization. They say they
do good too, and to be fair they do try to clean things up. I have never
ever heard one of these organizations disclose what they really own, how much
monies come into them, Or even who donates to them.(No, enviromental groups can
just hand out a paper to the legislature that says anonomus donors.)Full
disclosure, fine, every nonprofit organization must, no matter what they are or
who donates, provide full disclosure. Including, the organized protest groups,
AIDS awareness, cancer awareness, Gay rights etc. No right to privacy, no