I agree. It is not a public house of worship and should be required to pay the
property tax required for charitable entities.
The court is 100% wrong in its decision. Public buildings are not open to the
general public all the time, and many have dress or other requirements that must
be met before entry is allowed. That is just a convenient excuse to chip away
at the moral fabric of our society.People that disagree should
really take an honest look (unlikely) at why churches get an exemption.
It's not because it is a public place, it's because the positive
social and charitable benefits of most churches far outweigh the paltry amount
the government can collect from taxes. In the LDS church 100% of the charitable
donations received are used for the intended purpose. Agencies like the Red
Cross and UNICEF return in the 70% range and governments return less then 50%.
And the quality of service far exceeds that of the other agencies. People that
wish "equal taxes" on religions should be careful because they may get
what they wish for.Once the churches have lost their exempt status
other exempt institutions will follow, much to the detriment of our society.
And all to line the pockets of the government.
Typical european nonsense. Maybe this kangaroo court will charge property taxes
on all Mormon GI gravesites.
The tax assessment can't be that bad. Call it a warehouse; those things
seldom have many windows.
It's open to anyone who wants to go in badly enough.
This is nothing more than another attack on anything Christian. It is the
beginning of a massive flood of litigation against Christians. Next will be the
homosexual community suing for access to temples and eventually it will be
granted because of "fairness." Once that happens, the church will close
the temples affected in those countries.
It is a public house of worship. Anyone can enter it with the proper paperwork,
i.e. a temple recommend. Other religions have places where the general public
cannot just walk into. Why is the LDS Church singled out?
This is a sad ruling for the church as the money used to pay taxes will not go
to the other good things the LDS church does. For those who claim that this is a
"correct" ruling are somehow using this as a way to ridicule the church
for holding standards as to who can go in this or any Temple. Having
attended the Temple Sessions well over 600 times in the past 14 years (by no
means any kind of record) I can testify that the only way anyone will get
something out of those sessions is by being very ready, worthy and prepared. If
someone attends that is not worthy, there is no spirit there. Everyone must be
ready and trying to do their best to keep the covenants they have made. If I go
without trying my best to do my best, I get nothing from it. But the times when
I am very desirous to know God's will, open to His direction and humble in
my demeanor, it is like attending a session with Angels. It is still
a public building, open to those who have paid the price of humility and
worthiness to enter.
The temple is open to all members of the public who meet the requirements to
hold a temple recommend. And no member of the public is prohibited from meeting
those standards. In fact, all are encouraged to do so.I'm not
sure what law the judges are applying but the temple meets the commonly
understood definition of public.
Absolutely wrong decision... One more mingling with religious freedom... I
wonder what they'll do with monasteries and places like mosques, where
public is not allowed... Extremely poor decision by EU. Sad that other churches
did not join the fight...
Why was the church arguing in court that the Temple is a public place of
worship? Just to save paying some property taxes? Better, in my
opinion, to acknowledge the obvious - that the Temple is not open to the public,
avoid spending all of the money on attorneys, and simply pay 20% of the property
tax. It seems to me the money spent arguing in court could have been better
spent to help those in need.
The Court here seems to be holding to a very narrow definition of public. Any
devout religious group is going to have places reserved exclusively for its
members. It seems like the Court here wants to define "public" to
mean "general public". Historically it was not defined as thus. Seems to
me that the Court is trying to publish exclusive or semi-exclusive religions.
Rather a fine distinction, to nuance tax status by reference to "public"
access. Just how much interest does the government take in identifying such
charateristics? If there is a "private" room in a building from which
"public" entry is barred, does that now disqualify that building from
full tax-exempt status?Interestingly, one of the related issues
being debated in US courts involves access to bathrooms. Does this ruling imply
that segregated bathrooms should exclude a charitable business from full
So what, Corvette? You have no clue how much charity work the Church of Jesus
Christ of Latter Day Saints performs on a daily, weekly, monthly, yearly basis.
It well out weighs the taxes on any temple. Your comment denotes nothing other
than an ax to grind.
Unions, planned parenthood, the NAACP and community organizers are not houses of
worship either but they don't pay taxes. Gee I wonder why?
Unfortunately, England doesn't have a First Amendment. This demonstrates
the need for one. We are blessed in this country with a constitution that
protects church's from this sort of thing. In England,
taxpayers actually have pay to support the Church of England. That is why we
got the First Amendment--to make sure there would be no state church and to
protect religion from government intrusion. It was NOT to keep faith out of the
public square as so many try to claim nowadays.
put in a visitor's center chapel... problem solved.
I disagree with the court's decision. Many faiths have temples,
sanctuaries, or holy places that nonmemebers are prohibited from entering, or
they have portions of their places of worship that nonmembers may not enter. To
require a church to allow all people into all places of their houses of worship
is dictating to a religion how they must worship, and thus intrudes on their
freedom of worship. I would hope that this ruling does not effect synagogues,
Islamic houses of worship, and sanctuaries of other faiths. Let common sense
rules over the narrow view that all places of worship must also be
"public" places of worship. Thank you.
This is the first step in control of religion by the government.
I wonder how the local mosque is treated for tax purposes?
Wait until they try to tax the Muslim mosques! Can a Christian attend their
"Unions, planned parenthood, the NAACP and community organizers are not
houses of worship either but they don't pay taxes."FALSE!
"Wait until they try to tax the Muslim mosques! Can a Christian attend their
worship services?"Simple answer, YES you can.
Everyone and anyone can enter an LDS Temple. It's just that we are asked to
clean the mud off our shoes and souls before entering. Is that too much to ask?
Anyone can do it, everyone is invited to do it. You would hope people entering
your home would have clean soles/souls. Why not the House of the Lord?
Kangaroo court? Another attack on Christianity? European nonsense? Those are all
silly statements. The issue is simply that the UK has different taxation laws
that the United States. You may not agree with the ruling, but it is simple
enforcement of the current laws. Rather than projecting and demonizing the laws
of the land in the UK, why not try and change them?
You really can't combat a decision by a European Court by throwing American
laws at it. If the people of Europe want this changed, they have it within
their power to do so. As Americans, we really have no say in other
countries' tax laws.
"In the LDS church 100% of the charitable donations received are used for
the intended purpose."That may be so. However, the
"intended purpose" does not, (or should not) warrant a tax deduction.Feed and cloth the poor in society? Of course most could agree that
would qualify.But, tax exempt money collected in the US and used
either in the US or overseas to attempt to convert others to Mormonism should
not qualify for tax exemption.Plain and simple. How does the US
benefit from a missionary converting someone in Peru from Catholicism to
No, GZE, we don't have any say in their tax laws. It's just very
simple to point out their utter contempt for anything Christian and their
feckless hypocrisy when it comes to other institutions.
"It's just that we are asked to clean the mud off our shoes and souls
before entering."I know that coffee and wine can stain my shirts
and my teeth, but I am confident that my soul is not affected.
The court is wrong in their decision and are on the wrong side of history.
Everyone is welcomed and wanted to enter the temple to worship. There are a few
things that a person needs to do before they enter, other than that there is
zero restrictions if they will follow all of the rules to enter.I
also do not know of a time when people were restricted from worshiping when on
temple grounds. Everyone is welcomed to reflect, be part of the garden. Again
they are asked to be respectful, the same respect they're given:)So if any church restricts the public access to certain areas of a church.
Let's say where money is stored or electronics, then they are violating the
law and need to be taxed more?That doesn't make sense.If you restrict access to the popes room is he in violation?I
suppose Mosque are fair game for anyone to walk into?
@Mountanman"Unions, planned parenthood, the NAACP and community
organizers are not houses of worship either but they don't pay taxes. Gee I
wonder why?"Um, because they are 501(c)(3) organizations under
IRS code. Regardless, the tax issue at hand is not with IRS code but the laws of
England and much as the IRS might really want to tax the Brits they can't
so your question is quite irrelevant.
@Liberal Ted - There is a lot that is required before one can enter an LDS
temple, it is not a very simple process, and for good reasons. Yes, anyone can
enter a Mosque.
I wonder if they charge the same tax on Mosques? because a non Muslim can not
enter there too. Might want to point that out to the courts.
I hope that I live to see the day when all churches everywhere are taxed like
the businesses that they are. “I find the whole business of religion
profoundly interesting. But it does mystify me that otherwise intelligent people
take it seriously.” ― Douglas Adams
Yeah, Candide, I hope to see the day that a secular humanist opens a non-profit
hospital or a welfare system such as the one run by the LDS church.
Wrong decision! Temples are a public place of worship, and all are encourged to
attend! Nobody is discouraged from attending the temple, you only have to be
worthy enough. On the bright side, another confirmation that the LDS is the true
church! The true church will always be attacked, just like Christ was attacked
during his time on earth, as with the apostles who served him, and the First
Church of the Meridian of Times.
@ Coach BiffThe reason you don't see secular humanists opening
hospitals is because religions have a steady stream of tithes coming in to pay
for expensive projects that other groups do not. In recent years, as humanist
groups have organized, there has been an increase in secular charities. Google
secular charities and you will see a large list of groups that help the world
without religious strings attached. There are also numerous non-profit
We are indeed in the later days. Look at all the things our government does to
violate religious rights.
Temples are not public - they are membership centered, including the payment of
a membership fee (tithing). Yes, "anyone" can join the club, but they
must be a member before entrance is admitted.This decision is about
property tax - the temple in question is being charged the same property tax
rate as other charitable organizations are charged.This has nothing
to do with income taxes nor does it have to do with trying to force the temple
to allow non-members in.Yes, public buildings - mosques, synagogues,
cathedrals, and LDS chapels - have some areas that are private, but anyone can
enter and attend services.This ruling recognizes that a temple is
different from a chapel and treats it as different.This ruling has
nothing to do with income taxes or the teachings of the church or anything other
than strict interpretation of European property tax laws.
@Serenity"Other religions have places where the general public cannot
just walk into. Why is the LDS Church singled out?"How do you
know it is being singled out; perhaps the other exceptions are treated the same?
If you restrict it entirely only to members, it's not public. @Trouble"I'm not sure what law the judges are applying but the
temple meets the commonly understood definition of public."A
ward meetinghouse meets the commonly understood definition of public since
everyone can visit.@MountainmanYou do know that this temple
isn't in the U.S. right?
Solution to the LDS Church not having to pay property taxes on temples:Allow weddings conducted in the temple to be attended by non-Mormons including
siblings, fathers, mothers and friends who may be Mormon but not temple
recommend holders.I think you will see other governments and even US
State governments take a look at this ruling and force the LDS church to pay
property taxes on temples since the temple admittance process requires a fee
(10% of one's income/increase).
They wouldn't let us iin to see the dome of St Paul cathedral in London.
Why does a court in France have anything to say about a church in England? Just
asking. I won't read this later, so not rebuttle here.
They only pay 20% of the standard tax. Not too bad.For those who argue
that this is not public access.Are Masonic temples taxed?Federal
Military installations?Red Cross warehouses?I should have access to
all military buildings, every church house, every charity warehouse that
receives tax exempt status?Be able to do as I wish on federal property
(including National Parks) whatever I want because I pay the membership fee?I agree with the ruling because it is a portion of the tax, but the key is to
learn whether other "public" institutions face the same fact. (Go to
europe a few different churches will deny someone of another faith access)
Might be a technical point, but every Temple I've been to has an open area
that non members and or non recommend holders can come into and sit. It's
not like you can't get into the front door. So, I wonder how much of the
access to the building is required before tax exemption is given. Plus,
I'd be glad that the Preston Temple is at least getting the 80% break in
taxes. I won't be surprised if some countries in the world where the
Church has Temples won't give any tax break at all. And, one thing I know,
the LDS Church will always have the funds to afford what ever financial costs
are required to build the Church today. The Lord will see to it. So, relax, all
is well. P.S. Will this/ does this apply to the other Temple in
England, southwest of London, and or other Temples in Europe?
@Coach BiffNot trying to be mean or snide, but how do you know that? The
LDS church doesn't publish their financial documents, and at least in the
US they don't have to. But with that said how does somebody like me, who
isn't mormon, know what percentage of the LDS churches money goes to
charity? If your a believer, and trust the organization that's fine, but as
just an average, non mormon guy how would I know that's what hte money is
used for?Do the rest of your realize this is in the UK and not the
USA? The UK doesn't have the same laws regarding churches, and the LDS
church gets a better deal than some. The Scientologists were told they
weren't a religion and have to pay full taxes in the UK. Trying to apply
American prinicpals to UK law is silly. The UK has no first amendment, therefore
they don't have specific constitutional type rules regarding religious
I side with the court. It appears that the court is following local precedent
(as noted in the second to last paragraph) regarding private chapels. In the US,
we have a different paradigm regarding tax exempt status and religious freedom,
so the ruling seems unusual. Any word on how much the annual tax
bill will be ($50,000 perhaps)? That information would be public record in the
US. It was reasonable for the LDS church to pursue tax exempt status in the
courts. This is an unexpected recurring expense for the next century.I am curious if I could obtain tax exempt status for a home based congregation
of the Brotherhood of Monday Night Football. In addition to property tax, I
could write off a big screen TV, a monthly cable subscription, furniture, a
grill and a drink fridge. Hmmmm...
The ruling is all about money for the area/city. Nothing more. I would expect
every muslim mosque would receive the same 20% ruling since only muslims are
allowed to attend. There is no difference between an LDS temple and muslim
mosque per this ruling. I hope the Mormon church appeals this bigoted,
@Noodlekaboodle, Yes. I have intimate knowledge of the charity work performed
by the church. And only in one facet. I can't even imagine what else they
do with the other entities. Bottom line, it's none of your business. Go
visit one of the welfare farms or Welfare Square for that matter. Do your own
research and you will be able to get a better idea of the charity work performed
with monies from the church, and the countless hours of volunteer work performed
by it's adherents.@Candide, give me a break. Charity work from
secular sources are a widow's mite compared to that done by churches.
It's a proven fact that the church going citizens give more time and money
to charity than progressives, atheists, and liberals by far. Not even close.
I think this ruling by the court is just another step in these last days of
persecuting the LDS Church...We are in the fullness of times and the Devil and
his agents are not going to sit by idly as we carry on the work,Didn't we see recently the Profit is being sued for Latter Days Saints
doing what we are supposed to be doing, paying our Tithes...And do you see where
it is coming from... We read about the persecution in the pioneer
days...Let us put on the Whole Armour of Righteousness cause now it's our
time...The line is drawn in the sand and who is on the Lord's
side have to be firmly grounded,cause those against us are focoused on
destroying the Lord's Work...With faith in God and obedience we
RE: Morass ,”I think this ruling by the court is just another step in
these last days of persecuting the LDS”.AS well as, the
Freemasons’ Grand Lodge Sufferd a Stinging Tax Defeat.The
United Grand Lodge of England represents about 250,000 Masons, belonging to
around 8,000 lodges, and in 2010 alone donated more than £80 million to
various charitable causes. The body says that Freemasonry’s
‘peculiar system of morality, veiled in allegory and illustrated by
symbols’[Mormon].However, The FTT found that the promotion of
the teachings[Mormon], ceremonies and rituals of Freemasonry had remained one of
the Grand Lodge’s primary objectives, as well as the ‘encouragement
of fraternity, self-improvement and mutual care’ amongst its members.
This is absolutely right, as a Brit I agree with the courts decision, I'm
not sure of the qualifications of those Americans commenting how terrible this
decision is but this has gone to the correct court and due process has been
followed. It matters not what your opinion, the court has ruled and that is
that. To be fair, a Temple is not a place of public worship, this is not
religious discrimination as the same ruling applies to all organisations.
Noodlekaboodle, how much money the church has is not any of your business and as
a card carrying member, I could care less how much money they have and what they
do with it. Anyone that messes around with LDS funds gets excomunicated from
the church as fast as possible. That would apply from the top to the bottom.
As a finance clerk, I got audited in my ward twice a year. Every expenditure is
scrutinized in those audits as well as every bank deposit. There are many, many
@FlashbackI'm not accusing the LDS church of financial impropriety. I
just wonder how much is charitable, and how much is for things like chapels and
temples. IMO, any money used for things like the DI(job training, cheap stuff
for poor people) or at their canneries or any of the many programs they have to
help people eat, get clothing or find jobs shouldn't be taxed. But why
shouldn't the LDS church pay for things that are only for their member, and
not for society as a whole? I'm sure if the church paid taxes for Salt Lake
temple my property taxes in Salt Lake would go down. And before anyone yells
about this, i'm well aware that the LDS church has for profit
business's that pay taxes( Deseret News, KSL, City Creek, etc) I'm
specifically talking about properties exclusive to religious function.
@donn,I don't know anything about the free masons or their
activities...I am just looking at what seem to be a pattern that's
emerging of LDS persecution...I am fairly new to the Church only 14
years, and it's kinda strange to see these court activities happening
and the charges that are being put forward...Quite frankly i
don't feel it's coincedence coming at this time the way it
has'''You not being of our faith wouldn't understand
what i'm talking bout, but that's okWe expected
opposition...It only makes us stronger.
I was hoping someone in the comments could provide an example of another
religion that would prevent non members (i.e., the public) from entering.
Woodworker references 'synagogues, Islamic houses of worship...' but I
would be allowed inside a Jewish synagogue and I would be allowed into a mosque.
Certainly the mosque would have a dress code (i.e., women must cover their hair)
but I am not allowed to enter a Mormon temple. Of course Mormon temples are
private buildings. To say otherwise is being less than honest.
"I would expect every muslim mosque would receive the same 20% ruling since
only muslims are allowed to attend. There is no difference between an LDS temple
and muslim mosque per this ruling. I hope the Mormon church appeals this
bigoted, anti-Christian ruling."Can everyone please stop making
this same FALSE argument?!! It's based on the uninformed idea that
non-Muslims cannot attend mosques. Here's a secret, I'm not Muslim,
but I was openly welcomed to the mosque when I went out of curiosity. There is
no requirement to be a member. You may be asked to behave in a certain manner,
but that's true of a Catholic cathedral, a Mormon meetinghouse, or a Jewish
Community Center.Please stop spreading false stereotypes about
someone because you happen to fear their religion.
@Coach BiffDon't tell me about Welfare Square, I live across the
street. I volunteer once a week, because the mission at Welfare Square is a good
thing, even if I don't believe in LDS church. What i'm asking is why I
should pay more in property tax so the LDS church doesn't have to? Just in
SLC if Temple Square paid property taxes it would reduce every single resident
of SLC's bill. The money that goes to the DI, Canneries, Welfare Farms and
the Bishops Storehouse (ya, i'm well aware of the LDS churches charity
efforts)and all the other charitable ventures should in no way be taxed. But
with temples and chapels the LDS church gets the benefit of paying property
tax(police, fire, roads that run to the building) but pays no taxes on those
properties, I have to pay taxes for the police, fire department, schools etc on
my property, why does the LDS church(and all other religions) get a break for
expenses that grown their religion?
It's the right ruling. No religious structure for any religion can be
simultaneously tax exempt and exclusive in who it services. Members of the
public who don't enjoy full benefits should not be expected to help
subsidize it with their taxes.
Article quote: "A panel of judges from the European Court of Human Rights in
Strasbourg, France, announced its decision that the Preston temple is not a
"public place of worship" because it is open only to members with a
temple recommend."Ahhh.....but it IS a "public" place of
worship given the unquestioned fact that it is open to ALL people, ie, ALL
people of ALL races and both sexes, as long as they choose (and, yes, it is most
definitely a "choice") to meet the standards that are required.I have a brother-in-law that works in the Accounting Department of the LDS
church and he has been saying for several years that there are anti-LDS
organizations that are pushing relentlessly for the Church to lose its
tax-exempt status. The ultimate goal being to possibly damage the church by
reducing its tithing receipts by discouraging weaker-faith members to not pay
tithing anymore if their tithing becomes taxable income.Attacks on
religion....hangs on, it's gonna get bumpier.
Come on people!! Really?Right and wrong has nothing to do with it.
This is about money and we are talking about England.Every day
Europeans wake up looking for ways to get access to other peoples money to
finance their lifestyle. Religion is basically irrelevant over there. They
hate religion when it gets down to it and so cutting religion down a notch is
just icing on the cake....as long as they get money for their efforts.Its no wonder they are in the mess they are in.Follow the money
I have no issue with the Church paying property tax on the temple--I hear it
does in other countries anyway. However, I think the discount should be
increased to take into account the fact that the temple grounds themselves are
open to the public. Tax the square footage the temple itself occupies, no
more.Though I do wonder, if, say, a gay couple wanted to hold their
wedding ceremony on temple grounds, 1) would the Church allow that? and 2) if
not, would the grounds technically not be considered "open to the
People may walk in front of the building or visit a visiting center attached but
it is not a public building anyone can enter to worship in like a LDS ward
chapel, or a Catholic Church. You can enter a mosque if you are not Muslim you
are allowed to go in and pray. The only way it would be a public space is if you
didn't need a card to enter, a card that had exclusive requirements to
enter. A temple doesn't even allow members in good standing in. A 10 year
old sibling baptized can't attend a wedding or attend with parents
ordinarily until they reach a certain age. As a nonmember, member of the public
I can not walk inside your temple and worship in that space. It does qualify as
doing a good public work and that is why it gets a break off property taxes. It
sounds like their charitable organizations do not get a full ride on property
taxes for buildings in England. Yes in Europe church owned properties of many
faiths that are not free and open to the public are taxed on their properties.
Why should it matter if it is open to the public or not?It seems to
be a distinction with out merit.
What is going to happen is that the European communities are going to get so
dependent on the tax base from religious groups that when they chase the
religions away they are going to have economic collapses. The government is
shooting itself in the foot because of dependency.
the courts were perfectly within the law to make the decision it did. mosques
are open to the general public, the temple isn't. there is a stake centre
in the grounds of the temple, along with provision for visitors, family history
office and shop. the actual temple is not open to the general public so has to
be subject to property taxes. 80 percent discount is a good discount as
everyone else is paying the full whack. being a mormon is more difficult for a
woman than it is for a woman to be a muslim…and yes i live with spitting
distance from this temple.
JoeBlow,Just to be clear, most folks in Peru are not converting from
Catholicism to Mormonism. Most converts I know were not very active Catholics
(or whatever they once were).The benefit of someone going from a
non-observant __________ to an active member of the LDS church is typically in
significant lifestyle improvements. Agreed that is a benefit to Peruvian
society rather than the US.
RE: Morass I am just looking at what seem to be a pattern that's emerging
of LDS Persecution?Kim Jong-un, the supreme leader of North Korea,
has called for the execution of 33 people for reportedly working as accomplices
to South Korean Baptist missionary Kim Jung-wook and planning to help him create
500 underground churches.@I don't know anything about the free
masons or their activities. Masons seek tax-exempt status Lawmakers cite
charitable activities, Five state representatives, all Freemasons, want an
exemption on Masonic temple property taxes, citing the group's charitable
contributions to illustrate its qualifications. The Masons do a lot for
charity,'said Shurtleff, a member of the Penacook chapter and a Freemason
for more than 25 years. 'I can see if a lodge rented out to another agency
and generated money from it, it should be taxable. But if money comes only from
membership and it works as a charitable entity, I don't see why it's
not tax-exempt like other organizations[Mormon].'
Isn't it about time common sense prevailed! Well done English courts.I've been a member of the Church for 53 years and I can't go into a
temple.It's not a public place, it's a private building for
private church business.Does the heart good. Maybe the IRS will take note
and do the same thing to all the temples in the US. I imagine the Church
won't be building them at quite the pace they are if this happens.
I am pretty sure that the London England Temple already pays taxes (pretty sure
it was voluntary), therefore I'm not sure why it is surprising that the
Preston England temple is expected to do the same. As an LDS person
living in the UK I do find it annoying that the church does not get all of the
same tax exemptions as other religions or recognition of places to worship,
however by the legal definition of public, the temple is not, as Joe blogs
public cannot just enter from the street for a visit (as I believe we can with
other religious buildings). Unfortunately that is the legal system
in the UK, it's the same reason we have to have civil weddings before our
temple marriages. US law does not apply, I feel sometimes people are
surprised to learn the church is a global church therefore it must abide by the
laws of many governments not just US law. 12.We believe in being
subject to kings, presidents, rulers, and magistrates, in obeying, honoring, and
sustaining the law.
These tax collectors and money changers do not know who they are dealing with!
The last time this happened, Jesus drove out them out of HIS Father's
temple with a whip!
Somebody Educate me, please: I was under the impression that the UK was not
part of the EU -- at least as far as currency is concerned; and as far as I
could determine, any other way. In that respect, the Brits. are more like us --
independent! (Surprise, Surprise!!??) SOOooooo -- why is a Temple
in England (or anything/anybody else in England)having any dealings with an E.U.
Court in Strasburg? Of what am I ignorant here? Thanks in
My goodness what is all the fuss about here. This ruling was correct and to try
and compare the LDS temple with mosques or synagogues is just grasping at straws
you have no understanding of. Not any or everyone can enter an LDS temple. It
has to be the select few who first and primarily pay their tithing and then
follow the rest of the commandments...or at least profess to for appearance
sake. Anyone can enter a mosque or Jewish synagogue...you just have to cover
your head and/or stay in the appropriate gender area and/or take your shoes off.
I have been in a mosque, a Jewish temple, a several flavors of Buddhist
temples, as well as other services offered by Ba'hai, various Christian
denominations and the only place off limits to me was the LDS temple. So no it
is not a public place of worship...it is exclusionary to a majority of people
including those in the LDS faith itself. The ruling was 100% correct. If it
amounts to too much money, I'm sure a prophecy will be forth coming have no
Paying tax was no problem for Jesus and his Apostles during his mortal
ministry.Just go fishing. Than pull a coin out of the
fishes mouth and pay it to Ceasar.
Tax exemption is not a God given right.... It is a state sponsored privilege.
Article 12 of the "Articles of Faith" make the church subject to
whatever laws the state chooses to enforce. Including public access. Or loss
Biff...which hospital is funded by the LDS church? Or did you mean the one
million donated to the Marriott medical center...you know they pay a million in
tithing and get it back in a donation. Children's Primary...LDS church got
out of that a long time ago. They found shopping centers and condominiums to be
more profitable. You know like the new condos that are going to be built above
the new meeting house that is going in across the street from the new temple in
Philly. Welcome to Celestial Gardens where you can live upstairs from God...if
you have millions because it sure isn't going to be affordable housing for
the homeless or low income that Jesus Christ would mandate that we care for.
to Kav, Serenity, & trouble...Your posts pretty much spell out
why its not public.to CatsPer Jefferson's letter to
the Danbury Baptists; The Wall is meant to exclude interference from Secular to
Religious and vice versa.
Flashback: Wouldn't it be nice if the church followed their own example and
underwent a public audit of their funds twice a year? to put everyones whining
Maudine, Thank you for the rational, unemotional and well written comment.
Please read the comment if you are feeling persecuted by a European court, a
court Church members believe in being "subject too" (12 Article of
Faith). For information, the legal definition of public. " of,
pertaining to, or affecting a population or a community as a whole, open to all
persons." The Church's official News Media website states,
"When The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints builds a new temple,
the sacred building is opened for public tours. Anyone can attend this open
house... After that, the temple is formally dedicated and is open only to Church
members who are actively engaged in the faith."Notice that
"anyone" can attend the "public" open house. However, after it
is dedicated "only Church members who are actively engaged" may attend.
The Church makes clear that meetinghouses are public, temples are
private."To account for the diversity of religious experience,
many religions have traditionally made space in their worship practices for the
public and the private. These sanctuaries serve a much different purpose than
regular worship services intended for larger audiences. It is no different with
the Latter-day Saints."
In Mexico, the Church pays property taxes for every property that it owns,
temples, churches, campgrounds. The tax is pretty low but they still pay it
anyway.The tithing slips in Mexico say that they are NOT deductible
for taxing purposes given that the Church is not exempt from paying taxes.
Civil marriages have to happen before religious ones, even in the case of the
Danny Chipman: In answer to your question as to whether a same-sex marriage
would be allowed on temple grounds. The answer to that is an emphatic no. In a
statement released recently, no church property will be allowed to be utilized
for the purpose celebrating or conducting same-sex marriages. This was issued
to each and every unit through out the world and signed by all members of the
Just to clarify things. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints did not
use any of the charitable contributions to develop the City Creek area. The
bulk of the tower in Philly will house the ordinance workers, Temple Presidency
and for other institutes. The LDS Church requires Temple Presidents to live
within ten minutes of the Temple in case of problems. Therefore, where ever a
Temple is built, living quarters for the Temple Presidency will also be done.The LDS Church audits all of their wards, branches and stakes every 6
months to ensure Church funds are used in accordance with the Standards the
Church has established. The individual responsible for all Ward and Brach
finances is the Bishop or Branch President. This audit is then turned into the
Stakes and then to Church headquarters. When that money leaves your hand and
goes into a member of the Branch Presidency or Bishopric, it is no longer your
money. One hundred percent of Fast Offerings, Humanitarian and other offerings
go to those areas. No other church on earth has this organization. It is the
The temple is certainly not a for-profit commercial enterprise that should be
taxed. This secular assault on religion is but the beginning.
@JoeBlowYour comparison with the missionary program is a faulty
syllogism. Taxing a temple is a separate issue. The subject has turned into a
platform for the disaffected.
No one knows what the church spends its money on for sure. The books are closed
to the public and any scrutiny. We hope that the donations and contributions are
spent in accordance with church standards, but really, none of us will ever see
the books or the numbers to know for sure. Not only do we have to exercise faith
that there is a God and a Jesus, we also now have to exercise faith that the
First Presidency is spending the money correctly.
Owl wrote:"The temple is certainly not a for-profit commercial
enterprise that should be taxed. This secular assault on religion is but the
beginning."No, it is restoring equity and balance to an
imbalanced society that has been suffering from the assault OF religion on peace
loving, non-sectarian peoples for hundreds of years.
"No other church has that standard."As a catholic
parishioner I have seen the expenses and income of my individual parish
published for all to read. People in authority in the organization promising
they are doing checks and audits is not transparent as others would like. They
just want to know what is spent on maintenance and what is spent on charitable
projects and what is sent to a higher part of the church and any loans
outstanding. I think converts get confused about these sweeping statements when
they have seen a more transparent approach.
K You are talking about a single parish. Not the entire Catholic Church.
Everything you contribute goes to the one parish. It also goes to subsistence
for the parish as well as the diocese. Therefore, what you are getting is what
is spent in the parish, not through the entire Catholic Church. We have the
same thing that we have a budget and it can be seen by the auxiarilly leaders.
However, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints of what is contributed
to the Church goes to Salt Lake and is then distributed via budgets to the
Stakes, Wards and Branches. The maintenance of the buildings are paid from Salt
Lake not by each and every Ward/Unit. We are a lay ministry so the leaders of
the Wards, Stakes and etc. are unpaid thus taking care of their own subsistence.
Unlike the Catholic Church we charge nothing for weddings or the use of the
buildings for weddings or receptions. Thus the care of buildings, building new
chapels, temples, books and etc are all paid through the tithes paid by the
membership. So yes you can see how the units spend the money.
@PendergastYou should actually read the letter and the context (I.e.
what the letter was responding to, why Jefferson was righting, and so forth).Cats is right. It is a one easy wall, protecting religion from
government interference. Any other interpretation is modern or
progressive gobbledygook.The founding fathers had no problem with
religion in the public square, in fact they encouraged and supported it. It is progressives (communist, Marxists, etc.) and modern liberals that
have a problem with it. Remember it is government by the people not
government by the "government".
Temples aren't charitable organizations.
Temples are certainly not where the charitable activity (usually) takes place.
But, among the Latter-day Saints, temples are where covenants to serve are made
and are the source of much refreshment and strengthening to live those
covenants.Folks seem pleased when the LDS serve in their
communities. Much of the source of that spirit of volunteerism comes from the
temple. I think it would be fair to say that without temples, much of that
commitment to serve would be lost.
Despite the dire pronouncements in other comments, this isn't an attempt by
the UK government to take over churches, destroy religion or treat Mormons as
pariahs. It's an even-handed application of British law, which would be,
and has been, applied equally to all religions. If the general public is banned
from a building during times of regular use, it's not a public
accommodation or a place for public worship. Thus, under UK law, it's not
tax exempt. No one is trying to persecute you or tax your church out of
existence. I would expect the same treatment of our synagogues if we closed the
building off to anyone but Jews.
RE: Twin Lights,Temples are certainly not where the charitable activity
(usually) takes place. But, among the Latter-day Saints, temples are where
covenants to serve are made and are the source of much refreshment and
strengthening to live those covenants. And, The first three
presidents of the Mormon Church were all Masons. LDS historian Reed C. Durham,
Jr., insists J S did in fact use the Masonic ceremony as a springboard for the
Mormon ceremony. He wrote, "There is absolutely no question in my mind that
the Mormon ceremony which came to be known as the Endowment, introduced by
Joseph Smith to Mormon Masons initially, just a little over one month after he
became a Mason, had an immediate inspiration from Masonry" (No Help For the
Widow's Son, 1980, pg. 17).
Donn,This is repeated over and over (and over again) by church
critics. I understand the point. I have friends who are Masons (including LDS
friends who are Masons). Not really the same. But thanks.
BJ. Actually I give a percentage to my parish, and I give a percentage directly
to my diocese. And I give directly to the pontiff in certain collections like
Peter's pence. If the diocese does a fundraising drive outside of its
regular operating budget which I can also view as I like the amounts raised and
distributed for each are made public. The parish is required to pass along a
certain amount to the budget to the diocese say it's 100K. If the
individuals of the parish give more than 100K the parish gets a refund, less the
remaining comes from envelopes. Catholics in the US are encouraged to give 10%
among the parish, diocese and other charitable efforts. Not 10% to the church
and extra to other specific efforts like missions or humanitarian efforts. But I
know how much my parish spends in utilities, know if there was a shortfall or
overage. Know the amount they collected for leasing land to a farmer before the
building money could be raised to expand. I know it cost 250k to pave and expand
the parking lot and that the money came from a parishioners donation.
Remember each parish in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints has its
budget determined by those attending sacrament meeting. For your information
the 10% that is given as tithing is only what has been requested. The rest is if
you WISH to donate it. Nothing is forced as you suggest. When a parking lot is
repaved, building is built and all comes from the TITHING funds of the Church.
The budget in our wards/branches is for mainly operating expenses. There was a
time in the LDS Church where each ward/branch had to solicit funds to support
activities. There was a time in the LDS Church that a unit had to solicit funds
to get a building. That is no longer true. As I stated before no other
religious organization has the ability to build new buildings, temples, maintain
its buildings throughout the world as the LDS Church does. All new buildings
are bought and paid for before the construction is completed. If that is not
possible then the work is shelved until it is. Can you honestly say what Rome
spends. The answer is no.
Good gravy, silly people! This is not an attack on religion or an attack on
Christians. England is a Christian nation. In fact, it has an official,
national church, the Church of England, sometimes known as the Anglican Church.
Its official national church is headed up by its head of state, also known as
its Monarch, currently Queen Elizabeth II.This is what happens when
you don't have an Establishment Clause in your Constitution. One church is
in, and all others are out. So, keep trying to chip away at ours here in the
U.S. and see what happens.(Mind you that as states with official
religions go, England has very liberal rules to protect the freedom of worship
of all other religions. Compare and contrast with Saudi Arabia, for instance.
Don't expect all the same tax breaks or public support, though.)
When holy oxes get gored for government dollars, it may help tax reform for the
betterment of all.How much is the tax? $20,000. Big Deal. It will
be paid. I know it a precedent thing, because governments just can't wait
to find something new to tax that has been over looked.Doesn't
England recognize non-profit organizations with restricted membership? Even if all churches were taxed, the members would find a way to pay it and
get so upset they may help fix the tax system hurting so many.Sometimes Christians need to get prodded into action and this may be a start.
Tax all churches and be done with it.
And interesting ruling, however I must disagree. No one is
preventing anyone desiring access to a Temple from following the steps necessary
for gaining entrance.Temples are, in fact, places of public worship,
however, just like so many other public places, they require certain criteria be
met before they can be accessed. A movie theater requires a ticket
before an individual can enter. If one cannot pay the price of admission, one
cannot gain entry.The price of admission to a Temple is a Recommend.
One must simply be willing to pay the price.