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How much did President Obama donate to his local church?

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  • Ken Sandy, UT
    April 16, 2014 12:09 a.m.

    Good to see him finally practicing what he preaches. Interesting that before his fame he wasn't so generous
    Per his tax returns.
    2002: .4%. Or less than half of one percent
    2003: 1.4%
    2004: 1.2%
    Says a lot. Can you imagine if Mitt Romney had given so little a percentage at any point?

  • liberate Sandy, UT
    April 16, 2014 12:50 a.m.

    I look forward to hearing all the Obama critics jump on this as just for show since he knows this will all become public as opposed to Romney who gives 10%+ to charity, never mind that it's all to his church, which requires a 10% donation to remain in good standing.

    Obama may (may being the operative word here) be in over his head but he continues to demonstrate he's a good guy. I wholeheartedly believe Romney is a good guy as well but let's give Obama his due occasionally.

  • JoeBlow Far East USA, SC
    April 16, 2014 6:21 a.m.

    Per the title "How much does President Obama donate to his local church?"

    An attempted slight perhaps?

    Is giving to a "local church" better/worse/different than giving to secular charitable organizations?

    Certainly, organized religions put forth the notion that the money should be given to them.

    Self serving, Perhaps?

  • Ranch Here, UT
    April 16, 2014 6:21 a.m.

    Personally, I think it's admirable to donate to causes other than religion. Religion is nothing more than "big business", out to make tremendous amounts of money these days. They are the ones Christ would throw out today as "money changers".

  • Liberal Ted Salt Lake City, UT
    April 16, 2014 8:06 a.m.

    @ Ranch

    I doubt Christ would think of his church as a "big business". After all He gave the commandment to bring your Tithes & Offerings to the church. A Tithe meaning 10% of your increase. It just wouldn't make sense to have a commandment, and then not expect people to follow it.

    As far as other causes I agree. But, I do have a problem when 25 cents of every dollar pays for the Administrative salaries of those charities. Why give my money there, when I know 100% of my donation will actually go to those in need? I think a big business typically wants a profit margin of 25% or more, which is what secular charities pull in. Where as in my church 100% of my donation is used to help those in need. In fact we use volunteers that donate their time to serve and the administration also donates their time.

    I'll accept that some churches operate differently, but, for the vast majority they put far more of the resources they receive back to the people.

  • Vanceone Provo, UT
    April 16, 2014 8:29 a.m.

    I think most liberals look at charitable donations and think "Why donate, when it can be paid as taxes instead? Isn't it government's job to help the poor/needy/get them to vote democrat?" And they see charity and churches as competition, and thus, try to stamp out charitable works and especially churches. Especially Christian churches, since a good Christian really has little need of government--he or she governs themselves.

    Which is against the law in liberal utopia--just look at poor Julia, the ideal Democrat woman. With no husband, and married to the state, pretty much.

  • JP Chandler, AZ
    April 16, 2014 8:45 a.m.

    @OtisBDriftwood
    Romney did provide his tax returns silly. In the 2010 and 2011 years, he donated $7 million to charity, of which about $4 million was to his church.

  • Happy Valley Heretic Orem, UT
    April 16, 2014 8:47 a.m.

    Liberal Ted said: "I doubt Christ would think of his church as a "big business".

    Not only would he not recognize any church as his, even the ones with his name on them, they would not recognize him and throw him out for heresy the moment he began to speak.

    A religion has a scripture about giving money to the keepers of the scriptures, how ...predictable.

    "Where as in my church 100% of my donation is used to help those in need." how would you know?, churches don't have to disclose their accounting, and don't. Faith I guess is good enough for some.

  • happy2bhere clearfield, UT
    April 16, 2014 8:54 a.m.

    Happy Valley Heretic

    The LDS church does disclose how it uses tithes and offerings. Now you may think they are lying, but then that is your problem, not ours.

  • skeptic Phoenix, AZ
    April 16, 2014 9:31 a.m.

    Corporate organized 501c tax exempt religions and their churches are self serving political business, Their clergy and favored hierarchy are well compensated and bask in the profits and power of the business of religion.

  • Mark B Eureka, CA
    April 16, 2014 9:39 a.m.

    Comparing Obama's donations to Romney's makes no sense since Obama's best year would be small potatoes for Mitt. The only thing they have in common was that they were candidates for the same elective office. I also think they are both good individuals in this respect.

  • Schnee Salt Lake City, UT
    April 16, 2014 9:55 a.m.

    Well it makes sense, .3%:10% is a similar ratio to Obama showing up to church 2 out of 52 weeks. (Heh, I think you're all slipping if I'm the one who had to come up with that one).

  • Happy Valley Heretic Orem, UT
    April 16, 2014 9:56 a.m.

    @happy2bhere
    The LDS Church has not publicly disclosed its financial statements in the United States since 1959. The church does disclose its financials in the United Kingdom and Canada where it is required to do so by law.

    Sorry it's not about my faith, I prefer facts.

    How can he be destroying religion and donating to it at the same time?

  • factsplease SLO, CA
    April 16, 2014 10:13 a.m.

    Re:Otis
    "JP...Romney only provided a tax return because by not doing so was hurting him politically. I actually respected him for holding back on it....he obviously took a lot of criticism for not providing it initially, but even further criticism because of the amounts of money he donated to the LDS Church. It was a Catch 22 for him."

    Romney received flack for not releasing several years of his tax returns as other presidents/candidates have. When he did, it revealed he paid an effective tax rate equal to the average American on an exponentially higher income, as well as a Swiss bank acct. In fact one one year he didn't take the full deduction for charitable contributions in order to inflate the tax rate.

    The LDS Church does not publically disclose its financial statements. One would think they could at least disclose yearly fast offerings and humanitarian financial statements as many charities do.

  • Liberal Ted Salt Lake City, UT
    April 16, 2014 10:26 a.m.

    @Mark B-

    Obama has spent $7 Trillion. That isn't small potatoes to someone like Mitt. That's not even small potatoes for the government.

    The only thing we have to show for it is, well nothing. Unemployment is still high, GM knowingly built cars that killed people and we still lost billions. The green energy revolution that was going to end oil, still is nowhere to be seen. The infrastructure of shovel ready projects are no where. The transparent presidency is missing. Gitmo is open for business. We're still in Afghanistan, Iraq and we added more African countries to fight. Obama has traveled more and spent more on his vacations than most other presidents. The obummers live rent free in the White House. Travel on our dime. Party on our dime. Vacation on our dime. And still made $500,000. Of which he paid just 20% in taxes. He's wealthy enough, he could afford to pay 60% in taxes and still make 2-3 times or more than most households.

  • Noodlekaboodle Poplar Grove, UT
    April 16, 2014 10:59 a.m.

    @Liberal Ted
    So owning a TV Station, Newspaper, radio stations, farms, malls, universities, restaurants, a Hawaiian theme park and book stores isn't big business?

  • JoeBlow Far East USA, SC
    April 16, 2014 11:03 a.m.

    "Why give my money there, when I know 100% of my donation will actually go to those in need?"

    So, 100% of tithing to the LDS church "goes to those in need?"

    I commend the LDS church for its charity. They do much better than many. But I dont consider paying the electric bill as charity to those in need. There is certainly overhead in any charitable endeavor.

    I would have to think that much less than 75% of LDS tithes actually go to feed or clothe the poor, sick or hungry.

    Sincerely. Think about what Jesus might say upon seeing some of the large religions churches and temples. Wouldn't his teachings suggest that he might say

    "very nice, but the money could have been much better spent. Why the need for such opulence?"

  • Dave D Spring Creek, NV
    April 16, 2014 11:23 a.m.

    "Where as in my church 100% of my donation is used to help those in need."

    NO! It doesn't! You know that 10% that you pay in addition to the church humanitarian causes you donate to? That is where administrative costs come from. The Church is not more efficient than most charities, nor are they equipped to deal with many development issues. That is why they partner with organizations that can effectively deal with certain humanitarian causes.

  • Mark B Eureka, CA
    April 16, 2014 11:30 a.m.

    As Ted should have known, my comparison between Obama and Romney was strictly on the basis of personal finances. Obama and family have not had government largesse that hasn't been available to other presidents, which Ted also knows.

  • Furry1993 Ogden, UT
    April 16, 2014 11:47 a.m.

    @worf 11:26 a.m. April 16, 2014

    How much taxes did Obama pay on the hundreds of millions taken from the American people for vacations, and gifts for Michelle?

    ---------------------

    Since the President personally paid for the gifts to his wife, and the President and First Lady personally paid for their vacations, your comment has no merit.

  • Turtles Run Houston, TX
    April 16, 2014 12:15 p.m.

    Ken wrote: Can you imagine if Mitt Romney had given so little a percentage at any point?

    Too bad we will not know since he refused to release his tax filings.

  • slcdenizen t-ville, UT
    April 16, 2014 12:22 p.m.

    Desnews 2012 - Mitt shouldn't have to disclose his charitable giving and tax information because it's a private matter.

    Desnews 2014 - Does Obama contribute enough to his local church? Let's check his taxes...

    The dissonance of this paper is becoming more and more palpable. How about a bit of consistency? Why does it matter if a president has a local church to begin with?

  • Ranch Here, UT
    April 16, 2014 12:37 p.m.

    @Liberal Ted;

    It isn't 'his church', it is man-made and a money making enterprise (as are the majority of other churches out there).

    No, 100% of your tithes and offerings do not go to the poor and needy (not even close). You can look at the financials your church publishes in England and Canada to verify that if you're actually interested.

  • Owl Salt Lake City, UT
    April 16, 2014 1:08 p.m.

    As with looking at Mitt Romney's charitable donations, that is not need-to-know, it is voyeurism.

  • Coach Biff Lehi, UT
    April 16, 2014 1:12 p.m.

    I sit here smiling because I have first hand knowledge of the money my church donates and the good it does locally because I have been in leadership positions which oversaw donations and a very close relative works for one of the church's many entities. To tell you that you are so wrong would be such an understatement that it would seem pointless. The LDS church is in a lose/lose situation from such folks. They would be accused of tooting their own horn if they disclosed their donations. So the church takes the high road and doesn't say anything, because it's none of these nattering nabob's business, and just accepts their groundless criticism.

  • gmlewis Houston, TX
    April 16, 2014 4:17 p.m.

    The word "charity" means love. The salvation of individuals is the highest expression of love. Therefore, I am very comfortable that tithing is a worthy means toward that lofty end. The LDS church owns many buildings (paid and maintained through tithing funds), and those buildings are used for ordinances that are essential for salvation. They are expensive because they are built to last. Our Savior definitely approves.

  • worf Mcallen, TX
    April 16, 2014 6:05 p.m.

    @Furry1993- your info is flawed.

    @OtisBDriftwood- with our country declining, eighty percent increase to the debt, and over half our people on their knees for a variety of welfare,--Anti Obama is expected of those who love the country.

  • Just Me Richfield, UT
    April 16, 2014 7:28 p.m.

    @ JoeBlow

    It's called Fast Offerings. Those funds are used to feed the hungry, pay their utility bills and help with health care.

    It' a separate donation outside the 10%.

    If the government ran like the church you bash, things would be so much better.

    Just Sayin'

  • UtahBlueDevil Durham, NC
    April 16, 2014 7:32 p.m.

    Good gosh this has gotten silly where just about every discussion devolves into either anti-Obama or anti-religion debates. Neither are as good, nor as bad as most make both out to be.

    And no - the church doesn't disclose its financials, no - Romney doesn't need to disclose anything, and no - Obama isn't the anti-Christ, and yes, the economy crashed nearly 2 years before he was elected.

    Lets get a little sanity back to these discussions.

  • Outside-View Federal Way, WA
    April 16, 2014 9:59 p.m.

    I dont see the relevance of how much Obama donated to a church that he rarely attends. He doesnt proclaim to be "religious" and certainly is not inclined to support Religious Freedom over a more secular view. With that being the case, what would you expect?

    Also,as someone else said, do you really think that donattions to a church are more honorable that donating to a relief agency?

    Kind of a tacky article to focus on his church donations. Sounds like a little bit of "holier than thou" empahsis.

  • worf Mcallen, TX
    April 16, 2014 10:22 p.m.

    A test question for you:

    " the economy crashed nearly 2 years before he was elected."

    A. since than, the economy has worsened
    B. since than, the economy has progressively improved
    C. the economy hasn't worsened, or improved
    D. if Obama can't strengthen the economy, nobody could have

  • Hutterite American Fork, UT
    April 16, 2014 11:03 p.m.

    He's giving quite a bit. At least he's not wasting it all on religion.

  • I M LDS 2 Provo, UT
    April 17, 2014 12:41 a.m.

    This is tabloid journalism.

    DN, please try to retain some dignity.

  • JimInSLC Salt Lake City, UT
    April 17, 2014 2:14 a.m.

    It is nice to see that Obama has given to charity. And technically it might be accurate to claim the amount given is 12% of his income. However, He does not pay rent. Vacations at taxpayer expense. Of the 6 years he has been in office 1/2 year has been spent on the golf course. His family vacation to Hawaii last year, though Obama and friends picked up the tab for the rental, cost the taxpayers over $3 million.

    So many of the American people unemployed and struggling financially and we have a President that Parties like its 1999.

    I don't see how anyone can argue to defend this kind of spending. It is not political, it is just not right.

  • Lasvegaspam Henderson, NV
    April 17, 2014 2:30 a.m.

    Oh but, Outside-View, Mr. Obama DOES claim to be a Christian, and his brothers' keeper, and yet these numbers reflect otherwise.

    Then, consider how in 2011 Mr. Obama chose to make charitable contributions of 22% of gross income; a far, far greater amount than he'd ever before given. Of course Barack knew that he would likely be running against the very charitable Mitt Romney, who historically gives at least 10% of his income to his church, not to mention other charities.

    Lastly, the Obamas' returns show that the couple made very few charitable contributions, sometimes less than 1 percent of taxable income, until Mr. Obama began his run for the White House. In 2004, before Mr. Obama entered the Senate, he and his wife gave $2,500 to charity, just 1.2 percent of their taxable income. The next year, the donations jumped to $77,315, or nearly 5 percent of their taxable income. Their charitable giving only went up when it looked like he was campaigning for the presidential office. (from a NY Times article dated March 26, 2008 by Leslie Wayne)

  • JoeBlow Far East USA, SC
    April 17, 2014 3:54 a.m.

    "If the government ran like the church you bash, things would be so much better."

    Care to point out where you feel I "bashed" the LDS church? I actually agree that if all charity
    organizations ran like the LDS charitable arm, things would be run very good. And I stated exactly that in my post.

    "It' a separate donation outside the 10%."

    Actually, it sounds as if you have substantiated my post. Which took exception to ones claim that " 100% of my donation will actually go to those in need?"

  • Phil Allred New Rochelle, NY
    April 17, 2014 8:07 a.m.

    Really, Deseret News, is there a need to publish how much he donates to his church. We all know his religious tendencies when he said that when people get bitter they cling to guns and religion. Nothing he has done since is inconsistent with that statement.

  • GaryO Virginia Beach, VA
    April 17, 2014 8:18 a.m.

    "How much did President Obama donate to his local church?"

    What's it matter?

  • FT salt lake city, UT
    April 17, 2014 3:57 p.m.

    @OtisB
    Don't get all worked up by the most outspoken posters on the blog. This country has 20% of the population that refuses to objectively educate themselves on the issues. Unfortunaltely 80% of them blog here.

  • Riverton Cougar Riverton, UT
    April 17, 2014 7:53 p.m.

    "pointing out what has been done with Obama since taking office, and not even mentioning GWB's contribution to that escalation of the debt is a double standard."

    Here's a fact:

    In March 2012, having only been in office for little more than 3 years, the amount of debt Obama has added matched the amount Bush added in all his 8 years as president. It took Obama 3 years and 2 months to match Bush's 8 years of debt-adding, yet liberals want to make it sound like Obama's spending is nothing compared to Bush's spending.

    Here's some math: It took 8 years for Bush to add as much debt as Obama did in 3.16666 years. If Obama's rate of debt increase were to remain constant, that means that by the time he leaves office he would have added about 2.5 TIMES as much debt as Bush did. Bush added about 5 trillion; at Obama's rate he will have added about 13 trillion. Ouch!

    ----
    "This country has 20% of the population that refuses to objectively educate themselves on the issues."

    That can't be right. If the number were that low, Obama wouldn't have been re-elected. Obama thrives on low-information voters.

  • boneheaded, but not a smidgen SLC, UT
    April 18, 2014 1:10 p.m.

    barry's way of helping the chickens come home to roost. thanks barry

  • UtahBlueDevil Durham, NC
    April 18, 2014 3:56 p.m.

    Hey Riverton Cougar..... low information voter here. You want to talk facts... lets talk facts.

    From 1945 until 1981, the national debt as a percentage of national GDP dropped during each presidency, even during the Vietnam and Korean war periods. It went from 117% of GDP just following the close of WWII all the way down to 32% at the end of the Carter administration.

    Then you know what happened? That all changed under the Reagan administration. Reagan took over with national debt at 32% of gdp... and left office with national debt at 53% of gdp. Bush II took over with the national debt at 56% of GDP, and soared it up to just over 84%. Since then, under Obama, it has risen to 102%... but is projected to come back off that number by the CBO.

    Using raw numbers means nothing... and most "informed" people know. Non-inflation adjusted numbers will always be exponentially higher.. its just math.. no matter what administration you measure.

  • waikiki_dave Honolulu, HI
    April 20, 2014 2:38 p.m.

    At least Obama discloses; more than I can say for Romney during the last presidential campaign.

  • Chasey San Antonio, TX
    April 21, 2014 10:17 p.m.

    I'm as conservative as they come but I am impressed that the President put out over ten percent of his income to charity. You would be hard-pressed to find other Democrats that live by what they preach.

  • Aussie Teacher WESTON, VT
    April 21, 2014 10:58 p.m.

    How much did Tom Monson and the other board members of the lads church donate to charity last year? Bet they won't tell. This was an attempt by a right wing paper to attack the President.

  • JM Lehi, UT
    April 22, 2014 3:08 a.m.

    According to the NY Times "President Obama, a Protestant whose most recent church membership was a mainline congregation, Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago, gave relatively little to charity a decade ago, but steadily increased his giving as he became more prominent." I think Mitt was kinda the opposite of this, and he doesn't wish to sound a trumpet before after he donates....kudos. :) And, contrary to what detractors claim, Mitt's donations weren't simply "tithing" but even if they were, tithing goes to educate, feed, build, etc. it's a good thing. Watch "Why Giving Matters"

  • TA1 Alexandria, VA
    April 22, 2014 12:39 p.m.

    Is this an Editorial or an article?