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Comments about ‘Mitt Romney hopes millions he tithes to LDS Church isn't politicized’

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Published: Tuesday, Jan. 24 2012 11:50 a.m. MST

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Gregg Weber
SEATTLE, WA

The idea that charity is only that given to the poor means that the shewbread, or whatever it was that was for the support of the Levites wasn't (and isn't?) charity since there is nothing that said that they were poor. Support of a church was and is charity. This even applies, in my humble opinion, to strictly religious costs.

Truthseeker
SLO, CA

Utah probably derives a lot of benefit from everybody's tithing. Foe example, the LDS Church is probably one of the biggest employers in the state when counting BYU employees, Deseret Industries etc. The LDS Church also has a lot of building and construction jobs in the state and other commercial endeavors including Deseret News!

I don't consider tithing a charitable donation since it doesn't go to help those in need.

A1994
Centerville, UT

The Democrats love to spend other people's money. Interesting that, while Mitt Romney has paid MILLIONS to charity, Joe Biden donated about $5000 during the same period.

worf
Mcallen, TX

Romney makes way less money in a year than Obama spends with our money for a vacation. Does BO pay taxes on the money he takes from us? You know, pay a little more.

I wonder who gives more to charities?

Truthseeker
SLO, CA

Re:A1994

We really can't assume because people don't declare charitable contributions on their tax return that they aren't charitable. People can give donations to individuals without being able to donate it on a tax return. If you donate money for someone's cancer treatment, or the homeless person on the street etc. it isn't tax deductible. Only donations to 5013c organizations are tax deductible.

As for Joe.
Joe has very modest wealth compared to his colleagues.
Joint income between Biden and his wife Jill rose from $215,000 to $249,000 between 1998 and 2006. These numbers reflect the total of Joe Biden's Senate salary, his Widener University School of Law teaching salary, and Jill Biden's teaching salary.

When Joe was a Senator he commuted on Amtrak between his home in Delaware and D.C.

New Yorker
Pleasant Grove, UT

@ A1994 and others,

Newt must be the biggest liberal in the world. He must be expecting the government to take care of the poor because he certainly isn't giving his share. Maybe he just doesn't care about the poor, needy, widows, orphans--no, I think that's liberal blood flowing in his veins.

Archi
Mclean, VA

Some of you have got things mixed up. Fast offerings are collected locally and are first used to support the local needy of the ward/area where they are received and mainly covers expenses. But the local funds may not be enough and so additional funds are provided from Church Headquarters. The needy also receive food not just money and that food comes from the Bishops Warehouse. Tithing is used to support operations used to produce the food and many other massive humanitarian aid efforts. Granted tithing is also used for other things directly related to administration Church things but clergy are not paid, which means those funds are not used the way they might be by other denominations and churches.

The donations made to other Christian churches are tax deductable too. So why would the missionary fund not be a tax deduction or tithing funds not directly used towards humanitarian aid effort.

Many posters have commented that the LDS Church Presidency along with other churches across the country agree with the tax deduction available for ALL charitable donations given to churches. So what makes you the authority on whether or not tithing should be a tax deduction?

Winston
Cottonwood Heights, UT

Is it charitable if you are asked to pay it?

floridian
navarre, fl

@ Winston:

You are not asked to pay it -- you are commanded to pay it, and not by the Church but by the Lord. Big difference, no?

Midwest Mom
Soldiers Grove, WI

I am offended that members are sitting around talking about this man's confidential donations. Use the spirit of the law, folks, and mind your own business.

Archi
Mclean, VA

@Winston

You have to be kidding.

Yes it is charity because you are not obligated to pay it. It is called free will duh!

If a homeless guy asks you for money is that all of a sudden not charity because he asked for it?

JNA
Layton, UT

Ranch Hand states:
"Is it really "charity" if it isn't going to the poor and needy?

In my opinion it isn't."

I say "imagine my surprise" (sarcasm off)

Truthseeker
SLO, CA

Re:Archi
What happens with the excess fast offerings?

There are some paid clergy in the LDS church--General Authorities, for example.
Churches in the U.S. are not required to publicly disclose their finances, so mostly we don't know how the LDS church uses it's funds. However, public disclosure is required in other countries like Canada and Britain. Some other denominations in the U.S. give a more thorough accounting to parishioners.

I remember a time when tithing settlement included a ward budget assessment. LDS ward members contributed to the costs associated with maintaining the ward programs and facilities.

kargirl
Sacramento, CA

John Pack, I didn't know LDS Employment helped everyone, I thought it was only for members. Thank you for educating me. I also appreciated the comment about drug testing there. It is good to know that also. I think it's a little precious, the assumption that poverty=addictive behaviors. I know differently, and I know what our Savior would think. The hymn, "A Poor, Wayfaring Man of Grief", a favorite of many, comes to mind. Again, thank you. I will keep it in mind as we have the service here.

Truthseeker
SLO, CA

According to a study by Indiana University Center on Philanthropy, only 20% of money donated to religious organizations is used for helping the needy.

I wonder how that compares with other charitable organizations.

Re:Mecr

To be clear, Romney's tithing is not with as much in the eyes of the Lord as the widow's mite. The widow gave all that she had, she gave of her "want." Romney, like the others in the parable, gives a portion of his immense abundance. I'm not judging Romney, not my place, I'm merely pointing out the misinterpretation of the Widow's mite.

Casguy
Rigby, Idaho

@Midwest Mom

OK, so everyone else in the country can look at and discuss Mitt's confidential donations, but Mormons cannot?

I am not sure who your post was intended for but most of us are trying to stand up for what we believe.

Try it some time.

It is an old trick to point the finger and say someone is not allowed to respond in a discussion because that would not be Christlike. Quite frankly it is overused by those who have no interest in being Christlike. Anyways the only perfect mortal to ever walk the earth was Jesus Christ and we all are far from it. But even He was willing to stand up for what is true and for example threw merchants out of the temple when they had no respect for sacredness. So do not act like LDS members cannot respond to questions or misinformation about what we believe.

BYUalum
South Jordan, UT

If this is going to make headlines for Mitt Romney, I would like to see ALL the candidates' charitable deductions in print side by side in the newspaper for the same period of time: Obama, Biden, Romney, Gingrich, Santorum, and Rand. Let's just line them up and see who is charitable and gives what to whom and call a spade a spade. What's the big deal if Mitt Romney tithes 10% plus gives to charity? I'll bet that most don't give much to charity. Mitt Romney should be applauded and singled out as a man of principle and character. No other comment needed.

Mitt in paying his taxes in full according to law is more than Obama's trusted Secy of the Treasury did!

Casguy
Rigby, Idaho

@Truthseeker

As far as I understand excess fast offerings are kept in a local fund for future needs. Although it is hard to know for sure I think Archi is mostly right.

LDS paid clergy? Not a chance. There are paid employees like at the church office building etc but even the LDS cannery gets many volunteers.

Church leaders probably have their expenses paid for trips and so on but none are paid salaries as clergymen. Church leaders are suppose to have their finances in order before accepting that type of calling and a lot of them have retirement income.

Unless you define a seminary teacher as clergy your statement about LDS paid clergy is not true.

kargirl
Sacramento, CA

It's bad enough to be making judgments about other brothers and sisters, even oneself, in what is given in monetary gifts to the Church. And let me state, I'm not declaring my vote here. It could be for Donald Duck. In November...but I digress. We have no right comparing this. Nor do we have a right to compare monetary gifts by others in various religious groups, or who belong to none, since different modes of giving apply to other denominations, and other people give in other ways. And, as someone mentioned, how about gifts to homeless srangers, to hungry people just because one cares, a day's work to someone who could use a day's pay, money in an envelope, a kettle, a collection plate---there are more ways that never get counted. Please, this is not a contest, and Romney may not care--maybe he does, I don't even know. But the Lord does, and we should because we post to each other and the readers of this board. Let's care for that reason and because the next hungry person could be your best friend's cousin and you won't know that. It is something to consider.

MoJules
Florissant, MO

When we pay our small amount of tithing, which isn't even 10% of Romneys 10% he pays, I think about where all of the tithing donations go. I also think how great it is, that there are the Romney's, Huntsman's, Beck's and so on in the church who make a great contribution. There are many lives that are blessed because of those with wealth who pay a honest tithing. And there are many lives blessed when we who make much less combine our faith and efforts and pay our full tithing. The LDS church has done a great deal to help in natural disasters and to bring temples closer to the people. I respect Romney for being willing to reveal something that has always been so private and personal, he is not one who likes to flaunt his stuff.

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