@Ranch"@Riverton Cougar;First you have to prove that
'god' exists before you can invoke 'god's
laws'."I must have missed the part of the Constitution
where a religion had to "prove" that it's the one true religion in
order to have a Constitutional right to speak out on moral issues. Is that right
next to the gay marriage clause?
@summarizerer;1) You're forgetting Prop-8 & Amendment 3
(not to mention all the other states that the LDS church got involved in).2) You're also forgetting that immediately after the "compromise"
bill, Utah's legislators passed a second bill that gutted some of the
@Ranch"You have part of your comment right, equality IS a moral
issue. Trying to keep others from being treated equally is immoral."I guess your forgetting the Utah compromise.
mhenshaw said:"That's the beauty of conducting one's
affairs honestly and honorably."--- You mean like setting up
front-groups to do your dirty work so that your church wouldn't appear as
the major force of an activity? That is honest and honorable? Not even.@Riverton Cougar;First you have to prove that "god"
exists before you can invoke "god's laws".@Yar;Is it wrong when your influence on the government is to take away
someone's rights?@summarizer;You have part of your
comment right, equality IS a moral issue. Trying to keep others from being
treated equally is immoral.
This dude just wants his 15 minutes of fame because he disagrees with the
church. He's had it, now it is time for him to go away back into
obscurity.As far as I'm concerned, the church's finances
are none of my business and none of his, and none of yours. There is no need
for transparency. As long as we have righteous men that oversee what is done, I
have absolutely no problem with how the church operates.
"The comment is a hypothetical situation to illustrate the power the church
has over members. In no way was it meant to be a representation of an event in
reality."But the hypothetical doesn't happen in
reality--that's the point. Indeed, if anything, Reid's example
illustrates the opposite--that the Church doesn't conduct "witch
hunts" on politicians who don't vote "their" way.Back in 1933, the Church strongly opposed ratification of the 21st Amendment,
which repealed prohibition. The 36th state to ratify the amendment...the one
that tipped the balance for ratification into the Constitution, was.......Utah
(December 5, 1933).And Utah's Mormon population in 1933 was a
lot higher than 62%. Shouldn't the Church have "won" by a
landslide? So much for "power" over members.....
>>Undue influence from a small percentage of people.Utah is
62% Mormon. How is 62% a "small percentage"?>>They
do not have the right to affect legal policy for the entire state...Sure they do. They have the same right to speak their minds as you do.
It's really no different from a political or special interest leader
saying, "this is a bad bill" and then everyone who's a member of
that party or special interest group turns against the bill. That's what
critics don't seem to grasp. For lobbying purposes, churches are really
just another kind of special interest group.>>That is
constitutional law...No, it's not. The Constitution says that
the government may not create official state religions or mandate any set of
explicitly religious beliefs; and, contrary to your assertion, the First
Amendment guarantees that religious believers can participate in public debates
about legislative proposals that would violate their conscience. The Founders
were protecting religious expression from government, not the reverse. Else why
would the US Senate have a chaplain and start each day's session with
By their countenance ye shall know them.
Life would be oh so much easier if we lowered our tax rates and removed any and
every tax exemption.Non profit status is abused by so many it should
be done away with
Ironically, this action will likely create MORE protection for religious
speech. In an vengeful act during the 1960's, LBJ passed
legislation punishing non-profits for engaging in political activity - because
he didn't like them opposing him. Religious groups were swept
in with that "non-profit" status, despite the First Amendment. In
the half a century since, no-one has really ever driven the challenge to the
Supreme Court - despite the fact that politically correct religious groups
engage in politics all the time and secular so-called non-profits often have
entirely political wings. So it would be a good thing to
challenge the free speech status of religious groups - I would expect that even
the infamous RBG would have to concede that using the tax code to control
speech, and override the First Amendmen, is not a good thing. First Amendment, yes: bitterness because someone dares to have a different
Funny how those who are demanding the LDS Church stay out of political influence
in Utah are often the same people, as a result of the MormonLeaks documents,
demanding the LDS Church open its financial books to everyone, including them.
They're also demanding the right to influence church doctrine and practice
from who can baptized LDS to who can receive the priesthood to what should and
should not be done in LDS temples. In other words, their message is,
"Do as we say, not as we do."And for those who demand the
LDS Church stay out of politics because of the separation of church and state,
does that include all churches or just the churches you disagree with
politically?When churches like the Unitarian Church openly oppose
the death penalty and school vouchers while vocally supporting stricter
environmental laws and higher pay for fast food workers, is that a violation of
the separation of church and state, or is that simply more of, "Do as we
say, not as we do."I think I know the answer already.
"Your point? The church still has the ability to control vast political
power with their religious influence. Hence why they should not be allowed to
speak out on politics. They have every right to read their little letters from
the pulpit, but they do not get to broadcast that to the people, who do not
prescribe to their ideology."But they should and do have a right
to speak on moral issues, which sometimes crosses over into political issues.
They also have a mission to preach the gospel to all the world. They also
believe that the prophet is not just a prophet for "them", but is the
Lord's mouthpiece who speaks on His behalf to everyone. Moral decay affects
whole societies, so they have every right to speak out when it comes to moral
issues, at least according to our Constitution.To take away that
right because it could influence people is ridiculous. It's an attempt to
silence someone who disagrees with you.
ObservatorThe comment is a hypothetical situation to illustrate the
power the church has over members. In no way was it meant to be a representation
of an event in reality.Your point? The church still has the ability
to control vast political power with their religious influence. Hence why they
should not be allowed to speak out on politics. They have every right to read
their little letters from the pulpit, but they do not get to broadcast that to
the people, who do not prescribe to their ideology.
@Multi"So a legislator who really believes in the consequences
of disfellowship, and excommunication is he not a more easily controlled by
threats of punishment from the church? So can he advocate for the non-believers,
and those who want rights for homosexuals, as loudly as he normally
would?"Sen. Harry Reid, recently retired Democratic Senator from
Nevada, argued for and supported legislation on same-sex marriage, abortion
rights, and other political stances in opposition to LDS political views. He is
also a member in good standing of the LDS Church, and this paper published a
story on his missionary work with a good friend in Washington, DC,
("Spiritual journey leads 3-term U.S. senator to LDS Church," Apr 20,
2015, Deseret News) where he spoke at the baptism. Your claims of
excommunication threats from Salt Lake are both unfounded and refuted. If you
don't have evidence for the claim, you shouldn't make it.
Riverton CougMy point exactly, a high ranking legislator with oodles
of power, can be brought under the heel of the church leadership, due to his
belief in their message.Which means it can be very easy, to violate
people's rights, off of the mere idea of offense."I
don't like gay marriage, so I'm going to legislate against their right
of pursuit of happiness." "I'll get my buddy in the government to
pass laws, and legislation that allows people to discriminate with no legal
repercussions."Not good, not in a system that of government that
attempts to balance everything out.
YarThe church doesn't pay the fee to play in politics. They
sacrificed their ability to speak on a public stage when they decided they
didn't want to pay taxes.Just think about how much influence
the church has? 15 million individual who can be told exactly what to think, and
say. That is amazing, but at the same time, can be easily abused by the
totalitarian system it represents.
@MultiThe Church only has as much influence over an individual
legislator as that individual allows. When the Church speaks out on a moral
issue (which we've established is completely legal), while that can put an
individual with conflicting views in a situation, it does not force them to act
one way or another.If the individual feels that supporting a bill
that the Church has opposed for moral reasons could cause disciplinary action
from the Church, then that individual has to decide which belief (his/her
personal belief on the issue or his/her religious belief with the Church) is
more valuable. That individual might use that reflection re-evaluate his/her
standing on the issue, or on the Church (people have left the Church because it
conflicted with their political views too often).Either way, the
Church can't do anything to that individual. If individuals allow a
Church's stance on a moral issue to change their political leanings, then
that is because they value their religious beliefs more than their political
beliefs; they'd rather be on the correct side with their God than on the
Opposing gay marriage was the morally right thing to do even if it brought some
criticism to the church. Not only is gay marriage is in conflict with the
scriptures but it is also biologically unnatural because the human species has
evolved into an exclusive heterosexual, pair-bonding species. The more we
deviate from that natural biological and social structure, the more problems our
NeadThe separation of Church, and State. Neither group is to have
undue influence over the other.Now let's look at the influence
the church has over LDS legislators. Does the church have the ability to call a
court of love, on say a legislator who is vocal about homosexuality? We'll
use that example for fun is all.So a legislator who really believes
in the consequences of disfellowship, and excommunication is he not a more
easily controlled by threats of punishment from the church? So can he advocate
for the non-believers, and those who want rights for homosexuals, as loudly as
he normally would?Or can he be silenced with the threat of
excommunication? You decide.Now again why is the church using
lobbyists during legislative sessions to have private meetings with legislators?
Those men, and women are to represent us all, and every word said in those
meetings should be recorded for public scrutiny.The church has
political influence that it is not allowed to have, and the fact that
Madsen's bill being shut down over night is evidence of its political
To skeptic:If I had seen you advocating for oversight of
organizations you agree with as well as those you oppose, I still would have
disagreed, but would have found your argument more compelling. No,
your purpose is transparent. You want to reduce the influence of the church in
public dialogue because you disagree with the church's positions. I get
it. But it's a dangerous argument. Your using Ether 8:13 as an analogy to
the LDS church is just plain reckless. The church does enormous good, and your
trying to tarnish it with the corruption label with allusions to murderous oaths
and acts? Sad. I get your bias. I just believe that your efforts are
misguided and wrong.To Multi - re: "but the leadership of the
church is not allowed to use its clout to disaffect others." The church has
every right to assert its position and values, publicly, and it should! If
voters don't like their representatives to consider the LDS church's
position on legislation, they should vote for different representatives. The
church is just one of many voices and perspectives in the conversation.
Who let the dogs out of the Great and Spacious Building?
@Diego De La Vega "I hope that President-elect Donald Trump,
once he is president, removes the Johnson Amendment to the IRS code regarding
religious organizations' rights to speak out on important issues facing the
community."Your understanding of the Johnson Amendment is
flawed...Quoting from a recent article from the Christian Post..."Let's be honest about this. The Johnson Amendment, as wrong as
it is, is quite limited in its scope, primarily prohibiting "certain
tax-exempt organizations from endorsing and opposing political
candidates."It does not prohibit pastors from speaking out
against political corruption.It does not prohibit pastors from
speaking out against LGBT activism.It does not prohibit pastors from
speaking out against abortion.It does not prohibit pastors from
speaking out against a host of other moral and cultural issues.."
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has a right to speak out on any
public issue that affects the moral climate of the community. Even the ACLU
has sided with the Church on its right to comment on important issues. Just
because the LDS Church takes a position that you disagree with, doesn't
mean that IRS guidelines regarding tax-exempt status have been violated.
However, this latest controversy proves the adage: "You can leave the LDS
Church , but you can't leave it alone." I hope that President-elect
Donald Trump, once he is president, removes the Johnson Amendment to the IRS
code regarding religious organizations' rights to speak out on important
issues facing the community.
@Multi"This is a breach of separation of church, and
state."What, exactly, is the law you're referencing that
requires separation of church and state to the extent that religious
organizations aren't allowed to have any influence on state actions? I
think you probably have misunderstood the establishment clause of the
Constitution.Based on some of your earlier comments ("For
example, why is it legal for the church leadership to run advocates into public
officials disseminating the churches wishes? That is nothing but a breach of the
first amendment."), I suspect that you also don't fully understand the
@Impartial7"That was shortsighted.."Eternity is
shortsighted?Turned a lot of people away from Mormonism?You'd better have a lot of numbers to back that up when making statements
like that.@65TossPowerTrap"the LDS Church should
steer clear of political/moral campaigns such as Prop 8."So the
Church should keep its mouth shut when it comes to large moral issues in
society?@Skeptic"..the LDS church is special in that
if is a quasi state religion and institution. Ergo there needs to be an
independent authority for oversight and public reporting of the Mormon church
activities including finances."Because you don't like how
Mormons generally like other Mormons?Are you going to demand the
same oversight over Jews and other religious groups that also may favor those of
their same religion?
YarThe bill had the votes to pass, till the church said they
didn't like the bill, and they supported Vickers cut down version.With nothing else happening around that time, it was only the church that
could have influenced the acceptance of that bill.Not to mention the
several lobbyists the church uses to speak directly with legislators.This is a breach of separation of church, and state.
It this dude is wrong with bogus information, I hope the Church sues him for
fraud and deception. The dude lives his life with an ax to grind. What a
miserable life!I pity him actually. I doubt that on his death bed
he says "I should have spent more time trying to damage the LDS
Church?"Go play with your grand kids, bro. Life is too short.
@MultiYeah I did straw man your argument. Probably should've
read carefully.But here's something I don't get. Why
shouldn't religious organizations have any influence on politics? All
groups influence its own members, religious or not. And like I mentioned
before, a non-religious group can have as much influence as a religious group to
a number of people, which can encourage those members to take action on
something. All the church did was encourage its members to get involved on
matters. For all I know, the members felt impressed to do something and did it
@carman - Wasatch Front, UTJan. 11, 2017 9:09 a.m.Perhaps, a
closer study and examination of Ether, 8 :13 etal, may help you better
understand the significant danger of censorship and secrecy.
@MultiHow do you know that the church was entire reason the bill
failed? There could be other sources that did it. Even if they did cause it
all to fall apart, why should that be a good reason to keep religion off of
politics? That's just one incident. The same thing can happen for another
bill because of a non-religious group's influence. Government is for
everyone to enjoy, not just non-religious folk.
YarYou straw manned my argument, if you read the post again
you'll see where I said, that the individual members have a right to vote,
or politic however they like, just not the leadership of the church, or the
church itself.For example, why is it legal for the church leadership
to run advocates into public officials disseminating the churches wishes? That
is nothing but a breach of the first amendment. Non-religious people are not a
tax exempt organization. The church, and its leadership are. The blessing of tax
exemption come with a few rules, which means the organization cannot favor
political candidates, or certain bills. If they are violating these rules, which
the church has been caught doing. They are to lose their tax exemption.Again you as a member of the church have every right to be involved in
politics, but the church organization does not.
CarmanYou don't understand the ideas of power, and
influence.Back to my example, Madsen has a perfectly workable bill
which will take care of the medical needs of a disaffected portion of our
population. The LDS Church's leadership comes out in opposition to the
bill, and all of a sudden a bill that will do more good than harm, gets
canned.That influence from an institution is not OK in a society
that is for everybody. Undue influence from a small percentage of people.The fact that they allow people to speak their mind is inconsequential,
because they cannot stop people from doing so, but they, as a religious
institution, do not have the right to affect legal policy for the entire state,
as they currently do. That is constitutional law, the members are free to vote,
or politic however they wish, but the leadership of the church is not allowed to
use its clout to disaffect others.
@RumorisAnd have non-religious people tell us what beliefs we can or
can't have. I don't think so.If that were true, then
non-religious people ought to lose their rights to influence government, too.
Would that be fair for you or me? No way! People shouldn't lose their
right to influence the government just because they follow a religion or
don't follow a religion. This is a fallacy, my friend. A fallacy that can
backfire for everyone.
To skeptic:re: "While all the major large churches are
non-profit tax exempt international corporations the LDS church is special in
that if is a quasi state religion and institution. Ergo there needs to be an
independent authority for oversight and public reporting of the Mormon church
activities ..."Hmmm. Nice try, but a fail. Like all critics,
you advocate control over those who's views you oppose in an attempt to
hush their voice in the conversation. The LDS church has done exactly the
opposite, defending the right of its critics to voice their opinions, including
yours. In fact, the very site that you posted this comment on is owned and
operated by the LDS church. They not only advocate an open dialogue, they
facilitate it by expending valuable resources to allow folks like you to express
your opinion. You should be reciprocal and defend their right to a role in the
dialogue. As we have seen, there is no such thing as "independent authority
for oversight". As soon as you try to police free speech, it is no longer
Oh Fred. I pity you for all the time and money you continually waste on a false
and vain cause. One of those days, you will realize there are better ways to
use your time then waste it on attacking religion.
"This is due to the church not leaving others alone. I doubt there are many
church leaders that want to be gay married. So don't. But, they poked their
nose into other peoples wishes & rights. This would have never been an issue
if they left others alone."If you want to say that publicly
stating what God's laws are is "not leaving others alone", then I
guess you're right. Their mission (one of the three) is to teach the gospel
to the world. If you want to call that "not leaving others alone", then
ok.But as others have pointed out, claiming this wouldn't be an
issue if the Church left others alone is not true, as history has proven.
While all the major large churches are non-profit tax exempt international
corporations the LDS church is special in that if is a quasi state religion and
institution. Ergo there needs to be an independent authority for oversight and
public reporting of the Mormon church activities including finances.
This man needs to realize that free speech and freedom of religion is good for
everyone. If they seek to strip tax exemption status for The LDS church For
exercising free speech in politics, it would only be fair that an LGBT group
lose their tax exemption for political involvement.
>>This would have never been an issue if they left others alone.History disagrees, I'm afraid. The Church has faced enemies
unwilling to leave it alone since the day it was organized (and before, if you
think about it). This man is not the first to seek some way to hurt the Church
and he will certainly not be the last. If he and others can't find anything
damaging in the Church's finances, they'll look for something else,
making mountains out of molehills wherever they can.The Church has
nothing to fear from this. That's the beauty of conducting one's
affairs honestly and honorably.
People that are conniving and duplicitous generally think that others must also
be conniving and duplicitous. Having done international legal work for the
Church I know that it not only insist on absolute compliance, but generally on
being very conservative about it. We were told on occasion to be good citizens
and not press our legal rights -- even over condemnation of Church property at
much less than fair value.
Although these individuals articulate tax policy concerns, it would be important
for critics to understand the actual law regarding non-profit entities (which
includes universities, unions, certain health care organizations, etc.). Many don’t understand that a church in the U.S. is subject to
unrelated business income tax, employee taxes, private inurement penalties, and
other excise taxes. For example, a university frequently has to pay income tax
on t-shirt revenues from its bookstores even if the t-shirt references the
university. Most relevant is the fact that there is no tax
exemption for non-passive business investments and thus a church (or other
non-profit) is often subject to the double-taxation that applies to a
corporation and its shareholders. As to those wishing to exclude
churches from commenting on public policy: I would hope that most individuals
would not want to adopt a policy that would have outlawed or excluded the Rev.
Martin Luther King, the Brown Chapel A.M.E. Church, and other religious
organizations from the civil rights movement and seeking basic, humane treatment
for their members.
To: Red Corvettere: "The church needs to be reined in for its
corporate and political activities."I see a lot of comments on
these boards from people who make many more comments each day about their pet
causes, including bashing the LDS church, than the LDS church does. Should
these people's voices be squelched as well? Hint: Be careful
what you wish for. When the thought police get involved and start picking
who's viewpoints are reasonable and valid, someone who thought they had
free speech rights may end up muzzled. Free-speech is free-speech. And even
organizations we may not agree with need their right to participate in the
public discourse protected. You should be fighting for the LDS church's
right to share their viewpoint. It's good for freedom, for free speech and
democracy. Even if you disagree with them.
Like cancer, the spirit of contention, and turmoil, is spreading.
In the 1800's, we were told, "you need money to have a voice" and
so a poor faithful, spirited, energetic religion, run from state to state, dealt
with the realities and accepted poverty as a way of life; now, nearly, 200
years later, and much blessings later, thanks to prosperity and thanks to the
gospel keeping its Old Testament covenant of unity in the community and tithing
and helping the poor overcome their TV and other bad addictions, the Bernie
Sanders crowd now, is pulling the carpet from under society, and saying,
"if you have money, you need to apologize and be sued and fined."
Religion is always under attack, first by lack of money (and early America loved
money too much and art too little) , now, the attack is due to happiness and
Fred Karger and his supporters are upset because the LDS Church has enough nerve
to disagree with them, and to exercise its constitutional right to express its
position publicly.It's funny how they seem to have no such
objection to the involvement by liberal religious bodies (such as the
Unitarians, United Church of Christ, or Episcopalians) in the No on 8 Campaign.
As a Mormon and former Unitarian, I find this laughable, not to mention
You're just telling on yourself Fred......
@OremParent; "People can leave the church but they can't
leave the church alone. " This is due to the church not leaving
others alone. I doubt there are many church leaders that want to be gay married.
So don't. But, they poked their nose into other peoples wishes &
rights. This would have never been an issue if they left others alone.
I am thinking the last paragraph which goes into the taxes the Church pays on
its for-profit institutions was meant to have more lead up.I wish
people like Karger were not allowed to spew 100% falsehoods. The real
illustrations here is how onerous campaign finance laws are. When they lead to
low-level enforcements that mean $5000+ in fines, they are really designed to
keep people from engaging in the election process and a violation of the free
speech component of the 1st amendment.
@blackattack, it's in their nature. Once they get the spirit of revenge
and hate, they just can't walk away. That's the sad yet interesting
part. It has been that way since 1820 and so no surprise. If they want to
throw away their time and money and just get more frustrated, that is their
privilege. It's obvious these issues are eating them inside and have been
for a long time. Earlier is was the equal right's amendment; before that
it was blacks and the priesthood, even earlier it was polygamy. It's
always been something and after this settles down it will be something else,
probably pornography next. The Church is just fine and will continue to be, in
spite of local and national detractors. The Olympics were a huge success in
Salt Lake and Mitt's runs for the White House didn't embarrass or hurt
the Church one bit. Life goes on.....
An axe to grind.
You got to feel sorry for a man who expends his time and effort, not to mention
money, in trying to attack a religious institution which gives millions of
dollars every year to humanitarian causes. What a waste!
I don't know how one could be happy spending that much time, money, and
energy to feed a vengeful spirit.
I appreciate that the LDS Church speaks out on moral issues, as it has the right
to do so. Preaching, teaching, expounding, and the practice of one's
religion is a protected right in the US. But because some people believe or
live contrary to those teachings, they want to hurt the messenger.Regardless, religions should have the right to speak out on social and moral
issues inasmuch as those issue may morally affect the world in which we live.
Secular groups should not be trying to silence religious groups.
People can leave the church but they can't leave the church alone. Sad.
Although it is a pipe dream, it is one that many share. The church needs to be
reined in for its corporate and political activities.
The LDS church did not give any money to fight against Proposition 8. Members of
the Church did so, but that was their personal choice. Also, religions have the
right to express their opinions to the members of any church. It's call
Aired during the Simpsons, Law & Order, & the Basketball game between
Utah and UCLA. So who is he targeting? Non profit organizations all have an
agenda, left & right. Or in some cases right & wrong. Sounds like sour
grapes to me on his part! Which is ironic, because it has gone all his way! So
I agree it is a pipe dream, and it will likely strengthen the churches support,
because of the attack. Remember what doesn't kill you makes you stronger!
Desperation and bitterness.
Please just report the news. Leaving the editorializing and defense of the
Church's actions to the editorial page writers. Better yet, let the Church
speak for themselves. They've done a pretty good job so far.
Groups such as this only go after those with views that are opposed to their own
views. This is done to muzzle their opposition and remove those with different
opinions from the public dialogue on the issues that these groups support.These groups are simply trying to stifle free speech and shut down
opposition to their causes. And they are willing to stoop to encouraging people
to steal private property (e.g. commit crimes and ethical violations) to further
The church needs to get into its own chapels, and never leave that sphere. There
should be no advocates going to, and from legislative offices, and church
headquarters.I don't really care about their finances, but the
political influence the church has, not the members, but the church and
leadership themselves, is to much.Remember when Sen Madsen had a
really good medical marijuana bill, and it had the support in the Senate to
pass? Well that was till the LDS leadership said they didn't like it, and
over night the bill was nuked.That is not a good thing, and the
church should learn its place in a secular society.
Fred, Fred, Fred. You're wasting your money. Stop the bigotry and hate
and donate your money to help the homeless.
Wow. Nothing better to do with your time and money than to desperately reach out
to try and find a needle in a haystack - one in which everyone familiar with the
haystack will tell you no needle has ever been dropped ? Really? This kind of
attack coming from "Californians Against Hate?" Dude - change the name -
it's really "Californians Against Supporters of Traditional
Marriage." It's quite apparent you aren't against hate.
I think this guy is a fraud; however, I also think the LDS Church should steer
clear of political/moral campaigns such as Prop 8.
I know that this guy will get vilified for this program. But, the LDS church
brought this upon themselves for funding and supporting Prop 8. That was
shortsighted and turned a lot of people away from mormonism.
I see the tax exemption of the LDS Church no different from organizations such
as the NFL. They were up until recently a non-profit organizations. Many
non-profit organizations exist and provide benefits that we all recognize do
good in the society. Some though may seem questionable why they do not pay
taxes. I already pay taxes on all income I receive, why should tithing donated
to the church be taxed again?? This seems like an attempt to destroy religion,
and make it much harder for the church to send missionaries around the world.