Groups ask Trump administration to investigate LDS Church

Return To Article
Add a comment
  • Elloyd Provo, UT
    March 22, 2017 10:54 p.m.

    Fools names like fools faces always appear in public places!

  • SuziQ2 Springville, UT
    March 22, 2017 7:57 p.m.

    Here are a few observations:
    1. When someone has left an organization and wants to use someone else's money and power to bring down or embarrass said organization, you might want to wonder about the motive.
    2. Those who want the most tolerance for themselves seem to have the least tolerance for others.
    3. Watch what people do rather than what they say.
    4. What would be the benefit of the church to bribe someone to get more visas? More missionaries= more converts= more buildings, instructional materials, temples, maintenance to spend money on, etc. (Not sure the equation ends in a positive cash flow for the Church.)
    5. How is the Church so persuasive that Senators, Congressmen, and other government officials have looked the other way while they intimidate and bribe their way to more visas?
    6. What should the Church say about this? I wouldn't be responding until there is something to respond to, especially if a legal action might be pending. Right now we just have a lot of speculation. No point in saying anything until an action rather than just an accusation is present.

  • 65TossPowerTrap Salmon, ID
    March 22, 2017 2:23 p.m.

    "We're not in the business of attacking religions,"

    Yeah - riiiggghhht.

  • asdf;lkj Salt Lake City, UT
    March 22, 2017 1:21 p.m.

    I served my mission in India. Halfway through my mission, my visa expired and I was sent to the Philippines, where I waited 8 months to receive a new visa and return to India. Receiving the missionary visa to India is a difficult, painstaking process, but the church follows properly. Otherwise, it would not have taken almost a year to get my visa. The accusations are inaccurate. Period.

  • Lee1 Smithfield, UT
    March 22, 2017 12:25 p.m.

    Oh please!
    Really! Sorry, I've seen firsthand how the church handles working with and getting missionaries into countries. They really focus on following laws and working on building relationships, not buying visas! "The Emporer has no clothes!"

  • jsf Centerville, UT
    March 21, 2017 12:56 p.m.

    No they don't scep. What is the scep desired result, members of religion can not be allowed to believe anything scep deems unacceptable.

  • skeptic Phoenix, AZ
    March 21, 2017 11:57 a.m.

    The bottom line issue is: the Mormon church and corporate churches are multi billion dollar ldustries operating under a religious umbrella of commerce, politics that goes way beyond church business. It affects and impacts people and communities both church and non church members. Their activities invade all public and private lives. Therefore, all church business and activities should be transparent and disclosed open and honestly to the public.

  • Hemlock Salt Lake City, UT
    March 21, 2017 11:07 a.m.

    This request is, in other words, religion is fine as long as it passes my litmus test. When visas are restricted on religious grounds as they are in many countries, individuals or our government have the right to challenge that ruling.

  • jsf Centerville, UT
    March 21, 2017 11:06 a.m.

    Actually skep there is no legal requirement for legal corporations to provide annual reports and audits.

    "The Mormon church and all other churches should be investigated from time to time to provide transparency and disclosure of their compliance to civil and financial acceptable conduct." Interesting concept skep, the who ever gets to investigate a person from time to time to determine their compliance to civil and financial acceptable conduct. Does that mean we get to, from time to time, investigate skep to see if his civil and financial dealings are acceptable conduct?

    Of course realize a company not traded on exchanges is only required to report to their owners or shareholders and no one else. They like the church are not beholden to the general public, or government approval.

  • skeptic Phoenix, AZ
    March 21, 2017 10:36 a.m.

    @james d morrison,

    Thank you for expanding and clarify my comment. It makes it even more obvious why the church should provide transparency and share church information with members and the public. They have the audits, what is it that they do not want known. And why shouldn't it be known. If as the church claims, they are doing Lord's s work, then isn't god open to all.

  • james d. morrison Boise, ID
    March 21, 2017 9:45 a.m.

    skeptic - the church does have an audit every year but only publicly held corporations have to publicize their annual reports and audits.

  • skeptic Phoenix, AZ
    March 21, 2017 8:52 a.m.

    The Mormon church and all other churches should be investigated from time to time to provide transparency and disclosure of their compliance to civil and financial acceptable conduct. These churches are legal corporation and should comply with legal corporation requirements to provide annual reports and audits.

  • Flashback Kearns, UT
    March 21, 2017 8:07 a.m.

    Sorry I can't resist another comment.

    If there is a supposed "wall of separation" between the government and religious institutions, that the liberals hold so dear, then what the church does in India is of no interest to the U.S. government and is none of the U.S. governments business. Per the 1st Amendment.

  • Crew Sayder Nepean, 00
    March 21, 2017 8:04 a.m.

    They are desperately trying to find anything they can to accuse the church, and even when there is nothing to the accusation (and there never is) the news stories about it will make them think they had some kind of success. Their motives are clear no matter how much they deny them.

  • fhapocryphal Springville, UT
    March 20, 2017 5:28 p.m.

    LOL. They want an investigation into the church now? Why under this administration? They must realize that this will accomplish absolutely nothing. If they actually wanted an investigation I would think they'd wait for an administration that might actually respond, perhaps? So what's their real goal? Perhaps getting ordinary members like us riled up?

  • runnerguy50 Virginia Beach, Va
    March 20, 2017 1:25 p.m.

    If it's no big del why doesn't the Church respond ?

  • runmomrun Greeley, CO
    March 20, 2017 1:06 p.m.

    Why is it that some religions are accused and others are left alone? The LDS Church has suffered a lot of persecution in the past and it seems that someone is trying to open that door again.

  • Savagesam Los Angeles, CA
    March 20, 2017 12:24 p.m.

    This is just another example of the old and true saying, "People can leave the Church, but they can't leave it alone."
    These groups haven't even alleged that anything unusual is going on, but they'd like to make normal look odd. Nice try.

  • Warbunny Puyallup, WA
    March 20, 2017 12:17 p.m.

    It's an Occam's Razor scenario. LDS missionaries ARE doing the work of the Lord or they are NOT doing the work of the Lord. If they are NOT doing the work of the Lord then it is insignificant and not important and the protests are a waste of time, money and energy about a non issue. If they ARE doing the work of the Lord then these antagonists are fighting against the Lord himself. It is clear which is true and who is directing their antagonism isn't it?

  • Readintently Saginaw, MI
    March 20, 2017 12:08 p.m.

    I don't like that these guys are getting press for this. It's a total joke. They hate the Church... that's their problem yet they keep trying to being the drama.

  • runmomrun Greeley, CO
    March 20, 2017 11:59 a.m.

    The church members have gone through a lot of persecutions when Van Buren was president. I hope this isn't the beginning of a repeat!

  • goosehuntr Tooele, UT
    March 20, 2017 11:53 a.m.

    So.... how much is this going to cost? Are we really willing to pay the cost or spend the time on this?

    Blows my mind that someone thought of this as something we "ought" to get to the bottom of. These folks ought to be embarrassed about what they choose to spend the money and time doing.

  • kimnprovo Orem, UT
    March 20, 2017 10:38 a.m.

    Perhaps I am an imbecile. After reading the letter, I cannot see how anyone could take this seriously.

    Did you read the parts of the Logan Act and Foreign Corrupt Practices Act they claim have been broken? How is the LDS Church undermining the United States' interests in India? What business is the LDS Church attempting to procure in India through missionary visas?

    This really has NOTHING to do with transparency. Read the letter if you've not already. It truly is a joke.

  • Duh West Jordan, UT
    March 20, 2017 9:35 a.m.

    Oh boy, another group wanting to go after the church. Nothing new here. Haters will hate, no matter what it costs them!

  • USAlover Salt Lake City, UT
    March 20, 2017 9:22 a.m.

    "We're not in the business of attacking religions,"

    Wait...hahahahahah.

  • Flashback Kearns, UT
    March 20, 2017 7:05 a.m.

    The Indian Ambassador offered 200 visas to LDS Missionaries? And they care? Why? The fourth question that I have is; How does this affect national security when LDS youth and adults get visas to go on missions?

    Decker and Karger assert that this is about "transparency". Why is it their business? How does it affect them? Do these visas harm them in any way?

    The Justice Department ought to tell them to take a flying leap.

  • Thomas Thompson SALT LAKE CITY, UT
    March 20, 2017 5:42 a.m.

    The people who filed this complaint with the Department of State and with the Justice Department will get no response from either one. If any investigation is really necessary (and it appears it is not) then the proper agency to seek relief from is the IRS, which has the power to deny the church its tax exemption. The Department of State will not refuse to issue visas so long as the technical requirements have been met. The Department of Justice never undertakes an investigation sought by private parties, but only advises the executive departments of the federal government.

  • Rikitikitavi Cardston, Alberta
    March 20, 2017 5:12 a.m.

    Axe to grind,,,bee in their bonnet,,,waste of tax dollars!!!

  • Counter Intelligence Salt Lake City, UT
    March 19, 2017 3:02 p.m.

    @GaryO

    " What is your problem with an investigation?" Nothing; if there were anything more to it that harassment
    Indeed why not investigate the critics? "tolerant" people have a long history of intolerance

  • Bountiful Guy Bountiful, UT
    March 19, 2017 10:12 a.m.

    No American should welcome or invite an investigation if there is no evidence that something wrong is going on here. We should care more about how tax dollars are spent and there are significant issues that need attention of those dollars. If the motivation were different, I could comment differently, but in this case, the motivation is very clear and spoken by these two often. For that reason, it should be NOT welcomed or invited. They intend to harass at every opportunity, at others' expense. They have made that clear often.

  • Bountiful Guy Bountiful, UT
    March 19, 2017 10:12 a.m.

    I'm sure the Church would cooperate with any Constitutional investigation. But the question here is whether or not this constitutes harassment, targeting, bullying, or any other type of unlawful or unwarranted attack. If anyone believes there is a sincere effort to uncover some kind of illegal activity of Church leaders, let evidence be shown before the request for an investigation. These two even admit that they don't know of anything, they just suspect (and we all know they would like to find) something wrong in what Church leaders are doing. Is there any greater evidence of something wrong here than, let's say, any other Visa getting activities by anyone looking for expediency?

    To several who have commented. Welcoming an investigation is far different than inviting one. There is no reason to spend tax payer dollars on an investigation that comes about because of a hope that something is wrong and can be uncovered and exposed.

  • lets be mature Meridian/USA, ID
    March 19, 2017 8:33 a.m.

    Nothing to say here I'm just laughing this is so rich. The only unfortunate thing is that harassing a church like this is socially acceptable because it is a Christian church

  • Middle of the road Mormon South Jordan, UT
    March 19, 2017 8:27 a.m.

    Transparency is good. The truth shall set you free.

    The Church should welcome any investigation. If we have done nothing wrong, then we have nothing to hide - right?

  • IloveTacos BOUNTIFUL, UT
    March 19, 2017 12:19 a.m.

    "I thought it was important for us to put our name to a letter that would look a little bit more closely at what the LDS Church was doing," Decker said. "We're not in the business of attacking religions," he said. "There are a lot of people who would say that this is an attack on the church. It's not on attack on people's faith. It's wanting to make sure we're getting to the bottom and making sure money's being spent appropriately and legally in this country."

    Nothing like left wing organizations thinking they have a say in how other people spend their money...as if they have a say in the matter.

    They say they aren't attacking the religion...but they are gaslighting.

  • Sanefan Wellsville, UT
    March 18, 2017 8:54 p.m.

    Pathetic, just pathetic. But the same haters, though few, still got to show their true colors.

  • Mickster Springville, UT
    March 18, 2017 8:44 p.m.

    Karger is no longer a member of the Church. That speaks volumes. Asking the Trump administration to investigate, but yet not having anything against the Church? Really? This is no more than a couple of people who are angry with the Church trying to find some way to discredit the Church. It simply isn't going to happen.

  • twinkleberry67 Layton, UT
    March 18, 2017 7:40 p.m.

    These double standards truly amaze me. If these entities that are going after the LDS church for “transparency “were subject to an audit, the ACLU would be flipping out to kingdom come about it being a hate crime. But since it is directed at a Christian denomination, then it is an appropriate exercise in demanding justification to prove that their organization is not perpetuating discrimination. With all these double, triple and quaternary sets of standards, how the heck is little ol’ me supposed to keep up with who wants what? I double—dog dare them to be “transparent” first.

  • sashabill Morgan Hill, CA
    March 18, 2017 4:05 p.m.

    Bountiful Guy,

    "This reminds me of Sonia Johnson."

    Not to mention Stephen Douglas.

  • mightymite , 00
    March 18, 2017 3:41 p.m.

    Nothing to see here, The church always operated in the gray. Inside deals and influence are part of the culture. Its just the way it is, it may be unethical but it's legal. However, I see the need for transparency because of the legitimate concerns that are at hand.

  • KJR Alpine, UT
    March 18, 2017 3:33 p.m.

    Let's see . . .

    Its stated goal is "to increase the visibility of and respect for nontheistic viewpoints in the United States, and to protect and strengthen the secular character of our government as the best guarantee of freedom for all."

    In the law we would say "assumes facts not in evidence." I think a pluralistic viewpoint is the best guarantee of freedom. There is no evidence that a nonthesitic viewpoint does anything put reduce us to the lowest common denominator where there are no governing principles and everything is arbitrary. Also the fact that missionaries spend a lot of time doing public service projects seems to have escaped him.

  • GaryO Virginia Beach, VA
    March 18, 2017 3:18 p.m.

    Hey Simplicity -

    "Another example of the left/liberals trying to silence, bully, intimidate, and shame any that oppose them. "

    Ha! That's hilarious! What is your problem with an investigation?

    If the LDS Church is innocent of any wrongdoing, then the LDS Church will be found innocent of any wrongdoing. Won't it?

    You should welcome that investigation . . . UNLESS you think the LDS Church IS in fact guilty of wrongdoing.

    Is that it? Is that why the outraged Mormons on this board are so outraged?

    Why the outrage? Why would Mormons just assume that their Church is indeed GUILTY of wrongdoing?

    . . . Anybody??

  • Yar Springville, UT
    March 18, 2017 2:07 p.m.

    Tsk tsk! Another pathetic attempt to discredit a religion. Look, Fred. I know you disagree with our views and what not, but how long are you going to wage this war? Surely you have better things to do then make up a bunch of claims against the church.

  • MoreMan San Diego, CA
    March 18, 2017 2:07 p.m.

    @Cambodia Girl was onto something.... truer words were never spoken. "We can never be injured … by any mortals, except ourselves.” (In Conference Report, Apr. 1909)

  • libs think what??? Salt Lake City, UT
    March 18, 2017 1:56 p.m.

    Laura Billington
    how many Americans died in Benghazi?

    compare that to the death toll from LDS missionaries in India.

    Want to try again drawing the comparison?

  • Bountiful Guy Bountiful, UT
    March 18, 2017 1:00 p.m.

    This reminds me of Sonia Johnson. Didn't she bring down and destroy the Church in 1979? Now we have two more very sad people.

    I hope that 'abuse of process' charges can be leveled against these guys for the obvious harassment against a single target. But in time, they will fade away from relevance, just like Sonia did. At 80 years old, she's still at it and making no noticeable noise.

  • SIMPLICITY Denver, CO
    March 18, 2017 12:14 p.m.

    Another example of the left/liberals trying to silence, bully, intimidate, and shame any that oppose them.

    Know this liberals, you will invariably be opposed by constitutionalists, libertarians, conservatives, lovers of freedom and God fearing people.

  • jenall Layton, UT
    March 18, 2017 12:08 p.m.

    This sounds like a waste of taxpayer money to selfishly nurse a personal vendetta against a religion or it's people. If we all participated in this, we could bankrupt our country with legal fees and bog up an already busy court system. What they seem to need is a therapist to help them sever their ties with this church.

  • Henry Drummond San Jose, CA
    March 18, 2017 11:25 a.m.

    @maggie bacher

    Its more than a publicity stunt - its a fund raiser.

  • DrMAN Orem, UT
    March 18, 2017 11:24 a.m.

    Acts 5: 38-39 - "And now I say unto you, Refrain from these men, and let them alone: for if this counsel or this work be of men, it will come to nought: But if it be of God, ye cannot overthrow it; lest haply ye be found even to fight against God."

    I really enjoy these types of antics that individuals do in efforts to bring down the Church. Paul's words are just such an indication of who these individuals really are and their motives. While it's never too late for one to mend his or her ways, if that mend is not done...these individuals will have a lot of explaining to do to about why, under the guise of seeking "transparency," they actively fought against God and His kingdom. These individuals and all others would be wise to "refrain...and let [the Church] alone." But, I have yet to see any of that wisdom.

  • Still Jim Bountiful, UT
    March 18, 2017 10:42 a.m.

    This is nothing more than another group with an agenda. They want to shut down God.

  • bamafone Salem, UT
    March 18, 2017 10:31 a.m.

    When Larry and Fred tell us that this is not an attack on religion or the LDS Church, you can be assured that is not altogether true. Lying about your motivations is pretty easy to detect, your not fooling anyone. It's pretty interesting to watch people who are motivated by hate.

  • coltakashi Richland, WA
    March 18, 2017 10:14 a.m.

    Getting a visa to stay temporarily in another country is not a special privilege. They are granted routinely for tourists, for college students, and for employees of businesses that have operations in that country. Asking the government of that country to speed up the processing of visas for your people is not unusual. Asking it through official channels, such as an elected member of Congress talking with the ambassador, is the proper way to make such a request. It is the opposite of offering bribes to the lower level officials who actually do the visa processing. The people making this complaint are trying to harass and waste the time of the Trump Administration as well as the LDS Church.

  • Samwise Salt Lake City, UT
    March 18, 2017 10:10 a.m.

    The Standard of Truth has been erected; no unhallowed hand can stop the work from progressing; persecutions may rage, mobs may combine, armies may assemble, calumny may defame, but the truth of God will go forth boldly, nobly, and independent, till it has penetrated every continent, visited every clime, swept every country, and sounded in every ear, till the purposes of God shall be accomplished, and the Great Jehovah shall say the work is done.

  • GwenRothberg Noblesville, IN
    March 18, 2017 10:10 a.m.

    It will be interesting to see who takes an interest in this given the anti-Mormon views of dominionists like Mike Pence and so many of his favored staff and appointees. Make no mistake about it, if he can find a way to legitimately go after the church without getting his hands dirty i.e. blame it on the gays - he will do so. As Pence moves into a position of more influence, pay attention to how the influence of LDS staffers and appointees diminishes.

  • JBs Logan, UT
    March 18, 2017 10:08 a.m.

    I had a good chuckle when reading this one.

  • maggie bacher germany, 00
    March 18, 2017 9:58 a.m.

    this sounds more like a publicity stunt to promote themselves and their enterprise than actual allegations. thanks for wasting my tax dollars while you seek "more transparency" for my church donations, guys.

  • Laura Bilington Maple Valley, WA
    March 18, 2017 9:40 a.m.

    I'm wondering why these commenters were..strangely..silent when Jason Chaffetz & Co. were wasting mega-millions of taxpayer dollars on the Benghazi hearings. I don't remember any of them protesting the Birther nonsense.

    Read some real news about the After School Satan Club--not the Breitbart nonsense, but the stuff in legitimate newspapers. The IRS tax exempt status certificate was issued in ten days. It was an uncomplicated application. The (nonreligious) private school whose board I served on received approval in the same time from the same office.

  • Vanceone Provo, UT
    March 18, 2017 9:25 a.m.

    Remember folks, the left absolutely wants to destroy your freedom to worship. They, or at least a large portion of them, want to persecute, jail, fine, or do even worse to any Christian they can. Note how no leftists ever stand up to these Atheist bullies; no leftist ever says that this is too far.

    Karster is a leftist, his actions are supported by the left and the Democrat party, and he is a true anti-Mormon, of the "Burn them all!" brigade from the 1800's, if he could.

  • Spalding55 Placentia, CA
    March 18, 2017 9:25 a.m.

    "There are a lot of people who would say that this is an attack on the church.".

    And they would be right.

    I'm a huge proponent of the separation of church and state, but this looks like a fishing expedition, and over visas?

  • Tolstoy salt lake, UT
    March 18, 2017 9:25 a.m.

    As both an atheist and gay rights activist let me cleary state, these two men and thier "organizations" do not represent me.

  • NeilT Clearfield, UT
    March 18, 2017 9:24 a.m.

    Ridiculous. Opponents of the church are grasping at straws. This will go nowhere.

  • zipadeedoodah Lehi, UT
    March 18, 2017 9:19 a.m.

    Pathetic accusations.

  • cambodia girl Phnom Penh, Cambodia
    March 18, 2017 8:43 a.m.

    I feel sorry for these guys who are wasting so much time and money with hateful vendettas. Elder Heber J. Grant said: “Our enemies have never done anything that has injured this work of God, and they never will. I look around, I read, I reflect, and I ask the question, Where are the men of influence, of power and prestige, who have worked against the Latter-day Saints? Where is the reputation, for honor and courage, of the governors of Missouri and Illinois, the judges, and all others who have come here to Utah on special missions against the Latter-day Saints? Where are there people to do them honor? They can not be found. … Where are the men who have assailed this work? Where is their influence? They have faded away like dew before the sun. We need have no fears, we Latter-day Saints. God will continue to sustain this work; He will sustain the right. If we are loyal, if we are true, if we are worthy of this Gospel, of which God has given us a testimony, there is no danger that the world can ever injure us. We can never be injured … by any mortals, except ourselves.” (In Conference Report, Apr. 1909)

  • Lolly Lehi, UT
    March 18, 2017 8:38 a.m.

    The story is not even newsworthy. However it is fun to read about those who suppress other's views in their own way. As the saying goes, "those who don't believe in God should die once."

  • MoreMan San Diego, CA
    March 18, 2017 7:47 a.m.

    It would seem that the church's official name "The Corporation of the President of the Church of Latter Day Saints" is more than appropriate and a tongue twister.

  • Bob67 Glenn Dale, MD
    March 18, 2017 7:33 a.m.

    Five months after release of the videos, the best effort that anti-Mormons can make is this implausible charge? Deliver a letter insinuating malfeasance and demanding an investigation? After watching videos of Mormon meetings and more meetings, the accusers are now suffering from stupor of thought. They deserve it!

  • Yorkshire City, Ut
    March 18, 2017 6:48 a.m.

    Just think of the good that could be accomplished if this amount of effort to defame or embarrass the LDS Church was put into something that actually mattered and that helped the poor and needy.

    As has been said before about Karger and his kind:

    "the Standard of Truth has been erected; no unhallowed hand can stop the work from progressing..." Joseph Smith

  • Chessermesser West Valley City, UT
    March 18, 2017 4:27 a.m.

    These guys must not have very much to do in their lives, if they are on a fishing expedition for something like this.

  • ute alumni SLC, UT
    March 18, 2017 3:39 a.m.

    Why is it that those that contribute to the church don't feel to need to know where the Lord's money is going. Transparency? I don't think so. Harrasssment is the more likely reason.

  • sashabill Morgan Hill, CA
    March 18, 2017 12:13 a.m.

    Fred Karger is involved with it. This tells me all I need to know.

  • Jbejarano Eagle Mountain, UT
    March 17, 2017 11:53 p.m.

    I would like Trump to investigate why the IRS fast-tracked tax-exempt status for an "After School Satan Club" in Tacoma, Washington. This is cultural marxism folks. The LDS religion is not oppressing people. In fact let me say that we should be investigating the IRS oppression of religion.

  • a_voice_of_reason Woods Cross, UT
    March 17, 2017 11:30 p.m.

    Hahaha! This is the best one yet! How much mud are these guys going to throw against the wall before they realize nothing is sticking?