November 8, 2015

Why is Mormon Church still tax exempt?

Vox -  Children of same-sex couples will not be able to join the Mormon Church until they turn 18 — and only if they move out of their parents' homes, disavow all same-sex relationships and receive approval from the church's top leadership as part of a new policy adopted by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

The ban, the Times's Laurie Goodstein reports, applies to same-sex couples as well. The Mormon Church not only bans these couples from the church, but existing members in same-sex marriages are now considered apostates and subject to excommunication, according to the policy handbook obtained by the Times.

Fusion - in 1983, Bob Jones University lost its tax-exempt status when it continued to ban interracial dating. Which prompted this exchange with Donald Verrilli, the solicitor general, during oral argument in the gay-marriage case at the Supreme Court:

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Politicus USA, 2012 - Four years ago, one of the richest religious organizations in the country broke their agreement with the Internal Revenue Service, and they deserve nothing less than revocation of their 501(c)(3) status as a non-profit organization, and the IRS is bound to collect taxes that were lost retroactively by virtue of Section 501(a) of the Internal Revenue Code. Furthermore, the Department of Justice must investigate and prescribe a comprehensive audit to determine the amount of back taxes owed the United States by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints; the Mormons.

In June 2008, the First Presidency of the Mormon church sent a letter to church leaders in California to be read to all congregations on 29 June 2008 regarding California and Same-Sex Marriage, instructing cult adherents to “do all you can to support the proposed constitutional amendment by donating of your means and time to assure that marriage in California is legally defined as being between a man and a woman. Our best efforts are required to preserve the sacred institution of marriage.” The First Presidency said church teachings are unequivocal and that “local Church leaders will provide information about how you may become involved in this important cause.” The cause, Proposition 8, discriminates against LGBT couples, and in keeping with their belief that the U.S. Constitution is secondary to Mormon edicts, broke their agreement with the U.S. Internal Revenue Service and should have lost their tax-exempt status immediately.

In June 2011, a member of the Mormon general authority used LDS Church email to solicit campaign contributions for Willard Romney’s run for president. W. Craig Zwick, who is a member of the church’s First Quorum of the Seventy and father of Romney’s finance chairman wrote, “How much can you contribute to the Romney for President Committee today? You can only give $2,500 max for you and your wife. Let me know — let’s take back America!” According to Revenue Ruling 2007-41 of the IRS, the law “prohibits political campaign activity by charities and churches by defining a 501(c)(3) organization as one “which does not participate in, or intervene in (including the publishing or distributing of statements), any political campaign on behalf of (or in opposition to) any candidate for public office.”

In 2004, the “IRS selected 110 cases for examination, issued 69 written advisories, revoked the tax-exempt status of five organizations and proposed revocation for two others,” and every election cycle sends out reminders to Charities and Churches of Political Activity Ban. The Mormons, like every listed 501(c)(3) religious organization, received the IRS reminder and they ignored the rules because they believe church law supersedes U.S. law and the Constitution. Interestingly, the Mormon hierarchy admonished “authorities and general officers of the church and their spouses and other ecclesiastical leaders serving full time should not personally participate in political campaigns, including promoting candidates, fundraising, speaking in behalf of or otherwise endorsing candidates, and making financial contributions.” Apparently, even though the church leadership sent out a letter stating its policy on political participation, it was only for show. These are egregious violations and typical of religious fanatics who have inserted their dogmata into legislation and political activism, and it is high time all churches lose their tax-exempt status. However, like the United States Council of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) and evangelical extremists, the Mormons are blatantly thumbing their collective noses at the letter of the law and they are profiting handsomely from their illegal activity.

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