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Everything posted by Amulek

  1. Never saw Tron: Legacy, so I guess I'm going to have to go with ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ on this one.
  2. I believe helix is talking about the prayers in the locker room, either pre-game or during half time - don't remember which off the top of my head now (may have even been both - honestly don't remember). He got in trouble for those and did agree not to engage in those. That's when he started praying after the games instead.
  3. In Sam's more recent Twitter comments about the EPA complaint he says the following [link]. Complaint: If EPA has not operated for religious or charitable purposes, then it clearly falls short of the requirements of IRC § 501 (c)(3) and is not exempt... Sam: Finally (for now, at least), this is true. To be a tax-exempt "integrated auxiliary," EPA has to have been operated for certain listed charitable purposes. Was it? In 1971 (Rev. Rule 71-529 for anyone who wants to follow along), the IRS asks whether a putatively tax-exempt org, the purpose of which is to manage and invest funds for other tax-exempt orgs with a below-market fee, qualified as exempt. https://www.taxnotes.com/research/federal/irs-guidance/revenue-rulings/rev.-rul.-71-529/d81s The IRS ruled that it was. This looks really similar to the business model of EPA to me. I don't know its fee arrangement, but I'd be shocked if it weren't well below market. Which is to say, I suspect EPA meets the terms of tax exemption laid out by the IRS. (There are also a handful of IRS rulings that say that an integrated auxiliary that manages church money is exempt. Most of them have been superceded, though not contradicted.)
  4. I would certainly be interested in reading such an explanation because I must confess (pun intended) I'm not 100% sure as to the why for Latter-day Saints myself. So far as I can tell, confidentiality is more a matter of Church policy and practice than of doctrine. There is nothing in scripture - ancient or modern - which requires Latter-day Saints to consider confessions sacrosanct. And if the Church doesn't have a theological basis for holding confessions inviolate - which we clearly do not, as evidenced in the multiple jurisdictions where mandatory reporting is required - then I think it's fair for people to question why Latter-day Saints have gone out of their way to defend exemptions in cases involving abuse.
  5. Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania Rotten Tomatoes has only 48% of critics giving it a positive review while audiences rate it a solid 83%. Spoiler alert: The critics are right. The movie was just all over the place, and not in a well-designed or intriguing sort of way. There are basically three main characters throughout the film - only one of which is actually on the marquee - and the film really suffers for it. At one point I actually fell asleep. My advice: skip it and wait for it to pop up on Disney+ six months from now (or whenever).
  6. In that case, you may not buy me a brand new Aston Martin.
  7. This may seem pedantic but technically no, it isn't something that is done "under oath" - it's something that is affirmed under penalty of perjury. You do the same thing whenever you file your own tax forms. Here's the language from the 2022 1040, "Under penalties of perjury, I declare that I have examined this return and accompanying schedules and statements, and to the best of my knowledge and belief, they are true, correct, and complete. Declaration of preparer (other than taxpayer) is based on all information of which preparer has any knowledge." You aren't "under oath" whenever you file your taxes with the IRS - though you do affirm under penalty of perjury that what you're filing is true, correct, and complete. But "Do you have a foreign account?" isn't the same as "Do you have a reportable foreign account?" And that's an important distinction. Is it possible that EPA had reportable foreign financial accounts and lied about it in previous years? I mean, sure, anything is possible. But it's also possible that EPA only opened a reportable foreign account in 2019. You know, kind of like how people usually don't start filing "married filing jointly" until they are actually married. Also, it's possible that the definition of "foreign financial account" has changed in the last 15 years. And, as Sam Brunson points out, "whether they failed to file FBARs depends not on whether they had foreign investments (they did!) but whether they exercised control over certain foreign financial accounts (I don't know!)" And the complaint isn't much help with that. There's no actual evidence of wrongdoing presented in the complaint itself - it's all just inference and logical leaps. They want the government to go on a fishing trip and justify their accusations for them. For multiple reasons, I don't think that will happen, so I predict that these complaints - insofar as they manage to stick around for a while - will end up being more of a Rorschach test for what people think about the Church than anything else.
  8. I didn't pick one of the options above, but here's what I believe will come of this with respect to both the Senate Finance Committee and the IRS: Nothing! Absolutely Nothing! Also, @Calm hunted this down and posted it in one of the other threads back when this was first published (so all I did was remember seeing it), but Sam Brunson did a live tweet about the tax stuff in this complaint that you can read all about here: https://twitter.com/smbrnsn/status/1623697204748713984 Spoiler alert: Doesn't sound like there's much 'there' there.
  9. My wife and I go to the same doctor. If she were to recommend polygamy, even in moderation, I strongly suspect my wife would want a second opinion.
  10. I don't have a problem admitting the Church and (by proxy) it's agents were in the wrong on this one. But I also have a hard time caring about it. On the spectrum of "wrongs" that can be committed, this isn't anywhere near the top of the list - at least not for me, personally. It isn't like the Church was doing anything truly scandalous - no tax evasion, no illegal funneling of monies as contributions to non-Libertarian Party campaigns, no secret hooker islands, nothing. All they did was attempt to legally obfuscate how much money they were controlling. Now, I think it's pretty clear they were in the wrong on how they went about doing that, notwithstanding whatever weak 20-year old legal advice they may have been relying on to the contrary. But I also think that what they did isn't worth getting too excited about either. And the SEC obviously agreed - otherwise they would have gone after the Church for more than just a weak slap on the wrist. Seriously, when compared to a $40B+ investment portfolio growing (on average) at 7% annually, a $5M fine comes out to be less than what we make in a single day. If people want to be upset with the Church, fine. But let's keep things in perspective. What the Church and EPA did was the financial equivalent of smoking a little weed, so let's not go around pretending like they were guilty of raping and cannibalizing babies or anything crazy like that.
  11. Copyright, just like any other property, can be transferred from the owner to another. If the Church is accurately reporting that the works in question "were the subject of complete conveyance of all right, title and interest," then the matter ought to be pretty much open-and-shut. I guess we'll see.
  12. Not necessarily for deadnaming, per se (something the student has denied). The allegation was merely that he was refusing to use the transgendered students chosen names. He could have simply refused to use their preferred names and instead persisted in referring to them using a nickname or some other appellation. That's still kind of a jerk thing to do though.
  13. I don't know. The first words out of their mouths are almost always something to the effect of, "Don't be afraid!" So maybe not just any generic guy...
  14. Well, I would probably be a little skeptical if the HG started spewing off talking points from ex-mormon reddit, but if I were certain God had actually commanded me to stop paying tithing then yes, I would stop. I wouldn't tell other people to stop paying tithing though, nor would I hold it against my priesthood leaders for withholding a temple recommend due to my decision to not pay tithing.
  15. The Holy Ghost trumps everything. That being said, it only trumps everything for you personally; it doesn't give you the right to preach, teach, or publicly advocate for anything contrary to what has been revealed to the Church as a whole through the prophet.
  16. I loves me some hate chicken. Reminds me of that episode from Silicon Valley... Satanist Leader: Hail Satan, it is done. Well, thanks for coming, everyone. Brother Jason was kind enough to furnish this week's food. It's Chick-fil-A. I know, they're on the Christian right, but darned if that chicken isn't good. I think the Dark Lord would understand.
  17. Did he? I thought he only conceded that a pink/blue cake is not inherently expressive - not that a pink/blue cake couldn't, given the right context, be considered symbolic speech. I think that's probably a finer (and harder) point to argue though - one that I'm not convinced would (or even ought) to win.
  18. If you read Justice Thomas' concurring opinion in the Masterpiece decision, he mentions that "[t]o determine whether conduct is sufficiently expressive [to qualify as protected speech], the Court asks whether it was “intended to be communicative” and, “in context, would reasonably be understood by the viewer to be communicative.” I think there's a colorable argument to be made that, in the context of a gender transition birthday party, a pink/blue cake might reasonably be understood by a viewer as being communicative. That being said, I think the facts were much more in Phillips' favor in the wedding cake case than in this one.
  19. Here's the thing: I like a lot of what environmentalists and conservationists are ultimately all about, but statements like this just don't make any sense to me. I mean, even if every single person in the state of Utah (Mormon and non-Mormon alike) were to become vegetarian overnight, wouldn't alfalfa still be a cash crop? It isn't like people are just going to stop raising livestock because people in Utah decided to stop eating burgers and started consuming twice as much fry sauce. Plus, once everyone in the state has switched over to a completely plant-based diet, who's to say that such a major shift in market demand wouldn't just incentivize all of those alfalfa farmers to switch over to another, similarly water intensive crop like wheat instead? Seriously, I honestly just don't get comments like these. Like, at all.
  20. Um, I don't want to make your head explode or anything, but...you do know that the same guy who gave the talk you seem to be so bothered by is the same fellow who pretty much authored the Family Proclamation, right?
  21. If you read through the entire speech that his supposedly biased view is founded upon it becomes quite clear he was not, in fact, making an affirmative case that gay people ought to be "perceived and treated as criminals." He was merely saying that he was personally okay with leaving those aspects of the law in place - not just for gays, but for adulterers and fornicators as well - "because of the standard-setting and teaching function of these laws on sexual morality and their support of society's exceptional interest in the integrity of the family." He also cautioned about the concern for privacy such laws would threaten and how they ought to be carefully supervised and rarely (if ever) used. Now, I don't know how other people view things, but for me, when I hear someone writing like that 30 years before Lawrence in that kind of measured tone and merely saying that he can live with laws remaining on the books so long as they are rarely enforced - that doesn't exactly scream gay-hating to me. YMMV. I'm skeptical that he is really a fellow Saint and that these are legitimate concerns. I find it pretty sus that someone can spend nearly 60 years in the church as an active, believing member and then suddenly find themselves incapable of sustaining the prophet and the first presidency because of one sentence in one talk given 50 years ago by someone who wasn't even in a leadership position at the time. Someone who has really been in the church all that time has been around long enough to have lived through the revelation removing the priesthood ban and participate in the church throughout the entire modern gay rights movement. And I'm supposed to believe that he's just now learning that, decades and decades ago, people in the church may have said some things that seem pretty uncouth by today's standards? Well, where on earth have you been living all this time? Under a rock? Look, it is entirely possible that our friend "The Great Pretender" (definitely not a troll-ish moniker there), is really a member who is struggling with his faith right now, and if that is genuinely the case then here is my honest, best advice: get off the internet and go talk to your bishop and/or stake president.
  22. Pinewood Derby Races, Road Shows, and Green Jello. Okay, maybe just the two then.
  23. Okay. So, again, nearly 50 years ago now (and 10 years prior to him being called as an Apostle), then President-of-BYU-only Oaks gave a talk about the law and in his discussion of "victimless crimes" included a comment about how he would have preferred to keep criminal statutes in place - even if they were deeply regulated and rarely enforced - for certain types of private, noncommercial sex offenses (e.g., adultery, fornication, homosexual activity, etc.). This tracks with President Oaks' previous legal comments about his thoughts about there being a "teaching" aspect to the law. Clearly such a position, if ever it were commonly held amongst those in the legal community, has long since been abandoned. Why? Even if President Oaks currently (and secretly) believes that adultery, fornication, and homosexual activity ought to be subject to some sort of criminal sanctions, that's a pretty esoteric and (clearly) minority position - one that modern legal jurisprudence has long since abandoned. And, based on current Supreme Court precedent, one which will never become a thing. So, for all practical purposes, I have to ask: Even if, arguendo, President Oaks currently holds to an unpopular and untenable legal opinion about the purpose of law or how society relates to the law at a very high level, why should that prevent one from being capable of sustaining him if he never so much as mentions it (let alone advocates for it) for the rest of his natural life? It's pretty clear to me from Elder Oaks' comments following the gay marriage debate in our country that the Church has said its peace on the matter and that it is now time to move forward with love and civility. I have a hard time taking seriously the concerns of someone who goes and hunts down a 50 year old talk that is mostly about something else entirely - it's mostly about decriminalizing drugs - and then finds a single quote that, to his modern sensibilities, seems offensive - even when in the very next sentences the author (who, again, was not an Apostle) concedes that there are concerns with his suggested approach and would even favor something akin to a non-enforcement regime. Well, except maybe for prostitution. But, then again, I know lots of people who don't want to see prostitution decriminalized, and I don't have a problem sustaining any of them - even though, politically, I don't completely agree with them.
  24. If one can't bring oneself to sustain President Nelson as Prophet, Seer, and Revelator because some guy who was born in 1900 (and has been dead for nearly 40 years now) once said something objectionable in a talk given 50+ years ago, and that - because of this talk (by some other guy, mind you) - that somehow means one suspects President Nelson of currently being a closet racists, then...okay. Don't sustain him, I guess. That seems like kind of a stretch to me, but whatevs.
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