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60 Minutes Australia: "Cooking the Book of Mormon"


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1 hour ago, california boy said:

 You can't complain about students gaming the system when the Church also games the system.

What about those students who went to BYU and waiting to leave until they had graduated, and then complain about the Church gaming the system?  Can we complain about them? 

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2 hours ago, JustAnAustralian said:

They money in Australia and Canada doesn't just magically appear out of thin air you know.

You obviously are not reading how the Church exports tithing money that should be taxed to BYU in order to avoid taxes.  If they didn't do that, the money collected would be paid to the government, which is what my post is about.

 

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2 hours ago, bluebell said:

What about those students who went to BYU and waiting to leave until they had graduated, and then complain about the Church gaming the system?  Can we complain about them? 

Seems to me, the same people complaining about the students gaming the system are the same ones justifying the Church gaming the tax loophole.

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2 hours ago, Stormin' Mormon said:

Gaming the system requires a person to actually follow the letter of the law and use the rules to their own maximum advantage.  Yeah, that's what the Church is doing in Canada and Australia, and I have no problem with that. 

I'm not sure that that's what the students in your example are doing.  If they don't actually believe church teachings, then they are literally lying (to their bishops who sign off on the ecclesiastical endorsements) for financial gain.  I'm not making an argument about whether that's fair for the student that loses faith partway through their years at BYU.  I am pushing back on the idea that lying is equivalent to "gaming the system."

The Church may be following the letter of the law, but certainly not the spirit of the law.  

Either way, it doesn't look like tithing dollars are being used to fund BYU, it is tax avoidance dollars.

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1 hour ago, california boy said:

Seems to me, the same people complaining about the students gaming the system are the same ones justifying the Church gaming the tax loophole.

I think that Stormin' Mormon has a point though.  Lying to get an advantage, and following the laws to get an advantage, are not the same thing, right? (If that's what's actually going on.  These reporters don't give journalism a very good name.)

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47 minutes ago, JustAnAustralian said:

Your claim was

 

So first you said that tithing money wasn't used, but now you're saying it is but it shouldn't be? I don't care if $X from my tithing goes to BYU and $Y of a USA member's tithing goes to building upkeep, or the other way around. The church is a global organisation. If Australian or Canadian other countries' tax law lets whatever the locally recognised church organisation is donate money to BYU and get tax benefits for the church or its members, that's a problem for tax and charity regulators to solve. 

Did you even watch the video?

Are you really ok with doing anything that is legal as long as it is a recognized church organization?  You might want to also watch this video.  (warning, there is language in the video.  Sorry I can't beep it.)

 

 

 

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21 minutes ago, bluebell said:

I think that Stormin' Mormon has a point though.  Lying to get an advantage, and following the laws to get an advantage, are not the same thing, right? (If that's what's actually going on.  These reporters don't give journalism a very good name.)

Do you believe that lying is only when someone doesn't tell the truth?  Or can it also be the intent to deceive?

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39 minutes ago, bluebell said:

No, I believe it is an intent to deceive.  But paying less taxes because you deceived the government is different than paying less taxes because you followed laws that allowed you to legally do so.

I don't personally understand this idea that legally paying less taxes is immoral or the breaking of a "spiritual law".  

That's like coming under moral condemnation because I bought my burrito frozen from the grocery store (no sales tax) rather than hot from Taco Bell (with sales tax). Shame on me for avoiding paying taxes, even though I did so in a perfecrly normal and legal way.

Edited by Stormin' Mormon
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29 minutes ago, bluebell said:

No, I believe it is an intent to deceive.  But paying less taxes because you deceived the government is different than paying less taxes because you followed laws that allowed you to legally do so.

I don't personally understand this idea that legally paying less taxes is immoral or the breaking of a "spiritual law".  

Because the intent of the law as is reported in the TV program,  it is stated is that money going out of Canada to education should benefit Canadians that are outside of the country.  Less than 2% of all BYU students are Canadian.  Yet for those 2%, a billion dollars has been funneled to BYU.  

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28 minutes ago, Stormin' Mormon said:

How is the church deceiving anyone in these tax situations we're discussing? The church is very open about using tithing dollars to fund BYU, so they're not lying to the members. They're filing all their tax forms properly, so they're not lying to any governments.

This is all one big nothingburger, legally, morally, ethically. There's just no there there.

I personally didn't know that the Church was funneling money from Canada and Australia to avoid paying income tax in countries that don't have tax exemptions for religious organizations.  Maybe you did.  

And hey, if this is all up front and out in the open, then there should not be any problem in broadcasting these programs to educate the citizens of those countries and the members to know exactly what is going on.  

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11 hours ago, california boy said:

Because the intent of the law as is reported in the TV program,  it is stated is that money going out of Canada to education should benefit Canadians that are outside of the country.  Less than 2% of all BYU students are Canadian.  Yet for those 2%, a billion dollars has been funneled to BYU.  

But again, how is it immoral to legally not pay taxes. I’m not sure what the intent of the law matters.

The intent of property taxes in Utah is often to support local school districts. Are you saying that people who legally pay less than they could pay are behaving immorally?

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1 hour ago, bluebell said:

But again, how is it immoral to legally not pay taxes. I’m not sure what the intent of the law matters.

The intent of property taxes in Utah is often to support local school districts. Are you saying that people who legally pay less than they could pay are behaving immorally?

I think it is pretty clear that Christ taught that breaking the spirit of the law was sinful.  So yes.  

It is like saying it is ok to do drugs because the wow doesn't specifically say you can't do crack.

Should we approach all the laws of God with this attitude?  Just get to as close to that line as possible just as long as we aren't breaking the law? Reminds me of BYU students getting naked and rubbing their bodies next to each other and claiming that they didn't break the law of chastity.

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Just now, california boy said:

I think it is pretty clear that Christ taught that breaking the spirit of the law was sinful.  So yes.  

It is like saying it is ok to do drugs because the wow doesn't specifically say you can't do crack.

Should we approach all the laws of God with this attitude?  Just get to as close to that line as possible just as long as we aren't breaking the law? Reminds me of BYU students getting naked and rubbing their bodies next to each other and claiming that they didn't break the law of chastity. Does the Church condemn such behavior even though it is not actually committing forenication or adultery?

 

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28 minutes ago, california boy said:

I think it is pretty clear that Christ taught that breaking the spirit of the law was sinful.  So yes.  

It is like saying it is ok to do drugs because the wow doesn't specifically say you can't do crack.

Should we approach all the laws of God with this attitude?  Just get to as close to that line as possible just as long as we aren't breaking the law? Reminds me of BYU students getting naked and rubbing their bodies next to each other and claiming that they didn't break the law of chastity.

Interesting.  I think  you're the only person I've ever met that says he pays more taxes than he legally needs to for moral reasons.  But, I'm still not convinced that tax laws have a spirit.  I can see that it's different for you, but from my perspective, God's laws and tax laws are not equal.

The differences seem so obvious that I'm having trouble really understanding your views on it.

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29 minutes ago, InCognitus said:

I've actually met Christians (from other faiths) that never took a tax deduction for the charitable contributions that they gave to their church, because they thought it would be a reward for their giving to the Lord. 

But I see it as rendering to Caesar the things which are Caesar's, and unto God the things that are God's.  If Caesar says I don't need to pay taxes on the things I give to the Lord, then why should I render to Caesar any more than is required of me?  I don't see any difference between that and this issue.  

Agreed.  I can see how obeying tax laws has a moral component, but taxes themselves?  I don't see how paying taxes is, in and of itself, a moral issue.  The idea that we have a moral obligation to pay as much in taxes as possible seems crazy to me.

Edited by bluebell
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On 10/28/2022 at 9:06 AM, jkwilliams said:

The best charitable organizations are transparent in how they spend their money. It's not analogous to In-N-Out. Dang, I wish I was back home in California. A Double-Double sounds good about now.

The church is transparent with its charitable programs/funds. It is not a strict charitable organization. Therefore the "know" in all other spending, investing and savings is extended to those who have a "need to know".

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