Reuters Goes After That 'Wealthy' Mormon Church

-By Warner Todd Huston

As the race for the White House heats up, Reuters suddenly realized that the massive Mormon Church has a lot of money in its bank accounts and sought to needle the Church saying if it were a business "wealthy adherents like Mitt Romney would count as its dominant revenue stream."

Reuters took the if-it-were-a-business theme even farther in its opening paragraphs.

It would also likely attract corporate gadflies protesting a lack of transparency. They would call for less spending on real estate and more on charitable causes to improve membership growth -- the Mormons' return on investment.

Of course, a religion is not a "business" proposition. A religion does not operate like a company does. It has far different goals. But assessing a religion wasn't Reuters’ goal, here. Making Mormons out to be "rich" elitists that act suspiciously and are pushing a snobbish presidential candidate on the nation was Reuters’ goal.

Reuters goes on to recount the money the church has as if no one understood that a church that spans the entire globe might have a little bit of cash in the bank. Reuters seemed shocked, shocked I tell you, that the Mormon Church owned much real estate, and was fortunate enough to have millions of believers world wide that donate heavily to their church through tithing.

And who gives the most to the Mormon Church? Who else but those darn "wealthy" believers like that shifty Mitt Romney, of course.

"Most of the revenue of the religion is from the U.S., and a large percentage comes from an elite cadre of wealthy donors, like Mitt Romney," said Cragun. "(It) is a religion that appeals to economically successful men by rewarding their financial acuity with respect and positions of prestige within the religion."

Oh, and that church has "successful businessmen," and rich entertainers as members, too. Very suspicious, isn’t it?

So, how did the foreign news service find all this out? It wasn't from that secretive United States, they petulantly claim. It was from "church records in countries that require far more disclosure than the United States."

Really all Reuters did here was to engage in class warfare, attempting to portray the Mormon Church as a grouping of ultra rich, snobby, white men of wealth in a secretive, shadowy cult. And by throwing the name Mitt Romney in every other paragraph this piece was a naked attempt to aide Obama in perpetrating class warfare against Romney befitting his low-down, cynical campaign to recapture the White House for another four years.

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  • I got the same press release from the White House that Reuters did, only I did more editing.

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    Who cares how much money they have. I'd be more concerned with some of the bizarre things they believe in.

    They believe that their second prophet 'Brigham Young' fathered 57 children to 16 different women, several of whom were still legally married to other living men... Because God commanded him to.

    They believe God lives on a planet near a star called Kolob.

    They believe that in 1978 God changed his mind about black people. Prior to 1978 they were not worthy to hold the Mormon priesthood or enter the Mormon temples.

    They believe that Jesus popped over to the Americas after his crucifixion.

    They believe you need to know secret Masonic passwords and handshakes to get past the sentinels at the gates of heaven.

    They believe so many ridiculous things you could write an entire musical about it. Oh wait, damn, somebody already did. The funniest show I've ever seen. It won the Grammy award and 9 Tony awards.

    Anyone who actually believes the utter nonsense the Mormons believe is not fit to lead the free world.

    Show us your tax returns Mitt.

  • In reply to Mormon Me:

    I'd chose a Mormon over your communist President any day of the week.

  • In reply to Mormon Me:

    Not all of your facts are correct. I commend the mormon's for sticking up for what they believe God wants them to do. I don't see why you're hating on them for following revelation from God. You accuse God for "changing his mind," but God has always revealed truth and Mormon's believe God continues to reveal truth as the times change. To put it in context, The Law of Moses wasn't in existence when Adam and Eve were on the earth because God had not yet revealed that law.

    Good blog about Mormons in business today: http://www.mormonsinbusiness.blogspot.com

  • In reply to bboy:

    Um... what "facts" are you taking about? I related no "facts" about Mormonism in this post..

    And there is no reason to have an apostrophe in "Mormon's." The word you are looking for is "Mormons," as in plural, NOT possessive.

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    I agree with you, Mr. Huston. In regard to the comments that have been posted, 90% of the Church's wealth and assets consist of our buildings for worship (chapels and temples), buildings for housing our welfare, employment, social services, and humanitarian services, and buildings for family history research (used more by non-Mormons than Mormons). All of these buildings cost us money in the form of utilties expenses, repairs and upkeep, and custodial expenses. That is why we pay tithing to pay for these expenses. Very few church leaders receive any compensation, since most that serve do so as a voluntary service or have independent income. These assets are not liquid and their value cannot be compared to the real estate holdings of a commercial business in any way (how much would anyone pay if we offered a Mormon temple for sale?). The amount of assets the Church has and its income is far below the Catholic Church or many educational institutions, such as Ivy League schools.

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