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The Moral Obligation of Managing LDS Church Money

LDS Church Taxes
Renee Bright
/
KUER

Recent reports out of Canada and Australia have raised questions about how the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints manages its global finances. While it may be entirely within the letter of the law, whistleblowers argue that, for a religious organization, it's the spirit of the law that should matter the most.

Late last month, a team of media outlets broke news that the church in Australia had structured itself in such a way that donations and member tithing are fully tax deductible. According to the ex-Mormon who first uncovered the information, that means the Australian government is essentially subsidizing the running of the church in the country. This Friday, we’re talking about the unique financial structure of the LDS church and how it maneuvers international law in own best interest.

GUESTS: 

  • Sam Brunson is a Professor of Law at Loyola University Chicago. Here is his recent article for the blog By Common Consent, “Church Finances in Canada and Australia.” @smbrnsn
  • Ben Schneiders is an investigative journalist at The Age and The Sydney Morning Herald. He is based in Melbourne, Australia. You can read his work here. @benschneiders
  • Dr. Simon Southerton is a former LDS bishop in Australia. He has a keen interest in secular religions in Australia. He lives in Canberra, Australia.

By way of a response to our program, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints referred to an official statement regarding the charitable work of LDS Charities Australia.

Airdate: Friday, Nov. 18, 2022 at 11 a.m. and 7 p.m.

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