Remember how the Mormon Church is allegedly hoarding $100 billion that was meant for charity? The Church denies this, but they’re not about to open their books to let the public see how much cash they actually have… and apparently the most devout Mormons are perfectly fine with this.
According to a new survey from the Salt Lake Tribune, most religious people in Utah was tax-exempt religious groups to publicly report their finances, but there’s an exception: “Very active” Mormons are on the other side of the issue.
Nearly two-thirds of Utah Protestants (71%), 61% of Catholics and 66% of “not active” Latter-day Saints favor such mandatory reporting.
Those who profess no religious affiliation are the most enthusiastic for such disclosure rules, with 87% backing that requirement.
“Somewhat active” Latter-day Saints are more divided, with 45% supporting the notion and 42% opposing it. But “very active” members of the Utah-based faith, who are more likely to have paid the 10% tithing their church encourages, are solidly against such a rule, with 57% against it (the bulk of them “strongly” so) and 35% for it.
Why is that? One professor quoting by the newspaper says it’s because those devout believers are more likely to just trust LDS leaders. But it could also be that they remain blissfully unaware of how their own Church may be screwing them over. Or they have accepted the idea that anything a Church does should be private. (It’s how they’ve handled cases of abuse in the past, so why not their bank account too?)
Until that spell is broken, though, or the laws change, we can’t count on religious leaders to do the right thing on their own. They will always choose secrecy over transparency. Their power depends on it.