Monday, November 10, 2008

Now this I find interesting....

Did you know that there's a petition out trying to strip the Mormon Church of it's 501(3)(c) status? And that the UK has already begun this process in their own nation? Wondering why yet? It shouldn't be a big surprise here. In the US Constitution, you know, the one the Framers wrote so very long ago? There was this little tiny thing they included, separation of church and state. You all remember that little clause? Yeah sometimes I think it's gone by the way side, I keep getting these friggin email petitions to allow for prayer in school. I DON'T THINK SO. Do you know why? Because we're not all Christians. I know, that sounds just absolutely horrid to many but it is true, we allow other religions in this country. You don't like it, fine, move somewhere else. But in this country we have a Constitution and it states, very clearly, because the Framers (they had had enough of the religious persecution) that there needs to be a separation of church and state. People can trample all over the Constitution but it's still there and it still says the same thing.

So again, why is the Mormon church being sued? Oh I love this, pedophilic freaks actually put in quite a bit of money into the Yes on 8 Proposition. From the SF Chronicle:
The Yes on 8 campaign estimates that up to 40 percent of its donations come from Mormons. Some others estimate that Mormons account for over 70 percent of donations from individuals.

There were a ton of other religions that were supporting it verbally yet it was the Mormon church that started throwing money in the pot. Legally speaking the individuals are totally allowed to do so with out it being a conflict of interest as far as the church's tax exempt status. Much to the chagrin of the Morman church I'll bet. The question is did they break the law? Lets see here, and I quote:
the Salt Lake City-based church has sent letters, held video conferences and in church meetings asked for volunteers to support the campaign. In response, some church members have poured in their savings and undertaken what may be an unprecedented grassroots mobilization for the effort.

Yeah ok asking individuals to donate, that's not illegal, kinda immoral but don't get me started on the Morman church and what they have thought of as immoral and what everybody else, like the US legal system, think of as legal. Ew. But now the fact that they sent letters, held video conferences and used church meetings to gather these funds, that my friends is walking a very very fine line. Are they going to get slapped for it? Probably not. The fact that they are being called on it? Very interesting.

Now if you look up on the data base where it has the names listed of who donated what, and put in Latter Day Saints it spits out details of a total donation dollar amount to - Yes On 8, A Project Of California Renewal. That dollar amount, $2,864.21, ok not so much. Yet if you look at the article above that I linked the Mormans that were interviewed each donated $30,000. Wow, can you imagine hating gay marriage so much that you'd sink thirty k into a proposition fund? Must be nice. Of course the Mormans, unlike say the Jehovah's Witnesses, are not known for being poor. As a matter of fact as I understand it they are a very wealthy church and they take care of their own. Of course technically the financial records are not open to the public, not even their own followers get to see that info. The same may be true for other churches, I doubt the pope wants the general public to know their financials either but everyone knows the pope is not poor. Regardless it doesn't matter how much or little the Morman Church contributed to Prop 8, the point is that it did. So not right. If they choose to involve themselves in politics then so be it but they can not have it both ways. They are either a tax exempt church or they aren't. If they put themselves in politics then they must not be allowed their church status, period. First Amendment, read it, it's pretty black and white. If the Mormons don't like it they'd better be ready to move the hell out of Utah and the US of A. No all of them of course, just the ones who think their religion trumps the law. Gosh, that's come up a lot recently hasn't it? Why? It's not like the Constitution is new here.

Oh and let me just go back to that little tiny rant I had up there in that first paragraph (if you can call these paragraphs), the separation of church and state thing? And how lackadasical people have been getting about it. I can see it more in the red state that I now live in. Back in So Cal there are a ton of things that no one would dare do at work, the mention of most religious holidays was a land to be lightly tread upon. Out here they shove it down your throat. Welcome to the red states!

They have a gift exchange here at work, they actually asked me if I wanted to participate which I thought was nice, I would have thought they had just assumed that I was supposed to participate. I, of course, declined, I hate the holidays, total Scrooge that I am. Plus I don't like adding more crap to a Christmas list that I'm not going to buy anything from anyway. The kid gets stuff this year, that's it. The co-worker responded with a "Really?" to my no. I said "Yeah, really, thanks but no I don't want to". I am not the most loved person at the office but mass spectrometrists rarely are. We need shirts that say, Does not play well with others. Really, across the board we are the worst, we can't share a damn thing and all of our stuff must be special ordered. We are the ultimate high maintenance chemists, it's bad. Every time they see me coming they groan. My being here has resulted in policy changes across the board, they hate me, I take too much effort and people hate change. And I'm cool with it as long as I don't have to participate in the damn gift exchange! I'd just love to see their faces if they started drilling me on my religious beliefs/non beliefs. Most of them are Catholic latinas. Most are either young with children and unmarried or young grandmothers with grandchildren that are pregnant teens and the products of teen pregnancy. Do you see where I'm going with this one? Hypocritical much? Ah yes, the product of much religion and little to no education. But hey, they go to church on Sundays! Do not get me started, this post is too long already.

By the way, did you know that the California Teachers Association made the largest contribution by any single donor, 1.3 million, to defeat Prop 8 (pro gay marriage for those of you not keeping up)? This article outlines several of the donors for both sides, Apple computers donated $100,000 to defeat Prop 8 which was again, interesting.

Edited to add this article, I love all the cool articles that keep coming up about the Prop 8 subject. It has more to do with what is coming in the wake than the churches but it's still interesting enough to warrant a link.

Yes, I realize this was a one sided debate but if you want both sides you're going to have to go to the media for that. If you want to comment got for it! If you want to rebut do so on your own blog and point me in the general direction. Comments longer than 3 paragraphs will not be published, that's what you have your own blogs for....


Kimberly said...

girl dont even get me started about stuff around here. I still cant get over the fact that they shut down the whole city for a damn parade! When I was working I actually heard people say they would not take a job if they had to work on Battle of the Flowers-WTF?! and the religion thing is out of control and yes there should totally be sep. of church and state. I am okay with people believing/worshiping anything they want but dont shove it down my throat or my kids at school. that is my job! :)

Susie said...

Is it just me or are the people who are so zealous and fervent about their right to bear arms being in the constitution very often the same people who would blur those lines when it comes to legislating morality? Right? I mean... right?

I read about a Mormon family who donated like 40 grand to the "cause", which was most if not all of their life savings. I understand feeling strongly about it (I don't agree but whatever), but to risk bankrupting the family over it? They already had like 6 kids, probably more to come, the odds are pretty good that at least one of them will be gay. Well I could go on and on about how I don't understand homophobia and how really ridiculous it is, but I'll leave that one for another time and place. But yeah, with the church itself contributing to the "cause", they are walking a very fine line. I doubt they are the only church to do it though, but I totally agree that they shouldn't be able to have it both ways. Blech.

Death before Decaf! said...

Here's an idea...I truly believe the whole 501(3)(c) status criteria needs to be rewritten to EXCLUDE churches over a certain size and/or income.

These larger religious organizations, a number of them with greater GNP than most countries of the world, have chronically trampled over the protections in the US meant to prevent theocratic actions.

My thought: bye bye tax exempt status. They are, at the end of the day, little better than the soulless corporations people complain about year after year.

And in case someone asks...why yes, I'd LOVE to draft up some guidelines for how to determine which churches are in and which are out.