Archive for Mormon church

Kate Kelly: She actually is history!

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When the June 2014 story broke of Kate Kelly, I immediately thought of Anne Hutchinson.  Kelly, is a long-time Morman and human rights lawyer.  She is fighting for equality in the Church (what a concept!) and the founder of Ordained Woman which is a group of gals who want to preach in their own (Mormon) church. Kelly was convicted of apostasy (the abandonment or renunciation of a religious or political belief), and ex-communicated.

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Anne Hutchinson was convicted of heresy (an opinion or belief that contradicts established religious teachings) and sedition (actions or words intended to provoke or incite rebellion against government authority) and was banished!  And she, like Kate Kelly, was ex-communicated from her Church. But this was back in 1634.  HER crime?  Preaching to women and challenging "church doctrines".

Twilight Zone music here…

Ms. Hutchinson, nurse, bible teacher, midwife and all around multi-tasking Mama, was not your average, quiet, submissive housewife and mother of the Colonial period. No.  She was the Mother of The First Amendment.  Via Cornell:

The First Amendment guarantees freedoms concerning religion, expression, assembly, and the right to petition.  It forbids Congress from both promoting one religion over others and also restricting an individual’s religious practices.  It guarantees freedom of expression by prohibiting Congress from restricting the press or the rights of individuals to speak freely.  It also guarantees the right of citizens to assemble peaceably and to petition their government.  

Pregnant with her fifteenth child and forty-six years old, Anne Hutchinson STOOD before a panel of male judges who said to her:

"Mrs Hutchinson, you are called here as one of those that have troubled the peace of the commonwealth and the churches here; you are known to be a woman that hath had a great share in the promoting and divulging of those opinions that are the cause of this trouble."

Kate Kelly was told - also by a panel of male judges- the following (via NBC):

"The problem is that you have persisted in an aggressive effort to persuade other Church members to your point of view and that your course of action has threatened to erode the faith of others.  In order to be considered for readmission to the Church, you will need to demonstrate over a period of time that you have stopped teachings and actions that undermine the Church, its leaders, and the doctrine of the priesthood."

Kate Kelly heard this from her church the same week the Supreme Court struck down the McCullen v. Coakley law that created a buffer zone around abortion clinics. SCOTUS said the "pro-life" peeps' First Amendment rights were being violated. Free speech, right to protest, oy veh. I wonder if any of Supreme Court judges have seen the documentary "After Tiller".

How could SCOTUS mistake free speech for harassment?  And of course, THEY are enjoying THEIR buffer zone around THEIR building. Via the NY Times:

“Many women have abortions because they feel they have no other option or because they are pressured by a boyfriend or parent,” said Eleanor McCullen, a plaintiff in the case, McCullen v. Coakley, No. 12-1168. “Today’s ruling means I can offer loving help to a woman who wants it, and neither of us will go to jail for the discussion.”

LOVING HELP! DISCUSSION?

So Kate Kelly was ex-communicated for basically "trying to persuade other church members..."  and Anne Hutchinson was banished for having a "belief different from the establishment" but the "pro-lifers" are allowed to"persuade - HARASS -  women who have a belief DIFFERENT than theirs??

As  Radio Or Not's Nicole Sandler says all too regularly: "It's Opposite World".

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Teens flee polygamist sect of Mormon Church, learn what the president & saltwater are, women aren't subservient "poisonous snakes"

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Zach Bowers is a "plig." No, I'm not being insulting, nor was that a "pig" typo. "Plig" is short for polygamist child, and Zach and his brother grew up in a Utah polygamist compound. His dad married two sisters and raised 32 children.

About four years ago he had an argument with Polygamist Dad, left home, and joined an ongoing exodus-- read: escape-- from the sect. Of course, not all Mormons practice polygamy. The main Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints disavowed that a century ago, but per a report in the Los Angeles Times, Zach defected from "the secretive Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, a breakaway sect of the Mormon Church that practices polygamy, dictates almost all aspects of people's lives and casts women into subservience."

He's 18 now, and he, his older brother, and his younger half-brother live northeast of Las Vegas with a caring married couple, along with their two kids, in a six-bedroom house.

They're adjusting well, but learning about "the intimacy of a nuclear family" with "parental figures" and living a more mainstream life has been challenging:

On his first ocean swim, Zach gulped water and nearly vomited: He'd never heard of saltwater. They've learned how to talk to girls, whom church elders warned "to avoid like poisonous snakes." [...]

Sect members who escape their compound are largely invisible to society, and are often without birth certificates or Social Security numbers. [...]

Zach was home-schooled — lessons involved reading the Bible and the Book of Mormon exclusively — and he was forbidden from watching TV or reading newspapers. He left the sect with little grasp of math, science or history. Multiplication tables baffled him and his reading skills were below normal. Zach admits he didn't know who Osama bin Laden was until the terrorist leader was killed in 2011.

"I didn't even know what the president was," he said. "I knew there was somebody over the United States, but I didn't know they called it the president."

Both Zach and Isaiah were once told how to wear their hair, what type of shoes to wear. They could never take off their long-sleeved shirts in public and had to wear long underwear year-round.

No birth certificates or Social Security numbers would make it impossible to vote for a president they never knew existed, as well as any other candidate or issue.

It took a few months for Zach to realize girls weren't poisonous snakes and to realize what "Star Wars" movies were. And understandably, the brothers now distrust organized religion.

But because of the couple that took them in, they are learning what a loving family really is.

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Report: Romney used loophole to “rent” Mormon church’s exemption status, avoid paying taxes for 15 years

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So will anyone care enough to report this widely now that we're only a week out from Election Day? And now that we have Hurricane Sandy to contend with?

Willard M. Romney can hide, he can run, he can even run and hide, avoid and deflect, but somebody's going to find his tax returns, or at least divulge more about them.

Raw Story sums it up for us:

Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney used a loophole to “rent” the Mormon church’s tax exemption status and defer paying taxes for 15 years, according to a new report.

Tax returns obtained by Bloomberg News through a Freedom of Information Act request indicated that Romney set up a charitable remainder unitrust (CRUT) in June 1996 just before Congress cracked down on the loophole in 1997.

Bloomberg News:

The charitable remainder unitrust, as it is known, is one of several strategies Romney has adopted over his career to reduce his tax bill. While Romney’s tax avoidance is legal and common among high-net-worth individuals, it has become an issue in the campaign. [...]

In this instance, Romney used the tax-exempt status of a charity -- the Mormon Church, according to a 2007 filing -- to defer taxes for more than 15 years. At the same time he is benefiting, the trust will probably leave the church with less than what current law requires, according to tax returns obtained by Bloomberg this month through a Freedom of Information Act request.

In general, charities don’t owe capital gains taxes when they sell assets for a profit. Trusts like Romney’s permit funders to benefit from that tax-free treatment, said Jonathan Blattmachr, a trusts and estates lawyer who set up hundreds of such vehicles in the 1990s.

The main benefit from a charitable remainder trust is the renting from your favorite charity of its exemption from taxation,” Blattmachr said. Despite the name, giving a gift or getting a charitable deduction “is just a throwaway,” he said. “I used to structure them so the value dedicated to charity was as close to zero as possible without being zero.”

Michael Arlein, a trusts and estates lawyer at Patterson Belknap Webb & Tyler LLP, said, "The Romneys get theirs off the top and the charity gets what’s left. So by definition, if it’s not performing as well, the charity gets harmed more.”

Sound familiar? Remind you a little of Mitt's Bain Capital days? They profit, the business from whom they make money loses. See: Sensata, Bainport, Illinois.

Follow the link for more.

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"When a church does it, it's a helping hand; when we all do it (with our tax revenue), it's a handout."

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Today's L.A. Times letter to the editor, because our voices matter:

Re "His conservatism may be article of faith for Romney," Sept. 21

Neither the government nor the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints will pay a needy church member's mortgage, but both offer food assistance. When a church does it, it's a helping hand; when we all do it (with our tax revenue), it's a handout.

According to this view, a family of four with a monthly income of $1,200 (and not paying income tax) is self-reliant and taking personal responsibility if it accepts help from the Mormon Church, but it believes itself a victim if it accepts government help.

Access to succor in times of hardship should not be subject to religious affiliation. The resources of a country are greater and more broadly invested than the resources of any church. Only as a country can we ensure domestic tranquillity and promote the general welfare.

Kevin T. Freeman

Anaheim

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