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Posted 30 Apr 2001   For week ended April 27, 2001
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Sent on Mormon-News: 26Apr01

By Kent Larsen

LDS Church Says Won't Accept Faith-Initiative Funds

SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH -- An Associated Press report yesterday evening says that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints will not participate in US President George W. Bush's faith initiative for fear that it will lead to government regulation of church activities. The news confirms reports from February that the Church was not interested in getting the funds.

"We're neutral. That's not saying we think it's wrong for every organization, but we just don't need it," LDS Church spokesman Dale Bills told the Associated Press. Reports indicating that the Church wouldn't accept any government funds first surfaced February 5th when talk show host and USA Today columnist Larry King reported comments from President Hinckley. King said that Hinckley's comments were made January 30th when King and his wife Shawn visited with President Hinckley as King's stepson Danny was leaving on an LDS mission.

Garth Magnum, author of "The Mormon's War on Poverty," says the reason that the Church isn't interested is two fold. "There's nothing the government can provide that the church doesn't already have," claims Magnum, an emeritus professor of economics at the University of Utah. The Church is widely-admired for its welfare program, which generally provides for the needs of its members. The Church itself is supported by tithes from its members and by income from investments and for-profit businesses it owns. It also has adopted fiscally conservative policies that keep it from needing outside funds.

The Church's second reason, according to Magnum, is fear of government regulation of its activities. "The church doesn't want the government telling it how to do what the church sees as the church's job," he says. This view confirms what King reported Hinckley saying in January, "Once the government is involved, regulations follow."


Mormons Reject Bush Charity Plan
Milwaukee WI Journal-Sentinel (AP) 25Apr01 T1
By Christy Karras: Associated Press

See also:

Don't Give Money to LDS Church, Many Say in Poll

Larry King: Hinckley Opposes Bush Faith Initiative

LDS Church: No Comment on Bush 'Charitable Choice' Plan


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More about "The Mormons' War on Poverty" by Garth Mangum and Bruce Blumell at

Copyright 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001 Kent Larsen · Privacy Information