Sunday, June 22, 2008

Aaron's interesting points

These are the comments Aaron made on my Mormonism and MLM post:

"I think you're on to something here. Some of your info is off target.

Yes, Mormons have poor among them. No, we are not all poor.
And (after ten years as a financial clerk and auditor in the LDS church), I can certify that tithing is not what makes the poor mormons poor. That's a topic for another day.

The idea that the church deliberately keeps its members poor is also broken by the fact that Mormons are actually wealthier than most other religions, on a per-person basis. (If you take the top ten Judeo-Christian religions in the US, Mormons are #2 behind the Jews).

Also, on a much smaller point, the Mormon directive on tithing is does not define whether the 10% is before or after taxes.

But you are on to something here - the 'promise' of MLMs does always seem to be attractive to the poorer part of the population in general, and specifically to poor mormons. Why the typical poor mormon fails to demonstrate the same amount of skepticism towards an MLM 'opportunity' as, say, a typical poor catholic is well worth exploring. Perhaps they're just trying to keep up with their peers, the wealthy mormons, or perhaps the evangelical nature of the religion has created level of self esteem and faith (or whatever you'd like to call it) that overcomes fear of rejection.

By the way, the church also explicitly discourages taking state-based welfare and it discourages dishonesty, including with government program. So if you've been in a ward where those types of trashy behavior are rampant, I'm very sorry for the example you were exposed to, but it is not a reflection of the church's teachings or policies, implicit or explicit. People do tend to go astray in groups."

I have asked Aaron for evidence for his claims.

His last point is interesting. Because when the LDS Welfare programme was virtually halted in the UK 10 to 15 years ago, church members who were working for their LDS welfare payments were TOLD by the leadership that they must all go on to the government Social Security programme and get state assistance.

It seems that Mormonism is not quite the stable structure that Aaron fondly imagines it to be.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I was told to go on welfare when I was a single mother 24 years ago and then I was told I had to give 10% of that welfare in tithes or loose my temple recommend! The church however never turned down my husband when he'd ask for help.