UTAH: Activist Fred Karger Readies Ad Campaign To Challenge Tax-Exempt Status Of Mormon Church

The Salt Lake Tribune reports:

A prominent gay-rights activist and former U.S. presidential candidate hopes to build “the biggest, loudest and most comprehensive” legal case ever mounted for revoking the tax-exempt status of the Mormon church.

Republican political operative Fred Karger, a longtime critic of LDS Church involvement in California’s 2008 Proposition 8 campaign, said Thursday he has amassed a network of lawyers, researchers, investigators and like-minded organizations to help take his fight to the IRS.

Karger, 66, visited Salt Lake City to stage on-camera auditions with young Mormons and ex-Mormons aggrieved by the Utah-based faith’s lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender policies.

Some of these 18- to 24-year-olds, Karger said, will be featured in a series of TV commercials to be aired in Utah early next year, encouraging others to step forward with inside information on the church’s business holdings and political dealings — including its efforts against same-sex marriage.

“Somebody has got to fight for these kids,” Karger said. “It’s inexcusable, the damage and suffering the church has caused for so many of these families.”

The Mormon faith, he said, “needs to change with the times.” Contacted on Thursday, a public-affairs spokesman for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints declined to comment.

You may recall that Karger has been a perpetual thorn in the side for NOM, filing multiple legal demands that they disclose their major donors.

  • PickyPecker
  • Gustav2

    What? You mean the LDS church is really a trillion dollar business outside of just worship centers?

    Pshaw.

    • EweTaw

      Even among the devout it is known as LDS Inc.

      • bkmn

        Right behind Scientology.

        • The_Wretched

          Scientology is not half as wealthy though.

          • Nowhereman

            I’m surprised to hear that.

          • The_Wretched

            Scientology has 1-2 billion in assets. Mormons are up in the 40 Billion range with 8 billion in tithes yearly. google knows everything.

          • Nowhereman

            I guess I’ve just never needed to know that. I love the interwebs.

          • Rambie

            Growing up as a non-Mormon in Utah, you learn the “Mormons bread like rabbits” phrase is largely true.

          • perversatile

            My favourite-
            Utah Lake is so full of drugs the fish swim up-side down.

    • Palmer

      There was an old joke about the Brigham Young statue downtown that he had his back to the temple and his hand out to the bank. They moved the statue to try to kill the joke but it lives on!

  • JWC

    damned well about time any religion that is that exclusive is NOT a religion its a cult

    • Judas Peckerwood

      They are all cults.

      • j.martindale

        “Cult” is merely the word for “Religion” in the vernacular of the irreligious. And, yes, they are all cults in that they are the accumulated superstitions of various groups of gullible people.

        • William

          A cult is any religion or sect started after yours.

        • perversatile

          What it is-
          ‘The Cult of Christ’
          What it’s called-
          ‘Christianity’.

          Never underestimate the power of a
          successful Corporate Re-Branding

      • JWC

        the key word is “organized” as in organized crime organized religion and so on

  • PickyPecker
    • AtticusP

      End religion. Free the world.

    • Nowhereman

      I was just thinking along those lines. Imagine if Scientology had to pay taxes.

  • S1AMER

    Go, Fred!

  • BearEyes

    I wish him well – this is a huge task but could pay off bigly

    • Frostbite

      I’m sure they have more money and lawyers than he can ever come up with.

      • David Walker

        But…but…but how could that be? This is ‘Murka, dang it. Everybody gets to have his er her day in court. Greatest govamint money can buy.

  • Todd20036

    Thank God!

  • PickyPecker
    • Johnny Wyeknot

      Clever

  • Lazycrockett
    • lymis

      “Look upon my emails, ye Mighty, and despair!”

      • David Walker

        “Will nothing wash these emails from my hands?”
        “Out. Out, damned emails. Out, I say.”

      • Rocco Gibraltar

        I love Percy Shelley and that poem is my favorite.

      • oh, god–i really DID lol. Thank you!

    • JWC

      somewhere on Mt Rushmore

  • Brian in Valdosta

    Go, Fred, go !!!!!

    • Brian in Valdosta

      P.S. Can this man GET any hunkier? Woof!

  • LesbianTippingHabits

    We’ve heard that Fred Karger at least tips generously for good service. Thank you.

  • bkmn

    The Christers that helped Trump win might really be supportive of this.

  • EweTaw

    Peruse the articles on SLTrib.com. The Salt Lake Tribune uses Disqus for commenting. The bretherens and sisterens are all huffy and way pissed that such an uppity faggot,even if he is a Republican, would dare challenged their eternal status of being beyond reproach. Fun!

    • m_lp_ql_m

      Nah, them cisterns and pisterns are always all huffy and way pissed.

    • perversatile

      Alex- I’ll take ”Mormon Angst” for 500$

      What happens when a non-secular monoculture is systematically
      denied the beneficial effects of caffeine, alcohol and diversity?

  • David L. Caster
    • David Walker

      From Wikipedia: “Garfield advocated agricultural technology, an educated electorate, and civil rights for African Americans.”
      No wonder he was assassinated.

      • CanuckDon

        Just 49 years old…shot by another Republican.

        • Avajlake

          Google is paying 97$ per hour! Work for few hours and have longer with friends & family! !mj184d:
          On tuesday I got a great new Land Rover Range Rover from having earned $8752 this last four weeks.. Its the most-financialy rewarding I’ve had.. It sounds unbelievable but you wont forgive yourself if you don’t check it
          !mj184d:
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      • Skeptical_Inquirer

        Based on what I see in the news, he’s a time traveler who came from the 25th century.

  • The_Wretched

    I wish him best of luck but this battle will be happen over time and need getting the vast middle on board (much like LGBTW rights).

  • m_lp_ql_m

    I’m confused now, which one is Zion and which one is Xenu?

    • Rolf

      With Zion you leave earth and get your own planet to rule.
      With Xenu you get deported to earth, trapped in a volcano and H-bombed.

      And I actually wondered how people were stupid enough to elect Trump…

    • another_steve

      I’m a student of comparative religion. It’s a hobby of mine.

      Traditional Mormon theology is so insane that it makes Moses talking to a burning bush seem plausible in comparison.

      • JWC

        steve I have heard (no not on the internet) if you compare all the world religions the two that are most alike are Christianity and Islam The biggest difference is Christianity has one Guy Islam has 12 filling that role

        • another_steve

          My studies have led me to this conclusion, JWC:

          Judaism set the stage for the arrival of a messiah to save us… from something or the other. Christianity said, “Okay, let’s do it. Here’s the guy.”

          Islam looked at the above and said, “Nah… not enough. We need some purging of the infidels. Of the anti-messiahs.”

          So here we find ourselves, in 2016.

          • JWC

            there is a most interesting lapse in Christianity and Jesus life We are given the birth then there is a lapse of some 20 odd years before he resurfaces One therory has it that he travelled east

          • David Walker

            Another is that he was taken by aliens. Well, why not, you know?

          • another_steve

            Jesus, in my opinion, was a good Jewish boy. Just as I was, in my youth.

            His mother thought he was God. Just as my mother (may she rest in peace) thought I was God.

          • JWC

            she didn’t by chance explain the Immaculate conceptopn did she hehehe

          • Rolf

            There’s a terrible old joke about this:
            Joseph came on Mary’s feet and the flies did the rest.

          • JWC

            Regardless, it all comes down to the old joke The POPE had been wandering the lower reaches of the Vatican.. Gone for hours the Bishops got worried and sent a young page to find him After awhile the page could hear manical laughter then deep sobbing When the POPE saw him he cried The word was CELEBRATE

          • another_steve

            My mama was of the generation of Jewish matriarchs who believed that the purpose of sex was to produce a son, a heir, who might (just might) turn out to be the messiah promised by the prophets.

            I was a confusion. I was clearly male from a genital perspective but neither here nor there, gender-wise.

            At mama’s weekly Mahjongg games, the girls (that’s what her friends were called back then) would often confuse me for a girl.

            “She’s so cute, Helen, your little daughter.”

            “He’s a he, Marge.”

            https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/49e9c5e4b9a10db232102492cd0cf092febe601055242c5d3d03645562f1257a.jpg

          • Rolf

            Another theory is: since there is no actual historical evidence for his existence, it’s all bullshit and a lapse of 20+ years is inconsequential.

          • JWC

            I am more or less saying that all Dieties of any religion Buddah JesusAllah and whomever else all started in the same area at the same time 2 things 1, as you say , it can be a bunch of crap or 2 as there was no internet at the time , storys and tales were word of mouth Travel was by foot communities were days apart Language was not always the same difference and nuances . So how diffused and altered were these tales weeks and months apart from the inital

          • Rolf

            The monotheisms (Judaism, Christianity and Islam) arose in the middle east, that’s why they are called ‘Semitic’.
            Buddhism began in India, and the Buddha only claimed to be a man that ‘woke up’, no god(s) necessary or even vaguely important. And there is archeological evidence of his actual existence.

          • Gianni

            Major difference with Buddha – he was not a god. He was a man. Buddhism is more a philosophy than a religion. It’s about living one’s life according to the Buddha’s teachings; not about worshiping him.

          • canoebum

            Yes. It is a philosophy and practice to enable any human to find their inherent enlightened nature within themselves, and then expressing that nature through compassion toward others.

          • Gianni

            What would be considered actual historical evidence of Jesus’ existence?

          • Tiger Quinn

            Multiple written records, property holdings, business transactions, eyewitness accounts, that sort of thing. That we have for generations of all kinds of other people in that area at that time. Yet weirdly, no Jesus of Nazareth.

          • Gianni

            Please, see my reply to Rolf. You have to remember that Jesus was a poor Jewish carpenter – literally a nobody. A nobody’s life was not normally documented. The major documentation of Jesus’ life is in the Bible, the book who’s major thrust is the new religion He founded and all the miraculous things necessary to convince people of His godhood and to join the new church. That, of course, makes so much of the information suspect of being doctored for religious purposes. However, as far as there having been a real person named Jesus and called the Messiah, I believe he physically existed. He is mentioned in the writings of Joseph and Tacitus, both writing Roman histories at the time and well before the Bible was assembled.

          • Rolf

            Physical remains (sorry, I don’t buy the ‘he floated up into outer space’ nonsense) or at least one mention in Rome’s obsessive documentation of their history would be a good start.

          • Gianni

            We share that disbelief. Rising from the dead is just not happening. I can’t imagine that there would be any way to conclusively identify actual physical remains. Jesus is actually mentioned in a couple of Roman writings from well before the assembly of the Bible. One time is in the writings of Josephus. He was a commander of Jewish forces at the time of the Jewish rebellion who changed sides and fought for the Romans. He mentions Jesus and describes him as the one called Messiah. That clearly identifies the Jesus of the Bible. Also, Jesus is mentioned in the writings of the Roman historian, Tacitus, in his “Annals”. I firmly believe that the man, Jesus, was an actual person. As to his divinity, that’s a matter of faith which I don’t share.

  • Joe in PA

    Well I agree…it is “comprehensive”. Seems like there are at least two battles here and I think the IRS one is the most likely to pay off (literally).

    But they are going after the LDS for being anti-gay? The fucking cat lick church is raping little boys and we can’t seem to get much traction on that.

  • justmeeeee

    How about a challenge to the tax-exempt status of the Kathlick church?

  • lymis

    If he’s going to succeed, he has to keep a much sharper line between “This LDS is not acting legally the way religions are required to act when they are tax exempt” and “The LDS is a mean, backward, and repressive religion.”

    If he keeps blurring that line, he’s going to lose, and lose big, and set back any attempt to force religions to behave in line with tax policy for a generation.

    Legally, it doesn’t matter if the LDS hurts its gay members by having repressive policies. It’s reprehensible, but it’s not illegal. But spending church money to specifically interfere in elections and to endorse specific politicians is a different matter. He needs to keep the focus there.

  • Ernest Endevor

    Someone’s not going to get his own planet.

  • Nowhereman

    Anchorage Alaska tried to pass a gay friendly civil rights ordinance a few years back, and the mormons sent up busloads of activists and money to defeat it. they tried again and got it passed, but the damn mormons just won’t leave it alone.

  • another_steve

    I believe in the right of all to believe whatever the fuck they want to believe. You can believe that all LGBT people should be put to death. That’s your right. As long as you don’t overtly incite violence against LGBT people, go for it.

    The tax-subsidization of institutional religion by the American taxpayer, however, is an abomination. It must be ended.

    It’s 100 percent wrong — an incursion of government into religion — and must be ended.

    • David Walker

      I’m hoping this comes out as a a serious question. There were a lot of compromises in defining nonprofits and what they could and could not do. The republican’ts insisted that no nonprofit could ever campaign for or use its funds for politicking. So, if you knock tax-exempt from churches, what argument can be made for nonprofits’ tax exempt status? Yes, I know…we’ll be sarcastic and say that nonprofits do good and churches, not so much. But still…republican’ts do not like nonprofits anyway, so how can they fight to maintain their tax-exempt status? Also, what about churches, synagogues, temples, and so forth that demonstrably show that actually DO accept us and actually DO good, beneficial things in the community? I’m definitely on the Go, Fred, Go side of this, but does it start a domino effect.

      • another_steve

        Nonprofits that act in order to do good for the general population (emphasis on “general population”) should rightly be tax-exempt. We, society, must reward those who do good for the people.

        Institutional religion is comprised for the most part (not universally, but for the most part) of people who want to convert others to their way of thinking.

        You (generic “you”) have a right to want and try to convert me.

        But I don’t want to subsidize your actions in that regard through my tax dollars.

      • Kate

        Treat churches like any other business – the portion of their revenue spent on charitable purposes is tax deductible.

        Churches that spend money feeding and housing the poor get to deduct that money. Churches that lobby don’t get to deduct that money.

    • JWC

      snow has turned to rain Time to start a wee fire and enjoy the evening

  • Johnny Wyeknot

    I’m holding auditions for over 40.

  • Mrs. Councillor Nugent

    We were told shortly before the 2004 election, during services at Boston’s Arlington Street Church (UU and not officially even Christian), that nothing further political would be said from the pulpit, or appear in any church publication, lest their tax-exempt status be revoked. Yet every damn fundie church, etc. told their members how to vote for Trump, and they all got away with it. Tax ’em!

  • MonochromeMouse

    Fuck Yes! So glad to see Anti-Mormonism getting a revival, the lds cult was founded by thieves, child molesters, and terrorists, There were even laws on the books prohibiting mormonism in certain states until about a decade or so ago. I hope to see this cult along with $cientology fall during my lifetime.

    • witch

      I remember lots of ego based cults in the 60s, there was one tried to take over small towns and the members wore red

      • Was it the Moonies?

  • Johnny Wyeknot

    Someone here, maybe Mr. Handwich, has researched this issue extensively. Probably won’t work, but if it annoys them, it’s worth it.

  • Too late. Congress can respond by repealing the law that prohibits tax-exempt religious organizations (or any organizations) from engaging in political activities. Trump promised to do this on the campaign trail and I don’t see that not getting through Congress. Elections have consequences and this is going to be a big one.

    • Kate

      Yes, it is. That and pence were what Trump used to get the evangelical vote, since he’s not particularly religious or anti-gay.

  • Palmer

    I wish him success, but the Mormons are worse than the Masons and Scientology combined for secrecy.

  • pgarayt

    It won’t work but good on him for adding another straw.

  • greenmanTN

    Isn’t going to happen but I applaud him for trying. I would LOVE to see some of these mega-church, “prosperity ministries,” and televangelists taxed to hell and back.

    And if I’m making a wish-list, Joel Osteen getting a hockey puck to the face would be pretty nifty too.

  • Lakeview Bob

    Yay!!!!!!!

    Now let the pissing and moaning begin from the alt right about how he is a hater.

  • Piet

    How do we get in touch with him to contribute for his efforts?

    • Kate

      Indeed. I’ll GoFundMe that.

      Trump wants to remove the restrictions on churches, so it would be good for the case to move forward as quickly as possible.

      • What restrictions does he want to remove?

        • Kate

          He campaigned on repealing the Johnson Amendment.

          http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2016/08/how-trump-is-trying-to-put-more-money-in-politics/493823/

          “Trump has promised to repeal the so-called Johnson Amendment, a 1954 provision that prohibits tax-exempt organizations from participating in political activities. Proposed by then-Senator Lyndon B. Johnson and later revised by Congress, it keeps churches and other non-profits from lobbying for specific causes, campaigning on behalf of politicians, and supporting or opposing candidates for office.”

  • glass

    I hope he succeeds. If he wins, that means all the other “churches” are on the chopping block as well. The evil empire of hate will soon become poor.

  • GayOldLady

    “Somebody has got to fight for these kids,” Karger said. “It’s
    inexcusable, the damage and suffering the church has caused for so many
    of these families.”

    While he’s at it why doesn’t he take on catholicism and Southern Baptists and all of the other religions that violate the separation of church & state by getting directly involved in politics and the oppression of LGBT people?

    • Skeptical_Inquirer

      He probably wants to take on something that’s rich yet not quite mainstream. Other Christian churches side eye the Mormons and maybe he’s hoping that will make them less likely to help the Mormons.

    • Friday

      It’s probably in part because of the LDS church’s financial dealings and how all that money is used in politics and business and the like.

    • He has to start somewhere, and might as well start with the Mormons whose paper trail with the Equal Marriage fight was well documented. After that is won, he can pick a new religious target.

  • Its about time. While at it go after the southern baptists.

  • Skeptical_Inquirer

    I agree that he needs to stick to the financial and political shenanigans and NOT go on and on about the doctrine.

  • Mike Knife

    Thank God, I mean Heavenly Father for Fred Karger’s works, I will praying for his and those who helps him success.

  • Mike Knife

    Somebody needs to take on the Catholic Church and hold their feet to the IRS fire.

  • Tiger Quinn

    If their hands in Prop 8 don’t prove the case, nothing will.

  • Kevin

    Gay, ex-mormon here. Hope this church is taxed out the wazoo with the money going toward programs that help people escape from this and other religions.

  • Chrissy

    The problem with this and now most churches is that they got the tax relief because they did stuff to help their communities. Now most are just tax free money making schemes with incredibly small percentages spent on charity work.

    • canoebum

      Tax exemption should be precisely limited to the extent of funds which can be documented to have been spent on actual charitable works. The Buddha attained enlightenment sitting under a tree; Jesus in 40 days in the desert. That temple you’re building, those strip malls, apartment complexes, office buildings you invest in, the planes and cars you buy (unless they’re used to deliver medicine or meals), are not charitable works and should be subject to normal taxation. And the mansion you build for yourself with a church LLC name on the deed, definitely not charitable works.

  • JellyDonut

    Tax ’em all! Why should their belief in a sky fairy qualify as tax exempt?