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November 15, 1959 - Image 10

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1959-11-15
Note:
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4

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c4t~M irhanEiy

MORMONS EXPAND-OLD IDEA:

Vol. VI, No. 4

Church

Wealth

Sunday, November

15, 1959

CHURCH WEALTH
By James Bow Page Two
AREA OF ACADEMIC CONCERN
By Thomas Turner Page Three
"DARK AMIDST THE BLAZE"
By Deborah Bacon Page Four
FROM ADAM TO ANIMALS
By Peter Dawson - Page Five.
ENCOUNTERING SECULAR THOUGHT
By Timothy Swanson Page Seven
TIMELrSS DOCTRINES
By Patrick Chester PgeEight_
INCREDIRLE NIMBER OF SECTSi
- By Philip Munck _ Page Nine
IDENTITY WIT!'OUT INCONVENIENCE

I y JAMES BOW,

By Charles Kozoll-
RELIGI ON O '-INBELIEF
By John McNecs ___
ZEN BUDDHIZA4 TRAVELS.
By Stephanie Roumell
COMBINING BIBLES
By George -Cornell
GOD. HOMF AND COUNTRY.
By Arnold Someroff

Page Ten

Page Eleven

Page Thirteen

Page Fourteen
Page Fifteen

MAGAZINE EDITOR-Joan Kaatz
PHOTOS: Cover: John Alley, Photographic Services; Page Three:
Daily; Page Four: Ensian-Dave Giltrow; Page Five: upper right
-Daily--James Richman, left-The Darwin Reader; Page Six:
left-Daily-James Richman, right--Doily--Selma Sawaya; Page
Seven: Ensin-Dave Giltrow; Page Eight: upper right-'New York
State Dept. of Commerce, others-Daily-Sema Sawaya; Page
Nine: upper right-Ensian-Dave Giltrow, right--Daily-Selma
Sawayo, left---John Alley, Photographic Services; Page Ten: bot-
tom left-Hillel, others-Daily-Selma Sawaya; Page Twelve:
Associated Press; Page Fifteen: left-Daily-Selma Sawaya, right
--John Alley, Photographic Services.
- - -U

IN THE CENTER of Salt Lake
City, Utah, a bronze Brigham
Young stands on a concrete pedes-
tal, his hand outstretched.
The Mormon leader faces the
Zion National Bank; behind him
are the Temple and Tabernacle,
reminders of his spiritual leader-
ship. This diabolical juxtaposition.
has led to the following local
jingle: "Brigham Young stands on
his perch, his hand toward the
bank and his back to the church."
A wealth of worldly goods is not
proof of spiritual poverty and the
Mormons have no qualms about
their financial success. In fact,
the Church of Jesus Christ of Lat-
ter-day Saints, the Mormons' of-
ficial title, claims to be the second
richest church in the United
States, outdone only by the Roman
Catholic faith.
In Salt Lake City two hotels, a"
department store, abank and
large tracts of land are Mormon
owned. The church also controls
a radio and television 'station and
has interests in two newspapers.
For needy members, the Mor-
mon church maintains warehouses
of food and clothing and even
runs several small industries to
succor the unemployed. Businesses,
property, wise investments and a
rigorous system of tithes have
made the Church of Jesus Christ
of Latter-day Saints secularly suc-
cessful.
MORMONS their' wealth
guarantees charity, assures
that none of their brethren need
starve. The variety and extent of
Mormon interests is unusual but
,not unique. Many other denomina-
tions own property and maintain
charities and missions.
And church wealth is by no
means new in history. The Roman
Catholic Church suffered no finan-
cial loss during the Holy Roman
Empire or the explorations in
America. Russian Orthodox ledgers

showed a more
of profits during
czars.
The wealth

than fair share
the reign of the
of American

churches seems minor compared
to the assets of General Motors.
But, unlike industrial holdings,
church property is tax-exempt and
competes with secular businesses.
In a caustic booklet, Exempting
the Churches, James. F. Morton,
Jr. writes: "The millions of dollars
which are thus given back to the
churches do not come out of, the
air, but out of the pockets of tax-
paying citizens. It. is the worst
form of taxation without repre-
sentation....
"The absolute and perpetual
separation of church and state is
among the most imperative re-
quirements of the democratic prin-
ciple."
CHARLES W. ELIOT, nine-
teenth - century president of.
Harvard University, argued that
American churches, like public and
private schools, are a national
service. Religious institutions
should be exempted from taxa-
tion, he said, because they are like
state roads; both may be used at

any time by the public but not
everyone can benefit from them.
In the automobile age Eliot's
-analogy is less valid, but one can
easily substitute national parks
for state roads. Yellowstone and
Grand Canyon are supported by
public funds, though certainly not
every American has the oppor-
tunity to see these parks.
Eliot defended tax exemptions
for church buildings. He didn't
comment on church property
which is maintained for profit.
Church-owned hotels and banks
compete with other businesses
forced to pay property taxes.
The supposed government sub-
sidy of church businesses, criti-
cized by Morton, is nevertheless
the exception rather than the
rule. Much of the church property
is not profit-making.
Tax - exempt church property
may offer evidence to disprove the
American tradition of separation
of church -and state.
But for many churches, exist-
ing precariously on donations from
congregations, property taxes
would defy the first lines of the
Bill of Rights:
"Congress shall make no law
respecting an establishment of
religion, or prohibiting the free
exercise thereof... ."

GOD, HOME and country are
probably the three mostarous-
ing words in any language. Their
meaning and form have changed
4 great deal through the various
historical epochs. In the remote
past God was found on a. moun-
tain, the home was a cave, and
the country was contained within
a radius of a few hundred yards.
Today the development of mod-
ern society has sophisticated these
concepts into the organized :.
church, the house in suburbia, and
the "guardian of the west."
It is difficult to separate God,
that is religion, from the domain
of the other two concepts. Reli-'
gion' is based on the home to a
large extent and it must; also have
an area to exist in which is the
nation. Because of these connec-
tions any attempt to deal with re-
ligion must also encompass the
home and the country.
Every year after the various
American religious denominations
have their conventions, statistics
are released that indicate more
and more people are attending
congregational services. These stia-
tistics suggest that Amnerica is be-
coming more religious in its spin-
tual- life. Driving through any city
or town, one sees the spires of
newly constructed churches rising
everywhere. Millions upon mil-
lions of people enter into these
holy buildings every weekend.
T[OGAUGE the effect of this ac-
tivity, however, one must find
out what happens when these mil-
lions leave church and come home.
Along with the increasing church
attendance there is increasing ju-
venile delinquency, i n c r e a s i n g
adult delinquency, an increasing
divorce rate, an increasing num-
,ber of illegitimate children. Al-
most all the ten commandments
are being increasingly broken.
How can any rationalization be
made of this contradiction be-
tween increasing church attend-
ance and increasing unsocial be--

By ARNOLD SAMEROFF

To Gauge Religi

Revising The Triangle of

God, Home andCo

individual work at his specialized
task all day. Then, for entertain-
ment at night, each family mem-
ber associates with his own peers.
The family of today comes to-
gether only at meal times and
possibly in front of the television
set.
The moral fiber of the individ-
ual which was formerly beaten
into him by his father, who re-
ceived the same treatment from
his father, must be introduced in
a new way to accommodate this
new society. Organized religion -
has taken it upon itself to fulfill
this need.
The Bible is the word of the
Lord. The Bible says do good, be
gentle, don't lie, die for what is
right; therefore, if you believe in
the Lord you will obey his word. '
This is not enough however, so a .
promise of future reward and/or $'
future punishment is given. The
good soul will live evermore and
the sinner will suffer.
This was an easily acceptable
concept when man lived in a feud- .a
al hierarchy without hope of im-
proving his lot. But with our new
conditions anyone can grow up to
be President, so why wait to re- cannot accomplish
ceive those future rewards. social framework.
THIS IS essentially the problem THEN what can1
of modern American society reason for the-
with the greatest standard, of liv- the contradiction
ing in the world. A primary aim of ing attendance at
every individual Is to improve his tions? This again is
manner of living. Our fear of a social environment
system such as Communism and The move to su

The Church fulfills many new /I
F, -_________,___

I

____ ____ ____ ____ '.

11

P/

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# -e
in

SLACK MAGIC"

SThe Role of Religion
Religion's place, and function in the modern world is
highly debatable. The traditional values and doctrines as-
sociated with it are increasingly questioned by today's so.
ciety. To ascertain its role is an impossible task, and yet
attempting it is a highly interesting one. . .
Acting upon these assumptions, The Daily herein en-
deavors to give its readers a somewhat intellecutal and
inevitably subjective approach toward what religion may
mean and how it might be developing in the modern world.
The writers are from many different backgrounds and
their opinions reflect this. The individuals writing on
Protestantism, Catholicism and Judaism are each members
of the faith in question. The rest are mostly Protestants.
None declare their essay as having any definite truth;
but rather, they are attempting to put their personal ideas
into written form.

this in today's
be termed the
other half of
- the increas-
these institu-
s a result of the
.
suburbia is one

r

our patriotism are not based as

ri ictnm tri!Inrc.r4

fine, all wool
onnel

A t~

James Bow is associate city
editor of The Daily. He is a
graduating senior in the lit-
erary college, majoring - in
journalism. This past summer
he worked on a newspaper in
Salt Lake City, Utah.-

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havior? The only explanation
available is that those who attend
chui'ch do not necessarily accept
the moral basis of religion. If this
is true, then why do people go to
zhurch? To answer this an exam-
ination of the other two aspects
of the original triad, home and
country, must be;made.
From the old patriarchal f am-
ily organization, man has ad-
vanced a long way. There has been
a great separation in the close-
knit family groups that arrived
from the "old country" in the
1900's.
Education of the young, which
was formerly the domain of the
family, has been c-o n t i n u a lly
usurped in an increasing amount
by the need for a more complex
education. The family can no
longer fulfill this function. The
school-system begins to work al-
most as soon as the child thinks
and it-continues working into
adulthood.
THE FORMER family roles of
supplying recreation and social
life and of being the working unit
of society has also passed away.
Modern society requires that each
Arnold Sameroff is a Daily
staff writer. He is a junior in'
the literary college and trans-
ferred here this year from
Clark University in Massachu.

much on a desire to defend de-
mocracy as on an attempt to pre-
serve the benefits received from it
--the homes, the cars, and the
television set. Life is basically not
a striving for particular ideals but
rather a struggle for personal
comfort.
In light of this it is much easi-
er to explain the original contra-
diction between religion and in-
creasing delinquency. -When a
person is not in a position to at-
tain the bright material wonders
of the world in accepted ways, he
resorts to unaccepted ways. This
is easier when even the accepted
ways are really unacceptable. How
can one equate the brotherhood of
man with the competition of the
business world, the charity of the
heart with philanthropy that is
tax-deductible; the golden - rule
with the struggle to reach the tope
This equating is not possible.
The church's role is to help mold
American moral character, but, it

away from the congested city con-
ditions of people living on top of
people to the wide open areas sur-
rounding the private home. Often
the block doesn't contain enough
people to form a gang or even a
bridge club.
This new need for a social cen-
ter is being fulfilled by the church.
From the -temple for self-evalua-
tion, the church became the
neighborhood center for social
gatherings. The boy scouts who
meet in the basement grow to be
the men in the golf club, Along
with the economic prosperity big-
ger status symbols evolve and new
churches rise everywhere.
Orthodox religions have man-
aged somewhat to fight these
modern tendencies by maintaining
the old methods of promising re-
wards and punishments. But even
these groups are being undercut
by the reform movements. The
rabbis are shaving their beards
and in 'a few years it might be-
come a common occurrence to see
a nun in normal clothing.
THE TENDENCY of religion is
away from the moral bases of
religion. This will continue until
there is more possibility of utiliz-
ing religious principles in the real
life situation.
The original triumvirate of God,
home and country has been nar-
rowed in this modern age to Just
one - country, or more explicitly,
the society in which we live. And
one wonders how long that con-
cept will last.
Solutions are not.easily derived,
and It's not certain whether 'a
change is desired. People . are es-
sentially ^happy. There are more
suicides and more divorces, but
few seem to demand a change.
It will be interesting to see what
new paths the future has to offer.

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