Sunday, January 15, 2017

Consider MormonLeaks in Light of Four Points from the Constitution

   I would find no great harm if my church were to decide to publish the amounts of income it gives to its general authorities. But, I also find no harm if it chooses not to publish them.
   This topic certainly has generated interest this week as a group called MormonLeaks published some of the information. The Deseret News has twice since came out against the MormonLeaks release, and printed a piece from MormonLeaks defending the leaks.
   I think this is an instance we should look to our Constitution for a little guidance. No less than three of the amendments in our Bill of Rights might have some pertinence.
   From the First Amendment:
   Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.
    This would suggest leaving religion alone.
    Also from the First Amendment:
   Congress shall make no law . . . abridging the freedom of speech.
   Freedom of speech includes the freedom not to speak. If the church chooses not to say what it gives to its general authorities, that is its freedom of speech.
   From the Fourth Amendment:
   The right of people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures. shall not be violated.
   Certainly, if you are to be free from the government violating you in such a way, you should be free from others searching into your records this manner.
   From the Fifth Amendment:
   No person shall . . . be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself.

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