A new way to pay ‘tithing’ without giving a cent to the church

The Mormon Land e-newsletter is a weekly spotlight reel of developments in and about The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Need this free e-newsletter in your inbox? Subscribe right here. You can also assist Mormon Land with a donation at Patreon.com/mormonland, the place you may get entry to swag, unique content material and a behind-the-scenes take a look at how our “Mormon Land” podcast comes collectively.

Giving 10% to charity

Latter-day Saints see tithing as a scriptural command. Additionally they view charity as a advantage that “by no means faileth.”

Now, Douglas Stilgoe is proposing a brand new option to mix the 2: Let members pay tithing by donating cash to “native and worldwide charities” as a substitute of church coffers.

His Change.org petition urges church leaders to place such a system in place. Almost 1,200 folks have signed on to this point.

Not surprisingly, Stilgoe’s push factors to the billions the Utah-based religion has amassed in its Ensign Peak Advisors reserve fund as proof the church can afford to let tithes funnel on to charities.

“The amount of cash the church has amassed, off the again of our donations, doesn’t sit properly” with some Latter-day Saints, he asserts. “… The church might substitute the tithing revenue with the income from Ensign Peak and proceed to perform precisely because it does now.”

And members might “strengthen communities, serve God by serving others, and construct Zion the place they dwell” with a brand new wave of contributions (within the type of tithing) to charities close to and much.

Within the wake of the media revelations in regards to the church’s huge property, different members say they have already got begun following this follow.

Faith Information Service columnist Jana Riess, for one, reported that she steered her 2020 tithes to humanitarian aid, particularly organizations that assist youngsters around the globe.

“At tithing settlement this 12 months, I declared myself a full-tithe payer and defined why none of that cash has gone to the church,” she wrote. “… Not less than a couple of youngsters who didn’t have meals or entry to training could have meals, college and the fundamentals.”

For his or her half, church officers constantly have acknowledged that they use tithing appropriately. They’ve referred to as the reserves a “wet day” fund to assist pay for, amongst different issues, operations in poorer components of the world — equivalent to Africa, the place the church is booming — and the place member donations can’t sustain.

The cash, they are saying, is much less about stashing money for the Second Coming, as was initially reported, and extra about offering safeguards towards extra frequent occasions — like credit score crunches, inventory slides and recessions.

Most religious members look like fantastic with the religion’s fiscal strategy. A January 2020 ballot for The Salt Lake Tribune, for instance, confirmed that just about 6 in 10 “very lively” Utah Latter-day Saints are towards requiring church buildings to reveal their funds.

In the meantime, Latter-day Saint Charities, the religion’s humanitarian arm, has offered greater than $2.5 billion value of help in 199 international locations and territories since its 1985 founding.

A marketing campaign for cozy clothes

(Screenshot) The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has printed photographs of temple clothes, which trustworthy members put on beneath their garments. A member is lobbying for comfier clothes.

The New York Instances did an “undercover” story, of kinds, this week on, properly, underwear.

Specifically, Latter-day Saint temple clothes.The piece targeted on Idaho Falls member Sasha Piton, who’s lobbying the church to provide softer, extra snug and breathable clothes, which the trustworthy put on as a non-public and private reminder of their non secular commitments.

So what does Piton point out as most well-liked for her holy unmentionables?

“Buttery gentle, seamless, thick waistband that’s not chopping into my spleen, breathable cloth,” she instructed her greater than 17,000 followers in an Instagram video beneath her moniker themormonhippie.

Her posts apparently resonated in Latter-day Saint circles, drawing 1000’s of feedback and personal messages.

Learn the total Instances story right here.

Increasingly more, the church has been drawing again the curtain on its temple ceremonies and the underclothing donned by religious members. It launched separate YouTube movies in 2018 on the temple endowment and the customarily mocked, maligned and misunderstood clothes.

Many Latter-day Saints “put on non secular clothes, however beneath their common garments,” the narrator says, whereas the clothes are proven. “Much like unusual modest underclothing, it is available in two items and is normally known as the temple garment. … They function a non-public and private reminder of our relationship to God and our dedication to dwell good, honorable lives.”

The video has logged about 143,000 views.

Historic stake makes a transfer

The historic Salt Lake Stake will transfer out of its constructing northwest of the Convention Heart subsequent 12 months, and a non-public, faith-based college will transfer in.

American Heritage Faculty will lease the meetinghouse at 142 W. 200 North from the church. The constructing will probably be repurposed for its new use.

It’s unknown at this level, stake leaders say, whether or not the chapel’s distinctive stained-glass window depicting church founder Joseph Smith’s “First Imaginative and prescient” will stay or be moved (because it was as soon as earlier than).

The wards, or congregations, that had been assembling there — together with the stake workplaces — will relocate to different buildings.

The 14th Ward, for example, will shift to an workplace tower the church is constructing downtown on the nook 100 South and State Avenue. The 25-story high-rise is designed with meetinghouse area inside.

Organized in 1847, the Salt Lake Stake is the oldest steady stake within the worldwide church.

American Heritage Faculty has a campus close to the church’s Mount Timpanogos Temple in American Fork. Its Salt Lake Metropolis campus is scheduled to open in August 2022, based on its web site.

Wish to learn extra?

Perhaps you wish to find out about a historic shift within the church’s oldest steady stake, or how the pro-beard blitz goes at BYU, or why not everyone seems to be a fan of Pioneer Day. Nicely, simply go right here to obtain the whole e-newsletter free in your e mail every week.

When colleges defraud student loan borrowers, executives could be forced to pay : NPR

Finding errors in student-loan payback plans.
Finding errors in student-loan payback plans.

In a surprising investigation, the U.S. Senate declared the federal scholar mortgage program “affected by fraud and abuse.” Its report heaped scorn on for-profit commerce faculties for serving 22% of federal scholar mortgage debtors however accounting for 44% of defaults.

“The college retains the scholar support cash … and the scholar is left holding the bag with a poor credit standing, no job and no earnings to repay the scholar mortgage,” U.S. Rep. Marge Roukema, R-N.J., declaimed in her campaign in opposition to for-profit “dangerous apples.”

Sound acquainted?

This clamor for accountability erupted again in 1991, greater than 20 years earlier than the epic collapses of Corinthian Faculties and ITT Technical Institute value college students and taxpayers thousands and thousands of {dollars} in wasted loans and nugatory levels. Extra not too long ago, in February, the U.S. Division of Training introduced it will erase greater than $70 million in scholar loans for former DeVry College college students who had been misled by the varsity’s false promoting.

Consider it or not, again in 1992, in response to all this hand-wringing about for-profit faculties, Congress gave the training secretary a nuclear choice: the facility to carry leaders of fraudulent faculties — together with executives and traders — personally liable for his or her wreckage. The issue is that 30 years later, the division has but to make use of that energy.

Now, some lawmakers, greater training specialists and division officers argue: It is time.

Advocates say the Training Division has an obligation to carry college leaders liable

The purpose of holding the house owners of fraudulent faculties personally responsible for scholar and taxpayer losses is twofold: to present the federal government one other approach of recouping these losses and, simply as essential, to discourage the longer term sale of training snake oil by shaming the sellers.

If ever the division might have — and arguably ought to have — used this energy, scholar mortgage specialists inform NPR, it was after the historic collapses of Corinthian after which ITT Tech.

That is when division attorneys concluded that each faculties had enticed college students with false and deceptive claims and had dedicated “pervasive” misconduct and that, because of this, “the worth of an ITT training — like Corinthian — is probably going both negligible or non-existent.”

Eileen Connor directs the Mission on Predatory Scholar Lending, which not too long ago printed an exhaustive deep dive into ITT Tech’s fraudulent practices. In a information launch about that report, Connor stated, “The loans had been the thing, not training or profession coaching. It’s genuinely surprising that this ‘college’ was in a position to idiot regulators and accreditors for therefore lengthy.”

After the collapse of ITT Tech and Corinthian, advocates pushed the Division of Training to present eligible debtors reduction from their federal loans, which, together with different losses associated to the collapses, value the U.S. authorities roughly $1 billion.

Why did not the division use the nuclear authority that Congress gave it in 1992 to carry the colleges’ leaders responsible for a few of these losses? It is difficult.

First, there’s the human rationalization. When the division helped prepare the sale of Corinthian to a debt collector, Connor says, division officers interacted with its CEO a number of occasions. “It is tougher to slap a tremendous on somebody you have simply had lunch with.”

Then there’s the assets rationalization: that the division can do solely a lot at one time.

As a substitute of specializing in holding the perpetrators of the fraud accountable, it centered on offering debt reduction to their victims, making an attempt to “make sure that debtors had been being helped on the again finish,” says Dan Zibel, who labored within the division’s Workplace of the Normal Counsel from 2014 by means of 2017. Zibel says the division’s rush to make use of an outdated authorized provision, often called borrower protection, to erase scholar loans took appreciable time and power.

Likewise, any try to claw again cash from people would have taken huge division assets — with no assure of success. Even an effort that recoups thousands and thousands of {dollars} from an government must be considered within the broader context of the federal government’s losses.

“For a faculty that created, I do not know, $7 billion in debt over a decade, that is only a drop within the bucket,” says Connor. However she argues that holding executives liable is not nearly recouping losses; it is about creating a strong, symbolic deterrent for future would-be fraudsters.

“I would not simply say that they’ve the authority” to go after college executives, says Connor. “I might say they’ve the duty to do it.”

Now out of the Training Division, Zibel agrees.

“The system shouldn’t be that house owners get to stroll away with the income and the taxpayers are left holding the legal responsibility,” says Zibel, who’s now chief counsel at Scholar Protection, a nonprofit advocacy group, and a vocal proponent of the division lastly utilizing its legal responsibility authority.

There’s precedent for presidency motion. Kind of.

The Training Division could have resisted pursuing particular person claims in opposition to the leaders of Corinthian and ITT Tech, however different authorities businesses did act.

The U.S. Securities and Trade Fee filed a civil grievance, alleging that Corinthian’s then-CEO, Jack Massimino, and Robert Owen, its then-chief monetary officer, did not disclose the corporate’s monetary weaknesses earlier than its collapse.

The grievance, although, was not about hurt completed to college students, however to shareholders.

The pair settled with the SEC, which fined Massimino $80,000 and Owen $20,000. That is a small fraction of what every earned from 2010 to 2012 — about $9.5 million for Massimino and roughly $2.5 million for Owen, in accordance with paperwork filed with the SEC.

In a scalding letter to the SEC chairman, a handful of Democratic senators, together with Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, referred to as the settlement “an insult to the victims of Corinthian’s fraud.”

There have additionally been efforts on the state stage to go after for-profit school executives.

A for-profit college advocate helps the division utilizing this energy in restricted circumstances

Even the pinnacle of Profession Training Faculties and Universities, a nationwide affiliation representing many for-profit commerce faculties, helps the division taking a tougher line on what, greater than 30 years in the past, Roukema referred to as “dangerous apples.”

“Completely,” says Jason Altmire. “In any case that entails substantial fraud or the proprietor withdrawing capital earlier than a closure, completed particularly to keep away from legal responsibility for the enterprise, they completely must be topic to this. That’s the reason that authority exists.”

Altmire cautions, nonetheless, “If you are going to apply accountability requirements, simply apply them to all faculties in all sectors.” Translation: Ensure for-profit commerce faculties aren’t the one sorts of schools held underneath the microscope.

Maybe probably the most notable voice that has referred to as for the division to make use of this authority is Ben Miller, previously of the left-leaning Heart for American Progress — as a result of he’s now a prime adviser contained in the Division of Training.

“This should change,” Miller wrote in 2019. “Any government from a school that closes precipitously must be financially responsible for injury completed to college students and taxpayers. The U.S. Division of Training ought to take again cash paid to high school executives in wage or bonuses and as an alternative use it to cowl the price of mortgage forgiveness and refund tuition paid by college students.”

Does that imply the Biden administration may be keen to do what earlier administrations haven’t?

A prime scholar mortgage official hints at a brand new angle towards failed for-profit faculties

As was the case again in 1991, when Roukema, a Republican, inveighed in opposition to fraudulent faculties, so too are a handful of lawmakers once more pushing for stepped-up accountability.

“This abdication of the Division’s duties has not solely value taxpayers, however has additionally inspired future lawbreaking by executives who really feel assured they’ll enrich themselves on the expense of scholars and taxpayers,” half a dozen Democratic U.S. senators, together with Warren, wrote to then-Training Secretary Betsy DeVos in October 2020.

Then got here the Biden administration and a little-noticed listening to in October 2021 throughout which Rep. Bobby Scott, D-Va., questioned Richard Cordray, head of the Training Division’s Federal Scholar Assist workplace.

Scott reminded Cordray that the division has the facility “to hunt restoration of monetary losses in opposition to house owners and executives” of fraudulent school packages. Not all executives must be held liable, Scott argued, simply the worst: those that revenue from defrauding debtors. Is the division lastly keen to go after them?

Scott had already despatched a letter to Biden’s training secretary, Miguel Cardona, asking the identical. He even provided a laundry checklist of faculties that might match the invoice.

“We see eye to eye on this,” Cordray responded to Scott. “I believed [your letter] was a very good little bit of a kick within the behind for us to ensure we’re shifting down the highway on this.”

Cordray urged the identical not too long ago, when the division introduced it will present mortgage reduction to defrauded debtors whereas the varsity that misled them, DeVry, stays open.

“We do intend to attempt to maintain leaders of faculties that fail college students accountable in each case we are able to,” Cordray informed reporters on the day of the DeVry announcement.

On the identical name with reporters, Undersecretary of Training James Kvaal was much more forceful: “There shall be liabilities for the present house owners of those faculties to discourage wrongdoing not simply at DeVry, however all over the place that it’d in any other case happen.”

In its announcement about DeVry, the division noticeably referred to as out two executives who presided over the corporate when it misled college students about their job prospects after commencement: “Senior leaders at DeVry throughout this time included Daniel Hamburger, who served as President and CEO from 2002 by means of 2016 and David Pauldine, who served as the manager vp and/or president of DeVry College from 2005 by means of 2014.”

Past that press launch, although, the Biden administration has completed not more than earlier administrations to carry school leaders and house owners personally responsible for ripping off college students and taxpayers. Which is to say, it is completed nothing in any respect.

NPR intern Mansee Khurana contributed to this report.

US women’s national team reach agreement with US soccer over equal pay

USA women celebrate winning the 2019 World Cup
The USA ladies’s crew gained a fourth World Cup in 2019

United States ahead Alex Morgan says a “monumental step ahead” has been taken after the ladies’s nationwide crew (USWNT) reached settlement with governing physique US Soccer on equal pay.

The gamers will obtain $24mexternal-link (£17.7m) and US Soccer has pledged equal pay for the boys’s and ladies’s groups throughout all competitions, together with the World Cup.

All 28 squad members filed a discrimination lawsuit in March 2019.

“It’s an unbelievable day,” Morgan instructed Good Morning America.

The 2-time World Cup winner added: “That is simply such a monumental step ahead in feeling valued, feeling revered and simply mending our relationship with US Soccer that is actually been stuffed with rigidity.

“It is nice to take that step ahead. I not solely see this as a win for our crew or ladies in sport however for ladies basically.”

USA team-mate Megan Rapinoe mentioned: “I feel we will look again on this present day and say that is the second that US Soccer modified for the higher.

“One thing like that is by no means going to occur once more and we are able to transfer ahead in making soccer the most effective sport we probably can on this nation and establishing the following era so significantly better than we ever had it.”

America gained the Ladies’s World Cup for the fourth time in 2019 and have claimed Olympic gold 5 instances.

5 senior members of the USA’s World Cup-winning crew, together with Morgan and Rapinoe, initially filed a criticism towards the nationwide federation for wage discrimination in 2016.

The bid for equal pay – through which they sought $66m (£52.8m) in damages – was dismissed by a courtroom in Might 2020, resulting in an enchantment.

The US Soccer Federation provided an identical contracts to its males’s and ladies’s nationwide groups in an try and resolve its gender pay dispute in September.

In a joint assertion on Tueday, US Soccer and USWNT mentioned: “We’re happy to announce that, contingent on the negotiation of a brand new collective bargaining settlement, we may have resolved our longstanding dispute over equal pay and proudly stand collectively in a shared dedication to advancing equality in soccer.”

It added: “Attending to this present day has not been straightforward. The USWNT gamers have achieved unprecedented success whereas working to realize equal pay for themselves and future athletes.

“As we speak, we acknowledge the legacy of the previous USWNT leaders who helped to make this present day doable, in addition to all the ladies and ladies who will comply with.”

4 U.S. companies will pay $26 billion to settle claims over the opioid crisis : NPR

Many of the funds from the settlement with producers and distributors of opioids corresponding to oxycodone will go to well being care and drug therapy packages designed to ease the opioid disaster.

Keith Srakocic/AP file photograph

disguise caption

toggle caption

Keith Srakocic/AP file photograph

Many of the funds from the settlement with producers and distributors of opioids corresponding to oxycodone will go to well being care and drug therapy packages designed to ease the opioid disaster.

Keith Srakocic/AP file photograph

4 of the most important U.S. companies have agreed to pay roughly $26 billion to settle a tsunami of lawsuits linked to claims their enterprise practices helped gas the lethal opioid disaster.

Johnson & Johnson, the patron merchandise and well being large which manufactured generic opioid drugs, will contribute $5 billion to the settlement.

The corporate introduced in 2020 it could get out of the prescription opioid enterprise within the U.S. altogether.

Three huge drug wholesalers — AmerisourceBergen, Cardinal Well being and McKesson — pays a mixed $21 billion.

“This settlement represents actual accountability,” mentioned North Carolina state Lawyer Common Josh Stein, who helped negotiate the deal.

Stein famous a lot of the funds are earmarked for well being care and drug therapy packages designed to ease the opioid disaster.

“There can be individuals alive subsequent yr due to the packages and companies we can fund due to these settlement proceeds,” he mentioned.

Not one of the companies acknowledged any wrongdoing for his or her position manufacturing and distributing massive portions of ache drugs at a time when opioid habit and overdoses have been surging.

In a joint assertion, the drug wholesalers mentioned they’d decided that sufficient governments had signed onto the deal to maneuver ahead with a “complete settlement to settle the overwhelming majority of the opioid lawsuits.”

In all, 46 states and roughly ninety % of eligible native governments have signed onto the deal, in line with the companies’ evaluation.

In a separate assertion, Johnson & Johnson mentioned its contribution to the deal would “straight assist state and native efforts to make significant progress in addressing the opioid disaster.”

The deal settles hundreds of lawsuits

This settlement resolves hundreds of civil lawsuits filed towards the companies starting in 2014 by native and state governments in addition to Native American tribes nationwide.

“The settlement will present hundreds of communities throughout the US with as much as roughly $19.5 billion over 18 years,” the drug distributors mentioned of their assertion.

AmerisourceBergen pays $6.1 billion, Cardinal Well being $6 billion and McKesson $7.4 billion.

Broad outlines of the deal have been first unveiled in July 2021 however the corporations mentioned they would not settle for the settlement until sufficient governments agreed to signal on and drop their fits.

Preliminary funds will start in April and can proceed over the following twenty years.

A harmful second within the opioid disaster

The cash will arrive at a second when the opioid epidemic has escalated dangerously.

Many People with opioid use dysfunction have shifted from taking prescription ache drugs to road fentanyl, an artificial opioid that’s way more highly effective and deadly.

Drug overdoses now kill greater than 100,000 individuals within the U.S. yearly, in line with the Facilities for Illness Management and Prevention.

Joe Rice, with the agency Motley Rice, is among the lead attorneys suing the drug trade over its alleged position within the opioid disaster.

He helps this settlement and mentioned the funds will assist devastated communities “begin rebuilding…and cope with this epidemic.”

Rice mentioned the deal was structured in collaboration with native authorities officers to keep away from an issue that arose with the $246 billion tobacco settlement of the Nineteen Nineties.

A lot of that cash has been siphoned off for tasks unrelated to the general public well being impacts of tobacco habit.

Rice mentioned he believes that will not occur this time. “Going into the opioid litigation, that was acknowledged as being an enormous downside that we needed to repair,” he mentioned.

In response to Stein, corporations have additionally agreed to fund a brand new monitoring system to stop communities from once more being flooded with high-risk drugs.

“If there are too many drugs going right into a neighborhood, an alarm will go off, a purple flag can be issued, and distributors can be placed on discover,” Stein mentioned.

“It should insure that no extra communities are awash in opioids as occurred over the past couple of a long time.”

Lawsuits highlighted the actions of corporations throughout the disaster

Whereas corporations acknowledge no wrongdoing on this deal, opioid lawsuits laid naked firm practices that state attorneys basic say have been deeply troubling.

In some circumstances, drug wholesalers continued transport huge portions of drugs to small rural communities regardless of purple flags that medicine like Oxycontin have been being diverted and bought on the black market.

One electronic mail shared amongst executives at AmerisourceBergen — made public for the primary time throughout a state trial final yr in West Virginia — disparaged individuals hooked on opioids, describing them as “pillbillies” and referring to Oxycontin as “hillbilly heroin.”

With this $26 billion settlement now accepted, negotiations proceed over a separate opioid deal involving Purdue Pharma, maker of Oxycontin, and members of the Sackler household who personal the non-public agency.

That deal, if finalized, is anticipated to incorporate payouts topping $6 billion.

In the meantime, opioid-related lawsuits proceed in state and federal courts across the nation centered largely on pharmacy chains that bought massive portions of opioid drugs on to shoppers.