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(RNS) Legal scholars expressed bewilderment at the development, saying British law precludes challenges to theological beliefs in secular courts.


  1. The English Legal System is not quite so accommodating to religious organisations as in the USA. What might be unheard of in Utah as far as religious accountability is concerned, is very diffferent in the UK and Europe, where much more stringent laws and checks are applied.
    In the Mormon church, members have been coerced into paying 10% of their annual income into the church as a direct requirement to enter Mormon Temples, to partake of sacred and essential temple ordinances and by dutiful repitition, gain entry into Mormon Celestial Heaven.
    The member must also attend two bi-annual interviews and answer specific questions regarding personal obedience and worthiness to Mormon standards. One of them is obedience to Tithing as part of the qualification process.
    Furthermore, an annual Tithing Settlement interview is conducted with the member at the end of each year, to ascertain that the member is indeed a full Tithe payer.
    These demands on each member to comply to the payment of Tithing as it relates to Temple attendance qualification and essential Celestial advancement, amounts to nothing more than financial extortion on a massive scale.
    There is nothing voluntary about that little business venture.
    Always keep in mind, that this action is under English law jurisdiction and will not take place in the cosy, unquestioning theocratic utopia that is Mormon Utah.

    • The big problem with the lawsuit will be in what kind of evidence the plaintiff has and how much can really be obtained or even asked for in discovery. Making the accusations are one thing, being able to prove them based on the preponderance of the evidence is another.

      This should be fun.

    • Andy,
      I have received tithing for the church (5 years), recorded and reconciled tithing receipts (4 years) and paid tithing (over 40 years). Using the term “financial extortion” for that process is absurd.
      The payment is optional, tithing settlement is optional, bi-annual interviews are optional, going to the temple is optional, nobody calls you like a collection agent. I have sat in Priesthood Quorum meetings with a member who had not paid tithing for 20 years. Nobody said a thing and he was treated kinder if he was treated differently at all.
      For those who believe the doctrine of the church, the humble, honest payment of tithes and offerings is not an expense. It is a disbursement, for sure, but not an expense.
      I hope Tom Phillips has amended his tax returns and removed those charitable deductions and paid his taxes properly.

  2. No, no, really. The Gold plates were real. It’s just that the angel Moroni took the plates back to heaven, so no, sorry, you can’t see them to see if Joseph Smith’s rock in the hat really turned up so many lengthy passages lifted directly from the King James Bible. Yes, and while modern scholars may tell us the papyrus that so clearly LOOKS like the one that made up the Book of Abraham is just an ordinary Egyptian funeral scroll–and not nearly as old as Abraham–well, I get a burning in my BOSOM when I read it. And I prayed to Heavenly Father to help me find my car keys and BOOM, there they were. So, I know that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is TRRRRUUUEEE!

    • Oh please, all religious assertions of fact are ridiculous nonsense on their face. Its no worse than most of the fictions slung around by most Christians which pretends to be facts.