Saturday, November 7, 2009

The evolution of greed

How is the LDS (Mormon) church "greedy" when the church leaders aren't even paid? —Alissa

Many people accuse the LDS church of being greedy, but the leaders aren't paid so how can this be?

First of all it's not all about getting paid. Anyone who's in charge of a budget is in a position to make decisions about how it gets allocated. Money is power, and the LDS church asks for a whole lot of money from its adherents.

But don't kid yourself, there are lots of church leaders who do get paid, just not on the local level. General authorities are paid, and mission presidents are paid. And the church employs a ton of people. I doubt the leaders are paid a lot, but then I guess we wouldn't know that, would we? Your church isn't comfortable opening its books like most other churches.

Anyway, the real answer to your question is more complicated than any of this, and I'm sure you're not really interested in hearing it. Ultimately the LDS church is greedy because it works. Because operating this way has allowed it to survive when other churches have failed. It asks everything from believers because it can, and because human nature is such that the more you voluntarily give to something the more blind you become to its flaws. Your church is greedy for the same reason a giraffe's neck is long. Ponder that one.

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