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

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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 method 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. Practically 1,200 individuals have signed on to this point.

Not surprisingly, Stilgoe’s push factors to the billions the Utah-based religion has collected 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 change the tithing revenue with the income from Ensign Peak and proceed to operate precisely because it does now.”

And members might “strengthen communities, serve God by serving others, and construct Zion the place they reside” 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 concerning the church’s huge property, different members say they have already got begun following this observe.

Faith Information Service columnist Jana Riess, for one, reported that she steered her 2020 tithes to humanitarian reduction, particularly organizations that assist children world wide.

“At tithing settlement this yr, 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 children who didn’t have meals or entry to schooling may have meals, faculty and the fundamentals.”

For his or her half, church officers persistently 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 — corresponding 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 effective with the religion’s fiscal method. 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 supplied greater than $2.5 billion price of help in 199 nations and territories since its 1985 founding.

A marketing campaign for comfortable clothes

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

The New York Occasions did an “undercover” story, of types, 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 devoted put on as a personal and private reminder of their non secular commitments.

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

“Buttery mushy, seamless, thick waistband that’s not slicing into my spleen, breathable material,” she informed her greater than 17,000 followers in an Instagram video underneath her moniker themormonhippie.

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

Learn the total Occasions 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 usually 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. “Just like abnormal modest underclothing, it is available in two items and is normally known as the temple garment. … They function a personal and private reminder of our relationship to God and our dedication to reside 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 yr, and a personal, faith-based faculty will transfer in.

American Heritage College will lease the meetinghouse at 142 W. 200 North from the church. The constructing might 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, as an illustration, 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 house inside.

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

American Heritage College 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, in line with its web site.

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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 “tormented by fraud and abuse.” Its report heaped scorn on for-profit commerce colleges for serving 22% of federal scholar mortgage debtors however accounting for 44% of defaults.

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

Sound acquainted?

This clamor for accountability erupted again in 1991, greater than twenty years earlier than the epic collapses of Corinthian Faculties and ITT Technical Institute price college students and taxpayers tens of millions of {dollars} in wasted loans and nugatory levels. Extra just lately, in February, the U.S. Division of Schooling introduced it could erase greater than $70 million in scholar loans for former DeVry College college students who had been misled by the college’s false promoting.

Consider it or not, again in 1992, in response to all this hand-wringing about for-profit schools, Congress gave the training secretary a nuclear choice: the facility to carry leaders of fraudulent schools — 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, larger training specialists and division officers argue: It is time.

Advocates say the Schooling Division has an obligation to carry faculty leaders liable

The purpose of holding the homeowners of fraudulent colleges personally responsible for scholar and taxpayer losses is twofold: to present the federal government one other manner of recouping these losses and, simply as necessary, to discourage the long run sale of training snake oil by shaming the sellers.

If ever the division may 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 colleges had enticed college students with false and deceptive claims and had dedicated “pervasive” misconduct and that, in consequence, “the worth of an ITT training — like Corinthian — is probably going both negligible or non-existent.”

Eileen Connor directs the Mission on Predatory Pupil Lending, which just lately printed an exhaustive deep dive into ITT Tech’s fraudulent practices. In a information launch about that report, Connor stated, “The loans have been the article, not training or profession coaching. It’s genuinely surprising that this ‘faculty’ was capable of idiot regulators and accreditors for thus lengthy.”

After the collapse of ITT Tech and Corinthian, advocates pushed the Division of Schooling to present eligible debtors aid from their federal loans, which, together with different losses associated to the collapses, price 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 faculties’ leaders responsible for a few of these losses? It is sophisticated.

First, there’s the human rationalization. When the division helped organize 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 an alternative of specializing in holding the perpetrators of the fraud accountable, it centered on offering debt aid to their victims, making an attempt to “be sure that debtors have been being helped on the again finish,” says Dan Zibel, who labored within the division’s Workplace of the Normal Counsel from 2014 by way of 2017. Zibel says the division’s rush to make use of an previous authorized provision, referred to as borrower protection, to erase scholar loans took appreciable time and power.

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

“For a college 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 robust, symbolic deterrent for future would-be fraudsters.

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

Now out of the Schooling Division, Zibel agrees.

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

There may be precedent for presidency motion. Type of.

The Schooling Division might have resisted pursuing particular person claims towards the leaders of Corinthian and ITT Tech, however different authorities companies did act.

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

The grievance, although, was not about hurt finished 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 faculty advocate helps the division utilizing this energy in restricted circumstances

Even the top of Profession Schooling Faculties and Universities, a nationwide affiliation representing many for-profit commerce colleges, 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, finished particularly to keep away from legal responsibility for the enterprise, they completely ought to be topic to this. That’s the reason that authority exists.”

Altmire cautions, nevertheless, “If you are going to apply accountability requirements, simply apply them to all colleges in all sectors.” Translation: Ensure that for-profit commerce colleges aren’t the one sorts of faculties held beneath 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 Schooling.

“This should change,” Miller wrote in 2019. “Any government from a school that closes precipitously ought to be financially responsible for injury finished to college students and taxpayers. The U.S. Division of Schooling ought to take again cash paid to highschool 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 could be prepared to do what earlier administrations haven’t?

A prime scholar mortgage official hints at a brand new perspective towards failed for-profit schools

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

“This abdication of the Division’s duties has not solely price taxpayers, however has additionally inspired future lawbreaking by executives who really feel assured they will enrich themselves on the expense of scholars and taxpayers,” half a dozen Democratic U.S. senators, together with Warren, wrote to then-Schooling 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 Schooling Division’s Federal Pupil Help workplace.

Scott reminded Cordray that the division has the facility “to hunt restoration of monetary losses towards homeowners and executives” of fraudulent school applications. Not all executives ought to be held liable, Scott argued, simply the worst: those that revenue from defrauding debtors. Is the division lastly prepared 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 assumed [your letter] was an excellent little bit of a kick within the behind for us to verify we’re shifting down the highway on this.”

Cordray steered the identical just lately, when the division introduced it could present mortgage aid to defrauded debtors whereas the college 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 will,” Cordray instructed reporters on the day of the DeVry announcement.

On the identical name with reporters, Undersecretary of Schooling James Kvaal was much more forceful: “There might be liabilities for the present homeowners of those colleges to discourage wrongdoing not simply at DeVry, however in all places that it would 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 way of 2016 and David Pauldine, who served as the chief vice chairman and/or president of DeVry College from 2005 by way of 2014.”

Past that press launch, although, the Biden administration has finished not more than earlier administrations to carry school leaders and homeowners personally responsible for ripping off college students and taxpayers. Which is to say, it is finished 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 girls’s group received a fourth World Cup in 2019

United States ahead Alex Morgan says a “monumental step ahead” has been taken after the ladies’s nationwide group (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 girls’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 advised 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 filled with stress.

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

USA team-mate Megan Rapinoe stated: “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 very best sport we presumably can on this nation and organising the subsequent era so significantly better than we ever had it.”

The USA received the Girls’s World Cup for the fourth time in 2019 and have claimed Olympic gold 5 occasions.

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

The bid for equal pay – wherein they sought $66m (£52.8m) in damages – was dismissed by a courtroom in Could 2020, resulting in an attraction.

The US Soccer Federation supplied equivalent contracts to its males’s and girls’s nationwide groups in an try and resolve its gender pay dispute in September.

In a joint assertion on Tueday, US Soccer and USWNT stated: “We’re happy to announce that, contingent on the negotiation of a brand new collective bargaining settlement, we can 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 simple. The USWNT gamers have achieved unprecedented success whereas working to attain 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 potential, in addition to the entire girls and ladies who will observe.”