Free-church vs. state-church

If you look to the right side of each page of this blog, under the category of Religion, you’ll notice a link called Hush Money. Hush Money is a Christian ministry. Their goal is to inform the masses and especially the Christian churches of the difference between a state-church and a free-church, and to help state-bound churches become free-churches. A state-bound church is one that has entered into an agreement with a state through incorporation and/or 501c3 (tax-exempt) status and receives state favors in exchange for following the rules of that agreement. For example, to quote from the Hush Money web site:

For a 501c3 church to openly speak out, or organize in opposition to, anything that the government declares “legal,” even if it is immoral (e.g. abortion, homosexuality, etc.), that church will jeopardize its tax exempt status. The 501c3 has had a “chilling effect” upon the free speech rights of the church.

When a church accepts the 501c3 status, that church:

  • Waives its freedom of speech.
  • Waives its freedom of religion.
  • Waives its constitutionally guaranteed rights.
  • Is no longer free to speak to the vital issues of the day.
  • Becomes controlled by a spirit of fear that if it doesn’t toe the line with the IRS it will lose its tax-exempt status.
  • Becomes a State-Church.

Other points from Hush Money:

  • A corporation is “a creature of the State.”
  • The State is “sovereign” over the corporation.
  • The corporation is “incorporated for the benefit of the public.”
  • A corporation is a State “franchise.”
  • Incorporation is a State “privilege.”
  • A corporation is “subject to the laws of the State.”
  • “Its powers are limited by law.”
  • It must “obey the laws of its creation.”

Now, the LDS Church is not a free-church. It is incorporated as a Corporation Sole. The name of the corporation is CORPORATION OF THE PRESIDENT OF THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS. I believe it also has 501c3 status.

Because it is not a free-church, it cannot speak freely about any topic. It cannot criticize the government or its leaders. It cannot call a government to repentance. It can lose its property if it doesn’t follow the agreement it has with the state. It is important to keep this in mind when trying to understand why the leaders speak on one topic, but not on another. Or, when they address one topic, that has clear scriptural application, without taking a stand on it.

Although I do not see it happening in the present environment, it may be beneficial for the Church to employ the services of Hush Money and un-incorporate itself, becoming, again, a free-church. Only when that happens will the gags of the State be removed and perhaps we will hear much more interesting sermons being preached from the pulpit…

[Note: when I use the term “Church,” I’m referring to the incorporated entity known as the CORPORATION OF THE PRESIDENT OF THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS and when I use the term “church” I’m referring to the baptized and confirmed people of God, who are the latter-day saints.]

Next Anarchism/Anarchy article: The Mormon Worker and the LDS Anarchy Blog: The hand of the Lord or just a coincidence?

Previous Anarchism/Anarchy article: Why voting is so important to the State

Complete List of Articles authored by LDS Anarchist



  1. I have to say your blog is great! So if the Church did what you suggest, they would no longer be “tax-exempt”?

  2. Thanks for the compliment! Free-churches don’t pay taxes. The state only recognizes state-churches as churches. Free-churches don’t exist in the state’s eyes. You can’t tax what doesn’t exist.

  3. I think the LDS Church has more problems than selling out to the State. The LDS Church contradicts God’s 1st Commandment: Thou Shalt Have No Other Gods Before Me. The LDS Church surreptitiously teaches that YOU, TOO, SHALL BECOME A GOD/GODDESS ONE DAY. “As Adam once was, so we may become.” LIES. ANTI-CHRIST. UNGODLY

  4. A Free Church is recognized by the state. The state considers them an association. Yes, a free church is still tax exempt as are contributions. Normally an unincorporated association i.e. free church can not sue or be sued, but more states have now passed laws allowing unincorporated churches to sue and be sued and subject to penal code as well. Unincorporated churches can still have bank accounts, even own real estate, however tenancies in common may apply so church bylaws should adopt right of survivorship to prevent non members from inheriting tenant rights should the member die.

    An incorporated church is subject to forceful dissolution by the state should it violate the law, such as the gay marriage laws. The property will then be confiscated by the state.

    My question. How can an incorporated church become unincorporated? Should they do so, do they forfeit assets and real estate? Non profit 501c3 can not go to members upon dissolution. I assume this would also apply to members in common which would prevent the transfer to a free church or association.

    Please help? email me

  5. Legally speaking, the Church has been dead since 1890. It was disincorporated, lost its status of legal personhood, and died. This is what motivates presenting the Manifesto to the general membership of the Church for a sustaining vote – and it’s at the same time that they also have the members ratify the Articles of Faith as a part of the canon. So in 1890 you in truth have the beginnings of the formation of a new Church, a new entity, built on a new creed – the Articles of Faith and the Manifesto, in which heavy emphasis is placed on civil and political authority.

    This was something that the Church was advised to do by the California lobbying group they had hired to do some of its back channel politicking. So in 1890 a new kind of Church is organized, but it’s not legally organized as a church. It will be organized as a corporation — a corporation sole: in 1916, the Corporation of the Presiding Bishop is chartered, and in 1923 President Grant organizes the Corporation of the President of the Church. And as a corporation sole, it consists of only one person, with no other membership. The President of the Church is literally/legally both a person and a corporation.

    This becomes the foundation for this new kind of Church. Of course it carries on informally the same name as before — the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints — but that title no longer names any legally existing entity. It’s really just a trademarked phrase, a piece of intellectual property controlled by Intellectual Reserve, Inc., which is a subsidiary of the Corporation of the Presiding Bishop. In other words: The Corporation of the President of the Church [consisting of one man] acts as a holding company that owns the Corporation of the Presiding Bishop [again consisting of one man], which in turn is the holding company that owns all “Church-owned” property – both physical and intellectual. The President of the Church is both the head and the body.

    This new Church is faced with a question: what makes us the same the thing Joseph Smith started? Answering this question became the purpose of the correlation department. Correlation, especially under Harold Lee, formulates a new way of telling Mormon history. It doesn’t just present a new text – it relies on all the old material, but it maps the present onto the past. The Church rebrands Joseph Smith as a exemplar or product of this modern Church rather than the originator or exemplar of 19th century Mormonism. Now when we talk about John Taylor – we don’t talk about John Taylor the pioneer, polygamist, the defiant rebel, but John Taylor the correlated, fashioned into a spokesman of the timeless truths of a collection of abstract, generic principles or values, otherwise known as the Everlasting Gospel™.

  6. Justin,

    I have a question I want to ask you about the California group, something I’ve been looking into. Click on my name and shoot me a message somehow. Thanks!

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