Sunday, December 10, 2006
Tithing and Bankruptcy
I don't know much about bankruptcy, but it seems that someone who is in bankruptcy should be required to pay off his creditors before he contributes to his church.
Following a recent court case in which the judge declared that a person in bankruptcy could not continue to pay tithing to his church, Senators Orrin Hatch and Barrack Obama sponsored a bill that would allow such payment of tithing to continue. The bill was recently also passed by the House of Representatives.
Congress has the authority, under Article I Section 8 of the United States Constitution, to set the laws governing bankruptcy. Hatch and Obama's bill was inititated, because, according to Obama, "in a country where 37 million citizens live in poverty, we should be encouraging charitable giving, not limiting it."
I'm glad that Congress is in this case performing a clearly delineated role, but I'm not sure if I agree with the outcome.
From what I understand about bankruptcy, the bankrupt party is allowed by the court to exempt certain of his assets, but the remainder are to go to pay off creditors. I think, therefore, the solution should be that the bankrupt party should be able to pay tithing on that portion of his income that has been declared exempt by the court.
But I think that the debtor should not be able to pay tithing on the rest of his "non-exempt" assets, including income, because, since the go directly to pay off debts, they should not be considered as income.
This compromise view leaves some ability of the debtor to pay tithing, but in addition the encumbered debts are payed off in as expeditious a manner as possible. A hopefully sooner rather than later the debtor can return to full financial status and will then be able to pay tithing on all of his income assets.
Like the title says, mine are Simple Utah Mormon Politics, so there may be flaws with this argument. After all I don't know much about bankruptcy. So what do you think? Will my idea work?