And that brings us to Hemant Mehta's question, "why money that was tithed is being used — directly or indirectly — to finance things that don’t involve spreading the word of God,,,. Of all the things you’re supposed to do with tithed money, building a shopping center or a full-blown community — even if profits eventually get used to promote the religion — isn’t on the list. And if making money is part of your Church’s mission, why are members getting tax exemptions for their donations?"The Mormon church is going to Disney World.The church-owned Deseret Ranches is going through the bureaucratic process in Florida to win approval to transform rural farmland, used for 65 years to raise cattle, into a metropolis of a half-million residents within a 133,000-acre corner of Osceola County, not far from Orange County, the home of the world-renowned Disney resort in Orlando.According to the Orlando Sentinel, the project would be the biggest development ever planned in Florida. The Sentinel reported the Florida Department of Environmental Protection issued a statement saying the development would cause no "adverse impacts" to water, wetlands and wilderness.But other state agencies are not so sure and want a more detailed review of the project's population densities on what is now ranchland southeast of Orlando International Airport.Deseret Ranches is a for-profit cattle operation begun by the LDS Church in 1950. It originally covered about 54,000 acres in central Florida, but it grew over the years to 312,000 acres and reportedly became the world's largest beef ranch.Eric Jacobsen, general manager of Deseret Ranches, says turning portions of the ranch into a residential and commercial development is simply a practical business decision.
Paul Rolly: Mormon church moves to build a city in Florida | The Salt Lake Tribune