In my RCIA class we’re going over moral discernment and were introduced to the Catholic concept of material vs. formal cooperation in the sinful acts of others. It dawned on me that this concept is entirely absent in Mormonism, or at least, the concept is conveniently ignored when a profit is to be made!
It’s interesting that Catholic organizations will be true to their principles in refusing to provide or cooperate in acts the Catholic Church has deemed sinful (e.g. no abortion in Catholic hospitals, no birth control in Catholic pharmacies, etc.), and this extends into the economic life of even lay Catholics. As I understand it, you are equally culpable in the sin of another if you’ve provided the means necessary to commit that sin when there’s no other possible intention. For example, I couldn’t be a Catholic in good standing while doling out condoms even if I myself don’t use condoms. The same cannot be said about Mormons.
The LDS deem drinking alcohol and watching pornography a sin, yet LDS restaurant owners provide coffee and liquor to their patrons and are thus formally cooperating in those patrons’ sin even if the LDS themselves are not consuming the beverages. Similarly, LDS hotel owners provide pornography to their patrons. Let’s not even get started on the cases of the ACTUAL LDS CHURCH owning businesses which go against the LDS Church’s teachings (e.g. owning stock in companies which produce caffeinated beverages, owning stock in casinos, etc.)
Now there is this concept individually in Mormonism. As a Mormon, if I were to go out and purchase alcohol for another individual, most Mormons would agree that I participated in their sin… but if I’m a wealthy LDS business owner (and am thus providing quite a bit of tithing dollars to the church), the LDS make excuses for me, and the church conveniently looks the other way.
I guess that’s LDS inc. for ya.