Yes, you have the right to make a rude, mocking cover, and people have the right to call it “ballsy” or “funny” or “snide” or whatever they want.
But, really, it's just rude. And it sort of takes away from some of the interesting points that the article makes. It also begs the question: Would Businessweek have felt it “safe” and “appropriate” to mock another religion's sacred moments?
Ah, well, we all know that Mormons are among the last acceptable targets for religious intolerance.
I think the Businessweek article makes interesting points, and reveals interesting information and estimates about church assets. I would like to see more detail, from the church, on how the church uses its money, and what the holdings are. The cover, however, detracts and distracts from some of the valid points in the article.
Instead, the cover pretty much forces the reader to assume that Businessweek doesn't like the LDS Church, and is more interested in a takedown than anything else. The church is trying to tell its side of things, of course, but I think that more people read Businessweek than they do the Deseret News.
And, even though I found the Businessweek article interesting, and I do agree that it would be nice to have more information, I would also have like to have seen a little more from the Businessweek article. For instance, the Businessweek article made a lot of estimates about the income of the church (LDS Church spokespeople say that the estimates are too high), but didn't make any estimates about the expenses of the church, beyond exact dollar figures of money given to Humanitarian Aid efforts.
If they were going to estimate income for the church, it would have been nice if they had estimated expenses, too. Like: How much does it cost to assemble and ship hygiene kits and other needs-based items all over the world? How much does it cost to maintain Welfare Square? How much does it cost to send help victims of natural disaster? How much money is needed to maintain (utilities, upkeep, etc.) more than 100 temples, and thousands of meetinghouses, as well as run church history sites and visitors' centers all over the world? How much money is paid out to workers who build the buildings and how much is paid out to seminary teachers and others who have jobs because of the church? How much is used to fund Bishop's Storehouses where the less fortunate can go to get food? How much does it take to run the family history centers that anyone can visit to get help with genealogy work?
Yes, I'd love it if the church would be more forthcoming with this information. I'd love regular reports on income, and how the money is used. It would be nice to hear something beyond the assurances that tithing money isn't used to fund BYU athletics. (The Businessweek article was vague on the difference between what they think tithing money is used for, and what they think other monies, from other sources are used for.)
But if Businessweek is going to throw estimates of income assets out there, the least they could do is estimate the expenses that the church incurs as well. And it would be nice if the assumption wasn't that the Humanitarian Aid program is the be all and end all of the church's charitable efforts.
And there is no call to be so blatantly rude with the cover.