Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Obviously, the work of Satan - or just a coincidence.

“People who want to share their religious views with you almost never want you to share yours with them."
- Dave Barry
WASHINGTON (AFP)* Nearly 40 percent of US Christian churches saw a drop in offerings from their flock last year, according to a survey on contributions compiled by the group Christianity Today International.
"For the first time in consecutive years there is a notable decline for a significant number of churches," said Matt Branaugh, one of the report authors.
Lawd-a-mighty, what is we gonna do? The recession has hit religion.
According to the survey of 1,000 churches across the United States taken for a second consecutive year, 38 percent of churches registered a drop in donations, against 29 percent the previous year.
The "State of the Plate" survey did not report the value of the offerings.
One third of the churches surveyed -- 32 percent against 14 percent the previous year - cut expenses between one and 20 percent, which included cutting back on trips, conferences, renovations and parish expenses, according to the report.
One thing they did not cut back on was property tax expenses. Oh ...
Religion is fascinating to me, but especially fascinating are the people involved in it. Good things, they say, are provided by God (their God) but bad things are God's will or some sort of test of their faith. When they survive some sort of horrible accident they say that "God was looking out for me," while failing to admit that God put them in that place to begin with. It's kind of flimsy.
When someone wins a sporting event or other such contest they thank God for giving them the victory, as though the loser is some sort of heathen who deserved his fate. That's a selfish viewpoint. Once, I'd like to hear someone thank Satan for helping him triumph over God. That would be interesting television.
Maybe we'll start to see churches close because of economic hardship the same way we have seen governments close libraries, cut spending and programs? After all, what's the difference between Lutherans, Presbyterians and Baptists anyway? It's like Buick, Pontiac and Oldsmobile. They're all built on the same platform. Even dopes like the people running General Motors realized that it was time to stop building Buick's. There are too many divisions of God. Stop building a few and get the gang together. Consolidation works for business, and there is hardly a bigger business than organized religion. You can do it - God will help you.
Maybe the economic hardship of millions of Americans will force churches to downsize the way business has downsized? Perhaps churches will start to charge their attendees a fee rather than expect them to tithe a given amount every week the same way government taxes us for owning property? Going to church on Sunday? Tickets are available at Ticketmaster. $25 plus a small "convenience fee."
States like New Jersey are cutting funding for education and raising taxes on their residents to get the state through massive budget deficits. What's more important - educating a kid or forcing him to go to church? Do you really need that giant pipe organ? How about a nice CD player? And while we're at it, those churches are a little gaudy. All that fancy woodwork and marble. Whatever happened to plywood and a nice plastic bench? Is it about God or architecture? Do you need heat and air conditioning? God will provide your comfort.
Cities like Philadelphia are proposing a tax on sweetened beverages and have already taxed its residents $300 for trash pickup. I wonder how much money they could bring in if they started - finally started - taxing the property that is owned by churches in the state? It would take a brave politician to propose taxing churches.
Maybe then they could start paying for their representation and putting some money toward the government that they so loudly voice their opinion over. Religious groups all over the country carry signs and scream about issues and elected officials, yet pay nothing toward the maintenance of the system. I'm tired of listening to their church-funded opinions without seeing anything going in the government's collection plate. Ten percent would be nice.
We'll call it God's will.


susan said...

I am glad I worship at the church of the Ceiling Cat.

Good article....Good rant.

p.s. Ceiling and basement cat have a Bible on Amazon, it's quite a good read....

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Firestarter5 said...

"Once, I'd like to hear someone thank Satan for helping him triumph over God. That would be interesting television."


Kcoz said...

I believe in the great spaghetti god...at least I can see him and he satisfie my hunger.


oh yea..I can see that the "word verification" is working well...LOL