This post is a combination of one of my recent videos and a brief excerpt from my newest book ‘Philosophical Fragments Of Your Ancient Name‘. The topic is Church tithing; specifically, how the practice of church tithing has contributed to interminable poverty among the world’s poorest even as the churches have become incalculably wealthy.
Pope Francis: Blood is Thicker than Water, but Is it Thicker than Money?
Pope Francis has recently launched a massive conference about “The Family.” – the Roman Catholic Church family that is – all one billion plus of them. In a closed-door session, Roman Catholic Church leaders from around the world are discussing how to better present their teachings on marriage, family life, and sexuality to their flock.
They will be deciding upon who is worthy to be a member of that august Church family and who is not worthy. The fact that the 263 participants in this ‘Synod of the Family’ are almost all celibate males, allegedly, with no first-hand experience of creating their own families does not seem to be a relevant factor here. After all, they are theologians. They speak for God who, though not able to attend in Person, has sent his alleged proxy, the good Pope Francis.
I have never been a member of that church family, nor have I ever even wanted to be. Still, I am not a completely uninterested observer. Unfortunately, from time to time I find myself crossing paths with a few of its more eager zealots. But all of those very brief encounters inevitably end with me being told that I will go to hell and I returning that favor.
In the video below and excerpt following from Philosophical Fragments Of Your Ancient Name I argue the point that the Roman Catholic Church and, in fact, all worldly churches value money to be thicker than blood. Their leaders have always placed the acquisition of wealth for their Church above the health and well-being of their “Family” members.
For example, recall the devastation in The Philippines in the wake of Super Typhoon Haiyan on November 8, 2013, the most powerful storm to ever hit landfall. Thousands of people died: the country’s economy reeled. The Philippines is home to about 80,000,000 loyal Roman Catholics. All of them were affected by this storm. So what was the response of the “Holy See” to the plight of its 80,000,000 Family members there? This is the text of a press report issued from Rome on November 11, 2013:
” VATICAN CITY — The Vatican on Monday [November 11, 2013] announced it is donating $150,000 (112,000 euro) in emergency aid to the Philippines after Super Typhoon “Yolanda” (international name: Haiyan) devastated entire communities and left more than 10,000 people feared dead.
“Following the Haiyan Typhoon… the Holy Father has decided to send a first contribution of 150,000 dollars to help the population,” the Vatican said in a statement.
The aid “will be distributed through the local Church in the areas worst hit by the tragedy” and will be “used to support aid operations for displaced people,” it added.
The donation is intended as “a concrete expression of the pontiff’s spiritual closeness and paternal support for the people and territories devastated by the floods,” it said.
Pope Francis led 60,000 people in Sunday prayers for the Philippines, urging the faithful to provide “concrete help” to the largely Roman Catholic country.
“I ask all of you to join me in prayer for the victims of Typhoon Haiyan / Yolanda especially those in the beloved islands of the Philippines,” he tweeted on Saturday. “
$150,000 between 80,000,000 “Family” members = $0.001875/each. This sum remains the total official donation of the “Holy See” to this unparalleled natural disaster.
The Heads and heads of church “Families” have become gluttons drunk on riches they have stolen from the poorest of the poor through thousands of years of church tithing. They have forgotten to give back what was not theirs to keep in the first place and it is high time to divide their ill gotten gains among their poorest members and the poorest members of this earth.
The Tithes Of Prey
Being from a christian background I can think of no practice more repugnant than that of church tithing, the donation of a one-tenth portion of one’s income to the church in the form of tithes. Church tithing is one of few Old Testament practices which christian churches have faithfully and tenaciously clung to for thousands of years.
The collection of church tithes has made it possible for all major christian churches in the world today to accumulate incalculable wealth and assets, systematically and relentlessly. A one-tenth part of a poor family’s income can mean the difference between starvation and health for that family, particularly for its children. It is pragmatically impossible for a poor 3rd World family to save, adequately feed, clothe and educate their children while giving away a tenth of its income to the church. Through thousands of years church tithes have come primarily from its poor parishioners.
Today, grand and majestic cathedrals and churches stand everywhere on the earth; meanwhile the people who built and paid for them continue to live in squalor and slums. The fact that the churches have become incalculably wealthy while the majority of their members have remained grindingly poor does not seem to bother the conscience of theologians one bit. They continue to self-righteously pass around their collection plates without fail, even as their parishoners starve right under the theologians’ godly noses.
After millenia of basically stealing food out of the starving mouths of poor children and robbing them of their dreams through this practice it is all too evident that christian churches have forgotten to give back what is not theirs to keep in the first place. Preaching can be a very profitable profession and, like any professional a preacher will go to any lengths to justify his profession. But in the face of this very anti-christian practice the churchmens’ fancy robes are, to quote the Old Testament prophet Isaiah, “as filthy rags.”
The current Pope of the RC church, Francis, immensely popular with the faithful and in contrast to his predecessor a seemingly humble and simple man has repeatedly admonished the few materially rich among us to be more charitable and to share their great wealth with the many, many grindingly poor. These are grand and noble gestures by Pope Francis but they are hollow ones.
The Roman Catholic church sits upon a mountain of gold. The vatican is incalculably wealthy. Yet it dispenses only relative pennies in outside charities to the needy. Pope Francis, a man of grand gestures, needs firstly to open his own church’s vaults. Its wealth collected through millenia, the RC church has a moral imperative to return its accumulated tithes to their sources, the long-suffering poor of this earth. When he does that Pope Francis shall have earned the moral authority to preach charity to the uncharitable. Otherwise his admonishments cannot be taken seriously.
[excerpt from Philosophical Fragments Of Your Ancient Name by Copyright 2014 Doug Bentley]
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