Give God Your Money you bastard


Over at Archdiocese of Washington, the delightfully named Monsignor Charles Pope is busy telling us all about how we don’t give him enough money.  Sorry,  why the faithful don’t give the church enough money.

Msgr Charles Pope

Is that pink?

Doesn’t he just look divine in his button up frock with the pink buttons and the cummerbund just sets it off nicely.

Let’s have a look at some of the more important aspects of his article:

If we look to our spending habits we discover that, at least in the modern American setting, our greatest love is creature comforts and entertainment. Even the necessities we purchase like food, clothing and shelter are riddled with comfort.  For example we buy a lot of food that soothes and merely appeals to taste but is otherwise junk. We buy homes that do far more than shelter us, but feature vast entertainment areas, widescreen TVs, large open kitchens, great rooms, cathedral ceilings, pools and patios. Our clothes too must come in every variety, matching shoes and ensembles. Even our cars have plush and adjustable seats, and have entertainment centers installed to include: fine Bose sound, mp3 players, Satellite radio, even flat screen TVs that play movies. All of this adds a hefty price tag to our increasingly high and comfortable standard of living,  and we pay it!  It goes a long way to show how highly we value comfort and entertainment.

It also shows how much we consume from a world with finite resources, but why not?  You only live once.

But as for God, he too easily gets the financial leftovers. We may spend hundreds of dollars at a fine restaurant, 20 to 30 dollars going to the movies, hundreds more to go to a cold wet stadium and watch football and eat over-priced hotdogs. We will plop down large amounts for video games and Wii accessories, and yet feel like a hero if we drop $10 in the collection plate instead of our usual $5. Never mind that Scripture says that God is to get the first 10% of our income (e.g. Malachi 3:8-12), the fact is, he usually gets the leftovers. After the mortgage, car note, cable bill, magazine subscription and credit card bill are paid, after all the impulse spending, we figure out what, if anything is left and from that give to God. But truth be told He doesn’t get paid upfront like the like Mr. Walmart, God gets the leftovers.

Umm… god needs money because?  What’s he gonna do with it?  Buy a horse?  We know just who wants 10% of our wages.  It’s not god, he doesn’t ever line up for his pay cheque, and it’s damn impossible to give him anything at all because we can’t find the son of a bitch.    God is quite rightly the last on the list for household spending.  And why’s that, because the bastard won’t give receipts!

For things we really like, money is no object, Charge it! But giving to the Archbishop’s Lenten Appeal, or increasing our offertory to afford the new parish education building is considered an odious imposition and our soul cries out, “Not again?!” Catholic School education has surely gone up in price and that is a factor in the dropping enrollment but many Catholic families still manage to afford some pretty nice stuff.

Sorry, so it’s not god that needs the money any more – it’s the Lenten Appeal and the new education centre.  Can’t god just provide?  And the church is extremely rich, the Vatican Bank has untold wealth, the sale of the vatican alone would build you a marvellous church hall.

The fact is we just don’t value God and the things of God like we value comfort and entertainment. It may be a hard truth but it’s right there in our spending habits, plain as day. At the end of the day our priorities are pretty plain.

Darn right our priorities are pretty plain, you can either give your hard earned cash to a free-loader who you think runs  the universe, and could conjure up a nice new school hall without so much as a wet fart, or you could go buy yourself the latest XBox accessory.  Tough decision.  If god really values us, the bastard wouldn’t have made it so hard to earn a living.

And as for our time – here too the overall portrait is pretty bleak. The vast majority of Catholics give NO time to God at all.  3/4 s don’t even go to Mass. Quite certainly they don’t pray either on any regular basis, if at all. As for the 20-25% who do go to Mass God gets 45 – 60 minutes a week. But beyond that, how much does the average Catholic pray each day? How much time do they spend with Scripture or the study of their faith. To be fair, many Catholics do attend bible studies, adult ed and/or other Church activities, but many do none of this.

The vast majority of catholics give no time to god at all?  Perhaps they’re not catholic and you shouldn’t call them that.  3/4 don’t go to mass?  Clever people.  They don’t pray?  Funny that – perhaps they understand it doesn’t work.  Oh but wait, many catholics do attend bible studies, but they don’t read it, and they don’t go to mass…. something’s not adding up here.

Time for everything else – Now, of course, everyone is busy in these stress filled times. But we find time for everything else. We find time to sleep and eat, time to watch our favorite shows. We find time for vacations and other diversions. Many people can spend hours shopping, watching sports games, movies and the like. But when it comes to prayer, study of the faith, teaching the faith to children, reading Scripture, or helping the poor…., well, you know, “I’m just so busy.”

Sorry, we find time to eat and sleep?  You think we shouldn’t do so much of that?  You also want us to not watch our favourite shows, nor go on holidays or shop or watch sport or movies and the like?  Instead we should devote our lives to studying silly texts, teaching this rubbish to the kids, and helping the poor, but not eating or sleeping to much – this guy really doesn’t like the fact that you have a life.

At the football game everyone is excited when it goes into overtime. But if Mass runs long, there is irritation. Football is about a bag full of air being pitched around a field. But Mass is about eternal verities and soul-saving grace. But never mind, five hours on football is reasonable, but a Mass longer than 45 minutes is unreasonable.

Perhaps if going to church had a bit more violence, you know, the priest could tackle a couple of nuns and roughly throw them over his shoulder while distributing holy communion… that  could be fun!  And sure football is about  a bag full of air, but its better than the bag of shit that comes out of your mouth.  45 minutes is about 45 minutes to much.

The truth, as told by time,  is that many value leisure and worldly activities far more than God or the faith. We may wish to doubt this but it is written right into our calendars and the balance isn’t even close. For most people God gets nothing of their time, for some he gets an hour a week, only a very small percentage give more.

Well the bastard gives nothing to us.  The planet is running out of fuel, nature is busy shaking and throwing up molten rock and water all over us, the atmosphere is choking and we have in-growing toe nails.  Just what do we get for our investment?  Oh, we get whiny priests who dress in silly costumes tell us to give god more money.

Disclaimer 2 – It is a true fact that we cannot spend all day in a chapel or give all our money to God. Most people have significant and serious obligations they must meet financially and temporally toward others. Meeting obligations IS part of our holiness. Yet most of us do have disposable income and leisure time. It is how we make use of these resources that we must most look to discover how highly God really ranks in our world.

And there you have it believers, how dare you have disposable income and leisure time, how dare you not give all of that to the church so this wanky priest can buy expensive clothes with bright pink piping and lovely knobbly buttons and a sash to match.  How dare you not put in your hard earned dollars to build facilities to inflict this crazy system on future generations.  I mean really, how is the church to survive if you don’t give them every last cent?

Telling the truth by time and money remains very instructive for us. Very instructive indeed.

Yes, the church wants your time and your money, that is very telling.  Why don’t you put on a pair of jeans, a nice Target shirt and get a proper job.

So if I give god every spare cent I have, I’m guaranteed of a place in heaven?  If god fails to provide, I can sue?

It’s a scam.  It works really well!

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