Saturday, September 1, 2012

Meager Stock Options

Money has always been referred to as the root of all evil. It's a common theme in just about every religion. If you are rich you are supposed to give to the poor, give until it hurts. Your giving nature in life is supposed to reward you several times over in death. At least, that's how the religious are supposed to see it. Instead we find churches and other buildings of worship popping up everywhere, taking in donations from everyone, and the spiritual leaders actually making a profit. This, of course, leads to a very important question that I actually don't get asked very often but is just as important all the same.

"What do Atheists have against churches?"

Nothing, really. Churches themselves and other such buildings are perfectly fine. If you want a place where you can meet with your peers, worship together, and discuss your religion, that's great. However, it's not the building itself that's at fault here, it's the people running them.

I'm sure anyone away from particular religions will have noticed that certain spiritual leaders, especially within the large confines of the radically different sects of Christianity, have taken it upon themselves to hold onto the funds that their church raises, rather than giving it to those who need it. Quite the opposite, in fact, as they seem to want to take every cent their patrons have and are willing to promise them anything to get it.

There are spiritual leaders with yachts, mansions, private jets, and even Mega-Churches, which just seems like a slap in the face, to me. These people seem to think that the meek will inherit the Earth while the rich can buy Heaven. As mentioned above, I understand the need to have a place of worship, but I don't understand the need for a large monument to the wealth of the person running that place, which is exactly what a Mega-Church is. And, to make matters worse, these buildings are a part of a religion and are thus free from taxes, as I understand it. I certainly hope I'm wrong about that one.

The bottom line is, churches, in and of themselves, are perfectly fine. Even non-religious people gather together to discuss their non-religiousness. It's human nature to want to congregate and share likenesses. If I had a problem with churches, I'd have to have a problem with every place of gathering or worship, which would rule out most of the planet. A hard life to live, indeed.

The problem I have is with those who run these spiritual establishments expecting to make a profit, and actually accomplishing this task. These people who seem to have forgotten that religion is meant for spiritual wealth, not material. These people have lost their way, spiritually and morally, and the community they claim to be a part of owe it to themselves to bring them back into the fold and teach them the same lessons they claim to be teaching.

After all, it's one thing to ask for donations to keep the church around, and something entirely different to ask for donations to add another room onto the fourth floor of your "modest" home.

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