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  •  God doesn't need 10% and never gets it. The (19+ / 0-)

    10% is a tax or dues to be the member of a church so the pastor and members can do what they want with it.  Consider the travel and legal expenses of the Westboro Baptist Church.  That's where the money goes not into God's wallet, if one believes in God.  No need to fight a battle of beliefs at Applebees, of all places.  Tip as much as you can because it's the right thing to do, the Golden Rule.

    Building a better America with activism, cooperation, ingenuity and snacks.

    by judyms9 on Sat Feb 02, 2013 at 09:41:04 AM PST

    •  preacher once told me God told him to take (21+ / 0-)

      out whatever he needed each week to live on.  I remarked it was fortunate he and God wore the same size suit

    •  Priests with Cadillacs always struck me as odd (10+ / 0-)

      when I was a kid, even when they weren't assholes but apparently caring and, uh, charitable men.  When I grew older, the focus of the Church on wealth & property was one reason I left it, not to mention the way it has tried to marginalize Catholics who actually practice real Christian ethics (e.g., Dorothy Day) or pervert their legacy (e.g., St. Francis).  Dostoevsky got it right in "The Grand Inquisitor"--if Jesus actually came back, they'd have to kill him.  

    •  Not necessarily. (7+ / 0-)
      The 10% is a tax or dues to be the member of a church so the pastor and members can do what they want with it.
      First, in most churches it's not a "tax" or "dues" as such; only a few denominations actually do any kind of checking as to whether or not you're giving 10%, 5%, 1%, 20%.

      Second, while churches like the Episcopal Church do count "pledging members" as a reliable number for church membership, the responsible churches are quite open and honest about where the money is going. My church publishes its budget every year at our annual meeting, and any member of the congregation could conceivably get a look at the books throughout the year. There's no subterfuge or opacity.

      Third, while technically it is true that our church "can do what we want" with the income our church receives, your wording implies that it's some kind of slush fund for whatever whim slips into the pastor or governing group's heads. As I mentioned above, responsible churches have a budget and are accountable to the congregation for that budget—and let me assure you, from the churches I've been in, none of them has ever run any kind of substantial surplus above and beyond paying the clergy and staff's (middle-class) salaries and benefits, keeping buildings maintained, powered, and heated/cooled, and the church's various ministries including justice ministries.

      "When I give food to the poor, they call me a saint. When I ask why the poor have no food, they call me a communist." --Dom Helder Camara, archbishop of Recife

      by JamesGG on Sat Feb 02, 2013 at 10:26:01 AM PST

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