05 December 2007

The Root Of All Evil?

Money. Cash. Or at least, Pink Floyd said so.

Today, I feel like discussing Money and...Religion.


I was sitting in church about three weeks ago, and the sermon was titled "Tithing or Not?" When I saw that in our bulletin, my interest was piqued. See, I had just recently begun attending church regularly (like within the last year), because it had taken me forever (seems like) to get over my church phobia. For whatever reason that I could never quite place, my distaste for organized religion had spread to various other areas of my life. In my late teens and early 20's, I didn't give God much of a thought...I was too busy trying to just live my life. So I went on happily living my atheist lifestyle, until I realized that I could be spiritual without being religious. A major breakthrough, let me tell you.

So, anyway, after some meandering here and there, we've become members of a Quaker church here in town. Everyone's very welcoming and there is a definite "church family" feel. Imagine my trepidation then, upon learning that week's sermon about tithing. Would this be one of those hypocritical sermons that would leave a bad taste in my mouth and turn me away from the church again?

Well, yes and no. I understand that the church is somewhat of a business. They have bills to pay, causes to support etc, and the main source of income is what the parishioners provide. And yet, it is this dependence on money that I find so damn irritating. Petty squabbles arise because a committee wants to cover pews, replace windows, or send a youth group on missionary trip...and what do we need? Money. All this reliance on money.

Reminds me of another wonderful thing about being Pagan. No church, no ties to money. I can easily step outside and bask in the light of a full moon...and there's my church. Walk out in the rain, crunch through fall leaves, get a sunburn at the pool - that's my church. And I don't have to pay for it.

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