Class Warfare Blog

July 16, 2012

Church of State

Filed under: History,Politics,Religion — Steve Ruis @ 12:30 pm
Tags: , , , ,

Our Constitution provides us with freedom from a state sponsored religion, but that doesn’t mean religions don’t audition for the role. Currently it is Christianity which is first in line, but if Islam grows significantly it would surely be put forward as the religion of the U.S.

Consider this: Christianity was codified and became a state-sponsored religion under the Roman Empire. There was no particular complaint from Christians then or now. Even at that time Christian churches were amassing quite a bit of property and wealth. Throughout medieval times, the Catholic Church actively recruited second, third, and even fourth sons into the church with cushy positions. (Many nobles thought they should start in the church hierarchy as bishops . . . and they did.) Since only the first son could inherit this was considered a safe way to get those other sons out of the first son’s way, since those signing up for the church signed a vow of poverty giving all they owned to the church. They didn’t really own anything, so they weren’t giving up much and being safely tucked away in the church kept the older brothers from killing them as potential rivals. Sounds good, doesn’t it? Yet, being a first son was a dangerous position; first sons often fell in battle and second sons moved up in the ranks, and then they often got killed in battle (or by disease, etc.). To make a long story short, those “extra” sons often inherited everything, which was immediately transferred to the church: castles, forests, fields, moats, serfs, the lot. The Catholic Church amassed huge wealth through this tactic alone. This technique is still being used in modified form today.

The point here is that Christian churches, while preaching the virtue of poverty and calling avarice the root of all evil were themselves becoming very rich institutions. Have you noticed that churches have stopped preaching about the toxicity of wealth? In fact, they are running cover for the monied interests, who are always sure to make lavish donations to their church of choice. (Mitt Romney tithes 10% of his income to the LDS.)

Nor are these churches doing much for the poor with that wealth, directing only a small percentage of their earnings toward charity while reaping huge benefits from their tax free status. A recent estimate of the tax-based underwriting of all American churches is that it exceeds $100 billion annually. A hundred billion this year and a hundred billion next year and soon it begins to add up. (Many don’t realize that churches often run “for profit” enterprises under their “tax free” umbrellas.)

So, while we are free from a state sponsored religion, we have our share of state supported religions. And more than a few of those churches sanction prelates who deign to criticize the government or business interests too strongly. Once, the ultimate liberation theology, now Christianity forbids many of its “employees” from espousing liberation theology. Religion of the rich, by the rich, and for the rich shall not perish from the Earth.

So, basically, we have a state sponsored religion in all but final sanction. I hope Christians power mongers realize that they are paving the way for Muslims, Mormons, etc.

1 Comment »

  1. Wow, Mitt is hiding behind his wifes skirt. The Mormon church is known as being one of the stingiest churches when it comes to actual charity. They give between 0.7% and 2.6% to actual charity work. The bulk of what they spend their money on is building resorts and shopping malls, and bigger temples. Mitt has given to other charities such as the George W. Bush library and Citizens for Limited Taxation, a charity that fights to lower taxes by eliminating services. I guess the Mormon church doesn’t care about the poor either.

    Like

    Comment by TheTruthSquad — July 20, 2012 @ 9:11 am | Reply


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