Sunday, November 08, 2009

The Corner of Salvation and Damnation

At least two thirds of our miseries spring from human stupidity, human malice and those great motivators and justifiers of malice and stupidity, idealism, dogmatism and proselytizing zeal on behalf of religious or political idols.
Aldous Huxley (1894 –1963), writer

I was invited to attend a Christian Fellowship church that occupied a prime one-block piece of real estate on Centinela Avenue and Venice Boulevard. It also doubles as a coffee shop. I wonder if those profits are taxed? I normally would have politely declined, but there was some policeman from Fort Apache in the Bronx speaking and wife being from the Bronx knows the area well, so what the heck. Besides, attending a church for something other than a funeral mass would be nice. Afterward we’d go to Santa Monica and walk around.

I am a cynic, what can I say. I looked around the church and saw what I would describe as pious hypocrites and lonely people looking to belong. Good for them, I wish them all well.

Eventually the Christian band finished their set, the preacher starting talking and shoehorning every topic into something about or from God. He mentioned that Friday night was a special couples marriage discussion, I wonder if that includes married gay couples?

The cop was introduced and started his sermon with a story about his little lost soul as a kid and how he was rescued from his tough neighborhood and how eventually he saved someone. Most every sentence was punctuated with an amen at the end. It was all well and good, until the end when the converted cop said something about Jesus coming and saving people unlike Muslims or Hindus. Huh? Hold everything, did I just hear this ambassador of fellowship and Christ show his prejudice? Yes, I did.

I mentioned this to my friend; he had picked up on it too. But, it’s his church and he’ll just forgive the speaker.

Wife and I eventually headed toward Santa Monica, but I kept thinking that rather than add more of a financial burden on the backs of working stiffs (California just instituted a mandatory 10.23 percent state income tax), this country needs to start taxing the churches for income and property taxes, if they are going to preach their politics and prejudices. I have no doubt that the additional tax income will close some of the budget gaps around the country. Amen!


alice, uptown said...

Well, praise the Lord and pass the ammunition -- you are 100% correct with your tax idea.

If all of the religious organizations that have bricks and mortar in NYC had to pay property taxes, maybe our sales tax would drop a couple of percentage points, and shave something off city income tax as well.

Of course, there's not a snowball's chance in hell of that happening....and I don't think prayer will help :)

RJW said...

Alice, oh so very true, sadly.