Kirkkitsch’s Blog

It’s Not Always Better to Give Than to Receive
April 30, 2010, 6:00 am
Filed under: Rants

*Let me preface this post by saying that I wrote it back in March and never quite came up with a feeling of closure for it, I just kinda got stuck. However, I’m gonna post it here anyway because I stumbled across it while cleaning the ol’ hard drive and…I’m still working on new blog posts and this is all I gots. Enjoy!

A friend of mine, has a relative that is what we used to call, a Bible thumper. She eats and breathes “The Bible.” She never misses a chance to “praise Him” and is at church every time the doors are open. She only watches films with a religious slant, repents for the ones she sees that aren’t and quotes The Bible on a regular basis. She believes that The Lord will provide, though he’s yet to chip in on any of her bills.

I grew up with a babysitter named Bessie, whom also was extremely religious, and coincidentally, very poor. Being poor was never an issue to me, but then I suspect most children rarely have the capacity to think about those things. It’s only in retrospect that I realize just how poor she actually was.

All my memories of Bessie are happy ones. Her house was always clean, we always had fun when we were together. I loved that she made sugar cookies at Christmastime and thought the fact that she knew how to make “frosting” (powdered sugar, milk & water…sometimes food coloring) for the cookies she made, was AMAZING. I fondly remember her giving me Christmas/birthday presents of multi-colored pencils with my name printed on them in gold (again, AMAZING to a little kid) and even a plastic pencil sharpener shaped like a beaver. This was in an era before “dollar stores,” so I remember her shopping from Carol Wright and/or Fingerhut catalogs; companies that are still in business today, whose catalogs I now receive.

Bessie was the epitome of what I (at the time) thought a “good Christian” is or was. She was infinitely patient, unconditionally loving and never had an unkind thing to say about anyone in all the time that I knew her. She would selflessly give of herself, no questions asked.

Bessie didn’t have the luxury of central air & heat. I distinctly remember in the wintertime only the room that we were actually in, was heated (which was generally the living room). Whenever you would leave to go to the bathroom, the floors and air outside our heated oasis, were ice cold. I often remember climbing into a bed piled high with quilts & blankets, being ICE COLD. Of course she would place a space heater in the bedroom, but only after it was clearly established that you WERE going to bed.

My parents would often give Bessie a box of assorted groceries, in addition to whatever she was being paid to sit me. Other people, often from Bessie’s church, did this, as well as some of the other parents of the children she sat for.

In retrospect, I sometimes have a pang of guilt, even now, at the times I inhaled a box of Vegetable Thins, Magic Cow Cereal and other assorted crap foods that I loved (and still do). Not realizing that I literally just ATE her hard earned MONEY. God, what an ass! Of course, I didn’t understand the concept of a budget at the time but that still doesn’t put my mind at ease. I often wonder what she thought of me. If she saw me as the selfish, spoiled little asshole that I was (am).

And even though she didn’t have much money, she NEVER missed an opportunity to give “tithes & offerings” to her church, which brings me to the point of this post: when the chronically devout are not in a position to give…but forego necessities to do so. And this is where I get a little crazy…

Now, it’s been a long time since I was a “church goer,” but I faintly remember something about “10%,” so I decided to look it up, just to clarify. As it turns out, I was right; according to the Old Testament: 10% of what you earn, while the New Testament says “in keeping with income.” And of course, how could I forget the “God loves a cheerful giver” message that always seemed to accompany the extortion, er, I mean ‘offerings’ portion of the church service.

As I’m making a reasonable attempt at not cussing as much as I’d like (because of said topic), I must say that this whole concept really toasts my cocoanut. If you’ll remember from an older post, on my original blog host, I complained about a local monstrosity that calls itself a church, having the gall to have an “offering” button on their website. ON THEIR WEBSITE! OMG, that really frosts my Pop Tart. I’d go so far as to say it Super-Sizes my Happy Meal, Tics my Tacs, butters my biscuit and even smears my pap. Figuratively speaking, of course.

My dad is one of these people who ALWAYS gave, even when we couldn’t afford it. I remember questioning it on more than one occasion, eventually becoming totally jaded at the fact that even Sunday School hit us up for “offering.” What, ONCE wasn’t enough? I thought it was blatantly greedy and distinctly remember responding to the Sunday School teacher’s comment (i.e. her way of letting you know that she noticed that you weren’t in Sunday School) to me: “We missed you in Sunday School this morning,” which was acknowledged with my ‘Yeah, I bet you missed my offering too.‘ Of course this was met with a purse-lipped stone face and never took place again. In retrospect, I guess it was rude, but at that point I was SO over the whole church ‘experience’ and all the phonies therein. But I digress.

My point being that I find it totally reprehensible that a church would take money from people who can least afford it. I realize that ‘tithing’ is a two-way street and that the givers genuinely WANT to contribute, but at what expense? I know for a fact that a lot of people correlate their giving with their admittance into Heaven (whether or not they’ll admit it). These people think that, as Depeche Mode put it, Some Great Reward is to be found at the end of their offering plate. And yes, I realize that a church doesn’t run itself, but that whole tax exemption clause must be nice, right? Right.

5 Comments so far
Leave a comment

Yep. One reason I hate organized religion.

Comment by Karen Morris - Kola

Testify! Yeah, it’s just ONE reason for me too. Ech

Comment by kirkkitsch

Ditto! It’s difficult cause I believe in God etc. but I can’t tolerate the way most organized religion works. I feel like the Bible is a witness account of what God said and those words get manipulated.

Comment by Starla

I understand. And it’s not that I don’t believe in God, I just don’t have anything to PROVE to anyone else. Unfortunately, that’s what most ‘churches’ have become today, nothing more than a business where the ‘little people’ get left behind in the name of stadium seating, big screens and mass marketing false piety. God would be ashamed.

Comment by kirkkitsch

I totally agree!

Comment by Starla

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