Monday, November 30, 2009

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year

We have officially entered Holiday Season. How do I know this? (1)I went to the mall to pick up something for myself and this mall that is usually 1/2-1/3 filled to capacity was overflowing with people, (2) decorations are up in all the streets, (3) the radio station that my boss plays at work has reverted to Christmas music nonstop (4) Santa was at the mall and (5) I had to pull and dust off the office decorations. People... we have hit pay dirt.

The song Little Drummer Boy used to be one of my favorites when I was a child. I suppose it has to do with the fact that when I liked it so much, I was a child and could relate to said song. The big people always had gifts to give to other people and I wanted to also, but had no money so I had to just suck it up. The funny thing is once I became an adult and was expected to give gifts, I wanted to revert back to the little drummer girl. Since I no longer celebrate the holiday, I am not giving gifts (well maybe one to my mother) and I will not accept any gifts either.

But one line of the above mentioned song sticks in my head. "...I have no gifts to bring... ba rum pum pum pum.... to lay before the king..." Why do people feel like it is necessary to give gifts to people who clearly don't need any? I know it's the thought and all that other stuff, but I'm not talking about those people. I'm talking about folks that you share your social Equality with, no. I'm speaking about entities like churches and clergy people.

Have you looked at churches these days, in this economy? I live in Atlanta; part of the Bible belt. I have seen all manner of businesses close down. When you go to a strip mall you will see more closed businesses than open ones. But what I have NOT seen are closed churches. I'm not speaking of churches that have moved on to greener pastures, I'm speaking of churches that have just flat out closed down because the economy has gotten bad. Have you? Go on. I'll wait.

What I have seen is churches that clearly are doing well. Groomed and manicured yards with poinsettia arrangements all over the place. I have seen cars double parked in parking lots and greenery (yes already, after all it is advent season) and lights dripping off the edges of churches. This is my question... What are these churches doing for the community? I mean I can see them breaking ground and acquiring new buildings, but what are these churches doing to improve the quality of life for the community or their members? Churches sell something that has yet to be proven whether it exists. And folks pay big money on the alter of Mammon. And for what?

Churches have become obsolete now a days. In the past they provided social and personal growth and development. People could learn to read at church, there were after school programs at churches. Churches had sports leagues and summer camps. Now churches push the "Gospel of Prosperity"; meaning, you can give your way out of poverty. And that is a lie from the pit of hell (hell = devil civilization). I recognize that churches have bills, but they are spending more on the outward appearances than on the people. Meaning look at what services are provided and that is all you should have in your church. If all you do is meet with your people who are your followers on Sunday from 11am-2pm, then all you need is a 1 room and that's it. If you never cook for the masses, you don't need a state of the art kitchen. If you eat as a group maybe just a few times a year, you can have that catered. Put some money in someone else's pocket for a change. If you aren't teaching anything useful (or at all) then you don?t need those classrooms. See where I'm going with this? What is the purpose of all that property if you aren?t doing anything useful with it?

Why would a little drummer person feel it necessary to give a gift to someone who clearly has more than s/he does? Would said rich person even notice? I had a friend who used to belong to a mega church here in the metro. She was convinced that all her contributions and efforts were noticed by the pastor of said church. After all she had been going to that church for over a decade. She was with the church when it was a normal sized church and she gave a pledge that helped them get into their new 5000+ seat facility. While making plans to relocate (which means she would have to find another church to give her gold to), she fully expected the pastor to personally wish her well. Do I have to tell you that she was disappointed? But what she did receive was a form letter informing her that if she truly wanted to remain a member in good standing with that church she could. They have streaming services on Sundays and she could give her tithe via the website. Damn. That's it. Why not join Fred Price's or Rev. Ike's ministry? And do you know she maintained her membership like that for about a year. Insanity. She was that preacher's little Drummer girl. Or bottom bitch but who am I to speak on it. He had to get his money. Churches don't pay for themselves now do they?

Another practice of the church people is to give gifts/money to their clergy people. Why? These people get a salary? Don't alike it to a bonus that us working people EARN at the end of the year for putting up with crap for 260 days per year (that's 2080 hours per year). Preachers work only on Sunday (that's 52 2-hour days per year) and often get vacations that they are also paid for. And let's not talk about guest ministers that receive love offerings. I say let them have the preacher's weekly salary for that visit. They get other perks too... Anniversary gifts, birthday gifts, dinners, suits, etc. Preachers got the immense hookup. And don't tell me that they do other work like funerals and weddings. When I got married and buried my husband, I had to pay the churches for the pleasure. I and my late spouse were both born and baptized in that church and were members in good standing yet I was billed an invoice for both services payable on receipt. My aunt who is in a nursing home has been a member of her church since she was 15 (she?s 85 at the date of this writing) she has labored and devoted herself to that church for about 60 odd some years, cleaning, cooking, singing, teaching Sunday school, anything they ever needed she was right there. They sent her son a letter stating that they knew she was sick (even thought they didn't visit), but they also knew that she was getting social security checks and that her children should be tithing that money. But since they hadn't, when she dies, the funeral in that church would cost the family approximately $2000. How is that for good Christian love?

I am saying that it is highly and completely unnecessary for people to love (with their money) these institutions that give them nothing. Do they not need their money? Anyone out there who has some money that they don?t need, feel free to send it to me. I?ll take it and do something positive with it.



The Original Wombman said...

This was a really good post and I agree with a lot of what you said. But being a preacher's kid myself, I have to defend some preachers. Our family went without a lot to help members of the church. And to this day, my father is still not salaried by the church. It's true, every so often folks will bless my parents with nice things but they really have sacrificed a lot (sometimes so much that it hurt their kids and we wonder why we weren't put first). So there are pastors and churches out there still ministering to the needs of the people and not in it for the money or the fame and glory. But there is indeed a whole lot of foolishness going on and I too wish folks would open their eyes.