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This is a question Messing with people's heads

Theophilous Thunderwulf says: What have you done to fuck with people? Was it a long, carefully planned piece of psychological warfare, or do you favour quick, off-the-cuff comments that confuse the terminally gullible? Have you been dicked with, and only realised many years later? Are you being dicked right now? Tell us everything.

(, Thu 12 Jan 2012, 11:25)
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I am an un-believing cnut. ALT: Stevie questions the cost of his faith.
I used to work with a young fella called Stevie who was of the born-again happy-clapping persuasion. He was also as tight as a bankers ring-piece the first night in pokey. As the person who had hired him I made it clear from the outset that his right to his beliefs also included my right NOT to believe what he did.

Which like many of that mindset he promptly ignored (I swear it's like they get into Heaven on commission based on how many souls they save or convert). Thus followed a couple of months of him telling us all about his wonderful church (in detail) & often pointing out to some of us our sinful ways and how we could repent for them if only we attended his church and took his god into our lives.

Can't really say what tripped it for me - it was probably the fact that he told me that my missus would go to hell for living in sin (a month before our wedding), despite the fact that he (as a mid 20's bloke) was wanting to pork a 15 yo. fellow church member - they were waiting to get married, I suggested waiting for her legal age of consent might be more prudent. But anyway a piece of straw fell on a camel and the rest, well...
I decided to point out some of the hypocrisies of Stevies faith to him.

Many of the things I pointed out to him he simply said were a test of his faith. A few (memory is hazy) - Stevie was a long-haired rocker (who's band played in the church), but surely God thought rock & roll was the devil's music, The young 'uns were supposed to be celibate but Stevie clearly lusted after a girl 10 odd years younger than him and underage to boot. Apparently I was just being manipulated by The Devil in order to test Stevie's faith. It never fails to amaze me that those religions which require the most zealousness also seem to be the ones with the most hypocrisy.
Now what really made Stevie sit up and listen was my views on tithing. Tithing is (correct me if I'm wrong here) when you give the church a percentage of your gross income each week so they can continue the good fight. From memory his churches "suggested" tithe was about 30%. Apparently no-one twisted your arm but you weren't looked on favorably if you didn't tithe regularly. Remember, Stevie's fiscal philanthropy outside his church made Ebeneezer Scrooge (pre-Tiny Tim) look like Bill Gates.

I pointed out to Stevie that he paid more in tithe than he did in tax. I also worked out how much money the church was making per week (Avg. no. of weekly members x tithe - 10% for people who didn't tithe/tithed less than the suggested amount). I also verified that his church owned outright the land and building he attended & that his pastor didn't need to live there as he had his own home. I also got a reasonable estimate of what the pastor was paid for his time. I also showed Stevie that his annual tithe was more than the amount he was saving up for his flash new car.
The leftover amount of combined annual tithe after all the costs I could think of had come out came out to be a very nice "management level salaries (with Chrissie bonuses)" worth of tax-free dosh - AFAIK in Australia tithe is a non-taxable income for the church. I should state here that all of my guesstimates were conservative and erred on the side of less rather than more. So I asked Stevie, "Where was all this money going each and every week?"
Which obviously got him thinking. And apparently made him go to question his minister. I'm guessing he didn't get a good response because Stevie stopped pestering us so much to go to church & eventually before he left many months later told us that he had left his church to attend another. A church that didn't tithe.
Financial/mathematical logic over faith any day. Especially for us of the creaky, dusty wallet variety.
EDIT: I'm also a complete cunt & going to Hell for making a bible-basher question his faith.
(, Sun 15 Jan 2012, 0:07, closed)
No, you did a good job. This type of church is very common and operates like a cult.

(, Sun 15 Jan 2012, 9:44, closed)

My missus reckons she has one of those but I'm fucked if I know where it is.
(, Sun 15 Jan 2012, 10:19, closed)
In Germany,
if you declare your religion as 'Roman Catholic' on job application forms, they automatically deduct 6% of your salary and give it to the Catholic Church. Or they used to, anyway; not sure if it still happens.
(, Sun 15 Jan 2012, 12:23, closed)
I read that they do that instead of passing a collection plate/bag/whatever around
and it works for other religions too.
(, Sun 15 Jan 2012, 22:57, closed)

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