Tuesday, July 29, 2008

God Greed

“The God I believe in isn’t short of cash, Mister!”

- “Bullet the Blue Sky”, U2, The Joshua Tree.

I know I’m not alone in loving those words, that line spoken by Bono with a nice bit of snarl. It’s sickening what man does in the name of God. We can expect our good U2 frontman to address this, in the same way he does the shout out for other social causes, with conviction and often -humor.

Now, I have nothing against tithing. I believe that everyone can scrape a bit of money to help their church/clergy/temple/ashram/guru do some good work. You know how you watch those feel good movies were some kind benefactor steps in at the last moment and saves the orphanage? Or how community teamwork helps get that church built? Lilies of the Field anyone? (another Sidney Poitier gem).

Charity is a wonderful thing and it works. It really does take a village. Have faith, share, make Stone Soup, think loaves and fishes, and work together Yaddah, freakin’ yaddah. Y’all know the drill.

But some know it all too well. Them shysters, those flim-flam men – con men. Slick and smart and masquerading as The Lord’s workers. These men and women will convince you that you can only find the way if you pave it in a lil’ gold first.

Speaking of that, back in my college days (read, still young and stupid) I joined up with this group of nice happy shiny kids and decided I was going to temporarily throw off my Catholic shackles and really, really learn the Bible. I went to meetings on and off campus, and it was all nice. I had been introduced to the group by a fellow alumnus of my high school, and he was a decent guy, so – it’s all good, right?

Wrong. (You knew I was going to say that, right?)

More next time.