The church does not want to be governed by man’s law; it touts itself as a place one can turn to for sanctuary and forgiveness. However if you look at the history of religion and the church, most if not all wars have some form of religious interference in them. The word of god or whatever omnipotent being you may believe in has been used in one form or another to justify the actions of man in times of war for centuries.
Looking at the history of the Roman Catholic religion is the most prime example I can think of. It was founded by Constantine who arose as Emperor of Rome in 312 A.D. According to The Encyclopedia Britannica, Constantine created the Roman Catholic religion in order to unify his people during his reign. However this was contested by a Father George Schultz of the Prince of Peace Catholic Church who stated in effect that, “The religion was founded by Saint Peter… You could argue that Jesus and his disciples were the fathers of the church… The church itself existed before him (Constantine); he just gave it strength and helped it grow more widely accepted.” Heh, funny thing that. Can you think of any religion that does not claim to have been started by God? Regardless of your belief in its origins, no one can contest the bloody history that the religion is still today trying to live down or distract folks from.
Just to name a couple: The Crusades where the RCC (Roman Catholic Church) decided that they were the only ones that would get into heaven simply because they were Catholic; thus they decided to convert the savage Moorish people. They sent troops over to the middle east to fight in a holy war against the Muslims. A very bloody war. Next there was the Inquisition, pretty much a repeat of the Crusades except here the RCC attacked, captured and tortured anyone until they accepted God as the RCC wanted them to. In this way the RCC thought they were cleansing the world of heresy.
Father George Shultz, when confronted with these facts, said, “The Catholic Church, when following man is fallible, and we’re not proud of some of the things we have done. When we follow Jesus, love is paramount. And the Church grows stronger.” Okay, let’s set aside the blood spilled and the atrocities of war and torture that were committed in the name of religion and god. Let’s talk about the values of the church.
So the church asks us to give money to them so they can help the less fortunate, the poor or the down trodden. I think that a fine goal, so where does the money we give the church go? What money are we giving the church that we may not even be aware of?
An excerpt from Lo Bello, Nino The Vatican Empire © 1968 reads “In 1956, shortly after moving to Rome with my wife and children to take up my duties as a business news correspondent, I was faced with a household crisis – we were without water in our apartment for 28 days. Calls to Acqua Marcia, the company that supplies the water in our Piazza Bologna neighborhood, were all but futile…” (Lo Bello 9). Lo Bello went on to say that he discovered that the Vatican ran the water company, the gas company, the phone company and controlled the leasing of buildings up and down both sides of the street where he lived. Several attempts were made to get the problems corrected but they all met with negligent service and slow response. Most of what was wrong seemed derived of the age when Rome built the utilities; i.e., the plumbing was from the aqueducts dug below the city two thousand years earlier. He also states that the Vatican keeps its financial records in secret, and that they are the only sovereign state that never publishes a budget. “The Vatican is not only in the business of selling God. It’s total enterprise goes beyond God.”
Not only is it made clear that the Catholic Church is secretive of their money, it is also shown how rich the Vatican Empire truly is. We may not have been given a numerical figure of their holdings, but we are given an idea of how vast are the holdings, both in money, and in material pieces such as art, literature and furnishings, which make the Vatican rich beyond most men’s wildest dreams.
With all that money and power at their beck and call, what do the poor and down trodden get? Shelters are set up in the name of the church, and they will give them a hot meal and a blanket if they agree to worship and pray like the church believe. Hmmm, seems like the Inquisition hasn’t ended, its only changed tactics. Find the ones already tortured and tell them, “Believe as I do and God will provide for you.” Then when they conform so they can get the basic necessities of life, they are brainwashed in a Pavlovian fashion that “God” has provided. But doesn’t the food and blankets and clothing come from church driven charities and people giving up the things they no longer need to help the poor? So where did your money go?
One of our (United States of America) founding fathers and president, Thomas Jefferson, devoutly believed in and fought for separation of Church and State. Nonetheless, the Church, as a matter of record, has been very involved in the affairs of government. This double standard has prevailed through most all Church dealings. The church itself is a non taxable “entity” that claims to also be “non-profit”. But as shown above in the quote from The Vatican Empire, there seems to be an awful lot of wealth in those so called “non-profit” organizations.
It is understandable to take up collections for the betterment of the community as a whole. However, to create a business empire out of the sweat and work of others is not what true faith and religion are all about.
This greed shows the extent of power in the civilian work place which the Church has invaded for its own gain. Jesus himself denounced the act of commerce in the house of God in the bible;