The story has gone viral: A group got together at Applebees. When the tab came the minister wrote on the ticket, “I give God 10 percent, why do you get 18?” She scratched through the automatic large-group tip and substituted a fat zero and signed it with the word “Pastor” in front of her name. The waitress posted an image on Reddit. The pastor called to complain. The waitress got fired. The internet went wild. Last I saw, one story had 80,000 comments and counting.
What we have to do is level with Christians and other of the religious; we must stop temporising. What 95+ percent of us don’t do is be frank with our relatives who are religious— that has got to stop. We can go along with the spirit of religion (no pun intended) yet we ought to tell them their religion itself is gobbledygook. And insincere as well: unless they possess room temperature IQs, Christians must know Prosperity Christianity is entirely revisionist: the Bible states “you may have abundant life” not in the context of today’s glomming smarm—
but, rather, a decent life. The Bible specifically says to sell what one has and give to the poor.
IMO taxing churches is not the worst proposal one might put forth; not so much for the revenue going to the poor, but to cut back on churches’ power. A priest shall learneth to be humble!
A priest shall learn his humble place.
Posted by kddubb on 02/12 at 11:52 AM
I agree 100% with your critique of the situation. However, I can say as a church goer that I’ve heard at least 3 sermons (if not more, I don’t really keep track) on this specific situation by using it as an example. The first was that I remember was when I was in college in the late 90’s. All of the themes of the sermons in one way or another could have been summarized in your final sentence. Frankly, I’ve heard even less sermons on tithing (I only remember one) over those years (and I’ve generally gone to churches that are on the conservative side of the spectrum).
All to say, there are people like this and they need to be called out both from within and without of the church. My experience is that the church (as well as other secular institutions) can be a great force in cultivating empathy and having an appropriate structure to call this type of behavior out so that people change. My guess is that there are just as many “cheap atheists” as there are “cheap christians” percentage-wise that are stiffing their waitresses, they just probably do it for different reasons. So I’m glad to hear the encouragement for non-believers to be cultivating these things within their own structures as well. The world can always use more empathy and generosity no matter what the motivation.