DA: Tithes and what not.

Discussion in 'Think Tank' started by joeybsmash, Feb 21, 2008.

  1. joeybsmash Member

    DA: Tithes and what not.

    The $300-$500k price of Scientology is much less than the standard 10% tithe many Christian or Mormon churches ask for (or demand) if added up over the course of a life.
  2. Anonproto Member

    Re: DA: Tithes and what not.

    Tithing is an Old Testament concept. The tithe was a requirement of the law in which all Israelites were to give 10% of everything they earned and grew to the Tabernacle / Temple (Leviticus 27:30; Numbers 18:26; Deuteronomy 14:24; 2 Chronicles 31:5). Some understand the Old Testament tithe as a method of taxation to provide for the needs of the priests and Levites of the sacrificial system. The New Testament nowhere commands, or even recommends that Christians submit to a legalistic tithe system. Paul states that believers should set aside a portion of their income in order to support the church (1 Corinthians 16:1-2).

    The New Testament nowhere assigns a certain percentage of income to set aside, but only says it is to be “in keeping with his income” (1 Corinthians 16:2). The Christian church has essentially taken the 10% figure from the Old Testament tithe and applied it as a “recommended minimum” for Christians in their giving. Although the New Testament does not identify a specific amount or percentage to give, it does talk about the importance and benefits of giving. They should give as they are able, “in keeping with his income.” Sometimes that means giving more than a tithe, sometime that may mean giving less than a tithe. It all depends on the ability of the Christian and the needs of the church. Each and every Christian should diligently pray and seek God’s wisdom as to whether to participate in tithing and/or for how much he or she should give (James 1:5). “Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver” (2 Corinthians 9:7).

    here's modern info on the practice:

    Included in the above Italian taxpayers can designate 0.8% of their income as a religious donation, Austria has a 1% church tax for Catholics, Finland residents pay between 1% and 2.25% "church tax", between 0.2% and 1.5% in Germany, up to 2.3% in Switzerland.

    "we know that the national statistics are that Catholics give to the church about 1.2 percent of their income." Tim Dockery, Director of Development Services for the Chicago Archdiocese (Catholic), as quoted by Cathleen Falsani. "Archdiocese may ask for 10%". Chicago Sun-Times. Feb 1, 2004.

    Ok so that covers the "tithe"... I personally would have guessed it was closer to 3%, but 1.2% on average is the stat known in 2004! (anecdotally Catholics are the most committed of mainstream Christians).

    so now what? If my income is 55k (taking the median income) for all of my prime working years (say 28 to 68) then my lifetime gross income is $2.2 million - 1.2% of that is $26,400... 3% of that is $66,000... 5% (very generous, exeeding most country's taxes or exemption limits) is $110,000

    So let's say you're looking for the straight-up minimum - the simple cost to be "saved" over your lifetime...

    Catholics pay $26,400
    Scientologists pay approximately $129,000 (OCMB estimate given leaked 2006 price list)

    Sure you can have a $2k lifetime membership in Co$ and that saves you a few bucks. But against the minimum calculated cost for "Clear" - $129k? Scientologists won't even admit to the real cost of these services. Point us at a press release or document on that fact... please! Show us how to correctly formulate the cost to be cleared using an official price list!

    But that's not the end of it! You can spend over 3x that figure... or much much much more for additional auditing which is required at the discretion of your caseworker.
  3. joeybsmash Member

    Re: DA: Tithes and what not.

    In the US many churches ask (or require) a 10% tithe paid directly to the church.
    The 55k stat adds up to $220,000.
  4. Anonproto Member

    Re: DA: Tithes and what not.

    Not the churches I ever went to... none of them... except for one. It was this crazy fundamentalist "mega church" near where I went to college. Those people had 10% of their paychecks direct-deposited for them. Everyone called them a CULT and when Rick Ross came to campus there were 5 of them sitting together in the back of the lecture hall all taking notes and giving him looks when he talked about coercive techniques.

    Would you happen to have a source for your statistics? I've given my sources!

    Also 40 years of participation on "the bridge" means moving past Clear into higher OT levels where the costs easily exceed the $220k figure.

    If your income is below the median you give a lesser amount. The Co$ has no gradation like that, but instead people enslave themselves to the Co$ by working for the Sea Org... signing "billion-year" contracts and frequently receiving little to no services.
  5. saerat Member

    Re: DA: Tithes and what not.

    meh some churches have weird rules but the fact is that they are few and far between. There are always going to be a few odd ones in all groups. I for instance have probably given about £30 total to my church over the years... I have never heard of one where you are forced out for not paying but I am sure there are some as you say... the difference is that it is actually the doctrine and the whole aim of the Co$.
  6. seebs Member

    Re: DA: Tithes and what not.

    To make a very long story short:

    It is absolutely wrong for any church, Christian or Jewish, to require a 10% tithe to be paid to the church.

    There are two objections I have here.

    The first is to the very notion of a required tithe. There is simply no such practice -- Christians are called to charitable giving, but nowhere are they told their gifts must go to the church.

    The second is to the calculation of the hypothetical tithe as "10%". This is wrong. Yes, the OT tithe was "10%".

    That tithe was only paid to the church one year in three.

    One year in three, you tithe to the church -- the other two, you feast and celebrate and spend your "tithe" on luxuries and celebration.

    Now, that being said:

    The fact is, there are churches like those described. I knew someone who came to a Christian forum, and was shy and afraid, because she had been thrown out of a church for being unwilling to provide them with pay stubs so they could verify that she was giving a full ten percent of her pre-tax income.

    And you know what? I despise those "churches". I call them out, I name them as blasphemers, and I tell them to repent. But even they, if you have no money, will let you participate with them for no cost. Only Scientology, of any religion I know of, will not give services to the poor for free. Even the Christian "churches" that have gone over entirely to the love of wealth would not be so bold as to throw someone out for being broke. They might demand contributions from people who do have money, but if you have nothing, they will tell you everything you want to know about their beliefs, and they will probably feed you, too.

    Even among the most mercenary of the Christian churches, there is charity.
  7. WMAnon Member

    Re: DA: Tithes and what not.

    First, I have to question your math on the 10% vs. total cost of Scientology. Let's sit down at some point and work it out.

    Beyond that, there's the more pressing concern of what happens to those who cannot pay. A Christian can leave a given church and find another one which does not require tithing, probably without having to leave their home town. While it is possible that some hard feelings could result, the church they have left will not pursue someone who has left or attempt to damage their livelihood. The family and friends who remain in the tithing church are not required to cut all ties to the ex-parishioner (at least in a systemic sense). A Scientologist who cannot afford to pay is pressed into indentured servitude or kicked out of the church entirely. The only non-payment based Scientology is in the Free Zone, which the CoS frequently attacks. An ex-Scientologist will experience disconnection from any family or friends who remain in CoS.
  8. an()n Member

    Re: DA: Tithes and what not.

    Tithing is a voluntary act of appreciation which is not even considered until the individual has become a regular member of that particular church and he himself feels like contributing to the community he worships with. Tithing is not a requirement, it is appreciation after-the-fact. And no one will be turned away just because they don't have money.

    On the contrary, the Church of Scientology requires payment "up-front" for licensed religious practice, and Scientology sets the rates. When you are level-capped, you can't move up unless you buy sets of books at unimaginably inflated rates. There are also penalty courses that the church can assign to you if they believe you have done something wrong (the individual still pays for the "ethics" class even if they didn't want to).

    To sum it all up:
    Every Scientologist has to pay money or perform slave labor if they want to reach high levels of spirituality. People in lower-class income brackets have no possibility of progressing within CoS, unless they want to sign a 1billion year slave labor contract.
    Jews, Muslims, Canadians, Christians, etc... Can reach the highest levels of spiritual enlightenment even if all they have is a minimum wage 9-5 career. Benefit to all is the intended idea.
  9. tanon Member

    Re: DA: Tithes and what not.

    DA: I believe in some European countries if you are a member of certain Christian churches, a tithe to the church is added on to your income tax.
  10. WMAnon Member

    Re: DA: Tithes and what not.

    And the fact that you have to limit your statement so much (some countries, certain churches) illustrates one of our major points. Yes, there are some churches not affiliated with the CoS which do require payment from their parishioners. There is no other major religion that systematically requires payment from all of its parishioners in every country.


    Ok, while I like what I said up there enough not to delete it, I'm having second thoughts about the way we're arguing it. First off, religion really should be about what you believe, not what's cheapest. I know we're trying to argue the point that CoS is bankrupting people, but we can't come off like we're comparison shopping religious preference here. Second, talking about numbers is boring. I think the emotion we're trying to evoke here is "outrage" or "righteous indignation," and we're not going to get very far with that comparing price lists and percentages of income. I'm beginning to think that we may want to move away from comparing CoS to religions altogether. It seems like a good idea to show our religious friends that we think CoS is different, but it weakens our front because we have to accept the bad things that some other churches do as being "more acceptable" than what CoS is up to. This isn't about what someone else did. If I catch you murdering my cat and you say "but Jimmy peed in your azaleas" I do not have to sit down and explain why I am calling the cops on you and not Jimmy. This isn't about mega-churches or bizarre sects or suggested minimum donations, this is about CoS having a fucking price list for salvation. They are charging a fee for a service. This is a business practice. They should be taxed like any other business.
  11. orly Member

    Re: DA: Tithes and what not.

    A few major points about this argument:

    1. In most churches, tithes are NOT mandatory, and in even more of those, tithes are NOT 10% of your gross income.
    2. Even if they are, you are allowed to leave the church at minimal cost to yourself (ie, without being Fair Gamed).
    3. If a church wants you to pay a 10% tithe and I think that's stupid, I can say "that's stupid; you shouldn't have to pay to go to Church" with no fear of retribution.
    4. No, really, most normal churches don't charge (I went to church for a few years when I was a kid, and my parents never paid them any money), and the ones that do are shitty and you can find better.
  12. Anonproto Member

    Re: DA: Tithes and what not.

    in my reference material above, the "church tax" amount is on the order of 1-2% not 10-20%
  13. DrAdlaiAtkins Member

    Re: DA: Tithes and what not.

    Good point. Despite the fact that it is irrelevant, the big holes in the argument are "accrual" and "average." Show me the churches who do the demanding, show me the christians making all this money, and then we can talk about how the tithe still respects its members by making it a percentage - you still open your doors to the poor and weak. And you can't compare a lump sum taken once upfront with decades of participation financially (and probably spiritually) with a community - the numbers add up, but if you think they're at all similar then you never had problems with student loans.
  14. Plups Member

    Re: DA: Tithes and what not.

    Christian churches don't withhold the bible or salvation until you "pay". Most will give you a bible free and will tell you all that you need/want to know in order to become a Christian and, if you want to, to become full participating members.
    You don't pay to join.
    Most don't keep financial records of member donations (except private records for taxation purposes). If you don't give much / 10%, no one notices.
    If you leave the Church, you don't lose your salvation or your relationship with God.
  15. avatar2008 Member

    Re: DA: Tithes and what not.

    Truth. In many books of the Old Testament and New Testament, God and later the apostles take to task members of the "church" for not giving enough.
    God keeps His religion SEPARATE from His state and SEPARATE from the justice system. If you read the book of Matthew, Jesus himself whipped merchants who sold their wares within the temple gates (People had to buy sin offerings (sheep, doves) with *temple currency* not with their own livestock as instructed by Moses).
    By the apostles, the price of Salvation was pre-paid by the blood of Jesus the Christ, that whosoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life (John 3:16).

    This is in sharp contrast to Scientology.

    Xenu, Body Thetans and auditors oh my...
    And all with very nice price tags to them...
    Business(RTC), State (Sea Org), religion (CoS) and justice (RPF) are fused into one entity.
    Absolute Power corrupts absolutely. ( Even God is seperated into Father, Son, Holy Ghost)

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