I prefer to skip the middle man


Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

There is a megachurch about seven miles from me. I won’t mention its name because I despise it, its pastor, and everything they stand for.

My wise old grandmother had raised me as a Catholic and taught me to give 10% of my gross income to the Church.

I did.

Until 1983.

That’s when I found out that the pastor of the church of which I was a member was driving around in a Rolls Royce. I didn’t want to presume anything since people often inherit things, win them in lotteries, have relatives give them things, whatever.

So as is my inclination, I did a little digging by joining the church’s finance committee. Oh, boy. Did I learn a lot. I quit the church a couple of months later. In fact, that pretty much was when I quit all religions.

The megachurches are doing absolutely nothing to convince me to return. The Pope is, but I do think I’m too far gone at this point in my life to go back to religions, especially when articles like the following keep popping up every month.

Megachurch bishop Ira V. Hilliard told his Sugarland [sic], Texas, congregation (New Light Christian Center) in June [2013] that one of his two private aircraft—a helicopter valued at about $1 million—needs new blades, but rather than pay it himself, he asked parishioners to each find it in their hearts to send him $52 “favor seeds” for the blades. (His ministry also owns a $2 million Hawker jet and a $3 million hangar.) To sweeten the deal, he virtually promised that a donor’s gift would be met by a “breakthrough favor” from God in the form of a car repair or their very own “dream” car either 52 days or 52 weeks later (according to a church letter described by the Christian Post).

I don’t have a problem per sé with people being religious, or worshiping anything, everything, or nothing. What I do have a problem with is obscene amounts of money in the hands of people who don’t know what to do with it. I keep wondering how these multimillion-dollar churches feed the hungry, house the homeless, and heal the sick because all I ever see are token words and even less in actions.

I think Mick Jagger might have said it best in 1978 with The Rolling Stones’ #1 hit single “Far Away Eyes.”

I refuse to play the religion game, preferring to skip the middle man. I’ll send my donations directly to organizations that work 24/7 to help society. Makes me feel so much better, and if someone’s god doesn’t like me for it, that is a god I really don’t want to be associated with anyway.

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

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14 thoughts on “I prefer to skip the middle man

  1. unexpectedincommonhours

    Haha! Love this! I grew up in the Episcopal Church but in the late 80s- early 90s left and attended one of those megachurches with its own TV stations, shortwave radio stations, cargo plane, etc. They always promised great blessings if people gave $1,000 a clip or whatever. I’m now back in an Episcopal Church which is feeding the hungry, providing shelter for the homeless, and opening its doors to all people regardless of who they are.


    1. Russel Ray Photos Post author

      My new layout was the result of trying to determine why I’m having so many problems with WordPress. I thought it might have been so I changed themes. Nope, wasn’t the theme. But I had the old theme for two years so it was time for a change.


  2. Boomdeeadda

    Scammers begging favours from the weak and vulnerable is despicable. I’m not religious either, nor was my dad so we didn’t grow up with it. In fact, these types of churches don’t operate here, or maybe I just don’t know anyone who attends a church. I can appreciate how it can be a place of support and community for some, but it should cost NOTHING.



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