Ramblings on a Word – God

Resurrection, St.George Church, Edappally, Kochi
Image by Shelly Paul

A monologue with God because dialogue seems impossible

God – The Omnipotent, Omnipresent, benevolent creator of this world

Hello God,
I have heard so much about You, growing up. I hear You are a kind, benevolent, just and fair God, although I am not sure if that was the case when You tested Abraham’s faith.

By the way, I am not here to discuss the Bible. I want to talk to You about money. Why do You need so much money? Why does The Almighty, who created this universe in a week, with a day to spare, need so much of his favorite creation’s legal tender?

It’s not like you ask for money from one or two religions, it is an unceasing request through the centuries from almost all the religions in the world. Is that why you have established so many religions, so that there would be different avenues for cash?

I should say, I feel slighted that I don’t even get to hand over the money directly to You. I am supposed to hand it over to a chosen few, who claim to represent You on this earth. That hurts. I didn’t know that you played favorites. I was told that You are, “Our Father…” – all of our Father, not extra special Father for those with money.

Anyways, these brethren of mine never tell me anything about the money they collect. They are as tight-lipped about money as much as they cannot stop spreading your message of love.

When it comes to You, people are quite generous. They might be reluctant to help family or friends who might be in genuine need of money. But when it comes to religious donations, no questions asked; wallets open easily.

Recently, when India demonetized its two largest bills in an effort to curb the colossal black-market, people clamored to dispose of the soon to be invalid cash in many ways. One way they did this was, by donating these currencies to churches, temples, mosques, gurudwaras and other places of worship, because, while individuals and businesses were required to explain the source of unaccounted money, religious organizations were exempt from the rule. This made the exchange of the old currency for new ones, a cake walk for these entities, creating a giant loophole in a direly needed policy.

That’s another thing that bothers me about the people who claim to represent You – they collect so much money in Your name, but never bother to account for it.

What do they do with it? I know they build hospitals and schools, which seems to satisfy lot of devotees, but I cannot be sure. Was that all the money that there was? Was there any left? If so, how much? Is there money-laundering because of the secret nature of these institutions? Are taxes being paid? Your Son did say and, I am paraphrasing here, that what is due to the Ceaser is owed to the Ceaser and therefore taxes must be paid.

Should anyone question these money-keepers, they raise such a noise about violating Your sanctity. That is the only thing that unites all these quarreling religious institutions. Lord, is it true that You would be offended if I asked for some basic truth about Your monetary dealings? Isn’t integrity one of your core themes?

Pope Benedict, the man chosen by the Holy Ghost, found himself retired from Papacy, when he attempted to look into the Church’s finances. Of course, his successor Pope Francis talks about Your benevolence and magnanimity, but says nothing about the Church’s finances.

It’s bad enough that there is scant information about monetary dealings in Your institutions, to add insult to injury, these treasurers won’t even reveal how the money is sent to You. Is it through Western Union? Do You have to pay commission for that like everyone else? Or because of the secret nature of the vast treasure, does it get funneled into tax havens, hidden in shell corporations, set-up by the very bankers who cratered our economy in 2008.

The very bankers that we, the tax-payers had to bail out, as they looked down us and told us we were too stupid to understand the complexity of investment banking and those complicated formulas. Turns out, they used those unfathomable formulas in conjunction with insider trading and by rigging the markets in their favor as they grabbed our retirement savings and homes and walked away with fat bonuses.

I should say, if you had anything to do with these selfish, greedy, money-grubbing siblings of mine, it will break my heart. On a related note, several people who wreaked this financial havoc have drained themselves into the cabinet of the 45th President, threatening to undo the regulations that are in place to check their unmitigated greed. I find that quite scary. I fervently hope You’d do something about it.

Well, back to the subject of money transmission, I have a theory based on an old joke. It goes something like this:

Three of Your devotees prayed at a temple to win the lottery. The first one said that if he hit the jackpot, he would give back God’s share, by filling the collection box to the brim.

The second one said, “God I am not going to limit my gratitude to a teeny-tiny collection box, what I would do is draw a square of…about, say three by three feet, right here on the temple floor, stand in the middle of it, throw all my winnings in the air. Whatever that falls into the square will be yours, the rest would be mine.”

The third one said, “Dear God, I am not going to limit you in a box or a square. This is what I’d do. I shall throw all the cash up in the air as high as I can. Whatever You can catch will be Yours and I’d be content with whatever You can spare.”

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2 thoughts on “Ramblings on a Word – God

  1. i had the same sentiments when i was younger, especially when i see the priests on a luxury car but then i said to myself that the purpose of me giving money to the church is to give back what is given to me by Him, i just dont think beyond that because if i do, i will just be annoyed,angry and disappointed….

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