Tuesday, July 5, 2011

"Dead Assets" in Religious Holdings

From India:
http://edition.cnn.com/2011/WORLD/asiapcf/07/05/india.temple.wealth/

Hoard of treasure uncovered in Indian temple
...Under orders of India's Supreme Court, officials since last week have been auditing precious royal offerings kept in underground vaults of the famed Sree Padmnabha Swamy temple in the coastal state of Kerala.

V.K. Hari Kumar, the shrine's executive officer, explained court-appointed observers were making records of the treasure. The stock-taking came after a legal petition over allegations of temple mismanagement.

...Indian media suggest the worth of the new-found religious trove is more than the nation's expenditure on education.


I wonder what would happen if the Mormons, Catholics, and megachurches were subject to the same kind of auditing.  Apparently some Indians are shocked to discover a parallel economy working through religion. They shouldn't be.  Vishnu's many arms are handy for grabbing up the wealth of believers!



I find it strange that the right-wing in the U.S. includes people who are against taxes yet think it's okay for the church to demand a 10% tithe.  The tithes supposedly go (at least partly) to missions overseas, where they build up the infrastructure and spread "The Word" at the same time.  If they got their way and the U.S. could no longer afford roads, bridges, water filtration or education, would they move their tithe money to the U.S. infrastructure?  Apparently India's religions have plenty of money locked up in their vaults to take over for Mother Teresa's cult.  Who knows how much money could be redircted to worthy projects if people in other countries & the U.S. gave up their fairy tales?

11 comments:

Avicenna said...

That's nothing...

http://www.illusionholidays.in/images/thirupathi.gif

Oh yes. That's gold. Actual gold plate over the temple. They are trying to cover the entire thing in gold.

Rappers have nothing on hindus for love of gold.

cl said...

"Who knows how much money could be redircted to worthy projects if people in other countries & the U.S. gave up their fairy tales?

Who knows how much money could be redirected to worthy projects if people in other countries & the U.S. gave up their mindless Hollywood films? Their wars? Their spectator sports? Their drugs? On and on etc., so there's no need to single religion out, is there?

LadyAtheist said...

Wow, I'm surprised Vegas didn't do it first.

OTOH after doing a sphynx, NYC and Paris skylines, maybe this would be next.

LadyAtheist said...

It happens to be in the news right now.

I did mention tithing, you know, so I didn't single out one religion.

cl said...

...I didn't single out one religion.

I didn't say you singled out one religion: I said you singled out religion, and you did -- right?

Anon E. said...

The church doesn't "demand 10% tithing, God does."

Avicenna said...

Yes but movies aren't trying to tell you to ignore other faiths, change the laws to suit yourself, be homophobic and be anti-science.

Your religion is.

And a movie is a choice, religion makes sure the choice is either participation of harassment.

cl said...

"Yes but movies aren't trying to tell you to ignore other faiths, change the laws to suit yourself, be homophobic and be anti-science."

My religion? And what exactly is my religion, oh thou of infinite wisdom?

Am I telling anyone to ignore other faiths? No. Am I telling anyone to change the laws to suit themselves? No. Am I telling anyone to be homophobic or anti-science? No. In fact, I disapprove of all those things. It seems to me that you are fallaciously judging me without knowing me. Pretty sad, as you're supposed to be this bastion of tolerance and rationality, and here you think you've got me all figured out. I actually pity you, because your mind has been made so hostile towards people of differing belief systems that you apparently can't give somebody a fair shake, just for the simple fact that they believe in God and the Bible while trying to live their life the best they know how. If you knew a thing about me, you would applaud the type of lifestyle I attempt to live and endorse. As an added bonus, I'm 100% tolerant of people with differing beliefs.

BTW, there are movies and politicians that tell the public to do bad stuff, too, in many cases, much worse that the stuff you mention, so... it's too bad you and Lady Atheist are hellbent on singling out religion. You come across like racist bigots, only with religion!

Godspeed the day when love and tolerance prevail.

Avicenna said...

Religion has consistently shown that if a scientific discovery threatens it's core tenants that it will chose ignorance over enlightenment.

And this is not intolerance. This is an education. The way pacific islanders cling to their cargo cults is the way you cling to your own faith. There is no difference from the Bible and fake airstrips constructed by them. It shows a frightening insight into human faith. That we literally can be conned by stuff we cannot understand.

Remember the fact is that you believe in the actual ability to alter the rules of the universe (AKA Magic). It's pretty unscientific since there is no proof of such events.

And remember no matter how you butter your toast, the people actively pushing missionaries in asia with rice conversions are "your guys". The idiots who are against evolution and science? "Mostly your Guys". Anti Gay? Your guys again.

Really? Your pulling the race card? I am not white. That doesn't fly for the following reason.

Religion is something you don't have a choice because your parents indoctrinate you in it's ways. That's why you consistently see Hindus being born to Hindus and Muslims being born to Muslims with relatively little conversion. Race is something you can NEVER change.

World Wide less than 5% of the world is Atheist. In contrast roughly 30% of the world is christian. You are not being oppressed. You are the oppressor.

In the USA people would rather let their children marry a muslim than an atheist and we consider the islamophobia at a fever pitch. We cannot run for office. People always assume we are sinful or are weird.

cl said...

"Religion has consistently shown that if a scientific discovery threatens it's core tenants that it will chose ignorance over enlightenment."

Oh give it a rest already. All you're doing is cherrypicking to satiate your own confirmation bias.

"The way pacific islanders cling to their cargo cults is the way you cling to your own faith."

As if you know a thing about me, or why I believe what I believe. Remember, you're supposed to be the rational one here. You shouldn't be fallaciously prejudging others, and you should be sticking to empirical evidence, evaluating things on a case-by-case basis. Unless of course that was just a bunch of high talk.

"Remember the fact is that you believe in the actual ability to alter the rules of the universe (AKA Magic). It's pretty unscientific since there is no proof of such events."

Thanks, again, for telling me what I believe, as opposed to asking me what I believe. So courteous! So tolerant! I guess nothing I say really matters eh, because you've got it all figured out! You know everything about me already! Seriously, your prejudice disgusts me.

"And remember no matter how you butter your toast, the people actively pushing missionaries in asia with rice conversions are "your guys". The idiots who are against evolution and science? "Mostly your Guys". Anti Gay? Your guys again."

Not so. They're YOUR guys. You're the intolerant one promoting bigotry here, not me. Furthermore, to judge me on behalf of other people is, well... bigotry. I normally don't namecall, but you're a bigot, straight up, no if's, and's, or but's.

"Really? Your pulling the race card?"

Not at all. I'm pulling the bigotry card, because you are a bigot, and if you made any of those same remarks in the context of race, I'd wager that few [if any] reasonable thinkers would hesitate to call you on it.

"Religion is something you don't have a choice because your parents indoctrinate you in it's ways."

Oh, really? Then maybe you can explain to me how I chose religion, despite having secular parents that never took me to church, and never indoctrinated me in anything except the concept of responsibility?

"Race is something you can NEVER change."

That doesn't matter. A bigot remains a bigot, whether they are bigoted against things people can change, or things people can't change.

"World Wide less than 5% of the world is Atheist. In contrast roughly 30% of the world is christian. You are not being oppressed. You are the oppressor."

Did I say anything about oppression? No. Nice non-sequitur. Furthermore, I don't oppress anyone. I try my best to enable my friends, family and acquaintances -- and even people I don't even know at all. Is that oppression? Hardly.

"In the USA people would rather let their children marry a muslim than an atheist and we consider the islamophobia at a fever pitch."

I thought you said you preferred empirical evidence?

"We cannot run for office."

Uh, that's false. Atheists can and do run for office. We have elected atheist officials.

"People always assume we are sinful or are weird."

Well, I believe all people are sinful to one degree or another, so I grant that. However, I don't think you're weird. I just think you're an anti-religious bigot who fallaciously prejudges others the same way a racist does. Unfortunately, bigotry is far from weird. Sadly, it's actually quite common.

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