I imagined myself to be like the cute little mouse from Robin Hood, giving up her last farthing to help with the poor. Fast forward to 3:14.
Then one day, our priest gave a homily on tithing. Tithing is the practice of giving some portion of your income, usually 10% to the church. I remember the priest emphasizing that this should be 10% of your income BEFORE taxes, BEFORE any other spending. I was flabbergasted. I asked my mom where my money went that I faithfully put into the baskets each week. When she told me it went to our church, I felt lied to. My mom actually said that she chose to give some portion of her income to our church, but most of her 10% actually went to various charities she believed in. That makes sense to me.
Tithing has existed for ages, dating waaaaaay back to Jesus time. Churches have always needed a way to guilt parishioners into giving them enough money to operate. I believe that donating to valuable non-profit organizations is important, but contributing to an organized religion doesn't seem like a charitable cause to me.
Writing about tithing seems like it should be a non-issue to me. After all, I don't belong to a religion. Why should I care? Well, I care about poor people being guilted into giving away their hard earned money to an organization that doesn't actually do any good for people. Why not take that 10% and give it to your local school or homeless shelter or Doctors Without Borders?
Plus, I thought I should write about tithing because it represents the very first crack in my faith as a small child. What was the first crack in your faith/belief in god or religion?