Shamelessly stole the title from Koanic. Totally different idea though.
I had the thought that it would be very simple to identify the “deserving poor”. They have low-status and low-paying jobs. Therefore, you can find them at work. This spawned one of those insights I’m always jabbering about. What if I paid my tithe straight to the deserving poor rather than putting it into an offering basket? My previous tithes have undoubtedly find their way into “the new building” or whatever the hell these health and wealth preachers are fixated on these days. This is beyond silly; it’s treading the line into blasphemy. Christ didn’t die for “the new building”, he died for individual people.
Pretending for a moment that I have a lower middle-class income of $36K, that means I should be tithing $3.6K per year, minimum. (In reality, I’m making something like $18K.) Rather than anonymously sending someone $300 per month in the mail, I should save up and send them the whole kaboodle after Christmas. Surprise lump sums help people more than steady payments because people spend based on what they believe they’re going to have. Now you’re thinking, “boy, that would be nice”. Imagine how much nicer it would be if you were the deserving poor, making $11K per year instead (full-time min wage positions are scarce these days). $3.6K would probably pay the rent for their trashy apartment for the entire new year.
I had the idea of sending this viral by posting reaction videos on the YouTubez (think of the ones where the guy in the suit shows up with the giant check), and otherwise turning the whole thing into a meme. This would be easy enough in practice if I put my mind to it (probably a couple of years and a little help from my pitifully small social network). I have in mind already a couple of mimetic identifiers: a little red ribbon around the envelope, and a cute little card that says
The Blood Tithe
Jesus paid for your sins,
I’m just paying your bills.
Rejoice! He is risen!”
:-D :-D :-D
Why yes, the smilies are absolutely necessary. Otherwise the whole thing is way too somber and preachy and a total buzz-kill. Between the unusual phrase “blood tithe” and the red ribbon, people could Google it, and reach thebloodtithe.com (or .net, or whatever; it doesn’t exist yet), which will be waiting with an explanation of the doctrine and some propaganda (I have a tendency to speak dysphemistically).
Now…why try to push this viral?
Tithing is all about blood and sacrifice. MyCroft has gotten me stuck on this. I want to put modern Christianity to the question and I don’t have a breaking wheel handy. Churchians are materialistic, and this has nearly destroyed the church in the West (see Schaeffer’s How Should We Then Live?). I say it’s high time to fall on the rock and be broken, rather than wait to be crushed.
By teaching the doctrine of the deserving poor, I want to strike modern churches where it really hurts them: the offering plates. I want church buildings to close, forcing home churchers to surge in numbers as people desert the pews to rediscover that the real Christian community has nothing to do with a building. Dedicated buildings are great, but materialism is the spirit of the age. Used to be, when you built a new town the church would go up first. Now? Say one of the pilgrims suggests “Let’s put up the school first so our kids don’t fall behind the Common Core requirements and have to catch up. Then we’ll put up the hospital, and then we can do the church.” On what grounds could the modern Christian object? It’s a very practical suggestion.
What would Jesus do? Previous behavior suggests he would make a whip out of some cords and set to work.
Killing Churchianity would, incidentally, kill the Republican party. If they weren’t scared to death of losing their tax breaks, pastors et al. wouldn’t be so vulnerable to libprog snitches in the pews. Preaching against contraceptives? We’ll see what the IRS has to say about that!
Now then, Churchianity isn’t the only target of this operation. I’m talking about cutting off their supply lines, but they aren’t the only invading battalion in the culture war. The secularists will also find themselves starved out. Part of the plan will explicitly forbid giving these blood tithes to people receiving public subsidies like TANF. The premise of Welfare culture is white guilt, and blood tithes will make this a more concrete concept as people realize “welfare doesn’t help the deserving poor- but charity can”. It’s another straw on the back of a trembling government program- removing any claim to the moral high ground.
Killing institutional charity would, incidentally, kill the Democratic party. I say it’s fraud and not charity if you don’t see the intended recipient holding every cent of your contribution. Seeing is believing. This is the point of the reaction videos. Sells real brotherly love through voyeuristic dopamine hits. People will watch them and exclaim “This restores my faith in humanity!”
Red Cross? Humane Society? Overhead. Charity is a side job and humanity to animals is a luxury hobby, and pastors can make ends meet at the local Subway like any other unskilled laborer if they can’t manage a real job. If they can’t handle poverty they probably aren’t cut out for the job anyway.