The Separation of Church and State……

18 Oct

The United States of America……

In the US the separation of church and state is written into the constitution (or what’s left of it).  This means that churches receive no funding from the tax payer and have no direct influence over policy, although the Congressmen may well be influenced by their own beliefs in the way they vote and, as far as I am aware, only one has had the balls to ‘come out’ as an Atheist.  The rest admit to being of a religious persuasion……

The United Kingdom……

(God)

In the UK the situation is very different.  We have no constitutional separation.  In fact, quite the opposite is true in that there are 26 Lords Spiritual who have hereditary seats in the House of Lords and, therefore, an influence on policies such as abortion and the human fertilisation and embryology authority.  The only other countries in which religious leaders have guaranteed seats in government are the Islamic Theocracies like Iran.  Religious institutions are also exempt from paying tax which is in effect a state subsidy paid for by everybody else, indoctrinated or otherwise.……

The Cost of Piety……

You have to give God a lot of credit for his creativity.  After all, he did do the entire universe and everything else in six days.  On Sunday though, when he was chillin’, maybe he should have thought about how Adam, Eve and their 6 billion relatives were going to pay for it all until, and after, ‘Judgement Day’, especially as all the bankers will be consumed in the fires of purification…….

The Church of England……

The good ol’ CoE have thoughtfully provided anyone with an interest in their funding arrangements with a website explaining the costs of ‘doing God’s work’.  As they’re generally a pretty inoffensive bunch known for their honesty I’ll take their accounts at face value and assume that they don’t have a wad of £20’s stuffed under the mattress with all the soiled Y-Fronts of various sizes.

It costs £1 billion per year to run the CoE.  That’s approximately £2.7 million per day.  Nobody said redemption came cheap!

Of the £1 billion, ¾ comes from the generous donations of the parishioners.

The remaining £250 million is where things begin to get interesting especially if you happen to be, for example, a tax payer.  The CoE does not pay any tax.  It does, however, claim back tax on the £750 million of donations given by the parishioners, in the form of ‘Gift Aid’.  Because, as a tax payer, you have chosen to generously donate your money to a ‘charity’, HMRC rewards you by returning the 20% basic rate of tax that you were charged at source, say by PAYE or Self-Assessment.  So, for every £10 you put in collection dish, the church claims £2 from HMRC.  Therefore, the £750 million in parishioner donations gets a £150 million bonus, which the Inland Revenue and Government Departments will need to claw back by increasing taxes elsewhere, or by cutting the budgets of, for example, the Department of Work and Pensions.  So when your little old Aunty Mabel can’t afford to put the heating on this winter because the DWP have cut back on her pension and the multi-national corporations have increased the cost of her fuel again, tell her to pop round to the nearest church where they can afford to put the heating on and lots of other ‘luxuries’……

The Parish Reserves Policy……

This document is not particularly interesting apart from the ‘Biblical’ justifications it uses to give it credulity.  This is the picture on the title page; I kid you not.  As I said it’s not very exciting and exists only as a justification for diverting funds from the more affluent parishes back into the money making kitty.  Here’s one of those pious extracts for your amusement:

‘Money should only be kept in reserve for specific reasons – whilst the Bible clearly indicates that we should not hoard it is also clear that sensible planning for know events and responsibly for others (including employees) is important.’  –  Corinthians verse II, ‘Financial Piety’

Mathew 21:12 – The Money Lenders in the Temple……

Anyone who has read the Bible will be aware of this fable when JC accused the Money Lender of turning the temple into ‘A den of thieves’, so I think we can all probably guess that he wasn’t wholly fond of Financial Advisors and Hedge Funds (By the way if you haven’t read the Bible, he dies in the end).  Fast forward 2000 years and the CoE have mellowed in their attitude to cash-flow and prudent financial planning.

‘Onward Christian Soldiers’

The CoE now has managed assets of £5 billion which nets them a healthy 5.7% return.  And they’re not to fussy about who they invest with.  The electronics giant, Siemens, who amongst other things provides the hardware to ensure anybody who disagrees with your political point of view, gets a one way ticket to meet with your boss care of guided missiles, but why let ethical considerations stand in the way of progress.  Not forgetting of course that all of this capital expansion is tax free.

Veolia Environmental is also on the CoE’s investment portfolio.  Veolia Environmental provided transport services to Israel’s illegal settlements in occupied Palestinian territory and then kindly takes away it’s rubbish and dumps it on Palestinian land.

One of the CoE’s biggest investments (£196.5 million) is in the bastion of environmental sustainability, Royal Dutch Shell.  Perhaps they know something we don’t concerning the next big flood.  And if any more confirmation is required, there’s the £17.2 million they have invested in Exxon Mobil (who never knowingly spill oil, trash the wilderness or commit fraud)

They have investments in mining companies throughout the developing world where the sanctity of human life is not considered of primary importance and ‘love thy neighbour’ holds true, providing they don’t live on a plot of land they need to dig up……

‘I think I’ve made my point.  Despite their protestations that they can’t afford to fix the leaky roof and

Gods Children

that small local churches may have to close because nobody goes to them anymore, the truth is they have vast resources at their disposal.  Not just the Church of England, they’re all at it.  They’ll happily save your miserable soul for a few quid, heck; they’ll even bury your dead granny for a price.  But if they really believed in ‘God’ and practiced what they preached, they could save all the starving children, house all the homeless orphans, heal the sick and take away some of the pain of the disposed and dying.

 

Instead, they’re homophobic, sexist, racist, theocratic, money laundering megalomaniacs, whose only interest is in saving their own sorry little arses or abusing someone else’s’……

 

 

‘AND THAT ABOUT WRAPS IT UP FOR GOD’……

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One Response to “The Separation of Church and State……”

  1. roughseasinthemed October 18, 2012 at 5:11 pm #

    wow! just wow – I think I need to do a link to this excellent post.

    you could have just written the last paragraph but the rest was a good read too.

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