to tithe or not to tithe… church & middle-class poverty
Everything’s getting increasingly expensive and income remains the same. Aside from having less money to pay rent and bills, it’s become a struggle to purchase vital necessities as food and clothing. Considering all this, as much as we’d like to support whatever church or other temple worship that we go to (x), at the present time, we can barely donate a fraction (x/y).
This is the predicament I find myself in right now — middle-class poverty. I can barely afford to pay rent, bills, medications, school loans and other expenses. Needless to say (type), when I’ve been in dire need, I don’t have anyone to ask for help — other than my best friend whom I pay right away at most a fortnight away.
Said the latter, when I was unemployed for a month shy of two years (11/2001-10/2003), I applied for public assistance. Stupidly enough, I was told that they wouldn’t help me since I wasn’t working and had no income (the exact reason why I asked for help in the first place). Now that I need help covering the expenses of medications and other therapies (details above, second paragraph), I’m told that I earn too much. These government agencies are broken and have been plagued with corruption. Then again, its employees might just be too stupid to do anything worthwhile. It just feels that the responsible are punished for working and paying debts while those who don’t want to work help get all the help.
At the end of the day, it’s a struggle to live respectfully and honestly (legally abiding, providing for one’s family, etc) while others are rewarded for being parasites of a broken system feeding off from the taxes the responsible pay.
Going back to the idea of giving part of one’s income to the Church, there have been times when I haven’t been able to give anything (x/0) and it just feels terrible.