I had an opportunity to attend Sunday service at a “non-denominational” church called Love and Truth (close-minded my ass).  Oh how religion has modernized itself, I’m speaking strictly of its image, even Love and Truth still holds to the same bigoted views required of the Bible, they are not THAT modern.  Now, I am never surprised when I come across religious hypocrisy but what I witnessed at Love and Truth made me smile and think “Seriously?”  It is common knowledge that the overwhelming majority of religious people have never read the very book in which they place so much stock, but the story of Jesus Cleansing the Temple is a classic that every self-respecting Christian has heard.  It is for this reason that I found it curious why none of the members of Love and Truth had anything to say about the ATM machine sitting just outside the entrance to the sanctuary.  Of course it wasn’t called an ATM because that would just be a dead giveaway, in large print, it was labeled “Giving Center”, completely different from an ATM right?  You see a Bank ATM is used to transfers money whereas the church “Giving Center” is used to transfer money.

To those who missed Sunday school that day, or those who have never attended a more fundamentalist, “old time religion”, type church the story goes like this.

And they came to Jerusalem. And he entered the temple and began to drive out those who sold and those who bought in the temple, and he overturned the tables of the money-changers and the seats of those who sold pigeons. – Mark 11:15

According the biblical account Jesus wasn’t shy about telling the money changers to get the hell out.  If you read the account given in the book of John it says when Jesus walked into the Temple “he found those who were selling oxen and sheep and pigeons, and the money-changers sitting there.”  Even if you are not like me and doubt the stories you have to admit what happened next is pretty bad-ass for a character who is constantly presented as meek and gentle.  Did Jesus walk over and explain why what they were doing was wrong?  Did he attempt to correct what he saw as a trivial matter?

“OH, HELL NO!”, said Jesus; like a BOSS!

The J-MAN actually took time to construct (or being a demi-god called down from the sky like Thor calling Mjölnir) a whip with multiple cords before applying it thoroughly to the asses of those selling sacrificial animals and exchanging currencies while flipping tables and shit.  Apparently Jesus didn’t think commerce had any place in “his fathers house” and nothing guarantees a message getting across like multiple leather strips cracking across some ass.

Getting back to Love and Truth and their ATM machine “Giving Center”.  Do I think some zealous Christian should walk in, break the ATM machine and commence whipping the ass of the Pastor who authorized the machine?  NO.  I’m just pointing out what I came to realize shortly before realizing the absurdity of faith, religion is a business; one in which happiness and the promise of never dieing can be had for the low, low price of the surrender of your critical faculties.  If it were not obvious enough, Love and Truth has six franchise campus locations spread over West Tennessee; got to keep that money net spread far and wide I imagine.  You cannot buy doves or oxen for sacrifice at Love and Truth, Jesus was the ultimate sacrifice, allegedly, but you can buy multiple items with hip and cool logos; totally different kind of commerce so Jesus wouldn’t mind.

I don’t expect anyone attending Love and Truth to see anything wrong with the money machine.  Being religious means never having to think for yourself.  The Pastor says the money changing machine “Giving Center” is part of Gods plan and the Pastor is best friends with God, so ignore the cognitive dissonance welling up in your mind, stop thinking, swipe your damn credit card and give the Pastor Love and Truth 10% of your income plus how ever much makes you feel better about yourself.  After all, you wouldn’t want to piss off the Pastor God would you?