Feed the church, not your kids: Mormon leader says if given the choice to tithe or feed your children – you should pay the tithing.
At the April 2017 General Conference, one Mormon leader told the gathering of the faithful that the financial needs of the church come before everything else, even feeding your family.
Speaking at the annual conference, Elder Valeri V. Cordón told a story about how his father chose to tithe before providing food for his hungry and poverty stricken family:
When I was young, I worked in my father’s factory during vacation. The first question my father always asked after I received my salary was, “What are you going to do with your money?” I know the answer and responded, “Pay my tithing and save for my mission.”
After working with him for about eight years, and constantly answering his same question, my father figured he had taught me about paying my tithing. What he didn’t realize was that I had learned this important principle in just one weekend.
Let me tell you how I learned that principle.
After some events related to our civil war in Central America [Cordón grew up in Guatemala], my father’s business went bankrupt. He went from about 200 full-time employees to fewer than five sewing operators who worked as needed in the garage of our home. One day, during those difficult times, I heard my parents discussing whether they should pay tithing or buy food for the children.
On Sunday, I followed my father to see what he was going to do. After our Church meetings, I saw him take an envelope and put his tithing in it. That was only part of the lesson. The question that remained for me was: what we were going to eat!
Early Monday morning, some people knocked on our door. When I opened it, they asked for my father. I called for him, and when he arrived, the visitors told him about an urgent sewing order they needed as quickly as possible. They told him that the order was so urgent that they will pay for it in advance. That day, I learned the principles of paying tithing and the blessings that follow.
(Transcript via Friendly Atheist)
It is unclear if Cordón is being honest, or merely making up a story meant to convince followers that they must tithe no matter what. And while the story might make some sort of sick and twisted sense to someone lost in the cult, from the outside the whole thing is an apt demonstration of the profound immorality made possible by religious superstition.
Bottom line: Putting the financial needs of a church ahead of the basic needs of your children is morally irresponsible at best. The fact that a church leader would stand up and make such a recommendation is simply despicable.
Bonus: On a related note, a timeless bit by George Carlin reminds us of the absurdity of a God in need of money:
Religion has actually convinced people that there’s an invisible man living in the sky who watches everything you do, every minute of every day. And the invisible man has a special list of ten things he does not want you to do. And if you do any of these ten things, he has a special place, full of fire and smoke and burning and torture and anguish, where he will send you to live and suffer and burn and choke and scream and cry forever and ever ’til the end of time!
But He loves you. He loves you, and He needs money! He always needs money! He’s all-powerful, all-perfect, all-knowing, and all-wise, somehow just can’t handle money! Religion takes in billions of dollars, they pay no taxes, and they always need a little more. Now, you talk about a good bullshit story. Holy Shit!