Author Topic: Church for sale  (Read 393 times)

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Offline Fiji

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Church for sale
« on: September 03, 2012, 02:10:00 AM »
OK, this one needs a bit of back story. When Napoleon took Flanders from Austria, he looted church properties (as he was used to doing pretty much everywhere).
So, when Belgium became independant, it was reasoned that, since the (catholic) church had no more money (erm, yeah, sure) the state would pick up the tab.[1]
So, hence forth, the wages of all catholic clergy was paid by the national government, as was the maintenance of the churches. This suited the catholic church just fine of course. Well, there was a bit of grumbling when the protestants claimed and got the same advantage. Currently there are 6 official religions in Belgium: Catholic, Protestant, Anglican, Orthodox, Jewish and Islamic[2]
And all of their priests and temples are paid for by the government.
So, all is well in religion land? Well, not really. The jurisdiction of this[3] has recently been moved from the national government to the Flemish govenrment ... and the Flemish government is going "I ain't paying for that!"
So, now, the Flemish part of the Belgian Catholic church has been instructed to select one church per community and sell off all the others. For the time being, it's just the catholics, since their churches are the emptiest. fe. my home town of around 17k people currently has three parishes meaning that two of those churches along with all the 'support structure' have to be sold off.

This has led to a funny little war of sorts in a nearby city. There, a church which has been sitting empty for several decades has a potential buyer ... the local islamic community! And, of course the catholics will sell to anyone 'except the muslims'. Oooooh, I'd love to see that one go to court.

Not all is well in the land of Flemings though, as there is no fixed timeframe for these sales ... yet.
 1. and this of course had nothing to do with the Catholic Party being the dominant force in politics at the time
 2. funny sidenote, Agnostic/Atheist outnumber the latter 5 by a factor of 4 to 1.
 3. along with the tab of course
Science: I'll believe it when I see it
Faith: I'll see it when I believe it

Schrodinger's thunderdome! One cat enters and one MIGHT leave!

Without life, god has no meaning.

Offline stuffin

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Re: Church for sale
« Reply #1 on: September 03, 2012, 09:03:51 AM »
Sounds like a a novel which is, will be, filled with drama. Wish I could watch something like that play out locally.

I can't believe the people let the guvment pay all that money to support those religions. Did these churches still have collections during services?
When you do things right, people won't be sure you've done anything at all.

Offline Fiji

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Re: Church for sale
« Reply #2 on: September 04, 2012, 01:39:33 AM »
I can't believe the people let the guvment pay all that money to support those religions. Did these churches still have collections during services?

Go on, take a guess.

I, by far, prefer the German model. On your tax form, you mark what religion you are (and yes, Atheist is on there) and a portion of your tax money goes to that religion ... or to secular organizations if you marked Atheist.
Science: I'll believe it when I see it
Faith: I'll see it when I believe it

Schrodinger's thunderdome! One cat enters and one MIGHT leave!

Without life, god has no meaning.

Offline Hatter23

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Re: Church for sale
« Reply #3 on: September 04, 2012, 04:07:31 PM »
I've wanted to buy a church and turn it into a bowling alley "Our lady of the 7 - 10 Split"
An Omnipowerful God needed to sacrifice himself to himself (but only for a long weekend) in order to avert his own wrath against his own creations who he made in a manner knowing that they weren't going to live up to his standards.

And you should feel guilty for this. Give me money.

Offline Fiji

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Re: Church for sale
« Reply #4 on: September 05, 2012, 03:15:48 AM »
^^ my first thought was ... PAINTBALL!!!

*imagines scene in paintball chruch* "Hey! No camping in the confessional!"
« Last Edit: September 05, 2012, 04:00:39 AM by Fiji »
Science: I'll believe it when I see it
Faith: I'll see it when I believe it

Schrodinger's thunderdome! One cat enters and one MIGHT leave!

Without life, god has no meaning.