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by David G. Duggan ©
February 20, 2024

I have been a pledging member of Episcopal parishes for the vast majority of my life. Even when my income was dependent on my weekly allowance, I regularly gave to support the church's work, regardless of whether I liked the sermons or respected the minister.

For the last two years, however, I haven't been willing to do that or consistent with my conscience able. The parishes where I worshiped and which I supported saw fit to exile me for voicing my opinion about their leadership. Bishop, priest, deacon, and wardens have all strayed from the Gospel to pronounce a faith unworthy of Jesus' sacrifice, and I have called them out on that. Exile is not too high a price to pay for moral clarity.

Appeals that God loves a cheerful giver, that we should give--not until it feels good--but until it hurts, that even Jesus paid deference to the Temple's receipts from the widow (Mark 12: 41-44; Luke 21: 1-4) have fallen on deaf ears. If, as Lenin said, capitalists will sell the rope with which the communists will hang them, I refuse to pay into church coffers merely to prolong their slide into the Sheol of oblivion.

Part of that which I haven't put into the collection plate has made itself to other charities, but even the college and university which gave me the education by which I have earned my living are not immune from my refusenik wallet. One school sold its naming rights to a member of one of the wealthiest families in the state, who after buying the governor's office trampled on Christians' constitutional rights to worship during Covid. That school will never get another dime from me. Charity it seems has run out of shame.

Jesus had only three years to prove His ministry of repentance and amendment of life. Will the church repent in the remaining years of my exile? I won't hold my breath.

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