Busting the Myth That Christians Are More Generous Than Non-Believers

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 The story has gone viral: A group got together at Applebees. When the tab came the minister wrote on the ticket, “I give God 10 percent, why should I give you 18?” She scratched through the automatic large-group tip and substituted a fat zero and signed it with the word “Pastor” in front of her name. The waitress posted an image on Reddit. The pastor called to complain. The waitress got fired. The internet went wild. Last I saw, one story had 80,000 comments and counting.

In reality, the pastor simply exposed something that is all too common to Christian thinking: the sense that giving to the church and to religious charities is the be-all and end all of generosity. As indignant reactions to the Applebee’s incident show, service workers sometimes pay the price:

Continue reading at AlterNet

 

 

 

How Scientology Ensnares Celebrities

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In comparison to other Scientology churches, things for all the celebrities at the Los Angeles Celebrity Center were over-the-top in terms of elegance and privacy, starting with their own separate double-gated entrance on the corner of Franklin and Bronson Avenues, and a special area in the underground parking garage that was monitored by security. Celebrities entered through the President’s Office, which had its own lobby, Purif delivery area, and private office space. Upstairs were two auditing rooms and a private course room to be used solely by celebrities and other people of importance, such as big donors to the Church.

Scientology defined celebrities as anyone influential, so it could be well-recognized names like Tom Cruise and John Travolta, but it could also be someone like Craig Jensen, CEO of Condusiv Technologies, and Scientology’s biggest donor, or Izzy Chait, a prominent Beverly Hills art dealer. The security for the celebrities was very tight but deliberately inconspicuous, so that a big celebrity could literally be on services and most people at the Center would never know he was there.

Continue reading at Slate