Atheist Thinks we should Sell Churches and give Money to the Poor

by Steve Ray on July 6, 2009

A friend just shared an objection his atheist friend had to the Catholic Church. It went like this: “My atheist friend told me one of the things she disliked about the church was that they had all these great big fancy churches in poor countries but still asked for money from the poor and why they didn’t sell all the fancy stuff and help the needy.”

Here was my answer, maybe a bit more animated than necessary, but . . .

“Your friend has it back-asswards. I have been to the poorest areas of the Philippines and seen their beautiful churches. Who owns those churches? The Vatican? No! They are owned by the poor people who scratched every dime together to build a house for God worthy of him. The Church, funded by these poor and wealthier donors have also built the hospitals, schools, and feed the poor.

Why does your friend have a better house and nicer car than she needs? Why not quit being a hypocrite and sell her possession and distribute them to the poor? Let her put her money where her big mouth is? Let her learn the real truth before she criticizes and condemns?

In the Philippines on the island of Cebu (as everywhere else) they have Mass every hour on the hour 12-14 hours a day in churches that are only separated by a few miles. The Masses are every hour on the hour starting at 5 AM there is standing room only at every Mass. Who would DARE to take those churches and sell them? The poor people would rally around their churches and kill anyone who would dare touch them.

Your atheist friend is a fool, or at least misguided by following all the tired old lies of her age. I love Chesterton who said, “The Catholic Church is the only thing that can protect you from becoming a slave of your age.”

I get a bit mouthy about things like this, but I get sick of the hypocrisy, stupidity, and the same old, same old.

{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Barbara July 7, 2009 at 9:30 AM

Good job, Steve!

I also read that even if the Vatican could sell all it’s land and posessions, and distribute the money evenly, everyone in the world would get exactly $2. So another question to ask, ‘if you want the church to give away money to the poor, what are you doing with your 2 dollars?’ It starts with us. We are responsible for taking care of the poor. Not somebody else. (including the government)

God isn’t going to ask us if the Church took care of His poor. He’s going to ask us what we did for the poor. That’s how Jesus described the separation of the goats and the sheep. Did we feed the hungry? Did we give drink to the thirsty?

Tim July 7, 2009 at 10:17 AM


We usually get this old canard about the vatican and its treasures.

If the vatican sold everything, it would amount to what the department of defense spends in a weekend.

Jae July 7, 2009 at 2:46 PM

Good job, Steve! I have the same reaction too with these old lies and stupidity. The other side though it is hilarious.

Just watch your blood pressure, my friend.

God bless.

Patty Bonds July 7, 2009 at 3:41 PM

LOLOL! Steve, I think we really are family from waaaaaaay back. We both have that shoot from the hip, tell it like it is gene. :)

HG July 8, 2009 at 12:06 AM

Funny, Judas had the same line of thinking — sell the expensive oil and give the money to the poor, he thought of the woman who poured oil on Jesus head. And the Lord didn’t agree with him.

Dan July 8, 2009 at 6:09 PM

But how do you really feel, Steve? : )

HG, your line of thinking is spot-on!

God bless,

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