FOUR of NINE: Cost

Posted on August 9, 2010


What does Sister Cost hear in her journey?  Slower conversion rates leads to decreased investments outside the U.S.  Donations continue to fall.  Chapels fall into disrepair.  Temples suffer “dated” interiors.  Political entities muscle the upper-middle class for more money to fund a global empire.  Payment of “tithes” soon opposes payment of taxes.  Church revenue steams vaporize in an arid economy.  What trickles down is polluted, irrigated, or otherwise damned long before meeting at the reservoir of the Corporate Account.  What to do?  (For the question of finances is now the same as the question of how to run a religion.) 

Cut revenue-draining programs.  Replace paid labor with volunteer “missionaries,” and automate or digitize every possible aspect of the religion.  Invest more in high return, low risk educational loans.  Yet that is not enough cost correlation.  So perhaps the Corporation of the President will turn, at last with full fidelity, to the Corporation of the Presiding Bishop.  The “spiritual” will find a home in the “temporal” thusly, as the Church relies increasingly on for-profit schemes to fund its religious priorities.  Sister Cost will lose some soft tissue, some grey matter and perhaps suffer a thickening of blood, but will likely survive the future austerities imposed on religion (tax-exemption can’t last forever, I think).  [[A practical reorientation of accountability for programs and materials entirely to questions from the bottom-line, one half-a-century already in the turning no less, will finally conclude.]]  Faced, however, with the maintenance and upkeep of real properties, Sister Cost will be forced to demand her children spend more of their religious energy in cost-effective virtual spaces.  And that’s no meager shift.  So the Corporation of the President turns to for-profit endeavors; off to market to gather capital to nurture a religion with.  Sister Cost is sure to survive the hot dry plains of the future economy (for without her support, which others could now continue?).  Which Correlation Pioneer will be invited out of the wagon, and tread the dust?

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