and he does it because the church he belongs to tells him he "must" do it. Of course they also require that he gives the money to them.
He sometimes struggles to pay his bills. I found him in the supermarket yesterday looking for the cheapest loaf of day old bread...well, several days old. It was "all (he) can afford". There was not a lot else in his trolley.
"I'll have to ask you how to cook some other stuff," he said.
"No you won't," I told him.
I'd had enough. His "church" is bleeding him dry. That week they had asked for more "donations" for an "outreach" project for Easter.
I didn't have much time yesterday. My brother and his partner have been here for a few, all too brief, days to see Middle Cat. (Middle Cat is still in hospital.) I am worried about the way the Senior Cat is worrying about Middle Cat and I am concerned for Middle Cat. Perhaps I was less sympathetic than I should have been for the Tither.
I blew up. I did it quietly but I pointed out that he does not earn a lot. Tithing made sense when there was no form of social security and when people needed to share in order to survive. If people wish to tithe now then that is their affair but "double" tithing when you earn very little or have very little and need to go without basics makes no sense to me.
He looked at me and I could see he was frightened.
"They wouldn't like it," he told me.
"Who wouldn't like it?"
"The people at church. Everyone does it."
"Do they? And where does the money go?"
He hesitated and I pointed out that I know where their "pastor" lives and what sort of car he drives.
"You're funding his fancy life style."
I held my hand up and said, "Think about it. You aren't eating properly. Did you keep the house cool in summer? Did you water the garden? When did you last go out except to church? Are you still in contact with any friends outside church?"
"It's none of your business!"
"No - not unless you ask me how to cook something," I told him looking at the home brand baked beans and three day old cheap white sliced.
I went off to get the milk we needed.
At the check out a little later he was ahead of me. He ignored me - but in his basket there was some good wholemeal bread, some sausages and milk among other things - and there was a small packet of chocolate eggs as well.
I went off to get some fruit and vegetables at the greengrocer. When I returned there was a small chocolate egg in the bicycle basket.
I think I know where it came from.