Sell the Vatican, Feed the World October 10, 2009

Sell the Vatican, Feed the World

Sarah Silverman offerer her solution to the hunger crisis on last night’s Real Time with Bill Maher:

I would thoroughly enjoy eating my Vatican-bought pizza 🙂

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  • ugh. I’ll have to take a pass on this one. I find Sarah Silverman to be extremely annoying.

  • John

    It is a good idea, unfortunately it has been stated before. You might put “The Shoes of the Fisherman” on your Netflix queue. But Anthony Quinn stated the idea with a lot more class than Silverman.

  • Not a half-bad idea really. Catholicism does a LOT to serve and feed the poor worldwide already, but they do also have a lot of wealth tied up there in the Vatican as well that could be put to much better purposes.

    Of course, the idea of “selling” it off makes me wonder though about the people who would buy it – i.e. the famous works of art, the countless religious relics, the buildings themselves. It would only be the super-rich (e.g. corporate moguls, dictators, oil-barons/sheiks, politicians, etc… i.e. the people who have built their wealth on the backs of the poor in the first place) who would even have the means to buy all this stuff. What if instead of giving all that money to the Church to buy more art and collectibles for themselves so that the Church can then turn around and give it out to the poor, what if they just gave it directly to help the poor themselves? Or better yet, what if they used their wealth and power to reform the unjust systems of oppression that they themselves benefit from, and that are a major factor in creating such extreme poverty in the first place? Instead of merely giving charity to treat the symptoms of poverty and injustice, what if they actually did something about the causes of it?

    Okay, so I know it’s only a Sarah Silverman sketch and I’m so over-thinking it, but still… I’m just sayin’.

  • Usually I hate Sarah Silverman and her super duper annoying voice…but that was funny.

  • She does make a point. Millions and millions are starving and a small group of holy men live in the most valuable piece of real estate in the world.

    While we’re at it. There’s some major wealth in the US that’s tied up in megachurches. Selling even one could feed lots of hungry people.

  • Ha, I’ve actually been saying this ever since I visited the Vatican when I was 12. It struck me how I just walked past so many priceless pieces or art or things plated with gold, and then outside there were homeless people. Couldn’t they just sell one painting for charity?

  • mikespeir

    Yeah, but imagine how many more people would wind up in Hell because all the money to reach the lost had been squandered on trivial things like feeding people.

  • H

    How about the money that we give to these overpaid, overvalued celebrities?

  • How about the money that we give to these overpaid, overvalued celebrities?

    or football players? but, yes. sell the vatican too…

  • You can’t imagine how many italians would agree with this idea.
    The belief that Catholicism help poor people is not so correct, especially if you consider how much this Church devolve to third world.
    Look here for more info:
    I’d be glad to know if out of Italy, people know about how “Otto per mille” works.

  • rush

    Sell it don’t wait…POPE doesn’t make sense…Jesus lived simple like. Pope lives a rich man’s life and contradict Jesus’s message. It’s ridiculous how they treat a guy who barely 50% of the vote now is considered a way to haven. What is wrong with people. do we still live in the planet of the apes?

  • «bønez_brigade»

    Me likes.

  • Amy G

    I love Sarah Silverman, and I love this idea. I’ve always thought that it made very little sense to have Catholics who preach charity, poverty, and humbleness, but then they build humungous cathedrals and stuff. Sell the Vatican, Feed the World!!! 😀

  • Siamang

    What if instead of giving all that money to the Church to buy more art and collectibles for themselves so that the Church can then turn around and give it out to the poor, what if they just gave it directly to help the poor themselves?

    Here’s my idea: How about if the church stopped taking money from the poor. How about if they drew a poverty line and said ‘anyone below this, never, EVER EVER give money to the church.’

    Have you ever read James Randi’s account of seeing the giant money counting machines behind the scenes at Guadalupe, where the dirt poor and starving heave their humblest coins into the coffers of the church?

    This is from Randi’s October 11 2002 commentary

    >> Reader George Paz writes:
    >> While reading your article on the Virgin of Guadalupe, I felt compelled to write you. When I was thirteen years old I went on a vacation with my sister to Mexico City. It was a year after the massive earthquake of ‘86. One Sunday morning we boarded a tour bus and headed to Guadalupe. Though it was a full year after the disaster, the town looked as if the earthquake had hit just the day before. There was not one structure standing in the town, except for the basilica.
    >> We arrived at the basilica about twenty minutes before mass. As we stepped off the bus, we were swamped by poverty-stricken children. All of us American tourists were touched and devastated at the sight of all the children who were clearly sick and malnourished. The dollars were passed out en masse. As we made our way through the crowd, we ended up in front of a gift shop off to one side of the basilica. We entered the gift shop to partake of humanity’s greatest invention — air-conditioning.
    >> I browsed among the many statues of the Virgin of Guadalupe and numerous saints, while my sister searched through a bin of T-shirts with silk-screened images of the “miraculous” painting. The church bells began to toll, calling the parishioners to mass. We walked outside to a scene which I believe I will never forget. The entire town was emptying into the basilica, most of the parishioners crawling in on their knees, over the cobblestones. We walked in behind them.
    >> Right inside the main entrance was what looked like a large fish tank, with a solid-gold statuette inside. As the parishioners filed by they dropped the meager contents of their pockets into this tank. Much of what was dropped in was US currency, the money that we tourists had given them just minutes before in the belief that we were helping to feed at least a few of these starving families. There were easily tens of thousands of dollars in the tank.
    >> I was unable to go any further, and had to wait outside while I tried to process what I had just seen. My sister continued on inside and when she returned she described a scene very similar to what you did.
    >> On board the bus, as we drove away from the town, I looked back at this mammoth, pristine structure among the ruins. It vaguely seemed like something from a sci-fi movie, like a massive alien ship sucking the life out of that dying harvest of humanity. I left my lukewarm Episcopalian upbringing and any notion of deities or religion, behind me in Guadalupe. It was an eye-opening and life-altering experience.
    >> Thanks for letting me share.

    James Randi then wrote:

    > George, my own experience with this cruel farce was far more serious and shocking, but I do appreciate that you shared yours with our readers. Though I’ll someday write up my account, I’ll only tell you now that during the filming session there, I wandered down a flight of stairs — not unintentionally — and found the vast counting room where currency of many nations was being busily and noisily sorted and counted. The amount of cash I saw there was staggering. The stark contrast between the tiny copper coins the stricken poor were dropping into the many collection-boxes upstairs, and the gold-clad altars, figures, and ornaments that were set up to glorify this stupid painting as one of divine origin, stays in my mind like a scar. Just thinking about all this depresses me and re-affirms my determination to fight this sort of flummery. Thanks very much for your contribution.

  • dgr

    The whole idea that Jesus would recommend selling Churches and religious artifacts is highly questionable. There is no evidence of him telling the Jews of his day to sell the temples nor the religious implements in them…and I am sure that they were very costly. He did rail against the hypocrisy of the ruling elite, against their interpretation of religious law.

    Jesus agreed to be baptized, his family paid the tax to the temple for his purification. He seemed to have led a very orthodox jewish life until his ministry.

    There is no doubt, if the Gospels can be believed, that he intended starting a new religion. A new covenant is what he called it. With a new religion came new temples and new religious relics. The idea that Catholics are somehow wrong because they have temples is stupid…but what can you expect from someone who pees in a cup in order to entertain people.

  • Doubting Thomas

    Even as a teenager I wondered why I should drop a dollar or so into the basket every week when the Vatican has untold riches that it could use to feed the poor. But whether it’s the Vatican’s priceless treasures, the constant begging for money by TV preachers, or the money poured into a Baptist megachurch, it’s fairly obvious that very little that any Christian gives to any church actually goes to helping poor people. This is one reason I understand why some people are religious but distrust organized religion.

  • JamesV

    Dumb statement… the Vatican is because it is the Vatican. IF the pope and his coterie did not live there, it would lose it value as “valuable real estate” in an instant.

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