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RELIGION and poverty

Bienvenido Macario, the Philippines sends me long and well-documented pieces denouncing the corruption of the Catholic Church there. He asks: "In the next WAIS conference may we have a session on religion entitled: Religion, the root cause of poverty? I just noticed that here and in the Philippines, the bigger the churches and cathedral, the poorer the people. I do not want to have anything to do with the God of these religions. "

This viewpoint is typical of anti-clericals throughout the Hispanic world. At the WAIS conference we are devoting most of the first day to a discussion of religion. We mentioned religion as a cause of war. It would be quite proper to bring up the question of religions and poverty. I defend churches because they are for the people, to whom they offer a quiet refuge for contemplation, consolation, and hope. My grievance is historically against palaces (I hate Versailles) and in the modern world against the spending on arms, which may cause the world to blunder into another war.

Ronald Hilton - 4/25/01