Selling the Vatican

I had a conversation with someone who could only be fairly described as a prodigy of Michael Moore, and it went as follows.

Him: “America needs strong leadership because capitalism is so disorganized.”
I: (not taking his oh-so-clever talking points seriously) “We should sell America to The Vatican then, they’re good at organizing.”
Him: (angrily) “The Vatican should sell all it’s gold to feed starving people in Africa.”
I: (noting with interest how the mere mention of the Catholic Church in conversation destroys and derails any logical train of thought) What gold – exactly – are you talking about? Does every bishop have a treasure chest I don’t know about?
Him: (moving hands to indicate accumulated wealth) You know the churches, and cathedrals and the Pope lives in a mansion.
I: Where do you think the Church gets it’s money from?
Him: …
I: I mean it’s not exactly like we have much material commodity to sell, besides the Eucharist, and that’s free.
Him: …
I: (getting my preach on) The Church, by definition, is all it’s members. The money the Church has is the money it’s followers have; the money they give. You’d have a poor person put his tithe in a basket for the Church, the Church would buy him a gold tabernacle, and you’d have  it melted down so he could get his money back. Your entire argument rests on the arrogant assumption that all the poor want is cash and food. Have you ever asked the Catholic poor whether he’d like the beauty of his church stripped for cash? Boy, you’d get smacked, because the majority of Catholics are poor, and know what’s important in life. Is it not enough that we are the largest charitable organization in the world?
Him: But you can’t deny the Pope lives in a mansion.
I: And you can’t deny that if he didn’t, the Catholic people would put him in one. We’re human, we like to reverence things.
His Friend: (quietly) Dude I think you lost the argument…
Him: Nah, I’m good.

Have a wonderful evening!

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