Religion: The Tithe That Binds

The churches of the U.S. last year received about $4 billion in donations. If the 112 million Americans who claim a religious affiliation had given one-tenth—the traditional tithe—of their personal income to churches, that total could have topped $25 billion. Without aspiring to that great a transformation in church revenues, U.S. clergymen are making a strong effort to get their congregations back to the two principles of tithing: giving regularly, and giving a fixed percentage (even if less than 10%) of income.

That no-nonsense tithe collector, the

U.S. Government, has taken over many of...

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