My country, Greece, is broke. The government is cutting old people's 600 Euro pensions however, they are still paying for the Greek Orthodox Church to the tune of $250,000,000. All priests in Greece are government employees. This was something that has been going on since the early 1980s. Before that the church was not government run. So I do not understand how this can still be going on in a multicultural Europe and in a midst of an economic crisis. No government should pay for any religious group. The faithful can donate if they want, but why should I, as a tax payer, pay for something I am not interested and that is optional. On top of all these, the Greek priests demand tips to perform a service. I was the best man in my friends wedding and the priest asked me for 400 euro to perform the service (I will not go into the details because many other unethical things did take place in this occasion).
I am only a guy, I cannot do much. I need your help somehow. We need to make this change. What are your thoughts and suggestions?
Are there any atheists' organizations in Greece? You should meet with other atheists and speak to an attorney about this problem, so that you can legally challenge this paradigm but you need at least other atheists and people from other religions to come together on this issue. This can only be changed through struggle and through getting organized.
If the people are gonna be paying their salaries, then they therefore OWN the churches and should feel free to either sell them out to use the capital for more useful things like hospitals or schools ... or the people can FIRE the priests.
The faithful can donate if they want, but why should I, as a tax payer, pay for something I am not interested and that is optional.
Can you petition the taxman to transfer the portion of your taxes that would be sent to the church elsewhere ? (hospitals/ambulances/elderly care/nuclear weapons etc...)
That is unfortunate, I think change will come slowly but surely. Times are changing science and progress move forward, the priests very much live in the past. I also think as citizens in debt high countries in Europe look at their budgets, they will not see the churches entitled to special treatment. It will be a challenge to change an entrenched and favored institution in the country. I think a good political goal to achieve is the separation of state and church, to push for religion as a private matter and not a matter of public funds. Normally Atheists don't have much to agree with with religious folk, but you can find common ground with religious groups who don't get free money from the government. Atheist groups that lobby the government are rare and often ignored, you may have better results if you worked with a taxpayer advocacy group that is seeking constitutional reform.
and the Royal wedding honeymoon is heading there so...
How do you know this.