A small, but growing chorus is singing out for the Church of Infinitiaty to persecute apostates with extreme prejudice. But is this religiously, morally, ethically and financially right? It’s a complex spiritual question. The correct answer is, it all depends.
There are a number of factors that must be considered.
First, have the apostates paid the required fees? The Church of Infinitiaty commits considerable time and resources to maximizing revenue from each parishioner. Then there’s also the spiritual ministering of the Church to the parishioner. It’s not fair that the Church should lose all opportunity of recovering its investment if someone leaves the Church. Thus, it’s appropriate that Infinitiaty charges apostates a one-time religion renunciation fee of $50,000. In addition, they must pay ten percent of their annual household income to the Church of Infinitiaty for the rest of their lives. Their immediate heirs must then pick up this obligation for the rest of their lives as well.
If those fees are paid in full, the Church sees no reason to persecute apostates unduly. If they fail to pay up, there are church managers with baseball bats—or worse—who are likely to pay them a visit.
Another question is, what do you mean by persecute? If you mean that apostates shouldn’t be invited to church dinners, then the answer is unquestionably, yes, by all means persecute them. Unless, that is, they pick up the full tab and hand out expensive party gifts. That’s a whole different kettle of fish. Although, I prefer champagne and lobster. But that’s a matter of personal taste.
If, on the other hand, by persecute you mean execute apostates, the Church usually takes a dim view of that. This is particularly true if the apostates are paid up. Even if they’re not in good standing with their religion-separation fees, execution reduces the chances that they will return to the religion and resume paying their dues and other fees. So the Church still takes a dim view of execution.
There are, of course, exceptions to this no-executions rule. For example, consider the case of Infinitians who prepare wills that leave everything to the Church of Infinitiaty. If those people leave the religion without changing their wills before doing so, the Gods won’t so much condone as look the other way if those apostates are executed before they have a chance to name new beneficiaries.
There is one last factor to consider. Where did the apostate go when he or she left the religion? Infinitiaty has signed reciprocal agreements with some of the pseudo-religions out there. We aren’t allowed to tell you which ones because those other allegedly spiritual organizations are touchy about disclosing their revenue-producing deals. We’ve signed nondisclosure agreements with them to seal the contracts. However, I can tell you that it includes some of the biggies in the religion game.
Under these reciprocal deals, the originating religion gets a percentage of any dues, fees or other revenues collected or embezzled by the religion that an apostate switches to.
Apostasy is always frowned upon. However, if apostates switch to one of the “religions” that has signed a reciprocal agreement with Infinitiaty, they are should not be unduly persecuted. If, on the other hand, the apostates go to a “religion” that is not part of this reciprocal scheme or—horror of horrors—they become an atheist and they fail to pay their Infinitiaty separation fees, then, yes, persecution with extreme prejudice may be in order.