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Man Giveth, the Church Taketh, Whateth Be the Problem?
January 13, 2004 4:59 PM   Subscribe

Man Wants Church Donation Back
A man, in the midst of a serious bout of depression, gives away almost his entire life savings, $126,000, to a local church. He later realizes that this was not the smartest thing to do. He asks the church for the money back. The church, not surprisingly, says they've already spent it and so he can't have it back.
What's next?
Bust out the lawyers!
posted by fenriq (20 comments total)

 
The church, not surprisingly, says they've already spent it and so he can't have it back.


Kind of like our tax system...
posted by WLW at 6:17 PM on January 13, 2004


What I want to know is, if I was in a clinical state where I wasn't legally able to make decisions, and the preacher at my church asked for donations, and I wrote out a check for a few thousand dollars, could I go back and say that they took advantage of my condition?

Ask Metafilter indeed.
posted by Hildago at 6:22 PM on January 13, 2004


be weary of ANY deity that can create the entire world and universe but has trouble making paper with dead presidents on it and ergo needs yours.
posted by Tryptophan-5ht at 6:29 PM on January 13, 2004


I don't know, if someone donated a lot of money to say, a relief society or some other charitable organization, I would expect the same response, so I can't fault the church.

I mean, it sucks, but what is to be done?
posted by Lord Chancellor at 6:54 PM on January 13, 2004


  • "In fact, his now ex-wife told the church to keep the money."

    lol. that's golden.

  • posted by mrplab at 6:57 PM on January 13, 2004


    so, what does this mean if i overtip the waiter/ress?
    posted by poopy at 7:00 PM on January 13, 2004


    The mistakes I'd like to ask God for a retry on have little to do with donating money.
    posted by namespan at 7:59 PM on January 13, 2004


    This reminds me of a bad old joke about the how the crooked minister split the contents of his weekly collection. Every Sunday afternoon he would take the plates out to the churchyard and throw the money high into the air...

    Whatever money God didn't let fall, He could keep.
    posted by grabbingsand at 8:23 PM on January 13, 2004


    Cashier's check? Given anonymously? Did I read that right?

    Frankly I think that absolves the church from a lot of responsibility. How could they have known his state of mind? ( I know a man who gave one million dollars all at one time to my church, and he was and is in very sound mind(not to mention he could afford it.)

    Besides, I really don't believe there wasn't at least a bit of spite towards his ex considering the timing of the deal.

    If he can't show any other erratic behavior, financial or otherwise, he's gonna have one heckuva time making a case.
    posted by konolia at 8:40 PM on January 13, 2004


    Mmmkay. Now, the whole kitty is $126K, right? How exactly is injecting lawyers into the equation going to bring money to this sod?
    posted by scarabic at 8:41 PM on January 13, 2004


    Daddy likes his new white Cadillac.
    posted by the fire you left me at 10:30 PM on January 13, 2004


    After five months of antidepressants and counseling, Mager said he asked for the money back.

    What is he thinking? How long after a donation should the church be expected to wait before spending or committing the money, in case the donors ask for it back? I can see a few days, or a week, but 5 months? It's not like they took it in bad faith.
    posted by dness2 at 10:42 PM on January 13, 2004


    dness2 - telling some one every sunday that giving them money brings you closer to god then accepting it in any amount is taking it in bad faith.
    posted by Tryptophan-5ht at 11:29 PM on January 13, 2004


    I bought this stupid H2 Humvee when I was clinically depressed and now after medication and counseling, I've come to my senses, but the car dealership won't give me my money back because they say I've driven it for 5 months.
    posted by straight at 12:28 AM on January 14, 2004


    After five months of antidepressants and counseling, Mager said he asked for the money back.

    Surely this should be 'After five months of antidepressants and counseling and the joy of giving his $126,000 away', Mager said he asked for the money back.
    posted by biffa at 2:49 AM on January 14, 2004


    The church really shouldn't be expected to give this back. He gave this donation five months ago. He gave it anonymously, so they couldn't have known that he was having depression problems. And when churches get money, they tend to use it, often on things they need (like keeping the church's roof from falling in) or things other people need (like soup kitchens). Furthermore, this sets rather a bad precedent. Does the church now have to save all donations for a few years, in case the donor changes their mind? When you give money to a nonprofit, whether secular or religious, it's not reasonable to expect them to give you your money back months later, when the money's probably already spent.
    posted by unreason at 6:15 AM on January 14, 2004


    Manic bipolars do stuff like this, and they are liable for their debt when they come to their senses.
    posted by konolia at 9:55 AM on January 14, 2004


    He gave this donation five months ago.

    He gave it five years ago.
    posted by oaf at 10:13 AM on January 14, 2004


    The guy doesn't have a prayer of a chance.
    posted by dejah420 at 10:47 AM on January 14, 2004


    Much as I'd like to side against a religious institution, I gotta go with the church on this one. ;)
    posted by callmejay at 3:13 PM on January 14, 2004


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