Barry Van Dusen, in his recent letter to the editor, has made it very clear what the problem is with our economy - we've been deciding what to do with our money and not leaving that up to his church.
I can't really blame Barry for writing the letter to the editor - he is just trying to keep his job. With fewer people attending his church and fewer people donating money, his job is in jeopardy.
Our economic crisis is not because people are attending church less - some of the biggest crooks in town are scammers all week long and then go to church on Sunday to make up for it. Our economic crisis is the result of a matter of greed - and the church is one of the greediest institutions in the world. If Jesus ever really existed, he'd be ashamed of the institution. He'd hardly erect a nice brick building on one of the most prestigious streets in the area (let alone dozens and dozens of churches in a single city).
Morals and values are lacking in our society and greed is a real problem. Morals and values, however, are not based on religious beliefs or the bible. The bible is hardly a good moral guide and there are many things in the bible that we all agree are wrong and truly immoral. Slavery, oppression of women, hate of homosexuals are just three prominent examples (I doubt that many religious people will agree with the third.. but I can hope!). Slavery was abolished in spite of religion, the women's suffragist movement was fronted by non-believers and we still see, today, the hate towards homosexuality with full support from the highly moral religious folk.
If Jesus were alive today (and I seriously doubt he ever existed, so we'll use the hypothetical Jesus), he would probably tell his followers to not give to the church but to give to science. If Jesus was all about the removal of human suffering, he did the best he could given the knowledge he had. Today he would look at the wonders of science, the amazing medical cures and how lives have been improved and agree that it is truly the way to relieving suffering.
Jesus would agree that we need to be more caring towards each other, be thankful that we've ever been given the chance to live and that we should use this opportunity to make for a better life for others and for future generations. That would include being less greedy, helping fellow man* and doing what is right simply because it is the right thing to do and not for some false reward in a non-existent afterlife.
Barry, please give humanity, as a whole, a lot more credit than you do. We, generally, want to do what is right - no matter what our creed or race is - and we don't need a bronze-aged myth to support what we all know is right. We need, less, a bronze-aged myth to support, as right, what we all know is wrong.
Reason is the answer.
*I apologize for the English language and the use of "man". I don't speak of "man" as non-male - just as the French don't look at a table as being female.