Wednesday, January 27, 2010

so greed means lots of charitable giving???

Listen to a conservative long enough, and he or she will likely make a statement about how liberals hate the US. Liberals, of course, deny such a charge, perhaps even with reason. Nonetheless, I think the charge has a large degree of validity--while they may not necessarily hate the country, they will often speak with distain of much that the US is about. I give you this Sojo article as a case in point.

Greed is God: Exporting the Values of America’s Prosperity Heresy

Arguably, most wars that America has fought aim to export U.S. values of freedom and democracy. However, a major lesson from Vietnam reveals that military intervention as a means to change values and political ideology can often backfire with indefatigable resistance. Today, we see Islamic extremists using terror as a means to communicate their values in opposition to Western ideals. However, if terrorism is fundamentally a form communication, what values do we represent when we respond militarily? We have chosen to speak their “language” of violence, and only time will tell if we will dominate the conversation.

This is "moral equivalency", equating US military action against terrorism with the actions of the terrorists themselves. This is, quite simply, a weak argument, and offensive to the hilt, but one that liberals have made many times. They will, for example, equate a parent spanking a child to correct that child to a person abusing a child. They will equate people louding voicing opposition to this current US presidential administration to racists in pointy white hoods.

To give you an idea of just how offensive the argument of this Sojo writer is, here some comparisons--the husband who makes love to his wife is not better than the rapist; the man who defends his property is no better than the thief trying to steal it; the police officer who shoots and kills someone shooting at him is no better than the criminal shooting at the police officer.

Changing global values through the economy, however, is a completely different matter. We are winning this fight; we are changing how the world fiscally relates. What economic credo are we exporting to the rest of the world, you might ask?

Jim Wallis names that credo, “greed is good,” in his new book Rediscovering Values: On Wall Street, Main Street, and Your Street—A Moral Compass for the New Economy. Wallis rightly assesses the current global financial crisis as primarily a moral crisis with severe economic consequences.

I have to smile at this. The naivity inherent in such a statement is almost winsome, if it weren't so silly.

As someone who's done a good bit of international travel and even living, I think I can say with some authority that no one how to tell people how to be greedy. In fact, no one has to tell a small child how to be greedy. They seem to come by it perfectly naturally on their own.

Now, is the US's credo really "greed is good"?

What's funny is that it seems we're suppose to take this statement a face value, or else put out $20+ for Wallis' books. But I suppose I will question it, nonetheless.

Charitable Donations by Americans Reach Record High

Americans increased their charitable donations significantly in 2006 to more than $295 billion -- a record, according to a study released June 25 by the Giving USA Foundation, which reports on charitable contributions.

The overwhelming majority of this money was donated by individuals, not corporations or foundations, according to the chairman of Giving USA, Richard Jolly. Donations from individuals, including bequests, accounted for 83.3 percent of total giving last year, or $245.8 billion, he told USINFO.

“The total amount of money that was given to nonprofit institutions is remarkable,” Jolly said. “What we see is when people feel engaged, when they feel a need is legitimate, when they are asked to support it, they do.”

U.S. charitable giving estimated to be $307.65 billion in 2008

Giving in worst economic climate since Great Depression exceeds $300 billion for second year in a row

Charitable giving in the United States exceeded $300 billion for the second year in a row in 2008, according to Giving USA 2009. Donations to charitable causes in the United States reached an estimated $307.65 billion in 2008, a 2 percent drop in current dollars over 2007.

The 2008 number is the first decline in giving in current dollars since 1987 and the second since Giving USA began publishing annual reports in 1956, says the annual report on philanthropy, released today for the 54th year by Giving USA FoundationTM. ( Revised estimated giving for 2007 was a record $314.07 billion.

“With the United States mired in a recession throughout 2008, there was no doubt in anyone’s mind that charitable giving would be down,” said (Ms.) Del Martin, CFRE, chair of Giving USA Foundation. “However, what we find remarkable is that individuals, corporations and foundations still provided more than $307 billion to causes they support, despite the economic conditions.

Kentucky basketball coach, team raises over $1 million for Haiti

The University of Kentucky basketball team, led by first-year head coach John Calipari, has helped raise over $1 million for Haiti earthquake relief. An auction for the cause included a dinner with the coach and actress Ashley Judd, going for $98,100.

Kentucky may be one of the few states in the nation in which someone would pay $98,100 to have dinner with a college basketball coach.

But this is no ordinary dinner invitation; it is dinner for six with the University of Kentucky (UK) basketball coach John Calipari, his wife Ellen and Hollywood actress Ashley Judd, a graduate of the university. And the price of the dinner is a donation to the Calipari-inspired, "Hoops for Haiti" campaign which has collected more than $1 million for the earthquake stricken nation since Sunday, January 17, according to the Lexington Herald-Leader.

The "Hoops for Haiti" charity event was the result of a desire that Kentucky coach Calipari had after the Haiti earthquake to do something substantial to raise money for the relief efforts in the devastated country.

630 WLAP and Southland Christian Church of Lexington, KY collect and ship peanut butter to Haiti.

The above is pictures. People took peanut butter to the station last week, which Southland Christian Church then sent.

I will agree with the Sojo writer that the Prosperity Gospel is poison, though her solution is rather iffy. Her attempt to make John 3:16 into a socialistic spread-the-wealth verse is humorous, but a madly wrong application of the verse.

I'll end this with a little cartoon for you to visit, which I originally saw here. Substitute a Sojoer for the Jihadist, and you'd quite succintly have what I'm saying here.

Quick! Pass the Shovel!!

1 comment: said...

Great job Kentucky on coming up with that fundraising idea! Haiti could really use every dollar that was raised. Recovering from a catastrophic event like the earthquake will take several months, if not years.