Tag Archives: charity

The real question about those one-star votes

OK, I’m bored, and I need a break from grading, so I’ll take the bait.

I’ve wondered about the motivation within the person who occasionally finds it meaningful to jump on my blog here and give one-star votes to everything on the first page of posts, regardless of extremely wide differences in the content of each. It has happened before, and this week, happened again.

These disapproving votes first appeared shortly after I added a link to a reputable charity seeking to help Syrian refugees, who through no fault of their own have been forced from their homes with their children. So I suspect the voter dislikes Syrians or Muslims. I wish it bothered me more, but that sort of dislike has become cliché.

However, for me, at the moment, the motivation behind the one-star votes is not the real question.

The real question is why, after voting one star on six posts on my homepage, did the voter fail to click that single left-hand star on the final post?

The homepage, the landing page, always displays seven posts. Until the post you’re reading right now was published, the seventh post on this page stood without a vote. It was right there, barely a mouse-twitch away. I assure you that post is just as hostile as the six previous posts to everything the voter stands for. Now it’s gone over to the second page, out of reach to quick protest votes.

So, since the voter missed it, I’ll extend the opportunity and give the link. It’s right here. Go click one star on the post you missed, right here, right now.

One star is better than nothing. Thank you.

So, I took the bait. You’re welcome. Thanks for the break from grading.

‘IRS Getting Pressured To Crack Down On Televangelists Following John Oliver’s Segment’ — CBS DC

From IRS Getting Pressured To Crack Down On Televangelists Following John Oliver’s Segment ‹ Reader — WordPress.com:

WASHINGTON (CBSDC) — The IRS is getting pressured to begin cracking down on televangelists following a John Oliver segment on HBO’s “Last Week Tonight.”

Oliver blasted televangelists this past Sunday for what he called “seed faith,” where they tell donors they will reap the rewards by giving money to them.

“They preach something called the prosperity gospel which argues that wealth is a sign of God’s favor and donations will result in wealth coming back to you. That idea sometimes takes the form of seed faith – the notion that donations are seeds that you will one day get to harvest,” Oliver said in the segment.

He continued, “The argument is ‘sow your money into the ground, you will reap returns multiple times over,’ except as an investment you’d be better off burying your money in the actual ground because at least that way there’s a chance your dog may dig it up and give it back to you one day.”

Read the rest at IRS Getting Pressured To Crack Down On Televangelists Following John Oliver’s Segment ‹ Reader — WordPress.com.

Note: In the other half of the article, CBS DC includes a quotation from Ole Anthony. While Anthony is a self-styled watchdog for religious fraud, he has been accused of operating a cult. Please see this excerpt of I Can’t Hear God Anymore: Life In A Dallas Cult by Wendy Duncan.

Send a birthday card to a 5-year-old with an inoperable brain tumor

Danny’s birthday is Friday (July 25).

Send Danny Nickerson a birthday card. (Published on theCHIVE blog.)

Send Danny Nickerson a birthday card. (Published on theCHIVE blog.)

Read more about Danny.

The recession and church giving

In one sense, “the majority of the economists The Wall Street Journal surveyed during the past few days said the recession that began in December 2007 is now over,” according to this article.

In another sense, “Across the country, congregations of all sizes and denominations are struggling with issues of faith and finance as the recession grinds on…. Richard Klopp, associate director of the Lake Institute on Faith and Giving at Indiana University, said the economic climate for religious organizations is the worst in at least 30 years, forcing membership drives and construction projects to take a back seat to balancing the budget,” according to this article.

The latter article opened with this painful story:

CARROLLTON, Texas — When leaders of Bent Tree Bible Fellowship Church sat down to plan this year’s budget, they knew that extra prayer was in order.

The slowing economy was squeezing the 4,000 members of this evangelical megachurch outside Dallas, prompting more families to ask for spiritual and financial help even as fewer could afford to give.

To cut 10% from its $6 million budget, the church froze staff salaries, stopped using a daily cleaning service and cut $10,000 from its lawn-care bill. It also laid off five of its 71 staff members, including a popular pastor.

“It was painful, like letting go a close family member,” said church board Chairman Kurt Baxter.

Although most churches essentially have someone in the same role, I still cringe at the term “chairman” for a church, and cringe again at the idea of laying off a popular pastor.

Unusual charity: PimpThisBum.com

I saw a segment on CNN’s American Morning about PimpThisBum.com, an unusual way to help the homeless.

The founders of the Web site decided to pick one homeless person and feature him on their Web site. Folks could go online and purchase various food items, clothing, and grooming services for the guy.

Now, the first “bum” has turned his life around, and the site is focusing on a second homeless man.

Check out the site, and then ask yourself:

Could we do something like this in the Wilmington, N.C. / Myrtle Beach, S.C. / Charleston, S.C. areas?

Strategic charity: Pharmacist’s stimulus plan helped his neighbors

Pharmacist Danny Cottrell of Brewton, Alabama, gave his full-time employees $700 each and his part-time employees $300 each, all in $2 bills.

He requested that his employees give 15 percent to charity and spend the rest at local shops. Media reports say that $2 bills have been showing up all over Brewton.

Why not hatch a similar plan in our area?

Some local small-business owners are capable of doing similar things for their employees.

Atheist promotes Christianity for Africa: ‘the enormous contribution that Christian evangelism makes in Africa’

From Matthew Parris’ extraordinary article in The Times of London, written following his recent return visit to Africa:

“Now a confirmed atheist, I’ve become convinced of the enormous contribution that Christian evangelism makes in Africa: sharply distinct from the work of secular NGOs, government projects and international aid efforts. These alone will not do. Education and training alone will not do. In Africa Christianity changes people’s hearts. It brings a spiritual transformation. The rebirth is real. The change is good.

“I used to avoid this truth by applauding – as you can – the practical work of mission churches in Africa. It’s a pity, I would say, that salvation is part of the package, but Christians black and white, working in Africa, do heal the sick, do teach people to read and write; and only the severest kind of secularist could see a mission hospital or school and say the world would be better without it.”

Parris’ article is full of first-hand, personal observations. Read the entire article.