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Funny, but kinda True

10 Aug

Courtesy of Andrew Sullivan’s blog, I was bemused by this little explanation by the eccentric philosopher Slavoj Zizek of the limits and perils of philanthropic charity.  His piercing critique aims at the heart of our conceptions of what makes us feel good about charity and unmasks its hypocritical posture.  But I actually have a little Christian critique of Zizek here, I’ll be blogging about shortly.

The Cheerful Giver

29 Nov

“God loves a cheerful giver.”  Anytime I’ve heard that phrase, I’ve pretty much known what was coming next.  Someone at some religiously affiliated gathering, or working on behalf of some religiously affiliated organization, was going to ask me to cough up a donation.   I don’t mind so much the giving part.  In fact, more often than not, I’m eager to give.  I just wish people of faith weren’t so cheesy and predictable about it.

Exhibit A would be the annual stewardship campaigns that have become familiar to me after worshipping in mainline Presbyterian congregations for years now.  When congregation members drop pledge cards in the basket for stewardship Sunday, the battle for precious dollars is considered mostly done, and if enough money is raised, just about won.  But if we are concerned about the wider implications of giving and charity, then the act of pledging is just the beginning.  And as I want to contend, it really shouldn’t even be the beginning.

I was pleasantly surprised by the way Edgewater Presbyterian ended their stewardship drive a couple weeks ago.  Continue reading