As Americans set new records for charitable giving in response to Hurricane Katrina, some fundraisers are seeing a principle confirmed: when the suffers are perceived as innocent victims, donors respond generously.
On the other hand, giving patterns suggest donors are losing patience with chronic problems such as poverty, in which suffering is arguably exacerbated by questionable choices. Private donations are shrinking for homeless shelters, AIDS-related services and programs for troubled youth, to cite just a few examples.
what do you think?
who is “innocent” ?
who deserves to receive the dollars we give in compassionate causes?
how do you go about deciding where to give money?
are you positive that race and/or class issues aren’t in the back of your head as you make such decisions?
who is it that jesus said we were to be compassionate to?
is that who you are compassionate to?
i have heard it myself, many times, from people talking about the welfare system we have here.
statements like, “well, i don’t mind helping people out, but if they’d just get a job…”
i am wondering how much of the “innocence” of a person plays into how generous we are…
of course no one is truly innocent, but do we feel more compassion towards a middle-class white family who loses everything in a fire set by an arsonist than we do for a lower-class black family who loses everything in a fire set by a crack pipe?
are we more willing to give generously to the first example?
the article is saying that, by and large, we (americans) are, and that supposed christians are no different.
it ought to make one pause and relfect on one’s own heart, not argue over who’s right or wrong.