When is Charity Just a Photo-op:? Matthew 6:1-4

This blog was a difficult one for me to write. Giving to charity is giving to charity and is a good thing. I don’t like to disparage people who are giving to the needy. Because I am not very strong on that front.

One of my greatest sins is that I spend money on snack food and things I don’t kneed while many in my city go hungry. It is so easy to look the other way. It is so easy to view them as drunk or lazy . It goes against my human nature to give money away. But I do feel good when I do. I usually buy then a bottle of water if it is hot out or a coffee if it is cold. In Madison WI our winters are very cold and our summers are very hot.

I am not writing this to boast. I am writing this as an example. I don’t tell people that I do this. It is just between me and the person I give the water or the coffee or sometimes money to.

I am writing this because motives of why you give and how you give are very important. Do you give in a very public way so tv cameras can take video. A photo-op at the expense of the poor, yes you are giving them things they need but you are doing it to score political points. Both parties do this but when it is a Politician who is catering to the religious right it angers me even more.

But before I go further. I want to mention Glen Beck. I am no fan of his. He called one of my modern heroes of the faith Jim Wallis a Marxist and said that any good Christian should flee from his church or any other “social justice” church. When there was the Central American child migrant crisis. Glen Beck sent a truck full of teddy bears, balls, and food. To make their plight less painful. He wasn’t running for anything. He didn’t send a press release. He just did it out of the goodness of his heart. He even said that doing this would be “deadly to his career”. Brietbart online disparaged that. If you are reading this God Bless you Glen Beck, there is hope for you yet.

We do have a poverty crisis in our nation and it affects children the most. The National Center for Children in Poverty states that 21% of children are living below the poverty line. We have a medical crisis in this nation as well. Charity is all well and good but when you don’t attack the systematic causes of these problems in America while giving out of your excess is just plain wrong. You donate to a food shelter yet support politicians who cut food aid to the poor. They can not pick up the slack.

This blog has two purposes. #1 is to show my non Christian readers what Christianity is really like. #2 is to point out to both them and members of the religious right that Trump is a danger to America and the faith. So the rest of the blog

Donald Trump went down to Louisiana and donated truckload of supplies and was filmed doing so. Again. I have problems criticizing this because giving is giving. But this does seem more political than charitable. He also wrote a million dollar check to Tony Perkins’ Greenwell Springs Baptist Church. It is an extreme right church that has been classified as a hate group. I am not going to go into whether  it is or is not in this blog.

But Tony Perkins did agree with Messianic Jewish pastor Jonathan Cahn that the 2015 hurricane that swept the Bahamas was God’s punishment for abortion and homosexuality on his radio show.

There is hypocrisy here. That is a very hateful thing to say. By his own logic the once in a thousand year flood must be punishment against him. It was his parish that was hit the hardest and his house was lost. I am not presumptuous enough to say that it is God’s wrath. I personally don’t believe it is.

Now I don’t know if the liberal rumors are true about Tony Perkins using some of those funds to build up his house. This could just be a slander. But I would urge him to release a ledger showing where the money is going. I want to make sure that every dollar of the million dollars he donated is going to flood relief and that none of it is going to his Family Freedom Foundation, political purposes, or to build Tony Perkins anything more than a humble home.

The Christian optimist in me wants to believe that all that money is helping good people help fix their homes. But the human cynic in me believes that it is not.

I would love to be rich instead of broke. But you know what I would love to do if I did get wealthy? Sure I would travel and buy a comfortable home and pay someone to grocery shop for me. But I would be able to give more away. There are so many good charities out there and I feel guilty that my money goes to Kickstarter. Funions, and those chip-a-hoy brownie cookies that have chocolate in the middle instead of to more worthy recipients. I would like to sponsor  a child in Rwanda, give money to Fairhaven. A school in Alexandria Egypt that serves children with cognitive disabilities. I would love to give money to Antipas Ministries. It is an end times ministry that is warning Christians about the danger that Trump poses. I would also help my best friends pay off their house and I would make sure that my Facebook brother who is suffering from Sarcadosis has the best health care that money could buy.

But when that happens. I don’t want to call a press release. I don’t want to make a big deal about it. I would just like to do it and thank God that He gave me the resources to do it.


The picture I used is of Paul Ryan who went to the Mahoning County St. Vincent De Paul Society in Youngston Ohio unannounced while he was campaigning for Vice President in 2012. Brian J. Antal who was the president of that charity said that this political stunt could have stifled donations.

Matthew 6
“Be careful not to practice your righteousness in front of others to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven.

2 “So when you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to be honored by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. 3 But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, 4 so that your giving may be in secret. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.

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