Does the "giving" become spiritually or morally tainted when there are agenda's attached to the "giving"?
What about when those agenda's are instances in which the religious believer 'believes' it is their moral obligation to "save" the people whom they are helping? Is this morally or spiritually tainted "giving - helping"?
Is there such as thing as "purity" in giving?
(There have been rare examples throughout the ages of human beings who have served humanity with agenda-free purity. For the most part though, human beings on the whole, have been prone to their ego's becoming involved with their "helping-giving".)
Does a person need to be "saved by Jesus" in order for the meaningfulness of their lives to be validated by God or the Divine Being of their understanding?
Can serving the poor and caring for those in need amongst us still be held in the Divine Heart as Divine Will if the person who has given their lives in such a manner is an atheist, humanist or non-religious person? What if their religious orientation is Muslim, Hindu, Hare Krishna, Buddhist, Wiccan, Daoist, or Catholic?
What type of Divine Being, if you choose to believe in God or a Divine Being, would condemn into eternal damnation, a human being who has given his or her life to the charity and care of the 'least amongst them', for not being "saved by Jesus Christ"?
What God would condemn a human being into eternal damnation for not interspersing into their dialogues reassuring references about their "being saved by Jesus Christ, our Lord"?
Isn't there a spiritual arrogance in this manner of thinking?
Cannot even the most truly gentle hearted amongst us become unwitting religious fanatics when they begin to tell those with whom they encounter, with utmost sincerity and concern their eyes, that "if you happen to die tonight, you will go to hell and be dammed" for not publicly acknowledging to them that you have been "saved by Jesus"?
Isn't it about then when the "giving" or the "helping" they bring begins to show signs of spiritual or moral taintedness?
Does my "giving-helping" become tainted if I work and/or associate myself with people whom I have found out believe in this way?
1. Progress for the President's 'Compassion Agenda' Today's Presidential Action
During the traditional December season of giving, President Bush took steps to help those in need by reaching out to America's faith-based and community organizations.
The President announced that he would implement, by Executive Order, key elements of his Faith-Based and Community Initiative, including some elements contained in the bipartisan C.A.R.E. Act legislation that stalled in the Senate this year. These actions will make it easier for America's charities to work with the federal government to address the needs of hurting Americans.
Signed an Executive Order on Equal Treatment for Charities and announced new Agency actions eliminating discriminatory practices against faith-based and community groups;
Directed FEMA to revise its policy on disaster relief for faith-based non-profits. Whitehouse Press Release
2. Supreme Court decision on faith-based programs solid, says Christian attorney The president of the Pacific Justice Institute says a decision by the U.S. Supreme Court which sided with the White House Office of Faith-Based Initiatives will be a major setback for secular humanist groups who want to push their radical agenda on the country.One News Now
3. Nontheists Condemn Supreme Court Decision in Hein v. Freedom From Religion Foundation Commondreams.org
4. Congressman Bobby Jindal Introduces "Disaster Relief Equity Act of 2005", H.R. 1552A bill to codify into law an Executive Order which President George W. Bush signed in December 2002 -- which allows the Federal Emergency Management Association (FEMA) to provide disaster relief to eligible faith-based social organizations -- was introduced by Congressman Bobby Jindal, (R-LA). Prior to the President's E.O., FEMA's policy barred the agency from granting disaster relief to religious non-profits such as schools, soup kitchens, and homeless shelters when they suffered damage, even though they provide valuable social services to the community. Christian Coalition of America
Charitable choice is a provision of the failed welfare reform legislation of 1996, founded on the principle that people are impoverished because of bad choices and irresponsible behavior. The systemic causes of poverty and the unprecedented wealth gap of the past twenty-five years are not considered. Part of the neoliberal project clearly involves tempering the harshness and salving some wounds with a dose of good old Christian charity. But should the churches be accepting the basic situation of systemic injustice?
REV. PETER LAARMAN Judson Memorial Church
6. Religious Charities and Government Funding
AYMAN REDA Michigan State University - Department of Economics - September 2004
Abstract: In this paper, we model several aspects of the relationship between religious nonprofits and the government in the context of recent governmental programs such as the Faith-Based and Community Initiatives. The government has the responsibility of providing a social service to its citizens. It decides whether to award the funds to a religious nonprofit, secular nonprofit or produce the service itself. Religious charities are willing to provide the service at lower costs if they can use the funds as an opportunity to proselytize their doctrine. This is because they gain utility from preaching to more individuals, which allows them to gain more adherents. This provides them with an advantage over non-religious providers and rival religious charities. The choice of which religious denomination(s) to award the funds to will determine the nature of the change in believers' preferences due to the proselytizing, which will in turn affect the religious 'balance of power' between denominations in the society. Read more on this paper at: Social Science Research Network
7. Books in Review: When Sacred and Secular Mix
8. God and Country: What it means to be Christian After George W. Bush Bob Marsh