On good will and charity

December 26, 2010 § 4 Comments

Our family did a tiny bit of the charity work that is traditional around holiday time. It was in association with a charitable entity run by a major religious denomination, despite the fact that my family is unaffiliated with any religious organizations and beliefs.

One of the most amusing parts was the expression of amazement on the part of one of the religion motivated workers that there was at least one similar other charitable operation in town that, gasp, was not even associated with any religion!

At first I chuckle in amusement that the religious are so arrogant, myopic and blind. They simply cannot understand that one might wish to do something nice, helpful or of service to their fellow humans without being motivated by the Fear of God. Or, at least, under instruction from God to do good works. At first this is funny.

Then I start feeling sort of sick. Do these people truly only do things for their fellow humans at the risk of peril to their soul? At the risk of the unending Byzantine varieties of torture associated with their most florid fantasies of Hell? This is the only reason they do good works?

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§ 4 Responses to On good will and charity

  • Abel says:

    Yup, this definitely chaps my ass, chief. We were raised in a faith that led us to abhor doing the same for our child so we generally take your approach. However, there are some local charities that will not permit volunteering if one is not Christian, for example. We do have some inter-faith charities that accept assistance of us demon-spawned – knowing folks who support those agencies, I seem to think that being “faith-based” confers tax advantages above and beyond being a not-for-profit (disclaimer: I am not a tax expert).

    But it does indeed make me sad that your last two paragraphs are so true. And yes, it makes me a little sick.

    Well, here’s to my belief that you and your family are good caring people!

  • I’m an agnostic churchgoer (I know weird fucking combination) but we volunteer at a homeless shelter and one lady asked me if I felt compelled by God to be there. She looked horrified when I chuckled and said, “No for me its a moral obligation to do service in the community, not a religious one.” I’m not our there helping people for fear of eternal salvation, I’m out there because its the right thing to do.

  • Catalina6 says:

    Question: You see a man drowning and observe a thief pull him to safety. When you get to him he is still out of breath, but also out of harm’s way on terra firma. His money and the thief are long gone. Do you dwell on the rescued man’s missing money and his wet clothes and curse the thief and the sea or share in his delight at his profound good fortune to still be among the living rather than the narrowly escaped alternative? (And perhaps, for all you & he know, his money wasn’t pocketed but is resting on the bottom of the sea).

    Good works are good works. Love the name of your blog.

  • BikeMonkey says:

    Wait…who is the thief in this scenario?

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