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Answers to questions you may have been afraid to ask!

An opportunity to explore the spiritual in a manner that all may come together and share.


Sep 6, 2008

Among those who consider themselves clergy, there seems to be two lines of thought on this subject.  There are those who consider it a subject "too hot to handle," and those who don't seem to talk about very much else.  Please note that I am not limiting the scope to any particular kind of clergy. 

In the meantime, it is a subject that we're forced to deal with every day.  If you don't see a poster for some cause, there will be the annual charity drive at work.  And if it isn't the annual fund drive at work, there's the commercial on TV about a hungry child you can sponsor in some far-off land.  And if it isn't a TV commercial, someone will ask for "change" the next time you go downtown.  And as if that isn't enough, there's always the possibility that someone you know will be knocking on your door with either a tale of woe or some great venture for you to invest in.  And we still haven't mentioned the folks who go to church and have a plate passed at them, have we?

Meanwhile, you and your family have legitimate needs.  And if you gave in to all of the pitches you hear and see, you might find yourself in a situation in which you're doing without lunch so that someone else can have beer with their lunch!  And that's not fair.

And then there's the question of attitude.  Actually, it's a question of more than one attitude.  Those who give with the expectation of reward might be disappointed.  And that's a shame, because nature abhors a vacuum.  What goes out will have its place taken, but you've got to give karma some room to maneuver.  And there's the other expectation: the expectation of those who are receiving the charity.   That can wear things down.

And no wonder some consider the subject of charity "too hot to handle", especially in a religious context.

And maybe that's why I decided that I needed to say something about charity.  It's not like I can get away with avoiding it!

Blessed Be!

over twelve years ago

I\'m troubled by this topic -charity- at the moment myself. I\'m reading two very different books right now: \"Uncertain Peril: Genetic Engineering and the Future of Seeds\" [non-fiction] and \"Dies the Fire\" [fiction] that have brought this topic to my attention.

The issue that arose for me was the conflict between \"harm none\" and personal survival. In the book Dies the Fire - charity or sharing comes up when faced with helping uncharitable/ unfriendly(hostile) neighbors in a virtual \"end of the world\" scenario. Food and safety are in immediate need yet there may be people among the neighbors with life-threatening plague. The wiccans learn that the city doctor has been withholding antibiotics which would have saved one of the wiccan children who died.

How does one deal with a situation like that where there is a direct appeal for assistance for the undeserving? (is there too much judgment there?)
Do you give food, shelter, security, safety, etc. to people who hold you in contempt and have (through their withholding assistance to you) caused you direct harm?