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    Thursday, August 03, 2006

    Rewarding Charity

    This from John Kerry who is riding for dollars...

    All I can tell you is that this ride means a great deal to me. If you've ever participated in a walk, run or ride for a cause you believe in, you know what a powerful and rewarding personal experience it can be. The Pan-Massachusetts Challenge is especially so.

    I can hardly wait until early Saturday morning when I join thousands of fellow riders at the starting line in Sturbridge. There are several different routes, and the one I'll be riding travels 111 miles to Bourne.

    Because I care so much about this event and about the unbelievably important work that Dana-Farber does, I'm hoping you'll sponsor me on my ride on Saturday by pledging either a total dollar amount or an amount per mile.

    OK, I'm not picking on Kerry, but getting a "powerful and rewarding personal
    experience" seems to accomplish a worthy goal in a shallow manner. These rides,
    walks, and runs are hugely successful. I just think they're beneath Christian


    Somehow, a person riding a bike is struggling against an advesary.. in this
    case dreaded cancer and the usual fear of death.

    And how does this
    struggle work?

    It works by non struggling participants donating money based on completion
    of the struggle. Somehow they too join the struggle by giving money, since
    another person is struggling.

    And what makes it rewarding and personally powerful? The person struggling
    accomplishes something physical, and does a good thing by being a vehicle to
    bring money in. I guess.

    Yikes! Let’s disengage here. None have us Christians have forgotten, that
    when we give alms, we are not to let the right hand know what the left hand is
    doing. With that attitude, we would not invent a struggle, and not need a
    struggler to motivate us to part with our money.

    So what it seems we have here is unspiritual charity. Which is fine for
    what it is. Self-esteem is built all around. Rewarding and powerful. Secular
    items for sure. I have always been afraid of self-esteem, rewards, and power.

    I am sure we Christians for the most part will not confuse this shallow
    secular charity with Charity. I just bring it up in case in rare cases the
    temptation has not been scrutinized.

    It’s something like bingo in the Church Hall on Friday nights.. but that’s
    another topic.


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