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Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in charity

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Charity as religious community

Some time before I started this blog, I began asking myself the question:  where are the Pagan charities?  Doing good deeds is good PR, and generally Pagans are good people, so didn't it follow that there was a place for Pagan charities to help that along?

The real problem is that I was asking the wrong question.  What I should have asked was, "To what causes do Pagans donate?"  Charitable donations can be a good thing, but as Elani Temperance wisely pointed out, there is value to Pagans giving publicly, too.  Our disparate community doesn't have any meaningful charities of its own, so how can we maximize the value of public giving?

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Jay Logan
    Jay Logan says #
    My coven Chalice Hart - ATC started what we call the Healing Hearts Fund seven years ago, the monies of which go towards helping t
  • Jay Logan
    Jay Logan says #
    \ Shameless plug. lol
  • Jamie
    Jamie says #
    Mr. Ward, Thanks for sharing this with us!
  • Melia/Merit Brokaw
    Melia/Merit Brokaw says #
    Bibliotheca Alexandrina, the publishing branch of Neos Alexandria, contributes profits from their books (only a relatively small a
  • Terence P Ward
    Terence P Ward says #
    I'm glad to learn of it! Obviously asking questions in better forums (fora?) is also a good thing. I'm glad to know there are gr

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Tithing: not just for Christians

Risking charges of cultural appropriation, I'm going to come right out and say that I thinking tithing is a wonderful idea that Pagans should borrow and embrace . . . with some modifications to fit our diverse paths and beliefs, of course.

Tithing is the Biblical tradition of skimming ten percent off the top of one's income and giving it to one's church.  This was an effective way to provide for priests and ensure that charity stays local, but there are a number of reasons why its literal application won't work for most modern Pagans.  A few that come to mind are:

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  • Jamie
    Jamie says #
    Mr. Ward, I wish we could do this. We do give to various charities, though. Thanks again for another great post.
  • Debbie Vozniak
    Debbie Vozniak says #
    This is a great idea. I personally tend to give my donations to animal or nature rescue causes and to victims of disasters worldwi
  • Terence P Ward
    Terence P Ward says #
    Great points, Emily! Produce was the originally tithe expected of Hebrews, with money moving in as a convenient way to measure th
  • Emily Mills
    Emily Mills says #
    Wow. Another timely blog that coincides with things on my mind. What is about this site? The Fistula Foundation is a charity I l

NPR reports on a study that confirms what many of us already felt, that poor people are more charitable, in how they think about community and as a percentage of what they have.  So what's going on here?  I have some ideas, not all of which could possibly be correct at the same time, and I'm even more curious about the ideas I haven't thought of myself.

Not surprisingly, "religion" is cited as a motivator for charitable behavior, but from what I can tell, that generic term as applied in the studies cited actually means "Christian religion" instead.  It's understandable that researchers focus their efforts on the largest groups, but the rest of us must read between the lines.

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  • T
    T says #
    I recall (though sadly can't cite) this being a repeatedly reaffirmed trend. Heck, even Jesus has parable with an example of the p
  • Terence P Ward
    Terence P Ward says #
    I like the connection you draw between community and charity, T, particularly this remark: "Someone who has not directly experien
  • Ted Czukor
    Ted Czukor says #
    Not Paganism specifically, but a general New Age concept that if you want to attract prosperity into your life you must be willing
  • Terence P Ward
    Terence P Ward says #
    Five points for making me look up a word, Ted! Sometimes I wonder if giving tax deductions for charitable contributions is actua
  • Jamie
    Jamie says #
    The tight fist of fear definitely keeps us from giving a lot more money.

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Charity is blind

Although I grew up in a community with a strong Jewish presence, I never really delved into the wisdom of that path; therefore, I was completely unaware of the wisdom of Maimonides and his views on charity.  The philosopher laid out eight levels of giving which observant Jews should follow as a tenet of their faith.  I can't think of a reason Pagans shouldn't adopt something similar.

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  • Jamie
    Jamie says #
    That is a really, really good post. Thank you. Marcus Aurelius once wrote that the most noble deed is the one we receive no cred
  • Terence P Ward
    Terence P Ward says #
    It's noble because it's hard! I have a slew of things I'd love to tell the world about, but unless you're interested in boor hunt

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