Monday, December 31, 2012

Jesus would be mad at charity requests - because society should help those in need, not individuals

Why Jesus Would Be Angry This Christmas

Andrew Pudas - Ceramic artist - "Angry Jesus"

He'd be mad about all those charity requests as wealth inequality grows.

Bill Tieleman’s 24 hours/The Tyee column
Tuesday December 18, 2012
"Speak up and judge fairly; defend the rights of the poor and needy."
- Proverbs 31:9, the Bible 

Jesus would be angry this Christmas, furious to see charities feeding the hungry, helping the homeless, comforting those with disabilities and supporting the poor, all asking for donations.

But Christ wouldn't be mad at those worthy groups doing good works. He would be disgusted our society refuses to properly care for those in need, making them depend on the whims of individual generosity.

From groups running food banks to providing shelter to the homeless to assisting people with disabilities from losing their already pathetically low income to those advocating against poverty, all are desperately and perpetually short of operating funds.

And without our financial help, real people suffer.

Jesus would simply ask: why?

Why in a society as developed as Canada's, in a province as full of natural resources as British Columbia, in a city as conspicuously wealthy as Vancouver, do so many live below the poverty line?

The answer doesn't need to come from Jesus, or Buddha or Muhammad or Guru Nanak. It can easily come from us.

The poor, the sick, and the disadvantaged suffer because we like it that way.

No, not because we are all hard hearted sociopaths who couldn't care less about others.

The reason is because we'd rather not pay higher taxes to redistribute wealth more equitably.
Another Christmas, wider disparities
Both the federal Conservative and B.C. Liberal governments explicitly ran campaigns promising and delivering tax "relief" to voters -- but mostly to those who are already extremely well-off.

As a result, both Canada's and B.C.'s income inequality has grown dramatically for years.  
These governments have intentionally made it more difficult to collect employment insurance, disability benefits and social assistance.

The effects are very clear.

B.C. has the second worst child poverty rate in Canada after boasting the absolute worst for the previous eight years.  
Canada's 4,500 food banks have experienced the kind of phenomenal growth in "customers" that any actual private bank would celebrate wildly.

More than 882,000 Canadians depend on food banks, an increase of 31 per cent since 2008. In B.C. over 96,000 people use food banks, a 23 per cent jump since 2008.

But the only "reward" for food banks -- originally established as a temporary measure -- is increased dependency and lack of sufficient supplies for those they serve.
People with disabilities in B.C. have to survive on as little as $906 a month for a single adult -- $10,877 when the Low Income Cut Off indicator for poverty is $23,637.
The gift of social progress
No, if Jesus came back to visit us this Christmas he would be righteously angry -- and organizing for social change.

So as you celebrate the season, please give money to causes that urgently ask for your help.

But also demand that all governments do more to share the wealth our rich society creates.  

That would be a truly meaningful Christmas gift to those who need it most.



Anonymous said...

What does happen is. Service groups pay incentive bonuses, to reduce the amount of money, for those services for the people, that we pay through the nose for. The people who really need those services, don't get them. The money goes into others, thieving pockets.

Canada is a cesspool of corruption. Growing a thousandfold worse every day.

Boessenkool said. The smartest thing Harper ever did was, to cancel the National Child Care Program. Harper just declared himself, a devout Christian, to boot. What devout Christian, won't even meet with Chief Spence, to hear her out? No damned Christian I know.

BC has utterly reeked of corruption, because of Gordon Campbell and his BC Liberals. Campbell gave his useless self a, $60.000 per year salary hike? Why? Nothing has changed with Christy Clark. Her family's first, have not done well. Her job plans, are jobs for the Chinese, not for the BC people.

Campbell took a lot of pride in, having the lowest minimum wage in Canada. He was proud, to have the highest number of Children living in poverty. He also had the highest number of children, going to school hungry.

Jesus needs to strike, more than a few lying, thieving, government, politician monsters dead. As Sister Theresa said? When she get's to Heaven, she has a few things to say to God.

I have a family found through, The Salvation Army. A single Mom with three children working, two part time minimum wage jobs. I help her. I know for sure, she gets what I give her. It doesn't go into, some corrupt s.o.b's pocket.

Anonymous said...

If believers in Jesus practiced what they preach, they might agree... Dream on...

Anonymous said...

Well get out there and ensure the NDP does something about it.

Without skimming off the top of charity bingo games.

The government will be the NDP's and it will be up to you and your party to stop complaining and actually do something to finally fix the problem.

Complaining and whining isn't going to fix the problem. End the poverty industry and tell them to actually do something tanglible and get your Leader to actually formulate solutions that actually work for the poor and not those who want to get a salary out of it.

Get with it, and get on it.

Happy New Year.

Anonymous said...

And they are not even saving a lot of money. Less than $100 bucks per month. Sick, eh?

Anonymous said...

If NDPers solved what they constantly complain about, dream on.

They blame the previous government if they are stuck in a hard to fix situation.

Was poverty eradicated in Vancouver by Mayor Moonbeam as he has promised.

Not even close.

Was poverty reduced to near zero in the Downtown Eastside by Harcourt, Glen Clark, Libby Davies, and others?

Not even close.

Anonymous said...

We are already taxed to the max. If the NDP really wants to divert spending to the poor without increasing taxes, the solution is actually simple.

Reduce the cost of government, eliminate needless money sucking agencies. Reduce the size of Cabinet to essential. Take that advertising budget that the NDP screams about but they did alot of communications in the past when they were in government and divert it to programes that actualy get people off the welfare rolls and into good paying jobs.

No "this is what we are doing" ads. None.

Remove Assistants to the Legislative Assistants and tell the MLAs to get out there and do their own outreach. One Ministerial Assistant and Office Assistant per Minister, no army of assistants.

End the make work projects for MLAs and Ministers. Task out for things that are actually worth doing and will mean something.

About $40 to $ 50 million saved annually guaranteed that can go to
real tangible training programmes.

Chris said...

Thanks for this, Bill.

I think about this a lot; I'm just never sure what to do with the feeling I have when I go through a checkout stand at Safeway (where I pay a bit more to shop union and stretch a tight budget to support fellow citizens trying to make a decent living) -- and the cashier is required to ask me every other week whether I want to contribute to some cause or disease or misfortune...

Generally, I think something along the lines of: You're freaking kidding me, right? We're collecting pennies in grocery stores to do cancer research?

I had cancer. So that's frightening.

I have a kid who's disabled and always will be. So that's really frightening.

Thanks for the column. You're right.

Anonymous said...

Chris, get a wider prespective in regards to collecting pennies in grocery stories for cancer research.

The BC Cancer Society receives donations from many sources, even the Rick Hansen Foundation.

The Grocery Stores are doing their bit to help. Why is that a crime in your mind if a person wants to contribute to a worthy cause?

Some may not like it, but at least it is an effort to help.

I haven't seen the NDP or any other party getting into charity collection other than at Christmas time when some (but not all) MLAs have a collection box for non perishable foods to go to the local food banks.

I shop at Safeway not because it is UFCW, but rather it is convenient and the prices are good. I did shop at a Save On Foods before it closed because of rebuilding. It too is UFCW, but I really don't give a shit if it's union or not. I'm there because of price and selection and service. That's what counts in the retail business.

You can have a union shop store that has lousy service and poor selections. I wouldn't go there.

Can't see union wages of $22.00/hr for a bag boy or for the person who puts up the price signs and stickers each Sunday morning.

Christopher said...

Always these A-holes " Anonymous " have nothing useful to contribute to any conversation . Inevitably throw up statistics of previous NDP Governments to justify the absolute garbage record of their own miserable Liberals Government lack of everything . Typical cowards never address the underlying problems of SHIT Government over the last twenty years ...Give me a break !

Anonymous said...

Well come up with positive solutions and stop complaining and whining.

The government will be the NDP's in about 5 months.

So how about writing out what the NDP should do to fix the problem regarding the poor, other than the NDP continually presenting policy resolutions at their conventions.

It will be the NDP's government, so it will be up to them to fix the problem.

No sense in being critical of the BC Liberals. They're out as government as of the end of May anyway.

NDP - it's yours to handle.

Better get on it.

Anonymous said...

Why do some here continue to feed the troll? Either ignore the ramblings or move on. Trolls cannot think outside their realm.

Anonymous said...

"Complaining and whining isn't going to fix the problem."
Then why repeat the same tired old lines from decades ago.
Let's talk about billions wasted on an outrageous and dangerous Port Mann Bridgegate.

Anonymous said...

So why talk about the "billions wasted on an outrageous and dangerous Port Mann Bridgegate"?

Why for the old bridge didn't the NDP include HOV in both directions (reversible lane?)

In fact why didn't the NDP start a second bridge when they were government when they should have?

Nothing wrong with the new one. The contractor did not put down enough sand/salt/brine plus the fact that people were going too fast for conditions.

Easy to blame the BC Liberals.

What if the NDP built the bridge? Would the whining and complaining continue?

Heck forget the complaining talk.

If you're going to talk, let's get
into positive solutions and new road projects.

NDP replaced the deck on the Lions Gate with a nice new one, but there's still three lanes and no direct route to Hwy 1.

Should have built an identical twin bridge and two level cut cover tunnel through Stanley Park.

Will be very interesting to see how the NDP handles the BCTF.

DPL said...

as usual, the story started with Jesus and who should be doing the feeding and care of the poor and we end up talking about the bridge that cost way more than first expected. Too many agencies are collecting dollars and keep a big percentage of what they do collect. Some churches used to get members to provide a percentage of their income( Maybe some still do) and that was for the poor in the local area.But with conditions as they are now, the government must support the folks or some will continue to have to decide feed themselves or pay for their prescription drugs.

Anonymous said...

Jesus believed in social democracy (aka. socialism).
Someones head is going to explode after reading that.
What does the NDP and the BCTF have to do with Jesus?

Anonymous said...

Hey buddy, the current bunch of bandits have run out of money. Trouble is, they haven't figured that out yet. There is no money left to help anyone needing help, except the crooked politicians themselves. Fix the debt first. Fix the infrastructure later.

Anonymous said...

DP, not all agencies "keep a big percentage of what they collect". It does cost money to run charities, I can think of very few that are 100% not dependent on donations to recover costs of purchases of goods and services, and to pay someone to spend all day finding new sources of donations and so forth.

I am all for the government supporting those who need the assistance, but too many have become dependent on it while they can support themselves. I can't see how a person on social assistance needs a laptop.

The government (even the NDP) can't provide everyone everything they want so it is up to those who want to help those get back on their feet or provide the care they need if they can't work to get out there and help.

Many organizations do just that with lots of volunteers.

Join them.

Anonymous said...

"I can't see how a person on social assistance needs a laptop." Perhaps we should remove their tv and radio and provide them with a crystal radio. After all, there won't be a need for any power source with a crystal set.
Next eliminate the washer and dryer combo. Get them a washboard and a brush.
Stupid comment.

Anonymous said...

To Anon 11:15 Sunday Jan. 5:

A better idea would be to reduce the cost of government, dump non-essential Crown Corporations such as ICBC, eliminate needless boards,
and reduce the size of Cabinet. Eliminate needless elements of government such as government advertising.

Invest tax dollars so that those who can work and are on social assistance such as those who can operate machinery or use a hammer
are given preferences on the infrastructure site. Insist the unions get more apprenticeships going to get work capable social assistance recipients working.

Help those who can't work with aid from charities.

Keep the infrastructure going because it creates jobs. The Port Mann project had hundreds of trades jobs on it from steelworker to the guy that puts the lines on the road.

Much better than complaining.


Anonymous said...

Mr. Tieleman,

I'm disappointed with your mis-characterization of Jesus. You're right that Jesus stood with the poor and marginalized... but the article is wrong in stating that Jesus would be mad to see charities supporting the poor.

God never said raise taxes on people so that the government can exclusively deal with poverty - where's the genuine generosity in that!? Scripture challenges each of us to give willingly (2 Corinthians 9:7), so actually, *charities supporting the poor is moral* and encouraged.

Also, as a Christian, I'd personally like to be able to choose which charities I give to, not just to government. We pay a lot of taxes already to support various federal/provincial gov programs for the poor.

I would appreciate it if you would not falsely stretch Scripture to fit your political agenda... it's upsetting when politicians from both spectrums do it. Thanks.

Anonymous said...

Agree with the above poster.

Since when does Bill out of the many Christians out there figure his interpretation of His opinions and His work is correct over anyone elses?

As for getting government to share the wealth, what does that mean? Increased taxes?

A better idea would be to lead by example.

Suppose Bill and his better half forgo those needless Mexican resort vacations and gave the money saved to charity and spent those days off at the Union Gospel Mission or packing boxes at the food bank?

Not anon DPL said...

I wonder if the anons do what they suggest Bill and wife do with their hard earned cash. are they regular attendees at the food bank as volunteers or down at the Union Gospel Mission? I rather doubt it. If I'm wrong, first off let us know your names so we can go ask the agencies mentioned. I thought not

Anonymous said...

So what does "DPL" do to assist the poor other than complain and whine? Does he volunteer? If so tell us the charity so we can verify.

Anonymous said...

Comments are getting personal and quite stupid.
Next topic, please.
BTW, one does not HAVE to donate money to help folks. I have donated blood over 60 times and saved about 180 peoples lives.
Also, there is nothing sinister about going on a holiday. Folks deserve time away from the usual humdrum.

Anonymous said...

Well said Bill.

Let's not confuse this annual cbc-led orgy of self-congratulation every xmas ( dickens readings, food drives, pious utterances ) with true social justice.

Surely we in BC can share enough of our collective wealth to provide for every family with guaranteed annual incomes and decent jobs, education and quality of life, right wing narratives fostered by Koch Brother / Fraser Institute / PostMedia mythopoetics notwithstanding.

Let's hope Dix doesn't play small l liberal in pandering for votes like Carole did. Even the IMF has acknowledged that the government spending Kenyesian multiplier ranges from 1 to 1.7, UK austerity programs being a total failure, enforcing the paradox of thrift with its attendant stagnation at the state level.

We shall see, that will be the true mark of Dix's legacy as our Premier apparent.

Not anon DPL said...

Anon.9:35 I suggest you check the food bank, Women's sexual assault centre and a couple of others.When we lived in Vancouver we were heavily involved in DAYUS .You should know, if you do any volunteering or giving to such services they are not going to tell you who actually contribute. You are simply trying to muddy the water's as the old saying goes. I quit doing churches when the Pope decided that women are not suitable to be priests.

Anonymous said...

"DPL" has a bit of a contridictory statement.

He first clearly said on January 7th at 13:00"

"I rather doubt it. If I'm wrong, first off let us know your names so we can go ask the agencies mentioned.

Then at 6:45 AM January 8th he says

"You should know, if you do any volunteering or giving to such services they are not going to tell you who actually contribute"

Bit of a contradiction there as per usual.

and DPL there are other churches besides those which are Catholic, and many provide very valuable services.

and spread the wealth through every family getting an guranteed income? How much and who pays? There aren't enough people earning $250,000 or more to tax.

Seems to be more tax the middle class again.