I've been thinking about how to write about this topic for a couple days now. Brandi over at Living Freely just posted on this topic as well. The numbers are out about how much Sen. Biden gave to charitable organizations over the past few years and I'm sure it isn't exactly a proud moment for him. The numbers are measly, sad, disappointing. Some commenters in the blogsphere have noted that McCain and Obama can give more because they make a lot more and therefore even after donations they still have more money than Biden. YES, of course! But, if you make over $300K in a year and can't even give away $1000 I certainly don't want you running my country. Here is why. You either A) Don't care about the "little guy" or B) Have really bad priorities or possibly C) Be very bad with money. SO, that is why this upsets me. Check out Brandi's blog for the numbers on McCain and Obama. Gov. Palin hasn't released her tax records at this point.
Sure, people can spend their money however they please, but if you are running for one of the highest offices in the country I am entitled to judge you based on your character. This brings me to another question, should we judge them by WHAT they give to? Does it matter that McCain gives a lot of money to private schools? Does it matter that Obama never tithed to his church or gives a big chunk to his party? Should we be holding these political public figures accountable for this? YES! How can they all tout that they care about the American public, or the world, when their money isn't where their mouth is. YES, McCain gives a far greater percentage of his money to charitable causes than most Americans and certainly more than the other candidates but he also didn't release his wife's tax records. Cindy McCain brings in an incredible amount of money so it is surely easier for him to give away his Senate pay increase and his book royalties. But since we can't be sure how much of a percentage that really is when added to her 6 million per year we can't adequately "judge" his giving.
So what should Christians do? How can we lead the world in this way and show by example? People like Minhee and Eugene Cho have pledged to give away their entire year's (average) salary plus more to fight global hunger. As Christians we are called to feed, clothe, shelter, etc. Should we sit in the quiet and say we don't want to discuss such personal matters or that we are supposed to give in secret or should we hold people accountable? I agree with the Cho's that if you give quietly you can't inspire and encourage others to do the same. There is a line there, obviously, but how inspiring is it to see a family of 5 that makes an average wage pledge to give it all away, plus more? I KNOW them too, they are definitely giving SACRIFICIALLY. How can we all become more like that? How do we teach our children to think and behave this way? If there aren't public examples of this out there then who is holding everyone accountable? Clearly we can't rely on our political figures to lead the way so we have to do it. Thank you to all of you who I know that are doing this in a very real way. Thank you for listening to God's voice and for showing others that while we are given a lot we can't think of it as OURS.
While you are at it, please check out this month's Kids Lake project that is aiming to feed an orphanage full of children in Ethiopia for a month. This is a HUGE goal so please pray about it, talk about it with your kids and find a way to contribute. Make sure you take a look at the Cho's upcoming organization they are starting to fight global poverty as well. Remember that my brother and his family are leaving soon for their move to Liberia. I'm sure they'd LOVE your financial support as well! Information about how to support them is in the sidebar of their blog.