It’s that time of year.  I’m receiving exhortations to Give Back such as this one from TCF Bank.  They annoy me.

Why this time of year, particularly?  The message doesn’t explicitly link December to Christmas to Jesus Christ and thence to a duty of Christian Charity, because that would be overtly religious and might offend someone.  But if my obligation to Give Back isn’t a religious obligation, from whence does it arise?  And if it is a religious duty, what if my religion takes a different view and why are you imposing your religion on me? 

How much am I obligated to give back?  10%  More?  Is it a progressive obligation – the more I make, the greater percentage I must give?  Give to whom?  My church or mosque or synagogue, because it’s a religious obligation; or some do-gooder group so I can purchase a bit of vicarious virtue?  Does ‘shopping locally’ count as ‘giving back’ if I shop at a nearby big box retailer because the little stores were closed by decree of King Herod . . . I mean . . . Governor Walz?

I dislike the modern fetish of using Christmas to promote social causes rather than remember Christ.  I prefer the old method of soliciting donations for charitable causes:

‘At this festive season of the year, Mr. Scrooge,’ said the gentleman, taking up a pen, `it is more than usually desirable that we should make some slight provision for the Poor and Destitute, who suffer greatly at the present time. Many thousands are in want of common necessaries; hundreds of thousands are in want of common comforts, sir. . . A few of us are endeavoring to raise a fund to buy the Poor some meat and drink,and means of warmth. We choose this time, because it is a time, of all others, when Want is keenly felt, and Abundance rejoices. What shall I put you down for?”

That pitch appeals to me.  So do the bell ringers at the Salvation Army kettle.  That’s why I never pass one without dropping a buck in the bucket.  I made a special point of withdrawing $20 in ones, just to have them on hand.  Because they don’t engage in silly virtue signaling, they quietly help people in need.

Joe Doakes

1000% on board re the Salvation Army. I never pass one of them without dropping in a buck or five (or at least I never pass ’em twice – I grab cash and break the bill on the way out).

8 thoughts on “Obligation

  1. That’s why I never pass one without dropping a buck in the bucket. I made a special point of withdrawing $20 in one

    That’s exactly what I do!

    Does Target still ban bell ringers?

  2. I don’t know. I’m still boycotting Target because of their silly virtue signaling over transgender bathrooms.

  3. You know, this year, it might mean more than ever to drop some cash in the buckets, but, there is another aspect to consider.

    If you know someone that lives alone, just a visit to say hello and wish them a Merry Christmas, would be welcome to them. Over the past two weeks, my wife, daughter and sister in law, baked a butt ton of cookies, made pancake and spiced tea mix, then put the goodies in holiday baskets. This past weekend, they decorated my wife’s car with magnetic Christmas lights and ornaments, then delivered the baskets to family and friends, many of whom live alone. They got great joy out of it and the recipients were very emotional over the gesture.

  4. The Salvation Army may well be the only civic service organization that has eschewed the celebration of debauchery and failure to maintain focus on its mission.

    The Boy and Girl Scouts of America, UNICEF, the Lions Club, the Rotary club, the NRA, ROTC, FFA, all have lost track of their mission to teach civility and wholesome goodness; all are tainted and befouled.

    And the public schools? The unwholesome horror show within them cannot be overestimated..

    Under the current Pope, even the Roman Catholic Church has begun its slow decline into degeneracy.

    No wonder the reprobates felt it unnecessary to make any attempt to cover their theft of Americans franchise to smuggle a stumbling, drooling, senile puppet into the Oval office. Its their time to shine.

  5. When my daughters were little I always let them run up and put money in the kettles – they loved doing it and it was something they looked forward to. Once when the youngest was about six I was reading the newspaper and there was an ad from the Union Gospel Mission with a photo of an old man with a meal. The headline said something to the effect that for just $1.79 you could pay for that meal. The photo got my daughter’s attention and she wanted to know what was going on. When I told her, she said, “I have $1.79, can I give it to him?”

    She went to her box and counted out the money in change. We drove over to the Mission, where I knew the man who was in charge at the time. She solemnly gave him the money, and he smiled and carefully wrote her out a receipt and thanked her (and I gave him a check as well).

  6. NW:
    Well done.

    A few years ago, I went through an eight month stretch of underemployment. To make sure that I kept things in perspective, I actually volunteered to help out at the UGM. Just listening to some of the stories would bring many people to tears. But, you also wouldn’t believe the optimism and determination of many of these same people.

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