The Meaning of Giving
This is the season of gift buying and giving.
Set aside the grotesque marketing campaigns that co-opt the Christmas narrative to expand profit and remember that this season should celebrate God’s gift of his Son. Churches might consider reminding us of this.
I say that because I googled ‘church giving gifts.’ I expecting hits about church gift giving programs, special collections for relieving the needy, church quilting/blanket-making guilds and the like. Why did I expect that? I expected that because this is the season of gift buying and giving. And I expected it because churches should celebrate the gift of God’s Son.
It seems that my focus was off-target. When I submitted my church giving gifts query, Google understood something else entirely. My expectations collided with reality when I discovered that the top hits were as follows:
Public Giving, Public Justice
Speaking of giving, President-elect Donald Trump gave the Directorate of the Office of Management Budget to Mick Mulvaney [R-SC]. Who is he?
In 2011, Representative Mick Mulvaney wanted to force the US Treasury to default rather than raising the debt ceiling. In 2013, he was active on the ‘House Freedom Caucus,’ which advocated shutting down the federal government to force the repeal of Obamacare. Mr. Mulvaney is committed to slash such programs as Medicare and Social Security. In fact, Mulvaney is an opponent of federal disaster relief. He tried to block passage of the $50.7 billion emergency relief bill for Hurricane Sandy.
Mr. Trump says that he will help create policies ‘friendly to American workers and businesses.’ This is political lingo for butchering federal social spending. Trump has pledged to cut the corporate tax rate from 35% to 15%. In other words, tens of millions of elderly and disabled working people will fund the windfall for this massive gift to the wealthy and big businesses.
Since this is the season of gift buying and giving, perhaps churches should reconsider their focus and offer a witness to public justice and mercy. If that happens, indications are that it won’t begin with your IFB sects. By in large, they supported this insanity to make Babylon great again.
One can only wonder what Fundamentalism’s take on ‘giving means for its theology of grace.