Why not give yourself?
Acton Institute Powerblog

Why not give yourself?

A question over at the ONE Campaign blog:

Why don’t these celebrities cough up their own money and stop asking for mine?

Answer: First off, they are. Most of the celebs involved in the campaign give hundreds of thousands, if not millions to charity. They just choose not make it public. But this campaign is not about asking you for YOUR money either, we want your voice. We are also talking about BILLIONS of dollars here. Not millions. If all the celebs in Hollywood banded together it still wouldn’t touch the amount that the G8 countries could give.

Well, as you read on, it is actually about “YOUR money.”

If the USA agreed to commit an additional ONE percent of its budget, or 25 billion dollars per year, it would cost every American 23 cents a day. I’m ready to do that if it saves lives…are you?

Why use the US government as a middleman, and a bureaucratic and inefficient one at that? Why not ask for 23 cents directly from the individual person?

Perhaps because then the answer might be no, but if you use the coercive power of government, no one can say no. And of course, the question is really if the same old types of aid and patterns of giving to African governments really will save lives. If corrupt governments haven’t been trustworthy with a little, why should they be trusted with a lot? (See Matthew 25:23)

Jordan J. Ballor

Jordan J. Ballor (Dr. theol., University of Zurich; Ph.D., Calvin Theological Seminary) is director of research at the Center for Religion, Culture & Democracy, an initiative of the First Liberty Institute. He has previously held research positions at the Acton Institute and Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, and has authored multiple books, including a forthcoming introduction to the public theology of Abraham Kuyper. Working with Lexham Press, he served as a general editor for the 12 volume Abraham Kuyper Collected Works in Public Theology series, and his research can be found in publications including Journal of Markets & Morality, Journal of Religion, Scottish Journal of Theology, Reformation & Renaissance Review, Journal of the History of Economic Thought, Faith & Economics, and Calvin Theological Journal. He is also associate director of the Junius Institute for Digital Reformation Research at Calvin Theological Seminary and the Henry Institute for the Study of Christianity & Politics at Calvin University.