INFORMATION

This website uses cookies to store information on your computer. Some of these cookies are essential to make our site work and others help us to improve by giving us some insight into how the site is being used. For further information, see our Privacy Policy. Continuing to use this website is acceptance of these cookies.

Humanism, religion and charity

For topics that are more about faith, religion and religious organisations than anything else.
Message
Author
User avatar
Dave B
Posts: 17809
Joined: May 17th, 2010, 9:15 pm

Humanism, religion and charity

#1 Post by Dave B » August 27th, 2010, 6:33 pm

In a discussion on Radio4 during the week, as to whether the BBC should have proper editor of religious matters. I have tried to find the actual item on the Radio 4 homepage, but the BBC website search, navigation and help system leaves a lot to be desired!

So, going by memory: a bishop of some sort claimed, as part of the argument that the religious section should emphasise the part of the religions in society, that that work done by religious charities was a good example of their place in society. He mentioned CAFOD and another Christian charity.

This invoked some thinking on my part. The established religions, with their tax exemptions and special statuses, have lots of experience and extended infrastructure - they have many bodies in many places that come under a group of umbrellas; Catholic charities, Anglican charities, Islamic charities etc. Good marketing ploys.

But consider the thousands of other charities, from Oxfam to local groups of three or four people, who owe no allegiance to any religion (though they may be religious as individuals, or not). Without recourse to religious doctrine or support they strive onwards to help the group they are involved with.

I work with the Brit. Heart Foundation and Fair Shares and used to work with Oxfam - all of which as secular by constitution, as are thousands of others. Perhaps secular charities do not have an umbrella name/organisation to make them recognisable, but they are out there and almost certainly outnumber the religious based ones.

Perhaps this should have been in the "rant" section - the arrogance of these people really gets up my nose!
"Look forward; yesterday was a lesson, if you did not learn from it you wasted it."
Me, 2015

lewist
Posts: 4402
Joined: July 4th, 2007, 8:53 pm

Re: Humanism, religion and charity

#2 Post by lewist » August 27th, 2010, 6:45 pm

Too right!

I sponsor a child through Plan UK, an international charity with its roots in the appalling events at the end of the Spanish Civil War. They always make appeals for aid when there are disasters and I contributed recently to aid for the victims of the floods in Pakistan. I contribute through Plan because - as far as I can see - they are completely secular.
Carpe diem. Savour every moment.

Manuel
Posts: 184
Joined: October 29th, 2009, 8:59 pm

Re: Humanism, religion and charity

#3 Post by Manuel » August 27th, 2010, 7:41 pm

For every religious charitable organisation, you can find an equally (if not more so) effective secular one. It is an arrogant assumption by some in the religious community that they have the monopoly on charitable giving and organising, when it plainly is not the case. It has always been a poor argument that the charitable nature of religion and the religious is reason enough for its place in society, given that it is an innate character of all humans to want to help their fellow man.

By the way I use the Red Cross which, despite the name, claims to be entirely secular and apolitical.

User avatar
Alan C.
Posts: 10356
Joined: July 4th, 2007, 3:35 pm

Re: Humanism, religion and charity

#4 Post by Alan C. » August 27th, 2010, 7:48 pm

Dave B
the arrogance of these people really gets up my nose!
Mine as well Dave, the so called "religious leaders" live an obscenely lavish lifestyle, the most expensive frocks and bejewelled bling, palaces with servants to wait on them hand and foot, private jets, and gold plated pension schemes etc, while a lot of their "flock" live in poverty, arrogance isn't really a strong enough word, especially concerning the Vatican.

Edit.
I believe the people of the UK (with Church goers down at around 6%) have contributed more than anyone else to the Pakistan flood appeal.
Abstinence Makes the Church Grow Fondlers.

User avatar
Alan H
Posts: 24067
Joined: July 3rd, 2007, 10:26 pm

Re: Humanism, religion and charity

#5 Post by Alan H » August 27th, 2010, 7:49 pm

Manuel wrote:By the way I use the Red Cross which, despite the name, claims to be entirely secular and apolitical.
It is!
Alan Henness

There are three fundamental questions for anyone advocating Brexit:

1. What, precisely, are the significant and tangible benefits of leaving the EU?
2. What damage to the UK and its citizens is an acceptable price to pay for those benefits?
3. Which ruling of the ECJ is most persuasive of the need to leave its jurisdiction?

User avatar
Dave B
Posts: 17809
Joined: May 17th, 2010, 9:15 pm

Re: Humanism, religion and charity

#6 Post by Dave B » August 27th, 2010, 7:49 pm

It will probably get binned as soon as it arrives but I felt strongly enough to send the following to the Bish. of Durham (the spokesman on the radio).

Dear Bishop,

My apologies if I am incorrect (I cannot find the appropriate item via the BBC website navigation) but during a discussion on the editorship of religious matters in the BBC I seem to remember that you made some comment about religious charities, mentioning CAFOD and, perhaps, Christian Aid.

Given that the religious organisations have an infrastructure and skillset established and honed over many centuries, a recognisable "umbrella" title etc. do they really have any distinct leadership in the charity field?

If one were to add up all the charities that have an overtly secular constitution, or have no religious "bias" in their constitution, including those from the size of Oxfam to the three people in a front room in Anystreet, Somewheretown - one might wonder at the ratio between the total religious charity base and the total secular charity base. Not that I wish to keep score you understand.

I think your words illustrated the arrogance the religious organisations display, relying on their previous history, towards all others.

I have done voluntary work for Oxfam and currently do so for the British Heart Foundation (since I have a heart condition) and Fair Shares (since I have many skills that others need access to) and give via the DEC (since I feel more secure that my money will be used in a non-sectarian way.)

Charity has a place everywhere, next door as well as in other countries and every person, every penny, every action counts.

Yours sincerely
Dave Bailes

--
"Look forward; yesterday was a lesson, if you did not learn from it you wasted it."
Me, 2015

User avatar
Alan C.
Posts: 10356
Joined: July 4th, 2007, 3:35 pm

Re: Humanism, religion and charity

#7 Post by Alan C. » August 27th, 2010, 8:06 pm

Dave B
It will probably get binned as soon as it arrives but I felt strongly enough to send the following to the Bish. of Durham
That'll be the Bish who said,
.someone, sooner or later, needs to spell out further (wearisome though it will be) the difference between (a) the "human dignity and civil liberty" of those with homosexual and similar instincts and (b) their "rights", as practising let alone ordained Christians, to give physical expression to those instincts. As the Pope has pointed out, the language of "human rights" has now been downgraded in public discourse to the special pleading of every interest-group
He's stepping down as Bishop on Tuesday 31st August so don't hold your breath for a reply.
Abstinence Makes the Church Grow Fondlers.

peterangus
Posts: 159
Joined: November 13th, 2007, 2:55 pm

Re: Humanism, religion and charity

#8 Post by peterangus » August 27th, 2010, 8:40 pm

The churches' propaganda gives the impression that all their charitable activities are funded by true believers. The usual dishonest nonsense.
Peter Angus

Nirvanam
Posts: 1023
Joined: April 15th, 2009, 11:29 pm

Re: Humanism, religion and charity

#9 Post by Nirvanam » August 27th, 2010, 8:46 pm

Dave B wrote:It will probably get binned as soon as it arrives but I felt strongly enough to send the following to the Bish. of Durham (the spokesman on the radio).

Dear Bishop,

My apologies if I am incorrect (I cannot find the appropriate item via the BBC website navigation) but during a discussion on the editorship of religious matters in the BBC I seem to remember that you made some comment about religious charities, mentioning CAFOD and, perhaps, Christian Aid.

Given that the religious organisations have an infrastructure and skillset established and honed over many centuries, a recognisable "umbrella" title etc. do they really have any distinct leadership in the charity field?

If one were to add up all the charities that have an overtly secular constitution, or have no religious "bias" in their constitution, including those from the size of Oxfam to the three people in a front room in Anystreet, Somewheretown - one might wonder at the ratio between the total religious charity base and the total secular charity base. Not that I wish to keep score you understand.

I think your words illustrated the arrogance the religious organisations display, relying on their previous history, towards all others.

I have done voluntary work for Oxfam and currently do so for the British Heart Foundation (since I have a heart condition) and Fair Shares (since I have many skills that others need access to) and give via the DEC (since I feel more secure that my money will be used in a non-sectarian way.)

Charity has a place everywhere, next door as well as in other countries and every person, every penny, every action counts.

Yours sincerely
Dave Bailes

--
Beautiful Dave!
Thank you for such a wonderful letter. I hold that equality is a necessity in society (at least at this point in time-space). I feel it is not very effective to think that one person's viewpoint is greater than another's on such subjective matters even though it is necessary to choose a viewpoint to move ahead.

Mike
Posts: 124
Joined: December 13th, 2009, 12:58 pm

Re: Humanism, religion and charity

#10 Post by Mike » August 27th, 2010, 9:28 pm

I work with a very well known animal charity. The shelter at which I work has a dozen or so staff who I am proud to call my friends. None of them are religious but they are all darned fine men and women who are trying, often against all odds, to do some right in the world. The church has no monopoly on good people or good charities. In fact in my book the non-religious have the moral high ground - for they give in the sure and certain knowledge that they will NOT be rewarded in heaven. :wink:

ludite
Posts: 603
Joined: April 4th, 2010, 8:06 pm

Re: Humanism, religion and charity

#11 Post by ludite » August 28th, 2010, 6:24 pm

I have never worked for a charity but the drama group I delong to always helps alocal carity. Each time we put on a new show we do one extra to raise monet for charity. Recently we have given money to cancer research, altzimers care,The friends of the local hospital,local scout group etc. We have allsorts of members from religious to die hard atheists. Not a clergyman in sight.

Gottard
Posts: 1306
Joined: October 3rd, 2008, 3:11 pm

Re: Humanism, religion and charity

#12 Post by Gottard » August 28th, 2010, 8:04 pm

Mike wrote: for they give in the sure and certain knowledge that they will NOT be rewarded in heaven. :wink:
Great, crystal-clear truth!
The only thing I fear of death is regret if I couldn’t complete my learning experience

User avatar
grammar king
Posts: 869
Joined: March 14th, 2008, 2:42 am

Re: Humanism, religion and charity

#13 Post by grammar king » September 5th, 2010, 1:41 am

I believe the HSS Edinburgh group once asked the Charities Commission how many charities were religious in nature, and IIRC it was under 25%.

Daniel P
Posts: 172
Joined: March 30th, 2009, 12:38 pm

Re: Humanism, religion and charity

#14 Post by Daniel P » September 5th, 2010, 4:29 pm

If Christians really believe that they will be rewarded in the hereafter, why don't they perform their "charitable" acts in secret? If they are going to receive an infinitely blissful eternal reward from God, they don't need the praise of humans, do they? I seem to recall that there is a Gospel passage where Jesus is reported to have taught something along these lines.

User avatar
Dave B
Posts: 17809
Joined: May 17th, 2010, 9:15 pm

Re: Humanism, religion and charity

#15 Post by Dave B » September 5th, 2010, 4:48 pm

I have had a reply from the Durham bishop's office.

The bishop who made the broadcast retired the previous week (the week of the broadcast) to "pursue an academic career".
"Look forward; yesterday was a lesson, if you did not learn from it you wasted it."
Me, 2015

Nirvanam
Posts: 1023
Joined: April 15th, 2009, 11:29 pm

Re: Humanism, religion and charity

#16 Post by Nirvanam » September 5th, 2010, 6:04 pm

Dave B wrote:I have had a reply from the Durham bishop's office.

The bishop who made the broadcast retired the previous week (the week of the broadcast) to "pursue an academic career".
Nice! Maybe it will open his mind up to the fact that charity and in general service to others is a tendency that exists in humans immaterial of religious orientation

Vicky
Posts: 561
Joined: August 30th, 2010, 9:48 am

Re: Humanism, religion and charity

#17 Post by Vicky » September 10th, 2010, 8:16 am

Hi, I'm spending a few minutes working my way through messages which were posted before I joined and I found this thread which is of particular interest.

There is a charity over here (the Isle of Man, but I think it's a UK charity), which gets schools to organise shoe boxes with gifts in them for deprived children in Eastern Europe. The letters which are sent home have a good deal of information including, in very small print, the fact that this is a Christian charity. Apparently, before the shoeboxes are sent off, each box is opened and a Christian tract inserted (those poor children need SAVING!). They don't tell the donors that! The charity is called "Samaritan's Purse" and the Christmas effort is called "Operation Christmas Child".

When looking for suitable charities I found this site which may be of interest to you:-

http://givingaid.richarddawkins.net/

This seems to me to be a good idea, as Christians seem to think that they have the monopoly on "good deeds".

Vicky

User avatar
jaywhat
Posts: 15807
Joined: July 5th, 2007, 5:53 pm

Re: Humanism, religion and charity

#18 Post by jaywhat » September 10th, 2010, 8:50 am

Yes, we have had a go at Samaritian's Purse in the past and I have had a slanging match a few years ago in letters to the local rag - I think they should be strongly opposed on all fronts. They are devious and many schools and parents and teachers have no idea that religious tracks are included.

User avatar
Dave B
Posts: 17809
Joined: May 17th, 2010, 9:15 pm

Re: Humanism, religion and charity

#19 Post by Dave B » September 10th, 2010, 2:49 pm

Thanks for the link, Vicky. I donated via the Disaster Emergency Committee. Though I know that this includes Christian Aid, CAFOD, Islamic Relief and Tearfund I thought it the best chance that my money would be used effectively. I will bookmark the link you gave for future donations.
"Look forward; yesterday was a lesson, if you did not learn from it you wasted it."
Me, 2015

User avatar
Alan H
Posts: 24067
Joined: July 3rd, 2007, 10:26 pm

Re: Humanism, religion and charity

#20 Post by Alan H » September 10th, 2010, 7:20 pm

Dave B wrote:Thanks for the link, Vicky. I donated via the Disaster Emergency Committee. Though I know that this includes Christian Aid, CAFOD, Islamic Relief and Tearfund I thought it the best chance that my money would be used effectively. I will bookmark the link you gave for future donations.
I donated directly to the British Red Cross - gets round the problem!
Alan Henness

There are three fundamental questions for anyone advocating Brexit:

1. What, precisely, are the significant and tangible benefits of leaving the EU?
2. What damage to the UK and its citizens is an acceptable price to pay for those benefits?
3. Which ruling of the ECJ is most persuasive of the need to leave its jurisdiction?

Post Reply