We did not have to squint or wear spectacles to sight this top-of-the-front-page Chicago Tribune headline on Christmas, "Tithing in Reverse." If something in the world is going the wrong way, putting or viewing it in reverse can be a good option. This story was an instance.
While our government squabbles over the "sequestration" of some $85 billion and over who is to blame, it may help if we would raise our view just a bit higher. Perhaps the deadlock in Washington has become so severe that nothing short of divine intervention will help at this point.
A recent poll showed that Americans plan to spend more this Christmas season on consumer gifts than they did last year, but give less to charities and ministries that help the poor. But rather than just being judgmental, let's do something about it.
No modern presidential candidate has made a show of his church donations in the way Mitt Romney has made a show of his Mormon tithing. But his donations say nothing about his worthiness to hold public office, let alone his goodness.
Since donations to religious groups, even uncharitable ones, count as "charitable giving," then it is no surprise that religious people give more to charity. Simply put, the study shows that non-religious people don't donate to religion.
As the collection basket made its way toward me, I wondered what to do. My business had been slow, so I had no extra money to give. I desperately wanted to support this marvelous process unfolding in South Africa.
My father -- probably like many of your fathers -- taught life lessons by good example. He died in 2002, but the lessons I learned are so clearly with me it is as if I had spoken to him yesterday. Here are some of the more memorable things he shared.