Contributing Re Katrina

[font size="1" color="#FF0000"]LAST EDITED ON 09-26-05 AT 01:11PM (CST)[/font][br][br]A post over on the benefits section about converting sick leave to cash and contributing to Katrina brings this up. I'm not at all happy that the news is absolutely full of cases where charities seem to be blowing their funds asking for little or no details or ID. In my county where virtually no structures received significant damage, nobody is displaced and there were no deaths, I watched a long line this weekend at Kroger cashing Red Cross checks. I watched their tags as they pulled off. My county. No louisiana tags or south MS tags. None of them appeared to have been displaced or without.

There are lines of autos wrapped for blocks around all sorts of buildings, nice cars, cleanshaven drivers, nobody looking destitute. All with their hand stuck out bitching 'cause they don't get a check right then and there, hollering 'this ain't right, this ain't right' when they're told to take a ticket or report to another location.

I guess there's no way to be sure what you send or give winds up in the right hands or hands that need it. Some of our buildings are full of bums that had no association with Katrina, yet they have their hand out and Katrina on their lips.

I'm confortable with what I've done and the things I've gotten in the hands of the church I trust down here. I know those things are going where they are supposed to go. I've made them prove it to me. The shipments go from church to church to doorstep or slab.

Be cautious before you write a check to charity or donate your valuable, hard earned goods.


  • 8 Comments sorted by Votes Date Added
  • The end of your post poses a serious problem for those to the left of center on the political spectrum. Religious groups have contributed greatly to the Katrina relief efforts and have been some of the most reputable organizations. How does that jive with the so-called separation of church and state? Or is it further proof that no such thing exists?
  • Didn't know you were left of center. I always thought you veered to the right, Ray.
  • I was aboput 99.9% done with an on-line FEMA application for financial aid. I got as far as the screen where I had been approved and all I had to do was verify my bank routing and account number for the direct deposit. I was going to go straight to the news with it. Then I though better of my expose. With my luck the tables would've been turned and I would be facing some sort of federal racketeering case. They'd probably invoke the RICO statute and seize my dirty underwear. All in the name of keeping it fair, of course.

  • I'm not equating the victims with the state. I think it's great that religious groups are getting so involved and that people have placed so much confidence in them. Under normal circumstances the government tries to keep religious groups at bay, but in this case they have allowed them to participate on a very high level.
  • I may have a few misgivings about 'separation of church and state.' I believe that to mean that states (or feds) have no right to interfere with the beliefs of a church and no place to govern them. I didn't think it had anything to do with a church doing one of the things that it's probably commissioned to do. Why should the state have anything to do with it?
  • That line is blurring even further now that FEMA has announced it will reimburse churches for assisting with the Katrina effort.
  • That's the point. Under normal circumstances the state would never consider reimbursing churches for any social activities citing the separation of church and state (which I believe is a fallacious doctrine). But, during a crisis, such as this, the state conveniently ignores their separation doctrine because they know without the churches people would be in much worse shape and they are providing a vital service that the government is unable to provide as efficiently.
  • Some folks don't think it's so convenient. Some see it as Bush's way of paying off the Protestant right....some see it as further evidence that the Republican party is controlled by the Protestant fundamentalists. That's obviously an extreme view, but the administration has made no bones about its efforts to funnel money toward religions that provide social services. There's no question that a great many congregations stepped up and helped a great many people, but my understanding was that those folks volunteered their efforts. Now FEMA wants to reimburse churches for "labor costs." What labor costs? They want to pay rent to churches that provided (and continue to provide) shelter for people. THAT seems reasonable to me, so while I don't think the separation of church and state is a "fallacious doctrine" I do think it's a very fine line.
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