Thursday, October 23, 2008

Charity or justice?

When I first saw that title at Inward/Outward this morning, I thought, "Well, either/or? Why?" And then I read it:

Charity is commendable; everyone should be charitable. But justice aims to create a social order in which if individuals choose not to be charitable, people will not go hungry, unschooled or sick without care. Charity depends on the vicissitudes of whim and personal wealth; justice depends on commitment instead of circumstance. Faith-based charity provides crumbs from the table; faith-based justice offers a place at the table.

--Bill Moyers, as quoted in Foreword, Faith Works: From the Life of an Activist Preacher by Jim Wallis

Justice contains charity.

Important to keep in mind as we paddle out into the icy waters of recession, no?


Ruth Hull Chatlien said...

I love this. Thank you for posting it.

mompriest said...

Love this nuance of charity and justice! Very helpful....I once preached in a similar way the difference between tolerance and hospitality.....

don't eat alone said...

Bill Moyers for President.


Choralgirl said...

Milton, I could get very excited about that idea. He's smart, he's lucid, he's principled, he has vision and he'll say the hard truth when it's needed. One of my heroes.

aka The Swandive said...

Right on. So good.