“Philanthropy is commendable,” said Martin Luther King, “but it must not cause the philanthropist to overlook the circumstances of economic injustice, which make philanthropy necessary.”
Ultimately, one thing we can take away from the work of Dr. King and the contemporary activists listed previously, and even from the story of the Magi, is that justice and charity are not the same thing. Charity is donations to those that experience poverty-- justice is working to end the reasons for that poverty. Charity treats the symptom, while justice treats the cause.
This is not to say that charity is less important. Those experiencing poverty need food and shelter desperately, and they need it now. Charity treats the immediate needs, and is blessed for doing so. As we often work in charitable ways, though, let us also strive to work toward justice as well; toward treating the causes for the need for charity. This way we work holistically and with the entire health of the system, and the persons in that system, in mind.
Below you will find a few links to lesson, articles, and resources on distinguishing charity from justice and how to engage in both fully and efficiently.
Thanks for your attention to this month's newsletter-- we'll see you in February!