I find it mildly annoying that many personal finance gurus (and their books) are tied to strong religious views. The heavy-weight champ is, of course, Dave Ramsey. That dude can find a proverb to support whatever it is that he’s selling. Then again, one can usually find a bible verse to support whatever one is trying to say…
Getting off track. My point was going to be: why does there seem to be a strong correlation between money and religion? What is it about how we spend our money (or rather how we think we should spend our money) that ties with God?
It’s actually an honest question. I left the Christian church many, many years ago and never really picked up another one. (Some friends think I’m a closet Unitarian-Universalist, which is probably not false.)
Some insight came from the Williamsburg trip: there’s a bit of ink spilled on how the Rockefellers believed that with great wealth came great obligation/duty/service. Amassing great wealth and failing to do any good with it is generally unseemly. For example, there’s quite a bit of speculation as to if Steve Jobs left anything anonymously; worrying about that has to stem from really, really hoping that he did or else he really was a “bad guy.”
My own view: I don’t care. Really, I don’t. I’d like everyone to do the touchy-feely good thing, but I don’t care if someone doesn’t. What bothers me is a show of compassion without the actual compassion. Or financial assistance with strings that compromise the value of the assistance in the first place.
So, going back to personal finance: there’s quite a bit of ink spilled on debt (which is a moral no-no), tithing (which is “a good thing”), other charitable donations, etc. All of which is often, but need not be, tied to religious obligations.
I’d rather believe that most people are motivated to do good and contribute to organizations doing good because they are (or want to be associated with) good people. Not for some heavenly prize out there in the afterlife.
Okay, not the most coherent blog post. Then again, that’s not really the purpose of blogging, is it.