Jack Tame: Charity puts hate before helping kids

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Starving children were used as pawns. Photo / AP
Starving children were used as pawns. Photo / AP

World Vision needs your dollar today, perhaps more than ever before.

The Christian mega-charity is stomaching some mighty administrative costs of late, and I am concerned Alfred in Zambia mightn't get the schooling he deserves.

That's the thing about World Vision. Christian or otherwise, you can't deny its extraordinary ability to humanise (and sanitise) poverty. Not to deny Alfred's talents, I always found the regular sponsor artwork a bit shameless. I pictured an assembly line of people drawing pictures and posting them, but accepted in the scheme of things it probably directly equated to some extra classrooms, a few more goats and a well in Alfred's village.

Except the greater good apparently isn't something World Vision in the United States is too interested in.

When the World Vision board decided to permit the organisation's hiring of married gay people, ultra-right Christians retaliated with fury, dropping their dollar-a-days.

Two days later, World Vision caved, apologised and reversed the decision, meaning people in same-sex marriages can't be hired to help save the world.

The president of World Vision said after the reversal the organisation had people ringing up wanting to re-sponsor children they had dropped the day before, meaning some of the crazies were happy to treat Alfred and his school desk as bargaining chips in their anti-gay crusade.

How very Christian.

Don't you seethe with the hypocrisy? Even as an organisation whose name implies a big-picture perspective, World Vision has prioritised hate over saving children's lives. And for what? A few thousand fringe lunatics.

There must be greater concerns for the Church than the marriage status of Jerry in World Vision accounts. And what if Jerry just happened to be a humanitarian guru? I would've thought the effort to combat child poverty would've outweighed pretty much every other concern on Earth.

So if you've got a dollar a day and you're considering helping, I urge you to take a worldlier vision this week. Focus on the big picture and don't use kids as chips.

So World Vision won't hire gay people? That's not Alfred's fault.

But go with Unicef instead.


Jack Tame is on Newstalk ZB Saturdays, 9am-midday.

- Herald on Sunday

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