Religiosity strangles generosity

Zachary Phillips

In the 1987 film “Wall Street,” stock market cutthroat Gordon Gekko states that, “Greed, for lack of a better word, is good.”

After witnessing an army of evangelical Christians tear apart their own nonprofit charity, I’d argue that Gekko’s words were a tad meek.

Greed is God.

For those who missed the March 24 headlines, the evangelical Christian relief agency World Vision made history as their American branch repealed a discriminatory hiring policy that banned the hiring of same-sex married couples.

After only two days and a storm of backlash, World Vision had lost just under 5,000 sponsorships, which branch president Richard Stearns stated could have equalled up to $2.1 million dollars a year.

That’s $2.1 million dollars that would have gone to sponsoring impoverished children across the globe, providing food, shelter and schooling.

World Vision U.S. reversed the policy change on March the 26, once again denying same-sex couples employment.

Out of the frying pan and into the fire, World Vision is now receiving heavy criticism for choosing prejudice over tolerance. But is that really a just criticism? Did the charity really have a choice?

This isn’t a story about an anti-gay Christian organization. If World Vision was anti-gay, they wouldn’t have changed their policy in the first place.

This is a story about a misguided generation of Christianists who use false religious conviction and greed to advance a political agenda.

By strong-arming the charity with their sponsorships, World Vision’s evangelical donors took the lives of impoverished children and used them as pawns in their own petty game of political intrigue.

All of this, in the name of religious integrity.

If same-sex couples are unfit to walk the halls of a World Vision office, then their monthly checks should also be unfit to fill its coffers.

World Vision should stop accepting sponsorships from gay couples for the same reason that they cannot employ them.

In exchange, the Evangelical Right can fill every last damn sponsorship that is left empty. It’s a heavy burden to bear, but every purge has its price.

Zachary Phillips can be reached at [email protected] or @ZachSPhillips on Twitter.