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November 30, 2007

In Kind Contribution

I guess she didn't have a car, boat or RV she could donate, so this was the next-best thing:

SANTIAGO (Reuters) - A Chilean prostitute has auctioned 27 hours of sex to raise money for the country's largest charity during an annual fund-raising campaign . . .

"I've already auctioned off the 27 hours of love," Maria Carolina told Reuters on Wednesday, saying she had raised about $4,000. "One of my clients already paid. It seemed like a good deed to him."

Adult prostitution is legal in Chile. Chile's two-day Teleton fundraiser is endorsed by television stars and aims to raise funds for poor, disabled children . . .

Her response to those who objected to using her ill-gotten gain for charitable purposes?

"There are people who are going to be donating money that's a lot more questionable than mine . . . The only thing I did was publicize it."

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Comments

Lee

A "hooker with a heart of gold"
For disabled children herself sold.
In the name of good, we should inquire,
Why not sell drugs, or murder-for-hire?
Why should the fact that something's a sin
Prevent us all from thinking win-win?
Could Prison Fellowship use some coin?
Don't send Christmas labels - just purloin!
If we just "remove the boundary stone"
The profit potential is quite unknown.
Bad acts made good, if the money you give?
I'm going to re-read "How Now Shall We Live".

Steve (SBK)

Brilliant Lee!

Allen

I've said it before: Lee is a poetry machine.

Someday we'll meet and I'll discover that his name is Lee Seuss.

Luke

I join in the accolades of Lee:

Well written. Do you write hymns/ church music at all? Or lyrics to be used as such?

Pat

I don't ever recall reading that fornication was OK in the Bible. Jesus told the woman who committed adultery to "go and sin no more". It's almost like trying to buy your way into heaven. We all know it is not by good works we are save, but by God's grace. Obedience to his holy word will get us into heaven.

Luke

I hope people don't lambast me- not trying to be nit-picky- Obedience to God's Word doesn't get us into heaven; his Grace does. We certainly react to his grace by being obedient, but that's just a reaction.

Is that what you meant, Pat, or am I totally off?

benjamin ady

I honestly don't understand why anyone has a problem with this. This woman is doing somethint to make the world a better place. She's getting paid $140/hour to have sex with people, and she's giving away 27 hours of her labor to help people in need. So I'm wondering which of us is giving away the equivalent of 27 hours of salary to help people in need this holiday season? I must confess I'm not. Why not, instead of criticizing her, go out and volunteer at a homeless shelter or a soup kitchen or something this holiday season? Let her kindness inspire us to kindness, not criticism.

Steve (SBK)

In fact ben, besides her kindness, we should let her actions inspire our actions! Ya! (With the understanding of course that the right amount of kindly remuneration with redeem all our... indulgences).

Allen

Good point Benjamin. As a former police officer, I'm going to offer 27 hours worth of hitman and getaway-car driving services as a Gift In Kind to a local ministry.

[blam, blam ... screeeeeeeech ...!!!]

Luke

Ben, a former professor of mine had a quote that I use in situations like this: "You cannot sin to the greater glory of God."

While her motivations are admirable, and the fact she's donating the money is as well, how she's getting the money is not. It is a sin.

Althought the point is well taken- we, as Christians, should also be so motivated and actually act to help others. In ways that please God.

Jason Taylor


Seriously she may be trying her pitiful best. I know, "the road to hell is paved..." and all. But still, we may hope it shows something in her.

As for your hit-man services, Allen, I can't think of anyone in particular I would like you to kill. Hold that thought though.

benjamin ady

Allen,

Kewl. There's a actually a big church here in Seattle that has a security staff on Sunday mornings and I bet they would love to have you donate your services as an ex cop to help maintain order.

but the hitman and getaway-car driving service sounds like fun. Do people pay for that sort of thing? I mean it's illegal here, right? Maybe in Chile. Actually, I bet you could sell such services to Blackwater for *really* high prices, and donate the money to charity. I wonder if any of the guys who actually work for blackwater doing that sort of service in Iraq right now are donating 27 hours of their salary to charity? I understand as the driver of a convoy for blackwater in iraq, you can get paid to run down civilians who happen to get in your way. And I understand they pay like 5 times the pay for actual U.S. soldiers doing the same thing. There's an in depth write up of the whole thing here in The Nation (http://www.thenation.com/doc/20070730/hedges).

All sarcasm aside, the stuff in that article is kind of frightening, don't ya think?

benjamin ady

allen

"You cannot sin to the greater glory of God."

doesn't really match up super well with some stuff in the bible. like the whole intention thing with joseph and his brothers, when he says "you intended it for evil, but god intended it for good" re: them selling him as a slave. like they sinned, and it worked out to the greater glory of god.

ya know?

anyway, I'm more interested in Making The World a Better Place (MTWABP), which seems to be really tangible, measurable, doable, and ... moreover, doable at the small, local, tiny step level, than I am in "The glory of God", which strikes me as fairly ... vague, unmeasurable, and possibly sometimes even undesirable, depending on who's defining "glory of God". I mean Saddam Hussein would have claimed that he was interested in "the glory of God". Same for Hitler--the glory of God and Germany. And even our own current american leadership would mostly probably claim to be interested in the glory of God. but it hasn't panned out to be super helpful for 80,000 dead iraqi civilians, nor for 2 million new Iraqi refugees in the past 4 years (fewer than 5000 of whom, by the way, have been resettled into the U.S.), nor for 50,000 iraqi women who are now not only refugees, but are working as prostitutes in Syria because of economic hardship--women who before the U.S. invasion were by and large living no doubt much better lives inside Iraq. which is to say that pursuit of the glory of god could be said to have driven these 50,000 women into prostitution. so we circle back to the original post in a sense.

Lee

Jason Taylor wrote: "As for your hit-man services, Allen, I can't think of anyone in particular I would like you to kill."

This does make puzzling the continued survival of Ms. Dalfonzo, The Editor Who Makes Even He-man Writers Weep, To Their Frustrated, Testosterone-raging Shame.

The only conclusion I can draw is that Uncle Guido is not a product of my imagination but is in fact real, and that there is a kind of Mutually Assured Destruction detente in place.

Luke

Hey, Benjamin Ady!

No clue if Lee would agree with what I had written, but it was Luke that had written that before- me. Just don't want you getting upset/ thinking someone was writing something stupid that hadn't written it.

Anyway, your examples, in my mind, are poor. For example, Joseph's brothers were not attempting to do anything for the glory of God- their intention was to destroy their brother. God used that to take care of his people, most certainly, but they were not acting to the glory of God.

As far as Hitler, etc. are concerned, they were not interested in the true God- the God of free and perfect grace, who gives freely to all people, regardless of race, economic persuasion, etc. God tells us how we can glorify him; it's not some nebulous term as some would have us believe. Take a look at what Jesus says- "Love God. Love neighbor." Then he proceeds to show us how to show that love- Matthew 5, sermon on the mount. Check it out if you're not familiar.

Maybe, to be clearer, I should have written, "If you intend to glorify God, you can't do it by sinning." All things work out for those who love God, surely. God will twist our actions for the good of those who love him. But that does not mean that our sinful actions, intentionally taken as sins, can glorify him. As others have pointed out, you don't glorify God by killing others (leaving all talk of just wars out of the picture- which would take about another 50,000 posts to get through!).

jason taylor

Benjamin,

1. What Joseph said meant that it turned out to be to the glory of God, not that God approved.

2. Saddam Hussein was interested in the glory of Saddam Hussein. He never even pretended to be a devout Muslim until a few years ago.

3. Hitler was proclaiming the glory of Germany. He seldom said much about the glory of God and several of his flunkys were confirmed neopagans.

4. None of our American leadership has ever claimed that the invasion of Iraq was intended for the glory of God.

5. The claim of 80,000 dead Iraqis is based on a discredited poll taken of the population in a single province.

6. Making the World a Better Place is to the glory of God, so the point is academic.

jason taylor

Allen,

Kewl. There's a actually a big church here in Seattle that has a security staff on Sunday mornings and I bet they would love to have you donate your services as an ex cop to help maintain order.

but the hitman and getaway-car driving service sounds like fun. Do people pay for that sort of thing? I mean it's illegal here, right? Maybe in Chile. Actually, I bet you could sell such services to Blackwater for *really* high prices, and donate the money to charity. I wonder if any of the guys who actually work for blackwater doing that sort of service in Iraq right now are donating 27 hours of their salary to charity? I understand as the driver of a convoy for blackwater in iraq, you can get paid to run down civilians who happen to get in your way. And I understand they pay like 5 times the pay for actual U.S. soldiers doing the same thing. There's an in depth write up of the whole thing here in The Nation (http://www.thenation.com/doc/20070730/hedges).

---------------------------------------

1. The original story was "running down dogs for fun", Not,"being paid to run down civilians"

2. The fact was in the vehicles they use, you can't see the dogs in time.

3. Paying people in convoys to run down civilians would be inefficiant as that would cause wrecks. The convoy has to stay in formation.

4. Why go to the bother of paying people to run down civilians when it isn't all that hard to waste all of Iraq? A well done bombing in World War II could kill fifty-to-one hundred thousand civilians in one night. Not five years, one night . If we really wished to commit genocide don't you think we would do it right?

Allen

Lee,

Detente indeed. At best. Believe me, I'm not, for one minute, taken in by rumors of glasnost and perestroika in the United Dalfonzo Weeping Republic.

Allen

Jason,

Re "hold that thought" - you're thinking too hard. Remember, this is for *CHARITY*. No need to be so discriminating, my friend. Perhaps you're still nursing even a mild grudge?

Got a neighbor with an annoying dog?

Kid at the 7-11 have a tattoo that bugs you?

Really, this is no time for scruples. Do it for the children!

Jason Taylor

Correction to point 5. I thought the poster was refering to the "Lancet" poll when he might well have been using other sources.

Luke

Jason-

thanks for summing up what I had been meaning to say much better than I did. And the historical facts, which I simply didn't know before.

So, thanks!

Lee

Allen wrote: "the United Dalfonzo Weeping Republic."

Stuck in the U.D.-
Stuck in the U.D.-
Stuck in the U.D.W.R.!
Y'know how unlucky you are, boy!
Stuck in the U.D.W.R.!

Those Beltway gals really weep a lot,
They're crying all the time.
It's no place for a he-man lout,
Cause Gi-Gi-Gi-Gi-Gina'll blow your mi-mi-mi-mi-mi-mi-mi-mind!

(Thanks to Lennon/McCartney.)

Allen

Stuck in the UDWR. Love that. Heh.

Gina Dalfonzo

For once . . . I'm speechless!

Jason Taylor


Your welcome Luke.

And yes Allen I am nursing a mild grudge.
I was reminded of the old political feuds and bumper-sticker wars. It is a problem in this sort of thing that everyone speaks at a faction not a person but takes the "incoming" personally. There is no way to solve that as to ask them not to take it personally one has to ask them either to be saintly or to have no loyalty to their factions. The former is difficult and the later dishonorable.
That particular case, however seemed to be an insult directed at persons not policies. Which is indulged in by all and is probably indulged in by me more then I like to think.

Lee

Gina wrote: "For once . . . I'm speechless!"

Well, I'll probably lose some Insensitive Oaf points (been losing lots of points of various kinds lately), but I'll note that the toughest teacher in my high school was Mrs. Nielsen, and her toughest class was Senior English. We had to write a one-page paper every week, and re-write it the next week if it contained too many errors. (Some of my fellow students were working on 5 papers simultaneously.) And of course, we made her the butt of jokes.

Until we got to college, that is - when writing term papers was easy because the mechanical parts of the process (introduction, body, conclusion; no spelling or grammar errors; etc.) had become automatic. At that point we looked back on Mrs. Nielsen with begrudging fondness. She made us vastly more successful than we otherwise would have been.

So here's to tough editors everywhere, and one in particular - making society better one blue-pencil-stroke at a time!

Benjamin Ady

Just to clarify--I was referring to the count from iraqbodycount.org which is conservative by everybody's standards. People don't understand the difference between the iraqbodycount number and the lancet number. As I understand it, the authors of the Lancet study were asking "What is the *total* number of deaths in Iraq in the last 4 years, and how does that *total* number differ from the similar total number in the previous 4 years?" That is--how has the national death rate changed? And thus, how many *more* people died in the four years of the war, overall, than died in the previous four years? And the answer they came up with was some 600,000. That includes deaths from all causes--natural or otherwise. What they are saying is that apart from violent deaths directly related to the war, more people are dying because war has affected the infrastructure in enormous ways. This truth is, in one sense, fairly obvious, and is born out by other studies. I mean why have *2 million* new refugees left the country in the last four years? Becuase living there is hellish. People don't leave and become a refugee for the fun of it.

The 80,000 number, from iraqbodycount, on the other hand, is directly tracking violent deaths of civilians related to the war--and every one has to be documented in two separate news sources. So of *course* the two numbers are different.

Jason, you said "A well done bombing in World War II could kill fifty-to-one hundred thousand civilians in one night. Not five years, one night . If we really wished to commit genocide don't you think we would do it right"

At one level you have a point. But it seems to me the implications behind your question are shifting the whole discussion toward the acceptance of violence against our enemies, which Jesus *clearly* spoke out against. And at another level, no, we couldn't, because we know the international consequences would be too extreme.

I mean are you arguing that *because* the war we instigated is leading to the deaths of *fewer* civilians than were killed in world war 2, then what we're doing is ok? I mean that's a pretty arbitrary standard. How many violent deaths are okay? I would argue that the violent death of a civilian--especially of a child--is *never* ok. In fact, I would most certainly choose to die rather than to on purpose kill an innocent child. Yet U.S. soldiers kill innocent children every single month in Iraq--I'm not talking about children who have guns who are attacking soldiers, which is another whole issue. I'm talking about little kids innocently riding along in their family car or on a bus, or in school. This stuff hardly makes near the top of the mainstream media. We're hardened to it--it's qualitatively different to us than when a young person kills 19 people in Nebraska. Iraqis are definitely less human in the American paradigm than Americans are. That's evil. When we chose to illegally invade Iraq, we were choosing to have Americans using lethal violence against children every month. To me, that's a really bad choice. Period.

jason taylor

It's not about "accepting violence" or not. It seems to me that accusing others of running down children for fun is making horrendous personal accusations against people without foundation. And that is also a type of violence.
As for "one civilian being to much" that is true on one level. The problem is that that applies to any decision that is made. Whatever happens someone will die. As it is impossible to make a perfect world, it is a necessity of statecraft to distinguish between one disaster and another. As we claim a right to share in the government we must be prepared to share in the responsibility of being able to make distinctions. Only Amish can responsibly say "one is to many" without qualification as only they are willing to make the required sacrifice of their own power. If you speak on politics at all you must consider such things as speaking on politics presumes the duty to do so. Even a little power comes with responsibility.
And after all that you still must answer, "one is to many for what?". For the right to drive a car? How many civilians does that cost?

jason taylor


In anycase you are trying to convince me that because war dehumanizes people, it therefore dehumanizes truck drivers.

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