The American Heritage Dictionary definition of charity: 1. The provision of help or relief to the poor; almsgiving. 2. Something that is given to help the needy; alms. 3. An institution, organization, or fund established to help the needy. 4. An act or feeling of benevolence, good will, or affection.
From today’s New York Times, via AP, with my bolding:
Nevada: Charities Ask for IDs. Some Las Vegas charities giving away turkeys and toys this season have started asking families to show state identification. The Salvation Army, HELP of Southern Nevada and Lutheran Social Services say the move to require Social Security, state identification cards or birth certificates (!?!?!?) was needed to prevent fraud born of desperation in a state at the center of the country’s financial crisis. “We’re really anxious to preserve the magic of Christmas for children, but we need to screen the adults,” said Maj. Robert Lloyd, director of the Salvation Army of Clark County. Major Lloyd said some families were either “double dipping” or coming from out of state to get donations. Charities cited instances of parents’ selling bicycles just blocks from a charity that gave them away. Unemployment in Nevada was the highest in the nation in October, 13.4 percent.
I’m steaming so hot I don’t know if I can calmly parse this outrageous hypocrisy. I’ve always loathed the pretenses of the “Salvation Army,” I give no money to any organization wearing the cloak of godly “goodness” and I’m reminded that I want the IRS investigating all “charities” and removing their tax exempt status.
No religious social service organization should ever receive our tax dollars or be granted supplements to operate under government auspices.