Monday, May 11, 2015

Beware who you give money to: Nashville's "For Our Country" veterans charity shuts down amid questions.

News Channel 5 reports that the Nashville based charity For Our County, which was supposed to be raising money to help wounded veterans has shut down amid questions about its finances. Apparently it was a sham charity and did not have the connections it claimed to have and was helping no one except the people who started the charity.  You can read about it and see the newscast at this link.

I don't give a lot of money to charities. From time to time, I may give to the Red Cross when there is an emergency somewhere in the world and I always buy a paper from the homeless guy on the corner of my street and I help individuals in need from time to time that I encounter  through my job. I am not affiliated with a church so I don't regularly support a church.  I do give quite a bid of money to political causes, however.  In my view, our country is at a cross roads and about to be destroyed by liberal policies. I fear this once great county is on the path of destruction. Our nation which has been the exceptional nation in the world, the nation that gave mankind the concept that our rights come from God not from government, is going to become just another neosocialist country. Our liberties and our prosperity will become things of the past if we do not change course. Our children will not know the same America we knew.

I rank giving money to support conservative causes and to saving our country as equally noble as any charitable activity. Since the advent of the tea party movement, dozens if not hundreds of conservative organization have sprung up, all asking for money. Unfortunately, many of them are shams and do nothing to advance the cause.  They are preying off of people's patriotism and political passion and spend almost nothing on electing conservatives or advancing the conservative cause. They line the pockets of the person leading the organization. I get email solicitation from them almost daily.

Last year I got a solicitation from a group called Patriots for Economic Freedom asking for a contribution to help Tim Scott's reelection.  Tim Scott is one of my favorite Senators. He is both fiscally and socially conservative and has charisma and is a potential future leader of the party.  I looked into his campaign and found out he was assured to win. He had an unknown weak Republican challenger in the primary and a weak unknown Democrat challenger in the general election. His campaign did not need my help. I get solicitation all of the time, hitting the political passion hot button of the moment. I just have a feeling that most of them are just fronts to enrich the organization and will have little impact on the cause they are promoting.

Almost everyone knows of the scandals that have plagued the world of televangelism.  Remember Jim and Tammy Baker, and Jimmy Swaggert?  The sex scandals my have revealed personal failings of the ministers involved but the financial scandals revealed the phony nature of the enterprises. Paul and Jan Coach launched the Trinity Broadcasting Network in the 70's and it grew into a world wide enterprise. It was exposed that the non-profit spent millions for a lavish lifestyle of the Crouch's that included a $50 million luxury jet and 13 mansions and $300,000 to $500,000 in annual meal expenses for the directors of the organization and a $100,000 mobile home for Jan Coach's two poodles (link). The Trinity Broadcasting Network held regular money raising marathons, saying that stations would go off the air if viewers did not give and preaching a prosperity gospel that said if you contributed, the Lord would financially bless you.  I can imagine that much of the lifestyle of the Coach's was paid for by little old widow ladies who struggled to keep their heat on in the winter and ate cat food but sent money to the Coach's who enjoyed the finest of food and wine prepared by the best chefs in one of their 13 mansions.

I would not want to discourage the generosity of spirit that causes one to contribute money to help wounded veterans, or hungry children, or foreign missions, or save our county from destruction that will result from liberal policies, yet everyone needs to be cautious before they click that "contribute" button or write that check. It almost seems like there are as many charlatans trying to get your money as there are honest people with good motives doing good deeds.

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