The REAL giving myths


 The REAL giving myths

By Donald Hank

In an article Giving in Today’s Economic Crisis, Dr. Steve McSwain (author of the book The Giving Myths) advises Christians to keep on giving despite the economic climate. Commenting on the causes of the crisis, writes:

…It’s not just corporate big shots, however, who are to blame for the failure in our financial markets. Granted, many of them have watched their companies close while they’ve safely floated away in “multi-million dollar parachutes.” But, there are many ordinary folks who are to blame, too. The majority of people in our culture have, in the words of Will Rogers, “borrowed money they don’t have, to buy things they don’t need, to keep up with people they don’t even like.”

Dr. McSwain never once mentions government culpability in this article. While claiming to be a myth buster, he seems to be a victim of the most pernicious myth of our time, namely, that the recent bank meltdown is due almost exclusively to Wall Street executives on the one hand and to you on the other. His article shows absolutely no recognition of the root causes of the problem, namely, government forcing Government Sponsored Enterprises (GSE) like Fanny and Freddy to give (under the CRA) to their favorite charities, the interest groups, in order to score political points – by forcing them to treat high-risk borrowers like low-risk borrowers.

The press release then gives advice to parents:

Don’t fret over the money markets, especially in front of the kids.

So not only does the author deny the root causes of the crash (or is he ignorant of them?), but he actually advises parents to make sure the kids don’t catch wind of this meltdown at all. In other words, let’s make sure history gets repeated, through ignorance.

Dr. McSwain is one of the legions of harmless-sounding leaders in today’s world who use Christian-sounding rhetoric to push an agenda that is far from reality and, at least indirectly, mightily supports the Left.

This eminently successful and rich executive points out that Jesus encourages us to give the “widows mite,” that is, even giving when we are poor. Speaking of his own daughter, he writes, perhaps prophetically:

“…even if the economy were to unexpectedly collapse and she lose it all… she’ll just have to live out her days like the vast majority of us – retired and broke.”

“Us?” Are you really retired and broke, Dr. McSwain? How noble your willingness to sacrifice your own daughter to the folly of our failed public policy! And to refuse to discuss it with her so that she can make intelligent decisions about government, unlike the leftist fools who got us into this mess!

Dr, McSwain, there is only one reason your daughter may be broke after retirement: your unwillingness to face the facts and to tell her and as many fellow Americans as possible that social engineering experiments like the CRA, which forced banks to lend mortgages under high-risk terms, don’t work and that if we don’t elect responsible politicians who truly care for their own country, and refuse to pander to minority groups who should learn to save their money until they can actually afford a mortgage (like the rest of us), then we will all perish and there will be nothing left to share. Sharing is noble, but there is nothing noble about willful suicide of a nation that has all the resources to save itself.

Here is my letter to his contact, Marika Flatt (512-560-6787,

Good Morning Marika,

I am a subscriber to Christian Newswire and saw today’s press release about Dr. McSwain’s Giving Myths.

While the article makes valid points, it lists only 2 culprits in the recent financial crisis:

1-corporate big shots

2-ordinary folks who borrow beyond their means.

In ignoring the real culprit, namely, the government policy of forcing banks to lend at subprime rates, often with no down payment and with no documentation (no doc mortgage lending) in order to pander to minorities, Dr. McSwain gives the government a pass. (The government mechanism is called the CRA. If you don’t know about this, please Google it — Community Reinvestment Act).

Then he asks parents not to discuss the problem in front of the kids.

Did he want the children to grow up thinking that when a problem occurs in the market place, it is the fault of the free market itself?

That belief can only lead to socialism, which has been the root cause of the latest crisis (as well as the destruction of inner cities under the “War on Poverty”).

I wonder if Dr. McSwain is aware that he is indirectly contributing to this by asking us to keep our children ignorant.

Does he really think there will be anything left to give if we don’t go up against corruption in government that forces people to give to the charity of THEIR choice (interest groups), and not our own?

Jesus taught Christians to give, but He never once said we must force others to give to the charity of OUR choice. That is the policy that caused the banks to crash. This policy not only isn’t Christian, it doesn’t work.


Don Hank


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