NewsOK: State’s givers rank 2nd

Typically blistered by rankings on education, per capita income, health and the like, Oklahoma today has new bragging rights:

Our rich people are more generous than the wealthy in 48 states and the District of Columbia. . .

At first this story sounds good, but then read on…

. . . Oklahomans with incomes above $200,000 reported an average of $2.5 million in investment assets and gave away 1.05 percent of that. The range was from a low of 0.8 percent in 1999 to a high of 1.3 percent in 2004.

By comparison, Oklahomans with incomes below $200,000 had an average of $72,337 in investment assets and gave away 1.57 percent of that, ranking ninth nationally.

Although they give more percentage-wise, the nonaffluent were not a focus of the study, said Tim Stone, president and executive director of NewTithing Group.

“We don’t necessarily think they should be focusing overall on giving more,” Stone said. . .

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What is interesting to me is that they missed the real headline here — LOW AND MIDDLE INCOME FOLKS GIVE MORE OF THEIR MONEY THAN THE RICH DO.

This is no surprise to me, and has always been the way it is (Jesus observed this phenomenon in the story of the Widow’s Mite (told in Mark 12:41-44)), but it still angers me to see the way that the rich are celebrated for their pitiful levels of giving, while the poor are never recognized for their incredible generosity.

I think it is high time that we quit naming buildings after rich people, instead name the buildings after poor folks. Rich people shouldn’t be celebrated for giving out of their abundance, but rather should be EXPECTED to give.