Indiana Daily News Column
Originally posted April 23, 2019
Here is an excerpt:
Estimates to end world hunger are between $7 and $265 billion a year, and surely with 2,208 billionaires in the world, a few hundred could spare some cash to help ensure people aren’t starving to death. There aren’t billionaires in the news rushing to give money toward food aid, but even the richest man in Europe donated to repair the church.
Repairing churches is not a life and death matter. Churches, while culturally and religiously significant, are not necessary for life in the way that nutritious food is. Being an absurdly wealthy person who only donates money for things you find aesthetically pleasing is morally bankrupt in a world where money could literally fund the end of world hunger.
This isn’t to say that rebuilding the Notre Dame is bad — preserving culturally significant places is important. But the Roman Catholic Church is the richest religious organization in the world — it can probably manage repairing a church without the help of wealthy donors.
At a time when there are heated protests in the streets of France over taxes that unfairly effect the poor, pledging money toward buildings seems fraught. Spending billions on unnecessary buildings is a slap in the face to French people fighting for equitable wealth and tax distribution.
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