Groundbreaking New Book 'Toxic Charity' by Urban Activist Robert Lupton Exposes the Harm Behind Well Intentioned Charity
San Francisco, CA (PRWEB) October 11, 2011
Americans are at the forefront of giving, with 90 percent of American adults involved personally or financially in some form of charity. From school children to corporate CEOs, from small churches to massive government agencies, helping others is hallmark of the American character.
And yet, writes veteran urban activist Robert D. Lupton, there is an unspoken scandal beneath the good intentions that is damaging the very individuals, cultures and causes we seek to lift up. “While we are very generous in charitable giving, much of that money is either wasted or actually harms the people it is targeted to help. But what is so surprising is that its outcomes are almost entirely unexamined,” he writes. Far more often that we’d like to imagine, the result of the food we ship to Haiti, the well we dig in Sudan, the clothes we distribute in inner-city Detroit is dependency, the destruction of personal initiative, and enduring disempowerment.
TOXIC CHARITY: How Churches And Charities Hurt Those They Help—And How To Reverse It(HarperOne; October 11, 2011), Lupton’s groundbreaking book that exposes the harm behind the good intentions, points out that our national toxic charity scandal can be reversed, but only if we take preemptive action to change the industry of compassion we’ve created before it becomes discredited as a national embarrassment. Some steps are simple, such as identifying the principles that distinguish wise and prudent charitable efforts from the destructive “do-gooder” practices that currently dominate our charitable efforts. Other actions will require wholesale changes in our very approach to charity: Lupton urges organizations, churches and charitable individuals to commit to guidelines akin to the medical profession’s Hippocratic Oath, the charity profession must adopt an “Oath for Compassionate Service” to guide us toward providing responsible and effective aid.
About the Author:
Robert D. Lupton has invested almost 40 years of his life in inner-city Atlanta. In response to a call that he first felt while serving in Vietnam, he left a budding business career to work with delinquent urban youth. Bob and his wife Peggy and their two sons sold their suburban home and moved into the inner-city where they have lived and served as neighbors among those in need. He is the founder of FCS Urban Ministries (Focused Community Strategies) through which he has developed two mixed income subdivisions, organized a multi-racial congregation, started a number of businesses, created housing for hundreds of families and initiated a wide range of human services in his community. He is the author of the books Theirs Is the Kingdom, Return Flight, Renewing the City, Compassion, Justice and the Christian Life and the widely circulated “Urban Perspectives,” monthly reflections on the Gospel and the poor. Bob has a Ph.D. in psychology from the University of Georgia.