Why I can’t stay angry (even though I want to)

Sometimes I get angry. 

I get angry when a young woman describes what it felt like to watch men stand up and leave the sanctuary when she approached the podium to give her first sermon. I get angry when evangelical leaders show more concern for protecting the powerful at Sovereign Grace Ministries than protecting vulnerable children. I get angry when my most reasoned arguments are dismissed as “emotional” and “shrill” or when people question my commitment to my faith because I accept evolution or support women in ministry. I get angry when confronted with Jamie Wright’s real talk about the sex trade in South East Asia or when a young gay man cries into my shoulder as he recounts being turned away from his church.

I get angry when I overhear people at a restaurant talking about how they hope the verdict in the Trayvon Martin/George Zimmerman case will “teach those people to show some respect.”(Yes, this happened.)  I get angry when, like Paul, “what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do."

(And it’s not just noble stuff either. You should see me when we lose our internet connection.)  

I don’t think  anger is inherently wrong. Anger is part of what it means to be human, to be empathetic, to be engaged, to recognize sin for what it is, to be tenderhearted and vulnerable,  to be awake in this world. Throughout Scripture we encounter a God is angered by injustice and the neglect of the poor.  Jesus expressed anger at those who exploited the poor and vulnerable, who harmed children, and who “shut the door to the Kingdom in people’s faces” through religious legalism and exclusion.   As N.T. Wright has said, “To deny God’s wrath is, at bottom, to deny God’s love. When God sees humans being enslaved… if God doesn’t hate it, he is not a loving God.”  

We are right to be angered by inequity and injustice, whether inflicted upon ourselves or on other people. And we have to be very careful of telling other people—particularly those in the process of healing— when they ought to be angry, when they ought to forgive, or when they ought to “move on.” 

But if Jesus is our example, if being fully human and fully God looks like this carpenter from Nazareth, we know that the evil within ourselves and in this world cannot be conquered by hate but must be overcome with love. 

“You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy,” Jesus says in a particularly annoying part of the Sermon on the Mount, “But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven."

I struggle with this….like, big time. 

A skeptic who is prone to cynicism, and a contemplative who is prone to indulgence, I find myself sinking into a state of bitterness from time to time. I lose hope—in myself, in others, in the Church, in God.  I forget that we know the ending to this story and that it involves a lovely bride and a big banquet, and instead I assume the worst of other people, expecting the worst from this world.   

But I know from experience that bitterness weakens a strong argument. 

It breaks down dialog. 

It gets in the way of change. 

It weighs me down. 

Anger, I think, is meant to wake us up, to provide clarity and direction. It’s meant to be a starting point, the gun that sounds at the start of a race, a catalyst. 

Bitterness lulls us back to sleep. It paralyzes us with “why bother?” and “it’s no use.” It grabs us like a rip tide and pulls us away from shore. Eventually, it drowns us. 

As a wise friend recently said, “Anger is suppose to be a flash fire that burns away the chaff and leaves clarity in its wake. To linger in anger or to make anger and wrath the first choice response is to burn out the humanity within you.”

I recently bumped into a fascinating article about how Martin Luther King Jr. processed and harnessed his own anger, which was certainly justified and certainly real. The article, written by Hitendra Wadhwa back in January, is entitled “The Wrath of a Great Leader,” and it quotes extensively from Dr. King’s autobiography. 

Recalling a particularly frustrating negotiation around the bus boycott in Montgomery, Dr. King wrote that “on two or three occasions I had allowed myself to become angry and indignant. I had spoken hastily and resentfully. Yet I knew that this was no way to solve a problem. 'You must not harbor anger,' I admonished myself. 'You must be willing to suffer the anger of the opponent, and yet not return anger. You must not become bitter. No matter how emotional your opponents are, you must be calm.'"

When his home in Birmingham, Alabama was bombed by white extremists, he wrote: "While I lay in that quiet front bedroom, I began to think of the viciousness of people who would bomb my home. I could feel the anger rising when I realized that my wife and baby could have been killed. I was once more on the verge of corroding hatred. And once more I caught myself and said: 'You must not allow yourself to become bitter'."

“You must not allow yourself to become bitter.”

I’m writing that on a sticky note to put above my desk as we speak. 

Dr. King didn’t tell his followers not to be angry. He told them to turn their anger into constructive (nonviolent) action.  In a 1968 article he said, "The supreme task [of a leader] is to organize and unite people so that their anger becomes a transforming force."

 Or, as Ghandi famously said, "I have learnt through bitter experience the one supreme lesson to conserve my anger, and as heat conserved is transmuted into energy, even so our anger controlled can be transmuted into a power that can move the world." 

As Christians work to find our prophetic voices in this culture, as we engage the world and one another in areas of disagreement, we must take these words to heart. Like it or not, we are called to a higher standard; we are called to forgive, to be peacemakers, to extend grace to those who don’t deserve it. 

And even as I type those words I don’t want to do it—not for Mark Driscoll, not for the folks defending Sovereign Grace, not for those jerks at the restaurant. 

I’ve been thinking lately that the hardest part of fundamentalism for me to leave behind is the part  that equates rightness with righteousness, the part that makes "winning" the goal. 

Because I like winning arguments. 

No, I LOVE winning arguments. 

No, if I could marry winning arguments and cuddle with winning arguments every night while we watched ’30 Rock’ reruns together, I probably would. 

And yet I feel God’s presence most profoundly when I give up—not on making the argument,  but on winning it. I know God’s love with more certainty, not when I’ve proven it, but when I’ve experienced it and when I’ve extended it.  I find the most peace when like Dallas Willard I “practice the discipline of not having to have the last word.” 

It’s possible, I suppose, to win an argument and lose your soul. 

Jesus said we are to be wise as serpents and harmless as doves, and that bugs me because I like people to know I’m wise, that I’m not some naïve girl they can toy with, and I’ve convinced myself that the only way to prove my wisdom is to strike with venom in my teeth, to cause pain. 

But Jesus doesn’t say we are to be naïve. He doesn’t say we are to be stupid as doves or naïve as doves or obnoxiously cheery as doves (no offense to doves here). He says we are to be harmless as doves.  So if I’m going to become this awesome Jesusy-snake-dove creature, I guess I’m going to have to find something else to do with all this venom….like donate it to the antidote bank or something, as snakes do. 

After all, the words Jesus promises at the end of this journey aren’t “Congratulations! You were right!” The words Jesus promises at the end of this journey are, “Well done my good and faithful servant.” 

Good. Faithful. Angry. Hopeful. Wise.  Harmless. Cunning. Gentle. 

Now don’t get me wrong: I’m not telling you not to be angry. You may be in an important season of healing in which anger is healthy and important and necessary for growth. 

And I’m certainly not telling you to stop making the case for justice—for women, for LGBT people, for the poor, for the marginalized, for the abused, for yourself. 

I’m telling you why I can’t stay angry, even though sometimes I want to. 

I can’t stay angry because it debilitates me. It makes me unhappy and it makes the people around me unhappy. 

I can’t stay angry because I genuinely believe change is possible, and so I need to practice seeing that capacity for change in myself, in the Church, in those with whom I disagree, even in my enemies. Only then can we draw it out together. 

I can’t stay angry because on good days I believe that love wins. 

And I can’t stay angry because even on bad days I can’t get rid of the stubborn hope that maybe someday this little mustard seed of faith in me will grow into a tree after all. 

Pope Francis recently told the enormous crowds who had gathered in Rio for World Youth Day, “You are often disappointed by facts that speak of corruption on the part of people who put their own interests before the common good. To you and all, I repeat: Never yield to discouragement, do not lose trust, do not allow your hope to be extinguished.”

Reminds me of Jesus' words, "Do not let your hearts be troubled."  

I’m not telling you not to be angry. 

I’m telling you not to give up hope. 

 

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Why Progressive Christians Should Care About Abortion

'Ultrasound 1' photo (c) 2013, Martin Cathrae - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/

I knew what abortion was before I knew where babies came from. 

Growing up in the evangelical subculture of the 80s and 90s, I was well versed in the language of the pro-life cause, as familiar with Roe vs. Wade and the silhouette of a tiny fetus as I was with Disney princesses and contemporary Christian music. My young mind grasped the essence of the pro-life argument—that all of life is valuable, no matter how small or vulnerable—but mistakenly reduced the solution to abortion to a single step—vote for a pro-life president, and abortion will go away. A Republican president meant no more dead babies. It was as simple as that. 

…Until it wasn’t. 

The first president I voted for was George W. Bush. My dad dropped me off at the polling station and I marched into the Rhea County Courthouse to cast my vote for life.  While President Bush endorsed the 2005 Partial Birth Abortion Ban Act, which I supported, he also championed a pre-emptive war in Iraq that costs hundreds of thousands of lives.  His presidency did not make much of a dent in the abortion rate, and even though he appointed conservative judges, Roe vs. Wade remained intact.  By the time W finished his second term, I had graduated from college, come to terms with the fact that the criminalization of abortion is highly unlikely no matter the party in power, expanded my definition of “pro-life” to include Iraqi children and prisoners of war, and experienced first-hand some of the major problems with America’s healthcare system, which along with poverty and education issues, contributes to the troubling abortion rate in the U.S. I remained pro-life idealistically, but for the first time, voted for a pro-choice president, hoping that the reforms I wanted to see in the healthcare, the economy, immigration, education, and for the socioeconomically disadvantaged would function pragmatically to reduce abortions. A couple of my conservative friends called me a baby killer. Several questioned my salvation. 

As I advocated for the election (and re-election) of President Obama, I confess I grew somewhat embarrassed by the pro-life cause. I hated those cars that boasted a “Choose Life” sticker on one bumper and a “You’ll Have to Pry My Gun From My Cold, Dead Hands” on the other. The stubborn commitment to abstinence-only education among many evangelicals struck me as counterproductive to the cause, and those awful statements about how a raped woman has a “way of shutting that whole thing down” to prevent pregnancy were shameful and ignorant. Plus, sometimes it seemed like abortion was the only social justice issue my evangelical friends cared about, so they turned a blind eye to the ways in which Republican politics might hurt other disadvantaged groups, or turned my advocacy on behalf of other causes (like gender equality, trafficking, peace, healthcare reform, gun control, etc.) as an opportunity to make a statement about the horrors of abortion in comparison.  It was all picket signs and prayer walks. But I wanted more conversations, and action, around poverty, adoption, and healthcare. 

'stop abortion  now' photo (c) 2008, Steve Rhodes - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/2.0/

For a lot of pro-lifers, it seemed, abortion was all about the baby.

The woman, and the factors that might contribute to her decision to terminate her pregnancy, didn’t seem to matter much.

But how can we end abortion if we don’t examine why women seek out abortions in the first place? Making it illegal won’t stop it from happening, and yet so many of our efforts are directed toward that end. Aren’t we wasting our time and money by simply throwing it at politicians who wave the pro-life banner, but then do little, practically, to address the underlying issues related to abortion? And why on earth oppose access to birth control and reforms in the health care system when those will likely make the biggest difference in actually curbing abortions in this country? 

Furthermore, as I became more involved in the feminist conversation (some feminists are pro-life, of course, but many are pro-choice), I began to understand some of the arguments against the criminalization of abortion, like that banning abortion does not necessarily reduce the abortion rate, that enforcing a ban on all abortions would be impossible, and that women would likely seek out abortions through unsafe, illegal procedures anyway. 

I also began listening to heartbreaking stories—from women like Cecily and Tamara who had to terminated wanted pregnancies for their health.   

And when I was honest with myself, I had to admit that I don’t know exactly when life begins (at fertilization? at the first heartbeat? at the existence of brain waves?). Does the Bible, or Christian tradition, really make this abundantly clear? There is even disagreement among Christians about this, (and historically, even among evangelicals), so was it really my place to deny a woman who has been raped, for example, access to a morning-after pill? 

And so I remained pro-life in my personal conviction, but I began to question my position that all abortions should be criminalized. I could be against abortion personally, but ambivalent about its legality, right?  I could have my own convictions about this issue without making a scene. It was as simple as that. 

….Until it wasn’t.

Under President Obama’s presidency, the overall abortion rate has indeed seen a decline, but he overturned some of Bush’s restrictions on late-term abortions, and there are these drones in the sky that don’t seem very pro-life to me.  I squirmed on the couch when, during the 2012 Democratic National Convention, cheers erupted upon every mention of a woman’s “right to choose.” A lot of pro-choice folks like to say that “no one is pro-abortion,” but when celebratory concert series and festivals are organized around the anniversary of Roe vs. Wade, I can’t help but question the degree to which we have desensitized ourselves to the reality that abortion means the termination of, at the very least, a potential life, something that should never be celebrated with balloons and rock concerts. 

What frustrates me about the pro-choice movement is the lengths to which advocates go to de-humanize unborn children and sanitize the abortion procedure, reducing life to nothing more than a cluster of cells and the implications of pregnancy to little more than a choice. The word “fetus” is used instead of “child.” Efforts to encourage women to receive counseling prior to an abortion are stubbornly opposed. The argument is framed around the woman’s body exclusively, as if the fetus is inconsequential, and pro-life advocates are characterized as being “against” women’s rights. (Frankly, as a woman, and a feminist, I don’t like people invoking my “rights” to unilaterally support abortion.)

For a lot of pro-choicers, it seems, abortion is all about the woman.

The unborn child, and all the complicated, terrifying, and beautiful things its life represents, don’t seem to matter much. 

'Abortion on Demand and Without Apology' photo (c) 2011, Debra Sweet - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

So just as I grew irritated with the pro-life movement for its inconsistency and simplistic solutions, I grew irritated with the pro-choice movement for its callousness and disinterest in discussing the very real ethical concerns surrounding the termination of a pregnancy. 

And then the Kermit Gosnell story blew up. 

The story involved dead babies and dead women, the exploitation of poor and marginalized immigrants and minorities, filthy conditions, racism, and multiple governmental failures.  

"This case is about a doctor who killed babies and endangered women,” the Grand Jury reported, “What we mean is that he regularly and illegally delivered live, viable babies in the third trimester of pregnancy - and then murdered these newborns by severing their spinal cords with scissors. The medical practice by which he carried out this business was a filthy fraud in which he overdosed his patients with dangerous drugs, spread venereal disease among them with infected instruments, perforated their wombs and bowels - and, on at least two occasions, caused their deaths… Bureaucratic inertia is not exactly news. We understand that. But we think this was something more. We think the reason no one acted is because the women in question were poor and of color, because the victims were infants without identities, and because the subject was the political football of abortion." 

In response, pro-life made the (accurate) observation that it is a mere technicality that separates the legal termination of late-term pregnancies from the illegal termination of late-term pregnancies so gruesomely exposed by the photos from Gosnell’s clinic.  Pro-choice advocates made the (accurate) observation that Gosnell is being prosecuted precisely because what he did was illegal and warned that, should abortion be criminalized, practices like his would likely flourish. I was pleased to see many pro-life advocates acknowledge that the story highlights the role poverty plays in abortion, admitting that the women in this case were marginalized and vulnerable, and that their needs ought to be talked about more often. I was pleased to see many pro-choice advocates acknowledging that the stark reminder of what happens to a fetus in a late term abortion was rightfully unsettling. (It should be noted that late tern abortions make up a very small percentage of abortions, as do cases of rape and incest…so both sides tend to appeal to rare cases in debates.) Kristen Howerton, among others, had the good sense push past all the pointless rhetoric about a supposed media conspiracy to ask why on earth the state of Pennsylvania didn’t shut this place down sooner. 

Here was abortion—in all of its heartbreaking complexity, with all of its ties to life, death, poverty, exploitation, fear, loneliness, politics, and propaganda—sprawled out on the front pages of our newspapers, and no single side “won.” It was an indictment on our shared apathy, on our shared callousness, on our shared simplistic political solutions. 

“…Because the women in question were poor and of color, because the victims were infants without identities, and because the subject was the political football of abortion." 

Not surprisingly, I couldn’t think of anything worthwhile to say. I was, truly, speechless. 

My conservative friends took the opportunity to chastise and pester me, convinced my delay in writing a post on the topic revealed my participation in some vast media conspiracy and my unwarranted preoccupation with “minor” issues like gender equality in the church. When I explained on Twitter that a post about abortion isn’t simple enough to fit into 600 words, a guy tweeted back, “Sure it is. I can fit it in three: It’s always wrong.” 

Is it? 

When the life or health of the mother is at stake? 

In the case of rape or incest? 

When a woman’s body naturally disposes of a zygote? 

Meanwhile, my more liberal friends begged me not to write anything at all. It’s too complicated, they said, too controversial, too complex. 

Is it? 

When the life of the weaker is taken by the stronger? 

When one out of five pregnancies in this country end in abortion? 

When places like these fail to get shut down in part because we’ve turned abortion into such a political issue? 

I think a lot of progressive Christians like myself, eager to distance ourselves from some of the rhetoric and policies of the Republican brand of the pro-life movement, shy away from talking about abortion, when our call to do justice and love mercy demand that we speak and act to address this issue, even though it may be more complicated than we originally thought.  

 

In fact, I wonder if an appreciation of the nuances in the debate, and of abortion’s connection to traditionally “progressive” issues like poverty and healthcare, may actually make those of us who are “stuck in the middle” especially effective agents of change.  Let’s face it: We are unlikely to find a single party that truly represents a “culture of life,” and abortion will probably never be made illegal, so we’ll have to go about it the old fashioned way, working through the diverse channels of the Kingdom to adopt and support responsible adoption, welcome single moms into our homes and churches, reach out to the lonely and disenfranchised, address the socioeconomic issues involved, and engage in some difficult conversations about the many factors that contribute to the abortion rate in this country, (especially birth control). It seems to me that Christians who are more conservative and Christians who are more liberal, Christians who are politically pro-life and Christians who are politically pro-choice,  should be able to come together on this and advocate for life in a way that takes seriously the complexities involved and that honors both women and their unborn children. 

In other words, instead of focusing all of our efforts on making “supply” illegal, perhaps we should work on decreasing demand.  And instead of pretending like this is just an issue of women’s rights, perhaps we should acknowledge the very real and very troubling moral questions surrounding a voluntarily terminated pregnancy. 

I am still unsure of exactly how to do this. I don’t even know where to start, really. The more I learn, the more complex this issue becomes. But the Gosnell case does in fact point to something simple: that we are failing to care for the most marginalized and helpless among us, be they unborn children or women whose desperation sent them to Gosnell’s clinic. And we won’t be able to promote a “culture of life” until we are willing to advocate on behalf of both. 

Perhaps God has called those of us who feel “stuck in the middle” to do exactly that. 

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What do you think?

How has your thinking on abortion changed and evolved through the years? What was your response to the Gosnell story?

And what sort of PRACTICAL steps can Christians take to to both address the complexities of abortion and actually curb the abortion rate?

Note: I'm closing the comment thread, just because once you reach 600+ comments, it's a bit too much to manage. Most were civil and thoughtful, so thank you for engaging!

 

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Gifts That Give Back, 2012!

It’s cyber-Monday! As has become tradition here, I’ve included some ideas below for gifts that give back. This year I focused on people and organizations that are close to my heart….so there aren’t as many, but I can vouch for each.

Coffee

Our dear friends Quentin and Jessica McCuiston are hoping to adopt a little girl from South Africa, but international adoption is expensive. They still need to raise close to $20,000 dollars before Christmas in order to bring this particular little girl home with them. I know without a doubt these two will be amazing parents. They are creative, fun, courageous, wise, committed to their faith, and they make a great team together. I’ve known them since high school and could not be more proud to call them friends.

gifts-q&j.jpg

One way you can help out is by purchasing fair trade coffee from Just Love. This stuff is tasty, let me tell you!  Best of all, for every bag of coffee you order, $5 goes to Quentin and Jessica’s adoption fund.

I recommend the fair trade Sumatra and the fair trade Ethiopian Sidamo: Oromia

gifts-coffee-Sidamo.jpg

Or, you can always just make a tax-deductible donation to Quentin and Jessica’s adoption fund via Lifesong. Quentin and Jessica’s home church, Apostles NYC, has paired with Lifesong and has graciously given a matching grant of $5,000, so your donation will go a long way! Be sure to specify preference McCuiston #3252 adoption in the form provided. 

Accessories

If you’ve spent much time on the blog, you know I’m a big fan of Hill Country Hill Tribers, a non-profit that provides supplemental income and marketable skills for Burmese refugee artisans living in Austin, Texas. Not only do I love their products—(I own three necklaces that always get compliments)—I love their community. As you may remember, we partnered with HCHT for our Women of Valor essay contest. One of my favorite contributions to that series was the story of Ra Noe, a HCHT artisan and true woman of valor.  

For gifts, I recommend one of the kachin necklaces made by Christine, or the woven eternity scarf made by Ra Noe.

gifts-scarf.jpg

Prints

If you’ve been considering purchasing an Old & New print since you saw the project featured on the blog a few months ago, today would be a great day to do it. Old & New donates proceeds from print sales to Blood: Water Mission, a fantastic charity. For Cyber Monday, they’re hoping to raise $300 in print sales. As a special offer, they’ve reduced the prices in their Soceity6 shop today. With each print sale, they’ll make $2 for Blood:Water Mission, which means if they sell 150 prints, they’ll reach their goal of $1,000 donated this year—a mark that will provide a rain-water catchment tank in Lwala, Kenya.  These are gorgeous prints. You my recognize a few that have been featured on the blog:

Design by Brian Danaher for the Old & New Project

Design by Brian Danaher for the Old & New Project

Design by Lindsey Mccormack for the Old & New project, used with permission.
Design by Lindsey Mccormack for the Old & New project, used with permission.

Chocolate

Don’t forget to buy fair trade for you stocking stuffers!

My #1 favorite:  
Divine 70% Dark Chocolate with Raspberries

My #2 favorite: 
Equal Exchange Organic Dark Chocolate with Almonds

My #3 favorite: 
Green & Black’s Organic Dark Chocolate Espresso

Bath & Body

Founded in 1997 by Becca Stevens, an Episcopal priest on Vanderbilt's campus, Magdalene is a residential program for women who have survived lives of prostitution, trafficking, addiction and life on the streets. Thistle Farms is the organization’s social enterprise. The women of valor enrolled in the program create natural body care products and candles.

I recommend the travel survival kit.

General

Pure Charity & The Legacy Project: So this is pretty cool. With Pure Charity, your everyday purchases at stores like Target, Best Buy, and Walmart can earn you money back in a personal giving fund.  All it will cost you is a few minutes of time to sign up with Pure Charity. You can still shop sales and promotional prices, and the rewards will add up with no cost to you. And once you’ve racked up a little money in your fund, you can in turn donate the money to a cause on Pure Charity. I suggest supporting the Legacy Project from Help One Now. Some of our favorite bloggers—Sarah Bessey, Kristen Howerton, Mary DeMuth, and Jen Hatmaker—are building a school in Haiti, an I don’t know about you, but I dig the idea of a portion of my wrapping paper purchases going toward this goal! 

Ten Thousand Villages: one of the world’s largest fair trade organizations and a founding member of  the World Fair Trade Organization, Ten Thousand Village has been around for a long time and has just about the best variety you’ll find online. (They also have plenty of brick-and-mortar stores across the country.) You can always count on beautiful, quality products from Ten Thousand Villages.  They’ve got some pretty serious Cyber Monday deals going on today.

http://www.tenthousandvillages.com/golden-star-ornament

http://www.tenthousandvillages.com/golden-star-ornament

Goats and Stuff (for others, not you)

From World Vision: Ducks ($18), chickens ($25), or a goat ($75). In Bolivia, I saw firsthand just how effective World Vision’s agricultural fund can be. The gift of livestock helps families lift themselves out of poverty in a way that is sustainable and dignifying. Last Christmas, we gave chickens in honor of extended family members who live far away, and each of them received a personalized Christmas card letting them know that a chicken had been given in their name. It was a hit, and so much better than sending bulky packages or gift cards they may or may not use. You can check out their gift catalog here

gifts-pig.jpeg

From Samaritan’s Purse - an organization that is swift in responding to disaster relief and does amazing things to help refugees around the world. You can check out their gift catalog here

From CWJC - Christian Women's Job Corp: This is another organization my sister has worked for (yeah, she's that kind of woman), and I know from firsthand experience it does amazing work. Right now, during the CWJC's "Be a Light" campaign, you can choose a "star" that will help empower a family in middle Tennessee break the cycle of poverty. $25 will provide free childcare for a child of a mom or dad enrolled in computer classes. $50 will provide a job coach to an unemployed job seeker. $125 will pay a single mom’s GED testing fee. $250 will enroll internationally-born residents in Conversational English Classes. $500 will provide food, rent assistance, and bus passes for an unemployed woman as she searches for jobs. $1,000 will enroll a GED graduate in a college/job training program. Learn more here. 

Christmas Cards

I love Unicef’s Christmas cards because they have so many bright and colorful ones to choose from. I buy them almost every year. But you can find a nice list of charities that make Christmas cards—from Autism Speaks to The Humane Society to The Make a Wish Foundation—here.

***

I’ve got my own little Cyber Monday deal today. Leave a comment in the comment section with your own suggestions for gifts that give back and you will automatically be entered to win a signed copy of A Year of Biblical Womanhood. Contest runs through 12 a.m., November 27.

So, what gift ideas do you want to share?

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Comment Policy: Please stay positive with your comments. If your comment is rude, it gets deleted. If it is critical, please make it constructive. If you are constantly negative or a general ass, troll, or hater, you will get banned. The definition of terms is left solely up to us.