521 CHRONICLESnstate or Federal government wherenthey supposedly can get help.nRecently I had a conversation with anminister of the gospel who asked me ifnI tithed. I responded that I did, butnthat I did not give it to the church.nRather, said I, my tithe went to thenFederal government.n”But the tithe, by definition, belongsnto God!” said the minister innshocked tones. “You can’t give yourntithe to anyone else.”nMy rebuttal was that the purpose ofngiving, as I recall my reading of thenBible, was to aid the sick, the poor,nand the needy, not to build imposingnstructures furnished with gold, stainednglass, and mahogany, much less tonbuy silk suits, luxury automobiles, andntrips to the Holy Lands. Today thosenlooking for true irony will find it innreflecting that in this nation of somen150 million professing Christians, thentransient, the sick, the poverty strickenndo not find help in most churches. Onnoccasion they will be given a meal or ansmall amount of money at the templendoor, but most often they are turnednaway with a suggestion that they go tonthe nearest public welfare agency, justnas indigent patients at most religiousnhospitals would die in the lobby beforenbeing admitted for free care.nIn this age of the New Deal/GreatnSociety, the government has becomenthe vehicle for providing aid to dependentnchildren, food for the hungry,nhousing for those of low income, medicalncare for the ill and the aged, andnsubsistence income for those in theirnretirement years. More than half thenbudget of the Federal governmentnnow is earmarked for humanitarian,nphilanthropic, and eelemosynarynpurposes.nTherefore, as I told the ministernwith whom I was discussing the subjectnof tithing, if my tax bracket is morenthan two-tenths of my total income,nthen I am giving a tithe and more ofnmy worldly goods for the welfare of mynfellow man as demanded by the foundernof the Christian religion. Unfortunately,nnot all that 10 percent filtersndown to the poor, for governmentnbureaucrats eat up too large a portionnof it as they gorge themselves at thenpublic trough.nMeanwhile, too many of our Christianndenominations are using thenincome they receive from their collec­ntions to help finance the World Councilnof Churches and its revolutionarynideology of redistributing the wealthnaround the globe.nMinisters like the one chiding menabout my failure to tithe to the church,nwho feel that too many of their parishionersnare in the same boat that Inoccupy, might find a greater willingnessnto donate when the plate is passednif they returned to the basic Christiannprinciple of taking care of the lame,nthe halt, the blind, and the hungry atnthe church door—as the ReverendnRoberts is doing at his City of Faith. Ifnsuch were the case, then there wouldnbe no need for Federal and state governmentsnto be in the business ofnwelfare.nIndeed, if our American religiousncommunities rededieated themselvesnto the principles of Christian charity,nthen we might have, as the justices ofnthe Supreme Court are demanding, antrue separation of church and state, ccnOdie B. Faulk is a distinguishednSouthwestern historian and contributingneditor.nLetter FromnMinneapolisnby Herbert SchlossbergnThe Captain and His CausenOur town was recently graced by a visitnand lecture from one of the nation’snforemost philosophers. Captain Kangarooncame to this outpost on thenTundra, only a hundred miles or sonsoutheast of Lake Wobegon, to speaknat the Town Hall Forum series put onnby the local ecclesiastical emporium.nWe knew in advance that BignThoughts were in the offing.nAppearing as his alter ego. Bob Keeshan,nthe Captain was disturbed thatnthe successive cohorts of the viewersnhe had nurtured—his Yupparoos, asnhe calls them—beginning some 30nyears ago, were not turning out as henwished. Exercised about the largennumbers of his old friends of the airwavesnwho are poor or in jail, he callednfor a renewed effort to make the worldna better place, so that the Yupparoosnmight come to a better end.nNow, that may sound simplistic tonnnsome readers, but simplism died withnMr. Keeshan’s earlier incarnation asnClarabelle the Clown on the HowdynDoody show. Keeshan now quotes approvinglynthe famous statement of thenBard of Baltimore, H.L. Menckenn(whom nobody ever called simplistic):n”For every complex question, there is ansimple answer. And it’s wrong.”nThis may seem to be just anothernshot taken by Mencken at the booboisie,nand bought naively by the Captain.nBut Captain Kangaroo wishes usnto consider seriously the plight of thengenerations he has instructed. “Manynof the people in prison today,” henobserves, “are children we started nurturingnin the 1960’s. Where did we gonwrong?” He doesn’t seem to have answerednthat question yet. But for thosenwho want solutions to the problemsnthe Captain has identified, he givesnthem straight from the shoulder: Wenhave to put more money into day care;nwe have to improve television; and wenhave to teach a philosophy of stewardship.nThere you have it. Except fornthis little homily: “Kindness is thenlubricant that makes it possible for usnto share our world together.” All ofnwhich brings to mind Goethe’s observationnthat “things are simpler thannthey seem, and more difficult than cannbe imagined.”nIt may be impertinent for a merenformer sergeant to say too much aboutnthe Captain’s stirring message, butnmaybe he won’t mind. The chief advantagenof the call to complexity, asnMencken must have known, is thenprestidigitation by which it transformsnmoral categories into material ones.nWhy are people in jail? Only thensimplistic think it has something to donwith an ethical issue, when it’s clearlyna social one. Something in the physicalnenvironment causes people to behavenin antisocial ways, and the onlynway to do something about it is tonchange the society. The Captain’snyoung Yupparoo friends who are innjail now would not have to endurensuch sufiFering if we had had better dayncare for them back then. (Let’s notnsay anything about having had betterntelevision).nThe Captain, having been forced tonwalk the plank by the mercenary piratesnof commercial television, is nowncampaigning for a new slot on publicntelevision. There is an inner consis-n