Friday, October 31, 2008

The Spirit of Charity and Giving

As many people know we lost Gary Gygax recently. His loss was especially hard for many of us, though we never met him, because there are a large number of us who found a place to belong. His game encouraged us to be heroes. We got to, in some small way, live out our fantasies and imagine worlds better than our own. The outcasts, the geeks, the nerds, and many of the people who society proper believes to be "weird" found that they weren't so alone in the world, that we had one another and that was ok. We formed a community and though we may disagree wildly we can always come together with the commone experience of being gamers.

Now gamers are, for a variety of reasons, a fairly generous group of people. We give gladdly because we recognize that we've been blessed and we know that reaching out to help others will make the world a better place. We know that we need to do this, not just because it's the right thing to do, but also because if we ever want the world to be what we see in our mind's eye then we need to work to get there. For us it's a matter of recognizing that people who have it worse than us who need help, and having been in the position where we didn't get help, we feel it a matter of course that we're going to help others.

I mention these things because this past Gen Con there was a charity auction held in honor of Gary Gygax's memory. The money was to be donated to Mr. Gygax's favorite charity The Christian Children's Fund. When said charity discovered that the donation money was, in part, connected to the sale of D&D they flattly refused the money. The auction found another sponsor in Fisher House so things sort of worked out for the best, but that's not the point.

The point is that Mr. Gygax was, himself, a Christian. He'd supported the charity for years and not a little of that money very likely came from D&D or other fantasy gaming products he was behind. I find it rather troubling that a charity that's always emphasized the vital need for money to help starving children refused money because they believed it to be somehow tainted by the heathen gamers.

Ladies and gentlemen I am a Christian myself. I've never made a secret of this and I'll talk about it openly and honestly given a chance. Speaking as a Christian I don't understand where this charity is coming from. We wanted to help and we were refused because we ran into the old stereotype of D&D is satanic. That hurts.

Now I'm not going to wish bad things upon the Christian Children's Fund but I would encourage people to write them and calmly explain how they feel about their refusal of funds. Don't curse them out, don't scream and yell; act like the better person. Show them you understand the spirit of giving and charity and be mature in your dealings. They very likely won't listen, people who hold a stereotype that closely rarely do, but we need to be the bigger people in all this. If for no other reason than to show everyone else that they're wrong about us.

That's all for now

May the Lord bless you and may the Lord keep you. May He make His face to shine upon you. Amen and amen

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