One thing I often dislike intensely about life here is the never-ending cash collecting by the Church and other social organisations. Apart from the monthly tithes that every God-fearing churchgoer gives in good faith, there are literally dozens of begging bowls that come around every month. There's the church building fund, the missionary fund, the Bible Society with its numerous offshoots like the Bible-a-month/Testament-a-day/ Bible for China and other schemes, the YMA building fund, etc etc etc. Just over the weekend, our veng had a cleaning-up-the-neighbourhood hnatlang where at least one volunteer from every family was expected to show up. That or fork out a hundred bucks or else. I opted to part with the hundred and later learned that a not-to-be-sneezed-at pile of Rs 16,700 was easily made from opt-outers.
Now while I accept without question that money matters big time in these times of big spending, it's always seemed to me that donations ought to be made voluntarily. People ought to be giving from the heart and not because they're pretty much ordered to shell out so and so amounts of their hard-come-by earnings. Years ago I always cringed at church begging announcements. Talking about money and the need for it so publicly always struck me as crass and vulgar. Now I've grown somewhat immune to it all though there are times I still wonder if it can't be done with a little more subtlety and finesse. In a manner more Christian, with a little more heart and humane consideration rather than as an arrogantly preemptory dik-tat.