If you were to mine through the discarded posts and links I have uploaded, and subsequently unloaded, about the (RED)™ campaign you’d understand my ambivalence about this idea.
As someone who has already consumed too much stuff, in this hoarding society of the “developed” world, I was a little put off when Bono, Oprah and a cast of thousands congratulated themselves for bringing about a humongous corporate effort whereby, if you’ll buy the products, corporations will send some of the money to AIDS-related work. Depending on the product, such as the special iPod™ model, “some” may mean very little. (I add the trademark symbols not because I fear the holders chasing me down but to emphasize how corporate, i.e. ultimately profit-driven, this really is.)
Anyway, I decided – without explaining myself – not to link to the campaign, on principle (philanthropy disguised as gotta-have-it), and, well, I’m not alone. However Mike didn’t just sit back, as I did, with uneasy feelings.
Without getting into the theological baggage I fall over with the name ‘(Red)emption’, I had an email today from Mike asking me to consider supporting his simpler, more direct, campaign of sending ten dollar donations to the Stephen Lewis Foundation. It seems, from reading his site, that Mike is of the ‘emerging church’, with which I find some common interest, and so I am pleased to see his nuanced approach to this issue of giving.
I appreciate the email, Mike, and, as a monthly supporter of the foundation already, I’ll pass on giving any more but I tip my hat to you for your initiative and encourage readers to follow the links to this great foundation – it matters not to me from whose blog. (See, also, the “Give a Day to World AIDS” button in my links, which also directs proceeds to the Stephen Lewis Foundation.)