Slate has published its list of the 60 Biggest Charitable Donors of this past year.
You know who’s missing? You don’t know their names. Neither do I. But I bet if you picked the average congregant from the average African-American storefront church, that person probably gives as much if not more in terms of percentage of income or net worth every year than most of the people on this list. But because the dollar figures are so small relative to the numbers listed here, the generosity of those churchgoers remains known only to God. (Which is probably as it should be.)
That is not to underestimate the great good that can be done with the huge numbers that make lists like these. But those sums shouldn’t be read as the sum total of the generosity ledger sheet in America . . .