Let me clarify something from my recent rant about income tax deductions. I was not suggesting that there is something wrong with charitable giving. While one should definitely try hard to avoid paying mortgage interest (to use the example I emphasized), I strongly believe in and encourage charitable giving. My beef is with a tax code that tries to manipulate economic behavior. The IRS provisions regarding charitable giving are an example of that, although by no means as damaging as many others.
I’ll resist the temptation to pontificate about charitable giving generally, or about the ways that activity is manipulated and sometimes coerced in our culture. Suffice it to say that I believe it is our obligation to share with those in need, and doing so is essential to achieving our full humanity as the people we are designed to be. I seriously doubt that those truly giving from their hearts are influenced to do so by the fact that they can get a tax deduction. The deduction, like all others, needs to be eliminated. But by all means give generously!