Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Charity is what you make it - not always what you give!

So my coffee was almost spoiled, but I asked for a shot of caramel in it to take away the bitter taste of the twitter and things immediately felt better after that! (after all if life is about choices then choosing not to hold on to anger should probably count as a good choice! even with the extra calories attached!).

So I found out one (the main one! - you know the one with the systems issues, yes them - IdiotBuiltSystem-StuffedTheLeadtimes!) of the Christian book wholesalers over here are going to be chainging their name soon it would appear!
(Thanks to Fellow Twitter @notbovvered Fuller info can now be found on his excellent blog -
But also they are doing things like looking to lay off staff and then seemingly doing a recruitment drive and asking for volunteers, in what seems to me to be to in effect fill those paid staffers positions, and then claiming to be 100% Charity!

Well sorry to me that's playing a foul semantics card.
100% charity does not involve looking for ways to make your life/business better at the expense of people you are meant to have a duty to care for!!
Add to that given it is a commercial business (albeit a registered charity!) it's trickery to try to convince the customers that through supporting them 100% goes to charity - actaully it doesn't as most of it goes on admin, stock, overheads etc - very little of the customers spend makes it to the charity component - I should know I spent 14 years working for the same sort of retail/publishing/worldwide charity as these folks - and believe me the final sum going to the missions was less than 5% ! So again it's misleading and unfair to make these sorts of claims and do this sort of thing.

Heck my business isn't a charity - it provides for me, my family and staff with not much left over - and then most of that goes to the taxman as I render unto ceasar, but I give willingly to charity from that money because yes it is the right thing to do - and yes I have a nominated charity for my shop, and this year even though times are tough I am still giving - and last year I gave too, twice in fact! This is not to brag, but it's to point out that saying 100% charity is not saying anything if it isn't backed up by real action, (Mark 12:42) if you have thousands and give little, or have little and give as much as you can - well draw your own conclusions.

Again this issue is the unfairness and biasedness of the situation, the misuse of words and ethics to deliberately report something in a way not absolutely honestly truthful, but rather its propoganda marketing and spin if you ask me and if that makes sense! Seems to me some Christian Bookshop Chains & Charities seem to be loosing the concept somewhere, as this one seems to using the same secular and what to me seem to be somewhat ethically dubious activities such as we last saw demonstrated by SSG (SPCK/SSG as they were when they first tried the volunteer trick!). Shame that really.

So the question I ask all of you - and please do comment! - is:
Is it fair for charities running commercial & retail businesses to compete claiming 100% charity?

Oh and let me clearly state that in this I refer to businesses other than pure 'charity shops' that sell on only donated secondhand goods for the most part!
I mean businesses that really are full on retail and commercial businesses operating exactly the same as their secular counterparts - except of course for their registered charitable status.

ok, last thing, I am now truly a twit!
that is to say i am now on, so if any of you are also on there and want to chat/follow or be followed then you can find me at: @unicorntreebks

Anyway that's it for now - see you in the shop tomorrow and if you inhabit cybersphere only then don't forget you can shop through our A-shop and support us that way too - and feel free to donate to our nominated charity at any time!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

What is Christian Ficton

Ok, here is a quick thought/question based on thoughts spawned by one of the social network groups i follow/participate in: Christian Authors & Readers Network

What actaully constitutes 'Christian' Fiction??
Is it fiction published by the main christian publishing houses? (cause if so...well!)
Is it fiction by any author who is a practicing/believing christian? (so Anne Rice anyone, Orson Scott Card, Tolkien, susan Howatch etc)(here's an interesting link for sci-fi authors on this one)
Is it fiction where any of the characters are christian and therefore the christian perspective is carried through (fannie Flag -can't wait to get to heaven, Andrew Greeley, Don Camillo books, Howatch etc)
Is it fiction where the idea's and concepts inherent to being a christian or christianity are expressed/embraced etc (Jodi Picoult Books, The Shack etc)

So there we go that's the question on my mind tonight - come on let me know your answers and thoughts on this one!

See you in the shop tomorrow & don't forget I can be found on twitter now too @unicorntreebks !