Century Marks

Century Marks

Top pay

Charity Navigator’s recent study of executive pay in charitable organizations documents the occurrence of a wide variance by region and type of charity. Executives in the Northeast get paid the most, those in the Mountain West the least. Executives in education are compensated most generously, those in religious charities the least. Charity Navigator also explored compensation given to other top executives and board members, not just CEOs. Four members of the Crouch family, which started the religious Trinity Broadcasting Network, are paid well into six figures. Donors should be concerned about excessive executive compensation, but also recognize that many of these organizations are multimillion-dollar operations which demand highly skilled and competent leadership (Charity Navigator 2012 CEO Compensation Study, November).

Beyond politics

The Hebrew Bible is not a textbook on government, but it still can be seen as a guide to modern politics, argues Rabbi Jonathan Sacks. It offers a sustained critique of the uses of power and clearly narrates the moral failures of kings. It tends to prefer the simple relationships of family and community and is critical of the city for its excesses and abuses of power. The texts are concerned with community and society beyond the state—in the welfare of the marginalized, the nature of employer-employee relationships, debt and debt relief, and the environment (review of Michael Walzer’s In God’s Shadow: Politics in the Hebrew Bible in Foreign Affairs, November/December).

Blocked market

Apple Com­puters’ app store has refused to carry a program that notifies subscribers every time a U.S. unmanned drone strikes a target somewhere in the world. Though the app, called Drones+, includes only data, not graphic material, Apple said that many users would find it objectionable. It was developed by a New York University grad student using information from the London-based Bureau of Investigative Journalism, which is tracking the use of unmanned CIA drones (Guardian, November 13).

Necessary struggle

In a discussion on work and dignity, Matthew Crawford of the University of Virginia recounts his father’s battle with Parkinson’s disease. Once when they got into a car together, his father struggled long and hard to get his seatbelt fastened. Crawford thought about doing it for his father, but refrained. When he finally got it fastened, his exhausted father looked at him and said, “Thank you for not doing it.” His independence and dignity had been maintained (Hedgehog Review, Fall).

Lament and celebration

The Advent and Christmas seasons can elicit grief, especially for those who have experienced loss since the previous celebration. Cancer survivor Deanna Thompson reminds Christians to allow space for lament during these seasons. Christians have difficulty accepting lament, perhaps because their faith proclaims the resurrection. “To be able to give voice to our deepest sorrows, to attend to the sufferings that ultimately pass none of us by, is to give ourselves permission to lament,” says Thompson. Lament is a necessary precursor to hope (Grace blog, November 13).