Is Warren Buffett Charitable?

By Julie Roys
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Is Warren Buffett charitable? This may seem an odd question, given that Buffett not only has pledged to give away 99 percent of his fortune to philanthropic causes, but he’s also challenged other billionaires to do similarly.

However, is giving $1.2 billion dollars to the abortion industry really charity? That’s what Buffett donated from 2001-2012, giving to the likes of Planned Parenthood and the National Abortion and Reproductive Rights Action League (NARAL). Buffett also has given about $15 billion to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, an organization committed to controlling population through contraception, sterilization, and abortion. The foundation also has bankrolled the Common Core Initiative – the controversial national standards some have dubbed a federal takeover of education.

In many ways, Buffett is a Left-wing political mega-donor similar to George Soros. As I’ve written before, Soros directs his millions to buy elections, control the media and decimate economies. Though Buffett may not be quite as devious as Soros, his giving follows a similar pattern. In addition to promoting liberal causes, Buffett, like Soros, uses his money to control the media. Soros has spent millions on media organizations like Media Matters and Think Progress. Similarly, Buffett has bought 75 small- and mid-sized newspapers throughout the country. Between George Soros, Buffett and their allies like billionaire Michael Bloomberg, the group controls 46 newspapers in swing states and 88 total media outlets, according to MRC Business.

This is why I was surprised on my show Saturday that Ron Sider, author of “Rich Christians in an Age of Hunger,” named Warren Buffett as an exemplary model of giving. Looking back, I realize I probably took the conversation on a bit of a rabbit trail when I confronted Sider about Buffett. Sider’s main point – that Buffett lives well below his means so he can give away more – was well taken. But still, Warren Buffett – a model of charity and philanthropy? Hardly.

I’ll admit Warren Buffett gives some of his money to worthy causes. A sizable chunk of his fortune goes to foundations headed by his children – Susan, Howard and Peter. And, among other things, these foundations provide agricultural assistance in developing countries and aid refugees and those living in poverty. But, these foundations also support misguided causes. For example, Peter Buffett’s foundation, NoVo in one year gave $1 million to the New World Foundation. One of the groups New World funds is the Committee in Solidarity with the People of El Salvador (CISPES), a group that tried to orchestrate a communist takeover of that country.

Warren Buffett is an agnostic and it shows in his giving. I’m sure he means well. But, the principle guiding his giving seems to be that one can be good without God. Like the people in the time of the Judges, Buffett does what is right in his own heart and it often leads to disaster. Even Buffett’s son, Peter, has admitted that many of the charities the Buffetts support create “a perpetual poverty machine.

Of course, rarely does the mainstream media report these shortcomings. In fact, though the media did 545 stories on Buffett since 2001, only one actually mentioned Buffett’s abortion funding.

Perhaps this glaring omission has led some Christians to view Buffett as a model giver. However, I think a much better philanthropist to emulate would be Hobby Lobby magnate and devout Christian, David Green. Green reportedly gives half of his pre-tax earnings to evangelical ministries, making his arts and crafts store essentially “a massive missionary organization.” Or, imitate Tom Monaghan, founder of Domino’s Pizza. Monaghan reportedly has given away 90 to 95 percent of his pizza fortune to Catholic Philanthropy. Similarly, the late S. Truett Cathy of Chick-fil-A used his fortune to create a long-term program for foster children and a sports program that shapes children’s character.

This is true charitable giving, guided not by a desire to be good without God, but a recognition that only God can make us good. Only under God’s direction does our giving further His Kingdom and His agenda. Left to our own devices, our well-meaning efforts can, like Buffett’s, just promote a twisted political agenda and a perverse kingdom of our own making.

Julie Roys is a Christian blogger, speaker and host of Up for Debate on Moody Radio. You can follow her on Facebook or Twitter.
Photo Credit: By Pete Souza [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons



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1 thought on “Is Warren Buffett Charitable?”

  1. Julie, I heard your interchange with your guest last Saturday about Buffett and ran across your blog this morning. I think you’er correct in that although Buffett’s giving is charitable (certainly from his worldview) it’s also without real merit. He is being sacrificial in his giving (although misguided) and to this point I think your guest may have been referring. I can’t fault Buffet’s giving, because it is “true” to his world view. However, from the Christ centered and eternal worldview that we would ascribe to, it falls quite short of his intended or unintended goal. This is of course is lost on Buffett. And sadly he is but a pawn in this spiritual battle.

    Jesus however spoke of true giving when he witnessed the widow giving from her poverty. To that end, we as followers of Christ can glean from Buffet’s sacrifice, but only in it’s material nature. But not in it’s lack of substantive redemptive giving driven by the Spirit and with a heart of compassion and love. The body of Christ in America is in need of being more gracious in our material giving and willing to sacrifice some pleasures that kingdom work may flourish. All while understanding that it is done with right motive and out of a sincere love of our savior and love for our fellow man who has been made in God’s image.

    We ought to pray that Buffet would come to know his creator, and that by this his life would be redeemed. This would of course transform his heart and therefor change the what and why he might give.

    Your show challenged me. I pray for my own giving and that of the body of Christ, that we with true faith give as the widow exemplified in Mark 12:41-44. To give out of sacrifice instead of out of our wealth, regardless of our financial standing. Then trust and know that our Father in heaven know’s what we need and promises provision for his children.

    Thanks for your compelling show. It’s a true joy to hear real topics discussed in such a forum. Especially in the Christian market place. So thankful for Moody Radio.

    Blessings to you,

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