public dialogue

Benedict Varnum 9-04-2014
A child dumps ice water over his head. Image courtesy Suzanne Tucker/shutterstoc

A child dumps ice water over his head. Image courtesy Suzanne Tucker/shutterstock.com

The Ice Bucket Challenge, or "IBC," needs little introduction. Over the past month or two, it's been the internet phenomenon of challenging friends, family and co-workers to participate in some combination of donating to the ALS Association, becoming educated about the disease, or dumping a bucket of ice-cold water over their head and video-taping it. The rules are somewhat (pardon the term) fluid—but basically, invitees are given 24 hours to respond and challenge up to three persons. I don't have precise numbers—they're still increasing—but ALSA has reported over 3 million donors and over 100 million dollars raised in the past few month. Not to mention the payoff of seeing your dear ones get soaked and squeal, shudder, or grin and bear it.

But I think it's also raised a second topic into public debate: the ethics of action and motivation. And even beyond the philanthropy going on, I think that's worth talking about, and I suspect it will be the Challenge's more enduring legacy.

It's started. I saw my first ad for a tax help company on TV yesterday, and I received an email recently about using an online service to settle my bill with the government.
Jim Wallis 5-20-2010
I thought Glenn Beck must have moved on to other things, but the other night, he went back to his attack on social justice churches. This time the issue was climate change.

Jim Wallis 5-06-2010
After Glenn Beck said "social justice is a perversion of the gospel" and a "code" for Marxism, communism, and Nazism, I invited him to a public dialogue to discuss the true meaning of social justic
Jim Wallis 4-14-2010
This post was written in response to the Washington Post On Faith question of th
Kevin Lum 8-11-2009
Jim Wallis and other faith leaders from across America kicked off "40 Days for Health Reform"

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