Beliefnet
Idol Chatter

The new stars of our pop culture are not coming from the typical places, whether that be movies, music, television or somewhere else. No, they’re coming from another place and being talked about everywhere from the tabloids to the tube to the water cooler to the churches.
They are the Billionaires.
“To whom much is given, much is required,” says the scripture. And in a way similar to other cultures and societies before us, it is those from outside the traditional church who are giving leadership to what someone of means should do with their money.
“In an unprecedented show of generosity, a band of 40 American billionaires have pledged to give at least half their fortunes to charity,” says Warrant Buffet in a usatoday.com story. “We hope this movement will lead to more, and smarter, philanthropy,” Buffett said.
Mr. Buffet–along with Bill and Melinda Gates–made calls to about 80 people, they said. I’m hoping the others are still going to make the pledge but perhaps they didn’t want the publicity, which would be admirable.
The list includes people from 13 states including filmmaker George Lucas, media entrepreneur Ted Turner, Oracle co-founder Larry Ellison, New York mayor Michael Bloomberg and others. (See the whole list here.)
“Nothing like this has happened before,” says Caroline Preston, a staff writer at The Chronicle of Philanthropy, a newspaper that covers charities and fundraising.
How interesting it is, that in an age where many in organized religion are known for politics, scandal and judgment, while leaders in our culture are stepping up to set the charitable pace. I’m glad for it.

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