O Me of Little Faith

O Me of Little Faith

This Christmas, Redeem the Goat

Over the centuries, goats have gotten a bad rap. In the Old Testament, a goat was used as a representation of people’s sins (the “scapegoat“). In the New Testament, when Jesus talked about separating “the sheep and the goats,” it was clear you didn’t want to side with the goats.

Back in the Middle Ages, Christians were suspicious of goats because they associated them with evil. If any animal could be Satanic, they reasoned, it would be a goat. After all, the lecherous and profoundly pagan Greek god Pan was part goat. The devil himself was often depicted with goat-looking features (horns and a goatee). Superstitions involving the satanic Black Mass always involved the sacrifice of a goat.


Is there a sillier-looking animal on the planet than a goat? I’m not sure. A solitary goose is a pretty goofy creature, what with the honking and all, but several geese together in flight can be impressive. But there is nothing impressive about a flock of goats, other than their cumulative digestive power.

But this week, my friend Matthew Paul Turner (whose birthday is today) is helping out World Vision this Christmas season by promoting their Give a Goat campaign. For $75, you can give a goat to a family somewhere in the world. And if you do it, that family will be happy — despite having received a doofus-y and possibly demonic animal.


Here’s why: Goats can provide up to 16 cups of milk a day, which is ideal for hungry children and families who’ll be nourished by that milk, along with cheese and yogurt. The calcium, protein and calories these products provide can be lifesaving.

Goats help in a lot of other ways, too. Families can sell the extra dairy products at the market, sell baby goats when/if they come along, and use manure for fertilizer.

Give me a goat and I’ll be annoyed, because what am I going to do with a goat? You know what happened when Greg Brady stole a rival team’s goat and brought it home? Hijinks happened. And hilarious 70s-era mayhem. That’s not for me. Personally, I’d rather have a $75 gift card.


But give a goat to a family that needs one and they’ll thrive. Their kids won’t go hungry. They’ll use it for renewable income. They will treasure that goat.

Perhaps it’s time, this Christmas, to redeem the goat.

To donate a goat to a needy family for Christmas, visit World Vision’s online goat donation page here.

Comments read comments(7)
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Charlie Chang

posted November 18, 2010 at 10:30 am

//Personally, I’d rather have a $75 gift card.//

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S. Kyle Davis

posted November 18, 2010 at 10:32 am

Gospel for Asia has a christmas catalog, where you can give not only goats, but chickens, rabbits, camels, etc. You can also give bibles, medicine, bicycles, etc.
Check out their christmas catalog:

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Jason Boyett

posted November 18, 2010 at 10:35 am

Good point, Kyle. It’s worth noting that World Vision also offers those alternatives — ducks, sheep, pigs, fishing gear. Samaritan’s Purse also offers a gift catalog, as does Heifer International.

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Charlie's Church of Christ

posted November 18, 2010 at 11:22 am

Au contraire goats can be impressive: I once was hiking off trail in the backcountry of Joshua Tree National Park and turned the corner to a group of mountain goats who promptly scaled an incredibly steep rock cliff to safety and ran away effortlessly through the rough terrain.
But I promise the goat you give won’t run away because I won’t be there to intimidate them.

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posted November 18, 2010 at 12:04 pm

Thank you, friend, for posting this! Means a lot…

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posted November 18, 2010 at 9:44 pm

We did this a couple of years ago. I’m glad it helped someone.
What made me really, really angry is that we then started getting glossy, expensive material in the mail (i used to work for a printer) asking us for more $$$. We gave to this organization (i don’t remember if it was World Vision) because they had an impressive ratio of dollars going to the charity vs. marketing/executive salaries.
Don’t market me! I will give when i am able. Don’t waste the money sending expensive materials to me! It was very hard to get ourselves off their mailing list. We told them if they ever sent us another plea for money, it would never come to them from us again. Worked for about 18 months. We just received something in the mail last week.
I know folks have to make a living (salary), but i really do not appreciate the amount of paper sent to us from the charity.

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Cecelia Dowdy

posted November 19, 2010 at 5:22 am

Wow! Interesting. I never really stopped to think about what a bad rap the goats get in the Bible! :-)

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