Tuesday, August 24, 2010

An interesting comment at Alternative Right

I didn't charge for the classes, because the Talmud says "don't make of the Torah a pickaxe to dig with . . . " meaning don't make Jewish teaching a source of income if you can help it. Just one of the many Talmudic instructions in unethical action. . .

I tend to agree with the spirit of the above. I have heard that Confucians make the distinction between being paid to "teach" and receiving a stipend from one's students. St. Paul thought he should make tents to support himself. Similarly, priests and bishops do not charge for their services, but receive a stipend from the community to support them. But what of Catholic apologists? Receiving a commission to teach or work in some sort of lay ministry might be more legitimate. (Setting aside for the moment the question of whether the "professionalization" of service is actually desirable and a good trend.) Many receive donations to support them in their work (as opposed to receiving payment for specific services). But I still think there is something questionable about making a living off of being some sort of self-appointed authority on Catholic teaching. (Being qualified and appointed by the bishop to perform a specific work seems to be better.)

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