November 01, 2007
All Saints' Day debate: Should sellers bury St. Joseph statues?
Earlier this week, a friend sent an article from the Wall Street Journal about burying St. Joseph statues entitled, "When It Takes a Miracle To Sell Your House." As show in the image above, the story was the MOST EMAILED link on the Wall Street Journal, five rankings ahead of Google's new G-Phone. Amazing, and amazingly misguided IMHO.
Over the past few years, I've blogged repeatedly about the practice (click on "Continue reading" below for links). In 1998, my initial objections were stated in a well-researched article, which journalists may find worth reading, entitled, "Beyond Superstition: Doing Justice to the 'Just Man'." Nearly a decade later, I created an interactive map called "St. Joe 2.0: Geography of Faith" where anyone who believed in the practice could document their prayer experiences to St. Joseph and others could propose alternative spiritual practices.
after a Catholic conference on Social Justice was canceled in Boston
for lack of interest, my blog posts became more pointed: "Social Justice for Real Estate Dummies."
Unlike NPR's Talk of the Nation which kicked off their program "Selling Your Soul to Sell Your House" with an interview about St. Joseph, the Wall Street Journal told their audience that some Catholics are offended by the practice of burying St. Joseph statues upside down because they believe it is superstitious. Some Catholic bookstores objective to selling the statues for the same reason.
For years, I've thought about offering a "St. Joseph Statue Buy-Back Program." An employee of one local religious book store expressed an interest in exchanging statues for coupons to buy books which would give real insight into Catholic teachings. My recommendation, on this celebration of All Saints' Day, would be The Saints' Guide to Happiness. (The author, Robert Ellsberg, was a classmate at Harvard and is the son of Daniel Ellsberg.)
Looks like the WSJ blog post is generating some heated discussion. I'd love to invite anyone who wants to take a more positive approach towards "reinventing" this misguided devotion to St. Joseph to consider
our fund raising campaign for AIDS orphans or to propose their own ideas to the honor patron saint of the Catholic church and Social
Justice. Isn't it time sellers, real estate agents, and the press do justice to the "just man"? Your comments are most welcome here or on our wiki.
Real Estate Cafe blog posts on practice of burying St. Joseph statues to sell real estate:
October 15, 2007
Bono in Boston to challenge real estate industry to join (Product)RED?
Where is real estate's Steve Jobs? a leading real estate industry guru wrote yesterday, asking who real estate consumers can trust.
IMHO, a single visionary is unlikely to emerge and less likely to transform the trillion dollar real estate industry than the collective actions of like-minded innovators. In the absence of a formal coalition, maybe an outside influence, perhaps a world-class celebrity, can help push the industry past a tipping point. At least that's my hope with Bono's keynote speech tomorrow at the mortgage bankers' conference in Boston.
A Reuters headline says he's simply there to lure mortgage brokers to the event, but it's more likely he's there to challenge the real estate industry to get involved in (product)RED or create their own AIDS related fund raising campaigns. That was the subject of this blog post seven months ago:
Regardless of what Bono says tomorrow, any change agents -- or home buyers and sellers -- who are interested in building a voluntary, industry-wide coalition to help real estate consumers save money AND SAVE LIVES are invited to use these resources as idea starters for their own cause marketing and fund raising ideas:
- ASAP Slideshow
- Social networking site for "change agents"
- Wiki for annual fund-raising events
- Draft pledge campaign for cities or alumni groups
04:58 PM in "We" companies, ASAP: AIDS Shelter Alliance Partners, Change Agents, Commission Reform, Million Dollar March, Real estate philanthropy, Savings & Rebates | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack
June 07, 2007
Gates call for "creative capitalism" stirs real estate philanthropy dream
We can make market forces work better for the poor if we can develop a more creative capitalism—if we can stretch the reach of market forces so that more people can make a profit, or at least make a living, serving people who are suffering from the worst inequities. ...
If we can find approaches that meet the needs of the poor in ways that generate profits for business and votes for politicians, we will have found a sustainable way to reduce inequity in the world.
This task is open-ended. It can never be finished. But a conscious effort to answer this challenge will change the world.