Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Not-So-Free Gift

As I write this, I have the nagging feeling that I'm overdue to donate to my church, something I plan to remedy this week. I believe people should donate to their church according to what they can afford.But I still think that a certain RCIA (Catholic baptism/confirmation prep) class — not my own church's class, but one that put me on its mailing list — is going a little too far. One of the leaders of the class writes in an e-mail:

Also, each year we ask everyone in the class to make a contribution to a class donation to the church. On average people have given about $50-$100 each, but obviously everyone should make whatever contribution is appropriate to your circumstance. Tuesday is our last class, so bring your donations then.
The class is at a conservative church whose clientele is among Manhattan's best-heeled.

Am I too sensitive, or is there something amiss about telling catechists they're expected to give a certain amount? Isn't there a hint of peer pressure there?