The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge has brought unprecedent recognition as well as record donations to the ALS Association, all in the hopes of increasing research in diagnosing, treating, and curing the currently incurable, debilitating, and ultimately fatal Lou Gehrig's disease. The Challenge has gone completely viral on social media, with friends, celebrities, and politicians posting video of themselves speaking a bit about ALS, challenging others, and then having a bucket of ice water dumped over their heads. What is the challenge? Either dump a bucket of ice water over your own head within 24 hours and post a video of yourself doing so to Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and the like, and then challenge another three or more friends to do the same. If you fail to accept the Ice Bucket Challenge you are asked to donate $100 to an ALS charity.
It seems innocuous on the surface, but in reality it isn't. First of all, there are those morally offended by ALSA receiving mass donations, as they are vocal supporters of embryonic stem cell research. These folks offend others who aren't as put off by embryonic stem cell research and find anyone who would denounce the work ALSA is doing as complete jerks. A solution was put forth that folks could instead donate to any other ALS charity, such as JPIIMRI.org, which does not support ESCR. Ok, fine. I guess that works.
I get it. Some people are personally touched by ALS. They may even have loved one's with the disease, and for that I am sorry. The Ice Bucket Challenge really is a nice idea, until the bullying starts. Today, our son was called a vile name because he had the nerve to decline the challenge. He was told he had to pay up. Wow, really? He didn't ask to be "challenged". No one should bully others into doing anything for charity. It actually works against the true nature and meaning of charity. Charity should be done out of love not out of peer pressure, and not as a public act as it is being done on social media.
And now I shall step down off my soap box.