On average, a person who attends religious services and does not believe in the redistribution of income will give away 100 times more — and 50 times more to secular charities — than a person who does not attend religious services and strongly believes in the redistribution of income.
Secular liberals, the second largest group coming in at 10 percent of the population, were the whitest and richest of the four groups. (Some of you may also know them as “insufferable blowhards.”) These “bleeding-heart tightwads,” as New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof calls them, were the second stingiest, just behind secular conservatives, who are mostly young, poor, cranky white guys.
Despite their wealth and advantages, secular liberals give to charity at a rate of 9 percent less than all Americans and 19 percent less than religious conservatives. They were also “significantly less likely than the population average to return excess change mistakenly given to them by a cashier.” (Count Nancy Pelosi’s change carefully!)
Secular liberals are, however, 90 percent more likely to give sanctimonious Senate speeches demanding the forced redistribution of income. (That’s up 7 percent from last year!)
We’ll review specific liberals next week.
Needless to say, “religious liberals” made up the smallest group at just 6.4 percent of the population (for more on this, see my book, “Godless”).
Interestingly, religious liberals were also “most confused” of all the groups. Composed mostly of blacks and Unitarians, religious liberals made nearly as many charitable donations as religious conservatives, but presumably, the Unitarians brought down their numbers, making them second in charitable giving.
Brooks wrote that he was shocked by his conclusions because he believed liberals “genuinely cared more about others than conservatives did” — probably because liberals are always telling us that.
So he re-ran the numbers and gathered more data, but it kept coming out the same. “In the end,” he says, “I had no option but to change my views.”
Every other study on the subject has produced similar results. Indeed, a Google study of philanthropy found an even greater disparity, with conservatives giving 50 percent more than liberals. The Google study showed that liberals gave more to secular causes overall, but conservatives still gave more as a percentage of their incomes.
The Catalogue for Philanthropy analyzed a decade of state and federal tax returns and found that the red states were far more generous than the blue states, with the highest percentage of tightwads living in the liberal Northeast.
In his book “Intellectuals,” Paul Johnson quotes Pablo Picasso scoffing at the idea that he would give to the needy. “I’m afraid you’ve got it wrong,” Picasso explains, “we are socialists. We don’t pretend to be Christians.”
Merry Christmas to all, skinflint liberals and generous Christians alike!
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