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Conservatives 30% more generous than liberals?

  1. Aug 24, 2007 #1
    ABC's program 20/20 claims that conservatives, being more religious and less reliant on government for welfare, are consequently more generous to charity. I must be getting moderate in my middle age.
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 25, 2007 #2
    Don't mean to be belittling, but is there something specific about this that's interesting?
     
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2007
  4. Aug 25, 2007 #3

    Danger

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    You need to see a breakdown of what those 'charities' are. I can probably give you a good guess at how many family planning clinics, gay rights organizations, and social advocacy groups are benefitting from this 'philanthropy'. Remember that these are the same morons that got Bush elected.
     
  5. Aug 25, 2007 #4

    Chi Meson

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    (NB: I generally do not like these labels, but I like these "who's better" studies even less)

    "Conservatives" tend to be more wealthy and tend to stick close to the traditional 10% tithe. wealthier conservatives are also looking for tax deductions. "Liberals" are more likely to forego a more lucrative career in order to devote their time to a cause. I tended to meet fewer conservative volunteers during my HFH stints. I'm not judging either "side" here, but there are more ways than cash by which to measure generosity.
     
  6. Aug 25, 2007 #5
    As Christians my parents always have given 10% of their income, before taxes, even when both of them had just gotten married and started jobs. I'll admit they were never poor, but most people would not be as generous as to give 10% in that financial state. We once had neighbors that gave 20%. Don't think for a moment that the money at OUR church is just going into a preachers pocket, a great deal of it is going to various charities, the upkeep of the church, etc. Depending on what you make the check out to, you can contribute to several different funds for different things. Next week we are going to be collecting clothes to send to Afghanistan. If you are more curious, many churches give records of their accounts.

    -Scott
     
  7. Aug 25, 2007 #6
    'Christian charity' is a Christian myth, by Christians, for Christians.

    http://www.truthdig.com/dig/page3/200512_an_atheist_manifesto/
    http://www.globalissues.org/TradeRelated/Debt/USAid.asp
    http://www.nybooks.com/articles/17726

    Bill Gates and Warren Buffet are donate huge amount of money, but they are not conservatives at all.
     
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2007
  8. Aug 25, 2007 #7
    Who said other people besides Christians cannot donate money? Your post does not refute the fact that my church and my parents are charitable and give money and other things to the poor.
     
  9. Aug 25, 2007 #8
    Strawman. I argued against the assertion in the OP.
     
  10. Aug 25, 2007 #9

    Danger

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    Scott, I don't think that anyone is disputing the generosity of your family or many other church projects. If you look at the fundamentalist movement, however, you will observe that their donations are a political manoeuvre to fund pro-life movements, creationism in schools, gay-bashing, etc.. Vast quantities of money go to conservative lobbyists. A lot of 'street level' parishoners contribute to that without even realizing what the end purpose is.
    Generally speaking, a liberal is more likely to knowingly fund important social activities such as family-planning clinics, homeless shelters, soup kitchens (without forcing the beneficiaries to say grace before chowing down), civil rights organizations, etc..
     
  11. Aug 25, 2007 #10
    Call me fundamentalist, but by my definition of life, and the view that abortion is taking the world in a very unfavorable direction (i.e. eugenics ), I would have no problem with my church funding something that would encourage the pro-life movement. Why should Christains not be active in politics? Certainly according to our system of government, Christians make up a portion of people, therefore shouldn't their collective will have some influence (within the confines of the constitution of course).

    -scott
     
  12. Aug 25, 2007 #11
    Abortion is not eugenics and state church separation. Christians should be active in politics, but not Christianity.
     
  13. Aug 25, 2007 #12

    turbo

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    My wife and I give anonymously (so our names do not get sold to solicitors) to the Salvation Army and other charitable organizations that are doing good things right here in our state. We made a larger targeted donation to the SA post-Katrina because we knew they would accomplish more with that money than the Red Cross and other top-heavy "charity" businesses could. We also donate to food pantries, organizations that support developmentally disabled people, a regional children's home and the local animal shelter. We also do seasonal giving, including SA&USMC Toys for Tots in collaboration with the United Bikers of Maine and anonymous Christmas gifts to people identified by a local charitable agency. Others who follow our methods would never get counted in the OP's surveys. And yes, we are socially progressive people.

    I post this not to brag about our willingness to help others (that's just the right thing to do) but to point out that many people contribute in ways that cannot be easily tracked or tallied. We lost a dear friend to cancer a few years back. She was raised a Quaker, attended the local Unitarian church, and she gave more of herself than any person I know. She volunteered her time for so many causes, including teaching immigrants how to speak, read, and write English so they could function better in our society and improve their lot. She probably wouldn't have showed up in the OP's poll, either, despite contributing more to the needy than any single person I know. The major difference between people like us and the people that would show up in the polls, is that we give to help people who need help, not to fund wedge organizations that use the money to pressure politicians and suppress the rights and views of others.
     
  14. Aug 25, 2007 #13
    My point is that abortion will lead to eugenics and has already. Someone posted on this forum that parents now can discriminate between embryos depending on what they want. That seems like a textbook definition of eugenics to me. You may not have a problem with that sort of thing, but I do.
     
  15. Aug 25, 2007 #14
    Chi Meson's comments reflect my experience. Although I practically "tithe" my monetary income to charity, I give more value and get more enjoyment at a low-salaried position with a non-profit mental health organization, helping out at a nursing home a few hours a week, and until recently, a few hours a week staffing a nature center and overseeing its park. Volunteering allows one to work in the field one loves best, have a social outlet, be appreciated by one's boss, and make a more efficient contribution to one's community.

    Folks, please stay on topic.
     
  16. Aug 25, 2007 #15

    Danger

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    I have no problem with eugenics, as long as it's at the embryonic stage or earlier. An embryo isn't a person, despite what some of those Christian Conservatives would try to have you believe. Selecting a viable one for gestation is a perfectly rational approach to improving the human race overall, as well as easing the socio-economic burden of caring for chronically unhealthy ones. The choice should be up to the parents.
    Sorry, Loren; it's still off-topic, but I couldn't let it go by.
     
  17. Aug 25, 2007 #16

    Kurdt

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    What you are talking about has nothing to do with abortions. It is to do with IVF.
     
  18. Aug 25, 2007 #17
    Kurdt, sorry the practices are related in my mind. Both abortion and Invitro have the same quality of being 'selective'. I should have simply said that parents can abort a baby with some undesirable characteristic like Downs syndrome (which they do), because no one wants a baby with a problem, that has a lower IQ, that's not as strong, etc.

    Danger, you may consider an embryo a bunch of cells, but it is no different than a human being with time. Logically there is really no difference. As a christian I value human life. When you kill an embryo you a killing a baby person. It is very simple. I guess with your view it would be favorable to abort all babies (and go ahead and speed it up by doing a really late term abortion on everyone else), so that in due time there will be no more problems.
     
  19. Aug 25, 2007 #18

    Danger

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    Well, I can certainly name at least half a dozen people who are overwhelming evidence in favour of retro-active abortion, but you're actually extrapolating my position a bit too far. Since I'm no expert, I accept the (general) concensus of the medical community as to the cut-off time for abortion.
     
  20. Aug 25, 2007 #19

    Moonbear

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    It's also important to note that not all churches are "conservative." There are liberal churches that do a lot of charity work, and if one is lumping all religious charity into the "conservative" category, then that's not likely an accurate measure of who is donating to what.

    Like you, I also put more weight on those who devote their time (time is money too, but not counted that way) to charities than those who throw money at them simply out of some obligation of "tithing." It also would depend on what the charity is. Some charity is more self-serving than truly charitable. For example, donating money to your church so the church can put on an addition or remodel or plant a new garden so your wedding photos will be more beautiful is recorded as charity, but is really a very self-serving, non-charitable donation. On the other hand, someone who is spending several hours a week offering free tutoring to poor children is being far more charitable even though that never appears in a tax record.

    Also, if you give to someone in need, but don't do so through a registered charity, that's not going to be recorded in any tax record. Likewise, if you make an anonymous donation of goods that you just leave and don't get a receipt for, because you're not doing it for the tax deduction, that won't get recorded anywhere. Also, if you're not earning enough or donating enough to itemize deductions, and just take the standard deduction, there won't be a record of that either.

    I also wonder how they define conservative and liberal? Are they basing it on party affiliation, assuming all Republicans are conservative and all Democrats are liberal? How is this connection made? There are a lot of moderates in both parties.

    There are just too many reasons to not believe charity can be measured accurately in terms of dollars and cents to not trust such a comparison.
     
  21. Aug 25, 2007 #20

    Kurdt

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    I don't know. I think as humans have evolved to have the knowledge we do about genetic diseases it seems unwise to not use it. One could argue the natural selection that we have lost through our technology and innovation should be policed by our knowledge and personal responsibility to the rest of the human race. All IVF does is give people with the chance of passing on genetic illnesses an oppourtunity to have children because their embryos are screened when they would otherwise abstain.

    With respect to the original post. I think the results come about for reasons stated, where conservative christians will be giving their 10% whereas those denoted liberals tend to be less religious and donate more anonamously to other charities. I also hate labels, and this piece of news is nought but ill researched propaganda that can easily be picked apart by those with some sense.
     
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