So what are we to make of the fact that conservative
Americans donate 30 percent more to charity than liberal Americans?
A new book called "Who Really Cares," by Syracuse University
professor Arthur Brooks, is not going to please the Howard Dean
crowd. The book states flat out that religious Americans who vote
Republican are far more likely to be generous to the downtrodden
The big question is, of course, why? Liberal philosophy is all about
"nurturing" people who need help. The "tax the rich" crew can't yell
loud enough that more money needs to go to Americans in need. Just
not their money.
That may be unfair but probably is not. The cornerstone of liberal
economic thought is "income redistribution," that is big government
taking assets from the affluent through taxation and giving said
assets to the less well off through entitlements like subsidized
health care, housing, educational scholarships and the like. The
left is also big on imposed "economic justice," things like
guaranteed wages and lifetime job security.
But a funny thing happened on the way to socialism. Americans who
believe in "income redistribution" give 75 percent less to charity
than Americans who do not, according to Dr. Brooks. That is a
I believe this is a religious thing. Secular-progressives believe in
individual gratification, and that often takes money. Buying that
jazzy new SUV and a vacation home can deplete disposable cash fast.
If it's all about you -- then you are thinking about you -- not
about poor Dave down the street.
But devoted Christians, Jews and Muslims are compelled to help the
poor by their beliefs. Personal gratification is not a big theme in
Scripture. Jesus was a huge "help your neighbor" guy. For J.C. it is
all about Dave down the street, not the latest material possession.
The statistics say that religious Americans give four times as much
money to charity each year than secular people and are 23 times more
likely to volunteer to help people than folks who never attend
church. And here's another crushing stat: If liberals donated blood
at the rate conservatives do, the nation's blood supply would rise
So in this season of giving, Christmas, a word some liberals don't
like to say, it might be worth pondering just who is really looking
out for the have nots. The leftist media often portrays
conservatives as mean, cruel and insensitive to the plight of the
downtrodden. But, as the tax returns of multi-millionaires Dick
Cheney and Al Gore prove, the media image is false. The vice
president gives millions to charity, Mr. Gore very little.
So the next time you hear a big government liberal bloviate about
helping the poor, please trot out the statistics mentioned in this
column. And then tell that person that in America today giving money
to charity seems to be the right thing. What's left is not even
Mr. O'Reilly is host of the Fox News show "The O'Reilly Factor" and
author of "Who's Looking Out for You?"
by Bill O'Reilly
Posted Dec 02, 2006