Religious Conservatives Give More to Charity than Secular Liberals

November 30, 2006 · By

According to a new book by Arthur C. Brooks:

In Who Really Cares: The Surprising Truth About Compassionate Conservatism (Basic Books), Arthur C. Brooks finds that religious conservatives are far more charitable than secular liberals, and that those who support the idea that government should redistribute income are among the least likely to dig into their own wallets to help others.

His initial research for Who Really Cares revealed that religion played a far more significant role in giving than he had previously believed. In 2000, religious people gave about three and a half times as much as secular people — $2,210 versus $642. And even when religious giving is excluded from the numbers, Mr. Brooks found, religious people still give $88 more per year to nonreligious charities.

He writes that religious people are more likely than the nonreligious to volunteer for secular charitable activities, give blood, and return money when they are accidentally given too much change.

“There is not one measurably significant way I have ever found in which religious people are not more charitable than nonreligious people,” Mr. Brooks says. “The fact is, if it weren’t for religious people in your community, the PTA would shut down.”

Ht: Chronicle of Higher Education.

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