A recent posting from family (shown here) has got me thinking:
- How much do Christian organizations receive a year in independent donations?
- How many private (private as in 'non-governmental') organizations offer direct aid to the poor?
- What is the average giving a year for a typical Christian household?
I understand the thinking of the quote here; because many conservative Christians oppose government handouts, well they are opposed to helping the poor. Thus, being able to somehow quantify or attempt to quantify amounts goes a long way demonstrating one side or the other.
A couple of resources that might help you are:
and Arthur C. Brooks' book Who Really Cares: The Surprising Truth About Compassionate Conservatism, which is discussed in this article. A few points from the article, which relates to conservatives versus liberals, rather than Christian churches versus others, are:
-- Although liberal families' incomes average 6 percent higher than those of conservative families, conservative-headed households give, on average, 30 percent more to charity than the average liberal-headed household ($1,600 per year vs. $1,227).
-- Conservatives also donate more time and give more blood.
-- Residents of the states that voted for John Kerry in 2004 gave smaller percentages of their incomes to charity than did residents of states that voted for George Bush.
-- Bush carried 24 of the 25 states where charitable giving was above average.
-- In the 10 reddest states, in which Bush got more than 60 percent majorities, the average percentage of personal income donated to charity was 3.5. Residents of the bluest states, which gave Bush less than 40 percent, donated just 1.9 percent.
-- People who reject the idea that "government has a responsibility to reduce income inequality" give an average of four times more than people who accept that proposition.
Answer by Chris Deleon
In response to the image (not necessarily to your question) Jesus' mandate applies to people. If you're Christian, you should definitely care about and help the poor.
Socialism didn't arise until 1,900 years after Christ, and that didn't prevent people from helping the poor during that period. Somehow I doubt Christ meant we should help the poor using other people's money; no, it's got to be a lot more personal than that. I must help the poor directly with MY money.
Answer by C. U. Douglas
Perfect! Thank you.
The telling comment of the article from RCP comes towards the end, where the view of charity is predominantly taken from two different visions of the world and government. Unfortunately, that is the gulf between two parties in the debate. The liberals tend to dismiss charity as a second-rate solution to a lack of a proper government program, whereas the conservatives see charity as a personal and worthy endeavor that we are called to do.
No one is arguing against helping those in need. The Conservatives are saying "our way is best and most constructive"; the Progressives are saying, "if you don't like our way, you don't want to help the poor at all."