Recently, a Chronicle of Philanthropy study evaluating the giving patterns of conservatives and liberals revealed that liberals are an uncharitable bunch:
People who live in deeply religious regions of the country — the solid-red states of the Bible Belt and Utah — give more of their income to charity than those who don’t. Of the top 10 most generous states, according to a Chronicle of Philanthropy study based on itemized charitable contributions among people who made at least $50,000, nine voted for Mitt Romney in 2012.
Doesn’t that fly in the face of conventional wisdom? I wrote on how this study should affect the stereotypical characterization of conservatives:
When my husband David was a student at Harvard Law School, his fellow students couldn’t stomach his conservatism. They talked endlessly about how Christians and conservatives were pompous, didn’t care about justice, and were far too concerned about abortion and gay issues than the kinds of things that really mattered. Mainly, they talked about poverty, how to reduce it, and how Republicans were more worried about making money than helping the down-and-out.
One day, David saw a notice about a club at Harvard that actually went into impoverished areas and tried to help kids trapped in unfortunate circumstances — by getting the Harvard students to “adopt” a little brother or sister and take them under the student’s wing. He showed up at the first meeting to sign up and was very surprised. Though practically every self described liberal student said talked incessantly about their “concern for the poor” almost everyone who actually showed up for the meeting was a Christian. David “adopted” a little brother, took him to baseball games, and developed a meaningful friendship with him. His Christian friends did the same. But he learned an important fact: liberals talk about helping the poor; conservatives actually help the poor.
David’s experience at Harvard was hardly an isolated incident.
Sadly, this anecdote is part of a much larger national trend.