By Tom Quiner
How do we love one another?
The cartoon above by Chuck Asay presents the American dilemma and our political flashpoint.
Good people think the government should take the major role. Some still think government isn’t doing enough despite the shocking escalation of spending to alleviate poverty; despite the shocking expansion of entitlements.
The good women on the “Nuns on the bus” tour mock, no make that revile, Congressman Paul Ryan for even suggesting that we can’t afford the status quo any more. They suggest conservatives are mean, greedy, and cold-hearted.
One nun, speaking from the pulpit in my very parish, got so angry at conservatives that she blurted out the expletive, “For Christ’s sake.” Then catching herself, she smiled and said with a kinder voice and finger pointed to heaven, “For Christ’s sake.”
But are the nuns on the bus correct?
Is President Obama correct?
Is the entire mainstream correct that conservatives are mean, greedy, and cold-hearted?
Research shows they have it backward.
Syracuse professor, Arthur Brooks, agreed with mainstream thought, that liberals were probably more generous than conservatives. He set out to research and quantify the results. What he discovered astounded him:
• Liberals make more money than conservatives.
• Despite this income gap, conservatives give 30 percent more to charity than liberals.
• Religious conservatives give an average of $2367 per year to charity compared to $1347 for the rest of the country.
• Religious conservatives give more to secular charities than everyone else.
• Conservatives donate more blood, sweat, and tears than everyone else as measured by blood given to blood banks and personal time devoted to directly helping others.
• Brooks looked at attitudes of folks concerning distribution of income and religion. Folks who do not believe in income redistribution schemes and attend church services gives away a hundred times more than folks who do believe in income redistribution schemes and don’t attend religious services.
• Secular liberals are the “whitest” and richest of the four groups Mr. Brooks identified. Nonetheless, they give 19% less to charity than religious conservatives.
Mr. Brooks said “I had no option but to change my views.” Read more about his study in his book, “Who Really Cares?”
If the amount of blood, time, and money given to others is a good gauge of compassion, religious conservatives are quantifiably more compassionate than secular liberals.
Secular liberals like to talk about it.
Secular liberals like to set up government programs to let someone else (government workers) do it.
Religious conservatives believe Christ has called them to roll up their sleeves and do it themselves.
That doesn’t sound very mean and selfish to me.