What do you think?
Who gives more?
A liberal? A conservative?
In a moment, I’ll give you an answer based on data, but first: What do you think?
Consider this conservative image: a right-wing American who goes to church at least once a week, thinks taxes should be low, and believes that it is not the government’s job to redistribute wealth from the rich to the poor. This conservative is not worried about the growing wealth gap between rich and poor.
Consider this liberal image: A bleeding heart who never goes to church, thinks the rich should be taxed heavily—and, yes, believes that it is the government’s job to redistribute wealth and close the gap between the haves and the have-nots.
Which one is more charitable with money and time?
Which one is more likely to tithe?
The liberal or the conservative?
Got Your Own Answer Ready? Now, Let’s Turn to the Data:
Generally speaking, the conservative is twice as likely to give money to charities as the liberal is, according to a study by Arthur C. Brooks. And, the conservative will give 100 times more money in a given year. The conservative is more likely to give to religious and to nonreligious causes, compared to the liberal. (Brooks writes about his study in “Who Really Cares: The Surprising Truth About Compassionate Conservatism.”)
Surprised? Of course, there are many exceptions to these patterns—but this is the pattern when it comes to charitable giving.
Who tithes? You can intuit the answer from what we’ve discussed so far. But, for some data, we can turn to The Barna Group. Few people tithe in the United States, only about 5% they say. But 12% of conservatives (and 24% of evangelicals) tithe. Only 1% of liberals (and less than 1% of atheists and agnostics) do the same.
Why are liberals stingy with their time and money? And conservatives so generous?