Tuesday, October 11, 2011

If you're going to mix religion and politics, at least get it right

Morning Joe host, Joe Scarborough, tried to inject religion into a discussion of government policy, and his fellow panelists (liberals all) were all in favor of it.  Scarborough seems to think that many Christians on the right, who oppose big government, don't have as keen an understanding of the Bible as he does, despite the fact that they "wave their bibles around the most."

I'm no expert, but even I know that the Bible calls for personal charity and not for using the force of the
government to take money from one group to give to another.  Further, it turns out that Scarborough has it exactly backwards in that religious conservatives are more generous with their time and money than are secular liberals, primarily because of religion.  According to research done a few years ago by Arthur Brooks,
neither political ideology nor income is responsible for much of the charitable differences between secular and religious people. For example, religious liberals are 19 points more likely than secular liberals to give to charity, while religious conservatives are 28 points more likely than secular conservatives to do so. In other words, religious conservatives (who give and volunteer at rates of 91 percent and 67 percent) appear to differ from secular liberals (who give and volunteer at rates of 72 percent and 52 percent) more due to religion than to politics.