Co Rin also didn’t read most of the giving surveys he’s “seen.”
“But conservatives are ignoring the obvious. Something to notice is in the mention of “tithing… to the church.” All the survey did was take IRS data “showing the value of charitable deductions claimed by Americans taxpayers.” What the IRS may mean by charitable, and what most people think of as charitable, may not be the same thing.
Since donations to religious groups, even uncharitable ones, count as “charitable giving,” then it is no surprise that religious people give more to charity. Simply put, the study shows that non-religious people don’t donate to religion. This is neither earth shattering nor particularly informative. Nor is it surprising that those states populated by sects that push their members to tithe report higher “charitable” giving.
The Chronicle of Philanthrophy also made a point that conservatives ignored:
When religious giving isn’t counted, the geography of giving is very different. Some states in the Northeast would jump into the top 10 when secular gifts alone are counted. New York would vault from №18 to №2 in the rankings, and Pennsylvania would climb from №40 to №4.
They also noted:
A study by the Center on Philanthropy at Indiana University found that the residents of New Hampshire — which ranked dead last in both surveys by The Chronicle — weren’t stingy; they were simply nonbelievers.
“New Hampshire gives next to nothing to religious organizations,” says Patrick Rooney, the center’s leader, “but their secular giving is identical to the rest of country.”
Sometimes it helps to read the whole report, not just the sections that make you feel superior.”