Ebola kiss * Giving stats * Religiously tweeting: Monday’s news roundup

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While charitable giving overall has increased in recent years, donations to religious groups have declined slightly.

Creative Commons image by Mike Shoup

While charitable giving overall has increased in recent years, donations to religious groups have declined slightly.

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Ebola is threatening Liberian culture where kissing cheeks at church is common. Which states give the most to charities? Ones with more church-goers. Plus, find out which religious group tweets the most.

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  • Jon

    Giving to religious houses of worship is not charitable giving. We’ve seen time and again that a tiny fraction of that money goes to actual charities, while nearly all of it goes to the house of worship itself – salaries to paid employees, the building, etc. That’s the same as giving to any other business, and obviously not charity. Should we call fees paid to motivational speakers “charity”? Or call money paid for other entertainment, like movies “charity”? Of course not. Calling money given to these businesses “charity” simply because of the name they give their business (“church”) hurts actual measures of real charity, and hence the real charities themselves.

    It is yet another example of Christian privilege in our society that some of us let people lie publically by calling money given to their church businesses “charity”. When you take out the churches, leaving only actual charitable giving, the opposite is seen: http://www.patheos.com/blogs/friendlyatheist/2012/08/22/are-atheists-being-stingy-when-it-comes-to-charity/

    This form of Christian privilege is common in our society. Perhaps RNS could be brave enough to be among the first to face it, by only referring to real charities as “charities”?

  • Perry

    I always wondered what girding up your loins meant, thinking it was related to armor for protection. But that doesn’t seem to offer much protection for those tender loins.

  • The Great God Pan

    Organizations like Focus on the Family are considered “charities,” but donating to them is basically like donating to a Republican PAC. The now-defunct Exodus International, which disbanded after apologizing for the harm it caused, was also a “charity.”

    We always hear about how much more money the religious give to charities, but I’d be interested to see what the statistics look like after you weed out organizations that don’t actually help people, or that privilege proselytizing over their supposed actual goals (such as HIV/AIDS relief organizations that contribute to the spread of HIV in Africa by insisting on “abstinence only” outreach instead condoms and educating sex workers).

  • Jon

    O mighty Pan-

    Did you read the link in my post above? It gives some estimate of that by taking out churches, and surprise! Atheists give as much or more as anyone else.