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To My Liberal Friends: Give Like A Mormon

Modern Donor publishes an excellent free email newsletter on giving trends.  Here from the current issue is a fascinating blurb on who gives most.


Charitable giving would jump by $27.5-billion a year if every wealthy American donated at the same rate as the most-affluent people in the nation’s five most generous states (Georgia, Minnesota, Nebraska, Oklahoma, and Utah), according to "Wealth and Generosity by State" by the New Tithing Group (available FREE at NewTithing>). That amounts to a 15-percent gain in the amounts individuals contribute annually. The ten states with the greatest wealth – those where the total assets held by residents were the highest – did not rank in the top 25 percent of most-generous states. Those states were California, Connecticut, Florida, Illinois, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York.

Readers of this blog might justifiably assume that I am a "flaming liberal," or worse, something almost unthinkable, an advocate of representative, constitutional democracy, unpolluted by financial corruption, materialism, and the morally corrosive spectacle of mass-mediated society. I am a primitive Christian who believes that Christ castigated materialists, consumers, and money-fixated people generally, that he despised the market, and that his being sold for a handful of silver is a parable about what is happening today, not just to him, but to each of us - each of us. We are sold to advertisers starting with our eyeballs, then piece by piece, from the time we can prattle until the day we die. Worse for me, I believe that America was set up to be a democracy by, of, and for the people, not by, of, and for global corporations and their lobbyists. I recognize that these beliefs, so backward as not even to qualify as conservative, make me a Public Enemy of Freedom within the Sodom and Gomorrah that market-dominated America has become. Yet, in daily life I am fortunate to work with people all over the country, including members of The Church of Later Day Saints in Utah, and cultural conservatives in GA, OK, TX, AL, and community-oriented conservative givers in the Midwest too. I must say when it comes to giving that religious people, conservatives, and small business owners, embedded in local communities are often exemplary in their generosity, and in their investment of time and energy in community projects. If we compete on virtue, I admit to coming in practice way short of many of the conservative people I am privileged to know. If we all gave like the folks in Salt Lake City, our country would be a far better place. If we worked as hard as they do, that wouldn't hurt either. (I find myself murmuring The Lords Prayer as I write this, about being forgiven as we forgive others. My conservative friends: Forgive me this blog. It is my gift of hot air to an already warming world.)