Really enjoyed and appreciated Martin Brady's review of Studio Tenn's production of A Christmas Carol ("God Bless Us Every One," Dec. 16) — except for Martin's little dig at Republicans' supposed lack of charitable generosity (likening them to stingy Ebenezer). The line would have been clever if it were even remotely factual. In truth, several studies have shown that conservatives and/or Republicans are quite charitable — and probably even MORE charitable as a group than their ideological counterparts on the Left. I would point to Nicholas Kristof's widely cited New York Times article on the subject as an example of a liberal writer conceding this point.
Phil Newman isn't the only person expressing such sentiments. In fact, no less than Ann Coulter, the famously unbiased and evenhanded political commentator, raised the same point in a column for Human Events, "Leading Conservative Media Since 1944." A brief teaser:
It's the Christmas season, so godless liberals are citing the Bible to demand the redistribution of income by government force. Didn't Jesus say, "Blessed are the Health and Human Services bureaucrats, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven"?
Liberals are always indignantly accusing conservatives of claiming God is on our side. What we actually say is: We're on God's side, particularly when liberals are demanding God's banishment from the public schools, abortion on demand, and taxpayer money being spent on Jesus submerged in a jar of urine and pictures of the Virgin Mary covered with pornographic photos.
Newman and even Coulter may have a point, though they both neglect to mention one key fact: The donation numbers in these studies, as Kristof says in his piece, include conservatives' donations to their churches. If donations to religious organizations are excluded, liberals give slightly more to charity than conservatives do. Now I realize that many churches put those donations to good use — but judging by some of the lavish megachurches in this area, not to mention some of the pastors who helm them, it's fair to question just how many of those dollars go to help the poor.
Still, any press that stokes the fire of a charitable-giving war between conservatives and liberals is not without merit — even Coulter's typically obnoxious diatribe.