Friday, March 28, 2008

Charity & Politics

A recent article by the always magnanimous George Will discusses a new study on the relationship between charitable giving and political affiliation. As it turns out, conservative liberals are more generous than progressive liberals and socialists.

I don't really find this puzzling. In fact, I think a quote from Ralph Nader sums up the reason: "A society that has more justice is a society that needs less charity." This is a key shortcoming of progressive and socialist political movements that John Paul II pointed out. The tendency toward state-worship in left-leaning politics not only devalues personal ingenuity, but also personal responsibility. The state becomes so totally responsible for each aspect of governance, policy and concern that the human impulse toward the other (in this case, compassion for the less fortunate) is slowly sapped away. And the results are that progressives publicly call for increase after increase in bureaucratic "charity" while turning a deaf ear to other avenues of relief, many of which are more compassionate, considerate and family-oriented than government assistance.

Mason Slidell

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