The least religious part of the American public has the most favorable view of Islam as a religion, while the most devout part has the least favorable view. For liberals (and especially for non-religious liberals) all religions are equally bad, or equally good. They all worship some kind of flying spaghetti monster, in Richard Dawkins’ infelicitous phrase, or they all seek a vague sort of “spirituality”.

Devout Christians have a radically different experience of religion. They believe that God loves everyone and act on this belief. More than 100,000 of them serve as missionaries overseas, many in parts of the global south where no other Westerners venture. Their charities are the last resort of the desperately poor.

Evangelicals give US$3,600 per capita per year to charity, the most of any group except for Jews; a quarter of them tithe. Their charities show pictures of the world’s poorest on late-night television, and they risk their lives to deliver help where no one else will. The largest such charity, ChildFund (formerly Christian Children’s Fund) has the lowest overhead ratio of any such organization in the world. And they are more likely than other Americans to have served in the armed forces in Iraq or Afghanistan.



August 18, 2010 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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