From Who Gives A $%&t? in Mother Jones magazine:
*** On average, Americans think that 24% of the federal budget goes toward foreign aid. Only 0.9% actually does.
Last fall, the U.N. requested aid for Niger and got almost no response. At that time, $1 per day per person would have solved Niger’s food crisis. Now $80 is needed.
Americans spend $8 billion on Christmas decorations, almost 4 times what they give to protect animals and the environment.
If the estate tax is repealed, charities stand to lose about $10 billion a year.
52% OF individual giving goes to religious institutions. Schools get 7%.
Campus Crusade for Christ raised $380 million last year—more than PBS, the Boy Scouts, and Easter Seals combined.
U.S. donations made thus far per victim of 9/11, Katrina, and the tsunami, respectively: $736,771; $2,827; $1,173.
Focus on the Family’s $2.2 million in tsunami aid included 1 million copies of Dr. Dobson’s When God Doesn’t Make Sense.
FEMA’S website listed Operation Blessing, Pat Robertson’s faith-based organization, second on its list of charities that would speed relief to Katrina victims.
Last year, Operation Blessing gave half its donations—$885,000—to the Christian Broadcasting Network, of which Robertson is chairman. ***
What does all of this mean?
- Americans think they are more charitable than they really are
- Nationalism drives where charity goes more than anything
- Faith-based charity, while obviously doing great good, receives more than its fair share of the pie
- Too much of faith-based charity goes towards political and idealogical ends, instead of altruistic ones
- Buying one's way into heaven is apparently more important than educating your children. It's better to keep them stupid and compliant.
"You cannot hope to build a better world without improving individuals. We all must work for our own improvement, and at the same time share a general responsibility for all humanity." -- Marie Curie
"You must be the change you wish to see in the world." -- Mahatma Gandhi