Two prominent Americans — an Eminent Social Scientist and the President of the United States — decided to answer the question: How have America’s churches failed the poor? Americans give to Religion 82.5 Billion Dollars Annually.

Their answer was one deeply congenial to the progressive mind:

 

 “They’ve been too obsessed with the culture war.”

 

“Over the last 30 years,” Harvard’s Robert Putnam told The Washington Post, “most organized religion has focused on issues regarding sexual morality, such as abortion, gay marriage, all of those. I’m not saying if that’s good or bad, but that’s what they’ve been using all their resources for … It’s been entirely focused on issues of homosexuality and contraception and not at all focused on issues of poverty.”

 

President Obama’s version, delivered when he shared a stage with Putnam at Georgetown University, was nuanced but similar in thrust: “Despite great caring and concern,” the president remarked, when churches pick “the defining issue” that’s “really going to capture the essence of who we are as Christians,” fighting poverty is often seen as merely “nice to have” compared to “an issue like abortion.”

 

It would be too kind to call these comments wrong; they were ridiculous. Not only because (as Putnam acknowledged) believers personally give abundantly to charity, but because institutionally the churches of America use “all their resources” in ways that completely belie the idea that they’re obsessed with culture war.

 

As Mark Hemingway of The Weekly Standard pointed out, “Even the most generous estimates of the resources devoted to pro-life causes and organizations defending traditional marriage are just a few hundred million dollars.” Whereas the budgets of American religious charities and schools and hospitals and other nonprofits are tabulated in the tens of billions. (Indeed, as Bloomberg View’s Megan McArdle noted, some of that money — from Catholic sources — paid Obama’s first community-organizer salary.)

 

Twitter @sheriffali

 

 

Open New York Times Link For Full Article:

 

http://mobile.nytimes.com/2015/05/17/opinion/sunday/ross-douthat-do-churches-fail-the-poor.html?_r=0

AMERICANS - GOP - RELIGION BARRY GOLDWATER HITLER ADOLF - REPUBLICANS - CHRISTIANITY HITLER - REPUBLICAN FANATICS MAY 8 15

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