The red state population has been mocked for years as the moral majority that fails in the mind of most liberals to truly follow the teachings of Jesus. Most notably, adherence to the principles of heterosexuality and the sanctity of life are distorted into labels of intolerance and ignorance.
Based on these two rather narrow aspects of Christianity, libs mock the idea that the Religious Right has a caring or generous bone in their collective narrow-minded body. To the contrary, the libs exclusively claim the compassionate corner on the political market as the only ones concerned with the poor, the needy and the disenfranchised.
But as the saying goes, “Our pocketbooks don’t lie.”
As it turns out, people from the red states far exceed the blue bloods in charitable giving even though they make less money. (That would be called sacrificial living for the religiously ignorant and chronically self-absorbed.)
In fact, Mississippi, the poorest state in the nation, consistently earns its place as No. 1 in charitable giving. At the other end of the spectrum, Connecticut ranks first in making money but joins New Hampshire, Massachusetts and Rhode Island at the bottom of the list for charitable giving, according to The Catalogue for Philanthropy’s 2004 generosity Index.
So instead of bashing the Christian Right as a bunch of intellectually crippled hate mongers, the libs (who obviously fail to put their money where their mouth is) might consider some of the work we do in the name of Jesus Christ. Then, by the way, tell me if you can about each of the liberal counterparts.
First consider the Mercy Ships filled with dedicated doctors, nurses and support staff following the example of Jesus to help and heal the sick. Mercy Ships operate a growing fleet of hospital ships to serve in poor developing nations. “Since 1978, Mercy Ships has performed more than 2 million services, with a value of 250 million dollars, and impacted over 5.5 million people.”
They have performed more than 18,000 operations such as cleft lip and palate, cataract removal, straightening of crossed eyes, orthopedic and facial reconstruction; treated more than 300,000 people in village medical clinics; trained local medical professionals in modern health-care techniques; delivered more than $21 million of medical equipment, hospital supplies and medicines; and completed close to 350 construction and agriculture projects including schools, clinics, orphanages and water wells.
Also motivated by Christ’s love, the international partnership of Food for the Hungry exists to meet both physical and spiritual hungers of the poor in 37 countries. Founded in 1971, they are recognized repeatedly as one of the most efficient charitable organizations in America. Their annual budget exceeds $76 million with more than 93 percent of total income dedicated to field programs. Additionally, Food for the Hungry sponsors more than 15,000 children in 13 countries and operates HIV/AIDS programs in five African countries.
Operation Blessing has also demonstrated God’s love by touching the lives of more than 175 million people in 96 countries and all 50 states, providing food, medical services and disaster relief valued at more than $750 million since its inception. And Catholic Charities USA, the membership association of one of the nation’s largest social service networks spends billions each year to provided services to over 10 million people, including food, community programs, housing and disaster relief.
And did you know that more than 6.6 million gift-filled shoeboxes from Operation Christmas Child sponsored by Samaritan’s Purse are being distributed to hurting children in the Sudan, Afghanistan, Liberia, Uganda, Thailand, Honduras, Argentina, Mozambique, Vietnam, Cambodia, Russia and Trinidad? “These shoe boxes filled by Christians are bringing joy, hope, and the true meaning of Christmas – Jesus Christ, God’s greatest gift to children around the world.”
Speaking of children, the Christian Children’s Fund is one of the nation’s oldest and most respected child-sponsorship agencies. They currently serve more than 7.6 million children and family members in 30 countries. Over their 65 year history, they have dedicated more than $2.3 billion in services to children.
Of course, the granddaddy of them all, the Salvation Army, is a Christian organization and part of the universal Christian Church. “The Army’s doctrine follows the mainstream of Christian belief and its articles of faith emphasize God’s saving purposes.” The movement, founded in 1865, has spread from London, England, to all parts of the world.
Today, the multi-million dollar annual budget of the Army goes to fund programs including shelter for the homeless, community and childhood education centers, addiction dependency programs, disaster relief, refugee programs, thrift stores, charity shops, hospitals, clinics and convalescent homes.
Now as impressive as this listing is, it is only the tip of the proverbial iceberg in Christian giving. That fact combines dramatically with the knowledge that people from the red states (while making less money) far out give those claiming the compassionate and open-handed high ground of the blue states – to which I can only say, the liberals’ hypocrisy is at long last revealed.
As for the Christians, giving of themselves, their time and money, I can only say what we all hope to hear one day from Christ himself: “Well done my good and faithful servants.”