Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Are Conservatives More Generous?

Eduardo Penalver at dotCommonweal takes issue with the findings of Who Really Cares: The Surprising Truth About Compassionate Conservatism, by Arthur C. Brooks.
But, if I define "generous" to encompass, say, support against one's financial interest for social programs funded through redistributive taxation, then wealthy liberals (secular or religious), who generally support such taxes and such programs, do well and conservatives (religious or not) don't look so hot.

One might likewise define "neighbor", and hypothesize that the Samaritan opposed and the priest and Levite supported government programs to provide emergency assistance to crime victims. Not much more of a stretch than all those prodigal father homilies.

Update: For example,
On the one hand we are called to play the good Samaritan on life's roadside; but that will be only an initial act. One day we must come to see that the whole Jericho road must be transformed so that men and women will not be constantly beaten and robbed as they make their journey on life's highway.
--Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. [11 pp. pdf] (p. 9)

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