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Guest Thinkers

Why Secularists Are Stingy

Religious Americans give a higher percentage of their income to charities and are about 25 percent more likely than secularists to give in the first place. But why?

Secular conservatives—a minority among American secularists—are, in fact, the biggest tightwads. … The real giving difference between secularists and regular churchgoers comes from the fact that going to church establishes the habit of giving—not only because of moral exhortations from the pulpit, but also because of social reinforcement from peers. Secularism is not a religion, and it does not offer the community that churches offer members. This absence of community fosters a disconnect between proclaiming that one can be “good without God” and giving generously to help others.

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