Tuesday, January 02, 2018

The State is what charity looks like in post-Christian America


Yes, charitable giving is religiously mediated, significantly so. The following graph shows the percentages of people, by frequency of church (or other religious worship service) attendance, who have made multiple monetary charitable contributions in the previous year. To avoid racial confounding, responses are restricted to non-Hispanic whites (N = 3,688):


Parenthetically, categories are mutually exclusive, so "less than monthly" are not double-counted as "no more than annually" as well, etc.

The response to the objection that this is merely capturing the fact that religiously active give to their religious institutions is twofold. Firstly, the question asks how often respondents have "given money to a charity". Putting an envelope in the offering plate qualifies as a charitable deduction for tax purposes, but I'm not sure most people would consider their own churches "a charity" in the vernacular sense.

Secondly, to the extent that this explains anything, so what? They're giving to something. If non-churchgoers were giving to something in place of those church donations, it'd show up here. They're not.

Civic nationalism requires social trust and some degree of religious cohesion to maintain viability. These things may not be sufficient, but they are necessary. It comes as little surprise, then, to find that those who say "most people can be trusted" are more magnanimous than those who say "you can't be too careful" (N = 2,154):


As social trust and religiosity continue to decline in the US, civic engagement will similarly continue to decline. The State will increasingly be called upon to fill the widening void, a State that will become the harnessed weapon of whichever skins or coalition of skins are able to muster the headcount sufficient to wrangle electoral control of it.

As Z-Man is fond of saying, this will not end well. Peaceful political dissolution is the best chance we have of a soft landing.

GSS variables used: ATTEND(0)(1-2)(3)(4-6)(7-8), TRUST(1-2), GIVCHRTY(1-4), RACECEN1(1), HISPANIC(1)

15 comments:

Jig Bohnson said...

Let's say for the sake of argument that the all of the increased charity of the more religious is in fact just donations to their church. I believe that could negate the conclusion that religious people are more virtuous and helpful toward others than non-religious people. For why are they giving to their church? Is it to advance themselves in the eyes of God? Is it because of the social pressure as the collection plate comes by and everyone else is starting at them? If so, then you couldn't attribute their donations to selflessness or beneficence.

Jim Bowery said...

Charity starts at home and if people don't feel at home in a society because novel heterogeneity (what I've called "heterosity" in an attempt to salvage the quite serviceable "diversity") charity doesn't start.

sureptilion said...

I've always wondered, since there's no way for an average white guy to know, do blacks give to anyone, do they do any legit missionary work at their churches? do they, ALSO, go to Africa? Maybe. But would they do the mission trip to South American areas that white churches so often do?

My guess is blacks give and do very little for anyone, generally, but especially outside their own race and culture.

DissidentRight said...

In other words, you cannot have a free society without high trust.

I’ve been rethinking my extant view that Christianity is essential. I don’t think Christianity is absolutely necessary for high trust. You simply need the ability to plausibly accept that others will follow the rules, which can in theory be attained with a closely-shared identity (i.e., close enough that hurting others creates an emotional reaction)—although shared identity is no guarantee of that, as blacks demonstrate.

Certainly, Christianity makes it easier, because it is a powerful component of one’s identity, and it specifically mandates altruistic behavior†. But you don’t actually need to be altruistic per se. You just have to believe that other people more-or-less follow the rules when no one is looking. This is much easier if people aren’t, for example, impoverished.

†Christians have a competing moral duty to reign in altruistic behavior when it becomes pathological. And if individual Christians won’t do it, state officials (in particular, Christian state officials) have a duty to force them to control it. It’s ‘competing’ in the sense that the line between beneficial and pathological altruism is sometimes unclear.

Thus, Christian societies are uniquely susceptible to disruption by foreign identity groups, especially if they can otherwise pass as Christian (i.e., they look like other Christians). I’ve noticed that non-Christians seem to be modestly contemptuous of various Christian ideals. The most extreme case, of course, hardly needs to be (((mentioned))).

Audacious Epigone said...

Jig,

The response to the objection that this is merely capturing the fact that religiously active give to their religious institutions is twofold. Firstly, the question asks how often respondents have "given money to a charity". Putting an envelope in the offering plate qualifies as a charitable deduction for tax purposes, but I'm not sure most people would consider their own churches "a charity" in the vernacular sense.

Secondly, to the extent that this explains anything, so what? They're giving to something. If non-churchgoers were giving to something in place of those church donations, it'd show up here. They're not.

Jim,

Exactly.

Sureptilion,

I'm in the corporate world and we have company charities we're involved with that annually push employees to pledge donations. It's a cringe-inducing game we have to play. For what it's worth, blacks aren't noticeably less charitable in these situations. I have noticed that Asians are, especially South Asians. Whites though, and white women in particular, are quickest to pledge.

Dissident Right,

Japan seems to stand as a pretty stark example of a high trust society that is non-Christian. Remember how much looting there was in the wake of the Kobe earthquake? And the tsunami some years back? Virtually none, and the little that did occur was perpetrated by non-Japanese!

That said, ceteris paribus my guess is that Christianity helps.

Feryl said...

"Thus, Christian societies are uniquely susceptible to disruption by foreign identity groups, especially if they can otherwise pass as Christian (i.e., they look like other Christians)"

Well, Christianity also motivated Europeans to not only "drive out" the brown people, but in some cases, drive them back into the "holy land" from which they emanated.

The idiocy of post-WW2 white Westerners cannot be attributed to Christianity. The problem comes from the corruption of religion, using it as a tool of fatuous and decadent ideologies rather than as a force with which to bind an ethnic group. Religion, and it's various off-shoots, have historically been tied with ethnic solidarity.....The primary exceptions to this are nations/periods in which elites have no noblesse oblige and everything (religion included) becomes a means for self-aggrandizement and plundering of the masses. Hell, to this day, nearly all churches are mono-ethnic, suggesting that no matter what at least a shred of religion's best use remains intact.

Feryl said...

All religions create an in-group mentality. The most basic group to which we belong is race/ethnicity; ergo, nearly all religious devotees are tacitly acknowledging tribal and ethnic consciousness. And for those who aren't devout, they still are products of a religion's culture. All non believers whether they care to admit or not are "culturally" religious, aka ethnically distinct and conscious. When Pat Buchanan sounds the death knell of "Christian" America, he is in effect lamenting the death of white Protestant America, e.g., a nation founded explicitly by and for Anglo Saxon/Teutonic Europeans. BTW, as Sailer pointed out recently, Buchanan himself isn't fully Celtic Irish, unlike what some of his critic's have claimed (e.g., all of your ancestors didn't come over on the Mayflower so you have no right to criticize anyone who comes here)

DissidentRight said...

AE:

Japan is what I was thinking of. And for that matter South Korea. It’s more than plausible for high trust to emerge naturally when you combine a healthy shared identity with high intelligence.

I’m interested in what the (Alt) Right equivalent in Japan would attribute it to.

Feral: The idiocy of post-WW2 white Westerners cannot be attributed to Christianity.

To a significant degree, it can. That’s because Christianity is inherently pan-ethnic. If the theology is allowed to bleed too much into the civic and political sphere, you get disaster. Having a pan-ethnic religion doesn’t magically mean the rules of nations and geopolitics no longer apply. (Christian Europeans have spent most of their time killing each other, after all.)

In the reverse sense, if the Crusades are understood fundamentally as national wars with Christian romanticism, that’s fine. The Church has no legitimate business being involved in war, after all.

religion's best use remains intact

About 0% of Christian intellectuals would be Christian if they didn’t believe it was true.

All religions create an in-group mentality.

That’s not an useful way of looking at Christianity except in the context schisms. (You’ll certainly see the tribal mentality in Lutherans vs. Papists.) However, the Church in general sees the whole world as part of the “in group”, which is what creates pathological altruism (if not checked by bloody reality). Other than schisms, Christian tribalism has to emerge solely from independent factors, like nationality.

When Pat Buchanan sounds the death knell of "Christian" America, he is in effect lamenting the death of white Protestant America

Yeah, but that’s Buchanan. The vast majority of American Christians are cucked and will frequently be persuaded to support immigration on the grounds that it brings the “mission field” to us. And they would support Christian immigration/refugees regardless of nationality. Meanwhile, homegrown “evangelization” has matured into its final form: spiritualist motivational speaking combined with a sprinkling of Christian terminology + pyramid funding schemes (megachurches).

Jig: If so, then you couldn't attribute their donations to selflessness or beneficence.

And? From the civic perspective it doesn’t matter; taxes are not necessary for humanitarian efforts. Regardless, neither tithing (to support the institutional church) nor charity (to support widows, orphans, and the needy†.) is about earning anything before God.

†Needy must be taken in the context of, “He who does not work should not eat.” The overwhelming majority of people on welfare are not actually needy.

Feryl said...

"To a significant degree, it can. That’s because Christianity is inherently pan-ethnic. If the theology is allowed to bleed too much into the civic and political sphere, you get disaster. Having a pan-ethnic religion doesn’t magically mean the rules of nations and geopolitics no longer apply. (Christian Europeans have spent most of their time killing each other, after all.)"

In the modern US, Christianity has ceased to have any power. Beginning with Boomers, and growing with each subsequent generation, people are more alienated from conventional religious worship/beliefs. You're focusing too much on the trees, and missing the forest. The "tree" being religion, the forest being elite behavior. Elite's have no noblesse oblige right now. They're content to ignore religion, or use it for cynical ends, which you did allude to when you brought up phony preachers and mega churches. We can give free passes to proles for being the victims of terrible circumstances (unending post-WW2 propaganda about diversity and white guilt), but we shouldn't let elites off the hook; said elites have become extremely greedy and irresponsible over the last 40-50 years. They may have actually had sincerely good intentions in the 50's and 60's, but since the 70's they clearly will say or do anything to further elite predations upon the common good.

If elites were doing a better job, they would be reviving ethnic nationalism, an element of which is religion. Religions almost always are proxies for different ethnic groups.

"Christian Europeans have spent most of their time killing each other, after all.)"

Ethnic wars by proxy. In the British Isles, many Catholics are partly or totally Celtic; conversely, Protestants tend to be much more Anglo Saxon and/or Teutonic (we accepted "Scots-Irish" in colonial America because they were proudly Protestant). German Catholics and German Protestants have gotten along somewhat better because, after all, it's not like the German Catholics represent a distinct founding stock ethnic group who got muscled out of much of their original turf by Protestants representing a different ethnic group. Whereas Celts, the original inhabitants of the British Isles, had much of their territory get wrested away from them. And the heavily Protestant parts of the British Isles, and the cultural pull they exert on the entire region, are a legacy of this, which many Celts are still sore over. Much of the opprobrium historically aimed at "Irish-Catholics" is in essence anti-Celtic bigotry and animosity. None other than the founding fathers would've told you that the Protestant portions of Western Europe became known for industry and good government, while the Catholic regions (esp. in Southern Italy and Ireland) were known for crime, violence, and corruption).

As for the idea that Christianity is "pan-ethnic" or pan-national, sure, in theory. But in practice, why do the vast majority of churches, or Mosques, or whatever, remain mono-racial? Religion is most powerful as a tool to bind an ethnic group together. Even the most Leftist Christian is aware, on some primal level, that it's inherently ridiculous to worship a god alongside a different tribe. Rural folk are far more religious than urban folk, and that's partly due to the fact that in small towns nearly every institution represents the area's oh so non-diverse population. Cities are full of thousands upon thousands of people who vary in background, ethnicity, culture, and so on. It depresses feeling of civic and racial pride, and alienates people from institutions. The people most glib about this are elites who have the resources to create happiness for themselves. Proles are the most negatively affected, because a powerful source of identity and pride, tribal belonging, has been diminished and made more difficult in the face of the diversity wave.

Feryl said...

In terms of dumb churches bringing this stuff about, well, ya know, how many X-ers would become tight-fisted in a hurry if they learn that their pastor is trying to steer monies to the cause of third world immigration? X-ers already area substantially less "churched" than older generations, no thanks to the wonders of diversity and a generally corrupt culture, and what little enthusiasm they have left is further strained by dumbass religious leaders wasting precious time and money on the kind of crap that destroyed the life of younger generations in the first place.

Audacious Epigone said...

As for the idea that Christianity is "pan-ethnic" or pan-national, sure, in theory. But in practice, why do the vast majority of churches, or Mosques, or whatever, remain mono-racial?

That's powerfully put, thanks.

DissidentRight said...

In the modern US, Christianity has ceased to have any power.

Christianity inspired the Right (in particular, the Religious Right) to turn the other cheek to both communists and their apologists and blacks and their apologists. Pathological altruism is a perversion of Christianity. It is what kept the Yankee & immigrant Right from uniting with the ‘racist’ Southern Right, even in the face of the Great Migration and the communist takeover.

We can give free passes to proles for being the victims of terrible circumstances (unending post-WW2 propaganda about diversity and white guilt)

No. I am not giving them a pass. To clarify what I said, Christianity is inherently pan-ethnic, and when Christians permit that theology to bleed over into the civic and political sphere, disaster ensues because nations are fundamental political units and nations are of course inherently ethnic. Liberal-progressive Christianity was a disaster for the West for precisely this reason, because it seeks to create the Kingdom of God (in which there is no distinction between Jew/Greek/black/white/whatever) on earth, whereas Christ says that the Kingdom is not of this world. And conservative Christians did nothing to stop it, because ‘turn the other cheek’. None of this should be a great mystery to Christians.

but we shouldn't let elites off the hook; said elites have become extremely greedy and irresponsible over the last 40-50 years.

Of course. The only thing I’m denying is that institutional Christianity didn’t play a major role in ruining the West. All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.

Ethnic wars by proxy.

We’re in complete agreement. “Having a pan-ethnic religion doesn’t magically mean the rules of nations and geopolitics no longer apply. (Christian Europeans have spent most of their time killing each other, after all.)” The fact that Christian Europe was consumed by international war is proof that, while Christianity is inherently pan-ethnic, it does not magically supersede the rules of nations and geopolitics. Twentieth century Christians idiots (particularly American ones) forgot that.

As for the idea that Christianity is "pan-ethnic" or pan-national, sure, in theory. But in practice, why do the vast majority of churches, or Mosques, or whatever, remain mono-racial?

Like I said, we’re in complete agreement. You have to separate the Invisible Church† (“All are one in Christ Jesus” Gal 3:28), which can never be fully realized on earth (“We have no lasting city” Heb 13:14) from institutional Christianity, which must also be separated from “Christendom”—the nation-states where Christianity prevails.

†The concept of an Invisible Church gains traction in the Reformation, for obvious reasons.

Christians are members of the one Catholic Invisible Church, and their respective institutional church, but are also citizens of their respective countries, and they therefore have duties to those countries (“Render unto Caesar”, “Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities Rom 13:1) which are independent of Christianity, just like one’s duty to one’s family is independent of Christianity.

What I have been driving at this whole time is that while Christians are commanded to altruism, we are not free to let that altruism become pathological. In general, Christianity cannot override good government, and “turning the other cheek” to lawbreakers is obviously bad government. For conservative Christians, that pathology has manifested in the form of ignoring nationhood. For liberal “Christians”, it first manifested in the social gospel and support for socialism (see Woodrow Wilson).

If you wanted to be charitable and technical, you could say this is the fault of Christian heretics, but as a Christian I feel that’s something of a copout.

DissidentRight said...

Religion is most powerful as a tool to bind an ethnic group together.

That may be, but any ethnic binding that appears to arise from Christianity is illusory. The binding is just the usual binding that comes from the nation and, perhaps, from the community of the institutional church–but it doesn’t come from any doctrine. Christianity inspires men of all nations to evangelize outside their ethnic group in a way that no other religion (other than the cancer of Islam, which is arguably a perverse inversion of Christianity) has ever even come close to doing. Look at all the controversy in the Early Church over whether they were to really evangelize non-Jews. The evangelists won.

Unlike the myriad forms of paganism (some noble, some not) Christianity has never been an ethnic religion and never will be. This is for the reason reason that Papal theocracy is a perversion of Christianity: Christianity is not about earthly kingdoms.

I point out that if Christianity was concerned with early kingdoms, it would be a lot like Islam, which is also not an ethnic religion.

In terms of dumb churches bringing this stuff about, well, ya know, how many X-ers would become tight-fisted in a hurry if they learn that their pastor is trying to steer monies to the cause of third world immigration?

I hope so. But I rather think, as you point out, that X-ers will help save America precisely because they are less churched than Boomers. In my experience, there isn’t a whole lot of difference between Boomers, X-ers, and Millenials in the church. Zyklon? Remains to be seen.

Jim Bowery said...

Individual integrity founds authentic morality.

Authentic morality founds authentic religion.

People unmoored from these two principles of religious identity are lost.

http://fairchurch.org

Joshua Sinistar said...

Are you your brother's keeper? That's not from God. Akhanaten jr AKA Barak Barry Soetoro wants you to be "his folks" keeper. Its a tacit admission of genetic inferiority disguised as "charity". Charity isn't from the Bible or God. Everyone is supposed to work. Jesus Christ or Yeshua of Nazareth (Joshua in English) was a Master Carpenter like Joseph his Father on Earth. He said to give to Caesar what is Caesar's and give to God what is God's.
Churches are run by Little Caesars. Big Houses, maids, wine, lawsuits by parents of Choir Boys and automobiles aren't paid for by Faith though.
The "Evangelicals" are the Church of the Almighty Dollar. Give me a dollar for the Lawd they cry. If they get caught with hookers and blow, they cry a lot more. THEY MIGHT HAVE TO ACTUALLY WORK!