Religious giving skews numbers in analysis

JEFF JACOBY’S claim that conservatives are more charitable than liberals (“Stingy liberals,” Op-ed, Aug. 22) leaves out critical facts.

He argues that conservatives donate significantly higher percentages of their incomes to charity than do liberals, holding up Provo, Utah, as a shining example of a generous, conservative community. He conveniently neglects to point out that, as I’m sure he’s well aware, the Provo area is overwhelmingly Mormon, a religion which generally requires tithing of at least 10 percent of a person’s income.

Giving money under duress (tithing, etc.) can hardly be considered charity. Even if it were, a good part of the money donated to a religion goes to funding the bureaucracy and facilities of that organization, not into helping with true charitable causes.

Brian Nolen

Bedford, N.H.