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(RNS) The “Connected to Give” report also cites generosity thriving among people who claim no religious identity: 34 percent of these “nones” nonetheless give to religiously identified organizations.


  1. Giving to religious houses of worship should not be considered charitable giving. We’ve seen time and again that a tiny fraction of that money goes to actual charities, while nearly all of it goes to the house of worship itself – salaries to paid employees, the building, etc. That’s the same as giving to any other business, and obviously not charity. Calling money given to these businesses “charity” simply because of the name they give their business hurts actual measures of real charity, and hence the real charities themselves. It is yet another example of Christian privilege in our society that we call money given to their church businesses “charity”.

  2. These kinds of studies are deeply flawed. They usually count donations to churches and tithing as charity. Donating money which is going primarily to the maintenance and upkeep of one’s own sect’s property and employees is hardly an honest definition of charity.

  3. Frank, what do you think about money given to an Islamic Mosque? Or to a golf country club? Or a Pagan Temple? Are those charities?

  4. OK, Frank, so some missions are OK. Which missions born by those organizations would you consider to grant them the status of a charity?

    • It depends on if its charitable is some way. This isn’t rocket science. Does the organization serve the public good?