This chart, released recently by the Pew Research Center and blogged about at Christianity Today, The New Republic, The Daily Dish, Sojourners, and The Daily Beast, shows what evangelicals and non-evangelicals want to cut from from federal spending.
As I read this, it seems that close to 60% of evangelicals want to cut spending on aid to the world’s poor, but so do about 50% of all Americans. Evangelicals seem to be considerably more likely to favor cuts to unemployment and the environment than their non-evangelical fellow citizens. They are also slightly more likely than non-evangelicals to support cuts to health care, scientific research, aid to the U.S. poor, financial aid for college students, crime, education, and medicare.
Here is what Jonathan Chair, writing at The New Republic concludes:
If you looked at taxes, you’d almost certainly find evangelicals favoring higher debt. Second, it’s not showing a whole lot of opposition to spending, either. It’s showing that white evangelicals, like Americans as a whole, oppose spending cuts on virtually the entire federal budget. Indeed, if you look at programs that make up the bulk of the federal budget — Medicare, Social Security, defense, and homeland security — evangelicals support for spending cuts ranges from the low teens to the low twenties. Compared to other Americans, evangelicals are very slightly more likely to favor Medicare cuts (but still far less than 20% do), no more likely to favor Social Security cuts, and less likely to favor cuts to defense and homeland security.
Evangelicals are more likely than others to favor spending cuts on unemployment, the environment, scientific research, and college aid. But the only programs where even evangelical support for spending cuts tops 40% is aid to the world’s poor (a belief that consistently seems to reflect massive over-rating of the actual amount spent.) If you pro-rate every program for its its size to the federal budget, there’s no evidence that evangelicals are anti-debt, and there isn’t even any reason to think they’re more anti-debt than other groups. If you include taxes, they’re almost certainly more pro-debt than other Americans.
Holy crap. “We have good news for you! Jesus loves you, and he made sure we're well-fed and wealthy enough to send missionaries to tell you so. Best of luck finding something to eat, 'cause we're not gonna share. Wouldn't want to flout the will of God, who clearly means for you to be hungry and poor.” Yay evangelicals.
It's consistent, I guess – one needs a lot of armed police and soldiers to beat down the impoverished unemployed people living in blighted areas one drives through on the way to the megachurch.
Our Founding Truth says
Evangelicals, and the Founding Fathers do not believe government should support in the way the author of the post believes.
For the most part, the Church is to provide…government is to be limited as the framers clearly believed.
For example, Madison vetoed Bills to pay for roads, bridges, etc. and James Monroe vetoed a Welfare Bill.
The opposite is the case in the realm of compassion as statistics show Conservatives give more money to charities than liberals.
The Founding Fathers are dead. But I'm sure they are rolling over in their graves at how often they are wrenched out of their own historical context and plopped willy-nilly into ours.