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Expert's Message About Charity That Liberals and Atheists Likely Won't Want to Hear

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"I think it's a straw man argument."

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One of the continued debates surrounding charitable giving centers upon whether liberals or conservatives donate more to charity — and it's a question that one expert wasted no time answering while speaking recently about the current state of philanthropy in America.

"There's no question that conservatives give more to charity," Rick Dunham, president and CEO of Dunham+Company, told TheBlaze. "The research objectively demonstrates that … conservatives tend to be more religious and therefore they give more to charity."

In addition to these claims, which are consistent with some of the past research highlighted on the subject, Dunham, whose company assists with brand strategy and fundraising, was sure to note that it's not as though non-believers don't have a culture of giving.

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While some non-theists are charitable, he explained that individuals who attend religious services donate six times more than those who don't, as "giving is more of a lifestyle" for them.

Dunham also defended churches against atheists and other who claim that houses of worship are not institutions that should be included when assessing charitable giving, noting that faith has traditionally held an important role when it comes to the "moral fiber of our culture."

"I think it's a straw man argument that individuals put up that giving to churches is not really charitable giving," Dunham said. "What's kind of glossed over is the moral education, the moral inout of faith into life which again goes to one of the strands of our DNA as a country."

As for the holiday season, Dunham said that the giving outlook is "pretty good." He added that he's been watching the stock market following the midterm elections, as the it is "the single most important indicator of charitable giving in America."

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He also noted that the general economy is a strong indicator, explaining that the great recession yielded a historical dip in giving — one that hit the charitable sector hard. But with the economy improving, he said giving is also on the upswing.

Regardless of the specifics and the debate over who gives more, Dunham said that one thing is clear: charitable giving is ingrained in Americans' DNA, especially when comparing it to other countries.

"[Many] countries have a culture that is dependent on government and, as a result, they feel they pay taxes and government should take care of it," he said. "And as a result charitable center is a lot smaller than in America."

Read more about about Dunham and his work here.

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Front page image via Shutterstock.com

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