Dr. Hector Avalos On Giving Christianity Credit for Charity

A Catholic Christian named kenneth asked a question:
What would the documentary "a day without a christian" be like? Or "a day without religion". Certainly the bombings and violence in the middle east would come to a halt. But who would feed the world's poor, care for the sick, educate the children, and care for the orphans? People would like to say "the state", but the state does an overall aweful job at accomplishing these goals. The lionshare of the world's charitable contributions are made by christians. The Roman Catholic Church feeds more hungry, cares for more sick, educates more children, and cares for more orphans than any other institution on the planet. The secular world simply doesn't carry it's own weight. Where are the great infidel soup kitchens? Why aren't the debunkers caring for the sick in africa? Simply put, the violence may come to end but far more lives would be lost the moment the religious left the planet.
The following is Dr. Avalos's most excellent and unique reply.
Dear Kenneth,
I am glad you liked my essay. However, I would disagree with you about giving credit for charity to Christianity.

All good accounting must include both income and debt. If you count all of the riches and poverty that Christianity has caused, then crediting Christianity with giving X amount of dollars must be balanced against how many dollars it has taken from the world, and how much it still owes the world.

Just consider the Americas, where Christians, both Catholic and Protestants, took what could be trillions of dollars worth of land and resources, and destroyed entire cultures.

Crediting them now with giving to the poor is like applauding a bank robber for giving back a nickel after stealing a billion dollars from a bank.

Your argument also ignores that many of the problems that Christians are helping were caused by Christianity. For example, Mother Teresa may have helped the poor, but she was also against contraception that created more of those poor people. Christian colonists enslaved many people whose descendants still live in poverty. Now, Christians want credit for helping cultures that they helped to impoverish.

You overlook how much good scientific/atheist methods have helped to cure illnesses that have also helped alleviate poverty and other ills.

In the United States, churches are tax exempt. All that money given to the worship of invisible beings could be used to alleviate poverty. There are probably tens of billions of dollars annually that are being taken by churches who do not pay their fair share of taxes.

In any case, when crediting religion for alleviating poverty, please be sure to account for all they take, as well. LINK.