Which religion cares most?

I don’t recall where I found this picture.  The measure of which religious persuasion cares most, apparently, is determined by how much money was given to the man with the sign.

who cares most

Advocates for ending homelessness generally caution against giving cash to the homeless but instead donate to reputable charities.  Giving cash tends to encourage long-term non-productive behaviors such as increased and more aggressive begging.  This doesn’t help their situation, it merely assuages our own feelings.  In my opinion, it serves to further dehumanize them, and helps them to tolerate indignity.  Though I have given cash, I’d don’t like to, I’d rather offer food.  I’ll offer to go buy a sandwich or something and bring it back to them.  I’ve heard of people tell of this kind of offer being rejected, but I’ve never been turned down.

What do you conclude, if anything, from the amounts in the respective cups — presuming they are authentic and not staged?  Of course this would be a marginal slice of each group’s population, but I’m asking you to generalize, if possible.


  1. Mark 12:41–44

  2. IT could be that members of those particular groups gave something where they wouldn’t usually do so, just to make their group best.

    Personally, I wouldn’t drop a penny in his cup because it is just a scam.

  3. Whatever is in those cups is meaningless.

    John, I have a practice similar to yours. On certain times during the year, I see a lot more homeless than at other times, especially on my commute to or from work. During those times of the year I pack myself two lunches, one for myself and the other to give out. I know people who have been turned down when they offered to buy food but apparently it’s harder to turn someone down when they hand you food.

    To generalize – I must say that most Christians I know are very concerned about poverty and genuinely want to do good. I can’t really speak for other groups, but at least in my circles alleviating poverty, especially as it relates to families, is an important part of faith.

  4. I saw someone share this on facebook. I find this scenerio incredible manipulative, and what it shows me is which group is more easily co-erced into donating.

    Where I live (downtown core of a major city), we have a lot of street people, and a lot of them are scammers. Many shopping areas and businesses have signs telling people not to give out cash (they like to hang out near the exits at grocery stores or tawl parking lots), explaining that it encourages negative behaviour. Too many are very aggressive and threaten bodily harm if you don’t give them what they ask for. There is no reason to give money out, as there are so many services around that will give them food, clothing and assistance. There’s one soup kitchen/assistance place 2 blocks from our home that is unique in that they even take in people who are high or drunk at the moment. The intersection that shelter is at also has the highest number of violent crimes of the entire city, including the rest of the downtown core combined.

    If you really want to help the homeless, money is often the worst thing to give.

    Of course, not all people who are homeless cause problems, but the ones who beg are more likely to be problem makers (at least where we are).

  5. I don’t conclude anything directly. It’s no doubt a staged photograph intended to make Agnostics, Atheists, and Buddhists look “caring” while simultaneously making Christians look greedy and heartless. The guy in the photo and the person taking the photo have too much time on their hands.

  6. Christians need to take back the definition of “caring”. While the Truth seems antiquated and imposing to some, compared to other faiths there is nothing more “caring” than an free invitation for all to save your soul from hell. Christianity is more than just a form of self-help or world problem solver.

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