Give Up Blog posts a fascinating map of charitable giving by state, to shoot down a fatuous WSJ op-ed that tries to claim greater charity as a Red State virtue. I certainly don’t see a positive correlation there, do you?
That claim brings to mind another common misconception, that religion is the driving force behind charity. Here’s another map, of the distribution of the ungodly (not just atheists, but agnostics and other people who are not affiliated with any organized religion.)
Again, any correlation between these two maps looks like it would be fairly weak, and isn’t going to support any conclusion that the churchier the population, the more likely it is to support charities*…and please don’t bother to bring up the bogus argument that atheists don’t establish hospitals. I’ll also note that the second largest “religious” group in the US are the nonreligious/secular—while most are uncomfortable with the label “atheist” (something we need to change), freethinkers are still a large but neglected demographic in the US.
*Maybe you could argue that the prominent presence of skinflint callous heathens in a population reminds the godly to donate more, however. I haven’t seen a breakdown of how much the average atheist contributes vs. the average Christian.