Charitable giving: An alternative Christmas gift is available through Charity Checks. Here’s how it works: you choose an amount and make the payment online. The recipient gets to choose the charity to which the gift goes. The giver gets the charitable tax deduction. The charity gets the donation (www.charitychecks.us).
More than 300 religious leaders have signed up to form a new network of Muslim and Christian groups from 20 Arab countries, responding as a “united force” to the mounting prevalence of HIV/AIDS in their region.
The First Network of Arab Religious Leaders Responding to AIDS was launched in Cairo on November 9 under the acronym CHAHAMA.
A 12-inch talking Jesus doll may find its way to needy children this Christmas after the U.S. Marines’ Toys for Tots Christmas toy drive reversed course in mid-November and decided to accept the dolls.
United Methodist–related McMurry University in Abilene, Texas, has decided to discontinue calling its athletic teams “Indians” in keeping not only with the denomination’s two-year-old policy against using racially demeaning names and mascots but also with a National Collegiate Athletic Association prohibition of such team names and symbols in postseason tournament competition.
Australian opposition lawmaker Kevin Rudd has triggered a national debate by criticizing the growing influence of conservative Christian groups in Australian politics. But the nation’s health minister argued that the government does not cater to a bloc of religious voters.