Foreign and domestic funds for counseling and storm relief
Mar 21, 2006
United Methodist relief officials, chosen late last year by the U.S. to oversee a program to counsel hurricane victims that uses $66 million donated by foreign nations, recently announced that the denomination received more than $62 million from churchgoers during 2005 for storm relief and rehabilitation.
Reviving a religious issue from the last presidential election, a coalition of 55 Catholic Democrats in the House of Representatives acknowledged the “moral leadership” of the Catholic Church but said they will remain “in disagreement with the church” on some issues, including abortion rights.
A wide-ranging abortion ban recently passed by South Dakota is aimed ultimately at the U.S. Supreme Court. Members of the South Dakota House of Representatives gave final approval February 24 to the bill, sending it to the desk of Republican governor Mike Rounds, who signed it into law on March 6.
Dr. Spin: A seminary class was debating whether the Garden of Eden story (Gen. 2-3) reinforces or resists the oppression of women when one student interjected: “It’s all just spin anyway. You can spin the text any way you want.” But Professor Jacqueline Lapsley, ruminating on the unlikely story about Balaam and his donkey (Num. 22-24), says two principles of biblical interpretation can guard against spin: our interpretation shouldn’t reinforce our own self-interest, and it should serve the larger purposes of God, that is, God’s love “for Israel, for the church and for the whole world” (Interpretation, January).