Religious groups may be spared general decline in giving
Apr 21, 2009
The White House’s proposed 2010 federal budget calls for reducing the deduction for charitable contributions for the nation’s wealthiest taxpayers. Some religious groups are asking how that will affect their bottom line. The answer: it on depends who you ask.
President Obama’s scheduled May 17 commencement speech at the University of Notre Dame has sparked protests by some Catholics. The local Catholic bishop, John D’Arcy, said he will boycott the event because some Obama policies contradict church teaching.
The senator who has investigated six prominent charismatic ministries for questionable finances has praised one of them—Joyce Meyer Ministries—for joining the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability.
Muslims in America attend worship services as frequently as Protestant Americans. Among the nation’s faith groups, they are the most racially diverse. And they’re younger—more than a third of Muslim adults are between the ages 18 and 29, double the percentage of young U.S. adults overall.
Two years ago, Kevin Brumett was diagnosed with lung cancer. He was 29 and had never smoked. After an initial round of successful treatment, the cancer spread to his brain. Still, Brumett is determined to fight the disease and says God is on his side at every step. He hopes his fight can help others who share his condition.
First parishioner: Aides and friends of President Obama have been quietly visiting churches in Washington, D.C., to help the first family find a spiritual home. The Obamas are looking for a church whose beliefs match theirs and one that has a youth ministry suitable for their daughters and is active in helping the needy. Security logistics are also a factor (Boston Globe, March 22).
The Vatican’s top bioethics official said the two Brazilian doctors who performed an abortion on a nine-year-old rape victim do not merit excommunication, since they acted to save her life. The statement by Archbishop Rino Fisichella, president of the Pontifical Academy for Life, appeared as the lead article in the March 15 issue of the official Vatican newspaper L’Osservatore Romano.
The White House’s budget proposal to reduce the tax deduction for charitable giving from 35 percent to 28 percent for wealthy givers “would equalize” the benefit common to all taxpayers who itemize their returns, said President Obama in his March 24 news conference.
Bernard d’Espagnat, a French physicist and philosopher of science whose research has focused on “veiled reality,” has won the 2009 Templeton Prize, believed to be the largest yearly monetary award given to a single individual.
The church sign of a Pentecostal congregation facing a busy Los Angeles–area street bore a single message for months: let us pray for our new president. The church’s pastor, a Republican, said that right after the November elections he and congregational leaders decided to follow New Testament admonitions to pray for those in governing authority.
During a weeklong visit to Africa in March, Pope Benedict XVI told journalists accompanying him on the papal plane to Cameroon that making condoms widely available “increased the problem” of AIDS. The remark, similar to the Vatican’s longstanding emphasis on sexual abstinence, revived controversy over how best to stem the global AIDS epidemic that has devastated sub-Saharan Africa.
Members of the Baptist World Alliance’s executive committee, after hearing a sobering financial report detailing investment losses over the last year, agreed to slash the group’s 2009 budget by $900,000, or nearly 30 percent.
Complaining about earmarks is a staple of U.S. politics. The specific projects that members of Congress tack on to spending bills have long sparked public outrage. For most Americans, the idea of building a $320 million bridge from Ketchikan, Alaska (population 7,368), to the island of Gravina (population 50)—the so-called Bridge to Nowhere—is laughable.