Reuters blog archive
from Photographers' Blog:
By Mark Blinch
I’ve been to Detroit countless times over the years and though I’ve always known the city to struggle with poverty, I am usually sent to the city to cover another winning Detroit sports franchise, or the glitzy international auto show showcasing the years new cars from all the top auto makers.
As I drove down the highway from my hometown Toronto, I tuned into my favorite Detroit rock radio station 89x as I got close to the border crossing. The radio hosts began to plug an event where people with little means could go and get a free meal. It was just a few days until Christmas, and rockstar Kid Rock, a Detroit native, was putting up the funds to help support his hometown.
I was sent to Detroit to meet with the people who struggle the most during the holidays, to see the places where they seek comfort and to capture the spirit of the locals who reach beyond their own troubles to help out others.
St. Leo Catholic Church, located in the gritty suburbs of Detroit, was my destination. Like many churches across North America, St Leo’s is facing the threat of being closed down or merged with another church.
The Archdiocese of Detroit has said it simply can’t afford to keep it open. John Stoll, the Reuters reporter assigned to write this story, chose to feature this church in particular because of the important services it provides to the community.
from Full Focus:
The brown brick building at 4860 15th Street is at the center of the next downsizing to hit this failing city: the restructuring of the Archdiocese of Detroit. St. Leo Catholic Church was built more than 120 years ago as Detroit was developing into a manufacturing powerhouse – first in shipbuilding and later in car making. Today its neighborhood is one of the most abandoned pockets in one of the nation's most desperate cities. Like many Catholic churches around urban America, it has been hit by a shortage of priests and a dwindling supply of parishioners. Read the full story here and photographer's blog here.
from John Lloyd:
The opinions expressed are his own.
There is a poem, written in 1955, by the English poet Philip Larkin, called Church Going. It tells of the poet’s solitary penchant for cycling about villages, visiting country churches, empty, sometimes ruined, each with a “tense, musty, unignorable silence.” In deft touches, he writes of taking off his bicycle clips in lieu of doffing a non-existent cap; of experiencing an inexplicable pleasure in standing in these “frowsty barns”; yet finishing his visit feeling “much at a loss.”
He ends with a reflection: that the church is “a serious house on serious earth,” and that
from The Great Debate:
By Amanda Marcotte
The views expressed are her own.
Listening to the national discourse, one could be forgiven for imagining that America is becoming an ever more religious place. The amount of God talk in the public square has dramatically increased in a generation. Prior to the 70s, the concept of “the religious right” had barely existed, but now it’s a powerful lobbying force with multiple groups from Focus on the Family to Concerned Women for America, all sitting on more money than most liberal special interest groups could ever hope to accumulate. Republicans, especially, claw over each other to demonstrate fealty to a very narrow, fundamentalist view of Christianity that forbids gay rights, reproductive rights, and requires you to believe that evolution never happened. A generation ago, most people outside of evangelical Christian circles had never heard of things like “megachurches” or “the Rapture”, but now even people living in the most secularist urban enclaves are familiar with these concepts, if still less than approving. Americans seem not just more religious, but more drawn to reactionary religion than ever before.
That is, until you start to dig into the actual facts. If you poll actual Americans, you’ll find that the trend is not towards more religiosity, but towards less. Much less, in fact. Recent research from the Pew Research Center on politics and generational differences shows that interest in religion is actually declining from one generation to the next, and not only that, but interest in mixing religion and politics is on the decline. When asked which factors are the key to America’s success, fewer than half of Millennials say they believe that religious faith and values are important. They are the first generation to respond in such a way, as a majority of all older generations cite religion as an important factor. Even the generation known for cynicism, Generation X, has 64% of respondents citing religion as an important factor in our nation’s success, a full 18 points over the Millennial generation. Despite myths that people become more religious or more conservative as they age, previous Pew research shows that Xers and Boomers held roughly the same opinions on religion in their youth as they do now.
Mitt Romney's Mormonism could hurt the Republican candidate with evangelical voters in his fight for the party's presidential nomination, but those voters would favor him over President Barack Obama in the general election, according to a newly released poll.
Some 15 percent of evangelical Christians, a key constituency in the Republican presidential nomination battle, say they are wary of Mormonism and will not vote for Mitt Romney, the Pew Research Center poll found.
from Oddly Enough Blog:
Blog Guy, do you have a personal guiding philosophy of life? You know, three or four words that express your world view?
Regular attendance at religious services is associated with a more optimistic outlook and a lesser inclination to be depressed, compared to those who do not attend services at all, according to a recently published study.
The study's findings supports previous research that religious participation can promote psychological and physical health -- and reduce mortality risks -- possibly by calming people in stressful times, creating meaningful social interactions and helping curtail bad habits.
from Good, Bad, and Ugly:
Mitt Romney's French education
The small church in the Bordeaux suburb of Talence looks the same today as it did in the late 1960s, when Romney and fellow missionaries were photographed in front of it during a rare visit by then LDS church president, Howard Hunter.
In this article you mention that Mitt Romney was in a photograph in the late 1960's "during a rare visit by then LDS church president, Howard Hunter".
from Oddly Enough Blog:
It's been a few weeks since I've written about any new signs of that onrushing Apocalypse, so I foolishly thought things might be getting better.
Let's see here. Roman Catholic bishops in Wisconsin are urging their parishioners not to bring weapons TO CHURCH, now that a new law permits state residents to carry concealed firearms and electric weapons such as stun guns or tasers.