Reuters blog archive
U.S. donations to charity rose to $291 billion last year, but it was still more than 6 percent below a 2007 record as the nation struggles to recover from its worst recession in decades. Americans gave nearly 4 percent more in 2010 compared to 2009, the Giving USA Foundation and the Center on Philanthropy at Indiana University said, perking up after the recession sparked the biggest giving slump in four decades.
Religious groups accounted for the largest single recipient class by far, receiving more than one third of total donations, according to the study released on Monday.
Revised estimates by the study, which started in 1956, showed that during the financial crisis giving fell more than $10 billion in 2008 to $299.8 billion and then dropped more than 6 percent in 2009 to $280.3 billion.
Where is the Arab Spring leading the Middle East? What will be the longer-term outcome of the popular protests that have shaken the region since the beginning of this year? Of course, it’s still too early to say with any certainty, even in countries such as Tunisia and Egypt that succeeded in toppling their authoritarian regimes. Some trends have emerged, however, and they’re on the agenda at a conference in Venice I’m attending entitled “Medio Oriente verso dove?” (Where is the Middle East heading?). The host is the Oasis Foundation, a group chaired by Cardinal Angelo Scola, the Roman Catholic patriarch of this historic city, and guests include Christian and Muslim religious leaders and academics from the Middle East and Europe.
from Good, Bad, and Ugly:
Pope's Berlin mass moved to Nazi Olympic site
I was really disappointed when I was reading this article.
What is the sense or the ulterior motive of the first part? That it will be a nazi-like event with red flags and torches and so on?
Republican Mitt Romney has remade himself in a second run for U.S. president, with a leaner campaign apparatus and a message focused with laser-like precision on the nation's economic problems. But the "Mormon question" still remains for the former Massachusetts governor: are Americans ready to put a Mormon in the White House?
A survey of 3,000 Americans by the Public Religion Research Institute found 42 percent said the terms "pro-choice" and "pro-life" both described them well, illustrating the complexity of the abortion issue in the minds of many.
A U.S. federal judge has ruled that a high school graduation in a suburb of San Antonio, Texas may not include an opening and closing prayer or the words "invocation" or "benediction." District Judge Fred Biery ruled on Tuesday that using those words would make it sound like Castroville's Medina Valley High School is "sponsoring a religion."
"We think that the district has been flouting the law for decades," said Ayesha Kahn, an attorney for Americans United for Church and State, which filed the lawsuit. "We're glad that the court is going to put an end to it."
from Oddly Enough Blog:
Okay, I have a serious bone to pick with the news media.
It is being widely reported that the evangelical Christian broadcaster whose Judgment Day prophecy went embarrassingly unfulfilled on Saturday has explained that he miscalculated, and the actual Apocalypse will happen later.
So my question is, why are we even still quoting this man? Why are we spreading his hogwash?
from Oddly Enough Blog:
Okay, everybody I know has asked me about these nutjobs who say a huge earthquake will shake the world today, sweeping true believers to heaven and leaving others behind to be engulfed in the earth's destruction over a few months.
6. My DVR is still letting me record "The Borgias" tomorrow evening.
5. That broadcaster who is predicting this rapture thing owes me money, and this is just his sneaky way of getting out of it. True believer, my big butt!
from Our Take on Your Take:
From Sri Lanka to Spain, this week's selection of images submitted to Your View depict a wide range of religions. Buddhist Sri Lankans lit candles to mark Vesak Day to honor the birth, enlightenment and death of Buddha, whereas penitents in Spain marked Holy Week with a procession.
Heaven is a fairy story for people afraid of the dark, the eminent British theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking said in an interview published on Monday. Hawking, 69, was expected to die within a few years of being diagnosed with degenerative motor neurone disease at the age of 21, but became one of the world's most famous scientists with the publication of his 1988 book "A Brief History of Time".