PHILADELPHIA (RNS) Former youth pastor T.J. Foltz has a vision to provide clean drinking water to the world's poor. Now, after winning a competition to get his “Humankind Water” on the shelves of Wal-Mart, he might just be able to make it happen. By Elizabeth Evans.
INDIANAPOLIS (RNS) How did we go from building the interstate highway system to not doing anything unless it benefits us? How did the party of Eisenhower degenerate into would-be demagogues defaming anyone who stands between them and power? How did a nation that fought totalitarianism spy on young adults just for questioning Wall Street? By Tom Ehrich.
(RNS) When people make grandiose claims about “God's will” and “American values” and demonize others who hold different views, we haven't just channeled a tragic yesterday and its wars and pogroms. We have poisoned the well of community on which our nation depends today and made a mockery of God and faith. By Tom Ehrich. About 700.
(RNS) People of faith are trying to rein in loan practices they believe take advantage of borrowers often least able to pay. They point to people like Amanda of Jefferson City, Mo., who took out a short-term loan—often called a payday advance—to pay a bill. She ended up taking out another loan to cover the first. She soon found herself juggling three loans and spiraling further into debt. “The faith community has been really instrumental in predatory lending reform, first calling attention to the abusive nature of predatory lending and then in leading the effort to stop it,” Rachel Anderson of the Center for Responsible Lending said.
Payday loans are often easier to obtain than traditional loans. Lenders either do not perform a credit check or have fewer restrictions to qualify. The Durham, N.C.-based Center for Responsible Lending estimates 12 million people get trapped in debt every year because of high interest.
(RNS) United Methodists twice rejected measures on Wednesday (May 2) that called for the denomination to divest from companies accused of contributing to the Israeli occupation of Palestinian territories. By Daniel Burke.
(RNS) This year's Holy Week pilgrimage will have unusual irony, for the centralized institutions that took control of the Christian message and tried to rule the world now find themselves under assault by the same decentralizing and freedom-seeking that Jesus expressed. By Tom Ehrich.
SEYMOUR, Ind. (RNS) After a court ruled that prayers at a food pantry violate federal guidelines, a food pantry here is faced with a Solomon-like choice: Stop the prayers or give up truckloads of free food provided through the federal Emergency Food Assistance Program. By Tim Evans.
WASHINGTON (RNS) Churches may have suffered financially for the past three years due to the recession, but the fourth annual “State of the Plate” found strong evidence of a rebound in 2011. By Annalisa Musarra.
WASHINGTON (RNS) When it comes to financial advice in these tough economic times, more Americans today would rather take advice from business mogul Donald Trump than from the Bible, according to a new survey. By Annalisa Musarra.
WASHINGTON (RNS) For the fourth year in a row, President Obama is proposing lower tax deductions for the wealthy on donations to churches and other nonprofit organizations. And for the fourth year in a row, nonprofit groups say the change would lead to a dramatic drop in charitable giving. By Annalisa Musarra.
(RNS) Across the religious landscape, tithing is often preached but rarely realized. Research into church donations shows a wide range of giving, with Mormons among the most generous relative to income, conservative Christians next, followed by mainline Protestants and Catholics last. By Bruce Nolan.
Punxsutawney Phil saw his shadow, so we will have more Newt and Trump, and the “very poor” will have Mitt. Obama has the National Prayer Breakfast, the 99 percent have their own prayer breakfast, and George Beverly Shea is 103.