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Religion & Spirituality

Religious Groups, Dioceses, Churches Fund Anti-Gay Initiative in North Carolina

  • One of the religious leaders urging voters to oppose the amendment is Rev. William Barber, President of the state's NAACP chapter, who has recorded a radio spot urging voters to vote against the "deceptive" Amendment One, which he says would codify hatred and discrimination into law.
  • Culture Warriors vs. Sex for Pleasure: Why the Right Wing is Wrong When it Comes to Sex
  • Study: Atheists more driven by compassion than highly religious people

Peter Montgomery, Religion Dispatches

Voters in North Carolina will cast ballots May 8 on an anti-gay initiative that would put into the state constitution a ban on same-sex couples getting married. The broadly worded initiative would also threaten any kind of legal recognition of same-sex couples, including benefits for domestic partners. WRAL's reporters have dug through the recent campaign finance filings and concluded that the anti-gay initiative is being pushed overwhelmingly by churches and religious nonprofits, while the opposition to the amendment is drawing most of its funds from individuals.

The biggest contributor to the anti-gay effort is the state-level Christian Action League, which has given $309,652.70, followed closely by the National Organization for Marriage at $302,589.52. Also notable are big contributions, $50,000 each, from the Roman Catholic Diocese of Charlotte and Diocese of Raleigh. Also kicking in major contributions are the American Family Association $20,000, Bayleaf Baptist Church $19,130, and First Baptist Church (Charlotte) $15,000.

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Related:

Culture Warriors vs. Sex for Pleasure: Why the Right Wing is Wrong When it Comes to Sex, Lara Riscol, AlterNet
If prescribing to dogmatic absolutes worked, then the most conservative Christian red states wouldn’t have the highest rates of teen pregnancy, divorce and porn consumption.

Study: Atheists more driven by compassion than highly religious people, David Edwards, Raw Story
“Overall, this research suggests that although less religious people tend to be less trusted in the U.S., when feeling compassionate, they may actually be more inclined to help their fellow citizens than more religious people,” study co-author Robb Willer concluded.

 

Study: Atheists more driven by compassion than highly religious people

“Overall, this research suggests that although less religious people tend to be less trusted in the U.S., when feeling compassionate, they may actually be more inclined to help their fellow citizens than more religious people,” study co-author Robb Willer concluded.

David Edwards, Raw Story

Submitted by Evergreene Digest Contributing Editor Joanne Theilen

Highly religious people are less motivated by compassion than atheists, agnostics and less religious people, according to a new study.

Research from University of California, Berkeley published in the most recent edition of the journal Social Psychological and Personality Science found a stronger link between compassion and generosity among non-religious or less religious people.

“Overall, we find that for less religious people, the strength of their emotional connection to another person is critical to whether they will help that person or not,” UC Berkeley social psychologist and study co-author Robb Willer explained. “The more religious, on the other hand, may ground their generosity less in emotion, and more in other factors such as doctrine, a communal identity, or reputational concerns.”

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So, exactly when do the swallows return to Capistrano, famed California mission wonders

Birds missing at earthquake-damaged church, but speakers warble songs in hopes of luring them back

Gillian Flaccus, Associated Press / New York (NY) Daily News

If you like reading this article, consider contributing a cuppa jove to Evergreene Digest--using the donation button in the above right-hand corner—so we can bring you more just like it.

Speakers hidden behind the statue call to swallows at the mission in San Juan Capistrano, Calif., Thursday, April 26, 2012. For most of its 230-year history, the Mission at San Juan Capistrano has been known for the cliff swallows that flock to the crumbling bell tower each spring to nest. In recent decades, however, what used to be swarms of swallows at the original Spanish mission have dwindled. (AP Photo - Chris Carlson)

Reminders of the legend of the swallows are everywhere within the grounds of the historic Mission San Juan Capistrano: Tiny swallow silhouettes are etched into paving tiles, replicas of their distinctive mud nests hang from buildings and the gift shop overflows with swallow charms, figurines and postcards. What's missing are the swallows themselves.

The graceful birds once swarmed to the 236-year-old mission each spring, flying from the pampas of southern Argentina to nest in the stone ruins of the mission's earthquake-damaged church. In recent years, however, the swallows have all but vanished after repairs meant removing some nests and urban sprawl crept closer to the mission's door.

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Arizona's Immigration Legislation Undermines Christian Values

Immigration is not just a Latino issue -- it is a Christian and a moral issue. We are a nation of immigrants and our diversity is a strength, not a weakness. There are deeper values and commitments that bind us together than our ethnic background or country of origin.
 

Jim Wallis, Huffington Post

This article is made possible with the generous contributions of Evergreene Digest readers like you. Thank you!

Today (April 25), the Supreme Court is hearing a case about the constitutionality of Arizona's anti-immigrant legislation, SB 1070. It will be months before the case is decided but a broad spectrum of the Christian community already has their minds made up.

This legislation is not just ethically bankrupt but undermines basic Christian values and American ideals. The court will decide whether it is legal, but it is already clear it isn't moral. 

We are both evangelical Christians. One of us is white and one of us Hispanic. It is our common faith commitment, not the color of our skin, that unite us on the need for comprehensive immigration reform and in opposition to patchwork punitive legislation like we have seen in states like Arizona and Alabama.

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Responding to Vatican Crackdown on Women Religious

  • Our first step in this response is to sign the online petition. Please add your name and forward the link to friends and family so that we will have at least 30,000 signatures by the beginning of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) meeting in June.  We are counting on an overwhelming show of support!
  • Pope Says American Nuns Too Focused On Poor, Not Enough On Gay Bashing

Sheila Peiffer, American Catholic Council (ACC)

As most of you may know, last week (April 15-21) the Vatican, through its Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF), together with the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), imposed a "crackdown" on the Leadership Conference of Women Religious.  
 
Many Catholic faithful have been concerned and upset at this hierarchical oppression of the women who have not only formed us in the faith, but have continued to serve the most vulnerable in society with fortitude and dignity. The American Catholic Council is cooperating with a number of Catholic reform organizations in forming a concerted response which will include prayer, discussion and action.
 
Our first step in this response is to sign the online petition which can be accessed via the link below.  Please add your name and forward the link to friends and family so that we will have at least 30,000 signatures by the beginning of the USCCB meeting in June.  We are counting on an overwhelming show of support!

Sign the Petition
 

You can also consider and share other "action" ideas regarding this latest act of Vatican repression by posting to a new ACC Discussion Forum on the Assemblies Community Network: LCWR Action Forum.  
 
On a related note, we invite your support of Network, perhaps the most pre-eminent Catholic Social Justice Lobby organization in the US, and an organization founded through the active support and leadership of women religious. A few days before the Vatican action, Network had just celebrated its 40th anniversary, under the theme Faithful to the Gospel: Then and Now. And four days later, they were implicated in the same Vatican directive questioning their faithfulness to the Gospel. Like the good sisters of LCWR, the leadership of Network was stunned. As the leadership of Network deliberates its response, they have invited friends and supporters to join with them on a conference call this Friday (tomorrow) April 27 at 4:30 PM Eastern Daylight Time. The conference telephone number is 712-432-3900 and the conference access code is 534635.
 
To stay abreast of ongoing developments in this story, we recommend that you follow stories posted to a dedicated feature on NCR-onLine at:  Sisters Under Scrutiny. ACC will continue to monitor this matter and post action updates to the Assemblies Community Network.
 
In Prayer, Action and the Spirit of the Risen Christ,

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Related:

Pope Says American Nuns Too Focused On Poor, Not Enough On Gay Bashing, Jessica Pieklo, Care 2 Make a Difference

  • The Vatican has turned its fury toward the nation’s nuns, accusing them of promoting “radical feminist themes incompatible with the Catholic faith and for focusing too much on poverty and economic justice while keeping “silent” on abortion and same-sex marriage.
  • Bishops Play Church Queens as Pawns
  • Vatican Reprimands a Group of U.S. Nuns and Plans Changes
  • We Are All Nuns





 

Pope Says American Nuns Too Focused On Poor, Not Enough On Gay Bashing

  • The Vatican has turned its fury toward the nation’s nuns, accusing them of promoting “radical feminist themes incompatible with the Catholic faith and for focusing too much on poverty and economic justice while keeping “silent” on abortion and same-sex marriage.
  • Responding to Vatican Crackdown on Women Religious
  • Bishops Play Church Queens as Pawns
  • Vatican Reprimands a Group of U.S. Nuns and Plans Changes
  • We Are All Nuns

Jessica Pieklo, Care 2 Make a Difference

The Vatican has turned its fury toward the nation’s largest and most influential group of Catholic nuns accusing them of promoting “radical feminist themes incompatible with the Catholic faith” for questioning the church’s stance on homosexuality and male-only priesthood.

The group was also punished for focusing too much on poverty and economic justice while keeping “silent” on abortion and same-sex marriage.

The New York Times reports that the Vatican has appointed an American bishop to “rein in” the Leadership Conference of Women Religious. The sisters were also reprimanded for making public statements disagreeing with the bishops over their attacks on health care reform.

Full story...

Related:

Responding to Vatican Crackdown on Women Religious, Sheila Peiffer, American Catholic Council (ACC)

  • Our first step in this response is to sign the online petition. Please add your name and forward the link to friends and family so that we will have at least 30,000 signatures by the beginning of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) meeting in June.  We are counting on an overwhelming show of support!
  • Pope Says American Nuns Too Focused On Poor, Not Enough On Gay Bashing

Bishops Play Church Queens as Pawns, Maureen Dowd, New York (NY) Times
It is an astonishing thing that historians will look back and puzzle over, that in the 21st century, American women were such hunted creatures. Even as Republicans try to wrestle women into chastity belts, the Vatican is trying to muzzle American nuns.

Vatican Reprimands a Group of U.S. Nuns and Plans Changes, Laurie Goodstein,
New York (NY) Times
The Vatican has appointed an American bishop to rein in the largest and most influential group of Catholic nuns in the United States, saying that an investigation found that the group had “serious doctrinal problems.”

We Are All Nuns, Nicholas D. Kristoff,
New York (NY) Times
Catholic nuns are not the prissy traditionalists of caricature. No, nuns rock! They were the first feminists, earning Ph.D.’s or working as surgeons long before it was fashionable for women to hold jobs. As managers of hospitals, schools and complex bureaucracies, they were the first female C.E.O.’s.
 

Come Out & Sing Out to Defeat the Marriage Amendment

Please join us in the creation of an inspiring music video that celebrates Jesus' message of love and inclusivity.

Jim Smith, Catholics for Marriage Equality

If you like reading this article, consider contributing a cuppa jove to Evergreene Digest--using the donation button above—so we can bring you more just like it.

Please join us in the creation of an inspiring music video that celebrates Jesus' message of love and inclusivity.

When: Saturday, April 28, 1-4PM
Where: Calvary Lutheran Church, Chicago Avenue South and 39 St. S., Minneapolis

We will film our performance of the song "For All the Children" by David Lohman. Refrain: "May our hearts and mind be opened, fling the church doors open wide. May there be room enough for everyone inside. For in God there is a welcome, in God we all belong. May that welcome be our song!"

To hear a simple audio recording of the song, go to our website, Catholics for Marriage Equality.
For more information, contact Jim Smith.
To donate the movement to defeat the amendment, go to our website.
Catholics for Marriage Equality.

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