Posts Tagged ‘poverty’

Catholic churches most likely to be on the front lines of issues from abortion to poverty

The nation’s largest religious body is also by far the most likely to have its congregations take to the streets in public demonstrations or lobby the halls of power on moral issues, a new study finds. While Catholics were most active on the abortion issue, they also were more likely than other groups to lobby and demonstrate on a wide range of issues, from combating poverty to advocating for immigration reform.

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Leaning inward: Mothers at the margins find hope, support in faith

Research lifting up the experiences of mothers facing hardships, whether in a homeless shelter in the Southwest, or in a maximum-security prison in the Midwest, or ostracized with AIDS in sub-Saharan Africa, suggests many women rely on religion and spirituality for a pathway beyond despair to having a sense of hope for the future. Their stories reveal a powerful faith that provides a vision of a better life for them and their children.

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Key to benevolence: Experiencing divine love may be gift that keeps on giving

Spending quality time with God appears to make benevolent love possible for many Americans, new research indicates. Americans may be biologically hard-wired to worship at the altars of consumerism this holiday season, buying gifts with expectations of what they will receive in return, but those people who say they regularly experience divine love are much more likely to reach out beyond family and friends to serve humanity, according to a national study.

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Parting with treasure easier said than done: Churchgoers give far less than they think

Churchgoers like to think of themselves as generous and cheerful givers, but for many the flesh appears to be weak when it comes to living up to their own standards for charitable giving. A quarter of respondents in a new national study said they tithed 10 percent of their income to charity. But when their donations were checked against income figures, only 3 percent of the group gave more than 5 percent to charity. The findings from the Science of Generosity Survey not only suggest the need to take a closer look at self-reported figures on tithing, but indicate the internal conflicts many religious individuals face when it comes to giving.

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Give us our daily passage: Reading Bible tied to social justice issues

Bible reading matters – just not in the way many commentators on popular culture would predict. A new study, one of the first to examine the social consequences of reading Scripture, reveals the effects of Bible reading appear to transcend conservative-liberal boundaries. Thus, while opposition to same-sex marriage and legalized abortion tends to increase with more time spent with the Bible, so does the number of people who say it is important to actively seek social and economic justice.

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The black church at a crossroads: Staying alive in the city

Black churches represent the fourth largest religious group of congregations in America, behind only Catholic and predominantly white mainline and evangelical Protestant churches. Yet they are often as invisible to the majority of Americans as the disproportionately poor communities many serve in the nation’s cities. Until, perhaps, they are no longer there. Anyone who cares about struggling city neighborhoods needs to pay attention to a major trend unfolding across urban America. Some large black churches are moving out, and many more may follow.

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Don’t Stop Thinking about the Money

Does placing time, talent and treasure in spiritual pursuits pay off? For many people, the answer is yes. Among the findings of recent studies in religion and economics, researchers report that children whose parents were observant tended to stay in school longer and get better jobs and that the poor in particular find religion a beneficial use of their time. Faith also extends to financial matters, with investors in religious mutual funds being less likely to react to market volatility even with lower returns than secular funds. There also is an economic downside for religious groups, however. Studies indicated that a rise in the welfare state contributed to steep declines in religiosity among some Western democracies and that the well-off are more likely than their less fortunate brethren to spend time at work and play than at prayer.

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