The Vatican needs a little Fox “News” propaganda magic / training — APNewsBreak: VATICAN CITY — The Vatican has brought in the Fox News correspondent in Rome to help improve its communications strategy as it tries to cope with years of communications blunders and one of its most serious scandals in decades, officials said Saturday. Greg Burke, 52, will leave Fox to become the senior communications adviser in the Vatican’s secretariat of state, the Vatican and Burke told The Associated Press.
TPM: The younger generation is abandoning God in droves. A new survey by the Pew Research Center finds that belief in the existence of God has dropped 15 points in the last five years among Americans 30 and under.
Addicting Info: Americans becoming less religious — In the last ten years, coincidentally when the Millenials were growing up, the conservative movement went all the way old timey religion and became explicitly about hate and prejudice. Essentially, the religious right showed its true face and the Millenials found it repulsive. This is another one of those demographic changes, like the “browning” of America that signals the eventual demise of the conservative movement as we know it. Sooner or later, the wedge issues of race, sexual orientation and gender all based on religious “beliefs” will simply lose their potency. This is one of the major reasons the GOP is pushing so hard to restrict voting rights and enact as many far right laws as possible; they can read the same charts we can an come to the same conclusion: consolidate power now or lose it forever. The next 20 years are going to be some of the most corrupt and tumultuous in our nation’s history as the failing right goes to its grave kicking and screaming.
The teagelicals are doing a great job! Part of the problem?
Self-identified “religious” people cannot hide their hypocrisy — A recent study found that the less religious people are, the more compassionate towards others they will be, according to a report by NPR:
In three experiments, the social scientists found that the less religious were more generous when presented with situations that stimulated their compassion, which the scientists defined as “an emotion felt when people see the suffering of others which then motivates them to help, often at a personal risk or cost.” [...] ‘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.'”
Philadelphia Priest Trial: A Roman Catholic church official was convicted of child endangerment but acquitted of conspiracy Friday in a landmark clergy-abuse trial, making him the first U.S. church official branded a felon for covering up abuse claims. Monsignor William Lynn helped the archdiocese keep predators in ministry, and the public in the dark, by telling parishes their priests were being removed for health reasons and then sending the men to unsuspecting churches, prosecutors said. Lynn, 61, served as secretary for clergy from 1992 to 2004, mostly under Cardinal Anthony Bevilacqua.
Churches are getting political, but they still want their tax-exempt status — Reuters: Pastor Jim Garlow will stand before congregants at his 2,000-seat Skyline Wesleyan Church in La Mesa, California, on Sunday, October 7, just weeks before the U.S. presidential and congressional elections, and urge his flock to vote for or against particular candidates. He knows such pulpit pleading could endanger his church’s tax-exempt status by violating IRS rules for a 501(c)(3) charitable organization. A charity can take a position on policy issues but cannot act “on behalf of (or in opposition to) any candidate for public office.” To cross that line puts the $7 million mega-church’s tax break at risk. Even so, Garlow not only intends to break the rules, he also plans to spend the next four months recruiting other pastors to do the same as part of Pulpit Freedom Sunday. On that day each year since 2008, ministers intentionally try to provoke the IRS. Some even send DVD recordings of their sermons to the agency. Last year, 539 pastors participated. This year organizers expect far more. Participants want to force the matter to court as a freedom of speech and religion issue. (via: azspot)
Churches, as an organization, can’t endorse political figures as a condition of their tax-exempt status, but 539 ministers challenged the IRS last year by endorsing or opposing a candidate for office. This Reuters graphic takes a look at where churches are endorsing or opposing candidates the most.