Protestants Are Reclaiming Mary

THE SUN HERALD, Dec. 3 — Evangelical Protestants are taking a new look at the Blessed Virgin Mary, reported the Biloxi, Miss., daily. Most of them are portraying her as more down-to-earth than she is typically seen in religious art.

Religious studies professor Scot McKnight said he’s trying to reclaim the real Mary. He said most Protestants know nothing about her and that “hyper pious” depictions of her have nothing to do with the “courageous” young woman she was.

“There are a few of us who are in a Trojan horse,” said McKnight, professor at Chicago’s North Park University. “It’s as if we’ve been released in the Vatican, and we’re swiping Mary and taking her back to the Protestant world.”

Catholics Turning to Church for End-of-Life Guidance

ASSOCIATED PRESS, Dec. 2 — Spurred by the Terri Schiavo case, more Catholics around the country are turning to the Church for end-of-life documents that follow Church teachings, said the Associated Press.

Father Christopher Mahar of Our Lady of Mercy Church in East Greenwich, R.I., is offering seminars designed to help parishioners work through the legalese often found in end-of-life agreements. He’s making available durable power of attorney documents.

The form allows the signer to designate a medical decision maker in case the signer becomes incapable. The signer, ideally, would choose someone who would make decisions faithful to Church teachings regarding euthanasia. Dioceses in South Dakota, Florida, Michigan and Washington have made such paperwork available to parishioners.

Who Gives? Religious, Low-Income, Conservatives

TOWNHALL.COM, Dec. 5 — ABC’s “20/20” decided to set up Salvation Army buckets in two American communities to see who was more generous, ABC’s John Stossel wrote on the internet news and opinion site.

ABC set up buckets in Sioux Falls, S.D., and San Francisco. By the end of the second day, the Sioux Falls bucket held twice as much money as the San Francisco bucket, despite the fact that there are more people in San Francisco, and those in Sioux Falls make, on average, half as much as those in San Francisco.

The findings are confirmed by research done by Syracuse University professor Arthur Brooks for his book Who Really Cares.

Brooks found that conservatives, low-income people and those who are religious are more likely to give to charity.

Conservatives give about 30% more. Low-income people give almost 30% more as a share of their income, and those who are religious give almost four times as much.

“The people who give one thing tend to be the people who give everything in America,” said Brooks. “You find that people who believe it’s the government’s job to make incomes more equal are far less likely to give their money away.”