Media Watch

Tax Break Would Aid Charities, Study Finds

THE ATLANTA CONSTITUTION, Feb. 1 — A new study indicates that President Bush's proposal to give a tax deduction to the 85 million people who do not itemize their tax returns would generate a significant windfall for charities, the Atlanta newspaper reported.

The tax deduction, a component of Bush's faith-based initiative, would trigger an additional $ 14.6 billion annually in giving, up 11.2% from current levels, according to the study.

The study was conducted by PricewaterhouseCoopers for the Independent Sector, a Washington, D.C.-based coalition of more than 700 nonprofits and grantmakers.

The deduction promotes tax fairness and will bring a new set of donors into charity, Sara Melendez, president and CEO of the Independent Sector, told the newspaper.

Said Melendez, “Of all the proposals the president has put forward, this one will have the greatest impact.”

Utah Looks South to Find Priests

THE SALT LAKE TRIBUNE, Jan. 27 — Like many states, Utah faces two challenges, according to the Salt Lake City daily: few priests, and many immigrant parishioners.

The state's dioceses handle both challenges at once by bringing in foreign-born priests, most of them from Latin America.

About 21 of Utah's 70 priests were born outside the United States. The biggest group, seven, hails from Colombia.

The United States is home to about 2,400 foreign priests. About 800 are Irish, the largest group. But many of the newer foreign priests are Indian and East Asian. Archbishop Adam Exner of Vancouver, British Columbia, speculated that people rooted in Asian cultures don't harbor Americans’ fear of long-term commitments.

Grieving Mother's Message 'Too Political'

NATIONAL REVIEW ONLINE, Jan. 25 — A mother who wanted to commemorate her child, lost to a miscarriage two years ago, found that her message of love could not be displayed in public, the online magazine reported.

A community group in Marie Cupo's town of Newburyport, Mass., held a fundraiser last year in which residents could pay to have a message carved on a brick in a local park. Cupo paid for a brick inscribed, “For all the unborn children,” in memory of her own loss.

But two residents charged that Cupo's message, like Thomas Savastano's brick, which read “Jesus loves you,” was inappropriate. The city destroyed the bricks.

Mayor Lisa Mead said that Savastano's message violated the separation of church and state, while Cupo's could be seen as violating rules restricting political messages on public property.

Cupo and Savastano are filing suit. Their lawyer argued, “If [the city] opens up the walkway, it can't pick and choose on the basis of the content of the message.”

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President Donald Trump during his speech at a "Thank You" Tour rally held at the Giant Center in Hershey, Pa.

President Trump: ‘Faith in God’ Helps Unite Nation

In an apparent reference to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic and months of demonstrations and civil unrest across several U.S. cities over racial justice issues, Trump said that faith was an important support for civil and national unity.