10 Stories to Chew on This Weekend: Fewer young Democrats, miner and mistress in hot water, some Christians undermining faith in mosque debate, and more

1.   Beyond the Obama Swoon: Fewer young voters see themselves as Democrats.

 Though many students are liberals on social issues, the economic reality of a weak job market has taken a toll on their loyalties: far fewer 18- to 29-year-olds now identify themselves as Democrats compared with 2008.

2.   Wife and Mistress of Chilean Miner “Meet” at Vigil: From deep mine to hot water as two women hold up a picture and cry out his name at vigil for trapped miners.


3.   Some Christians losing faith in mosque debate: Gerson says Christian fundamentalists who undermine religious liberty in order to target Muslims are exercising an intolerance they don’t enjoy.


In this debate, grace is in short supply but irony abounds. The Christian fundamentalist view of Islam bears a striking resemblance to the New York Times’ view of Christian fundamentalism — a simplistic emphasis on the worst elements of a complex religious tradition. Both create a caricature, then assert that the Constitution is under assault by an army of straw men.

4.   Army Chaplain First to Die in Combat since Vietnam: Capt. Dale Allen Goetz, a Baptist minister from Oregon, was killed in a roadside bombing.

A Baptist minister from Oregon who was killed in Afghanistan on August 30 is the first Army chaplain to die in combat since Vietnam, according to the Army. Capt. Dale Allen Goetz, 43, died in a roadside bombing in Afghanistan’s Arghandab River Valley. He had been in Afghanistan less than a month. Four other Fort Carson, Colo., soldiers were also killed in the attack.

5.   What a Flooded Pakistan Needs Most and How You Can Help: Flooding that has killed as many 1,600 people and upended the lives of 20 million others has only further burdened a nation strapped for both resources and emotional forbearance.

Pakistan’s humanitarian crisis is not without its ecological roots, or its ecological impact. The country expects and relies on monsoon rains to inundate its agricultural lands between June and September, but by the beginning of August, unusually heavy rains had already surpassed the regular three-month average, and rains and flooding continued to bludgeon the country long into the month. The inundations have not only destroyed this year’s crops and led to food shortages across the country, but they have likely debilitated cropland for several future growing seasons, as well, washing fertile soil of its minerals and nutrients. Additionally, although scientists hesitate to link particular weather events to larger climate trends, most agree that more extreme, unusual weather patterns of this sort are the result of a changing climate.

6.   NFL Players’ Temporary Wealth: 78% of all NFL players are broke within two years of their retirement.

Recession or no recession, many NFL, NBA and Major League Baseball players have a penchant for losing most or all of their money. It doesn’t matter how much they make. And the ways they blow it are strikingly similar

7.   Ferrari’s recalled: At least six $230,000 458 Italias have burst into flames.

Guess I won’t buy that Ferrari after all  😉

8.   The alignment of social and economic conservatives: Princeton’s Robert George says both are enemieis of statist ideology.

Some people seem to think that the alliance of social and economic conservatives is, at best, a marriage of convenience.  I couldn’t disagree more.  My thesis is straightforward: Basic shared principles should lead serious social conservatives to be economic conservatives as well, and serious economic conservatives to be social conservatives, too. A sound conservatism will, as a matter of principle, honor limited government, restrained spending, honest money, and low taxes, while at the same time upholding the sanctity of human life in all stages and conditions, the dignity of marriage as the conjugal union of husband and wife, and the protection of the innocence of children.


9.   Daddy was a sperm donor:  Perhaps not surprisingly, it turns out that using sperm donations to conceive children has complications for both the donors and the children.

And it’s no picnic for young children either. Tim Gullicksen, a sperm donor interviewed for the piece, said he started donating while in college and continued for 10 years. He was promised that approximately 10 families would receive his sperm, but now, he said, “It’s pretty clear there are 80 or 90 kids out there.”

About three years ago he was contacted for the first time by one of his offspring, a 9-year-old boy from Texas. According to Gullicksen, “He had been pestering his mom about where his dad was since he was a toddler. He had no father figure and he actually kept a box under his bed where he kept all his school projects and wrote ‘Daddy’ on the box.”

10.        Brand development in a non-profit organization:  Far too often, success in the journey toward that vision breeds branches in the road.

The first principle of successful non-profit public relations is to Be One Thing. Remain focused on one product, mission, ministry, or cause. We have found that the same impulses and drives that cause a visionary to begin and develop an organization often lead that founder to expand the non-profit brand by addressing additional areas of need.

About Jim Jewell

I am a writer and consultant on faith and public life, active for many years in management and communications in the evangelical community, and more recently assisting other nonprofits and corporations. Everything on this blog is my personal opinion.
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