Christianity as Hobby: Jesus Not Worth $200 Million More a Year to Christians, While New Video Worth $360 Million in One Day to Gamers

November 16, 2010

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (MetroCatholic) — Christians in the U.S. have not organized to raise $200 million more a year needed to spread the good news of Jesus Christ around the globe.

Meanwhile, in 24 hours beginning November 9, 2010, gamers in North America and the United Kingdom spent a record $360 million on the new “Call of Duty: Black Ops” video game.

“The comparison suggests that gamers value a new video game more than Christians value Jesus Christ and his priorities,” observed Dr. John Ronsvalle. He is coauthor, with his wife Sylvia, of the new study, “The State of Church Giving through 2008.”

The Ronsvalles calculated that it would cost church members in the U.S. about $1 a year to raise the estimated $200 million more a year needed to engage all unreached people groups. “Engaging” means providing a basic point of access to the Gospel.

The new study, released in October 2010 by empty tomb, inc., cites the Southern Baptist Convention Executive Committee as the source of the $200 million figure.

According to the Ronsvalles, the Southern Baptist Convention’s emphasis on unreached people groups is more pronounced than in many other denominations. “It’s just that not even the Southern Baptists have organized to get the job done,” John Ronsvalle said.

The Southern Baptist Convention includes about 45,000 congregations. The additional cost for global evangelism would be about $12 per member per year.

Another group that places high priority on global evangelism is the National Association of Evangelicals (NAE). The NAE also includes about 45,000 congregations. Spreading the cost across the combined total of 90,000 congregations would reduce the cost per member.

“Church members know how to organize for a goal,” the Ronsvalles note. They point to the successful $115 million building campaign for the First Baptist Church of Dallas, Texas.

“Yale law professor Stephen Carter has written about the dangerous trend in the legal structure to regard religion as a hobby rather than a core value,” said Sylvia Ronsvalle. “Data shows that church member giving as a percent of income has declined over four decades. Congregations are spending more of the donated money on themselves. The legal structure may only be reflecting what Christians themselves are doing: treating their religion more and more like a hobby rather than as a defining principle.”

The Ronsvalles also point to global physical need as another value important to Jesus Christ.

Church leaders have not organized to raise the estimated $5 billion additional needed annually to reduce the number of under-five child deaths around the globe.

This cost would be $28 more a year per church member, the Ronsvalles calculate. For church members associated with the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the U.S.A., the cost would be $119 more a year. Per Roman Catholic, the cost would be $73 more a year.

The new study cites United Nations data about 16 nations that are making no progress toward reducing child deaths. Using other available data on global Christianity, the Ronsvalles found that, on average, 84% of the people in 10 of these “no progress” countries self-identify as Christians.

“Christianity can only be redefined as a hobby if that’s the way Christians are treating their faith,” the Ronsvalles conclude from the giving and membership data they analyze. “If Christians are not willing to invest in their faith the way gamers invest in a new video game, perhaps the value of Christianity to church members is weakening even as a hobby.”

Over 2000 Pro-life advocates in Dallas outside late-term abortion center

October 26, 2010

Dallas, Texas (MetroCatholic)- Since September 22, more than 2000 pro-life advocates have prayed to stop the abortions up to 24 weeks (6 months) of pregnancy occurring at the Southwestern late-term abortion center at the NE corner of Greenville Avenue and Royal Lane.  Dallas citizens have participated in this 24/7 peaceful, prayerful vigil to end abortion as part of the national 40 Days for Life campaign.  “The response to this year’s campaign has been incredible,” says co-coordinator of the Dallas campaign, Lauren Muzyka.  “We have seen upwards of 300 people on the sidewalk at one time to demonstrate that this wound on our community cannot be tolerated, including many participants who have stayed multiple hours through the night and some who have remained at the vigil for 24 hours straight.”

The new late-term abortion center opened its doors in October 2009.  The facility is run by long-time abortionist Curtis Boyd, who has a deep-rooted abortion history in Dallas since 1973 when he opened and began performing abortions at the first abortion center in Dallas and the state of Texas.  Boyd has admitted to 300,000 abortions performed in his Dallas and Albuquerque, New Mexico facilities since 1973, and in a shocking revelation, stated in a television interview, “Am I killing?  Yes, I am.  I know that.”

Since the opening of Southwestern, two crisis pregnancy centers have taken up residency nearby:  White Rose Women’s Center, located diagonally across the street from Southwestern, and Birth Choice, located in the very same business complex as Southwestern.  Campaign co-coordinator and sidewalk counselor Joanne Underwood noted that with “the crisis pregnancy centers and the prayer and counseling presence on the sidewalks, Boyd and his abortuary are surrounded by the pro-life message.  And as Dallas faithful of all ages and many denominations have joined to stand vigil during 40 Days for Life, that message has been even more resounding.”

The national 40 Days for Life campaign reports 445 mothers making a decision for life for their unborn babies scheduled for abortion deaths in the 238 cities where 40 Days vigils are being held.  This includes 12 mothers choosing life outside the Southwestern late-term abortion center in Dallas.  A Victory Celebration to celebrate the lives saved and hearts converted during this fall’s campaign will be held Monday, November 1, at 7:00 p.m. at the Shiloh Worship Center of Garland.

To learn more about 40 Days for Life-Dallas, visit: www.40daysforlife.com/dallas.

For assistance or for more information, please contact Becky Visosky, Director of Communications of the sponsoring organization, the Catholic Pro-Life Committee of North Texas, at [email protected] or 972-267-LIFE (5433).

Missy Smith Releases Shocking Pro-Life Ads as Part of Congressional Campaign

October 14, 2010

WASHINGTON, (MetroCatholic) — Missy Smith, candidate for Congress 2010 in Washington DC against Eleanor Holmes Norton, has created two pro-life campaign ads. The ads contain graphic images of healthy unborn babies and babies killed by abortion. See the ads at www.missysmith2010.com.

The ads present a unique opportunity to show the graphic images of babies killed by abortion on national media. In opposition to the usual media “blackout” regarding the babies, the laws regulating campaign ads allow for the candidate to show the graphic images.

Missy is running for Congress in Washington DC with the express purpose of running the political ads on TV of graphic pictures of healthy unborn babies and dead babies killed by abortion.

Missy Smith states:

“As Father Frank Pavone has said, ‘America will not reject abortion until America sees abortion!’

“The two ads I have made for my campaign are jolting! Watch them and tell me what you think.

“We know these ads will save babies and get the dialogue started that is so needed. No one can see these ads and not realize that abortion is murder.”

The ads will run in the DC metro area until the day of the election, November 2.

There is a small window of opportunity to run the ads, from today until November 2. Time is critical. After November 2, it will no longer be possible to run the ads.

Except for a few small campaign expenses, every penny raised in this campaign will go toward the ads.

Missy Smith states:

“We must rise and strike now! I am thrilled to be a part of this amazing opportunity to change history and show the horror of legalized child killing.

“God bless this chance we have to show the truth in our nation’s capital where Obama, Pelosi, Reid, and Norton all support and promote legalized child killing.

“So here I am, Missy ‘Reilly’ Smith, in ‘the belly of the beast,’ Washington D.C., on the ballot running against big government, pro-child killing, same sex marriage incumbent, Eleanor Holmes Norton.”

Go to www.missysmith2010.com to view and contribute to these ads running in the DC metro area.

Press contact: Missy Smith: 202 - 288 - 4984

Colorado’s Personhood Amendment 62 Organizers Answer Critics, Invite Scrutiny of Petition Signatures

September 13, 2010

McKinney (MetroCatholic) — Colorado Statesman reporters brought a recent meeting of the Secretary of State’s “Best Practices & Vision Commission” to the attention of Amendment 62 sponsors today. According to The Statesman, commission members discussed an unnamed recent initiative and the “possibility” that signatures may have been illegally duplicated to qualify for the ballot during the 15 day curing period. It was decided that a bill will be introduced to eliminate the curing period altogether.

“It is obvious that they are talking about Amendment 62, as we are the only initiative to take advantage of the curing period in over 7 years,” explained Leslie Hanks, co-sponsor of Amendment 62 and Vice President of Colorado Right to Life. “Our volunteers worked so hard that we are certain we can stand behind the signatures they collected. We maintain that a higher than average percentage of our signatures are legitimate, and invite our opposition to check every one of the over 126,000 signatures. They are welcome to check the 5,000 signature sample against the other signatures as well, which would require very little time or effort and would absolutely prove that we got the job done with no ‘gaming’ of the system. We stand behind our volunteers and behind our signatures.”

“We are not surprised by veiled comments that attack our success,” added Keith Mason, manager of the Amendment 62 campaign. “One of the commission members is Kevin Paul, an attorney for abortion industry giant Planned Parenthood. Planned Parenthood’s lobby boasts a plaque recognizing Kevin Paul, and publicly acknowledges Kevin Paul for ‘Anticipating and advising on legal matters including regulatory challenges’. Is it really a surprise that a representative of abortion profiteer Planned Parenthood would like to disallow future pro-life grassroots efforts of the people?”

Amendment 62 is not affected by the Commission, as it is guaranteed its place on the 2010 ballot. However, future ballot initiatives could be at risk. “It would be far better to simply check for duplicate signatures than to eliminate the curing period altogether,” observed Amendment sponsor Gualberto Garcia-Jones of Personhood Colorado. “The commission is unwittingly acknowledging the remarkable power of an energized and mobilized church body. We look forward to the Secretary of State’s disbelief when churches around the state unite to pass Amendment 62.”

www.coloradostatesman.com/content/992118-cure-be-cured

www.personhoodcolorado.com

Special Message from the Executive Director: Get Out the Pro-Life Vote This November!

July 22, 2010

The following is a featured article by Executive Director Joe Pojman, Ph.D., from the Summer 2010 issue of TAL’s Life Matters newsletter. Read the online version…

Success in the elections this fall depends on our support - yours and mine - for all of our pro-life candidates, from Gov. Perry down to the state house races.

The stakes are so high that abortion advocates - Planned Parenthood, Texas Abortion Rights Action League, and Annie’s List - are already hard at work. They know well that winning elections requires getting money and votes for their candidates.

We need to do the same. The lives of thousands of innocent unborn babies depend on it.

One great example of how pro-life voters can help turn the tide in an election is the recent runoff election victory of Brian Birdwell, candidate to fill a vacancy in Texas State Senate District 22. Just days before the runoff election on June 22, it was publicized that Birdwell’s opponent had received significant backing from Bernard Rapoport, a major donor to Planned Parenthood of Central Texas.

Texas Alliance for Life and other pro-life groups helped spread the word to pro-life voters. Their influence undoubtedly helped Birdwell win the election by an astounding 22.8 percentage points on election day after the Rapoport story broke, after leading in early voting by a much more modest 7.4 percentage points.

How can you help get out the pro-life vote? It’s easy!

First, make sure you, your family, and all of your pro-life friends are registered to vote.

Second, note the dates of the general election: Early voting begins Monday, October 18. Election Day is Tuesday, November 2.

Third, use our new Personalized Voter Guide at www.TexasAllianceforLife.org to enter your address and get the list of pro-life candidates endorsed by the TAL PAC who will be on your ballot.

Don’t stop there! You can even click on the candidates’ names to go to their campaign websites to learn how to volunteer for them in these crucial months leading up to the elections.

Pro-life voting has never been more critical, but now it has never been easier!

DonationsTracker.com - Make a Donation to Donation

Pro Life Freedom Rides Announced

July 6, 2010

ATLANTA (MetroCatholic) - Dr. Alveda King, niece of Martin Luther King, Jr. and fulltime Director of African-American Outreach for Priests for Life, the largest pro-life ministry in the Catholic Church, has announced that on July 24 she will lead the first Pro-life Freedom Ride. The ride will take place from Birmingham, AL to Atlanta, GA.

Details of events to occur in Birmingham on the evening of the 23rd and the morning of the 24th, as well as of the service to take place at Martin Luther King, Jr.’s tomb in Atlanta on the 24th, are on the website www.ProLifeFreedomRides.com.

Pro-life people are welcome to caravan in their own vehicles behind the Freedom Ride bus, which will depart Birmingham midday on the 24th and arrive in Atlanta in the late afternoon.

Just as important as the specific events in Birmingham and Atlanta, however, are the simultaneous activities that pro-life people are urged to carry out in their own communities on that weekend and beyond. Such activities have begun with the Prayer Campaign that was launched on Pentecost Sunday, May 23, and continued until Independence Day, July 4.

“The theme of the pro-life movement is, indeed, freedom,” Dr. King stated. “How can one be free if one is not alive? How can any movement call for equal rights if the most fundamental right, life, is not secured equally? That’s why we are calling people from across the religious, ethnic, and political spectrum to ride with us for freedom for all, including the unborn.”

Fr. Frank Pavone, National Director of Priests for Life, added, “The Freedom Rides call people across America to activities that free people from ignorance about abortion, that free moms and dads from the despair that leads to abortion, that free those who have had abortions from the burden of guilt and shame, that free our nation from unjust laws, and that free our unborn brothers and sisters from the violence of abortion.”

See details at www.ProLifeFreedomRides.com.

Priests for Life is the nation’s largest Catholic pro-life organization dedicated to ending abortion and euthanasia. For more information, visit www.priestsforlife.org.

Building A Bridge Through Song And Community

June 1, 2010

MetroCatholic — The Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity gratefully share five special free song downloads this June as part of their “Bridge Radio” at the Franciscanized World www.fscc-calledtobe.org.

Enjoy a sample of writers and artists who volunteer their time, energy and creativity with proceeds and royalties donated to the Steel Bridge Fund held by the National Trust for Historic Preservation. The campaign to save the Steel Bridge in Door County, WI has become a large- scale musical event, inspiring artists and revitalizing a community in the process.

The June songs, originate from songwriting sessions at the annual Steel Bridge Songfest. St. Francis would feel at home in this event that builds even deeper bridges of the heart and spirit. Featured artists and songs include:

“Leavin’ It All Behind” by Todd Carey and Freedy Johnston, “Build Us A Bridge” by Kim Manning and Landon Capelle, “The Real Deal” by Tom Schriner- Schmitt, “There is An Answer” by James Hall, “He Walked on The Water” by Mo Rose.

About to “Build Us A Bridge”, singer-songwriter Kim Manning reflected “This song is about how we are all connected, everyone, and that by recognizing and honoring that connection we can rest assured that we are never alone, and that we can all grow strong, healthy, happy and holy…”

“We want to present our life as a viable option. Personal invitation is always best; however, we became convinced that real conversations can begin by using the language of images and music.” said Sr. Julie Ann Sheahan, OSF, Directress of Vocations for the Franciscan order.

Established in 1869, the Roman Catholic Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity serve in Catholic health care, education and parish ministries in twelve dioceses throughout the United States.

CONTACT: Sr. Julie Ann Sheahan OSF 920-682- 7728
Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity
Holy Family Convent
2409 S. Alverno Road
Manitowoc, WI 54220
[email protected]
The World needs you. God Calls You. We Invite You. Catholic vocations.

U.S. Bishops Call on Parishes to Help Stop Abortion Funding in Health Care Reform

January 12, 2010

WASHINGTON DC (MetroCatholic) - In a nationwide call to Catholics to prevent health care reform from being derailed by the abortion lobby, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops has sent bulletin inserts and pulpit announcements to almost 19,000 parishes across the country.

“As long-time advocates of health care reform, the U.S. Catholic bishops continue to make the moral case that genuine health care reform must protect the life, dignity, consciences and health of all, especially the poor and vulnerable,” the insert says. “Health care reform should not advance a pro-abortion agenda in our country.”

As Congress negotiates a final health care bill, the insert encourages Catholics to contact their Senators and Representatives, urging them to keep longstanding restrictions against federal funding of abortion and full conscience protection in the legislation. If these criteria are not met, Catholics are asked to urge Congress to oppose the final bill.

The bulletin insert and pulpit announcement can be found in English and in Spanish at www.usccb.org/healthcare. Catholics can contact their legislators online by going to www.usccb.org/action.

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