Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Dan Savage vs. Brian Brown: The Dinner Table Debate

Brian Brown, President of the National Organization for Marriage, and Dan Savage, writer of the Savage Love column, met at Savage's home in Seattle for dinner and a debate over same-sex marriage and the Bible.

The average American thinks non-profit organizations spend 60% more on overhead than they reasonably should

(Original release date:  August 14, 2012)  The average American adult believes it is reasonable for non-profit organizations to spend 23 cents out of every dollar on overhead expenses such as fundraising and administration.  The problem is, that same average adult believes non-profits actually spend 37 cents out of every dollar on overhead – in other words, 60% more than they should.

These figures come from a new study conducted by Grey Matter Research (Phoenix, Arizona) among a demographically representative sample of 1,011 American adults.  The study is titled Where’d My Money Go?, and is a follow-up to a 2008 study of the same name.

Although the numbers above reflect averages for the U.S. population, the reality is that there is tremendous diversity in what Americans believe non-profits should spend and do spend on overhead.

In terms of what is seen as reasonable for non-profits to spend, 18% say anything over 9 cents on the dollar is too much (and most of them believe it should be five cents or less out of every dollar going to overhead).  On the other hand, 18% believe 40 cents on the dollar (or even more) is quite reasonable.

The wide variety of opinion also exists for perceptions of what non-profits actually spend on overhead.  Twenty-three percent believe the typical charitable organization spends under 20 cents out of every dollar on overhead, while at the other end of the spectrum, 14% believe at least 70 cents out of every dollar is spent on things such as fundraising and administration.

In fact, 35% of all Americans believe the typical non-profit spends at least half of its money on overhead expenses.

Grey Matter Research directly compared the answers to both of these questions for every respondent.  This comparison shows 25% believe the typical non-profit organization spends exactly what is reasonable on overhead (for example, if a person says 20% is reasonable, that person also says the typical organization spends 20% on overhead).  Thirteen percent feel non-profits generally spend less than whatever threshold they personally feel is reasonable.  But this leaves 62% who believe non-profits typically spend more than is reasonable on overhead expenses.

One very interesting insight compares perceptions of non-profits to actual donor behavior.  It might seem logical that people who have negative perceptions of the financial efficiency of non-profits would be less likely to give, or at least might give less money.  There is no way to tell from this study whether these perceptions have any impact on actual donor behavior (e.g. whether someone who gave $500 last year might have given $800 if they thought better of the industry), but the data does show that there is no real difference in perceptions according to whether people support non-profit organizations or not, nor whether they support a local place of worship or not.

In fact, among donors, people who gave at least $1,000 to non-profit organizations (excluding local places of worship) in the last year were the most likely to say non-profits typically spend more than is reasonable on overhead.  Seventy-six percent of the larger donors have this complaint, compared to 56% of people who gave $100 to $999, and 51% among donors who gave under $100 to non-profits in the last year.

Ron Sellers, president of Grey Matter Research, noted that it’s possible negative perceptions of the industry could actually encourage giving to some organizations.  “Consumer behavior is rarely straightforward ,” Sellers explained.  “It’s entirely possible that someone could have concerns about overspending by non-profits, but find a few organizations about which they don’t have that concern.  It would be much like someone who thinks most politicians are crooks finding a candidate they feel is honest – the contrast could make their support of that candidate especially enthusiastic.”

But Sellers also pointed out that negative perceptions of non-profits in general can serve as a barrier to individual organizations prospecting for new donors.  “If someone believes charitable organizations typically spend too much on overhead, they’ll tend to believe that of all organizations with which they are not familiar.  So when they’re approached by an organization for the first time, they will likely see that organization in the same light by which they see the whole industry.  That’s a barrier to giving that organizations need to overcome.  Many people see non-profits as guilty until proven innocent, not the other way around,” he said.

Study Details:
The study was conducted by Grey Matter Research, a research and consumer insights company located in Phoenix, Arizona.  Grey Matter has extensive experience in research related to charitable issues and has worked with dozens of non-profit organizations.  The sample of 1,011 adults is accurate to within ±3.1 percentage points at the 95 percent confidence level with a 50 percent response distribution.

The study was conducted in all 50 states.  Respondents’ age, education, household income, geography, racial/ethnic background, and gender were carefully tracked and weighted to ensure appropriate representation and accuracy.

The full report examines these comparisons by a variety of demographic, religious, and political groups, as well as comparing the findings to the 2008 study.  Where’d My Money Go? is available by request from Grey Matter Research.  Request it by e-mail at ron @ (removing the spaces around the @).

Report Highlights Consistent Pattern of Hostility Toward Christians in US

A new 140-page report released by the Family Research Council and Liberty Institute reveals a pattern of hostility toward Christians and Christianity in the U.S. The report was released earlier this week and includes over 600 incidents over a 10-year period.

The attacks range from rulings from the judiciary branch to an elementary school student who was physically lifted from his seat and reprimanded for praying before eating his lunch. Yet another example shows a Christian couple was fired as apartment complex managers and forced to move because a painting with a Christian reference was displayed in their office.
Other examples cited in the report include:
• A federal judge threatened "incarceration" to a high school valedictorian unless she removed references to Jesus from her graduation speech.
• City officials prohibited senior citizens from praying over their meals, listening to religious messages or singing gospel songs at a senior activities center.
• Following U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs' policies, a federal government official sought to censor a pastor's prayer, eliminating references to Jesus, during a Memorial Day ceremony honoring veterans at a national cemetery.

National Day of Repentance

HIDDEN VALLEY LAKE, Calif., Aug. 21, 2012 /Christian Newswire/ -- In these very difficult times politics alone can't resolve our problems. Many of our problems nationally are spiritual, requiring a spiritual solution. One such solution was often employed by our nation's founders -- a national day not just of prayer, but also of personal, and national, repentance. There is a growing movement, an awakening within the body of Christ, event after event, in these next 90 days, pointing out that we believers in Christ need to pray and repent so that the Lord can step in with His miracles, which our nation now desperately needs. Many prayer events are planned, but a focus on repentance is vital for their success.

In local Christian churches and ministries across denominations and across the nation just such a National Day of Repentance is set to take place from sundown Tuesday, September 25 through sundown Wednesday, September 26. To emphasize the value God places on repentance, this date will coincide with the 3,450-year-old Jewish holy day of atonement, Yom Kippur.

The purpose of the National Day of Repentance is to bless the body of Christ, by focusing on repentance in our own lives, on this one key day; pull away from the world, and join many others across the nation, in local churches, homes, or ministries. We encourage the body of Christ to pray, to fast, and to do one's own spiritual inventory with God our Creator during a National Day of Repentance. We believe this will open heaven for the Lord to forgive our sin and heal our land.

A website,, has been created to foster participation at the grassroots level among the denominations within the body of Christ on this key day.

The event is calling pastors, priests, intercessors, church leaders, prayer "warriors," those with the ability to discern the times like the sons of Issachar [1 Chronicles 12:32], those with spiritual discernment [1 Corinthians 12:9], those who understand the spiritual power of repentance individually, and for a nation. [Revelation 3:19, Ephesians 6:12; and 2 Chronicles 7:14].

Our Founding Fathers understood the power of repentance and declared Days of "Fasting, Prayer and Humiliation" as a key spiritual tool to establish and preserve this nation. When the Revolutionary War looked most bleak, John Adams, asked if he believed we could nonetheless defeat Great Britain, said: "Yes, if we fear God and repent of our sins."

This National Day of Repentance is set to coincide with Yom Kippur, the Jewish Day of Atonement. Holding this event on Yom Kippur, is in no way meant to preempt or replace what Yom Kippur means for the Jewish people, but is meant to honor the Jewish people's divinely mandated calendar (Lev 23:1-2), and to honor the holiness and seriousness of that day. It also honors the Jewish roots of the Christian faith in Romans 1:16. The Lord Himself said [Leviticus 23:27-31] that the Day of Atonement would be a "holy convocation", a day to "afflict" one's soul, to do no work; a "statute forever throughout your generations in all your dwellings."

Although 2 Chronicles 7:14 applies to Israel primarily, it also applies to all believers as a way to heal the nations, including our nation, in 2012. "If My people, who are called by My name, will humble themselves, and pray, and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land."

This is a nonprofit project, for the body of Christ, across all denominations, initiated by a small group of pastors nationwide. For more information please contact Pastor Jeff Daly, Director, National Day of Repentance, (707) 987-9082,

You are here: Culture Print Study: Shocking Spike in Full Nudity on Broadcast TV

The Parents Television Council (PTC) on Monday released results of a research analysis of nudity on prime-time broadcast television—and the results may shock (and even disgust) you.
During the 2011-2012 season there were 76 incidents of full nudity on 37 shows compared to 15 incidents in 14 shows the previous year, representing a 407 percent increase in incidents. What's more, almost 70 percent of the scenes that depicted full nudity during the 2011–2012 study period were on shows that aired before 9 p.m. and as early as 7 p.m. In comparison, 50 percent of the full nudity scenes aired after 9 p.m. the previous year.
Out of 76 instances of full nudity during the 2011–2012 study period, only five of those depictions occurred on shows that contained an "S" descriptor alerting parents to the explicit adult content. And relative to full-frontal nudity, one instance occurred during the 2010–2011 study period and by the same time the following year, 64 instances of full-frontal nudity had aired. This represents a 6,300 percent increase in just one year.
In other findings, there was a 2,700 percent increase in the use of blurring or pixilation to cover body parts in 2011–2012 compared to the previous year. And during the 2010–2011 study period, black bars, logos and/or conveniently placed objects in a scene were used to block the view of sexual organs from the viewer 87 percent of the time. In contrast, during the 2011–2012 study period, 74 percent of the incidents of full nudity used blurring or pixilation to cover sexual body parts.
In light of the findings, PTC President Tim Winter sent a letter to congressional members asking them to urge the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to move forward in clearing the backlog of 1.6 million unadjudicated indecency complaints. The following are excerpts from PTC’s letter to congressional members:


Teenage Mother Was Fired For Refusing to Have an Abortion

A young woman who chose not to have an abortion and was then fired from her job has filed a lawsuit against her former employer.

Christina Garcia became pregnant at the age of 16 while working for a doctor’s office in Texas.  She was employed by Dr. Meenakshi Prabhaker at ID (Infectious Diseases) Doctors. According to Garcia, Dr. Prabhaker told her to get an abortion. She says, “He [Dr. Prabhaker] said it wasn’t a good image for him. I was very upset. I started crying.”

According to the lawsuit, Dr. Prabhakar tried to bribe the young woman into getting an abortion. He offered to pay her college tuition and to pay for a psychologist if she felt she needed one. As Garcia says, “The only thing is that I would have to get the abortion and I would have to maintain birth control.”

But Garcia did not want to abort her baby. She made it clear to him that she intended to give birth. When she returned home, her father told her that the doctor had called and spoken to Garcia’s mother. According to Garcia’s parents, she had been fired because she refused to have an abortion.
Garcia’s mother had also been working for Dr. Prabhakar, but when her daughter was fired, she tendered her resignation.

Christina Garcia gave birth to a baby girl who is now nine months old. She has no regrets.
“She’s learning new things everyday,” she says of her daughter.

Teenagers who are pregnant are extremely vulnerable to abortion coercion by adults around them, and women at any age can be pressured by their employers. It is illegal to discriminate against a pregnant woman or to fire her for her refusal to have an abortion.


Unheard Martin Luther King Jr. Audio Found in Tennessee Attic

'We are Women' DC Rally Countered by 'Women Speak for Themselves' and Pro-life Prayer Response

ATLANTA, Aug. 21, 2012 /Christian Newswire/ -- e pro-abortion community was stunned by the presence of African American prolife prayer supporters and a strong outcry against the "We are Women" pro-abortion rally held in Washington, DC last week. Prolife leaders on the ground were encouraged by the gathering of prayerful prolife supporters who wore t-shirts announcing the injustice of the death of Tonya Reaves; a Black woman who was murdered by Planned Parenthood in Chicago last month.

The prolife prayer effort was supported by several prolife organizations, including the Reconciliation Community Church; (Susan B. Anthony) SBA List; Priests for Life African American Outreach; Women Speak for Themselves; American Life League;; King for America; National Black Prolife Coalition; Citizens for a Prolife Society; Network of Politically Active Christians; Life Education and Resource Network, Silent No More Awareness Campaign; Peggy Elliott Ministries -- Let Our Babies Live America; National Black Prolife Union; Students for Life; Frederick Douglass Foundation; and Christian Defense Coalition.

In contrast to the National March for Life which is held every January to lament the passage of Roe vs Wade and the court decision that made the killing of over 50 million preborn babies legal; the "We are Women" effort drew around 600 participants, where the March for Life draws hundreds of thousands of marchers every year. Nellie Gray, the founder of the March for Life died recently, and the prayer effort was inspired in part by the desire to commemorate Attorney Gray and Dr. Mildred Jefferson, another prolife hero.

As a group of peaceful prayer supporters wearing prolife t-shirts circulated among the pro-abortion camp, one Planned Parenthood supporter shouted out in protest, calling one of the African American men praying for life a "ni-g-r." The prayer team was undaunted and continued to speak the truth and pray in love.

Some members of the prayer team were able to speak to Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton, who declined photo ops with them. One of the pro-abortion rally speakers was reportedly a Florida representative of Rainbow PUSH, a Rev. McKenzie who attempted to quote Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.; suggesting that Dr. King was a supporter of abortion. Rather than hiss and boo, the prolife supporters stood quietly and stoically and stared at the speaker as a silent rebuke.

The prayer supporters were shocked and disturbed by a singing group extolling women as sluts. There was also a moment when pro-abortion supporters tried to get the prayer supporters to leave the area. This joint effort by prolife organizations across the spectrum was held in the spirit of love that is embraced by the prolife community. Photos available at

Contact: Eugene Vigil,
Priests for Life,

Dinesh D‘Souza: ’Third World Liberation Theology’

Americans toss out as much as 40% of their food, study says

Americans are throwing out nearly every other bite of food, wasting up to 40% of the country’s supply each year – a mass of uneaten provisions worth $165 billion, according to a new report from the Natural Resources Defense Council.
An average family of four squanders $2,275 in food each year, or 20 pounds per person per month, according to the nonprofit and nonpartisan environmental advocacy group.
Food waste is the largest single portion of solid waste cramming American landfills. Since the 1970s, the amount of uneaten fare that is dumped has jumped 50%. The average American trashes 10 times as much food as a consumer in Southeast Asia, according to the Natural Resources Defense Council.
Such profligacy is especially unwarranted in a time of record drought, high food prices expected to get higher and families unable to afford food, according to the council. Efforts are already in place in Europe to cut back on food waste.
But American consumers are used to seeing pyramids of fresh produce in their local markets and grocery stores, which results in $15 billion annually in unsold fruits and vegetables, according to the Natural Resources Defense Council. In restaurants and home kitchens, massive portions often end up partly in the trash.


Anger as Iran bans women from universities

In a move that has prompted a demand for a UN investigation by Iran's most celebrated human rights campaigner, the Nobel laureate Shirin Ebadi, 36 universities have announced that 77 BA and BSc courses in the coming academic year will be "single gender" and effectively exclusive to men.
It follows years in which Iranian women students have outperformed men, a trend at odds with the traditional male-dominated outlook of the country's religious leaders. Women outnumbered men by three to two in passing this year's university entrance exam.
Senior clerics in Iran's theocratic regime have become concerned about the social side-effects of rising educational standards among women, including declining birth and marriage rates.


Make room for faith in healthcare, study says

Despite differences in rituals and beliefs among the world’s major religions, a new study shows that spirituality often enhances health regardless of a person’s faith.

Researchers from the University of Missouri say that health care providers could take advantage of this correlation between health—particularly mental health—and spirituality by tailoring treatments and rehabilitation programs to accommodate an individual’s spiritual inclinations.

“In many ways, the results of our study support the idea that spirituality functions as a personality trait,” says Dan Cohen, assistant teaching professor of religious studies and one of the co-authors of the study.

“With increased spirituality people reduce their sense of self and feel a greater sense of oneness and connectedness with the rest of the universe.

“What was interesting was that frequency of participation in religious activities or the perceived degree of congregational support was not found to be significant in the relationships between personality, spirituality, religion, and health.”

The study used the results of three surveys to determine if correlations existed among participants’ self-reported mental and physical health, personality factors, and spirituality in Buddhists, Muslims, Jews, Catholics, and Protestants.

Across all five faiths, a greater degree of spirituality was related to better mental health, specifically lower levels of neuroticism and greater extraversion. Forgiveness was the only spiritual trait predictive of mental health after personality variables were considered.