Barry, I know we won’t agree on the abortion/health care issue – but it’s worth noting that we have heard from more than 70,000 Americans (more than 60,000 online) who are demanding that Congress include an exclusion on abortion services to prevent them from becoming mandatory benefits in any health care legislation.  There are a number of pro-life amendments being considered now in the House and we will continue to support these measures as the debate continues.


With respect to parental rights, it’s important for parents to be able to rely on their deeply held religious beliefs when it comes to the care and upbringing of their children.  Parental rights, however, must never be used as a guise for abuse or neglect.  If medical issues are involved, there must be a balance between parental rights and doing what is best for the child. 

Barry, I want to call your attention to an interesting report on volunteerism in America.  And, what’s particularly interesting about this study conducted by the Corporation for National & Community Service, a federal agency, is the contribution that faith-based organizations make toward volunteer work.


The new study concludes that religious organizations are the most popular organizations through which volunteers serve – faith-based groups attracting the most volunteers.  The study cites that in the last two years (2006-08) nearly 36% of all volunteers worked with religious organizations.  The numbers are even higher for older adults (47%) and African-American volunteers (47.1%).


And, those who do volunteer work through faith-based groups are more likely to keep doing that work – 70% of volunteers linked directly to faith-based groups continue serving from one year to the next – the highest retention rate among volunteers.


According to the study, a total of nearly 62-million Americans volunteered through an organization in 2008 – up one million from the previous year.  That’s 8-billion hours of service worth an estimated $162-billion.


It’s encouraging to see the spirit of volunteerism thriving – and it’s even more encouraging to see the important role played by faith-based organizations.  That’s a good thing, isn’t it Barry?


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