D.K. Foreman – Personal Blog

Archive for July, 2015

Protecting The Lambs: Pope Francis’ approval ratings slump sharply in U.S.

by on Jul.25, 2015, under 2015 Year, Endtimes, General, Protecting the lambs

Pope Francis addresses the congregation from the window of the Apostolic Palace overlooking St. Peter's square during his Sunday Angelus prayer at the Vatican on July 19, 2015. (Photo: Gabriel Bouys, AFP/Getty Images)

Pope Francis addresses the congregation from the window of the Apostolic Palace overlooking St. Peter’s square during his Sunday Angelus prayer at the Vatican on July 19, 2015.
(Photo: Gabriel Bouys, AFP/Getty Images)

Growing conservative disaffection with Pope Francis appears to be taking a toll on his once Teflon-grade popularity in the U.S., with a new Gallup poll showing the pontiff’s favorability rating among all Americans dropping to 59% from a 76% peak early last year.

Among conservatives, the drop-off has been especially sharp: Just 45% view Francis favorably today, as opposed to 72% a year ago.

“This decline may be attributable to the pope’s denouncing of ‘the idolatry of money’ and attributing climate change partially to human activity, along with his passionate focus on income inequality — all issues that are at odds with many conservatives’ beliefs,” Gallup analyst Art Swift wrote Wednesday, when the survey was published.

But liberal fervor for the Argentine pope, who was elected to great acclaim in March 2013, has also cooled, dropping an average of 14 points.

Some observers have predicted that many who embraced the pope’s candor and his views on a range of social justice issues would temper their ardor as they realized he would not change church teachings on hot-button issues such as abortion or contraception or gay marriage.

Another major factor is that the number of those who expressed “no opinion” about the pope or said they don’t know enough about him rose from 16% to 25%. That may be linked to fewer magazine cover stories on the pope, or more critical stories.

The poll comes just as American Catholics are set to welcome the pope this September for his first visit to the U.S. It essentially returns Francis to approval levels he had in the first months after his election.

The fall-off appears to be relatively recent: A Pew Research Center survey from February showed Francis’ approval rating among all Americans at 70%, and at a remarkable 90% among all Catholics.

That number had been steadily increasing, among Republicans and conservatives, as well, despite their concerns that Francis was not stressing issues such as abortion while highlighting social justice themes.

But the Gallup poll, which has a margin of error of plus or minus 4 percentage points for results based on the total sample, was conducted earlier this month in the middle of Francis’ visit to three countries in Latin America during which he delivered some of his most powerful remarks on economic justice and environmental protection.

That prompted Western journalists on the papal plane, with a view to Francis’ upcoming U.S. visit, to ask whether he needs to say more about “the middle class, that is, the working people, the people who pay taxes, normal people.”

Francis responded by saying that he needed to address that aspect of his message and would read his critics ahead of the Sept. 22-27 U.S. trip.

Stephen Schneck, head of the Institute for Policy Research & Catholic Studies at Catholic University of America in Washington, blamed pundits on the right and left, like Rush Limbaugh and Rachel Maddow, for “politicizing” the pope’s teachings.

“He’s not a conservative or progressive, not a Democrat or Republican. So stop trying to clobber him with those yardsticks,” Schneck wrote in an email. “How many times do our pundits need to be told that he’s carrying the same message as John Paul II and Benedict XVI?”

Schneck said that as the visit approaches, he expects Francis’ poll numbers “to rebound to his strong, earlier levels — that is, if both the right and the left will stop dragging him into their partisan squabbles.”

Is it too late? Has “Francis fatigue” displaced the “Francis effect”?

After the Latin America trip, popular conservative Catholic blogger Elizabeth Scalia wrote a lengthy post saying she is “frankly just tired of feeling scolded.”

“I love His Holiness Pope Francis, but for a while now, I have been feeling harangued by him, as he’s been harping on us to do more, and ever more, to practice mercy on the world; to welcome the stranger, to clean up the rivers, to bring about justice and peace in our time; to level the playing fields, visit the sick, and so on,” Scalia wrote.

That lament was picked up by other conservatives, such as Carl Olson, editor of Catholic World Report, who complained about what he sees as Francis’ constant “haranguing, harping, exhorting, lecturing.”

“It probably doesn’t help,” Olson added, “that Francis obsesses over particular points, to a degree that is, frankly, grating.”

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A Message of Encouragement from Sister Ginger Savage

by on Jul.23, 2015, under Uncategorized

Sis. Ginger Savage

Sis. Ginger Savage

Sister Ginger Savage brings to you a personal testimony of trusting in the Lord and remaining faithful to him even during the loss of a job.

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Revival In America – Police officer, the community take action to help homeless woman with 8 kids

by on Jul.22, 2015, under 2015 Year, African-American Community, Endtimes, Financial, Hispanic Community, Leadership, Native American Community, Revival In America

Norfolk, Va. – 18-year-old Olivia Obeng is the oldest of 8 children. Her family was homeless after moving to Virginia from California. They came out to Hampton Roads under the impression they could stay with local family members.

They said the situation didn’t work out and the family was struggling to find shelter.

Obeng said they tried all the local shelters for six weeks. She said, “When we tried, we weren’t getting any replies.”

One night, they said they literally had no place to go.

June McCord said, “My children slept in the car and I slept on the ground and because of that, I got out there with a sign that said I was homeless.”

McCord’s 18-year-old daughter took action and wrote an email to NewsChannel 3.

“My mom, she was standing out there holding a sign. People are judging her. I was just looking at the kids while they were sitting in the car thirsty and hungry. It’s just sad so I’m just going to write and then hopefully someone will help and you did so.”

NewsChannel 3 took action and got on the phone contacting local homeless shelters.

We learned that because the family was out of state and so large it was making it extremely difficult for them to find a place to stay.

They were also living with other relatives for a period which technically makes them not homeless.

Then leaders with ForKids told NewsChannel 3 space opened up at an emergency shelter.

Usually in Norfolk you need to be living in the city for 90 days to get assistance, but shelter leaders said they bent the rules because this family was so desperate.

ForKids provided NewsChannel 3 with the following statement:

ForKids provides many services to homeless families in Hampton Roads including emergency shelter and a Regional Housing Crisis Hotline. Family homelessness is complex and resources are scarce.

Large families and families that come from out-of-state bring additional challenges. Shelters throughout the region remain full and in overflow status and most cities have residency requirements before shelter and services can be accessed.

The McCord family case has involved assistance from many individuals and organizations in our community over the last 30+ days and we are grateful for their compassion for these children.

Adjoining rooms became available last week at ForKids’ emergency shelter and, due to the specific needs of this family, the City of Norfolk waived their 90-day residency requirement for services and shelter.

The family entered the ForKids shelter on Friday.

Now McCord is looking for work while her oldest daughter watches the kids.

Before the family started staying in the shelter there was a cop who went out of his way to help them.

Norfolk Police Officer Wayne Ricci has seen a lot working the streets but an encounter with McCord and her 8 homeless kids was more than he could bear.

“Just kind of was at a loss. I needed to help her. It was getting late, it was a real hot that night. I told her to pack the kids up, we’re going to get a hotel,” said Officer Ricci.

Out of his own pocket, he paid for them to stay at a nearby hotel for two nights. He did not tell anyone what he did.

We tracked down Officer Ricci after the family told us what he had done.

But there was one person he needed to tell. His wife had been out of town for two weeks.

A hotel room for two nights was an extra expense that most husbands would need to explain.

Officer Ricci wasn’t in trouble with his wife and he wasn’t the only person who took action.

The WTKR Facebook page was flooded with comments.

Our viewers were asking how they could help, offering jobs, and one person even offered for the family to stay in a house. There was some negativity posted online, but the majority of the comments were sympathetic.

Phyllis Stith has started a back to school drive for the family collecting supplies and clothes.

“It could happen to any of us at any given point in time,” said Stith.

Total strangers took action and got results for this family in need.

If you are interested in helping the family, you can contact the ForKids Shelter at 757-622-6400. They will help collect donations being made for the children.

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Message to African Americans – Report Suggests American Children Left Behind in Economy Recovery

by on Jul.21, 2015, under African-American Community, Financial, Hispanic Community, Leadership, Native American Community, Revival In America

ST. PAUL, Minn. — A new report on child welfare that found more U.S. children living in poverty than before the Great Recession belies the fanfare of the nation’s economic turnaround.

Twenty-two percent of American children were living in poverty in 2013 compared with 18 percent in 2008, according to the latest Kids Count Data Book, with poverty rates nearly double among African-Americans and American Indians and problems most severe in South and Southwest.

The report, released Tuesday from the child advocacy group the Annie E. Casey Foundation, showed some signs of slight improvement, including high school graduation rates at an all-time high and a dipping percentage of uninsured children. But the bright spots weren’t enough to offset a picture that many children have been left behind amid the nation’s economic recovery.

Here are some things to know about the report:

DIFFERING CAUSES

The foundation’s studies cover 16 different measures, delving into economic well-being, health care, education and family and community issues.

The problems extend beyond — and in some cases drive — increasing poverty rates. More children were raised in single-parent homes in 2013 than in 2008, and fewer lived with parents with secure employment.

Foundation President Patrick McCarthy said that particularly troubling is an increase in the share of kids living in poor communities, regardless of their own families’ economic standing. The report says 1 in 7 children live in those areas, marked by poor schools and a lack of a safe place to play.

“They’re more likely to fall down the economic ladder, less likely to be employed and more likely to get in trouble,” McCarthy said.

Michelle Halonen enjoys a warm day at a park in Minnesota with her daughters. She works full time at a gas station and still struggles to support them. Jim Mone / AP, file

Michelle Halonen enjoys a warm day at a park in Minnesota with her daughters. She works full time at a gas station and still struggles to support them. Jim Mone / AP, file

A MIX OF FIXES

McCarthy likened child poverty to a “particularly pernicious form of cancer,” and he prescribed a cocktail of economic policies and fixes to tackle it.

Tax credits and additional support such as food stamps could give low-income families a much-needed boost, and job training could provide help for struggling to get an economic foothold. Businesses should implement more family-friendly policies, and a massive infrastructure repair campaign could create countless jobs.

“None of them is a magic bullet. When you put them all together, you start to put the children on a path to success,” he said.

STRUGGLING IN THE SOUTH

States in the South and Southwest continued a steady run at the bottom of the Kids Count rankings for overall child well-being, with issues including economic standing and education.

According to the report, 1 in 3 children from Mississippi live in poverty. Twelve percent of teens from Mississippi and Louisiana were neither in school nor working. Fifteen percent of Nevada children didn’t have health insurance, compared with the nation-best 2 percent in Massachusetts.

MIDWEST ON TOP

Minnesota nabbed the report’s top ranking, taking a spot generally reserved for a Northeast state and rounding out the Midwest’s strong pattern of supporting children.

McCarthy said there’s not much to make of one state usurping another for a top spot. Instead, he focused on the broader regional patterns: New England and Midwestern states generally occupy the top 10 while the South and Southwest struggle in the bottom rankings.

“That’s where you see a difference in day-to-day lives,” he said

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