The Common Good
March-April 2001

News Bites

by Rose Marie Berger, Susannah Hunter | March-April 2001

April 23-29 is national "Turn off Your TV" week. Coincidentally, it is also "Roll Back the Rug and Teach the Kids the Electric Slide" week.

  • April 23-29 is national "Turn off Your TV" week. Coincidentally, it is also "Roll Back the Rug and Teach the Kids the Electric Slide" week. Americans spend an average of four hours each day, or nine years by age 65, watching TV. Wouldn't you rather spend that time with Grandmaster Slice?
  • Farmers in Pennsylvania had too much hay. Cattle ranchers in Nebraska had too little. A group of Presbyterians put two and two together and came up with "Hay-Lift 2000"-providing fodder equally for drought-stressed cattle of all denominations. The relief was targeted to small cattle ranchers with herds of 40 to 300 head.
  • Pope John Paul II was officially declared an Honorary Harlem Globetrotter by team owner and chairman Mannie Jackson. "Similar to the pope, the Globetrotters have touched millions of people around the world as moral leaders and champions of human rights," said Jackson. We knew they didn't choose him for his two left feet
  • The United Methodist Pension Board is mobilizing forces to convert all the denomination's funds to socially responsible investments, a move that could affect up to $30 billion of church assets internationally.
  • Calling some detention centers "hellholes" for illegal immigrants, the Australian National Council of Churches and Amnesty International have started judicial inquiries into how the Australia government deals with refugees and asylum-seekers.
  • More than 800 religious organizations and American Indian institutions have signed on to the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility's public letter to Liz Claiborne and J.C. Penney, proclaiming that the use of the Crazy Horse label on a line of clothing is unethical and financially risky. The Hornell Brewing Company, manufacturer of Crazy Horse malt liquor, is also being called to task.
  • U.S. Catholic bishops have initiated a major effort at reforming U.S. immigration laws. In the last three years, 600 people have died crossing the U.S.-Mexico border.
  • A new CD with 13 radio public service announcements promoting forgiveness was released to 8,000 U.S. radio stations in January. The Mennonite Church-sponsored campaign is titled "Forgiveness: It's Your Choice," and will be issued in both Spanish and English.


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