Christians in America are twice as likely as those of other faiths to blame poor people for their economic status, the study found.
The survey of 1,686 American adults asked respondents what they thought was generally more often to blame if a person is poor ― lack of effort on the individual’s own part or difficult circumstances beyond their control. Researchers found that 46 percent of Christians said that poverty is generally due to a person’s lack of effort. Only 29 percent of all non-Christians said the same.
Atheist, agnostic, and unaffiliated Americans blamed difficult circumstances for people’s poverty (65 percent).
Forty-two percent of American adults in total believed poverty was due to a lack of effort, while 53 percent believed it was due to difficult circumstances.
Although religious identity was an important factor, The Washington Post found that political partisanship is the most important demographic identity when it comes to this particular question. Seventy-two percent of Democrats attributed poverty to circumstances, while 63 percent of Republicans blamed lack of effort.
Christians’ beliefs about the causes of poverty don’t necessarily translate into inaction on caring for the poor. The Washington Post interviewed a number of individuals for the piece, most of whom claimed that they were taught in church to help the needy and that their congregations worked hard to care for the poor.
The Rev. Dr. Jacqui Lewis, a minister at Middle Collegiate Church and a progressive Christian activist, told HuffPost she believes there’s an inherent conflict in giving charity to the poor while blaming them for their economic status. Acknowledging that poor people are caught in structures and systems that are often beyond their control forces Christians to think deeply about how to work for justice, Lewis said.
“We are forced to ask ourselves about whether the ways these systems work are consistent and coherent with our believe in a God of love and justice, whose compassion was shown uniquely in the life of a poor Jewish Rabbi from Palestine. We have to ask ourselves can we sleep at night when there are homeless on the street, when a mom can’t see her children because she has to work three jobs to survive. We have to ask ourselves are we following in the Way of the Christ or are we following in the Way of the Empire,” Lewis said.
“And that is more decidedly difficult question than can I make my shift at the soup kitchen.”
Spain faced a humanitarian and diplomatic crisis Tuesday after thousands of Moroccans took advantage of relaxed border controls in their nation to swim or paddle in inflatable boats onto European soil. The sudden influx of migrants has deepened the diplomatic row between Rabat and Madrid in the wake of Spain's decision to allow in for medical treatment the chief of a militant group that fights for the independence of Western Sahara. Morocco annexed the sprawling nation on the west coast of Africa in 1975.
The Spanish government has deployed troops to Ceuta to patrol the border with Morocco after thousands of migrants swam into the northern African enclave, a source from the Interior Ministry said on Tuesday. Soldiers will patrol the border along with Spanish police. "This starts immediately," the source said, without specifying how many troops will be deployed. A spokesman for Ceuta's government delegation said soldiers will work with police in sensitive locations within the enclave to maintain order on the streets. As many as 6,000 Moroccans, including about 1,500 minors, swam into Ceuta on Monday and Tuesday, Interior Minister Fernando Grande-Marlaska said.
Justices to rule on Mississippi ban on procedure after 15 weeksCase is most consequential for reproductive rights in decades Republican state lawmakers are keen to test the resolve of the new conservative majority on the supreme court to uphold the landmark Roe v Wade ruling. Photograph: Drew Angerer/Getty Images US reproductive rights groups are bracing for the most consequential abortion case in decades, after the supreme court agreed to hear a case that flies in the face of precedent. The case could dramatically alter decades of rulings on abortion rights and eventually lead to dramatic restrictions on abortion access. In the case, Dobbs v Jackson Women’s Health Organization, Mississippi’s last abortion clinic is challenging the constitutionality of a ban on abortions later than the 15th week of pregnancy. Since 1973, the landmark supreme court case Roe v Wade has provided US women the constitutional right to obtain an abortion until a fetus can live outside the womb, generally around 24 weeks. The state is not asking the court to overrule Roe v Wade, or later cases that reaffirmed it. But many supporters of abortion rights are alarmed and many opponents of abortion are elated that the justices could undermine earlier abortion rulings. If the court upholds Mississippi’s law, it would be its first ratification of an abortion ban before 24 weeks. Such a ruling could lay the groundwork for allowing even more restrictions on abortion. That includes state bans on abortion once a fetal heartbeat is detected, as early as six weeks. “It is incredibly concerning that the supreme court has taken a case that, based on its own precedents, it should have dismissed months ago,” said Elizabeth Nash, principal policy associate with the Guttmacher Institute, a reproductive rights research organization. “Make no mistake: the purpose of any abortion ban – including this 15-week ban in Mississippi – is to snowball into an outright ban on all abortion at any point in pregnancy and for any reason,” Nash said. The case will become the first to be heard by a conservative bench remade by Donald Trump, which includes the devout Catholic supreme court justice Amy Coney Barrett. “Alarm bells are ringing loudly about the threat to reproductive rights,” said Nancy Northup, CEO of the Center for Reproductive Rights, a legal group representing Mississippi’s last abortion clinic, Jackson Women’s Health Organization. “The supreme court just agreed to review an abortion ban that unquestionably violates nearly 50 years of supreme court precedent and is a test case to overturn Roe v Wade,” Northup said. Abortion is legal in all 50 states, even as advocates say increased restrictions currently make it unavailable to many women. Restrictions on reproductive rights disproportionately affect low-income and minority women. If Roe were overturned, more than 20 states would ban abortion outright. Many states, including Mississippi, have enacted “trigger” laws to immediately outlaw abortion should the supreme court make such a decision. If Mississippi’s law were to be upheld and Roe not entirely overturned, states may be able to make abortion illegal at 15 weeks. That would narrow the window in which women can seek abortions by more than two months. Roe set the legal standard of viability in 1973, and it has become a linchpin of abortion rights law in the US. “Once viability is gone, all bets are off,” the law professor Mary Ziegler said on Twitter. She said anti-abortion activists were “banking on”, much earlier limits, hoping the court will allow states to ban abortion after six or eight weeks. That is before many women know they are pregnant. And there has never been a strong alternative to viability proposed by pro-choice forces. So if not viability, what? Abortion foes are banking on a six/eight weeks. But once viability is gone, all bets are off. /fin— Mary Ziegler (@maryrziegler) May 17, 2021 Even before the court took up the case, 2021 has become the most hostile year on record for reproductive rights in the US. The new makeup of the supreme court has prompted optimistic Republican lawmakers to pass more restrictions, hoping to send test cases to the court. Since January, more than 500 abortion restrictions have been introduced across 46 states. Sixty-one restrictions and eight bans have been enacted across 13 states. In 2011, 42 restrictions and six bans were enacted. Even as some Republican state politicians disagree with colleagues over severe abortion restrictions – some recently introduced bills would charge women and doctors with murder – such rhetoric remains a cornerstone of Republican organizing and fundraising. About six in 10 Americans believe abortion should be legal in all or most cases, according to the Pew Research Center, a remarkably steady level of support. However, the partisan divide over abortion rights has grown. In recent years, Democrats have grown more likely to believe abortion should remain legal and available.
The tiny Mediterranean island of Lampedusa is in the throes of yet another season of migrants arriving by sea, and Ibrahima Mbaye and Waly Sarr can only watch from shore as their fellow Africans risk their lives to get here via unsafe smugglers’ boats. Mbaye and Sarr arrived in Italy legally years ago and found work as fishermen on a Lampedusa-based fishing boat, the Vincenzo Padre, which has a mixed Senegalese-Italian crew.
President Joe Biden and first lady Jill Biden reported a drop in income as they filed their tax returns for 2020 on Monday, marking a return to the normal practice of releasing such information by modern US presidents. The Bidens reported income of $607,336 in 2020, down from $985,223 in 2019 due to the lack of book sales and paid speeches during the election campaign, according to their tax returns released by the White House. During the 2020 presidential race, Mr Biden's campaign said he and his wife made $11 million in 2017 and $4.6 million in 2018. The Bidens paid $157,414 in federal income tax and their 2020 effective federal income tax rate is 25.9 per cent. The most recent IRS data indicates that the average federal income tax rate is just over 14 per cent. The Bidens also reported holding cash and investments between $1.2 million and $2.88 million in a financial disclosure filed with the Office of Government Ethics. Former President Donald Trump, who had long sought to keep his personal financial records secret, repeatedly refused to release his tax returns, claiming multiple times that he was not able to as he was being audited by the Internal Revenue Service, even as the agency claimed he was free to do so. The New York Times reported in 2020 that Trump paid just $750 in federal income taxes in 2016 and 2017 - and none in 10 of the previous 15 years - following years of reporting steep losses from business enterprises. The release of Mr Biden's tax returns also comes at a time when he has pushed for raising the taxes on the wealthy to fund his infrastructure plan. Biden has proposed an increase in capital gains tax to 39.6% from 20% for those making more than $1 million a year. "With this release, the President has shared a total of 23 years of tax returns with the American public," the White House said. The White House also released 2020 tax returns for Vice President Kamala Harris and second gentleman Doug Emhoff. They reported a combined income of $1,695,225, most of which came from Emhoff's work at a law firm. They paid $621,893 in federal income tax at a rate of 36.7 per cent. Ms Harris and Mr Emhoff's earnings were also substantially lower from 2019, when they had $3,018,127 in income and paid $1,185,628 in taxes.
A report by the International Energy Agency says immediate action is needed to reshape the world's energy sector in order to meet ambitious climate goals by 2050, including ending investments in new coal mines, oil and gas wells. The Paris-based agency said in a report released Tuesday that it has determined there is a narrow but viable pathway for building a global energy sector with net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. Several countries, including the United States and the European Union, have pledged to achieve net zero emissions — meaning only as much planet-warming gas is released into the atmosphere as can be absorbed — by mid-century.
Pro-Palestinian protesters marched to the heavily guarded U.S. Embassy in Indonesia’s capital on Tuesday to demand an end to Israeli airstrikes in the Gaza Strip. Waving Indonesian and Palestinian flags and signs that read “Free Palestine,” several hundred demonstrators gathered along a major street in Jakarta that runs outside the embassy. Indonesia, the world's most populous Muslim majority nation, does not have formal diplomatic relations with Israel and there is not an Israeli Embassy in the country.
Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam on Tuesday defended the freezing of pro-democracy publisher Jimmy Lai's assets as a necessary move under the city's new national security law to protect the safety of all Chinese people. Lam told reporters the move was authorized under the sweeping law that was imposed on the city by Beijing last year and empowered authorities to “freeze suspicious assets involved that would undermine national security." “It means the Hong Kong government is very serious and rigorous when dealing with national security matters, because it involves something that endangers national security, not just the safety of Hong Kong society, but also the safety of 1.4 billion Chinese people,” Lam said.
Japan's benchmark Nikkei 225 surged 2.1% to finish at 28,406.84. Hong Kong's Hang Seng jumped 1.3% to 28,564.36, while the Shanghai Composite edged up 0.2% to 3,524.13. Regional markets shrugged off data showing Japan’s economy contracted at 5.1% annual pace in the last quarter as numbers of new coronavirus cases surged.
During the Cold War, Russia's Nagurskoye airbase was little more than a runway, a weather station and a communications outpost in the Franz Josef Land archipelago. Now, Russia's northernmost military base is bristling with missiles and radar and its extended runway can handle all types of aircraft, including nuclear-capable strategic bombers, projecting Moscow's power and influence across the Arctic amid intensifying international competition for the region's vast resources. The shamrock-shaped facility — three large pods extending from a central atrium — is called the “Arctic Trefoil” and is painted in the white-red-and-blue of the national flag, brightening the otherwise stark vantage point on the 5,600-kilometer (3,470-mile) Northern Sea Route along Russia's Arctic coast.
Not for the first time in the last 12 months, British holidaymakers packed their bags and popped the airport Wetherspoons bubbles yesterday (May 17) as international travel got the go-ahead. As part of the Government's traffic light system, holidays are now approved to 12 green-listed destinations. Only three, however, are allowing British holidaymakers in without major restrictions and quarantine on arrival. So we sent our correspondents on the earliest flights available, to find out what was going on in the (relatively) hassle-free locations of Madeira, Lisbon, Gibraltar and Iceland. What did they learn? There is a new, unfriendly tone to flight passenger announcements; a little thing called Brexit is causing longer queues than Covid-19 regulations; and rules can change at very short notice indeed (ie, while you’re in the air). You can follow all of yesterday’s discoveries and revelations on the @TelegraphTravel’s #GreatUnlock thread on Twitter.
The Thai affiliate of Paris-based insurance company AXA said Tuesday it is investigating a ransomware attack by Russian-speaking cybercriminals that has affected operations in Thailand, Malaysia, Hong Kong and the Philippines. Meanwhile, a cyberattack on a public health provider in New Zealand took down information systems across five hospitals, forcing staff to cancel some elective surgeries and creating all sorts of other problems. In Bangkok, Krungthai AXA said it has formed a team with AXA's Inter Partner Assistance to urgently investigate the problem.