By Christy Barritt
Americans Want to Keep Charitable Deductions
The majority of Americans strongly oppose a proposed cut in charitable contribution deductions on their income tax. That’s according to a new survey done by Dunham and Company.
The poll found that 75 percent of Americans value the deduction as it currently stands. Sixty-one percent say they feel strongly about maintaining the current deduction, up from 56 percent in January 2012.
Only 9 percent strongly disagree, which is up from 5 percent a year ago.
Seventy percent of those in the Northeast and West support this deduction, along with 76 percent in the Midwest and 80 percent in the South.
Many fear what will happen to charities—including churches—if charitable donations no longer qualify for a tax deduction. The proposed change has been offered as a solution to the nation’s current debt problem.
A sample of 1,000 adults from across the nation were polled for the survey.
German Homeschooling Policies a Worry for Some Americans
A legal case involving a German family is sounding alarms for many homeschooling families in the U.S.
Homeschooling is illegal in Germany, so when a Christian family there pulled their children from public schools, police apprehended their children and fined the family $10,000.
A federal district court judge in Tennessee granted the family political asylum, but the U.S. government protested the judge’s decision and appealed to an immigration appeals court, which ruled against the family.
The case has now gone before the Circuit Court of Appeals. The Justice Department argued that Germany didn’t violate any human rights because homeschooling is banned for all in the country, not just for Christians.
Michael Farris, founder and chairman of the Home School Legal Defense Fund Association, said that since the government is arguing the case for Germany, it would follow that the administration believes it has the right to do so in the United States as well.
Abortions Down in Pennsylvania Because of Alternative Program
There’s been a seven percent dip in the number of abortions in Pennsylvania over the last 17 years because of an alternative program that helps pregnant women.
Real Alternatives is a charitable non-profit organization that administers the Pregnancy and Parenting Support Program with funds from the state’s General Assembly. It’s been described as a “first in the nation” program.
A year before the program began, in 1995, there were 37,173 abortions. In 2011, there were only 34,459 abortions, according to the Pennsylvania Department of Health.
The organization provides funding to 93 pregnancy support centers, Catholic Charities, and maternity homes. There are also more than 500 counselors who provide free pregnancy support and parenting education services to women in the state.
Last year, 13,068 pregnant women received services through the program. Real Alternatives also assisted 14 other states to start similar taxpayer-funded programs.
Domestic Partner Benefits Approved by Military
The U.S. Department of Defense will now extend benefits to same-sex domestic partners of military personnel.
Under the policy, same-sex partners who sign the “Declaration of Domestic Partnership” form will be eligible to receive military identification cards as “dependents.” This was previously only granted to military spouses.
The policy will also allow same-sex partners to participate in commissary privileges, family center programs, joint duty assignments, disability and death compensation, childcare, and legal assistance.
Col. Ron Crews, executive director of the Chaplain Alliance for Religious Liberty, said, “This new policy makes a mockery of the Defense of Marriage Act that is still the law of this nation.”
Despite these changes, heterosexual unmarried partners are not eligible.
Christy Barritt is an award-winning author, freelance writer, and speaker living in Chesapeake, Virginia. She and her husband Scott have two sons.