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Repaso: September 21, 2012

1. Capitalism and charity
Dan Pallotta had a fascinating piece last weekend in the Wall Street Journal arguing that charity and business ought to play by the same rules. One may not agree with his introductory assessment of Puritan and Calvinist motivations, but the article is good stuff to ponder nonetheless:

It’s time to change how society thinks about charity and social reform. The donating public is obsessed with restrictions—nonprofits shouldn’t pay executives too much, or spend a lot on overhead or take risks with donated dollars. It should be asking whether these organizations have what they need to actually solve problems. The conventional wisdom is that low costs serve the higher good. But this view is killing the ability of nonprofits to make progress against our most pressing problems. Long-term solutions require investment in things that don’t show results in the short term.

2. Nonprofits and “quasi-journalism”
My friend Jin Noh passed this one along, about how nonprofits and advocacy groups like Human Rights Watch are getting into the “quasi-journalism” business, and what this means:

Media from nonprofits has boomed in recent years. But that doesn’t just mean the ProPublicas and Texas Tribunes of the world — nonprofit advocacy groups are also inching their way into the media business. Instead of relying on news organizations to transmit their messages to an audience, some are focused on making that connection themselves.

3. Praying for Native people
Mark Charles (who I featured earlier this year) offers some suggestions for those interested in praying for Native American, and particularly Navajo, people:

When you pray for us, I ask you to pray that we will have the strength, the courage and the confidence to be who God created us to be. Also, please pray for the rest of the country and for the broader Church. Pray that their eyes will be opened and they will realize what they are missing when they embrace the worldly value of assimilation instead of celebrating the Kingdom value of diversity. For in the Kingdom of God every part of the body is unique and every member is necessary. It is only when the parts of the body are diverse that the body is able to function.

4. Soccer in the USA
Roger Bennett writes for ESPN’s Relegation Zone blog about the question of the future of soccer’s popularity in the U.S.:

The sporting tectonic plates have shifted. America’s cultural diversification, increasingly globalized outlook, and widespread access to the Internet all have benefitted soccer more than the other more traditional American sports… The impact of these factors has been as powerful as they are simple. “Kids growing up today gain cachet and social currency by knowing about the sport,” Luker said. The old stigma has fallen away. Pride and esteem have become attached to the game for the first time as Americans have collectively undergone a “now we understand what it is all about” moment. It is only a matter of time ’til we see soccer take off in a big way.

5. The Hobbit
Yep, I’m really looking forward to this one around Christmastime.

Repaso is intended as a thought-provoking compilation of news and commentary from the past week related to the intersections of faith, development, justice and peace. As always, I welcome your thoughts on any of the links and ideas in this roundup!

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