Stories this week at Wake Forest

Students Ready for Project Pumpkin

Costumed Wake Forest students will offer a safe alternative to trick-or-treating through city streets for nearly 1,500 Forsyth County children Wednesday, Oct. 30. Project Pumpkin, a Halloween event started in 1989, will be held from 3:30 to 6:30 p.m. in front of Wait Chapel and in residence halls nearby. A haunted house, carnival games, face-painting and other fun Halloween activities are planned.

American Religion in Transition

Denominational ties are weakening for religious Americans, says Bill J. Leonard, dean of Wake Forest’s new divinity school. But that doesn’t mean denominations are dead, he says. “My guess is that they will survive after some significant reorientation.” Leonard will be one of three nationally-known religion experts leading a statewide program for clergy Tuesday, Oct. 29, at Benson University Center, Room 401. The seminar, “If Jesus Tarries…Profiling American Religion Toward a New Millennium,” will explore new trends in American religion and how clergy can adapt to the changes. The program also features Charles A. Kimball, Wake Forest’s religion department chair, and Nancy Tatom Ammerman, professor of religion at Hartford Seminary.

Don’t Count Christian Coalition Out of ’96 Election

While the Christian Coalition may not have made many headlines after the Republican National Convention, expect them to play a major role come November, says Charles A. Kimball, chair of the religion department. With more than 30 million voter guides distributed and a strong grassroots organization, Kimball says that the coalition is likely to build on electoral successes in 1992 and 1994, particularly at the local level. “They are an increasingly well-organized force in the political process,” he says, “and I expect there will be a lot of eye-popping results come November. The lower the turnout, the bigger their effect because they’re going to vote.”

Economic Climate Affects Presidential Candidates

With declining inflation and unemployment rates, voters are likely to re-elect Bill Clinton, according to Jac C. Heckelman, an assistant economics professor. Voters don’t want to “rock the boat” when things are going well, he says. In previous elections, Jimmy Carter entered the presidency during a time of economic growth, but lost his re-election campaign because the economy was sagging. In contrast, Reagan secured a second term by turning the economy around.

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