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BuzzFeed: BuzzFeed has mapped out the religions of the 435 members of the U.S. House of Representatives by their districts, according to how they have publicly identified themselves as well as statements their spokespeople have made to BuzzFeed. There are 31 religions represented in the House, including 26 different sects of Christianity. Catholics make up the largest group with 136 members, followed by Baptists with 66 members, Methodists with 45 members, Anglicans/Episcopalians with 35 members, Presbyterians with 28 members, and Jews with 22 members. There is only one atheist.
CNN: From day care to the monthly grocery bill, the cost of raising a child is climbing at a rate that many families can’t keep up with. It will cost an estimated $241,080 for a middle-income couple to raise a child born last year for 18 years, according to a U.S. Department of Agriculture report released Wednesday. That’s up almost 3% from 2011 and doesn’t even include the cost of college.
Alan Sears at Alliance Defending Freedom: To those who work and pray for an end to abortion and – ultimately – a reversal of Roe v. Wade, nothing means more than tangible proof that God is really using the efforts of Alliance Defending Freedom and its allies to restore a deeper respect for life in our nation. Happily, this month has already brought two clear evidences of the difference your gifts and support are enabling us to make in winning back America’s legal culture for you and your family:
David Bohon at The New American: The pro-life Center for Arizona Policy responded to the new statistics, pointing to Arizona’s leadership “in the effort to protect the health and safety of women and pre-born children.” The group said that the news is encouraging “to everyone who values life. It is also a testament to what the thriving pro-life movement in Arizona has been able to accomplish.” Attorney Steven Aden of the group Alliance Defending Freedom, which has helped defend Arizona’s pro-life measures against legal challenges by Planned Parenthood and other abortion providers, said that “every innocent life deserves to be protected, and Arizona lawmakers should be commended for implementing laws that save innocent lives.”
Washington Post: The Republican Party’s struggles with Hispanics have been well-documented. Now, a new poll from Gallup shows that it makes little difference whether Latinos living in the U.S. were born in the country or not when it comes to close alignment with the Democratic Party.
S. Michael Craven at Battle for Truth: While these latter measures are no doubt draconian, they nonetheless represent a growing realization within Russian society, namely: sexual anarchy has proven devastating to the future of their civilization. Following the collapse of communism, Russia’s fertility rate had fallen to a catastrophic low of 1.17 births to every woman of child-bearing age by 1999, far below the minimum replacement rate of 2.1 required to maintain population stability.
Townhall: According to a National Center for Family and Marriage Research (NCFMR) study, the U.S. marriage rate is on the decline. Whereas 92 out of 1,000 single women married in 1920, only 31 out of 1,000 are marrying today. In a 2011 study, the Pew Research Center found that 51 percent of Americans were married . . .
“Every innocent life deserves to be protected, and Arizona lawmakers should be commended for implementing laws that save innocent lives. We have been honored to work together with the Center for Arizona Policy in defending those laws in court when they have been attacked by Planned Parenthood and other groups. The profit of abortionists should not come before common-sense rules that save innocent lives while protecting the health of women and providing them with the information they need to make informed choices.”
Christian Institute: In a letter to the Daily Mail, Professor Jack Scarisbrick referred to the latest Department of Health statistics which show that 97 per cent of abortions were performed on mental health grounds.
Hot Air: Another nugget from the poll AP wrote up earlier. It seems a “controversial” element of the Republican “war on women” enjoys overwhelming support from…women — significantly more so than men . . .
AP: The Pew study, out Thursday, says a record 21.6 million young adults between 18 and 31-years old are at home with mom and dad. That’s 36 percent of the age group . . .
LifeSiteNews: The “U.S. Fertility Forecast” report, released today by Demographic Intelligence of Charlottesville, Virginia, found that women who regularly attend religious services were more likely to have large families than those who did not.
Hemant Mehta at CNN: While Christians have played sloppy defense, secular Americans have been showing off some impressive offense, giving young Christians plenty of reasons to lose faith in organized religion.
Scientific American: Marriage rates in America are at an all-time low. And the median age at which women say “I do” is the highest it’s been in a century. Christopher Intagliata reports
CNSNews: Atheism is in decline worldwide, with the number of atheists falling from 4.5% of the world’s population in 1970 to 2.0% in 2010 and projected to drop to 1.8% by 2020, according to a new report by the Center for the Study of Global Christianity at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary in South Hamilton, Mass. In its report, Christianity in its Global Context, 1970-2020: Society, Religion, and Mission . . .
Maggie Gallagher at NRO: The New York Times is reporting on thisincredibly detailed study looking at variations in what proportion of kids raised in the bottom fifth income-wise rise to the top fifth as adults.
Christian Post: The study conducted by U.S.-based Center for the Study of Global Christianity at Gordon Conwell Theological Seminary titled, “Christianity In Its Global Context, 1970-2010″, offers a timely overview of the changing context of Christianity since 1970, while looking forward to 2020.
World Magazine: African-Americans still represent the largest group of converts—64 percent—but Latinos represent the greatest increase since 2000. Latinos are 17 percent of the American population, and American converts to Islam were only 6 percent Latino in 2000.
Science Daily: Fewer women are getting married and they’re waiting longer to tie the knot when they do decide to walk down the aisle. That’s according to a new Family Profile from the National Center for Family and Marriage Research (NCFMR) at Bowling Green State University.
Christian Concern: Approximately 90 per cent of unborn babies who are diagnosed with Down’s syndrome in England and Wales are aborted, a parliamentary commission has found.
Pacific Standard: A report out now in the journal Psychology, Crime & Law measured the impact of divorce on male offenders, by looking at their criminal activity both before and after a marital breakdown.
Patheos: By converting to Islam, some Latinos may also feel as if they’re connecting to their Spanish roots, which are embedded for 800 years in Islamic history in Spain’s southeast population centers ofGranada, Cordova, Seville and Andalusia.
Wall Street Journal (includes video) (via Google): Law schools across the country are shedding faculty members as enrollment plunges, sending a grim message to an elite group long sheltered from the ups and downs of the broader economy.
Turtle Bay and Beyond: A belated happy Population Day, for those who observed it. CNA’s piece yesterday commemorating the milestone was meant to counter the coverage that PRI ran last weekend, which sounded the alarm, again, that there may be just too many babies being born.
LifeSiteNews: In its Fertility Overview of the years 2009 to 2011 released yesterday, StatsCan reported that in 2009 the total fertility rate dropped to 1.67, then to 1.63 in 2010, and to 1.61 in 2011, the most recent year for which numbers are available.
BBC: The proportion of children born out of wedlock rose in 2012 for the 40th consecutive year to 47.5%. By 2016 it is expected to rise to more than 50%. Figures from the Office for National Statistics go back to 1938 when just 4% of babies had unmarried parents.
Charles C. Comsy at Washington Post: Some believe that, except for some religious groups, abortion is basically a settled matter in the United States. Last week reminded us that the gay marriage debate is all but over—especially for young people. Solid majorities still support Roe v. Wade. Isn’t it time to stop talking about an old culture war issue like abortion and move onto more modern and contested issues? This view badly misunderstands American abortion politics.
AP: New wording in the law requiring people to visit or keep in touch with their elderly parents or risk being sued came into force Monday, as China faces increasing difficulty in caring for its aging population.
AP: Spain’s population dropped by a little under 114,000 to 46.7 million last year as many of the country’s foreign residents opted to leave in the wake of a five-year economic crisis.
Wall Street Journal: Public opinion on gay marriage has shifted faster in recent years than almost any other topic. Behind the change of heart has been a re-examination that is both institutional and personal.
Washington Post: The recent decline in births across Portugal — to 89,841 babies in 2012, a 14 percent drop since 2008 — has been so acute that the national government is moving to close a slew of maternity wards nationwide. In an increasingly childless country, 239 schools are shutting down this year and sales of products such as baby diapers and children’s shampoos are plummeting.
“Ryan Anderson’s uphill fight to change young minds on gay marriage” | Sarah Pulliam Bailey at Washington Post
Sarah Pulliam Bailey at Washington Post: Vincent Munoz, a political science professor at Notre Dame, said Anderson is one of the brightest students he has ever met. “He possesses a remarkable ability to translate philosophical principles into public arguments,” Munoz said. “Faith is certainly an integral aspect to Ryan, but his arguments are grounded in philosophical reasoning.”
Pew Research: Latinos’ views of same-sex marriage have changed dramatically in recent years. In 2012 for the first time, more Latinos said they favored same-sex marriage than opposed it (52% versus 34%) according to a Pew Hispanic Center survey.
Asbury Park Press: Deep within Monday’s Rutgers-Eagleton poll numbers breaking down New Jerseyans’ support for same-sex marriage, was an interesting tidbit. Among the Catholics polled, 57 percent said they would vote for legalization of same-sex marriage, and among Protestants, those for and against gay marriage were nearly dead even.
Deseret News: About half of the LGBT adults surveyed (48 percent) say they have no religious affiliation, compared with 20 percent of the general public, according to the Pew Research Center, and those who are religious generally attend worship services less often and attach less importance to their faith than do other religiously affiliated adults.
NewsMax: Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus says a new study by college GOP members marks a “great” step forward in boosting the party’s appeal to young voters even though the report warned the party’s brand was damaged among that demographic.
Philip Cohen at the Atlantic: Public policy should catch up with the reality that fewer and fewer children are being raised in homes with two married parents
CNSNews: The Social Security program faces $9.6 trillion in unfunded liabilities over the next 75 years, which is up $1 trillion from last year’s projection of $8.6 trillion, according to the latest report from Social Security’s board of trustees.
Huffington Post: Seventy-two percent of African-American children are raised in single-parent households, according to the most recent figures from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). And while the impact of single-parenthood, which reportedly entered the public consciousness around 1965, can be seen in performance at school, rates of imprisonment and poverty, and drug use, regardless of race, a new study by researchers at Rice University says the consequences of living with an unwed mother has expanded into another area — children’s waistlines.
The Atlantic: That’s according to a new infographic from the Williams Institute at UCLA. The figure shows that many of the highest percentages of same-sex couples raising children are found in states that ban gay marriage.
The Guardian: Unless the federal government or supreme court act, southern states will most likely oppose gay marriage for the foreseeable future . . . Indeed, demographic models indicate that if put up for a vote, same-sex marriage would become legal in all but six states by 2020! Even Mississippi is projected to be up to near 40% support on the issue, gaining a little over 1.5pt per year. So the whole thing should be over soon, right? Not likely.
The Independent: report published by the Office for National Statistics revealed that the percentage of people following a Christian faith dropped from 71.7 per cent in 2001 to 59.3 per cent in 2011. More than one in 10 under 25s in the UK now describe themselves as Muslim.
Radio Free Europe: Georgia faces a serious and growing demographic problem. According to the United Nations, the ratio of newborn boys to girls in 1991 was 105 to 100. By 2000, it was nearly 110 to 100. And in 2011, it was almost 114 to 100.
Globe and Mail: While the Christian faith continues to dominate Canada’s immigrant profile, its proportion has been steadily fading. Where more than 78 per cent of immigrants to Canada prior to 1971 identified themselves as Christians, that proportion has dropped to 47.5 per cent among those who arrived over the past five years, the survey found.
CNS News: And, as the poll suggests, young people share this belief: 66 percent of the students polled had a positive opinion of “entrepreneurship,” 44 percent found “free markets” positive, and 42 percent believe the federal government is an opponent rather than a partner in the pursuit of the American Dream.
The Barna Group: One common thread in every survey has been the significant number of Millennials among these “Nones.” The initial Pew survey found that nearly one-in-three members of the Millennial generation (32%) has no religious affiliation. But, who are these faithless twentysomethings? Where did they come from? Did they ever claim faith? And what is it about religion that has left them cold?
LiveScience: “This is because traditional economic models of marriage have argued that men who have high earning potential are more likely to marry at an older age so that they can ‘reveal’ their high potential,” explained Hani Mansour, an assistant professor of economics at the University of Colorado Denver. [I Don't: 5 Myths About Marriage]
Fox News: A mass exodus of Christians is currently underway. Millions of Christians are being displaced from one end of the Islamic world to the other. We are reliving the true history of how the Islamic world, much of which prior to the Islamic conquests was almost entirely Christian, came into being.
The Hill: If you want to know how effective Cecile Richards is, just ask her opponents.
Religion Clause Blog: The Pew Forum yesterday released a 226-page report titled The World’s Muslims: Religion, Politics and Society. Based on surveys in 39 countries between 2008 and 2012, it examines the social and political views of Muslims around the world. Here is an excerpt from the Executive Summary . . .
Breitbart (also on the Drudge Report) : A woman in Spain recently gave birth to the first child born in the village of Los Giles in 45 years, causing a stir in the village.
Jonathan Adler at the Volokh Conspiracy: The latest installment of the Washington Post‘s “Five Myths” series takes on abortion. Number three among the “Five Myths about Abortion” identified by author Rickie Solinger is “Roe led to a huge increase in the number of abortions.” Here is Solinger’s explanation for why this is a “myth” . . .
Business Insider: These trends create an even higher demand for education among women. Education is insurance against divorce risk, but it also creates more unstable marriages, which in turn increases demand for more education. And since the marriage market is filled with more educated women, it’s more difficult for uneducated women to find a mate — making the marriage market more competitive.
Christian Post: The Florida House of Representatives Thursday passed a bill, 71-44, that would make it a crime for abortion providers to knowingly provide an abortion to a customer seeking to abort their fetus because of his or her race or gender. Some Democratic lawmakers walked out of the House chambers in protest as the bill was debated. The bill, H.B. 845 . . .
Tonika Reed of Baptist Press at BRNow.org: “What has changed is not our conception of what the ideal family is but our ability to achieve it,” said Last. Steve Aden, senior counsel for Alliance Defending Freedom, asked if this problem was one of inherent selfishness among those who are able but choose not to have children. Last said America’s problem stems from “hyper-responsibility,” not selfishness. He said those who want to move up economically usually choose to go to school longer, postponing the rates of marriage and childbirth.
The Christian Institute: Fiona Bruce, MP for Congleton, said in the debate on Tuesday that if they are to condemn the gender abortion practices of China and India, they must “be ready to condemn and challenge any suggestion that gendercide is taking place in the UK”.
WorldBulletin.net: While Muslims and Jews came to Mexico early in the colonial period as ‘false Christians,’ approximately half the Muslims in Mexico today are among the rising number of converts, or reverts.
Tonika Reed at Baptist Press: Steve Aden, senior counsel for Alliance Defending Freedom, asked if this problem was one of inherent selfishness among those who are able but choose not to have children.
Baptist Press also posted at Townhall: Now that the future of marriage is center stage, Kellie Fiedorek hopes that the Supreme Court does not offer a radical ruling that cuts short the debate. A lawyer with Alliance Defending Freedom, Fiedorek, 29, sat in the courtroom as the justices heard the arguments. She’s been to seven states this year testifying before legislatures about the ways redefining marriage would interfere with religious freedom. She’s learned that many citizens have never had to think about the meaning of marriage and why it matters. Now that people are alert, social conservatives have the opportunity to make their case to a young generation that has both rallied for life and dealt with the aftereffects of divorce. “I think that, as more young people engage in the issue, we will see more of them eager to defend marriage, recognizing how important it is to parents and children,” Fiedorek said.
NBC: By a 49 percent to 43 percent margin, Latinos say they are in favor of allowing gay and lesbian couples to marry. That’s the widest margin for Hispanics in the NBC/WSJ poll’s history, but it lags behind other traditionally Democratic-voting pillars.
Barna Group: The rise of the so-called “Nones”—the increasing percentage of adults who claim no religious affiliation—has been a much-discussed trend in American religion. Is the nation moving away from Christianity and other forms of conventional faith? To provide insight on this topic, Barna Group analyzed 42,855 interviews conducted in recent years, looking at 15 different measures of non-religiosity. In other words, the research explores the emerging post-Christian landscape of the nation.
Reuters: Two retired senior Chinese officials are engaged in a battle with one another to sway Beijing’s new leadership over the future of the one-child policy, exposing divisions that have impeded progress in a crucial area of reform.
LifeNews: “We do have some sense in that with perinatal infant mortality data it is recorded,” Rep. Pigman told legislators on the panel. “In 2010, there were 24,586 perinatal deaths in the United States. Perinatal defines as being from the 22nd week of gestation to seven days post delivery.”
“If Knot Now, When? The Impact of Delayed Marriage Among Twenty-somethings” | Meg McDonnell at Public Discourse
Meg McDonnell at Public Discourse: Young adults desire stable marriage and family life even while they engage in unmarried sex and parenting. We should encourage and help young adults achieve these goals instead of trying to make birth control “sexy.”
LifeSiteNews: “Gay marriage is inevitable.” That’s what we’re told by gay activists. It’s a taunt devised to pick off the more faint-hearted clingers-on of traditional marriage by exploiting the human instinct to be on the winning side. And sometimes it works.
World Magazine: Now that the future of marriage is center stage, Kellie Fiedorek hopes that the Supreme Court does not offer a radical ruling that cuts short the debate. A lawyer with Alliance Defending Freedom, Fiedorek, 29, sat in the courtroom as the justices heard the arguments. She’s been to seven states this year testifying before legislatures about the ways redefining marriage would interfere with religious freedom. She’s learned that many citizens have never had to think about the meaning of marriage and why it matters. Now that people are alert, social conservatives have the opportunity to make their case to a young generation that has both rallied for life and dealt with the aftereffects of divorce. “I think that, as more young people engage in the issue, we will see more of them eager to defend marriage, recognizing how important it is to parents and children,” Fiedorek said.
David Blankenhorn and Jonathan Rauch at NY Daily News: Gay marriage is here. It is already part of our social fabric. But don’t savor the moment for too long. There’s much more to marriage equality than gay marriage equality. Marriage today is fracturing along class lines.
Susan L. Brown at LA Times: The Beatles sang ‘Will you still need me, will you still feed me, when I’m 64?’ When it comes to marriage, many baby boomers are saying ‘no.’ . . . Until recently, it would have been fair to say that older people simply did not get divorced. Fewer than 10% of those who got divorced in 1990 were ages 50 or older. Today, 1 in 4 people getting divorced is in this age group.
NCPA Policy Digest: Jonathan Last’s recent book, What to Expect When Nobody’s Expecting: America’s Coming Demographic Disaster, notes that increasing college attendance, the delay of marriage, the birth control pill, religious participation, the rise of the thousand-dollar stroller and Social Security are some reasons fertility is falling, says Michael Rosen of the American.
Cliff Kincaid at Canada Free Press: A big news story came out of Tuesday’s March for Marriage demonstration in Washington, D.C. But it didn’t make “news” in the major media. As one who covered the event, it was significant that there were so many members of minority groups. This was not a mostly white crowd. In addition to the presence of black, Hispanic and Asian supporters of traditional marriage, there were some notable Democrats, such as New York State Senator Ruben Díaz, and he let people know he was several minorities in one.