Today is the safest time to be a kid?

We’ve blogged about the Maryland parents who have been charged with child neglect for letting their children walk home by themselves.  There are similar  cases in Texas, Florida, and South Carolina.

The government is cracking down on “free range parents” in order to protect children from crime and other hazards.  And yet, according to the data, crimes against children are lower than they have ever been.  Other dangers–abductions, traffic accidents, children going missing, and other parental nightmares–are also lower than ever, including in those more carefree days of yesteryear when children were allowed to roam at will.

[Read more...]

Why the percentage of the non-religious is declining

We blogged about the Pew study of global religious affiliation, which included the rather surprising fact that the percentage of “nones,” or people with no religion, is declining world-wide.  An article at the Pew website explains why. [Read more...]

A scholarly study of anti-Christian bigotry

Sociologist George Yancey has conducted a study of people who are bigoted against Christianity.  He has found that conservative Christians share at least one thing with atheists:  both are hated by large numbers of people.  (Half of the public hate atheists, but a third hate conservative Christians.)   Prof. Yancey has found that “Christianophobia” is similar to bigotry against racial and ethnic groups and is found  largely among affluent white people.

Prof. Yancey tells about his study after the jump, which includes a link to his book on the subject, So Many Christians, So Few Lions:  Is There Christianophobia in the United States? [Read more...]

Politics in the biggest “hinge moment” since the industrial revolution?

Political thinkers are pondering recent claims that we are in the midst of an epic  transition that will rival the industrial revolution, wondering what difference these changes will make politically.  The projections deal with technology but also demographics, as whites will soon become an aged minority in the United States.

So far the political implications being heralded are that the midwest will fade in political clout in favor of growing ethnically-diverse states.  And that Republicans need to reach out to immigrants.  But if we are going through a change bigger than the industrial revolution, there is surely more to it than that!

After the jump, an excerpt and a link to a much-talked about article in Politico, followed by an excerpt and a link to Peter Wehner’s discussion of what this needs to mean for Republicans.  But then I will weigh in on what these political analyses are missing. [Read more...]

Who the unchurched really are

Most evangelism programs, church growth tactics, and other attempts to reach the “unchurched” concentrate on Millennials, young urbanites, college types, and the suburban middle class.  But, as Robert Putnam reminds us, the demographic that is the most unchurched is the working class, the lower income non-college-educated folks.  A big segment of these blue-collar workers has just stopped going to church.  They are also, with the personal and family problems that Putnam documents, arguably, most in need of ministry.  This is ironic, since the working class used to be the biggest supporters of conservative Christianity.  And yet, I’m unaware of any concerted effort to reach them, other than individual pastors in these communities doing what they can. [Read more...]

Social Capital and the Opportunity Gap

More on Robert Putnam and his book Our Kids: The American Dream in Crisis, on the class gap in raising children.  The Chronicle of Higher Education tells about how Putnam came upon his thesis and conducted his research.  The article also tells about the neo-traditional “Ozzie and Harriet” families that have come back in middle class families, even as working class families are often abandoning marriage altogether.  It also talks about the religious gap, with middle class families taking their kids to church, while working class families are abandoning churchgoing altogether.  (We’ll be talking further about this last point.) [Read more...]


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