How internet porn explains the decline of American faith

Since the early 1990s, there has been a significant uptick in Americans abandoning their faith. After crunching the numbers, one researcher says contributing factors such as upbringing and education only explain part of the increase. What about the rest?After controlling for variables like income, environment, and so on, computer scientist Allen Downey of Olin College of Engineering in Massachusetts found 25 percent of the decline can be correlated with Internet access. More Web, less faith. … [Read more...]

Porn and the contemplative life

They don't mix, if you're looking for the answer up front. There are perhaps several reasons for this, but Alain de Botton offers one in The Wall Street Journal worth considering.Certain kinds of suffering are beneficial, even necessary for human flourishing, he says, particularly struggling through periods of anxiety and boredom.Porn diverts us from those struggles. "Our anxious moods are genuine but confused signals that something is amiss," he says, "and so they need to be listened … [Read more...]

Fifty Shades of Let’s Get Serious

E.L. James' Fifty Shades of Grey sold over 10 million copies in its first six weeks here in the U.S., according to the publisher.If you're close to the publishing business, you know that number is high enough to induce acute tachycardia. Precious few books ever sell such quantities. But this book and its companion volumes are hardly precious, and there are some serious reasons to be concerned about the phenomenon.I've now read several exchanges among Christians in the blogosphere and on … [Read more...]