With most bloggers going Daffy Duck yesterday, there really wasn’t enough decent material for a “Check out” post. So here’s an extended duck-free Worldview.

The Healthiest (and Not-So-Healthy) States in the US
Well here’s a “good news” story: “According to a major new report from the United Healthcare Foundation, physical inactivity is down, smoking is down and obesity levels are flattening out. Infant mortality is falling nationally. Fewer people are dying from cardiovascular disease and from cancer compared to two decades ago, when the foundation first made its research.”

And if any Mississippians needed a further reason to move to Hawaii, you can jump from the bottom to the top of the league by doing so.

I Offended You, So What?
Here’s a good riposte to so many in our hyper-sensitive world: “When some people say they are offended what they are really saying is that I’m upsetting them so I ought to stop talking about abortion.”

Even for Rich Kids, Marriage Matters
It was sad to read that New York Times columnist David Brooks is getting a divorce. As someone who has often bemoaned the impact of broken families in our society, it’s no surprise that he is now the subject of attack by liberal bloggers like Matthew Iglesias at SlateIglesias argues, however, that as Brooks’ kids are affluent and privileged they will not suffer from this divorce as much as poorer kids.

The blog of the Institute for Family Studies begs to disagree and collates evidence that demonstrates how all kids suffer from divorce, even rich kids. “They are markedly more likely to fail to graduate from college, to have a child outside of wedlock, and to lose the socioeconomic status of their childhood than their peers raised in an intact, married family.”

  • Young adults from college-educated but non-intact families are about 31 percent less likely to graduate from college than their peers whose parents are married and college-educated.
  • Children from the top third of the income distribution are markedly less likely to maintain their station in life as adults if their parents divorce: specifically.
  • 40 percent of the growth in household income inequality between 1976 and 2000 can be attributed to the breakdown of marriage in the less privileged precincts of America.

Moms who cut back at work are happier
In The Atlantic, W Bradford Wilcox writes that “two facts are often obscured in the public conversation devoted to women, work, and family.

  1. First, the vast majority of married mothers don’t want to work full-time.
  2. Married mothers who are able to cut back at work to accommodate their family’s needs tend to be happier.

Women married with children were more likely to be “very happy” with their lives if they made a family-related work sacrifice. By contrast, the happiness of married men was not significantly related to making work sacrifices for their families.

The research confirmed what most similar surveys have found:

Most (married) mothers would prefer not to work full-time, and the most popular option for women, when it comes to juggling work and family, is part-time work. A New York Times/CBS News survey this year found that 49 percent of mothers wished to work part-time, compared to 27 percent who wished to work full-time.

Our Post-Christian Society
John O’Sullivan, Editor-at-large of National Review, makes a helpful distinction here between a post-Christian society and a non-Christian society.

A post-Christian society is not merely a society in which agnosticism or atheism is the prevailing fundamental belief. It is a society rooted in the history, culture, and practices of Christianity but in which the religious beliefs of Christianity have been either rejected or, worse, forgotten. In other words a post-Christian society is a particular sort of Christian society.

He goes on to explain the abiding emotional, intellectual, and ethical influence of Christianity even where Christianity is no longer taught or believed. However, he also points out that there are consequences to forgetting truths.

One consequence is that while we instinctively want to preserve the morals and manners of the Christian tradition, we cannot quite explain or defend them intellectually. So we find ourselves seeking more contemporary (i.e., in practice, secular) reasons for preserving them or, when they decay completely, inventing regulations to mimic them.

After listing some examples of this, he lands on the family as the ultimate proof of his point:

Family breakdown is in fact the largest single social disaster plaguing the post-Christian society. The family is a natural way of regulating and disciplining us and our ambitions in the activities of everyday life. It makes us frugal; it encourages saving, wealth creation, and the deferment of gratification; it compels us to provide for the future; above all it ensures that children are brought up and taught to become self-reliant, and that the weak, the sick, and the elderly have others to succor them.

When the family breaks down, we get crime, drug-taking, impoverishment, psychological problems, and much else at the personal level; and we get a cycle of deprivation, the growth of an underclass, spiraling social-welfare costs, over-government, and severe budgetary problems at a national level. The result of family breakdown is that we have to replace the family with regulation after regulation. Our remedies — easier divorce, better financial arrangements for women after divorce, increased welfare for single mothers, bureaucratic agencies to compel men to make child-support payments, laws and regulations that disadvantage natural family relationships in court decisions on child care and adoption, and much else — never work as well as the stable families they replace. Indeed, very often they make the situation worse.

He closes with a couple of solutions, which, as is often the case with these kinds of articles, are nowhere near as persuasive as the analysis of the problem. He wants us (1) to join with atheists who still respect Christian values and culture, and (2) develop more skepticism towards the world’s principalities and powers – United Nations,  NGOs, and government in general.

I somehow don’t think that’s going to save the day.

How about preaching, prayer, and practical Christianity; preaching, prayer, and practical Christianity….

  • Gordon

    The Post-Christian Society-”(2) develop more skepticism the world’s principalities and powers – United Nations, NGOs, and government in general.” More skeptical? I think the baseline for Christians would be 100% skeptical, considering that the NGOs are those that derive their power through the backdoor of governments. If there is to be any joining with atheist then let it be on our ground (preaching, prayer, and practical Christianity)and not theirs.