Highly Educated, Highly Indebted: The Lives of Today’s 27-Year-Olds
In the spring of 2002, the government’s researchers began tracking a group of roughly 15,000 high school sophomores—most of whom would be roughly age 27 today. In 2012, the government’s researchers handed their subjects an enormous survey about their lives in the real world. Here, are some of the findings.

  • More than 84 percent of today’s 27-year-olds have some college education. Only a third have a bachelor’s degree.
  • Asians are far more likely to have a bachelor’s degree than blacks, Hispanics, or whites.
  • Of those sophomores who expected to eventually earn a bachelor’s degree, only 34 percent did it.
  • About half of today’s 27-year-olds borrowed students loans.
  • Since Obama came into office, 40 percent have spent some time unemployed.
  • One in ten say they have already fulfilled their career goals.
  • They were more likely to be living with their parents than with roommates.
  •  28.2 percent were married in 2012 and 30.9 percent were living with a significant other. The majority of bachelor’s degree holders, however, reported they were still single.

Goldie Hawn: Troubles of Young Stars Like Justin Bieber Heartbreaking
“Mindfulness.” Mark that word, you’re going to hear a lot of it in coming years.

Speaking to the World Economic Forum in Davos, actress Goldie Hawn says world leaders are discovering how “mindfulness” helps with stress — but that she despairs at seeing young stars like Justin Bieber struggling to deal with fame.

She led a session on the power of neuroscience and mindfulness to “change the world.”

Hawn said when she started her foundation 12 years ago, mindfulness had been a “what is that” concept, but she was optimistic that was changing.

“It’s extraordinary that this Davos this year seems to be centered a lot around the brain, a lot around stress reduction, mindfulness, all of these areas,” she said.

They’re all coming out of the closet now, it’s like they’ve all been meditating — so many of them — for 20 years and so forth. So it’s beginning to happen — mindful leadership.”

Hawn explained how she believed a healthy mind could lead to healthy decision making.

“When the brain is silent, the executive function, which is this part of the brain that makes decisions can work much better. So when you get quiet you make better decisions, you’re also more rested — you’re not as reactive,” she said.

“So it’s actually great for the economy, great for our leadership and our thought leaders.”

Alone, Yet Not Alone
David Brooks believes that there is a yawning gap between the way many believers experience faith and the way that faith is presented to the world. It’s cause?

There is a strong vein of hostility against orthodox religious believers in America today, especially among the young. When secular or mostly secular people are asked by researchers to give their impression of the devoutly faithful, whether Jewish, Christian or other, the words that come up commonly include “judgmental,” “hypocritical,” “old-fashioned” and “out of touch.”

Sadly, the rest of the article is a real hodge-podge of meanderings, where Brooks basically argues that the less certain faith is, the more attractive it is. So, believers, if you want to make your faith more compelling, try to a believe a bit less!

The Disney Channel Debuts its First Ever Same Sex Couple
You probably don’t want to click on this. Just be aware of it and watch out for Good Luck Charlie.

ACLU Accuses Louisiana School of Religious Harassment
The American Civil Liberties Union is suing a school board in Louisiana, alleging officials at one of its schools harassed a sixth-grader because of his Buddhist faith and that the district routinely pushes Christian beliefs.

Just listen to the cruel and heartless things this school does:

The lawsuit said Roark has “repeatedly taught students that the earth was created by God 6,000 years ago, that evolution is ‘impossible’ and that the Bible is ’100 percent true.’

Beyond that, according to the complaint, the school regularly incorporates official Christian prayer into class and school events and scrolls Bible verses on an electronic marquee in front of the school that greets students as they enter the building.

A Definition of Secular Fundamentalism
In the light of the ACLU action Rod Dreher quotes Erin Manning’s definition of secular fundamentalism. Make sure you click on over there for some devastatingly clear and incisive analysis. A quick summary:

–One’s religious beliefs are a sort of personal hobby, like following sports or taking part in amateur theater, with one major difference: following sports or partaking in theater are things the state is inclined to approve of, but religious beliefs are a somewhat undesirable quality for a good citizen.

–The good citizen should differentiate between religions which encourage good citizenship (such as those faiths which help hand out condoms to homeless prostitutes, say) and those which do not.

–It is a given that “bad” religions have never done any good. Christianity is foremost among the “bad” religions, but there are others–however, political correctness may require the secularist to pretend that those other religions aren’t really bad at times.

–Concepts like the separation of church and state mean, to a fundamentalist, that no church should ever be allowed to interfere in secular matters; however, it is necessary for the state to interfere in church matters all the time.

–The Bill of Rights must be understood in a secular fundamentalist construct. Not only must a teacher in a public school classroom not *teach* her religious beliefs, but her freedom of speech must be denied to her from the moment she sets foot on the school campus until the moment she leaves it.

–Finally, no state institution, entity, or enterprise can be tainted by any suspicion that it ever approves of any religion at all. The secular fundamentalist insists that the only proper attitude to have toward religion is disapproval.