A few links to highlight some cultural trends in church and society.

The Rise of Daddy Daycare

  • Fathers now perform 4.6 more hours of childcare and 4.4 more hours of housework each week than they did in in 1965
  • The number of stay-at-home dads has risen from 1.1 million in 1989 to 2.0 million in 2012, according to Pew.
  • 24 percent of married women earn more than their husbands.
  • For married couples with children, women were the primary breadwinners in 37 percent of households.
  • 51 percent of respondents felt that kids were better off with a mother who stayed home,
  • Only 34 percent said that kids were just as well off if their mom worked.

The Geography Of Gratitude

OK, the sample was not exactly representative (90% women), and the pollster was Facebook, but still some fascinating (and frightening) findings from a Facebook survey of what each state is most thankful for.


Higher resolution version here.

The Bible belt is still the Bible belt, thankfully. Orgeon chooses Yoga! The folks in California and Virginia really need to get out more – Youtube?! Some pranksters in Illinois, obviously. And Florida continues to rub it in.

Congratulations To Class Of 2014, Most Indebted Ever

As college graduates in the Class of 2014 prepare to shift their tassels and accept their diplomas, they leave school with one discouraging distinction: They’re the most indebted class ever. The average Class of 2014 graduate with student-loan debt has to pay back some $33,000.

And if you want a really scary graph, here’s one comparing average student earnings with average student debt.

Student Debt

More Pastors Embrace Talk Of Mental Ills

Evangelical leaders are increasingly opening up about family suicides, their own clinical depression and the relief they have received from psychiatric medication.

Apart from one ridiculous statement by one pastor, this is a very helpful and encouraging article.

What If We’re Wrong About Depression?

Dr. Andrew Miller’s research on depression is currently looking at the link between depression and infection/inflammation.

His team has experimented with treating depressed patients with an anti-inflammatory drug, and found that those with high levels of a particular blood marker for inflammation improved significantly. “This for us in psychiatry is a first,” he said, “where you can actually measure something in the blood.” Such an approach “gets into personalized medicine in a way that is very exciting for us in psychiatry.”

This is a reminder of the need to be cautious and careful when pronouncing on what causes depression and other mental illnesses.

The Economic Case For Supporting LGBT Rights

According to M. V. Lee Badgett, India could be throwing away more than $26 billion a year by stigmatizing LGBT people.

Economic reasoning is part of what propelled the modern women’s empowerment movement. And now, it’s informing an emerging argument for LGBT inclusion: Unequal treatment of LGBT people, as it turns out, can cause economic harm, leading to lower economic output for individuals, businesses, and even countries. And on the flip side, inclusive policies can boost a country’s GDP.

One of these articles where we don’t need to guess the author’s own sexual preferences. Just one small factor he/she doesn’t take into account: the blessing or curse of God.

How To Teach Kids To Be Grateful: Give Them Less

Worth remembering at this time of year:

As parents, despite wanting to give our kids everything, one of the greatest gifts we can give is to literally give less, to force decision-making and awareness among all their choices. We need to have more faith in them and let them be challenged. It’s not easy to watch your kids struggle—but in the end, it does breed gratitude.

  • Steven Birn

    Who are these people in Michigan who are thankful for electricity above all else?

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  • Ian Sinke

    Hi Dr. Murray,

    I think the gratitude map isn’t as bad as it seems. In every state people were most thankful for friends, family, and health. The map shows the item for which people in that state were most disproportionately thankful.

    Regards, Ian Sinke