It was the character Rocky Balboa, the sage philosopher played by the rising star Sylvester Stallone, who famously told Paulie, speaking of his love interest, Adrian:
“I dunno. She’s got gaps, I got gaps, together we fill gaps.”
A new report confirms marriage fills lots of gaps:
1. Report Finds Marriage and Church Help Buffer People From Unhappiness
A recent Institute For Family Studies analysis explored which groups are the most unhappy, finding that non-religious Americans and single individuals have suffered the most in this arena.
The assessment relied on data from the General Social Survey, which has, since 1972, asked Americans to rate their level of happiness. The data found in 2021 — after the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, which upended life for people across the globe — yielded some negative measures on happiness.
In fact, people were the most unhappy they had ever been.
“From 1972 to 2018, no more than 18% of Americans ages 35 and over had ever claimed to be ‘not too happy,’ and no more than 16% of Americans under 35 had done so. In every year ever measured, people over and under age 35 had similar levels of unhappiness,” author Lyman Stone wrote. “But in 2021, unhappiness rocketed upwards for both groups, to 22% for those 35 and over, and a whopping 30% for those under age 35.”
Unhappiness rose for everyone, but there were a few findings worthy of exploring. Married people saw their unhappiness raise just eight percentage points compared to 18 percentage points for unmarried people.
“Marriage, then, served as a valuable buffer against unhappiness,” Stone explained.
Study: Marry Young, Marry Your First, Stay Married
From National Review:
Many young adults today believe cohabitation is also a pillar of successful marriages, one reason why more than 70% of those who marry today live together before marriage. But the conventional wisdom here is wrong: Americans who cohabit before marriage are less likely to be happily married and more likely to break up. Couples who cohabited were 15% more likely to get divorced than those who did not, according to our research. A Stanford study cited other research finding that the link between cohabitation and divorce was especially strong for women who cohabited with someone besides their future husband . . .
The psychologist Galena Rhoades, who studies young adult relationships, agrees this could be one reason multiple cohabitations are risky for marriage, but also has other theories on the demerits of multiple cohabitations for future marital success. “We generally think that having more experience is better” in life, she says. “But what we find for relationships is just the opposite.” More experience with different partners is linked to worse marriages in her research. Having a history with other cohabiting partners may make you discount the value of your spouse. Sure, your husband, John, is dependable and a great father, but not nearly as charming as Luke or as ambitious as Charles, the two other men you lived with before marrying John. Making comparisons like these could undercut your marriage, in Rhoades’ estimation.
The conventional wisdom holds that spending your twenties focusing on education, work and fun, and then marrying around 30 is the best path to maximize your odds of forging a strong and stable family life. But the research tells a different story, at least for religious couples. Saving cohabitation for marriage, and endowing your relationship with sacred significance, seems to maximize your odds of being stably and happily married.
- California school board weighs Planned Parenthood clinic on high school campus
From Fox News:
A southern California school board will consider an agreement Monday for Planned Parenthood Los Angeles to open a clinic at a local high school.
The seven-member school board of the Norwalk-LaMirada Unified School District will vote during a meeting Monday evening on allowing Planned Parenthood to open and operate a clinic for reproductive health care at John Glenn High School in Norwalk.
UK police drop charges against 76-year-old arrested for praying outside abortion clinic
From the Christian Post:
Religious freedom advocates are celebrating a United Kingdom police department dropping charges against an elderly British woman arrested, detained and fined for engaging in silent prayer outside an abortion clinic.
ADF UK, a chapter of the religious liberty legal nonprofit Alliance Defending Freedom, announced in a statement Monday that Merseyside Police Department dropped the charges against 76-year-old Rosa Lalor for silently praying outside an abortion clinic during the coronavirus pandemic in February 2021.
The fine levied against Lalor has also been dropped.
- Author Interview: ‘Created Equal: Clarence Thomas in His Own Words’
From the Daily Citizen:
A new book about Justice Clarence Thomas reveals not only a great jurist, but a man of deep faith, humanity and passion. The Daily Citizen sat down with author Mark Paoletta, who along with his co-author, Michael Pack, have created a most unusual type of biography, Created Equal: Clarence Thomas in His Own Words. The following interview has been edited for length.
DC: Mark, this is not a typical biography where the author, or in this case authors, research a person and then write about him. Would you explain for our readers what makes this book so unique?
MP: The book is an intimate conversation with Justice Thomas about his life, his jurisprudence, his journey, everything under the sun.
In 2016, after many, many attacks, over the years, including various movies that were made that were anti-Justice Thomas, I and some other friends of the Justice wanted to try and make a movie that was fair, a documentary that was would be fair and present this extraordinarily American life. So we connected up with Michael Pack, who is a first rate documentary filmmaker, and he was interested in making a film on Justice Thomas. And so that movie was released in 2020. And in making that movie, which was of the same name, Created Equal: Clarence Thomas in his Own Words, Michael Pack had this sort of great insight and genius to decide, “I’m not going to make a traditional documentary about Clarence Thomas, where you interview people on one side, you interview people on the other side, and then you have a little bit of Clarence Thomas in there.”
He thought the better way to go was to – because of Justice Thomas’ unique life, or inspiring life and unique voice – to just concentrate on interviewing him, and then at Justice Thomas’s suggestion, actually, his wife, Ginni. So Michael Pack was able to interview Clarence Thomas for 25 hours, over six sessions with him about four hours apiece and Ginni Thomas for six hours. And this was back in 2017 and 2018.
And at the end, it’s a wonderful, powerful movie, just a spectacular movie. But you know, 95% of the interviews were on the cutting room floor. And I thought it would be a crime to kind of leave it there. So I had the idea of putting it together into a book, and coming up with a much longer version of that interview. And so that’s what this new book is.
4. House Democrats tee up votes on same-sex marriage, contraception rights
From the Washington Post:
The House is poised to vote this week on legislation that would enshrine [same-sex marriage] and access to contraception into federal law, as Democrats try to preemptively protect other rights that could be at risk after the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, which for nearly 50 years had guaranteed the right to an abortion in the United States.
The House is scheduled to vote Tuesday on the “Respect for Marriage Act,” which would require that someone be considered married in any state as long as the marriage was valid in the state where it was performed. The bill would also repeal the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act, which defined marriage as the union of one man and one woman and allowed states to not recognize same-sex marriages performed in other states. That law has remained on the books despite being declared unconstitutional by the Obergefell v. Hodges ruling.
On Wednesday, the House is scheduled to vote on the Right to Contraception Act, which would “protect a person’s ability to access contraceptives and to engage in contraception, and to protect a health care provider’s ability to provide contraceptives, contraception, and information related to contraception.”
Gasp! Ted Cruz Still Believes What He Believed in 2015 About Same-Sex Marriage
From the Daily Citizen:
“Ted Cruz’s stance on same-sex marriage raises a huge red flag,” wrote CNN.
USA Today, Newsweek, NBC News, Axios and countless other outlets followed suit, pushing out stories featuring Senator Cruz’s statements.
Only Senator Cruz’s statements aren’t really new news at all – but instead a restatement of his reaction seven years ago this past June. After the High Court ruled in Obergefell, Cruz wrote in National Review on June 26, 2015:
Not only are the Court’s opinions untethered to reason and logic, they are also alien to our constitutional system of limited and divided government. By redefining the meaning of common words, and redesigning the most basic human institutions, this Court has crossed from the realm of activism into the arena of oligarchy.
5. J.K. Rowling Fumes Over Woke Policy Endangering ‘Extremely Vulnerable’ Disabled Girls
From the Daily Wire:
In a series of posts on social media, “Harry Potter” author J.K. Rowling spoke out against a woke policy that is reportedly taking place at a school that she says endangers “extremely vulnerable teenage girls.”
Rowling shared an article on Twitter that was reportedly written by unnamed parents with a daughter who is a “severely learning-disabled” 16-year-old. The report says that a policy change at the school will now allow men to take their daughter to the bathroom one-on-one, “behind a closed door.” The school’s governing body decided to “remove cross-gender consent from the personal and intimate care policy,” according to the article.
“I cannot overstate my contempt for those supporting policies that endanger extremely vulnerable girls. This is a travesty. Have we learned nothing from successive abuse scandals? Do we value the disabled so little?” Rowling tweeted. “Nearly 20 years ago I founded @lumos to reform care systems for vulnerable children. I know from long experience how vulnerable children are in institutions. The statistics on predation are appalling. Disabled women and children are many times more likely to be abused.”
6. The High Cost of Free Money
From the Wall Street Journal:
Did pandemic stimulus payments harm lower-income Americans? That’s the implication of a new study by social scientists at Harvard and the University of Exeter.
The top-line result: Handouts increased spending for a few weeks—on average $26 a day in the $500 group and $82 a day in the $2,000 group—but had no observable positive effect on any individual outcome. Bank overdraft fees, late-payment fees and cash advances were as common among cash recipients as in the control group.
Handout recipients fared worse on most survey outcomes. They reported less earned income and liquidity, lower work performance and satisfaction, more financial stress, sleep quality and physical health, and higher levels of loneliness and anxiety than the control group. There was no difference between the two cash groups.
These findings contradicted the predictions of 477 social scientists and policy makers the researchers surveyed. That’s not surprising. Most liberal academics and politicians believe government handouts are the solution to all problems. If transfer payments were a ticket to the middle class, the War on Poverty would have succeeded long ago.
7. Parents, Let’s Pastor Our Children
From the Gospel Coalition:
Several recent polls (not to mention the many anecdotes known to readers) suggest fewer families are raising children in the discipline and instruction of the Lord. Millions of our young people walk away from the faith shortly after leaving home. This should come as no surprise. According to a Barna survey in 2021, only 42 percent of all “Christian parents”—and only 51 percent of “practicing Christian parents”—are “very” concerned about their kids’ spiritual growth.
These numbers help us understand another recent survey, in which 68 percent of Protestant youth pastors agreed that their “biggest struggle in ministry” is “parents not prioritizing their teen’s spiritual growth.”
I suspect these trends have much to do with the slow, steady death of family devotions. Too few churches help families learn to have them, and too few families make this practice a regular priority. In fact, several months ago LifeWay published “What the Church Must Do to Keep Kids—and Their Parents—Spiritually Engaged,” a study that rightly emphasized regular Bible reading but didn’t even mention family devotions.
Tips to help PROTECT your daughters from becoming Instagram models
We live in an era when young people are conditioned to view loathsome behavior as “self-love.” Self-worship plays out on social media daily, and as technology advances, humanity appears to decline. Does Smartphone technology blur the lines between fact and fiction so well that social media users can no longer distinguish reality from photoshop?
In this episode of “Fearless with Jason Whitlock,” Jason and Shemeka Michelle explored our culture, which, they said, begs young women to engage in self-worship. As a mother of three daughters, Shemeka is fiercely aware of the dangers young ladies face online, and she had some tips for parents who prefer that their daughters avoid becoming Instagram models.
Watch the clip to hear tips for how to raise your daughters in a world which doesn’t value them.
8. Hillsdale College President Larry Arnn: Why I defend education schools criticism
From The Tennessean:
At a recent event with Gov. Bill Lee, I remarked that “Teachers are trained in the dumbest parts of the dumbest colleges in the country.” I’ve made similar critiques of the education bureaucracy my entire career.
This does not contradict my deep and abiding affection for teachers. After the students, the most important people in the college where I work are teachers (the maintenance workers are third — and I tell everyone this often).
Dumb can mean “unintelligent,” which I did not mean. Dumb also means “ill-conceived” or “misdirected,” which is, sadly, a fitting description for many education schools today.
Professors of college and graduate education programs primarily teach methods. To be sure, methods are important in almost any human activity, but they are seldom the chief object. Watch orators speak: method matters, but only insofar as it contributes to persuasion. The quality of the text and the ideas matter far more.
- Deep learning, AI now being used to help diagnose birth defects
From Insider Paper:
In a groundbreaking experiment, Canadian researchers used Artificial Intelligence-based deep learning as a tool for the early detection of birth defects.
In a new proof-of-concept study, a team from the University of Ottawa pioneered the use of a novel deep learning model as an assistive tool for the rapid and accurate reading of ultrasound images.
The study’s goal, which was published in the scientific journal Plos One, was to show that deep-learning architecture has the potential to support early and reliable identification of cystic hygroma from first trimester ultrasound scans.
Cystic hygroma is an embryonic condition that causes an abnormal development of the lymphatic vascular system. It is a rare and potentially fatal disorder characterized by fluid swelling around the head and neck. It has been documented in approximately one in every 800 pregnancies and one in every 8,000 live births.
10. 3 Studies on Sleep, Exercise and Diet Affirm What the Bible Has Taught for Thousands of Years: Christian Living is Good for You
From the Daily Citizen:
Saturday’s Wall Street Journal touted a new study declaring that a good night’s sleep is good for your heart.
Dr. St-Onge shared that solid sleep restores the body’s circadian rhythms, reduces inflammation, and helps to maintain healthy hormone levels and metabolism.
The Bible has been affirming the health benefits of rest for thousands of years. While too much sleep can cause problems (Proverbs 20:13), it’s also used by God to create, restore and rejuvenate. Rest comes in various forms – physical, mental and spiritual. God modeled the need for setting aside time to recover by taking the seventh day off. It’s not that He needs a break – but He knows we do.
This same weekend, The New York Times shined light on a new, wide-ranging study published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine suggesting the elixir to good health is a balanced combination of nutrition and exercise. In other words, you can’t always depend on running off all those sugary calories.
The call for balance is a recurring theme of the Bible. The development of self-control is a fruit of the Holy Spirit (Galatians 5:23), and the writer of Ecclesiastes spoke elegantly that “To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven” (3:1).
There is even research suggesting faithful church attendance can lengthen your life between five and nine years.
“Churchgoers tend to engage in positive behaviors including high social interaction and lower rates of alcohol and drug abuse,” said Dr. Bill Fiala, a licensed psychologist and professor in Azusa Pacific University’s Department of Higher Education. “In addition, religious support and coping are both related to positive outcomes in mental health.”