On Friday, Narendra Modi, the leader of the Hinud nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party, claimed victory as India’s next Prime Minister. There are concerns about the future of religious tolerance in India under the leadership of a Hindu nationalist and a controversial past that at one point led the United States to deny him a visa.
Family structure and parent involvement, especially fathers, has a massive impact on children and their education success. A college diploma is an important component in achieving economic success in today’s economy. An article by W. Bradford Wilcox of the University of Virginia looks at what is a key to college success.
I find that young adults who as teens had involved fathers are significantly more likely to graduate from college, and that young adults from more privileged backgrounds are especially likely to have had an involved father in their lives as teens.
Bradford Wilcox looked at the kinds of family structures most likely to facilitate father involvement; adolescents are much more likely to report that they have a father who is involved or highly involved if their biological parents are married. An involved father from all education levels is more common for adolescents living in an intact, married family.
The American Bible Society “State of the Bible 2014” is a study of U.S. adults. This annual report was commissioned by the American Bible Society with research conducted by the Barna Group. The objectives of the study was a focus on Perceptions of the Bible, Bible ownership, Bible engagement, Bible literacy, moral decline and social impact, and giving to non-profit organizations.
The annual survey gives the American Bible Society information on what is happening in the culture, why there is less connecting of moral and political issues, and areas where it can work to strengthen biblical literacy.
Perceptions of the Bible
Americans were more than seven times likely to name the Bible (79%) when asked to name books they consider sacred literature or holy books. The second named book as sacred literature was the Koran at 12%.
“The Closing of the Collegiate Mind“ is a feisty opinion piece in the Wall Street Journal by Harvard professor Ruth Wisse that should be read.
There was a time when people looking for intellectual debate turned away from politics to the university. Political backrooms bred slogans and bagmen; universities fostered educated discussion. But when students in the 1960s began occupying university property like the thugs of regimes America was fighting abroad, the venues gradually reversed. Open debate is now protected only in the polity: In universities, muggers prevail.
Today across the United States and across much of the world university and college campuses are “closing the mind”, closing intellectual discussion. The discussion is being closed basically to Christians, those on the right, to conservatives. To those who might “offend” anyone in a group that must not be offended. Conformity and repression of ideas is valued and promoted over the democratic ideas of America.
Inappropriate criteria were used by the Internal Revenue Service to identify tax-exempt applications for reviews concluded the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration audit that was released May 14th. The audit was initiated based on concerns by Congress.
The Inspector General’s review, ‘was performed at the EO (Exempt Organizations) function Headquarters office in Washington, D.C., and the Determinations Unit in Cincinnati, Ohio.’ The IRS has acknowledged only the involvement of its Exempt Organizations office in Cincinnati, Ohio.
One-third of the applications processed by the IRS team of specialists included Tea Party, Patriots or 9/12 , ALL cases with Tea Party, Patriots, or 9/12 were sent to the team of specialist for review.
36,007 criminal illegal immigrants were released from ICE custody in 2013, an average of nearly 100 per day.
Immigration officials knowingly released hundreds of murderers and other dangerous criminals back into the U.S. in 2013 according to ICE statistics. The data raises questions about which immigrants to detain and which to release as they await court hearings and action on deportation.
2013 ICE document reveals that the 36,007 convicted criminal aliens freed from ICE custody in many instances had multiple convictions. Among them, the 36,007 had nearly 88,000 convictions, including:
- 193 homicide convictions (including one willful killing of a public official with gun)
- 426 sexual assault convictions
- 303 kidnapping convictions
- 1,075 aggravated assault convictions
- 1,160 stolen vehicle convictions
- 9,187 dangerous drug convictions
- 16,070 drunk or drugged driving convictions
- 303 flight escape convictions
Russia will deny NASA access to the International Space Station (ISS) after 2020. Since the end of the Space Shuttle project, the Russian Soyuz spacecraft has been the only way U.S. astronauts can get to the space station. The Russians can use the Space Station without the U.S. but we cannot.
The ISS crews include Americans and Russians, with visitors from other countries. India has been a partner the last three years in the ISS and sent an astronaut to the ISS in 2012. Perhaps India’s role in the ISS will increase.
Harvard University students blockaded its administration offices to persuade Harvard to divest endowment investments in oil, gas, and coal companies. This is only the latest campaign to persuade U.S. universities and colleges to divest from fossil fuels investments over concerns about climate change and pollution.
The campaign has persuaded 11 colleges to divest wholly or partially from fossil fuels. Harvard’s $33 billion endowment is the largest targeted of any educational institution. Demands for divestment of investments by colleges in fossil fuel companies have been backed by many students and more than 100 faculty members.
Have these students and faculty members given up fossil fuels? Are they living a fossil fuel free existence? Do they jump on their motorcycles or in their cars to drive to the coffeehouse, to work, to school? Are they heating their living spaces with fossil fuels? Are the student and faculty members benefiting from fossil fuels? The students blockaded the administration offices of Harvard University to make a point they are not living. Hypocrisy!
Sister Cristina on The Voice of Italy wowed everyone again with her rendition of Mariah Carey’s “Hero.”
Continue reading Music Break: ‘Singing Nun’ on the Voice of Italy
A second case of MERS, a deadly virus discovered in the Middle East in 2012, has been found in the state of Florida.
The patient is a healthcare provider who resides and works in Saudi Arabia. He is visiting Florida and traveled on May 1st from Saudi Arabia to Florida. On May 8th, the patient went to the emergency department of a Florida hospital and was admitted on the same day.
Update: Boko Harem video of girls may be a fake. “They are not the same. They are not the girls abducted,” said Ojutiku, a Southern Baptist in Raleigh, N.C., who receives frequent updates from members of the grassroots group Lift Up Now. He co-founded the group to address political, economic and social challenges in his homeland Nigeria.
More likely, the Monday (May 12) video is a ruse by the Islamic terrorists to mislead those searching for the girls, Ojutiku said.” Baptist Press
The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) has released the names of 180 schoolgirls that were kidnapped from the school in Chibok, Nigeria.
165 are Christian girls and 15 girls are Muslim.
Many are affiliated with the Church of the Brethren in Nigeria.
A video released by Islamist militants Boko Haram claims to show over 100 of the missing girls kidnapped from a school in Nigeria.
The girls are wearing full-length hijabs and reciting the first book of the Koran. Boko Haram says the girls have converted to Islam.
Boko Haram demands prisoner exchange for the Nigerian schoolgirls.
It has been thought that failed integration and poverty may be causes of “Homegrown Radical Islamists” in Western countries. A study “Radical Islamism and Migrant Integration in Denmark: An Empirical Inquiry” does not support a link between integration and radicalization of young Muslims, or poverty.
Associate professor and Islamism researcher Marco Goli from Metropolitan University College in Copenhagen concluded “that radicalized young Muslims are often what one would consider well-integrated: They are better educated than average and also perform better economically and socially and will therefore largely be able to maintain a double life.”
The study stated: “The sharpest and most consistent difference between the Radical Islamists and other Muslim immigrants concerned their adherence to religious duties and proscriptions. More than half of the most radical group deferred to Sharia over National law, and a third endorsed death as punishment for apostasy.”
“They become radicalized from their own perception of what happens around the world,” says Shahamak Rezaei, Associatev Professor at the Institute of Social and Globalisation Affairs at Roskilde University.”
The study was based on a nationally representative sample of 1,113 youth (ages 15–30) in Denmark with national ties to a”Muslim country.