Global Islam

Writing for the CNN Belief Blog, Dan Merica distills the newly released Pew Research Center study on Islam into five major takeaways: Differences between U.S. and international Muslims are vast, Sharia law favored, especially by more devout Muslims, Most Muslims believe religion, politics should be intertwined, Around the world, Muslims heralded religious freedom, and Islamic extremism widely rejected, but still a concern. Says Who? This four year long study included a total of Read More …

Global Religious Futures

Earlier this week the Pew Research Center's Forum on Religion & Public Life launched a beta website, Pew-Templeton Religious Futures Project, that explores demographics and survey data on global religion.  The site is the home for all things related to the project, which "analyzes religious change and its impact on societies around the world."  While the current data and functionality are impressive, the group is planning enhancements to both. So What? When I learned of this new site, Read More …

Which Parent Does More?

The Pew Research Center recently released the "Modern Parenthood Report," which reveals the results of their latest polling that asks married and cohabiting parents with children under 18 to compare their workload at home with that of their spouses or partners.  In an overview of the research, Kim Parker and Wendy Wang write: The way mothers and fathers spend their time has changed dramatically in the past half century. Dads are doing more housework and child care; moms more paid work outside Read More …

Worldwide Image of the USA

The Pew Research Center offers you the opportunity to "test how much you know about the worldwide image of the United States" by taking a 10 question multiple choice quiz.  After completing the quiz, I encourage you to learn the story behind each of the questions.   So What? For me completing this quiz was an exercise in humility; I scored 60%, answering just 6 of the 10 questions correctly.  When one lives within an empire, a culture, or a worldview it is all too easy to see the Read More …

Facebook Friends Friday

While I spend a great deal of my day online and tend to be an early adopter, I was so late to Facebook that it already boasted over 100 million members when I joined.  The network has expanded to include some 850 million accounts that were active during the month of December, 2011.  Interestingly, one's age appears to be an indicator of the likely size of one's Facebook friends network.  Lee Raine, Director of the Pew Research Center's Internet & American Life Project, provides the Read More …

The Other Half

Protestant churches have done exceptionally well among those who are married and even better among those who are married and have children.  These groups, as a percentage of the total American population, have been shrinking for decades and likely will continue to do so for the foreseeable future. The latest data from the Pew Research Center shows that only half of adults (51%) aged 18 and older were married in 2010.  Additionally, the median age for first marriage has risen steadily over the Read More …

Progressive – The Best Word?

The Pew Research Center for People & the Press released the results of their recent poll of American's views of political terms.  The term with the most favorable view is progressive.  Interestingly, it rates about 33% higher than the term liberal. So What? Many people characterize mainline churches as theologically liberal.  Do you think congregations and denominations should move beyond that label and claim the more culturally valued term progressive to describe themselves? Why or why Read More …

Becoming a Tablet Family

My wife purchased her first tablet, an ASUS Eee Pad Transformer, on Black Friday.  I purchased my first tablet, a Lenovo Ideapad K1, a few days later for the same price.  In the matter of a week we went from living in a tablet-free home to each having a 10.1 inch Android tablet of our own.  And, of course, we both know we have the better tablet. Spec by spec the machines are relatively similar: mine weighs more, has more internal memory (32MB vs 16MB), and slightly better battery life while hers Read More …

Economic Well Being: A Generational Concern

The Pew Research Center recently published an article exploring the increasing gap in economic well-being between the young (those households headed by someone under age 35) and the old (those households headed by someone over age 65) during the last twenty-five years.  The data shows the following shifts: Median net worth grew by 42% for the older cohort while falling by 68% for the younger cohort Median adjusted household income grew by 109% for the older cohort while rising by only 27% Read More …