AFA-IN: Religion & Addiction, Marriage Inequality, Court Case

Class Warfare is Real . . . but Not How You Might Think
         Those on the political left often like to participate in class warfare arguments dividing the rich and the poor.  When it comes to outcomes for children there may actually be some class division going on, but the divide is not so much based upon race, or even on income, as it is based upon marriage
       The reason for this, according to a new study that was presented at the American Sociological Association’s annual conference in August, is that family structure significantly impacts the investment in time and money parents spend on children. 
         In recent years marriage formation has declined among the lower and middle classes, but it has stabilized among upper classes. While, 84% of children whose mothers have a bachelor’s degree or higher-level education live with married parents, only 58% of children whose mothers have a high school degree or less do so. And while 75% of white children live with married parents, just 38% of black children do so.
      This family structure inequality may have real consequences for children’s chances in life. Compared with children who grow up in cohabiting or single-parent families, those who grow up with stable married parents generally have better health and behavior in childhood, are more likely to complete high school and have higher incomes as adults.
        Families with different structures parent differently – and that can perpetuate inequality across generations. Children in the U.S. are growing up in an era of “intensive parenting,” with many childhoods filled with piano lessons and private tutors, traveling sports teams and summer camps. While costly, these activities become a form of investment by parents that can improve their children’s grades, chances of getting into a selective university and future job opportunities.
You can read this study here:

The Decline in Religious Faith is Having a Role in Nation’s Drug Crisis
         In the latest Gallup survey, only 46% of Americans think that religion can answer today’s problems, but the reality is that religion provides answers for one of today’s biggest problems—addiction.   This finding should not be a surprise.  With fewer Americans, particularly the young, affiliated with religion today, there is less experience with faith and its positive impacts. 
      Various research shows that youth who are spiritually active, participate in a faith community, and invest in a prayerful relationship with their God, are less likely to use or abuse drugs and alcohol. By contrast, teens who do not consider religious belief important are almost three times more likely to smoke, five times more likely to binge on alcohol, and almost eight times more likely to use marijuana.    Teens who never attended religious services at least weekly, compared with teens who regularly attended services, were two time more likely to drink, two times more likely to smoke, and more than three times more likely to use marijuana or binge on alcohol, and four times more likely to use illicit drugs.
        Adolescents who frequently attend religious services, who are involved in faith-based activities, and who place a high value on spirituality exhibit greater resilience when facing the stressors that can lead to the use of drugs or alcohol as a coping mechanism.
        The decline in religious activity, particularly among the young, is a remedy to those who are at the highest risk for a substance disorder.  
Read more about this here:

The 5th Congressional Race Keeps Changing
         There is a news story stating that former State Representative Steve Braun is dropping out of the race for the Indiana Congressional seat being vacated by Susan Brooks.  The brother of US Senator Mike Braun is a top tier, formidable, candidate due to his last name, his personal experience and his financial ability.  However, an annual physical has revealed something that will, at least for a few months, sideline his campaign. 
         Three other names have recently emerged on the side running for the Republican nomination. Kent Abernathy is a former Commissioner of the Bureau of Motor Vehicles. Chuck Dietzen is a doctor in Zionsville. Danny Niederberger is an accountant in Indianapolis.
         Two others have already announced for the race, State Treasurer Kelly Mitchell and Micah Beckwith of Noblesville. 
          Former Indianapolis State Representative Christina Hale, 2018 nominee Dee Thornton, and chemist Jennifer Christie are seeking the Democratic nomination.

Coming to Work in a Dress
         There was an interesting case argued before the US Supreme Court yesterday.  It involves an ACLU lawsuit against the owner of a Michigan funeral home operated by the owner’s family for a century.   
         The funeral home is understandably focused on a certain kind of decorum and atmosphere for families enduring the loss of a loved one.  As such, one of the requirements is that the employees dress in a proper manner.  
          Harris Funeral Homes had a male employee who had worked there for six years.  One day the employee gave the director a letter announcing that he, would now be wearing a dress to work identifying as a she.   The owner refused to go along with this, noting that the businesses code of conduct and dress is in place to allow its customers to focus on their grieving process and to not have employees distract from this in any way. 
        The owner’s refusal to allow his employee to act out in this way during his time on the job made him a target for punishment and a lawsuit.    The case has become a legal battering ram in an effort to redefine sex to include the broad and vague category of gender identity as a specially protected class under the 1964 Civil Rights Act.   Many people are watching this case as it could have wide-ranging implications for schools, businesses, athletics, and many other entities. 

In Their Own Words:
      “Don’t ever take a fence down until you know why it was put up.” – Robert Frost  (Quote has also been attributed to G.K. Chesterton.)

Just the Facts:
         Thoughts on talking to your children about marijuana:
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