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Faith and Family for Centrists. Research and policy discussions on family life, religion, and.. centrism.

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Other Tags: Family, Sociology, Religion, Presbyterian, Centrism

Latest Blog Posts

  • Generous Givers Are Happier
    on Dec 20, 2016
    This is what we talked about on WKYB this morning.Habits of generosity make people happier. These habits flow from a worldview of abundance and generosity.  People who think the world has a point and their lives in it have a purpose are more lik...
  • Robots and the Future of Racism
    on Dec 19, 2016
    I believe the main point of the invention of racism in this country was to divide the workers, to make it easier to control labor.If the demand for labor declines, will the demand for racism decline, as well?
  • Post-Election Culture Wars
    on Dec 16, 2016
    This podcast is an interview with me about the culture wars effects of the 2016 election.
  • Talking to Strangers Fosters Happiness - and Social Trust
    on Dec 13, 2016
    When we start conversations with strangers, we usually have a pleasant experience - and so do they.This is the upshot of experiments conducted by social psychologist Nick Epley.  He asked commuters on buses and trains to initiate conversations w...
  • The First Step in Fighting Fascists Is Not to Be One
    on Dec 11, 2016
    This is a moment in which fear entrepreneurs are fanning the flames of tribalism all around the world.The first thing we need to do in the coming fight with fascism is not to become tribalists ourselves.The great principles of democracy, pluralism, a...
  • "Hacksaw Ridge" is Extremely Bloody, But Seriously Moral
    on Dec 10, 2016
    Mel Gibson makes gorefests, and this film is no exception.However, the true story of Desmond Doss, the conscientious objector in World War II who won the Medal of Honor as a medic for saving many wounded under fire is worth the time.The core story is...
  • This Moment is What the Electoral College Was Intended For
    on Dec 9, 2016
    If I were an elector, I would not vote for Donald Trump.If Hillary Clinton won the electoral college, that would not be a constitutional crisis. It would be a constitutional triumph.
  • Poor People Spend Money in Socially Useful Ways
    on Dec 8, 2016
    A new meta-analysis looked at what poor people spend on if you just give them money.  The worry is that they would waste it on cigarettes and booze.  However, "not one of the 19 studies found that cash grants increase tobacco and alcohol co...
  • Country Music on the Right Way to Live
    on Dec 6, 2016
    On Tuesday mornings I get to talk on WKYB, Danville's country radio station.Peter Lewis did a semi-serious analysis of the standard themes of top country songs, from the '60s to today.  He boiled them down to four:  It's all over; It's not...
  • A Grump about Trump
    on Dec 5, 2016
    I try to stay positive here, but there are a few things about the incoming administration that worry me.I fear that Mr. Trump so values his business empire, and has so little taste for actually governing the country, that he will constantly use his o...
  • Culture Wars of a "Change Election"
    on Dec 1, 2016
    2016 was a change election.  As often happens, after two terms of one party in the White House, many people vote for the other party, just for a change.The exit polls show that the people who thought things were going well voted for Clinton, and...
  • Republicans See Difference As Hierarchical
    on Sep 3, 2016
    Republicans see the world as Hierarchical - that difference entails ranking into better and worse.  Democrats, by contrast, are more likely to see difference as just -- difference.This is the finding of Jer Clifton, a doctoral student in po...
  • Right-Wing Media Are Now the "Useful Idiots" of Russian Disinformation
    on Aug 29, 2016
    Lenin described pro-Soviet liberals of his day as "useful idiots".The Soviet Union is gone, but the Russian policy of using disinformation to unsettle democratic governments continues in full force.Today, though, it is the right-wing media who are th...
  • Religious People Give More - To All Causes
    on Aug 26, 2016
    The annual Burk Survey of philanthropy has come out, and once again religious involvement is one of the biggest factors in who gives to all causes, religious and otherwise.  Likewise, religious people are more likely to volunteer.The survey did...
  • Which Entangle You - People, or Things?
    on Aug 18, 2016
    I am studying cultural differences among different fractions of the middle class.  This is a class that has some choice about how it interacts with the world, and what kind of things it buys to live with.I think one subculture regards other peop...
  • Westboro Baptist Church is Like the Joker - They Just Want to Watch It Burn
    on Aug 4, 2016
    I just read an interesting book, God Hates, about Westboro Baptist Church.  WBC has a hyper-Calvinist, double-predestination, antelapsarian theology.  This means that they think God damns - even hates - all sinners, and saves only a few for...
  • My "Thank You, Lord, I Don't Have to ..." List Begins with "Drink"
    on Aug 3, 2016
    For years I have had a mental list of things I am grateful that I do not have to do.  I always begin it with "Thank you, Lord, I don't have to own a boat" or "go skiing."I do not think those things are bad.  I just don't want to do the...
  • Good News: Federal Court Invalidates NC Voter Suppression Law
    on Jul 31, 2016
    As soon as the Supreme Court ended the federal supervision of voting laws enacted in the Voting Rights Act in states that used to prevent voting by African Americans, North Carolina proposed a raft of voter suppression provisions.A federal panel revi...
  • Strongmen Want a Conflagration
    on Jul 25, 2016
    Howe and Strauss' theory of generations has long predicted the "Crisis of 2020."  The cycle of generations is now ripe for aging Baby Boomers to launch a crusade about something, which compliant Millennials will fight.The theory does not predict...
  • Super Delegates are a Good Idea. The Republicans Wish They Had Had Some This Time.
    on Jul 24, 2016
    Political parties in a democratic society do not themselves have to be democratic. There is no contradiction in this claim.  The party is a private membership organization designed to win elections and pass legislation.  Anyone can join. &n...