The Odds of Getting Divorced
"There's a great deal of fog today about what the actual divorce rate is in the United States." I couldn't agree more with this statement. Glenn Stanton's very helpful article "What is the Actual US Divorce Rate and Risk?" breaks down the four ways to count divorce statistics (which each reveal some good news and bad news about divorce). He also lists factors that increase or decrease the risk. Like:
- Cohabitation: cohabiting couples have a 50-80 percent higher likelihood of divorce than non-cohabiting couples.
- Family background: having parents who have never divorced reduces divorce risk by 14 percent.
- Religion: those with a strong common faith have a 7-14 percent lower risk of divorce. However, having a nominal faith has no protective effect.
'I Identify as ...'
This is one of the most thought-provoking essays I've read this year: The Crisis of Character: Identity Politics and the Death of the Individual. From early on in the essay:
Where once an individual's identity was informed, or shaped, by experience and belief, through an engagement in the public sphere or with a party or association, today identities are self-consciously and often defensively constructed. The NYT, in its description of 2015 as the year of identity, asked: 'How do you identify? [W]hat trait or aspect of your being is central to your idea of yourself, and your relationship to the world?' The keyword here is your. The NYT doesn't ask 'What are you?' or 'Who are you?,' which would speak to a strong sense of being something; it asks what 'aspect of your being' is most important to 'your idea of yourself.'
The essay is not as abstract as this excerpt suggests—author Brendan O'Neill peppers the piece with lots of telling examples. If it sounds like this week's long read, it is. And well worth every minute of your time.
How to Vote Smart
There's a lot to agree with in "A Voter's Guide to Thinking." That it was written by Scott Adams, the comic strip creator of Dilbert, only gives it more authority in my view. Especially when he begins with: "As the American presidential race heats up, you'll see a lot of bad thinking emerge, especially mine. So I thought it would be useful to agree on some ground rules to keep each other in line." Here's one example:
If you see quotes taken out of context, and you form an opinion anyway, that's probably not thinking. If you believe you need no further context because there is only one imaginable explanation for the meaning of the quotes, you might have a poor imagination. Sometimes a poor imagination feels a lot like knowledge, but it's closer to the opposite.
Mormons R Us?
What interests me in this video by Lutheran Satire is not the way it undermines Mormon theology. It's that the video examines the particular Mormon theology commonly believed in too many evangelical churches! It's a humorous way to address this troubling theology, while offering something richer and more biblical along the way.
Grace—real grace—and peace,
Friday, December 18, 2015
The Odds of Getting Divorced