Posted by Kendall Harmon

You spend anytime around the 44-year-old [Clemson Coach] and you are going to hear about Jesus, Scripture, and the power of it all. It isn't necessarily, or at least not always, done to proselytize. It's part of how he talks, how he lives. Faith, Family, Football – that's about it with him.

There is no delineation.

For the people at the Freedom From Religion Foundation, a non-profit out of Madison, Wis., there needs to be or he shouldn't have his job.

In what is, if nothing else, an absolutely fascinating subject, the FFRF sent a letter of complaint to Clemson this week about "several serious constitutional concerns" over how "Christian worship seems interwoven into the Clemson football program."

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchEducationLaw & Legal IssuesReligion & CultureSportsYoung Adults* South Carolina

1 Comments
Posted April 17, 2014 at 11:30 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Young adults who occasionally smoke marijuana show abnormalities in two key areas of their brain related to emotion, motivation, and decision making, raising concerns that they could be damaging their developing minds at a critical time, according to a new study by Boston researchers.

Other studies have revealed brain changes among heavy marijuana users, but this research is believed to be the first to demonstrate such abnormalities in young, casual smokers.

The Boston scientists also found that the degree of brain changes appeared to be directly related to the amount participants smoked per week.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchDrugs/Drug AddictionHealth & MedicineYoung Adults* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral Theology

0 Comments
Posted April 16, 2014 at 10:38 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

CareerCast is out with their annual ranking of the 10 best and 10 worst jobs for 2014, and let's just say that math and science guys everywhere are about to high-five.

Nine out of 10 of the best jobs fell into the STEM career category (science, technology, engineering and math), with the "numbers guys," in particular, locking in 3 of the top 4 spots.

"This absolutely verifies the importance of STEM careers," said Tony Lee, publisher of CareerCast.com and JobsRated.com.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchEducationScience & TechnologyYoung Adults* Economics, PoliticsEconomyCorporations/Corporate LifeLabor/Labor Unions/Labor Market* International News & CommentaryAmerica/U.S.A.* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral Theology

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Posted April 15, 2014 at 4:28 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Weighing in at more than $1 trillion, student loan debt is now larger than total credit card debt. Morning Edition recently asked young adults about their biggest concerns, and more than two-thirds of respondents mentioned college debt. Many say they have put off marriage or buying a home because of the financial burden they took on as students.

William Elliott, director of the Assets and Education Initiative at the University of Kansas, says the burden of student loans isn't just a personal, short-term problem for individuals. Loans now make up too large a part of financial aid packages, he tells NPR's David Greene, "and they're too big of a part of how we finance college."

As a result, Elliott says, too many young people are spending years on loan repayment, instead of growing personal wealth through investments like real estate and retirement accounts. In the long-term, he adds, that can be a drag on the economy — and create a wealth divide between people who have student debt and those who don't.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchEducationYoung Adults* Economics, PoliticsEconomyPersonal FinanceThe U.S. GovernmentPolitics in General* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral Theology

0 Comments
Posted April 11, 2014 at 6:20 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

When LaTisha Styles graduated from Kennesaw State University in Georgia in 2006 she had $35,000 of student debt. This obligation would have been easy to discharge if her Spanish degree had helped her land a well-paid job. But there is no shortage of Spanish-speakers in a nation that borders Latin America. So Ms Styles found herself working in a clothes shop and a fast-food restaurant for no more than $11 an hour.

Frustrated, she took the gutsy decision to go back to the same college and study something more pragmatic. She majored in finance, and now has a good job at an investment consulting firm. Her debt has swollen to $65,000, but she will have little trouble paying it off.

As Ms Styles’s story shows, there is no simple answer to the question “Is college worth it?” Some degrees pay for themselves; others don’t. American schoolkids pondering whether to take on huge student loans are constantly told that college is the gateway to the middle class. The truth is more nuanced, as Barack Obama hinted when he said in January that “folks can make a lot more” by learning a trade “than they might with an art history degree”. An angry art history professor forced him to apologise, but he was right.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchChildrenEducationMarriage & FamilyYoung Adults* Economics, PoliticsEconomyLabor/Labor Unions/Labor Market* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral Theology

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Posted April 9, 2014 at 7:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Afghanistan's Mitra Hemmat: Retail entrepreneur

Mitra Hemmat has occupied rarefied air since returning from Iran to Afghanistan in 2005, where she quickly achieved status as the nation’s top student, and won a scholarship to study in India.

A doctor who wears a black headscarf with a faux diamond broach, at 28 she accepts few limits, and dreams of giving back to her country “to help my people.” She plans to serve through medicine and one day win election to parliament.

“We just want peace; we don’t want to have to think about who is the president,” says Ms. Hemmat. “If it is bad, if things change [for the worse], I will go to another country,” says Hemmat. “My passport is always in my pocket. I would not stay.”

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchHistoryYoung Adults* Economics, PoliticsPolitics in General* International News & CommentaryAsiaAfghanistan

0 Comments
Posted April 6, 2014 at 4:00 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

CS Lewis' Screwtape Letters]... musings come to mind looking at the recent inquiry into Millennials’ sexuality published by Rolling Stone; claiming to catalogue the predominant sexual attitudes and habits of my generation and reminding me of my own checkered past.

Cohabitation looks tame compared to the exploits celebrated by the magazine. The “new monogamy” is hailed as “a type of polyamory in which the goal is to have one long-standing relationship (but to) openly acknowledge that the long-standing relationship might not meet each partner’s emotional and sexual needs for all time.” This attitude is regarded as very progressive and preferable to the old-fashioned ideal of monogamy. Interestingly, William Tucker has a new book out arguing just the opposite. When the whole of human existence is taken into account, polygamy belongs squarely in the barbaric past, with monogamy arising alongside sophistication and science. But to read Rolling Stone, one would think that the new monogamy is the ground of stasis, surrounded by fringe millennials who are content with the hookup culture (29 sexual partners by age 20 in one case) or who prefer multiple partner encounters or are so sexually shy that they are addicted to internet pornography (as in the case of an unnamed computer wiz, identified as “nerdy”). The normal couple we meet at the beginning of the story closes out the action at a Las Vegas sex joint, discovering even more ways to live their sex lives to the fullest.

But all the sex, more sex and rock and roll (they even interview a band) is justified because: “at the end of the day, it’s a piece of body touching another piece of body- just as existentially meaningless as kissing.”

Read it all.


Filed under: * Culture-WatchMarriage & FamilyPsychologyReligion & CultureSexualityYoung Adults* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral TheologyTheology: Scripture

0 Comments
Posted April 5, 2014 at 1:00 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Ah, ah, ah--you need to guess before you look. Check it out from Forbes.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchYoung Adults* Economics, PoliticsEconomyLabor/Labor Unions/Labor MarketThe U.S. GovernmentCensus/Census DataPolitics in GeneralCity Government

0 Comments
Posted April 5, 2014 at 7:30 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Bob Kuhn, Trinity Western University’s newly-named president, says the degree of outright opposition to its new law school could mark the beginning of “a new era of persecution” against the Church in Canada.

“It’s sudden and swift and very powerful,” says Kuhn. “Having practiced law for close to 34 years, I have never seen anything quite like it in terms of the sea-change, a tsunami of societal offence against Christians and Christian views.”

In December, the Federation of Law Societies of Canada gave the school the green light. Now, three of its member-societies (British Columbia, Ontario and Nova Scotia) are in the process of debating whether to allow TWU law school grads to article in their provinces. At issue is the university’s community covenant, which upholds biblical values on sexual relations. Many in the legal community interpret that as “anti-gay.”

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchEducationHistoryLaw & Legal IssuesReligion & CultureYoung Adults* Economics, PoliticsPolitics in General* International News & CommentaryCanada* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

0 Comments
Posted April 3, 2014 at 6:56 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

About 35% of adult church members in Britain are single, so clearly the subject of singleness is of considerable personal interest to many people in our churches. Each single person will have a slightly different experience of singleness. There are age differences. Being single at 20 is very different from being single at 30, 40 or 70. There are circumstantial differences: some have never married, others are divorcees, widows or widowers. And there are experiential differences: some have chosen to be single and are basically content; others long to be married and feel frustrated. What does the Bible say to all these people?

So much in our society is structured around couples. It is often just assumed that adults will have a partner and that there is something rather odd about them if they do not for any period of time. Oscar Wilde summed up the view of many: “Celibacy is the only known sexual perversion.”

There is nothing new in this negative view of celibacy. In the first century, Rabbi Eleazar said: “Any man who has no wife is no proper man.” The Talmud went even further: “The man who is not married at twenty is living in sin.” Given that background, it is astonishing how positive the New Testament is about singleness. Paul speaks of it as a “gift” (1 Corinthians 7:7), and Jesus says that it is good “for those to whom it has been given” (Matthew 19:11).

A friend of mine once belonged to a church group for young adults, which had the name: “Pairs and Spares”! Single people can be made to feel like spare parts in their families, social groups and churches.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeParish Ministry* Culture-WatchPsychologyReligion & CultureSexualityYoung Adults* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral TheologyTheology: Scripture

0 Comments
Posted April 2, 2014 at 6:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Demographers tell us that Millennials are young adults aged 18 to 33. They’re often the ones you see sipping a latte at Starbucks, checking their Twitter feeds, or texting their friends.

According to a Pew Research report entitled “Millennials in Adulthood,” they are incredibly well connected to friends, family, and colleagues via all the latest digital platforms. But as University of Virginia sociologist W. Bradford Wilcox says, when it comes to “the core human institutions that have sustained the American experiment — work, marriage, and civil society,” the Millennials’ ties “are worryingly weak.”

Let’s take them in order. Concerning work, less than half of young people aged 18 to 29 are employed full time, and the numbers continue to fall. Wilcox says, “Work affords most Americans an important sense of dignity and meaning—the psychological boost provided by what American Enterprise Institute president Arthur Brooks calls a sense of ‘earned success.’ ”

Read it all.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryEvangelism and Church Growth* Culture-WatchMarriage & FamilyYoung Adults* Economics, PoliticsEconomyLabor/Labor Unions/Labor Market* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

1 Comments
Posted March 29, 2014 at 9:40 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The response to your Facebook post has been staggering. Was it written on the fly or what?

In the last month, there were four instances where I was subtly or not subtly moved along. I was having lunch with a mother younger than I am who was recently bereaved. Her loss was 14 months ago. I said, "Before the one-year mark was up, did you have people telling you, hinting or saying to you that you should move on?" I asked other people who had lost children. I was hearing the same story. It just made me mad. I jotted off that Facebook post and have been completely astounded by the response—3,780,000 views and more than 10,000 comments.

Aren't most of the comments supportive?

Somebody wrote, "I want to print words around my neck that say, 'Please just read Kay Warren's Facebook post.'"

Read it all.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeParish Ministry* Culture-WatchBlogging & the Internet--Social NetworkingChildrenMarriage & FamilyPsychologyMental IllnessReligion & CultureYoung Adults* Religion News & CommentaryOther ChurchesEvangelicals* TheologyEthics / Moral TheologyPastoral Theology

0 Comments
Posted March 28, 2014 at 12:26 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Before he graduates from Bowdoin College this year, Alex Doering wants to leave the greater Brunswick area better educated about a topic that is sometimes considered taboo for American families: end-of-life care.

That's why Doering, with the help of others, is organizing a two-day symposium on the topic at Bowdoin this Friday and Saturday. The free, public event will include sessions with professors, doctors and local health workers that will explore death and dying through different lenses.

The symposium will also include a performance by actress Megan Cole, best known for her work in the popular TV series "ER," in a piece called the "Wisdom of Wit," a "dramatized lecture" of a Pulitzer Prize-winning play called "Wit," that explores life "through the eyes of a 50-year-old professor of English Literature who has been diagnosed with ovarian cancer," according to Cole's website.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryDeath / Burial / Funerals* Culture-WatchAging / the ElderlyHealth & MedicineLife EthicsYoung Adults* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral Theology

0 Comments
Posted March 27, 2014 at 8:04 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

[My friend] Joseph also pushed me on the origins of the universe. I had always believed in the Big Bang. But I was blissfully unaware that the man who first proposed it, Georges Lemaître, was a Catholic priest. And I'd happily ignored the rabbit trail of a problem of what caused the Big Bang, and what caused that cause, and so on.

By Valentine's Day, I began to believe in God. There was no intellectual shame in being a deist, after all, as I joined the respectable ranks of Thomas Jefferson and other Founding Fathers.

I wouldn't stay a deist for long. A Catholic friend gave me J. Budziszewski's book Ask Me Anything, which included the Christian teaching that "love is a commitment of the will to the true good of the other person." This theme—of love as sacrifice for true good—struck me. The Cross no longer seemed a grotesque symbol of divine sadism, but a remarkable act of love. And Christianity began to look less strangely mythical and more cosmically beautiful.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryEvangelism and Church Growth* Culture-WatchEducationReligion & CultureYoung Adults* Religion News & CommentaryOther FaithsAtheism* TheologyApologetics

1 Comments
Posted March 22, 2014 at 2:00 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

In the future, it seems, there will be only one “ism” — Individualism — and its rule will never end. As for religion, it shall decline; as for marriage, it shall be postponed; as for ideologies, they shall be rejected; as for patriotism, it shall be abandoned; as for strangers, they shall be distrusted. Only pot, selfies and Facebook will abide — and the greatest of these will probably be Facebook.

That’s the implication, at least, of what the polling industry keeps telling us about the rising American generation, the so-called millennials. (Full disclosure: I am not quite one of them, having entered the world in the penultimate year of Generation X.) A new Pew survey, the latest dispatch from the land of young adulthood, describes a generation that’s socially liberal on issues like immigration and marijuana and same-sex marriage, proudly independent of either political party, less likely to be married and religious than earlier generations, less likely to identify as patriotic and less likely — by a striking margin — to say that one’s fellow human beings can be trusted.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchChildrenMarriage & FamilyPhilosophyPsychologyReligion & CultureSociologyYoung Adults* Economics, PoliticsPolitics in General

0 Comments
Posted March 17, 2014 at 12:15 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Churches under Bishop Rimbo's purview are trying some unorthodox measures. In Williamsburg, Mr. McKelahan organized a life-size crossword puzzle inside the Lorimer Street/Metropolitan Avenue subway stop, where topics included Mexican art and nuclear physics, along with a few biblical questions. (Clue: Hebrew name meaning "He will laugh." Answer: Isaac.)

Another interactive art project used giant dye-filled soap bubbles on foam at an event on Governor's Island. Mr. McKelahan said that, while not explicitly religious, soap bubbles carry a spiritual message in that they must burst "if they are to leave a lasting impression"—referring to a passage in the Book of John.

"Did most people pick up on this spiritual message? Probably not," he said. "But hopefully they see that the church is inviting them to work together in bringing joy and beauty into the world."

Mr. McKelahan, who at 28 is one of the New York metro area's youngest ordained Lutheran ministers, said it was Bishop Rimbo's idea to send him to Williamsburg.

"I met with Bishop Rimbo and explained to him, 'I'm really interested in making art as worship, all my friends are atheists,'" Mr. McKelahan said. "Bishop Rimbo said, 'There's this neighborhood in Brooklyn called Williamsburg where lots of young creative people are moving. We are trying to figure out how to minister to them. Would you like to do something with them?' Even though I'd never heard of Williamsburg, I couldn't say yes fast enough."

Read it all.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryEvangelism and Church GrowthMinistry of the Ordained* Culture-WatchReligion & CultureUrban/City Life and IssuesYoung Adults* Religion News & CommentaryOther ChurchesLutheran* Theology

1 Comments
Posted March 17, 2014 at 11:30 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Professors on University of Wisconsin System campuses occasionally get into trouble for what they say in class, on social media or on the Internet.

Rachel Slocum, a UW-La Crosse assistant professor of geography, urged 18 students in an online course last October to do whatever they could, despite limited access to data for an assignment, because the federal government had partially shut down as a result of a budget impasse.

The message didn't get her into trouble. The way she said it did.

"Hi everyone," she emailed the students "Some of the data gathering assignment will be impossible to complete until the Republican/Tea Party controlled House of Representatives agrees to fund the government."

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchBlogging & the Internet--Social NetworkingEducationGlobalizationMediaScience & TechnologyYoung Adults* Economics, PoliticsPolitics in General* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

0 Comments
Posted March 16, 2014 at 5:31 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The National Assessment of Educational Progress tests student knowledge in various subjects every few years. In 2010, only 20 percent of fourth-graders, 17 percent of eighth graders and 12 percent of high school seniors were considered grade-level proficient in American history.
--Andrea Neal (for more read the whole thing).


Filed under: * Culture-WatchEducationHistoryTeens / YouthYoung Adults* Economics, PoliticsPolitics in General* International News & CommentaryAmerica/U.S.A.

5 Comments
Posted March 13, 2014 at 11:26 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Jeanina Jenkins, a 20-year-old high-school graduate from St. Louis, is stuck in a $7.82-an-hour part-time job at McDonald’s Corp. that she calls a “last resort” because nobody would offer her anything better.

Stephen O’Malley, 26, a West Virginia University graduate, wants to put his history degree to use teaching high school. What he’s found instead is a bartender’s job in his home town of Manasquan, New Jersey.

Jenkins and O’Malley are at opposite ends of a dynamic that is pushing those with college degrees down into competition with high-school graduates for low-wage jobs that don’t require college. As this competition has intensified during and after the recession, it’s meant relatively higher unemployment, declining labor market participation and lower wages for those with less education.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchEducationYoung Adults* Economics, PoliticsEconomyLabor/Labor Unions/Labor MarketThe Credit Freeze Crisis of Fall 2008/The Recession of 2007--Politics in General

0 Comments
Posted March 13, 2014 at 7:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Growing up, was it harder to be really tall or to be a practicing Mormon?

I think just tall, because in Chicago, people really don’t know what Mormons are. And being a basketball player, I didn’t really have to face a lot of struggles, because a lot of people around me respected me. I really didn’t get heckled or looked down upon. But being tall was a mixed blessing. Off the court, I felt kind of shy because I wasn’t average. I wasn’t able to be a part of being normal in my classroom.

What music do you listen to before games? Would hip-hop be too explicit for Mormons?

I’m a really big fan of hip-hop, and I can listen to it before the game, but I’m not that into a lot of profane music. Sometimes you can’t get the clean things, so I just make sure that it’s as conservative as possible and make sure the message is there if profanity is present.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchReligion & CultureSportsUrban/City Life and IssuesYoung Adults* Religion News & CommentaryOther FaithsMormons

0 Comments
Posted March 10, 2014 at 4:31 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The prominent SAT college entrance exam will return to its previous 1,600-point scoring system and the essay portion will be optional starting in 2016, the group that creates the test said Wednesday, the biggest makeover in almost a decade for an exam familiar to any high school student with an eye on college.

The group that makes the test, the College Board, also announced a unprecedented test-preparation partnership with the online Kahn Academy that could cut deep into the lucrative business of the existing test-prep industry. Under the new test format, which last underwent an overhaul in 2005, no points will be deducted for wrong answers, encouraging students to take a chance if they’re unsure of the answer. Students will be able to choose whether or not they complete the essay portion of the test, and for those who don’t, the top score will go from 2,400 back to the older 1,600. And vocabulary words will be more practical words like “synthesis,” instead of the archaic SAT vocabulary words that have long pained cramming high school students, but rarely occur in normal conversation. Students will also be able to take the test on a computer.

Read it all.


Filed under: * Culture-WatchEducationTeens / YouthYoung Adults* International News & CommentaryAmerica/U.S.A.

0 Comments
Posted March 5, 2014 at 3:20 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

New statistics for 2013 show that the number of young people (under 30s) accepted for training for the Church of England ministry continue to be the highest number in the past 20 years. Young people now represent 23% of those entering training.

The Ministry Division of the Archbishops' Council is continuing to be proactive in recruiting young ordinands through providing conferences and training opportunities such as the Ministry Experience Scheme being piloted in 2013/14, which is looking to be extended from four Diocese for the academic year 2014/15.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)* Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryMinistry of the Ordained* Culture-WatchReligion & CultureYoung Adults* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK

0 Comments
Posted February 25, 2014 at 8:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Steven Holcomb said he was almost blind, and that's obviously very bad for a bobsled driver.

Worse, as it turned out, was that some of those around him were blind to what really was wrong with the American Olympic champion. He was suffering from depression while driving his team to heights U.S. bobsledders had not seen in decades.

Holcomb said competing among world-class athletes is not a good setting for picking up on a condition he shares with more than three percent of Americans, according to various studies.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchHealth & MedicinePsychologySportsYoung Adults* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral Theology

0 Comments
Posted February 22, 2014 at 3:00 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

We think the groups complaining about the Koch Foundation gift are suggesting a litmus test that neither we nor they would want to apply to other cases. We welcome constructive criticism, but we believe it would be a mistake to stifle debate by pretending that genuinely controversial positions are official church teaching.

We're grateful for the $1 million, and we're keeping it, because it would be an unhealthy precedent for a university to refuse support for valuable research because the money, somewhere back up the line, once belonged to a donor whose views on other subjects were unpopular within the academic community.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryStewardship* Culture-WatchEducationReligion & CultureYoung Adults* Religion News & CommentaryOther ChurchesRoman Catholic* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

4 Comments
Posted February 21, 2014 at 11:05 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

There is a strong vein of hostility against orthodox religious believers in America today, especially among the young.

--You need to take a guess before you see who said it and where.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchReligion & CultureYoung Adults* International News & CommentaryAmerica/U.S.A.

0 Comments
Posted February 20, 2014 at 5:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Madison Holleran, a 19-year-old University of Pennsylvania freshman, died in Philadelphia Friday night in what police called an apparent suicide. Her father later said her death was linked to the “stress” of keeping good grades at her Ivy League school.

According to NorthJersey.com, Holleran jumped off the roof of a parking garage Friday night. Just an hour earlier, the Allendale, N.J., native reportedly posted a photo of the lights at Rittenhouse Square in Center City Philadelphia on her Instagram account.

Holleran was a soccer and track star in her hometown at Northern Highlands Regional High School and called a “perfectionist” by her father, Jim Holleran. He also said she had “grown depressed” while adjusting to college life away from home.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchChildrenEducationMarriage & FamilyPsychologySuicideYoung Adults* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral Theology

0 Comments
Posted February 19, 2014 at 8:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Like other 20-somethings seeking a career foothold, Andrew Lang, a graduate of Penn State, took an internship at an upstart Beverly Hills production company at age 29 as a way of breaking into movie production. It didn’t pay, but he hoped the exposure would open doors.

When that internship proved to be a dead end, Mr. Lang went to work at a second production company, again as an unpaid intern. When that went nowhere, he left for another, doing whatever was asked, like delivering bottles of wine to 27 offices before Christmas. But that company, too, could not afford to hire him, even part time.

A year later, Mr. Lang is on his fourth internship, this time for a company that produces reality TV shows. While this internship at least pays him (he makes $10 an hour, with few perks), Mr. Lang feels no closer to a real job and worries about being an intern forever. “No one hires interns,” said Mr. Lang, who sees himself as part of a “revolving class of people” who can’t break free of the intern cycle. “Is this any way to live?”

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchPsychologyYoung Adults* Economics, PoliticsEconomyCorporations/Corporate LifeLabor/Labor Unions/Labor MarketThe Credit Freeze Crisis of Fall 2008/The Recession of 2007--* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral Theology

1 Comments
Posted February 18, 2014 at 6:15 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Last October, in between arguments over the debt ceiling, the federal government somehow found time to send me an email. My student loan payment was 70 days past due, the message read, so the government had negatively reported me to each major credit bureau and would continue to report me until my account was brought current.

I'm betting the government sent out a lot of those letters to people like me: college graduates from middle-class families who didn't qualify for much in the way of scholarship aid and had parents who couldn't afford to pay for their schooling.

Research published last month in the journal Sociology of Education shows that students from middle-class families are bearing the brunt of the student loan crisis. Jason Houle, a sociologist at Dartmouth College, analyzed the student loan debt of about 9,000 men and women, focusing on how socioeconomics, including family income and parents' educational background, influenced student debt.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchEducationYoung Adults* Economics, PoliticsEconomyPersonal Finance* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

0 Comments
Posted February 16, 2014 at 8:35 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

In the year 2000, scholars Suzanne M. Bianchi and Lynne M. Casper argued that by some measures, the late twentieth-century revolutions in the American family had slowed. There has been a recent “quieting of changes in the family, or at least of the pace of change,” they wrote.... “Whether the [1990s] slowing, and in some cases cessation, of change in family living arrangements is a temporary lull or part of a new, more sustained equilibrium will only be revealed in the first decades of the 21st century.”

Fourteen years after they wrote those words, it seems fair to say that the 1990s slowing of family change was just a temporary lull. The percent of births to unmarried women resumed its multi-decade increase in the 2000s, and the percent of adults that are married resumed its multi-decade fall. Family life has also continued to change on another less widely cited measure: cohabitation.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchChildrenMarriage & FamilyMenPsychologyWomenYoung Adults

0 Comments
Posted February 15, 2014 at 11:55 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Fourteen percent of adults between the ages of 24 and 34 -- those in the post-college years when most young adults are trying to establish independence -- report living at home with their parents. By contrast, roughly half of 18- to 23-year-olds, many of whom are still finishing their education, are currently living at home.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchChildrenMarriage & FamilyPsychologyYoung Adults* Economics, PoliticsEconomyLabor/Labor Unions/Labor Market* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral TheologyPastoral Theology

0 Comments
Posted February 14, 2014 at 7:30 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

In the wake of the prescription painkiller epidemic, heroin, much of it Mexican, has wormed its way into unsuspecting communities far from the Southwestern border as a cheaper and often more easily obtained alternative. Ms. Ivy’s was believed to be the seventh fatal heroin overdose in eight months in this town of 13,000 on the St. Croix River near Minneapolis. Two months after her death, and before yet another young Hudson woman died — at a “sober house” — of a heroin overdose in October, nearly 500 townspeople crowded into the First Presbyterian Church for a forum called “Heroin in Hudson: A Community in Crisis.”

Ms. Ivy’s death certificate, recently released, revealed that a mix of drugs was to blame; the police declined to specify the drugs since her death remains under investigation. But “Alysa was a heroin abuser, and her addiction to drugs killed her,” said Patty Schachtner, the St. Croix County medical examiner.

“It’s a tightknit community, and these kids all knew each other,” Ms. Schachtner said of those who overdosed. “They were not what you might expect. They were not the faces of heroin addiction we see on television.”

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchChildrenDrugs/Drug AddictionHealth & MedicineLaw & Legal IssuesPolice/FireMarriage & FamilyRural/Town LifeYoung Adults* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

2 Comments
Posted February 12, 2014 at 5:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

On virtually every measure of economic well-being and career attainment—from personal earnings to job satisfaction to the share employed full time—young college graduates are outperforming their peers with less education. And when today’s young adults are compared with previous generations, the disparity in economic outcomes between college graduates and those with a high school diploma or less formal schooling has never been greater in the modern era.

These assessments are based on findings from a new nationally representative Pew Research Center survey of 2,002 adults supplemented by a Pew Research analysis of economic data from the U.S. Census Bureau.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryStewardship* Culture-WatchChildrenMarriage & FamilyYoung Adults* Economics, PoliticsEconomyPersonal Finance

0 Comments
Posted February 11, 2014 at 4:00 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

In the autumn of 2012, a year after becoming president of Davidson College, Carol Quillen gave a lecture about the intimacy of relationships with the dead. A scholar of Italian humanism by training, she read Machiavelli’s account of his nighttime journeys into the "ancient courts of ancient men," where, among the authors of antiquity, he was "not ashamed to speak with them and to ask them the reason for their actions; and they in their kindness answer me; and for four hours of time I do not feel boredom, I forget every trouble, I do not dread poverty, I am not frightened by death; entirely I give myself over to them."

The lecture was part of Davidson’s undergraduate humanities curriculum, a program with its own long history that now struggles to compete for students’ attention. Quillen’s job is to make the classic American liberal-arts college prosperous and relevant in a time of accelerated expectation and high expense....

In her exploration of humanism, she told me, she discovered the "experience of revelation through reading the words of people from a distant, alien age." Quillen remains devoted to the close reading of canonical texts. "Life is short," she said, "and those guys were smart." Quillen has a talent for combining academic eloquence with candor and self-doubt.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchBooksEducationHistoryPhilosophyPoetry & LiteratureYoung Adults* Theology

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Posted February 11, 2014 at 6:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

"I think there is a perception that human trafficking is something that happens in large, urban centers or on the coast," said Elizabeth Miller, chief of adolescent medicine at Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC, and associate professor of pediatrics at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine.

But she often sees girls and women with mental health issues, like post-traumatic stress disorder, along with those who need treatment for physical issues like sexually transmitted diseases, malnutrition and other health consequences of trafficking. "This is really uncomfortable stuff, to think that there are young people in our community where adults who should be taking care of them are exploiting them -- using them sexually."

Dr. Miller and other local experts will be discussing the issue in depth tomorrow at an open house, sponsored by the Southwestern Pennsylvania Human Trafficking Coalition at the Andy Warhol Museum. The event comes just weeks after a federal grand jury indicted a man and a woman for sex trafficking of a 16-year-old, and a month after Moon police plucked the 17-year-old girl from the multistate group of four adults who now face charges of promoting prostitution.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchLaw & Legal IssuesPsychologyMental IllnessSexualityTeens / YouthViolenceWomenYoung Adults

0 Comments
Posted February 9, 2014 at 11:35 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Don’t let all the suits and ties fool you. Almost everyone at Year Up has faced almost unimaginable hardship in getting here. Poverty, drugs, foster care, men's and women's shelters—you name it.

Gerald Chertavian: We are going into a professional skills course.

This all out corporate training blitz is the brainchild of Gerald Chertavian -- a Wall Street veteran who believes that he’s discovered an untapped source of talent among the poorest in the country.

Gerald Chertavian: A majority of the young adults growing up in isolated poverty, in our inner cities, want opportunity, want to be challenged, want to be held to higher expectations, and are motivated to actually get a good job. They haven't had any exposure as to how do you do that.

Read it all or watch it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchHealth & MedicinePsychologyUrban/City Life and IssuesYoung Adults* Economics, PoliticsEconomyCorporations/Corporate LifeLabor/Labor Unions/Labor Market* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral TheologyPastoral Theology

0 Comments
Posted February 6, 2014 at 5:15 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

As time passed, she underwent numerous surgeries. She wore diapers until she was 13. And she endured great pain - pain caused by her body and the pain of feeling different, abnormal, somehow wrong.

A word darkened over her life, forming a seemingly permanent label: disabled.

For so long, too long, she heard people's comments. And she believed them.

However, she also grew up in the small town of Boone, N.C., with good friends and a loving family, including a fraternal twin sister. Together, they instilled a strong Christian faith in her.

Read it all from the local paper..

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeParish Ministry* Culture-WatchEducationYoung Adults* South Carolina* TheologyPastoral Theology

0 Comments
Posted February 4, 2014 at 9:11 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The problem isn’t only that higher education is unaffordable to many but that even at our highest-ranked colleges and universities, students aren’t getting much bang for their buck.

Since 1985, the price of higher education has increased 538 percent, according to a new study from the American Council of Trustees and Alumni (ACTA), a nonprofit, nonpartisan research group that encourages trustees and alumni to foster improvement where institutions may be reluctant to go against popular trends.

For perspective, compare tuition increases to a “mere” 286 percent increase in medical costs and a 121 percent increase in the consumer price index during the same period, according to the ACTA.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchEducationGlobalizationYoung Adults* Economics, PoliticsEconomyConsumer/consumer spendingPersonal Finance* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

3 Comments
Posted January 29, 2014 at 8:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Now you see it, now you don’t. It is the quickest way to invite suspicion, but a fifth of young married couples have admitted to removing their wedding ring before going out with friends or after a row.

A study of 2,000 couples found that men and women were more likely to wear a wedding ring today than in previous generations. However, the study also showed the flipside of these displays of fidelity — that if more people are willing to wear them, there will be more disgruntled couples willing to whip them off.

One in five people under 40 admitted to having taken off their wedding ring during marital strife. Men were most likely to take their ring off before socialising, and women were more likely to remove it after a fight.

Read it all (subscription required).

Filed under: * Culture-WatchMarriage & FamilyPsychologyStressReligion & CultureYoung Adults* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

2 Comments
Posted January 29, 2014 at 6:30 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

A student who was shot outside a dormitory at South Carolina State University died on Friday as authorities searched for four suspects believed to be involved in the shooting, officials said.

Police said the male student was shot around 1:30 p.m. EST (1330 ET) on the campus of the historically black college in Orangeburg, South Carolina.

Officials have not identified the victim or the suspects. Authorities are still investigating a motive for the shooting, said University Police Chief Mernard Clarkson.

Read it all

Filed under: * Culture-WatchEducationViolenceYoung Adults* South Carolina

0 Comments
Posted January 24, 2014 at 6:08 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

It is therefore a stark contrast when we compare parents’ dedication to getting their children into a good college with their dedication to getting their children into a good marriage. One cannot help but suspect from the lackadaisical approach of middle class parents to their progeny, that they do not consider marriage very important at all. Of course, this attitude is expected for those who have unfortunately come to believe that marriage is an outdated and irrelevant custom. However, it is not at all reasonable for those social conservative parents who still find marriage important—those who (rightly) profess it to be the most fundamental building block of society and (rightly) wish to defend it against various contemporary perversions of the institution.

Even conservative defenders of marriage lack intentionality when it comes to the marital prospects of their own children. It’s not as though they’re ignorant of how to handle important things because they also deeply involve themselves in goals like securing a college education. It is simply that they do not treat marriage with their actions the way they treat it with their rhetoric. They complain about institutions when they redefine marriage. They complain about the media when they demean or devalue marriage in various ways. Nevertheless, when it comes to that segment of society in which they have the most influence—their own family—they often do not seem to make the “college” kind of effort to cultivate a desire for marriage, to prepare their sons to be good husbands, to prepare their daughters to be good wives, or to help them find a good spouse.

Consider, as one small example of this, the virtue of chastity—a disposition to prepare and direct our sexuality towards marriage—and contrast it with the far more popular term among social conservatives: “abstinence.”

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchChildrenMarriage & FamilyPsychologyReligion & CultureYoung Adults* Economics, PoliticsEconomyConsumer/consumer spending* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral TheologyPastoral Theology

0 Comments
Posted January 17, 2014 at 7:30 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The Church of England must stop losing teenagers and those in their early twenties, if it is to reverse the decline that threatens its existence.

This warning was delivered by one of the authors of a new report on church growth, based on research commissioned by the Archbishops and published yesterday. The three teams behind the research, based at the University of Essex; Cranmer Hall, Durham; and Ripon College, Cuddesdon, were asked to investigate the factors that might deliver church growth, in the light of a nine-per-cent decline in church attendance over the past decade.

On Wednesday, Dr David Voas, Professor of Population Studies at the University of Essex, who carried out some of the research, said: "A lot of people think of decline in terms of people stopping attending. The major factor underlying numerical change is that people never start attending in the first place.Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)* Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryEvangelism and Church Growth* Culture-WatchReligion & CultureTeens / YouthYoung Adults* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK

0 Comments
Posted January 17, 2014 at 5:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

After working four long years to earn a spot on the Olympic team, U.S. biathlete Tracy Barnes decided to give it all up for a teammate she felt deserved to go to Sochi even more: her twin sister.

Tracy Barnes, 31, who just missed qualifying for the 2010 Olympics, gave her spot to her sister, Lanny, who finished just behind Tracy in sixth place during qualifying. Lanny had missed three of the final four qualifying races in Ridnaun, Italy, due to illness and appeared to be out of the running for one of the five spots on the team in Sochi before her sister’s selfless act.

The sisters appeared live on TODAY Thursday to talk about Tracy’s surprising decision, which will send Lanny to the third Olympics of her career.

Read it all (Video highly recommended).

Filed under: * Culture-WatchChildrenGlobalizationMarriage & FamilySportsWomenYoung Adults* International News & CommentaryAmerica/U.S.A.* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral Theology

0 Comments
Posted January 16, 2014 at 4:01 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Leading social network Facebook (FB) has lost some 59% of its college users in three years and teenagers are also leaving the platform, an independent research firm said Wednesday.

Teen users have fallen by about 25%, according to a triennial report from iStrategyLabs, a digital strategy and marketing firm.

The data that's backing the study come from Facebook's ad platform, says iStrategyLabs Chief Marketing Officer DJ Saul in a blog post.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchBlogging & the Internet--Social NetworkingEducationYoung Adults* Economics, PoliticsEconomyConsumer/consumer spendingCorporations/Corporate Life* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral Theology

1 Comments
Posted January 16, 2014 at 7:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

His story has been told often, but only from the age of 11 onward. Family members preferred it that way. The story always made passing reference to a father and a mother and to the construction of Knowshon's unusual name, but only began in earnest when he was in middle school in New Jersey, living with McQueen, his maternal grandmother, outrunning his classmates in furious games of tag, hinting at the athletic skills that would carry him all the way to the NFL. But there is more.

Sitting in the glass lobby of the Broncos' practice facility, Moreno sketches the edges of a life he lived as a child. He tells the story only because he was asked, and he tells it without pause or drama, with the same smile he wears for most of every day. He sheds no tears, alligator or otherwise. Afterward, Moreno's mother, grandmother and his uncle Gary, three relatives with whom he has close relationships, fill in more details about Knowshon's early life. His father does not participate in the retelling of this story.

Moreno was born as the child of two children: His mother, Varashon McQueen, was 16 when Knowshon was conceived; his father, Freddie Moreno, was 17. Both teenagers lived in the Bronx. Varashon, one of three children, was named after a character in a short story written by her father, William McQueen. Freddie was called Knowledge, a name he received as a member of the Five Percent Nation, an offshoot of the Nation of Islam that was founded in the 1960s; he was the second of five children born to Puerto Rican immigrants and was raised by his mother at a housing project on Fish Avenue. The young couple gave their son a name built from their own: Know for Knowledge, Shon for Varashon.

His story has been told often, but only from the age of 11 onward. Family members preferred it that way. The story always made passing reference to a father and a mother and to the construction of Knowshon's unusual name, but only began in earnest when he was in middle school in New Jersey, living with McQueen, his maternal grandmother, outrunning his classmates in furious games of tag, hinting at the athletic skills that would carry him all the way to the NFL. But there is more.

Sitting in the glass lobby of the Broncos' practice facility, Moreno sketches the edges of a life he lived as a child. He tells the story only because he was asked, and he tells it without pause or drama, with the same smile he wears for most of every day. He sheds no tears, alligator or otherwise. Afterward, Moreno's mother, grandmother and his uncle Gary, three relatives with whom he has close relationships, fill in more details about Knowshon's early life. His father does not participate in the retelling of this story.

Moreno was born as the child of two children: His mother, Varashon McQueen, was 16 when Knowshon was conceived; his father, Freddie Moreno, was 17. Both teenagers lived in the Bronx. Varashon, one of three children, was named after a character in a short story written by her father, William McQueen. Freddie was called Knowledge, a name he received as a member of the Five Percent Nation, an offshoot of the Nation of Islam that was founded in the 1960s; he was the second of five children born to Puerto Rican immigrants and was raised by his mother at a housing project on Fish Avenue. The young couple gave their son a name built from their own: Know for Knowledge, Shon for Varashon.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchChildrenEducationMarriage & FamilyPovertySportsUrban/City Life and IssuesYoung Adults* International News & CommentaryAmerica/U.S.A.

0 Comments
Posted January 15, 2014 at 6:00 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

This really is the question in today's paper: Q: My friend has recently split up with his long-term girlfriend (he is in his early thirties, as am I), and is really enjoying his new, revived, single sex life. It’s made me question my relationship — whether I’m happy or not. I’ve been in a relationship for eight years and we have lived together for five years now. Should I play the field before settling down for life? I don’t want to realise later that I’ve missed out. Read it all (subscriber only) to see the answer

Filed under: * Culture-WatchMarriage & FamilyPsychologySexualityYoung Adults* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK

0 Comments
Posted January 11, 2014 at 1:08 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Jameis Winston threw a 2-yard touchdown pass to Kelvin Benjamin with 13 seconds left and No. 1 Florida State beat No. 2 Auburn 34-31 to win the last BCS national championship game on Monday night.

Winston struggled much of the night but was near perfect when the Seminoles (14-0) needed it most, going 6 for 7 for 77 yards on the game-winning 80-yard drive. A pass interference penalty on Auburn’s Chris Davis gave Florida State a first-and-goal at the 2 and on the next play Winston hit his big receiver for the touchdown.

“I said this from Day 1 in spring ball. These kids are special,” coach Jimbo Fisher said. “This group never faltered. They wanted to be elite. They wanted to go to the top and there’s so much character in this group.”

Read it all from AP.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchEducationSportsYoung Adults* International News & CommentaryAmerica/U.S.A.

0 Comments
Posted January 7, 2014 at 5:30 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

In the field of higher education, reality is outrunning parody. A recent feature on the satire website the Onion proclaimed, "30-Year-Old Has Earned $11 More Than He Would Have Without College Education." Allowing for tuition, interest on student loans, and four years of foregone income while in school, the fictional student "Patrick Moorhouse" wasn't much better off. His years of stress and study, the article japed, "have been more or less a financial wash."

"Patrick" shouldn't feel too bad. Many college graduates would be happy to be $11 ahead instead of thousands, or hundreds of thousands, behind. The credit-driven higher education bubble of the past several decades has left legions of students deep in debt without improving their job prospects. To make college a good value again, today's parents and students need to be skeptical, frugal and demanding. There is no single solution to what ails higher education in the U.S., but changes are beginning to emerge, from outsourcing to online education, and they could transform the system.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchEducationYoung Adults* Economics, PoliticsEconomyLabor/Labor Unions/Labor MarketPersonal Finance* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral Theology

2 Comments
Posted January 4, 2014 at 6:09 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Shaw's 9-yard touchdown catch from receiver Bruce Ellington was one of five scores in his final game. He contributed to every touchdown in No. 8 South Carolina's 34-24 win over No. 19 Wisconsin before a crowd of 56,629 at Florida Citrus Bowl in Orlando.

It was the Gamecocks' (11-2) third straight bowl victory over a Big Ten opponent, and their third straight 11-win season. For the Badgers (9-4), it was their fourth straight bowl loss.

It was also the storybook ending to Shaw's career - passing, receiving and rushing for a touchdown on his way to being named the Capital One Bowl MVP. Shaw completed 22-of-25 passes for 312 yards, three touchdowns and no interceptions. He iced the game with a 1-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchEducationMenSportsYoung Adults* South Carolina

0 Comments
Posted January 2, 2014 at 8:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

But there’s a problem. [Charles] Lindblom’s common-sense insight has a giant exception: crises. Change, forced by outside events, then happens by “leaps and bounds.” The recent financial crisis caused Congress and two presidents to embrace measures (the rescue of big banks, General Motors and Chrysler) that were unthinkable a few months earlier. In the 1960s, civil rights demonstrations pushed Congress to pass the Civil Rights Act of 1964 that, in outlawing most public racial discrimination, wasn’t “incremental.” History offers other examples, including the Civil War, the New Deal and both World Wars. Small changes won’t suffice when big changes are required.

On the budget, muddling through comes with a crucial assumption. It is that continuous deficits won’t provoke a crisis that compels political leaders to take harsh steps that they would otherwise not take. This optimism may be justified. For decades, “experts” have warned of the dire consequences of unchecked deficits. Yet no great crisis has occurred. But this conviction also could be complacency. Government debt is in territory that, except for wartime debt, is unprecedented. We don’t know the consequences. Someday, we may no longer have the luxury of muddling through.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchAging / the ElderlyYoung Adults* Economics, PoliticsEconomyTaxesThe U.S. GovernmentBudgetMedicareSocial SecurityThe National DeficitPolitics in GeneralHouse of RepresentativesOffice of the PresidentPresident Barack ObamaSenate* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

0 Comments
Posted December 17, 2013 at 5:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

"If the Lord told me I could redo two years of my life--if I could take a mulligan--I would choose the two years after Bible College. Hands down. I joke about it, but it really was the worst time. There was so much pride in my life...."

Go here, then to the table of contents, then to page 58 to read the rest.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchEducationYoung Adults* Religion News & CommentaryOther ChurchesEvangelicals* TheologyAnthropologyPastoral Theology

1 Comments
Posted December 16, 2013 at 5:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

A third [friend of Erin Wurzel]...posted her holiday table setting in Paris, complete with burning candles, rolled napkins with napkin rings, an open Champagne bottle, a huge centerpiece of fall flowers and the illuminated Eiffel Tower framed in a casement window.

“I let out an ‘Oh, my God!,’ like a little kid who wants something they cannot have,” said Ms. Wurzel, a program analyst in Philadelphia who uses the Instagram handle likewantneed. “You’re searching through your feed and a picture will hit you, like that Paris shot. It’s just so perfect. You just think, ‘I want that, I want that life.’ ”

It’s called Instagram envy, and Ms. Wurzel had it bad.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchBlogging & the Internet--Social NetworkingPsychologyScience & TechnologyYoung Adults* Economics, PoliticsEconomyConsumer/consumer spending* General InterestPhotos/Photography* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

0 Comments
Posted December 14, 2013 at 10:30 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

May 11, 1942: Five months into World War II, a young Coast Guardsman from Iowa was shown in a photo feature exhibiting the “typical actions and reactions of the thousands of service men from small towns who, since the war began, have made their maiden journey to the ‘big city.’”

Check it out.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchHistoryMilitary / Armed ForcesUrban/City Life and IssuesYoung Adults

4 Comments
Posted December 13, 2013 at 3:15 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

"We found out today that Isaac took his life," says the email sent by Darling Murray, a coordinator at Summit Church in Orlando. "We are obviously deeply deeply devastated and saddened beyond words by this news. The tears keep coming and coming as we mourn. We are praying for his family and this congregation as we walk through this together."

Officials of Northland, a Church Distributed, said they are still awaiting the police report on Isaac Hunter's death, but the church confirmed his death in a statement posted on the Northland website.

"By now you may have heard that Pastor Joel and Becky's son Isaac Hunter died today. All of us are grieving for the Hunter family, and we will deeply miss Isaac. Words cannot express the sorrow we're feeling," said the statement by Vernon Rainwater, a Northland pastor. "We love this family and are so grateful for the impact they have had on each of our lives. I have loved Isaac since he was a child, and I know this ... Isaac loved Jesus. And we are assured of his continuing relationship with Christ now in heaven."

Read it all.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryDeath / Burial / FuneralsMinistry of the Ordained* Culture-WatchPsychologySuicideYoung Adults* Religion News & CommentaryOther ChurchesEvangelicals

0 Comments
Posted December 10, 2013 at 7:09 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

...one change, over time, could reverse the problems that have built up over the past few decades: We should mandate military service for all Americans, men and women alike, when they turn 18. The idea is radical, unlikely and impractical — but it just might work.

There is no better explanation for what has gone wrong in Washington in recent years than the tabulation done every two years of how many members of Congress served in the military.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchHistoryYoung Adults* Economics, PoliticsDefense, National Security, MilitaryPolitics in General* International News & CommentaryAmerica/U.S.A.

0 Comments
Posted December 1, 2013 at 5:06 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

No. 10 South Carolina beat No. 6 Clemson, 31-17, before a crowd of 84,174 at Williams-Brice Stadium. The Gamecocks forced six turnovers, including three from Boyd in the fourth quarter. After Boyd’s fumble, he threw two interceptions.

USC (10-2) won its fifth straight game over Clemson for the first time in the rivalry’s 111-game history. It’s the furthest one team has extended a streak since 1940, when Clemson (10-2) won its seventh straight.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchEducationSportsYoung Adults* South Carolina

0 Comments
Posted December 1, 2013 at 11:30 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

A 76-year-old woman who was knocked to the ground by a stranger yesterday is thought to be the latest victim in a dangerous 'knock out' game in New York.

Yvonne Small was walking through Brooklyn at about 11.30am when an unidentified person punched her in the back of the head.

Ms Small, who was knocked to the ground in the unprovoked attack, is believed to the the tenth victim in a sick craze.

Read it all from the Daily Mail.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchAging / the ElderlyUrban/City Life and IssuesViolenceYoung Adults* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

0 Comments
Posted December 1, 2013 at 11:14 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Of course, this is a case where the religious practices of the business are conflicting with the government’s directives about the sort of health care its employees are obligated to expect. We’ve been through the arguments surrounding it before, so I’m not keen on repeating all of that. I’ll simply point to this excellent paper that lays out the legal case for Hobby Lobby’s defense and open the floor, er, comments for anyone who reads it and disagrees to make the case.

But this case will be a real conflict for young evangelicals, for whom the distribution of birth control sometimes seems like a shibboleth that borders on a right. For many of them, I suspect the wariness toward Hobby Lobby and the conservative case on this question has more to do with commitments to contraception personally and as a social good than any understanding of religious liberty or corporate religious beliefs.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchHealth & MedicineLaw & Legal IssuesLife EthicsReligion & CultureYoung Adults* Religion News & CommentaryOther ChurchesRoman Catholic

0 Comments
Posted November 30, 2013 at 10:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

While automakers and dealers lament that younger buyers have neither money nor brand loyalty when it comes to buying a car, a host of services are looking to the crowd to help them save for what could be the biggest purchase they will make for several years.

Geared toward first-time buyers, these services, like BoostUp, a Detroit-based company that Ms. Frandsen and Mr. Burris used, are trying to turn car-buying into a social experience.

Toyota and Google, for example, are announcing on Wednesday the Toyota Collaborator, a social car shopping tool where potential Corolla buyers can discuss decisions with friends and family in real time using Google Hangouts.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchBlogging & the Internet--Social NetworkingMediaScience & TechnologyTravelYoung Adults* Economics, PoliticsEconomyConsumer/consumer spendingCorporations/Corporate Life* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

0 Comments
Posted November 27, 2013 at 5:16 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

First, a lot is meant to happen before you are 35. It used to be that parents were a few years into their duties at least. No longer. Family formation is being delayed – sadly, often for too long. High housing costs and weak wages mean young people may not feel able to have the family lives that they would want.

Second, a world of ever-escalating house prices will embed inequality....

These problems are too serious for (usually older) people to wave away. Nor are they easy to solve at a stroke. Part of the problem is that global competition and automation have removed a lot of decent starting jobs. But there are ways to help. We could subsidise employment and education for the young a bit more. Tax and planning law could be reformed to create incentives to build new housing. None of the obvious pro-young ideas is simple, but none is even on the agenda. Politics tends to pander to the old.

Read it all (if necessary, another link may be found there).

Filed under: * Culture-WatchAging / the ElderlyYoung Adults* Economics, PoliticsEconomyPolitics in General* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

0 Comments
Posted November 23, 2013 at 2:00 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The Empowered21 Next Gen Youth Leaders Network (NGYN21) hosted a summit comprised of youth leaders from around the globe. The youth leaders discussed topics such as Spirit-empowered living in the 21st century, the impact of the Holy Spirit on discipleship and developing young Spirit-empowered disciples in the ministry.

“We seem to think there is a different method used in other countries,” said Christ for All Nations President Daniel Kolenda. “The gospel works with humanity and all cultures. We were created to receive it. Just preach its simplicity and let the Holy Spirit do the drawing. God is going to give our generation a message that is so old, they think it is new. The hub is the gospel of salvation; the other spokes will align.”

Read it all.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryYouth Ministry* Culture-WatchReligion & CultureTeens / YouthYoung Adults

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Posted November 18, 2013 at 8:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Are you kidding me? Wow.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchEducationMenSportsYoung Adults* International News & CommentaryAmerica/U.S.A.

2 Comments
Posted November 16, 2013 at 6:35 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

More and more atheist groups are replacing antagonism with civility, motivated by human reason to do charitable work rather than spite against all things religious, said Greg Epstein, humanist chaplain at Harvard University and author of “Good without God.”

“We're really not that interested in tearing people down anymore. We're trying to tear down bad beliefs, but not the people who believe them,” he said. “What's going to emerge from this is a more powerful and influential secular humanist community. There really are millions and millions of us. It was easier to dismiss us when they pigeon-holed us as anti-religious. We're not. We're millions of good people, working to build a better society for everyone.”

Declining membership and the graduations of Atheist Agenda leaders last semester precipitated the change, Schmidt said. Former leaders did not return repeated requests for comment. But former members, now active with the Secular Student Alliance, said the old guard encountered resistance last semester to its over-the-top methods.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchReligion & CultureYoung Adults* Religion News & CommentaryOther FaithsAtheism

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Posted November 16, 2013 at 1:40 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Anyone who has listened to much Bruce Springsteen has surely noticed the singer's fondness for biblical allusions in his lyrics. Now Rutgers University is making a study of them.

The college in New Brunswick, N.J., will be offering a freshman seminar examining the theology of Springsteen, according to a Q&A on the Rutgers Today PR site with Azzan Yadin-Israel, the course professor. The class will cover Springsteen's entire discography, from 1973's "Greetings From Asbury Park, N.J." to last year's "Wrecking Ball."

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchEducationMusicReligion & CultureYoung Adults* International News & CommentaryAmerica/U.S.A.

0 Comments
Posted November 13, 2013 at 10:19 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

You’ve heard us say that we like Jesus but not the church, and it’s not because we’re trying to be difficult. It’s because the Jesus we read about enters into the pain of humanity where so often the church people seem to want to float above it.

In the end, it’s not really about what churches say or don’t say. What millennials want is to be seen. Understood. Loved. It’s what everyone wants, really. And for this generation of journeyers? Choosing honesty over cliché is a really great place to start.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeParish Ministry* Culture-WatchPsychologyReligion & CultureYoung Adults* International News & CommentaryAmerica/U.S.A.

2 Comments
Posted November 8, 2013 at 4:20 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Elite business-school graduates are increasingly heading to work in technology over finance as the lingering aftereffects of the financial crisis—along with Wall Street's long hours and scaled-back pay—sends newly minted M.B.A.s elsewhere.

At Harvard Business School, 18% of job-seeking students landed tech-sector spots this year, up from 12% in 2012. A similar shift is under way at the business schools at Yale University and Cornell University, where the share of graduates going into tech more than doubled over the past two years.

Meanwhile, just 27% of Harvard Business School graduates took jobs in finance this year, down from 35% last year. That figure dropped to 16% from 27% at the MIT Sloan School of Management.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchEducationScience & TechnologyYoung Adults* Economics, PoliticsEconomyCredit MarketsLabor/Labor Unions/Labor MarketStock MarketThe Banking System/Sector* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

0 Comments
Posted November 7, 2013 at 7:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Insurers say the early buyers of health coverage on the nation's troubled new websites are older than expected so far, raising early concerns about the economics of the insurance marketplaces.

If the trend continues, an older, more expensive set of customers could drive up prices for everyone, the insurers say, by forcing them to spread their costs around. "We need a broad range of people to make this work, and we're not seeing that right now," said Heather Thiltgen of Medical Mutual of Ohio, the state's largest insurer by individual customers. "We're seeing the population skewing older."

The early numbers, described to The Wall Street Journal by insurance executives, agents, state officials and actuaries, are still small—partly a consequence of the continuing technical problems plaguing the federally run exchanges, experts say. HealthCare.gov, the federally run marketplace serving 36 states, is suffering serious technical problems that have prevented many people from signing up.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchAging / the ElderlyBlogging & the InternetHealth & Medicine--The 2009 American Health Care Reform DebateLaw & Legal IssuesScience & TechnologyYoung Adults* Economics, PoliticsEconomyPolitics in General* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

0 Comments
Posted November 5, 2013 at 5:15 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

With mainline religious congregations dwindling across America, a scattering of churches is trying to attract new members by creating a different sort of Christian community. They are gathering around craft beer.

Some church groups are brewing it themselves, while others are bring the Holy Mysteries to a taproom. The result is not sloshed congregants; rather, it's an exploratory approach to do church differently.

Leah Stanfield stands at a microphone across the room from the beer taps and reads this evening's gospel message.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryEvangelism and Church Growth* Culture-WatchAlcohol/DrinkingReligion & CultureYoung Adults* Religion News & CommentaryOther ChurchesLutheran

0 Comments
Posted November 3, 2013 at 5:54 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

In the late 1990s, I heard sociologist David Popenoe make a brilliant observation out of a few obvious facts. He noted that there was an increasingly long period of time in human development between when people mature sexually and when they marry. This growing period of time would, he observed, provide the average American young person with a lot of practice at being non-monogamous (or, at best, serious experience with serial monogamy). He suggested that this would undermine success in marriage.

If the average person can have sex and even make a baby by age 14, and the average person marries at age 27, we're talking a 13-year period with a lot of independence and (for many) relatively few responsibilities. That's Vegas.

So does what happens in Vegas stay in Vegas? Most of the time, no. What happens in romantic and sexual relationships before one settles down can negatively impact the options one will have moving forward in life. But many people do not believe that, as it runs counter to the tide of messages, media, and culture that support the Vegas Syndrome.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchMarriage & FamilyMenPsychologySexualitySociologyWomenYoung Adults* International News & CommentaryAmerica/U.S.A.* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral Theology

0 Comments
Posted October 31, 2013 at 2:58 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Jadeveon Clowney hobbled down the hill leading from the visitors’ locker room here, headphones around his neck, a pizza box in his left hand, a smile on his face. At the bottom of the hill was his family. And beyond them, a few dozen South Carolina fans were waiting behind metal fences, calling his name.

The Gamecocks had just beaten then-No. 5 Missouri in double overtime Saturday, and Clowney had not necessarily dominated the game as a defensive end, but his star was still as bright as could be.

“I don’t have nothing to prove,” Clowney said as he approached his family and fans. “They keep doubting — we’re going to keep winning. Let them keep doubting us. That’s all I can say. It’s a team sport.

“For all what people think about me — I just want to win with my team.”

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchEducationMenSportsYoung Adults* South Carolina

3 Comments
Posted October 28, 2013 at 4:31 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

BOB FAW, correspondent: This is “coming out day” at Georgetown University in Washington, DC. At this Jesuit institution, three dozen students celebrate homosexual and lesbian lifestyles even though the Catholic Church considers them immoral. Thomas Lloyd is president of Georgetown’s Gay Pride.

THOMAS LLOYD (Student, Georgetown University): By recognizing pride, Georgetown has become more true to its Jesuit values. Commitments to social justice are some of the most important and historically grounded parts of Catholic doctrine.

FAW: But what is sanctioned at one Catholic university is anathema at another: Florida’s Ave Maria University.

JIM TOWEY (President, Ave Maria University): This is a university that’s founded on biblical truth, on scripture, and on the sacramental richness of the Catholic Church....

Read or watch and listen to it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchEducationReligion & CultureYoung Adults* Religion News & CommentaryOther ChurchesRoman Catholic

0 Comments
Posted October 27, 2013 at 1:01 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Ai Aoyama is a sex and relationship counsellor who works out of her narrow three-story home on a Tokyo back street. Aoyama, 52, is trying to cure what Japan's media calls sekkusu shinai shokogun, or "celibacy syndrome". Japan's under-40s appear to be losing interest in conventional relationships. Millions aren't even dating, and increasing numbers can't be bothered with sex.

Japan's under-40s won't go forth and multiply out of duty, as postwar generations did. The country is undergoing major social transition after 20 years of economic stagnation. It is also battling against the effects on its already nuclear-destruction-scarred psyche of 2011's earthquake, tsunami and radioactive meltdown. There is no going back. "Both men and women say to me they don't see the point of love. They don't believe it can lead anywhere," says Aoyama. "Relationships have become too hard."

Japan's punishing corporate world makes it almost impossible for women to combine a career and family, while children are unaffordable unless both parents work. Cohabiting or unmarried parenthood is still unusual, dogged by bureaucratic disapproval.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchHealth & MedicinePsychologySexualityYoung Adults* Economics, PoliticsEconomyCorporations/Corporate LifeLabor/Labor Unions/Labor MarketPolitics in General* International News & CommentaryAsiaJapan* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral Theology

1 Comments
Posted October 24, 2013 at 6:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

TALK about taking control of your own romantic destiny! Amid the quagmire of crazy bride stories we've heard this week has emerged a pearler about a woman who got married to, well, herself.

Mary-Anne was apparently so upset at turning 30 without a ring she threw herself a big fake wedding at a five-star venue with about 100 guests.

The Melbourne woman's wedding planner Sarah McCawley from weddingwish.com.au says it was one of the most memorable weddings she has ever organised.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchMarriage & FamilyPsychologyWomenYoung Adults* International News & CommentaryAustralia / NZ* TheologyAnthropology

0 Comments
Posted October 22, 2013 at 8:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Clearly this payout trend is unsustainable, but what politician dare touch it?

Social Security is not that difficult a problem in theory (at least in comparison to Medicare), except for the politics of it all. Numerous things could be done to put the system in the green.

Possible Ways to Make Social Security Actuarially Sound

Raise retirement age
Raise or eliminate the cap on payroll taxes
Cut benefits
Collect Social Security on personal income
Implement a Tiered Cap structure
Means Testing

Democrats would oppose 1 and 3. Republicans might oppose all but 3. So, how does this mess end if politicians won't touch it?

Read it all and make sure to take a careful look at the charts.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchAging / the ElderlyYoung Adults* Economics, PoliticsEconomyLabor/Labor Unions/Labor MarketThe U.S. GovernmentSocial Security

0 Comments
Posted October 22, 2013 at 7:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The one-way communication from pulpit to pew is not how Millennials experience faith. By nature of digital connectedness, Millennial life is interactive. For many of them, faith is interactive as well—whether their churches are ready for it or not. It’s an ongoing conversation, and it’s all happening on their computers, tablets and smart phones. What’s more, many of them bring their devices with them to church. Now with the ability to fact-check at their fingertips, Millennials aren’t taking the teaching of faith leaders for granted. In fact, 14% of Millennials say they search to verify something a faith leader has said. A striking 38% of practicing Christian Millennials say the same.

Beyond the congregation, technology is also changing how Millennials learn about and discuss their faith. This generation is accustomed to foraging in multiple digital places at any given time—from texting to Twitter to Instagram, from news feeds to blogs and more. This digital deluge naturally includes matters of faith and spirituality. For example, more than four out of 10 practicing Christian Millennials say they participate in online conversations about faith, and the same number say they blog or post comments on blogs about spiritual matters.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchBlogging & the InternetReligion & CultureScience & TechnologyYoung Adults

0 Comments
Posted October 21, 2013 at 4:55 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Stan Druckenmiller makes an unlikely class warrior. He's a member of the 1%—make that the 0.001%—one of the most successful money managers of all time, and 60 years old to boot. But lately he has been touring college campuses promoting a message of income redistribution you don't hear out of Washington. It's how federal entitlements like Medicare and Social Security are letting Mr. Druckenmiller's generation rip off all those doting Barack Obama voters in Generation X, Y and Z.

"I have been shocked at the reception. I had planned to only visit Bowdoin, " his alma mater in Maine, he says. But he has since been invited to multiple campuses, and even the kids at Stanford and Berkeley have welcomed his theme of generational theft. Harlem Children's Zone President Geoffrey Canada and former Federal Reserve Governor Kevin Warsh have joined him at stops along the tour.

Mr. Druckenmiller describes the reaction of students: "The biggest question I got was, 'How do we start a movement?' And my answer was 'I'm a 60-year-old washed-up money manager. I don't know how to start a movement. That's your job. But we did it in Vietnam without Twitter and without Facebook and without any social media. That's your job.' But the enthusiasm—they get it."

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchAging / the ElderlyMiddle AgeYoung Adults* Economics, PoliticsEconomyThe U.S. GovernmentBudgetMedicareSocial SecurityThe National DeficitPolitics in GeneralHouse of RepresentativesOffice of the PresidentPresident Barack ObamaSenate* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

1 Comments
Posted October 19, 2013 at 10:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

A couple of cynical commentators maintain that schools like the Institute have to adapt to today’s culture “because otherwise they cannot recruit enough top-notch staff.” Non-cynically, one can relate this and other change to fresh Biblical scholarship, studies of evangelical hermeneutics, recognition of internal diversity among conservative evangelicals, and awareness that strictures like the old ban often caused embarrassment to many of the most conscientious and able employees, including faculty. It might be most useful to try to assess where compromises like the Institute’s register among adjustments to contemporary culture(s) in general.

Whoever is of temperate disposition and conscientious commitment and has weathered weekend-night drinking-orgies on many kinds of campuses might look with envy for the peace and quiet—not always dullness—in colleges where self-restraint has endured. Still, many who have nothing against, or who favor, the relaxation of rules like the wine-ban can sympathize with leadership caught in the conflict between old restrictions and new experiments with freedom.

Read it all.


Filed under: * Culture-WatchAlcohol/DrinkingEducationReligion & CultureYoung Adults* Religion News & CommentaryOther ChurchesEvangelicals

1 Comments
Posted October 16, 2013 at 5:08 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

A 22-year-old woman whose life was spared with the help of a Christian adoption agency after her biological mother was raped has been voted Auburn University's 100th homecoming queen and she is now using her inspiring story to encourage people to adopt.

The young woman, Molly Anne Dutton, was elected homecoming queen by the nation's most conservative student body over the weekend after running on a platform advocating adoption, according to a Yellowhammer News report.

Dutton shared the inspiring story of her biological mother who became pregnant after she was raped while living with her husband in California. Her mother's husband threatened to divorce her if she didn't abort Molly but the brave woman chose a different path.

She chose to get help from Birmingham-based Christian adoption agency Lifeline Children's Services and gave birth to Molly and put her up for adoption.

Read it all.


Filed under: * Culture-WatchChildrenEducationHealth & MedicineLaw & Legal IssuesLife EthicsMarriage & FamilyReligion & CultureWomenYoung Adults* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral Theology

1 Comments
Posted October 16, 2013 at 4:42 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Two high school friends reunited for the weekend, with one, now a USC freshman, showing off her new campus to her out-of-town guest.

But the night ended tragically for the young women, when the freshman was struck by a random bullet while waiting for a taxi near the iconic fountain in Five Points. Martha Childress, 18, is paralyzed from the hips down, after a .40-caliber bullet lodged in her spine, said her uncle, Jim Carpenter, who is serving as the family’s spokesman. She also suffered damage to her liver and a kidney, but doctors were optimistic those wounds would heal, he said.

Childress graduated in the spring from J.L. Mann High School in Greenville. She earned a 4.0 grade-point average there and chose to study at the University of South Carolina, her parents’ alma mater, Carpenter said. She had declared international business as her major and was pledging the Zeta Tau Alpha sorority.

Makes the heart sad--read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchEducationViolenceYoung Adults* South Carolina

0 Comments
Posted October 15, 2013 at 6:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

...it is still foolish to ignore the leverage that the individual mandate gives opponents of Obamacare. America's healthcare system for the elderly (Medicare, plus Medicaid for nursing-home care) is already edging the country toward generational war because Washington will sooner or later be forced to choose between drastic limitations on coverage in those programs or drastic increases in taxes on the decreasing portion of working Americans. Now we're adding a parallel obligation on younger workers to subsidize healthcare for fiftysomethings.

What to do? The path of least political resistance is to tough it out, hoping younger households will be unable to figure out what's happening, or simply unwilling to throw in their lot with opponents of gay marriage, marijuana reform and the like. Alternatively, we could start paying attention to the building crisis as younger households scramble ever harder for a middle-class living standard.

And none too soon, because the signs of generational conflict are already appearing.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchAging / the ElderlyHealth & Medicine--The 2009 American Health Care Reform DebateYoung Adults* Economics, PoliticsEconomyConsumer/consumer spendingCorporations/Corporate LifeHousing/Real Estate MarketLabor/Labor Unions/Labor MarketTaxesThe U.S. GovernmentBudgetMedicaidMedicareThe National DeficitPolitics in General* International News & CommentaryAmerica/U.S.A.* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

0 Comments
Posted October 14, 2013 at 8:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

...what happened late last week was not minor. Kill did not feel well as Minnesota prepared to leave for Michigan, and he stayed behind, and he hoped, right up until he had another seizure, that he would be able to fly to Ann Arbor on Saturday morning and lead his team to a statement win.

Only he did have another seizure. He stayed home. This was the first time he had not attended a game at all because of a seizure. And it was his fifth seizure on a game day and his second one this season.

Kill and the Minnesota football program did the right thing in light of all that Thursday. They did the right thing for the team, but more important — way, way more important — they did the right thing for Kill. When he can coach, he should. Until then, his health is more important. More coaches should consider that.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchEducationHealth & MedicinePsychologyStressSportsYoung Adults* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral TheologyPastoral Theology

0 Comments
Posted October 12, 2013 at 12:05 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

A group of firefighters is making sure the victims of the Sandy Hook Elementary School tragedy are never forgotten by building playgrounds – 26 of them – each honoring a student or teacher who lost their life.
As they help Newtown families heal, they’re also helping communities rebuild -- because each will be in an area ravaged by Superstorm Sandy.
The idea of a playground "was more than just a structure or a place for kids to play on,” said New Jersey firefighter Capt. Bill Lavin and founder of The Sandy Ground: Where Angels Play. “It was a symbol of hope.”

Watch the whole video report.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryDeath / Burial / Funerals* Culture-WatchChildrenEducationTeens / YouthViolenceYoung Adults* General InterestNatural Disasters: Earthquakes, Tornadoes, Hurricanes, etc.

0 Comments
Posted October 11, 2013 at 6:20 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The formula never changed: demand discipline, emphasize recruiting and increase resources. It was simple, but it also worked.

At Southern Illinois, Kill & Company saved a program on the verge of being dropped. They beat Indiana on the road. Kill drove into the rural communities near Southern Illinois and persuaded fans to return, one handshake at a time. When Mike Reis, the Salukis’ veteran play-by-play announcer, spent weeks in the hospital for colon surgery, Kill visited daily. When the university offered him a raise, he spread the money among his assistants.

At Northern Illinois, Kill and his crew replaced Joe Novak and began another turnaround. In his interview, Kill told Novak and Jim Phillips, now the athletic director at Northwestern, about the seizures and said he had a handle on them. Phillips said Kill’s health did not factor “an iota” into his decision.

Even then, a Big Ten job seemed far away. What school would take that kind of chance?

Read it all (Hat tip: Elizabeth Harmon).

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryDeath / Burial / Funerals* Culture-WatchEducationHealth & MedicineMarriage & FamilyPsychologyStressSportsYoung Adults* International News & CommentaryAmerica/U.S.A.* TheologyEschatology

0 Comments
Posted October 9, 2013 at 5:30 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Who played whom and what was the final score?

No peeking, googling, phoning a friend, etc.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchEducationHistoryYoung Adults* International News & CommentaryAmerica/U.S.A.

4 Comments
Posted October 7, 2013 at 4:00 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

ccording to Fidelity Investments, 2013 graduates who had borrowed had an average of $35,200 in college-related debt, so lots of millennials bring debt into their marriages. The average household headed by someone under 35 carried $89,500 in debt in 2010, including mortgage debt, the Federal Reserve's Survey of Consumer Finances shows. (That's up from $53,700 in 1989, measured in 2010 dollars.)

The first thing to do is have an open conversation with your spouse in which you both disclose all the skeletons in your financial closets. You should also make a plan for tackling that debt that makes clear whether each person will help pay down the other's debt or if it's the responsibility of the borrower alone. Before even getting married, you should also share credit reports with your spouse so you can work to improve your scores in advance of a major purchase, says Theresa Fette, CEO of Provident Trust Group in Las Vegas.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryStewardship* Culture-WatchMarriage & FamilyYoung Adults* Economics, PoliticsEconomyPersonal Finance* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

0 Comments
Posted October 6, 2013 at 1:00 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Young Christians need encouragement to see their calling as scientists as a valuable Christian vocation. Though there are painful exceptions, the work environment for most Christian students in science today is not hostile. In fact, there are many young Christians in training in the sciences. Christian fellowship groups for graduate students are beginning to form and flourish on many campuses, and a large percentage of these Christian graduate students and postdocs are scientists.

It is during these formative years that young scientists are faced with some weighty decisions. For example: What kind of thesis research should I pursue? My advisor has asked me to do fetal tissue experiments; should I refuse and risk my position in graduate school? (This really happened to one student.) How do I explain my faith to my advisor and my fellow graduate students? Wouldn't it be more valuable to God for me to join some of my Christian friends who are planning careers as evangelists or in direct ministry to the poor rather than to spend my life, for example, evaluating molecular spectra? Traditional Christian churches and circles do not always recognize the unique environment that the young Christian scientist faces. Science is sometimes viewed with misunderstanding and suspicion or ignored as unspiritual. These reactions are discouraging to young people who want to choose a career path that glorifies God. Hearing encouraging talks from older Christian scientists can be a great encouragement to younger people seeking guidance.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryMinistry of the Laity* Culture-WatchEducationReligion & CultureScience & TechnologyYoung Adults* Theology

0 Comments
Posted October 4, 2013 at 5:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

A state university has become the first in Alabama to offer a faith-based dorm to students who meet certain requirements, such as a 2.5 GPA and a letter of recommendation from a minister or other community leader.

The dorm, which opened in August at Troy University, has brought both praise and criticism.

"Over time, our students indicated in surveys that their interest in faith and spiritual issues is very high compared to students across the land," said John W. Schmidt, Troy's senior vice chancellor for advancement and external relations. In building the dorms, Schmidt said, the university was "meeting a need for student housing but also satisfying some of our student requirements."

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchEducationReligion & CultureYoung Adults

0 Comments
Posted October 3, 2013 at 5:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Ever since 9/11, the struggle against terrorists has focused too much on killing them rather than their message. That may change with a new public-private effort to counter the appeal of jihadists with a grass-roots campaign aimed at young and vulnerable Muslims....

[Last] Friday, Turkey and the United States announced plans to raise more than $200 million for a global fund to counter the “local drivers of radicalization to violence.” Much like campaigns against illiteracy or the child sex trade, this one has dozens of countries behind it. A coalition called the Global Counterterrorism Forum will build on the expertise of countries such as Saudi Arabia, Singapore, and Indonesia that have successfully “deradicalized” captured terrorists.

Lessons from those rehab programs can be applied by civic groups and governments to prevent radicalization of Muslims. At the heart of these efforts will be moderate Muslims, such as Islamic scholars or former terrorists, who can effectively deliver the message that Islam does not justify the purposeful killing of innocents.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchGlobalizationReligion & CultureYoung Adults* Economics, PoliticsForeign RelationsPolitics in GeneralTerrorism* International News & CommentaryAmerica/U.S.A.EuropeTurkey* Religion News & CommentaryOther FaithsIslam* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

0 Comments
Posted October 2, 2013 at 5:45 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

From here:
West Point breeds restraint deep into a man's soul. A senior cadet can stand behind a plebe and put his face up close to that man's neck and tell him to stand straighter, or to recite "Schofield's Definition of Discipline," or to lead his squad mates in a rousing cheer-or he can give that plebe a series of tasks rapid fire, tasks that would lead most anyone else to frustration; and the plebe will stand there cool as Napoleon's seventy-fifth maxim demands that he be, and he will take up the tasks one at a time until he gets them right-or he will suffer the wrath of the upperclassman. Take that same plebe to the bayonet course down by the river and tell him to execute the vertical butt stroke series with his bayonetted rifle, and he will rip the sawdust-filled dummy to shreds. A casual observer, on the sidelines of these military spectacles, might think he's watching homicidal maniacs at work. But he would be wrong. The cadet is no less human than he, and probably much less prone to random acts of violence. The cadet just happens to be trained in the art of war. He understands the merits of restraint as well as the application of force.


Filed under: * Culture-WatchPsychologyYoung Adults* Economics, PoliticsDefense, National Security, Military

0 Comments
Posted September 29, 2013 at 12:35 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

College-age Americans participating in a new survey of religious identification were evenly divided between three distinct worldviews, Religious, Secular, and Spiritual, according to a groundbreaking report in the American Religious Identification Survey (ARIS) series from Trinity College in Hartford, Conn., in conjunction with the Center for Inquiry (CFI). The study finds that these three groups have distinctly different positions on political, scientific, and moral questions.

Among the students surveyed, 31.8% identified their worldview as Religious, 32.4% as Spiritual, and 28.2% as Secular. Within each group there was a remarkable level of cohesion on answers to questions covering a wide array of issues, including political alignment, acceptance of evolution and climate change, belief in supernatural phenomena such as miracles or ghosts, and trust in alternative practices such as homeopathy and astrology.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchEducationReligion & CultureYoung Adults* International News & CommentaryAmerica/U.S.A.

0 Comments
Posted September 28, 2013 at 1:18 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Last Saturday, Michael McDuffee had his first beer since 1994. It was a cold beer, refreshing. It was a long time coming.

“I had been a man convinced that three drinks can quench our thirst: milk, lemonade and a cold beer,” said Mr. McDuffee, who practiced his drinking as a Marine. “And for 20 years I was drinking milk and lemonade.”

Mr. McDuffee is not an alcoholic newly fallen from the wagon, but rather an evangelical Christian professor at Moody Bible Institute, which includes a seminary, an undergraduate college, and radio and publishing arms, with its main campus in Chicago. When he joined the faculty, in 1994, he agreed to abide by its requirement that faculty members, staff and students not drink alcohol, smoke, or have extramarital sex....

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchAlcohol/DrinkingEducationReligion & CultureYoung Adults* Religion News & CommentaryOther ChurchesEvangelicals

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Posted September 28, 2013 at 10:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Leaders of the nation's largest Somali community say some of their young men are still being enticed to join the terror group that has claimed responsibility for the deadly mall attack in Kenya, despite a concentrated effort to shut off what authorities call a "deadly pipeline" of men and money.

Six years have passed since Somali-American fighters began leaving Minnesota to become part of al-Shabab. Now the Somali community is dismayed over reports that a few of its own might have been involved in the violence at the Westgate Mall in Nairobi.

"One thing I know is the fear is growing," said Abdirizak Bihi, whose nephew was among at least six men from Minnesota who have died in Somalia. More are presumed dead.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchMenReligion & CultureViolenceYoung Adults* Economics, PoliticsTerrorism* International News & CommentaryAfricaKenyaSomalia* Religion News & CommentaryOther FaithsIslam

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Posted September 27, 2013 at 5:30 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon



Watch it all, and note the participation of Cameron Cole, director of student ministries at Cathedral Church of the Advent in Birmingham, Alabama.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryYouth Ministry* Culture-WatchEducationReligion & CultureTeens / YouthYoung Adults

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Posted September 26, 2013 at 7:30 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

New guidance for psychologists will acknowledge that adolescence now effectively runs up until the age of 25 for the purposes of treating young people. So is this the new cut-off point for adulthood?

"The idea that suddenly at 18 you're an adult just doesn't quite ring true," says child psychologist Laverne Antrobus, who works at London's Tavistock Clinic.

"My experience of young people is that they still need quite a considerable amount of support and help beyond that age."

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Filed under: * Culture-WatchHealth & MedicinePsychologyYoung Adults* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK* TheologyAnthropology

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Posted September 24, 2013 at 4:40 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

There's plenty of fodder for deficit hawks in a new report from the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office. In short, the future looks grim....

First, the good news: The CBO projects the deficit will shrink to $378 billion in 2015, or 2.1 percent of the size of the overall U.S. economy. Compared with just a few years ago when the budget gap ballooned as a result of the recession, this marks a nearly unprecedented improvement in the deficit picture. It's a rapid decline in budget shortfalls not seen since the end of World War II. The national debt will bottom out in 2018, at 68 percent of GDP.

The bad news: From there, the picture gets decidedly less rosy. Budget deficits gradually rise, "mainly because of increasing interest costs and growing spending for Social Security and the government's major health care programs (Medicare, Medicaid, the Children's Health Insurance Program, and subsidies to be provided through the health insurance exchanges)," says the report. By 2038, the national debt will reach 100 percent of GDP....

Read it all and follow the link to the actual report.


Filed under: * Culture-WatchAging / the ElderlyMiddle AgeYoung Adults* Economics, PoliticsEconomyTaxesThe U.S. GovernmentBudgetMedicaidMedicareSocial SecurityThe National DeficitPolitics in GeneralHouse of RepresentativesOffice of the PresidentSenate* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

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Posted September 18, 2013 at 3:00 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

A controversial topic was reignited this summer when blogger and author Rachel Held Evans wrote a piece about why Millennials leave church. Her editorial struck a nerve, sparking response pieces all across the web and generating more than 100,000 social media reactions in the first week alone.

Yet whatever one’s personal view of the reasons behind Millennials staying or going, one thing is clear: the relationship between Millennials and the Church is shifting. Barna Group’s researchers have been examining Millennials’ faith development since the generation was in its teen years—that is, for about a decade. During that time, the firm has conducted 27,140 interviews with members of the Millennial generation in more than 200 studies.

And while Barna Group’s research has previously highlighted what’s not working to keep Millennials at church, the research also illuminates what is working—and what churches can do to engage these young adults.

Read it all.


Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeParish Ministry* Culture-WatchReligion & CultureYoung Adults* International News & CommentaryAmerica/U.S.A.* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral Theology

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Posted September 18, 2013 at 7:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

While the subject of his fiction has shifted in venue and somewhat in tone, it remains in a generational vein. Speaking of his work, Mr. Coupland explained: "I'm interested in people my age and younger who have no narrative structure to their lives. The big structure used to be the job, the career arc, and that's no longer there. Neither is family or religion. All these narrative templates have eroded."
--From a 1994 profile article in the New York Times (emphasis mine)

Filed under: * Culture-WatchChildrenHistoryMarriage & FamilyMiddle AgePsychologyReligion & CultureYoung Adults* International News & CommentaryAmerica/U.S.A.

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Posted September 17, 2013 at 8:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

When American University graduate Elyse Barletta, 27, was looking for a full-time nannying position recently in Charlotte, N.C., three families wanted to hire her—all were impressed by her college education.

"They wanted someone who could help with their children's homework," said Barletta, a history major who made the dean's list and is proficient in French.

Experts say young women like Barletta make up a fast-growing segment of the nanny industry: College graduates who could go into law, medicine or other fields but are choosing to become career nannies, sometimes because they struggled to find jobs in their desired professions. These highly credentialed child-minders are being greeted with open arms into middle-class and upper-class families who want to give their kids an edge in an increasingly competitive world.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchChildrenEducationMarriage & FamilyYoung Adults* Economics, PoliticsEconomyLabor/Labor Unions/Labor Market* International News & CommentaryAmerica/U.S.A.

2 Comments
Posted September 17, 2013 at 5:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Alix Generous just turned 21. If she wanted to, she could buy a beer.

Instead, the College of Charleston junior has been a bit busy. In just the past year or so, she has presented her own coral reef research to the United Nations in India, studied neuropathic pain at MUSC and is now examining childhood epilepsy at a prestigious Boston medical school.

And on Saturday, she presented a TED talk in Albuquerque, N.M. The event featured physicists and educators, CEOs and techies, writers, a doctor, a folk healer — and her. She discussed the need to tap people’s unique minds to solve the world’s complex problems.

She discussed it by way of personal experience.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchEducationGlobalizationHealth & MedicineScience & TechnologyWomenYoung Adults* South Carolina

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Posted September 15, 2013 at 4:00 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

At some point in their lives, one of every three Americans will leave Christianity, according to a 2011 study in the Journal of Religion and Society. Called "leavers," "deconverts," or "ex-Christians," they are targets of fresh concern among church denominations watching their numbers shrink. Pollsters and bloggers tick off reasons why so many are leaving, such as intellectual hurdles to belief, immoral or intolerant church leaders, and profound suffering. But the leavers phenomenon is nothing new. It goes back at least to the parable of the Prodigal Son, told by Jesus and recorded in Luke 15:11–32.

What about the people whom the prodigals leave behind? The ones who love the leavers? The ones left to hold down the forts of remaining families and faith communities? Few theological and practical resources exist for the two out of every three Christians who remain with the Father while they watch their "younger brother" leave.

The biblical parable centers on the relationship between a father and his two sons. But the essence of the story remains the same, whether the prodigal is a child, sibling, spouse, parent, or friend. This is why P. C. Ennis Jr. argues in the Journal for Preachers that "it is crucial that periodically we preach on the Prodigal Son. . . . Like the Easter story and the Christmas story, it bears repeating, for the story of the Prodigal Son is the gospel in capsule."

Read it all.


Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryPastoral Care* Culture-WatchChildrenMarriage & FamilyReligion & CultureTeens / YouthYoung Adults* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral TheologyPastoral TheologySoteriology

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Posted September 14, 2013 at 12:18 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Millennials—people born between 1981 and the early 2000s—are much closer to their parents than previous generations, and they have gained a reputation for being coddled by so-called helicopter parents, say researchers who study Millennials. But when they started joining the workforce in the early 2000s, managers balked at parents getting involved in their kids' workplace struggles or job searches.

That was then. Now, some firms have begun embracing parental involvement and using it to attract and hold onto talent and boost employee morale.

One of them is Northwestern Mutual. Michael Van Grinsven, field-growth and development director at the Milwaukee-based financial firm, says the company does everything it can to accommodate the parents of college-aged interns, including regularly inviting them to the office for open houses.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchChildrenMarriage & FamilyYoung Adults* Economics, PoliticsEconomyLabor/Labor Unions/Labor Market

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Posted September 13, 2013 at 6:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]




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