Wednesday, September 25, 2013

All Around the Web - September 25, 2013

HT: 22 Words

Breitbart - Governor Brown to Sign Bill Legalizing Non-Physician Abortions in California

WORLD Magazine - Fewer babies but not necessarily less sex for teens

The teen birth rate in the United States has dropped to a historic low, according to preliminary 2012 data released last week by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The rate of babies born to teenage mothers is less than half of what it was in 1991—from 61.8 births per 1,000 teenagers to 29.4. 

But the lower numbers don’t mean fewer teens are having sex. Rather, society’s new moral good is having “safe sex,” replacing the once-common call for abstinence. With easy access to contraceptives and lax sexual education programs, the message to teenagers is, “Have sex. Just don’t get pregnant.”
And the stats match up to this new normal. According to a 2013 study by the Guttmacher Institute, 1 in 3 16-year-olds and almost 3 in 4 19-year-olds are sexually active. Of these teens, a study found that “more than 80 percent of 16-year-olds used a method at first sex, and by one year following first sex, 95 percent of those teens had used contraception.”

The Gospel Coalition - 5 Types of Sermon Illustrations and How to Use Them

1. The story. This is what most people think of when it comes to sermon illustrations. Examples include personal experiences, accounts from world history, and current events.

2. The word picture. This illustration elaborates on something figurative or metaphorical in the passage in order to show its significance.

  3. The analogy. Analogies in general highlight points of comparison, but the best analogies end with unexpected punch lines that draw out a surprising connection. Forrest Gump is famous for this kind of analogy: "Life is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you're gonna get." The surprise punch line sticks with the listener.

4. The list of examples. Examples illustrate contexts where your church can apply the sermon. Instead of giving steps for application (they won't remember them anyway), provide a quick list of examples to show how one might apply the message in various contexts. Your church can work out the steps themselves if you show them where the passage can bring change in their lives.

5. The split story. An effective way to bookend your sermon is by telling one half of a story in your sermon's introduction and then the other half in the conclusion. In the introduction, cut off the story before the problem is resolved. Then connect the unresolved conflict to the main spiritual need the passage addresses.

Politico - Poll: New low for government trust

Less than half of Americans trust the government to handle problems, a all-time low, according to a new poll.

Just 49 percent of Americans said they had a great deal or fair amount of confidence in the federal government to handle international problems, according to a Gallup poll released Friday. The previous low was 51 percent in 2007.

The public’s trust is even lower when it comes to domestic issues. Just 42 percent of Americans answered with a great deal or fair amount of confidence in the government to handle issues at home, one point below the previous low from 2011.

The Atlantic - How to Make School Better for Boys

I recently appeared on MSNBC’s The Cycle to discuss the new edition of my book The War Against Boys. The four hosts were having none of it. A war on boys? They countered with the wage gap and the prominence of men across the professions. One of them concluded, “I don’t think the patriarchy is under any threat.”

The MSNBC skeptics are hardly alone in dismissing the plight of boys and young men. Even those who acknowledge that boys are losing in school argue that they’re winning in life. But the facts are otherwise. American boys across the ability spectrum are struggling in the nation’s schools, with teachers and administrators failing to engage their specific interests and needs. This neglect has ominous implications not only for the boy's social and intellectual development but for the national economy, as policy analysts are just beginning to calculate.

As the United States moves toward a knowledge-based economy, school achievement has become the cornerstone of lifelong success. Women are adapting; men are not. Yet the education establishment and federal government are, with some notable exceptions, looking the other way.

Women in the United States now earn 62 percent of associate’s degrees, 57 percent of bachelor’s degrees, 60 percent of master’s degrees, and 52 percent of doctorates. College admissions officers were at first baffled, then concerned, and finally panicked over the dearth of male applicants. If male enrollment falls to 40 percent or below, female students begin to flee. Officials at schools at or near the tipping point (American University, Boston University, Brandeis University, New York University, the University of Georgia, and the University of North Carolina, to name only a few) are helplessly watching as their campuses become like retirement villages, with a surfeit of women competing for a handful of surviving men.  Henry Broaddus, dean of admissions at William and Mary, explains the new anxiety: “[W]omen who enroll … expect to see men on campus. It’s not the College of Mary and Mary; it’s the College of William and Mary.”


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