Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

CUTTING EDGE: New Ideas, Sharp Ideas [Derived Headline]

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

CUTTING EDGE: New Ideas, Sharp Ideas [Derived Headline]

Article excerpt

WAR ON RELIGION?

The Atlantic Wire mentioned an Amy Davidson blog item for The New Yorker on Barack Obama and religion:

"For years, a chain e-mail circulated purporting that President Obama had canceled a National Day of Prayer ceremony while a Day of Prayer ceremony was held for Muslims on Capitol Hill. 'Neither was true,' writes Davidson, but, 'The email points at a couple themes that have emerged in the campaign, and the dangerous way they are intertwined.' "

"She describes how the candidates portrayed Obama's conflict with the Catholic Church as part of a broader war on Christianity. That debate feeds into one about Obama's identity, with claims that he's overly secular, quickly feeding into claims of his 'affinity for Islam.'

"Beyond the election, Davidson worries about the effect of this discourse on millions of Americans who are, in fact, free from religion or practicing Islam."

TOO POOR TO MARRY?

Heather MacDonald at National Review Online: "The most idiotic reason that single mothers give for not marrying is: 'I'm too poor to get married!' Evidently these women believe they're not too poor to educate, house, feed, clothe and provide a stable home and an enriching moral and cultural environment for a child on their own.

"The 'I'm too poor' defense, documented by researchers such as Kathryn Edin, refers not simply to the cost of a wedding ... but also to the day-to-day institution of marriage itself.

"Now comes The New York Times validating this facile excuse for non-marriage in a front-page article on the juggernaut of illegitimacy (more than half of children born to women under 30 in 2009 were illegitimate): 'Money helps explain why well-educated Americans still marry at high rates: They can offer each other more financial support, and hire others to do chores that prompt conflict.'

"But a married spouse at whatever income level," Ms. …

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