Century Marks

Century Marks

Moms and marriage

The number of millennial mothers who are single is on the increase, especially among women who have no college education. Johns Hopkins University researchers report that only about a third of all mothers in their late twenties were married during the years when all their kids were born, and two-thirds of them were single when at least one of their babies was born. Among people between 26 and 31 who didn’t graduate from college, 74 percent of the mothers and 70 percent of the fathers had at least one child while unmarried. The study also shows that unmarried couples have a high rate of breakup in the first few years after the birth of a child (Time, June 17).

Presidential follies, take one

In the waning days of his scandal-plagued presidency, Richard Nixon still had stalwart supporters. One was Karl Rove, a little-known student at George Mason University who organized a call-in campaign to members of the Judiciary Committee investigating the Watergate controversy. The Reverend Sun Myung Moon’s followers campaigned in Washington, D.C., chanting, “God needs Nixon.” “This nation is God’s nation,” Moon said. “The office of the President of the United States is, therefore, sacred.” President Nixon welcomed Moon’s devotion, even though Moon planned to take over the United States by 1977 (Rick Perlstein, The Invisible Bridge, Simon & Schuster).

Uptick in giving

When adjusted for inflation, the dollar amount for charitable giving in 2013 nearly reached the peak for charitable giving before the Great Recession. For 2013, giving in current dollars increased by 4.4 percent. However, giving to religion in the same year was flat and even down slightly when adjusted for inflation. Giving to the arts, health, the environment, and education has been increasing the last three years. During the Great Recession, people tended to give more to organizations that were addressing immediate needs, such as food pantries and homeless shelters. All sectors of giving were up in 2013, except for corporations, with giving by individuals up the most (Giving USA 2014: The Annual Report on Philanthropy for the Year 2013, Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy).

Values voters

Southern Democrats are much more likely than other U.S. Democrats to say that religion is important to them. Democratic candidates for office are trying to use religion in their campaigns to neutralize the advantage that Southern Republicans have had with values voters. Georgia U.S. Senate candidate Michelle Nunn says she thinks religion transcends parties in the South, and she talks about it “because it’s an important part of who I am.” Jimmy Carter’s grandson Jason Carter, who is running for the Georgia governorship, uses scripture to make a case for caring for the poor. However, Catholic Alison Lundergan Grimes, running in Kentucky for the U.S. Senate, rarely mentions religion, saying that “actions speak louder than words” (AP).

Keep it to yourself

College graduates would be better off not mentioning affiliation with campus religious groups when applying for jobs. Applicants who mentioned associations with Muslim groups were the least likely to hear from an employer, according to two sociological studies done in the South and New England. For all religious groups, those applicants who mentioned a religious association received 33 percent fewer phone calls in the South and 24 percent fewer calls in the New England states. Apparently, New England indifference toward religion makes that region more tolerant of religion than the religious South (RNS).