The United States is facing a crisis due to its falling fertility rate, author Jonathan Last argues in What to Expect When No One's Expecting: America's Coming Demographic Disaster.
The myth that the world is overpopulated and disasters will ensue as a result was popularized in Paul Ehrlich's 1968 book, The Population Bomb. The myth remains popular today even as Ehrlich's predictions turned out to be wildly off the mark. Not only was he wrong about mass starvation by the end of the 1970s, notes Last, a senior writer at The Weekly Standard, but he was wrong at exactly the time that fertility rates began a steep drop in the U.S. and across the world.
Last cites studies showing that nations with a growing population, those with "total fertility rate" (TFR) greater than 2.1 babies born per female over the course of her life, flourish, while nations with a TFR lower than 2.1 decline. High fertility nations flourish because they invest in their young and have higher rates of innovation. In low fertility nations, on the other hand, resources shift to caring for the elderly and fewer workers must work to pay for increased health care costs. more >>
The U.S. House of Representatives passed a bill that would give federal aid for houses of worship harmed by Superstorm Sandy in response to outcry over FEMA regulations banning churches from receiving such aid. Opponents of the ban argued that there was no justification for banning federal aid to churches.
Daniel Blomberg, legal counsel for the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, told The Christian Post that while his organization neither supports nor opposes the bill, H.R. 592, they did take great issue with the ban by FEMA.
"FEMA's refusal to provide houses of worship equal access to disaster relief funds that are available to similar nonprofits – a position which it has held off and on for each of the last four Administrations – is religious discrimination that should be stopped," said Blomberg. more >>
A bill that would allow houses of worship to receive federal disaster aid easily passed Wednesday in the House of Representatives.
The "Federal Disaster Assistance Nonprofit Fairness Act" was passed under suspension of the rules, which meant it needed a two-thirds vote for passage. It easily met that threshold with 354 members voting in favor and only 72 voting against the bill. The bill will have to be passed in the Senate and signed by the president for it to become law.
A non-Christian high school student of a Wisconsin school system embroiled in a church-state court case does not believe school officials violated the First Amendment when they held graduations at a local church.
Raga Komandur, a 15-year-old student of Brookfield Central High School, wrote in a column published Monday in the Milwaukee-Wisconsin Journal Sentinel that Elmbrook School District "did not violate the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment."
"I am a student in the Elmbrook School District and am not a Christian, but I don't think the district did anything wrong when it held graduation ceremonies at Elmbrook Church," wrote Komandur. more >>
A Tennessee school board has approved the placement of Ten Commandments displays in public schools, along with other historically significant documents.
At a meeting in late January, the Cumberland County Board of Education voted to allow Decalogue displays along with other notable documents, including the U.S. Constitution and the Declaration of Independence.
Aarona VanWinkle, Director of Schools for Cumberland County, said in a statement that the displays would be more about historical heritage than religious doctrine. "The public schools are charged with teaching our history and heritage to students; we are not responsible for religious instruction – matters wisely left to families and religious organizations," said VanWinkle. more >>
The Ohio chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union and the Freedom From Religion Foundation have filed suit against an Ohio school district where one school has a prominently displayed portrait of Jesus Christ.
Jackson City Schools of Jackson, Ohio was sued by the ACLU and FFRF on Thursday; the case will be put before the US District Court of the Southern District of Ohio. "The maintenance and display of the portrait has the effect of advancing and endorsing one religion, improperly entangling the State in religious affairs, and violating the personal consciences of Plaintiffs," reads the suit in part.
"As a direct result of these unconstitutional actions, Plaintiffs and other likeminded citizens and residents have suffered, and will continue to suffer permanent, severe and irreparable harm and injury." more >>