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Growing trend of people rejecting religious affiliation has slowed: study

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Over the last quarter of a century, the number of people claiming no affiliation to any sort of religion has grown exponentially. But according to research released this week by three political scientists, that trend might be slowing. According to their findings, Generation Z (those born from 1981 to 1996) isn’t looking any less religious than their predecessors, Religion News Service reports.

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“I was just shocked to see it,” said Paul Djupe, a professor at Denison University in Granville, Ohio. “Everything led me to expect that (the number of nones) would keep increasing for a while.”

One factor could be attributed to the growing racial diversity of the United States. African Americans, Hispanics and immigrants from Africa and Asia tend to be more religious than Americans, the researchers found. Another reason could be the cooling of the culture wars. Wedge issues such as LGBTQ rights, abortion, women’s rights have been settled in many respects, making the fight for and against them less prominent. As a result, “both liberals and conservatives have joined up with like-minded congregants or dropped out of religion altogether.”

According to the researchers, “it became more acceptable for those marginally religious to report being unaffiliated, which likely contributed to the sharp uptick in nones over such a short time. Now, that group has largely already claimed that status, and those who remain affiliated are committed to their faiths and likely to remain more stable.”

Read the full report over at Religion News Service.


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There’s no respite from Trump’s vindictiveness and foolishness

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As we know, even in the midst of a national emergency, Donald Trump could find time and bandwidth to continue his retribution campaign.

He dismissed Michael Atkinson, the inspector general for the intelligence agencies, for doing “a terrible job,” satisfying his own thirst for vengeance for anyone who actually adhered to law and practice over blind loyalty to Trump himself. Indeed, asked about it the next day, Trump underscored his action by saying, Atkinson “was no Trump supporter, that I can tell you.”

It was an act that we once would have labeled corruption, by Democrats and Republicans – that is using the office for personal purposes – if Congress and too many Americans had not since become inured by so many like instances.

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This is how Taiwan and South Korea bucked the global lockdown trend

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As the coronavirus pandemic sparks global lockdowns, life has continued comparatively unhindered in places like Taiwan, South Korea and Hong Kong after their governments and citizens took decisive early action against the unfolding crisis.

At first glance Taiwan looks like an ideal candidate for the coronavirus. The island of 23 million lies just 180 kilometres (110 miles) off mainland China.

Yet nearly 100 days in, Taiwan has just 376 confirmed cases and five fatalities while restaurants, bars, schools, universities and offices remain open.

The government of President Tsai Ing-wen, whose deputy is an epidemiologist, made tough decisions while the crisis was nascent to stave off the kind of pain now convulsing much of the rest of the world.

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Republican ex-lawmaker with coronavirus scolds Wisconsin GOP for forcing voters to risk their health

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On CNN Tuesday, former Rep. Charlie Dent (R-PA), who is himself dealing with a bout of COVID-19, chastised the Wisconsin GOP for doing everything in their power to block the state elections from being moved — and forcing many voters to stand in line and risk exposure to the virus to cast their ballot.

"I have to tell you, here in Pennsylvania we have a Democratic governor and Republican legislature," Dent told host Don Lemon. "They postponed the election here from April 28 until June 2. Without any controversy. Everybody agreed it was the right thing to do and they moved on. I'm surprised Wisconsin took this risk, knowing they don't have to."

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