An article recently published in the Washington Post called into question the devotion of Speaker of the House John Boehner to his Catholic faith. Of itself, a suggestion that a politician is not genuinely pious is not news and is likely closer to home than the subject would like to admit. Few people are as committed to the tenets of their faith as they would like to be, and politicians are no different.
A new study conducted by a college in Ohio has found that up to a third of pre-teen girls' clothing available online in the U.S. is designed to be sexualizing. “Researchers led by Sarah Murnen, a professor of psychology at Kenyon College in Ohio, looked at 15 websites of popular clothing stores, ranging from bargain to high-end sectors of the junior US market,” reported AFP News. The researchers found that clothing marketed for girls as young as six is being designed to draw attention to their breasts, buttocks, and slimness, sending out signals that are sensuous and inappropriate. The researchers say it is a trend that is reinforcing destructive stereotypes for female attractiveness.
Sears Holdings Corp., parent company for national retailers Sears and Kmart, has apologized to customers after the conservative American Family Association revealed that pornographic videos were being sold through the Sears.com website. Following a nine-month campaign during which AFA officials tried to persuade Sears to pull scores of a “X-rated products” from its website, Sears executives finally relented and removed the videos, but only after thousands of individuals had e-mailed to express their anger and dismay that the retailer, which has long cultivated a family-oriented reputation, would carry such merchandise.
According to a poll conducted by Oxford University, faith and religion are an innate trait for human beings. Entitled the “Cognition, Religion, and Theology Project,” the initiative took three years to complete and includes over 40 different studies in 20 countries around the world.
Legal action by the ACLU has prompted a school district in White County, Tennessee, to ban the Gideons from distributing their Bibles to students in classrooms. According to the Tennessean newspaper, members of a local chapter of the Gideons, an international Bible distribution organization headquartered in Nashville, “came into the classroom, and students were invited up to get a Bible if they wanted one.” The paper reported that one student “said she didn’t want to take [a Bible] but felt pressured to do so. Her mother later complained to school officials and then to the ACLU….”