Quick!

What are the three branches of government?

Name at least two members of the supreme court.

Point to Louisiana on a map?

The majority of Americans—three in four—identify Larry, Curly and Moe as the Three Stooges. That’s certainly understandable. But only two out of five respondents can correctly identify the executive, legislative, and judicial as the three branches of government.

More than three quarters of Americans can name at least two of the seven dwarfs, while less than a quarter can name two members of the Supreme Court.

Less than six months after Hurricane Katrina, one third of those surveyed couldn’t point to Louisiana on a map. 1Source Readers’ Digest, June 2012, citing cnn.com, business wire.com, and foxnews.com as their sources.

Really? And I thought Jay-Walking was a set-up.

Footnotes   [ + ]

1. Source Readers’ Digest, June 2012, citing cnn.com, business wire.com, and foxnews.com as their sources.

Cheer Up! 17 Reasons It’s a Great Time to Be Alive | Reader’s Digest

Do you ever get depressed reading or watching the news or discussing current events with a neighbor or friend? I do sometimes. Maybe the problem is with the source of our information. Optimism doesn’t sell newspapers, get viewers, or win elections.

We’ve been lied to, folks. Things are better than they were 50 years ago. The gold old days weren’t as good as the good now days.

Check out Matt Ridley’s article in the April Reader’s Digest:

Cheer Up! 17 Reasons It’s a Great Time to Be Alive | Reader’s Digest.

Cost of College

“According to the College Board’s Trends in College Pricing 2010, the average cost of undergraduate education at an in-state, four-year, public institution was $16,140 — a 6.1-percent increase from 2009.” 1MOAA News Exchange, April 6, 2100

Wow! Who can afford that? No wonder students rack up thousands in debt.

Footnotes   [ + ]

1. MOAA News Exchange, April 6, 2100

Almost Christian

An excerpt from “The Ivy Jungle Network Campus Ministry Update September 2010”:

Princeton Seminary Professor Kendra Creasy Dean shares what she considers some depressing news in her new book, Almost Christian. As a researcher in the National Study for Youth and Religion, she helped conduct in depth interviews with more than 3300 teenagers who call themselves Christians.  Her findings show that most “Christian” kids are indifferent and inarticulate about their faith. The faith they do discuss often boils down to what has been labeled “moralistic therapeutic deism” – a belief in a generally good God who exists primarily to help make people happy.   This “imposter” faith contributes to the massive departure of so many young people from the church during their high school and college years.  Too often parents and churches have low expectations for teenagers.  Too many youth groups are designed to keep students out of trouble and simply being nice – not truly exploring the faith.  However, she did find some who had a passion for their faith and an ability to talk about it in a meaningful way.  These committed teenagers most often came from Mormon or evangelical backgrounds.  She identified four common traits among this group: They have a personal story about God they can share, a deep connection to a faith community, a sense of purpose and a sense of hope about their future (CNN August 27, 2010)