In The World—February 21, 2016

February 21, 2016 No Comments »
In The World—February 21, 2016

By Melissa Wuske

Abortion & the Church: Culture of Silence

A survey by LifeWay Research highlights a culture of silence and distrust in the church concerning abortion. Churches have an opportunity to influence decisions regarding unplanned pregnancy—43 percent of women surveyed who’d had an abortion were church attenders at the time of the abortion.

However, many women facing unplanned pregnancy don’t find the church a safe place to share. Of women who’ve had an abortion, more than two-thirds say they believe church members are more likely to gossip about a woman considering abortion than help her understand her options, and more than half wouldn’t recommend that a friend or family member discuss an unplanned pregnancy at church. This culture of silence has deep roots: 52 percent of churchgoing women who’ve had an abortion say no one at church knows about it, and almost half of those who’ve had an abortion say that church teachings on forgiveness don’t seem to apply to terminated pregnancies.

“For most women with an unwanted pregnancy, if nobody is willing to say, ‘We’re going to help you through this,’ it’s hard for them to rationally say they should keep the child,” said Scott McConnell, vice president of LifeWay Research

“While much work needs to be done to equip the church to help women and men with their pregnancy decisions, there are positive signs that many churches will be receptive to efforts to implement programming that addresses this need,” said Roland C. Warren, president and CEO of Care Net.

Is Gender Pay Equality Within Reach?

The World Economic Forum’s Global Gender Gap Report 2015 found the pay equality for men and women is indeed coming, but at the current rate of change, worldwide equality won’t happen until 2133. 

The United States sits at 28 out of 145 nations on the World Economic Forum’s index, falling behind UK, France, Germany, Rwanda, South Africa, and more. The U.S. is projected to achieve gender pay equality by 2059, according to the Institute for Women’s Policy Research. 

The top four nations—Iceland, Norway, Finland, and Sweden—are on pace to reach pay equality in the next decade. “They have had a long tradition of putting social equality as a central tenet of their development,” said Saadia Zahidi, World Economic Forum’s head of employment and gender initiatives.

A Purr-fect Response to a Terror Threat

In November, officials locked down the city of Brussels in response to a possible terrorist threat. While they were cooped up at home, Belgians went onto social media. The police asked residents to remain silent about counter-terrorism actions. So instead of breaking news, speculation, and fearful messages, Brussels citizens opted for one of the most relaxing and joy-inducing things the Internet has to offer: posting cat photos and videos. 

Gilles Bordelais, a resident of Brussels, tweeted this explanation: “This, dear outsiders, is how we fight terrorism here. We haz kittenz!”

Hate the Wait

Most people admit that they hate waiting. But research has found that the biggest annoyance in waiting isn’t the time spent but the boredom or other emotions that people feel while waiting. 

While businesses look for ways to shorten waits, many also find ways to make the wait more pleasant. Mirrors help those waiting to people watch and avoid boredom. The animatronic Mr. Potato Head at Disney World’s Toy Story ride keeps even small children entertained. And having single store lines to get to the next open register rather than individual lines for each register negate the anxiety of trying to choose the fastest line and the frustration of watching people in other lines move more quickly.

Melissa Wuske is a freelance editor and writer. She and her husband, Shawn, live and minister in Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts. Find her work online (melissaannewuske.com).

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