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Yahoo! BooksOct 20, 2019
The coming end of Christian America
America is still a "Christian nation," if the term simply means a majority of the population will claim the label when a pollster calls. But, as a new Pew Research report unsparingly explains, the decline of Christianity in the United States "continues at a rapid pace." A bare 65 percent of Americans now say they're Christians, down from 78 percent as recently as 2007. The deconverted are mostly moving away from religion altogether, and the ranks of the religiously unaffiliated -- the "nones" -- have swelled from 16 to 26 percent over the same period. If this rate of change continues, the U.S. will be majority non-Christian by about 2035, with the nones representing well over one third of the population.Smaller details from the study are equally striking. Protestantism lost its narrow claim to an outright majority of Americans' souls around 2012. While older generations remain at least two-thirds Christian, millennials have an even 49-49 split of Christians vs. nones (40 percent) and those of other faiths (9 percent). Religious service attendance rates haven't dramatically declined in the last decade, but they will soon if generational trends hold.As even the strictest practitioners of laicite must concede, major religious shifts like this will have equally major political effects -- but we are in somewhat uncharted territory as to what those effects may be. In broad strokes, this decline keeps the U.S. trailing Western Europe's religious and political evolution: the end of Christianity as a default faith and a move toward left/right politics that can be roughly characterized as socialism against nationalist populism. Yet Europe can hardly provide a clear window to our future, not least because many European states have both multi-party pa

Yahoo! BooksOct 20, 2019
Man Held After Teenager Stabbed, March Goes On: Hong Kong Update
(Bloomberg) -- Hong Kong police arrested a man for allegedly stabbing a teenager during a dispute on an otherwise-peaceful Saturday, and ahead of an unapproved march on Sunday.A 19-year-old was slashed across the neck and stabbed in the abdomen near a so-called Lennon Tunnel while he was handing out leaflets, Radio Television Hong Kong reported. On Saturday night, hundreds gathered in Central district for a peaceful prayer gathering calling for international humanitarian aid.Protesters vowed to go ahead with a march Sunday despite the Appeal Board on Public Meetings and Processions supporting the police ban on the event because of the potential for violence. The rally was originally called to protest a government ban on masks and comes after Wednesday's attack on Civil Human Rights Front's organizer Jimmy Sham by hammer-wielding thugs in Mong Kok.Protesters are seeking to keep the pressure on Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam with a 20th straight weekend of demonstrations. Earlier this week, Lam was twice shouted down in the city's legislature by opposition lawmakers as she discussed her annual policy address.The protests began in opposition to Lam's since-scrapped bill allowing extraditions to mainland China and have expanded to include calls for greater democracy and an independent inquiry. The unrest has turned increasingly violent, with frequent clashes between protesters and police.Here's the latest (all times local):Man arrested after stabbing (6 p.m.)Police said they arrested a 22-year-old m

Yahoo! BooksOct 19, 2019
Erdogan Vows to Crush Kurd YPG if It Doesn't Leave: Syria Update
(Bloomberg) -- Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan vowed to resume Turkey's offensive against Kurdish forces in northeast Syria if they don't withdraw by the end of a U.S.-brokered five-day truce on Tuesday night.Kurdish and Turkish officials have repeatedly accused each other of violating a truce announced by U.S. Vice President Mike Pence on Thursday to allow Kurdish fighters to withdraw from a safe zone along the border. Turkey denied claims by Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces that no safe corridor had been created from the border town of Ras al-Ayn, saying a convoy of ambulances evacuated the wounded on Saturday in coordination with the U.S.Highlighting the fragility of the truce deal, Turkey and the Kurds have disagreed on its parameters. The SDF has said the cease-fire was limited to the 120-kilometer (75-mile) strip between the border towns of Tal Abyad and Ras al-Ayn. Erdogan says the deal requires Kurdish fighters to withdraw from an area 444 kilometers long and 32 kilometers deep.The U.S. fought with the SDF for years to defeat Islamic State but withdrew from the area as Turkey began a long-threatened offensive this month to clear a part of northeastern Syria of Kurdish militants it considers a threat to national security. Abandoned by the U.S., the Kurds made a deal with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad who's troops have deployed to the border with Turkey, upending old alliances and pushing the eight-year-old Syrian war into an unpredictable new phase.Here is a rundown of major e

Rolling Stone Movie NewsOct 19, 2019
Trailers of the Week: ‘Bombshell,' ‘Dolittle,' ‘Lady and the Tramp'
From chaos at Fox News to Robert Downey Jr. talking to the animals — your weekly trailer round-up
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