Most Parents Discourage Religious Vocations - But Why?

03/04/2011 Comments (57)

Some interesting stats from this USA Today article about young women entering religious life:

More than half of the women who professed final vows to join a religious order in 2010 said a parent or family member had discouraged their religious calling, according to a survey conducted by Georgetown University’s Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate.

Only 26% of the surveyed sisters said their mother encouraged them to consider religious life, and just 16% said their father cheered their choice, according to the report, which was released by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops on Feb. 2.

Wow! Why on earth would so many parents—many of whom are presumably Catholic—discourage...READ MORE

Filed under contraception, nuns, parenting, religious life

She's Not a Burden, She's My Mother

03/02/2011 Comments (20)

I was recently part of an email thread in which someone sent out a link to an article by Dave Ramsey called How Not to be a Financial Burden on Your Kids. Ramsey begins the article by saying:

If we’re honest, we all carry a deep fear that we won’t have enough money to sustain us through retirement—becoming a financial burden to our children. The 2010 Retirement Confidence Study shows that only 16% of workers are very confident that they will be able to live comfortably in retirement.

Then he goes on to cite the data that really had people panicked:

Only 46% of workers have tried to calculate how much they’ll need to save for retirement. As a result, 29% of workers think they can retire...READ MORE

Filed under culture of death, elderly, money, retirement

Unplanned: An Inspiring Story from Across the Fence

02/28/2011 Comments (44)

One of the most touching moments in Abby Johnson’s hit book, Unplanned, is when she recounts the morning a pro-life activist whom she’d come to know through the fence at the Planned Parenthood clinic brought her a special gift. Abby writes:

I pulled up to work one day and saw Elizabeth holding a bouquet of flowers. I was totally freaked out. I knew they were for me, but I could not bring myself to accept them over the fence….She called out. I heard her say that she had brought flowers for me. I just sprinted in the door and acted as if I didn’t hear her. I felt really bad…She looked so sad and disappointed. After about thirty minutes, she went to the center of the driveway and laid the...READ MORE

Filed under abby johnson, abortion, abortion reversal, austin coalition for life, planned parenthood, pro-life

Does the Cosmic Census Bolster Atheists' Claims?

02/25/2011 Comments (81)

The galactic census data is in! According to an Associated Press article released last weekend: “Scientists have estimated the first cosmic census of planets in our galaxy and the numbers are astronomical: at least 50 billion planets in the Milky Way.”

When I would hear that kind of thing when I was an atheist, I’d muster up my most condescending facial expression and turn to the nearest believer to say: “You still believe all that Bible stuff now?” To my way of thinking back then, the vastness of the universe debunked the Christian worldview. Obviously we’re nothing special in the grand scheme of things. Obviously there’s not some Creator out there who values us over everything...READ MORE

Filed under astronomy, atheism, faith, science

Where Have All the Good (Wo)Men Gone?

02/23/2011 Comments (180)

This weekend the Wall Street Journal ran an article by Kay S. Hymowitz in which she asked: “Where have all the good men gone?” She wrote:

Not so long ago, the average American man in his 20s had achieved most of the milestones of adulthood: a high-school diploma, financial independence, marriage and children. Today, most men in their 20s hang out in a novel sort of limbo, a hybrid state of semi-hormonal adolescence and responsible self-reliance. This “pre-adulthood” has much to recommend it, especially for the college-educated. But it’s time to state what has become obvious to legions of frustrated young women: It doesn’t bring out the best in men.

“We are sick of hooking up with guys,”...READ MORE

Filed under feminism, marriage, relationships, sacraments

4 Tips for Using Graphic Abortion Images Effectively

02/21/2011 Comments (125)

I used to be pro-choice — vehemently so. I once said that I’d lay down my life to defend a woman’s “right to choose,” and I meant it. Now that I’ve come to my senses and am on the right side of the battle lines, one of the most common questions I’m asked is: “Do you think graphic images are effective for changing hearts and minds about abortion?”

The short answer is: Yes. But only under certain circumstances.

Father Frank Pavone has a saying that “America won’t reject abortion until America sees abortion.” In general, I agree with him. The bodies of the victims of this procedure are hidden behind closed doors, so it’s easy for the average person to slide this issue to the backburner of...READ MORE

Filed under abortion, atheism, atheist, catholic, catholic church, catholic faith, pro-choice, pro-life

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About Jennifer Fulwiler

Jennifer Fulwiler
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Jennifer Fulwiler is a writer and speaker who converted to Catholicism after a life of atheism. She's a contributor to the books The Church and New Media and Atheist to Catholic: 11 Stories of Conversion, and is writing a book based on her personal blog, She and her husband live in Austin, TX with their five young children, and were featured in the nationally televised reality show Minor Revisions. You can follow her on Twitter at @conversiondiary.