'Strong Link' Between Religious Beliefs and Teen Birth Rates

A new study published in Reproductive Health demonstrates that states with "increased religiosity" tend to have the highest teen birth rates. In order to determine religiosity, researchers averaged the percentage of respondents who agreed with eight theologically conservative statements, including, ''There is only one way to interpret the teachings of my religion," and, ''Scripture should be taken literally, word for word." The researchers also found a link between high religiosity and lower abortion rates.

Garrido Invokes Faith in Defense

USA Today profiles the religious motivation behind Philip Garrido's kidnapping, rape, and imprisonment of Jaycee Dugard and the daughters he fathered with her. He often invoked Jesus and God to defend his actions, but, according to the report, his faith "had morphed from traditional Christian beliefs to a nearly indecipherable dogma that placed Garrido as a prophet who held the keys to a deep secret."

Former FBI profiler Ken Lanning, who specializes in kidnapping and child abuse cases, said, "A lot of them, when they're molesting children, put a lot of time and energy into trying to convince themselves that they're not bad people. In some cases the element of religion will come into it, and they will use varying aspects of their religious belief to justify all of this."

Prayer before Sex?

A 64-page "Prayer Book for Spouses" published by the London-based Catholic Truth Society includes prayers for every stage of marriage and family life, including a "Prayer Before Making Love":

Father, send your Holy Spirit into our hearts. Place within us love that truly gives, tenderness that truly unites, self-offering that tells the truth and does ...
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