Web Notables (March 20, 2015)

Spiritual amateurism kills, children need two parents and Hollywood could help, shale gas profits

By The Editors Published on March 20, 2015

“Web Notables” is a daily feature that highlights articles readers may want to see but might have missed. It is compiled by senior editor David Mills

The Dangers of Spiritual Amateurism in America by Spencer Orey in Pacific Standard. “Much of the forbidden, obscure, and esoteric knowledge that once made Buddhism and other religions difficult to study has now become accessible — with potentially dangerous results.”

Bootstraps Aren’t Enough by W. Bradford Wilcox, originally from the Wall Street Journal. Children’s access to the core institutions that foster their development is increasingly separate and unequal, but no government program can substitute for having two parents.

Helping Religious Leaders Retrieve Their Voices on Marriage by Mitch Pearlstein in the Institute for Family Studies website. “Marriage can be strengthened, and nonmarital birth rates measurably reduced, if we find ways of taking greater advantage of our nation’s religious institutions and traditions,” says the president of the Center of the American Experiment. Thoughtful people agree and he shares their insights.

How Hollywood Can Save Our Families by Megan McArdle, from Bloomberg View. “If Hollywood actually believed that married two-parent families were overwhelmingly optimal, that would naturally shape what they wrote, in a way that would in turn probably shape what Americans believe, and do.”

Why Are James Fallows and His Commenters Annoyed by the Holocaust? by James Kirchik in Tablet. “The ugly accusation that Jews ‘use’ the Shoah to drive nations to war migrates from the swamps of the right to the foreign policy left.”

Welfare and Distributional Implications of Shale Gas by Catherine Hausman and Ryan Kellogg of the Brookings Institution. “The shale gas revolution has led to an increase in welfare for natural gas consumers and producers of $48 billion per year, but more data are needed on the extent and valuation of the environmental costs of shale gas production.”

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