By Christy Barritt
Longest Married Couple Shares Advice
After celebrating their 81st anniversary, a husband and wife living in Connecticut now hold the title of “Longest Married Couple.”
The Worldwide Marriage Encounter, a Christian marriage enrichment program, bestowed the title onto John and Ann Betar of Fairfield, Connecticut. Nominations from all across the country were submitted for the honor before the Betars were chosen.
The couple, who married when Ann was 17 and John was 21, had five children together and currently have 14 grandchildren and 16 great-grandchildren.
During an interview with ABC News, John gave his advice on the secret of a long, healthy marriage: “Don’t hold a grudge,” he said. “Forgive each other. Live accordingly.”
“We are very fortunate,” Ann added. “It is unconditional love and understanding. We have had that. We consider it a blessing.”
Parents with Daughters More Likely to Be Republican
A new study has found that parents with more daughters than sons and whose firstborn is a girl, are more likely to be Republicans.
Dalton Conley of New York University and Emily Rauscher of the University of Kansas were behind the study and published their results in an article called, “The Effect of Daughters on Partisanship and Social Attitudes Toward Women.” It was published in Sociological Forum.
Conley and Rauscher also found class differences: Upper-income families with daughters were more likely to be Republicans. Those at the bottom of the income scale saw no relationship between partisanship and the gender of their children.
The authors of the study theorized that parents make subconscious choices that increase the likelihood their children will reproduce. Therefore parents of daughters subconsciously believe that Republican policies will increase the likelihood that their daughters will have children.
Jewish People Most Targeted Religious Group
The FBI recently released their statistics on hate crimes committed across America in 2012. Their results showed that Jewish people, by far, were the most targeted religious group, comprising close to 60 percent of religious-based hate crime.
The FBI analyzed 5,796 hate crimes involving 6,718 offenses. They separated the incidents into various categories. Among these, they found that racially motivated hate crimes were the most prevalent at 48.3 percent, while 19.6 percent of these crimes were because of a person’s sexual orientation, 19 percent because of religion, and 11.5 percent because of ethnicity or national origin.
Hate crimes motivated by religion accounted for 1,166 of the reported offenses. Of those, 56.7 percent were identified as anti-Jewish, 12.8 percent were anti-Islamic, 7.6 percent were anti-multiple religions, 6.8 percent were anti-Catholic, 2.9 percent were anti-Protestant, and 1 percent were anti-atheist/agnostic.
Judge Rules Against Housing Allowance for Ministers
A federal judge in Wisconsin has ruled that housing allowances for clergy is unconstitutional.
The Clergy Housing Allowance Clarification Act, passed by Congress in 1954, protects ministers from paying income tax on compensation that goes toward housing.
If the judge’s ruling stands, some clergy members are expected to experience an estimated 5 to 10 percent cut in take-home pay. The clergy housing exemption currently applies to an estimated 44,000 ministers, priests, rabbis, imams, and others.
The Freedom From Religion Foundation filed the suit. In her decision, U.S. District Judge Barbara Crabb claimed the exemption “provides a benefit to
religious persons and no one else, even though doing so is not necessary to alleviate a special burden on religious exercise.”
The case, decided in the District Court for the Western District of Wisconsin, will likely be appealed to the Chicago-based 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, which covers the states of Wisconsin, Illinois, and Indiana.
Christy Barritt is an award-winning author, freelance writer, and speaker living in Chesapeake, Virginia. She and her husband Scott have two sons.