Compared to Christians, fewer Jews switch faiths. Jews are less likely than Catholics or Protestants to change faiths, though religious switching nationwide has increased since 1965, according to a study released by the American Jewish Committee. Most who leave Judaism become unaffiliated, rather than converting to another religion. Many continue to identify as Jewish in an ethnic or cultural sense, concluded the study’s author, Tom W. Smith, director of the General Social Survey at the National Opinion Research Center of the University of Chicago. With 76 percent retaining their faith, Jews are more “religiously stable” than Catholics at 73 percent. While eight in ten Protestants remain Protestant, specific denominations retain a much lower percentage of members — as low as 16 percent in one case.
Fireproof wins top Movieguide award. Fireproof and The Christmas Choir captured the two $100,000 Epiphany Prizes at the 17th annual Movieguide Faith and Values Awards Gala in Beverly Hills, Calif. Fireproof depicts the reconciliation of a troubled marriage while The Christmas Choir follows homeless men who refocus their lives by singing Christmas carols. The Epiphany Prizes for Inspiring Movies and TV are awarded to the movie and television program whose aim is to increase love and comprehension of God. WALL-E, beating out nine other films, was awarded the Best Family Movie. The comic book action flick Ironman received the Best Movie for Mature Audiences. Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed won the Faith & Freedom Movie Award for promoting positive American values. John Adams and The Medal tied in taking the Faith and Freedom Television Award for promoting positive American values. The annual Movieguide Faith and Values Gala recognizes films promoting family values and biblical principles.
Science group boycotts Louisiana. A national organization of scientists has informed Gov. Bobby Jindal it will not hold its annual convention in Louisiana as long as recently adopted science curriculum standards remain on the books. The Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology told Jindal its executive committee chose Salt Lake City for its 2011 convention over New Orleans “in large part” because of the science standards. The letter from society President Richard Satterlie is posted on the group’s website. Jindal signed the law last year, agreeing with its supporters that science teachers need wider latitude to use supplemental materials for lessons on topics such as evolution, global warming and cloning. Many science groups, both in Louisiana and nationally, urged the governor to veto the bill. They cast the act as a back-door attempt to allow Judeo-Christian creation theology or “intelligent design” — the concept that biological life forms are the result of an intelligent being — to be taught as part of science class. The act allows local school boards to approve supplemental materials as part of its curriculum. The state school board retains power under the law to bar specific materials, either on its own or after a public hearing on a citizen complaint about specific texts approved at the local level.
Compiled from Religion News Service