The American Dream is Dying in California

PRRI Releases New Survey Detailing the Struggles of Working Californians
On Tuesday morning, PRRI released its latest survey, A Renewed Struggle for the American Dream. According to the survey, “Nearly one-third (31 percent) of all Californians are working but struggling with poverty, which translates to almost half (47 percent) of the state’s workers.” Among those struggling with poverty, an overall negative outlook on the possibility of the American Dream persists. PRRI CEO Robert P. Jones says, “It is striking that nearly one-third of Californians are finding that the promise of the American Dream—that if you work hard, you’ll get ahead—is not coming true for them.” Jones continues, “Grasping the magnitude of this problem and understanding the real-life struggles and hardships that impact these more vulnerable workers is critical for California policymakers, businesses and non-profits who want to work to create a healthier, more robust employment environment in the state.” The survey was supported by a grant from The James Irvine Foundation.
John McCain: A Man of Quiet Faith
Following the passing of Senator John McCain (R-Ariz.), stories have been told about the man’s reliance on faith and prayer throughout his life. Though McCain was not known for espousing those behind the scenes say that he was a man of deep faith. Author Stephen Mansfield spoke to the Religion News Service(RNS) about this in 2017. “Prayer was the most important thing for him when he was a POW and he often mentions prayer in times of national crisis,” Mansfield explains. “Otherwise, he’s been cautious about mentioning it very publicly because he does not want to be identified with the religious right or some of the more religious politicians he despises.” McCain, who died on Saturday at age 81 after a year-long battle with brain cancer, was known as the de-facto minister among his fellow captors while a prisoner of war during the Vietnam War. “He was a very good preacher, much to my surprise,” one of McCain’s fellow prisoners told RNS in 2008. “He could remember all of the liturgy from the Episcopal services … word for word.” Before he is laid to rest at a burial at the United States Naval Academy, there will be a celebration of McCain’s life at the Washington National Cathedral.
Catholic Parents Facing Painful Dilemma
“Do I trust my church with my kids?” That is the question asked by Susan Reynolds, a professor of Catholic Studies at Emory University, and a mother. Reynolds, like many Catholics across the nation, has tried to reconcile her participation in the church against the backdrop of sexual abuse scandals. This summer, several decades worth of cover-up within Pennsylvania churches was announced to the world—stunning many of the faith. Reynolds was among several Catholics who spoke with CNN for a story about how congregants are dealing with the abuse stories. The CNN piece cites PRRI data from 2016 that shows that 32 percent of former Catholics count the abuse scandals as their primary reason for leaving the church.
U.S. and Mexico Agree to Preliminary NAFTA Deal.
The United States and Mexico have decided to revise portions of the 24-year-old signature trade deal. The preliminary deal comes at a time when NAFTA was thought to be on the brink of collapse. The preliminary agreement still requires Canadian participation. While Canada has has been absent from talks held in Washington over the last several weeks it is expected to return to the bargaining table. The agreement reached specifically centers on rules governing the car industry. The president announced the move in the White House on a call with Mexican president Enrique Peña Nieto. According to PRRI polling, more than six in ten (63 percent) Americans are in favor of promoting free trade, while about three in ten (29 percent) say the U.S. should place more restrictions on foreign trade.
Religious Denominations Apologize for Indigenous Land Grabs
Mainline Christian denominations in the United States are apologizing for their historical role in the appropriation of land from Native Americans. This appropriation was justified in part by the Doctrine of Discovery, a series of 15th century papal edicts and judicial rulings. Recently, a number of mainline Protestant groups have passed resolutions repudiating this doctrine, and some are attempting to come to terms with what this means now. Pointing to solutions currently being deliberated, Emily McFarlan Miller of Religion News Service writes, “Some are creating educational resources on racism dealing with the doctrine and related themes. Others are calling for ‘full disclosure’ on their denomination’s involvement in land grabs and massacres of Native Americans. Some have even suggested returning church land to the indigenous people who originally lived there.”