Items of interest from various sources of religious news and opinion, in print and on the web.
Most Parents Desire Money Over Families For Their Children. “Would you trade your family for money? Which one of your kids would you swap for certain wealth? All parents know what they would answer. None. Never. No way. Yet a new Pew study shows parents would prefer — by a lot — their children prioritize financial independence and a good career over family and children. Eighty-eight percent of parents said it’s ‘extremely or very important’ for their children to be financially independent when they reach adulthood; 88% also said the same of their children having a job they enjoy. Only 21% of parents said it was ‘extremely or very important’ for their child to get married, and just 20% felt that strongly about their progeny reproducing. This is a giant mistake.” Markowicz, Karol. “Tell your kids marriage is more important than money or career — because it IS.” Opinion. NYPost.com, 29 Jan. 2023. Web. 30 Jan. 2023.
Recent Uptick in Violence Against Christian Churches. “Family Research Council analyzed publicly available data from the past five years to determine whether there has been a statistically significant increase in acts of hostility against churches in the United States over time. Between January 2018 and September 2022, at least 420 acts of hostility against U.S. churches occurred. The types of acts identified include vandalism, arson, gun-related incidents, bomb threats, and more. There also appeared to be an increase in frequency over the course of the reporting period.” DelTurco, Arielle. “Hostility Against Churches Is on the Rise in the United States.” Domestic Religious Freedom. FRC.org, 1 Dec. 2022. Web. 30 Jan. 2023.
Put Not Thy Trust in ChatGPT. Recently internet and legacy media have been abuzz with news about ChatGPT, an artificial intelligence (AI) “chatbot.” “ChatGPT is a language generation model developed by OpenAI that utilizes deep learning algorithms to generate text-based responses in a conversational manner. It has been trained on a large corpus of text data, allowing it to respond to a wide range of topics with high accuracy and fluency.” E.g., the previous two sentences were generated with ChatGPT. “High accuracy,” however, turns out to be a bit of a stretch: when queried about topics with which the user is knowledgeable, ChatGPT returns a lot of obviously inaccurate information. The responses are always well-written and convincing, but many of the facts are simply wrong. Example: a query asking about the Greek terms used in 2 Corinthians chapter 6 produced a very fluent and convincing summary. However, when checked, several of the terms discussed (at length!) are genuine Biblical Greek words, but they do not occur at all in the Greek text of 2 Corinthians 6! Another example: a query, “Tell me about Immanuel Lutheran College in Eau Claire, Wisconsin” produced the following response: “Immanuel Lutheran College is a private, four-year liberal arts college located in Eau Claire, Wisconsin. It was founded in 1911 and is affiliated with the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod.” Both the date and the affiliation are incorrect. (– Editor)