Fr. John's Letter Archives

Enjoy re-reading Fr. John's weekly bulletin letters for the past year.

Warning: Don't be an unmarried lawyer from St. Louis

07-28-2013Fr. John LettersFr. John

Dear Friends,

Mark Twain often said, "there are statistics and then there is the truth." The information we glean from statistics is often colored by our preconceived notions, biases or just wishful thinking, at least in the popular mind. I realize the science of statistics can give us some really good objective data but once it's interpreted by people with agendas that same data miraculously seems to be able to support any hypothesis pro and con at the same time. Still it can be amusing to see how people interpret statistics that are garnered from polls, surveys and research.

So in light of that, here's what I extrapolate from three recent survey's: Devout married Catholics who are members of the Military and live in New York City have the most enjoyable and frequent sex and contribute the most to society's wellbeing among all demographic groups. Conversely, unmarried non-Catholic lawyers who live in St. Louis contribute the least to societyand have really bad sex lives. Here's the proof in favor:

The real estate blog Movato, ( came up with the saintliest cities in the US as well as the most sinful cities. You might be surprised to learn that the Big Apple, New York City was determined to be the saintliest city in America! How so? The researchers decided to rank cities according to the frequency of the seven deadly sins per capita. In order to determine that they looked at: Strip clubs per capita (Lust) Cosmetic surgeons per capita (Pride) Violent crime per year per 1,000 residents (Wrath) Theft per year per 1,000 residents (Envy) Percentage of disposable income given to charity each year (Greed) Percentage of obese residents (Gluttony) Percentage of physically inactive residents (Sloth) The cities with the least amount of these things were considered the saintliest cities and the cities with the most of these things were ranked as the most sinful. Fortunately for us Gilbert, AZ ranked number two and Chandler, AZ ranked sixth among the saintliest metropolises. The most sinful, sorry to say was Saint Louis, MO and much to their chagrin Las Vegas was only the 10 most sinful city. Apparently Sin City has some work to do to live up to its reputation. The Family Research Council reported, using data from a University of Chicago study (National Health and Social Life Survey conducted in 1992), that the most enjoyable and most frequent sex occurs among married people, specifically among those who attend church weekly.

Within this group married Catholics ranked the highest for having the best sex of any demographic group. ( Of course this is news to me but maybe not you. The FRC researchers suggest that this is so because these couples had the least sexual partners and more often than not waited until marriage. This affirms Catholic teaching on conjugal love that has been so maligned. Ironically this month is 45 yrs since Paul VI issued Humanae Vitae, which so elegantly taught about the nature and beauty and boundaries of human sexuality. Somehow we have to fit this in to our evangelization efforts.

Another poll done by the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life ( surveys public attitudes towards various professions. The survey asks whether a given profession contributes to society's wellbeing. Ranking at the top as contributing a lot to society is the military and the second slot goes to teachers. Journalist had the most precipitous drop in favorability particularly among women. Disappointingly clergy rank in the middle overall. Dead last are lawyers. Only 18% said they contribute to the common good.

Well at least I'm not a lawyer…

Love, Fr. John B.