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Summer 2007: Table of Contents
Volume XXVIII — No. 2

 = Article available online


Summer 2007 Conscience cover

C "Macho Men and Passive Women"

Debunking myths about the sexuality of Latinos

Any investigation into the many factors that shape Latinos’ sexualities presents significant problems. For a start, the pan-ethnic or supraethnic label of Latino itself can obscure the tremendous diversity found within the population. Latinos include people who have recently arrived and those whose histories of living in what is now the continental U.S. span over 500 years. Many additional factors add to this population’s diversity and complexity, such as national origin, socioeconomic conditions, geographical location, residence status (including citizenship), political histories, racial identification, languages other than Spanish, dialects, sexual orientations, circular migration and level of transnationalism.

Marysol Asencio and Katie Acosta

C Decoding the Latino Vote

When 40 percent of Latino voters chose President George W. Bush in 2004, headlines trumpeted the unprecedented Latino support for Republicans. But in 2006, just 30 percent of an estimated 6 million Latino votes cast went to Republicans—and closely contested congressional races in which Latinos
made up 10 percent or more of all voters yielded four of the 30 net gain seats going to Democrats, according to the Pew Hispanic Center.

Jane Burns


Latinas and teen pregnancy

The progress the nation has made in reducing teen pregnancy has been breathtaking. The teen pregnancy rate in the United States has declined 36 percent since 1990, and the teen birth rate has plummeted by one-third since 1991. Even more encouraging, adolescent pregnancy and childbearing
have declined in all 50 states and among all racial and ethnic groups.

Bill Albert

Seeking Solutions

The campaign for reproductive justice for Latinas in California

According to the 2000 United States Census, Latinos, at almost 11 million, compose 32 percent of California’s population. Among the Latino population, 51 percent are male and 49 percent are female. Latinas are relatively young, with a median age of 25.4. Indeed, 49 percent of Latinas are age 24 or younger. Latinas, of any race, compose 32 percent of all women in California, for a total of 5.4 million Latinas in the state.

Rocio Córdoba

Prevention Not Prohibition

CFFC's newest campaign seeks to build a national consensus to prevent, not prohibit, abortion

Abortion has been at the eye of a terrible storm in recent years. Clinic bombings, Supreme Court decisions, shootings, violent protests and venomous rhetoric have not brought the country any closer to a resolution. Both sides in the debate have generated more heat than light. Like many people, I often look to my faith for guidance. Sadly, the leaders of my church have been uninspiring and counterproductive, lecturing us about how to think, vote and act on the issue.

Jon O'Brien

Latinizing American Christianity: Pluralism, Pentecostalism and the Future of American Catholicism

A major debate  erupted over Latino religious affiliation in the United States. Sociologist Andrew Greeley of the University of Chicago has argued that the Catholic church is experiencing mass
defections of Latino Catholics to Evangelical and mainline Protestantism. The Hispanic Churches in American Public Life (HCALP) national survey refines and revises this finding and argues that although Roman Catholicism is witnessing mass defections, it is still experiencing unprecedented numerical growth.

Gastón Espinosa

The Latino National Survey

Key results from the nation's largest survey of Latinos

The Latino National Survey (LNS) was a major national telephone survey of 8,600 Latino residents of the United States, seeking a broad understanding of the qualitative nature of Latino political and social life in America. All Latinos, not just citizens or voters, were sampled and interviewed for approximately 40 minutes on a wide range of political questions, conducted in English and Spanish. Interviewing began on November 17, 2005, and continued through August 4, 2006. The national margin of error is approximately ±1 percent.

Abortion in Poland: A New Human Rights Ruling

On March 20, 2007, the Fourth Section of the European Court of Human Rights, made up of seven
judges, gave judgment in Tysiac v Poland. It upheld the applicant’s complaint. She suffers from severe myopia, but was unable to obtain a lawful abortion after she became pregnant for the third time. Alicja Tysiac had seen three ophthalmologists, who agreed that she might suffer retinal detachment as a result of pregnancy, but that this was not certain.

Barbara Hewson

The Campaign to Decriminalize Abortion in Portugal

On February 11, Portugal said “enough is enough” to those who have long opposed women’s rights and voted to decriminalize abortion, permitting it on request until the 10th week of pregnancy in state-regulated facilities. In the referendum, 59 percent of the electorate expressed confidence in
a woman’s ability to decide about whether or not to continue a pregnancy to term.

Alcilene Cavalcante

The Brussels Declaration

More than 80 members of the European Parliament and hundreds of individuals including European politicians, community leaders, academics and Nobel Prize winners have endorsed the Brussels Declaration on Dignity, Equality and Freedom, a document that emphasizes that state neutrality in
matters of religion is vital for the ongoing development of the European Union.

Nina Miller and Elfiede Harth

"Hope to See You Soon"

A review of the Oscar-nominated documentary Deliver Us from Evil

David J. Nolan


Editor’s Note


C In Catholic Circles


  • Albert J. Menendez reviews David Kuo's Tempting Faith: An Inside Story of Political Seduction
  • Rosemary Radford Ruether reviews Charles E. Curran’s Loyal Dissent: Memoir of a Catholic Theologian
  • Edd Doerr reviews Damon Linker’s The Theocons: Secular America Under Siege
  • Susan Yanow reviews Mary Ann Sorrentino’s The A Word—Abortion: Real Women, Tough Choices, Personal Freedom

A list of new and noteworthy books

C Postscript
In their own words: supporters and critics of the church speak

Back Cover
Index: Latinos on Religion and Politics