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March 4, 2008

WHAT A WEEK: THE CITY’S WEEKLY ZEITGEIST RADAR

+5Because of a “competitive religious marketplace,” nearly half of Americans have switched religions, according to a study by the Pew Forum. But the fastest growing “religion” is no religion — fully 16 percent of us (a record number for America) abstain. Protestantism, which could soon become a minority religion for the first time in American history, still makes up 66 percent of the population in Kentucky. God could not be reached for comment.+1Senate Republicans (whose likeness you’ll find if you look up “bully” in the dictionary) defeated a proposed bill aimed at combating bullying in Kentucky schools. In brighter news, the House approved the governor’s pension-bailout bill and a bill to toughen penalties for sexual abusers. Both measures passed 96-0. -10Where Kentucky is going to put those sex pervs is another matter. A Pew Center study revealed that Kentucky, at 12 percent, led the nation in prisoner growth last year. If you’re reading this on the outside, pat yourself on the back: The U.S. leads the world in both number and percentage of incarcerated citizens. One in 100 adults (2.3 million), including one in 15 black men in America, are in prison — at a cost of $55 billion. +7Nowhere is planning more important than in parenthood, a point that Planned Parenthood Federation of America president Cecile Richards made in Louisville last week. Richards was in town to commemorate Kentucky’s Bluegrass and Louisville chapters’ well-planned urge to merge, which recently gave birth to Planned Parenthood of Kentucky. The new organization will reach out to women and men in rural and Hispanic communities. Learn more at plannedparenthood.org/kentucky. World-classness +3