Nice guy finishes first. I normally prefer baseball to golf (as regular readers of this column know), but I can’t help but step back and admire Phil Mickelson’s performance at the British Open on Sunday at Muirfield in Scotland. The left-hander (another reason to like him) shot a final round 66 to take the title. He also shot past Northern Ireland’s Rory McIlroy, who missed the cut this weekend, in the golf rankings. Mickelson is now the No. 2 golfer in the world, behind only Tiger Woods, who faded Sunday to finish tied for sixth. Mickelson, 43, has never held the top ranking, and more than a few of his competitors are rooting for him. Justin Rose, who beat Mickelson at the U.S. Open this year, tweeted, “Really pleased for Phil. I feel good for him especially after all the courtesy and sportsmanship he showed me at the Ryder Cup and U.S. Open.” It’s a sentiment shared by many who consider Mickelson one of nicest guys on the PGA Tour.
Ex-Gay Pride Month. In many parts of the country, homosexual activist groups held Gay Pride events during June, Gay Pride Month. Doug McIntyre wants to make July “Ex-Gay Pride Month.” McIntyre is a husband, father of three children, and grandfather of four. He’s also a former homosexual and co-founder of what he says is the oldest and longest running ministry that helps individuals with unwanted same-sex attraction leave homosexuality, Homosexuals Anonymous. “For too long, gay activists have silenced us, marginalized our voices, and cut us out of the conversation,” McIntyre said. “While they preach tolerance for gays, they routinely practice discrimination towards former homosexuals like myself who have taken a different path.” McIntyre has organized a 10-day road trip that started in Dallas yesterday and will end in Washington, D.C. Called “Grandpa Goes to Washington,” he plans to hold rallies along the way and draw attention to what he calls “homo-fascism in this country—the bullying from gay activists who say only one viewpoint on homosexuality can be tolerated.” (See “Threats stall event for ex-gays.”)
Conjuring success. The Conjuring has been getting good reviews from Christian publications, and it also did well at the box office in its opening weekend (see WORLD’s interview with the film’s co-writers). It pulled in more than $41 million, against a budget of just $20 million. That should make it a huge success for Warner Bros. The other three openers for the weekend—Turbo, Red 2, and R.I.P.D.—significantly underperformed. R.I.P.D. was particularly disappointing, grossing less than $13 million against a $130 million budget. Film critic Roger Moore called it the “worst comic book adaptation since Jonah Hex.”
Marriage hits new low. The marriage rate in the United States continues to slide. A new report says the rate of marriage has dropped to a new low of 31.1, meaning there are about 31 marriages in the United States for every 1,000 unmarried women. In 1950, that number was 90.2. In 1920, it was 92.3. “Marriage is no longer compulsory,” study researcher Susan Brown, co-director of the National Center for Family and Marriage Research (NCFMR) at Bowling Green State University, said in a statement. “It’s just one of an array of options. Increasingly, many couples choose to cohabit and still others prefer to remain single.” The NCFMR calculated the marriage rate by looking at the number of women over the age of 15 who get married each year, so delaying marriage would also affect the rate. A woman’s average age at first marriage in the United States is now nearly 27, the highest in more than a century, according to the NCFMR report.