Category Archives: Atheists

Saturday Funnies!

. . . and political truth memes.

~Eowyn

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Atheist loses lawsuit to remove ‘In God We Trust’ from U.S. currency

A piece of good news, at last, in the contemporary American wasteland.

Do you remember a man named Michael Newdow?

Newdow, 65, is the Californian atheist who’s been jamming the courts with lawsuits.

Newdow’s most recent lawsuit was to have “In God We Trust” removed from U.S. currency on the grounds that the motto is a government endorsement of religion and so violates the Establishment Clause of the U.S. Constitution’s First Amendment. Last year, the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled against Newdow — the judges found that the motto on currency “comports with early understandings of the Establishment Clause” and did not coerce people into practicing a religion.

See DCG’s “Lawsuit demands US remove ‘In God We Trust’ from money“.

“In God We Trust” was first put on an American coin in 1864, and added to both coins and paper bills in 1955. A year after, in 1956, President Dwight Eisenhower signed a law making the phrase the national motto.

Leah Klett reports for Christian Post, citing Fox News, that on June 10, 2019, the U.S. Supreme Court rejected, without comment, Newdow’s appeal.

In 2013, Newdow had partnered with the Wisconsin-based Freedom From Religion Foundation to sue the U.S. Treasury over the motto on currency. In his petition to the Supreme Court, Nedow, a lawyer whose clients are other atheists, had argued that:

  • The government violated his clients’ “sincere religious belief” that there is no God and turned them into “political outsiders” by placing the phrase “In God We Trust” on their money.
  • The placement of “In God We Trust” on money “has real effects on real children” and subjects atheist children to the same sufferings  historically endured by black children as “second class citizens”.

In the words of Newdow’s petition, which refers to “God” as “G-d” — a Jewish practice:

Petitioners are atheists. As such, they fervidly disagree with the religious idea that people should trust in G-d. On the contrary, their sincere religious belief is that trusting in any G-d is misguided. Defendants have conditioned receipt of the important benefit of using the nation’s sole ‘legal tender’ upon conduct proscribed by Petitioners’ atheism (i.e., upon Petitioners’ personally bearing – and proselytizing – a religious message that is directly contrary to the central idea that underlies their religious belief system).

Unless this Court ends the flagrant governmental preference for belief in G-d (and the implicit concomitant denigration of Atheism), the organizations, adults and children bringing this case will spend the rest of their lives – as they have spent their lives so far – as secondclass citizens.

Mat Staver, founder and chairman of religious liberty law firm Liberty Counsel, praised the court’s rejection of Newdow’s petition: “Our national motto ‘In God We Trust’ has been on all U.S. currency for more than 60 years and it will remain there, despite ridiculous attempts by atheists to remove it.”

Newdow’s past litigation includes:

  • Several failed litigation challenges against the “under God” phrase in the U.S. Pledge of Allegiance. In 2004, after suing for the removal of “under God” from the Pledge of Allegiance, his case was heard by the U.S. Supreme Court. But the court did not decide on the merits of the case but instead said Newdow had no standing to sue. See my post, “‘Under God’ stays in Pledge of Allegiance“.
  • Attempts to stop prayers being read at the inauguration of Presidents Barack Obama and George W. Bush.
  • Attempts to prevent government leaders from saying the phrase “So help me God” in the 2009, 2013, and 2017 presidential inaugurations.

See also:

~Eowyn

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Smash the Church and the Gospel spreads quicker

The demons that empowered the Bolsheviks still have one objective: Hurt the Lord by hurting His people


Newsweek: CHINA DEMOLISHES ANOTHER CHURCH, SPARKING FEARS OF CAMPAIGN AGAINST CHRISTIANITY

by Christina Zhao – 01/11/2018

“The Golden Lampstand, a well-known Evangelical megachurch in the city of Linfen, Shanxi province, was dramatically demolished with explosives on Tuesday…”

“Last December, the only Catholic Church in Zhifang, a village near Shaanxi, was destroyed for no apparent reason, 20 years after it opened…”

Read article at https://www.newsweek.com/china-demolishes-another-church-sparking-fears-campaign-against-christianity-777931


As cunning as the devil’s minions are, they are too self deceived to learn that this tactic fails every time

  • Jesus crucified – Result: a new and better Covenant
  • Jerusalem Church crushed – Result: gospel spreads through all Judea and Samaria
  • Jews oppress Paul –  Result: Paul spreads gospel to Rome

Moving forward we see the same principle

China strikes the church, thinking this will break them. Real result, Christians meet quietly in very small numbers, and many more are converted. Why? Because the message spreads much better in quiet earnest conversations and prayers than in big meetings. People aren’t dazzled into the kingdom by massive meetings, they are loved into the family God one at a time.

We see the same devils attempting to move into position the crush the church in America

The LGBT movement is trying to make it a crime to use the wrong gender pronoun. They are still trying to set up bakers in positions where they end up crossing the law when their conscience forbids working for gay weddings.

And the satanic principalities of the Bolsheviks 100 years ago are plainly at work in AOC and Bernie Sanders today, with the same genocidal intent.

And let’s not even waste time on the subject of Fake News.

Last night my dreams troubled me 

As I searched my thoughts for help I remembered a scripture that has brought me peace on many dark nights during the past 40+ years of my christian walk, and it worked for me this morning.

Romans 8:35-38 answers these threats with comfort and encouragement: 

“Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? As it is written:

‘For your sake we face death all day long; 
we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.’ 

No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons,  neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

PEACE

~ TD

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What Putin Thinks of Lenin

Here are the Russian President’s thoughts on the Bolsheviks, in his own words.

Vladimir Putin is an enigma to America, largely because we have not heard from him directly, but been told by Fake News what we should think about him.

I am not campaigning for him, but looking on with curiosity. And I am grateful that Russia now acknowledges the Orthodox Church as its soul once again. I don’t like the laws forbidding evangelism in recent years, but recognize that the shift from militant atheism to Christianity is huge.

Like Donald Trump, Vladimir Putin has thrown off the yoke of bondage to the international puppeteers. Both men have thwarted assassination attempts, likely from the same shadowy people who would be our rulers.

Lord, help us to navigate this time in history with your wisdom.

~ TD

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SJW Love Fest at Seattle Pacific University

WARNING: Watch this only if you have 2 hours of time to waste being completely pissed off.

The Players: an assortment of self-loathing white leftists

They are celebrating the first year of their new Social Justice Major at the university. The women and men in the audience are mostly white, an assortment of people interchangeable at any Peter, Paul and Mary concert on PBS. We know them. The women have that smug, smarter-than-the-world smirk, and all the males have been properly gelded, not a functioning testicle in sight…

…with the one exception of the properly licensed testicle operator,
the sanctioned Fearless Leader and tonight’s speaker, Tim Wise.

Tim Wise, like Noel Ignatiev before him, has made his bones prosecuting the inborn guilt of white people (especially white men).

He has books to sell at the back of the auditorium. Tim’s favorite SJW crowd pleaser: White Like Me: Reflections on Race From a Privileged Son. And there is a new favorite: White Lies Matter: Race, Crime, and the Politics of Fear in America. Along with these you can purchase from an assortment of other essays, sure to grant clemency to a white Liberal seeking redemption from the inherent evil of his/her DNA.

Did I mention that Tim Wise recently spoke at Harvard University, and opined that Christians should be locked up because they can’t function in the real world? 

Yeah, he said that. And he even used Noel Ignativ’s favorite excuse,
“I was just kidding… but maybe not.”

This hits extra close to home for me, as a relative near and dear to me has given up on college after 3 and a half years. He told me that at his new college he has been told in all kinds of ways that he is the enemy of everything good, for the reason that he is white and male, and worst of all, a Christian. He is a clear headed critical thinker, and that too has brought the wrath on him.

My relative had thought it would be good to see what’s happening at the historic college chapel with the Christian student club. The Christian club turned out to be invisible, either nonexistent or in hiding. And the historic chapel was being used for drag queen shows. Demons always like to throw a party when they can desecrate a formerly holy place; no exception here.

Tim Wise, like Noel Ignatiev, is of Russian Jewish descent, and they are both atheists.

Let’s add this up. They preach the same message. They have direct ancestors reaching back to the Bolshevik Revolution 100 years ago. Their actions are not those of honest debate and scholarship, but the actions of an agent provocateur, each lecture, a Molotov Cocktail of incitement to violent revolution. Looks like the very same principalities that deceived Russia 100 years ago are making a 100th anniversary attempt to repeat their success now in America.

So relieved I’m not white!
Wait! I am white?!!! 

Guess I had better run and hide. (NOT) No, we “white people” of all colors are ready to stand and fight, be it in the physical or the spiritual:

“For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds. Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ.”
– 2 Corinthians 10:4

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Peace Cross Case Heads to US Supreme Court – Why Much More Than One Cross Is on the Line

The U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to hear a case about whether a the nearly 100-year-old, cross-shaped war memorial in Maryland known as Peace Cross violates the Constitution because is on government property. The case of the monument, located in the Bladensburg community of Prince George’s County, could impact hundreds of similar monuments nationwide.

First Liberty Institute is defending the cross. One of its lawyers, Jeremy Dys, told CBN News, “This case is very important for a variety of reasons. Because this area of the law is right now – as Justice (Clarence) Thomas has said – in hopeless disarray. And so there’s really needing some clarity for this.”

The legal team  believes this could be the most crucial religious liberty case the Supreme Court handles this term. That’s because if the high court eventually decides this cross has to go, it could affect thousands of other crosses, including crosses on all federal cemeteries such as  the national cometary at Arlington.

But if the justices make a broad ruling favoring the cross and other objects like it, it could put an end to judges and bureaucrats deciding – somewhat haphazardly – if a religious symbol or display is too religious or secular enough to be left alone by secular authorities.

That possibility has opponents of the cross worried about the court setting a precedent that could counter future efforts to eradicate religious symbols–especially Christian symbols– from public display.

The District of Columbia-based American Humanist Association has led the challenge against the monument. The organization and three area residents sued Maryland officials in 2014 in an attempt to have the monument torn down. They say that the cross “discriminates against patriotic soldiers who are not Christian, sending a callous message to non-Christians that Christians are worthy of veneration while they may as well be forgotten.” And they point out that other nearby memorials are smaller and across the street from the cross.

One of the people who brought the original case against the cross – Steven Lowe of the American Humanist Association – told CBN News, “The government on this piece of property is favoring a religion with this huge symbol. When you come across the bridge or approach it from any of the highways, you see nothing but this huge Christian cross.”

Journalist Renee Green spoke with Lowe and other cross opponents for her documentary “Save the Peace Cross.” In it, United Coalition of Reason officer Fred Edwords stated, “It gives the impression of Christianity and nothing else. And it gives the impression of government endorsement of Christianity.”

And Lowe told Green, “The existence of a memorial on public land is not a problem. It is just the use of the Christian cross as part of that memorial that we find contrary to the First Amendment and separation of church and state.”

Edwords added, “It looks for all the world like, ‘Okay, this is either the state of Maryland or the city of Bladensburg endorsing one religion.'”

In the suit against the cross, one atheist said he was traumatized driving by it. Green appears on camera in her documentary to point out that many telephone poles are in the shape of a cross.

“If the plaintiffs win this lawsuit, will all the telephone poles need to be modified?” Green asks, tongue-in-cheek. She adds, “I just hope they’re not traumatized by telephone poles while driving.”

The Peace Cross has drawn the support of Maryland’s governor and senators. Over the summer the state of Maryland filed an amicus brief in support of the petition to the Supreme Court, and Gov. Larry Hogan said the state was “determined to fight all the way to the highest court in the land to keep it standing tall and proud.”

The Peace Cross was completed in 1925, and it honors 49 men from the surrounding county who died in World War I. A plaque on the cross’ base lists the names of those soldiers, and both faces of the cross have a circle with the symbol of the American Legion, the veterans organization that helped raise money to build it.

Today, responsibility for the cross falls to a Maryland parks commission that took over ownership and maintenance of it in 1961 because of traffic safety concerns.

~ Grif

The first amendment/the first enumerated right:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

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Sunday Devotional: Blessed are you when people hate you

Luke 6:17, 20, 22-23, 26-28

Jesus came down with the twelve….
And raising his eyes toward his disciples he said:
“…Blessed are you when people hate you,
and when they exclude and insult you,
and denounce your name as evil
on account of the Son of Man.
Rejoice and leap for joy on that day!
Behold, your reward will be great in heaven.
For their ancestors treated the prophets in the same way….
Woe to you when all speak well of you,
for their ancestors treated the false prophets in this way.
But to you who hear I say,
love your enemies,
do good to those who hate you,
bless those who curse you,
pray for those who mistreat you.”

On June 28, 2006, then-Senator Barack Obama famously proclaimed, “Whatever we once were, we are no longer just a Christian nation”.

Eight years of his presidency only worked to further de-Christianize America, seen most vividly among the young in the graph below (source: Washington Post).

In 2014, 82% of Americans 65 and older, but only 57% of Americans 18-29 identified themselves as Christians. Younger Americans increasingly identify themselves as religiously unaffiliated: 34% of those ages 18-29  vs. 11% of those 65 and older. As recently as the 1990s, less than 1 in 10 Americans claimed no religious affiliation. By 2014, the religiously unaffiliated increased to 22% of the U.S. population. According to Robert P. Jones, author of The End of White Christian America, by 2051, if current trends continue, religiously unaffiliated Americans could comprise as large a percentage of the population as all Protestants combined — a thought that would have been unimaginable just a few decades ago.

Nature abhors a vacuum.

What the graph and Jones fail to address is that, as Americans increasingly become religiously unaffiliated, witchcraft and satanism are surging:

As Christianity wanes, come the concomitant discriminaton against and persecution of Christians: bakers, teachers, Salvation Army bell-ringers. The homosexual director of Disney’s “Beauty and Beast” declared wanting to rip the Bible to pieces. Sen. Bernie Sanders actually said faithful Christians are racist bigots, unfit for public office. In fact, a 2017 report confirmed that the U.S. government’s hostility toward Christianity spiked under President Obama.

So we shouldn’t be surprised that we are hated and abused, for “If the world hate you, know ye, that it hath hated me before you.” (John 15:18)

For that hatred, we are told to “rejoice and leap for joy”. As Jeremiah 17:7-8 says:

Thus says the LORD:
Blessed is the one who trusts in the LORD,
whose hope is the LORD.
He is like a tree planted beside the waters
that stretches out its roots to the stream:
it fears not the heat when it comes;
its leaves stay green;
in the year of drought it shows no distress,
but still bears fruit.

Be strong!

May the peace and love of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you,

~Eowyn

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Racial, gender, age, education and religious differences in 2018 midterm elections

Using exit poll data by the National Election Pool, as reported by CNN, Pew Research Center determined that “The stark demographic and educational divisions that have come to define
American politics were clearly evident in voting preferences in the
2018 congressional elections.”

Reporting for Pew on November 8, 2018, Alec Tyson describes those divisions:

  • Nationally, voters favored Democratic candidates for Congress over
    Republican candidates by a margin of about 7%.
  • Gender: Women generally favored Democratic candidates by 19% (59% to 40%) while men voted for Republicans 51% to
    47%. As was the case in the 2016 presidential election, white men voted
    Republican by a wide margin (60% to 39%) while white women were evenly divided
    (49% favored Democrats; 49% supported Republicans).
  • Race: Whereas Whites favored Republicans over Democrats by 54% vs. 44%, Blacks voted overwhelmingly (90%) for Democrats,
    including comparable shares of black men (88%) and black women (92%). Hispanics favored Democrats over Republicans 69% v. 29%. Asians favored Democrats over Republicans 77% v. 23%.
  • College education: When gender, race and education are considered together, women college
    graduates stand out for their strong preference for the Democratic
    candidate (59% favored the Democrat while just 39% voted Republican).
    Whites with less education – particularly men – supported the
    Republican. White men who do not have a college degree voted Republican
    by about two-to-one (66% to 32%).
  • Age: The age divide in voting, which barely existed in the early 2000s, also
    is large. Majorities of voters ages 18 to 29 (67%) and 30 to 44 (58%)
    favored the Democratic candidate. Voters ages 45 and older were divided
    (50% Republican, 49% Democrat).
  • Trump: The national exit poll found that more voters said their midterm vote
    was to oppose Trump (38%) than said it was to support him (26%); 33%
    said Trump was not a factor in their vote. The midterm vote also was
    highly correlated with views of Trump’s job performance: Among those who
    approved of the president (45% of all voters), 88% voted for the
    Republican. Among the larger share who disapproved (54%), an
    overwhelming percentage voted Democratic (90%).
  • Anti-White: Overall, 41% of voters said whites in the country today are favored over
    minorities; 19% said that minorities are favored over whites, while 33%
    said that no group is favored.  Among those who said whites are favored in the U.S., 87% voted for
    Democrats. By contrast, large majorities of those who said minorities
    are favored (85%) or that no group is favored (69%) voted for Republican
    candidates.
  • #MeToo: 72% of those who said sexual harassment it is a very serious problem supported Democratic
    candidates. Among those who said it was a somewhat serious problem,
    Republican candidates held a slim edge (50% vs. 48%). And while
    relatively few voters said sexual harassment is not too serious a
    problem (11%), this group voted overwhelmingly Republican (79% vs. 20%).

In a report on November 7, 2018, Pew Research found that “A preliminary analysis of the 2018 midterm elections finds considerable
continuity from 2014 and 2010 in the voting patterns of several key religious groups“:

  • Three-quarters (75%) of white voters who describe themselves as
    evangelical or born-again Christians (a group that includes Protestants,
    Catholics and members of other faiths) voted for Republican House
    candidates.
  • 7-in-10 no religions voted for the Democratic candidate in their congressional district.
  • 8-in-10 Jewish voters (79%) cast their ballots for Democrats.
  • This year, Catholic voters were evenly split between the parties: 50%
    favored the Democratic candidate for Congress in their district, while
    49% favored the GOP’s nominee. In the past two midterm elections (2014
    and 2010), however, Catholics had favored Republican candidates by margins
    of roughly 10%.
  • Among Protestants, 56% voted for Republican congressional candidates and
    42% backed Democrats.
  • Among those who identify with faiths other than
    Christianity and Judaism
    (including Muslims, Buddhists, Hindus and many
    others), 73% voted for Democratic congressional candidates while 25%
    supported Republicans.
  • Church attendance: Voters who say they attend religious services at least once a week
    backed Republican candidates over Democrats in their congressional
    districts by an 18-point margin. Those who attend services less often
    tilted in favor of the Democratic Party, including two-thirds (68%) of those who say they never attend worship services.

~Eowyn

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Religious people live 4 years longer than atheists

Four days ago, I posted about church attendance reducing suicide risk by half.
Here is more evidence that being a Christian is good for our health, both mental and physical.

The lonely world of atheists

A study by a team of researchers found a surprising correlation between longevity and religious faith: religious people live up to four years longer than atheists.
Published on June 13, 2018 in the journal Social Psychological and Personality Science, the article “Does Religion Stave Off the Grave? Religious Affiliation in One’s Obituary and Longevity” was authored by:

  1. Laura Wallace, the lead author, is a doctoral student of psychology at Ohio State University (OSU).
  2. Rebecca Anthony, who is in her final year of medical school at OSU.
  3. Dr. Christian End, associate professor of psychology at Xavier University.
  4. Dr. Baldwin Way, associate professor of psychology at OSU.

As summarized by a press release from Ohio State University, the study employed two samples of obituaries;

  1. A first sample of 505 obituaries published in Iowa’s Des Moines Register  in January and February 2012, showed that people with religious affiliations lived 9.45 years longer than atheists. The gap in longevity shrank to 6.48 years when gender and marital status were taken into account.
  2. A second sample of 1,096 obituaries from 42 major U.S. cities published on newspaper websites between August 2010 and August 2011, found that people whose obits mentioned a religious affiliation lived an average of 5.64 years longer than those whose obits did not. That gap shrank to 3.82 years after gender and marital status were considered.

The researchers tried to account for these likely explanatory (or “contaminating”) factors:

  • Many studies have shown that people who volunteer and participate in social groups tend to live longer than others. As an example, attending church regularly increases the odds of becoming friends with other attendees. Wallace et al. combined data from both samples and determined that volunteerism and social engagement only partly accounted for the greater longevity of religious people. Wallace said: “We found that volunteerism and involvement in social organizations only accounted for a little less than one year of the longevity boost that religious affiliation provided. There’s still a lot of the benefit of religious affiliation that this can’t explain.”
  • What about the importance that many religions place on conformity to community values and norms? The researchers found that in highly religious cities where conformity was important, religious people tended to live longer than non-religious people.

Other possible explanatory factors:

  • The researchers allowed that the longevity effect of religious affiliation may have to do with the rules and norms of many religions restricting unhealthy practices such as alcohol, drug use and sexual promiscuity.
  • In addition, Dr. Way said, “many religions promote stress-reducing practices that may improve health, such as gratitude, prayer or meditation.”
  • Way also admitted that the study could not control for important factors related to longevity such as race and health behaviors.

Nevertheless, lead author Wallace said that overall, the study provides additional support to the growing number of studies showing that religion does have a positive effect on health.
See also:

~Eowyn

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Church attendance reduces suicide risk by half

The recent spate of “celebrity” suicides by hanging — actor Robin Williams in 2014; fashion designer Kate Spade and “celebrity chef” Anthony Bourdain this month — are famous examples of the 25% increase in U.S. suicides since 1999.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) documented a steep rise in suicides in the United States between 1994 and 2014, among men and women and in all age groups between 10 and 74. Although women are still less likely than men to commit suicide, the gender suicide-gap is closing. Among women between 45 and 64 — the ages at which women are most likely to kill themselves — the rate of suicide in 2014 dramatically increased 80% from 1999.
Speculations abound about the suicides of Spade and Bourdain:

  • Were they depressed from relationship failures? –Spade and her mouse-mask wearing husband were separated; Bourdain might have been dumped by his satanic girlfriend Asia Argento.
  • Was it a case of auto erotic-asphyxiation?
  • Was Bourdain Arkancided (just because he said in a tweet that Hillary Clinton’s operatives harassed him for joining the #MeToo movement against criminally-prosecuted Hellywood mogul Harvey Weinstein?)

There is one thing that Williams, Spade and Bourdain all had in common: They did not have the Light of Christ. Williams and Bourdain were Jews; Spade, who graduated from a Catholic all-girls high school, was not observant.

St. Paul said in his Letter to the Ephesians 6:10-16:

Finally, draw your strength from the Lord and from his mighty power. Put on the armor of God so that you may be able to stand firm against the tactics of the devil. For our struggle is not with flesh and blood but with the principalities, with the powers, with the world rulers of this present darkness, with the evil spirits in the heavens. Therefore, put on the armor of God, that you may be able to resist on the evil day and, having done everything, to hold your ground. So stand fast with your loins girded in truth, clothed with righteousness as a breastplate, and your feet shod in readiness for the gospel of peace. In all circumstances, hold faith as a shield, to quench all the flaming arrows of the evil one.

A study by a team of researchers led by Tyler J. VanderWeele of Harvard’s T.H. Chan School of Public Health, confirms the correctness of St. Paul’s injunction.
Published in the August 2016 issue of JAMA Psychiatry, “Association Between Religious Service Attendance and Lower Suicide Rates Among US Women,” the study found that mmidst the wave of despair and suicide, one group of women are bucking the national trend.
Melissa Healy reports for the Los Angeles Times that, using data from 1996 to 2010, the study found the following stunning facts:

  1. Compared with women who never participated in religious services, women who attended any religious service once a week or more were five times less likely to commit suicide. In a study population made up of 89,708 nurses aged 30 to 55, and dominated by women who identified themselves as either Catholic or Protestant, the suicide rate observed was about half that for U.S. women as a whole — only 36 of them committed suicide at some point in the course of 15 years.
  2. Which church, Protestant or Catholic, matters. Although Protestant women who worshiped weekly at church were far less likely to take their own lives than women who seldom or never went to church, Catholic women were even less likely — seven times less likely to commit suicide than Protestant women.
  3. How often one attends church also matters: Among especially devout Catholic women, suicides were non-existent. There was not a single suicide among the 6,999 Catholic women who said they attended Mass more than once a week.
  4. It’s not whether one is Christian; it’s about church attendance: The suicide-prevention effect of religion was clearly not a simple matter of group identity: Self-identified Catholics who never attended mass committed suicide nearly as often as did women of any religion who were not active worshipers.

The study’s authors concluded that church attendance is “a form of meaningful social participation” that buffers women against loneliness and isolation — both factors that are strongly implicated in depression and suicide — and that “Religion and spirituality may be an underappreciated resource that psychiatrists and clinicians could explore with their patients, as appropriate.”
Dr. Aaron Kheriaty, director of the medical ethics program at the University of California, Irvine, School of Medicine, and co-author of The Catholic Guide to Depression, said the lengthy duration of the 2016 study — women were asked about their religious attendance every two years starting in 1996 and then followed until 2010 — “suggests a causal relationship between religious practice and a significantly lower risk of suicide, especially among Catholics“:

“Religious convictions and practices can help people foster a sense of hope, even in the midst of major crises or adversities. Religious faith can help people find a sense of meaning and purpose even in suffering. It’s not our role to ‘prescribe’ religion… or proselytize to our patients. It is safe to assume that religious conviction and faith must be genuine and sincere if they are to provide the mental and physical health benefits that several studies have suggested. [But if patients are inclined to explore religion or spirituality,] doctors can encourage patients to explore such activities confident that religious practices will likely not harm, and may indeed, help, their patient’s mental health.”

The 2016 study confirms and adds to recent research on the potential benefits of religiosity, contrary to Sigmund Freud’s sneering denunciation of religious belief as the “universal obsessional neurosis of humanity.”

See also:

~Eowyn

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