In the World — November 10, 2013
By Christy Barritt
Majority of Americans Want the Bible in Public Schools
A new survey conducted by the Barna Group on behalf of the American Bible Society found that two-thirds of Americans think it’s important for public schools to include biblically-based values in their curriculum.
The study was called “The State of the Bible 2013,” and it showed that 66 percent of American adults think teaching the Bible in schools is important. Seventy percent of those surveyed think that teaching the Bible in pubic schools could help reinforce moral principles.
Seventy-seven percent of those surveyed believe the morals and values of the nation are on a decline and that a decrease in biblical literacy was one of the main causes, in addition to the media’s negative influence.
Nearly half (45 percent) of those supporting the Bible measure were concerned that such a curriculum could end up favoring one religion over another.
Anti-Sharia Bill Becomes Law in North Carolina
In August, North Carolina became the seventh state to prohibit Sharia Law interpretation in court.
The North Carolina bill, entitled “Foreign Law/Protect Constitutional Rights,” prohibits judges from considering Islamic law when deciding on rulings. Though not mentioned specifically in the law, one component that propelled this legislation into the spotlight is what’s called Sharia law, a set of legal codes imposed by the teaching of Islam.
Supporters of the measure said this is a safeguard that will protect the American legal system from foreign laws incompatible with the U.S. constitution. Critics say this law will stir up anti-Muslim hatred.
North Carolina is the seventh state to implement this law. Arizona, Kansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, South Dakota, and Tennessee already have similar laws.
Nearly Nine Million Americans Use Sleep Aids
Government researchers completed a federal study on sleeping medication and found that at least 8.6 million Americans take prescription sleeping pills in order to get rest.
Between 2005 and 2010, about 4 percent of U.S. adults age 20 and older used prescriptions to help them sleep. A quarter of those studied suffered sleep problems serious enough to report to their doctors.
The study claims that between 50 million and 70 million Americans suffer from sleep disorders or sleep deprivation. Use of these pills was highest among those with more education and among women. People in their 40s and 50s were also more likely to need help with slumber.
According to one of the researchers, these results may be a reflection of the strain of modern life with people, especially women, trying to juggle the growing demands of work and family.
What Church Guests Say
Chuck Lawless, the owner of a church consulting company, uses church “spies” to help congregations evaluate how churches respond to guests. The goal is to help churches evaluate their health and implement plans to become more visitor-friendly.
Lawless recently reported the top eight findings noted throughout this year as his employees have visited churches across the country.
These findings include:
• Church websites are often outdated, boring, and useless.
• Churches are not friendly.
• Church facilities are not generally well-marked.
• Churches aren’t prepared for guests.
• Churches are poorly equipped for protecting children.
• Worship through music often needs improving.
• Preaching is often weak.
• Churches are not always clear about “what to do” in response to worship.
This last observation simply means that guests were unsure how to accept Christ, join the church, or deal with their sin when they left the service that day.
Christy Barritt is an award-winning author, freelance writer, and speaker living in Chesapeake, Virginia. She and her husband Scott have two sons.
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