By Christy Barritt
Suicides on the Rise
According to the Centers for Disease Control, suicide deaths have now surpassed deaths from motor vehicle crashes in the U.S.
Among Americans age 35 to 64, suicides have increased by 28 percent since 1999.
The most drastic increases occurred among men age 50 to 54 (48 percent), and among those age 55 to 59 (49 percent). Among racial and ethnic groups, the greatest rise was among white non-Hispanics at 40 percent. Analysts attribute this, in part, to the economic downturn.
Most suicide research and prevention in the past have focused on youth and the elderly. This CDC report’s findings suggest that more efforts should be made to address the needs of middle-aged persons.
Faith-Based Organizations Cutting Ties with Boy Scouts
Ever since the Boys Scouts of American made their controversial decision to allow openly gay members, many faith-based organizations have voiced their protest and recommended that Christians withdrawal their support.
More than 60 percent of the BSA national council members voted to pass a resolution on May 23 to change its policy. It now states, “No youth may be denied membership in the Boy Scouts of American on the basis of sexual orientation or preference alone.” The policy will go into effect January 1.
With more than 70 percent of all BSA units being charted by faith-based organizations, this could have a large impact on scouting. The Southern Baptist Convention is set to vote on a nonbinding resolution to disaffiliate itself from the BSA and the Assemblies of God have also voiced their disapproval.
Other organizations, like the American Heritage Girls, announced they also would cut ties.
Americans Turn to God After Disaster
New findings from LifeWay Research show that Americans take an increased interest in God after a natural disaster occurs.
The survey also showed that Americans donate more to relief agencies in the aftermath of tragedy and that the public trusts faith-based agencies more than their secular counterparts. According to the results, Americans feel that faith-based groups are more
responsible by nearly a two-to-one margin.
The study showed that a third of Americans increase their trust in God during times of suffering and believe that prayer can avert natural disasters.
LifeWay Research conducted the survey days after the EF5 tornado devastated parts of Oklahoma on May 20.
Soldier Memorial Causes Controversy
A California City is planning a memorial to veterans, but one secular group is fighting to stop their efforts.
The six-foot, black granite memorial is set to be built at a city-owned baseball stadium in Lake Elsinore. It depicts a soldier kneeing in front of a cemetery headstone that’s in the shape of a cross with a U.S. flag overhead. Additional crosses are shown in the background, as well as the Star of David.
The scene is a depiction of what many military cemeteries look like. Despite that, the American Humanist Association has filed a suit in the U.S. District Court of the Central District of California, claiming that the memorial violates the U.S. and California state constitutions.
The Pacific Justice Institute, a Christian organization, has offered to defend the city in the lawsuit.
Christy Barritt is an award-winning author, freelance writer, and speaker living in Chesapeake, Virginia. She and her husband Scott have two sons.