By Christy Barritt
Prayer, The Bible, and Mental Illness
Lifeway Research posed the question: Can prayer and the Bible alone help someone overcome a serious mental illness?
Their findings showed that nearly half of evangelicals, born-again Christians, and fundamentalists believe that the Bible and prayer alone can help people overcome these issues.
Forty-seven percent of believers, though, disagreed with the notion that these elements alone will cure illnesses like bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, and depression.
Fifty-nine percent of Americans rejected the notion that prayer and the Bible were viable solutions. Despite that, 35 percent overall believed that these things can help people combat mental ailments.
As age increases, the belief that Bible and prayer alone will solve mental problems decreases. Fifty percent of those 18-29 years old believe these could be sole solutions, but only 30 percent of those between the ages of 55-64 agreed.
The poll also found that 54 percent of Americans believe that churches should do more to prevent suicide.
Court Keeps “In God, We Trust”
A federal district court has struck down a challenge to America’s national motto.
Dr. Michael Newdow and the Freedom From Religion Foundation filed a lawsuit to have “In God We Trust” deleted from U.S. coins and currency. They argued that they were “forced to proselytize—by an Act of Congress—for a deity they don’t believe in whenever they handle money.”
The court rejected the argument that the motto violated the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment.
In dismissing the suit, U.S. District Judge Harold Baer, Jr., wrote that federal appeals courts “have found no constitutional violation in the motto’s inclusion on currency.”
He added that while the plaintiffs might feel offended, they suffered no “substantial burden.”
One of the plaintiffs plans to appeal the judge’s ruling.
Public School Sends Students to Mosque
A high school in Hendersonville, Tennessee sent their freshmen to a local mosque in September as a part of a field trip. The students were a part of the school’s honors world studies class, and they visited both an Islamic mosque and a Hindu temple as part of their study on world religions.
Parents were concerned because students were not sent to Christian and Jewish houses of worship as well.
Some parents were also concerned about the texts used in assignments for kids who opted out of the field trip. One parent claimed the information given out on Islam was biased. For example, one worksheet alleged that Muslims treated their conquered people better than the United States treated minorities.
After this incident, the school system decided that classes are no longer allowed to take field trips to any house of worship.
Oklahoma Defies Pentagon on Same-Sex Spousal Benefits
Oklahoma governor Mary Fallin ordered the National Guard in her state to stop processing spousal benefit requests for homosexual couples. Her order defies the Department of Defense directive that extends military dependent benefits to cover same-sex couples who marry in the states where it is legal.
A spokesperson for the governor said Fallin stopped payment on these benefits as a way of honoring the will of Oklahoma voters who approved a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage in 2004.
Oklahoma is the fourth state to defy the Pentagon’s orders on same–sex marriage. Texas, Mississippi, and Louisiana have also refused their DOD orders.
All four of these states have passed laws defining marriage as a union between one man and one woman.
Christy Barritt is an award-winning author, freelance writer, and speaker living in Chesapeake, Virginia. She and her husband Scott have two sons.