By Christy Barritt
Americans Likely to Become More Religious
Surveys conducted recently by Gallup found that 40 percent of Americans can be categorized as “very religious,” while 29 percent are “moderately religious,” and 31 percent are “nonreligious.”
The poll used several factors to measure these results, including the frequency of attending worship services and the self-reported importance of religion in respondents’ everyday life.
The survey found that Americans become more religious as they age, and that women are more religious than men. It also found that the South is the most religious region, while those with high levels of income and education are the least religious.
Frank Newport, editor in chief for Gallup, predicts that these numbers will increase over the next 20 years, mostly because the number of Americans 65 and older will double in that time.
More than 320,000 adults were polled for this survey.
UK Scouts May Accept Atheist Membership
The Scout Association of Great Britain is considering allowing atheist members to join the organization by offering a newly drafted oath that will omit the word “God.”
Derek Twine, chief executive of the Scout Association, noted that allowing the organization to accept atheists would be an “historic change” in the organization.
Currently, the Scout’s oath reads: “On my honor, I promise that I will do my best, to do my duty to God and to the Queen, to help other people and to keep the Scout Law.”
Allegiance to the Queen in the oath will remain.
Wayne Bulpitt, chief commissioner for the Scouts, told the Associated Press that the purpose of the change would be to stay relevant and promote a growth in membership.
“We are a values-based movement and exploring faith and religion will remain a key element of the Scouting program,” he said. “That will not change.”
DOE Investigates Alabama School
The Department of Education has begun a federal investigation into an Alabama school district over comments a teacher made about the Bible and homosexuality.
A Junior ROTC instructor in Huntsville allegedly expressed during a high school class his belief that the Bible does not support the homosexual lifestyle.
A female student was offended by his remarks. The student and her mother then contacted a local gay advocacy group, which complained to the school on the student’s behalf.
The U.S. Department of Education sent a letter to the school district’s superintendent, informing him that they’d be looking into the incident. The DOE has yet to make a determination in the matter.
Most Americans Support Mandatory Contraception Coverage
A survey taken by LifeWay Research found that a majority of adults in the U.S. believe that businesses and organizations should be mandated to provide contraception and birth control for their employees. Respondents even feel that organizations and businesses with strong religious objections should not be exempted.
According to the survey, 63 percent of American adults agreed with making contraception coverage required. Twenty-eight percent disagreed, and 10 percent “didn’t know.” In considering whether nonprofits should be required to provide the coverage, 56 percent of adults agree and 32 percent disagree they should be required to follow the mandate even if it goes against their religious beliefs.
Ed Stetzer, president of Lifeway Research, said, “The American public appears unaware or unconcerned that some religious organizations and family businesses indicate fear of losing the freedom to practice their faith under the new healthcare regulations.”
Christy Barritt is an award-winning author, freelance writer, and speaker living in Chesapeake, Virginia. She and her husband Scott have two sons.