By Christy Barritt
False Myths About Divorce Rates
Christian researcher Shaunti Feldhahn recently did an eight-year investigative study about the state of marriage and divorce in today’s culture and churches. Her results surprised many.
Two myths she debunked were the notions that half of all marriages end in divorce and that the divorce rate is the same in the church as out of it. She said neither is close to being true.
According to Feldhahn, 72 percent of people are still married to their first spouse. She also said that prior studies only reported on the divorce rate among people who claimed to be Christians. For couples who regularly attend church, the divorce rates drop 20-50 percent.
Feldhahan, the author of The Good News About Marriage, also feels the success of a marriage is directly correlated with whether the couple has a sense of hope or a sense of futility. Getting the statistics about marriage right is only one part of changing people’s outlook to one of hope.
Atheist Group Upset Because of Pledge
An atheist group recently condemned a New York high school, accusing them of violating the U.S. Constitution after the school allegedly prohibited one of its students from opting out of saying the Pledge of Allegiance.
The student didn’t want to stand for the pledge due to its reference to God. The American Humanist Association said that a teacher at Southside High in Elmire City violated the student’s constitutional rights when she forbade the student to sit down while the pledge was recited. She also told the student that not reciting the pledge was disrespectful to America and to military personnel.
The letter from the AHA requested that students not be punished for not reciting the pledge and that teachers shouldn’t persuade students to participate. The superintendent for the school district said the first time she heard about the complaint was when she received the letter from the AHA. She also said that students are free to opt out of the pledge if they want.
An Extra Portion of Dinner Ignites Movement
Every night Rita Schiavone used to make an extra portion of food, put it in a tin container, and give it to an elderly person who needed it the next day. She set out to make a difference for one person at a time.
Rita’s work inspired family, friends, and others in the community to also take action. They joined in Rita’s efforts to provide meals for the elderly. Over time, the movement turned into a nationwide nonprofit called Aid for Friends.
Rita began her extra portion efforts more than 40 years ago. Today Aid for Friends provides 400,000 meals a year to elderly people who are hungry and alone. The organization has 16,000 volunteers, who not only provide food but also companionship for those who are homebound.
For more information, visit their website (www.aidforfriends.org).
The Changing Face of Today’s Heroin User
In the 1960s people thought of heroin users as being poor, urban minorities.
A new study has found that 90 percent of heroin users are white, 75 percent live in less urban areas, and 75 percent became addicted after exposure to prescription drugs.
Dr. Theodore Cicero, along with the Washington University School of Medicine, did the study. They based their findings on a nationwide survey of 9,000 patients who were dependent on narcotic painkillers.
Cicero said in a statement, “What we’re seeing now is that most people using heroin begin with prescription painkillers such as OxyContin, Percocet, or Vicodin, and only switch to heroin when their prescription drug habits get too expensive.” Heroin can be purchased for $10, while prescription drugs can cost $80 per pill, according to Cicero.
Their study was published in the Journal of the American Medical Association Psychiatry.
Christy Barritt is an award-winning author, freelance writer, and speaker living in Chesapeake, Virginia. She and her husband Scott have two sons.