By Christy Barritt
Majority of Adults Say Church Not Important
A new poll by The Barna Group claims that 51 percent of U.S. adults no longer think church attendance is important.
The Christian polling organization asked, “What helps you to grow in your faith?” Respondents listed at the top of their lists: prayer, family, friends, reading the Bible, and having children. Church didn’t make the top 10.
Half (49 percent) said that church attendance is “somewhat” or “very important,” but 51 percent say it is “not too” or “not at all” important. The younger the adult, the more the disengagement grew. Only 2 in 10 adults under the age of 30 believe that church is important. Even worse, a third in that age group are actually anti-church.
The poll also showed that the definition of a regular church attender is changing. In the past, a regular attender went to church three or more weekends every month. Now people who show up once every four to six weeks consider themselves regular churchgoers.
Boy Pays it Forward, Touches Lives
When an 8-year-old boy living in Ohio found a $20 bill on the ground outside of a restaurant, his first thought was to buy a new video game.
Instead, when Myles Eckert went into the restaurant and saw a man in uniform, he decided to pay it forward. He gave the money to National Guard airman, Lt. Col. Frank Dailey, who was eating there.
Myles told CBS News, “He was a soldier, and soldiers remind me of my dad.” When Myles was still a newborn, he lost his father to a roadside bomb in Iraq during his second tour of duty.
Myles’ story went viral, and people from all over the country began to send money to the Eckerts. Myles and his family, in return, donated all of the funds to the Snowball Express, which serves children of fallen military members.
Since the fund started on March 13, they’ve collected almost $150,000.
Satanic Symbols in Coffee Foam
A Louisiana schoolteacher on her way to church on a Sunday morning was surprised when she stopped to order coffee at a popular national chain, only to find satanic symbols in her foam.
She ordered two cups, and when she picked up her order, she noticed that one featured a pentagram and the other had the numbers 666, also known as the mark of the devil, artistically drawn in the froth atop her drink.
She was so appalled and shocked that she couldn’t even get the man’s name who served the drinks. She did go to Facebook to post pictures and express her displeasure, citing both the employee’s lack of professionalism and respect for others.
The coffee chain apologized for her experience and said they were taking her complaint seriously.
Mississippi Approves Religious Freedom Bill
Mississippi lawmakers passed the Mississippi Religious Freedom Restoration Act in April. It prohibits the state from taking action that will “burden” a citizen’s right to religious exercise. The legislation was approved in the Mississippi House with a 78-43 vote and approved in the Senate with a wide majority.
The bill defines “burden” as “any action that directly or indirectly constrains, inhibits, curtails, or denies the exercise of religion by any person or compels any action contrary to a person’s exercise of religion.” The burdens include “withholding benefits, assessing criminal, civil or administrative penalties or exclusion from governmental programs or access to governmental facilities.”
The ACLU of Mississippi reacted to the bill’s passing by calling it a “controversial law” that could open the door to discrimination against any group based on religious objections.
The bill will become effective in July.
Christy Barritt is an award-winning author, freelance writer, and speaker living in Chesapeake, Virginia. She and her husband Scott have two sons.