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Posts Tagged ‘evangelical’

How faith communities may help prevent youth from going to pot

Opponents of the legalization of marijuana are rapidly losing the battle. But that does not mean faith groups are powerless in protecting their flocks from marijuana use. Some new studies are showing religion may help prevent or limit marijuana abuse, and may be particularly effective for minors who may be increasingly vulnerable as legal marijuana becomes more easily accessible.

The weekend activity that can help you feel happier throughout the week

People who attend Sunday worship not only feel better during the time they are in church, but they are happier throughout the week than non-churchgoers, according to two new studies. The explanation for the happiness gap goes beyond the finding that non-churchgoers spend more time in passive activities such as watching TV and less time with family and friends in social situations. Spending time in social rituals that reinforce their faith also seems to provide individuals with meaning and positive coping skills that contribute to better mental health.

Older worshippers find it’s never too late to switch

Religious switching is not limited to the young. Nearly three in 10 older adults made a major change in spiritual homes within just an 11-year period, according to a study. The findings and related research indicate both why it is important for older adults to be in a supportive congregation and why leaving a long-established spiritual community late in life could jeopardize the individual’s well-being.

As black-white gap widens, Americans do not want to talk about race

New findings from the second wave of a major study on religion and race lay bare the dramatic and growing gap in racial attitudes and experiences in America. We do not live in a post-racial nation, the 2012 Portraits of American Life Study suggests, but in a land of two Americas divided by race, and less willing than ever to find a common ground of understanding.

Studies: Religion linked to fewer violent crimes; being ‘spiritual but not religious’ tied to increased risk

Can religion help reduce violent crime? Two new studies suggest the answer is yes, both by creating a moral climate that fosters respect among neighbors and by helping to form individual consciences of young adults. Communities with high levels of active participation in congregations may be particularly effective in reducing assaults, rapes and murders in some poor areas that are most likely to suffer from violent crimes, the research indicates.

Religion and higher education: The effect on faith of being smarter than a fifth-grader

Does higher education lead to a loss of faith? The answer, as indicated in a new study, may be as complex as the American religious landscape. Evangelicals, black Protestants and Catholics appear to become more religious the more steps they climb on the academic ladder, while the religiously unaffiliated are far less likely to pray or hold traditional beliefs as they acquire advanced degrees, according to the study, which analyzed data from the 1972-2006 General Social Survey. Overall, however, “The main contribution of this study is that education does not uniformly decrease religiosity,” the researchers reported.

Give us our daily passage: Reading Bible tied to social justice issues

Bible reading matters – just not in the way many commentators on popular culture would predict. A new study, one of the first to examine the social consequences of reading Scripture, reveals the effects of Bible reading appear to transcend conservative-liberal boundaries. Thus, while opposition to same-sex marriage and legalized abortion tends to increase with more time spent with the Bible, so does the number of people who say it is important to actively seek social and economic justice.

Numbers vs. nurture: Predicting the future of religion

Date-setting for the end of the world has never worked out too well for biblical prophets. Some social scientists, however, say increasingly sophisticated demographic tools can provide vauable insight into the future of religion. Under one scenario for the U.S., Hispanic Catholics and non-Christian religions will be big winners, while predominantly white religious groups will lag behind. Other researchers, however, are skeptical of such attempts to predict the future.

Charlie Sheen circus points out double-edged sword of religion and alcohol

A major celebrity appears to be destroying himself with alcohol before the eyes of a nation, and his antics become comic fodder, fueling an endless thirst for celebrity voyeurism. What is obscured among the ridicule being heaped upon Charlie Sheen is our own discomfort in confronting alcohol addiction. Religion can be both help and hindrance in the battle against alcoholism, research suggests.

Not everyone wins, but all faiths grow in competitive marketplace

The more competition, the better for American religion. Major immigration from Asia, the growth into the thousands of religious movements within and outside the church and an active and influential secular community have not stopped the growth of the nation’s largest faith — Christianity. Instead, the expanding religion marketplace is proving to be a win-win situation for all faiths, according to J. Gordon Melton, founding director of the Institute for the Study of American Religion in Santa Barbara, Calif.

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