“Are religious people happier, in better health? “
I have, at this point, made no comment here (or elsewhere, really, public or private) on the high-profile announcement by Mr. Jeff T. Green that he is formalizing his ten-year apostasy from the Church of Jesus Christ. Latter-day Saints by demanding that his name be removed from its records. First of all, I think it’s just a very sad story. Beyond that, I have no particular interest in Mr. Green – I had never heard of him before – and I generally don’t think the bad personal decisions of billionaires have more importance or creativity. original than the bad personal decisions of the uninitiated. billionaires. (I am reliably informed that Mr. Green even removed some of the boilerplate language from his public letter from a template he apparently found on a former Mormon website.)
However, during my meandering around the web, I encountered three comments from other people about Mr. Green’s very public departure that I thought were worthy of sharing here:
“This is the season to spread hostility” by Meagan Kohler and Jacob Z. Hess
“It’s the season: good will to men”, by Benjamin Pacini
“Is this the season to spread enmity?” By Michael Peterson (unrelated and quite separate from the article of the same title above)
The. This may be the last and the only thing I will have to say about this unfortunate story.
Christmas is quickly moving away. (Just 362 days of shopping – and eleven hours – until Christmas Day 2022!) While the memories linger, I would like to share a few Christmas-related things that are worth reading and thinking about:
“Christmas and Western Hope”, by Ralph Hancock
“Elder Holland Shares the Powerful Rebuke He Received As His Father Died on Christmas Morning”, by Jeffrey R. Holland
I enjoyed my participation on the Interpreter Radio Show last night with Steve Densley and Matt Bowen. Rather miraculous, really. Steve was in Utah, Matt was in Hawaii, and I was in Virginia. We should not take such things for granted. What would Brigham Young or Abraham Lincoln have thought of such a program – or, for that matter, radio broadcasts in general? Anyway, for part of the time we discussed my article “Christmas and a Condescending God”, which in one passage raises precisely the question as discussed in this short article:
“It’s actually a doctrinal question: Did the baby Jesus cry? “
Due to a complete renovation and construction, Temple Square in Salt Lake City is not living up to its usual Christmas splendor, and it won’t be for about two years. But other places have been. For example:
“Christmas lights shine around the Mexico City temple in Mexico City”
I hope that, when this is over, the Richmond Virginia Temple grounds will be brightly lit for Christmas. Its location is both beautiful and prominent.
In the midst of all the hustle and bustle – to use one expression – of the Christmas season, have you ever had the chance to sit down and watch the wonderful short film of the Church, The Baby Jesus: a story of the Nativity? It’s not quite eighteen minutes. I find it superbly done, and even moving:
The Baby Jesus: a story of the Nativity
Please, if you haven’t seen it, or if you haven’t seen it recently, set aside twenty reasonably quiet and uninterrupted minutes and watch it.
Here is an interesting and, I think, quite important article that appeared in the News from Déseret the day of Christmas:
“What makes families flourish or fail? 5 Studies You May Have Missed: Where People Want To Live From And Why That Matters For What Faith And Community Offer Families ”
At least part – “Being part of a religious community offers great advantages” – clearly comes from the Christopher Hitchens Memorial “How Religion Poisons Everything” File ©, because it is . . . Well it is horrible. Cooling. Yet another redundant example of the abominations and suffering caused by religious belief, “including preventing depression and suicide, lengthening longevity, improving marital outcomes, facilitating happiness, meaning, forgiveness and hope “.
In addition, the author of the Harvard study in discussion reports that “the magnitude of the effects of religious community participation tends to outweigh those of other forms of social participation. When it comes to the effects on mortality, suicide, and cardiovascular disease, the effects of church service participation are larger than any other indicator of social participation examined, including marriage, time spent with friends, with family, hours spent in other community groups or even their composite. “
And it is terribly reminiscent of that terrifying article that was published in 2019, and which, it must be admitted, is just one article among many that could be cited. the Hitchens file absolutely overflows with such horrors:
“Are religious people happier, in better health? Our new global study explores this question.
Finally, I end with a link to an article by Jeff Lindsay which I hope will be widely read:
“May we follow science and defend life”
It’s entirely possible that the U.S. Supreme Court will do the unthinkable this year – likely by the summer – and effectively overturn Roe vs. Wade. Contrary to the hopes of some and the fears of others, such a decision will not ban abortion in the United States. On the contrary, it will send the regulation of abortion to the fifty states, which will adopt very different approaches to the matter.
The state of Texas has already passed a controversial abortion law that goes beyond what I myself would support. And I’m not the only one, even on the pro-life side, to have reservations about this:
“Perspective: I am a pro-life lawyer. But Texas abortion law erodes the rule of law: The country cannot accept the Supreme Court decisions we love and challenge the ones we hate.
Posted from Richmond, Virginia