Friday, December 29, 2006

1 Chron 12:32 report, no 14: Biblical religion, family life and social stability

It is quite common today to see denigration of the biblical faith, as an enemy of liberty and as a source of discord and damage in the community.

The linked Heritage Foundation study, "Why Religion Matters Even More: The Impact of Religious Practice on Social Stability," should help us set the record straight.


Over the past decade, considerable research has emerged that demonstrates the benefits of religious practice within society.[1] Religious practice [in context, largely in the Judaeo-Christian, biblical framework] promotes the well-being of individuals, families, and the community.
Of particular note are the studies that indicate the benefits of religion to the poor.[2] Regular attendance at religious services is linked to healthy, stable family life, strong marriages, and well-behaved children. The practice of religion also leads to a reduction in the incidence of domestic abuse, crime, substance abuse, and addiction. In addition, religious practice leads to an increase in physical and mental health, longevity, and education attainment. Moreover, these effects are intergenerational, as grandparents and parents pass on the benefits to the next generations . . . .
Strong and repeated evidence indicates that the regular practice of religion has beneficial effects in nearly every aspect of social concern and policy. This evidence shows that religious practice protects against social disorder and dysfunction.
Specifically, the available data clearly indicate that religious belief and practice are associated with:
  • Higher levels of marital happiness and stability;
  • Stronger parent–child relationships;
  • Greater educational aspirations and attainment, especially among the poor;
  • Higher levels of good work habits;
  • Greater longevity and physical health;
  • Higher levels of well-being and happiness;
  • Higher recovery rates from addictions to alcohol or drugs;
  • Higher levels of self-control, self-esteem, and coping skills;
  • Higher rates of charitable donations and volunteering; and
  • Higher levels of community cohesion and social support for those in need.
The evidence further demonstrates that religious belief and practice are also associated with:
  • Lower divorce rates:
  • Lower cohabitation rates;
  • Lower rates of out-of-wedlock births;
  • Lower levels of teen sexual activity;
  • Less abuse of alcohol and drugs;
  • Lower rates of suicide, depression, and suicide ideation;
  • Lower levels of many infectious diseases;
  • Less juvenile crime;
  • Less violent crime; and
  • Less domestic violence.
No other dimension of life in America—with the exception of stable marriages and families, which in turn are strongly tied to religious practice—does more to promote the well-being and soundness of the nation’s civil society than citizens’ religious observance. As George Washington asserted, the success of the Republic depends on the practice of religion by its citizens. These findings from 21st century social science support his observation . . . .

PLEASE read it all!

Refreshing . . .

Much food for thought. END

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