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This Week in World Religion 2018–06–17


Author(s): Scott Douglas Jacobsen

Publication (Outlet/Website): Medium (Humanist Voices)

Publication Date (yyyy/mm/dd): 2018/06/17

“Non-religious families are creating a new landscape for teaching their children to navigate life without faith, according to an article from NPR.

For many parents who don’t believe or practice on a personal level, there is still a consensus that children need religion in order to be compassionate and moral. That’s what these families are trying to change.

People often, as you may expect, would leave religion during the rebellious teenage years — [Professor Christel] Manning says the baby boomers were the first generation to do this in fairly large numbers. But about half of them went back after they got married.

In addition to the spouses themselves, there are often parents and other family members who want influence, and kids who want answers. These are some pretty big questions — kids are asking about life and death, right and wrong, and who are we?

The answer to these questions was often found in religion. But this isn’t holding true for the current generation of parents. They aren’t returning to religious affiliation — or affiliating in the first place.


“There is increasing evidence that a correlation exists between a person’s social support and engagement and their longevity. At a bare minimum, it makes sense because it is challenging to manage chronic disease or recovery from hospitalization on your own. A new study looks at religious participation as a marker for that social integration and to avoid the bias of self-reported religious activity; the researchers measured religious involvement noted in obituaries. (Of course, they might also have induced a bit of bias on the report of grieving family members writing those obituaries)

There is a clear link between attendance at religious services and social support, even the number of close friends. Involvement in any group activity in the long-term fosters more social relationships. One theory, religion as a social value, suggests that being religious in a region where religion is socially valued may confer a halo of benefits, primarily stress reduction. The hypothesis tested by the researchers was that religious affiliation noted within obituaries would confer a survival benefit beyond that already conferred by marital status and gender.”


“A new survey has found that most LGBTQ adults in the United States are religious and more than half are Christian, to the surprise of people of faith in the community.

Conducted by Buzzfeed and Whitman Insight Strategies, the survey is the most extensive of its kind and talked to over 880 members of the LGBTQ community from across the country from May 21 to June 1. Overall, the study found that LGBTQ people are largely white, women and under 40-years-old. Of those surveyed more than half identified as bi-sexual while the smallest group of people surveyed identified as transgender.

While 39 percent of those polled said that they had no religious affiliation whatsoever, more than half of the respondents said that they were regularly involved in faith organizations. A majority of people who were religious were Christian, with 23 percent identifying as Protestant and 18 percent identifying as Catholic.”


“The spectacle of the royal wedding last month, viewed by countless millions around the globe, didn’t reflect reality, not of times past and definitely not of today.

Bride and groom come both from broken homes. The bride had been married before. The pledge on the altar “till death do us part” may be an ideal, but is today, and perhaps has always been, far removed from reality.

A good number of those attending the ceremony, including three of the Queen’s four children, aren’t with the spouses to whom they originally made that pledge.”



In-Sight Publishing by Scott Douglas Jacobsen is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License. Based on a work at


© Scott Douglas Jacobsen and In-Sight Publishing 2012-Present. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Scott Douglas Jacobsen and In-Sight Publishing with appropriate and specific direction to the original content. All interviewees and authors co-copyright their material and may disseminate for their independent purposes.

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