According to a study published in the Journal of Religion and Health recently, regular attendance at religious services produces a more optimistic outlook on life and a reduced inclination to depression. Those respondents to the survey who attended religious services more than once a week in the prior month were 56 percent more likely to be above the median score on a measurement for optimism than those who had not attended religious services at all. Respondents who attended weekly religious services were 22 percent less likely to be depressed than those who did not attend religious services.

Not everyone agrees, however, about what exactly these numbers mean. Eliezer Schnall, an associate professor of clinical psychology at Yeshiva University in New York notes that: "There is a correlation, but that does not mean there is causality. One could argue people who are more optimistic may be drawn to religious services. The person who says, 'I guess if I go to services, that will make me more optimistic' -— while a possibility, that may not be true."

A 2008 study conducted by Schnall found that those who sent to religious services regularly had a 20 percent reduced risk of death over the period of the study and its follow up.  Schnall again cautioned against reading too much into the study: "We're trying to connect the dots here. We know they're less likely to die, and health outcomes can be related to psychological factors."

According to an October 26 article by Anjana Ahuja of New Science magazine, "Israeli children with birth defects are increasingly suing the medical authorities for ever allowing them to be born."

In a story last week, LifeSiteNews noted,
While similar lawsuits in the United States and Canada are often brought by the parents of disabled children, it is common in Israel for the children themselves to demand compensation for the fact that they were not killed in-utero.
 

JBS CEO Art Thompson's weekly video news update for November 14-21, 2011.

Tens of thousands of Christians descended upon Detroit’s Ford Field, home of the NFL’s Detroit Lions, on November 11 and 12 to pray for the restoration of a city that has been decimated by poverty, crime, corruption, and hopelessness. Sponsored by The Call, a group of pastors, church leaders, and young people committed to praying for a spiritual transformation in America, The Call Detroit 11.11.11 gathered individuals, churches, and organizations from nearly every corner of Detroit to seek God’s mercy and ask for His blessing over the area. Promoted as a solemn assembly rather than a traditional Christian crusade, the event included no well-known speakers or Christian rock bands to entertain and inspire the crown that poured into the sports stadium. Instead, both national and local religious leaders led the assembled, along with tens of thousands more watching via the Internet, in 24 hours of fasting, worship, and prayer, including repentance for social ills like abortion, racism, and anti-Semitism, along with intercession for God to bring spiritual renewal both to the city and the nation.

“We are not just seeking to have a good gathering,” explained Lou Engle, founder of The Call. “We are trying to move heaven on behalf of a desperate situation in Detroit.

On The Call’s website, organizers explained the purpose of the event: “We will gather to this city that has become a microcosm of our national crisis — economic collapse, racial tension, and the shedding of innocent blood of our children in the streets and of our unborn.” As Engle told the crowd: “We need Jesus’ face to appear all across America”

Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee overwhelming approved a bill that would overturn the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), the federal law that defines marriage for federal purposes as only between a man and a woman. The 10-8 vote in favor of the Respect for Marriage Act, sponsored by Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), marks the first time a committee in either the Senate or the House has voted to repeal the 17-year-old law, and represents a major step toward federal approval of homosexual marriage.

“Because of DOMA, thousands of American families are now being treated unfairly by the federal government,” declared Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.). “This unfairness must end.” But Republicans on the committee, reported Politico.com, “noting that the bill faces bleak prospects for passing the full Congress, said the measure was a waste of time and the matter should be left up to the states.” Thus far, Iowa, New York, Connecticut, Vermont, Massachusetts, and New Hampshire, along with the District of Columbia, have passed state laws recognizing homosexual “marriage.”

Senator John Cornyn (R-Texas), chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, pointed out that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) would never allow the controversial bill to come to the Senate floor for a vote, given that the Democrats’ control of the Senate will be on the line in the 2012 elections. “Were he to schedule a vote on this bill before the next election, he would face a revolution in his own caucus,” Cornyn said.

Having been pulled from an exhibition at the Smithsonian Institution, a film which features ants crawling on a crucifix and a man stitching his mouth together will go on display as part of a larger homosexual exhibit at the Brooklyn Museum in Brooklyn, New York.

The nation’s second largest art museum, CNSNews.com reported last week, will feature A Fire In My Belly, a film by David Wojnarowicz, a homosexual producer who unsurprisingly died of AIDS, within an exhibit titled “Hide and Seek.”

“Hide and Seek” appeared at the Smithsonian at last year, subsidized by federal tax dollars, but the museum pulled the film after GOP elected officials complained. Now the Brooklyn Museum, also funded by state, federal, and city tax dollars, will show the film.

 

It was inevitable the connection would be made. When Penn State’s Jerry Sandusky was arrested on November 4, after years of allegedly molesting boys with the knowledge of superiors who didn’t stop him, everyone knew what was coming. It wouldn’t be long before the media brought up the Catholic Church and its tribulations with homosexual molesters.

Sure enough, as Newsbusters reported on Friday, NBC and the New York Times obliged, linking the two scandals.

 

A court martial sitting in Joint Base Lewis-McChord found an Army sergeant guilty of the premeditated murder of three Afghan nationals while serving as squad leader of a unit in the Second Infantry Division. In a series of gruesome attacks, Staff Sergeant Calvin Gibbs of Billings, Montana, led his “kill team” into conflict with unarmed Afghan civilians, admittedly chopping off fingers and pulling teeth of the dead victims to save as trophies.

Sergeant Gibbs, 26, faced life imprisonment without the possibility of parole following Thursday's verdict handed down by a five-member panel of jurors who deliberated for about five hours, according to the account of the proceeding published by Reuters. The same story relates that the jury of military men then decided that Gibbs could be eligible for parole after eight and one-half years of imprisonment.
 
Three other soldiers previously entered pleas on charges stemming from the killings and subsequent mutilations committed while serving under Gibbs. These three of the five members of the American armed forces accused of participating in these murders testified against their former leader, describing him as the instigator of raids on civilians in which the troops would construct fake combat scenarios that would justify the killings. A news article describing the court martial reported that Gibbs would bring “drop weapons” to the crime scenes so that it would appear to superiors that the squad was under attack and that the killings were made in self-defense.

In the Republican debate on Wednesday, moderator Maria Bartiromo raised the issue of the sexual-harassment allegations that have plagued Herman Cain. “Why should the American people hire a president if they feel there are character issues?” she asked the GOP hopeful. It’s a question we should pose more often.

That’s not to say I lend credence to the charges leveled against Cain. It’s not uncommon today for well-heeled entities to pay five-figure settlements to put nuisance lawsuits to bed — as Cain’s former employer, the National Restaurant Association, has — and a couple of the candidate’s accusers have questionable backgrounds. It’s also odd that, as Ann Coulter pointed out, the allegations leveled against Cain have a David Axelrod connection. Axelrod has been called Barack Obama’s “hired muscle” by the New York Times, and he has a history of smearing Obama opponents with accusations of sexual misconduct. And what is this Axelrod connection? Among other things, Cain’s latest accuser, Sharon Bialek, once lived in Axelrod’s building, and she admits having met the political hit man. But you can read Coulter’s piece for the rest of that story, because my focus here will be different. After all, character does matter and all prospective leaders deserve scrutiny.

And this brings me to my point. If I’d been a candidate at the debate, I would have loved to have chimed in when my turn came and made this statement:

 

It is predictable that J. Edgar takes a less than favorable approach to J. Edgar Hoover, founder and director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). Hollywood never did embrace anti-communist stalwarts. However, this production’s treatment of Hoover is somewhat surprising seeing as it was directed by Clint Eastwood, typically a more conservative-minded presence in Hollywood. J. Edgar is expectedly an entertaining and engaging film, given the impeccable cast and direction, but its somewhat unfair depiction of Hoover undermines its overall quality.

The film’s intent is clear when one reads its synopsis: “As the face of law enforcement in America for almost 50 years, J. Edgar Hoover was feared and admired, reviled and revered. But behind closed doors, he held secrets that would have destroyed his image, his career and his life.”

The movie examines the public and private life of Hoover, played by the talented Leonardo DiCaprio. Hoover is portrayed as a man who has allowed absolute power to corrupt him. Shifting back and forth between past and present, J. Edgar examines the news behind the news stories.

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