Court Finds Oklahoma Ten Commandments Monument Constitutional

Oklahoma Capitol Building pdOKLAHOMA CITY — A district judge in Oklahoma has ruled that a Ten Commandments monument challenged by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and a liberal Baptist minister does not violate the United States Constitution and may remain in place on the grounds of the state capitol.

In granting a motion for summary judgment by the Oklahoma Capitol Preservation Commission, Judge Thomas Prince concluded that the monument served a historical purpose and not solely the presentment of a religious message as it sits on a plot of land that contains 51 other expressive monuments.

“Today’s ruling is a clear message that the Ten Commandments can be displayed on public grounds like the Oklahoma Capitol because of the historical role the text has played in the founding of our nation,” said Attorney General Scott Pruitt. “The U.S. Supreme Court found constitutional a nearly identical monument in Texas. We were confident in the state’s case from the start and appreciate the court’s thoughtful consideration and ruling in the state’s favor.”

As previously reported, the monument was proposed by Rep. Mike Ritze in 2009, and was soon after approved by the largely Republican-run state legislature. Ritze paid over $1000 for the display, and no taxpayer funds were utilized in its creation.

“[T]he Ten Commandments are an important component of the foundation of the laws and legal system of the United States of America and of the State of Oklahoma,” the bill authorizing the monument acknowledged. “[T]he courts of the United States of America and of various states frequently cite the Ten Commandments in published decisions, and acknowledgements of the role played by the Ten Commandments in our nation’s heritage are common throughout America.”

The six-foot display was erected three years later, but the ACLU asserted that the monument was unconstitutional.

“The monument’s placement at the Capitol has created a more divisive and hostile state for many Oklahomans,” stated Ryan Kiesel, the executive director of ACLU of Oklahoma, in a news release. “When the government literally puts one faith on a pedestal, it sends a strong message to Oklahomans of other faiths that they are less than equal.”

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Last August, the organization filed suit against the monument, with the lead plaintiff being minister Bruce Prescott, the director of Mainstream Oklahoma Baptists. Prescott said that mixing the sacred with the secular in such a manner cheapens the display, and asserted that it violated the Constitution’s Establishment Clause, which says that “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion…”

A New York-based Satanist group then proposed to place an “homage to Satan” near the monument, and other groups soon presented their requests as well, but the Capitol Preservation Commission placed a moratorium on any proposals until the lawsuit was decided.

On Friday, Judge Prince ruled that the monument did not present any constitutional infringement and tossed the suit by means of summary judgment. Kiesel said that he is disappointed in the outcome.

“Not only is the exploitation of the Ten Commandments for political purposes an insult to the many Oklahomans who incorporate the commandments into their religious observance, it marginalizes those Oklahomans of different faiths and no faith at all by sending a distinct message that they are less welcome at the State Capitol,” he wrote in a statement following the decision.

But Hiram Sasser of the Liberty Institute, which defended the monument in court rejoiced at the ruling.

“This is a great victory for the people of Oklahoma,” he said. “Ten Commandments monuments are routinely upheld as constitutional across the country. This is just one more example of how the Ten Commandments monuments may be constitutionally displayed.”


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  • James Grimes

    I guess the Atheists and Liberals will have to suck this one up. The cry babies didn’t get their way and they could not intimidate anyone here. They tried though.

    • Stargate Dan

      Guess this means the monument that the Satanist have requested to put up will be approved and put side by side to the Ten Commandements… good stuff.

      • MC

        Guess again. The people don’t want it and satanism did nothing to help shape our country and our morals. Nice try though.

        • Stargate Dan

          Absolutely amazing that you’re either utterly ignorant or arrogant that you think Freedom of Religion only applies to Christianity.

          • MC

            I’m for the rights of ANYONE to practice their religion of choice, so your argument fails. I’m also for a majority vote, if the people don’t want something that has nothing to do with the founding of America then it’s their choice and the majority should rule along with history. Your argument fails.

          • Stargate Dan

            “…and the majority should rule along with history” then ignorance it is.

          • MC

            It’s amazing to me to see facts literally go over your head. Please show me verifiable evidence that satanism, through American history, was part of shaping our country and its morals? And do the same for Islam?

          • Stargate Dan

            And it’s amazing to me that you’re in an online comment forum yet obviously have a problem with reading comprehension… my response was to your assertion “…and the majority should rule along with history” and it being utterly ignorant. Amazing that you don’t even recognize your own words when they’re quoted back to you but I do hope that helps with your understanding.
            Now in regard to your initial assertions that America was somehow shaped as a Christian nation, considering your trouble with reading I know it may be difficult for you but I will refer you to what’s called the Constitution and wish you the best.

          • MC

            And through all of your emotional rant, you have refuted nothing. But that is what we have come to expect from you, the usual. Good job, at least you’re consistent!

          • Dan Summers

            Might does not make right. The US is not an absolute democracy. 51% of the people can not tell the other 49% what to do. If they can…well I guess in a generation or 2…Christians will be in the minority.

            According to your logic…worldwide we should listen to all the Muslims and live under their law…since they are the majority faith on the planet.

          • jmichael39

            I guess you don’t really understand what this was about. It was not about the exercising of religion…but of monumenting an historical element of this country. IF the Satanists think their ‘monument’ can do that, then yeah, they get to put one up. But if their argument is equality of religious expression, they’re piss out of luck

          • Stargate Dan

            1)Thou shalt have no other gods before me. 2) thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image.3) thou shalt not take the name of the Lord they God in vain. 4) Remember the sabbath day to keep it holy….

            Oh sure thing, absolutely nothing to do with religion, and if you’re so ignorant that you truly think “Thou shalt have no other gods before me” equates to the creation of a constitution which guarantees the freedom of religion for every citizen then there’s not much I need to say… not to mention the irony in that second one about graven images huh?

          • jmichael39

            THAT is your rebuttal to my statement that this was not an issue of religious liberty but one of historic context? Come on, man, if you’re gonna try to put yourself out there as some sort of genius in logic, at least try not to bastardize the rules of logic.

            The case was dismissed because cases like this have already been ruled on…as far up as the SCOTUS…who ruled that such monuments are constitutional because “it represented historical value and not purely religious value.”

            Again, this is not an issue of religious expression. The Mormons have similar religious-based monuments in Utah that carry historic significance to that state and remain for that purpose. The same thing is true for the hundreds of places in the United States where similar biblical references are engraved…and have been engraved for decades or centuries. The SC Building…the Capitol building…Lincoln’s Memorial…the Jefferson Memorial…the White House…the Library of Congress. Should we remove those engravings because they offend people like you?

          • Stargate Dan

            Pretty sad when you as a Christian have to deny your faith and cling to your one last argument of “historical value and not purely religious value.” in order to save what, Graven Idols? I wonder how your God views such a denial before men.(Matthew 10:33)

            And isn’t it funny that while you and your brethren claim the case is purely about historical context yet your celebrations are more about Bragging your victories for God…what’s that H word Christians use, oh yeah hypocrisy.

          • MC

            “Freedom of religion” means American citizens are free to worship in the religion of their choice without persecution by the United States government. It doesn’t mean religious monuments of every religion get to be erected in any State Capitol. The 10 commandments are there because it’s part of our American history. Satanism and Scientology are not part of our American history and therefore do not belong there, not to mention the majority of people don’t want it there, and the majority rules.

          • Stargate Dan

            You just really don’t get how dumb that phrase “and the majority rules.” you keep repeating is do you?

          • MC

            Are you still going on? You might want to seek a mental health professional to help you get over your irrational fear of religious monuments, one that I’m sure you’ll never see in your lifetime. They help weak minded people. And if you want a satanic monument so bad, you can erect one on your property.

          • Stargate Dan

            Since you’ve turned now to ad hominem concerns about my mental health, I take then you acknowledge the idiocy in your “the majority rules” comments?

          • MC

            It’s not an ad hominem, it’s simply an observation to the fact that you are so mentally bent out of shape over a monument that you will never see or one that you don’t believe in. It’s amazing to witness the birth of a new phobia. As for the “majority rules” comment, I guess you believe that citizens of the United States shouldn’t vote or their votes shouldn’t count because it’s unfair to the losers?

          • Stargate Dan

            There are these buildings called “schools”… you might want to check into for a proper understanding on how votes actually work and why the “majority rules” on issues such as slavery, women’s rights, gay rights etc. doesn’t fit with your southern ideology.

          • James Grimes

            Dan, you have lost the battle. Please get over it. We’re not interested in your pathetic nonsense.

          • MC

            It’s hilarious to watch Danny have such a hissy fit, I crack up every time he posts his emotional replies. And with all his whining and stomping of his little feet, the monument stays. LOL! Someone desperately needs to seek out a mental health professional!

          • tammy

            MC, I agree with most of what you say, but we are a Republic, not a Democracy. In a Republic, the majority does not rule, otherwise there would be no abortions, no gay marriage, no atheists speaking out. No, the minorities win in our country. Not only do they win, but they are special and do not have to follow all the rules that we have to follow. The minorities get special treatment, just ask the black panthers who were intimidating voters in o8, found guilty, then let go by Holder. Isn’t that special?

          • James Grimes

            Great response JMichael. I hope it isn’t too intellectual that it will go over their heads. I am amazed at their arrogance though, haunting a Christian site to spew their nonsense. Stay strong Brother.

          • jmichael39

            they have to find some place to spew their hatred, James.

          • Sha-wei

            Do not be amazed, Bro. James. You will find agents of deception such as “Stargate Dan” on each of these forums, he/she/they being paid to exercise their craft thus or having vested interests in so doing (e.g. the advancing of homosexuality). Think of modern-day versions of Balaam, Bar-Jesus, and Hymenaeus and Philetus.

          • James Grimes

            Absolutely. Thank you.

          • NoGod4U

            Yep…any person who isnt a Christian is obviously on the Devils payroll.

          • Dan Summers

            So that is why 7/10 of the commandments are illegal!!

        • Dan Summers

          Does not matter….all religions have to be treated equal. Honour one religious monument…honour all of them,

    • Dan Summers

      Then I guess they will have to allow the Satanist and Hindu monuments as well.

      Do it for one religion…do it for all.

      Funny how 7/10 commandment are actually against the law.

      • tammy

        Are they historic in the American past? No they are not.

  • MC

    When will the atheists stop embarrassing themselves?

    • Stargate Dan

      If only you realized how truly idiotic that statement was.

      • MC

        Thank you so much for proving my point.

      • Guest

        To argue with a person who has announced the use of reason is like administering medicine to the dead. MC has clearly renounced the use of reason.

        • James Grimes

          “Announced the use of reason…” Really? I think you need to rethink this statement. Oops, this was meant as an insult. Maybe you should just delete it.

      • Jud Bennett

        To argue with a person who has renounced the use of reason is like administering medicine to the dead. MC has clearly renounced the use of reason.

        • MC

          What is “Announced the use of reason”? I think you have RENOUNCED logic and critical thinking skills. Boy, that was embarrassing for you. Yikes…

          • Jud Bennett

            LOL. The posting system is flawed. I see my edited for correction post and I see the other post I deleted posted as guest. The point is that I caught my mistake and corrected it. Technical issues are beyond my control. Inadvertent troll baiting has occurred.

          • MC

            Yes, when I read your post the first thing I thought was, “troll”. We are in agreement!

          • Jud Bennett

            If you think I’m trolling then you’re going to kill yourself when a real troll comes at you. LOL

          • Dan Summers

            Well to be Christian you have to give up your ability to think for yourself…says so in the Bible.

    • James Grimes

      Never. They are not intelligent enough to recognize their pathetic condition.

      • Stargate Dan

        Christians are not intelligent enough to recognize the “pathetic condition” they’ve created for themselves which requires a savior is no different than every other ancient tribal tradition and simple mythology… do you really wish to compare statistics on intelligence for atheists vs the religious James? I didn’t think so… run home now and pray.

        • jmichael39

          you really consider yourself an intellectual and actually reject the existence of a Creator? LOL….spare us your faux intellect.

          • Stargate Dan

            You really consider yourself an intellectual and actually reject Enuma Elish and the maker Tiamat… LOL spare me your faux intellect.

          • jmichael39

            So you don’t question the existence of a Creator…you just question the character, nature and name for that Creator.

            Well, at least we’ve achieved something here.

          • Stargate Dan

            So you think every god that mankind has ever created is actually all the same god and in modern times just so happens to be YOUR God… sure thing moonbear.

          • jmichael39

            I didn’t say that. You know if you want to engage a logical debate you really should stop making such asinine assumptions. If you want to get into a debate on the existence of God…let’s do it. IF you accept the existence of God, and want to debate the character, nature and name of God, let’s do that. But the latter is an useless argument if you don’t accept the existence of God.

          • Stargate Dan

            oh come on now.. you and your loving Christian friends begin this thread with nothing but ad hominem arguments and now you’re seriously going to feign offense and outrage to me simply because I’m echoing back your ridiculous statements? Look again at your comments and then how mine merely mirror yours and you’ll see I’ve done you no harm except reverse your own words back to your position. You assert my rejection of the “existence of a Creator” (note unnamed) is tantamount to faux intellect…therefore that should equally apply to your rejection of Enuma Elish and Tiamat, or if you so desire a more modern analogy Allah or Vishnu. In desperation you respond with the assertion that my objection must therefore simply be with the “name of the Creator” which you know full well is not the case, if you do not realize this fact then I hardly think it’s my intellect that should be in question here.
            So now you attempt to play the game of chivalrous outrage because you sir have been cornered into the very real logical corner that you and I both know you believe that every other god throughout history (literally thousands upon thousands of gods in the history of mankind) are all somehow magically and conveniently for you false.. all gods except yours of course, feel free to prove your case whenever you wish moonbear.

          • MC

            Are you really going to call him “moonbear” when your name is Stargate Dan? Really? How old are you, kid?

          • MC

            Oh, this is one of your famous, “I know you are but what am I” arguments. Good job!

          • Dan Summers

            Prove this said creator. Where is your evidence? How can you test for this creator?

        • James Grimes

          LOL

    • http://boozeandothernonsense.com/ Booze And Nonsense

      When Christians justify the Westboro Baptist Church, its suggestion that women are to be subservient to men, its role in justifying slavery, its treatment of the LGBT community, mega churches taking money from the poor to buy private jets, trying to turn the United States into a theocracy, letting kids die instead of getting them medical treatment, and opposing environmentalism because you think we have “dominion” over Earth.

      • MC
        • http://boozeandothernonsense.com/ Booze And Nonsense

          Am I to understand that your position is that it’s okay that my church declares women subservient to men because the New Atheism may have a problem with misogyny? This is how children justify their beliefs. You’re saying, “I know you are, but what am I.”

          • tammy

            Wow, what church do you belong to??? I am not going there, that is contrary to Christian values

          • http://boozeandothernonsense.com/ Booze And Nonsense

            1 Timothy 2:11-14

      • KenS

        A true christian would not justify the Westboro (Baptist only in Name)Church, because its doctrine is way off.

        • Dan Summers

          No their doctrine is bang on. Everything comes straight from the Bible.

          • Guest

            They are not even a religion. They are a bunch of lawyers who make a living by suing people who are greaving and they push into a confrontation

        • http://boozeandothernonsense.com/ Booze And Nonsense

          No True Scotsman…

  • Jud Bennett

    As long as all religious, para-religious, quazi-religious, and anti-religious doctrines and ideologies get equal treatment I’m good with it.

    • jmichael39

      this was not about religion. It was about a monument to an historical element of our country’s past…period. If those other religions have some historical monument they want to put up, so be it. I know the Mormons do in Utah. What’s the big deal?

      • James Grimes

        The big deal is that anything Christian is offensive to The Useless. It is plain hatred and when someone’s life is going nowhere and has no purpose, that person has to find a scapegoat.

        • jmichael39

          well, we know that…but again, what’s the big deal. Jesus said we would be hated for being His.

          • James Grimes

            So true. We know what to expect. They can lose all the sleep they want over this issue. We can rest assured.

          • jmichael39

            I mean, look at this ‘dude’ fellow. He actually wants to shut me up…lmao.

          • Jud Bennett

            I don’t find Christianity offensive. I find the use of Christianity as a weapon or a justification to treat others poorly offensive. Things that the Christian book forbids.

            All my statement is about is that all followed mythologies are treated equally in the governments eye.

          • Stargate Dan

            Equal treatment in the governments eye isn’t what Christians like James and jimchael39 are after.. they’re under the delusion of the “Umerican Jebus” in which anything except Christian privilege is considered persecution in “His” name.

          • Jud Bennett

            I know. I’ve been accused of persecuting a christian more than once. Usually when I don’t succumb to their use of forceful indoctrination.

            Last time it was because I pushed a guy, who had death grip on my wrist, away from me. He decided he was going to beat me on the back and chest with his bible, and try to make me sit through him praying for God to save me and make me see the light after finding that I didn’t follow his God. He picked himself up as I walked away and, with a liberal sprinkling of profanities and racial epithets, babbled about how I had just persecuted him. He’s lucky I didn’t try to have him arrested for assault.

          • James Grimes

            I have to laugh at this one. It is a statement from a delusional person. Please let me make myself clear here – I have no tolerance for The Useless who haunt this site to be hostile and insulting.

          • Stargate Dan

            Ah yes James, the “Usless” who are attacking you poor innocent persecuted Christians by pointing out the arrogance in your priveleges.

          • James Grimes

            I’m still not interested. I have no tolerance for meaningless comments from Atheists.

          • Stargate Dan

            Ahhhh, such a humble reply, it’s almost as if you asked yourself what would Jesus do.

          • jmichael39

            A lot of assumptions there, Jud…first, where in this article is Christianity being used as a ‘weapon’?….which you’ll have to define as well…since that is a rather broad accusation.

            Second, where is anyone being treated poorly based upon this article? And what exactly do you consider treating someone poorly to mean?

            and third, your prejudice is peeking its ugly head out in calling God a ‘myth’. Now if you want to stand and defend that claim, I’m more than happy engage in an intelligent and articulate debate with you.

          • Jud Bennett

            The use of Christianity as a weapon was a response to another commentator. As for it being a broad accusation, I find that that’s what most commentators are most familiar and comfortable with. For examples, look to South Africa or, if you need something more local, the WBC.

            Second, look at the way many of your fellow commentators not only talk down to, but even go so far as to attempt to deride, degrade, and insult those that believe differently or have a different opinion from them. Examples are everywhere if one opens their eyes to the reality around them.

            Third. You assume too much to make the false statement that I’m prejudiced. My reasoning for including Christianity in the classification of Mythology is a simple line of logic. God/Goddess mythologies were once well founded religions, they were the popular religions of their time and place. Christianity is currently a popular religion of our time, but it is no more or less valid that those of the past. That is why I call it a mythology. Now note that I have not said that the Christian God does not exist. But in the same vein, I’m not going to say the Gods of other religions don’t or didn’t exist.

            If your faith helps you get through your life in a positive way and you use it for the good of those around you, including those that believe in something completely different, even if they only believe in logic, then great, I applaud you. If you insult, condemn, attack, etc others based solely on your faith and not their actions towards you and those around you, then you are part of the problem.

  • MC

    “In 2004, scholars at UCLA revealed that college students involved in religious activities are likely to have better mental health. In 2006, population researchers at the University of Texas discovered that the more often you go to church, the longer you live. In the same year researchers at Duke University in America discovered that religious people have stronger immune systems than the irreligious. They also established that churchgoers have lower blood pressure.

    Meanwhile in 2009 a team of Harvard psychologists discovered that believers who checked into hospital with broken hips reported less depression, had shorter hospital stays, and could hobble further when they left hospital.”

    “In the last few years scientists have revealed that believers, compared to non-believers, have better outcomes from breast cancer, coronary disease, mental illness, Aids, and rheumatoid arthritis. Believers even get better results from IVF. Likewise, believers also report greater levels of happiness, are less likely to commit suicide, and cope with stressful events much better. Believers also have more kids.

    What’s more, these benefits are visible even if you adjust for the fact that believers are less likely to smoke, drink or take drugs. And let’s not forget that religious people are nicer. They certainly give more money to charity than atheists, who are, according to the very latest survey, the meanest of all.”

    “Divorce. Four of every 10 children experience parental divorce, but a link between religious practice and a decreased likelihood of divorce has been established in numerous studies. Women who are more religious are less likely to experience divorce or separation than their less religious peers. Marriages in which both spouses attend religious services frequently are 2.4 times less likely to end in divorce than marriages in which neither spouse worships. Those who view their religious beliefs as “very important” are 22 percent less likely to divorce than those for whom religious beliefs are only “somewhat important.” The sociological literature reviews by the late David Larson of the Duke University Medical School and his colleagues indicated that religious attendance is the most important predictor of marital stability, confirming studies conducted as far back as 50 years ago.

    The likelihood of divorce is even further reduced when husbands and wives share the same religious commitment. Such couples report having a greater sense of well-being and more satisfaction with their marital relationship, and they are less likely to commit acts of domestic violence. A study of couples with divergent theological views showed that they were more likely to argue, especially about financial matters.Intermarriage across major faith groups is also linked with greater marital instability. Furthermore, couples who share the same faith are more likely to reunite if they separate than are couples who do not share the same religious affiliation. In one study, one-third of the separated spouses who had the same religious affiliation reconciled, compared with less than one-fifth of those with different affiliations.”

    “Mother-Child Relationship. Compared with mothers who did not consider Religion important, those who deemed Religion to be very important rated their relationship with their child significantly higher, according to a 1999 study. When mothers and their children share the same level of religious practice, they experience better relationships with one another. For instance, when 18-year-olds attended religious services with approximately the same frequency as their mothers, the mothers reported significantly better relationships with them, even many years later, indicating that the effects of similar religious practice endures. Moreover, mothers who became more religious throughout the first 18 years of their child’s life reported a better relationship with that child, regardless of the level of their religious practice before the child was born. Mothers who attended religious services less often over time reported a lower-quality relationship with their adult child.”

    “Father-Child Relationship. Greater religious practice of fathers is associated with better relationships with their children, higher expectations for good relationships in the future, a greater investment in their relationships with their children, a greater sense of obligation to stay in regular contact with their children, and a greater likelihood of supporting their children and grandchildren.

    Wilcox found that fathers’ religious affiliations and religious attendance were positively associated with their involvement in activities with their children, such as one-on-one interaction, having dinner with their families, and volunteering for youth-related activities. Compared with fathers who had no religious affiliation, those who attended religious services frequently were more likely to monitor their children, praise and hug their children, and spend time with their children. In fact, fathers’ frequency of religious attendance was a stronger predictor of paternal involvement in one-on-one activities with children than were employment and income-the factors most frequently cited in the academic literature on fatherhood.”

    “Domestic Violence. A small but growing body of research has focused on the links between religious practice and decreased family violence. For example, men who attended religious services at least weekly were more than 50 percent less likely to commit an act of violence against their partners than were peers who attended only once a year or less. No matter how the data were analyzed, regular attendance at religious services had a strong and statistically significant inverse association with the incidence of domestic abuse. Similarly, after controlling for all other factors, Wilcox found that of all groups studied (unaffiliated, active conservative Protestant, active mainline Protestant, nominal conservative Protestant, and nominal mainline Protestants), religiously active conservative Protestant men were least likely to engage in domestic violence.

    ‘Religion and Extramarital Sex

    Religious belief and practice are associated with less permissive attitudes toward extramarital sex and correspondingly lower rates of non-marital sexual activity among adolescents and adults.”

    “Out-of-Wedlock Childbearing. Thirty-seven percent of births now occur out of wedlock, with an increasing number born to cohabiting parents. However, given the findings on the relationship between religious practice and non-marital sex, attitudes, and behavior, it is not surprising that regular religious practice is one of the most powerful factors in preventing out-of-wedlock births. Rates of such births are markedly higher among young women who do not have a religious affiliation than among peers who do.

    The level of young women’s religious commitment also makes a significant difference. Compared with those who viewed themselves as being “very religious,” those who were “not at all religious” were far more likely to bear a child out of wedlock (among whites, three times as likely; among Hispanics, 2.5 times as likely; and among blacks, twice as likely). At he state aggregate level, the same phenomenon occurs. States with higher rates of religious attendance have lower rates of teenage pregnancy.”

    “Religion and Physical Health

    Greater longevity is consistently and significantly related to higher levels of religious practice and involvement, regardless of the sex, race, education, or health history of those studied.[89] For example, those who are religiously involved live an average of seven years longer than those who are not. This gap is as great as that between non-smokers and those who smoke a pack of cigarettes a day. Predicting the life spans of 20-year-olds who are religiously involved compared with those who are not yields differences in life span as great as those between women and men and between whites and blacks. Among African-Americans, the longevity benefit is still greater. The average life span of religious blacks is 14 years longer than that of their nonreligious peers.Studies on the effects of religious practice on annual death rates of various populations found that, after controlling for variables such as race, death rates for an age cohort (e.g., men age 59 or women age 71) were reduced by 28 percent to 46 percent (e.g., from 100 deaths per year to 72 deaths to 54 deaths) for that age group.

    An earlier review of 250 epidemiological health research studies found a reduced risk of colitis, different types of cancer, and untimely death among people with higher levels of religious commitment. Conversely, at any age, those who did not attend religious services had higher risks of dying from cirrhosis of the liver, emphysema, arteriosclerosis, and other cardiovascular diseases and were more likely to commit suicide, according to an even earlier review by faculty of the John Hopkins University School of Public Health. The most significant pathway by which religious practice delivers these longevity benefits is a lifestyle that reduces the risk of mortality from infectious diseases and diabetes by encouraging a support network among family and friends that helps to maintain a pattern of regimented care.

    Not only a person’s own religious practice, but also parents’ religious practice affects personal health. Adolescents whose mothers attended religious services at least weekly displayed better health, greater problem-solving skills, and higher overall satisfaction with their lives, regardless of race, gender, income, or family structure, according to a study of public school children in Baltimore.”

    “Religion and Community

    Religious practice benefits not only individuals, but also communities. Religiously active men and women are often more sensitive to others, more likely to serve and give to those in need, and more likely to be productive members of their communities.

    “Compassion and Charity. Religious practice is linked to greater generosity in charitable giving. In extensive research documenting the relationship between Religion and philanthropy, Arthur Brooks of Syracuse University demonstrated that religious practice correlates with a higher rate of care and concern for others. Compared with peers with no religious affiliation, religious respondents were 15 percent more likely to report having tender, concerned feelings for the disadvantaged. This gap was reduced by only 2 percent when the effects of education, income, marital status, sex, race, and age were taken into account.

    The correlation between Religion and increased charitable giving crosses ideological boundaries. When Brooks divided the survey population into quadrants of politically conservative, liberal, secular, and religious respondents, he found that the impact of Religion on compassion applied regardless of the political perspective. Religious conservatives were 6 percent more likely to be concerned about the disadvantaged than were secular liberals, while religious liberals were 24 percentage points more likely to express such feelings of compassion than were secular conservatives.

    Among the general survey population, religious individuals were 40 percent more likely than their secular counterparts to give money to charities and more than twice as likely to volunteer. Among those who felt compassion for the disadvantaged, religious respondents were 23 percentage points more likely to donate to charities at least yearly and 32 percentage points more likely to donate monthly than were their secular counterparts. They were 34 percentage points more likely to volunteer at least yearly and 22 percentage points more likely to volunteer monthly.”

    “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.”

    • Sha-wei

      Excellent information – lengthy but well-worth reading! However, I must blame you for the image of a pouting, stingy secularist that is now stuck in my mind (“…the meanest of all”)! Blessings all the same, brother.

    • Stargate Dan

      Your “Cut and Paste” post is truly a true testament to the old adage ignorance is bliss… as well as the multitude of fallacies you’ve committed such as Argumentum ad populum, False attribution, Kettle logic and the Mind projection fallacy to name just a few… but hey I guess that’s why you call it FAITH huh?

      • MC

        I’ll let you in on a little secret while you’re taking a breath from your argument from pure emotion. Scientific facts don’t care about your hurt feelings, they don’t care what race you are, they don’t care if you’re an atheist or theist, they don’t care what sex you are, they don’t care what your sexual preference is, and they don’t care if you believe in them or not, they’re just Scientific facts.

        • Stargate Dan

          wow.. I think you truly have reached the epitome of ignorance when you start quoting to me about “scientific facts” because you somehow “believe” they support your faith claims.

          • MC

            Are you really this obtuse? Did I ever say they “support my faith claims”? Did the scientific facts I posted ever say it supports ANY faith claims? It merely shows the scientific evidence that religious people are healthier and happier people. I didn’t know you lack comprehension skills. Your argument fails yet again.

          • Stargate Dan

            hmm… I realize that you hold the delusion that your copy and pasted diatribe (without any legitimate references of course) is some sort of scientific treatise but I can’t help but challenge you to realize your own words… “scientific facts don’t care about your hurt feelings.” and I will point out to you that Christianity makes up less than 20-30% of the world’s population, that number could actually be less depending upon how you define Christianity (for instance do you consider Mormons Christian?) With that said your arrogance that somehow believers of your vein are somehow “healthier and happier people” than the other 70-80% of the worlds population is astounding… but I’ll leave you to your delusion.

          • MC

            I see your comprehension and critical thinking skills are failing you as usual. First, what does Christianity have to do with my argument when I clearly stated that, “Religious” people are healthier and happier people? And yes Christians make up the majority of religious people in the world but again, I never said “Christian” in my argument. Second, we’re not talking about the world, we’re clearly talking about America, and the State Capitols herein, so I have no idea what you’re blabbering on about. Next time, instead trying to foolishly bring up someone’s arrogance, try working on your obtuseness, it will help you from embarrassing yourself even further. Oh, and taking a class in logic would help you immensely.

          • Stargate Dan

            “And yes Christians make up the majority of religious people in the world…” amazing your delusion is so strong you think 20-30% is somehow a majority, oh I forgot you’ve got some sort of psychological fascination with the word majority.

          • MC

            I see that making a fool out of yourself has become an art form for you.

          • Stargate Dan

            Your delusion is so strong that you expect the 70-80% of worlds religious population that is NOT Christian to subjugate themselves to your magical use of the word “majority” huh? But if you really want to play a numbers game shall we consider what FLAVOR of Christian you are? Unless your a Catholic buddy you’re not in the majority and If you’re a protestant you’d better be a Baptist otherwise you’re not part of the majority of even THAT small branch of the Christianity. So when you take into account all of these various factions that are found in the mythology of Christianity many of which don’t consider each other “true Christians.” For example, I know you struggle with reading but I gave an example previously of Mormons, do you consider them Christian, because they’re counted in that number of 33% you claim as a majority. Same would go for Anglican’s, the Eastern Orthodox and the Pentecostals that deny the trinity, JW’s etc etc. your numbers get smaller and smaller when you define WHAT IS A CHRISTIAN… so I hate to break it to you pal, but in reality your Muslim brothers truly and statistically have you beat on that whole majority thing.
            As for art forms in this conversation while I appreciate the compliment I really can’t take credit, your arrogant self focused proclamation of Christian privilege shines ever so brightly on it’s own… guess it’s that whole “let your little light shine” thing you picked up in Sunday School.

          • MC

            And yet again the facts don’t lie. Look at all that beautiful red! You’re just mad because your hate for Christians is so deep and all your posts are all based on nothing but emotion. You can’t refute a single argument which makes you more livid. LOL! To watch you throw tantrums amuses me, do it some more, please. 🙂

          • Stargate Dan

            Seriously do you just play dumb or is it an actual condition? I’ve shut you down on your idiotic “the vote of the majority” thing (hint again: if it were simply a vote of the majority slavery would still exist, women wouldn’t be able to vote and gay marriage would never exist) as well as here with your claims to your Christianity being a majority, unless you kind of conveniently forgot to read that part where I point out the reality of the Baskin Robbins assortment of Christian flavors… oh shoot, I forgot you have a reading comprehension problem.

          • MC

            Poor Stargate, proving again that religious people are healthier and happier people than atheists. You have yet to refute anything, but you are consistent when it comes to arguments based solely on emotions and zero facts, I’ll give you credit for that. As for your “Baskin-Robbins” argument, do yourself a favor and look up, “Christian essentials versus nonessentials”, yes it’s a real thing. Go now, look it up and make us proud!

          • Stargate Dan

            “Christian essentials versus nonessentials”… Oh that’s classic, please enlighten me as to what bible verse spells that out would ya? Oh and please make sure that no other “Flavor” of Christianity uses a different bible verse to contradict the one you point me to… good luck with that one.

          • MC

            Really? You couldn’t google “Christian essentials versus non-essentials?” Do you always have people doing your research homework for you?

            “Essential Doctrines of the Christian Faith

            In his book, “Unmasking The Cults” – which addresses cults of Christianity (as defined by theology), Dr. Alan W. Gomes writes,

            “Central doctrines” of the Christian faith are those doctrines that make the Christian faith Christian and not something else.

            The meaning of the expression “Christian faith” is not like a wax nose, which can be twisted to mean whatever the speaker wants it to mean.

            The Christian faith is a definite system of beliefs with definite content (Jude 3)

            Certain Christian doctrines constitute the core of the faith. Central doctrines include the Trinity, the deity of Christ, the bodily resurrection, the atoning work of Christ on the cross, and salvation by grace through faith. These doctrines so comprise the essence of the Christian faith that to remove any of them is to make the belief system non-Christian.

            Scripture teaches that the beliefs mentioned above are of central importance (e.g., Matt. 28:19; John 8:24; 1 Cor. 15; Eph. 2:8-10).

            Because these central doctrines define the character of Christianity, one cannot be saved and deny these.

            Central doctrines should not be confused with peripheral issues, about which Christians may legitimately disagree.

            Peripheral (i.e. non-essential) doctrines include such issues as the timing of the tribulation, the method of baptism, or the structure of church government. For example, one can be wrong about the identity of “the spirits in prison” 1 Peter 3:19) or about the timing of the rapture and still go to heaven, but one cannot deny salvation by grace or the deity of Christ (John 8:24) and be saved.

            All Christian denominations — whether Roman Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, or Protestant — agree on the essential core. The relatively minor disagreements between genuinely Christian denominations, then, cannot be used to argue that there is no objectively recognized core of fundamental doctrine which constitutes the Christian faith.

            – Source: Source: Alan Gomes, Cult: A Theological Definition, excerpt from “Unmasking The Cults” Zondervan Publishing Company (May 11, 1995)

            Not all doctrines necessary for salvation are necessary for a person to believe in order to be saved.

            There is a distinct difference between what must be true in order for us to be saved and what must be believed in order to be saved. For instance, nowhere does the Bible say it is necessary to believe in the Virgin Birth in order to get to heaven; nonetheless, the Virgin Birth assures us that God took an active role in breaking the bonds of sin through his Son, Jesus.

            There are certain essential doctrines that one may not believe and still be saved (for example, the Virgin Birth, Ascension of Christ, the Second Coming), and there are certain things one must believe in order to be saved.

            A person must believe that Christ died for sins and rose again (Romans 10:9; 1 Corinthians 15:1-6).

            One must “believe in the Lord Jesus Christ” (Acts 16:31). Since the word “Lord” (kurios) when it refers to Christ in the New Testament means “deity,” one cannot deny the deity of Christ and be saved (Acts 2:21, 36; 3:14-16; 5:30-35; 10:39; 1 Corinthians 12:3)
            – Source: Dr. Norman Geisler, Essential Doctrine Made Easy Rose Publishing

            DoctrineCommentsPrimary EssentialsAuthority of the BibleThe Bible is the inspired, infallible, and inerrant Word of God.

            No other writings, revelations or prophecies are to be considered as an authoritative source of truth and/or interpretation of the Bible.

            No organization, individual and/or group of individuals is to be considered as

            a – or the – primary source of Bible interpretation;

            inspired on a par with those who, inspired by the Holy Spirit, wrote the Scriptures, nor as

            apostles on a par with the apostles mentioned in the Bible.The Deity of ChristJesus is both fully God and fully Man.

            This essential teaching addresses the nature of God, and includes the doctrine of the Trinity – one God in three distinct persons, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.

            “Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death– even death on a cross!” (Philippians 2:5-8)

            “Jesus was not only fully God – He was also fully man, fully human. This is a vital aspect of the person of Christ. If He were not fully human, He could not have represented us on the cross. Also, He could not be the High Priest who comforts and strengthens us. As a man, He has gone through our human experience (Heb 2:16-18), and He is fully able to understand and sympathize with us. That is an astonishing truth. Though His conception was supernatural, Jesus’ birth was that of a normal child born of a human mother (Matt 1:18). He is spoken of as being born of the seed of the woman (Gen 3:15) and of the seed of Abraham (Heb 2:16, KJV). In this way, through the virgin birth, “the Word became flesh” (John 1:14).” (Paul E. Little, Know What You Belief”Man is sinful and in need of salvationThe Bibles says that “All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23).

            “[T]he wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 6:23)

            Jesus died a substitutionary atoning death for our sins; and rose bodily from the deadJesus died in our place for our sins, and physically rose from the dead.

            The Bible teaches that the faith of those who deny Jesus physically rose from the dead is useless (1 Cor. 15:14,17).

            According to the Bible, the Gospel (‘Good News’) is this: the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus. (1 Cor. 15:1-4; Gal. 1:8-9)Salvation is by grace through faithSalvation is a gift from God.

            It cannot be earned by good works or any other efforts on our part.

            The Bible says, “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith – and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God – not by works, so that no one can boast.” (Ephesians 2:8-9).

            It is obtained by faith – not by works, nor by baptism (an act of obedience that symbolizes ones commitment to God). The Bible says, “[I]f you confess with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.” (Romans 10:9)

            “[H]e saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy…” (Titus 3:5a)

            “But now a righteousness from God, apart from law, has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify. This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. God presented him as a sacrifice of atonement, through faith in his blood.” (Romans 3:21-25).”

            “THE LIST OF ESSENTIALS

            The list of essential Christian doctrines that emerge from the early creeds and councils includes (1)human depravity, (2)Christ’s virgin birth, (3)Christ’s sinlessness, (4)Christ’s deity, (5)Christ’s humanity, (6)God’s unity, (7)God’s triunity, (8)the necessity of God’s grace, (9)the necessity of faith, (10)Christ’s atoning death, (11)Christ’s bodily resurrection, (12)Christ’s bodily ascension, (13)Christ’s present high priestly service, and (14)Christ second coming, final judgment (heaven and hell), and reign. All of these are necessary for salvation to be possible in the broad sense, which includes justification, sanctification, and glorification.

            It is not necessary, however, to believe all of these to be saved (justified). The minimum necessary to believe in order to be saved is: (1)human depravity, (3)Christ’s sinlessness, (4)Christ’s deity, (5)Christ’s humanity, (6)God’s unity, (7)God’s triunity, (8)the necessity of God’s grace, (9)the necessity of faith, (10)Christ’s atoning death, and (11)Christ’s bodily resurrection.

            It is not necessary to believe in (2)Christ’s virgin birth, (12)Christ’s bodily ascension, (13)Christ’s present service, or (14)Christ’s second coming and final judgment as a condition for obtaining a right standing with God (justification). Even some of those beliefs that are necessary may be more implicit than explicit; for example, human depravity and God’s triunity. Regarding human depravity, one must believe that he is a sinner in need of a Savior, but need not believe all that the orthodox doctrine of human depravity involves, such as the inheritance of a sin nature. The deity of Christ, likewise, is involved, which in turn involves at least two persons who are God (the Father and the Son); but there is no reason to think that to be saved one must understand and explicitly believe the orthodox doctrine of the personality and deity of the Holy Spirit who is united with those two persons in one nature (i.e., one God). Many people, in fact, do not understand this doctrine clearly, even years after they were saved.

            All of the essential doctrines are necessary to make salvation possible, but not all are essential for one to believe in order for one to be saved. All are essential to believe to be a consistent20Christian, but not all are necessary to believe to become a Christian. Generally, a sign that authentic conversion has occurred is that when a professing believer is instructed on these doctrines, he embraces them.”

            “HISTORIC EXPRESSIONS OF ESSENTIAL DOCTRINES

            Many of the New Testament books and creed-like statements in them arose from a context of heretical denials of truths that were contained in the unfolding Christian revelation. There are several of these short creed-like confessions. One is found in 1Timothy3:16:

            God was manifested in the flesh, Justified in the Spirit, Seen by angels, Preached among the Gentiles, Believed on in the world, Received up in glory.2

            Some believe that this passage is the core of what later became the Apostles[nkp22] Creed. It contains (1)the deity of Christ, (2)His incarnation (humanity), (3)His resurrection, (4)His proclamation and reception, and (5)His ascension. Brief and important as it is, however, there is no reason to believe that it was intended to state all of the essentials of the Christian faith. It, nonetheless, expresses core Christian doctrines.”

            “Another creed-like statement is found in 1Corinthians15:35. The confession that is repeated several times:

            That Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures, and that He was seen by Cephas [Peter], then by the twelve.

            Here, too, the essentials of the gospel (v.1) are preserved, but there is no reason to believe that these are all the fundamental Christian doctrines. Nonetheless, the foundation in the inspired Scriptures, the death and burial of our Lord, and His physical bodily resurrection and appearances are all essentials of the Christian faith, as are the doctrines that we are sinners and that Christ died for sinners.”

            “Peters Kerygma in Acts 10

            Others point to the kerygma (proclamation) of Peter as the confessional core of New Testament Christianity. The outline of this is said to be in Peters sermon in Acts10:36-43[nkp25]:

            The word which God sent to the children of Israel, preaching peace through Jesus Christ[1]He is Lord of all that word you know, which was proclaimed throughout all Judea, and starting from Galilee after the baptism which John preached: how [2]God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power, who went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him. [3]And we are witnesses of all things which he did both in the land of the Jews and in Jerusalem, whom [4]they killed by hanging on a tree. [5]Him God raised up on the third day, [6]and showed him openly, not to all the people, but to witnesses chosen before by God, even to us who ate and drank with Him after He arose from the dead. And He commanded us to preach to the people, and to testify that it is [7]He who was ordained by God to be Judge of the living and the dead. To Him all the prophets witness that, through His name, [8]whoever believes in Him will receive remission of sins.

            It has been observed that this kerygmatic paragraph contains the outline of the gospel of Mark, which many consider to be Peters gospel, since Mark was his assistant (1Pet.5:13) and perhaps helped Peter in its composition. The essential doctrines of the Christian faith that it mentions (numbered above) are (1)the deity of Christ, (2)the deity and personality of the Holy Spirit, (3)the apostolic witness, (4)the humanity and death of Christ, (5)His bodily resurrection, (6)His bodily appearances, (7)His second coming and final judgment following, and (8)salvation by faith in Christ.

            Some scholars believe that a treatise on this topic existed in the early church, although only a few fragments survive. Clement of Alexandria apparently had a copy of it, and Origen thought it was genuine in whole or in part.”

            “The Nicene Creed (AD 325)

            The second great creed amplified the expression of orthodoxy to counter heresies that denied the deity of Christ, His coequal status with the Father, and His being of one substance (essence) with the Father. It also was changed.

            The Original Creed. The original AD325 version states (with significant additions to the Apostles[nkp37] Creed indicated in italics):

            We believe in one God the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth, and of all things visible and invisible. And in one Lord Jesus Christ, the only-begotten Son of God, begotten of the Father, Light of Light, Very God of Very God, begotten, not made, being of one substance with the Father by whom all things were made; who for us men, and for our salvation, came down and was incarnate and was made man; He suffered, and the third day He rose again, ascended into heaven; from thence He shall come to judge the quick [living] and the dead. And [we believe] in the Holy Ghost.”

          • Stargate Dan

            Oh you poor poor fellow… I guess reading comprehension really is a struggle for you isn’t it? What part of making sure no other “Flavor” of Christianity contradicts with your answer did you not understand? See last time I checked your scholar Dr. Alan W. Gomes and “his book” wasn’t considered to be part of the canon… so he’s essentially just ONE Christian theologian among the many who would disagree with his assessment of what is truly “essential” doctrines for salvation, if you truly don’t know this then I obviously know more about Christianity and church history than YOU do… so how did you put it? Oh yeah, “your argument fails yet again.” Not to mention your cut and paste mannerism is down right pathetic.. it’s as if you have no individual thought process of your own, then again you’re a Christian so of course you don’t.

          • MC

            “What part of making sure no other “Flavor” of Christianity contradicts with your answer did you not understand?”

            Captain Obtuse, I see my post went right over your head, again. If the denomination agrees with the essentials then they are a Christian Church, if they do not then they are not a Christian Church, no matter if they say they are or not. Even a child could have understood this by now.

            “All Christian denominations — whether Roman Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, or Protestant — agree on the essential core.”

            “The “30,000 Protestant denominations” argument fails on several points. First, there are not 30,000 Protestant denominations. Even under the most liberal definition of what constitutes a denomination, there are nowhere close to 30,000 Protestant denominations. The only way to get even remotely close to the 30,000 figure is to count every minor separation as an entirely different denomination. Further, the vast majority of Protestant Christians belong to just a handful of the most common Protestant denominations; i.e., Baptist, Lutheran, Methodist, Presbyterian, Pentecostal, etc.”

            “As long as a church believes in these essential doctrines, then it is Christian. However, there are many things in the scriptures that have been interpreted in different ways. For example, on what day of the week should we worship, Saturday or Sunday? Should we baptize by sprinkling or baptize by immersion? Do we take communion every Sunday, once a month, or once a year? The answers to these questions do not affect whether or not someone is a Christian. It is in these issues, and others like them, that denominations are formed. It does not mean that one denomination contradicts another. It means that though they agree in the essentials, they differ in some nonessentials. This is permitted in Scripture:

            “Now accept the one who is weak in faith, but not for the purpose of passing judgment on his opinions. 2 One man has faith that he may eat all things, but he who is weak eats vegetables only. 3 Let not him who eats regard with contempt him who does not eat, and let not him who does not eat judge him who eats, for God has accepted him. 4 Who are you to judge the servant of another? To his own master he stands or falls; and stand he will, for the Lord is able to make him stand. 5 One man regards one day above another, another regards every day alike. Let each man be fully convinced in his own mind,” (Rom. 14:1-5).”

            In necessariis unitas, in dubiis libertas, in omnibus caritas

            You seriously need to get a chin strap. But have another hissy fit, it makes me laugh. 🙂

          • Stargate Dan

            And so we come full circle. When you say “If the denomination agrees with the essentials then they are a Christian Church, if they do not then they are NOT a Christian Church, no matter if they say they are or not.” (emphasis added on the not) You have made my point in regard to your majority claim with the 33% world population… which by the way is an old number buddy, a more modern number puts Christianity at 31.5% (a significant drop) and Islam now at 23.2% (a significant increase from the 19.6% your listed) and so if you were truly intellectually honest you’d concede here and realize that you’ve actually just proven my case for me… not everyone who CLAIMS to be a Christian actually IS a Christian (in the eyes of others who claim to be Christians), ie JW’s, Mormons, Oneness Pentecostals etc. So in spite of your arrogant claims of Christian superiority in the game of world religions, your “flavor” is not the majority at all… in fact it’s more likely that Islam is the predominate religion in the world because the only “essential” (to use your word) for Islam is the Shahada. That’s ONE essential, which I would say is significantly less than the ten or 14 requirements for “True Christian Salvation” that you listed, wouldn’t you say?… so how did you put it? “Even a child could have understood this by now.” but I’m sure you’ve got more special pleading for your superiority within you so feel free to let it out, let your little arrogant light shine my friend, let it shine, let it shine, let it shine.

          • MC

            Aw, Mr. Obtuse, I see the facts went over your head again. LOL!

            “About half of all Christians worldwide are Catholic (50%), while more than a third are Protestant (37%). Orthodox communions comprise 12% of the world’s Christians. Other Christian groups, which make up the remaining 1%, include the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormons), Jehovah’s Witnesses and the Christian Science Church.”

            You see that little sliver, 1.3%? Yeah, that’s your christian cults, and guess what? Take away that sliver and Christianity is the largest religion in the world, even over Islam.

            “which by the way is an old number buddy”

            “Christianity has grown enormously in sub-Saharan Africa and the Asia-Pacific region, where there were relatively few Christians at the beginning of the 20th century. The share of the population that is Christian in sub-Saharan Africa climbed from 9% in 1910 to 63% in 2010, while in the Asia-Pacific region it rose from 3% to 7%. Christianity today – unlike a century ago – is truly a global faith.”

            “By my calculations China is destined to become the largest Christian country in the world very soon,” said Fenggang Yang, a professor of sociology at Purdue University and author of Religion in China: Survival and Revival under Communist Rule.

            “It is going to be less than a generation. Not many people are prepared for this dramatic change.”

            China’s Protestant community, which had just one million members in 1949, has already overtaken those of countries more commonly associated with an evangelical boom. In 2010 there were more than 58 million Protestants in China compared to 40 million in Brazil and 36 million in South Africa, according to the Pew Research Centre’s Forum on Religion and Public Life.

            Prof Yang, a leading expert on religion in China, believes that number will swell to around 160 million by 2025. That would likely put China ahead even of the United States, which had around 159 million Protestants in 2010 but whose congregations are in decline.

            By 2030, China’s total Christian population, including Catholics, would exceed 247 million, placing it above Mexico, Brazil and the United States as the largest Christian congregation in the world, he predicted.

            “Mao thought he could eliminate religion. He thought he had accomplished this,” Prof Yang said. “It’s ironic – they didn’t. They actually failed completely.”

            Now go bang your head against the wall some more, it amuses me.

          • NoGod4U

            Doesn’t seem to me by this article from another Christian news site that Christians really agree on too much… seems to me that one thing Christians are really good at it is to divide, subdivide, and sub-subdivide ad infinitum. http://www.charismamag.com/life/culture/21344-how-believers-can-distort-god-s-word

          • MC

            Yes, Christians disagree sometimes on the nonessentials but the nonessentials have nothing to do with salvation so your argument means nothing and can be dismissed.

          • NoGod4U

            Ever hear of the phrase “Kill them all and let God sort them out?” Look it up, it was a phrase coined by a Catholic official fighting a particular protestant heresy in the 1200’s… you really need to learn more about your church history, sure Christians don’t kill each other and those they disagree with today, but at one point in history they did. Your Muslim brothers currently in the world scene are a mirror image of the spirit of dominating religious dogmas that once ruled the Christian world. Heck the whole reason Christian even exists as a world religion and didn’t die just like the other mystery cults it was based upon is because of the sword of Constantine.

          • MC

            No scholar has ever proved that that phrase was actually said, matter of fact, they said there is no evidence. And, you had to go back 805 years to try and make a point? LOL! That’s really scraping the bottom of the barrel. Again, the nonessentials have nothing to do with salvation so your argument horribly fails yet again.

            “Your Muslim brothers currently in the world scene are a mirror image of the spirit of dominating religious dogmas that once ruled the Christian world.”

            Muslim brothers? Only and uneducated dishonest moron would say that. The atrocities of ISIS has more in common with modern day atheist rulers like Stalin, Kim Jong Il, Mao Zedong, and Pol Pot than ALL religious wars put together in history. Atheist rulers happily committing democide.

          • NoGod4U

            Well aren’t you so glad God put you here to defend all the atrocities in his name and correct us dumb atheists on what atheism really is.

          • James Grimes

            “correct us dumb atheists ” Absolutely!

          • NoGod4U

            You really should stick with your “not interested” line James… it fits you better.

          • James Grimes

            ” a phrase coined by a Catholic official fighting a particular protestant heresy in the 1200’s… ” Are you serious??? The Protestant Reformation did not begin until 1517. You seem to have a problem with your knowledge of history as well.

          • NoGod4U

            It’s called the sack of Béziers… one of the many genocidal masacres done in the name of God. Defend HIS name, that’s what’s all about.

          • MC

            “ (without any legitimate references of course)”

            Here you go, remember to put on your thinking cap, for you you might want to use a chin strap.

            View All

            [1] This paper is an update of Patrick F. Fagan, “Why Religion Matters: The Impact of Religious Practice on Social Stability,” Heritage Foundation Backgrounder No. 1064, January 15, 1996, at http://www.heritage.org/research/religion/upload/bg_1064.pdf . See also Bill Broadway, “The Social Blessings of Believing: Heritage Foundation Report Urges Policymakers to Explore the Practical Benefits of Religious Practice,” The Washington Post, February 10, 1996, p. B7.

            [2] See Diane R. Brown and Lawrence E. Gary, “Religious Socialization and Educational Attainment Among African Americans: An Empirical Assessment,” Journal of Negro Education,Vol. 60, No. 3 (Summer 1991), pp. 411-426; Sung Joon Jang and Byron R. Johnson, “Neighborhood Disorder, Individual Religiosity, and Adolescent Use of Illicit Drugs: A Test of Multilevel Hypotheses,” Criminology, Vol. 39, No. 1 (February 2001), pp. 109-144; and Byron R. Johnson and David B. Larson, “Religion: The Forgotten Factor in Cutting Youth Crime and Saving At-Risk Urban Youth,” Manhattan Institute for Policy Research, Center for Civic Innovation Jeremiah Project Report No. 2, 1998, at http://www.manhattan-institute.org/html/jpr-98-2.htm(December 6, 2006).

            [3] For a review of the evidence on this topic, see Michael Novak, On Two Wings: Humble Faith and Common Sense at the American Founding (San Francisco: Encounter Books, 2001).

            [4] James D. Richardson, Compilation of Messages and Papers of the Presidents, 1789-1897(Washington, D.C.: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1907), Vol. 1, p. 213.

            [5] See Linda Waite and Maggie Gallagher, The Case for Marriage: Why Married People Are Happier, Healthier, and Better Off Financially (New York: Doubleday, 2000); David Popenoe, Life Without Father (New York: Free Press, 1960); and David Blankenhorn, Fatherless America (New York: Basic Books, 1995).

            [6] Andrew J. Weaver, Judith A. Samford, Virginia J. Morgan, David B. Larson, Harold G. Koenig, and Kevin J. Flannelly,”A Systematic Review of Research on Religion in Six Primary Marriage and Family Journals: 1995-1999,” American Journal of Family Therapy, Vol. 30, No. 4 (July 2002), pp. 293-309.

            [7] Christopher G. Ellison and Kristin L. Anderson, “Religious Involvement and Domestic Violence Among U.S. Couples,” Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, Vol. 40, Issue 2 (June 2001), pp. 269-286.

            [8] Linda C. Robinson, “Marital Strengths in Enduring Marriages,” Family Relations, Vol. 42, No. 1 (1993), pp. 38-45.

            [9] Jane Reardon-Anderson, Matthew Stagner, Jennifer Ehrle Macomber, and Julie Murray, “Systematic Review of the Impact of Marriage and Relationship Programs,” Urban Institute, February 11, 2005, at http://www.urban.org/UploadedPDF/411142_impact_marriage.pdf (December 6, 2006).

            [10] Karen Price Carver, “Female Employment and First Union Dissolution in Puerto Rico,” Journal of Marriage and Family, Vol. 55, No. 3 (1993), pp. 686-698.

            [11] Vaughn R. A. CallandTim B. Heaton, “Religious Influence on Marital Stability,” Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, Vol. 36, No. 3 (September 1997), pp. 382-392.

            [12] Chris Knoester and Alan Booth, “Barriers to Divorce: When Are They Effective? When Are They Not?”Journal of Family Issues, Vol. 27, No. 1 (January 2000), pp. 78-99.

            [13] David B. Larson, Susan S. Larson, and John Gartner, “Families, Relationships and Health,” in Danny Wedding, ed., Behavior and Medicine (St. Louis: Mosby Year Book, Inc., 1990), pp. 135-147.

            [14] Lee G. Burchinal, “Marital Satisfaction and Religious Behavior,” American Sociological Review, Vol. 22, No. 3 (June 1957), pp. 306-310.

            [15] Lisa D. Pearce and Dana L. Haynie, “Intergenerational Religious Dynamics and Adolescent Delinquency,” Social Forces, Vol. 82, No. 4 (June 2004), pp. 1553-1572.

            [16] Christopher G. Ellison, John P. Bartkowski, and Kristin L. Anderson, “Are There Religious Variations in Domestic Violence?” Journal of Family Issues, Vol. 20, No. 1 (January 1999), pp. 87-113.

            [17] Kristen Taylor Curtis and Christopher G. Ellison, “Religious Heterogamy and Marital Conflict: Findings from the National Survey of Families and Households,” Journal of Family Issues, Vol. 23, No. 4 (May 2002), pp. 551-576.

            [18] Evelyn L. Lehrer and Carmel U. Chiswick, “Religion as a Determinant of Marital Stability,”Demography, Vol. 30, No. 3 (August1993), pp. 385-404.

            [19] Howard Wineberg, “Marital Reconciliation in the United States: Which Couples Are Successful?” Journal of Marriage and Family, Vol. 56, No.1 (February 1994), pp. 80-88.

            [20] Michael Hout, “Why More Americans Have No Religious Preference: Politics and Generations,” American Sociological Review, Vol. 67, No. 2 (April 2002), pp. 165-190.

            [21] Timothy T. Clydesdale, “Family Behaviors Among Early U.S. Baby Boomers: Exploring the Effects of Religion and Income Change, 1965-1982,” Social Forces, Vol. 76, No. 2 (December 1997), pp. 605-635.

            [22] Paul R. Amato, David R. Johnson, Alan Booth, and Stacy J. Rogers, “Continuity and Change in Marital Quality Between 1980 and 2000,” Journal of Marriage and Family, Vol. 65, No.1 (February 2003), pp. 1-22.

            [23] W. Bradford Wilcox, Soft Patriarchs, New Men: How Christianity Shapes Fathers and Husbands (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2004), p. 186.

            [24]Howard M. Bahr and Bruce A. Chadwick, “Religion and Family in Middleton, USA,”Journal of Marriage and Family, Vol. 47 (May 1985), pp. 407-414.

            [25] Carol Tavris and Susan Sadd, The Redbook Report on Female Sexuality (New York: Delacorte Press, 1977).

            [26] Larry L. Bumpass, James A. Sweet, and Andrew Cherlin, “The Role of Cohabitation in Declining Rates of Marriage,” University of Wisconsin, Center for Demography and Ecology National Survey of Families and Households Working Paper No. 5, 1989, pp. 913-927.

            [27] Paul R. Amato, “Explaining the Intergenerational Transmission of Divorce,” Journal of Marriage and Family, Vol. 58, No. 3 (August 1996), pp. 628-640.

            [28] Kazuo Yamaguchi, “Dynamic Relationships Between Premarital Cohabitation and Illicit Drug Use: An Event-History Analysis of Role Selection and Role Socialization,” American Sociological Review, Vol. 50, No. 4 (August 1985), pp. 530-546.

            [29] Arland Thornton, W. G. Axinn, and D. H. Hill, “Reciprocal Effects of Religiosity, Cohabitation, and Marriage,” American Journal of Sociology, Vol. 98, No. 3 (November 1992), pp. 628-651.

            [30] Ibid.

            [31] Lisa D. Pearce and William G. Axinn, “The Impact of Family Religious Life on the Quality of Mother-Child Relations,” American Sociological Review, Vol. 63, No. 6 (December 1998), pp. 810-828.

            [32] W. Bradford Wilcox, “Religion, Convention, and Paternal Involvement,” Journalof Marriage and Family, Vol. 64, No. 3 (August 2002), pp. 780-792.

            [33] William S. Aquilino, “Two Views of One Relationship: Comparing Parents’ and Young Adult Children’s Reports of the Quality of Intergenerational Relations,” Journal of Marriage and Family, Vol. 61, No. 4 (November 1999), pp. 858-870.

            [34] Pearce and Haynie, “Intergenerational Religious Dynamics and Adolescent Delinquency.”

            [35] Pearce and Axinn, “The Impact of Family Religious Life on the Quality of Mother-Child Relations.”

            [36] Ibid.

            [37] Valerie King, “The Influence of Religion on Fathers’ Relationships with Their Children,” Journal of Marriage and Family, Vol. 65, No. 2 (May 2003), pp. 382-395.

            [38] Wilcox, Soft Patriarchs, pp. 112-118.

            [39] Wilcox, “Religion, Convention, and Paternal Involvement.”

            [40] Ellison et al., “Are There Religious Variations in Domestic Violence?”

            [41] Ellison and Anderson,”Religious Involvement and Domestic Violence Among U.S. Couples.”

            [42] Wilcox, Soft Patriarchs, p. 182.

            [43] Lisa D. Wade, “Relationship Dissolution as a Life Stage Transition: Effects on Sexual Attitudes and Behaviors,” Journal of Marriage and Family, Vol. 64, No. 4 (November 2002), pp. 898-914.

            [44] Sharon Scales Rostosky, Mark D. Regnerus, and Margaret Laurie Comer Wright, “Coital Debut: The Role of Religiosity and Sex Attitudes in the Add Health Survey,” Journal of Sex Research, Vol.40, No. 4 (November 2003), pp. 358-367.

            [45] Wilcox, Soft Patriarchs, p. 81.

            [46] Gerbert Kraaykamp, “Trends and Countertrends in Sexual Permissiveness: Three Decades of Attitude Change in the Netherlands: 1965-1995,” Journal of Marriage and Family, Vol. 64, No. 1 (February 2002), pp. 225-239.

            [47] Arland Thornton, “Religious Participation and Adolescent Sexual Behavior and Attitudes,”Journal of Marriage and Family, Vol. 51, No. 3 (August 1989), pp. 641-653.

            [48] In this study, “religiosity” scores were measured on a scale that ranged from 3 to 12 and represented an average of an individual’s scores with regard to three different variables: attendance at religious services, participation in religious youth activities, and self-rated importance of religion.

            [49] Rostosky et al., “Coital Debut.”

            [50] Lynn Blinn-Pike, “Why Abstinent Adolescents Report They Have Not Had Sex: Understanding Sexually Resilient Youth,” Family Relations, Vol. 48, No. 3 (July 1999), pp. 295-301.

            [51] John O. G. Billy, “Contextual Effects on the Sexual Behavior of Adolescent Women,” Journal of Marriage and Family, Vol. 56, No. 2 (May 1994), pp. 387-404.

            [52] Byron R. Johnson, Ralph Brett Tompkins, and Derek Webb, “Objective Hope-Assessing the Effectiveness of Faith-Based Organizations: A Systematic Review of the Literature,” Manhattan Institute for Policy Research, Center for Research on Religion and Urban Civil Society, 2002, at http://www.manhattan-institute.org/pdf/crrucs_objective_hope.pdf (June 30, 2005).

            [53] Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Health Statistics, “Births: Preliminary Data for 2005,” reviewed November 21, 2006, at http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/products/pubs/pubd/hestats/

            prelimbirths05/prelimbirths05.htm#ref01 (December 13, 2006).

            [54] Maureen Waller, “High Hopes: Unmarried Parents’ Expectations About Marriage,” Children and Youth Services Review,Vol. 23, No. 6 (December 2001), pp. 457-484.

            [55] Allan F. Abrahamse, Beyond Stereotypes: Who Becomes a Single Teenage Mother? (Santa Monica, Calif.: Rand Corporation, 1988), pp. 37-50.

            [56] Michael J. Donahue, “Aggregate Religiousness and Teenage Fertility Revisited: Reanalyses of Data from the Guttmacher Institute,” presented at the Annual Meeting of the Society for the Scientific Study of Religion, Chicago, October 30, 1988.

            [57] Harold G. Koenig, Linda K. George, Harvey J. Cohen, Judith C. Hays, David B. Larson, and Dan G. Blazer, “The Relationship Between Religious Activities and Cigarette Smoking in Older Adults,” Journals of Gerontology: Medical Sciences, Vol. 53A, Issue 6 (November 1998), pp. M426-M434.

            [58] Feroz Ahmed, Diane R. Brown, Lawrence E. Gary, and Frough Saadatmand, “Religious Predictors of Cigarette Smoking: Findings for African American Women of Childbearing Age,” Behavioral Medicine, Vol. 20, No. 1 (Spring 1994), pp. 34-43.

            [59] John Gartner, David B. Larson, and George Allen, “Religious Commitment and Mental Health: A Review of the Empirical Literature,” Journal of Psychology and Theology, Vol. 19, Issue 1 (Spring 1991), pp. 6-25.

            [60] Deborah Hasin, Jean Endicott, and CollinsLewis, “Alcohol and Drug Abuse in Patients with Affective Syndrome,” Comprehensive Psychiatry, Vol. 26,Issue 3(May-June 1985), pp. 283-295.

            [61] Achaempong Y. Amoeateng and Stephen J. Bahr, “Religion, Family, and Drug Abuse,” Sociological Perspectives, Vol. 29 (1986), pp. 53-73, and John K. Cochran, Leonard Beghley, and E. Wilbur Block, “Religiosity and Alcohol Behavior: An Exploration of Reference Group Therapy,”Sociological Forum, Vol. 3, No. 2 (Spring 1988), pp. 256-276.

            [62] Marvin D. Free, Jr., “Religiosity, Religious Conservatism, Bonds to School, and Juvenile Delinquency Among Three Categories of Drug Users,” Deviant Behavior, Vol. 15, No. 2 (1994), pp. 151-170.

            [63] David A. Brizer, “Religiosity and Drug Abuse Among Psychiatric Inpatients,” American Journal of Drug and Alcohol Abuse, Vol. 19, No. 3 (September 1993), pp. 337-345.

            [64] Stephanie Carroll, “Spirituality and Purpose in Life in Alcoholism Recovery,” Journal of Studies on Alcohol, Vol. 54, No. 3 (May 1993), pp. 297-301.

            [65] Vangie A. Foshee and Bryan R. Hollinger, “Maternal Religiosity, Adolescent Social Bonding, and Adolescent Alcohol Use,” Journal of Early Adolescence, Vol. 16, No. 4 (November 1996), pp. 451-468.

            [66] Barbara R. Lorch and Robert H. Hughes, “Religion and Youth Substance Use,” Journal of Religion and Health, Vol. 24, No. 3(September 1985), pp. 197-208.

            [67] Johnson et al., “Objective Hope.”

            [68] Byron R. Johnson, “A Better Kind of High: How Religious Commitment Reduces Drug Use Among Poor Urban Teens,” Manhattan Institute for Policy Research, Center for Research on Religion and Urban Civil Society Report No. 2000-2, at http://www.manhattan-institute.org/html/cr_12.htm (December 6, 2006).

            [69] Edward M. Adlaf, “Drug Use and Religious Affiliation: Feelings and Behavior,” British Journal of Addiction,Vol. 80, No. 2 (June 1985), pp. 163-171.

            [70] Roger D. Thompson, “Teen Challenge of Chattanooga, Tennessee: Survey of Alumni,” University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, 1994.

            [71] Aaron T. Bicknese, “The Teen Challenge Drug Treatment Program in Comparative Perspective,” doctoral dissertation, Northwestern University, 1999.

            [72] A recent review of the sociological literature on drug treatment and rehabilitation by Byron Johnson, now at Baylor University’s Department of Sociology and Anthropology, gives cause for both optimism and caution: “Our review of the literature on faith-based [interventions] reveals two very basic facts. First, what we do know about their effectiveness is positive and encouraging. Faith-based organizations appear to have advantages over comparable secular institutions in helping individuals overcome difficult circumstances (e.g., imprisonment and drug abuse). Second, although this literature is positive, it is also limited.” Johnson et al., “Objective Hope.”

            [73] Johnson et al.,”Objective Hope.”

            [74] Ibid.

            [75] Ibid.

            [76] Ellison et al., “Are There Religious Variations in Domestic Violence?” andJ. M. Mosher and P. J. Handal, “The Relationship Between Religion and Psychological Distress in Adolescents,” Journal of Psychology and Theology, Vol. 25, Issue 4 (Winter 1997), pp. 449-457.

            [77] Christopher G. Ellison, Jason D. Boardman, David R. Williams, and James S. Jackson, “Religious Involvement, Stress, and Mental Health: Findings from the 1995 Detroit Area Study,”Social Forces, Vol. 80, Issue 1 (September 2001), pp. 215-249.

            [78] Sung Joon Jang and Byron R. Johnson, “Explaining Religious Effects on Distress Among African Americans,” Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, Vol. 43, No. 2 (June 2004), pp. 239-260.

            [79] Johnson et al.,”Objective Hope.”

            [80] Neal Krause, Christopher G. Ellison, Benjamin A. Shaw, John P. Marcum, and Jason D. Boardman, “Church-Based Social Support and Religious Coping,” Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, Vol. 40, No. 4 (December 2001), pp. 637-656.

            [81] Ellisonet al.,”Religious Involvement, Stress, and Mental Health.”

            [82] C. A. Markstrom, “Religious Involvement and Adolescent Psychosocial Development,” Journal of Adolescence, Vol. 22, No. 2 (April 1999), pp. 205-221.

            [83] Ellison et al., “Are There Religious Variations in Domestic Violence?”

            [84] Johnson et al.,”Objective Hope.”

            [85] Christopher G. Ellison, “Race, Religious Involvement, and Depressive Symptomatology in a Southeastern U.S. Community,” Social Science and Medicine, Vol. 40, No. 11 (June 1995), pp. 1561-1572.

            [86] Loyd S. Wright, Christopher J. Frost, and Stephen J. Wisecarver, “Church Attendance, Meaningfulness of Religion, and Depressive Symptomatology Among Adolescents,” Journal of Youth and Adolesence, Vol. 22, No. 5 (October 1993), pp. 559-568.

            [87] Frank Tovato, “Domestic/Religious Individualism and Youth Suicide in Canada,” Family Perspective, Vol. 24, No. 1 (1990), pp. 69-81.

            [88] K. Harker, “Immigration Generation, Assimilation, and Adolescent Psychological Well-Being,” Social Forces, Vol. 79, No. 3 (March 2001), pp. 969-1004.

            [89] Johnson et al.,”Objective Hope.”

            [90]Mark D. Regnerus, “Religion and Positive Adolescent Outcomes: A Review of Research and Theory,” Review of Religious Research, Vol. 44, No. 4 (June 2003), pp. 394-413.

            [91]Robert A. Hummer, Richard G. Rogers, Charles B. Nam, and Christopher G. Ellison, “Religious Involvement and U.S. Adult Mortality,” Demography, Vol. 36, No. 2 (May 1999), pp. 273-285.

            [92] Robert A. Hummer, Christopher G. Ellison, Richard G. Rogers, Benjamin E. Moulton, and Ron R. Romero,”Religious Involvement and Adult Mortality in the United States: Review and Perspective,” Southern Medical Journal, Vol. 97, No. 12 (December 2004), pp. 1223-1230.

            [93] Jeffrey S. Levin and Preston L. Schiller, “Is There a Religious Factor in Health?” Journal of Religion and Health, Vol. 26, No. 1 (March 1987), pp. 9-35.

            [94] George W. Comstock and Kay B. Patridge, “Church Attendance and Health,” Journal of Chronic Diseases, Vol. 25, No. 12 (December 1972), pp. 665-672.

            [95] Hummer et al., “Religious Involvement and U.S. Adult Mortality.”

            [96] Ellison et al., “Are There Religious Variations in Domestic Violence?”

            [97] Mark D. Regnerus, “Making the Grade: The Influence of Religion upon the Academic Performance of Youth in Disadvantaged Communities,” University of Pennsylvania, Center for Research on Religion and Urban Civil Society Report No.3, 2001.

            [98] Mark D. Regnerus, “Shaping Schooling Success: Religious Socialization and Educational Outcomes in Metropolitan Public Schools,” Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, Vol. 39, Issue 3 (September 2000), pp. 363-370.

            [99] Chandra Muller and Christopher G. Ellison, “Religious Involvement, Social Capital, and Adolescents’ Academic Progress: Evidence from the National Education Longitudinal Study of 1988,” Sociological Focus, Vol. 34, No. 2 (May 2001), pp. 155-183.

            [100] See Derek Neal, “What Have We Learned About the Benefits of Private Schooling?” Federal Reserve Bank of New York Economic Policy Review, Vol. 4, No. 1 (March 1998), pp. 79-86.

            [101] Muller and Ellison, “Religious Involvement, Social Capital, and Adolescents’ Academic Progress.”

            [102] Richard B. Freeman, “Who Escapes? The Relation of Churchgoing and Other Background Factors to the Socioeconomic Performance of Black Male Youths from Inner-City Tracts,” National Bureau of Economic Research Working Paper No. 1656, June 1985.

            [103] Douglas M. Sloane and Raymond H. Potvin, “Religion and Delinquency: Cutting Through the Maze,” Social Forces, Vol. 65, No. 1 (September 1986), pp. 87-105.

            [104]Regnerus, “Making the Grade.”

            [105] Brown and Gary, “Religious Socialization and Educational Attainment Among African Americans.”

            [106] Regnerus, “Shaping Schooling Success.”

            [107] Arthur C. Brooks, “Compassion, Religion, and Politics,” Public Interest, September 22, 2004, pp. 57-66.

            [108] Mark D. Regnerus, Christian Smith, and David Sikkink, “Who Gives to the Poor? The Influence of Religious Tradition and Political Location on the Personal Generosity of Americans Toward the Poor,” Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, Vol. 37, No. 3 (September 1998), pp. 481-493.

            [109]Brooks, “Compassion, Religion, and Politics.”

            [110]Ram A. Cnaan, “The Philadelphia Story: Preliminary Findings from the Philadelphia Census,” Hartford Institute for Religious Research, at http://www.hirr.hartsem.edu/cong/research_phillycensus.html (December 7, 2006), and Ram A. Cnaan and Stephanie C. Boddie, “Philadelphia Census of Congregations and Their Involvement in Social Service Delivery,” Social Service Review, Vol. 75, No. 4 (December 2001), pp. 559-589.

            [111]Patrick F. Fagan, “The Real Root Causes of Violent Crime: The Breakdown of Marriage, Family, and Community,” Heritage Foundation Backgrounder No. 1026, March 17, 1995, at http://www.heritage.org/Research/Crime/upload/bg_1026.pdf.

            [112] Hummer et al., “Religious Involvement and Adult Mortality in the United States,” pp. 1224-1225.

            [113] David Lester, “Religiosity and Personal Violence: A Regional Analysis of Suicide and Homicide Rates,” The Journal of Social Psychology, Vol. 127, No. 6 (December 1987), pp. 685-686.

            [114] Ellison et al., “Are There Religious Variations in Domestic Violence?”

            [115]Byron R. Johnson, David B. Larson, Spencer De Li, and Sung Joon Jang, “Escaping from the Crime of Inner Cities: Church Attendance and Religious Salience Among Disadvantaged Youth,” Justice Quarterly, Vol. 17, No. 2 (June 2000), pp. 377-39.

            [116]Freeman, “Who Escapes?”

            [117] Johnson and Larson, “Religion,” and Byron R. Johnson, “Does Adolescent Religious Commitment Matter? A Reexamination of the Effects of Religiosity on Delinquency,” Journal of Research in Crime and Delinquency, Vol. 38, No. 1 (February 2001), pp. 22-43.

            [118] Increased religious practice coincides with decreases of 27 percent for marijuana use and 33 percent for hard drugs. Jang and Johnson, “Neighborhood Disorder, Individual Religiosity, and Adolescent Use of Illicit Drugs.”

            [119] Johnson and Larson, “Religion.”

            [120] Johnson, “A Better Kind of High.”

            [121] Pearce and Haynie, “Intergenerational Religious Dynamics and Adolescent Delinquency.”

            [122]Ibid.

            [123] Johnson et al.,”Objective Hope.”

            [124] For original research results and a review of related literature, see Marlena Studer and Arland Thornton, “Adolescent Religiosity and Contraceptive Usage,” Journal of Marriage and Family, Vol. 49, No. 1 (February 1987), pp. 117-128, and Jennifer S. Manlove, Elizabeth Terry Humen, Erum Ikramullah, and Kristin A. Moore, “The Role of Parent Religiosity in Teen’s Transition to Sex and Contraception,” Journal of Adolescent Health, Vol. 39, Issue 4 (October 2006), pp. 578-587.

            [125] See Patrick Fagan, Kirk A. Johnson, and Jonathan Butcher, “A Portrait of Family and Religion in America: Key Outcomes for the Common Good,” The Heritage Foundation, 2006, p. 33, Chart 26, and p. 34, Chart 27, at http://www.heritage.org/upload/Map_of_Religion.pdf.

            [126] David B. Larson and Susan S. Larson, The Forgotten Factor in Physical and Mental Health: What Does the Research Show? (Rockville, Md.: National Institute for Healthcare Research, 1994), p. 87.

            [127] Ken F. Wiebe and J. Roland Fleck, “Personality Correlates of Intrinsic, Extrinsic, and Non-Religious Orientations, Journal of Psychology, Vol. 105, No. 2 (July 1980), pp. 111-117.

            [128] Richard D. Kahoe,”Personality and Achievement Correlates on Intrinsic and Extrinsic Religious Orientations,” Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, Vol. 29, No. 6 (June 1974), pp. 812-818.

            [129] Allen E. Bergin, Kevin S. Masters, and P. Scott Richards, “Religiousness and Mental Health Reconsidered: A Study of an Intrinsically Religious Sample,” Journal of Counseling Psychology, Vol. 34, Issue 2 (April 1987), pp. 197-204; Mark Baker and Richard Gorsuch, “Trait Anxiety and Intrinsic-Extrinsic Religiousness,” Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, Vol. 21, No. 2 (June 1982), pp. 119-122; Gordon W. Allport and J. Michael Ross, “Personal Religious Orientation and Prejudice,” Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, Vol. 5, No. 4 (April 1967), pp. 432-443.

            [130] Bergin et al., “Religiousness and Mental Health Reconsidered.”

            [131] Ann M. Downey, “Relationships of Religiosity to Death Anxiety of Middle-Aged Males,”Psychological Reports, Vol. 54, No. 3 (June 1984), pp. 811-822.

            [132] Gordon W. Allport, The Person in Psychology: Selected Essays (Boston: Beacon Press, 1968), p. 150.

            [133] Zorach v. Clauson, 343 U.S. 306 (1952).

            [134] Johnson et al.,”Objective Hope.”

            [135] Byron R. Johnson, “Religious Programs and Recidivism Among Former Inmates in Prison Fellowship Programs: A Long-Term Follow-Up Study,” Justice Quarterly, Vol. 21, No. 2 (June 2004), pp. 329-354.

            [136] Allen E. Bergin, “Values and Religious Issues in Psychotherapy and Mental Health,” The American Psychologist, Vol. 46, No. 4 (April 1991), pp. 394-403

  • DuneDude

    “If I could conceive that the general government might ever be so administered as to render the liberty of conscience insecure, I beg you will be persuaded, that no one would be more zealous than myself to establish effectual barriers against the horrors
    of spiritual tyranny, and every species of religious persecution.”

    – George Washington, letter to the United Baptist Chamber of Virginia (1789)

    “Question with boldness even the existence of a God; because,
    if there be one, he must more approve of the homage of reason, then that of
    blindfolded fear.”

    – Thomas Jefferson, letter to Peter Carr (1787)

    “In regard to religion, mutual toleration in the different professions thereof is what all good and candid minds in all ages have ever practiced, and both by precept and example inculcated on mankind.”

    – Samuel Adams, The Rights of the Colonists (1771)

    “Persecution is not an original feature in any religion; but it is always the strongly marked feature of all religions established by law. Take away the law-establishment, and every religion re-assumes its original benignity.”

    – Thomas Paine, The Rights of Man (1791)

    “Congress has no power to make any religious establishments.”

    – Roger Sherman, Congress (1789)

    “The way to see by faith is to shut the eye of reason.”

    – Benjamin Franklin, Poor Richard’s Almanack (1758)

    “I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people build a wall of separation between Church & State.”

    – Thomas Jefferson, letter to the Danbury Baptists (1802)

    “To argue with a man who has renounced the use of reason is like administering medicine to the dead.”

    – Thomas Paine, The American Crisis No. V (1776)

    “Our civil rights have no dependence on our religious opinions, any more than our opinions in physics or geometry.”

    – Thomas Jefferson, A Bill for Establishing Religious Freedom (1779)

    “Christian establishments tend to great ignorance and corruption, all of which facilitate the execution of mischievous projects.”

    – James Madison, letter to William Bradford, Jr. (1774)

    “There is nothing which can better deserve our patronage than the promotion of science and literature. Knowledge is in every country the surest basis of public happiness.”

    – George Washington, address to Congress (1790)

    “The United States of America is founded in no sense on the Christian
    religion.” – George Washington

    “Of all the animosities which have existed among mankind, those which are
    caused by a difference of sentiments in religion appear to be the most
    inveterate and distressing, and ought to be deprecated. I was in hopes that the
    enlightened and liberal policy, which has marked the present age, would at
    least have reconciled Christians of every denomination so far that we should
    never again see the religious disputes carried to such a pitch as to endanger
    the peace of society.” – George Washington

    ‌”This would be the best possible world if there was no religion in it.” – John Adams

    “Christianity is the most perverse system that ever shone on man.” –
    Thomas Jefferson

    “I find the Christian dogma unintelligible. Early in life I absented myself from Christian assemblies.” – Benjamin Franklin

    “The civil government functions with complete success by the total separation
    of the Church from the State.” – James Madison

    “When I see throughout this book, called the Bible, a history of the grossest vices and a collection of the most paltry and contemptible tales and stories, I could not so dishonor my Creator by calling it by His name.” –
    Thomas Paine

  • James Grimes

    It’s really amazing that The Useless who want to monopolize this discussion (and be hostile about it) really don’t pay attention to the important points made in the article. For example, “[T]he Ten Commandments are an important component of the foundation of the laws and legal system of the United States of America and of the State of Oklahoma,” the bill authorizing the monument acknowledged. “[T]he courts of the United States of America and of various states frequently cite the Ten Commandments in published decisions, and acknowledgements of the role played by the Ten Commandments in our nation’s heritage are common throughout America.”
    So, if one wants to be a troll with no credibility, don’t read and understand the article.

    • Stargate Dan

      First off James the argument that the “Ten Commandments are an important component of the foundation of the laws” is absolutely ridiculous when you consider that only TWO of the Ten are actually laws. Plus if you sincerely think our founding fathers wouldn’t have been aware that murder and thievery is not good for a functioning society without the help of a bronze age mythology then I must say that’s some pretty strong kool-aid you’re drinking.

      But all that aside, as I’ve said previoiusly to your other Christian braggert breathern it’s pretty darn sad when you as a Christian have to deny your faith and cling to “historical value and not purely religious value.” as your last straw of defense for your religious idols. I wonder how your God views such a denial before men.(Matthew 10:33)

      And isn’t it funny that while you and your brethren claim the case is purely about historical context yet your celebrations are more about Bragging your victories for
      God…what’s that H word Christians use, oh yeah hypocrisy.

      • James Grimes

        I’m not interested.

        • Stargate Dan

          Truth hurts doesn’t it Jimmy.

          • tammy

            Where’s truth? You haven’t said anything truthful, only hateful

          • NoGod4U

            How is it hateful to point the very real truth that only two of the ten commandments have any baring on the Law in the USA and even then it’s irrelevant because those two – thou shalt not steal and thou shalt not murder, are common sense.
            Or how is it hateful to point out a verse from the bible that highlights God’s attitude towards the double standard of denying the religious aspect the Ten Commandments by pleading it’s merely of “historical” value and then turning around and celebrating as if it’s some sort of God given victory?

  • http://www.biblepicturepathways.com Dallas

    God says “My Word…shall not return unto me void!” Is.55:11
    Prophecy is being fulfilled!

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ld6BM4FtUbU

  • http://www.bibleversusconstitution.org/ Ted R. Weiland

    This is not the victory most Christians think it is, for two reasons: 1) This was a ruling on behalf of the First Amendment’s polytheism, not Christianity, and 2) Because this would have never been in the courts in the first place had the late 1700 founders established government and society on Yahweh’s immutable morality as reflected in His commandments, statutes, and judgments, instead of Enlightenment and Masonic concepts, as found in the Constitution.

    For more, see online Chapter 11 “Amendment 1: Government-Sanctioned Polytheism” of
    “Bible Law vs. the United States Constitution: The Christian Perspective” at http://www.bibleversusconstitution.org/BlvcOnline/biblelaw-constitutionalism-pt11.html.

  • David

    Hearing this news is SUCH A RELIEF TO ME! I’ve been stressing out about it for weeks now whether it is going to be allowed or not; them taking down the 10 Commandments and replacing it with a Lucifer statue. Glad to hear that this went the right way, I’m very thankful for both the judge and Lord Jesus! God I LOVE victories..! Seeing goodness triumph over evil doers.

  • Sohan Dsouza

    ‘“[T]he Ten Commandments are an important component of the foundation of the laws and legal system of the United States of America and of the State of Oklahoma,” the bill authorizing the monument acknowledged.’

    1. I, the Lord, am your God. You shall not have other gods besides me.
    (no law against atheism or polytheism)
    2. You shall not take the name of the Lord God in vain
    (no law against swearing)
    3. Remember to keep holy the Lord’s Day
    (no law to prohibit working on Sabbath, or to force worship on the day)
    4. Honor your father and your mother
    (no law forcing people to “honor” parents — mere obedience suffices, and only within limits and when one is a minor)
    5. You shall not kill
    (first applicable one — and really, no one thought of that before, right?)
    6. You shall not commit adultery
    (no law against this either — at worst, it is grounds for divorce)
    7. You shall not steal
    (a total innovation, yes?)
    8. You shall not bear false witness
    (where would we have been without the Bible to tell us that lying is wrong?)
    9. You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife
    (no law against coveting people)
    10. You shall not covet your neighbor’s goods

    (no law against coveting pretty much anything)

    Yes, yes, truly the foundation of the American legal system.