While doing some research for my next article in Think magazine, I ran across some material that I wish I could get into the hands of every responsible person in America. Patrick Fagan, a research fellow for the Heritage Foundation wrote a brilliant paper on the value of religion to America's well-being. He concludes:
A steady growing body of evidence from the social sciences demonstrates that regular religious practice benefits individuals, families, and communities, and thus the nation as a whole. The practice of religion improves health, academic achievement, and economic well-being and fosters self-control, self-esteem, empathy, and compassion.
Religious belief and practice can address many of the nation's most pressing social problems, some of which have reached serious levels (e.g., out-of-wedlock births and family dissolution). Research has linked the practice of religion to reductions in the incidence of divorce, crime, delinquency, drug and alcohol addiction, out-of-wedlock births [now at 4 of every ten, PDS], health problems, anxiety, and prejudice. Faith-based outreach has been uniquely effective in drug addiction rehabilitation and societal re-entry programs for prisoners. Furthermore, the effects of religious belief and practice are intergenerational and cumulative. In a sense, they compound the interest of our social capital.
The greatest need in our nation is simply a return to God and his Word. We must quit making it politically and socially correct to tell God to shut up and leave us alone. The answer to America's self-destruction is and has always been God. If I could get to the highest hill and could shout to America, I would tell them to come home to God. I would point them to the church! I would urge them to repent! I would tell them that God's Word and ways has the answer to their heart-aches. Jesus still gives rest to the soul...
I would urge every reader to take the time to read Fagan's paper. You can find it at:
Forgive the shameless plug, but I also hope you'll go to http://www.focuspress.org and subscribe to this remarkable magazine. Some of the dearest people I know work there, and they are trying to make a difference in our world. The magazine is celebrating its first anniversary in January and has already shown itself to be a success.
May God bless America again, and He will if America will allow Him into their lives.