Monday, April 01, 2013

TIME Magazine: "Can Your Children Be Too Religious?"

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Time Magazine, in a feature article, is suggesting your child can be too religious.

They are reporting that, "Therapists in private practice report that they are seeing children and teens across a wide range of faiths whose religious practice can be problematic."

"The amount of time they spend praying, or in other acts of spiritual practice is not so important," they say, as the "quality of this devotion, and whether it helps the children or instead isolates them and undermines their school work and relationships."

Their article raises some serious concerns because it's not published in isolation, but in sync with other articles and studies presently being published around this same issue.

Psychology and Psychiatry are weighing in more and more on religious faith and its relationship to mental health.

This not only relates to moral biblical values, but Second Amendment rights as well.

Time carefully covers themselves in the first three paragraphs of their feature article by saying that parents are often pleased when they see their kids "more eager to pray then to play video games."

They affirm that religion can be a source of comfort that improves well-being, quoting Bill Hathaway, a clinical psychologist of religion and Dean of the School of Psychology at Regent University---a university associated with CBN.

I agree. And appreciate what CBN and Regent University are doing.

Paragraph 4 of Time's article gets to the reason they published the article in the first place.

It begins, "Or maybe not. Your child's devotion may be a great thing, but there are some kids whose religious observances require a deeper look."

"For these children," Time says, "an over zealous practice of their family faith---or even another faith---may be a sign of an underlying mental health issue..."

This is where their article becomes subjective and very concerning.

So, how much religion is too much religion for children and teens?

Who decides?

Who decides if the child's religious devotion suggests an underlying mental health issue?

What if the teenager's religious belief leads him or her to oppose a "woman's right to reproductive health care," aka abortion?

How about same-sex marriage? What if a teenager believes, based on biblical Truth and teaching, that homosexuality is sin and they oppose same-sex marriage and support marriage as between one man and one woman? Could they be found to be not only bigoted, but having an underlying mental health issue---or even be mentally ill as well?

And if gun control should get traction, or even if new laws are passed regarding firearms and mental health issues, who decides who is and who is not mentally challenged or who has "an underlying mental health issue?"

Could someones religious fervor become a part of that evaluation? I think it could.

Understand, I am not suggesting that mentally ill people should be carrying firearms. They should not. I am, however, challenging whether a biased, secular progressive government should be making those kinds of decisions.

This article also says if kids are too religious, they may be suffering from an unhealthy coping mechanism, which is a form of Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD).

Time describes a type of OCD called "Scrupulosity," where children "obsessively worry that they have committed blasphemy, been impure or have otherwise sinned."

The article warns against religious delusions that parents may be less attuned to "when it occurs under the guise of faith."

Russo, who wrote the article for Time, suggests that parents evaluate whether faith is a "source of strength" for their children or whether "religious practice and rituals seem to be overtaking their daily lives and displacing their normal activities."

Who decides what is normal?

Ken Shepherd at Newsbusters commented on something I also noticed. He said, "Oddly missing from list of suggestions to parents, was any suggestion to attend the services with their son or daughter."

Shepherd also noted that it is "rather telling that Time Magazine is trying to stoke fear in parents---and presumably a predominately secular parenting demographic, given the magazine's readership---that teens who are religious, particularly those in more conservative denominations, might not be so right in the head."

The only salvation for this country is found in biblical teaching. "If my people who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and forgive their sin, and heal their land" (II Chronicles 7:14).

Not only are secular progressives seeking to strip every vestige of the Christian faith from our culture, they are now attempting to divide parent and child, preying on the spiritual ignorance of many parents, should their child come to a relationship with Jesus Christ through a Bible based church or any one of a number of Bible based youth ministry organizations.

This is a preview of the move to further stigmatize people of faith, who hold traditional biblical values.

WND says, "Psychiatry is a dangerous weapon in the hands of the state. We cannot allow the government to define mental health, nor allow 'experts' to decide our fitness to exercise our constitutional rights."

I would add, neither can we allow them to define how religious our children should or should not become.

These are perilous times.

Be Very Vigilant. Be Very Discerning. Be Informed Be Prayerful. Be Active. Be Blessed.