Thursday, October 11, 2018

APA: "America Stressed Out And Deeply Divided" By Daily News Reports

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The American Psychological Association (APA) has found that 63% of Americans are "stressed out" by the news.

The future of our nation is the primary stressor, ahead of concerns about money and a job.

Some are predicting we are headed into a civil war not unlike Lincoln's Civil War.

How did we get here? What should we do now?

Be informed.

The Problem

The APA has taken an indepth survey for the past number of years on the mental state of the nation.

Their last survey---"Stress In America: The State of our Nation"--- taken 11 months ago, revealed that "nearly two-thirds of Americans (63%) say the future of our nation is a very or somewhat significant source of stress"---more than the perennial stressors like money (62%) and work (61%).

The APA will report on the subject again next month. Nobody believes the stress levels will be found to be less in November 2018.

Dr. Authur Evans, the APA's CEO, says, "We're seeing significant stress transcending party lines."

He says:
"With 24-hour news networks and conversations with friends, family and other connections on social media, it's hard to avoid the constant stream of stress around issues of national concern. These can range from mild, thought provoking discussions to outright, intense bickering, and over the long term, conflict like this may have an impact on health. Understanding that we all still need to be informed about the news, it's time to make it a priority to be thoughtful about how often and what type of media we consume."

The survey also found that "women reported significantly higher stress levels than men"---5.1 vs 4.4 on a 10 point scale where 1 is little to no stress and 10 is a "great deal of stress."

Last week, Thomas Friedman, an opinion columnist for the New York Times, wrote, "The nation is deeply divided, with each side seeing the other as 'the enemy'."

Although I do not agree with where Friedman is going with his column, I agree with his evaluation of where our beloved nation stands culturally today.

We are divided. Deeply divided.

He says:
"We can't find common ground on which to respectfully disagree; the other side is 'the enemy'. We shout at eachother on television, unfollow each other on Facebook and fire verbal mortars at each other on Twitter---and now everyone is on the digital battlefield, not just politicians."

He believes what we are experiencing in our culture today is "worse than Vietnam and civil rights."

It probably is. Today there is no restraint. Anything goes.

Friedman says we have lost the "buffers and cushions" we once had, but a generation of leaders has come along, led by Donald Trump, who have made fueling our divisions their business model."

He then dives into Norman Ornstein's book about how things are worse than they seem because we've moved from partisanship to tribalism---and Ornstein teaches, "In a tribal world it's rule or die, compromise is sin, enemies must be crushed and power must be held at all costs."

Friedman concludes, as other secularists do, that "tribalism is tearing us apart," that's no way for adults to act," and we are heading into another "civil war" unless we find "agreement on the issues."

It's interesting and ironic that tribalism seems to be in the eye of the beholder. There have been no attempts by the far Left to "compromise" on redefining marriage, or killing unwanted unborn babies.

In fact, abortion activists have, this week, been pounding on the doors of the Supreme Court building, yelling at the top of their voice because they still want Brett Kavanaugh destroyed, even though he is confirmed and sworn in.

Yet firm biblical beliefs about the sanctity of life and marriage are said to be "tribal" and "uncompromising."

Affirming and normalizing homosexual behavior, abortion and globalism is the "tribal" point of division as far as the Left is concerned.

That's what the explosion of the Left toward Brett Kavanaugh was all about. And it continues.

A public school teacher just last week asked on Twitter if anyone would step up and "kill Brett Kavanaugh" for the cause. The FBI is currently looking into the matter. Her school district has suspended her and are reviewing the matter.

How many times has the Left publicly suggested with words and pictures---directly or indirectly---destroying President Trump---physically, not merely politically?

How many times do you recall that kind of hate being directed toward President Obama?

Biblical Christians do not respond that way. Neither do true conservatives.

How many businesses---bakers, florists, photographers, and others have been dragged into court---punished, bankrupted and kicked to the curb for pick-up, simply because they believe what the Bible teaches about marriage and cannot in good conscience celebrate homosexuality.

Trump did not create this great divide with his political "business model."

It has been created over the past generations, for the most part in public education.

In fact, Barna published a survey Tuesday that finds that teens are twice as likely as Boomers to strongly believe morality is relative and are less likely to believe abortion and homosexuality are morally wrong.

The survey found that 24% of teens, aged 13-18, strongly believe that "what is morally right and wrong changes over time based on society."

Among Boomers---born between 1946 and 1964---only 12% believe in relative morality.

Only 20% of teens today strongly believe homosexual behavior is morally wrong, and only 34% of teens believe lying is morally wrong.

Public education is getting results.

What is Truth?

Confusion over what is and is not moral is not unique to 2018. Pilate famously asked, "What is truth?" While looking Him in the face.

Americans now embrace two contradictory answers to the question.

Some say truth claims are objective and authoritative, while others claim that all truth is relative and subjective.

The Left elevates "tolerance" as the highest virtue, then ironically demonstrates intolerance and violence toward those who disagree with them, calling them bigots.

Relativism has given us legalized abortion under the guise of "women's health care" and so-called homosexual "marriage" under the guise of a couple's right marry "whom they love."

Those who disagree are demonstrating intolerance and bigotry.

Both abortion and same-sex "marriage" have been foisted on the American public, not by elected officials or popular vote by the people, but by judicial maneuvering on the part of activists in the judicial branch and the highest elected offices---like the Oval Office.

Moving forward.

America is likely moving toward more, not less division, because the issues are not political, they are spiritual.

Takeaway thoughts:

  • Be Informed. Thomas Jefferson once said to C. Yancy in 1816, "If a nation expects to be ignorant and free, in a state of civilization, it expects what never was and never will be."
  • Be Discerning. Biblical Christians must be informed regarding what is happening in our world, but carefully choose your news sources. And be discerning.
  • Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the power of God. Stand strong. Be Faithful.
  • Don't carry the burden of the news. All news is biased. Listen. Be informed. Be Discerning, and always remember...
  • God is in control.

Be Blessed.