Sarah Jones

You Get Stressed If You Don't Rest: The Science Behind Relaxation and Anxiety

Stress and anxiety can strike almost everyone at some time or another and this can be made worse by not getting enough sleep, having unwanted thoughts, and by having the wrong mindset.

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Jewish Group Lobbies for Taxpayer Money to Fund Religious Schools

A prominent Jewish group called the Orthodox Union (OU) has announced at its annual conference that it will lobby the state of New York to increase public funding for Jewish day schools and yeshivot – even though this raises some serious constitutional concerns.

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Delaware Pastor Proposes Excluding LGBT Definitions From Textbooks

Delaware’s Indian River School District (IRSD) is prepared to vote on new health textbooks this month. And if board member Shaun Fink gets his way, the books will exclude any mention of LGBT individuals. He’s also proposed excluding lessons on HIV/AIDS and contraception in favor of promoting an abstinence-only approach to sex education.

Fink, who pastors the Millsboro Bible Church, hasn’t bothered to present a secular argument for his campaign. “I live a life where every day my attempt is to honor God,” he told DelmarvaNow, a local news website.  “Part of honoring God is maintaining his precepts and scripture, and I cannot justify teaching our children we should accept, condone or consider normal, things that God says are not normal, things that God says are an abomination.”

Public schools, of course, cannot teach children what Shaun Fink thinks God says. In a letter submitted to the school board, the National Coalition Against Censorship (NCAC) reminded officials they’re required to uphold the Constitution.

“To deny students such information because of anyone’s religious or other personal belief-based objections would raise serious First Amendment concerns and, in turn, compromise our public education system and potentially expose students to unnecessary and significant health risks,” NCAC wrote.

Fink didn’t take it well. “I think it’s a little bit ironic that the National Coalition Against Censorship is choosing to censor me,” he said, and accused the NCAC of “censoring anybody who has a faith-based perspective and a Christian worldview.”

The good reverend should perhaps look up the definition of “ironic.” Censorship is exactly what he’s attempting to promote via his elected office. It is not “ironic” for the NCAC to remind that that office also carries specific legal responsibilities that [Fink] has chosen to abdicate in the name of dogma.

The NCAC’s letter, which Americans United also signed on to, notes there’s mainstream scientific consensus that LGBT orientations are not abnormal or unhealthy. There’s also consensus that ignorance about LGBT people leads directly to bullying – a key factor behind the community’s high suicide rates. The CDC reports that lesbian, gay and bisexual youth are four times more likely to attempt suicide; another study of transgender youth found that a full quarter had also tried to end their lives.

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