— How about a UU Mental Health Study & Is TheNewUU Destined for the UCC?April 24, 2013 at 5:13 pm | Posted in Online Ministry | 1 Comment
A new study from the Journal of Religion and Health concludes that individuals who believe in a punitive, vengeful God display 4 out of 5 classes of psychiatric symptoms. Well, that’s not too surprising, I guess. A Huffington Post news story about the study enticed me in but there wasn’t much meat there.
It made me think that a study of UU mental health might be a good thing for both lay people and clergy.
Here’s a quote from the study’s abstract:
“Three beliefs about God were tested separately in … regression models to predict five classes of psychiatric symptoms: general anxiety, social anxiety, paranoia, obsession, and compulsion. Belief in a punitive God was positively associated with four psychiatric symptoms, while belief in a benevolent God was negatively associated with four psychiatric symptoms, controlling for demographic characteristics, religiousness, and strength of belief in God. Belief in a deistic God and one’s overall belief in God were not significantly related to any psychiatric symptoms.”
Meanwhile, Heather and I are still trying out a number of UU congregations in Massachusetts that are within driving distance of our second home. Two weeks ago I entered one and a greeter and I began a conversation. “Where do you live?” he asked right away. I answered. He said: “Uh, you know there’s a church there…” Silence and an awkward look on my face. He realized what he had sounded like. “But, we’re better!” I smiled and said: “I think we’ll go where we feel comfortable and accepted,” He smiled back, and I walked into the sanctuary.
I’m beginning to wonder, folks, if this NewUU, who considers herself religious, can actually be religious if Heather and I can’t find a congregation that feels right. We’re trying.
I can’t believe I’m going to say this but here goes: This NewUU may turn to the UCC if things keep going at this rate. Parts of our family on Heather’s side are life-long UCC members. Our sister-in-law’s father is a UCC minister. The UCC near to us actually markets itself with a UU chalice on some of its literature.
I don’t know. I may resort to being spiritual and not, ironically, religious, if being religious means belonging to a physical congregation.