12/27/08

How to Keep From Dying

I’ve often said that how things are worded can make a big difference.
Just a few days ago, I read something that I think wasn’t what the writer intended. It was in Parade Magazine, the Sunday supplement in many papers across the country.
Dr. Ranit Mishori wrote an article titled “How Spirituality Keeps You Well”; it was about a study called "Annals of Epidemiology."
Here’s the sentence that really grabbed my attention: More specifically, weekly churchgoers have a lower risk of death than those who never set foot inside a place of worship.
How’s that again? People who go to church weekly have a lower risk of dying than do other folks? I don’t think so!
If that were the case, churches would be full every week. They would be absolutely packed, maybe even on weekdays. Push aside the medicines and miracle anti-aging cures; just go to church to lower chances of dying!
I’m certainly not downplaying the seriousness of the study or of Dr. Mishori’s article. There are some important findings following the research into the link between health and spirituality. Mishori points out the reasons for improved physical, emotional and mental health, based on the research. Nor am I engaging in a theological discussion because this article didn’t have to do with eternal life.
Nor am I going to write anymore; I don’t have time. I’ve got to get in one more church service today!
Here’s to a long life!
What a way to end one year and start a new one!

2 comments:

Patricia said...

These types of correlational studies are often re-interpreted as causative by the media. I assume if we read the original study we would find many other factors that the longer-lived individuals shared (optimism, exercise, etc.).

Sherry said...

Patricia: Oh, yes, I agree. It was just that one sentence that struck me.

 
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