Colorado Gov. Jared Polis just announced that churches were essential and removed the state’s attendance caps that restricted religious services. In part, Polis was responding to Liberty Counsel’s recent legal victories where courts ruled that US states can not violate religious freedoms guaranteed in the American Constitution by restricting church services in the name of COVID.
And a recent poll by Gallup concurs that churches are indeed essential services. The survey, conducted between Nov 5 and 19, revealed that people over the age of 18 who attended religious services were experiencing better mental health than those who weren’t.
In the 2020 pandemic year, 46% of people who attended church services reported excellent health and surprisingly this was even higher than the 2019 pre-pandemic years when 42% in the same group reported excellent mental health.
Gallup also noted that those who regularly attended religious services was the only demographic that showed an increase in those claiming excellent mental health over the previous year.
For Americans as a whole, the Gallup poll revealed only 34% described their mental health as excellent this year.
In an interview with the Daily Caller, Caleb Lyman, director of the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, said:
“Houses of worship and religious services provide so much more than just a weekly meeting place — they are where so many Americans find strength, community, and meaning. Findings from this year’s Religious Freedom Index—that 62 percent of respondents said that faith had been important during the pandemic — align with Gallup’s findings on the importance of religious services to Americans’ mental health.”
One of the biggest concerns about the lockdowns is the spinoffs, that include job loss and forced isolation, is resulting in significant increases in rates of depression and suicide.
A study published in the Journal of Medical Associations in September revealed that the number of people showing signs of depression has tripled since the start of the pandemic. The survey of 1,500 people indicated that 28% of Americans were showing signs of moderate to severe states of depression during the COVID pandemic and related lockdowns with an additional 25% showing milder symptoms. This compared to just 8.5% showing moderate to severe cases of depression before the pandemic.
Signs of depression included difficulty concentrating, a sense of hopelessness, losing interest in things they typically enjoyed, reduced energy and thoughts of self harm.
The study’s authors noted that one of the causes of depression is financial stress as many have lost their jobs because of the lockdowns.
The study also cited a study released by the US Centers for Disease Control in June, during the height of the lockdowns, that 41% of Americans reported having at least “one adverse mental or behavioural health condition” and nearly 11% stated that they seriously considered suicide in the previous 30 days.
So, yes, Gov. Polis, if you are at all concerned about the mental well-being of your citizens, church services are essential.
READ: Mental Health Improved For Only One Group During COVID — And Dems Did Everything They Could To Suppress It AND COVID-19-related mental health disorders will cause increased suicides, drug overdoses: researchers warn AND Depression Has Skyrocketed During the COVID-19 Pandemic, Study Says AND Colorado Governor declares churches essential