Money and Happiness, Trust of Pastors, and Profanity (01.28.21)

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Plain Bible Teaching Podcast

Last week, one of the stories we discussed was a major news event. This week we have three stories that will be far less likely to be discussed on the network and cable news. But we have three interesting stories about money, pastors, and profanity.

STORY #1 – A New Study Says Making More Money Makes People Happier

“Money improves happiness because it gives people more choices – [Matthew Killingsworth from Penn’s Wharton School] finds one of the main links between money and increasing happiness is the flexibility a higher income gives people. ‘When you have more money, you have more choices about how to live your life. You can likely see this in the pandemic. People living paycheck to paycheck who lose their job might need to take the first available job to stay afloat, even if it’s one they dislike. People with a financial cushion can wait for one that’s a better fit. Across decisions big and small, having more money gives a person more choices and a greater sense of autonomy.’” (

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STORY #2 – Americans’ Trust of Pastors Hovers Near All-Time Low

“In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, Americans are more likely to trust medical professionals, while few believe pastors are completely honest. […] Americans’ opinion of clergy’s honesty falls between judges and nursing home operators. Around 2 in 5 (39%) say pastors have at least high ethical standards, including 10% who say their honesty is very high. For 41% of the public, the honesty and ethical standards of clergy are average, while 11% rate it as low and 4% as very low. Another 4% say they have no opinion of pastors’ honesty, the highest of any profession. […] This marks the second time since Gallup began surveying Americans about their trust of various occupations that fewer than 2 in 5 gave clergy the highest ratings.” (Lifeway Research)

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STORY #3 – Profanity Is Performative

“In 1934, Rear Admiral Richard Byrd spent almost five months living entirely alone in a tiny shack buried under the ice of Antarctica’s interior. […] The longer Byrd spent in isolation, the more he noticed the trappings of his old life fall away. He grew his hair out. Dropped his table manners. And, interestingly, stopped swearing. “Although at first I was quick to open fire at everything that tried my patience,” he observed, “Now I seldom cuss.” Byrd realized that profanity is essentially performative — done for the sake of others. To shock. To evince toughness. To add emphasis. Even a swear uttered when alone is born of the societal habit — the hope of attracting attention, and, if the curse was evoked from pain or fear, eliciting help.” (Art of Manliness)

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