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David Coleman: Does faith really help families cope in a crisis, or is the truth more complicated?

Religion can give families strength and bolster morale, but so too can other types of communities

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Religion can promote togetherness in a family. Picture posed

Religion can promote togetherness in a family. Picture posed

Religion can promote togetherness in a family. Picture posed

I was considering various topics to write about this week and was asking my family for their thoughts. My 16-year-old son appeared at the door of the kitchen, and my first question was, “What will I write about this week?” Usually, I get an incredulous look (as if to say, why are you asking me?) and a shrug of the shoulders, but that morning, with impeccable timing and delivery he said, “Ask Jesus” and then put his earbuds in, signalling the end of the conversation.

He may have been facetious in his reply, because we are not a religious family, but his response got me thinking in a whole new direction. I wondered what role religion and faith had for families in the lockdown and did it make a difference in how families coped with the restrictions imposed by the pandemic.


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