3 things contributing to the U.S. drop in life expectancy


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 MULTI-YEAR LIFE EXPECTANCY DROP NOT SEEN SINCE ’60s

TOM LAMPRECHT: Harry, statistic out of World Magazine: “U.S. Life Expectancy in 2016 Drop for The Second Straight Year.” An Average Adult can now expect to live 78.6 years with a five-year gap between life spans of men and women. This multi-year drop is the first since 1962 and 1963. Bob Anderson of The National Health Center for Health Statistics told reporters he cannot say whether a trend is developing, but he is worried about the steady mortality rate among opioid addicts.

If 2017 had another increase in such deaths, it could signal a third straight drop in life expectancy data for the first time since the Spanish Flu epidemic 100 years ago.

BIBLICAL AND HISTORICAL LENS

DR. REEDER: And what’s very interesting now, from a Biblical world and life view on that item, Tom, how our Lord, after the flood, declared that man would live 70 – three score plus ten or four score by “reason of strength and very healthy.” The average has increasingly moved toward what the Lord said.

In other words, prior to the flood, man, who was made to live forever, because of sin now has the curse of death. And so, you see this genealogy in the Old Testament where each seceding generation – except for one or two exceptions – of those listed in the early genealogy of humanity live less years and there is a decreasing.

Then you get to the flood and it’s now decreased dramatically. And, after the flood, the Lord says that it is going to decrease even more dramatically – which it does within a generation – and it decreases down into, historically, the 30s, the 40s, the 50s. A 50-something year old man, 300 years ago, was an old man because of the destruction of diseases that the curse of sin has brought into this world.

But then, in his common grace, gives us medicine, gives us an understanding of His creation laws and we begin to bring the influence of compassion and care, the infant mortality rate goes down, we have inoculations. Western civilizations’ influence, which was influenced by Christianity in the Reformation, you have this rising of the life expectancy so that we have increasingly come close to what the Lord had ordained and had prophesied as it were, that is, three score and ten and four score by reason of strength.

THE PAST 100 YEARS IN AMERICA TRENDED UP

Now, there have been blips on the screen in the last couple of hundred years where it has reversed itself and gone the other way. You just mentioned one, the early ‘60s, that most people associate with what then was called “the Asian Flu” that ravaged the world. About 100 years ago was the previous time where you had multiple years of decreasing life expectancy and almost everyone agrees with the analysis that was because of the Spanish Flu.

Social Security was designed when the life expectancy was in the upper 60s and retirement at 65 so you would get your checks for three or four years. Well, now, people are living up closer to 80. You actually have the statistics for men and women, particularly.

TOM LAMPRECHT:  Yeah, right now, men, 76.1 years, women, 81.1 years.

DR. REEDER: That gap is closing between men and women and a lot of people feel it’s because of the changes of lifestyle of men and women with the egalitarian movement – they now have the blessing of dying quicker.

WHAT’S CAUSING THE DECREASE?

We look at this movement of a multi-year decrease, why is it? Well, I would suggest three things that are contributing to it.

— First, a loss of focus upon valuing life and, thereby, protecting life, preserving life and caring for life which results in extending life through the medical profession. We now are hiring doctors to kill us. Now, I’m not saying that the number of assisted suicides – and mandated suicides, in some nations – but I do believe, when you get a Hippocratic Oath that tells you, “You will do nothing to harm life,” and now you have taken the medical profession, not simply to harm life, but to end life, that has an effect throughout all of the medical profession, making it much more of a formal profession then a professional calling.

Doctors, like ministers, were seen with a calling in the past that was life-oriented: ministers as the physicians of the soul and doctors as physicians of the body, but all valued life. I think that loss of valuing life is showing up in the medical care that’s given and the way it’s given and the advancements that are no longer being made because of the increasing socialization and governmental control of health care.

— The second thing that I would mention, right now, since Roe v. Wade, we have killed over 60 million children. Now, Tom, if you take the statistic of 60 million plus over these last years of the results of Roe v. Wade, my goodness, what would that statistic then look like? How many lives we have taken that were unborn, but yet were lives made in the image of God?

— And then, Tom, let me mention a third area in the news article that you pointed us to – in our society of escapism, in our society of Libertarianism, in our society of moral relativism and self-absorption, we now have gateway drugs such as marijuana leading people through the gate of drug use, prescription drug addictions, cocaine, heroin, and various other mechanisms of increased addiction.

And please know that in my generation that experimented with marijuana, the marijuana that came from the plants of my generation and the cultured marijuana of this generation is night and day in terms of its destructive powers.

And now we have this opioid addiction that is devastating. We have certain states, particularly in the northeast, that are being absolutely devastated by this. And opioid users are usually dying at young ages so I think the article was right to point us in that direction. While we don’t have a flu epidemic, we do have an opioid epidemic and that is, again, the result of our cultural devolution.

DOES ABORTION FACTOR IN?

TOM LAMPRECHT: Harry, is it possible the statistics are actually worse than what we’re seeing? And I say that because, when you look at abortion, how many kids are diagnosed in the womb of having some flaw and the doctors recommend an abortion so the parents don’t have to worry about it.

DR. REEDER: People are going to push back and say, “Well, we don’t count abortions.” My point is the very act, itself, has an effect upon how we are dealing with life and how we value life and let me give you an example of that. Tom, do you remember, recently, that horrific church shooting in Sutherland, Texas?

Well, there was a big debate because you would look at articles – and I can’t remember the exact numbers, I should have done some research but let me just go ahead and use some numbers and I think I’m accurate – some reports said 28 had been killed and some said 27 had been killed and a paper said, “Who was right on those statistics?” Those who used the number 28 were acknowledging the fact that one of the people killed was a young woman who was pregnant and, when she died, the baby died.

Now, what’s interesting is, in our secular world and life view, we don’t count that as a life but, in the province of God, He counts it as a life, which is why there was a penalty upon those who would take the life of a woman with child in the Old Testament – they were guilty of a capital crime when they had done that against the child or if they had caused the death of a child because that is a person that is there.

Which, again, Tom, is why many of us continue to remember on the Sanctity of Life Sunday the horrific issue that abortion is and what it is doing to the soul of a nation, as well as to the lives of unborn children and women in crisis pregnancies.

TOMORROW’S FOCUS: CHRISTIANS IN PERSECUTION

TOM LAMPRECHT: Harry, on Wednesday’s edition of Today in Perspective, another set of statistics are in and they’re not good. The number of Christians murdered across the world in persecution, more than 3,000 in 2017.

DR. REEDER: Approximately 10 percent of professing Christians live in nations that are in the top ten of persecuting Christians – 1 out of every 10 of my brothers and sisters in Christ wake up every day in fear of governmental enforced and approved death because they are a Christian. What does the Bible say that we’re to do with that? May I ask our listeners to read a text and join us tomorrow? Read Hebrews 13:3 and I’ll see you tomorrow.

Dr. Harry L. Reeder III is the Senior Pastor of Briarwood Presbyterian Church in Birmingham.

This podcast was transcribed by Jessica Havin. Jessica is editorial assistant for Yellowhammer News. Jessica has transcribed some of the top podcasts in the country and her work has been featured in a New York Times Bestseller.

28 mins ago

Bryant Museum to reopen in time for football season

Just in time for the University of Alabama football season, the Paul W. Bryant Museum is reopening to visitors.

The museum, which closed in mid-March due to the coronavirus, is now Thursday through Sunday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

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“The Bryant Museum staff is excited to reopen, and we invite all Alabama fans to join us as we get ready for another season of Crimson Tide football,” said Ken Gaddy, director of the Paul W. Bryant Museum. “With safety being our first concern, we are limiting the number of days we will be open and using a timed ticket system to limit the number of visitors in the exhibit hall.”

A limited number of tickets will be sold every 30 minutes to ensure capacity in the exhibit hall remains at a safe amount. Visitors must secure their tickets online before arriving at the museum. Visitors will also be required to wear face coverings and practice social distancing while inside the museum.

(Courtesy of Alabama NewsCenter)

2 hours ago

Alabama surge needed in 2020 Census participation

It’s the final week of the 2020 Census, and Alabama is counting on every household to submit its survey by Sept. 30. This quick, easy questionnaire collects information that determines Alabama’s federal representation in the U.S. Congress and funding levels for the next decade.

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Help shape Alabama’s bottom line by completing the 2020 Census in one of three ways:

  1. Online at my2020census.gov.
  2. By phone at 1-844-330-2020.
  3. By traditional paper form you received in the mail.

Any information given in the 2020 Census is strictly protected by federal law.

A reduction in Alabama’s census could have adverse impacts to federally funded public service programs that affect every single resident.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, lawmakers, business owners and other entities will use 2020 Census data to make critical decisions. The results will show where communities need new schools, clinics, roads and more services for families, older adults and children. The results will also inform how hundreds of billions of dollars in federal funding are allocated to more than 100 programs, including Medicaid, Head Start, block grants for community mental health services, and the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, also known as SNAP.

For information on the 2020 Census, get the facts here.

View the 2020 Census questions and learn why they are asked.

Visit Privacy and Security to read about how the U.S. Census Bureau protects your household information.

(Courtesy of Alabama NewsCenter)

4 hours ago

Racers coming to Alabama for world’s longest annual paddle race

Paddlers from across the United States will be racing each other down 650 miles of Alabama’s scenic rivers later this month in the Great Alabama 650, the world’s longest annual paddle race.

The second annual Great Alabama 650 begins Sept. 26 on Weiss Lake in Centre. Racers will have 10 days to reach Fort Morgan in Mobile Bay via the core section of the Alabama Scenic River Trail, the longest river trail in a single state. Laura Gaddy, communications director of the trail, said this year’s race will be different.

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“In 2019, racers with a wide range of skill level and paddling experience competed in the Great Alabama 650, but just three boats made it to the finish line,” Gaddy said. “Even advanced paddlers had to drop out of the race before finishing, underscoring that this race is best suited for paddlers with a proven record. Therefore, this year we limited registration to paddlers who have competed in previous races. As a result, this year’s class of entrants is even more competitive than the inaugural class.”

Paddlers compete in nation’s longest state river trail from Alabama NewsCenter on Vimeo.

The field features 16 racers, including 2019 overall winner Bobby Johnson, as well as female solo winner Sallie O’Donnell and Alabama native Ryan Gillikin. Johnson covered more than 85 miles per day to finish the race in seven days, 8 hours, 1 minute and 55 seconds.

“Several of our racers have not only completed some of the toughest paddle races in the world, they have won them,” Gaddy said. “Some are or have been professional paddlers. Others have represented the United States in paddling competitions abroad.”

Alabama’s diverse habitats are on full display during the race as competitors experience rushing whitewater, ambling river delta and everything in between. The course includes portages around several Alabama Power dams.

“The Great Alabama 650 elevates our state to the international stage and points to the 600-plus-mile Alabama Scenic River Trail as one of the premiere paddle destinations in the United States,” Gaddy said. “Even the most competitive athletes can be encumbered by the unpredictable challenges presented by the natural world. This is a race to watch.”

The COVID-19 pandemic has forced race organizers to restrict portages to race staff, crews and racers. Gaddy said there are still plenty of ways for fans to cheer on the racers.

“There are several ways to track the progress of the competitors without leaving your home,” Gaddy said. “Race updates are reported on our Facebook and Instagram accounts, and viewers can visit AL650.com to see our live map, which is updated at least every 2 minutes.”

Viewers can also track the race on social media using the race hashtag #AL650, which may link viewers to behind-the-scene photos posted by racers and their crew members.

“Last year several people with a waterfront property also stood out on their piers to cheer the racers,” Gaddy said. “Some even made signs. When the racers made it to the finish line, they said that the support they received from these spectators helped them to keep going when the race got tough.”

The race, which is sponsored this year by Cahaba BrewingMustang SurvivalMammoth Clothing and Alabama Power, begins Sept. 26 on Weiss Lake in Centre. The prize purse will be awarded across three categories: Male Solo, Female Solo and Team. To follow the progress of the competition or to learn more, visit al650.com.

(Courtesy of Alabama NewsCenter)

6 hours ago

Nick Saban: Time for Crimson Tide to flip switch from practice to game mode

Alabama coach Nick Saban said his Crimson Tide football team is showing the right effort and intensity in practice, but it’s time to flip the switch and start finishing plays like they would in a game.

“We haven’t played a game in a long time,” Saban said. “We’ve got to get out of practice mode and make sure we’re practicing to develop the habits that are gonna become a part of our DNA as competitors in terms of how we play in a game.”

Alabama opens the season on the road against Missouri at 6 p.m. Saturday. The game will be televised on ESPN.

Nick Saban: Crimson Tide focuses on finishing as season kickoff approaches from Alabama NewsCenter on Vimeo.

(Courtesy of Alabama NewsCenter)

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7 hours ago

College football picks — SEC week 1 and more

The Season of Sankey officially gets underway today. The SEC takes the field for the first time this fall as a result of conference commissioner Greg Sankey’s well-planned approach to playing football amid COVID-19 conditions.

During the last two weeks, a parade of conferences have backtracked on plans to cancel their seasons and put in place schedules set to kick off beginning next month. If only they had followed one simple rule: be more like Sankey.

No doubt the season will be unusual. Expect the unexpected. And, as always, if it looks too good to be true, it probably is.

Here are a few picks.

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THE BASICS

No. 2 Alabama (-29) at Missouri: The Crimson Tide have the fewest non-COVID questions of any team in the country. They also have the most talented roster. Missouri will have a tough time scoring while Nick Saban gets to pick his team’s score.

The pick: Alabama 41, Missouri 9

No. 4 Georgia (-28) at Arkansas: Not a lot of intrigue here, either. The D’Wan Mathis era begins. Georgia wins. Maybe the only real question is: how will Kirby Smart handle dipping and wearing a mask at the same time?

The pick: Georgia 34, Arkansas 7

No. 5 Florida (-14) at Ole Miss: Everyone loves Lane. We get it. But there is a difference in these rosters. Through rain, sleet or snow — or direct deposit — Kiffin will recruit better talent to Oxford in the coming years. Right now, Florida is a markedly better team top-to-bottom.

The pick: Florida 52, Ole Miss 20

No. 8 Auburn (-6.5) at Kentucky: Everyone and their momma is taking Kentucky and the points in this game, not to mention the number of people picking the outright upset. Is it bowl game fatigue? Is it Auburn’s losses on the defensive line? We don’t know. What we do know is that Chad Morris may be the best offensive coordinator in the country if Gus Malzahn lets him cook.

The pick: Auburn 35, Kentucky 24

BUYER BEWARE

No. 16 Tennessee (-3.5) at South Carolina: This is a “the barely proven head coach got a raise the week before playing the first game” pick. Plus, South Carolina finally has some actual structure on offense with the addition of Mike Bobo as offensive coordinator and a serviceable starter at quarterback in Collin Hill.

The pick: South Carolina 20, Tennessee 16

West Virginia at No. 15 Oklahoma State (-6.5): This pick breaks two important rules: 1) don’t make a pick because of a coach, and 2) be very wary of the heavily public side. Neal Brown is a rising star. Mike Gundy is something other than that. Neither team has played a game that matters yet, but they looked very different in their respective first weeks. Let’s join the crowd.

The pick: West Virginia 30, Oklahoma State 21

BONUS

Mississippi State at No. 6 LSU (-16.5): How can we not make a pick in the first-ever SEC game coached by two non-English speakers? All offseason we have heard people ponder about whether Mike Leach’s system will work in the SEC. Any system will work if you have good enough players. The Bulldogs currently do not. On the other hand, one can only imagine the carnage in Baton Rouge post-national championship. At least Coach O gave us this gem.

The pick: LSU 33, Mississippi State 16

Tim Howe is an owner of Yellowhammer Multimedia