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Why religion breeds happiness: Friends
December 7th, 2010
03:52 PM ET

Why religion breeds happiness: Friends

As important as your religious beliefs may be to you, they don't necessarily make you happier, a new study in the American Sociological Review finds. What does make you more satisfied with your life, the study finds, is having friends at your congregation and a strong religious identity.

"Those are the people who give you the sense of belonging," said lead study author Chaeyoon Lim, of the Department of Sociology at the University of Wisconsin in Madison. Lim conducted the study with Robert Putnam, author of "Bowling Alone" and "American Grace."

Read the full story

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Belief • Faith

soundoff (62 Responses)
  1. Pharmf758

    Very nice site!

    January 16, 2012 at 9:11 am |
  2. Pharmf508

    Hello! eeebddg interesting eeebddg site! I'm really like it! Very, very eeebddg good!

    January 16, 2012 at 9:11 am |
  3. JohnQuest

    So, it is not the belief in a Deity that brings happiness but the fellowship with other people. Does this mean a person can get the same euphoric feeling from playing on a baseball team?

    December 9, 2010 at 11:02 am |
    • HotAirAce

      Yes – if they win enough games or do enough drugs.

      December 9, 2010 at 12:34 pm |
  4. NM

    please check out http://www.islamicsolutions.com/what-does-god-want-from-us/

    December 8, 2010 at 3:21 pm |
    • Reality

      What the followers of the Islamic god aka allah has done for us recently:

      1a) 179 killed in Mumbai/Bombay, 290 injured

      1b) Assassination of Benazir Bhutto and Theo Van Gogh

      2) 9/11, 3000 mostly US citizens, 1000’s injured

      3) The 24/7 Sunni-Shiite centuries-old blood feud currently being carried out in Iraq, US Troops killed in action, 3,481 and 924 died in non-combat98,691 – 107,707
      Iraqi civilians killed as of 11/9/2010, http://www.iraqbodycount.org/ and
      defenselink.mil/news/casualty.pdf

      4) Kenya- In Nairobi, about 212 people were killed and an estimated 4000 injured; in Dar es Salaam, the attack killed at least 11 and wounded 85.[2]

      5) Bali-in 2002-killing 202 people, 164 of whom were foreign nationals, and 38 Indonesian citizens. A further 209 people were injured.

      6) Bali in 2005- Twenty people were killed, and 129 people were injured by three bombers who killed themselves in the attacks.

      7) Spain in 2004- killing 191 people and wounding 2,050.

      8. UK in 2005- The bombings killed 52 commuters and the four radical Islamic suicide bombers, injured 700.

      9) The execution of an eloping couple in Afghanistan on 04/15/2009 by the Taliban.

      10) – Afghanistan: US troops 1,116 killed in action, 902 killed in non-combat situations as of 08/10/2010. Over 40,000 Afghan civilians killed due to the dark-age, koranic-driven Taliban acts of horror

      11) The killing of 13 citizen soldiers at Ft. Hood by a follower of the koran.

      12) 38 Russian citizens killed on March 29, 2010 by Muslim women suicide bombers.

      13) The May 28, 2010 attack on a Islamic religious minority in Pakistan, which have left 98 dead,

      14) Lockerbie is known internationally as the site where, on 21 December 1988, the wreckage of Pan Am Flight 103 crashed as a result of a terrorist bomb. In the United Kingdom the event is referred to as the Lockerbie disaster, the Lockerbie bombing, or simply Lockerbie. Eleven townspeople were killed in Sherwood Crescent, where the plane's wings and fuel tanks plummeted in a fiery explosion, destroying several houses and leaving a huge crater, with debris causing damage to a number of buildings nearby. The 270 fatalities (259 on the plane, 11 in Lockerbie) were citizens of 21 nations.

      15) Followed by the daily suicide and/or roadside and/or mosque bombings every day in the terror world of Islam.

      16) Bombs sent from Yemen by followers of the koran which fortunately were discovered before the bombs were detonated.

      17) The killing of 58 Christians in a Catholic church in one of the latest acts of horror and terror in Iraq.

      December 8, 2010 at 4:28 pm |
    • Muneef

      In the name of Allah, the Most-Merciful, the All-Compassionate
      "May the Peace and Blessings of Allah be Upon You" 
      Praise be to Allaah, we seek His help and His forgiveness. We seek refuge with Allaah from the evil of our own souls and from our bad deeds. Whomsoever Allaah guides will never be led astray, and whomsoever Allaah leaves astray, no one can guide. I bear witness that there is no god but Allaah, and I bear witness that Muhammad is His slave and Messenger.

      December 9, 2010 at 5:31 am |
    • Reality

      In the name of Allah--

      O Islam, Islam, violent Islam,
      Moha, illiterate and hallucinating,
      O Islam, Islam, violent Islam,
      Moha greed and lustful, womanizing,
      Was he too,

      O Islam, O Islam, violent Islam,
      Moha, warmongering and hateful,
      Was he too,

      O Islam, O Islam, violent Islam,
      Sunnis of hate, Shiites of late,
      Even Pretty Wingie Thingies cannot
      Save us from O Islam's hate.

      Save us from these Islamic FEMs,
      Flaws, Errors, Muck and Stench,
      They ooze from the rocks of earth,
      Like worms of death and wrench.

      Born, Bred, and Brainwashed too,
      Whatever, whatever to do?
      Truth, Truth, History and Truth,
      Let it Ring True, Freedom, Freedom
      Freedom at Last and much left to do!!!

      December 9, 2010 at 10:47 am |
    • Muneef

      Find out what you need to know:
      http://www.hamzatzortzis.com/

      December 9, 2010 at 7:16 pm |
    • Muneef

      Words about the Quran :
      http://www.theinimitablequran.com/eloquencechapteralkawthar.pdf

      December 9, 2010 at 7:25 pm |
    • Muneef

      Check this useful index :
      http://www.usc.edu/schools/college/crcc/engagement/resources/texts/muslim/quran/quranindex.html

      December 10, 2010 at 6:16 pm |
  5. Bob

    @Mike, not me Wow, that's quite a reply. Allow me to dismantle your arguments one by one.

    You asked: The discussion was never about which "group" was right, maybe you can explain how that jump was made?

    My Answer: Look to your your own post. You said "The Communist Russian, Chinese and Cambodian regims of the twentieth century rejected all orgianized religion and belief in God."

    I directly refute that claim and only that claim. Because it's silly and baseless. I called you out on the nonsense. That's all.

    You then go on to claim that society without religion (not one of my claims, not sure why it's in a response to me), has been shown to be no better. I counter this claim by not only telling you Switzerland is a society that has done away with religion and is better for it, but I also point the the good ol' USA, which has granted rights in direct conflict of the bible and went to great lengths to seperate religion from government.

    You state: But Bob, don't get hung up on being a parrot, for 99.9% of all you know you were taught and are just parroting.
    My reply: This is a poor argument that everyone takes their arguments on authority. Which is nonsense. My arguments are based on logic, which is based on how the universe acts. It's not subjective and not based on someone else's perceptions.

    Mike, when will you begin to think about what you say before you say it?

    December 8, 2010 at 2:59 pm |
  6. Iqbal khan

    Why they are Reverting (converting) to Islam:

    http://www.usislam.org/converts/converts.htm

    December 8, 2010 at 2:09 pm |
    • Sumerian Dude

      They are "Reverting (converting)" to "knuckle under" – Islam is a lie, a delusion, and a snare.

      They might even enjoy it....but they are deluded nonetheless. Muhammad was just a man. I could draw you a picture of him but I don't know what he looked like.....and neither do you.
      When another man tells you to do something, do you obey without question? If I write something down would you do it?
      No? Then why are you a Muslim? Would you have been a Muslim if you had been born to a Jewish family? No.

      December 8, 2010 at 2:47 pm |
    • Reality

      And why the expansion of Islam?

      The number of global Muslims indeed is 1.5 billion basically because of the very high birth rate in Islam.
      According to official surveys, "the disapproval of family planning is highest among Muslims", while "the practice of family planning methods in 1980 was lowest amongst Muslims (only 23% of those surveyed practised it as opposed to 36% Hindus)".[1] They further admit that between 1971 and 1981, "the Hindu population was up by 24.15%, whereas the Muslim population shot up by 30.59%".

      Once the bowers to Mecca, however, see that they have been conned by the "angelic" hallucinations of a long-dead, warmongering, womanizing (11 wives) Arab, these 1.5 billion lost souls will quickly become secularists, agnostics or atheists and a semblance a global peace will spread across the globe

      December 8, 2010 at 4:23 pm |
  7. Iqbal khan

    listen and read Quran in many languages.....www.quranexplorer.com

    Check this Surah....

    Al-Ala
    In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful

    Glorify the Name of your Lord, the Most High, (1) Who has created (everything), and then proportioned it; (2) And Who has measured (preordainments for everything even to be blessed or wretched); and then guided (i.e. showed mankind the right as well as wrong paths, and guided the animals to pasture); (3) And Who brings out the pasturage, (4) And then makes it dark stubble (5) We shall make you to recite (the Qur'ân), so you (O Muhammad (SAW)) shall not forget (it), (6) Except what Allâh, may will, He knows what is apparent and what is hidden. (7) And We shall make easy for you (O Muhammad (SAW)) the easy way (i.e. the doing of righteous deeds). (8) Therefore remind (men) in case the reminder profits (them) (9) The reminder will be received by him who fears (Allâh), (10) But it will be avoided by the wretched, (11) Who will enter the great Fire (and will be made to taste its burning). (12) There he will neither die (to be in rest) nor live (a good living). (13) Indeed whosoever purifies himself (by avoiding polytheism and accepting Islâmic Monotheism) shall achieve success, (14) And remembers (glorifies) the Name of his Lord (worships none but Allâh), and prays (five compulsory prayers and Nawâfil — additional prayers). (15) Nay, you prefer the life of this world, (16) Although the Hereafter is better and more lasting. (17) Verily, this is in the former Scriptures — (18) The Scriptures of Ibrâhim (Abraham) and Mûsa (Moses). (19)

    December 8, 2010 at 1:57 pm |
  8. Frogist

    I've long believed this to be true. It's not really the religion that fulfills people as much as the social need for being around others who accept you. That's the strongest point religion has. That's why a lot of religious fence-sitters stick with what they know instead of taking the step outside the circle. It's easier and more beneficial to keep your doubts to yourself if your social needs are being met. Because let's face it, non-believers don't have the same social construct and support that a believer does. Also if you want to belong, there are lengths you will go to make that happen, if your desire is strong enough not to be an outsider.

    December 8, 2010 at 12:51 pm |
  9. Reality

    Religion breeds happiness?? More comparisons:

    The Twenty (or so) Worst Things People Have Done to Each Other:

    Rank Death Toll Cause Centuries Religions involved
    1 63 million Second World War 20C (Christians and Communists vs. Christians, Nazi-Pagan and "Shintoists")
    2 40 million Mao Zedong (mostly famine) 20C (Communism)
    40 million Genghis Khan 13C (Shamanism or Tengriism)
    4 27 million British India (mostly famine) 19C (Anglican)
    5 25 million Fall of the Ming Dynasty 17C (Buddhism, Taoism, Confucianism, Chinese folk religion)
    6 20 million Taiping Rebellion 19C ( Confucianism, Buddhism and Chinese folk religion vs. a form of Christianity)
    20 million Joseph Stalin 20C (Communism)
    8 19 million Mideast Slave Trade 7C-19C (Islam)
    9 17 million Timur Lenk 14C-15C
    10 16 million Atlantic Slave Trade 15C-19C (Christianity)
    11 15 million First World War 20C (Christians vs. Christians)
    15 million Conquest of the Americas 15C-19C (Christians)
    13 13 million Muslim Conquest of India 11C-18C
    14 10 million An Lushan Revolt 8C
    10 million Xin Dynasty 1C
    16 9 million Russian Civil War 20C (Christians vs Communists)
    17 8 million Fall of Rome 5C (Pagans)
    8 million Congo Free State 19C-20C
    19 7½ million Thirty Years War 17C (Christians vs Christians)
    7½ million Fall of the Yuan Dynasty 14C

    http://users.erols.com/mwhite28/warstat0.htm

    December 8, 2010 at 12:48 pm |
    • Muneef 786

      [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EYed9-Gw0FA&w=640&h=360]

      December 8, 2010 at 2:54 pm |
  10. Jesus was probably gay

    and he DEFINITELY had a foot fetish.
    "Lamb without sin"? Not really. Perversion is rampant in the new testament. And communism.

    Take that religitards! 😈

    December 8, 2010 at 12:14 pm |
    • Sumerian Dude

      @Jesus was probably gay

      The foot fetish thing may have been all Paul...since he seems to be the one responsible for so much of the NT.
      It might be simple projection on his part. Paul might be the ho-mose-xual with a foot fetish and Jesus may not have even existed or was just some dude.....OMG! 😯

      December 8, 2010 at 5:06 pm |
    • Peace2All

      @Sum Dude

      "some dude" 😯

      Peace...

      December 8, 2010 at 7:22 pm |
  11. salmos8318

    Agreed. Even unbelievers can be "happy". However, true happiness comes from having a close relationship with the Happy God. Happy are those conscious of their spiritual need... happy are those persecuted for Christ' name (that is if indeed they're imitating Christ)... more happy are those giving than receiving, etc. Joy, closely related, is a fruit of the holy spirit... listed second only to love. Yes, "They shall obtain joy and gladness, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away" Isa 35:10

    December 8, 2010 at 11:42 am |
  12. NL

    From the article:

    "Could other networks of people have the same effect on happiness? The authors say that if this is possible, it's hard to think of a non-religious context with a similar strength of ident.ity, intensity of participation in ritual, and great scale and scope of the people in it."

    Perhaps they should study sports fans? I see all these elements in place, especially for the home town fans of teams.

    December 8, 2010 at 9:42 am |
    • David Johnson

      Or the retards that love NASCAR.

      "You sure have a fine set of tooth there Marybeth! Oh look! There the cars come around again! Damn, they do that pretty!"

      I think they threw that part in, just to curry the religious a bit. Smooth the feathers.

      December 8, 2010 at 11:24 am |
    • Frogist

      @NL: Sports fans is a good comparison. Intense participation, long tradition... But even that won't really do it, because there's no way to a sports fan to consider themselves supernaturally more important than their compatriots. Is there? I'm not really into sports so...
      Political parties? But they don't have the same amount or degree of participation.
      I don't know...

      December 8, 2010 at 12:42 pm |
    • NL

      Frogist-
      Considering how irrational some fans and players are about luck does superst.ition count as part of the supernatural?

      December 8, 2010 at 4:51 pm |
    • Peace2All

      @Frogist

      You Said: "@NL: Sports fans is a good comparison. Intense participation, long tradition... But even that won't really do it, because there's no way to a sports fan to consider themselves supernaturally more important than their compatriots. Is there?"

      Of course there are ways for anyone to 'mentally' to do just about any kind of rationalization; Including sports fans who may consider themselves 'supernaturally more important.'

      I have talked and been around some people like that seem to believe that God, has somehow blessed them for being good and righteous, thereby allowing their favorite team to win.

      Equation... I please God=good things happen... like 'my' favorite sports team wins.. also = God's favorite sports team. Ergo-I am 'more important' in God's eyes. Yep... Seen it and heard it before on many occasions.

      *Recalls a couple of instances of removing myself from those kinds of conversations very quickly* ...yikes...!

      Anyways, don't know if that helped or caused more confusion or questions...?

      Peace...

      December 9, 2010 at 3:31 am |
    • NL

      Peace2All-
      "Equation... I please God=good things happen... like 'my' favorite sports team wins.."
      Which can present itself just like 'Luck', where someone who wears the same socks throughout the playoffs credits themselves for their team's win because they observed the proper ritual to please 'Luck'. There is also great fear of displeasing 'Luck.' By failing to observe the proper ritual, disaster may befall the fan, and their team may lose. Very religious practice, wouldn't you say?

      "also = God's favorite sports team. Ergo-I am 'more important' in God's eyes. Yep... Seen it and heard it before on many occasions."
      Which presents itself just like “American exceptionalism” and the notion that God has formed a new covenant with America as His chosen Christian nation. Our success on the international 'playing field' has led some of our Christians to read God's greater plan for us as a nation amongst nations.

      “But in recent times, this has led us to imagine that God is on our side, no matter what we do.” Stephen Prothero, from this article
      http://www.bu.edu/today/node/11942

      December 9, 2010 at 8:10 am |
  13. PAGANGRL69

    Are You Kiddin Me?...One of the most pompous articles I've read yet...LMFAO...lololololololololololol...I think I'm begining to tear up laughing so hard...

    December 8, 2010 at 5:39 am |
  14. capnjammer

    And, I add to this article, religion actually drives wedges between people of different faiths, even different denominations within the same faith. Thus, religion hinders you from having as many friends as you could, and thus, according to the findings described in this article, make you less happy.

    I've been saying that for years.

    December 7, 2010 at 8:29 pm |
  15. Reality

    Religion breeds happiness???

    You must be kidding!!!

    Koranic-driven horror as per a body count:

    1a) 179 killed in Mumbai/Bombay, 290 injured

    1b) Assassination of Benazir Bhutto and Theo Van Gogh

    2) 9/11, 3000 mostly US citizens, 1000’s injured

    3) The 24/7 Sunni-Shiite centuries-old blood feud currently being carried out in Iraq, US Troops killed in action, 3,481 and 924 died in non-combat98,691 – 107,707
    Iraqi civilians killed as of 11/9/2010, http://www.iraqbodycount.org/ and
    defenselink.mil/news/casualty.pdf

    4) Kenya- In Nairobi, about 212 people were killed and an estimated 4000 injured; in Dar es Salaam, the attack killed at least 11 and wounded 85.[2]

    5) Bali-in 2002-killing 202 people, 164 of whom were foreign nationals, and 38 Indonesian citizens. A further 209 people were injured.

    6) Bali in 2005- Twenty people were killed, and 129 people were injured by three bombers who killed themselves in the attacks.

    7) Spain in 2004- killing 191 people and wounding 2,050.

    8. UK in 2005- The bombings killed 52 commuters and the four radical Islamic suicide bombers, injured 700.

    9) The execution of an eloping couple in Afghanistan on 04/15/2009 by the Taliban.

    10) – Afghanistan: US troops 1,116 killed in action, 902 killed in non-combat situations as of 08/10/2010. Over 40,000 Afghan civilians killed due to the dark-age, koranic-driven Taliban acts of horror

    11) The killing of 13 citizen soldiers at Ft. Hood by a follower of the koran.

    12) 38 Russian citizens killed on March 29, 2010 by Muslim women suicide bombers.

    13) The May 28, 2010 attack on a Islamic religious minority in Pakistan, which have left 98 dead,

    14) Lockerbie is known internationally as the site where, on 21 December 1988, the wreckage of Pan Am Flight 103 crashed as a result of a terrorist bomb. In the United Kingdom the event is referred to as the Lockerbie disaster, the Lockerbie bombing, or simply Lockerbie. Eleven townspeople were killed in Sherwood Crescent, where the plane's wings and fuel tanks plummeted in a fiery explosion, destroying several houses and leaving a huge crater, with debris causing damage to a number of buildings nearby. The 270 fatalities (259 on the plane, 11 in Lockerbie) were citizens of 21 nations.

    15) Followed by the daily suicide and/or roadside and/or mosque bombings every day in the terror world of Islam.

    16) Bombs sent from Yemen by followers of the koran which fortunately were discovered before the bombs were detonated.

    17) The killing of 58 Christians in a Catholic church in one of the latest acts of horror and terror in Iraq.

    December 7, 2010 at 5:57 pm |
    • Muneef

      The Conditions of Iman
      He (the inquirer) said: Inform me about Iman (faith). He (the Prophet) replied: That you affirm your faith in Allah, in His angels, in His Books, in His Prophets, in the Day of Judgment, and you affirm your faith in the Divine Decree about good and evil. [Sahih Muslim]
      http://www.turntoislam.com/forum/showthread.php?t=50631       

      December 7, 2010 at 7:37 pm |
    • Muneef

      Sura 05-Al-Maeda
      In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful
      To thee We sent the Scripture in truth, confirming the scripture that came before it, and guarding it in safety; so judge between them by what Allah hath revealed, and follow not their vain desires, diverging from the Truth that hath come to thee. To each among you have We prescribed a Law and an Open Way. If Allah had so willed, He would have made you a single people, but (His plan is) to test you in what He hath given you: so strive as in a race in all virtues. The goal of you all is to Allah; it is He that will show you the truth of the matters in which ye dispute. (48).

      December 7, 2010 at 7:39 pm |
    • Reality

      Saving Muslims is quite easy!!!

      The Five Steps To Deprogram 1400 Years of Islamic Myths:

      ( –The Steps take less than two minutes to finish- simply amazing, two minutes to bring peace and rationality to over one billion lost souls- Priceless!!!)

      Are you ready?

      Using "The 77 Branches of Islamic "faith" a collection compiled by Imam Bayhaqi as a starting point. In it, he explains the essential virtues that reflect true "faith" (iman) through related Qur’anic verses and Prophetic sayings." i.e. a nice summary of the Koran and Islamic beliefs.

      "1. Belief in Allah"

      aka as God, Yahweh, Zeus, Jehovah, Mother Nature, etc. should be added to your cleansing neurons.

      "2. To believe that everything other than Allah was non-existent. Thereafter, Allah Most High created these things and subsequently they came into existence."

      Evolution and the Big Bang or the "Gi-b G-nab" (when the universe starts to recycle) are more plausible and the "akas" for Allah should be included if you continue to be a "crea-tionist".

      "3. To believe in the existence of angels."

      A major item for neuron cleansing. Angels/de-vils are the mythical creations of ancient civilizations, e.g. Hitt-ites, to explain/define natural events, contacts with their gods, big birds, sudden winds, protectors during the dark nights, etc. No "pretty/ug-ly wingy thingies" ever visited or talked to Mohammed, Jesus, Mary or Joseph or Joe Smith. Today we would classify angels as f–airies and "tin–ker be-lls". Modern de-vils are classified as the de-mons of the de-mented.

      "4. To believe that all the heavenly books that were sent to the different prophets are true. However, apart from the Quran, all other books are not valid anymore."

      Another major item to delete. There are no books written in the spirit state of Heaven (if there is one) just as there are no angels to write/publish/distribute them. The Koran, OT, NT etc. are simply books written by humans for humans.

      Prophets were invented by ancient scribes typically to keep the un-educated masses in line. Today we call them for-tune tellers.

      Prophecies are also invali-dated by the natural/God/Allah gifts of Free Will and Future.

      "5. To believe that all the prophets are true. However, we are commanded to follow the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) alone."

      Mohammed spent thirty days "fasting" (the Ramadan legend) in a hot cave before his first contact with Allah aka God etc. via a "pretty wingy thingy". Common sense demands a neuron deletion of #5. #5 is also the major source of Islamic vi-olence i.e. turning Mohammed's "fast, hunger-driven" hallu-cinations into horrible reality for unbelievers.

      Walk these Five Steps and we guarantee a complete recovery from your Islamic ways!!!!

      December 7, 2010 at 11:34 pm |
  16. HotAirAce

    Let me summarize: Gods, whether man-made (most likely, in my opinion) or real (most unlikely, in my opinion), and their supernatural tribal myths, are not required for happiness! Humanity takes another step on the road to no religion! Yes!!

    December 7, 2010 at 5:45 pm |
    • Mike, not me

      Just think of all the happy communist, nazis and french revolutionist.

      December 8, 2010 at 7:59 am |
    • HotAirAce

      @Mike, not me

      Once again, the oh so tired, "atheists killed millions bull crap..." Let's do it again: Communism is an economic model and people were killed (in Russian other countries) to solidify political leader's control and power, not because of atheism and most nazis were christians.. The french revolution reference is new to me – please explain.

      December 8, 2010 at 10:43 am |
    • @HAA

      He probably thinks that because the French Revolutionists deposed "His Royal Catholic Majesty" that they were atheists or something. He's not known for his research skills, you know.

      December 8, 2010 at 12:11 pm |
    • Mike, not me

      The Communist Russian, Chinese and Cambodian regims of the twentieth century rejected all orgianized religion and belief in God. A forrunner of all of these was the French Revolution, which rejected traditional religion for human reason. These societies were all rational and secular, yet each produced massive violence against its own people without the influence of religion.... Violence done in the name of Christianity is a terrible reality and must be both addressed and redressed. There is no excusing it. In the twentieth century, however, violence has been inspired as much by secularism [not athetism, as that was never mentioned] as by moral absolutism. Societies that have rid themselves of all religion have been just as oppressive as those steeped in it.

      December 8, 2010 at 12:33 pm |
    • Mike, not me

      You are so blessed to live in such an era where God gave you Google

      http://books.google.com/books?id=6TMFoMFe-D8C&pg=PA239&lpg=PA239&dq=%22the+french+revolution%22+rejection+of+all+religion&source=bl&ots=TqIwuxhxH6&sig=O6GvryG4Lv8st8J5DetZqKxKMp0&hl=en&ei=0cH_TK3PPMSp8Abayb3wBw&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=3&ved=0CCYQ6AEwAg#v=onepage&q=%22the%20french%20revolution%22%20rejection%20of%20all%20religion&f=false

      you know.

      December 8, 2010 at 12:38 pm |
    • Bob

      @Mike, not me

      Fantastic. Since you hold the position, perhaps you could explain to me the direct causal link between the rejection of God and these defunct forms of goverment. I mean, you're obviously not a parrot who has no understanding of what you claim are you?

      If no such causal link exists, then what you have is a correlation. Correlations can be used to prove anything. For example, the importing of mexican lemons has increased since 1950. The number of fatal accidents has been decreasing per capita in the US since 1950. Therefore, mexican lemons save lives.

      But even with that aside, how do you explain nations such as Switzerland who's populous is mostly atheist (about 70%) and have not commited atrocities.

      It sounds like you have some research ahead of you.

      December 8, 2010 at 12:57 pm |
    • civilioutside

      Technically, human ingenuity brought me Google 😛

      December 8, 2010 at 1:11 pm |
    • Mike, not me

      Sure, the link is humans. Both the autrocies committed in the name of God and those by secular societies both have the sinful human heart.

      The discussion was never about which "group" was right, maybe you can explain how that jump was made?, but about "Humanity takes another step on the road to no religion" will make us a better society. Which was already tried and proven to be no better, once God, which transidenalizes all culture is removed, the sinful heart will find something else to transcendentalize... example Marxism.

      But Bob, don't get hung up on being a parrot, for 99.9% of all you know you were taught and are just parroting.

      December 8, 2010 at 2:44 pm |
    • Sumerian Dude

      @Mike, not me

      If you do not deny that humans have a long way to go, then how do you reconcile that with all the fraudulent religious material written throughout human history while believing in some of it yourself? You don't know any better, is that it? Sheesh.

      December 8, 2010 at 2:52 pm |
    • HotAirAce

      The road to no religion is not direct, without problems and setbacks, nor is it short, and I do not suffer from the delusion that a religion-free world will be perfect, but I am 100% convinced that it will be better.

      December 8, 2010 at 2:56 pm |
    • Bob

      @Mike, not me Wow, that's quite a reply. Allow me to dismantle your arguments one by one.

      You asked: The discussion was never about which "group" was right, maybe you can explain how that jump was made?

      My Answer: Look to your your own post. You said "The Communist Russian, Chinese and Cambodian regims of the twentieth century rejected all orgianized religion and belief in God."

      I directly refute that claim and only that claim. Because it's silly and baseless. I called you out on the nonsense. That's all.

      You then go on to claim that society without religion (not one of my claims, not sure why it's in a response to me), has been shown to be no better. I counter this claim by not only telling you Switzerland is a society that has done away with religion and is better for it, but I also point the the good ol' USA, which has granted rights in direct conflict of the bible and went to great lengths to seperate religion from government.

      You state: But Bob, don't get hung up on being a parrot, for 99.9% of all you know you were taught and are just parroting.
      My reply: This is a poor argument that everyone takes their arguments on authority. Which is nonsense. My arguments are based on logic, which is based on how the universe acts. It's not subjective and not based on someone else's perceptions.

      Mike, when will you begin to think about what you say before you say it?

      December 8, 2010 at 3:00 pm |
    • civilioutside

      Actually, Mike, your examples are not atheist societies. They are societies in which violent people who happened to follow a philosophy that included atheism seized control of the power structure and attempted to force society to adopt their ideals.

      December 8, 2010 at 3:01 pm |
    • Mike, not me

      Bob, your full of it.

      You : "you're obviously not a parrot who has no understanding of what you claim are you?"
      And state "My arguments are based on logic, which is based on how the universe acts. It's not subjective and not based on someone else's perceptions."
      Then go on to parrot "the importing of mexican lemons has increased since 1950."

      Now I thing we can come to agreement that the "universe by act" did not outline the country of mexico and the trade agreement with other countries.

      Also I also don't believe that you have counted every shipment of lemons since 1950. So then how did you stumble across this fact*? Was it based upon someone else's perceptions?

      What about the he Spanish armada, or the French Revolution?
      But didn't we already have this discussion.

      I hope that you will take some though about your beliefs before you say it.

      Still don't know how you got from "never about which "group" was right," to ""The Communist Russian, Chinese and Cambodian regimes of the twentieth century rejected all organized religion and belief in God.""

      The former we can not discuss until we come to a definition of what is right, the later is a historical statement.

      *I am assuming the best of you and just taking you at your word that the importing of Mexican lemons has increased since 1950.

      Sum Dude: Because the Bible states so. I believe it on Jesus' authority.

      December 8, 2010 at 6:06 pm |
    • Sumerian Dude

      @Mike, not me

      XD
      That's pretty lame, dude. Sorry. Would you like to try again?

      December 8, 2010 at 6:16 pm |
    • Mike, not me

      Sum Dude, Sorry I don't have it in me to try again you will have to go back to the old conversations about how everyone believes things on authority... You can prove the highest authority out side of itself because that thing that you use to prove the highest authority would then be the authority, whether it the Bible, Sensationalism, rationalism what ever.
      Here is a good resource for you

      [audio src="http://denton.thevillagechurch.net/resource_files/audio/200902030630HWC21ATAAA_JimReggio_DwellDeepPt04.mp3" /]

      Alot of the resources here are good, Matt Chandler, just did a series on Ultimate Authority worth looking into

      December 8, 2010 at 9:06 pm |
  17. NL

    I wonder if Facebook then is making people even more religious?

    December 7, 2010 at 5:30 pm |
  18. David Johnson

    So my believers, according to the article it isn't your god that makes you happier, its just belonging to a group of people that believe like you. I bet the members of the Elks feel the same way. All warm and fuzzy!

    Every day, something surfaces that shows how silly religion is.

    Love and Prayers!

    December 7, 2010 at 5:19 pm |
    • David Johnson

      Something is nagging at me. I once had a class that mentioned it, or read another article.

      Hasn't it been known that clubs and family etc. make people happy? That we like to be surrounded with people who share our values? I know I got this somewhere. But it has mostly escaped me over the years.

      Can anyone enlighten me? Please. I hate that feeling.

      December 7, 2010 at 10:09 pm |
    • David Johnson

      Never mind, it finally came to me where I had heard it. I once took a class on Industrial Psychology. It talked about humans needing to belong. If businesses do not provide this feeling of belonging (This is my Wal-Mart), unions would.

      It also talked about the evils of a union contract and how to convince the workers, an employee handbook was preferable.

      Cheers!

      December 8, 2010 at 8:11 am |
    • CatholicMom

      David Johnson,

      Maybe you heard your mom talking about the Communion of Saints….

      As we look at the Catholic Faith we see a tremendous family of believers, the Communion of Saints, which includes those who are now Saints in Heaven who became members of the Body of Christ through Baptism while living their earthly lives.

      The only way we can be severed from this Body is by mortal sin…..sin that is deadly to our soul. It is our Father in Heaven who ‘prunes this living vine’ if it needs pruning.

      The beauty of this living Body is that Christ is the Head and we all [Baptized] are members with differing gifts with which we can do good [do the will of the Father.] We can pray and do works of charity and mercy for all, the Baptized and those not yet Baptized. What could bring more happiness in life?

      December 8, 2010 at 10:43 am |
    • David Johnson

      @CatholicMom

      Yes. I find the Catholic Religion beautiful. If I ever do embrace a religion, it will be Catholicism.

      Happy Holidays to you!

      December 8, 2010 at 11:18 am |
    • HotAirAce

      I think Judaism is a better "If I ever become religious" choice. Simpler, less dependency on supernatural beings, greater tribal bonds, kick-ass military arm, one homeland, to mention a few bennies.

      December 8, 2010 at 11:47 am |
    • Sumerian Dude

      @David Johnson
      Happy Agnostic Holidays to you! HAH! 😀

      If you want a religion to fall back on, try Agnosticism...lol...it'll prop you up proper. Cheers! 😀

      December 8, 2010 at 2:06 pm |
    • NL

      HotAirAce-
      "kick-ass military arm"

      The Salvation Army could take 'em! 😉

      December 8, 2010 at 7:17 pm |
    • Peace2All

      For me, IF... I were to practice or be a part of a religious group.... it would be Taoism, Buddhism (quiet..."Sum Dude" 🙂 ) or Judaism.... Shintoism.... Maybe a mix of all of them. Definitely 'not' Christianity.... i.e.. Catholicism, etc...

      @NL

      "Salvation Army" Hmmm....... You think they could take the Israeli Military with their Krav Maga ass-kickin' and Mossad agents...? 🙂

      Well, I guess you never know. Those dudes driving the trucks and ringin' the bells outside stores 'do' look like they could put a hurtin' on someone...!

      Peace...

      December 9, 2010 at 3:15 am |
    • CatholicMom

      Take a look at these military hymns…some are prayers…so we see where the soldiers get their strength….pretty strong on God; I would say they sound Christian….God bless them each and every one.

      “The Army Goes Rolling Along”

      INTRO: March along, sing our song, with the Army of the free
      Count the brave, count the true, who have fought to victory
      We’re the Army and proud of our name
      We’re the Army and proudly proclaim
      VERSE: First to fight for the right,
      And to build the Nation’s might,
      And The Army Goes Rolling Along
      Proud of all we have done,
      Fighting till the battle’s won,
      And the Army Goes Rolling Along.
      REFRAIN: Then it’s Hi! Hi! Hey!
      The Army’s on its way.
      Count off the cadence loud and strong (TWO! THREE!)
      For where e’er we go,
      You will always know
      That The Army Goes Rolling Along.
      VERSE: Valley Forge, Custer’s ranks,
      San Juan Hill and Patton’s tanks,
      And the Army went rolling along
      Minute men, from the start,
      Always fighting from the heart,
      And the Army keeps rolling along.
      (refrain)
      VERSE: Men in rags, men who froze,
      Still that Army met its foes,
      And the Army went rolling along.
      Faith in God, then we’re right,
      And we’ll fight with all our might,
      As the Army keeps rolling along.

      Eternal Father: The Navy Hymn

      Eternal Father, strong to save,
      Whose arm hath bound the restless wave,
      Who bidd'st the mighty ocean deep,
      Its own appointed limits keep.

      Oh hear us when we cry to Thee,
      For those in peril on the sea! Amen.

      Eternal Father, lend Thy grace To
      those with wings who fly thro' space,
      Thro wind and storm, thro' sun and rain,
      Oh bring them safely home again.

      Oh Father, hear an humble prayer,
      For those in peril in the air! Amen.

      Oh Trinity of love and pow'r,
      Our brethren shield in danger's hour,
      From rock and tempest, fire and foe,
      Protect them where so e'er they go.

      Thus evermore shall rise to Thee
      Glad hymns of praise from land and sea! Amen.

      The Marine's Hymn Lyrics

      From the Halls of Montezuma
      To the shores of Tripoli
      We fight our country's battles
      In the air, on land, and sea;
      First to fight for right and freedom
      And to keep our honor clean;
      We are proud to claim the ti-tle
      Of United States Marine.

      Our flag's unfurled to every breeze
      From dawn to setting sun;
      We have fought in every clime and place
      Where we could take a gun.
      In the snow of far-off Northern lands
      And in sunny tropic scenes;
      You will find us always on the job -
      The United States Marines.

      Here's health to you and to our Corps
      Which we are proud to serve;
      In many a strife we've fought for life
      And never lost our nerve.
      If the Army and the Navy
      Ever look on Heaven's scenes,
      They will find the streets are guarded
      By United States Marines.

      United States Air Force Hymn

      Lord, guard and guide the men who fly
      Through the great spaces of the sky;
      Be with them traversing the air
      In darkening storms or sunshine fair
      Thou who dost keep with tender might
      The balanced birds in all their flight
      Thou of the tempered winds be near
      That, having thee, they know no fear
      Control their minds with instinct fit
      What time, adventuring, they quit
      The firm security of land;
      Grant steadfast eye and skillful hand
      Aloft in solitudes of space,
      Uphold them with Thy saving grace.
      O God, protect the men who fly
      Thru lonely ways beneath the sky.
      Amen

      December 9, 2010 at 10:24 am |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.