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Study: Religious Americans more connected with community than non-religious counterparts
December 23rd, 2011
05:49 AM ET

Study: Religious Americans more connected with community than non-religious counterparts

By Dan Merica, CNN

Washington (CNN) – People who are religiously active live more involved and connected lives, according to a Pew Research study released on Friday.

The study, titled “The civic and community engagement of religious active Americans,” painted a broad picture of religious Americans and found that involvement in religious organizations usually go hand-in-hand with participation in civic organizations and a positive outlook on their community.

“There is something unique about religious and spiritual involved people that contribute to their trust, positive outlook, involvement and engagement in the community,” said Jim Jansen, senior fellow at Pew and the leader of the study.

Pew asked Americans about their membership in 28 different kinds of organizations and clubs. The average person not involved with a religious organization participated in 2.11 groups. That compares to an average of 5.11 groups that religious Americans were involved in.

Additionally, 45% view their community as an excellent place to live, compared with 34% of those not active with religious groups. According to Jansen, that involvement and outlook contributes to the fact that religiously active Americans believe they can have a major impact on their community more than non-religious Americans.

“There are probably multiple variables at play,” said Jansen. “But people that belong to a religious organization are by nature likely to belong to things.

But these results are, by Jansen’s admission, difficult and complex with plenty of variables at play. Even so, said Jansen, when you control for factors like age and income, “religiosity was a factor in most of this analysis.”

The study, conducted by Pew Internet & American Life Project, also focused on American’s use of technology. And what it found was that religious Americans use technology slightly more than non-religious Americans.

“Those who are active in religious groups seem to be joiners” said Jansen and their use of technology may be tied to their desire to get involved in their community.

The results in the Pew report were collected by phone interviews with 2,303 adults. The reports margin of error is plus or minus 2.6 percentage points.

- Dan Merica

Filed under: Belief • Culture & Science • Technology • United States

soundoff (293 Responses)
  1. Science

    Free speech helps educate the masses................POLITICIANS too !

    Where do morals come from?

    By Kelly Murray, CNN

    http://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2013/04/12/where-do-morals-come-from/#comments

    Gravity is not up for debate !

    BY the way ...................Splat goes a fairy in the sky !...............bye bye tinker bell !

    Einstein's Gravity Theory Passes Toughest Test Yet..............................E = mc2..........(U–Pb).................two math formulas.

    Apr. 25, 2013 — A strange stellar pair nearly 7,000 light-years from Earth has provided physicists with a unique cosmic laboratory for studying the nature of gravity. The extremely strong gravity of a massive neutron star in orbit with a companion white dwarf star puts competing theories of gravity to a test more stringent than any available before

    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/04/130425142250.htm

    Hey James Madison................religion has none it looks like.............with the comments on this blog.

    The Big question is ETHICS ! does religion have any ?

    The Ethics of Resurrecting Extinct Species

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    April 30, 2013 at 4:16 pm | Report abuse |

    May 1, 2013 at 12:42 pm | Report abuse |

    Dinosaur Egg Study Supports Evolutionary Link Between Birds and Dinosaurs: How Troodon Likely Hatched Its Young

    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/04/130418104324.htm

    And NO ANGELS the pope KICKED them OFF the TEAM last year !

    From Soup to Cells—the Origin of Life

    http://evolution.berkeley.edu/evosite/evo101/IIE2aOriginoflife.shtml

    the wrong path is Adam and Eve !

    Human Y Chromosome Much Older Than Previously Thought

    Mar. 4, 2013 — The discovery and analysis of an extremely rare African American Y chromosome pushes back the time of the most recent common ancestor for the Y chromosome lineage tree to 338,000 years ago. This time predates the age of the oldest known anatomically modern human fossils.

    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/03/130305145821.htm

    No god(s) needed or required to graduate from public schools in the US

    Remember : Adam had to POKE himself hard with his OWN BONE to create Eve.

    No god(s) needed................... Old. DNA works..................also catches crooks !

    Ancient DNA Reveals Europe's Dynamic Genetic History

    Apr. 23, 2013 — Ancient DNA recovered from a series of skeletons in central Germany up to 7,500 years old has been used to reconstruct the first detailed genetic history of modern Europe.

    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/04/130423134037.htm

    Ca-nabis and Cannabinoids (PDQ®) – National Cancer Insti-tute

    http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/pdq/cam/cannabis/.../page4

    Mar 21, 2013 – [1,2] These plant-derived compounds may be referred to as phytocannabinoids. ... have a protective effect against the development of certain types of tumors. ... In lung cancer cell lines, CBD upregulated ICAM-1, leading to ...

    Good stuff !

    The fact...............the earth is to old for this nonsemse ! Time to EVOLVE !

    Ancient Earth Crust Stored in Deep Mantle

    Apr. 24, 2013 — Scientists have long believed that lava erupted from certain oceanic volcanoes contains materials from the early Earth's crust. But decisive evidence for this phenomenon has proven elusive. New research from a team including Carnegie's Erik Hauri demonstrates that oceanic volcanic rocks contain samples of recycled crust dating back to the Archean era 2.5 billion years ago. Their work is published in Nature.

    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/04/130424132705.htm

    For what...................... ? Make sure to read what the pope said !

    Where do morals come from?

    By Kelly Murray, CNN

    http://religion.blogs.cnn.com/

    Learning is fun with facts.......................... and facts work when teaching children.

    Atheist Prof. Peter Higgs: Stop calling Higgs boson the ‘God particle’

    Professor Peter Higgs said recently that there is no God and so people should stop referring to the theoretical partial that
    bears his name as the “God particle.”

    http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2013/04/08/atheist-prof-peter-higgs-stop-calling-higgs-bosen-the-god-particle/

    Pope praises science, but insists God created world updated Thur October 28, 2010
    Stephen Hawking is wrong, Pope Benedict XVI said Thursday – God did create the universe. The pope didn't actually mention the world-famous scientist, who argues in a book published last month that the laws of physics show there is no need for a supreme... \

    http://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2010/10/28/pope-praises-science-but-insists-god-created-world/

    Science

    Heaven is 'a fairy story,' scientist Stephen Hawking says updated Tue May 17, 2011
    By Dan Gilgoff, CNN.com Religion Editor The concept of heaven or any kind of afterlife is a "fairy story," famed British scientist Stephen Hawking said in a newspaper interview this week. "I regard the brain as a computer which will stop working when...

    http://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2011/05/17/heaven-is-a-fairy-story-scientist-stephen-hawking-says/

    April 7th, 2012

    08:32 PM ET

    The Jesus debate: Man vs. myth

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    Make sure to read comments

    April 18, 2013 at 3:10 pm | Report abuse |

    Breaking News

    NASA: Three planets found are some of best candidates so far for habitable worlds outside our solar system.

    http://www.cnn.com/2013/04/18/us/planet-discovery/index.html

    NASA: Mars could have supported life

    Star Dust we are

    [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aWdU_px9ApE&w=640&h=390]

    Holy Hallucinations 35

    [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3XTCRdC8Dlo&w=640&h=390]

    The ORIGIN story is bullsh-it...............so is the bible............... nasty !

    From Soup to Cells—the Origin of Life

    http://evolution.berkeley.edu/evosite/evo101/IIE2aOriginoflife.shtml

    Scientists have unearthed the first direct signs of cheesemaking, at a site in Poland that dates back 7,500 years.

    Human Evolution

    http://evolution.berkeley.edu/evosite/evo101/IIE2cHumanevo.shtml

    BBC. Planet of the Apemen. Battle for Earth 1. Ho-mo Erectus

    [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TUliLKSJ4bQ&w=640&h=390]

    BACKFILL on E =mc2.....

    Einstein letter, set for auction, shows scientist challenging idea of God, being 'chosen'

    By Jessica Ravitz, CNN

    Decades before atheist scientist and author Richard Dawkins called God a "delusion," one world-renowned physicist – Albert Einstein – was weighing in on faith matters with his own strong words.

    “The word God is for me nothing more than the expression and product of human weaknesses, the Bible a collection of honorable, but still primitive legends,” Einstein wrote in German in a 1954 letter that will be auctioned on eBay later this month. "No interpretation no matter how subtle can (for me) change this.”

    http://religion.blogs.cnn.com/category/culture-science/

    May 4, 2013 at 6:47 am | Report abuse |

    Cheech & Chong's History of 420

    http://www.funnyordie.com/embed/3b1508d1f0Cheech & Chong's History of 420 from CheechAndChong http://www.facebook.com/plugins/like.php?app_id=138711277798&href=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.funnyordie.com%2Fvideos%2F3b1508d1f0%2Fcheech-chong-s-history-of-420&send=false&layout=button_count&width=150&show_faces=false&action=like&height=21

    All cults...........creationists, ID believers and devil cults.................

    The fact...............the earth is to old ...........time to EVOLVE !.

    Ancient Earth Crust Stored in Deep Mantle

    Apr. 24, 2013 — Scientists have long believed that lava erupted from certain oceanic volcanoes contains materials from the early Earth's crust. But decisive evidence for this phenomenon has proven elusive. New research from a team including Carnegie's Erik Hauri demonstrates that oceanic volcanic rocks contain samples of recycled crust dating back to the Archean era 2.5 billion years ago. Their work is published in Nature.

    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/04/130424132705.htm

    Peace

    May 4, 2013 at 1:42 pm |
  2. Notamused

    This study is just absurd, and I really dislike cnn's angle on it.
    It makes sense that more religious than nonreligous people are going to going to consider their community a nice place to live because It doesn't bother religious people that the average community is clogged with churches.
    "Religiosity was a factor in this study" MAYBE, considering that religion was the main focus of the study.
    I would really love to see pew's rationale for "use of technology" because use of technology should not include spamming Facebook walls and news comment boards. The numbers would probably reverse if that we're excluded.

    February 8, 2013 at 9:44 am |
  3. Kazuyoshi

    It's posts like this that make surfing so much plesaure

    April 2, 2012 at 12:15 am |
  4. Sal

    Lisa I will miss you so much; but thank you for having this eibswte so we can keep in touch. You have always been such an inspiration to me during my rought times. I know you will be happier and I will keep you and Gino in my prayers. I cannot wait for the book and the signing. Again THANK YOU and God Bless.

    April 1, 2012 at 7:12 pm |
  5. Skullvodka

    What a dumb article. Hey everyone, people that go to church know the other people that go to church better than the people that do not go to church. *facepalm

    February 15, 2012 at 1:23 pm |
    • Skullvodka

      I noticed the phone surveys. I wonder if some of the people exaggerated their church attendance. Just possibly. But churchgoers do not lie, do they?

      February 15, 2012 at 1:26 pm |
  6. Pshychonaut

    How about a study, that religious Americans are more likely to support a war or blame all troubles on God, rather than themselves... You believe or don't all you want, but please stop misleading people, with worthless studies and instead put more energy and resources to help those in need...

    January 30, 2012 at 12:24 am |
  7. Be a World Changer

    A great joy in life is looking to bless others. That's why Christians are happier and more involved in their communities. What better way to be a world changer than serving the people of your own neighborhood.

    January 5, 2012 at 6:24 pm |
    • mrklrsn

      I can't tell the difference between happiness and ignorance.

      March 12, 2012 at 6:32 pm |
    • mrklrsn

      I should add that I once was a christian, spent my youth volunteering with christian charities and participating in short term mission trips. My problem is that I paid attention to what was going on and was always pretty good at math. It always seemed that the majority of the money collected for charity stayed in the hands of the rich white folk who collected it and the majority of the "help" that was given came in the form of the rich white folk telling the poor folk that they should be happy with a few crumbs and continue to support the status-quo because it was gods will.
      I would have to agree, if you have no sense of justice or mercy and you can live in a world where you are the master instead of the slave yet simultaneously believe that you are kind and compassionate, that is the perfect recipe for personal peace and happiness.

      March 12, 2012 at 6:39 pm |
  8. Darlene Womack

    I generally agree with the summation of the study and echo Jim Jansen's concerns, although I am unsure of the questions presented or of the study's specific participants. In fact, I started a blog, http://darlene-speak.blogspot.com, on this overall topic. As we all realize, here today, gone tomorrow is certain. It's what you do in between that matters, which impacts you as a person and how others respond to you. Therefore, the importance of helping others remains crucial. As a Christian, I don't mean to sound "preachy" but the truth will always prevail, regardless of how we feel or think. Just look up at the sky and how a child is formed in the womb. Then you will see that God is real. Besides, your arms are too short to box with God, despite your belief or unbelief. The Lord said, "Everything under heaven is Mine" (Job 41:11, NKJV).

    January 4, 2012 at 2:21 pm |
  9. AtheistSteve

    The results of this study only demonstrate how ubiquitous religious groups doing charitable works are. With a church on virtually every corner the majority of any community is by default likely to be religiously motivated to support charity. Non-believers have virtually nowhere ana.logous to gather. Secular groups are far outnumbered and strictly atheist ones rarer still.
    What isn't addressed however is the proportion of the monies collected that end up benefitting its target. It's been shown that secular groups provide more of your donated dollar to their intended cause. Also some religious funds go to things that aren't tangible at all. For instance a local church recently held a fundraiser spaghetti dinner with all proceeds to fund a mission to Nigeria. While considered charitable this action is little more than a ploy to spread Bibles and to proselytize and gain converts.
    The ACA (Atheist Community of Austin, TX), a non-profit educational organization regularly holds charitable events such as Blood Drives and Feed the Homeless Programs. The difference here is that the ACA just shows up to hand out food without holding your sandwich hostage by making you listen to somebody preach the gospels to you.
    Certainly many Christians genuinely want to simply and purely do good for others by their acts of charity. Others are doing it merely to assuage their guilt. But for the larger religious groups or organizations the main goal that's disguised is a selfish one of spreading the teachings of the church.

    December 25, 2011 at 8:17 am |
    • Dan Carroll

      Steve, that was well said. Religion is another form of control.Most will do whatever thier religous leaders wil tell them to do.They are born followers. That may also explain why they do more things together.Just like a flock of sheeps. So glad I never bought into that bullcrap.

      December 25, 2011 at 9:20 am |
    • .........

      total bull sh it

      December 25, 2011 at 10:25 am |
    • rod

      Christian expresses the grace of salvation thru selfless service to the glory of their God. Atheists serve others to deify themselves while Satan claims the credit!

      December 25, 2011 at 1:35 pm |
    • AtheistSteve

      "Christian expresses the grace of salvation thru selfless service to the glory of their God. Atheists serve others to deify themselves while Satan claims the credit!"

      Nope....Atheists do good simply for the sake of doing good. You know...that Golden Rule thingy which predates Christianity.
      And since we don't believe God or Satan exist that last part is completely meaningless. I don't even know what "deify themselves" is supposed to mean but if it's meant to imply that we are trying to make ourselves into gods then refer back to the part where I said we don't believe in gods.

      "It's your God...they're your rules...YOU go to hell." by K.R.

      December 25, 2011 at 7:49 pm |
    • just sayin

      Stevie, the entire Old Testament predates Christianity, as does creation. God gave the values to man from the beginning of man, whenever that was. So what is your point? Ancient Babylon or ancient Egypt had laws? So what, they still originated from God who gave them. What is your argument – who had law first?

      December 25, 2011 at 7:57 pm |
    • Uncouth Swain

      "..that was well said. Religion is another form of control.Most will do whatever thier religous leaders wil tell them to do.They are born followers."

      Thank goodness that isn't always true. If it was there wouldn't be so many denominations.

      December 25, 2011 at 8:28 pm |
    • .........

      absolute bull sh it

      December 25, 2011 at 8:31 pm |
    • Uncouth Swain

      Which part.

      December 25, 2011 at 9:20 pm |
    • AtheistSteve

      "just sayin
      Stevie, the entire Old Testament predates Christianity, as does creation. God gave the values to man from the beginning of man, whenever that was. So what is your point? Ancient Babylon or ancient Egypt had laws? So what, they still originated from God who gave them. What is your argument – who had law first?"

      What's my point? What's yours? So you buy into all the tripe laid out in your Bible. Doesn't mean any of it is true. In fact I would challenge you to demonstrate the veracity of your claims. Creation is your myth, not mine and your God concept had nothing to do with anything...not our evolution or our emergence from the plains of Africa. What you call Law is nothing more than a necessary emergent quality of social animals. Altruism, empathy, compassion and morality are what allowed our primitive ancestors to begin to form civilizations. In fact we aren't the only animals to demonstrate these moral qualities. Dogs, chimps and dolphins have simplified forms of them too. Is your God speaking to them too...defining the rules that they live by within their groups? Way to abandon earnest inquiry in favor of blind acceptance of absurd supersti.tion. It's a sad state of affairs when "God did it" usurps the search for real definitive answers to questions of any sort.

      December 25, 2011 at 9:50 pm |
    • mcmurphy88

      The sad truth is that atheists don't do much good for anyone, as much as they claim to do good for the sake of doing good. This is just another of many studies showing this very fact. Mostly, they are pseudo-intellectuals who like to hear themselves talk more than anything else. They like to call believers hypocrites, generally with no justification outside their own limited minds. Most are just self-absorbed "smartest guy in the room" types, who are not really smarter than anyone, just self justifying, sad human beings.

      December 26, 2011 at 12:34 am |
    • go away, herbie.

      you really are not smart.

      December 26, 2011 at 12:37 am |
    • Pshychonaut

      I hate those studies, it is conflicting people against each other... That's why i am Spiritual inside and don't need a church or gold chained priest teaching me, how to live MY life... Hallelujah! =P

      January 30, 2012 at 12:33 am |
    • Miriam

      Sorry, Steve, but I am aware of many faith-based charities that do nto 'preach' at anyone or require any belief at all in order to get food, or counseling, or clothes or any other thing. I am glad you have joined a group that reaches out to those in need – that is the important thing. But don't ascribe motives to people you haven't met – like 'assuaging their guilt"... Why should you assume they have any? Most of the people I know and have worked with in faith-related charities ( Christian or Jewish) do it because they love their neighbor, which is also why they find the teachings of their belief system attractive. For Christians, what example could be more on point to your objection than the tale of the good Samaritan – who was neither of the same nation or faith as the man he helped?

      Let's agree on the things we can – which is that charity is the right thing to do – and not denigrate eath other's worth and works. If you are right in your belief, we will both have alleviated human misery. And if you are not right – the worst that will happen is you and the believers will smile at one another in the hereafter, when you are all welcomed into the heavenly kingodm because – "He was hungry , and you gave Him to eat, thirsty, and you gave HIm to drink".

      Peace.

      By the way – non-profits file a 990 so one can check and see if they use their donatons wisely.

      April 15, 2012 at 6:12 pm |
  10. Atheist #1

    [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KZWAQ_3yoj8&w=640&h=390]

    December 24, 2011 at 5:39 pm |
    • Atheist #1

      Christians please watch! If you Vote Republican, Watch fox news Or Favor the Tea Party

      December 24, 2011 at 5:41 pm |
  11. Atheist #1

    Atheist Charity's:Unicef, Bill and Malinda gates foundation, Doctors Without Borders, Foundation Beyond Belief, Kiva, Skeptics and Humanists Aid and Relief Effort, The Richard Dawkins Foundation.

    December 24, 2011 at 5:24 pm |
    • Mark from Middle River

      /Unicef and doctors without boarders are Atheist organization? They are not Christian but at the same time do you believe them to be Atheist

      December 24, 2011 at 6:00 pm |
  12. Really-O?

    Sweet! Another idiotic Chad-bite –

    "I dismiss all other gods other than the God of Abraham because the God of Abraham has told me that they aren't real."

    How's that for circular reasoning?

    December 24, 2011 at 4:50 pm |
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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.