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August 2nd, 2013
08:00 AM ET

Why millennials need the church

Opinion by Rachel Held Evans, special to CNN

(CNN) - For a time, I counted myself among the spiritual but not religious, Christian but not churchgoing crowd.

Like many millennials, I left church because I didn’t always see the compassion of Jesus there, and because my questions about faith and science, the Bible, homosexuality, and religious pluralism were met with shallow answers or hostility.

At first I reveled in my newfound Sunday routine of sleeping in, sipping my coffee and yelling at Republicans who appeared on ”Meet the Press.”

But eventually I returned, because, like it or not, we Christian millennials need the church just as much as the church needs us. Here’s why:

Baptism

As former Methodist bishop Will Willimon has often said, “you cannot very well baptize yourself.”

In a culture that stresses individualism, the church satisfies the human need for community, for shared history and experiences.

And in a world where technology enables millennials to connect only with those who are like-minded, baptism drags us - sometimes kicking and screaming as infants - into the large, dysfunctional and beautiful family of the church.

Confession

“Sin” is not a popular word these days, perhaps because it is so often invoked in the context of judgment and condemnation.

But like all people, millennials need reminding now and then that the hate and violence we observe in the world is also present within ourselves.

We can be too idealistic, too convinced we can change the world from our iPads.

The accountability that comes from participation in a local church gives young Christians the chance to speak openly about our struggles with materialism, greed, gossip, anger, consumerism and pride.

Healing

While the flawed people who make up the church can certainly inflict pain on each other and sometimes on the world, we also engage in the important work of healing.

At their best, local churches provide basements where AA groups can meet, living rooms where tough conversations about racial reconciliation occur, casseroles for the sick and shelter for the homeless.

Millennials who have been hurt by the church may later find healing in it.

Leadership

Like a lot of millennials, I am deeply skeptical of authority - probably to a fault.

But when I interact with people from my church who have a few years and a lot of maturity on me, I am reminded of how cool it is to have a free, built-in mentoring and accountability program just down the street.

We can learn a lot from the faithful who have gone before us, and the church is where we find them.

Communion

One of the few things the modern church has in common with the ancient one is its celebration of the sacred meal— the Eucharist.

There is simply not the space here, nor in many volumes of theology for that matter, to unpack the significance of remembering Jesus through eating bread and drinking wine. But when I left the church, it was Communion I craved the most.

Churches may disagree on exactly how Christ is present in these sacred meals, but we agree that Christ is present. And millennials, too, long for that presence.

There are some days when the promise of Communion is the only thing that rouses me from bed on Sunday morning. I want a taste of that mystery.

Confirmation

Many churches practice a rite of initiation, sometimes called confirmation.

Theologian Lauren Winner, in her book “Still: Notes on a Mid-Faith Crisis,” quotes a friend who said:

“What you promise when you are confirmed is not that you will believe this forever. What you promise when you are confirmed is that that is the story you will wrestle with forever.”

The church, at its best, provides a safe place in which to wrestle with this story we call the Gospel.

Union with Christ

Those who follow Jesus long for the day when their communion with him becomes complete, and Jesus promises this will happen through the church.

The apostle Paul compared this union to a marriage. Jesus describes it as a banquet.

No matter what the latest stats or studies say, Christians believe the future of the church is secure and not even “the gates of hell” will prevail against it.

As much as I may struggle to fit in sometimes, as much as I doubt, question and fight for reforms, I am a part of this church, through good times and bad, for better or worse.

The astute reader will notice that each of these points corresponds loosely with a sacrament—baptism, confession, the anointing of the sick, holy orders, communion, confirmation and marriage.

Some would say there are many others. We could speak of the sacrament of the Word or the washing of feet.

But even where they are not formally observed, these sacraments are present in some form in nearly every group of people who gather together in the name of Jesus.

They connect us to our faith through things we can eat, touch, smell and feel. And they connect us with one another.

They remind us, as writer and Episcopal priest Sara Miles put it, that “You can’t be a Christian by yourself.”

This is why I haven’t given up on the church, and I suspect why it hasn't given up on me.

Rachel Held Evans is the author of "Evolving in Monkey Town" and "A Year of Biblical Womanhood." She blogs at rachelheldevans.com. The views expressed in this column belong to her.

Evans has written two previous posts for CNN's Belief Blog: Why millennials are leaving the church; and Not all religious convictions are written in stone.

- CNN Religion Editor

Filed under: Belief • Christianity • Church • evangelicals • Faith • Opinion • United States

soundoff (4,825 Responses)
  1. Jonah

    I just had a revelation. This blog is just like real life! We are all born into this world and are influenced by good, positive spirits who suggest into our minds good, positive thoughts and feelings and by evil spirits who introduce into our minds bad, negative thoughts and feelings. We then make a choice about who we are going to listen to and what suggestions we are going to follow. On this blog, the evil spirits are represented by the atheists and pagans who really have no reason to be here since this is a blog about faith in Jesus Christ and none of those people have any faith in Jesus Christ. Evil spirits here should just be ignored just as they should be in life! If anyone came to this blog today seeking spiritual enlightenment and instead was set upon by the evil spirits, may I suggest going to mormon.org instead? You can talk one on one there with good people who will take your questions about life and spirituality seriously and give you answers based on the teachings of the living apostles and prophets! You will find God there.

    August 4, 2013 at 8:09 am |
    • BD70

      Atheists and Pagans are evil? Way to draw the line there! What we need is more division and less acceptance of each other. Yep...sure is...

      August 4, 2013 at 8:15 am |
      • not so fast

        Ya I got up early this morning just to remind myself to do something evil today....OH WAIT sorry that thought was just planted there by some silly evil spirit ...MY GOSH you learn something everyday ...

        August 4, 2013 at 8:23 am |
    • Mara

      actually, the 'Beilief' blog is for talking about ALL beliefs and faiths, not exclusively Christianity. Saying atheists and pagans don't belong here is like saying Republicans shouldn't be allowed to post a Kos, or liberals at LGF. And if an article about the growth of atheism and agnosticism in younger generations *isn't* a place for us to comment, where is? You are silly.

      August 4, 2013 at 8:33 am |
    • Mike

      Jonah, I think your post came out of the other end of the whale.

      August 4, 2013 at 8:34 am |
    • Don

      Jonah, is one influenced by good and evil "spirits" or good and evil people? I did not realize that this blog could only be visited by a certain type of person. I was under the impression that blogs were designed to promote conversations and to share ideas. It's sad that often the most religious people are those that divide and classify. I'm not sure who the more "evil" person is given history and just the real tone in the voices of the "enlightened" (sorry, too many quotes). I don't need someone telling me what I have to believe to somehow put me in the awesome person club. Religion would be hilarious if not for all the hate and harm it causes. I being the evil spirit that I am, have done many medical missions, and was extremely fortunate to have Mormon kids help me translate in South America. I would have been proud to have called any one of them my son. Of all the religions this one is my favorite. Totally cracks me up. Getting busted lying about the hat transcription is priceless, but I digress, its not the religion that should be focused on but the awesome family values and love that spills out of a lot of these people. If you could drop the insultingly, beyond ridiculous, made up stories, and focus on love, and tolerance (what ever secret formula that made everyone of those boys on the mission such a joy to be around), then sign me up. Sorry Jonah, it's not God, or one of the many "Messiahs" that came and went before, but discipline, sacrifice, and love for your children.

      August 4, 2013 at 9:26 am |
  2. jmsalcido2013

    I work with several millennials in the IT sector and I am apalled at how hedonistic and selfish they are. They all make good money, yet they spend it all on video games, computers, rims for their vehicles, entertainment systems, etc. Not one of them takes time or thought to the hurting and hungry people of this world. Only to the next video game release. Church forces you to look outside of yourself and teaches compassion to others. Those who don't think so have had their opinions shaped by popular culture rather than a genuine faith experience.

    August 4, 2013 at 8:09 am |
    • not so fast

      Dont forget to mention that we also believe in reality and not some half baked shepherds tale from the iron age ....ooops

      August 4, 2013 at 8:19 am |
    • Damocles

      I'm guessing you have asked them for bank statements showing how they spend their money. Regardless, it is their money, they can spend it as they wish. Not every person is going to give money to worthy causes, nor should they be expected to. You do what you can and don't worry about someone else.

      August 4, 2013 at 8:36 am |
  3. One one

    HELL
    EXPLAINED BY A PHYSICS STUDENT A Bonus Question: Is Hell exothermic (gives off
    heat) or endothermic (absorbs heat)? The answer by one student was so 'profound'
    that the professor shared it with colleagues via the Internet, which is why we
    now have the pleasure of enjoying it as well. Most of the students wrote proofs
    of their beliefs using Boyle's Law (gas cools when it expands and
    heats when it is compressed) or some variant of this. However,
    one student wrote the following:

    First, we need to know how the mass of Hell is changing in time. So we need to know the rate at which souls are moving into Hell and the rate at which they are leaving,
    which is unlikely. I think that we can safely assume that once a soul gets to
    Hell, it will not leave. Therefore, no souls are leaving. As for how many souls
    are entering Hell, let's look at the different religions that exist in the world
    today. Most of these state that if you are not a member of their religion, you
    will go to Hell. Since there is more than one of these religions and since people do not
    belong to more than one religion, we can project that all souls go to Hell. With birth and death rates as they are, we can expect the number of souls in Hell to increase exponentially.

    Now, we look at the rate of change of the volume in Hell because Boyle's Law states that in order for the temperature and pressure in Hell to stay the same, the
    volume of Hell has to expand proportionately as souls are added.
    This gives two possibilities: 1. If Hell is expanding at a slower rate than the rate
    at which souls enter then the temperature and pressure in Hell will increase until all Hell breaks loose.

    2. If Hell is expanding at a rate faster than the increase of souls in Hell, then the
    temperature and pressure will drop until Hell freezes over. So which is
    it? If we accept the postulate given to me by Anabella during my Freshman year that, “It
    will be a cold day in Hell before I sleep with you”, and take into account the
    fact that I slept with her last night, then number "2" must be true, and thus I
    am sure that Hell is exothermic and has already frozen over. The corollary of
    this theory is that since Hell has frozen over, it follows that it is not
    accepting any more souls and is therefore extinct, leaving only Heaven,
    thereby proving the existence of a divine being which explains why, last night, Anabella kept shouting “Oh my God!”

    August 4, 2013 at 8:06 am |
    • BD70

      lol – good a theory as any about hell that I have heard.

      August 4, 2013 at 8:19 am |
    • Don

      Thanks One one (love to hear the story about the name, "One one"). A little levity sprinkled on complicated subjects is what makes reading these blogs truly worthwhile. Too bad folks can't focus on the real problems of this world and not hide behind religion for their answers and our altimate "salvation" (damn, these quotes).

      August 4, 2013 at 9:43 am |
  4. ScottLL

    It is funny how the 2% comprise 98% of the comments.

    August 4, 2013 at 7:59 am |
    • Lou

      The road to salvation is narrow and crooked, the path to destruction is wide and straight......religion is currently the wide path

      August 4, 2013 at 8:05 am |
    • M

      I don't know that it's 2%, but it's what people notice. You catch more flies with honey than vinegar.

      August 4, 2013 at 8:08 am |
  5. Engineer in Raleigh

    Jesus, lady, get a dog. Though I must say, the 'accountability' bit is pretty funny. Nothing says 'accountability' like 'asking god for forgiveness' when you do something crappy – instead of, say, going to the person you were bad to and apologizing.

    The rest of the article is just nonsense. Like 'I like being a Mormon because of the magical underpants', or 'I like praying to Tlaloc because of the ritual sacrifices'.

    August 4, 2013 at 7:54 am |
    • M

      There's no need to be disrespectful, or are you so insecure in your disbelief or so "angry" that you are compelled to post in this manner. Think before post.

      August 4, 2013 at 7:57 am |
      • Engineer in Raleigh

        I understand you don't like the tone, but what would you say is factually incorrect about the post?

        August 4, 2013 at 8:00 am |
        • M

          This much I admire from Hitchens – let the strength of you argument do your talking. Otherwise you come off as being sociopathic. Which offends you more, a religious person ranting in your face waving a bible, or someone calmly expressing their beliefs? Which of those two people leaves a better impression with you. Now switch "religious person" with "atheist" – do you see my point?

          August 4, 2013 at 8:05 am |
        • Engineer in Raleigh

          OK, I see your point with respect to 'get a dog', but the rest isn't disrespectful. Rituals are not a compelling reason to do anything. I just cited two crazy ones to make that point. As far as 'forgiveness' goes, I won't even get into how obnoxious it is for people to 'forgive' themselves by putting words in 'god's' mouth.

          August 4, 2013 at 8:11 am |
        • devins

          " but what would you say is factually incorrect about the post?" Well, for starters, the silly notion that asking God for forgiveness and that of others, is a mutually exclusive undertaking.

          August 4, 2013 at 8:14 am |
        • M

          Let the other folks in the Triangle Freethought Society know, "you catch more flies with honey than vinegar."

          August 4, 2013 at 8:15 am |
        • Engineer in Raleigh

          devins, in practice, they typically are mutually exclusive. M, I'm not a member of any freethought society. Why would I join something like that? There are other things to do.

          August 4, 2013 at 8:19 am |
    • Practical agnostic

      Engineer in Raleigh- Regarding the accountability bit. Many church services include a moment to "confess", which allows you to pause and reflect on your behavior over the past day, week, month. This prompts you to consider whether there is anyone you may need to apologize to, or has your behavior reflected your values. When I take a moment to do this each week, it helps keep me in touch with my own self. I'm not advocating confession because it sets things straight with some sort of God. It can just be a moment to meditate on your behavior. No magic involved. If you say, "I can do that without church"... When is the last time you took a quiet moment to sit quietly, think about your place in the world and how you're doing?

      August 4, 2013 at 8:31 am |
      • Sherry Austin

        I do it all the time. I don't need a building, with all that running such a building entails, including tax-payer funds. Nor do I need people sitting around me supposedly doing the same thing, to get me to do it. And when I wrong someone, I ask them for forgiveness, rather than make myself feel better or more Heaven-worthy by asking God.

        August 4, 2013 at 8:49 am |
        • ScottLL

          There are no taxpayer funds involved with a church. They are tax exempt, which means the people who gave to a church don't have to pay taxes on that amount, but the church itself doesn't get government funding. When you give money to a charity do you consider that charity getting government funding?

          August 4, 2013 at 10:05 am |
        • Practical agnostic

          Sherry- You do that all the time... How does that work? That's like seeing a comment advocating regular exercise such as going to a gym or jogging and saying "I exercise all the time". I'm talking about a purposeful moment, an intentional act that prompts reflection & introspection. Meditation, yoga, confession at church service, a routine walk in the park, whatever. A building isn't needed, people sitting around aren't needed. Yes, ask the person for forgiveness. I'm not saying ask God for forgiveness, I'm saying by setting aside time on a regular basis for personal reflection you'll be more aware of your behavior, you're more likely to know to ask for forgiveness, or maybe not misbehave to begin with.

          August 4, 2013 at 10:05 am |
        • Damocles

          @PA

          I'm not sure why you are harping on this time of meditation thing. She says she does it all the time. Maybe she sets aside 5-10 minutes a day to reflect on the day.

          August 4, 2013 at 10:10 am |
        • fyi

          ScottLL,

          Churches do not pay any property taxes on their often very substantial holdings. This results in a higher tax burden for the rest of us.

          August 4, 2013 at 12:27 pm |
  6. 2Smart4Tea

    Rachel – you seem intelligent, why do you encourage people to follow this nonsense? Of course, EVERYONE should abandon the church! All of the points you make are either better provide elsewhere – by people who are solidly in touch with reality – or are total foolishness, like baptism and "union with Christ". You are helping no one by perpetuating this nonsense, use your considerable skill to help make the church vanish – the world will be a much better place!!!

    August 4, 2013 at 7:49 am |
    • M

      She is allowed to do whatever she likes, or does the basic principle of "freedom" bother you?

      August 4, 2013 at 7:59 am |
  7. ElmerGantry

    Reappearance of the three word troll
    _____________________________________________________________________
    Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things

    August 3, 2013 at 8:27 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    _____________________________________________________________________

    August 4, 2013 at 7:44 am |
    • Observer

      Truth never went anywhere . Where have YOU been?

      August 4, 2013 at 8:15 am |
  8. sick of christian phonies

    Sounds like she fell for it , unquestioningly, hook, line and sinker.

    August 4, 2013 at 7:38 am |
    • M

      It's her journey through life, who are you to say what path is best for her? What she eventually will believe and how she gets there is her journey.

      August 4, 2013 at 8:01 am |
  9. Lou

    prayer = spell casting

    August 4, 2013 at 7:31 am |
    • skytag

      Neither of which ever accomplish anything.

      August 4, 2013 at 7:36 am |
      • Colin

        You will have to add exceptions, like advances in the arts and sciences,freedoms and human rights all conceived and founded through prayer.

        August 4, 2013 at 8:21 am |
        • Lou

          Galileo was told by the church to denounce his claim that the world was round....We have advanced despite religion, religion jumps on broad science when they are forced to change to stay relevant. That trick is getting old...

          August 4, 2013 at 8:34 am |
        • Damocles

          These things were made possible through blood, sweat and tears, not prayer.

          August 4, 2013 at 8:58 am |
  10. kahnkeller

    this is a crap article... at last count there are some 5,000 organized religions... with 10,000 major gods and many more minor gods.... and what they all have in common is....what they believe is...right... and what the other 4,999 believe is...wrong... religion has done more harm to mankind than all the wars ever fought in our entire history... religion is dangerous and divisive....it should die out...

    August 4, 2013 at 7:30 am |
    • skytag

      Religion has also done a lot of good. Whether the net effect has been positive or negative could be a subject for debate but it would be dishonest to ignore the good it has done.

      August 4, 2013 at 7:33 am |
      • Lou

        Religion are humanities training wheels.....time to really ride this bike.

        August 4, 2013 at 7:36 am |
        • skytag

          Humans have not changed significantly in thousands of years.

          August 4, 2013 at 7:39 am |
        • Sherry Austin

          That's good.

          August 4, 2013 at 8:55 am |
      • sick of christian phonies

        The bad seems to far outweigh the good these days... most of the places of contention, war, and murder are religion based. Middle East, Africa, India/Pakistan, Tibet, Northern Ireland, Serbia/Croatia, etc. etc.

        August 4, 2013 at 7:42 am |
      • lerianis

        Oh yeah? What 'good' has it done in the real world? Charities? Sorry, there are numerous NON-denominational charities who don't judge and allow anyone to ask for help from them, so there goes one thing.

        Outside of that, I cannot think of anything else 'good' to come from religion in the real world.

        August 4, 2013 at 8:09 am |
        • Mark

          That's because you are blinded by self importance.

          August 4, 2013 at 8:37 am |
        • lerianis

          Not blinded by anything, Mark. Not blinded by anything, just have my own point of view and if you do not like it..... so shove it where the sun never shines.

          August 4, 2013 at 8:43 am |
        • Mark

          Such hostility typical of a non believer.

          August 4, 2013 at 8:53 am |
      • Damocles

        @skytag

        Is it religion that has done the good, or people that have done the good?

        August 4, 2013 at 8:27 am |
  11. Lou

    Fairy tales just isn't going to cut it anymore.....

    August 4, 2013 at 7:28 am |
  12. John Sharp

    This is so sad, the level of mass hysteria around these silly archaic belief systems.
    The author is simply wrong.
    This generation does not need church any more than they need a North American Sweat Lodge.
    Both outdated practices born out of ignorance

    August 4, 2013 at 7:27 am |
  13. Lufiron

    But those mine enemies, which would not that I should reign over them, bring hither, and slay them before me. — Luke 19:27

    What a lovely religion. You get to pick and choose, or better yet just completely ignore its own scripture if it makes you look bad or feel queasy. Any Christians care to respond?

    August 4, 2013 at 7:20 am |
    • lerianis

      Exactly. Anyone who looks at all the major religions (Christianity, Islam, Judaism) would realize that they are NOT good religions in the real world. They are evil religions that basically say "Force the tenets of this book on other people by the sword!"

      At least Islam is honest about it and doesn't couch it in doublespeak.

      August 4, 2013 at 7:36 am |
      • Mark

        You know nothing of true spirituality, you push your agenda with a trite and a feeble understanding of faith. Its okay though it's easy for you that way which what you want life to be.

        August 4, 2013 at 8:34 am |
  14. Peter Jay Jenkins

    Dear author of this article, thank you for writing it. As a protestant I might not necessarily agree with everything you say, but I think you are doing a great thing in writing this article. The thing to remember when you see all these negative posts is this: You don't see Christians posting anti-Atheist comments on atheist articles or as responses to the anti-Christian comments that Atheists leave, and there are two reasons for that. A: We have no doubt in our beliefs so we don't have to fight the other side, whereas Atheists do. B: We have better things to do than sit around all day and try and leave a derogatory comment on every Christian article we find, it's called having a life. I liked what you said about our belief that the future of the church is secure. This new "crisis" that our faith is going through, especially among the young who, of course, know everything best and are experts in everything, will ultimately only serve to strengthen our faith and bring true Christians closer together. To the Atheists, thank you for actually strengthening my faith with your nonsensical comments. God bless you Ms. Evans and thank you.

    August 4, 2013 at 7:01 am |
    • M

      Well, as a former Catholic, I can say that I have no doubt about my disbelief. I think science has explained a great deal, even in my lifetime, that was previously attempted by the Bible. And there are definitely a few angry, and I'd say hostile if not sociopathic atheists that post here, extremists if you will, but they have their religious counterparts posting as well. But, I admire this author's truthfulness, her search for integrity and humanity, and wish here well, as other atheists would.

      August 4, 2013 at 7:11 am |
    • rick

      i think you need to read more comments. the anti-atheist comments are there

      August 4, 2013 at 7:19 am |
    • skytag

      "You don't see Christians posting anti-Atheist comments on atheist articles or as responses to the anti-Christian comments that Atheists leave"

      The only reason she doesn't see them is that she doesn't read these comments. Trust me, they are there, and plenty of them. Reality is not your happy place.

      August 4, 2013 at 7:38 am |
    • skytag

      "To the Atheists, thank you for actually strengthening my faith with your nonsensical comments."

      That wasn't a very Christian thing to say, and if you think our comments are nonsensical the problem could be that you're too brainwashed to understand them. But thanks for showing that Christianity is a fraud with this comment.

      August 4, 2013 at 7:46 am |
      • M

        Gosh. As Hitchens would say, "let the strength of your argument do the talking." There's no need for vitriol.

        August 4, 2013 at 7:53 am |
  15. Pastor Hairy Palms

    This just in:

    The bible is a crusty old book of fairytales written by a bunch of bronze age goat herders.

    Organized religion is the biggest scam ever perpetrated on the human race.

    August 4, 2013 at 6:20 am |
    • Mark

      This in 2000 yeas ago...Luke was a doctor, Paul was a tent maker/pharisee, oh and David a king. This just in you aren't smart.

      August 4, 2013 at 7:02 am |
      • One Taste

        Of the people you mention, only Paul actually wrote anything that ended up in the Bible.

        Who's not smart?

        August 4, 2013 at 7:05 am |
        • Mark

          Wrong Luke wrote Acts, do your research, he was a doctor historian.

          August 4, 2013 at 7:09 am |
        • Mark

          King David wrote psalms as well.

          August 4, 2013 at 7:12 am |
    • sconger60

      I agree completely Pastor Hairy.

      August 4, 2013 at 7:11 am |
    • Jim

      If you live your life by the book of fairytales called the Bible, you are not in any position to judge someone else's intelligence.

      August 4, 2013 at 7:23 am |
  16. tony

    Stone Idols answer prayers usefully on average about as often as any other invisible, all-powerful, "one true" god.

    Hence the "jealous" of idols early lines in the 10 commandments – great "negative ad" marketing.

    August 4, 2013 at 6:17 am |
  17. Bishop Hairy Pams

    Since there is no historical evidence that Jesus even existed and the Bible is a crusty old book of fairytales written by a bunch of bronze age goat herders, it's a waste of time and money to attend church.

    August 4, 2013 at 6:15 am |
  18. Blah

    There is no Jesus, there is only Zuul!

    August 4, 2013 at 6:05 am |
    • Pastor Hairy Palms

      Amen!

      All praises go to him!

      August 4, 2013 at 6:21 am |
    • Mark

      Not in your life. There is no Julius Ceasar

      August 4, 2013 at 7:17 am |
  19. tracy

    So I come here to see what reason millennials would have for going to church, and it's nothing but stuff you need church for if you are religious? Um, ok. So the answer, if you are atheist, is no reason.

    August 4, 2013 at 5:47 am |
  20. BD70

    Not everyone needs a church and its fellowship to be comfortable and happy in their beliefs.

    August 4, 2013 at 5:24 am |
    • M

      As an atheist and former Catholic, I can say that's true. Church does bring socialization, community and connectedness though, and that's something that all people crave. Some people still go so as to not be ostracized from their friends.

      August 4, 2013 at 7:16 am |
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About this blog

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.