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Study: More educated tend to be more religious, by some measures
August 11th, 2011
11:06 AM ET

Study: More educated tend to be more religious, by some measures

By Jim Kavanagh, CNN

People tend to become less religious as they become more educated, right? Not necessarily, according to a new study.

After analyzing data from a large national survey, University of Nebraska-Lincoln sociologist Philip Schwadel found that people actually tend to become more religious - by some definitions, at least - as they further their education.

“It all falls down to what you consider to be religious,” said Schwadel, an assistant professor at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. “If it’s simply attending religious services, then no. Highly educated people are not less religious; in fact, they’re more religious.”

“But if it’s saying the Bible is the literal word of God and saying that only one religion is the true religion, then they are less religious,” he continued.

Schwadel used data from the highly regarded General Social Survey, a cumulative and nationally representative survey conducted by the National Opinion Research Center at the University of Chicago biannually since 1972.

Social scientists rely heavily on the “gold standard” General Social Survey, which provides cumulative data collected regularly between 1972 and 2010.

His study will be published in an upcoming edition of the journal Review of Religious Research.

Schwadel found that with each additional year of education:

- The likelihood of attending religious services increased 15%.

- The likelihood of reading the Bible at least occasionally increased by 9%.

- The likelihood of switching to a mainline Protestant denomination - Episcopal, Lutheran, Presbyterian USA or United Methodist - increased by 13%.

Respondents to the General Social Survey were asked whether they believe in God without any doubts; with various levels of doubt; whether they have a different concept of God or a higher power; or whether they didn’t believe in any such thing, Schwadel said.

“With more years of education, you aren’t relatively more likely to say, ‘I don’t believe in God,’” he said. “But you are relatively more likely to say, ‘I believe in a higher power.’”

The findings makes sense to D. Michael Lindsay, president of Gordon College in Massachusetts and author of “Faith in the Halls of Power,” about the growing evangelical Christian elite.

“The more educated a person is in their faith, the more cosmopolitan they are in their religious outlook,” he said. “They’re worldly in the very best sense of the term. They rub shoulders with people of different kinds of faiths every day and as a result they have different visions of what it means to express your faith in the public square.”

“They’re more open-minded, but here’s the thing: They’re no less faithful.”

But a leading voice for atheists says the study’s finding about education increasing certain measures of religiosity may be less straightforward than it appears.

“There are plenty of people who go to church who are not believers,” said Ed Buckner, former president of the group American Atheists. “They go for all sorts of reasons. I don’t mean that they’re all frauds and deceptive, (but) they go for social reasons or (because) that’s what’s expected of them by their families or their peers. Sometimes they go so they can sell more insurance.”

“But there are a lot of atheists in the pews, or at least people who are not committed to and probably haven’t even thought about and examined carefully the religious views that are being expressed in that church.”

The finding that highly educated people gravitated toward mainline Christian denominations suggested class dynamics at work, Buckner argued.

As people become more educated, he said, they move into the middle and upper middle class. “And as they do so,” he said, ”they move into more establishment situations regarding the society, which means they join the churches that are the churches of the elite, or at least of the middle class.”

But Schwadel said respondents were discussing their actual beliefs, not just churchgoing habits.

“What it all says to me is that religion matters to people of all education levels in the United States,” he said. “It’s just that, depending on your level of education, you behave and believe differently.”

So why the widespread perception that intellectuals are less religious, even largely irreligious?

Academics are at least moderately less religious than the general public, Schwadel said.

“When we see these trends, we tend to exaggerate them,” he said. “Most people see a trend and they think everyone’s like that.”

Lindsay thinks there’s more to it than that.

“There has been a concentrated effort by a cohort of very smart people who treat religion as the panacea for the simple-minded,” he said.

Bucker disputes that.

“Do we think that anybody who doesn’t agree with us is an idiot or a fool? Well, some of us do think that,” he said of atheists. “But I don’t think it’s systematically true of everybody in the movement.

“… I mean, I do think they’re wrong. Anybody who believes that there is a sky god out there who is going to do anything good or evil for us, basically anyone who thinks the universe cares about us, is making a mistake,” he continued. “In the words of Richard Dawkins, they’ve been deluded.”

But some people’s religious beliefs are “deeply held and carefully considered,” Buckner said. “And I also realize that some atheists’ lack of religious beliefs are pretty superficial and they haven’t thought things through.

“I have a lot more respect for a religious person who has really considered this, thought it through, read some books that disagree with their point of view and still accepts that position than I do for somebody who just unthinkingly rejects any particular point of view.”

Lindsay said the study could help break down some of society’s religious barriers.

“It’s a problem of perceptions because it fuels the idea that there’s some kind of deeply entrenched culture war where smart people are opposed to religious people, when in fact it’s far more complicated than that,” he said. “And in fact, the old divisions between deeply religious and irreligious probably don’t apply.”

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Atheism • Education • Polls

soundoff (1,651 Responses)
  1. martinipaul

    Atheists projecting an image of faith and belief just so they can sell insurance? Are all atheists greedy, hypocritical weasels? What a hoot this article is. Somebody at CNN must have screwed up. Bet they pull this soon. "I don't believe in god but I'll sing the loudest in church if it means I can sell some life insurance!"

    August 11, 2011 at 12:58 pm |
    • Will Duffield

      I agree.....Pray on Sunday, Steal on Monday.

      August 11, 2011 at 1:09 pm |
  2. JPR

    This is a pointless argument. Nothing changes the fact that the concept of a god is reduiculous and flies in the face of science. You may want to look at the higher the IQ, not if mommy and daddy could pay for college.

    August 11, 2011 at 12:56 pm |
    • Joe Talks

      you, sir, are an idiot.

      August 11, 2011 at 12:58 pm |
  3. pat

    I used to think that thunder was angels bowling until I got educated.

    August 11, 2011 at 12:56 pm |
  4. Anti Christian Taliban Schizophrenics

    “The more educated a person is in their faith, the more cosmopolitan they are in their religious outlook,” he said. “They’re worldly in the very best sense of the term. They rub shoulders with people of different kinds of faiths every day and as a result they have different visions of what it means to express your faith in the public square.”
    ------------–
    Hint: They are not zealots. What the study did not address was what were they like prior. It does not address whether they increased or decreased in their patterns/habits. As most know, most people who claim to be christian are actually not "practicing christians". I would hardly call most christians truly faithful. The study does appear to be biased in that they don't truly address the "progress" of a christian being uneducated to educated. How did their views change and what direction did it go?

    August 11, 2011 at 12:51 pm |
  5. ROTFLOL

    Well, this has atheists coming out of the woodwork to defend their intelligence! LOL!

    "I have 5 masters degrees and 3 doctorates, so I am obviously smarter than everyone else when I say there is no God." – Um, no. That just means that you are a professional student who happens to enjoy going to school and/or teaching rather than making a real living. There are plenty of educated people who could do what you've done and more if they want to, they just prefer to have a life instead.

    Atheism is delusional, self-defeating, and amoral. Many of the highly educated founding fathers of the United States wrote about their disdain for atheism, pointing out specifically how atheism is worthless as a foundation for society.

    When arrogant atheists grow up and realize that they aren't smarter than everyone else, maybe they'll finally find God and realize that having religions and morals is infinitely better than the alternative.

    August 11, 2011 at 12:49 pm |
    • Simon

      That will happen about a week after arrogant fundamentalist Christians grow up.

      August 11, 2011 at 12:53 pm |
    • Squeezebox Babe

      You're so full of yourself. Just because someone is an atheist doesn't mean they don't have morals. Obviously you graduated in the bottom half of your class every time. Ha!

      August 11, 2011 at 12:53 pm |
    • Colin

      This post discloses a common myth held by theists- that atheists somehow have a fundamentally different moral outlook than theists. In fact, most atheists I know have a moral outlook virtually indistinguishable from liberal Christians. To the extent there is a difference, it is that atheists tend to be more tolerant (of, for example, $exual minorities) and more environmentally conscious.

      we just don't buy into the supernatural elements of the religions.

      August 11, 2011 at 12:55 pm |
    • Uncouth Swain

      Though I don't exactly agree with you on your reasoning....I do agree that CNN has hit a nerve of certain ppl on here with this one.

      August 11, 2011 at 12:55 pm |
    • DJL

      “But if it’s saying the Bible is the literal word of God and saying that only one religion is the true religion, then they are less religious,” he continued.

      August 11, 2011 at 12:56 pm |
    • lauradet

      And Jesus supposedly walked on water, isn't that delusional? And isn't it arrogant for you to believe that he did without proof.

      August 11, 2011 at 12:56 pm |
    • DJL

      @Colin: I guess it could be explained by the fact that religion and morality are not joined at the hip. You can extremely moral, but have no "religious" convictions.

      August 11, 2011 at 12:58 pm |
    • Samantha

      It's great you have it all figure out, but I would have to disagree with you. Being religious and having morals based upon those religious ideals doesn't make you a better person. I would argue, being an atheist and yet being a good person, because it's the right thing to do makes you a better person. However, I do not judge, despite being an atheist. I volunteer and am in school to help children with disabilities. I wish you the best though.

      August 11, 2011 at 12:58 pm |
    • Jim

      Your name and wording does nothing to help prove the intelligence of being a religious type. Intelligence and religion can not go hand and hand because the more you learn about modern physics and the solar system, the more preposterous stories of snakes, apples and how a rapture involving locusts, men on horseback with iron breast plates sounds. According to the bible's dated cast of characters involved in the rapture, the 4 horsemen of the apocalypse could easily be stopped your average homeowner with armor piercing rounds and a tennis racket.

      August 11, 2011 at 1:01 pm |
    • Peace2All

      @ROTFLOL

      " Atheism is delusional, self-defeating, and amoral. "

      First, sweeping over-generalizations about a class or group of people doesn't add any credence to your assertion. Second, to even state something as erroneous as atheism= delusional thinking, atheism=self-defeating, atheism= amoral, etc... where is your 'proof' of such fallacious claims...?

      I don't need to go into the many direct counter-proofs to your fallacious assertions, however, I would love to hear from you, as to how you justify such things.

      BTW– I'm 'not' a pure 'atheist'

      Regards,

      Peace...

      August 11, 2011 at 1:10 pm |
    • DamianKnight

      You can't generalize based on any group. You can't say "All Christians are fanatical zealots whose sole purpose is to convert the world" anymoreso than you can say, "All athiests are amoral people with an agenda to root out religion and remove it from the world."

      Are there people that meet those stereotypes? Yes. But most athiests I've known personally have been nice , well-rounded people who happen to disagree with my personal beliefs. That's -fine-! I can get along with anyone as long as there is mutual respect shown.

      August 11, 2011 at 1:46 pm |
    • Kirstyloo

      I disagree with two of the themes in this thread. Atheists can be very moral people just like Christians can be very amoral people. I wish it were as simple as asking people to follow a religion to have act kindly, morally and to the benefit of others.

      That being said, a strong understanding of science DOESN’T preclude a belief in God or religion. As a PhD molecular biologist, I really enjoy seeing the beauty of creation at the most basic level of DNA and molecules. Many other scientists, including Francis Collins, a pioneering medical geneticist who once headed the Human Genome Project, feel the same way. That being said, we often have a less literal interpretation of what the Bible says. As noted in this article, educated religious tend to have less fundamentalist interpretations of religion and in the case of Christians a less literal view of the Bible.

      August 11, 2011 at 3:49 pm |
  6. Colin

    It one looks at the 25 most religious and 25 least religious nations in the World plotted against

    (i) standard of living and level of poverty in such nations
    (ii) freedom of the press and the public in such nations
    (iii) level of political corruption in such nations
    (iv) credit rating of the government of such nations
    (v) level of education in such nations

    In each case, there is a relatively strong correlation between secularism/atheism and standard of living/political honesty/creditworthiness/education and freedom. In short, in all categories I listed, the secular nations come out on top.

    The same is also true within the United Sates, with states like Mississippi and Alabama the most religious and the poorest, worst educated and least successful.

    In neither case is it an "all or nothing affair" but the correlation is quite strong. Cause and effect is a more complex issue. Does being very religious make you dumb? I think not. It does cause a frustrating closing of the mind, but I think it is more likely true that religious people tend to be simpler folk who like nice, primary color answers to their questions. In other words, being less capable makes one religious, not visa-versa.

    But, then again, that’s a “from the hip” opinion.

    PS: To those who might be skeptical of my data, I recommend you go to a Gallup or similar website and search for the studies. They are frequent, consistent and readily accessible.

    August 11, 2011 at 12:49 pm |
    • Squeezebox Babe

      I really like you Colin! Thanks for the post.

      August 11, 2011 at 12:55 pm |
  7. lol wut

    This is the kind of biased fabrication I'd expect from Fox, not CNN. Please don't tell me you're losing your way CNN, we were getting along so well.

    August 11, 2011 at 12:48 pm |
    • RealityChecker

      And the evidence you provide to prove your "opinion" is....... nothing.

      August 11, 2011 at 12:49 pm |
    • JLS639

      Did you think they got something specific wrong?

      August 11, 2011 at 12:55 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Here the phony baloney atheists go with the multiple handles they use on this site to make it look like your kind is larger than it’s twerpy selves.

      Such a pathetic joke the spiritually walking dead with no morals, ethics or concept of fair play.

      Amen

      August 11, 2011 at 12:57 pm |
    • Uncouth Swain

      What? Cnn puts something up you don't like and all of a sudden their is something wrong with them? But you have no problem with the articles that put Christianity in a bad light do you?

      August 11, 2011 at 12:57 pm |
  8. Aaron

    I would certainly like to know where/who/how they were polling from... for years, the statistics have shown more education = less religion in one's life and now this?? This article, it's study, and results appear, to me, to be a complete fabrication in an attempt to stir and perpetuate malcontent already present among the bickering masses.

    Complete Shenanigans!

    August 11, 2011 at 12:48 pm |
    • RealityChecker

      Once again.... not a single shred of evidence to back up your whining opinion. Not surprising that you couldn't find any.

      August 11, 2011 at 12:51 pm |
    • JLS639

      As the article said, it depends on how you measure it. By some measures, the more educated are less religious and the article does not dispute that.

      August 11, 2011 at 12:58 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Whaaaaa, whaaaaaaa, whaaaaaaaaaa …

      That’s the absolute about you atheists, always having those melt downs (aka adult temper tantrums).

      Amen

      August 11, 2011 at 1:02 pm |
    • Will Duffield

      Reality checker, nevermind proof of evidence about a poll conducted.

      Give me proof that god exists.

      August 11, 2011 at 1:05 pm |
    • DamianKnight

      @Will

      That's just an attempt to change the topic. You could have also asked him, "What's the price of chicken currently in Uganda?" What does that have to do with the findings of this study?

      August 11, 2011 at 1:51 pm |
  9. AmenAmen

    I'm calling bullsh!t on this one.

    August 11, 2011 at 12:47 pm |
    • RealityChecker

      Wow.... there is some convincing evidence. I bet you'll get a Nobel prize for Factless Opinions.

      August 11, 2011 at 12:52 pm |
    • AmenAmen

      I don't have to check any study derived facts to call BS...studies don't render "facts"...shows how edamucated you are! Have a blessed day.

      August 11, 2011 at 1:00 pm |
  10. Will Duffield

    Roughly 9% of Americans are now complete Atheists, no believe in any higher power. That's roughly around 31 million people. Time is running out for religion and I wish I could witness that day. Remember, religion is a learned behavior just like racism.

    August 11, 2011 at 12:45 pm |
    • RealityChecker

      Nice fantasy based statistic. How long did you have to fantasize to come up with that one? Check on the Pew Research center's latest polling data and you'll see how you're off by 300%.

      August 11, 2011 at 12:47 pm |
    • Will Duffield

      The Barna Group polled.....
      Atheists and agnostics comprise 12% of adults nationwide. (2004)
      I adjusted for the benifit of the doubt, do some research before quipping about non-facts, retard.

      August 11, 2011 at 1:01 pm |
    • JLS639

      It depends on your definition of atheist. If you ask a yes or no question about belief, you get a different number than if you ask "are you an atheist?" If you ask if people believe that "no god or universal spirit exists," the number comes out 6% or 9%, depending which of two surveys cited in demographics of atheism on Wikipedia you look at. However, if you ask people to describe their religious beliefs, atheists + agnostics amount to only around one and a half percent of the population and another survey cited said atheists are less than 2%.

      August 11, 2011 at 1:05 pm |
  11. educated

    This is ridiculous. This is obviously the most biased survey ever done. Are Muslims, Jews, Hindus, Sikhs, and any number of other religions mentioned in this article? Not hardly. Nice try getting the "Religious Right" perspective thing in on your "the more educated people are the more they attend church" thing. Who did you survey? The people who attend YOUR church? or your version of church? Please......

    August 11, 2011 at 12:43 pm |
    • J.W

      So what you are saying is that there are more educated religious people that were not counted in the article?

      August 11, 2011 at 12:45 pm |
    • Nathan

      CNN – Censored News Network..

      A pack of lies – in before they recall this just like "IE users have a lower IQ, blah blah blah".

      August 11, 2011 at 12:50 pm |
    • Tom

      IE users really do have lower IQs. IE is slower than Chrome and Firefox, no better at displaying graphics than Chrome, and more vulnerable to hacking than Chrome and Firefox. You really do have to have a lower IQ to use it.

      August 11, 2011 at 12:56 pm |
  12. spumoni, joey spumoni

    up to grade 12 maybe, but after univ, I would bet more people lose the delusion than pick it up.

    August 11, 2011 at 12:42 pm |
    • RealityChecker

      Common sense refutes you. If your theory were true, churches would be filled with more people under 18 than over 25. And the exact opposite is true, which proves your thinking is the opposite of reality.

      August 11, 2011 at 12:46 pm |
    • Simon

      RealityChecker –

      Your logic is just as flawed. It assumes people stop aging when they end their education.

      August 11, 2011 at 12:49 pm |
    • Jinxgt

      @Simon: I don't know how you came to that deduction because RealityChecker's statement doesn't imply that at all. As people age, they become more educated and since they still continue or begin to attend church the opening poster is incorrect in his assumption that more people leave church as they become more educated.

      August 11, 2011 at 12:58 pm |
    • RealityChecker

      Simon,

      Wrong. The reference is to the NUMBER of believers, not individuals. If the number of believers goes down after college, then you should expect to see fewer numbers of people in church/synogogue/mosque, etc after college, than before it. Since the normal college age range is 18-25, this would mean that according to joey, the number of believers should go DOWN after 25.

      Attend any place of religious service in any given week, on any part of the planet, and you will see that joey's theory is refuted.

      August 11, 2011 at 12:59 pm |
    • Simon

      RealityChecker

      Your logic does imply that everyone stops aging or dies when they stop their formal education. Can someone be 23 and only have a high school diploma? Yes. How about 45? Yes. That person can go to church or not go to church. It has nothing to do with their education level. I know several people over the age of 25 and 45 with only a high school diploma that attend church regularly. In fact until recently each generation in the U.S. has been more educated than the last. If you look around a church and see more people in attendance who are older than younger it has nothing to do with education level, one way or another. It is more likely to be generational than education based. Both of you have no idea what you are talking about.

      August 11, 2011 at 1:08 pm |
    • BobInCal

      The census estimates for 2009 show 223,586,000 over 20 and 83,421,000 under 19. So, yes you would expect to see more people over 20 in church (assuming that each group was equally likely to attend church).

      August 11, 2011 at 1:13 pm |
    • GodPot

      "Attend any place of religious service in any given week, on any part of the planet, and you will see that joey's theory is refuted."

      So you are claiming that the photos of the hundreds of thousands of muslim pilgrims heading to Mecca is also just full of educated college graduates and have through their education decided Islam is the real religion and Allah is the one true God. You are saying that you believe the more educated the person the more they turn to God right? Or is it that educated people would only choose your religion? Seem's more likely to me people are indoctinated at very early ages in the religion of their birthplace and have very little to do with changing it whether they are educated or not. Some of the educated decide to dig deeper and do read the bible and other religious writings all in an attempt to understand what they have been told to believe in all their lives, and many of those become disillusioned and become atheists. Others simply find it to hard to try and battle the contradictions they find inside so they go back to reading the gospel's only and listening to someone else who has no problem with the contradictions tell them that it doesn't matter because God is all powerfull and works in mysterious ways so no matter what corner your logic find's itself in, you can just relax, because God's got your back.

      August 11, 2011 at 1:27 pm |
  13. Herp Derp

    How sad it is that many adults feel the need to have imaginary friends....

    August 11, 2011 at 12:42 pm |
  14. php5001

    The comment about highly educated person gravitating toward christian denominations is odd. 1. we live in a predominately white country. 2. what was the racial scope of this study? Factually, some of the greatest minds in history, including Albert Einstein, have read the Gita, which is a hindu text) on almost a daily basis. Not to mention the philosophical statements they made regarding hinduism. So yes, the mainstream american white person would of course gravitate to a WASP religion. I'm not bashing religions, I don't know enough about them to do that. As for me, i don't know what's out there. i believe there may be a higher power, but choose to live in the here and now.

    August 11, 2011 at 12:41 pm |
    • Robert

      And what happens when the here and now is gone? What happens when you die? Once that happens, it will be too late and you'd be better to find out the truth for yourself then count on polls or any of the opinions people are throwing around here.

      August 11, 2011 at 1:04 pm |
    • Kirstyloo

      I don't think that this article had a stance about Christian versus non-Christian faiths. It appears as though the survey contained that information and counted them among the faithful. The research study probably did also. This summary article doesn't address it because it was only a summary. My guess is during your reference they were trying to allude to the issues between fundamentalist non-demonination faiths (see Bible quote above) and mainstream Christian faiths. This author felt that this was interesting because mainstream faiths have been loosing membership to non-demoninational churches. You are right that it would have been interesting to include a broader range of faiths in this article. I guess that we'll just have to read the REAL journal article.

      August 11, 2011 at 3:24 pm |
  15. Shmeckell

    Oh goodie, another one of these polls. This one benefits me this time but a poll is only as good as the variables withheld.

    August 11, 2011 at 12:41 pm |
  16. FatSean

    It's all about appearances. Your drone workers think better of you if you are religious.

    August 11, 2011 at 12:41 pm |
  17. QS

    I believe that faith, religion, believing...whatever term you want to give it, is less about how intelligent a person is and more about the human condition. Those who believe in a god of some sort may be fairly intelligent people, but they may also, despite all their intelligence, still foster an irrational fear of death.

    Religion gives them an outlet, faith gives them a coping mechanism, and believing gives them comfort that allows them to cushion the bluntness of the knowledge that we are finite creatures, that we have a beginning and an end, and that there is no fancy place in the clouds with pearly gates that awaits us.

    Fear is the driving force behind people believing in a god....religion is the tool by which that fear is mass produced and distributed.

    August 11, 2011 at 12:40 pm |
    • Lettuce Prey

      QS, thank you, well stated. I'm an atheist, but I do understand the need to believe in a continuance of self. Life can be short and hard. It's unkind to criticize the beliefs of others. It is also unkind of those believers who lash out at any and all who disagree with their beliefs.

      August 11, 2011 at 12:47 pm |
    • QS

      "I do understand the need to believe in a continuance of self."

      I understand the reason behind the need, but not the need itself. I think it's the height of denying our very existence as humans that we try to rationalize and justify a non-existent, unprovable belief system that offers nothing and asks for everything.

      August 11, 2011 at 12:56 pm |
    • BigSir

      Fear is part of it, yes. But "irrational fear of death'? A fear of death is quite rational.How old are you? 20 – 30 I would guess.

      August 11, 2011 at 1:00 pm |
    • QS

      I understand what you're getting at BigSir, but I would argue that a fear of death is NATURAL, but never rational. Fearing the natural and inevitable end of our lives is like fearing breathing or eating...things that are a natural, yet necessary part of existence.

      You can rationally fear pain as that must be endured while alive. But fearing death is nothing but an exercise in futility. It essentially forces people to create these elaborate fantasies that somehow have now been labeled religions, just so they can comfort themselves with a belief that while they may not LIVE forever, they will at least EXIST forever. It's simply irrational to me.

      August 11, 2011 at 1:20 pm |
  18. bob c

    this article is BS. the more educated people are the less likely they are to believe in religion. unless you tell us what your poll pool is made up from, your deduction is meaningless. i believe more in a higer power than i do your poll and article. plain BS!

    August 11, 2011 at 12:40 pm |
    • RealityChecker

      "this article is BS. the more educated people are the less likely they are to believe in religion"

      And Bob offers the following evidence to back up his "opinion"............

      August 11, 2011 at 12:42 pm |
  19. martinipaul

    CR: So, you go to church with the wife and kids but you don't pray? Good for you, hypocrite.

    August 11, 2011 at 12:40 pm |
  20. Taylor

    Impossible. Explain how all the blue states have the highest levels of education and red states maintain the lowest? Organized religion is a fools game to take cash from the most simple minds. Fill them with fear and take their cash. South Carolina? Texas? Give me a break

    August 11, 2011 at 12:39 pm |
    • Nathan

      Because this study is only of the most educated people. If they would study the education levels of all people they would have gotten different results.

      August 11, 2011 at 12:42 pm |
    • RealityChecker

      It's because Taylor lacks the IQ to know that red and blue are meaningless, and trying to compare voting patterns to religious beliefs is as stupid as comparing apples to dump trucks.

      August 11, 2011 at 12:44 pm |
    • John B

      "Explain how all the blue states have the highest levels of education"

      Where did you hear that?

      August 11, 2011 at 12:57 pm |
    • John

      Dead on!

      August 11, 2011 at 12:58 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.