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Less-educated Americans are losing religion, study finds
The decline in church attendance among whites without college degrees is twice as high as for those with college degrees.
August 24th, 2011
03:17 PM ET

Less-educated Americans are losing religion, study finds

By Liane Membis, CNN

(CNN) - If you don't have a college degree, you’re less likely to be up early on Sunday morning, singing church hymns.

That's the upshot of a new study that finds the decline in church attendance since the 1970s among white Americans without college degrees is twice as high as for those with college degrees.

Study: More educated tend to be more religious

“Our study suggests that the less-educated are dropping out of the American religious sector, similarly to the way in which they have dropped out of the American labor market,” said W. Bradford Wilcox, a professor of sociology at the University of Virginia, who was lead researcher on the project.

The research, presented this week at American Sociological Association's annual meeting, found that 37% of moderately educated whites - those with high school degrees but lacking degrees from four-year colleges - attend religious services at least monthly, down from 50% in the 1970s.

Among college-educated whites, the dropoff was less steep, with 46% regularly attending religious services in the 2000s, compared with 51% in the '70s.

The study focuses on white Americans because church attendance among blacks and Latinos is less divided by education and income.

Most religiously affiliated whites identify as Catholics, evangelical Protestants, mainline Protestants, Mormons or Jews.

Lower church attendance among the less-educated may stem from a disconnect between them and modern church values, the study theorizes.

Religious institutions tend to promote traditional middle-class family values like education, marriage and parenthood, but less-educated whites are less likely to get or stay married and may feel ostracized by their religious peers, the researchers said.

The researchers expressed concern about the falloff in church attendance among the less-educated.

“This development reinforces the social marginalization of less educated Americans who are also increasingly disconnected from the institutions of marriage and work,” said Andrew Cherlin, co-author of the study and a professor of sociology and public policy at Johns Hopkins University.

Wilcox said that those who do not attend church are missing out on potential benefits.

“Today, the market and the state provide less financial security to the less educated than they once did,” Wilcox said. “Religious congregations may be one of the few institutional sectors less-educated Americans can turn to for social, economic and emotional support in the face of today’s tough times, yet it appears that increasingly few of them are choosing to do so.”

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Church • Polls

soundoff (1,621 Responses)
  1. CSX

    I fianlly agree with these anti – Christ people. they are less educated and they are called democrats!!!!!!!

    Another hit peice on Christianity. Why not do one on Islam losing young males to terrorist attacks.

    August 24, 2011 at 7:08 pm |
    • HotAirAce

      Many christians claim mormons are not christians – are you saying they are?

      The article mentioned Jews – since when have they been classified as "christians"?

      Why do you feel the need to deflect attention away from your cult?

      August 24, 2011 at 7:39 pm |
    • Good Bless the Illuminati

      Hey, you're clever! Now, would you like me to show you how to proofread and spell-check before posting?

      August 24, 2011 at 10:05 pm |
    • Jum

      I before E except after C.

      August 24, 2011 at 11:34 pm |
    • Paul

      1) Learn to spell.

      2) Try actually following the religion your pushing. You know, the whole "love thy neighbor" thing that has apparently gone entirely over your head.

      Religion of hypocrisy, more and more every day...

      August 25, 2011 at 11:25 am |
  2. Allison

    I think it means those without a college degree are probably working 6 days a week and want that one day to relax and be with their family

    August 24, 2011 at 6:54 pm |
  3. Bo

    Before the atheist celibrate too much, I was just reading yesterday that in a 2008 survey that only 4% of Americans are atheist and the precentage rate has been the same 4% since they started taking surveys. about 74% have only a highschool deploma or less and only about 10% have a doctorate and most of them are teachers teaching their dogmas with little success. science in colleges

    August 24, 2011 at 6:15 pm |
    • The Bobinator

      Another person who thinks education = intelligence. ROFL.

      August 24, 2011 at 6:25 pm |
    • *frank*

      *celebrate

      August 24, 2011 at 6:44 pm |
    • HotAirAce

      It's not hard to find data, even from faith-based websites, that shows atheism is on the rise. You would have to be intentionally ignoring numerous webpages to conclude otherwise (even if you discount the credibility of some sites and the Internet in general). The rise in atheism is even more significant given that most people simply believe whatever their parents indoctrinated them with (and this is largely a function of geography) – almost no one converts. Given the (unwarranted) influence has in most societys, to "convert" to atheism is a significant event.

      You might want to look at http://www.americanreligionsurvey-aris.org/reports/ARIS_Report_2008.pdf.

      August 24, 2011 at 8:10 pm |
    • Ob

      88.2% of all statistics are made up on the spot.- Vic Reeves.

      August 24, 2011 at 8:37 pm |
    • Good Bless the Illuminati

      Bo – you made up most of that "data" as you were typing, didn't you? But here's a good stat that you can look up and find is true.
      In the general population atheists account for 10-12%. However, in prison populations atheists account for less that 1% of the population. So, isn't it weird that the folks who "lack the moral compass" aren't breaking laws and getting their butts thrown in jail? Curious, isn't it?

      August 24, 2011 at 10:10 pm |
    • makesPerfect Sense

      yeah bobinator, there are ALOT of uneducated GENIUSES walking around out there. YOU'RE soooo smart!!!

      August 24, 2011 at 11:17 pm |
    • Paul

      Huh? The two big surveys were done by BBC (which found 9% were atheist) and a Gallup Poll (which found 7% were), and this was at least 8 years ago.

      Where the heck are you getting your statistics from?

      August 25, 2011 at 11:33 am |
    • Ildira

      Bo

      "Celebrate" and "Diploma" Also, please check your pew research data – atheism has raised to 15 percent recently – not that people suddenly became atheists, they have been persecuted (and in many areas) still are and they have been in the closet. Don't "celebrate" too much though – their community unity is also getting stronger, so they aren't going away whatever their education level may be. Kick and scream all you want – human rights are still human rights, and trying to shut them up with violence historically never worked (although you theists of any religion have been using the same tired method throughout all these centuries) and it never will. I'd say try logic and reason with them, but I guess these "uneducated atheists" can't figure that one out themselves, right? 🙂

      August 25, 2011 at 11:34 pm |
  4. *frank*

    Why did god make pygmies? What's the story with those little buggers?

    August 24, 2011 at 5:55 pm |
    • The Bobinator

      Without them we probably wouldn't have midget mexican wrestling. I mean, I don't want to live in a world without midget wrestling.

      August 24, 2011 at 6:13 pm |
    • God's God!

      Oh no you didn't...........

      Ya, you did

      ROFLMAO

      August 24, 2011 at 10:25 pm |
    • makesPerfect Sense

      easy question Frank, God made pygmies to make you jealous coz their junk is bigger than yours

      August 24, 2011 at 11:19 pm |
  5. It would indeed help...

    "It says nothing about which group is more religious."

    NOTHING?

    "If it’s simply attending religious services, then no. Highly educated people are not less religious; in fact, they’re more religious"

    "It all falls down to what you consider to be religious."

    Fair enough, but since you yourself offered no definition of "religious", your assertion that the article "...says NOTHING about which group is more religious" is quite unfounded.

    August 24, 2011 at 5:49 pm |
    • The Bobinator

      Actually, that's wrong. Religious is part of a person's mind, it's nothing to do with habits.

      Let's say a priest loses his faith and because he has no work skills, is forced to remain a priest. He goes to church, says the prayers and goes along with the motions. Is he religious? Of course not.

      Going to church may indiciate a loose devotion to the rules of someone's faith, but in all honesty, it says nothing on what the person actually thinks. I bet there are several people who don't believe but go to chruch out of social pressures.

      August 24, 2011 at 6:12 pm |
    • i wonder

      The Bobinator: "I bet there are several people who don't believe but go to church out of social pressures."

      Yep. My family and I did it for years just to please the grandparents. We have not been back since the last elder died.

      August 24, 2011 at 6:20 pm |
    • king david

      just because college grads co to church does not make them religious,,most are hypocrites just trying to look good before other men and god ,,but like politicians they are corrupt and wolves on the inside..your college studies do not fool me and soon you shall reap your rewards!!

      August 24, 2011 at 7:01 pm |
  6. b4bigbang

    @AGuest9: The atheists apparently don't do the suicide bomber thing. They choose guerilla tactics and military assault weapons. They're killing people in several spots on the globe as I type. Nepal is one such place.

    August 24, 2011 at 5:38 pm |
    • The Bobinator

      > @AGuest9: The atheists apparently don't do the suicide bomber thing. They choose guerilla tactics and military assault weapons. They're killing people in several spots on the globe as I type. Nepal is one such place.

      Explain to me how a rejection of a claim drives someone's decisions to do something. Especially since the same people don't belive in my invisible pet dragon chunky. A-chunkiests are doing what you claim atheists are doing.

      Prove that a-chunkiest methodology isn't the cause and atheism is.

      Your argument is retarded.

      August 24, 2011 at 6:10 pm |
    • NONATHEIST

      Hey, Bobinator, atheism IS an ethos. You can argue that it is or is not a religion, but it IS a world view, a belief orientation. To imply that the term 'atheist" is the same as your made-up anti-dragon crap is disengenuous at best, dishonest at worst. You want to be an atheist? Fine. No problem. You have that right. But don't then tell everyone that you can't be labeled as an atheist. You want to have it both ways and logically, it just doesn't work.

      August 25, 2011 at 8:43 am |
    • Paul

      NONATHEIST: Dear christ you're an idiot. Vegetarianism is an ethos. Some people consider yoga an ethos. Or daily surfing. Or marijuana.

      Hitler was a vegetarian. Does that mean all vegetarians are like Hitler?

      Think before typing.

      August 25, 2011 at 11:40 am |
    • Sean

      Sorry, NONATHEIST – in the purest possible sense, you can’t derive an ethos or a world view from the *absence* of a specific belief. Undoubtedly, Bobinator has a world view, and one which probably overlaps with yours and mine to a large extent, but the fact that he’s not persuaded by a set of theistic claims doesn’t mean he shares a specific philosophy with (to note the choice piece of slander above) the atheists in Nepal, Bertrand Russell, Stalin or my dog (who has never expressed a belief in God either).

      It has been pointed out that there shouldn’t actually be a need for a word like “atheist”, in the same way that there’s no need for a word for non-astrologers, or non-alchemists. It’s just a nice short-hand for people who don’t identify with a widespread theistic belief, and one which gives the religious majority an easy way to slander nonbelievers as a group, but in and of itself, it’s an empty vessel. We often hear that there’s an atheist “movement”, and the people in it are united in a pretty coherent push-back against the specific pretenses and excesses of the dominant religions, but for the same reasons, I don’t feel responsible for the comments and claims of another atheist any more than I feel responsible for the actions of, say, a fellow British native who just set fire to a car in North London. It’s like a bad set of Venn diagrams and it was clearly the right thing to push back against the asinine claims of b4bigbang above, which pre-suppose that atheism is a philosophy when it isn’t.

      August 25, 2011 at 2:34 pm |
  7. GSA

    Funny how ppl keep using the word intelligent when the article headline was clear in saying educated not intelligent, they do not go hand in hand as many seem to think. Like I posted earlier, the majority of educated North Americans still think Columbus discovered America. I guess if you repeat something enough times you can make yourself believe it as fact.

    August 24, 2011 at 5:38 pm |
    • The Bobinator

      The people who mistake education for intelligence are the same people who think their child is smart because he/she won a spelling bee.

      August 24, 2011 at 6:08 pm |
    • Not quite

      "...educated not intelligent, they do not go hand in hand as many seem to think."

      In fact, education and intelligence are highly correlative.

      If by "...hand in hand..." you mean rigorously determinative (or r^2=1.0), then, no.

      "...the majority of educated North Americans still think Columbus discovered America."

      "discovered America" is simply a ( unfortunate) convention of speech, as virtually all educated Americans know who arrived on the North American continent first, and when. (although, technically, since it wasn't named "America" 14,000 years ago, your assertion of the ignorance of "the majority of educated North Americans" may itself be quite ignorant.

      August 24, 2011 at 6:12 pm |
    • The Bobinator

      > In fact, education and intelligence are highly correlative.

      The problem is that correlations ignore other possibilities, or at least, hide them. For example, since 1950 to present, the number of fatal car accidents per capita has decreased. Also, since 1950, the number of scientific discoveries per year has increased. So clearly, the more scientific facts we learn, the less people die in car accidents.

      There is a reason why correlation isn't used.

      August 24, 2011 at 6:31 pm |
    • Not Quite

      Correlations do not ignore "other possibilities", they simply indicate, well, correlations (of all possible kinds).

      They may be causal, they may be coincidental. But they are certainly "used" to suggest (if plausable) and investigate possible causal connections.

      In the case of intelligence and education, I believe there are plausable causal connections.

      August 25, 2011 at 11:01 am |
    • Not Quite

      * plausible

      August 25, 2011 at 11:08 am |
  8. But I thought...

    ...religious people were supposed to be the dumb ones.

    August 24, 2011 at 4:35 pm |
    • Maybe It Would Help To Actually Read The Articles

      This article discusses the finding that less educated people are leaving the church faster than more educated one. It says nothing about which group is more religious. Do note that both demographics are LEAVING religion . . . good news!

      The other article referred to in this one states: "“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.

      Attend more but believe less.

      And if you google for the many other studies on the matter, you fill find plenty of studies that support the notion that educated people are less religious.

      August 24, 2011 at 5:33 pm |
    • It would indeed help...

      "It says nothing about which group is more religious." (NOTHING?)

      "...37% of moderately educated whites – those with high school degrees but who lack degrees from four-year colleges – attend religious services at least monthly."

      "Among college educated whites,... , with 46% regularly attending religious services in the 2000s, compared to 51% in the '70s."

      August 24, 2011 at 5:41 pm |
    • It would indeed help...

      "It says nothing about which group is more religious."

      NOTHING?

      "If it’s simply attending religious services, then no. Highly educated people are not less religious; in fact, they’re more religious"

      "It all falls down to what you consider to be religious."

      Fair enough, but since you yourself offered no definition of "religious", your assertion that the article "...says NOTHING about which group is more religious" is quite unfounded.

      August 24, 2011 at 5:51 pm |
  9. Naomi

    Christians are smarter because we have to study the Bible. ^^

    August 24, 2011 at 4:32 pm |
    • AGuest9

      As opposed to the Torah, The I, Ching, the Qur'an? Reading skills aren't required, there?

      August 24, 2011 at 5:18 pm |
    • Lycidas

      Just a nitpick, but the Torah is part of the Christian Bible.

      August 24, 2011 at 5:46 pm |
    • No it's not..

      It's part of the Hebrew Bible. The New Testament is the Christian Bible.

      Many Jews refer to the Original Bible and the Belated Bible.

      August 24, 2011 at 5:58 pm |
    • Lycidas

      "It's part of the Hebrew Bible. The New Testament is the Christian Bible."

      ~Actually...the Christian Bible has always included what we refer to as the Old Testament, which of course includes the Torah. Even the Vulgate (4th century CE) included the Torah. The Codex Sinaiticus also has the Torah within it.
      I would recommend that you use the term Tanakh instead of Hebrew Bible also...it tends to confuse ppl who are not educated enough not to know what "Bible" means in certain references.

      "Many Jews refer to the Original Bible and the Belated Bible."

      ~Again, better to use the word Tanakh.

      August 24, 2011 at 6:06 pm |
    • 5 books

      The Tanakh is what the Christians call the Old Testament. The "old testament" consists of what the Jews call: The Torah (Genesis-Deuteronomy), Nevi'im (Joshua-Malachi), and Kethuvim (Psalms-II Chronicles). Those 3 parts make up what is known as the Jewish Tanakh.

      August 24, 2011 at 6:07 pm |
    • DamianKnight

      Oh em gee. Can we not get into an argument over who is smarter? Isn't this the "my dad can beat up your dad" argument that I had in Kindergarten?

      August 24, 2011 at 6:24 pm |
    • Lycidas

      @DK- if you are not here to learn, plz...don't let us keep you here

      August 24, 2011 at 7:22 pm |
    • Good Bless the Illuminati

      Naomi – apparently I'm the only one who understood your comment was tongue-in-cheek. Good one. I like a subtle joke on these blogs.

      August 24, 2011 at 10:13 pm |
  10. GSA

    I'm guessing when they say educated they mean the same education system that still thinks Columbus discovered America?

    August 24, 2011 at 4:27 pm |
    • Colin

      Well it could not have been native Americans who crossed the land bridge from Asia during the last Ice Age, at least 10,000 years ago, becuase we all know that the World began only 6,000 years ago with Adam and Eve and a talking snake. It was incredible how, after Noah's family got off the Ark on Mount Ararat, about 4,000 year ago, they managed to poulate the entire World and become black people, Asian people, Scandanavian people Sub-continent Indians, all the races of Amero-Indians, Australian Aboriginals, New guniea highlanders, etc., etc. etc.

      August 24, 2011 at 4:34 pm |
    • Anti Christian Taliban Schizophrenics

      Colin

      Well it could not have been native Americans who crossed the land bridge from Asia during the last Ice Age, at least 10,000 years ago, becuase we all know that the World began only 6,000 years ago with Adam and Eve and a talking snake. It was incredible how, after Noah's family got off the Ark on Mount Ararat, about 4,000 year ago, they managed to poulate the entire World and become black people, Asian people, Scandanavian people Sub-continent Indians, all the races of Amero-Indians, Australian Aboriginals, New guniea highlanders, etc., etc. etc.

      ------–
      It is because of god..he is magical. lol

      August 24, 2011 at 4:35 pm |
    • Colin

      Hey ACTS- yes, I love how quickly the Bible-cuddlers retreat to "God moves in mysterious ways" or "it's a mystery only God can know" whenever they have to confront a seemingly intractable contradiction in their silly faith.

      August 24, 2011 at 4:41 pm |
    • Stevie7

      @Colin,
      I equate that to praying that god's will be done. Your prayers can be answered 100% of the time!!

      August 24, 2011 at 4:43 pm |
    • Colin

      Hey steve7 – I never thought of that – that is funny. it does seem odd to pray to an omnipotent being that "thy will be done..."

      August 24, 2011 at 4:49 pm |
    • David Johnson

      @Colin

      Yes, when I dwell on Genesis Vs. Reality... I find I don't have enough faith.

      "Whoever wants to be a Christian should tear the eyes out of his Reason." - Martin Luther

      Good Post! Cheers!

      August 24, 2011 at 4:50 pm |
    • Colin

      Thanks DJ – I have to run. I'll leave it to you and the others on here to keep prying open those believers' minds. Just keep hitting them up with facts and logic, my friend. Even the most closed of minds may see some light get through.

      August 24, 2011 at 4:59 pm |
    • Stevie7

      "Even the most closed of minds may see some light get through."
      --
      I think we can all agree that Naomi/FairGarden/Adelina is beyond hope, though.

      August 24, 2011 at 5:01 pm |
    • Colin

      Stevie7 – agreed, mate. In fact, I never engage her. No point. If the end game is either (i) the enjoyment of the cahallange of the debate; (ii) to change the mind of the person with whom one is debating; or (iii) to change the minds of the many, many people who read the exchanges, but do not comment, engaging with her is futile. I feels sorry for her. I think she is a lonely old lady. I hope I'm wrong.

      August 24, 2011 at 5:04 pm |
    • The Bobinator

      > It was incredible how, after Noah's family got off the Ark on Mount Ararat, about 4,000 year ago, they managed to poulate the entire World and become black people, Asian people, Scandanavian people Sub-continent Indians, all the races of Amero-Indians, Australian Aboriginals, New guniea highlanders, etc., etc. etc.

      While at the same time claiming that mutations cannot add any new information and all mutations result in bad things happening. ROFL.

      August 24, 2011 at 6:07 pm |
  11. AGuest9

    I'm glad that I buck yet another trend! (Actually, I know many intelligent, educated atheists.)

    August 24, 2011 at 4:15 pm |
    • herbert juarez

      According to the article ,you might know a whole bunch of intelligent, educated closet Christians.

      August 24, 2011 at 4:27 pm |
    • herbert juarez

      It's only your word for it that you" buck the trend"?
      For all we know and based on your position ,you might not be that bright.

      August 24, 2011 at 4:30 pm |
    • Stevie7

      How did the article say that intelligent Christians are closeted? It only discussed church attendance. By that measure, then, its more likely that the less intelligent Christians are more closeted. Frankly, at least according to CNN's reporting, I think that this article said a whole lotta nuthin'

      And to be fair, I know a lot of highly educated people of many persuasions.

      August 24, 2011 at 4:31 pm |
    • AGuest9

      So, herbert, how many life-saving vaccines are created based on ONE study? How many scientific theories are proved based on ONE study? How many school programs are created or modified (other than Young Earth nonsense) based upon ONE study?

      August 24, 2011 at 4:46 pm |
    • Colin

      Hello Herbert – I was just listening to a tape in my car about how a recent discovery of ho.minid fossils in the Republic of Georgia represents the earliest evidence of the genus h.omo outside of Africa.

      Fortunately, you have educated me that Adma and Eve is literally true, so I will write to the publishers of the study and tell them to pack up their bags and go home, as there were no earlier ho.minids from who ho.mo sapiens eveolved, given that we all evolved from Adam and Eve.

      August 24, 2011 at 4:47 pm |
    • herbert juarez

      @colin
      Wow, colin, a tape in your car?It must be fact then.
      Actually the entire record of the history of man is incomplete at this point,although we can assume that the earth was populated in various places at various times.Man still had to come from somewhere, there had to be a beginning.That is the point we really need to establish.To date I haven't seen anything that could not be on the road from creation.Georgia as I recall is not far off the fertile crescent,the traditional site for the garden of Eden.(could be getting closer)Or do you prefer the theory that two self sustaining human beings, male and female,capable of finding each other and reproducing crawled out of the primordial ooze at about the same time?Were these original people babies ,if so how did they sustain themselves to maturity?How do you get to adulthood?Perhaps there were many appearing at the same time,that seems even more impossible.What are the odds of that happening?Two compatible beings appearing at the same time and general area with all the needed capacity to sustain and reproduce.This on a planet the size of earth.

      August 24, 2011 at 5:15 pm |
    • herbert juarez

      @stevie7
      Try reading the original comment, then the response,it may help.
      Hope that will clear it up for you.Sadly ,according to the article you must be a long, long way from belief.

      August 24, 2011 at 5:55 pm |
    • Jeff

      Herbert: I don't even know where to begin and I certainly won't try to open that tiny little mind of yours. First, you clearly have no clue how creatures evolve. Second, you clearly have no way to conceptualize what hundreds of millions of years actually is. And third, you find the idea of creatures evolving naturally to be "too unlikely" to contemplate, but are willing to blindly accept the idea that there is a magical being in the sky that has the power to create things from nothing? And that makes more sense to you? It never ceases to amaze me that people like you actually exist in the world.

      August 24, 2011 at 8:59 pm |
  12. Naomi

    Yes, Christians always endure and take care of the less educated and poorer. Christians built schools, hospitals and orphanages for the first time everywhere around the world.

    August 24, 2011 at 4:14 pm |
    • AGuest9

      Ancient Greeks weren't Christians.

      August 24, 2011 at 4:17 pm |
    • Anti Christian Taliban Schizophrenics

      Interesting there were no schools etc prior to christians. huh who would have known?????

      August 24, 2011 at 4:19 pm |
    • AGuest9

      Ben Franklin built the first hospital in the colonies. Franklin was Deist.

      August 24, 2011 at 4:21 pm |
    • Lycidas

      If roughly 2000 years ago is "ancient" then yes, there were ancient Chriatians that were Greek.
      Were Christians the first to open up schools...etc. No, of course not.
      Were Christians among the variety of groups within the Anglo-American sphere of influence that did open up many schools, orphanages..etc? Yes

      August 24, 2011 at 4:21 pm |
    • AGuest9

      Ancient Greece would be several hundred years BCE.

      August 24, 2011 at 4:36 pm |
    • Anti Christian Taliban Schizophrenics

      Lycidas

      If roughly 2000 years ago is "ancient" then yes, there were ancient Chriatians that were Greek.
      Were Christians the first to open up schools...etc. No, of course not.
      Were Christians among the variety of groups within the Anglo-American sphere of influence that did open up many schools, orphanages..etc? Yes

      ----
      Naomi please take note

      August 24, 2011 at 4:37 pm |
    • Naomi

      I refer to real schools, not talk gatherings, that continue to this day. All of them were created to study the Bible and the Christian missionaries spread them to all 5 continents.

      August 24, 2011 at 4:40 pm |
    • i wonder

      Teaching people to read is admirable.

      Teaching them that a compendium of antiquated Middle Eastern tribal supersti.tions is true is outrageous.

      August 24, 2011 at 4:46 pm |
    • AGuest9

      The Academy, founded by Plato in 387 BCE was a "real school". Perhaps you've heard of Plato's writings and teachings, as well as Socrates (for whom the Socratic method is named) and Aristotle. They form the basis of Western logic and mathematics. The geometry that we learned in high school descends from Thales, as far back as 600 BCE.

      Perhaps you consider The Gymnasium where Einstein completed his undergrad work "not a real school", either?

      August 24, 2011 at 5:04 pm |
    • Naomi

      @Guest, actually, the first public school(school for all) was started by Puritans. Various forms of schooling could have existed in different civilizations before, but the schools in the West that continue today were started as Bible schools. The Greeks regressed and never made it.

      August 24, 2011 at 5:09 pm |
    • Lycidas

      @Guest- "Ancient Greece would be several hundred years BCE"
      We are in an odd situation here. If you are referring to that subdivision of Greek history, then you are correct. But your original post said, "Ancient Greeks". The concept of "ancient" history usually has it ending with the fall of the Roamn Empire. This would clearly make it possible to have ancient greek christians.

      @Naomi- You are walking a fine line. Real education does not require it to be open to all. Just in the manner of it's teaching. Schools have been around before the time of Jesus and existed outside of Christian influence for centuries. Islam had many places that would be considered schools and had higher education opportunities than most European places during the same times frame (800-1300)

      August 24, 2011 at 5:56 pm |
    • Good Bless the Illuminati

      OK Naomi – with your first posts I thought you were being cute and pithy. Now I see you are REALLY into revisionist history. Apparently you are living proof of the old adage – "religion is a fine thing, taken in moderation."

      August 24, 2011 at 10:18 pm |
  13. claybigsby

    "“Our study suggests that the less educated are dropping out of the American religious sector, similarly to the way in which they have dropped out of the American labor market"

    Wow comparing the labor market with religion...apples to apples there....

    "The research, presented this week at American Sociological Association's annual meeting, found that 37% of moderately educated whites – those with high school degrees but who lack degrees from four-year colleges – attend religious services at least monthly, down from 50% in the 1970s."

    Sorry if i missed this but did anyone catch a sample size for this study? They fail to include this statistic in their analysis. Probably sampled 100 people.

    August 24, 2011 at 4:02 pm |
    • Stevie7

      I haven't read the actual study, and CNN's reporting on it leaves a lot of questions unanswered, and I think the headline is rather misleading. First, church attendance does not necessarily equate to one's religious beliefs. Second, there's no mention of the increase in college degrees granted in the last forty years and how this affects the data. Also, the study clearly shows that religious attendance is dropping in the college educated as well, just not at the same rate, so perhaps the headline should have been "moderately educated americans are attending church even less than college educated americans"

      August 24, 2011 at 4:21 pm |
    • claybigsby

      I agree with everything you said, Stevie, I just wish they gave sample sizes for their research so we knew just how big the study was...percentages mean nothing without other needed information.

      August 24, 2011 at 4:28 pm |
    • AGuest9

      If you are interested in some studies on how the growth of religion affected epidemics, check out the following:

      "The Christian tradition, set by the example of Jesus as a healer, stands out, Hughes says. Helping the sick was one way to ensure a trip to Heaven, so risking death from a disease's spread was encouraged. Other religions did not promote such extreme altruism. Islamic teachings basically disavowed the existence of contagious disease, despite some Arabic scholars thinking otherwise at the time. Thus Muslims believed there was no sense in trying to avoid sick people, and the emphasis was on caring for one's family. Jewish doctrine attributed death to God's will and promoted the idea that only God could heal someone, so there was less incentive to treat the sick, concludes Hughes and his colleagues."

      From Does Religion Influence Epidemics?, news sciencemag or g

      Before the bible-thumpers go patting themselves on the back, it should be noted that epidemics came about because of large groups of people living together, at the same time as the rise of organized religions, not as a response to curing the sick during the epidemics.

      August 24, 2011 at 7:28 pm |
  14. Colin

    School prayer is the solution. It should not only be premitted, it should be mandatory.

    We set up a very simple physics or chemistry experiment. Say, a strip of blue litmus paper with a test tube of an acidic solution poised above it. We have all the students in class pray to god that it will not turn red when the test tube is upended and the acid pours on it. We then upturn the test tube and see what happens.

    It will, of course, turn red.

    We do this experiment every day, sometimes substi.tuting red litmus paper for blue litmus paper and an alkali solution for the acid solution – with the appropriate change in the prayer. We can also do other simple experiments – two identical poles of a magnet always being repulsive, with the students praying that they will attract.

    We do these experiments every day of every year for their entire high school experience, with the children praying each day that the result will be different. As we know, their prayers to their gods will fail every day of every week of every year. Every single time, without doubt and 100% guaranteed.

    After a few months of repeated failures, the students are invited to bring along their priests, ministers, rabbis, imams, and other religious authority figures to lead their prayers. They can all pray, chant, implore and bob to their various sky-deities that the litmus paper does not turn red.

    We can also bring in some Gulf War veterans who lost limbs, and the children can pray for their recovery.

    We even have special “open” days where they are even invited to bring along the Pope, Archbishop of Canterbury, Dalia Lama, head of the Orthodox Church, the USA’s most sacred rabbi etc., etc. to join their prayers.

    As we know, their prayers to their gods will still fail every day of every week of every year. Every single time, without doubt and 100% guaranteed.

    This will help the students understand:

    (i) that there is no god listening and that praying is a futile exercise when the results can REALLY be tested;

    (ii) the complete superiority of the scientific method over religious supersti.tions, as science accurately predicts the results of each experiment every time;

    (iii) the silliness of still believing in Bronze Age sky-gods in the 21st Century;

    (iii) the frailties of their religious leaders as they scurry for excuses –“god won’t be tested”, “god moves in mysterious ways” etc; and

    (iv) the weakness of human nature as the religious right moves to shut the experiment down.

    The Bible-cuddlers are correct. Children would learn a lot from praying in school.

    August 24, 2011 at 3:53 pm |
    • herbert juarez

      Brings to mind the story of a college professor who liked to taunt his freshmen class with a challenge.Every new class was challenged with gravity. The professor would hold out a glass flask and assure the class that if he dropped it on the floor it would break and no prayer could ever change that fact.This became an annual challenge until the year one student decided to accept the challenge.The student asked a few believing friends to pray with him and when class came, advised the professor he was ready to try.As the student prayed to God ,the professor held out the flask and released it.For some reason the flask did not fall properly and actually rolled down the professors shin hitting his shoe and rolling unbroken onto the floor.Be careful what you wish for colin, you can never guarantee the results.

      August 24, 2011 at 4:50 pm |
    • Colin

      Herbert – interesting practical complication. We would have to control for accidents and intentional sabotage! In your hypothetical, it would be more convincing if your god or one of his angels, saints or other sky-pixies actually appeared, so as to remove all doubt.

      August 24, 2011 at 4:56 pm |
    • David Johnson

      @Colin

      WoW! Well done!

      Cheers!

      August 24, 2011 at 5:05 pm |
    • herbert juarez

      Gods appearing has been recorded from the dawn of time, as well as numerous encounters with His messengers, the Angels.This continues to happen , sorry that the Heavenly realm doesn't hearken to your will.All the proof that is needed has already been given, again sorry you missed it.

      August 24, 2011 at 5:21 pm |
    • David Johnson

      @herbert juarez

      "Be careful what you wish for", you say?

      Sit back and let uncle Dave tell you a story of faith and the Sago Coal Mine Disaster.

      13 men were buried deep in the W. Va coal mine. A frantic effort was made to save the men.

      The families of the trapped miners gathered in the local Baptist church. Waiting and praying. Always praying.

      A message came up from the rescue team. The trapped miners had been found. They were all alive!

      The Baptist preacher announced, "There was indeed a god in West Virginia!"

      The people in the church began to weep and praise god. More people came to the little church, waiting on the saved miners.
      Someone voiced the opinion that the floor of the church might not hold up, to all he weight of the people.
      The people rejected the danger. If god could save the miners, he could hold up the floor with his mighty hand.

      And then another message came up from the rescue team. There had been a mistake. Of the 13 miners, only 1 was alive.

      The people now sheepish, moved off the overloaded floor. The preacher stood silently.

      A few of the people gave up on religion. Some tried to find a miracle in the fact one man had survived. Had their god not saved him?

      The doctors pointed out, that the man who lived was young. The other men were well over 40. The younger man's heart was just stronger. No miracle could be claimed.

      The moral: Prayer doesn't work.

      Cheers!

      August 24, 2011 at 5:26 pm |
    • The Bobinator

      It's time to get Bobinatored!

      > Gods appearing has been recorded from the dawn of time, as well as numerous encounters with His messengers, the Angels.

      It's also been recorded by different religions. By what method do you uphold your historical writings and discount theirs?

      If you have no method, no objective criteria, then you're doing it because you feel your faith is correct. Which is no different then saying "This is true because I want it to be true."

      > This continues to happen , sorry that the Heavenly realm doesn't hearken to your will.

      So you say. God appears to many people of many faiths.

      > All the proof that is needed has already been given, again sorry you missed it.

      What proof? Eyewitness testimony from 2000 years ago? Heck, there are people who are alive today who say things that I don't believe. Like UFO abductions. And what if someone said that they saw Allah, I'm assuming you'd reject that too, even though it's "stronger" evidence then what's contained in teh bible.

      Furthermore, how can you consider the bible a trustworthy source given that some of the stories aren't true? Or stories that show Jesus to be selfish. How can you consider stories from someone who wishes to be adorned by oil vs. feeding starving children? Heck, I'm not perfect but even I'd avoid using expensive oil in lieu of feeding someone, anyone.

      Also, what sort of God requires faith instead of evidence. Surely God is intelligent and surely God knows there are going to be many religions that all rely on faith. God would have to be incredibly inept and stupid if he wants to achieve his goal of saving souls by relying on faith. Because with faith, Christianity, Islam, Jainism, Hinduism, Druidism are all equal logically.

      Your God doesn't make sense. The only way you can deal with my argument now is to make up some sort of excuse for God's actions, which will dismiss these points. And when you do that, you're simply covering for God. If God is real, all powerful and all knowing, why would he need you to cover up for him?

      August 24, 2011 at 5:36 pm |
    • David Johnson

      @herbert juarez
      You said: "Gods appearing has been recorded from the dawn of time, as well as numerous encounters with His messengers, the Angels."

      Yep, the gods have been appearing, mating with humans, demanding sacrifices and adoration. They all had their turns being worshiped, feared and prayed to.

      A book I just read, had 3 full pages of gods that people believed were real. Their faith animated them. All of these gods are now silent...impotent.

      What evidence can you give, that the Christian god is any more real than His predecessors ?

      "Doubt" is the adult response to anything, for which there is no evidence. Only children under the age of 6, should suspend their critical thinking and believe in magic.

      Cheers!

      August 24, 2011 at 5:46 pm |
    • herbert juarez

      Is this the same uncle dave who's great aunt Tillie was a simian?
      There was and is a God in West Virginia, blessed are they that mourn for they shall be comforted.I remember reports of that tragedy and would have prayed with the miners families for better results.The fact that lives were lost makes the prayer no less real and God no less real.Here on earth bad things will happen, it is our place to love and sustain the hurting in cases like these.The answer to the why is as varied as the events and await the clarification of God at a future time.Jesus referenced the collapse of a tower in the gospels that killed workers.
      The "moral" you leap to is ill conceived and poorly thought out, but aren't you the one known for that?

      August 24, 2011 at 5:46 pm |
    • The Bobinator

      > There was and is a God in West Virginia, blessed are they that mourn for they shall be comforted.

      Yep, believing that their loved ones aren't really dead would be a comfort. They can pretend that they're in a cloud theme park with all the cotton candy they can eat.

      > I remember reports of that tragedy and would have prayed with the miners families for better results.

      Except that there wouldn't be. Why would God, who knows far more then you do, and having known this would occur change his/her mind. It doesn't make sense.

      > The fact that lives were lost makes the prayer no less real and God no less real.

      You're correct. What it does is make it inconsistent and it makes it unpredictable. When that happens, praying to God becomes just as effective as praying to your left sneaker. And when that happens you have to sit back and realize that prayer doesn't do squat. Or at least, not have any effect that you can measure.

      > Here on earth bad things will happen, it is our place to love and sustain the hurting in cases like these.

      Yes, by God's will bad things happen. It's also by God's will that we all have original sin, that people are gay and that evil exists. Go God!

      > The answer to the why is as varied as the events and await the clarification of God at a future time.

      If God exists. If not, it's just random crap. Which seems to be why prayer is inconsistent with the goals of the prayee.

      > Jesus referenced the collapse of a tower in the gospels that killed workers.

      Jesus also referenced that all the things he predicted would come to pass in his generation. He also taught that you should have no thought for the morrow, and yet many christians still run businesses, invest in their retirement funds and generally don't live their lives as if it could end at any given moment.

      Isnt' that odd?

      > The "moral" you leap to is ill conceived and poorly thought out, but aren't you the one known for that?

      The moral of the story is that people who cannot deal with reality on reality's terms will make up some sort of defense mechanism that protects them. This is what they call God. Because no matter what bad happens in their lives, they can sit back and say "It's going all according to a plan."

      I call these people intellectual cowards and fools. Because they are.

      August 24, 2011 at 6:05 pm |
    • David Johnson

      @herbert juarez

      You said: "There was and is a God in West Virginia, blessed are they that mourn for they shall be comforted.I remember reports of that tragedy and would have prayed with the miners families for better results.The fact that lives were lost makes the prayer no less real and God no less real."

      The story illustrated that the supernatural is a delusion. It magnified the two emotions. Joy, when the people thought there was a god and despair when reality showed them their error.

      You said: "Here on earth bad things will happen, it is our place to love and sustain the hurting in cases like these.The answer to the why is as varied as the events and await the clarification of God at a future time."

      Yes, for all the beautiful things in this world, there are also horrors. Disease and parasites that causes pain and death. Birth defects – babies born without brains. Natural disasters that kill men, women and children.

      Much of our earth is covered by salt water, desert and ice. Hardly the sort of place you would expect an intelligent designer to construct.

      John 3:16 – For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

      If the Christian god so loves the world, why does he allow / cause so much suffering? Disease, famine, floods, earthquakes etc. ad infinitum, ad nauseum. ?

      I can explain the existence of these horrors as being due to natural causes and evolution, but my explanation fails when I include an all loving Creator in the equation. I keep getting a "Can't divide by zero" error.

      Christians say their god is omnibenevolent (all good); omnipotent (all powerful); omniscient ( all knowing)

      1. If the Christian god is all knowing, He would be AWARE of all the suffering on earth.

      2. If the Christian god is all good, He would WANT to rid the world of suffering / evil.

      3. If the Christian god is all powerful, He would be ABLE to rid the world of suffering / evil.

      4. Yet, evil persists.

      All the suffering requires more than a "clarification".

      Therefore, The Christian god is very unlikely to exist.

      You said: "Jesus referenced the collapse of a tower in the gospels that killed workers."

      Yep, and Jesus also said:

      "If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer." –Matthew 21:22 (NIV)

      "I tell you the truth, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, 'Move from here to there' and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you." –Matthew 17:20 (NIV)

      "Ask and it will be given to you.... For everyone who asks receives." –Luke 11:9-10 (NIV)

      "Again, I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything you ask for, it will be done for you by my Father in heaven." –Matthew 18:19 (NIV)

      James 5:15 – And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise them up. If they have sinned, they will be forgiven.

      Prayer is useless. Your god is very unlikely to exist.

      Cheers!

      August 24, 2011 at 6:37 pm |
    • David Johnson

      @herbert juarez

      You asked: "Is this the same uncle dave who's great aunt Tillie was a simian?"

      I've seen you use this line before, with others that criticize your blathering.

      We did not evolve from monkeys or apes. Humans share a common ancestor with apes.

      Evolution, with its evidence of transitional fossils, geological column, DNA evidence, vestigial organs etc., is very damning to the biblical Creation Story.

      If god created all the organisms on the planet, then He must have created even the diseases that have caused and are causing so much death and misery for humans and animals. He would have had to fashion the tick and the flea. The mosquito and blood flukes. And worms that bore into a child's eye.
      How could an all good god do such a thing? Why would He spend His time creating gruesome things to cause human suffering? Yet, these horrors exist. And if god didn't create them, who did?

      Evolution explains the diversity of the planet's organisms, including the pathogens and the parasites that have caused so much human death and misery.

      If the Creation Story is a fable, then Adam and Eve did not exist.

      If Adam and Eve did not exist, then there was no original sin.
      If there was no original sin, then it cannot be the reason god allows so much suffering in the world. We can dump the guilt trip.

      If there was no original sin, then there was no need for a redeemer.

      If there was no redeemer, then Christianity is a based on a false premise.

      "If we cannot believe in the First Adam, why believe in the Last [Christ]?" 1 Corinthians15:45

      If the Creation story is a myth, then there is no reason to believe any of the bible.

      If we evolved, there is no soul –> no afterlife –> no need of a heaven or hell.

      LOL, which is why the Evangelicals fight so hard against evolution. It is like a house of cards.

      The Christian god is no more likely than Santa.

      Cheers!

      Cheers!

      August 24, 2011 at 7:06 pm |
    • HotAirAce

      I was going to predict that herbie will soon run away and hide, but it appears he already has...

      August 24, 2011 at 7:25 pm |
    • herbert juarez

      The suffering etc. of this age ,dispensation, will be resolved in the next.1.God is aware of the suffering 2. God does want to rid the world of evil.3.God is able to vanquish evil.4."evil still exists", perhaps God in His mercy is waiting for you to acknowledge Him?Gods grace is extended to all in this dispensation,He is offering you and all the little yous' the opportunity to repent and be saved.He has left the Church to tend to the needs of this present age.(I know the Church doesn't have a real consistent success level,but it is the instrument He has chosen.)Perhaps God has the love and confidence in His people to allow us to fail and to succeed.

      Drum roll please...therefore
      The God of the Holy Bible Exists

      August 24, 2011 at 8:27 pm |
    • HotAirAce

      And once again, herbie strings a bunch of claims together and comes up with god exists.

      In "Herbie World" 0 + 0 + 0 + ... + 0 + 0 + 0 = god exists. And the believers give us atheists a hard time about something being created from nothing...

      August 24, 2011 at 8:42 pm |
  15. Reality

    Just more credance for the following:

    Recognizing the flaws, follies and frauds in the foundations of Islam, Judaism and Christianity, the "bowers", kneelers" and "pew peasants" are converging these religions into some simple rules of life. No koran, bible, clerics, nuns, monks, imams, evangelicals, ayatollahs, rabbis, professors of religion or priests needed or desired.

    Ditto for houses of "worthless worship" aka mosques, churches, basilicas, cathedrals, temples and synagogues.

    August 24, 2011 at 3:46 pm |
  16. Doc Vestibule

    "In the United States, religious attendance rises sharply with education across individuals, but religious attendance declines sharply with education across denominations. This puzzle is explained if education both increases the returns to social connection and reduces the extent of religious belief. The positive effect of education on sociability explains the positive education-religion relationship. The negative effect of education on religious belief causes more educated individuals to sort into less fervent religions, which explains the negative relationship between education and religion across denominations."

    -Bruce Sacerdote, Edward L. Glaeser
    National Bureau of Economic Research

    So to paraphrase, educated people go to church more often for the social networking aspects, NOT becuase they're more inclined to believe.

    August 24, 2011 at 3:44 pm |
    • JA

      sounds like something from the book " Things Atheists Tell Themselves to Make Themselves Feel Smart " .

      August 24, 2011 at 3:55 pm |
    • claybigsby

      JA dont hate cuz he is siting a credible source.

      August 24, 2011 at 4:00 pm |
    • AGuest9

      clay: Come on, you know hating is what churchy people do best.

      August 24, 2011 at 4:13 pm |
    • Lycidas

      "churchy" ppl do not hate anymore than non-churchy ppl

      August 24, 2011 at 4:15 pm |
    • Anti Christian Taliban Schizophrenics

      Lycidas

      "churchy" ppl do not hate anymore than non-churchy ppl

      ---
      I assume you ahve numbers to back this up? *wink* Hey haven't seen you in a while.

      August 24, 2011 at 4:17 pm |
    • AGuest9

      So, the last time an atheist strapped a bomb onto themselves and walked into a crowded market was, when???

      August 24, 2011 at 4:25 pm |
    • Lycidas

      @ACTS- Hey there...been busy.
      I am making an educated guess that the average human is just like, well...the average human. Churchy or non-churchy ppl are still human and that aspect sometimes speaks a lot more than what one's faith or belief does.

      August 24, 2011 at 4:27 pm |
    • Lycidas

      "So, the last time an atheist strapped a bomb onto themselves and walked into a crowded market was, when???"

      When they felt their faith was false and gave it all up and decided to kill themself. Denying the Absurdity of life.

      August 24, 2011 at 4:29 pm |
    • David Johnson

      @Doc Vestibule

      Dude! You never cease to amaze me. Thank you for that information.

      Stay on the planet as long as possible. I would most definitely miss you.

      Cheers!

      August 24, 2011 at 4:57 pm |
    • The Bobinator

      > When they felt their faith was false and gave it all up and decided to kill themself. Denying the Absurdity of life.

      Atheism is a lack in belief in a God for lack of evidence. Please point me to the aspect of faith in that statement.

      August 24, 2011 at 5:25 pm |
    • Frogist

      @Doc Vestibule: Thanks for an explanation, Doc.

      August 24, 2011 at 5:44 pm |
    • Lycidas

      @Bob- "Atheism is a lack in belief in a God for lack of evidence. Please point me to the aspect of faith in that statement."

      I think I said they lost their faith. Is that not a lack of belief?
      Also, reference Albert Camus and his views on Absurdism. One could say their is "faith" in atheism by some of his essays.

      August 24, 2011 at 5:59 pm |
  17. Lee

    Smart people can be religious or not. But the level of religious fundamentalism goes down dramatically with proper science education.

    August 24, 2011 at 3:41 pm |
    • The Bobinator

      > Smart people can be religious or not. But the level of religious fundamentalism goes down dramatically with proper science education.

      They can, but as intelligence goes up, so does a person's realization that they might be wrong. Only morons think they know everything. Only intelligent people realize how little they know.

      That's why anyone who is dead set on a certain thing, without any faith is not playing with a fully deck intellectually speaking.

      August 24, 2011 at 5:23 pm |
    • The Bobinator

      > That's why anyone who is dead set on a certain thing, without any faith is not playing with a fully deck intellectually speaking.

      I meant to say "without any evidence"

      August 24, 2011 at 5:23 pm |
  18. I'm The Best!

    this is based off the idea that people who don't go to church as often are losing religion. It doesn't go against the argument that "smarter people aren't religious", It's just saying that everyone is becoming less religious. Plus the number of people getting a college degree is up a whole lot from the 70's, and since the christians make up more of the population, then that number might look like it's moved less. This study really tells us nothing.

    August 24, 2011 at 3:38 pm |
    • I'm The Best!

      Plus I'm pretty sure that this basic same article was on CNN about a month or so ago. I know it was the same picture and the same premise. Not positive it was the same study though.

      August 24, 2011 at 3:39 pm |
    • Yes, but...

      ...the article focused on percentages, not numbers, which is the whole point of normalization.

      August 24, 2011 at 4:49 pm |
  19. ralph

    First!

    Haha doesn't this completely contradict the typical atheist argument of; "the smarter people aren't religious"

    August 24, 2011 at 3:30 pm |
    • AGuest9

      Of course this is ONE study. Don't forget, bible colleges turn out degrees, too.
      Then again, you had to prove your intelligence by announcing that you were "First!" to a new topic.

      August 24, 2011 at 4:30 pm |
  20. ralph

    First!

    Haha doesn't this completely contradict the typical atheist argument of; "the smarter people aren't religious"

    August 24, 2011 at 3:30 pm |
    • The Real Tom Paine

      No, it confirms that attempting read an ancient, cryptic text turns most people off of religion because its irrelevant to their day-to-day lives, and its much harder than turning on Cable

      August 24, 2011 at 4:02 pm |
    • The Bobinator

      > Haha doesn't this completely contradict the typical atheist argument of; "the smarter people aren't religious"

      Nope. They're still religious. They're just too lazy to exercise it. You're not religious when you realize it's nonsense, not by simply leaving.

      Of course, if you were smarter, you would have figured that out for yourself. Glad to help you out.

      August 24, 2011 at 5:17 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.