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. Lola

    The churches used to be about helping the poor now it's about social issues and extremism to attract more members. The poor can't afford the entrance fees anymore. Anyone who thinks they need to support the church business and pay their way into heaven is not going there.

    August 25, 2011 at 7:28 am |
    • V

      @Lola, I counld not have said it better. You hit the nail on the head.

      August 25, 2011 at 7:43 am |
  2. hank

    They are just trying to get you to keep doing to church. Study shows that 90% of studies are just made up B.S.

    August 25, 2011 at 7:26 am |
  3. IamnotGod

    I would argue that if you believe the figures portrayed in this article "that the less educated white folks are less of a believer" I was say that goes against the majority of all believers of faith. If we look at history from the 'beginning', there was always more ignorant people who not only "believed" in God but also 'feared' him.
    Now if we bring this trend forward into the 21st century where only 24.7% of all Americans have a 4 year degree (B.A./B.S), of which 8.5% have a Master or Doctorate degree. Which means that the majority of people (66.8%) of the USA population are just high-school graduates. What I'm getting out is this: yes there has been a decline in attendance in churches, temples, etc... but there has also been a decline in the amount of people/customers walking through my store as well. Furthermore, to say that the majority of the limited-educated people (66.8%) in the US are not going to services would only be a truth because they are the ones in the majority. I would be willing to bet that all sectors of people have reduced their attendance in their respected building of faith. I would also that the above figures in the article are skewed and not totally correct. You would have to think that the percentages of people (both non-educated as well as the educated) iare in relative proportion to each other.
    And if you want to look at this scenario from the other side of the debate, there would still be more 'less-educated' people attending mass/services than their educated peers because the less-educated people outnumber the educated ones in this country.

    August 25, 2011 at 7:24 am |
  4. Eve


    atheists are known to be "poor" and miserable people that belong to second class minority.

    Are you saying that churches get most of their income form atheists?

    August 25, 2011 at 7:22 am |
    • Ms.Fairfax

      I'm just wondering, but where are the data that support your claim that atheists are poor, miserable and belonging to the second class minority?

      August 25, 2011 at 7:39 am |
    • Evert van Vliet


      Like atheists, the ppor can ONLY exist by the "grace" of their counterparts.

      It's exactly that what makes life a living hell for those who refuse a/o can't inherit the "right" stuff.

      August 25, 2011 at 7:49 am |
    • Ms.Fairfax

      Ok, but where is the evidence? Why should I believe what you say? How do you know that atheists and poor people can ONLY exist by the "grace" of their counterparts?

      August 25, 2011 at 7:53 am |
    • Evert van Vliet


      Because all there CAN be observed is human kind among nature on one and the same planet.

      The rest is made up by the "grace" of gaining power over "others".
      If not it's up to those who claim differently to reason anything else together...yet there's no such arguments to be observed..at all!

      Fact is that folks call themselves anything that comes in handy to claim ownership of whatever comes in handy and to top it all off it's made legal to inherit all.

      Maybe somebody can explain to me why I have to buy a humble piece of the planet to live on while I already had the full right to live on it simply by being.

      August 25, 2011 at 8:05 am |
    • Evert van Vliet


      "funny" thing with "studies" like this is the simple fact that what is claimed to be "education" and especially the "higher" forms thereof, is never ever defined.

      Fact is that ONLY science, creativity and labour has made ANY change on this planet....the rest one can hardly call education....if at all.

      August 25, 2011 at 8:11 am |
  5. hank

    Some people are just feed up with the fashion show, and the double standards of the church today.

    August 25, 2011 at 7:21 am |
  6. Alientech

    One thing is certain, most commenting here show very little education.

    August 25, 2011 at 7:20 am |
    • Jen

      Well, you are part of "most".

      August 25, 2011 at 7:22 am |
  7. Ms.Fairfax

    Correlation doesn't necessarily mean causation. Just saying.

    August 25, 2011 at 7:19 am |
  8. Robert

    How about we start taxing the churches the way business' are...it's what they are...no wonder there are churches everywhere...it's a tax shelter....

    August 25, 2011 at 7:09 am |
  9. GOD battling with SATAN on earth

    when a church does not have symbols of god Jesus and Mary the only alternative is praying to satan. the statues out their that people are praying to are a disguise of satan especially the famous buddha, india has statues and satan planted the statues like the prayers go to god but it actually goes to satan. africa suffers hunger and with little rain because the people practice voodoo that's satan and pray to statues that comes goes to satan, GOD can't provide if the prayers go to satan it's in the bible. the natural disasters like hurricanes and earthquakes fires comes from satan we are brainwashed to believe its natural IT'S NOT. A battle of GOD and SATAN on earth since time began, satan hurts people and GOD protects people. SATAN slowly manipulates people to commit crimes through the mind that is why some of the crimes are too ridicules or people can't stop committing crimes just habits satan makes bad habits and people can't stop. satan puts things in your mind to do it drinking smoking crimes over eating, satan closes down business, satan puts in your mind depression etc.
    the PRAYERS are distributed either GOD or SATAN but nobody wants to pray to satan so he put statues on earth to get prayers and power. SATAN made the Jewish people only to pray to a half a bible that is why it's hurting the Jewish people and their lives if you check the history of persecution. SATAN plants false rumors about the Jewish people so they can continue to suffer on earth. people are the ones who made humans out of gods and satan took the human gods and receives prayers from them. their are two options that people can pray to GOD and satan NO OTHER GODS exists !!! ONE CREATOR called GOD.
    GOD and SATAN are battling trying to get the right prayers. SATAN could never survive without prayers that is why its in disguise

    August 25, 2011 at 7:08 am |
    • Stevie7

      And you know this how? Where, exactly, does the bible say that praying to the Buddha means praying to Satan? Or did you make this up all on your own? Or did a burning bush tell you?

      August 25, 2011 at 7:17 am |
    • Chantelle

      Mind explaining what, exactly, this has to do with the article? Layers of obvious insanity notwithstanding, of course.

      August 25, 2011 at 7:20 am |
    • Maureen

      Aren't there any moderators on this board who can weed out this crap?

      August 25, 2011 at 7:26 am |
    • Josef F

      You, like most christians, are an idiot

      August 25, 2011 at 7:27 am |
    • Scared

      @GOD battling with SATAN on earth
      People like you scare me more than Muslim terrorists.

      August 25, 2011 at 7:27 am |
    • Evert van Vliet


      Define "crap".

      August 25, 2011 at 7:31 am |
  10. Jen

    It will be a cold day in He11 before my butt ever sits in the catholic church for anything but a funeral of a family member or personal friend. The article made me feel so much better. I am part of the 50% that do not attend instead of the 50% that attend and snear at anyone that does not. I live a better life than many of my "better than you" church neighbors. I donate time, money and articles to less fortunate. I don't need four walls a ceiling and statues to tell me what is right and wrong.

    August 25, 2011 at 7:04 am |
  11. tcaud

    That's because they are brainwashed in their microeconomics course. Nothing can make you lose hope for humanity quite like buying into microecon hogwash.

    August 25, 2011 at 7:00 am |
    • Evert van Vliet

      And what about "americans"?..(or any other indoctri-nation).

      August 25, 2011 at 7:05 am |
  12. martog

    Ten Reasons You Know you are an Atheist.
    1. You were likely brought up a theist (probably a Christian if you live in the USA) and had to do your own thinking to rise above the beliefs that still occupy the mind of the believer. This usually involved being smart and working hard at school and college so as to get a good, accurate view of the natural Universe and overcoming significant social pressure to dumb yourself down and conform. In short, you had the guts to ask the hard questions and the brains to spot the weak answers. The more you came to understand the Universe, the less reason there was to believe in a god and the more you came to appreciate human nature, the more you understood why billions of us still do.
    2. While rejecting the supernatural elements of the Bible, you nevertheless retain a large amount of the morality taught today by mainstream Christianity. To the extent you reject Christian morality, it is where it is mean spirited – such as in the way it seeks to curtail freedoms or oppose the rights of $exual minorities. In most other respects, your basic moral outlook is indistinguishable from that of the liberal Christian – you just don’t need the mother of all carrots and sticks hanging over your head in order to act in a manner that you consider moral.
    3. You know a great deal more about the Bible than most believers. This is because you took the time to read it yourself and did not rely on the primary-color simple stories you learned in Sunday school. You have also probably done some research into the historical Jesus and have a good handle on where he REALLY fit in to the broader picture of the Middle East at the time. Needless to say, his miracles and other magic powers soon started to look pretty unlikely.
    4. Your knowledge of basic science and history is much stronger than that of your average believer. You likely have a basic working knowledge of physics, astronomy, evolutionary biology and cosmology and a good idea of the history of life on this planet. This acc.umulated knowledge puts you in a position to judge the claims of the Bible in a critical light and they are almost always found wanting. To the theist, this makes you “elitist” and ‘arrogant”.
    5. You relish your role as a religious minority in the USA, as this gives you an impetus to fight and you understand how others with unpopular, but doubtlessly correct views have felt throughout history. There is something altogether satisfying to you about having a deep conviction you are right and being viewed with disdain for your views by the errant majority. You feel a quiet confidence that future generations will look back on you as a member of a class of trailblazers, as religious supersti.tions go into inevitable decline in popularity.
    6. You are likely more environmentally aware than your theist friends and colleagues and unlikely to fall for claims of industry and wind-bag politicians concerning the impact of man’s activities on the environment. You could no more act in an environmentally irresponsible manner because “god will keep us safe” than you could jump of a ship, believing King Neptune will keep you safe.
    7. You generally have a live and let live atti.tude, but will fiercely defend any attempts by theists to thrust their views on you or your children, directly or through control of school boards, the legislature or the executive. While you are prepared to debate and argue passionately with the theist on an intellectual level, you would never wish them harm or ill will. You know you are likely to be smugly told you will “burn in hell for all eternity” for your healthy skepticism. This highlights what you despise about religion, as you would not wish a bad sunburn on another, simply because they have a different religious view to you. You have never heard of an evolutionary biologist strapping a bomb to himself and running into a church yelling “Darwin-u akbar”.
    8. You likely know more about other religions than your average theist. This makes you less fearful of them and enables you to see parallels. You realize that, if you were born in India, you would have been brought up with a totally different religion. You realize that every culture that has ever existed has had its own god(s) and they always favor that particular culture, its hopes, dreams and prejudices. They cannot all exist and you see the error all faiths make of thinking only theirs exist(s). This “rising above” the regional nature of all religions was probably instrumental in your achieving atheism.
    9. You likely have a deep, genuine appreciation of the fathomless beauty and unbelievable complexity of our Universe, from the 4 nucleotides that orchestrate every aspect of you, through to the distant quasars, without having to think it was all made for you. You likely get more out of being the irrelevant ant staring up at the cosmos than you do in having to pretend that it was all made to turn in majestic black-and-white pirouette about you.
    10. While you have a survival instinct, you cannot fear death in the way the theist does. You know that the whole final judgment story, where you may be sent to hell if you fail, is Dark Ages nonsense meant to keep the Church’s authority. You also know that you were dead for 13,700,000,000 years before you were born. It is impossible for you to fear death, for the simple reason that you know the capacity to fear (or to feel pain or discomfort) itself dies. You will not even know you are dead. Fear of death is as meaningless to you as is the fear of a vacuum, the fear of not being born. You feel a lot more secure, and indeed a deep comfort, in this knowledge, than you would in trying to yoke yourself to some quasi-hope that every part of your intellect tells you is untenable.

    August 25, 2011 at 6:52 am |
    • Robert

      Thanks...i needed something to make me feel more normal..i'm in the south and the bible rules down here...it's just nice to see there are other evolved beings out there.

      August 25, 2011 at 7:06 am |
    • me

      "Ten Reasons You Know you are an Atheist." Or more precisely 10 reasons you think you are superior to everyone else. Disbelieving in the bible or organized religion hardly makes a person an automatic atheist. There was a time when people actually explored spirituality without the need for guilt and control and all the other crap that goes with it.

      August 25, 2011 at 7:34 am |
    • martog

      See, that's just it. Atheists don't think they are superior to anyone. We don't claim to have all the answers like religious people. What we claim is:WE DON'T KNOW'....but we are trying to find out rather than giving credit to Gawd the great unknown in all it's many forms through out ages(Zues,Appolo,on and on). It's the religious people who are smug, claiming they, and they alone have the answer, and that the rest of us are gonna burn in hell for eternity. Now that's some serious smug right there! And, Yes the South is infected with religious nut bags. Can't go anywhere without someone trying to push their religion on me, billboards everywhere, church on every corner, each fighting for patrons($$$$$). What a much better world this would be if everyone just kept their beleifs to themself! peace

      August 25, 2011 at 7:44 am |
  13. James

    Saying that the uneducated are the ones leaving the church is like saying only the slow kids figure out Santa Claus is a fraud.

    August 25, 2011 at 6:41 am |
  14. Terry T

    This article is very misleading, but par for the "religious" propaganda course. In reality, churches want the less educated because they are easier to manipulate, control and most importantly, con out of their cash. In the south, education has always taken a back seat to churches. The more ignorant, the more likely they are to believe the con. I've seen the educated flock to big churches in influential areas, but primarily for elbow rubbing with their bosses, and or to get close to them to network for jobs. Some go to a specific church simply because the leadership in the place they work go there. Better when it comes to promotion time. Most do not go for the religious rhetoric. Churches know this and high level preachers encourage it by insinuating themselves into politics and business. They don't don't really care about souls, but their cash. There are a lot like me, educated, and not easily fooled, that do not go to church, because we understand the scam. We belive in God, we just don't believe in church. And any person that believes that some guy in a suit has any say as to what God wants or what direction a person will go, up or down, is not educated. It doesn't matter how long they spent in school.

    August 25, 2011 at 6:37 am |
    • Evert van Vliet

      Doesn't the same go for nations (which provide for the "rights" to inherit whatever comes in handy)....?

      August 25, 2011 at 6:42 am |
    • Pete

      Terry: I couldn't agree with you more! To me, this doesn't make any sense. Christianity, in particular, about control and leading the blind and "faithful". There's no thought expected. I would think that people who ARE educated would be more curious or questioning when it comes to understanding something. My mother is a doctor of theology. While spiritual, she's NOT religious. THAT makes sense.

      August 25, 2011 at 6:54 am |
    • Rich

      If you're showing up at a place to worship an invisible man in the sky, then you're already in the "easy to manipulate" category, regardless of education.

      August 25, 2011 at 7:05 am |
    • Tsoho

      How is the article "misleading". You may not like the results because it doesn't line up with your preconceived idea that only the weak minded attend church, but it's not misleading.

      August 25, 2011 at 7:38 am |
  15. Ian

    More formally educated people may attend church more often... but has anyone pointed out the study that shows IQ by religion?


    You'll notice that atheists have a higher IQ than most other religions... So this study is mind-bogglingly misleading.

    August 25, 2011 at 6:36 am |
    • Ian

      Just before anyone hops on me for it, I wasn't meaning to imply atheism was a religion, I worded that poorly.

      August 25, 2011 at 6:37 am |
    • Evert van Vliet

      Atheists don't exist....they "are" by the "grace" of theism.

      No study needed....

      August 25, 2011 at 6:39 am |
  16. Ron

    This article implies the less educated are choosing to not go to church, and those with more education are then choosing to go to church. I think this is only partially true. However, church attendance often leads to obtaining of higher education-it provides a structure and a philosophy that education is important. I think this is a chicken or the egg phenomenon. I think those who are regularly attending church services are more likely to work towards a higher education because they go to church.

    August 25, 2011 at 6:00 am |
    • Evert van Vliet

      "church attendance often leads to obtaining of higher education-it provides a structure and a philosophy that education is important. I think this is a chicken or the egg phenomenon......"

      The chicken came first, before it could lay an egg it wasn't a chicken.

      And with that it's easy to understand that by far not all education is what "it" claims to be.
      If anything church (and (inter)national nonsense as well as financial vacuums) don't do anything but teaching folks to obey utterly nonsense.

      August 25, 2011 at 6:17 am |
    • Ian

      In response to the other comment here... wouldn't that mean the egg came first? As another creature (pretty much still a chicken if you have any understanding of evolution) would have laid the egg for the first chicken (at least what we define as a modern chicken). So regardless the egg came before the chicken, even if it didn't come from a modern chicken.

      August 25, 2011 at 6:53 am |
    • Evert van Vliet


      A chicken is a chicken is a chicken....there's no such a thing as a modern chicken, just like modern man is the same as those who live(d) under rocks.

      The moment this bird produced it's first egg it was a chicken and therefor the egg came later.....no shell by the way so nothing to walk on.

      August 25, 2011 at 7:03 am |
  17. Rene

    Why WE don't attend:

    1. The less poor and less educated are busy working on SUNDAY with their second or third part-time job just to keep food on the table and pay for GAS to get to work. Or,they need rest, not sermons. I know this because all of my hard-working, minimum wage caretakers are "always working somewhere else." I am highly educated, but disabled incidentally by a "Good Christian" who chose to disobey road signs and take my productive life away. So, now I live on 1980 income.

    2. The burden of demanding higher and higher contributions has become something WE have been embarrassed into feeling that if we cannot give what is required, then we don't belong in that church. The letter I received from the Finance Chairman one year literally DROVE me out of the church. The wording was so dictatorial that I was left thinking "Who needs this!". I go to church to pray, not be HARASSED. I can go to a nearby mountain top and connect with God without being tormented and read my scripture daily at home, in Peace.

    3. When your finances are stretched to the point where you must choose between medicine and a contribution to church, then you choose to not embarrass yourself by not having people see you not place anything in the collection. Church is one the first things "cut out of the budget", together with the newspaper, cable, etc.

    4. Don't give me any crap about how the church helps the poor. One December my husband needed his heart medications, Both of us were disabled that year with NO INCOME. Living on savings and the little charity our family could spare for food. When contacting one of the best known agencies for help with a prescription, we were told that "You don't qualify because you own your on home". The water was already turned off, we lived in the dark, and we didn't qualify because we owned our own home. I guess I should have not paid the taxes and had the county seize my home before I could get help. This was money President Bush provided to these church-run organizations who have a very diminished sense of who is needy. Incidentally, I related this to several acquaintances and when they were in the same situation, they were told "If you own your own home, you don't qualify." Well guess what happened to all the previous home owners who no longer own homes, and have no income to contribute. I guess their "You own your own home" backfired. All over a $150 of medication.

    5. We have learned our lesson as to who a church or organization is willing to help in "their definition of who is needy" by the 9/11 disaster. We gave millions for the PEOPLE not the organizations who got their hands on the money and used it for their own purposes. One large national organization who spent that money building over 20 new buildings across the U.S. instead of giving the money to the people who needed it in NYC. Those people lost their homes and the organizations had new buildings in the upper-class suburbs. They did not need a new building as they had a beautiful 4-story structure in the heart of town. They just wanted to be away from the old and poor who lived nearby.

    6. With experience comes wisdom. I no longer contribute to any church or large organization which declares they help the needy people. I donate to the food bank and our secular run food kitchen regularly. If I see someone at the Senior Center who doesn't have the $3 donation, I buy their meal and give them money for the rest of the week. One time I saw a young man come into the mall with a huge black garbage bag. Dressed nicely, he took out an envelop which I could tell was a employment application. The black bag was all his possessions, as our local shelter will not let you stay there in the day time. It was around dinner time, and I knew he had to wait for a bus and missed the meal at the soup kitchen. I had just purchased a meal, so as he passed me, I asked him if he could use a meal. He replied, after an embarrassed and surprised moment "Well, if you are giving one, it would be appreciated." I handed him my bag and said: Here, take mine and good luck on the interview. I told him I would watch his bag. He thanked me and left. Unfortunately, I didn't have any cash to give him. Experience tells me I don't need a church to do God's work. I always buy "Toys for Tots. And, I always give to our local pet shelter, as we are charged to care for the animals and they cannot speak for themselves. We now have places where you can drop off dog and cat food and litter to help people keep their animals.. We give something as we can. I give bags of groceries to people I know are needy, but not being helped. Take them to their door, tell them I can't wait for any money because I am busy, and will get it next time and make sure that "next time" never comes. I am still on a tight budget, but $20 dollars worth of food, or help can go a long, long way.

    I am doing just fine not attending any church. Besides, Jesus never used a building and hopefully my "Building of Care and individual help will bring me salvation.

    August 25, 2011 at 5:50 am |
    • whatever

      When judgment day comes, good luck with your little speech. Maybe God will be a good sport that day and overlook your blasphemy & excuses and will give you a free pass. Good luck with that.

      August 25, 2011 at 6:00 am |
    • Evert van Vliet

      " I can go to a nearby mountain top and connect with God "......define "god"....

      As far as reasoning goes you (and a "few" others) are only talking to yourself.
      But...but...that's why "we" call "it" believing?....not even close, in order to believe (in) something one (and those "few" others) have to observe, reason and maybe come to some kind of conclusion, if not it's called an assumption.
      Same goes for nations and the rights to possible freedom we all already had.
      Same goes for buying the rights to a humble piece of the planet to live on, it's a right we already had simply by being on this planet.
      Same goes for the "rights" to inherit all....who ever came up with that kind of nonsense?

      August 25, 2011 at 6:03 am |
    • Cameron

      ... don't worry about hell. I hear it's a dry heat, although you might want to pack a fan.

      August 25, 2011 at 6:05 am |
    • Jim

      Hey whatever, read it again. Where did Rene blaspheme? To bash the church is fine, nowhere was your god criticized. Typical christian idiot.

      August 25, 2011 at 6:05 am |
    • herbert juarez

      The salvation you are looking for is not earned,it is the Gift of God,not of works.The works you do are admirable and would put many to shame but they do not result in salvation,they are the result of salvation.We love because He first loved us.Be careful you don't throw out the baby with the bath water.God gave the Church as His instrument at this time,granted a lot of people over the centuries have misrepresented what the Church actually is. God has His true Church and it is worth looking for until you find it.I am sorry that you have had such a bad experience with the Church you attended.Let me assure you they are not all like that,but the possibility remains that since there are imperfect people you may still encounter problems no matter how well founded a Church is.That is were forgiveness comes in, forgive others as Christ forgave you.If the true path to God was easy,even the atheists would follow it.

      August 25, 2011 at 6:12 am |
    • Sid E Slicker

      Cameron... I will bring the beer, and I'll introduce you to my friends like Whatever

      August 25, 2011 at 6:16 am |
    • Vlett ever vain

      "As far as reasoning goes you (and a "few" others) are only talking to yourself."

      @ Vliet van evert

      We all know that non-believers specifically atheists are sooo "few" compared to believers.

      Should your premise is applied to logic, then you were saying that; atheists are talking to themselves.

      August 25, 2011 at 6:38 am |
    • Evert van Vliet

      Vlett ever vain,

      Atheists don't exist.

      Nor can one (and that bunch of others) be anything but themselves....not a christian, a muslim nor a nation a/o it's political M.O.
      Therefore one can count all one wants but it's clear that most shouldn't have been given lessons in counting beyond 1+1.

      August 25, 2011 at 6:51 am |
    • Happyasiam

      I don't understand all you supposed religious people being so nasty. This woman is out there helping people in need. All you're doing is being self-righteous. I'd rather be her than you any day. What do you contribute to the world?

      August 25, 2011 at 6:56 am |
    • Vlett ever vain

      @ Evert van Vliet

      Good job for proving the study, author and the entire article right. keep it up. Job well done!!!

      August 25, 2011 at 7:05 am |
    • Evert van Vliet

      Vlett ever vain,

      You're more than welcome, however that still doesn't exempt you (and others) to reason gods, nations and (monetary) systems together.

      All there's to observe is the planet as a part of the universe and human kind as part of nature on this planet we have no other choice but to share among way too many of our species.

      No matter what authors and selective "studies" might "conclude" other"wise".

      August 25, 2011 at 7:21 am |
    • Vlett ever vain

      Evert van Vliet

      Good to know that you don't exist.

      Now, I see no trolls and hear no trolls.

      August 25, 2011 at 7:47 am |
    • Evert van Vliet

      Why are you talking to yourself?

      August 25, 2011 at 7:53 am |
  18. Sah

    You would think it'd be the other way around. Educated people (with college degrees) would be less religious, whereas less educated people would be religious.

    August 25, 2011 at 5:25 am |
    • Evert van Vliet

      First of all some 50% of what's called "education" doesn't have anything to do with education at all but is merely washing brains with excuses and a proof of being able to absorb utterly nonsense.
      Then to know that "educated" folks keep each other in a better position than those who work 'till they drop to their knees...well you get the point....

      August 25, 2011 at 5:45 am |
    • Jim

      Other studies have shown the educated are less religious on average, this study suggests that the religious poor don't seem to be attending church. I would be interested in a survey about religious views and a comparison of levels of devotion to their faith (not to the organization).

      August 25, 2011 at 6:01 am |
    • Evert van Vliet

      @ Jim,

      Those who conduct these kind of "studies" are the net result of nun-ducation.

      August 25, 2011 at 6:09 am |
  19. PJ

    Wise men have found Him and fools have ignored Him throughout history. Why should that seem unusual now?

    August 25, 2011 at 5:17 am |
    • kate

      You have hit the nail on the head! I am glad you aren't surprised. It is quite unfortunate and sad.

      August 25, 2011 at 5:26 am |
    • Evert van Vliet

      Define wisdom before you orate any further.

      August 25, 2011 at 5:48 am |
    • samantha

      Very well said PJ and very accurate.

      August 25, 2011 at 6:01 am |
    • Evert van Vliet

      @ samantha,

      "Very well said PJ and very accurate."

      And where do you get that kind of "wisdom" from?

      August 25, 2011 at 6:11 am |
    • MightyMoo

      You know, maybe they aren't fools so much as they're just trying to survive any way they can. When people are fatted and well to do they have enough time for things like church. When they are trying to get by day by day then it's a different story. Especially when they have no job and they're uneducated, it's a real bugger to try and put food on the table at that point and going to church doesn't bring home the bacon to feed the wife and kids. Especially when we live in a country who's business community is sending the factory work jobs overseas, jobs that were great for people who didn't have college degrees.

      August 25, 2011 at 6:39 am |
    • Vlett ever vain


      Please tell Evert van Vliet where you get such wisdom, that he/she/it can a drop for him/her/itself that he/she/it may cease wasting space on this board by his/her/its ignorant and nonsensical posts.

      Have pity on him/her/it. Please be kind to animals.

      August 25, 2011 at 6:57 am |
    • Evert van Vliet

      Vlett ever vain,

      Indeed be kind to though fellow apes...the rest is a waste of energy.

      Did you know time doesn't even exist?
      Or is that too much to reason about?

      August 25, 2011 at 7:12 am |
    • Vlett ever vain

      Evert van Vliet

      Thank you for letting me know that you don't exist.

      August 25, 2011 at 7:38 am |
    • Evert van Vliet

      Vlett ever vain,

      That too equals wishful thinking.

      August 25, 2011 at 7:43 am |
  20. HappyMeal

    The Church have been helping the poor all the time while atheists have been fattening themselves. The ti-tle is wrong. Americans lost religion(Christianity) therefore lost purposes and became uneducated.

    August 25, 2011 at 5:15 am |
    • Evert van Vliet

      Americans (just like any other indoctri-nation) don't exist, "it" in itself is a purpose to gain control over (little kids) potential minds.
      Religion=politics=(inter)national segregation=nuts.....and where there's kids in play 'it' is criminal.

      August 25, 2011 at 5:54 am |
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About this blog

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