home
RSS
November 10th, 2011
05:10 PM ET

Study links regular religious service attendance, outlook on life

By Gabe LaMonica, CNN

(CNN) - A new study shows that attending religious services regularly can mean a more optimistic, less depressed, and less cynical outlook on life.

In a follow-up to its 2008 report that found that attending services increases life expectancy, the Women's Health Initiative observational study based this report on a survey of 92,539 post-menopausal women over 50. The participants made up an ethnically, religiously, and socioeconomically diverse group.

According to the report, to be published this week in the Journal of Religion and Health, those who attend services frequently were 56% more likely to have an optimistic life outlook than those who don't and were 27% less likely to be depressed. Those who attended weekly were less likely to be characterized by cynical hostility, compared with those who did not report any religious service attendance.

"We looked at a number of psychological factors; optimism, depression, cynical hostility, and a number of subcategories and subscales involving social support and social strain," said Eliezer Schnall an associate professor of psychology at Yeshiva University in Manhattan, who headed the initiative.

"The link between religious activity and health is most evident in women, specifically older women," he said.

The research focused on an important group, because "as they are living longer," Schnall said, "seniors are a growing group, and women have longer lifespans than men."

The study, funded by the National Heart, Blood, and Lung Institute, National Institutes of Health, and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, "unlike many other previous studies," said Schnall, broke down the idea of positive social support into subcategories.

Emotional support and informational support, such as sitting down with a priest or a rabbi to speak about difficulties; tangible support, like someone driving a participant to a doctor; affectionate support; and positive interaction were all examined in the initiative.

"There's evidence from other studies to suggest religious involvement may be particularly important in enhancing social interaction," Schnall said.

But a "relatively new thought in the field," according to Schnall, called "social strain," encompasses negative social support. The hypothesis is that, "though some studies have suggested that attending religious services is beneficial in a host of ways, there also comes with it a social strain."

Though there has been much discussion around this "new area of inquiry," Schnall said, "I certainly believe, or to my knowledge, we are the first to look at this construct," social strain.

The researchers identified social strain by asking questions like:
- "Of the people that are important to you, how many get on your nerves?"
- "Of the people who are important to you, how many ask too much of you?
- And, "of the people who are important to you, how many try to get you to do things that you do not want to do?"

"We did not find that those who attend religious services where characterized by additional social strain," Schnall said.

To identify optimism, he said, participants were asked to rated the following questions on a five-point scale ranging from strongly disagree to strongly agree:
- "In unclear times I usually expect the best,"
- "If something can go wrong for me, it will,"
- "I hardly ever expect things to go my way."

Optimism is "about perceived control ... positive expectations ... empowerment, a fighting spirit, lack of helplessness - those are general definitions," Schnall said.

He conceded people could take a different message from the survey's results. "Someone who really wanted to take issue with the study" could say the results came out the way they did "maybe because optimists are drawn to believe in the divine."

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Belief

soundoff (708 Responses)
  1. Muneef

    Am not sure what you are talking about but God Almighty has been so merciful on me this time as well....as always been.so take care and by.

    November 10, 2011 at 10:07 pm |
    • Reality

      Many are not as fortunate:

      The Muslim Conquest of India – 11th to 18th century

      ■"The likely death toll is somewhere between 2 million and 80 million. The geometric mean of those two limits is 12.7 million. "

      and the 19 million killed in the Mideast Slave Trade 7C-19C by Muslims.

      and more recently

      1a) 179 killed in Mumbai/Bombay, 290 injured

      1b) Assassination of Benazir Bhutto and Theo Van Gogh

      2) 9/11, 3000 mostly US citizens, 1000’s injured

      3) The 24/7 Sunni-Shiite centuries-old blood feud currently being carried out in Iraq, US troops killed in action, 3,480 and 928 in non combat roles. 102,522 – 112,049 Iraqi civilians killed as of 9/16/2011/, mostly due to suicide bombers, land mines and bombs of various types, http://www.iraqbodycount.org/ and http://www.defenselink.mil/news/casualty.pdf

      4) Kenya- In Nairobi, about 212 people were killed and an estimated 4000 injured; in Dar es Salaam, the attack killed at least 11 and wounded 85.[2]

      5) Bali-in 2002-killing 202 people, 164 of whom were foreign nationals, and 38 Indonesian citizens. A further 209 people were injured.

      6) Bali in 2005- Twenty people were killed, and 129 people were injured by three bombers who killed themselves in the attacks.

      7) Spain in 2004- killing 191 people and wounding 2,050.

      8. UK in 2005- The bombings killed 52 commuters and the four radical Islamic suicide bombers, injured 700.

      9) The execution of an eloping couple in Afghanistan on 04/15/2009 by the Taliban.

      10) – Afghanistan: US troops 1,385 killed in action, 273 killed in non-combat situations as of 09/15/2011. Over 40,000 Afghan civilians killed due to the dark-age, koranic-driven Taliban acts of horror

      11) The killing of 13 citizen soldiers at Ft. Hood by a follower of the koran.

      12) 38 Russian citizens killed on March 29, 2010 by Muslim women suicide bombers.

      13) The May 28, 2010 attack on a Islamic religious minority in Pakistan, which have left 98 dead,

      14) Lockerbie is known internationally as the site where, on 21 December 1988, the wreckage of Pan Am Flight 103 crashed as a result of a terrorist bomb. In the United Kingdom the event is referred to as the Lockerbie disaster, the Lockerbie bombing, or simply Lockerbie. Eleven townspeople were killed in Sherwood Crescent, where the plane's wings and fuel tanks plummeted in a fiery explosion, destroying several houses and leaving a huge crater, with debris causing damage to a number of buildings nearby. The 270 fatalities (259 on the plane, 11 in Lockerbie) were citizens of 21 nations.

      15 The daily suicide and/or roadside and/or mosque bombings in the terror world of Islam.

      16) Bombs sent from Yemen by followers of the koran which fortunately were discovered before the bombs were detonated.

      17) The killing of 58 Christians in a Catholic church in one of the latest acts of horror and terror in Iraq.

      18) Moscow airport suicide bombing: 35 dead, 130 injured. January 25, 2011.

      19) A Pakistani minister, who had said he was getting death threats because of his stance against the country's controversial blasphemy law, was shot and killed Wednesday, 3/2/2011

      20) two American troops killed in Germany by a recently radicalized Muslim, 3/3/2011

      21) the kidnapping and apparent killing of a follower of Zoraster in the dark world of Islamic Pakistan.

      22) Shariatpur, Bangladesh (CNN 3/30/2011) - Hena Akhter's last words to her mother proclaimed her innocence. But it was too late to save the 14-year-old girl. Her fellow villagers in Bangladesh's Shariatpur district had already passed harsh judgment on her. Guilty, they said, of having an affair with a married man. The imam from the local mosque ordered the fatwa, or religious ruling, and the punishment: 101 lashes delivered swiftly, deliberately in public. Hena dropped after 70 and died a week later.

      23) "October 4, 2011, 100 die as a truck loaded with drums of fuel exploded Tuesday at the gate of compound housing several government ministries on a busy Mogadishu street. It was the deadliest single bombing carried out by the al Qaeda-linked al-Shabab group in Somalia since their insurgency began. "

      November 10, 2011 at 10:53 pm |
    • Alien Orifice

      Muneef, are you for real or are you just a character on the blogs? I am not joking around like a do a lot, I am quite serious. I have not quite figured you out. And if you were injured, are you ok?

      November 11, 2011 at 2:17 am |
  2. Pravda

    Another study links atheism to depression, suicide, and thinking everything takes billions of years to accomplish...

    November 10, 2011 at 10:04 pm |
    • Colin

      You're right. A magic, instentaneous act by an all loving sky-fairy makes so much more sense.

      November 10, 2011 at 10:08 pm |
    • Alien Orifice

      Yet ANOTHER study which I just conducted, concludes that Pravda is a troll. Bye!

      November 10, 2011 at 10:13 pm |
    • Pravda

      By Alien, co-troll, leaving so soon?

      November 10, 2011 at 10:14 pm |
  3. Muneef

    Hi. There all i have missed all of you so much but been unable to write or be on the net since my tragic accident as on 1 st Nov and now only managed to get through my mob phone from hospital while will still need to travel out for further medical assistent. Love you all including Reality.....

    November 10, 2011 at 10:01 pm |
    • Colin

      Muneef, what happened? U ok?

      November 10, 2011 at 10:02 pm |
  4. Pravda

    Maybe Atheists should meet regularly, then maybe their outlook on life would be better and they would stop hanging out bashing posts on religion. Heck atheism is a religion anyways, they might as well meet at the library on sundays or something...

    November 10, 2011 at 9:47 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Does it hurt to be so stupid, Pravduh?

      November 10, 2011 at 9:55 pm |
    • Alien Orifice

      Pravda, we already have that. They are called book clubs. Athiests actually read and learn about the world around them.

      November 10, 2011 at 10:00 pm |
    • Colin

      Tom, r u in California?

      November 10, 2011 at 10:01 pm |
    • Pravda

      Hey, I'm not the one that evolved from apes... Your great, great, great grandpa ate bannans, swung from trees and flung p00, mine was an American Indian warrior.

      November 10, 2011 at 10:02 pm |
    • Alien Orifice

      Pravda follow up. Why do you think I have poor outlook? My outlook is fine thank you. And Atheism is not a religion. See, that takes us back to the whole "reading" thing. Education is a wonderful way to improve your "outlook" Pravda! Try it!

      November 10, 2011 at 10:04 pm |
    • Colin

      Pravda – what? That makes no fuc.king sense.

      November 10, 2011 at 10:04 pm |
    • Alien Orifice

      Pravda, what are you talking about? Who evolved from Apes? Not me! Books Pravda...books! Or docu mentaries or science channels....my goodness you are uneducated.

      November 10, 2011 at 10:07 pm |
    • Pravda

      I love books! Intelligent Design baby, coming to school textbooks near you! Gotta love Texas!

      November 10, 2011 at 10:10 pm |
    • Alien Orifice

      Pravda must be a glutton for punishment. Why else would someone come on hear and display their ignorance with such pride.

      Pravda, let me ask you this. Does God make each of us. Does He know when we will be born and when we will die?

      November 10, 2011 at 10:10 pm |
    • Pravda

      Nah, our incredible complex body filled with amazing abilities like site, hearing, and cognitive processing all evolved from a big bang and billions of years of chance...

      November 10, 2011 at 10:13 pm |
    • Alien Orifice

      Agreed. Good for you.

      November 10, 2011 at 10:16 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      No, Colin, I'm on the other coast. Why?

      November 10, 2011 at 10:17 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      It's "SIGHT", PravDUHHHH.

      November 10, 2011 at 10:17 pm |
    • John Richardson

      Come back when you understand what 'chance' means and how evolution explains what is NOT mere chance about how modern life ended up the way it is.

      November 10, 2011 at 10:18 pm |
    • Colin

      Tom – just that you tend to come on to the site late.

      November 10, 2011 at 10:45 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      That's when I have time to post, Colin. I work some very long hours.

      November 11, 2011 at 7:12 pm |
    • TR6

      @Pravda: “I love books! Intelligent Design baby, coming to school textbooks near you! Gotta love Texas!”

      Goodness you really are detached from reality. Or were you referring to the comparative religion class

      November 12, 2011 at 9:28 pm |
  5. EatYouAlive

    Brainwashing does a body good.

    November 10, 2011 at 9:27 pm |
    • Alfred E Neuman

      Yeah, and you're a pathetic loser, with a pathetic world view ,reduced to posting bs on blogs in the vain hope someone will care.

      November 10, 2011 at 9:33 pm |
    • EatYouAlive

      I win!

      November 10, 2011 at 9:35 pm |
    • Alfred E Neuman

      Give this Loser winner a big plate of bs as a prize!Eat that you moron!

      November 10, 2011 at 9:55 pm |
  6. A christian

    @AO I agree your are a happe person... and you seem to take great delight in attempting to convert people to your belief system... So the question is are you proselytizing?

    November 10, 2011 at 8:31 pm |
    • Alien Orifice

      No.

      November 10, 2011 at 8:35 pm |
    • EatYouAlive

      Are you?

      November 10, 2011 at 9:35 pm |
    • A christian

      @EYA ... Did it look like it? No? What a rediculous question from one of our enlightened athiests? Far more learned that any Christian....

      November 11, 2011 at 5:06 pm |
  7. WOT

    Money is not every thing! When people get together to serve God, they are doing what he said to do! More of these writers should know more about the word of God!

    November 10, 2011 at 8:29 pm |
    • Alien Orifice

      Yes they should WOT and that just makes me so gosh darn angry I could just write them a letter to complain about it by golly!

      November 10, 2011 at 8:33 pm |
    • TR6

      “Money is not every thing! When people get together to serve God, they are doing what he said to do!”

      The televangelists and mega church pastors put the lie to your statement

      “Serve god, send money”

      November 12, 2011 at 9:34 pm |
  8. Bob

    Yesterday, "HeavenSent" said about Alien Orifice, regarding abuse that he may have received:

    "HeavenSent

    He skated around the question because he knows I've got him figured out. Anywho, he probably deserved what happened to him.

    Amen."

    HS, do you deny saying that?

    Be careful to answer truthfully; I'm sure CNN can easily see the IP addresses of blog posters, since their blog is based on wordpress (and for other reasons).

    November 10, 2011 at 8:24 pm |
    • Alien Orifice

      Hey Bob,
      She did deny it, yesterday. And who knows? It may have been her stalker. Hard to tell who is who around here sometimes.

      November 10, 2011 at 8:31 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Bob, what article and what page do I look for this conversation?

      Amen.

      November 10, 2011 at 8:32 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Alien Orifice, you wrote "Hey Bob, She did deny it, yesterday. And who knows? It may have been her stalker. Hard to tell who is who around here sometimes.:

      Answer: Thanks Alien. I was only on for a few brief minutes, saw that the phony heavensent was stalking me ... logged off for the night. If I told you at that time I saw what you guys are referring to ... then I told you the truth. The reason I don't know about this posting is because I didn't write it.

      Amen.

      November 10, 2011 at 8:53 pm |
    • EatYouAlive

      Amen. ROFL.

      November 10, 2011 at 9:29 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Tommie Tom, I mean Bob, I mean Eat or whatever handle you are hiding behind. You prove these scriptures to be true.

      The Lord has made all for Himself, yes, even the wicked for the day of doom. (Proverbs 16:4).

      The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked. (Jeremiah 17:9).

      Amen.

      November 10, 2011 at 11:17 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      You moron, your constant paranoia would be amusing, but for the fact that you're too stupid for words. I haven't used any other handle, jackazz.

      November 11, 2011 at 6:58 am |
  9. GodPot

    Wow! This study makes so much sense!! Surveying people who go to religious services where they are told a little man in the sky will fix everything so don't worry about global warming or the quickly dwindling resources of the planet shows that people that believe they don't have to worry about any problem because they have a magic genie in their pocket, shockingly worry less!!

    It's like an addict asking his heroin dealer for health advice as to whether he should go see a doctor about the dark purple vein running up his arm from an infected track mark. "Nah man, it's all good, you'll be fine, trust me, now wheres the money you owe me?"...

    November 10, 2011 at 7:33 pm |
    • HS

      GodPot, you're the one acting like an addict being addicted to the obnoxious way of living.

      Amen.

      November 10, 2011 at 7:39 pm |
    • Evan

      God is not a "little guy in the sky". God is, by definition, immaterial and transcendent, meaning He transcends space and time.

      November 10, 2011 at 8:43 pm |
    • Alien Orifice

      How do you know how big or little God is? What kind of crap is that and what is it based on? For all you know God lives in the world of the very small and travels by hitching his wagon to a Neutrino.

      November 10, 2011 at 8:51 pm |
    • EatYouAlive

      AO. You see, they just "know" 'cause how could it be anything else than god?

      November 10, 2011 at 9:37 pm |
    • AtheistSteve

      Evan
      God is not a "little guy in the sky". God is, by definition, immaterial and transcendent, meaning He transcends space and time

      No...God is by definition...undefined because he is make believe. In order to define something you need facts. There are no facts you can associate with god precisely because you say he transcends time and space. Something that doesn't manifest in reality is by definition no different than something non-existent.

      November 10, 2011 at 9:37 pm |
    • TR6

      @Evan: “God is, by definition, immaterial and transcendent”

      Yes, exactly! He is perfectly immaterial and transcendent to the point of non existence

      November 10, 2011 at 9:39 pm |
  10. Ed

    OK its true the article does not prove the existance of God, but everyday I see Atheist claim religion does no one any good prayer does no one any good. Here is a study that shows regular church attendance increase life expectancy. This is a good thing so like it or not religion does some good.

    November 10, 2011 at 7:25 pm |
    • Alien Orifice

      It is not proof. It is just a study. It hasn't even been peer reviewed. Prayer does nothing, there IS proof of that. Having said that, I think for some people church does make them happy, like smokin' a fatty! There are lots of ways to feel good.

      November 10, 2011 at 7:31 pm |
    • Ed

      didn't say it proved it I said it showed it and it does, I realize you hate and despise all things Christian but this study does show that faith does help soem people. Give credit were it is due. stop hating just to hate

      November 10, 2011 at 7:37 pm |
    • Alien Orifice

      Sorry Ed, I misread that first part.

      I don't hate Christians. Some of my best friends and relatives are Christians. I even go sing and play music at their church someitmes. Why would you say that? I don't hate anybody. Hate is bad. Religion is still silly and destructive though. That is my opinion.

      November 10, 2011 at 7:51 pm |
    • John Richardson

      @Ed It's well known that prayer can do the one PRAYING good, just as affirmations and meditation and psychological techniques like focussing, etc, can. It just doesn't have any effect on who/what is being prayed FOR.

      November 10, 2011 at 8:19 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Alien, then peer pressure is what made you into a non-believer. I'll pray that you young folks grow out of the peer pressure aspects of your life soon and find your way back to our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

      Amen.

      November 10, 2011 at 8:57 pm |
    • EatYouAlive

      Amen. ROFL

      November 10, 2011 at 9:34 pm |
    • TR6

      “Atheist claim religion does no one any good” Oh no. I would never claim that. It’s perfectly obvious that it does a world of good for televangelists and mega church pastors. It even shows that prayer does some times work. They stand in front of their congregations, pray for money, and it comes rolling in, in great torrents. Of course I don’t believe god does any good or even exits; but, religion and prayer do wonders for some people

      November 10, 2011 at 9:48 pm |
    • AtheistSteve

      First of all the only thing this study points to is that the social interaction seems to be the cause of benefits outlined. Nobody has ever said that the group participation linked with various church activities were bad. Bingo, Feed the Homeless, Rumage sales and various other group activities have numerous advantages. The real issue is that any of these can take place and do in secular groups too but these were not used as comparison. It boils down to numbers since there are many more church groups than secular ones simply due to the long history of church participation as opposed to secular ones. The point is that God isn't relevant to the equation except as a totally unnecessary and misleading addition. It also comes as no surprise that the age group is women 50 and over since they would be less likely to be among the more secular outlook of younger women.

      November 10, 2011 at 9:54 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Peer pressure? Hardly. What has made me doubt the value of religion and the existence of a supreme being is seeing people like HS and fred.

      November 10, 2011 at 9:58 pm |
    • Ed

      @Alien Sorry but your post usaully show obvious disdain for all things Christian I took them at face value I apologize for my assumption that yuou hate Christians

      November 11, 2011 at 8:29 am |
    • Ed

      @JOhn that prayer does not good for the person being prayed for does no good can not be proven. Numerious examples exist of people who have been healed even when medical science has given up I wrote about one just a few weeks ago. While it can not be proven the prayer help it can not be proven that it did not. So to state that it never does any good as many Atheist have done is at best irresponsible.

      November 11, 2011 at 8:32 am |
    • Ed

      @AtheistSteve "Nobody has ever said that the group participation linked with various church activities were bad" Sorry Steve but this statement is blantantly incorrect. The vast majority of Atheist of this site have stated in numeroius posts this exactly what this sentence says noboby ever said.

      November 11, 2011 at 8:34 am |
  11. DeArmon

    Well we now know what kind of people read cnn. You discribe yourselves as cynical, anti faith, and very unhappy. A true Christian is loving, hopful, and at pease with themselves. I guess that means they are Christ like – and that my brothers and sisters is where Christians got their name...

    November 10, 2011 at 7:25 pm |
    • Alien Orifice

      DeArmon,
      How can you generalize like that with a straight face? That is a ridiculous statement. I can only speek for myself by I am very happy, happily married, wonderful intelligent children, gainfully employed, well educated.....Being happy has nothing to do with being a Christian, how can you suggest that? How can you back up and absurd statement like that? Am I cynical? Sure a little bit, but I am not gullible, naive and brainwashed! Yeah, I am happy.

      November 10, 2011 at 7:35 pm |
    • HS

      Alien, how can you be such a hard core mizzy when you play musical instruments in the church and love that your step mom and dad find pleasure in the Lord? You certainly have issues you need to deal with. Try reading Jesus' truth again while shelving that ego that judges against Him.

      Amen.

      November 10, 2011 at 7:52 pm |
    • Fallacy Spotting 101

      Post by DeArmon is the No True Scotsman fallacy.

      http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/No_True_Scotsman

      November 10, 2011 at 8:04 pm |
    • Alien Orifice

      @Fallacy
      That is right on! Cool web site.

      November 10, 2011 at 8:47 pm |
    • Alien Orifice

      DeArmon, yet another Christian drive by.

      November 10, 2011 at 8:52 pm |
  12. Alien Orifice

    Fred, neither the Gospels of Mark nor Matthew nor Luke mention anything about Jesus being nailed to the cross. John’s description of the crucifixion also omits any reference to being nailed to the cross. It is possible, but he was, it was most likely just his feet according to the evidence.

    November 10, 2011 at 7:21 pm |
    • fred

      In addition to John there is:

      Acts 2:23
      This man was handed over to you by God’s deliberate plan and foreknowledge; and you, with the help of wicked men, put him to death by nailing him to the cross.
      For dogs have surrounded me; A band of evildoers has encompassed me; They pierced my hands and my feet.
      Psalm 22:15-17

      November 10, 2011 at 8:03 pm |
    • Alien Orifice

      Fred
      Exactly, thank you for making my point. They are NUMEROUS contradictions in the Bible. You just pick and choose whatever flavor you are hungry for. How how can determine the truth when wading though all the lies? Science tells us that most likely his hands were tied and his feet were nailed, as was the custom. But nobody KNOWS. It was 2000 years ago for crying out loud! Fred, please why do you waste everyone's time.

      November 10, 2011 at 8:15 pm |
  13. fred

    Finally ! Proof that we serve a living God.
    On the 7th day God rested and said "it is very good"

    November 10, 2011 at 6:51 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      WHAT "proof"? There's no proof given.

      November 10, 2011 at 7:05 pm |
    • Fallacy Spotting 101

      Root post by fred is an instance of the fallacy of irrelevant conclusion.

      http://www.iep.utm.edu/fallacy

      November 10, 2011 at 7:11 pm |
    • Alien Orifice

      Fred, as usual you completely missed the point of the whole article. You should go to night school or something and pick up some reading comprehension skills. It's nothing to be ashamed of.

      November 10, 2011 at 7:13 pm |
    • fred

      @AO You may be right, what was the point I missed?

      @Fallacy 101 – Buzzz wrong. Sunday is the Lords day, a class of women that attend church have better health = it is very good. Fallacy 101 – Buzzz wrong. Women in study felt 56% more positive = positive effect from God = living God. If God was dead these religeous people would suddenly find themselves very depressed.

      November 10, 2011 at 7:27 pm |
    • Ed

      sorry fred but you're leaping here why it is good it does not prove God

      November 10, 2011 at 7:29 pm |
    • fred

      TOM TOM
      CNN just wrote a positive report on God, that took an act of GOD ! Some would call it a miracle

      Now, go and spread the good news

      November 10, 2011 at 7:30 pm |
    • Fallacy Spotting 101

      fred, may I suggest that you review the content at the link that I supplied. Your conclusion of a valid proof of the existence of god is not supported by your pretext, nor by the article, and it does appear that you aren't very strong in logic fundamentals.

      November 10, 2011 at 7:34 pm |
    • Dr. Zeuss

      Fallacy spotter, you are way way way too polite and academic. Don't beat around the bush. fred is just stupid. Don't make him think too hard.

      November 10, 2011 at 7:39 pm |
    • Alien Orifice

      Fred, talking to you is akin to scraping my face against sand paper, but I will humor you. Ok let's see, the point you missed...hmmm.

      Your response to this article was, "Finally ! Proof that we serve a living God.
      On the 7th day God rested and said "it is very good"

      Ok, the article was about the affect of going to church on mental health. I am not sure what else to say here if you don't undersand what point you missed.

      November 10, 2011 at 7:46 pm |
    • John Richardson

      OMG, fred, are you really that stupid?

      November 10, 2011 at 8:21 pm |
    • Observer

      If God has to rest, God obviously isn't omnipotent.

      November 10, 2011 at 8:24 pm |
    • fred

      AO
      Thanks ! You said" the article was about the affect of going to church on mental health"
      On the 7th day God rested is the foundation of taking a day of rest in the Lord i.e. sabbath / church sundays etc.
      One affect on the group, that followed Gods command regarding the sabbath, was positive mental health.

      November 10, 2011 at 8:26 pm |
    • Alien Orifice

      Fred, if I could I would give you a medal for that, man you really had me going. Good job. Now, too bad there is no God so it doesn't really matter anyow.

      November 10, 2011 at 8:41 pm |
    • Alien Orifice

      Oh but Fred, before I start handing out medals, the point of this article was not to prove the existance of God. I am just sayin.

      November 10, 2011 at 8:56 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      No, fred, it took an act of a computer, an editor, some advertising, and readers. There's no god involved in publishing a study, moron.

      As I said above, what makes me doubt the existence of a god is people like you.

      November 10, 2011 at 10:00 pm |
  14. Alien Orifice

    I would rather be cynical than gullible and naive.

    November 10, 2011 at 6:50 pm |
  15. really?

    Oh what a surprise! Not!, did you need a study for that?
    You could have just observed how some of these handles interact on the belief blog.

    November 10, 2011 at 6:43 pm |
    • Black Kettle

      Dark Pot, we meet at long last.

      November 10, 2011 at 6:50 pm |
    • Observer

      Right, a place where the optimists can meet the pessimists by the droves...

      November 10, 2011 at 7:10 pm |
    • Sammy

      Dear post menopausal women-

      Please immediately seek help and attend religious services., for the good of society and the blogosphere.

      November 10, 2011 at 7:17 pm |
  16. Alien Orifice

    On another note, my step-Mother absolutely fits the description of the women in this study. Church is community for her. She lost her son who was only in his thirties and has been fighting cancer on and off for the last several years. She is a wonderful giving woman and has even managed to get my Dad into going to churh.

    It makes them both happy when me and the kids perform at churh (we have a family band) and while it kind of gives me the heeby jeebies, it makes them happy so it makes me happy. I have no doubt it helps her. But that doesn't make God any more real or the Bible any more believable.

    They both know I am an athiest and we always joke that if I go in the chapel the roof might collapse, but it hasn't happened yet!

    November 10, 2011 at 6:41 pm |
  17. David Johnson

    Sure, it stands to reason that if they ignore reality and let themselves be absorbed into a mythical world, they will be happier. That's one of the perks of being delusional. Kids and adults spend hours playing "role playing" games online. Why? 'Cause it is more fun than real life. Real life is scary. In real life, things and people die... for keeps. Not like the make-believe role playing games... and Jesus... except the role playing games seem more real.
    A god answers all the hard questions, so they don't have to think for themselves: "God Did It".
    Their parents passed their beliefs down to them, so it make them feel good. Mummy would be ever so proud!
    They feel the warm touch of god. And not like the touch that priest tried to give them! This touch is special and above the waist.
    It stands to reason, they would feel more optimistic believing a sky daddy is watching over them. I guess they ignore all the "good, god fearing people, who die from earthquakes, floods, drunk drivers, ad nauseum.
    They know, that bad things just can't happen to them. Not while they are wearing their crucifix / purity ring / magic underwear...
    A belief in superst_itions gives people an illusion of control in an uncertain world.
    “For me, it is far better to grasp the universe as it really is than to persist in delusion, however satisfying and reassuring.”
    – Carl Sagan

    The Christian god is very unlikely to exist. Your religion is a joke.

    Cheers!

    November 10, 2011 at 6:36 pm |
    • fred

      David
      Put down your nails we already did that to Jesus once.

      November 10, 2011 at 6:53 pm |
    • Bob

      David, "dumb as a bag of hammers" fred sure oughta know nails, so don't mess with him on this one.

      More seriously, fred, so your omnipotent sky beastie needed to have his scapegoat son nailed up on sticks to remove sin why again? Not quite powerful enough to do the job without that?

      Quite the "god" you've made for yourself there. Other supersti-tions had the scapegoat thing going long before you Christians ripped it off.

      November 10, 2011 at 7:16 pm |
    • HS

      It is a pleasure learning, comprehending and abiding in what Jesus teaches.

      You wouldn't know His truth because your're too busy being miserable.

      Amen.

      November 10, 2011 at 7:19 pm |
    • Huh?

      "Put down your nails we already did that to Jesus once."

      He was nailed to a cross because he was a fake. Now if we could only do that with Santa Claus.

      November 10, 2011 at 7:21 pm |
    • Bob

      HS, after what you said about AO yesterday, I'm surprised to see you posting again. You should be ashamed of yourself, and silent.

      November 10, 2011 at 7:21 pm |
    • Alien Orifice

      Fred, neither the Gospels of Mark nor Matthew nor Luke mention anything about Jesus being nailed to the cross. John’s description of the crucifixion also omits any reference to being nailed to the cross. It is possible, but if he was, it was most likely just his feet according to the evidence available.

      November 10, 2011 at 7:23 pm |
    • ......

      "You wouldn't know His truth because your're too busy being miserable."

      That log just gets bigger and bigger in your eye.

      November 10, 2011 at 7:30 pm |
    • HS

      Bob, I logged on to this site for a few minutes and noticed the phony heavensent having a field day with my handle. Therefore, copy the post you are referring to ... since I didn't stay on for long and never came back to read what the phony wrote.

      Amen.

      November 10, 2011 at 7:44 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Bob, I care less what phony handle you post under. Again, post the article and page number of the conversation you are referring to so I can see for myself what you are babbling about.

      Amen.

      November 10, 2011 at 8:39 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Bob, you babbled to David, "dumb as a bag of hammers" fred sure oughta know nails, so don't mess with him on this one.

      More seriously, fred, so your omnipotent sky beastie needed to have his scapegoat son nailed up on sticks to remove sin why again? Not quite powerful enough to do the job without that?

      Quite the "god" you've made for yourself there. Other supersti-tions had the scapegoat thing going long before you Christians ripped it off."

      Answer: Did you ever stop to think that those mizzy sites you visit are written by miserable people who want others to be as miserable as them ... aka misery loves company?!?

      Amen.

      November 10, 2011 at 8:42 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      HS, you don't sound happy–ever-in any of your posts. The most miserable person on here is you. You sound cranky, nasty, and judgmental. You appear to be disgusted by everyone and everything around you. You see no good in anyone and evil everywhere.

      Why would anyone want to participate in a belief system that affects people that way?

      November 10, 2011 at 10:04 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Actually, Tommie Tom. The only time I get a headache is when I log onto this site and read what you, that live in darkness think/believe and eventually will do with said minset. Hence, why I stay on for only a little while, with the exceptions of someone seriously asking a question.

      Amen.

      November 10, 2011 at 11:11 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      You really ARE an idiot. If you get a headache from something, why in the world would you keep doing it?

      I swear, it's posts like yours that turn me further and further away from Christianity, and I mean that in all sincerity.

      You are a detriment to the church and to your god.

      November 11, 2011 at 7:01 am |
  18. Alien Orifice

    Going to church (believing in a God in general) is a lot like going to the theater. Of course it makes you feel better when you are there, you are surrounded by like-thinking people. The real world you live in is discussed in terms of fantasy and make-believe and you are able to suspend your dis-belief indefinately.

    The big difference is, when we suspend our disbelief at the theater, it only lasts three hours. Then we snap out of make-believe land and return to the real world.

    November 10, 2011 at 6:34 pm |
    • HS

      As if you knew what happens inside of church walls.

      All you atheists can stay the miserable selves that you are. No one is twisting your arms to stay miserable. You choose this way of thinking/living on your own.

      God does work in mysterious ways with that free will He gave us.

      Amen.

      November 10, 2011 at 7:21 pm |
    • Bob

      HS, that's pretty odd coming from you, who made some of the most miserable posts ever to appear on this blog.

      November 10, 2011 at 7:22 pm |
    • Alien Orifice

      As a teenager I enjoyed a journey into religious beleif to seek out the truth. I attended many different protestant denomitations and Catholic churches. I went to Bible study. I studied the religions of the world and looked for wisdom and truth. I found none. My conclusion was and is that religion is a hoax. A scam to fleece the sheep. That being said, if you want to believe that is fine with me, but expect to respect it. It has no basis in fact and is offensive to common logic. It is a very interesting subject however.

      November 10, 2011 at 7:29 pm |
    • HAHAHA

      "All you atheists can stay the miserable selves that you are. No one is twisting your arms to stay miserable. You choose this way of thinking/living on your own."

      Let's guess you didn't even bother to research about this study did you? Researcher on the study cautioned against people assuming that adopting a religion and heading off to a church, synagogue, temple or mosque would brighten their lives.

      November 10, 2011 at 7:29 pm |
    • HS

      Actually, Bob, I post Jesus' truth. That's what you can't handle. As for the phony heavensent being obnoxious with his posts ,,, it's not going to work when you folks jump on the bandwagon of the phony posts to FINALLY get a chance to tell me off.

      Amen.

      November 10, 2011 at 7:29 pm |
    • HS

      HAHAHA, I don't need to do research. All I need to do is read your miserable posts when I surf into this site. Everything you atheists write is negative, never positive.

      Amen.

      November 10, 2011 at 7:31 pm |
    • HS

      Alien Orifice, you posted "As a teenager I enjoyed a journey into religious beleif to seek out the truth. I attended many different protestant denomitations and Catholic churches. I went to Bible study. I studied the religions of the world and looked for wisdom and truth. I found none. My conclusion was and is that religion is a hoax. A scam to fleece the sheep. That being said, if you want to believe that is fine with me, but expect to respect it. It has no basis in fact and is offensive to common logic. It is a very interesting subject however."

      Answer: First, that's too bad that you went the negative way in life. Two, church is an introduction into Jesus' wisdom. It's up to the individual to seek His truth. Most young folks like yourself don't get Him until later on in life. You're too busy paying attention to the ways of the world. I suspect that's where your mindset is now. Focused on the superficial ways of the world, not caring about your soul.

      Amen.

      November 10, 2011 at 7:37 pm |
    • Bob

      HS, are you denying that yesterday you said that Alien Orifice deserved the abuse that he received?

      Be careful to answer truthfully; I'm sure CNN can easily see the IP addresses of blog posters, since their blog is based on wordpress (and for other reasons).

      November 10, 2011 at 8:15 pm |
    • Alien Orifice

      Bob, it probably was her, but I am going to let it go. I have no proof and CNN has no process for logging in and having a user name and password which is both good and bad. As a result, wudda ya gonna do?

      November 11, 2011 at 2:27 am |
    • Get Real

      AO, I kind of doubt that it was her, but I have no way of knowing for sure. The fact that she has created a persona here which would allow even a hint of susp.icion is telling. If an impostor posted something like that under, for example, tallulah's or Free's or John Richardson's or many other rational posters' names, there would be no debate about if it were real or not.

      Also, if it wasn't her... there is vile punk out there somewhere... on two fronts: a) insulting and hurting you and b) unfairly denigrating HS... we have plenty to call her out on without making stuff up.

      November 11, 2011 at 2:44 am |
  19. Colin

    The placebo effect at its collective best.

    November 10, 2011 at 5:32 pm |
    • Bob

      Of course, "drinking the koolaid" also comes to mind.

      November 10, 2011 at 7:19 pm |
    • HS

      If anything is placebo, it's the egos of the non-believers truly thinking you are special, above the rest, for being anti-social in society. Hey folks, tune in ... we are all in the flesh on this earth ... and we know who's being obnoxious towards society by mocking what you don't know.

      Amen.

      November 10, 2011 at 7:23 pm |
    • Dr. Zeuss

      HS, news for you: we are above you. And a whole lot smarter than you, too.

      November 10, 2011 at 8:09 pm |
    • Jen

      HS, how would that be placebo? Can you explain what the placebo effect is all about?

      November 10, 2011 at 8:17 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Why would you think that those who don't believe what you do are "miserable"? They certainly don't sound nearly as grumpy and snotty as you do.

      November 10, 2011 at 10:07 pm |
  20. Reality

    And then there are Bill Gates and Warren Buffet who never go to church since both are atheists.

    November 10, 2011 at 5:28 pm |
    • HS

      Yes, it must be difficult trying to get away from that bridge game.

      Amen.

      November 10, 2011 at 7:24 pm |
    • Bob

      Above we have another cynical post by miserable, abusive HS. Quelle surprise.

      November 10, 2011 at 8:07 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      You own the misery contest Bob, the atheist. I just made a statement that it must be difficult to leave their bridge game ... you read the rest into that statement.

      Amen.

      November 10, 2011 at 8:35 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Well, HS, was he wrong? Weren't you being your usual caustic, sarcastic, snarky, judgmental self? Why wouldn't anyone who has read your posts "read" something negative into them? Based on your history here, what else would anyone reasonably conclude?

      You've made your own bed, lady. Lie in it. If you don't like the way people perceive you, maybe you should figure out why they think you're a battle-axe.

      November 10, 2011 at 10:14 pm |
    • Bob

      Tom, you should do the same. You're the worst of the worst here. I've never seen someone so miserable and bitter. You've made your bed too. If you don't like the way people perceive you, then maybe you should figure out why they think you're so self-important. What horrible trauma turned you into this? It's disgusting. I mean that. I have never seen a more self-important, bitter hag in my life. See a psychologist. Better yet, a psychiatrist. Medicate.

      November 10, 2011 at 11:30 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Stick it, Tom. I couldn't care less how anonymous twits on a worthless board perceive me. My only purpose here is to observe and ridicule the nincompoops.

      November 11, 2011 at 7:03 am |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
Advertisement
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.