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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. anonymous

    Put this in your tea and sip on it for a while: "Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind" –Albert Einstine,in: Science, Philosophy and Religion

    November 11, 2011 at 3:25 am |
    • Mirosal

      Religion hindered science for over 1000 years (Dark Ages). In the 1500's when sceince awakened, the church was MAD. They used threats, intimiadation, and excommunication to force people to recant their findings. Science doesn't get mad when you contradict a finding, in fact Science begs you to prove it wrong. Let's hear religion say that

      November 11, 2011 at 3:36 am |
    • THE BIBLE IS GARBAGE

      POOR EINSTEIN WOULD CRY IF HE SAW HOW YOU DESTROYED HIS NAME.

      November 11, 2011 at 5:23 pm |
  2. Charrick

    I'm pretty sure that the people living in the Matrix were happier than those who escaped, too. But I couldn't be happy. It would make me sad to think of all of those innocent people (who just worshiped the wrong god or none at all) burning for eternity. That would make me sad. But it seems like to most religious people, that little problem doesn't phase them in the slightest! My hats off to you, the chosen ones who can suppress your empathy enough to be happy in your prison! (See, now that was cynical. I guess you can tell what I am.)

    November 11, 2011 at 3:21 am |
  3. anon

    Organized religion absolutely does make people happier and makes them live longer. It brings people together and we all know that friendship and community prolongs life and increases happiness.

    Smarter people, unfortunately, are cursed. Unless they're brainwashed from birth, they're pretty much impossible to convert. They are overall less happy and live shorter lives. But if they use their brains in the right way, they can figure out how to find happiness, by copying everything about organized religion, except for the religion part. The community, the friends, the volunteering and giving, the outings. That's where the happiness comes from.

    November 11, 2011 at 3:03 am |
    • Mirosal

      Are you saying smart people are cursed because they can see through the charade of religion? You claim the intelligent are almost impossible to convert. Convert to what? YOUR views? You haven't realized that countless atheists were brought up with a "religious" education. We know all about that 2000 year old book filled with 3000 year old stories. You talk about happiness and longevity. Ok then, show us your sources.

      November 11, 2011 at 3:21 am |
  4. James

    The finality of death is the coldest truth one must face. Religion makes the perfect distraction.

    November 11, 2011 at 2:14 am |
    • Alien Orifice

      And who can blame them? It is scary. There is a HUGE difference between the church and their scam, and the uneducated people who are just afraid and looking for something to ease their fear and suffering. I don't blame the dumb, I blame religion and those who exploit the dumb.

      November 11, 2011 at 2:31 am |
    • Ilai

      Amen to that, Sir.
      There is nothing like a good delusion to stir the pleasure centers. Although I've never had one, I imagine there is no friend better than an imaginary one!

      November 11, 2011 at 2:42 am |
    • J03M4N

      If death was truly the end, wouldn't it be wonderful? It is my true desire that death be the end to my existence, but somehow, I don't think escaping this trap of existence is that simple. sadly, I fear my burden will continue, somehow, someway.

      November 11, 2011 at 10:59 am |
  5. Mirosal

    @ Heaven Sent ... you said many things about knowledge, like "Without the true fear of God, one is left knowing nothing (as in 1 Timothy 6:4), because the fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge" I have no fear of your "god" OR your "devil". Does that mean I should stop paying my Mensa dues? I've been doing paying that for almost 30 years now. I think you're just afraid to learn new things, and THAT is the first step towards intelligence.

    November 11, 2011 at 2:14 am |
  6. Voice of Reason

    I go to church often – it's called walking in to the forest, or woods nearby and watching the waterfall or the deer walking about. Nature is a wonderful thing, especially for students of science like myself and anyone else with a functioning brain.

    Organized religion is just something that we, the rational people, have to tolerate but we don't have to respect it, and why should we? All the stupid things are done in the name of some fictional god (or whatever you want to call it). The real "downer" is the actions of religious people when they harm or take away innocent life, and it seems to be happening a lot lately.

    November 11, 2011 at 1:39 am |
    • tallulah13

      My dad felt exactly the same way. I respect your views.

      November 11, 2011 at 1:45 am |
    • Alien Orifice

      I feel that way too BUT many people do find that church is a welcome refuge for them. I don't have to respect religion. But I do have to respect people helping others, regardless of what their motivation is. There is good and bad in all things. Sure, we agree on what seems obvious to us. But the truth is, there are a lot of dumb people in the world and they were born that way and it doesn't make them bad. In fact, sometimes it may help them.

      November 11, 2011 at 2:01 am |
    • Brandon

      Voice of Reason? I beg to differ. You should respect everyone's choice be because that's exactly what it is: a choice. You choose to not believe in a deity and I respect that, others choose to believe in a deity and I respect that too. Oh and all religious people would be "vegetables" without a functioning brain. Are you studying the science of inaccurate accusation and lack of respect?

      November 11, 2011 at 3:06 am |
  7. lled

    there are no atheist @ 150mph................

    November 11, 2011 at 1:39 am |
    • Get Real

      lled, When, oh when have you had time to interview *every* atheist? It must have kept you quite busy... and unable to have time to learn that the plural of 'atheist' is 'atheists', right?

      November 11, 2011 at 1:45 am |
    • tallulah13

      There are a lot of atheists who travel by air. The average speed of a passenger jet is over 400 mph. Therefore, you have no idea what you are talking about.

      Did you know that when you make up stuff and pretend it's the truth, it's a lie? Did you know that the christian god hated lies so much, he made not lying one of his 10 commandments? Maybe you should think about that, next time you think you're being funny.

      November 11, 2011 at 1:50 am |
    • Alien Orifice

      I don't even know what that is supposed to mean...??

      November 11, 2011 at 2:03 am |
    • TruthPrevails

      that statement could also apply to the theist...speed kills regardless of belief, just ask Dale Earnhardt Sr...oh wait, you can't b/c he's dead partially due to speed and he was a theist

      November 11, 2011 at 4:59 am |
  8. Tony

    Ignorance is bliss.

    November 11, 2011 at 1:06 am |
    • Alien Orifice

      It probably is. We have to suffer the reality of truth.

      November 11, 2011 at 2:04 am |
  9. hippypoet

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

    Because you take no responiblity for your actions, it was god's plan right? Once you think you have the power to true choice, you claim god gave you free will...but later when a massive NATURAL disaster happens – you will claim god works in mysterious ways and has a plan for us all....again! Which is it – free will, or a grand design – can't be both!

    November 11, 2011 at 1:00 am |
  10. Don

    Church is like having a free psych!
    Every week!

    November 11, 2011 at 12:56 am |
  11. Don

    If you an atheist you have to search high and low for an organization like the church to attend and go away revived!

    November 11, 2011 at 12:39 am |
    • THE BIBLE IS GARBAGE

      TAKING A NAP MAKES ME FEEL REVIVED.

      November 11, 2011 at 12:43 am |
    • Tony

      No I don't.

      November 11, 2011 at 1:07 am |
    • tallulah13

      Meanwhile, christians can get their fantasy fix every weekend. Life is so much easier when you have a pretend friend who takes care of you! Well maybe it's not really easier but you think a lot less about it.

      November 11, 2011 at 1:25 am |
    • TR6

      I walked away from Christianity. Why would I go searching for a replacement? That would be like pulling a knife out of my back and then going and looking for a replacement

      November 12, 2011 at 8:43 pm |
  12. Don

    Church is a full time rejoice thats the difference between Church life and any life atheist or whatever. Thats what atheist don't get and it drives them crazy! This is the reason for the article.Atheist don't have have a system like the church to walk into every week for this type of collective rejoice and fellowship! yet they are always in reasonning,naturalistic mode and trying to solve their own problems and can't and are more likely to be depressed.Church is solving problems for folks left and right and offers hope beyond compare!

    November 11, 2011 at 12:35 am |
    • diechristians

      just one problem – god isnt real

      you know what else makes people feel good? narcotics. thats all religion is.

      November 11, 2011 at 12:40 am |
    • THE BIBLE IS GARBAGE

      WATCHING THE SCIENCE CHANNEL IS FAR MORE EXCITING THAN SITTING IN A CHAIR AND LISTENING TO SOME DOLT INTERPRET THE BIBLE AS HE SEES FIT.

      November 11, 2011 at 12:44 am |
    • Tony

      You seem to be saying that believing in supernatural invisible friends is really rewarding. That may be true, but I prefer to have my eyes open, and see nothing.

      November 11, 2011 at 1:08 am |
    • SubG

      Don >> "Church is a full time rejoice thats the difference between Church life and any life atheist or whatever. Thats what atheist don't get and it drives them crazy!"
      So Don, you rejoice in persecuting non-believers and trying to make their life harder? How very christian of you.
      Don >> "yet they are always in reasonning,naturalistic mode and trying to solve their own problems and can't and are more likely to be depressed.Church is solving problems for folks left and right and offers hope beyond compare!"
      Interesting Don, organized crime families solve problems too and they also try to make life hard for those who are not connected. I keep trying to find a social difference between organized crime and religion but I just have a hard time finding it. But you tell me that I should not be depressed by that. Instead I should just join the family.

      November 11, 2011 at 1:35 am |
    • Alien Orifice

      @diechristians
      True, and if pot was legal I would be smokin' so why not let these people have their fun? They are not the ones causing the damage. It is the church itself and those who exploit these ignorant people for financeal gain.

      November 11, 2011 at 2:36 am |
    • Jamie

      Actually, many atheists attend churches, even when they don't believe in a god. It's educational. Additionally, the Unitarian Universalist church has many many members that are agnostics or atheists, specifically because UU congregations are open to people of all faiths or lack thereof. Their sermons rarely mention gods. These are churches that atheists can attend if they feel the need for a weekly get together to celebrate community, life, and their fellow mankind.

      November 11, 2011 at 8:56 pm |
    • Mitchell Moore

      God solves problems? I've yet to see evidence of that. Only the weak-minded turn to an invisible, pretend friend to help them out of their life struggles. I, like everyone else on the planet, have had to struggle through problems and I solved them without asking someone I can't see for help. And, no, I have no desire to hang out with a bunch of delusionals one day a week. I'd rather go to a movie.

      November 11, 2011 at 9:27 pm |
    • TR6

      “Church is a full time rejoice thats the difference between Church life and any life atheist or whatever. “

      I attended many different churches back when I was a Christian and I can guarantee you it was not full time rejoicing. In fact rejoicing was pretty hard to find. Lots of pretence, false images, and self righteousness though.

      Life has been much better since I gave up the fantasy for “reasoning, naturalistic mode” and solving my own problems.

      “Church is solving problems for folks left and right and offers hope beyond compare!” The only problems I saw solved was the preachers need for more money and his hope to get it

      November 12, 2011 at 8:52 pm |
    • TR6

      “Church is solving problems for folks left and right and offers hope beyond compare!”

      OK, put your money where your mouth is, show us your faith in the church solving problems. Next time you get real sick, go to church instead of to the doctor. After all Christ heals the sick and answers every prayer

      November 12, 2011 at 8:58 pm |
  13. Stimpson65

    A religious person being "happier" than a non-religious person is no more to the point than a drunk person is "happier" than a sober person.

    November 11, 2011 at 12:30 am |
    • THE BIBLE IS GARBAGE

      SOME DRUNKS GET REAL ANGRY, LIKE HEAVENSENT'S DAD. I BET HE'S FROM TEXAS.

      November 11, 2011 at 12:36 am |
    • Brandon

      Hey, THE BIBLE IS GARBAGE do you have a caps lock problem? Everything you wirte is capitalized.

      November 11, 2011 at 3:12 am |
    • THE BIBLE IS GARBAGE

      NO PROBLEM WITH MY CAPS LOCK. IT'S ON, AND OBVIOUSLY WORKING. THANK YOU DOCTOR OBVIOUS.

      November 11, 2011 at 5:25 pm |
  14. HeavenSent

    I'm logging off now. This article and the responses reminded me to read 1 Timothy 6 again.

    Amen.

    November 11, 2011 at 12:25 am |
    • THE BIBLE IS GARBAGE

      ENJOY YOUR BOOK OF LIES.

      November 11, 2011 at 12:30 am |
    • tallulah13

      Of course, poor HS just reads the same book, over and over. That's why she really isn't that bright.

      November 11, 2011 at 1:26 am |
  15. sefanzed

    simpletons.

    November 11, 2011 at 12:24 am |
    • Alien Orifice

      There have always been "simpletons". Not everyone is born smart. But wisdom is different. We must live together, so be civil and loving. Practice what you preach.

      November 11, 2011 at 2:38 am |
  16. seriously now

    One aspect as to why this is true is that religious attendance in our society is the "norm", it is the activity of the majority. So, someone attending church–regardless of anything else–may feel less depressed and less cynical simply because she or he is in the majority, and have less to be cynical about, if you see what I mean. I don't think, by extension, that atheists, simply by attending church, could by any means fix their issues...In other words, I bet the same effect as this study would occur if atheists found themselves in strong communties of atheists-they would be less depressed and perhaps less cynical than when they find themselves in typical American society. I hope the authors of this study thought of this, because it is frigging obvious as a plausible explanation for their results other than just religiosity. But they probably won't read these comments.

    November 11, 2011 at 12:02 am |
    • HeavenSent

      Actually seriously now, it's learning, comprehending and applying Jesus' truth to our lives is what makes the difference.

      Amen.

      November 11, 2011 at 12:10 am |
    • Alien Orifice

      This study really says very little about anything, except that when you are with like-thinking people you feel more secure. Harmless enough and agree with your thoughts on the story.

      November 11, 2011 at 12:13 am |
    • THE BIBLE IS GARBAGE

      CHRISTIANS THINK JESUS WILL FIX THEIR PROBLEMS SO THAT MAKES THEM HAPPY. EVERYONE LIVING IN REALITY KNOWS THEY ACTUALLY HAVE TO WORK TO SOLVE PROBLEMS. KNOWING YOU HAVE TO FIX A PROBLEM YOURSELF CAN AT TIMES BE FRUSTRATING. AT LEAST OUR PROBLEMS GET SOLVED. CHRISTIANS ARE ALWAYS LEFT WONDERING WHY THEY'RE ALL BROKE.

      November 11, 2011 at 12:21 am |
    • *frank*

      Just one of countless points that could be made–
      People who attend church regularly may be less depressed than people who don't partly because people who are more depressed are simply less capable of going out and engaging in social activities.
      Broadly speaking, a lot of poorly conducted research is used to draw a lot of baseless conclusions, which are then quoted by a lot of stupid people as evidence of something. Pretty standard, really.

      November 11, 2011 at 12:28 am |
    • THE BIBLE IS GARBAGE

      FRANK YOU RAISE A VALID POINT.

      November 11, 2011 at 12:31 am |
    • TR6

      @HeavenSent: “Actually seriously now, it's learning, comprehending and applying Jesus' truth to our lives is what makes the difference.” So everything in the bible except for the gospels is pretty much worthless and can be ignored?

      November 12, 2011 at 9:01 pm |
  17. THE BIBLE IS GARBAGE

    I DON'T UNDERSTAND THIS ARTICLE OR THE STUDY AT ALL. IF I WENT TO CHURCH I WOULDN'T BE HAPPY BECAUSE OF LIVING IN FEAR THAT I WOULD BURN IN HELL ALL THE TIME FOR FARTING IN THE WRONG DIRECTION. WHAT IF YOU HAVE GAS WHILE YOU'RE IN CHURCH? I'M SURE THAT IT'S A SIN TO FART IN YOUR CHAIR WHEN IN THE HOUSE OF THE LORD MASTER JESUS. GOD HATES PILLOWS TOO. IT'S IN THE BIBLE AND I'M NOT EVEN JOKING.

    November 10, 2011 at 11:46 pm |
    • Alien Orifice

      Does God hate Whoopy Cushions too? At least that way you could fart in church without really farting so maybe you would be forgiven by the Lord God Jesus.

      November 10, 2011 at 11:52 pm |
    • THE BIBLE IS GARBAGE

      I DON'T KNOW BUT IF YOU CAN SLEEP ON IT AND IT'S COMFORTABLE, GOD PROBABLY HATES IT.

      November 10, 2011 at 11:59 pm |
    • Alien Orifice

      LOL

      Hey lose the Caps lock you are making me dizzy.

      November 11, 2011 at 12:05 am |
    • THE BIBLE IS GARBAGE

      BILLY MAYS SPOKE IN CAPS LOCK AND IT WORKED VERY WELL FOR HIM.

      November 11, 2011 at 12:19 am |
    • tallulah13

      I miss Billy Mays. He looked like the bad guy from the Popeye cartoons.

      November 11, 2011 at 1:27 am |
    • warmesTghosT

      It's odd, Billy Mays is the only t.v. personality everyone seems to agree was a genuinely good guy. I know he and Michael Jackson died around the same time...I miss Mays way more than Mike.

      November 11, 2011 at 1:15 pm |
  18. tallulah13

    Perhaps the results come from the fact that those attending religious services believe in a fantasy god who will take care of them, and those who don't attend live in the real world. I'd rather be realistic than delusional. Your mileage may vary.

    November 10, 2011 at 10:58 pm |
    • Free

      Are you suggesting it's similar to the difference between children and adults?

      November 10, 2011 at 11:28 pm |
    • fred

      tallulah13
      So, at church we support and encourage one another. The widows, divorced, old and lonely. Many do not have extra money or help. They come to church and trough prayer requests or just talking you find out we all have needs. I will go out and fix a leak, buy groceries, vist at hospitals .....etc. Many others do the same. This little added security that you have someone to count on overlaps bible study and sermons that talk about how God provides.. When you see it action consistently you start to believe God/Gods helpers are there for you.
      As you get older death is closer and you feel more vulnerable, it is nice to know a familiar face and God always come through. Someday I will be old and hopefully all the young atheists on this site will convert by then and come fix my roof , and buy my groceries..............tallulah 13 I hope the 13 stands for 13 years old because in 40 years I'll be looking for some 50 year old that carry my groceries into the house.

      November 10, 2011 at 11:29 pm |
    • Da King

      Or perhaps you are afraid God will judge you and you will go to hell. Your solution is to know that God loves you and you should drop the fear and learn how Gods kingdom actually works. So You may be like those in the article, Happy and at peace and living with real purpose.

      November 10, 2011 at 11:30 pm |
    • Alien Orifice

      Fred, that is all very lovely and I don't think anyone would say anything is wrong with being a good friend, a good samaritan or that the support given and received at your church is not a postive thing. But it doesn't change the reality of the fact that there is not evidence to support a God or that the Bible is factual. You don't need a church for the things you do. It is not tied to God. You could the exact same thing with any kind of social network.

      November 10, 2011 at 11:40 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Without the true fear of God, one is left knowing nothing (as in 1 Timothy 6:4), because the fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge (Proverbs 1:7).

      A person does not even begin to have knowledge if they do not fear God, as it is written, "fools hate knowledge" (Proverbs 1:22).

      Without the true fear of God, a person is a fool, because the true fear of God is also the beginning of wisdom (Psalm 111:10).

      A person does not even begin to have wisdom if they do not fear God, as it is written, "fools despise wisdom and instruction" (Proverbs 1:7). The sad reality of all of this is, such is the miserable state of mankind. They are fools (Psalm 14:1-3).

      Christianity 101

      Amen.

      November 10, 2011 at 11:44 pm |
    • KS

      Fred,

      So you're suggesting magic helps?

      November 10, 2011 at 11:45 pm |
    • THE BIBLE IS GARBAGE

      SANTA IS TO CHILDREN WHAT JESUS IS TO ADULTS.

      I WISH NASA WOULD BUILD A ROCKET FOR ALL THE BELIEVERS AND TELL THEM THAT THEY WERE GOING TO FLY THEM TO MEET JESUS BECAUSE THEY FOUND HIM ON JUPITER. THEN THEY'D ALL LOAD UP ON THAT ROCKET AND LAUNCH IT. AND THEN THEY'D FLY THE ROCKET IN THE OPPOSITE DIRECTION INTO THE SUN.

      November 10, 2011 at 11:49 pm |
    • fred

      AO
      True but, they are not consistent or reliable. I do not trust people as they get busy and move away. The church sits there like a rock. The unity is in Christ so we are all one team. The unity continues beyond our lifetime. It is all the stuff Christ said it would be.
      I hit the community centers and we are not all on the same page. Some see me coming and simply have their need list ready. On the plus side the older ones that do not know Jesus really like to hear some old gospel stories.

      November 10, 2011 at 11:50 pm |
    • fred

      KS
      Yeah, we actually play some magic tricks. On occasion someone is short on money for a utility bill. Out of nowhere a check arrives for just the exact amount they need, someone just happen to pay off their past due car bill etc.
      Medical cure abounds after prayer, not miracles that can be proven but, you never know.

      November 10, 2011 at 11:55 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      The wicked are estranged from the womb; they go astray as soon as they are born, speaking lies.

      Psalm 58:3

      Amen.

      November 11, 2011 at 12:01 am |
    • Alien Orifice

      I don't believe in Christ so really not much point in going on about that. I made my point and I am glad you are happy with your situation.

      November 11, 2011 at 12:02 am |
    • seriously now

      This is a lot like Voltaire's "Bon bramin"...

      November 11, 2011 at 12:04 am |
    • HeavenSent

      THE BIBLE IS GARBAGE, you babbled "SANTA IS TO CHILDREN WHAT JESUS IS TO ADULTS.

      I WISH NASA WOULD BUILD A ROCKET FOR ALL THE BELIEVERS AND TELL THEM THAT THEY WERE GOING TO FLY THEM TO MEET JESUS BECAUSE THEY FOUND HIM ON JUPITER. THEN THEY'D ALL LOAD UP ON THAT ROCKET AND LAUNCH IT. AND THEN THEY'D FLY THE ROCKET IN THE OPPOSITE DIRECTION INTO THE SUN."

      Answer: I do believe it's you atheists that want to ensure life is sustained on other planets so you can beam yourselves out of here because you know the meek will inherit the earth.

      Amen.

      November 11, 2011 at 12:15 am |
    • THE BIBLE IS GARBAGE

      THE MEEK CAN STAY BROKE FOR ALL I CARE.

      November 11, 2011 at 12:22 am |
    • tallulah13

      Strangely enough, fred, I have friends who do exactly that, but without all the nasty judgement.

      Da King: Do you have any proof that your god exists? Nobody else does, so maybe you should share.

      Heaven Scent, you showed your true colors over on the article about Joe Paterno. You were terribly offended that other people were using your screen name, but you had nothing to say in your post about the children who were molested. Your ego knows no boundaries, and your words have no value. (amen).

      November 11, 2011 at 1:33 am |
    • Get Real

      Heaven Sent - "you know the meek will inherit the earth."

      That certainly does not include you, then...

      November 11, 2011 at 1:38 am |
    • TR6

      @fred: “Medical cure abounds after prayer, not miracles that can be proven”

      I call BS on you. If medical cures were increased by prayer it could be measured and used to prove prayer works. All of the accepted studies of prayers and cures show prayer does nothing good. Go ahead, post your references, prove me wrong

      November 12, 2011 at 9:16 pm |
  19. Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

    I'd like to see a study comparing those who go to church with those who belong to other organizations that engage in similar activities but don't involve the worship of any god.

    I'd bet the same benefits can be found among the members of civic organizations, the American Legion, etc.

    November 10, 2011 at 10:23 pm |
    • Alien Orifice

      I feel certain you are right about that. This study seems kind of silly by harmless. I think it is fair to extrapolate it across other "groups" of like-minded support groups. Funny though, you throw the Christians a crumb and they act like Jesus just appeared in their oatmeal.

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

      P.S. Tom Tom
      Blomkvist is about to hand Wennerstrom's his A-ss. Love this book.

      November 10, 2011 at 10:27 pm |
    • Randumb Werd Jenorator

      And the butt-kissing has commenced! Follow your leader around like a little lost puppy. As per usual.

      November 10, 2011 at 11:10 pm |
    • Da King

      That is very funny. It's the believing in and being in the presents of a loving God that makes believers at peace.

      November 10, 2011 at 11:33 pm |
    • Alien Orifice

      Da King can you re-write that in English so I know what you are trying to say?

      November 10, 2011 at 11:42 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      I can always spot the atheist in a room. They're the ones that have that miserable frown upon their face as they complain about everything that life has to offer.

      Amen.

      November 11, 2011 at 12:17 am |
    • THE BIBLE IS GARBAGE

      I CAN ALWAYS POT A CHRISTIAN IN THE ROOM. THEY'RE WEARING THIRD-HAND CLOTHES FROM SALVATION ARMY.

      November 11, 2011 at 12:23 am |
    • THE BIBLE IS GARBAGE

      OOPS SPOT

      November 11, 2011 at 12:24 am |
    • tallulah13

      HS, they probably have that miserable look on their faces because you've made one of your inane comments and they are trying to figure out how to get away while still being nice. You'll find that same look on the christian faces. I bet you don't have a friend in this world.

      November 11, 2011 at 1:36 am |
    • Alien Orifice

      Bible Garbage
      Don't lower youself to that. Be civil and kind. Someday with any luck, we can move beyone the dark ages, but for today, we have to build allies, not enemies.

      November 11, 2011 at 2:42 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      The only people who are "in a room" with HS are only stuck there because they're either bedridden or in restraints.

      November 11, 2011 at 6:56 am |
    • THE BIBLE IS GARBAGE

      THERE IS NO REASONING WITH HEAVENSENT SO NO NEED TO BE CIVIL. IT'LL NEVER BE CIVIL. IT BITES WITH BIBLE SCRIPTURE. I'LL DIE EVENTUALLY SO NONE OF THIS MATTERS ANYWAY.

      November 11, 2011 at 5:27 pm |
  20. Pravda

    Atheist – Have their own morality, have a god- their mind, and proselytize more than any other religion. Especially in CNN forums...

    See – Religion!

    November 10, 2011 at 10:07 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Says Pravduh, who can't even figure out how to make nouns plural.

      November 10, 2011 at 10:15 pm |
    • tallulah13

      I suspect that "Pravda" doesn't exist and is simply a random word generator.

      November 10, 2011 at 10:56 pm |
    • Randumb Werd Jenorator

      Says Rosie O'Donnell, the bitter old hag who's life partner is so disgusted by it that it hasn't touched her in 15 years.

      November 10, 2011 at 11:10 pm |
    • Free

      Pravda
      Love the handle! So, you are here to spread Soviet-style truth, eh? Might I say, fine job so far! 🙂

      Atheists have no god. We trust our minds and you trust an idea, God. You confuse our pointing out your religion's many faults as proselytizing for atheism, but people leaving your faith because of something they learned from an atheist is more like a natural consequence than a planned membership drive. We're giving away our knowledge for free, as opposed to believers who want to please their Lord and earn a free vacation in heaven.

      November 10, 2011 at 11:43 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      I enjoyed what one Christian wrote many months ago about atheists as follows:

      When atheists die they get all dressed up with no where to go.

      I'm still smiling over that great line.

      Amen.

      November 11, 2011 at 12:21 am |
    • THE BIBLE IS GARBAGE

      WHEN CHRISTIANS DIE THEY GET DRESSED UP IN CLOTHES THAT WERE DONATED TO THEM BECAUSE THEY COULDN'T AFFORD NICE CLOTHES BECAUSE INSTEAD OF GOING OUT AND FINDING JOBS THEY SPEND THEIR LIVES PRAYING FOR GOD TO GIVE THEM ONE.

      November 11, 2011 at 12:24 am |
    • i wonder

      Heaven Sent,

      Perhaps you will be all decked out and will get stood up.

      Shall we smile at your pipe dreams?

      November 11, 2011 at 12:32 am |
    • tallulah13

      I love how christians applaud and congratulate a liar who happens to agree with them. I truly wish there was a christian hell, just so I could see the faces of all these "good" christians when they realize that their love for lying has damned them along with the gays and the atheists.

      November 11, 2011 at 1:39 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Whatsamatter herbie? Can't get a girlfriend you don't need to inflate?

      November 11, 2011 at 6:56 pm |
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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.