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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. William Hopper

    In a fire, the Christians will be the ones praying happily and getting ready to join Jesus in Heaven. The atheists will be the ones on the outside of the prayer circle, fighting the fire and finding a way to survive. I prefer option two. http://heathensguide.com/

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

      Funny, most firefighters a people of faith, a lot are Christians. Coexistence means respecting the rights of other people. It is their right to have a faith, even though you choose not to. Try using courteous discussion not bigoted slurs William Hopper.

      November 14, 2011 at 12:34 pm |
    • happypoet

      I used the wrong word. It was supposed to say "most firefighters ARE people of faith". Sorry.

      November 14, 2011 at 12:40 pm |
    • hippypoet

      mr happypoet, i rather enjoy the name.. but you sir are making very open generalizations towards firefighters... i have many friends who all joined together and not a one of them are believers... and your idea that most are not only believers but christians, well thats just wrong... the majority are what the majority is where they are from!

      November 14, 2011 at 12:41 pm |
    • hippypoet

      for example, go down south – lots of baptists down there. Go to the east coast and its a heavy mix of people there....

      November 14, 2011 at 12:44 pm |
    • happypoet

      Are you telling me that the amount of atheist firefighters is much higher than in the general population Hippy? May I please request the study you are referencing. Also, may I respectfully point out, from what I have observed on the blog, you do not appear very open to other viewpoints on this subject. People may have been reluctant, or simply had no reason to mention beliefs around you. Plus the old saw generally holds that birds of a feather... ect. We all do have the tendency to befriend people who share our outlook on life. It is part of our human condition, we form cliques even as children.

      November 15, 2011 at 12:40 am |
    • happypoet

      I am quite fascinated by our human mechanisms for self selection hippypoet. For example; my family are bibliophiles and our circle of friends contains a lot of people who enjoy literary pursuits. First we become acquainted with someone. After that initial stage, a closer friendship develops if that person is compatible with the group. Our group has a higher percentage of people who read for pleasure, but scientific studies indicate that this is not reflective of society as a whole. The number of atheist firefighters you know are a credit to your selective capabilities, and their selective ability to form a clique. My own statement referred to firefighters as a whole, & the whole is composed of more than the group of your friends.. According to the 2011 pew statistical study , the percentage of people who are purely atheist is now 1.6%, less than 2 out of every 100. The term "most" refers to having the highest numbers overall. At almost 85% of Americans, "most" are a people of faith. The scientific information supports my statement. Statistically speaking hippypoet, you based your statement on a statistical anomaly rather than a valid hypothesis. Eh, we make mistakes sometimes. I enjoyed the discussion, but the realm of Morpheus beckons. Goodnight.

      November 15, 2011 at 3:19 am |
  2. fx61

    "The fact that a believer is happier than a skeptic is no more to the point than the fact that a drunken man is happier than a sober one."
    – George Bernard Shaw

    November 11, 2011 at 10:43 pm |
  3. Joe

    Correlation does not imply causation. Basic rule of statistics. Optimists are probably more religious. Religion does not make you an optimist.

    November 11, 2011 at 10:41 pm |
  4. b4bigbang

    tallulah13

    You spew sourceless ambiguous nonsense then you're disappointed when no one can translate for you? That's some ego you got there, sparky. No wonder you believe against all evidence that there is a supreme being who thinks you're so special that he's gonna defy the laws of nature and let you live forever in some paradise.

    Ya see? there ya go again. I relate about a latest coolest atheist-friendly show on educaTV and you spin it into my spewing nonsense, and why? because i dont make my post look like my college reports? I just wanted to have a friendly discussion about the ideas on space/time reality and all im getting is this type of reply? Somebody's spewing but i dont think its me.

    BTW only hotairace bothered to at least give a book name, a step in the right direction. What does Hawking say about string theory?

    November 11, 2011 at 10:41 pm |
    • HotAirAce

      From memory, thy extend string theory to M theory and conclude no god required.

      November 11, 2011 at 11:22 pm |
    • tallulah13

      Since you are on the belief blog, you have internet access. Why don't you use the search engine of your choice and make the effort to learn for yourself?

      Here's a link. Give it a read. Use it as a jumping point for doing your own research:

      http://physics.about.com/od/quantumphysics/f/stringtheory.htm

      November 11, 2011 at 11:30 pm |
  5. Tara

    Ecclesiastes 1:18

    November 11, 2011 at 10:32 pm |
    • HotAirAce

      Which fantasy role playing game is that relevant to?

      November 11, 2011 at 10:36 pm |
    • ThatOneDude

      Which fantasy roleplaying game? I believe it's called Christianity. Pretty dull, with completely unbelievable characters. I think Pong has a more compelling storyline.

      November 11, 2011 at 10:47 pm |
  6. b4bigbang

    So Frank's useless too. Where're all the "science-guy" atheists who usually post here? All we got right now are the name-callers. Boring.

    November 11, 2011 at 10:27 pm |
    • Martin

      Agreed....I'm a Christian & I'd love a rational conversation..

      November 11, 2011 at 10:34 pm |
    • *frank*

      There're plenty of good books and journals about this stuff out there; you should read a few of them. TV's a very inadequate medium for getting an education on anything.

      November 11, 2011 at 10:35 pm |
    • rationalendeavour

      Also, Atheists aren't opposed to philosophical discussions. Christians often confuse philosophy with reality. If someone is saying "prove it!" then they're saying that because you made a statement about reality, not a statement about philosophy. "I believe" is not a magical argumentation nuke.

      For example, "I believe that there is a dog in that box" means that you don't agree to disagree about the dog, you open the box to find out if the dog's in there. If you say "I believe that the world is better off if we all adopt a similar morality which we all accept comes from a place which is both separate from and "better than" humanity, according to its own definition of better," then you're talking about a philosophy, particularly a western, judeo-christian religious philosophy.

      Atheists have their own philosophies, and believe that the world is a better place when we form our full knowledge about the world and what exists in it, based on evidence.

      One awesome place where atheist philosophy differs from the religious mindset, and one which is the dealbreaker for me, is the difference between beliefs being the goal or being the product of your thought process. In western monotheistic religion, good people believe in God, so your GOAL is the belief in God. You study books and talk to one another and do stuff in the world (like charity or marching against gay rights or feeding the homeless or disowning a daughter for having an abortion), specifically to STRENGTHEN that belief because it's founded on nothing except the belief that good people believe in this, so you should too. There's an idea that the act of pursuing that belief in God can also lead you to being a good person.

      Atheists don't believe in their belief as a force unto itself. Belief about the world is the product of your thinking rationally about it. A great example of rationalist philosophy can be summed up in the sentence:

      "Anything which CAN be destroyed by the truth SHOULD be."

      No belief, under this philosophy, which is untrue, or highly unlikely to be true, can ever be a good thing. It deludes you, hampers your understanding of the world, stunts your moral thinking and renders you a slave to shadowy prospects like "god's approval," in which "god" is easily shown to be a stand-in for whatever your dubious religious leader wants this week.
      So don't argue philosophy when you mean reality – your "god" propositions are full of logical fallacies and are unlikely to be true. You can STILL convince a rationalist that BEHAVING as if your god (not Thor, unfortunately. That god is kinda fun!) is real would be beneficial, if you can craft an appealing philosophical argument. Which you can not, because religion isn't really there to better humanity, it's there to keep you from asking the important questions while the religious leader gets his million-dollar mansion and pet harem of fill-in-the-blank vulnerable social demographic (kids, women, the intellectually challenged, whatever, man).

      November 11, 2011 at 11:19 pm |
  7. Clark Nova

    It's easy to be optimistic when you're completely deluded and not very smart.

    November 11, 2011 at 10:23 pm |
  8. Godfrey

    I used to know this mentally handicapped boy back in high school. He was ALWAYS happy.

    But I never envied him.

    November 11, 2011 at 10:20 pm |
  9. b4bigbang

    tallulah13: "However, you were content to quote an individual you saw on TV in a manner that indicated that you believed him. Do you ever check your sources?"

    I did enjoy the show immensely for 3 reasons that come to mind:
    1) It was recently-produced, therefore, should be the latest science
    2) The graphics were awesome
    3) The science was explained super-well for a lay audience (the graphics helped me understand along with the hi-qual lecture.

    As for checking the sources, i started posting here today hoping that a science-minded atheist might help in that area, because to tell ther truth, i'm not able to weigh one theory against another at that high level.

    November 11, 2011 at 10:20 pm |
    • *frank*

      You could have just said "no."

      November 11, 2011 at 10:25 pm |
    • tallulah13

      You spew sourceless ambiguous nonsense then you're disappointed when no one can translate for you? That's some ego you got there, sparky. No wonder you believe against all evidence that there is a supreme being who thinks you're so special that he's gonna defy the laws of nature and let you live forever in some paradise.

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

      Go read a copy of Stephen Hawkin's (and co-author's) "Grand Design"...

      November 11, 2011 at 10:32 pm |
    • HotAirAce

      Of course, I meant Stephen Hawking...

      November 11, 2011 at 10:33 pm |
  10. NurseK

    At the church of my youth there was little talk of end times, demons, hellfire, etc, and much more talk about things like love, faith, and developing ones talents and ethics and using them to do good. In essence, school was where you went to get a basic education in the "three R's", and church is where you went to get a basic education on being a a good person. Of course, I could have lived without all the hocus-pocus magical thinking and young-earth creationism, but the twice weekly focus on ethics was, IMO, a great thing that benefits a lot of people more than it harms them.

    November 11, 2011 at 10:16 pm |
    • tallulah13

      My parents taught me that my actions have consequences and that I was responsible to clean up my own messes. No god was needed. Just common sense. Plain human empathy took care of the rest.

      November 11, 2011 at 10:22 pm |
    • NurseK

      Tallulah, as an atheist I can certainly appreciate that no god is needed. However, for me, I think church was needed because my mother didn't know how to be a mother, my stepfather was a child-molester, I was bullied a lot, and there wasn't really anyone in my life to guide me in the direction of "goodness". At church, I was reassured every week that I was worthy of love.. something I almost never got at home.

      November 11, 2011 at 10:33 pm |
    • RxCello

      Excellent post, NurseK, and thanks for your viewpoint. There's no doubt that the church can be a source of good things - building character, skills, morals, etc. - not to mention all the wonderful charitable work that is performed daily by members of many congregations all over the world. It's when a vocal few hijack the "church" in an attempt to direct others' lives that creates a problem. Grandstanding about being "pious" or "virtuous," and making a public spectacle of prayer - which should be a private matter between an individual and his or her "deity" (whatever form that may take) - is no more religious than a speck of interstellar dust. Rather, it's imposing made-up "values" in the name of "God" on everyone else. That aspect of "religion," as far as I'm concerned, can go straight to hell. Especially when you consider all the lives lost to murder and suicide, all in the name of, or because of, religion. Do the good works "make up" for the thousands who died? I think not.

      The contrast between a church that performs truly good deeds for humanity, and one that bullies and intimidates its members based on lies, fear, and distortions, is striking. And sometimes one encounters both types of behaviors under one roof, as it were.

      I think every person, whether a believer or not, needs to ask himself/herself, "Do my words and actions create a positive effect on my own and others' lives?" And, no less important, "Are my words and actions hurtful to others, no matter little, or how great, the harm?"

      November 11, 2011 at 11:08 pm |
    • tallulah13

      Fair enough, NurseK. I've known enough good kids from messed up families to know the value of such a refuge.

      November 12, 2011 at 10:21 pm |
  11. likeaglove

    More hate-spewing from liberal radicals in the comments. You prove the point about believers being more optimistic. You idiots who disparage the believers are the most snide, condescending, miserable twits on the face of the Earth. CNN's readers are apparently dredged from the cesspool of lhumanity. Hate away, losers.

    November 11, 2011 at 10:10 pm |
    • tallulah13

      Nah. We just think you're funny because you'd rather believe in a fairy tale than deal with reality.

      November 11, 2011 at 10:18 pm |
    • NurseK

      ..as though calling someone else a "loser" isn't hateful.

      Hypocrite.

      November 11, 2011 at 10:21 pm |
    • Skytag

      tallulah13; if your so right and believers so wrong, what are you so threatened by?

      November 11, 2011 at 10:24 pm |
    • likeaglove

      Not threatened by anything - just marveling at how you can only fulfill your lives by hating others AND holding a mirror up so you can see what you sound like.

      Feed off the hate, nutbags. That's all you've got.

      November 11, 2011 at 10:31 pm |
    • likeaglove

      My "reality" is that I don't live to hate others. However, I can identify losers when I see them. If you build up your life by hating others, you're losing (i.e., a loser). That's an observation that is proven by your desperately stupid comments.

      November 11, 2011 at 10:34 pm |
    • NurseK

      Likeaglove, I agree that many atheists on these forums/boards are hotheaded ignorami, but let's not pretend here that atheists aren't routinely hated on by theists, even by those who profess to practice the religion of love, and let's not forget that even the Bible teaches bigotry and intolerance toward those who lack belief in the Judeo-Christian idol.

      You can't really expect that when billions of people practice sanctioned bigotry against people for not believing in invisible friends no one will speak out or go off.

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

      Calling others stupid miserable twits isn't going to ingratiate yourself to anyone. Nor will it make you more believable. All it does is reveal character.

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

      @ likeaglove : “CNN's readers are apparently dredged from the cesspool of lhumanity”, “Hate away, losers”, “Feed off the hate, nutbags. That's all you've got.”

      Your posts suggest that you have a tremendous amount of internal rage that you project out onto others. You should really seek professional help

      November 12, 2011 at 4:55 pm |
  12. b4bigbang

    Martin T: We will NEVER reach the end of what is scientifically provable. Science has proven that when we reach things we do not understand at that moment, we work harded to understand them and eventually we work out the understanding of these things. NO truly intellectual atheist has any adversion to philosophy at all, what we have is an adversion to fantasy dressed up as truth. We have issues with religions desire to have us simply accept nonsense as truth, based on nothing but "faith".

    All i know is what the scientist said on the presentation. I will say that i thought it to be a bit premature for him to make such a statement, but i'm not the scientist, he is, and he obviously has a better take on the situation than any of us posting here.
    BTW, Martin, do you think we are alone in the universe?

    November 11, 2011 at 10:07 pm |
    • tallulah13

      However, you were content to quote an individual you saw on TV in a manner that indicated that you believed him. Do you ever check your sources?

      November 11, 2011 at 10:12 pm |
    • HotAirAce

      Foolishly quoting an unidentified "scientist" on TV is stunningly similar to believing in The Babble.

      November 11, 2011 at 10:19 pm |
  13. Frank

    The atheists are out in full force. They are a depressed bunch and just want to depress everyone else.

    November 11, 2011 at 10:01 pm |
    • tallulah13

      Nah. We're just embarras.sed by our fellow adults who can only find happiness by believing in pretty lies.

      November 11, 2011 at 10:13 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      I'm not depressed. I'm amused by the silliness of the thumpers.

      November 11, 2011 at 10:16 pm |
    • Skytag

      tallulah13; why do you have to be embarrassed by the actions of others? I'm not embarrassed by your inability to spell-check.

      November 11, 2011 at 10:28 pm |
    • TR6

      “They are a depressed bunch and just want to depress everyone else”
      Actually I was a lot more depressed back when I was a Christian. As for wanting “to depress everyone else” The Christian message of, you’re going to burn in hell unless you do everything we tell you to, is not exactly cheerful

      November 12, 2011 at 5:01 pm |
  14. Erisian

    Kids who believe in Santa Claus also get more excited about Christmas. What does that prove?

    November 11, 2011 at 9:52 pm |
    • MartinT

      It proves that there is MORE evidence of the existence of Santa than there is of a Jesus... I Think...

      November 11, 2011 at 9:56 pm |
    • Lawrence

      There is more historical evidence about Jesus then there is about Pontius Pilate. The then version of FBI kept track of Jesus and made extensive records about his movements. The Gospel tracks Jesus 4 different ways through, Mathew, Mark, Luke, and John. Each written independently proves them to be valid. If they were faked they would be closer and have the same exact quotes of Jesus and cover Jesus the same way.

      November 11, 2011 at 10:56 pm |
    • TR6

      @Lawrence: “There is more historical evidence about Jesus then there is about Pontius Pilate.”
      Because there are more comic books about superman than the green hornet does not make either of them real

      “The then version of FBI kept track of Jesus and made extensive records about his movements.”
      I call BS on you. Please provide references to prove a version of the FBI existed then. Then provide evidence that they were tracking Jesus. Finally provided evidence that the records about Jesus by this FBI group have been preserved and are authentic.

      “The Gospel tracks Jesus 4 different ways through, Mathew, Mark, Luke, and John. Each written independently proves them to be valid.”
      Because there are 100’s of books claiming that UFO’s are real, each one written independently, does not prove they are valid

      “If they were faked they would be closer and have the same exact quotes of Jesus and cover Jesus the same way”
      Because the UFO books disagree with each other does not prove they are real

      November 12, 2011 at 5:14 pm |
  15. TAK

    And lobotomized people also go through life with a stupid grin on their face...

    November 11, 2011 at 9:49 pm |
    • Pretorius

      "The fact that a believer is happier than a skeptic is no more to the point than the fact that a drunken man is happier than a sober one." – George Bernard Shaw

      November 11, 2011 at 9:58 pm |
  16. b4bigbang

    Like i said, according to the scientist on the show about space/time, we've reached the end of our ability to test the most-likely theory of reality. Oh, and they also said there was probably nothing before the big bang (at least nothing we'll ever be able to observe). They mentioned that at this point we're getting into philosophy (obviously, since it can't be proven scientifically).

    This is where i dont understand the aversion atheists seem to have to philosophical thinking. This love-affair with the provable. What happens when you reach the end of that which is scientifically provable? No more wondering re the universe because it's distastefull?

    November 11, 2011 at 9:48 pm |
    • MartinT

      "This is where i dont understand the aversion atheists seem to have to philosophical thinking. This love-affair with the provable. What happens when you reach the end of that which is scientifically provable?"

      We will NEVER reach the end of what is scientifically provable. Science has proven that when we reach things we do not understand at that moment, we work harded to understand them and eventually we work out the understanding of these things. NO truly intellectual atheist has any adversion to philosophy at all, what we have is an adversion to fantasy dressed up as truth. We have issues with religions desire to have us simply accept nonsense as truth, based on nothing but "faith"

      November 11, 2011 at 9:54 pm |
    • HotAirAce

      Many scientists have claimed that we have learned all that we can, just as many believers have claimed that there are gods and that the jesus myth is real. Both claims are wrong, but with science we do continue to learn while with god, jesus and other tribal myth, the bullshit just continues.

      November 11, 2011 at 10:03 pm |
    • tallulah13

      You have no context for your quote and no name to as.sign to it. You are giving it your own translation, which in light your personal beliefs, has no credibility whatsoever. If you wish for a difference response, you'll have do better than that. I assure you that there is no end to scientific curiosity and if there is an end to what can be discovered, it won't be reached in your lifetime or in several lifetimes.

      November 11, 2011 at 10:06 pm |
    • tallulah13

      different, not difference. Yikes. I can't type tonight.

      November 11, 2011 at 10:07 pm |
    • *frank*

      Slow down on the appletinis, young lady.

      November 11, 2011 at 10:38 pm |
    • TR6

      “This is where i dont understand the aversion atheists seem to have to philosophical thinking. This love-affair with the provable.”

      When you go beyond the provable and then go beyond any evidence at all, you disconnect from reality and arrive in the world of fantasy. There are thousands of different religious fantasies and each one claims to be true (without proof or even evidence) and demands that everyone in the real world must follow the rules of the fantasy book.

      I would not use hair restoring drugs that are not proven; I would not follow weight loss programs that are not proven and I will not submit myself the oppression of an unproven religious fantasy

      Fantasy can be wonderful; but, it is not truth

      November 12, 2011 at 5:33 pm |
  17. Jimmy

    Ignorance is bliss.

    November 11, 2011 at 9:37 pm |
    • StupidWhinyLiberal

      Atheism and Christianity = dueling religions.

      November 11, 2011 at 9:48 pm |
    • MartinT

      "StupidWhinyLiberal

      Atheism and Christianity = dueling religions."

      Simply the simple minded trying to understand that which they will never understand.

      November 11, 2011 at 9:56 pm |
    • tallulah13

      It really isn't a difficult concept. Atheist isn't a belief. It isn't organized and there is no dogma. All that one needs to be an atheist is to come to the realization that there is no god. However, Whiner, if you wish to look like a fool, that is certainly your option.

      November 11, 2011 at 10:09 pm |
    • Martin

      "Simply the simple minded trying to understand that which they will never understand."= Arrogant atheist massaging his ego be denigrating others

      November 11, 2011 at 10:32 pm |
    • Lawrence

      The problem atheists don't have the Holy spirit in them and are the anti-Christ to us. If they weren't why do they care if we have religion? Unless of course they have the anti-Holy Spirit that gives them the anti-Christ views. I don't mess with atheists and should not mess with us Christians unless they ask me to.

      November 11, 2011 at 11:06 pm |
    • TR6

      @ Lawrence: “why do they care if we have religion? “

      I don’t care if you have religion. I don’t care if you believe in unicorns. I do care when want to impose your beliefs on others Eg. Opposition to Stemcell research, opposition to condoms and birth control for developing countries and opposition to gay rights

      November 12, 2011 at 5:45 pm |
    • TR6

      @Lawrence:”The problem atheists don't have the Holy spirit in them and are the anti-Christ to us. If they weren't why do they care if we have religion? Unless of course they have the anti-Holy Spirit that gives them the anti-Christ views.”
      The problem UFO scoffers don't have the UFO spirit in them and are the anti-UFO to us. If they weren't why do they care if we have UFO belief? Unless of course they have the anti-UFO Spirit that gives them the anti-UFO views

      November 12, 2011 at 5:50 pm |
  18. Christopher

    As they say: Religion is the opiate of the masses and it makes people very stupid, bottom line. Enough said.

    November 11, 2011 at 9:37 pm |
    • unknown

      As was said on a graffitied wall: "Religion is NOT the opium of the people. OPIUM is the opium of the people."

      November 11, 2011 at 9:50 pm |
    • b4bigbang

      Yeah, real dumb, like the Catholic priest (who also happened to be a cosmologist) being the man who first proposed the big bang theory. A real knuckle-dragger, eh genius?

      November 11, 2011 at 9:57 pm |
    • The opium! It's made from people!!

      IT'S PEOPLE!!! AAAAAAAHHHHHHHHGGHHGGGHHH!!!!!!

      November 11, 2011 at 10:06 pm |
  19. Jon

    Sooooo, am I supposed to be surprised that people who have a rosy outlook are more likely to believe in fairy tales and magic? I'd be surprised if this WASN'T the case.

    November 11, 2011 at 9:33 pm |
  20. bawana

    OH BLINDING LIGHT,,,,OH LIGHT THAT BLINDS,,,,WELL I CAN"T SEE,,,,SO LOOK OUT FOR ME,,,,AMEN

    November 11, 2011 at 9:29 pm |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.