Christians happier than atheists – on Twitter
In 140 characters or less, Christians seem to be spreading love and joy more than atheists.
June 28th, 2013
08:02 AM ET

Christians happier than atheists – on Twitter

By Jessica Ravitz, CNN
[twitter-follow screen_name='JRavitzCNN']

(CNN) - Christians tweet from the heart, atheists from the head, according to a new study.

The study conducted at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign tapped Twitter as a research tool and compared the messages of Christians and atheists.

The conclusion: When they are limited to 140 characters or less, these researchers say, believers are happier than their counterparts.

Two doctoral students in social psychology and an adviser analyzed the casual language of nearly 2 million tweets from more than 16,000 active users to come up with their findings, which were published in Social Psychological and Personality Science.

The team identified subjects by finding Twitter users who followed the feeds of five prominent public figures. In the case of Christians, those select five were Pope Benedict XVI, Joel Osteen, Rick Warren, conservative political commentator Dinesh D’Souza and Joyce Meyer, an evangelical author and speaker.

In the case of atheists, the five followed feeds included Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris, Christopher Hitchens, Monica Salcedo and Michael Shermer - the latter two respectively being a self-described “fiercely outspoken atheist” blogger, and a science writer who founded The Skeptics Society.

With the help of a text analysis program, the researchers found that Christians tweet with higher frequency words reflecting positive emotions, social relationships and an intuitive style of thinking – the sort that’s gut-driven.

This isn’t to say that atheists don’t use these words, too, but they out-tweet Christians when it comes to analytic words and words associated with negative emotions.

Christians, they found, are more likely to use words like “love,” “happy” and “great”; “family,” “friend” and “team.”

Atheists win when it comes to using words like “bad,” “wrong,” and “awful” or “think,” “reason” and “question,” said Ryan Ritter, one of the students behind the study.

While not perfect – for example, this sort of word examination can’t account for sarcasm – word choices, Ritter and his colleagues argue, reflect something about a person’s mindset.

An analytical thinker (atheist) is more likely to be skeptical or critical, for example, whereas an intuitive thinker (Christian) is guided by emotion and certainty.

Based on previous studies cited by these researchers, analytical thinking may "diminish the capacity for optimism and positive self-illusions that typify good mental health."

Likewise, mentions of social connections, which they say are often provided in a “tight-knit moral community,” suggest stronger relationships among Christian tweeters and are, they add, often an indicator of happiness.

The takeaway, Ritter wrote in an e-mail, is “not that religion is associated with more happiness, per se, but why?”

“If we can understand the factors that facilitate happiness (e.g., increased social support), ideally we can use these insights to increase well-being for believers and nonbelievers alike,” Ritter said.

But the Twitter study doesn’t fly with everyone.

After reading an article about the study on Pacific Standard magazine’s website, Richard Wade, an advice columnist for the blog Friendly Atheist, called it “useless and misleading” and based on “sloppy research.”

He wrote, “The take away for most lay people is ‘Atheists are unhappy people.’ … How do you quantify ‘happiness’? How do you quantify ‘analytical thinking’?”

“Even in their acknowledgments about the possible biases in their study, the authors still use absurd and meaningless terms like ‘militant atheist,’” he added. “This study suffers from the same negative stereotypes about atheists that most of society has, and it has simply reinforced that prejudice with more muddled thinking.”

Ritter, who happens to describe himself as a happy atheist, said in hindsight he wishes they hadn’t used the word “militant” and that no ill will was intended. They simply wanted to describe those who have “extremely negative attitudes” when it comes to religion.

“I am a friend of the atheists! My response to Richard would be that he should apply the ‘principle of charity’ when interpreting other’s research (i.e., that it’s possible we’re NOT incompetent,” he wrote in an e-mail.

“This is not an assumption; this is the pattern we observed in the data.”

- CNN Writer/Producer

Filed under: Atheism • Christianity • Technology

soundoff (1,317 Responses)
  1. Thoth

    They generate this based on Tweets..... enough said.

    Here's a major flaw in their study: Happiness is subjective. What makes one happy, doesn't necessarily make another happy. Some people are happy alone. Some are dependent on social interaction. Most fall in between.

    Let's consider the real life practical benefits of ana.lytical thought. Our species has been able to survive thanks to such thought. If we left things to 'prayer' we'd constantly be consumed by plagues, and living in caves.

    Oh, and just to make sure my post is properly ana.lyzed: happy, love, family, friend, thanks, great, super, peace, beautiful, wonderful, glorious and blessed.

    June 28, 2013 at 9:58 am |
    • tallulah13

      Also, happy words don't translate to actual happiness. Judging emotion on Twitter is rather like judging happiness by emoticon use.

      June 28, 2013 at 10:01 am |
    • Mike

      Hmmm, CNN won't let me reply. Gonna try to re-post from the top reply. Sorry if it seems like I'm replying to someone else but you know, hive mind and all. I think you can pick it up.I kinda think probably not censorship, I just made a mistake. You aithiests ever feel like you've made a mistake? Not being aithiest, I wasn't being ironic. Do you feel your wrong much. Now that's a real doubly blind scientific study I'd look to do a couple times. Who thinks they are infallible. Those protected by the Lord or those protected by NBC Universal!

      July 8, 2013 at 2:47 pm |
  2. Roger that

    Having been in both camps, I'm much happier now that I'm not being dragged to church on Sunday mornings, Sunday nights, Wednesday nights, and every night of a weeklong (holy crap) revival. Much happier. I also might be happier because I don't tweet.

    June 28, 2013 at 9:53 am |
    • lol??

      With all that draggin' goin' on, did you never get pulled over for driving under the influence of daemons??

      June 28, 2013 at 9:59 am |
  3. Saraswati

    This research erroneously assumes that people interested in following updates regarding a broad spiritual, ethical and lifestyle structure like Christianity are comparable as a group to people interested in narrow intellectual concept like the existence of gods, which is much more comparable to discussing the validity of string theory or whether dopamine is the key factor in schizophrenia.

    Here's the study, by the way:


    (read quickly, as this posting of the article may get pulled)

    June 28, 2013 at 9:52 am |
    • Saraswati

      As a tip to the authors, most atheists are not following any of these atheist figures on twitter. Most atheists consider atheism a small part of their lives and don't talk about it or think about it much. Those atheist who even bother are mostly in their teens and twenties and still trying to escape an oppressive upbringing. Happy, adult atheists don't find this stuff remotely interesting most of the. time and certainly aren't following famous atheists on twitter. You are basing the whole premise here on the idea that being an atheist models being a Christian and so looking at a tiny non-representative subset of atheists.

      June 28, 2013 at 9:53 am |
    • Saraswati

      I'd like to say I'm shocked that such poor research could get this much attention but I'm not. If they really wanted to compare you would need to look simply at what people actually believed regarding god-existence, not who they followed on twitter. Christians can perhaps be compared to atheist Unitarians, Buddhists or humanists, but atheism on it's own means nothing more than a person's opinion about whether psychic powers exist.

      June 28, 2013 at 9:55 am |
    • Saraswati

      To see just how silly this comparison is, here are the figures used...remember that any generalization assumes followers of these people are representative:

      Pope Benedict XVI
      Dinesh D’Souza
      Joyce Meyer
      Joel Osteen
      Rick Warren

      Richard Dawkins
      Sam Harris
      Christopher Hitchens
      Monica Salcedo
      Michael Shermer

      We already know from a good deal of other data that in countries where atheism is accepted, atheists are at least as happy as Christians. We didn't need some poor research misleading people from an author who can't distinguish ethics from ideology from culture from narrow slivers of ontology.

      June 28, 2013 at 9:58 am |
    • tallulah13

      Thanks for the link. I downloaded the pdf and will read it after work. Sounds kind of silly. I don't know anyone who actually follows anyone on Twitter. Instagram, yes. Twitter, no.

      June 28, 2013 at 9:59 am |
    • Dyslexic doG


      you're awesome! 🙂

      June 28, 2013 at 10:00 am |
    • JMEF

      I love the way these authors lump all the 40,000 different Christian cults as one hom-ogeneus group when in reality they disrespect each others dogma to the point of ridiculing each other. Just as a Chad sees all atheists having the same beliefs

      June 28, 2013 at 10:01 am |
    • Saraswati

      From another recent study:

      "Believers enjoyed psychological benefits in countries that tended to value religiosity, but did not differ from nonbelievers in countries that did not tend to value religiosity."


      June 28, 2013 at 10:04 am |
    • Saraswati

      @JMEF, The lumping together is definitely weird, but even more so for atheists who, sharing only one tiny belief together, are far more diverse than Christians (who themselves are pretty diverse). The idea that most atheists would follow any of this people, or even that most atheists even consider themselves part of some atheist group is really something only someone mired in religiosity would think.

      June 28, 2013 at 10:07 am |
    • ME II

      Thanks for the link.
      It does seem to be a clear example of selection bias considering the criteria used, i.e. the celebs followed.

      June 28, 2013 at 10:09 am |
    • ME II

      However there do seem to have been multiple studies saying that the religious self-evaluate as happier than atheists, I think.

      June 28, 2013 at 10:11 am |
    • Secular Humanist from Ohio

      And I shall apply the ‘principle of charity’ when interpreting this research.

      June 28, 2013 at 10:27 am |
    • Really-O?

      @Saraswati –

      I wonder how the results would have differed if the atheist followed had been Matthieu Ricard, Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche, and the Dalai Lama (I'd include Bertrand Russell to broaden the sample, but, alas, he no longer tweets). Silly study.

      June 28, 2013 at 10:34 am |
    • Saraswati

      @Really-O, It's beyond silly towards absurd. As you point out, you could pretty much pick any 5 "Christians" or "atheists" and end up with whatever selective sample you're going for. And either way it doesn't get around the fact that people following a religion or self-help figure are self selected for one atti.tude compared to those following people who are talking mostly about just the likely non-existence of something.

      Atheism is not the opposite or even an alternative to Christianity. Atheists can be a bunch of other things than just non-god-believers and the vast majority who are aren't wasting time following these people on twitter. It's kind of sad that this kind of junk gets published and that a lot of people don't bother to, or choose not to, read between the lines.

      June 28, 2013 at 10:49 am |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV


      your's is a cogent assessment.

      This "selection" cannot be extrapolated as representative of either "all Christians" OR "all atheists".

      Frankly the atheists they chose could arguably be called "anti-theists" and the Christians they chose are deliberately (let's be kind) "boosters" or "cheerleader" types.

      June 28, 2013 at 11:17 am |
    • Science

      I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV................first impression...............but maybe I am biased ?

      POM POMS all the way for the Christians Picked !

      June 28, 2013 at 11:21 am |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      Quoted directly from the survey (page 6, 'Procedure') I removed the twitter handles for clarity.

      "Christian and Atheist Twitter users were selected for analysis by sampling from those who elected to follow the Twitter feeds of five Christian public figures or five Atheist public figures. The five Christian public figures were Pope Benedict XVI, Dinesh D’Souza, Joyce Meyer, Joel Osteen, and Rick Warren.

      The five Atheist public figures were Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris, Christopher Hitchens, Monica Salcedo, and Michael Shermer. The most recent tweet in the sample was from October 1, 2012. ...

      The final sample thus included the 7,557 Christian followers (877,537 tweets) and 8,716 Atheist followers (1,039,812 tweets) that self-reported English as their language and had at least 20 tweets in their timeline. Thirteen followers that met all of these criteria were following both a Christian and an Atheist public figure in our sample, and were excluded from the final analysis."

      I don't accept these criteria as "representative". Primarily it only reflects users of Twitter and more significantly reflects those who choose to follow a particular personality.

      It's interesting and the observation that atheists are skeptical and Christians oblivious is hardly earthshaking.

      June 28, 2013 at 11:30 am |
    • Flash

      Here are a couple of tweets from the ever-so-cheery Shirley Phelps (just from today's array):

      Shirley Phelps-Roper ‏@WBCShirl 3h
      - The prayers of Westboro Baptist Church are a sweet savor to God and our prayers are all against Doomed USA.

      - Foolish Doomed USA has turned the country over to the f.ags! They have gone to war for the f.ags! God is going to set all these matters right!

      - WHAT is the world coming to? Glad you asked! A horrible end and after that, HELL for eternity!

      June 28, 2013 at 12:06 pm |
    • Saraswati

      @not GOP,

      "Frankly the atheists they chose could arguably be called "anti-theists" and the Christians they chose are deliberately (let's be kind) "boosters" or "cheerleader" types."

      That looks like a pretty accurate summary of what they will have got from that methodology. And now it's spread accross the world in thousands of cases of bad reporting of bad research. It's enough to make this happy non-theist a bit sad. And then I remember the recent supreme court rulings. 🙂

      June 28, 2013 at 12:31 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      I gave their bubble chart (fig 2 on p 23) a cursory look.

      The graphical rendering of the numbers creates an impression of a digression that doesn't 'feel' as great to me as they conclude. It is a complex rendering and I find it misleading and deliberately so.

      (I haven't done any analysis of their coorelation math.)

      June 28, 2013 at 12:39 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      As to perception bias, the atheist word counts were subtracted from the Christain word counts. (Applying a mathematically negative weight to the atheist words.)

      OK its arbitary, but nevertheless interesting when you start out with more atheist tweets in your sample set.

      June 28, 2013 at 12:58 pm |
    • Mike

      "Quick Read as the posting of this might be pulled." Yeah, your a dangerous mind. I been trying to post a reply to Roger for 30 minutes in six different ways! I"M BEING OPPRESSED! I'll do it if I have to do it in pig latin! So why don't U let it go through this time before I call Megyn Kelly!

      July 8, 2013 at 2:53 pm |
  4. Dyslexic doG

    I am an atheist in America and I am definitely unhappy.

    In this country we are oppressed by much of the populous using the Bible and Christianity as justification for the oppression.

    Christianity suppresses science, oppresses women. Bullys and badgers anyone not believing as they do. There are laws still on the books in several states preventing an atheist from holding office. There are laws that try and limit the teaching of evolution in school. Laws that limit access to contraceptives. Laws that limit a woman's right to choose. Laws that limit gay rights. Laws that limit immunization against HPV. The list goes on and on.

    Christians smile at this article as if Atheists being angry is a bad thing. The sooner your bronze age voodoo is looked on as a quaint historical foolishness and your god and jesus looked on as we do Thor and Odin and Zeus and Apollo, the sooner America has a chance in the 21st century.

    June 28, 2013 at 9:50 am |
    • lol??

      Growing up in a doggie mill cage brought to you by the Frankfurt School will do that to ya.

      June 28, 2013 at 9:54 am |
    • Dyslexic doG


      I know I'm a dog but it's getting annoying having you sniffing around my sphincter ...

      June 28, 2013 at 9:59 am |
    • Mike

      Again where are these Christians in this thread of which you speak? I said 15-1 before, not it's just ALL atheists whining.

      July 8, 2013 at 4:34 pm |
  5. If

    If God killed/will kill (per your bible) many humans/gays, isn't THAT more of a SIN than being "created" human/gay by that same God?

    June 28, 2013 at 9:49 am |
    • lol??

      No, everybody has their own little personal resurrection. So it's temporary.

      June 28, 2013 at 9:52 am |
  6. tallulah13

    I'd much rather read something that is thought-provoking than fluffy posts about sunshine and happiness (though cat pictures are always welcome). I don't need encouragement from others to be happy.

    But I loathe Twitter, anyway. It's superficial communication at it's worst.

    June 28, 2013 at 9:47 am |
    • JMEF

      You forgot to mention Bill Deacon. His posts are superficial communication at its worst

      June 28, 2013 at 9:54 am |
    • Bill Deacon

      Seems I'm like that commercial that you can't stand to watch but you remember the product. LOL, thanks for the shout out JMEF

      June 28, 2013 at 10:53 am |
    • Science

      You mean the green PINK bunny one Bill................that just keeps goooooooooooooooooing ?

      June 28, 2013 at 11:02 am |
    • Science

      Hey Bill crickets and bunnies have DNA too................you know like the Prince of England ?

      June 28, 2013 at 11:08 am |
    • Bill Deacon

      The United Kingdom is clearing the way for children of in vitro fertilization to be made from the DNA of three people. What do you think the moral implications are?

      June 28, 2013 at 11:24 am |
    • Cpt. Obvious

      There are no "moral implications" to a fetus with dna from three donors.

      June 28, 2013 at 11:26 am |
    • Secular Humanist from Ohio

      Fortunately, "there are no 'moral implications' to a fetus with dna from three donors."

      June 28, 2013 at 11:36 am |
    • Mike

      Don't care much to reply with an opposing, hell meet a Lamb of Christ midway though do you! Your in the right aren't you? I'm not exactly debate team material, my sarcasm seems a little meaner . . maybe I've lost my faith. Why do you not speak when you can put some kind of doubt in my mind about my beliefs?

      July 8, 2013 at 3:47 pm |
  7. Colin

    First, extrapolating much, if anything from this data, is highly speculative. Second, I think Shaw said it best, "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. The happiness of credulity is a cheap and dangerous quality.”

    June 28, 2013 at 9:43 am |
    • lol??

      Candy is dandy but liquor is quicker.

      June 28, 2013 at 9:49 am |
    • Dyslexic doG

      perfect! Well said!

      June 28, 2013 at 9:52 am |
    • Bill Deacon

      Colin, Don't you know no one hear accepts 100 year old writings? Here's Chesterton's take on the subject though for your enjoyment:

      The perfect happiness of men on the earth (if it ever comes) will not be a flat and solid thing, like the satisfaction of animals. It will be an exact and perilous balance; like that of a desperate romance. Man must have just enough faith in himself to have adventures, and just enough doubt of himself to enjoy them.

      June 28, 2013 at 10:56 am |
  8. Russ

    According to this study's criteria, Plato's Symposium (which talks ENTIRELY about LOVE) would be regarded as merely an emotional piece... despite being one of the most foundational *analytical* literary works in history.

    Most of the atheists here are jumping at the 'unhappy atheist' stereotype.
    As a Christian, I'd equally note the shallowness of "talking about love = non-analytical."

    June 28, 2013 at 9:39 am |
    • lol??

      The love of the Truth is pivotal.

      June 28, 2013 at 9:47 am |
  9. The GOP Solution

    Then why do so many chirstians think that the GOP represent them when The GOP Solution has always been: Turn all the Old, Sick, Poor, Non-white, Non-christian, and Gay people into slaves. Then whip them until they are Young, Healthy, Rich, White, Christian, and Straight. Or until they are dead. Then turn them into Soylent Green to feed the military?

    June 28, 2013 at 9:36 am |
    • Dyslexic doG

      Fueled by FOX News and right wing radio, this is one of the most amazing scams ever perpetrated! To hijack the bible and the flag to convince half the US population to vote against its own best interest. Amazing isn't it?!?!?!

      June 28, 2013 at 9:40 am |
    • lol??

      Makin' slaves is already a done deal. The Public Servants are now the Masters. They even vote!!??

      June 28, 2013 at 9:41 am |
    • Lucifer's Evl Twin

      Soylent Green tastes like chicken...

      June 28, 2013 at 9:42 am |
  10. Dyslexic doG

    Two takeaways:

    Christians classified by propensity for "positive self-illusions".
    Reality and fact really doesn't enter into the Christian mindset. In a very childlike way they are happy with their fairy stories and their promise of the magical place at the end of the rainbow where they will go when they die.

    Christians focused on "increased social support".
    I believe that there is a significant percentage of Christians who identify as Christians only because of the social aspect. They know in their hearts what foolishness the bible is and they suspect that there really is no god, but they know that all their friends and relatives will react very negatively if they ever voice their thoughts (Christians are very cultish in their reaction to those who do not believe just as they do).

    June 28, 2013 at 9:31 am |
    • lol??

      Look at all that classifyin' that the Darwinists and killer docs use. It passes as "thought" to those studyin' for the test.

      June 28, 2013 at 9:39 am |
  11. Aoife

    That outcome is predictable, seeing the nature of comments on belief blog; it's like stating the obvious.

    Christians, Kudos! let that radiance shine through you, keep up the good work and continue to spread joy and happiness!

    June 28, 2013 at 9:26 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      And don't forget a dollop of passive-aggressive condemnation for the atheists, heathens and other assorted heretics!
      Smile! God luvs you!
      And if you don't love Him back, he'll cast you into a pit of eternal suffering.
      He is a jealous God, after all.

      June 28, 2013 at 9:30 am |
    • Isaiah

      "A merry heart is like a medicine"

      June 28, 2013 at 9:33 am |
    • Honey Badger Don't Care

      Yes, spread the good news that if you dont believe in a ficti tious diety that you will burn for all eternity!

      June 28, 2013 at 9:40 am |
    • Ingram

      @DocV, Christians are called to pass on the good news to fellow mankind.

      June 28, 2013 at 10:31 am |
    • LinCA


      You said, "Christians are called to pass on the good news to fellow mankind."
      That's a big part of the problem. It isn't news; it isn't good; and it's time they kept the nonsense to themselves.

      June 28, 2013 at 11:07 am |
    • Secular Humanist from Ohio

      E=MC2 is a beautiful and elegant equation.

      June 28, 2013 at 11:56 am |
    • nothern Light

      @Doc Vestibule

      "And if you don't love Him back, he'll cast you into a pit of eternal suffering.
      He is a jealous God, after all"

      Sounds like a lunatic..

      July 2, 2013 at 4:00 pm |
  12. Lucifer's Evil Twin

    I don't have a lot of time to play on here today... but did anyone else read this article and think to themselves Who gives a shit what christians do on twitter?

    June 28, 2013 at 9:01 am |
    • Bill Deacon

      No, I read it and thought "Since when is it news that atheists are more disgruntled than Christians"

      June 28, 2013 at 9:27 am |
    • Lucifer's Evil Twin

      Ooo... you sure told me.

      June 28, 2013 at 9:29 am |
    • Bill Deacon

      Go polish your "sword"

      June 28, 2013 at 9:33 am |
    • Dyslexic doG


      if we wanted sh1t from you, we would have squeezed your head!

      June 28, 2013 at 9:33 am |
    • Løki

      Dein haar muss riechen schrecklich ... mit dem kopf in den arsch die ganze zeit ...

      June 28, 2013 at 9:39 am |
    • tallulah13

      Honestly, I don't give a shit about what anyone says on Twitter. It's simply another way of waving ones arms, jumping up and down and shouting "Look at me! Look at me!" Honestly, people. Not every word out of your mouth is a pearl.

      June 28, 2013 at 9:41 am |
    • JMEF

      Bill Deacon
      Could you be a little more specific on what you mean by Christians so many different cults to chose from? The Westboro Baptists wallow in their bigotry and hatred maybe that makes them happy. You lot the RCC congregants are leaving the church in droves and seem happy to do so, many singing free at last. BTW the latest Vatican Bank scandal details have hit the news today, just more of the same, right Billy?

      June 28, 2013 at 9:41 am |
    • Bill Deacon

      What I mean by Christian is what most Christians mean by Christians JMEF. They mean folks who are part of the body of Christ.

      In other news, a librarian was convicted of embezzling late fees. You probably think this means libraries are evil.

      June 28, 2013 at 11:00 am |
    • Saraswati

      I read ti.tle and thought "Since when is it news that an oppressed minority is less happy than the majority?" Then I read the study and thought "How sad that people producing research this bad are granted degrees and warrant news stories."

      June 28, 2013 at 11:08 am |
    • Bill Deacon

      You and I agree there Sara

      June 28, 2013 at 11:30 am |
    • nothern Light

      @ Dyslexic doG
      "if we wanted sh1t from you, we would have squeezed your head!"

      That could not happen cause there is nothing in his head except ...Jesus.....please do not let Jesus out ...he does not play nice with other belief systems.

      July 2, 2013 at 4:03 pm |
  13. myweightinwords

    Wow, what a sloppy study!

    Just in the way they figured out who was "atheist" and who was "Christian" for example. Just because they follow a specific someone or set of someones? I'm betting there are a lot of both sets that don't follow any of them. And some on both sides who follow those on the other.

    Just....wow. This study really holds no water.

    June 28, 2013 at 9:00 am |
    • Science

      Lame PR for he DOMA issue maybe ?

      June 28, 2013 at 9:12 am |
    • lol??

      Are you sayin' you don't trust the polsters any more than the killer docs??

      June 28, 2013 at 9:36 am |
      • myweightinwords

        I'm saying it's a bad study. It lacks credibility.

        June 28, 2013 at 10:58 am |
    • Saraswati

      It rly is one of the worst pieces of research I've ever seen published. It's hard to imagine that three people were actually able to agree to a methodology this bad.l

      June 28, 2013 at 11:10 am |
      • myweightinwords

        I can't believe they got it published.

        June 28, 2013 at 2:13 pm |
    • Science

      I agree 100 %

      June 28, 2013 at 11:13 am |
  14. Science

    Steve Martin – Atheists Don't Have No Songs (Live on Letterman 03-16-2011....


    June 28, 2013 at 8:47 am |
  15. Honey Badger Don't Care

    "Christians tweet from the heart, atheists from the head"

    That's a no duh moment. If xtians thought a few times a day then they wouldn’t believe in the fairy tales that they do.

    June 28, 2013 at 8:41 am |
    • me you

      Took the words right out of my mouth.

      June 28, 2013 at 8:49 am |
    • Dyslexic doG


      June 28, 2013 at 9:09 am |
  16. Austin

    This concept of a different seat for passion is interesting. Hope to better listen to the spirit.

    June 28, 2013 at 8:40 am |
    • Honey Badger Don't Care

      What spirit? The spirit of the moment?

      June 28, 2013 at 8:42 am |
  17. HQ

    Nothing more to boost the hope and happiness quotient than the gospel of St. John!

    🙂 🙂 🙂

    June 28, 2013 at 8:37 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      SSRIs work pretty well too.

      June 28, 2013 at 9:31 am |
  18. MrCrewel Dude

    It's easy to b happy, when u are so simple.

    June 28, 2013 at 8:14 am |
    • Mike

      Dude, know thyself! What country was Archduke Ferdinand from. What Century did Martin Luther nail his, how many thesis to the door? Name three space launch vehicles that are capable of reaching orbit during an engine out condition? Which are active? What island is Hedonism 2 on? It's a gay resort doe it cater to men or women mostly? The pacific basis has Tsunami warning system, does the Indian Ocean? Has Jimmy Carter won multiple Pulitzer prizes? The blue weins in your feet, Dystolic or Systolic which is the high number when you get your blood checked. Does the PGA tour Rolex world rankings count your last years performance , your last two years, or all top 15 finishes on a career/ tournemants entered. Name 4 prime numbers after 19 in, oh 20 seconds. Teahuila, is it lemon, shot salt? Salt, shot, lemon, Or neither. Has a mechanical heart ever been installed in a person as a permanent replacement? Name one actor besides Leslie Nielsen in the original Airplane. How many books in the Bible. Are high tech devices like GPS and circuit boards governed by Newtonian physics or The Theory of Relativity. Speaking of what was his contribution to Manhatten Project. Speaking of noted aithiest and world renown author, poet, play-rite said those who have no Contribution to society should be gassed, but you know humanely.
      What has been your contribution too society?
      Can your answer those questions without cheating in 3 minutes? Please do.

      July 8, 2013 at 4:16 pm |
  19. Doc Vestibule

    "A religion is sometime a source of happiness, and I would not deprive anyone of happiness. But it is a comfort appropriate for the weak, not for the strong... One may bask at the warm fire of faith or choose to live in the bleak uncertainty of reason — but one cannot have both."
    – Robert Heinlein

    June 28, 2013 at 8:11 am |
    • Bill Deacon

      the Bible "is a great source of wisdom and consolation and should be read frequently."

      Albert Einstein, a rational weakling

      Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/science/2013/06/27/bible-signed-by-albert-einstein-sells-for-68500/?intcmp=features#ixzz2XW8s7Q43

      June 28, 2013 at 9:31 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      I find great wisdom and consolation in Stranger In A Strange Land, but I don't the Man From Mars is real.

      June 28, 2013 at 9:32 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      @Bill Deacon
      Did you hear that the Irish government is providing recompense for the victims of the Magdalene Asylums?
      The Catholic Church, of course, maintains its silence and will not admit to any wrongdoing.

      June 28, 2013 at 9:58 am |
    • A Conversation


      I find it interesting that you find wisdom in the writings of a science fiction author. Is Scientology next for you? ;).

      June 28, 2013 at 10:11 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      @A Conversation
      Good fiction/mythology can have deep wisdom. Free of the contraints of reality, the story teller can show us truth about ourselves in a less direct and therefore more digestable way.
      Of all the Sci Fi writers, Heinlein has always been my favourite because he is so adept at making his characters seem real and human – even the Martians.

      Take a peek at The Notebooks of Lazarus Long – little aphorisms from the oldest human being ever to live.

      June 28, 2013 at 10:31 am |
    • Ricky

      Regarding your root post, your quote categorically states religion is for the 'weak' and not 'strong'.

      All Christians have a strong faith. What do you mean by 'weak'?

      June 28, 2013 at 10:34 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      I don't consider religious faith to be a strength.
      The willing suspension of critical thought and inquiry is not a virtue.
      Dogma can be comforting, but it is not factual.

      June 28, 2013 at 10:44 am |
    • Bill Deacon

      "Stranger..." is a good book. I read it about 40 years ago.

      June 28, 2013 at 11:35 am |
    • midwest rail

      " The Catholic Church, of course, maintains its silence and will not admit to any wrongdoing. "
      Standard operating procedure.

      June 28, 2013 at 11:42 am |
    • A Conversation


      My freshman english course was a little unique–6 of Heinlein's books were reviewed–read Stranger, can't recall the rest (it was a loooong time ago). My take was that his stories were good, but the dialogue between the characters, particularly between the opposite s.ex was horrid. To each his own.

      June 28, 2013 at 11:52 am |
  20. Sunshine


    June 28, 2013 at 8:08 am |
    • Sunshine

      [Toby Mac]
      Hey, top of the morning to you 'disa
      You smoothie, me ice cold pizza
      Cafe au lait, latte dah
      You do the zumba, but I do not
      Give me like half a marathon,
      I'll give you the gospel of St. John.
      Hits me like a wake-up bomb
      Cuz' we both know that His mercy flows,
      In the morning.

      Wake up to a brand new day
      This morning,
      I'm stepping, stepping on my way
      Good morning,
      You give me strength,
      you give me just what I need
      I can feel the hope that's rising up in me.
      It's a good morning
      Wake up to a brand new day
      This morning,
      I'm stepping, stepping on my way
      Good morning,
      You give me strength you give me just what I need
      I can feel the hope that's rising up in me.
      It's a good morning

      [Toby Mac]
      Top of the morning to you 'disa
      Hey, top of the morning to you girl
      To-to-top of the morning to you 'disa
      Morning little Miss Sunshine.

      June 28, 2013 at 8:12 am |
    • Doc Vestibule


      June 28, 2013 at 8:19 am |
    • HQ

      Good morning, Sunshine!


      June 28, 2013 at 8:38 am |
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About this blog

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