Is it pretty outside? Then you’re less likely to go to church

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A man walks along the Pacific Ocean at Goleta Beach Park in Goleta, California on July 30, 2015. Photo courtesy of REUTERS/Patrick T. Fallon
*Editors: This photo may only be republished with RNS-SCENERY-RELIGION, originally transmitted on August 6, 2015.

A man walks along the Pacific Ocean at Goleta Beach Park in Goleta, California on July 30, 2015. Photo courtesy of REUTERS/Patrick T. Fallon *Editors: This photo may only be republished with RNS-SCENERY-RELIGION, originally transmitted on August 6, 2015.

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(RNS) U.S. counties with nicer weather and prettier natural surroundings see lower rates of religious affiliation, according to a new Baylor University study.

  • Deacon John M. Bresnahan

    Interesting thesis. But Some of the greatest saints were lovers of the beauties of nature seeing it as God’s artistry— In fact we now have a pope who chose the name Francis after St. Francis of Assisi who was probably one of the greatest nature loving saints (of which there have been many). Maybe it is nature and organized religion as a unity that
    creates the deepest faith and strongest spiritual experience, if not necessarily boosting a greater religious membership.

  • God created everything and is everywhere. We should attend a faith based church to hear His word and then go into the world and tell others.

  • Marcia

    While I have a faith home, I drop in as I can at the Church of Holy Mother Nature, which welcomes visitors seven days a week

  • Greg1

    The beauty and diversity in nature is a testament to the Glory of God. Heaven must be even more beautiful!

  • Stefan

    Apparently, there is a correlation between beautiful landscapes and low levels of churchgoing. But what is the explanation? Als rich folk are usually less religious, and van afford to pay more for a house, it might be expected beautiful areas contain more non-believers. But then the explanation is not the substitute spirituality of nature, but rather good old Mammon.