1. I am skeptical of the numbers reporting church attendance. Most Americans want to appear good and will fudge how often they go to church when asked on a survey. If you look at the health or well being in countries with less religious attendance, it usually exceeds the US.

  2. It’s a social phenomenon. It can be a church or other social group. It’s a sense of belonging.

  3. Didn’t like that article, did you Mr. Hume? Heh!!

    Look, folks. No disrespect, but I ain’t gonna lie to you either.

    Whether you’re a Nun or a “None”, IT’S TIME to git your fannies back into the church-house for some good ole-fashion hymn-singin’s, Bible-preachin’s, Jesus cleanin’s, and Holy Ghost healin’s.

    Go stock up on Fried-Chicken and Soda-Pop on Saturday, so you won’t be tempted to go to the grocery store Sunday and miss your good Church. Wash your filthy shirts and skirts on Saturday Night, and iron them too, (preferably a Black & Decker iron, please.)

    And guys, you better NOT be scorching your shirts all up on the ironing board. Check your water levels FIRST, you lazy varmint amateurs !!

    Then get off the Internet (and all those non-descript websites you quietly put on “Favorites”), and get some sleep. I don’t care if you’re a Christian, a Hindu, or an Atheist from your daddy’s kneecap, GIT ON TO THE CHURCH-HOUSE THIS SUNDAY already!!

    (And please show up on time, you ecclesiastical RATS !!)

  4. This is not new information. It has been documented long before this. Now, as Jim Johnson points out, a major factor is the sense of belonging. But I depart from his conclusion that it is a mere social phenomenon. For one thing, the benefits described in the research also accrue to those who practice their spiritually in relative isolation.

  5. You are right. I almost added meditation and the concepts of inner peace. Additionally prayer has some psychological benefits from being able to talk things out with some deity you believe is listening.

  6. Please! My family were Jehovah’s Witnesses so I had plenty of that. One year with five meetings and long hours of Bible study each week is equal to five years of your average religion.

  7. I’m quite confident that He is listening,

  8. I guess this Harvard professor thinks that people living in Middle Ages were much healthier than modern people.

  9. The conclusions drawn in this article, which were observed decades ago, can also be explained by positing that the faithful, by their domesticated (1984) nature, need only follow their leader.
    Thought is stressful.

  10. Religion is a miracle drug?

    For some people, at least half right.

  11. All the Atheists will come out of the woodwork to gnaw at this article..

    According to the article religion provides better physical and mental health, improves optimism, reduces depression, reduces suicide and extends life span. Not to mention elevating sense of meaning and more social engagement. No big surprise there but a 20-year long scientific confirmation of some of the benefits of religion is noteworthy. One wonders how Atheists with their hatred, stress and defensiveness compare. Another worthwhile study especially as Atheists like to congregate.

  12. It’s an interesting article.

    “Where else today do we find a community with a shared moral and spiritual vision, a sense of accountability, wherein the central task of members is to love and care for one another?”

    I’d argue that such a community exists in many other venues. I’m thinking of organizations that are passionate about and dedicated to a cause, high level athletic endeavors and deity free “churches” like Unitarians.

    As a participant in high level athletic competition I can tell you that the intensity of years of preparation creates very profound relationships. Physical pain, progress and success are shared, as are doubts, fears, anger and joy. A team only succeeds when all team members are successful, therefore a shared vision, will and effort are necessary. This is true in regard to an individual contestant and her coaches, trainers, medical staff, etc.

  13. As one who looks first for conspiracy theories, I’ve come to the conclusion that this article quietly outlines the parameters of the government’s replacement for ObamaCare once it finally shuts down in the red! ObamaCare didn’t have a prayer from the start, and this suggests that perhaps prayer is the answer.

    BTW wasn’t it Karl Marx who suggested that religion was “the opiate of the people?!”

  14. Interesting comment. Haven’t read such beckoning in a long long time.

    I and the rest of my family, i.e., mom, dad and brother, are products of the church. I sang in the church choir for a few years in my teens. I know that good things came from such fellowship.

    It all came to an end though when I got my drivers license at 18 years. When I got my wheels, so many things became new because I could go places and do things I was never able to do before.

    But I never forgot those experiences from my church days and carry them with me til this very day.

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