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Archive for Friday, August 24, 2007

Religion vital in lives of young Americans, leads to happiness

August 24, 2007

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Among America's young people, godliness contributes to happiness.

An extensive survey by The Associated Press and MTV found that people ages 13 to 24 who describe themselves as very spiritual or religious tend to be happier than those who don't.

When it comes to spirituality, American young people also are remarkably tolerant - nearly 7 in 10 say that while they follow their own religious or spiritual beliefs, others might be true as well.

On the whole, the poll found religion is a vital part of the lives of many American young people, although with significant pockets that attach little or no importance to faith.

Forty-four percent say religion and spirituality is at least very important to them, 21 percent responded it is somewhat important, 20 percent say it plays a small part in their lives and 14 percent say it doesn't play any role.

Among races, blacks are most likely to describe religion as being the single most important thing in their lives. Females are slightly more religious than males, and the South is the most religious region, the survey said.

The poll's mission was to figure out what makes young people happy. And it appears religion helps.

Eighty percent of those who call religion or spirituality the most important thing in their lives say they're happy, while 60 percent of those who say faith isn't important to them consider themselves happy.

"If you believe God is helping you, then everything else isn't as important and you can trust that there's somebody there for you no matter what," said Molly Luksik, a 21-year-old ballet dancer in Chicago and a Roman Catholic who attends Mass weekly. "Just going to church and everything ... it's very calming, and everyone is nice."

Sociologists have long drawn a connection between happiness and the sense of community inherent to most religious practice. Lisa Pearce, an assistant professor of sociology at the University of North Carolina, said religion can indeed contribute to happiness, but she cautioned that the converse also can hold true.

"It's easier for kids who are happy and have things going well in their life to find the time and energy to participate in religion," said Pearce, co-principal investigator for the National Study of Youth and Religion. "It could be kids who have bad experiences in church end up leaving and being unhappy with religion."

The poll also asked young people to choose between two statements about their views of other faiths.

Sixty-eight percent agree with the statement, "I follow my own religious and spiritual beliefs, but I think that other religious beliefs could be true as well." Thirty-one percent choose, "I strongly believe that my religious beliefs are true and universal, and that other religious beliefs are not right."

The latter statement is more likely to be the position of young teens - 13 to 17 - and those who attend religious services weekly.

Traci Laichter, 14, went to Jewish preschool. Her grandparents are Holocaust survivors. Her family keeps kosher and displays a mezuzah - a little box holding verses from the Torah - on the door of their suburban Las Vegas home.

Her faith is strong and she believes it will last, but that doesn't mean she thinks other faiths are devoid of truth.

"I believe whatever you believe is true to you and it really shouldn't matter what other people think," she said.

Comments

storm 6 years, 7 months ago

I don't think religion and spirituality should be used interchangably because one can be spiritual without religion. Religion is an organized group of people with a common imaginary friend that helps them attain their goal of spirituality.

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Uhlrick_Hetfield_III 6 years, 7 months ago

"Ignorance is bliss" is not necessarily a hateful comment.

How many Christians read their Bibles on a daily basis? How many provide their children with Biblically sound advice when asked, or do they turn them back over to the TV set, or give examples from their secular workplace?

An Orthodox Rabbi in Johnson County is leaving his synagogue because of the lack of appropriate Jewish educational opportunities in the Kansas City area.

How can religion play a significant role in someone's life if they're not aware of the basic tenets of their alleged faith.

I won't speak for the writer who made the comment as to what he meant by the statement, but isn't "ignorance is bliss" a fair critique of all too many people who profess faith and yet haven't a clue about what it is they're professing?

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logicsound04 6 years, 7 months ago

23 August 2007 at 2:57 p.m. shockchalk (Anonymous) says:

[madmike....I agree with you 100%. I'm just relaying another posters "logic" about drugs and the "ignorant" solution he spouts.]

On: Meth labs down, but importation up

23 August 2007 at 2:48 p.m. shockchalk (Anonymous) says:

[How about we try making it legal??? Illogicbound0bore thinks that's the answer to all drug-related problems! Talk about IGNORANT!]

On: Meth labs down, but importation up

23 August 2007 at 2:36 p.m. shockchalk (Anonymous) says:

[ignorant; a; unlearned. Well illogicbound0snore....I believe that fits you perfectly. Only someone as "unlearned" as you would post something so IGNORANT about cocaine use. BTW, have you ever used cocaine, sold drugs, or abused your responsibilities as a parent? What exactly are you basing your "unlearned" and ignorant opinion on?]

On: Cocaine dealer gets 10-year sentence

I think I figured out to whom shockchalk was referring...

The funniest/wierdest thing about it is that I never commented on the "Meth labs down, but importation up" thread. shockchalk was apparently so disturbed by my opinion on the War on Drugs that he had to complain about me in a completely separate forum to posters and then explain what he was talking about.

shockchalk, Do you really think madmike cares what I posted on a different thread?

Furthermore, you still haven't grasped the word "ignorant" even though it looks like you managed to look it up somewhere. You are correct that ignorant means unlearned, but you still haven't figured out that the fact that I believe that the War on Drugs is failing (and should be abandoned in favor of a more effective strategy) doesn't display ignorance.

Unless you're prepared to show me data demonstrating that drug use has declined since Regan initiated the War on Drugs, my position is not one of ignorance. People continue to buy, sell, use, abuse, and kill for drugs, in spite of our "War" against them.

BTW, that is a pretty lame dig at my screenname.

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logicsound04 6 years, 7 months ago

"The funniest part was that you frequently criticize other posters, but are hyperreactive when someone points out how ignorant your posts are:::.cocaine anyone?"


Yeah, guy-that-doesn't-know-he's-being-addressed. Where do you get off?

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Tychoman 6 years, 7 months ago

Who are you referring to, shockchalk?

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tony88 6 years, 7 months ago

the ignorance is bliss quote is very appropriate.

faith is by definition a giving up of knowing, or a need for knowing. it is complete trust in something for which there is no proof, or in the case of a belief in god, something for which there can be no proof. knowledge on the otherhand, requires absolute, undeniable proof. ignorance is the lack of knowledge, or the state of not knowing. faith requires ignorance of the real "truth" or existence of that which one has faith in. if one had proof of such vague concepts as god, the afterlife, witches, etc., etc., one could not have faith in the existence of such entities due to the fact that one would know of their existence. though one could still have "faith" or trust IN them.
so the faith that most religious adherents speak of exist on multiple levels. firstly, one must believe or have faith IN THE EXISTENCE OF postulated entities for which there can be no proof. secondly, one must have faith IN said entities.

of course, not thinking about this and just having faith in what one is told is much easier, for ignorance is bliss.

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shockchalk 6 years, 7 months ago

The funniest part was that you frequently criticize other posters, but are hyperreactive when someone points out how ignorant your posts are..........cocaine anyone?

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BrianR 6 years, 7 months ago

"The fact that a believer is happier than a skeptic is no more to the point than that a drunken man is happier than a sober one. The happiness of credulity is a cheap and dangerous quality." -- George Bernard Shaw (1856-1950) The Preface to Androcles and the Lion, 1912

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americorps 6 years, 7 months ago

Bubble,

I am just curious what terrible past have you suffered to make you so sad and pathetic and bitter?

I really worry for you...Please, do not kill yourself or go on a mass kiling spree..there is help available.

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logicsound04 6 years, 7 months ago

Ag,

Thanks for the help, but I was actually asking in jest. He began attacking me a day or two ago, and when I looked back at the thread, his posts were gone.

The funniest part was that I had just finished telling him that I noticed his style (calling other posters women and telling them they're hysterical and needed therapy) was very similar to a poster that used to inhabit these message boards (Conservativeman).

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Agnostick 6 years, 7 months ago

"When it comes to spirituality, American young people also are remarkably tolerant - nearly 7 in 10 say that while they follow their own religious or spiritual beliefs, others might be true as well."


That's the real key, I suppose. Many of these young people are learning that it's more important to focus on their own efforts, rather than obsess about what others are doing... as many of the religious fundamentalists on the extreme Right seem to do.

Hopefully, some of these bright young people will abandon the theocratic upheaval being stirred up by the Evangelicals, and forge a new, more "American" faith. One that distances itself from the government, rather than trying to overtake it.

Agnostick agnostick@excite.com http://www.uscentrist.org

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logicsound04 6 years, 7 months ago

Where is The_Daily_Truth?

I'm surprised he/she doesn't have a comment on this topic....

...unless, oops, guess TDT (conman) has already been kicked off again. Didn't even last a week this time. HA!

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Agnostick 6 years, 7 months ago

Careful with the name-calling, Bubbles, or Colonel_Angry will tattle to Mommy!

I mean, Your_Mom

I mean, antisecularman

something like that...

--Ag

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Bubbles 6 years, 7 months ago

Yawn. Make one funny about a homo and you go off the deep end.

You are a two faced fork tongued ninny.

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Tychoman 6 years, 7 months ago

Don't get me started with you today, Bubbles. I don't have a problem with spiritual people. They're just so hard to find these days. Too often, those who claim to be spiritual and religious have done little in terms of trying to actually understand their faith and how it relates to the rest of the world. I only agreed with YWN's "Ignorance is bliss" remark because I find some truth in it.

If you don't want to be classified as a "mindless, fearful, backward, intolerant" Christian, then by all means separate yourself from those who are (and there are a great number of them, especially on this forum and in this state) by thinking for yourself and realizing that there's more to being a good spiritual/religious person than spouting bible verses and attending worship.

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Peaty 6 years, 7 months ago

" faith founded in facts"

Oxymoron?

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Tom Miller 6 years, 7 months ago

It'd be great if Uranus learned to spell. badum-CHING! try as my limited skills permit, I've not seen anything spelled incorrectly...I believe the problem is his Karma just ran over your dogma...

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gogoplata 6 years, 7 months ago

It is so easy when you put people in a box. Many seem to like Christians in the Mindless, fearful, backward, intolerant hatemonger type box. People are individuals so the box thing doesn't work. There are Christians who are great thinkers, courageous, modern, and compassionate. The Bottom line is that Christianity is a faith founded in facts. There are good reasons to believe that it is the truth.

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americorps 6 years, 7 months ago

I agree with the posters who are quick to point out that spiritual is not always Christian.

There are many polls that show a smaller percentage of Americans self identify as Christian than in the past, but a larger percentage identify as spiritual.

Faith comes in all colors and it is wrong to act as the Christianity is the only one..or to act as the Christianity is the only one with value..or to give Christianity preference over any others.

I am, of course, speaking on a society level, on the personal level, it is your choice.

As a Christian, I do not want or need my government or my community defining my values or giving my values preference..that is my job and my choice, not for others to decide for me.

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Bubbles 6 years, 7 months ago

Listen to Tycho...Gimme a break, Tycho the first poster to laugh at jokes directed towards homos.

What a phoney.

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Tychoman 6 years, 7 months ago

It was a joke, people. Nothing hateful or bigoted about my statement. LIGHTEN UP.

It'd be great if Uranus learned to spell. badum-CHING!

By the way, another user is engaging in suggestive names, which is against LJWorld policy. Finding_Uranus, classy. It's either a disgusting aside or you're talking about the ancient Greek god, which implies you're a pagan worshipper, therefore a friend of the devil. I doubt you're referring to the planet.

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Wilbur_Nether 6 years, 7 months ago

kramdorf wrote "we live in a world of absolutes. Water boils at 212 degrees; not 209, 210, or even 211!"

Which is true, of course.

Unless the water is impure (seawater boils at just more than 213 degrees F), or we change the pressure around the water....

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Confrontation 6 years, 7 months ago

"nearly 7 in 10 say that while they follow their own religious or spiritual beliefs, others might be true as well."

It's the other 3 in 10 that you have to worry about. They are the psychotic ones who would rather see you dead than belonging to another religion. They are also known as Sam Brokeback supporters.

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EasyTiger 6 years, 7 months ago

Wow, I thought for a second there I'd wondered into some Church with a bunch of preachers warning me about hell and preaching about Jesus at the same time. What a bunch of bullsh*t lamb, finding uranus, and colonel angus. Don't start crying and throw the hate and intolerance cards. I have nothing against you personally, but your religions are a complete joke, I actually feel sorry for you that you believe in fairy tails just like a child beliefs in santa claus. That is not intolerance, I'm attacking your ideas, not you. Your ideas about religion take the focus off this life and put it on a life that may or may not exist, and even if it does exist, not one single person knows anything about it, despite any claim otherwise. You guys tallk about the devil and god meddling in earthly affairs? That nice isn't it? Kinda takes away that whole personal responsibility thing doesn't it? Religion is a crutch, it's one thing to believe in god, its another entirely to hinge your entire life on it. And as for preaching, or rather your proselytizing, I find that to be so far beyond intolerant and immoral than any attack on religion. Trying to convince someone your religion is the right one is about the most disrespectful thing one can possibly do to another person.

As for this "study," I don't even know where to begin, but I bet that if better questions were asked, or if it wasn't a "Self-Report" procedure it might be taken seriously. It would in no way be considered a scientific study, the obvious confounding variable here is the conflation of the ideas of "spirituality" and community involvement. Religious people are probably more likely to have established, fixed social structures that constanty seek to reinforce their unique place in the world and reinforcing an "Us vs. Them" mentality.

And of course someone who has all the answers laid out for them are gonna say they're happy! They don't have to think about the hard things in life, it's already been decided for them! The real questions in life are hard, and if you choose to think for yourself then of course you're gonna struggle with it. I'd rather it be that way, I don't want to be handed everything, either it be money, spiritual rules. It's my responsibility to come to a conclusion about right and wrong, just like the people who made up the rules to begin with. Nothing is for sure, nothing is for certain, and if you believe otherwise, congratulations! But it's gonna be hard when the wake breaks and finally rolls back.

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kramdorf 6 years, 7 months ago

I would love to know when and why "tolerance" became equated with love? Why is it that as a society we have lost the ability or desire to see absolutes? Like it or not, we live in a world of absolutes. Water boils at 212 degrees; not 209, 210, or even 211! If you put your hand on a hot stove, you WILL get burned; not maybe, not every-other time, but always. Do I love you less if I try to warn you that you will get burned if you touch that hot stove? I say it is a greater expression of love to reach out and try to prevent someone from hurt than to just stand by and let them "experience" it on their own because there is "more than one path to understanding". I know there are those who have made mistakes, and for that reason many don't think us qualified to say anything, but I believe it is because of my mistakes that make me qualified. I know what hurts and what helps, and like it or not, there are some who genuinely grieve when we see others hurt. Ragingbear, your comments don't make me angry, they break my heart. I see the pain and anger in your words. I can accept all peoples without having to agree with them. But what kind of person would I be if I didn't even have enough conviction in what I believed to want to share it with others; especially if I believed that it would make the difference between life and death. I believe that young people today are sick and tired of "grey" and want to have boundries and absolutes. Hopefully this article is a reflection of this.

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Wilbur_Nether 6 years, 7 months ago

yourworstnightmare wrote "Ignorance is bliss."

I don't know anything about that.

But, if it's true, there are a lot of truly happy people in our country.

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Colonel_Angus 6 years, 7 months ago

Its amazing that posters like yourworstnightmare and tychoman don't see the bigotry and hate in their remarks. astounding.

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beekone 6 years, 7 months ago

"Bigots like yourworstnightmare are the freinds and couriers of the devildoing the devils work so to speak. Christians will be the only last hope of the world."

What does that even mean?

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Finding_Uranus 6 years, 7 months ago

Bigots like yourworstnightmare are the freinds and couriers of the devil---doing the devils work so to speak. Christians will be the only last hope of the world.

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Haiku_Cuckoo 6 years, 7 months ago

Reading some of these comments makes me realize that the bumper sticker is right, Kansas really IS as bigoted as you think

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beekone 6 years, 7 months ago

"Evil has had a foothold on earth since Lucifer was cast down by God."

Link?

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Finding_Uranus 6 years, 7 months ago

It's great that God is in the lives of many young people. Evil has had a foothold on earth since Lucifer was cast down by God. This will always be the case, until mankind no longer can handle things on his own, and we are very, very close to that point I'm afraid to say---really not afraid to say is more like it.

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beekone 6 years, 7 months ago

"Raging Bear, Christ gave up His life willingly so that all your sins and mine can be forgiven."

Says who? The people who want you to feel guilty about it? I'm perfectly happy and believing in illogical magic has nothing to do with it. Is forcing your beliefs on others part of the "happiness" provided by Christianity or just a perk?

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Cait McKnelly 6 years, 7 months ago

I think this article says a lot about teens. It doesn't focus on Christianity, it focuses on faith and spirituality, be it Christianity, Judaism, Buddhism or Paganism. It echoes something my own father used to say many years ago, "I don't care WHAT you believe in, just BELIEVE." And these kids are remarkably tolerant as well, far more that I think there elders are.

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Tychoman 6 years, 7 months ago

Aw YWN you wrote it before I could. No fair.

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Bubbles 6 years, 7 months ago

Let's get rid of religion like Stalin tried to do.

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lamb 6 years, 7 months ago

Raging Bear, Christ gave up His life willingly so that all your sins and mine can be forgiven. That is where the happiness is, that we are loved that much.

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Ragingbear 6 years, 7 months ago

Yeah, because nothing says happy like being forced to attend meetings where your told that everything you do is wrong and your worthless for it, and that your ultimately responsible for the torture and death of somebody that existed 2000 years before you were born.

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