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Study: Longer Life Spans Mean Less Need for Church

LONDON (RNS) Researchers at two of Britain’s top universities claim that church attendance in many Western nations is falling because people are living longer and therefore have less fear of death.

The result, the studies say, is a “graying church.” In Britain, one in four older adults (65 or older) attends church, while just 11 percent of those between 16 and 44 are regular churchgoers.

The project was conducted by researchers at St. Andrews University in Scotland and the University of East Anglia in England and published in the International Journal of Social Economics.

East Anglia’s Elissaios Papyrakis wrote that younger people question the benefits of going to church year after year, whereas the elderly are far more apt to consider religion’s promise of life after death.

Some critics, however, say the theory is a harder match for the U.S., which leads other industrialized nations in church attendance.

Papyrakis said churches should concentrate more on the good things religion can offer, starting early. That, he added, “can counterbalance the negative impact of life expectancy on religiosity — which in effect reduces concern about life after death.”

- AL WEBB, Religion News Service



  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Henrietta22

    You can find a reason for anything, just doesn’t mean it is so.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment MH

    Sounds like another BS theory, like the one that men are less religious because they take greater risks. Basically they’ll take a gamble that Hell doesn’t exist.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment pagansister

    Amen to that, H22. :o)

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment nnmns

    Whatever you do is a gamble. What if you worship a god but pick the wrong god and the right god is jealous?

    Me, I’ll go with the lack of evidence and believe in no god till one actually shows itself.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment cknuck

    Just back from my vaca in Santa Barbara and find a post from nnmns I agree with, – cool and it’s fairly respectful, double cool.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment nnmns

    Why, thank you cknuck. :) I hope it was a good time.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment pagansister

    Ditto to nnmns—-cknuck. Hope you had a very nice vacation!

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Henrietta22

    You can’t go to Santa Barbara and not have a good time! Our old fun town. What did you do ck? Did you go out on the Pier for lunch or dinner, and feed the seagulls?

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment cknuck

    We did everything H but we did not make it to the Mission; saved that for the next time.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Henrietta22

    The gardens are beautiful there ck.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Uneva

    This is really SAD. Church attendance shouldn’t be based on how afraid one is of dying, but on learning and renewing what one has learned about Christ-like things that must be accomplished so we can return to live with our Heavenly Father, when we do die…and how to accomplish them. It’s for sacramentally renewing covenants made at baptism, and for socializing in an uplifting atmosphere with others of like moral beliefs, to help encourage each other to ward off temptations that surround us in today’s carnal world. Those needs will continue to be necessary till we breathe our last breaths, and affect the young and old alike.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment nnmns

    Uneva you’re assuming there is a “Heavenly Father” but there’s no evidence for that, so going to church is, let’s face it, a social event. And a chance to butter up people you want business from. And if you go to the right place a chance to do some good for society, which does not include preaching to them!

    And of course a chance to lose your Sunday mornings and a bunch of money.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment pagansister

    Uneva: Why is it always a “Heavenly Father” some folks pray to and believe in? Why not a “Heavenly Mother”? Without us women there would be no one on this earth!
    As for worshiping a Male? Forget it.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Henrietta22

    According to Bibical History, and the relics found from then there was a Mother God. Of course the Christian men got rid of that. I do agree with Uneva that going to church shouldn’t be about going to get in a good spot with God, because all of us will die at sometime in our lives even if we are having a good time or a bad time. It’s good to be together in Unity, the bible tells us that; common sense tells us that, too. If you have internalized the goodness of doing right and staying away from wrong it should show in your everyday life, not just for two hrs. on Wednesday and Sunday. On any day that God is really in your life you drive with respect for other drivers, following your DMV rules and regulations, you hold doors for people, not letting them slam on the person in back of you, you smile at people, strangers and friends to make them feel good, you give that man sitting on the curb a buck as you wait for traffic, you study about GLBT if you don’t know about the subject, and not from Family Council of fundamentalists, you give everyone the benefit of the doubt instead of ridiculing them because they are different. If you can’t be charitable outside of the walls of your Church where you go to worship God, your trips and gifts of money will help someone else, but don’t count on it helpig you.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Henrietta22

    Gee, it was good, and then I typed helpig! ;) Helping!

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment pagansister

    Well said, Henrietta. And leave it to the males to get rid of the Mother God(dess)!

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment cknuck

    of course that was well said to a pagan H, as much of your theology pleases pagans and atheist not that they have any respect for your God but they do like confusion. So H do you worship a goddess? A female God? and if you do read the bible where does it say we should go along with homosexuality? Well you do get a amen from the pagan amen corner.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment pagansister

    Amen to your last statement, cknuck.:o)
    BTW, speaking of women and their “place” in the Bible. If men wrote all those things–stories, “personal” accounts of things they think they saw, about JC—-how is it that Mary M. got classified as a “repentant prostitute” when she wasn’t a prostitute at all—the story has been redone to find she was an important member of the great group of 12. Just one example of males attempting to be all knowing. Also is wrong(or would be wrong) with a female divine being? WHO really knows what gender God is??? (Bible doesn’t count as a source).

    And actually I do have respect for H22′s God and her beliefs. Your statement isn’t accurate there, cknuck.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment pagansister

    oops, corection: “Also WHAT is wrong (or would be wrong) with a female diving being?” Fingers and brain not working together .

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Henrietta22

    Ck, no, I don’t worship a Goddess. I think I heard about the relics on the History Ch., and saw the pic.. Catholicism took over from early, early Christian Sects and decided what was going to be accepted in the Bible. Probably many corners, and holes that were covered up. The Rev. Peter Gomes (Preacher to Harvard) had this to say about homosexuality in the bible: The subject of homosexuality is not mentioned in the Ten Commandments, nor in the Summary of the Law. No prophet talks on the subject. Jesus himself makes no mention of it, and homosexuality does not appear to be of much concern to those early churches with which Saint Paul and his successors were involved. Read this preachers book, The Good Book, Reading the Bible with mind and heart.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment cknuck

    H, he is a homosexual lol of course that would be his position. It is funny that homosexuals would try to justify homosexuality by omission. If God had created homosexuality as unusual as it is one would think that it would have been mentioned in a positive light, but of course it was not. It was mentioned in negative reference in the bible several times, never positive or on any equal basis as heterosexuality. It is a necessity that Gomes would want to justify his perversions it’s just a shame he would use a holy position to try to justify such unholy behavior.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment nnmns

    Ok we’re all, apparently including cknuck, in agreement the Bible doesn’t have much to say about homosexuality. And nothing in the most important parts as far as believers: the 10 C’s and Jesus’s supposed words. Not to mention all those other parts Henrietta mentioned. And where it may seem to be mentioned the articles are not talking about what some preachers pretend they are talking about.

    So “God”, in “his” “infinite wisdom” had all those chances to tell us it was bad and “he” didn’t. I’m sure cknuck will have words for his god about that if he gets to his heaven. But if I were Christian I’d assume, based on the lack of evidence, homosexuality is not a big deal. It’s much like abortion in that respect.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Henrietta22

    Thanks nnmns, I think most of us would agree, but never Ck. Rev. Gomes had no perversions Ck.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment cknuck

    actually the bible is very clear on sexuality but of course a atheist with a homosexual agenda would infer the lack of involvement would mean agreement. lol oh boy H your homosexual leanings are supported by an atheist but not the bible. The bible is clear that homosexuality is an abomination to God hell it’s not too keen on masturbation, so you got to know that same sex deviations from God’s original design in sexuality has got to be a slap in His face. God was meticulous in His design for sexuality, yet you would say that sex reassignment is in God’s design, switching from gender to gender is appropriate and doing other non-productive sexual acts are something that pleases God. Or you are saying that God put all that work in our sexual reproduction organs and could give a hoot with what we do with them. neither scenario makes sense

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment pagansister

    “—-God put all that work in our sexual reproductive organs and could give a hoot with what we do with them.” cknuck

    It’s called Free Will—something that I understand “God” gave humans.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment nnmns

    Good point, ps. cknuck, your god gave us fingers but do you think it would want them used to type drivel like yours? Nowhere in the Bible, I’m guessing, does it encourage typing drivel.

    Oh, wait, nowhere in the Bible does it encourage typing. That should make it pretty clear to you typing is bad, by your logic.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Henrietta22

    Ck, my understanding of homosexuality comes from the medical profession. Gay people can arrange to have children either by adoption by hetero’s or surrogate mothers. Many hetro’s choose not to have natural children, does that make them an abomination, too?

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Concerned Citizen

    This survey like all surveys needs a lot to be desired, because only so many hundreds of people are interviewed by these liberal surveys.
    Their jobs is to divide and conquered the people who are believers in their Christian views. To me. Surveys generally don’t hold a lot water.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Henrietta22

    Is it all surveys or just liberal surveys that don’t hold water CC? Polls are not too efficient, but surveys if they have had research that took in a certain amount of people from a certain place, for a certain amt. of time can be very informative. Surveys inform, you can be informed or reject the information, but they aren’t taken to divide and conquer people who are believers in any particular view. They may be done to prove a point on the subject being researched. If it’s a point you don’t want proved you probably feel the need to reject it.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment cknuck

    nnmns please don’t try to use your logic to explain my logic, fair is fair, your point is pointless.

    Most surveys are agenda driven and agenda colored

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Henrietta22

    There was one recent survey done in Oregon between 3200 H.S. students to see how this conservative driven area was doing on the agenda they have for GLBT students and students that were standing up for them. Here is what they found out: It wasn’t good, there were attempted suicides, bullying, etc. This was on MSN.com, and other places on the net, but their’s was the best. They had stories from these students and others in the U.S.A. One came from NJ, he was a straight student who was working to help his fellow gay students and he was ostracized, bullied everyday and after awhile he became very depressed and his parents had him in therapy for it, it all came from the oppressivly-mean atmosphere he lived through every day in his H.S. life in the middle of his very conservative county he lived in. This same research done by professionals, showed that school districts that had the influence of Democrats living in them were less apt to have the same results as all conservative districts had. This is the kind of survey you don’t like ck.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment cknuck

    There are no bully surveys in the ghetto for people who are not homosexuals just poor living in depressed neighborhoods and bullied everyday. Many homosexuals experience emotional overloads with the same amount of bullying as heterosexuals and commit suicide when the heterosexual does not, it’s mental instability and if you want to start a champaign be equal with it. Poor kids have not been given the attention homosexuals enjoy and it is not fair, and agenda driven.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Henrietta22

    Oh, please stop Ck. The poor have always been helped by the Democrats, special housing, special schooling, special food. FDR got in the act, so did Johnson passing help for the poor and middleclass with social security, medicare, and medicaid. These help 98% of America, the Rich are about 2% of U.S. These things have been helping for 70 yrs. and now the Republicans protecting the very well-off, and extreme well-off, want to start pulling it apart so they can keep their taxes low, after all they have to pay those lobby corporations who put them in office. Who cares about sick, or going to be sick people in this nation? Why our President Obama, of course. Sounds just gross, doesn’t it? It is. It wasn’t until the 80′s that society started to help the GLBT. Before that they were kicked under the nearest rug or gutter. Your whine about the gay getting more attention than the poor kids in the ghetto is stupid, some of them are GLBT, too. Is this what your agenda is passing around now?

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment cknuck

    H you are full of it and as usual your agenda is concerning homosexuality not the poor. If the dems have helped the poor so much then how come there is little evidence of change when parties change? By the way what have you done to help the poor? nothing but run your mouth and claim credit for things not done. There are a lot of homosexuals in all neighborhoods and the numbers are growing because it is a sexual practice with growing support what else do you expect?

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Henrietta22

    You are so wrong it’s pitiful. All you can equate to has to do with GLBT. Try listening to reason for a change.

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