In “Religious Americans Enjoy Higher Wellbeing” (Gallup Wellbeing, February 16, 2012), Frank Newport, Dan Witters, and Sangeeta Agrawal report “Relationship holds when controlling for key demographics”,
PRINCETON, NJ — An analysis of more than 676,000 Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index interviews conducted in 2011 and 2010 finds that Americans who are the most religious have the highest levels of wellbeing. The statistically significant relationship between religiousness and wellbeing holds up after controlling for numerous demographic variables.
Of course, the religious Americans could all be lying, some have suggested.
The problem with this view is, most religious Americans are Christians and most Christians need not pretend to be happy. A “successful” Christian accepts suffering, is sorry for his sins, and is concerned for others. The Catholic Church, which formally declares a few Christians to be saints every so often, provides a snapshot of this fact.
So Something Else must be making them happy.
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