That’s right. Social interaction with other humans is the secret ingredient of religion. It’s not god, or prayer, or heaven, or miracles, or any of that other superstitious claptrap.
“Our study offers compelling evidence that it is the social aspects of religion rather than theology or spirituality that leads to life satisfaction,” said Chaeyoon Lim, an assistant professor of sociology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and lead author.
Apparently, the more friends one makes in the church setting , the more satisfied one is with the religious experience.
The nice thing about this, if it is true, is that you don’t need to go to church to be happy. You just need to be involved in a social group in which you have many friends. Any group will do.
For instance, membership in your local atheist or non-believers organization would do nicely. And the added advantage is that your Sundays would be free. Think about that. One-seventh of your lifetime would be freed up to do as you please.
It’s been fairly clear to me for a long time that the comfort people say they get from their belief in god is actually derived from their social interactions with their fellow human beings. You can simply strip the supernatural out of the whole church experience, gather together on Sundays (if you choose), hold bake sales, get involved in discussions, listen to your leader give a sermon on humanistic values, tithe, give to charity, and even conduct Sunday School, and you will be just as happy, as long as your are doing it with your community of friends.
Belief in the invisible man in the sky is not necessary.