home
RSS
Anger at God common, even among atheists
January 1st, 2011
12:15 AM ET

Anger at God common, even among atheists

If you're angry at your doctor, your boss, your relative or your spouse, you can probably sit down and have a productive conversation about it. God, on the other hand, is probably not available to chat.

And yet people get angry at God all the time, especially about everyday disappointments, finds a new set of studies in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology.

It's not just religious folks, either. People unaffiliated with organized religion, atheists and agnostics also report anger toward God either in the past, or anger focused on a hypothetical image - that is, what they imagined God might be like - said lead study author Julie Exline, Case Western Reserve University psychologist.

In studies on college students, atheists and agnostics reported more anger at God during their lifetimes than believers. A separate study also found this pattern among bereaved individuals. This phenomenon is something Exline and colleagues will explore more in future research, which is open to more participants.

It seems that more religious people are less likely to feel angry at God and more likely to see his intentions as well-meaning, Exline's research found.

And younger people tend to be angrier at God than older people, Exline said. She says some of the reasons she's seen people the angriest at God include rejection from preferred colleges and sports injuries preventing high schoolers from competing.

The age difference may have to do with cultural norms, she said. Perhaps previous generations were taught to not question God, whereas younger people today don't have any qualms about it. On the other hand, it might be that as people get older, they learn how to handle these types of feelings better.

Anger at God can strongly resemble feelings you may have against another person, Exline found. God may seem treacherous or cruel when bad things happen, just like another individual might. Your anger may fester even more when there's no good reason for the negative event, such as a natural disaster or a disease, to occur. And strong, longstanding negative emotions of any kind can lead to physical ailments.

Moreover, distress at God is associated with mental health symptoms. Exline and colleagues found that among cancer survivors interviewed once and then again a year later, those who were angry at God at both points in time had the poorest mental and physical health. But the study cannot prove whether anger at God made them feel worse or that feeling worse made them more angry at God.

Just like with people in your life, you can respect and feel anger toward God at the same time. And you can move toward forgiveness by reframing the way you view the negative event: Perhaps God was not responsible for it or that he acted in that way for a reason.

"When people trust that God cares about them and has positive intentions toward them, even if they can’t understand what those intentions or meanings are, it tends to help to resolve anger," she said.

Granted, these studies aren't definitive; they are steps forward in this emerging field of inquiry and not the final word on the subject.

But we see it in the real world, too. Jeff Crim listens to people's anger at God all the time - specifically, people who are dying. He's a chaplain and bereavement coordinator North Star Hospice in Calhoun, Georgia, and has found that it's important to find a way to express your anger at God in order to deal with it.

Expressing anger can be cathartic, and help you move on, but how you do it is deeply personal, Crim said. Crim himself will speak aloud to God, but others find solace in a trusted spiritual leader or other person to confide in about their anger at a higher power.

"What they need is a safe place to express their anger, to know that their anger has been heard and listened to," he said.


soundoff (1,236 Responses)
  1. fathor t shirt

    If you are going for most excellent contents like myself,
    only go to see this web page every day since it offers quality contents, thanks

    April 14, 2021 at 18:59 | Report abuse | Reply
  2. fathor t shirt

    Wow, superb blog layout! How lengthy have you been running
    a blog for? you make running a blog glance easy. The entire glance of
    your web site is great, as neatly as the content material!

    April 14, 2021 at 19:03 | Report abuse | Reply
  3. fathor t shirt

    Appreciate the recommendation. Will try it out.

    April 14, 2021 at 19:05 | Report abuse | Reply
  4. fathor t-shirt uk

    This is a topic which is close to my heart... Cheers!
    Where are your contact details though?

    April 14, 2021 at 19:06 | Report abuse | Reply
  5. fathor shirt

    My spouse and I stumbled over here from a different web page and thought I might check things out.

    I like what I see so now i'm following you. Look forward to going over your web
    page for a second time.

    April 14, 2021 at 19:09 | Report abuse | Reply
  6. fathor shirt

    Thank you for sharing your info. I truly appreciate your efforts and I will be waiting for
    your further write ups thanks once again.

    April 14, 2021 at 19:21 | Report abuse | Reply
  7. fathor t shirt

    Hey just wanted to give you a quick heads up. The words in your article seem to
    be running off the screen in Internet explorer. I'm not sure if this is a format issue or
    something to do with internet browser compatibility but I figured I'd
    post to let you know. The layout look great though! Hope you get the
    problem solved soon. Kudos

    April 14, 2021 at 19:35 | Report abuse | Reply
  8. fathor shirt meaning

    My coder is trying to persuade me to move to .net from PHP.
    I have always disliked the idea because of the costs.

    But he's tryiong none the less. I've been using Movable-type on numerous websites for about a
    year and am anxious about switching to another platform.
    I have heard great things about blogengine.net. Is there a way I can transfer all my wordpress content into it?
    Any help would be really appreciated!

    April 14, 2021 at 19:37 | Report abuse | Reply
  9. fathor shirt

    Hi there, I found your web site by means of Google at the same time as
    searching for a related subject, your web site came up, it seems good.
    I've bookmarked it in my google bookmarks.
    Hello there, simply became alert to your weblog via Google, and located that
    it is truly informative. I am gonna be careful for brussels.
    I'll appreciate should you continue this in future. A lot
    of people might be benefited out of your writing. Cheers!

    April 14, 2021 at 20:32 | Report abuse | Reply
  10. fathor shirt

    I've been exploring for a bit for any high quality articles or blog posts on this kind of house .
    Exploring in Yahoo I ultimately stumbled upon this website.
    Studying this info So i am satisfied to express that I've an incredibly just right uncanny
    feeling I came upon exactly what I needed. I such a lot no doubt will make sure
    to do not forget this website and give it a look regularly.

    April 14, 2021 at 20:34 | Report abuse | Reply
  11. InvillRax

    [url=https://www.hotelhot.ru/hostel-nevsky/]аутсорсинг персонала санкт-петербург услуги[/url]
    Tegs: аутсорсинг персонала санкт-петербург цены https://www.hotelhot.ru/hostel-nevsky/

    [u]снять общежитие в москве отзывы[/u]
    [i]снять общежитие в московской области[/i]
    [b]снять общежитие в подмосковье[/b]

    April 15, 2021 at 20:15 | Report abuse | Reply
  12. alprostadil urethral suppository

    alternative to alprostadil https://alprostadildrugs.com/ cheap alprostadil

    April 15, 2021 at 20:18 | Report abuse | Reply
  13. หวย

    Fine way of telling, and fastidious paragraph to take information regarding my
    presentation subject, which i am going to convey in university.

    April 16, 2021 at 17:46 | Report abuse | Reply
  14. 우리카지노

    우리카지노

    https://nextsetup88.com

    April 17, 2021 at 19:57 | Report abuse | Reply
  15. 우리카지노

    우리카지노

    https://cabelas.cc

    April 17, 2021 at 20:03 | Report abuse | Reply
  16. mens ed pills

    can erectile dysfunction be revewsw https://canadaerectiledysfunctionpills.com/ erectile therapy after prostatectomy

    April 18, 2021 at 00:52 | Report abuse | Reply
  17. https://taichinhnguyenle.com.vn/chung-minh-tai-chinh-du-hoc-canada.html

    Yes! Finally someone writes about chứng minh tài chính du học.

    April 18, 2021 at 04:33 | Report abuse | Reply
  18. tadalafil tablets

    tadalafil 40 mg from india https://elitadalafill.com/ tadalafil online

    April 19, 2021 at 16:58 | Report abuse | Reply
  19. canadian pills online

    average perscription pills taken by 65 year old canadian? https://canadapillstorex.com/ canadian weight loss pills

    April 23, 2021 at 05:37 | Report abuse | Reply
  20. does topical

    how much alprostadil vials https://alprostadildrugs.com/ alprostadil cream cost

    April 24, 2021 at 00:15 | Report abuse | Reply
  21. cheap sildenafil citrate uk

    sildenafil uk pharmacy https://eunicesildenafilcitrate.com/ generic sildenafil 20mg cost

    April 24, 2021 at 16:33 | Report abuse | Reply
  22. Dorsey

    Fantastic beat ! I wish to apprentice while you amend your web site, how could i subscribe for a blog website? The account helped me a acceptable deal. I had been tiny bit acquainted of this your broadcast provided bright clear idea

    https://www.instapaper.com/read/1406626070

    April 24, 2021 at 16:40 | Report abuse | Reply
  23. sildenafil citrate 100mg pills

    sildenafil online paypal https://eunicesildenafilcitrate.com/ sildenafil 20 mg price in india

    April 26, 2021 at 09:34 | Report abuse | Reply
  24. plaquenil insomnia

    erectile doctor memphis tn https://plaquenilx.com/ erectile shots diagram

    April 26, 2021 at 18:45 | Report abuse | Reply
  25. canadian pills online

    best canadian mail order pharmacies for diet pills https://canadapillstorex.com/ canadian pharmacies ed pills

    April 27, 2021 at 13:22 | Report abuse | Reply
  26. priligy

    priligy 90 mg priligy for sale uk

    April 28, 2021 at 00:42 | Report abuse | Reply
  27. avana

    buy avanafil usa avana 200 mg

    April 28, 2021 at 08:15 | Report abuse | Reply
  28. Jdvmllfrine

    кимры купить плодородный грунт
    Tegs: кимры пгс доставка https://kimry-karier.ru

    песок кимры купить
    песок кимры порт
    песок кимры порт купить

    April 28, 2021 at 16:35 | Report abuse | Reply
  29. Knvpllfrine

    щебень дубна московская область
    Tegs: щебень дубна московская область купить https://dubna-pesok.ru

    щебень дубна
    щебень дубна купить
    щебень дубна московская область

    April 28, 2021 at 21:38 | Report abuse | Reply
  30. priligy

    dapoxetine tablets price priligy tablets uk

    April 29, 2021 at 22:20 | Report abuse | Reply
  31. aralen chloroquine phosphate

    chlorquine https://chloroquineorigin.com/ chloroquine moa

    May 1, 2021 at 04:03 | Report abuse | Reply
  32. canadian generic pills

    canadian pills online https://canadapillstorex.com/ best canadian mail order pharmacies for diet pills

    May 1, 2021 at 18:33 | Report abuse | Reply
  33. avana

    buy avana usa avanafil 50

    May 5, 2021 at 00:52 | Report abuse | Reply
  34. Kvvillfrine

    Цезий сульфат 99 процентов купить онлайн Интернет магазин ХИММЕД
    Tegs: Цезий нитрат 99 99 процентов trace metal basis купить онлайн Интернет магазин ХИММЕД https://chimmed.ru/products/cesium-nitrate-9999-trace-metal-basis-for-analysis-id=298492

    Среда Мурасиге Скуга MURASHIGE & SKOOG микро и макроэлементы без NH4NO3 10 л купить онлайн Интернет магазин ХИММЕД
    Среда Мурасиге Скуга MURASHIGE & SKOOG микро и макроэлементы без NH4NO3 1 л купить онлайн Интернет магазин ХИММЕД
    Среда Мурасиге Скуга MURASHIGE & SKOOG микро и макроэлементы 50 л купить онлайн Интернет магазин ХИММЕД

    May 5, 2021 at 19:15 | Report abuse | Reply
  35. read this

    Howdy! Someone in my Myspace group shared this site with us so I came to give it a look. I'm definitely enjoying the information. I'm bookmarking and will be tweeting this to my followers! Excellent blog and amazing design.

    http://www.dzzksd.com/space-uid-1100210.html

    May 6, 2021 at 15:07 | Report abuse | Reply
  36. where to buy aralen

    chloroquine tablets amazon https://chloroquineorigin.com/ cloroquina 250 mg

    May 7, 2021 at 14:38 | Report abuse | Reply
  37. hexclad frying pan

    Do you have a spam issue on this website; I also am a blogger, and I was wondering your situation; we have developed some nice practices and we are looking to trade strategies with other folks, why not shoot me an email if interested.

    https://audiodat.ru/forum/index.php?action=profile;u=268383

    May 8, 2021 at 11:03 | Report abuse | Reply
  38. Elbert

    Hey! Do you use Twitter? I'd like to follow you if that would be ok. I'm absolutely enjoying your blog and look forward to new posts.

    https://diigo.com/0ki8b6

    May 10, 2021 at 16:50 | Report abuse | Reply
  39. Bret

    I've been surfing online more than 3 hours today, yet I never found any interesting article like yours. It is pretty worth enough for me. In my opinion, if all site owners and bloggers made good content as you did, the internet will be a lot more useful than ever before.

    https://www.clipsit.net/www-discover-com-itapply-discover-it-cash-back-offer/

    May 12, 2021 at 14:00 | Report abuse | Reply
  40. Anker powerhouse 400 ii

    you are really a good webmaster. The web site loading speed is amazing. It seems that you're doing any unique trick. Moreover, The contents are masterpiece. you have done a fantastic job on this topic!

    http://yingyuliang.com/home.php?mod=space&uid=6272452&do=profile&from=space

    May 16, 2021 at 23:05 | Report abuse | Reply
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

Leave a Reply to fathor t shirt


 

CNN welcomes a lively and courteous discussion as long as you follow the Rules of Conduct set forth in our Terms of Service. Comments are not pre-screened before they post. You agree that anything you post may be used, along with your name and profile picture, in accordance with our Privacy Policy and the license you have granted pursuant to our Terms of Service.

Advertisement
About this blog

Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.