Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club. Because No News is Bad News.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

People Get Mad At God, Local Study Finds; Duh

Posted By on Wed, Jan 5, 2011 at 10:11 AM

White? Check. Young? Check. Yup, hes angry.
  • White? Check. Young? Check. Yup, he's angry.

This might surprise you, but people get angry at the Big Guy. The stubbed toe, the DUI, the foreclosed house — why blame yourself? Why not get mad at the divine fingers yanking the strings from on high.

Well, one local university recently published a study that confirms this conclusion: Yes, people get angry at God when tough stuff goes down. And yes, actual money was used to conduct a survey that conservation with any 3:30 p.m. weekday drinker in a bar will tell you.

Bloomberg Businessweek has an article on the revelation. The study was conducted by Case Western Reserve University prof Julie Exline and involved a review of five previous studies that looked at individuals’ relationships with the Man upstairs in bad personal patches.

The results are actually more interesting than a surface eyeball of the topic might indicate. For one, individuals whose religion has been watered down or outright non-believers register more anger with God than actual card carrying Christians.

Exline tells Business Week:

"People who are more religious don't get as angry. They may be more likely to think God caused the troubling event, but they're also more likely to put good intentions on the event, saying things like, 'God is trying to strengthen me.’”

The study also blows up those old assumptions about cheery-cheeked and care free WASPs.

In addition to finding that those who were more religious were less likely to be angry with God, the researchers found that certain types of religions, specifically Protestant Christians, were slightly less likely to get angry with God in the face of personal problems.

But . . .

Other groups that were more likely to be angry at God when something bad occurs in their lives include younger people and whites, according to Exline.

So does this mean your average East Siders is God-angry, or not?

Tags: ,

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Cleveland Scene. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Cleveland Scene, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at

Cleveland Scene works for you, and your support is essential.

Our small but mighty local team works tirelessly to bring you high-quality, uncensored news and cultural coverage of Cleveland and beyond.

Unlike many newspapers, ours is free – and we'd like to keep it that way, because we believe, now more than ever, everyone deserves access to accurate, independent coverage of their community.

Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing pledge, your support helps keep Cleveland's true free press free.

Read the Digital Print Issue

September 9, 2020

View more issues


Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.


© 2020 Cleveland Scene: 737 Bolivar Rd., Suite 4100, Cleveland, OH 44115, (216) 241-7550
Logos and trademarks on this site are property of their respective owners.

Website powered by Foundation