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?