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Religion makes you happy, according to a new study from the Paris School of Economics.

The author, professor Andrew Clark, says:

“We originally started the research to work out why some European countries had more generous unemployment benefits than others, but our analysis suggested that religious people suffered less psychological harm from unemployment than the non-religious.”

Fine and dandy, but surely the aim of religious faith is not just to make you happier? It’s to serve God, isn’t it? Imagine some scientist with a clipboard popping up beside Jesus at Mount Golgotha and saying ‘er…Jesus, studies suggest that 99% of all crucified people suffer a marked drop in happiness, we would recommend you abandon your religious faith at this point and obey the Roman Empire’.

If religious people are happier than non-religious, it is perhaps precisely because they are not desperately searching for their own happiness in this life, but instead are much more accepting of the fact that this life is imperfect, that it is in some ways a ‘vale of sorrows’, but they have a belief in something higher than mere happiness and satisfaction – the belief they are following the wishes of their maker.