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Lonely religious people feel less isolated than lonely atheists because God substitutes as a friend, a new study has found. Relationships are key for us humans to feel motivated, connected, and to give us a sense of purpose. New research by psychologists at the University of Michigan show that, among those who do feel lonely, those who believe in a religion are less likely to lose the will to live because their faith fills that void.

According to doctoral student Todd Chan, the lead author, God comes to be seen quite literally as a friend. However, religion was still hardly enough to replace all the qualities that come from human interaction.

For the socially disconnected, God may serve as a substitutive relationship that compensates for some of the purpose that human relationships would normally provide,' Chan said.

This is Chan's conclusion from three separate studies involving 19,775 people, the last of which was published last week in the Journal of Personality. Each person was surveyed on their friendships, religious beliefs, feelings of loneliness and sense of purpose.

For those that weren't lonely, faith didn't have a significant impact on their levels of happiness, sense of belonging or purpose.

However, those who felt that they didn't have many friends strongly benefited 'from leveraging religion and turning to God as a friend ... when they lack supportive social connections.'

Co-author Nicholas Michalak, a psychology graduate student, added: 'Our research suggests, given two people who feel equally disconnected, the individual who feels more connected to God will have a better sense of purpose in life.'

However, even with God as a friend, it is not enough to combat a lack of human contact.

'These results certainly do not suggest that people can or should rely on God over people for purpose,' said co-author Oscar Ybarra, professor of psychology and faculty associate at the U-M Institute for Social Research. 'Quality human connections still remain a primary and enduring source of purpose in life.'

In a recent letter to the editor, Paris Taylor from Greater Portmore declared: It is most unfortunate when a man of the clergy actually endorses the repeal of the buggery law. This move obviously shows that these men of the cloth are being moved by an evil force which is already creating havoc on our beautiful land. The spirit of evil is so much a part of us but we fail to realise the tremendous impact it has engulfed us with.

No one should try to contravene the fundamental laws of nature which can guide mankind into the eternal future. The repealing of the buggery law is counterproductive and the individuals who are actually pushing this sad depiction of our society to the wider world will not see God's face.

We all know what God did to Sodom and Gomorrah for their evil practices and the likely possibility to have God making a determination on our nation for straying from the given premise. Homosexuality is a practice which God abhors, and there will never be a different answer for what these so-called learnt theologians argue should be permitted

There must be no justice for our Christian brothers/sisters if these theologians continue to disobey God's words and go on their own understanding. We don't need to downgrade our moral principles to suit anybody or any nation

Rev Garnet Roper and Bishop Howard Gregory, advocates for repealing the buggery law, must take a look at someone like Rev Al Miller, who is convinced that these so-called scholars are not guided by the Bible teachings which have been directing humanity for centuries. The journey of mankind would have stopped abruptly if we were allowed to place emphasis on this despicable practice. Procreation is a practice which was given to humanity to ensure that the human species does not become extinct. The anus is not even a sex organ and it will never be in this century or in centuries to come.

We need Bible scholars to preach and teach from the Bible because it is not an outdated book, and it is still relevant in this millennium.