The atheist activist Seth Andrews candidly admitted: "Religion does community and activism and it does it really well."
The atheist Guy Stagg wrote in The Telegraph:
It shows that, although secularists have realised that they cannot simply be defined by opposition to religion, nevertheless they have little to offer in its place. Crucially the secular tradition has no successful institutions to preserve and spread its principles.
This is something that few secularists admit: atheism is quite lonely. Not just existentially, but socially as well. Secularism does not offer the sense of fellowship you find in religion. Watching old Christopher Hitchensdebates on YouTube with a like-minded sceptic is entertaining, but I doubt it's as nourishing as Sunday Mass.
National Public Radio interviewed the African-American atheist Jamila Bey and the host of the interview said:
...for a couple of centuries, African-American culture has been imbued with Christianity. The church figured prominently in both the abolitionist and civil rights movements. And today in many communities, the Christian church continues to be the nucleus of black life.
So, what about the black nonbelievers? It's one isolating experience, according to Jamila Bey.In December 2003, the University of Warwick reported:
Dr. Stephen Joseph, from the University of Warwick, said: "Religious people seem to have a greater purpose in life, which is why they are happier. Looking at the research evidence, it seems that those who celebrate the Christian meaning of Christmas are on the whole likely to be happier.The website Adherents.com reported about atheism and suicide:
Pitzer College sociologist Phil Zuckerman compiled country-by-country survey, polling and census numbers relating to atheism, agnosticism, disbelief in God and people who state they are non-religious or have no religious preference. These data were published in the chapter titled "Atheism: Contemporary Rates and Patterns" in The Cambridge Companion to Atheism, ed. by Michael Martin, Cambridge University Press: Cambridge, UK (2005). In examining various indicators of societal health, Zuckerman concludes about suicide:"Concerning suicide rates, this is the one indicator of societal health in which religious nations fare much better than secular nations. According to the 2003 World Health
Organization's report on international male suicides rates (which compared 100 countries), of the top ten nations with the highest male suicide rates, all but one (Sri Lanka) are strongly irreligious nations with high levels of atheism. It is interesting to note, however, that of the top remaining nine nations leading the world in male suicide rates, all are former Soviet/Communist nations, such as Belarus, Ukraine, and Latvia. Of the bottom ten nations with the lowest male suicide rates, all are highly religious nations with statistically insignificant levels of organic atheism.