Going To Church Could Have The Same Effect As Doing A Line Of Cocaine

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I've never been a huge churchgoer.

As a kid, I didn't like sitting still, I didn't like how people sang songs with no emotion in their hearts like they were at a cult initiation and I didn't like constantly kneeling, standing and then sitting.

It's like, make up your mind, reverend. I didn't come here to do burpees.

But, I did like one thing about church: drinking the wine.

Even before I knew it was wine, as a kid, I was always like, "Oh, nice, here comes the cool, dangerous part when we all drink blood."

Then, I grew up enough to find out it was wine, and BOOM: I was immediately converted.

I was actually converted because (as I later found out) I was an alcoholic, but according to science, there might not be that big of a difference between religion and drugs.

Neuroradiologist Jeff Anderson and bioengineering graduate student Michael Ferguson from The University of Utah have recently discovered that religious experiences light up the same reward centers in the brain as someone experiencing romantic love (me and alcohol) or someone on methamphetamine or cocaine (Lindsay Lohan circa 2007).

The scientists did fMRI brain scans on 19 Mormons as they thought about God (commonly referred to as "feeling the Spirit.")

IBT Times reports,

Brain regions that the researchers said were associated with having religious experiences included the nucleus accumbens, which is involved in romantic love, appreciation of music, cocaine and methamphetamines.

I guess this explains why everyone said Jesus could walk on water and turn it into wine.

If you can get as high on God as you can on meth, then anything is possible.

Lead author Ferguson explained,

When our study participants were instructed to think about a saviour, about being with their families for eternity, about their heavenly rewards, their brains and bodies physically responded.

While the moral of this story is (unfortunately) not to snort a line the next time you miss Sunday service, the fact that going to church might have the same effect could at least provide reluctant churchgoers the motivation to show up.

And if you feel bad going to church to get high, you can always confess about it later.

Nobody's perfect.

Citations: Your brain on God: How religion triggers the same response as love and drugs (IBTTimes)