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May 27th, 2010
02:31 PM ET

Are atheists proselytizing here?

The pastor/iReporter who told us how he devises his church sign messages has e-mailed about negative comments on his post:

Is the response from the "non-faith" community always so hostile? I have to wonder why disbelievers even go to a "Belief Blog". My hypothesis is that they go there to try to convert believers to disbelief. I find that an interesting possibility since part of what so many object to is the use of the church sign (and any other means) to try to convert people to become Christians.

Worth noting that this blog is for believers, non-believers and disbelievers alike - and includes coverage of atheists, secular humanists and other non-faith traditions. Covering the world of beliefs has to include those who challenge beliefs and who are agnostic about them.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: iReport • Opinion

soundoff (40 Responses)
  1. ImNoExpert

    Apathetic agnostic here, I don't know whats going on in the "metaphysical realm", nor do I care. I'm far too concerned about the life I'm living right now that is certain than to worry about a hypothetical post-death scenario.

    June 9, 2010 at 9:18 am |
  2. newhere

    While I notice so many atheists being nasty on forums and blogs, I, as a Christian, can't help but say the same thing about some believers except that they do it in a more or less subtle way. For example, on social networking sites, they will not directly address the person they are in disagreement with. Instead, they will find a bible verse and use it to hint at others. Such misuse of the bible and its message and is nothing but another form of aggression albeit passive and subtle. It does not do anything but irritate the other party. In the end, you have two disagreeing parties while the other one feeling even more justified to not convert.

    June 6, 2010 at 12:41 am |
    • Gary

      Newhere I agree with most of your points. As an agnostic I shouldnt try to convince others of my beliefs or lack there of. I simply realize earth is billions of years old and religions are for the most part cultural traits learned according to ones geographical family envoirment. I like to think that we call all get along. If a religion calls for conversion or death then I do have a problem.

      June 6, 2010 at 4:42 pm |
  3. Robert Ray

    what was wrong with my last comment

    June 3, 2010 at 9:32 am |
  4. vel

    Ah, always good when disagreement is immediately claimed as "hostile" and as persecution by Christians. I am an atheist and I am here to show that the emperor has no clothes. Theists are all the same, they have no evidence for any magical deity and they all claim to have the only "right" answer on what their god "really meant". As much as they claim only good intentions, people DIE from such primitive and selfish beliefs.

    I am here to expose the hypocrisy of theists when some of them decry science when it dares to show that their myths are wrong but who use the exact same science when it makes them comfy. If someone is converted by the truth, that's great. If someone is turned from their hypocrisy, even better. If one person becomes a more decent human being, rather than hiding behind a "god" that is simply their self-projection so they have some magic invisible friend that confirms that all they do and say is somehow universally "right", that's the best.

    June 2, 2010 at 9:06 am |
    • Boldly

      So the intuition was correct: it is proselytizing – at least on the part of the most aggressive atheists, who claim that the world is persecuted by Christians. Look in the mirror of your own words. If you have any objectivity left at all, any rational thinking, any intellectual honesty, you would be forced to admit that you are doing the exact same thing that you criticize believers for doing.

      "If someone is converted by the truth, that's great. If someone is turned from their hypocrisy, even better." And if someone becomes a more decent human being because he acknowledges that he is not god, then that is the best.

      Do you know where the first hospitals came from? The church. Do you know who first provided free education for the poor? The church. To you know who started the first orphanages to care for the fatherless? The church. Do you know who is running the shelters for the people sleeping on the street? The church. Are you aware that churches did more work in NOLA (and still are) than all the governmental agencies combined?

      The Soviet Union was an avowedly godless society and so is North Korea. Do you really want a piece of that??

      June 2, 2010 at 9:48 am |
    • SueK

      While I do agree with Boldly that vel's post was a tad condescending, it seems like neither side can make a point without slander.
      Boldly, who held the first recorded mass killings in Europe ? The Church. Who prohibited women from working outside their homea and voting ? The Church. Do you really want me to go on ? And your statement that USSR and North Korea are where they are because they are "godless" countries is laughable. The most developed countries in the world are not because of their religion, but in spite of it. When has religion ever supported scientific development ??? Any religion for that matter, not just Christianity !

      June 3, 2010 at 8:01 am |
    • Boldly

      SueK – Oooo. I think I know this one. The first mass killings in Europe were Roman emperors using Christians as torches for the garden parties and throwing them into the arena before lions and gladiators for the sport of those who didn't believe in God.

      And the assertion that Christian nations are more advanced in spite of religion is totally unsupported by facts. Heck, you didn't even offer any evidence for your opinion.

      I will freely admit that the church has been guilty of committing many serious wrongs. The crusades, as just one example, are a blot on Christian history. I do not defend pedophile priests or the sins of others in the church. But that no more invalidates the truth of Christianity than does the Piltdown Man, the Nebraska Man or any other deliberate hoaxes by rogue members of the scientific community invalidate all scientists.

      June 3, 2010 at 11:43 pm |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.