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10 things the Belief Blog learned in its first year
June 8th, 2011
01:01 PM ET

10 things the Belief Blog learned in its first year

By Dan Gilgoff, CNN.com Religion Editor

(CNN) - In case you were wondering about all the balloons and cake: CNN’s Belief Blog has just marked its first birthday.

After publishing 1,840 posts and sifting through 452,603 comments (OK, we may have missed one or two) the Belief Blog feels older than its 12 months would suggest. But it also feels wiser, having followed the faith angles of big news stories, commissioned lots of commentary and, yes, paid attention to all those reader comments for a solid year.

10 things we've learned:

1. Every big news story has a faith angle. Even the ordeal of 33 Chilean miners trapped underground for more than two months. Even the attempted assassination of Arizona congresswoman Gabby Giffords. Even March Madness. Even - well, you get the point.

2. Atheists are the most fervent commenters on matters religious. This became apparent immediately after the Belief Blog's first official post last May, which quickly drew such comments as:

acerider
Can we have a fairy tale blog too?

Sunil
This is nothing but America moving away from its wondrous spirit of Apollo 11 into a mindset of the perpetually intellectually challenged.
I think there was some news today about scientists having created the first artificial cell. That should have been a HUGE story. And yet, what do we get? A faith blog. Pathetic.

Rachel
This blog is terrifying. It's amazing how much power the radical religious right is amassing in our country right now. If I can't have some legislation, can I at least have some news that does not cater to zealots?

Those early comments presaged an avalanche of alternately humorous and outraged atheist responses on virtually everything the Belief Blog publishes. They're more evidence that atheists are coming out of the closet to trumpet their disbelief, argue with the faithful and evangelize their godlessness. (It's worth noting that the Belief Blog does plenty of atheism stories.)

3. People are still intensely curious about the Bible, its meaning and its origins.

It's an ancient tome, but more than any other book in the Western tradition (with the Quran being the lone exception), the Bible still fascinates us. And it still feeds our most heated debates. In February, a guest post here arguing that the Bible is more ambiguous on homosexuality than traditionally thought elicited more than 4,000 comments. A response post insisting that the Bible clearly condemns homosexuality brought in an equal number of comments - and was the most popular story on CNN.com on the day it was published.

Other Belief Blog pieces about biblical scholarship - including a recent offering about biblical misquotations - have also caught fire. More of us may be reading it on iPhones these days, but the Good Book still matters a lot more than the popular culture lets on.

4.   Most Americans are religiously illiterate. Despite the appetite for stories and commentary about the Bible, most Americans know little about it. A huge Pew survey released in September found that most Americans scored 50 percent or less on a quiz measuring knowledge of the Bible, world religions and what the Constitution says about religion in public life. Ironically, atheists and agnostics scored best. How did you do on the quiz?

5. It's impossible to understand much of the news without knowing something about religion. Why did the Egyptian revolution happen on a Friday? Why was Osama bin Laden's body buried so quickly after he was killed? Why did Afghan rioters kill seven United Nations workers in April? You simply can't answer those questions without bringing in religion.

6.  Regardless of where they fit on the spectrum, people want others to understand what they believe. That goes for pagans, fundamentalist Mormons, Native Americans, atheists - everyone.

7. Americans still have an uneasy relationship with Islam. Nearly 10 years after the September 11 attacks provoked many Americans to pay attention to Islam for the first time, much of the country is still somewhat uncomfortable about the religion, which counts 1.5 billion followers worldwide.

The biggest domestic religion story in the Belief Blog's young life was probably last year's opposition to a proposed Islamic Center and mosque near New York's ground zero. And with the 10-year anniversary of the 9/11 attacks approaching, domestic tensions around Islam may flare again. The Arab Spring, meanwhile is raising weighty questions about Islam's role in post-autocratic regimes, guaranteeing the religion - and its relationship with the U.S. - will be one of the world's big stories for years to come.

8. God may not prevent natural disasters, but religion is always a big part of the response. We see it play out every time Mother Nature delivers a punishing blow, from March's Japan earthquake and tsunami to the recent tornado that flattened much of Joplin, Missouri.

9. Apocalyptic movements come and go. The May 21st doomsdayers drew loads of interest, largely thanks to a massive ad campaign, but they're hardly original.

10. Most Americans don't know that President Barack Obama is a Christian. It's ironic, since church-based community organizing led him to politics and since his close relationship with a pastor almost sunk his presidential campaign, but that's what a Pew poll found last year.

Only about a third of Americans correctly identified Obama's religion, while nearly one in five said he's a Muslim. Another irony: The longer Obama's been in office, the smaller the proportion of Americans who can correctly name his faith. As the 2012 presidential race approaches, this story bears watching, since views of candidates' religion influence voting patterns.

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Comments • Technology • Trends

soundoff (1,520 Responses)
  1. SimpleReally

    I'd like to congratulate CNN and the moderators of this blog on it's 1 year anniversary.

    Any place where reasonable people can get together and discuss differences should be a good thing.

    I am not shocked at the lack of knowledge amongst believers... It seems pretty universal from my experience.

    Maybe less proselytising and more studying would save both believers and non-believers a lot of grief...lol

    June 9, 2011 at 8:20 am |
    • Jim Casy

      True...but quiet and humble study aren't really the point, are they? Otherwise all religions would be limited to monastic style enclaves of the faithful, rather than mega-churches, billboards proclaiming judgment day, etc. Just think how peaceful that would be for believers and non-believers alike!

      June 9, 2011 at 9:58 am |
    • Steve (the real one)

      @ Simplereally! Proselytising is a key component of my faith. You know, the go and make disciples thing?

      @Jim Casy: I too take issue with SOME mega churches and pastors who would rather pose and count coin rather than do what they where chartered to do!

      June 9, 2011 at 11:36 am |
    • SimpleReally

      @Steve.... there in lies a problem... are you qualified enough to proselytise? Jesus chose his disciples directly, in person. Surely you aren't qualified to make disciples (your words) or are you now saying you are on the same level as Christ? I have never met a prosletytising Christian whose knowledge of the Bible wasn't seriously flawed by indoctrination and lack of true study.

      @Jim Casy... true. That is why I pray... God please save me from your followers...lol

      June 9, 2011 at 8:30 pm |
    • Steve (the real one)

      SimpleReally

      @Steve.... there in lies a problem... are you qualified enough to proselytise? Jesus chose his disciples directly, in person. Surely you aren't qualified to make disciples (your words) or are you now saying you are on the same level as Christ? I have never met a prosletytising Christian whose knowledge of the Bible wasn't seriously flawed by indoctrination and lack of true study.
      ---------
      No problem at all! To answer your question, are you qualified enough to proselytise?! The answer is a solid YES! Am I perfect ? No! Was any of the disciples perfect, No! Perhaps you fail to understand I am not making disciples to follwer me but to follow Christ! So yes I am fully qualified!

      Now as for your last statement "I have never met a prosletytising Christian whose knowledge of the Bible wasn't seriously flawed by indoctrination and lack of true study". I'm sorry but you have shown no qualification to make that statement!

      June 10, 2011 at 12:20 pm |
  2. crizlunati

    The black and white views of religion (faithful vs. atheist) is narrow-minded. Has anyone ever considered what the evolution of religion will be? Consider this – right now, there is a melding of ideas between Buddhism and Quantum Physics. This is by far the cutting edge of religion – or, how I would rather put it, spirituality. (for more insight, read "The Quantum and the Lotus"). Conservatism is the strongest cause for why we still have the religions of yesteryear. You cannot blame humankind for holding on to archaic ideas of the metaphysical because that is how we are hardwired to learn – from the past. In my opinion, Atheism is just a starting point. Once a person rids itself of the archaic, that person falls into a depression due to the disconnect associated with believing they are just carnal. I went through this in my early twenties. With the motivation to find truth (and being inclined to the sciences), I started to create a foundation around science and atheism. Yet, it was Quantum Physics that guided me into the realm of Buddhism. They are two sides of the same coin. I hope that more people find what I have found for if they do, they will once again begin to love each other for they are the same thing.

    June 9, 2011 at 7:58 am |
    • John Richardson

      There's nothing narrow minded about atheism and there are a lot of people in the quantum community who are atheists.

      June 9, 2011 at 8:33 am |
    • William Demuth

      You know when you were 20 and thought you were worthless?

      YOU WERE RIGHT!

      Now go do what you were considering, and spare us any more drivel!

      June 9, 2011 at 8:37 am |
    • Jesus Quits Religion and Takes Up the Banjo Instead

      I've been an atheist for decades, and I have still not fallen into that depression thing you are talking about. I have consistently been happier for having shed all the chains of religion. I have never heard of other atheists becoming depressed after their conversion.

      I hate to say it, but you were probably just depressive and made the mistake of projecting the cause onto your beliefs.

      June 9, 2011 at 9:41 am |
    • LinCA

      A recent study showed that atheists have better sex. It also showed that when religious people shed their faith their sex lives improve greatly.

      June 9, 2011 at 10:34 am |
    • crizlunati

      Atheism is just a stepping stone out of the mythical religions. You will eventually see this. Guaranteed. By the way, anyone that reacts strongly to my comments is likely just projecting their frustration with the emptiness caused by atheism. Until you can point to where your mind is, you'll never understand what I'm saying.

      June 9, 2011 at 4:22 pm |
  3. Faith

    If this commentary could lead one person to explore and open-mindedly do a true study of the Bible, then much has been accomplished. You are so correct that most people have an idea of the Bible, usually pre-conceived, but know so little about what is written. Understanding the Hebrew and Greek language is a plus in understanding the context, but not a must if you are a seeker of truth and not prejudice toward religion. The challenge is being a true student, not influenced by belief or disbelief. Your point that nothing happens in the world without the influence or after-thought of religion is so true, like it or not. A study of the Bible, helps with understanding the world today and how the history of nations have come to be whether you agree or disagree – history is history.

    June 9, 2011 at 7:55 am |
    • William Demuth

      Faith

      I have read your rag, and it sickens me. It is lies from one end to the other, designed to entrap simple minded people who can accept basic truths.

      So spare me the BULL##IT

      June 9, 2011 at 8:47 am |
    • LinCA

      @Faith.

      I agree. I truly hope that more people will critically read their bibles; all of it. It's the surest way to atheism.

      June 9, 2011 at 10:37 am |
  4. Byrd

    I did find it interesting, but not surprising that atheists and agnostics scored higher on the religion quiz. The reason probably being that they tend to ask more probing questions rather than relying strictly on the superficiality of faith. With faith you're basically in a subservient role and are simply required to accept the unacceptable in the belief that mankind is incapable of understanding or comprehending that which is often called the Infinite, and that's something many of us reject completely, preferring instead to view ourselves as full and active participants in this curious condition called Existence.

    June 9, 2011 at 7:51 am |
  5. Fidei Coticula Crux

    Religion is like a Supermarket. Picture yourself in a vast supermarket that is fully stocked. Yet instead of selling food, this supermarket sells religions. The departments are all the same but have taken on symbolic meaning. For example, the meat department sells Judaism, representing the animal sacrifice needed for blood atonement. The cereal aisle is where Hinduism is found since cereal boxes often feature characters. “A different God in each Box! Collect all 330,000,000!” In the baking goods aisle Islam is for sale since all the other foods started with this stuff but became corrupted when it was baked. New Age religion is found in the candy section since the power behind both is in how appealing they are. Dead religions, beliefs no one holds anymore like Greek Mythology, Molech worship, and golden calves, are found in the frozen food section. Christianity, with all its scenes in gardens and Agricultural parables, is in the produce department. Mind sciences are available in the magazine aisle. There is a person sitting in an empty shopping cart pushing himself around the store – a Buddhist, of course. There is another person who can’t find anything in the store at all – an atheist. Some shoppers are strictly vegetarian, some eat only meat, but all the diets are of equal value. They all basically do the same thing – feed you. In charge of the checkout counter is death itself. After your selection is made, you pay with your life. Whether there is anything outside the exit door and what happens there is the big question. – Doug Powell

    June 9, 2011 at 7:15 am |
    • Byrd

      Nice response.

      June 9, 2011 at 7:40 am |
    • William Demuth

      Doug

      Your analogy would be fine if all the stuff in the store were free and safe.

      Alas it is not. What one man buys is to often paid for by another. Some wont pat taxes, so others pay more,

      Frequently, one customer tries to ban the foods of the others, and the Deli and the Frozen Food sections make war with each other every few weeks.

      Then there are the guys in the meat market who molest children and hide behind the counter while their buddies look the other way

      Then we have the guys in the soda isle, who shake up their Pepsi, and give it to some kid to open on a bus in Tel Aviv.

      Stores that sell poison should be boycotted, closed, or burnt to the ground.

      We non believers tried the live and let live path, and we got ripped off, so now it's time to fight back

      June 9, 2011 at 9:05 am |
    • Bucky Ball

      Suggest you go shopping elsewhere.

      June 9, 2011 at 12:11 pm |
    • Finger Puppet

      Then there are those who walked up and down the aisles and marveled at all the crazies shopping there, and decided, while some things looked good, that the prices are ridiculous, and think to (for) themselves "I think I'll go to the Farmer's Market", and remind themselves that just because they stopped by today, they are not forced to buy anything here, and can even go "Grow their own", given a little time. They realize that just walking out may subject themselves to ridicule, (being name-called an "atheist"), even though that may or may not be true, but are willing to undergo that, because they know that driving away with their wallet intack is better than being fleeced. They also recognize that eating all junk food is not such a good idea, and that "all the diets" are NOT of equal value, and that they can go through the self-check-out if they don't like the check out clerk. Then they think to (for) themselves that if the price for shopping at this store is that "you pay with your life" the other shoppers are truly fools to be here, because what does happen outside the door is that they are all going to be stone cold dead, and that there is absolutely not one shred of evidence to the contrary. These skeptical shoppers also know that many of the shoppers come here because it makes them "feel good", so they just smile and drive away.

      June 9, 2011 at 2:27 pm |
  6. BS

    So two things the belief blog has taught me. First, you can pray for anything, but not pray away the gay. I was not aware that prayer had a list of acceptable and unacceptable subjects. Second, CNN thinks running a couple extremely small atheist stories means they are fair and even on the subject of god vs. no god. Which is obviously BS but they like to toot their own horn, I am honestly way more interested in the acceptable subjects for prayer thing. This is totally new to me, I thought prayer absolved all sin.

    June 9, 2011 at 6:58 am |
    • William Demuth

      Can I pray away all the Christians?

      June 9, 2011 at 8:38 am |
  7. Katie

    I think I'll print this blog and use it for toilet paper. It's about all it's good for....

    June 9, 2011 at 6:09 am |
    • Juan2Post

      Thanks for adding to it. We need it to be longer so it will fill up a whole roll.

      June 9, 2011 at 7:58 am |
  8. Diana

    I'm a catholic and thrilled to be one. I love my faith and my church. I am happy to find this blog...not that I was looking for one but I think it's great to be able to, once in a while, express my opinion about religion and about different stories related directly to it. I thank and congratulate the editors of this blog on it's first anniversary.

    June 9, 2011 at 4:05 am |
  9. Matt

    They got number 2 right, that's for sure. I'm a Christian, but no doubt the Atheists will let their words be heard just as loudly as everyone wants to be.

    And it's their right to be heard! Everyone has a right to voice their own opinion, no matter what religion, race, age, or shape your in.

    June 9, 2011 at 4:01 am |
    • Juan2Post

      yes, but nobody has a right to violate the First Amendment for religious reasons. That's kind of a big problem here in the USA these days. And nobody should be allowed to abuse children for religious reasons. That happens a lot too.
      To be frank, I am convinced that some people should not be allowed to have children. The reasons should be self-evident, much like the potential rights of the potential children. Some people have no business raising kids or even being around them.
      And when you mix religion into all that, religious "freedom" does nothing based upon reason but upon dogma and thus deserves no secular expression as a right.
      That sounds a little difficult to wade through, but I am totally serious. Religious freedom does not imply the right to a secular expression of religious beliefs. It only implies a right to religious expression without creating a secular right.
      That means no secular expression of religion is supported by the Const-itution.
      Our government is not even supposed to make any laws respecting a religion, much less make religious laws or laws specifically meant to legislate religious-based morality. Of course religious people don't see it that way. They think everything should be subordinate to their religious views, values, desires, etc. but that would be violating the First Amendment.
      And like anything else in this world, "freedom" stops where the other person's rights begin. "Freedom of expression" is not an "anything goes" proposition. There are limits on that freedom so many abuse so freely.
      Religious laws, if you insist on making them, will only tear down the wall of separation between ALL religions and the state.
      If you want to see a bloodbath, just let religious extremists run this country according to their OWN precepts and watch as groups of people become religious and political prisoners at the same time.
      You could be arrested for not "toeing the religious line" no matter what your religion or lack thereof.
      And with no reason to rely upon evidence, as religions are wont to do, any claim can be made and people killed, tortured, imprisoned, etc. because of a claim that was just made up in the first place for personal reasons.
      Religious people who want a theocracy have no idea how bad an idea that is, I guess, or they wouldn't have it.
      A religious leader has only to say something and no one asks for proof. Make that person a leader of a country as well and you have a person with no external checks or balances to curb the inevitable abuses of power.
      But these should be self-evident reasons to everyone anyway. Yet who will dare to question their fellow believers?
      Many religious people look upon any questioning as being extremely rude. Even a simple question can turn them purple with rage and ready to kill, damn, and castigate anyone who goes against their supposed deity.

      June 9, 2011 at 6:37 am |
    • rickinmo

      @Juan2Post Right on! The problem is that religious people think they're right and if they could run the world and impose their beliefs on others, the world would be a better place because they're right. Yet they would criticize any theocracy that has different beliefs and they don't see the similarity because they're right. We have numerous different religious groups in the US and none of these religious groups will satisfy the beliefs of another. Religious zealots in the US are no different than religious zealots in Iran, Iraq, etc. It's the same thing with a different face. Many people immigrated to the US to escape religious persecution. Yet, religious zealots would impose their beliefs on others because they're right. It's the same old story! They would never consider that they're wrong.

      June 9, 2011 at 8:01 am |
    • Sean

      @Matt
      Nice post! – An atheist.

      June 10, 2011 at 1:09 pm |
  10. obamalosers

    You don't want religion in the classroom, yet you are the most prominent on the "faith blog"? Hmmm. Just so I can get a clear picture of what atheists/agnostics believe, what determines right and wrong?

    June 9, 2011 at 3:54 am |
    • SilentBoy741

      A very simple formula: "If I agree with it, that defines 'right'. If I disagree, it's wrong". This formula is applied massively on both sides. Very few will concede that a concept can be 'right' even if contradicts what they believe, nor suffer the right of the concept to exist, or the people that support it. This has been a stalling point in the progress of civilization for thousands of years, and I see no cure on the horizon.

      June 9, 2011 at 5:09 am |
    • Juan2Post

      To judge from history, sociology, psychology, and a few other things, defining what is "right" and "wrong" depend entirely upon the moral relativism that humans have always used throughout history.
      Before you jump down my throat, any religious text is by definition a morally relativistic guide in and of itself.
      There are no moral absolutes. The closest we can come to built-in morals are the primal sociological instincts we retain from our primitive ancestors. Anything else is contrived out of whole cloth.

      June 9, 2011 at 6:46 am |
    • Joe Hern

      I'm surprised the 1st year looking back didn't recognize the most childish immature atheist still knows more about a logical flow of epistemology than the most seasoned theist.

      June 9, 2011 at 7:38 am |
    • Jesusfreaker

      What determines right and wrong? Certainly not the Bible. It's one of the most immoral pieces of literature that you can find.

      June 9, 2011 at 7:41 am |
    • COlady

      Well, apparently religion does NOT determine right from wrong. More violence has happened, and continues to happen, in the name of/because of belief in a "God" than any other reason in history. The Crusades, The Inquisition, modern day terrorism, Israel/Palestine, ...

      June 9, 2011 at 7:46 am |
    • William Demuth

      We are just here to trace your IP address and add you to the list of people we need to "re-educate"!

      June 9, 2011 at 8:40 am |
    • William Demuth

      Cognition.

      You know, kind of like THINKING!

      I understand you aren't capable of independent thought, but alot of us are.

      June 9, 2011 at 8:54 am |
    • Sean

      @obamalosers
      Your question implies you are incapable of deciding right from wrong without your religion, which says more about you than any answer from an atheist.

      June 10, 2011 at 1:12 pm |
  11. KoolKeithRox

    Hey! 😀 The party's over here! 😀 😉

    [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wRadlJH67D0&w=640&h=390]

    June 9, 2011 at 3:30 am |
    • KoolKeithRox

      that one is called Atheism vs Christianity

      June 9, 2011 at 3:34 am |
  12. Jacob

    Of course atheists and agnostics answered the questions about religion correctly more often. The main different between an atheist/agnostic and a religious person is the former searches for truth, while the latter allows other to feed their version of truth to them.

    June 9, 2011 at 3:20 am |
  13. Bill Sargent

    Atheists may respond alot because they feel that they need to be heard above all the nonsense especially when a major news organization devotes an entire section to religion on it's website. News agencies used to be unbiased. They had no opinion. They just told us the facts that we wanted to hear and let us be the judge. They didn't bring Jesus in to our livingrooms when we turned on the TV. Sunday mornings were for that and religions TV channels were for that. I seriously lost a lot of respect for CNN when they created the belief blog. Because as much as they'd like to talk about how many posts they've made that were positive to atheism, the majority of posts were negative and the only posts that they showed support for were of a Christian nature. So we Atheists will continue to speak up when news organizations begin to go beyond just giving us the news, and begin preaching to us about God.

    June 9, 2011 at 3:11 am |
    • Dan

      YES. It's truly pathetic. CNN is just pandering to the weak minded in this country. CNN is not the place for such inane dribble. Then again, if they'll post it, we can come on here and blast the idiots on every story...so in some ways it's good.

      June 9, 2011 at 3:42 am |
    • Matt

      Your offended because they created a blog that speaks of religious news? News it news, this is just another category.

      June 9, 2011 at 3:58 am |
  14. For Edward

    Edward from England:

    Hi, this is for you friend

    [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qgHz1QtxJ_c&w=640&h=390]

    June 9, 2011 at 3:04 am |
    • Dan

      What a sad waste of time this man is...and all the people who spent hours of their life listening to it. Probably paying him for it. He was probably laughing all the way to the bank. Or trying to be "famous" ...! Have followers! A wannabe-jesus, if you will.

      June 9, 2011 at 3:40 am |
    • Susan

      Dan,

      Believe it or not, there actually are people in the world that genuinely do care about other people. And Adrian Rogers, as anyone knows who listens to him, is certainly a man who cares deeply, and is not at all like the way you have just portrayed. He is a very good man indeed.

      June 9, 2011 at 3:49 am |
    • Pastor Adrian Rogers Loves You! Send Money NOW ! ! !

      Rev. Rogers has happy words to share! Just call the number on the screen. Operators are standing by. We take cash, check, credit card, ATM cards, check cards, bank wire transfers, and all other forms of payment.

      June 9, 2011 at 9:46 am |
    • Dan

      Well Susan, you may be right. He may be a caring person. But I can't help but doubt the sincerity of anybody who gets up in front of thousands of people (who probably all paid admission)..to tell everybody what "god" thinks. First off, god is imaginary. Secondly, if god was real, there's no way he can know what god wants any more than anybody who reads the bible and other such stupidity. So he's in it for HIMSELF. What's that about beware false prophets? Beware money grubbing preachers.

      June 9, 2011 at 10:48 am |
  15. Edward from England

    Although religion is obviously a complete load of b011ox it seems to me that all religious people feel they need religion in their lives. Be it fear of death, fear of life it's some kind of fear or another that makes them accept this utterly absurd world view. BUT, as much as it would be in the human race's interest to be rational, objective etc. you'll never get the weak minded easily scared people away from the idea, new vulnerable people are born every day. I just believe some people are susceptible to religion the same way some people get scammed again and again. When science finally finds all the answers then religion will have no place in this world. By the way you Americans are crazy with this religious 5h1t, I still can't really understand why. I'm glad atheists are finally coming out, I'm 44 now and I've never believed in god, as I said, just seemed like a load of c7ap from the start. All atheists plugging away at their believing friends will turn the tide, I do this and I've already managed to de-zombie quite a few religiosists. Have a nice day everyone.

    June 9, 2011 at 2:49 am |
    • Dan

      very well said. hence I refer to the religious as sheep. they want to be lead. maybe they're weak? i really don't understand how they believe such sheer stupidity. believe in YOURSELF. real things that you can see. Don't pray for somebody to get help. HELP THEM. ?? !!

      June 9, 2011 at 3:17 am |
    • Juan2Post

      You can't say bollox?

      June 9, 2011 at 6:55 am |
    • rickinmo

      I agree. As the article said, religious people knew less about religion than atheists who scored higher on tests about religion. More proof that religious people don't bother to check facts and believe in something they don't know or understand. Illiterate zealots in the middle east who aren't educated, who fervently believe and are willing to die for their beliefs are further proof. They believe what they were told and never questioned it. It's the same in the US but, religious zealots in the US believe they are right and don't want to be compared to the wrong religious zealots on the other side. It's all the same thing with a different face on it. At least atheists have studied religion and came to the conclusion the claims were not credible. If you're going to believe something–at least know what you believe and why. Stupid is as stupid does!-from the bible of Forest Gump.

      June 9, 2011 at 7:01 am |
  16. bher

    Hahah, cute. But really, if there was an Atheist blog, the religious people would be all over it. That's just how it is.

    June 9, 2011 at 2:38 am |
    • GRB

      I'm a Christian. But I am a Christian because I chose to believe. My fellow believers need to stop trying to be "right" all the time and try being "christian". No wonder we are not welcome in cultural conversation when we approach others with such arrogant, argumentative spirits. To the post that was insistent that Christians would be all over an Atheist blog, I for one would like to see CNN do that. I typically think of Atheism as a rejection of God more than a belief "in" something. I would enjoy seeing what atheist believe by faith...not to argue it...just to better understand one another.

      June 9, 2011 at 7:51 am |
    • Sean

      @GRB
      Very nicely written. – Atheist

      June 10, 2011 at 1:16 pm |
  17. AllOfYouRock! ThanksForTheGoodConversation!

    Good night and sleep tight! And in parting, please do consider this last one...

    [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z2f2Es2FvwU&w=640&h=390]

    June 9, 2011 at 2:33 am |
    • Dan

      this man says nothing. what a waste.

      June 9, 2011 at 2:45 am |
    • The Revenge of the Mildly Angry Kittens From Beyond Hell

      But nothing is what they really want. Go to church and you get nothing. Pray and you get nothing. Hope that God will give you great things and you get nothing.

      June 9, 2011 at 2:51 am |
    • ILoveMetallica

      God is waiting for you.

      June 9, 2011 at 2:52 am |
    • Dan

      think of all the good thing William Lane Craig could be doing with his life instead of speaking about imaginary, eternally unprovable friends. It's actually staggering how much time and energy is wasted on such garbage. Instead of praying for help for victims of natural disasters, all of the materials and labor put into building churches and other religious buildings could house people who really need help. Among many other things of course....!

      June 9, 2011 at 3:04 am |
    • Joe Hern

      Information overload? Really? Wow. He's basically saying "when you get confused, just resort to faith". Unreal. Reminds me of a friend in college who had a Josh McDowell book on his coffee table he just received from his mom. On it was a post it note that said: "Alex, don't analyze it, just read it!". True story.

      June 9, 2011 at 7:44 am |
    • William Lane Craig Loves You! Send Money NOW ! ! !

      I will teach you to stop the information overload, dear friends! All you have to do is stop thinking. And send us your money. That's a perfect Christian – stops all critical thought and sends us money.

      June 9, 2011 at 9:49 am |
  18. Maxx

    "We have NEVER ONCE found a real world question that actually required there to be a God for an answer."

    Except the questions of where do we come from and why are we here and what are we to be doing and to where do we go when we die... We're all still waiting for science to provide these answers, if, it is within the realm of science to explain why as opposed to – what.

    June 9, 2011 at 2:17 am |
    • I_get _it

      Maxx,

      I am sorry if "We don't know... (yet, if ever)" is not satisfactory to you. It is not acceptable to just make things up and call it a day.

      June 9, 2011 at 2:37 am |
    • Juan2Post

      We know where we come from and there is no "why" to our existence. We just exist. To ask "why" is to assume there's a reason without any reason for doing so.
      As for after death, no one has returned to tell us, so take that as you like. It suggests that there is nothing after death, but a lack of information is just that = a lack of information upon which to base anything. All we can do is guess at this point.
      No soul is proven to exist, so that is another baseless assumption. Nothing exists upon which to base such any supposition regarding people having a "soul", although since we are nothing but overly clever animals, if we have a "soul" then it is virtually certain that all animals with the same "soul base" have souls as well.
      Maybe Fido will meet you in the afterlife with a pair of slippers. But there is nothing to suggest an afterlife, so it is all pure conjecture and speculation.

      June 9, 2011 at 7:03 am |
    • rickinmo

      Q. Where do we come from? A. When a mommy and daddy really love each other the mommy has a baby. And then there is evolution but religious people would rather believe in gardens, serpents, forbidden fruit, etc.

      As far as when we die, you can track the body to the grave, crematorium, vault, etc. You're assuming there is something beyond this because you just can't accept facts. We eventually go back to nature just like trees, frogs and tree frogs. That's it. It ends there!

      Thanks for asking such an enlightened question.

      June 9, 2011 at 7:19 am |
    • William Demuth

      Maxx

      Thats just silly. Here is a simple one.

      How can you create a club of child molesters who cheat little old ladies, and not have to pay any taxes.

      You need a God!

      June 9, 2011 at 8:43 am |
    • Diana

      Maxx, I like very much your posts. I wish I had your elocuence but I will simply say that the human begin without God is nothing. God is hope and strength. He is there for us if we want to see him. I do not think science and religion exclude each other. Einstein didn't think so. Actually, he believed in God. So I do not understand those who claim to believe in science only. What do they think about the greatest scientific mind of the 20th century believing in God.

      June 9, 2011 at 4:10 pm |
    • Sean

      Newton was simultaneously a brilliant scientist and a whack-a-doodle.

      June 10, 2011 at 1:18 pm |
  19. Gadflie

    "God did it!" has been a common answer to just about every question at one time or another. What causes thunder? Why does the sun seem to move across the sky? What makes rainbows? Why won't it rain? Why does it rain? etc. etc. etc. But, it is apparently nothing but a cover for our ignorance. The more we know, the less reason we have to use this cover. We have NEVER ONCE found a real world question that actually required there to be a God for an answer.

    June 9, 2011 at 1:52 am |
    • Wrizong!

      Wrong – allow me to introduce you to Sir John Polkinghorne:

      [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QVrT62Ynivg&w=640&h=390]

      June 9, 2011 at 2:11 am |
    • Tim

      Okay then, real word question, Does soul exist? Where does your soul come from? Do you have one? If you believe everything has a reason, and things don't JUST HAPPEN, think about it.

      June 9, 2011 at 2:16 am |
    • SilentBoy741

      "allow me to introduce you to Sir John Polkinghorne"

      Wow, that's exactly what I said to my wife on our honeymoon. What are the odds!?

      June 9, 2011 at 5:14 am |
    • rickinmo

      @Tim That's not a real world question. You can make up something like a soul or a five headed dog but, don't ask me to prove it doesn't exist. That's one of the big problems with religion and belief. Stories and supposed facts are made up, passed down through generations and it becomes part of a belief system even though it has no basis in fact. Look at history. Gods have come and gone since the beginning of time. You're just a believer in the latest and most fashionable god. There is a new god just around the corner. Did you know the story of virgin birth was associated with at least one god that predated Jesus? Learn something about history and you'll see a pattern in belief systems.

      June 9, 2011 at 7:33 am |
    • Sir John Pokinghorne Loves You! Send Money NOW ! ! !

      Oh damn, SilentBoy beat me to it!

      June 9, 2011 at 9:52 am |
  20. cyberCMDR

    Cogito ergo atheist sum

    June 9, 2011 at 1:51 am |
    • Caleb

      What, you can't "think" of what 'atheist' is in latin? You must not be one then you nutter.

      June 9, 2011 at 7:34 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      I've always preferred "coitus ergo sum"

      June 9, 2011 at 3:44 pm |
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About this blog

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.