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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. UmmHeyAtheists DontYouKnowTheDebateIsOver?

    [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=byN38dyZb-k&w=640&h=390]

    June 9, 2011 at 10:32 am |
    • William Demuth

      Is this Anthony Weiners brain??

      June 9, 2011 at 10:35 am |
    • William Lane Craig Loves You! Send Money NOW!!!

      Wow, another intellectual masterpiece! You have to really appreciate a someone so completely stupid that he actually admires these amazingly stupid videos.

      It's just more proof of what studies have said for years: the dumber you are, the more religious you are likely to be.

      June 9, 2011 at 10:47 am |
  2. Matt

    @Jack Richardson
    you said
    Cant prove anythings as "consistent with anything and everything known or yet to be known as occurring in the unviverse? What do you mean, Dude ? There is evidence all around you. But let me guess, you purposely refuse to see it? Right?
    and everything around you testifies there exists evidence of an intelligent designer

    June 9, 2011 at 10:31 am |
    • JohnR

      @Matt Thanks for confirming once again that so many, many believers are simply illiterate boobs incapable of understanding the simplest things. You can't emote your god into existence.

      June 9, 2011 at 11:24 am |
    • Eric G

      @Matt: Can you provide this evidence? Please give some examples.

      June 9, 2011 at 11:26 am |
  3. FairGarden

    Atheists never admit facts. Yester-years and today – the same. They have neither souls or poems.

    June 9, 2011 at 10:31 am |
    • William Demuth

      FairGarden is an Idiot.

      There I just admited one, just for you!

      June 9, 2011 at 10:36 am |
    • Sean

      @FairGarden
      Why admit facts? We have you to invent them.

      June 10, 2011 at 12:56 pm |
  4. FairGarden

    Yes, CNN, thank you for this blog pre-tending to be sym-pa-thetic to religions. I think you really have no interest in spiritual truth but religious issues get a lot of atte-ntion so you decided to include them anyway. I never knew how crazy ignorant American atheists are and how denying secular Americans are until I came to this blog. Your problem is your att-itu-de of scorning Christianity, nothing else. Cleverness and making fun of religions never saves you.

    June 9, 2011 at 10:23 am |
    • William Demuth

      Hey dippy

      If I made a blog called "The Racisim Blog" does that mean it should be pro-racist?

      Belief Blog to me means "come look at what these lunatics believe, so you understand why you have to keep them away from your kids"!

      June 9, 2011 at 10:26 am |
    • Pastafarian

      Fair, The Flying Spaghetti Monster wants you to be happy. Please turn away from your false gods and accept Him into your life. Only through His Noodly appendage will you feel true love.

      June 9, 2011 at 10:28 am |
    • Steve (the real one)

      Pastafarian

      Fair, The Flying Spaghetti Monster wants you to be happy. Please turn away from your false gods and accept Him into your life. Only through His Noodly appendage will you feel true love.
      ---------
      I don't know about feeling love but one thing for sure, after a plate, I 'm feeling full 🙂

      June 9, 2011 at 10:38 am |
    • Steve (the real one)

      @William Demuth
      Belief Blog to me means "come look at what these lunatics believe, so you understand why you have to keep them away from your kids"!
      --------
      Why are you working so hard to be offensive? I mean what did your fellow atheists do to you for you to call them lunatics?

      June 9, 2011 at 10:50 am |
    • William Demuth

      Steve (the real one)

      I am working to encourage thiests to slaughter each other.

      I enjoy the suffering you inflict on each other. I even have my big screen mounted on a crucifix, so all the blood shed can be RIGHT where it belongs.

      No more being passive. Whatever cause wants to inflict pain on believers seems something worth supporting.

      The key is to support ALL of them, and make a few bucks while doing it!

      I just bought stock in a Chinese company that makes neon Jesus figurines coated with toxic paint

      Would you like me to send your kids a few?

      June 9, 2011 at 10:56 am |
    • Steve (the real one)

      William Demuth
      I just bought stock in a Chinese company that makes neon Jesus figurines coated with toxic paint
      Would you like me to send your kids a few?
      --------
      Please do! I imagine you are handling these with no gloves and no dust mask, right? That would account for some of your previous comments! 😦

      June 9, 2011 at 11:01 am |
    • William Demuth

      Nah Stevie, I got em being packaged in South Carolina!

      This way I cut dental coverage, and nobody notices!

      June 9, 2011 at 11:07 am |
    • Steve (the real one)

      William Demuth
      Nah Stevie, I got em being packaged in South Carolina!
      This way I cut dental coverage, and nobody notices!
      ------
      Oh well I guess a job is a job!

      June 9, 2011 at 11:11 am |
    • Steve (the real one)

      William Demuth

      Nah Stevie, I got em being packaged in South Carolina!
      This way I cut dental coverage, and nobody notices!
      -------
      Well Mr Bill, you are as nutty as a Christmas fruitcake (or is it fruity as a christmas nutcake)? Either way very entertaining! Gotta laugh sometimes, right?

      June 9, 2011 at 11:16 am |
    • William Demuth

      Yes Steve!

      My records say you and I have danced this dance before.

      Always a pleasure to blaspheme with you!

      June 9, 2011 at 11:22 am |
    • Eric G

      @Steve & William:

      That's enough! Don't make me have to pull over!

      June 9, 2011 at 11:24 am |
    • Steve (the real one)

      William Demuth

      Yes Steve!

      My records say you and I have danced this dance before.
      Always a pleasure to blaspheme with you!
      -----
      1. Don't mind dancing with you long as I lead!
      2. Keeping records? What are you, CIA?
      3. I'll take a pass on the blaspheming but chatting with you is cool!

      June 9, 2011 at 11:26 am |
    • Steve (the real one)

      Eric G
      @Steve & William:
      That's enough! Don't make me have to pull over!
      ------
      He started it!

      June 9, 2011 at 11:30 am |
    • William Demuth

      I just maintain a list of IP addresses. I call it the book of life.

      It shall be used when my Agnostic Jihadi's assume control and hand our country back to the indians

      GERONIMA AKBAR

      Death to the infidel cowboys

      Blessings on our casinos!

      June 9, 2011 at 11:33 am |
    • Eric G

      @William:

      "GERONIMA AKBAR"?

      Wasn't he the leader of the Rebel Fleet in The Empire Strikes Back?

      Sorry, that was Admiral Akbar.

      My mistake....

      June 9, 2011 at 11:44 am |
    • William Demuth

      Eric G

      He is a part of the rebel allegiance as well!

      It seems Science Fiction and Religious Fiction are at war through out the galaxy!

      June 9, 2011 at 11:51 am |
  5. Rainer Braendlein

    Refering to point 2 of CNN article:

    I think, there are merely a few true atheists, but most people want to create their own, special God, who acts according to their will. They want to be God's God.

    However, I can imagine, a lot of comments against Christianity are not written by atheists, but by members of antichristian beliefs or cults. They have a certain God, but hate the triune God, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.

    As long as this sort of people just writes comments and doesn't use physical violence against Christians, I can stand it. I would not wish that they take over rule.

    http://www.confessingchurch.wordpress,.com

    June 9, 2011 at 10:19 am |
    • John Richardson

      Oh joy. Church boy is back with his fevered fantasies.

      June 9, 2011 at 10:22 am |
    • Electric Larry

      Anti-Christ cults!?!?!?!?! Really? You actually believe that? WOW ! ! !

      June 9, 2011 at 10:30 am |
    • William Demuth

      We shall not use violence against you.

      We shall merely encourage the other cults to do so for us. Make one group of crazies slaughter the others!

      I want you ALL to find the whole life after death thing is a lie, and I want you to find out as QUICKLY as possible!.

      Even you must admit the plan seems to be working!

      June 9, 2011 at 10:31 am |
  6. Steve (the real one)

    Honestly I have learned from the atheists here. Until 8-9 months ago I did not know what Pascal's wager was. I will say mostly the conversation is good and challenging. We as Christians should not fear being challenged. That is a good thing as it should send you back to the Bible and help you better understand why you believe what you do! The name calling and arrogance has been from both side! There are good, polite, listening people both sides and there is misunderstanding on both sides! Christians, use this blog, use the questions and challenges to strenghen your faith! Don't be afraid to learn from others, even those outside the faith! Thank you CNN for this blog!

    June 9, 2011 at 10:01 am |
  7. FairGarden

    And Hindus are not even so morally bankrupt or hedonistic like secular Americans are.

    June 9, 2011 at 9:53 am |
    • The Really Angry Kittens from Beyond Hell

      Calling Bellevue! Calling Bellevue! FairGarden/Justina/Frederica/Adelina didn't get her meds yet! Code blue! Zap her with lithium immediately!

      June 9, 2011 at 10:07 am |
    • William Demuth

      You ever seen some of them Hindu temples.

      Giant statues of genitalia!

      I kid you not. If you wanna party, hang with the dot heads!

      June 9, 2011 at 10:09 am |
  8. FairGarden

    CNN = Hindus controlled by the secular Jews

    June 9, 2011 at 9:51 am |
    • Pastafarian

      FairGarden, it sounds more and more like you need to put your faith into the Flying Spaghetti Monsters. Only He can lead you to salvation.

      June 9, 2011 at 10:10 am |
    • William Demuth

      This chick is a trip and a half!

      Paranoia type I suppose, like Joan Of Ark but on foodstamps and pregnant when you were like fourteen?

      YEEHAAAWWW Jesus loves me, no matter how ignorant or inbred I am!

      June 9, 2011 at 10:20 am |
    • FairGarden

      Secular Americans love the Eastern spirituality because it offers no justice and they think they can get away with any evil stupidity without getting any consequences. A fatal mistake for both this life and afterlife.

      June 9, 2011 at 10:42 am |
    • Pastafarian

      Fair, you are confused. You are trapped within a tiny room devoted to god, when outside that room is a giant, beautiful playground that was created for you by the Flying Spaghetti Monster. Please, accept Him into your life, allow Him to touch you with His Noodly appendage, and see the world He has waiting for you.

      June 9, 2011 at 10:46 am |
  9. FairGarden

    Secular Americans = mother nature abusers

    June 9, 2011 at 9:48 am |
    • William Demuth

      If she is my mother, I shall abuse her as I see fit!

      Besides, it seems to me Mother Nature likes to kill Red Necks, not non believers.

      Red Necks in trailer parks are like bocce ball to her!

      June 9, 2011 at 10:11 am |
  10. William Demuth

    What a militant athiest is, is someone who encourages indoctrinated people to kill each other so the scourge of stupidity is purged from our gene pool!

    It is working quite well!

    Give to the Likkud AND Hammas. Give to the IRA and the Loyalists.

    Encourage our Christian soldiers to go and fight, while sleeping with their wives and stealing their jobs.

    You see, dead indoctrinated people are a good thing, so lets keep whiping the wackos into a frenzy.

    June 9, 2011 at 9:48 am |
    • Gary LM

      @William Demuth – Um, giving money to terrorist orgs like Hamas is highly illegal, so I can't really recommend that idea as being a good one.
      So you might be pulling a bit of a long bow at everyone's expense, but not if everyone starts going to fed prison, hm?
      If you want them to kill each other, you need to do it a different way, I think. But suit yerself.
      Thanks for the laughs, too. You're a hoot.

      June 9, 2011 at 11:07 am |
    • William Demuth

      Thanks I am here all week.

      And if you want to donate to Hammas, just buy a fallafel in Jersey City, or gas ANYWHERE in Irvington, and they get a cut!

      But avoid the Hummus, I think that is where they put the guys from the FBI

      June 9, 2011 at 11:11 am |
  11. Matt

    @mark from the river
    Science can not disprove the existence of God.

    June 9, 2011 at 9:35 am |
    • John Richardson

      Science can't disprove the existence of any hypothetical enti-ty that is presumed in advanced to be consistent with anything and everything known or yet to be known as occurring in the universe. From this silly exercise in logical tail spinning follows exactly NOTHING claimed about the personal gods of the world's religions.

      June 9, 2011 at 9:42 am |
    • William Demuth

      We don't have to.

      All we have to do is ignore idiots, and he will magicaly disapear.

      Just like all the dead Gods before him, it is the destiny of Jesus to be relegated to second tier super hero staus, just like Thor.

      If he is lucky, once we cast his scrawny rear end aside, we MIGHT name some car after him, like we did for Mercury!

      June 9, 2011 at 10:40 am |
    • LinCA

      @William Demuth. You said:"All we have to do is ignore idiots [...]""

      You're not very good at ignoring, are you? 😉

      June 9, 2011 at 10:52 am |
    • David Johnson

      @Matt

      You said: "Science can not disprove the existence of God."

      As John Richardson pointed out, god cannot be proven to not exist.

      Actually, since it is the believers that are positing a god, it would be their burden to supply evidence that god does indeed exist.

      Extraordinary claims, requires extraordinary evidence – Carl Sagan

      No one can prove a negative. I can't prove that god does not exist. I also can't prove Santa Claus does not exist. But in life, we decide what is real and not real, based on what we feel is probable.

      In the real world, any object that provides no evidence for its existence is classified as imaginary.

      I think we can rule out god, in the same way we rule out any other mythological creature. We can't prove vampires or werewolves or fairies don't exist. But, I bet you would agree, that they are not real. They just don't fit in with reality.

      So, we can look for attributes of god, that should provide evidence that He exists.
      If positive evidence is found, we should conclude that god probably exists.
      If positive evidence is not found, then we should conclude that the Christian God, beyond a reasonable doubt, does not exist. Just like Santa. Just like fairies. Just like vampires.

      One of the most compelling reasons for rejecting god, is the fact that there are so many versions of god(s). Some, not even human (The elephant-faced god – Ganesha etc.). Each religion, each denomination of each religion, defines god's wants differently. All of these religions cannot be right. But they can all be wrong.
      Perhaps man has not yet found the one true god, or perhaps He does not exist.

      Why would the Christian god leave room for confusion? If He exists, wouldn't He want everyone to know He exists and is the one true god?

      1 Timothy 2: 3 – 5 says the Christian god does desire this:

      3For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour;
      4Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.
      5For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus;

      1. If the Christian God existed, this fact would obvious.
      So obvious in fact, that EVERYONE, or nearly everyone would believe in His existence. There would be only worshipers of the one true god.

      2. The Christian God's existence is not, in fact, obvious.
      This fact is evidenced by the fact that ~ 68% of the world's population are not Christians.

      3. Therefore, the Christian God is very unlikely to exist.

      In the same vein as the above, notice how many denominations of Christianity there are (~ 34,000). Each denomination can show you scripture, that "proves" they understand the wants of Jesus/god.
      All of the denominations could not be correctly interpreting the bible. Many are contradictory.
      Many of these denominations believe only their members will be saved.

      If the Christian god exists, and He is all knowing and all powerful and all good, why didn't He provide a bible that could not be misinterpreted? That everyone's comprehension of His wants would be the same?

      ambiguity – a word or expression that can be understood in two or more possible ways : an ambiguous word or expression.

      1. If the Christian god exists, He would want everyone to know His wants, without ambiguity.
      Otherwise, why would He have bothered supplying man with a book of His wants?

      2. The bible god provided, is ambiguous.
      This fact is evidenced by there being 34,000 different denominations of Christianity.

      3. Therefore, the Christian god is very unlikely to exist.

      Another reason to reject the idea of a god, is because there appears to be no need for one. Each hour of each day, science fills another gap in man's knowledge, that god once filled. So far, science has found no need for a god.
      We don't want to postulate what isn't necessary.

      John 3:16 – For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

      If the Christian god so loves the world, why does he allow / cause so much suffering? Disease, famine, floods, earthquakes etc. ad infinitum, ad nauseum. ?

      I can explain the existence of these horrors as being due to natural causes, and evolution but my explanation fails when I include an all loving Creator in the equation. I keep getting a "Can't divide by zero" error.

      Christians say their god is omnibenevolent (all good); omnipotent (all powerful); omniscient ( all knowing)

      1. If the Christian god is all knowing, He would be aware of all the suffering on earth.

      2. If the Christian god is all good, He would want to rid the world of suffering / evil.

      3. If the Christian god is all powerful, He would be able to rid the world of suffering / evil.

      4. Yet, evil persists.

      Therefore, The Christian god is very unlikely to exist.

      The Christian god is said to be omniscient and omnipotent. But these attributes are not compatible.

      If the Christian god is all knowing, if the future can be known, then even god would be bound by events in the future. Everything would be predetermined.

      1. If the Christian god, knows what will happen in the future, and does something else...then, He is not all knowing.

      2. If the Christian god knows the future and cannot change it, then He is not all powerful.

      3. The attributes attributed to the Christian god conflict with one another. The Christian god cannot exist.

      Evolution, with its evidence of transitional fossils, geological column, DNA evidence, vestigial organs etc., is very damning to the biblical Creation Story.

      If god created all the organisms on the planet, then He must have created even the diseases that have caused and are causing so much death and misery for humans and animals. He would have had to fashion the tick and the flea. The mosquito and blood flukes. And worms that bore into a child's eye.

      How could an all good god do such a thing? Why would He spend His time creating gruesome things to cause human suffering? Yet, these horrors exist. And if god didn't create them, who did?

      Evolution explains the diversity of the planet's organisms, including the pathogens and the parasites that have caused so much human death and misery.

      If the Creation Story is a fable, then Adam and Eve did not exist.

      If Adam and Eve did not exist, then there was no original sin.

      If there was no original sin, then it cannot be the reason god allows so much suffering in the world. We can dump the guilt trip.

      If there was no original sin, then there was no need for a redeemer.

      If there was no redeemer, then Christianity is a based on a false premise.

      If the Creation story is a myth, then there is no reason to believe any of the bible.

      If we evolved, there is no soul –> no afterlife –> no need of a heaven or hell.

      LOL, which is why the Evangelicals fight so hard against evolution.
      Evolution is the Christian god's Achilles' heel.

      The Christian god is no more likely to exist than unicorns, satyrs, fiery serpents, or talking snakes.

      Cheers!

      June 9, 2011 at 10:53 am |
    • William Demuth

      David Johnson

      Isn't it easier to just say they are poopey heads?

      That last posting was longer then most sermons, and we ALL know how much they suck!

      June 9, 2011 at 11:18 am |
    • LinCA

      @William Demuth.

      You said:"That last posting was longer then most sermons, and we ALL know how much they suck!".
      I don't think it was. Have you ever sat in church? Those sermons go on forever. Now, if you meant that the post was longer on content than most sermons, I'd have to agree.

      June 9, 2011 at 4:48 pm |
  12. UmmHeyAtheists DontYouKnowTheDebateIsOver?

    [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X1e4FUhfHiU&w=640&h=390]

    June 9, 2011 at 9:34 am |
    • Anthony Flew Loves You! Send Money NOW ! ! !

      Look at this guy – he looks like he eats squirrel sushi and washes it down with a bottle of cough syrup, then sleeps it off under a bus stop bench. Yeah, I bet he's a REAL authority on the invisible man in the sky.

      June 9, 2011 at 9:59 am |
    • William Demuth

      I bet you this guy has notches on his altar for all the boys he has buggered!

      June 9, 2011 at 10:07 am |
  13. UmmHeyAtheists DontYouKnowTheDebateIsOver?

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

    June 9, 2011 at 9:33 am |
    • William Lane Craig! Send Money NOW ! ! !

      Oh good, we're getting our daily dose of videos of sanity-challenged creepy-looking pinheads prattling on mindlessly about religion. These are just so convincing, really, really they are – we are just so convinced but really bad argumentation and stunningly bad logic.

      Put them up all day. I'm sure they will convert, uh, okay, they're so lame and stupid there is no chance of converting anyone with a brain, so maybe you can play them in a lobotomy ward.

      And they are great for you, because you don't actually have to think and come up with sentences and ideas and stuff!

      June 9, 2011 at 10:04 am |
  14. William Demuth

    Now that we Atheists are coming out of the closet, I would like to commend my brothers!

    The “War on Terror” was a BRILLIANT means of compelling civil war within the Abrahamic community. Lets keep our soldiers in the middle of the killing fields as long as possible, but lets make sure they aren't allowed to win!

    Supporting the right wing in the US and Israel brings them all a little closer to finally slaughtering each other!

    My brothers have also done EXCELLENT work shining a light on the whole “Gang Bang an Altar Boy” festivities of the Roman Catholics! Keep reminding old people that their grand kids are gay because of what the preachers did to them!

    Next we move to tax the Churches as a way to keep Medicare afloat (once the depression starts)!

    Just remember do NOT hire anyone who is born again because they are still brain dead.

    And endeavor to impregnate as many Wiccan chicks as you can, because we still need broads to work in the head shop in the mall!

    June 9, 2011 at 9:29 am |
    • The Bobinator

      William is obviously a Christian troll looking to feed ammo to the "atheism is a religion" concept.

      June 9, 2011 at 9:43 am |
    • John Richardson

      Well spotted!

      June 9, 2011 at 9:49 am |
    • William Demuth

      Nah Bob

      It is a political power movement for people who are tired of the influence of indoctrinated simpletons.

      Religious war is the ONLY hope for non-believers.

      We shall be like Switzerland in WWII, profiting from ALL sides of the slaughter.

      AGnostic Jihad is an idea whoose time has come!

      June 9, 2011 at 9:51 am |
  15. doctore0

    4. Most Americans are religiously illiterate.<– The reason why America believes.

    June 9, 2011 at 9:18 am |
    • Dave

      I doubt it. Of course there are tons of Christians who don't have a clue, but that's no excuse for ignoring an entire people-group. Have you even read any of the smart ones? Or just comments from the ignorant ones?

      http://www.peterkreeft.com/topics-more/20_arguments-gods-existence.htm

      June 9, 2011 at 9:43 am |
    • Gary LM

      Dave, all those arguments are nonsense. They even admit they are nonsense at the beginning of the list while trying to say "but we have so many of them it surely proves God exists!"
      It doesn't matter how many bad arguments you pile up, they still amount to nothing. You are wasting your time and should try looking elsewhere for proof of your god.
      Oh, hey, I know!
      WHY DON'T YOU ASK YOUR GOD TO PROVIDE PROOF?
      Duh!

      June 9, 2011 at 11:14 am |
  16. FairGarden

    Mother Nature hates Americans.

    June 9, 2011 at 9:14 am |
    • William Demuth

      Its a love hate thing with us too!

      Bikini's and blizzards. The b##ch gives and then takes!

      I am going back to styrafoam cups until she slams a hurricane into the red-necks

      June 9, 2011 at 9:16 am |
    • The Really Angry Kittens from Beyond Hell

      Hi Adelina/Justina/Frederica/FairGarden! I see Bellevue still lets you flail away on the internet. Too bad the meds still aren't working for you.

      June 9, 2011 at 9:35 am |
    • Sean

      @FairGarden
      Cool! You're like a walking, talking butterfly video!

      June 10, 2011 at 1:02 pm |
  17. John Richardson

    There are few things in this world quite as pathetic as some believer yelping about how god has not been scientifically disproven. They always have a very specific conception of god, generally a personal god who has all sorts of thunderous opinions about human behavior. But their evidence consists of the statement that science has not definitively disproven that something or other that might plausibly be called a god might exist. And of course, nothing could possibly disprove the existence of this amorphous ent-ity once you grab yourself the handy little premise, as they do, that whatever god is, he/she/it is consistent with everything that is in the world, whether already known, yet to be known or forever unknown. From this exercise in mindless tautology, they presume to justify their faith in a god that wants people to vote Republican. There is nothing remotely respectable in this position and it DESERVES and has fully EARNED the derision that has been heaped on it in this and other forums.

    June 9, 2011 at 9:12 am |
    • John Richardson

      Insert "or whatever" after "vote Republican". The American Righteous Right may be notably appalling, but this applies to ALL believers addicted to this meaningless exercise in faith, regardless of nationality or politics or specific conception of god.

      June 9, 2011 at 9:20 am |
    • Matt

      I have several years of experience as a researcher in the fields of cell and molecular biology and microbiology. I am presently employed by Emory University, in Atlanta, Georgia, U.S.A. I also work as a volunteer Bible teacher in the Russian-speaking community.

      As part of my education in biology, I spent four years focusing on just the cell and its components. The more I learned about DNA, RNA, proteins, and metabolic pathways, the more amazed I became with the complexity, organization, and precision involved. And while I was impressed with how much man has learned about the cell, I was even more amazed at how much there is yet to learn. The obvious design evident in the cell is one reason I believe in God.

      My study of the Bible has revealed who the Creator is—namely, Jehovah God. I am convinced that he is not only an intelligent Designer but also a kind and loving Father who cares for us. The Bible explains the purpose of life and provides the hope of a happy future

      June 9, 2011 at 10:15 am |
    • JohnR

      What specific cell structures did you feel disqualified Ahura Mazda as the creator? Or do you just get emotionally sentimental about things you happen to have heard in your own childhood when faced with things you don't understand?

      June 9, 2011 at 11:48 am |
  18. Flargle

    How is it ironic, or even surprising that atheists and agnostics scored the best on the religious quiz? That is a completely expected result. The more educated a person is, the less likely they are to believe in fairy tales.

    June 9, 2011 at 8:55 am |
    • Dave

      Doubt it – http://www.peterkreeft.com/topics-more/20_arguments-gods-existence.htm

      June 9, 2011 at 9:43 am |
  19. John

    I feel sorry for anyone that. Believes in any relegion blindly following a belief system
    Created in a time where we infants in human evolution. It must be hard to accept the fact that a brainwashed fairy tale is just not true

    June 9, 2011 at 8:42 am |
    • Justin

      Even evolutionists don't "believe" that human evolution was in its infancy about four thousand years ago, which was the time of the origin of Hinduism and Judaism. Islam is less than 3,000 years old while Christianity originated just under 2,000 years ago.
      Beside religion, there are many beliefs that affect people's behavior that haven't been proven. One such belief is: "Is oil a fossil fuel or is it made by the earth's natural processes."
      If oil is made by the earth, wouldn't it qualify as a renewable resource.
      Oil being a fossil fuel seems to be an uniquely American belief.

      June 9, 2011 at 10:14 am |
    • John Richardson

      Islam is a LOT less than 3000 years old! It's less than half that.

      June 9, 2011 at 10:18 am |
    • William Demuth

      Justin

      Christianity is new fangled Judaisim, cause the Christians believe the old testament is divine.

      So it seems to me, they are the same age, but Christians swerved away about 2000 years ago.

      June 9, 2011 at 10:23 am |
  20. mehmet

    We say to the atheist who do not recognize God and do not know the Prophet (PBUH), as follows.

    Since the universe and beings exist, and within them are acts and creation; and since an orderly act cannot occur without an author, a meaningful book cannot be without a scribe, and a skilful embroidery be without an embroiderer, for sure, the purposeful acts which fill the universe have an author and the meaningful letters and amazing embroideries which cover the face of the earth and are renewed from season to season have a scribe and an embroiderer.

    And since when two governors direct the same matter it results in the order in that matter being spoilt; and since from a fly's wing to the lamps in the heavens there is perfect order in the universe, there is, then, only one governor, one ruler. For the art and wisdom in everything is so wonderful that it necessitates that the Maker of each thing is absolutely powerful to a degree that He knows every matter, and that everything is within His power. Since this is so, if He was not One, there would have to be gods to the number of beings. These would be both opposed to and similar to one another, and so it would be a hundred thousand times impossible for this wonderful order not to be broken.

    Furthermore, since, as is self-evidently apparent, the classes of beings are, at a command, in motion in a fashion a thousand times more well-ordered than that of an army, each group, from the stars, sun and moon and their motions to the flowers of the almond, displaying the decorations and uniforms the Pre-Eternal All-Powerful One has conferred on it, and the motion He has determined, in a way a thousand times more regular and perfect than that of an army – since this is so, the universe has an Absolute Ruler behind the veil of the Unseen, and its beings look to and conform to His command.

    And since that Ruler is an All-Glorious Sovereign according to the testimony of all the wise matters He carries out and splendid works He displays; and since He is a most Compassionate Sustainer according to the bounties He demonstrates, and a Maker Who loves His art according to the beautiful examples of it He exhibits; and since He is an All-Wise Creator Who wishes to attract to His works of art the admiring gazes of conscious beings through the adornments and skills He demonstrates; and since it may be understood that He wishes to make known to conscious beings the meaning of the adornments, which astound the mind, that He displays in the creation of the world and to inform them through the wisdom of His Dominicality about where creatures come from and where they are going, most certainly, this All-Wise Ruler and All-Knowing Maker wishes to demonstrate His Dominicality.

    And since he wishes to make Himself known and loved by conscious creatures through the great many works of benevolence and mercy and wonders of art He displays, He will surely make known to them by means of a herald what He desires of them and what those things are that please Him, and concern them.

    Since this is so, He will appoint one of the conscious beings and will proclaim His Dominicality through him. He will honour a herald with the proximity of His presence and make him the means of exhibiting the art which He loves. And He will appoint one of them as a teacher in order to inform other conscious beings of those exalted aims and to display His perfections. And He will certainly appoint a guide so that the talisman contained in the universe and the riddle of Dominicality He has concealed within beings will not remain meaningless. And He will appoint a guide who will teach the purposes contained in the beauties of art He displays and publishes as a spectacle for all to gaze on so that they do not remain useless and vain. Moreover, in order to announce the things that please Him to conscious beings, He will raise one of them to a rank above the others, and will inform him of those things and send him to them.

    June 9, 2011 at 8:31 am |
    • William Demuth

      Got Crack?

      June 9, 2011 at 8:35 am |
    • Eric G

      Too many logical faults within your post to count them all, so I will make it simple for you.

      Please provide any verifiable evidence that your god exists. If you cannot establish existence of a thing, you cannot attribute actions to that thing. Without proof of existence, your claims are invalid.

      June 9, 2011 at 8:41 am |
    • mehmet

      @Eric G
      I would recommend you to read the message carefully. If you read as the newspaper you can not understand.

      June 9, 2011 at 8:50 am |
    • John Richardson

      Hey! All the faith fallacies rolled up into one!

      June 9, 2011 at 8:57 am |
    • Worldwalker

      Crystallization is one of the most orderly "acts" in existence. A crystal is the most orderly form of matter, with all its molecules lined up in a neat grid. It happens all the time without anyone to "do" it.

      Saying "God causes crystals to form" and "crystals are proof that God exists" is circular logic, and hence invalid.

      June 9, 2011 at 9:15 am |
    • John Richardson

      "... the decorations and uniforms of the Pre-Eternal All-Powerful One ..." Bwahahahahahaha!!!!!

      June 9, 2011 at 9:17 am |
    • Drxym

      I think you should be asking your doctor which medication is right for you.

      June 9, 2011 at 9:29 am |
    • mehmet

      @Worldwalker;

      In every facet of the motion of the every particle the light of Divine Unity shines like the sun. Because, as is proved briefly in the First Indication of the Tenth Word, and in detail in the Twenty-Second Word, if every particle is not an official of God acting with His permission and under His authority, and if it is not undergoing change within His knowledge and power, then every particle must have infinite knowledge and limitless power, it must have eyes that see everything, a face that looks to all things, and authority over all things. For each particle of the elements acts, or can act, in an orderly fashion in all animate beings. But the order within things and laws according to which they are formed differ from one thing to the next. If their order was not known to the particles, the particles could not act, or even if they could act, they could not act without error. In which case, the particles which are performing their duties in beings are either acting with the permission and at the command, and within the knowledge and at the will, of the owner of an all-encompassing knowledge, or they themselves must have such an all-encompassing knowledge and power.

      Indeed, all particles of air can enter the bodies of all animate beings, the fruits of all flowers, and the structures of all leaves. They can act within them, although the way they are formed is all different and their order and systems quite distinct. As though the factory of a fig was a loom for weaving cloth and the factory of a pomegranate, a machine for producing sugar, and so on; the programmes of their structures and bodies all differ from each other. A particle of air, then, enters or can enter all of them. It takes up its position and acts in a wise and masterly fashion without error. And on completion of its duty it departs. A mobile particle of mobile air, therefore, either must know the forms, shapes, measures, and formations with which plants and animals, and even fruits and flowers, are clothed, or else it must be an official acting under the command and will of one who does know.

      And so too with a stationary particle of stationary earth. Since it has the ability to be the means and place of cultivation for all the seeds of all flowering plants and fruit-bearing trees, either there must be in the particle itself or in the handful of soil that is its little house immaterial machinery and factories in good working order to the number of the varieties of the trees and plants, and flowers and fruits – in fact, it is in every single particle that there must be a factory peculiar to it and all the equipment and machinery necessary for the running of that factory – or else it must have a miraculous knowledge that knows all things about all things and a miracle-working power that creates everything from nothing. Or, those duties are performed at the command and with the permission of One Who is Knowing of All Things, and through the power and might of One Who is Absolutely Powerful over All Things.

      June 9, 2011 at 9:34 am |
    • John Richardson

      Earth is stationary? I guess the news about the Copernican revolution has reached the hinterlands of Islam!

      June 9, 2011 at 9:45 am |
    • John Richardson

      Arrrgghhh!! Has NOT reached the Islamic hinterlands!!!!

      June 9, 2011 at 9:48 am |
    • God

      @mehmet
      Please don't associate yourself with me.

      June 10, 2011 at 1:05 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.