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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. Lee Cherry

    I feel a National Bestseller coming on.

    July 3, 2011 at 10:27 am |
  2. RWESTUPID

    Happy Birthday Belief Blog! I've gotten quite a few chuckles out of the rampamnt stupidity on this blog! EVOLVE PEOPLE!

    July 2, 2011 at 9:55 am |
    • christopher kenna

      Same here. The hypocracy is hysterical. The only religions that actually teach people to live like Christ said are the Buddhists and the Yogis. If you really want to understand all the world religions its all in the Bhagavad Gita. Jesus is the promised return of Krishna. Dont take my word for it. Research and wake up. Christianity and Islam are leading us into a world war and have nothing to do with Jesus and Mohammad.
      Shame on the Pastors, priests and Mulllahs for lying and killing.

      July 3, 2011 at 7:22 am |
  3. The Dude

    [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9eqKb5ViN_Q&w=640&h=360]

    July 1, 2011 at 10:03 pm |
    • patrick

      The Dude,

      "Now as far as this prayer bul-lsh-it goes, when are you pri-cks going to realize no one is listening ? Test it out yourself. Try mastur-bating instead of prayer and you will get the same result as if you have prayed."

      Nope, it didn't work for me. Thinking of holy people and jer-king off doesn't seem to get me anywhere.

      Did it work for anybody ?

      July 3, 2011 at 1:30 pm |
    • G

      Your entire post is nothing more than a "straw man argument."

      July 4, 2011 at 12:36 am |
  4. Chris

    We will all live for an eternity in either heaven or hell. Despite what you might believe, The Bible makes it pretty clear that hell will be a place of unquenchable torment and suffering. What an awful fate for anyone! I only want to see as many people aviod this destination as possible. I know people will mock this, and say I'm simplistic, and narrow minded, and all kinds of other nasty things, but that's ok. I can only speak what I know to be true, and you have the right to accept it or reject it. Read John 3:36 which says: He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him. It's that simple. Or, if you want to know how simple it is, consider the theif on the cross next to Jesus. You can read Luke 23:42-43. 42. And he said unto Jesus, Lord, remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom.
    43. And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, Today shalt thou be with me in paradise. This is the thief on the cross speaking to Jesus, and Jesus replies to him, and he is saved and will be in Heaven. Here he was, on a cross next to Jesus, and he could do nothing, and he didn't even say that much, but Jesus knew his heart. .....for the LORD searches all hearts, and understands
    every plan and thought. If you seek Him, He will be
    found by you; but if you forsake Him, he will cast you
    off for ever." (1 Chronicles 28:9)
    If you don't know Jesus as Lord, but would like to know more, the easiest was is to read The Bible. If you don't have a Bible, you can read it online. I would recommend the gospel of John to start with in the New Testament if you don't know where to start. Or, seek out a Bible believing church or talk to someone you know is a Christian, as I can guarantee they would love to share what Christ has done for them and let you know how He can change your life

    June 29, 2011 at 12:31 am |
    • LinCA

      If there is a god and if he is just, I will go to heaven. If, on the other hand, he is like most christians believe, I'll take an eternity in hell over a day in heaven.

      June 29, 2011 at 12:37 am |
    • bobby

      If you believe in Jesus Christ you must then also believe in the existence of the devil for Jesus was casting out demons left and right and empowering his disciples to do the same. If you believe in Jesus Christ you must then also believe in the existence of God the Father and His holy angels, of heaven and hell and of the fallen angels for Jeus talked a lot about them during his ministry. If you don't then you are calling Jeus a liar. If you believe in Jesus Christ you must then also believe in the existence of hell and the eternal damnation of rebellious souls for there is nothing demons desire more than to get their hands on the holy ones of God but they can't because of God's protection, but the rebellious souls have no one to protect them from the rage of the devil.

      If you don't believe in Jesus Christ and thinks he is just a myth then there is no reason for you to believe in heaven or hell, in angels and demons, or in God.

      June 29, 2011 at 11:07 am |
    • Sean

      Just so you know, the King James Version is not culturally relevant, and you sound like the westboro baptist church when you quoteth it. Just so you dont sound like a looney, and if you truly want to reach THIS GENERATION or any age group under 75 years old, use a different translation!!!

      June 29, 2011 at 11:42 am |
    • tom

      No one lives eternally. when we die, we are dead. that's it. The bible is simply a piece of literature just like any other book.

      June 30, 2011 at 3:30 pm |
    • Gene

      "...a place of unquenchable torment and suffering. "

      All for just a simple cognitive error, or, at worst, a lack of understanding. The Mormons believe in Jesus Christ, but in the "wrong " way. Anne Frank suffers"...unquenchable torment and suffering..." along with her murderer Hitler simply for remaining a Jew.

      People like you constantly complain on this blog about incessant "Christian bashing", but apparently never even listen to yourselves or in any way consider the deeper implications of your salvific doctrines. It's all just "...the Bible says it, so it must be true. Don't believe it? Tough for you!" No reasoned discussion, just boilerplate scripture quotation.

      Truly, if I believed the standard Christian soteriologic party line, I would be prostrate before Jesus Christ abjectly crying for salvation from the everlasting flames of perdition!

      But, believe me, love, joy, agape; these things would have absolutely NOTHING to do with it.

      Rather, I would be motivated solely by naked fear, just like all the victims of tyrants throughout history.

      July 1, 2011 at 4:50 pm |
    • Jimbo

      @LinCA...... There is a God and He is just. If your feelings are true, then you will spend an eternity in hell. I just don't understand why anybody would want to take that chance when they could live for eternity in Heaven. Your atti-tude is very very sad. I hope you do not have any children that you are pushing your views upon. As a parent, you will be a huge stumbling block with an atti-tude like that.

      July 1, 2011 at 11:20 pm |
    • Sybaris

      "There is a God"

      Prove it Jimbo

      July 1, 2011 at 11:24 pm |
    • Sybaris

      Jimbo: "I hope you do not have any children that you are pushing your views upon"

      This is exactly why Atheists ridicule believers

      July 1, 2011 at 11:27 pm |
    • Jimbo

      Sybaris....... Either you believe in God and Jesus Christ, or you don't. It's pretty obvious that you are one of the ones that choose not to believe. I could give you hundreds of "proofs" that God exists, but they won't matter to you one bit. The Bible has been proven time and time again to be a historicaly true book. People have openly doubted happenings, people, and events in the Bible only to have scientists later turn up the proof to refute those doubts. I can only pray that you will see the error of your ways and repent of your sins and seek forgivness before it's too late for you.

      July 1, 2011 at 11:33 pm |
    • Jimbo

      Sybaris....... So IF I was a racist, is it fair for me to subject my children to my ignorant racist ways? Or would it be more fair to them if I gave them the choice to make on their own? If somebody does not believe in God, I don't believe they should make their children grow up only learning that. Let that child make their own choice of where they want to spend eternity. But then again, I'm one of those Believers and I think every child should grow up knowing the Lord Jesus Christ and what He did for them.

      July 1, 2011 at 11:40 pm |
    • Cleareye

      Jesus seems like a nice enough kind of guy and I don't think for a moment that he would be part of sending a person to a pit of fire to burn in agony for eternity. That is an insult to his memory.

      July 2, 2011 at 1:30 pm |
    • Jimbo

      @cleareye...... You are right about one thing. Jesus was a nice guy. So nice even, that He willingly gave up His life so we would not have to spend an eternity in hell. Some people, like you, do not believe everything the Bible says. Some people, like me, do believe what it says. That is why I believe in a literal burning lake of fire. I think I'm right, and you think you are right. We will all find out when we die. But I am not willing to take the chance of spending eternity burning. Are you?

      July 2, 2011 at 3:21 pm |
    • Don Camp

      @ Gene Your objections to Chris's post underlines the importance of getting your information from the Bible itself. Although Jesus did speak of hell – a lot, actually – his point was to avoid it, and you can because God loves you and desires that you choose life rather than death.

      I find it ironic that the many objections to the idea of hell ignore that fact that hell is not God's desire for us. (Jesus came to save us all from hell.) But I also find it illuminating. The ignoring of God's mercy and love and focusing on hell and judgment seems to be more a rejection of God than a reaction to hell. So in fact, as the Bible declares, we all get what we choose. If we choose God's mercy, we receive life. If we choose to reject God's mercy, we get what we choose. We will have an eternity without God and everything that is good. It is that simple.

      July 3, 2011 at 12:43 pm |
    • weak sauce

      lol.. Chris's explanation, in a nutshell:

      We will all live for an eternity in either heaven or hell. Despite what you might believe. <– change to a period.

      July 3, 2011 at 1:13 pm |
    • LinCA

      @Jimbo

      You said "There is a God and He is just. If your feelings are true, then you will spend an eternity in hell."
      It isn't "just" to never provide any evidence of yourself and expect people to believe in you and burn them for eternity if they don't. The god you believe in isn't just, he's a monster.

      You said "I just don't understand why anybody would want to take that chance when they could live for eternity in Heaven. Your attitude is very very sad. I hope you do not have any children that you are pushing your views upon. As a parent, you will be a huge stumbling block with an attitude like that."
      Of the tens of thousands of gods invented by man, how can you be sure you are worshiping the right one? The odds aren't in your favor. If you picked the wrong one, your fucked anyway. Might as well do something useful on those Sundays.

      July 4, 2011 at 1:46 am |
    • Jimbo

      @LinCA........... In my opinion, the God I believe in shows us proof He is real everyday. He has shown me His hand in my life before and I can see His wonders everyday. Sure I go through hard times and sometimes I even feel like He isn't there. But when I look back on those hard times, I can see that He was right there guiding me. As you can tell by the way I believe, I also do not believe God was invented by man. You are right about some gods being invented by man, and if they worship their invented gods, they will end up in hell. To each his own I guess. But for your sake, you had better hope I am the one wrong and not you.

      July 4, 2011 at 4:18 pm |
    • Gene

      Don Camp:
      I appreciate your courteous reply, but it seems to talk past the points I raised.

      You said: "The ignoring of God's mercy and love and focusing on hell and judgment seems to be more a rejection of God than a reaction to hell. So in fact, as the Bible declares, we all get what we choose."

      This is, again, unhelpful boilerplate doctrinal response. "God doesn't send us to perdition, we CHOOSE it!

      Did Anne Frank, as an act of volitional will, "reject God"? Do the Mormons purposely and knowingly turn their backs on Jesus? Even from your perspective, these are at worst wrong choices, made by fallible humans with always limited information, for which they deserve eternal torment? This simple ethical conundrum is always ignored or talked past by fundamentalists because they sense the underlying implications, and would rather not deal with them explicitly.

      "...underlines the importance of getting your information from the Bible itself. "

      Well, the Jehovah's Witnesses get their information from the Bible itself. They just have a different interpretation than yours. Again, even from your perspective, they are simply wrong, not willfully rejectionist.

      Most of the folks you would consider to be willfully rejecting God, or Jesus Christ, are simply following the dictates of the faiths they were raised in. Lifelong Mormons are taught from birth that theirs is the "true" faith, just like Southern Baptists, and are taught what their opponents will say against their faith, and how to answer them. You may consider this "brainwashing", but how is that the PURPOSEFUL fault of a twenty year old Mormon missionary?

      And, again, gentle, forgiving Anne Frank, one of the most Christlike individuals humanity has ever been blessed with. To spend eternity in torment with her murderer simply because she was raised a Jew? Young people are increasingly asking these questions, which were formerly ignored, and finding the stock answers wanting.

      As Rob Bell says, what if the missionary has a flat tire on the way?

      July 5, 2011 at 11:19 am |
    • LinCA

      @Jimbo

      You said "You are right about some gods being invented by man, and if they worship their invented gods, they will end up in hell."
      I'm pretty sure, considering the stunning lack of verifiable evidence for any god, including yours, that they were all invented by man.

      You said "To each his own I guess. But for your sake, you had better hope I am the one wrong and not you."
      I like my odds. A lot.

      July 7, 2011 at 1:44 am |
  5. FideSpesCaritas

    there comes a time when it is more fruitful to agree to disagree. Retain dignity of all sides of the argument.

    June 28, 2011 at 6:38 pm |
  6. PR

    Obama might be a Christian, but his views on many topics pronounce that he surely isn't making Godly decisions.

    June 28, 2011 at 12:41 pm |
    • TrueBlue42

      How so? Your disagreement with Obama's policies doesn't make him "ungodly".

      June 28, 2011 at 5:54 pm |
    • brad

      Atheists insist that the world will be much kinder, gentler, etc. when religion is gone and no one is left but them (atheists). Considering the capacity for invective that they regularly show, I'm unconvinced. I would have to invent a God just to avoid their company.

      June 28, 2011 at 6:04 pm |
    • DWC

      Brad, you DID invent a God.

      June 28, 2011 at 6:25 pm |
    • Sean

      If Atheists eradicated religion they would still establish the church of atheism based on the faith that there is no God....A world ruled by atheism kind of looks like something out of 1984.....

      June 29, 2011 at 11:52 am |
    • LinCA

      @Sean

      You said: "If Atheists eradicated religion they would still establish the church of atheism based on the faith that there is no God....A world ruled by atheism kind of looks like something out of 1984....."

      Why would we have to wait until after religion is eradicated to establish a church? If there was any reason to start a church, we could do that at any time. There are no reasons. You are obviously ignorant of what atheism entails.

      There tend to be 2 basic "flavors" of atheism. These are characterized by one of the following conditions: Believing there is no god, or Not believing there is a god. The former can be construed as a belief as there is a claim made without providing evidence in support. The latter is simply a complete lack of belief.

      While there is a difference, that difference is very small. Both positions are based on the fact that there is, as of yet, no evidence that there is a god. Any god. The stunning lack of evidence for any god in thousands of years worth of scientific records, validates to an enormous degree the former of the two positions.

      The latter is the default, scientific, position. There simply is no reason to assume otherwise. There isn't a single theory that includes a god, that isn't equally (in)valid when the "god" is substib>tuted with any other mythical being or force. Pink unicorns, The Flying Spaghetti Monster and, my new favorite, Bob the Magical Blue Sock are equal to any god. Because there isn't any evidence these creatures exist, to assume that they do isn't rational or reasonable.

      Either group of atheists will most likely lose a majority of its "members" when verifiable evidence of any god is produced.

      June 30, 2011 at 11:04 am |
    • weak sauce

      Godly? What, you want Obama to turn people to pillars of salt, bring dead people back to life, and recreate the earth in 7 days? 😐

      July 3, 2011 at 1:20 pm |
  7. ZTroyer

    Atheists spreading evangelical godlessness?

    I have news for you. We make up nearly 20% of the United States, and yet we are 1% of the prison population.

    Our divorce rates are lower than any faith's

    We have never bombed a building in name of no God, we have never waged a war in name of a God or against a religion.

    We simply ask that for the gift of having a secular government, in person and principal, as the founders intended.

    'When Fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in a flag and carrying a cross' -Sinclair Lewis

    June 28, 2011 at 10:56 am |
    • 14Mickey

      Actually, atheist regimes in Russia and China killed tens of millions while believers in religion were a main target. The same was true in Nazi Germany. You have the same baggage as everyone else does, so ignoring 6000 years of history won't do you any more good than it did the evangelicals.

      June 28, 2011 at 12:14 pm |
    • CNN?

      The Nazi's were Christians..."Gott Mit Uns" ring a bell? It was on the belt buckle of German soldiers. Hitler was exterminating adherents of a rival faith. Research some of his quotes in 'Mein Kampf' and then claim he was an atheist and doing his evil in the name of Atheism.

      June 28, 2011 at 12:43 pm |
    • scott

      Hitler was christian just long to win the people's heart. Then made going to church especially soliders illegal.

      June 28, 2011 at 3:56 pm |
    • gkingii

      It's pretty easy to get religion... any religion... in prison.

      June 28, 2011 at 5:06 pm |
    • Sean

      WE do this, WE do that, WE are so great....Wow. I guess pride will never die. By the way, you sound like you are describing a "congregation" of people when you describe how great atheists are...You're just as sinful as everybody else, which is obvious through how highly you think of yourself and the atheist community.

      June 29, 2011 at 11:48 am |
    • Sybaris

      "atheist regimes in Russia and China killed tens of millions"

      Yeah, another common fallacy touted by the faithful.

      Atheism is not a political ideology. Go back to school.

      July 1, 2011 at 11:33 pm |
    • Sybaris

      Kudo's to Sean for playing the "Pride" card. I wondered when that was going to come out. Whenever the faithful are up against the wall with their circular logic they always pull out the pride card as if it's a clever way to denounce education.

      July 1, 2011 at 11:37 pm |
    • Cleareye

      Atheist don't have the answer for the mystery of the universe and neither do religious people. No one knows what will happen when we die, we just hope for something good. Freethinking is the best way to get through this existence it seems to me. And it should be illegal to send children to Sunday School or a madrisas.

      July 2, 2011 at 1:41 pm |
    • pithymcgee

      Atheists DO NOT make up 20% of the population. That's non-religious people that comprise 20% of the population. And that doesn't even mean all of those are agnostic or atheist. Atheists, REAL atheists, are only about 2% of the U.S. population.

      July 2, 2011 at 3:41 pm |
    • Electric Larry

      Non-religious people are de facto implicit/weak-form atheists.

      July 2, 2011 at 3:49 pm |
    • joshua

      your stupid the founding father were christian and some catholic.

      July 3, 2011 at 5:21 am |
    • weak sauce

      @joshua: No, YOU'RE stupid. The founding fathers were chrisitian/etc AND founded a secular govt.

      July 3, 2011 at 1:23 pm |
  8. mogsImago

    Bravo, l'idГ©e brillante et est opportun

    June 26, 2011 at 4:40 pm |
  9. Jim

    Well...CNN may have learned ten surprising things from this blog, but I only learned one thing: judging from their comments, atheists are a bunch of snark obsessed, immature twits.

    June 23, 2011 at 7:35 pm |
    • 14Mickey

      They are, indeed, as their comments prove. However, no different are the Evangelical Republicans that destroyed Christianity's appeal in the United States. That's why I, a Christian, stopped going to church.

      June 28, 2011 at 12:16 pm |
    • CNN?

      Take it another step and stop believing in magic. Hehe, I'm a twit!

      June 28, 2011 at 12:46 pm |
    • weak sauce

      Now, now Jim... No need for the obsessed, immature twit-like comment...

      July 3, 2011 at 1:32 pm |
    • DoubtingThomas

      Hey Jim – read your own comment and hold up the mirror.

      Or as J-man would say – You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother's eye.

      July 5, 2011 at 11:16 am |
  10. Michael

    Everyone believes something. Everyone serves someone, and that someone is his god/God. Everyone lives by faith even if that faith is faith in his own wisdom or intelligence. Atheists are as religious as Theists. Only the object of their worship is different. Atheists are as dogmatic as Theists.

    June 21, 2011 at 2:58 pm |
    • Debating Fiction

      Not really, but it fits your world view. People do not NEED someone to serve. Many do because they don't have the mental capacity to think for themselves and deal with the fact that we are all alone (together) on this planet. We will die and be gone. Done. Everything else that is posited is done so because people fear death and aloneness. Have a look at the History Channel's "Through the Wormhole" episode about the edge of the universe. Makes the petty gods humans pray to seem ignorant and small-minded (or is that the people who are praying). It takes an open mind, intellectual curiosity and a thirst for knowledge to be an atheist. It takes blind faith, fear and a need for eternal parental care to be religious.

      June 28, 2011 at 2:36 pm |
    • Sean

      It takes blind faith to believe in no God. As an atheist, you have just as much faith as the rest of us. Either that, or you're omniscient.....

      June 29, 2011 at 11:55 am |
    • justaguy

      @Debating Fiction: one thing that always bugs me is how athiest always consider believers mentally diminished, as if to say that anyone of full mental capacity would, of course, not believe in a god. That's just plain dumb. There are plenty of scientists that believe in a god. The fact that any given athiest has not "found god" does not mean there is none. Its like taking a piece of gold and testing it to see if its lead. You can then say you did not find it to be gold but that doesn't change the fact that it is, in fact, gold.

      June 30, 2011 at 12:20 pm |
  11. Xander

    "Evangelize their godlessness" I'll go out on a limb and say it's commentary like that from an "objective news source" that really irritates people. Until there are entire shows and networks for it Atheists aren't evangelizing anything.

    June 18, 2011 at 11:51 am |
  12. Muneef

    6 PRINCIPLES OF LIFE
      
    1· No point using limited life to chase unlimited money.
    2· No point earning so much money you cannot live to spend it.
    3· Money is not yours until you spend it.
    4· When you are young, you use your health to chase your wealth; when you are old, you use your wealth to buy back your health. Difference is that, it is too late.
    5· How happy a man is, is not how much he has but how little he needs.
    6· No point working so hard to provide for the people you have no time to spend with.
     Remember this - We come to this world with nothing, we leave this world with nothing!
     

    June 14, 2011 at 8:16 pm |
    • What?

      Did you get this information by doing it or ? People that have wealth and are responsible can effect a world of change and help millions of needy people. Money is not bad- just like guns- it's the people behind them with different intent that make them bad or good.

      June 28, 2011 at 11:53 am |
  13. Sean

    @myklds
    Rubbish. You're looking for a reason to feel threatened because seeing yourself as a victim makes you feel important.

    June 13, 2011 at 11:58 pm |
  14. Muneef

    [7:11] We created you, then we shaped you, then we said to the angels, "Fall prostrate before Adam." They fell prostrate, except Iblees (Satan); he was not with the prostrators.
    ----

    [40:64] GOD is the One who rendered the earth habitable for you, and the sky a formidable structure, and He designed you, and designed you well. He is the One who provides you with good provisions. Such is GOD your Lord; Most Exalted is GOD, Lord of the universe.*
    -----

    [64:2] He is the One who created you, then among you there is the disbeliever, and the believer. GOD is fully Seer of everything you do.

    [64:3] He created the heavens and the earth for a specific purpose, designed you and perfected your design, then to Him is the final destiny.

    [64:4] He knows everything in the heavens and the earth, and He knows everything you conceal and everything you declare. GOD is fully aware of the innermost thoughts.
    ----–

    Finally these verses of the Quran;

    [95:4] We created man in the best design.

    [95:5] Then turned him into the lowliest of the lowly.
    ----
    My words It could be saying that Monkeys and Apes come out of mankind when they were turned him into the lowliest of the lowly.
    Meaning that Mankind was not a result of evolution of Monkeys & Apes...rather the other way round on reversed evolution...!

    ------
    [82:6] O you human being, what diverted you from your Lord Most Honorable?

    [82:7] The One who created you, designed you, and perfected you.

    [82:8] In whatever design He chose, He constructed it.

    [82:9] Indeed, you disbelieve in the religion.

    [82:10] Oblivious to the fact that there are (invisible) keepers around you.

    [82:11] They are honest recorders.

    [82:12] They record everything you do.

    [82:13] Surely, the pious have deserved bliss.

    [82:14] While the wicked have deserved Hell.

    [82:15] Will incur it on the Day of Judgment.

    [82:16] They never leave it.

    [82:17] Awesome is the Day of Judgment.

    [82:18] What a day; the Day of Judgment!

    [82:19] That is the day when no soul can help another soul, and all decisions, on that day, will belong to GOD.

    June 13, 2011 at 3:57 pm |
  15. Yanko

    Hola,

    Hemos creado una nueva red social para todos aquellos que tienen FE y buscan "algo mas..". Os invitamos a conocernos: http://www.wpray4u.com.

    Un saludo.

    June 13, 2011 at 7:44 am |
  16. myklds

    "Depending on the survey, atheists, agnostics, and irreligious folks are 14-17% of our population. They are coming out of the closet and being much more vocal. In Sweden and Norway 70-80% of their population are atheists, agnostics, and irreligious types. Maybe one day the USA can gravitate to that level of intelligence, logic, and reason."
    -------------------------–
    Like wars, disasters, tragedies and Harold Camping, the increasing population of non-believers is not surprising. They are all in the book of Revelations.

    The only difference is the degree of significance of their role in the Apocalypse. Non-believers especially atheists hold the second highest, in fact they're predestined to prepare for the way of the coming of the ultimate fulfillment of what had been written in the holy book, the coming of the marked beast.

    It's the apparent purpose of their strong cause in mocking,discrediting, undermining, trying very hard of invalidating God and His words in the Holy Bible coz it clearly speaks about them. They want us to be left unprepared so that they could go for an onslaught.

    So believers, more than any other days, this day is the best time to hold-on much stronger to our faith and to read more the Bible to avoid ourselves from becoming (their) unwitting victims.

    Be Aware, Be Informed, Be Prepared.

    June 12, 2011 at 8:44 pm |
    • Eric G

      You sound very frightened of atheists.

      I am an atheist and I mean you no harm.

      What do you think should be done with all of the atheists in the world?

      June 12, 2011 at 8:49 pm |
    • myklds

      Yes, honestly, I'm extremely terrified of what (atheists) you can do (not for now) in the future.

      We could do nothing about you but we can do something of ourselves. We must streghten our faith in God, erradicate pride in our lives and read more the holy Bible that we may not be deceived by the cunningness using Mathemathics, Arts, Logic and Science. They have been using those and other disciplines to make believers give up their faith and join them that they'll meet the required number of minions enough to summon the (marked) beast.

      So we must be Aware, Informed and Prepared through reading and believing more on the bible and strenghten our faith in God. So that we may all be Saved.

      June 13, 2011 at 12:52 am |
    • Mark from Middle River

      "I am an atheist and I mean you no harm."....LoL

      June 13, 2011 at 2:25 am |
    • Eric G

      @mykids: While I would not ask you to abandon your faith, I would suggest that you support education and the arts.

      June 13, 2011 at 7:22 am |
    • Sean

      @mykids
      "...make believers give up their faith and join them..."
      Is your faith so weak that it can't stand up to disbelief?

      "...they'll meet the required number of minions enough to summon the (marked) beast."
      This is the first I've heard that we atheists have a quota to fill. Would you believe me if I told you we don't believe in magical beasts, either?

      "...not be deceived by the cunningness using Mathemathics, Arts, Logic and Science."
      Maybe now would be a good time to step away from your computer.

      June 13, 2011 at 8:04 am |
    • MikeTheInfidel

      @Eric:

      I *would* encourage him to lose his faith. His beliefs are dangerous. Anyone who thinks the word will end within his lifetime is unpredictable and unworthy of too much trust with power.

      June 13, 2011 at 8:09 am |
    • myklds

      I firmly for education but not like you do. I use education to nourish myself and others both on temporal and spiritual things. While (Atheist's) your true purpose is not to educate us believers and open our eyes the fallacies of religion and save us from the our guillability. But to influence us with your wit, that everything, like Science, must be substantiated with hard facts not by (blind) faith alone. To slowly and little by little infuse our thoughts with pride that will lead us to question the authenticity of God's existence. And ultimately, we will voluntarilly throw our faith in the trash can.

      Sean...

      My faith may not be that strong but I'm striving to make it (stronger) day day by day. If you have notice, I also said that our belief and faith must be strenghten. But anyway, Thank You for chopping my post to suit your delight.

      Yes you do have a quota and there'll be a (marked) beast. You migh not aware of it now (coz you too are deceived) and the true purpose maybe hidden from you until you reach the number enough to summon the it.

      I recognize the importance Mathematics, Arts, Logic Science and appreciate their products and good things that they bring to our daily practical lives(one of which is my computer). But it must not be maliciously used to defy, disprove, discredit and mock religion but rather should work hand in hand with it to achieve a common goal.

      I firmly believe that we could achieve an absolute, undeniable and unbreakable truth "ONLY WHEN" Religion and Science meet.

      June 13, 2011 at 8:25 pm |
    • myklds

      the first pharagraph of my reply was intented for Eric.

      June 13, 2011 at 8:28 pm |
    • Sean

      @myklds
      Rubbish. You're looking for a reason to feel threatened because seeing yourself as a victim makes you feel important.

      June 13, 2011 at 11:59 pm |
    • myklds

      @Sean..
      The truth of the matters is...you are the (initial) victim that is going to victimize others soon.

      June 14, 2011 at 1:51 am |
    • Mc

      It terrifies me that mykids gets as many votes as I do.

      June 14, 2011 at 3:55 pm |
    • LinCA

      @myklds

      You said: "While (Atheist's) your true purpose is not to educate us believers and open our eyes the fallacies of religion and save us from the our guillability."
      I don't think that it is the purpose of very many atheists to educate believers. I know it's not my purpose. The effort seems largely futile. If, as a side effect of coming to this comment section, I open someone's eyes to the fallacies of religion and save that person from his or her gullibilitiy, then I would consider that a bonus.

      You said: "But to influence us with your wit, that everything, like Science, must be substantiated with hard facts not by (blind) faith alone. To slowly and little by little infuse our thoughts with pride that will lead us to question the authenticity of God's existence."
      I have no use for infusing your thoughts with pride. It serves no purpose in this discussion. Critical and rational thought, combined with reason would be a huge accomplishment. But I can really only hope that a third person, an outsider, while reading these comments, will be inclined to inspect the claims made by religions critically and evaluates them on their merits, or the lack thereof.

      You said: "And ultimately, we will voluntarilly throw our faith in the trash can."
      One can hope, but I'm not holding my breath.

      Cheers.

      June 14, 2011 at 4:30 pm |
    • CAlin

      @LinCA...better not, bird brain doesn't last a second without oxygen.

      June 15, 2011 at 9:52 pm |
    • What?

      Eric G- Thank you. I am a Christian. What should be "done" with the atheists of the world? Um... how about all the people that have manners and love in their hearts make friends and live decently next to their neighbors, coworkers, family, acquaintences- no matter if they have a religion or not. And I as a Christian support good things, which do include education and arts.

      Warm Regards

      June 28, 2011 at 12:02 pm |
  17. Muneef

    [10:3] Your only Lord is GOD; the One who created the heavens and the earth in six days, then assumed all authority. He controls all matters. There is no intercessor, except in accordance with His will. Such is GOD your Lord. You shall worship Him. Would you not take heed?

    [10:4] To Him is your ultimate return, all of you. This is GOD's truthful promise. He initiates the creation, then repeats it, in order to reward those who believe and lead a righteous life, equitably. As for those who disbelieve, they incur hellish drinks, and a painful retribution for their disbelieving.
    -----

    [32:4] GOD is the One who created the heavens and the earth, and everything between them in six days, then assumed all authority. You have none beside Him as Lord, nor do you have an intercessor. Would you not take heed?

    [32:5] All matters are controlled by Him from the heaven to the earth. To Him, the day is equivalent to one thousand of your years.

    [32:6] Knower of all secrets and declarations; the Almighty, Most Merciful.

    June 12, 2011 at 7:52 pm |
    • Eric G

      @Muneef: Hello my friend! I hope all is well and that you and your family are safe.

      Now, about your post.........

      "As for those who disbelieve, they incur hellish drinks, and a painful retribution for their disbelieving."

      Do you see how I can interpret that statement as a threat? The threat itself does not bother me because no verifiable evidence exists to support it. What does bother me is that their are people who think they are justified in making threats against me because of their religion. If they cannot prove that their beliefs are based in reason and fact, they do not need to use reason or fact to threaten others. This practice is dangerous.

      June 12, 2011 at 8:29 pm |
    • Muneef

      Eric G.
      Hi there all fine I hope...

      This my dear is in the Quran as it is am making no treat nor it is supposed to be on earth...this supposed to say people after judgment day God will do this or that to them so you see God is treathening those who do not believe in him...

      June 12, 2011 at 9:23 pm |
  18. Muneef

    [6:69] The righteous are not responsible for the utterances of those people, but it may help to remind them; perhaps they may be saved.

    [6:70] You shall disregard those who take their religion in vain, as if it is a social function, and are totally absorbed in this worldly life. Remind with this (Quran), lest a soul may suffer the consequences of its evil earnings. It has none beside GOD as a Lord and Master, nor an intercessor. If it could offer any kind of ransom, it would not be accepted. They suffer the consequences of the evil works they earn; they have incurred hellish drinks, and a painful retribution because of their disbelief.

    [6:71] Say, "Shall we implore, beside GOD, what possesses no power to benefit us or hurt us, and turn back on our heels after GOD has guided us? In that case, we would join those possessed by the devils, and rendered utterly confused, while their friends try to save them: `Stay with us on the right path.' " Say, "GOD's guidance is the right guidance. We are commanded to submit to the Lord of the universe.

    [6:72] "And to observe the Contact Prayers (Salat), and to reverence Him – He is the One before whom you will be summoned (for the reckoning)."

    [6:73] He is the One who created the heavens and the earth, truthfully. Whenever He says, "Be," it is. His word is the absolute truth. All sovereignty belongs to Him the day the horn is blown. Knower of all secrets and declarations, He is the Most Wise, the Cognizant.

    June 12, 2011 at 7:43 pm |
  19. Muneef

    [6:50] Say, "I do not say to you that I possess the treasures of GOD. Nor do I know the future. Nor do I say to you that I am an angel. I simply follow what is revealed to me." Say, "Is the blind the same as the seer? Do you not reflect?"

    [6:51] And preach with this (Quran) to those who reverence the summoning before their Lord – they have none beside Him as a Lord and Master, nor an intercessor – that they may attain salvation.

    [6:52] And do not dismiss those who implore their Lord day and night, devoting themselves to Him alone. You are not responsible for their reckoning, nor are they responsible for your reckoning. If you dismiss them, you will be a transgressor.

    June 12, 2011 at 7:23 pm |
  20. Muneef

    Sean
    These are good points. I am surprised that many people don't truly understand some of the terms (such as atheism and deism).
    June 10, 2011 at 9:48 pm | Report abuse |

    Sean.
    Thanks to you I have learned a new word "Deism" which in dictionary reads to believe in God with out religion....! Although it sounds nice but do not know how that could be done without knowing how to honor that in practice?

    June 12, 2011 at 8:57 am |
    • Reality

      Honoring the truth about Islam:

      Mohammed was an illiterate, womanizing, lust and greed-driven, warmongering, hallucinating Arab, who also had embellishing/hallucinating/plagiarizing scribal biographers who not only added "angels" and flying chariots to the koran but also a militaristic agenda to support the plundering and looting of the lands of non-believers.

      This agenda continues as shown by the ma-ssacre in Mumbai, the as-sas-sinations of Bhutto and Theo Van Gogh, the conduct of the seven Muslim doctors in the UK, the 9/11 terrorists, the 24/7 Sunni suicide/roadside/market/mosque bombers, the 24/7 Shiite suicide/roadside/market/mosque bombers, the Islamic bombers of the trains in the UK and Spain, the Bali crazies, the Kenya crazies, the Pakistani “koranics”, the Palestine suicide bombers/rocketeers, the Lebanese nutcases, the Taliban nut jobs, the Ft. Hood follower of the koran, and the Filipino “koranics”.

      And who funds this muck and stench of terror? The warmongering, Islamic, Shiite terror and torture theocracy of Iran aka the Third Axis of Evil and also the Sunni "Wannabees" of Saudi Arabia.

      Current crises:

      The global Sunni-Shiite blood feud and the warmongering, womanizing (11 wives), hallucinating founder.

      June 12, 2011 at 3:54 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.