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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. SHALIWAHAN VATS JAMNIA

    Sir, when self interest, greediness, corruption get to gather than the controversy takes place,this is what is taking place in Iindia.Before 1947 India was ruled by British,but before that it was by kings of various kingdoms,and it was divided in different pockets,thou it was know as Hindustan.My logic startes from this point.Unsatisfactory,Wrong doing,Corruption, Dictatorship and Self Interest,because of this revolt took place against the British rule mind not against the Hindustani kings.it should be taken into consideration,that all the unwanted movement took place in the British ruled territory,but not in the area which was dominated by the Hindustani kings.Hidden fact a group of Intellectual Juggerels of middle and lower brain wanted there interference in Governance,which they planned by aquiring it by false ways, in ways of Misguiding,in name of Better Rule,welfare,and Development for which poor public thought,this is something new,which should be Tried and Experimented.And this Experiment at the cost of Hindustan,was taken. Reason public all over the world is not knowledgeable,able and capable its always the germ of betterment which creates havoc,in which future aspect, and repercussion are never considered.It changes into mass movement with a black philosophy,which ends in the name of democracy of corruption.To prevail democracy people should be well educated,than only democracy will survive.These Intellectual Jugglers shrewdly manuplated in view once the rule of Upper Brain, Quality of Leadership,Path of Dharma is broken and it comes down to us ,we will win the battle,and they succeed in these trick game of Juggling.These Jokers success was noticed by the Hindustani kings,and to please them lollipop of Rajya Sahba,special Privileged,status was promised, again thses Jugglelers crooked mind played and in the name of Welfare and Development it was taken back the promise and commitment in 1972.Its ridiculous that the Golden symbol on silver plate of Goodness was taken over in wrapped of velvet leather of Intellectual Juggalers.Since 1947 what have we achieved,Tons of gold gone out in name of welfare,development,Tons of cash gone out,Tons of black money still revolving in India.these are the facts which now Hindustani public should realise.Its demoralizing the nation which was a symbol of Wealth,Glory and Resources.Goodness (kings) have gone,Aanna hazere will go,Ramdev baba will be involved infalse cases,all goodness who put there goodness at the feet of these Intellectual Jugglers should allow them to hunt there Self Interest in this Happy Hunting Ground of Hindustan.Travancore king Treasure will merged in the ocean of corruption,like the Jewels of Hydrabad King(nawab),Jaipur Jai garh fort Treasure mystery all will take U –turn and move to Swiss Bank.Past history of Hindustan first it was Alexender than Tamur-the -lag,Nadir Shah,Mohhamad Ghori,King of Samarkhand,Britishers than our Beloved corrupat Netas,Officers have looted.STILL IF SEE R BELOVED NATION SURVIVE WE SHOULD FEEL PROUD

    July 9, 2011 at 1:40 am |
  2. Ashley

    Cognitive Dissonance!!

    July 8, 2011 at 3:44 pm |
  3. Noble9

    It seems like it should be called "Christian Blog" since most of the stories relate back to religions that worship the Christian gods (YHWH, Yesua, etc.).

    July 8, 2011 at 3:30 pm |
  4. Tony

    Most "Christians" aren't Christian.
    Matthew 7:21 – 23
    “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?’ Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!

    July 8, 2011 at 3:02 pm |
  5. John

    The post by My 2 Cents is the most ignorant thing I've read this week. How could you compare a blog about Faith to a Blog about Nazism? Why in the world do atheists like to label themselves as "free-thinkers" and "logical"? So because you don't believe in God, you are smarter than everyone else? How? Because you believe in Science? Yeah, so do I? I've spent my life studying and researching, I graduated from college, and I consider myself an intellectual. I believe in God. Does that automatically make me less intelligent than an atheist? What proof do atheists have that God doesn't exist? None!

    July 8, 2011 at 9:21 am |
  6. Chris

    Great article. Keep up the good work!

    July 8, 2011 at 7:57 am |
  7. My 2 cents

    So, how come that atheists comment a lot on the Belief Blog? We (atheists) didn't go to some religious site and decided to present our point of view. Religious site actually came to us! We were just reading CNN because we were interested in politics and daily news and then there it is – Belief Blog article on the front page, spewing religious nonsense, irritating the hell (figure of speech) out of my logical mind, leaving me no other choice than to respond to these intellectual fallacies and insults to logical thinking. YOU ASKED FOR IT! Why CNN has decided to publish this worthless, outdated, already-refuted-in-billion-ways and mentally, emotionally and socially damaging doctrine such as religion is beyond me!!! If there were a Nazi Blog right next to the Belief Blog, would any of us, theist or atheist, just stand by and not say anything? Would we say "Oh, I am not a Nazi, so this doesn't concern me, I'll just click on the next link" or would you raise your voice against something that you consider so wrong? The reason why atheists are so fervent in commenting in here is because we find religious doctrine so damaging in the above mentioned ways. When we see the nonsense on the Belief Blog, we don't have a choice than to speak against the nonsense.

    We don't even want to be labeled as atheists, just as we don't think we need to be labeled as a-santaists (people who don't believe in Santa), a-flat-earthist (people who don't believe the earth is flat) or a-flying-spaghetti-monsterists (people who don't believe in the existence of a Flying Spaghetti Monster). We'd much rather talk about REAL things, people, events and phenomenas on this Earth and in this Universe, but you believers are leaving us no choice, we are sucked into this debate.

    Oh, and one more thing... "8. God may not prevent natural disasters, but religion is always a big part of the response." Congratulations, you just stated one of the major objections to the belief in the existence of God and you didn't even try to refute it! In the same sentence, you stated how ridiculous and blind the belief in God is.

    July 7, 2011 at 11:37 pm |
    • jenx

      2Cents – thank you for affirming items 2, 4, and 5!

      July 8, 2011 at 11:58 am |
    • Anony

      Godwin's law.

      July 11, 2011 at 12:43 pm |
  8. gogogopher

    The Bible, Quran, Torah.... all three have many of the same stories... Common theme the Abrahamic God. Creating the world... Angles having boom boom with humans... humans wanting to have boom boom with angels.

    My Fav story.... Jesus kills 42 children with two bears for making fun of a bald prophet. They were children and were not mocking God... they had no idea this guy was a preacher. He was bald...

    Also cracks me up some Christians claim Jesus "was not in the Old Testament".
    I thought Jesus WAS God? "In the beginning the Word (jesus) was with god and the WORD WAS GOD."
    "I AM the Alpha and Omega" "I and the father are the same (as one).

    So.... why on earth would Jesus kill ...kill.... 42 children with two bears? God is Love? Uh.... No.

    July 7, 2011 at 6:36 pm |
  9. RobbyCanuck

    I am an Atheist. The Belief Blog is a great place to increase understanding and regrettably a great place to express ignorance, especiially in the Comments Page.

    I have read the Bible. I think that it has an inherent attraction because it tells us common sense stories regarding positive ways to live our lives. You do not have to believe in God to recognize those benefits. And I don't need some religion to interpret the Bible for me. I can read. I can reason. I can understand the Bible. At the same time the Bible also reveals very bad ways to live one's life and in many places it is vile, hateful and racist.

    The Bible does have problems with ambiguity, inconsistencies and direct contradictions. But the biggest problem in the public domain about the bible is context. The bible is continuously quoted and interpreted out of context to promote a particular strain of religious belief. This is what causes the heated battles between people about the meaning and value of the Bible. We should also be reminded the Bible is not one continuus book but rather a collection of books.

    That being said, I suggest there are some ground rules we all might consider adopting about the Bible and it's context when one reads and studies it.

    1. It was written centuries ago at a time when our scientific knowledge about the world was virtually nil.

    2. Like all books it has the slant and bias of it's author(s)

    3. The various books in the Bible have undergone permutations and combinations as a result of translation and tinkering by various persons or religious groups who had vested interests in what the Bible says. This is especially so with the final drafts of the New Testament.

    4. There is a lot of myth and allegory in the Bible

    5. There are things in the Bible that are just dead wrong.

    6. There are inconsistencies, ambiguities and direct contradictions in the Bible.

    7. The underlying messages contain the value of the Bible.

    8. Any reasonably literate person does not need some religion or religious instiution to interpret the Bible for them.

    9. Use critical thinking and do not accept verbatim that what the Bible says.

    10. And lastly read the Bible in the context of the times, language, traditions, knowledge and culture that exised at the time it was written, and ask yourself how that fits with today's scientific knowledge, traditions and culture.

    Then search for the underlying messages and accept that which aligns with your own personal beliefs and values and reject that which doesn't. But do so in context. In my view this would eliminate a lot of the useless argument that prevails about the Bible.

    July 7, 2011 at 4:11 pm |
    • AvdBerg

      You yourself say the Bible is a story book. It is not. It is a spiritual book that the natural man cannot receive as it is spiritually discerned. For a better understanding what mankind must do to be able to understand the Bible and to be reunited with God we invite you to read all the pages and articles of the website http://www.aworldeceived.ca

      July 7, 2011 at 6:29 pm |
  10. njebel

    If God is so fake then why do atheists worry so much? I don't see anyone running to diss Santa Claus.

    July 7, 2011 at 4:00 pm |
    • LinCA

      @njebel

      You said "If God is so fake then why do atheists worry so much? I don't see anyone running to diss Santa Claus."
      That's probably because those that believe in Santa aren't setting policy. Our money doesn't have "In Santa We Trust" on it, nor does the Pledge of Allegiance state that we are "One Nation under Santa". Nobody is advocating the teaching of how reindeer fly, or why some have red shiny noses.

      July 7, 2011 at 4:26 pm |
  11. AvdBerg

    Last week I decided to see review some of the items on your Belief Blog and read some of the comments people were sending in. We even posted a few comments ourselves and the only positive thing about our comments were that hundreds of people visited our website and hopefully it will lead people to the decision to seek for the truth themselves.

    I also read the 10 Things Belief Blog has learned and the following is our response to your worldly opinion. You may celebrate your first anniversary with balloons and cake but here is the real story

    The CNN Blog confirms that every Kingdom divided against itself is eventually brought to desolation; and every city or house divided against itself shall not stand (Matthew 12:25-30). The comments and replies by people on your Blog is proof how divided the people are and the divisive and sometimes hatred-filled comments show how divided this world has become. CNN in the meantime benefits ($$$) by continuing to promote false teachers and blind guides (Rick Warren, Robert Schuller, Ty Adams, Joel Osteen, Eddie Long, etc., etc.) and benefits from articles by yourself and other reporters that promote false and misleading doctrines, that are after the wisdom of this world and not after God and only stir up more division
    (1 Cor. 2:4-6).

    The reason our messages are such a stumbling-block (1 Cor. 1:23; 1 Peter 2:7,8) for you is because the gospel we preach is not after man, for we neither received it of man, neither were we taught it, but by the revelation of Jesus Christ (Gal. 1:11,12).

    We welcome your questions.

    In His Service.

    Andy & Dianne van den Berg

    July 7, 2011 at 2:14 pm |
    • AvdBerg

      Our website is http://www.aworlddeceived.ca

      July 7, 2011 at 2:16 pm |
  12. RASahm

    You say "Ironically, atheists and agnostics scored best" on the quiz about religious knowledge. Why in the world is this ironic? Being atheist or agnostic does NOT mean being ignorant or uninformed about the Bible. Rather, it means the opposite– being well-informed about religion and either deciding that it isn't for you or what you believe (atheist) or that it doesn't convince you one way or another (agnostic). If anything, it takes just as much 'faith' to be a dedicated atheist as it does to be fervently religious. I wish that more 'religious' people were as well-informed about religion as many agnostics and atheists I know!

    July 7, 2011 at 2:05 pm |
    • Chris

      It's ironic because one would expect that those who believe the Bible is the truth, would have better knowledge of it than those who don't believe it.

      July 7, 2011 at 5:06 pm |
    • robert

      @Chris, it isn't ironic in that people who are gullible enough to believe anything they are told are not likely going to be people who try to understand what they believe. If I told you the moon was made of green cheese and you believed it would it be ironic if it turned out you didn't know anything about the moon or cheese?

      July 7, 2011 at 8:08 pm |
  13. Chris Mankey

    "Atheists are the most fervent commenters on matters religious"

    I suppose that fact the religion is the 900 pound gorilla in the room that no one dare criticize means the gorilla is your friend.

    July 7, 2011 at 1:03 am |
    • Lauren

      No one dare criticize? I think you've been hiding under a rock my friend. It someone is going to write a comment that lets you know they're an atheist, they are going to be criticizing Christianity. Even the three examples given in this article do, including the one that refers to Christians as "perpetually intellectually challenged".

      But that makes it much harder to play the "poor, poor atheist" card.

      July 7, 2011 at 9:32 am |
  14. Edwinna

    Do you know what reading CNN's Belief Blog has taught me?

    Basically, Christianity is the only spiritual path that rates stories, opinions, etc. True, at times there are Muslim or Jewish articles but I wonder why some Pagan paths are not represented. This could lead one to believe that CNN is just as "religiously illiterate" as it claims most of it's readers are.

    Shame on you CNN.

    July 6, 2011 at 1:25 pm |
    • Bo

      _

      July 6, 2011 at 7:59 pm |
  15. flyingfish

    1-9 are interesting #10 is misinformed. Black Dualism is the real issue. Christ was asked what the greatest commandment is (because He came to fulfill the Old Testament Law and Prophecy, not abolish it). Christ said the greatest commandment is to Love God and the second, love your neighbor as yourself. Christ is love. Jeremiah Wright clearly preached hate against white. Black dualism is racially and includes Obama's J. Wright as religiously motivated. I use the word religiously, because this is not Christian.

    July 6, 2011 at 11:38 am |
  16. If the Bible was a hockey stick

    Surely our world is above petty lies and corrupt dealings. Who is behind the grief and suffering and what are benefiting by doing so? These are the words. Follow the money. So often heard but seldom processed. Analysis of how Christian churches make a buck show that if you repress the people and take away the fun you can torment them and make them believe anything loco story behind locked doors. We need freedom from religion. What basis are we working on? Gold standard didn't work. Church standard isn't working unless you are a pedophile pope or priest. Or if you enjoy being a nun at an all girls high school germinating lesbians. Who cares how much the Vatican, the Catholic Church pays off the world. Their order is wrong for the world. Stop the feasting and beasting on old time religion. It isn't good enough for you or me. When you do the math the bible is not historical. Just attend the best Christian college in America called Princeton Theological Seminary. If you preach religion you need to go their to realize that you are a hypocrite and you are spreading the wrong message. Find motivation in logic and science not from fiction in the bible.

    July 6, 2011 at 8:14 am |
  17. Truth about religious harm

    You mean the Inquisition? The Catholic Hitler? The to become minister Stalin? The christians that came to America and committed the largest massacre ever, 11 million Indians killed? The holy wars? The thousands of children abused by hierarchy of the catholic church, many victims committed suicide and others mentally ill, and they church denies them instead of setting the good example on what should be done to help them?

    July 5, 2011 at 11:02 pm |
    • empiric

      Hitler was Christian only insofar as it forwarded his political career. Instructions to his propaganda apparatus to figure out how to replace Christmas with, in effect, "Hitler day" is all one needs to know about his true objectives. Stalin was explicitly atheist leading an explicitly-atheist country following an explicitly-atheist agenda. What one was "to be" at one point in their lives is irrelevant. If you want sheer volume of deaths, though, let's limit ourselves exclusively to -your- viewpoint, and note that all of the above would pale next to the mass-deaths resulting from inter-tribal warfare before religion existed. How do we know this? Because you exist, having evolved as the only closely-similar hominid left around. It isn't merely me saying I'm right, -you- say I'm right, and choosing to ignore the necessary inferences of your own position just makes you irrational–nothing else.

      July 6, 2011 at 9:06 am |
    • Realist

      Funny how people twist things around. Ever wonder why the Vatican was never bombed? Ever wonder why the catholic church didn't vocalize, to Hitler, to STOP? Hitler shared the vatican views hating Jews. People need to face the truth and stop the twisting to pretend the catholic church and hitler were not friends.

      July 6, 2011 at 12:01 pm |
    • Davren

      Dummy, Hitler and the Nazi's were Darwinists...They believed in Survival of the Fittest. Eugenics was based on that idea of Darwinism..Get a clue, don't try to act like Christianity is the cause for everything. Darwinism and Atheism leads to more atrocities because there is no "right or wrong" in that philosophy. Only what feels right to the person.

      July 6, 2011 at 4:37 pm |
    • The truth, face it

      nice try.. The nazi's believed in the survival of the fittest, which doesn't mean Catholic Hitler wasn't a god believer – aligned withe the catholic church hating Jews. Please stop avoiding the truth for once.

      Look at the popes who lied and cheated against small children abused, demanding silence with threats. Little children! Then they turn around and use little children in their show of pretend caring to make them look good! Christians would say they are not christian by your logic.

      The facts remain, the vatican was never bombed, bishops helped hitler's regime and the pope never stood up against Hitler. Get real, look at the facts. (Notice how the catholholics will point out a SINGLE priest who helped the Jews but ignore the masses that did nothing.)

      July 6, 2011 at 6:34 pm |
  18. 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 11:17 am |
    • Really?

      Anne would be acceptable to God. When I took a college course that gave a description of all the major religions basic beliefs, I found out more about the core belief for Catholics. A good person will get into heaven, as will one who keeps their covenant with God. As a Jewess she was part of the original covenant & thus acceptable. An unconverted good person is also pleasing in God's sight. It is the content of our souls that defines us. The imperfect Christian believers have Jesus to speak for them & plead for mercy for them. Purgatory is timeout for those who are repentant; after they learn better, they are admitted. Hell is only for the truly evil or stubbornly unrepentant. It is unclear whether hell is hot, cold, or simply being denied the bliss of God's presence. I hope that helps.

      July 5, 2011 at 11:45 am |
    • Gene

      Really?

      Yes, a moderate, temperate response amid much invective, thank you. Like the Mormon doctrine, it seems a more just and reasonable response to the problem of limited knowledge sealing our eternal fates

      But stand by for the inevitable anti-Catholic diatribes from fundamentalist Christians that make even the most scornful atheists seem mild and lamblike.

      Speaking of atheists, you did acknowledge that most are thoughtful, if not totally respectful, of your viewpoint. Most simply, sincerely, do not believe in any sentient transcendental reality.

      As for the ones who irritate you (the mocker pecking birds), well, there is flaming (as it used to be known) on all posts and blogs, regardless of subject. Today it goes under the rubric of trolling, like poking a tasmanian devil for the fun it evokes. As I'm sure you will agree, it is simply the give and take of free speech, one of mankind's most precious possessions.

      July 5, 2011 at 12:27 pm |
  19. Really?

    #2 did not surprise me. Reading this blog over the past year, I have been reluctant to participate, mainly due to the atheist prosthelytizers with their penchant for ridicule( that is of course was not all of the atheists, just the ones who want to change everyone else into born again atheists). For example; Juan2Post mocks people who believe in God during his lengthy exhortation by proclaiming to them that their prayers do not work, nor will they be healed. Sadly; he did not even ask whether anyone could offer him any proof of either answered prayers or healing, he just offers up verbal abuse towards people who have religious beliefs.
    I have sets of X-rays from both before & after my permanent bone fusions mysteriously healed within about 2 hours. I spent three nights simply praying to The Holy Spirit for aid. I awoke early that third morning healed. Proof enough for me. My doctor; who trained at John Hopkins; saw me weekly during that time. He asked me "What did you do?",when I showed him I was healed at my next appointment. When I replied that I just prayed... he told me to keep on doing it! Two separate thoracic surgeons had already X-rayed those fusions, & pronounced them non correctable. Science had failed to heal them for me, however, my prayers succeeded. In my X-rays afterward the bones are without deformation. My doctor & I continued to heal everything else with medical treatments, I only received help for the damage that was irreversible. I still ponder the reason why I received that healing, because I am nothing special.
    I do not pretend to be an expert on my faith, but I really do wish I could have a honest discussion with people of various faiths about their own religious experiences & practices without having the mocker birds pecking at me. When the majority of those type of posts come from a small amount of posters who have driven almost everyone else off, then this might as well be called the Atheist Blog. It is annoying; because it is the intolerance of these posters that is so repellent to me, not anyone else's religious beliefs or disbelief. Maybe CNN should have a moderator to keep prosthelytizing to a minimum.

    July 5, 2011 at 10:58 am |
    • Justin Observation

      Most theists and atheists are no different from each other, as most of them claim to know what they do not know. Both of them are really just liars.

      Not lying is a very important part of having an honest discussion, so belief blogs, like this one, tend to be nothing but shouting matches between two opposing liars. I find them quite amusing, as I am not a theist or an atheist.

      July 6, 2011 at 4:35 pm |
  20. FairGarden™

    I ♥ Belief Blog

    July 4, 2011 at 4:15 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.