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Four ways 9/11 changed America's attitude toward religion
Construction workers move steel beam pulled from ground zero rubble into its permanent home at the 9/11 Memorial Museum.
September 3rd, 2011
10:00 PM ET

Four ways 9/11 changed America's attitude toward religion

By John Blake, CNN

(CNN) - David O'Brien couldn't help himself. After the September 11 terrorist attacks, he became obsessed.

O'Brien read the stories of 9/11 victims over and over, stunned by what he was discovering.

He read about the firefighters who marched up the smoke-choked stairwells of the World Trade Center, though many knew they could die; the beloved priest killed while giving last rites as the twin towers collapsed; the passengers on hijacked planes who called their families one last time to say, "I love you."

"I was obsessed with these stories," says O'Brien, a Catholic historian at the University of Dayton in Ohio. "There were so many stories of self-sacrifice, not just by the first responders, but by people fleeing the building. There was this revelation of goodness."

O'Brien saw an Easter message in 9/11 - good rising out of the ashes of evil. Yet there were other religious messages sent that day, and afterward, that are more troubling, religious leaders and scholars say.

September 11 didn't just change America, they say. It changed the nation's attitude toward religion. Here are four ways:

1: A chosen nation becomes a humbled one.

One man died because he arrived early to work. A woman died because she decided to take a later flight. The arbitrary nature of some of the deaths on 9/11 still sticks with many Americans today.

Yet this is what life is like for billions of people on the planet today, some religious leaders say. A random event - a car bomb, a stray bullet - can end their lives at any minute.

Most Americans had not lived with this vulnerability until 9/11, says Mathew Schmalz, a religion professor at the College of the Holy Cross  in Massachusetts, who once lived in Karachi, Pakistan.

"We had this sense of specialness and invulnerability that 9/11 shattered," he says. "Given that a large section of the world's population deals with random violence every day, one of the outcomes of 9/11 should be a greater feeling of solidarity with people who live in cities like Karachi in which violence is a part of everyday life."

Recognizing that vulnerability, though, is difficult for some Americans because of how they see their country, Schmalz and others say.

They say Americans have long had a triumphalist view of their place in history. Certain beliefs have been engrained: Tomorrow will always be better; we're number one. The term "American" even reflects a certain arrogance. It casually discounts millions of people living in Central and Latin America.

The 9/11 attacks, though, forced many Americans to confront their limitations, says Rev. Thomas Long, a nationally known pastor who has been active in post 9/11 interfaith efforts.

"We're losing the power of the American empire and becoming more a nation among nations," says Long, a religion professor at Emory University in Atlanta. "The world is a much more dangerous and fragile place economically."

How Americans cope with their loss of power is ultimately a theological question, Long says. It's the same question the ancient Hebrews confronted in the Old and New Testaments when they faced national calamities.

The chosen people had to learn how to be humble people, Long says. Americans face the same test today.

"The challenge for every faith tradition is going to be helping people grieve the loss of an image of America that they once had," he says, "and acquire a modern understanding of ourselves on the world's stage."

2: The re-emergence of "Christo-Americanism."

Before 9/11, if you asked the average American about Ramadan or sharia law, they probably would have given you a blank look.

Not anymore. The 9/11 attacks prompted more Americans to learn about Islam. Books on the subject became best-sellers. Colleges started offering more courses on Islam. Every cable news show suddenly had their stable of "Muslim experts."

More Americans know about Islam than ever before, but that hasn't stopped the post-9/11 Muslim backlash. The outrage over plans to build an Islamic prayer and community center near ground zero; the pastor who threatened to burn the Quran; conservative Christian leaders who called Islam evil - all occurred as knowledge of Islam spread throughout America, scholars says.

"One of the sobering lessons of the decade since 9/11 is that religious prejudice is not always rooted in raw ignorance," says Thomas Kidd, author of "American Christians and Islam."

"Some of America's most vociferous anti-Muslim critics know quite a lot about Muslim beliefs, but they often use their knowledge to construe Islam in the worst possible light."

Many of these public attacks against Islam were encouraged by conservative Christian leaders such as Rev. Franklin Graham, the son of Rev. Billy Graham, who called Islam "wicked," and Pat Robertson, the Christian broadcaster who declared that "Islam is not a religion," says Charles Kammer, a religion professor at the College of Wooster in Ohio.

Kammer says Graham and Robertson helped fuel the rise of "Christo-Americanism," a distorted form of Christianity that blends nationalism, conservative paranoia and Christian rhetoric.

"A segment of the religious community in the United States has been at the forefront of an anti-Islamic crusade that has helped to generate a climate of hatred and distrust toward all Muslims," says Kammer.

Other strains of Christo-Americanism have swept through America before.

After 9/11, some political leaders said terrorists hated the U.S. because of "our freedoms." But America's record on granting those freedoms to its citizens is mixed, says Lynn Neal, co-editor of the book, "Religious Intolerance in America."

In the 19th century, the U.S government passed numerous laws preventing Native American tribes from practicing their religion. Mormons were persecuted. Roman Catholics were once described as disloyal, sexual deviants, Neal says.

"Religious intolerance is not a new feature of the American landscape. Despite being the most religiously diverse nation on earth, despite having a first amendment that protects religious rights...we as a nation and as citizens have often failed to live up to those ideas."

3: Interfaith becomes cool.

Interfaith dialogue - it's not the type of term that makes the heart beat faster.

Before 9/11, interfaith efforts were dismissed as feel-good affairs that rarely got media coverage. The 9/11 attacks changed that.

Interfaith events spread across the country. Mosques and temples held joint worship services. Every college campus seemed to have an interfaith dialogue. The Obama White House launched a college interfaith program.

Becoming an interfaith leader is now hip, some say.

"A generation of students is saying that they want to be interfaith leaders, just like previous generations said they wanted to be human rights activists or environmentalists," says Eboo Patel, who founded the Interfaith Youth Core in 2002.

Patel says at least 250 colleges have signed up for the White House interfaith program, which he helped design. The program encourages students of different faiths to work together on service projects.

"These young leaders will make interfaith cooperation a social norm in America, similar to multiculturalism and volunteerism," Patel says.

These new leaders include people like Sarrah Shahawy, a Muslim-American medical student at Harvard University and the daughter of Egyptian immigrants.

After 9/11, Shahawy says she felt the responsibility to educate people about Islam. She became an interfaith leader at the University of Southern California,  where she noticed a steady increase in student participation in the years after the attacks.

Shahawy says her generation is drawn to interfaith efforts because 9/11 showed the destructive potential of any exclusive claims to religious truth. The 9/11 hijackers carried out their attacks in the name of Islam, but Muslim religious leaders and scholars said that the terrorists' actions did not reflect Islamic teachings.

"For one religious group to claim a monopoly on truth should be obsolete," she says. The interfaith movement doesn't teach people that all religions are the same, she says.

Shahawy calls herself a proud Muslim. "But for me, there's beauty and truth to be found in many different religions."

4: Atheists come out of the closet.

There's one group, however, that sees little beauty in any religion.

Before 9/11, many atheists kept a low profile. Something changed, though, after 9/11. They got loud.

Atheist leaders such as Richard Dawkins, author of "The God Delusion," and Sam Harris, author of "The End of Faith," wrote best-selling books. Atheist groups launched national media campaigns with bold billboard messages such as "Christmas is a myth."

The pugnacious journalist Christopher Hitchens became the public face of a more combative form of atheism as he went on talk shows and lectures to defend not believing in God.

Criticism of all religion, not just fanatical cults, was no longer taboo after 9/11, says Daniel Dennett, a philosophy professor with Tufts University in Massachusetts.

"Atheist-bashing is now, like gay-bashing, no longer an activity that can be indulged in with impunity by politicians or commentators," Dennett says.

Atheists were driven to become more vocal because of the 9/11 attacks and America's reaction, says David Silverman, president of American Atheists. He says many atheists were disgusted when President George W. Bush and leaders in the religious right reacted to the attack by invoking "God is on our side" rhetoric while launching a "war on terror."

They adopted one form of religious extremism while condemning another, he says.

"It really showed atheists why religion should not be in power. Religion is dangerous, even our own religion," Silverman says.

Atheists are still the most disparaged group in America, but there's less stigma attached to being one, he says.

"The more noise that we make, the easier it us to accept us," Silverman says. "Most people know atheists now. They knew them before, but didn't know they were atheists."

Many Americans knew the people who perished on 9/11 as well, but they didn't know they were heroes until later, says David O'Brien, the Catholic historian who compulsively read the 9/11 obituaries.

O'Brien was so moved by the stories he read that he decided to write an essay for America magazine, a national Catholic weekly, entitled, "9/11 Then and Now."

He wrote: On 9/11, "Our people, my people, were tested and, for a shining moment ... they were found worthy."

He said many 9/11 victims didn't panic as their end drew near. They "thought not of themselves, but others ... when the chips were down." They saw themselves not as individuals, but as members of a "single human family."

So should we, he says, as we face new challenges 10 years later. The 9/11 victims aren't just heroes; they're our guides for the future, he says.

"The story is not over, not by a long shot," O'Brien wrote. "Look at all the love that day. Love can still write another chapter and keep hope alive for a better future. The meaning of 9/11 lies ahead, and it's in our hands, and maybe in our hearts.'

- CNN Writer

Filed under: 9/11 • Atheism • Christianity • Faith • Interfaith issues

soundoff (2,180 Responses)
  1. michael

    lets talk about something we actually understand.. I think the Detroit Lions have a real chance at winning the NCF North

    September 4, 2011 at 2:24 am |
    • Rality

      I dont "understand" what the "NCF" North is... explain it to me..

      September 4, 2011 at 2:38 am |
    • Mark from Middle River

      That would be a sign of the end. I mean I think on the Mayan drawings there was a painting of a Detroit Lions Helmet.

      September 4, 2011 at 2:38 am |
    • joshua

      I don't think the lions can win but for the fun of it ok.

      September 4, 2011 at 4:03 am |
  2. MossadandUSblackop

    In the book banned by the Library of Congress called LEGIONS OF SATAN, 1781 by Jonathan Williams, it was written that during the American Revolution, General Cornwallis revealed to Washington that "a holy war will now begin on America, and when it is ended America will be supposedly the citadel of freedom, but her millions will unknowingly be loyal subjects to the Crown. Your churches will be used to teach the Jew's religion and in less than two hundred years the whole nation will be working for divine world government. That government that they believe to be divine will be the British Empire. All religions will be permeated with Judaism without even being noticed by the masses, and they will all be under the invisible all-seeing eye of the Grand Architect of Freemasonry."

    September 4, 2011 at 2:24 am |
    • Mark from Middle River

      Sigh .... now it is the Jews .... Soon the anti-Hispanic crowd will throw in their reasoning.

      September 4, 2011 at 2:35 am |
  3. Sober

    Atheism is a religion too.

    September 4, 2011 at 2:23 am |
    • Bill Sargent

      No, if you would learn to read.... you'd see that Atheism is the lack of religion. Its a stance to stay clear of worshiping gods and deities. But I am guessing someone with a name like "sober" probably isn't so "sober" if he can't read the dictionary well enough to derive a proper meaning of a word. By your definition, democrats or republicans are in a religion. People CAN have points of view that they share without worshiping a god and it being a religion you know.

      September 4, 2011 at 4:08 am |
  4. wisdom4u2

    Yeah, CNN wouldn't post my previous comments because it went against their attempt to start some bullchit on this forum!!!
    Seriously, who really cares???

    September 4, 2011 at 2:19 am |
    • Jumper

      Evidently you. . . because you keep posting, and no one's listening.

      September 4, 2011 at 2:21 am |
    • wisdom4u2

      @ Jumper.....Why are you replying to my comment??? U moron!!!

      September 4, 2011 at 2:22 am |
    • wisdom4u2

      Ha-ha, by the way 'Jumper' works for CNN!! LOL!!

      September 4, 2011 at 2:24 am |
    • Mark from Middle River

      Chances are Jumper is responding because it sounds like you might go out and eat your gun because of your post.

      Sometimes it's better to just take a few steps back from the computer and chill out a bit. 🙂

      September 4, 2011 at 2:24 am |
    • wisdom4u2

      ha-ha!! Sounds like 'Mark from Middle River' has his wife's thong on backwards!!!

      September 4, 2011 at 2:26 am |
    • Mark from Middle River

      >>>"ha-ha!! Sounds like 'Mark from Middle River' has his wife's thong on backwards!!!"

      Hey dude....keep your eyes up and stop looking below my waist line.

      September 4, 2011 at 2:33 am |
    • wisdom4u2

      @ Mark from Middle River....Ha-ha, don't flatter yourself – you are no Marc Anthony!!! LOL!!

      September 4, 2011 at 2:41 am |
  5. Spoton

    @Me
    As an outsider and commenting here for the first time, I want to congratulate you on your clear and precise evaluation of the situation, making your comment the only one worthwile of reading. You really have these so called atheist "punks" looking on their noses. You rock Me!

    September 4, 2011 at 2:16 am |
  6. MossadandUSblackop

    There are 1,548 architects and engineers with credentials who say the US government carried out the 9/11 attacks. All the US gov. has is the liars at NIST, a handful of government employees looking for a handout and some of the morons on the CNN boards. You can keep saying "conspiracy theorist" or "Alex Jones" but this snowball is building and pretty soon it's going to come crashing down on the lies and deceit! 9/11 was an inside job, 100% without a doubt and no white haired, CIA employed, Vanderbilt heir can deny that!

    September 4, 2011 at 2:15 am |
    • Jumper

      So. . . we destroyed American property. . . to do. . . what? Please, if you have a reason for the government doing this, then let us in on it. . . because the rest of us have no idea what motivation the gov would have.

      September 4, 2011 at 2:18 am |
    • Maani

      Jumper:

      "What motivation?!" Holy cow! The motivation of domestic and foreign agendas based on neocon principles. The motivation of greater control over the populace through the fear generated by the act itself and then the never-ending "war on terror," as well as "WMD" and "a mushroom cloud..." Or have you forgotten all the deliberate fear that was used?

      Are you aware that the Patriot Act was PRE-WRITTEN? That is was sitting on the shelf BEFORE 9/11, and was foist on Congress immediately afterward – with too few copies for the 535 members of Congress, and too little time to read a 176-page bill before it was voted on?! How do you think ou government was able to do all of the following in less than a year? – a Department of Homeland Security, the Patriot Act, the war in Afghanistan, the unprovoked pre-emptive invasion of Iraq (which, not coincidentally, led to no-bid contracts for reconstruction by U.S. companies, including Cheney's Halliburton, Bechtel et al), Guantanamo, Abu Ghraib, torture (including waterboarding), extraordinary rendition, the evisceration of habeas corpus and posse comitatus, the rapid growth of the "surveillance state," illegal wiretapping of Americans, and the erosion of any number of freedoms, civil rights and civil liberties in the name of "security." And that's just the short list!

      Wake up and smell the very burnt coffee!

      September 5, 2011 at 12:58 am |
  7. wisdom4u2

    Like I said; Who gives a rat’s a ss?? Since the beginning of time we’ve had our ‘nay’ religion and the ‘yea’ religion….and then you have the ‘spiritual’ people!!! Jesus ‘NEVER’ preached ‘RELIGION’!! Okay??!!

    September 4, 2011 at 2:15 am |
  8. Iswar

    Let's not talk about Islam. Its not a religion but a political party who wants to take the power of the world by any means. I dont understand how a common man/woman or an educated persoon follow this political party. Remove Islam, world will again become a wonderful place.

    Muslim brothers/ sisters – please change your religion/ political part and do or do not practice anything and see the change

    September 4, 2011 at 2:15 am |
    • Jumper

      Frankly, I wonder how much you know about what you're talking about.

      September 4, 2011 at 2:16 am |
    • SNAPPA

      It's the same with christianity in this country they spew their rhetoric and condem anyone who isn't with "them". All these politicians with republican or tea bagger credentials are nothing more than theocracies in waiting, like Iran. I am an Atheist and most proud of the fact I don't pretend to believe in something that not only is it quite impossible it makes no sense. Those that do not see religion as THE most dangerous thing to man at this point are only kidding themselves.

      September 4, 2011 at 2:38 am |
  9. michael

    I believe there are way to many mind blowing things in this world for there not to be a god. For it all to have been created by chance just doesn't make sense. My guess and belief is Jesus was the son of god and mankind has completely destroyed his true message with their denominations. At the same time, Buddha, Allah, and all others could have been the same message that has also been destroyed by mankind. That being said, evil's main goal is to control us and lead us from good. Presently it looks as if evil is winning. Christianity's belief of a leader/government controlling all of mankind does not seem so far out there or that far away.

    September 4, 2011 at 2:14 am |
  10. QC

    I have the feeling there is more atheists on this blog than believers. I would be curious to see actual statistics about how many peoples in North America (Canada, US & Mexico) are really attached to a faith versus peoples who have dropped it. I have a distinct feeling that usually in the media and day to day lives, the 'believers' are louder than the atheists. Anyway, you can count my household as atheists already, that's 3 persons.

    September 4, 2011 at 2:11 am |
    • QC

      Found it on Wikipedia : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Demographics_of_atheism#Population_attributes_of_atheists_in_the_US

      September 4, 2011 at 2:30 am |
  11. wisdom4u2

    Looks like someone @ CNN didn't like my comment....so sad, too bad....kiss my a ss!!!!!

    September 4, 2011 at 2:08 am |
    • Nanny Filter

      wisdom,

      An idiotic automatic filter flags certain words...
      When writing your posts keep an eye out for the following words (or word fragments). They will get your post deleted:
      a.rse
      ba.stard
      bit.ch
      co.ck
      co.on
      c.um
      c.unt
      do.uche
      ef.fing
      fa.g
      ft.w
      fu.ck
      ho.mo
      ho.rny
      jacka.ss
      ja.p
      jis.m
      ko.och
      nip.ple
      or.gy
      pi.s
      po.rn
      po.o
      pr.ick
      ra.pe
      se.x
      s.hit
      s.lut
      s.natch
      s.pic
      t.it
      t.wat
      v.ag
      w.hore
      w.tf

      September 4, 2011 at 2:23 am |
    • wisdom4u2

      I hear what you're saying 'nan', but I didn't have any of those words ....I was straight to the point!!! 'They' just didn't like what I had to say!!!! Oh, well!!!!

      September 4, 2011 at 2:47 am |
    • Nanny Filter

      wisdom,

      There are no live moderators here. And, ahem, seeing some of your other posts, I sort of wish there were one.

      September 4, 2011 at 3:10 am |
  12. cl78

    Yes lets inaugurate 911 victims of religious extremism with yet more religious extremism. While we are at it, lets defecate on their graves too.

    September 4, 2011 at 2:07 am |
    • BLL

      Agreed. Our real progress now lies in the fact that anyone who identifies the terrorist responsible as Islamic Extremists is anti-Islamic and it is okay to celebrate Islam but Christianity is bad. The author used the same broad brush in an attempt to smear Christianity that he accused the "conservative Christian leadership" of using on Islam.

      September 4, 2011 at 2:33 am |
  13. GAW

    I have no problem with atheism per say however "popular atheism" leaves a lot to be desired. Many of the posts here are a demonstration of that. They sound like Fundamentalists and conspiracy theorists.

    September 4, 2011 at 2:06 am |
  14. Cliffordo

    My definition of a valid religion is one that tolerates, helps, bonds and loves. Sadly, Muslims seem bent upon confrontation, attack, anger, isolation and death. We CHristians celebrate cooperation and life. They revel in war, attack & death. Before 9/11, I could NOT CARE LESS about Muslims.... but NOW, sadly, I think they should be walled off in their own part of the world like a bad junk yard dog.

    September 4, 2011 at 2:06 am |
    • Jen

      Based on the actions of 19 men who claimed to be Islamic? soooooo...the Westboro Baptist Church members claim to be Christian; there have been other various terrorist acts committed by so called Christians (just as the people of Norway). Does that mean we can wall up all of them as well?

      September 4, 2011 at 2:16 am |
  15. Nora

    As a non-American looking in on American politics, I have to say, it's scary the lack of separation of Church and State you guys seem to have. Remember, freedom of religion entails freedom from other people's religion too. Politicians like Bachmann wouldn't get anywhere in Australian politics, they would be swiftly shown the door.

    Freedom of religion = Freedom of AND FROM religion.

    September 4, 2011 at 2:05 am |
    • Jen

      You're telling me! lol...yeah she is terrifying. Unfortunately, I think most people are pretty moderate in their belief system and really do think it should be a personal thing. People like Bachmann are everywhere because it's good tv (for some *shrug*)

      But it is kind of scary how some laws are getting passed that seem to have a root in religious rationale (ie the cuts to Planned Parenthood, were driven by the more conservative lawmakers). And that is terrifying. Hopefully come election day, the true reflection of the American people (sane, respectful human beings), that may change a bit. If not, well then, maybe i'll just move to Australia lol

      September 4, 2011 at 2:14 am |
    • Jumper

      I agree with you, Nora. . . but this is America. We tend to be highly unstable, erratic, and irrational. Nobody quite knows why.

      September 4, 2011 at 2:20 am |
  16. Brian

    Religion caused 9-11. It was a perfect example of what happens when people take religion too seriously.

    September 4, 2011 at 2:04 am |
    • Mark from Middle River

      ...and a few days later many of the Nations faiths stood side by side in peace and harmony at a service in Washington DC.

      Churches opened doors at Ground Zero and comforted many of the workers and survivors.

      This is what happens when people take Religion to seriously as well. 🙂

      September 4, 2011 at 2:09 am |
    • GAW

      Without religion what would atheists complain about? Looks like you need religion in order for your ideology to survive.

      September 4, 2011 at 2:14 am |
    • harmonynoyes

      the wrong religion,
      and fanatics with diabolical ideas and actions
      and it is the "good and peaceful" muslims who want to "just build their mosque at ground zero"
      PLEASE! wake-up
      The're coming and they want yo0ur stuff!
      America, land of the free, home of the brave, and you might have to continue to fight to defend that!

      September 4, 2011 at 7:16 pm |
  17. David

    Everyone is an Atheist. There have been thousands of Gods throughout history. Most people don't believe in most of them outspoken Atheists just believe in one less God.

    September 4, 2011 at 2:04 am |
  18. Corse

    The shock so many felt that day made them vulnerable to indoctrination. That's what emotional stress can do to a person.
    9/11 turned many people into idiots willing to believe anything they were told.
    Brainwashing works by taking advantage of stress, for that is when a person is most vulnerable to brainwashing and indoctrination.
    Ask the Chinese about their "re-education camps" and maybe they'll tell you how easy it is to brainwash a person.
    9/11 is and was used to brainwash people. It continues to this day.

    September 4, 2011 at 1:58 am |
    • Jumper

      I'm quite sure you can apply the same reasoning to the camp of atheism.

      September 4, 2011 at 2:10 am |
    • Mark from Middle River

      Yep, "brainwashing" ... the favorite line of weak argument of anyone that is faced with anyone that disagrees with them dealing with anything from favorite cereal, to political parties, to Faith vs Atheism.

      September 4, 2011 at 2:13 am |
  19. WIlliam

    F*** religion! Religion is the whole reason this F*****-** event happened in the first place! F*** you if you believe in god, have you not been paying attention to what people have done in the name of that god? Are you with us?!?!? Wake up, there are no gods!

    September 4, 2011 at 1:49 am |
    • Ravs

      Your very angry..understandably so, but it will do no good. These religious nuts feed of instability..

      September 4, 2011 at 2:01 am |
    • Mark from Middle River

      Yawn, and I am sure there are a few Feminist websites that are F-men... a group of "men" killed people that day .... a group of "men" beat up Rodney King. A man killed :

      Martin Luther King
      Medger Evers
      John F Kennedy
      Robert Kennedy
      Abraham Lincoln
      Gandhi
      etc etc ...

      You folks are funny how when we boil down your statements from the Black Panthers to the Klan back to Early Malcolm X to Ben Laden.... they all sound the the same in the end silly.

      September 4, 2011 at 2:01 am |
    • jas

      i cant imagine what comes to your mind when you can see death face to face.

      September 4, 2011 at 2:07 am |
    • Jumper

      No, we're not with you, William. . . mainly because you seem to be suffering from a bad case of atheistic rabies.

      September 4, 2011 at 2:14 am |
  20. Ravs

    Religion is a barbaric cult born out of the ages of cavemen and voodoo to make it rain and keep bad ting from happening.Of course every religious person no matter what faith believes; no way is my religion voodoo its real and my god or deities are true beings that smite teh wicked and bless me and my nation of believers..YEAH RIGHT!.. Religion is hard to debunk because its rooted in pure insanity..Have you ever tried to reason with an insane person?..Its useless because they are crazy!! same with the pious , they speak pure ignorant thought with no shame..NONE!

    September 4, 2011 at 1:49 am |
    • Mark from Middle River

      As if people full of hate and fear, such as yourself, are any easier to deal with.

      September 4, 2011 at 1:53 am |
    • Ravs

      I did not spew hate..what are you reading? fear? I'm an atheist I do not fear anything! not even death; a natural process we all experience.

      September 4, 2011 at 1:57 am |
    • Corse

      If you were able to reason effectively, you could reason with someone filled with hate and fear. But the religious cannot reason effectively as we have seen time and time again. They have lies and beliefs and no truth and no reason to tell the truth when lies serve them so well.

      September 4, 2011 at 2:01 am |
    • Mark from Middle River

      I rest my case.

      September 4, 2011 at 2:02 am |
    • Mark from Middle River

      >>>”If you were able to reason effectively, you could reason with someone filled with hate and fear. “

      You can. When the person compares you too a caveman and that my Faith is rooted in insanity. Please, I an open for advisement, tell me where to start “reason” with someone that brings such rabid views to the table?

      September 4, 2011 at 2:06 am |
    • Jumper

      The fact that your comment is less facts and more opinions and ranting discredits most everything you just said.

      September 4, 2011 at 2:08 am |
    • Corse

      For you? Nothing. You happen to be a sleazy bit of trash that sometimes shows up here. In your case there is too much known about your lack of ethics to bother with you at all. This post is just something to while away the minutes. I can only hope you choke on it to death, but that would be unrealistic...

      September 4, 2011 at 2:10 am |
    • Mark from Middle River

      >>>”For you? Nothing. You happen to be a sleazy bit of trash that sometimes shows up here. ….. I can only hope you choke on it to death,”

      Wow dude. I didn't even take any real shots at you and you become this unraveled? Are you serious?

      Rav, you feel the same as Corse, because I have been posting around the Belief Blog for almost a year now and I do not feel that Corse's views are the same as most Atheist.

      September 4, 2011 at 2:18 am |
    • Corse

      Far from unraveling, I was merely pointing out your lack of worthiness in my eyes. I've seen how you operate. Your removal from this realm of existence would be a real improvement. And if all the others of your ilk were disposed of as well, the whole country would rejoice!
      But that's just my opinion, of corse.

      September 4, 2011 at 2:23 am |
    • Mark from Middle River

      Wow Corse, you are hoping for the full Auschwitz concentration camp type outcome for me and others like me.

      Just to make sure, is it because I am a Christian or because I am African American, or that I am a registered Republican?

      September 4, 2011 at 2:30 am |
    • Maitre D

      Would you two like separate tables? Or perhaps a private room where you can do your heavy breathing stuff?

      September 4, 2011 at 2:35 am |
    • Maitre D

      Separate rooms?

      September 4, 2011 at 2:36 am |
    • Corse

      Just to clarify, oh my brother, it is none of those things.
      But don't worry, your secrets are safe on the internet with me. 😉

      September 4, 2011 at 2:38 am |
    • Maitre D

      Perhaps a fine wine? No? (beckons to security) These gentlemen will show you a nice table outside...

      September 4, 2011 at 2:46 am |
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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.