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A rough decade for American congregations
A new survey shows a decline in worship service attendance in the United States.
September 20th, 2011
04:43 PM ET

A rough decade for American congregations

By Eric Marrapodi, CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

(CNN) - A new decade-long survey of American congregations shows religious health and vitality are weaker than they were 10 years ago.  While the survey showed that many congregations are adopting new technologies and innovative worship, there were steep drops in financial health and attendance at weekly worship services.

The Hartford Institute for Religion Research released the study's findings Saturday in a report titled "A Decade of Change in American Congregations, 2000 – 2010" authored by David A. Roozen.

In the measured decade, churches, temples and synagogues told surveyors that congregations that were innovative and contemporary showed the highest amount of "high spiritual vitality."

Forty-seven percent of congregations that said their worship experience was "innovative and contemporary" reported high spiritual vitality, versus 17% that said their congregations were "neither innovative nor contemporary."

The vast majority of congregations implemented electronic communications in the past decade.  Recently, many have turned to social networking as well, with 41% using Facebook to communicate with congregants.

Congregations are also having hard times financially, the survey found.  In 2000, 31% of survey participants reported excellent financial health.  In 2010, that number plummeted to just 14%.

The recession, Roozen writes in the report, "affected nearly every kind of congregation equally – large and small; north, south, east and west; financially healthy or struggling before the recession. One bit of good news was that one in 10 congregations reported that by the time of the survey, they had already begun to recover."

Roozen writes that a variety of factors led to the decline, but overall, there are fewer Americans in the pews, and "... more than 1 in 4 American congregations had fewer than 50 in worship in 2010, and just under half had fewer than 100. Overall, median weekend worship attendance of your typical congregation dropped from 130 to 108 during the decade, according to the FACT surveys."

FACT refers to Faith Communities Today, a multifaith coalition that researches congregational life.

While megachurches - congregations with more than 2,000 members - continued to grow in popularity, they still represent only a fraction of American congregations, at one-half of 1%.  "And while it appears to be true they are attracting an ever bigger slice of the religious attender pie, it is a bigger slice of a shrinking pie," Roozen wrote.

The decline hit across religious and denominational lines, sparing no one, Roozen wrote. He said that "no single category or kind of congregation ... was exempt from the decadal downsizing of worship attendance."

The data came from Faith Communities Today surveys and represents 11,077 congregations and 120 denominations of Christian, Jewish, and Muslim traditions, the institute said.  Most often, the surveys were completed by the congregation's leader, and the institute estimates the margin of error to be plus or minus 4 percentage points.

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Belief • Church

soundoff (2,018 Responses)
  1. Adam

    Good to see the American people waking up from the fraud that is religion.

    September 21, 2011 at 6:45 pm |
  2. joeah'belle

    To all humanity:
    This thing we call life is our so called God. Just as we inherit things from our parents, we as humans has inherit things from our creator life. Trust and know that one of those things is the ability to think and manifest that which was thought of. Now religion and all other organizations concerning humanities portion of life has LIES whether it be by ignorance and/or intentionally. Its not good or bad but a way of life.God which is female and male, life, is honestly right in front of our eyes. Free Will is a myth. You have no choice as a human being. You dont control life, you didnt create environment, the universe, nor did create yourself. The literal path you will walk in life, the earth, was already created before you were born. Your destiny is death, all humans will die. Not a good or bad thing just a way of life. Now for heaven and hell. This thing we calllife will always have pain and pleasure. That will never change. Guess what life is forever! The components that make up life, will always be, has always been, and will never not be. So we humans in death or animated are a part of life
    . A rock doesnt speak, walk, talk, or move on its own but is still a member of life. Enough for now.

    September 21, 2011 at 6:44 pm |
  3. Drinker

    It's heading the the right direction. Humanity will be better off without religion. Too bad it won't be gone in my lifetime!

    September 21, 2011 at 6:40 pm |
  4. Richard S Kaiser

    I, You and We

    I Love GOD because “I am“.
    I am living because of GOD
    I am learning because of GOD
    I am seeing my faults because of GOD
    I am repentant because of GOD.
    GOD’s Love allows me to be what "I am".

    You ought Love GOD because “You are”.
    You are living because of GOD.
    You are learning because of GOD.
    You are seeing many faults because of GOD.
    You are repentant because of GOD.
    GOD’s Love allows you to be what “You are”.

    We need to Love GOD because “We are”.
    We are living because of GOD.
    We are learning because of GOD.
    We are seeing our faults because of GOD.
    We are repentant because of GOD.
    GOD’s Love allows us to be as “We are”.

    September 21, 2011 at 6:35 pm |
    • Allan

      RSK, A perfect, loving god would never have created a dunce as stupid as you, that we have to put up with.

      Stow the trite sayings and do some thinking.

      September 21, 2011 at 6:45 pm |
    • John Richardson

      GOOD one, Allan!!!!!

      September 21, 2011 at 8:30 pm |
  5. Geekalot

    I really really dislike CNN's word filter. It is way too sensitive and far too easy to lose a post because of some innocent combination of letters happens to look like a forbidden word.

    September 21, 2011 at 6:11 pm |
    • Richard S Kaiser

      @ Geekalot

      When that happens to me "G", I usually go back to the prior window and then start to put dots in the words I might have been flagged for, 🙂

      September 21, 2011 at 6:25 pm |
    • RichardSRussell

      E-mail me at RichardSRussell (at) tds (dot) net and I can send you a small file that will help with this. It does require you to have a copy of FileMaker Pro, however.

      September 21, 2011 at 6:37 pm |
  6. mabel floyd

    a few months ago i drove through the town of niagra.n.y. on the way to the falls. i remembered the charm of the town i had visited a few decades ago. i was shocked. the town was unkept and many bldgs. were boarded up. the most disappointing thing was the large number of churches that were closed and boarded up. one church that was closed and shuttered had a steeple with a hole in it and the hole had a tree growing through it! how very sad.
    in my opinion, however, the churches have to shoulder most of the blame. they have become peopled with vapid and selfish people who are interested in pushing their ideas on others and writing laws that allow them to evade taxes while preaching politics. the hypocrisy of the churches is stunning. it is no wonder that people are tuning out the din of babble. it is a shame!!

    September 21, 2011 at 5:00 pm |
    • Kent Atwood

      Just an FYI: Churches can lose their tax exempt status by pushing partisan politics via the Johnson Amendment of 1954. Maybe they will start toning down the politics once they see other churches losing their tax exemption status.

      September 21, 2011 at 6:33 pm |
  7. alseeingeye

    Indeed the intoxicated worldly wise fancy in their heart that there is no GOD. The sad part about this is that when they discover at the end of their experiment with life, that there really is a Creator, their experiment will end with a big bang!

    September 21, 2011 at 4:52 pm |
    • Or

      "their experiment will end with a big bang!"

      What makes you think that?

      September 21, 2011 at 4:55 pm |
    • Rick

      How do you make the leap from a creator to a being that judges humans?

      September 21, 2011 at 5:27 pm |
    • Scott

      I stopped being afraid of the boogie man a long time ago. Besides I'd rather laugh with the sinners than cry with the saints

      September 21, 2011 at 9:24 pm |
  8. Giant1

    Terry,
    You ask us why we don't change our minds and believe? Well, it's not so simple. Just saying we believe doesn't really change the fact that we don't. And if there is a God, he would know the truth, right? So we really don't have control over this. The only way we would believe is if there is some reasonable evidence to change our minds.
    I could just as easily ask you to believe in Zeus. On promise of heaven or threat of hell would it really make you believe, or just say you believe to the rest of us.

    September 21, 2011 at 4:49 pm |
  9. Terry

    I feel so sorry for you people. If I said some of the things I've read here today, I'd be afraid to lay down and sleep at night. It would be terrible to wake up in hell. How do you get to hell someone asked...by not believing in the Lord Jesus Christ and not knowing Him as Saviour. People get ready, don't be deceived by all this trash you're reading here. The more you try to prove the Bible wrong, the more you prove it right. Personally, I want to go to a place where I don't have to worry anymore. This world is not a very good place right now. And Heaven...is real. Jesus died for your sins, please don't be left behind.

    September 21, 2011 at 4:24 pm |
    • Allan

      Terry, you stupid deluded dork, read up on the fallacy known as Pascal's Wager. You just dove headlong in and committed it.

      September 21, 2011 at 4:27 pm |
    • Justin

      Terry, like I said I'm a Christian, I believe in Jesus. I believe in heaven and I believe that some people will go to Hell. My challenge to you is to find scripture that supports the idea that if you don't believe in Jesus Christ when you die that you will go to Hell... I once believed that, then I responded to a similar challenge and found that the Bible actually teaches things much differently than most pastors do.

      September 21, 2011 at 4:27 pm |
    • justin

      Terry, I am sorry you are struggling. What is the problem? What is so wrong? You know there is less poverty and more democratic freedom in the world today than there has ever been, right? Read the Rational Optimist, put down your unsubstantiated historical text, and feel good about yourself and about life! The World is a wonderful place, as the Band of Horses has let us know 🙂

      September 21, 2011 at 4:29 pm |
    • Hasa Diga Eebowai

      Wow terry you are a scared little person.

      September 21, 2011 at 4:33 pm |
    • Richard S Kaiser

      Terry wrote, "And Heaven...is real. Jesus died for your sins, please don't be left behind."

      We live Terry within this Earth's Celestial Heaven. With this world's confinements lay immeasurable amounts of heavens and they could never all be filled to completion even if this world were to be around in say 6 trillion more years, which is a scientifically unsound amount of Time due to the Earh's sun going nova on us. These heavens of this earthly Celestial Heaven are places hidden within the framed works of the Atomic Cosmos, which are the smallest of those things we see in our night sky and we know them as being stellar nebulas and inwardly as being atomic nebulas.

      September 21, 2011 at 4:41 pm |
    • duh

      "And Heaven...is real"

      So you've been there? How do you know it's real because a book written 2000 years ago says so? Where's their proof? Do you know how many religions say if you're good you'll go to heaven, doesn't make it real. What proof do you have?

      September 21, 2011 at 4:54 pm |
    • Rick

      Wow, Terry, you would be afraid to profess an opinion for fear that your all loving god would whack you?

      September 21, 2011 at 5:29 pm |
    • RichardSRussell

      "The more you try to prove the Bible wrong, the more you prove it right."

      How so? If I point out the place where the Bible refers to a bat as a kind of bird, or where it refers to the mustard seed as the smallest of all seeds, or where there's a big circular kettle 3 cubits around and 1 cubit across (giving a value for pi of exactly 3), how have I proved the Bible right? It's clearly wrong on all 3 counts — and many more too numerous to list here. In fact, you could check out Dennis McKinsey's book "Biblical Errancy", a tome as large as the Bible itself, filled cover to cover with examples of where the Bible got it wrong.

      Basically what you're saying is that every time somebody points to an error (such as 2 + 2 = 5), it only serves to strengthen your belief in it and increase your respect for its proponents. This is not a prescription for success in life, my friend.

      September 21, 2011 at 6:57 pm |
    • yes

      Terry, I'll tell you a secret. God told me that there is no hell. So get over it!!! Wake up!

      September 21, 2011 at 7:49 pm |
    • John Richardson

      How do you know you are NOT going to wake up in hell, Terry? I'm sure that there are Christian sects who think that that is exactly where you are going.

      September 21, 2011 at 8:16 pm |
    • John Richardson

      Do you have a point, Richard? Have you ever had a point?

      September 21, 2011 at 9:01 pm |
    • John Richardson

      I am of course addressing Richard S Kaiser, not Richard S Russell, who always has a point!

      September 21, 2011 at 9:04 pm |
  10. Al buddy

    OK I an an atheist, but something interesting happened during a triple by pass when I flat lined after surgery for about 20 minutes and then was revived. I went somewhere else, not just a psychotic end vision, but to an intermediary location as far as I can tell on my way to somewhere else. Life after death experiences are often touted as a chemical reaction of the dying brain. I can tell you if this was a chemical reaction it was clearer and more precise an experience than I can describe. While I too feel the cosmos is most likely our creator, we have a path after this life, it does lead somewhere. For a wow moment study the angle that Helium must use when fusing with hydrogen to create secondary elements like carbon, it is too perfect, a number that is unattainable even if planned. I'm not supporting religion mind you, but neither side appears to have all the answers. Something else exists, be it Higgs Boson structure or other dimensions that are used to construct our atomic structure. Paul Davies is a good read for those who tout science but not religion. My afterlife experience was something different, not from memory, not of imagination, but a perfect world of love ones. I have had hallucinations from my hippie era, this was no hallucination.

    September 21, 2011 at 4:19 pm |
    • William Demuth

      Having taken THOUSANDS of tabs of LSD, I can assure you there are hundreds of worlds that exist only in your head!

      September 21, 2011 at 4:21 pm |
    • Al buddy

      No Acid here. but when you die, you will know that something else exists. Until you can look down on your corpse with nurses and doctors working feverishly on you, and drift away to another dimension you may not understand what I have said here.. I've been to the otherside. For me it was a life changing experience. I give everything back now, could care less if I make a dime. good is good, evil is evil, Kharma is real.

      September 21, 2011 at 4:32 pm |
    • ThinkForYourself

      And some people completely and fully believe they've been abducted by aliens. That doesn't make aliens real.

      September 21, 2011 at 4:57 pm |
    • Al buddy

      Perception is in the eye of the beholder. Like I said I am an atheist who believes more in cosmology and science, I would like nothing more than to discount my afterlife experience, still there are some amazing scientific occurences that cannot be explained well by current science. Seriously, there is more than meets the eye. Study the Heisenberg uncertainty principle for something truly mind blowing. Way beyond religion in how unbelievable the observation can be. The more science delves into the quantum world the more scientists have to believe in fuzzy principles that border on religious beliefs to make them work. All I am saying is when you die, its not the end, nothing in this world has ever seemed as real as my afterlife experience.

      September 21, 2011 at 6:35 pm |
    • RichardSRussell

      So, Al, apply the scientific method. How would you test your hypothesis with a view toward falsifying it? (Please don't fall into the religionist trap of seeking only confirmatory evidence or testimonials.)

      September 21, 2011 at 6:59 pm |
    • John Richardson

      @Al Buddy I take your testimony seriously. But I have had "out of the body experiences" that were very impressive, except for the fact that the room I was moving around, which seemed SO real, was my bedroom as it was many years before. So, did I do some time travel besides going out of the body or was this impressively real experience just as seriously vivid dream?

      I have had lucid dreams in which I am incredulous at the notion that my own mind could be generating not just such vivid images, but such intricately detailed images. I was dying or even having the subjective experience of an OBE. So where was I? Probably right where I thought I was, as amazing as it seemed: inside my mind.

      September 21, 2011 at 8:22 pm |
    • John Richardson

      That is, I was NOT dying!!!!! Yeeeesh ...

      September 21, 2011 at 8:24 pm |
    • Hasa Diga Eebowai

      All of your world is technically in your head to begin with, reality as you know it is fed to you by your brain.... That is why when you are dreaming you cannot tell the difference (most of the time).

      September 22, 2011 at 10:41 am |
  11. Debbie

    The flaw I see in the article is: " A new decade-long survey of American congregations shows religious health and vitality are weaker than they were 10 years ago." That is a huge assumption! Perhaps Eric Marrapodi, CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor never looks at PEW reports and surveys? While many formal religious organizations are not gaining members people are considering themselves "more spiritual." They don't need the middle man (religious organizations) to have a relationship with religion. The idea of needing an organization to help you connect spiritually has been declining for more than just 10 years. I would estimate it has been on the decline since the 1960's and increased rapidly in the 1990's.

    September 21, 2011 at 4:09 pm |
    • William Demuth

      Actually the whole "spiritual" thing can be linked to methamphetamines!

      Seems a halucination is a halucination, is a halucination!

      September 21, 2011 at 4:19 pm |
    • Allan

      Debbie, no one, ever, has proven that they have a relationship with god.

      Thanks for coming out, though. You're welcome to try again.

      September 21, 2011 at 4:32 pm |
  12. RAWoD

    People are choosing to get their fairy tales from Disney.

    September 21, 2011 at 3:56 pm |
  13. longshot

    the only bad part is that as religions die, the remaining followers get louder, more fundamentalist (see current GOTP)

    September 21, 2011 at 3:53 pm |
  14. Richard S Kaiser

    Mat 6:33 "But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you."

    Jhn 18:36 Jesus answered, “My kingdom is not of this world: if my kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight, that I should not be delivered to the Jews: but now is my kingdom not from hence."

    1Cr 3:9 “For we are labourers together with God: ye are God's husbandry, [ye are] God's building.”

    1Cr 3:16 "Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and [that] the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?"

    Luk 17:21 "Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is inside/within you."

    1Cr 3:16 Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and [that] the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?

    1Cr 3:17 If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which [temple] ye are

    1Cr 4:5 Therefore judge nothing before the time, until the Lord come, who both will bring to light the hidden things of darkness, and will make manifest the counsels of the hearts: and then shall every man have praise of God.

    Only with added light and high magnification can the “hidden things” of inner space be revealed. Only by capturing light by time and telescopic magnification can one see the of far away outer space “hidden things” and still one cannot see but a short distance the closer outer space phenomenon while much outer space “hidden things” will never be seen by our prying eyes. The "hiiden things" of outer space are just like the "hidden things" of inner space.

    September 21, 2011 at 3:49 pm |
    • longshot

      a more relevant question – how many licks does it take to get to the center of a tootsie pop?

      September 21, 2011 at 3:55 pm |
    • RAWoD

      You'd be less boring if you'd stop quoting a comic book.

      September 21, 2011 at 3:57 pm |
    • lee s

      Quantum mechanics? Read about it.

      September 21, 2011 at 3:57 pm |
    • EnjaySea

      Fantastic, so why do you somehow see these hidden internal things? You haven't presented any evidence that you can, other than quoting religious propaganda circa 1st century Judea which proves exactly, precisely nothing.

      September 21, 2011 at 3:59 pm |
    • Richard S Kaiser

      EnjaySea wrote on Wednesday, September 21, 2011 at 3:59 pm, "Fantastic, so why do you somehow see these hidden internal things? You haven't presented any evidence that you can, other than quoting religious propaganda circa 1st century Judea which proves exactly, precisely nothing."

      http://www3.amherst.edu/~rloldershaw/stars2/menu.html is as good a place as any for you EnjaySea to start reading about "Fractal Cosmology" and its' implications regarding the "hidden things" of outer and inner space being of smaeness,,, 🙂

      September 21, 2011 at 4:05 pm |
    • Richard S Kaiser

      lee s wrote on Wednesday, September 21, 2011 at 3:57 pm, "Quantum mechanics? Read about it."

      Fractal Cosmology? Go to,,,,,,, http://www3.amherst.edu/~rloldershaw/stars2/menu.html Read and see it,,,,,,,,,

      September 21, 2011 at 4:11 pm |
    • Richard S Kaiser

      longshot wrote on Wednesday, September 21, 2011 at 3:55 pm, "a more relevant question – how many licks does it take to get to the center of a tootsie pop?"

      3 balck Americans, 2 males and one female were on a plane trip and were over the ocean when one man said to his fellow travelers, "If this plane crashes into the ocean and we die, I know they will recover my body cause I have white underwear on." The other fellow said, "I know they will recover my body because I have pink underwaer on!" The balck lady said to her fellows, "I know they will find my body because I've got the black box!" 🙂

      September 21, 2011 at 4:28 pm |
    • Richard S Kaiser

      Typographic error,,:-(

      longshot wrote on Wednesday, September 21, 2011 at 3:55 pm, "a more relevant question – how many licks does it take to get to the center of a tootsie pop?"

      3 black Americans, 2 males and one female were on a plane trip and were over the ocean when one man said to his fellow travelers, "If this plane crashes into the ocean and we die, I know they will recover my body cause I have white underwear on." The other fellow said, "I know they will recover my body because I have pink underwaer on!" The balck lady said to her fellows, "I know they will find my body because I've got the black box!" 🙂

      September 21, 2011 at 4:30 pm |
    • justin

      richard, you are not helping your Christian cause with your blatant racism. you suck at life dude. please stay away from the positive things in the World, cause you will surely only drag them down.

      September 21, 2011 at 4:33 pm |
    • Richard S Kaiser

      @ justin

      There was nothing "racist" in any of my posts justin! If you are referring to my joke, I was resonding to a post from longshot wrote on Wednesday, September 21, 2011 at 3:55 pm, "a more relevant question – how many licks does it take to get to the center of a tootsie pop?"

      Get a sense of humor justin,,,,,,,,,,, 🙂

      September 21, 2011 at 4:46 pm |
  15. ArchiedeBunker

    The human mind is no more equipped to believe in "something that had no beginning" than it is two believe that two is three or that a dog is an elephant. True atheism is only possible to a person that is genuinely insane, because it is patently illogical. Geekalot will reach a day when his death is immenent and then he will begin to WANT to believe in God, because he fears death (even if he says he does not). However, because he denies the truths that God has written in the Bible (which is the world's most well-researched book, and not at all just a group of "fables" or tales believed by illetaret people who didn't know about modern science), the blinders will not be raised from his eyes. In fact, as can be clearly seen from Geekalot's statements, a tiny, tiny knowledge of science and the universe (which is what the present body of science represents at this date – even though scientific egotism is at an all-time high) is more a hinderance to understanding God than anything. There have been hundreds of men who are just as intelligent, just as imaginative and just as motivated as today's top scientists who have undertaken the task of disproving the Bible. None was able to do so, and a good number of them wound up believing the words they had set out to disprove. Geekalot, you should read the works of C. S. Lewis (no, not the Narnia Chronicals, although he did write those) concerning his own attempts to disprove and ridicule the Bible, and his eventual conclusion that it was just exactly what it purports to be – the living Word of the only Thing that has ever existed "since before time began." At the instant of your death, Geekalot, the first thing you will hear is a blood-curdling scream – something tens of thousands of times more awful than you've ever dreamed of hear on earth. That will be you, screaming in the realization that you rejected your chance to be redeemed, and that you will forever be alone in a place where there really is no time, and no opportunity for "do-overs."

    September 21, 2011 at 3:47 pm |
    • NoGod

      Another believer of a fairy in the sky ranting like a looney!

      September 21, 2011 at 3:55 pm |
    • RichardSRussell

      The only thing "patently illogical" here is believe a bunch of BS for which there is absolutely no evidence whatsoever.

      You reveal yourself for a dupe when you contend that the Bible has been thoroly researched and never found wanting. It is absolutely riddled with falsehood, most of which are readily understandable as the best guesses of well-intentioned but horribly ill-equipped primitive nomads. But the mustard seed is NOT the smallest of all seeds, nor do rabbits chew cuds, nor are bats a kind of bird, nor can a circular kettle have a circ umference of 3 cubits and a diameter of 1 cubit — something an ALL-KNOWING writer could clearly have gotten right if he'd wished, thereby impressing the rubes with his depth of knowledge. That such errors completely permeate your holy book is ample evidence that it was written by fallible men, not an infallible deity.

      September 21, 2011 at 3:58 pm |
    • Hasa Diga Eebowai

      God has spoken to me, he wants you to give me your money so you can go to the happy place in the clouds... figured you'd believe me since you already accepted someone else's lies without proof.

      September 21, 2011 at 4:09 pm |
    • Whatever

      ha ha ha ha! God Loves you but he's going to send you to hell for not believeing some one elses idea of what god is. well I talk to god every day and he says we are all going to hell anyway! only those with the faith of one like myself will be saved I'm writing a book now under his command to show the light and corrections to the bible. What you don't believe me??? why are you not faithful to the word of god spoken to me by him? oh well guess your all gonna burn! don't let your anger distort your perception of life. don't believe eveything you hear, and most of all don't impress your will and beliefs (or lack of them) on others, hey that's how wars are started. if you don't agree then you don't agree. but lets not make assumtions of others destines based on shear belief. thats as foolish as me telling you that your going to die of a heart attack because Geekalot bent you out of shape. whatever dude. to each his own and I'm not worried about it and god could really care less.

      September 21, 2011 at 4:22 pm |
  16. Reality

    To enhance the speed of the demise of all religions, please post the following on your refrigerator doors:

    SAVING 1.5 BILLION LOST MUSLIMS:
    THERE NEVER WERE AND NEVER WILL BE ANY ANGELS I.E. NO GABRIEL, NO ISLAM AND THEREFORE NO MORE KORANIC-DRIVEN ACTS OF HORROR AND TERROR LIKE 9/11.

    SAVING 2 BILLION LOST CHRISTIANS:
    THERE WERE NEVER ANY BODILY RESURRECTIONS AND THERE WILL NEVER BE ANY BODILY RESURRECTIONS I.E. NO EASTER, NO CHRISTIANITY.

    SAVING 15.5 MILLION FOLLOWERS OF JUDAISM:
    ABRAHAM AND MOSES PROBABLY NEVER EXISTED.

    Added details upon request.

    September 21, 2011 at 3:33 pm |
    • .........

      spam garbage alert hit report abuse on all reality posts

      September 21, 2011 at 7:21 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Mathilda/Addled, knock it off.

      September 21, 2011 at 9:24 pm |
  17. James

    THEIR IS NO SUCH THING AS A VIRGIN BIRTH. COME ON WE LIVE IN THE REAL WORLD THE ONLY WAY THIS IS POSSIBLY IS IF SHE FELL on a mound of sperm while her cuunt was temporarily exposed.

    September 21, 2011 at 3:25 pm |
    • FifthApe

      What is more likely. A virgin birth or a young Jewish girl told a lie......

      September 21, 2011 at 3:34 pm |
    • Or

      FifthApe
      "What is more likely. A virgin birth or a young Jewish girl told a lie..."

      ...or that it was made up by a group of 1st century evangelists in promoting their new cult?

      ("Mother Mary" never wrote a single word either...)

      September 21, 2011 at 3:40 pm |
  18. Alain

    Droppin' like flies. Don't tell me religions are laying people off now???

    September 21, 2011 at 3:09 pm |
  19. MacMaven

    Looks like the majority of Americans are coming to their senses and climbing out of their caves, and at the same time, realizing that when thunder claps, it DOES NOT mean that the gods are angry. If there truly was a God, then why doesn't he live here?

    September 21, 2011 at 3:09 pm |
    • Richard S Kaiser

      @ MacMaven,,,, " If there truly was a God, then why doesn't he live here?"

      Inside each one of us MacMaven lives a solitary God and His subjects,,,,,,,,,,,,,

      1Cr 3:9 “For we are labourers together with God: ye are God's husbandry, [ye are] God's building.”

      September 21, 2011 at 3:25 pm |
    • Alain

      why doesn't he live here? cause he alledgedly created this place, and couldn't believe how BAD we all were (-GREAT creation skills, oh mighty creator-) so he had to send his son to save us, but then we killed him, but that was exactly good, because his son had to die first and escape the grave before he could save us miserable wretches. But we still do not get it. We need to now WANT to be saved before he will actually count us as saved, although he did this 2000 years ago. And all of this is OUR FAULT! So why doesn't he want to live here? Cause we are BAD BAD BAD!

      September 21, 2011 at 3:25 pm |
  20. Geekalot

    Why is it that theists always point to the big bang like that was the moment of creation? All the big bang theory says is that all the matter in the observable universe existed in a singularity. In a sigularity time does not exists. It is a meaningless construct created by us to account for our perception of the progession of events. Asking questions like "what was there before the big bang?" are pointless nonstarters since time doesn't exist in a singularity. There isn't a before.

    Also, there is no reason to believe the universe came from nothing. It is just as likely that it always existed and we just happen to be present in an era of exansion. Perhaps it is in a constant cycle of expansion and contraction, eventually returing to the singularity state, which leads to a new big bang.

    Many theists can't stand incomplete answers. Everything has to have a clear and concise answer. Problem is, the universe doesn't work that way. Nature is complex and full of gray areas that don't fit into neat little boxes.

    Relying on writings from thousands of years ago, written down decades and centuries after the events they purport to chronicle, by people who had zero knowledge of geology, physics, biology, etc as a source of all truth, is foolish.

    Of course, we all have the right to believe what we want and I support that right, but I am tired of sitting back and letting religious people controll the debate. And I am not alone. Many people are waking up to the vast amounts of information available that paints a different picture of how our world came to be, how our species came to exists. The universe is a complex and beautiful thing, full of wonders to be discovered and enjoyed. But there is no evidence that I have seen to support the concept of a divine, all knowing being running it all. Perhaps such a being exists, but I think the probablity is very very low.

    September 21, 2011 at 2:58 pm |
    • Marc Benarrous

      so you dont believe in a god nor do you believe there isnt a god? wow you made that clear...I'm glad you know how the universe works too...I am an atheist because I dont belive in a god of any kind. I believe the big bang theory as it is the most logical answer we have. I think it's neat that you think you have another theory...in your 12 paragrafts you dont relay it...

      September 21, 2011 at 3:06 pm |
    • RichardSRussell

      What came before the Big Bang? Only honest answer: "Nobody knows. All the evidence was destroyed in this big explosion."

      Needless to say, this has not stopped countless suckers around the world from jumping up and down and hollering "My guy! My guy did it! Believe in My Guy!" — as if they actually knew something about it.

      September 21, 2011 at 3:13 pm |
    • Hasa Diga Eebowai

      Marc, I think the main problem is our language. I define my self as an atheist, but in all honesty we really do not know what is bigger than our universe at the time. There could very well be a consciousness (no matter how unlikely) that helped create the universe. To some that would make me an agnostic. BUT, I do know that every single human mythology is made up bs. The problem is the word "God/yaweh/allah" carries so many preconceived notions. Moreover, a immense being requiring a bunch of pink monkeys on a spec of dusts spinning through space to worship it is just silly. Also, we are just about to the point were consciousness = the human brain. No ghosts/spirits/soul etc. so the whole god protohypothesis is really a moot point to most people.

      September 21, 2011 at 3:13 pm |
    • Arthur Dent

      1.) Great posts on this one
      2.) love the Hasa Diga Eebowai name...got a good laugh on that one

      September 21, 2011 at 3:29 pm |
    • Richard S Kaiser

      Science has postulated that "Nothingness" has weight and there are such things called "dark matter" and "dark energy" which makes up I think 95plus percentile of the Cosmos and matter related to "atoms" makes up the remainder. We are but a drop in the proverbial bucket when considering the celestial cosmos and the cellular cosmos in the framed science of Fractal Cosmology.

      September 21, 2011 at 3:32 pm |
    • RichardSRussell

      You are correct, Richard Kaiser, that science has postulated those things. Science has, over the centuries, postulated LOTS of things, just as religion has. But then science takes the critical step of TESTING those postulates against reality, discarding the crap that doesn't stand up, which is why all progress has come from science and none from religion.

      September 21, 2011 at 3:51 pm |
    • Richard S Kaiser

      RichardSRussell wrote on Wednesday, September 21, 2011 at 3:51 pm, stating, "You are correct, Richard Kaiser, that science has postulated those things. Science has, over the centuries, postulated LOTS of things, just as religion has. But then science takes the critical step of TESTING those postulates against reality, discarding the crap that doesn't stand up, which is why all progress has come from science and none from religion."

      1Cr 4:5 "Therefore judge nothing before the time, until the Lord come, who both will bring to light the hidden things of darkness, and will make manifest the counsels of the hearts: and then shall every man have praise of God."

      Just where can one make supposition regarding the "hidden things"? Could one declare these "hidden things" to be in darkness, like the things hidden within the microscopic veils and also the things hidden in outer space? Could these two places be of the sameness except for size variations? See http://www3.amherst.edu/~rloldershaw/stars2/menu.html

      September 21, 2011 at 5:21 pm |
    • FifthApe

      Richard S Kaiser:

      Sorry, but that stars and atoms comparison is so bogus. A total stretch that can only be taken if you knew nothing but the most cursory amount of information on the 2. And please don't quote the bible and science in the same sentence. You will force me to dig out all the complete nonsense that is in the bible. Its a work of fiction, written by man and it reads that way. There is nothing in there that could not be written by a human who thought the wheelbarrow was emerging technology.

      September 21, 2011 at 6:33 pm |
    • RichardSRussell

      To Richard S. Kaiser: Anybody can make any suppositions they want any time they want any place they want about any thing they want. As I said earlier, that's the easy part. The HARD part is testing those suppositions to see how well they hold up when compared to the real world. This is where religion falls flat on its face. It's willing to stick with blatantly false assumptions just because they're old. Everything that's currently considered scientific knowledge of the world was at one time among the "hidden things" of nature. Prayer did not reveal that knowledge to us; experimentation did.

      September 21, 2011 at 6:49 pm |
    • Richard S Kaiser

      @ FifthApe
      Has not science been mystified as to how exactly the pyramids were built? Easter Island statues are another mystery that science is yet to surmount upon. Just because in the last 100 years we have "Fully" uncovered all there is to know is pure fantasy!

      I ask you politely 5TH Ape to go to http://www3.amherst.edu/~rloldershaw/stars2/menu.html and amuse me with your comments regarding what you find there,,,,,,,,,,,, 🙂

      September 21, 2011 at 6:56 pm |
    • Richard S Kaiser

      @ RichardSRussell

      I can take it you didn't go to- http://www3.amherst.edu/~rloldershaw/stars2/menu.html ??????

      Science is just now contemplating the basis of Fractal Cosmology and its' implications regarding inner space things being of smaeness regarding outer space things. Until you "show me otherwise" I will stand firm upon my perseptions regarding Fractal Cosmology and Cellular Cosmology and Celestial Cosmology and their potential to promote the "hidden things" yet to be fully revealed to mankind and his sciences which rather laboriously dawdle in the wakes of such views.

      September 21, 2011 at 7:05 pm |
    • RichardSRussell

      To Richard Kaiser:

      HISTORY is uncertain as to the exact methods used to create the pyramids or the big heads on Easter Island, but there's certainly nothing supernatural about them. And the main reason history can't pin down an exact method is because there are several possible ones that would have done the trick, and we don't have either contemporary docu mentation or time machines to be able to figure out which of them was actually used.

      So what was your point, exactly? That science doesn't know everything? Who has ever contended otherwise?

      September 21, 2011 at 7:06 pm |
    • RichardSRussell

      Oh, for goodness' sake. I went to your silly website, and what did I find? Pattern recognition. Circles look like circles. Ovals look like ovals. Xes look like Xes. Simple shapes look like simple shapes — at all sorts of scales from the subatomic to the galactic. Is this supposed to prove something?

      Did you not notice that you and I share a first name and middle initial? What's the deep cosmic significance of THAT unlikely coincidence, do you suppose?

      September 21, 2011 at 7:13 pm |
    • FifthApe

      "Just because in the last 100 years we have "Fully" uncovered all there is to know is pure fantasy!"

      Of course we haven't. We never will! But the argument from ignorance is totally unconvincing. Because we don't have an explanation for a given observation does not lead to UFOs or invisible gods.

      A looked at that link and was left thinking – so what? I'm not really sure what the point is other than a common observation at a very superficial level. What I know about both phenomena leads to far more differences than similarities.

      September 21, 2011 at 7:16 pm |
    • Yeah

      "Is this supposed to prove something?"

      Yeah, the person is a loony bird.

      September 21, 2011 at 7:17 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.