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Patriotism and the 'God gap'
Surveys suggest a 'God gap' in views on American patriotism.
September 28th, 2011
07:19 PM ET

Patriotism and the 'God gap'

By Dave Schechter, CNN

(CNN)– “And may God bless the United States of America” is a popular closing line in speeches by presidents and presidential hopefuls.

Does a higher power, if one exists, “shed his grace on thee,” as the lyrics of “America the Beautiful” proclaim?

And if so, does this make the United States of America the greatest country in the world?

Christianity Today crunched data from a Pew Research Center poll that asked more than 1,500 Americans for their views of the United States.

“Nearly all Americans think they live in the best country on Earth. While a majority of Americans believe there are other countries just as great, nine in 10 say no nation is better. Within this high view of America, there are differences between different religious groups,” the magazine noted.

To this end, Christianity Today suggested the existence of a “patriotism God-gap in America.”

Among those surveyed, evangelicals were the most likely to think the United States is No. 1.

“Other Christian traditions were less enthusiastic about America's position in the world, but they still saw the U.S. as one of the best on the planet. About 40% of other Christians said the U.S. stands alone as the greatest country; around 55% said it and some other countries were equally great. As with evangelicals, only a few said there were greater countries in the world.”

“Those with no religion, however,” hold a much less favorable view, according to the magazine.

"Only one in five of those without religious beliefs said the U.S. is the best country in the world, an equal percentage agreeing that 'there are other countries that are better than the U.S.' ”

Not everyone is enamored with equating religious conviction and patriotism. Consider these excerpts from the comments that followed the Christianity Today article:

“To call yourself a Christian evangelical and still think that America is the greatest is ironic to say the least. God is not about country. God is about love and everyone is equal in his eyes, including the rest of the world.”

“What's really sad is the widespread perception among evangelicals that there is some kind of link between America's standing and the work and purpose and success of God's kingdom. There is not. Two words: wrong kingdom. I repeat: wrong kingdom. It matters not a whit what America's status in the world is. The kingdom of Jesus Christ does not depend on this in any way and will continue regardless.”

“When our astronauts look down at the Earth it doesn't look like a classroom globe with lines on it. All of those lines are drawn in the minds of human beings. I am grateful to be an American. But sometimes I think that some elements of conservative Christianity really see their religion as patriotism, their scripture the Constitution and God their servant to gain their personal aims. This whole Earth is the object of God's love and concern. And to claim that any one nation in today’s world is more favored than another may be promoting a Christian heresy.”

Flying the flag is among the easiest ways to display patriotism. Is it also an expression of religion?

In an article titled “Flag Desecration, Religion and Patriotism,” Temple University associate law professor Muriel Morisey suggested that for proponents of a constitutional amendment, “the American flag is the equivalent of a sacred religious icon, comparable to Christianity’s crucifix, Judaism’s Torah and the Quran of Islam. No court has designated patriotism as a religion for Establishment Clause purposes, but in every other significant respect it operates as a religion in American culture. Regardless of the religious beliefs we profess, we simultaneously practice patriotism.”

That said, a “God gap” may exist in the flying of Old Glory as well.

A Pew poll taken March 30-April 3 suggested that 78% of religious people display the flag on their clothing, in the office or at home, while 58% of nonreligious do likewise.

Evangelicals were the most likely to say they displayed the flag; those Americans unaffiliated with religion the least likely.

As to the religious identity of the nation, 62% said the United States is a “Christian nation” in a survey of 1,000 adults done a couple of years ago for Newsweek, while 75% of Americans call themselves Christian, according to the American Religious Identification Survey also done in 2009.

And earlier this year, writing for the CNN Belief Blog, Boston University religion scholar Stephen Prothero analyzed the religious affiliations of those elected to serve in the 112th Congress and concluded: “Is this a Christian nation? No way, says the Constitution. But U.S. voters are telling us something else altogether.”

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Belief • Church and state • Courts

soundoff (2,100 Responses)
  1. berucem

    Ruth Graham, the wife of the Rev. Billy Graham said ( if god hasn't utterly destroyed the U.S by now then he owes Sodom and Gomorrah and apology) just thought I'd throw that out there

    September 29, 2011 at 10:32 am |
    • hippypoet

      now that puts a smile on my face because that is the perfect arguement for the lack of said "god" .. thank you

      September 29, 2011 at 10:34 am |
    • Marie

      I never realized Ruth Graham was an atheist. Cool.

      September 29, 2011 at 10:56 am |
    • Hoovervilles

      Thank you

      I did not know that.

      October 3, 2011 at 9:47 pm |
  2. hippypoet

    my thoughts on the religious aspect of current life – my thoughts of religion and religious people – wasted time and space and money... but further more – i view religious beliefs to be circling the drain and untill the final flush we will endure crap forced upon us in schools, at the super markets, at soccer games, and my personal most hated of all – family outtings! it infests, breeds confusion to our children, questions that can only be answered by making up more...just like santa clause – and yes there is no santa in my home as well. so religion is nothing but a washed up turd floating in the world its has helpped form and let decay and then finally slip away from its grip – the only reason why the heads of religion have been campaining, is they sense there own demise!

    so my view is simply this- belief can stay at home, in a shoe box filled with the toys and dreams of a child and left there to become dusty and forgotton like the myths of our ancesters.

    enjoy 🙂

    September 29, 2011 at 10:30 am |
    • J-Ex

      so you're saying something happened to you as a child to make you feel this way and everyone should put faith and religion in a shoebox with the other junk as you have done? It would seem you are trying to force a point of view on everyone else in the same manner you say is being done to you at schools, at the super markets, at soccer games, and family outtings. By the way, I can understand your unwanted exposure to these things in public situations, but why are you allowing yourself to be "exposed" to things you don't like at family outings?

      September 29, 2011 at 10:51 am |
    • hippypoet

      first things first – i didn't have anything happen to me as a child, i have always had a thirst for knowledge. as a student in middle school i used to read the dictionary, not to learn how to spell – clearly- but rather to learn used only seldonly used.

      second as numbers go – " I can understand your unwanted exposure to these things in public situations" this sentence you posted i can't see any logic to it. i go out all the time, i take walks with my kids, we go to the park, in short public life is not shy with me.

      third – "why are you allowing yourself to be "exposed" to things you don't like at family outings?" see my family is very religous, i am not.... i do not take kindly to others telling my children about how "god" said blah blah blah. when my daughter and son are around 10 years old or just able to concieve the idea of god as it will be known to them throughtout life, i will teach them each about each and every god, they will make a choice for themselves. when my grandmother picks up my 6 month old son and says how can you look at this little guy and not believe in "god" i answer back – because i know who made him, had a very not god thing going on. then she gets mad, and then my grandfather gets mad... it now has become a famiy discussion about the merrits of religious life and why i should get him drunk in water that was touched by a childin touch'n perv, that way he can make it to heaven even if i won't... thats there words not mine.

      September 29, 2011 at 11:05 am |
  3. someguy

    @J-Ex

    Two different arguments here. The first involves whether mere belief is sufficient for salvation. If so, belief in the Devil is good enough to get into heaven. The second involves whether good works carry any weight at the time of judgement. Don't conflate the two.

    September 29, 2011 at 10:18 am |
    • J-Ex

      thanks for the use of conflate....I had to look that one up. For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is a gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast. But in the end since no one truly knows our fate, I guess we'll have to wait and see what happens when we get there....or don't depending on what you believe. Each to his own, but I don't believe "being a good person" means making a mockery of other's beliefs or non-beliefs

      September 29, 2011 at 10:41 am |
    • someguy

      @J-ex

      Well I apologized for the sarcasm in another post/reply, so if you didn't see it, sorry. I agree we should keep things civil! So OK, faith is a gift from God. But, as MarylandBill pointed out, we should settle on what we mean by "faith". For my part, I have faith that my judgements are basically sound, that my conscience generally leads me to do the right thing, and that if I meet God he will go easy on me because I genuinely tried to do the right thing. And also, no mockery intended, replies with scriptural quotes are not going to fly. I am seeking a justification for following what the bible and its proponents are saying and coming to your belief. I am asking the question "Why should I believe what the bible says" It is inherently bogus to then turn around and quote it at me and say "See, THIS is why you should believe."

      September 29, 2011 at 11:11 am |
  4. petercha

    The way I see it, is that God created all the nations at the Tower of Babel. Therefore, a good Christian will be patriotic for his or her country, whatever country they are a citizen of. Being unpatriotic could be a sin.

    September 29, 2011 at 10:15 am |
    • TruthPrevails

      The USA is a secular country and therefore, patriotism has nothing to do with a god!

      September 29, 2011 at 10:34 am |
    • Marie

      If a god you worship created all nations, why would you think he/she/it wants you to like one over the other? Didn't the bible say love thy neighbor as thyself?

      September 29, 2011 at 10:52 am |
    • hippypoet

      @Marie

      the bible always says that the jews are "gods" chosen people. thats not very nice seeing there are many other people on this planet!

      September 29, 2011 at 11:08 am |
    • Uncouth Swain

      Being God's Chosen ppl does not mean to be God's only ppl. Hippy, what you should be wondering is what are they chosen for?
      And in the book of Isaiah chapt 49, it seems the Lord isn't reall excluding the gentiles. Plz do a bit of research before blabbing.

      September 29, 2011 at 2:51 pm |
  5. Fundie

    This is great news. It's way overdue for U.S. Christians to realize that it's okay to NOT support your country when it's in direct opposition with God's ideals.

    September 29, 2011 at 10:11 am |
    • Sean

      You didn’t read the article did you? Let me guess.. someone who claims to speak for god told you what it says.
      According to this study the more ‘Christian” you are the more blindly you follow patriotism.

      September 29, 2011 at 10:17 am |
    • BRC

      @Fundie,
      While I am really, REALLY hoping that you are trolling (doing it pretty well actually), I feel the need to point out that comments like this are EXACTLY why atheists comment on the belief blog. Because sometimes people think those beliefs, unprovable personal thoughts and conjectures, should reach out and control real world constructs, adn affect other peoples lives.

      September 29, 2011 at 10:21 am |
    • Sean

      @BRC
      I once again disagree. As an Atheist I do not come to the belief blog just to spite the sheep. Belief does not mean Christian, Muslim or even religion for that matter. Theists have no more claim to a public belief blog than Atheist. The article specifically talks about Atheist after all. It also talks about patriotism.. which is a belief. People Like Fundie just make it more entertaining.

      September 29, 2011 at 10:47 am |
    • BRC

      @Sean,
      Fair point, coming on just to discuss how other people think is a perfectly valid reason (I do it too). The comment just threw me and I responded quickly and generalized (it's not the first God is more important than country comment I've seen today and they make me very uncomfortable).

      September 29, 2011 at 11:16 am |
    • Fundie

      @Sean and BRC:

      I actually did read the article. Yes, it's true that the data indicates a correlation between religiosity and patriotism. But I also noticed that the view that the U.S. is the "greatest country in the world" is the plurality opinion only among White evangelicals; for all other sub-groups, it's the minority opinion. For me, this result is reassuring because my interpretation of theology is that one should not turn their country into an idol (cf. "You shall not have other gods before me"). Yes, it's true that the data indicates that it's the more "theologically liberal" and non-religious individuals who are acting "biblically" here (in the "not idolizing the USA" sense)... but my opinion is that they're actually doing the right thing on this issue.

      September 29, 2011 at 2:14 pm |
    • BRC

      @Fundie,
      I think you missunderstood my comment. My point wasn't that you adn't read the article; it was that your comment suggests that there are times when the "laws of God" should be held higher than the laws of man, and I NEVER believe that is true. If you live in a society then the agreed upon laws of man that govern it and keep you and those around you safe are the laws that come first, not those that come from a religion.

      September 29, 2011 at 3:19 pm |
  6. BoldGeorge

    I believe that this great nation was founded on christian principals and a determination to be 'under God', though this determination has faded since then. What I don't believe is that God's love and Salvation is just limited to one country in particular. It is also biblically true that God does heal a broken nation and forgives a people who turn from their sins and seek Him, whether that be this great nation, Israel, UK, etc.

    BUT, if we really wanted to get technical about this, according to the Bible, Israel is the one nation which is called God's chosen and has blessed them throughout human history. But as we also may or may not know, God has also punished them for turning against Him, something many believe is currently happening to this greet nation, the US. We and the whole world must acknowledge that we are a broken people who have sinned against God and seek the Savior His Son, Jesus Christ.

    September 29, 2011 at 10:11 am |
    • MomOf3

      How ironic is it that the Jews that wrote the old testament of the bible says that they are the chosen nation...hmmm... Wonder if they really put it to the vote to choose who would win that contest, or just declared a winner?

      And, if the Israel's past is any example of how your god blesses people, I'd say he can keep his blessings.

      September 29, 2011 at 10:48 am |
    • Norman

      WimpGeorge, you said "I believe that this great nation was founded on christian principals and a determination to be 'under God', "

      Your belief is wrong. This great nation was founded on freedom, plus crushing native Americans. Check your history.

      Nice try at foisting your Christ fables on the rest of us though, Not.

      September 29, 2011 at 11:16 am |
    • Sean

      Actually George, this great nation was not founded on Christian principals. Most of the founding fathers were not even Christian. They were Deist (not that I expect you know the difference) As for the under god’ bit.. that was added much later. Suggesting a forward direction toward ‘god’ since our founding. In essence everything you believe is wrong.

      The phrase "under God" was incorporated into the Pledge of Allegiance June 14, 1954, by a Joint Resolution of Congress amending §7 of the Flag Code enacted in 1942.[12]

      "In God We Trust" was adopted as the official motto of the United States in 1956. The phrase has appeared on U.S. coins since 1864 and on paper currency since 1957.

      The “Christian nation” nonsense is a recent fad. If you want to get technical that is.

      September 29, 2011 at 11:23 am |
  7. someguy

    @J-Ex

    Dude, I hate to break it to you but in fact the crust IS ACTUALLY being continually melted! It's due to a process called "subduction"; the old crust is pulled/pushed under, melts, and rises back to the surface. This is part of "plate tectonics", which I guess you haven't heard about. It's only been identified and proven via direct measurement over the last 60-70 years or so, so I can understand how you might have missed it.

    September 29, 2011 at 10:08 am |
    • J-Ex

      Scientists say they should be completely melting and reshifting but yet they don't melt all thway through and our land masses remain inhabitable. How our top crust remains largely intact and inhabitable still remains a mystery to them because measurements of the inner core temperature and pressure say this should not be a possibilty.

      September 29, 2011 at 10:14 am |
    • J-Ex

      Oh and almost forgot....thanks for the "I guess you haven't heard" jab.....that makes me so much more open and receptive to your point of view.

      September 29, 2011 at 10:17 am |
    • someguy

      Not sure if some of my posts are getting through. But you are right, there was more than a little sarcasm there and I apologize, not constructive. Waiting to see if other posts show up; if not I'll have to try again. Stay tuned!

      September 29, 2011 at 10:50 am |
  8. berucem

    I thought a patriot were British citizens who picked up a rifle to blow off the heads of British soldiers to free themselves from an overbearing, overtaxing, outdated monarchy, so when did patriotism and nationalism become one and the same

    September 29, 2011 at 10:06 am |
  9. VegasRage

    Judaism, Christianity, and Islam are the greatest mental diseases in human history. Grow a brain people and quit looking to books written by old sëxist paranoid primitive men written thousands of years ago. They had no more a clue what happens when you die than we do today. Scripture was a means of social control and tool to make people believe they garnered the favor of God over other nations. Start thinking for yourselves.

    September 29, 2011 at 10:01 am |
    • MarylandBill

      So which college professor, philosopher or book did you get those ideas from?

      September 29, 2011 at 10:07 am |
    • Sean

      @MarylandBill
      Not everyone has to be told what their opinions are. Who lets you out of your pen anyway? /bbaaahhhh

      September 29, 2011 at 10:15 am |
    • petercha

      "Judaism, Christianity, and Islam are the greatest mental diseases in human history."...... Hate much, Vegas?

      September 29, 2011 at 10:19 am |
    • Norman

      petercha, your religion is full of incitement of hatred, even to the point of your god apparently slaughtering whole peoples.

      Wow, you are so far into your sick Christian delusions it's amazing. Try to get out more.

      September 29, 2011 at 11:18 am |
  10. someguy

    Belief in God is not, and cannot be, a sufficient condition for salvation. Particularly for Christians, belief in God also requires a belief in the Devil. Ergo I can be a worshiper of the Devil and still be a believer in God. Now, if I accept the common argument that belief in God will save me, why should I not worship the Devil or otherwise behave badly? I believe, therefore I will be saved! Now, you will say "But belief in God is a requirement for entry into heaven". Good works, thoughtful actions, etc. surely must carry some weight with a supposed just God. So, if I die and go before God and he asks "Why didn't you believe?" I'll say "I was just a poor human, it was all too confusing, but I tried and hopefully succeeded in being a good person." What "just" God would send me to hell for that?

    September 29, 2011 at 10:00 am |
    • James PDX

      Exactly. If this is truly the system, God is clearly not a good, loving and just God. And I'd rather not worship such an arbitrary and spiteful deity.

      September 29, 2011 at 10:05 am |
    • J-Ex

      "No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. " Matthew 6:24 I'm nots ure how your "trying to be a good person" fits in with worshipping the devil since I'm not sure of anything good he suppsoedly stands for.

      September 29, 2011 at 10:05 am |
    • Ernie

      For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast. Ephesians 2:8-9 NOTE: saved by grace... not by belief... not by works.

      September 29, 2011 at 10:09 am |
    • Richard S Kaiser

      Rom 1:25 Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen.

      Rom 8:19 For the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God.

      Rom 8:20 For the creature was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him who hath subjected [the same] in hope,

      Rom 8:21 Because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God.

      Even the creature will be delivered up and as this world's subjects might find faultiness, they are but hapless and embolden by their lacking.

      September 29, 2011 at 10:26 am |
    • MarylandBill

      I am Catholic, not evangelical, so I would point out that two largest branches of Christianity (world wide) do not hold that belief alone is sufficient for salvation.

      That being said, I would point out that in general protestants don't believe that belief alone is required. They believe that faith alone is required. Now for Catholics, and obviously you, that is a synonym for belief. For protestants, faith is essentially a belief that changes one's life; i.e., it includes a turning away from sin.

      September 29, 2011 at 10:31 am |
    • someguy

      So Ernie, how do you GET said grace, if not through belief and/or good works? It's entirely up to God, then, and there's nothing we can do about it? I think you're treading dangerously close to "predestination" here, which is not going to go over well with most people of any stripe!

      September 29, 2011 at 11:26 am |
  11. We the People

    Drafted by Thomas Jefferson between June 11 and June 28, 1776
    “When in the Course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God enti-tle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.” - Drafted by Thomas Jefferson between June 11 and June 28, 1776

    September 29, 2011 at 9:55 am |
    • Marie

      I never submitted the whole system of my opinions to the creed of any party of men whatever in religion, in philosophy, in politics, or in anything else where I was capable of thinking for myself. Such an addiction is the last degradation of a free and moral agent.
      -Thomas Jefferson, letter to Francis Hopkinson, March 13, 1789

      September 29, 2011 at 10:49 am |
  12. Ernie

    The quote from Christianity Today article is so true: “... perception...that there is some kind of link between America's standing and the work..purpose..success of God's kingdom. ...wrong kingdom...It matters not..what America's status...is. The kingdom of Jesus Christ does not depend on this in any way and will continue regardless.” Time feels like a part of us through the "measurement" of time by clocks, calendars, etc. when in reality time is a measured piece of the eternal. So it is with God's kingdom... without borders on this globe.

    September 29, 2011 at 9:52 am |
    • Norman

      The "kingdom of Jesus Christ" does not exist. Nor does Jesus Christ, anymore. He died a long time ago, a mere mortal. Here's what you need to see as to how he got so famous http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zjz16xjeBAA

      September 29, 2011 at 11:21 am |
  13. James

    Most of the time when I read someone else's mail, I get confused too.

    September 29, 2011 at 9:51 am |
  14. Atheist

    This is ridiculous. Since when do you have to believe in imaginary deities to be a good citizen and love your country? I'm sure this 'poll' was taken someplace where the demographic was skewed. I don't believe a word of it.

    September 29, 2011 at 9:47 am |
    • MomOf3

      Of course it was skewed – it was for a christian publication, it doesn't get more skewed up than that!

      September 29, 2011 at 9:56 am |
    • J-Ex

      you don't believe in imaginary deities but you believe in imaginary thoughts that a majority of US citizens are godless and faithless, that seems a bit convenient. Most Americans are not drinking the punch religious zealots....but even more than 75% that identify themselves as Christian in the article believe in some sort of higher power or deity or whatever label you want to stick on it

      September 29, 2011 at 9:58 am |
  15. osro

    faith- the excuse you give for believing in something that you have no good reason to believe in the first place.

    September 29, 2011 at 9:41 am |
    • James

      Despite what the Christians and their leaders tell you, faith is not a learned skill. After all, how can you learn the ability to believe in something without proof or likelihood short of beating your head against a wall until brain damage sets in? Faith is a God given gift where he allows you to have the brain damage without all of the head banging.

      September 29, 2011 at 9:46 am |
    • J-Ex

      earth is placed the perfect distance from the son like no other planet in our solar system or other orbiting another sun....according to scientists our inner core should be continually melting our continental plates and reshifting the surface of the earth, yet it doesn't....our ozone is just the right amount to allow just the right amount of life giving sun rays in and keep the rest out that would kill us.....and on and on. Doesn't everything seem a little too perfectly harmonious to be random? I think I'd rather have some sort of faith, live a good life and find out I'm wrong in the end.

      September 29, 2011 at 9:50 am |
    • Jimmy

      @James, you can achieve faith through brainwashing. You can also be taught faith and you can also fake faith. Faith is in the mind of human beings, it is not some gift given by a non existent deity. There were nearly 5000 Gods that came before your Christian God and about 1000 that came after your God. All Gods are created by humans.

      September 29, 2011 at 9:56 am |
    • YBP

      There's a lot of faith-based hate in the world. Divine Bigotry. Does it surprise anyone that evangelicals think that America is No. 1? They're wrong about religion and their wrong about politics. The biggest idiots in the world. And there's millions of them. Sheep. Lazy, stupid, misinformed...but loud and opinionated.

      September 29, 2011 at 10:06 am |
    • Beelzebubba

      J-Ex mindlessly blithered: "Doesn't everything seem a little too perfectly harmonious to be random?"

      No. Only an imbecile attributes random acts of nature to a mythical being.

      September 29, 2011 at 10:09 am |
    • James PDX

      @Jimmy, I was being facetious.

      @J-Ex, You're looking at things backwards. Of the seemingly infnite number of suns and planets in all of the universe, the odds of at least one providing the necessary conditions to evolve and sustain life are pretty much 100%. To explain why ours was the one (or at least the one we know about), we created God. Man is instinctually afraid of the dark. God is the nightlite he created to help him cope with his fear of the unknown.

      September 29, 2011 at 10:10 am |
    • MomOf3

      J-Ex, your using the end result to justify the means!

      YOU:earth is placed the perfect distance from the son like no other planet in our solar system or other orbiting another sun....
      ME:the earth is where it is in the solar system...not perfect...it just is! Not a coincidence, it's just where it happens to be. Life evolved on this planet as a result of it location in the solar system, not the other way around...

      YOU:according to scientists our inner core should be continually melting our continental plates and reshifting the surface of the earth, yet it doesn't....
      ME:but it actually does, or haven't you been paying attention to the earthquakes and volcanic eruptions lately...

      YOU:our ozone is just the right amount to allow just the right amount of life giving sun rays in and keep the rest out that would kill us.....and on and on.
      ME: again, you're using the end result to justify the situation of life on this planet. The situation of the ozone and the distance from the sun is the reason that life was able to thrive on this planet!

      YOU:Doesn't everything seem a little too perfectly harmonious to be random?
      ME: Actually, life on this planet is very static, in that it is in constant flux and always changing – evolution! And, plants and animals are FAR from harmonious...

      YOU:I think I'd rather have some sort of faith, live a good life and find out I'm wrong in the end.
      ME: I'd prefer to believe in a scientific value for life on this planet, and not assume a god fantasy created a perfect situation ON THIS PLANET ONLY to foster life. I can live just as good a life by loving and RESPECTING my fellow man as any christian. And, I'm not worried about what happens to me when I die. My remains will help to keep life on this random planet alive as fertilizer.

      September 29, 2011 at 10:12 am |
    • J-Ex

      wow I must have hit quite a few nerves...good job 🙂

      September 29, 2011 at 10:22 am |
    • Yes1fan

      MOMof3 – how do you explain, using "statistical odds", how the Big Bang (something from nothing, aka "magic??") occurred? Who or what pushed that button?? How do you explain how microbial life, with totally unique DNA found in no other life forms on Earth, has been found in depths of the Earth too deep even for water migration? How do you explain the Euglena, which has a PROTON MOTOR, and a WHEEL, to propel itself, using "randomness"? YOU are denying what is obvious.

      September 29, 2011 at 10:25 am |
    • James PDX

      yes1fan, why do I need to try to explain those things? The people who created God are the insecure beings who needed an explanation for everything. I understand that the knowledge mankind has is infinitessimal compared to all of the knowledge available in this ginormous universe. Being aware of how much knowledge I, and mankind, is lacking, I understand that some things cannot yet be explained. And I'm OK with that. I don't need a God security blanket to make it through my life.

      September 29, 2011 at 10:33 am |
    • darkstar

      J-Ex – no everything doesn't seem to be too perfect. It only meets those conditions now. It didn't in the past, and it most certainly won't in the future once the sun exhausts its fuel and swellls out beyond the orbit of Mars, enveloping Earth in the process and ending all life long before. What seems perfect to you is temporary and only seems fine tuned to those that have no authentic scientific backgraound. You would realize that it is instead LIFE that is perfectiy suited to our environment, not the other way around. Life evolved and adapted to the way our planet works.

      Finally, you threw out the good ole Pascal's Wager – better to be safe than sorry. That is so old and tired. What leads you to believe that the Christian faith is the correct one? If you would rather be safe than sorry, shouldn't you be giving all religions equal faith just in case you chose the wrong one? Of course you aren't. You simply assume Christianity is the right one because you were indocrinated into it from the start. Although, I cannot expect to logically argue you out of a belief that you were never logically argued into to begin with.

      September 29, 2011 at 11:25 am |
    • MomOf3

      Thanks James!

      @Yes1Fan:

      how do you explain, using "statistical odds", how the Big Bang (something from nothing, aka "magic??") occurred? Who or what pushed that button?? – Using an odds ratio isn't an option in this scenario. Probabilities can't be determined when one group doesn't have a set value. What do you propose is used for the control group? You could argue conditional probability, but again, when you don't have an agreed upon set value, the argument isn't logical. Since I'm not into quantum physics, so I'm not familiar with the matter that existed before the Big Bang,so it's not actually a 'something-from-nothing' theory, but if you want to argue magic, by all means, let's discuss religion – the most 'magical' argument there is.

      How do you explain how microbial life, with totally unique DNA found in no other life forms on Earth, has been found in depths of the Earth too deep even for water migration? – I'm also not a microbotanist or microbiologst, but it's more logical to assume that the DNA that you cite was once present on the Earth's surface, and through plate tectonics and shifting environments, made it's way to it's present location. How do you explain the lifeforms that are being discovered everyday in places like the Amazon rain-forest? I guess god is putting them there so we can find them, sort of like a cosmic scavenger hunt? I guess what is necessary here is the knowledge that the Earth is billions of years old, versus the christian belief that it is only a few thousand years old, to allow for transitions to take place.

      How do you explain the Euglena, which has a PROTON MOTOR, and a WHEEL, to propel itself, using "randomness"? – Euglena are unicellular organisms that scientists are still not sure how to classify. I'm not sure where you get the idea that they possess a motor and a wheel; they are flagellates, or use an undulating contracting-expanding motion to propel themselves. I don't think it's random at all that they evolved a locomotion system that best suits the environment they exist in, namely, water or liquids.

      YOU are denying what is obvious. – I'm not denying that you think that the universe was created by your fantasy god, I'm only showing you that, in some cases, science can prove you are wrong.

      September 29, 2011 at 12:40 pm |
  16. James

    This is an easy one. The more devoutly religious you are, the more likely you are to believe whatever fairytales your government tells you. So obviously the more religious are going to think their country is better because their leaders tell them it is better. Mystery solved.

    September 29, 2011 at 9:39 am |
    • Smell the coffee

      Absolutely correct – well said!

      September 29, 2011 at 9:41 am |
    • just in case

      Do not stereotype ALL religious people. I don't believe a word out of any government officials mouth. I believe there is only room for one kingdom/ government, and that is a theocracy...rule by God. (daniel 2:44) when the time is right ...only one will remain.

      September 29, 2011 at 9:50 am |
    • J-Ex

      why Java James you've been believeing the fairytale of hope and change for three years now....look in the mirror much?

      September 29, 2011 at 9:53 am |
    • James PDX

      Which fairytale is that? Obama? I don't vote for either party. Both are corrupt. I refuse to settle for evil, even if it is the lesser of.

      September 29, 2011 at 10:03 am |
    • YBP

      Bravo. Excellent point.

      September 29, 2011 at 10:07 am |
    • Curtis

      You speak of fairytales- When most that don't believe In Jehovah God, believe in this little fairytale called EVOLUTION. However, there is no proof of evolution but there is proof there is an Almighty God. His name is Jehovah. It's funny how science is mostly against religion yet all their findings support an Almight Power who created the universe. 🙂 God is all around you. Man tries to create things(that usually always have a negative side effect)....Jehovah created Life-the sun, the moon, the stars, water to drink, the elements...no failure. Faith is not about no proof. There is some proof. Like a child who does good in school. As a parent you have faith that she will continue to do in school. Why? Because she has before. Just like Jehovah who created the earth in the beginning but men have torn it apart. But he promises to restore the earth to a paradise. Well, I have faith he can do that-He did it in the beginning of time....and its not based on a fairytale. But if you want to believe in Aliens or Evolution...be my guest for those are fairytales.

      September 29, 2011 at 10:08 am |
    • Beelzebubba

      A mindless cretin named James posted the following idiocy: "here is no proof of evolution but there is proof there is an Almighty God"

      Wrong on both counts, idiot.

      September 29, 2011 at 10:11 am |
    • Beelzebubba

      Apology to James. My comment was for Curtis.

      September 29, 2011 at 10:12 am |
    • Curtis

      You give a great argumenet. (sarcasm) No substance in your comment. I'll pray for you.

      September 29, 2011 at 10:14 am |
    • MomOf3

      @Curtis – You said – Man tries to create things(that usually always have a negative side effect)....

      You are correct!! Man created god and look at the negative effect that has had on life on this planet!

      September 29, 2011 at 10:16 am |
    • Curtis

      Man created God? So who created Man?

      September 29, 2011 at 10:19 am |
    • James PDX

      Beelzabubba, I think you misquoted. I believe you meant to credit that to Curtis, who thinks that the millions of people on the Earth 2000 years ago who were not conveniently located near the Middle East and who never heard of Johovah or Jesus and who, by God's rules clearly laid out in the New Testament, were sent straight to Hell for their unfortunate geographic location is a great divine plan by a just and loving God. Even if I believed in Jehovah, I would never worship a hypocrite. "Though shalt not kill." "And turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrha into ashes condemned them with an overthrow"

      September 29, 2011 at 10:26 am |
    • BRC

      @Curtis,
      I am genuinely curious, what makes it not a fairytale?

      September 29, 2011 at 10:27 am |
    • Curtis

      It's not a fairytale because there is proof all around you- Please read my comment to "FREE" it explains more of my belief.

      September 29, 2011 at 10:41 am |
    • James PDX

      Curtis, what a terrible argument. Why did man have to be "created"? Why not just learn to deal with the fact that you may not be able to understand some things, such as how the universe, and man, came to be? Notice how many Gods were worshipped throughout history, many before Jehovah became popular. Did man not create those Gods? But this one, who came later and whose religion is based upon the ideas and traditions stolen from the so called pagan religions, this God is real? If I'm a good person, my belief in God shouldn't matter. If he exists, I should be punished or rewarded solely on my actions/merit. So why was the entire Christian religion rebooted with the New Testament such that the system of merit was removed and replaced with an arbitrary one based solely on belief? Because someone realized the 10 commandments set the bar too high for mankind and needed to create a system that would work. Was it your perfect God who realized his mistake and changed all of the rules? Of course not, he's perfect so he couldn't have been the one to get it wrong. So who changed the rules?

      September 29, 2011 at 10:41 am |
    • BRC

      @Curtis, I responded to your comment to "Free" below, unfortunately we both posted in teh wrong place, but that happens.

      September 29, 2011 at 11:07 am |
    • Curtis

      BRC- So you believe men have evolved over time. I can slightly agree with that because of new inventions and so forth... Did the Sun evolve over time? Did the earth's natural functions evolve over time? Who created that first Primate in which we evolved from? How did it come into existense? See to me what your talking about is a fairytale and just an opinion (theory) because you still yet to explain how the things you believe in came into existance. You deny Jehovah as the original Creator of all things. Oh and you are right...the First Primate was a Human- Adam. And we did evolve from him. But again, who created Adam? or your Primate in which you believe. God made man in his image. Hence a SUPER Brain was given.

      September 29, 2011 at 11:52 am |
    • BRC

      @Curtis,
      Yes and yes to the sun and planet thing. Both have changed (not technically evolution) over time. Lots of time. As for where it all started, we don't know yet; but if anyone figures it out it is going to be a long line of dedicated scientists working very hard to find answers they admit that right now they don't know. You claim to be certain that it was all the work of Jehova, and that I am in denial, but you have yet to provide proof that can ONLY be explained by a divine creator, you have stated your beliefs, and said that my proof is incomplete (even though it is more substantial than yours). That doesn't mean you're wrong, but it gives noone any reason, other than personal feelings, to think that you're right- and I am unwilling to make that leap. There is no reason to, and it doesn't make sense to me.

      September 29, 2011 at 12:34 pm |
  17. We the People

    We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their CREATOR with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

    September 29, 2011 at 9:38 am |
    • William Demuth

      Your right, with creator, either your mom or dad dosen't get the needed credit.

      September 29, 2011 at 9:40 am |
    • Curtis

      So FREE, you make my point that if you do not believe in God, you believe in fairytales like Aliens and Monkeys evolved over time into humans. But it still doesn't explain HOW we were made or WHO made us. You're a person of Science, so you believe that the Universe is a beautiful and mysterious place. The universe is filled with millions of planets that have been discovered and researched but none prove to bear life. Yes, we keep finding new planets but still no proof of life. However, our lonely Earth- Is perfectly aligned with the Sun to give us life. If it were any closer we would burn to death. If it were too far away, we would freeze to death. Examine the Body now, your brain and your vital organs- But let's take the Brain- The brain is the basis of the invention of the computer- easily noted: Memory, Processor... Ok, so man got that Idea from the Brain. So who created this Marvelous Brain? It just happened? It just came about? How can you explain the harmonious dwelling of Man and Animal? We all serve a purpose in dwelling on Earth the way our God Jehovah created it. Again, you can continue to believe in Aliens and Evolution where there is no proof just speculation and theories...OR you can believe in an Almight Power as your creator, and all you have to do is look around you for proof. We all are searching for answers, and religion has hurt many to the point where they give up on God, but you can't give up on God.. God said "men can not direct their own footsteps" You can give up on men, don't give up on God.

      September 29, 2011 at 10:38 am |
    • BRC

      @Curtis,
      You referenced this comment so I will respond here. I see your evidence, but unfortunately it is only
      evidence for your case when interpreted in a very specific way, for instance-

      -His belief in evolution does explain how we are made, the successful propagation of species that are well adapted to the environment around them do to their increased ability to survive and breed, spread out over the rather long life of this planet (and we didn't come from monkeys, we would have come from an earlier form of primate).

      -Despite your conjecture we have not researched millions of planets, we have gotten better and better at identifying solar systems that have them. We can identify that there is a planet, yes, but there is no way for that to give you proof of life. If you don't know exactly what you're looking for you can barely tell that humans inhabit earth when you see pictures from the moon. You want people to know there are aliens when determining the existence of planets by star vibrations. Not going to happen, but it doesn't mean it isn't there.

      – The computer is not modeled after the human brain, they use very different mechanisms. It'd lineage starts with the abacus, then calculator, and onward and upward from there. BUT, yes, the brain did develop through evolution just like the rest of our organs. Did you know that there are plenty of sentient creatures that do not have "brains"; some have neural networks, basically just nerve systems that process inputs and actions. Our brain is a superior "thinking" mechanism, which enables us to reason, learn, and remember, hence why we are able to be a dominant and surviving species, bringing us to...

      -We do not get along harmoniously with animals. We subjugate them using our knowledge and use of tools (and then we eat them, because they're delicious). If we didn't have opposable thumbs, the ability to sharpen weapons, and a social instinct to come together and work as a group for survival, we would have been devoured and wiped off the planet by pointy toothed animals a LONG time ago.

      So again, is there anything other than your personal opinion that makes you think it's not all a fairytale?

      September 29, 2011 at 11:04 am |
  18. Doubting Thomas

    After reading the article – I thought that the comments would have been 75% Christian. However, most of these comments are from non-believers. Maybe there aren't so many Christians or Christians don't read articles on CNN. I guess Christians only read one book that was written 2000 years ago by uneducated shepherds for uneducated shepherds about an invisible alien who makes everything ok if I sacrifice my sheep. Actually, they don't even read that book – most of them have someone else tell them what is says. I dare any of your Christians to read your bible – it is a horrible book filled with greed, hate and delusion. Don't believe me – Try reading the other parts of the bible that they conveniently don’t tell you about.

    September 29, 2011 at 9:38 am |
    • James

      But stick with the Old Testament. At least the religion made some amount of sense before they rebooted it.

      September 29, 2011 at 9:41 am |
    • J-Ex

      someone has issues

      September 29, 2011 at 9:43 am |
    • Thomas

      You are absolutely correct that the Bible is filled with greed, hate and delusions (delusions that man is in control, that is), but you have completely missed the underlying message of redemption and salvation. Either you missed it, or you choose not to acknowledge it.

      September 29, 2011 at 9:46 am |
    • James

      I get confused when I read someone else's mail too... it's ok, it happens to us all.

      September 29, 2011 at 9:52 am |
    • James

      Thomas, what was the way to Heaven in the Old Testament? It was following the 10 commandments and being a good Christian. So why did God need to reboot the entire religion and change the entrance requirements with the New Testament? Did God screw up the 1st time around? Did he and his omniscience and omnipotence misjudge his creation? Or are you just going to use the standard issue cop out and claim that God works in mysterious ways, such as massive incest?

      Explain how a system where people were allowed entrance to Heaven based purely on merit is not better than one where you get in based on your ability to believe in someone you've never met and may never have even heard of? 2000 years ago the Native Americans were living in North and South America. They had absolutely no chance whatsoever to have even heard of the Christ. So, based on the rules of your religion, they were guaranteed to go to Hell for no other reason than geography. I know the old saying, "Location, location, location." but you realy give it new meaning!

      September 29, 2011 at 9:59 am |
    • James PDX

      Looks like we have a conglomerant of Jameses. The mail reply was not mine. I'll take credit for the other 2.

      September 29, 2011 at 10:01 am |
    • oceanswell

      You might check out the book "Is God a Moral Monster".

      September 29, 2011 at 10:01 am |
    • tom

      yep that's what happens when the poll is conducted from 1,500 church-going folk. There are 300+ million people in this country. That sample size can hardly mean anything.

      September 29, 2011 at 10:02 am |
    • BRC

      @Thomas,
      The issue I take is that there is really no need for salvation. The bible says that "God" will forgive you, but he's fogiving you for an offense that he created (and that your 10 to the nth grand parents supposedly committed and that the world has already been punished for several times). A logical god would not create a rule that they new would be violated, only to excuse the violater. It's circular and illogical. A perfect god COULD NOT BE ILLOGICAL. So, whether or not there are any gods, I'm pretty comfortable with the idea that the Bible missed the mark.

      September 29, 2011 at 10:02 am |
    • Sue

      The big 'C' christians take offence to CNN and other mainstream news service's actually fairly criticizing their conservative politicians on the issues, so they tend to trust Fox News, where they all tot the party line, almost exclusively.

      September 29, 2011 at 10:06 am |
    • Curtis

      Yes, and your suggestion is to keep believing in Aliens and Evolution?? Talk about fairytales. Do you think you were placed here magically? (another fairytale)...what do you believe in?

      September 29, 2011 at 10:13 am |
    • YBP

      Speaking of the Bible...Actually, Jesus (and/or the people who wrote about Jesus) got a lot of his "Son of Man" and "End Times" nonsense from the Book of Daniel, which was a forgery. It was about 200 years old at the tme, pretending to be 600 years old, and foretelling things that had already happened. It was also written as propaganda for the Maccabean War, not for a future war with the Romans. So Jesus (and/or the Gospel writers) was totally misguided in this way. He based his entire "gospel" on nonsense, and got killed for it. The Osama bin Laden of his day. if you trace the history of Christianity, you will find that it was spread by the sword, but prior to that, it was invented as a result of a number of misinterpretations of Judaism, reinterpretations of paganism and a lot of political in-fighting by fringe religious sectarians...not to mention Saul's mystical "vi$ion$," which he suddenly had when he realized that there was money to be made.

      September 29, 2011 at 10:20 am |
    • Free

      Curtis
      Ah, isn't creationism with it's idea that God just 'poofed' us and the universe into existence out of nothing closer to magic than the scientific explanations? Evolution fits the evidence better than any other explanation, and the rapidly growing number of new planets in the galaxy makes alien life ever more likely. Please try to keep in mind what better fits the definition of 'fairytale', all right?

      September 29, 2011 at 10:25 am |
    • Curtis

      Curtis

      So FREE, you make my point that if you do not believe in God, you believe in fairytales like Aliens and Monkeys evolved over time into humans. But it still doesn't explain HOW we were made or WHO made us. You're a person of Science, so you believe that the Universe is a beautiful and mysterious place. The universe is filled with millions of planets that have been discovered and researched but none prove to bear life. Yes, we keep finding new planets but still no proof of life. However, our lonely Earth- Is perfectly aligned with the Sun to give us life. If it were any closer we would burn to death. If it were too far away, we would freeze to death. Examine the Body now, your brain and your vital organs- But let's take the Brain- The brain is the basis of the invention of the computer- easily noted: Memory, Processor... Ok, so man got that Idea from the Brain. So who created this Marvelous Brain? It just happened? It just came about? How can you explain the harmonious dwelling of Man and Animal? We all serve a purpose in dwelling on Earth the way our God Jehovah created it. Again, you can continue to believe in Aliens and Evolution where there is no proof just speculation and theories...OR you can believe in an Almight Power as your creator, and all you have to do is look around you for proof. We all are searching for answers, and religion has hurt many to the point where they give up on God, but you can't give up on God.. God said "men can not direct their own footsteps" You can give up on men, don't give up on God.

      September 29, 2011 at 10:40 am |
    • James PDX

      Curtis, consider the possibility that we may not be able to explain how we got here simply becuase we have not yet gained all of the necessary knowledge that is available in a possibly infinite universe. God exists (existentially) because of man's need for explanations for things he doesn't understand. Stop trying to froce an explanation for your existence and accept that there are some things you will never know. It's OK to be afraid fo the dark. It's not OK to make up fairytales to rid you of your fears and pass them off as gospel.

      September 29, 2011 at 10:48 am |
    • Curtis

      James, you mention being a good person. Honeslty, I have no doubt that you are a good person. But WHY are you a good person? Who made you a good person? You were born with a conscience....Who gave you that? There is clear proof of these beliefs. I understand your arguement but you're point is basically- Man this exam is very hard, now I could do extra research to prepare for it so I know the answer or I can give up and believe I'm not capable of understanding. That's what your saying. So how does the Sun sit perfectly in our Universe aligned with our Earth? How is the Brain so powerful? You can believe in Aliens, Evolution, or Jehovah.... I think I have better odds with Jehovah. You have to believe in something- If not, you're a lost individual making up your own rules as you go along with your life to support your decisions whether right or wrong. Again, give up on man but not Jehovah your God.

      September 29, 2011 at 11:02 am |
    • BRC

      @Curtis,
      I don't know about James, but nothing made me a good person. I chose to be one because of the upbringing my parents gave me, and because I am proud to be able to say that I did the right thing, even in situations when many people would not. There is no god required for a person to haev those thought processes.

      Also I replied to your comment to Free above, sorry, I found the wrong posting.

      September 29, 2011 at 11:10 am |
    • Curtis

      BRC- All of us are products of our parents and then once we reach adulthood, our own understanding kicks in. Again, you talk about your beliefs but you have no originator. So who did your parents learn from? How were they able to instill good things in their child? What was their source of belief? And then you can ask even further- Your grandpaerents- Who was their source of information. THere is always an originator. Like my watch- Pretty well designed- Should I believe that my watch evolved over time? It would be silly to think that my watch just appeared out of thin air, right? Of course, we know someone MADE the watch. A creator. Jehovah God is the Creator of All things. In all your arguements you keep leaving out WHO created these things. It's obvious my computer didn't create itself–no a wise person created it.

      September 29, 2011 at 11:59 am |
    • BRC

      @Curtis,
      I actually come from a long line of Atheists on my father's side, with settings ranging from a simple there is no God, to there is no God and anyone who believes it is delusional. Yet they are all upstanding citizens, with a strong moral code, who will do/did anything for their families, and I am pretty sure all of them served in the military in some way or another (not saying that is required to be a good person, just pointing out that they were all comfortable with self sacrifice). I have generations of evidence that a belief in god is completely unnecessary.

      As for your watch analogy; yes, its design has likely evolved over time as improvements have been discovered and the people making them have learned more about the process. An all powerful creator would get it right the first time, it would never be able to be improved. ANd yes, it was made by a person, who if you wnated to, you could find, and talk to (unless they're dead, but you could see the grave). There is hard, irrefutable, observable evidence to its creation, and its workings no doubt have a lineage. There is no hard, irrefutable, observable evidence that Jehova was involved in anything, only conjecture, and if there have been things that can be observed having changed or improved over time, then that's not very good support for the concept of an all powerful creator.

      September 29, 2011 at 12:16 pm |
    • Curtis

      BRC- An what about your Mother's Side?

      So as you see with the watch their has to be a creator-Someone made it. We would be dumb to think otherwise. Well, the Sun, Earth, and Moon- And all their functions were created perfectly and have not changed. Who created them? You can't say they just appeared. That doesn't explain why they are perfect in their functionallity. Same with a watch- yes its improved over time because it was created by MAN but GOD. Man-made things always change...like religion, traditions, economy...etc.. but Jehovah doesn't change. You're an Atheist but yet you still can't explain your orgin. And its delusional of me to believe in something vs. believe in Nothing??? how is that

      September 29, 2011 at 12:32 pm |
    • BRC

      @Curtis,
      Mother's side is Roman Catholic, she ws very dissapointed when at 5 I determined that I didn't agree with/believe in any of it (not pushed by Dad by the way, he never said anything one way or the other, didn't learn abou this families beliefs till I was an adult).

      And you have a critical flaw in your theory. The Sun, Moon, and Earth are not static, they have all changed, in their existence likely dramtaically but even just in the course of recorded human history there have been observable changes changes. We do not yet understand all of the mechanisms, but we observe the effects, and we're learning more. And none of it requires a creator. It doesn't necessarily preclud one (though it does pretty much prove that the universe was not instantly brought into creation in a single perfect state), but it provides no support to ones existance.

      As been pointed out several times, you are mixing cause and effect. The Solar system does not necessarily exist this way because we are here. We are here, because in the process of the shifting of the universe the conditions existed that allow us to be here. A divine start is possible, but not necessary. How do you address the fact that in a few more billion years the sun will wipe out half the planets in this solar system, and sometime after that will either destroy or cease to support the rest? Did Jehova put a timer on things?

      September 29, 2011 at 12:43 pm |
    • Free

      Curtis
      Nobody, outside of creationists, thinks that evolution claims that we evolved from monkeys. That's like saying that your ancestors are actually your distant cousins of the same age, for Pete's sake! Seriously, if you all want people to take you seriously you have to learn about what it is you're arguing against so fiercely.

      Next, science cannot logically be compared to fairytales, like religion can. It has been compared to science fiction, but mostly positively as when people show their amazement at the kind of futuristic advances science has given us lately.

      "Yes, we keep finding new planets but still no proof of life."
      20 years ago we could only dream of detecting other planets. You want to bet that in 20 years, with advances in image quality, we won't be able to zoom in enough to see any signs of civilization? What will be your line then, I wonder?

      You seem amazed at how well our environment matches us, whereas we are not really all that amazed because we understand that it is we who have evolved to match the environment. If this were not the case then we would be better suited to surviving in non-tropical environments without clothing, as God supposedly created us, yes? With the likelihood of there being a million or more earth-like planets just in our galaxy alone what are the odds that our planet is unique? We have a marvelous brain, but it can still be fooled by optical illusions, drugs, alzheimer's, and a host of other things. What's truly weird is when folks who speak like you insist that the brain is so wonderfully designed owing to our mental superiority over animals, but then turn around and accuse us of depending on that intelligence too much when it leads us away from believing God.

      Who created us? Well, who created God? It really is that simple.

      September 29, 2011 at 4:32 pm |
  19. cindy

    Where did the pollers find so many Christians? The US is a pagan society whose population worships the dollar; not a loving, forgiving society following the word of Jesus. Just look at Congress as a beginning.

    September 29, 2011 at 9:37 am |
    • Toby

      Right on the money! Pun intended.

      September 29, 2011 at 9:57 am |
    • Free

      cindy
      The US is a actually a secular society whose population is capitalist; something that conservative Christians tend to celebrate as being a good thing over socialist, and communist economic systems. The loving and forgiving aspects of our society stem from the word of Jesus for some people, and from other religious traditions or from a personal sense of morality for others. The hateful aspects of our society also come from people's religious or personal ethical choices. That's just the way it is.

      September 29, 2011 at 10:18 am |
    • YBP

      The pagans had it right, Cindy. Rome was much more powerful than America can ever hope to be. Christianity weakened it. So come down from your ivory tower and let go of you fear-based religious nonsense and get on with your life.

      September 29, 2011 at 10:24 am |
  20. Chuckles

    This is totally going to get a "your take" article in the next couple of days.......

    September 29, 2011 at 9:35 am |
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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.