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15 faith-based predictions for 2012
January 1st, 2012
03:00 PM ET

15 faith-based predictions for 2012

To ring in the New Year, CNN's Belief Blog asked experts in religion, faith leaders, and a secular humanist about how the forces of faith and faithlessness will shape the world in 2012.

Here's what they told us:

1. The Republican Party will tap Mitt Romney as its presidential nominee, and America will finally have its "Mormon moment." As evangelicals try to figure out whether they can support a president who practices Mormonism, the rest of us will try to figure out whether Mormonism is a cult, a form of Christianity, or something in between. Meanwhile, visitors to Marriott hotels will finally crack open some of those nightstand copies of The Book of Mormon.
-Stephen Prothero, Boston University religion professor and regular CNN Belief Blog contributor

2. Despite all of the lessons that could have been learned from Y2K and Harold Camping, people will still rally around the idea that apocalyptic events are on the calendar for 2012. Some will turn to the end-date of the 5125-year-long cycle in the Mesoamerican Long Count calendar (closely associated with the Maya civilization) and a handful of folks believe cataclysmic events are awaiting on December 21, 2012. But the dates with will pass with little fanfare — except for those profiting from the sale of gold coins, generators, and dried food that you'd probably rather want to die than eat.
-Margaret Feinberg, author of "Hungry for God"

3. Continuing revolutions across the Arab world will raise alarming questions about the fate of the remaining Christians in the region, and will put the issue of religious persecution squarely on the political agenda. Sizable Christian populations now survive in only two Arab countries, Egypt and Syria, both of which could soon be under Islamist rule. At a minimum, expect to see inter-faith violence on the ground. In a worst case scenario, Arab Christians could face large scale persecution, forcing millions to seek new homes overseas. Watch too for religious persecution to be an emotive issue in the U.S. presidential race.
- Philip Jenkins, Penn State University professor and author of "Laying Down the Sword: Why We Can't Ignore the Bible's Violent Verses"

4. The year will see an increase in the number of people "coming out" as nonbelievers. Major events like the Reason Rally in March will be a catalyst for more people to publicly declare their secular worldview. The statements of popular celebrities George Takei and Ricky Gervais as atheists in 2011 are just the tip of the iceberg.
–Roy Speckhardt, executive director of the American Humanist Association

5. "All-American Muslim" will become a bigger hit than "Jersey Shore" ever was. Obsessed fans worldwide, regardless of gender, will begin rocking sassy colorful hijab (veil) and converting en masse. Tim Tebow will choose to fast in solidarity with Muslim football players and Tebowing will be replaced by Teprostrating. President Obama will jump on the bandwagon and replace VP Joe Biden with Keith Ellison as his running mate, guaranteeing his re-election in a landslide victory in November. Peace will reign on earth and pigs will have a new lease on life.
-Maysoon Zayid, comedian, actress and co-producer of the New York Arab American Comedy Festival

6. There's no question the worldview of most younger Christians already differs from previous generations regarding social justice, cultural engagement and politics. The next issue of probable divergence? The conflict in Israel and Palestine. The American church has largely purported just one theology about the modern state of Israel, but now questions are being asked - especially by younger Christians learning of persecution and human rights issues happening in the region - if the church should have a more active role in peacemaking. Is there a way for the Church to be pro-Israel, pro-Palestine and pro-peace?
–Cameron Strang, publisher of RELEVANT magazine

7. Significant numbers of millennials (young people born in the 1980s and 1990s) will continue to walk away from socially conservative religious traditions. Bringing them back will be tough, especially for religious organizations deeply invested in brick-and-mortar and bureaucracy. Millennials who are facing the erosion of access to affordable, quality education and meaningful employment and who stand to inherit from their elders a great deal of debt and environmental destruction want to know why and how faith matters.
-Joanna Brooks, Mormon author and columnist for Religion Dispatches

8. The year 2012 promises to be a time of great spiritual stirring in our nation. People are seeking both practical and spiritual answers to their problems. As a result, churches and media ministries that answer specific needs will grow in unprecedented numbers. We can expect to see the numbers of mega-churches and super mega-churches continue to grow. Culturally there will be marked return to helping the poor (both domestically and internationally) and political and social engagement by a younger/more racially diverse, evangelical people.
–Harry R. Jackson Jr., senior pastor, Hope Christian Church and president of the High Impact Leadership Coalition

9. Sabbath becomes trendy! Fourth Commandment makes a comeback! Sabbath named Time’s person of the year! A new movement sweeps the country. They call themselves 24/6. Worn out by being tethered to the grid 24/7, sick of being accessible all hours of the day, inundated by updates, upgrades, and breaking news, Americans finally rebel, demanding, “We need a day off.” People all over the country go offline for 24 hours every week. The simple break from the frenetic pace results in lowered cholesterol rates, fewer speeding tickets, and a reduction in marital strife. Peace, tranquility and contentment spread like wildfire.
–Jamie Korngold, rabbi and author of "The God Upgrade"

10. Women in the Middle East and around the world will rally in protest about the woman who was beaten, stomped on and stripped down to her blue bra (under her abaya) during a demonstration in Egypt. Women everywhere who have been oppressed by their religions will rise up, as they have already done in Egypt, to join "The Blue Bra Revolution." We're mad as hell and we're not going to take it anymore.
–Sally Quinn, founder and editor-in-chief of Washington Post's “On Faith”

11.“Occu-pew Church" – a movement away from counterfeit "Church-ianity," cult of personality and religion toward authentic grassroots personal faith, based on living and loving like Jesus. More churches will lose the moat dragon mentality, lower the drawbridge and dispatch members beyond the church service to church SERVICE, applying their faith in the community through volunteerism and outreach. A renewed global emphasis on prayer - especially for peace and reconciliation - as individuals and leaders recognize that personal spiritual peace in one's heart provides the only lasting foundation for physical peace among families, friends, neighbors - even nations
–A. Larry Ross, Christian communications executive representing clients like Billy Graham and Rick Warren

12. Hindu Americans will continue to become better advocates for themselves, particularly in the public policy arena. They will play a larger role in defining the manner in which Hinduism is represented in the media, academia, popular culture, and interfaith dialogue. The acknowledgment of the Hindu roots of yoga will continue to spread with more people seeing the connection. And the Hindu ethos of religious pluralism will take on a more prominent role in nurturing not only tolerance, but respect for and between the world's religions.
–Sheetal Shah, senior director of the Hindu American Foundation

13. In 2012 the lines between the sacred and the profane will get even more blurry: Scientists will religiously maintain their search for the elusive God particle (they won't find it); evangelical sports superhero and Denver Bronco quarterback Tim Tebow will continue to be both an inspiration to the faithful and an object of scorn to skeptics (he will be watching, not playing in, the Super Bowl); at least one well-known religious leader or leading religious politician will be brought down by a sex scandal (let's hope all our leaders have learned a lesson from former Rep. Anthony Weiner and stay away from sexting); and the "nones" - those who don't identify with one religion - will grow even more numerous and find religious meanings in unexpected places (what TV show will become this season's "Lost"?)
–Gary M. Laderman, chairman of Emory University’s religion department and  director of  Religion Dispatches

14. America’s evangelical community will have its hands full addressing both a presidential election and offering a biblical response to “end of days” Mayan prophecies surrounding 2012. With the economy emerging as the primary issue for the November election, America’s born-again community will have an opportunity to contextualize an alternative narrative to the polarizing elements from both the right and the left by reconciling the righteousness message of Billy Graham with the justice platform of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. By offering compassionate, truth-filled solutions and focusing on the message of grace, love, reconciliation and healing, evangelicals will demonstrate that the greatest agenda stems neither from the donkey nor the elephant but rather from the lamb.
- Rev. Samuel Rodriguez, president of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference

15. We are seeing the divide between younger generation evangelicals and older generation (baby boom and older) get wider every year both theologically and culturally (lifestyle). 2012 promises to widen the gap even more with Gen X and younger evangelicals having trouble understanding why the traditional lines make sense and/or just outright rejecting those lines.
–Mark Tauber, publisher at HarperOne

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Atheism • Christianity • Hinduism • Islam

soundoff (2,166 Responses)
  1. Aryan

    I predict that in 2012 White Americans will stop using the terms "youth," "young people" and "kids" to describe black criminals and use the more accurate term: "nigras."

    January 1, 2012 at 4:30 pm |
    • extraspecial2

      So twentieth-century! Is this performance art?

      January 1, 2012 at 5:42 pm |
    • extraspecial

      So much has changed since you were frozen in ice, Bucky. It's a whole new world out there!

      January 1, 2012 at 5:43 pm |
  2. JonDie

    Christianity is the PERFECT religion.

    A Christian can do just about anything he wants, to his neighbor or to his neighbor's wife, but the Christian is always forgiven, while the unbelieving neighbor and his unbelieving will go to Hell.

    Plus, half of Christians are in love with the idea that the world is going to Hell in a handbasket...because it confirms their belief that Satan is afoot...while the other half love the idea of the world going to Hell in a handbasket...because it confirms that the end is near.

    And, only a Christian can support the death penalty, which Jesus NEVER supported, and say he to himself and all that world that he is "pro-life"...and see no contradiction.

    It's a miracle!

    January 1, 2012 at 4:30 pm |
    • J. Mike

      Of course your post would make sense if Christianity were a religion. Alas it is not. It is a Faith. The religions you speak of would be Catholicism, Baptists, Lutherans, etc.

      January 1, 2012 at 4:39 pm |
    • RD

      @J. Mike

      JonDoe's post is the exact reason why I no longer affiliate myself with any Christian oriented religion and just call myself of Christian faith.

      January 1, 2012 at 4:57 pm |
    • J. Mike

      I hear you RD. The unique thing about Christianity is that when you compare it to other faiths, it is the only one in which God comes to us. God actively seeks us out for a relationship. That's pretty awesome. Keep the faith RD, and God Bless!

      January 1, 2012 at 5:04 pm |
    • nk

      @ J. Mike, Have you seen the "god" seeking anyone? Heard that it visited anyone? Or you are continuing the fairy tale as others have done before you?

      January 1, 2012 at 5:23 pm |
    • extraspecial

      @J. Mike - that's just untrue, in the sense that facts contradict you directly. All theistic religions have concepts of gods which directly seek out their faithful, pursue relationships with the people they are believed to have created, and take direct, proactive interest in the lives and fortunes of their people.

      Qualities which are purported to make religions "unique" are usually talking points designed to convince the believers that their own faith is more objectively true and real, more fulfilling, than others' - this is essentially religious intolerance with a positive spin instead of a negative one. It's still antisocial. Do you really, honestly, believe that Hindus have a lesser relationship with their deity than you do? Whatever it is that makes you faithful also made the ancient Babylonians faithful to their gods, and in equal measure. They felt just as strongly, just as personally, and just as emotionally, as you do. Can you still have your own faith and accept that human religious experience is pretty much the same across the board? If not, your faith isn't very robust, is it?

      January 1, 2012 at 6:07 pm |
  3. Clovis

    I predict this BELIEF site on CNN will continue to draw an overwhelming number of angry athiests

    January 1, 2012 at 4:29 pm |
    • Eric G

      Why do you think we are angry?

      January 1, 2012 at 4:33 pm |
    • Answer

      And even more angrier religious t-w-i-t-s who will be spreading their hate.

      January 1, 2012 at 4:33 pm |
    • Junius Gallio

      Eric: A good many of the atheists who show up here are, if not angry, at least giving a very good impression of it.

      January 1, 2012 at 4:34 pm |
    • richard

      clovis is what's wrong with our country: marginalizing those who queston if there is a god. you live in the land of plenty.
      have you aver visited the third world where 2/3 of the people negotiate for their evening meal?? how dare you thump your bible and politics at the rest of us! repect my non-beleifs and I'll respect your beleif in the absurd

      January 1, 2012 at 4:36 pm |
    • J. Mike

      An excellent prediction...

      January 1, 2012 at 4:36 pm |
    • Zanthros

      funny thing is, I seem to see a lot of angry hostile christians on the airwaves and in the media as well. These angry christians keep wanting to turn the clock back about 60 years ago, in the 1950's. We can't go back, we change as a society, Just as there are many things I don't like about todays' society, there are also advancements that are taking place that are beneficial, that we never thought could exist. WE will never go back to the days of the Betty Crocker housewife staying at home, and Dad working at 1 company for the rest of his life, and kids playing marbles on the sidewalk, change happens.

      January 1, 2012 at 4:39 pm |
    • Eric G

      @Junius: One can say the very same of believers on this site. Online blogs do offer the security of anonymity.

      I would not describe my posts as angry. I simply request that if one has belief that forms their actions and how they treat others, they should be able to support their beliefs with evidence.

      I ask the same question daily. Will a believer please provide any verifiable evidence that their god exists. Without that evidence and proof of existence, no believer has any right to hide behind their religion when they tell others how they should live their lives.

      So, please provide any evidence that your god exists for verification.

      January 1, 2012 at 4:42 pm |
    • angry atheist

      I don't believe in god and i HATE him! *stomps foot*

      January 1, 2012 at 4:43 pm |
    • Junius Gallio

      Eric G: "So, please provide any evidence that your god exists for verification."

      You've obviously confused me for a theist. 🙂

      Seriously, I am a "hard agnostic" (along the lines of "I don't know, and you don't either") and a "soft atheist" ("I do not believe that any deity exists, but I am open to the possibility that I am wrong").

      But I am also a _humanist_, and among other issues, I am aware that we ALL have to get along.

      January 1, 2012 at 5:00 pm |
    • extraspecial

      @Junius: Atheists can APPEAR angry sometimes. With good reason. When theists see a problem (homelessness, poverty, injustice) they get all sad and pray that next year will be better and we'll all learn some charity. Atheists see a problem and get angry, because we should know better by now, and we have to get up the gumption to fix it.

      What you're identifying as a good approximation of anger is really the impatience with the world's injustices, and the will, the kinetic energy to fix it. It's also frustration with the theists who talk a good game, and then pray themselves into passivity and stagnancy.

      Theists say "calm down and stop being uppity about the problems you've identified. Just give thanks for your blessings and be charitible, and it'll all work out."

      Atheists say, "well, if we try religious solutions to our social problems, then we've seen what happens: teen pregnancy and STD infections skyrocket, womens' health drops to intolerable levels, science and learning get put on the shelf, creative culture is bounded and curtailed into its most non-challenging and stagnant expressions, and individual freedom is sent into the gutter along with intellectual development and economic growth." Just look at the entire global south, where religion is the chief moral and intellectual authority, and poverty and disease hold sway.

      Atheists aren't angry, but they are passionate, and unlike complacent theists, they have both the energy AND the rational ability to address the problems and make a better world. They see theists as willful obstacles and agents of intolerance and ignorance, which, let's be real, they totally are. By their fruits you shall know them, and all that.

      January 1, 2012 at 6:22 pm |
    • Junius Gallio

      @extraspecial:

      "@Junius: Atheists can APPEAR angry sometimes. With good reason. When theists see a problem (homelessness, poverty, injustice) they get all sad and pray that next year will be better and we'll all learn some charity. Atheists see a problem and get angry, because we should know better by now, and we have to get up the gumption to fix it. "

      Oh, hogwash. Theists–not all, but a significant number–open their hearts and their wallets, and put their hands to work, to fix these issues. So do atheists–again, not all, but a significant number. But there are a lot more theists out there than atheists, so the proportion of theist to atheist charity is heavily in favor of the theists.

      Give me some other excuse.

      January 1, 2012 at 8:17 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Answer, I waiting for you atheists to post some form of truth, starting with which abomination category of Jesus' do you fit in that you despise we live His truth?

      Amen.

      January 1, 2012 at 8:22 pm |
    • extraspecial

      "charity" doesn't equal "actively engaged in solving human problems." Charity doesn't work well, is an ineffective distribution of resources, and is an insulting Band-Aid on the problems that the churches have in fact created and perpetuated by their influence on public policy.

      Show me somewhere that religionists are effectively working to fix broken social policy instead of actively engaged in breaking social policy.

      January 2, 2012 at 4:02 am |
  4. RD

    The only way we will ever have the "perfect peaceful world" is if everyone just lets anyone believe in what they want. Christians stop shoving it down people's throats. Atheists stop shoving it down people's throats. Muslim's stop shoving it down people's throats. If you don't believe in it, fine. But allow others to believe in it. That is the hope purpose of freedom of religion (or freedom from). To allow anyone to believe in what they want to. If there is a voluntary prayer at the flag pole of a school, who cares. Let them have their prayer time, is it really truly hurting anyone else if it is volunteer only? No. You Atheists, if you want some "I don't want to believe in anything" voluntary flag pole meetings, then do it. Who cares. Even one seems to forget that we are a county built around hundreds of different cultures and beliefs. If you don't believe in it, fine...then don't believe in it. But don't bash someone just because someone believes in something you don't. That goes for all of America, or mankind for that matter.

    January 1, 2012 at 4:29 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      RD, next you'll be posting that we shouldn't have speed limits on the highways, everyone can drive which ever way they choose on any lane given in which direction they choose. All stop signs should be torn down ... as long as you made it safely through the cross section. I can go on and on about your post ... but, just what I posted already went over your head.

      Amen.

      January 1, 2012 at 8:25 pm |
  5. Clovis

    I predict more people will announce themselves to be athiest in order to look smart and with it – in other words, to be admired by people they want to be like

    January 1, 2012 at 4:26 pm |
    • closetiguana

      and those that claim to believe in gods will continue to look dumb.

      January 1, 2012 at 4:27 pm |
    • Don

      The idiots who say they believe have always looked stupid and like idiots, and nothing will ever change that because, well, they ARE idiots and morons/

      January 1, 2012 at 4:30 pm |
    • richard

      a simpleminded bumper sticker Republican mantra. read a book. read a magazine. just turn off Fox and READ!!

      January 1, 2012 at 4:31 pm |
    • Zanthros

      And how is your response making you look smart in that you can't accept religious freedom that some people are atheists? If you are that unaccepting of those who don't hold the same belief system as you, then you should go back to the dark ages.

      January 1, 2012 at 4:41 pm |
    • RD

      @ Zanthros

      But the same can be said for some Atheists.

      January 1, 2012 at 4:59 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Good post Clovis, it's called peer pressure.

      LOL.

      Amen.

      January 1, 2012 at 8:26 pm |
  6. closetiguana

    Albert Einstein: God is a Product of Human Weakness
    "The word god is for me nothing more than the expression and product of human weaknesses, the Bible a collection of honourable, but still primitive legends which are nevertheless pretty childish. No interpretation no matter how subtle can (for me) change this. "

    January 1, 2012 at 4:26 pm |
    • Don

      Couldn't have siad it better, thank you for someone here showing they actually have a brain and know how to use it.

      January 1, 2012 at 4:32 pm |
  7. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer ushers in miracles
    Hymns reflect the Joy of God
    Worship expresses the love of God
    Communion celebrates the sacrifice of God
    That made eternal life with God possible.

    January 1, 2012 at 4:26 pm |
    • Answer

      Pray all of you christians.. all of you whom are religious! Do not ever come out of your houses – you'll be giving the best present to the world.

      I encourage your kind to do nothing but pray. It is your duty.

      January 1, 2012 at 4:30 pm |
    • xmxm

      God does not exist. Stop describing figments of your and your religious leaders' imagination as facts.

      January 1, 2012 at 4:32 pm |
    • Don

      I agree, all you moron christians go into your private places and pray and keep on praying, even if you starve to death please don't stop. The world will be a much better place without all of you.

      January 1, 2012 at 4:33 pm |
    • RD

      Sorry, but I happen to back with the Atheists on this one (to a certain degree), no one should be forced to believe in something they don't want. Which is why when I have children, I will tell them my beliefs but allow my children to make up their own minds on whether or not they want to believe in it.

      But Don, is someone kneeling in private prayer really that big of an issue for you? It isn't like they are saying, "Hey pray with me" If someone wants to bow their heads in prayer at a restaurant, what harm does it really do to you? Is it in any way forcing you to do something you don't want to?

      January 1, 2012 at 4:45 pm |
    • Don

      No RD it isn't an issue with me, I just want them to stay in their closets praying so I don't have to deal with their stupid asses, ok?

      January 1, 2012 at 5:29 pm |
    • extraspecial

      God has a problem with women. As a woman, I'd be self-defeating if I stooped so low as to believe in a god. Where's that joy? I'm just not seeing it amid the misery and lack of proper women's health and birth control.

      Also, have your health claims vis a vis religion been evaluated by the FDA?

      If Atheism isn't "healthy" then why are all the obstacles and objections to women's health issues like birth control and anti-cervical-cancer vaccines coming from the religious sector and nowhere else? I think what you meant to say there is "religion poses a direct risk to womens' health and well-being."

      January 1, 2012 at 5:50 pm |
  8. enoch100

    I like cookies.

    January 1, 2012 at 4:24 pm |
  9. Lisa

    I feel bad for kids who are raised with no faith, no culture and no religion. Thank God I was born and raised in a loving and great religion and culture.

    January 1, 2012 at 4:24 pm |
    • richard

      lisq- thank god you weren't born in the third world of starvation and hunger. Get on a plane. Sorry, The USA is not
      any more special in God's eyes than the slums of Calcutta.

      January 1, 2012 at 4:28 pm |
    • Don

      Too bad you were born to such stupid parents, you should have been taken away from them at birth for child abuse, then maybe you would have learned how to use a brain instead of being a brain dead idiot and making the world worse because of it.

      January 1, 2012 at 4:35 pm |
    • Freethinker Seeking Reason

      You obviously don't understand the truth or joyful freedom of atheism. One can appreciate culture deeply without resorting to the mental shackles of faith and religion. Lookup secular humanism and you'll see that it thoroughly celebrates culture while promoting ethics and morality.

      January 1, 2012 at 4:38 pm |
    • Chris

      Yeah that's trick, get them while there are young so you brainwash them before they every get the chance to think for themselves. I bet you believe exactly as your parents do. If you were raise in a different family then you would believe differently than you do now.

      January 1, 2012 at 4:43 pm |
  10. Clovis

    I predict many athiests will continue to push thier "beliefs" on others

    January 1, 2012 at 4:23 pm |
    • Answer

      You bet! The belief called knowledge. We'll educate your kind to death.

      January 1, 2012 at 4:28 pm |
    • Zanthros

      and so, let's look at it from the reverse, many christians will still continue to try to push their beliefs onto others. So, Clovis, which one are you today – the pot or the kettle?

      January 1, 2012 at 4:43 pm |
    • extraspecial

      rationalists don't "push" beliefs at all. They "push" methods of investigation, and demand that if your belief is proved false by mutually-convincing evidence, that you update your belief. Religionists are miffed about this because their beliefs are the GOAL, not the product of a process of discovery. Rationalists' goal is to get you to perfect that process of discovery, religionists' goal is to get you to stop discovering and accept their readymade answer.

      Little wonder that the religious advocates think that Atheism is "just another religion," and one that annoyingly contradicts their own. They've been taught that the whole rigmarole where you examine evidence and change your beliefs based on that evidence is actually BAD to do, because it interferes with having beloved, baseless beliefs.

      January 1, 2012 at 5:17 pm |
  11. Aryan

    I predict that in 2012 the world will finally abandon African nigras and let them starve.

    January 1, 2012 at 4:23 pm |
  12. sharkfisher

    How can atheists be so angry at and /or be so afaid of somthing they claim does't exist ?I

    January 1, 2012 at 4:22 pm |
    • richard

      football-the new religion and T-Bow the new God. Meanwhile people starve in Haiti and Somailia and we thank Jesus for winning a football game. SICK.

      January 1, 2012 at 4:25 pm |
    • Don

      The atheists aren't afraid of the beliefs but everyone knows stupid people in large numbers are dangerous and that is what they can't stand, so many truly ignorant stupid people!

      January 1, 2012 at 4:25 pm |
    • maestro

      Angry because so much time and resources are wasted by mindless "believers." Afraid? Only afraid of more wasted distractions by theists.

      January 1, 2012 at 4:26 pm |
    • Answer

      @sharkfisher

      It's your kind that is afraid. Passing off your fears as 'other people's fear'. It's so comical of the religious t-w-i-t-s.

      January 1, 2012 at 4:27 pm |
    • Ed

      They can't; we aren't. It's transference of your own anger and fear.

      January 1, 2012 at 4:29 pm |
    • closetiguana

      Please give one example of an atheist that is afraid of gods.

      January 1, 2012 at 4:31 pm |
    • Hamster12

      Yea, I'm afraid of sports events. Huge numbers of mindless drunken idiots paying huge amounts of money to support worthless thugs whose only talent is throwing a ball around. Can I stop believing in sports?

      January 1, 2012 at 4:34 pm |
    • scott marshall

      sharkfisher
      non-believers are not concerned about your imaginary friends in the sky. We are concerned with the stupid things that real humans do when they use books written by con men and theives in the distant past to guide their behavior in the twenty-first century.

      January 1, 2012 at 4:53 pm |
    • extraspecial

      it's religion that makes people afraid, and then capitalizes on that fear. It's only the fear of having belief popped like a soap bubble that keeps them afraid of the mere experience of an alternative opinion. That's why they have their own "safe" radio stations, music genres, bookstores, and TV channels, so they won't accidentally experience a different viewpoint and shake the foundations of their entire universe. Rationalists are not nearly so fragile.

      January 1, 2012 at 5:09 pm |
  13. FedUpwithLA

    Om!

    January 1, 2012 at 4:21 pm |
  14. Bob

    Most of the "predictions" are self-serving nonsense.

    January 1, 2012 at 4:20 pm |
  15. Charles

    "The statements of popular celebrities George Takei and Ricky Gervais as atheists in 2011 are just the tip of the iceberg." Well I guess I live under a rock because I don't have a clue who these two non believers are. I'm tired of my rights as an American being slowly taken away because so called atheists don't like something. This country was founded on religious believes and if they don't like the saying ONE NATION UNDER GOD, or IN GOD WE TRUST, then go live in the middle east or some other country where you have no religious freedoms or freedoms at all. I'm sick and tired of it, I served my county and lost lots of friends so I can say GOD and see a cross in a cemetery on on the side of a highway.

    January 1, 2012 at 4:20 pm |
    • Eric G

      You can believe anything you wish. All I ask is what evidence you have to believe your god exists?

      January 1, 2012 at 4:24 pm |
    • Zanthros

      Charles, and the truth is that so many christians have shown nothing but intolerance for those who do not practice the same belief system as them. This country is found on religious freedom, and if you don't like it, then maybe you should leave. I have no problem with you and others practicing your faith, I encourage it, but just don't expect me to follow your lead and believe the same thing you do.

      January 1, 2012 at 4:25 pm |
    • enoch100

      @Eric G – Are you breathing?

      January 1, 2012 at 4:25 pm |
    • Eric G

      @enoch100: ?

      I will play along...... What are you referencing?

      January 1, 2012 at 4:29 pm |
    • GYO

      Uh... so you are saying all Americans should share your personal religious beliefs, or leave the country and go somewhere where they have "no religious freedoms"? Maybe you should think a little deeper about the concept of "religious freedom".

      January 1, 2012 at 4:34 pm |
    • Charles

      Eric read the bible...go to Israel and see first hand what they are fight over. I don't care if you believe or not in God, just stop eroding what this country was founded on. Why should I l leave when I have no problem saying the pledge, having a bible on the night stand, a cross marking the death of a loved one. The old saying "love it or leave it" comes to mind.

      January 1, 2012 at 4:37 pm |
    • Ed

      Which rights, exactly, have athiests taken away from you?

      January 1, 2012 at 4:37 pm |
    • Steve Watson

      You have those rights as do atheists have rights. Atheists don't take your rights away, but christian believers think so, as they stomp the ground and complain about the non-believers. Christians are proving themselves to be the most intolerant people on earth.

      January 1, 2012 at 4:37 pm |
    • david

      I served my country so I wouldn't have to put up with self-righteous, pompous, evangelical fanatics trying to create a theocracy. Religion is the single most dividing force in the world, always has been. The founding fathers knew this, that's why we have no national religion. "Religions are all alike- founded on fables and mythologies." – Thomas Jefferson

      January 1, 2012 at 4:41 pm |
    • Don

      Charles doesn't have any proof his beliefs are correct, he just believes in the mirages and false images floating in his brain dead head and thus he believes, LOL, like all FOOLS.

      January 1, 2012 at 4:42 pm |
    • Eric G

      @Charles: You should not leave if you say the pledge, has anyone asked you to? Are you saying that I should leave the country if I don't believe in your god?

      January 1, 2012 at 4:49 pm |
    • Charles

      David good point and very true. Don I guess neither one of us has the proof we want.

      January 1, 2012 at 4:55 pm |
    • Eric G

      @Charles: The believers are making the claim that their god exists. With that claim is a burden of proof. Please provide your evidence that your god exists.

      January 1, 2012 at 4:59 pm |
    • Chuvendo

      @Charles – the nation was not founded as a Christian nation but a nation of religious freedom. "one nation, under god" and "in God we trust" are recent introductions into the pledge of allegiance and on currency (1954 and 1956 respectively). Most of our founding fathers were secular and even the most ardent conservative religious people of the time agreed that the country should not have a centralized religion, hence, not follow the English model. I appreciate your service but know that it was not to defend Christianity but all religious believes and those that have no believe at all.

      January 1, 2012 at 5:02 pm |
    • Charles

      @ Eric like I said neither of us has the proof to show he does or does not exist.
      @ Chuvendo Thank you for you information and I will look into it. It is nice to meet an educated person who has knowledge. I think the point I was trying to make about religion is being twisted. I believe in God and always will. I dont have a problem with other religions, I think people on both sides of the issue need work together and talk about this. I also think that there are extremist on both sides that will not wont to hear and blame the other for everything thats wrong.

      January 1, 2012 at 5:15 pm |
  16. Clovis

    I predict more people will be able to get out of addiction by believing in a higher power, than those who believe in nothing

    January 1, 2012 at 4:20 pm |
    • Zanthros

      I have known several people who are atheists who have been successful in facing their addictions, it does not have anything to do in regards to if a person believes in a higher power, it has to do with discipline, and sticking to your resolve.

      January 1, 2012 at 4:30 pm |
    • Don

      I bet more people will be able to get beyond their addictions to substances than idiots who will be able to get beyond their addictions to ignorance and mythological lies.

      January 1, 2012 at 4:44 pm |
  17. Miss Demeanor

    IN 2012 you can count on people praying to a 'god' to solve the world's problems. They seldom question the wisdom of asking the very 'one' who (since he is 'all-knowing and 'all-powerful') would obviously have forseen how the world would turn out. His 'believers' can only counter by saying the world was perfect... humans are to blame. Well, your 'god' created people knowing full well (if he IS all-knowing and all-powerful) what how they would behave. Believing in an invisble friend is not just silly... it contradicts itself in too many ways to accept without living in total denial of life as it is. If all you had to do to end all misery and torment was wrinkle your nose, wouldn't you do it? Only a sociopath would sit back and watch.

    January 1, 2012 at 4:19 pm |
    • Ed Zachary

      Er...it was that mean ole Debil that caused all the problems.

      January 1, 2012 at 4:45 pm |
  18. Atheist = crazy

    Shame on those atheists who use the Christian/Gregorian calendar.... they should create their own atheist calendar and their own holidays stop celebrating Christmas and Easter !

    January 1, 2012 at 4:19 pm |
    • Answer

      Like that is a factor. Don't use anything that came out of the inspiration of the Jewish minds then or fact of the matter from the Chinese or Hindi. You'll be right back at your barbaric caves with just your tripe 'calendar' to wipe your back end.

      January 1, 2012 at 4:25 pm |
    • Answer

      Actually you won't even have 'paper' thanks to the Chinese! So disregard that, you'll just have to be humble that you have death.

      January 1, 2012 at 4:26 pm |
    • JakeF

      Christmas and Easter?

      You mean Saturnalia and Oester? Christians should probably stop celebrating pagan based holidays.

      January 1, 2012 at 4:26 pm |
    • Zanthros

      this from someone who can't accept religious freedom that some people choose not to believe in anything. What is truly crazy, is that you think you have the right to determine what others think. Religious freedom also means freedom FROM religion.

      January 1, 2012 at 4:27 pm |
    • Eric G

      Uh, you know that Christmas and Easter were dates for pagan celebrations and that Christians selected those dates to make conversion of pagans easier?

      Or are you one of those Christians who knows nothing about your own religion?

      January 1, 2012 at 4:27 pm |
    • Miss Demeanor

      Shame on all Christians who believe biblical stories that actually originated in earlier religions or societies and that pre-date their bibles (garden of eden, original sin, adam and eve, great flood, falling from grace, heaven...). They should make up their own version.

      January 1, 2012 at 4:27 pm |
    • Exodus

      Why? Christmas and Easter are not biblical holidays, so why doesnt the religious community read the bible for one, and really read it, to find holidays that are actually biblical?

      January 1, 2012 at 4:29 pm |
    • Zanthros

      it seems that shame is something you try to use as a weapon against those who have different belief systems than you do, which is one reason why a lot of people have left organized religion. So, maybe you should not be allowed to use or benefit from any invention, or advanced idea that came from someone else who came from a different religious background than you, so that you can practice what you preach as well.

      January 1, 2012 at 4:34 pm |
    • Ed

      Yes, shame on me for planning my life's events around our universal time measuring system. What am I thinking?!

      January 1, 2012 at 4:41 pm |
    • david

      We celebrate festivous at our house, we eat and perform feats of strength.

      January 1, 2012 at 4:45 pm |
    • Don

      You truly are as stupid as you look aren't you? Do you really think the God or the church had ANYTHING to do with the calendar we use today? You truly are a moron and that is an understatement!

      January 1, 2012 at 4:46 pm |
    • withoutgod

      Shame on those Christians who eat shellfish, wear jewelry, dress in clothing containing more than one type of fabric, or think that bats are mammals. Your Bible and your God clearly say otherwise.

      January 1, 2012 at 5:01 pm |
  19. GOD IS GREAT

    What's the U.S. motto? IN GOD WE TRUST

    January 1, 2012 at 4:18 pm |
    • Answer

      Too bad it wasn't left off the presses. Fools need their gods..

      January 1, 2012 at 4:23 pm |
    • JakeF

      1776 through 1955. Those Godless Americans. How dare they wait that long until they slap "In God We Trust" on currency.

      January 1, 2012 at 4:28 pm |
    • Zanthros

      is that the motto? I thought the motto was religious freedom which also means that people can choose any religious belief system, as well as not choose to believe in anything.

      January 1, 2012 at 4:28 pm |
    • Junius Gallio

      @JakeF: "1776 through 1955. Those Godless Americans. How dare they wait that long until they slap "In God We Trust" on currency."

      Oh, I like that! 🙂

      January 1, 2012 at 4:29 pm |
    • SPLAT!~

      When future archeologists discover and analyze our coinage, will they equate our god with the bust on the same coin? i.e. Lincoln, Jefferson, FDR, Washington, etc.

      January 1, 2012 at 4:41 pm |
    • Don

      I also guess that is why the founding fathers never made it the motto but ignorant stupid christians who foisted it on us all years after the founding fathers were dead.

      January 1, 2012 at 4:47 pm |
    • Ed

      OK, there have been religious influences in our government. What's your point?

      January 1, 2012 at 4:48 pm |
    • david

      Religion is a by-product of fear and faith is not wanting to know what is true. It's also absurd to talk to a magic dude in the sky.

      January 1, 2012 at 4:50 pm |
  20. SpudAZ

    I think the youth of the Country have finally figured out that the depth of a persons faith is NOT based on how many people you can convince yours is the right idea. They're sick of these radical idiots saying that all other religions are going to burn in Hell. For God's sake, there are more than 64 souls in Heaven doncha think? Belief in God is the base, the rest is irrelevant detail. If you believe in God and live your life accordingly that's what matters, not whether your fine details are correct. Good for them!

    January 1, 2012 at 4:18 pm |
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About this blog

The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.