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Atheist rally continues in spite of rain; students highlighted throughout
March 24th, 2012
05:44 PM ET

Atheist rally continues in spite of rain; students highlighted throughout

By Dan Merica, CNN

Washington (CNN)– Billed as a watershed moment in the atheism movement, a gathering of atheists, agnostics and humanists drew large numbers of non-theists to the Washington Mall Saturday despite bad weather.

Put on by a coalition of atheist and humanist organizations, the rally was touted as the largest gathering of non-theists in the history of the world. Headlined by a number of high-profile speakers, including Richard Dawkins, the author of “The God Delusion,” organizers said the event shows that atheism is a powerful minority in American life.

“We will never be closeted again,” said David Silverman, the rally’s head organizer. “In years to come, the Reason Rally will be seen as the beginning of the end to the religious right’s grip” on American life.

With thunderstorms moving through the area, rain had threatened to dampen the event. However, Silverman and other organizers said they were elated by the turnout, especially in light of the rain.

CNN's Belief Blog – all the faith angles to the day's top stories

The idea of thousands of atheists gathering drew the ire of religious groups. Members of the Westboro Baptist Church, a controversial group known for picketing and protesting at funerals of U.S. service members, were in attendance and chanted at the rally-goers.

In large part however, protests were rare and not aggressive.

Silverman had said prior to the event that the rally would not be an exercise in “religion bashing,” but in a number of instances, religion and the belief in God was, in fact, denounced.

Taslima Nasrin, the author of “Shame,” categorized the Muslim prophet Mohammed as a charlatan, a pedophile and a rapist. A wooden cross was constructed in the middle of the crowd and a sign that read “Banish the 10 Commandments to the dustbin of history,” was hung from it.

An iReporter takes on the Reason Rally

Under umbrellas and ponchos, college insignia and fresh faces dotted the rally crowd.

For many of the students in attendance, the event was more than just a large gathering; for them, it was a coming-out party.

“The reason why events like this help is because of the confidence people get in seeing other people that think like you,” said Mark D. Hatcher, founder of the Secular Student Alliance at Howard University in Washington. “It is important to realize you are not alone.”

Hatcher and other atheists have co-opted much of the same lingo used in the gay rights movement. “Coming out” and “in the closest” are both terms regularly used because, according to Hatcher, telling people you are an atheist is comparable to telling people you are gay.

“Being younger, you are especially exposed to being labeled a pariah when you come out of the closet,” Hatcher said.

Rebecca Cunningham, a graduate of the University of Michigan, said that her freshman year at college was that moment for her. Cunningham was raised in a Christian family, but a few months before leaving for school, she started to doubt her belief in God.

Shortly after arriving at Michigan, Cunningham went to a Secular Student Alliance meeting.

“It helped me come out,” Cunningham said. “It was the first group of people that I met who weren’t religious in some form. They taught me that it was OK; they taught me that I was OK.”

Jesse Galef, the alliance’s communications director, said stories such as Cunningham’s show why his group tries to mobilize on campuses.

“One of the biggest things we do at the Secular Student Alliance is connect them [local groups] with a larger movement that is supporting them and giving them a grass-roots presence,” said Galef.

Jessica Ahlquist, a 16-year-old high school student who won a lawsuit against her city for a prayer banner that was displayed in her high school, was also a speaker at the event.

She touched upon the need for more student groups in high schools and colleges during her remarks. After the speech, she told CNN that students are a critical place for the atheism movement to focus its efforts.

“This community is all about bringing people together and talking about a secular future,” Ahlquist said. “I think that future comes from the students.”

- Dan Merica

Filed under: Atheism

soundoff (1,305 Responses)
  1. Slivermore

    Why are these atheist groups mostly led by Jews?
    Have we not learnt yet that disobedience to God has a serious consequence.

    March 25, 2012 at 1:58 pm |
    • tallulah13

      And here I thought atheist groups were led by atheists.

      March 25, 2012 at 2:10 pm |
    • Do tell

      Oh I'd just love to hear what consequences those are. Can you provide examples please? You know, evidence? Can we have some of that please?

      March 25, 2012 at 2:12 pm |
    • Voice of Reason

      "Have we not learnt yet that disobedience to God has a serious consequence."

      Yes, logic and reason gets the crap beat out of it.

      March 25, 2012 at 2:19 pm |
    • rob

      But it is funny that they are mostly white males. Apparently atheism is evolutionary (irony!). People who are smart or think they are want to show it. They gravitate to the unconventional to separate themselves. Like showing muscles. It make sense to me because so many atheists are into intellectual games and love "owning" Christians. Just makes sense to me.

      March 25, 2012 at 2:30 pm |
    • Voice of Reason

      Hey rob!

      You just kicked logic and reason again, please stop.

      March 25, 2012 at 2:35 pm |
    • rob

      Hahahah Just proved my point!!!

      March 25, 2012 at 2:41 pm |
    • Don Camp

      Where to start? Disobedience to God has serious consequences: Murder not only destroys another human being, it destroys the one who commits the murder. Unrestrained murder destroys society. Adultery breaks up marriages, hurts the children, and creates damage again to society. Stealing hurts the person who loses his property. Unrestrained it destroys the fabric of society. Lying hurts relationships because it breaks trust. Unrestrained it breaks the trust the is at the foundation of society. Greed makes a person oblivious to the needs of others and ultimately destroys society.

      God's purpose in the laws he has given is to provide structure for society. God's laws preserve society. Disobedience whether small or great chips away at the foundation of society and harms everyone, including the people who are disobedient.

      March 25, 2012 at 7:01 pm |
    • Otto

      Silverermore,

      Atheist groups led by Jews? You are not that stupid are you?

      Your god is an asshat....and you were made in his image.

      March 25, 2012 at 7:35 pm |
    • TR6

      Don Camp:”Where to start? Disobedience to God has serious consequences … Murder Adultery Stealing Lying”
      Those rules belong to most every civilization that ever existed.

      How about consequences to disobeying the Christians only rules like “You shall not make for yourself any carved image” What are the serious consequences of whittling?

      March 25, 2012 at 9:10 pm |
  2. Richard

    If there is a God he needs better support. His scientific research and media communications are big failures. God's message is confusing, inconsistant and conflicts with observable reality which makes it very hard to accept. Better scientific research and a more through communications approach would not have allowed such a poor message to go out.

    March 25, 2012 at 12:51 pm |
    • Couer de Lion

      He also chose to confuse the matter by allowing many different gods and religions to take hold, each of which appears just as legitimate as the others, each supported with the same dubious evidence of an old text, and each saying that belief in any other religion dooms you to eternal suffering.

      God sure set a lot of people up to fail, then he punishes them for failing.

      Oh yeah, and if God is so superior, why is he so shallow that he demands to be worshipped all the time? In humans, that is a sign of an insecure and inferior character, not a sign of any superiority.

      March 25, 2012 at 12:59 pm |
    • Alice

      If Intelligent Design is part of his scientific research, then he favors the kind of propaganda that Hitler and Stalin preferred. Lie, and lie big!

      March 25, 2012 at 1:00 pm |
    • rob

      Jesus is the most famous person to live. He died and rose for me. Simple, and communicated with great efficiency.

      March 25, 2012 at 1:41 pm |
    • martog

      Yes Rob, your delusion is complete. simple as that

      March 25, 2012 at 1:58 pm |
    • fimeilleur

      @ rob,

      if the communication about jesus was effecient, why then did it take so long for story of christ to arrive in asia? did the word of god only travel westerly for the first 1500 years?

      March 25, 2012 at 2:01 pm |
    • tallulah13

      And let's face it: God is a terrible designer. The vast majority of the species he is credited with creating have gone extinct. The ones that survived had to go through several redesigns in order to survive that changes that effect this planet. It's almost like there is no god and that the life forms that have survived have done so by adapting their environments.

      March 25, 2012 at 2:12 pm |
  3. pam

    Voice of reason:if my answer to your question #1 is unacceptable then that is your choice .and I did answer question # 2 (God is ,unformed,unmade ,uncreated ,had no begininning; He always was, always is and always shall be.im sorry that my belief upsets you so much . you do realize that you are here in the US because of our founding fathers and their belief to escape religious persecution .God loves all of humanity no matter who you are .and works do not get us into heaven it is our faith in Jesus Christ and what he did for all of us at the cross.Jesus say's that the world hated him first as it hates anyone who believes in him and he was also called a fool.and if your not worried about what happens to you when you die and you believe in nothingness then why do you argue live and be happy .hey have a great day it really was nice talking to you.

    March 25, 2012 at 12:39 pm |
    • Tom

      Pam, I have no problems with your beliefs, and I think that most atheists would agree. Your beliefs are important to you as mine are to me. I only ask to keep them out of our Government, Schools and laws. If you want to believe in the bible that's fine by me, but tell your church goers to stop imposing on my rights to freedom. Just like a lot of things in this world, we have to stop doing them just because they have always been done. Life is short, and the only thing that really lives on is your family, so take care of them. Don't bread ignorance just because it allows you to hold to your beliefs.

      March 25, 2012 at 1:07 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Amen Pam.

      March 25, 2012 at 1:36 pm |
    • tallulah13

      Pam, you can believe what you want. What you can't do is prove that what you believe is true. There is no proof that any of the thousands of gods worshiped in the history of humanity have ever existed, not even your god.

      March 25, 2012 at 2:18 pm |
    • Christ Denier

      Pam said: ".......and it is not works that get us into heaven it is our faith in Jesus Christ......"

      Which suggests that heaven is full of murderers, child rapists, theives, etc. Well, I for one, don't want to be there – ever.

      Hey, as long as they "believe" in Jeebus, they can do whatever they want here on Earth, right?

      As Thomas Paine so eloquently put it, Christianity is both "little and ridiculous," and serves no purpose other than to "enslave and tyrranize mankind." (Oh, yeah.......he's included among the Founding Fathers you mentioned, due to the level of influence he had on colonists' thought.)

      March 25, 2012 at 5:56 pm |
  4. Tom

    I cannot believe how many atheists jumped on this discussion with so little resistance from the other side, with the exception of Pam. I feel bad for her although I am glad to see so many of us come forth with reason. Religion is over with, and needs to be replaced with science. Religion, I believe has been one of the Greatest and most destructive force that could have happened in the world since the beginning of time. More war and death has been attributed to religion than any other force in history. From the Crusades to the Nazi's to the Middle East, Religion has made it OK to go out and kill others who do not accept their religion. If there was a god, s/he would not want anyone destroying the life he created in his name. It just doesn't make sense. You can plainly see the amount of violence the name of god creates, just look at third world countries. The reason there is so much unrest in these countries, is because their religion is so intrinsically involved with their government. America is only marginally better. Christians have their claws around the "moral beliefs" in this country. It is demonstrated every day with issues over contraception and abortion rights. Religion has prevented women’s rights from the beginning and is still trying to keep them controlled. In fact Religion is control. It has told people how to act, what to believe, and how we should live. Let’s start using common sense rather than believing in a mythical being that is talked about in fairy tale stories written by men who supposedly spoke to god. I have met people, who spoke to god, but they were on LSD, and I don’t give them any more credit than those who wrote the bible. If you really believe in Jesus Christ, then follow his lead. Give up your life to help the sick and impoverished and become the new messiah and I will believe in you!

    March 25, 2012 at 12:22 pm |
    • rob

      Nationalism has caused more death in this century then any other force. You need to define religion in order to defend you position. You might find that a little more difficult then you think.

      March 25, 2012 at 12:33 pm |
    • rob

      "If you really believe in Jesus Christ, then follow his lead. Give up your life to help the sick and impoverished and I will believe" – They are not that hard to find.

      March 25, 2012 at 12:35 pm |
    • Tom

      Rob, I agree with your view on nationalism, but saparation of church and state is a new theology, and one which is not even practiced fully. When religion has influence over politics then nationalism and religion become one in the same. You can look at our own country in recent times to prove this to be true. Every speach Bush jr. gave through out the war was like a christian surmon. He spoke about distroying the evil doers, and how the good shale prevale. I do beleive that the motives for death and destruction were not for god, but they use the name of god to ensure to the people that they have only the highest reasons for doing so. If you beleive that your leaders have only the highest religious beleifs in mind then you will follow them without question. Nationalism is formed from religious beleifs.

      March 25, 2012 at 12:56 pm |
    • Alice

      Maybe the rally has finally made it clear to religious folks that atheists, agnostics, and the non-religious are actually real and plentiful. It was so much easier to demonize us when they thought we were just a meek handful that preferred to stay hidden.

      March 25, 2012 at 1:03 pm |
    • pam

      Will ,you have obviously lost your faith In Jesus Christ and I pray that you regain it.I think that maybe you may of been in a charismatic church and there are so many of them out there (false Religions) your real church should be in your heart where Jesus dwells in you, when you ask him to come into your life.works will never get us into heaven it is faith and faith alone ,I don't care how good a person is if he doesn't have faith then there is no salvation.God Bless

      March 25, 2012 at 1:13 pm |
    • rob

      Tom your definition of religion has no warrant. I define religion as the teaching of Christ. Use Ockhuam's razor. Peter tried to use the sword in defence of God and Jesus said "Peter put away your sword, those who live by the sword die by the sword". I therefore can not use violence in the name of God. Game over.

      March 25, 2012 at 1:39 pm |
    • fimeilleur

      @ Pam,

      So, to you, no matter how good a person is, if he rejects the unprovable notion of your version of god, he will not go to heaven, then no matter how evil a person is, if he accepts the unprovable notion of your version of god, he WILL go to heaven.... and you think atheists have no morals?

      March 25, 2012 at 1:46 pm |
    • Will

      @ Pam:

      Don't give me that. I didn't go to a "fake" church or believe in a "false religion," or at least, not any more or less false than yours. Is it so hard for you to believe that there are people out there who have left faith because of reason? You believe in a God you can't see, and whose supposed writings are thousands of years old. Yet you have trouble believing that those of us talking to you right now are really who we claim to be. All this talk of "If you believed in True Christianity (TM), you'd believe..." is just part of a logical fallacy that faith enables.

      March 25, 2012 at 2:53 pm |
    • B(iraq) Hussein Osama

      " Religion, I believe has been one of the Greatest and most destructive force that could have happened in the world since the beginning of time. More war and death has been attributed to religion than any other force in history."

      unfortunately, the very science that you so "worship" does not support your "belief" as you have stated above!!

      if you use scientific method, it shows that it is a LACK OF RELIGION that causes the most death and destruction. You mention Nazism, but Nazis did not fry jews in large scientifically built gas chambers because their religion told them to do so. World War One, World War Two, Nazi Holocaust, Communist Purges alone have killed 100,000,000 people just between 1900 – 1950. None had anything to do with religion.

      Until you provide proof that 100,000,000 people have been killed by religious wars in the ENTIRETY of mankind, the fact is that non-religion is a MUCH MORE DEADLY disease then religion. Atleast according to history studied with scientific precision!

      March 25, 2012 at 6:20 pm |
    • Otto

      Hey B(Iraq),

      You said,

      "You mention Nazism, but Nazis did not fry jews in large scientifically built gas chambers because their religion told them to do so. World War One, World War Two, Nazi Holocaust, Communist Purges alone have killed 100,000,000 people just between 1900 – 1950. None had anything to do with religion."

      Please explain this

      March 25, 2012 at 7:28 pm |
    • fimeilleur

      @ Otto,

      do you hear crickets too?

      March 25, 2012 at 7:48 pm |
    • TR6

      B(iraq) Hussein Osama: “but Nazis did not fry jews in large scientifically built gas chambers because their religion told them to do so. “

      Read your history. Religion and especially the catholic religions historic persecution of the Jews is at least 80% of the reason Hitler could get his good Christian army to slaughter and burn them.

      Martin Luther (Mr. protestant himself) even wrote a book encouraging hatred and subjugation of the Jews (“The Jews and Their Lies). Don’t believe me? Google it, Martin Luther himself encourages the holocaust.

      March 25, 2012 at 10:41 pm |
    • First & Last

      It's amazing how people critique religion and say it confuses or doesn't answer anything. But yet act as if science has all the answers. I mean seriously they can't even cure a cold yet! Why is it so hard to imagine that everything started with some intelligence designing it. Oh, I know why, because that would make you accountable to that being and we all know most of us don't like accountability. So instead you'd rather live a life that doesn't make you responsible for anything and you make yourself your own God. Which also is a little weird since you've only been around for a couple of years in comparison to the history of the world! But yet you are so wise. Get real!!!!

      March 25, 2012 at 10:48 pm |
    • First & Last

      And please stop blaming all of the world's ills on religion. Just like anything else there are different kinds of people involved in everything. That's the real problem, everybody wants to be understood but yet, atheists, liberals, etc. refuse to try to understand anyone else. Bad things aren't the result of religion, they're the result of imperfect humans which we all are!

      March 25, 2012 at 10:52 pm |
    • memyself

      @First & Last

      "It's amazing how people critique religion and say it confuses or doesn't answer anything. But yet act as if science has all the answers. I mean seriously they can't even cure a cold yet! "

      During the late middle ages the Black Death (Bubonic Plague) swept over Europe. The very religious people of the time prayed and prayed for relief from their suffering. One third of the population of Europe perished. Entire villages were wiped out to the last man, woman, and child. Too bad science hadn't developed enough to have discovered Streptomycin, an antibiotic made by the common soil bacteria all around them, or Penicillin, an antibiotic made by bread mold. We use these things today to easily and routinely cure the disease that killed 30 million people.

      "Why is it so hard to imagine that everything started with some intelligence designing it."

      It's not hard. It's super-easy. Just as easy as for a child to believe in Santa Claus. It's just that when you observe nature carefully and think deeply there are better explanations about how species come about and change. And these explanations lead to other explanations which can be tested and yield new information and an even better understanding of life forms and their behavior. And on it goes...

      "Oh, I know why, because that would make you accountable to that being and we all know most of us don't like accountability. So instead you'd rather live a life that doesn't make you responsible for anything and you make yourself your own God. "

      Fatuous speculation.

      "Which also is a little weird since you've only been around for a couple of years in comparison to the history of the world! But yet you are so wise. Get real!!!!"

      Bear in mind that worship of Set and Horis and Osiris went on for *far* longer than worship of Jesus Christ. If duration of an idea is some measure of its truth, we should all be worshipping Ra.

      March 26, 2012 at 1:57 pm |
    • rick cutrone

      hi, person of reason. when people stop living fantasy lives, and start living now, they will want mankind to be able to populate in other solar systems. im for science, its what is real, can be measured, and doesnt rely on hocus pocus and lie after lie. of course some people cant handle reality, they should be euthanized for the good of mankind, this way, i dont have to hear about the end of the world coming all the time. man will move forward when we get the garbage out of the way

      April 1, 2012 at 12:53 am |
  5. Seriously

    Consider these quotes, and how you might feel if you lived in a country where these sentiments were mainstream:

    “Our leader was not elected…he was appointed by Allah.”
    “Those who refuse to submit publicly to the eternal sanctions of Allah…must be denied citizenship."
    “I, your Provincial Governor, do hereby proclaim… a day of prayer and fasting for our country.”
    “Allah called me to this government position…my family fasted for three days to make sure it was true.”
    "I would not put a Christian among my advisors, or in my government."
    “(our founding doc.uments) are quite clear that we would create law based on Allah of the Qur’an and Sharia Law, it’s pretty simple.”
    “I hope I will live to see the day when…we won't have any public schools. The Mosques will have taken them over again and Imams will be running them. What a happy day that will be!"
    “There will never be world peace until Allah's house and Allah's people are given their rightful place of leadership at the top of the world."

    These statements should rightfully alarm you. Now consider this, YOU DO live in that country, and these are not Taliban quotes. In the above quotes the religious references have been changed. They are quotes from prominent, politically powerful Americans who would establish religious control over America’s government. Here are the actual quotes:

    “George Bush was not elected by a majority of the voters in the United States, he was appointed by God.” –Lt. General William Boykin, US Army
    “Those who refuse to submit publicly to the eternal sanctions of God by submitting to His Church's public marks of the covenant–baptism and holy communion–must be denied citizenship." –Gary North, Inst.itute for Christian Economics
    “I, Rick Perry, Governor of Texas, do hereby proclaim August 6, 2011, to be A Day of Prayer and Fasting for Our Nation.” –Rick Perry, Texas Governor and Republican Presidential Candidate
    “God called me to run for this office, and my husband fasted for 3 days to make sure it was true.” –Michelle Bachman, US Senator and Republican Presidential Candidate
    “"I would not put a Muslim in my cabinet, or in my administration." –Herman Cain, Republican Presidential Candidate
    “(Our founding doc.uments) are quite clear that we would create law based on the God of the Bible and the 10 commandments, it’s pretty simple.” –Sarah Palin
    I hope I will live to see the day when, as in the early days of our country, we won't have any public schools. The churches will have taken over them over again and Christians will be running them. What a happy day that will be!" – Jerry Falwell
    There will never be world peace until God's house and God's people are given their rightful place of leadership at the top of the world." –Pat Robertson

    These statements should be no more frightening in an Islamic or a Christian context – this kind of rhetoric is a serious threat no matter who it comes from. Theocracy is dangerous no matter whose God is invoked. We hear these things from pious politicians every day and are likely desensitized to them, but even momentary consideration reveals them to be un-American to the core. Religious fundamentalists make no secret of their goal of controlling our government and establishing their narrow beliefs as law. We must not let that happen – not here, not in our country.

    It happens in small steps – the Ten Commandments in courthouses, prayer and creationism (“Intelligent Design”) in schools, revising science, history, and civics textbooks in Texas, State-endorsed prayer rallies, faith-based initiatives, and on and on – and because these steps may individually seem harmless, many people underestimate their consequences. That is why we must stay alert and fight to keep church and state separate. We should shudder whenever a politician or policymaker alludes to his or her religious beliefs as a justification for public policy. We should be deeply susp.icious of anyone who claims to be chosen by God to lead us. We should aggressively defend our free society against any religious group who would hope to gain control over it.

    Do not underestimate the importance of defending the separation of church and state. Stand up for it at every opportunity with your voice and your vote.

    March 25, 2012 at 12:17 pm |
    • False Dichotomy

      Man, those quotes are scary – not entirely surprising, but really scary. For those of you who don't understand the "Why?" of all this – this is why.

      March 25, 2012 at 12:32 pm |
    • Tom

      Fantastic, I do not think that I could be demonstrated and clearer than what you have done here. I have started to cringe every time I hear a politician say god bless America. I would like to see more politicians denounce religion publicly, but unfortunately there are still too many Christians out there.

      March 25, 2012 at 12:37 pm |
    • fimeilleur

      OMG! THAT, WAS, A W E S O M E ! ! ! !

      I humbly ask to repost this with your permission, whenever the opportunity arises. I would love to give you full credit, but I respect your right to your pseudonym.

      March 25, 2012 at 1:54 pm |
    • Seriously

      Please do – spread it like wildfire (on second thought, please don't spread wildfire). I wrote it a while back, and was never sure what to do with it, so please feel free to do something with it! Thanks for asking.

      March 25, 2012 at 6:12 pm |
  6. Voice of Reason

    Christians in the United States 243,186,000 78.4%

    March 25, 2012 at 12:04 pm |
    • You are lying with statistics

      Number of Gremans who supported Hitler and Naziism in 1939 – 62,660,700 – 90%

      March 25, 2012 at 12:43 pm |
    • Alice

      Of your 78.4% the evangelicals (26.3%) tend not to consider the rest, which make a majority, to be "real" Christians. The "Unaffiliated", which includes Atheists and Agnostics, equals 16.1%, which means that there is about 2 non-religious people to very 3 evangelicals, so don't come off as representing some vast majority of America, because you don't, really.

      March 25, 2012 at 1:15 pm |
    • Voice of Reason

      Christianity By Country:
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christianity_by_country

      March 25, 2012 at 2:11 pm |
  7. georgex

    That these people can have a rally in this nation with freedoms is greatly appreciated. With the expression of different ideas people can evaluate and choose for themselves what seems more reasonable and satisfying.
    Have you seen the billboard with "You don't need God to be good", a very thought provoking message.
    You may have doubts about the absolute goodness of religion when looking at a history that set up one man as infalitable and never making mistakes or at the Inquistion of torture and death and the hundreds of years of the Dark Ages where questioning was considered a sin.

    March 25, 2012 at 12:02 pm |
    • Oh Yeah

      Yes, for too long it's been like the soft drink companies trying to shut out the water drinkers in this country. Some of us really want to go "natural" with our beliefs. 🙂

      March 25, 2012 at 1:17 pm |
  8. Voice of Reason

    Top Ten Reasons People Resist Change:

    1. THE RISK OF CHANGE IS SEEN AS GREATER THAN THE RISK OF STANDING STILL
    2. PEOPLE FEEL CONNECTED TO OTHER PEOPLE WHO ARE IDENTIFIED WITH THE OLD WAY
    3. PEOPLE HAVE NO ROLE MODELS FOR THE NEW ACTIVITY
    4. PEOPLE FEAR THEY LACK THE COMPETENCE TO CHANGE
    5. PEOPLE FEEL OVERLOADED AND OVERWHELMED
    6. PEOPLE HAVE A HEALTHY SKEPTICISM AND WANT TO BE SURE NEW IDEAS ARE SOUND
    7. PEOPLE FEAR HIDDEN AGENDAS AMONG WOULD-BE REFORMERS
    8. PEOPLE FEEL THE PROPOSED CHANGE THREATENS THEIR NOTIONS OF THEMSELVES
    9. PEOPLE ANTICIPATE A LOSS OF STATUS OR QUALITY OF LIFE
    10. PEOPLE GENUINELY BELIEVE THAT THE PROPOSED CHANGE IS A BAD IDEA

    March 25, 2012 at 11:24 am |
  9. pam

    Christianity:is the belief that Jesus Christ died on the cross for our sins and we are saved by his grace and our faith in him and that he did this for all of us ,that is why we live today.but it is up to each and every individual if they want to receive him and have everlasting life with him.if someone refuses to believe then they are eternally lost .the bad stuff that goes on in the world is because of Adam and Eve ,Eve's temptation from the fallen one, Satan, to eat of the fruit when she was told by God not to, is the reason we are all sinners and must repent daily.I love Jesus Christ and nobody could change that no matter what Jesus Christ is my savior and should be that to all.

    March 25, 2012 at 10:40 am |
    • Voice of Reason

      Are you proud to display your ignorance and intolerance? I'm would like to ask you two very simple questions, if you can make it sound plausible to me I will become a Christian, fair enough?

      1. How old is our earth?
      2. Who created your God?

      March 25, 2012 at 10:45 am |
    • momoya

      @pam

      You are free to believe that; nobody's stopping you.

      The reason we atheists don't believe is because it seems like your god thought it was a good idea to judge all mankind by one action of a rib-woman who did something "wrong" before she even knew what "wrong" was.. Evidently it was all part of god's perfect plan to sacrifice himself to himself to appease himself to exploit a loophole he made himself so he doesn't have to torture his own creation that he loves in an eternal pit of fire that he made himself.. It's just plain silly, pam.

      March 25, 2012 at 10:47 am |
    • Will

      I went to church for 18 years. I know what Christianity really is, and it's not what you're saying it is. Christianity is a belief system that is much more about perpetuating itself than it is about saving you, me, or anyone. Why do you think that for all the sins listed in the Bible–adultery, murder, lying, stealing, working on the sabbath day–the only one that is specifically unforgivable is denying the Holy Spirit? If you're a believer, you could be a murderer and be just fine as far as getting into heaven. If you're a nonbeliever, it doesn't matter if you saved countless lives; you're going to hell. And what for? Honesty? Reading the Bible and saying, "This doesn't make sense, and I doubt this God even exists?" Christian morality is way too messed up to pass as an innocent wish to save the world.

      March 25, 2012 at 11:31 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Goodness me. "Jesus Christ is my savior and should be that to all"? Suppose I stated that "Zeus is my lord and should be that to all"? Why do you think everyone else "should" accept your beliefs? What arrogance on your part. You don't know a thing about others' lives, pam.

      March 25, 2012 at 11:33 am |
    • pam

      Im not sure how old the Earth is ,it could be thousands or millions of yrs old.but the Bible teaches us that >the earth was without form,and void and darkness was upon the face of the deep.(God did not originally create the Earth without form and void;it became this way after a cataclysmic happening;this happening was the revolt of Lucifer against God,which took place sometime in the dateless past)And the spirit of God (holy spirit)moved upon the face of the waters(the moving of the holy spirit signifies the beginning of life. God ,unformed,unmade,uncreated,had no beginning;He always was ,always is and always shall be..(..I am not trying to force my beliefs on anyone and I never will ,I am only telling what I believe to be true just as athiest believe what they want .most people want proof before they will believe in God and he say's that all things will be revealed when he comes back .Faith is all anyone needs .God bless

      March 25, 2012 at 11:34 am |
    • Otto

      This dogma is immoral.

      1. The idea we deserve to suffer because of someone elses mistakes. (Adam and Eve)
      2. The idea someone else can take responsibility for our individual poor actions. (Jesus).
      3. The notion that god put this all into motion, set up all the rules, knew the outcome, and yet is somehow not responsible for it.
      4. The idea you can act in an 'evil' way your whole life but then ask forgiveness and believe in Jesus and get away with it....but if you live a good and moral life but don't believe in Jesus is a god you the deserve to suffer for eternity.

      and you have been deluded to believe it is moral.

      March 25, 2012 at 11:38 am |
    • Bob

      Pam, what you believe is completely ludicrous.

      Your "omnipotent" being should be able to save us from sin, and also to just pop up a new son or bring one back from the dead any time it wants, with less than a snap of its fingers. No sacrifice, no effort required, and none of the dead Jeebus on sticks hoopla.

      Or perhaps that "god" you've made for yourself is a flaccid, less than all-powerful one, despite its apparent demands that you kill an animal for it daily.

      Look into the eyes of a suffering victim of any of the multiple disfiguring, debilitating, painful diseases that your "loving" god has purportedly created. Then you might understand that Christian god as described in the bible is not loving, doesn't give a hoot about human suffering, and in fact does not exist.

      Ask the questions. Break the chains. Be free of religion in 2012.
      http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/

      March 25, 2012 at 11:42 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      "Faith is all anyone needs."

      Sure thing. Then why is the Pope wearing ornate clothing and a hat? Why does he require a staff of hundreds?

      You don't have any idea what someone else "needs", pam. Your presumptuousness is precisely why agnostics and atheists are sick of your intrusion into the private lives of people you don't even know exist.

      March 25, 2012 at 11:42 am |
    • Bob

      Otto, great post and great points. Thanks.

      March 25, 2012 at 11:44 am |
    • Voice of Reason

      pam...Im not sure how old the Earth is ,it could be thousands or millions of yrs old.

      Your answer to question #1 is unacceptable.
      You did not answer #2 (Who created your God?)

      If you present questions that can be answered with reasonable answers to fundamentalists they get lock jaw. They ask us to have an open mind and just read the bible but when asked of them to open their mind and read about science they refuse.
      This is some form of mental illness, I'm convinced of it, there is no doubt in my mind.

      March 25, 2012 at 11:51 am |
  10. pam

    I have a question ?if you are an atheist and therefore have no belief in God, then why does Christianity bother you so deeply ?why not go on with your lives and let us Christians go on with ours to spread the gospel to the ones that we can reach .a true Christian has love an compassion for the lost they don't rally around screaming at people to believe in God it's up to every individual if they value their eternal soul or not.

    March 25, 2012 at 10:02 am |
    • Oneironaut

      Christianity pervades nearly every aspect of our society and is foisted upon us from a very early age. Just about every politician, conservative and conservative, wastes so much time trying to convince voters that they're as Christian as the next guy when their religion shouldn't be a deciding factor at all. Christians, more than any other religious group, actively try to legalize their beliefs by pushing for creationism in schools. It's not that we're singling out Christianity; we find all religions to be preposterous. It's just that in our society, Christianity is the most popular and therefore the most pervasive and intrusive religion.

      March 25, 2012 at 10:22 am |
    • kakapuddy

      To go through life without the ability of critical thinking will be every Theists crippling in the not so distant future. There is no God.

      March 25, 2012 at 10:23 am |
    • Oneironaut

      Also, many atheists in the U.S. were brought up with Christian beliefs, so obviously there is going to be a particular backlash against them. It can be very angering as one gets older to realize that you've been brainwashed from a very early age with beliefs you were threatened with hell for not really believing in. As some of us grow into adulthood and struggle with finally letting go of such mental abuse, the last thing we need or want is Christians at every turn trying to save or convert us.

      March 25, 2012 at 10:28 am |
    • Voice of Reason

      Because Christianity tries to force its way into our educational systems to indoctrinate our impressionable children to further their agenda. You really need to read your history books to get a proper perspective on what you are defending. It is quite apparent that you know nothing about what you believe in.

      March 25, 2012 at 10:31 am |
    • Otto

      Translation:

      "Our message is good, yours is bad. Why don't you shut up so we can be heard."

      This is why.

      March 25, 2012 at 11:00 am |
    • reason

      The problem is that faith is not innocent and issues like denying women their right to safe and legal abortion or denying equal rights to gays are examples of how it is harmful to others in society even if they want nothing to do with it. Forcing irrational superstitious beliefs on others is not innocent.

      March 25, 2012 at 11:14 am |
    • TruthPrevails

      @Pam: Why does it bother christians that we do not believe? Why do you believe in god? What evidence do you have for your belief? Do you care that what you believe is based on fact?
      I have an issue with christian beliefs/beliefs in any deity for that matter only when they step on all other rights...ie; the rights of women; the rights of gays; the rights of children (abuse). If belief was kept out of government and the public in general, there would be no issue.

      March 25, 2012 at 11:19 am |
    • Bob

      Pam: because fools like you vote and otherwise impact the laws that we have to live by. Got it yet?

      March 25, 2012 at 11:45 am |
    • Oneironaut

      I can't even really be bothered by Pam, because she too is a product of socialized Christianity. Because Christianity is so pervasive, it's hard for theists to see how it affects nonbelievers. Things they totally take for granted are things we've had to grapple with for much of our lives.

      March 25, 2012 at 12:04 pm |
    • fimeilleur

      I'll also add that the church tries to interfere with medical progress by lobying government to stop stem cell research... because THEY feel doctors are playing "god", while the most promissing research into the irradication of many deseases is so close at hand... Parkinson's, Alshymer's, etc... could all be a thing we only read about in history books.

      March 25, 2012 at 12:21 pm |
    • Richard

      It slams athiests in the face all time. Consider an athiest to whom God is a big lie. They are in court and someone swears on a bible to tell the the whole truth "So Help Me God". To the athiest they just swore to tell the whole truth, so help me one-of-the-biggest-lies-going.
      Consider government policy, US Senator James Inhofe (R-OK) says there is no such thing as global warming ... here he repeated his frequent claim that human influenced climate change is impossible because “God’s still up there.” This is an embedded intransigence to take action because a belief in god trumps all the science. No matter how big the train some people are going to stand on the tracks praying to God because they believe he is the solution and not stepping off the tracks.

      March 25, 2012 at 1:24 pm |
    • tallulah13

      Pam, I don't care one way or another about christianity. However, I care deeply for the truth. I think it's important that someone points out that there isn't a single shred of evidence to support the existence of any god. It's perfectly reasonable for a rational person to not believe in something for which there is no proof.

      March 25, 2012 at 5:49 pm |
    • Christ Denier

      Pam, understand this:

      It's not that we loathe Christians. What we loathe is the invasion of Radical Christianity into areas it has no business in. When Radical Christianity determines that it's best to make laws or educate children based on fantasy, we object.

      When you intrude into our lives, we have no choice but to fight back tooth and nail.

      Get this through your thick skull, Pam: When you Christians shut the hell up, we atheists will shut the hell up.

      As for me, your sky-fairy, and his "son," can both kiss my @$$.

      March 25, 2012 at 7:41 pm |
    • rick cutrone

      I will answer that pam. ever hear of the crusades> many have died as a result of chrisitan beliefs. false gods, prophets, cults are dangerous, its how bush got elected and im sure if iraq was full of christians, the us would not have killed all those innocent people, but you dont care about them, so youre not a christian anyway, cause i know of some real christians. i dont agree with their beleifs, but they love people NOT intheir religion, they are far and few between. religion is responsible for all kinds of pain and misery the wrold over, and their good deeds dont justify the damage they cause. were you ok with bush invading the wrong country? a country that had nothing to do with bin laden, which obama took care of, hes a great man who doesnt strut around, hes a humble, and even though hes a christian, i wont hold that against him. did you like living in this coutnry during the dark years of bush, the terrorist? you like living in fear? republicans like scaring your money out of you so they can give their rich buddies tax breaks, christian nation? more like home of the chicken and the scammers

      April 1, 2012 at 1:09 am |
  11. RICHARD THOMAS

    We are at a point in our history similar to that of Galileo whereby just as he by scientific observation had proved that the world was not the center of the universe but part of it. So to science has proved from sub atomic particles to the expanding universe that creation is a spontaneous event and god is a myth.

    We stand on the brink of a new frontier one that requires the recognition of our myth dependency to proceed. The fear of death that has for so long fueled religion must be seen as a chimera, one that need not stand on belief as it matters not what that myth belief is as the truth is the truth: we die and after is after, something that can only be intuited by our own personal journey and the truth we bring to the perception of that journey.

    One day we may all awake to the realization that there is only the journey of life while we breathe, and that there is no god or divine reason for our being, only that we are lucky, incredibly lucky to have evolved to be here and to be conscious of that knowledge. There really is nothing to fear but fear itself as Roosevelt so succinctly put it. Death, the other side of the coin, the return from whence we came, is not to be feared. Babies cry at birth because they don’t want to leave that complete place from which they have come. Why the universe evolved this method of development is up for speculation. As is the idea that maybe we gather information along the way that the universe needs, either way we return from whence we came and can disregard the earthbound men and women who claim the exclusive knowledge of that event. Bottom line: nobody knows for sure as nobody has returned, AND ALL THE RELIGIOUS BOOKS HAVE BEEN WRITEN BY ….MEN! We must be confident in our selves. We are not sheep to be led. Make up our own minds, think it out for ourselves, it’s not that hard once you start. Just take the first step. Which is: Perhaps there is more to this than WHAT I AM TOLD!

    March 25, 2012 at 8:43 am |
    • Sly

      Nicely done!

      March 25, 2012 at 9:31 am |
    • NicK

      Thats beautiful! What poem is that?

      March 25, 2012 at 9:33 am |
    • Me

      I hope that you don't make the mistake of thinking that Christians are not intelligent people. There are many wise and knowledgeable Christians now and in the past. Freedom with God and freedom from worldly distraction.

      March 25, 2012 at 9:48 am |
    • Bob

      "Me", Christianity actually is itself a worldly, unnecessary, and entirely man-made distraction. Intelligence is not the only requirement for accepting a valid conclusion, particularly when the herd hasn't yet accepted it. Over time, the shadowy corners that superst-itions like Christianity hide in are being illuminated by new discoveries and new understanding. This is now more and more the case regarding supposedly "sacred" territory such as the origins of morality and the workings of the mind. Better to actually use that intelligence that you claim, rather than just accept the easy but now plainly wrong "god made it that way" stories of religions. Look and learn.

      Ask the questions. Break the chains. Join the movement. Be free of religion in 2012.
      http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/

      March 25, 2012 at 10:22 am |
    • momoya

      @ me

      Atheism aligns more with critical thinking than sheer intelligence.

      March 25, 2012 at 10:24 am |
    • Bo

      “...sub-atomic particles to the expanding universe that creation is a spontaneous event...” Spontaneous! Magnificent description of the unseen hand of God at work!

      March 25, 2012 at 1:52 pm |
    • PRISM 1234

      "I hope that you don't make the mistake of thinking that Christians are not intelligent people"......
      What does it matter what 'they' think? Man's opinions are like a vapor in the wind.
      But the truth is eternal, forever established by God who created all that was , is and ever will be.
      Those who say in their hearts that there is no God are as the blind, who by never seeing the light of day nor the beauty of things that surrounds them, have determined in pride of their hearts that they don't need guidance of those who see, and so convinced themselves into believing that all those who do see and are telling them of the world they never knew, are really the ones who are blind, and are just living in the 'pretend' world.
      But THEY are the ones who are lying to themselves, because the proof they pretend to seek was already given them, being imprinted by God on their conscience, which they have silenced by rebellion, pride, love of Self and sin that's in their hearts.
      Even if God Himself would come down and demonstrate in front of them who He is, they would still rebel, throw insults and mockeries at Him, and do just what they did to Jesus Christ.
      Humanity hasn't changed since then, it just got worse. All sophistication, technology and advancement of human race will not change corrupt human nature. These will only expose it's further corruption.
      Only Christ Jesus can change a human heart, making a person a new creation in Him. And this truth stands unshakable, no matter what men's opinions are... That alone is proof enough to be overwhelming evidence! God has chosen it that way, to open the eyes of the blind who seek Him and know they need Him. But those who think they see, and ar wise in their won eyes, to them He gives a spirit of stupor, that even while they have eyes, and ears, they can not see nor hear, because of what's in their hearts. The Eternal Word of God and the Spirit of God testify of this fact. And that's all that matters! Nothing else!

      March 25, 2012 at 6:41 pm |
  12. Rahul

    Many Christians don't believe in religion. What delusion are YOU living?

    March 25, 2012 at 8:19 am |
    • Will

      I love it when Christians try to distance themselves from "religion." It's a growing trend, and as an atheist, I find it very encouraging. It's a sign that Christians are increasingly aware that people are leaving the flock, and it's a desperate change of rhetoric to try and stop the bleeding. (Compare this to those who call Christianity the "one TRUE religion.")

      It's also not true, though; Christians have a holy book, a belief in the afterlife, religious rituals (baptism, communion, etc.), and have a hierarchy of religious leaders and lay people–and that's true in any denomination. So, yes. Christianity is a religion. And saying you don't believe in it doesn't make it so.

      March 25, 2012 at 9:07 am |
    • pam

      well said Rahul

      March 25, 2012 at 10:21 am |
    • Bob

      Well said, Will.

      Absolutely spot-on accurate.

      Ask the questions. Break the chains. Join the movement. Be free of religion in 2012.
      http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/

      March 25, 2012 at 10:23 am |
    • reason

      How could anybody rationalize that Christianity is not a religion? It is both strange and encouraging that they are trying to distance themselves from religion.

      It is also encouraging they are trying to rationalize it. It used to be that Christians would agree that it was not logical to believe in, which is why they need faith. Of course in our increasingly globalized world it is obvious there are many faiths to choose from and no basis what so ever to choose one over another. People are increasingly realizing that reason is the only tool we have in pursuit of truth and that faith is a rejection of reason.

      As people embrace reason over faith it shifts the discussion to what is rational to believe, which leads to more intelligent conversations and conclusions than "because it says so in the Bible, Quran, etc".

      March 25, 2012 at 11:42 am |
  13. Chewbacca

    Here's my video of the Reason Rally, there was a decent turnout considering the rain and all. 
     
    there's peaceful arguing at the end and it makes me fell lucky to live in a country where this is allowed.
     
    [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y2QEjZwg1BQ&w=640&h=390]

    March 25, 2012 at 8:08 am |
  14. Chewbacca

    Here's my video of the Reason Rally, there was a decent turnout considering the rain and all. 
     
    In the video, there are people arguing at the end. 
     
    [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y2QEjZwg1BQ&w=640&h=390]

    March 25, 2012 at 8:07 am |
  15. martog

    Ten Reasons You Know you are an Atheist.
    1. You were likely brought up a theist (probably a Christian if you live in the USA) and had to do your own thinking to rise above the beliefs that still occupy the mind of the believer. This usually involved being smart and working hard at school and college so as to get a good, accurate view of the natural Universe and overcoming significant social pressure to dumb yourself down and conform. In short, you had the guts to ask the hard questions and the brains to spot the weak answers. The more you came to understand the Universe, the less reason there was to believe in a god and the more you came to appreciate human nature, the more you understood why billions of us still do.
    2. While rejecting the supernatural elements of the Bible, you nevertheless retain a large amount of the morality taught today by mainstream Christianity. To the extent you reject Christian morality, it is where it is mean spirited – such as in the way it seeks to curtail freedoms or oppose the rights of $exual minorities. In most other respects, your basic moral outlook is indistinguishable from that of the liberal Christian – you just don’t need the mother of all carrots and sticks hanging over your head in order to act in a manner that you consider moral.
    3. You know a great deal more about the Bible than most believers. This is because you took the time to read it yourself and did not rely on the primary-color simple stories you learned in Sunday school. You have also probably done some research into the historical Jesus and have a good handle on where he REALLY fit in to the broader picture of the Middle East at the time. Needless to say, his miracles and other magic powers soon started to look pretty unlikely.
    4. Your knowledge of basic science and history is much stronger than that of your average believer. You likely have a basic working knowledge of physics, astronomy, evolutionary biology and cosmology and a good idea of the history of life on this planet. This acc.umulated knowledge puts you in a position to judge the claims of the Bible in a critical light and they are almost always found wanting. To the theist, this makes you “elitist” and ‘arrogant”.
    5. You relish your role as a religious minority in the USA, as this gives you an impetus to fight and you understand how others with unpopular, but doubtlessly correct views have felt throughout history. There is something altogether satisfying to you about having a deep conviction you are right and being viewed with disdain for your views by the errant majority. You feel a quiet confidence that future generations will look back on you as a member of a class of trailblazers, as religious supersti.tions go into inevitable decline in popularity.
    6. You are likely more environmentally aware than your theist friends and colleagues and unlikely to fall for claims of industry and wind-bag politicians concerning the impact of man’s activities on the environment. You could no more act in an environmentally irresponsible manner because “god will keep us safe” than you could jump of a ship, believing King Neptune will keep you safe.
    7. You generally have a live and let live atti.tude, but will fiercely defend any attempts by theists to thrust their views on you or your children, directly or through control of school boards, the legislature or the executive. While you are prepared to debate and argue passionately with the theist on an intellectual level, you would never wish them harm or ill will. You know you are likely to be smugly told you will “burn in hell for all eternity” for your healthy skepticism. This highlights what you despise about religion, as you would not wish a bad sunburn on another, simply because they have a different religious view to you. You have never heard of an evolutionary biologist strapping a bomb to himself and running into a church yelling “Darwin-u akbar”.
    8. You likely know more about other religions than your average theist. This makes you less fearful of them and enables you to see parallels. You realize that, if you were born in India, you would have been brought up with a totally different religion. You realize that every culture that has ever existed has had its own god(s) and they always favor that particular culture, its hopes, dreams and prejudices. They cannot all exist and you see the error all faiths make of thinking only theirs exist(s). This “rising above” the regional nature of all religions was probably instrumental in your achieving atheism.
    9. You likely have a deep, genuine appreciation of the fathomless beauty and unbelievable complexity of our Universe, from the 4 nucleotides that orchestrate every aspect of you, through to the distant quasars, without having to think it was all made for you. You likely get more out of being the irrelevant ant staring up at the cosmos than you do in having to pretend that it was all made to turn in majestic black-and-white pirouette about you.
    10. While you have a survival instinct, you cannot fear death in the way the theist does. You know that the whole final judgment story, where you may be sent to hell if you fail, is Dark Ages nonsense meant to keep the Church’s authority. You also know that you were dead for 13,700,000,000 years before you were born. It is impossible for you to fear death, for the simple reason that you know the capacity to fear (or to feel pain or discomfort) itself dies. You will not even know you are dead. Fear of death is as meaningless to you as is the fear of a vacuum, the fear of not being born. You feel a lot more secure, and indeed a deep comfort, in this knowledge, than you would in trying to yoke yourself to some quasi-hope that every part of your intellect tells you is untenable.

    March 25, 2012 at 8:03 am |
    • NicK

      11. You spend 3 hours writing a comment in a CNN thread...Youre crazy! It was good though!

      March 25, 2012 at 9:37 am |
    • martog

      Nick....cut and paste:). Besides, it would take me more than three hours the way I type!!!!

      March 25, 2012 at 10:47 am |
    • HeavenSent

      martog, now we can sing the chihuahua song to you "I, I, I, I iiiiii".

      March 25, 2012 at 1:44 pm |
    • Johnny Blammo

      I am going to challenge your assumptions on #2. My morality is not derived from Christian morality; it is based on my own perceptions of how the world works and why it is best to be decent to people. I do not steal because I do not want to consider myself a thief who preys upon others, I do not want to inflict the kind of harm that I would not like to receive, and cooperation is a far more prosperous solution for humans than thievery, with its attendant turmoil.

      The morality of the Bible is mostly inappropriate to my life. The vast majority of laws in the Bible, especially the old testament, are weird things about killing misbehaving children and how to handle slaves – I reject that. The little bit of Biblical law that happens to agree with me, like "thou shalt not kill" and "thou shalt not steal" are so obvious and common to humanity that those laws pre-date Christianity – Christianity was not the source of those morals. Same with "Do unto others . . . " – hardly an amazing or original insight.

      Though Christianity takes credit for morality, most of what is in the Bible is unusable – even Christians do not sell their daughters into slavery as the Bible allows – and not original to Christianity.

      March 25, 2012 at 1:46 pm |
    • Forlight

      Number 10: 1 think is untrue for most secularists. Very few Atheists get to the point of being ok with non-existence as they get closer to death. In fact faced with the eternal separation from family and this life there is much anger, fear, and anxiety that bubbles up and can make the dying process much more prolonged and even destructive.

      March 25, 2012 at 1:53 pm |
    • Corazon

      HeavenSent, Perhaps you were just trying to be clever with your "I,i,i,i" song deal [thud], but in case you are clueless, here is the refrain from that song, "Celito Lindo":

      Ay, ay, ay, ay,
      Canta y no llores,
      Porque cantando se alegran,
      Cielito lindo, los corazones.

      English Translation:
      Oh, oh, oh, oh,
      Sing and do not cry
      Because singing cheers up,
      Pretty little darling, our hearts.

      –http://www.mamalisa.com/?t=es&p=3222&c=50

      March 25, 2012 at 2:05 pm |
  16. Rahul

    Only a bunch of idiots rally against some thing that doesn't exist.

    March 25, 2012 at 8:02 am |
    • martog

      religion doesn't exist? what delusion are you living?

      March 25, 2012 at 8:14 am |
    • TruthPrevails

      Rahul: And only an idiot who doesn't understand the reason for the rally would say such a thing!

      March 25, 2012 at 9:13 am |
  17. Reality

    The Triple AAA Creed (Apostles'/Atheists'/Agnostics') : (updated by yours truly based on the studies of NT historians and theologians of the past 200 years)

    Should I believe in a god whose existence cannot be proven
    and said god if he/she/it exists resides in an unproven,
    human-created, spirit state of bliss called heaven?????

    I believe there was a 1st century CE, Jewish, simple,
    preacher-man who was conceived by a Jewish carpenter
    named Joseph living in Nazareth and born of a young Jewish
    girl named Mary. (Some say he was a mamzer.)

    Jesus was summarily crucified for being a temple rabble-rouser by
    the Roman troops in Jerusalem serving under Pontius Pilate,

    He was buried in an unmarked grave and still lies
    a-mouldering in the ground somewhere outside of
    Jerusalem.

    Said Jesus' story was embellished and "mythicized" by
    many semi-fiction writers. A bodily resurrection and
    ascension stories were promulgated to compete with the
    Caesar myths. Said stories were so popular that they
    grew into a religion known today as Catholicism/Christianity
    and featuring dark-age, daily wine to blood and bread to body rituals
    called the eucharistic sacrifice of the non-atoning Jesus.

    Amen
    (References used are available upon request.)

    March 25, 2012 at 8:02 am |
  18. tom

    An observation:

    Knowing that there isn't a God (atheism) is just as presumptive as knowing there is a God.
    Agnosticism seems the logical choice for critical thinkers.

    March 25, 2012 at 7:30 am |
    • LinCA

      @tom

      You said, "Knowing that there isn't a God (atheism) is just as presumptive as knowing there is a God."
      Claiming there isn't a god is a form of atheism, not the only one.

      You said, "Agnosticism seems the logical choice for critical thinkers."
      True, but it isn't mutually exclusive with atheism.

      Gnosticism is about knowledge. I don't know, therefor I'm agnostic.
      Theism is about belief (in gods). I don't believe (in gods), therefor I'm an atheist.

      The utter and complete lack of any evidence in support of any gods makes their existence extremely unlikely. Even an atheist who claims to know there are no gods has a more rational position than any theist, as he has the lack of evidence on his side.

      Also, you'll be hard pressed to find an adult who claims to be agnostic about the Tooth Fairy, yet the evidence in support is equal to that for any god. Do you consider it equally presumptive to not believe in the Tooth Fairy as believing in it?

      March 25, 2012 at 9:06 am |
    • TruthPrevails

      Agnostic/Gnostic is only based on knowledge not belief.
      Atheism/Theism is based on belief.
      I define myself as an Agnostic Atheist...I can't prove a god(s) do not exist but I do not see evidence for one and therefore, do not believe. If I was 100% certain I would define myself as Gnostic...claiming I know for certain a god does not exist.
      There are Theists who say they are positive a god exists and there are theists who say they can't be sure but believe it to be true.

      March 25, 2012 at 9:12 am |
    • tallulah13

      So you must believe in Zeus, as well. And the Loch Ness monster. And Bigfoot. The only reasons to believe in god are cultural and emotional.

      The very fact that there is not a single shred of evidence to support the existence of any god is reason enough for rational thinkers to conclude that there IS no god. Agnosticism is simply hedging your bet. If proof of a god comes to light, then I will believe. But proof is required.

      March 25, 2012 at 2:25 pm |
  19. Truth in CT

    Scientific proof is truth, there is no other alternative.

    March 25, 2012 at 7:21 am |
    • rob

      but we never use science to prove anything important...Love, friendship, etc etc etc....

      March 25, 2012 at 7:44 am |
    • False Dichotomy

      Science doesn't deal with proof. Science is a method of evaluating ideas against evidence. Science promotes the ideas that most closely agree with the best current evidence as the most likely to be "true."

      March 25, 2012 at 10:06 am |
    • AGuest9

      Because we all know that science doesn't do anything important, like purify water, grow abundant, resilient crops, process and carry away sewage, allow you to travel hundreds or thousands of miles per day, allow you to communicate with nearly anyone else in the world, or heal when you are sick..

      March 25, 2012 at 10:20 am |
  20. tom

    If you answer "yes" to all of these, then you are a Secular Humanist, like it or not.

    Do you think dogmas and ideologies should be tested rather than accepted on faith?
    Do you value freedom of thought, expression and conscience?
    Are you skeptical of the existence of a supernatural realm?
    Do you find religion unfulfilling?
    Do you value religious tolerance and support the separation of church and state?
    Do you embrace the principles of democratic government and universal human rights?
    Do you have a concern for this life and a commitment to making it meaningful through increased understanding and compassion?
    Do you think that morality can exist independent of divine authority?
    Do you believe that critical thought and the scientific method provide the most reliable means of acquiring knowledge?

    March 25, 2012 at 7:14 am |
    • AGuest9

      Sadly, many people here would have real issues with the last two.

      March 25, 2012 at 10:22 am |
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About this blog

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