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June 12th, 2012
04:49 PM ET

Pew survey: Doubt of God growing quickly among millennials

By Dan Merica, CNN

Washington (CNN) – The percentage of Americans 30 and younger who harbor some doubts about God’s existence appears to be growing quickly, according to a recent Pew Research Center survey. While most young Americans, 68%, told Pew they never doubt God’s existence, that’s a 15-point drop in just five years.

In 2007, 83% of American millennials said they never doubted God’s existence.

More young people are expressing doubts about God now than at any time since Pew started asking the question a decade ago. Thirty-one percent disagreed with the statement “I never doubt the existence of God,” double the number who disagreed with it in 2007.

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When asked about doubts of God, no other generation showed a change of more than 2% in the past five years.

The survey found that the percentage of millennials who identify with a religion is remaining constant, while most other generations have seen religious identification increase in the past 10 years.

The findings about millennials and religion were part of a 168-page report that Pew released June 4 but were largely overlooked.

“Notably, people younger than 30 are substantially less likely than older people to say prayer is an important part of their lives,” the report said.

“Research on generational patterns shows that this is not merely a lifecycle effect,” it continued. “The Millennial generation is far less religious than were other preceding generations when they were the same age years ago.”

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The findings are part of Pew’s 2012 American Values Survey, which touches on issues including political partisanship, gay marriage and abortion.

Despite the findings on millennials, the survey shows that the United States continues to be a highly religious nation, with most Americans identifying with a particular faith.

Seventy-six percent of all respondents said prayer is an important part of their lives and agreed that “we all will be called before god at the Judgment Day to answer for our sins.” About 80% said they have never doubted the existence of God.

The report points to a growing divide between the youngest and oldest Americans on belief, religion and social issues.

According to Jesse Galef, communications director for the Secular Student Alliance, the growth in “doubting” youths has led to a surge in secular student groups.

“For a lot of millennial atheists, they are expecting to find a group, they are coming to campus, and if they don’t find one, they are starting one,” Galef said. “This is completely different than what other generations grew up with.”

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The Secular Student Alliance has affiliates on 357 American campuses, Galef said, up from 81 such affiliates in 2007.

Galef says the Internet has created a place for young people to discuss religious doubts.

“It enables anybody to have open discussions without fearing if their parents would find out or what their communities would say,” he said. "The more safe places we create for young people to discuss their doubts, the more they can inspire questions in others."

- Dan Merica

Filed under: Atheism • Polls

soundoff (4,013 Responses)
  1. Atheist Meme Of the Day

    Atheism offers nothing to me,
    It never has and never will,
    It doesn't make me feel good or comfort me,
    It's not there for me when I'm sick or ill,
    It can't intervene in my times of need
    ... It won't protect me from hate and lies,
    It doesn't care if I fail or succeed,
    It won't wipe the tears from my eyes,
    It does nothing when I have got no where to run,
    It won't give me wise words or advice,
    It has no teachings for me to learn,
    It can't show me what's bad or nice,
    It's never inspired or excited anyone,
    It won't help me fulfill all my goals,
    It won't tell me to stop when I'm having fun,
    It's never saved one single soul,
    It doesn't take credit for anything I achieve,
    It won't make me get down on bended knee,
    It doesn't demand that I have to believe,
    It won't torture me for eternity,
    It won't teach me to hate or despise others,
    It can't tell me what's right or wrong,
    It won't tell anybody that they can't be lovers,
    It's told nobody where they don't belong,
    It won't make you think life is worth living,
    It has nothing to offer me, yeah, that's true,
    But the reason Atheism offers me nothing
    is because I've never asked it to,
    Atheism offers nothing because it doesn't need to,
    Religion promises everything because you want it to,
    You don't need a religion or to have faith,
    You just want it because you need to feel safe,
    I want to feel reality and nothing more,
    So atheism offers me everything,
    That religion has stolen before.

    June 13, 2012 at 10:22 am |
  2. Colin

    Dear Christians:

    God here.

    First, I do not exist. The concept of a 13,700,00,000 year old being, capable of creating the entire Universe and its billions of galaxies, monitoring simultaneously the thoughts and actions of the 7 billion human beings on this planet is ludicrous.

    Second, if I did, I would have left you a book a little more consistent, timeless and independently verifiable than the collection of Iron Age Middle Eastern mythology you call the Bible. Hell, I bet you cannot tell me one thing about any of its authors or how and why it was edited over the Centuries, yet you cite them for the most extraordinary of claims.

    Thirdly, when I sent my “son” (whatever that means, given that I am god and do not mate) to Earth, he would have visited the Chinese, Ja.panese, Europeans, Russians, sub-Saharan Africans, Australian Aboriginals, Mongolians, Polynesians, Micronesians, Indonesians and native Americans, not just a few Jews. He would also have exhibited a knowledge of something outside of the Iron Age Middle East.

    Fourthly, I would not spend my time hiding, refusing to give any tangible evidence of my existence, and then punish those who are smart enough to draw the natural conclusion that I do not exist by burning them forever. That would make no sense to me, given that I am the one who elected to withhold all evidence of my existence in the first place.

    Fifthly, in the same vein, I would not make about 5% of the human population gay, then punish them for being that way. In fact, I wouldn’t care about how humans have $ex at all, given that I created all of the millions of millions of species on the planet, all of whom are furiously reproducing all the time. Human $ex would be of no interest to me, given that I can create Universes. Has it ever occurred to you that your obsession with making rules around human $ex is an entirely human affair?

    Sixth, I would have smited all evangelicals and fundamentalists long before this. You people drive me nuts. You are so small minded and yet you speak with such false authority. Many of you still believe in the talking snake nonsense from Genesis. I would kill all of you for that alone and burn you for an afternoon (burning forever is way too barbaric for me to even contemplate).

    Seventh, the whole idea of members of one species on one planet surviving their own physical deaths to “be with me” is utter, mind-numbing nonsense. Grow up. You will die. Get over it. I did. Hell, at least you had a life. I never even existed in the first place.

    Eighth, I do not read your minds, or “hear your prayers” as you euphemistically call it. There are 7 billion of you. Even if only 10% prayed once a day, that is 700,000,000 prayers. This works out at 8,000 prayers a second – every second of every day. Meanwhile I have to process the 100,000 of you who die every day between heaven and hell. Dwell on the sheer absurdity of that for a moment.

    Finally, the only reason you even consider believing in me is because of where you were born. Had you been born in India, you would likely believe in the Hindu gods, if born in Tibet, you would be a Buddhist. Every culture that has ever existed has had its own god(s) and they always seem to favor that particular culture, its hopes, dreams and prejudices. What, do you think we all exist? If not, why only yours?

    Look, let’s be honest with ourselves. There is no god. Believing in me was fine when you thought the World was young, flat and simple. Now we know how enormous, old and complex the Universe is.

    Move on – get over me. I did.

    God

    June 13, 2012 at 10:20 am |
    • Rational Libertarian

      Wait a second Mr. You can't be God. You said you're 13,700,000,000 years old, yet you told us before you were infinite (unless you're pretending to be younger, we know how you celebrities are always trying to appear younger).

      June 13, 2012 at 10:25 am |
    • Atheist Meme Of the Day

      had to share that on my facebook page, come like us !

      https://www.facebook.com/pages/Atheist-Meme-of-the-Day/190864071001365

      June 13, 2012 at 10:26 am |
    • Blahblahblah

      Wow, that was beautiful. My thoughts exactly.

      June 13, 2012 at 10:27 am |
    • Lauri

      LOVE it!!! Thank you! You've made my day!

      June 13, 2012 at 10:29 am |
    • Hal A. Louya

      Succinct and to the point. Well said.

      June 13, 2012 at 10:44 am |
  3. Colin

    Great news! The one thing those who believe in the Christian sky-fairy cannot fight against is the dissemination of reason and knowledge to impressionable young minds. They cannot burn the internet or put it on a list of banned books!

    June 13, 2012 at 10:19 am |
  4. Ron

    Wow! Its almost like atheism is a religion itself. They want you to believe there is no God.

    June 13, 2012 at 10:15 am |
    • JWT

      thats the new atheism – there is more than 1 kind of atheism

      June 13, 2012 at 10:23 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Who's "they"? If you mean 'atheists', then you're wrong. I don't care what you believe. What I 'want' is for you and yours to stop attempting to foist your beliefs on me through government. Your religious convictions are not mine and I shouldn't be denied rights and privileges simply because you believe that God doesn't like me or my behavior.

      June 13, 2012 at 10:26 am |
    • LinCA

      @Ron

      You said, "Wow! Its almost like atheism is a religion itself."
      We don't get together to worship non-existing gods. We don't try to deny other people from having equal rights because we think our imaginary friend wants us to. We don't want to stifle science and education because we feel it threatens our beliefs. Atheism isn't a religion.

      You said, "They want you to believe there is no God."
      Not really. Some of us want you to open your eyes, ears and mind, and realize there are no gods.

      June 13, 2012 at 10:41 am |
    • Berk

      Not believing in Santa must be a religion too then.

      June 13, 2012 at 11:14 am |
  5. richunix

    @George Washington

    Does your trailer park manager know your using his computer again? Who’s babble is more appealing, yours or mine? I would advise to let the reader decide, as truth speaks volumes.

    June 13, 2012 at 10:13 am |
    • Blahblahblah

      What's your problem with people who live in trailor parks?
      Oh, that's right, god tells you to love everyone except people in small houses.

      June 13, 2012 at 10:17 am |
  6. Bill Deacon

    The presumption is that doubt is linear. I have a doubt which if I extend to it's conclusion will result in disbelief. I find it funny the "intelligent" non believers don't even understand doubt. No wonder you don't understand faith. The truth is that doubt, as well as faith, run in cycles. St. Thomas A'Kempis says that anyone can be faithful if they are continually comforted but that the true man loves even when he is afflicted with doubt. Doubt is simply a natural part of faith in the same way inhalation and exhalation are natural parts of breathing (breathing reference inserted for Gaunt)

    June 13, 2012 at 10:12 am |
    • Horus

      Two things. 1) you should read a litte about cognitive dissonance and compartmentalizing logic. 2) The same "faith" you use to justify your belief could be used to literaly justify ANY diety. So if you are truly as reasonable as you profess, then you would have to have faith in ALL versions and possibilities of gods/goddesses.......

      June 13, 2012 at 10:19 am |
    • Bill Deacon

      OK your response doesn't seem to have anything to do with my post. I'm not making any assertions about my personal faith. I am merely pointing out that the process of doubt does not invalidate the phenomena of faith. So, it is irrational to presume that a doubter will consequently reside in disbelief. Rather, I contend and paraphrase a noted theologian that doubt is contained within faith when defined as belief. When faith is defined by action, it becomes more genuine if the believer abandons the necessity of absolute assurance and performs in concert with his faith even though he does not presently understand the cosmic symphony.

      June 13, 2012 at 11:22 am |
  7. MK

    "If people are good only because they fear punishment, and hope for reward, then we are a sorry lot indeed." Albert Einstein

    June 13, 2012 at 10:10 am |
    • JellyBean

      I like Al.

      June 13, 2012 at 10:13 am |
    • Blahblahblah

      That's what I remember most vividly from my catholic upbringing. Fear your elders, fear god, and fear hell. It' hard to love something you fear.

      June 13, 2012 at 10:14 am |
    • WhatNow

      He was right about so many things!

      June 13, 2012 at 10:19 am |
    • Thinker

      Except, it seems, quantum theory!

      June 13, 2012 at 10:58 am |
  8. Atheist Meme Of the Day

    Ever notice , when believers beliefs are questioned that they always turn violent and start throwing around the threats of hell and torture , and when Atheists beliefs are questioned, they always turn towards logic and reason as they throw around scientific facts and evidence. I am not sure if you believers see this or not, but using Hell to try and force us to believe in your flavor god is NOT free will, it is strong arm tactic to instill belief through fear, which is why is it so effective on young children.
    You see the Atheists are so much more welcoming and loving, because we understand you have been lied to, w understand you been brainwashed, and we understand that all those threats of eternal torture make it very hard to question it. We also know how liberating it feels when we use our free will, to have free thought, and just be free. Question everything, open your minds and learn, and question some more, sure I will admit Science doesn't have every answer, but just because it doesn't doesn't mean we need to fill the gaps with magic. Everyone lives without gods, you are only pretending to have one !

    June 13, 2012 at 10:02 am |
    • Bill Deacon

      I see evidence of believers responding with respect and sincerity just as I see non believers respond with vulgarity and disparagement so your thesis is invalid.

      June 13, 2012 at 10:06 am |
    • TexanSwagger86

      Atheist – "I think therefore I am."
      Theist – "I believe therefore I am."

      June 13, 2012 at 10:09 am |
    • GAW

      No not always. Some Christians are willing to engage in healthy debate on the other hand I have meet atheists who resort to name calling when someone states their religious beliefs instead of proposing truly thought provoking questions and discussion.

      June 13, 2012 at 10:09 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      Cogito ergo sum is all good, but I prefer the mantra "coitus ergo sum".

      June 13, 2012 at 10:12 am |
    • Atheist Meme Of the Day

      Bill,
      I do this almost daily, and overall this is what happens, denying it doesn't make it untrue !

      June 13, 2012 at 10:14 am |
    • Moncada

      As a believer in m.y God I look outside, see the life and happiness of people and say, "Life is such a miracle and so beautiful."

      June 13, 2012 at 10:14 am |
    • Bill Deacon

      Atheist – I believe my doubt, I think
      Theist – I think I doubt my disbelief

      June 13, 2012 at 10:15 am |
    • MyTake

      Atheist Meme Of the Day: Very good point. But there are Atheist who do respond with insults mainly online. But the vast majority of them are very reasonable as you say. Correspondingly "Theist" respond with threats and judgments about the person or group.. This is likely because their idea of who they are in the universe is wrapped up in their particular religious mythology and deep down they know the logic presented by Atheist is valid and difficult to refute.

      June 13, 2012 at 10:20 am |
    • GAW

      btw the way just a healthy scan throughout many of the comments on the belief blog will show that immature responses from the religious and nonreligious are common place. If you are a cordial atheist then kudos to you however here in the cosmos of the wacky web trolls abound due to the protection of what we call anonymity. It's why some people still have teeth.

      June 13, 2012 at 10:21 am |
    • Cq

      Another possibility is that many, if not most people who post insulting or threatening things here are actually trolls seeking to enflame both sides. People posing as both crude Christians and crude atheists at the same time.

      June 13, 2012 at 11:19 am |
  9. TexanSwagger86

    Atheist – "Finally! People are starting to think and not just exist."
    Christian – "Just what I expected. More signs of the second coming."

    June 13, 2012 at 10:00 am |
  10. Old Man

    Could it be, that God is a creation of man, not man is a creation of God?????

    June 13, 2012 at 9:59 am |
    • Mark

      Yes.

      June 13, 2012 at 9:59 am |
    • Nick Furry

      Why yes if you think of god as some sort of justice league super hero that casts down lighting bolts on the 'wicked'...if that's the god that most athiest and christians argue about than I am here to say that god is a creation of man...however there is God/Source/Spirit that all things come from and from that which we cant see are the things we can see are created.

      June 13, 2012 at 10:21 am |
    • MyTake

      It is possible

      June 13, 2012 at 10:23 am |
  11. S.R.

    Modern religions were created by people in the middle east. They are banana's now what do you think they were like two thousands years ago? Religion's are the big lie. The science's proves to me there is a god. The "God" (in my opinion) created all that there is and set it in motion. What happens after is determined by choices, coincidence and natural occurances in nature.

    June 13, 2012 at 9:59 am |
    • Cq

      If you mean "God" is the unintelligent, natural laws of the universe, then yes, but if you want to assign any intelligence to those laws then you'd better come up with some evidence.

      June 13, 2012 at 10:04 am |
  12. mickey weedon

    Look....some people talk to their invisible space daddy in the sky, fine. You say 80% of Americans? WOW!!!! They think they are getting beamed up and leave Mother Nature in ruins for the rest of us to deal with. Ok, you worship some dead guy on a stick and eat his flesh and drink his blood, snakes talk and chicks get knocked up by God. Yea. I say fine...do your thing, but PLEASE stay away from me and my kids and keep this brain washing to yourself.

    June 13, 2012 at 9:56 am |
    • Cq

      31% of Americans also faithfully believe in astrology, 44% in ghosts, 30% in telepathy, and 36% that UFOs are actually alien spacecraft. Only 47% of Americans claimed not to be superst.itious at all. Unless my understanding of math is wrong those numbers would also include lots of people who believe in God.

      June 13, 2012 at 10:14 am |
  13. nans

    I do believe in Higher power but I do not pray or think about it. I believe that we have been given intelligence and that is a power enough to live our lives intelligently. Everything will fall in place and if anything bad happens we also have given the mental strengh and power to sustain or ignore or fight it.

    June 13, 2012 at 9:56 am |
  14. Jokesterer

    If you don't think like I do you'll burn in hell.

    June 13, 2012 at 9:55 am |
    • Mark

      Oh no! Please tell us how you think.

      June 13, 2012 at 10:03 am |
  15. Blahblahblah

    How old are the world's religions? 1k, 2k years old? Humans roaming the deserts trying to explain why the sun and planets exist. There was no science. Only people who looked to the sky and exclaimed "my god must have created all I see". So glad to live in a time of intellectual enlightenment.

    June 13, 2012 at 9:55 am |
  16. Frank

    I raised my children to be free thinkers and to never to fear to ask questions of people who make outlandish claims. Naturally they are happy well adjusted atheists.

    June 13, 2012 at 9:54 am |
  17. Captain Caveman

    If I'm wrong and there is no God, I'll never know it after I take my last breath.

    If you're wrong and there is a God, you'll know you were wrong for all of eternity.

    Seems like a win/win and lose/lose situation to me.

    Whenever someone stands from any point other than salvation and examines the cross and what it means it will make absolutely no sense whatsoever. It is only from the perspective of salvation that one can fully see the truth. I thank MY GOD I am not in the darkness of deception which is so prevalent in this day.

    June 13, 2012 at 9:54 am |
    • NoTheism

      Captain, you have just proposed Pascal's Wager.. Need I say more?

      June 13, 2012 at 9:55 am |
    • ME II

      Say that again when you're reincarnated as a snail.

      June 13, 2012 at 9:56 am |
    • Frank

      Calssic Pascal's Wager...terribly flawed thinking.

      June 13, 2012 at 9:56 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      What if the Vikings were right? You'd best take Pascal's Wager on that one and make sure you die gloriously in battle.
      What if your heart weighs more than a Shu feather when you face Maat's posthumous judgement?
      What if Joseph Smith denies you entry to the Celestial Kingdom becuase you don't know the secret handshake?

      June 13, 2012 at 9:56 am |
    • Rational Libertarian

      Beat me to it NoTheism.

      June 13, 2012 at 9:57 am |
    • Horus

      Ironic you bring up the "cross" and it's "meaning" since that's one of the "oops" moments in the gospels. According to Xtians the cross has meaning because Jesus died on it, giving it meaning. Yet according to gospel, Jesus said "pick up the cross and spread the word" indicating the cross had religious value prior to his crucifiction – which the cross did if you read non-fictional history books. Another 3 "r's" mistake in the Bible: Recycled, Revisioned, Retold........

      June 13, 2012 at 9:59 am |
    • Rynomite

      Ooh maybe we can get a trilemma argument soon!

      June 13, 2012 at 10:03 am |
    • Jokesterer

      Good morning class. Today we're going to learn that 2+2=5. It might not seem right at first but for those that agree, you'll get a cupcake. For those that don't agree, you'll get to sit on a tack. Everyone that agrees, come get your cupcake.

      June 13, 2012 at 10:03 am |
    • JellyBean@Horus

      Wonderful post, Horus. Thank you!

      June 13, 2012 at 10:03 am |
    • Horus

      @jokesterer – hey teach, just want to see if I have the answer: 4 physical cupcakes plus 1 spiritual cupcake = 5 cupcakes ;-} Got it! Thx, always wondered how that worked....

      June 13, 2012 at 10:11 am |
    • Jokesterer

      Magic cupcake.

      June 13, 2012 at 10:24 am |
    • sam stone

      If both of us are wrong, and there is a vindictive petty god other than your own, we are both in trouble.

      June 13, 2012 at 10:28 am |
    • Cq

      Doc Vestibule
      What would really be ironic is if the "true" form of Christianity really had existed, but was wiped out by the Church as a heresy, and all the present forms are actually serving Satan. If we're playing "what if"s this idea is just as valid as Pascal's Wager, right?

      June 13, 2012 at 10:29 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      @CQ
      Kinda makes you wish you could've dropped a spy cam at the Nicene Council meetings, eh?

      June 13, 2012 at 10:43 am |
    • Cq

      Doc Vestibule
      I'd like to send Katie Couric through a time machine to interview Paul and Jesus together. I'll bet you'd have to separate those two if they were put in the same room together.

      More irony revolves around how fundamentalist Christians like to point to their trust in biblical authority as superior to Catholic tradition where the Bible is actually the product of this same tradition.

      June 13, 2012 at 11:10 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      @CQ
      Now I'm imagining how that confrontation would go.
      Jesus: Dude, quit bad mouthing women in My name. Mary Magdelene was a genuinely cool chick for whom I had a lot of respect.
      Paul: VA/GINAS ARE EVIL!

      June 13, 2012 at 12:01 pm |
  18. NOT MY CHAIR

    this article gives me so much hope for my generation! its about time we start to rule this world with logic and not fairy tales. we need people to fix their own problems not hope some mystical being in the sky will. now all we need to to get a little older so we can push the baby boomers out and take real control, then this world will be a better place

    June 13, 2012 at 9:52 am |
  19. Believer

    God sent Jesus to us in the human form to give physical proof of His existence. Jesus went about performing miracles in the name of God to proclaim the good news. That good news is shared with anyone who wants it via the Bible, God's Holy, the indisputable truth that gives hope to all. Our world NEEDS to believe that there is more for us than our earthly existence. It just makes us better people while we are here. Those who don't invite God into their daily lives sure seem to call on Him in prayer during times of great need. God hears and answers prayers,but you have to be right with Him and not exclude Him or deny Him on a daily basis to reap that benefit. God is good...ALL the time. He has a plan for each of us bigger than anything we could plan for ourselves.

    June 13, 2012 at 9:51 am |
    • Rational Libertarian

      If God is good, he's got an incredibly warped way of showing it.

      June 13, 2012 at 9:52 am |
    • Honey Badger Dont Care

      You have absolutely NO evidence to support this claim.

      A claim that is made with no evidence to support it can be dismissed without evidence.

      June 13, 2012 at 9:53 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      On December 25th, long long ago, a child was born unto a virgin.
      Following a star shining in the east, 3 great kings of far off lands came to adorn the child with gifts to recognize his holiness.
      By the age of 12, the child was teaching learned men valuable lessons.
      By the age of 30, He had 12 disciples with whom he travelled the land performing miracles and spread the word of His ministry.
      Alas, He was betreayed to his enemies and crucified.
      Upon His death, he was buried for three days – but miraculously rose from the dead!
      The child was known by many names, including The Truth, The Light and God's Shephard, but His true name was Horus.

      June 13, 2012 at 9:55 am |
    • NOT MY CHAIR

      maybe if there are so many nonbelievers, god should show him self again instead of sitting on his a-s-s damning people for eternity. but i am glad for you that you feel that your life is so fulfilled compared to mine

      June 13, 2012 at 9:55 am |
    • NOT MY CHAIR

      Doc Vestibule

      "On December 25th, long long ago, a child was born unto a virgin.
      Following a star shining in the east, 3 great kings of far off lands came to adorn the child with gifts to recognize his holiness."

      Roman pagans first introduced the holiday of Saturnalia, a week long period of lawlessness celebrated between December 17-25. At the festival’s conclusion, December 25th, Roman authorities believed they were destroying the forces of darkness by brutally murdering this innocent man or woman.in the 4th century CE, Christianity imported the Saturnalia festival hoping to take the pagan masses in with it. Christian leaders succeeded in converting to Christianity large numbers of pagans by promising them that they could continue to celebrate the Saturnalia as Christians. The problem was that there was nothing intrinsically Christian about Saturnalia. To remedy this, these Christian leaders named Saturnalia’s concluding day, December 25th, to be Jesus’ birthday. Some of the most depraved customs of the Saturnalia carnival were intentionally revived by the Catholic Church in 1466 when Pope Paul II, for the amusement of his Roman citizens, forced Jews to race naked through the streets of the city.

      June 13, 2012 at 10:01 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      @Not My Chair
      I know. Read the whole post – especially the last line.
      Both the winter and summer solstice were integrated into Christianity.
      Bunnies, painted eggs etc. are the last vestiges of the pagan celebrations against which Christianiry competed in its early days.
      Cybele, the Phrygian fertility goddess, had a consort, Attis, who was believed to have been born via a virgin birth. Attis was believed to have died and been resurrected each year during a three day period at the end of March.
      Sound familiar?
      Well before Easter was associated with the zombification of the Christian deity, it was a widely celebrated pagan holiday marking the rebirth and renewal of spring. The very word "Easter" comes from the Saxon goddess Eastre and the Teutonic dawn goddess of fertility, Eastra.

      June 13, 2012 at 10:05 am |
    • Name*Chedar

      One supposedly "God" died up there and took rebirth as humans. He remember he was God up there in heaven. And that is how Jesus came about. The name of the game is " rebirth" there is nothing strange about it. If Jesus is ever powerful, how did he die as a mortal?

      June 13, 2012 at 10:12 am |
    • Madtown

      Believer
      God sent Jesus to us in the human form to give physical proof of His existence.
      --------
      I wonder why God didn't send other sons/daughters to other parts of the world, so that every human being in existence couldn't also be exposed to this proof? I mean, why such a small subset of the entire human population of the world? Was there something wrong with native Americans, or people of the far east? Why weren't they included in this?

      June 13, 2012 at 10:15 am |
    • ME II

      I've always wondered why He didn't perform a more definitive and long lasting miracle, say... float a mountain 2 feet off the ground permanently or plant a forest on the moon in the vacuum or write His name with stars... you know something couldn't be faked.

      June 13, 2012 at 10:30 am |
    • sam stone

      Or, Jesus was a troublemaker who got whacked by the Romans.

      June 13, 2012 at 10:33 am |
    • sam stone

      If the bible is god's "holy, indisputable truth", why are there so many interpretations of it?

      June 13, 2012 at 10:34 am |
  20. just observation

    After reading many many comments about who thinks what with comments such as "I think this...." "i believe that...."
    I have come to the conclusion that people of "faith" don't think, and thinkers therfore acknowledge a doubt in faith.

    June 13, 2012 at 9:50 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.