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Unbelieving preachers get help to 'come out' as open atheists
Minister-turned-atheist Jerry DeWitt speaks at ReasonFest in Kansas earlier this year.
June 13th, 2012
10:47 AM ET

Unbelieving preachers get help to 'come out' as open atheists

By Dan Merica, CNN

(CNN) - Jerry DeWitt entered the ministry when he was 17, launching a 25-year career as a Pentecostal preacher. He traveled all around his home state of Louisiana, preaching and ministering wherever he could.

All these years later, DeWitt, 42, is still on the road, and now takes his message all over the United States. But the nature of that message, along with his audience, has changed dramatically.

DeWitt is now an avowed atheist, and his audiences are made up of religious “nones,” the growing number of Americans who are atheist, agnostic, humanist or just plain disinterested in identifying with a religion. Today, DeWitt preaches a gospel of disbelief.

During his speeches, he talks about the process of leaving his preacher job. “If you don’t believe, then you will be like me - you’ll suddenly find yourself where you only have two choices,” DeWitt told a group in Johnson County, Kansas, earlier this year.

“You can either be honest that you don’t believe ... or you can pretend that you do,” he said. “Which is what so many people are doing and that is called faith.”

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The transition from preacher to outspoken atheist has not been easy, and DeWitt is trying to smooth the way for other former believers. He is executive director of Recovering from Religion, an organization founded in 2009. Its slogan: “Thousands of organizations will help you get INTO religion, but we’re the only one helping you OUT.”

But a relatively new effort goes a step further than his own group by focusing on helping clergy in particular. In March 2011, a coalition that includes national groups such as American Atheists, the Freedom From Religion Foundation and the Richard Dawkins Foundation helped launch the Clergy Project, which is aimed at giving doubting and atheist preachers a community in which they can talk about their disbelief.

The program's ultimate goal: to help unbelieving preachers to “come out” in real life.

A safe online community

The Clergy Project’s key component is a private online community of active and former pastors discussing their conversions to lives of active disbelief. It lets congregational leaders come out anonymously, using an alias.

“It is important to focus on any group of people who are in a lot of pain,” said Linda LaScola, a co-founder of the Clergy Project. “That is why the Clergy Project exists, and it wouldn’t be growing if there wasn’t a need for it.”

When it launched last year, 52 clergy signed up for the online community, according to LaScola. A little more than a year later, 270 members are contributing to the message boards and connecting anonymously with one another.

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According to LaScola, the community includes some rabbis, imams and Catholic priests, but the majority are Protestants.

Members are barred from disclosing what is discussed on the boards, but DeWitt said it’s a blend of humor, advice and encouragement. DeWitt, who left his congregation just over a year ago, is considered the group’s first graduate.

“It gave me confidence to come out,” DeWitt said of the Clergy Project. “Knowing that I was not alone, that I was not a fluke, that I was not a freak of religious nature, but that this is a process; it most definitely gave me confidence and a purpose.”

Jerry DeWitt, far right, in his days as a minister.

DeWitt said that after connecting with people on the message boards, he realized he faced fewer obstacles than some others who are trying to leave the ministry. For example, DeWitt's wife and son already knew about his disbelief, while other questioning preachers had not yet told their families.

“I think it is important when you are struggling that you talk it out, that you write about it, that you find support,” said Teresa MacBain, acting executive director of the Clergy Project. “I still try to reach out to people who are questioning, who are doubting, clergy people and laypeople alike, and let them know they are not alone, that there are people who care.”

How does he feed his family?

For 44 years, MacBain was involved in some sort of ministry, from organizing worship music to being a senior pastor at a Methodist church in Florida.

At a recent American Atheists convention in North Bethesda, Maryland, MacBain first publicly announced her atheism, inspiring a roaring round of applause. American Atheists President David Silverman walked onstage and hugged her as MacBain began to cry.

"I was the one on the right track, and you were the ones that were going to burn in hell," MacBain told the crowd. "And I'm happy to say as I stand before you right now, I'm going to burn with you."

She said she sees plenty of growth potential in the Clergy Project. In the near future, she said she hopes to incorporate it as a nonprofit and begin raising funds for clergy who have decided to leave ministry jobs. She also wants to compile a group of employment recruiters to help former clergy find new jobs.

DeWitt, for his part, is struggling financially and said his house could be foreclosed on in the next few months.

For former preachers in search of work, their old skills can be hard to translate into new fields. What references do former ministers use if they have disappointed their congregants by leaving the pulpit?

MacBain said that some “formers,” as she calls ex-clergy, have left their hometowns for new jobs in fields ranging from radio to counseling.

To aid those transitions, Recovering from Religion has started the Clergy Professional Relief Fund, dedicated to “helping ex-ministers have a soft landing after coming out of the ministry.” Though little money has been collected so far, the hope is to help former ministers with job training and relocation expenses.

“Even if you have a degree in divinity, that doesn’t really mean anything,” DeWitt said. “That is the biggest fear that a nonbelieving clergy member has. How does he feed his family?”

Losing faith, losing friends

As a young fresh-faced minister, DeWitt was first confronted with his disbelief when he “became the person who got the burden of preaching about hell,” he said. “I really loved the people I preached to, I loved them like family. So imagine preaching that if you don’t do this, you are going to burn in hell. That wasn’t easy for me.”

After doubt about hell, DeWitt began to research other schools of thought about God and belief. He began to develop other doubts, about certain biblical translations and about healing.

“The next big issue was the failure of prayer,” DeWitt said. “People are passing away, whenever we pray for them to live. People aren’t getting jobs, whenever we pray for them to have jobs.

“The harder we tried to alleviate suffering within our church, it seemed like the worse things got,” he said. “It didn’t seem like prayer made any difference. It just continually crushed my heart.”

When DeWitt decided to come out as an atheist, some in his congregation appeared shocked.

“I was very heartbroken actually because his family means so much to me; they are actually like family,” said Natosha Davis, 30, who attended DeWitt’s church for four years. “I was very heartbroken for him that he had to go through that and struggle.”

Many congregants were less charitable. “Some people where he lives just totally turned their backs on him,” Davis said. “He was ostracized, excommunicated. It is like he has a disease, but he doesn’t.”

When DeWitt runs into people he used to preach to, he still averts his eyes. Going to the post office and to Walmart, he said, can be stressful because of the possibility of running into a former congregant.

“It is because places in which you were once admired now you are suddenly scorned or pitied,” DeWitt said, who admits not having many friends anymore. “It makes for an extremely uncomfortable life.”

And yet DeWitt said his atheist life mirrors his old religious one in some key respects. In some ways, he said, he’s still a minister.

“The origin of the symmetry is me, is my personality, my love for people, my love for ministering,” DeWitt said. “What I have always tried to do is to minster from where I personally am at.

“When I was 17, I preached what I believed was best for people at the time; when I was 20, it was a little different; at 25 it was different, too,” he said. “And now at 42, I am still the same guy preaching what I see is best for people.”

- Dan Merica

Filed under: Atheism • Christianity

soundoff (5,298 Responses)
  1. kenwink

    God gave us free will and a savior... our bodies are just rental space, our souls navigate throughout our life time and our spirit will be accounted for. Woe to those who would preach the losing of one's spirit.

    June 13, 2012 at 3:56 pm |
    • Bootyfunk

      god made us right after we made him.

      June 13, 2012 at 3:58 pm |
    • Peikovianyi

      God was angry with us after Eden, but we reconciled with him by his torture and execution. Hmm. Would that work on anyone from your neighborhood?

      June 13, 2012 at 4:00 pm |
    • LOL Religion

      Accept this loving salvation or be tortured for eternity!

      June 13, 2012 at 4:01 pm |
  2. steve

    atheisim is the easy way out
    it's easier to not believe than you believe
    pretty simple to me

    June 13, 2012 at 3:56 pm |
    • Bootyfunk

      exactly opposite of what you said is true.

      June 13, 2012 at 3:57 pm |
    • LOL Religion

      Just like it was easier to doubt the earth was flat when the majority of ignorant mouth breathers such as yourself insisted it was so without evidence?

      I think not.

      June 13, 2012 at 4:02 pm |
    • Snow

      It is the exact opposite, steve.. for every problem you face, it is easy for man to say, "God wants it that way" and "God will save me".. but it is a lot harder to know that you have to solve your own problems and no one else.. than work through the problem till you get through it.. saying "god help me" is a a total cop out.

      June 13, 2012 at 4:04 pm |
  3. DefyTheGods

    A minister is now an atheist? Yessssss!

    June 13, 2012 at 3:56 pm |
  4. asdef

    Good for him!

    June 13, 2012 at 3:56 pm |
  5. Peikovianyi

    "If the triangles were to make a god, they would give him three sides." – Voltaire.

    Religious mystics and political revolutionaries demand what is unearned by referencing what is unreal. They claim insight no one else has. They blame reality for not behaving itself. They are "saved" or super-intelligent. Everyone else is bankrupt.

    June 13, 2012 at 3:55 pm |
  6. Malvern

    I pray that this man Jerry returns to trusting God. It saddens me to know that his actions and this story will has probably led many astray. Jesus Christ died for the sins of all mankind including Jerry and all non believers. It is God's love that he gave his only son to save us. I love this man despite his clear hatred of me and the church. I pray that God soften his heart. The whole article was all about himself and not about others. We are called to serve God not to give in to sinful desires. Unfortunately Jerry has given up on God. God will always be there for Jerry or anyone else that calls on His name, repents, and followJesus. We are all loved by God. His ways are not man's ways. All things are possible with Christwho gives me strength.

    June 13, 2012 at 3:55 pm |
    • AgnosticOne

      Jesus died for non-believers? And to think, all these years, I've been told that if I don't believe, I'll burn in hell. Our protagonist never once mentioned hating anyone, yet you...like so many other American Christians, claim persecution. Cry me a river.

      June 13, 2012 at 4:08 pm |
    • Bob

      Malvern, why would we trust your god, when your bible shows him to be such a nasty jerk. Bible god purportedly will threaten and punish you with torture forever if you so much as doubt his existence or think a different god exists. Any modern human court would consider such punishment barbaric, to say the least. And the threats of torture purportedly by your god could consti-tute criminal assault.

      For that matter, how come your all-powerful sky creature couldn't get the supposed saving done without all that dead-son-on-sticks hoopla? That's a pretty pathetic 'god' that you've made for yourself there.

      Ask the questions. Break the chains. Join the movement. Be free of Christianity and other superstitions.
      http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/

      June 13, 2012 at 4:13 pm |
  7. BAM

    Faith = believing things in spite of the evidence.

    If I have to read one more post about how without religion the world will have peace and everyone will love each other I will puke.

    Humans are self centered, greedy, and violent with religion.

    AND

    They will be the exact same without it.

    Different excuses, for the same awful actions.

    Tear down every church in this country, people will suck.

    Build 10,000 more churches, people will still suck.

    To believe otherwise is a sheer act of faith.

    Can we be realistic please. If you don't like religion, great. If you love it, awesome. More or less of it will change NOTHING!

    June 13, 2012 at 3:55 pm |
    • Bootyfunk

      but without religion, they won't have a book that tells them directly to kill g.ays, non-virgin brides and disobedient children and ll kinds of other horrors.

      June 13, 2012 at 3:59 pm |
    • Craig

      Despite wanting to agree with you, if people suck so bad, and everything is so hopeless then how come, on average, humankind has made consistent advances in science, quality of life, reduced violence, etc.?

      Also, religious belief has only fallen, on average, with time. Now I'd agree with you, ditching religion alone won't make the world, or individuals, better. But having to provide more rational reasons for your actions can only help improve the world, even if your admitted reasons are selfish, or unfounded, i.e. I just don't like X group of people.

      Faith is OK when it's belief despite the lack of evidence, but it is a bigger problem when it's belief in spite of known evidence.

      June 13, 2012 at 4:59 pm |
  8. Adrian

    If reason and doubt are the main arguments for those who do not believe there is a God, is it hypocrisy or delusion to believe that they can't possibly be wrong. I refuse to ever again argue the case for God in a comments section, but I need to state the following. The essence of faith is believing with a good reason. That's defeated logic to some, but when you DON'T do it, it's no wonder you can't understand it. I'll never understand the passion of deep sea diving, because I'll never do deep sea diving. That doesn't mean the sea doesn't exist, that just means it's an understanding I don't have. So, carry on with your doubt, but don't tell someone they are foolish for an attempt at faith if you've giving up trying (or never tried).

    June 13, 2012 at 3:55 pm |
    • asdef

      Of course the sea exists. You can go look at it, you can see it exists. Believing in something just for the sake of believing in it is not logical. You can't see touch or taste God but you can the sea. Prayer doesn't work; there have been studies by religious backed organizations that show sick people that are being prayed for do no better than the ones who aren't; in fact knowing that you're being prayed for INCREASES your chances of not recovering. Miracles can't be replicated through experiment therefore they are not a valid theory. The concept of God is irrelevant and unnecessary. It isn't hypocrisy or delusion to believe that you can't possibly be wrong about the existence of God. I might very well be wrong but there is no evidence to suggest otherwise (and no the existence of life, the Earth, the Bible, etc.. are not evidence to the existence of a divine creator) so why would I believe in some outlandish claim like God?

      If you posit an idea that is wildly preposterous it is on you to prove it; not on everyone else to disprove it. Bigfoot exists and had my baby meanwhile aliens abducted me and did strange invasive experiments on me and then I fell off a four thousand foot cliff and didn't get a scratch. Don't believe me? Disprove it. See? Doesn't make sense does it?

      June 13, 2012 at 4:10 pm |
    • Adrian

      Just because you say you can't God doesn't mean God isn't there. It just means you aren't looking. Studies on prayer? I can't even spend enough time to tell you what's wrong with that statement. Despite the bad interpretations of biblical miracles, God isn't a genie, and it's not going to happen just because someone prays. That logic assumes that anyone who prays: 1) knows how to pray , or 2) are praying in faith. You can say "God do it" and He does it, if it was His will. But it's very impossible to go against the construct of a thing and expect the proper result. That borderlines on insanity. It's funny, I've read comments that detractors have posted, suggesting that God isn't real because people are sick in the world, amputees, etc. I never heard one of those same people quote anything written or attributed to believers who were sickly and never healed or who were amputees. It's a bad assumption that the presence of physical imperfection somehow concludes a failure of a God, or the non-existence of the same. Let me ask you a question: when was the last time a significant injury kept you out of work? The next time a bad wreck, cancer or something like that takes you out of work, think about a person who works in ministry with the same, often helping people in worse situations, despite their own conditions. I hear you loud and clear, but you'll need more to convince me of a flaw in a divine plan that just the fact that "science couldn't prove it". Science is pure theory; proven things are proven, the rest are just that. Theories. Somehow accepted as true. Hmm. Weird.

      June 13, 2012 at 4:34 pm |
  9. Believer

    I don't get Atheists. You don't believe in religion or faith, yet you create groups and organizations based on your non-belief. That doesn't make any sense. You are doing exactly what you condemn Christians for, trying to get people to follow you and your belief (or non-belief). Isn't that a conundrum? You want others to BELIEVE what you don't believe. Absolutely idiotic!

    I'm glad to know I will be going to heaven when I die, and be spending my eternity with God, Jesus, and all his people and glory!!

    June 13, 2012 at 3:55 pm |
    • Racheln24

      Amen

      June 13, 2012 at 3:58 pm |
    • LOL Religion

      Yeah, the next thing you know people will be creating groups based on other common interests like politics, hobbies and sports.

      Truly baffling, I know.

      /eye roll

      June 13, 2012 at 3:59 pm |
    • Brian

      "I don't get Atheists. You don't believe in religion or faith, yet you create groups and organizations based on your non-belief." Have you ever heard of Alcoholics Anonymous, a group based on not drinking alcohol? We're kind of like that.

      June 13, 2012 at 4:01 pm |
    • Malvern

      Friend please don't argue with atheist because it fuels the fire. Instead we as believers should pray and trust in God. God does not need us to defend him. We are called to love God and people. Atheist are also people therefore we must love them as Christians. Christ tells us to love those who hate us. Christ is our example not any other man. Remember to hold firm to the word of God. The word of God tells us not to argue about what is true. We as Christians must go into all the world and preach the good news of salvations in Christ Jesus. His faithful love endures forever.

      June 13, 2012 at 4:04 pm |
    • Snow

      .. soo, how many atheistic churches/groups/parties/federations/whatever do you know of that even exist?

      June 13, 2012 at 4:06 pm |
    • Brian

      Atheists don't believe in God. They never said they are against organizations of people with similar ideas.

      June 13, 2012 at 4:16 pm |
  10. AverageJoe76

    Reasons I Question the 'God' concept: If there's a God, then He can see the future. If God can see the future, then God made me to go to H ell.

    June 13, 2012 at 3:55 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      Do you want to go to he ll?

      June 13, 2012 at 3:57 pm |
    • Malvern

      God gave you an awesome sense of humor. lol

      June 13, 2012 at 4:06 pm |
    • AverageJoe76

      "Want" to go to H ell? Doubt it. Will I? Doubt it. Why? There isn't one. I strongly doubt that there is a place of eternal suffering. Makes no sense. For who's benefit is a place like this created? For the illuminated traitor and his band of idiot rebel angels?

      June 13, 2012 at 4:10 pm |
    • AverageJoe76

      @Malvern – Thanks! 😉

      June 13, 2012 at 4:11 pm |
    • Ma'at

      Do you want Ammit to devour you after you die?

      You'd better get right with Ra.

      June 13, 2012 at 4:32 pm |
  11. Racheln24

    Can you PROVE the inexistence of God? Nor can you prove scientifically that he exists. Faith in God is just that... you'll never convince a Christian otherwise.. and Atheists, sorry, but there is nothing concrete for you either..just your idle chat about being wronged by the God that you say doesn't exist.

    June 13, 2012 at 3:55 pm |
    • asdef

      You don't have to disprove it. When people state wild claims they are the ones that need to do the proving.
      I don't have to disprove the existence of Bigfoot. The Bigfoot people have to prove it exists.
      I don't have to disprove that aliens experimented on someone and stole the alien human hybrid baby that was a result of those experiments. They have to prove it. See where this is going?
      You can't just make crazy stuff up and then tell people they need to disprove it.

      June 13, 2012 at 4:15 pm |
  12. John Land

    Everyone knows that God is real. "Even the demons believe, and tremble," wrote the Apostle Paul. Some just choose to deny God. This is their free choice – but it is not a wise choice. "The fool says in his heart, 'There is no God'" as one of the psalms says. Nor is a true choice. The devil would have us believe that there is no God. Jesus called the devil "a liar and the father of [lies]."

    June 13, 2012 at 3:54 pm |
    • asdef

      If Satan is the father of lies then wouldn't the best lie be to make people think that God exists and he wants you to do certain things that Satan actually wants you to do and that the Bible is the word of God when really it's the word of Satan? That would be the cleverest lie of all and Christians would keep believing because they have faith that the lie is really truth.

      June 13, 2012 at 4:22 pm |
  13. randy726

    Say what you want folks. One day you'll see. The bible doesn't teach that once you become a Christian suddenly nothing ever happens to you. That is a fantasy. Christianity is about having faith that there is something better after this life and if you don't want to believe that then that is your choice. But all choices have consequences. God Bless!

    June 13, 2012 at 3:54 pm |
    • Bootyfunk

      God = yawn

      June 13, 2012 at 3:55 pm |
  14. BAM

    Faith = believing things in spite of the evidence.

    If I have to read one more post about how without religion the world will have peace and everyone will love each other I will puke.

    Humans are self centered, greedy, and violent with religion.

    AND

    They will be the exact same without it.

    Different excuses, for the same awful actions.

    Tear down every church in this country, people will suck.

    Build 10,000 more churches, people will still suck.

    To believe otherwise is a sheer act of faith.

    June 13, 2012 at 3:54 pm |
    • Racheln24

      and without religion.. they are like you.

      June 13, 2012 at 3:57 pm |
    • only a man

      Bam,

      Based on your definition of Faith ie.believing things inspite of the evidence, I would say that you have Faith. You have faith that this universe, galaxies, all matter, all life forms were created by accident. The evidence actually points the other way. The Big Bang is now well recognised as the beginning of everything, but man still can't explain where the energy source came from, where did all the elements get produced from. If the elements produced in the Big Bang had cooled a little faster or a little slower, life would not have existed.

      June 13, 2012 at 4:44 pm |
  15. swohio

    Honestly, these CNN articles about religion always amuse me. I mean, come on, a "gospel of disbelief"...?? Since when does the word "gospel" have anything to do with spreading a message of disbelief? The very word "gospel" means "good news".....and disbelief is HARDLY good news.

    QUOTE - “You can either be honest that you don’t believe ... or you can pretend that you do,” he said. - END QUOTE

    Uh – sorry, dude....I DO believe. I'm not pretending. If you were, that's a problem you're going to need to explain to God. Even if you pretended to be a believer, you probably knew what the Bible says about those who fall away from the faith: "The Spirit clearly says that in later times some will abandon the faith and follow deceiving spirits and things taught by demons."

    QUOTE - Many congregants were less charitable. “Some people where he lives just totally turned their backs on him,” Davis said. “He was ostracized, excommunicated....” - END QUOTE

    And rightly so. This person DESERVED to be excommunicated. What did he honestly expect would happen by announcing to the congregation that he didn't believe in God? These people who were believers – and most likely trusted that he was, too – aren't going to applaud him and warmly embrace him for coming out as an unbeliever!

    The Bible says that Esau sold his inheritance rights for a single meal, and that afterwards, when he wanted to inherit the blessing, he was rejected. Even though he sought it with tears, he couldn't change what he had done. I feel for these supposed "pastors" who are going to have a very rude awakening someday when they meet God face to face.

    June 13, 2012 at 3:54 pm |
    • Lovie

      Amen!!! Tell the truth!!!

      June 13, 2012 at 4:06 pm |
  16. Angela

    Can't really blame them. Many ministers are used and abused by churches. No faster way to lose your faith! Check out Ten Ways to Kill a Preacher by David R. Denny PhD, which is about how churches kill the spirit of preachers. According to the book's description – •1,500 pastors leave the ministry permanently each month in America;
    •80% of seminary graduates who enter ministry will leave the ministry within the first five years.;
    •70% of pastors continually battle depression.;
    •80% of pastors and 85% of their spouses feel discouraged in their roles.;
    •90% of pastors said the hardest thing about the ministry is uncooperative people.;
    •70% of pastors are grossly underpaid.

    June 13, 2012 at 3:54 pm |
  17. Really?

    For the religious people who are posting: Don't get angry or disgusted when people don't share your faith. That's just life. Try to listen and find out if there are places you need to change. It's great to know that if God exists, He can defend Himself–your job is just to love people and serve them.

    June 13, 2012 at 3:54 pm |
  18. Mike

    It's immoral, it's disgusting, it's an ABOMINATION!
    GOD HATES FIGS!
    MARK 11: 12-14
    12 The next day as they were leaving Bethany, Jesus was hungry. 13 Seeing in the distance a fig tree in leaf, he went to find out if it had any fruit. When he reached it, he found nothing but leaves, because it was not the season for figs. 14 Then he said to the tree, “May no one ever eat fruit from you again.” And his disciples heard him say it.

    June 13, 2012 at 3:53 pm |
    • Bootyfunk

      yes, jesus definitely participated in fig bashing. terrible stuff.

      June 13, 2012 at 3:54 pm |
    • Petercha

      Stirring the pot a little, eh, Mike?

      June 13, 2012 at 3:55 pm |
    • Wierd

      There was a kid down the block when I was growing up who used to talk to trees, everyone called him crazy, but Jesus does it and everybody is cool with it.

      June 13, 2012 at 3:56 pm |
    • The Fume

      Awesome!

      June 13, 2012 at 3:59 pm |
    • W Kangas

      Sounds like most right Evangelicals I know...if you don't give them what they want (to believe as they do), then you are damned. Childish fools.

      June 13, 2012 at 4:03 pm |
  19. GBfromOhio

    I'd like to think there is something greater than ourselves, a higher power so to speak, but how it works other than enjoy every minute you have right now and love your fellow man I don't know. As I am want to "say", I like the concept of spirituality, religous dogma, not so much.

    June 13, 2012 at 3:53 pm |
  20. Cbrown

    The rash of ministers leaving the pulpit stems from a faulty understanding of prayer, healing supplications, and prosperity blessings. One calls to God for these things and, when he doesn't show up the way they expect, they're left with failed expectations and an impotent belief system. He doesn't promise good health, safety in this life, wealth with the planting of monetary seed. He promises trouble, persecution, and the taintedness of living in a fallen world. Men have the illusion of permanence and a belief in a God who caters to their concerns–not His. It is immature reasoning. I pity these who've lost their way, but contend they never knew the Way to begin with. Fortunately they are no longer in a position of wrongly influencing others who depended upon them for understanding and teaching. Can't get it from someone who never possessed it.

    June 13, 2012 at 3:53 pm |
    • Bootyfunk

      god doesn't exist. grow up, realize it was your parents buying your presents, not a fat man in a red suit making them at the north pole. time to be an adult now.

      June 13, 2012 at 3:54 pm |
    • Cbrown

      Oh, but He does exist. I didn't have a father so the presents weren't there. And I'm probably old enough to be your grandfather, so I think I'm pretty adult (at least AARP thinks so). Religion doesn't save us, but relationship does. As Ghandi once said, "I have no trouble with your Jesus, it's your Christians I can't stand." A mature understanding that this life experiment is about God, not us, is a good place to start. At any rate, one day we will both know the truth. Isn't that exciting!

      June 13, 2012 at 4:00 pm |
    • Lovie

      Very well said!!! You should be in the ministry!!!!

      June 13, 2012 at 4:18 pm |
    • only a man

      Cbrown, you have such a correct understanding. In the Bible, Jesus says (paraphrase) "If you believe in me you WILL HAVE TROUBLE." But right after that, the beautiful promise that you and I will be able to address these troubles with God given peace. So the only things that a believer in Jesus have are peace and salvation from sin but certainly not a trouble free life on earth.

      June 13, 2012 at 4:29 pm |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.