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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.”

CNN’s Belief Blog: The faith angles behind the biggest stories

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. trl

    THATS THE DEVIL... HE ALWAYS WNTS TO DANCE..

    June 16, 2012 at 1:51 am |
    • LinCA

      I hear that Lithium has a pretty high success rate, with only very minor side effects.

      June 16, 2012 at 2:08 am |
  2. b4bigbang

    mandarax: "Chad, you might be more credible if you tried formulating your own arguments..."

    What arguments that are your own have *you* posted (or even formulated) mandarax?

    June 16, 2012 at 12:50 am |
    • mandarax

      Well, fair enough. Why don't you google my idea about "hands are for gloves" and see what you come up with.

      June 16, 2012 at 10:33 am |
    • Chad

      Just swap "puddle" for "glove".. pretty well worn and well refuted argument..

      Puddle thinking is a satirical illustration of the "life is fine-tuned to the Universe" argument above coined by Douglas Adams to satirize the Fine-tuned Universe argument for supernatural creationism.[40][41] As quoted in Richard Dawkins' eulogy for Douglas Adams:[42]
      ... imagine a puddle waking up one morning and thinking, 'This is an interesting world I find myself in, an interesting hole I find myself in, fits me rather neatly, doesn't it? In fact, it fits me staggeringly well, must have been made to have me in it!' This is such a powerful idea that as the Sun rises in the sky and the air heats up and as, gradually, the puddle gets smaller and smaller, it's still frantically hanging on to the notion that everything's going to be all right, because this World was meant to have him in it, was built to have him in it; so the moment he disappears catches him rather by surprise. I think this may be something we need to be on the watch out for.

      June 16, 2012 at 1:58 pm |
    • mandarax

      Chad / b4bigbang / Rachel / Ida / AtheistLove

      1. You have made it clear that you couldn't find the idea anywhere else, so you just subst.itued a different one.

      2. You have demonstrated that you didn't even really understand the idea to begin with.

      3. YOU HAVE JUST PUKED OUT SOME MORE CUT AND PASTE CRAP, which was the basis for my initial criticism. Come on, Chad.

      It's like you are simultaneously proving my point right, while insisting it's wrong.

      June 16, 2012 at 2:46 pm |
    • Chad

      Very odd the way atheists hate an argument that's backed up, it seems to infuriate them almost more than anything.
      why?
      Why do atheists just want to argue opinion and emotion? Just name calling? Why do you have such a hard time just speaking to the data?

      June 17, 2012 at 1:20 pm |
  3. Jack

    Hello everyone. You are graciously invited to visit my web site... thestarofkaduri.com

    June 16, 2012 at 12:33 am |
  4. Blane

    Christians, I beseech you, don't bother arguing with the damned. They will try to trap you and ask you questions not in good faith. It seems they hang out here searching for purpose in life even if that purpose is to mock believers.

    June 16, 2012 at 12:28 am |
    • Evangelical

      Thanks but somebody has to stand up for God.

      June 16, 2012 at 12:30 am |
    • HotAirAce

      Ahhhh... The old "Herbie run and hide" maneuver when the question get too hard...

      June 16, 2012 at 12:33 am |
    • tallulah13

      The best way to get atheists to believe is to provide evidence that any god has ever existed. Humans have worshiped literally thousands of gods, but there is not a single shred of proof for any of them. Perhaps your dire proclamations would have some impact if there were any weight behind them.

      June 16, 2012 at 12:34 am |
    • Rebel4Christ

      amen evangelical!!!

      June 16, 2012 at 12:37 am |
    • sam stone

      Interesting that Evangenital feels that someone needs to "stand up" for a supposedly omnipotent being

      June 16, 2012 at 12:55 am |
    • Ipsilon

      Why can't god stand up for himself? Is he a coward? Too weak? Or is it just, perhaps, that.... he does not exist?

      June 16, 2012 at 7:32 am |
  5. Salt

    Absolutely classic CNN......millions of people being fed by the faith community, orphanages all around the world being run by faith community, MILLIONS OF AMAZING THINGS HAPPENING IN THE FAITH COMMUNITY, and this is the story that gets picked for air time......One could easily believe at this point – that this news station is run by athiests.......your stories are a sad picture of what you are selling

    June 16, 2012 at 12:00 am |
    • Evangelical

      I believe it is run by atheists and ho-mos-exuals because every article is a dig at religion and traditional morality.

      June 16, 2012 at 12:02 am |
    • Bet

      Feel free to run on over to the Fox Network.

      June 16, 2012 at 12:04 am |
    • Evangelical

      What makes you think that I don't also comment over at Fox News? And I am here to stand up for God and traditional morality.

      June 16, 2012 at 12:11 am |
    • Dennis

      Eva, we fully expect that you spend a lot of your time on Fox News.

      June 16, 2012 at 12:12 am |
    • Bet

      Hi Evangeni.talia!

      Have you come out of the closet yet?

      June 16, 2012 at 12:14 am |
    • Dennis

      Salt, you've got a lot of inquisitions, burnings at stakes, and child molestations to answer for.

      June 16, 2012 at 12:17 am |
    • sam stone

      We fully expect that evangenital spends lots of time on his or her knees

      June 16, 2012 at 12:57 am |
    • chedar888

      Thank you CNN for telling it as is. The biggest sin are the religious fanatics that have no conscience and cotinue to tell the lies to scare the gullibles.

      June 16, 2012 at 1:06 am |
    • Evangelical

      Well if it isn't Sam Stone the most vulgar of the ho-mos-exual brigade.

      June 16, 2012 at 1:08 am |
  6. b4bigbang

    God, guns and guts made America free
    At all cost let's keep all three.

    June 15, 2012 at 11:56 pm |
    • Bet

      Isn't it time for you to go polish your tooth?

      June 16, 2012 at 12:01 am |
    • Evangelical

      Amen, brother

      June 16, 2012 at 12:01 am |
    • Dennis

      Belief in god is for cowards.

      June 16, 2012 at 12:14 am |
  7. Blane

    We can be bright lights shining in the dark world but the atheists will not see it because they are blind.

    June 15, 2012 at 11:37 pm |
    • HotAirAce

      No one but the delusional can see what is not there!

      June 15, 2012 at 11:40 pm |
    • Dennis

      Blane, those bright lights are the headlights of a car coming at you. Stop playing on the busy street in the dark.

      June 15, 2012 at 11:48 pm |
    • tallulah13

      Blane, you like to say things like atheists are blind and that atheists have miserable lives, but your comments come from pure ignorance. There is nothing blind about not seeing what isn't there, and there is nothing miserable about accepting the fact that life is finite.

      Instead of making condescending remarks about people you don't understand, how about providing some proof of your god? No one has been able to do so previously for ANY god, despite the fact that every true believer of every one of the thousands of gods worshiped by humans throughout history once felt the same conviction you do right now.

      If there were proof of any god, there would be no atheists. Ball's in your court, Blane.

      June 16, 2012 at 12:30 am |
  8. Colin

    If the Christian God were real, why did he give (a) all the oil to the Muslims; (b) all the wealth to the Jews; (c) all the brains to the atheists; and (iv) the most compassionate belief system to the Jains?

    June 15, 2012 at 11:13 pm |
    • Leo

      Collin, Thanks for fulfilling scripture for us! Written 2000 years ago and so accurate for you today!

      Romans 1

      18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, 19 because that which is known about God is evident within them; for God made it evident to them. 20 For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse. 21 For even though they knew God, they did not honor Him as God or give thanks, but they became futile in their speculations, and their foolish heart was darkened. 22 Professing to be wise, they became fools,

      June 15, 2012 at 11:19 pm |
    • mandarax

      Because, Colin, these things are actually impediments to reconciling with Jesus, which is why God put us here in the first place.

      He put us here so that we could reconcile with the one third part of him that he was going to send in the future to kill as a (super)human sacrifice in order to encourage us to reconcile with the one third part of him that he sent to kill as a (super)human sacrifice. Jeesh, are you dense?

      June 15, 2012 at 11:20 pm |
    • Tortuga

      Leo,
      "Professing to be wise, they became fools,"

      But you think yourself to be wise for believing that, don't you?

      It's turtles all the way down...

      June 15, 2012 at 11:26 pm |
    • Dennis

      Leo, thanks for providing some comic relief, with your sheer stupidity.

      June 15, 2012 at 11:26 pm |
    • Leo

      Tortuga, That was so wise of you!! LOL

      June 15, 2012 at 11:28 pm |
    • Leo

      Dennis, I have read all of your posts, and I am sure you are impressing yourself.... Tom Tom Junior!!

      June 15, 2012 at 11:34 pm |
    • Blane

      Amen, Leo! Tell it like it is.

      June 15, 2012 at 11:34 pm |
    • Dennis

      Leo, do try for a post of any substance. You haven't made one yet. Nor has your child sidekick Blane.

      June 15, 2012 at 11:46 pm |
    • HotAirAce

      You don't have to be very bright, or claim to be inspired by some god, to prophesize that someone is going to recognize your bullsh!t for what it is.

      June 16, 2012 at 12:04 am |
    • Paris

      Leo, "anthropic principle". Reading time for you.

      June 16, 2012 at 12:20 am |
  9. Blane

    The sad thing is that these "pastors" and many atheists once heard the Good News and rejected it. Many are called but few are chosen. Christians should feel humbled to be numbered among the chosen. Thank God every day.

    June 15, 2012 at 10:51 pm |
    • Dennis

      Blane: Why should we thank god, when he threatens us with torture forever? You can wimp out and bow to such a bully if you want, coward, but I won't.

      June 15, 2012 at 11:08 pm |
    • Blane

      I'm sorry you feel that way, Dennis. Truly I am sorry.

      June 15, 2012 at 11:10 pm |
    • mandarax

      Ah, there's that selfless Christian humility again. "Through my telepathic connection with God, he has chosen me to be among the few to be perfect and immortal while the rest of you are punished for enternity."

      O, the humbleness.

      June 15, 2012 at 11:10 pm |
    • Dennis

      Blane, I'm sorry that you are such a coward. Please try to put aside your obviously silly delusions, and make the most of the one short life that you know you have.

      June 15, 2012 at 11:25 pm |
    • b4bigbang

      Amen Blane!

      June 16, 2012 at 12:00 am |
    • Dennis

      Blane, grow some balls and answer the question, you coward.

      June 16, 2012 at 12:11 am |
    • sam stone

      Humble? That is about the last thing Christians are

      June 16, 2012 at 1:32 am |
    • HotAirAce

      The only humble christians I've seen are the ones I tell to get th fuck off my property!

      June 16, 2012 at 1:35 am |
    • Ipsilon

      Typical god justice: lets choose just a few, and burn the others in hell.
      How can one believe he is a god of love?... How can one believe he is a god at all??

      June 16, 2012 at 7:43 am |
  10. Chad

    “Atheism turns out to be too simple. If the whole universe has no meaning, we should never have found out that it has no meaning...”
    ― C.S. Lewis

    June 15, 2012 at 9:55 pm |
    • john

      Just because there is no God doesnt mean that life is not fufilling. The fact that people are alive makes it meaningful. I am content with the amazing role I have within the universe without seeking to emulate the ideals of 2000 year old goat hearders who had no understanding of anything scientific. No germ theory, no atoms, no fission, no energy, oppresive political systems, These people beleieved if there was a volcano or a plauge that god was attacking them. We should not take ideas devloped out of these primitive times with out a grain of salt. C.s. Lewis's religous response is because of the time he lived in as well. Freely denoucing the lie that is religion has only recently become very culturely acceptable.

      June 15, 2012 at 10:04 pm |
    • Chad

      Lewis's point was that if atheistic evolution were true, we never would have developed the capacity to understand that the universe has no meaning.

      June 15, 2012 at 10:09 pm |
    • Colin

      So Chad, you really think that 200,000,000 galaxies, each with 200,000,000 stars, all with planets, were put in place to satisfy the "purposes" of h.omo sapiens on one such planet. That's quite an acheivement for a late Bronze Age sky god from Palestine, don't you think?

      June 15, 2012 at 10:10 pm |
    • Chad

      @Colin "you really think that 200,000,000 galaxies, each with 200,000,000 stars, all with planets, were put in place to satisfy the "purposes" of h.omo sapiens on one such planet. That's quite an acheivement for a late Bronze Age sky god from Palestine, don't you think?"

      @Chad "quite an achievement indeed.
      God isnt from Palestine however, can't really be called a "sky god" (as He exists outside of space), and can't really be called "bronze age" (as He exists outside of time)

      June 15, 2012 at 10:13 pm |
    • Colin

      But Chad, even if your god lives "outside of time" and " outside of space" (whatever that means) that does not solve the core irrationality of your view – that this enormous universe was created with a "purpose" for h.omo sapiens. What exaclty is this "purpose" and what basis do you have for asserting its veracity?

      June 15, 2012 at 10:18 pm |
    • Chad

      actually, looks like there are ~500,000,000,000 (500billion, not 200million) galaxies..

      June 15, 2012 at 10:20 pm |
    • AtheistLove

      Colin, Have you ever looked into The Anthropic Principle?

      According to growing numbers of scientists, the laws and constants of nature are so "finely-tuned," and so many "coincidences" have occurred to allow for the possibility of life, the universe must have come into existence through intentional planning and intelligence.

      In fact, this "fine-tuning" is so pronounced, and the "coincidences" are so numerous, many scientists have come to espouse The Anthropic Principle, which contends that the universe was brought into existence intentionally for the sake of producing mankind. Even those who do not accept The Anthropic Principle admit to the "fine-tuning" and conclude that the universe is "too contrived" to be a chance event.

      June 15, 2012 at 10:21 pm |
    • mandarax

      I have a fundamental question: Why is it assumed there is no way the universe can have any meaning to anyone unless there is a creator God? On what basis does the narrow Christian concept of "God" claim a monopoly on meaningfulness?

      June 15, 2012 at 10:24 pm |
    • Chad

      @Colin "even if your god lives "outside of time" and " outside of space" (whatever that means) that does not solve the core irrationality of your view – that this enormous universe was created with a "purpose" for h.omo sapiens. What exaclty is this "purpose" and what basis do you have for asserting its veracity?"

      =>argument from incredulity..

      I dont know what the purpose of the universe is (beyond giving us a place to live).
      Our purpose in this lifetime is to be reconciled to God through His Son Jesus Christ.

      June 15, 2012 at 10:24 pm |
    • AtheistLove

      In his best-selling book, "A Brief History of Time", Stephen Hawking (perhaps the world's most famous cosmologist) refers to the phenomenon as "remarkable."

      The remarkable fact is that the values of these numbers (i.e. the constants of physics) seem to have been very finely adjusted to make possible the development of life". "For example," Hawking writes, "if the electric charge of the electron had been only slightly different, stars would have been unable to burn hydrogen and helium, or else they would not have exploded. It seems clear that there are relatively few ranges of values for the numbers (for the constants) that would allow for development of any form of intelligent life. Most sets of values would give rise to universes that, although they might be very beautiful, would contain no one able to wonder at that beauty.

      Hawking then goes on to say that he can appreciate taking this as possible evidence of "a divine purpose in Creation and the choice of the laws of science (by God)" (ibid. p. 125).

      June 15, 2012 at 10:24 pm |
    • Chad

      @mandarax "I have a fundamental question: Why is it assumed there is no way the universe can have any meaning to anyone unless there is a creator God?"

      =>
      Definition: meaning
      n.
      1. Something that is conveyed or signified; sense or significance.
      2. Something that one wishes to convey, especially by language:
      3. An interpreted goal, intent, or end: "The central meaning of his pontificate is to restore papal authority".
      4. Inner significance: "But who can comprehend the meaning of the voice of the city?"
      adj.
      1. Full of meaning; expressive.
      2. Disposed or intended in a specified manner. Often used in combination: a well-meaning fellow; ill-meaning intentions.

      So, atheists believe that the universe just happenned to spring into being out of nothing, and we are merely the result of millions of years of natural selection preserving random mutations

      I can't imagine two concepts more diametrically opposed than "meaning" and "atheism".

      June 15, 2012 at 10:29 pm |
    • john

      If your looking to understand the universe steven hawking or Michio Kaku is a better authority than C.S. Lewis. If you want to understand English Liturature or if you want to learn how to write fiction Lewis is your man. That's what Lewis is famous for right? Fiction. Lewis had a time where he was an athiest, who knows what he would have believed if he had not been living in a culture where that is taboo and if knew what we know now about the universe and science.

      June 15, 2012 at 10:30 pm |
    • AtheistLove

      Dr. Paul Davies, noted author and professor of theoretical physics at Adelaide University:

      "The really amazing thing is not that life on Earth is balanced on a knife-edge, but that the entire universe is balanced on a knife-edge, and would be total chaos if any of the natural 'constants' were off even slightly. You see," Davies adds, "even if you dismiss man as a chance happening, the fact remains that the universe seems unreasonably suited to the existence of life - almost contrived - you might say a 'put-up job'."

      June 15, 2012 at 10:34 pm |
    • john

      At athiest love. Didnt hawking say that there are an infinite number of universes with an infinte number of variations so its not completley anomolys for one or more to meet the values for life.

      June 15, 2012 at 10:35 pm |
    • mandarax

      AthiestLove / Chad:
      The anthropic principle is an example of what I call the "hands are for gloves" argument (and to claim that more and more scientists are interpreting it the way you suggest they are is simply bullhockey).

      To think that the universe is fine-tuned for life is exactly backwards. Life is fine-tuned to the conditions of the universe. The anthropic argument is the same as arguing that humans hands have evolved into their current shape so that they would fit into gloves.

      June 15, 2012 at 10:36 pm |
    • mandarax

      "I can't imagine two concepts more diametrically opposed than "meaning" and "atheism".

      I understand that you can't imagine that. Your lack of imagination in this regard is what prompted my comment.

      June 15, 2012 at 10:39 pm |
    • Colin

      This "divine pupose" of "reconciling with JC". What does that even mean? The Judeo-Christian god creates h.omo sapiens so this species can "reconcile with Jesus". What nonsense is that? Do you believers ever wonder that maybe, just maybe, the concept of heaven is used to fill a void you feel in this life? You kick the can down the road to the "next life" pretending all will be sweet kisses and roses there.

      June 15, 2012 at 10:44 pm |
    • Blane

      This is why the atheists are so pitiful. They lead lives devoid of purpose or meaning only to burn in hell for eternity.

      June 15, 2012 at 10:48 pm |
    • AtheistLove

      Mandarax, Your opinion is only that "yours" no different than Chad's. Tell me why are you against Chad having his?

      "God does not play dice with the universe." – Albert Einstein

      June 15, 2012 at 10:48 pm |
    • Chad

      @mandarax " To think that the universe is fine-tuned for life is exactly backwards. Life is fine-tuned to the conditions of the universe."

      =>There is now broad agreement among physicists and cosmologists that the universe is in several respects ‘fine-tuned’ for life. This claim is made on the basis that existence of vital substances such as carbon, and the properties of objects such as stable long-lived stars, depend rather sensitively on the values of certain physical parameters, and on the
      cosmological initial conditions. The analysis usually does not extend to more than these broad-brush considerations – that the observed universe is a ‘well-found laboratory’ in which the great experiment called life has been successfully carried out (Barrow and Tipler, 198?). So the conclusion is not so much that the universe is fine-tuned for life;
      rather, it is fine-tuned for the essential building blocks and environments that life requires. Such fine-tuning is a necessary, but by no means sufficient, condition for biogenesis. Thus ‘anthropic’ reasoning fails to distinguish between minimally biophilic
      universes, in which life is permitted but is only marginally possible, and optimally biophilic universes in which life flourishes because biogensis occurs frequently, i.e. life forms from scratch repeatedly and easily.

      Paul Davies
      http://arxiv.org/pdf/astro-ph/0403050.pdf

      June 15, 2012 at 10:53 pm |
    • Colin

      Ahh Blane, the superst.ition of hell. One of my favorite superst.itions, because of its sheer absurdity. Think it through. I don't have to kill, I don't have to steal, hell, I don't even have to litter. All I have to do is have a reasonable, honest and rational disbelief in the Christian god and he will inflict a grotesque penalty upon me an infinite times worse than the death penalty. And he loves me.

      Let's subject this "cherished Christian doctrine" to the probing light of say.......fifth grade mathematics.

      Approximately one hundred and ten thousand million (110,000,000,000) people have lived on Earth. Given all those who have, over the centuries, rejected the Christian god, or who have otherwise committed mortal sins, there must be literally thousands of millions of people burning for all eternity in the cosmic oven of hell set up by their all-loving god. Some must have been burning for thousands of years by now.

      About 100,000 people die every day. There must be a constant stream of thousands of forlorn souls every day into the one way pit of hell their “all-merciful” god set up and maintains.

      But, far, far worse than sheer overwhelming numbers is the extent of the punishment. There is no way out, no parole, no time off for good behavior. You don’t just burn, you burn for all eternity. Billions of people and thousands of daily new arrivals burning for all eternity!

      No criminal justice system in the history of the Human race, even those established by the most despotic of tyrants, comes close to matching the unfathomable barbarity of their “infinitely benevolent” god.

      Hitler murdered six million Jews in his concentration camps, but compared to the Judeo-Christian god, Hitler was a bleeding-hearted wimp. A goose-stepping girlie-man. Their “all-caring” god not only burns billions more than Hitler, Pol Pot and all other dictators and tyrants added up, he keeps doing so to them for all eternity! I would not wish a bad sunburn on a person simply because they have a different religion to me, let alone fry them for all eternity.

      It is also odd that their all-loving god is also all-knowing and knows which souls will go to hell before they do. He even knows it before they are born, and yet he still creates them. He is worse than a psychopathic teenager than breeds litter after litter of kittens so he can slowly roast them in ovens.

      That is the problem with using the same deity to be both the carrot and the stick. It gets really silly really quickly.

      How they believe this utter garbage in the 21st century completely eludes me.

      June 15, 2012 at 10:54 pm |
    • tallulah13

      Poor Blane. His life only has meaning when he thinks about what will happen after he's dead. Of course, there is no evidence to indicate that death is anything but the ultimate end, so Blane actually is looking forward to the time when he no longer exists. How very sad.

      The beauty of atheism is that you realize that this is the single life you get, so you truly appreciate what you have.

      June 15, 2012 at 10:55 pm |
    • mandarax

      AtheistLove, because Chad is insisting that the universe has no meaning whatsoever unless you share his opinion.

      "I cannot conceive of a personal God who would directly influence the actions of individuals, or would directly sit in judgment on creatures of his own creation." – Einstein (btw, what do Einstein quotes prove anyway?)

      June 15, 2012 at 10:58 pm |
    • mandarax

      Chad, you might be more credible if you tried formulating your own arguments rather than pasting text from an outdated (1992) book on metaphysics.

      June 15, 2012 at 11:01 pm |
    • Colin

      I have never understood why Christians predicate purpose and enjoymment of life on the existence of an afterlife. I suspect that this view tends to be held by people who feel a little overwhelmed in life and a little bit out of their league. They retreat to the comfort of fairtales to help them get through the day. That is, perhaps, why so many of them crave the nosense of the second coming.

      I personally, haven't craved that since my teens....

      June 15, 2012 at 11:02 pm |
    • AtheistLove

      Mandarax, Impressive quote Einstein and then make a comment "what do Einstein quotes prove anyway?"

      June 15, 2012 at 11:06 pm |
    • Blane

      Colin,

      Nevertheless, it is so.

      June 15, 2012 at 11:09 pm |
    • Dennis

      All of Chad's 'arguments' have been exposed as nonsense, so now he is reduced to incessant quote pasting. Chad, really, shove off. You are tiresome and you've exhausted your flimsy case.

      June 15, 2012 at 11:10 pm |
    • Leo

      Chad, I feel your pain, and I hope that as you see things like the Promise of Israel unfold before your eyes you may take a second look.

      Matthew 24 is also a great set of scriptures that are being fulfilled.

      Even one of the last end time prophesies of the Mark of the Beast and chip implantation could be happening soon.

      So when they tell you that you have to take it and unless you do you can't buy or sell don't blame God for not telling you ahead of time!!

      June 15, 2012 at 11:13 pm |
    • Leo

      I meant Collin!!

      June 15, 2012 at 11:14 pm |
    • Dennis

      Blane, some of us grew up and left behind the tooth fairies and other fictions of our childhood. You apparently haven't. Belief in a sky fairy without evidence is not better than non-belief. It is mere cowardice.

      June 15, 2012 at 11:15 pm |
    • Dennis

      Leo needs a chip implanted to replace his malfunctioning brain.

      June 15, 2012 at 11:16 pm |
    • Blane

      Tallulah,

      I don't live for the afterlife. I live for this life, but I rest assured that I will we welcomed home after this life.

      June 15, 2012 at 11:28 pm |
    • Dennis

      Blane, google and read up on Pascal's Wager. Please don't post again until you understand it.

      June 15, 2012 at 11:32 pm |
    • HotAirAce

      Believers yap on about an afterlife because of their miserable failure at establishing the basis for their cult. That is, they cannot provide a shred of evidence for any god or for the jesus myth, so they focus on the allure of everlasting life. Snake oil salesmen at their finest.

      June 15, 2012 at 11:36 pm |
    • Evangelical

      Dennis,

      Blane is correct, and you don't know what you are talking about. Pascal's Wager is erroneously thought to be fallacious. In point of fact, it is not. There are attempted refutations, but there are none that satisfy a believer.

      June 15, 2012 at 11:41 pm |
    • HotAirAce

      Believers don't understand the illogic of Pascal's Wager, or religion in general, because their mental illness does not allow them to understand logic.

      June 15, 2012 at 11:45 pm |
    • Dennis

      Evangelical, Zeus will be waiting to strike you down and torture you in Hades. If Sauron doesn't get you first.

      Seriously, Pascal's Wager was refuted hundreds of years ago. Stop trying to defend your delusions with it, you moron.

      Fuck, you're stupid.

      June 15, 2012 at 11:51 pm |
    • Leo

      Hot Air Ace, Christianity does more for the world than you ever knew. What have you done for others?

      Missionaries and Christian Workers:
      In the unevangelized world, there are 20,500 full-time Christian workers and 10,200 foreign missionaries.

      In the evangelized non-Christian world, there are 1.31 million full-time Christian workers.

      In the Christian world, there are 306,000 foreign missionaries to other Christian lands. Also, 4.19 million full-time Christian workers (95%) work within the Christian world.

      Number of Christian Martyrs Worldwide:
      An average of 171,000 Christians worldwide are martyred for their faith per year.

      June 15, 2012 at 11:53 pm |
    • Moby Schtick

      We have no idea how universes come into being. What if the only universes that "survive" are those with the balance necessary for the sort of life we witness? To say that the universe is "fine tuned" is like a puddle exclaiming about the hole that was perfectly designed for the contours of its shape. No, little puddle, were the hole a different shape, so you would be, too.

      To say that this universe is "fine tuned" is to say that life is some sort of "desired outcome" when, in reality, there's no reason to think that. The universe seems quite indifferent to us. Why play head games?

      June 15, 2012 at 11:57 pm |
    • Chad

      @Colin "I have never understood why Christians predicate purpose and enjoymment of life on the existence of an afterlife"

      Life either has meaning or not.
      A universe that arose from nothing, self replicating "life" that came into being by a random collision of molecules, and organism complexity that arose from natural selection preserving random mutations.
      by
      definition
      has
      no
      meaning..

      right?

      June 15, 2012 at 11:57 pm |
    • Evangelical

      @Dennis

      Nothing like an ad homenum when your lie is found out.

      June 15, 2012 at 11:59 pm |
    • Moby Schtick

      @Chad

      We don't know if the universe "came from 'nothing'" or not. Also, life is not a random happening; it's an orderly process, albeit one that isn't obvious. Honest people admit that they don't know. Why aren't you honest?

      June 16, 2012 at 12:01 am |
    • Moby Schtick

      Also, Chad, we have no idea if "nothing" is even possible. It doesn't seem to be. Where the universe is least dense, where we would expect to find "nothing," if it existed, trillions upon trillions of particles are popping in and out of existence, or perhaps in and out of our universe from some other place/dimension.

      From what we can determine, "nothing" doesn't ever exist, and evolution is not like a roll of dice–it operates according to a system. Don't strawman.

      June 16, 2012 at 12:04 am |
    • Leo

      Moby, Hawkings seems to disagree with you, but I am sure you know much more than he does!!

      June 16, 2012 at 12:04 am |
    • Moby Schtick

      Human brains evolved to search for meaning everywhere because it is such a useful survival tool. So, we look for meaning and pretend to have found it where none is apparent or provable.

      June 16, 2012 at 12:07 am |
    • Karen

      Leo, LOL at your "Hawkings". Maybe you want to check that a bit before you spew about stuff that you don't understand.

      June 16, 2012 at 12:07 am |
    • Dennis

      Evangelical, good of you to speak for yourself like that.

      You stupid asshole.

      June 16, 2012 at 12:09 am |
    • Leo

      Karen, Read the posts earlier... where Hawking is quoted from his own writtings.

      Here it is pasted for you...

      In his best-selling book, "A Brief History of Time", Stephen Hawking (perhaps the world's most famous cosmologist) refers to the phenomenon as "remarkable."

      The remarkable fact is that the values of these numbers (i.e. the constants of physics) seem to have been very finely adjusted to make possible the development of life". "For example," Hawking writes, "if the electric charge of the electron had been only slightly different, stars would have been unable to burn hydrogen and helium, or else they would not have exploded. It seems clear that there are relatively few ranges of values for the numbers (for the constants) that would allow for development of any form of intelligent life. Most sets of values would give rise to universes that, although they might be very beautiful, would contain no one able to wonder at that beauty.

      Hawking then goes on to say that he can appreciate taking this as possible evidence of "a divine purpose in Creation and the choice of the laws of science (by God)" (ibid. p. 125).

      June 16, 2012 at 12:17 am |
    • Moby Schtick

      Hawkins is not a christian, though, is he? Nor is he a god-believer. Are you saying that you know better than him when it comes to god, but I don't know better when it comes to the use of specific words? Hypocrite.

      June 16, 2012 at 12:18 am |
    • Karen

      Leo, what was that guy's surname that you used again...too funny. Sure about that now???

      June 16, 2012 at 12:19 am |
    • Paris

      Leo, "anthropic principle". Some good reading for you.

      June 16, 2012 at 12:22 am |
    • Moby Schtick

      @ Leo

      Yep, "seems to have been." You see, he didn't say that it was, he said it seems to be. Why did he use that introductory phrase? hmm? It's because we humans view the cosmos from our own perspective. It's why we thought the earth was the center of the universe, and then our sun, and then our galaxy. It "seems" as if we are at the center, but we're not, it's just that from our perspective, we feel and see as though we were at the very center. "It seems to have been" "fine-tuned" in the same way that the puddle would say, "it seems as though this hole was shaped perfectly for my shape!"

      Become a critical thinker and reader, if you can.

      June 16, 2012 at 12:22 am |
    • HotAirAce

      Leo, none of the generous actions you itemized requires a god. I give what I can via richarddawkins.net and volunteer for several secular organizations, not that I need to justify myself to anyone that believes in unproven gods.

      June 16, 2012 at 12:38 am |
    • Chad

      @Moby Schtick "We don't know if the universe "came from 'nothing'" or not. "
      @Chad "The prevailing theory on the origin of the universe is the big bang theory, which says that all of the matter in the universe and time itself came into being at that point."

      ===============
      @Moby Schtick "Also, life is not a random happening; it's an orderly process, albeit one that isn't obvious."
      @Chad "according to atheist theory, replicating "life" came into being by a random collision of molecules. Complexity occurs by natural selection preserving purely random mutations in the population. Natural selection is "orderly" in a sense, but the origin of life (in your line of thinking), and the source of all change (mutation), is 100% random."
      =========
      @Moby Schtick " we have no idea if "nothing" is even possible."
      @Chad "there was nothing "before" the big bang"

      =========
      @Moby Schtick " It doesn't seem to be. Where the universe is least dense, where we would expect to find "nothing," if it existed, trillions upon trillions of particles are popping in and out of existence, or perhaps in and out of our universe from some other place/dimension."
      @Chad "Vacuum space is NOT "nothing". Nothing by definition is the absence of everything.

      June 16, 2012 at 2:09 pm |
    • ...

      @Moby Schtick –

      When engaging Chad, please keep in mind that part of his dishonesty is his glaringly obvious employment of equivocation. Just as his (over)use of the term "data" clearly demonstrates he does not understand the meaning as used in the sciences, his references to "random(ness)" also display his ignorance (or deceptive use) of its meaning as used in science.

      Chad is a greased weasel and debates with him are like trying to kick water uphill.

      June 16, 2012 at 2:28 pm |
    • Really-O?

      ... = Really-O? Performed a quick formatting test earlier and forgot to change my handle.
      .

      June 16, 2012 at 2:30 pm |
    • Chad

      "glaringly obvious employment of equivocation"

      =>example?

      Seems reasonable to ask for an example.. one that clearly shows the trait being claimed..
      Why are you folks so quick to throw out accusations, but so extraordinarily slow (as in never) in supplying a clear example?

      June 16, 2012 at 2:33 pm |
    • Really-O?

      Chad's post history suffices as evidence of the breadth and depth of his dishonesty (equivocation included). For a glaring example of just how slimy and dishonest Chad really is, please check out this recent thread containing an unequivocal lie –

      http://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2012/06/14/my-take-more-doubts-about-god-doesnt-mean-religion-is-weakening/comment-page-16/#comment-1440887

      The term "lying weasel" should come to mind.

      June 16, 2012 at 2:42 pm |
    • Chad

      What was the lie?

      June 16, 2012 at 2:57 pm |
    • mandarax

      "Debating with Chad is like trying to kick water uphill"

      I love it! Too true. Earlier he was referred to as the "Eddie Haskell of creationism"

      June 16, 2012 at 2:59 pm |
    • Really-O?

      "What was the lie?"

      Deny, deny, deny. An undiscovered (or admitted) lie is as good as the truth. Perhaps Richard Nixon is one of Chad's idols..."I am not a [liar]."

      June 16, 2012 at 3:02 pm |
    • Really-O?

      @mandarax –

      "Eddie Haskell of creationism"...that is pretty damned funny!

      June 16, 2012 at 3:04 pm |
    • Chad

      um.. I missed it, what was the lie?

      as I said, endless accusations.. no evidence

      June 16, 2012 at 3:06 pm |
    • mandarax

      Here's one of your perennial lies: "Gradualism is dead."

      Now, I understand this will throw your panties into a painful wad, but the truth is that even SJG (your favorite source for dishonest quote-mining) asserted that punctuated equilibrium better explained more of the fossil record, but he nor any other real biologist has ever concluded that gradual evolutionary change never happens. This is an outright lie you use as a stepping stone in your various house-of-cards arguments.

      Okay, proceed to equivocate...

      June 16, 2012 at 3:16 pm |
    • Really-O?

      Regarding Chad's "what was the lie?"

      Folks...simply go to – http://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2012/06/14/my-take-more-doubts-about-god-doesnt-mean-religion-is-weakening/comment-page-16/#comment-1440887
      ...scroll up to YeahRight's comment June 14, 2012 at 6:46 pm ("Ok so your using wiki again...")
      ...scroll to Chad's reply to YeahRight at June 14, 2012 at 6:54 pm ("sorry.. no.. from the International Journal of Astrobiology")

      ...Chad busted in an unequivocal, bald-faced lie. Folks, Chad is just a lying fundy hiding behind his cherry-picked, copy&paste, hackneyed arguments.

      ...however, I do sense he's evolving a bit. Perhaps the weight of truth will come to bear and he will be a deathbed conversion.

      June 16, 2012 at 3:20 pm |
    • Really-O?

      @mandarax –

      Isn't it interesting how Chad believe that simply making statements like "phyletic gradualism is dead, dead, dead" support his argument? How does he explain that the scientific community in no way supports that statement. How does he explain the fact that Dawkins' (perhaps the preeminent living evolutionary scholar and scientist) disagrees based on the evidence [before Chad goes on a rant, Dawkins admits that the fossil record does indicate instances of rapid (in a geological time-frame) change and, therefore does not dismiss punctuated equilibria]? Could all of this be simply because dogma is at the root of all of Chad's arguments? Gee...ya think?

      June 16, 2012 at 3:33 pm |
    • mandarax

      Really-O? and Chad:

      If there were any dispute about Chads honesty and integrity he has just blown it out of the water all by himself. Check out the replies he just posted to Citizen Cane and Firewalker on page 50. According to Chad, truth is whatever advances your agenda.

      June 16, 2012 at 4:04 pm |
    • Really-O?

      @mandarax –

      Yup. I've said it a number of times on this blog, Chad is a sack-o'-scheit.

      June 16, 2012 at 4:18 pm |
    • Really-O?

      Isn't it interesting how Chad abandons a thread when he's been exposed?

      June 16, 2012 at 4:38 pm |
    • Chad

      @Really-O"...scroll up to YeahRight's comment June 14, 2012 at 6:46 pm ("Ok so your using wiki again...")
      ...scroll to Chad's reply to YeahRight at June 14, 2012 at 6:54 pm ("sorry.. no.. from the International Journal of Astrobiology")"

      =>So, showing that that was not wiki-only information, rather it was a quote from the International Journal of Astrobiology that was posted to wiki..
      that's a lie?
      hmm... how?

      I think the thing you guys hate the most, is that you cant refute the argument.
      that's why you go after the person.

      June 16, 2012 at 4:43 pm |
    • Chad

      @mandarax "If there were any dispute about Chads honesty and integrity he has just blown it out of the water all by himself. Check out the replies he just posted to Citizen Cane and Firewalker on page 50. According to Chad, truth is whatever advances your agenda."

      =>lol, sock puppet..

      compare the post on pp50 with my language, 😉

      June 16, 2012 at 4:46 pm |
    • mandarax

      So the king of sock puppets (Chad, b4bigbang, AthestLove, Ida, Rachel, Rebel4Christ, etc) is now going to try to use a sock puppet as an excuse? Give me a break, Chad. You have the integrity of a ferret.

      June 16, 2012 at 4:51 pm |
    • Chad

      @mandarax "Here's one of your perennial lies: "Gradualism is dead.""

      LOL
      you think it isnt?
      what's your evidence?

      Phyletic gradualism is a model of evolution which theorizes that most speciation is slow, uniform and gradual.[1] When evolution occurs in this mode, it is usually by the steady transformation of a whole species into a new one (through a process called anagenesis). In this view there is no clear line of demarcation between an ancestral species and a descendant species, unless splitting occurs.
      ...
      Evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins argues that such constant-rate gradualism is not present in the professional literature, thereby the term only serves as a straw-man for punctuated equilibrium advocates. In his book The Blind Watchmaker, Dawkins argues against the idea that Charles Darwin himself was a constant-rate gradualist, as suggested by Niles Eldredge and Stephen Jay Gould. In the first edition of On the Origin of Species, Darwin stated that "Species of different genera and classes have not changed at the same rate, or in the same degree. In the oldest tertiary beds a few living shells may still be found in the midst of a multitude of extinct forms... The Silurian Lingula differs but little from the living species of this genus".

      Even Dawkins thinks that Gradualism is dead, and he’s trying to make the case that Darwin didn’t propose it! Lol, good luck with that...
      ..

      Good luck making a case it isnt 😉

      June 16, 2012 at 4:51 pm |
    • Chad

      @mandarax "Here's one of your perennial lies: "Gradualism is dead.""

      you think it isnt?
      what's your evidence?

      Phyletic gradualism is a model of evolution which theorizes that most speciation is slow, uniform and gradual.[1] When evolution occurs in this mode, it is usually by the steady transformation of a whole species into a new one (through a process called anagenesis). In this view there is no clear line of demarcation between an ancestral species and a descendant species, unless splitting occurs.
      ...
      Evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins argues that such constant-rate gradualism is not present in the professional literature, thereby the term only serves as a straw-man for punctuated equilibrium advocates. In his book The Blind Watchmaker, Dawkins argues against the idea that Charles Darwin himself was a constant-rate gradualist, as suggested by Niles Eldredge and Stephen Jay Gould. In the first edition of On the Origin of Species, Darwin stated that "Species of different genera and classes have not changed at the same rate, or in the same degree. In the oldest tertiary beds a few living shells may still be found in the midst of a multitude of extinct forms... The Silurian Lingula differs but little from the living species of this genus".

      Even Dawkins thinks that Gradualism is dead, and he’s trying to make the case that Darwin didn’t propose it! Lol, good luck with that...
      ..

      Good luck making a case it isnt 😉

      June 16, 2012 at 4:52 pm |
    • Really-O?

      More denial, avoidance, obfuscation, and equivocation. Lord that Chad-Eddie-Haskell is piece of work! If he wasn't such a dishonest weasel, he'd almost be entertaining. By the way...is anyone (with more than a 10th grade education) fooled by his nonsense?

      June 16, 2012 at 4:54 pm |
    • Really-O?

      @mandarax –

      And Chad heads right back to the wikipedia-copy-and-paste. Do you think he is capable of learning and synthesis?

      June 16, 2012 at 4:58 pm |
    • Rachel

      @Chad-As usual your posts are fantastic... sadly you do not have any intelligent counters to your arguments. Kudos...

      🙂

      June 16, 2012 at 5:04 pm |
    • Really-O?

      @mandarax –

      Holy scheit! Do you think Chad even realizes that his own Wikipedia c&p puts the lie to his "Darwin's phyletic gradualism is dead, dead, dead" as his post states –

      "Evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins argues that such constant-rate gradualism is not present in the professional literature, thereby the term only serves as a straw-man for punctuated equilibrium advocates."

      The only reasonable explanations are that Chad doesn't read what he c&ps, doesn't understand what he c&ps, or believes that everyone else is too stupid to understand what he c&ps.

      That Chad is one hell of a piece of work!

      June 16, 2012 at 5:07 pm |
    • Really-O?

      ...and Chad says, "Even Dawkins thinks that Gradualism is dead, and he’s trying to make the case that Darwin didn’t propose it! Lol, good luck with that..."
      And his c&p states, "In the first edition of On the Origin of Species, Darwin stated that "Species of different genera and classes have not changed at the same rate, or in the same degree."

      So, Darwin's asserted something different than Chad's assertion. Dawkins indicates that Chad's assertion is incorrect. Hmmm...who to believe? Chad – a fundy who has been demonstrated numerous times on this blog to be ignorant, wrong, and profoundly dishonest – or esteemed scientists Darwin and Dawkins? Gee...it's going to take a while for me to come to a conclusion...not.

      June 16, 2012 at 5:17 pm |
    • Chad

      @Really-O? "Do you think Chad even realizes that his own Wikipedia c&p puts the lie to his "Darwin's phyletic gradualism is dead, dead, dead" as his post states –
      "Evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins argues that such constant-rate gradualism is not present in the professional literature, thereby the term only serves as a straw-man for punctuated equilibrium advocates."

      =>I'm not following you
      I said phyletic gradualism is dead
      Dawkins says it is dead (and, as I said, and you point out in the clip you posted, Dawkins claims that Darwin didnt propose it)

      mandarax is the one that things gradualism isnt dead...

      and.. your reading comprehension stinks...

      June 16, 2012 at 5:18 pm |
    • Really-O?

      Mother Mary and Joseph I love watching Chad tie himself in knots!

      ...but I honestly do think he's moving towards the light (kicking and screaming aside). He may actually achieve liberation in his (one and only) lifetime. Good luck Chad...keep fighting the (imaginary) demons of ignorance.

      June 16, 2012 at 5:26 pm |
    • Really-O?

      @mandarax –

      For the sake of fairness to Chad-Rachel-Davey-et al, I review the "Chad" posts in response to "Citizen Cane and Firewalker on page 50" and it seems fairly clear – at least to me – that they posts are not the work of Chad-Rachel-Davey-et al. Chad's own words are damning enough; no need to ascribe the nonsense of others to him

      June 16, 2012 at 5:39 pm |
    • Really-O?

      "that they posts" = "that the posts"

      June 16, 2012 at 5:41 pm |
    • Really-O?

      ...and " I review the" = " I reviewed the". Damn I need to improve my proofreading skills.

      June 16, 2012 at 5:42 pm |
    • mandarax

      Chad is over the barrel at this point. Sorry Chad, you have once again crashed and burned.

      June 17, 2012 at 3:08 am |
  11. john

    How many 100s of millions of religious people all treat life like it is a waiting room. Your life is hear and now not after death, so maybe you should treat it like a gift and not a disease. Shout out to all the religous paradise after death nut jobs.

    June 15, 2012 at 9:33 pm |
  12. Atheists get out

    atheists are pure evil and are destroying America get the hell out

    June 15, 2012 at 9:09 pm |
    • artemis3120

      If you have a problem with America, then I think you need to go to a country where religion is given the respect it deserves... like Afghanistan or Iraq.

      Don't agree with their religion? Too bad, that's how religious government works.

      June 15, 2012 at 10:06 pm |
    • Bet

      I've got some "America, Love It or Leave It" bumper stickers left over from the 1960s for you.

      June 15, 2012 at 11:17 pm |
    • Atheists get out

      thanks buddy but i got some

      June 16, 2012 at 12:07 am |
    • Bet

      Good. We wouldn't want you to run out of cliches since you can't think for yourself.

      June 16, 2012 at 12:20 am |
  13. inanutshell

    .......A priest, a rapist, and a child molester walk into a bar,................................then he orders a drink.

    June 15, 2012 at 7:42 pm |
  14. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things,

    June 15, 2012 at 7:29 pm |
    • Peteyroo

      Still praying for personal wealth and for your favorite sports team to win?

      June 15, 2012 at 8:39 pm |
  15. yamnnjr

    And Atheism isn't a religion, you know.

    Ever had an Atheist tell you to prove that Atheism is a religion? Ever heard or read an Atheist scoff at the idea of Atheism being a religion?

    Look, they even have evangelists with congregations that are literally missionaries out to spread the Gospel of no God.

    First there's the prophets, Dawkins, some other scholars, and several Satanist leaders, who btw, don't worship Satan, but the supremacy of man, you know, since there is no God or actual Satan.

    "Atheism isn't a religion," LOLOL, that alone proves that Atheists ignore reality and will blindly adhere to their religion when it suits them to do so. In short, they prove themselves that they aren't objective seekers of truth, but are religious zealots bent on a religious belief that seeks to convert everyone.

    June 15, 2012 at 7:22 pm |
    • HawaiiGuest

      Assertions and ad hominem attacks, non sequitors, and hasty generalization. How many more fallacies are you planning to use in later posts? It's fun picking them out and laughing.

      June 15, 2012 at 7:25 pm |
    • Bet

      Well, I've never had an atheist knock on my door and try to tell me the "good news". I've never seen an atheist standing on the corner with a crowd of his friends, holding signs that say "Non-god condemns homes.exuality". I've never stayed in a hotel room that has atheistic material in the nightstand. I've never heard of an atheist protesting stem cell research, a woman's right to make her own reproductive choices, whether the earth revolves around the sun, or equal pay for equal work. I've never heard of an atheist demanding that someone be denied the right to marry another consenting adult.

      Those are all things that religious people do, though.

      June 15, 2012 at 8:04 pm |
    • mandarax

      People spreading ideas does not make a religion. A religion is a system of rituals and rules surrounding a specific belief in the supernatural. Sorry, you are simply wrong.

      June 15, 2012 at 8:47 pm |
    • artemis3120

      So by using your own definitions, capitalism is a religion now? Democracy is a religion?

      Having and/or spreading an idea does not automatically make that idea a "religion." I think I'm beginning to understand how you feel atheists have no objectivity, and I'm disappointed to say that you may be slightly confused over what objectivity really means.

      June 15, 2012 at 10:09 pm |
    • ene

      so true...its now a belief system, just dat d supreme being here is 'man'.....sad

      June 15, 2012 at 11:22 pm |
    • Trumpy

      It's amazing (and weird) how desperate religious people are to get atheism classified on the same level as themselves–even while decrying it's falsehood and dangers to the soul. Besides the fact that don't truly want it declared a religion–can you imagine their ire when atheists get even more standing for equal space at the city square Christmas parade or when they can form tax free organizations in the vein of churches–atheism simply doesn't meet any of the most basic requisites of being a religion. The fact that some atheists write books and that some atheists read them (i.e., Dawkins) does not raise them to "prophet" status (especially since they don't meet the basic definitions of being prophets–never providing prophesy or claiming to speak on the behalf of higher powers).

      This is another sad, petty attempt to spread misinformation and purposefully seek to misclassify people (for reasons I don't even understand). Lying for Jesus is STILL lying.

      June 16, 2012 at 2:03 pm |
  16. kindness

    I Follow Christ . I never wanted proof. I just had faith.

    HE WHO follows Me, walks not in darkness,” says the Lord (John 8:12). By these words
    of Christ we are advised to imitate His life and habits, if we wish to be truly enlightened and
    free from all blindness of heart. Let our chief effort, therefore, be to study the life of Jesus
    Christ.
    The teaching of Christ is more excellent than all the advice of the saints, and he who
    has His spirit will find in it a hidden manna. Now, there are many who hear the Gospel often
    but care little for it because they have not the spirit of Christ. Yet whoever wishes to understand
    fully the words of Christ must try to pattern his whole life on that of Christ.

    What good does it do to speak learnedly about the Trinity if, lacking humility, you
    displease the Trinity? Indeed it is not learning that makes a man holy and just, but a virtuous
    life makes him pleasing to God. I would rather feel contrition than know how to define it.
    For what would it profit us to know the whole Bible by heart and the principles of all the
    philosophers if we live without grace and the love of God? Vanity of vanities and all is vanity,
    except to love God and serve Him alone.

    This is the greatest wisdom—to seek the kingdom of heaven through contempt of the
    world. It is vanity, therefore, to seek and trust in riches that perish. It is vanity also to court
    honor and to be puffed up with pride. It is vanity to follow the lusts of the body and to desire
    things for which severe punishment later must come. It is vanity to wish for long life and
    to care little about a well-spent life. It is vanity to be concerned with the present only and
    not to make provision for things to come. It is vanity to love what passes quickly and not
    to look ahead where eternal joy abides.
    Often recall the proverb: “The eye is not satisfied with seeing nor the ear filled with
    hearing.”1 Try, moreover, to turn your heart from the love of things visible and bring
    yourself to things invisible. For they who follow their own evil passions stain their consciences
    and lose the grace of God.

    See for yourself. You will be on a battlefield for christ..

    June 15, 2012 at 7:11 pm |
    • yamnnjr

      Yes you did. There are very very few Christians today that haven't seriously contemplated the notion of the existence of God. And I guarantee with the reality of Satan, I seriously doubt any Christian alive today hasn't had the thought come across their mind not only about existence of God, but as to even whether their current doctrine is actually right in the eyes of God.

      Not only that, but the Bible condones it's followers to question things and to reason with God about things. It's this unique concept in the Christian faith that has caused so many different doctrines, and this is why so many from the Christian faith turn to, not another god, but to Atheism. Yet, this kind of turning doesn't happen in a lot of other faiths. No other faith makes the demands of personal sacrifice and responsibility that Christianity does in that failure is simply not an option, yet it is still expected to happen. Other faiths are not targeted by the dark forces of Satan, except perhaps Judaism, but then it's not the faith itself that is targeted, like it is with Christianity, as much as it is the people who come from the line of Jacob who are merely Jews by bloodline rather than by personal faith.

      June 15, 2012 at 7:54 pm |
    • artemis3120

      However, not all of us are content to take things on faith. Many religions would have me believe them on pure faith, with little to no actual evidence that they are correct. How am I to make that decision if I don't use my god-given faculties of intelligence, reason, and logic??

      For the majority of my life, I have searched, implored, prayed to understand, to really believe. For a very long time I did believe. However, because I wanted to learn more about Jesus and his life, where he came from and what I should be doing to please him and live like him, I decided to study my Bible in earnest. Unfortunately, the more I studied and read, the more I doubted my beliefs. I started to realize my own beliefs and sense of morality did not coincide with much of what the Bible preached (and much less of what others would have me believe and think). After a long struggle, I realized I no longer believed in a god.

      I do not see why or how a god would grant me intelligence to think critically, yet expect me to believe claims with little to no evidence. To rely on faith would be to lie to myself, to others, and to the god you'd have me believe in. Why would I do that? Why would anyone do that, much less honor it?

      Having faith is not a thing to be proud of.

      June 15, 2012 at 10:18 pm |
  17. Brandon johns

    This world just could not come out of nothing. Everything has purpose. God has his reasons for not answering prayers the exact way a person wants them to. We aren't meant to know the reasons. The mysteries are still out there and are something we will unravel when the time comes.

    June 15, 2012 at 6:58 pm |
    • Bet

      It could, and it did.

      "It's one of god's mysteries". Another lie religion tells to mollify the deluded masses.

      June 15, 2012 at 8:10 pm |
    • apostate

      We know how the earth was formed, a basic elementary science class will solve that for you.

      June 15, 2012 at 8:11 pm |
    • Trumpy

      The Earth didn't "come out of nothing." It most likely formed from a GMC or solar nebular disk. They teach this in like 6th grade.

      June 16, 2012 at 1:32 pm |
  18. Brandon johns

    The atheist message: A message of no hope and that this short, miserable life is all there is. Such sad people.

    June 15, 2012 at 6:53 pm |
    • Bet

      If your life is miserable, that's your own fault. Maybe taking the stick out of your ass would help.

      June 15, 2012 at 8:07 pm |
    • apostate

      You can think that if you want, but most atheists are formerly religious and are much happier than they ever were. It's nice facing reality and cherishing this short life instead of running from it like a coward and hiding behind an imaginary space father.

      June 15, 2012 at 8:10 pm |
    • Peteyroo

      This is one atheist who has never believed. I attended church/Sunday school all the way through high school and a little beyond. My parents told me that that was the price of living under their roof. I always thought religion was nonsense even as a small child.

      June 15, 2012 at 8:44 pm |
    • john

      Brandon Johns you are an idot. You people all treat life like it is a waiting room. Your life is hear and now not after death, so maybe you should treat it like a gift and not a disease. Shout out to all the religous paradise after death nut jobs.

      June 15, 2012 at 9:30 pm |
    • Trumpy

      I'll take a cold truth to a happy lie ANY day.

      At least if this life is all there is I'll actually live it instead of spending it worrying about the next one.

      June 16, 2012 at 1:26 pm |
  19. Jack

    Good afternoon. Everyone is graciously invited to visit my web site... thestarofkaduri.com

    June 15, 2012 at 5:40 pm |
  20. Reality

    Only for the new members of this blog:

    AND THE INFAMOUS ANGELIC CONS CONTINUE TO WREAK STUPIDITY UPON THE WORLD (said stupidity makes it easy for rational thinkers like the topic preacher to become agnostics and atheists)

    Joe Smith had his Moroni. (As does M. Romney)

    "Latter-day Saints like M. Romney also believe that Michael the Archangel was Adam (the first man) when he was mortal, and Gabriel lived on the earth as Noah."

    Jehovah Witnesses have their Jesus /Michael the archangel, the first angelic being created by God;

    Mohammed had his Gabriel (this "tin-kerbell" got around).

    Jesus and his family had/has Michael, Gabriel, and Satan, the latter being a modern day demon of the demented. (As does BO and his family)

    The Abraham-Moses myths had their Angel of Death and other "no-namers" to do their dirty work or other assorted duties.

    Contemporary biblical and religious scholars have relegated these "pretty wingie/horn-blowing thingies" to the myth pile. We should do the same to include deleting all references to them in our religious operating manuals. Doing this will eliminate the prophet/profit/prophecy status of these founders and put them where they belong as simple humans just like the rest of us.

    June 15, 2012 at 5:24 pm |
    • The Dog Delusion

      jerry dewitt is anything but a rational thinker. his rejection of faith was based on emotional drivel.

      June 15, 2012 at 5:49 pm |
    • mandarax

      Dog, how do you know that?

      June 15, 2012 at 10:27 pm |
    • Reality

      For the rational thinkers out there, some added references to "tink-erbells".

      newadvent.org/cathen/07049c.htm

      "The belief in guardian angels can be traced throughout all antiquity; pagans, like Menander and Plutarch (cf. Euseb., "Praep. Evang.", xii), and Neo-Platonists, like Plotinus, held it. It was also the belief of the Babylonians and As-syrians, as their monuments testify, for a figure of a guardian angel now in the British Museum once decorated an As-syrian palace, and might well serve for a modern representation; while Nabopolassar, father of Nebuchadnezzar the Great, says: "He (Marduk) sent a tutelary deity (cherub) of grace to go at my side; in everything that I did, he made my work to succeed."

      Catholic monks and Dark Age theologians also did their share of hallu-cinating:

      "TUBUAS-A member of the group of angels who were removed from the ranks of officially recognized celestial hierarchy in 745 by a council in Rome under Pope Zachary. He was joined by Uriel, Adimus, Sabaoth, Simiel, and Raguel."

      And tin-ker- bells go way, way back:

      "In Zoroastrianism there are different angel like creatures. For example each person has a guardian angel called Fravashi. They patronize human being and other creatures and also manifest god’s energy. Also, the Amesha Spentas have often been regarded as angels, but they don't convey messages, but are rather emanations of Ahura Mazda ("Wise Lord", God); they appear in an abstract fashion in the religious thought of Zarathustra and then later (during the Achaemenid period of Zoroastrianism) became personalized, associated with an aspect of the divine creation (fire, plants, water...)."

      "The beginnings of the biblical belief in angels must be sought in very early folklore. The gods of the Hitti-tes and Canaanites had their supernatural messengers, and parallels to the Old Testament stories of angels are found in Near Eastern literature. "

      "The 'Magic Papyri' contain many spells to secure just such help and protection of angels. From magic traditions arose the concept of the guardian angel. "

      June 16, 2012 at 12:23 am |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.