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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. emahu

    bieng an atheist is not a solution i rather give you an advic God do exist whiles you exist as a being SIR

    June 16, 2012 at 1:59 pm |
    • Bet

      If you can put that in English you might get a response.

      June 16, 2012 at 5:08 pm |
  2. Jack

    God is good – his love endures forever. Everyone is welcome to visit – thestarofkaduri.com

    June 16, 2012 at 1:51 pm |
  3. AZV

    omg ... Adam, maybe Atheists have plenty of "reasons", such as the Catholic Pedophile Cover Up, Jim Baker, Haggard, then the fringes of Jim Jones. There is tons more controversy in organized "religion" than any phase of Evolution, Wiccan, Creationism, Darwinism, etc. Interestingly the "believers" here have become defensive, using symantecs, grammar police, & verbal-judo to attempt an explanation ... not one of you have explained your personal relationship with "Him", only quoting scripture, like brainwashed sheeple. Why can't you simply sit on your Patio, with a nice cup of Joe, and say your Thank You's, instead of being required to gather at some "holy" building? Everyone claims to be the "right" religon, but in the end we all go to the same place; the Compost heap.

    June 16, 2012 at 1:30 pm |
  4. Herewe Goagain

    He just likes to talk, thats all. Now he is making money talking about something else.

    June 16, 2012 at 12:00 pm |
  5. smk

    When God ALONE is mentioned, the hearts of those who do not believe in the Hereafter shrink with aversion. But when others are mentioned beside Him, they become satisfied.[Quran 39:45]

    When they are told, "Believe like the people who believed," they say, "Shall we believe like the fools who believed?" In fact, it is they who are fools, but they do not know. [Quran 2:13]

    O people, worship only your Lord – the One who created you and those before you – that you may be saved. [Quran 2:21]

    If you have any doubt regarding what we revealed to our servant*, then produce one sura like these, and call upon your own witnesses against God, if you are truthful. If you cannot do this – and you can never do this – then beware of the Hellfire, whose fuel is people and rocks; it awaits the disbelievers. [Quran 2:23-24]

    [Quran 6:116] If you obey the majority of people on earth, they will divert you from the path of God. They follow only conjecture; they only guess.

    “Proclaim, He is the One and only GOD. The Absolute GOD. Never did He beget. Nor was He begotten. None equals Him." [112:1]

    “They even attribute to Him sons and daughters, without any knowledge. Be He glorified. He is the Most High, far above their claims.” Quran [6:100]

    “The example of Jesus, as far as GOD is concerned, is the same as that of Adam; He created him from dust, then said to him, "Be," and he was.” Quran [3:59]

    “No soul can carry the sins of another soul. If a soul that is loaded with sins implores another to bear part of its load, no other soul can carry any part of it, even if they were related. ... [35:18]

    Thanks for taking time to read my post. Please take a moment to clear your misconception by going to whyIslam org website.

    June 16, 2012 at 11:59 am |
    • binderdundat

      Smuk all religion is misconception. Yours too. No website spamming please. Stuff your website you know where.

      Smack!

      June 16, 2012 at 12:34 pm |
    • AZV

      English please, not some regergitated word play. Do you speak to your co-workers that way? come on, help a laymen out!

      June 16, 2012 at 1:46 pm |
  6. vohio

    It amazes me that people take something and blow it into a political debate about Canada, about right and wrong. The bottom line is as humans we are one "country". Debate the issue – atheist vs christian; belief vs non belief; if I label myself anything I am not that thing?

    I believe in a higher power, yes God; but who is God? Is the just another label? Who is Budda? another label? What about Mother Nature? another label? The belief in heaven and hell; or freedom and prison is just that, a belief. Can a HUMAN be in prison that does not have walls? Can a HUMAN in prison be free? It is all a state of mind. I live "free" but am in prison the prison of society. Do this, don't do that. This is right, that is wrong. Why do HUMANS insist that their way is the right way? If you believe in heaven that is your reality if you neighbor does not then well to put it point blank that is their choose and in your reality they will burn in hell, their choose, in your reality, but maybe not theirs!

    By the way I do believe in an "after life" I am not there yet, so I am not really sure what it is, but in my reality it is where I will be free of all the ignorance and judgement of the HUMANS and be embraced with the love of a higher power. I do also believe in hell – that is were you will feel the judgement and pain you have caused others, tenfold.

    June 16, 2012 at 11:56 am |
    • Roxie

      My afterlife is the flowers that will bloom on the top of my grave after my body and my cardboard coffin have been consumed by the little worms and microbes in the soil. I'll be beautiful again.

      June 16, 2012 at 12:00 pm |
    • ME II

      @Roxie,
      Ramen!

      June 16, 2012 at 12:05 pm |
  7. Don

    Mr. DeWitt, welcome to the age of reason! But do not use atheism to make money.

    June 16, 2012 at 11:53 am |
  8. John 3:16

    I thought Atheists weren't supposed to care anyway. Yet, every Atheist I know is adamant about attacking any Christian and anything they say and having reasons for it. You don't believe in anything so why are you so passionate about what Christians belief and fighting against it? Sort of hypocritical, wouldn't you say? Seems like Atheism may be "Me, Me, Me" as well, seeing as how you want everyone to agree with you on nothing. That's right, you're literally trying to convince/get people to agree WITH you about NOTHING. If you believe in Nothing, why do you care so much? You believe in NOTHING. Being hostile toward religious people or their beliefs doesn't make you any better than religious people who exude hate. You are just as arrogant. "Judge not, lest ye be judged"--I am not judging anyone on this post because it is not my right. I believe prayer does mean something, to pray for others? that is to truly love and be loved.

    June 16, 2012 at 11:01 am |
    • John 3:16

      *believe, stupid autocorrect!

      June 16, 2012 at 11:02 am |
    • Just Claims, No Truth

      Why atheists respond to Christians and why it matters

      Christian camp "You cannot find true happiness unless you accept Christ as your savior"

      Atheist "I'm fine, thanks."

      Christian camp "Maybe you don't understand, only Christians can be happy, and we want this country of America to be happy so we must be Christians!"

      Atheist "No thanks, as I said, I'm fine."

      Christian camp "Well if you can't understand we will just get a majority to pass legislation to force you to obey Christian laws, we'll put references to our God on your money, we'll make your children proclaim "One nation, under God" in your pledge, we will deny the rights of legal relationships to those who don't follow our biblical custom of one man and one woman, we will ban the right of a mother to terminate a pregnancy based on our belief that a fertilized egg has an ever living soul, we will denigrate and persecute those who do not accept our truth, we will get a tax exempt status for our Church so they will not be chipping in when it comes to providing real benefits to all Americans, we will put a litmus test on any and all elected positions to make it almost impossible for a non-believer to be elected to any position of power. And on top of that if you complain we will say you are the ones being hateful. I mean, why do you spend time on these boards bashing us, why do you even care?..."

      Atheist "Fvck you guys..."

      Christian camp "See, so much hate..."

      June 16, 2012 at 11:20 am |
    • stupid followed to it's logical conclusion

      becomes an atheist, thanks for the illustration "just claims"

      June 16, 2012 at 11:22 am |
    • Diana DoubleD

      And christians attack everyone else...so it's even

      June 16, 2012 at 11:23 am |
    • Just Claims, No Truth

      At least I provide an actual argument. Your argument consists of call me stupid.....nuff said.

      June 16, 2012 at 11:40 am |
    • One one

      If you kept your little fantasies to yourself and didn't insist on special accommodations we wouldn't care. But you don't. You get tax breaks and keep trying to push your mambo jumbo juju into the public space.

      June 16, 2012 at 11:47 am |
    • Tony Smith

      Honey, this is just an article. Breathe. No one is kidnapping you and forcing you to attend his conferences - or even read this article.

      June 16, 2012 at 11:49 am |
    • Sandy

      You don't know enough atheists.

      June 16, 2012 at 12:14 pm |
    • mandarax

      Just claims, your first response sums it up nicely (only I would also add something about limiting your children's education to what meets Christian approval, and limiting scientific research to what conforms to Christian beliefs).

      But so many Christians feel so entitled, and are so use to getting their way, that they don't even see the problem. These things are simply "right" and anyone who disagrees with them should just shut their mouths and go along with it anyway.

      June 16, 2012 at 12:20 pm |
    • Canadian Bacon

      @ Just Claims: Well said, not only with regard to the argument, but with regard to pointing out the counter-argument consisting of name-calling. Why is it that so many followers and believers simply resort to that tactic? Doesn't your belief system stand up to the slightest discussion?

      June 16, 2012 at 12:20 pm |
    • Jen

      I agree just claims. Very well put.

      June 16, 2012 at 12:27 pm |
    • GinoBald

      Just Claims, No Truth: Your "Christian Camp" comments are wonderful!

      June 16, 2012 at 12:28 pm |
    • Denise

      Totally agree with Just Claims, No Truth. Great, appropriate response. I'll remember that one.

      June 16, 2012 at 12:37 pm |
    • AZV

      LoL ~ Just Claims, No Truth: Exactly how the conversation goes! Personally, I'm happier knowing I don't have to stress about what "bad" I might have done, or if I met my quota of converts, or how I might look to my fellow followers if they learned of my less than pristine lifestyle .... oooh, gotta love the Freedom of Free Thinking; Now THAT's a blessing :0)

      June 16, 2012 at 1:53 pm |
  9. retiredcoach

    To believe that there is no God- is to accept the fact that all living things are the accidental product
    of a purposeless universe. Stop right there and THINK! To then believe that there is no God-no Creation-no Jesus who became human and lived and died (seen by hundreds after his resurrection) is to believe that the plants,animals, and amazing and awesome balance of life and functions of the human body-ALL JUST ACCIDENTALLY EVOLVED!
    There IS A GOD-HE DID CREATE and we who have faith enough to believe and have seen God work in our lives (sure people die in accidents and from disease-and yes,we want to know why God allowed that awful happening) but that is not enough to go off the "straight and narrow" and UN-believe!
    There IS a heaven and a Hell-God's inspired Text Book tells all about it-and predicted thousands of years ahead that this would all take place!
    "God so loved the world... gave His Son... those who believe... will have everlasting LIFE!"
    So simple -a child can do this!

    June 16, 2012 at 10:49 am |
    • TruthPrevails :-)

      Could you provide the evidence to back your as.sinine spewing? Or you the type of coach Sandusky was?

      June 16, 2012 at 10:59 am |
    • TruthPrevails :-)

      Could you provide the evidence to back your as.sinine spewing? Or are you the type of coach Sandusky was?

      June 16, 2012 at 10:59 am |
    • stupid followed to it's logical conclusion

      Becomes an atheist.

      June 16, 2012 at 11:05 am |
    • JWT

      There is no heaven, there is no hell, there is no god. I have a book around here somewhere that says all this.

      June 16, 2012 at 11:26 am |
    • Just Claims, No Truth

      You are making 2 claims,

      There is a god

      It is your god.

      Both are pure conjecture. There is no evidence other than the extremely flawed gospels that Jesus rose from being dead. If anyone actually rose from being dead one of the historians at the time would have wrote about it. There are no contemporary historians to Jesus who wrote about him or ANY of the supernatural claims attributed to him.

      Bottom line is you have no real reason to think any of it is true.

      June 16, 2012 at 11:35 am |
    • ME II

      @retiredcoach,
      " to believe that the plants,animals, and amazing and awesome balance of life and functions of the human body-ALL JUST ACCIDENTALLY EVOLVED!"
      Evolution is not accidental. Natural selection causes the better adapted to reproduce more successfully. That's not accidental.

      June 16, 2012 at 11:57 am |
    • truth be told

      stupid would be a step up for you and your arguments

      June 16, 2012 at 12:15 pm |
    • Smite Them

      @truth be told,

      You are stupid.

      June 16, 2012 at 12:30 pm |
    • Bet

      Could you provide some valid historical evidence as to these "hundreds of people" who saw Jesus after he died? Not bible verses, since you can't prove who wrote those. Unless you have an edition signed by one of the "apostles", carbon dated and DNA verified.

      The Roman guard likely would have investigated any rumors of this criminal who was executed and came back to life. Of course, they probably would have also checked into a guy who was catering picnics for thousands, healing blind and sick people and raising dead folks to life, and there's no evidence of that either.

      June 16, 2012 at 1:30 pm |
    • One one

      And it takes a child to believe it.

      June 16, 2012 at 1:53 pm |
  10. Buck Mast

    T said it best.For it is easy to see he was religious but he was never "Born Again"

    June 16, 2012 at 10:24 am |
    • Bet

      Do I hear bagpipes?

      June 16, 2012 at 1:32 pm |
  11. julius

    Destined!

    June 16, 2012 at 9:45 am |
    • Bet

      Alpaca!

      June 16, 2012 at 1:40 pm |
    • AZV

      Demon Llama !

      June 16, 2012 at 1:56 pm |
  12. One one

    How sad. He finally woke up but his congregation still wants to hear sweet little lies.

    Religion makes people feel good to think they have a personal relationship with THE all powerful creator of the universe who loves them and will protect them.

    Their beliefs and values are aligned with god, therefore they must be 100% right.

    When they die, they get to go to heaven for eternal bliss.

    Finally, they have the satisfaction of knowing all those who doubted them will suffer god's eternal wrath.

    In the end, religious belief is really all about ME, ME, and, ME.

    June 16, 2012 at 9:40 am |
    • mandarax

      I could not agree more.

      June 16, 2012 at 10:28 am |
    • Sandy

      Very well said!

      June 16, 2012 at 12:20 pm |
  13. Dave Dawson

    The Department of Corrections are always interested in cases like this.
    Right now, the Department of Corrections is extremely interested in Barack Obama too.
    Do you know anyone else the Department of Corrections should be interested in?
    Google(US Department of Corrections + your state).
    But I ask you this ...
    Can corrective action be achieved in the community?
    Perhaps it is posse time.

    June 16, 2012 at 9:39 am |
  14. T

    Sad thing.... The man never had a TRUE RELATIONSHIP with Jesus Christ...PERIOD.

    June 16, 2012 at 8:21 am |
    • Canadian Bacon

      Like not having a TRUE RELATIONSHIP with Santa? Or the Easter Bunny? Or the Loch Ness Monster? Or Sasquatch? Or Zeus? Or Thor? Or Poseidon? Or Ra? Or Pan? Or Kumarbi? Or Shiva? Or Gitche Manitou? Or Baiame? Or Nyame? Or Quetzacoatl? Or Hadad? Or Dagda? Or Shangdi? Or Nana Buluku? Or Horus? Or Ukko? Or Tyr? Or Tupa? Or Raven? Or Janus? Or – well, perhaps you get the picture.

      June 16, 2012 at 8:39 am |
    • No one gives a sh it

      what Canada has to say about anything... ass hole !

      June 16, 2012 at 8:42 am |
    • AtheistSteve

      Right...No connection with Jesus whatsoever....That's why he was a pentacostal preacher for 25 YEARS. Bugs you doesn't it to wonder if the guy at the pulpit in YOUR church might also be a closeted atheist.

      June 16, 2012 at 8:45 am |
    • Canadian Bacon

      Oh, No One – aren't you the little scamp! What a clever response! Good boy! Now, here's a pat on the head, and a nice lolli! Now go play with the other toddlers.

      June 16, 2012 at 8:46 am |
    • No one gives a sh it

      what any Canadian has to say ...if their opinion was important they would have a forum in their own country ... ass holes !

      June 16, 2012 at 8:48 am |
    • Canadian Bacon

      Oh, No One! Now, sit down here, and I'll explain. Slow-ly. In teeny, tiny words. The Internet IS in this country. And in your country. And in other countries, too! So this forum (that's a big word, isn't it?) is in all of those countries! Did you know that there ARE other countries out there? Really! I know it's hard for you to understand that, and it's kinda scary, too, isn't it? That means you have to learn to play nice with other countries – just like you need to learn to play nice with your other toddler friends in your little sandbox.

      Now, if you try really, really hard, maybe you can say something smart and cogent. Do you know what that means? No? Oh, dear, this may take a while . . . . .

      June 16, 2012 at 8:58 am |
    • No one gives a sh it

      about what you Canadians have to say ... period. I don't give a sh it if the internet is on the moon no one wants to hear from you at all...ass hole !

      June 16, 2012 at 9:00 am |
    • Canadian Bacon

      Oh, No One. You sound grumpy? Why so grumpy, l'il guy? Are you wettums again? Did you make a poopie in your diaper again? Need your bottle? Is that why you're sad? Or are you sad because you're so dumb you make a lump of dirt look like a genius, you couldn't put two words together to form a coherent thought, and your intellectual peak came when you finally graduated from grade 8 – after 3 tries. Idiot. Moron. Fool. Waste of human skin. The best part of you ran down your mommy's leg after your daddy finished doing her in the alley. You're so stupid your picture appears as the first hit when anyone Googles "Stupid". You're so ugly your mother (she of the aforementioned goo-slicked thigh) had to tie a pork chop around your neck so the neighbourhood dogs would play with you. Sharp as a tack and twice as flat-headed.

      June 16, 2012 at 9:13 am |
    • Bet

      "No on"e is the perfect example of stupid American christians who think that the entire world revolves around them and should bow to them. They're a national embarrassment and the main reason we are perceived as imperialistic, self-righteous, ignorant bullies around the world.

      June 16, 2012 at 1:18 pm |
    • mandarax

      Yeah, why should we listen to a Canadian? You , and your well-educated population living at a relatively high standard of living, with your universal access to health care, your low crime rates and your citizens that are known around the world for even-tempered politeness. Here in 'merica we hate that crap.

      June 16, 2012 at 2:30 pm |
    • TruthPrevails :-)

      mandarax: Feel to join our great country. The only problem is that our Prime Minister is a bit of an ass but he's only there for another 2.5 years.

      June 16, 2012 at 3:53 pm |
    • Jen

      Not a fan of Harper Truthprevails? I have to admit I was totally freaked out when he was elected but he hasn't been as bad as I thought.

      I moved to the US a few years ago and I miss Canadian politics!! So much less divisive. I also didn't appreciate the fact that I don't know what Harper's wife's name is or what she looks like, how many kids he has, etc etc (and I was living in his hometown of Calgary when he was elected). Unlike here where the president getting a dog makes front page news 🙂

      June 16, 2012 at 4:00 pm |
    • TruthPrevails :-)

      Jen: Not a fan at all, look up his recent fiasco (Bill C-38). I didn't vote for him and it doesn't look like he will serve another term. The recent talk is that the Liberals and NDP might join forces. Both AtheistSteve and I are NDP supporters.
      I agree we are less divisive on a great many issues. When we hear the arguments about same se.x marriage, prayer in schools, the general crap the repluitard circus is pulling it baffles us as to why in the time we live this is still going on. I couldn't imagine life without healthcare or equality across the board.

      June 16, 2012 at 4:30 pm |
    • Jen

      I didn't vote for him either (the first time, I was not in Canada subsequently). The stuff he talked about in his campaign scared the h-ll out of me (talking about revisiting abortion legislation,etc). But then I kind of realized he was just pandering to the right and really was lying about all that. It was interesting living in Alberta though (cause I'm a BC girl), where everyone loves him.

      Living in the US is even crazier though. I live in MA which is one of the most liberal states (would NEVER live in the bible belt). But you're right. The things that are issues....it's like I moved back to a time before I was born. Don't get me started on healthcare. I miss that too (take away politics, religion and healthcare differences and I like it here 🙂

      June 16, 2012 at 4:45 pm |
  15. Jack

    Good morning everyone, you are welcome to visit ... thestarofkaduri.com

    June 16, 2012 at 7:10 am |
    • ...

      report abuse on this spam bs

      June 16, 2012 at 8:48 am |
    • ME II

      Why??

      June 16, 2012 at 12:00 pm |
  16. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things ,

    June 16, 2012 at 6:17 am |
    • Canadian Bacon

      And the 9/11 terrorists "changed" the Manhattan skyline. I can imagine that a lot of people on those 4 doomed planes were doing a lot of praying that terrible day – how'd that work out for them and their families? Science will fly you to the moon; religion flies you into buildings.

      June 16, 2012 at 7:27 am |
    • No one gives a sh it

      since Manhatten isn't in Canada, we will deal with our own enemies ...ass hole

      June 16, 2012 at 8:44 am |
    • TruthPrevails :-)

      No-one: I understand your comprehension skills are lacking but you must be reminded that Canada sent in men and women also to fight that war, so YES WE DO GET A SAY!!! Once again Captain ass (we know that is who you really are)-this is an international web-site on the World Wide Web and freedom of speech exists-you will NEVER silence us. Now get back to the asylum...the men in the white coats will be at your room soon with your meds and this site will know peace again for another week (or until you escape again).

      June 16, 2012 at 9:04 am |
    • Jen

      And Canada will ship it's oil to China instead no one. Have fun walking to work.....

      June 16, 2012 at 9:08 am |
    • AtheistSteve

      Not to mention that Canadians were also killed when the Towers fell. Funny how that whole world economy thing means that representatives from lots of countries do commerce in the US everyday. But that's all a bit over your head isn't it CA. Oh yes we know it's you...changing your handle doesn't hide your acerbic personality. Rant and rave all you want...we Canadians will always be tuned into what goes on south of the border because what affect you also affects us.

      June 16, 2012 at 9:15 am |
    • Jen

      Good point Steve. I remember living in Vancouver and watching planes diverted from the US landing at our airport. According to no one we should have told them 'nope, you can't land here. This has nothing to do with us. Go back to the States.'

      June 16, 2012 at 9:26 am |
  17. Perhaps

    They find more money in atheism.

    June 16, 2012 at 4:24 am |
    • mandarax

      That's hilarious! Maybe they could even become elementary school teachers and REALLY rake in the big bucks!

      June 16, 2012 at 10:30 am |
    • John 3:16

      Totally agreed, lol. Looks like he wants sympathy and more money.

      June 16, 2012 at 10:51 am |
    • Roxie

      You should meet Jerry. He is the same wonderful person he was before he came to his senses aka lost his faith.

      Jerry loves people and wants nothing but to help them. He just wants his help to be efficacious and not based on wishful thinking. I would encourage you to watch any interview with him. This is a good one: http://blip.tv/the-atheist-experience-tv-show/atheist-experience-764-recovering-from-religion-6184248

      I think it is particularly visible in his response to the first question when he talks to the woman who is suffering at the hands of her former "friends."

      June 16, 2012 at 11:41 am |
    • Roxie

      Also, you did not read the article very well. Jerry is suffering financially as a result of his honest rejection of his former life. How is that more money in atheism than in churchifying? I think you will find there is a LOT more money in the tickling of ears as a pastor. I'm looking at the top of this screen and I see Creflo Dollar. I can think of several other men and women of god who are multi-millionaires, even when they preach "helping the poor." I can think of no atheists who are wealthy as a result of their atheism instead of as a result of their hard work (Bill Gates, Warren Buffet, Todd Stiefel)

      June 16, 2012 at 11:56 am |
  18. What good people could get from atheism?

    N-O-N-E-!

    June 16, 2012 at 4:22 am |
  19. Prayer Change Things

    PROVEN!

    June 16, 2012 at 4:16 am |
  20. Freewill

    "DeWitt was first confronted with his disbelief when he “became the person who got the burden of preaching about hell,” he said."

    Good for him, he's now finally in the place of what he has been preaching.

    June 16, 2012 at 3:07 am |
    • Canadian Bacon

      Freewill, are you a Christian? Because it appears to please you to think that someone will burn in a place of fiery torment forever and ever and ever and ever and ever simply because they are using the brain that your god supposedly gave them to rationally think and consider. How could that thought – that someone will go through eternal torture for a thought – bring pleasure to you? That's a really twisted and hateful thing to think. This is one reason why a lot of people take issue with hardline religion – it is based on, and fosters, hate. Not love. Hate.

      June 16, 2012 at 7:31 am |
    • Bet

      I really don't understand the joy that christians take in the idea of eternal torture for anyone who doesn't agree with them. Especially when they follow it up with "god is love' and "love the sinner, hate the sin" and other cliched pap.

      June 16, 2012 at 1:35 pm |
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About this blog

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