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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. Truth

    Black christians are all uncle toms. Christianity was invented by the same people that enslaved you. Have a little respect for yourselves.

    June 17, 2012 at 3:27 pm |
    • Bet

      Prissy, no one responded because we were too busy laughing.

      June 18, 2012 at 11:49 am |
    • Bet

      @ truth

      This was supposed to go below the vids in response to Prissy 123456789.

      June 18, 2012 at 11:54 am |
  2. HELL IS REAL!

    [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CB6_QMHf0Uk&w=640&h=360]

    June 17, 2012 at 3:23 pm |
  3. Jesus Saves!

    [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q1mfNys9t6I&w=640&h=360]

    June 17, 2012 at 3:22 pm |
    • PRISM 1234

      Anyone notice how the loud mouth atheists make wide circles around the powerful testimonies of people like this man?!

      And this is one POWERFUL testimony!

      Where are the mockers?! Afraid of the dark?

      June 17, 2012 at 10:42 pm |
  4. teaformorons

    Ok folks, don't be afraid about hell. Anybody who didn't follow Jesus will end up in hell, which means you are likely to find Buddha, Moses and Gandhi there.

    June 17, 2012 at 1:55 pm |
    • Firewalker

      Ecc. 9 and Ez. 18:20. Read them and get back to me about what Hell really is and who is there.

      June 17, 2012 at 2:49 pm |
    • Truth

      Firewalker: you should go to a library and read about dinosaurs, cro-magnon, neanderthal, carbon dating, logic etc. Fairy tales in the bible have little merit in reality.

      June 17, 2012 at 3:20 pm |
    • Firewalker

      Clearly you didn't do the assigned reading... I won't spoil it for you. Every good teacher will make you look it up for your self. Furthermore, any one who knows my writing, knows I am the library... Reference section especially.

      June 17, 2012 at 3:57 pm |
  5. I BELIEVE

    Philippians 2:10-11
    That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth;
    And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

    June 17, 2012 at 10:06 am |
    • JWT

      pass on bowing and scarping to them – imaginary or real – they are not worthy of it.

      June 17, 2012 at 10:33 am |
    • Seyedibar

      Some tongues have studied science and history and won't be professing anything about 2000 year old folktales that are easily dismissed as myth .It's disturbing that people in the 21st century can still believe in talking snakes, burning bushes, and necromancy.

      June 17, 2012 at 11:02 am |
    • PRISM 1234

      O, YES, you will, Seyedibar! YOU WILL bow before Christ Jesus.....not as unto your Saviour, but JUDGE!

      June 17, 2012 at 12:41 pm |
    • JWT

      Oh Prism you are just soooo funny, clueless but funny.

      June 17, 2012 at 1:54 pm |
    • wrong side of the bed

      Hmmm,I wonder if any of his former church buddies are praying that he spends eternity burning in hell?I'm thinking ..YES.It's a good thing that prayer is complete nonsense because,if it were real,these bible thumpers would have created hell on earth centuries ago.

      June 17, 2012 at 2:01 pm |
  6. JDJ

    THIS IS INSANE!!!! How do you start as a pastor and then decide you don't believe in the word you been preaching anymore?

    June 17, 2012 at 9:41 am |
    • JWT

      Easy – you lose your faith.

      June 17, 2012 at 9:49 am |
    • DJP

      Sounds like he gave in to the presssures Satan provided and forgot that God will not tempt beyond what you are able.

      June 17, 2012 at 9:56 am |
    • Seyedibar

      it's not shocking. People often grow wiser with age... Converesely there are many wih a desire to trade their wisdom for comfort and join a religion at a late age.

      June 17, 2012 at 11:04 am |
    • Arvoasitis

      It works the other way too. Upon his retirement, Pontius Pilate converted to Christianity and came to be numbered among teh saints by a half dozen of the earliest Christian churches.

      June 17, 2012 at 11:30 am |
    • Steve

      You don't.

      June 17, 2012 at 12:12 pm |
    • Bet

      @ Arvoasitis

      There is no historical evidence that Pilate became a christian. Those stories are just myths.

      June 17, 2012 at 12:24 pm |
    • Arvoasitis

      @Bet
      Of course, you may be right. I note that Collier's Encyclopedia says: "In later years it was claimed that Pilate became a Christian, and the Copts and Abyssinians rank him among the saints. His wife, Procula, has also been canonized in the Greek Church."

      June 17, 2012 at 1:32 pm |
    • phoenix224

      You learn what the bible says.

      June 17, 2012 at 1:52 pm |
    • Bet

      "It was claimed" is not exactly compelling evidence.

      "It was claimed" that the loch ness monster exists.

      "It was claimed" that Joe Blow saw a yeti.

      June 18, 2012 at 11:51 am |
  7. The Corrector

    I've been told that I'm a much thinner version of Friar Tuck.
    So where's Robin Hood?

    June 17, 2012 at 9:00 am |
  8. what

    So now Fools are proud to come out and are preachin?!?!?

    June 17, 2012 at 7:45 am |
    • alphabatt1

      No, they are simply thinkin'.

      June 17, 2012 at 8:58 am |
  9. World Religion

    John 15:18 If the world hate you. The world is the unregenerate portion of mankind. It hated and slew the Lord. It has never loved his disciples. Satan is its prince.

    June 17, 2012 at 7:00 am |
    • JWT

      No god and no satan. Simple enough

      June 17, 2012 at 7:18 am |
    • alphabatt1

      Rejoice, Satan is only in your mind!

      June 17, 2012 at 8:59 am |
  10. Everett Wallace

    always have been unbelieving

    June 17, 2012 at 2:52 am |
  11. PRISM 1234

    There comes a time when God says ".....Pray not thou for this people, neither lift up cry nor prayer for them, neither make intercession to me: for I will not hear ...." like He said to His prophet of old, Jeremiah. I believe HE is saying the same now. Some people have shaken their fists in the face of God for so long, refusing His hand of mercy, provoking His wrath, that He says now 'pray no more for these reprobates. Let their iniquities pile up as coals of fire, reserved for the Day of their judgment! And do not cast your pearls before swine, but let them willow in the mire they so love to wallow in' It is grieving to the Spirit of God even to talk to them about the love of God what Jesus s did on the Cross for them . I feel in my spirit that God has turned them over, and they have crossed the point separating themselves from God's mercy. There is only one thing that remains for them, and it is the Encounter that will come soon enough.....

    June 17, 2012 at 1:16 am |
    • Bet

      You take such joy in wishing hell on anyone who disagrees with you. How christian.

      June 17, 2012 at 2:55 am |
    • JWT

      No god hence no wrath.

      June 17, 2012 at 7:19 am |
    • PRISM 1234

      God has no pleasure in perishing of the wicked. Neither do His people. But the judgment that's coming is demanded by His justice. And God's people will rejoice in the Day of His justice!

      June 17, 2012 at 12:32 pm |
    • YeahRight

      "God has no pleasure in perishing of the wicked. Neither do His people. But the judgment that's coming is demanded by His justice. And God's people will rejoice in the Day of His justice!"

      Oh you mean if your god really existed it would kill and torture for all eternity 67% of people on this planet because they don't believe in YOUR god. That's roughly 4 Billion people. That isn't a just and loving god that is a monster. Your cult is a menace to our society and in order to move forward to a greater morality your cult needs to be dissolved.

      June 17, 2012 at 12:36 pm |
    • Oracle

      I picture PRISM as one of the ancient Greeks in his tunic and sandals, throwing himself onto the steps of the Parthenon, bewailing the passing of the belief in Zeus and predicting (yea, promising) dire consequences for those who rejected it.

      June 17, 2012 at 12:51 pm |
  12. Dr. Wyatt

    With a masters in psych, I can only chuckle reading this with open eyes and logical thought.

    "Great, yet another religion. Except his is the ONLY one... Irony at its finest... Preach on... err...yet another oxymoron"

    June 17, 2012 at 12:46 am |
    • Bet

      What does mentioning your freakin' masters in psychology have to do with anything but massaging your own ego?

      June 17, 2012 at 2:57 am |
    • alphabatt1

      Hitler preached......the Dali Lama preaches; all the same right?

      June 17, 2012 at 9:02 am |
  13. Jen

    I am praying for anyone who does not know Jesus Christ as their Lord & saviour, He was truly done miracles in my life and in my daughters. Part of me gets angry at these comments that are so disrespectful to God who is so holy and loves everyone of us so much He sent Jesus but the other part of me is just heartbroken but if you refuse to accept Him now one day will come when you will confess Him.Romans 14:11For it is written: “As I live, says the LORD, Every knee shall bow to Me, And every tongue shall confess to God.” Even if there wasn't heaven to gain I will still serve the Lord all the days of my life b/c i know what Hes had done for me and how much he loves me. I Can't wait to meet Jesus face 2 face!!

    June 16, 2012 at 11:06 pm |
    • YNot

      Well, why wait? You can go meet Him now. What's stopping you?

      June 16, 2012 at 11:08 pm |
    • dilberth

      Oh please Jen. Get off this planet posthaste.

      June 17, 2012 at 3:50 am |
    • Jen

      For whoever stole my handle,

      At least ATTEMPT to copy my writing style. I don't write in text format (only stupid people do), and I don't write like a four year old (the level of education this poster has).

      June 17, 2012 at 7:36 am |
    • alphabatt1

      Jesus also said "I have not come to bring peace, but a sword", Matthew 10:34-36.

      June 17, 2012 at 9:08 am |
    • wrong side of the bed

      You will live with Jesus for eternity and witness the non-believers being tortured for all time.Have fun with that.

      June 17, 2012 at 2:17 pm |
  14. Firewalker

    Curiouser & curiouser Flash. You are so omniscient about what others Know or Believe, are you perhaps God himself?

    June 16, 2012 at 10:15 pm |
    • Flash

      No more so than PRIGM, who seems to KNOW what this preacher KNEW and didn't KNOW. My response was to him.

      June 16, 2012 at 10:21 pm |
  15. PRISM 1234

    It doesn't matter how many opinion there is, and how many religious ministers deny God. God IS and He always WILL BE! This man NEVER KNEW the Lord. There are many in today's Christendom that bear the Name of Jesus but they don't KNOW HIM.

    June 16, 2012 at 9:42 pm |
    • Flash

      Neither do you.

      June 16, 2012 at 9:45 pm |
    • rainman

      Why is it that whenever someone loses their faith it is always "they never truly...." Well you dont truly know reason

      June 16, 2012 at 10:26 pm |
    • PRISM 1234

      "Why is it that whenever someone loses their faith it is always "they never truly...." Well you don't truly know reason"
      Yes we DO know the reason , because God's Word declares it and His Spirit testifies to it!

      June 16, 2012 at 11:55 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Could you possibly BE more arrogant OR ignorant, Prissy? You're a walking example of stupidity and self-congratulatory pride.

      June 17, 2012 at 12:01 am |
    • Bet

      I hear bagpipes. Oh, look, a true Scotsman!

      June 17, 2012 at 12:44 am |
    • I BELIEVE

      Well said

      June 17, 2012 at 10:10 am |
  16. Arvoasitis

    A living religion functions at the ritual, emotional and intellectual level. A decaying religion degenerates into inflexible systems of belief and oppressive moral fantasies. Unfortunately, history shows that the degeneration of a religion (or moral philosophy) begins as soon as the founder leaves the scene. As Christianity becomes ever more irrelevant, enter the atheists, who rely on intellect and integrity, and who grasp the idea that if everyone understood and lived by a few universal principles there would be no need for moral rules and regulations. To have atheists in the pulpit is nothing new; but their staying there is certainly an example of "bad faith."

    June 16, 2012 at 9:29 pm |
    • Felix Felixes

      As if there were not enough problems in the world to fight about... What I find troubling is that the atheist movement is simply another religion. A religion promligating the disbelief in God. Why there are certainly idealoges who use christianity as a vehilice of hate, the majority of judeo christan organizations activley seek to promote a message of helping and loving others. Christian churches provide BILLIONS of dollars to support causes that feed and clothes people all over the world. How can an organization like Atheists United or whatever its called denounce the message and actions of truly christian organizations which is to love and serve others? I have yet to see any atheist organizations go into the congo, into indo china, russia, basically everywhere and give people some hope, which, whether a true or false hope at least allows them some comfort both physically and emotionally in their lives. Are Atheists objecting to the beliefs that propelled Mother Teresa to help thousands or that would chastise John Paul for greeting and touching lepers? Christianiy whether real or imagined led to the rise of democracy, the end of slavery, the belief that all individuals are created equal. It has shaped us into a more caring and tolerant world, (and I speak of Christians in fact, not "christians" by declaration.) To live a life like Christ, which is to say a life of humility charity and love is hardly something worth destroying even if one disagrees with its premises. Can atheism offer something of greater value then the virtues that motivate true Christians? No.

      June 17, 2012 at 3:24 am |
    • Jim Jones

      As if there were not enough problems in the world to fight about... What I find troubling is that the atheist movement is simply another religion. A religion promligating the disbelief in God. Why there are certainly idealoges who use christianity as a vehilice of hate, the majority of judeo christan organizations activley seek to promote a message of helping and loving others. Christian churches provide BILLIONS of dollars to support causes that feed and clothes people all over the world. How can an organization like Atheists United or whatever its called denounce the message and actions of truly christian organizations which is to love and serve others? I have yet to see any atheist organizations go into the congo, into indo china, russia, basically everywhere and give people some hope, which, whether a true or false hope at least allows them some comfort both physically and emotionally in their lives. Are Atheists objecting to the beliefs that propelled Mother Teresa to help thousands or that would chastise John Paul for greeting and touching lepers? Christianiy whether real or imagined led to the rise of democracy, the end of slavery, the belief that all individuals are created equal. It has shaped us into a more caring and tolerant world, (and I speak of Christians in fact, not "christians" by declaration.) To live a life like Christ, which is to say a life of humility charity and love is hardly something worth destroying even if one disagrees with its premises. Can atheism offer something of greater value then the virtues that motivate true Christians? No.

      June 17, 2012 at 3:27 am |
    • Arvoasitis

      I am no spokesperson for atheism. (Remembering Groucho Marx, why would I want to join an organization that would accept someone like me for a member?) The issue is not about charity; if it were, there are groups that have the Christians beat. The issue is about integrity. To pretend to believe that which you do not is called "bad faith." As Jesus said, "The truth will set you free." By the way, I think you are much too generous in the credit you give Christianity for the development of democracy and the abolition of slavery.

      June 17, 2012 at 9:12 am |
  17. Haime52

    John 7:22 "Many will say to Me in that day, 'Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?' 23 And then I will declare to them, 'I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!' "
    Seems to me he just admitts that he never knew Him. Because he never "got it" he denies God. He is human, not really surprising, all in all. Many do the same and ridicule those who do "get it". Blame them for all sorts of things that they have nothing to do with. Things done by those, like him, who claimed religion but never really got religion and some of those, did some horrendous things in religion's name. He, on the other hand, has a "religious" ferver for atheism and anti-religion.

    June 16, 2012 at 7:44 pm |
    • Bob

      Well, Haime, if you are going to dump bible quotes on us, we had better look at some of the other tidbits in the Christian book of nasty AKA the bible. Fine stuff like this:

      Numbers 31:17-18
      17 Now kiII all the boys. And kiII every woman who has slept with a man,
      18 but save for yourselves every girl who has never slept with a man.

      Deuteronomy 13:6 – “If your brother, your mother’s son or your son or daughter, or the wife you cherish, or your friend who is as your own soul entice you secretly, saying, let us go and serve other gods … you shall surely kill him; your hand shall be first against him to put him to death”

      Revelations 2:23 And I will kill her children with death; and all the churches shall know that I am he which searcheth the reins and hearts: and I will give unto every one of you according to your works.

      Note that the bible is also very clear that you should sacrifice and burn an animal today because the smell makes sicko Christian sky fairy happy. No, you don't get to use the parts for food. You burn them, a complete waste of the poor animal.

      Yes, the bible really says that, everyone. Yes, it's in Leviticus, look it up. Yes, Jesus purportedly said that the OT commands still apply. No exceptions. But even if you think the OT was god's mistaken first go around, you have to ask why a perfect, loving enti-ty would ever put such horrid instructions in there. If you think rationally at all, that is.

      And then, if you disagree with my interpretation, ask yourself how it is that your "god" couldn't come up with a better way to communicate than a book that is so readily subject to so many interpretations and to being taken "out of context", and has so many mistakes in it. Pretty pathetic god that you've made for yourself.

      So get out your sacrificial knife or your nasty sky creature will torture you eternally. Or just take a closer look at your foolish supersti-tions, understand that they are just silly, and toss them into the dustbin with all the rest of the gods that man has created.

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

      June 16, 2012 at 7:50 pm |
    • Evangelical

      Bob is spamming again.

      June 16, 2012 at 8:56 pm |
    • Haime52

      Bob – And atheists used to believe in eugenics. Your point is?

      June 17, 2012 at 3:49 am |
  18. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things *

    June 16, 2012 at 7:35 pm |
    • Jesus

      *Prayer doesn’t not; you are such a LIAR. You have NO proof it changes anything! A great example of prayer proven not to work is the Christians in jail because prayer didn't work and their children died. For example: Susan Grady, who relied on prayer to heal her son. Nine-year-old Aaron Grady died and Susan Grady was arrested.

      An article in the Journal of Pediatrics examined the deaths of 172 children from families who relied upon faith healing from 1975 to 1995. They concluded that four out of five ill children, who died under the care of faith healers or being left to prayer only, would most likely have survived if they had received medical care.

      The statistical studies from the nineteenth century and the three CCU studies on prayer are quite consistent with the fact that humanity is wasting a huge amount of time on a procedure that simply doesn’t work. Nonetheless, faith in prayer is so pervasive and deeply rooted, you can be sure believers will continue to devise future studies in a desperate effort to confirm their beliefs!

      June 17, 2012 at 12:03 pm |
  19. TD

    That's the problem with the ministry - it has become a profession like any other profession. I love chemistry in high school, it fascinated me, even got a college degree in it, but now I love being a mother and couldn't care less about chemistry. Seminaries are full of kids raised in the church who were pushed into the ministry because they were excited and energetic, NOT because they were called or even knew God. As long as the ministry is a vocation and not a calling, you are going to attract people looking for steady paychecks and 401Ks instead of folks God actually chooses.

    June 16, 2012 at 7:23 pm |
    • Firewalker

      Well Put TD. Thank you.

      June 16, 2012 at 7:38 pm |
    • Haime52

      Yes, many are called but few are chosen.

      June 16, 2012 at 7:45 pm |
  20. Jack

    thestarofkaduri.com

    For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son,

    that whoever believes in him shall not – *perish – but have eternal life.

    The Bible – John 3: 16

    June 16, 2012 at 7:16 pm |
    • Hey

      That tired-ass quote is nothing but a lie.

      June 16, 2012 at 8:13 pm |
    • If horses had Gods .. their Gods would be horses

      Jack .. what is the point of an eternal life with God(s). At least here on Earth during our time we strive to better the human condition. Spending eternity worshipping God(s) has no point.

      June 16, 2012 at 9:17 pm |
    • dilberth

      For God so loved the world that he decided to drown everyone in it. God is a homicidal maniac.

      June 17, 2012 at 3:56 am |
    • IVAD GONZ

      Why didn"t he come personally, but, shamefully, sent his son to replace him?

      June 17, 2012 at 10:35 am |
    • PRISM 1234

      " For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.
      He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, AND MEN LOVED DARKNESS RATHER THAN LIGHT, BECAUSE THEIR DEEDS WERRE EVIL. For everyone practicing evil HATES THE LIGHT AND DOES NOT COME TO THE LIGHT LEST HIS DEEDS SHOULD BE EXPOSED. But he who does the truth comes to the light, that his deeds may be clearly seen, that they have been done in God.” – John 3:17-21 -words of Jesus Christ

      June 17, 2012 at 7:53 pm |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.