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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. Aaron

    The athiest organization is just another religious organization, complete with theatrics (announcing your athiesm onstage? Hugging? Crying?), tenets of belief, and a closed-in community quick to shun outsiders.

    I belong to what I feel is the largest community in the world – those who go about their daily lives content to believe what we believe and don't need to belong to some kind of club to legitimize those beliefs.

    June 13, 2012 at 2:44 pm |
    • LOL Religion

      Well, the important thing here is that you've found a way to make yourself feel superior to both theists and atheists. Congratulations.

      June 13, 2012 at 2:49 pm |
    • Reasonable response

      By your responce atheisim is a lot like not collecting stamps is a hobby then right?

      June 13, 2012 at 3:06 pm |
    • cedar rapids

      hugging and crying are religious traits?

      June 13, 2012 at 3:19 pm |
  2. Zakir

    lol

    June 13, 2012 at 2:44 pm |
  3. Herby Sagues

    Waster opportunity. He should have continue to preach as an ordained minister. He should have chosen all the weird parts of the Bible, such as when Jesus cursed a tree that didn't give him fruit out of season, or when a man was made cook his daughter as part of a promise to God, or when God asked someone to invade neighboring cities, kill their men and enslave their daughters. I never see those in Christian sermons, and it would really be cool (and effective in making believers think) if someone used them in church.

    June 13, 2012 at 2:44 pm |
    • sam

      God hates figs!

      June 13, 2012 at 2:47 pm |
  4. Zakir

    Ameeen Brother

    June 13, 2012 at 2:43 pm |
  5. Gloria

    A sad & scary commentary on Satan's definite influence and growing power within humankind.

    June 13, 2012 at 2:43 pm |
    • dave

      I don't agree with it...therefore, satandidit!

      June 13, 2012 at 2:47 pm |
    • sam

      Please tell me you're not serious.

      June 13, 2012 at 2:47 pm |
    • Tom

      no such thing as Satan

      June 13, 2012 at 2:47 pm |
    • Horus

      Proof of Satan? or proof of reason overcoming cognitive dissonance?

      June 13, 2012 at 2:48 pm |
    • Joe from CT, not Lieberman

      Would you rather he continue in his hypocricy of preaching about a God he only pretended to believe in, or would you rather be honest with you and himself concerning where he stands in regards to his faith, or lack thereof? I would prefer the latter, myself.

      June 13, 2012 at 2:49 pm |
  6. Tom

    He was never a believer.

    June 13, 2012 at 2:43 pm |
    • Vampsh Black Sheep League of Doom Gardamun Family Circle Master Vampire High Priest

      Not for you to decide

      June 13, 2012 at 2:46 pm |
    • Adam

      And you're not a true Scotsman. #LOGICAL FALLACY

      June 13, 2012 at 2:47 pm |
    • IslandAtheist

      omniscient much?

      June 13, 2012 at 6:24 pm |
  7. tet1953

    The root cause of most, if not all wars is religion.

    June 13, 2012 at 2:42 pm |
  8. kenny

    You will always believe in something. He believes in no God therefore he still believes. For all the atheist out there try and prove to me that there is no God.

    June 13, 2012 at 2:42 pm |
    • midwstrngrl

      prove to me there is...ethics come from us. our intelligence tells us what we need for survival. We have developed religion as a frame of reference in a world wide open. Many need that.

      June 13, 2012 at 2:44 pm |
    • dave

      Burden of proof...let me show you it.

      /Ad Ignorantiam

      June 13, 2012 at 2:44 pm |
    • Herby Sagues

      You are mixing different senses of the word belief.
      You can believe on something you analyze, see evidence for, and test it repeatedly, and never fails. That's called believing in REASON.
      You can also believe on something just because, without cause, without analysis, and even if it fails almost every single time (e.g. prayer). That's call FAITH.
      You may say he still believes in something, but he doesn't believe in somethign blindly. He just believes in what he can analyze and test.

      June 13, 2012 at 2:47 pm |
    • Tony

      You cannot prove the non-existence of something, only the existence.

      June 13, 2012 at 2:47 pm |
    • Mike

      the burden of proof lay with the person making unfalsifiable claims

      June 13, 2012 at 2:48 pm |
    • bembol

      Kenny, it will help if you eat lots of broccoli and brussels sprouts

      June 14, 2012 at 12:58 am |
  9. Dustin

    Take it easy Zakir... geez..

    June 13, 2012 at 2:41 pm |
  10. Rocky

    I felt very sad after reading this article. People should never confuse FAITH and RELIGION. They are two different things. Nothing has done more harm to faith and to people in general than organized religion. I can never deny the Lord Jesus Christ because he lives in my heart and has touched my life everyday for the last 54 years. I cannot deny him more than i would deny myself. But I am thoroughly disgusted with organized religion and how it perverts and twists God's word for it's own power trip and financial gain. We should never throw away our faith just because the people who claim to be people of faith are sinners and are weak (like I am). The scandals of organized religion have not helped at all. Just don't "throw the baby out with the bath water", just because there are so many hypocritical and phony religious leaders today. May the Lord show us all the true way to Him. God Bless you all!

    June 13, 2012 at 2:41 pm |
    • Herby Sagues

      Faith is the belief in somethign for no reason at all than someone told you that you should believe in it. How is that independent from organized religion?
      I alwasy hear these claims that Organized Religion is evil, that Faith is good, but there's no difference. NO ONE discovers "faith" without organized religion. No one starts suddenly believing in something without evidence for no reason at all other people told them to, and told them they would suffer if they didn't. Well, some people do, we clal them lunatics.
      Faith only comes from religion, they are one and the same. And they are equally evil.

      June 13, 2012 at 2:49 pm |
    • GodisLove

      Very well said Rocky! I completely agree with you! God Bless you!

      June 13, 2012 at 3:44 pm |
  11. Sigrid Olsen

    I was essentially a non-believer until I read the Book of Mormon at age 18. I knew the Book of Mormon could not be made up...so I definitely believe in God and the role of Jesus Christ. I really took a common sense approach after I read the Book of Mormon: No one could make this up...therefore it is true. Nothing from DNA to Dinosaurs will ever shake my faith on that one...but it is a faith based on common sense. Without this knowledge...I would be a non-believer like all the rest.

    June 13, 2012 at 2:41 pm |
    • Vampsh Black Sheep League of Doom Gardamun Family Circle Master Vampire High Priest

      "No one could make this up...therefore it is true."

      LOL

      June 13, 2012 at 2:44 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      The Book of Mormon couldn't possibly have been made up.
      And certainly not by someone who was a known con-man who had all ready used the "seer stones" in another scam.

      June 13, 2012 at 2:55 pm |
    • Troy

      There was once a guy who shat out a talking pineapple that looked just like Max Headroom. The pineapple was revealing the secret to perpetual motion before it was sliced up and eaten by Exxon executives and the CIA. Nobody could just make that up. Must be true.

      June 13, 2012 at 2:55 pm |
    • IsThisaJoke

      Is this a Joke??

      June 13, 2012 at 2:57 pm |
    • OldSchool

      LOL Not... sure.. if... trolling...

      June 13, 2012 at 2:57 pm |
    • cedar rapids

      i think it was sarcasm guys.

      June 13, 2012 at 3:21 pm |
  12. iceload9

    Must be tough to quote this belief from the Bible. Dutimus 5:1 :And he said, I no longer believe in any of this.

    June 13, 2012 at 2:40 pm |
  13. Sigrid Olsen

    I was essentially non-believer until I read the Book of Mormon at age 18. I knew the Book of Mormon could not be made up...so I definitely believe in God and the role of Jesus Christ. I really took a common sense approach after I read the Book of Mormon: No one could make this up...therefore it is true. Nothing from DNA to Dinosaurs will ever shake my faith on that one...but it is a faith based on common sense. Without this knowledge...I would be a non-believe like all the rest.

    June 13, 2012 at 2:39 pm |
    • LOL Religion

      Can't tell if trolling or actually this stupid and ignorant of the origins of Moronism.

      June 13, 2012 at 2:41 pm |
    • polemicist

      you do realize the Book of Mormon is largely plagiarized from the King James Bible, right?

      June 13, 2012 at 2:44 pm |
    • Canadian Bacon

      What????????? Why would you say that no one could make the Book of Mormon up? Ever watch a TV show? A movie? Ever read a book? These are written by people we call "writers", and if these "writers" make stuff up, then we call them writers of "fiction". What about the Harry Potter books? Lord of the Rings? Are those true because someone can't imagine a person writing them? Clearly the lamest reason for believing that I have ever heard. If there is a God (which I doubt), then that God gave you a brain to use. I'm sure your God would be very disappointed in your thought processes.

      June 13, 2012 at 2:49 pm |
    • Anchorite

      So where did the book of Mormon come from? It wasn't made up? God has a secret publishing company? It talks about Jesus appearing in the Americas to the prehistoric American Indians. If there was nobody there to see it and write it down, how is that not made up?

      June 13, 2012 at 2:51 pm |
  14. Gasser

    "Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able? Then he is not omnipotent.
    Is he able, but not willing? Then he is malevolent.
    Is he both able and willing? Then whence cometh evil?
    Is he neither able nor willing? Then why call him God?"
    – Epicurus

    June 13, 2012 at 2:39 pm |
    • John 14:6

      "What sorrow awaits those who argue with their Creator. Does a clay pot argue with its maker? Does the clay dispute with the one who shapes it, saying, 'Stop, you're doing it wrong!' Does the pot exclaim, 'How clumsy can you be?'

      June 13, 2012 at 2:56 pm |
    • Loki Laufeyson

      Ant....boot.

      June 13, 2012 at 2:59 pm |
    • cedar rapids

      well i dont see clay pots ever going to church on sunday so i guess the clay pots must all be atheist pots.

      June 13, 2012 at 3:23 pm |
    • John 14:6

      @ cedar rapides >who do "you" see going to church on sundays? not trying to be sarcastic, just wondering sorry if i offend anyone,... my apologies if i did.

      June 13, 2012 at 4:09 pm |
  15. Ed

    Finally someone telling the truth which I came to the same conclusion. Religiona nd everything about it is a farce and joke.

    June 13, 2012 at 2:38 pm |
  16. Sam

    I wonder when doubts, meaning I'm not sure, translates to unbelief, meaning I'm sure.

    June 13, 2012 at 2:38 pm |
    • Adam

      "Unbelief" need not connote any positive assertion of external truth. The unbeliever need not (indeed, cannot) say that there IS NO [blank]. Unbelief is merely an objective fact about ones subjective experience. I am an atheist ONLY because, at this moment, my best, most honest, and most accurate representation of how the universe actually is does not contain the existence of a supernatural agent. I am making no claim except that of the contents of my consciousness.

      The gulf you seem to perceive between atheism and agnosticism is a false one, and is bridged easily by honesty and humility.

      June 13, 2012 at 2:55 pm |
  17. Evangelical

    I hope this man's ego gratification is worth spending an eternity burning in hell.

    June 13, 2012 at 2:37 pm |
    • JWT

      Your hell does not exist to him.

      June 13, 2012 at 2:38 pm |
    • sleepytime

      I hope your ego gratification is worth an eternity slurfing in Jabboobaba.

      June 13, 2012 at 2:40 pm |
    • ThatOneDude

      Awww, little woogums thinks that his invisible friend's threat of eternal damnation is scary to people who aren't brainwashed stooges...how cute

      June 13, 2012 at 2:42 pm |
    • Vampsh Black Sheep League of Doom Gardamun Family Circle Master Vampire High Priest

      HERE WE GO

      June 13, 2012 at 2:45 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      Your schadenfreude is showing.

      June 13, 2012 at 2:52 pm |
    • Anchorite

      Ego gratification is saying you're going to paradise after you die because of your particular metaphysical beliefs. It is sacrifice and truth seeking to admit that you're an atheist.

      June 13, 2012 at 2:52 pm |
    • *facepalm*

      Just so we're clear, according to you:

      Ego: 'we're cosmically insignificant – just another species on an average planet rotating around an average star that's in a suburban part of a fairly normal galaxy. When we die, that's it.'

      No ego: 'The creator of the cosmos knows me, cares for me, listens to me, talks to me, and does things for me. He does this because he loves me so much. Also, I know exactly what he means and what he wants'

      Riiiiiiight.

      June 13, 2012 at 2:53 pm |
    • Tom

      Hell doesn't exist you fundagelical twit.

      June 13, 2012 at 5:28 pm |
  18. MormonChristian

    Hell is not a place of actual fire and brimstone, but rather (worse) a place in our souls where we feel remorse and loss for the bad choices we have made in our lives. We also may feel alone for acts we have done to estrange those we should have loved.

    Repentance through Christ – really changing our lives – enables us to overcome Hell, both in this life and the next. Salvation is available to all people who have ever lived, not just a lucky few. If this man was made to preach something else about Heaven and Hell, no wonder he found it difficult.

    June 13, 2012 at 2:37 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      I thought the only way into the Celestial Kingdom is to ti/the 10% of all your worldy goods so that you can learn your secret new name, secret handshake and special sealings.

      June 13, 2012 at 2:57 pm |
    • Tom

      "Hell is not a place of actual fire and brimstone" how do you know that? have you been there?

      June 13, 2012 at 5:29 pm |
  19. Zakir

    QUR’AN AND MODERN SCIENCE

    The methods of proving the existence of God with usage of the material provided in the ‘Concept of God in Islam’ to an atheist may satisfy some but not all.

    Many atheists demand a scientific proof for the existence of God. I agree that today is the age of science and technology. Let us use scientific knowledge to kill two birds with one stone, i.e. to prove the existence of God and simultaneously prove that the Qur’an is a revelation of God.

    If a new object or a machine, which no one in the world has ever seen or heard of before, is shown to an atheist or any person and then a question is asked, " Who is the first person who will be able to provide details of the mechanism of this unknown object? After little bit of thinking, he will reply, ‘the creator of that object.’ Some may say ‘the producer’ while others may say ‘the manufacturer.’ What ever answer the person gives, keep it in your mind, the answer will always be either the creator, the producer, the manufacturer or some what of the same meaning, i.e. the person who has made it or created it. Don’t grapple with words, whatever answer he gives, the meaning will be same, therefore accept it.

    June 13, 2012 at 2:35 pm |
    • Horus

      So we are expanding on the pocket watch theory? Humans need to see order even when there is none; that's why people see images of jesus in a frying pan. Your babble proves nothing about the existance of a god, or the validity of a revisioned and recycled religious text.....

      June 13, 2012 at 2:44 pm |
    • earthling

      More jibbering nonsense. What if the creator of this new object/machine is dead? I understand the point youre trying to make but your language is not rigorous enough to be considered scientific. You're merely engaging is simple thought experiments that fall apart under the slightest bit of scrutiny.

      June 13, 2012 at 2:48 pm |
    • snowboarder

      you certainly used many words to say essentially nothing.

      June 13, 2012 at 2:53 pm |
    • Anchorite

      We don't demand scientific proof, we just demand there be some evidence, some reason. If you're just going to believe in stuff you find in books with no reason to, why not believe the Lord of the Rings is real? Or the Protocols of the Elders of Zion?

      June 13, 2012 at 2:56 pm |
    • cedar rapids

      and if i were to tell you zakir that the computer you are using was not made by man in a factory but actually created out of thin air by a supernatural being that you cannot see, would you start worshipping the god of the computer?

      June 13, 2012 at 3:26 pm |
  20. Zakir

    THEORY OF PROBABILITY

    In mathematics there is a theory known as ‘Theory of Probability’. If you have two options, out of which one is right, and one is wrong, the chances that you will chose the right one is half, i.e. one out of the two will be correct. You have 50% chances of being correct. Similarly if you toss a coin the chances that your guess will be correct is 50% (1 out of 2) i.e. 1/2. If you toss a coin the second time, the chances that you will be correct in the second toss is again 50% i.e. half. But the chances that you will be correct in both the tosses is half multiplied by half (1/2 x 1/2) which is equal to 1/4 i.e. 50% of 50% which is equal to 25%. If you toss a coin the third time, chances that you will be correct all three times is (1/2 x 1/2 x 1/2) that is 1/8 or 50% of 50% of 50% that is 12½%.

    A dice has got six sides. If you throw a dice and guess any number between 1 to 6, the chances that your guess will be correct is 1/6. If you throw the dice the second time, the chances that your guess will be correct in both the throws is (1/6 x 1/6) which is equal to 1/36. If you throw the dice the third time, the chances that all your three guesses are correct is (1/6 x 1/6 x 1/6) is equal to 1/216 that is less than 0.5 %.

    Let us apply this theory of probability to the Qur’an, and assume that a person has guessed all the information that is mentioned in the Qur’an which was unknown at that time. Let us discuss the probability of all the guesses being simultaneously correct.

    At the time when the Qur’an was revealed, people thought the world was flat, there are several other options for the shape of the earth. It could be triangular, it could be quadrangular, pentagonal, hexagonal, heptagonal, octagonal, spherical, etc. Lets assume there are about 30 different options for the shape of the earth. The Qur’an rightly says it is spherical, if it was a guess the chances of the guess being correct is 1/30.

    The light of the moon can be its own light or a reflected light. The Qur’an rightly says it is a reflected light. If it is a guess, the chances that it will be correct is 1/2 and the probability that both the guesses i.e the earth is spherical and the light of the moon is reflected light is 1/30 x 1/2 = 1/60.

    Further, the Qur’an also mentions every living thing is made of water. Every living thing can be made up of either wood, stone, copper, aluminum, steel, silver, gold, oxygen, nitrogen, hydrogen, oil, water, cement, concrete, etc. The options are say about 10,000. The Qur’an rightly says that everything is made up of water. If it is a guess, the chances that it will be correct is 1/10,000 and the probability of all the three guesses i.e. the earth is spherical, light of moon is reflected light and everything is created from water being correct is 1/30 x 1/2 x 1/10,000 = 1/60,000 which is equal to about .0017%.

    The Qur’an speaks about hundreds of things that were not known to men at the time of its revelation. Only in three options the result is .0017%. I leave it upto you, to work out the probability if all the hundreds of the unknown facts were guesses, the chances of all of them being correct guesses simultaneously and there being not a single wrong guess. It is beyond human capacity to make all correct guesses without a single mistake, which itself is sufficient to prove to a logical person that the origin of the Qur’an is Divine.

    June 13, 2012 at 2:35 pm |
    • earthling

      Its always entertaining to see know-nothing theist trying to incorporate mathematical/scientific reasoning to backup their dogma only to fail miserably. Thanks for the laugh.

      June 13, 2012 at 2:43 pm |
    • SB

      The ancient Greeks knew that the world was round long before your holy book was written. They used that knowledge, along with mathematics, to measure the size of the Earth, and they got it right to within just a few percent.

      I know you want to believe what you've been told, but it's better to believe what is true.

      June 13, 2012 at 2:45 pm |
    • Brian

      LOL. Go kill yourself

      June 13, 2012 at 2:46 pm |
    • HT_Miser

      I will firstly point out the obvious and say that everything is NOT made of water. I'm stunned that anyone would hold this up as a proof of scientific enlightenment.

      I will also note that the reason that there are some correct scientific observations made in the Qur'an (I will take you at your word on these) is that the Middle East during that time was actually a very enlightened place. Some of the greatest scientific minds – particularly in the areas of mathematics and astronomy – were from these regions. Ironically, the reason this is no longer true is largely because of the sweeping adoption of the Muslim faith.

      Lastly, I will point out that even if it were the case that the Qur'an made an improbable number of correct predictions, all you have done is proven that it has done so. It doesn't speak to the truth of Islam. It could indeed be explained as a fantastic coincidence (still more likely than the religious alternative) or, more appropriately, would suggest that the writer(s) of the Qur'an possessed greater knowledge than we had assumed. Nowhere does this prove that Allah exists, that the prophecies of Mohammed are true or that the morals of the Qur'an are correct.

      June 13, 2012 at 2:54 pm |
    • cedar rapids

      actually zakir you will need to quote exact sources because as far as i am aware it nowhere claims the earth to be a sphere and nowhere claims the moon reflects light (though both of those facts were known by the ancient greeks so its actually more of a indictment that the quran didnt claim that)

      June 13, 2012 at 3:35 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.