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June 22nd, 2012
11:27 AM ET

Prominent atheist blogger converts to Catholicism

By Dan Merica, CNN

Washington (CNN) – She went from atheist to Catholic in just over 1,000 words.

Leah Libresco, who’d been a prominent atheist blogger for the religion website Patheos, announced on her blog this week that after years of debating many “smart Christians,” she has decided to become one herself, and that she has begun the process of converting to Catholicism.

Libresco, who had long blogged under the banner “Unequally Yoked: A geeky atheist picks fights with her Catholic boyfriend,” said that at the heart of her decision were questions of morality and how one finds a moral compass.

“I had one thing that I was most certain of, which is that morality is something we have a duty to,” Libresco told CNN in an interview this week, a small cross dangling from her neck. “And it is external from us. And when push came to shove, that is the belief I wouldn’t let go of. And that is something I can’t prove.”

CNN's Belief Blog: the faith angles behind the big stories

According to a Patheos post she wrote on Monday, entitled “This is my last post for the Patheos Atheist Portal,” she began to see parts of Christianity and Catholicism that fit her moral system. Though she now identifies as a Catholic, Libresco questions certain aspects of Catholicism, including the church’s positions on homosexuality, contraception and some aspects of religious liberty.

“There was one religion that seemed like the most promising way to reach back to that living Truth,” Libresco wrote about Catholicism in her conversion announcement post, which has been shared over 18,000 times on Facebook. “I asked my friend what he suggests we do now, and we prayed the night office of the Liturgy of the Hours together.”

At the end of the post, Libresco announces that she is in a Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults class and is preparing for baptism. She will continue to blog for Patheos, but under the banner, “A geeky convert picks fights in good faith.”

According to Dan Welch, director of marketing for Patheos, Libresco’s post has received around 150,000 page views so far.

“Leah's blog has gotten steadily more popular since she arrived at Patheos, but a typical post on her blog is probably closer to the range of 5,000 page views,” Welch wrote in an email. “Even now, a few days later, her blog is probably getting 20-30 times its normal traffic.”

Libresco’s announcement has left some atheists scratching their heads.

“I think atheists were surprised that she went with Catholicism, which seems like a very specific choice,” Hemant Mehta, an atheist blogger at Patheos, told CNN. “I have a hard time believing how someone could jump from I don’t believe in God to a very specific church and a very specific God.”

Mehta says that Libresco’s conversion is a “one-off thing” and not something that signals any trend in atheism. “The trends are very clear, the conversions from Catholicism to atheism are much more likely to happen than the other way around,” he said.

But while atheists were puzzled by the conversion, others commended Libresco.

“I know I’ve prayed for her conversion several times, always thinking she would make a great Catholic,” wrote Brandon Vogt, a Catholic blogger. “And with this news, it looks like that will happen. Today heaven is roaring with joy.”

Thomas L. McDonald, a Catholic Patheos blogger, welcomed Libresco to the fold: “Welcome. I know this was hard, and will continue to be so. Don’t worry if the Catholics make it as for difficult for you as the atheists. We only do it to people we love.”

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Libresco says one of the most common questions she has received is how she'll deal with atheists now.

“The great thing about a lot of the atheist and skeptic community is that people talk more critically about ideas and want to see proof provided,” Libresco said. “That kind of analytical thinking is completely useful and the Catholic Church doesn’t need to and should not be afraid of because if you’ve got the facts on your side, you hope they win.”

Libresco is just switching the side she thinks the facts are on.

- Dan Merica

Filed under: Atheism • Catholic Church

soundoff (7,475 Responses)
  1. Fufu

    The Romans tortured, mocked, scorned and laughed at Jesus all the way to his hanging on the cross. Many of you posters remind me of the Romans.

    June 25, 2012 at 12:35 pm |
    • Getreal

      And the Christians, killed tortured and maimed thousands of people who would rather die than convert, or questioned any of the "word of God"or the churches devoted to "Him".
      You remind me of a christiian.

      June 25, 2012 at 12:39 pm |
    • Fufu

      You are confusing Christians with the Catholic Church

      June 25, 2012 at 12:39 pm |
    • Jack

      Do you ever post anything other than futile attempts to change others behavior? All you have done all day is point the finger. "You guys are name calling", says fufu. I've tried to call out trolls before and convince them their behavior is wrong. It is a waste of time and contributes nothing to actual debate.

      June 25, 2012 at 12:40 pm |
    • AGuest9

      Fufu is splitting hairs. ALL of christendom rose from the christ mythos.

      June 25, 2012 at 12:42 pm |
    • Fufu

      Jack why so bothered and angry about a post on a commentary on a news website? Does it really hurt you so much? Maybe you need to look to something else besides your atheistic non-belief for answers.

      June 25, 2012 at 12:43 pm |
    • Getreal

      Fufu

      I am not confusing a thing. ALL catholics are christians. Not all christians are catholic.

      Christians did exactly what I said. Examine history, not myth

      June 25, 2012 at 12:51 pm |
    • keep on believin'

      This is a story! The stories of Christianity are not even original. They are borrowed directly from earlier mythology from the Middle East. Genesis and Exodus, for example, are clearly based on earlier Babylonian myths such as The Epic of Gilgamesh, and the Jesus story itself is straight from the stories about Apollonius of Tyana, Horus and Dionysus (including virgin birth, the three wise men, the star in the East, birth at the Winter solstice, a baptism by another prophet, turning water into wine, crucifixion and rising from the dead).

      June 25, 2012 at 12:57 pm |
    • Smurfette

      Yeah! What have the Romans ever done for us?

      June 25, 2012 at 1:15 pm |
    • Xerxes

      The aqueduct

      June 25, 2012 at 1:18 pm |
    • Stan

      Oh yes... sanitation, Reg, you remember what the city used to be like!

      June 25, 2012 at 1:19 pm |
    • Matthias

      And the roads

      June 25, 2012 at 1:19 pm |
    • Another Masked Activist and others

      Irrigation . . . Medicine . . . Education . . . Health . . . . And the wine . . . public baths . . . And it's safe to walk the streets at night

      June 25, 2012 at 1:22 pm |
    • Reg

      All right... all right... but apart from better sanitation and medicine and education and irrigation and public health and roads and a freshwater system and baths and public order... what have the Romans done for us?

      June 25, 2012 at 1:22 pm |
    • ROMANES EUNT DOMUS!!!!

      No, wait, Uh, Vocative plural of 'annus' is, uh, third person plural, uh, present indicative, No, wait imperative, dative, no wait, accusative . . .

      ROMANI ITE DOMUM!!!!!!!!!!!

      June 25, 2012 at 1:43 pm |
    • Roman

      And if it's not done by sunrise I'll cut your balls off

      June 25, 2012 at 2:01 pm |
  2. John Patrick Grace

    Suspend your reason to believe in God? Where, pray tell, did that reason come from? How is it that you can learn a language with a vocabulary of over 50,000 words, and then, if you put your energy into it, learn six more languages, and keep them straight in your head? Where did your sense of humor come from? Your appreciation of aesthetics such as music and art?
    Your sense of wonder when you see an incredible sunset painted across the sky? Oh, I see, there was, long, long ago this blob or speck floating around. It started evolving and ended up producing thousands of universes, planets and stars, so vast that astronomers cannot even track it all. Then the blob evolved into a myriad of species from ants to elephants and a thinking, dreaming, reasoning species we call Man. Quite a blob, that little blob.
    And where did the blob come from?
    And how did it acquire all that potential to evolve?
    After all the blob was non-thinking, insensate matter, right?
    Trust me, it takes much more faith, and many more irrational thought processes, to believe in the fairy tale of the blob than to believe in an Almighty, all-loving, creating God.
    John Patrick Grace
    Huntington, West Virginia

    June 25, 2012 at 12:25 pm |
    • Getreal

      Good, You've started asking questions. excellent.

      Problem is you have jumped to an unjustified conclusion based on ignorance. I do not know the answer so there must be a god is not a reasonable answer to your own questions. Some of the time the answer to the question is we do not know.

      June 25, 2012 at 12:31 pm |
    • Voice of Reason

      Why does there have to be a god? Please explain.

      June 25, 2012 at 12:34 pm |
    • A Frayed Knot

      John Patrick Grace,

      It sounds like you are taking the easy way out. God did it. You might have been among those who long ago thought that there was NO other explanation for lightning than that Zeus did it.

      June 25, 2012 at 12:37 pm |
    • Try these

      Read up on evolutionary aesthetics for answers to your questions about beauty and humor. Read up on the development of the brain for how some of us can handle multiple languages with relative ease (and some cannot – genetic mutationution at work). Read up on basic evolutionary theory to understand your "blob" questions (though you did a straw man perversion of the concept in a lame attempt to discredit it without actually getting an answer).

      All quite logical.

      Now it is your turn. Prove that ANY of it occured due to a supernatural force, that some being just bipped it into being in 6 days – a far more ridiculous position.

      June 25, 2012 at 12:40 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      If you try and take a cat apart to see how it works, the first thing you have on your hands is a nonworking cat. Life is a level of complexity that almost lies outside our vision; it is so far beyond anything we have any means of understanding that we just think of it as a different class of object, a different class of matter; 'life', something that had a mysterious essence about it, was God given, and that's the only explanation we had. The bombshell comes in 1859 when Darwin publishes On the Origin of Species. It takes a long time before we really get to grips with this and begin to understand it, because not only does it seem incredible and thoroughly demeaning to us, but it's yet another shock to our system to discover that not only are we not the centre of the Universe and we're not made by anything, but we started out as some kind of slime and got to where we are via being a monkey. It just doesn't read well.
      Douglas Adams. The Salmon of Doubt: Hitchhiking the Galaxy One Last Time. New York: Random House, 2002, 135–136.

      June 25, 2012 at 12:41 pm |
    • Logic

      Unsound reasoning, I think.
      Life seems too complex to come out of nothing, at least from our limited perspective. So the answer? A god, presumably greater and grander than all of it, popped out of nothing and created it. You cannot explain the improbable by using the impossible.

      June 25, 2012 at 12:41 pm |
    • Think-About-It

      One man says:

      It takes much more faith, and many more irrational thought processes, to believe in the fairy tale of the blob than to believe in an Almighty, all-loving, creating God

      Another says:

      Problem is you have jumped to an unjustified conclusion based on ignorance

      Now, is it hard to see, who is jumping to conclusions?

      June 25, 2012 at 1:04 pm |
    • Think-About-It

      "Now it is your turn. Prove that ANY of it"

      And just what have you proven?

      June 25, 2012 at 1:33 pm |
  3. keep on believin'

    Christan beliefs are based on nothing more than a collection of Bronze and Iron Age Middle Eastern mythology, much of it discredited, that was cobbled together into a book called the “Bible” by people we know virtually nothing about, before the Dark Ages. The stories of Christianity are not even original. They are borrowed directly from earlier mythology from the Middle East. Genesis and Exodus, for example, are clearly based on earlier Babylonian myths such as The Epic of Gilgamesh, and the Jesus story itself is straight from the stories about Apollonius of Tyana, Horus and Dionysus (including virgin birth, the three wise men, the star in the East, birth at the Winter solstice, a baptism by another prophet, turning water into wine, crucifixion and rising from the dead).

    June 25, 2012 at 12:13 pm |
    • Chad

      The Christ myth theory (also known as Jesus mythicism, the Jesus myth theory and the nonexistence hypothesis) is the idea that Jesus of Nazareth was not a historical person, but is a fictional or mythological character created by the early Christian community.[1][2][3][4] Some proponents argue that events or sayings associated with the figure of Jesus in the New Testament may have been drawn from one or more individuals who actually existed, but that none of them were in any sense the founder of Christianity.[5] Virtually all scholars involved with historical Jesus research believe his existence can be established using doc umentary and other evidence, although most hold that much of the material about him in the New Testament should not be taken at face value

      June 25, 2012 at 12:19 pm |
    • HotAirAce

      The Christ myth theory (also known as Jesus mythicism, the Jesus myth theory and the nonexistence hypothesis) is the idea that Jesus of Nazareth was not a historical person, but is a fictional or mythological character created by the early Christian community.[1][2][3][4] Some proponents argue that events or sayings associated with the figure of Jesus in the New Testament may have been drawn from one or more individuals who actually existed, but that none of them were in any sense the founder of Christianity.[5] Virtually all scholars involved with historical Jesus research believe his existence can be established using documentary and other evidence, although most hold that much of the material about him in the New Testament should not be taken at face value

      I interpret this to mean he many have existed but was not devine. Thanks Chad!

      June 25, 2012 at 12:51 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      @Chad
      The divinity of Jesus was not established as canon until the Council of Nicea.
      "In 325, the Council devised a set of sacred testaments,
      Transparent and wise
      The truth is only ever relied on that which we agree and abide"
      – Dr. Greg Graffin

      June 25, 2012 at 12:59 pm |
    • Chad

      @HotAirAce: "I interpret this to mean he many have existed but was not devine. Thanks Chad!"

      @Chad "the take away is two part:
      1) Virtually all scholars are in agreement that Jesus was a real historical figure, He was a Jewish teacher from Galilee in Roman Judaea, who was baptized by John the Baptist, and was crucified in Jerusalem on the orders of the Roman Prefect, Pontius Pilate.
      2) Since it's utterly irrational to think that Jesus wasnt a real person, the discussion is as to His claims, and His divinity.

      June 25, 2012 at 1:00 pm |
    • Chad

      @Doc Vestibule "The divinity of Jesus was not established as canon until the Council of Nicea."

      =>not sure if you are intending to imply that the divinity of Jesus Christ wasnt established until the Council of Nicea.. Which of course is nonsense, the divinity was established by God early on in His ministry when he was baptized by John the Baptist.

      "canon" wasnt a term that came into being until Council of Nicea, that doesnt mean that the divinity of Jesus was an unresolved question until then 😉

      I'm sure you werent trying to be misleading.. your phrasing just needs to be corrected 😉

      June 25, 2012 at 1:09 pm |
    • HotAirAce

      Re: "the discussion is as to His claims, and His divinity." and it is significant that the scholars you chose to use re: jesus' existence basically say you shouldn't use The Babble to support his divinity, and given that there is no verifiable, independent, factual, objective evidence to support his divinity, a resonable conclusion is that he was not divine. If jesus was not divine, the foundation for chistianity completely crumbles. Thanks again!

      Or do you want to pick and choose when you can use your "expert witnesses?"

      June 25, 2012 at 1:10 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      C.S. Lewis posits that Jesus either was who he said he was (Son of the Father, One in Being) or he was a madman. He further states that Jesus was demonstrably no madman. I have always wondered how the good professor made that conclusion. What is apparent is that the history of the world revolves around His message. If He was a madman, there has never been another with His insight, conviction, compassion or ability to inspire generations to emulate and adore Him. It is obvious to me He is who he says He is.

      June 25, 2012 at 1:37 pm |
    • Think-About-It

      Bill Deacon,
      " It is obvious to me He is who he says He is."

      I second that!

      June 25, 2012 at 2:27 pm |
  4. keep on believin'

    At its most fundamental level, Christianity requires a belief that an all-knowing, all-powerful, immortal being created the entire Universe and its billions of galaxies 13,720,000,000 years ago (the age of the Universe) sat back and waited 10,000,000,000 years for the Earth to form, then waited another 3,720,000,000 years for human beings to gradually evolve, then, at some point gave them eternal life and sent its son to Earth to talk about sheep and goats in the Middle East.
    While here, this divine visitor exhibits no knowledge of ANYTHING outside of the Iron Age Middle East, including the other continents, 99% of the human race, and the aforementioned galaxies.
    Either that, or it all started 6,000 years ago with one man, one woman and a talking snake. Either way “oh come on” just doesn’t quite capture it.

    June 25, 2012 at 12:11 pm |
    • Voice of Reason

      The truth is not acceptable to believers.

      June 25, 2012 at 12:13 pm |
    • Chad

      Evidence for God:

      1. The origin of the universe
      2. The fine tuning of the universe for the building blocks of life
      3. The origin of life on earth
      4. Punctuated Equilibrium: the fossil record showing species experiencing millions, 100's of millions of years of stasis (no change, random genetic mutations are weeded out of the gene pool resulting in a pool 'wobbling about the genetic mean'), followed by extremely rapid change resulting in new species appearing fully formed in the fossil record.
      5. The empty tomb, and the unshakable conviction among followers and enemies alike that they had witnesses a resurrected Jesus. A conviction they held so strongly that they went to their deaths proclaiming its truth.

      June 25, 2012 at 12:21 pm |
    • A Frayed Knot

      Chad,

      Could it be *any* other way? Could it be a way(s) which we don't know about yet?

      June 25, 2012 at 12:26 pm |
    • Chadwhacker

      Chad, you have been severely humiliated on all those repeatedly over the last few months. Why do you think that repeating lies somehow makes them true?

      June 25, 2012 at 12:30 pm |
    • Logic Fail

      People have sacrificed thier lives for causes other than Christianity.

      June 25, 2012 at 12:34 pm |
    • keep on believin'

      Chad

      Evidence for God? You're kidding right? Look up the word "evidence" in the dictionary.

      1. The origin of the universe

      The universe has always been. If that is not possible then who created God? If God has always been then why can't the universe always have been?

      2. The fine tuning of the universe for the building blocks of life

      Life has evolved (as far as we know) on one planet out of the trillions(?) of planets in the universe. No-one had to fine tune it. It just happened by combination of elements available and distance from the sun making optimum conditions.

      3. The origin of life on earth

      See scientific texts backed by evidence as opposed to a story book from the bronze age with no evidence.

      4. Punctuated Equilibrium: the fossil record showing species experiencing millions, 100's of millions of years of stasis (no change, random genetic mutations are weeded out of the gene pool resulting in a pool 'wobbling about the genetic mean'), followed by extremely rapid change resulting in new species appearing fully formed in the fossil record.

      We continue to find new fossils that fill in the time gaps. Regardless, evolution always moves faster when changes in conditions kill off weaker parts of the gene pool (except for humans ... our stupid genes people are propped up by the work of our smart people and keep right on reproducing).
      Additionally, many species continue to this day to stay as they have always been (Coelacanth, alligator, horseshoe crab, shark, dragonfly, a myriad insects etc, etc, etc.)
      How does "Punctuated Equilibrium" prove a mystical being created any of this? You're kidding right?

      5. The empty tomb, and the unshakable conviction among followers and enemies alike that they had witnesses a resurrected Jesus. A conviction they held so strongly that they went to their deaths proclaiming its truth.

      This is a story! The stories of Christianity are not even original. They are borrowed directly from earlier mythology from the Middle East. Genesis and Exodus, for example, are clearly based on earlier Babylonian myths such as The Epic of Gilgamesh, and the Jesus story itself is straight from the stories about Apollonius of Tyana, Horus and Dionysus (including virgin birth, the three wise men, the star in the East, birth at the Winter solstice, a baptism by another prophet, turning water into wine, crucifixion and rising from the dead).

      June 25, 2012 at 12:51 pm |
    • HotAirAce

      Chad, you have posted that list many times before and it has been thoroughly shredded, but I'll summarize:

      What you have posted is not evidence – it is a series of observations or unsupported claims that by themsleves prove nothing. You have not substantiated your claims nor "connected the dots" to prove that there is any god.

      June 25, 2012 at 1:27 pm |
    • Chad

      @Chadwhacker "Chad, you have been severely humiliated on all those repeatedly over the last few months."
      @Chad "hmm.. really?
      I dont consider
      1. we dont know
      2. we dont know
      3. we dont know
      4. we dont know
      5. it's all nonsense Jesus never existed

      to really be answers,,, do you?

      June 25, 2012 at 1:30 pm |
    • Chad

      Have you ever asked yourself this question: “If we evolved from monkeys, then why do we still have monkeys?”

      June 25, 2012 at 1:51 pm |
    • Think-About-It

      "Chad, you have been severely humiliated..."
      Oh, really?
      The truth is that you atheists/unbelievers are humiliated,and never cease to be humiliated by the enemy of your souls, and don't know that he's MAKING FOOLS out of you! Lord Christ said we would be ridiculed, mocked and suffer for His name sake. He said, a servant is not greater then his Master. If they've done it to Me, they'll do it to you.

      But God's Kingdom is not of this world, therefore those who are "of the world" will never comprehend it.(John ch. 1)

      "But blessed are you when they revile and persecute you ans say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake.Rejoice and be EXCEEDINGLY glad, for great is your reward in Heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you. You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden....let your light shine...."Matthew5

      And the light shone in darkness sand the darkness comprehended it not.....

      June 25, 2012 at 1:56 pm |
    • Chad

      @HotAirAce "What you have posted is not evidence – it is a series of observations or unsupported claims that by themsleves prove nothing. You have not substantiated your claims nor "connected the dots" to prove that there is any god."
      =>hmm.. no
      what that list is, is a series of actual occurrences, that can't be explained thru naturalistic mechanisms.
      As such, they point to the necessity of a force external to our universe.

      Which of course is powerful evidence of the existence of the God of Abraham.
      as well
      those items are the exact items that the God of Abraham claims to have responsibility for.
      coincidence?

      June 25, 2012 at 2:55 pm |
    • HawaiiGuest

      @Chad

      Are you really still trying these tired arguments that have been addressed over and over? You know, the fact that you are continually cutting and pasting these points with a qualifier of "i don't know isn't acceptable" is quite funny. Tell me Chad, why is I don't know not acceptable?

      June 25, 2012 at 3:01 pm |
    • HawaiiGuest

      Oh and Chad, hopefully you can hold an honest conversation this time.

      June 25, 2012 at 3:01 pm |
    • Chad

      @keep on believin' "The universe has always been."
      @Chad "no competent cosmologist today claims the universe always existed, see "the big bang". Our universe had a beginning, that is not in dispute.

      ==========
      @keep on believin' Life has evolved (as far as we know) on one planet out of the trillions(?) of planets in the universe. No-one had to fine tune it. It just happened by combination of elements available and distance from the sun making optimum conditions."
      @Chad "sorry, no:
      "There is now broad agreement among physicists and cosmologists that the Universe is in several respects ‘fine-tuned' for life".[2] However he continues "...the conclusion is not so much that the Universe is fine-tuned for life; rather it is fine-tuned for the building blocks and environments that life requires".[2] He also states that "... 'anthropic' reasoning fails to distinguish between minimally biophilic universes, in which life is permitted, but only marginally possible, and optimally biophilic universes, in which life flourishes because biogenesis occurs frequently ..."[2] Among scientists who find the evidence persuasive, a variety of natural explanations have been proposed, e.g., the anthropic principle along with multiple universes. The proposition is also discussed among philosophers, theologians, creationists and intelligent design proponents Paul Davies

      ==========
      @keep on believin' "See scientific texts [on the origin of life] backed by evidence as opposed to a story book from the bronze age with no evidence."
      @Chad "that's a problem, as science has no valid theory on the origin of life...

      While the experiments carried out by Stanley Miller and others who have built upon his work show that life may have arisen from a primordial soup, that possibility remains theoretical. There is no evidence for pre-cellular life on Earth; what's more, critics of the RNA world hypothesis point out that the experiments that support the concepts were conducted with biologically created RNA. RNA can act as both a template for self-replication and an enzyme for carrying out that process, but these findings have been carried out in controlled laboratory experiments. This doesn't necessarily prove such delicate actions could happen in the seas of the ancient Earth.
      For reasons like these, the RNA world hypothesis has been largely abandoned by proponents of abiogenesis in favor of other hypotheses, like the simultaneous development of both proteins and genetic templates or the development of life around undersea vents similar to those currently inhabited by today's extremophiles. But there is one criticism that any abiogenesis hypothesis has difficulty overcoming: time. DNA-based life is thought to have developed on Earth beginning around 3.8 billion years ago, giving pre-cellular life forms about 1 billion years to carry out random processes of encoding useful proteins and assembling them into the precursors of cellular life . Critics of abiogenesis say that simply isn't enough time for inorganic matter to become the theorized precellular life. One estimate suggests it would take 10^450 (10 to the 450th power) years for one useful protein to be randomly created .

      ==========
      @keep on believin' We continue to find new fossils that fill in the time gaps."
      @Chad "ouch.. no again.
      stasis and rapid change is accepted as fact, see Gould: Punctuated equilibrium.

      ==========
      @keep on believin' 5. This is a story! The stories of Christianity are not even original."
      @Chad "no serious scholar buys into that nonsense:
      The Christ myth theory (also known as Jesus mythicism, the Jesus myth theory and the nonexistence hypothesis) is the idea that Jesus of Nazareth was not a historical person, but is a fictional or mythological character created by the early Christian community.[1][2][3][4] Some proponents argue that events or sayings associated with the figure of Jesus in the New Testament may have been drawn from one or more individuals who actually existed, but that none of them were in any sense the founder of Christianity.[5] Virtually all scholars involved with historical Jesus research believe his existence can be established using docu mentary and other evidence, although most hold that much of the material about him in the New Testament should not be taken at face value

      June 25, 2012 at 3:08 pm |
    • Chad

      @Chad "I dont consider 1. we dont know 2. we dont know 3. we dont know 4. we dont know 5. it's all nonsense Jesus ever existed"
      to really be answers,,, do you?

      @HawaiiGuest "Tell me Chad, why is I don't know not acceptable?"

      @Chad "hmm, I believe I said they arent answers..
      You were saying something about honesty? 😉

      June 25, 2012 at 3:11 pm |
    • HotAirAce

      Chad, again you fail to read for comprehension nf fail to connect h dots. Posting a lst and thn jumping to the conclusion "some god did it" or "jesus was divine" does not substantiate your conclusion.

      When it come to matters of science, I believe scientists such as Hawking. Krauss and Dawkins over you or The Babble. When it comes to your supernatural claims, there are no first hand eye witness accounts of your claims.

      Bottom line, you have no proof for any god(s) or the jesus myth. You may have faith, but you are simply pretending to know things you do not know (admitting the preceding definition of faith is not mine but I do like it).

      June 25, 2012 at 3:12 pm |
    • HotAirAce

      Chad, re: why there re still monkeys, we didn't descend from monkeys. The animals around us are "modern" animals with their own evolutionary paths. You should watch, and listen closely to, the Colbert/Dr. Tyson interview.

      June 25, 2012 at 3:18 pm |
    • HawaiiGuest

      @Chad

      And why is "I don't know" not an answer? I think you are equating an answer with an explanation.
      And yes I was talking about honesty. And equating two completely different words (answer and explanation) is very dishonest of you Chad.

      June 25, 2012 at 3:20 pm |
    • Chad

      @HotAirAce "why there re still monkeys, we didn't descend from monkeys..."
      @Chad "The monkey post wasnt from me, that was from some other "chad".. As a theistic evolutionist, I believe that God used monkey as one stop along the path to Adam

      Then the Lord God formed a man[c] from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being Genesis 2

      @HawaiiGuest "And why is "I don't know" not an answer?"
      @Chad "Because it really doesnt fit the definition?
      answer
      1.a. A spoken or written reply, as to a question.
      1. b. A correct reply.
      2.a. A solution, as to a problem.
      2. b. A correct solution.

      that's why 😉

      June 25, 2012 at 5:19 pm |
    • HawaiiGuest

      @Chad

      And yet, the definition would vary depending on the use of the word as either a noun or a verb. Where exactly are you getting your definitions anyway? An answer is only a synonym to a solution when applied to "problems" such as in mathematics. Otherwise it is used in the form of a response (if used as a noun), or the act of responding (if used as a verb).

      June 25, 2012 at 5:28 pm |
    • Chad

      ===
      @Chad "I dont consider 1. we dont know 2. we dont know 3. we dont know 4. we dont know 5. it's all nonsense Jesus ever existed"
      to really be answers,,, do you?

      @HawaiiGuest "Tell me Chad, why is I don't know not acceptable?"

      @Chad "hmm, I believe I said they arent answers.."

      @HawaiiGuest "And why is "I don't know" not an answer? I think you are equating an answer with an explanation."

      @Chad "they may be responses, they clearly arent answers (solutions)

      June 25, 2012 at 6:06 pm |
    • HawaiiGuest

      @Chad

      I was wondering when you were going to ignore points in my posts.

      June 25, 2012 at 6:36 pm |
  5. scoobypoo

    Important Announcement!!!

    Today I decided to convert from low-fat yogurt to fat yogurt but with vanilla flavoring.
    I have always felt (known?) that vanilla is external to me and yet I want it to be part of me.

    June 25, 2012 at 12:07 pm |
    • Shaggy

      I too, as a virtue ethicist atheist whose transhumanism seems to be rooted in dualism as Leah is, can only ponder tha Kantean imperitives of vanilla dualism by mean of the French feminist approached to hermaneutics.

      June 25, 2012 at 12:23 pm |
  6. dyslexic dog

    Leah's nose is very big!

    June 25, 2012 at 12:04 pm |
  7. George

    Prominent? No one ever heard of her before today.

    June 25, 2012 at 12:01 pm |
    • membership.

      Agreed. Someone is trying to create a Christian Kim Kardashian. Famous because the media tells us she is famous.

      June 25, 2012 at 12:03 pm |
  8. gubernova

    Give it up with the scientific evidence case. If God were detectable by scientific measures then he would exist physically and not spirituality. It's called faith not reason.

    June 25, 2012 at 11:59 am |
    • Voice of Reason

      So, do you believe in god?

      June 25, 2012 at 12:05 pm |
    • Rebel4Christ

      He does exist physically! We can't see the wind but we can see the effects of the wind right? So we know theres wind because we can feel it, sense it and hear it! Same thing with Christians we can feel God, hear God, and sense God.

      June 25, 2012 at 12:07 pm |
    • Voice of Reason

      @Rebel4Christ

      You cannot be serious, right? If you are truly believing what you post you are so far gone there is no hope. Just die and go to heaven then.

      June 25, 2012 at 12:09 pm |
    • Just Claims, No Truth

      Faith is the rationalization that believing in the suernatural is normal. Name anything else that it is wise to believe in without proper evidence?

      June 25, 2012 at 12:18 pm |
    • The ONE true GOD

      It is utterly impossible to explain things which are spiritual to people who do not have God's Spirit living within them. The only way to obtain the Holy Spirit is to believe-period. Then He will DEFINITELY reveal Himself to you in many different ways and IT IS something you sense and feel very much within you. How can we possibly explain something like that to people who base what they believe on logic and reason, rather than on faith and the word of God? This is not something we can pull out our pockets and show you. Your PROOF depends on your DECISION-period. Things which are spiritual CAN NOT be discerned by things which are physical. Until YOU decide to seek God, YOU will remain in the DARK. I'm not trying to be harsh, its only the truth. I hope at least one person is listening. Seek with all your heart and you WILL find.

      June 25, 2012 at 12:28 pm |
    • Just Claims, No Truth

      Belief is not a decision. Name any other belief you have that you first DECIDED to believe is true before any actually evidence that it was true?

      June 25, 2012 at 12:43 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      I see.
      The way to believe in God is to... (wait for it) – believe in God.
      Simply suspend all disbelief, but your rationality in hold and let faith guide you to The Truth.
      Make sure it's the right faith though – if somehow you manage to pick the wrong Truth out of the countless options without so much as an iota of evidence to guide you, God will punish you eternally.

      " The great trouble with religion — any religion — is that a religionist, having accepted certain propositions by faith, cannot thereafter judge those propositions by evidence. One may bask at the warm fire of faith or choose to live in the bleak uncertainty of reason — but one cannot have both."
      – Robert Heinlein

      June 25, 2012 at 12:46 pm |
    • Mike

      I wonder if people would be less inclined to believe and/or defend their belief in a god if, instead of being called, "God", people called him "Dave in the sky".

      Would it change your perspective on this sentence, "Give it up with the scientific evidence case. If Dave in the Sky were detectable by scientific measures then he would exist physically and not spirituality. It's called faith not reason."

      June 25, 2012 at 1:00 pm |
    • Trumpy

      Not the wind argument again? Wind is empirical. While not visible most of the time, it IS detectable. EMPIRICALLY detectable. Measurable, independently confirmable, doesn't require "special" knowledge to experience, etc.

      Yes, wind exists physically. It is empirically demonstrable.

      Where is the ACTUAL, EMPIRICAL evidence for a god being (much less for your specific god being)?

      June 25, 2012 at 1:37 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      I happen to agree that belief is not always choice. I think that many may have decided to believe and had their faith fulfilled but my question is this: To what shall we attribute the experiences we might call "burning bush" or "white light". Certainly these are allegories for an internal, undeniable, unsought for, unmeasurable experience which leaves a previously non-theistic person in a state of certainty that there is, in fact, a benevolent, guiding force upon them individually and upon us all as creatures of a loving power? Mass psychosis? I can't really accept that since these people often go on to live productive and well adjusted lives, often as not superseding their pasts. Odd isn't it?

      June 25, 2012 at 1:47 pm |
    • gubernova

      I guess I made a mistake and thought people on this board would be familiar with fideism. I guess it's over everyone's heads.

      June 25, 2012 at 2:06 pm |
  9. Trumpy

    I also dislike that she compares it to a scientific theory by saying it had "more explanatory power to explain something I WAS ALREADY SURE OF."
    Scientific theories aren't valid or accurate only if, or even it, they explain something that you've already determined to be the case. They explain the evidence and they can be entirely accurate even when conflicting with your pre-determined belief.

    There's also nothing in atheism that prevents belief in external, objective morality. Only that the source of that external morality is not an actual god-being.

    I'd also love to hear what other "good moral teachings" were in Christianity that persuaded her that couldn't also be found in dozens of other pre-Christian or non-Christian cultures.

    June 25, 2012 at 11:55 am |
    • Johnny

      Similarly, there is nothing in atheism that promotes a belief in an objective, external morality, or suggests that one has any sort of duty towards it.

      The problem with these sorts of situations is that there is no objective proof that there is or is not a god, and so the decision to believe or not believe is based on subjective reasoning. The furthest logic can take you is "I don't know", and so it isn't surprising that the instincts that make one person say "I believe in X" won't convince another person of the same.

      Unfortunately, many people seem to have a problem accepting that they shouldn't persecute others based on their subjective answer to an objectively unanswerable question.

      June 25, 2012 at 12:28 pm |
  10. Rebel4Christ

    Atheists get real! There is a God!!!!!

    June 25, 2012 at 11:50 am |
    • Colin

      which one?

      June 25, 2012 at 11:50 am |
    • Trumpy

      Empirical evidence for your claim?

      June 25, 2012 at 11:55 am |
    • Getreal

      You called...Oh yes I see....You have some proof I am assuming. Oh maybe a few more exclamation marks would sell it

      June 25, 2012 at 11:56 am |
    • Rebel4Christ

      First of all prove that there is NO GOD! I just proved there's a god by answering with a question, since you can't prove that there's not a God then wouldn't it be reasonable to question that maybe there is a God?

      June 25, 2012 at 12:04 pm |
    • dyslexic dog

      that's the ass backward logic that ensures religion continues.

      June 25, 2012 at 12:06 pm |
    • Voice of Reason

      "wouldn't it be reasonable to question that maybe there is a God?"

      No. Why does there have to be?

      June 25, 2012 at 12:06 pm |
    • BRC

      @Rebel4Christ,
      I generally don't get into the whole "are there or are there not gods" debate, because frankly I don't care; my main argument is with iorganized religions.

      Still, you've assertively made a point without any back up, so I'll give you an answer you were looking for. Evidence that would lead to teh belief that tehre are no gods, it even comes with a metaphor-

      I checked under my bed and in the closet often when I was a kid, and there were never any monsters, or monster tracks, or left behind monster pieces, so no matter how creepy the dark room may have been, the fact that there WAS NO EVIDENCE meant THERE WERE NO MONSTERS. That's not faith, that's an informed deduciton. I've looked, EVERY religion has spent huge amounts of time looking and so far ther is NO EVIDENCE that there are any gods, no matter how dark and scary you think the universe is. That means that I can make the informed deduction, that there are no gods. No evidence is not inherently proof, but no evidnece, in the face of searching, starts to be evidence to the contrary.

      June 25, 2012 at 12:10 pm |
    • Getreal

      I have questioned and continue to question my own belief.The only thing I can say is that to this point, I have seen no proof or evidence of any gods. I will continue asking questions. That ultimately is the difference between religion ( and the beliefs behind them) and the non-religious.

      Atheist, agnostic and iconoclasts ask questions
      Religions claim to have the answers and have no tolerance for the questions

      June 25, 2012 at 12:15 pm |
    • tallulah13

      Maybe Reb's post would be more believable if he used caps lock.

      June 25, 2012 at 12:16 pm |
    • A Frayed Knot

      Rebel4Christ,
      "wouldn't it be reasonable to question that maybe there is a God?"

      Sure, but if definitive proof of a god is lacking, and other answers are possible, the default, fall-back stance is NOT that there IS one until proved otherwise.

      June 25, 2012 at 12:17 pm |
    • Johnny

      @BRC -

      Let's turn your argument around, shall we? When you looked under your bed and in your closet, you also failed to find pedophiles. Would you conclude pedophiles did not exist then, because they weren't where you looked?

      Also, it is fairly easy to conceive of any number of gods that have no interest in the universe, earth, or humanity, and thus neither interact with the world nor leave evidence of their own presence - how would you test for the presence or absence of such gods? Where would you look?

      For years, physicists failed to find any evidence for the theoretical Higgs Boson. Now, rumors are spreading that they may have finally found the evidence they need to indicate that this theoretical particle exists - were the years of failure evidence that it did not?

      Looking under your bed and in your closet provided evidence that there were no monsters under your bed or in your closet. It wasn't proof that there were no monsters. Not having a hundred-kilometer long supercollider didn't mean the Higgs Boson wasn't a real particle - it meant we didn't have the experimental tools to find it.

      I'm not saying any god objectively exists. I'm saying that we don't have an experiment that could answer the question.

      June 25, 2012 at 12:36 pm |
    • BRC

      @Johny,
      That's why it's a metaphor. I didn't find any monsters in my room, and if I would have started roaming the country, I still wouldn't have found any. If I would have walked out of my room at night looking for pedophiles, I would have found them, so that example doesn't disprove anything. The combined efforts of all the worlds religions have spent a lot of time looking for proof of their gods, none of them hav efound anything yet, that's rather telling.

      UNLIKE with the Higgs Boson, which still may not be real, but there is SOMETHING at that level whose effects we can observe and begin to interpret. Science had an idea, looked hard and found the trail of evidence, religion has had many ideas, looked real hard for even longer, and has yet to find anything. Yay science.

      Now, you do make an interesting point, not finding signs of a god on this planet doesn't preclude there existence. I have often admitted that while I don't believe it personnally, it's entirely possible that billions of years ago an immeasurably powerful being compacted everything that would be the universe we know into one tiny near singular point and then hit it REALLY hard, said ooohhh pretty, then walked away. I can't prove that wrong, but your example would certainly involve the existence of gods that would make most or all of the religions people have come up with on this planet just straight up wrong.

      TL;DR my metaphor was better then you gave it credit for being, but I don't really disagree with you in principle.

      June 25, 2012 at 12:47 pm |
    • Darwin's Ghost

      @Jonny. But the evidence for that is elsewhere, whereas the evidence for monsters and gods is not.

      June 25, 2012 at 12:58 pm |
    • Trumpy

      Sigh. I'm really sick of the level of ignorance so many show these days.

      "First of all prove that there is NO GOD! "
      No one here had yet said there was no god. YOU made the positive assertion that such a being existed. Then, when asked for evidence to back up your assertion, your response was to demand people prove the opposite first. Not only is that logically erroneous and intellectually disingenuous, it is juvenile in the extreme.

      DO YOU HAVE EMPIRICAL EVIDENCE FOR YOUR CLAIM OR NOT?

      June 25, 2012 at 1:43 pm |
  11. membership.

    Leah joined a club to fit in. Shows how serious she is about faith. This is the Kardashians on overdrive. Leah is becoming famous for being an airhead.

    June 25, 2012 at 11:45 am |
    • Fufu

      I would assume most of the points she made while an atheist were completely in agreement with points you would have made. If she was stupid then, she is stupid now.

      June 25, 2012 at 11:47 am |
    • Logic Fail

      "If she was stupid then, she is stupid now."

      The Catholic church once denied the earth revolves in the face of scientific eveidence. by your logic:

      If the church was stupid then, the curhch is stupid now.

      June 25, 2012 at 11:52 am |
    • membership.

      keep assuming Fufu. Maybe one day you'll be right.

      June 25, 2012 at 11:54 am |
    • Fufu

      Logic Fail I don't support the Catholic Church. And yes, Membership, I do believe that while she was an "atheist," you would have said "right on" to all her comments.

      June 25, 2012 at 11:57 am |
    • HowsItGoin

      If her comments as an athiest were rational, I would say right-on. If theye weren't, I would say so.

      June 25, 2012 at 11:59 am |
    • membership.

      keep believing Fufu. Maybe one day you'll be right.

      June 25, 2012 at 11:59 am |
  12. steama

    I am very sorry for being so blunt, but, she is ultimately deluded. There is no evidence for the supernatural.

    June 25, 2012 at 11:40 am |
    • BRC

      I would understand if she converted because she ahd a major life experience that her mind simply could not rationalize, and that she could find no way to tie into the world we know. If she explerienced something so far beyond the bounds of what she felt science might one day answer for in reality, that she was forced to consider the possibility of the supernatural, then so be it.

      But, for a bi-s3xual woman to convert to Catholicism, which condemns her lifestyle and regards her with either indifference or even as lesser consideration by doctrine purely for being a her, becasue the provide the best MORAL standpoint, when they are actively pursuing efforts of bigotry is mind boggling to me.

      I would never question the voracity of another person's beliefs, but in this case I'm pretty comfortable questioning her logic.

      June 25, 2012 at 11:51 am |
    • Yup

      All those years at one of the finest colleges in the world, and the reasult is that she gets so tangled up in abtract jargon that so no longer can see the obvious fact that there is no evidence for her fairly tale, that morality is not a distant absolute concept but the choices and actions of incividuals, and that if you want a moral authority, there is none with a worse record than Catholicism, whose track record gives Islm a run for it's money in ugliness.

      Or she did it to hook a man. Either way, not impressed.

      June 25, 2012 at 12:09 pm |
  13. closet atheist

    Funny anecdote on catholic morality...

    My friend had her purse stolen from a bar a week ago. She got a call a couple of days ago from a priest. Somebody was in confession and turned the purse in out of guilt.

    This is typical catholic (christian) morality. I bet this person sleeps like a baby knowing god forgives him/her for stealing the purse.

    June 25, 2012 at 11:37 am |
    • Frank

      When I was a kid I used to pray every night for a new bicycle.
      Then I realized that the Lord does not work that way so I stole one and
      asked Him to forgive me. – Emo Philips

      June 25, 2012 at 11:41 am |
  14. Dunk

    @CQ

    I only read the first 3 words.

    How do you know I'm not just an agnostic who finds it more fun to argue with atheists?

    Religous people just say they believe. I can't argue with that.

    Atheists claim to be smart. I do argue with that.

    Read my posts. When have I ever claimed belief in a deity?

    June 25, 2012 at 11:34 am |
    • Dunk

      I keep posting instead of replying.

      Eh, atheists will probably make a big deal of that like they do every little thing.

      June 25, 2012 at 11:35 am |
    • BRC

      @Dunk,
      My post made absolutely no guess at your religious views, they are irrelevant to your comments. You said (paraphrasing), that in the atheists mindset, morals mean nothing to anything in the universe other than people. So why should they matter.

      My response is that, you are right, they mean nothing to anyone other than people, but WE ARE PEOPLE, so they are of vital importance to us. Isn't that enough?

      June 25, 2012 at 11:40 am |
    • starman

      "Not all atheists are smart, its just most smart people are atheists. Not all religious people are dumb, its just that most dumb people are religious." -Starman 2012

      June 25, 2012 at 11:56 am |
    • Dunk

      @BRC

      With all due respect, no, that is not enough.

      If you can't logically explain the meaning in your life, you can't say you can logically critique anyone else's choices for their lives.

      But I do appreciate and respect your candor.

      June 25, 2012 at 12:11 pm |
    • BRC

      @Dunk,
      That's a different question then what you asked before (marallity does not equal meaning). I do have a logical exlpanation of the meaning in my life, a very simple one. To care for those I love, to improve the lives around me, and to live in a way that I know to be right based on my life's experience. My morality is an internal ruleset that is derived from those drives. Logical, observable, explainable, and completely without need of anything oustide of what can be experience in the real world.

      Using that, I can easily critique others lives, if I see them taking actions that needlessly have a negative impact on others. ie. I don't care if someone believes in a deity, that in itself is not a moral or immoral act, but if someone uses their belief in a deity to justify actions that negatively impact someone else's life, then that is immoral.

      Killing, in anything other then self defense (and war is self defense on a large and semi-theoretical scale), is immoral. It does greivous harm to another with no worthwhile gain to make up for it. (If someone kills another man so that he can take his wallet, someone could argue that there was a positive to that, but it is a false argument; in the end the precedent woudl cripple a society, it makes it a net negative and therefor an immoral act).

      Is that logical enough for you?

      But I do appreciate and respect your candor.

      June 25, 2012 at 12:37 pm |
    • BRC

      Meant to delete that last line, wasn't mocking your post, just forgot to clear out the rest of it (wanted to make sure I didn't miss any wording)

      June 25, 2012 at 12:56 pm |
    • Dunk

      @BRC

      Haha. It's ok. I thought you meant it. Ha.

      I meant to reply but I just posted. I keep doing that. My answer is on the next page.

      Oh, one thing I forgot to say.

      Why is a net negative less moral? We are all random particles. You can't destroy or create mass/energy (Newtons 1st law of thermodynamics & other stuff). You can only convert one to another in varying levels of entropy.

      Why is a "living" body organized by cosmic particles any more "valuable" than a dead body organized by random dust?

      In a meaningless universe, what relevance does "value" have other than as brain waves?

      What relevance does relevance have?

      There is no meaning in an atheist world. If you can't logically value a human life, what role does morality play?

      Sorry. To answer your post in two separate threads.

      June 25, 2012 at 1:06 pm |
  15. Fufu

    I believe many of you will give up on atheism at some point in your life. Mock and scorn all you wish.....

    June 25, 2012 at 11:33 am |
    • Frank

      How does one "givei up" on atheism? I would have to suspend all reason in order to no longer demand evidence for a deity, fairies or leprachauns. I'm sure one day you'll come 'round and give up on not collecting stamps.

      June 25, 2012 at 11:38 am |
    • closet atheist

      I will give up atheism when there is verifiable proof that a god exists. Until that time, I'm content with my position. Thanks.

      June 25, 2012 at 11:39 am |
    • Fufu

      Maybe you will have to suspend "evidence" as you understand it. Doesn't mean it won't happen someday for you.

      June 25, 2012 at 11:41 am |
    • Fufu

      Closet God may just provide it for you someday. We'll have to wait and see.

      June 25, 2012 at 11:43 am |
    • Voice of Reason

      You really do not have a clue what an atheist is, do you? You sound ridiculous.

      June 25, 2012 at 11:49 am |
    • Colin

      Yes FuFu, and one day you might start to believe in Peter Pan. When you think about what that would take, you will get an idea of what it would take for most atheists to believe in any of the various gods.

      June 25, 2012 at 11:50 am |
    • Primewonk

      fufu wrote, "maybe you will have to suspend "evidence" as you understand it.

      When this happens, you get things like the Creation Museum. You get relgious îdiots demanding to teach mythology as science. You get deniers claiming climate change is a scam. You get religious îdiots trying to legalize discrimination against gay folks.

      June 25, 2012 at 11:51 am |
    • Rebel4Christ

      Some of you will still be atheists probably even till the day you die, but when you meet God I'm pretty sure your going to believe in him!

      June 25, 2012 at 11:51 am |
    • Fufu

      Colin I've never heard of anybody worshiping Peter Pan.

      June 25, 2012 at 11:52 am |
    • Fufu

      Prime, some may do this. Other will simply want a relationship with the God who created them.

      June 25, 2012 at 11:53 am |
    • Fufu

      VoR, you can always be depended on for your hatred and anger, can't you. I think you are a prime candidate to become a believer some day.

      June 25, 2012 at 11:54 am |
    • BRC

      @Fufu,
      "Other will simply want a relationship with the God who created them"
      I'm pretty sure that only theoretically applies to biblical Jesus, the rest of us were created by our parents. Thank them, not "God". If people are worshipping gods as their creater, they have problems with attribution.

      June 25, 2012 at 11:56 am |
    • Colin

      FuFu:

      I believe in Leprechauns.

      I believe that the Leprechaun King created the entire Universe about 6,000 years ago. I know there is a substantial amount of evidence suggesting that the Universe is significantly older than this, but I think a lot of that evidence comes from bad science, or from a worldwide conspiracy of scientists who want to deny Leprechauns. I know this because it is written in the Leprechaun Chronicles, a book cobbled together from various authors, most unknown, by our church during the Dark Ages.

      The Leprechaun King lives in Leprechaun Heaven, where he where he busies himself answering prayers, running the Universe and recording the lives of humans for their final judgment before him. He is surrounded by an entire society of magical beings – his son Merlin, the Holy Leprechaun Spirit, the good fairy Mary, thousands of Leprechaun saints, fairies, pixies and the souls of many millions of dead people.

      Each Leprechaun saint and pixie has a special task. For example, Saint Christopher is the patron-pixie of travelers and it is his job to intercede with the Leprechaun king on behalf of travelers to keep them safe. Most countries and professions similarly have a special Leprechaun who pays them special attention – even lawyers. There are strict rules governing the roles, responsibilities of the various Leprechauns, elves, pixies and other heavenly beings.

      I believe that the Leprechaun King loves me and hears my prayers. He intervenes in my life periodically by saving me from various ills. All I have to do is think to myself and he reads my mind and answers my prayers. He loves me and when I die, provided I have lived a good life, I will go to Leprechaun Heaven, where I will live happily ever after with all other humans who have ever led good lives.

      I know there is not a lot of evidence to support my beliefs, but that is just the point. The Leprechaun King wants us to have “faith,” so he never reveals himself. To make an unambiguous appearance and settle once and for all the question of his existence would deprive us of free will and, even though he is all-knowing, he would not know who his true believers were.

      In fact, I believe that the Leprechaun King is “beyond understanding”. He is “outside the Universe” and any time I am faced with something about my Leprechaun belief that makes no sense, I don’t dare question it, I just close my mind and tell myself that my mind is too small to understand the greatness of the Leprechaun King. These answers are satisfying to me.

      Some people are called “atheists,” and they are skeptical of my belief in the Leprechaun King. They point out many inherent contradictions and unsupported assumptions that underwrite my belief in Leprechauns. But, they can’t prove he doesn’t exist, so he must exist. And so what! Even if I am wrong, and go my whole life believing in Leprechauns and it turns out I am wrong, I have lost nothing. However, if they are wrong, the Leprechaun King will send them to hell to burn forever in the presence of the Evil Ground Troll.

      Am I convincing you to believe in Leprechauns yet FuFu?

      June 25, 2012 at 11:57 am |
    • starman

      In fact, I believe as you age you may *reason* better and give up religion as is the CLEAR trend in the 1st modern world.

      June 25, 2012 at 11:58 am |
    • Fufu

      Colin I don't think anybody has ever worshiped leprechauns.

      June 25, 2012 at 11:58 am |
    • Fufu

      starman are you referring to the new enlightened world where people are still allowing each other to starve and there are still hundreds of active wars going on as we speak?

      June 25, 2012 at 12:00 pm |
    • Colin

      Why not FuFu? What is it about Leprechauns that makes their existence unlikely to you? Can you disprove Leprechauns? Why not just have "faith"?

      For those who believe no evidence is necessary, for those who do not, no evidence is sufficient – Thomas Aquinas.

      June 25, 2012 at 12:02 pm |
    • Fufu

      Colin faith in leprechauns has not been handed down through 100s of generations and thrived or grown despite all the modern "enlightenment" that has occurred in the world.

      June 25, 2012 at 12:05 pm |
    • Colin

      Belief in ghosts has, so has belief in Allah. And belief in the Lord Buddah, and in Shiva, Vishnu and Krishna. So has astrology. So what?

      June 25, 2012 at 12:08 pm |
    • HowsItGoin

      Fufu,
      You keep sidestepping the issues and questions addressed to you... Just sayin from an objective viewpoint.

      June 25, 2012 at 12:10 pm |
    • Fufu

      Howsitgoing, what do I do? Address the question about leprechauns seriously?

      June 25, 2012 at 12:27 pm |
    • HowsItGoin

      @Fufu,
      Yes.
      It has direct relevance to all beliefs that have no evidence to back them up.

      June 25, 2012 at 12:41 pm |
    • Fufu

      Howsitgoing you merely need to go up about 5 comments to see my response to that. I feel it is clear and easily understandable.

      June 25, 2012 at 12:46 pm |
    • HowsItGoin

      Fufu,
      I disagree with that and agree with Colin. Sorry.

      June 25, 2012 at 12:49 pm |
    • Trumpy

      Believe what you want. It doesn't make this statement any more true than the other fantasies you also believe in.

      June 25, 2012 at 2:02 pm |
  16. tcp

    She has simply done what every "religious" person I know has done. She has found what comes closest to conforming with HER personal belief system and she is exploiting it. We see it all the time. The "that church is messed up because they do/don't allow this or that". "I like my church because they let me smoke...they let me cuss...they don't care how I dress...they allow me to drink...they will forgive EVERY one of my transgressions EVERY week"...

    June 25, 2012 at 11:24 am |
    • Getreal

      This post is so wrong on so many levels i don't have time to address it all.

      Let me just ask you this one question.

      Does your church "let you" think for yourself?

      June 25, 2012 at 11:31 am |
    • Mark From Middle River

      >>>"She has simply done what every "religious" person I know has done. She has found what comes closest to conforming with HER personal belief system and she is exploiting it."

      So, was not the same done by the Pastor who converted to Atheism and now preaches it?

      June 25, 2012 at 11:38 am |
  17. IslandAtheist

    Have fun adhering to the infallible word of Ratzinger.

    June 25, 2012 at 11:19 am |
    • gubernova

      That was not clever at all, considering you don't really understand papal infallibility...

      June 25, 2012 at 11:46 am |
    • IslandAtheist

      it's dogma

      June 25, 2012 at 11:58 am |
    • AGuest9

      Seig heil, Herr Ratzinger.

      June 25, 2012 at 12:45 pm |
  18. Dunk

    @eyeofHorus

    Again, philosophers do.

    Read them. You might learn something.

    You need to base your worldview on philosophy, not South Park. Not Simpsons. Not Jersey Shore.

    Turn off the TV & read.

    You can then discuss intelligently with other readers.

    June 25, 2012 at 11:14 am |
  19. Dunk

    @rtbrno65

    if it doesn't, why does morality mean anything? Why can't I just kill you? Ok. So I might go to jail.

    But if life has no meaning, your murder & my rotting in jail is meaningless. Therefore morality is meaningless.

    These are simple concepts people.

    June 25, 2012 at 11:10 am |
    • BRC

      @Dunk,
      Morality doesn't have meaning beyond how if effects people, the rules we agree on and accept as a society will mean nothing when catastrophic even or the sun expanding wipes us off the star map; but why isn't it's effect on mankind enough?

      It's true, morality only has value relative to those with the morals, but to us that value is necessaruly very high. So why not accept that morals affect the human condition, and move on? Are you trying to make a point?

      June 25, 2012 at 11:14 am |
    • Ting

      Are you kidding? Life is even more precious. You only get one shot, so why blow it in prison?

      June 25, 2012 at 11:14 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      We are selfish creatures by nature, yet our survival depends on cooperation. In order to balance these two conflicting instincts, mankind has had to develop rules that allow room for both.
      These rules are not the same for all communities – hence we've had so many different types of religion and government throughout history.
      Religion binds communities together by giving a common frame of reference. Shared fears (like divine retribution), hopes (like going to heaven) and rituals allow the instinct for self preservation to extend beyond one's self and immediate family.
      This is why the great majority of evolutionary biologists find no conflict between religion and science – as long as religion is recognized solely as a social adaptation.
      Moral relativism is a truism, whether you admit it or not.
      For example – Our culture has a very strong cannibalism taboo, but it cannot be "human nature" to feel repulsed by it as virtually every branch of the human species has praticed it at some point in their development. The Aztecs believed in transubstantiation as well. They consumed their human sacrifices in the belief that the dead literally became a part of the God to whom they were given.
      Binerwurs in India ate the sick amongst them to please Kali.
      The Karankawa, an indigenous Texan tribe, ritualistically consumed their enemies to gain their strength.
      Easter Islanders considered the consumption of one's neighbour as more of an insult than a crime.
      The Wari, The Kuru, Fore, Caribs, Fijians, Popayans, Serengipeans, are all fairly modern examples (within the last 500 years).
      There is no supernatural source of morality. Ethics are simply a covenent by and for humans allowing us to live together in relative harmony.

      June 25, 2012 at 11:16 am |
    • Voice of Reason

      Dunk

      I responded to your morality question but you did not reply. I gave you what I think is a reasonable explanation for morality. Social evolution and natural selection. Possible?

      June 25, 2012 at 11:19 am |
    • Dunk

      @voice.

      I did. Same thread as your question.

      June 25, 2012 at 11:22 am |
    • Just Claims, No Truth

      Dunk,

      I have a simple question for you. Morality is about not causing needless harm. Why is something immoral if it only offends a god and does not actually cause needless harm? Most of what religion attributes to immorality has nothing to do with morality.

      June 25, 2012 at 11:23 am |
    • Frank

      It must be just horrible that life has no meaning to you unless you believe some sky wizard will reward you if you follow all his commands or you will burn for eternity if you do not. Religious indoctrination should be outlawed for imprisoning the gullible like yourself.

      June 25, 2012 at 11:28 am |
    • Voice of Reason

      Dunk
      "You wrote "So, I guess philosophers have all the answers? Fail."
      "If atheists don't read philosophy to inform them on ethics, society, & ontology then where do you turn for answers?"

      Morality is begotten via social interaction not what someone says it is. Just use your god and religion for example. Great morality there, right? Not!

      Right now in this day and age all we have for real cold hard facts of our natural existence is science, period. And science is far from perfect, but you know what? It keeps questioning, unlike believers.

      June 25, 2012 at 11:32 am |
    • Cal

      Even within the bounds of religious belief people do meaningless things. Suppose we define meaning as something lasting and eternal. Explain how you rationalize having bought the red shirt as opposed to the blue shirt within the bounds of the Bible. The decision has no meaning, but you still did it. You ate that cookie because it was delicious, not because it brought glory to God or helped fulfill some "purpose". Most of the day to day decisions you make have no meaning as the results of those decisions have no bearing on the eternal afterlife. So with our revised definition of meaning, most decisions you make are meaningless, meaning most of your life is meaningless.

      June 25, 2012 at 11:34 am |
    • Logic Fail

      "If God does not exist, that would make me sad, therefore God exists" = logic fail. The universe owes you no comfort.

      June 25, 2012 at 11:36 am |
    • Dunk

      @Voice

      Good Gosh!!!!! REALLY? REALLY?

      "Morality is begotten via social interaction not what someone says it is"

      Interaction. Your morals are based on the culture/subculture you adhere to. You're told what your morals are through your "interaction."

      But, you say, you think for yourself. Suuuuure you do.

      What if someone enters your culture/subculture and disagrees with you. Who's the immoral one? Him or you? Think that one through.

      June 25, 2012 at 11:48 am |
    • Voice of Reason

      @Dunk

      Universal morality, not the little nuances created by religions and various cultures. I live in a culture that tortures, traumatizes and slaughters animals. Do I find this moral? Absolutely not, but my culture claims its alright. I am told it is alright but something inside doesn't sit well with that morality. No one told me it is wrong to do this to our animals, except god and religion of course.

      June 25, 2012 at 11:57 am |
    • Dunk

      Voice, sorry about the exclamation points and caps. I was obnoxious there. Apologies. The following is written with respect.

      But you didn't answer the question. Who's wrong – your culture or you in regard to animals? Atheism doesn't provide you the framework to answer that.

      Again, philosophers have disproven universal morality. Does not exist logically.

      You can say you believe in universal morality or you can say you are ruled by logic.

      Philosophers say they you can't do both.

      June 25, 2012 at 12:19 pm |
    • Voice of Reason

      @Dunk

      With all due respect, philosophers are not experts except on the things they ponder, are they true? That is a philosophical debate. Atheism is a person without a god, that's all, it's not a foundation for morality. If you want a right or a wrong from me I would say what we do in this country to our animals is immoral, our culture is wrong. I would turn to science to back me up on this as there a scientific facts that prove animals suffer for our selfish abuse to use them as a food source.

      June 25, 2012 at 12:31 pm |
    • Just Claims, No Truth

      Dunk,

      You seem to have the opinion all philosophers agree with this premise, they don't.

      BTW I asked you a question about morality and why anything that doesn't cause needless harm to another should be considered immoral.

      June 25, 2012 at 12:38 pm |
    • Johnny

      @Voice of Reason:

      But you are making the assumption that the suffering of animals matters. There is no objective basis by which to make that assumption.

      Moreover, millions of years of evolution have given you a stomach that processes animal tissue, and teeth that rend flesh. You aren't an herbivore. Even my friends who don't eat meat agree that it is delicious - we are programmed to enjoy it. The means we use to kill animals now are also significantly more comfortable than chasing them down and beating them to death with our fists, or crushing them with our jaws, as other Great Apes do.

      How can something for which we are objectively adapted to be wrong, if it fails to negatively affect our interactions with other humans?

      June 25, 2012 at 12:55 pm |
    • Voice of Reason

      @Johnny
      "How can something for which we are objectively adapted to be wrong, if it fails to negatively affect our interactions with other humans?"

      Please view "Forks Over Knives" and "Earthlings" then get back to me. Until then, think what you may.

      June 25, 2012 at 1:33 pm |
    • Johnny

      @Voice of Reason:

      Took a look. One is based on the Campbell work, which is at best controversial. The other is a depiction of how we use animals, and animal parts. Regarding the former, the conclusions drawn in his book (and the film) are not consistent with the results of the study it is based on. A number of people have gone point by point and demonstrated that the conclusions about not eating meat are murky, at best.

      Regarding the latter, it is once again predicated on the assumption that the suffering of animals is immoral, which doesn't seem to have any objective basis.

      I'm not saying the unnecessary suffering of animals is good, or moral, but rather pointing out that your perspective on the subject is no more rational, no more based on fact, than that of the people you are arguing against.

      June 25, 2012 at 5:34 pm |
  20. Nethaniel

    Even with the addition of a video and keeping this story on the front page all weekend, she STILL makes the logical mistake of saying "here is what I have decided is the reality of the situation" (a reality which is HEAVILY debatable, especially in light of recent neurological research) and then went looking for whatever philosophy was the closest match for her preconceived determination of reality. Then embraced it because it agreed with her on one point, even as she says out the other side of her mouth "but I still think it's wrong on parts W, X, Y, and Z."

    June 25, 2012 at 10:57 am |
    • Kent

      I found humor in her decision to embrace Catholicism but only the parts she agreed with. That doesn't sound like a Catholic anymore.

      June 25, 2012 at 11:08 am |
    • Trumpy

      This whole thing smacks of something else going on...and I have to say it seems to be that she started dating a Catholic guy and it got serious.

      Her reasons are all pretty flimsy. For example, EVERY god-based religion says morality is external, so using that as a basis for choosing any specific one of them is meaningless. And she still says she disagrees with half the Catholic faith's beliefs.

      With reasons so spurious and disagreement so large, the boyfriend really seems like the driving motivator in this decision. Sorry.

      June 25, 2012 at 11:22 am |
    • membership.

      Leah went looking for whatever philosophy was the closest match to her boyfriend!

      June 25, 2012 at 11:47 am |
    • AGuest9

      @membership, you are probably right, but if she is getting serious with him, probably the religion of his parents. 😦 So much for her intelligence.

      June 25, 2012 at 12:46 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.