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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.”

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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. partson dube

    From the pan into the fire

    June 25, 2012 at 1:57 pm |
  2. Vizz

    IIt's a shame when the rational world loses one more free-thinker. It's true though... perhaps she was never a true free-thinker.

    June 25, 2012 at 1:50 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      If you mean "free-thinker" as in someone who adheres to the thought patterns of those who are "free" from religion despite a personal conviction, possibly not. If you mean "free-thinker" as in someone who gathers their own information, tests it against experience and makes up their own mind, then resoundingly so.

      July 2, 2012 at 1:09 pm |
  3. Atheist Hunter

    Dr. Donald DeYoung, a Ph.D. in Physics, once claimed, "When the Bible touches on matters of science, it is entirely accurate". Scientific experts like Dr. Robert Jastrow (founder and director of G.I.S.S. and a professor of both Earth Science and Astronomy), Dr. Stephen C. Meyer (Ph.D in genetics and consultant on the Human Genome project), John Clayton (retired science teacher), Prof. Antony Flew (professor of philosophy, which includes scientific empiricism), and scores more, have stood in favor of the Bible's accuracy, against the fraud of Darwin's hypothesis (a hypothesis Darwin never tested, and every scientist since has tried to test in the flaw of confirmation bias,) and "high criticism" of the Bible's historical record. From statements supporting the Theory of Relativity (which postulates that the measurement of time is relative to the speed of motion through a given space) and the Big Bang theory (which postulates that, soon after the creation of matter and energy, an explosion began the expansion of the universe), to the hydrologic cycle, to the classification of animals and plants, to medical and hygienic statements in the Torah, to environmentalist statements, to psychological and sociological observations... the Bible has been proven, over and over again, by science.

    Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/5377160

    June 25, 2012 at 1:43 pm |
    • Jimmy G.

      You have that backwards. The bible has been disproven over and over with and without science.
      But have you no words of your own, young hunter? Do you fumble when trying to express your own thoughts?

      June 25, 2012 at 1:49 pm |
    • BRC

      Read the biblical cure for leaprosy, and then tell me you believe you believe the Bible it is always right.

      June 25, 2012 at 1:51 pm |
    • Smurfette

      Especially the part where Noah builds a boat 300 cubits (450 feet) long and manages to collect 2 of each type of animal in the world (what part of science showed how he traveled to the arctic to collect polar bears, and Australia to collect all manner of marsupials (Giant hoverdcraft, was it?) I like that sciency part the best!

      June 25, 2012 at 1:53 pm |
    • Atheist Hunter

      jimmy G. .... you should know, atheist deal in facts and my opinion means nothing on this blog. so here's the facts. Why would you want my opinion over facts??? Can't please an atheist. All they want to hear is you're right. BRC....the biblical cure for leprosy is JESUS! Yes the bible is ALWAYS right!!!!

      June 25, 2012 at 1:55 pm |
    • Smurfette

      Hey, AH – what do you mean when you say the Bible has been proven? That's kind of a sentence fragment, dontcha know? It's been proven to whiten your whites? Proven to last longer than the leading brand?

      You need to finish your thoughts – the bible has been proven . . . . . ?

      June 25, 2012 at 1:56 pm |
    • Atheist Hunter

      Smurfette....It's called God! All things are possible with God! Try to wrap you little blue head around it and realize the scope of reality for you is a speck on sand on a beach.

      June 25, 2012 at 2:01 pm |
    • Getreal

      Dr De Young is a creation scientist who's work has been largely discredited from the scientific community because of his clear bias in his work. Many of his work has been shown to have flawed premises and the inferences based on those flawed premises are unjustified. Though much of his work in the practical applications of science are in large part correct, he often has accepted belief to be fact, which is where the flaws in his premises originate.
      In 2006, the nobel prize for physics was awarded to two american scientists who PROVED that one aspect of the Big Bang "Theory" is absolutely correct.

      June 25, 2012 at 2:02 pm |
    • Atheist Hunter

      Smurfette....here, let me help you....ACCURATE!

      June 25, 2012 at 2:03 pm |
    • Smurfette

      AH – stop being such a sniveling little t-wat, will you? Look at what you ended your post with:

      "the Bible has been proven, over and over again, by science."

      Don't give me this "god can do anything" garbage. How has science – SCIENCE – proved the story of Noah's Ark?

      Now, man up or shut up, oh nutless wonder that you obviously are

      June 25, 2012 at 2:05 pm |
    • Atheist Hunter

      get real.....that's exactly what it said, pay attention.
      the Big Bang theory (which postulates that, soon after the creation of matter and energy, an explosion began the expansion of the universe), to the hydrologic cycle, to the classification of animals and plants, to medical and hygienic statements in the Torah, to environmentalist statements, to psychological and sociological observations

      June 25, 2012 at 2:05 pm |
    • W Murderface

      If the bible is 100% true then answer this. First there was Adam and Eve world pop. 2 they had Cane and Able world pop 4. Cane killed Able world pop 3. Cane wandered the desert and bagat himself a wife?????????? where did the wife come from?

      June 25, 2012 at 2:06 pm |
    • Jimmy G.

      I will admit that where anything religious is concerned, I am very hard to please, but I prefer having actual conversations even if you are only telling us your opinion. It's good for a laugh if nothing else.
      Just quoting some nonsense at us is not expressing yourself very well, I thought. Maybe you prefer it. Whatever.

      We only insist on facts when it is relevant to do so.
      If your argument requires that something be real and not imaginary, surely it is a reasonable thing to insist on making sure that what is imaginary be labeled correctly?
      I am someone who prefers that we all be on the same page as regards reality and facts and evidence and all those scary things. I want to discuss things that are real and true, not the fevered imaginings of nomadic tribes of robbers and murderers who had priest-kings to tell them their god wanted them to wipe out whole communities. Why bother with nonsense?

      If you have an opinion, perhaps if you expressed it in a different way it would be easier for us to understand your particular brand of emotional blindness and personal delusions you may have trouble getting rid of and we could help you understand how some things you believe are clearly untrue and imaginary....or whatever.

      You hunt but you have no weapons of your own. This makes me laugh. Let your passion give an edge to your words and type as you would speak to someone sitting at a table with you. Typing can be hard. Quoting crap is easy.

      June 25, 2012 at 2:08 pm |
    • H-a-r-k!

      Atheist Hunter, the next thing we'll see, these nitwits will deny that those acclaimed scientists you mentioned ever existed! They are getting pretty desperate, their parroting has exhausted them, their energies are languishing.... They have no legs to stand on, only empty parroting..... they are dissipating into blobs.... Could it be the darvin-germ, escaped from a cave, that hunts only them down?
      Run for your lives! LOL!

      June 25, 2012 at 2:10 pm |
    • Smurfette

      Fundies – putting the BULL in Bible.

      And the Garden of Eden was scientifically proven how?

      And the peer-reviewed papers establishing that Eve was fashioned from Adam's rib are published where?

      June 25, 2012 at 2:11 pm |
    • Atheist Hunter

      All you atheists can GO TO HELL! Stop picking on me!

      June 25, 2012 at 2:13 pm |
    • Getreal

      You tell the attests to go to a place they don't believe exists...interesting...

      June 25, 2012 at 2:15 pm |
    • A Frayed Knot

      Atheist Hunter,

      This illustration shows what the ancient Hebrews thought the Earth and Universe were like:

      Accurate???

      June 25, 2012 at 2:16 pm |
    • W Murderface

      Please answer the question. My soul needs saving.

      June 25, 2012 at 2:16 pm |
    • Atheist Hunter

      Just SHUT UP! You will go there! You will you will you will. Your evil. Your in league with Satan

      June 25, 2012 at 2:18 pm |
    • Darwin's Ghost

      @HeraldAngel. No one said they did not exit – just that they are only acclaimed in creationist circles and that their "work" is funded by creationists and is discredited on factual matters relating to the origin of life and the origin of species.

      June 25, 2012 at 2:19 pm |
    • HawaiiGuest

      Ok I'm calling one of two situations here with Atheist Hunter.
      1) He's a little kid that doesn't like actually being challenged on his blind assertions.
      2) He's a troll.

      Votes anyone?

      June 25, 2012 at 2:20 pm |
    • Getreal

      now the atheists are in league with someone they believe does not exist....still interesting

      June 25, 2012 at 2:22 pm |
    • BRC

      @HawaiiGuest
      2. But with a twist. Atheist Hunter is always head in the sand devoted to the bible, but he's not usually this whiny and infantile about dissenting remarks. I think someone is borrowing his name.

      June 25, 2012 at 2:25 pm |
    • A Frayed Knot

      Atheist Hunter,

      - Bats are birds
      - Pi is 3
      - Rabbits chew their cud
      - Spattering dove's blood all over cures leprosy
      - A non-virgin's thigh rots after she drinks special "holy" water

      Accurate??? Accurate???

      June 25, 2012 at 2:26 pm |
    • Atheist Hunter

      Murderface..................
      One of the reasons many Christians cannot answer the question about Cain’s wife is that they tend to look at today’s world and the problems that would be associated with close relations marrying, and they do not look at the clear historical record God has given to us.

      They try to interpret Genesis from our present situation rather than understand the true biblical history of the world and the changes that have occurred because of sin. Because they are not building their worldview on Scripture but taking a secular way of thinking to the Bible, they are blinded to the simple answers.

      Genesis is the record of the God who was there as history happened. It is the Word of One who knows everything and who is a reliable Witness from the past. Thus, when we use Genesis as a basis for understanding history, we can make sense of evidence which would otherwise be a real mystery. You see, if evolution is true, science has an even bigger problem than Cain’s wife to explain—namely, how could man ever evolve by mutations (mistakes) in the first place, since that process would have made everyone’s children deformed? The mere fact that people can produce offspring that are not largely deformed is a testimony to creation, not evolution.
      http://www.answersingenesis.org/articles/nab/who-was-cains-wife

      June 25, 2012 at 2:38 pm |
    • dyslexic dog

      All creationist quack scientists I'm sure. Quote as many names as you like and as many phony studies. What a joke!

      June 25, 2012 at 2:39 pm |
    • H-a-r-k!

      Oh, geez.....! Look y'all! Darwin's ghost is bringing up "factual matters"!
      You've made my day! I'm about to peee from laughter! got to run! 🙂

      June 25, 2012 at 2:42 pm |
    • Jimmy G.

      Wow. I guess you'll be having the super-gulp size cup for your koolaide, then?
      And might I suggest you change your name?
      You will get no trophies here with beliefs like those...

      June 25, 2012 at 2:45 pm |
    • Atheist Hunter

      Jimmy G....yes you want to laugh, but you can't laugh at facts and it angers you. I know your kind. Facts are always relevant when talking to an atheist. Unless you accept Jesus we will never be on the same page. You don't know what is real and true, you are blinded in your delusional "i know everything" world. Do we not fight wars today for our beliefs??? You are blind and you can't lead yourself, much less me. I don't need my own weapons, God has provided them and TRUTH is one of them. You can't beat TRUTH no matter how hard you try, that's why you want to hear my opinions now, but if I give my opinions then I hear from you and your kind, give me facts.
      Okay if I were sitting at the table with you I would say, "You are lost without Jesus."

      June 25, 2012 at 2:48 pm |
    • Atheist Hunter

      Smurfette......honey we already discussed this, in the BIBLE. Most accurate book since creation of man.

      June 25, 2012 at 2:51 pm |
    • HawaiiGuest

      LOL ok I'm now thinking that #1 is more likely.

      June 25, 2012 at 2:51 pm |
    • Jimmy G.

      There!
      Was that so hard?

      As to being "lost" without "Jesus", I understand why you believe that to be true. I also know for a fact that it is not true.

      But at least you said something. It could have been worse, I guess.

      Are you insisting that I believe in your religion or we cannot have a conversation? Because that would be sort of silly.

      June 25, 2012 at 2:55 pm |
    • Atheist Hunter

      A Frayed Knot............you are a frayed nut....i mean knot. 🙂

      June 25, 2012 at 2:57 pm |
    • A Frayed Knot

      HawaiiGuest,

      My guess is that AH is a housewife from the Mid-West (not that there's anything wrong with that). She's never on later in the day after the kids and hubby get home.

      June 25, 2012 at 3:02 pm |
    • Atheist Hunter

      Jimmy G....I'm not insisting anything. God and I offer a way, if you refuse then you'll remember the day we offered. That is my purpose, to make sure all hear. You are my assignment from God for the day. He's making sure you hear the truth because "All will hear." Today is your day to hear about the saving grace of Jesus Christ.
      What does life mean to you? If there is not God then what is life about? Why are you here? What is your purpose? Why do you feel miserable inside? What will ever fill they emptiness you have? What will happen to you when you die? What if you are wrong and I and the Bible are right? What if the horror of revelation and hell are real and you could escape them? How would you feel if you don't and what I am saying is truth and you didn't warn your family and friends? Your children if you have any? Big risk you are taking.

      June 25, 2012 at 3:06 pm |
    • Atheist Hunter

      A Frayed Knot.....you got me! Not. Jesus Christ loves you and he has a mission for you frayed knot. You're meant to be a convert.

      June 25, 2012 at 3:10 pm |
    • sam

      So Abel got it on with Eve, then?

      June 25, 2012 at 3:18 pm |
    • Jimmy G.

      So you mean well but you don't care if you are correct about anything? Okay. Got it.
      I mean well but I prefer to have a strong grip on reality and I prefer to be correct about everything to the extent possible.
      You are a religious believer. You will likely view any argument, contradiction, or anything like that as a threat to your religion and will also likely view it at rude or hateful – because how could we not see into your heart and know how much you love your imaginary super-father-figure? It should be obvious, right? lol
      Your sincerity might be real, but what you are sincere about does not need to be real for you to be sincere or even to die for your beliefs. Your beliefs do not need to be real for you to believe them. This is what separates us. I insist on honest truth.
      You do not.
      But we have good intentions towards each other. My good intentions give me passion, but I do not want my passion to help you blind me into violating your rights. I want my good intentions to be based on truth and reality. You don't seem to care.

      June 25, 2012 at 4:01 pm |
  4. The True Scotsman

    Dang..are the atheists still whining and whimpering on here?
    After 80 pages, have anyone decided if she was ever a true atheist? Har har har!

    June 25, 2012 at 1:40 pm |
    • It's like this

      If you had actually watched the video, you would clearly see her say that her friends, atheists included, had long told her that her philosophies were far more incompatible with Christianity than atheism. That means that all the people around her recognized that she was a Christian who had fooled herself into believing that she was an atheist, just as some gay men repressed their nature due to societal pressures and married women, only later to find they were gay (Oscar Wilde did this, by the way).

      Bummer when reality gets in the way of your illusions, isn't it?

      June 25, 2012 at 1:47 pm |
    • Jimmy G.

      She's essentially admitted in her own words that she does not understand the difference between what is real and what is not.

      That makes her delusional and perfect for a religion. It was easy for her Catholic friends and boyfriend to coerce her into their cult because she was already delusional and ripe for any cult.

      She may have not believed in any gods, making her atheist, but she was always deluded about morality and the supernatural.

      She wants babies more than a blog award. Her boyfriend is Catholic. Duh. She is blinded by her emotions.
      Happens all the time with some people.

      June 25, 2012 at 1:55 pm |
    • The True Scotsman

      @It's like this- "Bummer when reality gets in the way of your illusions, isn't it?"

      Yep..like when you screwed up and said, "incompatible with Christianity than atheism."

      June 25, 2012 at 2:40 pm |
    • The True Scotsman

      "She is blinded by her emotions.
      Happens all the time with some people."

      With all that guessing you are doing...you fit right in.

      June 25, 2012 at 2:41 pm |
    • Jimmy G.

      You should try some "true research" and you'd probably agree with me. Read something instead of choking on haggis all day.

      June 25, 2012 at 2:48 pm |
    • It's like this

      So you think my typo somehow negates your totally failed logic? That sounds lika an admission that you are unable to debate the point.

      June 25, 2012 at 3:36 pm |
    • Trumpy

      I think she was a "true" atheist if she says she was. But I think that if she also had a preconception that concepts such as morality were "external" to mankind and "uncovered like archaeology" then she was predisposed and more likely to eventually convert to a religion than atheists who don't feel such concepts are external in origin.

      She can provide her own labels and if she said she was an atheist for real, then I'll believe her. But I also believe she was an atheist who was more prone to conversion than most others.

      June 25, 2012 at 5:02 pm |
  5. Dunk

    @Just Claims, No Truth

    Again. Why do I have to keep saying I've never said there is no God. I've never said it.

    Atheists, here on this board, are just looking for a fight just assume & assume & assume I'm religious.

    But common sense says if a God who created everything sets himself up as a moral judge, then whatever that deitic judge says goes (some of you will read this & assume I'm religious ).

    Now does that make it right? No.

    But it's the easier answer.

    Atheists who force their morals unto others have the much harder argument. From a rhetorical/logical standpoint.

    Who's right?

    Maybe no one. So stop pretending.

    June 25, 2012 at 1:33 pm |
    • Atheist Hunter

      Everyone who believes that the Bible is the infallible word of God! That's who!

      June 25, 2012 at 1:39 pm |
    • Smurfette

      @ AH – which translation of which Bible at what point in time? Devious little thing is yer Bible – changing and contorting just as quick as anything! And as for what's inside? Well, let me tell ya – it's like the junk drawer in the kitchen – you look in there long enough and you'll find something you can use, even if it's really for something else. Sure, sure, sure – it contradicts itself, ties itself in knots and contains a hole lot of silliness, but that's part of its folksy charm! Stone yer children – yup, its there! Genocide – well, of course – maybe I'll have two helpings! Dogs and cats living together – well, I'm sure if you look hard enough. So, AH, I gotta agree with ya – people who believe that to be the infallible word of god have to be right!

      June 25, 2012 at 1:49 pm |
    • Just Claims, No Truth

      A Deistic god that has no interaction with the universe is by definition useless to believe in even if one exists, and no I am not claiming you are a deist.

      Dunk, You said on a previous page "Atheism is logically incoherent.

      The most you can rationally claim to be is a skeptical agnostic."

      I am an agnostic atheist, the terms are not mutually exclusive.

      Agnostic/gnostic has to do with knowledge. I (and MOST atheists) do not claim to have knowledge for or against a god. I do think the god of the bible and other specific definitions of god, man has come up with, can be excluded as being logically feasible (and no I am not claiming you are christian).

      Theist/Atheist has to do with belief. As in I don't believe in a god(s). I am not saying it isn't possible but there is not sufficient reason to believe one exists.

      If you are not at least a deist what is you point about the origins of morality?

      Also, what morals do atheists force on others?

      June 25, 2012 at 1:51 pm |
    • dyslexic dog

      well said Smurfette!

      June 25, 2012 at 1:52 pm |
    • Just Claims, No Truth

      Dunk,

      You also seem to be saying, and you can correct me if I am wrong, that morality is not logical. I disagree, I think it is logical because I think morality has both a selfish AND a selfless nature to it, unless you are refering to religious morality and if that is the case than I would have to agree it is illogical.

      June 25, 2012 at 2:40 pm |
  6. Alex

    Bowing to familial pressure and justifying it as personal revelation. Shocking.

    June 25, 2012 at 1:27 pm |
  7. Save Us Jeebus!

    This says it all - she was never really an atheist – "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.”

    June 25, 2012 at 1:22 pm |
    • Bobby the Wonder Chicken Savers the Day !

      If you watch the video, you will see her say that all of her friends, including the atheists, were telling her that her philosophies were actually Christian and not atheist.

      I generally don't buy the "no true Scotsman" thing, but by her own words, she was a latent Christian all along.

      Which is fine. No loss. I just feel sorry for a pro-contraception pro-religious freedom bisexual who has chosen Catholicism. I think she is presently too high on the media attention to notice how many of her other values she will have to abandon to actually be a Catholic. I get the feeling there is an ugly morning after following this high.

      June 25, 2012 at 1:30 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      She should have become a Unitarian instead.

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

      JEEBUS/BOBBY
      It doesn't matter her religion or yours so long as you are spiritual. An Atheist can be spiritual or religious. It is your choice. A religious atheist sees evil everywhere but a spiritual atheist sees the good in all things! Love your neighbor as yourself!

      June 25, 2012 at 1:42 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule's Non-Working Cat

      Nice heresy, Nii! There isn't a religion in the world that accepts that, especially not yours. But hey, religion was always invented by people, so you can invent your too. Every religious person does – nobody's religion is identical to anyone else's. Religion is totally subjective and relative.

      June 25, 2012 at 1:58 pm |
    • Nii

      DOC'S CAT,
      DOC, ur illustrious master can sit u down and explain these three Parables to you
      1. The Good Samaritan
      2. The Sheep and Goats
      3. The Two Brothers
      If he can't just call my attention.

      June 25, 2012 at 2:08 pm |
    • Nii

      DOC
      Most Atheist learn Xtian Theology n some have practised Xtian ritual too. Xtian Spirituality is wholly different from those two! I'm not considered a heretic. I preach it in church all the time n I've not been questioned once. Theology, ritual n history r good but spirituality is better!

      June 25, 2012 at 2:19 pm |
    • Nii

      MIROSAL
      Its like this, you either choose to learn wisdom from what little you have or you just know it!

      June 26, 2012 at 8:32 am |
    • Nii

      THINKER
      Excellent post! It is also to note that Eratosthenes had measured the diameter of the Earth in Ancient Ptolemaic Egypt using the sun rays descending two wells at different angles at Heliopolis n Alexandria. Flat Earth was for peasants! I love u as myself.

      June 26, 2012 at 1:45 pm |
  8. Thinker

    Matthew: You seem like someone who might be interesting to debate with.

    I consider myself athiest because I do not believe there is an anthropomorphic god. As the majority of theism revolves around an anthropomorphic god (or gods) considering myself an athiest seems more accurate than agnostic. No, I have no proof that there is no anthropomorphic god, but then I see no evidence of one either, and the gods in the various religions seem to be more 'hands on.' At least right up untill we started keeping better track of history. In the present (and most of the last couple thousand years), if there is a god it seems content to leave us on our own, which seems out of character.

    An example from my perspective is the god of the OT. It is vengeful and cruel in many ways and demonstrates this throughout the OT. Yet with the NT it suddenly turns hands off and loving. This suggests that it underwent a personality change. A perfect being would have a perfect 'personality' therefore the personality change makes little sence. This seems to invalidate the perfectness of the Abrahamic god and thus one of the central positions of the Abrahamic faiths (Including Judaism as god hasn't smote any cities recently.) I generally do not accept the 'God changed because Jesus saved us' argument because that implies that this all loving god could have saved us long before jesus came, but chose not to for some reason and instead prefered burning cities and tormenting a loyal follower to prove a point to his fallen angel buddy.
    The only responces I have gotten to those particular arguments have been basically 'god works in mysterious ways.' Which is not much of an argument. I would be interested to hear (or read as the case may be) your responces to them.

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

      The Law of Moses contains this Law "Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself". All the Prophets in the OT spoke on this theme. SO WHERE DO U SEE GOD STOP HATING EVIL AND LOVING IT? Isaiah Chapter 2 is one of the passages showing a loving God and so is Psalm 23. Enlighten me on God's vengefulness!

      June 25, 2012 at 1:34 pm |
    • Reg

      Hey, Nii – and what was your stance on gay people again? They should be abstinent in order to conform to Christian ideals and law? Sounds kinda hateful

      June 25, 2012 at 1:38 pm |
    • Thinker

      Hmm.. something about the genocide involved with claiming the 'promised land'? Or perhaps Sodom and Gommorrah? Or how about the plagues of Egypt? The great flood? Kicking Adam and Eve out of the garden for eating the fruit of a tree he put there? Or how about my favorite, do as I say or suffer in hell?

      Those seem somewhat vengeful to me. I could be wrong of course, god probably did those things to show how much he loved his children just like when fathers take their boys out behind the woodshed for a good whuppin, although it is somewhat hard to learn from your mistakes when you only get one chance, so that seems not to be the case.

      June 25, 2012 at 1:42 pm |
    • Nii

      REG
      I will love to marry Queen Latifah but since I am quite out of her league. I'll
      a. Marry someone and from time to time imaagine its her.
      OR
      b. Won't marry n keep hoping!
      I didn't say anyone shud be abstinent but they shud use their choices!
      If u want Xtian morality, fine. If u don't, am I God?

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

      THINKER
      So for the fact that the US trains soldiers and gives them firearms, when they disobey orders on how to use these and hurt people they should not be court-martialled, is that it? If they can then the US is a vengeful, hateful nation so come to Ghana!

      June 25, 2012 at 1:53 pm |
    • Reg

      So, Nii, if Im ga-y, it's okay with you – morally speaking – if I have se-x with my same-se-x partner. That's not a sin, or a moral failing, or behavior that god looks down upon?

      June 25, 2012 at 2:23 pm |
    • Thinker

      That one made me chuckle Nii. Punishment by court-martial is not a form of vengance. It is legaly used as both a deterrent for future offenders and to prevent the wronged party from furthering the problem through direct vengance. Direct vengance causes blood feuds (Hatfields and McCoys for example). The primary function of the court system is to redress wrongs commited by one party upon another. In the OT god destroys cities and condems the inhabitants to eternal suffering because they did not abide by his laws. That is vengance, not punishment as handed out by an impartial court system. In that case god simply decides that these people in the cities of the plain have disobeyd him long enough and wipes them out as an example to others. Seems a bit extreme. Vengance is normally characterised by extreme actions, not a measured responce. Oh and because Lot's wife looked back on the burning cities, she gets turned to salt. Now that is just weird. In any case, god sees these cities not obeying his laws and instead of a more measured responce, like appearing before them and telling them to shape up, he wipes them out. Vengance. Or petulance maybe. The god of the OT is either has a massive ego or is a petulant child by the measur of that story.

      Another example is the flood; what exactly was humanity doing that was so horrible that it needed to be completely wiped out down to the last infant and every other living thing on earth? That is not a punishment, that is again vengance or petulance.

      And if you don't like those arguments, how about simply asking yourself 'why?' Why could an all-powerful, all-knowing god not come up with a slightly less barbaric method of getting his point across? Particularly scince those methods were so ineffective, you would think that he would have come up with a better idea. (And no Jesus is not an effective rebutal because an all-knowing god would have KNOWN how ineffective his genocides would be before he commited them. And the manipulation of people by the devil is an even worse rebutal as in that case killing or imprisoning the devil would be the only way to solve the problem and genocide is only punishing the victims.)

      June 25, 2012 at 2:34 pm |
  9. elvis316

    So she goes from no higher power to the Pope. Yeah, that makes sense. There's no way this is marketing for a book or catholic church membership drive, years in the making. If you lined up all the religions from a faithless perspective, how is it feasible to choose the one that molests children and oppresses birth control?

    June 25, 2012 at 1:19 pm |
  10. drinker75

    Never heard of her and she doesn't come off as a mental giant. Fame wh ore

    June 25, 2012 at 1:10 pm |
  11. Martha L

    My crystal ball says there's a book deal coming her way and money in the bank.

    June 25, 2012 at 1:08 pm |
    • Bobby the Wonder Chicken Savers the Day !

      Lucrative speaking tour and radio program as well. Especially if she renounces her bisexuality. Income potential unlimited.

      Though she blew it choosing Catholicism, as she could have had a megachurch had she gone Protestant. The Catholics won't let a female her run any sort of church.

      June 25, 2012 at 1:34 pm |
  12. journeyman

    I'm a practicing catholic and watched her interview. What is with all the nutcases of the world wanting to be Catholic? It is a boring faith/life. She needs to log a couple years in some crazy rock and roll protestant church first.

    June 25, 2012 at 1:08 pm |
    • Atheist Hunter

      http://www.jesus-is-savior.com/False%20Religions/Roman%20Catholicism/catholic_church_is_a_big_hoax.htm

      June 25, 2012 at 1:11 pm |
    • journeyman

      creepy site

      June 25, 2012 at 1:14 pm |
    • Atheist Hunter

      ...for a creepy religion.

      June 25, 2012 at 1:17 pm |
  13. Reality

    More education for Leah:

    Many OT, NT and koran thu-mpers are actually thu-mping the rules and codes of the ancients like King Hammurabi and the Egyptians who wrote the Book of the Dead and who did NOT need revelations from angels or mountain voices to develop needed rules of conduct for us h-o-minids.

    "Hail to thee, great God, Lord of the Two Truths. I have come unto thee, my Lord, that thou mayest bring me to see thy beauty. I know thee, I know thy name, I know the names of the 42 Gods who are with thee in this broad hall of the Two Truths . . . Behold, I am come unto thee. I have brought thee truth; I have done away with sin for thee. I have not sinned against anyone. I have not mistreated people. I have not done evil instead of righteousness . . .

    I have not reviled the God.
    I have not laid violent hands on an orphan.
    I have not done what the God abominates . . .
    I have not killed; I have not turned anyone over to a killer.
    I have not caused anyone's suffering . . .
    I have not copulated (illicitly); I have not been unchaste.
    I have not increased nor diminished the measure, I have not diminished the palm; I have not encroached upon the fields.
    I have not added to the balance weights; I have not tempered with the plumb bob of the balance.
    I have not taken milk from a child's mouth; I have not driven small cattle from their herbage...
    I have not stopped (the flow of) water in its seasons; I have not built a dam against flowing water.
    I have not quenched a fire in its time . . .
    I have not kept cattle away from the God's property.
    I have not blocked the God at his processions."

    "The Book of the Dead was written circa 1800 BCE. 2 The Schofield Reference Bible estimates that the Hebrew Exodus from Egypt and the provision of the Ten Commandments on Mount Sinai occurred in 1491 BCE., some three centuries later. Many religious liberals, historians, and secularists have concluded that the Hebrew Scripture's Ten Commandments were based on this earlier docu-ment, rather than vice-versa."

    June 25, 2012 at 1:05 pm |
  14. Dunk

    @BRC

    morality & meaning are inextricable.

    Meaning is the why. Morality is the what & how.

    Morality – how should I live? how should I conduct myself? what are the values I should have?

    Mearning – WHY do I say I should live in such a way? WHY do I have the morals that I do?

    If you can't logically explain your meaning (the why), you can't logically explain morals (the what). & yet, atheists say they are moral without logically being able to explain it.

    For example, logically explain why you can't negatively impact another's life.

    Anything you say, I can reply with an endless string of why's, ad nauseum. You will get to a point where you have no more answers. This why philosophers say morality and logic are mutually exclusive.

    You say your morals are an internal set of rules.

    But because it's established that you can't logically deduce morals, that's just a fancy way of saying your set of morals are just your preferences.

    You correctly say there is no logical meaning of life. But just as there is no logical meaning of life, there is no logical reason to have one set of internal moral rules or another.

    It's just preference.

    No logic.

    And that's the point. Atheists can say "here are my preferences." But they are incorrect in saying "Logically, this is right & that is wrong."

    June 25, 2012 at 12:59 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      @Dunk
      Since you ignored it on the prior page, here it is again for your edification.
      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 1:01 pm |
    • Just Claims, No Truth

      "For example, logically explain why you can't negatively impact another's life."

      Dunk,

      I can negatively impact another's life, I choose not to because ultimetly I, and my family benefit by not causing needless harm.

      Also are you going to answer my question from the previous page?

      June 25, 2012 at 1:06 pm |
    • Atheist Hunter

      Doc Vestibule..........History lessons says the american founding fathers based our moral laws on the BIBLE. Now what?

      June 25, 2012 at 1:06 pm |
    • BRC

      @Dunk,
      A good moral structure will lead to individuals that will act to benefit the society as a whole and lead to greater cooperation and survival. A weak moral structure will lead to individuals who act for themselves or with disregard to the needs of the society, resulting in internal conflict and the likely failure of the society if the members aren't capable of completely independent survival (and humans aren't). there you go, a logical need for a good moral compass.

      Even more, it matches the physiological patterns we see in human behavior. Most humans will act for the good of the collective (as long as it benefits themselves as well, self preservation is a driving force). But occasionally, you get individuals with defects (such as sociopaths), who act completely for their own good, do substantial harm to the community, and are eventually neutralized by the rest of the population. While sociopathic behavior can be caused by traumatic life experience, there are genectic predispositions to it, showing that our "moral" behavior, is related to our biological nature.

      Philosophers don't prove or disprove anything. They propose and suppose. They give theories and postulates, not proofs. don't get me wrong, I value philosophy and read it often, but it is not science.

      June 25, 2012 at 1:06 pm |
    • Cal

      Why does there have to be a why?

      June 25, 2012 at 1:07 pm |
    • A Frayed Knot

      Atheist Hunter,

      U.S. laws based on the Bible - such as...? The 10 Commandments?

      1: Have no other gods – NOT A LAW
      2: Make no graven image – NOT A LAW
      3: Don’t take the name in vain – NOT A LAW
      4: Honor the Sabbath – NOT A LAW
      5: Honor thy father and mother – NOT A LAW
      6: Thou shalt not kill – NOT UNIQUE TO CHRISTIANITY (long pre-dated it)
      7: Thou shalt not commit adultery – huge number of Christians commit adultery by LEGALLY remarrying
      8: Thou shalt not steal – NOT UNIQUE TO CHRISTIANITY
      9: Thou shalt not bear false witness – NOT UNIQUE TO CHRISTIANITY
      10: Thou shalt not covet – NOT A LAW

      June 25, 2012 at 1:10 pm |
    • Skip

      Who cares? This lady had 5,000 followers? So what? Fortunately, atheists can think for themselves and don't need to be told how to behave in order to find morality... I don't believe she was ever truly an atheist. I contend she just got into a fight with her boyfriend and stubbornly refused to concede a point to him. She launched a blog to one-up her argument all the while not really knowing what she believed. So again – who cares? This isn't news. It's inciteful. To everyone out there who believes in a god – good for you. I respect your freedom to do so. I don't believe in a god and I ask the same courtesy in return. Don't fall into this divisive reporting by CNN. I expect this from Fox, but CNN's ratings suck so here we are...

      June 25, 2012 at 1:13 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      @AtheistHunter
      History teaches the exact opposite.
      "As the Government of the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion..."
      – Treaty of Tripoli, 1797

      June 25, 2012 at 1:13 pm |
    • BRC

      @Atheist Hunter,
      I call shenanigans. Provide the text book that claims that. If it was published in Texas don't bother, it is suspect and not to be trusted.

      June 25, 2012 at 1:15 pm |
    • Atheist Hunter

      A Frayed Knot.........don't remember saying everything in the bible is an american law. Just that the founding father's based the moral law of the US on the BIBLE. Pay attention! We are talking about what american law was originally based on and that was the BIBLE! Study history. Isn't that what you atheist bank on is facts?

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

      Didn't ignore anything. There's a lot going on, in this post, at my job. A lot to juggle. Can't keep track of it all. Haha.

      Why is harmony better than complete chaos?

      Here is the first in the endless string of why's.

      You get to a point where your only conceivable answer is "because that's my preference."

      We can actually undergo this painful exercise (i'm willing) or you can admit atheists are not so logical & what they believe is out of preference, not reason.

      June 25, 2012 at 1:16 pm |
    • Slam

      The only meaning is what you create for yourself. Any meaning based on gods or other spuerstitions is pure illusion and fantasy. That is why everyone's meaning changes repeatedly during their lives, including religious people.

      The morality of every religion has changed dramatically over the centuries. Almost all Christians accept divorce, despite Jesus' direct instructions to the contrary – because lack of divorce leads to misery and some very perverse situations. Virtually no Christians sell their goods and give the proceeds to the poor as Jesus commanded, and no preist, pope, preacher or whatever asks them to – because it is stunningly bad advice that will impoverish people and lead to substantial social problems. We won't even bother with how much morality got dropped out of the Old Testament (and good riddance!).

      Your morality is relative and changing, even if you don't want to accept that reality. There is no absolute meaning, only what you create for yourself.

      June 25, 2012 at 1:17 pm |
    • A Frayed Knot

      Atheist Hunter,
      "what american law was originally based on and that was the BIBLE!"

      Such as...?

      June 25, 2012 at 1:20 pm |
    • Dunk

      @Just Claims, No Truth

      For the last time, I'm not ignoring anything. I have a job & I'm getting a lot of questions.

      read my post & then answer, why is needless harm so bad if we're just random particles?

      @ Cal

      exactly, that's what i'm saying. if you say "why ask why?" then everyone should leave Leah alone.

      If you think you have the why, logically explain it. Cal nailed it on the head.

      @BRC

      why does society need to beneft? There is an infinite amount of why's to follow. Again, philosophers have established you can't logically answer this.

      June 25, 2012 at 1:24 pm |
    • Just Claims, No Truth

      "You get to a point where your only conceivable answer is "because that's my preference."

      Dunk,

      Yes it is my preference because as I have said acting in a moral fashion benefits me. The point is, religion is just picking someones elses preference that one happens to agree with.

      And once again you didn't answer my question. It is an easy one. Why should an action that does not harm another person but only offends a god be considered immoral?

      June 25, 2012 at 1:28 pm |
    • Dunk

      Here's the joke people, alot, not all, of you are arguing because you think i'm trying to prove a God. read my posts, I have never said there is a God.

      All I'm trying to say point out is what the philosophers have stated. There is no logical morality.

      Atheists have to stop saying they are moral & they are logical & then claiming people who disagree are wrong.

      It's been established it's a contradiction.

      That's my entire point.

      And my next reply to whatever you say is "why?"

      Answer that logically to a point where there is no further why & you've proved thousands of philosophers across thousands of years wrong.

      June 25, 2012 at 1:28 pm |
    • Cal

      Does God follow a higher moral code that He must enforce, making him non-omnipotent? Or did He just make up morality based on His preference? If it is the latter, God's morality is no more special than "my preference".

      June 25, 2012 at 1:29 pm |
    • Atheist Hunter

      http://www.internationalcopsforchrist.com/blog/?page_id=78

      June 25, 2012 at 1:30 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      @Dunk
      You still haven't addressed my explanation of morality/ethics.
      Do you find some flaw in the explanation and example given?

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

      @Dunk,
      Society needs to benefit becuase we are members of the society. If the society fails we as individuals would likely fail, and that is unnacceptable to our genetically hard wired survival instinct. What's your next why?

      These aren't even hard, what philospohers are you referencing? The prefernce thing is a farce of an argument. You can develope your preferences through logical analysis of your environment. That means it is a preference, but no less logical. Anyone who says that preferences can't be logical is being either innaccurate or dishonest.

      June 25, 2012 at 1:32 pm |
    • Thinker

      Atheist Hunter: The civil and criminal law (as opposed to the laws governing the structure and funding of government) of the USA was based largely on the laws of the Brittish Empire, which was what the colonies had been under before the revolution. There was no reason to just through out laws which seemed to provide for a stable, peaceful society so they only really changed the parts that didn't mesh with the republican form of government they set up (ie references to the crown, privliges for the nobility, etc). After all, when setting up a new government, making the change from the old as smooth as possible is the best plan. Also, basics such as prohibition of victimizing activity are pretty much shoe-ins for any modern law system.

      June 25, 2012 at 1:35 pm |
    • lunchbreaker

      How do you support the statement:

      "If you can't logically explain your meaning (the why), you can't logically explain morals (the what)."?

      I can easily explain morals. The definition of morality does not recquire a purpose, a "why". The "why" constraint is something you have added to what would satisfy you. If the question is explain your morals, I can tell you my "rules of conduct". If you ask "why?" that is a separate question.

      June 25, 2012 at 1:41 pm |
  15. GeorgeBos95

    Oh, my. She's converted to Catholicism ... guess that proves there's a God after all. All the other atheists better wake up too, because this woman really knows what's happening.

    lol.

    June 25, 2012 at 12:53 pm |
  16. Fufu

    God is Love!!

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

      We already have a word for love. Its "love".

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

      ....And you cannot truly practice it without God.

      June 25, 2012 at 12:53 pm |
    • OOO

      And since "love" is the more common word for that feeling we have, it's probably better that you use that word so that we all can communicate better.
      Kinda strange saying "I god you" in the middle of a s-ex act.

      June 25, 2012 at 12:55 pm |
    • The terrible sting of reality

      Google "biological basis for love" for a horrible little shock.

      June 25, 2012 at 1:01 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      The very first characteristic of God stated in the Bible is jealousy.
      It would therefore be more accurate to say "God is jealousy" and not love.

      June 25, 2012 at 1:03 pm |
    • Martha L

      Love is love. God is the fictional character that people use as their excuse to join social organizations called churches. Which makes them feel good because humans want to belong to something, someone ie be a part of something.

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

      Love Stinks.

      J. Geils Band

      June 25, 2012 at 1:40 pm |
  17. Rebel4Christ

    Ha I love the message Bible!

    1 Corinthians 1:18-21
     18-21The Message that points to Christ on the Cross seems like sheer silliness to those hellbent on destruction, but for those on the way of salvation it makes perfect sense. This is the way God works, and most powerfully as it turns out. It's written,

       I'll turn conventional wisdom on its head,
       I'll expose so-called experts as crackpots.
    So where can you find someone truly wise, truly educated, truly intelligent in this day and age? Hasn't God exposed it all as pretentious nonsense? Since the world in all its fancy wisdom never had a clue when it came to knowing God, God in his wisdom took delight in using what the world considered dumb—preaching, of all things!—to bring those who trust him into the way of salvation.

    June 25, 2012 at 12:48 pm |
    • Tossed

      @Rebel4Christ,

      "When the text is quoted in accordance with the requirements above, notice of copyright must appear on the t'itle or copyright page or opening screen of the work.

      When quotations from the Site are used for non-commercial purposes, such as church bulletins, research projects, or similar uses, a complete copyright notice is not required, but at minimum the initials for the translation quoted (i.e. NIV®) must appear at the end of each quotation." –http://www.biblegateway.com/legal/terms.php

      June 25, 2012 at 1:06 pm |
    • Atheist Hunter

      The message bible is a mystic mess.

      June 25, 2012 at 1:09 pm |
  18. Atheist Hunter

    http://www.endtimes-bibleprophecy.com/page30.htm
    Wrong Church.

    June 25, 2012 at 12:48 pm |
    • Jimmy G.

      Still got nothin up on the wall, eh? Have you tried praying about it? lol

      June 25, 2012 at 12:50 pm |
    • Atheist Hunter

      Are you lost Jimmy boy?

      June 25, 2012 at 1:01 pm |
    • Jimmy G.

      Just laughin atcha, "hunter".
      lol
      😈

      June 25, 2012 at 1:33 pm |
    • Atheist Hunter

      Jesus loves ya Jimmy G. Quit running scared.

      June 25, 2012 at 1:46 pm |
    • Jimmy G.

      On the contrary, it is you who are running scared. You hunt without a brain.
      That's not very smart, but go ahead and tell me I'm wrong.
      You lost when you came in here. Your god does not exist.

      June 25, 2012 at 2:33 pm |
  19. AGuest9

    Maybe Davey and Goliath got to her. Oh, no, she'd be a lutheran, then. At least the "liberal Muppets" didn't get to her!

    June 25, 2012 at 12:39 pm |
  20. Rebel4Christ

    1 Corinthians 1:18 For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.

    June 25, 2012 at 12:36 pm |
    • Lucifer's Evil Twin

      Self-validation... how convenient...

      June 25, 2012 at 12:38 pm |
    • A Frayed Knot

      "Just look, Your Majesty, what colors! What a design!" They pointed to the empty looms, each supposing that the others could see the stuff.

      "What's this?" thought the Emperor. "I can't see anything. This is terrible!

      Am I a fool? Am I unfit to be the Emperor? What a thing to happen to me of all people! – Oh! It's very pretty," he said. "It has my highest approval." And he nodded approbation at the empty loom. Nothing could make him say that he couldn't see anything." – The Emperor's New Clothes

      June 25, 2012 at 12:39 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.