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Online conversations around Sandy feature God, prayer and atheism
A church sign from Sunday in a town on Long Island, New York.
October 30th, 2012
04:54 PM ET

Online conversations around Sandy feature God, prayer and atheism

By Conor Finnegan, CNN

(CNN) – As millions of Americans begin to clean up from Superstorm Sandy, many will  turn to insurance companies to cover damages caused by an “act of God.” It’s legalese for natural disasters.

Some of the online conversation around Sandy have treated it as such an act, with the term “prayer” trending on Facebook on Monday, as the nation awaited the storm’s landfall.

We noticed four themes emerging that touch on God and religion on Facebook, Twitter and in CNN.com’s comments sections:

1. God bless: It was a message expressed by well-wishers around the world. Those spared by Sandy took to social media to show their support and sympathy as the images proliferated of New York’s flooded streets and New Jersey’s eroded beaches. Despite different faiths and nationalities, the upshot was the same: Our prayers are with you.

From Facebook:

Waleed Obaid My Prayers to all family and friends in NY and the rest of East cost OH Allah please help People to stay safe and no harm...

Darlene Guillen Bohorquez if this storm knocks you to your knees, you're in the perfect position to pray, and I will be praying with you. Keep safe and remember to help those in need in the aftermath.

Andrea Holmes My prayers go out to all the people who are affected by this storm. And praying does help. God is in control of everything whether you like it or not.

From Twitter:

Bishop Hanson ‏@bishophanson
Merciful God, for the millions who this night are experiencing the fury of Hurricane Sandy we pray for safety and comfort. Amen.

2. Thank God: For those caught in Sandy’s path, the conversation was different. More than 7.5 million in the mid-Atlantic and Northeast were without power on Tuesday. Those who could post online expressed gratitude, with “thankful” the 8th most shared term on Facebook by Tuesday morning. And from Twitter:

Demetrius Minor ‏@dminor85
Thanks to everyone who prayed for us during Hurricane Sandy. We were not affected. I thank God for that. Please pray for those who were.

Sam Gentile ‏@SamGentile
Thank God we escaped unscathed from Sandy except for power last night. This is unlike a lot of South Jersey that had lot of damage

3. God’s wrath: A small minority saw Sandy as God’s judgment.

This Tweet is from a leader of Westboro Baptist Church, the Kansas congregation known for its anti-gay pickets at military funerals:

Shirley Phelps-Roper ‏@DearShirley
We bow in humble thanks 2 God 4 Sandy! Thank God for a plain message delivered to a puddle of states that proudly flip Him off! #FagMarriage

We found these on Facebook:

Nikola Ilievski 24.03.1999. – 10.06.1999. God remembers everything, your NATO bombed us, now enjoy. Greetings from SERBIA!

Hassan Chandio -Disrespecting others religion. and destroying others country killing thousand and millions of people in afghanistan, libya and syria . this is what you get

4. God does not exist: Some used Sandy to question religion or at least the idea of blaming the storm on God, employing science, humor and venom. A back and forth between believers and nonbelievers sparked a tense conversation in the comments section on CNN.com.

From Facebook:

Johnny Trujillo Praying won't do any good. Send some aid or go volunteer if you really want to help. Talking to your imaginary friend won't do anything.

From Twitter:

Anonymous ‏@YourAnonNews
No, #Sandy is not evidence of God's wrath. It's evidence of our refusal to even discuss climate change & global warning.

What do you think? What role should faith or God play in the conversation about Sandy? Post your thoughts in the comments section.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Comments • God

soundoff (2,260 Responses)
  1. Damocles

    Laughing at myself for my mistake. Ah well. :)

    November 2, 2012 at 9:06 am |
  2. Chick-a-dee

    Wow! So early in the morning and all these happy posters are already up and spreading their joy.

    November 2, 2012 at 8:55 am |
  3. allenwoll

    Theism and Atheism (A-Theism) are but the TWO sides of ONE coin : BOTH are entirely based upon the absolute BELIEF or acceptance of the UN-knowable, the UN-verifiable ! ! . Therefore BOTH are equally valid and equally IN-valid ! ! - Half-full, Half-empty.

    A fully rational, thinking person can ONLY doubt both positions ! ! . Personally, I feel that one can LEAN in a particular direction without being hypocritical, allowing himself to be persuaded by cautious and reasoned observation of how the world is working. . Alternate hypotheses also exist..

    November 2, 2012 at 6:56 am |
    • WASP

      @ALLEN: "persuaded by cautious and reasoned observation of how the world is working. . Alternate hypotheses also exist."
      that is exactly how i think. i see the world full of humans running around building everything and attempting to build a brighter future; i see humans creating both medicines and bombs; we create hope and anguish.
      i see humans buidling this world, no god or savior anywhere in sight.
      i don't see any kind of spirit improving human life on earth.
      i only see a bunch of humans striving to make the world better for their children and an even larger group waiting to die in the hope of a "better after-life".
      that is the best sells gagg, "you will be eternally happy, just wait for proof when you die."

      November 2, 2012 at 7:33 am |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      Atheism / Theism refer to belief

      Gnostic / Agnostic refer to knowledge

      I don't have to claim "knowledge' that there is no god. I just don't believe it.

      Ask yourself if you "believe" there is a god, not if you know for sure. If you can't answer yes you are an athiest because you don't "believe".

      November 2, 2012 at 7:34 am |
    • the AnViL

      then you've got anti-theism.. the stance that – no.... there aren't any gods – and religion does harm to humans and humanity.

      you can piddle about with what you believe or disbelieve – but at the end of the day the truth of reality is – there's absolutely no gods. religion hasn't ever done anything good for humanity. in over 2000 years all religion has ever done is propagate ignorance, cause division and suffering. the very things they all claim to relieve.

      tolerance of religious idiocy has to end.

      enough is enough.

      November 2, 2012 at 8:08 am |
    • nope

      @anv...
      nope

      November 2, 2012 at 8:10 am |
    • yup

      @anv

      yup

      November 2, 2012 at 8:29 am |
    • lunchbreaker

      I think people worry too much about what label to put on themselves and others. You learn much more about someone based on how they answer a specific question, such as, "Do you believe in God?", than you would by asking "What do you call yourself?"

      November 2, 2012 at 8:54 am |
    • MCR

      @Cheesemaker, There is nothing in the etymology or history of the word atheist that implies it refers to a negative belief. Quite the contrary, social custom is that a *positive* belief implied by an “ism” is referenced in the name. Christians believe in Christ (or his teachings), Buddhists in Buddha, Marxists in the social theories of Marx etc….hence atheists, by the standards of the English language, believe in “no God” in the sense that there is no god. You simply aren’t going to convince people to redefine their language to suit your personal tastes. Only in the US (and to some small extent the UK) have people even tried such a silly thing. Further, the vast majority of self-labeled atheists do, in fact, believe there is no god – if they were truly just in a state of doubt or skepticism they wouldn't get their knickers all in a knot over it. You can have as many people as you want trying to redefine a word to make up some sort of movement or cohesion, but it's simply not going to happen because you're fighting against some very fundamental aspects of the English language. "Atheist" will ALWAYS be translated as "Believer in no God". Agnostic will ALWAYS be translated in "Believer in no knowledge of God". That's how the language works. Atheists want the word atheist precisely because they do believe there is no god, and then want to cover their A$$e$ logically be redefining the word. It’s not fooling anyone.

      November 2, 2012 at 8:56 am |
    • K-switch

      @ MCR, the dictionary also defines religions as cults.

      November 2, 2012 at 9:03 am |
    • MCR

      @K-switch, Huh? I'm not discussing either dictionaries or the definition of religion. Are you for some reason assuming I'm religious and trying to make a personal attack? Also, just as a note, there is more than one English language dictionary so I'm not sure what you mean by "the dictionary". I just checked the OED out of curiosity and that's not the definition...not that it would bother me one way or another if it was. I just checked Merriam Webster, too. Are you just making stuff up or do you have a special dictionary?

      November 2, 2012 at 9:11 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      @MCR
      The prefix "A" = lack of
      Theism = belief in Gods.
      A + Theism = lack of belief in gods.
      It is a negative statement that implies no behaviours, morals, or other characteristics whatsoever.

      If someone is apolitical, it mean they lack political affiliation. It doesn't mean they believe in no politics.

      November 2, 2012 at 9:20 am |
    • Randy

      Theism is the belief that a god or gods exist(s). Atheism is the lack of such a belief. It is not an assertion of anything, other than that the evidence is not compelling. "I do not believe a god exists" and "I believe a god does not exist" are not the same thing. If you understand the difference between "innocent" and "not guilty," and why such a distinction exists, then you should be able to understand the difference here.

      November 2, 2012 at 9:31 am |
    • K-switch

      MCR, "my" dictionary was transcribed off of gold plates. No, but seriously, I did misunderstand you, my bad. But as far as the definition, I was backwards in my statement, the dictionary defines cult as religion.

      November 2, 2012 at 9:35 am |
    • MCR

      @Doc Vestibule,
      You left out the suffix. "Apolitical" is an adjective ending in "al" = "pertaining to". The "ist" suffix is for nouns and is used to describe those with belief or expertise in the specified prefix/root.

      There are some linguistic elements that are so deeply rooted they won't change – and fighting against them is a waste of everyone's time. “Agnostic” or “non-believer” are in fact a perfectly good words which the general public understands and which don't cause the same kind of misunderstanding and offense. People who use the word atheist to describe themselves are also English speakers and internally understand the implications of the word; they are comfortable with it because, in fact, most who use this term are pretty strongly opposed to the idea of a god. Listeners are also English speakers and know perfectly well that this is the position of an "atheist" despite his or her claims to the contrary. If a person was really just unsure what was right or true, they'd hardly be marching in parades and saying nasty things about believers all the time. Don't get me wrong; I'm not a fan of any of the major religions in the US, but the adherents aren't either evil or universally idiots and the portrayal that they are by "atheists" isn't helping anyone.

      November 2, 2012 at 9:37 am |
    • MCR

      @K-switch, No worries. Yeah, a cult is usually just a religion. Some organizations (and to some extend general use) have introduced a definition that includes separation or isolation of the adherent from anyone who doesn't believe. Sometimes that slight distinction can be useful I think.

      November 2, 2012 at 9:41 am |
    • MCR

      @Randy, you are assuming people will interpret "atheism" as a/theism and not athe/ism. However, the wider populace does not, and with good reason. If someone is an atheist the "ist" refers to their classification and not the supposed "theism" root...otherwise it would be "atheismist" – which the word is not. So Believers are quite correct in understanding atheist to mean a "no god"-ist.

      November 2, 2012 at 9:46 am |
    • Damocles

      @MCR

      Now did they add that distinction because it was getting hard to tell where a cult stopped and a religion began?

      Many so called true religions want their followers to distance or isolate themselves from non-believers.

      November 2, 2012 at 9:47 am |
    • MCR

      @Doc Vestibule,
      The same goes for your breakdown of "atheism". If correct, we would have something called "atheismism", which we don't. By English break down "atheism" in your isn't actually a word.

      November 2, 2012 at 9:55 am |
    • MCR

      @Damocles, I've wondered about the exact motivation, too, and I agree that some seemingly mainstream religions have similar characteristics. I don't know whether those who came up with the distinction (the cult center at Duke, for example) have gut reactions to certain groups and already used the word "cult" or whether they are true academics who just used an existing word. I'm undecided one way or another, but I think it may be a useful distinction. On the other hand, as you're getting at I think, it's really a progressive scale where some organizations would be more "cultlike" than others. Some that allow friendships, but not out-marriage, for instance, whould fall in the middle of the scale.

      November 2, 2012 at 10:02 am |
    • lunchbreaker

      An important aspect of effective communication, written or spoken, is tailoring your language to your audience. If the majority interprets the word "atheist" to have a certain meaning, you do have to take that into account when communicating with said majority.

      November 2, 2012 at 10:10 am |
    • Moby Schtick

      When it comes to atheists on the internet, and the atheists that are prevalent nowadays, we want the term "atheism" precisely because it has a specific meaning of "not belief in gods," and not because it means "positive belief that no god exists." I want the term "atheist" to apply to me and other atheists exactly as I would want the term "apolitical" to apply to me if I lacked political affiliation.

      I'm an atheist. I don't believe in any gods, including yours. I have no idea if some larger consciousness exists, perhaps in "the bulk" encompassing several unseen dimensions, but I most certainly lack belief in any gods put forth to me up to this date in history. I'm bald because I lack hair, and I'm an atheist because I lack a god belief.

      November 3, 2012 at 12:09 am |
  4. cm

    Ahhh look at those joy filled atheists who post here – such role models – really, really stop visiting the 'belief' blog since you don't understand the concept.

    November 2, 2012 at 12:17 am |
    • sam stone

      ah....such joy filled theists, presuming what others know.

      November 2, 2012 at 3:05 am |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      Yep, it is ok for christians to knock on doors, put up signs and drone on and on about those who don't believe the same thing are going to burn. "But you nasty atheists should just shut up."

      November 2, 2012 at 8:22 am |
    • the AnViL

      i applaud each and every person courageous enough to stand up and tell the truth about religion and religious belief. every person who sees through the lies and ignorance that stands up against theological trash should be revered – because humanity can't stand much more of this trash. this is PRECISELY the place where we belong. in your faces – telling the truth – exposing your idiocy... shining a bright light of reason to disinfect the world from your delusional vomit.

      the united states is inundated with delusional, ignorant fundamental xian trash who feel morally compelled to restrict the equalities, liberties, freedoms and rights of those who do not believe as they do – and it has to end.

      it has to be met with firm reason and given absolutely no quarter.

      these mentally ill people can not be allowed to be a part of any decision making process for the general public.

      your beliefs should be kept private, because when you're stupid and ignorant enough to allow them to rear their ugly heads – someone like me will be there to laugh you down and push each and every one of you right to the back of the bus of history.

      tolerance of religious idiocy has got to end. – enough is enough.

      November 2, 2012 at 8:23 am |
    • nope

      @anv ...
      nope

      November 2, 2012 at 8:25 am |
    • yup

      @anv

      yup

      November 2, 2012 at 8:30 am |
    • He can't be stopped

      @the AnViL

      Mark 16:15
      He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation.

      You may deny, but he is the judge. Someday you will die. How will you talk your way out of the sins you commited. Jesus is the only way.

      I accept his payment for me and believe in the one true God.

      November 2, 2012 at 10:23 am |
    • Damocles

      @he

      I suppose if there is a deity eagerly awaiting my death so it can get on with the judging and damning and whatnot, well gosh, I guess I'll have to do what I do now and that is take responsibility for my actions. If a deity is going to murder me after I am dead for being me, I wouldn't have it any other way. I'm not in the habit of pretending to be something I'm not.

      November 2, 2012 at 10:33 am |
    • the AnViL

      @He can't be stopped

      "How will you talk your way out of the sins you commited"

      talk my way out of what sins? there's no gods – so – how could i ever possibly sin?

      ANYHOW..... none of that applies to me – it only applies to ignorant, delusional dimwits who believe in imaginary men in the sky.

      i reject your assertions.

      you SHOULD be ashamed to be so ignorant. but you know what they say.... ignorance is bliss!

      you must be FILLED with bliss.

      dismissed.

      November 2, 2012 at 11:18 am |
  5. MCR

    I don't know how seriously I'd take this wording. My non-theist sister today told me she was "praying" for a good grade on her test...just a figure of speech like "thank god".

    November 1, 2012 at 10:11 pm |
    • Athy

      ?

      November 1, 2012 at 10:16 pm |
  6. Sandy was just a warning....

    It's funny listening to all these god hating atheists with their science bull....
    God clearly stated that they would deny him, he also stated not to listen to man...
    For some flunky with his mediocre education and extremely limited grasp of creation
    to think he has all the answers to creations is ego and hubris of the highest order...

    If a Christian believes in God, lives a good morally right life and is wrong,
    their is no harm done....But for you atheists, if you are wrong, there is no salvation
    for you...You like to talk like you are such tough smart people...When you are
    before God, you will weep like a baby and it will do you no good....

    November 1, 2012 at 9:49 pm |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      Science does not have all the answers....

      but you do....."God did it".....which explains nothing and you have no proof, so why should i believe you.

      As far as your last bit, see my post below to Holly.

      November 1, 2012 at 10:15 pm |
    • MCR

      "If a Christian believes in God, lives a good morally right life and is wrong,
      their is no harm done"

      Except that many (not all) of these Christians are, because of their faith, actively working to legally reverse my marriage. They have fought to deny custody to parents based on the parent being gay, and have denied jobs to people on a regular basis. Until recently, those Christians controlled immigration based on their beliefs. When a person's beliefs result in actions, including voting behavior, that hurt others there *is* harm done. That is why so many of us fear them for our own sake.

      November 1, 2012 at 10:16 pm |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      Exactly MCR,

      And if a christian does not get medical attention for their child and the child dies that is freedom of their beliefs, And bullying for religious reasons is legal in Michigan.....but there is no harm done (sarcasm, my second favorite asm)

      November 1, 2012 at 10:26 pm |
    • Dippy

      But wouldn't an "intelligent believer" know the difference between "their" and "there"?

      November 1, 2012 at 10:41 pm |
    • Dissident Fairy

      You are right! The Bible warns us that the day is coming when men will bow their heads in shame before our Lord, forced to acknowledge that he exists. It says that "every knee will bend and legs will tremble." I wonder....what will all of these flip non-believers be saying to him then!

      November 1, 2012 at 11:38 pm |
    • sarah

      I was wondering the same thing, Dippy :)

      November 1, 2012 at 11:43 pm |
    • tallulah13

      If you want your threats to be taken seriously, you should provide proof that your god exists. Frankly, your ignorance is a lot scarier than the boogie man you worship.

      November 1, 2012 at 11:52 pm |
    • Damocles

      I fail to understand why believers think that it requires a deity to lead a decent life. If I try not to bring harm to others, raise my kids to have respect for themselves and others, try to do the right thing and learn from my mistakes why do I need to think there is some invisible thing looking over my shoulder?

      If I live the best that I can, why would a deity punish me in an afterlife?

      November 1, 2012 at 11:57 pm |
    • Dissident Fairy

      Damocies: You sound like a really good person. You are definitely living up to the 2nd. Commandment which is to "Love your neighbor as yourself." My uncle is a good man and he's an Atheist too! He's honest and treats people fairly and lives a good life. The one thing that is missing in his life is the 1st. Commandment and that is to "Love God with your whole heart and soul." As a believer in God I started to question at one point just what it meant to "Love God with with your whole heart and soul." People think they love God but do they really? It occurred to me that the only way to love God with that sort of depth was to know him, and how could I know him, if I didn't take the time to try and understand him through reading the Bible. It's our only real connection to him. The more I read the more my love for him grew. It's wonderful to "love your neighbor as yourself" but to please God that simply isn't enough.....

      November 2, 2012 at 12:44 am |
    • Blessed are the Cheese makers

      Fairy,

      Just because the bible says it is true and very knee will bend doesn't make it so. Why would a perfect god, (a perfect god by definition doesn't need anything) need our acknowledgment in order to withhold judgement? That god is not perfect nor is it moral.

      November 2, 2012 at 2:04 am |
    • sam stone

      sandy: people cannot hate beings in which they do not believe.

      also, your empty proxy threats indicate a weak argument.

      go home, b!tch, and get your shinebox

      November 2, 2012 at 3:13 am |
    • Leif

      @Sandy was...etc. How and why would atheists hate something that doesn't exist?

      November 2, 2012 at 3:39 am |
    • Leif

      @Sandy was etc. Besides, if God exists, God will forgive the skeptics. God gave us brains for a reason. The science"bull", by the way, is what allows you to voice your opinion on the internet. But I am sure that God will forgive you for your ignorance.

      November 2, 2012 at 3:43 am |
    • Leif

      @Sandy etc. Oh, just one more thing. You are right...Sandy was a warning. It was a warning to all to pay more attention to the warnings about global warming that have been coming from science for decades.

      November 2, 2012 at 3:50 am |
    • Dissident Fairy

      Blessed: You would need to do enough Biblical research to acquire a solid foundation in order to believe that the Bible really is the inspired word of God. I'm convinced because I have done an in depth study of it. It took 40 writers,1600 years, to complete the 66 books of the Bible. Most of the writers didn't even know one another, they came from all walks of life, one was a doctor, another a king, many of them died before other books of the Bible were written, and they were written in different geographical locations, and yet the Bible is in complete harmony. If you were to take 40 writers today, that couldn't confer, and you assigned them each a chapter to complete a finished novel, without any knowledge of what the others had said, what do you think you would have in the end? A complete mess that didn't make any sense is what you would have. Not so with the Bible, it makes perfect sense and is in harmony throughout.

      Jesus Christ is quoted in just about every book of the Bible by the writers themselves. Many Biblical prophecies have already come true, and some were predicted 500 years before they actually happened, such as the fall of Babylon, by the prophets Isaiah and Jeremiah. Isaiah even went so far as to say that the city would never be rebuilt, and true to the prophecy it stands as a desolate wasteland today. It was an ancient city similar to NYC, a port surrounded by water, the hub of the Middle East. To imagine a city like that could ever be destroyed was too sensational to believe back then, but it was....and for Isaiah to go so far as to say it would never be rebuilt was a very bold statement, but his words did in fact come true. History and archeology, and even science, have all supported Biblical accounts.

      The Bible says that Noah's ark came to rest on mount Ararat after the flood. There have been many sightings of an ark like structure resting on the mountain, and even photographed. I know of no other vessel that has ever landed on a mountain before do you? Columbus set sail in 1492 to prove that the world was round, but, the Bible said that it was round centuries before. The Bible says that a little wine is good for the body. Didn't researchers in the last few years say the same? The Bible speaks about the importance of cleanliness to prevent infection and disease. Isn't that an issue the medical profession has become more aware of over the years? The Bible is very complex and very detail oriented. Archeologists have discovered many artifacts, plaques, and badges, naming Kings, prefects, governors, and magistrates that the Bible mentions in amazing detail.

      The Bible predicts the future and details the past with amazing accuracy. I have touched upon only a few of the reasons as to why the Bible is without a doubt the inspired of God. I highly recommend that everyone assess it for themselves. Become familiar with Bible prophecy and unravel it's mysteries until you have synchronized it like a completed jigsaw puzzle. There is always something new to discover. For example: The Bible says,"Woe to the earth and to the sea." If one were to take that phrase for face value you would think it was talking about the literal sea, but, the Bible then clarifies what it really means in another passage, it says, "The wicked are like the sea." So "Woe to the sea" actually means "Woe to the wicked" which makes allot more sense. God expects us to have enough interest in him to search for his truths like treasure. "This is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent. John 17:3

      November 2, 2012 at 6:25 am |
    • WASP

      @fairy: columbus didn't set sail to prove the world was round, science had proven it was round long before his voyage. columbus set sail to find the western trade route to india and even on his deathbed he called my people "indians" because he swore he found the western trade route.
      any good fairytale has names and places the people of that time period can relate to thus making for a better story.
      jesus and the other people in the bible can't be verified outside the bible, thus they could only be symbols to convey the story and not real people that have ever lived.
      "40 writers,1600 years, to complete the 66 books of the Bible." ever ask yourself why god would need so much time to create one book seeing how powerful he is?

      November 2, 2012 at 6:43 am |
    • Bumper

      To Dissident Fairy
      I love how often christians quote the 10 commandments as if somehow they apply to anything in christian faith. The 10 Commandments were given to the Moses to give to "his" people. I am sure that your cusory read of the bible told you who the jews were. You know, the same people whose fledgling religion (at the time) laid out the other set of rules that you all seem so eager to regurgitate (albeit in an incredibly selective manner) in Lev. 18:22. I understand that you cant read too hard into a fairy tell book or your faith will colapse, but at least make a mediocre effort to comprehend what you read if you are going to use it as a weapon.

      November 2, 2012 at 6:50 am |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      Fairy,

      You are assuming wasn't a christian, and I have not studied the bible. The bible was put together (edited) many years after the fact. Many writings did not make it, why, because of politics. The bible is a contradictory and immoral. It is my knowledge of the bible and it's origins that lead me to the conclusion that the christian god is a made up montage of earlier gods. Read it again, with a critical eye instead of just believing it is true before you open it. And look up "confirmation bias".

      November 2, 2012 at 7:27 am |
    • the AnViL

      religion doesn't even require you to read. it requires absolutely no hard work from the believers who embrace the delusional lies.

      it is disgusting that this level of ignorance exists in the 21st century.. but what's most repugnant of all – is the tolerance of it.

      each and every person who believes in imaginary men in the sky is mentally ill, delusional and tragically ignorant.

      none of them should be allowed to vote, hold public office, purchase firearms or teach public school.

      enough is enough

      November 2, 2012 at 8:14 am |
    • nope

      @anv ...
      nope

      November 2, 2012 at 8:16 am |
    • Rudy T. Miller

      You are very arrogant to claim to know the mind of God.

      November 2, 2012 at 8:23 am |
    • yup

      @anv

      yup

      November 2, 2012 at 8:30 am |
    • Damocles

      @fairy

      Your mistake is thinking that my life is missing something.

      There are some people that I need to please in this life, sure. Friends, family, bosses.... none of these are deities though I admit I have worked for some arrogant SOBs. If you want to cringe in fear and wring your hands in worry that some supposed deity is watching your every waking action and thought then by all means have at it.

      If I was a deity and I was passing judgement, I would be more inclined to look favorably upon those who went about their lives living the best they could as opposed to those who paid lip-service to me due to some supposed happy afterlife that people think I am offering.

      November 2, 2012 at 9:14 am |
    • Dissident Fairy

      @Wasp: I didn't say it was the only reason he set sail. The expedition was used though to prove to Catholic Theologians that the world wasn't flat as they had insisted. Ironically they should have been the first to know it was round since they were Theologians. Most of us can't prove that our great-great grandparents were ever here either but obviously they existed. Archeologists and Historians have been helpful with the discovery of ancient artifacts confirming the existence of prominent government officials during the time of Jesus Christ including Pontius Pilate. Babylon was a real city according to Historians. How could Isaiah predict the fall of that great city 500 years before it actually happened? The Bible says that God told him it was going to be destroyed. Isaiah didn't have any special powers as a clairvoyant, he was only a man, and he took no credit for his insight. He always gave the credit to God. What about the prophecies in Daniel? They certainly have been proven true regarding the fall of various World Powers. Babylon fell to the Medes and the Persian's and so on down the line. History confirms this. It even mentions a World Power that had yet to fall, but eventually did. As far as your comment regarding the length of time it took to write the Bible....your point is what? You feel that God should have written it sooner? Maybe even before the events actually took place? If it had been written in two days would you feel any different about it? If God is really God then maybe it should have magically appeared? Is that what you are saying? He certainly had the power to do it if he had wanted to go in that direction, but he chose to inspire men to record his thoughts, and in some cases to allow them to give their perspective on events, which is evident in Paul's writings, and in the four Gospels. The four Gospels recount the same events as seen through the eyes of four different men. The Dead Sea Scrolls that were discovered in the 1950's.....do you dismiss them as being just another fairytale and deny their existence too?

      November 2, 2012 at 3:17 pm |
    • A Frayed Knot

      Fairy,

      Ah, so many errors in your thinking – I only have time to start at the top and tackle your first one:

      "The idea that educated men at the time of Columbus believed that the earth was flat, and that this belief was one of the obstacles to be overcome by Columbus before he could get his project sanctioned, remains one of the hardiest errors in teaching."

      "there never was a period of 'flat earth darkness' among scholars (regardless of how the public at large may have conceptualized our planet both then and now). Greek knowledge of sphericity never faded, and all major medieval scholars accepted the earth's roundness as an established fact of cosmology." Historians of science David Lindberg and Ronald Numbers point out that "there was scarcely a Christian scholar of the Middle Ages who did not acknowledge [Earth's] sphericity and even know its approximate circ-umference". - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Myth_of_the_Flat_Earth

      November 2, 2012 at 3:27 pm |
    • Dissident Fairy

      @ Bumper: Huh? Yes the 10 commandments were originally handed down to Moses for the Jews and to the Nation of Israel. I also realize that the Jews still believe that they are God's "chosen people." In fact the entire Bible, it's theme, centers around the Jews and the nation of Israel from Genesis to Revelation. The Jews though only recognize the first 5 books of the Bible (the Torah) because obviously they do not accept Jesus Christ as being their Lord and Savior, which is rather ironic since the only reason they were the "chosen people" to begin with was because of Jesus Christ. The promised Messiah was to appear through their lineage, which should have been an honor to them. The nation of Israel lost favor with God time and time again. They were guilty of turning away from God and worshipping false gods and idols, their clergy was corrupt ignoring the needs of widows and orphans, they were committing every sort of sin that was detestable to God. He warned them over and over to return to him and be his people but they didn't listen. Fed up he finally allowed Babylon to take them captive and into exile and servitude for 70 years. Yes, God eventually forgave them and returned them to their land, but it didn't take long before they turned their backs on him again. Their status of being God's "chosen people" changed when Jesus Christ appeared on the earth. He opened the door for both Jews and Gentiles to be saved. Some Jews followed Jesus Christ, others insisted that he die, many demanded he be put to death. In fact they said to Pontius Pilate, "Let his blood be upon us and upon our children."

      November 2, 2012 at 3:51 pm |
    • Dissident Fairy

      @ A Frayed Knot: I guess you didn't see my reply to Wasp? It was the Catholic Theologians that insisted the world was flat. Columbus only confirmed what Aristotle and other scholars had previously said.....oh....and lets not forget that the Bible said it too:)

      November 2, 2012 at 4:00 pm |
    • A Frayed Knot

      Fairy,

      No, Columbus found it difficult to get support for his voyage because they thought it was too far of a trip - NOT because they thought the Earth was flat.

      The doyen of historians of Medieval Science, Edward Grant, covers the issue in his new book, God and Reason in the Middle Ages where he finds all educated people in the Middle Ages were well aware the Earth was a sphere. Perhaps today we can at last dispense with this patronising belief about the Christian Middle Ages. http://bede.org.uk/flatearth.htm

      For what it's worth, Isaiah said the Earth is a circle. The Hebrews had words for 'ball' and 'sphere', but did not use them to describe the Earth.

      November 2, 2012 at 4:13 pm |
    • Dissident Fairy

      @ Blessed. Sorry if that is the impression I gave you. I didn't mean to do that. I realize that many people have turned away from God who were once believers. The Bible says that this will happen. Many though have a superficial knowledge of the Bible, and turn away from God based on other peoples influences, and limited perspectives, or, they turn away because their lifestyle is contrary to the teachings of the Bible, so it's easier not to believe, or they are just not interested. The writings that didn't make it, I've read most of them, were not included for several reasons. The main reason: The general consensus among Bible scholars is that they were written way after the original books were written and not part of the original manuscripts. I've read the Bible many times and still learn something new every time, that will never change, it's an ongoing learning process. My father was an Atheist for the first 30 years of his life, then spent the next 30 years becoming what I would describe as a Bible scholar and a believer, his identical twin brother remains an Atheist to this day. Both are good men but I would describe my father as more of an optimist and my uncle as more of a pessimist.

      November 2, 2012 at 5:08 pm |
    • Dissident Fairy

      @ Frayed Knot: I never said that proving the earth was round was their main objective, and yes, you are right about Isaiah, about the "circle of the earth". The Bible makes mention of it at least twice that I know of.

      November 2, 2012 at 5:26 pm |
    • Dissident Fairy

      @AnVil: "Religion doesn't require you to read." I'm not sure what your point is unless you are saying that people have limited knowledge when it comes to religion and the Bible. I would agree with you on that. Most people blindly follow the church their parents went to without ever questioning it, or looking deeper into it themselves. They know little about God or the Bible. Then eventually some of them say they don't believe, or say they believe but don't really know why! As far as politicians not being elected if they are religious or believers in God, as you said, they, "are all mentally ill" I actually found that funny. Looks like you have a bit of a dilemma in the upcoming election! The last I heard both candidates profess a belief in God:)

      November 2, 2012 at 5:50 pm |
    • Dissident Fairy

      @ Rudy: Sorry you feel that way. I'm actually very humbled by God. The only way any of us can try and understand the mind of God is to read the Bible and try and comprehend what he requires of us. None of us can completely understand the mind of God. He makes that very clear in the Bible when he says that He and Christ stand alone in that regard. He did however provide his inspired word for us to use as a guide.

      November 2, 2012 at 6:07 pm |
    • Dissident Fairy

      @Damocies: Like I said before, you sound like a really nice guy. My uncle is an Atheist and he is a nice man too, and he also enjoys his life as well. So I never thought you were "missing something" or having a miserable life. You are right about nice people who go about their lives being better people than many of the religious hypocrites who go to church to socialize and put on airs. It's those religious hypocrites who are mostly to blame for turning people off against God and religion in the first place. The preachers themselves have mocked the very God they claim to represent. That's why the Bible says they will come to him in the end and say, "Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and expel demons in your name, and perform many powerful works in your name?" And he will say to them, "I never knew you, get away from me you workers of lawlessness." The Bible refers to these religious leaders as being "Vipers."

      So yes I totally understand where you are coming from. The Bible says that "the road leading off into destruction is broad and spacious,whereas, narrow and cramped is the road leading to everlasting life." So people shouldn't allow religious hypocrites to discourage them from seeking God before it's too late. As far as having to "look over ones shoulder" if we are truly living a good life there is no reason to feel that way.

      November 2, 2012 at 6:50 pm |
    • the AnViL

      @Dissident Fairy

      well – let me be clear...

      religion is predicate upon ignorance

      science is predicate upon knowledge.

      religion requires absolutely no hard work... in fact – it doesn't even require people to be able to read.

      as for the upcoming election... it's just more of the same. not real excited about the idea of a mormon in office... 80% of americans suffer from delusional thinking. *shrugs* we just have to keep hammering away at it.

      i'm more concerned about akin and broun sitting on the committee for science space and technology.

      my appeal is to the people who are free from delusional thinking.

      vote with your wallets. support the freedom from religion foundation.

      keep vigilant – fight against those who would attempt to secularize their religious ideologies....
      work to thwart those who would restrict freedom, liberty and equality for those who do not share their ignorant, delusional beliefs...

      tolerance of religious idiocy has to end.

      enough is blah blah blah.

      November 2, 2012 at 7:57 pm |
    • Dissident Fairy

      @AnVil: No criticism intended but you almost sound Militant in your vow to Atheism:) Were you raised an Atheist? Did you have a bad religious experience growing up? Even if you reject the Bible as being the inspired word of God, it would seem you'd still have to acknowledge that it is highly complex and well written. It certainly doesn't reek of "ignorance." I use logic not emotion when assessing the facts. Why would I wish to be deceived into believing there was a God if in fact there wasn't? That would be ridiculous! Why would I waste my time! I wouldn't, so after weighing the facts, I still can't come to any other conclusion than the one I came to, that God exists.

      I respect science! Man has accomplished some great things and conquered some amazing feats. Man's mind however, brilliant as it is, is still like a neophytes compared to God's. The Bible says, "He has hidden his truths from the wise and intellectual ones." and, "The wisdom of this world is foolishness to God." I believe he is the Creator of all things, which makes the accomplishments of man, as great as they are, seem pale in comparison.

      How long do any of us really have in this world? Even if we are still in our twenties? Not long at all, it's going to go by Really fast, and without God, it all comes to nothing in the end. Fame and fortune? What good does it do any one once they are gone! I understand that religious people can be obnoxious at times, self righteous and in your face. I've experienced that myself on occasion dealing with overly hyper people who's beliefs are based more on emotion than logic, but it would be a mistake to assume that all believers in God are alike, and that religion-God needs to be exterminated, not that you used that terminology, but it sounds like that's what you would like to see happen, would like to see God and religion driven off the face of the earth! Correct me if I'm wrong.....

      November 2, 2012 at 9:52 pm |
    • the AnViL

      @dissidentfairy

      "Even if you reject the Bible as being the inspired word of God, it would seem you'd still have to acknowledge that it is highly complex and well written."

      why would it "seem" that to you???? in truth – the bible is a collection of crap written by ignorant, uneducated, bronze-age men. it's contradictory, convoluted and poorly written - anything but divine.

      "Did you have a bad religious experience growing up? "

      i live in the bible belt – i have bad experiences every day dealing with the abject ignorance of religious fundamentalism.

      the problem is – so many religious nutbags feel compelled to dictate their morals onto the rest of the population. they seek to diminish the rights and freedoms of those who do not believe in their imaginary gods. they work overtime to restrict the liberties and right of others who do not share their religious delusion. they do it all the while knowing they're morally right and it is their duty.

      they perpetuate and propagate ignorance and personally, i find that repugnant.

      stop being ignorant.

      again – my appeal is to those who aren't trapped in the throes of delusional thinking: vote with your wallets.

      support the freedom from religion foundation.

      - fin -

      November 2, 2012 at 11:56 pm |
    • the AnViL

      @dissidentfairy

      religion is harmful to humanity.

      religion causes suffering, division, ignorance, hate and bigotry.

      in over 2000 years, religion has done absolutely nothing to unify humanity. it SHOULD be obvious to everyone that none of it is divine.

      would i like to see religion exterminated from the face of the earth? of course not... i believe people should be allowed to believe in whatever imaginary gods they can invent.

      what i would like to see is religion relegated and kept in private. i would love for us to enact new legislation – establishing punitive measures against religious organizations who work to undermine the 1st amendment. but mostly – i'd love to see the rights, equality, liberty and freedoms stripped from those who think it their moral duty to restrict the rights, equality, liberty and freedoms from those who do not share their religious vomit.

      tolerance of religious idiocy is a cancer and it must be stopped.

      November 3, 2012 at 12:19 am |
    • Dissident Fairy

      AnVil: I tried to write you back but it refused to post my reply.....maybe I'm being censored! What happened to Freedom of Speech. I actually agreed with you on several things that you said. I will try again tomorrow:)

      November 3, 2012 at 2:17 am |
    • Helpful Hints

      Dissident Fairy,

      Bad letter combinations / words to avoid if you want to get past the CNN automatic filter:
      Many, if not most, are buried within other words, so use your imagination.
      You can use dashes, spaces, or other characters or some html tricks to modify the "offending" letter combinations.
      ---
      ar-se.....as in ar-senic.
      co-ck.....as in co-ckatiel, co-ckatrice, co-ckleshell, co-ckles, etc.
      co-on.....as in racc-oon, coc-oon, etc.
      crac-ker…
      cu-m......as in doc-ument, accu-mulate, circu-mnavigate, circu-mstances, cu-mbersome, cuc-umber, etc.
      ef-fing...as in ef-fing filter
      ft-w......as in soft-ware, delft-ware, swift-water, drift-wood, etc.
      ho-mo.....as in ho-mo sapiens or ho-mose-xual, ho-mogenous, sopho-more, etc.
      ho-oters…as in sho-oters
      ho-rny....as in tho-rny, etc.
      inf-orms us…
      hu-mp… as in th-ump, th-umper, th-umping
      jacka-ss...yet "ass" is allowed by itself.....
      ja-p......as in j-apanese, ja-pan, j-ape, etc.
      koo-ch....as in koo-chie koo..!
      nip-ple
      o-rgy….as in po-rgy, zo-rgy, etc.
      pi-s......as in pi-stol, lapi-s, pi-ssed, therapi-st, etc.
      p-oon… as in sp-oon, lamp-oon, harp-oon
      p-orn… as in p-ornography
      pr-ick....as in pri-ckling, pri-ckles, etc.
      que-er
      ra-pe.....as in scra-pe, tra-peze, gr-ape, thera-peutic, sara-pe, etc.
      se-x......as in Ess-ex, s-exual, etc.
      sl-ut
      sm-ut…..as in transm-utation
      sn-atch
      sp-ank
      sp-ic.....as in desp-icable, hosp-ice, consp-icuous, susp-icious, sp-icule, sp-ice, etc.
      sp-ook… as in sp-ooky, sp-ooked
      strip-per
      ti-t......as in const-itution, att-itude, t-itle, ent-ity, alt-itude, beat-itude, etc.
      tw-at.....as in wristw-atch, nightw-atchman, salt-water, etc.
      va-g......as in extrava-gant, va-gina, va-grant, va-gue, sava-ge, etc.
      who-re....as in who're you kidding / don't forget to put in that apostrophe!
      wt-f....also!!!!!!!
      There's another phrase that someone found, "wo-nderful us" (have no idea what sets that one off).

      November 3, 2012 at 2:20 am |
    • Dissident Fairy

      @ Helpful Hints: There was nothing profane or off color about my post. Unless of course the filter or censors were offended over the religious content of my post, but that would seem rather unfair!

      November 3, 2012 at 2:42 am |
    • LinCA

      @Dissident Fairy

      You said, "There was nothing profane or off color about my post. Unless of course the filter or censors were offended over the religious content of my post, but that would seem rather unfair!"

      Look for fragments of words. Some are hard to find. Look for things like the fragment "tit" in "constitution" and "title", or "poon" in s"poon".

      Use the list above to help identify the offending words.

      November 3, 2012 at 2:51 am |
    • LinCA

      Shit! That didn't work right. Lemme try that again.

      @Dissident Fairy

      You said, "There was nothing profane or off color about my post. Unless of course the filter or censors were offended over the religious content of my post, but that would seem rather unfair!"

      Look for fragments of words. Some are hard to find. Look for things like the fragment "tit" in "constitution" and "title", or "poon" in "spoon".

      Use the list above to help identify the offending words.

      November 3, 2012 at 2:54 am |
    • Dissident Fairy

      I'm definitely being unfairly censored.......

      November 3, 2012 at 4:12 am |
    • Helpful Hints

      Dissident Fairy,

      No, you are not being censored. You have one or more tricky word fragments within your post. Look it over closely. Last resort try posting it one paragraph at a time until you hit the one which gets bounced.

      There are no live moderators here... and think about it - even if there were, how could they bounce your post the instant that you send it?

      November 3, 2012 at 4:20 am |
    • Dissident Fairy

      @Helpful Hints: Thank you for your suggestions but if you aren't live then what are you? An incredibly perceptive robot? Last night you wrote back instantaneously. I have had some bad experiences with Yahoo in the past. They are notorious for censoring, not just me, there was always a myriad of complaints from others too, that's why I deleted them as my home page and now I'm sticking with CNN. Yahoo allowed extremely racist comments, colorful metaphors, comments that were hurtful and exceedingly rude, but censored comments that were benign and shouldn't have been censored.

      November 3, 2012 at 1:30 pm |
    • Helpful Hints

      Dissident Fairy,

      Heh. I don't work for CNN. I'm just a regular old poster trying to help out. A few of us, under the astute tutelage of an intrepid poster, @Sum Dude, helped compile this list of the most common bugbears. I just happened to see your posts as I was browsing. Sure wish I could help you figure out which one(s) are bouncing your post.

      November 3, 2012 at 4:36 pm |
    • Dissident Fairy

      @Helpful Hints: Thank you! I will try again later:) There were no fragmented words in what I tried to post, so, I don't know what I could do to try and improve upon it. Who's LinCa? Someone from CNN or just a taunting comedian incognito:)

      November 3, 2012 at 9:13 pm |
    • Helpful Hints

      Dissident Fairy,

      I'm not sure if you get the concept yet. We can't type the words "const-itution" or "doc-ument" because they contain the word fragments "t-it" and "cu-m" (and a lot of other examples are on the list). I got caught on "gr-ape" one time, and "spi-ce" and even "drift-wood"!

      LinCA is a helpful person who also tries to come to the aid of frustrated posters. She knows fancy html tricks, and takes the time to do them, so she can do wondrous things with her posts.

      November 3, 2012 at 10:56 pm |
    • Dissident Fairy

      Helpful I give up. I just wrote you a letter of thanks. I also made mention of your Sum Dude site, that it was cool, and they won't post it either!

      November 4, 2012 at 2:40 am |
    • Helpful Hints

      Dissident Fairy,

      Aw, don't give up! As I said, as a last resort, you could try posting it one paragraph – or even one sentence – at a time and see where the first bounce occurs. Nobody will mind... it's late at night and not too busy here.

      (oh, and Sum Dude is not a site - it's the screen name of a guy who used to post here often)

      November 4, 2012 at 2:57 am |
    • Dissident Fairy

      It must be nice living in Alaska. I prefer the cold but ironically live in the desert. I recently watched one of those Alaskan railway adventures. The place is beyond beautiful:) I laughed when I read the part about being a recluse, I'm a bit of a recluse myself:)

      November 4, 2012 at 2:58 am |
    • Dissident Fairy

      It must be amazing living in Alaska. I prefer the cold but ironically live in the desert. I recently watched one of those Alaskan railway adventures. The place is beyond beautiful. I laughed when I read the part about being a recluse, I'm a bit of a recluse myself.

      November 4, 2012 at 3:01 am |
    • Dissident Fairy

      Wow! Now they posted my comment twice:) Sum Dude looked like a website to me or maybe it was a personal site on Twitter?

      November 4, 2012 at 3:05 am |
    • Dissident Fairy

      Reply to AnVil: You mentioned "suffering." Religion has been responsible for most if not all of our wars. I find it pathetic that Catholic priests on both sides of the second world war, the American and German priests, were blessing weapons of destruction used to kill other Catholics. In the past the church has been brutal in dealing with dissenters and heretics, and more recently, remiss in dealing with cases of abuse and cover ups.

      November 4, 2012 at 6:54 am |
    • Dissident Fairy

      "Hate" yes! "Bigotry"? I'm not sure if religion can be blamed for bigotry any more than any other organization, ethnic group, etc. "Division" Yes! I think I read once that there are 30 divisions of the Baptist Church alone! "Ignorance" I guess that could apply depending on which religious organizations one is referring to. Many are steeped in false Doctrines, traditions that don't originate with God.....and you are right! "In two thousand years religion hasn't unified man." But I think one needs to escape religion and look at the bigger picture. Jesus Christ had the same issues with the Scribes and Pharisees back in his day. He called them treacherous and vipers, said their synagogues (and churches) were like "white washed graves, beautiful on the outside, but inside, full of dead mens bones and every form of disgusting thing." As you know, the Scribes and Pharisees, were the spiritual leaders back then and he had nothing good to say about them. Do you think (hypothetically if you believed) that he would feel any different about them today? I don't think so! I could go down the list of the more prominent ones, you know who they are. What kind of an example have they set? They have been a Big embarrassment! Mega churches raking in millions, immoral hypocrites, false predictors, you name it, but, they are no part of God and should not be confused as such. The Bible describes religious people as "acquiring false teachers to have their ears tickled." In other words they want to pay someone to tell them what they want to hear, not the truth!

      November 4, 2012 at 6:57 am |
    • Dissident Fairy

      I think the book of Revelation is pretty clear that God is going to turn on religion one of these days. So you are right! Religion has not unified or made the world a better place for the most part, but, that's why we (the believers) pray the Lords Prayer. We pray for,"his will to be done on earth as it is in heaven." When has his will ever been done on the earth? It certainly isn't being done now! The Bible says, that, "God will set up a kingdom that will never be destroyed and it will last to time indefinite." A Kingdom that will be united in peace and harmony.

      I disagree with you regarding the Bible though. I think it's the most complex book ever written. It requires a tremendous amount of effort to unravel it's mysteries and hidden truths. God purposely designed it that way because he wants us to search for it like treasure. He wants us to put effort into it because anything worth receiving requires our time and effort.

      November 4, 2012 at 7:01 am |
    • Dissident Fairy

      Thank you Helpful....doing it in three segments worked. Actually it was the first paragraph I had to tweak:)

      November 4, 2012 at 7:07 am |
    • the AnViL

      well since you went to such great lengths to post all'at i suppose the LEAST i can do is respond.

      - if you believe the bible to be the most super-awesome book-to-end-all-books.......

      i suggest you read some more books.

      the bible is a whole bunch of books written by a whole bunch of delusional, ignorant men over a wide span of time.
      it is certainly convoluted – and definitely filled with contradictions. a great deal of it was taken from much older stories... and there are so many different versions of it, it's no wonder there's so much confusion and division within xianity.

      the very fact that it IS so convoluted and filled with contradictions SHOULD be enough evidence for anyone of its complete and utter lack of divinity. lot's don't get it. there's a reason for it. none of the words that describe the reason are pretty or polite.

      let it suffice to say that anyone who uses it as a guide of any sorts for the purpose of understanding life the universe and everything (or anything) needs to stop it... immediately.

      and finally

      – some religions are predicate upon bigotry. bigotry is such a huge part of the muslim faith it's amazing that people manage to ignore it – or worse – find polite ways to describe it.

      look up the word bigotry, then read the koran, then try NOT to apply the word bigotry to anything within the koran.

      good luck with that.

      November 6, 2012 at 6:27 am |
    • Dissident Fairy

      AnVil: You are assuming that I haven't read the greatest works of literature and science man has to offer. Assumptions such as that will cost you a few points:) Why do you say that the Bible was written by "ignorant" men? They were far from ignorant! One was a 'physician' Luke, and another was a 'king' Solomon. You say the Bible is "convoluted"? How so? You would need to be more specific and give me an example of that. "Contradictions" I find no contradictions in the Bible, again you would have to give me an example. "Taken from much older stories" Are you referring to the mythological Sumerian story of the Epic of Gilgamesh regarding a flood? While there may be some superficial similarities, most can be associated with any flood. The tablet that was found was sketchy at best, parts of it was missing, so one would have to fill in the blanks. The vessel described in the Gilgamesh tale wasn't even sea worthy. It defied the laws of physics as not being structurally sound enough to stay afloat, it was made out of slate. Their 'gods' were based on folklore and certainly not to be taken seriously.

      I didn't say there weren't any "bigots" in religion. There are plenty of religious hypocrites trying to scare heathens by hurling them into the horrors of hell:) All I meant to say is bigotry isn't limited to the world of Christianity, or to the Brotherhood of Muslinism. Bigotry is religious hypocrisy that can transcend into the world of racism and discrimination on many levels. An Atheist, a Christian, or a Muslim, could all be classified as a bigot depending on the individual.

      Parts of the Bible may appear to be simplistic on the surface but that misconception is far from the truth. The deeper one delves into it the more complex it becomes. It's like searching for treasure while unraveling it's mystery. The book of Daniel and Revelation are highly complex in terms of Bible prophecy. Some of the prophecies have been fulfilled while others are still waiting to happen. The Bible predicts our future and has accurately predicted the past. It's a book of great inspiration, one of hope and promise. To give up on it would be our biggest mistake, yet, the Bible, predicted this would happen, predicted that people would turn away from God in the end. It says that "because of lawlessness the love of the greater number" of people would "cool off" toward God. Don't we see that happening today? People often say when tragedy happens, "if God existed this wouldn't have happened." Or "If there is a God he has allot of explaining to do." What they fail to see is God allows bad things to happen as well as the good. He has a set time when he will intervene and come to the rescue of man. Most of the bad things that happen are brought on by man himself. So in many instances we are the creators of our own problems, not all, but most. If God were to intervene on behalf of every tragedy then we would already be living in a perfect world. If he only intervened on rare occasion then he would be selective and unfair. The Bible says that, "God is not partial."

      I'm sure you've read the Bible, AnVil, in Matthew the 24th chapter, where it mentions some the signs that Jesus Christ said would take place before God intervenes. If not, it might be worth checking into. Also second Timothy 3:1-4 is a real eye opener, it says, "But know this, that in the last days critical times hard to deal with will be here. For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, self assuming, haughty, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, disloyal, having no natural affection, not open to any agreement, slanderers, without self control, fierce, without love of goodness, betrayers, headstrong, puffed up with pride, lovers of pleasures rather than lovers of God, having a form of Godly devotion but proving false to it's power; and from these turn away." Wow! Does that not sound like the world today?

      Is anyone open to agreement on a political level? In our country can the Republican's and the Democrats see eye to eye to move this country forward? Aren't they too "puffed up with pride" and too "haughty" to acquiesce to the other side, or even meet halfway for the good of the nation? Lovers of money? Most people today consider money to be their god. Wouldn't you agree? Lovers of themselves? Lets face it, it's a self centered "me first" world we are living in. Yes there are still good people. The rare few who will help someone and return money that is found, but, they are the minority by far. No natural affection? I don't know about you, but I have never seen families so torn apart and at odds with each other as they are today. Stories my parents and grandparents recant of family life regarding "how it used to be" are very different than the way it is today. Lovers of pleasures rather than lovers of God! Isn't that the truth! Who cares about God lets have fun! Religious hypocrites "having a form of Godly devotion but proving false to it's power" enough said, it says it all. Verse 7 is also very telling regarding the religious leaders of today. It says, "Always learning and yet never able to come to an accurate knowledge of the truth." Wow! Isn't that the truth! People being spiritually starved and misled by the pious men they "blindly follow."

      In closing, AnVil, the Bible predicts the future and gives us tremendous hope and insight into what God has planned for us. Think about it, how could a book written over 2000 years ago be so accurate and relevant today? How could 40 men who didn't know one another, for the most part, that lived in different geographical locations, who died before others began to write, write a book that makes perfect sense, and, why would they even want to do it, if it wasn't the inspired word of God? How could anyone get that many men, over 1600 years, to take on such a monumental project as that? They couldn't! Also think about this: Why does the Bible remain the best seller of all time? Why didn't it just dry up and go away? There's only one answer....AnVil....because it IS the inspired word of God:)

      November 8, 2012 at 12:40 pm |
  7. Holly

    I feel so sad for those that do not believe in God. He is real. I know it and you should at least think about what will happen IF you are wrong.

    November 1, 2012 at 9:11 pm |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      "Pascal's Wager" (that is what you are arguing) is a terrible argument to believe in god.

      1. How do you know you have the "right" god?

      2. Wouldn't your all knowing god "know" if you "believe" just on the off chance it might be true?

      3. Should we believe in all the postulated gods in history because they might also be true?

      4. Threats of infinite punishment betray a weak argument.

      5. Punishing people for crimes of thought (non-belief) is immoral and makes your god immoral and therefore not worthy of worship even if he did exist.

      Just a partial list.

      November 1, 2012 at 9:25 pm |
    • Athy

      Au contrare, Holly. I feel sorry for you, spending your life groveling on your knees to a myth. If you can't think, you gotta sink.

      November 1, 2012 at 10:11 pm |
    • Nathan

      As much as you have HONESTLY ever thought about what would happen IF you were wrong and Odin was the correct god? Or Ra? Or Quetzlcoatl? It's also funny because I know a Sikh, a Muslim, and a Native American spiritualist and ALL of them claim to KNOW that their gods are the real ones, too. Funny how that works...

      Pascal's Wager is just BAD logic, always has been. And if that's the best you have?

      November 1, 2012 at 10:34 pm |
    • Damocles

      @Holly

      Ok, I've thought about it.

      Now what?

      November 2, 2012 at 12:04 am |
    • tallulah13

      That's very sweet of you Holly. And I feel sorry for you, because with the thousands of gods humans have invented throughout history (including the christian god), you must be spending your entire life worshiping. After all, you don't want to worship the wrong one.

      November 2, 2012 at 12:29 am |
    • sam stone

      Holly: And if you are wrong? If there is a god, but it is not one that you have been worshipping, are you not as s-c-r-e-w-e-d as you imply atheists are with your post?

      November 2, 2012 at 3:09 am |
    • Leif

      @Holly. I feel sorry for any god that feels a need to punish anyone for simply not believing in him/her/it. Such a god would not be worthy of the name. I don't worry about it. It is entirely possible to lead a moral life without believing in a deity. Some of the nicest people are atheists, and some of the worst believe in god. Some of the worst people are atheists, and some of the best believe in God. I just try to be nice to people and to living things in general, as long as they aren't trying to kill me or my loved ones.

      November 2, 2012 at 4:05 am |
    • sam stone

      holly: you paint god as a insecure, vengeful punk. i feel sorry for you.

      November 2, 2012 at 4:30 am |
    • WASP

      @holly: you want to know you sin that will keep you out of heaven holly? hmmmmmm?
      it's vanity and pride.
      you have already condemned those you believe not to be worthy of your god/heaven to hell by stating "you feel sorry for them, upon their death."
      if there is a god, then upon the day i meet such a creature i can look it in the "eye" and admit i judged no person to be better or less than what i am..................................that is simply human.
      i treat all people as humans and respect them for that single fact if nothing more.
      let me ask you something; can you respect a prosti-tute? how about the bum on your street corner? or the drug addict trying to make a sell?
      so enjoy your heaven............................if you make it there. :)

      November 2, 2012 at 7:53 am |
  8. I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

    So... Global Warming ...

    Mayor Bloomberg seems to think it might just be real. The evidence is all around him.

    With that and Rmoney's flip flops, he has endorsed Barack Obama for a second term.

    http://politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com/2012/11/01/citing-climate-change-bloomberg-endorses-obama/

    Citing climate change, Bloomberg endorses Obama
    ------------------–
    Citing the storm, which left much of his city underwater and powerless, Bloomberg wrote in an op-ed on his website that "while the increase in extreme weather we have experienced in New York City and around the world may or may not be the result of [climate change], the risk that it might be – given this week's devastation – should compel all elected leaders to take immediate action."

    Romney, Bloomberg wrote, is a "good and decent man" whose business experience would be a valuable asset in the White House, but his changes in positions have made the candidate a bad choice for president.

    "In the past he has…taken sensible positions on immigration, illegal guns, abortion rights and health care. But he has reversed course on all of them, and is even running against the health-care model he signed into law in Massachusetts," Bloomberg, an independent who did not endorse a presidential candidate in 2008, wrote in his column.

    "If the 1994 or 2003 version of Mitt Romney were running for president, I may well have voted for him because, like so many other independents, I have found the past four years to be, in a word, disappointing," the New York City mayor continued, pointing to what he regards as failures in Obama's jobs creation record and his approach to balancing the budget.

    November 1, 2012 at 8:56 pm |
    • Kevin

      If Romney wins then I will have a little bit of doubt about God. If Romney is a christian headed for the kingdom of God then I am headed the other way. His thoughts go completely against God's teachings in the Bible. Maybe they have a different Bible. Our Bible states that a rich man has as much chance as a camel passing through the eye of a needle to get into the Kingdom Of God. Maybe he will bring some of his millions back to the states and give it to the poor starving people in America.

      November 1, 2012 at 9:16 pm |
  9. UtahProf

    it is interesting to me that people are simply too wrapped up in their own little world to open their minds (and hearts) to the possibility of something larger than themselves. The sad truth is, people who are "atheist" are simply not intelligent – intelligent people can explore all facets of an argument and leave themselves open to possibility, even if it is very remote (realize that you can be "smart" without being "intelligent"). Even Einstein admitted that he did not know one way or the other. Peace, Alan L., PhD, Engineer, Ordained Non-denominational Minister.

    November 1, 2012 at 8:47 pm |
    • itsallaloadofbollocks

      Being open-minded is not proof of a god. If there is something bigger than us, it has not shown itself since the Big Bang. As we don't know what, if anything, was before that, why believe in a supernatural being whose existence we can't explain; why not stick with a universe whose existence we can't explain?

      November 1, 2012 at 8:54 pm |
    • Athy

      Actually, prof, studies show that atheists have higher IQs than religious folks. If you were truly a professor, you would know this.

      November 1, 2012 at 8:56 pm |
    • Whatever

      So, as an engineer, do you leave your mind "open to the possibility" that 2+2=5? No. Because it's nonsense. Now you understand atheism. Congratulations.

      November 1, 2012 at 8:57 pm |
    • Rick

      Most of us have opened are mind. We're still waiting for something to show up.

      November 1, 2012 at 8:58 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      @UtahProf

      this is an appalling generalization: "The sad truth is, people who are "atheist" are simply not intelligent"

      What a closed minded, judgmental person you must be.

      November 1, 2012 at 8:59 pm |
    • PraiseTheLard

      Actually, Einstein wrote: "The word God is for me nothing more than the expression and product of human weaknesses, the Bible a collection of honorable, but still primitive legends which are nevertheless pretty childish. No interpretation no matter how subtle can (for me) change this. " As for intelligence and open minds... do you dismiss the possibility the extraterrestrials came here and introduced "life" to the Earth? It's at least as real a possibility as your "God" (who came from where?) "creating" anything or even existing. The truly intelligent answer is "I don't know"...

      November 1, 2012 at 9:31 pm |
    • biobraine

      We as atheists and agnostics do leave our minds open to a possibility, even if as you say, it is very remote. In fact, we have that advantage over religious folk who are told to have faith in what they are taught and not to question. Any atheist or agnostic would have no problem accepting a god or gods if any proof was discovered. We are not against God. We just see no convincing evidence of one. Not knowing one way or another is not sufficient justification for me to take up one of the many religions of the world and become a follower. Apart from the fact that there are so many to choose from, if there was a just and good God, that God would certainly not punish people for not believing in the right one. Religion makes no sense to me. If that makes me unintelligent to you, than so be it. You are allowed your opinion.

      November 1, 2012 at 9:50 pm |
    • a possible exception

      Agnostics are not with you.

      November 1, 2012 at 9:52 pm |
    • Athy

      Biobraine sums it up beautifully. Kudos to you, sir/madam.

      November 1, 2012 at 10:06 pm |
    • Nathan

      OR...they are intelligent because they DID open their mind to the idea, and having found NO evidence to support it, dismissed it. Open-mindedness is not always a virtue. Anyone who still keeps an "open mind" about the Earth being flat we call a moron. But keep your mind open about an unsupported, unproven, invisible ent.ity and it is wisdom?

      Fact is, prof, that there is ZERO empirical evidence for the existence of a god being. ANY god being. Much less YOUR god being. And calling people stupid who have decided to reject your belief system due to the lack of evidence for that belief system...that's not even stupid, it's just petty, sad, and juvenile.

      November 1, 2012 at 10:38 pm |
    • tallulah13

      hey UtahProf, why do you think that atheists haven't thought through their non-belief? Did you ever consider that atheism stems from a total lack of evidence that any gods exist, and if proof of a god were actually provided, atheists might reconsider? (There is no guarantee of worship. That sort of thing is earned.)

      Or do you just feel proud of yourself because you are stupidly generalizing about people you don't know, from a position of complete ignorance? I've gotta tell you, sparky, your brand of blatant hypocrisy is nothing to be proud of.

      November 2, 2012 at 12:03 am |
    • sam stone

      it is interesting to me that people are simply too wrapped up in their own little world to open their minds to the possibility they do not speak for of something larger than themselves

      November 2, 2012 at 3:18 am |
  10. Chris in WI

    why is it so hard for Christians to comprehend the fact that people used to not understand why there are rainbows, so they made up stories. They used to not understand rain, lightning, the sun/moon (all the things we call nature) so they applied magical properties and used these stories over time to convince people to be good because an invisible god is watching them.

    Do you honestly believe that light didn't refract as it passed threw a raindrop and cause a spectrum in the shape of an arch in the sky before "god flooded the earth"? Do you believe that god made day and night before he made the sun (the object that actually produces light and therefore day/night due to the rotation of the earth on its axis) like genesis says?

    I hope you said no you don't literally believe those things. And if not then how can you believe any of it? People wrote the bible way before they wrote science textbooks and in this case the newer information if more accurate then the older stuff people! Seriously it's 2012 and people believe in an invisible man in the sky and magic?!!?!!!?

    November 1, 2012 at 7:28 pm |
    • Athy

      But his comments are so short and easy to read and understand.

      November 1, 2012 at 7:35 pm |
    • Alive55

      The Bible was not written for a scientific audience, and is not intended to be read as a science text. That doesn't mean it isn't true. I might explain a difficult subject in language for much children to understand, but the fact that I don't give them the mathematical formulas doesn't imply that I am lying to them or misleading them. It will, perhaps, be difficult for them to construct the science from my explanation, if they were to go on and become scientists when they grow up.

      Referencing rainbows as a reminder of a promise need not imply that there were no rainbows before, nor that there is no scientific reason for their existence. I know some of my fellow Christians think the flood ushered in lots of changes and explains much of our present world. I don't see the need to do that either in the text of the Bible or in the scientific evidence that we find. If we recognize that language was used to communicate truth to a non-21st century audience, and not hold the text to 21st century scientific precision standards, it takes care of a lot of supposed problems.

      But this doesn't mean that there was no flood, or no rainbow, or no promise. The fact that we know more science now does not imply that the ideas communicated before scientific understanding are untrue. Life is more than science. It is more about relationship than anything else, and that has not changed.

      The fact that we experience day and night because our earth rotates as it orbits the sun doesn't mean that Genesis 1 is all wrong. Genesis 1 has elements of poetic structure and was never intended to specify the mechanisms involved. I can't tell you exactly why it is written the way it is. But the main point – God created everything, designed it, ordered it, and put us in this good creation of His – is very clear from the text, and entirely true. We don't need to treat it as an astronomy textbook, and confine it to the rubbish heap because we think we know more now.

      Consider that if God were to have written Genesis as a science textbook, it would have fit our understanding of science for only a short period of time, and that would have been long years after it was written. Generations before would not have known what to make of it. Generations after would have discovered more than whatever level it was written to, and criticized the model used as out of date. Far better to simply accept that it was written to people with a very real understanding of the world, but not our present scientific precision, so that both they and we could understand and appreciate it.

      November 1, 2012 at 8:04 pm |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      "The Bible was not written for a scientific audience, and is not intended to be read as a science text. That doesn't mean it isn't true."

      Alive,

      It doesn't mean it is true either. There is nothing in the bible that should make anyone think it was written or inspired by any god, and one would think if god did write it he would have included something that no one knew then that would be later proven true to give it some validity. As is, your argument seems to come down to "you can't prove it wrong" by saying it wasn't meant to be taken literally. I disagree, I do think the writers meant their writings to be taken literally and that makes it absurd.

      November 1, 2012 at 8:44 pm |
  11. Surakij Vuthikornpant

    Hello and Peace be upon you,sir.

    Please allow me to introduce myself "properly",sir.
    "My God name is “God”,sir."
    "My name is Mr. "Surakij" Vuthikornpant,sir."

    And I have sympathy compassion to all victims & their families from "Sandy storm"

    As everybody knew,"Sandy storm" was "hybrid storm" combined with frosting & snow with very massive size of storm to forming "Hurricane level" and very very hugh & massive.

    After the first couple days after "Sandy Hurricane" forming.

    Did you ever check the map that "Sandy Hurricane" passed around Bahamas,sir ???

    An island called........"New Providence" , offcourse...

    Etymology & history
    The name "New Providence" Island is derived from a 16th‐century governor who gave thanks to ‘Divine Providence’ for his survival after a shipwreck. The ‘New’ was added later to distinguish it from a small island off British Honduras (now Belize) used by pirates.

    Didn't you see the signs,sir ???

    After "Sandy storm" forming because of "global warming" and a couple days passed,

    That "my "God" commanded "Hurricane" to stop as fast as possible.

    And "the name of island in Bahamas that Sandy Hurricane passed is "New Providence",

    And something send forth before Rio+20....

    But all of credit of doing good deeds,offcourse...to all of moral excellence who want to help another unconditionally with their own free wills since started.

    About some thing send forth...before Rio+20.

    And have evidences too.

    Check this out,sir..

    Even preparenessess & pre-emtive wih several in send forth before Rio+20.

    If want some proved.
    First,www.whitehouse.gov.

    And at issue,"energy & environment"

    You will find "global climate adaptation strategies." ,click it.

    You will find about the plans,how to resolving global climate.

    Including aadapting & prepareness of some natural disasters.

    http://www.whitehouse.gov/energy

    http://www.whitehouse.gov/energy/climate-change

    http://www.whitehouse.gov/administration/eop/ceq/initiatives/adaptation

    http://www.whitehouse.gov/energy/our-environment

    If you can remember,all of them I mentioned before Rio+20 for pre-emtive & prepareness. ;)

    Some stuffs including warned about some of natural disasters cause by "globl warming"...like "drought","with soil degraded improvements strategies & water pipline systems irrigation for agricultural for prepareness if draught tried to WHACK some trees that people grow them for foods & jobs for living"
    With some in rural areas ,teaching people for make "silo" & keep some of seeds for grow some plants in next years,for foods & for emergency...

    (But if want it hyper superb..that should have some that can give for free to people who in needs......like people in Africa,But hyper difficult in reality if do it over sea but possible if do it in local areas,,,,but in some areas have to resolving about illegal armed conflicts problems & civil wars stuffs ,first.)

    And I also mentioned about "drought & dry weather might risky to cause "wild fire",and I also metioned the methodology & experimentals that used in Thailand & effectives about "building wet forest to make wild fire prevention.",For forestry rehabilitation & recovery.

    And also prepareness of global climate changes that causes "weather crisis" & including increasing of sea water level.

    That led to a technical question.....How we can grow more than 800 millions trees annually but people get paid & have jobs from doing that...and also can reducing poverty & hungers ....and set forth for future with sustainiblity of energy security..

    Imgine 300-4000 years from now,if fossil petroleum depleted,
    What we can prepare for people in next generation,to live in better future,better world.

    And can resolving global climate change & in the same direction of economic growth.

    Look like E85,E100,ethanol & Flexible fuel Vehicles...that people can have jobs in agriculture,have food security,help to resolving increasing food prices problems,and can resolving globl climate change & people in automiobiles industry can have jobs..

    By the way,sir.
    I also prepareness for if in some year ,before we can totally resolving global warming....but "global climate pre-emtive WHACKING us".

    Because Flexible Fuel Vehicle can use several types of fuel...so if in some year hav natural disaster,

    We can use "old fasion way" & try to back on track as soon as possible,sir.

    And my "God" helped a lot,sir.
    Only several days but wind velocity of "Sandy super storm" decresing very very fast and today slower than 40 miles / hours.

    And I can assure you,sir.
    Totally global warming that cause "lou*ynessess",

    But before everything to do.....

    Show sympathy compassion & help people who need help,
    Humanitarian supporting & moral supporting...

    Very cold weather,and moisture,some people might get cold..
    And shortage of power,lacks of clean water in New Jersy.

    If not too big for areas & poppulation.

    For temperary.

    "How possible try some of "military power generating units" & "water sanitation units" that international coalition & U.S. soldiers ever used in Afghanistan & Iraq,sir???"

    Using technologies for good proposals ,for Peace,gloriousness & joy,happiness & well-beings of all humanity of all nations & all living, ^^

    Space technologies & military technlogies for Peace,gloriousness & joy with good proposals with better reasons than use as weaponry ,but use for help another people & promote good healthy & well-beings. ^^

    Ex. In prepareness of strategies ,and a lot of moral excellence Amrican people have excellent performance,sir.
    Poor sanitation & hygienes with lacks of clean water & toilets...always find in "float area",
    CDC & universal health cares,,,,,,medical technilogies for prepareness as "rights for health" ???.

    And some of survival bags,lighter,foods,
    Ready to Eat Meal ,military rations???

    "Non-destrucable sandwishes" was the rations ,Ready to Eat Meal (REM) that can drop via air lift,from air planes that invented in decade ago ???

    Military technologies for sending humanitarian aid & foods to "humanitarian refugees camps".
    As well as "send some foods with delicate tasty & delicious to soldiers".

    (See,this is trend about using technilogies for Peace,happiness & well-beings ,good healthy & happiness for humanity,)

    Because ready to eat rations,old fasion way...while eating people always complained....

    "Did you call this "FOODS" ???" (with some of notch on eyes brouses...but if you tell this to your girl friend,she might quit "sorte" some fish but start whacking your face with "the non-stick pan" instead,don't try this at home,at school,in kitchen,anywhere...because while your girl friend make your meal with loving-kindess (that should not compare with "old fasion military rations".

    But say....."that's the most delicious thing I ever ate".... T-T offcourse,tears of joy....???

    Just sense of humor,sir.

    Just "portable power generating units & water sanitating units" for New Jersy ???

    And high power pumps to clear the subways & recycles stuffs for clean up debris..as FEMA said...???

    O.R.S. ,pet bottles of dringking waters ,knife,cash,flash light,blankets ..etc...but I think FEMA & National Guards alreadys did all,sir...^^

    "Hang in there people". ^^

    Think optimistically,compare to Hurricane Katrina that had 1883 victims & 108 billions Dollars cost of damage..

    But "Sandy" only 157 victims...if compare to Katrina in 2005...

    But even less damage but still have sympathy & compassion to victims & their families,sir.

    "Hang in there,sir."

    I ultimately ultimately believe faithfully in "Spirit of Humanity" in all of we,us,everybody can help everybody can walkthrough any difficult times together & will prevail all difficult times,sir.

    Always ultimately ultimately believe faithfully always...
    Thank you very much about reading,sir.
    Sincerely & faithfully.
    Surakij Vuthikornpant.

    P.S. After Noah Epic float,my "God" made covenant with Noah,and promised.....no punishment Eoicnessess with Epic floating to destroy any living for the sakes of humanity ,no more...And my "God" created "rainbow" with made some of moral laws as moral guidances with Noah...did you remember,sir???

    So I can assure you.....this time about "Sandy" totally by "global climate change",sir.

    But after only a few days passed...wind velocity of "Sandy storm" decreased very very quick...today not faster than 40 miles / hours....

    This stuff,I can assure you,,,,this caused by my "God" loving-kindness & good wills towards all humanity of all nations & all living...

    And I heard the news that......the Sandy storm might cause reducing of production of foods product....

    November 1, 2012 at 6:55 pm |
    • GodFreeNow

      This is the "Nigerian Prince" equivalent of god spam.

      November 1, 2012 at 6:57 pm |
    • Athy

      But his comments are so short and easy to read.

      November 1, 2012 at 7:36 pm |
    • Rudy T. Miller

      Your logic is impeccable! (BTW, this is sarcasm, in case you've never seen it.)

      November 2, 2012 at 8:50 am |
    • Danocles

      Why someone with an IQ that is several steps below your average can of processed cheese is given access to a computer is definitely one of life's great mysteries. The proper authorities need to be made aware that you have escaped your padded room.

      November 2, 2012 at 9:05 am |
  12. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things .

    November 1, 2012 at 6:28 pm |
    • Sceptic

      Religion isn't particularly healthy for you if you are very close to the suicide bomber trying to please god, or the abortion clinic bomber trying to please god, or are the the sick child of parents whose religion won't allow them to seek medical help...etc, etc.

      November 1, 2012 at 6:41 pm |
    • Sceptic

      On the other hand, a reformed tea bagger might point out that religion doesn't kill people, people WITH religion kill people.

      November 1, 2012 at 6:45 pm |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      Chessemakers produce cheese.

      November 1, 2012 at 8:47 pm |
    • Rick

      Yes, it sure does. I causes time to pass by, during which the one praying has accomplished nothing worthwhile.

      November 1, 2012 at 8:59 pm |
    • PraiseTheLard

      As Victor Stenger wrote: Science flies you to the moon. Religion flies you into buildings.

      November 1, 2012 at 9:37 pm |
    • ElmerGantry

      Repeat troll Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things stated once again and again and again over and over; Ad Nauseum,
      "Prayer changes things"

      Earlier I challenged you to do something positive for humanity by praying to stop the international forced sëx trafficking of an estimatated 800,000 people.

      To wit,

      I see your prayers to stop the estimated 800,000 people who are forced into sëx traficking across international borders have not worked.
      Wait since prayer changes things that means you have not been praying to stop this scourge on humanity.

      Why won't you pray to stop this repulsive human abuse?

      Matthew 21:21:
      I tell you the truth, if you have faith and do not doubt,not only can you do what was done to the fig tree, but also you can say to this mountain, 'Go, throw yourself into the sea,' and it will be done. If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer.
      _______________________________________________________________________
      [A true believer can ask a mountain to throw itself into the sea, and it will be done. LOL!]
      _______________________________________________________________________

      Mark 9:23
      All things are possible to him who believes.

      Luke 1:37:
      For with God nothing will be impossible.

      John 14:12 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father.

      John 14:13 And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.

      John 14:14 If ye shall ask anything in my name, I will do it.

      Nothing could be simpler or clearer than Jesus' promises about prayer in the Bible.
      So there you have it, straight from Jesus in the New Testament in clear, simple, and unequivocal terms.

      You are a sincere believer are you not?

      So go ahead and do it. Pray to god to eliminate forced international sëx traficking, bacterial disease, genetic disorders, war, famine, etc.

      In Matthew 21:21 Jesus states; I tell you the truth, if you have faith and do not doubt you can do anything including making a mountain throw itself into the sea. You do have faith and do not doubt, RIGHT? So do it.

      Or perhaps your faith is not really up to snuff and you know that so you do not pray to end these human scourges but instead only come up with your usual wimpy statements and name calling.

      November 1, 2012 at 10:09 pm |
    • WASP

      @PRAYERBOT/THINGS: prayer changes nothing, action changes things.
      can you pray for a bridge and get one? no, but we can build one
      can you pray for your sick mother to get better? no, but you can take her to a hospital and get her medicines.
      can you pray for war to stop? no, but you can advicate to people why war isn't benificial to humans.
      can you pray for your family to get food? no, but you can work a farm or get a job for trade to purchase food.

      November 2, 2012 at 8:50 am |
    • TrollAlert

      "Ronald Regonzo" who degenerates to:
      "Salvatore" degenerates to:
      "Douglas" degenerates to:
      "truth be told" degenerates to:
      "Thinker23" degenerates to:
      "Atheism is not healthy ..." degenerates to:
      "another repentant sinner" degenerates to:
      "Dodney Rangerfield" degenerates to:
      "tina" degenerates to:
      "captain america" degenerates to:
      "Atheist Hunter" degenerates to:
      "Anybody know how to read? " degenerates to:
      "just sayin" degenerates to:
      "ImLook'nUp" degenerates to:
      "Kindness" degenerates to:
      "Chad" degenerates to
      "Bob" degenerates to
      "nope" degenerates to:
      "2357" degenerates to:
      "WOW" degenerates to:
      "fred" degenerates to:
      "!" degenerates to:
      "pervert alert"

      This troll is not a christian.`

      November 2, 2012 at 9:00 am |
    • Jesus

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

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

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

      November 2, 2012 at 9:05 am |
  13. mac

    Well Dave we will all find out one day if your theory is right. I think not but you will see!!!!

    November 1, 2012 at 6:21 pm |
    • Rudy T. Miller

      Hard to see anything when the eyes have died...not to mention the brain that interprets what the eyes are seeing. ('Life after death' is just the human ego prancing and blustering. It cannot even envisage such a thing as total obliteration, so it makes up fanciful stories to calm itself.)

      November 2, 2012 at 8:54 am |
  14. mac

    Read Matthews Chapter 24

    November 1, 2012 at 6:18 pm |
    • PFUI

      So, your Jesus is a sneaky SOB thief in the night, eh?

      "Heaven...will pass away" - So fuggetaboutut...

      November 1, 2012 at 6:26 pm |
    • GodFreeNow

      Okay... read it. Is there a point to go along with the reading assignment?

      November 1, 2012 at 6:27 pm |
    • GodFreeNow

      @PFUI, Funny. You know what I got out of this? I always hear christians try to distance themselves from the fables of the old testament, and claim that the new testament is a more accurate account. However, right there at verse 38, Noah's ark is mentioned.

      November 1, 2012 at 6:40 pm |
    • ElmerGantry

      I also read and second GodFreeNow's question.

      November 1, 2012 at 10:53 pm |
    • Rudy T. Miller

      "A tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing." Macbeth read it too!

      November 2, 2012 at 8:57 am |
  15. Billy

    If there is only one god why are there so many phuckedup religions? Believe what you wish but please shut the
    phuck up about it. Thanks and amen

    November 1, 2012 at 6:13 pm |
    • believer

      If there is only one god why are there so many phuckedup religions? Believe what you wish but please shut the
      phuck up about it. Thanks and amen

      November 1, 2012 at 8:06 pm |
  16. GodFreeNow

    @Jessica, A point of correction regarding agnosticism....

    Being an agnostic presumes that there is first a god, and then second that the god is unknowable.

    This is a big sticking point with me. "I don't know if a god exists" is very different than saying, "I don't believe god is knowable even if he exists." For myself, I don't know if a god exists, but I can assume that the liklihood of god is low based on the evidence before me. Therefore, I am an atheist. On Dawkins' atheism scale, I put myself somewhere between 1 and 2 but closer to 1. It's around the same range of the likelihood of aliens visiting our planet in secret.

    November 1, 2012 at 5:52 pm |
    • Cesar

      @GodFreeNow

      Being agnostic means believing that the truth regarding the beliefs "God exists" and "God does not exist" are unknowable; nothing is implied that God exists. It is a purely skeptical position, especially if one adopts the doctrine of transcendental idealism, founded by Immanuel Kant.

      November 1, 2012 at 6:09 pm |
    • OTOH

      GodFreeNow,
      "Being an agnostic presumes that there is first a god, and then second that the god is unknowable. "

      That would describe an agnostic theist. Agnostic atheist better describes your stance, but "atheist", for short, is ok too.

      November 1, 2012 at 6:19 pm |
    • GodFreeNow

      I refer you to Oxford English Dictionary's skeptic position then:

      agnostic |agˈnästik|
      noun
      a person who believes that nothing is known or can be known of the existence or nature of God or of anything beyond material phenomena; a person who claims neither faith nor disbelief in God.

      If we take this into the physical world, saying that I do not know or believe the nature of trees can be known is very different than saying I do not believe trees exist based on the available evidence. However, to enter the discussion of the nature of trees, there has to first be a foundation of the belief that trees exist.

      One can be atheist first, and agnostic second. I.e., I don't believe that god exists, however, if god exists then I don't believe we can know god.

      I'm in the category of atheist followed by gnostic. I don't believe that god exists, but if he does, I'm sure science would do a fine job of explaining it eventually.

      November 1, 2012 at 6:22 pm |
    • Cesar

      @GodFreeNow

      "If we take this into the physical world, saying that I do not know or believe the nature of trees can be known is very different than saying I do not believe trees exist based on the available evidence. However, to enter the discussion of the nature of trees, there has to first be a foundation of the belief that trees exist."

      No, there does not. All that is needed for agnosticism is the idea of God or any metaphysical claim. An agnostic is not committed to assume the existence of God—only to affirm that the concept of "God" is a coherent idea that can be discussed.

      "I'm in the category of atheist followed by gnostic. I don't believe that god exists, but if he does, I'm sure science would do a fine job of explaining it eventually."

      The gnostic atheist position is that "I *know* that God does not exist"—which is a very strong position and requires proof by deductive reasoning to preserve the truth of the conclusion. Science does not deal with this sort of reasoning; much of science is done by induction rather than deduction.

      November 1, 2012 at 7:40 pm |
    • Nathan

      Being an agnostic implies no such thing about the existence of god. That is simply wrong.

      November 1, 2012 at 10:42 pm |
    • GodFreeNow

      @Cesar, I think I understand your perspective. I still contend that even if god is an idea, one must first entertain the belief that a god can exist before playing the game of whether or not said god is knowable. This idea has to come from personal experience of some sort of definitions of traditional gods from which a perspective of believing that a god wouldn't fit any of those definitions and is therefore unknowable.

      If I want to imagine what it would be like to have a billion dollars, I would have to enter some space in my imagination accepting on some level the possibility of having a billion dollars. Semantically, I can see why you want to argue that an idea of god is just an idea. However, in the land of imagination, ideas are reality. It's a space where we can play with the unreal being real. If you can let go of 18th century philosophy, you'd probably find more relevant examples in analytical psychology. If that's too modern for you, at least refer to Jung.

      I probably should have put gnostic in quotes because I can see how easy it is to arrive at a predetermined conclusion about what I was suggesting. I of course nowhere said that I "know" a god doesn't exist, but that I don't believe a god exists. However, should I turn out to be wrong, I feel that god would be totally knowable and predictable and subject to the laws of physics. We may call whatever it is a god because it is beyond our current evolution, but I suspect the more appropriate term used would be super-intelligent, highly-evolved, ancient being.

      To me, agnosticism is just intellectual laziness. I will close with one more example and allow you the last word because I don't suspect this conversation will take any unexpected twists that will make it anymore interesting that it is.

      When I'm thrown into god discussions that get a little weighty like this one, I also refer to my magic bunny analogy. Wherever god is mentioned, I instead insert a magical bunny that shoots rainbows out of its butt that formed the universe we live in. To say, I don't believe in that bunny exists, would satisfy most conversation. In fact, to even enter a discussion of bunny agnosticism would be pointless, therefore I would be a bunny atheist and nothing further. This is not to say that the bunny doesn't exist. It might very well. There is just as much evidence that my magic bunny rules the universe as there is any other god. This is the silliness which I view agnosticism with. Once you have awakened to evidence-based reality, you can no longer seriously be an agnostic. Being an evidence-based creature means you do everything in your power to refrain from jumping to conclusions without having sufficient evidence to support your idea. Being agnostic requires you to reach a conclusion that "god is unknowable". There is absolutely no evidence to support that claim. God is knowable, is the same thing as saying god is unknowable. They are just different sides of the same coin. Thank you for the entertaining conversation. : )

      November 2, 2012 at 12:03 am |
  17. Libertarian Atheist

    Since this is an "Act of God", shouldn't the Insurance Companies only need to payout for Non-Believers?

    November 1, 2012 at 5:47 pm |
    • Louise

      Isn't it the opposite of that? If it's an act of god, then only pay out to the believers.

      November 1, 2012 at 8:44 pm |
    • itsallaloadofbollocks

      Wouldn't the believers get their insurance, or at least assurance, from god

      November 1, 2012 at 9:00 pm |
    • Nathan

      @Louise: Except that the believers should believe this storm, and thus the destruction of their property, to be god's will. And if god willed your stuff destroyed, what gives you the hubris to replace it?

      November 1, 2012 at 10:44 pm |
  18. His panic

    It may be time to start Panicking! :-(

    November 1, 2012 at 4:17 pm |
    • sam stone

      Better yet, His panic: Time for you to go meet Jeebus. Do you have tall buildings where you live? Perhaps a sidearm? You could be Lewinsky-ing Jeebus by nightfall

      November 1, 2012 at 5:06 pm |
  19. His panic

    I saw in the News that the Jersey Shore has been Destroyed. That should be a Clear Warning from God. Just a Friendly Reminder of HIS POWER and of who is really in Charge, at the End of ALL things.

    A Nation of A-dul-te-rers, For-ni-ca-tors, che-aters, li-ars, thie-ves, hom-os, mur-der-ers, etc. etc. Ought Not to expect anything better but WORST and WORST, much WORST. As a matter of Fact, it is WORSENING day by day!!

    November 1, 2012 at 4:08 pm |
    • Bob

      So your god is a vengeful, murderous jerk. No thanks.

      November 1, 2012 at 4:10 pm |
    • Salero21

      ♫♪ One day at a time sweet Jesus, one day at a time. ♪♫

      ♫♪ That's all I'm asking of you. ♪♫

      November 1, 2012 at 4:13 pm |
    • midwest rail

      ".....at the End of ALL things." Delusional hubris. Men have been predicting the end of days since roughly 40 A.D. They have all been wrong, and so are you. The remainder of your post is arrogant, condescending, and hateful – perfectly representative of contemporary Christianity.

      November 1, 2012 at 4:17 pm |
    • the AnViL

      it's disgusting that this level of ignorance exists in the 21st century.

      those of you who believe in the imaginary man in the sky are living in a delusional construct. your minds have been tricked and you exist in a state of wilful ignorance.

      i believe you should be allowed to worship whatever imaginary men in the sky you choose – but you should never be allowed to be a part in any decision making process for the general public... or purchase and own firearms.

      November 1, 2012 at 4:21 pm |
    • sam stone

      His panic: Enjoy spending eternity on your knees pleasing your vindictive punk god

      November 1, 2012 at 5:04 pm |
    • sybaris

      So when there's a blizzard or hurricane or earthquake or tornado that strikes an uninhabited area what?

      Your god missed?

      It was practicing?

      Stupid god

      November 1, 2012 at 7:13 pm |
    • Louise

      But didn't god make the cheaters, fornicators etc?

      November 1, 2012 at 8:47 pm |
    • TribalDance

      You forgot to mention the pedophile priests.

      November 1, 2012 at 10:17 pm |
    • ElmerGantry

      Exactly right Louise,

      An all-knowing, all-perfect god created everything.

      Some other perfectly created things by this perfect god include, but not limited to,
      0) Satan, remember a perfect god perfectly created everything.
      1) infectious viruses
      2) bacterial infections
      3) genetic disorders
      4) mental disorders
      5) much much more.

      November 1, 2012 at 10:28 pm |
    • Rudy T. Miller

      A worldview based on fear is the refuge of the unquestioning idiot.

      November 2, 2012 at 8:34 am |
  20. Dave

    Storms are created by Nature and their force is a natural product of the Weather. They may even be more deadly as a result of our refusal to stop polluting. God has nothing to do with it and even less to do with saving the humans in the way.

    November 1, 2012 at 3:02 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.