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January 8th, 2013
07:00 AM ET

My take: 'Atheist' isn’t a dirty word, congresswoman

Editor’s note: Chris Stedman is the author of "Faitheist: How an Atheist Found Common Ground with the Religious" and the assistant humanist chaplain at Harvard. You can follow him on Twitter at @ChrisDStedman.

By Chris Stedman, Special to CNN

(CNN)—This year, Congress welcomed the first Buddhist senator and first Hindu elected to either chamber of Congress, and the Pew Forum noted that this “gradual increase in religious diversity … mirrors trends in the country as a whole.”

But Pew also noted one glaring deficiency: Religious “nones” were largely left outside the halls of Congress, despite one in five Americans now saying they don’t affiliate with a religion.

There is, however, one newly elected “none” — but she seems to think "atheist" is a dirty word.

Rep. Kyrsten Sinema, D-Arizona, was sworn in a few days ago without a Bible, and she is the first member of Congress to openly describe her religious affiliation as “none.” Although 10 other members don’t specify a religious affiliation — up from six members in the previous Congress — Sinema is the only to officially declare “none.”

This has gotten Sinema a fair amount of attention from the media. Many identified her as an atheist during her congressional campaign, and after she won, sources touted her as a nontheist. Even this past weekend, Politico declared in a headline: “Non-believers on rise in Congress.”

Follow the CNN Belief Blog on Twitter

But there’s a slight issue: Sinema doesn’t actually appears to be a nonbeliever. In response to news stories identifying her as an atheist, her campaign released this statement shortly after her victory: “(Rep. Sinema) believes the terms non-theist, atheist or non-believer are not befitting of her life’s work or personal character.”

As a nontheist, atheist and nonbeliever (take your pick), I find this statement deeply problematic.

It is perfectly fine, of course, if Sinema isn’t a nontheist, and it is understandable that she would want to clarify misinformation about her personal beliefs. But to say that these terms are “not befitting of her life’s work or personal character” is offensive because it implies there is something unbefitting about the lives and characters of atheists or nonbelievers.

Christmas exposes atheist divide on dealing with religion

Try substituting a religious group of your choice in place of atheist if you don’t agree: “[Rep. Sinema] believes the term Muslim is not befitting of her life’s work or personal character.” Does that sound right? It shouldn’t.

Of course, many do view Muslims as unfit for political office. In that respect, political opponents have regularly misidentified President Obama as a Muslim. Many have defended the president from such attacks by noting that Obama is a Christian.

But former Republican Secretary of State Colin Powell rightly pointed out the pernicious underlying message such a defense sends:

The correct answer is: He is not a Muslim; he’s a Christian. He’s always been a Christian. But the really right answer is, ‘What if he is? Is there something wrong with being a Muslim in this country?’ The answer is ‘No, that’s not America.’ Is there something wrong with some 7-year-old Muslim-American kid believing that he or she could be president?

Just as Muslim is used as a political smear, politicians seem to avoid "atheist."

This is probably because the American electorate views both Muslims and atheists more unfavorably than they do other groups: According to a Gallup poll released in June, only 58% of Americans would vote for a “generally well-qualified” Muslim candidate, and only 54% would vote for an atheist. (This is the first time that number has been above 50% for an atheist candidate.)  By contrast, 91% would vote for a Jewish candidate, 94% for a Catholic and 80% for a Mormon.

There seems to be a greater general tolerance for, or blindness to, comments that marginalize or diminish atheists than those aimed at other groups.

CNN’s Belief Blog: The faith angles behind the biggest stories

Prominent individuals like Powell rightfully decry anti-Muslim fear-mongering in politics, but few speak out against those who wield accusations of atheism as a political weapon.

Whether people don’t see it or simply aren’t bothered isn’t clear, but it remains a problem.

I respect Sinema’s right to self-identify as she chooses, and I don’t wish to speculate about her religious beliefs. But while I celebrate that she is comfortable enough to openly identify as bisexual, I find her response to being labeled an atheist troubling.

Why not instead say that she’s not an atheist, but so what if she was?

The 113th Congress is rich with diversity. As an interfaith activist, I am glad to see the religious composition of Congress more closely reflect the diversity of America. As a queer person, I’m glad that LGBT Americans are seeing greater representation in Washington.

But as a proud atheist and humanist, I’m disheartened that the only member of Congress who openly identifies as nonreligious has forcefully distanced herself from atheism in a way that puts down those of us who do not believe in God.

We are Americans of good character, too.

The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of Chris Stedman.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Atheism • My Take • Politics

soundoff (3,637 Responses)
  1. Mohammad A Dar

    only dead are 100% religious or 100% atheists

    January 8, 2013 at 3:27 pm |
    • SkepticalOne

      You are mistaken. I am 100% atheist and quite alive.

      January 8, 2013 at 6:04 pm |
  2. I Am God

    Who cares if the individual is Atheist or not. Atheism is a group that will continue to grow in the future. I am glad to see Atheism becoming a bigger group, because we need to have an opposition group that will stop extreme religious fanatics from forcing their ideological laws in our country.

    January 8, 2013 at 3:27 pm |
    • Answer

      When every person has abolished their own fabricated god in their own minds there will be no more need of the word atheist.

      January 8, 2013 at 3:28 pm |
    • I Am God

      Answer I don't think the word Atheism will disappear, because the group will be remembered for bringing back common sense to this country.

      January 8, 2013 at 3:31 pm |
    • Answer

      True enough but it'll just be a footnote. I'll be pleased that it just remains in the dictionary as a word that is a clear definition of all humans.

      January 8, 2013 at 3:33 pm |
    • I Am God

      Hear, hear answer. I agree

      January 8, 2013 at 3:35 pm |
  3. stevefarrell66

    I find it amusing that Stedman excoriates "toxic atheists" in one breath, then wonders why people don't want to identify as atheists.

    January 8, 2013 at 3:25 pm |
  4. Paul

    Atheists don't believe in anything. They accept the state of science as it is right now, and as science evolves, they will accept whatever science says. That's it. According to atheists, man was not created in God's image, because to them there is no God. Therefore a human is the same as a chicken, a bug or a fish swimming in the nearest pond. Also, atheism is not a religion, it is a philosophy, so it is incorrect to liken atheism to any religion.

    January 8, 2013 at 3:21 pm |
    • Answer

      Your pastor did a fine job with you.

      January 8, 2013 at 3:25 pm |
    • ME II

      Not sure what you are trying to say...
      I don't think Atheists would say humans and chickens are equal. They both evolve, yes, but equal seems unjustified.
      Also, Atheism is not a philosophy nor a religion, it is a single negative position, a lack of belief, or disbelief, in god(s).

      January 8, 2013 at 3:26 pm |
    • Thoth

      "Atheists don't believe in anything"......Strange. I believe in trying to do the right thing. I believe in teaching my children to do the same. I believe people should enjoy life....here, now because this is it. I believe in a lot of things; just not religious creeds conjured up by man.

      January 8, 2013 at 3:27 pm |
    • Live4Him

      Atheists believe there is no God.

      January 8, 2013 at 3:29 pm |
    • Ed

      I like to see a bug, a fish, or a chicken design, build, and land a robot on Mars.

      January 8, 2013 at 3:29 pm |
    • snowboarder

      don't believe in anything? any deity maybe.

      January 8, 2013 at 3:29 pm |
    • Answer

      @Live4

      Soon as you can produce your god up for measurement then it'll lead to our conversion. Bring the evidence.

      January 8, 2013 at 3:31 pm |
    • frank

      Generalize much, BeGullible4Him? There are all kinds of atheists. which god are you referring to? agnosticism and atheism are not mutually exclusive.

      January 8, 2013 at 3:32 pm |
    • cedar rapids

      'According to atheists, man was not created in God's image, because to them there is no God. Therefore a human is the same as a chicken, a bug or a fish swimming in the nearest pond'

      in terms of mankind is simply another animal, then sure, i can go with that.

      January 8, 2013 at 3:52 pm |
    • sam

      Sometimes chickens express themselves better than some theists. Even after they've been deep fried.

      January 8, 2013 at 4:01 pm |
    • Momof3

      "They accept the state of science as it is right now, and as science evolves, they will accept whatever science says. "

      Hmmm...I'd rather say that I change my opinion about scientific discovery as experiments prove, or disprove, theory than say I follow a deity that was created thousands of years ago by nomadic middle-Eastern men who were ignorant about the existance of most of the world living outside of their few hundred square miles...

      January 8, 2013 at 5:09 pm |
  5. steve

    "So what if he is a Muslim"?

    If he was a Muslim then he was a liar running as a Christian. He would of been hiding his religion because he thinks it would benefit him politically to do so. So in that sense he needs to be defended as a christian. The correct answer is– He is Christian and always has been, but so what if he is.

    January 8, 2013 at 3:13 pm |
  6. Live4Him

    @Doc Vestibule

    Isn't it interesting that the rise in shootings correspond to the rise in atheism? It also correlates to the loss of prayer in public schools.

    January 8, 2013 at 3:09 pm |
    • sam

      LOL Ugh, this nonsense again. PLEASE.

      January 8, 2013 at 3:10 pm |
    • snowboarder

      Live, it also corresponds with an increase in television channels.

      it's your turn to make another moronic assertion.

      January 8, 2013 at 3:13 pm |
    • TruthPrevails :-)

      Isn't is funny that the percentage of christians in prison is 75%, yet Atheists only make up 1%? And isn't it your precious republitards that are fighting for the 2nd Amendment to be upheld?

      January 8, 2013 at 3:14 pm |
    • Robert

      It's not related to atheism, it's related to bullying. If we want to stop the violence then parents need to start with their children and our schools. There's been a tremendous rise in bullying should we blame all that on the Christians?

      January 8, 2013 at 3:14 pm |
    • DE

      Christians are respnsible for some of the most heinous atrocities in human histroy.

      January 8, 2013 at 3:15 pm |
    • Which God?

      Wow, a flat out lie. Lying for jeebus. Your jeebeus needs some head, slave.

      January 8, 2013 at 3:15 pm |
    • Thoth

      Not really when you consider many other variables. You are choosing to ignore many things in favor of what you want to believe. Ultimately, if you believe your god to be all powerful, and all-present, then explain how he/she/it can be removed from any place?

      January 8, 2013 at 3:16 pm |
    • Really??

      Wow, way to take unrelated events and lump them together. Just like a christian to jump to unjustifyable conclusions.

      January 8, 2013 at 3:16 pm |
    • ME II

      ... the rise in mega-churches?
      ... religious right?
      ... Focus on the Family?

      January 8, 2013 at 3:17 pm |
    • ME II

      @Robert,
      Not saying you're wrong, but has there really been a rise in bullying? Just curious.

      January 8, 2013 at 3:19 pm |
    • Ed

      Not really.

      January 8, 2013 at 3:19 pm |
    • Nesus of Jazzareth

      I took a dump today. A child died in Africa. I should just hold it in from now on.

      January 8, 2013 at 3:19 pm |
    • lavoix

      Sigh.

      January 8, 2013 at 3:20 pm |
    • Live4Him

      @snowboarder

      Do TV channels advocate no final judgment? Do they eliminate this principle being taught?

      January 8, 2013 at 3:22 pm |
    • Robert Brown

      You find this all through the bible OT, prophets, Jesus, and Paul, God saying, if you forsake me, I will forsake you. If you follow me, I will never forsake you.

      January 8, 2013 at 3:24 pm |
    • Live4Him

      @Thoth

      God doesn't force His way into your heart. Nor anyone else's heart. So, God isn't everywhere, but only every where there is not a Do Not Enter sign.

      January 8, 2013 at 3:25 pm |
    • Robert

      "if you forsake me, I will forsake you. If you follow me, I will never forsake you."

      Talk about a childish response.

      January 8, 2013 at 3:26 pm |
    • Answer

      The OT?

      Oh yeah, you religious t-w-a-t-s like to flip flop back and forth between your New and Old for the various likes and dislikes. The parts that you want. So funny.

      January 8, 2013 at 3:26 pm |
    • Moody2

      Oh brother...repeating nonsense, doesn't make it any less nonsense

      January 8, 2013 at 3:28 pm |
    • Nesus of Jazzareth

      Okay folks! No need to reply to Live4Him anymore. We're officially dealing with a certified nutjob.

      January 8, 2013 at 3:30 pm |
    • snowboarder

      live, if you need a threat of "final judgement" to live a good life, you are pathetic.

      January 8, 2013 at 3:32 pm |
    • In Santa we trust

      Lie4Him, As has been pointed out, there are many correlations – increase in TV channels, lower taxes, rise of prosperity gospel, increase in the number of mega-churches, video games, space exploration, internet, etc. Show the causation that you assert.

      January 8, 2013 at 3:33 pm |
    • Thoth

      Live4Him wrote: "God isn't everywhere, but only every where there is not a Do Not Enter sign"

      So you have modified the christian (omnipresent) god to fit your needs. I don't mean to be ugly but your statement is a bit ridiculous. Kids can pray in school all they want; to whichever god they want. No one has said they can't.

      January 8, 2013 at 3:34 pm |
    • Answer

      "God isn't everywhere, but only every where there is not a Do Not Enter sign"

      -

      That is a lovely statement. It really does highlight the limited powers of a god. Fascinating that your god isn't a real god.

      January 8, 2013 at 3:37 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      Becuase correlation and causation are the same thing, right?
      Ever notice that the number of women wearing pants has increased ever since colour televisions became a part of most households?
      Or that the ice caps have been melting faster since the number of kinds of NIke shoes has gone up?

      January 8, 2013 at 3:37 pm |
    • myweightinwords

      I think it's more true that the rise in the availability of assault rifles and high volume ammunition has a direct correlation with the rise in school shootings.

      Couple that with overcrowded schools that can not spot and address trouble before it comes to a level of shooting, mental health issues that go undiagnosed because parents are afraid of the stigma or because they can't afford the treatment, and an economy where both parents are required to work to keep a roof over their family's head and you have a culture that creates what we have come to call school shootings....as well as other mass murder incidents.

      January 8, 2013 at 3:49 pm |
    • cedar rapids

      oh thats easy, 2 can play this game......
      isnt it interesting how shootings have increased with the increase in the number of mega churches and religious tv channels.

      January 8, 2013 at 3:53 pm |
  7. MashaSobaka

    Oh, please. No religious affiliation (which you would declare by saying "none" when asked to name your religious affiliation) does not de facto mean "atheist." Atheists believe, consciously, that there is no creator, no God or gods. Someone who is not affiliated with any specific religion may not necessarily believe that. Maybe she just doesn't really care about whether there is a creator. Maybe she believes in a creator but hasn't found an adequate representation in any of the organized religions. Even if she declared outright that she "Does not believe in God," that wouldn't make her an atheist – you'd have to spend a few days defining almost every word in that declaration to even make her personal meaning clear. The world is not split into "believers" and "non-believers." It's not even split into "the followers of organized religion" and "atheists." SOME of us are comfortable enough with ambiguity to just not care one way or the other. Why are theists and atheists so threatened by this? That's my question.

    January 8, 2013 at 3:05 pm |
    • fred

      There is good and bad, right and wrong not to mention believers and non believers. There either is a God or there is not God.

      January 8, 2013 at 3:10 pm |
    • Someone with sense

      I suggest you open a dictionary before spouting off in such an ignorant, misinformed matter. The world is indeed split up into "Theists" and "Atheists." There is no third category. Either you believe, or you don't. Non-believer, None, Non-theist, these are synonyms. Words mean things, you don't get to decide what they mean based on your own opinions.

      January 8, 2013 at 3:18 pm |
    • In Santa we trust

      Someone, I know a person who believes in god but has no religious affiliation primarily because of the hypocrisy of the church she was brought up in.

      January 8, 2013 at 4:02 pm |
  8. Salero21

    So can we safely conclude that atheism is sophisticated nonsense? I really think so!

    January 8, 2013 at 3:04 pm |
    • myweightinwords

      Repeating your unfounded asertion does nothing to make it true.

      January 8, 2013 at 3:08 pm |
    • Salero21

      Truth is truth whether is repeated or not! Now if you had an ounce of sense you at the very least could try to disprove the statement made, but you can't. You know why you can't? Because atheism is nothing more than sophisticated nonsense!

      January 8, 2013 at 3:11 pm |
    • sam

      Just sophisticated.

      January 8, 2013 at 3:21 pm |
    • Which God?

      Sal 21, you wouldn't know a truth if it hit you in the head. You are an unsophistacted, deluded fool. You fear death, don't you little man? You NEED to cling to something to make you feel special, don't you? You Need the approval of those who tell you that this is truth because we read it in some old book of myths. You also need to think for yourself, or does this scare you as well? Are you afraid you will lose your deluded friends as well? Pathetic little man.

      January 8, 2013 at 3:21 pm |
    • TruthPrevails :-)

      Salero: What truth? You haven't stated any facts and sounding like a whiny little spoiled child, does nothing to help you.

      January 8, 2013 at 3:22 pm |
    • Someone with sense

      Something tells me you wouldn't be able to identify sophistication or nonsense if either slapped you across the face. Seriously, sophisticated nonsense? The simple statement of "I don't believe that" is sophisticated nonsense? You're an idiot.

      January 8, 2013 at 3:23 pm |
    • Nesus of Jazzareth

      At least it's sophisticated.

      January 8, 2013 at 3:23 pm |
    • cedar rapids

      'Now if you had an ounce of sense you at the very least could try to disprove the statement made, but you can't'

      but you havent provided an argument to disprove. you stated an opinion, with nothing to back up the claim.
      why do you insist on opening yourself up for schooling?

      January 8, 2013 at 3:56 pm |
    • myweightinwords

      Truth is truth whether is repeated or not! Now if you had an ounce of sense you at the very least could try to disprove the statement made, but you can't. You know why you can't? Because atheism is nothing more than sophisticated nonsense!

      Where did I ever give the impression that I'm an atheist?

      You are the one who asserted something, therefore, the onus to defend the statement with proof falls to you. I merely made an observation that repeating a thing does not make it true.

      Further, your statement, "So can we safely conclude that atheism is sophisticated nonsense? I really think so!" is clearly facetious opinion, designed simply to attack a group of people you clearly do not understand and seek to offend to get an argument going, therefore is largely unworthy of any articulate response.

      Obviously my cold and the meds I'm taking for it have interfered with my better judgment.

      January 8, 2013 at 4:23 pm |
  9. sybaris

    Religion and the worship of god(s) is a filthy perverted disease of the mind

    January 8, 2013 at 3:03 pm |
    • steve

      Hitler say that or was it Stalin?

      January 8, 2013 at 3:10 pm |
    • Attack of the 50 Foot Magical Underwear

      @ Steve – neither said it. Hitler – now there was a good Catholic boy. Oh yeah – big time believer.

      January 8, 2013 at 3:19 pm |
    • Which God?

      stevie (wonder). Ahhahaha. You are another one who flunked 6th grade. You and Sal21make a good pair. Run to the playground, boys, and let the adutls talk.

      January 8, 2013 at 3:23 pm |
    • cedar rapids

      hitler was a catholic who claimed he was doing god's will in killing the jews.

      January 8, 2013 at 4:05 pm |
  10. fred

    “We are Americans of good character, too”

    The Greeks applauded pederasty and mothers were proud as they handed their young boys into the hands of old men and all gained in social stature as a result. These were Greeks of good character, too.

    When there is no God the value good no longer has meaning as there is not a standard fixed point of reference. This is the problem with atheism. Not that atheist are bad people or good people anymore than Christians can be bad people or good people but that they destroy the anchor which has held mankind in check.
    At minimum atheists will send man into a godless existence which has never been known to mankind in all recorded history. Certainly there have always been pockets of godlessness that existed under the umbrella of man who worshiped that which was greater than self beginning with Neanderthal.
    I think it is reckless to experiment with future generations cast into a world view that begins and ends in darkness. Thank God there have always been a few who would bring the light of the Gospel into the world.

    January 8, 2013 at 3:02 pm |
    • Robert

      "When there is no God the value good no longer has meaning"

      Religion has killed many for their beliefs just like all the rest. Believing in a God doesn't automatically make a person good, nor does it make the society good. If that was true America would be a greater country than it is, but Christians are just as greedy and self destructive.

      January 8, 2013 at 3:07 pm |
    • ME II

      @fred,
      Greeks were not atheist. They named their city after their god Athena.

      January 8, 2013 at 3:12 pm |
    • fred

      Robert
      I agree and the Bible gives a clear record of the failures of even the chosen ones. Atheists and Christians have killed and murdered millions of innocent. All this happened under the umbrella of a mindset that there is a creator whether the specific belief was in gods or God. The mindset that there is accountability outside of this known existence was predominating and remains predominate. We have never existed outside of that mindset.

      January 8, 2013 at 3:16 pm |
    • Sid Airfoil

      "When there is no God the value good no longer has meaning as there is not a standard fixed point of reference."

      You're kidding yourself if you think that theism (ANY theism) offers a fixed, objective standard of right and wrong. Christianity, for example, has been and continues to be used to justify all sorts of horrible behaviors. Look at Europe's Christian-dominated Dark Ages. Persecutions, executions, torture, crusades, mass-murders, etc., all committed by theists. Face it, faith is belief without evidence. As such it can mean ANYTHING anyone wants it to mean. That most theist choose be good people is a reflection their character, not the their religion. Man creates god in his own image, not the other way around.

      Sid

      January 8, 2013 at 3:17 pm |
    • fred

      ME II
      The Greeks did not know God and had only man made gods which were made after the flesh. Man made gods reflect the creation and come out of created things whereas God is the creator. Atheists likewise use man made beliefs and thought as the center for purpose of existence because they are limited to created things just as they are a created thing. Look close and you will see that ahteists support their beliefs using created things compared with believers that use that which cannot be proven or established as proof by created things (baryonic matter for example or that which can be measured by tools created out of baryonic matter)

      January 8, 2013 at 3:27 pm |
    • Which God?

      Hey freddy boy. Ever hear of Kosovo? Xtians commiting geocide of another group of people, just beacuse they didn't believe in their god? What do you say to that? did your god condone the killing, ra.ping of women and little girls and boys> Oh yeah they did the little boys too. The catlicks got nothing over you folks., the 'true' xtians. Sad and pathetic.

      January 8, 2013 at 3:29 pm |
    • Robert

      Wrong fred try tap dancing faster it might help. Man created your god, man wrote the bible, man continues to create reasons to believe in this God. The argument you are using on atheists has to be applied to you as well.

      January 8, 2013 at 3:31 pm |
    • fred

      Sid Airfoil
      No, Jesus said no one is good but God alone. The contrast between man and Jesus is very obvious as was the contrast between Cain and Able to the Hebrew.
      The fact some Christians or atheists act bad is not a reflection on God or Gods standards. Belief or non belief does not change God or Gods standards. Your confusion is that you do not know the standards of God or the anchor of truth that has never changed.

      January 8, 2013 at 3:32 pm |
    • fred

      Which God?
      Thanks to the clear standards set down by God you know just how wrong those atrocities were and how far they are from love and goodness.

      January 8, 2013 at 3:35 pm |
    • ME II

      @fred,
      You are claiming that the Greek Gods are/were man-made, but yours is not. On what basis?

      "Look close and you will see that ahteists support their beliefs using created things compared with believers that use that which cannot be proven or established as proof by created things..."

      Are you honestly saying that believers have more basis for their beliefs specifically because they have less evidence, i.e. "proof by created things"?
      That sound completely irrational to me.

      January 8, 2013 at 3:35 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      So now you've decided to go on irrelevant tangents from a single line in the article instead of peoples responses to you. Are you so desperate to spew out the same crap over and over?

      January 8, 2013 at 3:41 pm |
    • Answer

      @hawaiiguest

      Fred is always desperate. He just can't say that word.

      January 8, 2013 at 3:44 pm |
    • Which God?

      freddy boy, what's the answer to the Kosovo question? You xtians killed a,maimed and ra.ped a population of people. What's up with that? Did your god tell you to do that?

      January 8, 2013 at 3:44 pm |
    • fred

      Robert
      Big difference. All other religions reflect gods created by man. God always was and exists outside of our known dimensions not as the first cause or causation because we cannot as created things comprehend that which was not created from other created things. A better example would be from the Bible when man would encounter a vision of God. God is described as in the likeness of or having the appearance of XYZ never as XYZ. All other religions and their gods are defined and man made.
      The fact man wrote down revelations is the mechanical act resulting in words which is very different than the Word of God or as Jesus referred to truth. There are all sorts of bibles out there and works by man. Go ahead and read the Bible and it will reveal your heart and soul. The soul and destination of the atheist is revealed to the atheist when he or she picks up Genesis and begins to read. The soul and destination of the Christian is revealed in the same manner. Both Christian and Atheist will see where they fall short of the glory of God.

      January 8, 2013 at 3:55 pm |
    • Robert

      " A better example would be from the Bible when man would encounter a vision of God. God is described as in the likeness of or having the appearance of XYZ never as XYZ. All other religions and their gods are defined and man made."

      That's not true there are religions that offer the same thing as yours, your God is not unique.

      January 8, 2013 at 3:57 pm |
    • cedar rapids

      'All other religions reflect gods created by man'

      sorry but all religions are man made. its amazing, is it not, that these religions usually had gods that look like humans......including apparently christianity.

      January 8, 2013 at 3:59 pm |
    • fred

      MEII
      No, I am saying all the evidence we have is based on that which makes the invisible reality of God visible to believers (faith) and that evidence cannot be quantified, measured or falsified by created things. I beat on your door and want to show you something that is of a different form yet every bit as real as baryonic matter. Jesus said it is not of this world. How does one describe something that does not have form we cannot identify where there are no words?

      January 8, 2013 at 4:04 pm |
    • fred

      Answer
      I am desperate as I seem to fall on my face every time I try and explain that which cannot be proven.

      January 8, 2013 at 4:07 pm |
    • Pete

      "Jesus said it is not of this world. How does one describe something that does not have form we cannot identify where there are no words?"

      Further proof it's all made up. I really want to go live on Pandora with it's upside down mountains. We can't identify where it exists, there's no proof of its existence but it is real. It's beyond our realm of thought but it exists you just have to believe but the only way to get there is to die.

      January 8, 2013 at 4:11 pm |
    • fred

      o Which God?
      “freddy boy, what's the answer to the Kosovo question? You xtians killed a,maimed and ra.ped a population of people. What's up with that? Did your god tell you to do that?”
      =>You have described evil and wicked acts which Jesus paid a heavy price for. What you describe is far from the love and teachings of Christ that grieve the Holy Spirit and should break the heart of any Christian.

      January 8, 2013 at 4:13 pm |
    • frank

      Sounds like you should make sure all your lights are outfitted with "The Clapper", fred.

      January 8, 2013 at 4:14 pm |
    • fred

      Cedar rapids
      Robert
      No, even Moses could only catch a glimpse of God and was hidden behind a rock only to see a small bit of the Glory of God. When Moses returned he had to wear a veil because the radiance of God was still on him. That is not manmade it is an attempt to describe the indescribable.

      January 8, 2013 at 4:19 pm |
    • Robert

      "When Moses returned he had to wear a veil because the radiance of God was still on him. That is not manmade it is an attempt to describe the indescribable."

      You need to study other religions, that is not unique to just your religion.

      January 8, 2013 at 4:21 pm |
    • ME II

      @fred,
      "How does one describe something that does not have form we cannot identify where there are no words?"
      Exactly, my point. How does one know that this "sonething" even exists?

      January 8, 2013 at 4:22 pm |
    • fred

      frank
      thanks, I got a real chuckel out of that as last I could not find the light switch and knocked over some pictures.

      January 8, 2013 at 4:23 pm |
    • cedar rapids

      'So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him'

      like i said....looks human.

      January 8, 2013 at 4:31 pm |
    • fred

      ME II
      In the days of Marie Curie uranium rays seemed to raise spontaneously. By observation we first noticed the effect and affect of the unseen upon different medium. In a similar fashion the effect and affect of the Word of God can be observed and the patterns are consistent over time. Having had a conversion experience I understand the transforming nature of the Holy Spirit. Before there was no God or gods, I now see a different reality that includes a different concept of space and time. A new perspective, one that sees from the perspective of a creator in addition to the perspective of a created being.
      Even Jesus warned the apostles to wait until the power of the Holy Spirit was upon them before going out to spread the Gospel. Those frightened apostles were suddenly transformed going out and 3,000 believed at their fist preaching. They did not present physical evidence they simply gave a crazy testimony and some thought they were drunk. These 3,000 believed because the Holy Spirit came into their minds and hearts transforming them. It may have seemed as spontaneous as uranium rays but it was different form of power. A power they had not previously known or experienced.

      January 8, 2013 at 4:56 pm |
    • fred

      cedar rapids
      “'So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him'”
      like i said....looks human.”
      =>You have pulled from Genesis chapter 1 with deals with the creator and the creative powers of God. The “image” not the physical form. The image is that creative attribute of God, high level cognitive function which includes that which our forefathers called self evident rights endowed by the creator. It was very good is repeated many times.

      Now, keep reading as Chapter 2 unfolds we see the account that focuses on the relationship of God to man and purpose of existence. “God formed the man from dust and breathed the breath of life into him” God is not of the dust or created things we are.

      January 8, 2013 at 5:20 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      I think I know why fred ignores me now. He doesn't like the words I use, or the fact that I refuse to debate on his terms of de-facto "god exists". I'll tell you this fred, if you would merely be interested in actual discussion in an honest way, I would have no need to speak the way I do to you. Do you remember when we first started debating? You were much more honest then, interested in actual discussion instead of merely spouting out things as if they were fact, and I had no need to call you on dishonest crap that you now pull.

      January 8, 2013 at 6:41 pm |
    • fred

      hawaiiguest
      What tangent? The article reached a conclusion that good character is not dependent on the existence of God. I addressed that directly as without God there is no absolute truth or goodness. As to the other posts they were directly addressed.
      There is fact from a scientific standpoint and facts concerning the revelation of God to his people as written in the Bible. When we speak of God it is necessary to begin with an understanding of what was revealed. If you would like a hypothetical debate where you paint God as a killer while the author has expressly stated God is their savior in this story I fail to see the point in that. There are many parts in the Bible where the facts are not clear or we cannot understand and I hope I don’t mislead that I have knowledge or facts where I do not.

      January 9, 2013 at 1:11 am |
    • hawaiiguest

      @fred

      And there is your de-facto "god exists" that completely closes the door on any kind of discussion on the matter. I don't care how you rationalize all the crap in the bible, and I point those things out when you continue to just assert it as truth and good and nice and happy. Read my fucking words, I. DON'T. CARE. WHAT. THE. BIBLE. SAYS.
      No one that doesn't already agree with you cares what the bible says, and your constant "bible says this and that and this and that and it's fact because it says it is and it's good because I say so", instead of actually getting to the root.
      You just don't care what others say or think or reasons. In your mind, any question about even the existence of god is "bible bible bible bible BIBLE BIBLE FUCKING BIBLE".

      January 9, 2013 at 2:11 pm |
    • Pete

      The bible isn't fact.

      January 9, 2013 at 2:13 pm |
    • Gwen DeMarco

      Heh. @fred reminds me of the alien-planet Thermians from the movie "Galaxy Quest". They received interstellar transmissions of a TV sci-fi series and set up their society around the scripts from the show... memorized and hung on every word and wild scenario from it.

      January 9, 2013 at 2:20 pm |
  11. Robert Holt

    I sometimes wish that they would limit each person to say, four comments per thread, this including replies to other comments. I have noticed that on this thread and on some other threads in the past, that the same few people dominate the thread by posting comment after comment after comment. They feel the need to reply to many different comments. I’m not against intelligent, respectful, mature discussion but often it’s just dribble. Without these repeat posters with their lackluster or rude or adolescent replies, the thread would be somewhat shorter and somewhat more enjoyable.

    January 8, 2013 at 2:58 pm |
    • ME II

      I would agree, but that would mean replying... oh, nuts.

      January 8, 2013 at 3:00 pm |
    • Thoth

      Silence those with whom you disagree......how Christian of you.

      January 8, 2013 at 3:08 pm |
    • sam

      I wish they'd do something about the word filter, first.

      Also, I love comments that complain about comments.

      January 8, 2013 at 3:13 pm |
    • Answer

      Some people can't even sort out the posts they want to ignore and now they want the site to do it for them. Hilarious.

      January 8, 2013 at 3:18 pm |
    • Nesus of Jazzareth

      The word is "drivel." Now that you've drilled that into your brain we might be able to have an intelligent discussion.

      January 8, 2013 at 3:27 pm |
  12. Sly

    Has anyone stopped to think how many gorgeous teenage virgin chicks there must be in Heaven?

    Now, consider, there are NO LAWS, NO MARRIAGE, and the God who lives there kinda like's watching a little hankie-pankie (See: Adam/Eve).

    Wilt the Stilt's '10000' record is going to fall within months once I get there!

    That alone is enough to convince me not to be an athiest. Yee Haw!

    January 8, 2013 at 2:55 pm |
    • ME II

      Apparently, thoughts like that are the very thing that will keep you out. : )

      January 8, 2013 at 2:58 pm |
    • Sly

      Oops – I forgot. Religious people don't believe humans should enjoy what their God gave them.

      This religious stuff is really quite confusing – God gave us tools that are fun to use, but we aren't supposed to use them.

      Oh well ... I will still apply for Heaven, cause Wilt's record has stood too long, and it's time to break it.

      January 8, 2013 at 3:06 pm |
    • ME II

      Welcome, to the no-win situation.
      Apparently the way God planned it.

      January 8, 2013 at 3:22 pm |
    • Which God?

      MeII said: "Welcome, to the no-win situation.Apparently the way God planned it."

      Well played, sir!

      January 8, 2013 at 3:33 pm |
  13. Robert

    The word "Athiest" is not a dirty word she says. Well, that's good propaganda if I've ever heard good propaganda. And by propaganda, I mean a cleaverly devised phrase or speech intended to advance a lie and designed to steer a society in a certain direction. In one sense she's right. "Athiest" is not a four letter word. However, athieism has been the root of all kinds of evil in this world, from the Communists labor camps and purges to mass school shootings because God has been taken out of society. You name it. To be an athiest you have to have rejected God, and the reason why people reject God is because they love their sin. Jesus said the exact same thing, "and men loved darkness rather than the light because their deeds were evil." (John 3) Athiesm may not be a four letter word, but athiesm's figurative hands are dipped in the blood of millions.

    January 8, 2013 at 2:50 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      And yet the most recent school shooter was a well known church goer, as were the rest of his family.

      Communist leaders like Pol Pot and Stalin would not have been charismatic enough to gain converts had they not learned the discourse of dogmatic persuasion from religious inst/itutions.
      Pol Pot spent 8 years at a Catholic school in Phnom Penh and Stalin 5 years at a Russian orthodox seminary. Historians have noted their speaking and writing styles ape those of the Church in being 'declamatory and repet.itive, with liturgical overtones”.
      While they both sought to eliminate traditional religions from their kingdoms, they did so in order to divert the common man’s fervour to their own cults of personality.
      As Karl Marx himself noted “Atheism as a denial of this unreality; has no longer any meaning, for atheism is a denial of God and tries to assert through this negation the existence of man; but socialism as such no longer needs this mediation...”
      Hitler’s Third Reich, on the other hand, was no friend to atheists and encouraged religion in Germany. Having been exposed to religious methods of persuasion in school at a Benedictine cloister, Hitler recognized religion’s power to keep the people compliant.
      Instead of purging faith like the Communist regimes, he purged atheism:
      "We were convinced that the people need and require this faith. We have therefore undertaken the fight against the atheistic movement, and that not merely with a few theoretical declarations: we have stamped it out".
      The Speeches of Adolf Hitler, April 1922-August 1939, Vol. 1 of 2, Oxford University Press, 1942
      While Mao, Stalin and Pol Pot put themselves into the Godhead position, Hitler publically professed his Christianity until his dying day and used Christian arguments to whip his people into a frenzy. This is why Nazi uniform belt buckles were emblazoned with the slogan “Gott mit uns” (God is with us).
      Each of these leaders wielded their people’s predilection for faith like a weapon. Atheism is not the prime cause for these tragic regimes – the misdirection of faith is.
      Like religion, they demanded blind obedience and obsequious submission from their followers. They tolerated no free-thinkers and enforced dogmatism – a trick they learned from their religious educations.

      January 8, 2013 at 2:54 pm |
    • Geogal

      Really Robert....what about all the evil caused by religion? So very, very much death in history in the name of christianity and related religions...

      January 8, 2013 at 2:55 pm |
    • Webster

      Robert:

      "Athiest" is not a word at all (unless you are trying to say that someone is the most "athi"!)

      It's "atheist", as in, not theist.

      January 8, 2013 at 2:56 pm |
    • ME II

      God can be "rejected" for the same reason that the Easter bunny can be "rejected", lack of evidence.

      January 8, 2013 at 2:56 pm |
    • Otto

      Did atheists perpetrate the Crusades? Just wonderin'

      January 8, 2013 at 2:59 pm |
    • Thoth

      Depending on whose data you choose to believe, anywhere from 93 to 98 percent of convicted felons claim to believe in some form of God. Of those, again depending on who you want to believe, around 85 percent claim affliation to some form of the Christian version. Regardless, the overwhelming majority (nearly all) criminals claim to believe in God......so who provides the evil again?

      January 8, 2013 at 3:02 pm |
    • pastafaria

      @Robert You really need to start limiting yourself to one serving of Kool-Aid after church.

      January 8, 2013 at 3:03 pm |
    • God's main man

      Doc,

      you should know by now that every believer is issued blinders and a Glossomatic Ignorifier.... enables a Faithful like myself to easily leap over comments like yours.... religion is NOT about truth....so spouting facts with get you nowhere.

      January 8, 2013 at 3:04 pm |
    • Roland

      One little problem with your argument ... I do not "reject" God because I love sin ... I chose to recognize that a truly civilized person does not need the threat of eternal damnation to do the right thing. How many people have died in the name of religion?

      January 8, 2013 at 3:12 pm |
    • lol??

      Well ya gotta admit some atheists have odd ideas of pleasure, like tryin' to impress people they don't even care about.

      January 8, 2013 at 3:15 pm |
    • Nesus of Jazzareth

      @pastafaria
      If it was the right kind of Kool-Aid he'd only need one.

      January 8, 2013 at 3:34 pm |
    • Nesus of Jazzareth

      @Doc
      Thank you. Kind of hard to be atheist when you consider yourself to be a god. It all falls under the same rationale and utilizes utter subservience to exact its will. I actually feel very sorry for religionists. They are slaves. It would suck to be a slave–if you knew you were one.

      January 8, 2013 at 3:51 pm |
    • cedar rapids

      robert, sorry but you have no clue. i dont 'rject' god because i am sinful. i dont believe in god because the whole idea is nonsensical.

      January 8, 2013 at 4:03 pm |
    • Ol' Yeller

      @Robert- who says he 'recognises good propaganda'
      You obvioiusly wouldn't recognize good propaganda if it came in a black leatherbound volume and was shoved down your throat as a child.
      Now would you... ?

      January 8, 2013 at 4:23 pm |
  14. actually....

    Atheists are a threat to the Churches and their scams..... the amount of money these clowns rake in each week must be staggering....

    They are the ones running the scam... but WE are the ones who cant be trusted? really?

    January 8, 2013 at 2:48 pm |
    • George

      The religious are a joke. Let's just limit religion to the christian varieties. They are numerous and varied and without fail each says that if you don't believe as they then you are going to hell. Look what the catholic inquisition and the protestant reformation did to countless people were tortured in a variety of heinous ways and may were boiled or burned alive by god fearing christians for doing someting as simple as reading the bible in English, or for merely thinking differently. Look up Giordan Bruno and read what happened to him for saying there were innumerable worlds and that the earth circled the sun. Religion can go to hell!

      January 8, 2013 at 3:14 pm |
  15. Oregon Granny

    Apparently there was a man named Jesus who tried, in vain, to encourage his fellow Jews (is that the correct term?) to live harmoniously and be kind to the poor and weak. The current Pope finally has concluded that he must have been born at a different time of year than December because otherwise those shepherds would not have been out on some hillside with their flocks, but still OK to celebrate duirng the Saturnalia. Brightens up the rather dreary Winter Solstice. (I don't have any trouble celebrating his birthday, same as we celebrate President's Day. Both now center on buying stuff at sale prices.) But after 2000 years, why have the people who profess to be Christian (followers of the teachings of Jesus, the Christ) forgotten his teachings? That is why I am an agnostic or atheist, whichever you prefer. I don't know how our world was created. I tend to believe the scientific reconstruction of events and seriously doubt the 7-day story. Even President Jefferson created his own bible out of his personal selection of passages from the "official" version. I don't believe a whole lot of prayer will get you out of a hole, unless you are "praying" a neighbor with a ladder will walk by soon. Don't try to tell me that "god" sent the neighbor, either, if you would be so lucky. No more than having the right numbers come up in the next lottery drawing. I have the feeling that if there really was a "god," it would be so busy sorting out the rest of the Universe and taming sun flares that it wouldn't have time for our petty grievances. Perhaps that was why ancient peoples had so many of them, "gods" I mean. It would have been just too much for only one. And it is Ok with me if somebody wants to set up a creche, Christmas tree or Menorah in the public square, or post the 10 Commandments. They have been reduced to "decorations" anyway. Enough, already... I am sure you are tired of reading an old lady's rant.

    January 8, 2013 at 2:48 pm |
    • haiku texas

      Love you, Oregon Granny! I couldn't have said it better myself!

      January 8, 2013 at 3:03 pm |
    • lilyq

      "But after 2000 years, why have the people who profess to be Christian (followers of the teachings of Jesus, the Christ) forgotten his teachings? That is why I am an agnostic or atheist, whichever you prefer."

      Don't let the mistakes of we, mere mortals, keep you from seeking God and everlasting life through Jesus Christ. How believers behave is not God's fault yet the blame is always placed upon Him. Many believers scoff at science but for me, a believer, science is the process humans use to explain God's work. I don't know either how God created the universe and everything in it but seems to me that a "big bang" would do the job quite nicely.

      January 8, 2013 at 3:06 pm |
    • Michael Chapel Hill

      You are answerable. You need not take refuge under someone else mistakes.

      January 8, 2013 at 3:08 pm |
    • lol??

      Ahem, do you remember what you did when you were young?

      January 8, 2013 at 3:12 pm |
    • California Granny

      Oregon Granny,

      I agree!

      Please post more anytime (psst, some paragraph breaks would make more comfortable to read, though)

      January 8, 2013 at 3:14 pm |
    • Sister Gee

      Thank you Oregon Granny. I do enjoy the few learned remarks made here, but yours is the voice of a person who clearly thinks for herself in a reasonable way–what one would hope might be "common sense."

      January 8, 2013 at 3:48 pm |
    • Oregon Granny

      To answer lilyq:That is my point exactly. Mortals who want to believe in myths can do so at their leisure. I just wish they would be a bit nicer to each other and not make such snide remarks. Part of the problem I have with most "born again" christians, is that they are not.
      To answer lol??: Of course I remember when I was young. My mom had us baptized (Methodist) in the bay because the church didn't have a full immersion baptismal. Then when I was 16 I adopted the Catholic doctrines. I belonged to the Newman Club in college. We had our marriage blessed by the Church and all five of our children baptized Catholic.

      We tried going back to the Methodist church, but during a tradgedy in our family, and not going back to church every week for a month, the church secretary called and asked if we were coming back? I replied that it was too soon to make that decision. She replied that she would have to take us off the church roster if we weren't going to attend any more. To me, that was probably the most "un-Christian" act she could have done and I began to have doubts about religion in general. It took me a few more years to finally come to the realization that it was all a bunch of made up stuff and most of it probably didn't happen anyway. I haven't been back since, except for family weddings. I usually just listen to the ceremony and admire the art work during the prayers. (FYI my husband and I have been married 58 years.)

      January 8, 2013 at 7:03 pm |
  16. RLF

    How quickly people forget that this nation was founded by people fleeing state supported religions (read: "The U.S. is a Christian nation!" ). Just because you take responsibility for all you do and achieve in this life (w/o the assistance/steerage of an organized religion) does not make you less a person. It actually makes you a more accomplished individual. Think about it. Only in radical lands are "nonbelievers" considered a threat to these mega organizations.

    January 8, 2013 at 2:48 pm |
    • Nesus of Jazzareth

      Actually...the Puritans were TOO extreme for the Church of England so they were convinced that there was another land where they could practice their radical interpretations of the bible. They were nutjobs. And they spawned an entire nation of nutjobs.

      January 8, 2013 at 3:40 pm |
  17. Gusto

    I an stout alcohol enthusiast!

    January 8, 2013 at 2:47 pm |
    • sam

      I believe...I'll have another!

      January 8, 2013 at 3:16 pm |
  18. MM

    Atheist is synonymous with Fool. God already said, "Psalms 53:1 The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God. Corrupt are they, and have done abominable iniquity". Don't get mad at me, God wrote that. Now we have more fools in Congress than ever. America has come a long way..... down.

    January 8, 2013 at 2:46 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      God didn't write the Bible, Men did.

      How can the Tanakh, Talmud, Midrash, New Testament, Quran, Sunnah, Nahjul Balagha, Avesta, Vedas, Upanisahds, Bhagavad Gita, Puranas, Tantras, Sutras, Vachanas, Adi Granth, Purvas, Samayasara, Niyamasara, Pravacanasara, and Pancastikaya; Anupreksa; Samadhishataka of Pujyapada; Tattvarthasutra of Umasvati, Tattvarthasutra, Pali Tripitaka, Jataka,, Visuddimagga, Tripitaka, Lotus Sutra, Garland Sutra, Analects; the Great Learning; the Doctrine of the Mean; the Mencius, Tao Te Ching, Chuang-tzu, Kojiki, Nihon Shoki, K-oki, Ofudesaki, Mikagura-uta, Michi-no-Shiori, Johrei, Goseigen, Netarean Shower of Holy Doctrines, Chun Boo Kyung, Kitab-i-Iqan, Epistle to the Son of the Wolf, Book of Mormon, Dianetics, or Revelation X be dismissed as Holy Books since they all claim to be The Truth?

      January 8, 2013 at 2:48 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      And which God is that again?
      Angus, Belenos, Brigid, dana, Lugh, Dagda, Epona, Aphrodite, Apollo, Ares, Artemis, Atehna, Demeter, Dionysus, Eris, Eos, Gaia, Hades, Hekate, Helios, Hephaestus, Hera, hermes, Hestia, Pan, Poseidon, Selene, Uranus, Zeus, Mathilde, Elves, Eostre, Frigg, Hretha, Saxnot, Shef, Thuno, Tir, Weyland, Woden, Alfar, Balder, Beyla, Bil, Bragi, Byggvir, Dagr, Disir, Eir, Forseti, Freya, Freyr, Frigga, Heimdall, Hel, Hoenir, Idunn, Jord, Lofn, Loki, Mon, Njord, Norns, Nott, Odin, Ran, saga, Sif, Siofn, Skadi, Snotra, Sol, Syn, Ull, Thor, Tyr, Var, Vali, Vidar, Vor, Black Shuck, Herne, Jack in the Green, Holda, Nehalennia, Nerthus, endovelicus, Ataegina, Runesocesius, Apollo, Bacchus, Ceres, Cupid, Diana, Janus, Juno, Jupiter, Maia, Mars, Mercury, Minerva, Neptune, Pluto, Plutus, Proserpina, Venus, Vesta, Vulcan, Attis, Cybele, El-Gabal, Isis, Mithras, Sol Invictus, Endovelicus, Anubis, Aten, Atum, Bast, Bes, Geb, Hapi, Hathor, Heget, Horus, Imhotep, Isis, Khepry, Khnum, Maahes, Ma’at, Menhit, Mont, Naunet, Neith, Nephthys, Nut, Osiris, Ptah, ra, Sekhmnet, Sobek, Set, Tefnut, Thoth, An, Anshar, Anu, Apsu, Ashur, Damkina, Ea, Enki, Enlil, Ereshkigal, Nunurta, Hadad, Inanna, Ishtar, Kingu, Kishar, Marduk, Mummu, Nabu, Nammu, Nanna, Nergal, Ninhursag, Ninlil, Nintu, Shamash, Sin, Tiamat, Utu, Mitra, Amaterasu, Susanoo, Tsukiyomi, Inari, Tengu, Izanami, Izanagi, Daikoku, Ebisu, Benzaiten, Bishamonten, Fu.kurokuju, Jurojin, Hotei, Quetzalcoatl, Tlaloc, Inti, Kon, Mama Cocha, Mama Quilla, Manco Capac, Pachacamac, Viracoc.ha, or Zaramama?

      January 8, 2013 at 2:49 pm |
    • Bob

      " The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God. Corrupt are they, and have done abominable iniquity"

      I have not done anything that is abominable iniquity so that statement is false.

      January 8, 2013 at 2:49 pm |
    • JoeBlow

      True, but Exodus 4:24-25 states this

      Now it came about at the lodging place on the way that the LORD met him and sought to put him to death. Then Zipporah took a flint and cut off her son’s foreskin and threw it at Moses’ feet, and she said, “You are indeed a bridegroom of blood to me.”

      Interesting ;)

      January 8, 2013 at 2:50 pm |
    • rabidatheist

      The fool is the one that believes "god" wrote anything. I am shocked that the book that claims to be the word of god, and promotes it's messiah calls those that do not believe fools. That's rather self-serving don't you think?

      January 8, 2013 at 2:50 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      Which version of the Bible is the true, infallible, accurate translation?
      American Standard Version, American King James Version, Amplified Bible, An American Translation, ArtScroll Tanakh (Old Testament), An American Translation, Berkeley Version, Bible in English, The Bible in Living English, Bishops' Bible, Catholic Public Domain Version, Children's King James Version, Christian Community Bible, English version, Clear Word Bible, Complete Jewish Bible, Contemporary English Version, Concordant Literal Version, A Conservative Version, Coverdale Bible, Darby Bible, Douay-Rheims Bible, Douay-Rheims Bible (Challoner Revision), EasyEnglish Bible, Easy-to-Read Version, English Jubilee 2000 Bible, English Standard Version, Ferrar Fenton Bible, Geneva Bible, God's Word, Good News Bible, Great Bible, Holman Christian Standard Bible, The Inclusive Bible, International Standard Version, Jerusalem Bible, Jewish Publication Society of America Version Tanakh (Old Testament), Judaica Press Tanakh (Old Testament), ia E. Smith Parker Translation, King James 2000 Version, King James Easy Reading Version, King James Version, King James II Version, Knox's Translation of the Vulgate, Lamsa Bible, A Literal Translation of the Bible, Leeser Bible, Tanakh (Old Testament), The Living Bible, The Living Torah and The Living Nach. Tanakh (Old Testament), Matthew's Bible, The Message, Modern King James Version, Modern Language Bible, Moffatt, New Translation, James Murdock's Translation of the Syriac Pesh.itta, New American Bible, New American Standard Bible, New Century Version, New English Bible, New English Translation (NET Bible), New International Reader's Version, New International Version Inclusive Language Edition, New International Version, New Jerusalem Bible, New Jewish Publication Society of America Version. Tanakh (Old Testament), New King James Version, New Life Version, New Living Translation, New Revised Standard Version, New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures, Quaker Bible, Recovery Version of the Bible, Revised Version, Revised Standard Version, Revised Standard Version Catholic Edition, Revised English Bible, Rotherham's Emphasized Bible, The Scriptures, Simplified English Bible, The Story Bible, Taverner's Bible, Thomson's Translation, Today's New International Version, Third Millennium Bible, Tyndale Bible, Updated King James Version, A Voice In The Wilderness Holy Scriptures, Webster's Revision,
      Westminster Bible, The Work of God's Children Illustrated Bible, Wycliffe's Bible (1380), Wycliffe's Bible (1388), Young's Literal Translation??

      January 8, 2013 at 2:52 pm |
    • CraigT

      That is so typical of the non-thought that permeates all faiths. Only someone who is truly a stranger to logic and intellect would use biblical passages to "prove" that the Bible is right.
      Athiest: There is no god
      Xtian: yes there is and I can prove it!
      Athiest: How?
      Xtian: because it says so in the Bible!
      Athiest *facepalm*

      January 8, 2013 at 2:52 pm |
    • averagejoe

      MM as I understood it, God never wrote anything in the bible. The bible was written by man.

      January 8, 2013 at 2:55 pm |
    • NoFool

      I'm an athiest and find it really funny that you would call athiests fools for not believing then quote the bible and make sure you abosolve yourself from responsibility since "god" wrote it not you. What is the issue with those of us that do not believe in mythology? We are healthy, happy, and great people. Prisons are full of "true believers". Amazing how small minded you are.

      January 8, 2013 at 3:04 pm |
    • haiku texas

      seriously?? Last time I checked the Bible was written by men....human beings, like you & me. HEck, I could write my own right now!

      January 8, 2013 at 3:05 pm |
    • A Frayed Knot

      MM

      Atheist is synonymous with Fool. God already said, "Psalms 53:1 The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God. Corrupt are they, and have done abominable iniquity". Don't get mad at me, God wrote that.

      A quite old and sometimes effective tactic – declaring that those who do not believe your story are 'fools'. Nobody wants to be considered 'dumb' for not seeing the Emperor's new clothes, or a 'bas.tard' for not seeing the Sultan's new turban, or a 'cuckold' for not being able to see the Miller's gold thumb.

      Even Joseph Smith used it when he gathered his 'witnesses' to his golden plates. He told them that only those with 'true faith' would be able to 'see' them.

      The ancient, primitive Hebrews who originated those Bible stories were quite adept at manipulative mind-games.

      -----------------–

      And... there is not a whit of verified evidence that any god wrote nor 'inspired' a single word of those old Hebrew writings.

      January 8, 2013 at 3:06 pm |
    • A Frayed Knot

      * sorry, I forgot to put MM's lines (the first 2) in quotation marks...

      January 8, 2013 at 3:08 pm |
    • lol??

      Doc Vestibule, you're a big boy. You can figure it out.

      January 8, 2013 at 3:09 pm |
    • The Truth

      "Christians love to suck foreskin, they eat it every night as a symbol of their faith. Go therefore and beat up a Christian for they love eating cox." – Alpha the Unicorn

      Hey, it's not me that is saying that so don't get mad at me, get mad at Alpha the Unicorn...

      January 8, 2013 at 3:36 pm |
    • Nesus of Jazzareth

      Okay. I'll be a fool. Better than being a delusional, self-righteous Bible thumper.

      January 8, 2013 at 3:44 pm |
    • cedar rapids

      so to get this right.....we are fools not to believe the bible because the bible says we are fools for not believing?
      uh huh.

      January 8, 2013 at 4:02 pm |
    • MM

      Wow, you people don't know anything. Let's go way back to kindergarten level here,
      and start with Bible 101:

      Doc: Start with a 1611 Authorized King James Bible. You can get it at any book store
      really cheap. It's the only one without a copyright. The other new age bibles
      are from corrupt Greek manuscripts, Siniaticus and Vaticanus. Don't mess with those
      because they leave out many important truths such as Luke 4:4, Mark 9, etc.

      The men who wrote the bible were inspired by God to write what they wrote.
      The bible is a history book that covers 7000 years of human events.
      Let's start in the beginning:

      Genesis 1:1 In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.

      Now, walk outside. Look up. That's heaven. If it's night time, you are looking
      through the first heaven (atmosphere), and you see the second heaven (outer-space).
      Now look down. There's the earth you just read about. You're standing on it.

      God created the firmament (our universe) and we are traveling through this space/time
      continuum. He knows the end from the beginning. The details of one man's life (Jesus)
      were predicted more than 1000 years before he was born. The book of Isaih, Paslms,
      Daniel and others predicted when he would be born, where he would be born, where
      he would live, how he would die, how his clothes would be parted, and on and on.
      That's why that book as credibility – because God wrote it. You don't know what's
      going to happen next week, much less 1000 years from now.

      Joe Blow: Yea, it gets pretty wild. But don't dis-count it because you don't like it.

      rabidatheist: Doesn't take much to shock you. God is sovereign. That means he
      doesn't need to ask you why he calls some people fools or why he does things like
      harden Pharoh's heart against Israel.

      CraigT: You are the stranger to logic. As an atheist, you must believe in the
      eternity of matter which goes against the 2nd law of thermodynamics. You must
      believe that you evolved from a rock, and that the rock always existed.

      NoFool: We're not talking about mythology – we're talking about historical facts.
      You're not only close-minded, but ignorant as well.

      Frayed Knot: Evidence? See above.

      cedar rapids: Yes, that is right.

      .... Okay, girls... that's enough for today, I have to get to work.

      January 9, 2013 at 7:27 am |
  19. Doc Vestibule

    All these Christians who die quietly in bed will feel foolish when they face judgement after death.
    No Valhalla for you!

    January 8, 2013 at 2:38 pm |
    • Julie

      People who work in hos-pices say that people on their dea-th bed rarely ever mention god when they are dy-ing. Usually their only concern is family members.

      January 8, 2013 at 3:02 pm |
  20. truth be told

    Of course atheist is a dirty word to the 80% of believers and the 19+% of nones who do not to be associated with the filthy liars.

    January 8, 2013 at 2:37 pm |
    • .

      "Ronald Regonzo" who degenerates to:
      "truth be told" degenerates to:
      "The Truth" degenerates to:
      "Atheism is not healthy ..." degenerates to:
      "Dodney Rangerfield" degenerates to:
      "tina" degenerates to:
      "captain america" degenerates to:
      "Atheist Hunter" degenerates to:
      "just sayin" degenerates to:
      "Chad" degenerates to
      "truth be told" degenerates to
      "Thinker23" 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..

      January 8, 2013 at 2:38 pm |
    • Akira

      Obvious troll ass hole is ass hole...

      January 8, 2013 at 2:40 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 and Eric Marrapodi with daily contributions from CNN's worldwide newsgathering team.