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'None' leaders to chart path for more political, cultural power for religiously unaffiliated
The Reason Rally -- sponsored by secular organizations -- draws a crowd to Washington in June.
January 25th, 2013
08:51 AM ET

'None' leaders to chart path for more political, cultural power for religiously unaffiliated

By Dan Merica, CNN

Washington (CNN) – The religiously unaffiliated the "nones"  have noticed their ranks are growing. And at a meeting Saturday, a group of leaders will look to turn those swelling numbers into workable political and cultural power.

It's one of the top priorities of the eighth annual Heads Meeting, which will be held in Atlanta. Some of the nation’s most influential leaders, representing various organizations, will convene to chart a path forward and discuss the most important issues facing "nones" today.

“It is not enough that we are growing in numbers,” said Roy Speckhardt, executive director of the American Humanist Association. “We have got to find a way to bring those numbers to bear in an organized fashion so that people will take us seriously.”

A number of studies have found that religious “nones” people who either don’t believe in God or do not affiliate with a religion are increasing rapidly in the United States. A 2012 Pew study, for example, found this faction to be the fastest-growing "religious" group in America and determined that one in five Americans now identify with no religion.

These numbers have emboldened atheists, humanists, agnostics and other secular Americans, many of whom have long expressed a desire for more political power.

In particular, they point to the fact that they are widely underrepresented in the halls of the highest U.S. legislative body. Though 20% of the population classifies themselves as “none,” according to Pew, only one member of Congress, Democratic Rep. Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona, identifies as such.

Speckhardt said it’ll take presenting “viewpoints in an organized way” to see change.

Dale McGowan, executive director of Foundation Beyond Belief and one of the Atlanta meeting's hosts, said building awareness through community engagement will be a key topic of discussion.

“Part of it is trying to consolidate that cultural presence,” McGowan said. “That has something to do with politics, but it is also more generally cultural.”

Much as churches and synagogues foster and nurture communities, McGowan said he thinks atheists can do the same to gain clout and broader acceptance.

But the meeting is more than just a forum for "none" leaders to outline their plans going forward. It is also a way for these leaders to meet face to face and discuss differences that they may have with one another.

According to McGowan, finding ways to work together was the original goal when the meeting was first held in 2005.

For years, McGowan said, “These groups operated separately from each other and sometimes at odds with each other. There was a realization that we should meet once a year and come together on the goals that we have in common.”

Other leaders echoed this viewpoint.

“One of the biggest benefits of these meetings is that it is human interaction,” Speckhardt said. “You get people face to face, and you dispel these negative ideas. You realize that we are all endeavoring toward very similar goals and that we can cooperate to make them happen.”

But while the leaders stress the need for cohesion, they also have long highlighted, even celebrated, diversity of opinion in their movement. This diversity has, at times, caused friction.

For example, the Christmas season revealed a growing rift among American atheists. Some activists want to seize the holidays to build bridges with faith groups, while other active unbelievers increasingly see Christmas as central to confronting religion.

“We certainly do disagree,” said David Silverman, president of American Atheists. “But we are on the same side. What we have to do is sit down at the table and say, ‘You are going to do your thing, and I am going to do my thing.’ ”

McGowan called cohesiveness “really the central challenge” for people who thrive on independence. “This is a group of people accustomed to taking a critical approach to things, and that means not just letting differences slide and saying, ‘Hey, these differences matter.’ ”

Other attendees in Atlanta will include Ron Lindsay, president of the Center for Inquiry, and Margaret Downey, founder and president of the Freethought Society, according to Silverman.

- Dan Merica

Filed under: Atheism • Politics

soundoff (1,751 Responses)
  1. Ben Franklin

    Some books against Deism fell into my hands; they were said to be the substance of the sermons which had been preached at Boyle’s Lectures. It happened that they wrought an effect on me quite contrary to what was intended by them. For the arguments of the Deists, which were quoted to be refuted, appeared to be much stronger than the refutations; in short, I soon became a thorough Deist. .

    January 28, 2013 at 9:32 am |
    • lol??

      You said the exact same thing only yesterday.

      January 28, 2013 at 9:34 am |
    • gary

      I guess the ghosts of these people don't feel their voices are being heard anymore.

      January 28, 2013 at 9:50 am |
  2. SoldierOfConscience

    Most atheist support free ab0rtion (or choice as they say). lets take the f3tus after conception

    1. It is alive
    2. It is made up of human cells
    3. It has unique DNA not found in any other being (the mom's hand or a tumor somewhere in the mom's body do not)
    4. In most cases it is not harming the mom

    January 28, 2013 at 9:08 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      3 and 4 are things you should put more thought into.

      January 28, 2013 at 9:10 am |
    • SoldierOfConscience

      For the above four you are only allowed YES or NO responses no arguments, except for #4

      January 28, 2013 at 9:10 am |
    • SoldierOfConscience

      except for #4. In cases which it is PHYSICALLY or MENTALLY harming the mom, like the ireland case or in case of inc3st / r@pe

      January 28, 2013 at 9:11 am |
    • SoldierOfConscience

      SO they think it is OK to kill a unique human being who is not harming anyone else. BY LOGIC same thing applies to the same fetus after it is born and is 2 year old child.

      There. I have proved that atheist supports killing 2 year old children

      January 28, 2013 at 9:12 am |
    • amy

      I think you're lying on this. Provide evidence that supports that notion. Remember to include the rates of abortions performed among the religious versus the non-religious.

      January 28, 2013 at 9:13 am |
    • Pete

      Give it up SOC you're just spreading lies. The Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life this month found that 63 percent of Americans don't want Roe overturned. That includes Christians. What an idiot.

      January 28, 2013 at 9:13 am |
    • SoldierOfConscience

      reason for YES or NO answer is the world is black and white. eg. You either have a car in your driveway or you do not.

      January 28, 2013 at 9:13 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      SoldierOfConscience- No one has responded to your little YES/NO test. Your little test is flawed and not particularly useful.

      January 28, 2013 at 9:16 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Ignore Soldier. He is a self-confessed troll. He admitted months ago that he posts this crap just to get a reaction.

      January 28, 2013 at 9:20 am |
    • SoldierOfConscience

      If you cannot deny it then say "it is not particularly useful" CLAPPING. very lawyer like.

      January 28, 2013 at 9:21 am |
    • SoldierOfConscience

      Piper, I did not. You know anyone can forge somebodys name here

      January 28, 2013 at 9:22 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      I like to take crack cocaine
      I hate bl@cks

      January 28, 2013 at 9:23 am |
    • SoldierOfConscience

      above was not Tom. it was me. just a demonstration

      January 28, 2013 at 9:23 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Yes, you did. You posted what you claimed was your final epistle and stated that you just posted your sh!t to elicit disagreement. You thanked everyone who debated with you politely.

      It wasn't someone else. It was you; after that post, you disappeared for months. Now you're back and hoping no one remembers. Too bad you have to lie to make a point.

      January 28, 2013 at 9:26 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Sweetie, you can deny it all you want. Had it been a troll impersonating you, you'd have said so at the time, just as you're responding now.

      You lie.

      January 28, 2013 at 9:28 am |
    • John not the Baptist

      TTPS
      Have you or anyone else seen a comment from Bill Deacon or Chadtard on the RCC flip flop on life begins at conception?

      January 28, 2013 at 9:37 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      BD made some comment about it on the Hobby Lobby thread, I think.

      January 28, 2013 at 9:44 am |
    • SoldierOfConscience

      So nobody is going to address the point I made, just a made up point that I supposedly said I was a troll months ago (which I did not). If that is the case then I win.

      January 28, 2013 at 9:44 am |
    • John not the Baptist

      TTPS
      Thank you.

      January 28, 2013 at 9:46 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Troll. Trolling troll. Lying troll.

      January 28, 2013 at 9:54 am |
    • gary

      So the best SOC can do is try to steal over TTPS's handle? Nice. Good Christian.

      January 28, 2013 at 10:06 am |
    • SoldierOfConscience

      Nope. best I can do is not steal somebody's handle. If that is what Iwanted to to, would not do it so obviously. It was to prove a point. that anybody could post something saying "I am a troll" in my name.

      back to thepoint. Using a simple 4 question yes or no questionnaire, I proved that atheist support killing living human being. any counters?

      January 28, 2013 at 10:15 am |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      "Any counters?"

      12345678910

      January 28, 2013 at 10:34 am |
    • Damocles

      @SOC

      Your car post makes little sense because I can get rid of the car.

      As to your limited questionaire I can say yes to all of them and it still doesn't shake my thought that an abortion done by a legit doctor is better than one done in a back alley. I understand your argument, but unless you are willing to control everyone's body and everyone's se-xual practices and everyone's choices (and I have no doubt that you want these things) you have to show at some point that you are willing and able to take in every unwanted child.

      I will always try to make the point of adoption, common sense regarding birth control, being actually ready to be in a se-xual relationship as better alternatives to abortion, but I can not, nor will not, try to force a women into giving birth.

      January 28, 2013 at 10:35 am |
    • SoldierOfConscience

      Cheese, being facetious isnt helpful

      January 28, 2013 at 10:36 am |
    • SoldierOfConscience

      Damocles,

      Society has gone to hell in a handbasket. I just want to go back to the good ol' fifties and fourties when we had mom dad and two kids in a picket fence, we had moral values. we didnt have school shootings. nor did we have drug problems.

      January 28, 2013 at 10:52 am |
    • Damocles

      @SOC

      Hmmm... I wonder what else you want from the good old 40's and 50's... a topic for another day perhaps.

      I dare say that we still do have mom and dad and one or more kids.

      In the 40's and 50's you still had gay people even if they were afraid to admit it, you still had divorces although not as many, I'll grant you that. Morality is fluid as evidenced by things that were allowed to happen in the 40's and 50's. We did have drug issues back then, although it was more of mom and dad getting tanked and you still had violence in schools although, again, I will grant they were not as severe or widespread.

      January 28, 2013 at 11:00 am |
    • What?

      " I just want to go back to the good ol' fifties and fourties when we had mom dad and two kids in a picket fence, we had moral values. we didnt have school shootings. nor did we have drug problems."

      Really when women where expected to stay in the home barefoot and pregnant. African Americans and whites were not allowed to get married. Oh and let's not forget the red scare during that time. No, thanks!

      January 28, 2013 at 11:03 am |
    • midwest rail

      " We didn't have school shootings...." False, but you already knew that.
      1940s
      May 6, 1940: South Pasadena, California. After being removed as principal of South Pasadena Junior High School, Vieling Spencer shot six school officials, killing five, before attempting to commit suicide by shooting himself in the neck.[79]
      May 23, 1940: New York City, New York Infuriated by a grievance, Matthew Gillespie, 62-year-old janitor at the Dwight School for Girls, shot and critically wounded Mrs. Marshall Coxe, secretary of the junior school.[80]
      July 4, 1940: Valhalla, New York Angered by the refusal of his daughter, Melba, 15, to leave a boarding school and return to his home, Joseph Moshell, 47, visited the school and shot and killed the girl.[81]
      September 12, 1940: Uniontown, Pennsylvania, 29-year-old teacher Carolyn Dellamea is shot to death inside her third grade classroom by 35-year-old William Kuhns. Kuhns then shot himself in the chest in a failed suicide attempt. Kuhns had reportedly been courting Dellamea for over a year but the relationship was ended when Dellamea discovered that Kuhns was already married.[82][83]
      October 2, 1942: New York City, New York Irwin Goodman, 36-year-old mathematics teacher at William J. Gaynor Junior High School, was shot and killed in the school corridor by a youth.[84][85]
      February 23, 1943: Port Chester, New York Harry Wyman, 13, shot himself dead at the Harvey School, a boys’ preparatory school.[86]
      June 26, 1946: Brooklyn, New York A 15-year-old schoolboy who balked at turning over his pocket money to a gang of seven youths was shot in the chest in the basement of the Public School 147 annex of the Brooklyn High School for Automotive Trades.[87]
      November 24, 1946: New York City A 13-year-old student at St. Benedict’s Parochial School, shot and fatally wounded himself while sitting in an audience watching a school play.[88]
      February 5, 1947: Madill, Oklahoma 1st grade teacher Jessie Laird, 40, was shot to death in her classroom, during recess by her estranged husband, Ellis Laird, 62. Laird then fatally shot himself.[89]
      December 1, 1947: Bala Cynwyd, Pennsylvania Donald Peabody Sargent, 14, shot himself to death in his junior high school classroom.[90]
      December 24, 1948: New York City, New York A 14-year-old boy was fatally wounded by a shot from the .22-caliber rifle of a fellow student Robert Ross, 17. The youth was accidentley shot in the head when he chanced into range where Ross was target shooting near a lake on the school property.[91]
      March 11, 1949: New York City, New York A 16-year-old student at Stuyvesant High School was accidentally shot in the arm by a fellow student who was ‘showing off’ with a pistol in a classroom.[92]
      November 13, 1949: Columbus, Ohio Ohio State University freshman James Heer grabbed a .45 caliber handgun from the room of a Delta Tau Delta fraternity brother and shot and killed his fraternity brother Jack McKeown, 21, an Ohio State senior.[93]

      January 28, 2013 at 11:07 am |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      Just as helpful as your simpleton attempts at reasoning and dishonest discussion.

      January 28, 2013 at 11:08 am |
    • SoldierOfConscience

      I can say yes to all four

      >> using only LOGIC, then I am right!

      abortion done by a legit doctor is better than one done in a back alley

      >> so we need to provide executioners to teenage gangs coz they will have shootouts anyway and thsi way we can avoid bystanders dying?

      you have to show at some point that you are willing and able to take in every unwanted child

      >> So there are no natural consequences anywhere. Basically lets say a coworker is not doing his job. Unless I am willing and able to support his wife and child I must not report to boss coz he can get fired and thus lose his livelihood? I use only LOGIC.

      January 28, 2013 at 11:08 am |
    • Pete

      SOC are you already drinking today?

      January 28, 2013 at 11:11 am |
    • Damocles

      @SOC

      Ahh... I was debating on whether or not somone had stolen your handle for a brief post.

      I can use the last part of your argument against you because if you, as you claim, believe in the sancti-ty of all life, then yes, you should be willing to provide for that co-workers family on the off chance that they may starve to death or end their own life because of the shame. Are you willing to play dice only on unborn fetuses? Man up, slick, otherwise you are a hypocrite.

      In all honesty, if gangs want to go out in the desert and blow the hell out of each other, I'll start up a fund. This argument is retarded because in the back alley version you are risking the mother.

      Note that I said 'can say yes', not 'I do say yes'. You jumped on that hoping you were going to ride it off into the sunset, but the horse threw you and then kicked you in the head.

      January 28, 2013 at 11:19 am |
    • SoldierOfConscience

      There were some sporadic shootings. How many viginia techs or littleton colorados?

      I want to take the best of those period and get them implemented : mom and dad with couple kids teaching the kids how to lead life. Let us drop the red scares, the racism etc.

      January 28, 2013 at 11:21 am |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      ""So there are no natural consequences anywhere.""

      And now we get to the heart of your argument, you want children to be "consequences". You want to punish "s.e.x". We know outlawing abortion will not stop abortion. What will stop abortion is dealing with the reasons women choose to have abortion. If you want to stop abortion fight to provide s.e.x. education, contraception, ect. Unless you do that abortion will continue and you will just prove your true intent, punishing s.e.x.

      January 28, 2013 at 11:22 am |
    • midwest rail

      " There were some sporadic shootings...." Disingenuous to the nth degree. Would you care to see the list from the 50's ? You were flat out wrong and refuse to admit it. If you're going to troll, at least have a point.

      January 28, 2013 at 11:24 am |
    • Damocles

      @SOC

      Right, you want a plastic, utopian society. All good, no bad until the good becomes the bad, then it must be flipped again. Your ways implemented regardless of who agrees or disagrees. People knowing their place and everyone content because they are told to be. Planned births in a sterile environment. Goose-step... err marching... err walking hand-in-hand toward a dim future. Sounds lovely.

      January 28, 2013 at 11:32 am |
    • SoldierOfConscience

      Damocles, See Enn Enn is c3nsoring me. There are natural consequences from which nobody is shielded. Dont do your work, get fired. have s3x, get a baby. That is nature's way and we should keep it that way.

      January 28, 2013 at 11:35 am |
    • SoldierOfConscience

      Damocles what are you smoking?

      planned births? hand in hand? I didnt say any of that

      January 28, 2013 at 11:37 am |
    • Damocles

      @SOC

      CNN doesn't censor stupidity.

      You are a hypocrite, plain and simple. You want to trumpet the cause of unborn fetuses but are unwilling to see the job through to the finish. You either shoulder the responsibility for all people in all places or your argument is done.

      January 28, 2013 at 11:40 am |
    • SoldierOfConscience

      Cheesemakers, there was only one case of serial shooting. All else where normal crimes that we see day to day. Now we have had five in 2 years.

      January 28, 2013 at 11:42 am |
    • SoldierOfConscience

      Damocles, I am not the hyporcrite. All I say is that those who bring the fetus into this world should bear their burden. You dont advocate similar logic to what you said for 1 year old kids do you? even they are defenseless and cant take care of themselves.

      January 28, 2013 at 11:43 am |
    • Damocles

      @SOC

      I'm all for responsibility. What you want is all births to take place and damn the consequences. You are willing to let the woman or the man and woman shoulder the responsibility for the birth, but back away when the consequences look you in the eye.

      January 28, 2013 at 11:52 am |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      "Cheesemakers, there was only one case of serial shooting."

      SoldierOfNonsense

      1st) I was not making this argument with you, but you obviously have not done your homework.

      2nd) You have proven your real intent is, like I said, to make children "consequences". You talk about precious children being murdered but have no problem forcing them to be born into a home that does not want them, which then sets up a likely abusive or neglectful environment for the child or children and is an actual verifiable condition of murderers unlike your other nonsensical causal claims. I can tell you personally I would have rather been aborted than to be forced to live in a home that did not want me. You confuse "conscience" with "self-rightiousness".

      January 28, 2013 at 12:07 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      This troll pulled the same sort of crap months ago. He then made an announcement to all and sundry, thanking those who had debated with him civilly and admitting he didn't believe a word he'd posted. After he posted his farewell to arms, he dropped off the radar. All you have to do is look at the nonsense about the good old days to see he's a poe.

      January 28, 2013 at 12:20 pm |
  3. Luis Wu

    Good for them. We need to oppose ignorance and stupidity at every opportunity. The ignorant masses that blindly accept ancient mythology and primitive superst!tions as reality need to be shown that intelligent people reject their ignorant nonsense.

    January 28, 2013 at 8:47 am |
    • lol??

      Then they make up new and improved myths. They always end up lookin' like old myths. New boss same as old boss.

      January 28, 2013 at 9:32 am |
  4. SoldierOfConscience

    If you plot a graph of church attendance on x axis against number of school/etc/ shooting deaths in y axis you will see that as people get less religious, they shoot more. The number of guns has stayed more or less the same. Its the values that are changing. It becomes OK to even THINK of doing a mass shooting. not the case even 20 years ago.

    January 28, 2013 at 8:32 am |
    • amy

      This has been debunked, but this is a troll so it's going to keep repeating the lies. There are many factors involved.

      January 28, 2013 at 8:40 am |
    • SoldierOfConscience

      "This has ben debunked" is not enough. how? why?

      January 28, 2013 at 8:43 am |
    • amy

      When it was expressed with more convincing evidence than you show here, it was debunked with lack of several factors. You must have missed where it was debunked.

      January 28, 2013 at 8:47 am |
    • dziemke

      Correlation does not mean causation.

      January 28, 2013 at 8:52 am |
    • SoldierOfConscience

      OK how about we catch every mass shooter's family and ask if they were atheist or believer. If most mass shooter were atheist my case is made.

      January 28, 2013 at 8:58 am |
    • gary

      SOC – you're an idiot. Try again.

      January 28, 2013 at 9:03 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      Mass killers are mostly at least lacking in empathy – sociopaths if you want to call them that. I doubt if belief in God restores what they don't have working in their brains.

      January 28, 2013 at 9:03 am |
    • Pete

      "If most mass shooter were atheist my case is made."

      That's a big "if."

      January 28, 2013 at 9:06 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      Ever notice that the number of women wearing pants has increased ever since colour televisions became a part of most households?

      How do you explain the irreligious societies in which there are virtually no school shootings?

      January 28, 2013 at 9:37 am |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      If you plot a graph of church attendance on x axis against number of child moelstation in y axis you will see that as people get more religious, they r@pe children more. The number of preists and pastors has stayed more or less the same. Its the values that are changing. It becomes OK to even THINK of doing a child r2pe. It has been the care for at least 1600 years.

      January 28, 2013 at 10:39 am |
    • SoldierOfConscience

      Cheese, there are no statistics for what you say. The child r@pe was a sad case of g@ys infiltrating the priesthood and doing their thing. Also the short sighted church leaders not outing them then and there and chasing them out. Again there are no statistics on a time slice to support your unfounded allegations.

      January 28, 2013 at 10:50 am |
    • What?

      "The child r@pe was a sad case of g@ys infiltrating the priesthood and doing their thing. "

      You're an idiot, it's called a pedophile not gay. What a moron.

      January 28, 2013 at 10:55 am |
    • Damocles

      @SOC

      Before you post anything else, learn the difference between gay, bestiality and pedo-philia. Your ridiculous arguments trying to tie those things together are tedious and flat out lies.

      January 28, 2013 at 11:08 am |
    • SoldierOfConscience

      According to psychiatry, all of the categories you mentioned above are called "paraphilia"

      January 28, 2013 at 11:51 am |
    • Damocles

      @SOC

      Yes, I'm aware they are lumped under one category, much like beagles and huskies can be lumped under dogs. You still are not understanding, most likely willfully, the differences between them.

      January 28, 2013 at 11:55 am |
  5. Dawkins is an idiot

    Richard Dawkins believes that the seeds of life were put here by space aliens! That's his explanation for the origin of life. What a stupid IDIOT!!!! And all you fools by his books and worship him. IDIOTS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    January 27, 2013 at 10:09 pm |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      I thought he was great as "Newkirk"!!!!

      January 27, 2013 at 10:19 pm |
    • NL

      Dawkins was asked how ID could have happened, and he said that evidence could surface that suggests that some alien race could have seeded the planet. Not that far-feteched considering that we could seed life designed by us to survive on a planet like Mars, which would count according to his model.

      January 27, 2013 at 11:17 pm |
    • Saraswati

      I may not be a huge Dawkins fan, but even I know that's not what he said. Way to misquote something your neighbor's cousins mother once read and article about inthe church newsletter.

      January 27, 2013 at 11:52 pm |
    • Manny

      [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AknD2JyMdmI&w=640&h=390]

      January 27, 2013 at 11:59 pm |
    • And they wonder why their religion is dying

      @ Dawkins is an idiot
      Thanks for once again demonstrating the level of intellectual and emotional maturity present in most christians

      January 28, 2013 at 3:19 am |
    • Rational Libertarian

      NL

      You're confusing intelligent design with the designer universe theory.

      January 28, 2013 at 3:22 am |
    • utalkintome

      just like any righty, you obbviously only read what you want...instead of actually reading the whole thing

      January 28, 2013 at 4:13 am |
    • NL

      Rational Libertarian
      Just reporting Dawkin's actual statement, which was about localized ID by evolved beings, and not the creation of an entire universe by an unevolved being.

      January 28, 2013 at 8:12 am |
    • lol??

      "Rational Libertarian sayz
      NL

      You're confusing intelligent design with the designer universe theory." ................... The diabolical dialectic runs that deep? It must go all the way to the bone.

      January 28, 2013 at 8:14 am |
    • lol??

      The Dawkster sounds like a myth maker.

      January 28, 2013 at 8:17 am |
    • Science

      Evolution won in the Dover court trial. ID/creation can not be taught in public schools in US.. Moving forward, take a blood test map your genes.

      Creationists' tactics also have a more profound impact on science education which goes beyond biology because they communicate the idea that there is something lacking or something wrong with evolutionary theory, an idea which is not actually true from a scientific standpoint. This causes students to develop very mistaken beliefs about the nature of science, the scientific method, and how scientific research is used. This cheats students out of the proper science education which they deserve.

      Attempts to use the law to restrict or dilute the teaching of evolution in public schools matters because science matters. As society relies more and more heavily on science and technology on ever more fundamental levels, it becomes increasingly more important that all citizens receive a proper grounding in science and the scientific method. Science education is becoming a key part of what it means to be a well-informed and well-educated citizen of today; therefore, any effort to temper science education in order to placate a vocal religious group cheats the students, cheats society, and cheats our future.

      January 28, 2013 at 8:26 am |
    • lol??

      Marryin' the law with science won't and can't work., Science, now quit usurping the father's rights on determining what is taught to his children. Not the STATE'S children.

      January 28, 2013 at 8:31 am |
    • Science

      Back fill for education
      Origin of Life: Hypothesis Traces First Protocells Back to Emergence of Cell Membrane Bioenergetics

      Dec. 20, 2012 — A coherent pathway - which starts from no more than rocks, water and carbon dioxide and leads to the emergence of the strange bio-energetic properties of living cells - has been traced for the first time in a major hypothesis paper in Cell this week.

      Ancient DNA reveals humans living 40,000 years ago in Beijing area related to present-day Asians, Native Americans January 21, 2013

      Read more at: http://phys.org/news/2013-01-ancient-dna-reveals-humans-years.html#jCp

      Peace

      January 28, 2013 at 8:36 am |
    • lol??

      If scientists are so correct why do they resort to and approve of bullyin'?

      January 28, 2013 at 8:56 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Awww. Poor lol. Did the big boys beat you up and take your lunch money again?

      January 28, 2013 at 9:22 am |
    • Science

      Facts work bests, The bully is the church in the Dover case. Creation. The talking snake?

      Still trying in AZ to pass laws to get out of high school. Who is the bully?

      January 28, 2013 at 9:28 am |
    • mama k

      lol??: "Science, now quit usurping the father's rights on determining what is taught to his children. "

      What an idiot. Here are some options:

      1. Don't have children that you can't afford to spend time with teaching them the values you want them to have.
      2. Home-school your children.
      3. Send them to private school.
      4. Help develop or participate in after-school activities that are with a group that shares your values.

      This is not an option:

      Adding religion back into public schools where ~23% of children are non-Christian. Not just because it's the law, but because it's fair. (Unless you care to give us a plan as to how it could be done fairly.)

      January 28, 2013 at 11:23 am |
  6. Marie

    Why did god invent cancer?

    January 27, 2013 at 9:49 pm |
    • Roger that

      For the same reason that he created the devil and hell. He enjoys human suffering.

      January 28, 2013 at 3:04 am |
  7. Marie

    Why does god kill thousands of children daily from starvation?

    January 27, 2013 at 9:49 pm |
    • Dawkins is an idiot

      Why do liberal atheist idiots think its ok to murder (abortion)

      January 27, 2013 at 10:04 pm |
    • Akira

      83% of abortions performed are on Christian women. The political affiliations of those obtaining an abortion run 50/50 between Democrats and Republican.

      January 27, 2013 at 11:13 pm |
    • NL

      People die every day from want of a blood transfusion, or organ donation. Why aren't Christians pressuring people to save lives by making these donations if they're all concerned over saving lives?

      January 27, 2013 at 11:24 pm |
    • JohnnyM is a bonehead

      @ NL

      Bravo!

      January 27, 2013 at 11:33 pm |
  8. Bob

    Just like we no longer pray to the moon and the sun, the made up religions of men will all fade away with time. There are no gods or devils. There are only deluded men who live their lives based on urban myths.

    January 27, 2013 at 9:18 pm |
    • lol??

      I perceive your statement as coming from a false prophet. Now wasn't that easy?

      January 27, 2013 at 9:20 pm |
    • Bob

      A prophet who does not believe there are any prophets. That makes sense.

      Think of it this way. Until something is proven to be true, it is not worth believing. Otherwise, you might as well believe every ghost story and UFO sighting, because you can never disprove them.

      January 27, 2013 at 9:25 pm |
    • The Lion

      I do believe in spooks!

      January 27, 2013 at 9:27 pm |
    • lol??

      "Bob sayz,
      A prophet who does not believe there are any prophets. That makes sense......" If the false prophet had any understanding he wouldn't be one.

      January 27, 2013 at 9:32 pm |
    • Bob

      Jesus was a false prophet.

      January 27, 2013 at 9:34 pm |
    • lol??

      "1Cr 2:7-8 But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, [even] the hidden [wisdom], which God ordained before the world unto our glory: Which none of the princes of this world knew: for had they known [it], they would not have crucified the Lord of glory."

      January 27, 2013 at 9:41 pm |
    • lol??

      "......Which none ...." See, God knows who the nones are...............BBBbbbbwwwwaaaaahahahaha

      January 27, 2013 at 9:44 pm |
    • Bob

      Quoting a false prophet to discredit someone is pretty weak. Do you have any proof that he was a prophet and not the son of the devil or a schizophrenic?

      January 27, 2013 at 9:45 pm |
    • lol??

      Bob sayz,
      Quoting a false prophet to discredit someone is pretty weak......" Now you're going to give a definition of a false prophet?? BBBBBBbbbbbwwwwaaaaahahahaha

      January 27, 2013 at 9:55 pm |
    • Akira

      You haven't given a definition of a false prophet either, lol??; since you are the one who called Bob one, perhaps you could share the definition?

      January 27, 2013 at 11:17 pm |
    • NL

      The Lion
      Shouldn't that be "I do believe in fairies! I do! I do!"

      January 27, 2013 at 11:35 pm |
    • lol??

      Ak, try this one on for size, "Rev 19:10 And I fell at his feet to worship him. And he said unto me, See [thou do it] not: I am thy fellowservant, and of thy brethren that have the testimony of Jesus: worship God: for the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy."

      January 28, 2013 at 9:17 am |
  9. Mercy the kitty is found

    How appropriate of the dullards to call themselves 'none'. Brainless wonders! and they have a leader to lead these wonders?!?!?!?!

    January 27, 2013 at 8:52 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      I don't see that "they" call themselves "nones." The writer of the article did.

      I guess lack of belief isn't required for one to be a dullard.

      January 27, 2013 at 8:55 pm |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      Why do your leaders keep putting more sh!t in your head, isn't it full enough?

      January 27, 2013 at 8:58 pm |
    • utalkintome

      brainless wonders?....only the most intelligent people and the richest on the planet now are atheists and non believers....keep believing in fairytales

      January 28, 2013 at 4:16 am |
    • Manny

      You're missing the point of being a freethinker; we have no "leaders" because we aren't interested in being led around by the nose.

      January 28, 2013 at 10:24 am |
  10. Charlie

    Hey, correct me if I'm wrong but didn't atheists create god? I mean, if there is no such thing as a God, and I do not say I have the definitive answer, only what I believe- and that certainly is up to debate, then I would imagine the human species had to have commenced as atheists. So, then, I wonder, who created God? Such difficult questions yet to be answered. Thank goodness there is nothing more pressing to deal with.

    January 27, 2013 at 8:01 pm |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      Quite the vapid point Charle.

      January 27, 2013 at 9:19 pm |
    • Moby Schtick

      Yes, the human mind sought to describe its relationship to the unknown in a way that evolved into the idea of god that continues to evolve and adapt. The god idea might die, and then be resurrected again someday, too, but it certainly changes along with our species ability to describe its ideals.

      January 27, 2013 at 9:23 pm |
    • lol??

      Well, dude, they were a big part in upsetting the balance of powers in unca sugar's form of gubmint. Now we have the Diverse Beast ruling. The triunity of the original plan was striking. The progressive mindset has provided the evidence of its own suicidal power.

      January 27, 2013 at 9:25 pm |
    • Akira

      Oh, do tell us who "unca suga" is, lol??.
      And tell me just precisely what the heck he has to do with the OP's post. Besides nothing.

      January 27, 2013 at 11:23 pm |
    • lol??

      charlie sayz, "..........but didn't atheists create god?.........." They were a driving force in turnin' the gubmint into A god. It's in charge of everything. Got it Ak?

      January 28, 2013 at 9:23 am |
    • Manny

      lol??
      Full of Republicans such as it it, how could anybody mistake the government for any kind of god?

      January 28, 2013 at 10:18 am |
  11. Marie

    If they are intellectually superior, having all of the answers to everything, then why is getting these answers like pulling teeth? Why won't they make their knowledge manifest for all to see?

    January 27, 2013 at 6:50 pm |
    • Rational Libertarian

      Why does it hurt when I p.ee?

      January 27, 2013 at 6:53 pm |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      Why do you care about answers?

      January 27, 2013 at 6:54 pm |
    • Akira

      Oh, not this nonsense again...

      January 27, 2013 at 7:08 pm |
    • Robert

      The advantage of being an atheist is that I don't have to know all the answers. Theists are the ones that claim to know exactly how the world was created (God) and how humans were created (God again). As an atheist I can look at the big bang and evolution and say that we have a pretty good idea. We don't have all the kinks worked out but we don't fill in the blanks of our ignorance with God.

      January 27, 2013 at 7:36 pm |
    • GodFreeNow

      Intellectual superiority is not about how many answers you know, but rather how you approach the questions of life as well as how you use the answers you do know.

      I'm more bothered by the laziness of religious people to so easily conclude god is the answer to all questions before the work has been put into the questions to understand how things apply to our lives. Luckily the great scientist of our ages were not all so lazy and so we have a theory of gravity which we use to control satellites, fly planes, and other amazing things. They didn't accept that god was the reason for diseases, so we have antibiotics.

      Finding truth is hard work. Accepting god as the answer is easy.

      January 27, 2013 at 7:40 pm |
  12. nothing new here

    Go for it!
    Why should people be forced to adhere to any particular religion?
    And why should churches be exempt from paying taxes, considering churches are becoming nothing more than politcal machines?

    January 27, 2013 at 6:11 pm |
  13. Mercy the kitty is missing

    There must be a reason why they are called 'none'. Must be to signify that emptyhead of theirs! ;)

    January 27, 2013 at 5:54 pm |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      As opposed to your head which is full of sh!t.

      January 27, 2013 at 6:03 pm |
    • nothing new here

      Why do people need to be enslaved to "religion".
      I am sure that God would not approve of all these flavors of religion.

      January 27, 2013 at 6:12 pm |
    • sam stone

      still on your knees, begging for salvation?

      January 27, 2013 at 6:36 pm |
  14. Ka Boom

    I'll agree on one thing. better a atheist than a muslim. They just go ka-boom and kill others. or do someother kind of jihad.

    January 27, 2013 at 5:45 pm |
    • myweightinwords

      I know many Muslims. None of them have killed anyone or blown up anything. Well, unless you count the barbecue disaster last summer, in which no one was hurt, but a grill full of lamb kabobs were blown to smithereens.

      January 27, 2013 at 5:51 pm |
    • Ka Boom

      The quran say I am kaffir and its their duty to do jihad against me. I have no desire to become a dhimmi. like the netherlands have already become. look up the cartoonist who was beheaded.

      January 27, 2013 at 5:55 pm |
    • Rational Libertarian

      The Bible also says to kill non believers.

      Exodus 22:17 NAB
      Deuteronomy 17:12 NLT

      There are a few others. Why are you not equally disdainful of Christianity? Or are you?

      January 27, 2013 at 6:58 pm |
    • Manny

      Then there are the Christian nuts who shoot abortion doctors. That's a type of jihad, isn't it?

      January 27, 2013 at 11:49 pm |
  15. me

    Non-believers have political goals, everybody has policital goals. Who cares? It's interesting geographically speaking, what's the numbers and where, then they can find a power base, be who they will be another movement in the patchwork that is U.S.A. Man there are a lotta kooks their. Take your own road and teach it to your kids, see the world for what it is, if you can help along the way, stand up for everybody's right to be free. The foundation has been built for the last two thousand years. If it works for some, then let them be. Until I'm told I have to think your way or else, and I'll still take else. Enjoy the ride its short.
    Juat a thought.
    Peace

    January 27, 2013 at 5:38 pm |
    • Science

      Evolution won in the Dover court trial. ID/creation can not be taught in public schools in US.. Moving forward, take a blood test map your genes.

      Creationists' tactics also have a more profound impact on science education which goes beyond biology because they communicate the idea that there is something lacking or something wrong with evolutionary theory, an idea which is not actually true from a scientific standpoint. This causes students to develop very mistaken beliefs about the nature of science, the scientific method, and how scientific research is used. This cheats students out of the proper science education which they deserve.

      Attempts to use the law to restrict or dilute the teaching of evolution in public schools matters because science matters. As society relies more and more heavily on science and technology on ever more fundamental levels, it becomes increasingly more important that all citizens receive a proper grounding in science and the scientific method. Science education is becoming a key part of what it means to be a well-informed and well-educated citizen of today; therefore, any effort to temper science education in order to placate a vocal religious group cheats the students, cheats society, and cheats our future.

      January 27, 2013 at 6:08 pm |
    • me

      Continue to educate and constantly expand human understanding, not withstanding our need to change the educational system to allow for more mechanics, carpenters, plumbers, electricians, bricklayers, elevator mechanics, farmers, forklift operators, crane operators, tin bashers, drywallers, the work world is finding itself short, education has let fail its ability to put skilled young people in the workplace, providing excellent wages for these professionals. I have no wish to see science stop its growth, I have a sister with als. Both areas could grow within a better educational framework.

      Ta dah!

      January 27, 2013 at 7:36 pm |
    • Science

      New science standards for 2013 created by 26 states . New stem standards should help.
      Peace

      January 27, 2013 at 8:38 pm |
    • Science

      New back fill for education/evolution with DNA no myth required.

      Ancient DNA reveals humans living 40,000 years ago in Beijing area related to present-day Asians, Native Americans January 21, 2013

      Read more at: http://phys.org/news/2013-01-ancient-dna-reveals-humans-years.html#jCp

      January 28, 2013 at 7:53 am |
  16. Prism of the Soldiers of Undeniable Perfect Truth4Him Today and Forever

    An atheist can no more tell you how a man came from a monkey than they can when asked why they disbelieve they have no proof to back up their poor reasons for not seeing His Truth when it is clearly evident in everything we see.

    January 27, 2013 at 4:11 pm |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      Humans did not evolve from monkeys, and my grandmother was not a "rib".

      January 27, 2013 at 4:25 pm |
    • Richard Cranium

      An atheist certainly can spot a troll when he sees one.

      January 27, 2013 at 4:28 pm |
    • Akira

      Troll is obvious troll.

      January 27, 2013 at 5:16 pm |
    • sam stone

      man did not come from a monkey

      January 27, 2013 at 5:53 pm |
    • hal 9001

      I'm sorry, "Prism of the Soldiers of Undeniable Perfect Truth4Him Today", but whatever it was you were trying to say is unfounded. Using my Idiomatic Expression Equivalency module (IEE), the expression that best matches the degree to which your unfounded assertions may represent truths is: "EPIC FAIL".

      January 27, 2013 at 5:57 pm |
    • Manny

      Sounds like you see some pretty crazy things, Prism.

      January 28, 2013 at 12:08 am |
    • Manny

      You're right, an atheist can't tell you how a man came from a monkey ... because it didn't happen. Now that we know that you understand that this is a misrepresentation, that humans and monkeys shared a common ancestor, you realize that repeating the monkey quip is just lying, and lying makes the baby Jesus cry! :-(

      January 28, 2013 at 12:17 am |
  17. Devon

    Charles Darwin wrote in the 'origin of species' that Caucasians were a more civilized race

    January 27, 2013 at 12:28 pm |
    • Richard Cranium

      A flawed opinion in the midst of a notable scientific work....pobody's nerfect.

      January 27, 2013 at 12:32 pm |
    • Dawkins is an idiot

      It's ironic how atheism is embraced by England and spoiled upper and middle class white Americans. Little do they know how much life sucked in the USSR and North Korea.

      January 27, 2013 at 12:35 pm |
    • gary

      History has shown us that "Dawkins is an idiot" is an idiot. (just look around at it's posts people)

      January 27, 2013 at 12:37 pm |
    • Wow

      " Little do they know how much life sucked in the USSR and North Korea."

      It had nothing to do with atheism idiot.

      January 27, 2013 at 12:37 pm |
    • Dawkins is an idiot

      Ironic in the sense that it is mainly embraced by spoiled white folks

      January 27, 2013 at 12:38 pm |
    • Richard Cranium

      You used the word ironic in your last post....what is ironic in your statement? or do you not know what the word means?

      January 27, 2013 at 12:39 pm |
    • Dawkins is an idiot

      Looks like some people got upset!! Lol! The truth hurts sometimes!!! Lol!!! I love it when I'm right and win an argument!

      January 27, 2013 at 12:44 pm |
    • Richard Cranium

      What argument have you won? I'm still waiting to see what you meant by ironic. The only thing I see that is ironic, is you using the word incorrectly...that is ironic.

      January 27, 2013 at 12:45 pm |
    • hal 9001

      I'm sorry, "Dawkins is an idiot", but your assertions regarding atheism are unfounded. Trying to correlate populations under communist regimes with atheism is, using my Idiomatic Expression Equivalency module (IEE), "like comparing apples and something that is not even a fruit". Therefore your assertions are unfounded. Using my Idiomatic Expression Equivalency module (IEE), the expression that best matches the degree to which your repeated unfounded assertions may represent truths is: "IDIOTIC – EPIC FAIL".

      January 27, 2013 at 12:45 pm |
    • The Truth

      "spoiled upper and middle class white Americans."

      Well i'm glad to know the poor religious trailer trash thinks i'm spoiled while they are spending my hard earned tax dollars for their welfare and medicaid.

      January 27, 2013 at 12:50 pm |
    • tod

      Nobody's upset with what you've said, Darwin Idiot. Sad at the poor state of American education that affords silly opinions such as your's an actual following, maybe, but we don't tale what you've said personally.

      January 27, 2013 at 1:31 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Darwin, the only person here that seems "upset" is you. You're the one who's crowing about "irony" and using an exclamation point at the end of every sentence.

      What's your main maladjustment, anyway?

      January 27, 2013 at 1:35 pm |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      It is always funny when religiotards accuse Darwin of being racist when their book specifically promotes racism and misogyny.

      January 27, 2013 at 1:47 pm |
    • Simon says

      Simon says:

      @blessed are the cheesemakers – go make yourself a grilled cheese sandwich or would that be cannibalism for you?

      January 27, 2013 at 2:22 pm |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      Simon,

      I am not made of cheese therefore it is not cannibalism.

      Just out of curiosity are you a Christian that practices communion (symbolic ritual cannibalism)?

      January 27, 2013 at 2:26 pm |
    • Science

      @ tod
      Agree. Education science standards for 2013 are new. Created by the majority of states 26 Stem standards for all public shool students in the US.

      January 27, 2013 at 2:57 pm |
    • Southern Humanist

      Cite the page where Darwin says this...I'll wait.

      January 27, 2013 at 5:46 pm |
  18. WhenCowsAttack

    It is fascinating to me the way religions alter their dogma based on agnostic/atheist/scientific criticism of certain parts of it. For instance, 30 years ago the religious were insistent that the earth was created in 6 literal days, that the flood was real and global, that the Tower of Babel was absolute truth, etc.

    As science went on to better explain some of these natural occurences (such as the Big Bang theory, discovery of more detailed fossil records, lack of evidence in a global flood, etc), their position has morphed into "Oh, well it was never meant to be taken literally, it's allegory", and "Well, God's version of a day could be equal to 5 million earth days" and other such nonsense.

    It is blatantly obvious to me that as mankind gains more knowledge, they are changing the game, because if they didn't they would lose believers even faster than they already are. And yes, I am aware that Christianity is growing in certain parts of the world, due to the huge efforts of missionaries in third world countries with virtually NO education for their residents. How is it surprising that people who know nothing of science and evolution would buy into such a thing, in hopes that it could relieve the tremendous suffering in those nations?

    January 27, 2013 at 12:02 pm |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      30 Years ago I was at the tail end of my christian indoctrination and thought people had long since rejected the literal belief of the bible. It actually seems more prevalent than ever now.

      January 27, 2013 at 12:16 pm |
    • WhenCowsAttack

      Well...maybe it was different with the Southern Baptist indoctrination I was experiencing at the time. They were very, very literal.

      Frankly I remember the nondenominational church that I moved to in my teens being just as literal-maybe they just reserved that part for us gullible youth :-)

      January 27, 2013 at 12:17 pm |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      Midwest vs the south.

      The south has probably become less literal but I know in my area the religous wingnuts have increased.

      January 27, 2013 at 12:30 pm |
    • Science

      Evolution won in the Dover court trial. ID/creation can not be taught in public schools in US.. Moving forward, take a blood test map your genes.

      Creationists' tactics also have a more profound impact on science education which goes beyond biology because they communicate the idea that there is something lacking or something wrong with evolutionary theory, an idea which is not actually true from a scientific standpoint. This causes students to develop very mistaken beliefs about the nature of science, the scientific method, and how scientific research is used. This cheats students out of the proper science education which they deserve.

      Attempts to use the law to restrict or dilute the teaching of evolution in public schools matters because science matters. As society relies more and more heavily on science and technology on ever more fundamental levels, it becomes increasingly more important that all citizens receive a proper grounding in science and the scientific method. Science education is becoming a key part of what it means to be a well-informed and well-educated citizen of today; therefore, any effort to temper science education in order to placate a vocal religious group cheats the students, cheats society, and cheats our future.

      January 27, 2013 at 12:36 pm |
    • tod

      Science
      Creationists are still telling the same lies they did at the Dover trial to audiences that buy them hook, line, and sinker because these people don't bother to check if what's being told to them is actually true, or not. They take creationist claims at face value because they're reassuring, and they want to believe. Until they lose their trust in creationists they will swallow everything they shovel.

      January 27, 2013 at 1:53 pm |
    • Science

      @tod Agree 3 words tell it best maybe.

      Heel of soul . On bottom of shoe. oops lucky 7
      Peace

      January 27, 2013 at 2:10 pm |
    • Science

      @tod Even with brand new back fill on both fronts they are still trying to tell the talking snake story.

      Not good

      Ancient DNA reveals humans living 40,000 years ago in Beijing area related to present-day Asians, Native Americans January 21, 2013

      Read more at: http://phys.org/news/2013-01-ancient-dna-reveals-humans-years.html#jCp

      Origin of Life: Hypothesis Traces First Protocells Back to Emergence of Cell Membrane Bioenergetics

      Dec. 20, 2012 — A coherent pathway - which starts from no more than rocks, water and carbon dioxide and leads to the emergence of the strange bio-energetic properties of living cells - has been traced for the first time in a major hypothesis paper in Cell this week.

      Peace

      January 27, 2013 at 2:19 pm |
  19. empresstrudy

    it sounds like 'religiously unaffiliated' is code word for atheist. Why not say atheist? Secular non believing humanist new age yoga isn't an actual religious belief system.

    January 27, 2013 at 11:57 am |
    • Southern Humanist

      I think 'unaffiliated' may capture all of those "I believe in God but don't necessarily belong to a religious denomination" people – just a guess

      January 27, 2013 at 12:02 pm |
    • WhenCowsAttack

      It isn't code word for anything. In fact it encompasses a large variety of belief/nonbelief. There are millions of people in this country that don't quite buy into Christianity or any other religion, but believe in an abstract higher power of some sort.

      My opinion is that that category makes up the lion's share of the "unaffiliated" group.

      January 27, 2013 at 12:05 pm |
    • tod

      The weird thing is that many of the new bunch of "I'm not in any religion, but in a personal relationship with Jesus" believers properly see themselves as belonging to the "unaffiliated" group as well. They're not really in any denomination, claim not to go to any church, but they believe in God and Jesus. I wonder how they feel being lumped together with atheists?

      January 27, 2013 at 1:47 pm |
  20. Southern Humanist

    The slow march of knowledge and reason continues.

    January 27, 2013 at 11:54 am |
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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.