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Photos: Nation mourns Boston bomb victims
April 18th, 2013
10:45 AM ET

My Take: Godless in Boston mourn, too

Editor’s note: Greg M. Epstein is the Humanist chaplain at Harvard University and author of the New York Times best-seller "Good Without God." He directs the Humanist Community Project, a national think tank helping to study and build communities for the nonreligious.

By Greg M. Epstein, Special to CNN

Cambridge, Massachusetts (CNN) — After two days of holding back my own feelings to focus on the needs of a community in mourning, what finally split my heart in two was scrolling through the list of donations to the fund-raising page for Celeste and Sydney Corcoran, a mother and daughter among the tragically injured at the Boston Marathon.

Celeste, the mother, has volunteered for my congregation. She’s basically an aunt to a senior member of our staff. So I cried for the two-sidedness: A member of our community lost her legs below the knees, and nearly lost her daughter. And, in one day, nearly 4,000 people donated more than $250,000 to support them. They seemed to be saying, through their gifts, “Please do this for me too if anything should ever happen to me or my family.”

AC360: Mother lost legs, daughter nearly died in bombing

As a chaplain, I’m struggling to make sense of this tragedy just like any other member of the clergy. And like faith communities across the country, the thousands of people I work with are doing what needs to be done when tragedy strikes close to home. We’re offering one another comfort. We’re calling around to the point of exhaustion, trying to figure out who needs help and how we can provide it.

The only difference is, we are a community of atheists — a congregation of Humanists.

You’ve probably read the statistics: With 18% of the nation’s population now nonreligious, America is less religious today than ever before. This especially applies to young Americans, up to a third of whom now have no religion. That number may be closer to half on many of the college campuses throughout Boston, like the one where I work.

What you may not have noticed, however, is that in addition to the religiously unaffiliated, or “nones” as sociologists have taken to calling them, a new and very significant group of Americans has been emerging — the nonreligiously affiliated. Relatively quietly, many thousands of mostly young Americans who identify as atheists and agnostics have been coming together to form civically active, thoughtful secular community groups that now dot nearly our whole nation.

Sometimes you hear about the debates these groups hold with religious leaders. But while Richard Dawkins and the like are eloquent and controversial speakers on behalf of atheism, most such debates are actually organized by religious organizations. The vast majority of what Humanist and secular communities do is positive, uncontroversial and entirely American. We serve. We meet throughout the year. We help one another raise good kids. We celebrate life, and we grieve death.

So I don’t relish the opportunity — or the need — to say that right now, our community is grieving too, just like any other Boston-area congregation. Boston, in fact, is home to one of the biggest secular/Humanist/atheist/nonreligious communities in the world. (Sure, we don’t know what to call ourselves. But then again neither does the LGBT — or is it GLBT? — or LGBTQ? — community, and that hasn’t stopped them from thriving.) We meet every week. We’re getting ready to open up a large community center. We sponsor service programs where we invite interfaith groups to help us package thousands of meals for hungry kids. You can even join us this Sunday: We’ll be marking our losses together in a memorial gathering.

What is so disappointing to see people do, then, is blame the horrific and traumatizing events of this Monday on the godless, or on godlessness, as way too many on Twitter and elsewhere have been doing. As one young woman in our community said to me, “It’s hard enough to deal with senseless grief, but when people write things like 'Why do people have to be so godless to want to kill innocent people?' it makes me feel like I’m not safe either, like we’re being singled out for prejudice.”

Obviously when people say “I’ll pray for you” or “May God grant you strength,” they’re only expressing their own sincere convictions. But while not everyone holds those same beliefs, we all want to be acknowledged in a way that feels right to us.

And when political leaders like Gov. Deval Patrick or President Obama try to make sense of these moments by assembling interfaith services, it is admirable — far better for a politician to bring different religions together than to only recognize one religion’s view of loss as valid. But for goodness' sake, must the nonreligious continue to be excluded from such gatherings? I’ve seen Humanists knock on the door recently at the interfaith celebrations of political conventions, or after tragedies like Hurricane Sandy or Newtown. We wanted to help and were turned away. I hope this is where people realize: We are part of the community too. We care and want to offer our support just as much as anyone. We, too, are in shock and grief.

Secular people place our faith in the human ability to value life over death. We believe in committing ourselves to love and care and help as indiscriminately as possible, because that is what makes our lives worthwhile. We try our best, despite our doubt, to ensure that the good will that comes from tragedy will ultimately exceed the bad.

All that said, I don’t have a clue what Celeste’s beliefs are, and I don’t care. I just hope she and Sydney and everyone else injured get well. After all, would you believe for a second that every Christian pastor knows whether or not every visitor to his or her congregation truly believes in the Ascension? Nor should they. The point of a congregation, to me, is just to care about the people in it, and better yet, to help bring people together to care about one another. Our community is including everyone, religious or not, in our thoughts and hopes at this tough time. It would mean a lot to us if others do the same.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Uncategorized

soundoff (3,411 Responses)
  1. barfly

    there is no god or gods, simple

    April 18, 2013 at 12:04 pm |
    • AL_X_ander

      what makes you so sure?
      I cannot concieve how even in evolutionary theories man comes to exist. Even if we did evolve from empty matter and space.. how did the space come to be? why was matter just there??, Why evolve? what are we becoming? its inexplicable, illogical and quite frankly incomprehinsible.
      One could make the same case for God, How did he come to be? How does he just exist? where did it start? I beleive it's beyond ANY mans logic to be able to explain this.
      What we do know is we are both here now, thinking breathing, living beings. In my opinion.. too majestic, too deliberate, too Meticulously arranged to have happened by chance. I do believe there is A God. not Gods. just one. And we will all meet him one day. Read the bible. Believe it, do what is says, if it proves untrue and completely false. (without being misinterpreted) Proclaim it to the world. You will be the first.

      April 18, 2013 at 2:49 pm |
    • Me

      @AL
      M-threoy that is how the universe was made.

      "that which can be asserted with no evidence maybe rejected with no evidence" – Christopher Hitchens

      April 18, 2013 at 3:15 pm |
    • Ned

      There's no god but there is a multiverse we can't prove and life originated out of nothing and grew legs and walked out of the water and eventually became a species of intelligent dreamers who now believe in God all thanks to laws that no one created which selects advantagous mutations and ignorantly guides species higher and higher up the ladder with no point to it.

      I'm being sarcastic.

      April 18, 2013 at 4:58 pm |
    • Wow

      @Al: Years ago people could not conceive the world was round, or the earth revolved around the sun so they made up fairy tales to explain what they couldn't understand. Such as a greek god pulling the sun across the sky.

      Today's religion does the exact same thing it makes up fairy tales to try and explain things we are still unable to comprehend. That does not mean there is an imaginary god who will listen to tim teebo's prayed about a football game while millions of children die every year of starvation. it just means there are still facts about the world we live that we can not grasp.

      April 18, 2013 at 6:09 pm |
  2. Universe

    Islamic scripture (Quran says)

    “The life of this world is no more than illusion and vanity, while the abode of the Hereafter is far better for the righteous. Do you not understand?! [6:32]

    “They do not value God as He should be valued. God is the Most Powerful, the Almighty.”[22:74]

    “If you obey the majority of people on earth, they will divert you from the path of God. They follow only conjecture; they only guess.” [Quran 6:116]

    “They say , "We live only this life; we will not be resurrected. If you could only see them when they stand before their Lord! He would say, "Is this not the truth?" They would say, "Yes, by our Lord." He would say, "You have incurred the retribution by your disbelief." [6:30]

    “Recall that your Lord said to the angels, "I am placing a representative on Earth." They said, "Will You place therein one who will spread evil therein and shed blood, while we sing Your praises, glorify You, and uphold Your absolute authority?" He said, "I know what you do not know." [2:30]

    “They even attribute to Him sons and daughters, without any knowledge. Be He glorified. He is the Most High, far above their claims.” Quran [6:100]

    “The example of Jesus, as far as GOD is concerned, is the same as that of Adam; He created him from dust, then said to him, "Be," and he was.” Quran [3:59]

    It does not befit God that He begets a son, be He glorified. To have anything done, He simply says to it, "Be," and it is. [19:35]

    “Losers indeed are those who disbelieve in meeting God, until the Hour comes to them suddenly, then say, "We deeply regret wasting our lives in this world." They will carry loads of their sins on their backs; what a miserable load! [6:31]

    Thanks for taking time to read my post. Please take a moment to visit whyIslam org website.

    April 18, 2013 at 11:59 am |
    • Bob

      Universe,

      The real losers are people who waste their lives worshiping a non existent deity. And, of course those who KILL INNOCENT PEOPLE in the name of that deity.

      April 18, 2013 at 12:29 pm |
    • knowmoststuff

      And they say we are weird.

      April 18, 2013 at 6:05 pm |
  3. Mary P

    Too many people confuse spirituality with religious. I'm a Deist. Essentially, I don't believe in miracles. I believe in the human spirit, I believe that there is a God out there somewhere but I don't subscribe to any man's version of it. It is something bigger than we comprehend. I don't believe in Hell – if a God is merciful and we are created like him, why would he subject us to an eternity of misery?

    In any event – those who commit these crimes ARE "godless" even if they "believe". I'd rather call them spirtualless. No one, who is spiritual or subscribes to a merciful God could ever sensibly interpret that he meant for us to maim and kill.

    April 18, 2013 at 11:57 am |
    • Mary P

      And just because I think those who are spiritualless or Godless ARE those who commit these crimes, it does not mean that all do commit crimes.

      All thumbs are fingers, not all fingers are thumbs.

      April 18, 2013 at 11:59 am |
    • whispersd

      Au contraire, it is very likely that the people committed these crimes are not, in fact, "godless". The fact that their form of worship may not comport to what you think is the only admissible types of worship is quite irrelevant. You are not the arbiter of whether a person believes in a god or not. Belief in god has not prevented humans from committing all sorts of atrocities over the years.
      The "nae true Scotsman" argument is just a bit too convenient.

      April 18, 2013 at 12:16 pm |
    • Mary P

      So your argument is that because it's happened before, it's legitimate that they are not Godless? And you ridicule my argument? By your theory, we are all excused from being murderers because someone has murdered before. I stand by my argument that anyone with an understanding that any God above them whom they worship for whatever reason would command them to maim anyone and everyone for any "convenient" reason cannot possibly believe in someone bigger than themselves or it would humble them. Not even caring whom they hurt, possibly their fellow believers or even Priests, Rabbi's, Clerics – whatever formal name for anyone "above" them in the chain of religion could fall too. Anyone killing in the name of religion is absurd, in ANY religion.

      Then again, I also believe that anyone who sits around listing out what they think is in some list of arguments to negate them instead of having an independent and intelligent though has no brain of their own so... it's merely a simpleton attempt to label and negate any position without having to actually do any real work.

      April 18, 2013 at 12:33 pm |
    • Mary P

      Oh and if you want me to list out those that apply to your simpleton response, I could go with false analogy, hasty generalization, and perhaps the most apropos, thought terminating cliche. My argument did not include whether THEY believed in God, but rather that they are Godless to be willing to hurt their own without permission for what they deem the "greater good of the religion". It is not subjective in that the top 10 monotheistic religions, all command those not to kill the ones who are above them in the chain. That's their own rules – this includes Catholicism – or really blanket Christianity – Judaism, Mormons, Jehovah's Witnesses, and so on and so on.

      April 18, 2013 at 12:42 pm |
    • there'shope

      Mary P, with all due respect, GOD does not send no one to hell, he never has and never will. You send yourself by rejecting his way, which is through his son JESUS CHRIST, who is GOD himself. The one who suffered and died on the CROSS for everyone. The TRINITY 3 IN 1, GOD the FATHER, GOD the SON and GOD the HOLY SPIRIT. I do not judge no one, the SPIRIT OF GOD is the one who reveals the truth of GOD to anyone who by FAITH will believe, repent and confess that JESUS is LORD. Anyone who has not done that is blinded to the TRUTH, they cannot understand the SPIRITUAL TRUTHS of GOD. I know from experience, i was blinded most of my life, until i fell on my knees and ask for forgiveness of my sins and by FAITH accepted CHRIST as my PERSONAL SAVIOR. You see it's all about FAITH with GOD. I am still a sinner, but now i'm a sinner saved by GRACE and GRACE alone. All these negative comments about GOD and people who believe in GOD on this site do not offend me at all, you see GOD still loves everyone the same, and there is nothing no one can do to stop that. Who are we but a bunch of ignorant puny humans to think we would no more than our CREATOR. People can reject mock and make fun all they want, but when they draw their last breath of life, then they will know for sure, but it's sad to say it will be too late then.

      April 18, 2013 at 9:56 pm |
  4. Dave8582

    Ah, the mysteries of god! The innocent are maimed and killed. Certainly, god is no respecter of children.

    Sometimes, it is hard to believe that an all loving, all powerful, god exists.

    *sigh*

    Cheers!

    April 18, 2013 at 11:56 am |
  5. Non-theist

    Apparently, there persists a significant misunderstanding as to what Atheists believe and don't believe. I'm an atheist. I simply do not believe that God is real anymore than I believe that Santa, Thor or Superman are real. When I entertain this non-belief, I don't drool, hyperventilate or do/think anything else. I simply do not belief that God is real just as most Christians don't believe that Zeus is real. It's just that simple, non-emotional and clinical. Such non-belief has absolutely nothing to do with sympathy, empathy, morality or ethics. When I read that polls show that a smaller percentage of people would vote for an atheist as President than would vote for a member of other minority groups, it's just mind boggling in the 21st century. I cannot believe that so many of us are just that stupid.

    April 18, 2013 at 11:54 am |
    • whispersd

      To a great extent, religions have always thrived on exaggerated fears of the Other. And few things are more destabilizing to many people than a simple statement of disagreement.

      April 18, 2013 at 12:13 pm |
    • Me

      That is how I try to explane it to my crazy neighbor (yes he is crazy he thinks WW3 is coming any day), I tell him Santa is not real, ergo "god". I keep my atheism to my self but he's the one that keeps picking on me, that's "real Christain" of him.

      April 18, 2013 at 3:28 pm |
    • knowmoststuff

      I don't think they are that stupid, they just all want to be right and if they get a lot of people to agree with them then they are right. If their person is running for president and that person is elected then they are right. Being right is the most important thing to them.

      April 18, 2013 at 6:09 pm |
  6. Hurting

    Pain is universal and people with religious leaning do not have a copyright for showing compassion. This world would be such a nice place to live and enjoy if people from every background are valued for their opinion and comments.

    April 18, 2013 at 11:51 am |
  7. Davo

    Great. Another article from an atheist or agnostic complaining about being "persecuted", and I'm not sure the Boston Marathon is the right venue to push your agenda. Frankly my friend most folks don't care what you do or what you believe. I think it's great your following your dream of non-belief, but I can't bring myself to care.

    Just like I really don't care about what goes on at our Local Shriners club. I can appreciate their right to where funny hats and drive little cars around a parade, but that's about all I can muster in the way of caring.

    My advice to all of you atheists: tone it down a bit. The fervor of the movement smacks of hypocracy, it also is starting to oddly resemble an evangelical religious movement bent on aquring more and more power, control and money.

    April 18, 2013 at 11:48 am |
    • Megan

      Amen.

      April 18, 2013 at 11:50 am |
    • DaveinFlorida

      Tone it down atheists? Lol, pretty sure I've never had any atheists knocking on my door interrupting my weekend trying to sell their religion.

      April 18, 2013 at 11:54 am |
    • Jack

      Frankly, I've always thought that the mainstream media's version of atheism, which includes all of their organizations and those in them who rage loudly and always make the news, are much more like Westboro Baptist Church - intolerant, hateful, and bullying.

      April 18, 2013 at 11:55 am |
    • derp

      "are much more like Westboro Baptist Church – intolerant, hateful, and bullying"

      Yes of course, Atheist groups are always protesting at funerals.

      And christian groups never condemn others for their differing religious beliefs of innate se xu ality.

      That stuff never happens.

      Morons.

      April 18, 2013 at 11:59 am |
    • Jack

      @DaveinFlorida: Nope. They just rent buses and billboards and take out newspaper ads that bully, ridicule and condemn Christianity. No other faith or people, by the way, just Christianity. These hypocritical, intolerant, hate-speech screaming atheists demand tolerance, equal rights and to be accepted and yet their WHOLE purpose is not to live without God, but to silence Christians and eliminate Christianity altogether.

      April 18, 2013 at 12:00 pm |
    • Human

      You make no sense. Power, control and money from what? There is no organization. Just humanity without derisive affiliation. It's time organized religion got out of the the con game of trying to sell innate human behavior to the gullible. Whose profited from this particular fundraiser other than its intended recipients? No gold chalices, marble thrones, silk robes or crystal castles are needed for people to simply help people.

      April 18, 2013 at 12:01 pm |
    • Jack

      @derp: It's exactly the same thing. Westboro (who are NOT Christian, by the way) picket funerals to spread their hate. Atheists do it on billboards and the sides of buses. These atheist groups are only about one thing. Silencing Christians and eliminating Christianity altogether.

      April 18, 2013 at 12:02 pm |
    • Keith

      Yeah, they need to "tone it down" a bit. They're starting to sound a bit uppity! How dare they not want to be lumped in with the "godless" who performed this horrific act!

      April 18, 2013 at 12:03 pm |
    • Davo

      To be completely truthful, I'm Catholic and could care less what your beliefs are. Really I don't care. If you believe in god – that's great! If not, more power to ya buddy!

      Now to your point. Are the Latter Day Saints ringing my doorbell on Saturday an annoyance? Sure. Is the gigantic Atheism billboard about my religion being a "fairy tale" a half block down from our Catholic Church annoying? Yes.

      Are you catching my drift yet?

      April 18, 2013 at 12:04 pm |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      Poor Davo doesn't care....but his post proves otherwise.

      There is real marginalization going on, people loose friends, family ect. just because they don't believe in a god. There are still laws on the books discriminating against non-believers. You may not think it is a big deal because it doesn't affect you, but it affects many people unnecessarily.

      April 18, 2013 at 12:05 pm |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      Davo,

      I challenge you to drive around and count the messages that are pro-religious vs pro-atheist....it's not even close.

      April 18, 2013 at 12:07 pm |
    • lol??

      wiki, ".....Phelps is a disbarred lawyer, founder of the Phelps Chartered law firm, and a former civil rights activist. A member of the Democratic Party, he has occasionally run for political office. In the election for United States Senator for Kansas in 1992, he received 49,416 votes (30.8%) in the Democratic primary....." A socie attorney finally went and DONED DID IT. He started his own church like they always threaten to do. Blame those Christians.

      April 18, 2013 at 12:08 pm |
    • My advice to all of you atheists: tone it down a bit.

      Isn’t that what they said to blacks in the 60’s?

      April 18, 2013 at 12:10 pm |
    • Truth Prevails :-)

      Actually Jack the main reason Christianity is picked on is because it is in everyone's face and tries to dictate how people should live. If we were in an Islamic country, it would be a different belief system trying to dictate but in America it is christianity. Atheists are coming out and speaking to give us a voice and hope that people see facts vs fiction as the way to live. You get your churches (and a great many billboards and other propaganda). When christianity backs off and starts to respect all others we'll back off also, until then we'll be out speaking spreading the facts and saving one young mind at a time.

      April 18, 2013 at 12:12 pm |
    • Science

      By the way Davo that is an issue , the fairy in the sky and the RCC ..............there is no fairy !

      Go read article about the RCC and reform !

      April 18, 2013 at 12:13 pm |
    • Sean

      You mean like all of the religious organizations trying to pass laws and legislate morality based on their particular fairy tale? Or maybe like the religious organizations telling everyone else how to live their lives and who they can love? Like waking people up at inappropriate hours on the weekend to try to get them to join their tax free money farm? Or maybe you mean pedophiles being sheltered from the law and shuffled around the world in an effort to hide them from prosecution while allowing them to continue to abuse children? And while we're talking about children, what about the borderline abuse called childhood indoctrination, convincing children everywhere that if they misbehave or don't pretend to love an invisible, intangible, imaginary fairy who sacrificed himself to himself to save everyone from himself, that they will spend all eternity burning in a fiery pit of torture and pain (but only because their fairy sky daddy really loves them and cares about them)?

      Yeah. Atheists definitely need to tone it down a bit... *sigh*

      April 18, 2013 at 12:18 pm |
    • Lucifer's Evil Twin

      you err. the billboards are against christians, judaism, islam the easter bunny and santa claus...

      Also, if I have to endure your multiple insipid jesus signs, at every freakin church, everytime I drive anywhere in VA, then you can put up with "one" of our billboards...

      April 18, 2013 at 12:20 pm |
    • DrJStrangepork

      Good to see your "tolerance" is showing again.

      April 18, 2013 at 12:21 pm |
    • lol??

      Why don't you socies tell the gubmint to get out of the divorce business of coming between a man and himself? Nah, yer too busy tellin' the man to go __________ himself, which married people do routinely anyway.

      April 18, 2013 at 12:23 pm |
    • WASP

      @davo: christianmengel.com need i say more? every ten minutes that bs is on the tv. kindof a duh thing, if you want to marry christian then just go to church why broadcast it on media networks?
      christian tour buses, christian billboards, christian everything everywhere and you're upset over atheists having a couple billboards?
      oh, yeah last point: who are you to say westboro church isn't christian? are you and god that close that he told you they weren't?
      nope? didn't think so.

      April 18, 2013 at 12:48 pm |
    • lol??

      wasp sayz, ".......who are you to say westboro church isn't christian?...." Some biker gangs confirmed my hunch after lookin' at their fruits.

      April 18, 2013 at 1:23 pm |
    • knowmoststuff

      I take it back, some are just plain stupid!! Jack for one.

      April 18, 2013 at 6:12 pm |
    • Rick

      I would love to tone it down, how about you tone down controlling who can or can not marry because a fictional book says so? How about you tone down making people swear on a fictional book they don't believe in? Can you imagine if you were forced to swear on a Qur'an in order to get your job?

      How about you tone down religion writing our laws, judging our people, controlling our social programs and restricting my rights? The day your religion does not effect my daily life is the day I will never bring it up again.

      April 18, 2013 at 6:12 pm |
    • Meh

      So I spotted a "no true scotsman" in there... anyone keeping score for the logical fallacy bingo card?

      April 18, 2013 at 6:16 pm |
  8. Mark

    No one cares! Stop using a tragedy to plug youself!
    Religion is inherently evil as an organization despite the fact that many believers are genuine and the fact that you're creating a religion out of secular nonsense attempting to mimic a real religion just makes you the worst of the worst (like Scientology).

    You can argue about the existence of God or the reliability of evolutionary science, or the correct interpretation of the bible or whether there even is one.
    What you can't argue with is that an atheist has absolutely no real comfort to offer anyone with regards to their dead loved ones or the future just like morphine offers no real comfort to someone laying in a hospital bed dying of terminal cancer!

    April 18, 2013 at 11:48 am |
    • whispersd

      Few things are more insulting to atheists than to tell them that they are really creating a religion.

      Um, no, we're not. And really, if you think that any collection of humans must be a religion, that tells us something about you. Exactly what, I'm not sure, but it speaks to a lack of imagination. It'd be like a baseball fan thinking that, well, you must be a sports fan of some sort if you don't like baseball.

      Can you not conceive of people sharing a mode of thought without actually being a religion? Does your own religion demand so little of you that you gather people simply by default?

      Sorry, "none of the above" isn't a religion.

      April 18, 2013 at 11:59 am |
    • Mark

      whispersd,
      are you a member of the group mentioned in the article? If you are then you should see they seem to be going out of their way to duplicate the structure of a religion even using the same t|tles.
      . If not then why are you saying "We" and acting like you speak for them?

      Did you even read the article? If you're just some highschool dropout living in his moms basement and your only involvement with the atheist movement is on the internet then I don't think you should be replying to my post on behalf of these people thanks.

      April 18, 2013 at 12:19 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      @Mark,

      "No one cares! Stop using a tragedy to plug youself"

      Did you post the same thing on Tuesday when Danielle Elizabeth Tumminio posted her "My Take: Light will conquer darkness in Boston"?

      http://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2013/04/16/my-take-light-will-conquer-darkness-in-boston/

      April 18, 2013 at 12:22 pm |
    • Truth Prevails :-)

      "What you can't argue with is that an atheist has absolutely no real comfort to offer anyone with regards to their dead loved ones"

      How exactly would you know what an Atheist has to offer someone in times like these? We offer words of comfort, respect, a helping hand...no lying to them about something that will never happen, no giving them false hope.

      April 18, 2013 at 12:26 pm |
    • Sean

      @Mark
      "What you can't argue with is that an atheist has absolutely no real comfort to offer anyone with regards to their dead loved ones or the future just like morphine offers no real comfort to someone laying in a hospital bed dying of terminal cancer."

      Actually, Mark, atheists have far more "real comfort" to offer to people who are suffering. Compassion, love, and support for the living as opposed to fairy tales and promises about an afterlife that have absolutely no basis in reality. Atheists provide comfort and support to the survivors even if that means sharing the hard truth that a loved one has died. Believers prefer to tell them lies and hope that it makes them feel better, instead of dealing with the grief and coming to terms with the facts.

      April 18, 2013 at 12:29 pm |
    • And then there is Christianity

      Which provides nothing but false hope and lies and then passes a collection plate around

      April 18, 2013 at 12:34 pm |
    • Hello, It's Logic.

      Comfort an Atheist might offer.
      "We're doing everything we can."
      "We care about you and will be here for you no matter what."
      "Your pain will end."
      "We will never forget you."
      "We love you and will do everything we can."

      I'd say that's a pretty good start. It sure beats lying to people and feeding them a truck-load of BS..
      "You're going to be magically whisked away to a land in the clouds, where winged eunuchs fly around playing your favorite music on trumpets, and your favorite food will instantly materialize in front of you whenever you think about it, and there's this 40ft tall magic bearded man whom you have never met but he loves you and will watch over you and give you everything you need and it isn't at all creepy for some reason, and you'll get to do whatever your heart desires, even ride a unicorn!"

      But you know, if an Atheist wanted to lie, there's nothing stopping them from telling someone about heaven. They simply don't because they're more moral and honest than that. I mean, really, what kind of piece of feculent slime lies to a dying person?

      April 18, 2013 at 12:40 pm |
    • Mark

      Comforting people without religious ideology does not require a seperate religion with a chaplain you complete |id|ots!
      Over the years they've gradually put more and more chemicals in soap. This one makes your skin tingle, this one makes you smell good, this one has wrinkle reducing ointment.
      The truth is that by now they probably all just cause cancer. So if suddenly some company decided to make soap that had no chemicals in it I would prefer they just called it SOAP plain and simple rather then refer to it as "hypoallergenic pure specialty soap" and charge a fortune for it.

      Does anyone understand what I'm saying here?
      We need another religion like we need another meteor to hit the earth. If you don't want to believe in God or religious dogma then please do not try to package it as something special and sell it to the public as a religion!

      April 18, 2013 at 12:54 pm |
    • Saraswati

      @Mark, it depends what you think the role of a "religion" (or ethical organization or whatever) is. There are real benefits emotionally to people from having a community, socially from having a group of people with some shared values to do charity work, and intellectually for people who have finished college to continue discussing idea. If people want to join a humanist or Unitarian organization to do these things I say great.

      April 18, 2013 at 12:58 pm |
    • Mark

      If people who actually lost someone in the Boston attack request that an atheist champlain come to comfort them then by all means go for it. This sounds more to me like no one asked and they're just hoping for a free plug on the backs of the victims. More proof that they do have plenty in common with organized religion.

      April 18, 2013 at 1:06 pm |
    • Rick

      We offer practical ACTUAL help not imaginary prayers that will do nothing. Atheists donate to save starving children while wing nuts like you pray for a fairy to come down and feed them all.

      April 18, 2013 at 6:14 pm |
  9. Jack

    Nobody said the godless don't, and aren't, mourning. It's just that the majority of people DO have a religious faith of some kind and are expressing it (as is their freedom to do so). Nobody is stopping the faithless or godless in expressing their grief, are they? Then again, they're only purpose is to bash, condemn, be intolerant of, bully and harass Christians and their God. No other religion or people... just Christianity. THAT is American Atheism - it's not anti-God as much as it is anti-Christianity.

    April 18, 2013 at 11:46 am |
    • whispersd

      Who's bashing now?

      April 18, 2013 at 11:56 am |
    • Norm

      Jack, I find your response to be very one sided. Christian groups are constantly complaining about being persecuted and they have a huge lobby within the government to promote their own particular moral belief system, and I might add, make laws that force their own belief system on others. If you'd like, I can list many episodes of interference by Christians on people, thru the government that force others to subjugate themselves to Christianity. What we need from the government is a neutral position that allows folks to have their own beliefs or not. The word atheist is just a word, and means that someone doesn't believe in a particular form of theism, which conversely means belief in a god, not any one god in particular. I promise not to try and change your mind if you don't try and change mine! Peace on you brother.

      April 18, 2013 at 12:01 pm |
    • derp

      "it's not anti-God as much as it is anti-Christianity"

      Wrong again idiot.

      We think the muslims and jews are just as delusional as the christians, and any other ancient myth worshippers.

      Nice attempt at yet another claim of false christian persecution.

      April 18, 2013 at 12:01 pm |
    • sam stone

      American Atheists have also criticized Judaism and Islam

      April 18, 2013 at 12:01 pm |
    • marinela

      Jack , this kind of tragedy is what convinced me that there is not God,! I respect everybody belifs , I feel for this people a big pain in my heart, for this little boy that had his life finish so soon,I for this non sense killing I said to the family I'm with you, I will hug you, confort you but I can't not said like most religius people said "there is a reason for this" I never understand how can they said that , what will be the good reason for a God for let this happen,!

      April 18, 2013 at 12:03 pm |
    • Jack

      @whispersd - Where am I bashing? I've given straight facts. I've not called names or been rude. Everything I said just plain fact. I've exposed their hypocrisy. All without calling any names.

      April 18, 2013 at 12:04 pm |
    • kenny

      nah... we are just anti-fairy tale... like praying to help boston people instead of actually doing something that helps. religion is a cop-out from reality. Bad things happen, pray about it, and be happy that you'll have paradise forever so don't bother trying to change the world for the better since its only temporary and suffering is part of gods plan....

      April 18, 2013 at 12:07 pm |
    • Nii

      it's not anti-God as much as it is anti-Christianity.

      It's more pro-fact, or pro-reality

      April 18, 2013 at 12:25 pm |
  10. un

    It always makes me scratch my head a bit when athiests form a religion...

    April 18, 2013 at 11:45 am |
    • wordsmith321

      The fact that atheists are forming their own quasi-religious organizations reaffirms my belief that the instinct to create such groups goes beyond belief in God. It's an expression of our instinct to form tribes centered around a common identifier, for purposes of mutual defense and help. The dark side of this instinct is that it inspires us to take a club or a gun and do violence to those outside the tribe. "Religion" is not so much a set of beliefs as it is a sociological activity. Eliminate all faith in God and it will continue to thrive, both for humanity's good and ill.

      April 18, 2013 at 12:09 pm |
    • whispersd

      It always makes me scratch my head when a school of fish climb a mountain.

      April 18, 2013 at 12:10 pm |
    • Fred

      "It always makes me scratch my head when a school of fish climb a mountain."
      Apperantly not if you believe in evolution.

      April 18, 2013 at 1:34 pm |
  11. MickeyKingo

    @derp

    For what it's worth, and as an atheist, being told "God bless," or "I'll pray for you" (when not in a condescending manner) doesn't make me sad or creep me out. It's another person expressing compassion the way they feel fit. And if they are expressing this compassion towards me, it seems silly to disregard it because it's not in the package I would like. I don't believe in God, but I do believe that my "Take care," is coming from the same place of human compassion as their "God bless."

    April 18, 2013 at 11:45 am |
    • Jack

      I appreciate when atheists like yourself speak up. I know a lot of atheists like you who are kind, normal, and tolerant people. You allow others to live and express their beliefs and you just want the same courtesy.

      The battle that atheists AND Christians battle daily is that those who scream the loudest are the ones who make the news. The atheists who are intolerant and judgmental of Christians and their God are hypocritical and don't speak for every atheist, yet they're the ones who ALWAYS make the news.

      Same with Christianity. Not everyone who claims to be a Christian actually IS a Christian. It's not a decision, it's a lifestyle. I can wear an orange robe, chant, shave my head and call myself a hare krishna all day long. But, unless I'm LIVING OUT their beliefs, I'd be fake and damaging who they really are. It's the same with Christianity.

      April 18, 2013 at 11:51 am |
    • whispersd

      If somebody tells me "I'll pray for you" and that person knows that I'm an atheist, I would find it off-putting. But, to be honest, that's never happened. If a person says it while assuming I'm a Christian or some other religious person, I would not be offended at all. Do I want to get into an argument every time I sneeze?

      April 18, 2013 at 11:53 am |
    • Nii

      @Jack

      The part you’re missing Jack is that there are laws that impose the beliefs of the Abrahamic religions on all citizens. Believe me, if the situations were reversed and you were on receiving end, you’d probably get vocal about it also.

      April 18, 2013 at 12:35 pm |
  12. John

    I have always wondered, what does an atheist say to someone who just experienced a tragedy? I never doubt for a second that any human, theist or atheist doesn't have a heart or shouldn't care. Though it seems like there is no condolence to give to someone who just experienced tragedy, so is money just it?

    April 18, 2013 at 11:41 am |
    • Wendell

      John, as the article notes, emotions such as sadness are not the sole purview of religious nutjobs. In fact, religious belief detracts from emotional sincerity.

      Human ingenuity creates planes. Religion flies them into buildings.Free people exalt free thinkers. Religion burns free thinkers at the stake.

      April 18, 2013 at 11:47 am |
    • Tom

      "my condolences" or I am sorry for your loss". Just because we do not share a hope of an afterlife does not mean that we are without empathy or that we are incapable of sympathy. WE focus on trying to help those who have endured their loss, we give them support.

      April 18, 2013 at 11:47 am |
    • derp

      Yes of course, there is no possible way to express condolence other than to suggest that you will talk to the magic voices in your head on their behalf.

      I don't know if that philosophy is more narcissistic than it is stupid. It's probably a tie.

      April 18, 2013 at 11:47 am |
    • BRC

      John,
      I've always gone with "I'm sorry, I'm here for you, and is there anything I can do to help?" Why, what do you say?

      April 18, 2013 at 11:48 am |
    • LaWayne

      We say, "I am sorry for your loss/your accident/your difficult times, how can I help you."

      April 18, 2013 at 11:50 am |
    • Heath

      "I'm so sorry for your loss and I want to help you however I can"

      April 18, 2013 at 11:51 am |
    • sportznut

      They say the same exact thing a believer of one religion says to someone of a different one .... I am very sorry. I will bring your family dinner tomorrow. I will mow your lawn the next few weeks. I will watch your kids.

      April 18, 2013 at 11:53 am |
    • derp

      " Why, what do you say?"

      They love to say worthless drivel like, "I'll pray for you".

      Which if you think about it, means absolutely nothing. Pray what? that I fell better, that god will undue what happened, that I'll win the lottery.

      Just plain stupid.

      April 18, 2013 at 11:53 am |
    • Darrin

      I think a true understanding of our limited and temporary lives on this planet and the fact that we go back into the earth when we die, the star dust we are made of goes back into the cycle of life and our matter is reused. This is a happy thought that to me brings far greater joy than lying to myself or others about some invented afterlife where we give in to our selfish desires to see our loved ones again, because let's face it, it's the people left behind that suffer the loss and the loss they feel is completely and totally selfish in nature, we want more time with that person, we want them back for us, not for them. And to get them back and to make ourselves feel better about our selfishness we lie to ourselves about getting to see that person again, not to make them feel better wherever they are, but to make the ones left behind feel better.

      So which is truly more comforting? A basic truth about what we do know about ourselves and our universe? Or a complicated selfish lie that we have to maintain and pass on from one generation to the next just so we can deal with the loss of loved ones? I'll take the former thank you.

      April 18, 2013 at 11:54 am |
    • John

      Thanks for the input guys.

      To the snarky commenters who think my inquiry is of a religious or philosophical agenda your responses speak about your own character as a human, not as an atheist.

      April 18, 2013 at 11:58 am |
    • Doobs

      We say the same things that most people say. We don't say "It was god's will", "He/she is in heaven now" or "It's part of god's plan" to try and comfort someone who is facing tragic loss.

      The most difficult situation I ever faced was offering condolences to my friend's very Catholic mother when one of her sons committed suicide. She is inconsolable because she is sure he was in hell. One of her daughters is gay, and she thinks she is bound for hell too. Two decades later, her life is still devoid of meaning because of her devotion to her religion. Her religion offers her only pain. Yet she continues in it. It's like picking at a big hangnail that never heals.

      April 18, 2013 at 12:08 pm |
    • marinela

      you dont need to be belive in God to feel the pain , to have empaty , to hold the hand , to help, to care, you can be and do the same that everybody with any religion do, , is what humans do to other that count !

      April 18, 2013 at 12:10 pm |
    • Jesus freaker

      Is it better to hear "I'm sorry for your loss", "Is there anything I can do to help you at this time?" or would you rather hear "God needed them in heaven so he called them home". I have heard someone say the latter. The all powerful God needed them in heaven? What kind of crap is that? Here's another one, "It's God's plan". Would God mind explaining his plan and why taking a child's life is a good plan? Jeez!

      April 18, 2013 at 12:20 pm |
    • MonkeyMama

      "I'm so sorry, is there anything I can do to help?" "My thoughts are with you." "Here's a homemade meal. You might not feel like eating right now, but I want you to keep up your strength. I'll heat up some now for you, and we can just keep the rest in the freezer for later."

      Offering compassion, condolences and assistance are not the sole domain of the religious.

      April 18, 2013 at 2:46 pm |
    • Rick

      How about I'm sorry for your loss? Is there anything I can do to help? The only thing a christian can offer that an atheist can't is useless prayers and lies. An atheist typically will offer MORE ACTUAL hlp because they won't rely on some magical being to make everything all better.

      April 18, 2013 at 6:15 pm |
  13. cosmok

    Atheists use condescension and insults in ad campaigns targeted at people of faith and their religion, yet they want compassion and understanding for their non-religious beliefs from the same people they attack?

    April 18, 2013 at 11:39 am |
    • Red Dwarf

      And Christians are just so respectful of other peoples religions too like Islam and Hinduism. Christians are always using words that do not demean those other religions and views them with the same respect they show their own religion and their own God, right?...

      Oh, oh, what is that rafter doing in thine eye?...

      April 18, 2013 at 11:44 am |
    • kenny

      ... and calling us the devil or telling us to repent or burn in hell is the polite way xtians talk to non-believers????

      April 18, 2013 at 11:44 am |
    • Paul Necklin

      Exactly. Why would they want our compassion, when it is provoked by 'mythical' beliefs?

      April 18, 2013 at 11:45 am |
    • Mark Gerardy

      Just as you allege, you are doing yourself. Go look in a mirror and you will find the very ugliness that you assail against.

      April 18, 2013 at 11:45 am |
    • Tigg

      Better than bombs and bullets.

      April 18, 2013 at 11:46 am |
    • whispersd

      "Atheists use condescension and insults in ad campaigns targeted at people of faith and their religion, yet they want compassion and understanding for their non-religious beliefs from the same people they attack?"

      Over-generalize much?

      April 18, 2013 at 11:46 am |
    • Edward Wilson, Canada

      Believers do the same thing – they advertise their cause and criticize those who don't believe.

      April 18, 2013 at 11:46 am |
    • Lauradet

      The ads I've seen from Atheist use philosophical statements to get "others" to think about the fallacies of religion that's what philosophy is all about – getting man to think.

      April 18, 2013 at 11:46 am |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      How many times does one have to be told "you will burn in hell" before you get a reponse.

      Don't act like it is a one way street.

      April 18, 2013 at 11:48 am |
    • Isn’t that what Christians are supposed to do?

      Aren’t Christians supposed to specialize in giving “compassion and understanding” especially to their enemies?
      Personally, the only thing I want from theists is to stop trying to force their religion down everyone else’s throats

      April 18, 2013 at 11:49 am |
    • John

      I bleieve what cosmok is saying is what most people say. Your leader Dawkins is self promoting, religious bashing, uses you as a prop to make money off of. I have yet to met an atheist in conversation who wasn't snarky, bitter and hateful. Many of them can quote Dawkins word for word and not think for themselves. It appears that Atheism has replaced Islam for the most hateful ideologies, which replaced Christianity long ago. Yet you still do not see the fallacy of your ways, in all your own widsom, you still blindly follow hateful leaders that have transcended the ages in one form or another.

      April 18, 2013 at 11:51 am |
    • Jesus freaker

      Last year you sad that all gays should be locked up, and you're calling us condescending?

      April 18, 2013 at 11:56 am |
    • Darrin

      I'm an atheist and have never given a dime to Dawkins. I have donated to charities in my area as well as to doctors without borders. I used to give to my church weekly but after they spent nearly $7 billion paying off victims of their abuse I figured I would no longer support their prostltution ring where they pay for s e x, but only after they get caught...

      April 18, 2013 at 11:58 am |
    • LaWayne

      I've never insulted "christians" nor gone on a crusade against them. You on the other hand, have just done it.

      April 18, 2013 at 11:59 am |
    • fintastic

      "they want compassion and understanding for their non-religious beliefs from the same people they attack?"

      Here again, we have someone who is attempting to change the definition of a word to suit their needs... whatever that may be. Your statement make no sense whatsoever. What exactly do you mean by "non-religious beliefs"?? would that be belief in bigfoot? leprechauns?

      One more time for the ignorant..... Atheist = Lack of belief in god..... NO BELIEF IN GOD.... get it? and just an FYI, when you make ridiculous statements like that, you can expect to be "attacked".

      April 18, 2013 at 11:59 am |
    • sam stone

      And theists use arrogance and empty proxy threats

      April 18, 2013 at 12:03 pm |
    • whispersd

      " Your leader Dawkins is self promoting, religious bashing, uses you as a prop to make money off of."

      Yeah, um, atheism doesn't work that way. Dawkins isn't "our leader." He's not a priest. He's not a Grand Poobah or Viceroy or Lama or anything like that.

      As for making money off people, I suggest you switch on your TV set some Sunday morning to see who does that. Any charlatan can do that while avoiding taxes as long as he declares himself to be a minister.

      April 18, 2013 at 12:05 pm |
    • TravT

      Ad campaigns? I've never seen an athiest ad campaign. Could you provide a link?

      April 18, 2013 at 12:07 pm |
    • fintastic

      @john............... Really John? our "leader Dawkins"?? You must have pulled that out of your a$$ because it sure does stink like a lie. Who's your leader John? your invisible sky daddy jeebus? the non-existent fairytale god?

      "Yet you still do not see the fallacy of your ways"............. .. thanks for the comic relief John!

      and... one more time for the really ignorant........... atheist = lack of belief in god..... it's really that simple... nothing more.

      April 18, 2013 at 12:18 pm |
    • marinela

      I could not disagree more! I think atheist are the most tolerant people!

      April 18, 2013 at 12:31 pm |
    • MC

      ....And you religious folks are the nicest, sweetest, most respectable folks I am sure.....wink....wink...!

      April 18, 2013 at 4:30 pm |
  14. Kim

    Wow, I'm not surprised at the tacky comments. This is an excellent article and we need to remember there are those among us who may be deeply spiritual but not "religious" or even affiliated with a belief system. Everyone, EVERYONE should be included in any kind of "interfaith service".

    April 18, 2013 at 11:38 am |
  15. palintwit

    I won't be forming an opinion on the Boston bombing until I hear what Sarah Palin has to say. Afterall, she is my moral compass and my guiding light. I hope she is for you as well.

    April 18, 2013 at 11:38 am |
    • Lauradet

      Well, you must be waiting for hell to freeze. Oops, I forgot there is no such place.

      April 18, 2013 at 11:48 am |
    • Edward Wilson, Canada

      Palin, the dough-head, will blame this directly on Obama. She will go on TV and "demand" his resignation.

      April 18, 2013 at 11:49 am |
  16. HASSA

    It's a relgious service to honor God, and come together as a group of believers to share a moment of prayer together. I don't take issue that you are a non-believer, but nor should I be forced to not celebrate my own faith under a guide that it means I am not caring about your feelings.

    April 18, 2013 at 11:36 am |
  17. Paul Necklin

    Okay, atheists get sad too. Here's a hug {}. We'll ask Richard Dawkins to fly in and sign a few books too. Now can we get back to the still-bloody crime scene and investigation?

    April 18, 2013 at 11:35 am |
    • Al

      You're in the wrong section if you're looking for CSI. This is a belief blog. Go back to the CNN home page.

      April 18, 2013 at 11:46 am |
    • Patrick

      Thank you for saying this. I think it's a little tacky to make a plug for non-belief at the expense of those who died. All while saying "we care too". Guys, if you really want to care, then just care – don't turn someones tragedy into your advertisement.

      April 18, 2013 at 11:51 am |
    • whispersd

      " I think it's a little tacky to make a plug for non-belief at the expense of those who died. All while saying "we care too". Guys, if you really want to care, then just care – don't turn someones tragedy into your advertisement."

      But it's OK for theists to constantly say "we're praying for the victims" and thereby provide "advertisements" for whatever god they happen to worship?

      Or is this just some kind of double standard.

      The problem here is that this constant application of religious overtones to any event that might happen ends up dividing and excluding parts of the population. Sorry, but the US is not one congregation of people of identical beliefs. And yet when something like this happens, the majority belief system is quite happy to abuse its position of prominence to exalt itself.

      April 18, 2013 at 12:08 pm |
    • Paul Necklin

      Al, agreed it's not the CSI section. However, can anyone really care, this early, whether the feelings of people of a certain belief system are overlooked ceremonially? The perps are on the loose, legs are being sown-on or lopped-off as we speak, and this 'when do we get OUR day' diatribe is tagged on CNN's main web page. If there are atheists within the social sphere of those killed or maimed, I truly feel sorry for them, as well as their faith-based comrades. But this sappy blog is ill-placed in time and location. Yuck.

      April 18, 2013 at 12:10 pm |
    • DJ

      Boy, you must be a real joy to know.

      April 18, 2013 at 1:53 pm |
    • G to the T

      Paul – then you should be upset with the writer of this article, not the UU people just trying to help...

      April 18, 2013 at 1:59 pm |
    • Paul Necklin

      Sorry.

      April 18, 2013 at 4:35 pm |
  18. ed nelson

    what i see is jesus working through people who say they dont believe.god works in mysterious ways.keep the faith

    April 18, 2013 at 11:35 am |
    • Wendell

      So why didn't your Jeebus lift a friggin finger before the carnage happened, to stop it happening? Ed, you are a stupid, deluded fool.

      April 18, 2013 at 11:41 am |
    • Jesus freaker

      Good one. God also created medical science. He could have done it 2,000 yeas ago, but hey, what's the hurry?

      April 18, 2013 at 11:49 am |
    • Edward Wilson, Canada

      I agreed with Wendell 100 %. I thought God was supposed to "protect?" Nonsense.

      April 18, 2013 at 11:51 am |
    • sam stone

      you are delusional, ed

      April 18, 2013 at 12:05 pm |
    • Truth Prevails :-)

      "god works in mysterious ways"

      So mysterious that everything it apparently does has a direct correlation to something done by the hands of man or a natural process within our universe.
      Just because you failed science class Ed doesn't mean your god is real.

      April 18, 2013 at 12:30 pm |
    • Paul Necklin

      Sorry you had to witness your grandmother being sucked into that jet engine. I know it was traumatic, but you can't conclude from that incident that there is no God. You don't have the infinite knowledge required to make such an audacious claim, just some bad personal experience, with a touch of faux-intellectual rebellion.

      April 18, 2013 at 12:31 pm |
    • Rick

      What I see is good kind hearted people doing good things because it is the right thing to do, NOT because some magical being is threatening them with eternal torture if they don't do what he says.

      April 18, 2013 at 6:16 pm |
  19. kenny

    You can't fix crazy or stupid. Lots of things can make you crazy and/or stupid. Religion is one of them.

    April 18, 2013 at 11:35 am |
    • NorthVanCan

      Don't need to pour gas on the flames with mythical nonsense and the promise of virgins either.

      April 18, 2013 at 11:46 am |
  20. NorthVanCan

    Isn't the suicide bombing community entirely faith based?

    April 18, 2013 at 11:34 am |
    • Paul Necklin

      Yes, but not all faith-based folks are suicide bombers. Such as faith-based organizations that respond to crises like this, while you and I eat chips and mini-blog. Also, this was not a suicide bombing.

      April 18, 2013 at 11:42 am |
    • Jack

      Sneaky, underhanded, veiled insult. My. How tolerant and politically correct are you?! Isn't that what you non-religious people demand? Tolerance and acceptance of every person and every lifestyle? Hypocrite. Islam uses suicide bombers. Not Christianity. HUGE difference. Their god is not the Christian God of the Bible, for example.

      April 18, 2013 at 11:43 am |
    • whispersd

      Jack, I fail to see why suicide bombing is a more heinous crime than bombing where the bomber does not die himself. And there's no shortage of bombing done by Christians (or Muslims or atheists, or really almost any other religious group, Quakers and some others excepted.)
      And please, don't generalize. There is no single defining atheist point-of-view.

      April 18, 2013 at 11:49 am |
    • derp

      "Islam uses suicide bombers. Not Christianity. HUGE difference"

      Yes, this is true. Christian terrorists leave the bomb and detonate it from far away.

      They are not suicide bombers.

      April 18, 2013 at 11:50 am |
    • Wendell

      No, Jack. Kenny's question seems sincere and valid. Furthermore, it does behoove us to ask what intent is behind this horrid bombing, so that we can best work to prevent such a horror from happening again.

      Also, Christianity is directly responsible for similar horrors in the past. Surely you are aware of that? If not, your favorite search engine could be of use.

      April 18, 2013 at 11:52 am |
    • sam stone

      jack: are you familiar with the story of isaac and ismael?

      April 18, 2013 at 12:07 pm |
    • Alan

      Yep Jack, you are right, No suicide bombers here, just Christians who shoot and bomb innocent people. They include domestic terrorists; Michael F. Griffin, Reverend Paul Jennings Hill, John Salvi, Ted" Kaczynski, Eric Rudolph, James Kopp, Lucas John Helder, Jim David Adkisson; Scott Roeder, Kyle Shaw, James Wenneker von Brunn, Andrew Joseph Stack, Wade Michael Page, and who can forget Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols. All Terrorists all murderers.

      April 18, 2013 at 12:15 pm |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.