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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. faith

    "Terry
    God is the biggest mass murderer of all time, but Christians say it's okay because he made us his children, so he get's to decide to abort or not. I guess Christians are Pro-choice..."

    awww. somebody don't like god. poor baby. get over it.

    April 20, 2013 at 5:41 pm |
    • faith

      listen here bird brain, dottie, you go make your own universe if you don't like this one. quit your cryin. man, these little atheists cry poor me all the time.

      boo hoo.

      April 20, 2013 at 5:43 pm |
    • Observer

      The Bible says that when God got done TORTUROUSLY MURDERING people, there were ONLY EIGHT left.

      April 20, 2013 at 5:47 pm |
    • faith

      u don't see wonderful christians beotchin all day. we're tough. god sends rain on you nasty disgusting filthy immoral violent hateful stupid undeserving sick atheists and on wonderful, kind, thoughtful, generous, good, decent christians, u idiots! duh

      cry me a river, whiners

      April 20, 2013 at 5:48 pm |
    • Care Beeful

      Yeah, @Terry (whoever the heck that is), you have to be careful to specify your in your comments "this alleged "God" character"; otherwise the believers think that you really believe but just don't like the dude. They are quite easily confused, you know...

      April 20, 2013 at 5:50 pm |
    • Observer

      "nasty disgusting filthy immoral violent hateful stupid undeserving sick atheists"

      Great example of another HYPOCRITE who pretends the GOLDEN RULE doesn't exist. No wonder Christians get such a bad name at time.

      April 20, 2013 at 5:52 pm |
    • faith

      "missObserver
      The Bible says that when God got done TORTUROUSLY MURDERING people, there were ONLY EIGHT left."

      honey, just wait until he gets through with his creation and oddly u seem to think u r gonna escape his wrath. lol. good luck with that.

      oh, that's right. u don't believe god keeps his word. (big mistake dottie)

      April 20, 2013 at 5:53 pm |
    • Doobs

      What part of Terry's post is incorrect?

      Your god murdered every man, woman, child, infant and animal on the planet save eight.

      Christians on this forum have stated that god is justified as our "creator" to kill us if he wishes.

      What part of the Reply function do you not understand?

      April 20, 2013 at 5:56 pm |
    • faith

      Observer
      "nasty disgusting filthy immoral violent hateful stupid undeserving sick atheists"
      Great example of another HYPOCRITE who pretends the GOLDEN RULE doesn't exist. No wonder Christians get such a bad name at time. lol, moron

      ain't it special when infidels think they r using scripture to rebuke christians. u is dumb, dots, and stupid

      btw, where is that golden rule found, john 16 vs 55?

      April 20, 2013 at 5:57 pm |
    • Care Beeful

      @faith,
      " just wait until he gets through with his creation and oddly u seem to think u r gonna escape his wrath. lol. good luck with that."

      That's quite a little monster you've got there, kid. What evidence do you have that u r gonna escape his wrath? good luck with that.

      April 20, 2013 at 5:58 pm |
    • Observer

      faith,

      Since you obviously don't believe in it or have read it:

      – Matthew 7:12 "Treat others as you want them to treat you. THIS IS WHAT THE LAW AND THE PROPHETS ARE ALL ABOUT.”

      Don't talk about it when you don't have a clue "WHAT THE LAW AND THE PROPHETS ARE ALL ABOUT.”

      April 20, 2013 at 6:03 pm |
    • faith

      "Doobs
      What part of Terry's post is incorrect?
      Your god murdered every man, woman, child, infant and animal on the planet save eight.
      Christians on this forum have stated that god is justified as our "creator" to kill us if he wishes.
      What part of the Reply function do you not understand?"

      tom the moron Dorothy, i don't have the answer. was it rhetorical?

      April 20, 2013 at 6:17 pm |
    • The real Tom

      faith, you're fvcking nuts.

      April 20, 2013 at 6:18 pm |
    • Doobs

      tom the moron Dorothy, i don't have the answer. was it rhetorical?

      Da fuq?

      April 20, 2013 at 6:26 pm |
    • faith

      "What part of Terry's post is incorrect?" i give up

      April 20, 2013 at 6:47 pm |
  2. Pike

    Greg M. Epstein - Nice way of furthering your insipid little agenda on the backs of the dead and wounded. Good luck with that you piece of trash.

    April 20, 2013 at 3:45 pm |
    • Doobs

      You must have missed this:

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

      You christians started promoting your agenda within minutes of the bombing.

      Fucking hypocrite.

      April 20, 2013 at 5:49 pm |
    • Pike

      So where was I promoting my faith? Yeah, go take a fistful of pills. Stop wasting time hom-o.

      April 20, 2013 at 8:46 pm |
    • Doobs

      Displaying those wonderful christian values again, I see.

      April 21, 2013 at 12:25 am |
    • Bull In The Heather

      I'm going to waste 30 seconds telling you what no-one else here can be bothered telling you – nobody cares what you think.

      April 21, 2013 at 9:21 am |
  3. Steve

    A chaplain for atheists...more blue state nonsense.

    April 20, 2013 at 2:46 pm |
    • Doobs

      Steve, you shouldn't be so intellectually lazy. Words change meaning over time. Try checking educating yourself before you spout off, otherwise you just sound like a fool.

      "Traditionally, a chaplain is a minister in a specialized setting such as a priest, pastor, rabbi, imam, lay representative of a world view attached to a secular institution such as a hospital, prison, military unit, police department, university, or private chapel. Though originally the word "chaplain" referred to representatives of the Christian faith, it is now applied to men and women of other religions or philosophical traditions–such as in the case of the humanist chaplains serving with military forces in the Netherlands and Belgium. In recent years many lay individuals have received professional training in chaplaincy and are now appointed as chaplains in schools, hospitals, universities, prisons and elsewhere to work alongside or instead of official members of the clergy. The concept of 'generic' and/or 'multifaith' chaplaincy is also gaining increasing support, particularly within healthcare and educational settings." from Wikipedia

      Easy peasy. Google is your friend.

      April 20, 2013 at 6:08 pm |
    • Doobs

      "checking and educating"

      April 20, 2013 at 6:09 pm |
  4. Bostontola

    Are agnostics less sinners than Jews, Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, etc. to Christians?

    Jews, etc. assert that Jesus is not god. Agnostics just say they don't know.

    April 20, 2013 at 2:01 pm |
  5. PRISM 1234

    "You are in total denial. For someone to say "but here is absolutely nothing supernatural" you have all ready disqualified yourself from any sound reasoning in a supposed approach to a conversation about God.

    Do you think you know about what is supernatural. Listen to what I am telling you. God is there. He reveals Himself supernaturally. Period. You have a zero percent chance of coming up with human logic to disprove Everything that has already happened."

    Well said, Austin
    Those who refuse to look at themselves and acknowledge what God, their Maker says about them, will spend their lives trying to disprove the FACT that even the whole creation and everything that exists testifies of Him.
    Indeed, they are large in number and have many voices. And satan, who is fueling them, is always ready and willing to lend his helping hand through his servants like Muhammad, Joseph Smith and other wolves in shepherd's clothing, which he sends to deceive.
    But every human being alive faces this question, and on their response hangs their eternal destiny: "WHAT DO YOU SAY OF YESHUA, JESUS THE CHRIST, and His testimony? What have you done about Him?"
    Time will pass and all man's endeavors will come to nothing. But it is the TRUTH about Christ that will stand eternally. And blessed are those who have not refused in pride and arrogance of their hearts to acknowledge Him and the Spirit of God who testifies of Him, and call Him Lord!

    April 20, 2013 at 12:12 pm |
    • Tamarian

      Shaka...when the walls fell.

      April 20, 2013 at 12:18 pm |
    • Honey Badger Don't Care!

      There is no evidence that anything supernatural exists. NONE. When you come up with some then we can start to examine it and try to understand it. Until then the default position is to suspend belief until that evidence becomes available.

      The onus of proof is on the person making the claim, ie. a god exists, not on the person refuting that claim. Until YOU understand logic and reason you will live in a world of delusion that you are in now.

      April 20, 2013 at 1:39 pm |
    • The real Tom

      Hey, Prissy, why don't you repost that video of the Agnus Dei written by Barber–you know, the GAY composer?

      April 20, 2013 at 1:40 pm |
    • tallulah13

      In other words, there is no proof of what you believe, therefore there is no rational reason to believe what you believe. You are simply trying to convert others because you feel less foolish in a crowd.

      Sorry. Belief is not the same as truth, no matter how many believers there are.

      April 20, 2013 at 2:04 pm |
    • Observer

      "the FACT that even the whole creation and everything that exists testifies of Him"

      "the FACT that even the whole creation and everything that exists testifies" that the world could have been created by Zeus.

      "the FACT that even the whole creation and everything that exists testifies" that the world could have been created by a committee of zombies.

      "the FACT that even the whole creation and everything that exists testifies" that the world could have been created by Moe, Larry, and Curly before they came to earth or an INFINITE number of possibilities.

      April 20, 2013 at 2:29 pm |
  6. Austin

    @Mr Cranium
    "Supernatural is something that exists outside of nature, and is the source of myths legends and fantasy, but there is absolutely nothing that is supernatural. All things that exist are natural."

    "You like your delusion...fine. But do not try to pass off an experience that you may have had as supernatural...that is just your mind creating and continuing the fantasy."

    You are in total denial. For someone to say "but here is absolutely nothing supernatural" you have all ready disqualified yourself from any sound reasoning in a supposed approach to a conversation about God.

    Do you think you know about what is supernatural. Listen to what I am telling you. God is there. He reveals Himself supernaturally. Period. You have a zero percent chance of coming up with human logic to disprove EVERYThING that has allready happened.

    April 20, 2013 at 11:36 am |
    • Austin

      atheists are as sick as sinners can get. they are mentally closed.

      April 20, 2013 at 11:38 am |
    • Richard Cranium

      Austin
      Why you continue to lie about atheists I will never know and really don't care.

      Your god exists supernaturally? Again, nothing exists outside of nature, which is what supernatural means. Show some evidence or go back to your delusion of demonic cats.

      April 20, 2013 at 11:42 am |
    • A Frayed Knot

      Sure, Austin, and Mohammad talked to an angel, and Joseph Smith did too. Revealed, I tell you... revealed! Mo is up with Allah today, riding around on his horse, and Joe has his own planet or something... It is written!

      April 20, 2013 at 11:44 am |
    • Observer

      Austin

      "atheists are as sick as sinners can get. they are mentally closed."

      Since Christians all say they are sinners, your statement makes a lot of sense.

      April 20, 2013 at 12:56 pm |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      Ok Austin.....Ok I believe you......(backs away slowly)

      April 20, 2013 at 5:33 pm |
  7. faith

    manson devout believer

    mao sanctified wholly sold out born again baptist

    April 20, 2013 at 9:31 am |
    • faith

      Goebbels devout, lovely saint

      Goering charming dedicated christian

      April 20, 2013 at 9:32 am |
    • faith

      btk sunday school superintendent

      all serial killers born again humble god fearing reborners

      big dick nixon terrific quaker

      April 20, 2013 at 9:33 am |
    • faith

      Stalin

      Goebbels

      Goering

      Lenin

      Genghis khan

      April 20, 2013 at 9:35 am |
    • faith

      all preeverts

      child molesters

      rapists

      drunks

      liars

      phonies

      hypocrites

      gluttons

      hitler's mother, father, cousins, aunts, uncles, girlfriends, neighbors, distant relatives, teachers, servants, publishers, garbage men, painters, asides, assistants, paper-boys

      all covetous, no good, stinkin dirty rotten slobs all christians!

      April 20, 2013 at 9:40 am |
    • Science

      faith is on fire aye ?

      April 20, 2013 at 9:42 am |
    • Observer

      The Bible says that when God got done TORTUROUSLY MURDERING people, there were ONLY 8 PEOPLE left.

      April 20, 2013 at 12:51 pm |
    • Terry

      God is the biggest mass murderer of all time, but Christians say it's okay because he made us his children, so he get's to decide to abort or not. I guess Christians are Pro-choice...

      April 20, 2013 at 1:44 pm |
    • Angus

      Mao Tse Tung
      Trotsky
      Pol Pot

      April 20, 2013 at 8:36 pm |
  8. Douglas

    Boston PD, FBI, CIA, ATF, DOJ, DIA and other agencies,
    Great Job!

    Thanks for bringing these punks to justice.

    The USA will give this uncelibate, fornicating, sissy a fair trial and then he will be condemned to death
    where he will burn in h-e-l-l, where he truly belongs.

    Thanks again first responders in Boston and West, Texas for your selfless courage in the face of danger.

    May God Bless all of you and your families.

    Our prayers go out to the dead and to the wounded and their families.

    Yours in Christ,
    The Douglas Family

    April 20, 2013 at 8:19 am |
    • Bostontola

      The first responders, both civilian and professional, were magnificent, huge thanks to them. Another huge thanks to the many who came after and methodically identified, tracked, found, and neutralized the bombers. I personally feel safer due to their efforts. I look toward to the investigators tracking down the roots of this act and the neutralization of them as well. The biggest thanks go to all who developed the scientific method applied to criminal investigation, that has made us so much safer.
      Yours in nature,
      Bostontola

      April 20, 2013 at 9:23 am |
    • clarity

      fornicating? Wow – you're on a roll Dougie. You're also an idiot. The agencies you mentioned do deserve praise for their work, so I'm glad you didn't find a way to call them fornicators too! lol.

      April 20, 2013 at 9:28 am |
    • Akira

      Although I applaud the fantastic,very fast response of all of the law enforcement agencies, I wonder at how you gained the inside knowledge that this kid was an "uncelibate, fornicating, sissy."
      I know you're a drive by poster, Douglas, that never answers questions, but do answer this.

      April 20, 2013 at 10:50 am |
  9. Austin

    Luk 4:6 And the devil said unto him, All this power will I give thee, and the glory of them: for that is delivered unto me; and to whomsoever I will I give it.

    Luk 4:7 If thou therefore wilt worship me, all shall be thine.

    Luk 4:8 And Jesus answered and said unto him, Get thee behind me, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve.

    Luk 4:9 And he brought him to Jerusalem, and set him on a pinnacle of the temple, and said unto him, If thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down from hence:

    Luk 4:10 For it is written, He shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee:

    Luk 4:11 And in [their] hands they shall bear thee up, lest at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone.

    Luk 4:12 And Jesus answering said unto him, It is said, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God.

    April 20, 2013 at 8:00 am |
    • Austin

      The devil was interested in having Jesus worship him (Satan) and he was provoking Jesus to perform an miracle through jumping off a cliff and relying on angels to break the fall.

      This scenario, "No Jesus, you worship me and why don't you perform a miracle if you are God," is in all reality the exact way normal people convey their att.itude of disbelief.

      The people who mocked Christ on the cross,

      Matthew 27:40 ►
      and saying, "You who are going to destroy the temple and build it in three days, save yourself! Come down from the cross, if you are the Son of God!"

      this Satanic assault is close to home. And I suspect that every time I willfully sin,in my heart I have not done some little thing.
      I have openly rebelled against God. This is insanity.

      April 20, 2013 at 8:08 am |
    • Richard Cranium

      Telling the children bedtime stories?

      April 20, 2013 at 8:09 am |
    • Science

      .You got one stuck in your throat ?

      Evolution wins hands down time for god(s) to get the hell out of the way ...............so humanity can evolve !

      .Dinosaur Egg Study Supports Evolutionary Link Between Birds and Dinosaurs: How Troodon Likely Hatched Its Young

      http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/04/130418104324.htm

      April 20, 2013 at 8:10 am |
    • Austin

      Romans 5:8 ►

      But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

      April 20, 2013 at 8:10 am |
    • Science

      Bull sh-it

      April 20, 2013 at 8:15 am |
    • Austin

      Hey fellas! Good morning Mr Cranium and Dr. Science. Coffee to get things going? The Holy Spirit has revealed himself. Do you think it's possible that when God created things, knowing that Adam was last, that what you see as evolution was God's work and that he plasce the universe in full function at the time man's spirit was breathed into him/her?

      April 20, 2013 at 8:15 am |
    • Richard Cranium

      Of course not.
      Men created all gods, not the other way around.

      April 20, 2013 at 8:17 am |
    • Austin

      I have experienced supernatural power. God can enter into the realm of dreams and thoughts, as well as controlling physical things such as what a person says. I was sitting there thinking to myself " I wonder if they have the light in their eyes (and this was in a sequence of ten other supernatural breakthroughs) and then in the morning one of those kids came up to me and told me he had dreamed that he was going around seeing who " had a special light in their eyes". within 2 weeks of that I had my bunk mate pull out a piece of paper to show me a blue print, and then I said watch this and i pulled out my dream written down 2 nights before that of the blue print he was showing me.

      That is not possible , either case in the natural world. That takes a supernatural ingredient. God is that powerful.
      No different than that cat dream.

      You are called to war against your unbelief and come to Christ for faith and help. He is the intercessor between you and a Holy God who judges and controls all things for His purpose. But if you reject Him he allows you this horrible venture.

      April 20, 2013 at 8:24 am |
    • Science

      Nope................................REMEBER .................Adam had to poke himself HARD with HIS OWN BONE

      to create Eve !

      April 20, 2013 at 8:24 am |
    • Richard Cranium

      Austin
      You have not experienced supernatural power.
      You have deluded yourself into that belief, and used flawed logic to re-inforce that belief.
      Let me ask you, how do you know what you experienced was supernatural? (not why do you believe, but how do you KNOW).
      If you even try to answer that question with anything other than I do not know, you are lying.
      Supernatural is something that exists outside of nature, and is the source of myths legends and fantasy, but there is absolutely nothing that is supernatural. All things that exist are natural.
      You like your delusion...fine. But do not try to pass off an experience that you may have had as supernatural...that is just your mind creating and continuing the fantasy.
      And no, dreaming about dead cats and demons is nothing to base anything on...they are dreams...nothing more.

      April 20, 2013 at 8:35 am |
    • Science

      Austin no gods needed..............might be to detailed for you ?

      Brain Development Is Guided by Junk DNA That Isn't Really Junk

      Apr. 15, 2013 — Specific DNA once dismissed as junk plays an important role in brain development and might be involved in several devastating neurological diseases, UC San Francisco scientists have found.

      http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/04/130415172010.htm

      April 20, 2013 at 8:40 am |
  10. Reality

    The Five Steps To Deprogram 1400 Years of Islamic Myths:

    ( –The Steps take less than two minutes to finish- simply amazing, two minutes to bring peace and rationality to over one billion lost souls- Priceless!!!)

    Are you ready?

    Using "The 77 Branches of Islamic "faith" a collection compiled by Imam Bayhaqi as a starting point. In it, he explains the essential virtues that reflect true "faith" (iman) through related Qur’anic verses and Prophetic sayings." i.e. a nice summary of the Koran and Islamic beliefs.

    The First Five of the 77 Branches:

    "1. Belief in Allah"

    aka as God, Yahweh, Zeus, Jehovah, Mother Nature, etc. should be added to your self-cleansing neurons.

    "2. To believe that everything other than Allah was non-existent. Thereafter, Allah Most High created these things and subsequently they came into existence."

    Evolution and the Big Bang or the "Gi-b G-nab" (when the universe starts to recycle) are more plausible and the "akas" for Allah should be included if you continue to be a "crea-tionist".

    "3. To believe in the existence of angels."

    A major item for neuron cleansing. Angels/de-vils are the mythical creations of ancient civilizations, e.g. Hitt-ites, to explain/define natural events, contacts with their gods, big birds, sudden winds, protectors during the dark nights, etc. No "pretty/ug-ly wingy thingies" ever visited or talked to Mohammed, Jesus, Mary or Joseph or Joe Smith. Today we would classify angels as f–airies and "tin–ker be-lls". Modern de-vils are classified as the de-mons of the de-mented.

    "4. To believe that all the heavenly books that were sent to the different prophets are true. However, apart from the Quran, all other books are not valid anymore."

    Another major item to delete. There are no books written in the spirit state of Heaven (if there is one) just as there are no angels to write/publish/distribute them. The Koran, OT, NT etc. are simply books written by humans for humans.

    Prophets were invented by ancient scribes typically to keep the un-educated masses in line. Today we call them for-tune tellers.

    Prophecies are also invali-dated by the natural/God/Allah gifts of Free Will and Future.

    "5. To believe that all the prophets are true. However, we are commanded to follow the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings
    be upon him) alone."

    Mohammed spent thirty days "fasting" (the Ramadan legend) in a hot cave before his first contact with Allah aka God etc. via a "pretty wingy thingy". Common sense demands a neuron deletion of #5. #5 is also the major source of Islamic vi-olence i.e. turning Mohammed's "fast, hunger-driven" hallu-cinations into horrible reality for unbelievers.

    Walk these Five Steps and we guarantee a complete recovery from your Islamic ways!!!!

    Unfortunately, there are not many Muslim commentators/readers on this blog so the "two-minute" cure is not getting to those who need it. If you have a Muslim friend, send him a copy and help save the world.

    Analogous steps are available at your request for deprogramming the myths of Christianity, Judaism, Buddhism, Hinduism and Paganism..

    April 20, 2013 at 7:10 am |
    • Austin

      not that i condone islaam but most of this is wrong. I glanced at it and saw the part about angels and quit there.

      Hebraic people know at least part of the truth about. That myth babble wont work.

      April 20, 2013 at 7:52 am |
    • A Frayed Knot

      Austin,
      " I glanced at it and saw the part about angels and quit there. "

      I more than 'glanced' at those parts of your Bible about angels and the "Lord" speaking and quit there.

      April 20, 2013 at 11:46 am |
    • Reality

      AND THE INFAMOUS ANGELIC CONS CONTINUE TO WREAK STUPIDITY UPON THE WORLD

      Joe Smith had his Moroni. (As does M. Romney)

      "Latter-day Saints like M. Romney also believe that Michael the Archangel was Adam (the first man) when he was mortal, and Gabriel lived on the earth as Noah."

      Jehovah Witnesses have their Jesus /Michael the archangel, the first angelic being created by God;

      Mohammed had his Gabriel (this "tin-kerbell" got around).

      Jesus and his family had/has Michael, Gabriel, and Satan, the latter being a modern day demon of the demented. (As does BO and his family)(As do Biden and Ryan)

      The Abraham-Moses myths had their Angel of Death and other "no-namers" to do their dirty work or other assorted duties.

      Contemporary biblical and religious scholars have relegated these "pretty wingie/horn-blowing thingies" to the myth pile. We should do the same to include deleting all references to them in our religious operating manuals. Doing this will eliminate the prophet/profit/prophecy status of these founders and put them where they belong as simple humans just like the rest of us.

      Some added references to "tink-erbells".

      newadvent.org/cathen/07049c.htm

      "The belief in guardian angels can be traced throughout all antiquity; pagans, like Menander and Plutarch (cf. Euseb., "Praep. Evang.", xii), and Neo-Platonists, like Plotinus, held it. It was also the belief of the Babylonians and As-syrians, as their monuments testify, for a figure of a guardian angel now in the British Museum once decorated an As-syrian palace, and might well serve for a modern representation; while Nabopolassar, father of Nebuchadnezzar the Great, says: "He (Marduk) sent a tutelary deity (cherub) of grace to go at my side; in everything that I did, he made my work to succeed."
      Catholic monks and Dark Age theologians also did their share of hallu-cinating:

      "TUBUAS-A member of the group of angels who were removed from the ranks of officially recognized celestial hierarchy in 745 by a council in Rome under Pope Zachary. He was joined by Uriel, Adimus, Sabaoth, Simiel, and Raguel."

      And tin-ker- bells go way, way back:

      "In Zoroastrianism there are different angel like creatures. For example each person has a guardian angel called Fravashi. They patronize human being and other creatures and also manifest god’s energy. Also, the Amesha Spentas have often been regarded as angels, but they don't convey messages, but are rather emanations of Ahura Mazda ("Wise Lord", God); they appear in an abstract fashion in the religious thought of Zarathustra and then later (during the Achaemenid period of Zoroastrianism) became personalized, associated with an aspect of the divine creation (fire, plants, water...)."

      "The beginnings of the biblical belief in angels must be sought in very early folklore. The gods of the Hitti-tes and Canaanites had their supernatural messengers, and parallels to the Old Testament stories of angels are found in Near Eastern literature. "

      "The 'Magic Papyri' contain many spells to secure just such help and protection of angels. From magic traditions arose the concept of the guardian angel. "

      For added information see the review at:

      en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Angel

      April 20, 2013 at 3:10 pm |
  11. Joe

    Humans don't evolve, they become more stupid killing and murdering each other. More and more selfish everyday!

    April 20, 2013 at 7:03 am |
  12. lol??

    AKIRA, source???

    April 20, 2013 at 1:44 am |
    • Akira

      Could you be more vague? Source for what? Or is your Tourette's Keyboard just throwing out random words and names again?

      April 20, 2013 at 2:07 am |
    • Science

      lol?? Evolution wins time for gods to get the hell out of the way , so humanity can evolve !

      April 20, 2013 at 4:03 am |
    • Science

      Dinosaur Egg Study Supports Evolutionary Link Between Birds and Dinosaurs: How Troodon Likely Hatched Its Young

      http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/04/130418104324.htm

      April 20, 2013 at 4:43 am |
    • midwest rail

      Lmao @ "Tourette's keyboard" ! Yep, that about sums it up.

      April 20, 2013 at 7:02 pm |
  13. Austin at his very best!

    "there are a few different species that we shouldnt mate with based upon their hoof"

    You read that right. Austin decides what species he will mate with based on their hoof.

    April 20, 2013 at 1:25 am |
    • lol??

      Even Austin City has its Limits but there are no limits on hijackin'.

      April 20, 2013 at 1:47 am |
  14. Austin

    Schizophrenia
    Even Christians think I'm nuts
    My brane hurts again

    April 20, 2013 at 1:22 am |
    • Athy

      You are nuts. And it's brains, not branes.

      April 20, 2013 at 1:36 am |
    • faith

      WASP
      @(Oh No!) I caught him with a blow to the chest
      (Oh No!) My hollow put a hole in his vest
      (Oh No!) I'm bout to send two to his dome
      (Oh No!) Cry babies go home!

      Hey, you want WHAT with me?!
      I'm gonna tell you one time,
      don't F__K with me!
      Get down!
      Cause I ain't got nothin' to lose,
      and I'm havin a bad day,
      don't make me take it out on you!

      can't fight the numbers, just check it out and find that you religious right nutters are the ones causing all the problems not use liberal, equal right fighting left.

      akira, sambo, tom moron, anvil face, no-religion, reality, dodo, austin

      don't forget to report these sick, hate-filled posts to all proper authorities, cnn is an anti-christian, anti-free speech hell hole. prolly cause jane fonda is a christian

      April 20, 2013 at 2:18 am |
    • Akira

      Where have I posted anything remotely resembling anything "hate-filled", faith?

      April 20, 2013 at 2:27 am |
    • Akira

      And who is dodo?
      And why can't I ever get an answer from you when I ask a direct question?

      April 20, 2013 at 2:37 am |
  15. Observer

    faith,

    With you constant juvenile name-calling and insults, please explain why the GOLDEN RULE does not apply to you? (Ever read a Bible?)

    Any answer, other than HYPOCRISY?

    April 20, 2013 at 1:08 am |
    • bb1

      faith says:
      "first, god isn’t, can’t be, no evidence, blah

      second, god isn’t cause he’s nasty."

      Then, she goes on to say:

      "you see, beloved, you are mentally sick. desperately ill, in fact. get into a good in-patient psychiatric hospital soon. you will never get well until doctors find a medication or a surgical procedure to remove lesions, etc. don’t view it as defeat. if you couldn’t keep your bowels from moving, you’d see a doctor."

      This seems to be clear proof of faith's dupicity. She bashes atheists, and yet this, in her own words, is how she feels about God. Clearly, she needs an excorcism.

      April 20, 2013 at 1:25 am |
  16. faith

    atheists are pure idiots.

    first, god isn't, can't be, no evidence, blah

    second, god isn't cause he's nasty.

    April 20, 2013 at 12:43 am |
    • Observer

      Just like with atheists, you have NO PROOF.

      Guess again.

      April 20, 2013 at 12:49 am |
    • faith

      "But I say to you that everyone who is angry with their brother or sister" dodo

      who can figure out where satan screwed up here? in the above?

      get thee behind me satan, for it is written, man shall live by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of god

      And Jesus being full of the Holy Ghost returned from Jordan, and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness,

      Luk 4:2 Being forty days tempted of the devil. And in those days he did eat nothing: and when they were ended, he afterward hungered.

      Luk 4:3 And the devil said unto him, If thou be the Son of God, command this stone that it be made bread.

      Luk 4:4 And Jesus answered him, saying, It is written, That man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God.

      Luk 4:5 And the devil, taking him up into an high mountain, shewed unto him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time.

      Luk 4:6 And the devil said unto him, All this power will I give thee, and the glory of them: for that is delivered unto me; and to whomsoever I will I give it.

      Luk 4:7 If thou therefore wilt worship me, all shall be thine.

      Luk 4:8 And Jesus answered and said unto him, Get thee behind me, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve.

      Luk 4:9 And he brought him to Jerusalem, and set him on a pinnacle of the temple, and said unto him, If thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down from hence:

      Luk 4:10 For it is written, He shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee:

      Luk 4:11 And in [their] hands they shall bear thee up, lest at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone.

      Luk 4:12 And Jesus answering said unto him, It is said, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God.

      Luk 4:13 And when the devil had ended all the temptation, he departed from him for a season.

      Luk 4:14 ¶ And Jesus returned in the power of the Spirit into Galilee: and there went out a fame of him through all the region round about.

      April 20, 2013 at 12:50 am |
    • Observer

      faith,

      Skip the juvenile name-calling.

      So that ONLY applies to brothers and sisters and doesn't imply people in general?

      LOL. LOL.

      Try again. That was pathetic.

      April 20, 2013 at 12:53 am |
    • faith

      `only a fool, only an idiotic, moronic, stupid, pathetic retarded imbecile could actually and honestly believe in her heart, "there is no god" fool

      fire

      burn baby

      April 20, 2013 at 1:06 am |
    • faith

      you see, beloved, you are mentally sick. desperately ill, in fact. get into a good in-patient psychiatric hospital soon. you will never get well until doctors find a medication or a surgical procedure to remove lesions, etc. don't view it as defeat. if you couldn't keep your bowels from moving, you'd see a doctor.

      good girl

      be sure to write (not another fiction, please)

      April 20, 2013 at 1:18 am |
    • Observer

      faith,

      Still STUMPED by the question above?

      April 20, 2013 at 1:21 am |
  17. Observer

    faith,

    "FOOLS"

    Matthew 5:22 "But I say to you that everyone who is angry with their brother or sister will be in danger of judgment. If they say to their brother or sister, ‘You idiot,’ they will be in danger of being condemned by the governing council. And if they say, ‘You fool,’ they will be in danger of fiery hell.” - Jesus

    OOOPS. Don't worry about your hypocrisy. It's not new.

    April 20, 2013 at 12:18 am |
  18. #1 Atheist

    I'm really tired of Obama getting Religious after every National tragedy.

    April 19, 2013 at 11:59 pm |
    • The real Tom

      Poor you.

      April 20, 2013 at 12:00 am |
    • Observer

      Every president does, whether they believe or not.

      April 20, 2013 at 12:01 am |
    • The real Tom

      I doubt #1 Atheist has seen more than one president in its lifetime.

      We grow too soon old and too late smart.

      April 20, 2013 at 12:03 am |
    • Dippy

      And #1 atheist still hasn't mastered the rules of capitalization. Probably never will.

      April 20, 2013 at 12:16 am |
    • Dippy's Disciple

      That idiot never knew there WERE any rules.

      April 20, 2013 at 12:28 am |
    • lol??

      Look at how it affects Double Dot. He's coming unglued.

      April 20, 2013 at 1:40 am |
  19. Reality

    In case you missed the BIG KIBSOSH:

    (Only for the new members of this blog)

    Putting the kibosh on all religion in less than ten seconds: Priceless !!!

    • As far as one knows or can tell, there was no Abraham i.e. the foundations of Judaism, Christianity and Islam are non-existent.

    • As far as one knows or can tell, there was no Moses i.e the pillars of Judaism, Christianity and Islam have no strength of purpose.

    • There was no Gabriel i.e. Islam fails as a religion. Christianity partially fails.

    • There was no Easter i.e. Christianity completely fails as a religion.

    • There was no Moroni i.e. Mormonism is nothing more than a business cult.

    • Sacred/revered cows, monkey gods, castes, reincarnations and therefore Hinduism fails as a religion.

    • Fat Buddhas here, skinny Buddhas there, reincarnated/reborn Buddhas everywhere makes for a no on Buddhism.

    Added details available on p 22.

    April 19, 2013 at 11:54 pm |
    • The real Tom

      BORE!

      April 19, 2013 at 11:55 pm |
    • Reality

      As a good student, you have read the reiterations of the "fems" (flaws, errors, muck and stench) of religion. Therefore the seeds have been planted in rich soil. Go therefore and preach the truth to all nations, reiterating as you go amongst the lost, bred, born and brainwashed souls of Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Hinduism and Buddhism as Rational Thinking makes its triumphant return all because of you!!!!

      April 19, 2013 at 11:55 pm |
    • The real Tom

      MORE BORING THAN BEFORE.

      April 19, 2013 at 11:59 pm |
  20. Doobs

    @ BacBac

    According to your bible, Adam didn't live until god breathed the breath of life into him. So if you believe in your book, life begins with the first breath, not at conception. The bible never addresses abortion.

    Of course, god killed every real, living infant and child on the face of the earth when he flooded it, but I'm sure he had his reasons.

    And he always needs more money!

    April 19, 2013 at 10:23 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.