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Poll: America losing its religion
The Reason Rally, sponsored by secular organizations, draws a crowd to Washington.
May 29th, 2013
03:06 PM ET

Poll: America losing its religion

By Dan Merica, CNN

Washington (CNN) – More than three in four of Americans say religion is losing its influence in the United States, according to a new survey, the highest such percentage in more than 40 years. A nearly identical percentage says that trend bodes ill for the country.

"It may be happening, but Americans don't like it," Frank Newport, Gallup's editor in chief, said of religion's waning influence. "It is clear that a lot of Americans don't think this is a good state of affairs."

According to the Gallup survey released Wednesday, 77% of Americans say religion is losing its influence. Since 1957, when the question was first asked, Americans' perception of religion's power has never been lower.

According to the poll, 75% of Americans said the country would be better off if it were more religious.

The poll doesn't reflect Americans' personal religiosity, such as church attendance, but rather how large events and trends shape shared views, Newport explained.

For example, the sexual revolution, the Vietnam War and the rise of the counterculture fed the perception that religion was on the wane during the late 1960s, he said.

Views of a secularizing America peaked in 1969 and 1970, when 75% of Americans said faith was losing its clout in society. A similar view dominated from 1991-94 and from 2007 to the present.

Americans saw religion increasing its influence in 1957, in 1962 and at a few points during the Reagan presidency in 1980. This number also spiked to its highest point ever - 71% - after the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001.

The pollster didn't speculate on the contemporary factors that led to the current views on faith's influence.

Still, the poll numbers are dramatically influenced by church attendance, according to Gallup. More than 90% of people who attend church weekly responded that a more religious America would be positive, compared with 58% of Americans who attended church "less often."

The Gallup poll was conducted via telephone from May 2 to May 7. A total of 1,535 people were sampled for the poll, which has a margin of error of plus or minus 3 percentage points.

- Dan Merica

Filed under: Atheism • Belief • United States

soundoff (6,389 Responses)
  1. Ernest T Bass

    The whole foundation of Christianity is based on the idea that intellectualism is the work of the Devil. Remember the apple on the tree? Okay, it was the Tree of Knowledge. "You eat this apple, you're going to be as smart as God. We can't have that."

    - Frank Zappa

    May 30, 2013 at 4:36 pm |
    • sandy

      It wasn't the tree of "knowledge", it was the tree of knowledge of good and evil. By eating from it, mankind became aware of and responsible for his actions, both good and bad. God was trying to protect us from that.

      May 30, 2013 at 4:42 pm |
    • A Conversation

      You know I would probably have a higher opinion of atheists if they didn't post such ridiculous statements.

      May 30, 2013 at 4:44 pm |
    • ME II

      @sandy,
      "By eating from it, mankind became aware of and responsible for his actions, both good and bad."

      Wait, so how can man be held responsible for eating the "fruit" if he wasn't responsible until after he ate the "fruit"?

      May 30, 2013 at 4:46 pm |
    • Huebert

      And I would have a higher opinion of Christians if so many of them didn't act like holier than thou jerk wads.

      May 30, 2013 at 4:47 pm |
    • Chad

      well said Sandy!

      May 30, 2013 at 4:47 pm |
    • Richard Cranium

      ME II
      You are looking at it wrong...see you are trying to use your brain to understand the bible, and that just doesn't work.

      May 30, 2013 at 4:50 pm |
    • ME II

      Seriously, anyone? honest question.
      I've always wondered how Adam and Eve were punished for disobeying God before they had any knowledge that disobeying God was wrong.

      May 30, 2013 at 4:57 pm |
    • WhenCowsAttack

      Sandy-

      If he was trying to protect us from it, why'd he make the tree so accessible, and make a slithery little talking serpent to try to talk Eve into eating it?

      May 30, 2013 at 4:58 pm |
    • Chuckles

      @ME II

      Legit question, followed up with, how could Adam and Eve ever "hide" from god. These are the questions that almost always get glossed over and never actually touched on because the answer is pretty obvious.

      On its face, god told adam and eve not to do something and they did it anyway. Never mind that breaking the rule can't be considered bad until after they eat the fruit from the tree, they should have apparently intrinsically known.

      May 30, 2013 at 5:04 pm |
    • A Conversation

      @Huebert...but your own statement makes you holier than thou! LOL!

      May 30, 2013 at 5:04 pm |
    • Happy Atheist

      @Me II – Good question, but I wouldn't hold your breath for any sensible answer. Other amusing questions to ask Christians:
      Was Adam created with a Penis? If so, why? Eve wasn't created until later by ripping out a rib.
      What would have happened to Adam had he not eaten of the fruit?
      If death entered the world through sin, then wouldn't that mean Adam would never have died if he had never sinned?
      If we were not meant to die, then when and why did God create Heaven & HeII? Back-up plan?
      And if death entered the world through sin, then what was the other tree in the garden they were forbidden to eat from there for, you know, the tree of life?
      Why would Adam choose the tree of knowledge of good and bad over the tree of life if he had the choice of breaking one of the rules?

      May 30, 2013 at 5:07 pm |
    • derp

      "It wasn't the tree of "knowledge", it was the tree of knowledge of good and evil. By eating from it, mankind became aware of and responsible for his actions, both good and bad. God was trying to protect us from that"

      And basic logic would tell you that Adam would have had no knowledge of good or evil until AFTER he had eaten the apple. So how could he have known not to eat the apple, if he had no concept of good or evil?

      Oh, and how could mankind have started with two people when molecular biology has proven that there were at least 400 mating pairs involved in the start of human DNA?

      May 30, 2013 at 5:24 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      WhenCowsAttack, cough Tommie Tom, like Eve, mankind is deceived by satan's lies and doubt.

      May 30, 2013 at 5:26 pm |
    • Len

      sandy
      And the LORD God said, "The man has now become like one of us, knowing good and evil. He must not be allowed to reach out his hand and take also from the tree of life and eat, and live forever." Gen 3:22

      Clearly, God was afraid that humans would become immortal gods like himself. Are you familiar with the Prometheus myth? Look it up for any similarities along this same theme line. It seems a pretty universal worry of gods that people should gain knowledge. Ever wonder why?

      May 30, 2013 at 6:19 pm |
  2. Dyslexic doG

    If we stopped brainwashing impressionable young children with this bronze age foolishness, the religion would all but die out in a couple of generations.

    May 30, 2013 at 4:35 pm |
    • sandy

      Nonsense. Millions of *adults* in developing countries learn the gospel from missionaries and go on to share the message with other adults.

      May 30, 2013 at 4:40 pm |
    • A Conversation

      ...And developed countries too.

      May 30, 2013 at 4:45 pm |
    • Dyslexic doG

      yes, poor uneducated simple folk in developing countries are the perfect ground for such foolishness.

      May 30, 2013 at 4:58 pm |
    • Madtown

      learn the gospel from missionaries
      ----
      Why are missionaries required if God wants all his human creation to know of this gospel?

      May 30, 2013 at 5:01 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      something about a mustard seed comes to mind

      May 30, 2013 at 5:22 pm |
    • derp

      "Why are missionaries required if God wants all his human creation to know of this gospel?"

      Because he is a powerless vindictive little twerp.

      May 30, 2013 at 5:25 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      derp, you want everything so easy without doing the work. God knows that man appreciates all things when working for it.

      May 30, 2013 at 5:29 pm |
    • Madtown

      Just seems a bit odd that God would create this amazingly vast universe, and all life within, on large scale yet when it comes to this all-important gospel, it needs to start on a small scale, as a seed, and likely won't germinate and grow out to all God's creation.

      May 30, 2013 at 5:30 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Madtown, some seeds fall on rock.

      May 30, 2013 at 8:46 pm |
  3. Pure-Religion

    Galatians 5: 16 – 26

    Galatians 6: 1 – 5

    Galatians 6: 7 – 10

    May 30, 2013 at 4:35 pm |
    • EnjaySea

      Enjay 3:5 – This statement is true, because it's inspired by god, and we know it is inspried by god, because of Enjay 3:5.

      May 30, 2013 at 4:41 pm |
    • Richard Cranium

      the bible is inspired by god because the bible says it is....circular reasoning gets you no where.

      The bible is the product of men's imaginations in response to men's own ignorance.

      Try reality instead.

      May 30, 2013 at 5:13 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Richard Cranium, you are a slave to satan's lies of unbelief.

      May 30, 2013 at 5:34 pm |
    • Austin

      So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh.

      May 30, 2013 at 8:48 pm |
    • Austin

      RC.........Whats up bud?

      May 30, 2013 at 8:51 pm |
  4. LinCA

    How do you link up your blog page the way you do?

    May 30, 2013 at 4:33 pm |
  5. ISLAM FOUNDATION OF AMERICAN CONSTI TUTION

    It is a crime to be borne in a low cast family with a dark skin in hindu racist india, hinduism racism of hindus, racist by faith, a crime against humanity and truth absolute GOD by hindu seculars, criminal self centered. Low cast hindus killed for asking their right by hindus criminals, followers of hinduism, racism as religion. faith of hindu racist india.

    [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TYpvnMks1HE&w=640&h=360]

    May 30, 2013 at 4:33 pm |
    • The real Tom

      I didn't bother to watch this video because I'm quite sure it's disgusting. Why don't you go fvck yourself instead of posting crap?

      May 30, 2013 at 8:49 pm |
  6. http://stevemanthei.wordpress.com/

    .

    May 30, 2013 at 4:31 pm |
  7. mykel armory

    Pure-Religion, you are quoting a book of lies. If there were a god and a devil, then what makes you think we of the left hand haven't read your drunken book of revelations and adapted our plans to suit our needs? Fool. Victory is ours. We have god's pathetic little playbook. pshaw.

    May 30, 2013 at 4:30 pm |
  8. mykel armory

    Troy, Satanists do not believe in god. We believe in indulgence and preaching the irrelevance of all gods. You're confusing us with Gnostics or devil-worshippers. YOU get educated before you speak, dunce.

    May 30, 2013 at 4:26 pm |
    • Huebert

      Do you believe in any supernatural beings?

      May 30, 2013 at 4:32 pm |
    • mykel armory

      Huebert, no.

      May 30, 2013 at 4:32 pm |
    • mykel armory

      In fact, I have little faith in many natural beings!

      May 30, 2013 at 4:33 pm |
    • Huebert

      Then why do you use the term Satanist instead of Hedonist?

      May 30, 2013 at 4:35 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Deuteronomy 18:10-12

      10 There shall not be found among you any one that maketh his son or his daughter to pass through the fire, or that useth divination, or an observer of times, or an enchanter, or a witch,
      11 Or a charmer, or a consulter with familiar spirits, or a wizard, or a necromancer.
      12 For all that do these things are an abomination unto the LORD: and because of these abominations the LORD thy God doth drive them out from before thee.  KJV

      Amen.

      May 30, 2013 at 8:48 pm |
  9. AverageJoe76

    Religious people can go atheist, but I can't even begin to imagine how a true atheist could ever go back to religion.

    May 30, 2013 at 4:25 pm |
    • LinCA

      @AverageJoe76

      You said, "Religious people can go atheist, but I can't even begin to imagine how a true atheist could ever go back to religion."
      Yup. It would be like an adult going back to believing in Santa or the Tooth Fairy. It's not impossible, just not very likely.

      May 30, 2013 at 4:29 pm |
    • ME II

      Hard to understand granted, but I'd avoid 'No True Scotsman'

      May 30, 2013 at 4:31 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      It's no shame to admit that you have been wrong which is merely to say you have better information today than you did yesterday.

      May 30, 2013 at 4:32 pm |
    • My Dog is a jealous Dog

      Stockholm syndrome

      May 30, 2013 at 4:33 pm |
    • Huebert

      Bill

      Do you have any new evidence for your god? I've seen all of the old stuff and it was not convincing.

      May 30, 2013 at 4:34 pm |
    • ChrisA

      Actually it is possible and does happen. Here's why:

      If your an atheist, you have to believe that there really is no absolute meaning or purpose to life. That human beings have no intrinsic value, and there's are no such things as absolute truth or morality. You also have to believe that there is no such thing as good or evil, and it's just an illusion most likely brought on by evolution.

      This means that everything is just what I make it to be. For some people that's ok because you can be free to live life unrestrained, and do good or bad without any real consequence as long as you don't get caught.

      You can choose to good but you have no basis for doing so. If i was an atheist, than why shouldn't I lie if it benefits me? Why shouldn't I get revenge if somebody hurts me or my family? Why should I help people in need, when they have no connection to me?

      ultimately you put yourself at the center of the universe, and it just doesn't feel right. There's always something missing and most atheists can feel it. That's why they pursue things like spirituality. There's things in our life that science just has no answers for and doesn't even begin to explain.

      Until science can answer the questions of a child:

      Where did i come from?
      Why am I here?
      Where am I going?
      How should I treat those around me?
      What leads to happiness?

      Than it will never be a replacement to religion.

      May 30, 2013 at 4:49 pm |
    • Doobs

      @ ChrisA

      "If your an atheist, you have to believe that there really is no absolute meaning or purpose to life. That human beings have no intrinsic value, and there's are no such things as absolute truth or morality. You also have to believe that there is no such thing as good or evil, and it's just an illusion most likely brought on by evolution."

      This statement is completely false.

      May 30, 2013 at 4:53 pm |
    • Saraswati

      I see ChrisA is putting words in other people's mouths again.

      May 30, 2013 at 4:55 pm |
    • Richard Cranium

      ChrisA
      Your statement it utterly ridiculous and flse...here's why.
      Look at the other social animals...doesn't an elephant cry when they come across the bones of a dead elephant, otr if someone in their troop dies, don't monkeys and apes show love, adn all of the other emotions, are they not upset when a mother chimp loses her child.
      They don't have gods.
      Neither do you, you just think you do.

      May 30, 2013 at 4:59 pm |
    • Huebert

      ChrisA

      The fact that you require a god to give your life meaning indicates that you have a very empty life. And here are some good answers to your questions

      Where did i come from? Your parents.
      Why am I here? You have to find that out for yourself.
      Where am I going? Where ever you choose.
      How should I treat those around me? Like you want to be treated.
      What leads to happiness? You have to find that out for yourself.

      May 30, 2013 at 4:59 pm |
    • ChrisA

      @Saraswati

      You may have not said them, but without an absolute being to define these things, than you have to agree if you where to be honest with yourself.

      How can you have absolute meaning or purpose, when you create it for yourself?
      How can human beings have "intrinsic" value, when we are just the byproduct of natural selection, time, and chance?
      How can there be absolute truth or morality, when different people have different sets of right and wrong?
      How can there be good or evil, when right and wrong is subjective and varies from person to person?

      May 30, 2013 at 5:13 pm |
    • Doobs

      @ ChrisA

      None of us has to believe or accept anything you say. Most of us are capable of thinking for ourselves. Your "statements" about what atheists think and feel is ridiculous. How could you possibly know what I think?

      May 30, 2013 at 5:35 pm |
    • LinCA

      @ChrisA

      You said, "If your an atheist, you have to believe that there really is no absolute meaning or purpose to life."
      bullshit. All that is implied in being an atheist is a lack of belief in gods. Meaning and purpose in life comes from our relationships with others and doing the things we enjoy.

      You said, "That human beings have no intrinsic value, and there's are no such things as absolute truth or morality."
      bullshit. All that is implied in being an atheist is a lack of belief in gods. Morals come from our relationships with others and the need to coexist with them. Value comes from the meaning we have in the lives of others.

      You said, "You also have to believe that there is no such thing as good or evil, and it's just an illusion most likely brought on by evolution."
      bullshit. All that is implied in being an atheist is a lack of belief in gods. Good, bad and evil are determined by the suffering that is alleviated or the harm that is caused.

      You said, "This means that everything is just what I make it to be."
      Yes, in effect that is true, but that goes for believers and non-believers alike.

      You said, "For some people that's ok because you can be free to live life unrestrained, and do good or bad without any real consequence as long as you don't get caught."
      The same applies to believers. Judging by the horrendous behaviors of believers, not very many expect to get caught by your god. And judging by your lack of understanding of atheism, I consider it a good thing that you have religion to retrain your activities. For the sake of the people around you, and society as a whole, please never loose your religion.

      You said, "You can choose to good but you have no basis for doing so."
      bullshit. Doing good helps us live together with the people we depend upon for a healthy and happy life.

      You said, "If i was an atheist, than why shouldn't I lie if it benefits me?"
      Why wouldn't you as a believer? Many do.

      You said, "Why shouldn't I get revenge if somebody hurts me or my family?"
      Why wouldn't you as a believer? Many do.

      You said, "Why should I help people in need, when they have no connection to me?"
      Why would you as a believer? Many don't. While for atheists there is no promise of a reward after death for doing good, doing good pays off in other ways. Helping others, without any expectation of a reward, is rewarding in and of itself. I realize that this is the only life I have and I make the best of it because it's the only shot I have. Doing good for the sake of doing good, makes my life before death more pleasant.

      You said, "ultimately you put yourself at the center of the universe, and it just doesn't feel right."
      bullshit. I know full well that I am but a speck in the grand scheme of things. It is believers that claim to be the chosen ones by their imaginary friend. They claim to be the reason why the universe and everything in it was created.

      You said, "There's always something missing and most atheists can feel it."
      bullshit.

      You said, "That's why they pursue things like spirituality."
      bullshit. Spirituality is religion for the undecided, and just as nonsensical.

      You said, "There's things in our life that science just has no answers for and doesn't even begin to explain."
      True, but "I don't know (yet)" is a far more satisfying answer than lying to yourself and saying "goddidit".

      You said, "Until science can answer the questions of a child:
      Where did i come from?
      Why am I here?
      Where am I going?
      How should I treat those around me?
      What leads to happiness?
      "
      I sure hope you don't have, or plan to have children.

      May 30, 2013 at 8:37 pm |
    • ChrisA

      @LinCA
      Are you a moderator or something? I'm never able to reply to your posts, and you always seem to be aloud to leave the last word. Which is bad because your counter arguments are so poorly thought out it's almost embarrassing.

      May 31, 2013 at 12:13 am |
    • LinCA

      @ChrisA

      You said, "Are you a moderator or something?"
      Nope.

      You said, "I'm never able to reply to your posts, and you always seem to be aloud to leave the last word."
      allowed*

      I was wondering why you weren't responding. I figured you simply ran away because you have no argument.

      You said, "Which is bad because your counter arguments are so poorly thought out it's almost embarrassing."
      ROTFLMAO

      You managed to respond, so make your argument. What do you think is "poorly thought out"? I'd be surprised if you manage to string a coherent thought together, as your knowledge of atheism and science appears is abysmal.

      May 31, 2013 at 12:26 am |
    • NESTLE FOUNDATION OF OVALT INE

      ChrisA sounds very Chard-in-trainingish ism.

      May 31, 2013 at 12:32 am |
    • ChrisA

      @LinCA
      okay there we go. First of all if you re read my post, i was talking about absolutes. You haven't provided any absolute or even decent proof for your arguments. It was all about how you felt, and what made you "feel" peaceful. Everything you stated was a belief with no facts to justify them.

      you said: "Meaning and purpose in life comes from our relationships with others and doing the things we enjoy."

      I'm sure that definition makes you feel nice, but there's no evidence for it and it's not absolute. Some people gain purpose from harming others, so this obviously doesn't apply to everyone.

      you said: "Good, bad and evil are determined by the suffering that is alleviated or the harm that is caused."

      This is a very poor definition. The suffering that is alleviated for who? The majority? The people with the most power and influence? Both? If someone happens to come in to power and determines that they can alleviate suffering by killing off the weaker and less able of the population. Does this make it Good?

      you said: "And judging by your lack of understanding of atheism, I consider it a good thing that you have religion to retrain your activities."

      I thought you said atheism was nothing more than the absence of belief, so what's to understand? My arguments come from an understanding of human nature. The fact that people aren't inherently good. What would happen if all laws where removed for a week and everything was permissible?

      you said: "Doing good for the sake of doing good, makes my life before death more pleasant."

      So you admit then that you do good based solely off feeling, with no underlying facts to support your reasoning? This is what I meant by you can choose to do good, but you have no real basis for doing so.

      you said : . " It is believers that claim to be the chosen ones by their imaginary friend. They claim to be the reason why the universe and everything in it was created."

      This is absolutely wrong. Christians believe that Earth and the universe where created before people, and they where created for God. We are created by God and for God, not for ourselves.

      May 31, 2013 at 12:34 am |
    • NESTLE FOUNDATION OF OVALT INE

      Wow, Mr. ChrisAbsolutes, What absolute proof do you have that people aren't inherently good?

      May 31, 2013 at 12:39 am |
    • ChrisA

      "Chard-in-trainingish ism."

      what does that even mean??

      May 31, 2013 at 12:39 am |
    • ChrisA

      @NESTLE FOUNDATION OF OVALT INE

      Easy, we need laws to govern ourselves. If we where absolutely good, what purpose would the law have?

      May 31, 2013 at 12:40 am |
    • NESTLE FOUNDATION OF OVALT INE

      Your arguments appear much like that of a regular poster, ChrisA.

      May 31, 2013 at 12:41 am |
    • NESTLE FOUNDATION OF OVALT INE

      You didn't answer the question I posed, ChrisA.

      May 31, 2013 at 12:42 am |
    • HotAirAce

      ChrisAbsolute, where is your absolute proof that your god exists? Re: your child's questions, please demonstrate that belief in your imaginary friend provides absolute answers.

      May 31, 2013 at 12:47 am |
    • ChrisA

      @NESTLE FOUNDATION OF OVALT INE
      Yes I did, unless you had a different one that I missed. And no I'm not some other poster, I don't see the point in having more than one name?

      I'm actually pretty new, and I was wondering how do you guys know when someone's responded to your post? Do you keep the page in history, or is there some kind of notification?

      May 31, 2013 at 12:53 am |
    • LinCA

      @ChrisA

      You said, "i was talking about absolutes"
      Your premise is faulty.

      Your entire argument is based on your assumption that there are absolute answers for the questions that you have. It probably stems from your need to have simple answers. Absolutes remove the unease that may come from uncertainty. It's only simple minds that require absolutes. It is religion that deals in absolutes because it is easy on the sheeple. Reality is rarely absolute.

      Your inability to comprehend that people can live productive lives without an infantile belief in an imaginary friend shows in your compartmentalization into "us" and "them". It fits with your need to have absolutes. Anyone that isn't just like you must be against you. Anyone who doesn't believe in your imaginary friend must be bad.

      Your failure to grasp even the basics of atheism and your assumptions about it is another tell tale sign that you require things to be simple.

      For certain people, much like yourself, religion is probably the only thing that keeps them from becoming mass murderers, because without the absolutes and simple rules it provides they would be unable to operate in the complex real world. They would be unable to comprehend that there are other reasons not to rape and pillage, than an bronze age fairy tale.

      Being an atheist frees you from the threat of eternal damnation and removes the promise of paradise, yet among the most brilliant scientists in the world, it is rampant. Atheists are not more likely to commit crimes. Some studies suggest that they are actually less likely to do so.

      You said, "We are created by God and for God, not for ourselves."
      Not the point. You claimed that atheists "put yourself at the center of the universe". If anything, atheists realize that that is absolutely ridiculous in light of the enormity of the universe and the likelihood of intelligent life elsewhere. It is most christian interpretations that the Earth and the entire universe was created by their imaginary friend as a terrarium for its favorite pets.

      Of course, since there are some 38,000 different christian denominations, sects and cults, I have no way of knowing if your particular interpretation is exactly like that.

      May 31, 2013 at 2:35 am |
    • tallulah13

      "If your an atheist, you have to believe that there really is no absolute meaning or purpose to life"

      Wow, Chris. That's really, really ignorant of you to claim that. By using that complete falsehood as your opening statement, you have rendered the rest of your statement useless, because it's based on an utterly false premise.

      I'm sorry you need to believe in a myth in order to feel like you have purpose. That's really sad. I hope someday that you learn to value yourself as a person. It's easier to see and understand the value of the life when you take off the blindfold of religion.

      May 31, 2013 at 2:43 am |
    • ChrisA

      @LinCA

      "Reality is rarely absolute."

      Please tell me that you see the contradiction in that statement. By definition, reality is absolute.

      reality – something that is neither derivative nor dependent but exists necessarily / in actual fact
      real – of or relating to fixed, permanent, or immovable things

      Reality isn't subjective, it doesn't change by interpretation, and it doesn't vary based off the different biases of one person to the next. Wether your a theist or an atheist, reality remains the same. The only thing your free to do is interpret it as you like.

      You say that I'm silly for supposing a transcendent all powerful being, but in actuality it's the only world view that seems to makes any sense. Even Albert Einstein entertained the idea that there might be a God. You don't have to believe that that God is personal and cares about human affairs, but to suppose that everything just came into being without a cause is just madness.

      The universe is so fine tuned that if one of the laws where changed by even the smallest decimal all life would cease, there would be no planets, no stars, and no galaxies. Christians see this and suppose design, you might just call it necessity. Either way, I think we can both agree that it's pretty amazing. Just because when I see design and intelligence, i suppose an intelligent designer does that make me irrational?

      You see other human beings and you think that they have worth and value. You suppose this based solely off how you feel and how you perceive the world. I do too, but I take it a step further. Human beings have real worth and value because they where created in the image of an all powerful and all loving God. This means that I can say something like murder is absolutely wrong, regardless of what society or time you live in.

      "Being an atheist frees you from the threat of eternal damnation and removes the promise of paradise,"
      Does being an atheist really make you free? Why is it that some people can supposedly have everything and end up committing or contemplating suicide? I believe that it's a heart condition. We seek more than knowledge and possessions. Knowledge in itself isn't going to provide you happiness at the end of the day. In fact it could end up doing the opposite.

      It's great to figure things out for yourself. I'm a firm believer in this and God encourages it as well. He doesn't expect us to live like mindless unthinking drones. But if God did create us and give us life, than it's not unreasonable to try to live the kind of life that he would have us live.

      May 31, 2013 at 3:24 am |
    • ChrisA

      @LinCA
      As far as your claim that I like things simple, I don't think you would say that if you knew what I did for a living. I've always enjoyed being challenged intellectually, but I do like things to make sense.

      A lot of atheists don't make sense because they contradict themselves. They say that Christians are crazy for believing in God, but then say that there is no absolute truth to support the claim that where irrational in the first place! You can't have it both ways. That's why I really don't respect a lot of these "new Atheists".

      I have much more respect for atheists like Friedrich Nietzsche, who understood that if you "killed" God you would have to figure out some way to make sense of morality, ethics, and everything else. Although he was a strong atheist and vehemently against the existence of a God, he admitted that Atheism would ultimately lead to madness because without absolutes, there's no foundation for anything and everything eventually starts to crumble.

      You can be an atheist and be good. Most are. But my point is that you have no "real" reason for doing so and that's dangerous.

      May 31, 2013 at 3:37 am |
    • Happy Atheist

      Until religion can answer the questions of a child:

      Where did God come from?
      What is Gods purpose?
      How should he treat us?
      What about God leads to happiness?

      @ChrisA – The time to be happy is now. The place to be happy is here. The way to be happy is to make others so. It's very simple and does not take the invention of a deity to give your life meaning.

      If you believe that this amazing and complex universe could not exist without a purpose, then how can your God, who by definition must be more amazing and complex than the universe to have created it, exist without a purpose? And if you say your God has a purpose, then who gave him that purpose? If you say God gave himself a purpose, then why would we not be able to do so as well?

      May 31, 2013 at 3:45 am |
    • Happy Atheist

      "my point is that you have no "real" reason for doing so and that's dangerous."

      What is more dangerous, a person who will kill another human because of an interpretation of what they think an invisible man in the sky wants them to do? Or a person who doesn't believe in invisible men in the sky? I'd go with the latter.

      May 31, 2013 at 3:47 am |
    • Daniel

      "Atheism would ultimately lead to madness "

      Just like Marijuana leads to refer madness!! Oh No!!! Watch out for the s e x crazed maniacs high on weed!!

      You are so full of poo doo it's not even funny. It would be funny if it weren't so sad that morons like you exist.

      May 31, 2013 at 3:52 am |
    • Daniel

      " They say that Christians are crazy for believing in God, but then say that there is no absolute truth to support the claim that where irrational in the first place!"

      There is an absolute truth. It's just that your poorly educated guess at it misses the mark by billions of light years. You are a tool for organized religion and will wonder one day how you were so easily duped by such greedy fools.

      May 31, 2013 at 3:57 am |
    • ChrisA

      @Happy Atheist

      "If you believe that this amazing and complex universe could not exist without a purpose, then how can your God, who by definition must be more amazing and complex than the universe to have created it, exist without a purpose? And if you say your God has a purpose, then who gave him that purpose? If you say God gave himself a purpose, then why would we not be able to do so as well?"

      very good questions. Nobody gave God a purpose because then by definition he wouldn't be God. Anything that was able to change or give life to him, would have to be greater than him, and then that thing would be God.

      Christians believe that God is the first cause. He is the "alpha and the omega". The "beginning and the end". He was not created, and he did not come into being at any time. He's eternal and has always been. We all have a purpose because God decided to give us life. Our purpose is to ultimately serve him. You can do this through music, entertainment, writing, caring for other people, helping those in need, or a million other things. But ultimately if it doesn't center around God then it has no absolute meaning. I'm not expecting you to convert, just to understand what we believe.

      May 31, 2013 at 4:14 am |
    • ChrisA

      @Daniel
      "There is an absolute truth"

      I don't think you'll be able to make a good argument because your first propensity is just to attack my faith without a reason. But I'll ask anyway, "can you name one of your absolute truths"?

      May 31, 2013 at 4:18 am |
    • Daniel

      Are you purposefully being a moron? I did not say I knew what the absolute truth is, I said that there was one. I would guess that you do not believe the Hindu's will get reincarnated while you go to heaven right? There is only one thing that will happen out of the endless possibilities that are unknown. My opinion is that based on what we can observe of the universe, your's is based on listening to others who claim to have the correct interpretation of an ancient compilation of bronze age letters. I am okay not having all the answers, you and other Christians can't stand not knowing so you happily adorn yourself with mystical relics of the past and chant mumbo jumbo to the sky spirits in order to feel superior over others and to justify your dehumanization of populaces who compete for resources. Kill the Muslims and take their oil, they are just pagans anyway, right? Who cares about the Chinese, they are just atheist communists right? Your Christian hubris is enough to make any sensible person sick to their stomachs.

      May 31, 2013 at 4:28 am |
    • Happy Atheist

      If you believe that God has always existed and is the cause of all things and thus does not need a purpose, then what is so hard about believing the universe has always existed in some form or another and also does not need a purpose?

      You use logic to discount all other God's do you not? Why then do you stop at one? Or rather three? Is it that your logic processor is broken?

      May 31, 2013 at 4:31 am |
    • ChrisA

      @Happy Atheist

      If you believe that God has always existed and is the cause of all things and thus does not need a purpose, then what is so hard about believing the universe has always existed in some form or another and also does not need a purpose?

      You use logic to discount all other God's do you not? Why then do you stop at one? Or rather three? Is it that your logic processor is broken?

      The universe couldn't have always existed because it's expanding. If it was eternal and always existed, then it would remain the same. Scientists believe that the universe started out microscopically small and then exploded. All I'm saying is that something must have put it there in the first place, and then caused it to change from one state to the next.

      I don't believe in three God's because it's illogical. By definition God can't be all powerful and share power with something else. That just doesn't make any sense.

      May 31, 2013 at 4:46 am |
    • Happy Atheist

      "The universe couldn't have always existed because it's expanding. If it was eternal and always existed, then it would remain the same. Scientists believe that the universe started out microscopically small and then exploded. All I'm saying is that something must have put it there in the first place, and then caused it to change from one state to the next."

      Please read up on why empty space isn't really empty and where all the missing mass is. You try to make an absolute by saying something couldn't have been without trying to think outside the box because you so desperately WANT there to be a God, one who gives your life purpose and meaning and who knows you and you can communicate with. It makes life so simple not to have to worry about the big questions, in fact, it allows you to stop the journey of discovery because you can be self confident in your own little universe in your mind, reality be damned.

      The fact is the universe COULD have always existed in some form, we only know it could not have always existed in this form. An infinity loop if you will, of matter being formed from dark matter, coming into existence to coalesce into a singularity pulsing our universe into it's next loop, never ending in its expansion and contraction or sublimation into dark matter.

      All I know for sure is, the time to be happy is now, the place to be happy is here, and the way to be happy is to make others so.

      May 31, 2013 at 4:57 am |
    • The real Tom

      Chris says:If your an atheist, you have to believe that there really is no absolute meaning or purpose to life.

      If YOU'RE a dolt who can't be bothered or is too stupid to figure out that tricky "you're/your" conundrum, you're not qualified to tell anyone what he or she "has to believe." That's what the Vegetable does and it's laughable.

      May 31, 2013 at 5:22 am |
    • NESTLE FOUNDATION OF OVALT INE

      [ NFOO: "What absolute proof do you have that people aren't inherently good?"

      ChrisA (who wants to talk 'absolutes'): "Easy, we need laws to govern ourselves. If we where absolutely good, what purpose would the law have?"

      NFOO: "You didn't answer the question I posed, ChrisA."

      ChrisA: "Yes I did, unless you had a different one that I missed." ]

      Does this side-stepping sound familiar? In Chardonian speak often accompanied with a snark like "You just didn't like my answer".

      May 31, 2013 at 8:13 am |
    • ChrisA

      @Happy Atheist

      I'm afraid where at an impasse. You agree that we don't have the answers. You then state theories that have no solid evidence for them. They're just postulated out of necessity. It's impossible for you or me to conceive that the universe just came into being unless it was eternal, or if there was always something. We've deduced that the universe "as we know it" isn't eternal. Therefore, we are only left to speculate how it came into being. You say I'm simple minded because my theory supposes a God and creator, but then consider yourself open minded, even when you close off the possibility that there is.

      Look, we both believe that there was something eternal. I believe it had intelligence. You don't. We might just have to leave it at that until one side can prove the other false. But since I doubt we'll have the answers in either of our lifetimes. I'm gonna live with what makes rational sense to me. Your right the time to be happy is now.

      "Say not ye, There are yet four months, and then cometh harvest? behold, I say unto you, Lift up your eyes, and look on the fields; for they are white already to harvest." John 4:35

      May 31, 2013 at 12:34 pm |
    • HotAirAce

      Re: "You then state theories that have no solid evidence for them. They're just postulated out of necessity."

      Sounds like you are describing religion and the heaps of rationalizations (lies) created to sustain the unproven first claim, that some god exists.

      May 31, 2013 at 12:51 pm |
    • In Santa we trust

      ChrisA, In the absence of evidence why presume anything? We don't what if anything was pre-Big Bang, so why speculate? You choose a god as the reason because of ancient superstitions that remain part of our history. There is no evidence of a god since the Big Bang, so what compels you to cling to those ancient superstitions. If something did create the origins of the Big Bang it almost certainly isn't the god described in your bible because as the creator is pre-Big Bang, humans would have no knowledge of it. Also what created your creator? We'll never know that either. If your god can be eternal so can the universe.

      May 31, 2013 at 1:03 pm |
  10. mykel armory

    You won't do anything about it, god, because you are merely a mosaic of collective hopes and fears, made by man. The young, they don't believe in you, anymore. You are a pathetic, senile relic. Say "hi" to Zeus, Apollo, Baal, and Marduk for me, myth.

    May 30, 2013 at 4:23 pm |
  11. Pure-Religion

    Luke 21: 33

    Luke 21: 34 – 36

    Luke 21: 7 – 24

    Luke 23: 44 – 49

    Luke 23: 50 – 56

    Luke 24: 1 – 7

    May 30, 2013 at 4:23 pm |
    • Dyslexic doG

      Poe's Law: it's impossible to distinguish a sufficiently advanced troll from a truly ignorant twit

      May 30, 2013 at 4:28 pm |
    • Reality

      As with all NT passages, these passages from Luke have been thoroughly analyzed for historic authenticity by many contemporary NT scholars. None of them pass muster via a rigorous review. See for example, Professor Gerd Ludemann's analysis in his book, Jesus After 2000 Years, pp. 389-408 and pp. 694-695.

      May 30, 2013 at 4:29 pm |
    • Austin

      Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away.

      May 30, 2013 at 8:46 pm |
  12. Troy Boleyn

    PS: Satanists, you're christians. Quick fact – you can't believe in satan without christianity. Without it, there would be no satan. Duh. Get educated, everyone. That goes for you moron christians as well. Satan is part of YOUR religion. We who don't live by your god are not satanists. We don't belive in that diety either.

    May 30, 2013 at 4:21 pm |
    • Alias

      Not correct.
      Worship of Satan started before jesus was born.

      May 30, 2013 at 4:26 pm |
    • Dyslexic doG

      @Alias
      Jesus was created, not born.

      May 30, 2013 at 4:29 pm |
    • mykel armory

      No. Jesus was neither born, nor created. Rather, he was defecated onto the Earth. Rome flushed him, after a manner.

      May 30, 2013 at 4:32 pm |
  13. Wayne

    We need to be more united around Christianity. Cheistian Network, uPotia, provides a good platform for such unity.

    May 30, 2013 at 4:17 pm |
    • Athy

      We need to be more united around atheism. Get rid of the superstitious nonsense and make real scientific progress.

      May 30, 2013 at 4:25 pm |
  14. mykel armory

    Satan will reign in perpetuity. Your old, dead god will cease to exist when the last of his believers leaves this earth. Hail Satan! Victory is ours!

    May 30, 2013 at 4:16 pm |
    • God

      I can't wait to smite you....

      May 30, 2013 at 4:18 pm |
    • Santa

      I'm going to throw snow balls at both of you! Look Out!!

      May 30, 2013 at 4:22 pm |
    • Captive Leprechaun

      I'm all outa Gold!! Oh No!!

      May 30, 2013 at 4:23 pm |
    • Pure-Religion

      Revelation 19: 11 through Revelation 20: 15

      Tell us again who wins in the end?

      May 30, 2013 at 4:26 pm |
    • kushdeep

      No Satan either.

      May 30, 2013 at 4:34 pm |
    • Happy Atheist

      I've already won. The odd's of me being me are lower than that of winning three powerball jackpots back to back. I am now enjoying my winnings and trying to share them with everyone I know. This life is my jackpot.

      May 30, 2013 at 4:36 pm |
    • Doobs

      @ PR

      Oh stuff it. Revelation is a crock of crap. You can read whatever you want to from it. Ask Sharon Tate.

      May 30, 2013 at 4:38 pm |
    • Science

      Hello Doobs................agree...............but where ?

      May 30, 2013 at 7:54 pm |
  15. Pure-Religion

    John 10: 7 – 30

    John 11: 17 – 27

    John 12: 42 – 50

    May 30, 2013 at 4:16 pm |
    • ReligionIsBS

      Read the bible and learn how to beat your slaves properly, tthe way the lord intended

      Exodus 21:20-21

      May 30, 2013 at 4:17 pm |
    • Madtown

      Those look like football scores, where the home team is 0-3.

      May 30, 2013 at 4:18 pm |
    • Reality

      Actually, all of John's Gospel is of questionable historic value.

      To wit:

      From Professor Bruce Chilton in his book, Rabbi Jesus,

      "Conventionally, scholarship has accorded priority to the first three gospels in historical work on Jesus, putting progressively less credence in works of late date. John's Gospel for example is routinely dismissed as a source......

      From http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gospel_of_John#Authorship

      "Since "the higher criticism" of the 19th century, some historians have largely rejected the gospel of John as a reliable source of information about the historical Jesus.[3][4] "[M]ost commentators regard the work as anonymous,"[5] and date it to 90-100."

      "The authorship has been disputed since at least the second century, with mainstream Christianity believing that the author is John the Apostle, son of Zebedee. Modern experts usually consider the author to be an unknown non-eyewitness, though many apologetic Christian scholars still hold to the conservative Johannine view that ascribes authorship to John the Apostle."

      And from Professor Gerd Ludemann, in his book, Jesus After 2000 Years, p. 416,
      "Anyone looking for the historical Jesus will not find him in the Gospel of John. "

      See also http://www.earlychristianwritings.com/john.html

      May 30, 2013 at 4:24 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Reality, here's what happens to you and the rest of those unbelievers you are so fond of that you post every chance you get.

      Revelation 21:8

      Amen.

      May 30, 2013 at 8:58 pm |
  16. mykel armory

    Your god is dying. Your bible and torah are drowning. Your children and america belong to Satan, and there isn't a damned thing you can do about it. Enjoy!

    May 30, 2013 at 4:14 pm |
    • Colin

      Before you get too excited, tough guy, atheists no more believe in big daddy baddie than we do in big daddy goodie.

      May 30, 2013 at 4:21 pm |
    • kushdeep

      No god, no satan.

      May 30, 2013 at 4:51 pm |
  17. jboh

    The way religion is abused for partisan hackery, how can this be a surprise? I remember when Catholic bishops sent henchmen to tell the congregations that they have a responsibility to vote one issue, don't legalize birth control. That was back in the '60's. The American Catholic church has been losing influence ever since. Hearing the crap coming from talibangelical preachers makes them sound like Salem witch hunters.

    May 30, 2013 at 4:13 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      I just read an interesting article that says the problem with the American Catholic Church is that, from a long time back, they were more interested in proving they were "good" Americans than in being good Catholics. As such, American Catholics are so assimilated into modern culture that they are indistinguishable from the rest of the population. So, it would seem the Bishops were right in the 60's, just as they are now. If you're going to be a Catholic, then be a Catholic. If not, then follow whoever else you're going to follow but water and oil don't mix.

      May 30, 2013 at 4:25 pm |
    • Happy Atheist

      "So, it would seem the Bishops were right in the 60's, just as they are now. If you're going to be a Catholic, then be a Catholic."

      So they were right in the '60's when they as a tax exempt religous group pressured their members to vote on a secular law that governed everyone, not just telling their members to abstain from birth control, but to vote against it, and that was the right call?

      Water and oil do not mix. Our secular government is the water. Organized religion is the oil. Keep them apart and we will have no problems. Have the oil preach from it's pulpit advising it's members to inject themselves wherever possible into the water because you think life is better for everyone all oily is where you cross the line.

      May 30, 2013 at 4:33 pm |
  18. 54StaryNights

    Although I consider myself to be a religious person, I would be happy to see religion have less formal influence on the affairs of this nation. I have been disturbed by the intrusion of fundamentalist religious philosophy into our laws, etc. I think no one religion or religious sect should influence our laws. I think everyone's actions are influenced by their beliefs. It is ridiculous to think they are not. There are a lot beliefs that I think most religions and non-religious people share in common and so are not exclusively religious that are a positive influence on all aspects of daily life and government, and that is fine. It is when beliefs that are not shared in common are forced on people that a problem arises. I think the intrusion of a specific and not universally shared set of religious beliefs into government that has occurred in the past few decades is what is turning people away from religion in this country. I think most still hold some form of religious belief, they just don't want other people's beliefs stuffed down their throats and they don't want to be associated with groups that do that either.

    May 30, 2013 at 4:12 pm |
  19. ME II

    @houseofgord.com,
    "I am sorry, but comparing the way we are today (or even the last 100+ years) and using that as a template for what is good and right then applying that to the ancients to show how they are backwards or stupid is just ethically and morally wrong."

    Ah, IF you are saying that we can't condemn the people of the ancient world for their practices, then I might agree.

    However, IF you are saying that the values codified in the OT are not to be condemned simply because they are old, then I would disagree. Primarily because supposedly God does not change and the Bible never condemns slavery.

    May 30, 2013 at 4:09 pm |
    • ME II

      sorry misposted

      May 30, 2013 at 4:09 pm |
  20. Austin

    The name and blood of Jesus is the strongest force on earth.

    All Power. God.

    May 30, 2013 at 4:09 pm |
    • Athy

      I sure as hell am not feeling any of that force.

      May 30, 2013 at 4:11 pm |
    • sam stone

      Have another drink, Austin

      May 30, 2013 at 4:12 pm |
    • Father Doogie Houser, M.D.

      Look's like Austin has extremely high and unstable Blood pressure, let's get him on a table stat!

      May 30, 2013 at 4:25 pm |
    • lionlylamb

      Genesis 6:3 'talks' about the Lord being mere mortal and is of fleshly ordainment just as are all humanists whose bodies are of flesh. Luke 17:21 declares that the kingdom domains of God are inside our fleshy bodies. 1 Corinthians 3:9 declares that our Godly kingdom domain bodies have inside; buildings where do all of Godliness dare reside. Who'd have thoughts whereby all the Gods are so very small and just one cell of the celestially ordained manifestations could house them all?

      May 30, 2013 at 4:44 pm |
    • tallulah13

      In fact, Jesus had the highest count of midi-chlorians that Yoda had ever measured.

      May 31, 2013 at 2:46 am |
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About this blog

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.