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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. mykel armory

    Looks like there's a roadblock going up on the path to your pathetic heaven. Now all roads lead to Satan.

    May 30, 2013 at 11:56 pm |
  2. mykel armory

    Gods who stop being worshipped are never worshipped again. Look it up. It's called mythology. Greek, Roman, Native American, Norse, or any other ancient civilization. Your Jesus will join them, soon. Be prepared to fall. Satan will stand idly by and laugh as you meet on the battlfield of Armegeddon, to find that god played hooky, while Satan laughed, cradling your children, introducing them to their new infernal family!

    May 30, 2013 at 11:54 pm |
    • A Voice

      Mykel – you were that guy in high school that got beat up a lot weren't you? It's OK brother – let it out. It'll be ok...

      May 31, 2013 at 12:05 am |
    • mykel armory

      A Voice, sorry, but you'd make a poor detective. Try again. The next thing you'll say is "you probably live in your parents basement and have no life." Be more original, please. Oh, wait. You're christian, and therefore, completely unoriginal, unintelligent, bitter, and doomed to pathetic obscurity. I'm thinking you probably still get beaten up years after you failed out of high school. That's why you like to rub em out while fantisizing about crucified, naked jewish men.

      May 31, 2013 at 12:38 am |
    • ChrisA

      @mykel armory

      ^^
      Geesh! that last part wasn't necessary. You shouldn't let people get to you so easily, especially when you attack first.

      Anyways, your wrong. Zeus, Pagan Gods, ect, where all created Gods. They where idles. all somebody had to do was destroy the idle and the God was ruined. That's why our God, in his omniscience, doesn't allow idles. He want's to reside in our hearts and minds and not in our imagination.

      Also christianity is too prevalent, and scripturally Jesus said "Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away." He said this when he had a few thousand followers. Now there's billions. I don't think christianity is going anywhere.

      May 31, 2013 at 1:26 am |
    • Dippy

      ChrisA,
      etc, not ect.
      Idol, not idle.
      Anyway, not anyways.
      You're, not your.
      Wants, not want's.
      Where did you go to school? You write like a typical religious fanatic.

      May 31, 2013 at 2:32 am |
    • ChrisA

      @Dippy
      lol I like you Dippy, your always there to correct my grammer. I'll make sure to contact you when I'm writing an essay or press release, instead of typing on a blog. 🙂

      May 31, 2013 at 2:47 am |
    • ChrisA

      woops! *You're
      gotta watch those contractions!

      May 31, 2013 at 2:51 am |
    • Mark from Middle River

      Don't worry, those who can't hold a view or debate will surely be around to correct the grammar of those who can.

      May 31, 2013 at 2:52 am |
    • mykel armory

      ChrisA, Your god is no different. He can't even survive 8 years of this ineffectual president, to hear his deluded followers tell it. Your god is only omniscient in your mind. He is nowhere else. A construct you bought into in your innate lack of creativity. And that last part was thoroughly necessary. If it got under your skin, that is immaterial to me. Find healthier kicks, friend.

      May 31, 2013 at 2:59 am |
    • mykel armory

      Furthermore, the only thing that lives in your hearts is a set amount of blood. The only thing that lives in your head are ideas planted by those who saw in you a certain pliability, a dimness. You call this god. I call it a myth that dies with you.

      May 31, 2013 at 3:03 am |
    • ChrisA

      @mykel armory
      Let's be honest here please. the poll also showed that the overwhelming majority of people polled believed that America would be better with more religion. Christianity isn't going anywhere. Also please don't be so narrow minded and overstate the small minority of atheist compared to the majority of christians. Atheism is almost exclusively a western ideology. It's almost a non factor anywhere else. Also God's existence is unaffected by whether or not you believe in him. Your efforts to remove God are in vain.

      May 31, 2013 at 3:50 am |
    • ChrisA

      @mykel armory
      Also you where far from getting under my skin. I don't get offended when people talk negatively about Jesus. I just feel sorry for them. Jesus lives and is risen. He's also God. Therefore, he can and will defend himself. He doesn't need me to do that. My only obligation is to "be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you." 1 peter 3:15

      May 31, 2013 at 3:58 am |
    • mykel armory

      ChrisA, Jesus is deader than a doornail. He can't help you now. Soon, Satan will overtake your children, burn the mark into their minds and they will never return to your pathetic faith. Jesus is a bag of bones who only appeals to victims of menticide. I promise you, your children shall give you a Satanic burial. You will serve in hell, right next to the dead, damned, tortured soul of your jesus.

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

      Do you actually believe the stuff you say, or are you just looking for attention? If your really a "satanist" then you would know that even Satan believes in God and he knows that his reign on earth is rapidly coming to an end. I don't know why you would want to fight for a loosing side? Doesn't seem smart.

      May 31, 2013 at 4:37 am |
    • The real Tom

      Those who are shitty writers can't manage to make cogent arguments that need any rebuttal.

      May 31, 2013 at 5:49 am |
  3. LeadPoop

    Religion is the root of all evil in the world! That may be why it's losing it's influence!

    May 30, 2013 at 11:52 pm |
    • Dippy

      Second it's should be its.

      May 31, 2013 at 12:24 am |
  4. lol??

    Of course life is fair. Stop lying.

    "Jhn 14:6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me."

    May 30, 2013 at 11:47 pm |
  5. mykel armory

    Boston Jay, the hearts and minds of your future descendents are mine and mine alone. "Prey" all you want. Your side already lost. Tell jesus to say "hi" to zeus and baal for me when he gets to where they are...dead gods. Gods no one worships. Hail Satan!

    May 30, 2013 at 11:47 pm |
    • long ago far away

      Please tell Sargatanas if you hapen to dream of him that someone on cnn said "light blue" and a wooden box.

      May 30, 2013 at 11:55 pm |
    • Boston Jay

      That is what you want people to believe, However you and I know if thats what they believe and leave the path of God, then your satan wins there soul.

      However, I will battle u for everyone of thier souls. You can fool the blind, nut Jesus will use me as in Lasic surgery, and he will help them see.

      I love Jesus and he loves you, I can imagine that must make u want to cry, to think he could still love someone like u, but continue to condem him and you will see my GOD is the almighty and can not ever die or be defeted.

      I one again prey for you. He is real and he does still love u, it is not to late for u to repent

      May 30, 2013 at 11:57 pm |
  6. Boston Jay

    If you think there is no God and Heaven, and believe that Christians are nuts wasting this lifetime believing in something not real.

    But what if we are RIGHT, and gain an ETERNITY in the Kingdom of Heaven.

    Are you willing to take that risk with your soul, think about it, Eternity is FOREVER.

    You owe it to yourself, to stop listening to everyone else, including me. And at least make some effort to find God, he will see u and find u. Just an effort, whats 1 year or 3 months.

    If I am wrong then what did u sacrafice, 1 year or 3 months.

    But if I am RIGHT you have gained an eternity

    May 30, 2013 at 11:46 pm |
    • Secular Humanist from Ohio

      Pascal's wager is not a valid argument. I'll be moral because I gain salvation is an immoral statement.

      May 30, 2013 at 11:50 pm |
    • HotAirAce

      How do know you are sucking up to the right god?

      May 30, 2013 at 11:51 pm |
    • Gerald

      What if you are wrong about Zeus, Hades, or Chutulu? You are not making a strong argument. I would rather do good because I'm a good perso,n rather than to be motivated out of fear of hell.

      May 30, 2013 at 11:55 pm |
    • James o

      Jay never said be just moral, he said find god, you can not just go to heaven threw deeds or faith , I believe jay said find your faith. The word says threw faith and deeds

      May 31, 2013 at 12:28 am |
  7. ISLAM FOUNDATION OF AMERICAN CONSTI TUTION

    Human sacrifice, holy tradition of hinduism, racism, of hindu dark ages, religion of hindu Atheists, criminal self centered by faith india.

    [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qvT7FmOjiS0&w=640&h=360]

    May 30, 2013 at 11:46 pm |
  8. Reality

    "More than three in four of Americans say religion is losing its influence in the United States,...."

    And why is that? Let us count the ways, #7 (see also pp. 1, 9, 37, 46, 50, 53 and 58)

    Why would your god allow the following:

    Number of god's creations who died horrible deaths from the following diseases:

    1. 300,000,000 approx.
    Smallpox

    2. 200,000,000 ?
    Measles

    3. 100,000,000 approx.
    Black Death

    4. 80,000,000–250,000,000
    Malaria

    5. 50,000,000–100,000,000
    Spanish Flu

    6. 40,000,000–100,000,000
    Plague of Justinian

    7. 40,000,000–100,000,000
    Tuberculosis

    8. 30,000,000[13]
    AIDS pandemic

    9. 12,000,000 ?
    Third Pandemic of Bubonic Plague

    10. 5,000,000
    Antonine Plague

    11. 4,000,000
    Asian Flu

    12. 250,000 or more annually Seasonal influenza

    May 30, 2013 at 11:38 pm |
    • Secular Humanist from Ohio

      Huummm... no religious apologetics.

      May 31, 2013 at 12:03 am |
  9. TheTruth

    “When I do good, I feel good. When I do bad, I feel bad. And that's my religion.”
    ― Abraham Lincoln

    May 30, 2013 at 11:23 pm |
    • Chad

      They demonstrate that God's law is written in their hearts, for their own conscience and thoughts either accuse them or tell them they are doing right - Romans 2

      May 30, 2013 at 11:25 pm |
    • Observer

      Chad,

      Get serious. Civilizations that never heard of God did the same things that we praise people for today.

      May 30, 2013 at 11:29 pm |
    • Chad

      indeed, demonstrating that understanding right and wrong is something that God writes in everyone's heart, even people that never heard of Him (yet).

      (Indeed, when Gentiles, who do not have the law, do by nature things required by the law, they are a law for themselves, even though they do not have the law. 15 They show that the requirements of the law are written on their hearts, their consciences also bearing witness, and their thoughts sometimes accusing them and at other times even defending them.) Romans

      May 30, 2013 at 11:41 pm |
    • Observer

      Chad,

      Your comments are often devoid of logic. So God plants "goodness" into people who will never hear of him and then sends them to Hell because they never heard of him.

      Amazing!

      May 31, 2013 at 12:03 am |
    • Chad

      @Observer "Your comments are often devoid of logic. So God plants "goodness" into people who will never hear of him and then sends them to Hell because they never heard of him."

      @Chad "wrong on both points
      1. God plants the understanding of right and wrong
      2. Jesus preached to the dead during the 3 days, that group would include anyone who has ever lived that never heard of Him. You go to hell because you chose to go there..(see 1 Peter 3).

      you really should consider reading the bible.. It never bothers you that your belief system is entirely un-anchored in reality?

      May 31, 2013 at 8:41 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      The purpose of preaching in hell was for Jesus to declare victory over it and over death. Not all Christians believe that any of the dead in hell were "saved" through that – Catholics do, Lutherans don't, for example.

      May 31, 2013 at 8:50 am |
    • Science

      True comedy gold Chadie..................you the pope and the red horn-y devil and hell.

      May 31, 2013 at 8:53 am |
    • Chad

      "Lutherans don't, for example"

      =>incorrect, Lutherans dont make a claim that Jesus didnt preach.
      Christ’s descent into hell lies beyond our understanding

      May 31, 2013 at 10:06 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      I didn't say that Lutherans don't believe Jesus descended into hell. Please read more closely in the future, Chad. Lutherans have in their version of the Apostle's Creed "He descended into hell".'

      May 31, 2013 at 10:11 am |
    • Chad

      lol, nice try

      @TT "Not all Christians believe that any of the dead in hell were "saved" through that – .. Lutherans don't, for example."

      => that is 100% incorrect, Lutherans dont make a claim that Jesus didnt preach to the dead, Lutherans to make a claim that none of the dead were saved.

      what they do say is Christ descended to declare victory, but that anything else is: "Christ’s descent into hell lies beyond our understanding

      May 31, 2013 at 10:26 am |
    • Really-O?

      The good life, as I conceive it, is a happy life. I do not mean that if you are good you will be happy; I mean that if you are happy you will be good.

      - Bertrand Russell

      May 31, 2013 at 10:37 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      Good morning, Really-O?

      As you can see, Chad is writhing and wriggling in anticipation of doing battle with his God's detractors. His reading comprehension is unusually impaired, perhaps for lack of caffeine. I blame my missing the Reply button on the same thing. Hopefully the coffee isn't the nasty flavored stuff this morning.

      May 31, 2013 at 10:45 am |
    • HotAirAce

      Oh, the irony! From a believer who thinks The Babble is perfect in every way, inspired by some unproven god: "It never bothers you that your belief system is entirely un-anchored in reality?"

      May 31, 2013 at 10:57 am |
    • Chad

      should have read:

      ===
      @TT "Not all Christians believe that any of the dead in hell were "saved" through that – .. Lutherans don't, for example."

      => that is 100% incorrect, Lutherans dont make a claim that Jesus did not preach to the dead, Lutherans do not make a claim that none of the dead were saved [as you are stating]

      what they do say is Christ descended to declare victory, but that anything else is: "Christ’s descent into hell lies beyond our understanding

      May 31, 2013 at 11:13 am |
    • Science

      Remember chad/faith........... the talking donkey you like so much might of chewed on that BONE.............that created eve...

      Ne se-x there faith.

      or pounding the sand/dirt does not work you know chadie ?

      June 1, 2013 at 3:53 pm |
  10. Indiana J

    CNN creates these so called "Religious " polls to create lots of response and website activity. I Am very skeptical on their findings. By the way, I am Christian, and observe that atheists like to hang out and question us here. I think they are very insecure and unsure of their atheism.

    May 30, 2013 at 11:10 pm |
    • Observer

      Indiana J,

      The REALLY insecure ones are the Christians who run and hide whenever they are cornered with questions that point out their hypocrisy.

      May 30, 2013 at 11:13 pm |
    • Secular Humanist from Ohio

      Observer I agree. I'm an atheist becuase it's cool. What rubbish. I can't be moral because I don't think god exists. Gays are doomed to hell. Yet when pressed, the religious flee.

      May 30, 2013 at 11:19 pm |
    • Observer

      Secular Humanist from Ohio,

      The worst is the dim bulb(s) who posts the moronic spam lies about atheists and atheism but is so gutless and insecure that they won't answer any questions.

      May 30, 2013 at 11:24 pm |
    • Liz

      Personally I'm just peeved that I'm going to die one day and that there's nothing I can do about it except try and convince myself of stuff that makes no sense at all.

      May 30, 2013 at 11:24 pm |
    • Saraswati

      Was CNN involved in this poll? I thought it was a straight Gallup poll – did I miss something?

      May 30, 2013 at 11:34 pm |
    • Secular Humanist from Ohio

      And Indiana is not here to defend his or her post.

      May 30, 2013 at 11:36 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      Maybe I'm wrong but doesn't the string of atheists response to Indiana's post illustrate his observation?

      May 31, 2013 at 11:16 am |
    • ME II

      @Bill Deacon,
      CNN didn't create the poll, Gallup did.

      However, in the larger sense, CNN did create the Belief Blog in order the garner viewers to their site, yes.

      May 31, 2013 at 11:22 am |
    • ME II

      @Indiana J,
      if public displays are a sign of insecurity, then the sheer number of church buildings with crosses out in public would out do any atheist insecurities by orders of magnitude.

      May 31, 2013 at 11:25 am |
  11. mykel armory

    God is no more. Satan owns your children's future and there is no way to fight it. Satan is better and stronger than the pathetic, senile meme that is calle god.

    May 30, 2013 at 11:08 pm |
    • Secular Humanist from Ohio

      That's a silly statement.

      May 30, 2013 at 11:15 pm |
    • A Voice

      Nice attempt at shock value. Think of it this way Mykel – if you're wrong what are the consequences? You'll have all of eternity to regret that statement. Sleep well...

      May 30, 2013 at 11:29 pm |
    • Boston Jay

      i will meet u on the battlefield when my savior Jesus Christ comes to destroy your armys of satan,

      Im sure your king satan cant wait for u to greet him in hell, bet u wont be singing his praise then, as he had u tortured for eternity

      Repent now, God is real, Jesus is real, Hell is real

      Believe it Jesus does love u, but beware of the message u spread. I will prey for your soul. In the name of Jesus Christ my lord and savior

      May 30, 2013 at 11:34 pm |
    • Liz

      Watch the movie "the life of Pi". It makes alot of sense to me. I think we humans convince ourselves of alot of things existing because the reality of nothing is just too horrible otherwise (dieties, devils and every lie that spews from the mouth of your average sales coach).
      It may not be true, but it's a better story.

      May 30, 2013 at 11:40 pm |
    • mykel armory

      I needn't spread any message at all. It's only a warning. You christians have probably send more people running in my direction than if I'd taken out ads. Your actions make me look pleasant, in contrast. Your god will die with your generation. Then we win, without raising a sword. christ dies not with a battle, but a gasp. Mark my words.

      May 30, 2013 at 11:43 pm |
    • mykel armory

      Boston Jay, the hearts and minds of your future descendents are mine and mine alone. "Prey" all you want. Your side already lost. Tell jesus to say "hi" to zeus and baal for me when he gets to where they are...dead gods. Gods no one worships. Hail Satan!

      May 30, 2013 at 11:46 pm |
    • A Voice

      Mykel – Jesus loves you too brother. Don't be afraid and cast off your fears! Even if you wait until your last dying day and accept him as your lord and savior he will forgive your harsh words. Just sayin.

      May 30, 2013 at 11:49 pm |
  12. Carter

    Honestly, who cares. They only thing the God fearing folks want is eternal life. Which is so ironic given that Christians aren't supposed to be greedy. What's more greedy than eternal life? People fear death the most so life is what is what we try to preserve. Just like when you're poor you strive to get money. Such crap that humans have sold other humans for all these centuries.

    May 30, 2013 at 10:57 pm |
    • Saraswati

      I have to agree that "greedy" was the exact word that came to mind when back in college a theist told me that she didn't think life worth living if she didn't get eternal life. "Spoiled Brat" was the other term I thought of.

      May 30, 2013 at 11:11 pm |
  13. momof3

    It used to be that mothers and fathers would teach religion together in the home. Fathers were the religious leaders in the home. Fathers used to pray at the dinner table and made sure the family went to church together on Sundays. Dads have become lazy in this area of child rearing and expect mothers to do it all. Mothers are tired from all their responsibilities at school, home and in the community. Many women are working mothers and don't have time to teach religion. Our country needs a campaign geared towards dads and their importance in the family unit. Dads matter!!! Moms can't do it all. There is a reason many women let themselves go. Men used to pay bills and take care of family finances and investments. Women do that too now in addition to the yard work. Moms and dads need to work together to teach the religion!

    May 30, 2013 at 10:53 pm |
    • The real Tom

      Why? What if Mom and Dad aren't believers? There's no proof that a religious family is any healthier or more stable than one that isn't.

      May 30, 2013 at 10:56 pm |
    • bill deacon

      Not a fan of gender equality I take it.

      May 30, 2013 at 10:56 pm |
    • Wow

      Thank you Harriett Nelson! LOL

      May 30, 2013 at 10:57 pm |
    • Secular Humanist from Ohio

      Leave it to Beaver and the Brady Bunch weren't real, but as a single parent I can empathise.

      May 30, 2013 at 10:59 pm |
    • Carter

      Sounds like your household sucks a$$

      May 30, 2013 at 10:59 pm |
    • Athy

      Moms and dads should not waste their children's time teaching them religion. Their time is much better spent playing games, sleeping, or doing homework. Apparently more and more parents are waking up to this truth.

      May 30, 2013 at 11:03 pm |
    • mykel armory

      Moms and Dads are wasting their time teaching religion. Satan will have their children's hearts, no matter what. Kids are too smart to fall for this nonsense!

      May 30, 2013 at 11:10 pm |
    • Saraswati

      Whether you want time to teach your kids religion or take them camping the problem families have is the lack of time. And for all but the poorest this is largely self-inflicted, with parents buying houses twice as big as a family of the same size had in the 50s, paying for premium cable, unnecessary iPhones and more kids than they can afford while piling up debt that forces them to work long ours instead of spending time at home. I give out my sympathy sparingly these days...show me your house and your cable bill before you whine to me about how little time you have. I want to help people trying to make ends meet on a ridiculously low Walmart salary or struggling with medical bills, not the millions of Americans working themselves to death to keep up with the Joneses. And no, I do not have either premium cable or an iPhone though by the judgement of most I could well afford it. And yes, I have plenty of time to take the dog camping...or teach her the religion of my choice.

      May 30, 2013 at 11:21 pm |
    • HotAirAce

      You are very wrong, or things are worse (better from my perspective) than you think. . .

      My wife and I explicitly decided to raise our children without any religion.
      I pay most, but not all, of the bills.
      Both our children have graduated from college and have held jobs since each was 14 years old.
      My wife and I retired within a few months of each other.

      So based on a sample size of 1, you are very wrong. But do go ahead and believe your generalizations and stereotypes, while pining (and probably wasting your time praying – that is, you probably believe in prayer which is a complete waste of time) for the good ol' days when atheists knew their place.

      May 31, 2013 at 12:02 am |
  14. Ray

    Regardless, eventually all the world will be forced to believe in Islam. Eventually we all will be more religious or pay the ultimate price for our disbelief.

    May 30, 2013 at 10:53 pm |
    • Athy

      Don't be silly, Ray.

      May 30, 2013 at 11:21 pm |
  15. Doodlebug2222

    I know some persons who do not believe in God but they continually say "It's not fair" ... seems they believe in something or someone – tipping the scales against them.

    May 30, 2013 at 10:44 pm |
    • The real Tom

      What people? They must be about 12. Anyone who's past the age of 25 has figured out that life isn't "fair." So what?

      May 30, 2013 at 10:45 pm |
    • Cpt. Obvious

      Wow. You know some stupid people.

      May 30, 2013 at 10:49 pm |
    • Carter

      We are all dumber for having read this post

      May 30, 2013 at 11:01 pm |
    • Athy

      How the fuck does saying life isn't fair imply some religious belief? We're all waiting for your answer.

      May 30, 2013 at 11:07 pm |
    • Athy

      We're still waiting, Doodlebug. Are you a slow typist?

      May 30, 2013 at 11:24 pm |
    • Athy

      Still waiting.

      May 30, 2013 at 11:35 pm |
    • Athy

      Still waiting, Doodlebug. You have one more year, then time's up. Somehow, I have a feeling you can't make such a tight schedule.

      May 30, 2013 at 11:48 pm |
  16. aallen333

    For those who claim to not believe in God, they sure seem obsessed with talking about Him. Even the godless demonstrate through their actions that there is a God. Like birds know to migrate south during the winter, there is a God-consciousness wired in every human being that draws them to meditation upon God. Whether we choose to suppress this behavior or cultivate it is up to each person individually. But regardless of how hard some try to eliminate God from their consciousness, they will always fail, because in order to do so they would first have to rewrite the code that makes them who they are. And only God has that kind of power.

    May 30, 2013 at 10:42 pm |
    • The real Tom

      Cite?

      May 30, 2013 at 10:43 pm |
    • Secular Humanist from Ohio

      Richard Dawkins would cal it a god delusion. I wonder why humanity is so insistent on it.

      May 30, 2013 at 10:46 pm |
    • In Santa we trust

      Mainly because you insist on trying to spread your delusion; someone has to show you the error of your ways.

      May 30, 2013 at 10:46 pm |
    • Saraswati

      Right...and the every one out there debunking ghost stories and astrology is really a deep believer drawn to that stuff as well.

      May 30, 2013 at 10:47 pm |
    • Doodlebug2222

      It has became a popular thing to make fun of the overweight, the unappealing and of course religion. Just one more bandwagon for those seeking cool-dom to jump up on. No? They why is there such a rant made about it? Not a "sorry I'm not religous" but a "OMG you idiots believe on God? Wow what a total waste off time.. etc... etc". As if the louder you are – the more you scream and hop up and down > the more embarssed I should be. Uh... I'd take look at myself because that type of behavior – really is ... questionable. If others believe, why does it matter to you? Why such a big fuss?

      May 30, 2013 at 10:48 pm |
    • The real Tom

      I don't care if you want to believe, as long as you stay out of the public schools and the public square and stop insisting that everyone else has to abide by your religious beliefs. Stop trying to prevent gays from marrying, stop interfering with the legal right of women to choose, stop attempting to insert creationism into science classes in public schools.

      Butt out of my life and I'll be happy to stay out of yours.

      May 30, 2013 at 10:50 pm |
    • Secular Humanist from Ohio

      Maybe because two children in Pennsylvania died because of their parents' religious faith. Maybe because a woman in El Salvador may die because she cannot abort her fetus which has no brain. Or we just might want to be cool.

      May 30, 2013 at 10:54 pm |
    • mlg4035

      You are mistaking the innate reaction of "awe" that all humans have in the face of the unknown or the sublime for your narrow tradition of the God-idea. You forget that you were TAUGHT to believe in God while growing up, and having forgotten that you were taught it, you now believe that your "God" is really all there is...you are literally suffering from a "God-delusion" and you don't even know it!

      May 30, 2013 at 11:12 pm |
  17. HotAirAce

    Ah, the death throes of a dinosaur. The delusional (mentally ill) believers are not happy with waning power and want things to be the way they were. Too ad, so sad – in a couple of generations, religion will laughed at just like astrology.

    May 30, 2013 at 10:24 pm |
    • Doodlebug2222

      ^ See? Like this person. Instead of simply saying something calm about how they are not religious but live and let live > they go off on an insulting rant to show how much they know, and prove how lame others are.

      Just – live and let live. Why so cruel about what someone believes in? Why is it so necessary for you to hatefully yell at us how stupid we are and etc.. etc... ?

      May 30, 2013 at 10:50 pm |
    • The real Tom

      Doodle, have you read some of the vomitous posts by HeavenSent, faith, Salero, and others? Do they state their feelings in a calm, polite way?

      May 30, 2013 at 10:53 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      You really shouldn't cling to religion, you know. Some of us can be nice enough to say you are probably a fine person with an all-too-common problem: belief out of indoctrination and fear in a controlling God.

      May 30, 2013 at 10:55 pm |
    • Athy

      Actually, Ace, astrology kinda makes more sense than religion if you think about it. Both have the same amount of supporting evidence (none), but astrology doesn't rely on all those foolish biblical miracles.

      May 30, 2013 at 11:13 pm |
    • fred

      Tom Tom
      98% of the worlds population believe there is more to life than chemical reactions. We are not "clinging" to a delusion we are simply reacting to a common trait. 54% of the world believes in the God of Abraham and the predominate world view continues to be based upon the Judeo Christian foundation. No one is clinging we are just following the path that has allowed this species to survive the last 10,000 years.
      Why do you look forward to a grand experiment of a godlessness as a worldview? The outcome has never been experienced by man since the first recorded history.

      May 30, 2013 at 11:13 pm |
    • HotAirAce

      Athy, I do believe you are correct! I will endeavor to not malign astrology similarly in the future.

      fred, you are merely a further example of a dying dinosaur – "Please, please, let me have my status quo!" – despite there not being a shred of factual, objective, independent or verifiable evidence for any god, and despite you (and several other staunch believers here) conceding that there is a non-zero probability that your god does not exist.

      May 30, 2013 at 11:45 pm |
    • fred

      HotAirAce
      Let's see we have a world view founded on the supernatural that obviously has worked for 10,000 years and you are asking for proof? You want to risk the existence of our species on a foundation that the world has never known without any idea or evidence whatsoever where that path would lead........
      Oh yeah that is really reasonable

      May 31, 2013 at 1:14 am |
    • HotAirAce

      fred, I'm fully prepared to live in a no god world because I already do as an individual and I put my trust in real people, not some imaginary being. And I don't think your, or any, god and its cult followers have done such a good job. Again, you just want the status quo – in your case because you admit that you are a weak person who can't function without the (idle) threats of the god you have latched onto. You shouldn't project your weaknesses and the bullsh!it your cult's shamans and charlatans spiel onto everybody. You should get help getting out of the dead jew zombie vampire cannibal death cult.

      May 31, 2013 at 1:46 am |
    • tallulah13

      Hey Fred? For the majority of those 10,000 years you talk about humanity was generally ignorant about the real causes of the phenomena that shape our planet and our universe. Gods were invented to give humans the hope of bargaining with the unknown.

      As a species, we no longer have that excuse of ignorance. We can and should recognize that there is not a single shred of evidence to support the existence of any of the thousands of gods ever worshiped. We can and should recognize that the acts we attributed to the supernatural are simply natural - no magic needed.

      You are free to cling to old superstition and cultural habit, but your god, like every other god, will eventually be relegated to the ranks of the mythological, where he belongs.

      May 31, 2013 at 2:08 am |
    • fred

      tallulah13
      You said: "Gods were invented to give humans the hope of bargaining with the unknown"
      =>hopefully you realize this is simply opinion and speculation? You have nothing except speculation which began in significant scale about 400 years ago.
      =>It is far more reasonable to accept the oral traditions passed down meticulously in tradition, ceremony, song, poem and finally written down by Moses about 3,400 years ago. During the first 1,400 years it was a death sentence if a scribe missed one letter while transcribing the scrolls. Each copy was "pier" reviewed for accuracy. The Dead Sea Scrolls dated from 408BC are the latest of these extant copies.
      You make something up out of thin air and claim it has greater validity than the greatest minds of antiquity.
      Real or delusional it was the God of Abraham that was the heart and soul of the chosen ones that carried them from slavery in Egypt through the Holocaust and back to their promised land surrounded by haters to this day.

      May 31, 2013 at 12:28 pm |
    • In Santa we trust

      fred
      " You have nothing except speculation which began in significant scale about 400 years ago."

      That is when science started discovering how things work and began to show that in fact it is your bible that is speculation. We know what causes thunder and know that a god is not angry about something; we know what causes an eclipse (and can predict them with great accuracy) and know they are not a sign from a god, etc. The latter are the origins of religion which we now know are baseless, so just because you have centuries of tradition, there is no escaping the fact that it is based on ancient superstitions which have been discredited.

      May 31, 2013 at 12:37 pm |
    • fred

      tallulah13
      You said: "As a species, we no longer have that excuse of ignorance"
      =>What? The best of minds today still have not a clue as to the purpose of existence or the causation. Pure speculation from any and fields of science exist as to possibilities but they are just speculations. The latest unsupported theory based on quantum gravitational phase ends in a mathematical abstract little different in causation than when the Bible says the creation was formed from that which was not visible.
      =>We are ignorant to advance the idea that a godless society can survive when in fact modern man has only known an existence where accountability was centered in the supernatural. The speculation that unlimited pockets of relative morality governed by the desires and lusts of the majority presents a better world view than an eternal absolute authority is based on selfishness which leads to conflict.

      May 31, 2013 at 12:43 pm |
    • fred

      In Santa We Trust
      Knowledge of survival is passed down generationally in many forms. Even myth and folklore serve to pass on beliefs that will allow a species to survive. Forget you hate for God and Christians for one moment and use your brain. Let us assume you are correct and their is no God and that against impossible odds this accident of wonder just happened out of a state of quantum flux without purpose or meaning of any kind whatsoever. You have no basis to suggest that it is more reasonable to take our species into a godless world view rather than follow the beliefs of eternal consequence and accountability that have been passed generationally for all recorded history.
      =>Simply the faith that God is with you allows armies to survive and claim victory against all odds. Moses raised the banner of God and armies fell. Does it matter if God is real or not? Is it not survival of a way of life that matters.
      =>why is that communism under Mao and Stalin found it necessary to remove that inspiration that hope that power that comes from knowing God is on your side?
      =>find go ahead and replace God with some human and you will be disappointed because humans will let you down and the shine is even falling from Obama. Perhaps you want to replace God with cold hard science or tensor calculus ........that is a different type of faith. That is a faith as in you believe the sun will rise tomorrow not in a hope and promise of new sun.

      May 31, 2013 at 12:59 pm |
  18. ISLAM FOUNDATION OF AMERICAN CONSTI TUTION

    Real face of hinduism, racism by faith, based on hindu atheism. criminal self center ism in hindu, racist india.

    [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YuKKBudmu8c&w=640&h=360]

    May 30, 2013 at 10:16 pm |
    • Hindu is not filth

      Islam is filth

      May 30, 2013 at 10:48 pm |
  19. Name*K

    I don't have to believe that Christ is the son of god sent to die for my sins and yours... It's a choice. I lived life with and without making God the center.... I'm better off with God in my life.... Don't knock it til you try it. Just because people say there is no god doesn't make it true... He is all around us.

    May 30, 2013 at 10:09 pm |
    • Secular Humanist from Ohio

      Just because you say god exists doesn't make it true either. The is no evidence for the existence of god.

      May 30, 2013 at 10:12 pm |
    • Alias

      It is not a choice.
      I don't balieve the bible because too many parts of it make no sense to me.

      May 30, 2013 at 10:24 pm |
    • The real Tom

      How would someone "choose" to believe if one finds the entire premise unbelievable? I can't simply ignore what my reason tells me and simply decide I'm going to believe in something.

      May 30, 2013 at 10:28 pm |
    • jim

      secular..etc.; look around or are you confined to a cell or other small area. get out and see there is, was and always will be the existence of the creator and the evidence is everywhere.

      May 30, 2013 at 10:35 pm |
    • Saraswati

      @real Tom, People believe all sorts of weird stuff for which there's no evidence. It's the old most people believe they are better than average drivers thing. Humans are way less rational that we'd like to believe. Sure, non-theists might be on average a smidge more rational, but only because there are maybe 10% highly rational thinkers among atheists compared to 2% among Christians. And even those aren't really as rational as they think...there's just no one more rational left to judge.

      May 30, 2013 at 10:37 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      Choosing to believe has other names – hypocrisy is one. If all evidence you have points to something other than what you decide to behave as if you believe, you are a hypocrite.

      May 30, 2013 at 10:39 pm |
    • Secular Humanist from Ohio

      Jim, hummm, I see evidence of the earth, the solar system, the universe, evolution, dna, photosynthesis, but no evidence for god or that jesus was divine.

      May 30, 2013 at 10:39 pm |
    • The real Tom

      jim, lovely as the world is, I don't find it reasonable to assume it was "created" by some giant fairy whom no one has ever seen.

      May 30, 2013 at 10:40 pm |
    • jboom

      Honest question for atheists:
      Is there anythings that casts doubt on your atheism?

      May 30, 2013 at 10:59 pm |
    • Secular Humanist from Ohio

      jboom.....bring back Christopher Hitchens. Then I might believe.

      May 30, 2013 at 11:07 pm |
    • Saraswati

      jboom, like many here I simply don't have a belief in gods. I've really no idea if there are any. I feel comfortable, however, that few of the gods I have yet heard describe are plausible, including the Abrahamic god. The only ones that are plausible are so untestable and limited in characteristics as to be uninteresting in the discussion. I'm always open to anyone who could present me with a cool god story, though.

      May 30, 2013 at 11:09 pm |
    • oOo

      Another way to look at it is saying that an atheist is right at home with lots of doubts about all sorts of things, and doesn't have to have all the answers by the end of the day.

      May 30, 2013 at 11:15 pm |
    • jboom

      Saraswati, why would atheists restrict their world to the observable/provable? Might atheists be missing out on "another" entire realm. Is it possible that its a stretch to make the assumption that something has to be observable to exist? To not make that assumption does not make one delusional nor fantastic. Ultimately, is that the choice?

      May 30, 2013 at 11:17 pm |
    • jboom

      OOo, Christians (pastors and laity alike) encourage exploration of doubt. In my church, the Apostle Thomas is celebrated for his doubt.

      May 30, 2013 at 11:21 pm |
    • Saraswati

      jboom, I'm not sure if you are responding to me since I didn't use the words observable, provable or delusional? Atheists just don't believe in gods. While many certainly may only believe in the observable or provable (or claim this...not really that likely) you would need a survey to determine how common that is. There are certainly many out there who do not believe in gods yet believe in magic, karma, reincarnation or population of earth by aliens. These are all still atheists. What you may be talking about are materialists or people of other very specific beliefs. Sure you'll find some atheists confused into believing all true atheists believe just as they do just as you can find Christians who believe the same. An atheist, however, is just an atheist.

      Getting back to the rest of your point, nothing outside math and logic is provable. What we care about is evidence and everyone cares about evidence, even the religious. And everyone cares about observation, even if it is internal observation of a sense of the presense of god. Atheists just don't find the evidence compelling enough to warrent their belief.

      May 30, 2013 at 11:30 pm |
    • jboom

      Saraswati, that is refreshing to hear. Seems like most (maybe just the more vocal ones) atheists on this forum do not admit that, in the end, both theism and atheism are matters of belief.

      May 30, 2013 at 11:55 pm |
    • Truth Prevails :-)

      "Is there anythings that casts doubt on your atheism?"

      My Atheism only defines my disbelief in any god, nothing more and until there is solid, conclusive evidence for a god I have no reason to doubt my Atheism.

      May 31, 2013 at 11:15 am |
    • jim

      t p? did you not see my response last night? the same is true this A.M. Please look around and if you can not see the beauty and intelligence in the creation of the world around us then you are missing so much.

      May 31, 2013 at 11:22 am |
    • The real Tom

      Why do you think that the world "had to" have been created by something? There's no evidence that it was at all, no matter how beautiful we think it is.

      May 31, 2013 at 6:53 pm |
    • jim

      tom; amazing intelligence in design with extreme beauty an added benefit.

      June 1, 2013 at 3:36 pm |
    • Cpt. Obvious

      @Jim

      You're using the argument from incredulity which is fallacious: "Stuff looks cool; therefore, god" is not a reasonable argument, and even if it were, it would only imply an ambiguous, deist watchmaker-creator, not your particular god.

      "We don't know" is an honest answer and much better than "big, invisible sky wizard did it with magic spells."

      June 1, 2013 at 3:41 pm |
    • jim

      cap.oblivious, I feel so sorry for you but I know you really do not care except to come up with a comment that will humor yourself. but if you can not see a creative genius all around then all I can say is keep looking. It is there. peace, j

      June 1, 2013 at 7:21 pm |
  20. TheTruth

    “When I do good, I feel good. When I do bad, I feel bad. And that's my religion.”
    ― Abraham Lincoln

    May 30, 2013 at 10:04 pm |
    • ISLAM FOUNDATION OF AMERICAN CONSTI TUTION

      wow Mohammad said too “When I don't kill , I get depressed. When I kill, I feel good. And that's my religion Islam.”

      May 30, 2013 at 10:08 pm |
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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.