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Church without God - by design
Members of an atheist congregation at Harvard listen to music during a recent gathering.
June 22nd, 2013
11:25 AM ET

Church without God - by design

By Dan Merica, CNN

Boston (CNN)-– It’s Sunday in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and a rapt congregation listens to a chaplain preach about the importance of building a community.

A few dozen people sit quietly for the hourlong service. Music is played, announcements are made and scholars wax poetic about the importance of compassion and community.

Outsiders could be forgiven for believing this service, with its homilies, its passing of the plate, its uplifting songs, belongs in a church.

If so, it’s a church without one big player: God.

Sunday’s congregation in Cambridge is a meeting of the Humanist Community at Harvard University and the brainchild of Greg Epstein, the school’s Humanist chaplain.

A longtime advocate for community building, Epstein and his group of atheists have begun to build their Cambridge community and solemnize its Sunday meetings to resemble a traditional religious service.

To Epstein, religion is not all bad, and there is no reason to reject its helpful aspects.

“My point to my fellow atheists is, why do we need to paint things with such a broad brush? We can learn from the positive while learning how to get rid of the negative," he said.

Godless congregations

For Epstein, who started community-building at Harvard nearly 10 years ago, the idea of a godless congregation is not an oxymoron.

“We decided recently that we want to use the word congregation more and more often because that is a word that strongly evokes a certain kind of community - a really close knit, strong community that can make strong change happen in the world,” he said.

“It doesn’t require and it doesn't even imply a specific set of beliefs about anything.”

Epstein is not alone in his endeavor. Jerry DeWitt, who became an atheist and left his job as an evangelical minister, is using his pastoral experience to building an atheist church in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

This Sunday, DeWitt's congregation will hold its first meeting as a "Community Mission Chapel."

"When you become a part of this congregation, this community, you are going to become part of a family," DeWitt told CNN. "There is an infrastructure there for you to land in. There is going to be someone there to do weddings and to do, unfortunately, the funerals."

READ MORE: Unbelieving preachers get help to 'come out' as open atheists

Sunday school for atheists

As members of the Cambridge congregation file into a wood-paneled classroom at Harvard, singer Shelley Segal greets them with a few songs from her latest recording, called simply, “An Atheist Album.”

Taking a hint from the theme of the event, Segal strums on her guitar and belts her song, “Gratitude.”

“I don't believe in a great power to say thank you to,” Segal sings. “But that won’t take away from my gratitude.”

Harvard's humanist chaplain Greg Epstein leads an atheist gathering.

After the music, Epstein offers a few words of greeting before the meeting gets to its heart: a discussion about compassion.

A four academics and a journalist discuss the effects of religion on raising children and their ideas about compassion. Congregants listen intently, some even taking notes.

Each service has a message – compassion, evolution or acceptance - after which congregants engage in a lengthy discussion.

Before the main event, kids are invited to what some parents refer to as “Sunday school,” where Tony Debono, a biologist Massachusetts Institute of Technology, teaches the youngsters about evolution, DNA and cells.

There's little talk about organized religion, positive or negative.

Likewise, down in Louisiana, said his atheist services will not be anti-religion.

"What we are looking at doing is different," DeWitt said. "If you are a religionist and you come and sit in our pew, the only way you can leave offended is because of what you don’t hear and what you don’t see. We won’t be there to make a stance against religion or against God."

Coming out of the closet

In the last few years, the number of “nones” – those who don’t associate with any organized religion – has grown at a rate faster than any other group. Nones now represent one in five Americans, according to a 2012 Pew Research Center poll.

Although the number of atheists has grown, too, there are still a large number of “nones” that choose not to associate with the label “atheist.”

Some at Harvard’s Humanist congregation fall into this category.

“I don’t particularly have a religion,” said Anil Nyer, a neurologist who brought his daughter to Humanist Sunday school. But Nyer also said he didn’t want to label himself as an atheist.

One reason to shy away from the atheist label: Many Americans hold a negative impression of nonbelievers.

According to a recent Public Religion Research Institute poll, nearly 40 percent of Americans believe that atheists are changing American culture for the worse.

“Whenever we put atheists on a list like this and we compare them to other groups, atheists tend to come in towards the bottom of that list,” said Robert P. Jones is the CEO of Public Religion Research Institute.

“Americans tend to hold a lot of reservations about atheists.”

Epstein hopes his congregation can change that.

By formalizing meetings and building a strong community, the Harvard group hopes it can be a model for other atheist congregations forming around the country.

A group meets during an atheist gathering in Boston.

More atheists may come of the closet if they know a congregation will be there to support them, Epstein said,

“Being an atheist is something we want people to come out and be,” said the Humanist chaplain. “There are so many people, probably millions, who are humanists or atheists or nonreligious in private and nobody knows."

Epstein said he gets e-mails daily from people founding atheist meet-up groups.

“Tulsa, Oklahoma; North Carolina; London; Vancouver, Canada; Houston, Texas,” Epstein said, listing the sources of the most recent e-mails.

“One part of what we are saying is come on out and let your neighbors know” about your disbelief, he said. “It is not going to make you worse of a person, it is going to make you a better person to be more open about who you are.”

Rituals for the irreligious

For the last few years, the Humanist Community at Harvard has operated out of a small three-floor walk-up off the bustling streets of Harvard Square. The walls are littered with posters about atheism – tributes to famed atheists Eddie Izzard, Seth MacFarlane and Stephen Fry.

Because of the scattered furniture and the Harvard dorm feel, Epstein jokingly describes the space as “college broke chic.” That’s being generous – but it's also about to change.

Starting in the fall, the Humanist Community at Harvard will begin meeting in a nearly 3,000-square-foot community center with an event space for nearly 100 people.

Although the plan is to use the space at the group’s headquarters, it will also serve as a broader community center for the group that Epstein and others are trying to build in the Boston area.

“What we really would like to see is a community center where people can come by at anytime and to use it as a space to study or have a meeting for various committee,” said Chris Stedman, the assistant humanist chaplain at Harvard.

Stedman said he sees the new building as a place for people to gather, not only to become part of a humanist community, but to also become more engaged with the world.

When he talks about his plans for the future, Epstein appears to long for a time when the new community center could mimic aspects of church - a place for baby-naming ceremonies, weddings and funerals.

The success of an atheist church will depend on walking the thin line between too much and too little ritual, Epstein said.

Humanists boast a proud freethinking streak, and some at the Harvard event said they don’t want to be associated with any sort of dogma or belief system - or even a system based on disbelief.

Anyway, Esptein said his congregation will be less a group of people united by beliefs - or disbelief - and more like an opera, or a painting.

“Our community is like a work of art," he said. "Hopefully people will respond to that work of art and it will garner controversy and discussion like a work of art."

- Dan Merica

Filed under: Atheism • Belief • Church • Houses of worship • United States

soundoff (6,897 Responses)
  1. BO

    Why do atheists always try to shove their beliefs down everyone else's throat?

    June 23, 2013 at 9:14 am |
    • The real Tom

      What 'beliefs' are atheists forcing on you?

      June 23, 2013 at 9:16 am |
    • *

      Without attention an atheist is like a closeted ho mose xual.

      June 23, 2013 at 9:17 am |
    • I Am God

      Another false statement. I go to the city mall every now and then to do some shopping with my family and I always see religious folk trying to get people to convert or force to their religion. I see Christians, Islamics, and many other religions but I have not seen one Atheist forcing his or her belief down other people's throats in that mall for over 5 years.

      June 23, 2013 at 9:17 am |
    • Jon

      Everyone likes to whine about everything. Why do the far-right still complain about every little thing Obama does even though no one cares what they say?

      June 23, 2013 at 9:17 am |
    • nathanmentley

      Calm down, bro. No need to panic.

      You don't have to attend this service. Nothing is being forced upon anyone. Just attend your church. I promise, these people won't be destroying your church.

      June 23, 2013 at 9:24 am |
    • Good ol boy

      ooh, ooh, I know the answer. Because they're morons who think they're smarter than everyone else but don't realize they aren't.

      June 23, 2013 at 9:38 am |
    • Richard Cranium

      ol boy
      The reality is that the higher the intelligence, the less need for supernatural explainations, and therefore less need for religion. Studies have shown that the less intelligent you are, the more likely it is that religion will be important.
      Calling people morons isn't going to get you anywhwre either. Is that part of the christian "love" I 've heard about but never actually seen?

      June 23, 2013 at 9:43 am |
    • fsds

      Actually, it is the religious who try to shove their beliefs down everybody else's throat. Many atheists simply want to be left alone, but some like to go on the offensive and give religious folks a taste of their own medicine. If you don't like it, change the channel or walk away. That"s what I do when I see a religious zealot.

      June 23, 2013 at 9:46 am |
    • Good ol boy

      I don't hate. I just tell the truth. You can pull all the studies you like out your rear. I can pull studies that say atheists find God in prison in hopes of an early release. I can also pull up studies that prove that people of religion give more to charity than atheists. So what? Oh, and I'm way smarter than any atheist I've ever met here or in real life, so your statistics are worthless in my case.

      June 23, 2013 at 9:47 am |
    • Richard Cranium

      ol boy
      Ad hominem attacks, name calling to you is truth? We have a great deal of difference in the definition of truth. You make yours up as you go along, just as the creators of the bible and every other religious text did.

      June 23, 2013 at 9:58 am |
    • fsds

      @good ol boy: "I don't hate. I just tell the truth."

      Nice try.

      June 23, 2013 at 10:07 am |
  2. A

    Our very next breath depends on God. Departure from truth is the single greatest error of mankind.

    I saw an "agnostic" on CNN this morning say everyone he spoke to said God caused his accident that rendered him paralyzed–really??? Is this true CNN??? He went on to say he realized that the "truth" was that the accident was happenstance??? Someone please unconfused me and all the on-the-fence believers that buy such ridiculous stories. I will be praying for those that have departed from the truth as I worship God this Sunday morning.

    Peace, Love, and Truth will prevail.

    June 23, 2013 at 9:13 am |
    • fsds

      Actually, your next breath depends on getting oxygen in your lungs and whether all your internal organs work properly. If you understood anything about human anatomy works (or any realm of science for that matter), you wouldn't need to make stuff up.

      June 23, 2013 at 9:19 am |
    • Danny

      It is ridiculous to believe that his accident was mere chance and not caused by a god? Wow. Not sure how to respond to that.

      June 23, 2013 at 9:20 am |
    • shadrac11

      Wrong, you are not a domino in some gods game. Enjoy your worship of a stolen idea of god.

      June 23, 2013 at 9:20 am |
    • A

      Pay no attention to those who are drowning in doubts, self-righteousness and spiritual pride.

      June 23, 2013 at 9:44 am |
  3. Leigh

    My husband is an atheist and one of the most moral people I know. That being said, I don't really get the point of these services. Doesn't make sense to me. My husband doesn't speak of his beliefs, or lack of, because he respects that others take their beliefs very strongly and can be offended. It has never been an issue.

    June 23, 2013 at 9:13 am |
    • Saraswati

      Agreed it would be silly for a bunch of atheists to sit around just talking about atheism. Like any group of adults spending an hour a week talking about how the tooth fairy doesn't exist. But this is humanism, not atheism. That word menans a few different things, but from their website:

      "Humanism is a progressive philosophy of life that, without supernaturalism, affirms our ability and responsibility to lead ethical lives of personal fulfillment that aspire to the greater good of humanity."

      There's a lot to talk about when you're hoping to bring about the greater good of humanity and to decide how to live in a way to do so.

      June 23, 2013 at 9:33 am |
  4. george

    Let it to Harvard to produce this kind of non-sense......it was well OVERDUE.......if religions in general are nothing but a manipulative doctrines...what is this "humanistic philosophy" ... manipulation 21st century?????? reality is God didn't create men at his own image, it is the other way around.MAN CREATE GODS AT HIS OWN IMAGE... has you notice the Asian has a godly Asian figure, the blacks have a bunch of black imaging, and so on, and on....way to go Harvard, welcome to the world of Jerry Falwell

    June 23, 2013 at 9:13 am |
  5. Dr. and Professor

    Reasons why atheism is horrible and unhealthy for our children and living things:

    – Atheists do not have any morality, are heartless, soulless and cold.
    – Atheists grew up in a bad family, not being loved and treated bad.
    – Atheism was brought upon during the French Revolution, one of the most evil time of history.
    – Communism – evil system created by atheists!
    – Atheists cannot prove God does not exist and how Earth was created.
    – No atheists contribute to charitable causes, unlike Christians, due to atheism beliefs in Darwinism.
    – Atheism making you agree with mass murder leaders like Stalin, Mao, Pot, Mussolini and even Hitler!
    – Atheists are mentally ill, that's why they have no faith and belief.
    – Countries with high rate of atheism = high suicide rate (Nordic nations).
    – Atheists tries to convert (young) people into their evil belief over the internet.
    – Atheists believe in evolutions, and want us to act like animals.
    – Atheists bash Christianity based on Jewish scriptures (Old Testament/Torah) and organized religion, and tend to ignore or forget how amazing, loving, friendly, supportive, and excellent the most influential person who has even walked on Earth, Jesus Christ, was.
    – Atheists do not believe in Jesus Christ; therefore they must hate their neighbor and enemy.

    Atheists are minority in the U.S. and the world no matter what "secular" sources and polls voted by few thousands of people tells you that were made up by silly atheists dreaming about making America more atheist, unbiblical and unGodly than what it actually is. More than 90% of Americans believe in God. Period!!

    June 23, 2013 at 9:12 am |
    • I Am God

      Spam bot. Another fool who thinks that repeating the same thing over and over will some how magically make everyone believe in his ridiculous false statements.

      June 23, 2013 at 9:13 am |
    • FreeFromTheism

      I stopped after the first sentence. You may ask yourself why, so here's the answer: because it's absolutely false.
      You have no idea what you're talking about.
      PROVE your statements to be true, don't just make them

      June 23, 2013 at 9:13 am |
    • The real Tom

      You're claiming you're a doctor and a professor?

      Doesn't your god know you're lying? Everyone else can see that you are.

      June 23, 2013 at 9:14 am |
    • Kat

      I become a more entrenched atheist after reading or hearing abuse like this. I do not feel the need to shove my theory down your throat, so why do you feel the need to shove your beliefs down mine? I am not mentally ill and I do charity work and believe in community and the some times hard to see inherent goodness of people. Fervent and radical belief like yours that fills you with hate would be more harmful to society and children than anything that I might say or do.

      June 23, 2013 at 9:35 am |
    • Arthur Bryant

      Nothing like good ol' Christian Hatred to start the day! Goes well with my cappuccino!

      June 24, 2013 at 2:34 pm |
  6. bigmicmusicmachine

    Is God a Commie???

    Assuming there is a God – and that “He” in fact created everything, and specifically created the human body to work optimally if not abused by alcohol, tobacco or drug consumption – which socio-economic system would seem to fit in best with “His” plans and intentions?

    Recent events in Cuba may give us a clue.

    After the fall of communism in Russia in 1990, Russia stopped helping Cuba with money and food subsidies.

    The average daily consumption of calories fell in Cuba during the following years from an average of 2800 calories per day to around 1800.

    And after a decade of reduced calorie consumption, type 2 diabetes has almost disappeared from the country – and there has been a drop in heart disease by a third.

    Correspondingly another fortunate result is that medical costs have also fallen.
    America has boycotted the export of food, fuel and medicine to Cuba for 5 decades – but it is only now that results are being seen, as Cuba has lost its replacement subsidies from Russia.

    By America and Russia working together to deny Cuba the munificence of capitalism. Cubans are living longer and healthier.

    God’s plan? If so, is “He” a commie?

    And would it greatly lessen America’s staggering medical costs if we turned food production over to those notoriously incompetent Communists?

    Next time you find yourself heading for the fridge, ask yourself, “What would that pinko Jesus do?”

    June 23, 2013 at 9:11 am |
  7. Kate

    I attended a Unitarian church where the pastor was an atheist. Some of the members believed in God but not traditional religion...and many were agnostic. Some believed in nothing. The point of the meetings were to talk about morality, ethics, compassion, empathy. You don't need to believe in anything to feel these qualities are important in life. The members of the group were good people. For the most part, through education and study they had evolved into people who no longer based their lives on the bible and all the 'so called' truths that are to be found there. They led happy lives, did a lot of good in the community, and were being true to their beliefs. Nobody condemned anyone else for not believing the same doctrine.

    June 23, 2013 at 9:11 am |
    • syed amanullah ashfaq

      God is Great, God is Great, God of Adam and Eve is Great.............Oh God protect me from rebel angel shytan....which deceived adam and eve in heaven and the children of adam and eve in this world........Oh God of Adam (ALLAH) show me the straight path and protect me from your anger ....and don't make me disobedient. We all belong to you and will return to you...ameen

      June 23, 2013 at 9:26 am |
    • Saraswati

      Humanist organizations are generally similar, but instead of being a mix of non theists, theists and others, humanist groups are more heavily non theist. Interestingly, many religious people also consider themselves humanists.

      My issue with humanism. is mostly in the label. I think it diminishes a bit the value of other sentient beings.

      June 23, 2013 at 9:37 am |
  8. syed amanullah ashfaq

    God is Great, God is Great, God of Adam and Eve is Great.............Oh God protect me from rebel angel shytan....which deceived adam and eve in heaven and the children of adam and eve in this world........Oh God of Adam (ALLAH) show me the straight path and protect me from your anger ....and don't make me disobedient. We all belong to you and will return to you...ameen

    June 23, 2013 at 9:11 am |
    • MagicPanties

      My invisible pink unicorn is great. Please protect me from imaginary beings.

      June 23, 2013 at 9:17 am |
  9. Mark

    Atheists playing church without God is the ultimate example of a Moron. They try to copy everything God does with a little twist. What a fool who thinks the is not God.

    June 23, 2013 at 9:11 am |
    • I Am God

      Copy? So what about Christianity copying temples and religious texts from the Ancient Greek and Egyptian religions?

      June 23, 2013 at 9:12 am |
    • The real Tom

      The word "moron" isn't capitalized unless it's at the beginning of a sentence. Why don't you know that?

      June 23, 2013 at 9:12 am |
  10. Tina

    LOL so now atheists wants to start a church..... Poor nerds

    June 23, 2013 at 9:10 am |
    • billfitt

      I suspect it's just a new way for gays to get hooked up. An alternative to the bar scene.

      June 23, 2013 at 9:15 am |
    • Saraswati

      Are. you under. the impression that non theistic buddhists never gathered anywhere? That Socrates and Plato discussed their predominantly nontheistic ideas with their comrades via email? They all did so long before the dawn of Christianity. Why on earth shouldn't people with shared interests and values have thr same opportunities to gather and discuss ideas?

      June 23, 2013 at 9:41 am |
  11. Spinner49

    Most atheists acknowledge that the community aspect of religion can be beneficial to the in-group, and to a certain extent to the out-group through charity, etc.. It is the dogma that atheists like myself have a problem with! Blind adherence to a supernatural being whose existence cannot be proven through any current scientific means can be very divisive. Many dogmatic religions require adherents to think horrible things (e.g. you are a sinner and you're going to hell) about non-believers. How can there be a respectful, productive discussion based on such a premise?

    June 23, 2013 at 9:08 am |
    • Benjamin g hartog

      Psychologically, no one is an atheist. Everyone has an image of God although it might be rejected as on object of faith.

      June 23, 2013 at 9:22 am |
    • G to the T

      Whaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaat?

      June 24, 2013 at 3:32 pm |
  12. elcidd

    Absence of evidence is evidence of absence.

    Humans have a need to glimpse order in the chaos of the world.

    If everyone placed more importance on this life, on this plain of existence rather than a hoped for afterlife imagine what could be accomplished.

    June 23, 2013 at 9:07 am |
    • Barbara Young

      Check out of your Spirit is atheist or just the consciousness. You can reject God, but not cool when not aloud in the Heaven dimension you are currently in. Means you are a roving ghost. Then ask, how to get reincarnated for advancement of your Spirit – your true state of being.

      June 23, 2013 at 9:13 am |
    • Barbara Young

      Check out if your Spirit is atheist or just your consciousness. You can reject God, but not cool when not aloud in the Heaven dimension you are currently in. Means you are a roving ghost. Then ask, how to get reincarnated for advancement of your Spirit – your true state of being.

      June 23, 2013 at 9:15 am |
  13. Dave

    Everybody is godless. Some people pretend a lot.

    June 23, 2013 at 9:07 am |
  14. jason

    Without Christ there can be no church.

    June 23, 2013 at 9:06 am |
    • Malefique

      Tell that to the Jews who had church for thousands of years before Jesus – or the many other religions who also had a church before Jesus.

      June 23, 2013 at 9:13 am |
    • Barbara Young

      Christing means your Spirit's material memory is being Christed/transfigured into the nature of God the Father and Mother – true christianity, not the Catholic version. When you Transfigure your entire Spirit you can attain your Robes of Glory, the end of reincarnation as you are a Being of Pure Light and Love of All Knowing and Understanding.

      June 23, 2013 at 9:18 am |
    • syed amanullah ashfaq

      God is Great, God is Great, God of Adam and Eve is Great.............Oh God protect me from rebel angel shytan....which deceived adam and eve in heaven and the children of adam and eve in this world........Oh God of Adam (ALLAH) show me the straight path and protect me from your anger ....and don't make me disobedient. We all belong to you and will return to you...ameen

      June 23, 2013 at 9:26 am |
    • Arthur Bryant

      Polly want a cra.cker? I wouldn't be surprised if you don't understand the reference.

      June 24, 2013 at 2:44 pm |
  15. Blaw

    Choosing to ignore or deliberately misinterpret evidence of the existence of God is the atheist's version of blind faith.

    Atheism is a religion, and in fact it takes a lot more faith as they call it, to believe there is no reason for the universe, than to believe in some incarnation of divine consciousness.

    Atheists have to ignore philosophers, historians, and increasingly- scientists. Their world is shrinking. God is Life.

    True believers and seekers of truth understand this. We are immersed in divine Love. Is there a judgmental old man in the sky? No. Heaven? Nope. Hell? Nope.

    Just life eternal for all of us. Understanding God is the work of eternity. We worship time, and we worship death in this experience. When science lifts us beyond these concepts we will see God for what he/she is. All in all.

    June 23, 2013 at 9:06 am |
    • Barbara Young

      a mortal is a son or daughter of man, while an Immortal is a Son or Daughter of God. Another words, you enter a visual state and enter the Divine Realm to bath in the White Sparkling River of Divine Life for rejuvination, Walk to the Chryseis Daughter – Incredible Love, followed by the Christ Son- again incredible Love, and return to the Garden of the Soul and open your eyes.

      June 23, 2013 at 9:22 am |
    • Arthur Bryant

      Blaw

      Choosing to ignore or deliberately misinterpret evidence of the existence of God is the atheist's version of blind faith.

      Please present your objective evidence without resorting to or referencing the bible.

      Atheism is a religion, and in fact it takes a lot more faith as they call it, to believe there is no reason for the universe, than to believe in some incarnation of divine consciousness.

      Completely untrue. Atheism is a religion like bald is a hair color. The lack of belief in an "incarnation of divine consciousness" (whatever that means) is based on the lack of objective evidence. Faith doesn't enter into it.

      Atheists have to ignore philosophers, historians, and increasingly- scientists. Their world is shrinking. God is Life.

      Atheism is growing, not shrinking. Check the FACTS.
      Which philosophers? Which historians? Which historians?

      True believers and seekers of truth understand this. We are immersed in divine Love. Is there a judgmental old man in the sky? No. Heaven? Nope. Hell? Nope.

      What pretty language. Cite your evidence that shows we are "immersed in divine Love".

      Just life eternal for all of us. Understanding God is the work of eternity. We worship time, and we worship death in this experience. When science lifts us beyond these concepts we will see God for what he/she is. All in all.

      Again, evidence? And who, precisely, do you mean by "we"?

      Your post has so many internal contradictions that I'm having a difficult time not spewing coffee through my nose.

      June 23, 2013 at 9:06 am | Report abuse | Reply

      June 24, 2013 at 2:51 pm |
  16. Namerike*

    Good. We need more thinking people and less bible beaters

    June 23, 2013 at 9:06 am |
    • Teddy Roosevelt

      Thorough knowledge of the Bible is worth more than a college education.

      June 23, 2013 at 9:08 am |
    • Spinner49

      @ Teddy – I know a lot of folks who lost their faith BECAUSE of their knowledge of the bible. So maybe you're right!

      June 23, 2013 at 9:11 am |
    • Teddy Roosevelt

      No Bible = no America. If you are without faith you are without the moral foundation that makes America great.

      June 23, 2013 at 9:13 am |
    • The real Tom

      More lies. Teddy, you should be ashamed of yourself.

      June 23, 2013 at 9:14 am |
    • billfitt

      I thought beating up the Bible is what you people specialized in?

      June 23, 2013 at 9:17 am |
    • Barbara Young

      The Bible is written in the Language of God, where each noun addresses the Nature of the Immortal Spirit to help them to attain Pure Love. For instance: River – flow of Living Divine Truth from a Living Awareness in the DivineRealm. Fire – Divine Love. Water – Divine Truth. Rock – Spirit. to name a few.

      June 23, 2013 at 9:27 am |
    • G to the T

      Ironically – I got my college education ON the Bible (and other books like it)...

      June 24, 2013 at 3:57 pm |
  17. Kosta

    [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w2W_mUTMUhg&w=640&h=390]

    June 23, 2013 at 9:03 am |
  18. Peter Bishop

    The Atheist can't find God for the same reason that a thief can't find a policeman.

    June 23, 2013 at 9:03 am |
    • Malefique

      You haven't known many atheists if you think that. The question has been asked and seriously pondered, or why choose the label "atheist" at all?

      June 23, 2013 at 9:16 am |
    • bigmicmusicmachine

      Do you find it impossible to believe that human beings are capable of behaving kindly and decently in a universe without a conscious god who punishes and rewards? He knows when you’ve been sleeping – he knows when you’re awake. Would you really behave much worse than you already do if you began to believe there are no cosmic eyes watching you? Do you really want a god like Judge Judy?

      June 23, 2013 at 9:16 am |
    • Larry L

      Atheists can't find god because they have no need to "build a crutch. They accept the concept of mortality and consequently, don't accept mythology to alleviate fear. God only appears in the minds of those who need to see god. Prayers are sent to your own subconcious and the voices you hear are your own.

      June 23, 2013 at 9:20 am |
    • Barbara Young

      Perhaps, but neither can most persons. Because they do not want to. Enter into a Guided Visualization and go to a door to the Garden of the Soul, enter and how it is designed informs you in the Language of God, your current Divine State; next, ask for stairs into the Divine Realm to form and they form and climb them to a White Cloud, next, walk to the White Sparkling Energy of the River of Divine Life and Bath, next exit and walk to a Divine Hill of Light and walk up a path to the Living, Objective, Visual, and Telepathic Awareness with the Christ Son of Pure Love. And when done, walk down the Hill to the edge of the Cloud and step down the stairs to your new Garden, as it will now reflect your Divine Love Encounter with the Christ Son.

      June 23, 2013 at 9:32 am |
    • Arthur Bryant

      Very clever but complete bull.sh!t.

      June 24, 2013 at 2:53 pm |
  19. jason

    The true Christian both knows and proves God every second of every day.

    June 23, 2013 at 9:02 am |
    • The real Tom

      You're not a Christian, then, if you endorse the post below about atheism. It's full of lies.

      June 23, 2013 at 9:11 am |
    • Arthur Bryant

      And of course YOU are a true Scotsman....er, I mean Christian.
      Please show us your proof. We'd love to see it.

      June 24, 2013 at 2:54 pm |
  20. !!

    Reasons why atheism is horrible and unhealthy for our children and living things:

    – Atheists do not have any morality, are heartless, soulless and cold.
    – Atheists grew up in a bad family, not being loved and treated bad.
    – Atheism was brought upon during the French Revolution, one of the most evil time of history.
    – Communism – evil system created by atheists!
    – Atheists cannot prove God does not exist and how Earth was created.
    – No atheists contribute to charitable causes, unlike Christians, due to atheism beliefs in Darwinism.
    – Atheism making you agree with mass murder leaders like Stalin, Mao, Pot, Mussolini and even Hitler!
    – Atheists are mentally ill, that's why they have no faith and belief.
    – Countries with high rate of atheism = high suicide rate (Nordic nations).
    – Atheists tries to convert (young) people into their evil belief over the internet.
    – Atheists believe in evolutions, and want us to act like animals.
    – Atheists bash Christianity based on Jewish scriptures (Old Testament/Torah) and organized religion, and tend to ignore or forget how amazing, loving, friendly, supportive, and excellent the most influential person who has even walked on Earth, Jesus Christ, was.
    – Atheists do not believe in Jesus Christ; therefore they must hate their neighbor and enemy.

    Atheists are minority in the U.S. and the world no matter what "secular" sources and polls voted by few thousands of people tells you that were made up by silly atheists dreaming about making America more atheist, unbiblical and unGodly than what it actually is. More than 90% of Americans believe in God. Period!

    June 23, 2013 at 9:01 am |
    • The real Tom

      If atheists are a minority, why are you so terrified of them?

      June 23, 2013 at 9:02 am |
    • jason

      There is no fear in exposing a lie for what it is. Atheism is a lie.

      June 23, 2013 at 9:03 am |
    • T-ROY

      This above post shows how hateful Christians are. Insecure and delusional.

      June 23, 2013 at 9:05 am |
    • jason

      There is no hate in Truth.

      June 23, 2013 at 9:06 am |
    • The real Tom

      And illiterate, ignorant, and dishonest.

      "No atheist gives to charity." Nothing but a complete, bald-faced lie.

      June 23, 2013 at 9:07 am |
    • BuckeytheBear

      Obvious troll is obvious.

      June 23, 2013 at 9:07 am |
    • LaRoque

      Christians start wars.

      June 23, 2013 at 9:08 am |
    • The real Tom

      "Atheists grew up in a bad family." Another lie. Making claims like this makes christians look stupid.

      June 23, 2013 at 9:08 am |
    • The real Tom

      "Atheists tries to convert young people." Another lie.

      June 23, 2013 at 9:09 am |
    • I Am God

      The first sentence alone shows that you are uneducated.

      June 23, 2013 at 9:10 am |
    • fsds

      A post filled with ignorance and stupidity. This is why I am proud to be an atheist.

      June 23, 2013 at 9:10 am |
    • T-ROY

      You would think that someone who had a personal relationship with god, not just a god, but an intervening god would be happy. A god who communicated directly with that person, answered prayers, answered wishes. You would think that would make them happy, but it doesn't. For you see they can not be happy until you believe it too...

      June 23, 2013 at 9:10 am |
    • The real Tom

      "...do not believe in Jesus Christ therefore must hate their neighbors."

      Another lie.

      If you have to tell lies to make a point, then your point isn't valid. And jason, you're an idiot.

      June 23, 2013 at 9:10 am |
    • Tuesday

      This is just one persons perspective and to me it seems very generalised and biased. I grew up in a very normal home and love my family more than anything. I went to sunday school as a kid and church as an adult. Im an atheist.

      June 23, 2013 at 9:14 am |
    • Bucko

      You are a narrow minded idiot. By the way, Hitler and Mussolini were raised as Catholics. I know people like you fear and hate atheists, because we reject your fairy tales, and actually do believe in EVILution. If you want to go through life believing in some imaginary "spirit in the sky", go for it. Now, if you can, please excuse me, I'm off to axe murder some handicapped folks.
      Too bad for them, I never learned any morality.

      June 23, 2013 at 9:15 am |
    • Adela

      Either you are a Poe or you don't know any atheists. If you did, you would know that, like Christians or members of other faiths, that we are generally well adjusted, loving people and productive members of society. Just because our moral code wasn't dictated to us by a book does not mean we don't have one.

      I wish all of you a nice day and a happy life.

      June 23, 2013 at 9:16 am |
    • Malefique

      Let me guess, you are one of those "loving" Christians. Yes, I see the "love" all throughout your hateful, ignorant post. And you wonder why people bash your religion?

      June 23, 2013 at 9:17 am |
    • Michelle

      Wow. Really????? Where in heck did you come up with, what I am sure you believe, are those "facts"? Crazy, this post is what gives Christians a bad name, but I bet you knew that.....

      June 23, 2013 at 9:17 am |
    • T-ROY

      If you believe man gets its morality from Biblical dogma, what you are saying is that if the bible were proven to be a fraud, all the Christians with good morals, would turn into murders, rapist, and thieves.

      I have a lot more respect to the Atheist who does good without the threat of hellfire and godly punishment. The guy who does good simply because it is inherent in his nature. Humans have an instinct of solidarity. This is how man survived for hundreds of thousands of years.

      It is shallow, arrogant and ignorant to believe we get our morality by being afraid of punishment.

      June 23, 2013 at 9:18 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.