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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. Hugh

    How can Atheists continue to say they are not a religion? Let's see if their churches get scrutinized by the IRS. Doubt it!!

    June 23, 2013 at 10:30 am |
    • Atheists are Apes

      True indeed!

      June 23, 2013 at 10:32 am |
    • jed clampett

      As long as the get the same tax exempt status in order to build mass fortunes, I am okay with atheist congregations. Amen to the holy money! Praise. The dollar.

      June 23, 2013 at 10:49 am |
  2. Atheists are Apes

    What I find hilarious is how closed minded simpleton fools like unbelievers has been saying for years that the bible is a myth and yet, they use the bible for self defense against Christians.

    It's like someone who refuses to believe in science, but he will use science in self defense against those who believe in it.

    June 23, 2013 at 10:30 am |
    • chubby rain

      What you call self-defense, I call pointing out hypocrisy.

      June 23, 2013 at 10:37 am |
    • Cheerios

      Yep....I noticed that too. Well said. I also noticed they reserve a special hatred towards Christians...but haven't found any criticism on Islam on these pages yet. They hate us, but apparently those who slam planes into towers get a free pass....because insulting Islam may be seen as "racism". Nice double standard there.

      June 23, 2013 at 10:39 am |
    • Truth Prevails :-)

      We're only pointing out the massive absurdities and contradictions within the book.

      June 23, 2013 at 10:42 am |
    • G to the T

      No worries – we have a couple fairly regular Islamobots that we call out as well.

      June 25, 2013 at 9:03 am |
  3. Atheists are Apes

    A set of beliefs is a religion, according to Durkheim. Atheism is a set of beliefs, therefore, it is a religion.

    I also regard Atheism as a pseudo-religion. It takes a lot of "faith" to determine, on your own, that there is no God. It takes a lot of "faith" to reject that there is no difference between good and evil, because in the mind of an atheist, moral values are irrelevant and inconsequential. They regard moral values as being an artifact of sun-worshipers of the ancient past who were attempting to appease the "gods". They are wrong. They also know they are wrong. Atheism is not a disbelief in God. Atheism is a rejection of God Himself, because an atheist is not willing to be subject himself to the authority of anyone or anything. Atheism could be regarded as a religion of Rejectionism. They reject the God they know exists because, like Lucifer, they are self righteous, indignant, and selfish. It is a "faith" that will cost them everything.

    June 23, 2013 at 10:28 am |
    • Gadflie

      That's a lot of ignorance for one post. What causes you to pretend that atheists reject morals? I'm just curious.

      June 23, 2013 at 10:31 am |
    • Edweird69

      Atheism is a "religion"? Is NOT collecting coins a hobby? Is bald a hair style? You dimbulb! Atheism is a "null stance". The day you prove there's a deity, is the day I'll believe in your psychotic religion. Until then, I am an atheist.

      June 23, 2013 at 10:31 am |
    • Science

      Sounds like you need to call the 1 – 800 number ?

      Science works no god(s) needed

      New implant helps boy hear for first time

      By Caitlin Hagan and Jacque Wilson, CNN

      updated 11:41 AM EDT, Fri June 21, 2013

      http://www.cnn.com/2013/06/20/health/boy-hears-first-time/index.html?hpt=hp_t1

      June 23, 2013 at 10:33 am |
    • Richard Cranium

      Durheim is wrong. Religion requires a supernatural component, which is the very thing athesist do not believe in. Athesim cannot be a religion for that fact.

      June 23, 2013 at 10:35 am |
    • Jessica

      Please don't bunch atheists into an overarching generalization. Many, many atheists have strong morals and values, and excellent child rearing practices. The difference is we aren't using the bible or a god to get our morals from. Our morals come from evidence based practices and the desire to be a "good person" as well as do our civic duty via community service. I still prefer the term "humanist" or "freethinker", admittedly due to the negative stereotype of atheists. We are trying to make the world a better place, just without the motive of heaven. How about your don't lump atheists together into a evil baby barbecuing sort, and I won't lump all those that worship god, allah, etc. into the sort that shoot down schools and hijack planes in that name of their god. Okay?

      June 23, 2013 at 10:40 am |
    • Paul46

      Why the anger? They don't have to believe as you (or I) do. I agree that it takes more "faith" to believe there is no God than to believe there is God, but still, their longing to promote humanist ideals (which includes you & me–being human & all) is so much better than the hatred & prejudice which frequently comes out of many so-called religious groups. I wish them the best.

      June 23, 2013 at 10:58 am |
  4. Atheists are Apes

    Atheists say they don't need a man in the sky to tell them what to do, yet, your life is being defined by evolution and science every single day. You are being dictated by the government and their law every single day. You are NOT free, you are a slave under the government like all of us are. Most Atheists on every single Internet Network don't have any morals.

    Romans 13: states, “Everyone must submit himself to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God.

    This is probably the only verse you have no choice but to abide in since God is over the author of AUTHORITY.

    June 23, 2013 at 10:28 am |
    • Edweird69

      If you need religion as a moral compass, you are truly warped. I assure you, I am more moral, than most "religious" people I know. And I am a strong atheist.

      June 23, 2013 at 10:29 am |
    • Gadflie

      So, how many of the atheists on the internet networks have you actually even met? I promise it is no majority. So, what you just did was bear false witness. How very christian of you..

      June 23, 2013 at 10:29 am |
    • Surthurfurd

      Morals for some is conformity. Morals for others is a respect for the rights and feelings of others. I prefer the latter. It is much harder and more just.

      June 23, 2013 at 10:32 am |
    • Richard Cranium

      Men wrote the bible. They took many of mens laws and wrote them into the bible. You can't honestly believe that your bible has the overall authority when there are so many other religious texts that have the same things in them. The origins for all of it is the same. Mankind. There is absolutely no evidence that any gods had any influence, yet we can actually follow through the histories and see where this really comes from. There is nothing in the bible except for some changes to the stories from the previous cultures that you won't find in other works. Things like the golden rule did not originate in the bible, and you will not find any religion that does not have it in one form or another.

      June 23, 2013 at 10:41 am |
  5. Atheists are Apes

    Atheism is the imaginary lack of belief of the intellectually disabled atheists. Atheists preach contrary to the Word of God on every news network every single day! No one preaches on here like they do, therefore, they have also converted the News Network a church where they gather to preach hate and belittle other religions when they are religious themselves!

    June 23, 2013 at 10:27 am |
    • Richard Cranium

      So many things wrong with your statement that It is difficult to know where to begin.

      By the way...all humans are apes. We are h0m0 sapiens, which literally means wise ape.

      June 23, 2013 at 10:33 am |
  6. Danny

    I find it laughable when people want to accuse atheism of being a religion. It is nothing more than juvenile name calling and contributes absolutely nothing to the conversation.

    June 23, 2013 at 10:25 am |
    • Wich one?

      The atheism or the religion? Oh heck maybe its both.

      June 23, 2013 at 10:28 am |
    • Mike

      What's so laughable? They proselytize and go to "church."

      June 23, 2013 at 10:28 am |
    • Danny

      Mike, you completely missed the point, hence proving my point.

      June 23, 2013 at 10:30 am |
  7. Gadflie

    I'm calling Poe's law on NoOneLikeJesus. Nobody can actually be that lame.

    June 23, 2013 at 10:24 am |
    • Truth Prevails :-)

      Yes they can...look back on this comment section, a poster by the name of Jessica is just as stupid, as are lionlylamb; chad, heavensent; faith...to name a few of the irrational minds that visit here.

      June 23, 2013 at 10:28 am |
    • Gadflie

      Poe's law still applies. 🙂

      June 23, 2013 at 10:32 am |
  8. NoOneLikeJesus

    BEING IGNORANT OF THE WORD OF GOD BY LACKING SPIRITUAL WISDOM, SPIRITUAL KNOWLEDGE, AND SPIRITUAL UNDERSTANDING IS WHAT LEADS THE FOOL TO ATHEISM.

    June 23, 2013 at 10:24 am |
    • Truth Prevails :-)

      Are you medicated for that disease?

      June 23, 2013 at 10:24 am |
    • Gadflie

      LOL, you really kind of suck at this NoOne. Lack of reasoning skills is what leads people to religion.

      June 23, 2013 at 10:25 am |
    • Danny

      You do realize that many become atheists because they read the bible and attempted to make sense of it all?

      June 23, 2013 at 10:26 am |
    • snowboarder

      over the course of history man has invented innumerable deities, religions and doctrines. all gods are assumed to be the invention of men unless otherwise proven.

      June 23, 2013 at 10:26 am |
    • NOLJ is Gullibility & Stupidity in Full Bloom!

      [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I0-04VDrCbM&w=640&h=390]

      June 23, 2013 at 10:34 am |
  9. nelbert

    How positively new age goofy can you get?
    “Our community is like a work of art"? Yes, like a velvet Elvis or a paint by numbers.
    And I'm an atheist, so don't attribute my scorn to hurt theist sensibilities.

    June 23, 2013 at 10:21 am |
  10. NoOneLikeJesus

    ATHEISM IS NOTHING BUT SELF WORSHIP, GREED, SELF POWER, AND EVIL.

    June 23, 2013 at 10:20 am |
    • Dan

      Reading the bible is the fast track to atheism.

      June 23, 2013 at 10:21 am |
    • Gadflie

      NoOne, really? What exactly do you base that pseudo observation on?

      June 23, 2013 at 10:22 am |
    • NoOneLikeJesus

      Dan -BEING IGNORANT OF THE WORD OF GOD IS WHAT LEADS THE FOOL TO ATHEISM.

      June 23, 2013 at 10:22 am |
    • Surthurfurd

      You are bearing false witness.

      June 23, 2013 at 10:22 am |
    • Edweird69

      We all know religion is never guilty of those things...cough cough. Atheism is a "null stance". I'll believe there's a god/gods, when you prove it. And you won't, because you can't, because there isn't.

      June 23, 2013 at 10:26 am |
    • Bill

      You just described most christians I know. I'm fast believing that being a good person is less about your religious beliefs and more about a person's innate drive to do/be good. I know many atheists who are more compassionate and giving then people who go to church each Sunday. I think we have to look at the good in each individual and stop judging them on their religious (or lack of) beliefs.

      June 23, 2013 at 10:26 am |
    • SDFrankie

      And religion is nothing but fairytales and lies used to control the weak and ignorant.

      June 23, 2013 at 10:27 am |
    • Fortune holds more for the bold

      "Null stance" perfect definition

      June 23, 2013 at 10:30 am |
    • G to the T

      NOLJ – Which version of the HOLY WORD should I be aware of? I've 6 different bibles at home (a couple of beautiful Civial War era editions among them) and have spent the better part of 20 years studying religion.

      I guess I just haven't read the RIGHT version yet, so if you could let me know, that'd be great...

      June 25, 2013 at 9:10 am |
  11. Surthurfurd

    So the complaint against atheists is they attack Christians. Does this mean Christians should not be attacking atheists. We have to all stop attacking each other and let people be as long as they are not harming others.

    June 23, 2013 at 10:19 am |
  12. bigmicmusicmachine

    ..Knowing human beings as I do.. (..and believe me, you're an acquired taste..) I feel certain that every single person who considers himself a Christian is in fact much more moral and kind-hearted than the God he or she worships.

    Proof? How many would sit by and watch any soul be tortured and tormented in the fires of Hell FOREVER and not step in to stop it and say "We've had enough Auschwitzes.. we certainly don't need an eternal one."

    June 23, 2013 at 10:19 am |
    • ldsguy

      bigmicmusicmachine – You need to research LDS doctrine! You will be very comforted.

      June 23, 2013 at 10:40 am |
    • a reasonable atheist

      Just because the doctrine might be softened up a bit does not make it any less fallacious. Unless there is demonstrable evidence, it is all just empty assertions. Whether your brand of religion is more pleasant than the other person's or not is completely immaterial.

      June 24, 2013 at 5:57 pm |
  13. kp joy

    "FOOL SAYS...........................THERE IS NO GOD..........PSA 45:1,53:1[CREATOR GOD SPOKE THROUGH HIS SERVANTS ABOUT 3500 YRS AGO]

    June 23, 2013 at 10:19 am |
    • Edweird69

      The bible's true, because it says it's true? Circular logic there.

      June 23, 2013 at 10:20 am |
    • Dan

      Quoting fiction is fun.

      June 23, 2013 at 10:22 am |
    • Truth Prevails :-)

      Then I guess I'm a fool and a happy, successful one at that. Great without the need for an imaginary friend...I left those behind with my childhood...you should attempt it and grow up.

      June 23, 2013 at 10:26 am |
  14. pastaferian

    Why does this article bother the religious flock so much? These godless folks seem to be ethical enough (no Bibles or Qurans needed), and they are not preaching it at your door, or condemning you to "athiest hell". Be honest, are you worried that your brothers and sisters are dwindling in numbers? Are you scared that eventually today's religions will be "classic literature"?

    June 23, 2013 at 10:18 am |
    • nelbert

      The article bothers me, and I'm an atheist.

      June 23, 2013 at 10:25 am |
    • Jesus

      When faith confronts reason, logic, and rational thinking, faith fails miserably. If one's very being in this complex world is supported by faith, the reality that their faith is fatally flawed is something that believers do not want to hear.

      June 23, 2013 at 10:27 am |
  15. PosterofTruth

    PEOPLE... Reading all of your posts depresses me. If you don't believe in God, then what Christians and other believers believe in seems like mumbo jumbo and your logic cannot accept it. If you believe in a God or religion, then you don't understand how a group of people don't see the significance of your faith and how it applies to all humanity.

    Let's all be honest for a moment. We all BELIEVE in something one way or another. Christians believe that Jesus was the savior to all mankind. Atheists believe that humans are the result of probability and evolution and that no greater presence was involved with our eventual existence.

    Here's the facts: We are alive, then we die. We have a limited amount of time being alive and we can affect the people and world around us for good or for evil. Stop stomping on each other.

    June 23, 2013 at 10:18 am |
    • Scott

      Beautifully stated PosterofTruth. The sad part is just read through the postings on virtually any CNN Belief Blog and you find foaming-at-the-mouth religion haters throwing all kinds of filth at believers and on the flip side you find Bible pounding believers condemning the non-believers to Hell.

      Scott

      June 23, 2013 at 10:23 am |
    • Paul46

      I love your statement. Thank you. We live for such a brief moment, the best we can do is to be kind to one another.

      June 23, 2013 at 11:59 am |
  16. Bravo15

    They're only doing what people of faith are doing, only difference, the one group "pretends" it believes in a deity. Both claim non profit status and will profit from these scams and why? People have proven that in mass they can not self think or lead.

    June 23, 2013 at 10:16 am |
    • nelbert

      You probably should proofread before you post.
      While speaking against those who are religious, you state "in mass they can not self think." Yet this church of atheism is doing that very same thing. They seek support for their belief from those who share that belief. The whole thing seems comically hypocritical and new age goofy.
      And FYI, I'm an atheist.

      June 23, 2013 at 10:31 am |
  17. Vinifera

    Atheism is just another denomination of Protestantism. It has a lot in common with Lutheranism, Anglicanism, and Methodism

    June 23, 2013 at 10:15 am |
    • Gadflie

      Sorry kid, that's laughable.

      June 23, 2013 at 10:17 am |
    • Scott

      With your statement's extent at dissing the Protestants you must belong to the Ancient Order of Pedophiles, Roman Catholic Church.

      Scott

      June 23, 2013 at 10:17 am |
    • HeavenSent

      1 John 2:16  

      For all that [is] in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.

      Amen.
      __________________________________________________________________________
      1939   //  epiyumia  //  epithumia   //  ep-ee-thoo-mee'-ah  // 
      from   1937  ; TDNT – 3:168,339; n f
      AV – lust 31, concupiscence 3, desire 3, lust after 1; 38
      1) desire, craving, longing, desire for what is forbidden, lust
      For Synonyms see entry   5845  &   5906 
      __________________________________________________________________________
      4561   //  sarx  //  sarx   //  sarx  // 
      probably from the base of   4563  ; TDNT – 7:98,1000; n f
      AV – flesh 147, carnal 2, carnally minded +   5427  1, fleshly 1; 151
      1) flesh (the soft substance of the living body, which covers
      the bones and is permeated with blood) of both man and beasts
      2) the body
      2a) the body of a man
      2b) used of natural or physical origin, generation or
      relationship
      2b1) born of natural generation
      2c) the sensuous nature of man, "the animal nature"
      2c1) without any suggestion of depravity
      2c2) the animal nature with cravings which incite to sin
      2c3) the physical nature of man as subject to suffering
      3) a living creature (because possessed of a body of flesh)
      whether man or beast
      4) the flesh, denotes mere human nature, the earthly nature of man apart
      from divine influence, and therefore prone to sin and opposed to God
      __________________________________________________________________________
      3788   //  oftalmov  //  ophthalmos   //  of-thal-mos'  // 
      from   3700  ; TDNT – 5:375,706; n m
      AV – eye 101, sight 1; 102
      1) the eye
      2) metaph. the eyes of the mind, the faculty of knowing
      __________________________________________________________________________
      212   //  alazoneia  //  alazoneia   //  al-ad-zon-i'-a  // 
      from   213  ; TDNT – 1:226,36; n f
      AV – boasting 1, pride 1; 2
      1) empty, braggart talk
      2) an insolent and empty assurance, which trusts in its own
      power and resources and shamefully despises and violates
      divine laws and human rights
      3) an impious and empty presumption which trusts in the
      stability of earthy things
      __________________________________________________________________________
      979   //  biov  //  bios   //  bee'-os  // 
      a primary word; TDNT – 2:832,290; n m
      AV – life 5, living 5, good 1; 11
      1) life
      1a) life extensively
      1a1) the period or course of life
      1b) that by which life is sustained, resources, wealth, goods
      For Synonyms see entry   5821 

      June 23, 2013 at 10:20 am |
    • Edweird69

      Atheism is NOT a type of any kind of religion! No more than bald is a type of hairstyle.

      June 23, 2013 at 10:22 am |
    • Vinifera

      @Gadflie : why is it laughable?

      June 23, 2013 at 10:50 am |
    • Vinifera

      @Scott – Obviously you are out of ideas.

      June 23, 2013 at 11:03 am |
  18. Jim MCDonald

    Didn't we already do this with last years DNC convention?

    June 23, 2013 at 10:15 am |
    • Mike

      Now that's a good one !

      June 23, 2013 at 10:25 am |
  19. Dan

    “If every trace of any single religion were wiped out and nothing were passed on, it would never be created exactly that way again. There might be some other nonsense in its place, but not that exact nonsense. If all of science were wiped out, it would still be true and someone would find a way to figure it all out again.”
    ― Penn Jillette

    June 23, 2013 at 10:14 am |
    • Science

      Dan and why can't bible thumpers figure this out is the big question ?

      The bloodline...........could have something locked in the closet ?

      DNA tests reveal Prince William's Indian ancestry

      http://www.cnn.com/2013/06/14/world/europe/britain-prince-william-india/?iref=obnetwork

      June 23, 2013 at 10:23 am |
  20. Scott

    Fine, go for it. But keep in mind that while you are not worshiping a deity in the traditional sense, you are contemplating the works of philosophers, religions and others. You know, kind of like Shintoism. Oops! There's that pesky religion sneaking in 😉

    Scott

    June 23, 2013 at 10:14 am |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.