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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. Christ was gay

    I personally believe we all have great inner strength and are capable of making this world better, I don't need to believe an imaginary puppet gave that to us. It is when people cast of the chains of bigotry and begin to think how they can better serve man that we will achieve our true greatness as a species.
    But this requires free thought and that people do these things because they want to not because of fear.

    June 23, 2013 at 4:00 pm |
    • Chris

      Man who is to become nothing but dust reaching out to other dust collections; yeh that is what to live for.

      June 23, 2013 at 4:07 pm |
    • I ask...

      Then why after eons of evolution are we not better at this thing called life?

      June 23, 2013 at 4:10 pm |
    • tallulah13

      It's sad when people are terrified of their mortality. It's sad when people waste the one life they get chasing after a non-existent afterlife.

      June 23, 2013 at 4:13 pm |
    • Redoran

      We are getting better at life every day. Just look at the iPod!

      June 23, 2013 at 4:27 pm |
    • I ask...

      Yeah but my iPad still auto correct sub incorrectly

      June 23, 2013 at 4:34 pm |
  2. compsage

    They're not "skipping" the faith. Atheists have more faith than all religions combined. To truly believe that everything came from nothing is serious faith.

    June 23, 2013 at 3:58 pm |
    • FreeFromTheism

      do you know what a straw man argument is?
      yours is a prime example

      June 23, 2013 at 4:00 pm |
    • Dippy

      So god came from nothing?

      June 23, 2013 at 4:01 pm |
    • Namerike*

      That is true. Faith is believing something you know is not real. Example. All the animals got on a boat and went for a cruise. The world is 6000 years old. The creator of the universe. Dresses up like a burning bush and reveals himself to nomadic sand tribes to teach the world not to eat pork. Taking that silly bible seriously takes some faith

      June 23, 2013 at 4:02 pm |
    • lol??

      Nope, faith is believing what God says. If you don't have a clue that's yer problem.

      "Rom 10:17 So then faith [cometh] by hearing, and hearing by the word of God."

      June 23, 2013 at 4:14 pm |
    • TeeJ

      And yet the scientific community agrees that it is impossible to gain animate matter from inanimate matter – thereby admitting the FACT they have no idea how life began.

      Atheist... they're like the insect in the deep wood who has never seen anything else living but its own kind. It believes itself to be the greatest thing alive; until one day when a human happens upon it, and the insect sees the sole of a boot coming down on it.

      As that insect in the deep wood goes, so go atheists.

      June 23, 2013 at 4:16 pm |
    • brwtx

      Atheist require more than faith. Faith requires no facts. If there was even a single fact to support the existence of your God most Atheist would convert.

      June 23, 2013 at 4:22 pm |
    • One one

      @teej, so, How do you go from not fully understanding the origin of life and the universe to the belief that a cosmic Jewish zombie who is his own father can make you live forever if you symbolically eat his flesh and telepathically tell him you accept him as your master, so he can remove an evil force from your soul that is present in all humanity because a rib-woman was convinced to eat from a magical tree by an infinitely sadistic being disguised as a talking snake with legs ?

      June 23, 2013 at 4:24 pm |
    • Randy

      @TeeJ you're like cow dung on the road that even insects would not come close.

      June 23, 2013 at 4:33 pm |
    • lol??

      EEEeeeewwww, cheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeewin'!!!!

      "Num 11:33 And while the flesh [was] yet between their teeth, ere it was chewed, the wrath of the LORD was kindled against the people, and the LORD smote the people with a very great plague."

      June 23, 2013 at 4:39 pm |
    • UncleM

      TeeJ – there are plenty of theories to explain bio-genesis – it appears to be an almost inevitable consequence of disorder.The least credible concept is that a god did it.

      Every time your post, you lie. Isn't that against your rules?

      June 23, 2013 at 4:41 pm |
    • lol??

      A&A's are too far gone to be cut to the heart.

      "Act 7:54 When they heard these things, they were cut to the heart, and they gnashed on him with [their] teeth."

      That's what men of law do to those of the Spirit.

      June 23, 2013 at 4:43 pm |
  3. Jack

    People to often focus on the differences instead of building strengths as a Christian I am proud of their efforts to better the world.

    June 23, 2013 at 3:53 pm |
    • Dippy

      Too, not to. And try using a little punctuation next time.

      June 23, 2013 at 3:54 pm |
    • ME II

      Hear Hear

      June 23, 2013 at 3:56 pm |
    • MashaSobaka

      As a non-Christian and non-atheist, I'm all for it, too.

      June 23, 2013 at 3:57 pm |
    • ME II

      That was @Jack.

      June 23, 2013 at 3:57 pm |
    • lol??

      Communin' is sensual. Ask the queen bees, the ones science hasn't killed off yet.

      June 23, 2013 at 4:00 pm |
  4. Christ was gay

    It was religion after all that punished those that said the earth was round and the it revolved around the sun.

    Religion will start WWIII

    June 23, 2013 at 3:53 pm |
    • lionlylamb

      Christ is,,,

      WWIII might or might not become a relative rationalism. Today's 'business warfare' makes oodles of dough by backing other nations wars. Why then should the world powers want to wage a third war upon the whole world? Too costly I'd dare to wager. Besides, business warfare is today, too lucrative a business for worldly powers to not back. WWIII is a hopeless dream fading ever away as Global businesses gain an upper-hand within worldly political arenas. Go Figure!

      June 23, 2013 at 4:24 pm |
  5. Tony

    Can somebody explain to me why CNN runs so many atheist stories in something called the BELIEF blog?

    June 23, 2013 at 3:52 pm |
    • Feekoningin

      Well, atheists DO have beliefs, even if one of them is not in God.

      June 23, 2013 at 3:55 pm |
    • Dippy

      We could try, but you wouldn't understand it.

      June 23, 2013 at 3:55 pm |
    • FreeFromTheism

      well, they get to choose whatever it is they want to publish on their site

      I don't see why you would be perplexed about articles concerning atheism in a section that is dedicated to this sort of thing

      June 23, 2013 at 3:55 pm |
    • One one

      Because they don't have an atheist blog.

      June 23, 2013 at 3:56 pm |
  6. ISLAM FOUNDATION OF AMERICAN CONSTI TUTION

    It is a club for late thirties or early forties men and women, having blown their prime years to find a spouse, place to hustle a man or a woman, not of any place of social values.

    June 23, 2013 at 3:49 pm |
    • lol??

      A dry gray bar??

      June 23, 2013 at 3:51 pm |
    • G to the T

      Sorry but there's NO WAY this is the real IFOAC – or you took some serious writing courses in the meantime. Either way (though I don't agree) at least it's an improvement in communication... 🙂

      June 26, 2013 at 2:47 pm |
  7. Richard_Iowa

    God bless them.

    June 23, 2013 at 3:48 pm |
  8. cdais

    Bahahaha. This is an all new level of crazy.

    June 23, 2013 at 3:45 pm |
    • lol??

      Beware the educational-governmental complex. The product is their most important purpose.

      June 23, 2013 at 3:50 pm |
  9. Face it

    Religious groups in my community are like discriminating clubs. They haven't the intelligence to figure one good person
    who's an Atheist is worth more than the whole half of Christians in a Fed Pen.

    June 23, 2013 at 3:43 pm |
    • *

      There are none good not one

      June 23, 2013 at 3:45 pm |
    • Fred

      Not all religious groups are inclusive. The Baha'i faith welcomes everyone to their temples. They even have doors all around the structures that signify the welcoming of people of all backgrounds.

      June 23, 2013 at 3:52 pm |
  10. Frankno2u

    This is the best part I love from them . Theirs own words.

    "" it’s a church without one big player: God ""

    Is like wining the NBA without LeBron James. But "acknowledging" the he is the Best player!!

    Well , Thanks God, I'm a atheist !!

    June 23, 2013 at 3:42 pm |
  11. lol??

    Warn em when they curse you, Christians.

    "Gen 12:3 And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed."

    June 23, 2013 at 3:40 pm |
    • ME II

      Since when do atheists "curse", in the Biblical sense anyway?

      June 23, 2013 at 3:50 pm |
    • lol??

      When their lips move.

      June 23, 2013 at 4:02 pm |
  12. Christ was gay

    According to the pope atheist get into heaven too!

    June 23, 2013 at 3:40 pm |
    • *

      According to the Pope when an atheist repents of its sins and accepts Jesus as its Savior it can get into heaven.

      June 23, 2013 at 3:43 pm |
    • Richard Cranium

      A distinction without a difference. Since atheists do not believe in hell, it is also a moot point what the pope thinks.

      June 23, 2013 at 3:45 pm |
    • *

      Not believing does not make hell go away

      June 23, 2013 at 3:46 pm |
    • ME II

      @*,
      While I agree that the Pope didn't say that Atheists will get into heaven, as Atheists, I am very concerned that you view Atheist as non-human, as indicated by your use of "it" instead of his/her/their.

      June 23, 2013 at 3:46 pm |
    • onewhoknows

      Why not a church without god.. the catholics have been doing that for centuries.. Members included the Columbus brothers and pope Alexander VI.

      June 23, 2013 at 3:47 pm |
    • *

      it is easier to type it than his/hers/ their

      June 23, 2013 at 3:49 pm |
    • Christ was gay

      It was a commentary on the ridiculousness of the whole church thing. * no the pope said atheist get into heaven without excepting christ

      June 23, 2013 at 3:49 pm |
    • Julie MS

      He's deceived and believing a lie, you cannot ad to or take away from the word of God.

      June 23, 2013 at 3:51 pm |
    • ME II

      The pronoun for multiple people or one undefined person is "their". As in "It is up to him or her. It's their choice."

      Belonging to or associated with a person of unspecified se[]x: "she heard someone blow their nose loudly".

      June 23, 2013 at 3:54 pm |
    • One one

      @*, "Not believing does not make hell go away"

      Believing does not make hell exist. What evidence is there for the existence of hell ?

      June 23, 2013 at 4:13 pm |
    • Richard Cranium

      *
      Believing does not make hell real.

      June 23, 2013 at 4:14 pm |
    • G to the T

      "He's deceived and believing a lie, you cannot ad to or take away from the word of God."

      It's an ironic statement considering the bible was compiled from over a hundred other books and then voted on to determine which ones got in the bible. So really, it's all "added" to the Old Testament anyways...

      June 26, 2013 at 2:51 pm |
  13. Diana

    Religion is made by the hands of man. God is love and his will lives in us. As a non-religious Christian, I think lots can be learned from unbelievers regardless of their label or lack of it. And so I hope God blesses the members of this Church of people who are seeking God's love.

    June 23, 2013 at 3:39 pm |
    • Athy

      A non-religious Christian? What will they think of next?

      June 23, 2013 at 3:46 pm |
    • lol??

      What the socie scientists have given the people for rehab in prison:

      1)skinhead gangs
      2)black gangs
      3)latino gangs

      Make yer choice and praise the socie educratists. Ain't science wunnerful??

      June 23, 2013 at 3:48 pm |
    • Just Call Me Lucifer

      There are no gods, let alone one with male genitals.

      June 23, 2013 at 3:52 pm |
    • Charlie

      What do
      1)skinhead gangs
      2)black gangs
      3)latino gangs
      all have in common? A very deep belief in God and Jesus. Your stupid analogy falls flat. Educate yourself, lol??, because ALL of these gands pray before every meeting. And what is a socie? Did you just make that up?

      June 23, 2013 at 4:00 pm |
    • lol??

      Yer in deep, charlie.

      June 23, 2013 at 4:06 pm |
  14. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things .

    June 23, 2013 at 3:32 pm |
    • Richard Cranium

      God is not healthy for children and other living things.
      Genesis 7:21 Every living thing that moved on land perished—birds, livestock, wild animals, all the creatures that swarm over the earth, and all mankind. 22 Everything on dry land that had the breath of life in its nostrils died. 23 Every living thing on the face of the earth was wiped out; people and animals and the creatures that move along the ground and the birds were wiped from the earth. Only Noah was left, and those with him in the ark.

      June 23, 2013 at 3:36 pm |
    • Christ was gay

      Two hands working accomplish infinitely more than a thousand in prayer.

      June 23, 2013 at 3:37 pm |
    • *

      God is most assuredly healthy for children and all living things, God created them all and God sits in righteous judgement of them all. Knowing this you are without excuse as you also will be judged by God

      June 23, 2013 at 3:39 pm |
    • nope

      @chri...
      nope

      June 23, 2013 at 3:40 pm |
    • yup

      @nope
      Yup

      June 23, 2013 at 3:41 pm |
    • *

      Obviously you did not read the bible.
      It is only your BELIEF that what you say is true. I do not believe it and have nothing to fear.( except of course fear itself)

      June 23, 2013 at 3:43 pm |
    • nope

      @yup
      thanks for agreeing with me !

      June 23, 2013 at 3:44 pm |
    • yup

      @nope
      didn't
      yup
      Just behaving as an idiot like you.
      Yup

      June 23, 2013 at 3:48 pm |
    • pothead

      @nope dope

      June 23, 2013 at 3:59 pm |
    • One one

      Leviticus 25:44-46: “And as for your male and female slaves whom you may have—from the nations that are around you, from them you may buy male and female slaves. Moreover you may buy the children of the strangers who dwell among you, and their families who are with you, which they beget in your land; and they shall become your property. And you may take them as an inheritance for your children after you, to inherit them as a possession; they shall be your permanent slaves.”

      June 23, 2013 at 4:08 pm |
  15. useyourhead

    Nice try, but who's hating.....atheists/agnostics gathering in peace or insecure, intolerants such as yourself? And ignorence, let's see.....fairy tales with an angry sky god versus carbon dating.

    June 23, 2013 at 3:32 pm |
    • DeepeThought

      That's a lot of anti-Christian bigotry and hate spewing you are spewing!

      Disagreeing is not hate!

      June 23, 2013 at 3:38 pm |
    • lol??

      Dating Carbon can lead to diamonds and a whole lotta trouble.

      June 23, 2013 at 4:08 pm |
  16. Feekoningin

    I'm an atheist, though certainly not what one of my Christian friends refers to as "fundamentalist atheist," the people who want to kill religion. Yet, it always amuses me to see atheists adopt the social models of religion - Sunday meetings, Sunday school, evangelizing about there being no God. To me, the whole point is that I don't have to engage in those things. It's neither here nor there to me what other people choose to believe, as long as they aren't able to force me into their belief structure through social or government coercion. And for those who still feel they want the fellowship found in attending churches, I think going to a Unitarian-Universalist church would do just fine.

    June 23, 2013 at 3:31 pm |
    • aarah

      Just why I'm a UU. I go for the community, our outreach into the community and the opportunity to work with not only atheist/agnostics but also Buddhists, Deists, fallen away Christians and others who just don't want to hear dogma from the podium.

      June 23, 2013 at 3:44 pm |
    • Feekoningin

      aarah, that makes more sense to me. If we truly want fellowship and to work together responsibly as a community made of of many different stripes, then I think it's better if we mix it up and all come together regardless of how our personal relationship with a deity shakes out.

      June 23, 2013 at 3:54 pm |
  17. most

    pedophiles are qu eers
    qu eers lied their way into the priesthood to gain access to the innocents, calling those vile deceivers christian is like blaming banks because there are bank robberies
    qu eers are often atheists as well

    June 23, 2013 at 3:29 pm |
    • most...

      Christians are liars. Look at the above post for proof.

      June 23, 2013 at 3:37 pm |
    • most pedophiles

      are christian, and not gay. more atheists put pedophiles in jail than christians, who hide them.

      June 23, 2013 at 3:41 pm |
  18. Alain Nallana

    It's a good thing that there are people like me all over the world. People who believe that doing something productive for humanity doesn't mean you have to be connected to a particular religion or deity. Always thought I was alone, particularly here in the Philippines, where people live and breathe religion, especially Christianity. I was born into one. It came with the territory.

    I'm hoping that there will come a time when everyone, even the unborn, can be given a choice as to what to believe. That parents take the initiative to give their children free rein when it comes to religious beliefs. That religion be taken off the school curriculum and let children decide for themselves when they are old enough. If they discover religion along the way, then good for them.

    I'm also hoping that a similar congregation opens here too where non-believers can share their ideas about life without God getting in the picture. I am an Atheist and I am a good person.

    June 23, 2013 at 3:28 pm |
    • Feekoningin

      You don't need a congregation to share your ideas about life without God. Every person you interact with every day has an opportunity to see what that means to you. There don't need to be overt discussions about what you believe or don't believe.

      June 23, 2013 at 3:34 pm |
  19. DeepeThought

    They have not rid themselves f worship! They have only switched the worship from Good to themselves.
    Most atheists that I have met, oppose the worship of God because Christianity prohibits an act the atheist wants to do.

    June 23, 2013 at 3:27 pm |
    • DeepeThought

      I guess my spell checker was off.

      June 23, 2013 at 3:28 pm |
    • Richard Cranium

      You claim to worship good, but your god is just as evil as he is good, as much hate as he is love.
      Is he not all things? Is he not the alpha and the omega. Did he not wipe out all of civilization, even though he knew that he would do it when he created it all in the first place. Did he not create Satan, knowing full well the consequences, did he not create hell along with heaven?

      Atheists simply do not buy the stories. And you should probably look up what worship means, since atheists by definition do not worship. Covet, prize, hold dear...yes, but worship no.

      June 23, 2013 at 3:34 pm |
    • tallulah13

      DeepeThought: I suspect that you don't actually know any atheists (or probably you do, but you aren't aware that they are atheists). I suspect that you are simply lying in order to make yourself appear to be morally superior, which is funny because there is nothing moral about lying.

      June 23, 2013 at 4:06 pm |
  20. Aleks

    Some blame christians for wars in the name of God.
    Let's consider Darvin and his followers: eugenics and racism are just two byproducts of atheism.
    O, and let's not forget the unholy trio of modern times: Hitler, Stalin and Mao of China.
    All three shared the same beliefs: evolution, atheism and survaval of the fittest.
    By the way, far more people were killed by them, than in the whole history before the last century.
    Ideas have consequences. There is so much evidence against the theory of evolution.

    June 23, 2013 at 3:26 pm |
    • Psst...

      Hitler was a Christian. And Stalin and Pol Pot were totalitarians. Man, you're stupid.
      And who the hell is Darvin?

      June 23, 2013 at 3:28 pm |
    • Christ was gay

      The Catholic church condoned slavery for centuries. Creative design has been debunked more than the theory that the moon is made of cheese. Read the Bible about stoning disobedient kids and how women on their period can not be trust and must live outside the community.
      Religion will cause WWIII

      June 23, 2013 at 3:30 pm |
    • *

      those who knew hitler knew he was an atheist stalin pol pot all the despots were atheists as well the common denominator to those mass murderers is atheism

      June 23, 2013 at 3:31 pm |
    • Psst...

      That should be Mao. Although of course Pol Pot is another person that Christians trot out to support their theory that these things were done in the name of atheism instead of in the name of control and power.

      June 23, 2013 at 3:32 pm |
    • Yerts

      Hitler was loosely a christian. Also there were obviously more people in the world in the 20th century than 1000+ years ago.

      June 23, 2013 at 3:39 pm |
    • Jakob Jackson

      Your argument that not believing in a god leads to social Darwinism contains a fundamental mistake in logic–that since some foul people understand evidence and do not hold religious beliefs, that understanding evidence and holding no religious beliefs leads to their foulness. Following the same logic, one could argue that, since members of the Klan believe in Christianity, Christianity is itself foul. Aren't foul people simply foul people, or mentally disturbed people, who will always find some rational for their crimes?

      June 23, 2013 at 4:00 pm |
    • ME II

      @Aleks,
      Eugenics and racism is the opposite of evolution through natural selection.

      "There is so much evidence against the theory of evolution."

      Please present it. I'm aware of none.

      June 23, 2013 at 4:17 pm |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.