home
RSS
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. The real Tom

    Is it sad that I dream of being superior to others?

    June 23, 2013 at 8:51 pm |
    • The real Tom

      ....and on an anonymous comment section no less?

      June 23, 2013 at 8:51 pm |
    • I Am God

      Yes. Yes it is.

      June 23, 2013 at 8:53 pm |
    • Akira

      What is sad is that you have to steal handles to make yourself feel better about yourself.

      June 23, 2013 at 8:53 pm |
    • The real Tom

      Hey, Akira, is this a hoot or what?

      June 23, 2013 at 8:55 pm |
    • The real Tom

      Incorrect, once again : )

      June 23, 2013 at 8:55 pm |
    • devin

      It's okay, everyone here realizes it could only ever be a dream.

      June 23, 2013 at 8:58 pm |
    • The real Tom

      Gee, who knew that so many little dweebs were this jealous? And why? Who knows? I guess their mommies never breast-fed them, or perhaps they have very tiny penises.

      I really don't care all that much, but it's nice to know that they think I matter!

      June 23, 2013 at 9:00 pm |
    • Akira

      It's something, TRT.

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

      I know, Akira. I'm laughing here.

      June 23, 2013 at 9:02 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      It's all right real Tom. You've mastered them. They are little schoolboys. AMDG

      June 23, 2013 at 9:05 pm |
    • Akira

      You definitely impressed someone, Tom. Why expend the energy, otherwise?

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

      Akira, you speak the truth. Somebody really got his hair in a braid today, I guess.

      No real perspective, apparently.

      I hope whoever it is gets some counseling for its problem.

      June 23, 2013 at 9:12 pm |
  2. The real Tom

    I had no idea it was that easy to upset you folks.

    Goodness. I must be more powerful than I dreamed.

    June 23, 2013 at 8:49 pm |
    • The real Tom

      Either that or I'm so self-important that I believe I've actually hurt someone's e-feelings. That's probably what it is. I love myself too much to see that everyone around me wishes I was dead. Which is why I have wasted years of my time posting garbage that no one cares about on this website. Man. What was I thinking?

      Maybe I haven't been thinking.

      June 23, 2013 at 8:57 pm |
    • The real Tom

      Gee, why would I imagine that, when nobody responds to my posts? Oh, wait...you apparently ARE butt-hurt beyond all reason, aren't you? Otherwise, why would you post?

      You poor dear. I hope you're not permanently impaired. Oh, wait...

      My condolences.

      June 23, 2013 at 9:02 pm |
  3. The real Tom

    Gosh, that was easy.

    A few folks upset the trolls so thoroughly that they don't even know whether they're posting to each other or to the people they are so afraid of.

    Boy, you guys are easy.

    I hope you have trust funds. 'Cause otherwise? You all are fucked for life.

    June 23, 2013 at 8:45 pm |
    • The real Tom

      Ut Ohs! I is upsets cuz now I swears like big girl!

      June 23, 2013 at 8:46 pm |
    • devin

      Real Tom

      Just out of curiosity, which is it h o m o s e x u a l or pedophile? Hopefully not both.

      June 23, 2013 at 8:49 pm |

    • Was fractured cretin the right term for this little thing? Who would think that HeavenSent might have a child?

      June 23, 2013 at 8:50 pm |
    • The real Tom

      Gosh, devin! Are you that much of a weenie? I never realized! I feel terrible that I upset you so! Please know that I mean you no harm; had I known you were mentally ill or retarded, I'd never have acted so harshly. Do contact me when you need financial assistance to cope with your psychological difficulties. I'll be sure to laugh my azz off at you.

      June 23, 2013 at 8:53 pm |
    • Secular Humanist from Ohio

      devin

      repent of you sins, the FSM is forgiving.

      June 23, 2013 at 8:55 pm |
    • devin

      real T

      And yet, you still did not answer the question.

      June 23, 2013 at 8:55 pm |
    • The real Tom

      What question, honey? I hope to enlighten you if only you can reveal your true nature to me. Are you looking for stimulation or a parent figure, dear?

      I know you're a sad little case, devin, but I'm sure I can find someone to help you find that penis of yours, no matter how minuscule it might be.

      June 23, 2013 at 8:57 pm |
    • Secular Humanist from Ohio

      devin

      you have not answered how you can keep to the earth and not fly off. Think about it.

      June 23, 2013 at 8:57 pm |
    • devin

      Real T

      And yet, you still do not answer the question.

      June 23, 2013 at 9:00 pm |
    • Secular Humanist from Ohio

      devin

      you have not answered my question. You doom yourself. But of us true believers will pray for you in hope of your salvation.

      June 23, 2013 at 9:04 pm |
    • The real Tom

      Oh, gosh, devin, I forgot what the question was. Was it whether you had a penis or what the size of said member was before you were emasculated?

      June 23, 2013 at 9:05 pm |
    • devin

      Real T

      It's okay, it was actually a hypothetical, we already know the answer.

      June 23, 2013 at 9:11 pm |
    • The real Tom

      Do wee-wee, devin, honey? Do you wee-wee in the potty or still use pull-ups?

      June 23, 2013 at 9:13 pm |
  4. wisdom4u2

    Isn't that special? A gathering of a bunch of dim-sighted people with no hope has got to be sooooo dull. Therefore, what's the purpose....misery loving company? Just look at their faces; While there may be a smile on it their eyes are soulless. So, I'll take "Faith in Jehovah" for God's Grace, Alex.

    June 23, 2013 at 8:41 pm |
    • Bostontola

      Do you actually believe you can detect souls in photos, a collection of digital pixels?

      June 23, 2013 at 8:44 pm |
    • Secular Humanist from Ohio

      I see souls as revealed to me by the FSM and you can't prove otherwise.

      June 23, 2013 at 8:46 pm |
    • Bostontola

      SHfO,
      When you put it that way...

      June 23, 2013 at 8:48 pm |
    • wisdom4u2

      @SHFO

      EXACTAMUNDO!! I can see souls and spiritual orbs...so what's your point?

      June 23, 2013 at 9:12 pm |
    • Secular Humanist from Ohio

      wisdom

      I was being sarcastic. Parroting the fundies arguments. I am a card carrying atheist who values humanity. I also state that evolution is a fact.

      June 23, 2013 at 9:16 pm |
    • wisdom4u2

      @SHFO
      LOL! Actually, my comment was meant for 'Bostontola". Howbeit, I'm glad you're proud of being a

      June 23, 2013 at 9:24 pm |
    • No way Atheists!!

      So true, wisdom4u2, they are so soulless with no hope whatsoever.....I pity them so much.

      June 23, 2013 at 9:36 pm |
  5. devin

    Real Tom

    Now I remember, you're the one I cut off from discourse because of your maturity level. Is it the 7th or 8th grade you will be going into this fall?

    June 23, 2013 at 8:38 pm |
    • The real Tom

      Blah blah blah blah blah FART

      That's all I read. Anything else?

      June 23, 2013 at 8:39 pm |
    • devin

      7th I see.

      June 23, 2013 at 8:42 pm |
    • Secular Humanist from Ohio

      devin

      The FSM answers prayers.

      June 23, 2013 at 8:44 pm |
    • The real Tom

      AND FSM DOESN'T PULL OUT

      June 23, 2013 at 8:47 pm |
  6. alfredo

    God bless these atheists. Lol...

    June 23, 2013 at 8:37 pm |
  7. The real Tom

    Oh piddles, did I upset widdew piddles? Maybe herbie the burbler? Doogie? Is that you? My oh my oh my oh my oh my who is it? Maybe I'll sit here gaining weight whilest pointlessly guessing at something that means nothing! But I am CONSUMED by it. I MUST know. I must convince myself that I think I know in order to gain self satisfaction. I must convince other anonymous pseudo intellects of my genius.

    June 23, 2013 at 8:35 pm |
    • The real Tom

      It's "whilst", dear.

      Ask mummer and daddums to pony up for a better system to help you check your spelling, honey.

      June 23, 2013 at 8:47 pm |
  8. The real Tom

    What a riot. The poor little trolls are just beside themselves!

    Keep it up, dears. You're so adorable when you get desperate.

    June 23, 2013 at 8:35 pm |
    • The real Tom

      Oh! I know! All they've done is completely derail your ability to insult anyone effectively to project your moral superiority! Man, I wonder what it's like to not have a life!

      June 23, 2013 at 8:37 pm |
    • devin

      " I wonder what it's like to not have a life". Says the man who apparently spends the majority of his on CNN blogs. Sweet.

      June 23, 2013 at 8:41 pm |
    • The real Tom

      Did you forget to change your sock puppet name?

      Wow. You're dumber than my dumbest cat. He forgets to use the litter box. Do you forget where your toilet is, too?

      June 23, 2013 at 8:42 pm |
    • Secular Humanist from Ohio

      devin

      If you receive the FSM into your heart you will receive forgiveness of your sins.

      June 23, 2013 at 8:43 pm |
    • The real Tom

      LOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOL dumdumdumdumdum

      June 23, 2013 at 8:43 pm |

    • Real Tom's all right. Honest in her opinions. I admire honesty and originality. She tolerates fractured cretins no further than anyone should expect her to.

      June 23, 2013 at 8:46 pm |
    • The real Tom

      I know I'm awesome.

      June 23, 2013 at 8:49 pm |
    • The real Tom

      Apparently, I am. Otherwise, nobody would bother to be so butt-griped by my posts.

      You guys really need to find girls your own age.

      June 23, 2013 at 9:07 pm |
  9. Matt

    Agnosticism is the only truly skeptical way to observe and interpret life. Atheism is the belief in science and humanist philosophy as the guiding principle for living one's life. There is nothing about historical science that can be substantiated beyond a reasonable doubt, therefore evolutionary theories become a belief, not fact. There exist way too many anachronisms in historical data and archaeological strata for me to accept evolution as fact. As an agnostic theist, I will always hold to my beliefs, while employing a healthy dose of skepticism until there is concrete proof either way.

    An agnostic recognizes that a pure truth lies somewhere between knowledge and belief. There are a lot of holes in historical, and astronomical scientific data. Until more conclusive studies exist, I have no reason to cast off belief in the supernatural – only to question it.

    June 23, 2013 at 8:28 pm |
    • Gadflie

      What anachronisms exactly?

      June 23, 2013 at 8:29 pm |
    • Bostontola

      Matt,
      You are wrong. Evolution is a directly observable phenomenon. The theories describing that phenomenon are being developed and are getting better. Gravity is similar. The phenomenon is directly observable, the theories describing it are in development.

      June 23, 2013 at 8:33 pm |
    • tallulah13

      I see no evidence to support the existence of the supernatural or of any god. If such evidence emerges, I will certainly reconsider. Until such time, I will continue to reserve my belief for things that are supported by reality.

      June 23, 2013 at 8:36 pm |
    • Secular Humanist from Ohio

      Hate to break it to you but evolution is a fact, not an opinion.

      June 23, 2013 at 8:42 pm |
    • gaylord fokker jr.

      So is your brain [Bostontola], it is in development too...

      June 23, 2013 at 8:48 pm |
    • Bostontola

      gaylord, you're right!

      June 23, 2013 at 8:55 pm |
    • Truth Prevails :-)

      "As an agnostic theist"

      That explains why you don't accept evolution. You still believe in a god.

      June 23, 2013 at 9:10 pm |
    • wisdom4u2

      @tallulah13
      Hey, try this: Hold your breath for 20 minuets, then come back and post your 'reconsidered' comment, but I really don't think you'll be commenting after 20 minuets without air. The very oxygen you're breathing is a gift of God. How naïve can a you get?

      June 23, 2013 at 10:15 pm |
    • Arthur Bryant

      Essentially what you're saying is that you're a believer pretending to be an agnostic. I haven't read the posts answering yours, but I'm willing to bet there will be at least one (other than mine) pointing out that evolution is happening right before our eyes. It isn't a "belief"; it's a theory in the same sense that gravity is a theory – the scientific sense. If you want to challenge gravity, step out of a 30th floor window.

      June 25, 2013 at 5:08 pm |
  10. virginia

    pretty soon the pope will have to ask for a job at the atheist church cause they catholic church isn't getting enough tips$$$

    June 23, 2013 at 8:28 pm |
    • Dippy

      Use some punctuation, Virginia. A third-grader can help you.

      June 23, 2013 at 8:39 pm |
    • The real Tom

      A third grader would laugh at her.

      June 23, 2013 at 8:40 pm |
    • The real Tom

      FART I HAS GAS BAD! FARTS IN MY PANTS

      June 23, 2013 at 8:44 pm |
  11. Not All Docs PLay Golf

    I think the reason evangelical Christians hate non-theists so much is that, deep down inside, they really don't believe it themselves.

    June 23, 2013 at 8:27 pm |
    • Arthur Bryant

      I don't agree. I've seen a lot of posts from theists claiming that "Deep down, atheists believe" and posts from atheists saying "Deep down, they don't believe". I believe both are wrong. These fundamentalists really DO believe in their horrifying deity; and if an atheists believes, even secretly, he/she is NOT an atheist.

      June 25, 2013 at 5:24 pm |
  12. Manny

    I hope they teach kids about how first cell formed and how DNA organizes itself.

    June 23, 2013 at 8:27 pm |
    • zipties

      jesus is the answer to that lesson

      June 23, 2013 at 8:29 pm |
    • tallulah13

      "Jesus" is the answer for those not willing to wait for the truth or not intelligent enough to discover it for themselves.

      June 23, 2013 at 8:37 pm |
    • Secular Humanist from Ohio

      zipties

      What's the answer to 2+2? Jesus! (like I didn't know)

      June 23, 2013 at 8:38 pm |
  13. virginia

    Hehehe the funny thing is that it was the atheist who formed the catholic church centuries ago, and now are willing to start over cause the catholic church is crumbling...the to their unsupervised stupidity...first they start by fooling themselves then they fool every one else...here we go again will follow cause we got nothing better to do...its just jumping from one sinking boat to the next one.

    June 23, 2013 at 8:26 pm |
    • tallulah13

      You may want to edit your comment so that it actually makes sense.

      June 23, 2013 at 8:28 pm |
    • logan5

      " it was the atheist who formed the catholic church centuries ago..."
      You really need to check your facts!

      June 23, 2013 at 8:49 pm |
    • Arthur Bryant

      I'd ask you to repeat that in English, but I'm not sure I WANT to know what you're trying to say.....

      June 25, 2013 at 5:25 pm |
  14. Bostontola

    How long would Christianity last if the afterlife stuff was not threatened? Shouldn't christians be happy to follow christ's teachings because they are right?

    June 23, 2013 at 8:26 pm |
    • tallulah13

      I've asked the question "would you still be a christian if there were no heaven" a couple of times on this blog. I didn't get a lot of answers.

      June 23, 2013 at 8:29 pm |
  15. Tom, Tom, the Other One

    Christ? LOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOL You mean the dead guy? So-So sorry! I do not believe in the myth. Try Try again detective!

    June 23, 2013 at 8:22 pm |
    • The fake Fake Tom, Tom, the Other One

      @Fake Tom, Tom, the Other One,

      Please take your meds.

      June 23, 2013 at 8:24 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      How CLEVER! Meds!

      I haven't seen that comeback since BBS in the early 90's.

      June 23, 2013 at 8:25 pm |
  16. deadlyserious

    So I guess the real difference from regular church is the honest discussion that happens after the presentation. Sounds like something religion could benefit from.

    June 23, 2013 at 8:21 pm |
  17. Al

    I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life; no one comes to the Father, but by Me. .....Jesus John 14:6

    June 23, 2013 at 8:20 pm |
    • Alpa Chino

      Thanks for the bible quote, I guess. Are you trying to drive demons off the article, or something?

      June 23, 2013 at 8:22 pm |
    • Secular Humanist from Ohio

      (face palm) oh of course! How did I not see that before?

      June 23, 2013 at 8:25 pm |
    • McDuck Quackerton

      There she lusted after her lovers, whose genitals were like those of donkeys and whose emission was like that of horses. -Ezekiel 23:20

      I can quote from the bible too!

      June 23, 2013 at 8:25 pm |
    • Arthur Bryant

      Who's Jesus John? Sounds like a schizophrenic.

      June 25, 2013 at 5:26 pm |
  18. I Am God

    Tom, Tom, the piper's son,
    Stole a pig, and away did run;
    The pig was eat
    And Tom was beat,
    And Tom went crying
    Down the street

    June 23, 2013 at 8:20 pm |
    • The real Tom

      Gosh, honey, I'm flattered that you are so consumed with desire that you remember my former screen name and pine for me. I hate to break it to you, sweetie, but I'm spoken for. I have no desire for some anus sucker like you. Go hunt for someone who isn't quite so discerning, dear. Someone who'll settle for a slug like you, sweetums. Fondly, TTTPS, the former.

      June 23, 2013 at 8:26 pm |
  19. BobCrow

    You are re-inventing the wheel. Unitarian Universalists(UU) offer everything you are talking about and more.

    June 23, 2013 at 8:20 pm |
    • Saraswati

      Unitarian churches have groups of people with varying god beliefs and spiritual or non spiritual ideas. While most Unitarians do not believe in a god (last survey I saw) there are quite a lot who do or are pantheistic. There are Christian Unitarians, Jewish Unitarians, Buddhist Unitarians and Pagan Unitarians in addition to the large number of Atheist and agnostic Unitarians.

      Humanist societies (and this is not new at all) mostly are much more officially atheistic, but also offer a broader humanist ethic. It's not uncommon for people who think their particular u nitarian church is too spiritual to switch to a humanist organization or humanists wanting more flexibility to become Unitarians.

      June 23, 2013 at 8:31 pm |
    • Gadflie

      Pretty much. But, the market isn't exactly saturated...

      June 23, 2013 at 8:31 pm |
    • lol??

      You left out the biggest group, the Muslim Unies.

      June 23, 2013 at 8:50 pm |
    • CosmicC

      We felt our society was starting to seem a little...well, a little too religious. We now have an atheist/agnostic group that meets monthly. Each year our COA class produces atheists and agnostics, but few theists or deists.

      June 23, 2013 at 10:09 pm |
  20. Tom, Tom, the Other One

    Have you ever seen a man naked? I have. When I worked in a massage parlor. If they gave me a tip, I took a shot in the back of the throat. At least 3,786 times. It was a LONG week.

    June 23, 2013 at 8:16 pm |
    • Akira

      Sigh. The YOLO trolljacker has struck again.

      June 23, 2013 at 8:19 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      Never been in that situation, myself. But have fun with my handle and give your Christ my regards.

      June 23, 2013 at 8:20 pm |
    • The real Tom

      Wow. It's fun to watch the trolls spin, isn't it?

      Just makes it so much more rewarding to piss 'em off.

      June 23, 2013 at 8:21 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      Handle. HANDLE. HANDLE HANDLE HAAAAAAAAAAANNNNNNNNNNNDLE.

      10-4.

      June 23, 2013 at 8:26 pm |
    • For Real Tom

      [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F6k1QNfbn0o&w=640&h=390]

      God knows where you are. Don't run from Him, Tom......

      June 23, 2013 at 8:27 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Thou shalt never run.

      June 23, 2013 at 8:28 pm |
    • The real Tom

      Aww, how sweet. Sorry, but I don't listen to crap.

      Try to troll harder, honey.

      I'm flattered, truly, but you don't seem to get it, dear: you aren't up to snuff.

      June 23, 2013 at 8:29 pm |
    • The real Tom

      "Thou shalt never run."

      Oh? Says who? I'll run from vermin, snakes, and lice whenever I see them.

      You aren't even qualified to warrant fear, honey. But nice try.

      Do you really think you're that special?

      June 23, 2013 at 8:31 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      Pssssssssssssssssssssst, that wasn't me, genius.

      June 23, 2013 at 8:31 pm |
    • The real Tom

      It wasn't me, either, Einstein.

      June 23, 2013 at 8:36 pm |
    • For Real Tom

      No, it wasn't.....

      June 23, 2013 at 8:36 pm |
    • The real Tom

      I know. But you don't : )

      June 23, 2013 at 8:38 pm |
    • For Real Tom

      You said, "I don't listen to crap"...But it is crap that you are filling your mind with all the time, and that's the reason for your present condition.
      Don't chicken out, Tom. There is a message for you in words of this song. Don't lie to yourself. You know that there are consequences for feeding your soul on crap for so long. There is a saying "You are what you eat". That's not just in physical sense, but in spiritual also.
      God wants to set you free, Tom

      June 23, 2013 at 11:37 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60 61 62 63 64 65 66 67 68 69 70 71
Advertisement
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.