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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. 1word

    TTTPS back for more after its beating yesterday? LOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOL

    June 24, 2013 at 11:33 am |
    • Dyslexic doG

      Job 13:5
      If only you would be altogether silent! For you, that would be wisdom.

      June 24, 2013 at 11:41 am |
    • The real Tom

      1word, I would love to give you more beatings today. Thanks for offering your witless self up for slaughter.

      June 24, 2013 at 12:23 pm |
    • Akira

      Except she didn't get "beat", so your post, by and large, is nonsense.

      June 24, 2013 at 12:24 pm |
    • 1word

      LOLOLOLOL Akira returns as TTPS backup (you got a LOT of brown stuff on your nose and all over your face – been eating out of the canyon have ya?). TTPS need protection. INTERNET SERIOUS BIZ.

      June 24, 2013 at 12:30 pm |
    • Ian

      1word is exemplary of members of her disgusting cult.

      June 24, 2013 at 12:44 pm |
    • Richard Cranium

      all posts on this thread from 1word, are in fact a troll. This is not 1words style. He's delusional, not rude and crude.

      June 24, 2013 at 12:53 pm |
    • Akira

      Nope, TTR just consistently beats the tar out of you, 1Word, under any name you come up with, and no matter who's name you steal. And your defense is to steal her handle, because "YOLO". Try growing up a little bit.

      June 24, 2013 at 1:04 pm |
    • Akira

      DENY DENY DENY, right akira? TTPS does not beat the tar out of me. : ) It does not have anything on me : ) It does not know who we are : ) The best it can do is call me names : ) That is its typical reponse : ) You keep backing it up though. : ) NO ONE AROUND HERE LIKES IT, well, except for the other self-important ponces that claim some form of higher superiority to all others. Whatever that means. : )

      You and it alike keep stating unverifiable information about what you think we are, but thus far, each and every statement has been as usual, incorrect : )

      Oh, and YOLO is lame. How old are you? 12? : )

      Keep your nose buried deep in that stinky coco starfish! : ) 'tis your place, under the all powerful TTPS, your master : ) It is super funny that you have failed at defending your master : ) Does it make you wear leather attire? : )

      June 24, 2013 at 1:45 pm |
    • Doobs

      A handle stealing liar who ends every sentence with a smiley face accuses Akira of being immature. *snerk*

      June 24, 2013 at 1:54 pm |
  2. MD

    I saw heaven standing open and there before me was a white horse, whose rider is called Faithful and True. With justice he judges and wages war. 12 His eyes are like blazing fire, and on his head are many crowns. He has a name written on him that no one knows but he himself. 13 He is dressed in a robe dipped in blood, and his name is the Word of God. 14 The armies of heaven were following him, riding on white horses and dressed in fine linen, white and clean. 15 Coming out of his mouth is a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations. “He will rule them with an iron scepter.”[a] He treads the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God Almighty. 16 On his robe and on his thigh he has this name written:
    King of kings and Lord of lords.
    Revelation 19:11

    June 24, 2013 at 11:32 am |
    • skytag

      Why do you people think there is value in quoting the Bible to us? What do you believe it accomplishes?

      June 24, 2013 at 11:34 am |
    • I AM A MAGICAL UNICORN

      Are you saying jesus has a tattoo? I thought that was illegal.

      June 24, 2013 at 11:35 am |
    • Dyslexic doG

      if I quote a line from a Harry Potter book to you, will that prove any less?

      Notice that all this guff is bronze age fantasy. No sign of modern vehicles or weapons or anything outside the minds of middle eastern goat herders.

      Did God use horses and plows and axes to help him create the universe?

      June 24, 2013 at 11:39 am |
    • MD

      My apologies – I failed to mention this verse was for non-atheists to enjoy.

      June 24, 2013 at 11:41 am |
    • AverageJoe76

      Awwwww – that was always my FAVORITE bedtime story when I was a child.

      June 24, 2013 at 11:42 am |
    • Secular Humanist from Ohio

      umm....non-atheists would be theists.

      June 24, 2013 at 11:44 am |
    • Lucifer's Evil Twin

      I thought it was from a Johnny Cash song...

      June 24, 2013 at 12:01 pm |
    • Ian

      And on the 77th day, Frodo arose and kissed Hermione on the ankle, whereupon Snow White turned green and ate a vegemite sandwich with a beer to wash it down.

      More real than the bible.

      June 24, 2013 at 12:42 pm |
    • Doobs

      "And he that sat was to look upon like a jasper and a sardine stone: and there was a rainbow round about the throne, in sight like unto an emerald." Rev 4:3

      This verse proves that Jeebus is gay (not that there's anything wrong with that). Why else would he be surrounding himself with a rainbow? Apparently the apocalypse will be the ultimate Gay Pride Parade.

      June 24, 2013 at 12:43 pm |
  3. AverageJoe76

    I never liked the ritual of church. So Humanist or whatever...... I'm keeping my Sundays. Especially since I work like 9,000 hrs a week. I have no time for anything except for relaxation on my free days. Now.... if I get to a point where I have free time, then I may just take up a hobby. But I probably still wont do church. I'm turned off by the process. If they have a 'The Church of Space, Hemp, Cartoons, Hot Women, and Action-Packed Kung-Fu Flicks"....... I MIGHT go.

    June 24, 2013 at 11:32 am |
  4. I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

    After a very quiet week here on the Belief Blog we have 4275 posts in about 48 hours. (89 per hour and over a weekend.)

    What subject does this on the belief blog? Only atheism and evolution.

    June 24, 2013 at 11:24 am |
    • tallulah13

      And gay rights. Nothing riles up the congregation like being told they are not allowed to discriminate against gays.

      June 24, 2013 at 11:31 am |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      @tallulah13,

      yes, except that Thursday's post on the closure of Exodus International (once the champions of 'pray away the gay') has only 1,000 posts in four days.

      The apology from Alan Chambers and the closure of Exodus International was really remarkable. Perhaps the Christian churches will return to Christ's message of love and stop being political hostages to the religious right.

      It makes me wonder if Michelle Bachmann's husband will come out now?

      June 24, 2013 at 11:40 am |
  5. Sue

    Let's top post over 1word's drivel. 1word, why does your god purportedly need so much from us, and why can he only use an old, multiply mistranslated book to communicate?

    June 24, 2013 at 11:21 am |
    • Secular Humanist from Ohio

      1word is like a bully with a nerf ball.

      June 24, 2013 at 11:27 am |
    • 1word

      Susie Q, because there is no need to change perfection. The Bible is perfection. When you apply it's principles especially Jesus ministry you will achieve Godliness.

      June 24, 2013 at 11:30 am |
    • I AM A MAGICAL UNICORN

      Perfection? Is that what they call a collection of books that contradict themselves? AND THE LORD SPAKE: "Thou shalt call me Captain Conundrum. For I dig mystery."

      June 24, 2013 at 11:41 am |
    • oOo

      "The Bible is perfection."

      Gullible's Travels? You must be out of your mind. (Well of course you are.)

      June 24, 2013 at 12:00 pm |
    • oOo

      (@"dumb"word)

      June 24, 2013 at 12:00 pm |
    • Madtown

      The Bible is perfection
      ---
      This is correct. That's why it's never been changed at all, and never been offered in new or different versions.

      June 24, 2013 at 12:04 pm |
  6. 1word

    John 14

    King James Version (KJV)

    14 Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me.

    2 In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.

    3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.

    4 And whither I go ye know, and the way ye know.

    5 Thomas saith unto him, Lord, we know not whither thou goest; and how can we know the way?

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

    7 If ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also: and from henceforth ye know him, and have seen him.

    8 Philip saith unto him, Lord, show us the Father, and it sufficeth us.

    9 Jesus saith unto him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? he that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Show us the Father?

    10 Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me? the words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself: but the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works.

    11 Believe me that I am in the Father, and the Father in me: or else believe me for the very works' sake.

    12 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father.

    13 And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.

    14 If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it.

    15 If ye love me, keep my commandments.

    16 And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever;

    17 Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.

    18 I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you.

    19 Yet a little while, and the world seeth me no more; but ye see me: because I live, ye shall live also.

    20 At that day ye shall know that I am in my Father, and ye in me, and I in you.

    21 He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him.

    22 Judas saith unto him, not Iscariot, Lord, how is it that thou wilt manifest thyself unto us, and not unto the world?

    23 Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.

    24 He that loveth me not keepeth not my sayings: and the word which ye hear is not mine, but the Father's which sent me.

    25 These things have I spoken unto you, being yet present with you.

    26 But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.

    27 Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.

    28 Ye have heard how I said unto you, I go away, and come again unto you. If ye loved me, ye would rejoice, because I said, I go unto the Father: for my Father is greater than I.

    29 And now I have told you before it come to pass, that, when it is come to pass, ye might believe.

    30 Hereafter I will not talk much with you: for the prince of this world cometh, and hath nothing in me.

    31 But that the world may know that I love the Father; and as the Father gave me commandment, even so I do. Arise, let us go hence.

    June 24, 2013 at 11:14 am |
    • Dyslexic doG

      2 Kings:23-25
      Then he went up from there to Bethel; and as he was going up by the way, young lads came out from the city and mocked him and said to him, “Go up, you baldhead; go up, you baldhead!” 24 When he looked behind him and saw them, he cursed them in the name of the LORD. Then two female bears came out of the woods and tore up forty-two lads of their number.

      June 24, 2013 at 11:17 am |
    • Dyslexic doG

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

      June 24, 2013 at 11:17 am |
    • Dyslexic doG

      Leviticus 19:27
      Do not cut the hair at the sides of your head or clip off the edges of your beard.

      June 24, 2013 at 11:18 am |
    • Dyslexic doG

      Ezekiel 4:12
      And thou shalt eat it as barley cakes, and thou shalt bake it with dung that cometh out of man, in their sight.

      June 24, 2013 at 11:18 am |
    • sam stone

      Wow, 1word....quotes.....pretty impressive, for those who accept the authority of the source of the quotes

      June 24, 2013 at 11:19 am |
    • Secular Humanist from Ohio

      Stop trying to enslave humanity.

      June 24, 2013 at 11:20 am |
    • Bible Verses

      How fvcking original, well it is your time to waste.

      June 24, 2013 at 11:20 am |
    • I AM A MAGICAL UNICORN

      Also fiction, but more believable:

      Do you like green eggs and ham?

      I do not like them, Sam-I-am.
      I do not like green eggs and ham!

      Would you like them here or there?
      I would not like them here or there.
      I would not like them anywhere.

      I do so like green eggs and ham!
      Thank you! Thank you,
      Sam-I-am!

      -Dr. Seuss

      June 24, 2013 at 11:22 am |
    • 1word

      John 14 is a beast! Read it and understand! God Bless!

      June 24, 2013 at 11:23 am |
    • Science

      Hey 1word...............for the hell of IT.

      Gravity is not up for debate !

      BY the way ...................Splat goes a fairy in the sky !...............bye bye tinker bell !

      Einstein's Gravity Theory Passes Toughest Test Yet..............................E = mc2..........(U–Pb).................two math formulas.

      Apr. 25, 2013 — A strange stellar pair nearly 7,000 light-years from Earth has provided physicists with a unique cosmic laboratory for studying the nature of gravity. The extremely strong gravity of a massive neutron star in orbit with a companion white dwarf star puts competing theories of gravity to a test more stringent than any available before

      http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/04/130425142250.htm

      http://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2012/10/04/einstein-letter-set-for-auction-shows-scientist-challenging-idea-of-god-being-chosen/#comments

      June 24, 2013 at 11:24 am |
    • sam stone

      "John 14 is a beast! Read it and understand! God Bless!"

      go off and meet jeebus

      June 24, 2013 at 11:31 am |
  7. Dyslexic doG

    THANKS GO TO:

    – Secular Humanist from Ohio
    – If horses had Gods .. their Gods would be horses
    – WASP
    – Richard Cranium

    your postings mean a lot to this little doG. I appreciate your work.

    June 24, 2013 at 11:14 am |
    • Secular Humanist from Ohio

      Wow – Thank you Dyslexic doG, and you are welcome.

      June 24, 2013 at 11:16 am |
    • If horses had Gods .. their Gods would be horses

      As do yours doG .. keep the faith brother 😉

      June 24, 2013 at 11:27 am |
    • lol??

      Stick to your ALPO and leave the sheep alone. You wantin' to be the leader of the pack by usin' flatteries??

      June 24, 2013 at 11:43 am |
  8. Humble_Hearted88

    PLEASE UNDERSTAND ONE FACT ATHIEST, YOU CANNOT CALL IT A CHURCH!!! I don't knock athiest, I don't truly mind their "faith" and belief cause they have a right to it, but I do have a problem with you calling it a CHURCH when per definition church means a building for public Christian worship. 2. public worship of God or a religious service in such a building: to attend church regularly. 3. ( sometimes initial capital letter ) the whole body of Christian believers; Christendom.
    4. ( sometimes initial capital letter ) any division of this body professing the same creed and acknowledging the same ecclesiastical authority; a Christian denomination: the Methodist Church. 5. that part of the whole Christian body, or of a particular denomination, belonging to the same city, country, nation, etc.

    Please stop it!

    June 24, 2013 at 11:12 am |
    • ReligionIsBS

      YOu do realize that they dont actually call it a church and that the writer was just trying to make a point, right?

      Wow. Get over yourself. You actually think these people want to be associated with the word church? LOL

      June 24, 2013 at 11:15 am |
    • Lucifer's Evil Twin

      Why do you care so much what they call it? I personally couldn't give a rat's ass... churches are a waste of time and should be taxed into oblivion...

      June 24, 2013 at 11:19 am |
    • Humble_Hearted88

      Reply to ReligionIsBS:

      I am over myself because its not about me and never will be. Plus you failed to receive the beginning part of my comment. I don't KNOCK the movement and purpose, however don't use church to even associate or make a point because it isn't applicable...Make your point by showing how athiest arent bad people. Building a center where people can come be encourage is NOT a bad thing! Again, my point is DO NOT USE THE WORD CHURCH TO PROVE YOUR POINT!

      ^_^ Have a great day CNN

      June 24, 2013 at 11:20 am |
    • Humble_Hearted88

      In Reply to Lucifer's Evil Twin:

      Lol why do you care about my comment...lol Exactly! You have an opinion just as I do, and I gave mine. The best part about this is I haven't once went to the extreme of quoting scripture and saying anything about these people. I am a person of words and actions. Don't use a word to validate an action that doesn't line up to the definition of what your are protraying...that is all

      ^_^

      June 24, 2013 at 11:23 am |
    • I AM A MAGICAL UNICORN

      Theists believe that words have magical powers.

      June 24, 2013 at 11:25 am |
    • tallulah13

      The author of the article used the word church. The atheist congregants did not.

      June 24, 2013 at 11:28 am |
    • skytag

      They don't call it that. The author of the article called it that. Religion hasn't made you smart, has it?

      June 24, 2013 at 11:37 am |
    • lol??

      church means as*sembly.

      June 24, 2013 at 11:39 am |
    • Humble_Hearted88

      Modes of Persusion 🙂 that is all

      June 24, 2013 at 11:55 am |
    • ReligionIsBS

      They dont call it a church!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      The author did to make a comparison!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      LOL.

      June 24, 2013 at 12:35 pm |
    • Doobs

      Perhaps you could do us the same courtesy and spell the word "atheist" properly.

      June 24, 2013 at 12:51 pm |
  9. David

    The creature is less than the creator. Sorry ego maniacs.

    June 24, 2013 at 11:00 am |
    • Secular Humanist from Ohio

      Coming from the guy who thinks the earth and universe was created for humanity.

      June 24, 2013 at 11:02 am |
    • Cpt. Obvious

      The creator can't be found. It is invisible, undetectable, and irrelevant. Also, the god of the bible is a disgusting terrorist who makes horrific choices; out of the infinite possible ways to fix a problem, he usually chooses the bloodies method that kills the most.

      June 24, 2013 at 11:03 am |
    • Dyslexic doG

      so who created God?

      what a joke your bronze age voodoo is! Go ahead, talk around that question in circles, or better still, just ignore it.

      June 24, 2013 at 11:03 am |
    • tallulah13

      My mom and dad were actually pretty happy that I grew up to be a successful adult.

      June 24, 2013 at 11:10 am |
    • skytag

      Do you think calling people ego maniacs reflects the teachings of Christianity?

      June 24, 2013 at 11:38 am |
    • skytag

      With more than a billion Christians in the world you'd think at least one of them would be able to produce some evidence of this God they believe created them. Might you be that one?

      June 24, 2013 at 11:40 am |
    • Honey Badger Don't Care

      Then what created the creator? Special pleading much?

      June 24, 2013 at 12:24 pm |
    • Doobs

      Seems to me that a man who thinks everyone should believe exactly what he believes is the real egomaniac.

      June 24, 2013 at 12:52 pm |
  10. LouAZ

    The use of supernaturalism to manipulate and control people is the world's oldest confidence scheme, it relies on the ritual abuse of children at their most impressionable stage by adults who have themselves been made childish for life by artifacts of the primitive mind.- Your Mom (in a CNN comment)

    June 24, 2013 at 10:57 am |
    • Secular Humanist from Ohio

      Religion also appeals to our meanness, solipsism, and masochism.

      June 24, 2013 at 11:00 am |
    • If horses had Gods .. their Gods would be horses

      Breaking psychological conditioning is difficult .. but well worth it!! Atheism is true freedom!

      June 24, 2013 at 11:03 am |
    • Dyslexic doG

      well said!

      June 24, 2013 at 11:05 am |
    • lol??

      NOW the moms cut off their heads by telling the fathers to take a hike. They then kill the kids and steal the inheritance to get better Beastie jobs through educational doctrines.

      Fruits of carnality.

      June 24, 2013 at 11:37 am |
    • oOo

      Yes, well said.

      June 24, 2013 at 12:05 pm |
  11. If horses had Gods .. their Gods would be horses

    The Bible teaches that God is a jealous god and his people need to fear and love him.
    I teach my children to never get in a relationship like that!

    June 24, 2013 at 10:53 am |
    • David

      As is common, you are misunderstanding the language. Traditionally, "fear" meant awe. To view something with reverence.

      June 24, 2013 at 11:02 am |
    • If horses had Gods .. their Gods would be horses

      And you David, as is common, are misunderstanding (likely by choice) the point.

      June 24, 2013 at 11:06 am |
    • lol??

      An "equal" doctrine.

      June 24, 2013 at 11:32 am |
  12. I AM A MAGICAL UNICORN

    The comments attempting to rationalize belief make me sad.

    June 24, 2013 at 10:52 am |
    • David

      Why, because they can be?

      June 24, 2013 at 11:03 am |
    • I AM A MAGICAL UNICORN

      No. It cannot be rationalized. The gap has continuously narrowed due to scientific discovery. Rationilizing is not equal to justifying one's own opinion despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary. You and your ilk attempt to validate that which has no evidence. You favor the imaginary over reality, which is really cute, but utterly pointless.

      June 24, 2013 at 11:19 am |
    • lol??

      Flip that feeling fer a profit.

      June 24, 2013 at 11:31 am |
  13. Miguel

    Just call it what it is – another Obama political action committee.

    June 24, 2013 at 10:47 am |
    • Truth Prevails :-)

      Obama is supporting this?? Or is that just you hating upon the man??

      June 24, 2013 at 10:48 am |
    • sam stone

      Really, pen-day-ho? That is your best comment?

      June 24, 2013 at 10:51 am |
    • Dyslexic doG

      thanks to the avid FOX News watcher.

      June 24, 2013 at 11:07 am |
  14. meifumado

    Are they tax exempt?

    June 24, 2013 at 10:39 am |
    • Topher

      I'd be curious about this, too.

      June 24, 2013 at 10:48 am |
    • Austin

      Topher, is that me?

      June 24, 2013 at 10:51 am |
    • internetisgay

      No, you have to meet a set of arbitrary rules to become tax exempt. You have to be established for a certain amount of time, you have to have a certain number of followers. I'm not sure but you probably have to believe in some type of magic too.

      June 24, 2013 at 10:55 am |
    • lol??

      Beasties are confused about Christians. One might call em BI-gots.

      June 24, 2013 at 11:00 am |
    • Jack

      I would guess yes. And they should be based on how exemptions are given out like candy. But if I had my way, only organizations that did good for non-members of the organization would be tax exempt.

      June 24, 2013 at 11:03 am |
    • lol??

      The pharisees are always two steps ahead of ya. Eample:Clinton Foundation.

      June 24, 2013 at 11:07 am |
    • midwest rail

      " Beasties are confused about Christians. "
      Hardly. What really aggravates you is that most people have contemporary Christians pegged to a T.

      June 24, 2013 at 11:10 am |
    • tallulah13

      I don't know about the other Beasties, but Adam Yauch was a buddhist.

      June 24, 2013 at 11:13 am |
    • ME II

      If this is the same group, and I'm not certain that it is, they don't say anything about tax status nor even organizational status. ( http://harvardhumanist.org/about-the-community/ ). I doesn't appear to be that formal an organization yet.

      June 24, 2013 at 12:06 pm |
    • ME II

      http://harvardhumanist.org/about-hcp/

      June 24, 2013 at 12:10 pm |
  15. Gregg

    I sincerely hope they do not also introduce an offering plate. If this becomes a money-making scheme for the leader then they are right back where they started or organized religion still is today. Most groups/organizations are simply a way to aggregate enough people who all give a little money and the end result is big, BIG dollars for the organizer or leader. The church wrote the book on this style of fund raising. Every church in the world is simply a little reverse ATM for the larger churches. It is a place where people go to deposit money every Sunday and in return they get the promise of something wonderful, after they die.

    June 24, 2013 at 10:38 am |
    • lol??

      Jim Jones didn't write that book. He just used it for abuse.

      June 24, 2013 at 10:40 am |
    • Topher

      The story says they "pass the plate."

      June 24, 2013 at 10:49 am |
    • Austin

      Topher, is that me?

      June 24, 2013 at 10:50 am |
    • DAN TATE

      THIS ALL MIGHT BE A GOOD THING. IT MIGHT LEAD AFEW OF THESE FOLKS IN HAVING THEIROWN PERSONAL RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD WITHOUT ALL THE HIPOCRACY THAT GOES ON CHURCHES.

      June 24, 2013 at 10:53 am |
    • PSSSST FOR DAN TATE

      PSSSST, DAN, KEEPING YOUR CAPS LOCK KEY ON WHEN YOU POST MAKES YOU LOOK STUPID.

      June 24, 2013 at 11:25 am |
    • Doobs

      "hipocracy"??

      Is that some new form of government?

      June 24, 2013 at 12:59 pm |
  16. Vic

    What scientists don't get to tell you all the time:

    “My religion consists of a humble admiration of the illimitable superior spirit who reveals himself in the slight details we are able to perceive with our frail and feeble mind.”

    Albert Einstein

    “Science is not only compatible with spirituality; it is a profound source of spirituality. When we recognize our place in an immensity of light-years and in the passage of ages, when we grasp the intricacy, beauty, and subtlety of life, then that soaring feeling, that sense of elation and humility combined, is surely spiritual. So are our emotions in the presence of great art or music or literature, or acts of exemplary selfless courage such as those of Mohandas Gandhi or Martin Luther King, Jr. The notion that science and spirituality are somehow mutually exclusive does a disservice to both.”

    Carl Sagan

    "Even if there is only one possible unified theory, it is just a set of rules and equations. What is it that breathes fire into the equations and makes a universe for them to describe?"

    "The usual approach of science of constructing a mathematical model cannot answer the questions of why there should be a universe for the model to describe. Why does the universe go to all the bother of existing?"

    "If we do discover a complete theory, it should be in time understandable in broad principle by everyone. Then we shall all, philosophers, scientists, and just ordinary people be able to take part in the discussion of why we and the universe exist."

    Stephen Hawking

    Reflection

    God tests people by Faith. God wants every soul to believe in Him. If God were to show Himself or anyone to have a direct proof of Him, there can be no test, and no one can have true faith anymore. A believer has it in his/her own heart that God IS.

    We CAN NOT see God BUT we see His mighty work.

    We humans tend to take life for granted. It might escape the average person how serious this creation is because attention is not paid. However, a scientist or so is in awe of what he/she sees when studying matters of this existence! The more you dig into science, the more you realize how scary serious God is!

    The more I learn everyday, the more I know how much I DON'T know!

    This Universe & Life In It ARE "Prima Facie" EVIDENCE Of God

    June 24, 2013 at 10:33 am |
    • oOo

      LOL – you sure go through a lot of trouble to continue to fail to provide any real evidence.

      June 24, 2013 at 10:36 am |
    • If horses had Gods .. their Gods would be horses

      It was, of course, a lie what you read about my religious convictions, a lie which is being systematically repeated. I do not believe in a personal God and I have never denied this but have expressed it clearly. If something is in me which can be called religious then it is the unbounded admiration for the structure of the world so far as our science can reveal it.
      -(Albert Einstein, 1954, The Human Side, Princeton University Press)

      June 24, 2013 at 10:39 am |
    • JMEF

      Vic, do you have any particular god in mind and which one of the thousands would that be?

      June 24, 2013 at 10:40 am |
    • Joan

      Vic, you slimy dweeb. Amazing picking and choosing quotes out of context and then sticking your sales pitch for your particular god fairy tale at the end. You suck.

      June 24, 2013 at 10:42 am |
    • Richard Cranium

      Vic
      You really need to stop lying. The universe is not first look evidence of anything except the universe. You need to stop posting your lies every day.

      June 24, 2013 at 10:44 am |
    • Secular Humanist from Ohio

      But Richard, Vic posts with italics and bold letters! Surely it strengthens his arguments!

      June 24, 2013 at 10:47 am |
    • Vic

      Albert Einstein:

      “No one can read the Gospels without feeling the actual presence of Jesus. His personality pulsates in every word. No myth is filled with such life.”

      In An Interview by George Sylvester Viereck
      The Saturday Evening Post
      Oct. 26, 1929

      June 24, 2013 at 10:47 am |
    • ME II

      @Vic,
      After @...horses... quote for Einstein, neither Sagan nor Hawking mentioned God. How does that support your position at all?

      June 24, 2013 at 10:48 am |
    • If horses had Gods .. their Gods would be horses

      I cannot imagine a God who rewards and punishes the objects of his creation, whose purposes are modeled after our own - a God, in short, who is but a reflection of human frailty. Neither can I believe that the individual survives the death of his body, although feeble souls harbor such thoughts through fear or ridiculous egotism's.
      -(Albert Einstein, Obituary in New York Times, 19 April 1955)

      June 24, 2013 at 10:49 am |
    • ME II

      @Vic,
      Directly following your quote on wikipedia is the following:

      He stressed however in a conversation with William Hermanns that, "I seriously doubt that Jesus himself said that he was God, for he was too much a Jew to violate that great commandment: Hear O Israel, the Eternal is our God and He is one!' and not two or three."[42] Einstein lamented, "Sometimes I think it would have been better if Jesus had never lived. No name was so abused for the sake of power!"[42]
      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Religious_views_of_Albert_Einstein

      June 24, 2013 at 10:51 am |
    • Vic

      The premise of such quotes is subliminal; aka Read Between The Lines!

      June 24, 2013 at 10:52 am |
    • Boris

      Vic is a dishonest god fraudster.

      June 24, 2013 at 10:52 am |
    • Vic

      The premise of such quotes is subliminal; aka Read Between The Lines!

      June 24, 2013 at 10:52 am |
    • richunix

      @Vic, like stated earlier which GOD(s), the Bible list over 100+ times the names the God Baal, El , Yahweh and his wife Aswher do I need to believe in?

      Stephen F Roberts: “I contend that we are both atheists. I just believe in one fewer god than you do. When you understand why you dismiss all the other possible gods, you will understand why I dismiss yours.”

      June 24, 2013 at 10:52 am |
    • Jen

      Vic, you greasy weasel. If you won't stand by the quotes re what they do say, then retract your posts. Coward!

      June 24, 2013 at 10:53 am |
    • Observer

      Vic,
      “The word god is for me nothing more than the expression and product of human weaknesses, the Bible a collection of honourable, but still primitive legends which are nevertheless pretty childish. No interpretation no matter how subtle can (for me) change this. … For me the Jewish religion like all others is an incarnation of the most childish supersti-tions.”
      - Albert Einstein, letter 1/3/1954

      June 24, 2013 at 10:56 am |
    • Vic

      The premise of such quotes is subliminal; aka Read Between The Lines That There Is A God!

      June 24, 2013 at 10:56 am |
    • If horses had Gods .. their Gods would be horses

      Me II .. nicely done exposing Vic's "cropping" of quotes. Apparently Vic doesn't like facts when he cuts quotes to suit his agenda then tells us to "read between the lines". We did Vic, and we found you hiding there.

      June 24, 2013 at 10:57 am |
    • Secular Humanist from Ohio

      Vic – you are good for a laugh!

      June 24, 2013 at 10:58 am |
    • The real Tom

      Vicky, no matter how many times you repeat something with or without caps, italics, and bold print, it won't make it valid or true.

      June 24, 2013 at 10:58 am |
    • Jack

      I hate tests! Just give it to me straight.

      June 24, 2013 at 11:07 am |
    • Richard Cranium

      Vic
      So far you are mis-using the term Pima Facie, and now you clearly do not understand the word subliminal.

      Stop with your daily lies.

      June 24, 2013 at 11:09 am |
    • Jen

      Vic, you greasy weasel. If you won't stand by the quotes re what they do say, then retract your posts. Coward!

      June 24, 2013 at 11:13 am |
    • Science

      Come on Vic you can do better.................the lost letter of who ............it is on CNN and what does is say ?

      Culture & Science tab on top of page............go ahead and click on it Vic and scroll down a few !

      June 24, 2013 at 11:15 am |
    • snowboarder

      "This Universe & Life In It ARE "Prima Facie" EVIDENCE Of God"

      that is not true at all.

      June 24, 2013 at 11:38 am |
    • skytag

      A few quotes from smart people don't prove God exists. What an idiotic notion. On par with believing the existence of the universe is prima facia evidence God exists. You're really flailing here.

      June 24, 2013 at 11:43 am |
    • oOo

      Let's summarize Vic's attempts to verify anything thus far:

      [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4YIj4rLYo0c&w=640&h=390]

      June 24, 2013 at 12:10 pm |
    • Science

      The ending is great..............is Vic coming or going ?...............like who ever is posting below about the zombie

      deal ......chad ?

      June 24, 2013 at 6:25 pm |
  17. 1word

    [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OLYkDbXEN0A&w=640&h=390]

    Here's the answer to the earlier comment on all the different religions. The one that worships Jesus is the RIGHT ONE!

    June 24, 2013 at 10:32 am |
    • Secular Humanist from Ohio

      Face palm – oh of course, now I get it!

      June 24, 2013 at 10:36 am |
    • Joan

      SHfO, too funny :-).

      It's the old my god's better than your god. They just don't get it but the more often we show that the Christian god story is just one of thousands of different god fictions that man has made, the better.

      June 24, 2013 at 10:45 am |
    • skytag

      Too funny, yet so sad. You are one brainwashed simpleton. How many times a day do you chant "Jesus, Jesus, Jesus?"

      June 24, 2013 at 11:46 am |
  18. Richard Cranium

    1 word
    You have a lot to learn about cause and effect relationships, logic and reason. You like to jump to wild conclusions, with no logic employed in the slightest. Of course to have faith, you must completely ignore facts, logic and reason, so you simply sound like one of the sheep.

    June 24, 2013 at 10:27 am |
    • 1word

      Actually buddy, I'm in Seminary school. I am currently taking Apologetics so I've read about cause and reason. Every Effect is an result of a causation. It was because of God that we have the things we have. The Earth was designed to provide us the things we needed to survive.

      June 24, 2013 at 10:34 am |
    • lol??

      Can't get over your misunderstanding of the term "faith". Yer stuck in a rut.

      June 24, 2013 at 10:38 am |
    • Joan

      1word, you get a TOTAL FAIL on that course of study. You utter moron. Read what you just wrote, idiot.

      June 24, 2013 at 10:46 am |
    • Truth Prevails :-)

      1Word: Couldn't get in to an actual college or university so you had to go to the only one that would accept your low level of intellect and your version of crazy? I feel for you, wasting your life on imaginary things.

      June 24, 2013 at 10:47 am |
    • not my chair

      1word- if the earth was created for us to survive off of, then what about the other 8 planets or in fact the rest of the known universe created for?

      June 24, 2013 at 10:50 am |
    • The real Tom

      "Earth was designed." Nonsense.

      June 24, 2013 at 10:55 am |
    • lol??

      not my chair, so you wouldn't miss the point.

      June 24, 2013 at 10:56 am |
    • Richard Cranium

      1 word
      Show then, the evidence you use to go from the existance of life and the universe to the conclusion that it was put here by a god.
      The funny thing is, you will actually try, which you will instantly fail, since there is no logic that can lead to that conclusion, since there is no evidence of it. The existance of god is nothing more than a hypothesis...not even a theory since there again, is a 100% complete lack of evidence.

      That is why they need faith. Faith is what takes the place of logic and reason...if there was any evidence whatsoever, there would be no need for faith. You have much to learn, and a seminary will only teach you the lies that make people believe the bible. Much of the bible has been disproven by science using ACTUAL information. Good luck with your walk down a very delusional path.

      June 24, 2013 at 10:59 am |
    • lol??

      That's circular reasoning yer usin' R Cranius. Christians believe the testimony. You don't.

      June 24, 2013 at 11:05 am |
    • 1word

      lol, I love having fun with you guys. All I can say is, you will find out the truth soon or later. Just be ready. That's all I can tell you.

      June 24, 2013 at 11:12 am |
    • Aisha

      Richard,

      I am a Christian and I agree with many of the comments made thus far. If you are sheepishly following the Bible with no understanding of it, then yes I would agree that those that do that are just following the crowd. In contrast, I would say I disagree with the statement that Christianity is the only religion that weilds any political power...for example Islam has a great presence in politics in other countries as well as our own. However, you never hear anyone using Muhamd's name in vain or much of any conversation about the effects Islam has had on our society. Why is that? Because Christanity is more than just a religion. On top of it all, lets say for argument sake, that I am wrong...that we Christians are all wrong in our belief of a creator, what harm will come in living my life with standars and morals and the wisdom to know that we must all be held to some accountability for our actions in the world and toward others. However, those that don't believe in My Father ..in our God...and all is found to be true in the end, Then what have you lost? If the Word of God holds true, you have just lost you soul by choosing not to believe. I think that my gain is greater than your potential loss. Just to make this straight and simply, I am not here to convert anyone or change your mind as to what you believe, only God can do that and I don't think it is our place to force this choice to serve my Father on anyone who does not want to do so. I do believe that there will come a day when all will be revealed and those that turned away from the truth will attempt to run toward it to no avail because the time to take heed will have passed. Do you have enough faith in believeing that there is no god that you would bet your life on it or even your soul?...Or better yet your your eternity? So I leave this comment with this thought....How much are you willing to sacrifice for your beliefs?

      June 24, 2013 at 11:14 am |
    • Paul

      1word, google "Pascal's Wager". Odin's gonna whup your fat pimply ass when you die and go to Islamabad.

      June 24, 2013 at 11:14 am |
    • Paul

      Umm, Aisha: you're wrong. And really stupid.

      And Mohammed was a mere mortal and a documented pedo.

      June 24, 2013 at 11:17 am |
    • UncleBenny

      Cause and effect is a philosophical principle, therefore it is natural for it to be taught in seminary, but not useful to misconstrue it as a scientific law (there is no such law, causality is simply a useful tool in science). If every "effect" has to have a cause, then what caused God? Claiming that He is the "First Cause" is a copout and an arbitrary violation of the principle of cause and effect. And even if there is a "causeless cause" that somehow set everything in motion, that doesn't mean that it is the Christian God or even anything remotely like it.

      June 24, 2013 at 11:17 am |
    • Erin

      Aisha, why should mortals have to "sacrifice" anything to a god who purportedly is all-powerful and can make whatever it wants? Your religion is flat-out stupid and based on obviously wrong premises.

      June 24, 2013 at 11:20 am |
    • Aisha

      Paul,

      I am not suprised that the first comment received is one derived of ignorance. When non-believers have nothing intelligent to say they seem to resort to name-calling...but I understand...stick to what you know.

      June 24, 2013 at 11:26 am |
    • Gerald McInnis

      Aisha, do you have anything at all in the way of evidence to offer in support of your beliefs, given the very plain and direct criticisms? You are so far no better than the name callers, and furthermore, evidence and reason are pretty clearly showing that your beliefs are utter bunkum.

      June 24, 2013 at 11:29 am |
    • Erin

      Aisha, why should mortals have to "sacrifice" anything to a god who purportedly is all-powerful and can make whatever it wants? Your religion is flat-out stupid and based on obviously wrong premises.

      June 24, 2013 at 11:30 am |
    • Aisha

      Erin,

      Why so much hostility...If you don't believe what difference does it make to you what my Father has the power to do? Furthermore, what studing of Christianity have you done to bring any conclusions....I mean besides what you and you friends sit around and ponder or theorize about. Have you ever picked up a book and read some historical facts? If is, it is always better to back up your statements with something over than an ignorant rant or name-calling. I do believe in my comment I called no one stupid, nor did I say that you had to be a Christian...although that is my hope for all of those who are currently lost in the world.

      June 24, 2013 at 11:33 am |
    • Richard Cranium

      Aisha
      Look up Pascals wager. You have just restated it. It is a weak argument because it presupposes there are only two possibilities.
      Of course religions have political power. In this country we have to deal with much of it.
      1: The lie "in god we trust" on our money
      2: The taking away of the pledge of allegience form we the people and excluding any that don't believe in any gods.
      3: The Blue laws
      4: Laws preventing atheists from holding public office (struck down in 1961, but several states still have them on the books, a remnant of the christians forcing their beliefs on everyone)
      5: In Arkansas, there is still a law preventing an atheist from testifying in court (also struck down in 1961, but still on the books)
      6: Laws that have gods sanctioned in public schools, even with bible study classes mandatory for all.

      Any time athesist fight against these clear breaches of the const!tution, we are told we are removing god, or that we are trying to force OUR beliefs on others, when in fact we are trying to throw off the shackles that the christians impose on all.

      June 24, 2013 at 11:39 am |
    • Aisha

      Ok Gerald,

      You show me proof that there is no God, since you must be dying to share your findings....My faith is based on the unseen...that is what faith is.. I hope in the belief that Jesus has given me salvation and that one day he will return. That is my belief and my right to belive so.. It is funy, In my commit I clearly stated that I was not here to convert anyone, yet all of you who commit have this hostility toward what I believe. WHY? Do I not have the right to believe in my God just as much as you have the right not to believe in Him? I need not prove anything to any man...that is not my purpose. I show God's love for me through my life that I devote to Him. ..and that is MY choice. You choice what you think is right...all I am saying is for every choice you make, there will always be consequences...good or bad. If you are confortable if not believeing ..that is your choice...your freedom.

      June 24, 2013 at 11:40 am |
    • skytag

      "so I've read about cause and reason. Every Effect is an result of a causation. It was because of God that we have the things we have. The Earth was designed to provide us the things we needed to survive."

      Every effect may have a cause, but that's not even remotely proof that God exists or caused anything. That's simply what you've decided to believe. More proof religion makes people stupid.

      June 24, 2013 at 11:49 am |
    • Aisha

      Richard,

      I must say your statements are as ignorant as calling all people of the same race evil... There are bad people in every organization or group...there will always be people who seek power through the guise of something meant to be wholesome.. people will always seek to take advantage of people and situations...but that does not make evryone in the group bad or every Christian a tyrant or power hunger... I am sorry that you seem to have gotten hurt or offended along the way by a Christian or someone proclaiming to be a Christian. That is not who we are meant to be. I wil say that as a Christian, I do surrender my life to my Father along with my will. I do not seek to hate anyone or any group, but to love as Christ loved....EVERYONE. I know you doubt my beliefs and I get it...but please do not lump us all together.

      June 24, 2013 at 11:51 am |
    • Richard Cranium

      Aisha
      What have I said that is ignorant? I have stated a series of facts. Perhaps it is you who are ignorant of what the word ignorant means?

      June 24, 2013 at 12:00 pm |
    • Cpt. Obvious

      God takes care to be so invisible and undetectable that we should treat him that way. God is irrelevant.

      June 24, 2013 at 12:06 pm |
    • skytag

      @Aisha: "You show me proof that there is no God"

      Sorry, it doesn't work that way. No one needs to show proof their is no God anymore than he has to show proof there are no vampires, leprechauns, or Santa Claus. The burden of proof is on believers, especially when they want to impose their beliefs on society as a whole through laws.

      "My faith is based on the unseen...that is what faith is.."

      Religion teaches people is it more noble to accept beliefs unsupported by any evidence than to base them on evidence because its creators know they have no evidence.

      "I hope in the belief that Jesus has given me salvation and that one day he will return. That is my belief and my right to belive so.."

      You can believe Santa Claus will bring you presents for all I care, as long as you don't try to force me to add a chimney to my house because you believe that's what Santa wants. Similarly, as long as you don't advocate laws based on your religious beliefs wholly unsupported by any facts feel free to embrace any comforting narrative that gets you through the night.

      No one suggests you don't have the right to believe anything you want to believe. But professing your belief in God to an atheist is kind of like me telling you I believe in alien abductions or leprechauns.

      June 24, 2013 at 12:06 pm |
    • Secular Humanist from Ohio

      "You show me proof that there is no God," Ignorance falls on Aisha's side.

      June 24, 2013 at 12:08 pm |
    • Erin

      Aisha, do try to find enough courage to answer my question, that you have been avoiding so far:

      Why should mortals have to "sacrifice" anything to a god who purportedly is all-powerful and can make whatever it wants?

      Your religion is flat-out stupid and based on obviously wrong premises, and your cowardice in not answering while still posting is very clear.

      June 24, 2013 at 12:59 pm |
    • Doobs

      "The Earth was designed to provide us the things we needed to survive."

      So apparently your god is a racist, since he didn't put much of what we need to survive in places like Africa. Except diamonds, so rich white people could flash jewels mined by black slave labor.

      June 24, 2013 at 1:08 pm |
    • Aisha

      Erin,

      In no way am I a coward by not answering your question. The reason why I choose not to answer any further comments after this is because I have come to the conclusion by reading these posts here that even if God stood before you in all His magnificents, you would still find a way to discount His existence. You as many of the others here have been turned over to your own desires and to continue in dialouge with you on this topic would be like beating my head against the wall...insane. I came here to post what I believed like you post what you believed except I was minus the flurry of insults. It seems to me that you have more of a problem with what I think and believe than I do your beliefs. The one thing I can take from all of this is that it seems like the exclusion of God in your life and many of the other people has done nothing for your sense of respect and courtesy for anyone else. If that is how you want to live your life I can only hope you see the Truth one day...and believe me you will.

      June 24, 2013 at 2:55 pm |
    • Aisha

      I do have one last thing to say to you Erin.....The beutiful thing about my belief is that I had to sacrifice nothing to my Father...He sacrificed His Son for me Jesus....you should meet Him sometime.....Because of that sacrifice, I do not have to give anything...I choose to give God my life. Furthermore, Because I know someone will have something to say about my comment of meeting Jesus....Historical fact: (You can reasearch this) there were over 2,000 wittnesses to the ressurection of Christ....He did exsist and people did wittness HIs death and resurrection. That did not come from the Bible, but from historical reasearch ( reasearch is what you do before you open your mouth and look ignorant).

      June 24, 2013 at 3:24 pm |
    • In Santa we trust

      Aisha, The resurrection is not a historical fact.

      June 24, 2013 at 3:28 pm |
    • Aisha

      @ In Santa we trust...yes it is...look it up. You should try that first before responding :).

      June 24, 2013 at 3:46 pm |
    • In Santa we trust

      Aisha, Provide a link to peer-reviewed information posted on a site that proves that. There is very little evidence that Jesus existed, and none that he was the son of god, placed in a tomb, or resurrected.

      June 24, 2013 at 6:14 pm |
    • In Santa we trust

      Oh and Aisha, I don't need to look it up because that nonsense has been posted on here many times and never has any proof apart from a christian apologist who claims that most historians believe that Jesus existed, but in reality that actually means that some historians believe there was a person called Jesus in that area around that time. No evidence for the magic tricks, tomb, or resurrection.

      June 24, 2013 at 6:20 pm |
    • Aisha

      To In Santa We Trust:

      http://www.dartmouthapologia.org/articles/show/110

      http://www.americanthinker.com/2013/03/the_historicity_of_the_resurrection_of_christ.html

      http://www.garyhabermas.com/articles/J_Study_Historical_Jesus_3-2_2005/J_Study_Historical_Jesus_3-2_2005.htm

      Here are a few scholarly articles pertaining to the historical research done on the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. There has never been much debt as to the existance of Jesus or the fact that He rose again due to the significant number of wittnesses. Many critics have attempted to call Jesus' appearance an illusion, however large groups of people at a time saw Him that claim was quickly dismissed. To show my unbias attempt to convey facts, I also included an article that includes both sides of the argument. Let me know what you think.

      June 25, 2013 at 9:42 am |
    • Aisha

      @ In Santa we Trust:

      Here is more great research info. Published 93 A.D. Rome.

      From the back cover of "The New Complete Works of Josephus":
      "Flavius Josephus (c. A.D. 37-100) was born to an aristocratic Jewish family, served as a priest, and later became the commander of Jewish forces in Galilee following the revolt against Rome that began A.D. 66. Captured by the Romans, Josephus spent his later life in Rome under the patronage of the Roman emperors where he composed his history of the Jewish people and his account of the Jewish war that led to the destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple in A.D. 70."

      "Jewish Antiquities", by Flavius Josephus. Book 18, Chapter 3, paragraphs 1-5. Paragraph 3 is the Testimonium Flavianum itself, which contains the reference to Jesus Christ.
      Chapter 3.
      3. (63) Now there was about this time Jesus, a wise man, if it be lawful to call him a man; for he was a doer of wonderful works, a teacher of such men as receive the truth with pleasure. He drew over to him both many of the Jews and many of the Gentiles. He was [the] Christ. (64) And when Pilate, at the suggestion of the principal men among us, had condemned him to the cross [2], those that loved him at the first did not forsake him; for he appeared to them alive again the third day [3], as the divine prophets had foretold these and ten thousand other wonderful things concerning him. And the tribe of Christians, so named for him, are not extinct at this day.

      June 25, 2013 at 11:06 am |
  19. Mr. Berzerk

    A chuch without a god is called a cult.
    ................................................. or atheism.

    June 24, 2013 at 10:26 am |
    • Richard Cranium

      How is NOT believing in supernatural beings a cult. If it is, every living thing that ever was or ever will be is born into this cult. Religion is then taught.

      June 24, 2013 at 10:28 am |
    • sam stone

      A church with a god is called an asylum

      June 24, 2013 at 10:31 am |
    • Youcantbeserious

      The word 'cult' literally means 'Care of the Gods' – a meeting with a God cannot be a cult; it can be other things, but not a cult.

      June 24, 2013 at 10:33 am |
    • Joan

      All religions are cults.

      June 24, 2013 at 10:47 am |
  20. Carmichael-Homes

    I think this indicates mans need for God, to worship something. 95% of the world believes in God in some form. Christianity is provable, that is what is sad about this whole thing going on now, it is politically correct (the great insanity) to knock all religion, I guess that makes you "cool". Many great, but honest men have decided to prove Christianity was for cowards afraid to die, or used it for a crutch, or whatever. Most of them came through their studies as Christians, and one of the great minds of the 20th century who decided to prove Christianity as foolish came out of his study as one of our leading teachers, or evangelist if you prefer (C.S. Lewis). Be honest, if you don't agree with something, don't argue from ignorance, study from a positive point of view or negative, but study it, and come back with a good argument against Christianity, rather than just making blind statements with no meaning, such as “all religion is stupid”, now really what kind of argument is that?

    June 24, 2013 at 10:24 am |
    • Richard Cranium

      Ok....Show any evidence , anywhere that any of the thousands of gods men have created actually exist.

      June 24, 2013 at 10:31 am |
    • 1word

      Exactly, Christianity is the only religion that stands firm on the doctrine that supports it. All other religions fall flat. All you have to do is try Jesus and you'll be converted like the rest of them.

      June 24, 2013 at 10:36 am |
    • not my chair

      what is provable about Christianity? i thought the idea of faith was belief with out proof? also you can not make up statistics to try and prove a point. and lastly C.S. Lewis was always a christian and a christian apologetic.

      June 24, 2013 at 10:46 am |
    • Joan

      1word, what is provable about Christianity is that its stories are pretty much mostly fiction and a god with its claimed characteristics cannot exist. And you are very, very stupid and incapable of comprehending basic logic. They apparently wiped the ability to think critically from your brain in seminary school.

      June 24, 2013 at 10:49 am |
    • Richard Cranium

      1word
      There is no evidence that your god is any more real than any of the other gods have created. There is evidence that your whole story, is just retelling of previous cultures stories, like mithra.
      Your god is nothing more than the creation of men. Logic and reason should show you this, but you choose to ignore them and in its place you put faith. YTou faith is placed in nothing but the stories of men.

      June 24, 2013 at 10:52 am |
    • tallulah13

      This indicates that some people enjoy hanging out in groups with other like-minded individuals. It's a very human need.

      June 24, 2013 at 11:02 am |
    • Madtown

      Christianity is the only religion that stands firm on the doctrine that supports it.
      ------
      Well, how fortunate for you, that it was prevalent in the culture you grew up in. Many humans(your equals) never hear of it over the course of the entire lives. They have other religious practices. I'm sure they'd be disappointed to find out that they are wrong, even though they've never heard of your practice.

      June 24, 2013 at 11:03 am |
    • UncleBenny

      The fact that 95% of the world believes in God in some form proves only that 95% of the people in the world NEED to believe in God in some form, it doesn't prove that he actually exists or that any single one of them conceives of him correctly if he does. And it certainly doesn't prove Christianity, nor does anything else prove Christianity. Why this invocation of "proof?" "Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen." (Hebrews 11:1). Where exactly does "proof" fit into that statement?

      June 24, 2013 at 11:38 am |
    • Doobs

      "Many great, but honest men have decided to prove Christianity was for cowards afraid to die, or used it for a crutch, or whatever. Most of them came through their studies as Christians,"

      Citation, please.

      June 24, 2013 at 1:11 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.