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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. Vic

    Another senseless post:

    I can't restrain myself from posting pointless drivel time and time again and again and again.

    June 25, 2013 at 2:03 pm |
    • Rachel

      Chad, is that me dear?

      June 25, 2013 at 2:07 pm |
  2. Vic

    Another senseless post:

    I can't restrain myself from posting pointless drivel time and time again.

    June 25, 2013 at 2:03 pm |
  3. Vic

    Another senseless post:

    I can't restrain myself from posting pointless drivel<.

    June 25, 2013 at 2:02 pm |
  4. Vic

    Another senseless post:

    I can't restrain myself from posting pointless drivel</b>.

    June 25, 2013 at 2:01 pm |
  5. Jonah

    Funny, I have found the exact opposite to be true.

    June 25, 2013 at 1:59 pm |
  6. Vic

    Another quick remark:

    The underlying hyperlink for CNN's Belief Blog is: religion.blogs.cnn.com

    June 25, 2013 at 1:54 pm |
    • Puppy Juice

      Thank you for this remarkably insignificant piece of information.

      June 25, 2013 at 1:55 pm |
    • Happy Atheist

      Sounds like Vic is a segregationist. He want's all the atheists to leave the blog because we are not an organized religion.

      June 25, 2013 at 1:58 pm |
    • Happy Atheist

      er...wants...

      June 25, 2013 at 1:59 pm |
  7. Vic

    Another quick remark:

    The underlying hyperlink for CNN's Beleif Blog is: religion.blogs.cnn.com

    June 25, 2013 at 1:52 pm |
  8. Puppy Juice

    "Atheist Hunter" has devolved into "Jonah."

    Nice try. But mediocre at best.

    June 25, 2013 at 1:43 pm |
    • Puppy Juice

      And then a wild "Heaven Sent" appears. Coicidence? I think not. It would appear we have a multi-faceted troll here.

      June 25, 2013 at 1:51 pm |
    • Trix

      Atheist Hunter says he does this for his own amusement. I will bet he pulls the wings off of flies for his own amusement, also. He sounds as Christian as Charles Manson.

      June 25, 2013 at 1:58 pm |
    • Puppy Juice

      Key indicators:

      1. Posts are remarkably similar and stereotypical (so much so that they are obviously troll posts)
      2. Changes name every time one is called out
      3. Brags about enjoying being a troll
      4. Repeats 1 & 2 numerous times

      June 25, 2013 at 2:04 pm |
    • Truth

      Puppy Juice = Hypocrite

      (aka The Real Tom)

      June 25, 2013 at 4:07 pm |
    • Truth

      Seriously, changing your name and attacking others for changing their name?

      Your hate is blinding.

      June 25, 2013 at 4:07 pm |
    • The real Tom

      Laughing about Truth's accusation. Go back and re-read Puppy Juice's post of 1:51 and see if you can figure out why that cannot be my sock puppet, and not just because I don't post under any other names.

      I'll bet you can't do it, Truth.

      June 25, 2013 at 5:57 pm |
  9. Russell

    I'm not sure this is an anti-christian thing.
    Can't everone play this game? Without hate, judgement, and discrimination?

    Oops, never mind. I'm talking to christians.

    June 25, 2013 at 1:41 pm |
  10. Bootyfunk

    church without god? it's a step in the right direction. ironic thing is, there's no god in church whether christians or atheists are there. there is no god period.

    June 25, 2013 at 1:38 pm |
    • Richard Cranium

      Unless god is a woman, then there might be a god period. (sorry, couldn't resist)

      June 25, 2013 at 1:57 pm |
    • Goddess?

      And she rested on the 4th week for the entire 7 days...

      June 25, 2013 at 2:36 pm |
  11. Jonah

    12 And there was much murmuring among the people concerning him: for some said, He is a good man: others said, Nay; but he deceiveth the people. (New Testament, John, Chapter 7). To all those who choose to malign the Lord's prophet, you may be interested to know that people just like you said the same things about Jesus Christ. And, yes, those same people crucified him.

    June 25, 2013 at 1:18 pm |
    • sam stone

      wow....impressive

      June 25, 2013 at 1:20 pm |
    • Secular Humanist from Ohio

      The historicity and ethics in the bible are appalling. And Joseph Smith was a charlatan and fraud. Jesus was not divine or born of a virgin.

      June 25, 2013 at 1:26 pm |
    • Bootyfunk

      you may be interested to know jesus told his disciples he'd return before they died. he didn't.

      jesus is fail.

      June 25, 2013 at 1:30 pm |
    • JMEF

      People crucified him. I thought the story said that was the whole point of the messiah story, god sent his son to be slaughtered, tough love daddy. Of course same BS with Abraham and his son, very dysfunctional parents in the good book of BS.

      June 25, 2013 at 1:31 pm |
    • READ THIS CHAPTER

      Read it.

      http://www.kingjamesbibleonline.org/Matthew-Chapter-24/

      If you are still a believer after verse 34 or whatever, then there is no hope for you AMEN.

      June 25, 2013 at 1:32 pm |
    • Secular Humanist from Ohio

      The the Christian think scapegoating and torturing a human being so they can save themselves is ok.

      June 25, 2013 at 1:33 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Secular Humanist from Ohio, would you want to be around people who don't like or respect you? There's your answer.

      June 25, 2013 at 1:41 pm |
    • EnjaySea

      The fact that there were always people who doubted that Jesus was magic, simply illustrates how unbelievable his claims were, and still are.

      What's your point?

      June 25, 2013 at 1:48 pm |
    • Secular Humanist from Ohio

      Religion teaches that humans are born in sin, you're a bit of dust, covered in shame and filth, wretched creatures lucky to be alive. But fear not, god has a plan just for you.

      June 25, 2013 at 1:48 pm |
    • JMEF

      Seldom reply to you HS but using your last comment, why do you continue to post on this blog, it is your right of course, but even your fellow christards neither like or respect you? You are a buffoon but do attract some entertaining fakes, such is infamy.

      June 25, 2013 at 1:49 pm |
    • Trix

      I wonder why people continue to malign atheists simply bacause they don't believe in any gods. Just let it go.

      June 25, 2013 at 1:50 pm |
    • Puppy Juice

      If you are responding to HeavenSent, you are also responding to Jonah, and in turn to Atheist Hunter, and in turn to catholic engineer. They are all one in the same troll.

      Good luck.

      June 25, 2013 at 1:53 pm |
    • sam stone

      "The Christian think scapegoating and torturing a human being so they can save themselves is ok."

      It is because they are snivellling cowards.

      June 25, 2013 at 1:54 pm |
    • Secular Humanist from Ohio

      Immoral, irresponsible, sniveling cowards!

      June 25, 2013 at 1:56 pm |
    • sam stone

      Not to mention pompous

      June 25, 2013 at 2:03 pm |
  12. Bill Deacon

    “It is impossible to be just to the Catholic Church.
    The moment men cease to pull against it they feel a tug towards it. The moment they cease to shout it down they begin to listen to it with pleasure. The moment they try to be fair to it they begin to be fond of it.
    But when that affection has passed a certain point it begins to take on the tragic and menacing grandeur of a great love affair.
    The man has exactly the same sense of having committed or compromised himself; of having been in a sense entrapped, even if he is glad to be entrapped. But for a considerable time he is not so much glad as simply terrified.
    It may be that this real psychological experience has been misunderstood by stupider people and is responsible for all that remains of the legend that Rome is a mere trap.
    But that legend misses the whole point of the psychology. It is not the Pope who has set the trap or the priests who have baited it. The whole point of the position is that the trap is simply the truth.
    The whole point is that the man himself has made his way towards the trap of truth, and not the trap that has run after the man.”
    – G.K Chesterton, The Catholic Church and Conversion (1926).

    June 25, 2013 at 1:07 pm |
    • Doobs

      The moment men cease to pull against it they feel a tug towards it.

      Sounds about right. There's a lot of "pull and tug" behind closed doors in the RCC.

      June 25, 2013 at 1:09 pm |
    • Secular Humanist from Ohio

      Baiting the issue is no fair.

      June 25, 2013 at 1:11 pm |
    • JMEF

      Billy, Billy, Billy
      Cherry picking a quote from a Catholic apologist, how clever. Too bad Chesterton did notice the whole truth that the RCC gave up on following the teachings of Jesus Christ as soon as their wealth and power became their chief objective. Selling your dogma is getting more and more difficult among the educated. Good news everywhere, catholic attendance plummeting in Europe, churches and schools in America closing down in increasing numbers and trying to recruit priest candidates relegated to gay bars. You will probably not see the end but your grand kids might, we can hope. The Francis effect, although quite worthy, should not last too long after all he is an elderly man.

      June 25, 2013 at 1:23 pm |
    • midwest rail

      Chesterton died in 1936. I wonder if he'd have been as tolerant of the abuse scandal as Bill is.

      June 25, 2013 at 1:24 pm |
    • JMEF

      did not notice, more poor proofreading.

      June 25, 2013 at 1:24 pm |
    • Cpt. Obvious

      Chesterton's words are v.a.gue enough to be about any movement or cult.

      June 25, 2013 at 1:38 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      JMEF, you mean it's difficult to preach His truth to the proud because they cannot hear or see His truth.

      June 25, 2013 at 1:44 pm |
    • EnjaySea

      That's an interesting quote Bill. I was drawn to the Church as a young man. There was an attraction to something new, and something that promised to hold the truth. But I eventually found that the truth that is proclaimed there lacked plausibility, and credulity, and upon closer inspection, seemed very far indeed from the truth.

      June 25, 2013 at 1:55 pm |
    • sam stone

      "it's difficult to preach His truth to the proud because they cannot hear or see His truth."\

      HS: If you have a loaded sidearm, you could have jesus's truth being sprayed on your face witbin a day,

      June 25, 2013 at 1:56 pm |
    • A Frayed Knot

      Heaven Sent,

      "... it's difficult to preach His truth to the proud because they cannot hear or see His truth."

      Too difficult for "Jesus"? So he sent YOU?!

      June 25, 2013 at 2:07 pm |
  13. CHARWIN

    http://darwin-online.org.uk/EditorialIntroductions/Freeman_TheDescentofMan.html

    June 25, 2013 at 1:01 pm |
  14. Dyslexic doG

    @Atheist Hunter

    You're right to consider yourself a wit, unfortunately you're only half right

    June 25, 2013 at 12:55 pm |
    • Doobs

      LOL!

      June 25, 2013 at 1:11 pm |
    • mama k

      LOL

      June 25, 2013 at 1:24 pm |
  15. Atheist Hunter

    JMEF..........why cause I've got a sense of humor??? Never read in the Bible you couldn't laugh and play. Atheists are good for a laugh.

    June 25, 2013 at 12:43 pm |
    • Richard Cranium

      Now you are just flat out trolling...don't you have anyting of any value to say?

      June 25, 2013 at 12:46 pm |
    • Trix

      I've yet to see you display a sense of humor. Where uis this post at?

      June 25, 2013 at 12:49 pm |
    • Atheist Hunter

      Trix...........it's for my fun. You can be a bore if you want.

      June 25, 2013 at 12:54 pm |
    • Doobs

      You can be a bore if you want.

      No, thanks. I don't want to be a Christian.

      June 25, 2013 at 1:12 pm |
  16. Jonah

    13 For my people have committed two evils; they have forsaken me the fountain of living waters, and hewed them out cisterns, broken cisterns, that can hold no water. (Old Testament, Jeremiah, Chapter 2). If your philosophy does not bring you success and happiness, maybe it is time to look for a new philosophy. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has brought me and my family happiness. Check out lds.org or mormon.org!

    June 25, 2013 at 12:43 pm |
    • Atheist Hunter

      Jonah..............totally false doctrine. May make you happy on earth and send you and your family to he ll. Book of Mormon contradicts and add to the Word of God which is forbidden. Books of Mormonism contradict themselves, each other, and facts of history. Check it out.
      http://www.dtl.org/cults/article/mormonism.htm

      June 25, 2013 at 12:48 pm |
    • Truth Prevails :-)

      Joseph Smith lied. He is just another of the great con-men in a world of many.

      June 25, 2013 at 12:49 pm |
    • Atheist Hunter

      http://carm.org/comparison-between-christian-doctrine-and-mormon-doctrine

      June 25, 2013 at 12:52 pm |
    • Dyslexic doG

      Christianity is just Mormonism with a 2000 year head start. Both scams.

      June 25, 2013 at 12:53 pm |
    • Truth Prevails :-)

      carm.org is as laughable as the buybull...a site created by crazies for crazies

      June 25, 2013 at 12:57 pm |
    • Jonah

      You people should save your breath. I already know your point of view and I surely don't want you to bust your lungs on my account. Just relax. It is a beautiful day and Jesus lives and I am speaking to those who are looking for happiness and don't know where to find it. I know where to find it!

      June 25, 2013 at 12:57 pm |
    • Truth Prevails :-)

      Jonah: Why start if you don't want feed back??? Jesus is a figment of some mans imagination meant only to fool the gullible and put fear in to them.

      June 25, 2013 at 12:59 pm |
    • Secular Humanist from Ohio

      Theology

      Blind men looking in a dark room for a black cat.

      June 25, 2013 at 1:00 pm |
    • Secular Humanist from Ohio

      A black cat that does not exist.

      June 25, 2013 at 1:01 pm |
    • Doobs

      If you don't want to hear differing opinions, then stick to going to church. You won't be bothered with trying to defend your half-assed, golden plated, magic panty wearing con man's invented bullshit.

      June 25, 2013 at 1:16 pm |
    • I know where to find it!

      Well i'm not diving into the belly of a whale to look for it.

      June 25, 2013 at 1:19 pm |
    • Jonah

      Did I say I didn't want feed back? Did I? No, I was just speaking out of brotherly concern for you busting your lungs in vain. I don't want you, "hewing out cisterns, broken cisterns, that can hold no water". Don't waste your breath!

      June 25, 2013 at 1:25 pm |
    • John Stemberger

      Mormonism was jsut created 200 years ago by a con man. Christianity was created 2000 years by con-men

      June 25, 2013 at 1:43 pm |
    • Joseph Smith

      "There's a sucker born every minute, but we do everything better here in Utah where we have two suckers born every thirty seconds!"

      June 25, 2013 at 1:44 pm |
    • John Stemberger

      Jonah, how is the archaeological digs and DNA findings in the North Americas regardin g the lost tribe treating you. Of course the con Joespeh Smith had no idea that one day we would be able to prove his bs claim quite wrong. Mormons originated from an old Egyptian shopping list and con man who looked at stones in his top hat.

      June 25, 2013 at 1:47 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      All the whiners complaining because they can't see or hear His truth.

      June 25, 2013 at 1:47 pm |
    • John Stemberger

      Joseph Smith

      "There's a sucker born every minute, but we do everything better here in Utah where we have two suckers born every thirty seconds!"
      ............
      lol

      June 25, 2013 at 1:48 pm |
    • John Stemberger

      HeavenSent

      All the whiners complaining because they can't see or hear His truth.
      ----–
      What makes Him a him?

      June 25, 2013 at 1:49 pm |
    • EnjaySea

      You believe in the teachings of Joseph Smith, the former fortune teller, con artist who was identified as a fraud when the Egyptian papyrus he "translated" with his magic stones, and top hat, properly translated, showed that he invented the translation completely?

      I wouldn't follow that buffoon anywhere. You fell for his con?

      June 25, 2013 at 2:08 pm |
    • A Frayed Knot

      HeavenSent
      "All the whiners complaining because they can't see or hear His truth."

      And yet here you are, back again, whining about them...

      June 25, 2013 at 2:12 pm |
    • A Frayed Knot

      When Joseph Smith's "scribe", Oliver Cowdery, asked to look into the hat and saw no "revelations", this is what Joe told Oliver that "God" "said" from deep in the hat:

      Doctrine and Covenants
      Section 9
      1 Behold, I say unto you, my son, that because you did not translate according to that which you desired of me, and did commence again to write for my servant, Joseph Smith, Jun., even so I would that ye should continue until you have finished this record, which I have entrusted unto him.
      2 And then, behold, other records have I, that I will give unto you power that you may assist to translate.
      3 Be patient, my son, for it is wisdom in me, and it is not expedient that you should translate at this present time.
      4 Behold, the work which you are called to do is to write for my servant Joseph.
      5 And, behold, it is because that you did not continue as you commenced, when you began to translate, that I have taken away this privilege from you.
      6 Do not murmur, my son, for it is wisdom in me that I have dealt with you after this manner.
      7 Behold, you have not understood; you have supposed that I would give it unto you, when you took no thought save it was to ask me.
      8 But, behold, I say unto you, that you must study it out in your mind; then you must cask me if it be right, and if it is right I will cause that your bosom shall burn within you; therefore, you shall feel that it is right.
      9 But if it be not right you shall have no such feelings, but you shall have a stupor of thought that shall cause you to forget the thing which is wrong; therefore, you cannot write that which is sacred save it be given you from me.
      10 Now, if you had known this you could have translated; nevertheless, it is not expedient that you should translate now.
      11 Behold, it was expedient when you commenced; but you afeared, and the time is past, and it is not expedient now;
      12 For, do you not behold that I have given unto my servant Joseph sufficient strength, whereby it is made up? And neither of you have I condemned.
      13 Do this thing which I have commanded you, and you shall prosper. Be faithful, and yield to no temptation.
      14 Stand fast in the work wherewith I have called you, and a hair of your head shall not be lost, and you shall be lifted up at the last day. Amen." – Doctrine and Covenants Section 9

      If you don't think that this is a giant blob of bull pucky, you don't know what is...

      June 25, 2013 at 2:15 pm |
  17. Puppy Juice

    Something I noticed about a couple of the kids here...

    "Atheist Hunter" and "catholic engineer" are the same person. Neither of them are christian. In fact, they're both atheists pretending to be christian using the most obvious stereotypical arguments in order to fuel outrage. Thought this might be helpful for those of you wasting your lives trying to convince them that their bibles are fiction.

    June 25, 2013 at 12:33 pm |
    • Secular Humanist from Ohio

      Both trolls, agreed.

      June 25, 2013 at 12:35 pm |
    • Atheist Hunter

      Puppy Juice.. thou shalt not judge. Jesus is the judge. Awww so angry.

      June 25, 2013 at 12:35 pm |
    • Atheist Hunter

      Nice atheists don't call others names. I just love how atheists can sit on this blog all day long and dish it but there ain't a one who can take it. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

      June 25, 2013 at 12:37 pm |
    • Puppy Juice

      I'm not angry. I made an observation and typed a response of my opinion on the matter. No caps lock, no exclamations and certainly no feeling on the matter.

      June 25, 2013 at 12:40 pm |
    • Atheist Hunter

      Puppy Juice..........you're juicy with feeling. Not too good at hiding it. I think I'll call you my little squishy squishy.

      June 25, 2013 at 12:41 pm |
    • Science

      ass hat ............prayer bot................dot ?

      June 25, 2013 at 12:42 pm |
    • Science

      or faithy/lol??

      June 25, 2013 at 12:43 pm |
    • Richard Cranium

      AH
      Wrong again.
      I do not bother with name calling., and I do not sit here all day long. Just because you never have anything to say of value does not mean that others don't.

      June 25, 2013 at 12:45 pm |
    • Madtown

      Regardless, this is all simply entertainment. Nothing of any importance is ever decided here, nor could it be.

      June 25, 2013 at 12:45 pm |
    • Puppy Juice

      I'm sorry, but I won't respond to your trolling in the manner which you wish me to respond.

      June 25, 2013 at 12:56 pm |
  18. Dyslexic doG

    NEWS FLASH

    The reason that the bible doesn't mention Jesus' teenage years has finally been discovered.

    Jesus was at Hogwarts! 🙂

    Wizard Jesus! See. It all makes sense now.

    June 25, 2013 at 12:29 pm |
    • Lucifer's Evil Twin

      Gryffindor or Slytherin?

      June 25, 2013 at 12:37 pm |
    • Trix

      Slytherin. Definitely Syltherin.

      June 25, 2013 at 12:58 pm |
    • sam stone

      vellocet, synthemesc or drencrum

      June 25, 2013 at 1:21 pm |
    • Jesus Riddle was in Hufflepuff!

      Hufflepuff values hard work, patience, justice, and loyalty. The house mascot is the badger, and canary yellow and black are its colours. The Hufflepuff motto is "Those patient Hufflepuffs are true and unafraid of toil"

      June 25, 2013 at 1:22 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      doG, give up. You're neither funny nor creative. That's because you don't have Jesus in your life.

      June 25, 2013 at 1:50 pm |
    • sam stone

      "That's because you don't have Jesus in your life."

      H(airy) S(kank), you are neither funny nor creative. Don't you have Jeebus in your life?

      June 25, 2013 at 1:59 pm |
  19. Atheist Hunter

    YAY! A chat room full of angry atheists. FOUND YOU...on the religion blog. IMAGINE THAT!

    June 25, 2013 at 12:18 pm |
    • Unbeliever's voice

      Umm, you're the one shouting, stupid.

      June 25, 2013 at 12:21 pm |
    • In Santa we trust

      Actually it's the belief blog and why do you expect to promote your delusion without opposing opinion?

      June 25, 2013 at 12:22 pm |
    • Ben

      AH, you just got PWNED. Ouch!

      Big time PWNED, baby, big time PWNED. Loser!

      June 25, 2013 at 12:22 pm |
    • Atheist Hunter

      Just excited!!! FUN FUN!

      June 25, 2013 at 12:22 pm |
    • jboom

      LOL

      June 25, 2013 at 12:22 pm |
    • Lucifer's Evil Twin

      Yay! You managed the same internet expertise as a 5yr old... Very impressive.

      June 25, 2013 at 12:22 pm |
    • Dyslexic doG

      Well done. How long had you been hunting?

      June 25, 2013 at 12:23 pm |
    • Atheist Hunter

      http://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2013/06/22/church-without-god-by-design/comment-page-56/

      R-E-L-I-G-I-O-N Mama said that spells religion not belief.

      June 25, 2013 at 12:25 pm |
    • jboom

      more dialogue over here:

      http://www.uncommondescent.com/

      June 25, 2013 at 12:29 pm |
    • Atheist Hunter

      ummm. bout 3 seconds.... you guys are so predictable.

      June 25, 2013 at 12:39 pm |
    • JMEF

      Why are you so obsessed with hunting atheists? By your posts you show you do not follow the teachings of Jesus Christ and could never be identified as Christian, a religious fanatic by all means, but never a Christian. Westboro Baptist, perhaps.

      June 25, 2013 at 12:39 pm |
    • Atheist Hunter

      JMEF............You the legalism cop?

      June 25, 2013 at 12:55 pm |
    • sam stone

      it is a belief blog, not a religion blog A(ss)H(ole)

      June 25, 2013 at 1:22 pm |
  20. Dyslexic doG

    and back in that time there was a boy who was named Harry and he did many amazing miracles like flying high in the sky and catching the sacred winged ball of gold and becoming invisible and banishing the evil one from his world.

    He would sit every day and speak words of wisdom to his friends and enemies alike. He would eat food that appeared as if by magic so that all who were hungry would eat and be hungry no more.

    At the end of one year, he went to his room but when his friends looked for him he was gone so they knew he must have ascended to another world. All of his friends missed him but knew that he would return one day soon and all would be glorious and good again.

    Oh, it must be true. I read it in a book. Ink on paper. There is no way it could have been made up!

    June 25, 2013 at 12:16 pm |
    • Atheist Hunter

      Yes it must be true for you at least, good luck with your Harry Potter saviour. If he has powers they are from Satan. We'll stick with Jesus.

      June 25, 2013 at 12:21 pm |
    • Ben

      The Harry Potter series is a far better set of tales than the Jesus tales. And actually more believable too.But Gandalf is also >> Jesus.Personally I prefer LOTR.

      June 25, 2013 at 12:24 pm |
    • In Santa we trust

      AH, Amazing how your omnipotent omniscient god can produce something more powerful than itself without realizing it. Poor old satan – getting a bad rap because its creator is useless.

      June 25, 2013 at 12:25 pm |
    • Dyslexic doG

      @Hunter

      As your voodoo book doesn't even mention Jesus' teenage years, maybe he was at Hogwarts too! 🙂

      Wizard Jesus! it all makes sense now.

      June 25, 2013 at 12:26 pm |
    • Trix

      The coincidences are not lost on me. If people in a few thousand years found 1 copy of a HP, and 1 Bible, they'd be hard pressed to figure out which one is supposed to be divine. Satan or Voldemort?

      June 25, 2013 at 12:27 pm |
    • Atheist Hunter

      You haven't seen the Armageddon and Hell ending yet. I got a preview. Satan loses an get's chained in hell. Awww must not be too powerful.

      June 25, 2013 at 12:34 pm |
    • Trix

      Ah, John of Patmos. The one who wrote the book completely messed up. Yeah, totally believeable, that revelation. Just like Austins revelations.

      June 25, 2013 at 12:43 pm |
    • Doobs

      @ AH

      Satan loses an get's chained in hell. Awww must not be too powerful.

      "an get's"? Really? The full form of that would be "an get is" which, of course, is nonsense.

      Aw, must not be too smart. No wonder you still believe in fairy tales.

      June 25, 2013 at 12:50 pm |
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About this blog

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