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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. The Word is The Light!

    John 1:1
    In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

    June 25, 2013 at 6:42 pm |
    • Bob

      That verse sums up the truth very well!

      June 25, 2013 at 7:01 pm |
    • Roger that

      In the beginning was a book with a story; a lot of people bought it.

      June 25, 2013 at 7:09 pm |
    • In Santa we trust

      And continue to pay for it.

      June 25, 2013 at 7:11 pm |
    • Bob

      Other Bob, since you are being a cafeteria Christian and dumping select bible bile on us from your Christian book of nasty AKA the bible, let's take a look at what's really in there.

      Numbers 31:17-18
      17 Now kiII all the boys. And kiII every woman who has slept with a man,
      18 but save for yourselves every girl who has never slept with a man.

      Deuteronomy 13:6 – “If your brother, your mother’s son or your son or daughter, or the wife you cherish, or your friend who is as your own soul entice you secretly, saying, let us go and serve other gods … you shall surely kill him; your hand shall be first against him to put him to death”

      Revelations 2:23 And I will kill her children with death; and all the churches shall know that I am he which searcheth the reins and hearts: and I will give unto every one of you according to your works.

      Leviticus 25
      44 “‘Your male and female slaves are to come from the nations around you; from them you may buy slaves.
      45 You may also buy some of the temporary residents living among you and members of their clans born in your country, and they will become your property.
      46 You can bequeath them to your children as inherited property and can make them slaves for life, but you must not rule over your fellow Israelites ruthlessly.

      Note that the bible is also very clear that you should sacrifice and burn an animal today because the smell makes sicko Christian sky fairy happy. No, you don't get to use the parts for food. You burn them, a complete waste of the poor animal.

      Yes, the bible really says that, everyone. Yes, it's in Leviticus, look it up. Yes, Jesus purportedly said that the OT commands still apply. No exceptions. But even if you think the OT was god's mistaken first go around, you have to ask why a perfect, loving enti-ty would ever put such horrid instructions in there. If you think rationally at all, that is.

      And then, if you disagree with my interpretation, ask yourself how it is that your "god" couldn't come up with a better way to communicate than a book that is so readily subject to so many interpretations and to being taken "out of context", and has so many mistakes in it. Pretty pathetic god that you've made for yourself.

      So get out your sacrificial knife or your nasty sky creature will torture you eternally. Or just take a closer look at your foolish supersti-tions, understand that they are just silly, and toss them into the dustbin with all the rest of the gods that man has created.

      Ask the questions. Break the chains. Join the movement.
      Be free of Christianity and other superstitions.
      http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/

      June 25, 2013 at 7:27 pm |
  2. The Word is The Light!

    Job 33:4
    The Spirit of God has made me, and the breath of the Almighty gives me life.

    June 25, 2013 at 6:41 pm |
    • Bob

      God is the giver of life, indeed!

      June 25, 2013 at 7:04 pm |
    • Bob

      Other Bob, since you are being a cafeteria Christian again and dumping select bible bile on us from your Christian book of nasty AKA the bible, let's take a look at what's really in there. From both evil testaments:

      Numbers 31:17-18
      17 Now kiII all the boys. And kiII every woman who has slept with a man,
      18 but save for yourselves every girl who has never slept with a man.

      Deuteronomy 13:6 – “If your brother, your mother’s son or your son or daughter, or the wife you cherish, or your friend who is as your own soul entice you secretly, saying, let us go and serve other gods … you shall surely kill him; your hand shall be first against him to put him to death”

      Revelations 2:23 And I will kill her children with death; and all the churches shall know that I am he which searcheth the reins and hearts: and I will give unto every one of you according to your works.

      Leviticus 25
      44 “‘Your male and female slaves are to come from the nations around you; from them you may buy slaves.
      45 You may also buy some of the temporary residents living among you and members of their clans born in your country, and they will become your property.
      46 You can bequeath them to your children as inherited property and can make them slaves for life, but you must not rule over your fellow Israelites ruthlessly.

      Note that the bible is also very clear that you should sacrifice and burn an animal today because the smell makes sicko Christian sky fairy happy. No, you don't get to use the parts for food. You burn them, a complete waste of the poor animal.

      Yes, the bible really says that, everyone. Yes, it's in Leviticus, look it up. Yes, Jesus purportedly said that the OT commands still apply. No exceptions. But even if you think the OT was god's mistaken first go around, you have to ask why a perfect, loving enti-ty would ever put such horrid instructions in there. If you think rationally at all, that is.

      And then, if you disagree with my interpretation, ask yourself how it is that your "god" couldn't come up with a better way to communicate than a book that is so readily subject to so many interpretations and to being taken "out of context", and has so many mistakes in it. Pretty pathetic god that you've made for yourself.

      So get out your sacrificial knife or your nasty sky creature will torture you eternally. Or just take a closer look at your foolish supersti-tions, understand that they are just silly, and toss them into the dustbin with all the rest of the gods that man has created.

      Ask the questions. Break the chains. Join the movement.
      Be free of Christianity and other superstitions.
      http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/

      June 25, 2013 at 7:27 pm |
    • Secular Humanist from Ohio

      I thought Purusha was the giver of life, how to tell, how to tell?

      June 25, 2013 at 7:44 pm |
  3. NO.

    I USE CAPS BECAUSE I HAVE BAD EYESIGHT AND IT IS EASIER FOR ME TO SEE WHAT I AM TYPING. IF YOU DON'T LIKE IT PRAY FOR ME BECAUSE YOUR GOD DID NOT WANT ME TO BE ABLE TO READ EASILY ABOUT SCIENTIFIC DISCOVERIES.

    June 25, 2013 at 6:07 pm |
    • Jex

      Bull. You're just too lazy to turn your capslock off. Stop lying. God hates that.

      June 25, 2013 at 6:11 pm |
    • NO.

      I HATE WEARING GLASSES THE EQUIVALENT LENGTH AND GIRTH OF THE HUBBLE TELESCOPE MORE THAN GOD HATES CAPS LOCK. HIS INVISIBLE MAJESTY CAN DEAL WITH IT.

      June 25, 2013 at 6:14 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      Most browsers have a zoom feature to make the text bigger.

      June 25, 2013 at 6:46 pm |
    • NO.

      MINE IS ALREADY AT 200% I USE INTERNET EXPLORER AND I KNOW HOW TO USE ZOOM. MAYBE IF EVERYONE ELSE HAD THE LUXURY OF NEARLY LOST BOTH EYES TO A WINDOW BREAKING IN THEIR FACE THEY'D STOP COMPLAINING ABOUT THE CAPS LOCK SO MUCH.

      GET. OVER. IT.

      June 25, 2013 at 6:55 pm |
    • Commenter

      @NO,

      MAYBE YOU COULD CHANGE YOUR SCREEN NAME TO "EXCUSE CAPS – LOW VISION" OR SOMETHING LIKE THAT TO HEAD OFF THE FLAK.

      June 25, 2013 at 7:09 pm |
    • Jex

      Bull. They have magnifiers that can go over screens. You are lying, and God doesn't like that.

      June 25, 2013 at 7:46 pm |
    • Athy

      Use MS word to compose your comment. You can make the font any size you want. Easier to edit as well.

      June 25, 2013 at 8:38 pm |
  4. The Word is The Light!

    Psalm 121
    I lift up my eyes to the hills; my help comes from the LORD. He who keeps you will not slumber. The LORD will keep you from all evil.

    AMEN!

    June 25, 2013 at 6:00 pm |
    • lionlylamb

      Genesis 6:3 And the LORD said, "My spirit shall not always strive with man, for that he also [is] flesh: yet his days shall be an hundred and twenty years."

      GOD died according to the Gospel a hundred or so years after Noah's epic journey. Ever since then,,, ?

      June 25, 2013 at 6:10 pm |
    • One one

      "The LORD will keep you from all evil."

      It's difficult to rationalize that passage with the fact That gods plan is for everyone to eventually get sick and die.

      June 25, 2013 at 6:34 pm |
    • Bob

      Amen! God bless!

      June 25, 2013 at 7:05 pm |
    • Bob

      Other Bob, since you are being a typical cafeteria Christian and dumping select bible bile on us from your Christian book of nasty AKA the bible, let's take a look at what's really in there. From both evil testaments:

      Numbers 31:17-18
      17 Now kiII all the boys. And kiII every woman who has slept with a man,
      18 but save for yourselves every girl who has never slept with a man.

      Deuteronomy 13:6 – “If your brother, your mother’s son or your son or daughter, or the wife you cherish, or your friend who is as your own soul entice you secretly, saying, let us go and serve other gods … you shall surely kill him; your hand shall be first against him to put him to death”

      Revelations 2:23 And I will kill her children with death; and all the churches shall know that I am he which searcheth the reins and hearts: and I will give unto every one of you according to your works.

      Leviticus 25
      44 “‘Your male and female slaves are to come from the nations around you; from them you may buy slaves.
      45 You may also buy some of the temporary residents living among you and members of their clans born in your country, and they will become your property.
      46 You can bequeath them to your children as inherited property and can make them slaves for life, but you must not rule over your fellow Israelites ruthlessly.

      Note that the bible is also very clear that you should sacrifice and burn an animal today because the smell makes sicko Christian sky fairy happy. No, you don't get to use the parts for food. You burn them, a complete waste of the poor animal.

      Yes, the bible really says that, everyone. Yes, it's in Leviticus, look it up. Yes, Jesus purportedly said that the OT commands still apply. No exceptions. But even if you think the OT was god's mistaken first go around, you have to ask why a perfect, loving enti-ty would ever put such horrid instructions in there. If you think rationally at all, that is.

      And then, if you disagree with my interpretation, ask yourself how it is that your "god" couldn't come up with a better way to communicate than a book that is so readily subject to so many interpretations and to being taken "out of context", and has so many mistakes in it. Pretty pathetic god that you've made for yourself.

      So get out your sacrificial knife or your nasty sky creature will torture you eternally. Or just take a closer look at your foolish supersti-tions, understand that they are just silly, and toss them into the dustbin with all the rest of the gods that man has created.

      Ask the questions. Break the chains. Join the movement.
      Be free of Christianity and other superstitions.
      http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/

      June 25, 2013 at 7:28 pm |
  5. The Word is The Light!

    Psalms 103:1
    Of David. Praise the LORD, my soul; all my inmost being, praise his holy name. (NIV)

    June 25, 2013 at 5:59 pm |
    • Bob

      All praise belongs to the most high God.

      June 25, 2013 at 7:07 pm |
    • Bob

      The Dark Word, since you are being a cafeteria Christian and dumping select bible bile on us from your Christian book of nasty AKA the bible, let's take a look at what's really in there. From both evil testaments:

      Numbers 31:17-18
      17 Now kiII all the boys. And kiII every woman who has slept with a man,
      18 but save for yourselves every girl who has never slept with a man.

      Deuteronomy 13:6 – “If your brother, your mother’s son or your son or daughter, or the wife you cherish, or your friend who is as your own soul entice you secretly, saying, let us go and serve other gods … you shall surely kill him; your hand shall be first against him to put him to death”

      Revelations 2:23 And I will kill her children with death; and all the churches shall know that I am he which searcheth the reins and hearts: and I will give unto every one of you according to your works.

      Leviticus 25
      44 “‘Your male and female slaves are to come from the nations around you; from them you may buy slaves.
      45 You may also buy some of the temporary residents living among you and members of their clans born in your country, and they will become your property.
      46 You can bequeath them to your children as inherited property and can make them slaves for life, but you must not rule over your fellow Israelites ruthlessly.

      Note that the bible is also very clear that you should sacrifice and burn an animal today because the smell makes sicko Christian sky fairy happy. No, you don't get to use the parts for food. You burn them, a complete waste of the poor animal.

      Yes, the bible really says that, everyone. Yes, it's in Leviticus, look it up. Yes, Jesus purportedly said that the OT commands still apply. No exceptions. But even if you think the OT was god's mistaken first go around, you have to ask why a perfect, loving enti-ty would ever put such horrid instructions in there. If you think rationally at all, that is.

      And then, if you disagree with my interpretation, ask yourself how it is that your "god" couldn't come up with a better way to communicate than a book that is so readily subject to so many interpretations and to being taken "out of context", and has so many mistakes in it. Pretty pathetic god that you've made for yourself.

      So get out your sacrificial knife or your nasty sky creature will torture you eternally. Or just take a closer look at your foolish supersti-tions, understand that they are just silly, and toss them into the dustbin with all the rest of the gods that man has created.

      Ask the questions. Break the chains. Join the movement.
      Be free of Christianity and other superstitions.
      http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/

      June 25, 2013 at 7:29 pm |
  6. lol??

    From the real lol?? I'm not gonna fix the rest. The daemons are restless.

    It's time to go underground, Christians. How could God make it any more CLEAR?? Wasn't woemen and Qweirdos in the pulpit enough for you?? Now you have A&A churches, soon to be authorized by the BEAST. Wake up!!

    June 25, 2013 at 5:50 pm |
    • Jesselyn

      You cannot be a Christian. You cannot be. If this is the "real" lol??, you are damned.

      June 25, 2013 at 6:01 pm |
    • Doobs

      Please do go underground. Six feet will do.

      June 26, 2013 at 11:21 am |
  7. Salero21

    😀 😀 😀 I'm an asshole Christian troll. Like me? I don't! That's why I do this! 😀

    June 25, 2013 at 5:44 pm |
    • Salero21

      Why are you posting as me? Are you a child of the devil or the devil's child?

      June 25, 2013 at 10:40 pm |
    • Salero21

      Using my nick is not going to save you. Are you a child of the devil or are you the devil's child?

      June 25, 2013 at 10:54 pm |
    • fintastic

      The "devil"? really?..... wow...

      June 27, 2013 at 9:00 am |
  8. lol??

    Fromm the real lol??

    How could an A&A possibly comprehend inheriting eternal life?? They'd be too busy tryin' to figure out a way to steal it.

    June 25, 2013 at 5:41 pm |
    • Jesselyn

      Why do you lie about people? Do you not realize that bearing false witness goes against Our Lord's Commandment?

      June 25, 2013 at 5:53 pm |
    • Sam Yaza

      eternal life sounds to me to be redundant life is eternal. death is just a transition to another form. no or energy is ever destroyed as long as life exist we will live on for ever the cycle is never ending. we are already immortal, the idea that we need the christian god for this is ridiculous and is in its self the greatest lie "he" convinced you of.

      June 25, 2013 at 7:13 pm |
    • tallulah13

      lolly is a troll, and trolls don't go to heaven 😦

      June 25, 2013 at 11:23 pm |
    • lol??

      Trolling is part of fishing, silly girl.

      June 26, 2013 at 12:15 am |
    • lol??

      That was BAC, Before Asian Carp, brought to you by yer mad scientists.

      June 26, 2013 at 12:17 am |
  9. Bob

    fred, entirely reasonable conclusions after reading your bible are that your god would be a racist, homophobic, torturing, murderous, vindictive ass hole who supports slavery, child abuse, and sexism. So, good think that your god does not exist.

    Please stop trying to sell us on your god fraud. We will push back hard when you try to promote your Christian fairy tales at us.

    June 25, 2013 at 5:29 pm |
    • Roger that

      Bob makes a good point Fred. Look at Job. He was a faithful servant of God and he still got screwed over.

      June 25, 2013 at 5:39 pm |
    • AE

      God does exist.

      We are all judged by His standards, not yours.

      June 25, 2013 at 5:44 pm |
    • The real Tom

      Oh, well, if YOU say god exists, then that's all I need to hear.

      As if.

      June 25, 2013 at 5:46 pm |
    • Secular Humanist from Ohio

      AE

      Which god is that again, there's so many.

      June 25, 2013 at 5:48 pm |
    • AE

      Which God? Our Creator.

      June 25, 2013 at 5:50 pm |
    • NO.

      AE WRONG WRONG WRONG WRONG WRONG THANK THAT INVISIBLE CLOUD MAN FOR GIVING AIDS TO BABIES THEN GREAT STANDARDS.

      June 25, 2013 at 5:51 pm |
    • Secular Humanist from Ohio

      Would that be Allah, Yahweh, Prometheus, The Flying Spaghetti Monster, The Great Juju at the bottom of the sea?

      June 25, 2013 at 5:58 pm |
    • Smarter than you

      It's "God" with a capital "G" you idiots. It is therefor a proper name.
      So stop trying to act clever with the "which god?" stuff. All you are doing is showing your immense ignorance.

      June 25, 2013 at 6:04 pm |
    • Secular Humanist from Ohio

      Purusha is said to have created mankind. Is that the one?

      June 25, 2013 at 6:05 pm |
    • AE

      I believe the universe as we see it was created by our Heavenly Father.

      June 25, 2013 at 6:10 pm |
    • Secular Humanist from Ohio

      It could be Pan Gu.

      June 25, 2013 at 6:10 pm |
    • NO.

      THE WORD "GOD" IS NOT A PROPER NOUN BECAUSE IT COULD BE A REFERENCE TO ANY NUMBER OF GODS. YOU WOULDN'T CAPITALIZE THE "k" IN "KITTEN" WOULD YOU? THERE ARE TONS OF KITTENS WHICH ACTUALLY EXIST AND THE TYPE OF ANIMAL IS NOT PROPER. THE NAME OF THE KITTEN WOULD BE PROPER. MAYBE ITS NAME IS STEPHEN. YOU NAMED YOUR KITTEN STEPHEN SO YOU WOULD CAPITALIZE THE "S" IN "STEPHEN." REMEMBER, THE KEY TO A PROPER NOUN IS THAT IT HAS TO EXIST TO BEGIN WITH THIS CONCLUDES OUR LESSON FOR TODAY YOU ARE WELCOME.

      June 25, 2013 at 6:11 pm |
    • Secular Humanist from Ohio

      So, that would be the god of the bible?

      June 25, 2013 at 6:16 pm |
    • AE

      I think it is safe to assume that your 'god of the bible' isn't God.

      God have mercy on us all if I'm wrong.

      June 25, 2013 at 6:18 pm |
    • Roger that

      "God does exist.

      We are all judged by His standards, not yours."

      Fine. Continue worshipping the immoral psychopath you call God.

      June 25, 2013 at 6:24 pm |
    • AE

      God is light. There is no darkness in him at all.

      Darkness ceases to exist in His presence.

      June 25, 2013 at 6:28 pm |
    • AE

      Light possesses its own real power, darkness only illusory power.

      Light is living, darkness is dead.

      Light overcomes darkness.

      The power of darkness is not like the power of light. God is the light. Darkness is an impersonal force, the rejection of God. The devil is in the darkness, but is not the darkness, and his power is dependent on men believing a lie.

      June 25, 2013 at 6:33 pm |
    • Secular Humanist from Ohio

      AE

      You're the first person I've to ask for mercy if they're wrong.

      June 25, 2013 at 6:36 pm |
    • Secular Humanist from Ohio

      I've seen

      June 25, 2013 at 6:36 pm |
    • In Santa we trust

      AE "... and his power is dependent on men believing a lie."

      So just like god then?

      June 25, 2013 at 6:40 pm |
    • AE

      "...we should be reminded with a painful poignancy that we too can, and often do, get it wrong. That is why the most profound of all religious sentiments should not be certainty, which inevitably leads to arrogance, but modesty, which, because of a generous God, leads to mercy and forgiveness."

      Peter Gomes

      June 25, 2013 at 6:40 pm |
    • Secular Humanist from Ohio

      Peter Gomes – interesting guy! Not that I would become a theist but I like him. Not a Ken Hamm, William Lane Craig, George Pell ignoramus.

      June 25, 2013 at 7:02 pm |
    • Smarter than you

      NO, go back to school and learn what a "proper noun" is.

      While you are at it, learn about proper internet etiquette. Unless you want people to think you are a screaming maniac.

      June 25, 2013 at 8:14 pm |
  10. fred

    Madtown
    "You mean, like acknowledging the FACT that God didn't write the bible?"
    =>I do not know of anyone who believes that.

    "why would God need human assistance to scratch out a few words in a book to serve as "his" word? He wouldn't."
    =>The Word of God is not the alpha numeric characters written, transcribed and translated thousands of time. The Word of God simply is just as God simply is and always has been. God is substance but not of matter and energy which is all a creation of God to carry out purpose for existence.
    Just as DNA is not the information that forms your being but rather contains information so too the Bible contains the Word of God. When someone reads the Bible with an open mind they will find their soul revealed as it truly appears before God. Go ahead read about the Word:

    In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was with God in the beginning. 3 Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. 4 In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. 5 The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome[a] it.
    9 The true light that gives light to everyone was coming into the world. 10 He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognize him. 11 He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him. 12 Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God— 13 children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God.

    June 25, 2013 at 5:12 pm |
    • Hector

      Isn't Grease the Word?

      June 25, 2013 at 5:23 pm |
    • Bob

      fred, reasonable conclusions after reading your bible are that your god would be a racist, homophobic, torturing, murderous, vindictive ass hole who supports slavery, child abuse, and sexism. So, good think that your god does not exist.

      June 25, 2013 at 5:28 pm |
    • Secular Humanist from Ohio

      Apparently Answers in Genesis believes men wrote the bible

      "When it comes to authorship of the Bible, of course men were involved. Christians would be the first to point this out. For example, Paul wrote letters to early churches that are included in the Scriptures (2 Peter 3:15–16). David wrote many of the Psalms. Moses wrote the Pentateuch, or the Torah (the first five books of the Bible). In fact, it is estimated that over 40 different human authors were involved.2 So, this is not the issue."

      June 25, 2013 at 5:35 pm |
    • Madtown

      fred
      Madtown
      "You mean, like acknowledging the FACT that God didn't write the bible?"
      =>I do not know of anyone who believes that.
      ------
      You don't know anyone that believes God didn't write the bible? Do you live in a church, never emerging from within it, and never interacting with anyone else outside it?

      June 25, 2013 at 5:40 pm |
    • Madtown

      =>The Word of God is not the alpha numeric characters written, transcribed and translated thousands of time.
      --------
      Then why write the words at all? Why did a grouping of religious leaders gather to decide which individual works they would include in the greater work of the bible, if the written characters really weren't the word of God afterall?

      June 25, 2013 at 5:48 pm |
  11. aallen333

    @ooo – Your worldview will be based on the beliefs of those who raise you. If twins are separated at birth and one is raised a Hindu and the other is raised a Christian, it is naive to think both will have the same worldview.

    June 25, 2013 at 5:11 pm |
    • ooo

      Are you saying that we are raised by monkeys?
      Your statement was:
      " There are some who find no problem with this. But if your life is founded on lower intelligence, lower intelligence will inevitably be the guiding principle to the way you view all aspects of life."

      Or are you saying that once you are raised by ignorant parents you can't ever be educated?

      June 25, 2013 at 5:19 pm |
    • The real Tom

      Do you think that someone raised by ignorant parents is likely to have the same worldview as someone who was raised by well-educated parents?

      The question isn't whether people can change their education level. The statement was that the worldview of people raised among different cultures and religious beliefs aren't likely to share the same worldview.

      June 25, 2013 at 5:50 pm |
  12. Salero21

    If anybody needed any more evidence of the stupidity of atheism, this is it! 😀 😀

    June 25, 2013 at 5:09 pm |
    • jboom

      salero, be kind.
      These atheists at least admit their beliefs are just that.

      June 25, 2013 at 5:21 pm |
    • fintastic

      Hey saltshaker....how about the stupidity of your imaginary god cult? or the belief in ghosts and talking snakes?.. stupid is as stupid does,

      June 25, 2013 at 5:22 pm |
    • Richard Cranium

      S21 is just a lying troll. The very defintion of troll. Ignore it. It will now try to engage me but I will have already moved on.

      June 25, 2013 at 5:32 pm |
    • Salero21

      😛 😀 😀 😀

      June 25, 2013 at 5:39 pm |
  13. fred

    Madtown
    "You mean, like acknowledging the FACT that God didn't write the bible?"
    =>I do not know of anyone who believes that.

    "why would God need human assistance to scratch out a few words in a book to serve as "his" word? He wouldn't."
    =>The Word of God is not the alpha numeric characters written, transcribed and translated thousands of time. The Word of God simply is just as God simply is and always has been. God is substance but not of matter and energy which is all a creation of God to carry out purpose for existence.
    Just as DNA is not the information that forms your being but rather contains information so too the Bible contains the Word of God. When someone reads the Bible with an open mind they will find their soul revealed as it truly appears before God. Go ahead read about the Word:

    In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was with God in the beginning. 3 Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. 4 In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. 5 The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome[a] it.
    6 There was a man sent from God whose name was John. 7 He came as a witness to testify concerning that light, so that through him all might believe. 8 He himself was not the light; he came only as a witness to the light.
    9 The true light that gives light to everyone was coming into the world. 10 He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognize him. 11 He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him. 12 Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God— 13 children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God.

    June 25, 2013 at 5:08 pm |
    • oOo

      Gosh Madtown, I see you still haven't been able to coax fred away from his favorite past time:
      [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4YIj4rLYo0c&w=640&h=390]

      June 25, 2013 at 5:12 pm |
    • Bob

      fred, reasonable conclusions after reading your bible are that your god would be a racist, homophobic, torturing, murderous, vindictive ass hole who supports slavery, child abuse, and sexism. So, good think that your god does not exist.

      Please stop trying to sell us on your god fraud. We will push back hard when you try to promote your Christian fairy tales at us.

      June 25, 2013 at 5:26 pm |
  14. lol??

    God created mankind in His image, but mankind convinced themselves there is no God. Since mankind has convinced itself that there is no higher intelligence beyond themselves, what image have they used to replace that of God? The answer can be found in their science books when they claim to come from apes and chimpanzees. By Rejecting the reality of a higher intelligence, the humanist has no choice but to embrace an ideology founded on lower intelligence. There are some who find no problem with this. But if your life is founded on lower intelligence, lower intelligence will inevitably be the guiding principle to the way you view all aspects of life. From the way children are raised, to the formation and understanding of laws, to the way science is interpreted, all of these life pillars are greatly influenced by mankind's understanding of his origins. But if this understanding is in error, it is inevitable that the pillars of one's life will be built on error – like founding your house on sinking sand instead of founding it on the rock.

    June 25, 2013 at 4:57 pm |
    • lol??

      oops

      June 25, 2013 at 4:58 pm |
    • midwest rail

      "....when they claim to come from apes and chimpanzees "
      Reading comprehension is a skill. You should try to cultivate it some time. Fail.

      June 25, 2013 at 4:59 pm |
    • mama k

      OK, I'll give you credit for writing more than a snarkle this time.

      Sadly, half of it's unfounded and the other half is your misunderstanding of atheism.

      June 25, 2013 at 5:07 pm |
    • sam stone

      "Since mankind has convinced itself that there is no higher intelligence beyond themselves, what image have they used to replace that of God?"

      Really, LOLLY? That is the best you got? The majority of people believe in (some form of) god.

      Go home, boy, and get your shinebox

      June 25, 2013 at 5:09 pm |
    • Waking up

      1/3 of the population believes the only God there is.

      The other 2/3 believe false gods.

      The 'nothing god' is a false god that atheists worship in their 10% of the population.

      June 25, 2013 at 5:38 pm |
    • In Santa we trust

      lol gave away another handle. posted this exact same garbage under another name so it deserves the same response
      "God created mankind in His image ..."

      Why does god have a navel and a penis?

      June 25, 2013 at 5:54 pm |
    • Hector

      If that's the best you can do to prove your God, then you may as well go back to sleep "Waking up" (and still clueless).

      June 25, 2013 at 5:56 pm |
    • Waking up

      God is a pro at proving himself. He is the expert, none like him, anywhere.

      We are all spectators, some having no idea what's going on.

      June 25, 2013 at 6:09 pm |
  15. Russell

    Humanist does not necessarily mean athiest.
    These churches do not worship any gods. However, i don't see anything that would prevent a christian from attending and taking part in trying to build a better community.

    June 25, 2013 at 4:40 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      Probably a good idea. A lot of religious people attend inter faith conferences. No reason not to include atheism.

      June 25, 2013 at 4:47 pm |
    • lol??

      Tryin' to mingle with the clay?? Don't fall for it, Christians.

      June 25, 2013 at 4:48 pm |
    • NO.

      TERRIBLE IDEA.

      June 25, 2013 at 4:49 pm |
    • lol??

      There is no inter faith. There is ONE faith. Fail.

      June 25, 2013 at 4:49 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      why not lol? Christ meets us where we are. Aren't we commissioned to do likewise?

      June 25, 2013 at 4:50 pm |
    • NO.

      BILL YOU'RE TERRIBLE WRONG. WILL NOT LISTEN TO INSANITY. THERE IS NO CHRIST.

      June 25, 2013 at 4:53 pm |
    • mama k

      lol?? I guess you are the representative of "lost hope".

      Anyway, sometimes it's better to try to work on something of shared value with another group without have to, at least initially, be completely accepting. For instance say your "church" started participating with something like meals on wheels, then you might start to have a dialog with other participants and discover that you have more in common than you thought you did and you'd be helping the community at the same time.

      June 25, 2013 at 4:58 pm |
    • mama k

      correction: without having to

      June 25, 2013 at 4:59 pm |
    • sam stone

      "Christ meets us where we are. Aren't we commissioned to do likewise?"

      Nope

      June 25, 2013 at 5:10 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      Christians are sam

      June 25, 2013 at 5:13 pm |
    • Saraswati

      In theory a humanist could be non-atheist, but usually they would find a better niche since humanism will reject the introduction of religious concepts into the debates. For people who want to use a predominantly secular ethical system, the existence of both Unitarianism and humanist societies gives people a good set of alternatives, with unitarianism being more inclusive of some debate on spiritual issues. People slide between these groups all the time and I wouldn't want the distinction to be lost. Some times you want to be with people to explore ideas and some times you just want to be with people who share more of your premises.

      June 25, 2013 at 6:00 pm |
  16. fred

    The bible plainly and openly condones slavery. Anyone who has read the bible and claims that the support for slavery is not there is simply lying.

    June 25, 2013 at 4:39 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      And anybody who has a computer, and enough leisure to blog about belief, who thinks their lifestyle isn't supported by slave labor today is delusional.

      June 25, 2013 at 4:49 pm |
    • Cpt. Obvious

      @Deacon

      So? How is that an excuse for your god and his "word" not condemning slavery? Too bad the bible isn't right on the process of the big bang and slavery being wrong, huh?

      June 25, 2013 at 5:05 pm |
    • Salero21

      False of all falsehood.

      The Bible does heavily regulates slavery, because it was necessary sometimes for some people. But the ultimate goal was to set the slaves free at some point in time. Slavery in the Bible and in the particular case of Israel, WAS NOT the way it was practiced by other nations. It WAS NOT the same type in any form or shape as the way it was imposed in the United States back in the days. That WAS NOT a slavery according to what the Scriptures said. That it was such, has been one of the biggest lies in the History of the world. There're plenty of lies in the History of the US of A and that is just about one of the, if not the biggest of them all.

      Learn to read you foolish atheist!

      June 25, 2013 at 5:07 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      Cpt. For more info on the big bang, google George Le Maitre

      June 25, 2013 at 5:12 pm |
    • ME II

      @Salero21,
      "because it was necessary sometimes for some people."

      Definition of CONDONE

      : to regard or treat (something bad or blameworthy) as acceptable, forgivable, or harmless
      (http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/condone)

      June 25, 2013 at 5:16 pm |
    • Cpt. Obvious

      @Deacon

      For more on how the bible does not match what we know of the big bang, see the two different accounts of creation in Genesis and the rest of the bible. Your welcome.

      June 25, 2013 at 5:16 pm |
    • ME II

      @Bill Deacon,
      Your arguments used to be better than simple non-sequitors. What happened?

      June 25, 2013 at 5:18 pm |
    • Cpt. Obvious

      @Deacon

      Oh, and how bout answering my question, Bill? Or is your pathetic factoid the best you can do--slaves exist now, so it's okay that the bible and its god condones slavery? Are you really as pathetic as you demonstrate on these blogs? Is this really the best effort you can put forth?

      June 25, 2013 at 5:19 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      ME II, I don't see it as a non sequitor but OK. Not much in the way of cogent discussion today so let's try this for a while.

      It's disingenuous of people to discard Scripture based on verses pertaining to slavery for several reasons.

      The first is that slavery isn't put forth as sacred or divinely ordered in the way say marriage is or baptism so to attempt to elevate it into something that is somehow commanded by God is an error.
      Secondly, the recognition of slavery as an economic reality doesn't confer legitimacy to it, it simply acknowledges the facts of humans treatment of each other as commodity.
      Third, the emotional connotation of slavery in the present day are derived from the near history in this country which lends an air of moral superiority against the conditions revealed in the bible. That is a distortion.
      Detractor claim the Bible was used to support the practice but accurate history reflects that religious people were the force behind abolition.
      Detractors, by sin of omission, camouflage the fact that slavery still exists in the world today and that they are benefactors of that slavery.

      Is short, it's a ridiculous argument to malign the bible by conflating statements about slavery in such a manner.

      June 25, 2013 at 5:31 pm |
    • Salero21

      @Me II

      Slavery, the way it was Heavily Regulated in the Scriptures and in Israel in particular. WAS NOT in any shape or form the way it was in other nations or in the US back in the days. Therefore it was not something bad or shame worthy as you ignorantly try to infer. It was a way, a tool, a resource for some people to have a shelter and food.

      People resorted to slavery as a way to pay back debts to a lender. Who could also be and was often the landlord, landowner or boss of the debtor.

      The lender was NOT to mistreat the slaves and was to let them free after 7 years. Unless the debtor/slave decided that it was in his best interest to remain a slave. Specially if the lender/owner had treated him well, provided for his need and given him a family. Even in such cases in the year of Jubilee every 50 years any and all slaves remaining in the land were to be freed.

      Learn to read you foolish atheist!!

      June 25, 2013 at 5:33 pm |
    • Gareth Pinkerton

      I still find it amazing that people believe in a god that can't do better than a book to message with, in the modern era. Your god in his infinite omniscience couldn't foresee that such a thing would be sincerely misinterpreted and taken out of context? What a lark! Hello, Christian, I have some dark crystals to sell you...

      June 25, 2013 at 5:37 pm |
    • Salero21

      😀 😀 😀 Some one sold some dark crystals to Gareth Pinkerton and he bought them!! 😀 😀 😀

      June 25, 2013 at 5:43 pm |
    • In Santa we trust

      Salero, That doesn't jive with the reason in Genesis 9 20:27

      June 25, 2013 at 5:46 pm |
    • ME II

      @Bill Deacon,
      Ah, that's more like your usually self.

      I'll admit that some of your points are valid, for example much of today's reaction to slavery is tainted (if such is possible) by the slavery of the last few hundred years, the scope and scale of which might not have been possible in ancient times, and yes, sadly, forms of slavery do exist to this day, albeit generally not openly nor legally, but it exists.

      However, neither of those points has anything to do with the validity of the Bible. In my opinion the issue of slavery in the Bible goes to the claim of it being a moral authority, i.e. this book is "good" and therefore it should be followed and/or believed.
      If such a claim can be refuted then the moral authority claim is not valid.
      Furthermore, if the Bible condones slavery, which most people consider "bad", then by condoning a "bad" thing the Bible's moral authority is thus refuted.
      That is why it is brought up so often and, I think, rightfully so.

      You, I think, are correct that the Bible does not "put forth [slavery] as sacred or divinely ordered", but the mere fact that is does condone it is enough to condemn it.

      June 25, 2013 at 6:03 pm |
    • Saraswati

      ME II,

      "You, I think, are correct that the Bible does not "put forth [slavery] as sacred or divinely ordered", but the mere fact that is does condone it is enough to condemn it."

      Well said. The problem is really that too many excuses are being made for why the bible was not clear, at best, on these andother moral issues. If god. really wanted to avoid slavery there was a heck of a lot of space in which to do it (not to mention the chance to deliver new editions), and all the excuses in the world don't change that.

      June 25, 2013 at 6:10 pm |
    • ME II

      @Salero21,
      "WAS NOT in any shape or form the way it was in other nations or in the US back in the days. Therefore it was not something bad or shame worthy as you ignorantly try to infer."

      I disagree. The Bible specifically talks about humans owning other human beings for life as property which can be inherited by one's children.

      That to me is, by itself, an ethical breach which the Bible fails to condemn which in turn condemns it.

      "It was a way, a tool, a resource for some people to have a shelter and food.... "

      44 “‘Your male and female slaves are to come from the nations around you; from them you may buy slaves. 45 You may also buy some of the temporary residents living among you and members of their clans born in your country, and they will become your property. 46 You can bequeath them to your children as inherited property and can make them slaves for life, but you must not rule over your fellow Israelites ruthlessly.
      (Lev 25)

      June 25, 2013 at 6:12 pm |
    • ME II

      @Saraswati,
      Thanks.
      I agree. It spends a lot of time on what I would consider lesser failings, although failings none-the-less, like coveting, greed, etc. and leave a whopper like slavery virtually untouched.

      June 25, 2013 at 6:23 pm |
    • Salero21

      The hom.os will give you all butt flu.

      June 25, 2013 at 6:49 pm |
  17. lol??

    It's time to go underground, Christians. How could God make it any more CLEAR?? Wasn't woemen and Qweirdos in the pulpit enough for you?? Now you have A&A churches, soon to be authorized by the BEAST. Wake up!!

    June 25, 2013 at 4:35 pm |
    • oOo

      You should go underground you old fart. who knows, maybe Lot's daughters are still alive somewhere down there waiting for you. (I doubt they look very nice, but you'd probably fit in just fine with them.)

      June 25, 2013 at 4:40 pm |
  18. aallen333

    God created mankind in His image, but mankind convinced themselves there is no God. Since mankind has convinced itself that there is no higher intelligence beyond themselves, what image have they used to replace that of God? The answer can be found in their science books when they claim to come from apes and chimpanzees. By Rejecting the reality of a higher intelligence, the humanist has no choice but to embrace an ideology founded on lower intelligence. There are some who find no problem with this. But if your life is founded on lower intelligence, lower intelligence will inevitably be the guiding principle to the way you view all aspects of life. From the way children are raised, to the formation and understanding of laws, to the way science is interpreted, all of these life pillars are greatly influenced by mankind's understanding of his origins. But if this understanding is in error, it is inevitable that the pillars of one's life will be built on error – like founding your house on sinking sand instead of founding it on the rock.

    June 25, 2013 at 4:27 pm |
    • bostontola

      That explains why scientists are of lower average intelligence that the population as a whole, another mystery solved.

      June 25, 2013 at 4:29 pm |
    • Joey

      Or like basing your life on a 2000 year old book full of errors and contradictions.

      June 25, 2013 at 4:30 pm |
    • ooo

      You draw all your conclusions without any evidence. I'm sure you meant to do that 🙂

      June 25, 2013 at 4:30 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      Personally, I have no issue if a group of people want to congregate and discuss community and compassion with each other. The natural sequence of the discussion should lead them to recognize that their compassion is limited and their community is flawed. At that point they could ask themselves "Where can we turn for compassion for ourselves in our failure to extend it to others?" Or, "How shall we deal with those who we have accepted and loved who have damaged our community but deserve compassion nonetheless?"

      Gee I wonder who might have answered these questions before?

      June 25, 2013 at 4:33 pm |
    • aallen333

      @Bostontola – it is a mistake to equate education with intelligence. Even a monkeys can be taught to talk, but talking to a monkey and having deep, insightful and intelligent conversations with them are two different things.

      June 25, 2013 at 4:39 pm |
    • Cpt. Obvious

      @Deacon

      I assume the opposite of what you assume. I assume that because atheist gatherings would be unenc.u.mbered with all that silly god nonsense, they would be better equipped to more efficiently show compassion and provide real help to those in need.

      June 25, 2013 at 4:41 pm |
    • Secular Humanist from Ohio

      Learn about evolution so you don't sound so ignorant.

      June 25, 2013 at 4:43 pm |
    • In Santa we trust

      "God created mankind in His image"

      Why does god have a navel and a penis?

      June 25, 2013 at 4:43 pm |
    • Doobs

      Even a monkeys can be taught to talk, but talking to a monkey and having deep, insightful and intelligent conversations with them are two different things.

      The chances of having a deep, insightful and intelligent conversation with a monkey sounds about equal to the chances of having one with somebody who thinks that snakes and donkeys can also talk.

      June 25, 2013 at 4:52 pm |
    • ooo

      "God created mankind in His image, but mankind convinced themselves there is no God."
      Show us proof of the first part of this sentence.

      "Since mankind has convinced itself that there is no higher intelligence beyond themselves, what image have they used to replace that of God?"
      Wow what a sweeping generalization. Many people believe that it is highly likely more intelligent beings exist in the universe.

      "The answer can be found in their science books when they claim to come from apes and chimpanzees."
      Yes, that is the accepted truth.

      " By Rejecting the reality of a higher intelligence, the humanist has no choice but to embrace an ideology founded on lower intelligence."
      This makes no sense whatsoever. How does the former lead to that nonesense in the latter?

      " There are some who find no problem with this. But if your life is founded on lower intelligence, lower intelligence will inevitably be the guiding principle to the way you view all aspects of life."
      Again, there is no evidence that the former leads to the latter. You just find it convenient to spout this.

      "From the way children are raised, to the formation and understanding of laws, to the way science is interpreted, all of these life pillars are greatly influenced by mankind's understanding of his origins. But if this understanding is in error, it is inevitable that the pillars of one's life will be built on error – like founding your house on sinking sand instead of founding it on the rock."

      Kettle, meet pot.

      June 25, 2013 at 4:53 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      Cpt. It sounds as if you haven't reached the limit of your compassion. It also sounds as if you've not been part of a community that has been betrayed. Maybe you should get out more often.

      June 25, 2013 at 4:53 pm |
    • ME II

      @aallen333,
      " Since mankind has convinced itself that there is no higher intelligence beyond themselves,..."

      Incorrect. Science in no way precludes a more intelligent being. In fact, given the number of stars and planets in the universe, it might be highly probable.

      ",,,they claim to come from apes and chimpanzees."

      Inaccurate, but yes, we did evolve from earlier and less complex forms of life.

      "...if your life is founded on lower intelligence, lower intelligence will inevitably be the guiding principle to the way you view all aspects of life"

      What do you base this on? Intelligence and self-awareness allows us to constantly re-examine our motivations, assumptions, and conclusion. Isn't it possible that those re-evaluations would improve our principles?

      June 25, 2013 at 4:55 pm |
    • Doobs

      @ Bill D

      What bothers you so much about a group getting together and doing good things for others without being motivated by a vengeful sky fairy who will punish them if they don't?

      The idea of helping each other to survive on this earth predates your god and your bible by several thousands of years.

      June 25, 2013 at 4:58 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      Doobs, how many fallacies can you pack into one sentence?

      June 25, 2013 at 5:03 pm |
    • Cpt. Obvious

      @Deacon

      It sounds like you haven't figured out how to make a convincing argument. Your assumptions are ridiculous and don't count for anything even if they were true. No need for you to make a practical point when you can just babble, eh?

      June 25, 2013 at 5:14 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      No Cpt. If I couldn't make an argument I would just sit around and naysay what other people post. Then I'd be an atheist.

      June 25, 2013 at 5:49 pm |
    • Cpt. Obvious

      Wow, Bill, way to go. Thanks for proving my hypothesis about your lack of ability.

      June 25, 2013 at 6:24 pm |
    • In Santa we trust

      aallen333 is also lol?

      June 25, 2013 at 6:29 pm |
    • Doobs

      @ BD

      LOL! Poor Bill. You really need to think that your way is the best and only way, don't you?

      Why does it bother you so much that humans can be compassionate to each other without having to be told to by a deity?

      June 26, 2013 at 10:06 am |
  19. fred

    Dobbs
    "You're the one who said that slavery in the bible was just fine because it was an economic necessity and we just didn't understand the special love between Abraham and his slave."
    =>I did not say it was fine with God or me, I simply noted it was the way of the time yet the Chosen Ones were to never forget the pain of slavery God saved them from and they were to treat slaves right. I really do not know how Hagar was treated by Abraham in their relationship.

    =>Abraham did not get a bunch of goodies for Sarah's trade he received the goodies because the king realized Abraham had a connection with God and was fearful of violating the God of Abraham.

    =>Your summary was ok except lacking the light of Gods Word. The story shows how even men of great faith and strength fail terribly yet God sees them through. Abraham lost trust in God and made a son his way which resulted in problems we still face to this day. When you reject God there are problems in your home, your wife and children. Abraham sent Hagar away at Gods instructions and God promised to take care of them which he did. Abraham did not just set them out in the cold with bread and water he sent them with God. Out of Isaac we have Jews and Christians and out of Ishmael we have their Muslim brothers. Gods way and mans way still doing the dance of eternity.

    June 25, 2013 at 4:04 pm |
    • Truth

      TL;DR

      Have evidence? If not, then your rebuttal is not worth reading.

      June 25, 2013 at 4:06 pm |
    • lol??

      A&A's are great at blowin' smoke. They enslave their own children with their gubmint god.

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

      When you reject God there are problems in your home
      ------
      How does one "reject" God?

      June 25, 2013 at 4:11 pm |
    • lol??

      How could an A&A possibly comprehend inheriting eternal life?? They'd be too busy tryin' to figure out a way to steal it.

      June 25, 2013 at 4:15 pm |
    • fred

      Madtown
      God said he would provide a child for Abraham through Abraham and they rejected Gods promise and made baby Ishmael with the slave girl Hagar. Ishmael hated Isaac and relationship between Abraham and his wife suffered.

      June 25, 2013 at 4:17 pm |
    • Truth

      If you don't see the evidence, you may be spiritually dead. There is more to life than being a consumer (what we are brainwashed to be).

      June 25, 2013 at 4:18 pm |
    • lol??

      ALLOW ME TO RETORT FOR THE THIRD STUPID TIME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      A&A!!

      June 25, 2013 at 4:19 pm |
    • Madtown

      Uhhhhhhhhhhh, no fred. Something outside of that myth storybook will suffice.

      June 25, 2013 at 4:21 pm |
    • oOo

      Yes, lol?? We know you're stupid for the third time.

      June 25, 2013 at 4:22 pm |
    • Honey Badger Don't Care

      Xtians truely are delusional idiots.

      June 25, 2013 at 4:26 pm |
    • Truth

      Delusional? All of them? You are making a case for you being delusional if you actually believe that. Of course you are the one posting on a FAITH and BELIEF blog all day long... I'm sure you've got your sh.T together!

      June 25, 2013 at 4:30 pm |
    • fred

      Madtown
      Anytime you put something else before the will of God you have rejected God. You can reject His Word as revealed through the Bible or in the case of atheists and agnostics simply reject God based on the misunderstanding God can somehow be proven by scientific method.

      June 25, 2013 at 4:38 pm |
    • Madtown

      God said he would provide a child for Abraham
      ----–
      Fred, I'm honored to be having a discussion with you. The only human currently alive who actually knows the intent and actions of God. You're a special one!

      June 25, 2013 at 4:40 pm |
    • Honey Badger Don't Care

      A person who believes in something for which there is no evidence for its existence is delusional. A person who persists in this delusion in the face of counter evidence is a fool. Yes, they are all fools.

      June 25, 2013 at 4:40 pm |
    • Honey Badger Don't Care

      And "truth", this is my 4th, or so, post of the day. I acuatlly have a job to do unlike some of you on here.

      June 25, 2013 at 4:42 pm |
    • NO.

      NO FRED YOU'RE WRONG. GOD IS REJECTED ON THE COMPLETELY LOGICAL UNDERSTANDING THAT IT DOES NOT EXIST. THE EVIDENCE YOU USE TO PROMOTE ITS EXISTENCE IS A BOOK THAT HAS BEEN PROVEN TIME AND AGAIN TO BE FALSE. IT IS WITHOUT A DOUBT A MYTH. THE END.

      June 25, 2013 at 4:43 pm |
    • Madtown

      Madtown
      Uhhhhhhhhhhh, no fred. Something outside of that myth storybook will suffice.
      ---–
      Is it a form of flattery when losers here duplicate your screen name? I didn't write the above. Maybe it's just a sign that nothing remotely serious can ever occur here in these comments sections, and they are essentially a virtual sandbox for the immature. Oh well, not a surprise.

      June 25, 2013 at 4:43 pm |
    • Madtown

      fred
      You can reject His Word as revealed through the Bible
      -----
      You mean, like acknowledging the FACT that God didn't write the bible? No harm there, there's no real dispute that humans wrote every word of it. God didn't seem to need the assistance of human beings to create this universe, this world, and all life within........why would God need human assistance to scratch out a few words in a book to serve as "his" word? He wouldn't.

      June 25, 2013 at 4:54 pm |
    • fred

      NO
      -Sorry, not one part of the Bible has been proven false.
      -To suggest that 98% of the living population is deluded and you are the only one left with reason and logic sounds foolish.
      -Causation is a logical demand of any existence. It is illogical to assume otherwise.

      June 25, 2013 at 4:55 pm |
    • ME II

      @fred
      "NO
      -Sorry, not one part of the Bible has been proven false."

      NO
      -Sorry, Genesis is full of errors, from the order of creation (even without a literal day) to a global flood. There are many things in Genesis that are incorrect.

      June 25, 2013 at 5:07 pm |
    • Secular Humanist from Ohio

      Not one part of Harry Potter has been proven false.

      June 25, 2013 at 5:07 pm |
    • NO.

      WRONG AGAIN FRED.

      CREATION MYTH: FALSE
      WORLDWIDE FLOOD: FALSE
      JESUS' RESURRECTION: FALSE
      JESUS' RETURN: FALSE
      ADAM AND EVE: FALSE
      HEAVEN: FALSE
      HELL: FALSE
      ANGELS: FALSE
      DEMONS: FALSE
      GOD: FALSE
      EGYPTIAN GODS: FALSE

      ALL THIS CRAP IN THE BIBLE IS FALSE. NO EVIDENCE FOR A FLOOD. CREATION MYTH IS JUST LOODACRISP. ADAM AND EVE NEVER EXISTED. GOD SAID HE'D BEAT UP OTHER GODS WHICH MEANS THAT THE CHRISTIAN GOD ISN'T THE ONLY GOD WHICH YOU CLAIM. FALSE FALSE FALSE FALSE FALSE FALSE. JESUS SAID HE'D RETURN BEFORE HIS SHEEP DIED. HE DIDN'T COME BACK. BIBLE: FALSE FALSE FALSE FALSE FALSE FALSE. PROVEN TIME AND AGAIN TO BE FALSE FALSE FALSE FALSE FALSE AND FALSE AGAIN.

      June 25, 2013 at 5:07 pm |
    • ME II

      @fred,
      "-Causation is a logical demand of any existence. It is illogical to assume otherwise."

      Then who/what caused God?
      If you claim, 'God is eternal' then why can't I claim the universe or a multi-verse is eternal?

      June 25, 2013 at 5:09 pm |
    • NO.

      AND WHAT IS THIS 98% RUBBISH? OH YOU'RE TRYING TO ARGUE THAT IF EVERYONE ELSE IS STUPID, THAT IT'S OK TO BE STUPID TOO, RIGHT? GREAT WAY OF THINKING YOU MAKE SCIENTISTS AROUND THE WORLD PROUD. I'M NOT THE ONLY ONE THAT DOESN'T FALL FOR THE FAIRY TALES.

      WHAT IS 2% OF 7 BILLION? ANYONE? 140 MILLION? THAT'S LIKE THE POPULATION OF ALMOST HALF THE US.

      June 25, 2013 at 5:12 pm |
    • ME II

      @NO,
      NO CAPS LOCK... please.

      June 25, 2013 at 5:21 pm |
    • fred

      ME II
      Are you suggesting that without proof you know there was causation?

      June 25, 2013 at 5:27 pm |
    • ME II

      @fred
      "Are you suggesting that without proof you know there was causation?"

      Not sure I understand your point, but my point was that if you claim everything has a cause then shouldn't God have one too?

      June 25, 2013 at 5:30 pm |
    • fred

      No
      So you find your significance in numbers.............you are one out of 140 million........that is very significant indeed. You are one of many (mind if I call you Borg?) that lacks a common trait. Could be we have that trait like a vestigial human tail bone? or is there a reason the recorded history of mankind shows a trait the results in worship?

      June 25, 2013 at 5:34 pm |
    • fred

      ME II
      I understand your point I was just wondering if you believe there was causation (pre big bang) even though we have no proof that causation is required.

      June 25, 2013 at 5:37 pm |
    • ME II

      @fred,
      I don't know what happened pre-Big Bang. There are some interesting hypotheses, but I don't think there is even a consensus yet.

      June 25, 2013 at 5:39 pm |
    • NO.

      NO SIGNIFICANCE. WHY DID YOU BOTHER TO BRING IT UP JUST TO TRY TO TURN IT AROUND ON ME AS THOUGH YOUR PRECIOUS 98% IS RIGHT SIMPLY BECAUSE THERE'S MORE OF YOU THAT BELIEVE IN FAIRIES?

      THERE IS NO TRAIT TO WORSHIP. IT IS A LEARNED PROCESS PASSED DOWN FROM PRIMITIVE CAVE-PEOPLE THAT DIDN'T HAVE A SCIENTIFIC BACKGROUND. NOW THAT WE HAVE SCIENCE TO EXPLAIN NATURE, THERE IS NO LONGER A NEED TO PASS DOWN USELESS WORSHIP AND FEAR. RELIGION IS ALL ABOUT FEAR AND CONTROL. WHY WOULD YOU LIKE TO LIVE IN FEAR? IF YOU WEREN'T AFRAID OF HELL THEN YOU WOULDN'T BE A BELIEVER.

      BACK TO THE BIBLE. AS I SAID, IT IS FALSE. PROVEN FALSE. NO EXCUSES AND NO DENYING THAT IT IS FALSE. SCIENCE HAS PROVEN THAT IT IS FALSE. EVEN YOUR GOD BELIEVED IN OTHER GODS. THAT PRETTY MUCH DESTROYS THE TENANTS OF THE ENTIRE CHRISTIAN FAITH. MONOTHEISTIC? NO. JUST LIKE GREEK MYTHOLOGY. YOUR GOD WOULD BE ABOUT THE SAME AS HADES. ZEUS IS MORE BELIEVABLE. AT LEAST THE GREEK GODS HAD IT IN THEM TO MATE IN HUMAN FORM INSTEAD OF KNOCKING UP SOME PEASANT IN THE DIRT.

      June 25, 2013 at 5:47 pm |
    • NO.

      NO SIGNIFICANCE. WHY DID YOU BOTHER TO BRING IT UP JUST TO TRY TO TURN IT AROUND ON ME AS THOUGH YOUR PRECIOUS 98% IS RIGHT SIMPLY BECAUSE THERE'S MORE OF YOU THAT BELIEVE IN FAIRIES?

      THERE IS NO TRAIT TO WORSHIP. IT IS A LEARNED PROCESS PASSED DOWN FROM PRIMITIVE CAVE-PEOPLE THAT DIDN'T HAVE A SCIENTIFIC BACKGROUND. NOW THAT WE HAVE SCIENCE TO EXPLAIN NATURE, THERE IS NO LONGER A NEED TO PASS DOWN USELESS WORSHIP AND FEAR. RELIGION IS ALL ABOUT FEAR AND CONTROL. WHY WOULD YOU LIKE TO LIVE IN FEAR? IF YOU WEREN'T AFRAID OF HELL THEN YOU WOULDN'T BE A BELIEVER.

      BACK TO THE BIBLE. AS I SAID, IT IS FALSE. PROVEN FALSE. NO EXCUSES AND NO DENYING THAT IT IS FALSE. SCIENCE HAS PROVEN THAT IT IS FALSE. EVEN YOUR GOD BELIEVED IN OTHER GODS. THAT PRETTY MUCH DESTROYS THE TENANTS OF THE ENTIRE CHRISTIAN FAITH. MONOTHEISTIC? NO. JUST LIKE GREEK MYTHOLOGY. YOUR GOD WOULD BE ABOUT THE SAME AS HADES. ZEUS IS MORE BELIEVABLE. AT LEAST THE GREEK GODS HAD IT IN THEM TO MATE IN HUMAN FORM INSTEAD OF KNOCKING UP SOME PEASANT IN THE DIRT.

      June 25, 2013 at 5:49 pm |
    • Saraswati

      NO,

      "IF YOU WEREN'T AFRAID OF HELL THEN YOU WOULDN'T BE A BELIEVER."

      I think you are oversimplifying the reasons people believe things. First, though numbers vary depending on the survey you look at, a substantian number, if not most, US Christians don't believe in hell. Second, people who convert to Christianity from atheism or buddhism are not doing it to flee a concept of hell. Third, religions offer many other attractions, from community do definite answers.

      Please turn off the ALL CAPS, btw; it is very difficult to read.

      June 25, 2013 at 5:53 pm |
    • NO.

      FRED'S GOD GAVE ME BAD EYESIGHT SO I USE CAPS BECAUSE IT HELPS.

      June 25, 2013 at 6:03 pm |
    • fred

      ME II
      The reason I asked if you believe in causation or first cause without proof is because that would mean you have the trait that results in worship.

      You said:"If you claim, 'God is eternal' then why can't I claim the universe or a multi-verse is eternal?"
      =>Universe or multi-verse are the known results of causation regardless of which pre big bang cosmology event we study. Everything we know has cause outside of itself for its existence which leads us to ask who made God. In short everything was created that we know.

      June 25, 2013 at 6:29 pm |
    • In Santa we trust

      fred, If you believe that a god can just exist, be eternal or however you choose to phrase it and therefore does not need a creator, then why do you not understand why skeptics question having a middleman – why can't the universe (or singularity) be eternal and therefore not need a creator.

      June 25, 2013 at 6:34 pm |
    • fred

      NO
      You said"AT LEAST THE GREEK GODS HAD IT IN THEM TO MATE IN HUMAN FORM"
      =>Looks like you missed the Key as the Bible gets this beginning very right. All other religions have man working his way up to gods acceptance where as the God of Abraham came to man. The biggest difference is that the God of Abraham was not made by man, in mans image or even made of matter and energy known to us. Your gods are all creations of man whereas everything known was created.

      June 25, 2013 at 6:38 pm |
    • NO.

      FRED WHAT ARE YOU RAMBLING ABOUT? WE HAVE ALREADY PROVEN THAT THE BIBLE IS FALSE. WHY ARE YOU TRYING TO ESTABLISH A BASIS IN TWO MYTHS IN ORDER TO MAKE ONE TRUE? IF YOU BELIEVE IN ONE, YOU HAVE TO BELIEVE THEM ALL. END OF STORY. YOU HAVE NO GROUND TO STAND ON. STOP NOW WHILE YOU'RE ALREADY WAY BEHIND. THE ONLY DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE BIBLE MYTH AND GREEK MYTHOLOGY IS THAT GREEK MYTHOLOGY IS MORE PLAUSIBLE.

      June 25, 2013 at 6:50 pm |
    • fred

      In Santa we trust
      Sorry, the universe had a beginning as far science can tell. The news ruined Hawking's birthday party because it presents the real possibility of God is actually needed. "Hawking's Bummer Birthday: No Eternal Universe '-http://www.thesacredpage.com/2012/01/hawkings-bummer-birthday-no-eternal.html

      The inning is over, and the anti-beginning team struck out. "All the evidence we have says that the universe had a beginning," Vilenkin concluded. – See more at: http://www.evolutionnews.org/2012/01/god_and_the_ast055041.html#sthash.4iqpCDRF.dpuf

      June 25, 2013 at 7:01 pm |
    • In Santa we trust

      fred, My point is the same conditions exist for a universe as for a god. We don't know what was pre-Big Bang, why attribute it to a god?

      June 25, 2013 at 7:09 pm |
    • fred

      No
      How about we forget Zeus and other Greek gods that enjoyed sex with the people as that would be about as far from anything resembling God I could think of............then again those Greeks were one nasty bunch.
      The gods you hold dear came from the Mycenaean civilization around the time of Cain. It is impossible to tell how the belief passed down from Adam and Eve became "humanized" by the Mycenaean civilization but the Greek touch is easy to spot. Now, the Bible reports those gods and Moses even sent out plagues against specific Egyptian gods who were picked up on by the Greek mythology also.
      Either way they are man made and full of human adventure.

      June 25, 2013 at 7:42 pm |
    • fred

      In Santa we trust
      No, the same conditions do not exist for God as for the universe. As to the universe all science to date points towards causation in formation of matter and energy because that is all science can do as it is limited to the physical realities. God is not matter or energy but substance without knowable form or nature. The unknown causation is always one step beyond. In other words if we assume spontaneous creation is the first cause then behind that would an unknown causation that enables the strong and weak forces to create a quantum gravitational flux. In short at the end of any regression for causation is God.
      Moses must have been inspired to open the Book of Genesis with "In the beginning God". That sets the matter straight for eternity, it shuts the door on atheism, materialism, pantheism, He was himself before the beginning = eternal and infinite.

      June 25, 2013 at 7:57 pm |
    • ME II

      @fred,
      reply at http://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2013/06/22/church-without-god-by-design/comment-page-61/#comment-2436225, at time of posting.

      June 26, 2013 at 11:23 am |
    • Typical Christian

      I have to agree with fred on this one. The only thing that can come from nothing is the all knowing, all powerful creator of the universe.

      June 26, 2013 at 12:38 pm |
  20. Science

    A thinly veiled article about christians from Fox & Fiends!

    http://www.foxnews.com/science/slideshow/2013/06/25/vampire-animals/?intcmp=features#slide=1

    June 25, 2013 at 4:00 pm |
    • lol??

      You don't know what a veil is let alone thin. Now quit messin' with the genetics of the food supply and makin' people fat, chimpy chump.

      June 25, 2013 at 4:05 pm |
    • Science

      The fake science poster fox .............and Murdoch

      Hey idiot/Bill Deacon ? !!!...............crickets and elements ...............go chirp chirp splat !

      10.0.9200.16611
      Application Timestamp: 5191e7aa

      OOps still trying to get ride of the crickets !

      http://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2013/06/22/church-without-god-by-design/?replytocom=2435325#respond

      June 25, 2013 at 4:07 pm |
    • lol??

      I must of missed the boat 'cuz I still don't get the joke.

      June 25, 2013 at 4:08 pm |
    • Science

      .the se-x thingy and you know evolution...........wins hands down.

      Two Mutations Triggered an Evolutionary Leap 500 Million Years Ago

      June 24, 2013 — Evolution, it seems, sometimes jumps instead of crawls. A research team led by a University of Chicago scientist has discovered two key mutations that sparked a hormonal revolution 500 million years ago.

      http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/06/130624152617.htm

      Can the pope be good and say............. no fairy in the sky needed ?..............lmfao

      http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/may/22/pope-francis-atheists-can-be-good

      https://www.zotero.org/colleengreene/items/5XRFKX8N.............bookmark make it easier for you to post fake sh-it lol??

      June 25, 2013 at 4:19 pm |
    • lol??

      Why do you keep posting that every hour? It's gettin' old.

      June 25, 2013 at 4:24 pm |
    • Science

      Like the pope lol?? ...............not to bright on the comments you post..............like fake science poster.

      The joke is on creationists really .

      June 25, 2013 at 4:30 pm |
    • Science

      Oops are...............lol

      June 25, 2013 at 4:31 pm |
    • oOo

      lol?? wrote: "Why do you keep posting that every hour? It's gettin' old."

      LOL. If ever there was a tired troll who so perfectly projected the mind of an old fart, it would be you!

      June 25, 2013 at 4:35 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      I think I get a lot of obscure references but I have to admit, Science is incomprehensible.

      June 25, 2013 at 4:36 pm |
    • Science

      Like those chains Billy ?

      June 25, 2013 at 4:47 pm |
    • Science

      Old Sally a real LOONY one .............chad/fred/doogie

      June 25, 2013 at 6:55 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.