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July 30th, 2013
02:17 PM ET

Why are millennials leaving church? Try atheism

Opinion by Hemant Mehta, Special to CNN

(CNN) - Articles and books about why millennials are leaving Christianity often focus on what churches are doing "wrong."

They're anti-gay, anti-women, anti-science, anti-sex-education and anti-doubt, 
to name a few of the most common criticisms.

I don't disagree with those critiques, but there's another side to the story.

While Christians have played sloppy defense, secular Americans have been showing off some impressive offense, giving young Christians plenty of reasons to lose faith in organized religion.

For instance, atheists dominate the Internet, rallying to thriving websites and online communities in lieu of physical meeting spaces.

Even a writer for the evangelical magazine Relevant admitted that “While Christianity enjoys a robust online presence, the edge still seems to belong to its unbelievers.”

Atheists outnumber Christians on popular discussion forums like Reddit, where subscribers to the atheism section number more than 2 million. The Christianity section is not even 5% of that.

The Internet-based Foundation Beyond Belief, which encourages atheists to donate to charitable organizations, just celebrated raising $1 million for worthwhile causes. (Disclosure: I serve on its board of directors.)

Moreover, blogs and websites espousing non-religious viewpoints and criticizing Christianity draw tons of Internet traffic these days. For every Christian apologist's argument, it seems, there's an equal and opposite rebuttal to be found online. I call that "Hitchens' Third Law.”

READ MORE: Why millennials are leaving the church 

Christians can no longer hide in a bubble, sheltered from opposing perspectives, and church leaders can't protect young people from finding information that contradicts traditional beliefs.

If there's an open comment thread to be found on a Christian's YouTube video or opinion piece online, there's inevitably going to be pushback from atheists.

There has also been a push by atheists to get non-religious individuals to "come out of the closet" and let people know that they don't believe in God.

Among other things, this proves that anti-atheist stereotypes aren't accurate and, just as important, that atheists aren’t alone in their communities.

There's the Richard Dawkins Foundation's Out Campaign, with its Scarlet A badges.

There are atheist-encouraging billboards in 33 states financed by groups like the United Coalition of Reason.

There's even going to be an 1-800 hot line for people "recovering" from religion.

READ MORE: Atheists to start 1-800 hot line for doubters

And last year, an estimated 20,000 atheists turned out for the Reason Rally in Washington, a tenfold increase from the previous atheist rally in 2002.

But more than anything else, atheism's best advertisements may be the words of Christian leaders themselves.

When Pastor Mark Driscoll belittles women, Rick Warren argues against same-sex rights or Rob Bell equivocates on the concept of hell, we amplify those messages for them - and it helps us make our point.

(It goes without saying that the pairing of Pat Robertson and YouTube has been great for atheists.)

Pastors are no longer the final authority on the truth, and millennials know it.

Even if they hold Jesus' message in high esteem, the Bible as it has traditionally been preached by many evangelical pastors is becoming less and less attractive to them.

A 2012 study by the Public Religion Research Institute (PDF) showed that many Christians aged 18-24 felt that Christianity was hypocritical (49%), judgmental (54%) and anti-gay (58%).

In addition, Christianity Today reported last year that fewer than half of born-again Christians under 35 opposed same-sex marriage.

When millennials' pastors and hearts are going in different directions, church leaders should be worried.

Can churches win back the youth?

Barring a complete shift in beliefs, that may not be possible. Some of the proposed solutions seem ludicrous to millennial atheists like myself.

For instance, there's been talk of finding a better way to reconcile science and religion. Whenever that battle takes place, religion loses.

There are some questions we may never know the answer to, but for the ones we can eventually answer, the scientific explanation will devour the religious one. Mixing science and religion requires a distortion of one or the other.

READ MORE: Behold, the six tribes of atheism 

What about focusing on the message and life of Jesus?

While this sounds good philosophically, the myth surrounding Jesus is part of the problem with Christianity.

To believe in Jesus means believing that he was born of a virgin, rose from the dead and performed a number of miracles.

There's no proof of any of that ever happened, and atheists place those stories in the same box as "young Earth creationism" and Noah's Great Flood.

To be sure, if Christians followed the positive ideas Jesus had, we'd all be better off, but it's very hard to separate the myth from the reality.

In short, there are many reasons the percentage of millennials who say they've never doubted God's existence is at a record low, and nearly a quarter of adults under 30 no longer affiliate with a faith.

The church has pushed young people away, yes, but there are also forces actively pulling them in the other direction.

It appears that atheists and Christians are finally working together on the same task: getting millennials to leave the church.

Hemant Mehta blogs at The Friendly Atheist. The views expressed in this column belong to Mehta. 

Photos: Famous atheists and their beliefs

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Atheism • Belief • Church • Culture & Science • Faith • Internet • Nones • Opinion • Science • United States

soundoff (5,653 Responses)
  1. QS

    People who say they were once believers then doubted and became Atheist, only to then come to some miraculous realization that their faith was the only thing that made their life good, sound very much like someone who has had an addiction, broke that addiction and got sober, then fell off the wagon and remembered just how blissful that high was to the point that they finally realize they can't cope or maintain without said addiction.

    In the context of religion and/or faith, I prefer sobriety!

    July 31, 2013 at 5:49 pm |
    • bostontola

      How weird is it that the majority of humanity is addicted to one form or another of these belief systems in the 21st century?

      July 31, 2013 at 6:00 pm |
      • QS

        I know, right! Why are so many of our species still so far behind that they still have to have a fairy tale to latch onto in order to feel better about their own mortality?

        July 31, 2013 at 6:10 pm |
  2. Kenneth

    Three millinia this conversation has been going on in one form or another, and still no closer to a resolution.

    July 31, 2013 at 5:47 pm |
    • flying spaghetti monster

      I dunno Ken, seems like we're making some progress toward a resolution. I mean, a thousand years ago, there was no conversation - anyone who dared to openly question was liable to be tortured, murdered, or ostracised. At least it's (mostly) unlikely that will happen to atheists today (in developed countries with civil rights guaranteed by an at least partially secular government). Though of course, there still seem to be many xtians who would like a return to the 'good old days' of the dark ages, and see all non-believers punished for their heresy.

      July 31, 2013 at 5:55 pm |
      • dissidentfairy

        I think it's just the opposite. When do you ever hear of Atheists being killed? I can't think of any since Madeline turned up missing but Christians are frequently killed and mentioned on the news.

        July 31, 2013 at 6:15 pm |
        • grafactor

          Yeah? Where? I've heard of atheists being arrested and beaten in Indonesia, Pakistan and Bangladesh.

          August 1, 2013 at 8:46 am |
      • Kenneth

        This is true. Dissent is better tolerated now. Only barely, from the bitterness of some of these comments.
        While a believer myself, I fully respect people who question what they are told. And if they choose not to believe what I believe, they will soon enough meet Phil, ruler of Heck. :-)

        July 31, 2013 at 6:16 pm |
        • flying spaghetti monster

          Kenneth, I appreciate that you respect people who question what they are told. Serious question though, how does your concept of a loving god jive with your belief that he will send me to an eternity of suffering just because I used the brains you think he gave me and came to conclude that there is no proof of his existence? Do you honestly think I deserve to be tortured for all time?

          July 31, 2013 at 6:25 pm |
      • dissidentfairy

        PS Just like the Bible said they would be!

        July 31, 2013 at 6:18 pm |
      • dissidentfairy

        I'm a believer in God and I don't believe in a literal hell. You're right. Why would a loving God torture someone forever and ever? He wouldn't. If you compare various Bible translations the word hell in other Biblical translations will say, hades, sheol, pit and grave. Hell is nothing more than the grave. Could one drop of water really have quenched Lazarus tongue in hell? No! it was just a parable.

        Are we all going to have to account to God? Yes! Will he reward us for our choices whether good or bad ? Yes! What happens to those who do bad? "The soul who sins will die." Ezekiel 18:4.....The soul that is sinning will die. Why would God's sense of justice be any less than ours....it isn't.

        July 31, 2013 at 6:48 pm |
        • joe

          can't use the book to prove the book. The book was written by ignorant primitives 2000-4000 years ago.

          July 31, 2013 at 7:02 pm |
        • flying spaghetti monster

          Thanks, and I understand you may not believe in a literal fiery underworld, but my question stands. Assuming your belief is true, that my soul will die because I did not believe in your god during my brief span of days on this earth, do you think that is loving? Why would he be vindictive like that? Assume that I have otherwise not committed any sins (ie no murder, adultery, etc.) and have been a 'good' person, but just didn't believe in god, never prayed to him, never 'accepted jesus as my savior.' Do I deserve to be denied the heaven you think exists?

          July 31, 2013 at 7:10 pm |
        • dissidentfairy

          Do you call kings and a doctor primitive?

          July 31, 2013 at 7:13 pm |
        • dissidentfairy

          Flying Spaghetti Monster: I just answered you but my entire response was erased by someone and I didn't make a copy of it before I sent it. It's very frustrating!

          July 31, 2013 at 7:35 pm |
        • flying spaghetti monster

          DissidentFairy, no answer to my question?

          July 31, 2013 at 7:35 pm |
        • flying spaghetti monster

          oh, ok. yeah that happens to me sometimes. It's the cnn auto-filter, it won't post comments that have certain words in them, or word fragments that look like dirty words, hence the need to type t.it or b.oob

          July 31, 2013 at 7:37 pm |
        • dissidentfairy

          All God requires from us is that we love Him and give Him the recognition that He deserves as the One who created us. Don't parents hope that their children will love and respect them? So why should God be any different. If we are not willing to give Him what he needs why should He reward us? He wants people to love him with their whole heart and soul. Is that too much to ask?

          Short version: The devil was close to God at one time when he was an angel. He was the covering cherub in the Garden of Eden. He is described in the bible as being the most beautiful angel of them all but his arrogance and pride got in the way. He decided to challenge God and to try and turn all men against God. So one who isn't willing to acknowledge God could have the potential for turning bad just like Satan did. "So, because you are lukewarm–neither hot nor cold–I am about to spit you out of my mouth." Revelation 3:16

          July 31, 2013 at 7:52 pm |
        • SkepticNY

          You never answered flying spaghetti monster's question. Do you think his soul deserves to die just because he didn't worship your particular version of god eventhough he was a good and moral person?

          July 31, 2013 at 7:57 pm |
        • dissidentfairy

          SkepticNy: That's not my call Skeptic it's God's. I have an Atheist uncle who is exactly the person he described. I hope God will show compassion on him. I do know that God expects to be acknowledged for what he has done for us. I feel that's a fair exchange for eternal life don't you?

          July 31, 2013 at 8:20 pm |
        • SkepticNY

          dissidentfairy
          SkepticNy: That's not my call Skeptic it's God's. I have an Atheist uncle who is exactly the person he described. I hope God will show compassion on him. I do know that God expects to be acknowledged for what he has done for us. I feel that's a fair exchange for eternal life don't you?

          I absolutely don't think that's a fair exchange at all. Frankly I think it borders on monstrous and any god who would require such worship – with absolutely no evidence of its existence – does not deserve such worship.

          July 31, 2013 at 8:26 pm |
        • dissidentfairy

          You wouldn't feel that way if you read the Bible and drew close to God. You would develop love and a sense of appreciation for what he has done for us. I hope you give Him a chance. "No eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no mind has imagined what God has prepared for those who love him." 1 Corinthians 2:9

          July 31, 2013 at 8:37 pm |
        • grafactor

          "You wouldn't feel that way if you read the Bible and drew close to God. "

          I just love the way christians assume that atheists haven't read the bible, and all they need to do is read it and they will change their minds. Did you see the Pew survey on religious knowledge a year or two ago? Atheists are up there with Mormons (scary I know) in terms of knowledge of biblical stuff. That's why we're atheists. We HAVE read it.

          August 1, 2013 at 8:49 am |
        • WASP

          @fairy: the devil was "close" to god?

          please answer why your god fails so completely?
          "Hebrews 13:2 “Be not forgetful to ... God created a perfect, holy angel, and that angel became the devil. "

          so either god TOTALLY messed up which would mean "it" is not perfect, or your god made the devil perfectly evil on purpose just to be an ass.
          if your god is all powerful, all knowing, all present then it knows everything the devil was ever going to do to harm man kind and still allowed it. SICK

          August 1, 2013 at 10:41 am |
    • Kevin Harris

      That sounds like a resolution!

      July 31, 2013 at 5:58 pm |
  3. bostontola

    Christian Scripture and religious dogma can be broken into 2 categories; 1) Factual/historical statements, and 2) metaphysical and morality statements. That body of knowledge is mostly static, it is represented as truth.

    Science deals with only testable phenomena. That body of knowledge is growing at a staggering rate. It conflicts with many of the category 1 truths. The church has recognized that and slowly re-interprets truth to align (too slowly for Galileo).

    The rate of scientific knowledge will likely overwhelm religions ability to adapt as more and more category 1 truths fall.

    July 31, 2013 at 5:47 pm |
    • AE

      We have a logical/reason side of our brain.
      We have a creative/imaginative side of our brain.

      God speaks to both sides.
      We are not robots.
      We are human beings.

      July 31, 2013 at 5:50 pm |
      • bostontola

        AE,
        I agree with everything you said (except the god stuff). None of what you said conflicts with what I said.

        July 31, 2013 at 5:53 pm |
        • AE

          Yes, true.

          I get caught up with some who try to claim exclusive access to logic and reason – I wrongly as.sume most feel that way.

          July 31, 2013 at 6:04 pm |
      • Ken Margo

        God doesn't speak to the logical/reasonable side of the brain. Have you seen some of the nonsense religious people spew?

        July 31, 2013 at 6:18 pm |
        • AE

          Yea.

          And atheists speak nonsense sometimes, too.

          There is an atheist in my neighborhood who is addicted to crack. He is nuts.

          July 31, 2013 at 6:43 pm |
    • QS

      Fingers crossed! :-)

      July 31, 2013 at 5:52 pm |
    • Observer888

      "Science deals with only testable phenomena." That means much of evolution theory is outside the realm of science.

      August 1, 2013 at 8:18 pm |
  4. Austin

    Take away the seperation of church and state.

    who is that going to hurt?

    July 31, 2013 at 5:37 pm |
    • Jake

      Let's see...everyone who doesn't agree with whatever particular religion is in power.

      You see how well that works with the Taliban, right?

      July 31, 2013 at 5:40 pm |
      • Austin

        really, so you saying that you cant handle it mentally, the moral side of it? because there would only be a different face to the public square. it would be upright instead of sleazy and hatefull towards God. It would honor God.

        you can handle it.

        July 31, 2013 at 5:43 pm |
        • denver

          Assuming you're not just trolling, you should read Jake's answer again.

          If this were a theocratic state, there is a chance a religious tradition with which you do not agree could rise to power and impose its doctrines upon you. Would you like that?

          July 31, 2013 at 5:46 pm |
        • Madtown

          It would honor God
          ---
          Can you honor God without a religious affiliation? You're aware that there's more than 1 form of religion, right? An affiliation between church and state means state endorses whatever flavor of religion is prevalent. That may tend to tick a few people off.

          July 31, 2013 at 5:47 pm |
        • Austin

          id rather tick of a non believer than God.

          July 31, 2013 at 6:10 pm |
    • Kenneth

      Everyone who doesn't want to live in Rick Perry's or Michelle Bachmann's psycho little worlds.

      July 31, 2013 at 5:41 pm |
    • sam stone

      It will hurt the state to let a bunch of delusional fvckers like yourself into office

      July 31, 2013 at 5:41 pm |
    • QS

      I have to assume you are from the Middle East somewhere if you actually think a theocracy is a viable form of government.

      July 31, 2013 at 5:42 pm |
      • Austin

        There would be nothing wrong with a biblical theme and moral.

        July 31, 2013 at 5:44 pm |
        • Austin

          I honestly think that mentally the right approach would be like the pres of Iran said, "we don't have any ho,ose.x,uals" simply becuase no one struggling with a sin should label themselves as that sin. such as "i am an alcoholic" i know that brainwashing works, but that is completely sad. that's NOT what YOU ARE.

          YOU ARE NOT A HO,MOS,EXUAL, you just need to work on a few issues.

          July 31, 2013 at 5:47 pm |
        • denver

          The point people are trying to get across is that the the separation of church and state protects you from leadership that has nothing to do with the Bible, too.

          July 31, 2013 at 5:48 pm |
        • Truth Prevails :-)

          Wrong as always Austin! It imposes on peoples right of freedom of and from religion. Did you want us to help you pack so you can live in a country that shares your brand of crazy???

          July 31, 2013 at 5:48 pm |
        • Austin

          t.p.

          the provisions of God are eternal, and what you want is a society that lies to everyone so you can forget where you are headed.

          That is reality.

          I have a serious fn problem with that. MY COUNTRY, had better honor God with the mouth and public fact of that Gov, or my Gov is not worthy of any due respect, but only submission becuase i have to. this secular governement is producing children that end up in hell

          that would be satanic power.

          July 31, 2013 at 5:52 pm |
        • Austin

          there is power in the word of God because the Holy Spirit is there to deliver it to people

          July 31, 2013 at 5:53 pm |
        • Austin

          in other words, this country's people need to fight against the seperation of church in state, and if they honor this law, they are living in observance and submission to satanic power.

          i am not satan's little bit.ch like other people

          July 31, 2013 at 5:55 pm |
        • Truth Prevails :-)

          Austin: You need to learn the difference between reality and fantasy. What you believe is not reality but we wouldn't expect you to comprehend that...you are the blogs crazy man after all.

          July 31, 2013 at 5:55 pm |
        • Austin

          You are wrong my friend.

          There is no name like Jesus. And you are justified by His resurrection before God. Stop hiding.

          You need to pay attention to your soul and stop hiding Him/Her

          July 31, 2013 at 6:14 pm |
        • Truth Prevails :-)

          Souls don't exist. Much like your god there simply is no evidence. Resurrection didn't occur...no-one in recorded history has ever returned from the dead. You are delusional!

          July 31, 2013 at 6:20 pm |
        • CMoses

          Jesus'resurrection IS recorded in history. Many of the first and second hand accounts were collected into what are now known as the Gospels. What's truly telling is that the apostles of Jesus didn't scatter after he was executed as if their reason for being together was over. They stayed together, not sure what was coming, but knowing that SOMETHING was. They were witness to the resurrection, and soon set out to establish churches throughout the Mediterranean and even north into present day Russia. Many of these churches are still there today. These men should have just gone back to being simple fishermen, but suddenly they were evangelist willing to leave their comfort, their home, their livelihood, at a time when there wasn't a highway or a plane to offer them safe travel, nor a Holiday Inn in every town to guarantee them comfort. Christianity didn't start as a religion dreamed up by a conquering ruler to justify his dominion? It didn't start as a means of the establishment to rule over the weak and simple-minded. It was carried on by fishermen to regions of the world they had never visited and preached in languages they didn't speak. There is no reason, no reason whatsoever, that Christianity should have survived. Except that it's true.

          July 31, 2013 at 6:33 pm |
        • Austin

          well i want you to know that i deeply care about your well being. and hope you have a great day.

          July 31, 2013 at 6:24 pm |
        • sam stone

          Come on, Austin....you have the spiritual gift......dream that you off yourself and go to see jeebus.....and then fulfill it. If you have the guts, that is

          July 31, 2013 at 7:11 pm |
        • sam stone

          CMoses: It's true to you. That doesn't make it true to everyone else

          July 31, 2013 at 9:15 pm |
        • sam stone

          Austin....you delusional litte punk. It ain't YOUR country, it is OUR country. and it doesn't exist to prop up your vindictive pr1ck god.

          come on, pe-day-ho.....watcha got to say?

          July 31, 2013 at 9:19 pm |
    • Truth Prevails :-)

      You don't want your rights taken away, don't take away the rights of others! Forcing christianity on people hurts a great many who wish to live freely but you don't care or see that.

      July 31, 2013 at 5:45 pm |
      • Austin

        god does not stone you , no one is allowed to do that. do you think you would not be living in freedom. thats b.s. you live in freedom because of what God gave you , free will.

        July 31, 2013 at 5:49 pm |
        • midwest rail

          You have to be trolling now. No one is that intellectually dishonest, or deliberately obtuse.

          July 31, 2013 at 5:53 pm |
        • Truth Prevails :-)

          You are as bat shit crazy as they come.

          July 31, 2013 at 5:54 pm |
        • WASP

          @AUSTIN: AGAIN? REALLY?
          HOW MANY TIMES HAVE WE GONE OVER THIS?

          god and free will DON'T MIX.

          if it's god's will you die in a car accident; yet you choice to call out sick from work, what happens to "god's will"?
          does he still hurl a car at you in your home because you messed up his plans? or does he just wait for your next conveinent moment near traffic? 😄

          July 31, 2013 at 5:56 pm |
        • Austin

          he turns his back to the world of sin. and if He didn't we would be dead instantly.

          Sin is sooooo bad, that you really have to battle out the mental loops, to resonate with the Holy spirit. with eternal life, the salvation and life are too abundant to fathom. so if you are really a complainer and just unhappy at the name of Christ, this is simply sin. and you need help you start with grace and mercy and you learn to pick up your eyes to the horizon you stay on His road. It is difficult. and if you do not try, and you hate it, you will die in sin and live in sin. there is a deceitful lie surrounding this life, and you may never pick that out. but in my case, God showed me the devil's power. I understand demonic evil. and now I have a serious sense for it, and I do not enjoy the thigs that were killing me, i would rather go home and tend to the presence of my savior. He has turned my eyes from worthless things, and revived me in His ways.

          July 31, 2013 at 6:21 pm |
        • sam stone

          No such thing as sin, Austin

          Chill the fvck out

          July 31, 2013 at 9:09 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      It seems most people think that the state would suffer if the separation clause were eliminated. I would argue that the Church would also suffer from that event. When the spiritual authority of the Church is mingled with the temporal authority of the state sooner or later, the concentration of power is to potent to resist corruption. At which point either the sate will undermine the religious by fascism or totalitarianism or the church will revolt against the tyranny of unjust government. We've been down this road in western civilization. That's why we have separation to begin with and why churches are, and must, remain independently sovereign.

      August 1, 2013 at 9:23 am |
      • Saraswati

        For a church/state union to benefit the church you'd have to restrict information and the media to a Saudi Arabia type scenario. This type of merger is usually the death of religion.

        August 1, 2013 at 11:38 am |
    • Johnny

      Take away separation of church and state and I will start voting for Muslims, and won't move out of the country until I have ensured that Sharia law is in place. This way doing away with the separation of church and state will hurt you Austin.

      August 1, 2013 at 1:59 pm |
  5. Kenneth

    Proof there is a God === BACON

    July 31, 2013 at 5:36 pm |
    • Madtown

      And b**bies.

      July 31, 2013 at 5:38 pm |
    • Austin

      Helen

      July 31, 2013 at 5:39 pm |
    • sam stone

      Not to Jesus

      July 31, 2013 at 5:40 pm |
      • Kenneth

        Well, Jesus had first hand knowledge. Hardly a fair advantage.

        July 31, 2013 at 5:42 pm |
        • flying spaghetti monster

          Hmmm, this is interesting. Since jebus was a jew, and therefore did not ever experience the powerful force of god's love that is BACON, he couldn't possibly know the one true god! Egads, it's all so clear now.

          July 31, 2013 at 5:48 pm |
    • Errk

      Leviticus 11:7-8 ESV / 71 helpful votes

      And the pig, because it parts the hoof and is cloven-footed but does not chew the cud, is unclean to you. You shall not eat any of their flesh, and you shall not touch their carcasses; they are unclean to you.

      July 31, 2013 at 5:56 pm |
    • Errk

      Leviticus 11:7-8

      And the pig, because it parts the hoof and is cloven-footed but does not chew the cud, is unclean to you. You shall not eat any of their flesh, and you shall not touch their carcasses; they are unclean to you.

      July 31, 2013 at 5:57 pm |
  6. its obvious

    when someone attacks a denomination , be it the RCC or the evangelicals, it is BECAUSE THE DEVIL HATES THEM.

    they are going to find some way to tar and feather churchs where people get saved and lift up the Word of God.

    otherwise instead of being here, you would be on a blog ripping on criminals in jail, but instead you attack the cross.

    July 31, 2013 at 5:32 pm |
    • Madtown

      I always thought it was hilarious on Looney Tunes, when Wile E. Coyote ended up tarring and feathering himself. Those were the days.

      July 31, 2013 at 5:36 pm |
    • QS

      Eesh! Get off your high horse and join the human species – your beliefs are not a grand authority on anything other than to you and you alone.

      And if this were an article about criminals in jail, guess what, we'd be talking about that instead.

      Get a clue!

      July 31, 2013 at 5:40 pm |
    • flying spaghetti monster

      "otherwise instead of being here, you would be on a blog ripping on criminals in jail, but instead you attack the cross."

      There's plenty of internet out there, we can do both. And in the case of criminal christians, like pedopriests, we can do both at the same time!

      July 31, 2013 at 5:40 pm |
    • Brother Maynard

      So BECAUSE the devil hates me, I attack a denomination.
      Therefore you cannot blame me for the attack ... blame the source ... the devils hate.

      July 31, 2013 at 5:59 pm |
  7. niknak

    Well kids, that is all the xtian bashing I have time for today.
    Now it is off to the g ay leather bar where us evil atheists go to plot the downfall of Western civilization.

    Ta Ta....

    July 31, 2013 at 5:31 pm |
  8. Austin

    "Yesterday you made the claim that separation of church and state should not exist. That everyone should be under christian law. How is taking away peoples basic rights normal?"

    what rights? right to have a secular government? I have the right to a government that allows ME the protection of Godly provision. such as a life free of sle.ezy advertising. I should never have to drive down the street and have my mind opened up to what i a blatant inticement to liscenciousness. who.redome, a soft core p.orn news advertisement, ect. free from schools teaching that immorality is acceptable and a natural born right.

    having a moral base, and cleaning up what is at the frontal lobe of everyone, would be good for the world. what rights are you talking about?

    New testament biblical provisions are acceptable for public arena and what you do inside your house should not be subject to penal scrutiny but what is on television advertisenets and street corners p.n in gas stations. this crap needs to go by the letter of the law. quit letting alcoholics by a case of beer. take responsibility for the things that kill and destroy do the effects of sin. garbage out. your laws are filthy rotten and slu.tty.

    \no one would suffer from a discretion law for advertising.

    Your dreams/writings/whatever are not substantiated by evidence outside of you and do not count as evidence for your god, yet no matter how many times this has been reiterated to you, you refuse to open your mind and continue to make the claim they are. Now your priest may support you but he gets paid to keep people believing.
    Don't scream foul and pull out your persecution card when you can't even look in to the mirror of your own life.
    When you start to back off on the crazy dreams being evidence and you start to back off on condemning others, we will back off also, until then the back lash will continue...turn about is fair play.

    yes they do count as evidence and yes they are proof , you simply have no experience with what i am talking about. now, the question is why , if you are wrong about God, are you in a permanent state of insult, attack, persecution, arrogance, bitterness, deceit, why are you basically like a racist against God?

    July 31, 2013 at 5:23 pm |
    • niknak

      Yet again Autism,
      To long, too boring.....

      July 31, 2013 at 5:24 pm |
    • flying spaghetti monster

      Man, if liking soft.core p.ron is wrong, I don't wanna be right.

      July 31, 2013 at 5:29 pm |
      • Austin

        i like it too, just not on a billboard or advertisement. those people don't deserve that kind of power. i'd like them to get out of my face.

        July 31, 2013 at 5:40 pm |
    • WASP

      @austin: ok you want "godly" protections..............ask your god to do it, elijah did and he follwed what he was asked; or you could move to ANOTHER COUNTRY.........please pick one from the list.

      1) israel
      2)philipines
      3) india
      4) iran
      5)iraq
      6) pakistan
      7) england

      any of these countries will welcome you with open arms, so hands off THE COUNTRY ME AND MY BUDDIES FOUGHT TO PROTECT!

      July 31, 2013 at 5:30 pm |
    • QS

      The bible and the Const.itution are incompatible – one grants freedom and liberty for all, the other demands blind obedience to a rigid belief system which seeks to limit and curtail those very freedoms and liberties the Const.itution is supposed to protect.

      July 31, 2013 at 5:33 pm |
      • Kevn

        Atheists are lazy and closed minded. They would rather let the world do their thinking for them, sheeple. I am so glad I am free from the world's politically correct domain. Success = the one with the most toys and the most money, sadly pathetic.

        July 31, 2013 at 5:56 pm |
        • tallulah13

          Wow, Kevn. What an utter load of manure.

          August 1, 2013 at 1:42 am |
    • Truth Prevails :-)

      what rights? right to have a secular government? I have the right to a government that allows ME the protection of Godly provision. such as a life free of sle.ezy advertising. I should never have to drive down the street and have my mind opened up to what i a blatant inticement to liscenciousness. who.redome, a soft core p.orn news advertisement, ect. free from schools teaching that immorality is acceptable and a natural born right.

      >Your rights have NEVER been taken away! You are free to practice your religion as you wish!

      having a moral base, and cleaning up what is at the frontal lobe of everyone, would be good for the world. what rights are you talking about?

      >You wish to deny the LGBT rights based on your book! You wish to deny Atheists and people who don't share your belief rights.

      New testament biblical provisions are acceptable for public arena and what you do inside your house should not be subject to penal scrutiny but what is on television advertisenets and street corners p.n in gas stations. this crap needs to go by the letter of the law. quit letting alcoholics by a case of beer. take responsibility for the things that kill and destroy do the effects of sin. garbage out. your laws are filthy rotten and slu.tty.

      >Don't like the laws, move to a Theocratic country! Rather simple, otherwise you suck it up, pull up your big boy panties and learn some damn respect! The only laws that matter are the ones within the country you reside! You speak of beer like drinking is a bad thing...who the hell are you to judge like that when you admit to having been a drunken idiot and driving under under the influence, in turn putting lives at risk???

      \no one would suffer from a discretion law for advertising.

      Your dreams/writings/whatever are not substantiated by evidence outside of you and do not count as evidence for your god, yet no matter how many times this has been reiterated to you, you refuse to open your mind and continue to make the claim they are. Now your priest may support you but he gets paid to keep people believing.
      Don't scream foul and pull out your persecution card when you can't even look in to the mirror of your own life.
      When you start to back off on the crazy dreams being evidence and you start to back off on condemning others, we will back off also, until then the back lash will continue...turn about is fair play.

      yes they do count as evidence and yes they are proof , you simply have no experience with what i am talking about. now, the question is why , if you are wrong about God, are you in a permanent state of insult, attack, persecution, arrogance, bitterness, deceit, why are you basically like a racist against God?

      > How the hell would you know what experience I have??? And once again, no they are no evidence!! It doesn't matter how many times you claim they are, to the rational minded person they are simply nothing more than the ramblings of a mad man!
      I'm not racist against anything. I don't hate your god, I simply do not see that there is sufficient evidence to show that it exists.
      Now stop being a hypocritical, persecuted child and live in this century.

      July 31, 2013 at 5:37 pm |
    • midwest rail

      Nope, not proof.

      July 31, 2013 at 5:43 pm |
  9. QS

    The concept of "spreading the word" is the basis for all that is wrong with religion.

    Think about it...if your beliefs dictate to you that you must go around and try to "convert" people to your way of thinking in order to "save" them, your beliefs are inherently starting you off from a foundation of immediately looking down on others and seeing them as things that need to be fixed rather than as fellow humans who should not have to be made to feel guilty just because they don't believe your particular brand of delusion.

    This is, as I said, the foundation for all that is wrong with religion. Even beyond how it treats gay people, religion is specifically designed to start people off in life with little regard for diversity and far too much paranoia and sus.picion of others to be truly considered anything close to resembling altruism.

    July 31, 2013 at 5:23 pm |
  10. Milo

    I believe in Dudeism and that the trinity of the holey ball will someday smite all the pins. All praise to the Big Lebowski on high!

    July 31, 2013 at 5:14 pm |
    • bostontola

      Dude abides.

      July 31, 2013 at 5:20 pm |
  11. clint

    You know what would surprise me? An Atheist that has more to talk about than not believing in God or how much they don't like Christians...it sure seems like that is the depth of the argument. Guess what? We get it.

    If you are anti-God then fine, be like that...but is that all your group has to offer?

    You said “Atheists outnumber Christians on popular discussion forums like Reddit”. What about the fact that the Bible is easily one of the best-selling books of all time or that Jesus is the most famous person in the world? I think that accounts for much more than a forum made up of ex-4chan users and primarily teen to middle-aged men with nothing better to do then complain about Christians.

    “The Internet-based Foundation Beyond Belief, which encourages atheists to donate to charitable organizations, just celebrated raising $1 million for worthwhile causes”. There are Christian organizations that raise money too, daily!

    Christians are wonderful people, but your article puts them in the same "anti" light that you are complaining that they do to others. It just seems a bit hypocritical.

    July 31, 2013 at 5:12 pm |
    • QS

      Obviously you don't get it because really the only time we talk about that aspect of being Atheists is on here or when a deranged zealot tries to convert us in person...otherwise, we do less talking about "god" in general than any average religious person does.

      July 31, 2013 at 5:17 pm |
    • denver

      First, atheists aren't a "group"; Atheism isn't a creed.

      Second, I can pretty much talk your ear off about any topic and I don't hate theists or theism.

      That said, I'm surprised at how easily theists wave off what are probalby some of the most important philosophical question imaginable for a theist:
      Does a god exist?
      Which god is it?
      Does that god want specific things from us?
      How do what know what they are?
      No, how do we REALLY know?

      July 31, 2013 at 5:17 pm |
    • niknak

      Those young adults who randomly picked that black guy to beat and then to run over were Christians.
      But I don't think they were all that wonderful.
      But maybe you do.

      July 31, 2013 at 5:19 pm |
    • WASP

      @clint: nope.
      we have science, medicine, government, food production, navigation...........well basically everything ever made by any living human is what atheists can point at and with PRIDE, say we did that as a species; christians much prefer to take all the great minds of history that aided in creating this.......well work in progress we call earth, to a god lowering human achievement to that of the whim of a god.

      if you want to attribute everything humans have done to a "creator" then please be my guest, but realize what has the religious group provided the world other than division, war, and problems?

      July 31, 2013 at 5:26 pm |
    • Madtown

      Jesus is the most famous person in the world?
      ----–
      Yet, there are many humans on earth right now who have never heard of him. Does God love them less than he loves you?

      July 31, 2013 at 5:29 pm |
  12. WASP

    ok just to solve this whole "gods" issue; i will give everyone the simple answer to the universe that is unrefutible due to science..................even those of you that have either failed basic science or just never listened in school can understand this one.

    THIS ONE IS THE MOST IMPORTANT!
    1) energy CAN NOT be created NOR destroyed. ok following me so far?
    2) if energy CAN NOT be created nor destroyed, then the universe is a CONTAINED SYSTEM. no energy out, no energy in.
    3) EVERYTHING is made from ENERGY. *hint* atoms are energy.......don't believe me; split one.😄
    4) the laws of the universe are the direct response of the interactions between atoms..........a.k.a. ENERGY.

    thus no GODS required to make ANYTHING. you have the same atomic "structure" as everything else.
    1)PROTON
    2)NEUTRON
    3)ELECTRON

    so can we please focus on things worth while; like domestic violence, child abuse, world hunger........getting off this planet before a huge rock smashes us all into space dust? :)

    July 31, 2013 at 5:10 pm |
    • AE

      Can something exist outside of your understanding of how the universe operates?

      Yes.

      July 31, 2013 at 5:16 pm |
      • WASP

        @AE: i truly doubt with my IQ

        July 31, 2013 at 5:18 pm |
        • AE

          I can probably find a person with a higher IQ than you that believes in God, and can write up a theory similar to yours.

          July 31, 2013 at 5:20 pm |
        • WASP

          @AE: (i hate small keyboards while having large hands.) 😄

          as i was saying i doubt with my IQ, there would be much i couldn't understand; however appearantly you missed everything i posted as being facts that inter-link to show that the WHOLE of reality requires no GOD, CREATOR, OR FORGIVENESS to exsist.
          however if you would prefer to follow the writings of sheep-herders, please be my guest; just don't teach children your delusions.:)

          July 31, 2013 at 5:21 pm |
        • AE

          You imagine there is no god required.

          Science changes, me may discover even smaller structures than the atomic ones you describe.

          New technology will bring new discoveries and new theories.

          We don't know all there is to be known. To think so would be to stand in cosmic immodesty.

          July 31, 2013 at 5:25 pm |
        • WASP

          @AE: hint we have found smaller ones, they're called QUARKS.

          they are the building blocks of atoms, yet that only proves even futher that no god is required because each components of atoms are still energy.

          "a rose by any other name is still just as sweet." :)

          July 31, 2013 at 5:34 pm |
        • AE

          Looks like something very intelligent designed those atoms.

          Something with a lot of power to provide all that energy.

          Something great.

          July 31, 2013 at 5:39 pm |
        • denver

          "Looks like something very intelligent designed those atoms."

          You're projecting. You want there to be a puppet master behind it all so you assume there is. It's called confirmation bias.

          July 31, 2013 at 5:50 pm |
        • AE

          You're projecting. You don't want to face a just deity behind it all so you assume He isn't there. It's called confirmation bias.

          July 31, 2013 at 5:53 pm |
        • denver

          Feel free to assume I'd stubbornly refuse to believe god despite being given a reason- any reason- to do so. But please don't put my lack of belief in the existence of god on par with your positive assertion of the existence of god.

          July 31, 2013 at 6:16 pm |
        • mindless lackey # 473

          AE,

          "You're projecting. You don't want to face a just deity behind it all so you assume He isn't there. It's called confirmation bias."

          A just deity? – really? the God of the Bible is just to you?

          No AE, [some] atheists truly believe there is absolutely no God. Only a complete moron would go toe to toe with an omnipotent being – as there is Zero proof of such a being, we are safe.

          And as WASP stated above...no god required.

          August 1, 2013 at 1:49 pm |
    • niknak

      Solving problems?
      Well, that would take listening, conducting studies, finding facts, then finding a solution, then finding a way to pay for it all.
      We would rather hit each over the head with clubs to prove who's sky fairy is the real one instead.

      July 31, 2013 at 5:16 pm |
    • AE

      “If the universe had not been made with the most exacting precision we could never have come into existence. It is my view that these circu.mstances indicate the universe was created for man to live in.”

      John A. O’Keefe (Harvard Grad, NASA Employee, Scientist)

      July 31, 2013 at 5:19 pm |
      • denver

        That's the anthropic principal. Referenced in this way, it is fallacious. I'm sure he's a smart guy but that doesn't make his conclusion correct.

        July 31, 2013 at 5:23 pm |
        • AE

          It is a human being's experience. His testimony. His thoughts.

          Just like yours are yours. Just like everything that is posted here.

          July 31, 2013 at 5:27 pm |
        • denver

          His thought- and the core of the anthropic principal- is that, since we're here, the universe must be designed to accommodate us.

          That may be his opinion but it's clearly a pretty crummy one. You see James Cameron talking about how we must be intelligently designed because bananas fit in our hands? That's the exact same argument in less grandiose terms.

          July 31, 2013 at 5:31 pm |
        • AE

          Some people provide good reasons to believe in anthropic principals.

          Not just the banana theory.

          Some of it makes good sense.

          July 31, 2013 at 5:42 pm |
        • denver

          Funny thing about philosophy and theology is that you can make a compelling argument for anything.

          The sad thing is that it's largely impossible to be right.

          July 31, 2013 at 6:18 pm |
    • denver

      "unrefutible?"

      I'm an atheist and you aren't helping with posts like this. Though you are roughly right in a lot of your statements, this post- like many on both sides of the fence- glosses over the simple fact that nobody knows where this system- closed or not- came from.

      July 31, 2013 at 5:21 pm |
      • WASP

        @DENVER: why must the universe "come from" anything?

        christians just accept that "their flavor of god" was always here waiting for them to be born.

        science shows that energy is ETERNAL; it merely changes forms from matter to energy and back again.
        once it has expended itself far enough, then the cycle starts again.
        it's the only logic answer to a system that can not have energy added to it, nor taken away from it without throwing the whole equation; thus exsistance out of balance and negating our universe.
        an energy level of 100% nothing less,nothing greater is the only understandible conclusion to such an problem.
        if we lose energy then it violates the laws of physics; BOOM!
        if we exceed the energy level of the universe it violates the laws of physics;BOOM!

        either way you slice it, if energy CAN NOT be created; thus can not become greater in number, then the only option is 100%
        likewise if energy CAN NOT be destroyed, then the only option is the very same answer..............100%.

        July 31, 2013 at 5:45 pm |
        • denver

          Shrug. It's an interesting question and one that can't be waved away so easily. Again, I'm an atheist and I'm big on science so I'm not playing some apologist game here.... I just think we should keep thinking about it is all.

          July 31, 2013 at 6:20 pm |
  13. Christopher Lewis

    I'm a Christian; I'm not religious. A follow the teachings of Jesus Christ. One of which innately compels me to pray for and love the atheist as well as the Christian because God himself "rains on the Just as well as the Unjust". However, isn't ironic that atheist, who claim to be confident in who they are seem to exhibit an inordinate about of hatred and disdain towards Christians. Maybe this is just me but if I am confident that I have the true way of life, I'm certainly not going to get angry about people who choose to do otherwise. I'm certainly not going to spend my time berating them and running them down nor ridiculing them. Only people with a bully mentality will do such things. A TRUE CHRISTIAN will not resort to such behavior because they have an inner peace in them through the knowledge of salvation through Jesus Christ. I will not berate, ridicule, or run down an atheist. Instead, I will pray for and love them. That's true Christian stuff. Anything else is a diversion used by spiritual forces to turn others away from God. It appears they are being successful.

    July 31, 2013 at 4:53 pm |
    • niknak

      Where did you get that?
      I don't know of any atheist who hates believers.
      What they hate is believers who insist on dragging us with them onto the hill to howl at the moon.
      If you believers would stop trying to put your morals and your god into our lives, you would never hear from us.
      Can't you get it? We don't CARE about your god or your belief in it.

      July 31, 2013 at 4:56 pm |
      • Red-headed Over-Bishop of Aaarg

        And yet your constant prattle about Christianity seems to say otherwise.

        July 31, 2013 at 5:00 pm |
        • niknak

          No, not at all.
          What you are hearing from me is pushback on your unproven god hypothesis.
          You believers come here with your idea that what you believe is actually truth and only your way of living is the correct one.
          I don't believe in your god anymore then you believe in Shiva (or Thor, or Apollo etc).

          July 31, 2013 at 5:05 pm |
      • grafactor

        Yeah, I don't see it either. Criticism, and even a bit of mockery, is not the same as hatred.

        July 31, 2013 at 5:02 pm |
    • QS

      One of my favorite phenomenons among the religious – when they genuinely don't realize how arrogant and self-righteous their beliefs are and actually think they're telling people something meaningful and benevolent when in reality they are simply claiming that anybody who believes differently needs to be prayed for by you because you're so much better than those who believe differently.

      July 31, 2013 at 4:58 pm |
      • WASP

        @QS: well put. when i was in korea i had a couple ladies stop me and my buddy, asking if we had heard about jesus and wanting to pray for us..................i'm meaner than my friend.😄

        i had the one trying to "pray" for me crying in about ten minutes flat! it was so funny seeing the shear terror in her eyes as i answered her questions and she failed to answer mine; best part i was drunk and was able to out think them! 😄

        July 31, 2013 at 5:15 pm |
        • QS

          Fun times! :-)

          July 31, 2013 at 5:20 pm |
    • niknak

      You say you will pray and love an atheist, but I bet you will be giddy when you see them thrown into the fiery pit and tortured for all eternity.
      At least that is what the fundies I work with say....
      Gotta love those loving xtians.

      July 31, 2013 at 4:58 pm |
    • mindless lackey # 473

      Christians speak of love the way Muslims speak of peace.

      Going off their histories Id have to say that they don't know the definition of either word.

      July 31, 2013 at 5:07 pm |
    • Madtown

      I am confident that I have the true way of life
      ----
      Chris, as a christian, how do you reconcile your belief that you have the "true way of life", when others throughout the world(your human equals) have never heard of the ways you follow? If you believe God created us all equal, why would you have access to a particular way that was "true", but others not?

      July 31, 2013 at 5:09 pm |
  14. bostontola

    "When we follow our selfish desires, as opposed to God's desires, we perish."

    That is not always true. In the US, a lot of R&D is done for selfish reason (profit). Other parts of the world have benefited greatly from our advances in food production, clean water, information communication, medicine, etc. The same goes for many selfish people in developed nations.

    July 31, 2013 at 4:44 pm |
    • AE

      There is enough food on the planet to feed everyone.

      I believe because of human greed and human corruption, many go hungry.

      July 31, 2013 at 4:53 pm |
      • RichardSRussell

        And if that food ever gets to the people who need it, it will be because OTHER people developed it, grew it, harvested it, processed it, and delivered it. God's role in the entire process? Just like God's role in EVERYTHING — Nada. Zip. Zilch. Zero. Never seen, never acts, never does anything.

        The only good you will EVER get in this life will come from your fellow human beings, not from your imaginary sky daddy.

        July 31, 2013 at 4:58 pm |
        • AE

          God gave us dominion over this world.

          We are free to choose, but all must live with the consequences of our actions. Good or bad.

          July 31, 2013 at 5:01 pm |
      • sybaris

        There's just one problem with that, location, location, location.

        "Move to where the food is!!!" -Sam Kinison

        July 31, 2013 at 5:01 pm |
      • bostontola

        AE,
        I didn't say there was no hunger. I said selfish drive creates lots of benefit to others. That's undeniable.

        July 31, 2013 at 5:19 pm |
    • AE

      "When we follow our selfish desires, as opposed to God's desires, we perish."

      Also, spiritually we perish.

      We can still be productive and make money and look successful. But inside we are empty.

      July 31, 2013 at 4:55 pm |
      • Bobby Rabino

        You are only speaking for yourself

        July 31, 2013 at 5:13 pm |
        • AE

          You too.

          July 31, 2013 at 5:21 pm |
  15. Kenneth

    Here is a question.
    If we get rid of all of the Rick Perrys, Michelle Bachmanns and Pat Robertsons trying to legislate their personal brand of religion on everyone else, will the non-believers just shut up about how other people choose to find peace in their lives?

    July 31, 2013 at 4:34 pm |
    • bostontola

      Where do I sign?

      July 31, 2013 at 4:37 pm |
      • Sam chapman

        Me too, me too!!!! I'll sign! Please, get rid of them and take that blustering cow Hagee with them.

        July 31, 2013 at 6:27 pm |
    • niknak

      That is all we have been asking for, is for you believers to stop trying to force us to go along with your beliefs.

      But as soon as you got rid of those, new ones would rise up and take their place as there seems to be an endless supply of people who want to tell others how to live their lives.

      July 31, 2013 at 4:38 pm |
      • Kenneth

        Spring cleaning is never easy, but it has to be done.

        July 31, 2013 at 4:39 pm |
      • rapierpoint

        It seems to me that both sides have a vocal minority striving to tell the other side how to live their lives. The silent majority of both sides appear to be content with live and let live.

        July 31, 2013 at 4:41 pm |
        • RichardSRussell

          This is a false equivalency. Where are all the atheists saying we have to start off each school day, city-council meeting, football game, or session of Congress by all jumping up and down and shouting "Boy, I'm glad that God doesn't exist!"? Where are the atheists saying "We have to ban Bibles from the libraries."? What atheist spokespeople can you cite as insisting we need to print "In God We Scoff" on all our money?

          This is like saying "Well, maybe the Jews share some of the blame for the Holocaust. It takes two sides, you know."

          July 31, 2013 at 4:47 pm |
        • Peregrine

          RP- despite the truth of your statement, only one group has the will and position to consistently attempt to legislate their belief system.

          July 31, 2013 at 4:48 pm |
        • niknak

          That may be true on the belief side, but totally wrong on the non belief side.
          When is the last time an atheist came to your house to talk you out of god?
          Never.
          Yet the believers come around to my house weekly to talk to me about god.
          Then leave literature on my steps that when it rains I have to sc ape off later.
          Very rude.

          July 31, 2013 at 4:50 pm |
        • rapierpoint

          RSR – not a false equivalency. Both sides have active and vocal members that strive to do the same thing. Promote their beliefs over the beliefs of others. As for your examples, no one is required to pray, yes, there have been efforts to ban Bibles from libraries, etc. You really don't seem to have paid a whole lot of attention for the activities of atheists.

          Peregrine – disagree, there are several atheist groups that consistently attempt to lobby and legislate their belief system. For example, I can give you a case where they lobbied for legislation so that a church could not even have a manger scene on their own property at Christmas.

          niknak – really. All one has to do is peruse the posting here to see the vocal atheists trying to shout out their points and ridiculing anyone that disagrees with them. So I wouldn't say "totally wrong" on the non-belief side.:)

          Lots of people drop off literature, flyers on doorsteps. Why not condemn the rest of them like you do the religious? As for stopping by, yeah, I've had people stop by to talk, but every single time, if I tell them I'm not interested, they go on. They don't home invade, tie me up and force me to watch The Greatest Story Ever Told or The Ten Commandments. In other words, I have yet to have some of them come to my home and force their beliefs on me.

          Perhaps your experiences have been different, but I would hope that you wouldn't judge all by the actions of a few.

          July 31, 2013 at 5:08 pm |
        • fintastic

          @rapierpoint........... there is no atheist belief system. Atheism is simply a lack of belief in god...... twisting word definations is dishonest, and please cite your source where atheists attemped to remove bibles from a library.

          July 31, 2013 at 5:19 pm |
        • Peregrine

          RP- again, there is some truth in your statements bur not all of the truth. Yes, groups work hard to push their own agendas but how many presidents or senators have been open atheists? That's what I meant when I said "will and position".

          July 31, 2013 at 5:52 pm |
    • RichardSRussell

      To quote one of my favorite "Far Side" cartoons: "Oh, please. Oh, please."

      July 31, 2013 at 4:40 pm |
      • niknak

        Was that the one with the cat plastered to the front window glass looking at the accident between Fred's Rodents and Al's Flightless Birds?

        July 31, 2013 at 4:44 pm |
        • RichardSRussell

          No, it was the dog standing behind the door to the laundry room with the signs and arrows saying "Fud" pointing to the open-doored washer, and the cat sniffing its way there.

          July 31, 2013 at 4:51 pm |
        • niknak

          oh yeah, I remember it now.
          The one I was thinking of didn't have any words as I now think on it.

          July 31, 2013 at 5:01 pm |
    • QS

      Nope, still not enough – there's still the private sector bigots who think it should be their right to discriminate against anybody they see fit.

      The best thing you could do, is eliminate conservatism.

      Religion and conservatism tend to walk hand-in-hand....over other people.

      July 31, 2013 at 4:42 pm |
      • RGE50

        That's silly. I'm an atheist & conservative and object to your generality. There's plenty of junk from liberals too.

        July 31, 2013 at 4:53 pm |
        • QS

          A conservative Atheist – now that's silly!

          July 31, 2013 at 4:55 pm |
        • RGE50

          Unusual I'll grant you... I pay my own bills, don't buy more than I can afford, don't look for handouts from the government. Wow, really tea party stuff.

          July 31, 2013 at 5:00 pm |
        • niknak

          How many guns do you own?
          Are you prepping for the zombie meltdown?

          July 31, 2013 at 5:23 pm |
        • bostontola

          RGE50,
          You are an economic conservative based on what you said, that doesn't mean you are a social conservative. Are you that also?

          July 31, 2013 at 5:31 pm |
    • Jake

      That would be wonderful and I'd take that deal in a second. However, what about the children of the believers? Would they still be allowed to brain-wash their children, because I'm not ok with that. If they're truly just believing without harming others, I'd be fine with it.

      July 31, 2013 at 4:47 pm |
    • Ken Shepherd

      Being an Athiest, I am against the persecution, of religious people, even the ones who spew hate and jibberish. If you could just have the mic muted whenever they speak, we would much appreciate that.

      Thank You

      July 31, 2013 at 5:14 pm |
  16. Angela

    I guess that's your job to lie to the public, this is CNN BUT denying Jesus is denying your own existence. Get yourself together you know damn well Jesus is no myth. I hate liars

    July 31, 2013 at 4:29 pm |
    • niknak

      You jeebus is a myth, there is almost no evidence he every existed.
      The vast majority of your religion was ripped off from earlier religions that existed in that region.
      Sorry you have not getten the memo yet.

      July 31, 2013 at 4:31 pm |
    • RichardSRussell

      Back on the meds, Angela.

      July 31, 2013 at 4:32 pm |
    • JR

      So, you hate all Muslims, Jews, atheists, Hindus and all the other billions of people who don't believe in your god? You then must be a True Christian®.

      July 31, 2013 at 4:32 pm |
    • Jake

      I am seriously curious...do you really believe that those of us who say we don't believe in your religion secretly do? That's what you just said. That would be a new level of delusion.

      July 31, 2013 at 4:33 pm |
    • fight the stupids

      We are all atheists about most of the gods that humanity has ever believed in. Some of us just go one god further.

      July 31, 2013 at 4:34 pm |
    • Grant C

      I've always wondered what it would be like to be not only telepathic but capable of exerting this power over the internet to read the minds of people who have posted text on it. Care to share with the class?

      July 31, 2013 at 4:35 pm |
    • sam stone

      Spend a lot of time on your knees, Angela?

      July 31, 2013 at 4:37 pm |
    • QS

      LMAO! Once again we are given a prime example of why many of us find it so, so easy to mock the religious!

      July 31, 2013 at 4:44 pm |
  17. Kenneth

    If God isn't real, why does my cat demand we all worship her?
    There, argument ended. Answers rendered.

    July 31, 2013 at 4:25 pm |
    • Truth Prevails :-)

      Cats are gods.

      July 31, 2013 at 4:46 pm |
  18. AverageJoe76

    One of the fundemental problems with ANY God would be simply; "what do you want from us?"

    Is it Worship? – Does it supply some type of 'prayer energy' that God needs to feed on? (but a 'GOD' shouldn't need anything)
    Is it Ego? – God made us to marvel at his own handywork? (seems like a self-esteem issue. 'GOD' shouldn't have that)
    Is God Compelled by other forces to create? – Nah..... then it wouldn't be a 'GOD' in my mind because 'GOD' is compelled by something else.

    Or maybe it's as simple as how germs inhabit our body. We are the germs to God's body. And God's body is the sum of reality. Who knows.

    Either way, the 'God Concept' has proven to be too big a subject for man right now. We should drop it. Advance ourselves, and travel the cosmos. If we bump into 'God', he'll probably introduce himself first. Regardless, you can never seem to find what you're looking for, when you're looking for it. God's probably something that needs to come to you.

    July 31, 2013 at 4:24 pm |
    • Kenneth

      What does a parent want from an unruly and rebellious child?

      The lawn mowed and their room straightened up.

      July 31, 2013 at 4:27 pm |
      • RichardSRussell

        Done, by golly! Heaven, here I come! Woulda been on my way lots sooner if I'da known that was all it took.

        July 31, 2013 at 4:35 pm |
        • Kenneth

          See? It really isn't all that hard.

          July 31, 2013 at 5:34 pm |
    • AE

      When we follow our selfish desires, as opposed to God's desires, we perish.

      We just were not created to be self-righteous d-bags who act intolerant to other people.

      God desires we treat others in a loving manner and to help those in need.

      July 31, 2013 at 4:34 pm |
      • Madtown

        Tough to know what God's desires are for us, he hasn't specified. I'd think that innate tendancies, to do good and help our fellow man, these would be the things God desires for us.

        July 31, 2013 at 4:35 pm |
        • AE

          Seek humility. Pray to God to reveal Himself to you in a way that you can easily understand.

          Confess the bad things you do. All of them. Talk with someone who knows you and will call you out on your BS.

          Look at some of the bad things you have done. Have you harmed anyone? Make amends.

          Change the way you live. Try to think what you can do to help others.

          -That is basically what my Christian program taught me to do.

          July 31, 2013 at 4:40 pm |
        • niknak

          Not if you go by the Old Testic le Madtown.
          THAT god wanted some seriously bloody and creepy stuff from it's followers.

          July 31, 2013 at 4:41 pm |
        • RichardSRussell

          No, no, AE, you're missing Madtown's point. He was asking what GOD wants him to do, not what YOU want him to do.

          But, of course, like most Christians, you've convinced yourself that God wants exactly what you do, haven't you?

          July 31, 2013 at 4:42 pm |
        • AE

          Basically, God's will is for us to do the best we can with what we have.

          And help those who are suffering – financially, spiritually and emotionally.

          July 31, 2013 at 4:43 pm |
        • AE

          –No, no, AE, you're missing Madtown's point. He was asking what GOD wants him to do, not what YOU want him to do.–

          Ok, he should humbly ask God.

          I tried to provide an example of what my experience is like.

          Maybe God wants him to post on a Faith and Belief Blog all day?

          July 31, 2013 at 4:44 pm |
        • niknak

          AE,
          Why can't you be the best you can be without having a big brother in your life?

          July 31, 2013 at 4:47 pm |
        • AE

          Selfishness.

          Even with my good deeds – there always seems to be a selfish motive behind them.

          Jesus keeps me honest.

          July 31, 2013 at 4:51 pm |
        • RichardSRussell

          "Maybe God wants him to post on a Faith and Belief Blog all day?"

          Hey, that's more than GOD ever does.

          July 31, 2013 at 4:53 pm |
        • QS

          "That is basically what my Christian program taught me to do."

          Translation – that is exactly what my religious progamming indoctrinated me with.

          July 31, 2013 at 4:54 pm |
        • Madtown

          Seek humility.
          ---
          LOL!! The one who claims he's got it all figured out. I'm very humble. I help people often, and in many different ways. I even currently volunteer my time at a local church. But I don't agree with all of that church's teachings. As a result, I have no "BS".

          July 31, 2013 at 5:00 pm |
        • AE

          Translation – that is exactly what my religious progamming indoctrinated me with.

          How is taking an honest look at thoughts, behaviors and action – indoctrination?

          How do you imagine I did this process?

          July 31, 2013 at 5:04 pm |
        • AE

          @Madtown "Seek humility." lol

          I seek humility.

          I don't claim to be humble. I'm not. I have to work on this.

          July 31, 2013 at 5:05 pm |
        • niknak

          Hey AE,
          I seem to remember you saying somewhere that a xtian helped you, and you were not even xtian.
          Then what were you?
          And how do you know that xtian who helped you did it because of god or thru god?
          Maybe he/her did it because they just like to help people.

          And can't a non believer help anyone?
          Or are all the good things in life only done by the religious?

          Just asking....

          July 31, 2013 at 5:10 pm |
        • AE

          – I seem to remember you saying somewhere that a xtian helped you, and you were not even xtian.
          Then what were you?

          Agnostic.

          – And how do you know that xtian who helped you did it because of god or thru god?

          They told me about a loving God in their life.

          – Maybe he/her did it because they just like to help people.

          True.

          – And can't a non believer help anyone?

          I have had lots of help from non-believers. I can admit that.

          Or are all the good things in life only done by the religious?

          No. And some of the religious have earned their bad reputation.

          July 31, 2013 at 5:34 pm |
  19. Sigh

    So basically the solution for churches, who claim to preach the truth, is to change the truth (therefore making it untrue)? Makes perfect (read: "not even a little") sense. If churches don't preach the truth, if there isn't some god who presides over an afterlife and issues rules or commands, then why have churches at all?

    July 31, 2013 at 4:23 pm |
    • Jake

      Now you're catching on.

      July 31, 2013 at 4:28 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      A young friend of mine was church shopping. He was looking for a church that gave him a good feeling, made him feel welcome and validated his beliefs. One day he realized he didn't need that, he needed a Church that held the truth whether it was comfortable or not and he was mature enough to realize it probably would be not.

      July 31, 2013 at 5:43 pm |
      • Saraswati

        "Reverts" are the most common "new" members in most religious organizations.

        August 1, 2013 at 9:27 am |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.