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August 2nd, 2013
08:00 AM ET

Why millennials need the church

Opinion by Rachel Held Evans, special to CNN

(CNN) - For a time, I counted myself among the spiritual but not religious, Christian but not churchgoing crowd.

Like many millennials, I left church because I didn’t always see the compassion of Jesus there, and because my questions about faith and science, the Bible, homosexuality, and religious pluralism were met with shallow answers or hostility.

At first I reveled in my newfound Sunday routine of sleeping in, sipping my coffee and yelling at Republicans who appeared on ”Meet the Press.”

But eventually I returned, because, like it or not, we Christian millennials need the church just as much as the church needs us. Here’s why:

Baptism

As former Methodist bishop Will Willimon has often said, “you cannot very well baptize yourself.”

In a culture that stresses individualism, the church satisfies the human need for community, for shared history and experiences.

And in a world where technology enables millennials to connect only with those who are like-minded, baptism drags us - sometimes kicking and screaming as infants - into the large, dysfunctional and beautiful family of the church.

Confession

“Sin” is not a popular word these days, perhaps because it is so often invoked in the context of judgment and condemnation.

But like all people, millennials need reminding now and then that the hate and violence we observe in the world is also present within ourselves.

We can be too idealistic, too convinced we can change the world from our iPads.

The accountability that comes from participation in a local church gives young Christians the chance to speak openly about our struggles with materialism, greed, gossip, anger, consumerism and pride.

Healing

While the flawed people who make up the church can certainly inflict pain on each other and sometimes on the world, we also engage in the important work of healing.

At their best, local churches provide basements where AA groups can meet, living rooms where tough conversations about racial reconciliation occur, casseroles for the sick and shelter for the homeless.

Millennials who have been hurt by the church may later find healing in it.

Leadership

Like a lot of millennials, I am deeply skeptical of authority - probably to a fault.

But when I interact with people from my church who have a few years and a lot of maturity on me, I am reminded of how cool it is to have a free, built-in mentoring and accountability program just down the street.

We can learn a lot from the faithful who have gone before us, and the church is where we find them.

Communion

One of the few things the modern church has in common with the ancient one is its celebration of the sacred meal— the Eucharist.

There is simply not the space here, nor in many volumes of theology for that matter, to unpack the significance of remembering Jesus through eating bread and drinking wine. But when I left the church, it was Communion I craved the most.

Churches may disagree on exactly how Christ is present in these sacred meals, but we agree that Christ is present. And millennials, too, long for that presence.

There are some days when the promise of Communion is the only thing that rouses me from bed on Sunday morning. I want a taste of that mystery.

Confirmation

Many churches practice a rite of initiation, sometimes called confirmation.

Theologian Lauren Winner, in her book “Still: Notes on a Mid-Faith Crisis,” quotes a friend who said:

“What you promise when you are confirmed is not that you will believe this forever. What you promise when you are confirmed is that that is the story you will wrestle with forever.”

The church, at its best, provides a safe place in which to wrestle with this story we call the Gospel.

Union with Christ

Those who follow Jesus long for the day when their communion with him becomes complete, and Jesus promises this will happen through the church.

The apostle Paul compared this union to a marriage. Jesus describes it as a banquet.

No matter what the latest stats or studies say, Christians believe the future of the church is secure and not even “the gates of hell” will prevail against it.

As much as I may struggle to fit in sometimes, as much as I doubt, question and fight for reforms, I am a part of this church, through good times and bad, for better or worse.

The astute reader will notice that each of these points corresponds loosely with a sacrament—baptism, confession, the anointing of the sick, holy orders, communion, confirmation and marriage.

Some would say there are many others. We could speak of the sacrament of the Word or the washing of feet.

But even where they are not formally observed, these sacraments are present in some form in nearly every group of people who gather together in the name of Jesus.

They connect us to our faith through things we can eat, touch, smell and feel. And they connect us with one another.

They remind us, as writer and Episcopal priest Sara Miles put it, that “You can’t be a Christian by yourself.”

This is why I haven’t given up on the church, and I suspect why it hasn't given up on me.

Rachel Held Evans is the author of "Evolving in Monkey Town" and "A Year of Biblical Womanhood." She blogs at rachelheldevans.com. The views expressed in this column belong to her.

Evans has written two previous posts for CNN's Belief Blog: Why millennials are leaving the church; and Not all religious convictions are written in stone.

- CNN Religion Editor

Filed under: Belief • Christianity • Church • evangelicals • Faith • Opinion • United States

soundoff (4,825 Responses)
  1. Bill Deacon

    Once, I heard a priest give a talk on the sanctuary in Catholic churches. He said that space is Holy, like a small patch of heaven descended to earth. That's why the acolytes and alter servers wear white, to symbolically purify them. It's why we are reverent in front of the tabernacle. At the end of the teaching, we prayed a rosary, and when Father knelt at the step to the sanctuary, I saw (in my mind's eye at least), the Holy light of Heaven illuminate the alter. I understood that I was spiritually, literally at heaven's gate and for that period of time, I could peer into paradise and grace could flow out from the sanctuary into the lives of all of us present. The sanctuary "came alive" for me in a way I've never experienced before or since.
    A friend gave me an old prayer pamphlet that lists seventeen things that happen when we assist with the mass. The one I remember is "You participate in the eternal celestial banquet along with the angels, saints and all the heavenly hosts." Every mass is like that for me whether I serve as Eucharistic minister, musician, usher, or simply combine my prayers with the faithful and receive the sacrament.

    August 6, 2013 at 4:16 pm |
    • Honey Badger Don't Care

      Nice, touching story. Too bad its all bull shi t.

      August 6, 2013 at 4:30 pm |
    • Dippy

      It's altar, not alter. Other than that your post was pure bullshit.

      August 6, 2013 at 4:33 pm |
    • Ken

      Kind of unfair that girls were kept from sharing that experience for so long, isn't it? Also unfair that it took the exposure of widespread priestly abuse of alter boys to open the way for girls to serve.

      August 6, 2013 at 4:34 pm |
      • Dippy

        Altar, not alter. Man, you believers are slow.

        August 6, 2013 at 6:23 pm |
        • Ken

          I'm not a believer; I'm just too dependent on SpellCheck! 😳

          August 6, 2013 at 6:47 pm |
        • Dippy

          Sorry, Ken. Spellcheck doesn't consider context, dammit.

          August 6, 2013 at 8:12 pm |
    • lamelionheart

      B.D/

      Why is it that many bible babblers see their manmade churches as being a holiness sanctuary..? Are not our bodies the "TRUE SANCTUARIES"..? Why is it that bible thumpers cannot read the scripted verses that sanctify our bodies as being God's buildings within which all of God's many generations inhabit and take residencies..?

      August 6, 2013 at 4:43 pm |
    • Reality

      Moving now to the 21st century for the new members of this blog:

      JC's family and friends had it right 2000 years ago ( Mark 3: 21 "And when his friends heard of it, they went out to lay hold on him: for they said, He is beside himself.")

      Said passage is one of the few judged to be authentic by most contemporary NT scholars. e.g. See Professor Ludemann's conclusion in his book, Jesus After 2000 Years, p. 24 and p. 694.

      Actually, Jesus was a bit "touched". After all he thought he spoke to Satan, thought he changed water into wine, thought he raised Lazarus from the dead etc. In today's world, said Jesus would be declared legally insane.

      Or did P, M, M, L and J simply make him into a first century magic-man via their epistles and gospels of semi-fiction? Many contemporary NT experts after thorough analyses of all the scriptures go with the latter magic-man conclusion with J's gospel being mostly fiction.

      Obviously, today's followers of Paul et al's "magic-man" are also a bit on the odd side believing in all the Christian mumbo jumbo about bodies resurrecting, and exorcisms, and miracles, and "magic-man atonement, and infallible, old, European/Utah/Argentine white men, and 24/7 body/blood sacrifices followed by consumption of said sacrifices. Yummy!!!!

      So why do we really care what a first century CE, illiterate, long-dead, preacher/magic man would do or say?

      August 6, 2013 at 4:49 pm |
      • niknak

        There were many gods and lesser gods in other religions that existed well before the xtian jesus was dreamed up.
        Who would I be talking about with this description?
        1) Birth heralded by the star Sirius
        2) Born in a manger during the winter solstice
        3) Had no history between the ages of 12 and 30
        4) At 30 was baptized, and the baptizer was beheaded later
        5) Walked on water
        6) Healed the sick
        7) Was crucified
        8) Resurrected 3 days later and ascended to heaven

        Guess who?
        Jesus?
        NO!!

        Horus, and Egyptian god who existed some 1200 years BEFORE the jesus myth was invented.

        Do you xtians really think your jusus story was not totally ripped off and repackaged?

        Sorry guys, but you have fallen for a great big lie, invented to control you and separate you from your hard earned money.

        August 6, 2013 at 5:38 pm |
        • Reality

          From Professors Crossan and Watts' book, Who is Jesus.

          "That Jesus was crucified under Pontius Pilate, as the Creed states, is as certain as anything historical can ever be.

          “ The Jewish historian, Josephus and the pagan historian Tacitus both agree that Jesus was executed by order of the Roman governor of Judea. And is very hard to imagine that Jesus' followers would have invented such a story unless it indeed happened.

          “While the brute fact that of Jesus' death by crucifixion is historically certain, however, those detailed narratives in our present gospels are much more problematic. "

          “My best historical reconstruction would be something like this. Jesus was arrested during the Passover festival, most likely in response to his action in the Temple. Those who were closest to him ran away for their own safety.

          I do not presume that there were any high-level confrontations between Caiaphas and Pilate and Herod Antipas either about Jesus or with Jesus. No doubt they would have agreed before the festival that fast action was to be taken against any disturbance and that a few examples by crucifixion might be especially useful at the outset. And I doubt very much if Jewish police or Roman soldiers needed to go too far up the chain of command in handling a Galilean peasant like Jesus. It is hard for us to imagine the casual brutality with which Jesus was probably taken and executed. All those "last week" details in our gospels, as distinct from the brute facts just mentioned, are prophecy turned into history, rather than history remembered."

          See also Professor Crossan's reviews of the existence of Jesus in his other books especially, The Historical Jesus and also Excavating Jesus (with Professor Jonathan Reed doing the archeology discussion) .

          Other NT exegetes to include members of the Jesus Seminar have published similar books with appropriate supporting references.

          Part of Crossan's The Historical Jesus has been published online at books.google.com/books.

          There is also a search engine for this book on the right hand side of the opening page. e.g. Search Josephus

          See also Wikipedia's review on the historical Jesus to include the Tacitus' reference to the crucifixion of Jesus.

          From ask.com,

          "One of the greatest historians of ancient Rome, Cornelius Tacitus is a primary source for much of what is known about life the first and second centuries after the life of Jesus. His most famous works, Histories and Annals, exist in fragmentary form, though many of his earlier writings were lost to time. Tacitus is known for being generally reliable (if somewhat biased toward what he saw as Roman immorality) and for having a uniquely direct (if not blunt) writing style.

          Then there are these scriptural references:

          Crucifixion of Jesus:(1) 1 Cor 15:3b; (2a) Gos. Pet. 4:10-5:16,18-20; 6:22; (2b) Mark 15:22-38 = Matt 27:33-51a = Luke 23:32-46; (2c) John 19:17b-25a,28-36; (3) Barn. 7:3-5; (4a) 1 Clem. 16:3-4 (=Isaiah 53:1-12); (4b) 1 Clem. 16.15-16 (=Psalm 22:6-8); (5a) Ign. Mag. 11; (5b) Ign. Trall. 9:1b; (5c) Ign. Smyrn. 1.2.- (read them all at wiki.faithfutures. Crucifixion org/index.php/005_Crucifixion_Of_Jesus )

          Added suggested readings:

          o 1. Historical Jesus Theories, earlychristianwritings.com/theories.htm – the names of many of the contemporary historical Jesus scholars and the ti-tles of their over 100 books on the subject.

          2. Early Christian Writings, earlychristianwritings.com/
          – a list of early Christian doc-uments to include the year of publication–

          30-60 CE Passion Narrative
          40-80 Lost Sayings Gospel Q
          50-60 1 Thessalonians
          50-60 Philippians
          50-60 Galatians
          50-60 1 Corinthians
          50-60 2 Corinthians
          50-60 Romans
          50-60 Philemon
          50-80 Colossians
          50-90 Signs Gospel
          50-95 Book of Hebrews
          50-120 Didache
          50-140 Gospel of Thomas
          50-140 Oxyrhynchus 1224 Gospel
          50-200 Sophia of Jesus Christ
          65-80 Gospel of Mark
          70-100 Epistle of James
          70-120 Egerton Gospel
          70-160 Gospel of Peter
          70-160 Secret Mark
          70-200 Fayyum Fragment
          70-200 Testaments of the Twelve Patriarchs
          73-200 Mara Bar Serapion
          80-100 2 Thessalonians
          80-100 Ephesians
          80-100 Gospel of Matthew
          80-110 1 Peter
          80-120 Epistle of Barnabas
          80-130 Gospel of Luke
          80-130 Acts of the Apostles
          80-140 1 Clement
          80-150 Gospel of the Egyptians
          80-150 Gospel of the Hebrews
          80-250 Christian Sibyllines
          90-95 Apocalypse of John
          90-120 Gospel of John
          90-120 1 John
          90-120 2 John
          90-120 3 John
          90-120 Epistle of Jude
          93 Flavius Josephus
          100-150 1 Timothy
          100-150 2 Timothy
          100-150 T-itus
          100-150 Apocalypse of Peter
          100-150 Secret Book of James
          100-150 Preaching of Peter
          100-160 Gospel of the Ebionites
          100-160 Gospel of the Nazoreans
          100-160 Shepherd of Hermas
          100-160 2 Peter

           4. Jesus Database, http://www.faithfutures.o-rg/JDB/intro.html –"The JESUS DATABASE is an online a-nnotated inventory of the traditions concerning the life and teachings of Jesus that have survived from the first three centuries of the Common Era. It includes both canonical and extra-canonical materials, and is not limited to the traditions found within the Christian New Testament."
          5. Josephus on Jesus mtio.com/articles/bis-sar24.htm
          6. The Jesus Seminar, http://en.wikipedia.o-rg/wiki/Jesus_Seminar
          7. http://www.biblicalartifacts.com/items/785509/item785509biblicalartifacts.html – books on the health and illness during the time of the NT
          8. Economics in First Century Palestine, K.C. Hanson and D. E. Oakman, Palestine in the Time of Jesus, Fortress Press, 1998.
          9.The Gn-ostic Jesus
          (Part One in a Two-Part Series on A-ncient and Modern G-nosticism)
          by Douglas Gro-othuis: http://www.equip.o-rg/articles/g-nosticism-and-the-g-nostic-jesus/
          10. The interpretation of the Bible in the Church, Pontifical Biblical Commission
          Presented on March 18, 1994
          ewtn.com/library/CURIA/PBCINTER.HTM#2
          11. The Jesus Database- newer site:
          wiki.faithfutures.o-rg/index.php?t-itle=Jesus_Database
          12. Jesus Database with the example of S-u-pper and Eucharist:
          faithfutures.o-rg/JDB/jdb016.html
          13. Josephus on Jesus by Paul Maier:
          mtio.com/articles/bis-sar24.htm
          13. http://www.textweek.com/mtlk/jesus.htmm- Historical Jesus Studies
          14. The Greek New Testament: laparola.net/greco/
          15. D-iseases in the Bible:
          http://books.google.com/books/about/The_d-iseases_of_the_Bible.html?id=C1YZAAAAYAAJ

          16. Religion on Line (6000 articles on the history of religion, churches, theologies,
          theologians, ethics, etc.
          religion-online.o-rg/

           17. The New Testament Gateway – Internet NT ntgateway.com/
          18. Writing the New Testament- e-xisting copies, o-ral tradition etc.
          ntgateway.com/
          19. JD Crossan's c-onclusions about the a-uthencity of most of the NT based on the above plus the c-onclusions of other NT e-xege-tes in the last 200 years:
          http://wiki.faithfutures.o-rg/index.p-hp?t-itle=Crossan_Inventory
          20. Early Jewish Writings- Josephus and his books by t-itle with the complete translated work in English :earlyjewishwritings.com/josephus.html
          21. Luke and Josephus- was there a c-onnection?
          in-fidels.o-rg/library/modern/richard_carrier/lukeandjosephus.html
          22. NT and beyond time line:
          pbs.o-rg/empires/pe-terandpaul/history/timeline/
          23. St. Paul's Time line with discussion of important events:
          harvardhouse.com/prophetictech/new/pauls_life.htm
          24. See http://www.amazon.com for a list of JD Crossan's books and those of the other Jesus Seminarians: Reviews of said books are included and selected pages can now be viewed on Amazon. Some books can be found on-line at Google Books.
          25. Father Edward Schillebeeckx's words of wisdom as found in his books.
          27. The books of the following : Professors Gerd Ludemann, Marcus Borg, Paula Fredriksen, Elaine Pagels, Karen Armstrong and Bishop NT Wright.
          28. Father Raymond Brown's An Introduction to the New Testament, Doubleday, NY, 1977, 878 pages, with Nihil obstat and Imprimatur.
          29. Luke Timothy Johnson's book The Real Jesus

          August 6, 2013 at 11:50 pm |
        • Reality

          Summarizing the above references for the new members of this blog:

          The Apostles' Creed 2013: (updated by yours truly and based on the studies of historians and theologians of the past 200 years)

          Should I believe in a god whose existence cannot be proven
          and said god if he/she/it exists resides in an unproven,
          human-created, spirit state of bliss called heaven??

          I believe there was a 1st century CE, Jewish, simple,
          preacher-man who was conceived by a Jewish carpenter
          named Joseph living in Nazareth and born of a young Jewish
          girl named Mary. (Some say he was a mamzer.)

          Jesus was summarily crucified for being a temple rabble-rouser by
          the Roman troops in Jerusalem serving under Pontius Pilate,

          He was buried in an unmarked grave and still lies
          a-mouldering in the ground somewhere outside of
          Jerusalem.

          Said Jesus' story was embellished and "mythicized" by
          many semi-fiction writers. A descent into Hell, a bodily resurrection
          and ascension stories were promulgated to compete with the
          Caesar myths. Said stories were so popular that they
          grew into a religion known today as Catholicism/Christianity
          and featuring dark-age, daily wine to blood and bread to body rituals
          called the eucharistic sacrifice of the non-atoning Jesus.

          Amen

          August 6, 2013 at 11:53 pm |
    • Colin

      Yes Bill, a delusional ceritude in one's own immortality can be a satisfying, if false and self-made feeling. Hindus, Jains, Buddhists and JEws get the same warm and fuzzy from their respective sky-fairies.

      Some of us grow up. Some, not so much....

      August 6, 2013 at 4:56 pm |
      • lamelionheart

        "sky fairies" are so gay... One would think you are one... :mrgeen:

        August 6, 2013 at 5:29 pm |
    • skytag

      All those practices you described are nothing more than rituals put in place to create an atmosphere of mysticism and unity, encourage respect, and elicit certain emotional reactions.

      Many organizations have rituals because they have certain effects on the way we think and feel. Congress has them, religions have them, the military has them, schools have them, fraternities have them, we have them for handling the American flag, we even practice on when we put our hands over our hearts during the national anthem at ball games.

      August 6, 2013 at 5:19 pm |
      • Bill Deacon

        It's one of the things I like about the Catholic Church. It involves our minds, our hearts and our bodies. Our minds are challenged by the breadth of philosophy of the great teachers of the faith, our hearts are infused with the passion of Christ. With our bodies, we kneel, we stand, we clasp our hand, we open our palms, we cross ourselves. All these actions are designed to instill the Gospel into our being by a kind of physical memory. It's why you see Catholics who may not have entered a Church for decades but when they go, they instinctively genuflect and cross themselves. I think it's beautiful.

        August 7, 2013 at 10:23 am |
        • LinCA

          @Bill Deacon

          You said, "It's why you see Catholics who may not have entered a Church for decades but when they go, they instinctively genuflect and cross themselves."
          Indoctrination even works on muscle memory.

          You said, "I think it's beautiful."
          The practice is ingrained in children through relentless repetition, before they are old enough to understand. I think it's distasteful.

          August 7, 2013 at 10:36 am |
        • mk

          Can it be truly be "beautiful" to see people mechanically obey the commands of what they perceive as a leader "called by god"? Stand now! Sit now! Kneel now! Bow your head! Repent! Repeat after me! Form your hands this way! Pray this way! You want god to be happy, don't you?!

          People genuflect because they've been told to by an antiquated insti.tution. People genuflect because they've been told that it's what their god wants. People genuflect because they want to do whatever it takes to please this vengeful god.

          Everyone likes rituals, but damn, if you step back from it and realize how much you're being led around by the nose, it's really very disheartening.

          August 7, 2013 at 10:46 am |
        • Bill Deacon

          For you it might seem like being led around by the nose. Your an independent free thinker who makes his own decisions right? You would never be misled by marketing or selfish motives or erroneous information. You think for yourself and always arrive the correct conclusion because the power of your individual intellect can discern the truth with utter objectivity.

          For me it's not being led by the nose, It's a physical expression of my acknowledgement that I am insignificant on my own but an essential part of a living Body which offers me it's very life and being so that I may do the same for others. Even a child can understand that, whether they can express it or not.

          August 7, 2013 at 12:23 pm |
        • mk

          The difference between my decisions based on "marketing or selfish motives or erroneous information" is that it was a choice I made based on my own conclusions, not on the conclusions of an insti.tution that claims to never veer from it's original messages. And I can change my mind a million times without any boundaries. I don't have to be confined by what one insti.tution thinks.

          For example, let's say I have a moral question and I'm trying to decide the right thing to do. If I go to a psychologist, friend, etc., I may get one answer. If I go to a priest, I may get an opposite answer. Each set of advice would be based on the experience/knowledge of its giver. I can choose to go with either one, but I am not limited by a faith or a god or a book. I can choose either one without a fear of doing the wrong thing according to a certain set of "rules".

          August 7, 2013 at 12:50 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      Hilarious to me that a person could post a very descriptive story of the revelation inherent in the faith and the focus of atheism is on the spelling of alter or altar. I happen to know the difference and yes, it was a mistake, made in haste, But it highlights for me the limited vision of your aesthetic that a msipelling is your take away. It's why I could never be an atheist. There's no poetry in it.

      August 7, 2013 at 9:07 am |
      • midwest rail

        Hilarious to me that out of all the replies, you chose to focus on the one that corrected your spelling – by the poster who does that to EVERYONE. Just more evidence of your disingenuous nature. What a shock.

        August 7, 2013 at 9:21 am |
      • mk

        The problem that you have with atheism is not that it's not "poetic", it's that it's too open and unlimited for you. It would require you to think outside the box, consider other possibilities. You would be fearful of thinking your own thoughts, because what if they were wrong?

        This is the difference between atheism and religion: You can either think for yourself or follow someone else's thinking (and then convince yourself that it's yours). It's that simple.

        August 7, 2013 at 11:18 am |
      • Bill Deacon

        Thanks for what I'm sure you think is an insightful comment. It only happens to be 180 degrees out of phase with reality. If anything, I find atheism too closed and limiting. By definition, it eliminates the possible. You also seem to confuse informed consent with subju gation. If there's anything the Church has done, it's spent more time thinking about thinking than almost any other organization on the planet. So, the next time you think you have an original thought, google Catholicism and whatever it is and discover you're probably plowing ground that has already been harvested.

        August 7, 2013 at 12:18 pm |
        • Rick Shaw

          Closed and limiting? Come on Bill, you're smarter than that. Not believing in fairy tales is in no way closed and limiting, its the opposite.

          August 7, 2013 at 12:36 pm |
        • mk

          "Thanks for what I'm sure you think is an insightful comment." Passive.aggressive much?

          As a veteran 30+ year Catholic, I think I've got a good grip on how much "thinking" the catholic church does.

          August 7, 2013 at 12:56 pm |
        • Bill Deacon

          Perhaps you're right Rick. By strict definition atheism may not limit the possibility. However, in practice, my experience has been that atheist are dismissive and skeptical rather than open and affirming. They uniformly show an incapacity to accept any third party testimony and either refuse to conduct their own investigations into the mystical or decide because their own attempts were fruitless that others are invalid. It's too limiting for me thank you.

          August 7, 2013 at 1:24 pm |
        • ME II

          @Bill Deacon,
          Sorry, I know your comment was aimed at @Rick.

          "...my experience has been that atheist[s] are dismissive and skeptical rather than open and affirming."

          Yes, there is a strong correlation between atheism and skepticism, though not causation, I don't think. Why does this surprise you? On the same hand, skepticism does not limit "possibility", just probability, I think. For example, 'sure, a god is possible, but very unlikely as there is little evidence to suggest that it is true.'

          "They uniformly show an incapacity to accept any third party testimony and either refuse to conduct their own investigations into the mystical or decide because their own attempts were fruitless that others are invalid."

          Yes, all unconfirmed third party testimony is suspect. If not, then all possibilities/religions/beliefs/supersti.tions are equally valid. I suspect that what irritates you is that your third party testimony is not accepted, but perhaps I'm wrong.

          I don't know about "refuse"; there never seems to be a mystical claim that is subject to rational "investigation", and I'm not sure how to conduct a non-rational "investigation". However, if there was a way, again wouldn't all beliefs be equally valid.

          Basically, perhaps you are aggravated, not because Atheists are skeptical of all possibilities/beliefs, but because they are skeptical of your beliefs.

          August 7, 2013 at 2:13 pm |
        • Rick Shaw

          If Jesus came to earth and held a town hall, performed some miracles, raised the dead, and healed a quadriplegic, you would see atheists converting so fast your head would spin. Any thinking atheist that didn't would rightly be considered a fool. That’s having an open mind.

          On the other hand, if Zeus came to earth and held a town hall, performed some miracles, raised the dead, and healed a quadriplegic, you would see Christians claiming that it’s the devil trying to deceive us. That’s having a closed mind.

          August 7, 2013 at 3:09 pm |
  2. Lycidas

    You know what? Screw all of the atheists. I'm done posting here for good. I'm so tired of arguing with all of you with your ad Jiminez attacks and logical fallacies. Not one of you knows what your talking about. Good bye.

    August 6, 2013 at 4:11 pm |
    • Athy

      Goodbye.

      August 6, 2013 at 4:12 pm |
    • Dippy

      It's you're, not your. Do you know what you're talking about?

      August 6, 2013 at 4:14 pm |
      • Uncouth Swain

        How much are you really expecting from someone that has to strike out by taking other ppl's usernames?

        August 6, 2013 at 4:18 pm |
    • niknak

      Bye Lydia, don't let the manger door hit you on the bhnd on your way out.

      August 6, 2013 at 4:14 pm |
    • Uncouth Swain

      Good Riddance, we don't need more name stealers anyway.

      August 6, 2013 at 4:15 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      Lycidas,

      I've enjoyed your coherent and perceptive remarks. If you chose to leave, go with God. But I, for one, will miss you.

      August 6, 2013 at 4:19 pm |
      • AE

        Me, too.

        August 6, 2013 at 4:23 pm |
      • Uncouth Swain

        It's not Lycidas.

        August 6, 2013 at 4:24 pm |
        • In Santa we trust

          Lycidas=Uncouth Swain

          August 6, 2013 at 4:43 pm |
        • Uncouth Swain

          I think everyone figured that long ago...considering I never hid the fact.

          August 6, 2013 at 4:49 pm |
      • Truth Prevails :-)

        Now there's a huge shock...two of the others with imaginary friends disappointed that one of their ilk is leaving. Don't worry Bill and AE, sadly someone else will take his/her place and you'll have someone else to share your delusions with.

        August 6, 2013 at 4:26 pm |
        • Uncouth Swain

          Wow, someone took Truth's username too because he is nowhere near this big of a jack@ss.
          He never made off the wall @ssociations like this twit just did.

          August 6, 2013 at 4:32 pm |
        • AE

          She.

          August 6, 2013 at 4:40 pm |
    • Truth Prevails :-)

      Buh-bye...could you please take your child AE with you?

      August 6, 2013 at 4:27 pm |
      • AE

        Can you demonstrate how an adult should act?

        August 6, 2013 at 4:34 pm |
    • Honey Badger Don't Care

      Dont let the door hit ya where the good lord splity ya. (figureatively speaking of course)

      August 6, 2013 at 4:28 pm |
    • Ken

      I could list off maybe a dozen common ones that believers rely on, but what "logical fallacies" do atheists typically use?

      August 6, 2013 at 4:30 pm |
    • Richard Cranium

      I know what I am talking about.

      August 6, 2013 at 4:46 pm |
      • Richard Cranium

        BECAUSE I SAID SO. WHATEVER I THINK IS RATIONAL, FACTUAL AND THE TRUTH. I AM JUST THAT AWESOME.

        August 6, 2013 at 5:05 pm |
    • sam stone

      Eat your sidearm, pen-day-ho....gets you to jeebus right away. You can be on your knees, pleasing the savior in no time. Ta-ta

      August 6, 2013 at 4:47 pm |
    • illusive

      It is the theists that use the fallacies, atheists just point them out.

      August 6, 2013 at 5:31 pm |
  3. FUN FACTS

    CHRISTIAN WOMEN HAVE MORE ABORTIONS THAN ANY OTHER DEMOGRAPHIC

    August 6, 2013 at 3:50 pm |
    • Bootyfunk

      here's another bible fun fact:
      there is an abortion recipe in the bible. it only works on women that have cheated on their husband. that's the only time the bible mentions abortion. since there is no negative mention of abortion in the bible and there is actually a recipe for abortion, doesn't that mean the bible supports abortion?

      August 6, 2013 at 3:52 pm |
      • niknak

        The bible supports anything you want it to.

        Or is against anything you want it to be against.

        Just depends on who the sucker is you want to fleece.

        August 6, 2013 at 3:58 pm |
      • USMC Pilots

        Can you please point me to where the Bible talks about this?

        August 6, 2013 at 4:02 pm |
        • My gift to you

          Google. You're welcome.

          August 6, 2013 at 4:12 pm |
        • niknak

          Here it is, a bit of a jumble, and only seems to apply to married couples, but seems to be god approved abortion.

          book of Numbers (5:11-31).

          It starts there, and goes on for a bit.
          I doubt any of it will actual cause an abortion, but we are dealing with the beliefs of stone age goat herders.

          August 6, 2013 at 4:28 pm |
        • USMC Pilots

          Thanks for the direction. I'd never read this passage this way before (http://canterburyatheists.blogspot.com/2008/11/one-of-worlds-oldest-known-abortion.html). Having read it again, and quickly reviewed a handful of the major translations, I only see one (NIV) that mentions a miscarriage and the rest don't seem to state that the woman is pregnant. I'm not looking for a fight, I'm looking to clarify what the text says so that I can understand this better. Thanks.

          August 6, 2013 at 4:39 pm |
        • Honey Badger Don't Care

          dubya dubya dubya dot biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Numbers%205:11-31&version=NRSV

          August 6, 2013 at 4:43 pm |
        • Ken

          Like voodoo, it could cause enough anxiety in a woman who really believed in it, especially if she had cheated, to cause a natural miscarriage.

          August 6, 2013 at 4:44 pm |
        • niknak

          None of us are looking for a fight either.
          I tried to copy and paste the whole thing, but it did not get past the filter.
          Seems to continue for a bit and talks about how if a man finds his wife has cheated on him and has gotten knocked up, they can go to a priest who will use some type of water and a curse to make sure no child comes of the affair.

          But again, it is bible speak, and I am sure someone who is against abortion can read into it something else.

          August 6, 2013 at 4:46 pm |
        • Timothy

          Try this
          [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cq3U09DeKpg&w=640&h=360]

          August 6, 2013 at 4:56 pm |
        • niknak

          That was great Timmy.
          I had not seen that one before.

          August 6, 2013 at 5:03 pm |
    • B mellenial

      ... WAY MORE THAN CHRISTIAN MEN !!

      August 6, 2013 at 4:13 pm |
  4. Honey Badger Don't Care

    raincheck

    "the church offers nothing but guilt, fear and ignorance."

    "You really believe that if that were true so many people would join."

    Most xtians dont "join" the church they are brought up in it. Brainwashed since before they can think that these foolish fairy tales are true.

    Guilt is induced by the idea of sin and then the threat of heII causes the fear that keeps people in line. This is psycholocial warfare that is pitiful. You people are nothing but terrorists that threaten people with torture simply because they dont believe in your god for which there is no reason to believe.

    August 6, 2013 at 3:45 pm |
    • Bootyfunk

      well put, badger.

      the internet and fact-checking are killing religion. when i was a kid and the pastor said some crazy s.h.i.t at church, it was hard to go to several libraries and do your own research by book in order to call him on it. now you can quickly look up and see that the world is not 10K years old or that there was a great flood that covered the earth. religion won't go away in my lifetime, but i hope i live to see it become a fringe belief system.

      August 6, 2013 at 3:51 pm |
      • skytag

        Don't get your hopes up. There will always be a ready market for comforting fairytales.

        August 6, 2013 at 10:01 pm |
    • Russ

      @ Honey Badger: it's the opposite of fear & guilt.

      Jesus said anyone who sins is a slave to it (Jn.8:34).
      In other words, you will give control of your life to something (family, career, ambition, hedonism, etc.).
      Every other master will demand you die for it.
      Only one Master willingly dies to set you free (Jn.8:32).

      August 6, 2013 at 3:58 pm |
      • niknak

        Russt,
        What about the people how have never heard of your religion, like the newly discovered tribe in the Amazon?
        They have been living blissfully unaware of your god for thousands of years, and have gotten along just fine.

        The fundies I work with say they are all going to be tortured in h ell for all eternity because they don't follow jeebus (we have had this little talk before).
        I ask them, what kind of god makes people, keeps them separated from civilization so they can't even know about jeebus, then tortures them for all eternity because they didn't follow jeebus?

        What do I get as an answer?

        God works in mysterious ways. (the believer fall back position for when logic or facts are absolutely missing)

        If THAT is your god, then I don't want to have anything to do with it, even it does exist.

        In fact, if it exists, and I have to go before it, I hope I get the chance to spit in it's ugly face before getting cast into the fire.

        August 6, 2013 at 4:06 pm |
        • Russ

          @ niknak:

          1) the biblical answer is most clearly shown in Rom.1:20...
          "For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse."

          in short, you exist. you didn't make yourself. that alone should make you be humbly on the lookout.
          (and here's an Economist article calling out Stephen Hawking's "Grand Design" along those lines... per your earlier expressed appreciation for said magazine...)
          http://www.economist.com/node/16990802

          2) think about what you're saying. *you* dictate the terms to God? that's directly contradictory to the philosophical (much less theological) notions of God. "i just don't like that. i like to think of God as..." that's Ricky Bobby theology.

          problem is: if he's real, it doesn't matter who you *want* him to be, all that matters is who He is.

          3) ironically, as a Christian, I believe that when Christ was brought before *us*, we spit in his face. ironically, he held the very molecules and atoms together – not just of the saliva, but the very nails that went through his hands, the electrical pulses that signaled to his neural synapses to register pain in his brain, and moreover that he purposefully had the full weight & trauma of the psychological, sociological, inst.itutional, theological and personal evils (sins) poured out on him instead of me.

          the cross shows me two things simultaneously & clearly:
          1) it's worse than i want to admit (that's what i deserve: death)
          2) it's better than i ever dared hope (he loves that much: he takes my place)

          that's the God i worship. what he did saves me, not what i did.
          that's why Christianity is the only major religion claiming that God is love (1 Jn.4).

          August 6, 2013 at 4:19 pm |
        • Ella

          It matters to ME what kind of God he is. I'd much prefer spending eternity in hell with Satan, who incidentally committed far less horrible acts in the Bible than the so-called loving god, than compromise my conscience to worship the cruel divinity depicted in the Bible and go to heaven.

          August 6, 2013 at 4:49 pm |
        • niknak

          Well, you and I see eternal torture in a very different light.
          If there is some all powerful being that creates a h ell, and then creates people just to torture them, then tell me exactly how your god is a loving god?
          Seems to me it is an egotistical dou che bag.

          And I have no issues with you wanting to believe in it. It is your time to waste.
          But why do you religious people feel the need to try to force us to go along with it?
          And it is all you religious people from all the religions.
          Some are more forceful, like the musllims, but you xtians were the same back in the day.

          I want to live in a secular country, not a religious theocracy.
          You already have your various religions getting tax free status, you are free to practice it all you want, why is that not good enough?
          Why do you have to force it into our government, our courts, our schools, our medicine and our bedrooms?

          August 6, 2013 at 4:37 pm |
        • Madtown

          Russ
          @ niknak:
          1) the biblical answer is most clearly shown in Rom.1:20
          ----
          LOL!! Some of this stuff is just endlessly entertaining. Niknak rightly asks Russ about the logical problem of humans in this world who've never heard about christianity, because God put them in a place where it doesn't exist. Russ responds with a reference to scripture!!! Priceless, comedy gold. Russ, what good is scripture to someone who doesn't know it exists?

          August 6, 2013 at 4:41 pm |
        • Russ

          @ madtown:
          you clearly didn't read the verse. don't miss the point just because i used a biblical reference. the Bible is saying: regardless of whether someone is directly aware of Jesus, existence itself is ample evidence that there is a God – and should bring about an appropriate humility & awe regarding our dependent natures (as Soren Kierkegaard says, there is "an infinite qualitative difference between God and humanity").

          August 12, 2013 at 9:38 am |
        • Russ

          @ niknak: that's not entirely honest. if you believe you are right, and you care at all about other people, you don't want them to live in a dangerously delusional state – especially if you believe there is a readily available cure. (and notice: the way i worded that it is equally true from BOTH sides of the a/theist divide.)

          or to put it as one of your fellow atheists Penn Jilette has...

          [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=owZc3Xq8obk&w=640&h=360]

          August 12, 2013 at 9:42 am |
        • Russ

          @ Ella: i hope you realize that in the biblical understanding Satan does not *manage* or somehow reign in hell. that's a popular misconception. hell is not the absence of God's rule, it's just the absence of God's blessing/grace/love/etc – and Satan is *under* that punishment. as much as Dante caused misconceptions about hell, that much he got right.

          also, the Author of Life is also the only one who has the right to take it. there is an enormous difference between the rightful owner using his creation as he sees fit and a thief breaking in & attempting to claim it as his own. what's mind-blowing is that – unlike every other major religion – Jesus alone willingly takes the punishment we deserve to make his former enemies into his family. there is no other love like this.

          August 12, 2013 at 9:51 am |
    • raincheck

      "You people"? I don't know what you think I believe, but I'm not a Christian. And even if only a few hundred thousand a year join, my point is still made. There exist people who are getting positive things out of Christianity. To claim there aren't is delusional.

      August 6, 2013 at 5:51 pm |
  5. Just the Facts Ma'am...

    Adults need Dave & Buster's to have fun! You can get drinks at the bar, play video games, shoot pool, try your hand at some skee-ball and try and win tickets that you can exchange for plastic items made in china! And don't forget the deep fried appetizers! Consider me appeti-zed!

    Sure, you might be able to have fun without going to Dave & Busters, but do you really want to take that chance?...

    August 6, 2013 at 2:39 pm |
    • niknak

      Dave and Busters is Chuck E Cheese for adults.

      Believers flock to places like that because they have the herd mentality from their religious upbringing coupled with the urge to always be part of a "team sport" and not being "different."

      Atheists on the other hand prefer to find our fun seeing live blues and jazz, traveling to off the beaten path destinations, reading non best seller authors, listening to music from artists the average believer has never heard of, going to Paris and having NO ONE be rude to us, getting our news from NPR/ BBC/Newshour,The Economist, riding a bicycle, NOT eating in big box stores or shopping at MallWart, taking public trans to work, and generally being stand up people.

      Good analogy for the difference between believers and atheists though.

      August 6, 2013 at 2:59 pm |
      • AE

        Not conceited at all!

        August 6, 2013 at 3:30 pm |
        • niknak

          It may have been a bit over the top, but you get my point.

          Although I bet you shop at Mallwart, think Olive Garden is good authentic EYE-TAL-YEN food, and don't take public trans to work.

          Hey, on a serious note AE, Do you own any hand guns?

          August 6, 2013 at 3:43 pm |
        • AE

          I'm not very suburban, actually.

          No hand guns. But I have a rifle.

          August 6, 2013 at 3:55 pm |
      • Russ

        @ niknak: stereotype much?

        i don't know which is less flattering:
        your caricature of all Christians as "people of Walmart" photos...
        or that all atheists are hipsters...

        either way, both are incredibly shallow caricatures.
        do you really think NPR, BBC & the Economist have no Christian audience?
        that's delusional.

        August 6, 2013 at 3:49 pm |
        • niknak

          Russt,

          It may have been a bit of a stereotype, but it hit a nerve didn't it?!?

          And stereotypes are usually built on some truth......

          August 6, 2013 at 3:56 pm |
        • Russ

          @ niknak: racism is a form of stereotyping.
          do you say the same thing about people based on race?

          August 6, 2013 at 4:00 pm |
        • AE

          Stereotypes usually reveal a truth about the person using them.

          August 6, 2013 at 4:04 pm |
        • niknak

          But are you not stereotyping with your religion Russt?
          You have decided that all the other ones are wrong, and only yours and they way you practice it is the "correct" one.
          Why not try all the others to see?

          August 6, 2013 at 4:12 pm |
        • AE

          "You have decided that all the other ones are wrong, and only yours and they way you practice it is the "correct" one."

          Just like you!

          August 6, 2013 at 4:16 pm |
        • Russ

          @ niknak:

          1) it is not stereotyping if it's correct.
          that'd be like saying to your math teacher "why not let 2+2=5? you exclusivist!"

          2) not only that, pluralism is equally exclusive, as shown in the well known blind men & elephant parable...
          "In the famous story of the blind men and the elephant… the real point of the story is constantly overlooked. The story is told from the point of view of the king and his courtiers, who are not blind but can see that the blind men are unable to grasp the full reality of the elephant and are only able to get hold of part of it. The story is constantly told in order to neutralize the affirmations of the great religions, to suggest that they learn humility and recognize that none of them can have more than one aspect of the truth. But, of course, the real point of the story is exactly the opposite. If the king were also blind, there would be no story. What this means then is that there is an appearance of humility and a protestation that the truth is much greater than anyone of us can grasp. But if this is used to invalidate all claims to discern the truth, it is in fact an arrogant claim with the kind of knowledge which is superior that you have just said, no religion has."
          -Lesslie Newbigin

          August 6, 2013 at 4:30 pm |
        • niknak

          AE,

          I only asked about the guns because most xtians follow the whole WWJD motto.
          When I find out that a xtian has a gun, especially a hand gun (as those really are made for one purpose), IF jesus was alive today, would he own a gun?
          If not, then why do you own one?

          August 6, 2013 at 4:43 pm |
        • Timothy

          @niknak
          Being a liberal, Jesus might need a gun in some places, especially down in the bible belt

          August 6, 2013 at 4:48 pm |
        • niknak

          Very true Timmy.
          If jesus did come back, the xtian would kill him all over again.
          The last thing they want is for some hippy to tell them to give all their goodies to the poor.

          August 6, 2013 at 4:53 pm |
        • ME II

          I always thought that WWJD thing was silly. If the Jesus of the Bible were here today He probably wouldn't carry a gun because He doesn't need a gun, but no one else is packing miracles either.

          August 6, 2013 at 5:15 pm |
        • Just the Facts Ma'am...

          As miraculous as he might be, he may not want to try stopping any bullets with the palms of his hands...

          August 6, 2013 at 6:01 pm |
        • skytag

          @AE: "You have decided that all the other ones are wrong, and only yours and they way you practice it is the "correct" one."

          "Just like you!"

          You just don't get it. Atheism is a single belief, that there is no God. This belief only places two limitations on us:

          – We can't make up fairytales to explain phenomenon we can't explain with our current understanding of the universe.

          – We can't tell believers "Just wait until you die. Then you'll see we were right."

          Once you postulate the existence of one or more gods you open up a whole can of worms.

          – You can make up fairytales to explain phenomenon we can't explain with our current understanding of the universe, but you risk having science debunk them and undermine your credibility at some point in the future, and that has happened many times.

          – You invite countless questions, many based on contradictions between the various belief systems, as well as contradictions between stated beliefs and what we see in the world.

          – You can make up pretty much any belief system you want as long as you endow it with traits that make it impossible to objectively test any of its doctrine, then so can everyone else who decided to create a religion. This leads to one of the biggest questions of all that you won't deal with: If God is real, why don't the world's religions have more in common? In particular, why is there nothing all religions have in common if there is a God inspiring the people who create them?

          Stop kidding yourself. Atheism is not a religion and not even remotely comparable a religion.

          August 7, 2013 at 7:44 am |
  6. Bootyfunk

    millenials don't need the church.
    the church offers nothing positive that can't be found without it
    humanism, an atheistic philosophy, offers a much more ethical guide for good living

    i challenge any christian to compare the morals of christianity to the ethics of humanism
    christianity gives numerous commands to kill in the bible - humanism demands the death of no one
    the bible says women are to be silent - humanism teaches all are equal
    christianity is based on guilt, fear and ignorance - humanism is based on logic, reasoning and compassion
    the list goes on...

    modern ethics > biblical morals

    August 6, 2013 at 2:33 pm |
    • A Conversation

      Why accept the challenge when your starting point (your characterization of Christianity) is a flat out lie. Here is a challenge for you...challenge us without starting out with a flat out lie (or even even hyperbole). Be fair and a fair challenge is on.

      August 6, 2013 at 2:43 pm |
      • Bootyfunk

        specifically, which part is a lie? and why do you think so?

        August 6, 2013 at 2:45 pm |
        • A Conversation

          All of it, but here is the easiest to deal with: "christianity gives numerous commands to kill in the bible"
          You have been here long enough to know that that is not true. Yes, there are commands in the Old Testament concerning this. But as you are undoubtedly aware, Christians do not believe they are under O.T. law. So you are assigning a belief/value/ideal to Christians that Christians do not apply in their own life. You may disagree with the Christian interpretation, but you can't possibly deny that Christians do not accept what would be your interpretation. How then do I debate and defend the value of Christians being commanded to kill, when Christians do not believe they are commanded to kill.

          August 6, 2013 at 2:54 pm |
        • niknak

          Conversation dude,

          It must be nice to be able to pick and choose which parts of your myth books you want to apply.
          I seem to remember your boy jeebus said in the New Test icle that all the rules in the Old Testy needed to be heeded as well.

          But hey, why not just make it up as you go along?
          Anything is possible in fantasy world......

          August 6, 2013 at 3:10 pm |
        • sam

          Conversation is yet again confused about the difference btw a 'lie' and 'something I don't agree with'.

          August 6, 2013 at 3:15 pm |
        • In Santa we trust

          Conversation, So the 10 commandments and original sin are not important to christians?

          August 6, 2013 at 3:16 pm |
        • Bootyfunk

          yes, i'm aware of the excuse christians make to distance themselves from the OT. they are false, however. jesus himself says you cannot throw away a single letter of the OT. the NT doesn't replace the OT - it supplements it. still follow the 10 commandments? that's OT. sorry, that's a silly excuse to get out of the evil commanded by the OT.

          btw, the NT supports slavery throughout. jesus himself said to beat slaves that disobey "with many stripes." slavery is the worst kind of evil. you would think the son of an all knowing and all loving god would have gotten that one right.

          August 6, 2013 at 3:22 pm |
        • AE

          Just because something is in The Bible does not mean that God approves of it.

          God chose Israel to be His people. Not because He approved of them. But He wanted to use them to fix a broken world plagued by such things as slavery and murder.

          Bootyfunk, this god, Christianity and Bible you talk about, is not my God.

          August 6, 2013 at 3:41 pm |
        • Bootyfunk

          rejecting christianity and its evil god is a good start....

          August 6, 2013 at 3:44 pm |
        • Madtown

          AE
          Just because something is in The Bible does not mean that God approves of it.
          God chose Israel to be His people. Not because He approved of them. But He wanted to use them to fix a broken world plagued by such things as slavery and murder.
          ------
          Where to start? First, how can we possibly really KNOW any of this?! I say we can't. Second, why would a "loving and just" God play favorites among his EQUAL creations? The notion of "God's people" was created by the very people who believe God preferred them. I tend to think we're all equal.

          August 6, 2013 at 3:48 pm |
        • AE

          @ Madtown

          And "God's people" suffer a lot.

          I'm not sure the point is He preferred them, but was utilizing them.

          Jesus describes God's people as the poor, orphaned and widowed.

          August 6, 2013 at 3:53 pm |
        • Madtown

          I'm not sure the point is He preferred them, but was utilizing them.
          -----
          The greater point is, there's no way of knowing this. I've heard this in church for years, christian's claim they are "God's people", because of the belief system they follow. It's arrogance, it's divisive.

          August 6, 2013 at 3:58 pm |
        • AE

          "christian's claim they are "God's people", because of the belief system they follow. "

          No. That is not a truth.

          My church says God's people are the orphaned, widowed and poor, and to help them.

          And that God is not impressed by our belief system.

          August 6, 2013 at 4:02 pm |
        • A Conversation

          Booty...I had to step away for a while, so sorry for the delayed response. Reviewing your post immediately after mine only confirmed my initial thoughts about your original post. Thank you.

          August 6, 2013 at 4:20 pm |
        • A Conversation

          Booty..BTW, I though atheists new more about the Bible then Christians. You have an amazing lack of understanding of scripture. The 10 commandments are not part of the "Law" which has a very specific meaning. How did you NOT know that? How is that possible? Wow! Just Wow! All this time I was convinced that, by the very nature of being an atheist, you knew all there was to know about the Bible. WOW OH WOW OH WOW!

          August 6, 2013 at 4:25 pm |
        • Madtown

          AE
          "christian's claim they are "God's people", because of the belief system they follow. "
          No. That is not a truth.
          ----
          It isn't? Hey man, I'm only describing my experiences in hearing christians at church proclaim they are God's people. It is true because I've heard it.

          August 6, 2013 at 4:29 pm |
        • AE

          Open your mind to the idea that they were not speaking for all Christians.

          August 6, 2013 at 4:35 pm |
        • Madtown

          Open your mind
          ---
          Ironic.

          August 6, 2013 at 4:50 pm |
        • AE

          Many people consider themselves open-minded because they believe something outside the "norm". Being truly open-minded only means being able to think about things from another perspective, not coming to quick conclusions and such.

          Thinking all religious people are closed-minded does not demonstrate open-mindedness.

          August 6, 2013 at 4:55 pm |
        • Madtown

          Thinking all religious people are closed-minded
          ---–
          Yes, thanks so much for the lesson. You'll note I never said such a thing. Didn't you call someone conceited in a response above? More irony.

          August 6, 2013 at 4:58 pm |
        • AE

          Sorry, I must have been interpreting your tone wrong.

          I thought you were saying "Ironic" and implying all religious people are closed-minded, while all atheists are open-minded.

          Because any reasonable person knows that is not the case.

          August 6, 2013 at 5:34 pm |
      • Just the Facts Ma'am...

        "christianity is based on guilt, fear and ignorance"

        "(your characterization of Christianity) is a flat out lie."

        Guilt: You were born a sinner, a dirty, evil, bad sinner because one of your ancestors ate some fruit he wasn't supposed to.

        Fear: Since you are a sinner, you deserve to be tormented and tortured for eternity if you don't throw yourself on God's mercy, you know, God, the one who decided you were a dirty evil sinner deserving of eternal torment...

        Ignorance: Sure we cannot explain why so many things in science don't agree with the bible, but it's not our place to question God. God is a mystery and works in mysterious ways... you don't need to know how God could have always existed, you just need to know that the universe couldn't have...

        Seems to me Booty hit the nail on the head...

        August 6, 2013 at 2:56 pm |
        • niknak

          Facts seem to be something you believers have issues with.

          August 6, 2013 at 3:12 pm |
        • niknak

          Didn't mean you Ma'am.

          August 6, 2013 at 3:13 pm |
        • Bootyfunk

          @Facts
          exactly.

          August 6, 2013 at 3:24 pm |
        • A Conversation

          More ridiculous hyperbole. My "guilt," if I had any, would be based not on Adam's transgressions, but my own. My "fear" of torment doesn't exist–it never has. The church I attend (like every other church I've attended) encourages asking hard questions and expecting real answers. Sounds look Booty missed the head, the nail and the wood too.

          August 6, 2013 at 4:37 pm |
        • Just the Facts Ma'am...

          @ A Conversation "My "guilt," if I had any, would be based not on Adam's transgressions, but my own."

          So I take it you were fine until you did sin, and then you needed Jesus ransom? So there are some people who might be just fine right now and don't need Christs ransom to keep them out of the ovens?

          "My "fear" of torment doesn't exist–it never has" I take it you do not believe in the eternal torment doctrine or is it that you just don't fear that because you have Christ in your life? If it's the former then good for you, I agree heII does not exist. If it's the latter then I call bull shlt because you cannot have a conscious belief in the concept of eternal torment as being a real possibility for humans and not be a little bit afraid of it.

          Next time you are at Church why not try asking your priest or pastor this "With new DNA evidence proving humans mated with neanderthals, how can the Genesis account of Adam and Eve possibly be true? And if the Adam and Eve story isn't actually true then why would we have inherited sin that we need Christs ransom sacrafice to redeem us?"

          August 6, 2013 at 4:59 pm |
        • A Conversation

          Facts...you seem stuck on the idea that we need Jesus because of Adam's sin. It is my own sin which convicts me, not Adam's. And, that is not to suggest that I have "guilt." I have sinned? Yes. Am I guilty of sin? Yes. Do I walk around feeling guilty? No. Do you? Clearly you must know right from wrong. Have you ever performed a wrong? surely you have. Are you guilty of that wrong? Yes. Do you walk around with "guilt"? I don't know.

          When you and Booty throw out words like guilt and fear with attached ambiguous application, there is no sense in entering into the debate that Booty offered at the beginning of this string.

          August 6, 2013 at 7:53 pm |
    • AE

      If you read past the headline "Why millennials need the church" you will see the author is really saying "Why "Chrisitan millennials" and "Christians who don't go to church" need the church".

      The author probably didn't write the headline. It is not an article on why atheists or other people need the church.

      August 6, 2013 at 2:47 pm |
      • Bootyfunk

        and my point is that no one needs the church, including christian millenials.

        August 6, 2013 at 2:50 pm |
        • AE

          Unfortunately you are not qualified to speak for Christians. Or make that decision for them.

          You can speak for yourself. And make decisions for yourself. You can imagine I make all my decisions based on guilt, fear and ignorance. But that is just your imagination, really.

          August 6, 2013 at 2:54 pm |
        • sam

          AE, based on your discussion style, you're not qualified to speak about anything. Ever.

          August 6, 2013 at 3:17 pm |
        • Bootyfunk

          humanity existed long before christianity. so yes, i can say we don't need it. you should look up the word "need" as you obviously don't understand the definition. so i'll say it again, no one needs religion. you may have been brainwashed into believing that, but it's just not true.

          August 6, 2013 at 3:26 pm |
        • AE

          You don't speak for humanity. Thank God.

          August 6, 2013 at 3:29 pm |
        • Bootyfunk

          thank Zeus, same useless gesture.

          August 6, 2013 at 3:33 pm |
        • AE

          How do you imagine that I'm brainwashed?

          August 6, 2013 at 3:33 pm |
        • Bootyfunk

          you're religious

          August 6, 2013 at 3:36 pm |
        • AE

          How do you know you are not brainwashed?

          August 6, 2013 at 3:38 pm |
        • Bootyfunk

          because my beliefs are based on logic and reasoning, a claim you cannot truthfully make.

          August 6, 2013 at 3:39 pm |
        • AE

          No, you just arrogantly imagine you do. You use faith, imagination and experiences for your beliefs, too.

          For example, you were not around to see humanity before Christianity, so you have faith in what other people tell you about it.

          You pretend or imagine or rationalize that you do know, but really it is impossible for you to truly know without being there.

          August 6, 2013 at 3:45 pm |
        • Bootyfunk

          "For example, you were not around to see humanity before Christianity, so you have faith in what other people tell you about it."
          +++ haha, that's your example of how i " use faith, imagination and experiences for (my) beliefs"? there is hard empirical evidence to support my claim that humanity was around before christianity. i can examine the evidence for myself. but to you that's "faith"? bad example. got any others?

          August 6, 2013 at 3:57 pm |
        • In Santa we trust

          AE, And you weren't around in biblical times, you only have the bible which is shown to be incorrect in its foundational stuff, and no evidence for the majority of the rest.

          August 6, 2013 at 4:04 pm |
        • AE

          I'm sorry if I confused you, I believe that humanity was around before Christianity. That was not my point.

          But belief in history takes faith. Anything that happened before you were born, you have to take on faith. Because you were not there.

          So you have faith in the evidence presented. Or faith in what you school taught you.

          But if you weren't there, you can't know.

          August 6, 2013 at 4:07 pm |
      • Truth Prevails :-)

        AE: Do you honestly think that it is only your belief that matters in this world and that no-one deserves a say about things?? If you don't like a site where Atheists comment on an open blog, then maybe switch your venue to some place like FOX where you won't get told you're brainwashed...people like you who are brainwashed and don't care that they base their belief off of one book that has been debunked. Stop acting like a hypocritical little child (oh right, you still are a child...at least child like-see only children and schizophrenics have imaginary friends, I'm guessing you're not a schizophrenic, so you must be a child...don't cry now-I know that hurts your wee feelings when reality is put in your face).

        August 6, 2013 at 3:47 pm |
        • AE

          –Do you honestly think that it is only your belief that matters in this world and that no-one deserves a say about things??–

          No. But this is a message board for an article posted on a blog – and if somebody makes a false claim about the article, like saying the blog is trying to tell atheists what to do, I will point that false claim out.

          August 6, 2013 at 4:12 pm |
        • AE

          And please don't make fun of schizophrenics.

          August 6, 2013 at 4:14 pm |
        • Truth Prevails :-)

          I'm not making fun of schizophrenia you tool, I'm pointing out something to you. The way you spew on sounds very close to the stories Andrea Yates spewed after she drowned her 5 innocent children. Belief as strong as your belief is can be very dangerous. We know you're a college kid, so please do yourself and humanity a favor and get yourself fixed, we'd hate for you to brainwash innocent children.

          August 6, 2013 at 4:31 pm |
        • AE

          " We know you're a college kid, so please do yourself and humanity a favor and get yourself fixed, we'd hate for you to brainwash innocent children."

          Who is we? Are there more than one person with you? Or do you imagine you speak for other people?

          August 6, 2013 at 4:39 pm |
  7. Iron Man suit with an Ultron head

    Squabble over your meaningless religion. It will be your undoing when the robots take over. Be warned, the age of Ultron is coming.

    August 6, 2013 at 2:30 pm |
    • Ant Man

      I thought I told you to stay in the garage!!

      August 6, 2013 at 3:18 pm |
    • niknak

      Dude, the LAST thing we need is yet another superhero/transformers/Godzilla/exoskeleton movie.

      August 6, 2013 at 3:21 pm |
      • G to the T

        I must respectfully disagree. We most definitiely need more Godzilla movies.

        August 8, 2013 at 2:24 pm |
  8. lamelionheart

    Although many folks might not fathom with reasoning that there are but 3 types of cosmological orders within the very fabrics of materialism, there is but one non-materialistic essence from which all 3 cosmologies were made manifested from...

    1. The Atomic Cosmos

    2. The Celestial Cosmos

    3. The Cellular Cosmos.

    Without the essence of Nothingness, these 3 cosmologies would never be... Nothingness holds all materialized things together and separated in their measured distances... The forcefulness of Nothingness is the gravitational matrix that science iterates as being gravimetrical in terminologies loosely held considerations.

    August 6, 2013 at 2:13 pm |
    • Bootyfunk

      For some time many of us have wondered just who is Jack Schitt?
      We find ourselves at a loss when someone says, 'You don't know Jack
      Schitt'!
      Well, thanks to my genealogy efforts, you can now respond in an
      intellectual way.
      Jack Schitt is the only son of Awe Schitt. Awe Schitt, the fertilizer
      magnate, who married O. Schitt, the owner of Needeep N. Schitt, Inc. They
      had
      one son, Jack.
      In turn, Jack Schitt married Noe Schitt. The deeply religious couple
      produced
      six children: Holie Schitt, Gi va Schitt, Fulla Schitt, Bull Schitt, and
      the twins Deep Schitt and Dip Schitt.
      Against her parents' objections, Deep Schitt married Dumb Schitt, a high
      school dropout. After being married 15 years, Jack and Noe Schitt
      divorced. Noe
      Schitt later married Ted Sherlock, and because her kids were living with
      them, she wanted to keep her previous name. She was then known as Noe Schitt
      Sherlock.
      Meanwhile, Dip Schitt married Loda Schitt, and they produced a son with a
      rather nervous disposition named Chicken Schitt. Two of the other six
      children,
      Fulla Schitt and Giva Schitt, were inseparable throughout childhood and subsequently married the Happens brothers in a dual ceremony. The wedding
      announcement in the newspaper announced the Schitt-Happens nuptials. The
      Schitt-Happens children were Dawg, Byrd, and Horse.
      Bull Schitt, the prodigal son, left home to tour the world. He came home with his Italian wife; Piza Schitt
      By Crock O Schit

      August 6, 2013 at 2:18 pm |
      • lamelionheart

        Such quackery is the holiest duckling of goosed schittiness

        August 6, 2013 at 2:32 pm |
      • raincheck

        He's a character in the Thursday Next stories.

        August 6, 2013 at 2:49 pm |
    • niknak

      Better!
      I give that one a 7 on the emulating Cowardlylion scale.
      Keep working, you just may give him a run for his cosmology!

      August 6, 2013 at 2:19 pm |
    • Just the Facts Ma'am...

      To put Bootys comment another way. LL here shows us just how little he knows and just how full of schitt he is.

      "Without the essence of Nothingness, these 3 cosmologies would never be... Nothingness holds all materialized things together and separated in their measured distances.."

      Just google "Empty space isn't really empty" to see why your moronic premise of "nothingness" is not only stupid but patently false.

      August 6, 2013 at 2:26 pm |
      • lamelionheart

        JtFM...

        So, then you are in agreements with sciences' usages of the strong and weak forces of gravimetric consortiums..? If so, than by which do these forces consort themselves with..? The atomic forces of gravity are to me of the strong gravimetric forces while the stellar forces are of the weakest... Has "your" dilly dallying with the scientific arena of such forces made any headway whereby you are adeptly viewed as having any soundness away from just being sciences' parrot..?

        August 6, 2013 at 4:04 pm |
      • Just the Facts Ma'am...

        LL, i've read your drivel for quite some time now and can but conclude that you are attempting to not only sound like a 14th century Brittish high society snob but to think like one as well, resoundly denying the curvature of the earth with willowy words of condecension. You are a low class liar and a bafoon with a cheap thesaurus and you are not fooling anyone.

        August 6, 2013 at 4:41 pm |
    • Honey Badger Don't Care

      Please dont feed the copy and paste trolls.

      August 6, 2013 at 2:26 pm |
    • a reasonable atheist

      @LLH

      Your post would be more consistent (albeit esoteric, unwieldy, and incorrect) if you replaced your misuse of "cosmologies" with "cosmoses." As it stands, you are conflating the study of something with the thing itself.

      Even with this correction for consistency, your statements are highly erroneous.

      For instance, space does not "hold materials together." Also, the distance between objects on any scale are very rarely constant. In fact, the only constant is motion of objects as a myriad of forces act upon them. Gravity is dominant at macro levels.

      However, gravity is inconsequential at the microscopic level and finer. Other forces dominate interaction between matter.

      Even at the atomic scale, nothing is held in place – everything is moving. For instance a piece of steel may seem solid to you, but in actuality, the atoms in said steel are vibrating and the negative charges are drifting about all over the place within the material due to the nature of bonding that attracts the atoms to one another. The only way for something at that scale to truly be held in place is for it to be in an environment where the temperature is absolute zero on the Kelvin scale. Neither does this type of environment exist in the known universe nor can it be induced by current human technology.

      August 7, 2013 at 6:42 pm |
  9. Bootyfunk

    the church offers nothing but guilt, fear and ignorance.

    August 6, 2013 at 1:53 pm |
    • flying spaghetti monster

      ... and sometimes donut holes and bad coffee.

      August 6, 2013 at 1:55 pm |
      • Bootyfunk

        oh, and the bread they eat while pretending it's flesh and the wine they drink while pretending it's blood. mmmm.... cannibalism.

        August 6, 2013 at 1:58 pm |
        • raincheck

          While I agree the blood drinking thing is pretty gross, is it really grosser than picking a screen name that means smelly ass? Really, I had to ask.

          August 6, 2013 at 3:16 pm |
        • Bootyfunk

          you obviously have no funk in your life. look up george clinton and the funkadelic. i got funk in my booty - get some!

          August 6, 2013 at 3:28 pm |
    • niknak

      Just like the Republican party and Faux News.

      Gee, I wonder why so many fundies flock to them?

      August 6, 2013 at 1:59 pm |
    • raincheck

      If you are foolish enough to believe that, you aren't likely to beat them any time soon.

      August 6, 2013 at 2:02 pm |
      • Honey Badger Don't Care

        I notice that you're not trying to refute the claim with evidence.

        August 6, 2013 at 2:13 pm |
        • A Conversation

          Honey...what evidence would you like. Testimonial? I swear and/or affirm under penalty of perjury that the foregoing is true: the church I attend has never caused me to feel guilt. The church I attend has never made be fearful of anything (quite the contrary). The church I attend has always encouraged asking hard questions and to expect real answers.

          That work for you?

          August 6, 2013 at 2:39 pm |
        • Bootyfunk

          i doubt your statement is true. i don't doubt that you believe it - but that doesn't make it true.

          August 6, 2013 at 2:44 pm |
        • ME II

          @A Conversation,
          Just curious, does the church you attend preach that you are a sinner?

          August 6, 2013 at 2:49 pm |
        • Bootyfunk

          never had a thought that was against christian teaching?
          never a lustful thought at church when you see a nice pair of legs or a nice round booty?
          didn't feel guilty about though?

          August 6, 2013 at 2:52 pm |
        • raincheck

          HBDC,

          The original statement was

          "the church offers nothing but guilt, fear and ignorance."

          You really believe that if that were true so many people would join. We have plenty of evidence that religious organizations offer community and solace and financial support to members in trouble. Some of them may ultimately in today's world do more harm than good, but so do these silly oversimplifications.

          August 6, 2013 at 2:54 pm |
        • AE

          Jesus Christ set me from guilt, fear and ignorance.

          August 6, 2013 at 2:56 pm |
        • niknak

          So basically AE, you convinced yourself that regardless of how much of a dou che you are, you are golden when it comes time to enter the golden arches.

          Must be nice to have anything you do wrong just wished away.

          August 6, 2013 at 3:18 pm |
        • Madtown

          AE
          Jesus Christ set me from guilt, fear and ignorance.
          ------
          You're just fortunate you're familiar with Jesus. Right now, there's a human male(every bit your equal) living in a primitive tribe somewhere in South America who has never heard of Jesus. This man is trapped in guilt, fear, and ignorance, with no one to lead him out. You're one of the lucky ones.

          August 6, 2013 at 3:22 pm |
        • AE

          niknak "So basically AE,..."

          No. That is not what I basically said.

          Forget your notion that I somehow think I'm "golden" compared to others.

          August 6, 2013 at 3:27 pm |
        • Bootyfunk

          raincheck wrote:
          "You really believe that if that were true so many people would join."

          hahaha, join? more like indoctrinated by their parents. people are leaving the church, not joining it.

          August 6, 2013 at 3:31 pm |
        • niknak

          AE,

          I work closely with fundies, and see them when they are away from their families and have been drinking.
          They engage in some really bad behavior, yet the next day have a clean conscience because they use the ol' get out of jail card called "backsliding."
          One fundie explained it to me like this;
          "god doesn't expect you to be able to be just like jesus because he made you a sinner, so when you sin, if you just pray a bit really hard then god will forgive you."
          See?
          When you choose to be a dou che, and cheat on your wife, or cheat on your taxes, or do anything else that you know is wrong, but that you go and do anyway, you have an out when being a believer.

          Maybe you are not like the believers I work with, so I can't speak for you. But I can speak for them, and what I have witnessed from them over the past 20 years is disgusting.

          August 6, 2013 at 3:40 pm |
        • AE

          "god doesn't expect you to be able to be just like jesus because he made you a sinner, so when you sin, if you just pray a bit really hard then god will forgive you."

          Yea, that is not what I think God wants from us. In fact Jesus pretty much says don't bother if that is going to be your att.itude.

          I think God wants all of us, not just to look good on the outside. But to change on the inside.

          I don't have an out for bad behavior. I am responsible for what I do.

          August 6, 2013 at 3:49 pm |
  10. flying spaghetti monster

    Why do all the chicks dig jesus? ... because he was hu.ng like THIS! *streches arms out to each side*

    ..... too soon?

    August 6, 2013 at 1:41 pm |
    • Honey Badger Don't Care

      I'm going to use that at the next meetup. Awesome!!!

      August 6, 2013 at 1:47 pm |
    • niknak

      Oldie but a goodie

      August 6, 2013 at 1:50 pm |
    • Bootyfunk

      jesus...
      great tan, long hair, six pack abs, hung out with 12 dudes, never got with a woman....
      the chicks may dig jesus, but he was a sword swallower for sure.

      August 6, 2013 at 1:50 pm |
      • niknak

        Maybe the chicks dig him because chicks all like to have a g ay male friend.
        They were called F ag Hags back when I was in college.

        August 6, 2013 at 1:53 pm |
        • G to the T

          Now they're called "Alternative Lifestyle Companions"... lol

          August 6, 2013 at 2:20 pm |
        • ME II

          Funny I thought they were called women.

          August 6, 2013 at 2:51 pm |
  11. JohnQuest

    There's not one thing listed that any "needs" to live a happy productive life.

    August 6, 2013 at 1:10 pm |
  12. Rhaj - Haja Raza

    >>> "... the human need for community.. the chance to speak openly about our struggles ... learn a lot from the [one] who have gone before us... connect us with one another..."

    If believers need the church to comfort them in these needs, I absolutely understand them.

    But can believers understand that I, an atheist, do NOT need the whole system and faith to fulfill these needs ? I can and I do find these comfort needs at school/university, with my group of friends/family, or my neighbooring/work and volunteering community.

    August 6, 2013 at 12:56 pm |
    • AE

      –But can believers understand that I, an atheist, do NOT need the whole system and faith to fulfill these needs?–

      Yes. What does she say that makes you think she does not understand this?

      August 6, 2013 at 1:21 pm |
      • Rhaj - Haja Raza

        Yes, "she" may understand "me", but when, for instance, the pope keeps pushing for "evangelization", and just any other believer who wouldn't believe that I am just fine without the "system" keeps considering me like an... alien (at best.. and there is worse...)...

        I just have to ask if that is understood ... because i think that such a misunderstanding of my non-belief is a source of conflict... (I just want peace...)

        August 6, 2013 at 1:43 pm |
        • AE

          Yea, I don't think she is Catholic, so I'm not sure what the Pope has to do with this?

          I don't think she is talking to "you", unless your a a Christian millennial, or a young Christian who has decided to not belong to a church.

          August 6, 2013 at 1:51 pm |
        • Rhaj - Haja Raza

          OK, AE at 1:51.. I got it: it is not about me or even about atheists; it is all about millenials.
          OK: wish all of you good ... (and wish you ... keeping all that among yourself).

          August 6, 2013 at 2:25 pm |
    • lamelionheart

      Seek ye well the most fortunate aspirations of worldly affairs and please those less fortuned within mindedness sakes... Although Life's challenges require acuities sublimated augmentations, the base rooted pairings are centrally located as starting points upon Life's social beginnings... I have my paternal brother and his ongoing generations to fulfill my social life... He and his sired are my soul reasons for continuing on in this worldly arrangement I am found being within... For, without my brother and his sired generations giving me reasons to continue onwards, I would have died years ago...

      August 6, 2013 at 1:28 pm |
      • niknak

        I give your effort to emulate CowardlyLion a 6.
        Not bad, but he has a certain off beat way with his words that you just don't have down.

        August 6, 2013 at 2:03 pm |
  13. lamelionheart

    The breadths of heartfelt liberations are copiously wound thru subjective moralism vined around abrasive civilities...

    August 6, 2013 at 12:25 pm |
    • Huh???

      The bread in the hearth fire liberates the wounded cops through subterfuged mormonism veined around abrasioned cavities?

      August 6, 2013 at 12:50 pm |
      • lamelionheart

        What triggers dare allows the based commoners vainness towards reflective connotations meant in gestures pleasing ways..? I am the God's mimicker of worded wordage usages and although the menial minded are held fast in vile gestations, I will make lewdness against them as being a jester forsaking the alluring gentleness issues... I will punish all who embellish unsoundly and create an establishment against those who know not the issues against them in soundness mindedness...

        August 6, 2013 at 1:13 pm |
        • Huh???

          Would Trigger and Dale allow Roy, a base commoner's veins to Burt Ward's mirror, While Connie's mean gastric peas weigh?
          Siam the gonads minimizer of weirded woodage mucilage and through the mental minion are steadfast in vitriole gyrations.
          I, Will, am ludicrous and gain bong stems adjuster four aching the lure the gentlemans tissues.
          I, Will, pun-ish all who's sound and crack the estimated giants, and those who's will no the dishes avast then in some numbness

          and the wind cried Mary.....

          August 6, 2013 at 2:28 pm |
        • Which God?

          @ Huh?? LMAO!

          August 6, 2013 at 2:38 pm |
    • flying spaghetti monster

      "In 1884, meridian time personnel met in Washington to change Earth time. First words said was that only 1 day could be used on Earth to not change the 1 day bible. So they applied the 1 day and ignored the other 3 days. The bible time was wrong then and it proved wrong today. This a major lie has so much evil feed from it's wrong. No man on Earth has no belly-button, it proves every believer on Earth a liar." - timecube

      Dear lamblyloon - this excerpt above is an illustration of what you sound like to the rest of us.

      August 6, 2013 at 1:29 pm |
      • lamelionheart

        FSM...

        What you apostrophized is heartfelt and I find jovial... Truly we all should live one day at a time and be imaginative toward Life's futuristic renaissance... The past can only be altered by those powerful enough to have such issues changed within the mindset augments of others who have yet availed themselves their history tree to become rooted and made a firmness stand... Like I said, I am God's jester in worded wordage usages... You too are made courtly a jester of Life's rhythmic austerities...

        August 6, 2013 at 1:45 pm |
        • flying spaghetti monster

          Hey LL, if I may ask, what do you do for a living? Or, if you are retired, what did you do? Genuinely curious.

          August 6, 2013 at 1:54 pm |
        • lamelionheart

          FSM...

          I use to be in building construction... I started out being a general laborer of the concrete trade ad learned it well. I became a concrete finisher and was well adept in my running a power trowel. I could finish a house slab and its adjoining garage and front entryway ad back patio without any help... I also learned all manner of block laying and was a master of concrete block laying which by the way is the easiest to learn... Now 58, I long since retired due, yes, mental health concerns...

          What might I ask is your life's trade(s)..?

          August 6, 2013 at 2:24 pm |
        • flying spaghetti monster

          Interesting, LL. As for me, I'm a lawyer. Just starting out though, not really set up in a particular practice as yet.

          August 6, 2013 at 3:15 pm |
  14. AE

    "I just want to do God's will. And He's allowed me to go up to the mountain. And I've looked over. And I've seen the Promised Land. I may not get there with you. But I want you to know tonight, that we, as a people, will get to the promised land!

    And so I'm happy, tonight.

    I'm not worried about anything.

    I'm not fearing any man!

    Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord!!"

    Martin Luther King, JR

    Amen!

    August 6, 2013 at 11:21 am |
    • Colin

      What is your point?

      August 6, 2013 at 12:03 pm |
    • skytag

      You can copy and paste quotes from people who believed what you believe. Is there anything else we're supposed to get from this comment?

      August 6, 2013 at 12:18 pm |
    • AE

      Not posted for you.

      Like this article, when she says "we Christian millennials need the church just as much as the church needs us." She is not talking about you.

      It is not all about you. You are not the center of the universe.

      August 6, 2013 at 12:20 pm |
      • Honey Badger Don't Care

        AE,

        This is an open forum on an international news site. Fair game.

        August 6, 2013 at 12:40 pm |
        • Think for yourself

          This is AE's standard response. If you disagree with him/her, you are either self-centered or selfish. It's his/her way to shut down any intelligent discourse. (Easy out)

          August 6, 2013 at 12:53 pm |
        • AE

          "Think for yourself"

          I think yesterday your first post I ever read was just a cheap shot at me. And then again today, the same thing.

          Where is your "intelligent discourse"?

          August 6, 2013 at 12:56 pm |
        • Think for yourself

          AE: I've alreay tried and I got your standard response. I've also read your responses to others. (Same thing) I don't believe you are capable of "intelligent discourse" otherwise i would.

          August 6, 2013 at 1:05 pm |
        • AE

          Wait, yesterday you totally missed the point of the article, and posted she was trying to "convince me why i shouldn't think for myself and return to the church where others can do it for me."

          And twice she makes it clear the article was written to Christians who don't go to church, not former Christians.

          That was not intelligent discourse. That was just falsely accusing someone of doing something.

          August 6, 2013 at 1:13 pm |
        • Honey Badger Don't Care

          Why would an xtian want intelligent discourse?

          August 6, 2013 at 1:51 pm |
        • AE

          Why don't you tell us why you don't?

          August 6, 2013 at 1:59 pm |
        • Screw you

          Same standard passive-aggressive BS with AE, over and over.

          August 6, 2013 at 3:14 pm |
        • AE

          Aaaaand you do the exact same thing. Come on!

          August 6, 2013 at 3:32 pm |
      • skytag

        I would never disrespect your church by going there and challenging your beliefs in that venue, but this is web site operated by a secular corporation. If you can't handle comments from thinking people who don't buy your beliefs then still to using your platitudes and quotes at church where are surrounded by like-minded individuals who won't challenge your delusions.

        August 6, 2013 at 1:00 pm |
        • Rick Shaw

          There is an almost humorous sense of irony in your over-use of the word platitude(s).

          August 6, 2013 at 2:39 pm |
  15. skytag

    @Vic: "If the congregants donate all that money willingly and the church expenditure is creating jobs, it is no fleecing but a win-win situation."

    You remind me of a segment of the audio equipment industry that markets expensive products to people with more money than sense. These products fall into one of two categories:

    – Exorbitantly expensive versions of much cheaper products, claiming their advanced, revolutionary technology offers dramatic benefits always described in subjective, flowery terms. One example of this is audiophile power cords (the cord you plug into the wall socket). Obviously a power cord serves a real purpose, but will your music sound better if you use a thousand dollar power cord on your CD player? Some people are convinced a power cord can make enough difference to justify spending $1000 on one.

    Likewise, you can spend $30K on an 8-foot pair of speaker cables and over $10K on a 1-meter pair of interconnects.

    – Pure snake oil products that do absolutely nothing but whose manufacturers claim will dramatically improve your audio system. Examples in this category would be a device that demagnetizes your vinyl albums for the low, low price of $2,700 or a Zip-kock bag of polished rocks for $129.

    In both cases the seller claims the products in question will make dramatic improvements to your audio system's performance. Spend a few thousand dollars on fancy power cords and you'll hear details in your music you never heard before. Spend thousands on speaker cables and get all sorts of benefits that can only be described in flowery, subjective terms.

    Like religion, the benefits of these products can never be measured quantitatively by scientific means. You have to "experience" them yourself. Forget specs and measurements. just trust what we tell you our personal experience has revealed, and then send us a thousand dollars for one of our fancy, heavy, stiff power cords. Install it, let it "burn in" for a week, and then see if you can't hear a difference. (That week gives you a chance to convince yourself the cord makes a difference so you don't have to admit you're a gullible sucker.)

    The moral question here is whether it's wrong to sell snake oil products that do nothing as long as the buyers can convince themselves they make a difference.

    From the manufacturer of Brilliant Pebbles, which are just polished rocks in a Zip-lock bag:

    Brilliant Pebbles addresses specific resonance control and RFI/EMI absorption problems associated with audio electronics, speakers and cables, as well as acoustic wave problems associated with the listening room boundaries and the 3-dimensional space within the boundaries. The fundamental operating principle of Brilliant Pebbles involves a number of atomic mechanisms in the crystals.

    From a testimonial for Brilliant Pebbles:

    “Nothing in my experience compares to the improvements your products make. Before your products, this reference system was more than revealing enough to allow virtually every design change we make in our products audible. I believe that THAT ability of the system has now been enhanced at least a full order of magnitude.” – Brad, Revelation Audio Labs, July 2007

    You and AE sound just like these people, full of glowing claims and endorsements for a product (Christianity) for which there is no subjective supporting evidence. Like users of Brilliant Pebbles, CD demagnetizers, and $1K power cords you convince yourself the product is providing you with real, tangible benefits despite the lack of any supporting evidence whatsoever.

    If religion doesn't offer enough snake oil for you, try some of these power cords:

    "The DFPCs (Dynamic Filtering Power Cables) are much more than mere power cords: each model employs a different grade of LessLoss Skin-filtering, representing not only substantial leaps in performance, but the most elegant and effective power filtering technology ever manifested in a power cord. Today, with more electromagnetic (EM) pollution on more bandwidths than ever before, EM noise easily infiltrates your components through the power line. Once inside, it causes widespread distortion, significantly degrading many aspects of music playback. Our Skin-filtering technology prevents this undesirable noise from entering your equipment—without impeding dynamics (unlike traditional power filters). The result is an all around enhanced performance. With each grade of Skin-filtering, our DFPCs provide progressively clearer insight into your signal’s character, guaranteeing an audibly more faithful presentation of the music."

    http://www.lessloss.com/dfpc-series-p-213.html

    Go ahead, spend $1149 on a power cord. Think of it as creating a job, and you'll get a very cool looking cord to boot.

    August 6, 2013 at 11:12 am |
    • ME II

      @skytag,
      Amazing link. I particularly loved the Blackbody Ambient field conditioner. Its primary selling point, " The Blackbody’s EM radiation pattern lacks a distinct spectral signature, making it impossible for its own radiation to cause sound coloration. "
      They advertise and sell it specifically because it does nothing. What a deal.

      August 6, 2013 at 11:40 am |
      • skytag

        I know, and only $1323!!! What a deal.

        Audiophile snake oil products crack me up, and remind me so much of religion. Lots of high-minded, subjective rhetoric wholly unsupported by any objective evidence. At least the stuff on that site looks very cool. If I had $500 to blow I'd consider getting one of their power cords just because it looks cool. (I think of stuff like that as art.)

        August 6, 2013 at 1:23 pm |
    • lol??

      "Skin-filtering", kinda like a skintag??

      BBBbwawawawahahahahahaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahaaaa

      August 6, 2013 at 12:21 pm |
  16. Observer

    I gotta say after reading through so many comments that Christians are some of the most obtuse people I have ever seen in all of my life.

    August 6, 2013 at 10:48 am |
    • Word Doctor

      Yes, but I wonder how they manage to lie at that angle. They are also extremely abstruse.

      August 6, 2013 at 11:03 am |
    • B mellennial

      I disagree, there are many a cute Christians.

      August 6, 2013 at 11:05 am |
    • lol??

      Braggin' 'bout defective receivers??

      BBBbbwwwwwwaaahahahahahahahahahahahaahaha

      August 6, 2013 at 12:25 pm |
  17. Vic

    @skytag "..."

    Can you give an example of something you really love?

    August 6, 2013 at 9:50 am |
    • skytag

      My kids, skydiving, music. All of these are real. For the record, what I love is not germane to this discussion. If you could refute my reasoning you wouldn't try to make this personal about me. That's an act of desperation.

      August 6, 2013 at 11:18 am |
      • Vic

        Not at all! I am not making this any personal!

        Wonderful examples indeed what you said you love! God bless.

        Here is the point:

        Can you explain that love in empirical terms?!

        August 6, 2013 at 11:52 am |
        • Doobs

          Vic is trying to use the same symbolism in John 3:8 – "The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit." KJV

          Believers used this verse as proof of cause=effect of the indwelling of the "spirit of god". We have since learned where the wind comes from, where it goes, how winds begin and what their effects are. So now they ask about love, morals and values, using the same flawed logic.

          August 6, 2013 at 12:29 pm |
        • AtheistSteve

          "Can you explain that love in empirical terms?!"

          Why should anyone need to explain any emotion in empirical terms? Those are entirely subjective experiences. Someone may "love" a particular piece of music that I detest. We all react individually to various stimuli. There might be somewhat general agreement on what is beautiful or emotionally stirring but that still doesn't support the idea that emotions or aesthetics exist anywhere other than in our brains.
          I get it. Believers are stuck needing to separate mind from matter, consciousness from the brain, in order to buffer their notion of a soul. For if it's true that we are entirely the product of our brains (as all research in neuroscience indicates) and everything that makes me "me" is my memory, experiences, learning and perceptions, then the soul has nowhere to reside. Whatever I am ends when my brain dies because without it and the accompanying perceptions and nerve impulses whatever remains can't be "me".

          August 6, 2013 at 12:33 pm |
        • raincheck

          Steve, There's another middle road position aside from dualism and your emergentism: the current reemergence of panpsychism as an answer to the hard problem of consciousness and the observational issues in quantum mechanics. This leaves us with a very different set of possible answers to what happens when "we" die.

          August 6, 2013 at 12:49 pm |
        • lamelionheart

          "Use the Force Vic... It is your only hope.."

          August 6, 2013 at 12:53 pm |
        • Just the Facts Ma'am...

          Three young men stop at a motel for the night but the desk manager is out so the bell hop says "It's $10 per occupancy" so the men each hand over $10 totalling $30 to the bell hop and head up to their room. A few minutes later the bell hop knocks on the door and says "My mistake, the desk manager returned and said the the room total is only $25 so I brought your change" and the bell hop hands them 5 one dollar bills. The men each take $1 and give the bell hop $2 for his trouble. So each man paid $9 and the bell hop recieved $2... 9 times 3 equals $27 plus the $2 to the bell hop equals $29... wheres the missing dollar?

          This is an example of a brain teaser that uses misdire ction to confuse a person, much like Vic's attempted puzzler, but people with more than half a brain can see right through the subterfuge. All emotions including love are subjective, a spa nking for one persons may leave them scre aming and crying where another just gets excited, same pain, totally different emotions being exhibited.

          August 6, 2013 at 1:38 pm |
        • AtheistSteve

          raincheck

          Panpsychism shares some of the same problems dualism has. Namely no evidence of mind anywhere outside of a brain. And no explanation for why damaged brains lead to damaged persona's. And emergence isn't too difficult a concept to accept. How many molecules of water does it take to arrive at "wet"? The argument against emergentism is the same as the one facing abiogenesis and the origin of the universe. Ex nihilo or mind from no-mind, life from non-life and something from nothing in the case of the Big Bang. First the Big Bang makes no such claim. The earliest point it reaches is a singularity which clearly isn't "nothing". But what happens when/if science finally pins down how life emerged from non-life in purely biochemical processes? With 2 of 3 tiers of ex nihilo refuted why cling to it in the case of consciousness? Computer circuits are nowhere near as interconnected as ganglia in the brain and positronic brains aka I Robot or Data in Star Trek remain science fiction. Might we not observe mind "emerge" in the form of Artificial Intelligence when the complexity of micro circuitry reaches a certain threshold? Who knows?
          But what I said earlier remains. Without my body and brain how can I be "me" when so much of what defines who I am as a person is inextricably linked to my physical being.

          August 6, 2013 at 1:46 pm |
        • skytag

          "This passion emanates from the motor of the mind, the caudate nucleus, and it is fueled by at least one of nature's most powerful stimulants, dopamine." — Biology: Your Brain In Love, Time magazine

          August 6, 2013 at 1:47 pm |
        • AtheistSteve

          Just the Facts Ma'am..

          That's a good one. The mistake is in continuing to assume $30 is spent. It isn't. Only $27 is spent. $9 from each man. $25 for the room and a $2 tip.

          August 6, 2013 at 1:53 pm |
        • raincheck

          Steve, although I disagree with you about the coherence of emergence (particularly in the face of modern physics), I agree that you are no longer anything recognizable as you after death.

          August 6, 2013 at 1:59 pm |
        • fred

          Atheist Steve
          We can make "I Bots" and some with intelligence and capacity to reproduce themselves and even make program changes in order to respond differently to new stimuli. There is a difference however between that creation (which meets the definition of life) and a dog. The dog has LIFE. Life is more than the organic and electrical chemical reactions. You cannot put your mind around it because of self limiting philosophical naturalism which is inconsistent with what we now know about our existence (pre big bang quantum gravitational phase is matter without mass thus the materialistic basis of naturalism is in error).

          August 6, 2013 at 2:01 pm |
        • Zombie God

          Why should anybody in this world fear what happens after they die??????????????

          August 6, 2013 at 2:10 pm |
        • AtheistSteve

          Arguments against panpsychism

          One criticism of panpsychism is the simple lack of evidence that the physical entities have any mental attributes. The more we study the basic units of the physical world, it seems more and more difficult to imagine that they could have mental properties. Thus John Searle states that panpsychism is an “absurd view” and that thermostats lack “enough structure even to be a remote candidate for consciousness” (Searle, 1997, p. 48).

          Physicalists also could argue against panpsychism by denying proposition (2) of Nagel's argument. If mental properties are reduced to physical properties of a physical system, then it does not follow that all matter has mental properties: it is in virtue of the structural or functional organization of the physical system that the system can be said to have a mind, not simply that it is made of matter. This is the common Functionalist position. This view allows for certain man-made systems that are properly organized, such as some computers, to be said to have minds. This may cause problems when (4) is taken into account. Also, qualia seem to undermine the reduction of mental properties to brain properties.

          Another argument is that it can be demonstrated that the only properties shared by all qualia are that they are not precisely describable, and thus are of indeterminate meaning within any philosophy which relies upon precise definition. This has been something of a blow to panpsychism in general, since some of the same problems seem to be present in panpsychism in that it tends to presuppose a definition for mentality without describing it in any real detail. The need to define the terms used within the thesis of panpsychism is recognized by panpsychist David Skrbina,[11] and he resorts to asserting some sort of hierarchy of mental terms to be used. This is motivation to argue for panexperientialism rather than panpsychism, since only the most fundamental meaning of mind is what is present in all matter, namely, subjective experience. The panpsychist answers both these challenges in the same way: we already know what qualia are through direct, introspective apprehension; and we likewise know what conscious mentality is by virtue of being conscious. For someone like Alfred North Whitehead, third-person description takes second place to the intimate connection between every entity and every other which is, he says, the very fabric of reality. To take a mere description as having primary reality is to commit the "fallacy of misplaced concreteness".

          One response is to separate the phenomenal, non-cognitive aspects of consciousness—particularly qualia, the essence of the hard problem of consciousness—from cognition. Thus panpsychism is transformed into panexperientialism. However, this strategy of division generates problems of its own: what is going on causally in the head of someone who is thinking—cognitively of course—about their qualia?

          August 6, 2013 at 2:21 pm |
        • raincheck

          Steve, if you are going to try and make points with undoc umented cut and past jobs, you might try the Stanford Encyclopedia rather than Wikipedia:

          http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/panpsychism/

          I recommend reading the whole thing this time.

          August 6, 2013 at 3:07 pm |
        • AtheistSteve

          "pre big bang quantum gravitational phase is matter without mass"

          Sorry fred but that entire line is a pile of nonsense.
          Pre Big Bang is meaningless since time emerged along with space.
          Matter without mass is also meaningless since matter didn't condense out of the ferocious energies of the early universe until after it had cooled sufficiently.
          What you seem to fail to understand is that Big Bang cosmology is limited to describing "our" universe in terms of known physical laws. Even the Cosmic Microwave Background Radiation map which is the primary evidence for the distribution of matter and age of the universe still only points to 100,000 years after the Big Bang. This is the threshold for observational data as anything before that is electromagnetically opaque. Everything before that, all the way back to a singularity is extrapolated simply by mathematics. It is by no means certain that the universe was at some point a singularity. Infinitely small, hot and dense is the point where our physics stops making sense. Far from the "something from nothing" argument that keeps getting thrown about what you end up with is more like "everything occupying nowhere".

          August 6, 2013 at 3:10 pm |
        • AtheistSteve

          raincheck

          Source notwithstanding the assertion that all physical matter has mental properties is still subject to the same arguments.

          August 6, 2013 at 3:25 pm |
        • fred

          AtheistSteve
          What I was getting at is we do not have anyway to measure the "life" that embodies our complete being. We can create material forms that exhibit all the requirements of "life". Yet when you look at a dog there is something that "life" has which the I-Bot we create does not. That something is "life". It exists because we sense the difference. It exists apart from our creation because at best we can only simulate the facade of "life"

          August 6, 2013 at 3:42 pm |
        • raincheck

          Steve, If you read the Stanford critiques you'd see that they include responses to these same objections. The only thing you are left with is the inability to prove the theory (which is arguable for all scientific theory), but given the inherent problems with emergentism (not the same as "wet" which describes a descriptive rather than existential state) we're really talking about two theories between which we cannot currently decide, but one of which I believe better handles a number of newly witnessed physical events. We don't, and can't, know at this point which is right and thinking you can is just a type of materialist fundamentalism.

          August 6, 2013 at 3:45 pm |
        • raincheck

          @fred, I have personally know a person with mental illness who couldn't tell a fake dog from a real one, so do you really want to go with what we "sense"? Assuming we are talking about a hypothetically higher complexity dog that looks and acts like a real dog who is to say what people will feel? You are in no position to make assumptions.

          This gets down to Chalmer's zombie problem when you look from the other side. We could have a human with no real consciousness act just as we do...and yet we wouldn't know and it would function perfectly. We don't need consciousness.

          August 6, 2013 at 3:49 pm |
        • AtheistSteve

          fred

          raincheck and I were discussing "mind" not "life" neither of which have been created by man...yet. But while raincheck and I disagree about the nature of "mind" neither one of us is backed by solid evidence. These are philosophical views from antiquity that remain open ended.
          But what will it do to your faith if man does indeed figure out how to create life from inanimate matter? If science is right then it happened at least once entirely naturally. Albeit with an Earth sized petrie dish and a billion years or so of mixing the ingredients. But if man creates even a single living cell from scratch then are we gods or just good cooks? Because if that ever happens then all your ideas about divine creation go out the window.

          August 6, 2013 at 4:24 pm |
        • ME II

          @fred,
          "We can create material forms that exhibit all the requirements of 'life'. Yet when you look at a dog there is something that 'life' has which the I-Bot we create does not. That something is 'life'."

          Perhaps you are confusing "life" or biological life with the mental capacity for consciousness and/or self-awareness. A bacterium exhibits biological life, perhaps even similar to your hypothetical i-Bot, but it doesn't exhibit awareness.

          August 6, 2013 at 4:27 pm |
        • fred

          Atheist Steve
          I suspect cooks even good ones will require existing matter to complete their creation, thus causation is still in play. Hylomorphism would suggest your creation needs a soul. Now, if you can create that soul then you have eliminated the need for God and you seem like a benevolent god who would chose to impart a good soul. Given the history of mankind would you create a rational soul or vegetative soul?

          August 6, 2013 at 5:01 pm |
        • Just the Facts Ma'am...

          How about we look at this problem from a different angle. Let us take a look at the enormity of the universe from inside wherever it is that dark matter and dark energy exists. We know that dark matter is over 84% of the mass of our universe and yet we don't know where it is or what it is or even "if" it is at all, all we can do is measure its weight and give it a name. But for the sake of argument, what if that space in which dark matter and dark energy exists and exerts force upon the visible universe were like some cosmic balloon where you have 84% bottled up on one end and the the 6% of matter and 10% energy of the known universe in the other end, conected by a twist in the balloon. You squeeze one end and it builds up pressure until it explodes out into the less constrained end. In this way the fluid universe could go through endless cycles of matter and dark matter pushing and pulling one another back and forth like an endless mobius, never staying wholely in one form or the other.

          August 6, 2013 at 5:21 pm |
        • fred

          ME II
          Sony in the movie I Robot began to exhibit something more than simple awareness that made him different than the other man made robots. Awareness by itself is not enough to approach soul as soul requires awareness plus inclination. Sony was inclined towards good the combination of which made this robot different.

          The "life" God breathed into man was soul the essence which makes us different than "biological life". The Bible says life was created so that we could appreciate the wonder while naturalism says it is an accident that wonder strikes awe in man. Better yet, it is not beautiful or wonderful at all we just give it those attributes.

          I would think our soul would be inclined to know that naturalism is inconsistent with the wonder we see.

          August 6, 2013 at 6:19 pm |
        • Zombie God

          Fred,

          It would be helpful if you clarified which "god". Then we can evaluate and detemrine if your god is credible.

          August 6, 2013 at 7:11 pm |
        • fred

          Zombie God
          The God of Abraham.

          August 6, 2013 at 7:18 pm |
        • Zombie God

          Putting faith aside, I as sume you have physical evidence that you rely upon that establishes or gives your God credibility?

          August 6, 2013 at 7:24 pm |
        • fred

          Zombie God
          I am not aware of any verifiable physical evidence of God which is to be expected since God is not formed by known matter and energy. We have reasons to believe based on known matter and energy and 98% of humanity has a sense that there is something more than the known natural laws we observe. Certainly it is possible that our senses are wrong or formed by thousands of years of god worship but that notion would require a great deal of faith.

          No doubt you are aware there is something beyond the beginning of our existence and you know that you cannot see beyond the expanse of our universe or time if we are speaking of wave forms. There is nothing wrong with your awareness but you cannot deny you believe in something before the Big Bang and something stretching time at the far expanse.

          August 7, 2013 at 12:47 am |
        • Zombie God

          Fred,

          You were specific with as to which god you believe in. Are you going to address my follow up question?

          August 7, 2013 at 11:49 am |
        • fred

          Zombie God
          I did answer your question.
          Let me present the evidence. I am a child of God. You can touch me, see me feel me.

          August 7, 2013 at 3:38 pm |
        • Zombie God

          Let me recap...you said you believe in The God of Abraham. Since you are specific to a particular god, I asked for you to provide the evidence that you rely upon for this particular god. Your response was a generalization of the universe and feelings etc, ..."We have reasons to believe based on known matter and energy and 98% of humanity has a sense that there is something more than the known natural laws we observe. Certainly it is possible that our senses are wrong or formed by thousands of years of god worship but that notion would require a great deal of faith."
          >
          So 98% of humanity has a sense that there is something more and the God of Abraham suddenly pops into 98% of humanity minds?? #1 I didnt know 98% of the world believed in the God of Abraham. #2 This is how you came to believe in the God of Abraham? You had a sense and you observed the natural laws and the God of Abraham appeared in your mind like a vision?

          August 7, 2013 at 8:30 pm |
        • fred

          Zombie God
          No, someone gave me a Bible after I saved his life and I could not throw it away. One day after loosing everything I thought important. I discovered that Bible under the seat of my car bent open. I began to read the bent open part and was curious about the red lettering. I red all the words in red and asked God if this is for real help me to see what this says. I was transformed at that moment and began to see existence through the reality that was there all the time. One based on God and the reality of God. Some call it a conversion experience. Without that I would never have picked up a Bible or believed. God showed me the prayers he had answered and continues to answer prayer to this day.

          August 7, 2013 at 8:42 pm |
        • Zombie God

          That answers my question. Thank you.

          August 8, 2013 at 3:42 pm |
      • ME II

        Oxytocin

        August 6, 2013 at 12:01 pm |
      • raincheck

        Vic, even putting asice modern neurological understandings of these emotional experiences, there are good and bad ways to handle subjective data. People report a wide variety of subjective experiences, from pain to hearing the voice of Athena.

        Subjective data is evidence. The problem for Many religions is that these experiences are not treated with the necessary scientific rigor and scepticism. Feeling love for god and feeling god's existence are not the same type of subjective experience. One makes a claim about one's own emotional state and the other makes a claim of existence in the same way that claims of the presence of aliens messages coming through fillings does. Just because 10% of a population has tinnitis doesn't mean there are bells and whistles going off. Neither does it mean there aren't...but you need more data. And when a sound conflicting theory with even more evidence exists you can't just jump to the pretty story.

        August 6, 2013 at 12:18 pm |
      • sam stone

        skytag: you're a skydiver too?

        i have been in for about 17 years

        belly flyer

        spectre 170 (hey, i'm an old man and see no reason to be moving too fast too close to the ground)

        August 6, 2013 at 4:01 pm |
        • skytag

          I haven't been in years myself, but I still have my equipment. Sabre 170, but I'd have to lose a few pounds to use it safely at this point. 😉

          August 6, 2013 at 5:37 pm |
        • Zombie God

          Sounds like you 2 need to get a room.

          August 9, 2013 at 11:57 am |
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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.