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Holy Trollers: How to argue about religion online
They are the same cast of characters that surface during every online debate about religion. Do you know a "Holy Troller?"
October 5th, 2013
08:00 AM ET

Holy Trollers: How to argue about religion online

By John Blake, CNN

(CNN) –"Yo mama..."

Whenever I heard those two words while growing up in inner-city Baltimore, I knew something bad was about to happen. Trading insults was a childhood ritual. But everyone understood that one subject was off-limits. You didn’t talk about anybody’s momma unless you were prepared to start swinging.

Now that I’m all grown-up, I’ve discovered a new arena for combat: The reader’s comments section for stories about religion.

When I first started writing about religion for an online news site, I eagerly turned to the comment section for my articles, fishing for compliments and wondering if I had provoked any thoughtful discussions about faith.

I don’t wonder anymore.

When I look at the comment section now, I see a whole lot of “yo mamas” being tossed about. Readers exchange juvenile insults, condescending lectures and veer off into tangents that have nothing to do with the article they just read.

For years, I’ve listened to these “holy trollers” in silence. Now I’m calling them out. I’ve learned that the same types of people take over online discussions about faith and transform them into the verbal equivalent of a food fight. You may recognize some of these characters.

You might even recognize yourself.

The Street Corner Prophet

When the Belief Blog ran a recent article on a television host who declared that atheists “don’t have to live here,” a commenter identified as “Karie” got into a heated exchange with someone who called themselves “Bible Clown.”

Karie called Bible Clown a “disgusting, deviant perverted virus,” and a “Bozo,” before ending with this prediction:

Hell is coming for you love. Special dungeon just for u and u won’t be able to die. LOL.LOL.”

The street corner prophets often act as if they’re deeply concerned about the fate of souls they disagree with, but you can tell that they relish the prospect of eternal torment for their online enemies.

Some don’t even try to hide their true motives:

“I hope you like worms because you will have your own personal worm to feed off your fat drippings in hell for all eternity…”

That’s what a commenter called “HeavenSent” said to another following an article on evangelical Pastor Rick Warren. HeavenSent ended his malediction with one word: “Amen.”

Okay, so that’s the wrong way to argue about religion online if you’re a street corner prophet. Now, here’s the right way:

Not everyone who disagrees with you deserves eternal torment. People rarely listen to someone who is in perpetual attack mode.

“We change no one’s mind by attacking,” said Charles Camosy, an ethics professor at Fordham University in New York City.

Camosy has made a career out of bridging religious differences. He’s part of a “Contending Modernites” group, which finds common ground between Christians and Muslims. He’s also the co-founder of a website devoted to dialing down the heat in religious arguments entitled, “Catholic Moral Theology.”

Camosy says that online discussions about religion are difficult because they are not in person. Tone and nuance gets lost online.

“You can’t look them in the face,” he said. “You can’t shake their hand or give a hug. You find it very difficult to have that sort of embodied trust.”

The Provoker

There isn’t any notion of “embodied trust” with the next online character: The provoker.

The provoker doesn’t even pretend to care about the final destination for someone’s soul. They come out punching, and they love to say things that they probably wouldn’t say to someone in person.

In the recent article on Warren, a reader who went by the surname of “Just the Facts Ma’am,” tells another:

“Thanks for once again confirming how vulgar, uneducated and delusional you are Meredith.”

In an article about millennials leaving the church, a reader who identified herself as “Jenna,” tells another: “Jesus never said any of that mess. You are a false prophet if I’ve ever seen one.”

How to argue about religion if you’re a provoker:

No one will listen to you if they don’t like you, said Joe Carter, an evangelical blogger and author of “How to Argue like Jesus,” a book that explores how Jesus verbally tangled with his enemies and persuaded his friends.

Carter said Jesus was such an excellent communicator because he told stories that provoked emotions, took surprising twists and forced people to draw their own conclusions. But he also connected with people because of a simple reason: he cared about them.

“When people know that you care about them, they’re more likely to be persuaded by you,” Carter said. “We tend to be persuaded by people we like and trust. Jesus had that in spades.”

The Atheist

One of my best friends was an atheist. Whenever we ran into one other, we’d launch into these long, philosophical discussions about religion.  I loved it. Like many atheists I subsequently met, I discovered that he knew more about the Bible than most people who claimed to be religious.

It’s too bad that many of the exchanges between atheists and people of faith in our comments section don’t follow the same script. In fact, they have some of the nastiest religious arguments I’ve witnessed online.

A sample:

In a recent Belief Blog article about atheism, a reader identifying himself as “Sam Stone” says to another: “Free people do not need a savior, Kate. Only slaves need saviors.”

Another reader who identifies himself as “CamDEn1” tells a Christian, “You are an uneducated fool. Ever you heard of Richard Dawkins? Sam Harris? Atheists have more respected scholars than Christianity…”

I get the source of frustration for some atheists. They have longed been caricatured by people of faith as moral degenerates who don’t care about morality. Some of them, in turn, have caricatured people of faith as weak-minded hypocrites who believe in fairy tales.

Here’s how to argue over religion if you’re an atheist:

Get beyond the stereotypes and actually spend time with a person of faith. And if you’re a person of faith, do the same with an atheist. You might be surprised.

That’s what happened when Camosy, the Fordham University ethics professor, embarked on a speaking tour with the renowned atheist and philosopher, Peter Singer, who is seen by many as the founder of the animal rights movement.

Camosy said the speaking tour forced him to read and pay attention to Singer’s arguments. He discovered that they share concerns over global poverty. He saw Singer as a person of good will.

“That created the space for us to have an honest, open and fruitful exchange with one another rather than exchanging barbs,” Camosy said.

It also created the space for personal transformation.

“Actually reading him converted me to being a vegetarian,” Camosy said. “But it was only being open to his arguments that made me see.”

The Scholar

I have a friend who is smart – scary smart.  He’s a genial, funny guy who happens to be a theology professor. I try to hang with him when we talk religion, but there’s always a point in the conversation when he loses me. I compare that moment to watching the starship Enterprise go into warp drive. He just goes into hyperspace and my brain just isn’t big enough to follow.

There a lot of big brains in our blog’s comment sections. I call these readers “the scholars.”

Some of them are self-appointed biblical experts. They talk as if they have God’s cell phone number: God has revealed great mysteries to them. They know the divine plan.

In a recent article I wrote about contemporary Christians feeling as if they were persecuted, a reader identified as “Tom Skylark” let me know what all this persecution was really about.

 Skylark said:

“Christians will face continued persecution then 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17 will happen right before the 7 year tribulation when Israel burns Russia’s weapons for 7 years. (Ezekiel 39:9). Those who are not taken in the rapture will have the opportunity to receive Christ during the 7 year tribulation but will be beheaded for their testimony. (Revelation 20:4). How far is Russia towards its prophetic position which means the rapture (! Thessalonians 4:16-17) is even closer?

Actually, I did not know that, and I’m still not sure what it means.

Sometimes the scholar is someone who believes all religion is hopelessly derivative: it’s all based on something that came before.

A reader by the name of “Seyedibar” responded to my article on Christian persecution with this:

“A little study of history and comparative religion goes a long way. Abraham is based on an Egyptian figure. His god was Ptah, not El, and his vision was of Memphis, not Israel. Jesus was likely based on a Merkabah mystic, one of a hairdresser and carpenter. .. And if you back a little further, Uguritic archaeology shows us that the book of Genesis is based on the ancestor kings of the Canaanites. Most Christians and Jews aren’t aware that the creator of the Garden of Eden, El, is recorded to have died of a wild boar attack.”

 Like I said, hyperspace. I just can’t go where “Seyedibar” has gone before. I love the scholar’s passion for religion, but some of them lose me when they try to deploy all their knowledge of history and religion in any effort to change someone else’ beliefs.

How to argue about religion if you’re a scholar:

Accept that there is a limit to knowledge. I’ve never seen anyone say in response to a religious argument: “You are right. Your argument is irrefutable. I’m going to jettison a lifetime of beliefs on the spot right now because I obviously have no coherent reply.”

It just doesn’t happen.

Gordon Newby, a professor of Middle Eastern and South Asian Studies at Emory University, said most people change religious beliefs “not because of one argument” but only after long conversations and intimate exposure to another faith.

“Logical arguments are nice but they're not going to change someone’s life,” Newby said. “We’re way too complicated for that. We’re not programmed machines. We have this whole limbic system of emotions and appetites and everything else.”

The Peacemaker

There are some readers who give me hope when I go to the comment section. They are the “peacemakers,” and they surely bless me with their attitudes.

Peacemakers try to keep arguments from getting personal. They are the online referees.  They turn the other cheek.

An exchange between someone called “Bootyfunk” and “KatieRose” shows a peacemaker in action.

“Bootyfunk”  gets upset with “KatieRose” because she says  “we must respect all ideas in the world, no matter how crazy.”

Bootyfunk says people don’t have to respect all ideas, and tells Katie Rose she shouldn't tell people not to debate religion on a blog about religion.

What does KatieRose say in response? She doesn’t go to war. She makes the peace:

“Okay! That works for me,” KatieRose said. “I’m sorry if it sounded like I was ordering people not to talk about an issue: I just disagreed with the focus of the discussion.”

“Bootyfunk” ends the discussion with a smiley-face symbol and a “smooches, Katie.”

How to argue about religion if you’re a peacemaker:

Keep on doing what you’re doing.

If only the rest of the comment section had more peacemakers. I actually e-mailed readers like “Bootyfunk” and “KatieRose” to get their perspective, but all I got was silence. Not one commenter wanted to talk on the record for this story. Only one person – an atheist – responded to my invitations to chat, and he didn’t want his name used.

But I have a feeling I’ll hear again from these holy trollers when I scan the comment section of Belief Blog. So will you, even if you don’t read that much about religion. These holy trollers show up in our lives and our workplaces. Many of them will sit next to us at the dinner table when families and friends get together for the upcoming holidays.

When the conversation turns to religion, you may meet your holy troller, and you will have to make a choice.

Do I make the peace, or do I go the war?

What kind of holy troller will you be?

- CNN Writer

Filed under: Atheism • Belief • Ethics • Internet • News media • Nones

soundoff (3,856 Responses)
  1. Martin Michael

    http://youtu.be/rEfMQKaAhfs I don't know how to get them out

    October 5, 2013 at 3:02 pm |
  2. baffled00

    simple, want to know? Challenge yourself (not others). Think of something you are not proud you did – come on everyone has something – genuinely feel bad for it – talk to God – ask for forgiveness. Even being mad at someone trolling! Then ask if he is real and you want to know. Let us know what happens!

    October 5, 2013 at 3:02 pm |
    • Simple Beleaver

      Nope

      October 5, 2013 at 3:04 pm |
    • ScottCA

      Thanks for letting us know your a lunatic, with imaginary friends and no anchoring to reality and little understanding of rational deductive reasoning.

      October 5, 2013 at 3:05 pm |
  3. Simple Beleaver

    This topic is so polarizing, I agree with the artical, in that conversations like this are best had face to face. Blogs like this have no accountability, we are free to say what ever we want and treat people how ever we want and no one is the wiser. It maybe a better look at the heart of the individual, than anything else. Just emagina if the real names of posters where listed, and placed out in the open for public display, like every ones home town, on a billboard.

    October 5, 2013 at 3:02 pm |
  4. BOb the Prairie Dog

    NO ONE knows what happens when we die and ANYONE claiming such knowledge is a liar who probably wants your money.

    October 5, 2013 at 3:01 pm |
    • TruthSearcherKnower

      Jesus Christ GOD Incarnate proved by rising from dead and more then 500 people saw him,...He didn't collect a cent, shakel,..whatever the monitary thing was and believers in Him like Apostles died for what they experienced as many many martyrs of that day and up to these days till end.

      October 5, 2013 at 3:08 pm |
  5. Live4Him

    @John P. Tarver : Man evolved from man into modern man and man has existed since the last mass extinction.

    Where's the evidence to support such a belief?

    October 5, 2013 at 3:00 pm |
    • Betty

      This reminds me. I did once put two lemmings in a cage together.

      October 5, 2013 at 3:03 pm |
    • John P. Tarver

      The global geological fossil record proved 40 years ago that species occur rapidly following a mass extinction; probably in a single generation. Dr. Gould wrote a 1400 page peer reviewed response to Geology from Biology explaining this as punctuated equilibrium; based in chaos theory. NASA has since suggested that retro-viruses on the meteor causing the mass extinction is the means to punctuated equilibrium. Today less than 1% of species from the last mass extinction barrier exist and Darwin's racism does not explain it.

      October 5, 2013 at 3:05 pm |
      • Cpt. Obvious

        The earth has experienced many mass extinction events followed by population booms. The important thing to consider is the time scale involved in such events. There are no events in our biological history that disprove any of evolutionary theory, but there is still much to learn, certainly.

        I don't know what a writer might mean by "Darwin's racism." All races are of the same species, so Darwin implies arguments against racism rather than for it.

        October 5, 2013 at 3:46 pm |
    • Unlo4

      Lots of evidence in any first year biochemistry book.

      October 5, 2013 at 3:08 pm |
    • Doris

      Don't worry about TarvTroll – he is stuck in the past and just can't keep up.

      October 5, 2013 at 3:09 pm |
      • John P. Tarver

        I do believe Darwin's racism is quite a bit older than 40 years, but thanks for playing.

        October 5, 2013 at 3:15 pm |
    • cc

      There's lots of evidence-both ways. What's lacking is proof-either way.

      October 5, 2013 at 3:12 pm |
      • John P. Tarver

        The global geological fossil record is hard physical fact vs Darwin's populist racism.

        October 5, 2013 at 3:14 pm |
  6. janlban

    Thank you for this article. Well said. I genally avoid reading comments on almost anything, simply because I always come away horrified with the human race. I spent 3/4 of my 42-year life deeply immersed in evangelical Christianity (prayer meetings in my living room, singing in the choir, all that jazz). I'm still a believer, but I've swung from right to left, from church Sundays to home Sundays, from a social circle of Christians to a social circle of People. Anyway it is always eye-opening when I do see an exchange between a believer and a skeptic. I honestly didn't realize in my trying-to-convert-the-world heyday how I came off. Even the well-meaning believers who truly debate with love in their hearts don't realize that people they barely know or don't know at all don't want to hear some random person with whom they disagree say, "I will pray for you." Those who say this to people may not even realize how judgemental and pompous this sounds. Like a churchy version of the middle finger. And this is the offense that can result when no offense is intended! (though I'm certain the offers of prayer in Comment World are more often uttered in less charitable tones than they would be by, say, my mom who would absolutely mean it and later do it!) Also, having "been there" on the passionate believer side of the debate, I know that Christians look to the Bible for answers and use its verses to back their arguments. What they don't realize is that tossing verses at a person who sees the Bible as something less useful or even less reliable than the WalMart flyer really isn't all that practicle. That's so often why Evangelicals have such little success in political debates. They keep yelling, "but God says...." when a good portion of the people,with whom they argue, being fellow AMERICANS, not fellow Christians, don't base their views or values or morality on what someone called God supposedly says. You need to have common ground somewhere, be able to use logic. I see people calling themselves Christians being just idiotic and MEAN online in the name of Jesus, and I think "no wonder people hate us." On they other hand, while I may not be all that "straight and narrow" anymore, I have a deep respect for God and an understanding of what a deeply felt faith means to a person. When I see how disrespecful people are of faith in God- degrading, mocking, etc.- I am just disturbed. Sure, I've known a bunch of hypocritical, self-righteous "Chrisitans", but I've also known the most loving, brilliant-minded, self-sacrificing people who love Jesus as well. A lot of this comes from people making generalizations, judging people on stereotypes, or fearing things they don't understand. I'll be honest: I spent many years thinking Atheists were just like these evil, mean, eternally-doomed people. I didn't really think about it; it was just the idea I got from the people around me and maybe the Book I spent a lot of time reading. I thought they were "lost", and "blind".God had been a reality ever since I could remember, so the idea of not believing was so foreign..i completely understand Atheists having reason to feel misjudged; I only hope they could judge Christians on an individual basis rather than making assumptions based on the label. (LOL, you know, "do unto others..." sorry:) Online, we are dealing with people who often: aren't trying to have a respectful conversation, are commenting on articles they clearly DID NOT READ, and do not have to look anyone in they eye. The funny thing is that it doesn't even need to be a religious article for these nasty comments to pop up; the atheist/Christian fight seem to end up in articles about everything and anything. Really, if the devil lives anywhere...I'd say it's in the comments. Downright scary, uninformed hating going on. But this is why I tend to hang out in the woods, with the trees, more and more as the years go by!

    October 5, 2013 at 3:00 pm |
    • david greenberg

      you are still a moron.

      October 5, 2013 at 3:03 pm |
    • Pfft

      Wall of text is not working.

      October 5, 2013 at 3:18 pm |
    • John P. Tarver

      How could one read the old testament and not come away horrified with the human race?

      October 5, 2013 at 3:18 pm |
      • janlban

        Sure. The Old Testament. Ancient history. Recent history. Tonight's news. Human race. Horrifying. You want to defend the stupid things people say in comments? Angry, ignorant, hateful, name-calling, etc. It sucks. Christian or Atheist. That's all I'm sayin.

        October 5, 2013 at 3:24 pm |
        • John P. Tarver

          The old testament is the greatest study of human nature ever written, even if you reject the religion.

          October 5, 2013 at 3:37 pm |
      • Brian

        The thing that is horrifying is the description of the "god" in the old testament. I'm glad it's just a fairy tale because I wouldn't want to live in a universe created by the psychopath.

        October 5, 2013 at 3:30 pm |
        • John P. Tarver

          The old testament is about us not God.

          October 5, 2013 at 3:38 pm |
    • doa

      Thanks for your comments. You made several great points. It seems that it's more productive to find common ground with others rather than trying to change their views.

      October 5, 2013 at 3:34 pm |
      • janlban

        thanks doa. I rarely share my thoughts with strangers:)

        October 5, 2013 at 3:45 pm |
  7. Elliott Carlin

    When you expect the internet to attract true scholars of any subject, you're already setting it up to be disappointed-and the irony is those posting think they are scholars.

    October 5, 2013 at 3:00 pm |
  8. JeffinIL

    Obviously, the author wasted his time with this article.

    October 5, 2013 at 3:00 pm |
    • doa

      LOL

      October 5, 2013 at 3:36 pm |
  9. Lionly Lamb

    Without the Atomized Cosmologies there could be no Celestial Cosmologies and without both the Atomized and Celestial Cosmologies there could never have been born the Cellular Cosmologies...

    October 5, 2013 at 3:00 pm |
    • don't lie to yourself

      yeah,, so let's make stuff up to fill the gap. You know, the lazy way out.

      October 5, 2013 at 3:01 pm |
      • Kevin

        Or completely rule out the possibility of God. That's lazy.

        October 5, 2013 at 3:03 pm |
        • Brian

          Ruling out the possibility that it was magic so we shouldn't even bother trying to figure it out is lazy? That's an interesting definition.

          October 5, 2013 at 3:31 pm |
    • Brian

      Wow, that was a lot of B.S. for such a short post

      October 5, 2013 at 3:06 pm |
  10. ScottCA

    There is absolutely no evidence to support the existence of any god, to believe in anything without evidence to support that conclusion, is utter insanity. And would leave someone equally believing in absurdities such as tooth fairies, Voldemort, the 6ft tall blue monster in the closet, and the Grinch. All of which share the exact same utter lack of evidence to support their existence.

    The problem about having a logical discussion with the faith based religious, is that the faith based religious have abandoned all reason, and instead are following delusional fantasies with absolutely no grasp or understanding of how rational deductive reasoning works or how to apply it to thought.

    It is not possible to have a rational discussion with such a lunatic, who has not anchored their thought process to reality through logical reasoning, evidence, and predictive power, the alternative is other wise known as insanity.

    October 5, 2013 at 2:59 pm |
    • Kevin

      Do you believe aliens exist somewhere? Can you prove it? Your rantings look like those on a homeless person's sign.

      October 5, 2013 at 3:01 pm |
      • Brian

        You're missing a critical word, which is "could". Do I believe aliens could exist? Yes. Given the evidence that planets are likely very common and the vast size of the universe, it's extremely unlikely that we are the only planet with life even if the conditions necessary to support life are extremely rare. Do I think there could be some all-powerful being who created the universe? Unlikely, but I suppose. Do I think it could be the "god" described in any of the religions I am aware of? No. Not a chance.

        October 5, 2013 at 3:12 pm |
    • Live4Him

      None? Here are the premises that I base my conclusion upon for the Biblical God / Jesus.

      Natural Origins or Supernatural Origins?
      __ a) Matter, energy and time exist. Where did they come from? There are currently not naturalistic explanation
      that only has supporting evidence for this issue.
      __ b) Life exist. Where did it come from? There are currently not naturalistic explanation that only has
      supporting evidence for this issue.
      Therefore, this implies some supernatural being or event is necessary.

      Which supernatural being or event answers the above issue?
      __ a) Multiple religions address the creation of life, but only three begin with the creation of matter, energy
      and time.
      __ b) Given the Biblical account that begins with the creation of matter, energy and time,
      __ c) Given no other religions (other than the Abrahamic branches) begins with the creation of matter, energy and
      time,
      Therefore, only the Abrahamic religions answer both of the basic issues.

      Did the Judaism God Do It?
      __ a) Given accurate transmission of the Jewish Bible,
      __ b) Given the fulfillment of foretold specific prophecies (incl: Eze 37) in the Jewish Bible
      Therefore, the God of the Jews is a viable contender.

      Did the Islamic God Do It?
      __ a) Given inaccurate transmission of the Koran Bible,
      __ b) Given the factual inaccuracies (i.e. members of the Trinity)
      __ c) Given the lack of specific prophecies in the Koran
      Therefore, the God of the Muslims is not a viable contender.

      Did the Christian God Do It?
      __ a) Given accurate transmission of the Christian Bible (i.e. Jewish / OT and NT),
      __ b) Given the fulfillment of foretold specific prophecies (incl: Eze 37, Rev 13) in the Christian Bible
      Therefore, the God of the Christian is a viable contender. Since it includes the Jewish beliefs as well, it is
      the better answer.

      October 5, 2013 at 3:02 pm |
      • wildmangreen

        complete idiot in spades.

        October 5, 2013 at 3:04 pm |
      • Tedious

        Yet another tired, worn-out cut and paste.

        October 5, 2013 at 3:06 pm |
      • Doris

        All of that is not just conjecture – it's a giant leap. God of the gaps, no matter how many more guesses you can dream up to spin it more.

        October 5, 2013 at 3:07 pm |
        • Youtube - Neil DeGrasse Tyson - The Perimeter of Ignorance

          Epicurean Paradox (341BC – 270BC) has an interesting
          set of questions in trying to understand the nature of evil:

          “Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able?
          Then he is not omnipotent.
          Is he able, but not willing?
          Then he is malevolent.
          Is he both able and willing?
          Then whence cometh evil?
          Is he neither able nor willing?
          Then why call him God?”

          October 7, 2013 at 6:02 am |
      • Brian

        Argument from ignorance. Next.

        October 5, 2013 at 3:07 pm |
      • Chris Sadler

        Look at the delusion. This is how a religious mind thinks. We don't know 'X' – therefore 'god dun it'.

        October 5, 2013 at 3:07 pm |
        • ScottCA

          Pathetic isn't it, and completely divorced from reality.
          They are utter lunatics.

          October 5, 2013 at 3:22 pm |
      • ScottCA

        Thank you for displaying your complete lacking of knowledge of how rational deduction works and your abundant fallacies in logic.

        Invoking the existence of deity does not answer your initial questions at all, but only unnecessarily complicates your initially simple questions.

        October 5, 2013 at 3:20 pm |
    • gman

      that's like saying that if you owned 1,000 acres of land and you lived in a castle at one end and I just happened to
      dwell on your land not knowing you owned it or existed that I might say , " there is absolutely no evidence that SCOTT
      exist". which would be kind of profound if you were indeed the land owner who's forest I was living in unaware that you
      exist. It is the same with GOD. he lives in the heavens and just because he is not right here right now doesn't mean
      he doesn't own the universe and all that exist. we just inhabit this place yet he owns all that is.

      October 6, 2013 at 1:26 am |
      • Robert

        You run with that ...

        October 6, 2013 at 1:37 am |
  11. kickgas

    "So many Gods, So many Creeds, So many secular paths that wind and wind when just the art of being kind is all this sad world needs." Ella Wheeler

    October 5, 2013 at 2:59 pm |
  12. Martin Michael

    The Crow http://youtu.be/F2RD0A_iciI Not to mention infiltration of groups and one some expected to do

    October 5, 2013 at 2:59 pm |
  13. Brandon K.

    And now everyone is arguing religion in the comments thread of an article about arguing religion in an article's comments thread. Fantastic.

    October 5, 2013 at 2:58 pm |
    • don't lie to yourself

      yes it is fantastic.. If there are teenagers of young adults here, we can help educate them.

      October 5, 2013 at 3:00 pm |
      • don't lie to yourself

        or

        October 5, 2013 at 3:00 pm |
  14. don't lie to yourself

    why did this perfect god make a mess? he should have cleaned up on the 7th day instead of resting. All those meteors are now a terror to the universe. He sure didn't set a good example.

    October 5, 2013 at 2:58 pm |
    • Live4Him

      @don't lie to yourself : All those meteors are now a terror to the universe.

      Not to me.

      October 5, 2013 at 2:59 pm |
      • don't lie to yourself

        until one wipes out earth.. Hopefully scientist will be able to divert the dangerous ones.. god really screwed up, what a mess.

        October 5, 2013 at 3:03 pm |
        • Live4Him

          @don't lie to yourself : until one wipes out earth

          Not even then. God is in control.

          October 5, 2013 at 3:05 pm |
    • Moh Mad

      God created a perfect world until Moh Mad the satan came along. It's time the good take the world back and clean the mess.

      October 5, 2013 at 2:59 pm |
      • don't lie to yourself

        ah,, voodoo. I never got into voodoo. Go ahead though, enjoy it.

        October 5, 2013 at 3:04 pm |
  15. Food fight

    I wonder why gangsters love religion so much.

    October 5, 2013 at 2:57 pm |
    • Moh Mad

      Just like the terrorists love Islam! No logic there.

      October 5, 2013 at 3:00 pm |
    • John P. Tarver

      Knights of Columbus, no mystery at all.

      October 5, 2013 at 3:01 pm |
    • Tim

      Only on television.

      October 5, 2013 at 3:09 pm |
  16. Walt

    I guess I got what I deserved...

    October 5, 2013 at 2:57 pm |
  17. don't lie to yourself

    it's rather odd that a god left it up to humans to make excuses for him.

    at the very least he could have explained the universe and ho something is made from nothing. Instead, man's bible says poof - it's all here now.

    Interesting, that's exactly how we explain things to little kids and they buy it. The religious a sure gullible.

    October 5, 2013 at 2:56 pm |
    • Live4Him

      Why do you lie to yourself so?

      October 5, 2013 at 2:58 pm |
    • Theo

      "The religious a sure gullible."

      How true.

      October 5, 2013 at 2:59 pm |
      • ScottCA

        Indeed they are.

        October 5, 2013 at 3:02 pm |
    • Kevin

      Well if he explained everything, then we would in effect be forced to believe in him right? Talk about slavery.

      October 5, 2013 at 2:59 pm |
      • kickgas

        "I refuse to prove I exist" says God, "for proof denies faith and without faith I am nothing"

        October 5, 2013 at 3:11 pm |
      • Brian

        Right, so instead he came up with absurd explanations for things that he knew we would later disprove with science. Makes perfect sense.

        October 5, 2013 at 3:24 pm |
    • John P. Tarver

      Man was left with the puzzle of something from nothing until black body radiation proved it a fact.

      October 5, 2013 at 3:00 pm |
  18. John P. Tarver

    welcome seekers.

    October 5, 2013 at 2:55 pm |
  19. Eric

    I don't discuss religion. Their religion (or lack thereof) is none of my business. My religion (or lack thereof) is none of theirs.

    October 5, 2013 at 2:55 pm |
    • Unlo4

      And that would be fine, if everyone would keep it out of schools, governments, etc.

      October 5, 2013 at 3:07 pm |
    • Pfft

      "I don't discuss religion."

      You just did.

      October 5, 2013 at 3:16 pm |
  20. Food fight

    Most religions teach that there is a war between the forces of good and evil.
    They believe that evil will pervert the beliefs of the good.
    But they never consider the possibility that they are one of the ones who have been perverted.

    And they wonder why the rest of us feel and express our mirth.

    October 5, 2013 at 2:55 pm |
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About this blog

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