home
RSS
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. The facts

    John Blake apparently love to tell everyone else how to act.

    I wonder is he realizes that the very nature of an online forum devolves any discussion into blunt arguments? I have seen camera forums turn into ultimate cage fighting over opinions on a lens, and fountain pen forums get very nasty over ink.

    Catch a clue, John! It's inherent in the medium. But I do hope you enjoyed your ride on your high horse.

    October 5, 2013 at 4:43 pm |
  2. Bob

    I do not get on people who talk God all the time UNLESS the want to bring God into politics because he/she just doesn't care who gets elected and keep God out of the abortion issue let the person make her own decision without someone yelling something they have no idea about let God do that.

    October 5, 2013 at 4:42 pm |
    • Bobs friend

      Bob, God has put us here to help the poor and needy, as well as to protect the defenceless, among other worthwhile endevours. The unborn child should be defended more than any. God has put us here to help them from others making fatal choices. Please don't just sit there.

      October 5, 2013 at 4:49 pm |
  3. jcs

    Adults with imaginary friends are stupid. THE END.

    October 5, 2013 at 4:39 pm |
  4. ScottCA

    "Imagine a puddle waking up one morning and thinking, "This is an interesting world I find myself in — an interesting hole I find myself in — fits me rather neatly, doesn't it? In fact it fits me staggeringly well, must have been made to have me in it!" This is such a powerful idea that as the sun rises in the sky and the air heats up and as, gradually, the puddle gets smaller and smaller, it's still frantically hanging on to the notion that everything's going to be alright, because this world was meant to have him in it, was built to have him in it; so the moment he disappears catches him rather by surprise" –Douglas Adams

    Somehow, this sums up the idiocy of many faith based religious so well.

    October 5, 2013 at 4:38 pm |
    • Jittery George

      "faith based religion"

      Is there any other kind?

      October 5, 2013 at 4:46 pm |
      • ScottCA

        Yes there are, but they are better called philosophies. And many Atheists would not be opposed to them at all.
        They encourage the inspection of the world and use of rational deductive reasoning, but also contemplation on our own existence and its meaning.

        Many Atheists and intellectuals prescribe to a form of these personal philosophies.

        October 5, 2013 at 4:50 pm |
  5. Doris

    Neil deGrasse Tyson, astrophysicist, explains how God disappeared as an explanation for things humans did not understand about the universe, as the "perimeter of ignorance" receded. The greatest minds dared increasingly brave to question the world around them, but sometimes cowardly copped out along the way when they faced problems -similar to the modern Intelligent Design movement that advocates a "god of the gaps"- until someone else took over and furthered scientific progress. (Published on Mar 2, 2013)

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RxiLnC7ikw8
    .

    October 5, 2013 at 4:38 pm |
    •  

      [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RxiLnC7ikw8&w=640&h=360]

      October 5, 2013 at 4:40 pm |
    • truthprevails1

      Thank you for that.

      October 5, 2013 at 5:59 pm |
  6. Karakaye

    For me there is no point in arguing religion with anyone. If you are a Christian like me, you will just live Christ's example to the best of your ability. If someone happens to ask or shows some interest in my faith, I will gladly speak with them but I will not corner a stranger, shaking my bible at them, hoping they "see the light." You will never win anyone's heart and soul behaving like that. In turn, non believers, no matter how influential and steadfast they are in their conviction that God does not exist will never come between me and my faith and trust in God. They are not nearly strong enough for that. Free will is yours to do with what you choose. I am not responsible for another person's lack of faith in this modern, information based society any more than an atheist is responsible for convincing me of something other than what I choose to believe. Respect my right to believe what I want and I will respect your right to do the same.

    October 5, 2013 at 4:38 pm |
    • Robert

      Until religion has 0 influence on anything in my life, I cannot honor that request.

      October 5, 2013 at 4:40 pm |
    • Arick

      I am an agnostic and we would get along fine.

      October 5, 2013 at 4:41 pm |
    • IRA

      Get your church to pay all its taxes and we can all get along. If you are a Christian that does not require membership in a religious cult disregard this message. If you are Joel Osteen we are watching you.

      October 5, 2013 at 4:47 pm |
    • Pfft

      You talk of free will and not wanting to force anything down anyone's throat, yet I have yet to meet a Christian that would blink an eye at indoctrinating their children from infanthood up with their Christian beliefs, which is little more than brainwashing. Is it right to take away their personal choice before they are even mentally able to make it? What happens to their freewill? Does God want sheep who are indoctrinated into their religions from childhood, or reasonable thinking people who seek him/her/it out for themselves when they are emotionally and mentally developed enough to do so? Is it moral to take away a persons choice by brainwashing them in childhood? And how many people who have never heard of Christ in their childhood grow up to embrace Christianity as compared to those who were indoctrinated as children? I'll bet not many. The native americans could not understand Christianity whatsoever when we forced it down their threats. It was alien to them.

      If we weren't indoctinating children, would any religion last long?

      October 5, 2013 at 4:50 pm |
    • Whatever

      I've come to the conclusion who I am as a human being is dependent on my decision of who I want to be and nothing more.

      I've witnessed religious people speak of their faith, their church, their Scripture and their God and they seem to come around to these things being their blueprint of who they're going to be as human beings. The thing is Scripture is open to interpretation which is why you'll find very open, compassionate religious people who live and let live and others who are full of judgement and condemnation. They seek out in these doctrines that which matches and fulfills their decision of who they want to be as human beings and they justify their decision with religious Scripture.

      Then we have the sociopaths of the world, those who have no inner barriers to hold them back. They don't have a fear of God, guilt or remorse. These people do what they want to do when they want to do it. Finally there's an array of everyone in between. A sliding scale of various moral compasses or lack thereof. The world is a big playground of choices and consequences.

      The power of decision is the greatest power we possess. I don't make my decisions based on a fear of eternal damnation, to appease a God or because I have a conscience chaining me to an inner struggle of shame and guilt. I make my decisions based on the human being I want to be in this world. I'm either creating something and building something or I'm tearing something down and destroying it.

      It's my choice. It's my decision to build or destroy. I'm in control of my decision and I take responsibility. There isn't a God telling me what I should be doing or how I should be feeling about myself or others. No more than there's some inner guard holding me prisoner in a jailhouse of shame and guilt. I hold the keys to who I am. My decisions are an actionable demostration of who I am. My decisions define me in any given moment.

      So often you hear some religious people who are so vile and venomous to those who don't live their lifestyle or believe as they do. Then there are the sociopaths who smirk at those who hold themselves back with guilt, shame and remorse and how easily they're manipulated.. I've noticed many times the lines are blurred between these people because they each have their excuses for their decisions. One points to their Scripture, to their God as their justification and the other points to their lack of conscience and remorse.

      At the end of the day they're all excuses for their decision to be who they've chosen to be as a human being. No one needs a book of Scripture or a God to tell them how and who to be and you don't need a conscience or the ability to experience remorse either. The only thing you need is a clear definition of who you are and who you want to be during your lifetime. There aren't any right or wrong answers when it comes to your choice. Just remember your decisions have far reaching effects. You're either creating and building something or you're tearing something down and destroying it. The choice is yours. Choose wisely.

      October 5, 2013 at 5:35 pm |
  7. DougInAK

    Great article. Everytime I read the comments section I understand why the world is such a violent place. Take the categories of "Holy Trollers" you listed and extrapolate that to nations and you get... voila! The world. Perhaps you can expand this article into a handbook for polticians and ambassadors and we might actually get somewhere. Glad to see someone has said what needs to be said.

    October 5, 2013 at 4:37 pm |
  8. they see me troll'in

    FAKE!!!! FAKE AND GAY!!!

    October 5, 2013 at 4:36 pm |
  9. Arick

    Just don't try to convert me and we will get along fine. I don't care what thing you pray to, just leave me out of that.

    October 5, 2013 at 4:35 pm |
  10. stephen48739

    Good article. I've noticed that I have a very thin skin, when it comes to discussion boards. Rather than post flame bait or attempt to argue with others, I'll just post a comment and never look back.

    October 5, 2013 at 4:34 pm |
    • Calvin Patterson

      ya sure, Jesus can even reach the simple minded like YOU... the thing is, the word of God is offensive to people who are Lost.

      POUND SATAN INTO THE GROUND !!!

      October 5, 2013 at 4:39 pm |
    • Sara

      I think that's a very reasonable approach if you aren't comfortable reading responses. I also suspect, though, that after the first 40 or 50 you might start to take each comment less seriously....just be the nature of not being able to focus so much attention on som many things at once.

      October 5, 2013 at 4:43 pm |
  11. Realist

    ............

    The Judeo-Christian-Islamic ...

    ........ http://www.GODisIMAGINARY.com ..........

    ... and thank goodness because he emanates from the ...

    ....... http://www.EVILbible.com

    .............

    October 5, 2013 at 4:34 pm |
  12. Than

    First double blind study proving ANYTHING above statistical chance wins?

    October 5, 2013 at 4:32 pm |
    • Sara

      Proof is for math and logic. No one will ever win that contest.

      October 5, 2013 at 4:39 pm |
  13. Widow

    Why argue or debate religion? Can't we all just be good people and help others? It really is simple

    October 5, 2013 at 4:32 pm |
    • CommonSensed

      Because there are people who always try to use their beliefs/religion to force other people to follow their way of doing things or die.

      Why we tolerate them and follow them is beyond me.

      October 5, 2013 at 4:35 pm |
    • Pfft

      Can you name one time in history when everyone was good people and treated each other well. I doubt you want a truthful answer to your question. In any case, utopian societies are the fodder of new agers.

      October 5, 2013 at 4:37 pm |
    • ed dugan

      Good people? What good for the goose is not necessarily good for the gander. A lot of "good" people I meet make me gag.

      October 5, 2013 at 4:44 pm |
    • edmundburkeson

      Isn't it painfully obvious that people, apart from God, have no goodness. Jesus said: "Why do you call me good? there is none good but God." Without God there is no goodness. As Dawkins has said: "the universe does not owe you consolation, or health." I would add goodness, fairness, justice, etc. etc. The reason things are starting to fall apart is because God along with his goodness or righteousness is being pushed out of human experience and society.

      October 5, 2013 at 5:06 pm |
      • Pfft

        It isn't obvious at all. There are many faiths and beliefs, not just atheists, who don't believe in your Christian God whatsoever, and have strong moral codes, are good people, and do good things. You are extremely naive with your thinking. I would point out that a simple study of history shows you to be completely wrong in your statement that without a Christian God in your life, people cannot be good. You are deluded if you don't understand this to be an absolute fact. There are cultures all over the earth that never heard of your Christ that show a better example than you Christians do of upholding a moral code and especially sticking to Jesus' most basic tenets.

        October 5, 2013 at 5:15 pm |
  14. tony

    Please would a religious person who believes in Angels, tell us what their average height is, the apparel they wear, solidity vs. tranparency, their mode of flight, wingspan and beats per minute, the noise they make flying, whether they can take off without running first, etc.

    October 5, 2013 at 4:31 pm |
    • mjbrin

      those are good questions

      October 5, 2013 at 4:33 pm |
    • CommonSensed

      Are these African angels or European angels?

      October 5, 2013 at 4:36 pm |
      • RhMonkey

        AWESOME!

        October 5, 2013 at 4:40 pm |
      • Frey

        What is the air speed velocity of a coconut laden angel?

        October 5, 2013 at 4:46 pm |
    • edmundburkeson

      I cannot tell you that. But only because your questions cannot be projected back to those rare appearances in the Bible when angels appeared. Your criteria was not a concern of those who encountered them.

      October 5, 2013 at 4:40 pm |
      • tony

        It should have been. Otherwise how could you tell them from "Satan" who was also an Angel?

        October 5, 2013 at 5:12 pm |
    • Pfft

      Egregores. (not seeing my previous reply posted... sorry if it's a repeat)

      October 5, 2013 at 4:41 pm |
    • edmundburkeson

      I don't think you could answer the same questions about General George Suster's army. But they did exist.

      October 5, 2013 at 4:50 pm |
      • edmundburkeson

        Custer that is.

        October 5, 2013 at 4:51 pm |
      • Pfft

        Not a very good example. A simple google image search proves you wrong.

        October 5, 2013 at 4:54 pm |
    • Karakaye

      I am no expert on angels but there are various places in the bible where the appearance of angels are mentioned. Angels are spirit beings that can take on the appearance of a human being. Jesus tells us that we should be kind and good to everyone as we could be entertaining angels in our midst. Three angels came to Abraham in the form of human beings and delivered a special message that he would father a child in his advanced age. When angels take on a human form they are described as very handsome men. There is no mention of an angel taking on the form of a female. The most basic duty of an angel is to help guide and protect us and be a messenger from the Lord. In the book of Revelation an angel is described as being extremely tall. In their spirit form they appear and disappear like a wisp of vapor. No wings are even mentioned. There are different levels of angels, made for different duties. Only four are mentioned by name in scripture, these being among the most powerful of angels. Satan is an angel;a fallen angel who was probably one of the most beautiful and powerful angels of all. He choose to defy God and is prince of the power of the air, having the power to inflict evil in this world. The study of angels is extensive, these are but a few examples that can be found in scripture.

      October 5, 2013 at 5:06 pm |
  15. Bottom line

    Nobody wants to be told what to think. Nobody. The comment section is also hilarious.

    October 5, 2013 at 4:30 pm |
    • mike

      And yet, telling people what to think is what religions do.

      October 5, 2013 at 4:34 pm |
      • ed dugan

        Exactly. His "brilliant" friend who was the theology professor was very smart when it came to reciting reliegious hogwash but not very smart when it came to thinking for himself. To study cooking does not make you a good cook.

        October 5, 2013 at 4:47 pm |
    • CommonSensed

      Who is this mythical nobody you speak of? Many many people don't want think for themselves and therefore let people do that for them using religion, politics, war, etc.

      October 5, 2013 at 4:37 pm |
  16. God

    Religion is the root of all evils.

    October 5, 2013 at 4:30 pm |
  17. The Deist

    It's simple, really. They lack any kind of conviction in their own beliefs. They have no argument for either side, so they throw insults in a feeble attempt to distract anyone from any meaningful dialogue. I don't engage anyone who can't have a reasonable conversation.

    October 5, 2013 at 4:30 pm |
    • God

      Where is the proof that God exists?

      October 5, 2013 at 4:31 pm |
      • Real God

        Where is the proof that God doesn't exist?
        Evolution and science can all be real without negating the existence of God.

        October 5, 2013 at 4:41 pm |
      • SouthernCelt

        You woke up this morning, didn't you? Proofs are all over but it requires an open mind to see them.

        October 5, 2013 at 4:49 pm |
      • edmundburkeson

        The proof is in the eyewitness testimony of the followers of Jesus recorded in the Bible. God walked the earth and even left footprints.

        October 5, 2013 at 4:53 pm |
        • HotAirAce

          Now all you have to do is prove that there are any gods, that the demented desert dweller known as jesus was divine, and show us those footprints with supporting evidence. We're waiting. . .

          October 5, 2013 at 5:05 pm |
        • Bible Stories

          The Hebrew Bible is a nice collaborative book long overdue for an update. The New Testament has some problems just because all the Gospels according to "FUBAR" have more than just a few versions of many stories. The K***N we cant talk about for fear of death threats. need I go on.

          Mr. Blake, "yo Mama"

          October 5, 2013 at 5:19 pm |
    • Realist

      ............

      The Judeo-Christian-Islamic ...

      ........ http://www.GODisIMAGINARY.com ..........

      ... and thank goodness because he emanates from the ...

      ....... http://www.EVILbible.com

      .............

      October 5, 2013 at 4:35 pm |
    • CommonSensedb

      I refuse to have a battle of wits against unarmed opponents.

      October 5, 2013 at 4:39 pm |
  18. Duggerdog

    Good Article Mr. Blake. As an Atheist I agree with much of the content. There are knuckle heads on both sides of the isle. We want so much for others to hear our point of view and get upset when others disagree. I'm not going to change the mind of a devote Christian with my arguments, and they will not change mine. OK, so we disagree. It's been this way since man created Religion. It will never change, but we can.

    October 5, 2013 at 4:27 pm |
  19. Golpher

    What a complete waste of time.....

    October 5, 2013 at 4:27 pm |
    • ScottCA

      Might as well be arguing about the nature of Voldemort.
      Utter waste of time that is completely divorced from reality.

      October 5, 2013 at 4:31 pm |
  20. addsrfwedss

    How to argue about religion online
    Easy don't. There are enough people already arguing about it in the comments section, which are fun to read.

    October 5, 2013 at 4:24 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47
Advertisement
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.