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October 16th, 2013
03:20 PM ET

What Oprah gets wrong about atheism


Opinion by Chris Stedman, special to CNN

(CNN) - To some, Oprah Winfrey appears to have an almost godlike status. Her talents are well recognized, and her endorsement can turn almost any product into an overnight bestseller.

This godlike perception is fitting, since in recent years Winfrey’s work has increasingly emphasized spirituality, including programs like her own "Super Soul Sunday."

But what happens when an atheist enters the mix?

A few days ago Winfrey interviewed long-distance swimmer Diana Nyad on Super Soul Sunday. Nyad identified herself as an atheist who experiences awe and wonder at the natural world and humanity.

Nyad, 64, who swam from Cuba to Key West last month, said “I can stand at the beach’s edge with the most devout Christian, Jew, Buddhist, go on down the line, and weep with the beauty of this universe and be moved by all of humanity — all the billions of people who have lived before us, who have loved and hurt.”

Winfrey responded, “Well I don’t call you an atheist then.”

Winfrey went on, “I think if you believe in the awe and the wonder and the mystery then that is what God is… It’s not a bearded guy in the sky.”

Nyad clarified that she doesn’t use the word God because it implies a “presence… a creator or an overseer.”

Winfrey’s response may have been well intended, but it erased Nyad’s atheist identity and suggested something entirely untrue and, to many atheists like me, offensive: that atheists don’t experience awe and wonder.

MORE ON CNN: Diana Nyad completes historic Cuba-to-Florida swim

The exchange between Winfrey and Nyad reminds me of a conversation I once had with a Catholic scholar.

The professor once asked me: “When I talk about God, I mean love and justice and reconciliation, not a man in the sky. You talk about love and justice and reconciliation. Why can’t you just call that God?”

I replied: “Why must you call that God? Why not just call it what it is: love and justice and reconciliation?”

Though we started off with this disagreement, we came to better understand one another’s points of view through patient, honest dialogue.

Conversations like that are greatly needed today, as atheists are broadly misunderstood.

MORE ON CNN: Behold, the six types of atheists

When I visit college and university campuses around the United States, I frequently ask students what words are commonly associated with atheists. Their responses nearly always include words like “negative,” “selfish,” “nihilistic” and “closed-minded.”

When I ask how many of them actually have a relationship with an atheist, few raise their hands.

Relationships can be transformative. The Pew Research Center found that among the 14% of Americans who changed their mind from opposing same-sex marriage to supporting it in the last decade, the top reason given was having “friends, family, acquaintances who are gay/lesbian.”

Knowing someone of a different identity can increase understanding. This has been true for me as a queer person and as an atheist. I have met people who initially think I can’t actually be an atheist when they learn that I experience awe and am committed to service and social justice.

But when I explain that atheism is central to my worldview — that I am in awe of the natural world and that I believe it is up to human beings, instead of a divine force, to strive to address our problems — they often better understand my views, even if we don’t agree.

While theists can learn by listening to atheists more, atheists themselves can foster greater understanding by not just emphasizing the “no” of atheism — our disagreement over the existence of any gods — but also the “yes” of atheism and secular humanism, which recognizes the amazing potential within human beings.

Carl Sagan, the agnostic astronomer and author, would have agreed with Nyad’s claim that you can be an atheist, agnostic or nonreligious person and consider yourself “spiritual.”

As Sagan wrote in "The Demon-Haunted World,":

"When we recognize our place in an immensity of light‐years and in the passage of ages, when we grasp the intricacy, beauty and subtlety of life, then that soaring feeling, that sense of elation and humility combined, is surely spiritual.”

Nyad told Winfrey that she feels a similar sense of awe:

“I think you can be an atheist who doesn’t believe in an overarching being who created all of this and sees over it,” she said. “But there’s spirituality because we human beings, and we animals, and maybe even we plants, but certainly the ocean and the moon and the stars, we all live with something that is cherished and we feel the treasure of it.”

MORE ON CNN:  'Atheist' isn’t a dirty word, congresswoman

I experience that same awe when I see people of different beliefs coming together across lines of religious difference to recognize that we are all human — that we all love and hurt.

Perhaps Winfrey, who could use her influence to shatter stereotypes about atheists rather than reinforce them, would have benefited from listening to Nyad just a bit more closely and from talking to more atheists about awe and wonder.

I know many who would be up to the task.

Chris Stedman is the assistant humanist chaplain at Harvard University, coordinator of humanist life for the Yale Humanist Community and author of Faitheist: How an Atheist Found Common Ground with the Religious

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Atheism • Belief • Celebrity • Ethics • Faith • God • Inspiration • Nones • Opinion • Spirituality

soundoff (4,964 Responses)
  1. ?

    Why did the Editors remove the Recent Comments section?

    October 17, 2013 at 11:32 pm |
    • Sara

      It's weird...they first expanded it quite usefully to include more comments, and then suddenly deleted the whole list.

      October 18, 2013 at 12:19 am |
  2. Rick

    I think we need to compromise in both directions. I always have considered myself to be an atheist but no way an evil or bad person. Some of us haven't had the divine intervention that comes with success. Instead a more rational world has been dealt to us. Simply praying for it doesn't do a dam thing. We can still be good people and do good things for others. I wish for a god because I know how screwed up humans can be. In my opinion every person has an ever changing life with high's and lows. Our perception of religion may change as well. We should all try to be the best we can be regardless. Hopefully it doesn't take a crisis to bring on the need for religion. It would be easier to avoid the crisis and the emotional trauma it created. I also think it pays to stay true to yourself and don't try to live out of your means.This all plays into our roles in life. It is easier if we don't look back too much. A god would want a better tomorrow, something to look forward to.

    October 17, 2013 at 11:32 pm |
    • Larry

      The Christian God, however, wants to conquer the earth, end free democracy, and make everyone kneel to his absolute, dictatorial rule. How could that possibly be better than anything we could do to ourselves?

      October 18, 2013 at 12:13 am |
  3. Where is your God now?

    You wake up feeling amazing with Marie next to you. She finally spent the night. You can make out the curve of her buttocks beneath the thin sheet. Your groin reacts and you press against her, fitting neatly in the begging crevice. She smells like flowers and honey. You throb with anticipation and she moans in anticipation. You reach for a condom, but realize to your dismay that your dog is busy chewing and has something stuck in his teeth…

    October 17, 2013 at 11:23 pm |
    • perry

      des moines

      October 17, 2013 at 11:53 pm |
  4. Dave

    >>The professor once asked me: “When I talk about God, I mean love and justice and reconciliation, not a man in the sky."<<

    So he's an atheist, too. He just can't bear to acknowledge it.

    October 17, 2013 at 11:22 pm |
    • Larry

      Yup. Atheists don't have any trouble believing in such things, but we do have difficulty believing that these things are also some super-powerful being that created the universe, performs miracles and is keenly interested in who we sleep with and with how we mix fabrics.

      These new-ager type Christians may say that they don't believe in the man in the sky, but they still usually believe in some kind of omni-powered supernatural being and not just a bunch of emotions and experiences that no sensible person would imagine having a "relationship" with.

      October 18, 2013 at 12:20 am |
    • Sara

      According to every major dictionary, yes. If he's trying to change the meaning of the word toward a social goal he should be upfront about the motivation.

      October 18, 2013 at 12:22 am |
  5. Universe

    Quran says (Islamic Scripture)

    “The example of Jesus, as far as GOD is concerned, is the same as that of Adam; He created him from dust, then said to him, "Be," and he was.” Quran [3:59]

    “It does not befit God that He begets a son, be He glorified. To have anything done, He simply says to it, ‘Be,’ and it is.” [19:35]

    “No soul can carry the sins of another soul. If a soul that is loaded with sins implores another to bear part of its load, no other soul can carry any part of it, even if they were related. ... [35:18]

    “They even attribute to Him sons and daughters, without any knowledge. Be He glorified. He is the Most High, far above their claims.” Quran [6:100]

    “Recall that your Lord said to the angels, "I am placing a representative on Earth." They said, "Will You place therein one who will spread evil therein and shed blood, while we sing Your praises, glorify You, and uphold Your absolute authority?" He said, "I know what you do not know." [2:30]

    “They say , "We live only this life; we will not be resurrected. If you could only see them when they stand before their Lord! He would say, "Is this not the truth?" They would say, "Yes, by our Lord." He would say, "You have incurred the retribution by your disbelief." [6:30]

    “We have honored the children of Adam, and provided them with rides on land and in the sea. We provided for them good provisions, and we gave them greater advantages than many of our creatures.” Quran [17:70]

    “O children of Adam, when messengers come to you from among you, and recite My revelations to you, those who take heed and lead a righteous life, will have nothing to fear, nor will they grieve.” Quran [7:35]

    “O children of Adam, do not let the devil dupe you as he did when he caused the eviction of your parents from Paradise, and the removal of their garments to expose their bodies. He and his tribe see you, while you do not see them. We appoint the devils as companions of those who do not believe.” Quran [7:27]

    “Losers indeed are those who disbelieve in meeting God, until the Hour comes to them suddenly, then say, "We deeply regret wasting our lives in this world." They will carry loads of their sins on their backs; what a miserable load! [6:31]

    Thanks for taking time to read my post. Please take a moment to visit whyIslam org website.

    October 17, 2013 at 11:18 pm |
    • nope.

      @Universe
      nope.

      October 17, 2013 at 11:20 pm |
    • perry

      Universe
      Quran says (Islamic Scripture)
      “The example of Jesus, as far as GOD is concerned, is the same as that of Adam; He created him from dust, then said to him, "Be," and he was.” Quran [3:59]

      nah. he was god. the word. always was. always existed to buy back that which was taken. always was for the purpose of redeeming mankind. eternal son

      October 17, 2013 at 11:24 pm |
      • nope.

        @perry.
        nope.

        October 17, 2013 at 11:31 pm |
    • Reality # 2

      The horror and terror caused by the Koran and the mythical messages from mythical Gabriel:

      As the koranic/mosque driven acts of terror and horror continue:

      The Muslim Conquest of India – 11th to 18th century

      ■"The likely death toll is somewhere between 2 million and 80 million. The geometric mean of those two limits is 12.7 million. "

      and the 19 million killed in the Mideast Slave Trade 7C-19C by Muslims.

      and more recently

      1a) 179 killed in Mumbai/Bombay, 290 injured

      1b) Assassination of Benazir Bhutto and Theo Van Gogh

      2) 9/11, 3000 mostly US citizens, 1000’s injured

      3) The 24/7 Sunni-Shiite centuries-old blood feud currently being carried out in Iraq, US troops killed in action, 3,480 and 928 in non combat roles. Iraqi civilians killed as of 05/10/2013/, 113,249-123,978 mostly due to suicide bombers, land mines and bombs of various types, http://www.iraqbodycount.org/ and http://www.defenselink.mil/news/casualty.pdf

      4) Kenya- In Nairobi, about 212 people were killed and an estimated 4000 injured; in Dar es Salaam, the attack killed at least 11 and wounded 85.[2]

      5) Bali-in 2002-killing 202 people, 164 of whom were foreign nationals, and 38 Indonesian citizens. A further 209 people were injured.

      6) Bali in 2005- Twenty people were killed, and 129 people were injured by three bombers who killed themselves in the attacks.

      7) Spain in 2004- killing 191 people and wounding 2,050.

      8. UK in 2005- The bombings killed 52 commuters and the four radical Islamic suicide bombers, injured 700.

      9) The execution of an eloping couple in Afghanistan on 04/15/2009 by the Taliban.

      10) – Afghanistan: US troops 1,385 killed in action, 273 killed in non-combat situations as of 09/15/2011. Over 40,000 Afghan civilians killed due to the dark-age, koranic-driven Taliban acts of horror

      11) The killing of 13 citizen soldiers at Ft. Hood by a follower of the koran.

      12) 38 Russian citizens killed on March 29, 2010 by Muslim women suicide bombers.

      13) The May 28, 2010 attack on a Islamic religious minority in Pakistan, which have left 98 dead,

      14) Lockerbie is known internationally as the site where, on 21 December 1988, the wreckage of Pan Am Flight 103 crashed as a result of a terrorist bomb. In the United Kingdom the event is referred to as the Lockerbie disaster, the Lockerbie bombing, or simply Lockerbie. Eleven townspeople were killed in Sherwood Crescent, where the plane's wings and fuel tanks plummeted in a fiery explosion, destroying several houses and leaving a huge crater, with debris causing damage to a number of buildings nearby. The 270 fatalities (259 on the plane, 11 in Lockerbie) were citizens of 21 nations.

      15 The daily suicide and/or roadside and/or mosque bombings in the terror world of Islam.

      16) Bombs sent from Yemen by followers of the koran which fortunately were discovered before the bombs were detonated.

      17) The killing of 58 Christians in a Catholic church in one of the latest acts of horror and terror in Iraq.

      18) Moscow airport suicide bombing: 35 dead, 130 injured. January 25, 2011.

      19) A Pakistani minister, who had said he was getting death threats because of his stance against the country's controversial blasphemy law, was shot and killed Wednesday, 3/2/2011

      20) two American troops killed in Germany by a recently radicalized Muslim, 3/3/2011

      21) the kidnapping and apparent killing of a follower of Zoraster in the dark world of Islamic Pakistan.

      22) Shariatpur, Bangladesh (CNN 3/30/2011) - Hena Akhter's last words to her mother proclaimed her innocence. But it was too late to save the 14-year-old girl. Her fellow villagers in Bangladesh's Shariatpur district had already passed harsh judgment on her. Guilty, they said, of having an affair with a married man. The imam from the local mosque ordered the fatwa, or religious ruling, and the punishment: 101 lashes delivered swiftly, deliberately in public. Hena dropped after 70 and died a week later.

      23) "October 4, 2011, 100 die as a truck loaded with drums of fuel exploded Tuesday at the gate of compound housing several government ministries on a busy Mogadishu street. It was the deadliest single bombing carried out by the al Qaeda-linked al-Shabab group in Somalia since their insurgency began. "

      o 24) Mon Jun 4, 2012 10:18am EDT
      o
      BAGHDAD (Reuters) – A suicide bomber detonated an explosive-packed car outside a Shi'ite Muslim office in central Baghdad on Monday, killing at least 26 people and wounding more than 190 in an attack bearing the hallmarks of Iraq's al Qaeda affiliate.
      The bombing on a Shi'ite religious office comes at a sensitive time, with the country's fractious Shi'ite, Sunni and Kurdish blocs locked in a crisis that threatens to unravel their power-sharing deal and spill into sectarian tensions."

      25) BURGAS, Bulgaria | Thu Jul 19, 2012 11:27am EDT

      (Reuters) – A suicide bomber carried out an attack that killed seven people in a bus transporting Israeli tourists in Bulgaria, the interior minister said on Thursday, and Israel said Iranian-backed Hezbollah militants were to blame.

      26 ) September 12, 2012
      U.S. AMBASSADOR KILLED
      Envoy to Libya dies in rocket blast

      27) Boston Marathon horror – April 2013, four dead, hundreds injured and maimed for life. A
      Continued below:

      October 17, 2013 at 11:25 pm |
      • perry

        Universe

        Quran says (Islamic Scripture)

        “The example of Jesus, as far as GOD is concerned, is the same as that of Adam; He created him from dust, then said to him, "Be," and he was.” Quran [3:59]

        In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
        He was with God in the beginning
        The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.
        "Very truly I tell you," Jesus answered, "before Abraham was born, I am!"

        The plainest reason why the Son of God is called the Word, seems to be, that as our words explain our minds to others, so was the Son of God sent in order to reveal his Father's mind to the world. What the evangelist says of Christ proves that he is God. He asserts, His existence in the beginning; His coexistence with the Father. The Word was with God. All things were made by him, and not as an instrument. Without him was not any thing made that was made, from the highest angel to the meanest worm. This shows how well qualified he was for the work of our redemption and salvation. The light of reason, as well as the life of sense, is derived from him, and depends upon him. This eternal Word, this true Light shines, but the darkness comprehends it not. Let us pray without ceasing, that our eyes may be opened to behold this Light, that we may walk in it; and thus be made wise unto salvation, by faith in Jesus Christ. mathew henry

        October 17, 2013 at 11:44 pm |
        • Reality # 2

          origin: http://query.nytimes.com/gst/abstract.html?res=F20E1EFE35540C7A8CDDAA0894DA404482 NY Times review and important enough to reiterate.

          New Torah For Modern Minds

          “Abraham, the Jewish patriarch, probably never existed. Nor did Moses. (prob•a•bly
          Adverb: Almost certainly; as far as one knows or can tell).

          The entire Exodus story as recounted in the Bible probably never occurred. The same is true of the tumbling of the walls of Jericho. And David, far from being the fearless king who built Jerusalem into a mighty capital, was more likely a provincial leader whose reputation was later magnified to provide a rallying point for a fledgling nation.

          Such startling propositions - the product of findings by archaeologists digging in Israel and its environs over the last 25 years - have gained wide acceptance among non-Orthodox rabbis. But there has been no attempt to disseminate these ideas or to discuss them with the laity - until now.

          The United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism, which represents the 1.5 million Conservative Jews in the United States, has just issued a new Torah and commentary, the first for Conservatives in more than 60 years. Called "Etz Hayim" ("Tree of Life" in Hebrew), it offers an interpretation that incorporates the latest findings from archaeology, philology, anthropology and the study of ancient cultures. To the editors who worked on the book, it represents one of the boldest efforts ever to introduce into the religious mainstream a view of the Bible as a human rather than divine doc-ument.

          The notion that the Bible is not literally true "is more or less settled and understood among most Conservative rabbis," observed David Wolpe, a rabbi at Sinai Temple in Los Angeles and a contributor to "Etz Hayim." But some congregants, he said, "may not like the stark airing of it." Last Passover, in a sermon to 2,200 congregants at his synagogue, Rabbi Wolpe frankly said that "virtually every modern archaeologist" agrees "that the way the Bible describes the Exodus is not the way that it happened, if it happened at all." The rabbi offered what he called a "LITANY OF DISILLUSION”' about the narrative, including contradictions, improbabilities, chronological lapses and the absence of corroborating evidence. In fact, he said, archaeologists digging in the Sinai have "found no trace of the tribes of Israel - not one shard of pottery."

          October 18, 2013 at 7:39 am |
      • Chris Weiss

        The overwhelming majority of murders committed in the US are committed by Christians. Total deaths: hard to say, but very high. Christians worldwide have a higher murder rate than any other religion, which is approximately 11.3/100k. Consequently, on an annual basis, Christians account for more crime than any other subgroup. I am thinking about glass houses and stones at the moment.

        I am not going to defend radical Islam. It is a fascist hegemonic perspective, which represents all that is bad in humans – domination, subjugation, racial and ethnic hate, misogyny. However, this represents less than 10% of Muslims worldwide.

        Extremism is not unique to any religion or political perspective such as communism, and it is always bad regardless of the perpetrators.

        October 20, 2013 at 7:50 pm |
        • chrystal

          lol. unreal.

          October 23, 2013 at 5:57 pm |
    • dax p

      intsead of focusing so much on what the quran says and blindly believing it to be true.....why not ask yourself why you believe this trash? If you had been born in kansas, usa...you would believe to other false book that you were brainwashed into believing......why not think about things for yourself and think logically and try to look at it from an unbiased perspective

      ....WE ARE DUMB ANIMALS AND DON'T KNOW HOW THE WORLD BEGAN OR THE GREAT MYSTERIES OF THE UNIVERSE AND EXISTENCE, get over it accept it...we are not god, we don't know what god is

      October 17, 2013 at 11:25 pm |
      • perry

        instead of proselytizing your silly nonsense, y not find out 4 urself if, "The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth."

        October 17, 2013 at 11:50 pm |
        • sally

          nonsense

          October 18, 2013 at 12:21 am |
    • John

      nonsense

      October 17, 2013 at 11:28 pm |
    • EvolvedDNA

      Universe.. Kenya perhaps?

      October 17, 2013 at 11:45 pm |
  6. jdoe

    One can look in awe and wonder at the universe without believing that it was created by one being that looks like us.

    October 17, 2013 at 11:17 pm |
    • perry

      no! really? u r kidding, right?

      October 17, 2013 at 11:20 pm |
      • jdoe

        Are you?

        October 17, 2013 at 11:21 pm |
        • perry

          the universe declares god's handiwork. it is awesome whether or not u acknowledge him. don't need to no who painted a masterpiece to be awed by it.

          to think that beautiful paintings evolve on their own and not from the genius of a brilliant painter is absolutely preposterous

          October 17, 2013 at 11:32 pm |
        • nope.

          am I?

          October 17, 2013 at 11:32 pm |
        • Larry

          But the universe is more like a landscape and not a painting of a landscape. There are no obvious signs that it's anything but natural.

          October 18, 2013 at 12:24 am |
    • SkywalkerA1A

      He doesn't look like me, I never said that! He looks like Charltn Heston everyone knows that

      October 17, 2013 at 11:32 pm |
  7. perry

    and while being reviled, He did not revile in return; while suffering, He uttered no threats, but kept entrusting Himself to Him who judges righteously; and He Himself bore our sins in His body on the cross, so that we might die to sin and live to righteousness; for by His wounds you were healed. For you were continually straying like sheep, but now you have returned to the Shepherd and Guardian of your souls.

    who? horus? Azura Mazda, Angus, Belenos, Brigid, Dana, Lugh, Dagda, Epona, Allah Aphrodite, Apollo, Ares, Artemis, Atehna, Demeter, Dionysus, Eris, Eos, Gaia, God, Hades, Hekate, Helios, Hephaestus, Hera, Hermes, Hestia, Pan, Poseidon, Selene, Uranus, Zeus, Mathilde, Elves, Eostre, Frigg, Ganesh, Hretha, Saxnot, Shef, Shiva Thuno, Tir, Vishnu, Weyland, Woden, Yahweh, Alfar, Balder, Beyla, Bil, Bragi, Byggvir, Dagr, Disir, Eir, Forseti, Freya, Freyr, Frigga, Heimdall, Hel, Hoenir, Idunn, Jord, Lofn, Loki, Mon, Njord, Norns, Nott, Odin, Ran, Saga, Sif, Siofn, Skadi, Snotra, Sol, Syn, Ull, Thor, Tyr, Var, Vali, Vidar, Vor, Herne, Holda, Nehalennia, Nerthus, Endovelicus, Ataegina, Runesocesius, Apollo, Bacchus, Ceres, Cupid, Diana, Janus, Juno, Jupiter, Maia, Mars, Mercury, Minerva, Neptune, Pluto, Plutus, Proserpina, Venus, Vesta, Vulcan, Attis, Cybele, El-Gabal, Isis, Mithras, Sol Invictus, Endovelicus, Anubis, Aten, Atum, Bast, Bes, Geb, Hapi, Hathor, Heget, Horus, Imhotep, Isis, Khepry, Khnum, Maahes, Ma’at, Menhit, Mont, Naunet, Neith, Nephthys, Nut, Osiris, Ptah, Ra, Sekhmnet, Sobek, Set, Tefnut, Thoth, An, Anshar, Anu, Apsu, Ashur, Damkina, Ea, Enki, Enlil, Ereshkigal, Nunurta, Hadad, Inanna, Ishtar, Kingu, Kishar, Marduk, Mummu, Nabu, Nammu, Nanna, Nergal, Ninhursag, Ninlil, Nintu, Shamash, Sin, Tiamat, Utu, Mitra, Amaterasu, Susanoo, Tsukiyomi, Inari, Tengu, Izanami, Izanagi, Daikoku, Ebisu, Benzaiten, Bishamonten, Fukurokuju, Jurojin, Hotei, Quetzalcoatl, Tlaloc, Inti, Kon, Mama Cocha, Mama Quilla, Manco Capac, Pachacamac or Zaramama.DM Murdock?

    updated
    reborners, everyone of them, is absolutely clueless, brainwashed, has a book do all their thinking, reparded, is an imbecile, indoctrinated, duped by his parents, abused by priests, hates almost everyone, is a hypocrite, unthinking, addicted to religion, closed-minded, untrustworthy, greedy, two-faced, cheap, shallow, biased, republican, racist, uneducated, materialistic, boring, bland, judgmental, w/o love and knowledge of the bible, child abusing abortionists and genocidal cowboys and pro-slavery and are consistently less intune, less interested, less practically involved with nature and our planet

    she added, "conversely" but didn't converse at all. she just kept condemning reborners, but she sounded fair

    October 17, 2013 at 11:15 pm |
    • perry

      and while being reviled, He did not revile in return; while suffering, He uttered no threats, but kept entrusting Himself to Him who judges righteously; and He Himself bore our sins in His body on the cross, so that we might die to sin and live to righteousness; for by His wounds you were healed. For you were continually straying like sheep, but now you have returned to the Shepherd and Guardian of your souls.

      updated. dorothy forgot to add her 3 new gods,
      who? horus? Azura Mazda, Angus, Belenos, Brigid, Dana, Lugh, Dagda, Epona, Allah Aphrodite, Apollo, Ares, Artemis, Atehna, Demeter, Dionysus, Eris, Eos, Gaia, God, Hades, Hekate, Helios, Hephaestus, Hera, Hermes, Hestia, Pan, Poseidon, Selene, Uranus, Zeus, Mathilde, Elves, Eostre, Frigg, Ganesh, Hretha, Saxnot, Shef, Shiva Thuno, Tir, Vishnu, Weyland, Woden, Yahweh, Alfar, Balder, Beyla, Bil, Bragi, Byggvir, Curly, Dagr, Disir, Eir, Forseti, Freya, Freyr, Frigga, Heimdall, Hel, Hoenir, Idunn, Jord, Lofn, Loki, Mon, Njord, Norns, Nott, Odin, Ran, Saga, Sif, Siofn, Skadi, Snotra, Sol, Syn, Ull, Thor, Tyr, Var, Vali, Vidar, Vor, Herne, Holda, Nehalennia, Nerthus, Endovelicus, Ataegina, Runesocesius, Apollo, Bacchus, Ceres, Cupid, Diana, Janus, Juno, Jupiter, Larry, Maia, Mars, Mercury, Minerva, Moe, Neptune, Pluto, Plutus, Proserpina, Venus, Vesta, Vulcan, Attis, Cybele, El-Gabal, Isis, Mithras, Sol Invictus, Endovelicus, Anubis, Aten, Atum, Bast, Bes, Geb, Hapi, Hathor, Heget, Horus, Imhotep, Isis, Khepry, Khnum, Maahes, Ma’at, Menhit, Mont, Naunet, Neith, Nephthys, Nut, Osiris, Ptah, Ra, Sekhmnet, Sobek, Set, Tefnut, Thoth, An, Anshar, Anu, Apsu, Ashur, Damkina, Ea, Enki, Enlil, Ereshkigal, Nunurta, Hadad, Inanna, Ishtar, Kingu, Kishar, Marduk, Mummu, Nabu, Nammu, Nanna, Nergal, Ninhursag, Ninlil, Nintu, Shamash, Sin, Tiamat, Utu, Mitra, Amaterasu, Susanoo, Tsukiyomi, Inari, Tengu, Izanami, Izanagi, Daikoku, Ebisu, Benzaiten, Bishamonten, Fukurokuju, Jurojin, Hotei, Quetzalcoatl, Tlaloc, Inti, Kon, Mama Cocha, Mama Quilla, Manco Capac, Pachacamac or Zaramama.DM Murdock?

      updated
      reborners, everyone of them, is absolutely clueless, brainwashed, has a book do all their thinking, reparded, is an imbecile, indoctrinated, duped by his parents, abused by priests, hates almost everyone, is a hypocrite, unthinking, addicted to religion, closed-minded, untrustworthy, greedy, two-faced, cheap, shallow, biased, republican, racist, uneducated, materialistic, boring, bland, judgmental, w/o love and knowledge of the bible, child abusing abortionists and genocidal cowboys and pro-slavery and are consistently less intune, less interested, less practically involved with nature and our planet

      she added, "conversely" but didn't converse at all. she just kept condemning reborners, but she sounded fair

      October 17, 2013 at 11:18 pm |
    • nope.

      @perry
      nope.

      October 17, 2013 at 11:18 pm |
    • nope.

      @perry
      nope

      October 17, 2013 at 11:19 pm |
  8. Tev4him

    atheism aside, Oprah gets a lot of things wrong

    October 17, 2013 at 11:15 pm |
    • John

      judging by her balance sheet..it pays

      October 17, 2013 at 11:29 pm |
  9. Apple Bush

    Christians lust in their hearts.
    Christians covet and steal.
    Christians kill.
    For an evil Christian, there is no heaven. There is no redemption.
    You are no different than any other evil person.
    God won’t help you, but he will welcome the atheist with a good heart.

    October 17, 2013 at 11:15 pm |
    • Larry

      That's nice, but after reading about the guy in the Bible I'd rather not take him up on the invitation. That guy's pure psycho!

      October 18, 2013 at 12:28 am |
    • chrystal

      are you an actual human being? unreal.

      October 23, 2013 at 5:59 pm |
  10. Dave

    Wow.......do I ever feel sad for you.

    October 17, 2013 at 11:13 pm |
  11. Meg

    So we should believe that astronauts have actually walked on the moon, even though we've never seen it w/ our own eyes? We believe that scientists have done this & that, always coming up w/ reasons as to why we exist today & how the earth came about, doing everything to "prove" that there is no God. If you can believe what someone else says because they have the proof that you've never seen then why can't I believe in God? Everyone wants to believe the scientists, politicians, etc. & take their word over God's word. I'm tired of every1 else trying to make us Christians feel bad. At least I have something to look forward to & someone to look up to everyday. Times are getting rough & hard to cope with. God is the only one helping me & my family out. Everyone else has just disappointed us.

    October 17, 2013 at 11:11 pm |
    • dax p

      but we can see this scientific proof, just because you're too stupid to understand it doesn't mean you can use the argument that everyone else believes it without seeing it

      October 17, 2013 at 11:20 pm |
      • chrystal

        dax p – ignorant.

        October 23, 2013 at 6:03 pm |
    • ooo

      There are a lot of "thinking errors" in what you said above:

      "So we should believe that astronauts have actually walked on the moon, even though we've never seen it w/ our own eyes?"

      If you limited you knowledge to only what you have personally experienced, you would be a citizen of the dark ages. Knowledge is built over time, tested again and again, improved upon continuously. And it has predictive value.

      "We believe that scientists have done this & that, always coming up w/ reasons as to why we exist today & how the earth came about, doing everything to "prove" that there is no God. "

      I get the feeling you feel there is a conspiricy by scientists to expose your god for a "santa clause". However this is not true. Scientist only go where the science leads them. There are even scientists who've won the Nobel proze for proving other scientists wrong!

      "If you can believe what someone else says because they have the proof that you've never seen then why can't I believe in God?"

      No one has ever, ever, ever shown any evidence if a supernatural being.

      "Everyone wants to believe the scientists, politicians, etc. & take their word over God's word. I'm tired of every1 else trying to make us Christians feel bad. At least I have something to look forward to & someone to look up to everyday."

      Sounds like your feelings are hurt by the truth. Unfortunately, we can'tchange the facts to make you feel better.

      "Times are getting rough & hard to cope with. God is the only one helping me & my family out. Everyone else has just disappointed us"

      I'm sorry to hear that. If I knew you, I would try to help.

      October 17, 2013 at 11:21 pm |
      • TC

        So.. You are saying Meg cannot believe in anything you have not been convinced of, but you can believe anything you are?

        October 20, 2013 at 9:13 am |
        • Joe

          He's not saying the Meg can or cannot believe in anything; he's explaining why her associations are misguided.

          October 20, 2013 at 12:28 pm |
    • Stephanie

      Just remember one thing: This world is the only hell that a true Christian is to ever endure and the only heaven that a non-believer is to ever enjoy.

      October 17, 2013 at 11:41 pm |
      • EvolvedDNA

        Stephanie.. how many folks have ever come back from heaven to prove you right? none.. of all the billions that have died not one has found a way back. yet you speak of hell which is just a catholic construct to keep you in check. Think free, enjoy life its the only one that you have...

        October 17, 2013 at 11:54 pm |
      • Lisa

        There are people who look forward to winning the lotto their entire lives, and then they die without ever having that dream come true. Isn't it better to live the one life you know that you have for certain to the fullest and, if there happens to be something else after we die, bonus? That's why I'd rather live as though there will be no heaven. A "bird in the hand", and all that, right?

        October 18, 2013 at 1:08 am |
    • Sara

      You can certainly believe in a god and may have a very logical and consistent once that meshes well with all the other (scientific, historical) evidence. The problem arises when one picks an old god image and militantly sticks to that description despite other evidence to the contrary. Most Christian representations have failed to keep up with other evidence. Most, not all.

      October 18, 2013 at 12:28 am |
    • chrystal

      Thank you!

      October 23, 2013 at 6:01 pm |
  12. AEvangelista

    The best approach is to be open to all the possibilities the universe has to offer. Nobody really knows how it all works. Atheists deserve their reputation as they are often condescending towards those who have supernatural experiences. See my ebook on Amazon/Kindle "Visitations from the Other Side."

    October 17, 2013 at 11:08 pm |
    • Modocer

      I grew up "in the church"; walked away during my "brilliant college years"; came back as the result of becoming a chemical engineer and witnessing the total predictability of chemical reactions. I could predict on paper what I could then demonstrate in the physical world. It was all too precise to be an accident of even billions of years of "trial and error" of evolution. i don't pretend to understand "God", and consider the Bible an attempt to do so, and to explain the unexplainable. I don't begrudge atheists their religious convictions, but am always disappointed to run across those who are so "religious" as to have no empathy for the faith of others.

      October 17, 2013 at 11:22 pm |
      • Book'EmDan0

        The universe is complicated and it can be difficult to accept that we don't fully understand many things, but isn't it even more of a stretch when you add another level of complication? You can't accept that atoms, molecules, chemical reactions in our bodies, and the rest of the universe just work somehow, but you can accept that a mystical all-knowing being simply created it all? How would the being know how to do this, and know what 7 billion people are thinking at all times, and where did this being come from?

        October 18, 2013 at 12:32 am |
    • Lisa

      Few are the Christians who aren't condescending towards anyone who doesn't share their exact belief, even fellow Christians.

      October 18, 2013 at 1:10 am |
  13. Douglas

    Why the trend toward celibacy?

    Many clients ask this question during free discussion sessions.

    When salvation is at stake, every effort must be made to cleanse the sins of the
    past and NOT repeat them.

    Recognizing this caveat, sinful fornicators quickly resolve to clean up their acts and the pursuit of celibacy
    is one tool in the salvation toolbox that can fix the problem.

    Thanks to those who supported our celibate youth group carwash at the CITGO gas station.

    October 17, 2013 at 11:07 pm |
    • Sara

      Could you provide a link to some data showing this trend?

      October 18, 2013 at 12:29 am |
    • a reasonable atheist

      I'm also glad they decided to be celibate while washing cars. That would have been pretty awkward if they fornicated while holding a charity car wash.

      October 19, 2013 at 10:29 pm |
  14. perry

    and while being reviled, He did not revile in return; while suffering, He uttered no threats, but kept entrusting Himself to Him who judges righteously; and He Himself bore our sins in His body on the cross, so that we might die to sin and live to righteousness; for by His wounds you were healed. For you were continually straying like sheep, but now you have returned to the Shepherd and Guardian of your souls.

    who? horus? Azura Mazda, Angus, Belenos, Brigid, Dana, Lugh, Dagda, Epona, Allah Aphrodite, Apollo, Ares, Artemis, Atehna, Demeter, Dionysus, Eris, Eos, Gaia, God, Hades, Hekate, Helios, Hephaestus, Hera, Hermes, Hestia, Pan, Poseidon, Selene, Uranus, Zeus, Mathilde, Elves, Eostre, Frigg, Ganesh, Hretha, Saxnot, Shef, Shiva Thuno, Tir, Vishnu, Weyland, Woden, Yahweh, Alfar, Balder, Beyla, Bil, Bragi, Byggvir, Dagr, Disir, Eir, Forseti, Freya, Freyr, Frigga, Heimdall, Hel, Hoenir, Idunn, Jord, Lofn, Loki, Mon, Njord, Norns, Nott, Odin, Ran, Saga, Sif, Siofn, Skadi, Snotra, Sol, Syn, Ull, Thor, Tyr, Var, Vali, Vidar, Vor, Herne, Holda, Nehalennia, Nerthus, Endovelicus, Ataegina, Runesocesius, Apollo, Bacchus, Ceres, Cupid, Diana, Janus, Juno, Jupiter, Maia, Mars, Mercury, Minerva, Neptune, Pluto, Plutus, Proserpina, Venus, Vesta, Vulcan, Attis, Cybele, El-Gabal, Isis, Mithras, Sol Invictus, Endovelicus, Anubis, Aten, Atum, Bast, Bes, Geb, Hapi, Hathor, Heget, Horus, Imhotep, Isis, Khepry, Khnum, Maahes, Ma’at, Menhit, Mont, Naunet, Neith, Nephthys, Nut, Osiris, Ptah, Ra, Sekhmnet, Sobek, Set, Tefnut, Thoth, An, Anshar, Anu, Apsu, Ashur, Damkina, Ea, Enki, Enlil, Ereshkigal, Nunurta, Hadad, Inanna, Ishtar, Kingu, Kishar, Marduk, Mummu, Nabu, Nammu, Nanna, Nergal, Ninhursag, Ninlil, Nintu, Shamash, Sin, Tiamat, Utu, Mitra, Amaterasu, Susanoo, Tsukiyomi, Inari, Tengu, Izanami, Izanagi, Daikoku, Ebisu, Benzaiten, Bishamonten, Fukurokuju, Jurojin, Hotei, Quetzalcoatl, Tlaloc, Inti, Kon, Mama Cocha, Mama Quilla, Manco Capac, Pachacamac or Zaramama.DM Murdock?

    October 17, 2013 at 11:06 pm |
  15. SkywalkerA1A

    Observation: This conversation is dripping with references to the awe inspired by Mother Nature, wilderness, the animal kingdom, humanity, and the planet etc........It makes me think of an observation Ive made a number of times in my adult life (anecdotal of course) nevertheless, it's a theme that has struck me before and this blog re: atheists and theists has me thinking about it......it's been my experience that the people I know / have known that are religious are consistently less intune, less interested, less practically involved with nature and our planet than those Ive known who are non-religious or atheist ........said another way the folks Ive known who ar authentically "in awe" of our planet and Mother Nature have been far and away the non believers .......conversely as a whole the religious folks seem to be much less involved / interested .....in fact, if you factor hunting animals out of the equasion and look at say: those people who truly put the world and it's wonders at the center of their life (extreme hikers,, campers, climbers, real hard core outdoors types Id suggest these archetypes are heavily comprised on non – religious folks...............consequnetly it's hard for me to reconcile paradigms like the one behind Oprahs question to Diana Nyad that position Believers as somehow closer or more appreciative of the wonders of our World.............not only is it a false premise......the converse is true........

    October 17, 2013 at 11:00 pm |
    • marykastelein

      Well, said, Skywalker. Could you possibly be a non theist?

      October 17, 2013 at 11:03 pm |
      • SkywalkerA1A

        Thanks- btw, good guess

        October 17, 2013 at 11:16 pm |
    • ooo

      Well put,
      However no conclusion can be drawn as to causation. Could be parallel factors, such as level of education, which might necessarily produce more athiests as a side effect.

      October 17, 2013 at 11:05 pm |
      • SkywalkerA1A

        Ooo – agreed, it's interesting to contemplate ......I suspect if true most would find it ironic (not to me though)

        October 17, 2013 at 11:15 pm |
    • SkHok

      At least you effectively invalidate your own argument early on by pointing out that it's based entirely on anecdote, and clearly anecdote informed through bias.

      October 21, 2013 at 10:41 am |
  16. perry

    athies lie continuously. they r hateful, bitter, biased, mentally ill lightweights with an agenda they try so desperately to defend, they become comedians

    October 17, 2013 at 10:55 pm |
    • ooo

      perry, take a deep breath...

      October 17, 2013 at 10:56 pm |
    • Apple Bush

      perry, get well soon.

      October 17, 2013 at 10:59 pm |
    • John

      perry, keep it lowercase. For your heart.

      October 17, 2013 at 11:04 pm |
    • SkywalkerA1A

      Perry – you know if you simply transposed the word comedies for "Catholics". Your statement below would have so much more efficacy.....

      Perry wrote:
      "lie continuously. they r hateful, bitter, biased, mentally ill lightweights with an agenda they try so desperately to defend, they become comedies".

      October 17, 2013 at 10:55 pm | Report abuse | Reply

      October 17, 2013 at 11:09 pm |
    • JWFambrough

      No, you cannot make blanket claims about any group of people. I am a follower of Christ. Modern American "Christian" as represented by people calling themselves Christian in public today, seem to have forgotten or have never known, what the teachings of Christ are. If you profess to be a Christian, you are to love your neighbor as you love yourself. In this world we are all neighbors. That includes atheists. Where is the love and compassion in your comment? Spewing vitriol is neither loving or Christian.

      October 17, 2013 at 11:28 pm |
    • Ruby Long

      perry, that wasn't an atiest you saw, it was a mirror.

      October 18, 2013 at 12:36 am |
  17. marykastelein

    There are atheists and non-theists. I belong to the latter, and it appears to me that Nyad might be in the same category. (Although that is not clear from this article). But there is a difference between believing in an all knowing God, who listens to our prayers and pleas and judges whether or not to answer them. . . and believing in a divine connectedness that binds us al together and that is a source of "energy" that we can tap into thru prayer or meditation. As a non theist, I do not pretend to know what happens after death, I do not pretend to think that God has laid out laws other than the Golden Rule. I do believe that there are "things" out there beyond what I can discern with my 5 senses. I try to be spiritual. I am not an atheist. I am non-theist.

    October 17, 2013 at 10:51 pm |
    • Ruby Long

      Rather than non thiest, you ight want to consider adopting the term Panthiest as that is what you describe.

      October 18, 2013 at 12:41 am |
    • Lisa

      It comes down to one subject. Either

      a) You believe in a god (theist)
      or

      b) You do not believe in a god (atheist)

      "Non-theists" are still atheists. However, if you believe in things beyond our ability to detect then you are definitely not a critical thinker, or a skeptic.

      October 18, 2013 at 1:17 am |
  18. perry

    Bootyfunk
    so you think a better answer is the human brain was created by magic? your invisible sky fairy waved his magic wand and magicked up a planet and magicked up some people and magicked up animals and plants? that's a more satisfying answer to you? even saying 'i don't know' is a more satisfying answer? religion makes people intellectually lazy.

    so point being agreed having said that

    he spoke

    October 17, 2013 at 10:51 pm |
    • --wrong.--

      –religion makes people intellectually lazy.–
      Big Bang Theory was fathered by a priest. Religious people are smarter than you.

      October 17, 2013 at 10:55 pm |
      • John

        He also said there was no need for a god in his ideas.

        October 17, 2013 at 11:06 pm |
      • Lisa

        At the time, that priest believed that his discovery would lead towards there being a God involved in creating the universe, but the science that followed up has only led the other way.

        October 18, 2013 at 1:19 am |
  19. perry

    Colin
    Oh bullsh.it. We know a great deal. We can trace the evolution of humans back to about 3 billion years ago and the origins of the Universe to about 13.72 billion years ago. Your sky fairy has no place in the modern world.

    temper temper alqaeda

    before abe was, i am. and for saying that they decided to kill him. just like u. he threatens ur smug, silly faith in ur gods

    October 17, 2013 at 10:43 pm |
    • AE

      I know the cure for Colin's temper tantrums!

      Seeking God's will.

      October 17, 2013 at 10:45 pm |
    • four two

      Evolution is a perfectly legit theory, and heck, I believe it to be true. But I also believe in the "sky fairy". I also believe that arrogant tools like yourself have a hard time accepting the fact that not everyone falls in line with you. But guess what, you can't confirm non-existence any more than people can confirm it when it comes to God. So come on down off your pedestal, you're ignorance doesn't show intelligence, it actually shows a lack of it.

      October 17, 2013 at 10:55 pm |
      • EvolvedDNA

        four two..you cannot prove a negative look it up...also you accept that evolution is legit... why because it has evidence... the sky fairy has none but you want to believe it ...that does not make it real.

        October 18, 2013 at 12:00 am |
  20. Robert

    It is rather presumptuous to say that you KNOW somethng to be fact when you haven't been to every corner of this universe trillions of light years in every direction and looked under every rock and in every hole from eternity past to eternity future, in all dimensions and throughout all alternate universes. It's really the height of arrogance when you think about it. The humblest answer any of us can give is just to say that we're ALL Agnositics. For none of us REALLY know.

    October 17, 2013 at 10:36 pm |
    • Madtown

      Thank you, the voice of reason! Right on the money Robert.

      October 17, 2013 at 10:38 pm |
    • Colin

      It is rather presumptuous to say that you KNOW somethng to be fact when you haven't been to every corner of this universe trillions of light years in every direction and looked under every rock and in every hole from eternity past to eternity future, in all dimensions and throughout all alternate universes. Therefore you can not discount the possibility the Universe was made by

      Azura Mazda, Angus, Belenos, Brigid, Dana, Lugh, Dagda, Epona, Allah Aphrodite, Apollo, Ares, Artemis, Atehna, Demeter, Dionysus, Eris, Eos, Gaia, God, Hades, Hekate, Helios, Hephaestus, Hera, Hermes, Hestia, Pan, Poseidon, Selene, Uranus, Zeus, Mathilde, Elves, Eostre, Frigg, Ganesh, Hretha, Saxnot, Shef, Shiva Thuno, Tir, Vishnu, Weyland, Woden, Yahweh, Alfar, Balder, Beyla, Bil, Bragi, Byggvir, Dagr, Disir, Eir, Forseti, Freya, Freyr, Frigga, Heimdall, Hel, Hoenir, Idunn, Jord, Lofn, Loki, Mon, Njord, Norns, Nott, Odin, Ran, Saga, Sif, Siofn, Skadi, Snotra, Sol, Syn, Ull, Thor, Tyr, Var, Vali, Vidar, Vor, Herne, Holda, Nehalennia, Nerthus, Endovelicus, Ataegina, Runesocesius, Apollo, Bacchus, Ceres, Cupid, Diana, Janus, Juno, Jupiter, Maia, Mars, Mercury, Minerva, Neptune, Pluto, Plutus, Proserpina, Venus, Vesta, Vulcan, Attis, Cybele, El-Gabal, Isis, Mithras, Sol Invictus, Endovelicus, Anubis, Aten, Atum, Bast, Bes, Geb, Hapi, Hathor, Heget, Horus, Imhotep, Isis, Khepry, Khnum, Maahes, Ma’at, Menhit, Mont, Naunet, Neith, Nephthys, Nut, Osiris, Ptah, Ra, Sekhmnet, Sobek, Set, Tefnut, Thoth, An, Anshar, Anu, Apsu, Ashur, Damkina, Ea, Enki, Enlil, Ereshkigal, Nunurta, Hadad, Inanna, Ishtar, Kingu, Kishar, Marduk, Mummu, Nabu, Nammu, Nanna, Nergal, Ninhursag, Ninlil, Nintu, Shamash, Sin, Tiamat, Utu, Mitra, Amaterasu, Susanoo, Tsukiyomi, Inari, Tengu, Izanami, Izanagi, Daikoku, Ebisu, Benzaiten, Bishamonten, Fukurokuju, Jurojin, Hotei, Quetzalcoatl, Tlaloc, Inti, Kon, Mama Cocha, Mama Quilla, Manco Capac, Pachacamac or Zaramama.

      October 17, 2013 at 10:39 pm |
      • perry

        Azura Mazda, Angus, Belenos, Brigid, Dana, Lugh, Dagda, Epona, Allah Aphrodite, Apollo, Ares, Artemis, Atehna, Demeter, Dionysus, Eris, Eos, Gaia, God, Hades, Hekate, Helios, Hephaestus, Hera, Hermes, Hestia, Pan, Poseidon, Selene, Uranus, Zeus, Mathilde, Elves, Eostre, Frigg, Ganesh, Hretha, Saxnot, Shef, Shiva Thuno, Tir, Vishnu, Weyland, Woden, Yahweh, Alfar, Balder, Beyla, Bil, Bragi, Byggvir, Dagr, Disir, Eir, Forseti, Freya, Freyr, Frigga, Heimdall, Hel, Hoenir, Idunn, Jord, Lofn, Loki, Mon, Njord, Norns, Nott, Odin, Ran, Saga, Sif, Siofn, Skadi, Snotra, Sol, Syn, Ull, Thor, Tyr, Var, Vali, Vidar, Vor, Herne, Holda, Nehalennia, Nerthus, Endovelicus, Ataegina, Runesocesius, Apollo, Bacchus, Ceres, Cupid, Diana, Janus, Juno, Jupiter, Maia, Mars, Mercury, Minerva, Neptune, Pluto, Plutus, Proserpina, Venus, Vesta, Vulcan, Attis, Cybele, El-Gabal, Isis, Mithras, Sol Invictus, Endovelicus, Anubis, Aten, Atum, Bast, Bes, Geb, Hapi, Hathor, Heget, Horus, Imhotep, Isis, Khepry, Khnum, Maahes, Ma’at, Menhit, Mont, Naunet, Neith, Nephthys, Nut, Osiris, Ptah, Ra, Sekhmnet, Sobek, Set, Tefnut, Thoth, An, Anshar, Anu, Apsu, Ashur, Damkina, Ea, Enki, Enlil, Ereshkigal, Nunurta, Hadad, Inanna, Ishtar, Kingu, Kishar, Marduk, Mummu, Nabu, Nammu, Nanna, Nergal, Ninhursag, Ninlil, Nintu, Shamash, Sin, Tiamat, Utu, Mitra, Amaterasu, Susanoo, Tsukiyomi, Inari, Tengu, Izanami, Izanagi, Daikoku, Ebisu, Benzaiten, Bishamonten, Fukurokuju, Jurojin, Hotei, Quetzalcoatl, Tlaloc, Inti, Kon, Mama Cocha, Mama Quilla, Manco Capac, Pachacamac or Zaramama. DM Murdock

        October 17, 2013 at 10:44 pm |
      • Robert

        Is a name really that important? Or just the concept?

        October 17, 2013 at 10:52 pm |
    • Paul

      Do you ever make any inferences from what you do know?

      October 17, 2013 at 10:41 pm |
    • Bootyfunk

      how can you know anything is a fact?

      October 17, 2013 at 10:43 pm |
      • The Logic of Colin, Bob, Bootyfunk and LionlyLamb

        If you copy and paste something 100 times it makes it a fact

        October 17, 2013 at 11:00 pm |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.