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'Mr. Spock goes to church': How one Christian copes with Asperger's syndrome
Brant Hansen, a host on Christian radio, says his Asperger's syndrome once made him feel like an alien at church.
October 19th, 2013
10:28 AM ET

'Mr. Spock goes to church': How one Christian copes with Asperger's syndrome

Opinion by Brant Hansen, special to CNN

(CNN) - In the book “Jim and Caspar Go to Church,” an atheist turns to a Christian minister as they're watching a Sunday morning church service and earnestly asks, "Is this what Jesus told you guys to do?"

I've grown up in churches and I'm a Christian, and I'm right there with the atheist.

I honestly don't get the connection. (To be fair, I've grown up on Earth, too, and there are times that I don't understand any part of this place.)

You see, years ago, I was diagnosed with Asperger's syndrome - and like a lot of "Aspies," sometimes I'm convinced that I've landed on the wrong planet.

For those of you who don't know the medical lingo, Asperger's syndrome is an autism spectrum disorder, but not as severe as what most people think of as autism.

It basically comes down to this: those "normal human" rules for things like eye contact, when to smile, personal distance - we just don't get them.

What's more, Aspies like me don't like those rules. They make no sense to us. So usually, we just say stuff - bluntly - and stare uncomfortably at the ground. That's how we roll.

But it gets even trickier for people of faith like me.

Feeling out of place at work is one thing. Feeling like an alien at church is a whole other matter.

Imagine Mr. Spock at an evangelical Christian tent revival, and you’ll get the idea.

And my father is a pastor, so I was in church a lot.

Multiple times, each week, every week, I found myself wishing I'd be moved by the worship music, or that I could shut off my skeptical mind during the sermons.

I'd see people in church services, Christian concerts and Bible camps overcome by emotion and enraptured with charismatic speakers, and I wondered why I didn't feel that way.

Why did I always feel like a cold observer?

After going to college, I was convinced my lack of feeling meant I was missing something, spiritually, so I joined charismatic Christian groups in which emotional manifestations of the Holy Spirit are common.

I desperately wanted to have what they had - an emotional experience of God's presence - and asked them to pray over me.

It didn't work.

When I didn’t move with the Holy Spirit or speak in tongues, they told me it was because I had rejected God.

I worried that it was the other way around: God had rejected me.

Maybe I felt like an alien because I deserved it. I deserved to be alienated, irretrievably and forever far from God.

I tried to pray, read the Bible, and do all the "right stuff." But I still felt out-of-touch.

I wondered if I was so broken, such a misfit that God simply took a look at me and decided to move on.

I wish I’d known then that I was an Aspie. And that God loves Aspies.

I still feel alienated from many parts of Christian culture, but Jesus himself finally reached me.

And man, did I feel that.

To people who are beaten down or befuddled by religious rules, Jesus offers something that no one else does: rest. "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest," he says.

And he sums up the entirety of complex and confusing religious laws with this: “Love God, and love your neighbor.”

Beautiful. Even children can understand that.

The Bible tells a story about a man who approaches Jesus and admits that he has faith, but also strong doubts.

"Help me in my unbelief," he asks Jesus.

Jesus doesn't blast him. He loves him. To me, Jesus is the only one who really makes any sense.

Oddly enough, considering my medical condition, I'm now a radio personality on a network that plays Christian music.

It’s a beautiful fit, in many ways, because I get to talk to many people who also don’t fit in, and wonder if God loves them.

It’s true, though, others won’t understand me. I know that. I’m still an alien in the American Christian subculture.

Each evening I retreat from it, and I go straight to the Gospels.

It's not out of duty that I read about Jesus; it's a respite.

I long for it, because I'm awash in two strange and baffling cultures, both the irreligious and religious.

And I long for someone I can finally understand, and someone who might finally understand me.

Brant Hansen is a radio host on the Air1 network, where his show airs from 3-7 p.m. CT. He also writes a popular blog at air1.com. The views expressed in this column belong to Hansen. 

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Belief • Bible • Christianity • Church • Faith • Health • Jesus • Opinion • Spirituality

soundoff (3,030 Responses)
  1. joe schmo

    Horrible article, especially if im an aspie christian. Its just like every other religion propaganda out there. Blah blah blah and I found god and realized he loves me............. yeah duh... how does it take you so long to figure it out? Did you not listen the first day of sunday school? GOD LOVES EVERYONE.... its basically the mantra so why do these articles keep popping up? Its pointless we know that god loves everyone, and you arent any different and just wanted to publish this so that you felt like you were contributing something, even though its nothing original and very boring, typical story.

    We all go to heaven, we are all the same, hitler, me, you, gandhi, bush,obama, osama. He loves everyone, doesnt matter if you believe, if you pray, if you find him, dont worry about it. The people who need god in this life will find him, which is usually the non smart people, the people who are emotional, the fearful, the crazy. Otherwise if you dont need him thats ok too, just keep living your life the way you want and if you need religion to justify being good, then im glad you have religion for my sake.

    October 19, 2013 at 7:34 pm |
    • Realist

      ----------------

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

      ... and thank goodness ...

      ... because he emanates from the ..

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

      --------------–.

      October 19, 2013 at 7:41 pm |
  2. Columba Lisa

    My son has a mild case of Asperger's. He does get judged sometimes. The evangelical subculture is in some ways very different from Jesus. That can be hard, because when people say they represent God, the rest of us are left wondering where that leaves us. I am a believer, but I have an outsider's perspective for various reasons.

    October 19, 2013 at 7:33 pm |
    • Al

      People will always reject what they feel doesn't belong. Try being a veteran with PTSD. Christians reject you and Atheists reject you.

      October 19, 2013 at 7:41 pm |
      • Crom

        What? Atheism is not an ideology and does not even touch upon whether someone is a veteran or what mental issues they have. Your PTSD is causing you to jump to faulty conclusions, I think.

        October 19, 2013 at 7:49 pm |
        • TJ

          Sorry, but atheism IS an ideology... and a religion all its own. More importantly, there are no real "atheists". Why? Because one cannot prove or disprove the existence of God or gods. Therefore, all atheists are really agnostics, and that also has its own ideology, albeit in the most basic of terms.

          October 19, 2013 at 7:57 pm |
        • Al

          No, what I live is causing my conclusions.

          Yes, Atheism is an ideology.

          October 19, 2013 at 7:59 pm |
        • Crom

          No, you find the word "atheism" to be a convenient label you can just sling around without caring whether or not you are using it correctly.
          It is a lack of a belief in any gods. PERIOD

          It is not an ideology. No rules exist, no texts exist. There are no leaders to define a message and no message to give with atheism. It is not a religion, not a cult, not a belief system of any sort – it is the LACK of ANY THEISTIC IDEOLOGY.

          Nobody is worshiping anyone else, not even ourselves, yet ignorant hicks like you are always ready to use words like atheism and religion despite never having opened a dictionary to find out the actual definition of the words.
          You pat yourselves on the back over your ignorance and look like the biggest damn fools on the planet.
          Yeah, I'm really sick of your dumb asses. Just stupid trolls. I prefer smart trolls.
          Just because you're a veteran doesn't mean you being stupid is okay. Fuck you for trying to use your veteran status to shove your way around talking crap with words you don't even know the meaning of. Fuck your shit.

          October 19, 2013 at 8:21 pm |
        • Alias

          People who do not believe in god are one group in the same way people who do not collect stamps have meetings.

          October 19, 2013 at 8:21 pm |
        • Al

          Ok Mr. Brilliant... Lets look at some definitions, shall we!

          From http://www.merriam-webster.com

          Ideology – ide·ol·o·gy
          noun \ˌī-dē-ˈä-lə-jē, ˌi-\ : the set of ideas and beliefs of a group or political party

          atheist – athe·ist
          noun \ˈā-thē-ist\: a person who believes that God does not exist

          Please tell me more about how educated and enlightened you are.

          October 19, 2013 at 8:32 pm |
        • tallulah13

          Pretty easy: Ideology is a set of beliefs that belong to a group.

          Atheists are individuals. The only thing they have in common is not believing in god.

          Atheism is not an ideology.

          October 19, 2013 at 9:06 pm |
        • Al

          Atheists are a group of people with a belief. Your opinion doesn't change fact.

          October 19, 2013 at 9:08 pm |
        • Tom, Tom, the Other One

          I imagine we believe all kinds of things you do, AI. Welcome to the group.

          October 19, 2013 at 9:10 pm |
        • Al

          Do you believe I am pretty darn tired of all the squabbling and petty nonsense? Tired of each side trying to force their will upon the other? Yeah, that's me.

          October 19, 2013 at 9:22 pm |
        • Crom

          *sigh*
          I see Al doesn't quite understand how to use the dictionary.
          Here's a challenge for you, Al. Go find me a universally accepted explanation of atheism that details all of our "secret" rules and laws – You say it's an ideology? Then there should be a description of the full "beliefs" we atheists are supposedly using as an ideology.
          Go ahead and look. You won't find anything because there isn't any. That's because atheism is merely the lack of one type of ideology, not an ideology in itself.
          But the willfully stupid will just dig in their heels, thinking they've scored some sort of point with a false equivalency and other fallacious arguments all based upon not being able to understand simple definitions, like you.
          "A person who believes god does not exist" is not true of atheists. They don't have a belief because they lack one.
          That definition was put there by religious trolls like you, twisting the truth to say what is not true.
          I noticed the definition had changed some months back in at least one dictionary – changed to say atheists "believed" in no gods. But what that means is that we DON'T HAVE A BELIEF in any gods. How hard is it to understand English for you?
          Is English a second language for you? Are you some idiot who can't sit still and comprehend what is written? Yes.

          October 19, 2013 at 10:18 pm |
        • Al

          That's the thing about ideology dude. There is no "universally accepted" ideology be it atheist, christian or muslim. Scientists can't even agree on how the universe was created even among the non-religious. Since everybody has different beliefs you will not find a universally accepted ideology. Look at Christians, they can't even decide what they believe. However, just like the Christians, you atheists do have your own set of beliefs. Just like Christians have Catholics, baptists, orthodox and all of their different denominations that all have the common theme of Christ but differences in interpretation. Atheists have the common belief there are no "Gods" as you'll see from those websites there are some differing opinions about all matter of things pertaining to atheism.

          http://www.atheists.org/

          http://outcampaign.org/

          http://ardentatheist.com/

          Thank you for proving my point this evening. Your harsh words are proof positive that bigots still exist and prefer the anonymity of the internet. The fact that you cannot let go of your hatred and choose to "prey" on the religious because you feel that your better than them. You reject the members of society that you do not feel meet your level of intellect and social status. This is the cancer of our society. It always has been. Your 19th century notion that you are better than others is no better than that of the christian. You and your ilk are no better than anyone else. Just closet bigots that hide behind your computer and make fun of the things you choose not to understand be it religion or anything else.

          You may continue to play with words, definitions and excuses for your conduct here. Call me stupid because of my opinion on the rift in our society and the lack of common decency toward each other. I will not be here to read it because your small bigoted mind cannot comprehend what I am saying. The fact that you think I'm christian proves that. Good day.

          October 20, 2013 at 2:33 am |
        • crom rules you

          Tellem Crom !

          November 19, 2013 at 4:16 pm |
  3. Realist

    ----------------

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

    ... and thank goodness ...

    ... because he emanates from the ..

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

    --------------–.

    October 19, 2013 at 7:30 pm |
  4. Quiet skeptic

    Here's something maybe most of you didn't think of. Maybe the majority of us who are non believers are kind of quiet about it. Reason being the religion stuff helps people who are dying not to feel so bad about it.
    Truthfully also I can admit I certainly don't know everything there is to know about existence.

    October 19, 2013 at 7:18 pm |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      The Hell's Angel's have toy drives.....making some people feel better does not overcome all the other damage it does.

      October 19, 2013 at 7:26 pm |
    • Crom

      So I guess you aren't using your quiet time to educate yourself. Refusing to read up on science will keep you in the dark.

      October 19, 2013 at 7:27 pm |
      • Sara

        That was a pretty big leap.

        October 19, 2013 at 7:31 pm |
        • Crom

          Yes, I have a special license to do that. It cost me five bucks. You should get one, too.

          October 19, 2013 at 7:44 pm |
  5. Rustedruut

    Probably outing myself as a huge nerd, but Spock was a "churchgoer" in as much as he practice his own vulcan "faith" both on vulcan, and he had some sort of meditation space in his room. So thar! As for the whole Aspies don't follow Rules thing. Ridiculous. I don't follow rules that are *stupid* or meant as a form of control – but I do follow rules that make sense. Don't turn right on a red light, don't run people down in crosswalks, don't scream fire in a theatre. That puts me ahead of 50% of the population as it is......Also, my atheism has nothing to do with Aspergers, so as far as I am concerned, aspies can be both, it just depends on what they believe in. Perhaps the author just had the wrong branch of Christianity for his own vision of what faith is, and he just needs to find some nice Anglicans. I heard they have tea.

    October 19, 2013 at 6:55 pm |
    • Sara

      Yes, Spock was a church goes.

      People with Aspergers are far less likely to be religious, so for you to assume the two are unconnected for you is a pretty big assumption that you are special.

      By the way, people with schizophrenia are more likely to be religious, and if you meet someone with schizophrenia who is very religious, there's a good chance it plays at least a partial role.

      October 19, 2013 at 7:36 pm |
    • Big Joe

      The "rules" he was talking about were things like looking people in the eye and when to smile. Not all rules.

      October 19, 2013 at 7:54 pm |
  6. Jennifer Dinsmore

    From the "Song of Bernadette" (based on a true story, not a fictional one)..."For those who believe in God, no explanation is necessary.
    For those who do not believe in God, no explanation is possible."

    October 19, 2013 at 6:44 pm |
    • Lionly Lamb

      🙂 😳 🙂

      October 19, 2013 at 6:46 pm |
    • Colin

      I prefer Sagan, "Logic did not lead the believer to their beliefs, so no amount of logic will dislodge them from them."

      October 19, 2013 at 6:47 pm |
      • Al

        You see, neither one of you can stop and think.

        October 19, 2013 at 6:51 pm |
      • Lionly Lamb

        👿 😳 👿

        October 19, 2013 at 7:23 pm |
      • Steven H.

        In other words, "A person convinced against their will is of the same opinion still..."

        October 19, 2013 at 7:24 pm |
    • Check

      Jennifer Dinsmore,
      "For those who do not believe in God, no explanation is possible."

      Really? I've heard it said that ALL things are possible with this "God" character from the Bible. A real smart and powerful god would know precisely what explanation(s) would be effective for each and every one of us.

      October 19, 2013 at 7:01 pm |
      • TiglathPileser

        pst...you are correct, cause if you read the book He even says that some won't get it regardless of the explanation.

        October 19, 2013 at 7:33 pm |
        • Check

          Tiglath,

          The "He" must will it to be that way, and would have known before each person was even created what the outcome would be. And you would worship such a monster? Good thing "He" doesn't exist! But I have concerns about someone like you, who does exist...

          October 19, 2013 at 7:41 pm |
        • TiglathPileser

          @check
          Thats o.k., happily wether or not you have concerns about me is entirely irrelevant.

          October 20, 2013 at 2:00 pm |
    • Lou

      So, what you're saying is that you have to be extremely gullible.

      October 19, 2013 at 7:09 pm |
    • TiglathPileser

      Umm, just an FYI, that quote was originally from Thomas Aquinas, a couple years before the song of bernadette.

      October 19, 2013 at 7:32 pm |
  7. Colin

    Cpt Obvious, I agree with you. I nfact the one thing in history, indeed the only thing, that has consistently been shown to reduce a person's belief in a god, is education. It seems the more one knows about the natural world, history and or science, the less they believe in sky fairies, be them Christian, Jewish, Hindu or other.

    October 19, 2013 at 6:42 pm |
    • Al

      An unfortunate result is hatred on both sides. Hatred of the things you don't understand. Thank you for propogating that here today.

      October 19, 2013 at 7:12 pm |
    • TiglathPileser

      Actually Colin that is a made up fact, as it was in history and remains today, some of the most educated people in our society are also some of the most religious. Feel free to google it...

      October 19, 2013 at 7:35 pm |
    • Sara

      A lot of things have been shown to reduce a belief in god: money, critical thinking, and, yes, autism spectrum disorders.

      October 19, 2013 at 7:37 pm |
  8. Al

    I'm sitting here thinking to myself, "Wow this sounds familiar." Particularly the bit about not fitting in. People reject what they do not understand.

    Don't judge them for their lack of understanding, it's not their fault that they don't have your experiences. They have not lived your life and by no means do people share the same beliefs. When I saw my first "COEXIST" bumper sticker it completely clicked. There are very few people who have the ability to be understanding to everyone and who realize that my rules don't cover everyone. The Christians that want to stop people from marrying and the atheists that want to tear down crosses. These are two of the worst offenses against each other in my opinion. When it all boils down you're left with hate. The fact of the matter is these issues are not issues at all.

    For a "God fearing" Christian, there is no change in your life if one man is allowed to marry another. For a card carrying Atheist, that cross atop the hill miles away does not hurt you or anyone else. Mutual respect something that is in extremely short supply recently. You worry about your life and not the life of your neighbor. I will worry about mine. Maybe then, we can all start fitting in.

    October 19, 2013 at 6:37 pm |
    • shots

      but the problem is that people of faith get into politics and force their beliefs on everyone.... you have people down in Texas trying to change the teaching materials in school to teach creationism and to downplay evolution.... there is where I draw the line... I have no problem with the prayer at games ,,, the in god we trust .. on money the holidays displays but when they start making rules forcing me to follow their fantasy I can not do it

      October 19, 2013 at 6:53 pm |
      • Al

        But don't you see it goes both ways. You're each choking each other out instead of letting each other breath. Why can't they teach about the idea of creation? How does this hurt you? I know what people believe about creation. There is nothing in there that is offensive. No more offensive than Greek mythology. No more offensive than a big explosion lead to life on Earth. You (and them) are blinded by hate. So blinded you cannot see your future is completely screwed.

        October 19, 2013 at 7:09 pm |
        • JWT

          Nothing you have said matters – too many christians insist that the rest of us lie by their beliefs – which is just wrong.

          October 19, 2013 at 7:16 pm |
        • Tom, Tom, the Other One

          Offensive and dishonest things are done to come up with evidence for Creation. If that didn't happen, I'd be all for including Creation along with verifiable evidence for it and candid explanations regarding the motives for bringing it up as something to be considered. Children are sharp. Creationism wouldn't stand the light of day.

          October 19, 2013 at 7:16 pm |
        • JJ

          "Creationism is not the alternative to Evolution – ignorance is"

          October 19, 2013 at 7:24 pm |
      • TiglathPileser

        No, no, no, the problem is that Atheists get into politics and force THEIR views on everyone...hey, wait a minute...

        October 19, 2013 at 7:36 pm |
        • Al

          My point exactly, both sides are equally to blame.

          October 19, 2013 at 7:39 pm |
    • Cpt. Obvious

      Criticism of ideas is not "hate." If an idea is stupid, a rational person is within his rights to call the idea stupid. It is the person's fault who is holding to that idea if he is offended that the idea is not meritorious.

      October 19, 2013 at 7:16 pm |
      • Al

        You're right, challenging someone's ideas is not hate. It's the disdain you feel while writing your comments as it seeps into your words. That is where the hate lives.

        October 19, 2013 at 7:37 pm |
      • Al

        Your problem with other people is not their problem. It belongs solely to you.

        October 19, 2013 at 7:38 pm |
  9. Colin

    All historians and economists agree that one of the most important things for acountry's future is the education of its people. No rocket science there. What is the only thing capable of making 40% of the USA utterly stupid enough to think the entire Universe began less than 10,000 years ago with one man, one woman and a talking snake:

    (a) a horrid and widespread mental disease

    (b) a failed and broken education system

    (c) a successful Al Qaeda plot; or

    (d) Christianity?

    October 19, 2013 at 6:32 pm |
    • Crom

      And where are you flying to today? Copypasta International Airport, right? Don't drink the water there next time, okay?

      October 19, 2013 at 6:36 pm |
      • Eric The Half a Bee

        Do you ever make a point of your own. From the postings on here, it seems all you do is sit back and wait for somebody to say something so you can criticize it. Too cowardly to have an original opinion, are you?

        October 19, 2013 at 6:45 pm |
        • Crom

          You dare question the mighty Crom? I guess I struck a nerve. Too bad, kiddo, but don't worry, I see this all the time with idiots like you.
          I've posted THOUSANDS of comments not in reply to others here.
          You really don't know what the fuck you're talking about.

          October 19, 2013 at 7:30 pm |
        • tallulah13

          If by "striking a nerve", you mean "annoying people til they felt compelled to respond" then you have succeeded.

          October 19, 2013 at 7:34 pm |
        • Crom

          No, Tallulah13, it is when they are struck by the penetrating truths I reveal that they are galvanized to respond in some way, thus "striking a nerve" is a pretty good label for it.
          Disillusionment is always a shock, always painful, and always involves a harsh truth from a harsh reality.
          Being a little rude sometimes helps, sometimes it doesn't. I usually enjoy getting it off my chest. Very nice day to you.

          October 19, 2013 at 7:58 pm |
        • tallulah13

          A lot of people claim to have "struck a nerve" when in fact they have behaved in a manner that some might find annoying. This appears to be the case in this instance.

          October 19, 2013 at 9:08 pm |
        • Crom

          Annoying? Me? Of course it's annoying when a know-it-all who is almost always right keeps saying true things and rubbing it in the faces of those who believe themselves to be beyond all criticism. Hey, you sort of annoyed me there. lol
          There are times when I wish I wasn't so smart or right or annoying. And then the moment passes. My my.

          October 19, 2013 at 10:26 pm |
    • WasGivenProofForYou

      I’m not really sure what exact age I was when I went through the sacrament of confirmation. I think I was 14. Getting the exact date right isn’t important. It is, however, important for me to establish some context on my emotional state that day.
      I was brought up Catholic. I went to church every Sunday with my father and sisters. I was baptized when I was an infant and had my first communion when I was in elementary school. I didn’t go to a Catholic school, but went to religious instruction classes for many years up until being confirmed. I kind of, believed in God and all of that, but in the same way that many Catholics, Methodists, etc, do. It was what I had been brought on.
      On the day of my confirmation, I was with a group of friends and my sister. I was not in any emotional turmoil or duress that day. There was nothing like that. My friends and I were hamming it up. In fact, you could almost say that we were all there because our parents wanted us to be there. We really didn’t care one way or the other about being there.
      So we all went up to visit the bishop in a line for the sacrament of confirmation. One of the guys that was with us was high on pot. He was either right behind me or two people behind me. I can’t remember that for certain. What I can’t tell you is that he was giggling over the bishop’s funny looking hat.
      So when it was my turn to step before the bishop, I was basically in a situation where I was trying to keep a straight, non-smiling, face while I had this idiot behind me in line giggling over the funny looking hat that the bishop wore. I was trying not to laugh.
      I don’t really remember if the bishop and I were supposed to exchange words. What I do remember is that he anointed us each with oil, dipping his thumb in it and painting a cross on our foreheads with the it. When he did this to me, something happened. It’s very hard to put into words but I’ll do the best I can.
      When the bishop made the figure of the cross on my forehead with the oil, the Holy Spirit entered my being. There was this spiritual warmth that entered my soul. It was only there for a couple of seconds. It was very intense. I can tell you with complete certainty that I didn’t imagine it. It wasn’t anything as subtle as a chill going down my spine. It was much more intense than that. It was very strange. There was this sense of righteousness and peace to it. I don’t know how to explain it any better than that.
      But after that day I went onto a life of partying like crazy for the next 25+ years. During those years, I probably told only a handful of people what happened to me on the day of my Catholic confirmation sacrament. It wasn’t that I was embarrassed or anything. In fact, if anything, I have been told that I tell too many weird, disturbing stories about past events from my crazy days.
      But I got saved after all of those years. It was only after being saved that my purpose was revealed to me. I’m supposed to tell people what happened to me. I’m supposed to give this testimony. So, here I am telling you all.
      Thanks for listening and may God bless you all.

      October 19, 2013 at 6:38 pm |
      • Crom

        Said the schizophrenic and gullible fool. No proof of anything there but that you are delusional. Your BS is just BS.

        October 19, 2013 at 6:41 pm |
      • Check

        WasGivenProofForYou,

        I was confirmed at age 14 also, but unlike you, I was quite devout and believed every single word that I was taught. Unlike you, I continued with these beliefs for the next 25 years (granted, in declining fervency, as I began to truly look at them). I finally had to admit that there's no-one out/up/over/around there.

        That your stirring anecdotal emotional experience was anything supernatural or divine is unverifiable.

        October 19, 2013 at 6:54 pm |
      • tallulah13

        Emotional responses and special feelings are not proof of god.

        October 19, 2013 at 7:39 pm |
        • Crom

          They are for delusional schizophrenics. What! Did you think you could reason with them? I do that a lot, too.

          October 19, 2013 at 7:59 pm |
        • tallulah13

          Oh do get over yourself.

          October 19, 2013 at 9:09 pm |
        • Crom

          Okay, over myself now. Now what? Your turn.

          October 19, 2013 at 10:28 pm |
    • Cpt. Obvious

      b, especially in those areas where d is prevalent.

      October 19, 2013 at 6:40 pm |
    • Emily

      I am so sorry, as a Christian, that you feel the need to blatantly hurt the foundation of Christianity and Christ followers. I am not sure if you were a Christian and then decided that it was stupid to stay one or that you grew up in atheist/agnostic home (or are a troll) but I would be interested to know why you feel the need to spread hatred.
      I have my own convictions on why I think Christ is the way. Christianity is an intellectual "religion." I indicated "religion" because we are supposed to have a relationship with Christ and not worry about following rules. I would love to talk to you about it if you have the time.
      I can ensure that I am not diseased because I am a Christian. Yes there are people who do make some dumb remarks (in general) but Christians, Jews, Atheists, Agnostics, Muslims, etc. make these remarks and not just Christians as you have indicated. I would be interested in knowing why you feel the need to call Christians "diseased".
      As for the educational system, The educational system is flawed but everyone goes through the same educational system so you can not blame the system for Christians (because they have produced atheists, muslims, agnostics, and jews too). There are many people who are well-educated that believe in Christ. If you want to be more informed check out these books: Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis, The Case for Christ and The Case for Faith by Lee Strobel.
      As for the Al-Qaeda comment, Al-Qaeda is a Muslim extremist group so it would not follow that stupidity in Christians is because of Al-Qaeda. No one agrees with the violence that they impose (except Muslim extremists).
      I am so sorry that you feel the need to attack but please reflect on what I have said and read the books I recommended, God bless. P.S. He still loves you even though you abhor him.

      October 19, 2013 at 7:27 pm |
      • Emily

        You do not have to agree with me but it would be interesting if you took the time to look at Christianity rationally (hence the three books that I indicated to you) before your next comment is about how Christians are stupid.

        October 19, 2013 at 7:40 pm |
      • tallulah13

        There is no evidence that any of the thousands of gods humanity has worshiped through history has ever existed. There is no proof that the god you worship actually exists. Christianity, and religion in general has gotten a free ride for hundreds of years, but now people are no longer afraid to point out that the Emperor has no clothes.

        You are free to believe whatever you want, but your belief is not universal and people will no longer remain silent.

        October 19, 2013 at 9:13 pm |
    • Realist

      ----------------

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

      ... and thank goodness ...

      ... because he emanates from the ..

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

      --------------–.

      October 19, 2013 at 7:33 pm |
    • TiglathPileser

      Hard to take anyone serious who starts with 'all of anyone agreeing' that is patently false, you may wish it to be so but that does not make it so. Please take your made up propoganda and go away.

      October 19, 2013 at 7:39 pm |
  10. mickinmd

    I agree that Jesus makes more sense than just about anyone in History, but you don't have to consider him a god to follow his teaches if you strip them of their religious and mystical aspects. I went to the "Holy Land" and visited the places Jesus lived, walked on the same ancient synagogue pulpit from which he taught in Capernaum, visited Nazareth, Jerusalem, Bethlehem, etc.
    For good reason, his teachings have had more influence on human behavior in the last two thousand years than any other person.

    But just as Thomas Jefferson wrote a version of the New Testament treating Jesus as an ordinary man, not a god, I don't see the need – or the justification for it. I don't believe he ever claimed to be one.

    October 19, 2013 at 6:30 pm |
    • Crom

      Any in-depth investigation into Jesus turns people off and shows the story for what it is: a total farce.

      October 19, 2013 at 6:33 pm |
      • TiglathPileser

        Actually it does just teh opposite, you should try it...ps, "in-depth" would require more than Google.

        October 19, 2013 at 7:40 pm |
        • Crom

          LOL – you wish. All the evidence shows your religion to be total hogwash and deserving of destruction, nothing more.

          October 19, 2013 at 8:04 pm |
        • TiglathPileser

          "all the evidence" please free free to provide any (and just as a note – you saying it is so, is not 'evidence')

          October 20, 2013 at 2:03 pm |
    • Colin

      He didn't, as far as we can tell. It is only in John's Gospel, written in what is now Turkey and about 65 yeras after Jesus died, that we get the first Gospel assertio nthat he was God. Nobody know what Jesus would think of such a proposition.

      October 19, 2013 at 6:35 pm |
      • Colin

        Unfortunately I have misrepresented the time frame for the gospels and the statements made by Jesus and adopted theories that support my own personal hatreds and bigotry.

        October 19, 2013 at 7:18 pm |
      • fyi

        In case any new visitors are not aware: there is an insane/inane person who frequents these blogs who poses as the regular screen names of certain posters with whom he disagrees or whom he doesn't like.

        It's best to ignore him, since your replies will be removed along with his.

        October 19, 2013 at 7:22 pm |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      "but you don't have to consider him a god to follow his teaches if you strip them of their religious and mystical aspects."

      If you strip that away you don't even need Jesus at all since none of his philosphical teaching are original to him, they were part of Buddism and other teaching for many years previous. I would expect a god to have at least one original thought.

      October 19, 2013 at 7:42 pm |
  11. 7 of 9

    I agree that religion is illogical and makes no sense, when I read up on it it's in the hopes that I'm mistaken.

    October 19, 2013 at 6:22 pm |
    • Realist

      ----------------

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

      ... and thank goodness ...

      ... because he emanates from the ..

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

      --------------–.

      October 19, 2013 at 7:34 pm |
  12. jrs1972

    I'd love to see "spock" in church. The only logical outcome is he would laugh for the first time.

    October 19, 2013 at 6:12 pm |
    • Jeff Grigg

      Well, not the first time.
      [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m66xx-UKHDU&w=640&h=390]

      October 19, 2013 at 6:18 pm |
    • common sense

      You do realize that Spock is a TV "fictional" character.

      October 19, 2013 at 6:18 pm |
      • Emily

        You do realize that that person indicated that Spock is not a real person by putting quotation marks around the word Spock.

        October 19, 2013 at 6:35 pm |
      • common sense

        Yet the same person went on to intimate that"spock" could have a relevant reaction or dialog independent from his creator author?

        October 19, 2013 at 7:12 pm |
  13. Foo Manchu

    Ummm ... you guys do know that Leonard Nimoy is Jewish, right? Conservative actually. The "live long and prosper" salute with the split fingers is from a benediction that rabbis deliver. That said, the comment above is quite right: Mr. Spock was a made up character ... made up by an atheist.

    October 19, 2013 at 5:58 pm |
    • 7 of 9

      I think the average Star Trek fan is aware of the characters and their histories. I think your point is what makes Spock an appropriate choice for a writer who is trying to convey the irony of his church going activities.

      October 19, 2013 at 6:08 pm |
      • Check

        I wish they would leave Leonard Nimoy out of it. He played the character – period.

        It's like saying that Robert Downey, Jr. has a space-weapon technology laboratory in his basement.

        October 19, 2013 at 6:14 pm |
        • 7 of 9

          Agreed. It's like the South Park episode where Michael Dorn says, "I'm not Lt. Warf I'm Michael Dorn!"

          October 19, 2013 at 6:15 pm |
        • Check

          Yes, and Leonard Nimoy had to go so far as to name his autobiography "I Am Not Spock"!

          October 19, 2013 at 6:20 pm |
      • Foo Manchu

        Yes, 7 of 9, that was precisely my point, thanks.

        October 19, 2013 at 6:24 pm |
  14. Alias

    @bootyfunk
    I'm not sure which one of your posts inspired which fundie to use your name, but I would like to congratulate you.
    You must have posted something made sense to an insecure ass.

    October 19, 2013 at 5:56 pm |
  15. Stephanie

    Wow! I wish I had found this long ago! My husband has aspergers, and although I've never been diagnosed, I often see the tendencies in myself. I got on the internet tonight searchibg for away to connect with God. This article moved mountains in my heart (ya see what I did there?). I too have felt as an outsider and went into charismatic/emotional churches and felt untouched. In short: thank you and praise the Holy Spirit, because I needed this.

    October 19, 2013 at 5:54 pm |
  16. Colin

    Christians have been praying that abortion will again be made illegal since Roe v. Wade in 1973. That is 30 years of constant praying by millions and millions of Christians. Yet, God allows the slaughter of millions of innocent babies every year. It continues day in, day out despite prayers being offered up all over the country.

    Why is that?

    October 19, 2013 at 5:52 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      God has given America over to sin as a prelude to its destruction in the Last Days. That sort of thing.

      October 19, 2013 at 5:55 pm |
    • brad85

      What kind of God would he be if he did things the way we would?

      October 19, 2013 at 5:59 pm |
      • JJ

        Moral?

        October 19, 2013 at 6:26 pm |
    • Vic

      it's called free will. What kind of God would He be if He made everyone robots who were forced to love Him. That wouldn't be true love. It would be like having those old pull string doll toys and every time He pulls it we say "I love You!" That gets annoying after a while. But when a child looks at his Father and says "I love you, Daddy." It is so much more special. He gave us free will so we could choose to love Him and have sincere love. However many people don't love Him, and that's a part of free will as well. Therefore, even though God is sad each time a baby is murdered without reason and Satan is laughing every time, we chose with our free will to allow the horrible process that is abortion to be legal and encouraged. If people only read up on what actually happens during an abortion they would be discussed, but man doesn't want to know. They just want to be told it isn't alive and it doesn't know pain (even though scientist have proved otherwise) and that it is okay to murder this way. So there is my two cents and my answer. Not sure if it means anything to you but I was just answering your question. God bless you.

      October 19, 2013 at 6:31 pm |
      • Colin

        So, he is willing to sit idle while millions of innocent babies (who did not exercise any free will, they are just victims) are slaughtered. So, I guess praying is useless then.

        October 19, 2013 at 6:37 pm |
      • Check

        "Love me or die, Child." is NOT free will, Vic. Your "God" character is an extortionist thug.

        October 19, 2013 at 6:40 pm |
      • tallulah13

        "Free Will" is the catch-all phrase for christians when explaining why their god doesn't actually do anything.

        October 19, 2013 at 7:41 pm |
        • Crom

          Nice.

          October 19, 2013 at 10:30 pm |
        • brad85

          Can one of you tell me how you know that God is doing nothing? And since when did you guys become experts on how to be God? My point being we must humble ourselves and trust in God knowing that he is sovereign over all. You need to get poverty yourselves and realize you're imperfect and need a God that will save you, because he has.

          October 20, 2013 at 12:43 am |
        • brad85

          over*

          October 20, 2013 at 12:47 am |
    • Realist

      ----------------

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

      ... and thank goodness ...

      ... because he emanates from the ..

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

      --------------–.

      October 19, 2013 at 7:36 pm |
  17. Alias

    If the god in the bible existed:
    We would have one world religion,
    the bible would have no mistakes,
    the bible would be interpreted the same way by everyone who read it.

    October 19, 2013 at 5:50 pm |
    • JJ

      It's obvious to those of us uninfected by the virus.

      October 19, 2013 at 6:29 pm |
    • Realist

      ----------------

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

      ... and thank goodness ...

      ... because he emanates from the ..

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

      --------------–.

      October 19, 2013 at 7:37 pm |
  18. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    I though it was all bullsh t. Just something I would say all the time. But prayer got to be like an earwig. It's gotten into my brain and I can't stop praying. I don't sleep. Oh God make it stop. Proven.

    October 19, 2013 at 5:45 pm |
    • Crom

      You need to stop doing what you are doing. It's like an earwig in your brain to do this to other people. Stop it.

      October 19, 2013 at 6:05 pm |
  19. brad85

    Religion says, "I obey God, therefore he loves me." Genuine Christianity says, "God loves me, therefore I obey him." Jesus came to destroy religion, and is a big reason why so many have no interest in Him. Who would want to be religious? But if you truly seek after Jesus you will see he already is reaching out and offering the gift of life. I pray Jesus, through this post, will turn the hearts of others who are lost. Great post, Brant! You're awesome!

    October 19, 2013 at 5:44 pm |
    • JWT

      People who do believe in your version of jesus are not at all lost.

      October 19, 2013 at 5:50 pm |
      • JWT

        * who do not believe *

        October 19, 2013 at 5:51 pm |
    • Crom

      The No True Scotsman fallacy. No, don't bother trying to explain it away. Your texts can be interpreted in ANY WAY and still qualify as being based upon those texts. No interpretation is required to have proof that it is a "correct" interpretation.
      Anyone can say anything and no one cares or even wants to know if its just a lie or crazy nonsense.
      It's like that in every religion. They are ideologies that rely upon the supernatural upon any lie can remain unquestioned.
      The wet dream of every con-artist. Religion is filled with them. They are the ones that make the money because they are willing to say any lie to get that money.

      October 19, 2013 at 6:03 pm |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      "Jesus came to destroy religion"

      I guess we can add this to his many failures....

      October 19, 2013 at 7:35 pm |
      • Crom

        zing!

        October 19, 2013 at 10:32 pm |
      • brad85

        Where are you getting that he's failed?

        October 20, 2013 at 12:45 am |
  20. john

    The first time I heard about Asperger's, I was watching one of those useless shows like Maury or the like. There was a fat black lady with an equally fat kid and she kept saying the child had "Ass Burger's". I laughed and laughed and still laugh everytime I hear Asperger's because it makes me thing of Ass Burger's.

    October 19, 2013 at 5:42 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.