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For some Wiccans, Halloween can be a real witch
Trey Capnerhurst, a traditional witch, performs a naming ceremony by the altar in her backyard in Alberta.
October 30th, 2013
03:32 PM ET

For some Wiccans, Halloween can be a real witch

By Daniel Burke, Belief Blog Co-editor

(CNN) -  Like lots of people, when October 31 rolls around, Trey Capnerhurst dons a pointy hat and doles out candy to children who darken the door of her cottage in Alberta.

But she’s not celebrating Halloween. In fact, she kind of hates it.

Capnerhurst says she’s a real, flesh-and-blood witch, and Halloween stereotypes of witches as broom-riding hags drive her a bit batty.

“Witches are not fictional creatures,” the 45-year-old wrote in a recent article on WitchVox.com.

“We are not werewolves or Frankenstein monsters. We do not have green skin, and only some of us have warts.”

Warts or not, many witches say they have mixed feelings about Halloween.

Some look forward to the day when witchcraft is front and center and no one looks askance at big black hats. Others complain that the holiday reinforces negative stereotypes of witches as evil outliers who boil children in black cauldrons.

Capnerhurst falls into the latter camp.

Hanging up witch decorations at Halloween is no better than wearing blackface costumes or taking a slur, like “Redskins,” as the name of your football team, she says.

“Unless one actually is a witch, dressing up as stereotypical witches is bigotry,” Capnerhurst said.

In June, the wife and mother of two started her own church for “traditional” witches called Disir, an old Norse word meaning “matron deities,” she says.

(Capnerhurst draws a distinction between “traditional” witches, like her, who were born into the religion, and Wiccans, most of whom are converts.)

Most Wiccans identify as witches, and they form the largest branch of the burgeoning neo-pagan movement, said Helen A. Berger, a sociologist who specializes in the study of contemporary Paganism and witchcraft at Brandeis University.

A 2008 survey counted about 342,000 Wiccans in the United States and nearly as many who identify simply as “pagans,” a significant increase from the last American Religious Identification Survey, taken in 2001.

Three-quarters of American Wiccans are women, according to Berger.

“It’s harder to train male Wiccans,” Capnerhurst said with a cheery sigh. “Most men just aren’t going to sweep the kitchen and think about sweeping out the bad energy.”

The faith is fiercely individualistic. Although there are umbrella groups like Wisconsin-based Circle Sanctuary, most Wiccans practice their own blends of witchcraft.

After centuries of persecution in Europe and colonial America, modern witches still bear a sharp suspicion of authority. The rede, or ethical statement at the core of Wicca, is: Harm none and do as you will.

Despite the rising popularity of their faith, many Wiccans remain “in the broom closet,” fearful of losing their jobs, their families or their reputations, said Berger and other experts.

Trey Capnerhurst in her traditional witch garb.

Capnerhurst said she was “outed” in 2005 while running as the Green Party’s candidate for local office. A reporter noted the pentacle - a five-pointed star often mistaken as a satanic symbol - hanging around her neck.

“I kind of became the poster girl for paganism,” Capnerhurst said.

But the notoriety came at a cost.

Neighbors have threatened to burn down the house she shares with her family, Capnerhurst says. She’s lost jobs. And people keep asking her whether the “Blair Witch Project,” the 1999 horror movie, is real.

“I’m like, What the frick! No!”

Raising her 12-year-old daughter, Maenwen, as a witch is not easy either, Capnerhurst says, especially around this time of year, when just about every classroom turns into a coven of construction-paper crones and black cats.

In the United States, Circle Sanctuary has founded the Lady Liberty League to advocate for Wiccans' religious freedom and to fight discrimination.

Unlike Capnerhurst, however, some witches see Halloween as a treat, not a trick.

“Considering that I usually slap on a pointy hat at this time of year (and I have a black cat too), I’m fine with the image of the Halloween witch,” wrote Jen McConnel, a poet, novelist and Wiccan from North Carolina, in an e-mail.

“Even though the word ‘witch ‘ is loaded, I have embraced it,” McConnel said, “but it is only one of many hats I wear (pun intended).”

McConnel says she enjoys the yearly confluence of Halloween with Samhain, an ancient Celtic festival that marks the end of the harvest and winter’s coming darkness.

It’s a time when the veil between the living and the dead grows thin, according to Wiccan theology, and spirits can easily cross the divide.

Many Wiccans hold “dumb suppers,” to which they invite deceased ancestors, making sure to prepare their favorite foods, said Jeanet Lewis, a witch who lives in Northern Virginia.

“It’s a meditative, silent meal,” Lewis said.

Other witches light memorial candles and cast spells for the new year.

What do witches wish for? The same things as everyone else, apparently.

“Health, wealth and love,” Capnerhurst said with a laugh. “Every single spell falls into one of those three categories.”

Even though she dislikes Halloween, Capnerhurst has found a way to blend it with her own sacred days, Samhain.

According to some historians, at this time of year, as the days grow darker, ancient Celts would don costumes as stand-ins for deceased spirits, going door-to-door and performing tricks in exchange for treats.

Capnerhurst prefers to see the children who come to her door on October 31 as a re-enactment of that ritual.

“I’m doing my ritual and they get candy,” she said. “Everybody wins!”

And even though she bristles at the thought that some neighbors might abhor her religion, Capnerhurst tries to take it all in good cheer.

As October 31 approaches each year, she places a sign on her lawn that reads, "This House Practices Safe Hex."

- CNN Religion Editor

Filed under: Belief • Discrimination • Halloween • Holidays • Neopaganism • Paganism • Persecution • Prejudice

soundoff (2,335 Responses)
  1. Israel

    You may need to come to my part of the world and witness these things ur self am from western part of Nigeria,my church is harvesters international christain center in lagos Nigeria, or attend evangelists reinherd bonke meetings or crusades

    October 31, 2013 at 5:39 pm |
    • ME II

      Hey, did you used to use a different name?

      October 31, 2013 at 5:59 pm |
  2. Outside Man

    Why do atheists make certain anthropomorphic presumptions about its nature, as if its a Greek or Roman god?
    If there is a God, it most definitely is not human, so it's not going to have the same traits as a human, and so you shouldn't try to comprehend it in human terms (cruel, jealous, etc.). To do so would be illogical. Now that you've been educated about the illogicality of it, please stop doing it in the future.

    October 31, 2013 at 5:33 pm |
    • Madtown

      you shouldn't try to comprehend it in human terms (cruel, jealous, etc.).
      ------
      You mean, exactly like the bible does?

      October 31, 2013 at 5:35 pm |
    • Doris

      If there was some creative force responsible for kick-starting life here and possibly in other parts of the universe, why would we necessarily have to be in its image? Smells like a self-serving myth to me.

      October 31, 2013 at 5:39 pm |
    • Susan StoHelit

      Why is it illogical to consider if something is good or evil? If you describe an evil god, why should I follow it?

      Since your god supposedly created our morality, why would you think it's a bad measure to use?

      October 31, 2013 at 5:45 pm |
      • Outside Man

        Because it's not human.

        October 31, 2013 at 5:46 pm |
    • ?

      Well thanks for eliminating the whole bible, progress is always a good thing.

      October 31, 2013 at 5:45 pm |
    • Answer

      Religious freaks are just hilarious.

      October 31, 2013 at 5:46 pm |
      • amniculi

        Word.

        October 31, 2013 at 5:48 pm |
      • Fallacy Spotting 101

        Post by 'Answer' is an instance of the Guilt by Association fallacy

        http://www.fallacyfiles.org/glossary.html

        October 31, 2013 at 6:32 pm |
    • lol??

      God claims the name of Jealous. It's the feminits that don't like it.

      October 31, 2013 at 5:50 pm |
    • My Dog is a jealous Dog

      You are not quite getting it are you?

      It is completely illogical to assign human characteristics to a god, but atheists are not the ones doing it, the deists are the ones describing their gods. We are indeed all agnostic – anyone claiming to "know" is delusional. I am an agnostic atheist, I do not know for certain, but I do not believe that any god like being is responsible for the creation of the universe. I accept that god like beings could exist, but I do not believe in any "god" that any human has ever described to me. People's beliefs are how they come to grips with their own existence and face their inevitable death. Whatever makes you happy, however you find purpose for your life... I have no problem with that until you try to push your beliefs on others.

      Let me ask you this question... Have you ever had a stranger walk up to you, ask you if you believe in god, and then try to convert you to atheism?

      October 31, 2013 at 5:53 pm |
      • PomonSt

        "Let me ask you this question... Have you ever had a stranger walk up to you, ask you if you believe in god, and then try to convert you to atheism?"
        The horror. Poor baby, did that happen to you? Are you ok? Is this why you are so hostile and jerky toward everyone? Did that experience harm you that bad?

        October 31, 2013 at 5:57 pm |
        • My Dog is a jealous Dog

          Did you not understand what I wrote? If this happened to me, I would say "No, I am an atheist" – and this hypothetical person would have moved to the next person. But, I have never had this happen to me, and I doubt that you have either.

          How do you even construct that sentence so the answer is in the affirmative? ... "Do you not believe in god"?

          Have you ever heard that question?

          October 31, 2013 at 6:05 pm |
        • PomonSt

          I've had people try to convince me that I was delusional and believed in an imaginary sky fairy (I don't, but that is what they think? hu?) and pretty much do what you say only religious people do. Not on the street, but on this message board. Kind of like what you do all day.

          October 31, 2013 at 6:17 pm |
        • My Dog is a jealous Dog

          I would not consider what goes on here on the blog to be truly human interaction. I have been working with computers since the punch-card days, and anonymous interaction on the internet is not how most people have experienced "religious debate" until quite recently. Why do you think we have rules about dinner parties, where the topics of religion, politics, and possibly work are avoided. Social rules tend to change, and although I find texting, call screening, and having phone conversations in public to be rude, most younger people do not. The rules of face to face interaction just do not apply on the internet, and people mocking your beliefs here on this blog is not the same as in real human interaction.

          October 31, 2013 at 6:36 pm |
      • ?

        Interesting, I had an elderly woman approach me on the subway and offer me a pamphlet on the good news, I politely declined informing her that the devil had firmly captured me by the balls, undaunted she shoved her propaganda into my pocket, Save me JJEESSUUSS, just kidding I flushed the pamphlet.

        October 31, 2013 at 6:01 pm |
        • My Dog is a jealous Dog

          I guess the point I was trying to make, is that an atheist will not ask you what you believe, because unless they are incredibly confrontational, they don't want to hear what kind of crazy stuff you may believe.

          October 31, 2013 at 6:22 pm |
        • !

          An atheist just doesn't believe in god or gods. It doesn't mean they won't go to the streets to try to prove or convince others of what they believe is true.

          October 31, 2013 at 6:23 pm |
        • My Dog is a jealous Dog

          I am not denying that there are some militant (and IMO sometimes misguided) atheists out there. I would argue that there are far, far more atheists that have no interest in getting into religious arguments, than there are that want to put up billboards and hand out pamphlets. I would also argue that the stigma of being labeled as atheist still has a huge number of us still in the closet.

          October 31, 2013 at 6:50 pm |
        • Susan StoHelit

          Dog, even on the forums, most of the militant, "sky fairy" type atheists I've seen don't start up until the chrisitans have been posting "Believe or you go to hell, you're helping satan, you're wrong and will know it when you die (and go to hell forever)" type stuff for awhile.

          November 1, 2013 at 3:17 pm |
      • Fallacy Spotting 101

        Post by 'My Dog is a jealous Dog' is an instance of the Ad Hominem fallacy

        http://www.fallacyfiles.org/glossary.html

        October 31, 2013 at 6:22 pm |
        • My Dog is a jealous Dog

          I agree – this is anecdotal and hypothetical. I wasn't trying to state a "truth" – merely observing from my own biased perspective.

          October 31, 2013 at 6:43 pm |
      • Alias

        Atheists don't generally gather in a building and take up a collection.
        There is more motivation for theists to recruit people and increase their weekly take.

        October 31, 2013 at 6:32 pm |
        • Fallacy Spotting 101

          Post by 'Alias' is an instance of the Guilt by Association fallacy

          http://www.fallacyfiles.org/glossary.html

          October 31, 2013 at 6:33 pm |
        • FYI

          Sam and Lawrence of Arabia are all the same troll.

          He has been banned several times.

          If you want him gone, send an email to david.burke@cnn.com.
          The troll will be banned, all of his posts will be gone.
          The punk will then be back in a few seconds, and you can report him again.

          This will go on until one of two things happen. The troll will give up, or Daniel Burke will finally get serious and ban him forever.

          Good luck.

          October 31, 2013 at 6:54 pm |
        • sam

          Aw, someone's knickers are in a twist enough to pretend to be 'FYI'. Kids these days...

          October 31, 2013 at 7:03 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      Perhaps because the Abrahamic notion of their deity is anthopomorhic?

      Like this:

      "So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them. NIV

      October 31, 2013 at 6:17 pm |
  3. Outside Man

    What horrible, offensive thing did I say to deserve getting blocked? Did I ask tough questions that threaten atheism?

    October 31, 2013 at 5:31 pm |
    • sam

      Enjoy watching your posts disappear, kiddo. You've got plenty of homework to finish after you're done trick or treating tonight anyway, get busy.

      October 31, 2013 at 5:47 pm |
      • Outside Man

        Atheists want to muzzle but don't want to be muzzled, kind of like what happened in the Soviet Union.

        October 31, 2013 at 5:54 pm |
        • sam

          So cute. Just precious.

          October 31, 2013 at 5:55 pm |
        • ME II

          @Outside Man,
          "Atheists" are not blocking you. If your posts are not getting through it's because of banned letter sequences trapped by an automated process. It looks for sequences like ti.t in Insti.tution, or cu.m in docu.ment.

          ...someone has a complete list

          October 31, 2013 at 6:03 pm |
        • truthprevails1

          What set of doctrine are Atheists using to try to control your life or to deny equal rights to people?

          October 31, 2013 at 6:05 pm |
        • HotAirAce

          Isn't it common for delusion and paranoia to be present at the same time?

          October 31, 2013 at 6:08 pm |
  4. FYI

    Outside man, Patriot, the BBT are all the same troll.

    He has been banned several times.

    If you want him gone, send an email to david.burke@cnn.com.
    The troll will be banned, all of his posts will be gone.
    The punk will then be back in a few seconds, and you can report him again.

    This will go on until one of two things happen. The troll will give up, or Daniel Burke will finally get serious and ban him forever.

    Good luck.

    October 31, 2013 at 5:27 pm |
    • theBBT

      Not true. Can you prove it? Or do you just have a feeling? I've never posted as Outside man or Patriot. I have never been banned or warned or trolled on this site. Why? Is that what you do and are projecting on others?

      October 31, 2013 at 5:35 pm |
    • Outside Man

      If one thing has been proven here, it's that atheists are the ones who want to muzzle but don't want to be muzzled. So much for their alleged love for freedom of inquiry and expression.

      October 31, 2013 at 5:36 pm |
      • theBBT

        Hey! I didn't post that. "FYI" is either wrong, lying or delusional...
        which is it FYI??? Be honest.

        October 31, 2013 at 5:38 pm |
      • truthprevails1

        Can you prove it is an Atheist doing it?

        October 31, 2013 at 6:07 pm |
    • atheist baby

      Wah! Somebody treated me like I usually treat the Xtards. I can dish it out, but can't take it. I'm going to tell on you all!!!!!

      October 31, 2013 at 5:37 pm |
    • sam

      Enjoy the ban, little troll!

      October 31, 2013 at 5:43 pm |
    • the real FYI

      Ironically, FYI changed his name to make this post... ....these people are not trolling. The troll you are talking about was using established names to post crazy and insulting things. You just don't like what these 3 people are posting. Prove them wrong, ignore them or go somewhere else. They are just posting their opinions.

      October 31, 2013 at 5:44 pm |
      • the real FYI

        FYI, I'm just trying to pretend this isn't the 4th name I'm using to annoy everyone here as much as I can.

        October 31, 2013 at 5:54 pm |
        • Hypocrite

          How many different names have you now used? 2, 3, 4 or 5?

          October 31, 2013 at 6:02 pm |
    • HotAirAce

      I see no reason to get this idiot banned. Their posts demonstrate most clearly why their beliefs should be questioned, if not dismissed outright. And it's always good to know what the crazies are thinking.

      October 31, 2013 at 5:56 pm |
      • PomonSt

        Thanks for sharing your craziness.

        October 31, 2013 at 5:58 pm |
        • HotAirAce

          You are welcome!

          October 31, 2013 at 6:06 pm |
      • sam

        They're not fundies, though, it's just farce. Otherwise I'd say you have a point.

        October 31, 2013 at 6:06 pm |
  5. Doris

    God of the Gaps, you ask? It's an expression to denote what theists use to "fill in the void" for the unknown.

    As astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson explains, throughout history most of the great minds give virtually no mention to any god for their discoveries and explanations. (Ptolemy, Isaac Newton, Laplace, Huygens, Galileo.) That is, until they reach the problem they feel they cannot and will never fully tackle. Dr. Tyson demonstrates this with writings from the great minds in his talk "The Perimeter of Ignorance".

    Perhaps that is all God has ever been – a placeholder for discomfort or frustration over the unknown; an excuse of last resort when, for one reason or another, one gives up investigation. It is at that point of discomfort over the unknown when one should remember what humanity has already witnessed: that today's scientific explanations were often yesterday's gods.

    What is the effect when man replies solely on his gap-filling gods? Consider this:

    Two-thirds of star names have Arabic names. They came from Islam's fertile period (AD 800-1100.) During that time Baghdad was the intellectual center of the world, open to people of all or no faiths. During that time were some of the greatest advances known to mankind: engineering, biology, medicine, mathematics, celestial navigation; this is the time and place that gave us numerals we use, terms like algebra and algorithm.

    Enter Imam Hamid al-Ghazali in the 12th century. The fundamentally religious period of Islam begins, and so begins the steady decline of free intellectual expression in that area of the world. Some would argue that it has since never recovered.

    "[If] the nature of... government [were] a subordination of the civil to the ecclesiastical power, I [would] consider it as desperate for long years to come. Their steady habits [will] exclude the advances of information, and they [will] seem exactly where they [have always been]. And there [the] clergy will always keep them if they can. [They] will follow the bark of liberty only by the help of a tow-rope." –Thomas Jefferson

    October 31, 2013 at 5:20 pm |
    • Doris

      What is the effect when man relies

      October 31, 2013 at 5:21 pm |
    • Sam

      There there, now, Doris. You can believe and define God however you like, however you like, even if it's wrong.

      October 31, 2013 at 5:25 pm |
      • Doris

        Why wrong there Sam?

        October 31, 2013 at 5:29 pm |
        • sam

          BBT apparently took it to heart when I told her that below. She liked it so much, she switched names and repeated it! How industrious.

          October 31, 2013 at 5:42 pm |
        • theBBT

          Not me.

          October 31, 2013 at 5:50 pm |
    • Barefoot sky

      Gaps is truly my deity of choice, there will always be gaps, I will always have a deity.

      October 31, 2013 at 5:26 pm |
      • Barefoot sky

        God's Always Possible

        October 31, 2013 at 5:28 pm |
        • Doris

          Of course God's possible. Likely? uhhhhhh no. I don't think so – not the Abrahamic one.

          October 31, 2013 at 5:34 pm |
      • theBBT

        Atheists fill the gaps with delusions.

        October 31, 2013 at 5:29 pm |
        • Madtown

          Trolls fill the comments section with posts just like this one.

          October 31, 2013 at 5:33 pm |
        • theBBT

          Takes one to know one.

          October 31, 2013 at 5:36 pm |
        • sam

          Gosh BBT, you are just a master of the snappy comeback!

          October 31, 2013 at 5:40 pm |
        • theBBT

          Explain how what you and Madtown do is different from me. Either you are trolling like me, or not?

          October 31, 2013 at 5:51 pm |
        • sam

          When you're being deliberately ridiculous, you're going to be told you're ridiculous. Don't play any dumber than you have. Just go find something else to do. You're embarassing yourself at this point.

          October 31, 2013 at 5:57 pm |
        • Hypocrite

          n/m

          October 31, 2013 at 5:59 pm |
        • Hypocrite

          theBBT totally is a hypocrite

          October 31, 2013 at 6:07 pm |
        • Hypocrite

          Sam totally is a hypocrite. Look at the evidence.

          October 31, 2013 at 6:57 pm |
    • lol??

      'Cept Tyson can't prove the no mention part. Science is about proof, yes??

      October 31, 2013 at 5:37 pm |
      • Doris

        You're certainly welcome to prove him wrong. His talk referenced several writings by these men of science including notes made in the margins of their texts.

        October 31, 2013 at 5:44 pm |
  6. Israel

    There is power in the name of Jesus,the blind received their sight the dead are raised back to life incurable disease are been healed.this are not theories,this things are still happening till today proving that indeed the bible is true,Jesus christ is the son of God,died and resurrected from the dead on the third day and he cant die anymore,he his coming back again. believe this and confess this and you will be saved.am a university graduate i studied computer science But i Do Know That God exist.

    October 31, 2013 at 5:15 pm |
    • Athy

      When is he coming back? Isn't he a bit overdue?

      October 31, 2013 at 5:18 pm |
      • lol??

        No, He doesn't owe man anything and never did.

        October 31, 2013 at 5:23 pm |
        • truthprevails1

          But didn't he die for sins on man (mistakes not made yet by people not born yet)? So apparently your jeebus dude does owe man, otherwise why bother dying for man?

          October 31, 2013 at 6:26 pm |
      • ?

        He, jesus/god, has been coming on a regular basis as so many girls not knowing how they got knocked up, apparently. The ones that didn't get in the family way were constantly confessing to the priest/shaman that yes indeed they did use birth control. Hallelujah, I are a catholic.

        October 31, 2013 at 5:29 pm |
    • Igaftr

      According to a book.
      Reality does not back the claim

      October 31, 2013 at 5:20 pm |
  7. Outside Man

    Where is there proof of dark matter?

    October 31, 2013 at 5:12 pm |
    • Athy

      Its gravitational effects on observable matter in galaxies proves that it exists. Do you read very much, OM?

      October 31, 2013 at 5:21 pm |
    • sam

      There's plenty of it where you've been jamming your head.

      October 31, 2013 at 5:24 pm |
  8. Outside Man

    Just because you can't see what created something doesn't mean it doesn't exist.

    October 31, 2013 at 5:08 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      Existence does not imply 'creation' by a 'creator'.

      October 31, 2013 at 5:10 pm |
      • Average Joe

        Extremely complicated creation does.

        October 31, 2013 at 5:12 pm |
        • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

          Not necessarily.

          October 31, 2013 at 5:15 pm |
        • Average Joe

          Really? Take a pile of transistors and resistors toss them in the air and communicate back to me with them. i'll wait.

          October 31, 2013 at 5:53 pm |
        • Dennis

          Problem is, below average IQ Joe, that you can't wait for millions, nor even thousands, of years. Creationism is a non-answer, purely for stupid folk.

          October 31, 2013 at 6:44 pm |
        • HotAirAce

          If one cannot differentiate between animate and inanimate objects they will never grasp evolution.

          October 31, 2013 at 6:47 pm |
    • Madtown

      Can't disagree. No one here can see your intellect, but all the same we can't say it doesn't exist.

      October 31, 2013 at 5:11 pm |
      • Dennis

        Excellent.

        October 31, 2013 at 6:45 pm |
  9. Outside Man

    If the atheists got excluded from this blog, they would be the first to cry foul.

    October 31, 2013 at 4:57 pm |
    • theBBT

      Atheists would be upset. They don't fare well on logical message boards, like science and technology blogs.
      They come here because they can "debate" and declare themselves the winner. Atheists like to shift the burden of proof from themselves to their debating opponents; in short, the believer in God must prove God, but the atheist will not defend his position that the universe is either eternal or accidental.
      They cry out "logical fallacy!" and then stick their fingers in their ears and say "lalalalalalalalala" when you ask for proof that God does NOT exist.

      October 31, 2013 at 5:01 pm |
      • sam

        I thought atheists didn't exist. Or did you forget which name you're posting under?

        October 31, 2013 at 5:15 pm |
        • theBBT

          They don't exist. Delusional people who refer to themselves do exist. We call them atheists.

          October 31, 2013 at 5:23 pm |
        • sam

          Comedy gold! Tell Outside Man that this is what a fun poe looks like.

          October 31, 2013 at 5:26 pm |
    • ME II

      ... but not on this blog, obviously.

      October 31, 2013 at 5:01 pm |
    • ME II

      If Atheists were excluded primarily because they were Atheists, then they would have a right to be upset and cry foul. As far as I can tell, no one religion or non-religion is being treated different than anyone else on this site.

      October 31, 2013 at 5:04 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      Belief and non-belief are two sides of the same coin.

      One cannot exist without the other.

      October 31, 2013 at 5:09 pm |
      • Norman

        I don't believe in non-belief.

        October 31, 2013 at 5:34 pm |
    • sam

      Whatever. Get better material.

      October 31, 2013 at 5:14 pm |
  10. Lionly Lamb

    [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zrzMhU_4m-g&w=640&h=390]

    October 31, 2013 at 4:55 pm |
    • Outside Man

      This doesn't prove that there is not a god.
      There could still be a god regardless of how humans are.

      October 31, 2013 at 5:03 pm |
      • Maddy

        Seriously? Are you that humorless you don't appreciate Monty Python? What is WRONG with you? He's on topic, at least. You, decidedly, are not.

        October 31, 2013 at 5:09 pm |
      • sam

        LL finally posts an on-topic, hilarious vid and gets no love for it.

        October 31, 2013 at 5:12 pm |
        • Maddy

          No kidding! I give him props. Love MP.

          October 31, 2013 at 5:21 pm |
      • Outside Man

        Why do atheists make certain anthropomorphic presumptions about its nature, as if its a Greek or Roman god?
        If there is a God, it most definitely is not human, so it's not going to have the same traits as a human, and so you shouldn't try to comprehend it in human terms (cruel, jealous, etc.). To do so would be illogical. Now that you've been educated about the illogicality of it, please stop doing it in the future.

        October 31, 2013 at 5:30 pm |
    • My Dog is a jealous Dog

      I'll show the love – great post LL!

      October 31, 2013 at 5:33 pm |
    • truthprevails1

      LL: Awesome post 🙂 Happy Halloween

      October 31, 2013 at 6:10 pm |
  11. Outside Man

    Why would you assign human characteristics to something that isn't supposed to exist?

    October 31, 2013 at 4:54 pm |
    • sam

      Yes, ask all the christians why they have done such a thing.

      October 31, 2013 at 4:56 pm |
      • Outside Man

        Atheists do it, too.
        Puny humans think they are in a position to judge a God that they don't believe in.
        It's the other way around.

        October 31, 2013 at 4:59 pm |
        • sam

          You're still being disingenious, so I can only assume it's on purpose. Which poe are you? They can be fun, I'm just saying you're not.

          October 31, 2013 at 5:02 pm |
        • Outside Man

          Why do you presume it's my intention to be "fun"?

          October 31, 2013 at 5:05 pm |
        • Charm Quark

          There is a distinct difference in believing something did/does not exist beyond the human mind/stories that the religious believe and the fact that none has ever been proven, let Thor, Ra, Zeus, Jesus or what ever strike me dead if I pi$sed them off.

          Still here either they missed or do not exist.

          October 31, 2013 at 5:08 pm |
        • sam

          Well, you're too exasperating/mildly entertaining. If that's not your goal, then you're sliding into pity territory.

          October 31, 2013 at 5:09 pm |
  12. Israel

    There is power in the name of Jesus,the blind receive their sight the dead are raised back to life incurable disease are been healed.this are not theories,this things are still happening till today proving that indeed the bible is true,Jesus christ is the son of God,died and resurrected from the dead on the third day and he cant die anymore,he his coming back again. believe this and confess this and you will be saved.am a university graduate i studied computer science But i Do Know That God exist.

    October 31, 2013 at 4:51 pm |
    • Honey Badger Don't Care

      There is no evidence for any of your claims other than a book written my multiple anonymous authors MANY years after the "fact".

      Try again.

      October 31, 2013 at 4:56 pm |
    • ME II

      @Israel,
      "...are been healed.this are not theories,this things are still happening till today proving that indeed the bible is true,"

      Assuming that English is not your first language, please provide example of 'these things happening tdoay'.

      October 31, 2013 at 5:00 pm |
    • Susan StoHelit

      Guess you forgot your statistics class.

      None of that is happening – people like to believe in it – but notice how it's all merely god being attributed as the cause of rare, but statistically possible events? It's confirmation bias. When the poor, sick kid dies, that's also called god, no matter how many were praying.

      Simple way to validate this – find an amputee whose leg regrew. Heck, merely a pinkie finger. If prayer worked, it'd be obvious. A person with a 1% chance of survival isn't prayer working, it's 1%.

      October 31, 2013 at 5:11 pm |
  13. Shane

    Make Wiccans aren't any more or less difficult to train than females. I find it interesting that someone who professes to hate bigotry would embrace such misandry.

    October 31, 2013 at 4:50 pm |
    • Maddy

      I saw nowhere where she professed a hatred of men.

      October 31, 2013 at 5:01 pm |
  14. Steve Finnell

    THE LORD'S CHURCH

    What are the things that do not make you a member of the body of Christ?

    What are the requirements for membership in the Lord's church?

    THINGS THAT DO NOT MAKE YOU A MEMBER OF THE LORD'S CHURCH.

    1. Simply believing that Jesus is the Son of God does not grant you membership in the Lord's church.

    Mark 5:1-12 .....7..."What business do we have with each other, Jesus, Son of the Most High God?....12 The demons implored Him....

    Demons believe that Jesus is the Son of God, however, that does not give them membership in the Lord's church. Legion was not part of the body of Christ.

    2. Sprinkling infants with water does not make them part of the body of Christ. Sprinkling unbelieving babies is not an act that adds them to the Lord's church.

    Mark 16:16 He who has believed and has been baptized shall be saved....

    Only believers who have been baptized are added to the Lord's church. Babies are not capable of believing.

    3. Joining denominations, such as the Catholic Church, the Baptist Church, the Lutheran Church, the Methodist Church, etc. does not grant you membership into the Lord's church. Joining a denomination cannot save anyone. You cannot join the Lord's church.

    Acts 2:47...And the Lord was adding to their number day by day those who were being saved.

    The requirement for being added to the Lord's church is not joining a denomination. The Lord only adds the saved to the church. The church is the body of Christ.

    WHAT ARE THE REQUIREMENTS FOR BEING ADDED TO THE LORD'S CHURCH?

    The apostle Peter said, on the Day of Pentecost, " Be saved from this perverse generation!" (Acts 2:40)

    Who was saved? Acts 2:41 So then, those who had received his word were baptized; and that day were added about three thousand souls.

    Three thousands souls were added to the Lord's church on the Day of Pentecost. Why were they added to the body of Christ?
    They received Peter's message and were immersed in water.(baptized).

    Peter's message: (Acts 2:22-38) They were taught that Jesus was the Christ. That Jesus was Lord. That God raised Jesus from the dead. They were told to repent and be baptized so their sins could be forgiven and that they would receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.

    Those who believed Peter's message, and repented and were baptized, were added to the body of Christ by the Lord Himself. (Acts 2:47 ...And the Lord was adding to their number day by day those who were being saved.

    MEN BECOME SAVED THE SAME WAY TODAY AS THEY DID ON THE DAY OF PENTECOST.

    HOW TO BECOME ADDED TO THE LORD'S CHURCH.

    1. FAITH: John 3:16, Mark 16:16
    2. CONFESSION: Romans 10:9-10, Acts 8:37
    3. REPENTANCE: Acts 2:38, Acts 3:19
    4. BAPTISM: Acts 2:38, Mark 16:16, 1 Peter 3:21, Galatians 3:27.

    ONLY THE LORD ADDS YOU TO HIS CHURCH!

    YOU ARE INVITED TO FOLLOW MY CHRISTIAN BLOG. http://steve-finnell.blogspot.com

    October 31, 2013 at 4:49 pm |
    • sam

      No thanks.

      Overreacting a little to the scary, scary wiccan article, huh?

      October 31, 2013 at 4:53 pm |
    • Jason

      Great post!

      October 31, 2013 at 4:57 pm |
    • Honey Badger Don't Care

      What a delusional tool.

      October 31, 2013 at 4:58 pm |
      • HotAirAce

        Being delusional is the one true requirement for being a member of any religious cult. It takes a delusional liar to be a religious leader. Yes, my opinion of course.

        October 31, 2013 at 5:03 pm |
        • theBBT

          Atheism is just as delusional. Hopefully you don't refer to yourself as one of those!

          October 31, 2013 at 5:08 pm |
        • sam

          FYI – BBT is today's one-trick pony.

          October 31, 2013 at 5:10 pm |
        • HotAirAce

          Please explain how not believing in unproven, allegedly supernatural beings, for which there is absolutely no actual evidence, is delusional. And yes, I am an atheist.

          October 31, 2013 at 5:10 pm |
        • theBBT

          Atheists and religious people are delusional. Sorry. If you study science or how the universe operates, to conclude that there is no God is crazy. Maybe you do it to sell books like Stephen Hawkins – delusional people eat that stuff up. He is a smart business man, for sure.

          October 31, 2013 at 5:16 pm |
        • HotAirAce

          More unsupported claims. . .

          Why do you believe atheists are delusional? Please provide supporting evidence, or fuck off.

          October 31, 2013 at 6:03 pm |
    • Frank Ted

      That summarization is perfect.

      October 31, 2013 at 5:01 pm |
    • Apple Bush

      So why do we have to suffer through the rest of the bible again?

      October 31, 2013 at 5:06 pm |
  15. Apple Bush

    Perky cute
    Inside her suit
    “Candy?” she said
    And now she is dead

    Don’t come calling
    At dooms door
    For on this night
    The Devil wants more

    Cute with his clown face
    Didn’t tie his shoe lace
    Now he is hanging
    The other shoe dangling

    A knock on the door
    Its mouth opens wide
    Wrong house! Wrong house!
    The demon is inside

    Children beware
    This is more than a scare
    He will pinch you
    He will taste you
    He will boil you and baste you

    Trick or Treat!

    October 31, 2013 at 4:44 pm |
    • Charm Quark

      Carrie, hard to dress the kids up with all that blood dripping down. How's the bible rewrite going, I am giddy with expectation as to what you will do with Solomon's Song of Songs!

      October 31, 2013 at 4:51 pm |
      • Apple Bush

        Hey CQ, it is going slow. The editors write very slowly in Greek.

        October 31, 2013 at 5:03 pm |
        • Charm Quark

          AB
          Well of course, the Greek as well as the oriental writings are difficult to decipher, soldier on, how was Evita, or is that still upcoming?

          October 31, 2013 at 5:14 pm |
    • Apple Bush

      It was last night. Great show!

      October 31, 2013 at 6:16 pm |
  16. Outside Man

    Live and exist without asking why or showing any thanks to what gave you life and existence. Heck, even an amoeba can do that. Surely you are smarter than an amoeba.

    October 31, 2013 at 4:40 pm |
    • Susan StoHelit

      I do acknowledge my parents. And evolution, if we're talking the long haul.

      You seem to describe god as a bully here. Would you have any respect for a person who behaved the same? Said that if their children didn't acknowledge and obey them, the parent would them torture them for 50 years and kill them? Really? Believe in me or else? That's a bully. If the god the bible describes, that many believers describes, existed, it'd be something to stand against for anyone not too afraid to do so.

      October 31, 2013 at 4:50 pm |
  17. Patriot

    Why does a "news" organization censor and remove the free expressions of a free people?

    October 31, 2013 at 4:35 pm |
    • Maddy

      I am not sure you noticed, but this is a privately-owned web site that can delete anyone who they feel has violated their Terms Of Service. Did you?

      October 31, 2013 at 4:41 pm |
      • Outside Man

        One day it's a public forum where atheists should not be excluded, the next day it's a private forum.
        Make up your minds.

        October 31, 2013 at 4:44 pm |
        • sam

          Don't purposely be obtuse just to further whatever troll agenda you have. It's too obvious.

          October 31, 2013 at 4:46 pm |
        • Patriot

          Yes it is obvious sieg heil ! CNN you should be ashamed!

          October 31, 2013 at 4:48 pm |
    • sam

      Why is your first assumption include so much hysterical hyperbole?

      October 31, 2013 at 4:45 pm |
    • Patriot

      A public news service is not a private organization and should not use Nazi tactics and remain an American news source.

      October 31, 2013 at 4:46 pm |
      • sam

        Nice try, troll! Run along.

        October 31, 2013 at 4:47 pm |
        • Patriot

          Why would you consider freedom trolling?

          October 31, 2013 at 4:48 pm |
        • sam

          Yeah, 'freedom'. You're a card. Yawn.

          October 31, 2013 at 4:54 pm |
      • Susan StoHelit

        You're wrong. They're a company, they are not part of our gov't. Not that our gov't is required to pay money to put up a forum for your speech either.

        Freedom of speech means you say what you like. It doesn't mean you can require businesses to pay to have it broadcast.

        October 31, 2013 at 4:52 pm |
      • Maddy

        And you are wrong, as usual. This is a web site that isn't run for your pleasure of being as big of a jerk as you want. You are held by the TOS. Break them, and you're deleted. It's that simple.
        Since you are such a "Patriot", I implore you to study the 1st Amendment. You'd be surprised at you misconceptions of your assertions.

        October 31, 2013 at 4:53 pm |
        • sam

          $10 says the 2nd amendment is the only one that exists in his head.

          October 31, 2013 at 4:55 pm |
        • Maddy

          Lol, sucker bet, sam. Not taking that one; of COURSE that's the only one they have any miniscule knowledge of.

          October 31, 2013 at 5:34 pm |
  18. Apple Bush

    Hey everyone, tonight is the night for getting down! When you are done trick or treating it is party time. Have fun!! Loves me some Halloween.

    October 31, 2013 at 4:32 pm |
  19. Outside Man

    Why are atheists so unconvincing? If they are so right, then wouldn't everyone be flocking to atheism?

    October 31, 2013 at 4:20 pm |
    • amniculi

      People are flocking to atheism. Every year the number of people identifying with a religion shrinks while the number of people who identify as atheist, agnostic or "nones" expands.

      October 31, 2013 at 4:22 pm |
      • Outside Man

        Do you have proof of this?

        October 31, 2013 at 4:49 pm |
        • Susan StoHelit

          You're online.

          There's plenty of polls, pick any one. The percentage of people claiming a religion has been changing drastically over the last decade.

          October 31, 2013 at 4:53 pm |
        • theBBT

          Not atheism. More like "None of the above" is growing. And that is just in America.
          Worldwide the story is different. I think it goes Christianity, Muslim, others, others, others, than atheism.

          October 31, 2013 at 5:20 pm |
        • Susan StoHelit

          BBT – both atheism and none of the above. Look at the stats.

          October 31, 2013 at 6:02 pm |
    • Alias

      They are.
      At least, young people who are more familiar with science and less indoctrinated into a belief system.

      October 31, 2013 at 4:23 pm |
      • Outside Man

        They are indoctrinated into the belief system of political correctness.

        October 31, 2013 at 4:50 pm |
    • Susan StoHelit

      Fastest growing religious category – but religion has a nice fear tactic – believe and don't even think of doubting or I'll punish you for all eternity – but if you pass my tests you get to never ever die – they're putting a ridiculous proposition, but an enourmous reward on the other end, plus a mountain of fear.

      October 31, 2013 at 4:23 pm |
    • ME II

      @Outside Man,
      People often don't like to face reality for various reasons.

      October 31, 2013 at 4:24 pm |
    • theBBT

      There is no thing as an atheist. They don't actually exist. Anyone that calls themselves an atheist is delusional.

      October 31, 2013 at 4:26 pm |
      • amniculi

        I'm an atheist, and I'm pretty sure I exist.

        October 31, 2013 at 4:27 pm |
        • theBBT

          You claim no creator exists, therefore the burden of proof is on you. Prove it. If you can't, you are an agnostic or just delusional.

          October 31, 2013 at 4:31 pm |
        • amniculi

          You need to read up on logic and how it works. You have been judged and found wanting.

          October 31, 2013 at 4:34 pm |
        • ME II

          @theBBT,
          Does the same apply for all theists, Christian, Muslim, Hindu, etc.?

          October 31, 2013 at 4:36 pm |
        • theBBT

          – amniculi

          YOU need to read up on logic and how it works. You have been judged and found wanting. You are the delusional one that can't even prove what you believe.

          ME II

          Of course.

          October 31, 2013 at 4:40 pm |
        • Jamie

          I just love how theists can't prove that their gods do exist but demand that atheists prove they don't

          October 31, 2013 at 4:48 pm |
        • theBBT

          Right. You can't prove God doesn't exist? You are agnostic, not an atheist. Atheism doesn't really exist.

          October 31, 2013 at 4:51 pm |
        • amniculi

          Lol, you're a weird one, theBBT, I'll give you that. I can see there's no point in arguing with your delusions. Have a nice day. Try not to hurt yourself.

          October 31, 2013 at 5:01 pm |
        • theBBT

          Have fun, delusional one. You can pretend like your are logical and reasonable, there are tons of pseudo-atheists that will support you in your delusions.

          October 31, 2013 at 5:04 pm |
        • ME II

          "Atheism doesn't really exist."

          By the particular definition that you are using, Theists don't exist either.
          All you are saying is that since no one *knows* for certain and can prove it, then we are all Agnostics.

          October 31, 2013 at 5:09 pm |
        • theBBT

          Bingo.

          October 31, 2013 at 5:12 pm |
        • amniculi

          Schooled.

          October 31, 2013 at 5:14 pm |
        • theBBT

          Religious people and atheists are delusional. How was I schooled? I don't belong to either delusions.

          October 31, 2013 at 5:17 pm |
        • ME II

          meh

          October 31, 2013 at 5:28 pm |
      • amniculi

        I you have to do to be an atheist is not believe in supernatural beings. Pretty easy.

        October 31, 2013 at 4:30 pm |
        • amniculi

          *All

          October 31, 2013 at 4:33 pm |
        • theBBT

          No. There are people who do not believe in super natural things that are not atheist. Like me.

          October 31, 2013 at 4:41 pm |
        • amniculi

          Lolwut?

          October 31, 2013 at 5:02 pm |
        • theBBT

          My understanding of God consists in a humble admiration of the infinitely superior spirit that reveals itself in the little that we, with our weak and transitory understanding, can comprehend of reality. Prove to me that this doesn't exist. Tell me something better. Or I have no choice but conclude you are delusional to proclaim there is no superior spirit at play in the universe.

          October 31, 2013 at 5:11 pm |
        • Susan

          Yes the absence of belief is shared by many a great mind, and many a major appliance

          October 31, 2013 at 8:01 pm |
      • sam

        There there, now, BBT. You can believe and define whatever you like, however you like, even if it's wrong.

        October 31, 2013 at 5:00 pm |
        • theBBT

          Or delusional.

          October 31, 2013 at 5:02 pm |
        • sam

          Yes, exactly. You go ahead and be as delusional as you like, it's a free for all.

          October 31, 2013 at 5:06 pm |
        • Susan

          If it's whatever you like, then it can never be wrong.

          October 31, 2013 at 8:02 pm |
    • Maddy

      Are you having gender identity problems? Yesterday you were Rebecca, asking the same absurd questions; the answers of which you completely ignored.

      October 31, 2013 at 4:32 pm |
  20. Outside Man

    If god does not exist, then how can it be the god of anything, including the god of the GAPs.

    http://www.gap.com/

    October 31, 2013 at 4:10 pm |
    • amniculi

      Lolwut?

      October 31, 2013 at 4:18 pm |
    • Maddy

      🙄

      October 31, 2013 at 4:20 pm |
    • Susan StoHelit

      I didn't say the god of the gaps is real – I said it's what you believe in, when you worship a god based on what you don't understand. When you don't know what thunder is, so you say god did it – that's a god of the gaps – you're inventing something to cover what you do not know, to make the world appear understandable.

      If I spoke about a god of spaghetti – would you understand then that I was speaking of a concept, not proposing an actual belief in god? I did mention that Thor was a god of the gaps – I'd have thought that, along with everything else, would make it clear I was speaking of human inventions of gods to cover gaps in our knowledge, not an actual god.

      October 31, 2013 at 4:21 pm |
      • Alias

        You're new to this page, aren't you?
        People here will pick a tiny piece of what you post and agrue against it if they don't agrgee with you.
        It is anobvious logical fallicy, but theists need all the help they can get.

        October 31, 2013 at 4:42 pm |
        • Susan StoHelit

          Yes – and if you let them play dumb and don't correct it – then you've let the lie stand. I know the game – I also know that if you allow it, then some are fooled.

          October 31, 2013 at 4:43 pm |
      • fred

        What you fail to understand is the difference between man made gods and God. Thor and the like were man made and have no power other than the imagination of the men who created them. God on the hand is very real and to this day you can witness the power of Gods word alone to transform lives. When I pray God answers prayer. When anyone does what Jesus calls them to do in order to see the truth their lives are instantly transformed.

        October 31, 2013 at 4:42 pm |
        • Susan StoHelit

          A nice theory – but I've personally seen little to no evidence to back it up.

          However, for this, I was speaking only of the god of the gaps – when you decide that anything we don't have absolute knowledge of must be god, any unknowns are god. When you worship a god based on unknowns you are worshiping the god of the gaps – as I said, same god as Thor. Personally, I see no difference between the gods, they all look equally man made to me. But, a god of the gaps in particular is short lived, since you're just deciding that "I don't know" == god – which means that when you do know, god goes away.

          Is your god a god of the gaps? Do you only believe in your god because there are things you don't know, and rather than accept uncertainty, you choose to believe in god to avoid that? Or do you believe in your god because you think he is real, and understanding more of how the world works would not change your faith? The first of these is a god of the gaps. The second is not.

          October 31, 2013 at 4:47 pm |
        • HotAirAce

          fred, it's been a while. . .

          Last we chatted, you admitted that you do not have any actual (factual, objective, independent, verifiable, etc.) for your god and your associated beliefs. Do you now have actual evidence, or are you continuing to spew unsubstantiated bullsh!t?

          October 31, 2013 at 4:47 pm |
        • fred

          Susan
          I am not aware of any theologians that consider God of the Gaps a valid or advised way to promote reasons for God. One of the reasons I find the Bible Divine or the inspired Word of God is because it is without error and uncontestable when taken as a whole. I'll not argue verses that atheists have listed as contradictions as each and every one has been debunked when viewed in context.
          Even the opening of Genesis leaves open and old earth possibility that accounts for all the issues of geology, paleontology etc. The problem begins when well intended believers begin to insist the earth is say 6,000 years old when the Bible never gives a time certain.
          As to God being like the other gods of myology there is not even a similarity. Without going into great detail man made gods are made of known created matter and energy while God is defined as substance that cannot be measured or seen without faith not subject to the natural.

          October 31, 2013 at 5:00 pm |
        • ME II

          @fred,
          "the God of the Gaps" is obviously not ascribed to by any Theists, but is often what they demonstrate to be their belief. I.e. it is not what they claim, but what others claim is, in effect, they belief.

          "Even the opening of Genesis leaves open and old earth possibility that accounts for all the issues of geology, paleontology etc."

          I don't know about it supporting an "old earth", but the only way it can be *consistent* with geology, paleontology, and science in general is purely as metaphor or allegory.

          October 31, 2013 at 5:18 pm |
        • Susan StoHelit

          Fred,

          God of the gaps isn't a theological or scholarly christian theory – it's the way that many individual Christians, especially in debates, attempt to prove god.

          Look, thunder – can you say where it comes from? Can you prove it? Nope – then that proves there is a god who creates thunder.

          The modern variants where it's the matter from the big bang, the way an electron works, etc. are just variants on that debate point. This is not about gaps in the Bible, this is about the debate tactic where someone who believes in god takes some little point in science and says that since we don't know exactly how this thing happens, it proves there is a god. Worshiping our ignorance as a god is the god of the gaps. And there are many Christians on forums who seem to worship that god.

          October 31, 2013 at 5:31 pm |
        • fred

          ME ll
          There are those who believe that "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth". Next verse:" Then the Sprit hovered over the formless deep of the earth" Is God regenerating the old earth symbolic of the redemptive power of the Word of God. God said let there be light and there was light. What we have is the old earth full of bones etc (death) and the new life we step into when we accept Christ in faith. Given the Bible is all about the salvation of souls for eternal life I do not have a problem with this belief. It fits with all of the Old Testament and the New.

          This is poetry to my ears not evidence of origin. There are some that due to physical, socioeconomic or neurological impairments cannot accept anything other than materialistic or objective properties of creation rendering atheism the only possible life view. There are some that reject God because of serious emotional experience. Although not evidence, the fact that virtually all those without impairment believe there is something rather than nothing that purposed existence is in itself reason to believe.

          October 31, 2013 at 5:40 pm |
        • Susan StoHelit

          I'm disappointed.

          I thought you were something other than a troll.

          Oh well, so much for wasting my time and my obvious neurological impairments on this.

          October 31, 2013 at 5:42 pm |
        • ME II

          @fred,
          "...the fact that virtually all those without impairment believe there is something rather than nothing that purposed existence is in itself reason to believe."

          What crap. Cite your source for this tripe.

          October 31, 2013 at 5:50 pm |
      • ME II

        @fred,
        "God on the hand is very real and to this day you can witness the power of Gods word alone to transform lives. "

        People transform their own lives. You have no evidence that anyone or anything else is involved.

        October 31, 2013 at 4:48 pm |
        • ME II

          <- I should say "....anyone or anything [supernatural] is involved"

          October 31, 2013 at 4:49 pm |
        • fred

          ME II
          Considering the Bible basically addresses that which cannot be seen without faith, that which does not have properties known to man or measureable, that which operates outside of our space and time as well as within, that which promises a Kingdom that is not dependent upon physical but rather spiritual properties, that which offers heavenly rewards that are not visible based upon obedience the Word which is written in the heart (soul) not a translated text................etc. etc.
          what kind of evidence would you expect to see?

          October 31, 2013 at 5:10 pm |
        • fred

          ME II
          I take you back to where we were before. Jesus did not provide the proof man demanded rather referred to the Big Fish story. What changed the Ninevites was the Spirit of God that opened their hearts to repent.
          You and I are not going to see God because of some self help tapes or doing a bunch of Mother Teressa works of kindness and we certainly are not going to see the face of God because Jesus does a few magic acts.

          October 31, 2013 at 5:17 pm |
        • ME II

          @fred,
          "what kind of evidence would you expect to see?"

          I would expect to see, if not the workings or your God, at least the effects of His supposed invisible workings. For example, statistical evidence that intercessory prayer actually has an effect. We don't necessarily need to know how a supposed God does His miracle, but we still should be able to know that He has done a miracle by its effect.

          October 31, 2013 at 5:24 pm |
        • Susan StoHelit

          Fred,

          The evidence I'd expect to see varies by the type of god being proposed.

          Some gods it'd be easy – if I said there was a god that would turn your skin green for 30 seconds every time you say pumpernickel – that god would be easy to prove.... and easy to disprove.

          The Christian god is supposedly loving and able to perform miracles. Were this true, I'd expect it to be blatantly obvious to anyone looking. You'd see outright miracles – not merely a 1% survival chance where that 1% then claims it's god, even though the 99% who died were also devout believers with many praying for them. You'd see differences between believers and non that would be easy to see statistically. You'd see what is described in the Bible – god striking down people who do horrible things. It would be obvious. Children who believe and pray would not be raised captive to a pedophile. The world would be entirely different if there were a god that is capable of intervening.

          If you propose a deist god – he kicked things off, but is entirely hands off – that variety of god can't be proven nor disproven.

          October 31, 2013 at 5:41 pm |
        • fred

          ME II
          " statistical evidence that intercessory prayer actually has an effect"
          =>Jesus said I am the way the truth and the life, no one comes to the Father but through me. "the way" is not physical or lit up with cookie crumbs any statistical evidence would be of man and not God. Such evidence or searching for such evidence would lead you away from not towards that which cannot be seen.
          =>Hard evidence destroys free will. God told Adam and Eve do not touch the tree in the center of the garden. He could have put a fence around it or at least a few thorns. But, all they had was the Word and we are not told if they even knew what death was.
          =>Matthew 5 shows you how to get the evidence you need.
          =>testing prayer never works and is not subject to acceptable trials, do you have better example?

          October 31, 2013 at 6:09 pm |
        • fred

          Susan
          "Christian god is supposedly loving ........ You'd see outright miracles"
          =>No, that is not what the Bible says, it actually warns you look out for claims of miracles (walking on water etc). Jesus did miracles and John called them signs as they were done to fulfill prophecy and establish Christ was the way.

          "You'd see differences between believers and non that would be easy to see"
          =>correct and we have failed as has the church generally speaking.

          "You'd see what is described in the Bible – god striking down people who do horrible things"
          =>You are describing Old Testament much of which is written to the Hebrew and for their time. Jesus made it clear we cannot tell the good from the bad so both are allowed to grow up together and God will separate them at judgment .
          Perfect justice can only come from God who knows all the conditions.

          "It would be obvious. Children who believe and pray would not be raised captive to a pedophile."
          =>That would create a false love for God dependent upon the ways of this world which is not the way of God. Gods children have received Gods blessings and have been provided for in the Kingdom of God not this place where good and evil have not been separate from Gods children.

          "The world would be entirely different if there were a god that is capable of intervening."
          =>This is Gods plan and you are describing what you think is a better plan than what God created. Remember, the creation is about the redemption of souls. Creation is bringing about hearts through a journey to be Christ like. Few desire to be filled with love, joy, peace, patience, humility and worship. Those that do will find their hearts desire.

          October 31, 2013 at 6:36 pm |
        • ME II

          @fred,
          "the way is not physical"
          "Hard evidence destroys free will"
          etc.

          So, why should I believe if there is no reason to believe? Why do you attempt to convince others with reason when real reason would be hard evidence? If God must open one's heart then why do you persist? If God commands you to persist, via the Great Commission, yet only He can open the 'ears to hear' and the 'eyes to see', then He has set you on a useless task.
          etc.

          Rhetorical questions all. Perhaps you don't see it, but your logic goes nowhere.

          "testing prayer never works and is not subject to acceptable trials, do you have better example?"

          Why do I need one? I think that testing prayer works extremely well, you just don't like the results.

          October 31, 2013 at 6:42 pm |
        • fred

          ME II
          "I think that testing prayer works extremely well, you just don't like the results."
          =>Prayer does not lend itself to testing. How could you ever set up test groups without letting the cat out of the bag that prayer is being tested? Prayer that is always answered is in Christ's Name (i.e. as if Christ was praying).
          Assuming you have a test group that somehow gets past the distraction of praying for man (your proof of God is a worldly desire not of God) you would need to identify group members who are right with God. Then the wild card is God as Jesus said to the Devil "it is written thou shalt not test the Lord your God" not to mention God knows the prayer of his children before they ask it and has already answered.

          October 31, 2013 at 7:04 pm |
        • fred

          ME II
          " Perhaps you don't see it, but your logic goes nowhere."
          =>You may be right if man is only a physical biological organism absent purpose. In which case like the ape there is no reason for existence or non existence only evidence of existence. Then evidence is all you will find without life. Consider we can build a machine that can reproduce itself and adjust its responses to external stimuli. We meet the definition of life yet there is something very different between that machine and say a dog. That difference is life

          October 31, 2013 at 7:17 pm |
        • ME II

          Reply at end, currently page 25.

          November 1, 2013 at 2:58 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.