home
RSS
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 Belief Blog Editor

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

soundoff (2,335 Responses)
  1. Aldawolfa

    All Wiccans may be witches but all witches are not Wiccan. Wiccans make up a very small part of the pagan community. Perhaps, traditional witches have a point: To Know, To Dare, To Will, and to Keep Silent. I personally do not care what your religion is nor do I care if you believe in nothing at all. I feel religion is a private matter. As long as you don't force your beliefs on my kith and kin, I really don't care what you believe.

    November 1, 2013 at 2:41 pm |
    • Alias

      I wonder if you would stick with that is Scientologists moved in on one side of you, and satanic cult members bought the house on the other side.

      November 1, 2013 at 2:45 pm |
      • HotAirAce

        If they kept to themselves and didn't break any laws, what would it matter?

        November 1, 2013 at 2:48 pm |
        • Joe

          All those type of people are really weird. They've got their strange herbal concoctions and their strange rituals. You know they're going to be doing weird artwork in their yard and they'll probably never mow. And they never take baths. We regular people don't want them smelling up the neighborhood. Even if all that doesn't bother you, how are going to feel when one of them kidnaps one of your kids and eats them? Think about it. We need some kind of zoning laws to make sure they only can live in certain areas.

          November 1, 2013 at 3:11 pm |
        • HotAirAce

          And that makes them substantially different from members of the dead jew zombie cannibal vampire death cult aka christians?

          November 1, 2013 at 3:26 pm |
        • Joe

          That sounds like witch talk to me.

          November 1, 2013 at 3:33 pm |
      • Aldawolfa

        I can't comment on Scientologists because I know nothing of their beliefs. However, members of the Church of Satan as neighbors. They are great neighbors. Unlike some faiths, they do not recruit members. They do not accept everyone who asks to join. We have been neighbors for years and I have never had a problem.

        November 1, 2013 at 4:01 pm |
    • Joe

      That's okay if you really are only doing as a private matter. But it really has to be private. That's means you shouldn't be raising your kids in witchcraft. That means you shouldn't be trying to talk your friends into becoming a witch. That means, when you're at your job as cashier at the new age bookstore, you shouldn't be trying to talk the customers that come through your line into being a witch. You should really try to keep it a secret. You don't want people to think you're a nut, do you?

      November 1, 2013 at 3:19 pm |
  2. Joe

    As a vampire, I can sympathize with with witch in this article (despite the fact that vampires and witches are enemies). I blame society for the cruel treatment of us. A big problem is the way Hollywood portrays us. Take a look at those Twilight movies. They make a mockery of our way of life. I am tired of people asking me "Do you sleep in a coffin at night? How often do you need to drink blood? Can you get me a discount on some candy corn?" We are about more than this. Oh, how I long for the day when our persecution will be over. I long for the day when we vampires will be able to say "Free at last! Free at last!"

    November 1, 2013 at 2:16 pm |
    • Topher

      So which vampire is closer to the truth? Lestat or Nosferatu?

      November 1, 2013 at 2:22 pm |
      • USAPeasant

        Uhh, that's an easy one. Dracula of course!

        Lol, CNN Belief Blog gets fun aroudn Halloween. Not often times we get much mention of vampires on CNN so to mark this special occasions, how about a lil literary passage:

        "He is cunning, as I know from Mr. Jonathan and from the way that all along he have fooled us when he played with us for Miss Lucy's life, and we lost; and in many ways the Un-Dead are strong. He have always the strength in his hand of twenty men; even we four who gave our strength to Miss Lucy it also is all to him. Besides, he can summon his wolf and I know not what. So if it be that he come thither on this night he shall find me; but none other shall- until it be too late. But it may be that he will not attempt the place. There is no reason why he should; his hunting ground is more full of game than the old churchyard where the Un-Dead woman sleep and the one old man watch.
        "Therefore I write this in case. . . . Take the papers that are with this, the diaries of Harker and the rest, and read them, and the find the great Un-Dead, and cut off his head and burn his heart or drive a stake through it, so the that world may rest from him.
        "If it be so, farewell.
        "Van Helsing"

        -- Bram Stoker's Dracula. Chapter 15 (happy halloween!)

        November 1, 2013 at 6:40 pm |
    • Alias

      Before i can support your bid for freedom, I have to know what god you pray to and how you worship him/her/it.
      Honestly, do you really want me to stop descriminating against someone who would enslave the rest of us?

      November 1, 2013 at 2:24 pm |
    • lunchbreaker

      Shouldn't you be longing for the night?

      November 1, 2013 at 2:29 pm |
  3. Alias

    Fortunately, young people are turning away from all religions.
    Wicca is about as logical as christianity or Islam. As people are better informed as to what other people believe and what the holy books really say, they are seeing the truth.
    There is very little chance of a fully matured adult changing the ideas they have held all their lives. Yes ladies and gentlemen, most of the discussions here are truely pointless. However, the younger generations are why I hold out hope that the earth is spinning toward a better future.

    November 1, 2013 at 2:14 pm |
  4. Dyslexic doG

    It's been at least 1 day without a Pope story on the Belief Blog ... I don't think I can take not knowing what he is doing. Help me editors, help me! Write something. Anything.

    November 1, 2013 at 2:12 pm |
    • Pope

      Go forth and multiply.

      Good math skills are important.

      November 1, 2013 at 2:42 pm |
  5. Vic

    BREAKING NEWS out of LAX!

    November 1, 2013 at 1:53 pm |
  6. CNN Belief Blog Commentator

    I like how the story is about Wicca and all Atheists can do is mock Christianity's unprovable theories with their own unprovable theories. Considering the Atheists only target one religion even in an article not about that religion kinda makes you wonder why out of all the whacky religions to pick from they only ever have one to talk about. Sounds to me like a lot of you doubt your Atheism. Jeez some of you Atheists talk more about Christianity than an evangelical redneck from Texas.

    Well all that gripe aside at the least I can say to Burke he has been doing a better job with diversifying the Blog's articles. So just wanted to include some mad props for Burke for doing a good job this past month in making the Blog better. Too bad the commenting audience is too stupid to appreciate it. I don't think dressing up like a witch is bigotry, but it was an interesting article either way. Lot's of good information of Wiccan belief and practice. Yea it is true that most of the beliefs in the articles is just the public face of the craft and they have even darker practices and beliefs, but still most people don't even write this much about it. So all in all a good article for anyone that is just looking for beginner's information plus an entertaining story. Also kinda cool since it fits with the Halloween season.

    November 1, 2013 at 1:39 pm |
    • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

      'their own unprovable theories.'

      Example?

      November 1, 2013 at 1:41 pm |
    • fyi

      The word "Commentator" carries the connotation of:

      ": one who gives a commentary; especially : one who reports and discusses news on radio or television"

      A better t'itle would be, "commenter".

      November 1, 2013 at 1:58 pm |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      If the Christians didn't first throw out their unprovable BS as fact we wouldn't have to mock it.

      Sounds more like a "you" problem.

      November 1, 2013 at 2:04 pm |
    • Charm Quark

      The thing about theories that you may not understand is that it may take a long time for science to catch up. For example Higgs proposed the theory of a boson that was required to create mass, it took 50 plus years to find the proof. Da Vinci and Jules Verne had visions of a future world that we now take for granted. However, dragging a stinking rotting corpse out of a tomb and restoring it to life has yet to be replicated, except in zombie stories/movies. What a joke.

      November 1, 2013 at 2:07 pm |
      • Sean Lynch

        Well said CQ. Science is a process, not an event. If we could educate that "proof" is reserved for the science of mathematics, there are no absolutes other than the SI units we agree upon, that facts are measured to a known degree of statistical certainty and theory has a different connotation in science as opposed to common usage we would be well on our way to a better society.

        November 2, 2013 at 12:55 am |
    • bostontola

      Unprovable theories:

      Zeus doesn't exist.
      Vishnu doesn't exist.
      Thor doesn't exist.
      Osiris doesn't exist.
      Adad doesn't exist.
      Tezcatlipoca doesn't exist.
      Apistotookii doesn't exist.
      Your god doesn't exist.
      .
      .
      .

      November 1, 2013 at 2:15 pm |
      • Charm Quark

        bostontola
        Good point old jesus was supposed to get back to us in a generation and 2000 years later he hasn't shown up. Do you suppose he is stuck in some mythical god traffic jam?

        November 1, 2013 at 2:55 pm |
    • Just the Facts Ma'am...

      Considering the Vegans often only target one meat even in an article not about beef kinda makes you wonder why out of all the different meats to pick from they only ever have one to talk about...

      Maybe it's because of the "Billions Served" on the McDonalds sign and finding a fast food burger joint on almost every corner in America...

      November 1, 2013 at 2:27 pm |
      • Alias

        I always thought 'vegan' was a native american word for "bad hunter".

        November 1, 2013 at 2:37 pm |
        • Just the Facts Ma'am...

          Badump bump... ;)

          November 1, 2013 at 2:39 pm |
        • Charm Quark

          10 out of 10. You rock.

          November 1, 2013 at 3:04 pm |
    • USAPeasant

      I am a Christian, but I see some truth in your statement. It is kind of funny to watch the Atheist vs Christian battles, and also somewhat ironic. It is true lots of atheists believe in weird stuff, even stuff not scientifically provable. However fairness is fairness and Christianity believes in unprovable stuff as well. Really it just goes to show the importance of faith in any religion, even a religion without God.

      Consider this though. Both by the strictest of all Atheists and by the strictest of Christians all agree on one scientific fact; That humanity is cut from the same cloth and that the basis of morality should be that golden rule of treating others as you wish to be treated. So even with or without a religion humanity shares a common scientifically provable bond.

      Also, thisi s moreso a joke so don't take it too seriously, but consider it. If the Bible is correct then by ending the mysteries of God and conclusively proving God beyond all reasonable doubt would mean that the end of the world is nigh. On the flip side if the atheists conclusively proved God did not exist, thus ending the mystery of God, then no one would ever need to fund their projects anymore. So in a funny way it is in the interest of both parties to keep the mystery up regardless of who is right.

      November 1, 2013 at 4:13 pm |
      • Sean Lynch

        Here is the really wonderful thing; if deity exists, science will find it.

        November 2, 2013 at 12:16 am |
  7. Topher

    How was everyone's Halloween?

    November 1, 2013 at 1:04 pm |
    • Charm Quark

      Topherism
      My beliefs/religion(Baptist) are exactly like I want them to be, Truth beyond doubt, therefore I can never be wrong.
      For all those that have never engaged Topher in a rational discussion, it is impossible, move on nothing to be gained here.

      November 1, 2013 at 1:21 pm |
      • Topher

        Totally fallacious. And yet another atheist attack. Shocking.

        November 1, 2013 at 1:22 pm |
        • Charm Quark

          Topher sorry to burst your bubble, I have stated over and over again on this blog that I am a Deist, my conception of god is "I do not know but it may have a scientific explanation" but I certainly do not believe in some judgemental ugly god that would demand his creations should toe the line or be punished forever. You have to be very simple to believe that some supernatural being is watching your every thought and deed, grow up,

          November 1, 2013 at 1:35 pm |
      • OTOH

        Charm Quark,

        I doubt that anyone seriously thinks that they will change Topher's mind. He can be used as a mechanism to display the fallacies of Christianity and theism for others to read and think about, though... and he's one of the more responsive posters on here - not like a lot of the ranting, hell-promising drive-bys.

        November 1, 2013 at 1:28 pm |
        • Joey

          This is usually where Topher comes in and claims he is right and everyone else is wrong because he has read the Bible.

          November 1, 2013 at 1:34 pm |
        • Charm Quark

          OTOH
          I totally agree, but in order to get the Topher on one of his SBC rants you sometimes have to pull his chain. I think if I met Topher I would find him a warm loving honest person that I could like very much, until the topic of religion/bible came up and I believe Topher could not just shut up about the topic, a conundrum.

          November 1, 2013 at 1:42 pm |
    • Topher

      So anyway ... we had 102 trick-or-treaters despite the pouring rain. Most of the other little towns around us canceled it until tonight. Our little ones weren't afraid of a little weather.

      November 1, 2013 at 1:53 pm |
      • Susan StoHelit

        No true trick or treater should be stopped by a little rain!

        We had a nice batch, I'd guess 50. A great fun time for th ekids.

        November 1, 2013 at 2:01 pm |
      • Charm Quark

        Topher
        In a previous post you stated that you would not let your children depict anything evil in their costumes, when the time comes. Did you follow through with that premise and only give out goodies to the goodies that showed up at your door and rejected all that depicted an evil force? Just asking, hope you were consistent.

        November 1, 2013 at 2:14 pm |
    • sequoia

      Can't "trick" your way into heaven and there is no "treat" in the other place.

      November 1, 2013 at 1:58 pm |
      • Topher

        Very true. That's why all 102 got a gospel tract and dvd with their candy.

        November 1, 2013 at 2:14 pm |
        • sequoia

          Awesome!

          November 1, 2013 at 2:16 pm |
        • Joey

          Hopefully most of the kids left the religious nonsense in your yard, I know I would have.

          November 1, 2013 at 2:48 pm |
        • Topher

          None of it was left in my yard. I know you're very concerned. And most seemed really excited to get something in addition to candy.

          November 1, 2013 at 2:50 pm |
        • Joey

          Well Topher, if in the next couple of days you find a bunch of toilet paper in your trees at least you will know why.

          November 1, 2013 at 2:54 pm |
        • Topher

          Doubt it. One, we were one of the few giving out candy at all. Second, kids aren't old enough to be hate mongers.

          November 1, 2013 at 2:57 pm |
        • Joey

          I guess your right, they will probably just make fun of you behind your back.

          November 1, 2013 at 2:59 pm |
        • Charm Quark

          Topher wow, really wow.
          Trying to indoctrinate children that are not even your own, how sad. Now I really feel that the children you may have are in great danger.

          November 1, 2013 at 3:00 pm |
        • Mummy

          Topher gave the kiddies a trick from his fantasy book along with a candy treat, that's all.

          November 1, 2013 at 3:05 pm |
        • Topher

          Joey

          "I guess your right, they will probably just make fun of you behind your back."

          So be it. If they're going to reject it, at least they'll know what they are rejecting. It's more loving to tell them about God than to never say anything and let them face God's wrath unaware.

          November 1, 2013 at 3:15 pm |
        • Madtown

          never say anything and let them face God's wrath unaware.
          -----–
          God has wrath for young children he created and loves?

          November 1, 2013 at 3:27 pm |
        • Topher

          Madtown

          "God has wrath for young children he created and loves?"

          Depends on if they've reached the age of accountability. All children are sinners and thus deserve to be punished. But if they have not reached that age and die, God will give them grace and they will go to heaven. But most likely they will all grow up and go past that age and will thus be held accountable. They might as well know the truth now. That God loves them and paid their penalty for them.

          November 1, 2013 at 3:34 pm |
        • Charm Quark

          Topher
          Ain't no god ain't no wrath, leave the kids alone, they do not need or want your crazy guilt trip.

          November 1, 2013 at 3:40 pm |
        • Topher

          What if they DO want to know?

          November 1, 2013 at 3:42 pm |
        • Madtown

          All children are sinners and thus deserve to be punished.
          ------
          Sick and twisted. And, you're actually about to become a parent? I shake my head.

          November 1, 2013 at 3:42 pm |
        • Topher

          Madtown

          Never been to a Chuck E. Cheese?

          November 1, 2013 at 3:44 pm |
        • Susan StoHelit

          So it's OK for others to sell their religion to your kids too, right? You'll be fine when a local Muslim family starts telling your kids how they'll be burning in Hell for picking the wrong god, or when your kids go Wiccan because it sounds so cool... right?

          Don't assume it won't work – many a parent has found otherwise. Heck, you're counting on it working – that's why you put your sales materials in the kids bags.

          November 1, 2013 at 3:50 pm |
        • Topher

          Susan StoHelit

          Any Muslim or follower of any other religion is welcome to knock on my door. And when my little one is older I can hope he or she will be able to have that same conversation and defend their faith.

          November 1, 2013 at 3:55 pm |
        • Charm Quark

          Topher In my opinion this is the most scary you have been on this blog. If you really believe the posts you posted today I believe you are a danger to yourself your family and society in general. You probably need treatment. Seek help outside of the delusion that has trapped you. Concerned for your sanity and well being,

          November 1, 2013 at 4:01 pm |
        • Madtown

          Does your wife agree that your unborn child "deserves to be punished"? Sorry, I have to say your child deserves better than you.

          November 1, 2013 at 4:03 pm |
        • Topher

          Because I want people to go to Heaven? Your mock-concern is noted.

          November 1, 2013 at 4:04 pm |
        • Topher

          Most people deserve better than me. I'm a vile, wretched sinner. Which is why God's grace abounds all the more.

          November 1, 2013 at 4:05 pm |
        • Madtown

          Most people deserve better than me. I'm a vile, wretched sinner.
          -----
          No argument there. I'd add Unfit Parent to that short list.

          November 1, 2013 at 4:10 pm |
        • Topher

          That's enough.

          November 1, 2013 at 4:12 pm |
        • Jim Clarke

          @Topher-

          It is wonderful that you were able to share the good news with those little kids.

          For the rest of these, don't entertain them in a conversation as it leads nowhere 2 Corinthians 4:4 In their case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.

          November 1, 2013 at 4:33 pm |
        • Madtown

          Jim, those kids got another dose of "good news" at the next house they went to, only those people followed a different religion. Let me guess.......those people are wrong, because they don't follow the same ways that you do! They go to a different church. Their news isn't as good as your news. Is that about right?

          November 1, 2013 at 4:44 pm |
        • Topher

          Comparatively, who has news as good as the Christian Gospel?

          November 1, 2013 at 5:09 pm |
        • Madtown

          Comparatively, who has news as good as the Christian Gospel?
          ---
          If you had been born in Egypt, you'd ask "who's news is as good as the muslim way"?

          November 1, 2013 at 5:18 pm |
        • Topher

          Straw man. The question is not whether you were born under what system. The question is which offers the better deal.

          November 1, 2013 at 5:31 pm |
        • niknak

          So choosing the one with the better deal is all religion is about Gopher?
          The muslims get virgins, which seems like a much better deal then sitting around for eternity with people like you, but I am still not believing in some mythical creature just to get some eternal nookie.

          Face it bro, you have bought into a huge scam.

          November 1, 2013 at 5:35 pm |
        • Madtown

          It's not a strawman at all. Our perception of which system offered the "better deal" depends greatly on factors outside our control, such as the culture and community we are raised in. The Egypt example is meant to illustrate that. If we follow a religion, it's very likely going to be the predominant religion where we grow up, simple. We have exposure to it, our parents or others brought us in front of it. It's that way for you, though you'll never admit it.

          November 1, 2013 at 5:43 pm |
        • niknak

          No Maddie, Gopher grew up a blind hindu in Saudi Arabia, and because the xtian god was so convincing, he converted to Xtianity, moved to the US and had his sight healed.

          It is the only plausible explanation for why he is so creepy as to hand out religious literature to stranger's kids on Halloween.

          November 1, 2013 at 5:53 pm |
        • Topher

          niknak

          "So choosing the one with the better deal is all religion is about Gopher?"

          Not at all. What matters is which, if any, is true. But Madtown stated " Their news isn't as good as your news."

          Even Muslims will tell you they don't have assurance they will go to heaven. They have to do the 5 Pillars plus be good people plus their god has to be in a good mood and MAYBE they'll get in. Christianity says you can't do anything to get into Heaven, and because of that, God has already earned it for you. We have assurance. We can know where we're going and we don't have to DO DO DO to get there. That's what separates Christianity from EVERY other religion, including Catholics. All other religions: DO. Christianity: DONE.

          November 1, 2013 at 6:18 pm |
        • Topher

          niknak

          No, Maddie. I grew up a raging, hate-filled atheist in the midwest. Then I spent 10 years as a false convert before God truly saved me.

          "It is the only plausible explanation for why he is so creepy as to hand out religious literature to stranger's kids on Halloween."

          Yes, you're right. It's SOOOOO creepy that I want people to go to heaven. ;)

          November 1, 2013 at 6:21 pm |
        • Just the Facts Ma'am...

          "I grew up a raging, hate-filled atheist in the midwest."

          bullshlt. The only atheists I have ever known to "rage" are the ones who grew up under the thumb of Christian indoctrination before finding out it was all a bunch of lies and self back-patting. I know that is how you imagine an atheist would be because they make you so angry, but it is far far far from the truth, so stop lying Topher or is your invisible friend okay with that now?

          November 1, 2013 at 6:27 pm |
        • Just the Facts Ma'am...

          oh, and yes, it's way creepy to hand that garbage out to kids. I'm surprised your house didn't get egged.

          November 1, 2013 at 6:29 pm |
        • Madtown

          I grew up a raging, hate-filled atheist in the midwest
          ---–
          I grew up in a Lutheran household in the midwest. What you said here is key: IN THE MIDWEST, the midwest of the United States. This is the main reason you're a christian today, because christianity was readily available and accessible to you, you learned of it and decided it worked for you. If you grew up in the midwestern region of Egypt, you'd be a muslim. Arbitrary.

          November 1, 2013 at 8:12 pm |
      • Mummy

        I'll bet that you think that your costume is the correct one, right?

        November 1, 2013 at 2:17 pm |
        • Topher

          Of course. If I didn't believe that, why would I be involved with it at all?

          November 1, 2013 at 2:21 pm |
      • Mummy

        Jim Clarke,

        It's a pretty lame and impotent god you've got for yourself there - unable to communicate effectively to all.

        November 1, 2013 at 4:56 pm |
    • lunchbreaker

      My wife and I finished off a bottle of 101 proof WIld Turkey. Yum!

      November 1, 2013 at 2:13 pm |
      • ?

        Bourbon, yikes, get some good scotch or rye, you will never go back.

        November 1, 2013 at 2:29 pm |
      • lunchbreaker

        I've tried scotch before. I just don't have a sophisticated enough palatte to distinguish good liquor from bad. But I mixed it Coke anyway.

        November 1, 2013 at 2:32 pm |
        • ?

          Except coke was created to destroy the taste of good whiskey, buy the cheap crap if you need coke.

          November 1, 2013 at 2:39 pm |
        • Joey

          Seriously, you shouldn't drink coke with whiskey because the coke will give you a hangover.

          November 1, 2013 at 3:12 pm |
        • lunchbreaker

          Well, atleast we are now hating on each other for our drink preferences instead of religion, even if only for bit.

          November 1, 2013 at 3:27 pm |
    • Akira

      It was rainy and kind of cold, here; my granddaughter was cute as heck and fell in love with the boy next door. They Trick or Treated together.
      I don't have to worry, she's 2 1/2, he's about 7.
      I have noticed one thing, however: only about 25% of the kids were even in costume. I gave double candy to those who were.
      Next year I am considering putting a sign up that says "keep walking if you're not in costume", or passing out candy corn to those not in costume. Thoughts?

      November 1, 2013 at 3:26 pm |
      • Topher

        I had a few who were looking maybe a bit too old who only smeared on some eye-black and some red to look like blood ... standard clothes. Obviously trying too hard to look like they didn't try too hard.

        November 1, 2013 at 3:39 pm |
      • Susan StoHelit

        Is it really worth messing around over a bit of candy?

        Some kids have parents with no money for a costume. Some may have had a costume that was too cold. In any case, they're all out having fun, seeing people, to get all judgmental and picky over a few pieces of candy seems way over the top.

        Give more to cute costumes if you must – but why get so serious about such a fun holiday?

        November 1, 2013 at 3:52 pm |
      • Sean Lynch

        Honor the tradition. Take joy in giving.

        November 2, 2013 at 12:47 am |
    • Charm Quark

      After a rather long thread, I end where I started...
      Topherism
      My beliefs/religion (Baptist) are exactly what I want them to be, Truth beyond doubt, therefore I can never be wrong.

      Thanks for playing Topher, your posts prove the above statement without a doubt.

      November 2, 2013 at 7:01 am |
  8. Sean Lynch

    I demand evidence that the earth is zipping around the sun or I am refusing to believe it. We didn't land on the moon, either.

    I want proof now. This instant!

    November 1, 2013 at 11:41 am |
    • niknak

      Oh, you mean like all that proof of your imaginary friend.

      November 1, 2013 at 11:48 am |
      • fred

        Think about it, does it sound logical to ask for proof of an imaginary friend?
        Your problem is that you are confused about the reality you see and the reality that is. Using the methods of your false reality to establish what is reality can never work. It is your false reality that is proven wrong by the truth or actual reality.

        When those whose vision is limited by self imposed naturalism (the big lie) are told the truth they must justify their false reality. It is the normal self defense mechanism of the brain, evolved over thousands of years, to constantly justify its position. You cannot see or understand God and the principalities of light and dark which surround you. Because of this you believe in a form of materialism where everything must be visible and physical. All known activity that effects your existence must fit that belief so you call every thing outside of your understanding as imaginary. This allows you to sleep at night and justify all your desires. What is imaginary cannot hurt you and cannot be real. Any accountability for your lifetime including purpose and meaning for existence is limited to your expended desires at death. The after life is imaginary as is accountability for your spent desire outside of your self constructed bubble. You are in denial of the truth and as with all those living in denial you will hit bottom, let's hope it is in this lifetime because when you die you cannot imagine what awaits.

        November 1, 2013 at 2:08 pm |
        • Just the Facts Ma'am...

          "Think about it, does it sound logical to ask for proof of an imaginary friend?"

          Okay fred, how about this then "Please provide proof of an invisible friend." or "Please provide proof of the friend you claim to talk to when you close your eyes and concentrate."

          "You cannot see or understand God" And yet you and your ilk continue to claim you see God and understand what he wants for us and that "He" is a "He"...

          "because when you die you cannot imagine what awaits." Again, I take it you "understand God" then by claiming to know what "He" is going to do with us after we die even when faced with the fact that there is ZERO evidence of anything or anyone living on in any form after death. That is the definition of insane.

          November 1, 2013 at 2:35 pm |
        • fred

          Just the Facts Maam
          No, it is illogical to ask for proof of the invisible using only means that are known to only prove the visible (i.e. matter and energy known to man).
          I assume you also believe that reality is only as you see it. Your reality is not the same as Jesus, Saul of Tarsus or the last 43 presidents (not too sure about the current #44) of the United States. You are suggesting we are governed by the insane......?

          November 1, 2013 at 2:54 pm |
        • Joey

          I think you have to be insane to want to be President, so yes I would say we are being governed by insane people.

          November 1, 2013 at 2:55 pm |
        • fred

          What is the true reality? Assume one strictly limits his or her view within philosophical naturalism while the other believes in the Kingdom of God. Both clearly see the reality of the natural yet only one "sees" the principalities of light and darkness (Kingdom of God includes principalities of light). Reality is that which is regardless of what either believes it to be.

          Since the beginning of recorded history mankind has worshiped something greater than the natural. Even today the vast majority believe in something greater than the natural. That belief is part of who we are as a people regardless of the beliefs of very small minority (atheists are 7-12% of the world population). Even the atheist is subject to existence as governed by they word view. This is the reality.

          If the reality we exist in is governed by something greater than the natural that is the reality. Anyone who thinks otherwise still lives in that reality. Thus it is those who claim only that which can be proven by scientific method is real live in denial of what is.

          November 1, 2013 at 3:16 pm |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          "No, it is illogical to ask for proof of the invisible using only means that are known to only prove the visible (i.e. matter and energy known to man)."

          And what other "means" would you suggest?

          Reality may not be what it appears to be, fine...but what other choice do we have to asses our reality? If you are going to assert your version of a god is real and the others are not real there must be a standard to test the claims or they are all equally valid....and invalid.

          November 1, 2013 at 3:17 pm |
        • ?

          fredism
          Listen up here. We are all fvcked up human beings that believe in all sorts of sh!t. I was really cool with Breaking Bad something I could relate too; my teeth really do look bad and the Man is cutting down my food stamps, life sucks. except for JJEESSUSS.

          November 1, 2013 at 3:22 pm |
        • Madtown

          Since the beginning of recorded history mankind has worshiped something greater than the natural.
          ------
          That's why there are so many different religions. They initiated culturally, and regionally.

          November 1, 2013 at 3:24 pm |
        • fred

          Madtown
          Beauty is in the eyes of the beholder because no one is exactly like another not in the natural or in the perception. One would expect God to look a little different to each person and thus each persons experience is just a bit different. Out of the thousands of Christian denominations "The Way" described by Jesus can be found by anyone that truly believes.

          Thousands of denominations does not necessarily mean there is no God. The Bible says we were made in the image of God and God is a creator. We are creators, just look around

          November 1, 2013 at 3:52 pm |
        • Madtown

          One would expect God to look a little different to each person and thus each persons experience is just a bit different. Out of the thousands of Christian denominations "The Way" described by Jesus can be found by anyone that truly believes.
          -----–
          LOL! You're a hoot. You don't get it, it's not just that there are "christian denominations", there are many non-christian religions, as you very well know. Why? As you correctly said, "One would expect God to look a little different to each person". However, that only reinforces the truth that religion is a creation of man, with no individual religion being "correct" relative to any other. I never said anything about this meaning "there is no God". It simply means that God and religion are completely independent concepts. If God created religion, if God cared which religion his human creations followed, there'd be only 1 and everyone would have knowledge of it.

          November 1, 2013 at 4:00 pm |
        • fred

          Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          "And what other "means" would you suggest?"
          =>The Bible is a guide and that guide is very specific. One only needs to ask with a sincere heart.

          "Reality may not be what it appears to be, fine...but what other choice do we have to asses our reality?"
          =>In the Bible we see generation after generation of man faced with the natural. All created a god or gods yet the Hebrew walked with a living God through the encounters with the natural. All man made gods of old fell in the face of a living God since the time of the oral tradition of the Hebrew down though the written words of the Bible. To this day we have but one living God and believers throughout the world walk with God, "see" God, pray (talk) with God and walk in "the way" of God.

          You assess your reality when you look at your walk relative to "the way" given from the beginning. Those who see, pray and talk with God realize when they are getting off the way then make a correction. Those who walk in any other way make a choice to stay on their path (the way of the world) or get on "the way" that our living God has brought His people along since the beginning.

          Perhaps it is as simple as following the oldest elephant.

          "there must be a standard to test the claims"
          =>Yes, Matthew chapter 5 is where Jesus begins to address the foundation of "the way the truth and the life"

          November 1, 2013 at 4:40 pm |
        • fred

          Madtown
          "religion is a creation of man, with no individual religion being "correct" relative to any other"
          =>to the extent religion is a creation of man you are correct. The truth however is very different. Man made gods and man made religion to worship such gods have man at the center and are of man. This is very different from God who is not a respecter of man but the source of life, who is creator not created, always was and always will be God.

          "It simply means that God and religion are completely independent concepts."
          =>ok

          "If God created religion, if God cared which religion his human creations followed, there'd be only 1 and everyone would have knowledge of it."
          =>no, knowledge of good and evil is the path man chose not the 1 and only God. The Bible makes the case that all men choose the same path of desire for the knowledge of good and evil. All the generations since Adam make the same choice as I did and it looks as you have also. As the Bible presents you and I continue to hear the call to the way the truth and the life and the choice remains the same. Our way or Gods way. You are not called by Buddha or Tao and clearly see the problem with religions such as Catholicism and Mormonism. I suspect you know the truth yet avoid it for some other reason.

          November 1, 2013 at 5:05 pm |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          =>The Bible is a guide and that guide is very specific. One only needs to ask with a sincere heart.

          Fred,

          The Bible is not a means to assess reality, the Bible is THE CLAIM, the question is how is one to assess THE CLAIM, how is one to know if it is true? Claiming one just needs to ask with a "sincere" heart is false, it is a path to gulliblity.

          You argument boils down to "the Bible is true because the Bible says it is true". Well so what? That is not impressive in the least.

          November 1, 2013 at 5:07 pm |
        • fred

          Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          "The Bible is not a means to assess reality,"
          =>I don't understand.
          If one reads the Bible, take Matthew 5, we are given instructions on how to see the Kingdom of God. Read it with the purpose to see the reality Jesus was presenting and your very heart (soul) is revealed. If after reading you cannot see the reality as presented ask why you cannot see this Kingdom and the answer will be given. There is your proof.

          "The Bible is THE CLAIM, the question is how is one to assess THE CLAIM, how is one to know if it is true?"
          =>In the old west they shot claim jumpers. Follow the above instructions then we can look at some claims. It does not work to look at the claim if you do not trust or worse yet reject the one making the claim.

          "the Bible is true because the Bible says it is true". Well so what? That is not impressive in the least."
          =>no, we are not evaluating the Bible yet we are taking the temperature of your heart first. Jesus said to each is given a measure of faith is a claim made in the Bible we will test that one and we will test it without the Bible as source. First you need to follow through on Matthew 5

          November 1, 2013 at 5:57 pm |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          Wow Fred,

          Nothing you said makes any sense. When I ask you how you know the Bible is true you refer BACK TO THE BIBLE. Then you conflate the word "claim" which is just a dishonest way to dicuss anything.

          Let's start from the beginning. You disparaged naturalism as "a lie" and said there was another reality. I asked how one would be able to verify that what you say is true. You refered to the Bible. I asked how you knew the Bible was true, you again refered to the Bible.

          "=>no, we are not evaluating the Bible yet we are taking the temperature of your heart first. Jesus said to each is given a measure of faith is a claim made in the Bible we will test that one and we will test it without the Bible as source. First you need to follow through on Matthew 5"

          So we are not evaulating the Bible we are taking the temperatur of my heart, how do you do that? Well "Jesus said"....and how do you know Jesus said ANYTHING....The same Bible we are not evaluating...

          You are talking in circles, you are continuing "the Bible is true because it says it is true"...that is dishonest.

          November 1, 2013 at 6:16 pm |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          "It does not work to look at the claim if you do not trust or worse yet reject the one making the claim."

          Fred,

          Name one other area in life, besides religion, where you have to accept a claim as "true" before you can verifry whither it is actually true? Just one.

          November 1, 2013 at 6:21 pm |
        • Just the Facts Ma'am...

          I don't mind if YOU want to believe in invisible unverrifiable beings that supposedly have an effect on humans yet in all of human history this effect has never been empirically proven, ever. I just don't believe you should go around all excited telling people you found some treasure that you want to share without being able to produce a single penny of it. I know nobody likes to feel like they got "got" by the slick time share salesman, but you got "got" fred and you are doubling down on some pretty insane garbage just so you don't feel like a rube.

          November 1, 2013 at 6:35 pm |
        • fred

          Just the Facts Ma'am...
          As far as empirical evidence you need go no further than a believer. Secondary evidence in testimony is abundant. Now, I imagine you want to limit empirical evidence to that acceptable in scientific method in which case I agree. As I stated naturalism and those indoctrinated by it create man made limitations. This is a typical example where only allowing certain evidence that the things of the Spirit does not present as evidence.

          The empirical evidence (observation) shows lives transformed instantly when an individual is born again (conversion experience) that fits the Bible exactly as written. This happens and has been observed and recorded millions of times consistently. Individuals that rejected flood story, genesis and Jesus miracles suddenly understood the truth behind the words written. Individuals that understand that to walk with God is not walking with an invisible being as you make lite of but walking in the presence of a holy God the substance and nature of which we cannot describe yet can only ascribe attributes that we can relate to.
          A rube you say? I believe based upon actual personal experience.

          November 1, 2013 at 9:46 pm |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          I noticed you completely ignored my points fred, if you cherry pick your "evidence" and start with the conclusion that you are "proving" you will always get the answer you wanted. That is the dishonesty of your position. That is cult logic.

          November 1, 2013 at 10:42 pm |
        • HotAirAce

          fred, you claim there are millions of instances of people changing instantly upon a religious conversion experience. Can you point to a study over time, conducted and doc.umented according to the scientific method, that supports your claim? I suspect this is yet another case of you knowingly exaggerating, commonly known as lying.

          November 1, 2013 at 10:51 pm |
        • Tom, Tom, the Other One

          Empirical evidence? Look no further. One of the City Councilmen of the town I grew up in was a self-confessed drunk. While so deepley intoxicated that he weas hallucinating he pulled his car to the side of the road to vomit. Jesus came to him and held his head until he finished. Jesus put him on the road to righteousness. He served on the council for over 20 years. Not known for being particularly ethical, but he was a man of God, don't you know?

          November 1, 2013 at 11:00 pm |
        • fred

          HotAirAce
          Total converts to Christianity is 2,501,396 per year estimated according to World Christian Encyclopedia. It is impossible to know the number of conversions that resulted in a life transformation experience. I have personally witnessed about 18 per year with a life transforming experience. I cannot comment on the 300 or so per year that are baptized in our church as I did not personal know them before and after conversion.
          It is very real and observable.
          On the other hand I have experienced one conversion from Christian to atheist. He just stopped believing after prayer was not answered. Two became agnostic after becoming disillusioned with Catholicism.

          November 1, 2013 at 11:38 pm |
        • HotAirAce

          I'll take the irrelevant numbers and the anecdote or two you threw out as an admission that you don't have any facts and were merely blustering, as usual. Let's recap: you can't prove your god exists and you can't prove it has a consistent lasting effect. Remind us again why you believe the crap you do – oh yes, you're a weak sinner that needs an imaginary friend to get thru the day. No problem, as long as confine your delusions to your cult's clubhouse. Have a nice evening.

          November 1, 2013 at 11:47 pm |
        • fred

          Blessed are the Cheesemakers
          Sorry, not ignoring you I have a major project to get out by Monday.

          "Name one other area in life, besides religion, where you have to accept a claim as "true" before you can verifry "
          =>In love. If you tell me I cannot help but fall madly in love with you I would need to accept that claim in order to verify.
          =>Abraham had to step out in faith and trust God before he could realize the blessings of God. Abraham left his wealthy land and stepped out in an unknown direction to follow Gods promise. That is the pattern of trust and obedience in the Bible that results in great blessings. It is not always that way as with Saul of Tarsus who was charging full steam ahead to kill Christians when a conversion experience just hit him square on.

          Regarding the claim I did not make one yet or anyway did not intend to make one yet. I said read Matthew 5 with the purpose to see the reality Jesus was presenting. If after reading you cannot see the reality as presented ask why you cannot see this Kingdom and the answer will be given.
          I have yet to have someone tell me they did not see the reality or get an answer.

          November 2, 2013 at 12:42 am |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          =>In love. If you tell me I cannot help but fall madly in love with you I would need to accept that claim in order to verify.

          No you wouldn't, you can look at the evidence of my behavior towards you to assertain whither my claim of love towards you makes any sense. There is no reason you have to accept the claim in order to assess whither the claim is actually true. You did not make you case as to why the claim would have to be accepted first, you just made a statement saying so with nothing to back up your argument.

          =>Regarding the claim I did not make one yet or anyway did not intend to make one yet.

          Yes you did. You stated that there is a reality beyond naturalism. You are stating that the Bible is a way to assess that reality, a reality that you claim actually exists. But the only way to verify that reality is to use the Bible. That is circular reasoning. A Muslin could claim that the Quran is a way to assess an invisible reality, how can you prove your invisible reality is true and the Muslim's is false? You need an objective way to determine the truth and refering back to the Bible OR the Quran is not objective. If there is another reality as you claim we should be able to verify it, but of course in order to do that you would have to use natualism (the big lie). The lie is you get to claim something is real without having to justify it. You say thousands of conversions to Christianity prove your claim. What about all the people who have left Christianity such as myself? Using you logic that is proof that the Bible is wrong. Don't now say I was "doing it wrong" either. If you only accept testimony that proves your claim it self serving to your conclusion.

          November 2, 2013 at 12:07 pm |
        • fred

          Blessed are the Cheesemakers
          Ok, if you begin with my first statement regarding a reality you cannot see then yes, I get a fail for circular reasoning.

          Before I address the rest of your post let me start with this (forget what I said previously): Read Matthew 5 with the intent to find the keys of the Kingdom. If you cannot find the key simply ask why can I not see.

          What was revealed to you?

          November 2, 2013 at 1:55 pm |
    • lunchbreaker

      Now I know how to get out of jury duty, tell the judge you don't need proof to believe the defendant is guilty.

      November 1, 2013 at 11:56 am |
    • EnjaySea

      Yes, I know that you actually do believe those two things, and thought you were giving examples of things that we "know", but can't prove.

      But you didn't succeed, because there is a massive amount of evidence for both of those things.

      Perhaps you'd like to give it another shot?

      November 1, 2013 at 12:22 pm |
    • ME II

      @Sean Lynch,
      If you have a powerful enough laser and line-of-sight to the moon you can bounce a signal off the mirror that the Apollo missions left there.

      If you have the right equipment I think you can detect the Doppler effect of starlight we are moving toward (or away from) due to our orbital motion. You will need very sensitive equipment though.

      November 1, 2013 at 3:15 pm |
      • Sean Lynch

        This Sean Lynch happens to agree with you ME II. I can hardly wait to see what I post next. I must be bananas!

        November 2, 2013 at 12:37 am |
    • Akira

      I see you have stolen yet another name. Nice.

      November 1, 2013 at 4:09 pm |
    • Sean Lynch

      Well I must be popular if someone is stealing my ID. If you see someone using my ID and making crazy statements it's safe to assume I'm bananas.

      November 2, 2013 at 12:35 am |
  9. Bill Murray

    How exactly is dressing up like a silly cartoon witch bigotry any more than dressing up like a pregnant nun, a priest, an exaggerated (religious iconic motif)..? Poking fun at religion and silly dogmatic choices is awesome. It's not like she was born that way. Witches, as far as I know, can get married in any state.

    November 1, 2013 at 10:43 am |
    • doobzz

      Apparently, Ms. Capnerhurst was "born into" witchhood the same way that a person is "born" a Catholic or a Hindu. As if that makes it more legitimate.

      November 1, 2013 at 1:03 pm |
  10. Israel

    'God' is merciful and longsuffering. 'Man' without God is the result of this conversation and the problems of the world today, man's sins, spiritual wickedness in high places, principalities, have even forced NATURE to transgress its course. Man is his own God, ha ha! As in the days of 'Noah' shall the return of the son of man be, men shall be lovers of themselves, not lovers of 'God'. Science won't save us from Gehenna. The truth needs no trial or jury, it stands alone, firmly. All glory to the Most High ineffable name!

    November 1, 2013 at 10:37 am |
    • ReligionIsBS

      Your god is an idiot if he cant beat this "sin" thing you keep blabbering about. Not very powerful, maybe you should worship somehing else.

      November 1, 2013 at 10:42 am |
      • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

        Like Odin.

        November 1, 2013 at 12:57 pm |
  11. Colin

    Actually, the point about why 40% of Americans still deny evolution and believe in Adam and Eve would be a very interesting in study in how the human brain works. But for the fact that the Bible took a swing at explaining the origins of the Earth, they would have no issue with evolution. In fact, they would learn it and accept it as nonchalantly hey learned and accepted how tides work or why it is Summer in Australia when it is Winter in the USA.

    But, once Genesis enters the equation, all logic and reason flies out of the window. Because people who still believe in the Adam and Eve/talking snake theory of the origins of the Universe are so dogmatic and so consistent in rejecting data that undermines their worldview, it must come from a very deep part of the psyche.

    While a lack of education obviously plays a big part in this, I don’t think one can simply write off all creationists as “stupid.” I think there is something a little deeper going on. People who otherwise function in society turn off all reason and logic and shut down their ability to accept and analyze contrary data in this one area.

    The survival instinct is one of, if not the deepest human instinct, and I wonder if, at some level in their psyche, they link a belief in Adam and Eve to their overall belief in life after death. That is to say, they cling maniacally to the childish fairytale of Adam and Eve because, deep down, they think that, by letting go, their whole religious view comes crashing down and they have to accept their own mortality. Their one chance at eternity is only preserved if they cling to this belief.

    I heard an interesting Neil deGrasse Tyson presentation. He pointed out that only 92% of the American Academy of Scientists are atheists. That is to say, 8% still believe in a persona god, prayers being heard life after death etc. This is almost one in ten of the best scientists in the country!! Now, none of them believe in Adam and Eve and a 10,000 year old Earth, of course, but this demonstrates nicely how otherwise very smart, highly educated people will turn off logic and reason in this one aspect of their lives. Given that, there is little wonder that Joe Average from Texas or Betty Normal from small town South Carolina still believe in the talking snake theory of the origins of the Universe.

    November 1, 2013 at 9:09 am |
    • Reality # 2

      Colin,

      Another great analysis.

      A single Adam does however have credence in the evolutionary process.

      To wit:

      https://www3.nationalgeographic.com/genographic/

      " DNA studies suggest that all humans today descend from a group of African ancestors who about 60,000 years ago began a remarkable journey. Follow the journey from them to you as written in your genes”.

      "Adam" is the common male ancestor of every living man. He lived in Africa some 60,000 years ago, which means that all humans lived in Africa at least at that time.

      Unlike his Biblical namesake, this Adam was not the only man alive in his era. Rather, he is unique because his descendants are the only ones to survive.

      It is important to note that Adam does not literally represent the first human. He is the coalescence point of all the genetic diversity."

      More from National Geographic's Genographic project: https://genographic.nationalgeographic.com/

      "Our spe-cies is an African one: Africa is where we first ev-olved, and where we have spent the majority of our time on Earth. The earliest fos-sils of recognizably modern Ho-mo sapiens appear in the fossil record at Omo Kibish in Ethiopia, around 200,000 years ago. Although earlier fossils may be found over the coming years, this is our best understanding of when and approximately where we originated.

      According to the genetic and paleontological record, we only started to leave Africa between 60,000 and 70,000 years ago. What set this in motion is uncertain, but we think it has something to do with major climatic shifts that were happening around that time—a sudden cooling in the Earth’s climate driven by the onset of one of the worst parts of the last Ice Age. This cold snap would have made life difficult for our African ancestors, and the genetic evidence points to a sharp reduction in population size around this time. In fact, the human population likely dropped to fewer than 10,000. We were holding on by a thread.

      Once the climate started to improve, after 70,000 years ago, we came back from this near-extinction event. The population expanded, and some intrepid explorers ventured beyond Africa. The earliest people to colonize the Eurasian landma-ss likely did so across the Bab-al-Mandab Strait separating present-day Yemen from Djibouti. These early beachcombers expanded rapidly along the coast to India, and reached Southeast Asia and Australia by 50,000 years ago. The first great foray of our species beyond Africa had led us all the way across the globe."

      And for your $199 check made out to the National Geographic Genographic project and a DNA swab:

      "Included in the markers we will test for is a subset that scientists have recently determined to be from our hominid cousins, Neanderthals and the newly discovered Denisovans, who split from our lineage around 500,000 years ago. As modern humans were first migrating out of Africa more than 60,000 years ago, Neanderthals and Denisovans were still alive and well in Eurasia. It seems that our ancestors met, leaving a small genetic trace of these ancient relatives in our DNA. With Geno 2.0, you will learn if you have any Neanderthal or Denisovan DNA in your genome." (Most Europeans or those of European descent do.)

      November 1, 2013 at 9:42 am |
      • Colin

        Thanks. I wish I could understand the math behind this bit:

        "Adam" is the common male ancestor of every living man. He lived in Africa some 60,000 years ago, which means that all humans lived in Africa at least at that time.

        Unlike his Biblical namesake, this Adam was not the only man alive in his era. Rather, he is unique because his descendants are the only ones to survive.

        It is important to note that Adam does not literally represent the first human. He is the coalescence point of all the genetic diversity."

        I have read a Dawkins explanation, but quite frankly I got lost,.

        November 1, 2013 at 9:45 am |
        • Charm Quark

          Topherism
          Adam and Eve were of course the two original humans created by god and we are all descendants of them. But let us not forget Eve the second, Noah's wife and again we are all descendants of them and their sons, really look it up in the bible if you don't believe it. It is true because it is god's word written in the bible and the bible is true because it is god's word written by inspired men.
          Circle jerk reasoning.

          November 1, 2013 at 10:08 am |
    • Vic

      I am constantly baffled by how some people focus their arguments on the inaccuracy of the Bible story of Adam & Eve as the first people while totally ignoring that, throughout the history of science, no scientist has ever scientifically established where matter and life came from!

      From the layman believer to the scientist believer, if looks like a duck, quacks like a duck, and walks like a duck, IT IS A DUCK!

      November 1, 2013 at 12:34 pm |
      • Madtown

        What if it looks like a H0m0-neanderthal?

        November 1, 2013 at 12:37 pm |
        • Vic

          Well, I take it you are being facetious. We are talking about the Origin of everything being God as opposed to Evolution.

          November 1, 2013 at 12:47 pm |
      • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

        Who's ignoring that? Science accepts the limits to its current body of knowledge, whereas religionists fill the gaps with any sort of hokum they like.

        November 1, 2013 at 12:38 pm |
        • Vic

          Actually, atheists are the ones who try to fill in the gaps with completely unorthodox theories while to the believer, God is the explanation behind everything but our knowledge is so limited that we can not explain everything, which in turn makes man's knowledge to be of the gaps!

          November 1, 2013 at 12:44 pm |
        • Science Works

          Vic and look what time it is.

          The afternoon !

          Moral in the Morning, but Dishonest in the Afternoon

          http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/10/131030093144.htm

          Oct. 30, 2013 — Our ability to exhibit self-control to avoid cheating or lying

          November 1, 2013 at 12:48 pm |
        • ?

          Vic unorthodox theories, perhaps, but raising people from the dead is infallible proof that jesus is some sort of deity, how ridiculous can you get.

          November 1, 2013 at 12:53 pm |
        • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

          [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zwc1Wi-mlCI&w=640&h=390]

          November 1, 2013 at 12:54 pm |
      • Charm Quark

        Vic
        I would think that if you want to be fair you would also consider the other 100 or so creation myths that are docu,mented. Oh, I forgot Christians are seldom fair when hustling their religion to others.

        November 1, 2013 at 12:43 pm |
        • Vic

          Throughout history, humans have been peculiarly eager to find out and know about this existence and life in it. Amongst whom, Christians have been the most impressive pioneers in Philosophy, Natural Philosophy, and Science, altogether!

          November 1, 2013 at 12:57 pm |
        • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

          Mainly because, until about the late 18th century, questioning Christian orthodoxy resulted in a serious case of deadness.

          November 1, 2013 at 12:59 pm |
        • Vic

          Throughout history to this day!

          November 1, 2013 at 1:02 pm |
        • Vic

          Throughout history to this day, Christians have been pioneers, that is!

          November 1, 2013 at 1:03 pm |
        • Charm Quark

          Vic
          Bejesus, don't break your arm patting yourself on the back as if you had more than diddly squat to do with it. The Asian civilizations could probably say the same things you claim to be oh so Christian.

          November 1, 2013 at 1:09 pm |
      • Synonyms for bananas

        I am always amazed that people are willing to imply that if one can't prove where life and matter originated that means Jesus is a reasonable answer to the question.

        November 1, 2013 at 12:54 pm |
        • Vic

          Yes, and especially if you apply Occam's razor correctly, Jesus Christ (God,) is more reasonable.

          November 1, 2013 at 1:07 pm |
        • Vic

          Yes, and especially if you apply Occam's razor correctly, Jesus Christ (God,) is more reasonable than abiogenesis!

          November 1, 2013 at 1:07 pm |
        • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

          :-D

          November 1, 2013 at 1:12 pm |
        • ?

          Vic running around in diminishing circles crying god did it, hol-lering god did it, shouting god did it, and finally disappearing up his own bunghole. Which god, Vic my boy.

          November 1, 2013 at 1:14 pm |
        • Synonyms for bananas

          Vic,

          I don't know what logic would get you to conclude that a supernatural answer is more reasonable than a natural one is.

          "I don't know" is a reasonable answer, "Jesus" is not.

          November 1, 2013 at 1:22 pm |
        • Vic

          "I don't know" is a reasonable answer, abiogenesis is not!

          November 1, 2013 at 1:26 pm |
        • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

          There are numerous other scientific hypotheses concerning the origins of life on Earth, such as panspermia. What isn't a reasonable alternative to abiogenesis is the belief that some Judean carpenter/deity created everything while banging his own mother.

          November 1, 2013 at 1:31 pm |
        • Susan StoHelit

          Abogenesis is more likely than Jesus – to claim an all powerful being magically exists is a huge and highly improbable claim to make, to believe it, you have to believe a ton of things, to believe abogenesis, you merely have to understand a timescale and some molecules linking in ways we already know they do link up.

          I think you don't understand Occams razor. You can't just say "It happened magially", and since that is a short explanation it's more simple and probable, because magic is not simple and probable – that is part of what your theory is and it is not simpler than really most anything.

          November 1, 2013 at 3:11 pm |
        • Lisa

          Vic
          How on earth is a magical, eternal god, who happens to also be his own father, a more reasonable explanation than a natural process as yet unexplained?

          November 1, 2013 at 4:16 pm |
        • Lisa

          Vic
          Also, science has been revealing the actual natural causes of things previously believed to be god-made even before Franklin studied lightening, so why are you betting that the answer to this will turn out differently?

          November 1, 2013 at 4:30 pm |
      • Dennis

        Vic, belief is not required in science. Everything is open to question. Got that yet, stupid?

        Evidence from your mountain of posts so far shows that you are relatively stupid.Feel free to try to present contradictory evidence, but you have a tough climb ahead of you.

        November 1, 2013 at 1:41 pm |
      • ME II

        @Vic,
        "I am constantly baffled by how some people focus their arguments on the inaccuracy of the Bible story of Adam & Eve as the first people while totally ignoring that, throughout the history of science, no scientist has ever scientifically established where matter and life came from!"

        It is simple. The Bible is making a claim, i.e. Adam and Eve, which has been refuted. Science has not made a claim about the ultimate origin of everything as yet.

        See the difference? The Bible is claiming to know something that it does not. Science is not claiming to know something that it does not.

        November 1, 2013 at 3:20 pm |
      • Reality # 2

        o Think infinity and recycling with the Big Bang expansion followed by the shrinking reversal called the Gib Gnab and recycling back to the Big Bang repeating the process on and on forever. Human life and Earth are simply a minute part of this cha-otic, sto-cha-stic, expanding, shrinking process disappearing in five billion years with the burn out of the Sun and maybe returning in another five billion years with different life forms but still subject to the va-ga-ries of its local star.

        See for example: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Timeline_of_human_evolution

        November 2, 2013 at 7:10 am |
    • Vic

      And,

      ♰♰♰ Jesus Christ Is Lord ♰♰♰

      November 1, 2013 at 12:37 pm |
      • ?

        No, Vic, you are being silly, stop.

        November 1, 2013 at 12:49 pm |
      • Madtown

        It's an incomplete statement. Should read: "Jesus Christ is Lord to those humans that are aware of his existence."

        November 1, 2013 at 12:59 pm |
        • Or

          Madtown,
          " "Jesus Christ is Lord to those humans that are aware of his existence."

          – or –

          Jesus Christ is Lord to those humans who fantasize about his existence.

          November 1, 2013 at 1:03 pm |
        • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

          Which is zero, seeing as he doesn't exist.

          November 1, 2013 at 1:04 pm |
        • Lisa

          Actually, it should be "Jesus Christ is Lord, in my opinion."

          Guys like Vic seem to forget that statements made without any supporting evidence are only opinions.

          November 1, 2013 at 4:12 pm |
      • Dennis

        Proof please Vic, or hush up about your silly sky creature story already. And why did your "god" need Jesus to deal with "sin" anyway? Why not just be a real god and solve the problem, no drama required...

        November 1, 2013 at 1:43 pm |
  12. Charm Quark

    Thanks to Susan
    If it (religion) is what ever you like, it can never be wrong. Perfect description of Topher or a Topherism.

    November 1, 2013 at 6:55 am |
    • Science Works

      The awe of evolution which topherism has a hard time with. Pain in a mouse topher.

      Scorpion venom is a painkiller for the grasshopper mouse

      Researchers have identified the molecular mechanisms that make the grasshopper mouse resistant to scorpion venom

      http://www.theguardian.com/science/neurophilosophy/2013/oct/24/scorpion-venom-is-a-painkiller-for-grasshopper-mouse

      November 1, 2013 at 8:24 am |
      • Charm Quark

        Topherism
        Evolution has been proven impossible. For example once I have a belief in my mind no matter how much information proves that belief false my mind cannot evolve to a new concept. I remain as I am wilfully and blissfully ignorant.

        November 1, 2013 at 8:32 am |
        • Science Works

          Looks like Vicism should be added too.

          November 1, 2013 at 1:14 pm |
        • Charm Quark

          Agreed, I will leave that in your capable hands, Topherism can be an all consuming project, be free to take any ideas you find there.

          November 1, 2013 at 1:48 pm |
        • Science Works

          And fredsm shows up on cue.

          November 1, 2013 at 2:16 pm |
    • sam stone.

      It is sad that Topher is going to infect his child with his own cowardice, and duplicitousness

      November 1, 2013 at 8:28 am |
      • Dyslexic doG

        more than sad, it's child abuse.

        November 1, 2013 at 9:41 am |
        • Charm Quark

          It will probably take two or three decades for the kids to shake off the delusion if they ever do.

          November 1, 2013 at 9:45 am |
        • sam stone.

          "I am a sinner deserving hell, and god is just (but, i will do anythng in my power to avoid that justice)" – Topher

          "god made people knowiing they would sin, so he would be glorified for his justice or glorified for his mercy....but he is just and loving" – topher

          topher is a delusional coward

          November 1, 2013 at 12:26 pm |
        • truthprevails1

          We can only hope that the child grows up and realizes how wrong what his/her parents have taught them is. I'm curious as to whether or not Topher has given any thought to this, especially given that he, himself is a born-again or how he will handle it if the child is LGBT?

          November 1, 2013 at 5:03 pm |
  13. Henry

    I am sorry that people threaten to burn your house down, I have several Wiccan friends, some of my best friends are Wiccan. While I do not participate in their rituals, sometimes I leave being a Christian I just feel like I should not be there at the time, probably the same way they would feel if they were in a church. I feel the same way about Christmas, I wish it would go away, the commercialism makes a mockery and robs us of simple pleasures in tradition. How ever I would say that holloween also is advantageous to the Wiccan in that it is a time where people partake in some Wiccan ceremonies and may even grow more interested in the supernatural.

    October 31, 2013 at 11:41 pm |
  14. Dave

    It doesn't matter what you do, or who you imitate. Some one will hate you for just existing.

    October 31, 2013 at 10:58 pm |
    • Colin

      I hate you

      October 31, 2013 at 11:07 pm |
    • Dippity do da

      Some will hate you for putting a space between the e and the o in someone.

      November 1, 2013 at 4:10 am |
  15. Dani

    You hate the stereotype yet you dress up to enforce the stereotype.... that is part of the problem right there.

    October 31, 2013 at 9:46 pm |
    • Pink Witch

      we aren't capable of "perpetuating a stereotype" any more than black being black are; we are owning it.

      October 31, 2013 at 10:07 pm |
    • Lisa

      That's like telling Muslims not to dress like Muslims because you've got some ridiculous Muslim stereotype going around in your head.

      November 1, 2013 at 4:08 pm |
  16. Monk

    Perhaps in no other “Christianized” celebration does Satan so blatantly honor himself and memorialize his war dead. The writer J. Garnier suggests that celebrations of suffering and death can be traced back to the ancient destruction of all of his human followers, as well as the hybrid sons of fallen angels, at the time of the Flood. Cultures the world over have festivals for the dead, “held by all on or about the very day on which, according to the Mosaic account, the Deluge took place, viz., the seventeenth day of the second month—the month nearly corresponding with our November.”—The Worship of the Dead, by J. Garnier.
    The Druids were no exception. On October 31, Samhain was said to release the spirits of the dead to mingle with the living. Druids roamed the streets with lanterns, and on coming to a house, they demanded money as an offering for Satan.
    Halloween is a major satanic ritual day. “It’s a religious holiday for the underworld, with satanists performing sacrifices and witches quietly celebrating with prayer circles or meals for the dead,” according to a USA Today article. It quoted Washington witch Bryan Jordan as saying, “[Christians] don’t realize it, but they’re celebrating our holiday with us. . . . We like it.”
    Parents, do you want your children imitating these sinister rituals?

    3 Sadly, after the death of the apostles, who acted as a restraint against apostasy, so-called Christians who had no love of truth began to adopt pagan customs, celebrations, and “holy” days, which they dubbed Christian. (2 Thessalonians 2:7, 10) As you consider some of these celebrations, note how they reflect, not the spirit of God, but that of the world. Generally speaking, worldly celebrations have a common theme: They appeal to fleshly desires, and they promote false religious beliefs and spiritism—the hallmarks of “Babylon the Great.” (Revelation 18:2-4, 23) Keep in mind, too, that Jehovah observed firsthand the disgusting pagan religious practices from which many popular customs originated. No doubt he finds such celebrations just as offensive today. Should not his view be what matters most to us?—2 John 6, 7.
    4 As true Christians, we know that certain celebrations are not pleasing to Jehovah. But we need to be firmly determined in our heart to have absolutely nothing to do with them. A review of why Jehovah is displeased with such celebrations will strengthen our resolve to avoid anything that might hinder us from remaining in God’s love.

    October 31, 2013 at 9:30 pm |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      You are absolutely right, I don't want my son and daughter practicing ritual cannibalism, or worship Zombies....

      So no Christianity for them!

      October 31, 2013 at 9:36 pm |
      • Morticia

        You make it sound like some wonderful dream.

        October 31, 2013 at 10:03 pm |
        • Gomez

          Tish...I would die for you. I would kill for you. Either way, what bliss.

          October 31, 2013 at 10:23 pm |
    • Matthew

      Nice post Monk. Rather than celebrate an "innocent" but truly pagan holiday, I'd rather think of this day as Reformation Holiday. This being the day Martin Luther nailed his 95 thesis to the dolr of the Catholic Church.

      "On this day in 1517, the priest and scholar Martin Luther approaches the door of the Castle Church in Wittenberg, Germany, and nails a piece of paper to it containing the 95 revolutionary opinions that would begin the Protestant Reformation.

      In his theses, Luther condemned the excesses and corruption of the Roman Catholic Church, especially the papal practice of asking payment—called "indulgences"—for the forgiveness of sins. At the time, a Dominican priest named Johann Tetzel, commissioned by the Archbishop of Mainz and Pope Leo X, was in the midst of a major fundraising campaign in Germany to finance the renovation of St. Peter's Basilica in Rome. Though Prince Frederick III the Wise had banned the sale of indulgences in Wittenberg, many church members traveled to purchase them. When they returned, they showed the pardons they had bought to Luther, claiming they no longer had to repent for their sins."

      October 31, 2013 at 10:00 pm |
      • Youtube - Neil DeGrasse Tyson - The Perimeter of Ignorance

        Yes, too bad Martin Luther left out anti-semitism, and he surely enjoyed the support of the armed force to enforce his views.

        October 31, 2013 at 10:06 pm |
      • Matthew

        But I already did that...

        November 1, 2013 at 12:59 am |
  17. Tales from the Crypt

    Ironically, the lady in the top picture, bought all of her clothing at a Halloween shop. Where else do you get a pointy hat like that?

    October 31, 2013 at 8:33 pm |
    • Roger

      If someone is a Wiccan it's fine with me.People need to get the hell over their beliefs whether they are Muslim, Christian or Druid. Someone offends you, guess what? The sun is going to come up tomorrow. We are a nation of whiners. Nobody beheaded you or gouged out your eyes by wearing a damn costume. If a kids celebration of wearing a disguise jacks up your life, how do you even function in a world full of war an starving children? This politically correct crapola is a waste of everyone's time.Just shut up and go on with your life.

      October 31, 2013 at 9:13 pm |
      • Lionly Lamb

        Whiners huh..? They get you coming and going... When one least expects it... Whine away...

        October 31, 2013 at 9:20 pm |
      • Lisa

        The difference between confidence and faith is that I have confidence that the sun will come up tomorrow, even though I recognize the remote possibility that it could go supernova in a couple of hours. People with faith in things either are unaware of the possibility that they could be wrong, or they just don't care about that possibility.

        November 1, 2013 at 4:02 pm |
    • truthprevails1

      Not likely. There are stores like Trivium that sell these items and there are always seamstresses willing to design and create.

      November 1, 2013 at 4:58 pm |
  18. Tales from the Crypt

    Sit down kids... and let me tell you a scary story...

    There was nothing and nothing happened to nothing and then nothing magically exploded for no reason creating everything and then a bunch of everything magically rearranged itself for no reason what so ever into self-replicating bits which then turned into dinosaurs.

    Boo!

    >:)

    October 31, 2013 at 8:28 pm |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      C'mon kids lets go to church where we will pretend to eat human flesh and drink human blood!

      Boo!

      October 31, 2013 at 9:41 pm |
      • Tales from the Crypt

        Come on kids, listen to everything I say has some reference to Christianity or God. It is like I'm totally obsessed and don't think about anything else. Kids, where are you going?

        October 31, 2013 at 9:52 pm |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          And why would you infer I was talking about Christianity?

          October 31, 2013 at 10:01 pm |
        • Tales from the Crypt

          Because that is all the poster "Blessed is the Cheesemakers" ever talks about. Get it?

          October 31, 2013 at 10:05 pm |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          Oh that is not true, I had a nice conversation about Monty Python just last night. I think you have a complex.

          October 31, 2013 at 10:15 pm |
    • Dyslexic doG

      your ignorance is truly astounding ...

      November 1, 2013 at 2:15 pm |
    • EnjaySea

      This is even scarier, because it couldn't possibly happen:

      There was this guy who could create universes. He did this from a workshop that existed prior to our universe, in a pre-universe that he must have created also (because he created everything). So, somehow he created himself, then started creating other universes. Either that or he has always existed, forever and ever in this universe that didn't need to get created (because it also existed forever and ever in order to house him). So really universes don't need to be created, because they can also be infinite, meaning he either can't exist, because one can't create oneself, or he isn't the creator, because he didn't create his original universe.

      Yet people have been burned at the stake for not believing in this story.

      Boo!

      November 1, 2013 at 3:38 pm |
    • mens rae

      "Sit down kids... and let me tell you a scary story...

      There was nothing and nothing happened to nothing and then nothing magically exploded into god for no reason who created everything from nothing with the same magic that formed it...

      Boo!

      >:)"

      See what I did there? Fixed it for ya. You are welcome.

      November 2, 2013 at 7:37 am |
  19. Steve

    Look, facts are facts. We have to weigh her against a duck to determine if she's really a witch.

    Honestly is paganism any less ridliclious that the ritualized canablism of a peace loving god?

    October 31, 2013 at 8:12 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      Feast on the body of the God you've killed. You have until dawn.

      October 31, 2013 at 8:28 pm |
    • Pastapharian

      Who are you who is so wise in the ways of science?

      October 31, 2013 at 8:40 pm |
    • Roger

      And Steve wins the internet.

      October 31, 2013 at 9:01 pm |
  20. Chuckles

    Halloween is actually an ancient Egyptian holiday dedicated to Horus, Mithra, Krishna and Dionysus. Children dressed up as their favorite "gods" and went from cave to cave asking for berries. Christians STOLE the tradition, but changed it so the children dress as ghosts, goblins and Justin Bieber. Instead of going cave to cave you go from car trunk to car trunk in a church parking lost.
    I saw a docomentary on it so it has to be true.

    October 31, 2013 at 8:12 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27

Post a comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Advertisement
About this blog

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