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January 8th, 2014
08:39 AM ET

Pastor tries atheism, loses jobs, gains $19,000

By Daniel Burke, Belief Blog Co-editor

(CNN) - In the past, at times like these, when his life foundered and frayed around the edges, Ryan Bell often prayed for help. But this year, at least, the pastor has resolved not to.

For the next 12 months, Bell says he will live as if there is no God.

He will not pray, go to church, read the Bible for inspiration, trust in divine providence or hope in things unseen. He’s taking the opposite of a leap of faith: a free fall into the depths of religious doubt.

Bell’s “intellectual experiment,” which began January 1, has already borne dramatic consequences.

In less than a week, he lost two jobs teaching at Christian schools near his home in Los Angeles. He’s 42 and has been a pastor or in seminary for most of his adult life. Now he faces the prospect of poverty and taking odd jobs to feed his two daughters, 10 and 13.

“There have been times, usually late at night and early in the morning, when I think: What have I done? It really undermines the whole structure of your life, your career, your family,” Bell said.

But just as the man of God began to despair, he found help from an unlikely source: atheists.

'Suspending belief '

The seeds of Bell’s journey were planted last March, when he was asked to resign as pastor of a Seventh-day Adventist congregation in Hollywood.

He had advocated for the church to allow gay and lesbian leaders, campaigned against California’s same-sex marriage ban and disputed deeply held church doctrines about the End Times.

Eventually, his theological and political liberalism became more than leaders in the denomination could bear, and he lost his career of 19 years. His faith was shaken, and for a while Bell became a “religious nomad.”

On the positive side, losing his church job gave him the freedom to question the foundations of his religious belief without fear of troubling his congregation.

“I could finally pursue those questions that had been bouncing around my head,” he said, while earning money from teaching, speaking and consulting jobs.

MORE ON CNN: Behold, the six types of atheists

Then, after lunch with a friend last year, he thought: What if he tried out atheism, and lived with no religion at all for a year?

“It’s like when you go to a movie and you suspend disbelief for three hours to get inside the story,” Bell said. “I’m suspending my belief in God to see what atheism is all about.”

Bell, who still holds ministerial credentials in the Seventh-day Adventist Church, thought it would be a neat little intellectual experiment.

He would interview atheists, attend gatherings of nonbelievers and read through the canon of skeptics: Friedrich Nietzsche, Baruch Spinoza, Richard Dawkins and Christopher Hitchens, among others.

When friends got sick, instead of praying, as was once his immediate response, Bell said, he would “do something tangible and practical and supportive for them.”

He would start a blog, “Year Without God,” and write about his faithless journey. Bell thought maybe a few people would read his posts, follow along and offer advice or criticism.

“I didn’t realize, even four days ago, how difficult it would be for some people to embrace me while I was embracing this journey of open inquiry into the question of God’s existence,” Bell wrote on Saturday.

‘We need to talk’

The first signs of trouble came around the turn of the new year, just days after Bell announced his experiment online.

Texts and e-mails arrived from friends, family and colleagues with the ominous phrase, “We need to talk.”

Kurt Fredrickson, a friend of Bell’s and associate dean of ministry at Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena, California, sent one of those messages.

Bell, a graduate of Fuller, had taught in the school’s doctorate development program for the past year. But Fredrickson told his friend that his sabbatical from faith meant a sabbatical from the seminary as well.

“From an academic standpoint, and even as a personal journey, I’m really excited about what Ryan is doing,” Fredrickson said.

"There is no honest person of faith who doesn’t have doubts, and Ryan is being courageous enough to take a step back and assess his life. This is bold stuff.”

But Bell’s job at Fuller was to help students through their doctoral dissertations, a particularly stressful time, Fredrickson said, when seminarians need to lean on a person with strong faith.

“They are flying solo for the first time, and we want to not only teach, but to nurture souls as well,” Fredrickson said. “Ryan saying he’s going to be an atheist for a year is a little contradictory to that.”

Fuller would be happy to talk to Bell when his experiment is over, the dean added.

MORE ON CNN: What Oprah gets wrong about atheism

Azusa Pacific University, where Bell had taught intercultural communication since 2011, also declined to renew his contract.

Rachel White, a spokeswoman for the school, wouldn’t comment, saying it was an internal personnel matter. But she said all school and faculty are expected to sign a statement of faith outlining their belief in Christianity.

Also this year, Bell lost a consulting job with a Seventh-day Adventist Church in Glendale, California.

Bell said he bears no ill will toward the church or the schools that let him go, though he wishes they would tolerate, if not support, his atheism experiment. The loss of income has led to some family stress, he said.

“I have kids to support and utilities to pay and the rent is due,” Bell said. “At this point I’m willing to do almost anything.” Bell said he and his wife are divorcing, though not because of his atheist experiment.

Meanwhile, the phone calls, e-mails and texts from friends and family worried about the fate of his soul continue to pour in.

‘A beautiful gesture’

“He learned what it’s like to be an atheist real fast,” said Hemant Mehta, a prominent atheist blogger and schoolteacher in Illinois.

Mehta said he knows many atheists who fear that “coming out of the closet” will jeopardize their jobs and relationships, just as in Bell’s experience.

Mehta said he doesn’t exactly agree with the premise of Bell’s experiment. How does someone pretend to be an atheist? It’s not like a hat you wear to see if it fits. Faith taps into deeply held beliefs and emotions. Even during his experiment with atheism, won't there still be a nagging suspicion in the back of Bell’s mind that God exists?

(For the record, Bell describes his current theological views as agnostic - somewhere between belief and atheism. But he's trying to put that aside for the year to live and think like an atheist.)

Mehta said he admired Bell’s pluck and sympathized with his plight. Though he had never spoken with the pastor, Mehta set up an online fundraiser for Bell on Tuesday. In just one day, nearly 900 people donated more than $19,000 to help “the pastor giving atheism a try.”

“I think more than anything else, people appreciate that this guy is giving atheism a shot,” Mehta said. “I mean, he lost three jobs in the span of a week just for saying he was exploring it.”

Bell said he knows Christians and agnostics who have contributed to his fundraiser as well, so it’s not an all-atheist effort.

Still, he’s impressed that nonbelievers have flocked to help fund his experiment

“It really validates that the (atheist) community is really all about the search for truth,” Bell said. “They know that I might not even end up as an atheist at the end of my search, but it doesn’t matter to them. It’s such a beautiful gesture.”

Will the support tip Bell toward atheism? The pastor is agnostic about that, too – for now.

MORE ON CNN: Can atheist churches last?

- CNN Religion Editor

Filed under: Atheism • Belief • Christianity • evangelicals • Faith • Lost faith

soundoff (6,251 Responses)
  1. Michael66

    Scuse me, but this is idiotic nonsense.

    The fact that he is getting huge donations doesn't even help matters much.

    You either believe in God or not, it's not an experiment.

    The thing that makes this so stupid is that one is going to pretend a God doesn't exist, a God he wasn't sure of to begin with.
    That is just ridiculous.

    January 9, 2014 at 7:20 pm |
    • bostontola

      'Scuse me while I kiss the sky

      January 9, 2014 at 7:26 pm |
      • 2014 version

        Scuse me, while I kiss this guy.

        January 9, 2014 at 7:40 pm |
        • bostontola

          Whatever makes you happy.

          January 9, 2014 at 7:42 pm |
      • Akira

        Ten points to your house, bostontola, for the Jimi Hendrix reference.

        January 9, 2014 at 8:40 pm |
  2. Robert Raulerson

    Jesus died for your sins – but he didn't die for mine. What's wrong with that?

    January 9, 2014 at 7:14 pm |
    • Pete

      But why celebrate human sacrifice at all?

      January 9, 2014 at 8:08 pm |
  3. bostontola

    To the Christians that tell non-Christians that they are going to hell and will burn for eternity:

    How concerned are you that you will be sentenced to Tartarus for not following the rules of ancient Greek Mythology?

    That is exactly how concerned non-Christians are of your admonition.

    January 9, 2014 at 6:51 pm |
  4. Robert Raulerson

    I'm not impressed with Jesus – all he ever did was hang around.

    January 9, 2014 at 6:36 pm |
    • R. Ballsstuckinpanty

      Yes, agree. Jesus is sucks. what he can do is got hung and die.. nothing else. What a lazy brat as a God. Chuck Norris is way more better than Jesus.

      January 9, 2014 at 10:11 pm |
  5. Atheists Congregations will just sue you

    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2013/05/at_ball_state_u072381.html

    January 9, 2014 at 6:14 pm |
    • V

      Who is getting sued, you bloody liar? What freaking atheist congregation are you talking about, you freaking liar? Why is ID being taught in science? It's not science but theology, you freaking liar.

      January 9, 2014 at 6:31 pm |
    • bostontola

      1. Why is an Intelligent design website called "Evolution News"? That's funny.

      2. Why is a physics professor teaching biology? I doubt many biologists are qualified to teach physics, there is no mention of this guy's qualifications to teach biology. Would you want an engineer doing surgery on you?

      January 9, 2014 at 6:33 pm |
  6. Ellen G. White never saw the rock coming.

    ########### 😦 #################

    January 9, 2014 at 6:03 pm |
    • I'm on to you

      From Wilmington, Delaware. 😦

      January 9, 2014 at 6:08 pm |
    • Or smelled what the Rock is cooking

      welp

      January 9, 2014 at 8:29 pm |
    • tallulah13

      The Rock? Dwayne Johnson?

      January 9, 2014 at 11:32 pm |
  7. Bruno

    Oh goodie... Now we get to see the atheist equivalent of the collection plate. Religious or not, people are really stupid.

    January 9, 2014 at 5:37 pm |
    • Heather

      Matthew 7:1-5

      January 9, 2014 at 10:14 pm |
  8. Richard

    Why can't an atheist organization hire him? That will give him a better taste of what it feels like to be a an atheist.

    January 9, 2014 at 5:21 pm |
    • Tom

      You mean a church run by atheists?

      Don't they go to seminaries to get trained to be atheist preachers?

      January 9, 2014 at 5:22 pm |
      • Richard

        Atheists don't go to seminaries. They are homegrown!

        January 9, 2014 at 5:24 pm |
      • Hitchhiker

        He should have just gone to the Himalayas like Jessica Ravitz did. 😉

        January 9, 2014 at 5:26 pm |
    • If horses were atheists .. they would believe they were logical and superior to religious people

      He has been hired to build the satanic statue in Oklahoma.

      January 9, 2014 at 5:23 pm |
      • bostontola

        Are you saying horses are not superior to religious people?

        January 9, 2014 at 5:43 pm |
        • If horses were atheists .. they would believe they were logical and superior to religious people

          Horses are completely irrational and eat hay.

          January 9, 2014 at 5:44 pm |
        • bostontola

          That doesn't answer my question.

          January 9, 2014 at 5:50 pm |
        • If horses were atheists .. they would believe they were logical and superior to religious people

          If horses were atheists they might stereotype all Christians as irrational, unthinking, uncaring, something rather less than human.

          They might ignore committed Christians like Wernher von Braun and Francis Collins, scientists who led the way in rocketry and genomics. They may pretend to not notice lively and deep academic debates going on between real thinking Christians and real thinking atheists. They may remain ignorant of the foundations of science, and ignore how deeply science has depended on a Christian way of viewing reality.

          They could ignore Christian thinkers: Augustine, Aquinas, Luther, Calvin, Edwards, Galileo, Kepler, Brahe, Faraday, Maxwell, and many, many more, in philosophy and the sciences. They might refuse to listen to the music of Bach and Handel.

          If a horse was an atheist, and claimed to base all his beliefs on evidence, what do they do with all that evidence from the religious world? Probably ignore it.

          January 9, 2014 at 5:58 pm |
        • bostontola

          Apparently, your fantasy world goes beyond your religious beliefs, very amusing.

          January 9, 2014 at 6:01 pm |
        • If horses were atheists .. they would believe they were logical and superior to religious people

          Aw, most atheists don't think that way. Just ones that post on belief blogs with names like "In doG We Trust" or "dyslexic SaNTA".
          You know, bottom of the barrel internet atheists. Evolution's joke for all to see.

          January 9, 2014 at 6:05 pm |
        • bostontola

          Good news, if you accept evolution we have something in common.

          January 9, 2014 at 6:15 pm |
        • Ben

          If horses were atheists
          What evidence coming from the religious world?

          January 9, 2014 at 6:22 pm |
        • In Santa we trust

          horsey,
          Does that mean you have some evidence of a god other than the disproven creation myth?

          January 9, 2014 at 6:25 pm |
        • If horses were atheists .. they would believe they were logical and superior to religious people

          Yes, Santa. Continue to study science. It will lead you to God. You can forget about trolling belief blogs and do something wonderful instead. I believe in you! You can do it! And instead of being so anti, you can be pro something. Demonstrate a better way to live, not just talk about it.

          January 9, 2014 at 6:33 pm |
        • Atheist

          Go Santa, you can do it!

          January 9, 2014 at 6:36 pm |
        • bostontola

          I'm an atheist that is not anti god, or anti religion. I am anti fundamentalist. I am anti people that want to impose their beliefs on others through law and school curricula. I am pro science, does that count?

          January 9, 2014 at 6:38 pm |
        • In Santa we trust

          If it is so compelling why don't you post it. As you believe in evolution you cannot believe the Adam and Eve story; that right there is a massive hole in the christian creation myth plus it is the death knoll of the concept original sin. Unfortunately there are so many holes in religion it's impossible to cover them all. Yes some famous scientists were christians but until the 18th century not believing in god was likely a terminal condition.
          How do come to the conclusion that science is evidence of a god? Be specific. Or point out the flaws in my logic – that evolution, geology, big bang, etc. etc. disprove the creation myths.

          January 9, 2014 at 6:40 pm |
        • If horses were atheists .. they would believe they were logical and superior to religious people

          You cool!
          You ain't parading around with a hostile name and demanding everyone prove God to you on a blog dedicated to faith. You know logically it is reasonable to find people who hold belief in God here.

          January 9, 2014 at 6:43 pm |
        • In Santa we trust

          You made the claim, you provide the evidence. But of course you go all self-righteous saying that no one has the right to request that you support your argument. Big fail.

          January 9, 2014 at 6:47 pm |
        • If horses were atheists .. they would believe they were logical and superior to religious people

          You have to study science. Perhaps enter a program at a university. But there is a good chance you might have a Christian professor, and you would probably hate that. Maybe there is some atheist group practicing science in your city that will take you under their wings?

          January 9, 2014 at 6:52 pm |
        • In Santa we trust

          So you have no evidence. For you this is an opportunity to continue how you began – with attempts at insults.

          If you have evidence that science leads to a god, or flaws in my arguments, feel free to post them. Attempts at insults are clearly seen for what they are – avoidance.

          January 9, 2014 at 6:55 pm |
        • bostontola

          If Horses...,
          I have taken many science classes at the undergraduate and graduate level, some of the profs were Christian. Every one of them was not religious though by their own declaration. Every one of them fully accepted evolution as a fact. Every one of them accepted the Big Bang accounting of the universe.

          January 9, 2014 at 6:58 pm |
        • If horses were atheists .. they would believe they were logical and superior to religious people

          Take the stick out of your butt.
          You are on a belief blog getting bent out of shape because an agnostic dude, pretending to be religious, can't prove God to you.
          Get a hobby. Try stamp collecting. Not stamp collecting is not working out for you that well.

          January 9, 2014 at 6:59 pm |
        • If horses were atheists .. they would believe they were logical and superior to religious people

          bostontola, you aren't a hostile acting internet troll that hates Christians.

          January 9, 2014 at 7:00 pm |
        • bostontola

          If Horses...,
          I've not seen In Santa... to hate Christians. In fact, I don't know any atheist that hates Christians. They disagree with many Christian beliefs and are offended when some Christians try to impose their beliefs using laws and school curricula, but I never met a hater.

          January 9, 2014 at 7:14 pm |
        • If horses were atheists .. they would believe they were logical and superior to religious people

          The name 'In Santa we trust' oozes of tolerance and acceptance. Yea right!

          January 9, 2014 at 7:26 pm |
        • bostontola

          I think there can be a wide distance between satire and hate.

          January 9, 2014 at 7:28 pm |
        • If horses were atheists .. they would believe they were logical and superior to religious people

          Yet atheist take offense at my satire. I feel like I have the mentality of a 7th grader posting with a name like this. What grade is Santa in?

          January 9, 2014 at 7:34 pm |
        • bostontola

          I appreciate satire and humor from any person, it can lighten things up. I don't always get it since the internet doesn't reveal intonation and facial expressions. It's best to not take things personally. Cheers!

          January 9, 2014 at 7:40 pm |
        • If horses were atheists .. they would believe they were logical and superior to religious people

          Good point. Thanks for your input. Santa, sorry I'm trying to bust your balls. I really don't know you well. Boston probably knows you better.

          January 9, 2014 at 7:42 pm |
        • bostontola

          If Horses...,
          An interesting point is, as an atheist I am compelled to conclude that by sociological measure Religion has been superior to atheism. Whatever the reason, societies with religion have dominated the earth for centuries. Of course, that is no guarantee that it will stay that way into the future, nor does it mean atheists are wrong.

          January 9, 2014 at 7:49 pm |
        • In Santa we trust

          no problem

          January 9, 2014 at 8:25 pm |
        • nonstoprobot

          @Santa, you do know that the Big Bang is just a theory right. Science can't prove it either. Besides isn't it logical that everything needs to begin from something...have some kind of starting point, including an expansion of energy.

          January 9, 2014 at 8:53 pm |
        • chubby rain

          @nonstoprobot,
          You do realize that everything in science is "just a theory"? Evolution, the Big Bang, Gravity, Special Relativity, General Relativity, Quantum Mechanics, Plate Tectonics, Quantum Field Theory, .... Theories never become scientific facts – they explain facts.

          January 9, 2014 at 9:20 pm |
      • If horses had Gods .. their Gods would be horses

        Why the childish attack on my screen name?
        Do you not like quotes from ancient philosophers and theologians (Xenophanes)?
        Do you not like quotes that pre-date Jesus by over 500 years?
        .. or, most likely, you just don't understand it.

        January 11, 2014 at 12:41 pm |
  9. silverbuttons

    Well, the guy has been living without God, anyway, all his life, he just doesn't realize it. A world without God looks amazingly like the world we have right now, with no evidence that some supreme, hyper-intelligent being poofed it into existence one week. I wish him luck, however. Perhaps next year, he could pretend to be a Muslim, a Jew, a Catholic, or a Buddhist.

    January 9, 2014 at 5:08 pm |
    • niknak

      And you have been living with a lie your whole life but just don't realize it.

      January 9, 2014 at 5:10 pm |
      • boblevel

        Snappy comeback there. Do you believe in unicorns too, because there is no evidence for them either.

        January 9, 2014 at 5:25 pm |
        • If horses were atheists .. they would spend all day on the internt "playing scientist"

          I don't believe in love.

          January 9, 2014 at 5:26 pm |
        • Atheism isn't a religion

          Good for you, good little Christard.

          January 9, 2014 at 5:48 pm |
        • Atheism isn't a religion

          Meant for the "playing scientist" horse.

          January 9, 2014 at 5:50 pm |
        • If horses were atheists .. they would spend all day on the internt "playing scientist"

          Thanks, baby!

          January 9, 2014 at 6:17 pm |
        • Ben

          If horses were atheists
          There's lots of evidence for love, but there isn't any evidence to suggest that love is some kind of god, or even proof of one.

          January 9, 2014 at 6:25 pm |
        • Atheist

          Love is a chemical reaction. Nothing more.

          January 9, 2014 at 6:37 pm |
        • Ben

          "Atheist"
          No, love is manifest in relationships between people who care deeply for each other. Christians claim that they have some kind of "relationship" with their personal God. Even if he doesn't actually exist, as we atheists suspect, they still love the idea of a God out there, interested in and protecting them. Many would describe it as a greater love than between parent and child, so is it any wonder that they refuse to listen to our criticizing this being?

          Love is real, but it affects our rational judgment. First, Christians are taught to love God with all their heart. After that, indoctrinating them is so much easier. A person in love with an idea wants to believe that it's a good one, and will disregard things that suggest otherwise.

          January 9, 2014 at 7:06 pm |
      • Sungrazer

        niknak,

        Based on some of your other comments, I don't think you are believer, which means I think you misread this person's comment.

        January 9, 2014 at 5:28 pm |
  10. Alias

    This is a big problem I have always had with the bible;
    Satan challenged god.
    Now, imagine if I were to go to Africa and tell a charging bull elephant, ‘This is my watering hole! Go find your own!’. Unless I was armed, it is very likely I would be trampled to death. The same situation existed with Satan and god. If the bible is true, then Satan lived in heaven with god, spoke to god, knew god. I haven’t spoken to a lot of elephants, but I know better than to challenge a big one to a fair fight. Satan had about the same chances against god. Unless god made that one angel totally insane, the challenge would never have happened.

    January 9, 2014 at 5:08 pm |
    • niknak

      No, you don't understand the point of the devil.
      Believers have to have a bad guy to blame for all the bad stuff that god does not seem to be able to stop, and to scare their young into going along with the myth.

      January 9, 2014 at 5:13 pm |
    • Russ

      @ Alias: by your logic, people would be more advanced if they were robots.
      is freedom of the will a sign of a greater or lesser being?

      January 9, 2014 at 5:19 pm |
      • Alias

        Freedom of will is what keeps of from doing stupid things on purpose.
        It is not a good reason to think an angel would challenge god.

        I didn't argue that he COULD not, I explained why i don't believe he would.

        January 9, 2014 at 5:34 pm |
        • Russ

          @ Alias:
          much to the contrary, i think freedom of the will is one of the primary factors in *why* we do stupid things on purpose.

          per your concern on Satan here, consider a speculative analogy:
          you as a child think you are stronger than your grandfather. he's always so nice and docile with you. so one day you decide you'll tell him off/tackle him/prove you're the bigger man/etc. suddenly you see his demeanor change. he gives you a glimpse of his strength. you realize he's been holding back as an expression of love. you mistook kindness for weakness.

          or another: you think some old man you know is weak. you decide to break into his house & rob him. you didn't realize he was Special Forces in Vietnam. you get your tail whipped – and suddenly the nature of your previously cordial relationship has changed.

          of course these are just analogies. the Creator/creation distinction is infinitely & qualitatively greater. but that only presses the difference. and note: saying "but God made him" fails to hear the biblical teaching that God made him good. he chose to misuse his freedom & ruin himself... as does all of humanity.

          January 9, 2014 at 5:46 pm |
        • Wendy

          No matter how you look at it, the Christian view of a creator is false. And stupid. Go chew that cud, rabbit-face Russ.

          January 9, 2014 at 6:08 pm |
        • Alias

          So Satan had the mind of a child, and god let him think he was strong enough to create a universe from nothing.
          HAHAHAHAHAH!
          Great justification!

          January 9, 2014 at 9:29 pm |
        • Russ

          @ Alias: by comparison, (to use the words of Soren Kierkegaard) there is "an infinite, qualitative difference between God and humanity." infinite. qualitative. in short, MUCH greater than the difference between a grandpa & a child.

          so yes, while Satan is much more intelligent than us (quant.itatively speaking), the difference between Satan & God is categorically different than the difference between Satan & us (we are both creatures).

          January 13, 2014 at 9:11 am |
      • G to the T

        So an all powerful being couldn't figure out a way to have free will AND no evil? Isn't that what heaven is like anyways?

        Besides, there a multiple examples of god subverting the free will of others when he feels necessary. So obviously, free will isn't as big a component as we might think.

        January 9, 2014 at 5:36 pm |
        • Alias

          Don't give that all powerful being too much credit for intelligence.
          After all, he couldn't find a way to forgive us all for Adam's sin without killing his son.

          January 9, 2014 at 5:40 pm |
        • Russ

          @ G to the T: there is an enormous difference between "couldn't figure out" & purposefully did it this way.

          a few examples:
          a) we're not robots. that's a good thing.
          b) we're finite, but we've learned more about God's character this way
          c) God planned to use our self-rendered destruction to demonstrate his unmerited grace that we would not otherwise personally comprehend as finite creatures

          January 9, 2014 at 5:49 pm |
        • Russ

          @ Alias: because you begin by assuming God's an idiot (a self-refuting concept), you don't even hear the complexity of what the biblical God is claiming.

          we did this to ourselves. we deserve death.
          he *planned* to demonstrate something greater – without compromising who he is.

          the cross shows two things about God simultaneously:
          a) we're far worse off than we want to admit (he had to die)
          he's committed to justice. he defines what Justice is.
          b) we're more loved than we ever dared to hope (he was willing to die in my place)

          mercy without justice invalidates both.
          at the cross, both are upheld in an incredible revelation of God's own character.

          January 9, 2014 at 5:54 pm |
        • Bob

          Russ, the whole Jesus-on-a-cross sacrifice thing, a core premise of your religion, is a steaming pile of bull dung. How is it again that your omnipotent being couldn't do his saving bit without the whole silly Jesus hoopla? And how was Jesus' death a "sacrifice", when an omnipotent being could just pop up a replacement son any time with less than a snap of his fingers? Pretty pathetic "god" that you've made for yourself there.

          Ask the questions. Break the chains. Join the movement.
          Be free of Christianity and other superstitions.
          http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/

          January 9, 2014 at 6:10 pm |
        • Russ

          @ Bob:
          1) You clearly don't have an accurate understanding of Christianity's self-understanding (much less its self-articulation). You might want to get that straight before taking such a hard line.

          for instance, the Trinity is not just 'hey, God has sons, so he can make more.' (you don't understand the cost, or what is being said theologically about justice & mercy, because you are refusing to actually engage what Christianity is saying.) Jesus IS God. the Trinity is 3 persons, one God – not a dynamic, changing set of persons. and not 3 masks for one God, nor 3 gods who are just really close friends. try googling a few terms here: Sabellianism/modalism, tri-theism, high christology, ho.mo.ousion, or even just Athanasius' treatise "on the incarnation." and notice how the key factor in ALL of this discussion is what the earliest sources say.

          2) I've pressed you on your Marshall Brain devotion before. I find it highly ironic that you mock organized religion for being thoughtless, yet you seem (at least) equally unaware of how shallow Marshall Brain's arguments are. You just regurgitate.

          January 11, 2014 at 10:09 am |
        • Tom, Tom, the Other One

          Christianity's self-understanding is shared by few Christians, Russ – that is based on my conversations with many Christians. The Trinity, for example, is defined by what it's not (something you brought up here) and as a mystery.

          January 11, 2014 at 10:35 am |
        • Russ

          @ TTTOO: just saw your response here.

          you claim the Trinity is defined by "what it's not," but the definitive argument for the Trinity is not "what it's not" but what it is. for example, it is probably the primary theme of John 14-17 (Jesus' upper room discourse, the last thing he teaches before he goes to die). also, the entire debate over "ho.mo.ousion" is about *what it is* (the PRIMARY debate here theologically), not defining the Trinity by "what it's not." by contrast, "3 persons, 1 God" / "3-in-1, 1-in-3" is a positive statement, not a negative one.

          January 13, 2014 at 9:07 am |
    • Ken

      Alias
      Ever watch Star Trek? Well, in Job Satan kinda acts like God's XO, there to scrutinize God's decision-making. Later it's inferred that Isaiah 14:12-15 and Ezekiel 28:12-15 are really talking about Satan rather than the certain kings which they literally refer to. From there Christian theology implies further that the snake was also Satan, but this is diverging from mainstream Jewish thought of the time.

      January 9, 2014 at 6:33 pm |
      • Alias

        Wow.
        I never thought about Star Trek in religious terms before.
        I bet I can whoop that elephant now!

        January 9, 2014 at 9:25 pm |
    • JB

      Which is why satan attacks the children of God. If you can't hurt the Father the way you planned, then do it by hurting His children.

      Which is why power and authority over ALL of the enemies attacks was restored to mankind (through Jesus' death and resurrection) but most don't use it because they either don't know they have it, or they don't believe they have it (power and authority that is).

      January 9, 2014 at 6:37 pm |
      • Ken

        Why would God allow Satan to hurt "his children"? Surely, he could stop him at any time, right?

        January 9, 2014 at 6:58 pm |
  11. TheMoreYouKnow...

    All through the NT we see Christ reserving his harshest rebukes, strongest words for the "religious" leaders of the day who oppressed the people and made numerous burdensome demands on them turning them into "twice the son of hell" that the same religious leaders were. (Matthew 23:15). He is constantly at odds with them.

    Christ didn't come to offer religion for it is a dreaded, dead thing and the world would be much better off wiithout it.

    January 9, 2014 at 4:52 pm |
    • CommonSensed

      If Jesus were alive today and preaching what he preached he would be castigated by the GOP as a socialist and a Marxist.

      January 9, 2014 at 4:56 pm |
      • Russ

        @ CS: and the liberals would call him a crazy conservative.
        Jesus broke both categories: he's a theological conservative and a social progressive at the same time. that's an extremely rare animal in America.

        January 9, 2014 at 5:07 pm |
        • Maddy

          No, the liberals would most definitely call him a crazy conservative. Liberals would embrace Him, and you know it.

          The GOP castigated the Pope; they would castigate Jesus.

          January 9, 2014 at 5:10 pm |
        • Russ

          @ Maddy: while Jesus most often yelled at the religious conservatives of his day (the Pharisees), he did have equally harsh words for the Sadducees (the liberals).

          for example...
          a) he slams them for not believing in the resurrection of the dead. how would that play among liberals today?
          b) also, he clearly had a very high view of the authority of the Scriptures (even arguing based off a single word in the OT).
          c) he clearly & repeatedly claimed to be not only the exclusive way to God, but God in the flesh. how about that one?

          those are just a few examples.
          point being: he does not fit either category. both Republicans & Democrats would find their political agendas under fire from Christ.

          January 9, 2014 at 5:16 pm |
        • Maddy

          @Russ,
          Point is, who would be more likely to marginalized people who don't believe exactly as they do? Who would be more likely to brand Jesus as a Marxist socialist? As evidenced by the last 30 years or so: the GOP.

          Which was the point of Common Sensed's post.

          January 9, 2014 at 5:24 pm |
        • Russ

          @ Maddy: i didn't disagree w/ CS' post. i added to it. so don't move the goalposts.
          the point remains: Jesus challenges both groups in ways they'd be hard pressed to handle.

          yes, the GOP would probably (inaccurately) label him a Marxist (instead of just 'social progressive').
          but also, the Dems would probably (*accurately*) label him a radical theological conservative (maybe even "fundamentalist" or "evangelical"?).

          If Jesus is God, BOTH have a major problem – something CS seemed to be selectively avoiding.

          January 9, 2014 at 5:31 pm |
        • Johnny

          How could Jesus be seen as a theological conservative when he called for overturning many of the rules in the Old Testament?

          January 9, 2014 at 5:34 pm |
        • Russ

          @ Johnny: he called for overturning their traditions (things not in the OT). but he also claimed to be the fulfillment of all of the OT – even saying he upheld the law...

          "Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. For truly I tell you, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished." (Mt.5:17-18)

          not only that, he claimed to BE the Word in the flesh – explicitly claiming the whole OT was really about him (Lk.24:27,44; Jn.5:39-40; etc.).

          [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LkNa6tLWrqk&w=640&h=390]

          January 9, 2014 at 5:38 pm |
        • CommonSensed

          @Russ – I was being selective with my statement based on the level of irony involved since the GOP considers itself the more christian of our current two major parties. Don't try to take it beyond that – that'll be your cake to bake.

          January 9, 2014 at 5:40 pm |
        • Maddy

          @Russ:
          I am most certainly not moving the goalposts.

          I see in my original post I mistakenly said liberals would call him a crazy conservative. That was a typo; I meant to say that liberals would NOT call him a crazy conservative; Jesus had more in common with the Occupy movement, say, that the Tea Party.

          And I am setting aside theology, which is what I think CS was doing.

          January 9, 2014 at 6:25 pm |
        • Russ

          @ CS: the silence was deafening – and equally ironic.

          @ Maddy: "setting aside the theology"? that's convenient since that's the very thing he is conservative about...
          of course you are setting it aside – seeing as how that's what defeats your point.

          January 13, 2014 at 9:15 am |
    • silverbuttons

      Do you worship a god? Then what you have is a religion. You can call it whatever you like, but to everyone else, it looks like a religion, in the same way that an appaloosa looks like a horse. You could call the appaloosa a leopard, but it would still be a horse.

      January 9, 2014 at 5:04 pm |
      • TheMoreYouKnow...

        And for that same reason so many people consider atheism a religion. People sure do treat it like one. Overwhelming evidence of that on this blog.

        January 9, 2014 at 5:10 pm |
        • Stalee

          So many Christians believe that atheism is a religion? Agreed. Is it? No.

          January 9, 2014 at 5:28 pm |
    • Ken

      TheMoreYouKnow...
      Too bad that Christianity is a religion, and worshipping Christ is a religious belief.

      January 9, 2014 at 6:35 pm |
  12. Topher

    In Santa we trust

    Hope you don't mind me moving this here, dude.

    "The point is it is the same underlying scientific method that led to the technology used in those items as is used in evolution, big bang, geology, etc. that do disprove the biblical creation myth."

    Nope. One, nothing has disproved anything in the Bible. Two, no, science require the subject to be testable, repeatable and demonstrable. Big Bang is not testable nor repeatable. Neither is evolution. In fact, evolution is even worse off because science completely rejects it. So they aren't the same sciences. Science used to develop cars or computers is testable and repeatable and definitely do not require evolution or millions of years to work.

    " Evolution can be traced back through fossils, DNA, and all the other things posted for you and others at intervals."

    Fossils only prove something died. You can't prove it was an ancestor to anything since a bone cannot reveal if it had offspring. DNA is what shows evolution is biologically impossible. A cow can't become a whale because the cow doesn't have a whale's genetic information. There's no genetic code in a cow that says a blow-hole is an option. Or fins or anything else that distinguishes a whale from a cow.

    "Big Bang can be traced back to within a few nanoseconds of the event."

    How?

    "I would note that the Genesis story is not recreatable yet you believe that when Genesis is the only "evidence" for it, yet it is proven to be incorrect by many facets of modern knowledge in various disciplines."

    One, you wouldn't expect a supernatural event to be provable. One, it's supernatural (outside of the natural) and a miracle (thus not normally occuring.) In your worldview, I see how you view this as a problem since you can only look at the natural. Second, nothing in the Bible has been proven correct. Granted you have presuppositions that tell you it couldn't have happened, but the best you can say is we don't believe it can happen. You can't prove otherwise.

    January 9, 2014 at 4:44 pm |
    • Topher

      * Second, nothing in the Bible has been proven incorrect.

      January 9, 2014 at 4:46 pm |
      • CommonSensed

        There is no evidence that a global flood ever existed during the time period humans existed on the earth.

        Snakes cannot talk.

        Bushes simply burn – they also do not talk.

        Lamb's blood is not an effectual deterrent to plague.

        I could go on, but really.

        January 9, 2014 at 4:50 pm |
        • Topher

          CommonSensed

          "There is no evidence that a global flood ever existed during the time period humans existed on the earth."

          Not true at all. You and I have the exact same evidence. We just interpret it differently because of our presuppositions. I'd conclude many things in geology point to the flood. You'd say millions of years created those things. So there's plenty of evidence for the flood.

          "Snakes cannot talk. Bushes simply burn – they also do not talk."

          True, not normally.

          January 9, 2014 at 4:53 pm |
        • Madtown

          I'd conclude many things in geology point to the flood.
          ---–
          You may indeed. Then again, you're not a geologist.

          January 9, 2014 at 4:58 pm |
        • Topher

          Don't need to be. Only need to be able to read. Or watch a video. We have the same evidence.

          January 9, 2014 at 4:59 pm |
        • Madtown

          Don't need to be.
          ---
          LOL! Honestly folks, who needs sitcoms when you've got Topher? Peerless comedic entertainment.

          January 9, 2014 at 5:01 pm |
        • Nope

          Atheist websites say there was no flood.
          Christian websites say there was a flood.
          Scientific websites say they don't know, let's keep investigating.

          January 9, 2014 at 5:05 pm |
        • G to the T

          @ Nope "Scientific websites say they don't know, let's keep investigating." LOL... which sites say that?

          Hydrostatic sorting cannot explain the fossil record. There you go, universal flood disproved. Next?

          January 9, 2014 at 5:39 pm |
        • Ken

          Nope
          Which scientific websites say the evidence could possibly support a global flood?

          References, please?

          January 9, 2014 at 6:39 pm |
      • Religion is NOT healthy for children and other living things

        The issue that is far more troubling for you "believers" is the sad fact that not one single thing in the entire bible has ever been proven to actually be true!
        After 2,000 years of re-hashing these tired old fables and myths, not a single one has any shred of scientific evidence whatsoever to back them up !
        That GLARING FACT is extremely difficult for any person with a fifth grade education or better to simply "ignore" , isn't it!?

        January 9, 2014 at 5:56 pm |
    • TheMoreYouKnow...

      "If we need an atheist for a debate, I go to the philosophy department. The physics department isn't much use."
      – Robert Griffiths
      Nobody turns to internet atheist like I Santa We Trust for scientific knowledge or understanding. (Well, except other internet atheists).

      January 9, 2014 at 4:48 pm |
      • Stalee

        Appeal to authority fallacy.
        Do you know ISWT's background, other than he's an atheist?
        If not, why the stone-throwing?

        January 9, 2014 at 5:07 pm |
        • TheMoreYouKnow...

          All I know is he is completely hostile toward anything religious. He will ignore abusive atheist behavior, but jump all over a believer expressing his opinion (on a belief blog dedicated to faith, ironically!)

          January 9, 2014 at 5:41 pm |
        • Stalee

          Well, Christians are just as abusive towards atheists, and there is no calling out from other Christians...I think that says more about the nature of the anonymous internet and which position one holds, than anything.
          I merely point out the Christian behavior because it does illustrate that both sides are guilty of what you said ISWT is doing...
          And the BB is a blog on how religion impacts reader's daily lives; I should think that would include how religion impacts the atheist experience, also.

          See: the above article.

          January 9, 2014 at 6:41 pm |
      • Ken

        Generally, scientists are good at debate. They are use to simply presenting their findings and having them speak for themselves. Debate is the art of presenting evidence in an emotionally compelling way. That's only useful when you need to rely upon talking people into seeing your point of view, and people with evidence on their side really shouldn't have to do that.

        It's the same difference between two types of trial testimony: The character reference given by the accused mother being akin to religious persuasion and CSI type hard evidence that places him at the scene, with the victim's blood on his hands and a video of him doing it. I know what type of evidence a reasonable jury would listen to.

        January 9, 2014 at 6:48 pm |
        • Ken

          First line should read "are not good at debate".

          January 9, 2014 at 6:48 pm |
    • Madtown

      because science completely rejects it
      ----
      All science, or just your cherry-picked few examples?

      January 9, 2014 at 4:52 pm |
      • Topher

        All true science ... when it's testable, repeatable and demonstrable. No "cherry-picking" needed.

        January 9, 2014 at 4:54 pm |
        • Madtown

          That might alarm the scientists who continue to work in the area!

          January 9, 2014 at 4:59 pm |
        • Topher

          Madtown

          I find it amazing that so many "scientists" believe something that science rejects on so many fronts. Thus the old saying, "Science doesn't say anything, scientists do."

          January 9, 2014 at 5:02 pm |
        • Madtown

          We have certain proof of 1 thing: many scientists would get a gut ache laughing at someone like you critiquing their work, and picking which science is "true" science! Comedy!

          January 9, 2014 at 5:05 pm |
        • Topher

          So you are telling me there are "scientists" who hold to the scientific method in everything EXCEPT when it comes to evolution ... and I should trust them?

          January 9, 2014 at 5:08 pm |
        • exlonghorn

          @Topher

          Is there any miracle in the bible that is testable, repeatable, and/or consistent with our current understanding? Is there any reason we should believe the bible other than the bible itself?

          Here's a list of things we should test...
          1) Worldwide floods
          2) Seas parting at the command of a person
          3) talking snakes, donkeys, and bushes
          4) People spontaneously turning into pillars of salt
          5) a few loaves of bread and some wine feeding thousands
          6) instantaneous healing of disease
          7) worlds forming in 6 days
          8) words forming on stone tablets without the assistance of a living creature
          9) people walking on water
          10) resurrection on command

          I could go on...but this is a good start.

          January 9, 2014 at 5:25 pm |
        • Topher

          exlonghorn

          "Is there any miracle in the bible that is testable, repeatable, and/or consistent with our current understanding?"

          If it's a miracle, it's by definition untestable.

          "Is there any reason we should believe the bible other than the bible itself?"

          Sure, there's lots of reasons. First, it was written by eyewitnesses during the life of other eyewitnesses. It's an automatic baloney detector. Second, you could take the OT prophecies regarding the Messiah and future events and came true. For instance Isaiah 53 and Psalm 22, clearly about Jesus but written hundreds of years before He came. Third, nothing in history, science or archaeology has proven the Bible to be inaccurate.

          "Here's a list of things we should test..."

          See above. How do you test for a miracle. Your worldview is lacking in this instance.

          January 9, 2014 at 5:54 pm |
        • Observer

          Topher,

          "It's an automatic baloney detector."

          Obviously, if it was it TOTALLY FAILED on the science fiction story about Noah's ark.

          January 9, 2014 at 6:01 pm |
        • Topher

          Where did it supposedly fail?

          January 9, 2014 at 6:03 pm |
        • Observer

          Topher,

          Where did all the water come from? (BROUGHT in from outer space?)
          How did animals get "teleported" from all over the world?
          How did MILLIONS of animals get fed for months?
          Who was the "pooper scooper" for MILLIONS of animals each day?
          Where did fresh meat come from for carnivores?
          Where did fresh vegetation come from to feed the animals?
          How did MILLIONS of animals get room enough to get exercise?

          Get serious. This story is a complete joke.

          January 9, 2014 at 6:10 pm |
        • Topher

          Observer

          "Where did all the water come from? (BROUGHT in from outer space?)"

          No. From the depths of the earth of from the heavens.

          "How did animals get "teleported" from all over the world?"

          No teleportation needed. They all just showed up (thanks to God's handiwork.)

          "How did MILLIONS of animals get fed for months?"

          Because Noah didn't have plenty of time to prepare?

          "Who was the "pooper scooper" for MILLIONS of animals each day?
          "Where did fresh meat come from for carnivores?
          "Where did fresh vegetation come from to feed the animals?
          "How did MILLIONS of animals get room enough to get exercise?"

          The Bible doesn't say, though we can make some educated guesses. Though I doubt very much you are interested at all.

          January 9, 2014 at 6:22 pm |
        • exlonghorn

          @Topher

          Based on your response, we are left with a simple choice...

          1) Miracles such as those I listed happened over 2,000 years ago and we have not observed or recorded similar phenomenon since that time that couldn't be more easily explained by other non-miraculous causes...

          or...

          2) The bible is a work of fiction, or at least it's not a fully factual account of actual events in history. It is then left to us to decide what is factual and what isn't.

          As a matter of logic, we are all left to agree with #2 unless proof can be provided for the claims in #1.

          January 9, 2014 at 6:46 pm |
        • Micah

          Genesis doesn't say...because it didn't happen. Sorry.

          January 9, 2014 at 6:47 pm |
        • Observer

          Topher,

          If it had been true, the STORY of Noah's ark could have been a highlight and accounted for all of God's incredible actions. Instead it gave NO DETAILS about critical points. ZERO credibility instead. No reason to believe the nonsense that defied countless laws of science.

          All you have left is SCIENCE FICTION FANTASY to try to make EXCUSES for it.

          January 9, 2014 at 6:52 pm |
        • Topher

          exlonghorn

          "1) Miracles such as those I listed happened over 2,000 years ago and we have not observed or recorded similar phenomenon since that time that couldn't be more easily explained by other non-miraculous causes..."

          Thus miracles ... exactly what we'd expect.

          "2) The bible is a work of fiction, or at least it's not a fully factual account of actual events in history. It is then left to us to decide what is factual and what isn't."

          It is a possible conclusion, but it's also not a completely honest evaluation. Remember, the books were written by eyewitnesses. During the life of thousands of other eyewitnesses. Not one. Not a dozen. Thousands. That's pretty compelling. And the witnesses said they saw these miracles happen. While you might not believe a man could walk on water (and I'd agree) but Jesus claimed to be much more than a man and someone who COULD walk on water. And people witnessed it. It's hard to get past.

          "As a matter of logic, we are all left to agree with #2 unless proof can be provided for the claims in #1."

          You're not going to get proof from 1. You SHOULDN'T get proof from 1. Unless you take the testimonies (including secular), histories, archeaological and even prophetic evidences into account. But when you just through them out without seriously considering them, I think it's intellectually dishonest.

          January 9, 2014 at 7:00 pm |
        • Observer

          Miracle = Random event with very low probability

          January 9, 2014 at 7:07 pm |
        • Topher

          I wouldn't call it random, and probably more like zero probability. It could only happen with God's acting.

          January 9, 2014 at 7:14 pm |
        • Fan2C

          Topher,
          "it was written by eyewitnesses during the life of other eyewitnesses. It's an automatic baloney detector."

          People LOVE baloney. Some of Joseph Smith's 'eyewitnesses' even recanted their 'testimonies' and still there are over 14 million Mormons today, after only about 150 years.

          Most of the people, by a far majority, who were living in Jerusalem and elsewhere in Israel at the time did not buy into those stories.

          January 9, 2014 at 7:17 pm |
        • Observer

          Topher,

          REAL WORLD:

          120,526,769 USA Powerball ticket buyers – "Okay, I lost"

          1 USA Powerball ticket buyer – "I won! I won! It's a MIRACLE!"

          January 9, 2014 at 7:21 pm |
        • exlonghorn

          @Topher

          You said "the books were written by eyewitnesses". Are you familiar with the proven inaccuracy and unreliability of eyewitness accounts? Just search for "unreliability of eyewitness accounts" and you'll be swamped with scholarly articles and peer-reviewed research that demonstrates eyewitness testimony is among the LEAST reliable and accurate forms of evidence possible. That's a core difference between theists and atheists. Atheists are not satisfied with your shrug of the shoulders and "Well it's just a miracle, because miracles are miracles" response. If that's how you reason, this discussion has no merit. You give us absolutely no evidence-based reason to believe the bible or any of its claims. You want to believe the bible. I want to believe the evidence. We can be done at that point.

          Let's also review the level of knowledge and the motivation of the bible's authors. Today, people write fiction for profit, recognition, fame, or just for enjoyment. What motivated the bible's authors? Modern Christian writers have clearly stated that works like the book of Jonah are fiction, and even satirical, in order to convey the original authors purpose. The bibles authors were also woefully uneducated. They had none of the advantages we have today...the ability to record, replay, analyze, etc. They knew nothing of physics, chemistry, biology, genetics, etc. So it makes sense that they could easily be fooled in a variety of ways, or to come to very faulty cause-effect conclusions about what they observed. Or maybe some of these modern authors are right and most of the bible is simply metaphor, satire, etc. In which case, we can discard creationists and others who believe in the literal interpretation of the bible. And so that begs the next question...how much should we believe, if any of it?

          January 9, 2014 at 8:11 pm |
        • Pete

          Topher
          "I wouldn't call it random, and probably more like zero probability. It could only happen with God's acting."

          And how were you able to determine that? Please show us your calculations and experiments.

          January 9, 2014 at 9:24 pm |
        • exlonghorn

          @Topher

          You said "prophetic evidences". Okay, I can't let this one go. So let's look at the biblical prophecies that HAVEN'T come true...

          1.1 Destruction of Tyre
          1.2 Destruction of Egypt
          1.3 Nile will dry up
          1.4 Triumph of Judah
          1.5 Isaiah predicts the Nile drying up, Sea draining
          1.6 Egyptians will speak the dead language of Canaan
          1.7 Failure to smite Jebus
          1.8 Israelites will be unbeatable
          1.9 Land promises
          1.10 Israel will live in peace with its neighbors
          1.11 Davidic line will endure forever
          2.1 Cyrus will conquer Babylon
          4.1 Daniel interprets Nebuchadnezzar's dream

          January 9, 2014 at 9:25 pm |
    • Alias

      So the world does not move?
      Rabbits chew cud?

      Neither of these have been disproven?

      January 9, 2014 at 4:55 pm |
      • Topher

        Alias

        "So the world does not move?"

        That one might have to enter the realm of faith since it would be under a supernatural event. See above. You can't prove it didn't happen.

        "Rabbits chew cud?"

        Look up lagomorphs. That's an easy one.

        January 9, 2014 at 4:58 pm |
        • Alias

          The world not moving was not an event, it is a state of being.
          The bible says the word does not move.
          It moves around the sun.
          The bible is wrong.

          January 9, 2014 at 5:11 pm |
        • Sungrazer

          Topher, the universe and everything in it was created by a pink leprechaun with yellow polkadots that lives in the Andromeda galaxy. Prove it didn't happen.

          January 9, 2014 at 5:17 pm |
        • Topher

          Alias

          What verse is that?

          January 9, 2014 at 5:55 pm |
        • Topher

          Sungrazer

          "Topher, the universe and everything in it was created by a pink leprechaun with yellow polkadots that lives in the Andromeda galaxy. Prove it didn't happen."

          Genesis chapter 1.

          January 9, 2014 at 5:56 pm |
        • Observer

          Topher,

          Sorry, but you missed his key word PROVE.

          Please try again.

          January 9, 2014 at 5:59 pm |
        • Topher

          Also Genesis Chapter 2. But if you want to believe that, fine. I'm agnostic when it comes to pink leprechauns.

          January 9, 2014 at 6:02 pm |
        • Ben

          Topher
          One would think that an almighty all-knowing God would actually know that lagomorphs only appear to chew their cud. No, that's exactly what we'd expect to see if local tribal folklore was being presented as divine knowledge and, if that's the case, how many other things in the Bible fall under that category?

          January 9, 2014 at 8:24 pm |
    • Religion is NOT healthy for children and other living things

      "DNA is what shows evolution is biologically impossible. " HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! That is HILARIOUS!

      Your ignorance is absolutely ASTOUNDING!

      DNA is precisely what PROVES evolution to be TRUE! You clearly do not comprehend ANY of the many scientific FACTS you are attempting to denounce! A mind is terrible thing to waste. So sad...

      January 9, 2014 at 5:02 pm |
      • Topher

        OK, then, shut me up by showing the "proof" of evolution.

        January 9, 2014 at 5:46 pm |
        • Pete

          Try this site

          http://www.proof-of-evolution.com

          You may like it; it's a Christian site.

          January 9, 2014 at 8:32 pm |
        • exlonghorn

          We can PROVE genetic mutation. We can prove natural selection by observing survival of mutations in bacteria. Evolution theory proved. Genes DO mutate, and advantageous mutations DO survive to pass on their improved genes. Read up on increasing resistance to penicillin. In fact, just read something beyond the bible.

          January 9, 2014 at 8:47 pm |
        • Heather

          Pete, you're wonderful.

          January 9, 2014 at 10:32 pm |
    • Sungrazer

      Topher, you have a completely warped idea of what natural processes like evolution actually are. The least you could do is actually read up on it and then attack what you think are its perceived weaknesses. When you talk about cows and whales and blowholes, you are only showing you don't understand what evolution is.

      January 9, 2014 at 5:25 pm |
      • Madtown

        He does believe he reads up on it, but of course from the bible!

        January 9, 2014 at 5:36 pm |
      • Topher

        I have read up on it and all the supposed evidences for it are either proven lies (fish gills in humans) or don't meet the scientific standard. It's a fairy tale for grownups.

        And the Bible doesn't talk about evolution.

        January 9, 2014 at 5:45 pm |
        • Pete

          It doesn't talk about evolution because it was written by a goat herding culture, not an advanced culture with science, like ours. Notice how modern religions like scientology incorporate space and extraterrestrials into it's theology. The Bible doesn't talk about evolution simply because the authors were ignorant of it, and they didn't have any advanced knowledge coming from any Gods either, it seems.

          January 9, 2014 at 9:21 pm |
        • Sungrazer

          When presented with evidence, you say it doesn't meet the standard. You sidestep everything. Or you move the goalposts.

          Human embryos – all vertebrate embryos – have pharyngeal arches. In fish, they develop into gill arches. In humans, they develop into structures in the head and neck. Our ancestors were aquatic vertebrates which used gills to breathe.

          January 10, 2014 at 9:39 am |
    • exlonghorn

      @Topher

      Let's recall that the point of scientific inquiry is to prove hypotheses to be true, so your initial stance is incorrect...we should not use scientific methods of inquiry to DISPROVE things...only to PROVE them. If we test a hypothesis and the test fails to produce the predicted result, we simply now know that one line of inquiry is invalid (assuming it is repeated and confirmed) and a new hypothesis must be formed. My point is that the burden of proof lies with the person making the claim. In this case, the burden of proof lies with the authors and believers of the bible. Can any of the miracles and fantastic claims in the bible confirmed through repeatable testing, so that the only possible conclusion is that a god exists?

      Science continues to compile more and more experimental data to support evolution, genetic modification, and the big bang theory of the universe. Recent discoveries like genomes and DNA, the Higgs boson, etc., continue to fill in the picture of our understanding of the universe. Only recently have we even had the tools to test our guesses (like the big bang), so I imagine our understanding of the world, it's history, our origins, and evolution will radically improve over the next century.

      Say, has religion improved our understanding of anything like that?

      January 9, 2014 at 5:39 pm |
    • Ken

      Topher
      Granted that the supernatural, if it existed, would be outside of scientific inquiry, but so would magic. That opens up the equally "possible" field of many competing deities, and other beings such as wizards and elves who could be manipulating the natural world in ways invisible to our science. That places your assumptions on the same plain as all things from New Age to pagan, so why should we take them any more seriously?

      January 9, 2014 at 6:56 pm |
      • Topher

        Ken

        But why should I believe in wizards and elves? I've provided a couple reasons to trust the Bible in this discussion. There's TONS of evidence to believe it's true. Maybe not proof, but evidence. I grew up an atheist, but when I studied it, I found the evidence FOR God to be more compelling than against. I think you owe it to yourself at the very least to consider those things. Your soul depends on it. What could be more important?

        January 9, 2014 at 7:03 pm |
        • Ken

          Topher
          Ah, by "evidence" you mean all that stuff you claim about the flood and the like? Honestly, I don't see you you could find that any more compelling than the "evidence" people use to cite regarding magic, or the little folk. Then again, I don't see the reasoning behind why football should be more popular than my beloved hockey. You love what you love, and justify that love for yourself so who cares what others think, right? When you're indoctrinated into believing in undetectable forces, however, does it really make a difference what those forces are called?

          I have no more reason to suspect that I have an eternal soul than I have to suspect that the Dark Lord split himself into several horcruxes. Sure, there may be a afterlife, but many different kinds of afterlife have been presented by the world's religions. We could both face Anubis after we die, but at least I never worshipped a rival.

          January 9, 2014 at 7:32 pm |
        • exlonghorn

          @Topher

          You must be meaning testable, verifiable, repeatable evidence, right? The bible is NOT evidence...it is hearsay and eyewitness accounts written long after the events took place. Eyewitness accounts are affected by vision, reconstructive memory, stress, bias, perspective, motivation, and many more things. As a result, to base your "evidence" on eyewitness accounts is weak at best, and completely misleading at worst.

          January 9, 2014 at 9:02 pm |
        • urnotathinkerareu

          and EXCUSE me the eye witness accounts were not written by the eye witnesess. DONT YOU PEOPLE GET IT!.as many many many other stories written....Jesus in the Garden.....lol..sweating blood...who was the eye witness writer of that story?.... Mary Magdelaine's account of Jesus in the tomb.....the last 8 lines of her account were added in. They found that out by comparing 1st Century and 3 rd century accounts that were written of copied texts..SHE didnt write that......just think of what that means to "believers".....they believe in something that never happened because some scribe "thought" it would sound better written like that.......how many more mistakes...hundreds....do some freaking research already other than READING a story and BELIEVING its REALITY....damn... people are gullibly stupid....

          January 9, 2014 at 9:39 pm |
        • exlonghorn

          @ urnotathinkerareu

          COMPLETELY correct! I believe the NT was written 100 years or more after the time the events supposedly took place. And you're totally correct in that the entire book of Genesis cannot be eyewitness-based.

          Here's one I like...what kind of god would put a tree of knowledge of good and evil in a garden and then tell everyone not to eat its fruit? That's just goofy, and makes god look petty and...well...just a jerk. It's all about obedience...not something I look for in a supernatural overlord.

          January 9, 2014 at 10:00 pm |
        • tallulah13

          I'm with you on the hockey thing, Ken.

          January 9, 2014 at 11:33 pm |
    • redzoa

      Scientific investigation does not require complete recapitulation or direct observation of an event to be applicable, e.g. a genetic paternity test is reliable despite not having observed or directly recapitulated the act of conception under investigation. Repeatable in science refers to the ability to test the same hypothesis, using the same methods (typically by independent researchers), to confirm or reject said hypothesis, e.g. the repeated observation by many, many different researchers of fossils in the correct temporal and morphological relationships within the fossil record (no rabbits in the pre-Cambrian, no humans alongside dinosaurs, etc). There are no recorded observations which contradict evolution. However, there are clear observations which contradict special creation/co-existence of all forms followed by a single massive annihilation via flood, e.g. the progressive order of the fossil record, the Coconino sandstone, etc, etc. Perhaps the most significant distinction between evolution and ID/creationism is evolution's ability to explain poor design features, e.g. male nip-ples, the recurrent laryngeal nerve, the presence/location of endogenous retroviruses, and (one of my personal favorites) the presence of a defunct gene for egg yolk protein in our placental mammal genomes. But even more significant is the ability of evolution to be falsified. Again, the observation of a rabbit fossil in pre-Cambrian strata, human fossils alongside dinosaurs, a true chimera, or the direct observation of an organism ex nihilo would undermine evolution. ID/creationism cannot be falsified because its proposed mechanism is supernatural, untestable, and provides no means for prediction. Such explanations, which can account for any and all observations, effectively explain nothing.

      DNA specifically shows that evolution is not just possible, but that it is the single viable explanation for observable extinct and extant biodiversity. This is particularly relevant to the genetic relationships between humans and our ancestors. DNA comparisons between modern humans, Neanderthals and Denisovian hominids shows similarities and gene flow, but also shows clear differences distinguishing the branches. We can trace the human lineage back through time via the fossil record, but interestingly, the Bible never mentions any of these non-H. sapien forms. Furthermore, despite the claim that evolution has no application, phylogenetic comparisons of humans and other organisms allows us to identify the precise location and putative function of genes responsible for developmental disorders. These validated studies only make sense if humans are related via evolution to the other organisms. ID/creationism provides no means to identify such genes because there is no way to predict where in a genome a designer/creator might choose to insert a (defective) gene.

      The irony of ID/creationist attempts to invoke science to (erroneously) support their purely religious views is that they require the practice of science to be fundamentally flawed (evidenced in the repeated cases wherein ID/creationism proponents argue for a redefining of "science" to include untestable propositions). This is particularly true of creationists who effectively require every relevant branch of science supporting evolution (i.e. physics, chemistry, biology, geology, astronomy, etc) to be so flawed as to be worthless. Yet, we see the validation of all these branches in everyday applications from medicine to agriculture to engineering to the location of mineral/oil deposits, etc, etc. Apparently, all of our modern technology is the product of pure blind luck given the underlying science is, according to creationists, inherently unreliable. . .

      January 10, 2014 at 12:19 am |
    • bcs2006

      If you honestly in your heart believe some nomadic bronze age goat herders nailed the answer to possibly the most complex scientific question in history smack on the head thousands of years ago then you are a stupid person. Sorry. There is no nice way to say that at all.

      January 10, 2014 at 7:48 am |
    • Jake

      "One, nothing has disproved anything in the Bible. Two, no, science require the subject to be testable, repeatable and demonstrable. Big Bang is not testable nor repeatable."

      Um, WHAT? Nothing has disproved anything in the bible? How about walking on water? Pretty easy to test, repeat and demonstrate that it can't be done. You can try it yourself to confirm that the experiment is repeatable.

      January 10, 2014 at 9:14 am |
  13. Except on one story ?

    Conservatives Brace for Marriage >>>>

    January 9, 2014 at 4:37 pm |
  14. AtheistSteve

    There was one part of this article that speaks of doubt and specifically Christians who have doubts. I have to wonder what is it that they doubt? Do they doubt Gods existence? Do they ever actually entertain the idea that there might not be a God? Perhaps but not really. Do they doubt that Jesus was crucified? Never...that is historical fact. Plus many other people were put to death in that fashion. Do they doubt that Jesus rose from the dead? Again almost none of them entertain this possibility...even though it is clearly an impossibility. Do they doubt that his mother Mary was a with child even though she was still a virgin? Again no because without that miracle impregnation the divinity of Jesus is called into question.
    The problem is that having a doubt about any one part of the tale means having to have doubts about all of it. They're all connected.
    The Bible is chock full of instructions to take your doubts and stuff them into little dark corners of your mind and ignore them. Faith is reinforced time and time again to prevent you from actually thinking about it. It has to because the minute you start seriously investigating those doubts the whole house of cards falls down. As it should.

    January 9, 2014 at 4:24 pm |
    • niknak

      Let's pray more and more of the believers follow this guys lead.
      The sooner all religions are abandoned, the better for us all.

      January 9, 2014 at 4:27 pm |
    • TruthCaster

      I think I know plenty of Christians who fit your stereotype, but not all of them.

      I'm a little confused. It seems like you are saying that, since the Christian faith is so interconnected, it is more difficult to disprove it. Woudn't that make it easier, not harder, to "un-believe" the house of cards that is Christianity?

      January 9, 2014 at 5:09 pm |
    • fred

      Wow, still can't get passed the serpent can you. It was the serpent voice that said "did God really say that" in Genesis 3. It is because of doubt that we turn away and separate from God. It is not some evolved religious pattern to keep us hooked. Nothing has changed since the beginning. Adam and Eve (real or representative beings matters not) began to doubt when they looked at the tree of the knowledge of good and evil before they were fully prepared for it. In short doubt is biblical as is going with our own desires (the way of the world). This is the existence we choose when we move outside of the presence of God.
      Walking away from God has nothing to do with your thoughts that the house of cards falls because of some scientific discovery or lack of arm twisting by the church. We are no different than Adam and Eve so we live in the same fallen physical world with the same hope that comes only from grace. As Jesus said wherever your treasure is there your heart is also. You treasure some things over others as do I. If I begin to treasure something more than God then I will become more like you until such a time as the light Jesus brought is ignored or forgotten. I am not any smarter and evolution still does not answer the most important question ever asked by man.

      January 9, 2014 at 5:23 pm |
  15. bostontola

    It all boils down to what you have faith in.

    Religious people have faith in the miracle stories recorded thousands of years ago by people that had no idea what the universe (large and small) is composed of (earth wind and fire), or how it works (physics, chemistry, biology, etc). Most religions have these miracle stories. Moses divided the waters so that the Israelites might escape Egypt for the Promised Land. Jesus raised his friend Lazarus from the dead. The Prophet Muhammad produced food and water in the desert and blinded an opposing army with a handful of dust. Krishna lifted a mountain saving a village. The Buddha rose in the air, divided his body into pieces, and then rejoined them. They also have faith in their own personal subjective experiences that people of every other religion have, if they are all right how is that different than they are all wrong?

    Skeptics have faith in what we can sense right now and the recorded histories that come with good objective evidence. Science rigorously tests ideas/hypotheses and exposes the results to other scientists to verify those results with the same tests and different cross checks. There have been unscrupulous scientists and historians that falsified results. But those are weeded out by the cross checking process. This system leverages the competi.tive nature of people to expose errors and fraud. The only way it fails is if most to all the scientists are frauds. We know that isn't true. The evidence is that the enormous edifice of technology we all enjoy works, it couldn't if the science at its foundation were wrong.

    I don't have faith in millennia old stories recorded by good people that knew very little compared to today (besides, which set of miracles should you believe in, the ones your parents taught you?). I have faith in the scientific method applied to science, history, technology, etc. I may be wrong, we may live in a "Matrix" universe and my faith in my senses and instruments is unfounded, but it's the best we've got.

    January 9, 2014 at 4:10 pm |
    • Nope

      There are religious, skeptical people, too. And there are atheists who aren't skeptical and clueless about the scientific method.
      Wish it was that simple, but it isn't.

      January 9, 2014 at 4:28 pm |
      • bostontola

        Hide behind that if you want, the point stands by and large.

        January 9, 2014 at 4:51 pm |
        • Nope

          Thanks to religious and non-religious elite scientists, internet atheists get to sit back and imagine they are smart for embracing science and rejecting faith. Despite the fact that men and women of faith have contributed more to science than an internet atheist like you has even dreamed about.
          But thanks for your phiLOLosophical statement. I doubt I can find anything like that, except in the message board of a belief story or fringe atheist website.

          January 9, 2014 at 4:57 pm |
        • niknak

          We only reject faith because it has no facts to prove what the people espousing it claim.

          We only embrace science because it DOES have the facts to prove what the people espousing it claim.

          Can that be any clearer for you Nupe?

          January 9, 2014 at 5:02 pm |
        • #godsnotneeded

          nope – YUP

          Facebook Data Scientists Prove Memes Mutate And Adapt Like DNA

          Richard Dawkins likened memes to genes, but a new study by Facebook shows just how accurate that analogy is. Memes adapt to their surroundings in order to survive, just like organisms. Post a liberal meme saying no one should die for lack of healthcare, and conservatives will mutate it to say no one should die because Obamacare rations their healthcare. And nerds will make it about Star Wars.
          \

          http://techcrunch.com/2014/01/08/facebook-memes/

          January 9, 2014 at 5:05 pm |
        • Nope

          Who is we? Are you in a religion? There are skeptics that are religious that make a skeptic like you look like a 2nd grader.

          January 9, 2014 at 5:08 pm |
        • bostontola

          Nope,
          Nice dodge. As I said, by and large. Religious scientists are a tiny percentage of the religious (and a small percentage of scientists, scientists that believe in a higher being are not all religious). What difference do my contributions make to the argument? Another dodge. The point still stands.

          January 9, 2014 at 5:11 pm |
        • Nope

          Skeptics can be religious.
          Skeptics can be non-religious.

          Non-skeptics can be atheists.
          Non-skeptics can be theists.
          You are just trying to justify and rationalize your behavior as better than a group of people you dislike.
          In reality you are just like them.
          I'm not dodging anything. I'm calling you out on your bs, because no other delusional internet atheist will call you out on it. They are too busy looking for people who believe in God to act hostile toward.

          January 9, 2014 at 5:20 pm |
        • bostontola

          By your argument, if there was 1 religious person that was skeptical and all others not, my point would still be invalid, talk about bs.

          Nope, the point still stands.

          January 9, 2014 at 5:26 pm |
        • bostontola

          Btw, read the categories more carefully. I nebver equated skeptics with atheists, you did. The skeptics I referred to include agnostics and people who believe in some higher being but don't adhere to any religion.

          January 9, 2014 at 5:33 pm |
        • Nope

          There are thousands of skeptical religious people that have a greater knowledge of the universe and how it operates than you.

          January 9, 2014 at 5:35 pm |
        • bostontola

          Nope,

          1. That is classic ad hominem, what they or I know is irrelevant to the argument I made. Address the points and I'll listen.

          2. You must not be a skeptical person if you make that statement not knowing me or what I've contributed. Baseless assertions are the trademark of religious people that rely on blind faith, not skeptics.

          January 9, 2014 at 5:38 pm |
        • Nope

          but religious people can be skeptics. Most agnostics don't go around writing manifestos declaring their beliefs to be better than the groups they dislike. At least, I've never seen any fringe agnostic website. But I have seen plenty of fringe atheist website that are loonier than a Southern Baptist on Easter Sunday.

          January 9, 2014 at 5:38 pm |
        • bostontola

          I claim religious people are not skeptical (or are selectively skeptical at best). If they applied skepticism to their religion, they wouldn't be religious anymore. I'm not saying they wouldn't believe in god(s), but the precepts of their religion have no objective evidence, the air skeptics breathe.

          January 9, 2014 at 5:49 pm |
        • Nope

          I used to think logical and critical thinking should lead everyone to believe like me, too. Turns out that was arrogance, not skepticism.

          January 9, 2014 at 5:52 pm |
        • bostontola

          Once again, those points are irrelevant to the argument. I never said I am right, I posed a position. I still haven't heard a fact based rebuttal that weakens or refutes the position.

          I know many people that go to church or synagogue that have told me they are not religious but believe in god. They go to church to make their significant other happy, or because they think it's good for their kids, many reasons. Those are not religious people by their own definition.

          January 9, 2014 at 6:00 pm |
      • AtheistSteve

        Religious people don't apply skepticism to their religious faith. It's that isolated bubble of non-skeptical ideas. That's why they use faith...to avoid having to address the messy bits.
        Example- You can't maintain a belief in the resurrection, the virgin birth or any one of the numerous impossible miracles in the Bible and claim an approach of using skepticism to reach your conclusions.

        January 9, 2014 at 4:59 pm |
        • Nope

          You don't get to decide how and why other people believe. Actual believers run scientific and logical circles around skeptical non-believers every day.

          January 9, 2014 at 5:03 pm |
  16. George

    Judging by these comments , atheists will have no problem if Richard Dawkins became a Christian and continued to serve as a board member for FFRF?!?

    January 9, 2014 at 3:58 pm |
    • Agnostic

      Huh??

      😦

      January 9, 2014 at 4:00 pm |
    • Dyslexic doG

      I have no problem at all ... but that's as likely to ever happen as the rapture.

      January 9, 2014 at 4:01 pm |
    • Let's try atheism

      I remember a story was done here about a famous woman converting from atheism to Catholism and atheists called her the most vicious and vile names I've ever heard. They didn't react to well to her converting.

      January 9, 2014 at 4:07 pm |
      • Dyslexic doG

        no ... you just imagined that story. 🙂

        January 9, 2014 at 4:08 pm |
        • Let's try atheism

          It's a legit story troll. Maybe it disproves your fairy tale and you don't respond well to facts that disprove you?

          January 9, 2014 at 4:14 pm |
        • Dyslexic doG

          oh the irony ...

          January 9, 2014 at 4:17 pm |
        • CommonSensed

          Don't confuse the troll.

          January 9, 2014 at 4:18 pm |
        • truthprevails1

          If it's a legit story, why don't you post the link to it?

          January 9, 2014 at 4:20 pm |
      • niknak

        You are making that up, Let's try alcoholism.
        An atheist could not care less if someone started to believe in god(s).
        What we care about is you believers trying to force your various myths on us.
        And you never seem to tire of that.

        January 9, 2014 at 4:09 pm |
      • Stalee

        All you did was change your name fro "Atheism is a religion" to "Let's try atheism."
        You really don't fool anyone, "L".
        You are still trolling, while you accuse others of doing it...

        Link the article. Prove you're not a liar.

        January 9, 2014 at 4:23 pm |
      • Eric

        You tallkin' about this?

        http://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2012/06/22/prominent-atheist-blogger-converts-to-catholicism/

        January 9, 2014 at 4:27 pm |
        • doobzz

          I remember this one. She had a Catholic boyfriend, so there was some question as to her motivation.

          I didn't go back and comb through the 100+ pages of comments, but I don't recall anyone calling her anything particularly vile or vicious, unless it came from a troll. Silly, stupid, naive and an attention whore probably. Nothing like being called a depraved animal, a rat, scum, garbage, less than human or any of the other names that atheists get called on a regular basis, not to mention no threats of eternal torture.

          January 9, 2014 at 6:11 pm |
      • If horses had Gods .. their Gods would be horses

        You can't "convert" from being atheist .. it's not a belief. A person can choose to believe something, but it is NOT conversion.

        January 9, 2014 at 4:49 pm |
        • If horses were atheists .. they would believe they were logical and superior to religious people

          n/m

          January 9, 2014 at 5:22 pm |
        • doobzz

          Horses are atheists so I guess you're right.

          January 9, 2014 at 5:37 pm |
    • Bill Jr.

      Unlikely, FFRF will fire him for the conflict of interest his belief creates.

      January 9, 2014 at 4:08 pm |
      • Sungrazer

        Umm, no. There is no conflict between "Christian" and "supporter of separation of church and state".

        January 9, 2014 at 4:11 pm |
      • Vivian

        Likewise , this church and this wayward preacher had to part ways.

        Rid the church leadership of those who feign faith in God.

        Only God knows how many are dishonestly serving inside the church where they have no business to be there to begin with.

        January 9, 2014 at 4:15 pm |
        • niknak

          God doesn't know sheet Vivian, because it does not exist.

          January 9, 2014 at 4:21 pm |
        • truthprevails1

          So all are not welcomed in church?? What is the special test required to know thus??

          January 9, 2014 at 4:38 pm |
    • Sungrazer

      Plenty of Christians support the separation of church and state. That's basically what FFRF is concerned with. I don't know the board makeup, but it wouldn't surprise me if there are religious people on it.

      January 9, 2014 at 4:10 pm |
      • Sungrazer

        I did some research. The board members are named but that's all I know about them. Richard Dawkins is on the honorary board.

        January 9, 2014 at 4:29 pm |
  17. Let's try atheism

    I did an experientment today. I got up, went down to my kitchen, put bread in the toaster, put it on a plat, and starred at it for 10 minutes. I said silently "there is no God" over and over again but nothing happened. I have concluded that atheism is false, stupid, and a waste of time. Prove me wrong atheists!

    January 9, 2014 at 3:48 pm |
    • Dyslexic doG

      wha?

      January 9, 2014 at 3:49 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      Tomorrow morning, why don't you pray for your bread to turn into toast and see what happens.

      January 9, 2014 at 3:53 pm |
      • Let's try atheism

        Prayer doesn't work like that. Try again. That's called wishing. A prayer isn't a wish. Atheists know more about the bible than Christians?! Ha! What a joke!

        January 9, 2014 at 4:03 pm |
        • Let's try atheism

          That's a wish not prayer. Prayer and wishing is two very different things.

          January 9, 2014 at 4:08 pm |
        • truthprevails1

          How do you distinguish the difference between a wish and a prayer? Both have equal chance of happening or not.

          January 9, 2014 at 4:10 pm |
        • Let's try atheism

          You take it out of context so your opinion is supported. "If it's not literal it can't be the word of God!!!". Prayer isn't a wish.

          January 9, 2014 at 4:11 pm |
        • CommonSensed

          So please, enlighten us as to why a pastor of the very church of the god he worships praying is not praying, and is, instead, wishing.

          January 9, 2014 at 4:17 pm |
        • truthprevails1

          Funny that we take it out of context but given your god like ability you have special powers to know and refute all the evidence to the exact contrary. There really isn't much difference between wishing and prayer, you are mincing definitions to suit your belief.
          Please tell us why it is that so many innocent children die as a result of their 'praying' parents when something as simple as anitbiotics could have saved them? Are those parents not praying properly or are they only wishing?

          January 9, 2014 at 4:18 pm |
        • In Santa we trust

          Let's try
          "Prayer isn't a wish."
          Explain the difference.

          What is the context?

          January 9, 2014 at 4:31 pm |
        • Religion is NOT healthy for children and other living things

          Praying and wishing are exactly the same, except that praying is wishing for something while pretending that a magical invisible being is listening and actually gives a damn!
          Other than the DELUSION of imaginary beings, they are identical and yield EXACTLY the same results, which are NONE at all!

          January 9, 2014 at 5:32 pm |
    • niknak

      What are you babbling about?
      Do you really think we atheists sit around all day saying there is no god?
      News flash, we don't think about god(s) at all.
      Does not even cross our minds, even in foxholes.

      Maybe you don't really understand the concept of atheism.
      We only believe in what is provable by concrete facts.
      Your god hypothesis does not have any of those to back up your claim of god(s).
      You could be right, and your god exists just like you believe, but there are no facts to support your god.
      Just like all the other religions, none are backed up by anything except someone claiming it to be true.

      To bad you let your toast get cold and wasted it.
      An atheist would not have done that.

      January 9, 2014 at 3:57 pm |
      • Salero21

        The word "god" appears 6 times in your post.

        For someone who claimed not to think about "god" that's like duh! Why bother then? That's why in that day that God will wrap-up all of Creation, throw it away and burned it all up, atheists as well as idolaters with whom they share many commonalities, will have no excuse just like the Scriptures says.

        Rom. 1:17-23
        17 For in it [the] righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, "BUT THE RIGHTEOUS [man] SHALL LIVE BY FAITH."
        18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who suppress the truth in unrighteousness,
        19 because that which is known about God is evident within them; for God made it evident to them.
        20 For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse.
        21 For even though they knew God, they did not honor Him as God or give thanks, but they became futile in their speculations, and their foolish heart was darkened.
        22 Professing to be wise, they became fools,
        23 and exchanged the glory of the incorruptible God for an image in the form of corruptible man and of birds and 4-footed animals and crawling creatures.

        January 9, 2014 at 4:12 pm |
        • niknak

          You win SalernoCookie!!

          You are the creepiest believer on the board today.

          Attaboy!!

          January 9, 2014 at 4:24 pm |
        • Science Works

          Wow Sal what happened ?

          Where are the pearly gates ?

          January 9, 2014 at 4:26 pm |
    • exlonghorn

      @LTA

      Okay, explain your hypothesis. You were testing something.
      What were you testing?
      What did you expect to happen?
      Why did you expect that to happen?
      What actually happened?
      Did that outcome surprise you?

      January 9, 2014 at 4:01 pm |
    • Madtown

      Prove me wrong atheists!
      ----
      Here's some proof: reading your post proves you are brainless.

      January 9, 2014 at 4:02 pm |
    • exlonghorn

      @LTA

      Okay, explain your hypothesis. You were testing something.
      What were you testing?
      What did you expect to happen?
      Why did you expect that to happen?
      What actually happened?
      Did that result surprise you?

      January 9, 2014 at 4:03 pm |
      • Let's try atheism

        Atheism is false. Experiment proved it.

        January 9, 2014 at 4:13 pm |
        • exlonghorn

          @LTA

          Can you explain your logic as to how atheism was proved false?

          January 9, 2014 at 4:19 pm |
        • CommonSensed

          Your experiment is as flawed as your reasoning.

          January 9, 2014 at 4:23 pm |
    • CommonSensed

      Try this experiment. Tomorrow put some bread on the counter and pray for it to turn into toast. Let us know what happens.

      January 9, 2014 at 4:08 pm |
      • exlonghorn

        @CommonSensed

        Yeah, I don't know what he was expecting to happen, but I like your experiment even better.

        January 9, 2014 at 4:15 pm |
    • Testing

      Nothing happened? Your toast got cold. Proven wrong!

      January 9, 2014 at 4:14 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.