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May 12th, 2014
10:05 AM ET

Update: Harvard's satanic 'black Mass' cancelled

By Daniel Burke, CNN Belief Blog Editor

(CNN) - A Harvard club's plans to stage a satanic "black Mass" were abruptly cancelled Monday after drawing fire from the Archdiocese of Boston and condemnation from the president of the Ivy League school.

Lucien Greaves, a spokesman for the New York-based Satanic Temple, told the Boston Globe late Monday that the event was called off because no venue was available.

“Everyone involved, outside of the Satanic Temple, got really scared,” Greaves told the newspaper. “And I don’t necessarily blame them, because I understand that they were getting a lot of vitriolic hate mail, and I don’t think they expected it."

Greaves was not immediately available for further comment.

A petition to stop the black Mass had garnered 60,000 signatures, according to Aurora Griffin, president of the Harvard Student Catholic Association.

The Harvard Extension Cultural Studies Club had planned host the two-hour ceremony at the Queens Head pub in Memorial Hall in on the school's campus in Cambridge, Massachusetts. It is unclear why the building was no longer available.

The history of black Masses is murky, but Catholics say the intent of such ceremonies is obvious: to mock their rituals and beliefs. The Masses often parody Catholic sacraments, such as Communion, and liturgical vestments.

“Our purpose is not to denigrate any religion or faith, which would be repugnant to our educational purposes," the Harvard student group had said in a statement, "but instead to learn and experience the history of different cultural practices.”

The cultural club said it also plans to host a Shinto tea ceremony, a Shaker exhibit and a presentation on Buddhist meditation.

But Harvard University President Drew Faust called the plans to reenact a black Mass "abhorrent."

"It is deeply regrettable that the organizers of this event, well aware of the offense they are causing so many others, have chosen to proceed with a form of expression that is so flagrantly disrespectful and inflammatory," Faust continued.

The Harvard president said she would allow the black Mass to continue, citing the value of free expression on campus, but planned attend a prayer ceremony Monday night at St. Paul's Church in Cambridge. The Boston archdiocese scheduled the event as a protest to the black Mass.

The Satanic Temple, which announced the Harvard club's plans last week, is also behind an effort to place a satanic statue next to a Ten Commandments monument on the grounds of Oklahoma's state Capitol.

The temple does not believe in a real devil but advocates for religious tolerance and pluralism.

Greaves said black Masses began as a protest by people who felt oppressed by their local religious cultures.

But some Catholics say the "black Mass" is more sacrilegious than satirical.

Faust, a noted historian, said:  "The 'black Mass' had its historical origins as a means of denigrating the Catholic Church; it mocks a deeply sacred event in Catholicism, and is highly offensive to many in the Church and beyond."

A Harvard Divinity School professor who is also a Catholic priest said none of cultural club's other events include the "blaspheming of Catholic sacramental practice."

"What’s next?" asked the Rev. Francis X. Clooney, in an op-ed in the Harvard Crimson.

"The endeavor 'to learn and experience the history of different cultural practices' might in another year lead to historical re-enactments of anti-Semitic or racist ceremonies familiar from Western history or parodies that trivialize Native American heritage or other revivals of cultural and religious insult."

The Archdiocese of Boston, in a statement, had expressed "deep sadness and strong opposition" to the ceremony.

Satanic worship "is contrary to charity and goodness, and it places participants dangerously close to destructive works of evil," spokesman Terrence Donilon said.

Donilon had also called on Harvard to disassociate itself from the event.

Robert Neugeboren, dean of students and alumni affairs at the Harvard Extension School, said Harvard did not endorse the student group's decision to stage the black Mass.   The school provides evening and online continuing education courses.

"While we support the ability of all our students to explore difficult issues, we also encourage them to do so in ways that are sensitive to others," he aid.

Neugeboren said the Harvard Extension School worked with students to defuse some of the controversy surrounding the ceremony.

For instance, he said, a consecrated host - known by Catholics as the Eucharist and believed to be the actual body and blood of Christ - would not be used, he said.

Some Catholic bloggers had expressed outrage at the initial plans to use a consecrated host, calling it "sacrilegious to the highest extent."

Clooney had said the university's reaction is insufficient, adding that Harvard's "spiritual sensitivity" is at stake.

"Since there is no empirical way to show that one host is consecrated while another is not—consecrated hosts do not glow in the dark—there is also no way for anyone but the organizers to know whether a host used in a black mass has been consecrated or not," Clooney said.

"Catholics at Harvard should not have to be worrying about where Monday’s host comes from."

Satanists unveil design for OK statehouse statue

As the archdiocese notes, Pope Francis warned Catholics about the devil recently.

"Maybe some of you might say, ‘But, Father, how old-fashioned you are to speak about the devil in the 21st century!’ " the Pope said during a Mass in April.

"But look out, because the devil is present! The devil is here … even in the 21st century! And we mustn’t be naive, right? We must learn from the Gospel how to fight against Satan.”

- CNN Religion Editor

Filed under: Catholic Church • Christianity • Mass • Pope Francis • Satanism

soundoff (1,080 Responses)
  1. HeavenSent

    You atheists hang around these articles to spew your hatred for God and your love for your father, satan. My camel-toe attended a black mass and we haven’t been able to get the smell out yet. You are disappointed now? Do you want to burn in hell?

    Amen.

    May 13, 2014 at 2:27 pm |
    • Lucifer's Evil Twin

      and speaking of Jesus herpes... here comes HS

      May 13, 2014 at 2:34 pm |
      • HeavenSent

        Carnal, vulgar atheists, what else can we expect from satan’s minions? Upset over the cancellation of their “Black Mass”. The new cat clawed a hole in the sofa so now I can sit down. I think it is time for you to start your walk with Jesus.

        Amen.

        May 13, 2014 at 2:41 pm |
        • Lucifer's Evil Twin

          I ride a bike for exercise... Jesus will never keep up with me in those silly hippie sandals he wears...

          May 13, 2014 at 2:44 pm |
        • Alias

          I love the way you follow up camel-toe smell references with insulting others as being "Carnal, vulgar ".

          May 13, 2014 at 3:05 pm |
        • neverbeenhappieratheist

          Poe's law, in broader form, is: Without a blatant display of humor, it is impossible to create a parody of extremism or fundamentalism that someone won't mistake for the real thing.

          The core of Poe's law is that a parody of something extreme by nature becomes impossible to differentiate from sincere extremism.

          A corollary of Poe's law is the reverse phenomenon:

          Sincere fundamentalist beliefs can often be mistaken for a parody of those beliefs.

          May 13, 2014 at 5:45 pm |
        • neverbeenhappieratheist

          "My camel-toe attended a black mass and we haven’t been able to get the smell out yet." = blatant display of humor btw...

          May 13, 2014 at 7:03 pm |
      • snuffleupagus

        That's funny, LET, but Jesus never gave anyone anything at any time, except maybe to the twelve dudes he hung out with.

        May 13, 2014 at 3:46 pm |
    • gulliblenomore

      HS.....idiot, we have no hatred for god. You can't hate something that doesn't exist.

      May 13, 2014 at 2:47 pm |
      • HeavenSent

        It is just like an atheist to spew foolish lies about Jesus who loves you and wants you to live for all of eternity. I accidentally grabbed the shampoo instead of the flea and tick powder. Hell awaits the selfish and self-centered atheists.

        Amen.

        May 13, 2014 at 2:54 pm |
        • Lucifer's Evil Twin

          No Hell for me... WAY to many Christians stinking up the place already... I've decided that I'm going to Barsoom instead

          May 13, 2014 at 2:57 pm |
        • HeavenSent

          @Lucifer's Evil Twin

          I hope you like worms because you will have your own personal worm feeding off your fat drippings for all eternity in hell. Your carnal nonsense will not fly with Jesus. My 12-year-old daughter still smokes menthol. You father satan is preparing your room.

          Amen.

          May 13, 2014 at 3:06 pm |
        • Lucifer's Evil Twin

          I like gummi worms

          May 13, 2014 at 3:13 pm |
        • fintronics

          "My 12-year-old daughter still smokes menthol. You father satan is preparing your room."

          I've noticed an abundance of posts from religious nut jobs lately.......

          May 14, 2014 at 8:31 am |
  2. Lucifer's Evil Twin

    The funniest but saddest thing I've seen on the way to work... A redneck driving a pickup (what else?) with a stupid Jesus 'Truth' fish eating a Darwin fish auto emblem. He turned into the Langley NASA gate... I'm hoping he was a janitor or something...

    Humans can be so very disappointing...

    May 13, 2014 at 2:01 pm |
    • gulliblenomore

      Redneck....pickup....Jesus fish.....yep, he aspires to work maintenance.

      May 13, 2014 at 2:06 pm |
      • Lucifer's Evil Twin

        Clarification: I hoped he was a janitor and not a NASA scientist. There is no honor lost in being maintenance. I am a fan of Mike Rowe and his foundation... hard work and skilled labor is not demeaning

        May 13, 2014 at 2:29 pm |
        • Lucifer's Evil Twin

          However, blind faith and willful ignorance of science still makes you a dumbass

          May 13, 2014 at 2:32 pm |
  3. bostontola

    On the scale of reasonable within modern day religious believers, Catholics seem to be towards the top end of the scale. They accommodate science and add their beliefs on top. They don't deny the Big bang or evolution (yes full evolution including the human body). They add that God instills a spirit and soul into the body of man, but they are not directly in conflict with science.

    May 13, 2014 at 1:43 pm |
    • gulliblenomore

      Boston....isn't that like saying Moe was the smartest stooge?

      May 13, 2014 at 1:47 pm |
      • bostontola

        That is a funny analogy, but truthfully, I know a lot of very smart religious people. I think it is remarkable that such a large part of Christianity accommodates evolution, yet the rest are certain it is false with no evidence to support their assertions.

        May 13, 2014 at 1:52 pm |
        • lngtrmthnkr

          Boston, what's remarkable is the diversity within the Christian community. When I first became a believer I thought that all Christians thought as I did. But it is both remarkable and discouraging to realize the vast differences of opinion we hold. I had to console myself that people are just vastly different.

          May 13, 2014 at 3:40 pm |
        • gulliblenomore

          I always thought of religion as I do the Supreme Court. The law is the law, so every decision should be 9-0. The reason it is always split is because of political lines, which tells me that you can spin the law any way you like.

          Religion is the same. If you don't like a hard and fast rule, you can rationalize it any way you want to fit how you want to perceive it

          May 13, 2014 at 3:46 pm |
      • colin31714

        That's actually really funny

        May 13, 2014 at 3:19 pm |
        • believerfred

          You certainly have no need of Moe adjectives

          May 13, 2014 at 5:55 pm |
        • fintronics

          Fred = Shemp

          May 14, 2014 at 8:33 am |
        • believerfred

          whop, whop whoppp whooooppp whooop

          May 14, 2014 at 3:10 pm |
        • Doc Vestibule

          I think I'm having a cardiac arrestiac

          May 14, 2014 at 3:13 pm |
        • believerfred

          I'm a victim of coicumstance!

          May 14, 2014 at 3:22 pm |
  4. MidwestKen

    Athough, I think performing a "black mass" without believing in it seems rather silly, I'm disappointed that it got cancelled by mob-rule.

    May 13, 2014 at 1:32 pm |
    • neverbeenhappieratheist

      And shouldn't they call it "Multi-cultural Mass"? I mean, talk about racist...

      May 13, 2014 at 5:47 pm |
  5. thefinisher1.1

    Your atheism is the leading cause of disease among Satanists. Your delusion of taking away my rights to mock atheist teachings is a delusional atheist reason not to grow up.

    May 13, 2014 at 12:49 pm |
    • bostontola

      You think someone is trying to take your rights away, and we're delusional?

      May 13, 2014 at 12:54 pm |
      • thefinisher1.1

        You are the atheist non-believer that believes secular rights have been taken away. You make no sense to actual people.

        May 13, 2014 at 12:57 pm |
        • bostontola

          "Your delusion of taking away my rights" your words not mine.

          May 13, 2014 at 1:01 pm |
      • thefinisher1.1

        My words that you would like to take out with the atheist trash. You are just like these Catholics and Satanists with there vampire cultures.

        May 13, 2014 at 1:06 pm |
        • snuffleupagus

          You are a moronic dipschit, finished1, a mentally unstable person with lots of hatred in your black heart.

          May 13, 2014 at 1:12 pm |
        • bostontola

          No one needs to argue with you, you are arguing with yourself.

          Please get help. Bibles are available on line. Please read it and learn about love and how to be not afraid of those different than you.

          May 13, 2014 at 1:22 pm |
        • gulliblenomore

          I'm guessing that Daniel must have listened to us and dropped finisher1.

          Daniel....one more time, please!

          May 13, 2014 at 1:30 pm |
    • tallulah131

      So you're finny today. I guess you were sally a lot yesterday. It must be confusing for you to keep your trolling names straight.

      May 13, 2014 at 1:07 pm |
      • thefinisher1.1

        Sorry kiddo, nice try tho! ^^

        May 13, 2014 at 1:09 pm |
        • In Santa We Trust

          You might want to reflect on the fact that it's hard to distinguish your posts from those of Salero21 – not esteemed and exalted company.

          May 13, 2014 at 1:15 pm |
        • tallulah131

          Whatever you say, Sally.

          May 13, 2014 at 1:25 pm |
        • neverbeenhappieratheist

          They do make the same grammatical mistakes and are both relentless trolls so it's a pretty safe bet they are one in the same.

          May 13, 2014 at 5:50 pm |
  6. Vic

    ♰♰♰ Jesus Christ Is Lord ♰♰♰

    “Be still, and know that I am God”

    Early on:
    http://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2014/05/12/harvard-groups-plans-to-stage-black-mass-anger-catholics/comment-page-1/#comment-3009460

    May 13, 2014 at 12:47 pm |
    • Alias

      Satan is a god by all reasonable definitions.
      He is part of your faith.

      May 13, 2014 at 12:50 pm |
      • bostontola

        I agree. Satan has supernatural powers, he captures more than half the souls that ever existed, he's doing better than God!

        May 13, 2014 at 12:56 pm |
    • Lucifer's Evil Twin

      Jesus is the guy who used to cut my grass when I was stationed in Panama... he only had three teeth...

      May 13, 2014 at 1:01 pm |
      • snuffleupagus

        Really, LET? I thought he was the dry wall guy up here doing all the 'mudding.' I guess he's like cow-patties, all over the place, huh?

        May 13, 2014 at 1:18 pm |
        • Lucifer's Evil Twin

          Dude gets around kind of like herpes...

          May 13, 2014 at 1:20 pm |
    • tallulah131

      Every religion claims that their god is real, and still there isn't an ounce of proof of any of them. After a while, you kind of have to start looking at reality and realize that maybe gods aren't real at all.

      May 13, 2014 at 1:10 pm |
      • gulliblenomore

        Maybe? They are not real.

        May 13, 2014 at 1:11 pm |
        • tallulah131

          I'm trying to ease Vic into the concept.

          May 13, 2014 at 1:24 pm |
        • gulliblenomore

          That's very biblically nice of you, or in reality, just nice.

          May 13, 2014 at 1:31 pm |
    • hotairace

      ♰♰♰ Jesus Christ Is Lord ♰♰♰ Is Complete Bullshit! You are welcome to your delusions but please stay away from children

      May 14, 2014 at 6:02 am |
  7. satanicviews

    I am disappointed this Black Mass was unable to take place. Everyone needs to look beyond scaremongering Christians to see what Satanism really is all about.

    May 13, 2014 at 12:21 pm |
    • bostontola

      I seriously doubt everyone needs to look into satanism.

      May 13, 2014 at 12:31 pm |
    • Lucifer's Evil Twin

      "satanicviews"... LOL please say that's a sarcastic handle... and not more idiocy from a different type of delusional believer

      May 13, 2014 at 12:38 pm |
      • Alias

        Nope. I followed his link to his blog, and he sure seems to be in touch with the actual religion.
        It deserves just as much respect as any other religion.

        May 13, 2014 at 12:49 pm |
    • thefinisher1.1

      The only scaring or mongering is the black mass in your atheist shorts. Idiotic secular theist.

      May 13, 2014 at 12:51 pm |
      • observer

        The new version 1.1 of finisher is not an upgrade. Same level of maturity and intelligence. Sad.

        May 13, 2014 at 1:18 pm |
      • neverbeenhappieratheist

        Maybe it's his new persona and he's really an R & B singer from Finland, The Fin Isher 1.1 because Usher was copy protected...

        May 13, 2014 at 6:01 pm |
  8. Lucifer's Evil Twin

    A way funnier article than this one "Actor Alec Baldwin arrested after riding bike wrong way"

    I would put some Team America quotes on here, but the html word breaks would take to long...

    May 13, 2014 at 12:14 pm |
    • bostontola

      Aric Bardwin?

      May 13, 2014 at 12:32 pm |
      • Alias

        Yeah, I have trouble keeping up with all the names in Hollywood too ...

        May 13, 2014 at 12:43 pm |
        • bostontola

          It's how the Kim Jong Il character pronounced Baldwin's name in the movie. It was a hilarious movie.

          May 13, 2014 at 12:53 pm |
  9. lunchbreaker

    I don't understand how a grown adult gets into Satanism. Levayon Satanism is actually athiest at it's core, yet they have chosen a name garunteed to garner negative attention.

    May 13, 2014 at 12:13 pm |
    • Alias

      That is because you are confusing a bunch of rebellious youts with the valid religion.
      Kind of like looking at the WBC and then making a statement about the bible.

      May 13, 2014 at 12:29 pm |
  10. bostontola

    Theists: God exists, therefore God is something.

    So if God is something, either something has always existed, or something came from nothing.

    If something has always existed, then there was no creation.
    If something came from nothing, then the observable universe came from nothing.

    It doesn't matter if God is composed of something totally different than us. If God is something and caused this observable universe to come into existence, then God is the precursor. Just like a big enough cloud of Hydrogen will become a star. Just like that cloud of Hydrogen, it doesn't even need to be sentient, never mind desirous of relationships with life forms that didn't come into existence until 13.8 billion years after the observable universe started.

    If people want to call the precursor of our observable universe God, OK. All the rest of the pomp, ritual, etc. is clearly man made and must be treated as contingent, non-unique, not absolute and evolving.

    May 13, 2014 at 11:59 am |
    • lunchbreaker

      100% with you on that one.

      May 13, 2014 at 12:16 pm |
    • Lucifer's Evil Twin

      Boston – If you want to read about someone who has made a career of apologizing for Christian idiocies.. check out http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Lane_Craig he has made a career of talking out of his ass about the very topics you mention in your post

      May 13, 2014 at 12:33 pm |
      • bostontola

        Thanks LET, I'll check it out.

        May 13, 2014 at 12:37 pm |
    • kevinite

      Theists: God exists, therefore God is something.

      So if God is something, either something has always existed, or something came from nothing.

      "If something has always existed, then there was no creation." So then since a ceramic mug came from a piece of clay then the ceramic mug was never created?

      "It doesn't matter if God is composed of something totally different than us. If God is something and caused this observable universe to come into existence, then God is the precursor. Just like a big enough cloud of Hydrogen will become a star. Just like that cloud of Hydrogen, it doesn't even need to be sentient, never mind desirous of relationships with life forms that didn't come into existence until 13.8 billion years after the observable universe started."

      How does "...it doesn't need to be sentient..." automatically means that it wasn't sentient?

      "If people want to call the precursor of our observable universe God, OK. All the rest of the pomp, ritual, etc. is clearly man made and must be treated as contingent, non-unique, not absolute and evolving." So, what proof do you have that absolutely every single religious ceremony is clearly man made?

      May 13, 2014 at 12:39 pm |
      • Lucifer's Evil Twin

        "every single religious ceremony is clearly man made"

        Proof: whenever you see something built, written or spoken by a human being and they state "god says..." it is man made

        May 13, 2014 at 12:42 pm |
        • kevinite

          Lucy,

          How does that actually prove it's only human-created as opposed to say a God revealing them to a prophet who then passes it on to the masses?

          May 13, 2014 at 1:12 pm |
        • Lucifer's Evil Twin

          Because "a God revealing them to a prophet" is idiocy of the highest order

          May 13, 2014 at 1:18 pm |
        • kevinite

          Well Lucy,

          That is your opinion. Key word "opinion". It's not proof that that there is n o such God who gives revelation to a prophet who then relays the information to the masses.

          May 13, 2014 at 1:46 pm |
        • gulliblenomore

          Kevin....by your own admission them, all religious beliefs are opinion, as there is no proof to any of them.

          May 13, 2014 at 1:49 pm |
        • Lucifer's Evil Twin

          My 'opinion' is based on reality... yours is apparently based on supercilious hearsay based on wishful thinking

          LET's Religiosity Law #9 – If you think the bible is historical fact of the creation of the Universe, Earth or Mankind and believe without a doubt that some Jewish zombie can make you live forever if you symbolically eat of his flesh, drink of his blood, and telepathically tell him that you accept him as your master; so he can remove an evil force from your soul that is present in humanity because a sinful woman was convinced by a talking snake to eat from a magical tree! Then you are an award-winning retard.

          May 13, 2014 at 1:54 pm |
        • kevinite

          So Lucy,

          Just what "reality" is your belief based on and what makes that reality contradictory to my beliefs? And just a clue, not all the examples of belief you gave actually reflect my beliefs.

          May 14, 2014 at 12:36 am |
        • fintronics

          "My 'opinion' is based on reality"

          Bullshlt... your opinion is based on mythology and your imagination.

          May 14, 2014 at 10:46 am |
        • fintronics

          Reality = "Reality is the state of things as they actually exist, rather than as they may appear or might be imagined"

          God = imagined = not reality.

          May 14, 2014 at 1:55 pm |
      • bostontola

        Theists: God exists, therefore God is something.

        So if God is something, either something has always existed, or something came from nothing.

        "If something has always existed, then there was no creation." So then since a ceramic mug came from a piece of clay then the ceramic mug was never created?
        Not at all, the clay didn't always exist. If something always existed, it wasn't created.

        "It doesn't matter if God is composed of something totally different than us. If God is something and caused this observable universe to come into existence, then God is the precursor. Just like a big enough cloud of Hydrogen will become a star. Just like that cloud of Hydrogen, it doesn't even need to be sentient, never mind desirous of relationships with life forms that didn't come into existence until 13.8 billion years after the observable universe started."

        How does "...it doesn't need to be sentient..." automatically means that it wasn't sentient? I didn't say it did.

        "If people want to call the precursor of our observable universe God, OK. All the rest of the pomp, ritual, etc. is clearly man made and must be treated as contingent, non-unique, not absolute and evolving." So, what proof do you have that absolutely every single religious ceremony is clearly man made? Because they didn't exist prior to man and man created them. Give me an example of a ritual not made by man.

        May 13, 2014 at 12:47 pm |
        • kevinite

          Theists: God exists, therefore God is something.

          So if God is something, either something has always existed, or something came from nothing.

          "If something has always existed, then there was no creation." So then since a ceramic mug came from a piece of clay then the ceramic mug was never created?"

          "Not at all, the clay didn't always exist. If something always existed, it wasn't created." That wasn't the point. When one is talking about creating something out of something that always existed, which is where some do believe was how God created this world that is was created from matter or energy that was in a different in a previous state much like the ceramic mug was created from the piece of clay. Even though the piece of clay was around prior to the ceramic mug, yet that mug was still considered to have been created.

          "It doesn't matter if God is composed of something totally different than us. If God is something and caused this observable universe to come into existence, then God is the precursor. Just like a big enough cloud of Hydrogen will become a star. Just like that cloud of Hydrogen, it doesn't even need to be sentient, never mind desirous of relationships with life forms that didn't come into existence until 13.8 billion years after the observable universe started."

          How does "...it doesn't need to be sentient..." automatically means that it wasn't sentient? I didn't say it did.
          I just wanted to be clear on that so just that mere point prove that those who believe in a creator are not automatically incorrect.

          "If people want to call the precursor of our observable universe God, OK. All the rest of the pomp, ritual, etc. is clearly man made and must be treated as contingent, non-unique, not absolute and evolving." So, what proof do you have that absolutely every single religious ceremony is clearly man made? Because they didn't exist prior to man and man created them. Give me an example of a ritual not made by man."

          How does the mere fact that there was no evidence of such ceremonies prior to the age of humankind automatically mean that all were created by humankind? Is there time limit for a divine creator to be able to create anything? After all a potter would in no way, shape or form would ever create the mug out of the clay at a time came when the need for a mug came came along because if there was a need for a mug, the mug would have to be created before such a mug was needed, at least according to your logic anyway.

          May 13, 2014 at 1:09 pm |
        • bostontola

          kevinite,
          You may be making the false conclusion that I think my post proves your God doesn't exist. It isn't. There is no such proof as yet, just like there is no proof that Zeus, Osiris, and the Tooth Fairy doesn't exist.

          "Not at all, the clay didn't always exist. If something always existed, it wasn't created." That wasn't the point. When one is talking about creating something out of something that always existed, which is where some do believe was how God created this world that is was created from matter or energy that was in a different in a previous state much like the ceramic mug was created from the piece of clay. Even though the piece of clay was around prior to the ceramic mug, yet that mug was still considered to have been created.
          I made the point, that was the point and still is. If something always existed, it wasn't created.

          "If people want to call the precursor of our observable universe God, OK. All the rest of the pomp, ritual, etc. is clearly man made and must be treated as contingent, non-unique, not absolute and evolving." So, what proof do you have that absolutely every single religious ceremony is clearly man made? Because they didn't exist prior to man and man created them. Give me an example of a ritual not made by man."

          How does the mere fact that there was no evidence of such ceremonies prior to the age of humankind automatically mean that all were created by humankind? Is there time limit for a divine creator to be able to create anything? After all a potter would in no way, shape or form would ever create the mug out of the clay at a time came when the need for a mug came came along because if there was a need for a mug, the mug would have to be created before such a mug was needed, at least according to your logic anyway.
          Again, give me 1 example of a ritual not created by man.

          May 13, 2014 at 1:17 pm |
        • kevinite

          Bostonola,

          "You may be making the false conclusion that I think my post proves your God doesn't exist. It isn't. There is no such proof as yet, just like there is no proof that Zeus, Osiris, and the Tooth Fairy doesn't exist."

          Yes, just like there is also no proof that there is no such God who does not want to be made known, but would rather have us develop our faith in said being.

          "Not at all, the clay didn't always exist. If something always existed, it wasn't created." That wasn't the point. When one is talking about creating something out of something that always existed, which is where some do believe was how God created this world that is was created from matter or energy that was in a different in a previous state much like the ceramic mug was created from the piece of clay. Even though the piece of clay was around prior to the ceramic mug, yet that mug was still considered to have been created.
          I made the point, that was the point and still is. If something always existed, it wasn't created."

          And once again you missed my point.

          "How does the mere fact that there was no evidence of such ceremonies prior to the age of humankind automatically mean that all were created by humankind? Is there time limit for a divine creator to be able to create anything? After all a potter would in no way, shape or form would ever create the mug out of the clay at a time came when the need for a mug came came along because if there was a need for a mug, the mug would have to be created before such a mug was needed, at least according to your logic anyway."
          "Again, give me 1 example of a ritual not created by man."

          Again, since you failed to prove that that there is a time limit for a divine creator to create anything; that it all had to be created prior to humans, what point is there to even ask that question about providing an example of of a ritual that was created prior to humankind's appearance?

          As to giving examples of rituals that were not man-made in origin. I do believe that the rituals or practices in by religious belief came originally from God. It's only my belief of course but since you can't irrefutably prove my beliefs to be false, then that means that your conclusion is just your opinion or belief just like my beliefs are beliefs.

          May 13, 2014 at 1:43 pm |
        • In Santa We Trust

          kevin. Opinion vs opinion. Only because you frame it that way. When one opinion has no rational basis that doesn't make it equivalent to any other opinion. You can't prove that, for example, leprechauns do not exist but is someone believing in them rational?

          May 13, 2014 at 1:49 pm |
        • kevinite

          Well, any who I gotta go to work.

          May 13, 2014 at 1:49 pm |
        • kevinite

          OK, there is one more thing Santa.

          Of course I can't prove whether or no leprechauns, the easter bunny, Zues, Osiris, Tlaloc or any other figure does or does not exist. However, that still doesn't take away the point that it really all a matter of opinion or belief.

          May 13, 2014 at 1:53 pm |
        • gulliblenomore

          Kevin....I have yet to meet the Christian that used the word 'opinion' to describe their belief. They use the word 'know', when truly, they don't know.

          May 13, 2014 at 2:03 pm |
        • bostontola

          kevinite,
          "And once again you missed my point."

          I said a simple thing, if something always existed, it wasn't created. You came back with an analogy that completely didn't fit, clay turning into pottery. That analogy doesn't qualify for the reason i stated, neither clay nor pottery have always existed. I didn't miss your point, you made a point that didn't apply.

          You keep saying that not all religious rituals are man made. I claim they are. You want a proof. That is silly. You only need to provide a single example of a ritual that was not man made to disprove my assertion. You can't. My assertion is based on observable data. Every ritual traced back has human origins. You want to exploit the "gaps" in the historical record to say one of them that hasn't been traced may have been provided supernaturally. Just provide 1 and my assertion will be proven false.

          May 13, 2014 at 2:01 pm |
        • kevinite

          Bostonola,
          "I said a simple thing, if something always existed, it wasn't created. You came back with an analogy that completely didn't fit, clay turning into pottery. That analogy doesn't qualify for the reason i stated, neither clay nor pottery have always existed. I didn't miss your point, you made a point that didn't apply."

          You didn't get my point in the first place which is that just because if somethng is made from somethng else, it is still considered to be a "creation". If there is material or energy that has always existed in one shape form or another and then it is possible that the transformation could be the result of creation.

          "You keep saying that not all religious rituals are man made. I claim they are. You want a proof. That is silly. You only need to provide a single example of a ritual that was not man made to disprove my assertion. You can't."

          When you make the claim that all religious rituals are completely man made, then guess who has the burden of proof?

          " My assertion is based on observable data. Every ritual traced back has human origins."

          Really...So, all you have to do is provide the irrefutable proof, and just simply saying that every ritual has human origins doesn't really cut it. Since many who perform those rituals claim that they have divine origin, you have to prove what they are claiming is false, so where it come to those who believe that those rituals come from a God who does not want to be made known but would rather have us develop our own faith in said God, how do you provide proof that irrefutably defies that notion?

          " You want to exploit the "gaps" in the historical record to say one of them that hasn't been traced may have been provided supernaturally. Just provide 1 and my assertion will be proven false."

          I don't need to that is unless you can provide the irrefutable proof for all the currently-existing beliefs that all their rituals are completely human made in origin, and that there was no God whatsoever in the process.

          May 14, 2014 at 12:31 am |
  11. I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

    I buried this on page 4, but I'd like to repost it here:
    -----------------

    To our believers here, I pose a question and the logical follow-up:

    Does God have power over Satan or not?

    If no, you have just made an argument for a Church of Satan.

    If yes, then why doesn't God just close up Satan's shop?
    Or does Satan exist at God's pleasure, so God can punish (via his proxy Satan) those, whom he claims to love so much, but "succumb to Satan's lies"?

    May 13, 2014 at 11:42 am |
    • ladycygnus

      God is Truth, Beauty, Existence, and Love. He is the source of all these good things. He wants us to love, to freely participate in this life of Truth and Love. But in order to make us free to participate, we must be free to not participate. Ergo, we have the freedom to reject Truth, Beauty and Love.

      When we reject Truth our minds are darkened and we can no longer clearly see what is true in the world around us. Our ability to reason is darkened and we are lost. When we reject Love our ability to love is crippled and we end up choosing our own good over the good for another person. When we reject the Existence itself we end up rejecting our own being, being severed from who we are and disconnected from who we were created to be.

      We become lost as Satan was lost when he rejected God. Yet, when we reject the Good of God we are often faced with pain and suffering. Not so much because God hurts us, but because it hurts us. When a mother offers delicious food to her child and the boy rejects it, he will feel hunger pains. Is his suffering caused by the mother who offered him the food? God continues to allow the "hunger pains" for beauty, love, truth and goodness; perhaps hoping that we will turn back to the Source and be truly filled.

      He could "close up shop" as you say, but that would just be the end of the world.

      This is how *I* reconscile it – there are many theologians who have struggled with this issue throughout history. Suffering is not easy, but for me it makes far more sense within the Christian framework than within the atheistic one. In an atheistic framework suffering shouldn't exist. Pain might exist to push us away from things that would kill us, but suffering doesn't make sense. The primal cry of "this ought not to be" doesn't make sense withing a framework devoid of 'oughts'.

      May 13, 2014 at 12:04 pm |
      • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

        "there are many theologians who have struggled with this issue throughout history."
        ------------
        They struggle with it because it doesn't make sense. The concept of Satan introduces a logical paradox.

        Loving and forgiving Gods don't punish mortals for eternity because they were tempted by some evil agent provocateur. Nasty vindictive Gods maybe.

        May 13, 2014 at 12:11 pm |
      • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

        When you make claims that YOUR unverifiable belief is the only way to "Truth, Beauty, Existence, and Love" ....that is dangerous and intellectual dishonest.

        May 13, 2014 at 12:12 pm |
      • Doc Vestibule

        "God is Truth, Beauty, Existence, and Love. He is the source of all these good things."
        If God is The Alpha and The Omega – the omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent Creator, ruler and shaper of the Universe, then He is also untruth, ugliness, death and hatred. He is the source of all these bad things.

        "He wants us to love, to freely participate in this life of Truth and Love."
        But above all things, God is jealous – it says so in the 1st Commandment. More than love, God wants obedience.
        He also would have somewhere around 1 in 10 of His creations deny themselves the love that is natural to them, lest they suffer the fate of Sodom.

        "But in order to make us free to participate, we must be free to not participate. Ergo, we have the freedom to reject Truth, Beauty and Love."
        And in that rejection lay the promise of eternal suffering.
        Its like an election in which your choices are Candidate #1 or horrible torture and death.
        You still technically have a choice...

        As for rationality – dogma is the enemy of rationality.
        Faith in the religious sense is not a virtue – it is the willing suspension of critical thinking in order to accept supernatural, unprovable, undemonstrable tenets as inerrant, unquestionable "Truth".

        May 13, 2014 at 12:20 pm |
        • ladycygnus

          untruth is the absence of truth and ugliness is the absence of beauty. Allowing for them to exist is not the same as being the source of them.

          Yes, the natural consequence of rejecting goodness is suffering...and the natural consequence of rejecting Ultimate Goodness is Ultimate Suffering. Yes, it's not a fun choice, but what other choice do you want? It's like complaining that the choice is either eat your dinner or go hungry.

          And obedience to doing what is good is what will make us happy. Choosing to go on a hunger strike will make you very unhappy.

          And I've never been told to suspend my critical thinking. I've had enough evidence to see the truth in Catholicism – faith is that step of faith to begin to live that truth.

          May 13, 2014 at 12:35 pm |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          "And I've never been told to suspend my critical thinking."

          Apparently you have when you make statements like..

          "and the natural consequence of rejecting Ultimate Goodness is Ultimate Suffering."

          May 13, 2014 at 12:42 pm |
        • ladycygnus

          Simply speaking what I've found to be true is not a suspension of critical thinking. To suspend critical thinking is to say "I can't ask questions about my faith" or "I can't read that book – it wasn't published by my church". There are Christians who think this way – I'm not one of them. I've had plenty of opportunity to have my beliefs challenged and see if they hold up. I've found that they have. YOU may disagree with my conclusions, but that doesn't mean I am not critically thinking. Two scientists can critically think about a problem and come to very different solutions – and they may strongly disagree with each other and present evidence for why the other is wrong. But depending on the interpreation of the evidence they might still disagree. That is not "suspension of critical thinking" but it's exact opposite.

          To refuse to read, dialogue or consider an opponents point of view is a suspension of critical thinking. I've read stuff written by atheists, dialogues with secularists and atheists alike, tried to avoid logical fallacies such as name calling or simply dismissing their opinions as dumb with no evidence. Have any of the atheists here done the same?

          May 13, 2014 at 12:57 pm |
        • Doc Vestibule

          A primary tenet of the Catholic faith is that The Trinity is a mystery of faith in the strict sense, one of the "mysteries that are hidden in God, which can never be known".

          May 13, 2014 at 12:44 pm |
        • ladycygnus

          It's also a primary tenant of Catholicism that the idea of "the God of the philosophers" can be known through reason alone. Reason and faith do not contradict. Reason can lead us through philosophy to God – but it's faith that brings us to a personal relationship with that God.

          May 13, 2014 at 1:00 pm |
        • Doc Vestibule

          To the reasonable examiner, worshipping a three part deity is not at all monotheistic and yet many Christians have managed to rationalize it as such.
          The very concept of the Trinity is contrary to the primary belief of the Jewish people – that God is One. Hence God's chosen people call the idea heretical.

          May 13, 2014 at 12:47 pm |
        • colin31714

          So LAdycygnus, as I understand it, I am in a lot of trouble. I don't kill, I don't steal, hell, I don't even litter.

          All I do is have a reasonable, honest and rational disbelief in the Christian god. I reject the idea as childish and silly. So, according to your cosmic justice, he will inflict a grotesque penalty upon me an infinite times worse than the death penalty.

          And he loves me.

          May 13, 2014 at 12:54 pm |
        • Doc Vestibule

          The Catholic faith requires the suspension of critical though on hundreds of points of dogma, including (but not limited to)
          On the third day after His Death Christ rose gloriously from the dead.
          Christ ascended Body and Soul into Heaven and sits at the right hand of the Father.
          Mary is truly the Mother of God.
          Mary was conceived without stain of Original sin.
          Mary conceived by the Holy Ghost without the co-operation of man.
          Mary bore her Son without any violation of her virginal integrity.
          Also after the Birth of Jesus Mary remained a Virgin.
          Mary was a Virgin before, during and after the Birth of Jesus Christ.
          Mary was assumed body and soul into Heaven.
          There is a supernatural intervention of God in the faculties of the soul, which precedes the free act of the will.
          There is a supernatural influence of God in the faculties of the soul which coincides in time with man’s free act of will.. The Pope possesses full and supreme power of jurisdiction over the whole Church, not merely in matters of faith and morals, but also in Church discipline and in the government of the Church.
          The Pope is infallible when he speaks ex cathedra.
          The Body and Blood of Jesus Christ are truly, really and substantially present in the Eucharist.
          Christ becomes present in the Sacrament of the Altar by the transformation of the whole substance of the bread into His Body and the whole substance of the wine into His Blood. The Accidents of bread and wine continue after the change of the substance.
          The Body and the Blood of Christ together with His Soul and His Divinity and therefore the Whole Christ are truly present in the Eucharist.

          May 13, 2014 at 1:07 pm |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          "Simply speaking what I've found to be true is not a suspension of critical thinking."

          Simply speaking, making a claim that there is some kind of "Ultimate goodness" and you know what that is...is an opinion when you can't demonstrate your claim. Also when you claim rejecting your ultimate goodness automatically leads to ultimate suffering is a non-sequitor....and making such claims and presenting them as fact IS a suspension of critical thinking.

          May 13, 2014 at 1:09 pm |
      • SeaVik

        Lady, how do you actually believe what you just wrote? It all seems so blatantly untrue. I don't understand why it's not as obvious to you how ridiculous that is as it is to me.

        May 13, 2014 at 12:20 pm |
        • ladycygnus

          The intellectual, historical and personal testimony I've heard has given me enough evidence to accept this as truth. Through a life of faith I've come to experience it as true.

          Atheism seems so blatantly untrue; although I understand why someone would not find that obvious. There is a lot of misinformation about religion in our culture today.

          May 13, 2014 at 12:29 pm |
        • gulliblenomore

          Lady....atheism can be neither true nor untrue. The only criteria for being an atheist is that we don not accept the notion of any gods at all, since there is no evidential proof.

          May 13, 2014 at 12:32 pm |
        • Doc Vestibule

          "The intellectual, historical and personal testimony I've heard has given me enough evidence to accept this as truth."

          Adherents of every religion make this same claim.
          Have you searched other belief systems with the same open mind and heart?
          Why reject the Truths of Buddhism, Hinduism, Scientology, Christian Science, Shintoism etc. given that they've all reams of personal testimony?

          May 13, 2014 at 12:37 pm |
        • SeaVik

          I don't understand Lady. All evidence suggests it is impossible to come back from the dead days after being killed, yet, your religion said that happened. Why do you ignore what science tells us (that it's impossible to do that) in favor of what an ancient book, full of known falacies, says? I don't know how you can sincerely claim that your position isn't extremely far-fetched and that atheism is blatantly untrue. The chances of you being correct, although not zero, are infinitesimal.

          May 13, 2014 at 12:39 pm |
        • ladycygnus

          Science tells us what is *scientifically* possible. The whole point of Catholicism is that all the scientific laws we know were formed in the mind of God who is beyond them. We do not believe in a god like Zeus, who is merely a creature subject to the same natural laws we are, if a bit stronger. We believe in a fundamental source of truth that holds the universe in being. We believe in a Mind who knows Truth.

          Ergo, science is the study of the logic that God has made intrinsic to the world. But it is not the whole story. The God who is outside of science, who *created* science, is not bound by the laws of science. That is a miracle. The suspension of the laws of nature by the one who wrote those laws.

          There is no contradiction – but it is a different way of viewing the world. If you think that all that exists is what you can observe with your senses, then it will be hard to wrap your head around this. Although few people actually believe this. There are things like love, mathematics, ethics, and beauty which transcend what we observe. There is a sense that "triangularity" existed even before a man saw the first triangle, that it would exist even if no triangle existed.

          May 13, 2014 at 12:51 pm |
        • colin31714

          Actually, Ladycygnus, there are some pretty fundamental objections to Catholicism that are hard to get around.

          1. At its most fundamental level, Christianity requires a belief that an all-knowing, all-powerful, immortal being created the entire Universe and its billions of galaxies 13,720,000,000 years ago (the approximate age of the current iteration of the Universe) sat back and waited 10,000,000,000 years for the Earth to form, then waited another 3,720,000,000 years for human beings to gradually evolve, then, at some point in our evolution from Hom.o Erectus, gave us eternal life and a soul, and about 180,000 years later, sent its son to Earth to talk about sheep and goats in the Middle East.

          While here, this divine visitor exhibits no knowledge of ANYTHING outside of the Greco-Roman Middle East, including Australia, North and South America, Europe, Asia, 99% of the human race, and the aforementioned galaxies. One would have thought that a visitor from the creator of the Universe would visit (or at least mention) the millions upon millions of Chinese and other Asians, all the people spread throughout North, Central and South America, the Australian Aboriginals, the ancient Europeans or the Sub-Saharan Africans. Instead, his entire visit and his entire Holy Book, the Bible, is 100% concentrated on the Jews. It seems obvious to any thinking person that the Jews made God in their image and not vice-versa.

          2. This ‘all loving’ god spends his time running the Universe and observing the approximately 7 billion human beings on planet Earth, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. He even reads their minds (or “hears their prayers”, if you see any difference) using some kind of magic telepathic powers. He also keeps his telepathic eye on them when they are not praying, so as to know if they think bad thoughts (such as coveting their neighbor) so he knows whether to reward or punish them after they die.

          3. Having withheld any evidence of his existence, this god will then punish those who doubt him with an eternity burning in hell. I don’t have to kill, I don’t have to steal, I don’t even have to litter. All I have to do is harbor an honest, reasonable and rational disbelieve in the Christian god and he will inflict a grotesque penalty on me a billion times worse than the death penalty – and he loves me.

          4. The above beliefs are based on nothing more than a collection of Bronze Age and Greco-Roman Middle Eastern mythology, much of it discredited, that was cobbled together into a book called the “Bible” by people we know virtually nothing about, before the Dark Ages. I mean, let me ask a believer this. Do you even have the slightest damn idea who any of the 100+ authors of the Bible were? Do you have any idea who complied it? Who decided what Bronze Age Jewish writings to include and what to exclude and the criteria they used? I bet you don’t.

          5. The stories of Christianity are not even original. They are borrowed directly from earlier mythology from the Middle East. Genesis and Exodus, for example, are clearly based on earlier Babylonian myths such as The Epic of Gilgamesh, and the Jesus story itself is straight from the stories about Apollonius of Tyana, Horus and Dionysus (including virgin birth, the three wise men, the star in the East, birth at the Winter solstice, a baptism by another prophet, turning water into wine, crucifixion and rising from the dead).

          6. The Bible is also literally infested with contradictions, outdated morality, and open support for the most barbarous acts of cruelty – including, genocide, murder, slavery, r.ape and the complete subjugation of women. All of this is due to when and where it was written, the morality of the times and the motives of its authors and compilers. While this may be exculpatory from a literary point of view, it also screams out the fact that it is a pure product of man, bereft of any divine inspiration.

          7. A rejection of the supernatural elements of Catholicism does not require a rejection of its morality. Most atheists and secular humanists share a large amount of the morality taught today by mainstream Catholicism. To the extent we reject Catholic morality, it is where it is outdated or mean spirited – such as in the way it seeks to curtail freedoms or oppose the rights of $exual minorities. In most other respects, our basic moral outlook is indistinguishable from that of the liberal Catholic. We just don’t need the mother of all carrots and sticks hanging over our head in order to act in a manner that we consider moral.

          Falsely linking morality to a belief in the supernatural is a time-tested “three card trick” religion uses to stop its adherents from asking the hard questions. So is telling them it is “wrong to doubt.” This is probably why there is not one passage in the Bible in support of intelligence and healthy skepticism, but literally hundreds in support of blind acceptance and blatant gullibility.

          8. We have no idea of who wrote the four Gospels, how credible or trustworthy they were, what ulterior motives they had (other than to promote their religion) or what they based their views on. We know that the traditional story of it being Matthew, Mark, Luke and John is almost certainly wrong. For example, the Gospel of Matthew includes a scene in which Jesus meets Matthew, recounted entirely in the third person!! Nevertheless, we are called upon to accept the most extraordinary claims by these unknown people, who wrote between 35 to 65 years after Christ died and do not even claim to have been witnesses. It is like taking the word of an unknown Branch Davidian about what happened to David Koresh at Waco – who wrote 35 years after the fact and wasn’t there.

          9. When backed into a corner, Catholicism admits it requires a “leap of faith” to believe it. This is probably the mother of all understatements. In any event, once one accepts that pure faith is a legitimate reason to believe in something (which it most certainly is not, any more than “faith” that pixies exist is) one has to accept all other gods based on exactly the same reasoning. One cannot be a Catholic based on the “leap of faith” – and then turn around and say those who believe in, for example, the Hindu gods, based on the same leap, got it wrong. In a dark room without features, any guess by a blind man at the direction of the door is as valid as the other 359 degrees.

          Geography and birthplace dictates what god(s) one believes in. Every culture that has ever existed has had its own gods and they all seem to favor that particular culture, its hopes, dreams, and prejudices. Do you think they all exist? If not, why only yours?

          The entire Catholic faith is not a belief in a god. It is a mere hope for a god, or, even more accurately, a simple wish for a god, no more substantial than the hope for a good future and no more universal than the language you speak or the baseball team you support.

          May 13, 2014 at 12:56 pm |
        • ladycygnus

          These problems you mention have been answered multiple times before. I need to get back to work, but check out the articles on StrangeNotions.com. There are many good resources and links to literature that will help you to understand the Catholic point of view.

          May 13, 2014 at 1:10 pm |
        • gulliblenomore

          Lady....they can not be answered logically, only supernaturally. Therefore, they can not be answered to the satisfaction of a realist.

          May 13, 2014 at 1:12 pm |
        • Doc Vestibule

          The belief that there is a Creator is deism.
          Religions tend to take this undisprovable idea further and assert that Lord God of Creation, wants the sacharrine adoration of His creations, that He can be persuaded by their prayers, and becomes petulant if he does not recieve this flattery.

          May 13, 2014 at 12:56 pm |
        • Alias

          The bible does not say it is wrong to enslave your fellow man. If your god thought slavery was immoral, the bible would probable tell you not to do it instead of giving instructions as to how to sell your daughters.
          Now, would you please tell me about christian morality not being subjective?

          May 13, 2014 at 12:58 pm |
        • Madtown

          has given me enough evidence to accept this as truth
          ---–
          Truth for you, and others of similar thought. The use of the word "truth", however, suggests that it should be relevant and applicable to everyone. This is clearly not the case, as the notions are simply not accessible and available to everyone.

          May 13, 2014 at 12:59 pm |
        • colin31714

          Ladycygnus, you said

          Science tells us what is *scientifically* possible. The whole point of Catholicism is that all the scientific laws we know were formed in the mind of God who is beyond them.

          No, that pre-supposes the existence of God, which is not established, so any conclusion drawn from that as.sumption is flawed.

          Yo usaid, "We do not believe in a god like Zeus, who is merely a creature subject to the same natural laws we are, if a bit stronger. We believe in a fundamental source of truth that holds the universe in being. We believe in a Mind who knows Truth."

          So do the Muslims, Hindus and Buddhists. Their gods are inconsistent with yours. Most likely, none exist.

          Ergo, science is the study of the logic that God has made intrinsic to the world. But it is not the whole story. The God who is outside of science, who *created* science, is not bound by the laws of science. That is a miracle. The suspension of the laws of nature by the one who wrote those laws.

          As I mentioned above, that extrapolation is flawed because you have no established God's existence. I have never seen any evidence for his existence.

          There is no contradiction – but it is a different way of viewing the world. If you think that all that exists is what you can observe with your senses, then it will be hard to wrap your head around this. Although few people actually believe this. There are things like love, mathematics, ethics, and beauty which transcend what we observe. There is a sense that "triangularity" existed even before a man saw the first triangle, that it would exist even if no triangle existed.

          I have no idea what you are saying, but in the absence of evidence to support god';s existence, no amount of mental gymnastics resulting in his existence are convincing.

          May 13, 2014 at 1:04 pm |
        • SeaVik

          Lady, I don't think you understand what "science" is. If your god doesn't follow the rules of science, then that's not science, it's supernatural. A belief in god directly conflicts with science as you've just stated, but you are willing to ignore that conflict and suspend your belief in science in that case. I, on the otherhand, see no reason to think that a being exists to which the laws of science do not apply.

          Can you please explain why you think it's rational / reasonable to think a being exists to which the laws of science do not apply, especially given there is no known evidence to support your belief?

          May 13, 2014 at 2:15 pm |
        • fintronics

          Truth = "a verified or indisputable fact, proposition, principle, or the like:"

          May 14, 2014 at 2:10 pm |
      • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

        "We become lost as Satan was lost when he rejected God. Yet, when we reject the Good of God we are often faced with pain and suffering. "
        ---------------–
        Your answer here revolves around 'being apart from God' rather than 'influence of Satan' which I find interesting. I see this as a way of avoiding answering the paradox in the question I asked.

        Do you believe Satan exists and tries to tempt people away from God? Or do people do this all by themselves with their "free will"?

        May 13, 2014 at 1:15 pm |
  12. Lucifer's Evil Twin

    Harvard is over rated... most of the people I've met who graduated from there seriously over paid for their education, and left me feeling very underwhelmed.

    May 13, 2014 at 11:40 am |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      Going to an Ivy League doesn't make a statistical difference:

      http://www.purdue.edu/newsroom/releases/2014/Q2/gallup-purdue-index-releases-inaugural-findings-of-national-landmark-study.html

      Washington, DC – May 6, 2014 — Gallup, in partnership with Purdue University and Lumina Foundation, today released results from the inaugural Gallup-Purdue Index that finds there is no difference in workplace engagement or a college graduate's well-being if they attended a public or private not-for-profit inst.itution, a highly selective inst.itution, or a top 100-ranked school in U.S. News & World Report. The study found students who were closely engaged with faculty or participated in an internship-type program were more likely to be engaged at work and have high well-being. The study also outlines a relationship between the level of student debt and a graduate's well-being and entrepreneurial experience.

      It might change your chances of success at the very highest levels of politics or think tanks, etc but for most people it only affects the amount of debt you carry or the amount of money your parents spent.

      May 13, 2014 at 1:11 pm |
  13. bostontola

    It's not news that Catholics would fight against a satanic ritual, even if it was just for show. I can't blame them for speaking their mind.

    The university buckling to outside pressure and pressuring students expressing themselves is another issue. What the students wanted to do was not illegal. Suppressing free thought and expression is counter to their mission.

    I personally think the whole thing was trivial and unnecessary. The university treating this as a very serious matter lends credence to the notion that Satan is real. That is absurd and the university should have handled it differently before it became a public story. They should have sat down with the planners and asked them if they really wanted to make a controversial statement that could stick with them later in their job searches. The university let this get out of control and deserves criticism.

    May 13, 2014 at 11:21 am |
    • samsstones

      Next thing you know will be banning Pastafarians from having A Friday Happy Hour at the local bar because they serve spaghetti and meatballs with pitchers of beer. Sacrilege. BTW no follower of the FSM has ever sent hate mail.
      RAmen

      May 13, 2014 at 11:35 am |
      • Lucifer's Evil Twin

        May his noodley appendages caress your cheeks and leave traces of his bolognese sauce of love to comfort you in your times of need...

        RAmen

        May 13, 2014 at 11:44 am |
      • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

        In the Name of the Pasta, and of the Sauce, and of the Holy Meatballs,
        R'Amen

        May 13, 2014 at 11:51 am |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      It's not the first time a college student made a poor choice.

      May 13, 2014 at 11:42 am |
      • bostontola

        I made more than 1. and survived quite well.

        May 13, 2014 at 12:00 pm |
  14. Lucifer's Evil Twin

    “From another direction he felt the sensation of being a sheep startled by a flying saucer, but it was virtually indistinguishable from the feeling of being a sheep startled by anything else it ever encountered, for they were creatures who learned very little on their journey through life, and would be startled to see the sun rising in the morning, and astonished by all the green stuff in the fields.”
    ― Douglas Adams, So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish

    May 13, 2014 at 11:16 am |
    • G to the T

      "Night poured over the desert. It came suddenly, in purple. In the clear air, the stars drilled down out of the sky, reminding any thoughtful watcher that it is in the deserts and high places that religions are generated. When men see nothing but bottomless infinity over their heads they have always had a driving and desperate urge to find someone to put in the way.”
      ― Terry Pratchett, Jingo

      May 13, 2014 at 12:06 pm |
      • Lucifer's Evil Twin

        Cool... I have seen that para-phrased before... but I didn't know that Pratchett had such an eloquent version

        May 13, 2014 at 12:20 pm |
  15. Doris

    In the news From Science Daily:

    =======
    Artificial magnetic bacteria 'turn' food into natural drugs

    Scientists from the University of Granada have successfully created magnetic bacteria that could be added to foodstuffs and could, after ingestion, help diagnose diseases of the digestive system like stomach cancer. These important findings consti.tute the first use of a food as a natural drug and aid in diagnosing an illness, anywhere in the world.

    The researchers - members of Bionanomet, the Metallic Bionanoparticle research group of the Department of Inorganic Chemistry and the Insti.tute of Biotechnology of theUniversity of Granada - have conducted this research in collaboration with BIOSEARCH SA, a private company. Their results have been published in the latest issue of Advanced Functional Materials.

    To design these magnetic bacteria, the researchers looked to Nature. They tried to copy magnetobacteria, which naturally produce very limited numbers of internal magnets that, essentially, provide them with a means of orienting themselves as if they possessed an internal compass.

    Biomedical applications

    These artificial magnetic bacteria could have biomedical applications in magnetic resonance imaging - to facilitate diagnosis - or in heating malign cells through magnetic hypothermia and, thus, curing diseases like cancer.

    This new technology - patented by BIOSEARCH SA - is still only in an experimental phase but it will facilitate the use of these probiotic bacteria, common in food, to diagnose and treat tumours and as an edible iron supplement.

    This research has been financed by IDEA, the regional government of Andalusia's Agency for Innovation and Development. The project has led to the registration of a patent for the technology and its applications and to a first publication in one of the most highly ranked journals in the field of applied materials.
    ======

    On the one hand, I would think theists would like this idea since the article says these little critters seem to have an "internal compass", then then again, what about those types of Christians who would rather let their kids die than seek medical help. Would they avoid this new technology simply because it's a man-made solution?

    May 13, 2014 at 11:15 am |
    • Alias

      But that's not in the bible!!!!!!
      Burn it and the people who created this unholy abomination!
      Aslo, and most importantly, DO NOT TELL THE CHILDREN!!!

      May 13, 2014 at 11:20 am |
    • ladycygnus

      This article is about Catholics – not Fundamentalists or Scientologists. Catholics actually embrace the ETHICAL study of science. The list of Catholic scientists is quite extensive. For example – Louis Pasteur, the guy who's advances in bacterial knowledge probably made possible the discoveries in this article you cited, was a Catholic.

      Also, the favorite theory of atheists, the Big Bang Theory, was developed by a Catholic priest.

      May 13, 2014 at 11:21 am |
      • Alias

        I'm sure Galiloe will be relieved to hear this.

        May 13, 2014 at 11:23 am |
        • ladycygnus

          Ever notice that Galileo is the ONLY scientist that the anti-religion group can claim as being persecuted by religion? Ever wonder why? You should look into the ACTUAL history of the Galileo case. How he was *sponsored* by the pope for years. How he was allowed to teach for years before this trial. You might see something interesting – like tempers, insults and Galileo being stupid. You might also find out more about Galileo's science...which was unproven and actually wrong in some places.

          May 13, 2014 at 11:36 am |
        • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

          The "accuracy" of Galileo's science is not what got him under house arrest.

          He challenged the authority of so-called infallible Popes who was factually wrong when they (there were several though this period) insisted that Galileo retract his heliocentric position.

          May 13, 2014 at 11:57 am |
        • ladycygnus

          Actually Galileo was supported by the Church, even though the Church thought his theory was wrong based on scientific consensus at the time (and his poor explanations for things like the tides). It wasn't until he insulted the pope that he was put under house arrest. In the end the trial was more a battle of egos than of science. Go check it out.

          This is clear in that Copernicus was a Cannon of the church who published his treatise at the request of his (cardinal or bishop). It's also clear in the *hundreds* of Catholics priest/monk scientists who contributed to the scientific advancement of their times.

          The "Church hates science" myth is stupid and easily falls apart with even the beginnings of an unbiased view of history.

          May 13, 2014 at 12:13 pm |
        • Doc Vestibule

          "Ever notice that Galileo is the ONLY scientist that the anti-religion group can claim as being persecuted by religion?"

          Giordano Bruno might argue with you there if he weren't burned at the stake.

          In the modern world, though deprived of the freedom to torture and/or execute heretics, they still condemn stem cell researchers, pharmaceutical bio-chemists who create birth control drugs.

          May 13, 2014 at 12:02 pm |
        • ladycygnus

          Bruno was a mystic whose mystical visions happened to have some bearing on the physical world. If you want to claim what basically amounted to 'shroom-induced "hypothesis" were science...well then we disagree greatly on what science is.

          May 13, 2014 at 12:15 pm |
        • ladycygnus

          And the church does NOT condemn stem-cell research, she condemns the DESTRUCTION of human life to get stem-cells. She has fully supported (in word and deed) ADULT stem-cell research – research that has ACTUALLY provided the world with treatments and cures while embryonic stem-cells are still causing tumors.

          Again – science cannot determine what is ethical. You could probably do experiments on people you don't like and get a lot of cures for various things. Just because you CAN doesn't make it RIGHT.

          May 13, 2014 at 12:19 pm |
        • observer

          ladycygnus,

          The Bible never mentioned abortion and God had no problems killing children, babies and fetuses.

          May 13, 2014 at 12:21 pm |
        • Doc Vestibule

          "Again – science cannot determine what is ethical. You could probably do experiments on people you don't like and get a lot of cures for various things. Just because you CAN doesn't make it RIGHT."

          The Catholic Church assisted Josef Mengele escape justice with their Raline that ran straight through the Vatican state in Rome, so you'll have to excuse me if I don't consider the RCC particularly astute judges of medical research ethics.

          May 13, 2014 at 12:29 pm |
        • Doc Vestibule

          "Ratline" , not "raline".

          May 13, 2014 at 12:29 pm |
      • Doris

        Yes – I realize this was off-topic, but perhaps of more interest to some than the rants going on here. And yes, there have been some famous scientists from all types of belief, or non-belief. I don't Catholics are the type to avoid taking their children to doctors. Historically, they have been known to be more the type to have more children than they can adequately care for; to promote the spread of disease across the globe with their unrealistic stance on contraception.

        May 13, 2014 at 11:29 am |
        • Doris

          I don't think Catholics....

          May 13, 2014 at 11:31 am |
      • bostontola

        The Big Bang is the favorite explanation of the start of our observable universe by scientists, it is not an atheist-theist thing. Catholics have had many great scientists historically. Some were not treated well by the Church of their time.

        May 13, 2014 at 11:37 am |
        • ladycygnus

          "The Big Bang is the favorite explanation of the start of our observable universe by scientists, it is not an atheist-theist thing."

          Oh I agree. But atheists love the theory and think it offers them bonus points of some kind or another. Mostly due to a strand of fundamentalism that believes the universe is 6000 years old – that atheists think applies to all Christians. It's already been mentioned at least once in the comments by an atheist.

          Just pointing out that despite the false history that people have been taught, Catholicism is not now, nor has ever been, "anti-science" – it is, however, anti-scientists-pretending-to-be-theologians. It is also anti-scientists-doing-evil-things. People try to pretend this is anti-science, but it is not.

          May 13, 2014 at 11:52 am |
        • SeaVik

          Are you serious? Yes, Catholicism (and all religions) are anti-science. You can't believe in the supernatural (which, by definition, are things that conflict with science) and then also claim to be pro-science. Through science, we know it is not possible to come back from the dead. If you believe that happened, you are anti-science.

          May 13, 2014 at 12:01 pm |
        • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

          "Mostly due to a strand of fundamentalism that believes the universe is 6000 years old – that atheists think applies to all Christians"
          ----------------–
          You really need to stop using sweeping generalities, even when you contradict yourself in your next sentence.

          51% of Americans are skeptical of the Big Bang theory*.

          This is truly staggering and these people are almost all Christians. Naturally the remaining 49% includes a very large number of Christians, almost half of which might well be Catholic. (Catholics represent about 22-23% of Americans.)

          * AP-GfK Poll (2014)

          May 13, 2014 at 12:06 pm |
        • ladycygnus

          This is merely a symptom of atheists embracing the big bang theory. When they insist that it "proves" no God some uneducated Christians responded with "then it must be false". Among educated Catholics those numbers would be far smaller for they know that it's not the theory that's false but the bad theology of the atheists. At my church I know of exactly ONE person who believes the big bang theory was false....and he is a bit kooky.

          On the other hand I personally know four Catholic astronomers.

          May 13, 2014 at 12:23 pm |
        • gulliblenomore

          Lady....I grew up catholic. When my dad divorced my mom, her religious belief of 'til death do us part' did not allow her to date or remarry until my father passed away. And she never dated again. That is fvcked up! Religion is a bane to people's existence and serves no viable purpose.

          May 13, 2014 at 12:29 pm |
        • ladycygnus

          I'm sorry for the pain your family went through. Following what we believe to be true is hard. But life is pain – anyone who says otherwise is selling you something. But is a life where you don't struggle to do the right thing worth living? I admire your mom for her commitment to the most sacred vow she ever made and her witness of faith even in the face of great suffering.

          May 13, 2014 at 12:38 pm |
        • gulliblenomore

          Lady...,I love my mom, but lost all respect for her belief system. That is a stupid rule to have to follow, and one of the reasons I started exploring other religions, only to find they are all bunk.

          May 13, 2014 at 12:42 pm |
        • Alias

          It isn't the Big Bang that upsets fundamentalist as much as evolution.
          With evolution, there doesn't need to be a god/creator.

          May 13, 2014 at 12:35 pm |
      • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

        "Catholics actually embrace the ETHICAL study of science."

        The problem is the the Catholics think they have the market cornered on what IS ethical...and it can be demonstrated objectively that they don't. Their ethics are a joke.

        May 13, 2014 at 11:52 am |
        • ladycygnus

          You can't "demonstrate objectively" a moral truth. Science can tell you how things work, but it can't tell you if it's ethical or not. That depends on metaphysical principles.

          For example, science can tell you that this living organism is a human. It can also tell you that when you inject poison into the body the human dies.
          Science cannot tell you that it was immoral to do this.

          May 13, 2014 at 12:08 pm |
        • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

          "Science can tell you how things work, but it can't tell you if it's ethical or not. That depends on metaphysical principles."
          ------------–
          Metaphysics and ethics are completely orthogonal.

          Ethics are a consensus of behavior defined by humans. Ethics demonstrably exist. We as humans need to figure out what applications of what we learn from science are ethical.

          Metaphysics are an imagination of humans. Whether or not they exist is subject to debate. They are not demonstrable.

          May 13, 2014 at 12:17 pm |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          So what? My point was your religion is not a path to what is ultimately ethical. There is no reason to give Catholcism authority on what is Scientifically ethical. Saying Science doesn't answer an "ought" does not therefore mean we should listen to the RCC on such matters.

          May 13, 2014 at 12:51 pm |
  16. Alias

    More willful ignorance on the part of the christians.
    They don't know what the satanic religion really is, and would rather spew hate than find out.

    May 13, 2014 at 11:10 am |
    • gulliblenomore

      Alias...they don't want to find out. They only know it is not their religion, and since it is not theirs, it has to be worthless, because only theirs is the true religion. Idiots

      May 13, 2014 at 11:12 am |
      • Alias

        Actually, if you get past the Hollywood interpretation, and get to its origins, it is the same religion.

        May 13, 2014 at 11:22 am |
        • gulliblenomore

          They never see it that way. But then again, they are blind

          May 13, 2014 at 11:25 am |
    • thefinisher1

      Sounds more like what atheists do. Pretend to know what a religion is all about but they really don't.

      May 13, 2014 at 11:12 am |
  17. Doris

    What a shame that people had to take such an exercise so personally. I think I'll work on an abbreviated version of Black Mass for 1 to serve in place of a prayer at my next town council meeting. I'll only demand, of course, time equal to those who insist on holding up the meeting for a prayer....

    May 13, 2014 at 11:02 am |
  18. ladycygnus

    To all those saying this is a suppression of thought or debate – it isn't. There is a huge divide between debating your opponent and taking what is most sacred to them and desecrating it.

    There are plenty of Catholics who engage in debates with atheists – who go to great lengths to dialogue with them. This is not that. This is more in line with burning the Koran or desecrating a temple. You may think the beliefs are stupid, but that doesn't make what you are doing right.

    This black mass was NOT a study in other cultures or whatever BS they tried to pass it off as – it was a study in how to insult Catholics at the deepest level possible. If they had done any research on what a black mass was they would know this.

    Opposition to this was right and founded – and as much as atheists like to pretend Catholics are persecuting them by saying a prayer in their presence, there is a reason why they chose this and not, say a Koran burning ceremony. Or a reenactment of a lynching that showed it's "positive" roll in society. They know the worst they will receive from Catholics is some "vitriolic hate mail."

    If you want debate then debate. This insult is not a debate – it's just you pretending to be smart and showing how stupid and immature you are.

    May 13, 2014 at 10:32 am |
    • Sungrazer

      "This is more in line with burning the Koran or desecrating a temple."

      It is far from it. It is parody. It is not destructive.

      May 13, 2014 at 10:37 am |
      • ladycygnus

        Really? So when will this brave group perform a "parody" of someone burning a Koran? First announcement is that they will be burning a real Koran "in parody". Then when people start objecting, they back up and *say* it's fake, but there is no way to check. They should schedule that for next month. Don't worry, I'm sure the Muslims will only send some "vitriolic hate mail" and the official Muslim association will hold a prayer vigil at the time of this parody.

        May 13, 2014 at 10:43 am |
        • Lucifer's Evil Twin

          Cochran: ...ladies and gentlemen of this supposed jury, I have one final thing I want you to consider. Ladies and gentlemen, this is Chewbacca. Chewbacca is a Wookiee from the planet Kashyyyk. But Chewbacca lives on the planet Endor. Now think about it; that does not make sense!

          Gerald Broflovski: Damn it! ... He's using the Chewbacca defense!

          Cochran: Why would a Wookiee, an 8-foot-tall Wookiee, want to live on Endor, with a bunch of 2-foot-tall Ewoks? That does not make sense! But more important, you have to ask yourself: What does this have to do with this case? Nothing. Ladies and gentlemen, it has nothing to do with this case! It does not make sense! Look at me. I'm a lawyer defending a major record company, and I'm talkin' about Chewbacca! Does that make sense? Ladies and gentlemen, I am not making any sense! None of this makes sense! And so you have to remember, when you're in that jury room deliberatin' and conjugatin' the Emancipation Proclamation, does it make sense? No! Ladies and gentlemen of this supposed jury, it does not make sense! If Chewbacca lives on Endor, you must acquit! The defense rests...

          May 13, 2014 at 10:51 am |
        • gulliblenomore

          Nice South Park sub reference.

          May 13, 2014 at 10:56 am |
        • Lucifer's Evil Twin

          Thanks. I usually switch over to my South Park handle 'Sea Otter' for this kind of thing... but I deemed it not worth the effort in this instance

          May 13, 2014 at 11:01 am |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          The fact that Muslims would lynch and stone people for such behavior and your group won't (at least not at present time) isn't a valid argument. This is a free speech issue. It is the ultimate dissrespect for an organization that deserves disrespect.

          May 13, 2014 at 11:22 am |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      "They know the worst they will receive from Catholics is some "vitriolic hate mail."
      -----------------
      So, you've read the 'hate mail' and you know for a fact that it does not contain threats of any kind? Threats of harm is wrong on any level.

      If Catholic regalia were destroyed in this process I would agree with your position but I remain unconvinced by your argument. The issue here is one of ridicule not desecration.

      May 13, 2014 at 10:43 am |
      • ladycygnus

        The first announcement said they would be using a consecrated host. Yes, they quickly backed down from that – but there is really know way to know if the host was consecrated or not. They could have "said" it wasn't just to relieve some objections. But not all.

        But even if you remove that aspect – the mass is the most sacred ritual in our faith. The black mass is not *just* a parody, it's a desecration of that ritual and an insult to every Catholic. It severs dialogue – not opens it. And all the culture an atheist will gain from it is how to be a pompous ass who knows nothing of the things he mocks.

        May 13, 2014 at 10:48 am |
        • gulliblenomore

          Ladyc....don't go to it then.

          May 13, 2014 at 10:50 am |
        • Alias

          Has it ever occured to you that they may not have access to an unlimited supply of consecrated hosts?
          Where would they get one?
          Propaganda/marketing at its most basic level.

          May 13, 2014 at 11:17 am |
        • SeaVik

          "it's a desecration of that ritual and an insult to every Catholic."

          And what is wrong with that? Religions DESERVE to be insulted. If you insult my favorite football team, should I flip out about it? Why do you think religion gets a free pass when it's the most deserving thing of insult on the planet?

          May 13, 2014 at 11:20 am |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          " It severs dialogue – not opens it."

          You know what severs dialog? Systematically hiding and defending child r@pists for the benefit of your religious organization.

          I was a born and raised Catholic. I was even an alter boy (no abuse). But I would not support such a currupt and immoral organization. I don;t know how you sleep at night.

          May 13, 2014 at 11:26 am |
      • ladycygnus

        and no – I've not read the hate mail. I'm sure there are quite a few immature and even slightly crazy Catholics. EVERY community has them. However, I do know that the OFFICIAL teaching of the Catholics Church is to love your enemies and that each of these people will be in sin according to church teaching for writing those emails. I also know that the OFFICIAL response from the church was to plead for this insult to stop and to hold a prayer vigil.

        If you want to point out some crazy Catholic saying hateful things fine – I can point to an official Atheist Organization who almost did something of the same caliber.

        May 13, 2014 at 10:53 am |
        • observer

          ladycygnus,

          The biggest problem with the most radical Muslims is that they are following MANY of the same commands issued by God when he set up all the rules he wanted mankind to follow.

          May 13, 2014 at 10:59 am |
        • Lucifer's Evil Twin

          "Real Atheists" don't belong to Atheist Organizations...

          This sword cuts both ways... "Never underestimate the power of stupid people in large groups." – George Carlin

          May 13, 2014 at 11:07 am |
        • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

          "I can point to an official Atheist Organization who almost did something of the same caliber."
          -----------
          "PLEASE ACCEPT MY RESIGNATION. I DON'T WANT TO BELONG TO ANY CLUB THAT WILL ACCEPT PEOPLE LIKE ME AS A MEMBER" – Groucho Marx (to the Friar's Club of Beverly Hills)

          May 13, 2014 at 11:34 am |
      • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

        "But even if you remove that aspect – the mass is the most sacred ritual in our faith. The black mass is not *just* a parody, it's a desecration of that ritual and an insult to every Catholic.
        -------------
        Insulting? Only because you choose to make it so. Ultimately parody is free speech.
        Desecration? No. Nothing owned by the church is marred or destroyed.

        Is this insensitive? Yes.
        Is it offensive to some people? Yes.
        By themselves, those are very good reasons not to do this. We live in a society and should respect others so I don't think this was a good idea. But no desecration takes place here.

        Desecration is going into a church and using spray cans or crowbars or filth. None of this is taking place.

        May 13, 2014 at 11:50 am |
    • thefinisher1

      Secular=the religion of atheism.

      May 13, 2014 at 11:02 am |
      • thefinisher1

        Daniel, please ban the frequent atheist posters. They have nothing worthy to say and half the time bash people for not being atheist. Please do something about this troll problem. Thank you.

        May 13, 2014 at 11:06 am |
      • thefinisher1

        Awwww! Shouting persecution huh? Awwwww!!! Let's all pity the baby atheists! You have nothing intelligent to say. All you spew is how atheism is better blah blah blah. Your lies must be stopped, kiddo.

        May 13, 2014 at 11:19 am |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      "There is a huge divide between debating your opponent and taking what is most sacred to them and desecrating it."

      Not in a free country. Satire and derision is just a form of debate and speech.

      May 13, 2014 at 11:12 am |
    • SeaVik

      "This is more in line with burning the Koran..."

      Are you suggesting it should be illegal for me to burn a Koran (or Bible)? Why? Since when is it illegal to offend people?

      May 13, 2014 at 11:16 am |
  19. Lucifer's Evil Twin

    “Far out in the uncharted backwaters of the unfashionable end of the Western spiral arm of the galaxy lies a small unregarded yellow sun. Orbiting this, at a distance of roughly ninety million miles is an utterly insignificant little blue-green planet, whose ape descended life forms are so amazingly primitive that they still think digital watches are a pretty neat idea. This planet has, or had, a problem, which was this. Most of the people living on it were unhappy for pretty much of the time. Many solutions were suggested for this problem, but most of these were largely concerned with the movements of small, green pieces of paper, which is odd, because on the whole, it wasn't the small, green pieces of paper which were unhappy. And so the problem remained, and lots of the people were mean, and most of them were miserable, even the ones with digital watches. Many were increasingly of the opinion that they'd all made a big mistake coming down from the trees in the first place, and some said that even the trees had been a bad move, and that no-one should ever have left the oceans. And then one day, nearly two thousand years after one man had been nailed to a tree for saying how great it would be to be nice to people for a change, a girl, sitting on her own in a small cafe in Rickmansworth suddenly realised what it was that had been going wrong all this time and she finally knew how the world could be made a good and happy place. This time it was right, it would work, and no-one would have to get nailed to anything. Sadly, however, before she could get to a phone to tell anyone, the Earth was unexpectedly demolished to make way for a new hyperspace bypass and so the idea was lost forever.”
    ― Douglas Adams, The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy

    May 13, 2014 at 10:29 am |
  20. thefinisher1

    Atheism is a buch of hogwash and a delusion of the mind. Fact.

    May 13, 2014 at 10:03 am |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      "Fact"
      ----------

      Sorry Charlie – that's an opinion. You're ent.itled to it of course, even though you know it to be wrong, else you wouldn't so strenuously assert it every day.

      Thou doth protest too much, methinks.

      May 13, 2014 at 10:14 am |
      • thefinisher1

        It's backed up with evidence. Sorry Charlie. It's not an opinion. ^_^

        May 13, 2014 at 10:27 am |
        • neverbeenhappieratheist

          I know you are a troll, but please do display your evidence. I know it is only evidence of your lunacy but still, it might be fun to watch and laugh.

          May 13, 2014 at 10:38 am |
        • thefinisher1

          That atheism is a lie? Easy. Man invented atheism thus it's false! Hehehe ^_^

          May 13, 2014 at 10:53 am |
      • Lucifer's Evil Twin

        Only Japanese school girls constantly use stupid Hello Kitty emoticons

        May 13, 2014 at 10:44 am |
        • thefinisher1

          It's how roll, kiddo.

          May 13, 2014 at 10:50 am |
        • neverbeenhappieratheist

          I think you meant to say "It's how I troll, kiddo"

          May 13, 2014 at 2:21 pm |
    • MidwestKen

      Please don't feed the trolls!

      May 13, 2014 at 10:24 am |
      • thefinisher1

        I'm not a troll, kiddo. Nice try tho ^_^

        May 13, 2014 at 10:28 am |
      • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

        You sir, are the classic definition of a troll.

        I refer you to wikipedia:

        In Internet slang, a troll (/ˈtroʊl/, /ˈtrɒl/) is a person who sows discord on the Internet by starting arguments or upsetting people, by posting inflammatory, extraneous, or off-topic messages in an online community (such as a forum, chat room, or blog) with the deliberate intent of provoking readers into an emotional response or of otherwise disrupting normal on-topic discussion.

        What does your opinion of atheism have to do with Harvard and cancelled black masses again?

        May 13, 2014 at 10:36 am |
        • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

          (Addressed to thefinisher1)

          May 13, 2014 at 10:37 am |
        • thefinisher1

          Those Catholics and you atheists have a lot in common. You both suffer from a powerful delusion of someone "forcing" you to believe or "taking away your rights". Your rights still exist and you can certainly be an atheist, Catholic etc. So..you atheists like to throw stones for no reason. Grow up.

          May 13, 2014 at 10:48 am |
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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.