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All in the family? Not for atheists
Marrying an atheist can lead to family problems, a new survey says.
June 24th, 2014
08:03 AM ET

All in the family? Not for atheists

By Sara Grossman, CNN

(CNN) When Americans think of their future in-laws, they approve of nearly every type of person - except for atheists.

A recent survey conducted by the Pew Research Center aimed to examine political polarization. It asked Americans whether they would be disappointed if a close family member married someone of a different race, country, political party or someone who doesn't believe in God.

Less than 20% of Americans said they would be unhappy if a close family member married someone from the opposite political party and only 11% said they would be upset if that person was of a different race.

But 49% of Americans said they would be disappointed if their family member married an atheist, making nonbelievers by far the most stigmatized group in the survey.

Conservatives overwhelmingly held reservations about secular Americans, with 73% saying they would be less than thrilled if a family member tied the knot with a nonbeliever.

Somewhat surprisingly, liberals also said they were uncomfortable with such a union. Nearly a quarter of Americans who call themselves “consistently liberal” and 41% of “mostly liberal” respondents said they wouldn’t want an atheist to marry into their family.

The poll is the latest evidence of the hard road atheists travel in the United States.

According to separate studies, atheists are more likely to face job discrimination, political pushback and general distrust.

Atheists in the Bible Belt: A survival guide

Discrimination against atheists is “rampant,” said Dave Muscato, public relations director for American Atheists, an advocacy organization that fights for the separation of government and religion.

“There is a stigma against atheism because there is so much misinformation about atheists,” Muscato said in an e-mail. “Atheists don't hate your god, we aren't evil, and we're nor immoral; we are simply not convinced that your god exists.”

One of the most common stereotypes about atheists is they are angry white guys, said Phil Zuckerman, a professor of sociology at Pitzer College in California who has studied secularism.

The reasons for this animosity toward atheists are multifaceted, he said.

For one, religion has been a major part of American culture since the country was founded, and many Americans continue to associate nonreligiosity with immorality.

Further, thanks to practices such as the Pledge of Allegiance, many Americans associate God and religion with patriotic values and atheism with being un-American.

“There’s a stigma for being anti-black, there’s a stigma for being anti-Jewish, there’s a stigma for being anti-gay,” Zuckerman said. “There has never been a stigma for being anti-atheist.”

Behold, the six types of atheists

Zuckerman and Muscato said that atheists need to come out of the shadows to gain more mainstream acceptance.

“Pretty much everyone knows at least one person who's an atheist,” Muscato said. “They just may not know it, because the prejudice is so strong that atheists have reasons for not talking about their atheism.”

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Atheism • Discrimination • Prejudice

soundoff (945 Responses)
  1. lunchbreaker

    If you are worried that your relative is marrying an atheist, you should probably more worried that your relative is an atheist.

    June 24, 2014 at 1:51 pm |
  2. grumpy0ldman

    If my daughter wanted to marry one of the knuckle draggers that believe the world is 6,000 years old and the bible is the literal word of God, I would have a problem with it. Fortunately, most Christians I've met are smarter than that.

    June 24, 2014 at 1:34 pm |
  3. infonomics

    Even as an atheist I despise grandstanding atheist. Atheism is an intellectual consequence to pursuing the truth, it is not a trophy for display and aggrandizement.

    June 24, 2014 at 1:31 pm |
    • Lucifer's Evil Twin

      And yet you don't hesitate to grandstand your $5 word vocabulary... self-aggrandizing indeed

      June 24, 2014 at 1:36 pm |
      • bostontola

        And despise is a very strong emotion. I think this is black flag attack.

        June 24, 2014 at 1:46 pm |
        • Lucifer's Evil Twin

          I recognize that I can be a jerk (I'm not 'evil' for nothing) and I do apologize (occasionally) when I I think maybe I crossed a personal line of civility, but this guy just instantly rubbed me the wrong way.

          June 24, 2014 at 2:27 pm |
        • bostontola

          Sorry LET, I was referring to him. He said he despised certain atheists. That makes me think he may be a religious person disguised as an atheist.

          June 24, 2014 at 3:34 pm |
        • fintronics

          A poe for sure..

          June 24, 2014 at 3:57 pm |
        • nojinx

          Agreed. I also detect a Poe.

          June 24, 2014 at 4:53 pm |
      • infonomics

        Maybe aggrandizement is a $5 word to a $2 brain but not so to others.

        June 24, 2014 at 1:47 pm |
        • Lucifer's Evil Twin

          I bet you're a load of laughs at a party... you don't come off as pompous or arrogant at all... and that's me saying that, so you must REALLY be an ass.

          June 24, 2014 at 2:21 pm |
        • chazthephoenix

          LOL.. do they need us to "dumb it down" for them?

          "atheists bad, Christians GOOD..UG UG"

          June 24, 2014 at 3:26 pm |
    • tallulah131

      I was raised to be honest. I have no problem with people who understand that their (and all) religion is based on faith. Their faith is not my business until they make it so. But I will not stay silent when people present their personal beliefs as fact, without even the slightest trace of evidence. I will not stay silent when people present dishonest ideas and inventions as proof. I respect the truth far too much for that. If that is grandstanding, so be it.

      June 24, 2014 at 3:10 pm |
  4. colin31714

    So, science and religion can be friends according to the son-worshippers like Dalahast, hey? Hmmmmm, let's see.

    Science – Hello Religion, I'm science. I am about 3,000 years old.

    Religion – Hello Science, I am older than you. As far as we can tell, I go back about 40,000 years or more. There is even evidence that Neanderthals practiced me.

    Science – Really!! How do we know that, Religion?

    Religion – Because of you.

    Science – So, Religion, what do you do?

    Religion – Well, in the USA, I give comfort to not very smart people by letting them think that a being powerful enough to create the entire Universe and its billions of galaxies will cause them to live happily ever after in heaven after they die if they follow some rules laid down by ignorant farmers and herders in the Middle East 2,000 years ago.

    Science – You're kidding me. They buy that?

    Religion – You'd be surprised. Not only that, but in poorer, less educated parts of the World, I can actually convince people to hit themselves until they bleed, starve themselves, bob in front of a stone wall for hours on end, wade into filthy rivers and, in some cases, to kill other people or even themselves.

    Science – Oh my goodness, I'm not sure I want to be your friend. Do you do any good?

    Religion – I sell a lot of books. And what about you science, what do you do?

    Science – I relieve pain and cure disease. I also extend lives, allow travel, communication, and people to understand and control their environment. I allow humans to explore outer space, the bottom of the oceans and subatomic particles. In short, I have allowed humans to live longer, more informed lives, and with a degree of knowledge and comfort once never dreamed of.

    Religion – Wow, they buy that?

    Science – No, of course not. Unlike you, I have to deliver. I cannot claim something and avoid skepticism by alleging that it only happens after you die, or that my claim is "beyond understanding" or otherwise exempt from critical analysis or proof.

    Religion – That's gotta suck.

    Science – You get used to it. Anyway, I need a friend I can rely on. One of substance, not dreams. One of proof, not spoof and one of intellectual discipline, not flakey promises. I don't think we can be friends. Please go away.

    Religion – Now we both know that's not going to happen.

    June 24, 2014 at 1:29 pm |
    • Dalahäst

      Why are you using an allegory and literary technique to talk about science? Can't you just use science? You criticize religion for using allegories and literary techniques – and then you turn around and do the same thing?

      Science doesn't talk like that.

      Hey, how come you never address the logical fallacies and errors from your posts that I question you about?

      You just keep copying and pasting the same things.

      https://www.google.com/?gws_rd=ssl#filter=0&q=%22Science+%E2%80%93+Hello+Religion%2C+I%27m+science.+I+am+about+3%2C000+years+old.%22

      June 24, 2014 at 1:33 pm |
      • Alias

        The internet is proof that science works.
        Where is the proof of your god?

        June 24, 2014 at 1:45 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          Life is proof that God exists. The internet is proof that people created it. Science didn't create it.

          June 24, 2014 at 1:46 pm |
        • nojinx

          How is life proof of a god? and which one?

          June 24, 2014 at 1:50 pm |
        • Alias

          Life does not prove god, and even if you think so how does it prove which one?
          Nice twist of context to try to say science wasn't used to create the internet.

          Typical nonsense response.

          June 24, 2014 at 1:58 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          Life is just like the internet. It has a designer and a purpose.

          June 24, 2014 at 1:59 pm |
        • nojinx

          What proof do you have of that?

          June 24, 2014 at 2:01 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          Jesus Christ.

          June 24, 2014 at 2:05 pm |
        • nojinx

          Thank you. It is exchanges like these that help others see the problems of theistic beliefs.

          June 24, 2014 at 2:13 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          As if atheistic beliefs were free of problems?

          June 24, 2014 at 2:14 pm |
        • nojinx

          Yes, as there are no such thing as atheistic beliefs. Atheism is only a lack of belief.

          June 24, 2014 at 2:16 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          It is only a lack of belief.

          But some people turn it into something more. You know, they kind that talk about atheism all the time.

          June 24, 2014 at 2:17 pm |
        • nojinx

          Of course. Some people can't utter a sentence without thanking Jesus.

          Maybe I'm stating the obvious, but I think we recognize that comment posters, even a large group, cannot be held as an example of any group they may claim to represent. Also, I think all groups have large numbers who would like to see well-being spread among all regardless of ideology.

          Except those %#*@! Bronies.

          June 24, 2014 at 2:28 pm |
        • In Santa We Trust

          dala
          "Life is proof that God exists. The internet is proof that people created it. Science didn't create it."

          The internet is built using technology developed from scientific discovery and engineering harnessing those discoveries – such as electricity. We can trace the causality back.
          Life is only proof of life – there is no evidence that a god was involved.

          June 24, 2014 at 2:04 pm |
        • fintronics

          @noj... "How is life proof of a god? and which one?"

          dalah will now deflect, spin and intentionally avoid the important question.

          June 24, 2014 at 4:24 pm |
        • nojinx

          However he chooses to respond (or choose not to), the importance is the exchange is here for others to read and consider.

          June 24, 2014 at 5:52 pm |
      • colin31714

        I continue posting them because they continue to be relevant. Your same tired cr.ap about science somehow validating religion because some scientists are religious is easily dismissed. You, apparently accept the Judeo-Christian god based on nothing more than the voices in your head.

        June 24, 2014 at 1:46 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          colin31714: Hey Science!

          science: It is just science. Lower case.

          colin31714: Oh....

          science: Why are you smiling like that?

          colin31714: I like you.

          science: Great! But why don't you study me? Why just philosophize about me?

          colin31714: I like science. It proves that I'm right.

          science: I never knew you. Away from me, you non-scientist.

          colin31714: I don't believe in sky fairies, thus I am a scientist. It is logic. Where are you going?

          June 24, 2014 at 1:50 pm |
        • colin31714

          Dalahast, you said, "science: It is just science. Lower case."

          Um, not when it's used as a a person's name. One gives to charity but speaks to their friend, Charity. 3rd grade stuff.

          June 24, 2014 at 2:55 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          That's the joke. You treat science like a god.

          June 24, 2014 at 5:40 pm |
        • colin31714

          "You treat science like a god." Science is but one application of reason and logic. The same reason and logic that enables a person to dismiss gods like Allah, Shiva and God as figments of human imagination.

          June 24, 2014 at 8:57 pm |
      • bostontola

        Dalahast,
        Actually, representing science with one voice is not far off. The fallacy of the post is that religion can't be represented by one voice. It's just a humorous point anyway.

        June 24, 2014 at 1:53 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          I didn't know science could talk.

          It doesn't dodge questions like Colin, though?

          June 24, 2014 at 1:55 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          Wait! Are you making a crack that in the fields of science women and minorities still grossly under-represented? And that one voice belongs to privileged, white male atheists like Colin?

          June 24, 2014 at 1:58 pm |
        • Alias

          A christian complaining about women not being treated equally ...
          HAHAHHAHAHAHAA!!!!!

          June 24, 2014 at 2:10 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          I guess Colin is a bad example, since he isn't a scientist.

          Why are most scientists ok with religion? Why is it usually the rare vocal atheist non-scientist generalizing and demonizing belief in God?

          June 24, 2014 at 2:11 pm |
        • nojinx

          It varies. People (scientist or otherwise) believe often out of desire. They want the paradigm to be true, so they rationalize or avoid conflict that would bring it into question. Also, for many the beliefs change into more abstract ideas of what a god is, allowing for easier rationalization.
          Indoctrination is another reason, and often more difficult to escape and more damaging.

          June 24, 2014 at 2:20 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          Exactly. I think that is what Colin and other self-professed "logical" people become a victim of. They want the paradigm to be true, so they rationalize or avoid conflict that would bring it into question.

          June 24, 2014 at 2:22 pm |
        • nojinx

          True. Just because someone does not hold a belief in gods does not mean they cannot hold other unreasonable beliefs. Many who misunderstand science can put unreasonable faith in a discovery, a position paper or even the scientific notion of theory in general.

          The key, for me, is universal skepticism. Truth has to be tested to be tempered.

          June 24, 2014 at 2:37 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          Yep. I'm very skeptical by nature. I just don't accept things by blind faith.

          June 24, 2014 at 2:43 pm |
        • nojinx

          I can't speak for Colin or others, of course.

          June 24, 2014 at 2:48 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          Alias

          What have I done to harm a woman?

          June 24, 2014 at 2:12 pm |
        • Alias

          Dalahast
          Where did I say anything about harming a woman?
          What are you reading???

          I'm just pointing out that women have a subordinate role in your bible too.
          Hypocrisy = funny.

          June 24, 2014 at 2:53 pm |
        • fintronics

          @dalah... "It doesn't dodge questions like Colin, though?"

          Dalah is such a hypocrite.......... like above where he dodged the question... "how is life proof of god"?

          June 24, 2014 at 4:27 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          Women do not have a subordinate role in my religion.

          Communities based on atheism has a bad reputation for misogyny, so I wouldn't throw stones.

          June 24, 2014 at 5:38 pm |
      • chazthephoenix

        science has a nerdy voice too. That was not made clear

        June 24, 2014 at 3:27 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          And it eventually goes completely mad.

          June 24, 2014 at 3:29 pm |
    • Dalahäst

      American Humanist Association: Hello.

      Religion: Welcome!

      American Humanist Association: Thanks. We are one of you.

      June 24, 2014 at 2:13 pm |
      • tallulah131

        Time and time again, Dala proves he/she just doesn't get it. It must be difficult to go through life with such an obtuse brain.

        June 24, 2014 at 3:16 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          American Humanist Association is like a religion. They publicly declare they are faith based.

          Why do you always resort to name calling and insults?

          June 24, 2014 at 3:21 pm |
        • tallulah131

          "like" and "are" do not have the same definition. Again, you are too obtuse to understand.

          June 24, 2014 at 3:33 pm |
        • tallulah131

          And please cite your reference where the American Humanist Association claimed to be "faith-based". I did a search and I can't find a single reference. Hers is a link to what the AHA says about itself:

          http://americanhumanist.org/AHA

          June 24, 2014 at 3:40 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          "These affirmations are not a final credo or dogma but an expression of a living and growing faith."

          http://americanhumanist.org/Humanism/Humanist_Manifesto_II

          June 24, 2014 at 11:21 pm |
        • tallulah131

          Huh. I guess they do call themselves a faith. Of course, that faith is in humanity and not in some unprovable god, but they do actually use the word faith. You got me there.

          June 24, 2014 at 11:31 pm |
  5. Reality

    What all Christian relatives should be shown:

    The Apostles' Creed, 2014 (updated by yours truly based on the studies of NT historians and theologians of the past 200 years)

    Should I believe in a god whose existence cannot be proven
    and said god if he/she/it exists resides in an unproven,
    human-created, spirit state of bliss called heaven?????

    I believe there was a 1st century CE, Jewish, simple,
    preacher-man who was conceived by a Jewish carpenter
    named Joseph living in Nazareth and born of a young Jewish
    girl named Mary. (Some say he was a mamzer.)

    Jesus was summarily crucified for being a temple rabble-rouser by
    the Roman troops in Jerusalem serving under Pontius Pilate,

    He was buried in an unmarked grave and still lies
    a-mouldering in the ground somewhere outside of
    Jerusalem.

    Said Jesus' story was embellished and "mythicized" by
    many semi-fiction writers. A bodily resurrection and
    ascension stories were promulgated to compete with the
    Caesar myths. Said stories were so popular that they
    grew into a religion known today as Catholicism/Christianity
    and featuring dark-age, daily wine to blood and bread to body rituals
    called the eucharistic sacrifice of the non-atoning Jesus.

    Amen
    (References used are available upon request.)

    June 24, 2014 at 1:28 pm |
  6. mountainliv

    At least the article in even discussing the issue is a positive step. I merely scanned a few of the comments such as "they are unpleasant to be around." Fortunately bigotry is waning. However, as a 60ish lifelong atheist: one who gives time and money to charity, abhors lying cheating stealing, etc., raised my children to be logical, fair minded, work hard, support themselves, be kind to others, owned several businesses during my life, all of which had some charitable activities benefitting local community programs, (non-religious), and having been widowed by my beloved atheist husband who came from a Catholic family and the fallout from that, I have found that the "religious" are quite bigoted and abuse their own precepts of kindness and acceptance. The pressures abound- bow heads, pray, and it really is not fair to others who do not believe the same thing.

    June 24, 2014 at 1:27 pm |
  7. jonathanlk

    I am an Atheist and it took a couple years for my religios Evangalist in laws to accept that I wasn't going to come back into the sheepfold. We get along great. I love my in laws and they love me! I treat their daughter well (we love each other too), work hard, make money, no bad habits, two kids, etc.. they actually have warmed up to me quite a bit. They have come to accept that I have my own philosophy and it doesn't hurt anyone. People are just afraid of what they don't understand. Once they get used to it, the fears melt away. It depends on the individual of course. There are a few rotten apples in every barrel (deist or non-deist) but most people are pretty decent no matter what their beliefs or lack of beliefs.

    June 24, 2014 at 1:25 pm |
  8. pilot2011

    I feel sorry for atheists. They want to believe in a higher power but their eyes don't see and their ears don't hear. It really is a sad state to be in.

    "Draw near to God and He will draw near to you."

    June 24, 2014 at 1:23 pm |
    • bostontola

      So why would God punish a person blind and deaf to him, we were created that way.

      June 24, 2014 at 1:24 pm |
    • jonathanlk

      Did you mean Deists?

      June 24, 2014 at 1:26 pm |
    • Lucifer's Evil Twin

      "Draw near to God and He will draw near to you." That's what the priests said to the altar boys and looked what happened to them.

      June 24, 2014 at 1:26 pm |
    • neverbeenhappieratheist

      I feel sorry for people who see and hear things that are not there... they usually end up in some sort of facility for the mentally unstable.

      June 24, 2014 at 1:30 pm |
      • Alias

        Or in a church where they support each other's disorder.

        June 24, 2014 at 1:43 pm |
    • sensibleirrationality

      Pilot, Please do not feel sorry for us. The reason most of us are non-theists, atheists or non-believers is because our eyes do see and our ears do hear. We see and hear how hateful and bigoted and deceitful most christians are and we decide to be something better. Being an atheist doesn't mean you are some "devil" worshiping blood drinker. We simple use critical thinking and logic and rational thought to realize that christianity is a farce.. at least in the state it is in now. I have no problem with you being a christian. More power to you. Unlike you, I don't assume you are wrong or damned because you don't believe what I believe (or don't believe). I can tell you this.... If I had the power to stop a child rapist from raping a child, I would. I wouldn't let the rapist do it then say "wow that was bad. when you die, you're gonna be in trouble, unless you say you're sorry then it's ok." that's the difference between you and I.

      June 24, 2014 at 1:44 pm |
    • primewonk

      The majority of non-theists are former theists. And although I haven't seen any studies on it, I'd say that many of us were fairly fundy in our beliefs.

      I grew up LCMS – doesn't get any more right-wing than that. I could toss down bible verses with the best of them. And it was reading cr.ap in the bible that showed me what a house of cards your religion is. Pull one card out and it all collapses.

      June 24, 2014 at 3:27 pm |
    • chazthephoenix

      i said somewhat the same thing. Hello, Fellow member of the body of Christ!"

      June 24, 2014 at 3:28 pm |
  9. pilot2011

    How about they are just unpleasant to be around?

    June 24, 2014 at 1:17 pm |
    • bostontola

      At least you don't make gross generalizations.

      June 24, 2014 at 1:25 pm |
      • jonathanlk

        There is more spirituality in an open minded atheist than will ever be seen or heard by a spiritually unenlightened ignoramous who disguiseth himself in a sheepskin. His bark and drooling fangs give him away. Maybe he just needs to hide in taller grass.

        June 24, 2014 at 1:33 pm |
  10. neverbeenhappieratheist

    I think this is the more telling statistic:

    "Conservatives overwhelmingly held reservations about secular Americans, with 73% saying they would be less than thrilled if a family member tied the knot with a nonbeliever. Somewhat surprisingly, liberals also said they were uncomfortable with such a union. Nearly a quarter of Americans who call themselves “consistently liberal” and 41% of “mostly liberal” respondents said they wouldn’t want an atheist to marry into their family."

    So 25% of liberals and 73% of conservatives would be uncomfortable with an atheist in the family. That means there are 27% of conservatives who are pretty progressive about it.

    June 24, 2014 at 1:05 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      The 73% is the most telling statistic. It really jumps out. It is more than twice as large as any other "unhappy" response. It is the only majority "unhappy" response to the eight questions in that section of the survey on marriage 'outside the party'.

      The responses to the atheist question were really very dramatic.

      June 24, 2014 at 1:20 pm |
    • drowlord

      Strikes me as somewhat hard to believe. I've been an atheist in Oklahoma and Texas, and frankly the whole atheist issue has never been a problem for me. Never a problem at work, never been a problem personally, never been a problem at school. I don't perceive any discrimination.

      June 24, 2014 at 1:31 pm |
      • jonathanlk

        I would rather be the Atheist that I am than one of the anti-Atheist religionists. That is a form of bias and it creeps subtly into many arenas. It is another Xenophobic form of fear mongering. Being an Atheist is still much better than being a religionist.

        June 24, 2014 at 1:40 pm |
  11. bostontola

    I am married to a liberal Christian, I've happily dated a born again Christian. Not one of my past girlfriends was atheist. Many of their families were very uncomfortable with me being atheist, but none of my girlfriends shared that discomfort. I didn't care what any of them believed, to me that was a personal part that I was happy with.

    None of them were dogmatic however. They all thought traditions and rituals were fun but not the main part of their belief. All believe that evolution is real, some believe God tinkers, but none denied actual science.

    I think I might have a problem marrying a person that was totally dogmatic and denied solid science. So I guess I can't throw stones.

    June 24, 2014 at 1:03 pm |
  12. neverbeenhappieratheist

    Why isn't this headline "11% of Americans are still outrageous Racists!"

    "only 11% said they would be upset if that person was of a different race."

    Only? That represents more than 30 million Americans... and Fox wants you to believe racism is over.

    They should have also asked of those 11% "Are you Fox News Viewers?" to which we would likely have seen a 100% of them replying "Gosh darn tootin I am!"

    June 24, 2014 at 12:56 pm |
    • infonomics

      You write "outrageous racists". You are suggesting degrees of racism. I thought racism was dichotomous. More to the point though, do you really think that people will confess to racism upon questioning/polling?

      June 24, 2014 at 1:24 pm |
    • pilot2011

      I love how liberals love hating on Fox News... news flash people, CNN reports lefty news; Fox reports righty news. An intelligent person would watch/read both and form their own opinion instead of selfishly proclaiming one over the other. They are both too far each direction.

      June 24, 2014 at 1:26 pm |
      • G to the T

        CNN doesn't have "fair and balanced" as its tagline...

        June 24, 2014 at 1:57 pm |
      • neverbeenhappieratheist

        I do watch both which is why I can say that what Fox puts out every day is not news, its pure republican rhetoric that has been pre-approved by Rupert Murdoch. The talking heads like Bret Baier and Shep Smith read from their teleprompters but don't have a clue whats going on. Not that CNN is any better, those guys are just inept. Their desire to fill air with something that will keep peoples attention has led to the studio monitor wall of video touch screen bonanza that Wolf just can't keep his hands off. People with more than half a brain can watch both and read between the lines to get their news. We also read several papers and regular AP press releases instead of getting the already-been-chewed regurgitated Fox patè that so many conservative morons are addicted to.

        June 24, 2014 at 3:02 pm |
      • In Santa We Trust

        MSNBC is the left-leaning; CNN is nominally MOR although it can barely be called a news organization these days – did MH370 go into a black hole? and why not use a psychic to locate it?

        June 24, 2014 at 8:57 pm |
  13. Blessed are the Cheesemakers

    Thank You Akira....It's a keeper!

    June 24, 2014 at 12:47 pm |
  14. pauleky

    So? Close to the same amount don't believe evolution is real, don't believe in climate change, etc., etc. The real news is 50% wouldn't mind or would tolerate it. In a country that seems to value education less and less, at least that's good news.

    June 24, 2014 at 12:41 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      47% says it doesn't matter if an immediate family member married an atheist. Only 4% would actually be "happy".

      But your point is valid. It is very much in line with what Pew has found in this polarization survey.

      June 24, 2014 at 12:48 pm |
      • chazthephoenix

        4 out of 5 people agree that the other 20% is wrong.

        June 24, 2014 at 3:29 pm |
  15. toydrum

    In my immediate and extended family, we have members of many different beliefs and we all are able to get along with no problems because at the core, we all respect one another and can have intelligent discussions without acrimony or attempting to force our views on the others.

    I wonder how many of that 50% are of the "fearing" type of believer that insists everyone else agrees lockstep not just with their overall religion, but with their specific denomination and sub belief within their denomination. If you truly have faith in your own beliefs - whether they be religious, humanist, science without a God figure or whatever - you should be able to be comfortable in your own thoughts without forcing them on others or condemning others for having different views. If you can't accept that others don't have the same thoughts or views as yourself, your own belief system is pretty shaky because at the core of both religious and non-religious belief is the knowledge that, while we all share some things in common as humans, we are all different in other ways.

    June 24, 2014 at 12:40 pm |
    • Alias

      It is always a bad analyis technique to start with yourself.
      Do you really think your family is the 'normal' that you imply by using them as a standard?

      June 24, 2014 at 1:14 pm |
  16. mjplatt2014

    Probably at least half of that fifty percent does not really know what atheism is.

    June 24, 2014 at 12:38 pm |
    • sondrabrooks

      Or that most atheists know the bible better than those who call themselves Christian.

      June 24, 2014 at 12:46 pm |
    • dpeters11

      How many would object if the find out that their daughter decides to become a Thespian?

      June 24, 2014 at 1:14 pm |
  17. skycyclepilot

    I'm an agnostic, and would rather have an atheist in my family than a f'ing Republican.

    June 24, 2014 at 12:35 pm |
    • Dalahäst

      Uh, there are a lot of atheist Republicans.

      June 24, 2014 at 12:45 pm |
      • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

        On the question: "I never doubted the existence of God" (% agree, from 2012)

        Conservative Republicans ..... 95%
        Mod/Lib Republicans ............... 84%
        Independent .............................. 76%
        Conserv/Mod Dem ................... 86%
        Liberal Democrat ..................... 60%

        The Liberal Democrat answer here has declined by 24 points since 1987.

        The data here is abundantly clear.

        http://www.people-press.org/files/legacy-pdf/06-04-12%20Values%20Release.pdf

        June 24, 2014 at 1:09 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          What?

          Never doubting the existence of God doesn't make one an atheist.

          That is actually how I became a Christian.

          June 24, 2014 at 1:15 pm |
        • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

          Of course not, though it's fair to say that there is correlation.

          It is a measure of dogmatism and Republicans are more dogmatic.

          It is also likely a question that is not answered with full honesty. PRRI did a survey on church attendance where the attendance reported in an online survey was much lower than reported in telephone surveys like Pew conducts.

          June 24, 2014 at 1:26 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      "Uh, there are a lot of atheist Republicans."
      -------------------–
      Of course there are some. I would contest "a lot".

      The "other" version of this Pew survey on polarization looked at religiosity.

      Of white, non-Hispanic voters, those who 'agreed' on three Religious values questions were:

      Republican .......... 83%
      Independents ...... 60%
      Democrats ........... 50%

      There is no question that religiosity is much stronger with Republican voters.

      June 24, 2014 at 1:05 pm |
      • Dalahäst

        "I would rather have an atheist in my family than a f'ing Republican."

        There are enough atheists that are Republicans to make that statement crazy. Just apply some logic to it: Atheism just means you don't believe in God. But skip over that and tell me I'm wrong. OK.

        June 24, 2014 at 1:23 pm |
      • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

        It's an opinion from someone who is clearly a Democrat. Why is it crazy? S/he dislikes Republicans more than atheists.

        The actual survey answers show that of the consistently liberal the numbers unhappy about an immediate family member marrying are:
        A Republican ..... 23%
        An Atheist ........... 24%

        By the data for the consistently liberals, Republicans and atheists are considered equally unsuitable partners.

        June 24, 2014 at 1:31 pm |
    • mountainliv

      Some of us Fing Republicans are atheists.

      June 24, 2014 at 1:33 pm |
    • Alias

      You really need to be more obvious with your humor here.

      June 24, 2014 at 1:53 pm |
  18. maugluek

    Half of America doesn't want an athiest in-law because most I have met or read their comments are aloof @ssholes.

    June 24, 2014 at 12:31 pm |
    • velesot365

      You sound like a pretty big $sshole yourself.

      June 24, 2014 at 12:36 pm |
    • Lucifer's Evil Twin

      Which proves George Carlin correct: "Think of how stupid the average person is, and realize half of them are stupider than that."

      June 24, 2014 at 12:38 pm |
      • G to the T

        "And if you look around and don't see any stupid people..."

        June 24, 2014 at 12:45 pm |
        • Lucifer's Evil Twin

          "God must love stupid people; He made so many."

          June 24, 2014 at 12:56 pm |
    • mjplatt2014

      I doubt that you have spoken to that fifty percent so it is unlikely they are aware of your opinion of the few you have met. Also, you have met far more atheists than you realize unless you are in the habit of asking everybody you meet if they are an atheist.

      June 24, 2014 at 12:44 pm |
    • Dalahäst

      I'm sure we've all met atheist internet trolls who are ignorant of science and logic while claiming strong adherence to them. But that doesn't mean they all do that. They are a very vocal minority.

      June 24, 2014 at 1:07 pm |
    • grumpy0ldman

      It only looks that way to you because we are smarter than you are and don't need an imaginary friend for moral support.

      June 24, 2014 at 1:21 pm |
    • tallulah131

      I suppose that the obvious response would be that I wouldn't want a christian in-law because of the childish comment made by maugluek, but I'm not foolish enough to paint with such a broad, inaccurate brush.

      I have a christian in-law. I have a jewish in-law. I love both of them and they love me because we are family, and to us that's a lot more important than religion.

      June 24, 2014 at 2:59 pm |
    • tallulah131

      Apparently my comment is awaiting moderation (which will never come). So pardon me if this is a double post.

      I suppose that the obvious response would be that I wouldn't want a christian in-law because of the comment made by maugluek, but I would not paint with such a broad, inaccurate brush.

      I have a christian in-law. I have a jewish in-law. I love both of them and they love me because we are family, and to us that's a lot more important than religion.

      June 24, 2014 at 3:01 pm |
  19. bostontola

    Oh come on, the glass is half full. Think of what these numbers were in 1965.

    June 24, 2014 at 12:19 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      That's an interesting question. Of course we don't know the answer.

      During the red scare and McCarthyism the Godless Commies were the issue, but I'm not sure that the free thinker / agnostic spectrum was much of an issue. In 1965 the divide was generational and the 'generation gap' was the polarizing feature of the day and civil rights, Vietnam and feminism and proto-gay rights were the issues.

      The Pew Survey at a holistic level looks at political polarization longitudinally since the 1990s. It is getting worse. What Pew saw is that the polarization in politics is spilling over into everyday life.

      June 24, 2014 at 12:29 pm |
      • Lucifer's Evil Twin

        "Some people see the glass half full. Others see it half empty. I see a glass that's twice as big as it needs to be."
        — George Carlin

        June 24, 2014 at 12:39 pm |
        • bostontola

          You need room for upside opportunity.

          June 24, 2014 at 12:42 pm |
  20. Lucifer's Evil Twin

    Your father is a smart man.

    "Men never do evil so completely and cheerfully as when they do it from religious conviction." – Blaise Pascal

    June 24, 2014 at 12:13 pm |
    • Dalahäst

      Modern atheists with sweeping powers commit atrocities just like the other people before them. Some internet atheists are generally just as dogmatic as the religious.

      June 24, 2014 at 12:43 pm |
      • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

        I think you missed the point.

        June 24, 2014 at 12:59 pm |
      • Dalahäst

        Men without religious conviction actually do evil so completely and cheerfully as the religious do.

        June 24, 2014 at 1:03 pm |
      • fintronics

        generalization = tool of the ignorant

        June 24, 2014 at 1:21 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          Hey, a majority of atheists on this blog generalize about Christians and religious people to me.

          Are you calling those atheists ignorant?

          June 24, 2014 at 1:25 pm |
      • fintronics

        ..."Hey, a majority of atheists on this blog ...."

        a majority? ... there you go again....

        June 24, 2014 at 1:59 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          A majority of the atheists on this blog that interact with me. Yes!

          A majority of the atheists in real life don't act like them. Thank evolution!

          June 24, 2014 at 2:00 pm |
      • fintronics

        "A majority of the atheists in real life don't act like them."

        You performed a survey? how nice for you.

        June 24, 2014 at 2:02 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          No. It is just an observation.

          June 24, 2014 at 2:05 pm |
      • tallulah131

        Amazingly enough, when people have absolute authority they tend to abuse it, whether they are religious or not.

        June 24, 2014 at 2:32 pm |
      • kudlak

        Dalahäst
        I don't see too many atheists here inclined to state what they believe as incontrovertibly true, however. How many have told you that their minds would change if given the proof? Many Christians, however, flatly state that they know that God is real, and no argument would ever change their minds about it. You know a few of those, don't you?

        June 24, 2014 at 4:47 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          I know God is real.

          If you give me evidence that God is not real, I will know that God is not real. Nobody has given me that. All they give me is theories and ideas.

          The proof they ask for: it shows they don't want God. They want an idol or a magic genie.

          June 24, 2014 at 4:52 pm |
        • nojinx

          Did you come to know god is real because someone gave you evidence that god is real?

          If so, what was that evidence?

          If not, why the double standard?

          June 24, 2014 at 6:10 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          + Did you come to know god is real because someone gave you evidence that god is real?

          I have received a lot of testimony that matches my experience. And these testimonies come from reliable sources.

          + If not, why the double standard?

          I have also received evidence in my life that is spiritual in nature, that didn't come from people.

          June 24, 2014 at 6:14 pm |
        • nojinx

          Can you share?

          June 24, 2014 at 7:24 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          Sure. What do you want to know?
          (I'm trying to keep track of 8 conversations at once – I can't remember what I said to you).

          June 24, 2014 at 7:33 pm |
        • nojinx

          How you know god is real, or why you believe that, as you prefer.

          June 24, 2014 at 7:46 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          What God has done for me in my life surpasses my understanding. I've met other people that have similar testimonies. I can test this knowledge with other people. And in every area of my life. I guess the peace that surpasses all understanding is the evidence that God is real. It is something I pray you can experience some day.

          June 24, 2014 at 7:53 pm |
        • nojinx

          How can you know to to be true if you do not understand it?

          June 24, 2014 at 8:14 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          I experience it. I can't understand it and describe it like I do other experiences. I try to. Some people insult me and call me names when I try to. But I don't stop trying to tell others about it.

          Other people do and have experienced it, too. And many of them are logical, reasonable and rational people. It turned a skeptical atheist like me into a believer in a loving God.

          June 24, 2014 at 8:19 pm |
        • nojinx

          Allow me to ask in a different way:

          If you don't understand it, how can you claim to know or believe anything resulting from the thing you do not understand? Would not logically be left solely with the experience and questions?

          June 24, 2014 at 8:32 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          That is the mystery of faith. And that is why I'm constantly testing and questioning things. I accept there are some things I may not understand and that is ok. Doubt plays a large role in building faith. Sharing with others what I believe is helpful. I bounce ideas off people all the time.

          June 24, 2014 at 8:46 pm |
        • nojinx

          I didn't fully understand that. Are you agreeing you can't make any claims from your experience?

          June 24, 2014 at 8:54 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          No. I can. Can't you?

          June 24, 2014 at 8:59 pm |
        • nojinx

          Okay. Can you use these claims to prove to yourself that god is real? If so, what are those claims and how did you come to realize them from your experience?

          Obviously I cannot make claims regarding your experience as all I know of it is what you present here and I only know that you present it.

          June 24, 2014 at 9:05 pm |
      • kudlak

        Dalahäst
        Who can prove a negative? There is no amount of evidence that could ever prove that any of the gods are not actually real, correct? Have you looked everywhere for Thor?

        The proof you provide works just as easily for an imagined God as for a real one. You have yet to provide a single "proof" that couldn't be just part of a delusion.

        June 24, 2014 at 5:04 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          kudlak

          How do you know you are not delusional?

          I have taken steps and have assurance from the medical field that belief in God is healthy and not delusional.

          Have you had a mental evaluation lately? You can't declare yourself delusion free – it takes another person to do that.

          The fact that only atheists online, who profess to be logical and reasonable – but fail to demonstrate they are logical and reasonable – are the ones declaring I'm delusional is evidence that I can't deny. You know what that proves to me?

          June 24, 2014 at 5:09 pm |
      • hawaiiguest

        Ah the age old "prove i'm wrong or i'm right". It's amazing how ridiculous that argument is and they never see the problem with it.

        June 24, 2014 at 5:11 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          I just come to share my knowledge of God. Apparently there are some people who imagine you have to prove something to to them or it is insane to talk about it on... even on a religion message board.

          June 24, 2014 at 5:15 pm |
      • hawaiiguest

        Dala are you just going through a list of stupid presuppositional apologetics arguments now?

        June 24, 2014 at 5:16 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          No. Are you going to start parroting "The God Delusion" now?

          June 24, 2014 at 5:17 pm |
      • hawaiiguest

        No Dala what is insane is that we, as people in general, require evidence and experimentation and independent verification for almost everything in life. Whether a vaccine should be made available, whether a specific food is safe to consume. Yet when it comes to religion and belief in a god, people will come up with any excuse that they don't need to provide anything to back it up.

        June 24, 2014 at 5:18 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          I have proof to back up my belief in God.

          That is why people who believe in God actually do support and embrace evidence and experimentation and independent verification for almost everything in life.

          June 24, 2014 at 5:21 pm |
        • nojinx

          "I have proof to back up my belief in God."

          Is it something you can share?

          "That is why people who believe in God actually do support and embrace evidence and experimentation and independent verification for almost everything in life."

          Can you support that claim?

          June 24, 2014 at 6:20 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          – Is it something you can share?

          Sure.

          – Can you support that claim?

          Yea. I've witnessed it. It is a myth that believers in God are delusional or just accept everything on blind faith. And atheists don't all support and embrace evidence and experimentation and independent verification in their lives.

          June 24, 2014 at 6:23 pm |
        • nojinx

          Great. Please share and provide the support.

          June 24, 2014 at 7:30 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          If you humbly seek God, He will respond. The evidence He gives is not like the human evidence we give each other. It is better than that. You can ask God right now to reveal Himself to you in a way that you can understand. Trust that God will answer in His way, not our ways.

          June 24, 2014 at 7:36 pm |
        • nojinx

          I think you meant to use this reply elsewhere. If not, I was not asking for guidance in knowing god myself. I was asking for the proof of god you said you had and would share.

          June 24, 2014 at 7:44 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          You need to seek God for yourself. I can't prove God for you. Nor can I do the work. For me, I had to seek humility.

          The greatest evidence of God is the change that has happened within and around me. I have peace, even in turmoil. I didn't have that before.

          June 24, 2014 at 7:48 pm |
        • nojinx

          What does it mean that I have peace without gods? Should I consider that evidence of something?

          June 24, 2014 at 8:09 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          – What does it mean that I have peace without gods?

          I don't know. I didn't have that. You tell me.

          – Should I consider that evidence of something?

          Yes. In my experience that is something difficult to find in this world. I've faced a lot of turmoil, pain, injustice and hurt. I had trouble dealing with it in a healthy way, but after knowing God I have found strength to persevere. I'm more helpful to others, at least that is the evidence people give to me in the form of testimony.

          June 24, 2014 at 8:14 pm |
        • nojinx

          What should I consider it evidence of, given I do not believe in any gods?

          June 24, 2014 at 8:20 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          I don't know.

          June 24, 2014 at 8:26 pm |
        • nojinx

          I don't understand what you mean by "seek God."

          June 24, 2014 at 8:11 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          Look for God. He is hidden. For me arrogance and pride stood in my way of seeing Him.

          June 24, 2014 at 8:20 pm |
      • hawaiiguest

        Actually Dala, i've never read the god delusion, so i couldn't quote it even if i wanted to.

        June 24, 2014 at 5:19 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          I don't have a list presuppositional apologetics arguments, either. I couldn't quote them even if I wanted to.

          June 24, 2014 at 5:23 pm |
      • hawaiiguest

        Really Dala, you have proof. And what would that be? The bible? Anecdotal evidence? Please follow 1 Peter 3:15 and give the reason for the hope that you have.

        June 24, 2014 at 5:23 pm |
      • Dalahäst

        "1 Peter 3:15

        15 But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect,"

        I have trust and confidence in Jesus Christ.

        What proof do you have to offer that I should deny God and trust you? Why can't you share what you believe without preaching at me?

        June 24, 2014 at 5:28 pm |
      • hawaiiguest

        LOL So you won't follow your own bible. You say you have proof, and instead of giving it you ask me to prove a negative. Prove to me you're not a brain in a vat. Prove to me that reality isn't fake. Do you see how absolutely stupid it is to ask someone to prove the negative?
        If you don't have prove and work of faith alone, then at least be honest and say so, don't try to take an intellectual high ground when you have none.

        June 24, 2014 at 5:31 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          I'm sorry I don't follow YOUR way of the Bible.

          If I didn't have proof of God I would be an atheist. I'm not a delusional or brainwashed idiot. I don't just believe things based on blind faith.

          The answer to that Bible verse is: Jesus Christ.

          June 24, 2014 at 5:35 pm |
        • nojinx

          Technically not having proof of gods does not force someone to not have beliefs in gods.
          Such a person could maintain their belief without it.

          In fact, most believers in gods start out without any evidence, typically in childhood.

          June 24, 2014 at 6:34 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          I teach children about God. They have evidence to believe. We encourage them to consider other ideas and beliefs and make that decision for themselves.

          June 24, 2014 at 6:38 pm |
        • nojinx

          That is great. Encouraging kids to learn of other religions will help them when they are actually old enough to make such decisions (as with voting, marriage, alcohol, driving, etc.).

          What evidence do you offer them?

          June 24, 2014 at 7:34 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          Part of my work involves education. Both at the secular and religious levels.

          I share my experience. I ask them questions. And listen to theirs. We talk about what God desires for us: to love others, to offer help to even those that harm us, to give. Probably the greatest evidence we give them is to experience the truth about love: it is a gift that you receive by giving it away. The more love you give away, the more you will have.

          June 24, 2014 at 7:40 pm |
        • nojinx

          Do you talk about the requirements, etc. of the gods of other believers? Do you think that is important (a comparison and contrast) for their development?

          June 24, 2014 at 8:04 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          + Do you talk about the requirements, etc. of the gods of other believers?

          Yes.

          + Do you think that is important (a comparison and contrast) for their development?

          Yes. People shouldn't be forced or coerced into following God. That is not God's will.

          June 24, 2014 at 8:07 pm |
      • hawaiiguest

        So your "proof" of your god is a person who may not have even existed. Whose only record of life and deeds is in your bible. And you don't call that blind faith? You don't believe in your god, you believe in translations upon translations of copies written over 2000 years ago.

        June 24, 2014 at 5:37 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          Quit jumping to conclusions.

          That is not my only "proof".

          I do believe in God. I follow God. Not the Bible. The Bible points to God. As do other things, like science.

          June 24, 2014 at 5:39 pm |
      • hawaiiguest

        I am definitely saving this part of the conversation, it is absolutely rich.

        June 24, 2014 at 5:38 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          Save this:

          Why is it that only atheists online, who profess to be logical and reasonable – but fail to demonstrate they are logical and reasonable – are the ones declaring I'm delusional?

          Like, experts from the medical community have told me belief in God is healthy and normal. Yet a few guys who frequent religion blogs tell me they know better?

          And basically I question and test these guys, and they quickly resort to calling me names and insisting I'm brainwashed/mentally retarded/idiotic? And they constantly demand I prove my knowledge to them. At the same time they skip over nonsense like people saying that science proves there is no god? Or that only 2% of elite scientists believe in God?

          June 24, 2014 at 5:48 pm |
      • hawaiiguest

        "science" points to god. What a wonderfully vague and useless statement that you probably won't back up. Not to mention of course your bible is going to point to your god, what kind of moronic reason is that for why your god is real? "Der the book i believe points to the god i believe in, therefore that is part of my "proofs" for my god."
        Are you serious with this crap Dala?

        June 24, 2014 at 5:45 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          Are you serious with this crap Dala?

          No. That is not what I said. That is what you say.

          June 24, 2014 at 5:50 pm |
      • hawaiiguest

        So now you didn't say what you said and will still avoid actually giving your supposed "proofs" of your god. This is truly sad Dala. Not to mention i didn't say anything about your mental health, so bringing up that is just a red herring, and will not work.
        Present your "proofs" Dala. You said you have it, and have still not given anything.

        June 24, 2014 at 5:54 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          hawaiiguest

          Quit being bossy.

          If you want to discuss this we can. Some people who talk to me like you do have called me mentally ill and delusional. I'm glad you don't think I am mentally ill or delusional because I believe in God.

          You do know there are people who are logical, reasonable and rational that believe in God. And they can do something that demonstrates that to me. Something you haven't done.

          Are you seeking God? What steps have you taken to search for God? There are a lot of truths and knowledge that science and logic are incapable of answering. How do you verify those truths?

          June 24, 2014 at 5:59 pm |
      • hawaiiguest

        Dala, seriously. Stop throwing out red herrings and actually back up what you say. I have very little patience for people like you, who will constantly avoid backing up what they say they can and throw out red herrings all day long until the other person gets frustrated, allowing you to claim some kind of high ground afterward.

        June 24, 2014 at 6:08 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          We are sharing opinions on a religion blog.

          I don't have a lot of patience for people like you how twist my words to say what you imagine about me. Or resort to insults. Or who try to tell me what to do and say it doesn't follow the Bible. You do what a lot of religious people also do, actually. Especially in regards to that Bible thing you did.

          June 24, 2014 at 6:11 pm |
      • hawaiiguest

        I'm not twisting your words Dala, i'm merely getting ahead of your eventual arguments because i've heard them time and time again. I would rather skip the mental gymnastics and get to your claim that you have "proof" of your god, which you still haven't actually addressed and continue to avoid.
        This is not a sharing of opinions Dala, this is you not backing up a claim you made and doing everything that you can to avoid it.
        Don't try to take a high ground when you have none Dala.

        June 24, 2014 at 6:15 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          hawaiiguest

          You did twist my words. Come on.

          Quit being bossy. You aren't offering anything new or that I hadn't considered for myself before.

          June 24, 2014 at 6:21 pm |
      • hawaiiguest

        When did this become me presenting anything to you? You made a specific claim, and have yet to back it up when questioned on it. Why are you so adamant on avoiding this?

        June 24, 2014 at 6:23 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          I'm not avoiding it.

          Look, I know God exists. I may not be able to prove that to you. I can try. If you are going to come at me with the att.itude that you know I'm wrong and say things like "dar dar dar" I'm not going to take you seriously.

          I never said I could prove to you God exists. You just started demanding I prove it to you. You aren't in charge of this blog or me.

          I have the right to know God exists without proving it to you. You can insult me and try to put me down, but I don't care. Who are you to judge me?

          June 24, 2014 at 6:27 pm |
      • hawaiiguest

        Dalahäst
        I have proof to back up my belief in God.

        That is why people who believe in God actually do support and embrace evidence and experimentation and independent verification for almost everything in life.

        Was this not you dala? Did you not say that you had proof? Oh wait you did. You also claimed that science points to god. I'm not forcing you to do anything dala, i'm merely attempting to hold you responsible for what you say. Here's a tip, when someone doesn't let you use red herrings to change the subject they aren't being bossy, they're merely holding you to a standard of honest conversation.

        June 24, 2014 at 6:32 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          I do have proof.

          I'm trying to share it.

          You are being bossy. That is not a red herring. You throwing a Bible verse at me and demanding I answer it and then telling me I didn't answer it right is not a red herring.

          I know what the love of a child is like. I know what compassion for an enemy looks like. I know how an allegory can prove things that science is incapable of proving. Do you want me to prove that to you? In your way? RIGHT NOW? OR ELSE? OR ELSE? Or else you'll act like a message board dictator and insist I play by your made up rules?

          June 24, 2014 at 6:37 pm |
        • nojinx

          At this point I would be happy with even a feeble attempt. You seem pleasant enough and not disrespectful, so I want to give you a chance to provide something we can use.

          June 24, 2014 at 7:39 pm |
      • hawaiiguest

        Haha you really are committed to not actually addressing what you said. You gave your reason as "Jesus" and then proceeded to attempt and make me prove a negative. When pointed out that that line of argument is ridiculous, you move on to the bible and science. When told how vague that was, you begin avoiding clarification completely. You're not doing anything remotely like trying to share the proofs you say you have. You're merely making statements that address nothing designed to avoid backing up what you said.

        June 24, 2014 at 6:43 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          You just proved yourself right to yourself.

          Good for you.

          Be sure to save that and read over it each day to remind yourself how higher up you are than me.

          June 24, 2014 at 6:47 pm |
      • Doris

        I suppose it would be difficult to refute the existence of Dala's feelings.

        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wU0Pp2n6ooE

        June 24, 2014 at 6:48 pm |
      • Doris

        Of course, to him, a feeling isn't just a feeling.

        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SSR6ZzjDZ94

        June 24, 2014 at 6:49 pm |
      • hawaiiguest

        Yes Dala because a summary of what happened is just me trying to prove myself right. Tell me, why is it that you really don't want to back up what you said? Is it because you can't?

        June 24, 2014 at 6:58 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          I didn't say that was a summary of what happened. But you are pretty much saying I can't prove God to you so that means I can't really know He exists. Which is not true.

          I have no clue why you are so bossy. But it probably is evidence and proof that something within yourself is not right.

          June 24, 2014 at 7:09 pm |
      • hawaiiguest

        HAHA. This is getting better and better. You accuse me of twisting words, and yet you turn around and accuse me of something that i've never said once in my life, let alone on this forum. This is really getting pathetic Dala. I challenge your statement, point out red herrings, then you turn into a hypocrite and and continue to do the same thing over and over. Tell you what, i'm gonna eat some lunch. I'm hoping when I come back you've gained some semblance of intellectual honesty.

        June 24, 2014 at 7:14 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          You also claimed I said things I have never said on this forum or ever in my life. That is hypocrisy on your part.

          It is fair for me to point out your bossiness. Especially when you are pointing out my flaws. It is not a red herring. I'm saying you are difficult to talk with because you do twist words and ask loaded questions.

          When someone demands I have to prove something to them on their terms I don't have to follow their demands. I can try and talk about it. Which I'm trying to do.

          June 24, 2014 at 7:19 pm |
      • hawaiiguest

        Oh really Dala, can you give an example of me saying you said something you didn't? Would you mind actually giving any specifics ever of anything you actually talk about? You claim you've been trying to talk about something, but one look back on this forum completely destroys that notion.

        June 24, 2014 at 7:39 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          "Der the book i believe points to the god i believe in, therefore that is part of my "proofs" for my god."

          That looks like you twisting what I said and jumping to a conclusion to prove your opinion.

          That is what I'm taking about.

          June 24, 2014 at 7:45 pm |
      • hawaiiguest

        Dalahäst
        Quit jumping to conclusions.

        That is not my only "proof".

        I do believe in God. I follow God. Not the Bible. The Bible points to God. As do other things, like science.

        Now tell me how what i said isn't accurate.

        June 24, 2014 at 7:48 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          You started with the word "der" which leads me to believe you were implying I'm mentally retarded or incredibly stupid.

          You are also the one that claimed I just say: "prove i'm wrong or i'm right". And then you turn around and do the exact same thing to me. Which is hypocrisy.

          June 24, 2014 at 7:58 pm |
      • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

        Dalahäst and hawaiiguest

        You two need to go get a room.

        Or sit in the time out corner.

        Both of you are better than this silly diatribe.

        June 24, 2014 at 7:55 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          Good idea.

          June 24, 2014 at 7:59 pm |
      • hawaiiguest

        So your big difference that makes it so I twisted your words is that i started with "der". Really? Is that really what you're going to stick with?
        Also, when did I ever make any claims about the existence or non existence of your deity. All i've done was try to get you to actually provide your proofs for yours. You really will try anything to keep from backing up what you said huh?

        June 24, 2014 at 8:05 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          Let me think about that and get back to you later.

          June 24, 2014 at 8:09 pm |
      • hawaiiguest

        Now that's an answer that i can respect.

        June 24, 2014 at 8:13 pm |
      • Doc Vestibule

        Enough with the vitriol.
        This blog has examples of both extremes and neither end is open to dissenting opinions.
        I don't share Dala's faith, but I can appreciate where he is coming from.
        He isn't a bigot. He doesn't try to suppress scientific findings because they might contradict his religion.
        He doesn't condemn this and that from a fiery pulpit.
        He does well in keeping a dignified air in the face of indignant personal attacks and/or unsubstantiated assumptions about his personal, political and religious ideologies.
        Regardless of what I think of the supernatural aspects of his faith, I see how he and his community strive to do good.
        Given the chance, he'll preach his gospel because of the positive effect it has had on him.
        Attack that faith and he will defend it.
        I'd like to have a beer or three with some of this blog's regulars. I'd like to smack some others upside the head.
        Dala falls firmly into the 1st category.

        June 24, 2014 at 9:18 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          Thanks Doc. I appreciate that. I've actually been more and more surprised by the kindness offered to me from the "other side" lately on this blog. I'd have drinks with you! I think a lot of us would engage in nice conversations with each other if we met at a bar or on a plane face to face instead of anonymously on the internet.

          June 24, 2014 at 10:24 pm |
      • kudlak

        Dalahäst
        Sure, I might be delusional. How about you? Even a full examination may not detect a very deep-seated delusion.

        Besides, you don't have to be deluded per se; you just have to be believing in something that is assumed to be correct, but actually isn't. Humans have believed in a lot of things like this, haven't they?

        The medical field would likely not say that believing in astrology or reincarnation is harmful either. When it comes to popular beliefs, the medical community tends not to be too challenging. There's even a growing trend to support some of the more outlandish claims. Dr. Oz has said that he thinks that faith healing may work.

        June 25, 2014 at 10:27 am |
        • Dalahäst

          I might be. Yes, humans have believed in a lot of crazy things. Who would deny that? I've never gone to an astrologist to talk about personal issues. Nor Dr. Oz. Like most Christians, I support hospitals for medical problems. There is a good reason most hospitals are named after religious terms: they embrace the medical fields. And prayer and spirituality can be helpful for recovering and confronting conditions.

          June 25, 2014 at 10:49 am |
      • kudlak

        Dalahäst

        From a 2005 Gallop poll of American belief in the supernatural:

        Extrasensory perception, or ESP 41%
        That houses can be haunted 37%
        Ghosts/that spirits of dead people can come back in certain places/situations 32%
        Telepathy/communication between minds without using traditional senses 31%
        Clairvoyance/the power of the mind to know the past and predict the future 26%
        Astrology, or that the position of the stars and planets can affect people's live 25%
        That people can communicate mentally with someone who has died 21%
        Witches 21%
        Reincarnation, that is, the rebirth of the soul in a new body after death 20%
        Channeling/allowing a 'spirit-being' to temporarily assume control of body 9%

        A special analysis of the data shows that 73% of Americans believe in at least one of the 10 items listed above

        That would seem to indicate that a goodly number of Christians also believe in at least one of these things, right? Would you claim that none of he same kind of thinking is involved in this and their belief in God?

        http://www.gallup.com/poll/16915/Three-Four-Americans-Believe-Paranormal.aspx

        Prayer didn't help the sick according to this study.

        http://seattletimes.com/html/health/2002901053_pray31.html

        June 25, 2014 at 3:37 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          That would seem to indicate that a goodly number of Christians also believe in at least one of these things, right?

          Yes. I can't make that claim for myself.

          I like the end of that article: "The best prayer probably is, 'Thy will be done.' "' That is how I'm actually taught to pray.

          June 25, 2014 at 3:44 pm |
      • fintronics

        @Hawaii "Haha you really are committed to not actually addressing what you said. Doc....., Sorry if you don't agree Doc, but this is very obviously exactly what happened and happens every time Dalah is asked to backup his claims...

        Pretty obvious....... Dalah the spin doctor...

        June 30, 2014 at 10:45 am |
    • Lucifer's Evil Twin

      That is very Confucius... and worth passing on

      June 24, 2014 at 2:15 pm |
    • delevin

      LET,
      Quite perceptive of Pascal. Yet the same man also came up with the most insipid argument for the belief in the Christian God that I have ever encountered.

      June 28, 2014 at 11:42 am |
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About this blog

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