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August 22nd, 2014
07:00 AM ET

Why liberals are more tolerant of atheists

Opinion by Chris Stedman, special to CNN

(CNN) Conservative atheist and television pundit S.E. Cupp has come out swinging against progressive atheists.

In a clip (see above) for CNN’s “Crossfire,” she argues that conservative atheists are “better” than liberal nonbelievers. What’s more, Cupp says, those on the right respect and tolerate atheists more than liberals do.

She’s wrong, and here are three reasons why.

Fact: Atheists are still political outcasts.

“It seems like there’s this idea perpetuated by atheists that atheists are somehow disenfranchised or left out of the political process,” Cupp says. “I just don’t find that to be the case.”

Survey data contradict Cupp.

For instance, a 2014 Pew Research study found that Americans are less likely to vote for an atheist presidential candidate than any other survey category—even if they share that candidate’s political views.

Faring better than atheists: candidates who have engaged in extramarital affairs and those with zero political experience.

And unless she recently had a change of heart, Cupp herself falls in line with the majority of Americans. In 2012 she said, “I would never vote for an atheist president. Ever.”

While atheists are making political inroads, we’re also still on the margins in a number of ways. Cupp concludes the clip by saying, “I think our atheists are better than yours.”

Apparently they’re still not good enough to be president.

Fact: Conservatives are hostile toward atheists.

“There’s another myth: that conservatism is somehow hostile to atheism,” Cupp says. “I’m a conservative atheist (and) I’ve felt very welcomed.”

But Cupp goes beyond arguing that conservatives broadly welcome nontheists—she also argues that liberals are less accepting of atheists.

“I’d go so far as to say conservatism is far more intellectually honest and respectful of atheism than liberalism has been,” she says.

Again, Pew’s surveys suggest otherwise.

While the number of people who say they wouldn't vote for an atheist candidate sits at 70% among Republicans, that number drops to 42% among Democrats. (“Progressive,” “liberal,” and “Democrat” certainly aren’t synonyms, but there is overlap.)

Of course, conservative hostility toward atheists goes beyond voting for a presidential candidate.

Earlier this year, the group American Atheists announced plans to sponsor a table at CPAC, the country’s largest annual gathering of conservatives. But within hours, after a number of conservatives spoke out against their inclusion, they were promptly uninvited.

Many of the most prominent anti-atheist voices—including Sarah Palin, Erick Erickson, Mike Huckabee and Newt Gingrich—are conservative politicians and commentators, and I have yet to hear many other conservatives (Cupp included) condemn their anti-atheist remarks.

On the other hand, a number of political moderates and liberals have welcomed nontheists.

In 2009, for example, President Barack Obama became the first commander in chief to reference nonbelievers in an inaugural address. The next year, his administration became the first to meet with representatives from the atheist community.

Overall, a much larger percentage of the religiously unaffiliated (a category that includes many atheists) identify as liberal than conservative.

In 2012, Pew reported that 61 percent of nonreligious Americans are either Democrat or lean Democrat, while just 27 percent identify as or lean Republican.

If it truly were the case that conservatives are much more “respectful of atheism,” I would expect to see more Republican atheists.

Fact: Most liberals respect religious diversity.

“Conservatives appreciate an intellectual diversity,” Cupp says. “In contrast, on the left it seems as though there is this knee-jerk embrace of what is more like a militant hostility to faith.”

If you’ve been paying attention to Cupp’s arguments so far, this one should be a bit confusing. Which is it? Are liberals hostile toward atheists—or the religious? (Or are liberals just hostile toward everyone?)

But religious diversity is actually significantly greater among Democrats—for example, Pew reported in 2011 that just 11% of Muslims affiliate with Republicans, while 60% identify as or lean Democrat.

By contrast, as much as 74% of GOP voters identify as Christian, according to recent surveys and polls.

Finally, Cupp lifts up self-identified progressive Bill Maher—who has said, among other things, that religious believers have a “neurological disorder”—as an example of liberal intolerance.

I should give credit where it’s due: Cupp is partially right here. Maher’s take on religion is problematic and should be condemned.

But his views certainly aren’t representative of most of the progressive atheists I know. Suggesting that Maher speaks for atheism is like saying Pat Robertson represents all of Christianity.

In the end, I’m not arguing that progressives are perfect. We have plenty of our own issues and aren’t as welcoming of atheists or some believers as we could be.

But to say that we’re less tolerant of religious and nonreligious diversity than conservatives? Well, that’s just hard to believe.

Chris Stedman is Executive Director of the Yale Humanist Community, author of "Faitheist," and atheist columnist for Religion News Service. Follow him on Twitter @ChrisDStedman. The views expressed in this column belong to Stedman. 

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Atheism • Culture wars • Discrimination • Nones • Opinion • Politics • Prejudice

soundoff (3,322 Responses)
  1. Alias

    I come to this blog for the humor.
    Today we are debating evolution with some one who writes down dreams and claims god exists if any of them ever sort of come true. Dreams and prediction that he will not share with the rest of us.
    BTW Austin, have you ever made any predictions on this blog that didn't come true?

    August 24, 2014 at 12:54 pm |
    • skytag

      Austin is well known around these parts. Don't expect him to be rational.

      August 24, 2014 at 1:06 pm |
      • ausphor

        skytag
        I agree with Alias. I come here to make fun of the jesus freak crowd and how quickly they abandon the teachings of their babble, not much turning the other cheek with this crowd. The born again crowd that have come to jesus as a way out of their miserable lives and need that crutch is just hilarious. I would count almost all the apologists on this blog in that category. LOL.

        August 24, 2014 at 1:15 pm |
      • Alias

        Rational Austin?
        Excuse me if I whisper loudly, but if it weren't for all the true lies from that wise fool I would think the militant pacifist was just an oxymoron.

        August 24, 2014 at 1:15 pm |
        • austin929

          I can handle the criticism................because I received the miracles. but I am a complainer too.............even though I reveived the miracles I gripe about my life way too much.

          and I think about Jeremiah and what that was like to be in the bottom of a cistern, and Joseph whos brothers pawned him off as a slave to a gang from Egypt. because I do experience the ridicule and I pray for those who find displeasure in my true experience.

          August 24, 2014 at 1:30 pm |
        • ausphor

          Austin
          IMHO, I think you thrive on the ridicule you get, or why would you continue to seek it out?

          August 24, 2014 at 1:39 pm |
        • austin929

          no I don't thrive on criticism of the idolatry of the world. Its not to be taken lightly. the question is how bad will it get and when?

          August 24, 2014 at 2:21 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          I'm sure he does a similar thing I do:

          Look at the source of the ridicule.

          Instead of getting upset over it, let it roll off you. The people making the non-stop insults are probably in a lot of pain themselves.

          It is easy for me to insult people. To think I am better than them. To decide they deserve my ridicule. But there is a better way.

          "Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that." – Martin Luther King

          August 24, 2014 at 4:24 pm |
    • austin929

      I personally only have one direction I want this to go. and its the honest one. I don't think the gift I have experienced time and time again.........is one that pushes me to predict anything. I am not compelled to make predictions, though my track record leaves me wondering and paying attention to my dreams.

      when I started here on the blog..........the only thing I did was explain about 13 different situations that had already occurred in my life with the dreams.........and the answers to those dreams.

      August 24, 2014 at 1:25 pm |
  2. skytag

    Cupp is a fraud. She says she's an atheist but doesn't talk like one. She says she doesn't believe in God, "but I'm not mad at him." It makes no sense to say you're not mad at someone who doesn't exist. Even worse, she says she's an atheist because "I'm not a joiner." That's about the dumbest reason to be an atheist I've ever heard. The only valid reason to be an atheist is that you see no reason to believe any god exists.

    Cupp reminds me of Sarah Palin. She's hot, and much of what she says is stupid, but she says it with such conviction her audience buys it.

    August 24, 2014 at 12:52 pm |
    • LaBella

      She's found her niche.

      August 24, 2014 at 12:58 pm |
  3. Vic

    I saw some previous comments about what "conservative" means.

    In politics, conservative mainly means pro-life, right-to-bear-arms, less government, less spending, less corporate and income taxes, less regulation, balancing the federal budget annually—requires a constitutional amendment by two thirds of states majority, etc. Notice the word "less."

    Oh, and of course, no such thing as 'Global Warming.' LOL.

    August 24, 2014 at 12:37 pm |
    • austin929

      more in and less out.

      August 24, 2014 at 12:39 pm |
    • Alias

      Nice ideals. Now, how about some reality?
      they are not practicing everything you are claiming they believe.

      August 24, 2014 at 12:45 pm |
    • LaBella

      And, of course, hiding unfunded wars from that general budget.

      August 24, 2014 at 12:46 pm |
    • Alias

      And, of course, no one is claiming that te climate hasn't changed. The debate is if humans are causing it.

      August 24, 2014 at 12:51 pm |
      • LaBella

        To admit that humans are causing it is directly contrary to the desire for less regulations.

        August 24, 2014 at 12:55 pm |
      • austin929

        how can one be conservative and reject global warming?

        doesn't make sense idealistically. that is a reputation buster.

        August 24, 2014 at 1:50 pm |
        • austin929

          or pollution in reference to global warming.

          August 24, 2014 at 1:51 pm |
  4. Tom, Tom, the Other One

    Reverend Robinson doesn't want comment after his assertion that white Christians would that black people should become white (in spirit?). "'Come now, let us settle the matter', says the Lord. 'Though your sins are like scarlet they shall be as white as snow.'" Clearly their desire for white in everyone is fundamental. Why is that news to the Reverend?

    August 24, 2014 at 12:03 pm |
    • LaBella

      I don't think the Reverend gets to choose if his article is to be commented on or not.
      I believe CNN closes comments on any story it deems controversial, or those that may draw out the troll-flaming type of comments.

      August 24, 2014 at 12:19 pm |
      • Tom, Tom, the Other One

        That there should be allowed no comment on topics that are controversial seems counter to the purpose of having any comment or debate.

        August 24, 2014 at 12:25 pm |
        • LaBella

          You betcha. And that's why I don't agree with CNN's latest ploy.

          August 24, 2014 at 12:32 pm |
        • austin929

          if you want you can get it on infowars. open racism goes on.

          August 24, 2014 at 12:38 pm |
        • LaBella

          Alex Jones promotes that, Austin. Thinking he doesn't is naive.

          August 24, 2014 at 12:48 pm |
        • austin929

          Bella..............

          I honestly don't think he promotes racism.

          and the provocateur aspect to the cia is one that bothers me though . . I don't trust anything really, he could be cia.

          what comes to your mind on him, for his promoting racism?

          August 24, 2014 at 1:48 pm |
        • LaBella

          Austin,
          He promotes dissention. Racism is naturally a offshoot of that.

          August 24, 2014 at 4:18 pm |
  5. bostontola

    Ms. Cupp is an entertainer, a dancing bear, no more. I don't expect her to say anything factual.

    1. To present this data rich response only lends credibility to her performance.
    2. I don't care if liberals or conservatives tolerate atheists more. I am not interested in being tolerated.

    The believers in God have squandered their time of dominance. They fight with each other over trivial details, violating their principles to impress detailed dogma. Objective evidence based understanding is accelerating at an exponential rate. It's like cosmic inflation in thought space and it will displace much of the religious pettiness. God may survive, but I think much of the religious dogma won't.

    Soon, it may be the religious dogmatists that are tolerated.

    August 24, 2014 at 11:33 am |
    • austin929

      well ohhhh my goodness. she's special.

      August 24, 2014 at 11:52 am |
    • LaBella

      From her Wiki page:
      Cupp describes herself as an atheist but consistently states that she's open to theism, and "really aspires to be a person of faith some day."

      August 24, 2014 at 12:30 pm |
      • bostontola

        That's better for business. It's weird that taking idiotic positions can be very smart money wise.

        August 24, 2014 at 1:24 pm |
  6. skytag

    Cupp is a perfect example of what seems to be a majority of Republicans today, people who believe a lot of stuff that has no connection to reality. They've been brainwashed to believe conservatives are inherently better than liberals in every respect even though there is no objective evidence to support such beliefs. Conservatism has become a religion to them, a belief system unsupported by any objective evidence.

    August 24, 2014 at 11:24 am |
    • austin929

      structural injustice

      skytag..........what sense does it make to choose sides?

      August 24, 2014 at 11:41 am |
      • skytag

        Wouldn't it make more sense to pose that question to someone who has chosen a side?

        August 24, 2014 at 11:50 am |
        • austin929

          she almost borders a satire opinion because she is so far overboard.

          sorry though.....no I think its a good question for everyone.

          August 24, 2014 at 11:58 am |
        • skytag

          austin929: I am not a member of any team. I only "choose sides" in the sense that I may agree with one side's position.

          That said, humans like to identify with groups for sound evolutionary reasons.

          August 24, 2014 at 12:42 pm |
    • austin929

      out of what skytag refers to comes supremacy.

      I would have to say its very scary. at the same point in time evil will sneak out of every single corner.

      August 24, 2014 at 11:47 am |
      • neverbeenhappieratheist

        Very convenient for you religious to worm your way out of responsibility for your actions by blaming your bad actions on some immaterial third party you have named "evil" and "devil" and "Satan".

        August 24, 2014 at 12:26 pm |
        • austin929

          the name doesn't change things. personal solutions are different than structural solutions.

          August 24, 2014 at 12:41 pm |
  7. austin929

    Blessed are the Cheesemakers

    "No...I think the story was made up to fit the narrative...there is no evidence from the romans or jews that Jesus ever existed".

    August 24, 2014 at 11:18 am |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      I am glad you agree.

      August 24, 2014 at 11:53 am |
      • austin929

        im still thinking.

        August 24, 2014 at 11:59 am |
  8. lookatuniverse

    Quran says (Islamic Scripture)

    “Does the human being not see that we created him from a tiny drop, then he turns into an ardent enemy?” [36:77]

    “He raises a question to us – while forgetting his initial creation – "Who can resurrect the bones after they had rotted?" [36:78]

    “Say, "The One who initiated them in the first place will resurrect them. He is fully aware of every creation." [36:79]

    “Is not the One who created the heavens and the earth able to recreate the same? Yes indeed; He is the Creator, the Omniscient.” [36:81]

    “All He needs to do to carry out any command is to say to it, "Be," and it is.” [36:82]

    “O people, here is a parable that you must ponder carefully: the idols you set up beside God can never create a fly, even if they banded together to do so. Furthermore, if the fly steals anything from them, they cannot recover it; weak is the pursuer and the pursued.” [22:73]

    “They do not value God as He should be valued. God is the Most Powerful, the Almighty.”[22:74]

    “If you obey the majority of people on earth, they will divert you from the path of God. They follow only conjecture; they only guess.” [Quran 6:116]

    “The example of Jesus, as far as GOD is concerned, is the same as that of Adam; He created him from dust, then said to him, "Be," and he was.” Quran [3:59]

    “It does not befit God that He begets a son, be He glorified. To have anything done, He simply says to it, ‘Be,’ and it is.” [19:35]

    Thanks for taking time to read my post. Please take a moment to visit whyIslam org website.

    August 24, 2014 at 10:55 am |
    • Alias

      The Koran and the bible both have feel good stories and good advice. Unfortunately, they are equal in proof of their god existing.

      August 24, 2014 at 11:01 am |
      • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

        The best lies have partial truths built into them.

        August 24, 2014 at 11:55 am |
        • Robert Brown

          Amen, satan only had to add one word to deceive Eve.

          August 24, 2014 at 2:22 pm |
    • Reality

      Why Islam is the horror and terror religion from day one of its foundation:

      o "Believers, take neither Jews nor Christians for your friends." (Surah 5:51)
      o
      "Believers, when you encounter the infidels on the march, do not turn your backs to them in flight. If anyone on that day turns his back to them, except it be for tactical reasons...he shall incur the wrath of God and Hell shall be his home..." (Surah 8:12-)

      "Make war on them until idolatry shall cease and God's religion shall reign supreme." (Surah 8:36-)

      "...make war on the leaders of unbelief...Make war on them: God will chastise them at your hands and humble them. He will grant you victory over them..." (Surah 9:12-)

      "Fight against such as those to whom the Scriptures were given [Jews and Christians]...until they pay tribute out of hand and are utterly subdued." (Surah 9:29-)

      "It is He who has sent forth His apostle with guidance and the true Faith [Islam] to make it triumphant over all religions, however much the idolaters [non-Muslims] may dislike it." (Surah 9:31-)

      "If you do not fight, He will punish you sternly, and replace you by other men." (Surah 9:37-)

      "Prophet make war on the unbelievers and the hypocrites and deal rigorously with them. Hell shall be their home." (Surah 9:73)

      "Believers, make war on the infidels who dwell around you. Deal firmly with them." (Surah 9:121-)

      "Say: 'Praise be to God who has never begotten a son; who has no partner in His Kingdom..." (Surah 17:111)

      "'How shall I bear a child,' she [Mary] answered, 'when I am a virgin...?' 'Such is the will of the Lord,' he replied. 'That is no difficult thing for Him...God forbid that He [God[ Himself should beget a son!...Those who say: 'The Lord of Mercy has begotten a son,' preach a monstrous falsehood..." (Surah 19:12-, 29-, 88)

      "Fight for the cause of God with the devotion due to Him...He has given you the name of Muslims..." (Surah 22:78-)

      "Blessed are the believers...who restrain their carnal desires (except with their wives and slave-girls, for these are lawful to them)...These are the heirs of Paradise..." (Surah 23:1-5-)

      "Muhammad is God's apostle. Those who follow him are ruthless to the unbelievers but merciful to one another." (Surah 48:29)

      "Shall the reward of goodness be anything but good?...Dark-eyed virgins sheltered in their tents...They shall recline on green cushions and fine carpets...Blessed be the name of your Lord..." (Surah 55:52-66-)

      Quran (8:12) – "I will cast terror into the hearts of those who disbelieve. Therefore strike off their heads and strike off every fingertip of them"

      Quran (9:5) – "So when the sacred months have passed away, then slay the idolaters wherever you find them, and take them captive and besiege them and lie in wait for them in every ambush, then if they repent and keep up prayer and pay the poor-rate, leave their way free to them."

      August 24, 2014 at 11:23 am |
  9. Tom, Tom, the Other One

    Perhaps the theory behind a preference for non-atheist presidents is that an imagined super being might provide a degree of restraint. If so, I think this is unreliable. The super being may want things that a person might not come up with through reason – things not at all in our best interests. But there may be special conditions under which it might work. One cannot lawfully remove a president by violent means, but a president who truly believes in dark spells, as in some versions of Voodoun, might be more accessible. The current President is clearly his own man, and deeply committed to working out what will keep his country on a path of justice and prosperity. We are fortunate. When considering a flock of candidates afflicted with religion in the next election, look for qualities in their religions that might actually be useful.

    August 24, 2014 at 10:42 am |
    • Robert Brown

      Restraint, I don't think so. I think people people want a president who has similar beliefs to their own. Of course, sometimes what they say and what they do aren't the same.

      August 24, 2014 at 2:29 pm |
  10. Bob

    As usual, cowardly dodger Dalahast can only respond with personal attacks.

    August 24, 2014 at 10:17 am |
    • Alias

      Dalahast is searching for the truth. Of course, he is unable to handle the truth, so he keeps searching within the bible for something to make him feel good instead.

      August 24, 2014 at 10:59 am |
    • ausphor

      Bob
      And yet our Dalahast, as phony as he is, claims only a few posters state how duplicitous he is. I beg to differ.

      August 24, 2014 at 11:12 am |
    • austin929

      your gang has a child like agenda no matter who Dalhast is or isnt' .

      you take me back to elementary school type of social gang ups and like pre teen females.

      August 24, 2014 at 11:42 am |
      • ausphor

        Austin
        Actually we do not have a "gang" just independent thinkers that come to the same sane conclusions. For someone that believes they have prophetic dreams but is not willing to put them to an independent test, well that is quite insane. Take a bow. Squished Kitty Chronicles indeed.

        August 24, 2014 at 1:06 pm |
        • austin929

          I made that statement because you are taking jabs and it reminds me of child like behavior. and when multiple do that together.........that's basically bullying.

          August 24, 2014 at 1:43 pm |
  11. minuano72

    Political bobbleheads like Cupp simply make stuff up, knowing most of their sheeply followers will buy it because it generally supports what they're supposed to believe.

    August 24, 2014 at 9:58 am |
  12. colin31714

    God Meets His Physics Teacher

    Teacher: God, I have some bad news for you. You’ve been getting away with murder for eons, slaying Canaanites, murdering innocent Egyptian babies, even drowning the entire planet at one point, but I’m afraid that now you have to start abiding by the laws of physics.

    God: But I don’t want to!

    Teacher: Yeah, I get it, “your will be done” and all that. You’ve been a worship-demanding, jealous God – a spoilt brad, if you will. But, I’m afraid that doesn’t matter any more. You made this Universe and set the rules, you have to abide by them. One cannot tell his servants to do one thing while he does another. I think Jesus said that.

    God: That fvcking kid. He’s been nothing but a problem since puberty. It’s his mother’s fault. All high and mighty the way she is, “I’m a virgin, I’m a virgin.” No big surprise there; she went to a liberal arts college and studied women’s rights. She loves the Indigo Girls and played a lot of sport. You do the math.

    Teacher: Anyway, the game is over. Time to start abiding by the rules.

    God: But I am omnipotent, I can do what I like.

    Teacher: Well….sorry to burst your bubble, but that’s the first thing to go. You see, the laws of physics state that an omnipotent being cannot exist. It is a meaningless concept, like a four-sided triangle, or a square circle. Once universal laws or even principals exist, omnipotence cannot, for the simple reason that omnipotence would necessitate the ability to override the “rules” rendering them meaningless.

    God: Not even for Rupert Murdoch?

    Teacher: No, not even for him. Now focus, we’ve got a lot of work to do. We’ve got to start with Archimedes and get you up to quantum mechanics by the end of the day.

    God: But I’m omniscient. I already know everything.

    Teacher: Sorry kiddo, strike two. Omniscience is essentially a meaningless concept, too. Knowledge requires data to be input, stored and recalled in a useful manner. To be truly omniscient would require an infinitely large data storage unit with access to all parts of it at over light speed. Given the natural limitations of data recall, that is not possible, not even in a quantum setting. Further, you haven’t exactly exhibited omniscience, have you? Satan surprised you by rebelling, Adam and Eve disappointed you, you apparently couldn’t even work out how to save humanity from death without gruesomely executing your own son. You’re actually a bit of a dunce, by the standards of the gods

    God: Why only light speed? What does that have to do with anything?

    Teacher: We’ll get to that, around 3:30 this afternoon. This is going to be a long day.

    God: That doesn’t matter, I’m immortal. I have all the time in the World.

    Teacher: Ok, so how do I break THIS news?....You’re not. To be a god means, at a minimum, that you must be a complex being at some level. Now that you are governed by the laws of physics, this means that you are subject to the laws of thermodynamics and entropy. Over the long term, you must decay. You can be sustained for a very, very long period, but ultimately it is a finite period.

    God: You mean…..I’m getting old?

    Teacher: Yep, I’m afraid so. Noticed that slaying the first born, sending plagues to kill thousands of innocent people and wiping out Canaanites has lost its allure? Nothing but a peaceful middle age, full of Viagra and memories ahead of you now. Look how fat Buddha’s become.

    God: So, if laws of physics exist, that means I’m not omnipotent, I’m not omniscient and I’m not immortal. Hell, I’m not even a god. Gods cannot exist. Jesus Christ, I don’t even exist! In fact, I could never have existed, except in the imaginations of men. I’m a mere figment of human imagination. That explains why I was so obsessed with the Bronze Age Jews and ignored the rest of the human race! The Jews made me in their image and not vice-versa!

    Teacher: You do the math.

    August 24, 2014 at 9:54 am |
    • khidir619

      But if God is the creator of physics and those laws only apply to the universe (s) he created, not to his realm, what does the teacher say then?

      August 24, 2014 at 10:02 am |
      • Reality

        Too many ifs in "IF god" to have any validity.

        August 24, 2014 at 10:11 am |
        • khidir619

          I'm replying to an atheist. Of course I used if.

          August 24, 2014 at 10:15 am |
        • Reality

          A believing Christian never uses the phrase "IF God" as he or she would always say his "god created physics" et al.

          August 24, 2014 at 11:28 am |
      • colin31714

        I guess, if we are claiming magic powers and the ability create Universes, we can pretty much make it up as we go along, can't we? I guess, at that point, once logic and rationality are out the window, his physics teacher is out. His literature and history teachers might want to know why he left us with such a ridiculous book as the Bible, which claims, among other magic acts: food (or manna) falling from the sky, people living to be hundreds of years old, unicorns, witches, superhuman strength, a man living in a whale’s belly (or a fish’s or sea monster’s) for a few days, a talking donkey, giants, a talking snake, a Worldwide flood, a stick turning into a snake, a river turning to blood, the Red Sea splitting and a dry rock spewing forth water.

        His geology teacher would also be interested in why he told us the World, indeed the entire Universe, was made in seven days!!

        August 24, 2014 at 10:17 am |
        • khidir619

          @ Colin: As complex as the universe is, why do you think any of those "magic acts" are so far fetched? If one could make a black hole, what's so hard about making the Red Sea split?... Btw, it's 6 days, not 7.

          August 24, 2014 at 10:30 am |
        • colin31714

          Once again, once you resort to magic, any absurdity or logical inconsistency can be explained away by an exercise of magic powers you assign to your god. We now know for a cold hard fact that the Universe was not made in six or seven days. Seems odd that am omnipotent, omniscient being would get it so horribly wrong, doesn't it?

          August 24, 2014 at 10:35 am |
        • khidir619

          You continue to use the argument of "magic." So, Copperfield, we're here and according to you (I'm assuming, correct me if I'm wrong), we got here via the single cell. Can you tell me why that single cell doesn't qualify as the same "magic" you keep referring to?

          August 24, 2014 at 10:44 am |
        • colin31714

          Because that's what the evidence supports. If evolution were not backed up by significant evidence, I would doubt it as well, but it is. The fossil record and our understanding of DNA and hereditary both overwhelmingly and independently support the gradual emergence and diversification of life on Earth from less complex forms over billions and billions of years. Now, that is (a sample of) my evidence. What is your evidence that the Bible is correct, that the entire Universe was made in six days? Now I do not mean, challenge my evidence, you can do that too if you wish, but I am asking you what evidence you have to support the Genesis claim of six days and a talking snake.

          August 24, 2014 at 10:51 am |
        • MidwestKen

          khidir619,
          "We don't know" does not equal magic.

          The hypothesis is that natural forces and materials built the first instance of life, likely over multiple stages of development that approached life, e.g. self-replication, energy consumption, envelopment, etc.

          That being said, currently we don't know how life first began.

          August 24, 2014 at 11:19 am |
        • khidir619

          But where did fossils come from Colin? For there to be fossils, a life and death had to take place first. That was my question. I actually like evolution. I just believe it was also a creation and a small part of the Grand scheme of things. But at the same time there are scientists who refute evolution with their own facts. Evolution has not been proven regardless of what you say. So your proof is actually a theory and a belief. My religious faith is also a belief. So giving you indisputably hard evidence is the same as you giving me the same. Neither one of us can do it. But if you want my "proof" I'll give you 3 examples: 1) The width, depth and beauty of the Qur'an that clearly cannot be done by man. Many have tried, and many have looked awfully stupid trying to sum up life in so few words.
          2) No Mama, no life. No matter how someone tries to twist it, this started with adults. Whether an adult primate or an adult plant, bottom line is a reproductive process happened with "grown ups." Something put adults here first. And you can't tell me I'm delusional by saying we start as babies because both God and science confirm that. God AND science? Talk about an undefeatable tag team. Those two together cannot possibly be argued against.
          3) Humans get sick of sh.it very quickly. Typically, it takes about a decade before things start getting played out. I'm a Muslim. The Qur'an was revealed over 1400 years ago. Prophet Muhammad's children would have come up with different writings and beliefs of their own and would've outdone their father. The Qur'an would have nearly 100 different versions because every generation there would be new writings and beliefs. Religion would've been played out thousands of years ago. But here it is, still stronger than ever. That's the power of God that makes that possible according to my personal beliefs... That's a small sample of examples. I can't type out all of God's signs and favors even if I had three full lives to live. So there's a few examples... Oh yea, I've never read the Bible obviously meaning I know nothing about Genesis. I do intend on reading it one day though if I have the time. Good day Colin. You asked interesting questions and definitely gave my brain a good workout, which is what healthy debate is intended to do. Give me your response and I'll get back to later on this afternoon.

          August 24, 2014 at 11:44 am |
        • igaftr

          "Evolution has not been proven regardless of what you say"

          Flat out false. Evolution is fact. The specific mechanisms are what are being studied and are the only things that are disputed. Each person carries within them, in their DNA, the proof of evolution.

          Perhaps if you spent less time chasing made up religions and focused on reality, you could comprehend that.

          August 24, 2014 at 11:50 am |
        • austin929

          igaftr............no dog has ever become a cat. They have not bred.. the evolution you are referring to is a theory.........not a fact.

          and if anything ...............when God engineered the families, or genus, he may have done so step by step. he may have evolved the species supernaturally.................but that was NOT NATURAL EVOLUTION. IT WAS CREATED EVOLUTION.

          so the whole premise of evolution is a religious God exclusion. God owns the evolution or creation. Whatever happened, life is Gods creation.

          August 24, 2014 at 12:04 pm |
        • TruthPrevails1

          khidir619: Evolution is fact and has been proven. A scientific theory (which is what the theory of evolution is) is not the same as a normal theory.
          "A scientific theory is a well-substantiated explanation of some aspect of the natural world that is acquired through the scientific method, and repeatedly confirmed through observation and experimentation. As with most (if not all) forms of scientific knowledge, scientific theories are inductive in nature and aim for predictive power and explanatory force"
          Taken from the much more reliable source than you and your silly fallacious holy book...http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scientific_theory

          Now when you have provided evidence for creation and have managed to prove evolution false based on your own research you can tell us we're wrong, until then your denial of actual facts and evidence is merely you being intellectually dishonest...there is ZERO justification for denying Evolution in the 21st century-it is taught in schools because it is fact, whereas creation stories can't be due to not being supported with facts and children shouldn't be brainwashed with religion.

          August 24, 2014 at 12:09 pm |
        • Tom, Tom, the Other One

          Under the current state of our understanding of molecular biology, if evolution did not occur then we would have to look for something about as extraordinary as god(s) to explain why not.

          August 24, 2014 at 12:16 pm |
        • bostontola

          khidir619,
          Liking evolution is a good start. If you study the science you will find that it is a scientific fact. Many of the details are still open for discovery.

          Historically, Muslims were some of the earliest scientists and excellent mathematicians. They had a wonderful curiosity of the world and made seminal discoveries.

          August 24, 2014 at 12:21 pm |
        • austin929

          I don't have to prove to anyone how I know that if we evolved a little bit..............then it's still God's evolution.

          The strongest form of truth is a communicator.. a personal delivery.

          August 24, 2014 at 12:34 pm |
        • Alias

          Austin
          How do you explain all the people who have had communication from a different god?
          Or even communication from your god with different messages?

          August 24, 2014 at 12:39 pm |
        • Tom, Tom, the Other One

          Austin, you don't have to prove anything if your assertions are just meant to be noise. If you want to be taken seriously you do need to come up with some basis for what you're saying.

          August 24, 2014 at 12:42 pm |
        • austin929

          "hold every thought captive"

          August 24, 2014 at 12:43 pm |
        • igaftr

          austin
          "............no dog has ever become a cat."

          False once again.

          Felides and canides separated approximately 65 million years ago, so a common ancestor to both, EVOLVED into the two separate species. That HAS been proven, just because you ignore actual proof in favor of your imagined god does not change the fact that evolution is proven fact.

          August 24, 2014 at 12:44 pm |
        • austin929

          igaftr............do you think that they came from the fist mammal?

          and that a dog is related to a mouse too?

          where are the skeletal remains of the dog/cat/rodent?

          August 24, 2014 at 1:19 pm |
        • MidwestKen

          Austin,
          "no dog has ever become a cat."

          That would not be evolution. However, a common ancestor produced offspring which, after many generations, became both dogs and cats.

          August 24, 2014 at 1:20 pm |
        • igaftr

          austin
          If you want an actual education in evolution, there are many colleges in your area or on-line.
          I'm not getting into it with someone who ignores the mountains of evidence, including your own DNA which proves that we did in fact evolve from single celled organisms, and the fish are the basis for all mammals. The DNA remains within you.

          Look into the Hedgehog gene ( and more specifically the Sonic Hegdehog gene...yes named after the video game character which tells you how recently these dicoveries were made.
          My mother's sonic hedgehog gene was hyperactive resulting in her having six fingers on both hands...the bones did not develop, so they tied of the extra pinkies at birth, but she always had the scars/bumps where the fingers were.
          This would not be possible if that gene had not evolved from fish originally.

          What evidence do you have for creationism?...oh that's right...not one single shred of any evidence whatsoever.

          August 24, 2014 at 1:30 pm |
        • austin929

          Igaftr.........you are going to try and figure out how they both work together and how life came from God. evolution didn't come in the absence of God. your spirit/soul was created by Christ.

          I don't have evidence for the evolution and the religion involved is unacceptable, on the other hand I can't explain how God created things better than Genesis does.

          but I can personally promise you that God communicates with those who receive the truth bearing Holy Spirit.

          August 24, 2014 at 1:40 pm |
        • colin31714

          Austin, you said, "I can’t explain how God created things better than Genesis does." Actually, you can. Even someboody as mentally disturbed and pig-ignorant as you knows more about the natural World that either the Priestly or Yahwist sources, the two principal authors of the creation story in Genesis. You are not necessarily smarter, you just have an additional 2,600 years of accu.mulated scientific knowledge to draw on.

          August 24, 2014 at 1:51 pm |
        • thesamyaza

          your spirit/soul was created by Christ.

          how can a human create a soul. more importation how can a soul be created when all souls were created since the beginning of the universe. and even more importantly the soul is not yours the soul is a part of existence when you die it will move on to become a new life, a soul cannot die no can it be created it is, it the vary essence of existence. i pry that you can be reincarnated as a rock.

          August 24, 2014 at 1:48 pm |
        • igaftr

          austin

          There is no evidence of any gods, so all you say comes directly from your imagination. Your imagination is not a basis for scientific study, nor is it a start towards what actually exists.
          As it stands, there is a great deal of evidence showing man made your god...and you simply are continuing in that baseless nonsense.
          What you have is believe, based on nothing but other peoples beliefs, so has less substance than smoke.

          August 24, 2014 at 1:53 pm |
        • igaftr

          "but I can personally promise you that God communicates with those who receive the truth bearing Holy Spirit."

          Now you are making promises that you cannot keep.
          You cannot show what you claim to be truth, cannot show this god of yours exists, and cannot show this "holy spirit" or any other spirits to exist, so your "promise" is worthless.

          You do not seek truth, you want your belief to be truth, but no amount of proclaimation from you makes it true in the slightest.
          Why do you guys have so much difficulty distinguishing belief from knowledge.

          Seriously austin, get some non-religious professional help.

          August 24, 2014 at 2:01 pm |
        • austin929

          that's like racism................telling me that my experience is a belief and that I didn't experience something.

          and because it happens to be spiritual...........there is an even greater tendency to extinguish truth as Christ was attacked and killed....................because of the hold that idolatry has on a person who is soul enslaved to error.

          I mean............I am not trying to point my finger at ya bud, but why do people insist that a spiritual experience isn't real...................because you have an agenda.

          August 24, 2014 at 2:12 pm |
        • austin929

          IN the beginning God said "said what to who?"

          Let "us" make man in our image. .............

          1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

          2 The same was in the beginning with God.

          3 All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.

          yaza...........Christ was a human as part of His mission. Christ is Lord, God, and Spirt.

          August 24, 2014 at 2:16 pm |
        • igaftr

          austin
          "telling me that my experience is a belief and that I didn't experience something. "

          No austin, you clearly do not comprehend.

          You had some experience...YOU are the one leaping to a conclusion about what it was.
          There are many possibilities, such as Satan is messing with you ( since you believe in Satan, how could you possibly be able to tell if it wasn't him?)

          It is not the experience I object to, it is the leaping to a conclusion about what caused it, and since this experience of yours occurred entirely in your head, it is far more likley something you atribute to some god, when you do not have a correlation, let alone a causation.
          You have taken an effect, and randomly assigned a cause to it...THAT is the objection.

          Comprende?

          August 24, 2014 at 2:34 pm |
        • thesamyaza

          Austin

          .Christ was a human as part of His mission. Christ is Lord, God, and Spirt.

          and just like that you believe it to be true, the dude lied to you, how much worth can a drunk, lazy, wino, and vagrant, word be

          i can walk out to the street and point to seven people who will tell you their the sun of god and claim to have done miracles.

          August 24, 2014 at 10:10 pm |
    • bostontola

      Colin,
      Here's a link to the Burgess Shale story. It originated with the CBC so I found that link. Their coverage was much better than CNN's. A whole new location has been found and kept somewhat quiet in 2012. Many new species have been discovered in excellent condition and detail. Detailed eyes, brains/neural fossils, some with last meals. Really cool.

      http://mobilevideo.cbc.ca/u/pass~fn/1/ls/~g-16×9~http:,,mobilevideo.cbc.ca,/1/ts/~s~__ABR__/1/f/~video_mp4~__LSV__/1/m/9/u/i/g/qbt6/cbc01/video.m3u8

      August 24, 2014 at 11:14 am |
      • colin31714

        Thanks again. I might try to bribe the guide to take us to the new site. We are blocked from seeing the Helen Lake Stromatolite Beds because of grizzly bear activity, so we have a spare day.

        August 24, 2014 at 11:19 am |
        • bostontola

          Enjoy! I look forward the hearing about it. If you like it I may do a trip myself. I went to Atapuerca in Spain last year. Not ancient like the Burgess Shale, it's about human development. It was very cool.

          August 24, 2014 at 12:07 pm |
    • Dalahäst

      Teacher: I don't actually have a physics degree. My credentials only allow me to post my opinion on message boards. Most credible and respected physicists would distance themselves with Colin and his opinions – fanatical anti-thiests are scary.

      Colin: I am God.

      August 24, 2014 at 1:01 pm |
      • colin31714

        I doubt many "respected physicists" would conclude that omniscience, omnipotence or immortality are serious concepts. However, such concepts appeal to the simple, childish mind of the believer.

        August 24, 2014 at 1:14 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          What? That original post was incredibly simple and childish. It is something a non-scientist anti-theist would write. It is something someone who hates Christians would write and post on a religion blog to troll others.

          I think most reasonable people would read that and say, "Whoa! That author has some issues."

          August 24, 2014 at 2:18 pm |
  13. dandintac

    Stedman does a good job in this article of pointing out facts and figures that demonstrate that Liberals are more tolerant of religious diveristy, including atheism.

    SE Cupp is a really odd duck. “I would never vote for an atheist president. Ever.”

    Imagine a Jew saying that. Let's pick on Steven Spielberg and imagine he said this: "I would never vote for a Jew president. Ever." Wouldn't we really have to wonder about him? Wouldn't we wonder that maybe there was something somehow twisted and warped about him? That he was self-hating?

    Or how about if John F Kennedy had withdrawn from the race and told the world he didn't think Catholics should ever be president? Isn't there something truly messed up about this scenario?

    So there is something "off" about Cupp. I don't know how else to put it. And it's not just this. She'll be talking about something and it seems she's making sense, and then off the rails she goes.

    August 24, 2014 at 2:38 am |
    • tallulah131

      She's a conservative media pundit. By definition, she makes her living fomenting anger and mistrust using dishonest, bombastic statements.. Her baseline is dishonesty and every word out of her mouth should be distrusted.

      August 24, 2014 at 2:56 am |
      • dandintac

        tallulah, there's a strong impulse in me that wants to be even-handed, fair, give the other side a hearing, but every time I do, I'm always forced to come to the same conclusion that you do.

        And that's a shame, because our country needs at least two strong, reasonable political parties that are each a viable alternative to the other. Instead we have no large parties that fit this description. We have a weak, ineffective party, and on the other hand, a dangerous lunatic party that is far worse.

        August 24, 2014 at 4:23 pm |
    • skytag

      "She'll be talking about something and it seems she's making sense, and then off the rails she goes."

      The part where she makes sense is supposed to lure you into thinking her views are reasonable and rational so you'll think there is a rational basis for the crazy stuff that comes later.

      But what's rational about an atheist saying she wouldn't vote for an atheist?

      August 24, 2014 at 11:56 am |
      • dandintac

        Sky,

        Yes, exactly. She's not even the worst by far. Cupp, in spite of her wierdness, is actually one of the less lunatic pundits. Some of the others have such an intense viotriolic hatred of those on the other side of the political spectrum, that I start feeling nauseated from the intensity of it.

        August 24, 2014 at 4:29 pm |
  14. realbuckyball

    "What God is screaming in Ferguson, Missouri"

    You can be pretty confident that if your deity reflects ALL YOUR emotions and only YOUR opinions, it's just a product of your imagination.

    August 24, 2014 at 12:01 am |
    • austin929

      they enjoyed the animal sacrifice of atonement? that what you saying? that was mans opinion of himself?

      that would never have been an evolutionary hobby or miscue.

      August 24, 2014 at 12:04 am |
      • neverbeenhappieratheist

        Right, killing an animal and putting it on a fire was never something our ancestors just thought up one day...

        August 24, 2014 at 5:02 am |
    • crittermomagain

      I think it's interesting that they won't allow comments on that page. I guess we're just supposed to accept his claim that god is "screaming" about something called "structural racism?"

      August 24, 2014 at 10:39 am |
      • Alias

        A black comedian said, "We can'y listen to music about killing cops and then expect equal treatment."
        I guess CNN would rather blame the police than really report the truth.

        August 24, 2014 at 10:56 am |
        • MidwestKen

          A funny line for a comedian, but incorrect. Freedom of speech covers such songs easily, without abrogating equal treatment.

          August 24, 2014 at 1:51 pm |
  15. Reality

    Looks like Austin is getting an early start on his Sunday "thu-mptations.

    A quick cure from my recipe book of essential theology and history of religion–

    JC's family and friends had it right 2000 years ago ( Mark 3: 21 "And when his friends heard of it, they went out to lay hold on him: for they said, He is beside himself.")

    Said passage is one of the few judged to be authentic by most contemporary NT scholars. e.g. See Professor Ludemann's conclusion in his book, Jesus After 2000 Years, p. 24 and p. 694.

    Actually, Jesus was a bit "touched". After all he thought he spoke to Satan, thought he changed water into wine, thought he raised Lazarus from the dead etc. In today's world, said Jesus would be declared legally insane.

    Or did P, M, M, L and J simply make him into a first century magic-man via their epistles and gospels of semi-fiction? Many contemporary NT experts after thorough analyses of all the scriptures go with the latter magic-man conclusion with J's gospel being mostly fiction.

    Obviously, today's followers of Paul et al's "magic-man" are also a bit on the odd side believing in all the Christian mumbo jumbo about bodies resurrecting, and exorcisms, and miracles, and "magic-man atonement, and infallible, old, European/Utah white men, and 24/7 body/blood sacrifices followed by consumption of said sacrifices. Yummy!!!!

    So why do we really care what a first century CE, illiterate, long-dead, preacher/magic man would do or say?

    August 23, 2014 at 11:39 pm |
    • Dalahäst

      "The funniest part about all of this – he states opinion then represents it as fact. He relies on "argumentum ad ignoratum" to an almost hysterical degree. And then, he quotes authors who support his opinion."

      I don't know who posted that to you yesterday, but he nailed it in regards to your typical posts.

      August 23, 2014 at 11:48 pm |
      • neverbeenhappieratheist

        Yes yes, we all know the cry of the outwitted is always "Reality be damned!"

        August 24, 2014 at 4:48 am |
        • Dalahäst

          No it is not.

          August 24, 2014 at 9:40 am |
      • colin31714

        Oh rubbish. He exhibits a greater knowledge of Christian writings and theology than 99% of Christians. You just don't like the fact that he demonstrates nicely what a pile of garbage your belief in the Judeo-Christian god is.

        August 24, 2014 at 9:53 am |
        • Dalahäst

          I'm not surprised you are impressed by him. You guys could probably switch names and nobody would know the difference. Although he is less prone to temper tantrums and a little less ridiculous than you. But you guys pretty much give the same packaged answers.

          August 24, 2014 at 9:56 am |
        • Bob

          Colin and Reality, great posts as usual. Keep up the great work.

          And as usual, cowardly dodger Dalahast can only respond with personal attacks.

          August 24, 2014 at 10:20 am |
        • colin31714

          Thanks Bob. Yes, confronting legitimate challenges to his posts head on is not exactly Dalahast's strong point.

          August 24, 2014 at 10:23 am |
        • ausphor

          Trolling, trolling, trolling, keep your keyboard trolling, yeehaw.
          Dalecarliah Horse/Dalahast a fan of Rawhide perhaps!!!

          August 24, 2014 at 10:47 am |
        • austin929

          That takes me back to about a third grade memory.............maybe second grade.

          August 24, 2014 at 11:30 am |
        • colin31714

          Your graduation ceremony?

          August 24, 2014 at 11:31 am |
        • Dalahäst

          I'm also not surprised Colin is impressed with Bob.

          August 24, 2014 at 12:48 pm |
    • austin929

      Reality................

      we all need His voice to know Him. you deserve the best my friend. pure truth. pure light.

      August 24, 2014 at 12:02 am |
      • Reality

        Obviously, Dalahast and Austin are still on the wrong road to the real Jesus i.e. rational thinking. The correct map has been presented many times.

        August 24, 2014 at 7:05 am |
        • Dalahäst

          Haha. "Obviously..."

          August 24, 2014 at 9:58 am |
        • Reality

          Again, Dalahast's map to freedom from years of Christian brainwash:

          o 1. Historical Jesus Theories, earlychristianwritings.com/theories.html – the names of many of the contemporary historical Jesus scholars and the ti-tles of their over 100 books on the subject.

          2. Early Christian Writings, earlychristianwritings.com/
          – a list of early Christian doc-uments to include the year of publication and a review of each:

          30-60 CE Passion Narrative
          40-80 Lost Sayings Gospel Q
          50-60 1 Thessalonians
          50-60 Philippians
          50-60 Galatians
          50-60 1 Corinthians
          50-60 2 Corinthians
          50-60 Romans
          50-60 Philemon
          50-80 Colossians
          50-90 Signs Gospel
          50-95 Book of Hebrews
          50-120 Didache
          50-140 Gospel of Thomas
          50-140 Oxyrhynchus 1224 Gospel
          50-200 Sophia of Jesus Christ
          65-80 Gospel of Mark
          70-100 Epistle of James
          70-120 Egerton Gospel
          70-160 Gospel of Peter
          70-160 Secret Mark
          70-200 Fayyum Fragment
          70-200 Testaments of the Twelve Patriarchs
          73-200 Mara Bar Serapion
          80-100 2 Thessalonians
          80-100 Ephesians
          80-100 Gospel of Matthew
          80-110 1 Peter
          80-120 Epistle of Barnabas
          80-130 Gospel of Luke
          80-130 Acts of the Apostles
          80-140 1 Clement
          80-150 Gospel of the Egyptians
          80-150 Gospel of the Hebrews
          80-250 Christian Sibyllines
          90-95 Apocalypse of John
          90-120 Gospel of John
          90-120 1 John
          90-120 2 John
          90-120 3 John
          90-120 Epistle of Jude
          93 Flavius Josephus
          100-150 1 Timothy
          100-150 2 Timothy
          100-150 T-itus
          100-150 Apocalypse of Peter
          100-150 Secret Book of James
          100-150 Preaching of Peter
          100-160 Gospel of the Ebionites
          100-160 Gospel of the Nazoreans
          100-160 Shepherd of Hermas
          100-160 2 Peter
          120-180 Trimorphic Protennoia
          120-180 Gospel of Perfection
          120-200 Genna Marias
          130-140 Marcion
          130-150 Aristo of Pella
          130-160 Epiphanes On Righteousness
          130-160 Ophite Diagrams
          130-160 2 Clement
          130-170 Gospel of Judas
          130-200 Epistle of Mathetes to Diognetus
          140-150 Epistula Apostolorum
          140-160 Ptolemy
          140-160 Isidore
          140-170 Fronto
          140-170 Infancy Gospel of James
          140-170 Infancy Gospel of Thomas
          140-180 Gospel of Truth
          150-160 Martyrdom of Polycarp
          150-160 Justin Martyr
          150-180 Excerpts of Theodotus
          150-180 Heracleon
          150-200 Ascension of Isaiah
          150-200 Interpretation of Knowledge
          150-200 Testimony of Truth
          150-200 Acts of Peter
          150-200 Acts of John
          150-200 Acts of Paul
          150-200 Acts of Andrew
          150-225 Acts of Peter and the Twelve
          150-225 Book of Thomas the Contender
          150-250 Paraphrase of Shem
          150-250 Fifth and Sixth Books of Esra
          150-300 Authoritative Teaching
          150-300 Coptic Apocalypse of Paul
          150-300 Prayer of the Apostle Paul
          150-300 Discourse on the Eighth and Ninth
          150-300 Melchizedek
          150-350 Preaching of Paul
          150-350 Epistle to the Laodiceans
          150-350 Questions of Mary
          150-350 Allogenes, the Stranger
          150-350 Hypsiphrone
          150-350 Valentinian Exposition
          150-350 Act of Peter
          150-360 Concept of Our Great Power
          150-400 Acts of Pilate
          150-400 Anti-Marcionite Prologues
          150-400 Dialogue Between John and Jesus
          160-170 Tatian's Address to the Greeks
          160-180 Claudius Apollinaris
          160-180 Apelles
          160-180 Julius Cassianus
          160-250 Octavius of Minucius Felix
          161-180 Acts of Carpus
          165-175 Melito of Sardis
          165-175 Hegesippus
          165-175 Dionysius of Corinth
          165-175 Lucian of Samosata
          167 Marcus Aurelius
          170-175 Diatessaron
          170-200 Dura-Europos Gospel Harmony
          170-200 Muratorian Canon
          170-200 Treatise on the Resurrection
          170-220 Letter of Peter to Philip
          170-230 Thought of Norea
          175-180 Athenagoras of Athens
          175-185 Irenaeus of Lyons
          175-185 Rhodon
          175-185 Theophilus of Caesarea
          175-190 Galen
          178 Celsus
          178 Letter from Vienna and Lyons
          180 Passion of the Scillitan Martyrs
          180-185 Theophilus of Antioch
          180-185 Acts of Apollonius

           4. Jesus Database, http://www.faithfutures.o-rg/JDB/intro.html –"The JESUS DATABASE is an online a-nnotated inventory of the traditions concerning the life and teachings of Jesus that have survived from the first three centuries of the Common Era. It includes both canonical and extra-canonical materials, and is not limited to the traditions found within the Christian New Testament."
          5. Josephus on Jesus mtio.com/articles/bis-sar24.htm
          6. The Jesus Seminar, http://en.wikipedia.o-rg/wiki/Jesus_Seminar
          7. http://www.biblicalartifacts.com/items/785509/item785509biblicalartifacts.html – books on the health and illness during the time of the NT
          8. Economics in First Century Palestine, K.C. Hanson and D. E. Oakman, Palestine in the Time of Jesus, Fortress Press, 1998.
          9.The Gn-ostic Jesus
          (Part One in a Two-Part Series on A-ncient and Modern G-nosticism)
          by Douglas Gro-othuis: http://www.equip.o-rg/articles/g-nosticism-and-the-g-nostic-jesus/
          10. The interpretation of the Bible in the Church, Pontifical Biblical Commission
          Presented on March 18, 1994
          ewtn.com/library/CURIA/PBCINTER.HTM#2
          11. The Jesus Database- newer site:
          wiki.faithfutures.o-rg/index.php?t-itle=Jesus_Database
          12. Jesus Database with the example of S-u-pper and Eucharist:
          faithfutures.o-rg/JDB/jdb016.html
          13. Josephus on Jesus by Paul Maier:
          mtio.com/articles/bis-sar24.htm
          13. http://www.textweek.com/mtlk/jesus.htmm- Historical Jesus Studies
          14. The Greek New Testament: laparola.net/greco/
          15. D-iseases in the Bible:
          http://books.google.com/books/about/The_d-iseases_of_the_Bible.html?id=C1YZAAAAYAAJ

          16. Religion on- Line (6000 a-rt-ic-les on the hi-story of religion, churches, theologies,
          theologians, eth-ics, etc. religion-online.o–rg/
          17. The New Testament Gateway – Internet NT n-tgate-way.com/
          18 Writing the New Testament- e-xi-sting copies, o–r–al tradition etc.
          n-tgat-eway.com/
          19. JD Crossan's c-onclusions about the a-uthencity of most of the NT based on the above plus the c-onclusions of other NT e-xege-tes in the last 200 years:
          http://wiki.faithfutures.o-rg/index.p-hp?t-itle=Crossan_Inventory
          20. Early Jewish Writings- Josephus and his books by t-itle with the complete translated work in English :earlyjewishwritings.com/josephus.html
          21. Luke and Josephus- was there a c-onnection?
          in-fidels.o-rg/library/modern/richard_carrier/lukeandjosephus.html
          22. NT and beyond time line:
          pbs.o-rg/empires/pe-terandpaul/history/timeline/
          23. St. Paul's Time line with discussion of important events:
          harvardhouse.com/prophetictech/new/pauls_life.htm
          24. See http://www.amazon.com for a list of JD Crossan's books and those of the other Jesus Seminarians: Reviews of said books are included and selected pages can now be viewed on Amazon. Some books can be found on-line at Google Books.
          25. Father Edward Schillebeeckx's words of wisdom as found in his books.
          27. The books of the following : Professors Gerd Ludemann, Marcus Borg, Paula Fredriksen, Elaine Pagels, Karen Armstrong and Bishop NT Wright.
          28. Father Raymond Brown's An Introduction to the New Testament, Doubleday, NY, 1977, 878 pages, with Nihil obstat and Imprimatur.
          29. Luke Timothy Johnson's book The Real Jesus

          August 24, 2014 at 11:37 am |
      • atlantic9

        No we all do not need to know your god. Absolutely not.

        August 24, 2014 at 9:58 am |
      • Reality

        "John 10:27 ►

        New International Version
        My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me."

        Really?

        Just another passage invented by this fellow John some 2000 years ago to impress his audience. As per many contemporary NT scholars, John's gospel is historically nil. Details previously given.

        BTW, most people don't like to be referred as "sheep".

        August 24, 2014 at 11:51 am |
  16. austin929

    Overcoming unjust systems through personal success and hard work (which has become the cornerstone of much of white, evangelical theology) is not God’s main desire: transforming structural evil is

    His unrelenting insistence reminded me — in the most stark terms — of James Baldwin’s prophetic quip: “Racial progress in America is measured by how fast I become white.”

    ya know.............I will admit that what this guy is feeling has to be excruciating. like why they haven't charged the cop?

    and I have a sense of how that feels. I have been robbed by the dissolving of leans or bankrupt builders who frauded me and when I was trying to protest.........I had a millioinare white American tell me that If I disrespect the government........that I was going directly against the Lord Jesus Christ.

    and it hurts to see such a pitiful complacent adherence to fraud........simply because this man was loaded and rewarded to the point of complacency.........that he would betray me............to the status quo.

    August 23, 2014 at 11:22 pm |
  17. austin929

    You can detect God. But it requires acceptable circu.mstances. and it is your choice to try or not.........to be patient and honest that you need Him to help you.

    August 23, 2014 at 10:08 pm |
    • bostontola

      Where in the bible does it say that? Why would you think God is demure.

      August 23, 2014 at 10:42 pm |
      • austin929

        That's the entire old testament...............from Adam and the broken communion............to Israel in the constant cycle of falling away and God forgiving them and re-establishing His covenant.........

        the new covenant is the PROMISE , of the Holy Spirit. if you receive it you are garunteed a spiritual gift, as well as the supernatural truth bearer.

        The Holy Spirit is a sanctifying spirit that supernaturally bears the truth of God's Word on one's heart.. and "bears" the truth is not a down pat response.

        If you want to know God , and you seek Him through His spirit, He will speak to you.

        Matthew 10:20 ►
        for it will not be you speaking, but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you.

        Romans 8:16 ►
        The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God's children.

        Romans 8:16-26
        16 For his Holy Spirit speaks to us deep in our hearts and tells us that we are God's children. 17 And since we are his children, we will share his treasures - for everything God gives to his Son, Christ, is ours, too. But if we are to share his glory, we must also share his suffering. 18 Yet what we suffer now is nothing compared to the glory he will give us later.

        http://pneumareview.com/six-ways-the-holy-spirit-will-communicate-with-you-by-charles-carrin/

        that's an awesome link! 6 promised ways that you can detect the Lord!

        Jehovah Shammah The Lord is There

        August 23, 2014 at 10:54 pm |
      • austin929

        another aspect to this is drawing in for His voice............that this spiritual union is a ceremonial marriage.

        and that you are spiritually united with a Holy God. our failings reveal God's great love as He will continue to nurture your longing.

        ....

        August 23, 2014 at 11:03 pm |
        • bostontola

          That says God will speak to us. Nothing about acceptable circu.mstances, etc. If God speaks to some and not others, that speaks more about your God than the receiver. I am completely open to a creator. I wasn't there to witness what really happened.

          August 24, 2014 at 12:29 am |
        • austin929

          ok well take for example Christ's reaction to the crowd. He would take someone away from the crowd to perform a miracle.

          case in point...............He was affected by the crowds doubt and hate......

          in the same way............within your soul...........if you have all of the turmoil and pride.........God will be less likely or unable to give the answer you seek.

          maybe someone can help me explain this................but there are human conditions that do not appeal to God.

          and the thing about Christ..........is He is an absolute intercessor. and the Holy Spirit is this personal voice.

          so this communication is achieved through you seeking Him. no joke man its real. If I could translate my experiences to you as truth it would be the greatest moment of my life......That is His role as savior.

          August 24, 2014 at 12:38 am |
        • bostontola

          A Wiccan once told me that spells won't work if you don't believe in them.

          August 24, 2014 at 12:46 am |
        • austin929

          that's deep and she really might be right too in certain cases. on the flip side not all powers are Godly..............but they are truly occult powers.

          I think that the ancient false god's ...their evil spirits are mirrored with great power in todays society. Hellinization and baals.................prevalent today.............worshipped as gods to men. pervaisively subtle.

          August 24, 2014 at 12:57 am |
        • austin929

          did you see how tony Stewart had just made the motto and blasted it "life is yours and yours to live" ...........and then he ran that guy over?

          I see that as a supernatural punishment.

          August 24, 2014 at 12:58 am |
        • bostontola

          Have a great night Austin.

          August 24, 2014 at 1:07 am |
        • austin929

          thanks. You too .

          August 24, 2014 at 1:17 am |
        • Woody

          "I think that the ancient false god's ...their evil spirits are mirrored with great power in todays society." – austin929

          ALL gods are false gods. Be they ancient or contemporary, they're all products of the human imagination. But you can go on, desperately clinging to your dream of everlasting life in the clouds. It's really pitiful that seemingly intelligent people such as yourself, can't deal with their own mortality. You rely on the nonsensical belief of invisible beings in the sky, derived from ancient mumbo jumbo stories, to get you through your life. But, if that's what makes you happy................

          August 24, 2014 at 9:00 am |
        • G to the T

          "that's deep and she really might be right too in certain cases. on the flip side not all powers are Godly..............but they are truly occult powers."

          Makes sense, there's as much evidence to support their claim of "magic". I know you feel it has, but the "supernatural" in general has never been proven to my satisfaction. Once proper controls are in place, the "supernatural" becomes lost in the margins of statistical probability.

          August 24, 2014 at 10:08 am |
    • Dalahäst

      That sounds like my experience. It turned my world upside down to see that dependance on God leads to strength in my life, not the weakness I speculated about in others.

      August 23, 2014 at 10:58 pm |
      • austin929

        Amen. Jireh.

        August 23, 2014 at 11:25 pm |
      • G to the T

        I don't doubt it. Certainty can be a comfort and a strength in many ways, if it can be maintained. I personally found it shattering when I realized I no longer believed. Now I try to cultivate a basically skeptical disposition – for me – it feels more honest.

        August 24, 2014 at 10:14 am |
        • Dalahäst

          I wasn't talking about certainty.

          I'm naturally skeptical. And have no problem with it. I'm skeptical of atheists who try to convince me they are right and I am wrong.

          August 24, 2014 at 12:52 pm |
        • G to the T

          I think we've gone down this road before Dal – do you believe God exists or do you know God exists? Do you believe Jesus was also God and died for the sins of the world or do you know he did? Certainty = Knowing.

          August 24, 2014 at 1:06 pm |
    • neverbeenhappieratheist

      "requires acceptable circu.mstances. and it is your choice to try or not...."

      Acceptable circvmstances = being born to white anglo saxon protestants in a country where Christianity is the majority opinion I guess... when you try to find God in other places in the world you get different brands, colors and creeds.

      August 24, 2014 at 12:18 pm |
  18. deism4me

    Atheists and everyone else interested should check out http://www.deism4me.com and http://www.deism.com. What you really believe may already have a name.

    August 23, 2014 at 9:39 pm |
    • tallulah131

      Actually, the definition of atheist is "a person who disbelieves or lacks belief in the existence of God or gods." Therefore, what you are offering is not something that will interest atheists.

      August 24, 2014 at 1:33 am |
      • austin929

        ya that's the atheist definition of an atheist.

        what was hitlers definition of hitler?

        hows it going Talullah? what you been doing?

        August 24, 2014 at 1:41 am |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          Oh ffs....

          August 24, 2014 at 2:15 am |
        • tallulah131

          You are a very disturbed person, austin. I hope you seek professional help.

          August 24, 2014 at 2:51 am |
        • neverbeenhappieratheist

          I don't think even professional help can fix stupid...

          August 24, 2014 at 12:19 pm |
        • austin929

          oh wow you all crack me up!

          I am not comparing an atheist to hitler in character. I am simply questioning the definition made by a collective bias. which atheism is said to resist using bias.....like science...........but on a personal level when people speak for atheism you have their own personal agenda to consider.............................ever time.

          there may be an honored underlying selfish motivation for many things, including the reason someone chooses to proclaim atheism. They don't like the idea of God being Holy. That is a personal conflict to every sinner.

          August 24, 2014 at 12:57 pm |
        • LaBella

          Austin, words have meaning. The meaning of atheist is someone who doesn't believe in any gods. That's not the atheist definition, unless you contend that an atheist defines all words found in the dictionary.

          August 24, 2014 at 1:02 pm |
        • austin929

          o.k. well that is a character issue .. if I tell you I have experienced a supernatural gift of the spirit, and I tell you about it and you say "i don't believe you" ............................

          then that has to do with what you want to believe,,,,or refuse to believe for moral implications drawn up by your own choice of standards.

          so if someone tells you a truth, ............you reject it because you are personally defaulted. that's your problem with your character.

          same is true with God. God is invisible. deal with it based upon your character. you lack all knowledge,you hope God isn't there , and you walk your walk.

          God hasn't given you the truth yet.

          August 24, 2014 at 1:11 pm |
        • LaBella

          What?

          So it is now an issue of my character because you don't know word meanings?

          August 24, 2014 at 1:15 pm |
        • austin929

          very possible. and very common. typical. that its a character being taken up.

          August 24, 2014 at 2:06 pm |
        • LaBella

          It's also very possible you feel the need to attack my character because you are too embarrassed to admit you didn't know the meaning if the word atheist, Austin. Now why would that be?

          August 24, 2014 at 2:14 pm |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          "if I tell you I have experienced a supernatural gift of the spirit"

          Unless you can prove you are not a delusional clown....I cam going to think you are and that is not my problem it is yours. No one has ever shown supernatural abilities that can be demonstrated. You constantly talk out of your ass...you make claims and then when proven wrong you make excuses.

          August 24, 2014 at 4:50 pm |
        • johnbiggscr

          'what was hitlers definition of hitler?'

          that he was a good catholic doing god's work in getting rid of jews apparently.

          August 25, 2014 at 3:03 pm |
  19. tallulah131

    No, I'm not bragging. I'm simply letting you know that your own behavior influences how you are treated. When you treat someone poorly, do not be surprised when they return the favor.

    August 23, 2014 at 8:01 pm |
  20. austin929

    ISAIAH 30:8

    Isaiah 30:8 ►

    Go now, write it on a tablet for them, inscribe it on a scroll, that for the days to come it may be an everlasting witness.

    ,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,SOMETHING IS GOING TO BE REVEALED!

    August 23, 2014 at 4:41 pm |
    • TruthPrevails1

      You do comprehend that the prophecies within the bible have been proven fallacious right?
      They are mostly self-fulfilling and they can't be considered prophecies if no date is attached because otherwise what you end up with is a situation like we see in Israel/Gaza where one group believes so strongly in what they think their holy says/wants that they will stop at nothing to see it happen.
      Now I understand that you probably won't bother to look at the following link, dismissing it as whatever it is you dismiss it as due to it pointing out the obvious flaws but somebody may open their mind, http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Failed_biblical_prophecies

      August 23, 2014 at 4:53 pm |
      • Robert Brown

        You may find this helpful;

        http://www.bibleevidences.com/prophecy.htm

        August 23, 2014 at 9:58 pm |
        • TruthPrevails1

          Was there something incorrect with what I posted? It does accurately and in simple terms explain about the so-called prophecies.

          August 24, 2014 at 6:02 am |
      • austin929

        Jesus will be pierced

        John 19:37 claims that Jesus being pierced in the course of his execution fulfills a prophecy: "and, as another scripture says, 'They will look on the one they have pierced.'" The NIV translation in a footnote indicates the source of this prophecy is Zechariah 12:10:

        And I will pour out on the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem a spirit of grace and supplication. They will look on me, the one they have pierced, and they will mourn for him as one mourns for an only child, and grieve bitterly for him as one grieves for a firstborn son. (NIV)

        The first observation to make is that the verse in John is an inaccurate quote, leaving out the word "me." This is to alleviate inconsistencies with the one speaking, presumably John, also being the one pierced, claimed to be Jesus. In fact, this relates to the problem inherent in assuming the verse from John refers to Jesus–that the "me" who is pierced cannot be the same as the "him" who is mourned for.

        Also the context of Zechariah 12 is of an invading army and is not intended as a prophecy of Jesus.

        @ TP...............hey we love you man. and there is nothing about you that can change that. I know Jesus loves you.

        August 23, 2014 at 10:13 pm |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          I ordered a steak last night...I then predicted the the waitress would bring me a steak.

          I'm a prophet!

          August 23, 2014 at 10:19 pm |
        • austin929

          OK.................well the book of Zechariah and Isaiah have dates. and so does Moses and Leviticus 23.

          they had the book written. and THEN...........Christ was pierced on Passover. was He not? and was it not written? Didn't Christ often refer to Moses? How is that?

          August 23, 2014 at 10:23 pm |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          And no one at the time was aware of the supposed prophecies right?

          August 23, 2014 at 11:11 pm |
        • austin929

          I do not think you can say the Jews and the Romans got together and intentionally fulfilled the Mosaic festival calendar .

          Do you think they crucified Him on Passover and then they winged the resurrection of the the festival of first fruits?

          and pentacost.............7 sevens after the Sabbath day=50 days...............the festival of feast of weeks.

          There is no way that the Jews would do that to themselves. Christ did it to fulfill it................it was the will of God. but there were not any purposeful people in the crowd of Jews and Romans......................they were simply killing the man they didn't recognize.

          August 24, 2014 at 12:00 am |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          No...I think the story was made up to fit the narrative...there is no evidence from the romans or jews that Jesus ever existed.

          August 24, 2014 at 2:05 am |
        • TruthPrevails1

          Using the bible to defend the bible is circular reasoning an fails.

          August 24, 2014 at 5:39 am |
        • austin929

          truth prevails...............the fact that the kingdom is growing is not apparent yet to some. Christ has been gone for almost 2,000 years.

          were you expecting to keep his dead body in your garage as proof that He isn't in heaven?

          The bible is only something you term "circular" because it inflates your sense of emancipation from God.

          you are playing a game with your own mind ......................its called a power trip. . all children test their parents in the same way.

          August 24, 2014 at 12:51 pm |
    • realbuckyball

      Deuteronomy 18:10 "Let no one be found among you who sacrifices their son or daughter in the fire, who practices divination or sorcery, interprets omens, engages in witchcraft"

      What has been revealed is that you interpret omens, and practice the abomination known as "divination", which Jebus no likey.

      August 23, 2014 at 11:58 pm |
      • austin929

        ya...........and you can define all of those and we could see if they apply to some of my dreams...........but can you for once realbuckyball explain this as well to me please?

        bucky......while this was a restriction........diviniation, sorcery, omens and witchcraft".............then why were there still prophets.........how did prophets differ (of whom I am not a prophet)

        and second..........pertaining to the Deuteronomy verse you quoted.............how do you apply then the new testament gift of prophecy , and word of knowledge, and word of wisdom, and interpretation.?

        what gives?

        August 24, 2014 at 1:04 am |
        • G to the T

          "then why were there still prophets.........how did prophets differ"

          Prophets explained what would happen if people didn't start following god as they thought was proper.

          August 24, 2014 at 9:32 am |
        • austin929

          An they got tactical instructions.............they were given supernatural plans. they ordained war

          they interpreted dreams about famines and pestilence, or drought. They had dreams about whirlwinds. dreams about enslavement. judgments........battle field losses.

          but in calling me a soothsayer...................I never came here wanting to predict anything...............people put me to the test and I didn't know what to do. that wasn't my idea.................I am talking about my experience. and I have had supernatural revelations about my own pathway. God has dealt with me concerning me.

          now try to tell me then what is the gift of prophecy in the new testament, what is a gift of knowledge, and a gift of wisdom, and what the interpreter is for in the church. and how these edify the church in Pauls time where there were miracles, and we can skip the discussion about cessitation.

          August 24, 2014 at 1:06 pm |
        • midwest rail

          "...people put me to the test and I didn't know what to do. that wasn't my idea..."
          Another falsehood, but since you're only trolling, what does it matter ?

          August 24, 2014 at 1:12 pm |
        • G to the T

          "Pauls time where there were miracles"

          Paul and his version of Judaism/Christianity is going to be a sticking point for us. You see him as an authority on par with the other writers of the new testament.

          But that's neither here nor there – they predicted a future that would occur, if things didn't change. They did not preach an immutable future. As for the new testament prophecies – I find it more likely that the writers worked the telling of the events to match what they thought the prophecies were, rather than actual fulfillment.

          August 24, 2014 at 1:15 pm |
        • austin929

          no I don't want to go that direction...

          how does the new testament gift of the prophecy, word of knowledge, and word of wisdom.............how do they function?

          8 For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit;

          9 To another faith by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit;

          10 To another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits; to another divers kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues:

          ...........look up the gift of prophey, the word of wisdom, or the word of knowledge..............one of the routes of this gift is through dreams.
          1 thess 5................a new testament bible verse.
          20Do not treat prophecies with contempt 21but test them all; hold on to what is good, 22reject every kind of evil.

          you have said that this on my part is soothesaying and divination..............................but look here at the new testament.

          receiving the spiritual gift through a dream is no a sinful act. receiving the revelation was not my choice. and this verse says that there will be evil attempting to corrupt the gift. That is demonic deception in dreams. or teaching.

          that is a major issue here..............because I have experienced demonic revelations. is that in itself a sin? no it is not. its a valid revelation...........................just like every mention of Satan in the bible is not a sin..........its a helpful revelation.

          so you can beware , God allows this by His grace.

          August 24, 2014 at 2:00 pm |
        • austin929

          Midwest rail................................it was not my idea man.............go back and recall everyone telling me about James Randii............I was talking about the past at that point. then it progressed from there to people asking me to make predictions.

          August 24, 2014 at 2:03 pm |
        • midwest rail

          No, austin – the subject of Randi was already being discussed when you jumped into the thread and said you could easily take his million dollars "within 24 hours" as I recall. It was only after you made that claim that you were continually called out on it. I even pasted your own words back to you. But I digress. Since you're really only trolling, no big deal.

          August 24, 2014 at 11:24 pm |
        • G to the T

          Again Austin – I think you are missing the point. Prophecies are provided so that the recipient can warn his fellows of what will happen if they don't follow God's commands. What are you doing to fulfill this duty?

          August 25, 2014 at 12:27 pm |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.