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11 faith-based predictions for 2011
January 1st, 2011
06:00 AM ET

11 faith-based predictions for 2011

By Dan Gilgoff, CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

To open 2011, CNN's Belief Blog asked 10 religious leaders and experts - plus one secular humanist - to make a faith-based prediction about the year ahead.

Have a faithy prediction of your own? Share it in comments.

Here's what those in the know are predicting:

1. With the repeal of "don't ask, don't tell" there will be a more concerted effort by the gay, lesbian,  bisexual and transgendered community for gay marriage, uniting conservative evangelicals, Roman Catholics, Muslims and Orthodox Jews in a much more civil but principled resistance. Respectful debate will produce more precise and pluralistic solutions.
-Dr. Joel C. Hunter, senior pastor of Northland, a Church Distributed, in Orlando, Florida

2. A new generation of Muslims will bust out of their culturally and politically isolated cocoons and passionately reclaim their voice and narratives; one that has been stolen, used, abused and hijacked by extremists, terrorists and fear-mongering propagandists. Watch out for a major cultural renaissance as a new generation of Muslim artists and storytellers grab the mic, enter the arena and speak their voice with a revived passion and purpose.
-Wajahat Ali, Muslim playwright and attorney

3. As anti-Christian violence accelerates in places like Iraq, Egypt and India, a government crackdown on Christian churches gathers steam in China, and European bureaucrats continue to drive Christianity from the public square, “Christianophobia” will become a buzzword.
-John Allen Jr., CNN's senior Vatican analyst

4. After years of increasingly contentious debates and billboard wars between religious believers and atheists, American secularists will begin to embrace a message of positive humanist community, gaining increasing acceptance as they organize cooperation between nontheists and theists toward the common good.
-Greg M. Epstein, humanist chaplain at Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts

5. As religious tensions grow over the coming presidential election and domestic cultural issues involving perceived legislation of morality, the media will find more zealous Christians reacting to the issues of the day whose extreme positions will further divide the evangelical church into radical positions, and turn away seekers looking for a peaceful resolution to the churning in their own souls. In other words, the devil will play a trick on the church, and the church will, like sheep, lose their focus on the grace and love of Christ and wander astray. Those who seek peace, then, will turn to liberal ideologies.
-Don Miller, Christian author whose books include "Blue Like Jazz"

6. I foresee multiple instances of dialogue and cooperation between Muslim and Jewish houses of worship, with the initiative coming from the moderate Muslim community. They will avoid talking about the Middle East and concentrate on living as religious minorities in the United States.
–Rabbi Harold Kushner, author whose books include "When Bad Things Happen to Good People"

7. Mormons have delivered the vote for Republicans year after year, but the GOP would be wise to remember that Mormons don't actually belong to them. We noticed and will not forget Mike Huckabee's viciously anti-Mormon mockery of Mitt Romney during the 2008 campaign. If Huckabee is the Republican nominee for president, look for substantial numbers of Mormons to defect or abstain. Mormons are the key to Republican victory in many Western swing states; if Huckabee actually wants their votes, he'd better start mending fences now.
-Orson Scott Card, Mormon author whose books include "Pathfinder"

8. New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg will loudly and proudly denounce the anti-Muslim rhetoric of Republican presidential hopefuls, ensuring that religious pluralism will be a central issue in the 2012 presidential race and nudging President Obama and other leading Democrats to stand tall for one of America’s most cherished ideals.
–Eboo Patel, founder and president of Interfaith Youth Core

9. Religious conservatives and Tea Party activists will increasingly work together to keep pressure on the Republican Party to remain true to its fiscal and culturally conservative principles in the new session of Congress and the 2012 presidential nomination.
–Ralph Reed, founder of the Faith and Freedom Coalition

10. More Wiccan ministers and other pagan leaders will be actively involved in interfaith organizations, conferences and initiatives in the United States and internationally. Interfaith endeavors will grow in importance in addressing ongoing needs in the world today as well as in responding to natural disasters and other tragedies.
-Rev. Selena Fox, senior minister of Circle Sanctuary, a Wiccan church near Barneveld, Wisconsin

11. Two-thousand-eleven will be, unfortunately, a continuation of great Islamophobic and uninformed attacks that will further alienate American Muslims and cause great distress in the rest of the Muslim world. However, I predict that the Park 51 will become less of an issue as more New Yorkers decide enough is enough and that they will not allow a few people with an Islamophobic agenda to dictate location of places of worship.
- Muna Abusulayman, secretary general of The Alwaleed Bin Talal Foundation

CNN's Jessica Ravitz, John Blake, Maria Ebrahimji and Kelly Marshall Smoot contributed to this report.

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Christianity • Islam • Judaism • Leaders

soundoff (803 Responses)
  1. Tad Pole

    This is one of the most useless articles I've ever read. It is simply asking 11 people what is on their agenda – what a waste of space.

    January 1, 2011 at 10:02 am |
    • Ciscoheat

      But seriously tadpole...read these comments...this is better than a night at the comedy club! I love how much hypocrisy goes on in the name of one's lord! lol

      January 2, 2011 at 5:10 am |
  2. Flex

    From the bottom of my heart, I hate professional, anti-gay Christian bigots. I want to see their disgusting religious destroyed. It deserves to choke on it's poisonous practices against the gays. Get out of my life, anti-gay Christian lunatics! I hate you!

    January 1, 2011 at 10:01 am |
    • donna auf

      Sorry for you Flex. Someone has hurt you or someone you love very deeply. I am a Christian.
      It is with love that you meet someone, throwing stones does nothing except cause hostility and hate.
      Look forward to hearing back from you.

      January 1, 2011 at 11:36 am |
    • @Flex

      I am so sorry that people of faith hurt you. That behavior is not what Christ espoused and not how we Christians should behave. Please know that not all Christians feel the same way. My church not only welcomes gay members, but we have gay priests and bishops as well as female priests and bishops – all who may marry. God loves all of his children, and I sincerely hope that you find a home one day with a loving church. Please keep looking and don't give up. We're out here, and our arms are open waiting to embrace you.

      January 1, 2011 at 3:24 pm |
  3. Me

    Oh brother. What a load of crap.

    January 1, 2011 at 10:00 am |
    • JoeSense

      good morning, your here aren't ya?!!

      January 1, 2011 at 10:23 am |
  4. donna

    Just wondering what criteria was used to define and qualify the "experts" in this article. It seems all of the "experts" were selected for their humanistic, and in most cases non-theistic, tendencies. How about adding 11 more comments from religious leaders? Since more people in the world profess a belief in a Supreme Being, it might be a bit more balanced and enlightening to hear from some of the more traditionally religious folks, even some of whom might qualify as "expert".

    January 1, 2011 at 9:57 am |
  5. waynebob

    I predict that most predictions will prove false.....predictably.

    January 1, 2011 at 9:52 am |
    • Bill Duke

      You are correct sir!

      January 1, 2011 at 9:57 am |
  6. 1nd3p3nd3nt

    Sadly, people will continue to believe whatever the powers that be tell them. Humanity will stumble along, repeating errors again and again every generation. Eventually there must be a breaking point, it will probably be messy and ugly, since interest groups from political parties to organized religions will stubbornly resist any attempt of challenging their "interpretation" of reality. It will happen one day, we are not competent enough to avoid it, unfortunately.

    January 1, 2011 at 9:45 am |
    • Jeff

      Well Said. Everyone believes their beliefs are correct and refuses to accept any compromise, that is why relegion has been the cause of the majority of the wars in the history of the human race. Believe what I believe or die, Christians, Catholics, Muslims...ect have done some form of "ethnic Clensing" at one time or another. They way I see it, only the dead know the correct answer and they aren't talking... not to me anyway.

      January 1, 2011 at 12:42 pm |
    • rich

      ironic that more people have been killed in the history of man, in the name of God's, than any other reason, when the laws of all organized religions include some form of "thou shall not kill".

      January 1, 2011 at 4:12 pm |
  7. Tom

    Typical – "religious leaders and experts.... plus one secular humanist" Apparently humanists cannot really be regarded as 'experts' or 'leaders' – is that right CNN ?

    January 1, 2011 at 9:45 am |
    • 1nd3p3nd3nt

      I think the issue is with the adjective "religious." Secularists, by definition, can't really be religious. Now, I could agree that we need to tweak some definitions as i believe anyone who examines life is technically "religious," but hey, what can you do?

      January 1, 2011 at 9:49 am |
    • KeithTexas

      Religious is a relative term. It is not a term of honor nor does it have anything to do with spirituality at all. You can be religious about brushing your teeth. It seems like a lot of people here are looking for something to be offended about.

      January 1, 2011 at 1:05 pm |
  8. Zenbud

    #9 – The arrogance and greed of so-called "Christians" will be revealed to be misogynist, anti-gay, anti-semitic, islamaphobic, and catering to the less informed and willfully ignorant. 2011 will reveal that the divine is revealed in our actions, our hearts and not some old guy living in the sky. That rewards do not 'await' you after death, but are here, now when you serve those less fortunate and your fellow humans.

    Politicians who claim to be 'Christian' are catering to these fears. For what is religion? Controlling the population with fear.

    My hope is that 2011 will expose these rich white men's hypocrisy who control their 'flock' with fear and topple them from their self made pulpits. That the population will be curious to seek information and to educate themselves with facts instead of hatred.

    January 1, 2011 at 9:38 am |
  9. Mattski

    I predict the Christian establishment will move no closer to actual Christian behavior than they have in the past.

    January 1, 2011 at 9:37 am |
    • andersod

      Amen

      January 1, 2011 at 9:38 am |
  10. Paulie

    Condolezza Rice in will run for President 2012 and you will see democrats shriek in horror that an experienced black woman republican is running against Obama. Someone with experience in international government too. Obama would not stand a chance against her in an upcoming election.

    January 1, 2011 at 9:36 am |
    • YumYumYum

      Still drunk from last night are you.

      January 1, 2011 at 9:39 am |
    • Philologus

      The thought of Rice for president is quite off-topic, but... it is certainly not the thought of one drunk or hungover. About 8 years ago I first had the thought that she would make an excellent president. Sadly, she is FAR too honest and intelligent to allow herself to be cast into the world of politics to that extent.

      January 1, 2011 at 11:33 am |
    • Festivus

      Please do encourage her to run. You'd do me (and the rest of the sane U.S.) a great favor!

      January 1, 2011 at 2:32 pm |
  11. YumYumYum

    Like any of these will come true. Talk about believing in fantasies.

    January 1, 2011 at 9:33 am |
  12. J.R. Graff

    Prediction number 1 being against Gay & Lesbian Equality is just ludicrous. You religious leaders and commoners over-react and treat us like something we are not. We are not a threat to you. Straight people will still get married. They will still have babies - and the same low-IQ people will continue to give attention to morons like The Duggar family (19 kids and counting) and Kate Gosselin. Going against gays because we cannot procreate is just pathetic. Procreation is THE LAST thing we need!

    January 1, 2011 at 9:31 am |
    • YumYumYum

      Should a society have no morality? Should we allow incest to be legalized? Pedophiles? And worse? What you think as normal is nothing but a perversion to others.

      January 1, 2011 at 9:38 am |
    • Cedar rapids

      'Should a society have no morality'
      Because 2 consenting adults loving each other is so immoral.

      January 1, 2011 at 9:52 am |
    • Morgan

      @YumYumYum,

      Have you ever considered that there are probably things YOU do that are immoral to others? I'm sure there are, somewhere in your life, things that other faiths consider sins. Perhaps you eat pork. Perhaps you wear clothing of mixed fabrics. Who knows? Perhaps you even play with yourself.

      So think about it for a second. Maybe I'm right. Maybe whatever my faith says is right, and you'll suffer the pains of the da-mned that my faith prescribes for "sinners." You should consider converting. After all, if I'm wrong, you have nothing to lose. But if I'm right...

      January 1, 2011 at 10:59 am |
    • Your Average Atheist

      @Yum,

      Bible believers have no problem with incest. How else could Adam and Eve's children have populated society ?

      Many animals are social, intelligent and work together instead of killing each other. This is because it is better for their species not because they worship a god and have morals .LMAO

      January 1, 2011 at 11:21 am |
    • mattifolks

      What, exactly, is immoral about two comsenting adults formalizing their union? Try to make your argument without quoting from any fictional texts like the Bible. How, exactly, does Gay Marriage affect you in any way? Give one example, just one...I didnt think so...

      January 1, 2011 at 2:00 pm |
    • rich

      in a society, that is governed by an electorate brought into power to represent the population of mixed beliefs, and a diverse ethnic society , minorities will always be susceptible to discrimination, only unalienable human right's that apply to all human's, can insure justice. (in the nonlegal sense.)

      January 1, 2011 at 4:03 pm |
    • Raider

      Funny thing Yumyum, you bring up pedophiles but the only ones we ever really hear about are priests.

      January 1, 2011 at 4:35 pm |
  13. Corvus1

    I predict atheists will continue to be hateful, ignorant loudmouths in memory of their slaughtered and butchered queen Madalyn O'Hairball.

    January 1, 2011 at 9:29 am |
    • andersod

      If only we atheists could all be as loving, compassionate, and non-judgmental as you are.

      January 1, 2011 at 9:35 am |
    • Robb

      Andersod, most atheists are much more vulgar. Just read the posts. The words out of most of the people (non-Christians) in this blog are full of hate and name-calling. I'm glad I'm not an atheist or I would be really embarassed about the behavior and language of my peers (especially while they are, at the same time, admonishing the "Christians" for the same behavior). LOL. Talk about double standards!

      January 1, 2011 at 11:01 am |
    • Your Average Atheist

      @Robb,

      yes, it would be better to go around the world as a christian. like during the crusades, butchering anyone that does not want to convert to christianity ... or burning them at the stake. what a highly intelligent and sophisticated group of folks you are.

      January 1, 2011 at 11:18 am |
    • Carlos

      @Robb. Are. You. Kidding. Me? You seriously have the gall to say that athiests are the vulgar ones, under a literally vulgar, nasty, and boorish post by a right wing lunatic? There is a difference between athiests and most thiests. Besides the obvious, athiests are the ones gutsy enough to see a bull organization and to say what they believe, instead of cowering behind crusades, Jihads, and an established dominance on society.

      January 1, 2011 at 11:25 am |
    • EvoDevo

      Corvus is the genus for crows. Do you eat crow a lot?

      January 1, 2011 at 11:30 am |
    • ZetaZaku

      @Robb
      Unfortunately, we atheists have learned to be aggressive due to the similar aggression and heavy pressure other religions have directed at us for ages. Now, when believers have realized that their actions were intolerant and have begun to back off for the most part, most of the atheists have yet to do the same and feel justified in their actions.

      It honestly does embarrass me that any time religion appears in the public view, atheists make it a priority to immediately attack it as publicly as possible. There's intolerance on both sides, and both still need to learn respect for other people's beliefs.

      January 1, 2011 at 12:24 pm |
    • EvoDevo

      ZetaZaku. Why do I need to be tolerant of abysmal rubbish?

      January 1, 2011 at 2:11 pm |
    • Charbabay19

      As a Humanist I worry too about the angry voices of Atheists overriding the positive voices like that of Epstein above. But to generalize Atheists is no different from us generalizing believers. Know that there are positive AND proud Atheists/Agnostics/Humanists/etc who do not use mockery, intimidation, or hatred as tools for dialogue with others and will continue to strive towards creating an open and respectful environment for inter(outer)-religious dialogue.

      January 1, 2011 at 2:27 pm |
    • Festivus

      I predict that you will, at times, beeeeat off in 2011!

      Right on? 🙂 Of course, enjoy with all the love & compassion that your religion dissed out! 🙂

      January 1, 2011 at 2:28 pm |
    • KeithTexas

      Corvus1 says – "I predict atheists will continue to be hateful, ignorant loudmouths in memory of their slaughtered and butchered queen Madalyn O'Hairball." Now, that was about as ignorant and hateful as you can get. I am not an Atheist and I was offended by that.

      I have friends that knew Madelyn well and they often heard her say "thank god" when something fortuitous happened. You see she was more anti-church than atheist. At that time in Texas a lot of religion was forced into everyone's lives. Her fight was against churches really, not god.

      I am glad she did the work she did so I have freedom "from religion" as well as freedom "of religion".

      January 1, 2011 at 2:30 pm |
    • Raider

      I'm quite happy to throw a little intolerance back at the thiests. They've been trying to make my life miserable for quite a while now. I've got a lot of catching up to do!

      January 1, 2011 at 4:31 pm |
    • Raider

      KeithTexas, I'm 100% athiest and I at times still say stuff like Thank god. The terminology was brainwashed into me as a kid and it's really hard to break a conditioned response. I do try to add an expletive in there when I remember now though, just to balance the scales!

      January 1, 2011 at 4:34 pm |
    • rich

      @ Corvus1, Am i the only one to smell sarcasm in your posting?

      January 1, 2011 at 6:26 pm |
    • Robb

      Average Atheist, Carlos, and Zeta. I can see your point and, frankly, I am embarassed by Christians (past and present) who have been violent in their beliefs. We would probably all agree that there have been violent individuals on all sides of this issue. The reality is that I choose to not live out my beliefs in my God in such a way (that's not who my God is, anyway). The difference is that many of those who are anti-God (and unfortunately some who profess to be Christian in this thread) continue the hate. Why don't we just all lay it down and either 1/agree to disagree in a civil way or 2/have an intelligent dialogue?

      Continuing to call others names only solidifies my belief that there is no substance to your point of view. If there were, you and others (on both sides) would argue using the facts and logic not by calling names.

      January 2, 2011 at 2:14 am |
  14. Ben

    The only reasonable prediction is that the percentage of people with no religion will continue to grow and grow and grow.

    January 1, 2011 at 9:28 am |
    • Roy

      It will! As it has been for years. It's a good thing... Happy New Year.

      January 1, 2011 at 9:45 am |
    • Bill Duke

      Soylent Green is People!

      January 1, 2011 at 9:56 am |
  15. fynalexander

    The Muslims have got no one but themselves to blame They need to stop bombing and trying to force their misogynist beliefs on the world.

    January 1, 2011 at 9:25 am |
    • Don

      As opposed to the misogyny of some christians?

      January 1, 2011 at 9:29 am |
    • Alex Baj

      Yeah! Muslims should just let others bomb them and take their resources and culture away. They should not use barberic ways. Because in civilized world you can only use smart weapons not explode yourself.

      January 1, 2011 at 12:41 pm |
  16. Christ follower

    "...difficult times will come. For men will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, revilers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy, unloving, irreconcilable, malicious gossips, without self-control, brutal, haters of good, treacherous, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, holding to a form of godliness but denying its power...." Written around 2000 years ago in the Bible but could be written as a prediction of 2011.

    January 1, 2011 at 9:21 am |
    • Cedar rapids

      'Written around 2000 years ago in the Bible but could be written as a prediction of 2011.'
      Or every year inbetween or even before that line was written.

      January 1, 2011 at 9:50 am |
    • Judy

      I notice they used only PC crap in this crap of an article. The Lord has wearied with us long enough...perhaps 2011 will be that final opportunity for this nation to turn back to God. But, I doubt the wiccans and the atheists will hear the truth...doesn't seem to be many teaching it according to this selection of " people of faith" they've selected in this article. If we are wrong...so what? what have we lost? But if they are wrong??? There'll be hell to pay. Good post Christ Follower.....see you there or in the air! J

      January 1, 2011 at 9:53 am |
    • Cedar rapids

      ' If we are wrong...so what? what have we lost? But if they are wrong??? There'll be hell to pay'
      Unless you happen to have been worshipping the wrong god, in which case you will have 'hell to pay' as well.

      January 1, 2011 at 10:03 am |
    • Also a Christ folllower.

      Well said. You said what I was thinking, and others like us were thinking. So I say to you and all others who would be real Christ followers, "Look up for your redemption drawth nie." And you notice no body like Rick Warren, Franklin Graham or others like that were asked to comment. Makes you wonder eh. Happy New Year.

      January 1, 2011 at 10:21 am |
    • JohnQuest

      I too think it is well said and straightforward, believe in a deity or burn in hell for eternity.

      January 1, 2011 at 10:37 am |
    • Morgan

      ... and 2012, 2013, 2014....

      ... and 1900, 1901, 1902, 1903...

      You get the idea.

      January 1, 2011 at 10:54 am |
    • Ykcyc

      RELIGION

      Religion is a sickness of the mind
      It twists, distorts reality and will
      Divide, sort, break, and label our kind
      Delusion that is truly evil, ill.

      Religion is a sickness of the world
      Opinions, positions, thoughts, beliefs
      Can only bring destruction, pain, and war
      Can only cause more bloodshed, grief, and tears

      Lies that are spread to keep the hate alive
      Contagious blindness, masked as real Truth
      To see, one only has to look with open mind
      And open heart, to break from prison of their views

      Blind faith, unconsciousness, fanatic make-believe
      Like wounded animal, tries to defend itself
      Imagined enemies and threats to it’s own myth
      Cause pain and suffering in it’s own hell

      Infects our minds with thoughts of right and wrong
      Pretends to be the Truth, to know what it is
      Based on reality that’s long been gone
      It lies of Love, true kindness, bliss, and peace

      Pretends, as if it’s possible in words
      Express the miracle, that is One Life, itself
      The depth of space, the “why?” of countless worlds
      Contained in dusty books, decaying on the shelf?

      Reality itself, Eternal, Infinite, Divine
      It’s purpose, plan, and reason “why?”
      It’s everywhere and all the time
      For “special me”, to grant me “mine”?

      For us to feel the joy, to simply be
      Exists reality beyond religion’s plan
      Beyond the ego’s, “mine”, and “me”
      Lies consciousness of Tao and Zen.

      To notice, all we have to do is listen, look
      Inside, One Truth, One Life is who we truly are
      But, we won’t get from “them” or “their books”
      The fact, God does exist, it’s only Love.

      January 1, 2011 at 11:01 am |
    • What?

      Um, people have always been this way...

      January 1, 2011 at 2:15 pm |
    • @Johnny Quest

      God is not some petulant child who stomps his feet and says "My way or you go to hell". God created hell as a response to our desire to live our lives separate from him. Because he loves us so much he gives us what we want – permanent separation from him. That is hell. It is not a pit of fire full of gnashing teeth, etc. When we refuse to live as we were designed to – in loving relation with God and others – then we get what we ask for.....permanent separation from him. He does not choose that for us – we choose it.

      God is the most generous, loving, wonderful being in the cosmos. He made us with free will and he made us so that we may relate to him and others lovingly. When we CHOOSE to turn away from Him and live our life without him then he gives us what we ask for....separation from Him. The pain and suffering of hell comes from the realization that we are banished from his presence.

      We make thousands of choices every day that determine how we live our lives and how we treat others. We choose whether or not to have a relationship with God. It is our choice. If we choose not to have a relationship with him then he honors our request. His love for us is so absolute that he will break his own heart and grant us the separation that we ask for in this life. How we live and relate to others now is either in preparation of an eternity in God's presence or an eternity without him. Either way it is completely our choice – not God's.

      It is up to us to decide if we are willing to open our hearts to a relationship with him. Anyone who seeks him will find him. You can push him away with all of your might, but he will always be standing right at the end of your reach as you push. He is waiting for you to open your arms and embrace him. He always makes it our choice. He never forces himself on us. Heaven and hell are a continuation of the choices that we make every day here on earth.

      January 1, 2011 at 3:11 pm |
  17. Willy

    Come on people, aren't we a little old to be still believing in imaginary friends?

    January 1, 2011 at 9:15 am |
    • God

      Other than your BELIEF God is imaginary what scientifically verifiable proof do you have of this claim?
      Here is what I need from you to PROVE 100% God is NOT nor ever has been real.

      1. The ability to travel outside this dimension.
      2. Prove that no dimension can interact with anyone outside said dimension.
      3. Time travel back 2000+ years ago.
      3. Prove creating life CA NOT be don in ANY way shape or form... So IOW you must prove the Glofish was NEVER created in a lab but happens in the wild through Darwinian evolution & GMOs are really a MYTH.

      So when do we leave? .

      January 1, 2011 at 1:04 pm |
    • mattifolks

      @God ... what language are you speaking? That made little to no sense...

      January 1, 2011 at 1:46 pm |
    • Sir Craig

      Wow, "God", that was a whole lot of gibberish. Which, oddly, does seem to explain a lot of things especially where You are concerned...

      January 1, 2011 at 2:00 pm |
    • Festivus

      You don't need science to disprove myth. Myth does that by itself!

      January 1, 2011 at 2:18 pm |
    • Matt

      @God

      By your same reasoning, prove to me that the flying spaghetti monster does not exist.

      To prove the non-existence of something is futile. I can always make up some nonsensical sky-being, and then place the burden of proof on other to deny my delusion. It makes much more sense to place the burden of proof on those professing the existence of said myth.

      The vast majority of people are atheists – they don't believe in many gods such as Zeus, Odin, Jove, . . . There are those of us who just take that one myth further.

      January 1, 2011 at 2:23 pm |
    • Prove anything

      Prove that Ted Kazinski is the Unibomber. Did you see him make the bombs? Plant the bombs? Write his manifesto? No, but there is a great deal of evidence that tells us that he is the Unibomber. Court decisions are made every day based on evidence and not on blind faith.

      Research the evidence. Do the work. Read Lee Strobel, Dallas Willard, Geisler, Zacharias, Polkinghorne, Bradley, etc. Study science if you want evidence of God. Approach an intelligent search for answers without going into it with your mind already made up. Ask yourself why you choose not to be open to the idea of an Intelligent Creator when evidence points to the contrary. Faith is, or should be, an CHOICE that is made after much research. Unquestioned faith in anything is irresponsible and that includes unquestioned faith that there is no God.

      Spend a year or two doing the work – really doing the work....then make your decision. Once your decision is made either way a healthy mind will always question and doubt. It is our responsibility as God's children to wrestle with our faith and doubts – as long as our love for Him remains unwavering.

      January 1, 2011 at 2:50 pm |
    • EvoDevo

      GOD, I'm sorry that I only now just noticed you posting here. Is that really you? I can't imagine a true Christian follower posting in your name.

      January 1, 2011 at 3:22 pm |
    • Q

      Funny, given all the "evidence" for intelligent design, you'd think the ID/creationists wouldn't have lost Kitzmiller v Dover so completely.

      January 1, 2011 at 4:13 pm |
    • In All Fairness

      Why would you visit a religious blog? If secularism is a religion then silence is a language and bald is a hair color. LOL

      January 1, 2011 at 10:12 pm |
    • guestwhite

      it's just a 'click' away apageinthelife secret of min the world turns...

      January 3, 2011 at 5:06 am |
  18. yepblake

    In response to #1... to suggest that hatred for gays will unite the major religions is a sad prophecy, for if it becomes true, you have proven that evil and hatred penetrate even the holiest of sanctuaries. Your personal feelings are your own, but the house of God should welcome all, and leave the judging up to God, as is taught in the Bible (as well as the Torah).

    January 1, 2011 at 9:07 am |
    • Juni

      Gay marriage is a matter of state, not church. It has nothing whatsoever to do with religion. Marriage is a secular law. Any religion that whines about gay marriage should quite simply shut up; it's not their territory.

      January 1, 2011 at 12:13 pm |
    • Don S. Donatello

      I have little doubt that it will unify these elements of those religions; and as you so rightly pointed out, yepblake, it will indicate that a spirit of meddling hatefulness has permeated into the holy of holies. But for most of us, that is simply a bygone conclusion. Some of us even think that that hatefulness started there in the first place.

      What I find incredulous is the prediction that this unification will take the form of civil, reasonable debate. I predict it will take the form it always has - in tacit approval of violence against the LGBT community; in mindless rabid demagogery and all the hateful pious vitriol that fills post after post on this very forum.

      Is "reason" and "civil debate" supposed to coelesce of of all this? *shakes head, chuckling*

      January 1, 2011 at 12:27 pm |
    • nepawoods

      @Juni – Marriage was around long before government got involved in it, and government shouldn't be involved in it at all. Leave marriage to the people to decide what it means, and have "civil unions" or some such legalism, available to any two (or more) people, regulated by government. It's a sensible solution that should satisfy everyone.

      January 1, 2011 at 1:44 pm |
    • notyourname

      @juni: What you said, except switch the instances of state and church. You can give tax breaks and legal rights to whomever you want, but I won't allow you to rewrite scripture and try to cram it down my throat. I think you're forgetting who actually defined marriage, friend. I'll give you a hint: It wasn't the state.

      January 1, 2011 at 1:48 pm |
    • HotAirAce

      @notyourname
      I as-sume you’re saying that the word "marriage" belongs to the religious. The reading I've done suggests that marriage pre-dates so-called modern religion – here's an excerpt from the Encyclopædia Britannica:
      "Marital customs and laws
      Some form of marriage has been found to exist in all human societies, past and present. Its importance can be seen in the elaborate and complex laws and rituals surrounding it. Although these laws and rituals are as varied and numerous as human social and cultural organizations, some universals do apply.
      The main legal function of marriage is to ensure the rights of the partners with respect to each other and to ensure the rights and define the relationships of children within a community. Marriage has historically conferred a legitimate status on the offspring, which ent-itled him or her to the various privileges set down by the traditions of that community, including the right of inheritance. In most societies marriage also established the permissible social relations allowed to the offspring, including the acceptable selection of future spouses."
      Why shouldn't "marriage" be used to define the general legal case, and new words like "religious union" (wholly defined by each religion, provided it is within the laws of each country concerned) be used for the narrower case(s)? If the members of a civil union have the same status and responsibilities as the members of a marriage, aren't we just playing with words? Or are you (not necessarily you personally) still trying to restrict the civil rights of non-hetros by reserving the word "marriage?"

      January 1, 2011 at 2:11 pm |
    • Todd

      Actually Matt, the Flying Spaghetti Monster does exist! All hail his noodly greatness!!

      RAmen.

      January 1, 2011 at 6:09 pm |
    • In All Fairness

      Marriage is a sacrament. It is a gift from God – so He can make the rules. Man can have legalized civil unions. That is all. Thank you for understanding the difference.

      January 1, 2011 at 10:08 pm |
    • Wzrd1

      In All Fairness, DO seek the difference between secular law and sacramental law.
      WE have secular law. Hence, NO religion has a voice in government, governance or marriage.

      January 2, 2011 at 12:57 am |
  19. Reality

    Prediction #1 – Muslims will find realize they have been conned and save themselves by simply reading the following:

    Saving Muslims is quite easy!!!

    The Five Steps To Deprogram 1400 Years of Islamic Myths:

    ( –The Steps take less than two minutes to finish- simply amazing, two minutes to bring peace and rationality to over one billion lost souls- Priceless!!!)

    Are you ready?

    Using "The 77 Branches of Islamic "faith" a collection compiled by Imam Bayhaqi as a starting point. In it, he explains the essential virtues that reflect true "faith" (iman) through related Qur’anic verses and Prophetic sayings." i.e. a nice summary of the Koran and Islamic beliefs.

    "1. Belief in Allah"

    aka as God, Yahweh, Zeus, Jehovah, Mother Nature, etc. should be added to your cleansing neurons.

    "2. To believe that everything other than Allah was non-existent. Thereafter, Allah Most High created these things and subsequently they came into existence."

    Evolution and the Big Bang or the "Gi-b G-nab" (when the universe starts to recycle) are more plausible and the "akas" for Allah should be included if you continue to be a "crea-tionist".

    "3. To believe in the existence of angels."

    A major item for neuron cleansing. Angels/de-vils are the mythical creations of ancient civilizations, e.g. Hitt-ites, to explain/define natural events, contacts with their gods, big birds, sudden winds, protectors during the dark nights, etc. No "pretty/ug-ly wingy thingies" ever visited or talked to Mohammed, Jesus, Mary or Joseph or Joe Smith. Today we would classify angels as f–airies and "tin–ker be-lls". Modern de-vils are classified as the de-mons of the de-mented.

    "4. To believe that all the heavenly books that were sent to the different prophets are true. However, apart from the Quran, all other books are not valid anymore."

    Another major item to delete. There are no books written in the spirit state of Heaven (if there is one) just as there are no angels to write/publish/distribute them. The Koran, OT, NT etc. are simply books written by humans for humans.

    Prophets were invented by ancient scribes typically to keep the un-educated masses in line. Today we call them for-tune tellers.

    Prophecies are also invali-dated by the natural/God/Allah gifts of Free Will and Future.

    "5. To believe that all the prophets are true. However, we are commanded to follow the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) alone."

    Mohammed spent thirty days "fasting" (the Ramadan legend) in a hot cave before his first contact with Allah aka God etc. via a "pretty wingy thingy". Common sense demands a neuron deletion of #5. #5 is also the major source of Islamic vi-olence i.e. turning Mohammed's "fast, hunger-driven" hallu-cinations into horrible reality for unbelievers.

    Walk these Five Steps and we guarantee a complete recovery from your Islamic ways!!!!

    January 1, 2011 at 8:46 am |
    • saganhill

      Why not use those 5 steps to "cure" yourself from being an idiot chrisitan also.

      January 27, 2011 at 8:19 am |
  20. JohnQuest

    I predict, all religions will go the way of the Greek myths and take their Gods with them. Admittedly, that's only wishful thinking.

    January 1, 2011 at 7:53 am |
    • An

      I wish...

      January 1, 2011 at 10:04 am |
    • kubla khan

      Quest? That you, man?

      January 1, 2011 at 10:06 am |
    • Justin Observation

      Seems like Pat prefers that the "Silence any opposition!" ideology continues into 2011.

      January 1, 2011 at 10:10 am |
    • Beelzebozo

      I predict that they find the dna sequence that encourages a predilection towards belief in the kooky, be it ufoes, poseiden, global hotting/colding, or the psychic friends network. They're getting close...

      January 1, 2011 at 10:18 am |
    • EvoDevo

      Hope you are correct. Would like to see this lame BELIEF blog evaporate as well. They could put in horoscope or comics instead!

      January 1, 2011 at 10:22 am |
    • Philologus

      I predict the amount of people here who actually comment on the content of the pertinent article will continue to decline - such as yours.

      January 1, 2011 at 10:38 am |
    • Torquemada

      I predict that the Pat's of the world will eventually be responsible for it's end.

      January 1, 2011 at 10:47 am |
    • Robb

      I find the responses to Pat's comment interesting. Most of the individuals who are smashing Christian beliefs are the ones who are trying to silence (EvoDevo "Would like to see this lame BELIEF blog evaporate as well") and name-calling (Brian "I predict people like you will continue to be intolerant bigots" and JohnQuest "...people like Pat around we will be stuck in stupid"). Notice that Pat said or did nothing that Christians are blanketly accused of. I agree with Ed Dugan's comment with one edit: "Organized religion (replace with "Intolerance") will be with us as long as there are preople (sic) to hate and people to kill. That's what they (replace with "zealots") are all about". There are people of ever stripe and religion who are full of hate. Many comments in this thread prove that those who are against "organized religion" are some of the most venomous.

      January 1, 2011 at 10:52 am |
    • JesusisLord

      What happens when you die, friend?

      January 1, 2011 at 10:55 am |
    • EvoDevo

      JesusisLord. You go to the same place ants, elephants, dinosaurs, marigolds, fungi, and the rest of life goes: back to nature.

      January 1, 2011 at 11:00 am |
    • siroparker@gmail.com

      I see doom but believe in faith!

      January 1, 2011 at 11:18 am |
    • Tom

      JohnQuest, how could someone reason with you when you have already chosen your side and keep on bashing religion? It won't be easy to have a debate with you.

      January 1, 2011 at 11:19 am |
    • Nick

      Religion is a problem. Religion has created a number of significant conflicts over time. But being religious is not the same as having faith in God. The challenge we face is that there is no longer a widespread acceptance of absolute truth. The God of heaven exists in the hearts of millions and millions of people. The God of the Bible is just as real as you or I. Because you do not believe it does not somehow make it less true. It just happens to be your belief. You have faith that God does not exist. I have faith that he does. If you are calling for a debate then you have missed out on many exchanges/debates that have already taken place.

      There is a truth and it is absolute. The Bible is God's Word and can give us many answers. I will pray for you and all who do not believe. One day, there will come a time when all of us will meet God. I hope it works out well for you.

      January 1, 2011 at 11:28 am |
    • JohnQuest

      Tom, you are absolutely right, today I have started off a little bit angry. I apologize to all that I have offended!!!!

      But you are wrong about me having a closed mind, I am willing to change my mind about my beliefs.

      January 1, 2011 at 11:31 am |
    • 2+2=5

      I predict that people will continue to not read, or research, or even move a muscle to try to find out the truth about the propaganda and lies they are constantly fed. It's a click away, yet I predict this will continue, in fact, you can bet your life on it.

      January 1, 2011 at 11:31 am |
    • John C

      Beautifully put... Religion is a disease that has enslaved, brutalized, and destroyed Humankind for thousands of years.

      Today's religion has already evolved to include and justify modern-day life.. And it will continue doing so... However the same threads of ignorance and hatred are at the core of every religion.

      January 1, 2011 at 11:32 am |
    • Emily

      I just wish that we could have a decent discussion. I will say upfront that I am a Christian. I think it's sad that Pat felt the need to say what he/she did because it was neither helpful nor necessary. But your angry responses to her don't make you any better. They all seem to be sarcastic and rude. You can't get after her for being rude (which she was) when you all are being hateful back.
      I also want to apologize for Christians that you have been given the views of faith that you have. You can think I'm silly for believing, but if you were shown the true God, not the angry, hateful, bigoted one that people portray, you might feel a little differently. I'm not suggesting that you have to believe what I believe, I just hope you don't blame God for the idiots in our country and our world that often claim to speak for him.

      January 1, 2011 at 11:36 am |
    • JohnQuest

      Nick, your argument is flawed, it is up to you to prove your premise not up me to prove the negative. By your logic the Tooth Fairy exist, since you can't prove it doesn't. I say God doesn't exist, as proof I offer all of human history.

      January 1, 2011 at 11:37 am |
    • James

      So, not saying Pat isnt intolerant...but wouldn't JohnQuest be intolerant as well? That comment was bitter and prodding, and at least made to instigate a response. Wouldnt Pat be correct to want him to shut his mouth? Had quest said something a little more civil, such as "I know others may feel this way, but I disagree . . .ETC ETC."

      January 1, 2011 at 11:41 am |
    • Ryan K.

      if only that were true

      January 1, 2011 at 11:59 am |
    • metalliman98

      "Brother will kill brother, spilling blood across the land
      Killing for religion, something I don't understand

      Fools like me who cross the sea and come to foreign lands
      Ask the sheep for their beliefs, do you kill on God's command?

      A county that's divided surely will not stand
      My past erased, no more disgrace, no foolish naive stand

      The end is near, it's crystal clear, part of the master plan
      Don't look now to Israel, it might be your homeland"

      January 1, 2011 at 12:18 pm |
    • Jon

      I hope JohnQuest is correct.

      The "predictions" above illustrate very well nicely self-involved these people are. As multiple controlled studies have shown over and over; no matter what you believe or which faith you support, God thinks just like you.

      January 1, 2011 at 12:18 pm |
    • Kevin

      @JesusIsLord – When you die, you die. That's it. Believing otherwise won't change it. Believing in SkyDaddy is a silly waste of the time you have available to you on this planet.

      January 1, 2011 at 12:28 pm |
    • God

      I predict Darwinian Atheism to be revealed as the greatest fraud the world has ever seen. Untill idiots like you go away we will NEVER learn terraforming, or create universes of our own. Why Because to you it's as impossible as creating a neon Purple fish or a glowing pig. Science can NOT advance as long as we have Darwinian Mythology as it's dogma.

      January 1, 2011 at 12:48 pm |
    • BF2350

      For over two thousand years, people have made the same prediction as you........PLEASE NOTE: GOD IS STILL HERE, ALIVE AND WELL.

      Happy New Year to all.

      January 1, 2011 at 12:51 pm |
    • Phil Newton

      i predict that humankind will continue to speak for and against God, and it will be the eternal futile exercise it has always been.

      It doesn't matter what we say we are. It matters what we are.

      January 1, 2011 at 12:59 pm |
    • Americanno

      I hope you're right and any opinion expressed by "religious leaders and experts" should be taken with a grain of salt. Anyone that believes in the bully in the sky should not be taken seriously.

      January 1, 2011 at 1:22 pm |
    • r schier

      @pat 9:52: stick your religion garbage where the sun doesn't shine...the only mouths to shut, are the miscreant religious ones....

      January 1, 2011 at 1:30 pm |
    • Paxman

      @JohnQuest "But you are wrong about me having a closed mind, I am willing to change my mind about my beliefs."

      Dear John and my other atheist and agnostic brothers and sisters, if you want scientific ‘proof’ that God exists, check out information on Medjugorje. Six kids, ages 10 to 15 seeing Mary starting in what was then communist Yugoslavia. Arrested, threatened, and then psychologically and scientifically tested, eeg tests, bright lights flashed in eyes with no response, etc. Search for the truth. There are scientific studies which give information on the tests and results. It’s only ‘proof’ if you don’t want to blindly write it off as fake tests and brainwashed kids who have been living very religiously and lying for the past 29 years! But they have committed themselves to this ‘lie’ far beyond anyone who has ever claimed an apparition before, since they have said there will be a permanent and undeniable sign left before their lives are over and the whole world will know that God exists. And before some of you reply and attack organized religion, yes, churches are made up of fallible men and women who have done very bad things in its history and currently, and so have other followers of other religions, but that doesn’t invalidate what Jesus tried to teach and set up for His followers on earth. And to clarify one other point you always get wrong, some Christian religions take the Bible literally, but the church the pope leads does not. They believe it is inspired writing by many authors to capture the history of how God tried to lead people through prophets and then finally His Son, but of course you can see in the NT that Jesus said the religious leaders were getting the rules and messages all distorted and applying them incorrectly.
      Jesus’ strongest words of condemnation were against the religious leaders, so obviously leaders of churches mess up sometimes (many times?) but that doesn't invalidate the religion. And He said what really matters, loving your neighbor, feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, etc., so as long as you’re doing that, you should be alright, but stop attacking all religious people as mindless nuts. Oh, and as far as religious people being the most deadly people in the world, I think if you check into the religious background of the most notorious leaders of countries that ended up killing millions, or any mass murderers, serial rapists, etc., you’ll find they really don’t believe in God, or if they do claim belief in God, they have contempt for organized religion and set themselves up as judge of what is right and wrong. True followers of the world’s major religions live peaceful, productive lives and participate in many organizations that provide life-sustaining help to many people in the world.
      Also the RC church doesn't deny evolution, it allows for the possibility that man’s body developed from previous biological forms, all guided by the hand of God, but that the soul did not 'evolve' but was an specific act of God's creation. And even Darwin said in his writings “To suppose that the eye with all its inimitable contrivances for adjusting the focus to different distances, for admitting different amounts of light, and for the correction of spherical and chromatic aberration, could have been formed by natural selection, seems, I freely confess, absurd in the highest degree.” Do you honestly think just random mutations starting from single cell organisms mutated into all the exquisite living creatures that exist today? The complexity of a bird’s wing just happened randomly from bat-like or pterodactyl creatures gradually mutating hairs into feathers – with no intelligent ‘force’ directing them? All just random. I don’t think so.
      Read and look at the pictures under the link to 'scientific studies' at http://www.medjugorje.com. But I'm sure you'll poo poo them, since you've already made up your mind. Also youtube has videos of Mirjana, some of her during apparitions. More fasinating reading at medjugorje.net and medjugorje.hr.

      As the Bible says, only 3 things last, Faith, Hope and Love. Since you believe you're just going to end up as worm food, I guess you don't have faith, or much hope so hopefully you at least truly love others and do the things Christ encourage and if that's the case then there's hope for you. I'll keep praying for you all.
      Pax et bonum.

      January 1, 2011 at 1:32 pm |
    • What?

      Pat, this is why people are leaving the church. Because we can now see through you Christian's hypocrisy, and now we understand that "god" is not love, "god" is HATE!

      January 1, 2011 at 2:00 pm |
    • EvoDevo

      Paxman writes: the RC church doesn't deny evolution, it allows for the possibility that man’s body developed from previous biological forms, all guided by the hand of God, but that the soul did not 'evolve' but was an specific act of God's creaton.

      Then neither you nor RC's understand evolution. Nothing in evolution is pre-ordained. Neither humans nor any other organism were prescribed. Evolution is random mutation acted upon by non-random selection. Eye evolution was not understood by Darwin; he merely cited as a challenge to GRADUALISM, not evolution itself. It's well undertsood now in the 150 years since Darwin wrote. Get with it, and abandon the centuries-old goat-herders' myths.

      January 1, 2011 at 2:07 pm |
    • Dale

      Not a one of you noticed that CNN is pretending that political views are "faith". This story has absolutely ZERO to do with faith. But it does focus on how religion and politics as the same thing. All christian churches are political organizations and have nothing to do with the GOD of the bible. The Gospel of Christ has never been preached in any christian church because of greed, pride and politics ruling all churches. I live in the Republic of America, One Nation Under GOD; NOT Satan's christian democracy. I'm NOT a christian, but neither is GOD or Christ.

      January 1, 2011 at 2:27 pm |
    • There are debates

      @JohnnyQuest,

      There are many wonderful books that debate just what you are looking for. Going into a debate having already eliminated the possibility of the other side existing is fairly pointless. If you are truly interested in looking openly at both sides, weighing ALL of the evidence, and then making an intelligent decision then I truly support you.

      Having faith is a decision that one makes – it is not an opinion. I spent quite a long time researching, examining the facts, weighing the evidence, and reviewing the experiences in my life before I committed myself to God. It was a decision that I took a long time to come to, and as a responsible, thinking Christian I wrestle with my faith quite often. My faith is secure after all of the work that I put in to come to it, and I am not dissuaded by something that someone writes on a CNN blog. I believe that you are more intelligent than that as well.

      I would hope that you, or anyone who is atheist or agnostic, would sincerely research the facts – yes facts. The evidence for an Intelligent Creator is vast – quite vast. Let the evidence take you where it will then make your decision. Did OJ kill Nicole and Ron Goldman? How would we know? We weren't there on her porch or in the bushes, but when you look at all of the evidence it's very difficult to come to any other conclusion other than guilty (regardless of that circus of a trial). Read Strobel, Willard, McDowell or any of the other wonderful theologians that refuse to check their brains at the door either. Weigh all of the evidence.

      I'm just asking that nontheists and theists alike keep an open mind to both sides. Research, read, educate yourself. Don't rely on some loud mouth on a comment board to make up your mind for you. (that was not directed at you Quest.)

      Peace, prayers, and prosperity to everyone in 2011.

      January 1, 2011 at 2:28 pm |
    • johnny orlando

      Athiests are retarded. Albert Einstein said that science without religion is lamed. Argue with him if you ignorant people want to debate anything.

      January 1, 2011 at 2:32 pm |
    • cadecker

      greek gods were nephilim... a hybrid of fallen angels and humans...hence where they got their powers from...in the future these things will be around ..right now even...they will perform miracles and proclaim themselves as a god and deceive the masses ...

      January 1, 2011 at 2:44 pm |
    • Paxman

      Sorry EvoDevo, I do understand that but I just don't believe that the complexity of the human mind or a bird's feather just evolves from random changes. And not all religious people are mindless nuts (although yes, some are pretty lame).

      January 1, 2011 at 2:56 pm |
    • Your Average Atheist

      @Johnny Orlando,

      If you are going to quote Einstein, you should include the entire quote.

      "Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind." - Einstein

      January 1, 2011 at 3:00 pm |
    • HotAirAce

      @johnny orlando

      Having just finished a biography of Einstein...

      You lie! Why do you lie!

      Einstein said: "Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind." He is also reported to have said: "I am a deeply religious nonbeliever – this is a somewhat new kind of religion." And "To take those fools in clerical garb seriously is to show them too much honor" And "About God, I cannot accept any concept based on the authority of the Church. As long as I can remember, I have resented mass indoctrination. I do not believe in the fear of life, in the fear of death, in blind faith. I cannot prove to you that there is no personal God, but if I were to speak of him, I would be a liar. I do not believe in the God of theology who rewards good and punishes evil. My God created laws that take care of that. His universe is not ruled by wishful thinking, but by immutable laws.", etc., etc.

      Einstein was not perfect – see http://discovermagazine.com/2008/sep/01-einstein.s-23-biggest-mistakes

      As itemized in the list of mistakes, he spent most of his later life trying to disprove quantum mechanics – and failed.

      So, if you are going to quote Einstein, or anyone else, please provide complete quotes, else we might assume you are chery picking statements, similar to how believers chery pick the sections of their books-of-silliness they want to actually believe versus the stuff they want to ignore...

      January 1, 2011 at 3:04 pm |
    • EvoDevo

      Paxman. The changes in genetic material that occur are random. The vast majority of them do NOT give rise to a viable organism. Those that HAPPEN to occur where they are beneficial will give rise to organisms that live and reproduce. No particular changes or resulting organisms are 'planned'. If you are impressed by how exquisite we are, or bird feathers are, you should be. But remember, hundreds of millions of years of failed constructions laid the path for what you see now, where the unfit were winnowed away.

      January 1, 2011 at 3:11 pm |
    • andrea

      Thank you... religion is toxic. Just look at history, we don't need these fairytails.

      January 1, 2011 at 3:16 pm |
    • Live&LetLive

      @JesusisLord - While yes, the thought of death isn't a pleasant thought – leaving loved ones, missing out on the ever changing world etc. – some of us live as if death is the END. We live for today and love our families like tomorrow may never come.
      Yes, it's different than living for god or jesus and everything we do isn't centered around DEATH and making it through those pearly gates...But guess what? Our lives still have incredible meaning – because we care about the here and now – friend.

      January 1, 2011 at 3:29 pm |
    • Ocean Rebel

      The radical Muslims have ignited a powder keg now. The Christians (and a majority of the world population) have had enough of this insane agenda. It appears they want the Christians to go on crusade ...again. Well, here it comes. They obviously have no idea of the depth of Christian resolve. The suicide bombing at a church in Egypt will go down in history as the turning point that started the crusades. Let the slaughter begin. While I, agnostic Canadian, watch you "religulous" fanatics kill yourselves off. I bet within 10 years the word "Muslim" will only be whispered.

      January 1, 2011 at 3:34 pm |
    • Meh

      Us civilized people can only wish for that John.

      January 1, 2011 at 4:12 pm |
    • alphapythia

      What about the self-righteous beliefs of "non-believers" that their beliefs are best for everyone? Is that one going to go too? Anyone that thinks he knows the truth about what's ultimately real and what everyone else *should* believe is equally dangerous. (Very.)

      January 1, 2011 at 4:25 pm |
    • tdw

      Joseph Stalin was an atheist

      January 1, 2011 at 4:28 pm |
    • fillcore

      Is there anything more dumb or senseless to hear in the thinking man's world than when some weakling says, "I know there is a God".

      January 1, 2011 at 4:59 pm |
    • Todd

      The number 1 prediction: the religious will discriminate against gay people. Oh joy.

      Can't God just rapture these mother fockers already?

      January 1, 2011 at 6:06 pm |
    • Race Bannon

      Jonny! Haji! Get your jet packs on NOW and get away from these sky fairy worshipers!

      January 1, 2011 at 6:42 pm |
    • Adam

      Why even publish these? They are just random people saying things the want to happen but never will...

      January 1, 2011 at 8:01 pm |
    • Free Thinker

      Let's hope so, John... Let's hope so...

      January 1, 2011 at 8:08 pm |
    • Ellen

      @ Paxman--Enjoyed your essay giving your testimony of faith in Jesus Christ. There are a couple of things you missed, one of which was the children of Medjugorje were given an apparition, true. This was done AFTER they were put into a TRANCE! This still happens today when the supernatural wishes to deliver messages to those of us in the natural through visions and such. Another point I would make is you mentioned as long as people do good works, they will be okay, not to worry. The part you left out was believing that Jesus Christ shed his blood for the redemption of mankind. Only believers can be saved.

      January 1, 2011 at 9:27 pm |
    • MrEee

      "Wishful" thinking? Hey, isn't that 'faith based' at its best? 😉

      January 1, 2011 at 9:30 pm |
    • Paxman

      Ellen, sorry, I've been to Medjugorje, a woman from our church has gone over 80 times with groups, we have followed the lives and known these 'children' for many years – there is much published on the internet that is a lie. The children were not put in any trance, they were simple village children walking down the street in Medjugorje when Our Blessed Mother first appeared to them. The local priest, their parents and friends didn't believe them at first. They were arrested and individually threatened. They were psychologically tested, physically tested during apparitions, all six, back when the youngest was 10, with side-blinders on so they couldn't signal each other fall to their knees at the same time, focus on the same spot, all life their heads at the same time when the vision ends, etc., etc. Their are videos of them when they were young. They still have apparitions to this day. Look at Mirjana on youtube giving testimony herself. She's now a middle aged woman with children. Is she just a pathological liar.

      And as far as only believers being saved, see Matt 7:22 "many will say 'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, cast out demons..." So only those who LISTEN and act on His teachings are saved, not just believing in Him. As James says, "so you believe in Jesus, so does Satan". Jesus spells out the final judgment when he separates all the people like sheep and goats, and then on the ones on his right he says "you feed me, you clothed me, you visited me when I was sick whenever you did this to the least of my brothers, come into my kingdom". And to those who didn't do these charitable acts, they have a different fate. But he never said 'you believed in me'. There are other quotes of the Bible that say God is Love and anyone who loves knows God and is from God. Love is what matters the most, but not a warped self-servicing 'love' where you 'love' someone for what they can do for you, but a true, self-sacrificing love. That's why He came and died for us, as an example of true self-sacrificing love. I hope this makes sense and I hope 2011 brings you enlightenment and true peace.

      January 1, 2011 at 10:02 pm |
    • CanUfixit

      The world is headed for One World Order as predicted by many. A choice of Good or Evil.There will be a desice difference between the two. Many people will be led astray & beguiled into ultimate destruction. True peace makers will be in great tribulation, fighting opposing forces.This year will most likely be a wake up call to the world in all religions to smarten up & realise all the subtle changes that have been happening for the worst. Separation of church & state are the answer for some people. Hypocrisy, a disregard for humanity, occult practices are prevalent, people are looking for answers. Spirituality is an important part of us. May we all find the true " Good" and decency in what we believe and practise.

      January 1, 2011 at 11:02 pm |
    • SoCalSane

      While I do not wish all religions will go the way of the Greek myths, I sincerely hope that those who chose to believe will remember the common, basic tenets of all of the world's major religions...Peace, love, and respect. Sadly as our world becomes more factionalized, the nutbag fundamentalists push those great ideals aside and begin to preach hate and violence. And since when does equal rights in the United States require a "pluralistic solution?" Americans must renew ourselves to the great ideals upon which this country was founded, two of which are equality and freedom for all. How long will it be before this post receives angry responses from those on the right??

      January 1, 2011 at 11:30 pm |
    • CanUfixit

      If your "religious" beliefs cause sorrow or harm to others, it's false religion. That goes for Muslims, Christians, Atheists (this is also a religion) Satanists (and their many hidden off shoots), Hindus, Catholics(a self developed religion of it's own)and any other religion in the world for that matter. Eloheim (head of everything?)must look at everyonewith great pity and sometimes with sadness. Our religions aren't benefitting the world's well being, the world's people are still blinded by their own conceits, foolish, going about their own way, fighting amongst each other and destroying this world. We all need to be still and hear what the true God and maker are saying.Some are still worshipping other Gods and there are lots of them. I don't think God is pleased with a lot of people this past year. Seek the truth for goodness not evil.

      January 1, 2011 at 11:41 pm |
    • mickey8114

      I believe that whatever is the truth behind the existence of a so-called GOD is a by-product of Science's incompetence which in due time will be able to unravel the truth of whether GOD is real or not. But even if e come to this point, humans will continue believing what they believe and put their faith in SOMEONE more intelligent than he is because we have that natural tendency to always look for the answers to every bit of questions because we are made to think and believe.

      January 1, 2011 at 11:56 pm |
    • s2kMATTers

      I love how many of you claim to "know" what happens after we die. I believe and have faith that I will go to Heaven after I die. Do I know for sure this will happen? No!!! I haven't died yet. Just the same for a few of you who have replied after we die, we die that is it. Or we go to nature. You display just as much ignorance as the person who knows for certain there is a God, and vice versa. Tell you one thing though, it takes much more faith to be an Atheist than it does to be a Christian.

      January 2, 2011 at 12:00 am |
    • Wzrd1

      There is an old adage, one can wish in one hand and sh!t in the other. We ALL know which one will be filled first.
      Accept what is. Don't fight it, but counsel and advise.
      For militant preaching, as many atheists in the CNN message boards only fix opinions against the wished viewpoint.

      January 2, 2011 at 12:54 am |
    • Ces

      These aren't faith-based predictions, they're politically-based predictions about religious groups. The world ending in 2011, the second coming, etc. are faith-based predictions, these are predictions about faith.

      January 2, 2011 at 2:04 am |
    • Badger

      Just a couple more thoughts. Muslims, Jews, Christians, Buddhist ... why such differences when each believe there is only one God? Study history. Look at the state of the world and the depths of Gods anger when each of these religions got there start. The Muslim religion must have got it's start somewhere between Noah and Sodom, Pretty easy to see the anger in both the religion and Gods actions. Jesus and Buddha, Born again and reincarnation. Same teaching, different interpretation. Same God, different interpretations at different points in history based on the tribulations God was dealing with at the time, his moods. To a degree they are all right and then we are human and much is wrong with our interpretation. Jesus said no-one comes here who wasn't first in heaven. He also said you must be born again of water and spirit, where the baptism idea come from, but our bodies are 98% water so what did he really mean. Could heaven have been destroyed in the war that sent the fallen angel here and could this be Gods attempted at restoring it? Paul speaks of coming three times in a peculiar manner in one of his letters, and I can almost see the CNN newsroom in one of the revelations. If every hair is numbered might not every atom be numbered also, and if we can split atoms a creator could most likely put them all back together at any point is history. Could this all be a repeat? If there is one true psychic I would say it would have to be. God gave us free will ... no way anything that hadn't happened could be foretold.

      January 2, 2011 at 2:31 am |
    • JohnQuest

      johnny orlando, there is no need to argue once you read the quote in context:

      Now, even though the realms of religion and science in themselves are clearly marked off from each other, nevertheless there exist between the two strong reciprocal relationships and dependencies. Though religion may be that which determines the goal, it has, nevertheless, learned from science, in the broadest sense, what means will contribute to the attainment of the goals it has set up. But science can only be created by those who are thoroughly imbued with the aspiration toward truth and understanding. This source of feeling, however, springs from the sphere of religion. To this there also belongs the faith in the possibility that the regulations valid for the world of existence are rational, that is, comprehensible to reason. I cannot conceive of a genuine scientist without that profound faith. The situation may be expressed by an image: science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind.

      Though I have asserted above that in truth a legitimate conflict between religion and science cannot exist, I must nevertheless qualify this assertion once again on an essential point, with reference to the actual content of historical religions. This qualification has to do with the concept of God. During the youthful period of mankind's spiritual evolution human fantasy created gods in man's own image, who, by the operations of their will were supposed to determine, or at any rate to influence, the phenomenal world. Man sought to alter the disposition of these gods in his own favor by means of magic and prayer. The idea of God in the religions taught at present is a sublimation of that old concept of the gods. Its anthropomorphic character is shown, for instance, by the fact that men appeal to the Divine Being in prayers and plead for the fulfillment of their wishes.

      Nobody, certainly, will deny that the idea of the existence of an omnipotent, just, and omnibeneficent personal God is able to accord man solace, help, and guidance; also, by virtue of its simplicity it is accessible to the most undeveloped mind. But, on the other hand, there are decisive weaknesses attached to this idea in itself, which have been painfully felt since the beginning of history. That is, if this being is omnipotent, then every occurrence, including every human action, every human thought, and every human feeling and aspiration is also His work; how is it possible to think of holding men responsible for their deeds and thoughts before such an almighty Being? In giving out punishment and rewards He would to a certain extent be passing judgment on Himself. How can this be combined with the goodness and righteousness ascribed to Him?

      January 2, 2011 at 5:40 am |
    • JohnQuest

      johnny orlando

      I take it that you agree with Albert since you used his quote?

      January 2, 2011 at 5:43 am |
    • Nathan

      Wow, all this is very disappointing. Atheists think they know everything. The truth is, most if not all non-believers have doubt in their minds and wonder if God does exist, and He Does! Sometimes believing is seeing. There is a reason why most of the well knkown scientists like Einstien believed in God. There is no way the universe just started from a "bang". If it did, what started that bang? You cannot create nothing out of nothing. Also, most events in the bible have been proven (evidence of a great flood, crucifixion, ect). I hope most of you will come to know Jesus as your savior. For those of you that know the truth and good news of Christ but continue to ignore his call, you are fools. I'll leave by saying this, it takes more faith to believe their isn't a God than it does to believe there is. Look around you, there is evidence of his presence allaround you. WAKE UP!

      January 2, 2011 at 7:57 am |
    • Fritzb43

      I predict that in less than 3 generations most organized religion will as extinct as the Mayan civilization. Five minutes of critical thinking will show that mankind is only one of billions of intelligent lifeforms in the universe and that there is no "afterlife".

      January 2, 2011 at 8:20 am |
    • someoneelse

      I'm waiting until the current religions end up like the Greek (though not in my lifetime unfortunately). Then we will have Jesus, warrior prince on TV (or whatever we have in the future). It's amazing how easily people make fun of other religions (i.e. Xena) yet hold on to their similar (in every way) beliefs as true...

      January 2, 2011 at 8:27 am |
    • Libbi

      In the words of John Wayne, "Not hardly Cookie." At least one won't, and that is me.

      January 2, 2011 at 8:35 am |
    • Libbi

      In the words of John Wayne, "Not hardly Cookie." At least one won't, and that is me. I believe in God and His Son, Jesus. That is not religion, that is faith. I trust on the Lord to do as He has promised. i can see the prophesies coming to pass, especially the great falling away. Listen for the trumpet my friend.

      January 2, 2011 at 8:39 am |
    • MissmojoRisin

      @Johnny Orlando,

      Einstein also said, "I do not believe in a personal God and I have never denied this but have expressed it clearly. If something is in me which can be called religious then it is the unbounded admiration for the structure of the world so far as our science can reveal it."

      January 2, 2011 at 11:38 am |
    • issy54

      Religion and those issues which are based on religious dogma will become a dead issue not worth considering.

      January 3, 2011 at 1:10 pm |
    • shrimplate

      Athena will rise again! No, not really. The stain of religion will continue to sully the minds of too many otherwise rather nice people. That's my prediction.

      January 3, 2011 at 2:08 pm |
    • caveman73

      Heck I already call it jewish mythology. One day it will be taught in history, like Greek or Norse, as what people use to believe and those odd little stories they told.

      January 3, 2011 at 2:31 pm |
    • Lake Effect

      Actually, Johnny, You and all the rest of us will have gone the way of the wind long before any of the gods will.

      January 4, 2011 at 9:33 am |
    • bobincr

      Many middle east archaeologists use the Old Testament as their MAIN reference for finding and excavating the ruins of historic cities in Israel and surrounding region. We have recorded eye witness accounts of a man named Yeshua (Jesus) who claimed to be God in the flesh. We have His miracles attested to by believers and unbelievers alike. There are recorded accounts by eye witnesses which proffer the strongest arguments for such an event. You can ignore these accounts should you choose to but you might as well denounce the existence of George Washington or Abe Lincoln. All you have is recorded history to even suggest that these two men even existed at all since you were not eye witnesses to their lives. Examine the recorded evidence and then exercise faith that they did, indeed, exist. You will be surprised to find out how utterly wrong you were.

      January 4, 2011 at 1:44 pm |
    • Maybe

      bobincr,

      Sure there is some real history in the Bible, but most of it is a mix of historical fiction, myth, legend, fantasy and superst!tion.

      If these stories were true... and were the most important, earth-shaking events since the beginning of time, an omniscient "God" would know that this ambiguous and often mistranslated, misinterpreted, and misunderstood doc.umentation is not sufficient for belief.

      January 4, 2011 at 1:58 pm |
    • Perry

      The one true GOD will never go away

      January 11, 2011 at 3:52 pm |
    • Perry

      The one true GOD will never go away he loves us to much I pray for all non beleivers in JESUS name that is whats happening to this country we have gotten away from GOD

      January 11, 2011 at 4:06 pm |
    • brthornt

      Why would it be good for God to go away, let me guess you think that if there was no God there would be no war, all that hippie talk. Well then why do other people kill in the name of nothing everyday. I believe in god, do i push my believes on others no, its up to you. But for you to be little someones believe bc they happen to think different makes you one of those bigoted individuals you talk about. Take god away and i bet you people will still find ways to fight, look at animals, as you say we are the same, they kill each other all the time and its not bc they disagree about God.

      You are right there is no proof of God thats why its called faith in God. And hey if you are right in the end I will end up in the same spot as you, but if your wrong well you can figure out where you end up.

      January 14, 2011 at 3:51 pm |
    • R Macklin

      I read threw maybe a third of this thread and believers and non believers alike spend more time being judgmental about one another than explaining why they do or do not believe. John I heard once that there are no atheist on their death bed. Dont know if its so but don't think I'm going to test it. I believe. Why? Because I have free choice and I choose to. I've lived most of my life not living like it but hope to improve on that. My family and I have been well blessed in spite of myself or or real darn lucky when compared to some. I choose to believe well blessed and I choose to be thankful. I hope this don't make me a bad person in your mind. If God who I believe in grades on the curve I think I have a chance to share in the promises I believe he offers. If not Ive lost nothing and been a better person than I might have been without my faith, blind as it might be. That for me is a no loose situation. You see I have witnessed what some call karma, you know what goes around comes around. My deceased wife was Buddhist by belief not necessarily practice and she was an intelligent person. She explained to me that karma was like throwing pebbles in a pond. The splash ripples out until it even if minutely affects the whole pond. She said there are good pebbles and there are bad pebbles, positive pebbles and negative pebbles. Ultimately we are all in the same pond and our own pebbles good or bad ripple out and come back to effect our lives as well as others. I guess I just choose to throw good and positive pebbles when I can and anything that brings hope to and love for one another seems to me to be a positive thing. That to me is what God and faith is about. You don't have to be a believer to throw good pebbles in the pond John. Its a no loose situation friend. : ) Good luck and peace be with you and yours.

      January 15, 2011 at 5:33 am |
    • saganhill

      Ahhh, I wish also. Religion is the real plight in the world or (of) the world.

      January 27, 2011 at 8:18 am |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.