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My Take: Why some people hate God
March 8th, 2011
10:07 AM ET

My Take: Why some people hate God

Editor's Note: Bernard Schweizer is an associate professor of English at Long Island University in Brooklyn. He specializes in the study of iconoclasts and rebels, including the controversial writer and public intellectual Rebecca West. His third book is “Hating God.”

By Bernard Schweizer, Special to CNN

There’s a lost tribe of religious believers who have suffered a lasting identity crisis. I am referring to the category-defying species of believers who accept the existence of the creator God and yet refuse to worship him. In fact they may go so far as to say that they hate God.
 
No, I’m not talking about atheists. Non-believers may say contemptuous things about God, but when they do so, they are simply giving the thumbs-down to a fictional character. They may as well express dislike about Shakespeare’s devious Iago, Dickens’ scheming Uriah Heep or Dr. Seuss’ Grinch who stole Christmas.
 
For atheists, God is in the same category as these fictional villains. Except that since God is the most popular of all fictional villains, New Atheists – those evangelizing ones such as Christopher Hitchens and Richard Dawkins - spend a considerable amount of energy enumerating his flaws.
 
But someone who truly believes in God’s existence and yet hates or scorns him is in a state of religious rebellion so perplexing as to strain our common understanding of faith to the breaking point.
 
Although these radical dissenters could steal the thunder from the New Atheists, they have remained almost unknown to date.
 
When it comes to God-hatred, a collective blindness seems to settle on us. First, we lack a generally agreed-upon name to refer to this religious rebellion. And anything that doesn’t have a word associated with it doesn’t exist, right?
 
Well, in the case of God-hatred, this principle doesn’t hold because the phenomenon does exist whether or not there’s a name for it. And in any case, I’ve ended the semantic impasse by naming these rebels and their stance once for all. My chosen term is misotheism, a word composed of the Greek root “misos” (hatred) and “theos” (deity).
 
Why do I care so much about them? They strike me as brave, visionary, intelligent people who reject God from a sense of moral outrage and despair because of the amount of injustice and suffering that they witness in this world.
 
At the same time, they are exercising self-censorship because they dare not voice their opinion openly. After all, publicly insulting God can have consequences ranging from ostracism to imprisonment, fines and even death, depending on where the blasphemy takes place (Ireland, for instance, imposes a fine of up to 25,000 Euros for blasphemy) and what God is the target of attacks (under sharia law, being found an enemy of God, or “mohareb” is a capital offense).
 
But I also care about these rebels because they chose literature as their principal medium for dealing with their God-hatred. I am a professor of literature, and the misotheists’ choice of literature as their first line of defense and preferred medium endears them to me.
 
Literature offered them the only outlet to vent their rage against God. And it was a pretty safe haven for doing so. Indeed, hardly anybody seems to notice when God-hatred is expressed in literature. Such writers cleverly “package” their blasphemous thoughts in works of literature without seeming to give offense in any overt way.
 
At the same time, these writers count on the reader’s cooperation to keep their “secret” safe. It’s like a pact between writer and reader.
 
Zora Neale Hurston could write that “all gods who receive homage are cruel” without anybody objecting that “all gods” must necessarily include the persons of the Christian Trinity.
 
Or Rebecca West could write that “something has happened which can only be explained by supposing that God hates you with merciless hatred, and nobody will admit it,” counting on the fact that, since nobody will admit it, nobody will rat her out for blasphemy.
 
There lies, in a sense, the awesome, subversive power of literary writing, something that had worried Plato 2,400 years ago when he required that all poets be removed from his ideal “Republic.” Interestingly, though, while guardians of propriety have put Huckleberry Finn on the list of proscribed texts because of its liberal use of the N-word, few people have declared Hurston’s "Their Eyes Were Watching God" or Shelley’s "Prometheus Unbound" or West’s "The Return of the Soldier" as forbidden texts because of the underlying misotheism of these works.
 
And even where the misotheism is overtly expressed, as in Elie Wiesel’s "The Trial of God" or in James Morrow’s "Godhead Trilogy," literature offers an enclave of religious freedom that is vital to the human spirit and its impulse to free itself of any shackles, even the commands of God.
 
I refer to the story of misotheism as “untold” partly because misotheism tends not to be noticed even when it hides in plain sight. Another reason why the story of misotheism is “untold” is that nobody has bothered yet to draw the larger lines of development over time, beginning with the Book of Job and ending up with utilitarianism, philosophical anarchism and feminism. That story in itself is quite engrossing, but again it is not a story that has really ever been presented.
 
So I am doing quite a bit of connecting the dots, unearthing overlooked connections and making distinctions such as proposing a system of three different types of misotheism - agonistic (conflicted), absolute and political. Misotheism in its various manifestations is a dark, disturbing and perplexing strand of religious dissent. But at the same time, it is an attitude toward the divine that shows just how compelling belief can be.
 
If people continue to believe in a God they find to be contemptible, then belief is such a powerful force that it cannot be simply switched off on the basis of empirical data. Thus, in the last consequence, the study of misotheism is a testament to the power of belief, albeit a twisted, unconventional form.

The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of Bernard Schweizer.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Atheism • Belief • Books • God • Opinion

soundoff (1,730 Responses)
  1. Sam

    You want to know the story? He needed something original to write his thesis on so he made something up. Now he's using it to make money by selling books. It's a very academic thing to do.

    A tad cynical perhaps but I am sure there is a core of truth to it. Undoubtedly there are people who hate God. I feel sorry for them.

    March 8, 2011 at 3:48 pm |
  2. Texas

    CS Lewis said (paraphrased from memory) "the best you can hope for is the god is indifferent or that he hates you because either way he will eventually get bored and leave you so that he can pursue other amusments, the worst possibility is that he loves and that he thinks this pain is in your best interest, becuase then he will persist in his torment long after he is bored and tired. Like a dentist who drills because he has your best intrest at heart he will ignore your screams and pleas."

    March 8, 2011 at 3:46 pm |
  3. AnotherGOD

    If you don't accept the Lord Jeeeeesus Christ as your personal lord and savior, yur goin' straight to Hail.

    March 8, 2011 at 3:45 pm |
  4. DAT

    Can anyone tell us "who created god"?

    does anyone who reads the bible know this? or are you not allowed to think about it?

    Is it taught to the children?

    March 8, 2011 at 3:38 pm |
    • humblepie

      While you're waiting on that answer can you enlighten us on what came first, the chicken or the egg?

      March 8, 2011 at 3:45 pm |
    • AnotherGOD

      The chicken came first. Then the chicken hatched as big a story as ancient religionists did.

      March 8, 2011 at 3:48 pm |
    • Texas

      An old woman said "The whole univers is on a turtles back." The physicist chuckled and asked "Well then mam, what is the turtle standing on?" the old woman laughed and said " You're very clever young man but I know the answer. Turtles all the way down."

      March 8, 2011 at 3:54 pm |
    • evensteven

      Man created God in his own image, in the image of man created he Him.

      The traditional ideas of God are the guy with the biggest ego and insecurity complex who must have things His way or the highway.

      March 8, 2011 at 5:32 pm |
  5. LetsThink123

    Why do believers keep bringing up the Adam and Eve story to explain why sin exists in this world?
    1. Scientific FACT: If a brother and sister have a child together, here is a high probability of that child suffering from retardation.
    Based on this fact, why isn't most of the world suffering from retardation if we all came from Adam and Eve?
    2. Scientific FACT: The first early humans were walking this earth 200k-500k years ago, and came out of AFRICA.
    Based on this fact, how does the Adam and Eve story hold up to such a vast error in timescale? God created the world in 7 days, and even if you say that 1 day = 1000 years, the number is still way off!
    3. Scientific FACT: The stars we see in the night sky are just other suns (some larger than our sun, some smaller). They were also formed BEFORE our sun.
    Genesis 3 says: And God said, Let there be light: and there was light. <– This means that the sun was created.
    Genesis 16 says: And God made two great lights; the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night: he made the stars also.
    Why did God make the stars AFTER our sun?? It contradicts FACT.

    With so many obvious flaws and contradictions, I don't understand why believers keep citing this Adam and Eve creation myth in Genesis.

    March 8, 2011 at 3:37 pm |
    • humblepie

      That's funny... the term scientific fact is more or less an observation that has been confirmed multiple times and is "accepted" as true (although its truth is never final)

      March 8, 2011 at 3:53 pm |
  6. Farfner

    As Fark would say "it's not news, it's CNN"

    March 8, 2011 at 3:36 pm |
  7. Jim M

    As long as people try to conceive of God as a "Person" with all of humanities qualities, we have a problem. IMO, God is not some invisible Superman hiding somewhere sitting on a thrown in some city in the sky. We label God as being perfect and that's where everything breaks down. When our individual ego doesn't get what it wants it rebels like a child hating its parent. To me God is all knowledge, all things, all thought and all life itself. We are not separate from God, we are part of God. Jesus understood that. Didn't he teach, "The kingdom of God is within you"? Didn't he teach, "Aren't you all Gods"? Didn't he teach, "You can do greater things than I have done"?

    Our distress comes from not understanding that we are spiritual beings having physical experiences, not physical beings having the occasional spiritual one. You are not the house you live in, you are not the car you drive, you are not the clothes you wear and you are not the body you walk around in.

    March 8, 2011 at 3:23 pm |
    • Colin

      Wishy-washy definitions like this serve no other purpose than to water down the concept to something that defies refutation or even comprehension.

      God is in my wallet if I define him as a credit card.

      March 8, 2011 at 3:26 pm |
    • JAdams1776

      Then why do I change with organic brain damage? If the spirit is inviolate, why does my personality change with Alzheimer's? What is this 'spirit' you speak of as having a real existence, but yet it is only manifest though the organic functions of the human brain?

      March 8, 2011 at 3:27 pm |
    • Jim M

      Colin, I stated my opinion. If your credit card or your pet rock make you happy, great. Then that's what your ego is telling you. I am happy to allow you your personal happiness or misery as you choose. That creates your perception and your life experience. Whatever works.

      March 8, 2011 at 3:31 pm |
    • DAT

      Can anyone tell us "who created god"?

      does anyone who reads the bible know this? or are you not allowed to think about it?

      hmmmm?

      March 8, 2011 at 3:35 pm |
    • JAdams1776

      @ DAT: When any government, or any church for that matter, undertakes to say to its subjects, 'This you may not read, this you may not see, this you are forbidden to know,' the end result is tyranny and oppression, no matter how holy the motives. Mighty little force is needed to control a man whose mind has been hoodwinked; contrariwise, no amount of force can control a free man, a man whose mind is free. No, not the rack, not fission bombs, not anything–you can't conquer a free man; the most you can do is kill him. That's why the religious are forbidden to think about such questions.

      March 8, 2011 at 3:37 pm |
    • Jim M

      JAdams1776, the organic brain is your spirit's personal computer. If its processor is damaged, it can no longer execute your commands properly. You are not your brain. You only use it. You typed a response on your computing device, yet you are not your computer. If your keyboard or your operating system had been corrupted by a virus or damage yo could not have been able to communicate with me. That would not have changed who you really are, would it?

      March 8, 2011 at 3:38 pm |
    • DAT

      @JAdams: funny how that always works to their advantage. -look but don't touch-

      March 8, 2011 at 3:42 pm |
    • Jim M

      DAT, the power of the universe simply "is", always was and always will be. Time, as we define it, is a man-made invention to measure change. Time changes with position in the universe. It's a relative thing On earth a day is 24 hours or one rotation. On Jupiter or the moon, it is entirely different.

      March 8, 2011 at 3:44 pm |
    • DAT

      Jim,

      All things have a beginning, it doesn't matter if it is a galaxy or a leaf.

      Tell me where god began or his father or his father......

      March 8, 2011 at 3:48 pm |
    • Jim M

      DAT, True everything that is matter, ie physical, has a beginning and an end. The same laws need not apply to that which is no matter, ie the space between the matter.

      March 8, 2011 at 7:02 pm |
  8. Dre

    This story is about me. But I can't hate something that does not exist.

    March 8, 2011 at 3:18 pm |
  9. Colin

    I have to run, but I leave my theist friends with a thought.

    I cannot help but feel a strong thump of pride in my chest at being an atheist. I feel proud that I have "gotten above" the feel-good fantasies that indulge the mind of the theist.

    I know I will die and that that will be it. No trumpets will sound, no angels will sing, and there will be no final accounting at the Pearly Gates. Just a big zero. A big nothing. Just like during the entire 14.6 billion years before Iwas born. In this respect, and survival instinct aside, it is impossible for the atheist to fear death, for the simple reason that the capacity to fear (or to feel pain or discomfort) itself dies.

    Fear of death is as meaningless to the atheist as is the fear of a vacuum, the fear of not being born. I feel a lot more secure in this comforting acceptance than I would in trying to yoke myself to some quasi-hope that every part of my intellect tells me is untenable.

    March 8, 2011 at 3:17 pm |
    • Anotheralt

      Sweetie, you're just as comforted by self-assurance and a denial of the possible as any devout person is by acceptance of whatever God. Try being agnostic and float in a universe of endless conjecture and possibilities. The acceptance you claim is only more rational than the acceptance you deny because you believe the in the supremacy of current evidence. History tells us that the strict belief in that kind of evidence is a lie.

      March 8, 2011 at 3:24 pm |
    • JAdams1776

      @Anotheralt: An Atheist is comforted by repeatable certainty. A Theist by the warm blanket of unreasoning belief. Why would you want to be an agnostic and have neither?

      March 8, 2011 at 3:29 pm |
    • Observer

      An agnostic is aware that both the athiests and the believers are unable to prove their points. Neither can show that their positions are correct through verifiable proof.

      It's entirely possible that athiests and Christians are both wrong. There MIGHT be a God who is far more like Jesus in the Bible than the often arrogant, vain, mass-murderer that God is portrayed to be in the Bible.

      March 8, 2011 at 3:34 pm |
    • Bee

      Interesting. I'm opposite. I have a hard time imagining turning into nothing.

      March 8, 2011 at 3:35 pm |
    • Anotheralt

      JAdams, the short glib answer is: I can't stand okra, but some people love it. The longer answer is: Depending on what people value, different things may bring them comfort.

      March 8, 2011 at 4:03 pm |
  10. thesnideone

    Actually read the bible and there are only 2 possible outcomes: You become an atheist. You hate God. How can you believe in and not hate the monster that is described in the bible? Here is just one of the many examples of why God deserves to be hated:

    Numbers 15:32-36 (King James Version)

    32And while the children of Israel were in the wilderness, they found a man that gathered sticks upon the sabbath day.

    33 And they that found him gathering sticks brought him unto Moses and Aaron, and unto all the congregation.

    34 And they put him in ward, because it was not declared what should be done to him.

    And after this atrocity what is the very next phrase of the bible?

    37 The LORD said to Moses, 38 “Speak to the Israelites and say to them: ‘Throughout the generations to come you are to make tassels on the corners of your garments, with a blue cord on each tassel.

    LOL! Either hate Him or laugh at Him.

    35 And the LORD said unto Moses, The man shall be surely put to death: all the congregation shall stone him with stones without the camp.

    36 And all the congregation brought him without the camp, and stoned him with stones, and he died; as the LORD commanded Moses.

    March 8, 2011 at 3:17 pm |
    • JAdams1776

      The Bible is such a gargantuan collection of conflicting values that anyone can prove anything from it. The chart of the thousands of contradictions is quite lovely: www . project-reason . org/bibleContra_big . pdf

      March 8, 2011 at 3:19 pm |
  11. ron

    On top of being an atheist, I am also of the mind that logically, you should not feel obligated to worship even if you do believe in him/her:

    I would ask anyone who believes in God if God is good and just. Invariably, the answer is yes. Is God omnipotent and omniscient? Yes again.

    So, why would a good, just, omniscient God punish a good person simply because they did not worship him? A God that *requires* worship is not a humble or just God. Therefore being obligated to worship God is hypocritical.

    If you *want* to worship him, that is perfectly fine. However, those that believe others MUST also do so or burn in Hell are negating the whole premise of a just and benevolent God.

    So, I choose to not believe in God because I choose to be a good person because you should be one, not because I feel guilty if I do bad things. In the end, if there actually is a God, their omniscience should allow them to judge me on the merits of what I did (or did not do) in life, not whether or not I actively worshipped them.

    If there is no God, then none of this matters. If there is a God that requires worship and banishes me to hell because I didn't worship them, then they were not benevolent, just or worthy of my worship to begin with.

    March 8, 2011 at 3:15 pm |
    • humblepie

      Why do we celebrate a graduate or a child that wins an award... it's kinda the right thing to do right?

      March 8, 2011 at 3:21 pm |
    • JDJ

      If God is who he says is, then what kind of a god would he be if he did not demand worship? If he didn't demand worship, then why do the whole gig in the first place? We are free not to worship him, but we are not free from the consequences of failing to worship him. It is his universe, and he gets to set the rules. The good news is he plays fair and accepts all who come to him.

      March 8, 2011 at 4:00 pm |
  12. BLUEFLAME777

    ALL will bow before mighty GOD the savior of the world and the LORD of all. Even Satan and his demons believe in God. To not believe is being worse than Satan. You people who say horrible blasphemous things are really empty inside and will never fill that deep writhing void in your souls and life. That’s why you seek the pleasures of this earth to fill that void. But it can never be filled by anything but God. Satan is smarter than man and the most cunning beast of the field as the bible says, and he is deceiving you and will devour you like a roaring lion. How sad for people who do not accept the Love of Jesus Christ. I don’t expect any of you to acknowledge any of this. In fact you will do as Satan does you will continue to mock God and his children, and try to use circular logic or pervert God’s word to prove your point. But in the end you have only fooled yourself. It is better to believe in God and be wrong in the end than to not believe and be wrong and burn for eternity. Enjoy your freewill to mock it won’t last forever and I hope for your sake you repent and come to Christ before it is to late as this world is fleeting.

    March 8, 2011 at 3:12 pm |
    • JAdams1776

      Do us a favor... Join your god as soon as possible. He misses you dearly. He told me so himself. Here, borrow my sidearm.

      March 8, 2011 at 3:17 pm |
    • Texas

      BLUEFLAME you know you are not really contributing anything to this discussion by trumpeting dogma into cyberspace. You want to get in on this then tell us how you figured the preceding out.

      March 8, 2011 at 3:19 pm |
  13. Corbijn

    This is a perfect example of why Christians and Atheists will never get along; this also adds lots of fuel to why Atheists are Atheists. Even though the writer says this has nothing to do with Atheists and and criticizes their writing (specifically Dawkins); hypocritically the writer goes on a lengthy diatribe of bashing Atheists and saying they simply hate God. I'm an Atheist and this fellow is up in the night. I don't hate God, I just don't believe in him. It's a simple as that. If I hate anything it's the dogmatic insanity that people cling onto to push religious causes in the name of God. Some see the glass half-full, some half-empty but I'm just pragmatic, indifferent when it comes to the concept of God. I hate God as much as I hate Thor or Zeus. You have to believe in something to hate it & I don't believe in it. This argument about Atheists is just dumb. The only reason why Atheists point out the "angry" side of God is just to point out the flaws in this guys flawless dogmatic belief. More evil has been perpetrated by people supposedly carrying the wishes of the God they believe in more than anything else. It still goes on today, look at the Muslim argument right now in the USA. This is just God-fearing Christians coming up with ideas to crush the infidels and saying it's us or them. Look at all the anti-women rules popping up in the government right now that deal with abortion. Regardless of your take on pro-life this is a group of old men dictating rules for women. These same old men utilize religion as a way to justify this dictation. I live in Utah and see this crap all the time to stupefying extremes. I like how the writer says he's sorry for people like me. Feel sorry for your own ignorance.

    March 8, 2011 at 3:06 pm |
    • Texas

      The people who hate god are not athiests, they are believers.

      March 8, 2011 at 3:07 pm |
    • JAdams1776

      Well said. I'm a militant Atheist. I don't just 'not believe in god,' I state categorically that there IS no god. I am as confident in that assertion as I am that rocks fall due to gravity, and that there ain't no such thing as a free lunch. (Ok, ok, the second law of thermodynamics). People who believe in invisible sky friends are dangerously irrational. They should not be trusted with positions of authority, weapons, or the right to vote. They are willfully insane. Those who indoctrinate their children into their insanity from a young age are guilty of child abuse, no less. All religion is intellectual terrorism.

      March 8, 2011 at 3:10 pm |
    • Corbijn

      I agree. I just hate how they shift the blame on Atheists instead up sucking it up and taking accountability for themselves.

      March 8, 2011 at 3:11 pm |
    • Colin

      I'm with Adams on this. Dawkins puts himself at 7.9 on a scale of 1 to 8 (8 being 100% convinced there is no god). As a purist, it is hard to fault his position (as that of anotheralt) that a lack of positive disproff means one cannot slam the door, but I think the sheer unlikliness gets so high as to be the functional equivalent of 100% sure.

      March 8, 2011 at 3:14 pm |
    • Mao

      Ugh, do you atheists not read?
      Here, read it again.
      "No, I’m not talking about atheists. Non-believers may say contemptuous things about God, but when they do so, they are simply giving the thumbs-down to a fictional character. They may as well express dislike about Shakespeare’s devious Iago, Dickens’ scheming Uriah Heep or Dr. Seuss’ Grinch who stole Christmas.
      For atheists, God is in the same category as these fictional villains. Except that since God is the most popular of all fictional villains, New Atheists – those evangelizing ones such as Christopher Hitchens and Richard Dawkins – spend a considerable amount of energy enumerating his flaws.
      But someone who truly believes in God’s existence and yet hates or scorns him ..."

      This is not about atheists. Yes evangelizing new atheists like Christopher Hitchens and Richard Dawkins, spend time enumerating God's flaws, this article is about believers.

      And please don't equivocate like Colin did on page 1 at 11:12
      The mentioning of New Atheists is dealing with a specific group of atheists who are like Christopher Hitchens and Richard Dawkins.

      March 8, 2011 at 3:35 pm |
    • Jim Stevenson

      Yeah, read it again bro. He doesn't bash atheism. Stop giving us a bad name by not reading the article well before commenting on it. Thanks.

      March 8, 2011 at 8:34 pm |
  14. Texas

    If there is a god the best you can hope for is that he is indifferent towards you and that is why he makes you suffer; he just han's noticed you. The only other choice is that he hates you. Either way praying will not help.

    March 8, 2011 at 3:05 pm |
  15. lllll

    how can someone be so sure that there is a god, or be so sure that there isn't?

    March 8, 2011 at 3:03 pm |
    • Colin

      The two are not the equivalent. Have a look at my posting at 11:30 this morning about leprechauns.

      March 8, 2011 at 3:04 pm |
    • JAdams1776

      You beat me to it Colin. Carry on.

      March 8, 2011 at 3:05 pm |
    • Colin

      It was a response to "The Truth" who posted at 11:15. Page 1

      March 8, 2011 at 3:06 pm |
    • Anotheralt

      I still don't buy it Colin. Leprechauns are, in fact, equally like to exist or not exist as God. I'm not sure why you assume neither exists just because either one seems unlikely. Your point lacks a point.

      March 8, 2011 at 3:08 pm |
    • Colin

      Anotheralt, my friend, you're back. If you are at he point where you consider the liklihood of there being a god as equal to the liklihood of there being leprechauns, I find it very difficult to distinguish your belief from mine.

      March 8, 2011 at 3:11 pm |
    • lllll

      Colin: question is two folds, 1. god exists or not (according to you). 2. if the answer (according to you) to 1 is "yes", then the follow up question is – do you worship him. article is writing about the 1. yes, 2. no case. has nothing to do with atheists. without answering question 1, question 2 doesn't come into picture.

      March 8, 2011 at 3:16 pm |
    • Anotheralt

      lol, I think the difference is that I'm much more likely to believe in the possibility of Leprechauns (or God) than you are 🙂 A point I made that's awaiting moderation is that: Neither God nor Leprechauns are truly important, it's what we want them to bring us that deserves the lion's share of the discussion.

      March 8, 2011 at 3:17 pm |
  16. JAdams1776

    People often complain of my posts, "Why can't you just leave the believers alone?" It is because they impact my life, by at least partially directing how my tax dollars are spent, and what my children are taught in public school. Creationism taught in a science class is why I don't 'leave them alone.' It is a truism that almost any sect, cult, or religion will legislate its creed into law if it acquires the political power to do so, and will follow it by suppressing opposition, subverting all education to seize early the minds of the young, and by killing, locking up, or driving underground all heretics.

    March 8, 2011 at 3:00 pm |
    • humblepie

      So is there any difference between your existence and the existence of any other mammal?

      March 8, 2011 at 3:13 pm |
    • Ron

      Humblepie,
      animals don't force or seek to force other animals to "follow its way because they alone are right."
      Personally, I don't want any religion in control of the government or its laws.

      March 8, 2011 at 3:20 pm |
    • humblepie

      I understand, I'm not sure if this is correct but I think that the government that you refer to happens to be founded on that same faith you are at odds with.

      March 8, 2011 at 3:28 pm |
    • Andrew

      humblepie, unless he happens to live in Saudi Arabia i don't think you quite know what you're talking about, most, if not all of the founding fathers of the USA knew the dangers of mixing state and religious matters, and were very keen on keeping them separate.

      March 8, 2011 at 3:50 pm |
    • ???

      Atheism is a religion too. Both believers in God and non-believers are addressing the same question: "Does God exist?" Some say yes, and others say no–but neither answer can be verified by pure reason or scientific experimentation. Atheists claim freedom from religion, and yet their principle belief is founded upon faith in the non-existence of God.

      Laws, governments, and organizations are just as susceptible to forcing atheistic dictates upon a society as they are Christian, Muslim, or any other religious foundational morals. The only truly free government is one who allows ALL people to speak, even in the public sector, without fear of persecution or retribution. That does not mean ban everyone who believes in God from speaking and voting according to their beliefs and conscience and only allow people who do not believe in God to have a voice in government.

      March 8, 2011 at 3:55 pm |
    • humblepie

      I was referring to the fact that they were Christians and had a strong belief in God.

      March 8, 2011 at 4:04 pm |
    • Andrew

      You mean like when Benjamin Franklin said "I have found Christian dogma unintelligible. Early in life I absented myself from Christian assemblies." or "The way to see by Faith is to shut the eye of Reason.", or when Thomas Jefferson said "I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just."? Is that what you mean by the fact that they had a strong belief in god?

      March 8, 2011 at 4:14 pm |
    • humblepie

      Um... Not exactly.

      March 8, 2011 at 4:33 pm |
    • rob

      @??? - atheism is not a religion. A religion is an organized set of beliefs concerning the cause and nature of the universe, especially when the cause is a supernatural divinity. Atheism is not a set of beliefs, it's a LACK of a belief, it's only a single "lack" (not a systematic group of principles), and it does not posit a supernatural divinity.

      Also, atheism is not a faith. Faith is belief in a claim without evidence. An atheist simply does not accept the God hypothesis, as it has no evidence. The atheist simply chooses not to sustain a belief in the diving due to lack of evidence, which is in fact the very opposite of faith. It's a position advanced by the application of reason to an hypothesis.

      Please stop making atheism out to be something it isn't.

      March 8, 2011 at 8:22 pm |
  17. David in Corpus

    After reading all the posts up to 20 pages I am here to say that you are all GO D DA MN craz y as sh it!
    Well except you atheists but you have to admit, they believe in what they believe cause they can't stand the idea of dying and not having been that important in life to begin with. Most people have serious issues (fears) about not being important, or influencial, or loved, etc.etc. I find it rather pathetic. Thankfully though, the latest batch of narcissists here in America (Gen Y) are so far not to terribly religious. I guess they have become so 'me' driven that they don't even have a place in their lives for fictional gawds who think of them so much. Gawd!!! I command thee to strike me down, NO? Ok then, GAWD, I command thee to make me a vanilla milkshake out of martian milk! NO? Then GAWD! FK OFF and leave us alone and take all your crazies and networking types with you.

    March 8, 2011 at 3:00 pm |
    • JAdams1776

      Amen. (Pun intended)

      March 8, 2011 at 3:01 pm |
    • Nero

      couldn't have said it better myself!

      March 8, 2011 at 3:11 pm |
    • Jason

      He will take us with him. Good luck.

      March 8, 2011 at 3:42 pm |
    • morpheus

      @ David in corpus~ You seem to be crying out for attention!!

      March 8, 2011 at 3:53 pm |
  18. Really???

    "Another reason why the story of misotheism is “untold” is that nobody has bothered yet to draw the larger lines of development over time, beginning with the Book of Job and ending up with utilitarianism, philosophical anarchism and feminism".

    Is the author trying to say that feminists hate God?

    In order to "hate" God you have to believe in him, big time. Most people that hate God do so because of personal loss. An agnostic doesn't hate God, if he did then he would have to believe he exists, hence he is not agnostic.

    What I have a problem with is people who say God is in control of everything, even when and how you die. If that is the case, why bother trying to do anything? Better to just sit around and wait.

    Why does this author have a need to label people? Is it because someone called him a "Bible Thumper" once? People can hate and then get over hating, it happens all the time. Then what do we call these misotheists? Ex misotheist? Reformed misotheist?

    We are all seekers, trying to find an answer that makes us happy. None of us have ever met a god (I say this to encompass all faiths). Until we die and know for sure, we are all in the same boat.

    March 8, 2011 at 2:59 pm |
    • Really???

      Oh, and by the way. The people who "believe" just to hedge your bet, don't you think that if God exists he would see into your soul and know the truth? Better to be a seeker and trying to find the answer than someone who fakes it.

      March 8, 2011 at 3:03 pm |
    • CrazyD

      Good Point. I was mad at God for a personal loss, for a decade. But after a while I had to let go that HE caused my loss – or others loss. I think many people want to know why suffering and pain are "allowed" or "caused" by GOD. They are not. Evil and sufering exsis in this world because of us. We were given Eden. But we choose to disobey – we had free will. So God said – "So be it – you want do to what ever you wish – to know everything – then the "real world" has thorns and is hard – it was your choice . Get out of paradise". Free will comes with conquences.

      March 8, 2011 at 3:40 pm |
  19. Liqmaticus

    John 20:29 (New International Version, ©2011)

    29 Then Jesus told him, “Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”

    March 8, 2011 at 2:59 pm |
    • LeeCMH

      It says in Jibberish 3-15 "..."

      March 8, 2011 at 3:16 pm |
  20. WIll III

    I think God is a reasonable choice.....There are things that are in science that are outside thee "realm" of what science can do. I choose to believe in God and the connectedness of things. Hating God however just seems like a waste of time and energy....but we could say that about hating anything.

    March 8, 2011 at 2:58 pm |
    • JAdams1776

      I'm going to be generous and assume you're using the word "reasonable" to mean "generally accepted" rather than "with reason." There is no reason for any belief in any god. Religion, by definition of the word, means "without reason."

      March 8, 2011 at 3:14 pm |
    • Joseph

      Look at the bright side.To hate god you must believe in him.Personally I don't believe in any God that would commit genocidal murder when he got angry.

      March 8, 2011 at 3:19 pm |
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About this blog

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