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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. Brian

    As an atheist, I do not believe that there is a god or gods. But, if the Christian god is somehow proven to exist and the heavily edited, many-times translated book of stories is proven to be true, I would not worship such a being. He is not worthy of worship. He kills to prove a point, he allows people to burn in a pit of fire for eternity if they do not believe and devote themselves to Him/HisSon. He lets poor children, who may have not heard his words, die from starvation every year. He could do something, but he does nothing. He lets them die. But, since he doesn't exist, there is no need for me to hate him. What I do hate is the fact that people believe was is written in an anthology of ancient myths, worship this evil tyrannical being, and then try to legislate laws based upon myths in a bronze-age book. As an atheist, I can't hate god, but I can hate the hold that this myth has on society, and how I can be discriminated for my lack of belief.

    March 8, 2011 at 8:59 pm |
    • educateurself

      The problem is not with translations, they are all pretty much the same meaning as original Hebrew...I read in both Hebrew and English. But the problem lies with People's interpretations of what is written, adding their own flavor and twists as they see fit instead of letting the printed words speak for itself.
      As for him not immediately intervening in the misery that humans have wrought on themselves. He is allowing a relatively brief period of time pass to prove 'the wicked one' cannot run the earth better as he has challenged Gods sovereignty. If he were to step in before the appointed time he would make the case for his enemy.

      March 8, 2011 at 9:20 pm |
    • Brian

      @educateurself:
      You seem to be grasping at a lot of absurd ideas to not only say that the god of the bible is real, but that there is a coherent and fatherly aspect to his being. Instead of trying to mold what your idea of god is to fit in with modern and conventional moral norms and scientific discovery, how about you do the logical thing and ask yourself, "maybe this book of stories from the desert isn't true". Boats that carry every species of animal on it during a world wide flood, talking snakes, a person living in a fish, people being raised from the dead, a god so sensitive that he sends you to a pit of fire for not believing in him. This is all ridiculous and on par with Santa Claus and Greek Mythology. Nothing different here.

      And by the way, google the image of the vulture that is waiting for the starving African baby to die. Is this something that he wrought upon himself? I highly doubt it. Who would worship a being that allows this to happen?

      March 8, 2011 at 9:39 pm |
    • educateurself

      i'm sorry that you are offended that was not my intent. i was sharing something valuable (to me).

      i am familiar with the image you referred to of the starving child. we all know no child is responsible or to blame for such tragedies and neither is God. that was exactly the point i was making. much suffering has resulted from human self-management as well as the fact that God is not the one controlling the earth right now (2 cor 4:4)...but it seems you didn't catch that. the point is God is not causing nor responsible for these things to happen. the bible explains in minute detail exactly how he will put an end to evils and injustices once and for all and restore all things and life back to perfection.(including that poor baby) If you don't agree, its your choice. no one is forcing you to like it, love it or accept it.

      March 9, 2011 at 1:12 am |
  2. GlorytoGod

    Though our arrogant claim to creative wisdom never surprises our omniscient Lord, we would do well to hear and heed His response to our human pride as doc-u-mented in Job 38-42. The following words are merely a few highlights from a vital message that fits our times:

    "Where were you when I laid the foundations of the earth?
    Tell Me, if you have understanding.
    Who determined its measurements? Surely you know!"

    "Does the hawk fly by your wisdom, and spread its wings toward the south?
    Does the eagle mount up at your command, and make its nest on high?
    On the rocks it dwells and resides, on the crag of the rock and the stronghold.
    From there it spies out the prey...."

    "Shall the one who contends with the Almighty correct Him?
    He who rebukes God, let him answer it.”

    "Have you an arm like God? Or can you thunder with a voice like His?
    Then adorn yourself with majesty and splendor, and array yourself with glory and beauty.
    Disperse the rage of your wrath;
    Look on everyone who is proud, and humble him."

    "Then Job answered the Lord and said:
    'I know that You can do everything, and that no purpose of Yours can be withheld from You.
    You asked, ‘Who is this who hides counsel without knowledge?’
    Therefore I have u=ttered what I did not understand,

    Things too wonderful for me, which I did not know.'"

    March 8, 2011 at 8:46 pm |
  3. JAdams1776

    All I know is that if May 21st really is the end of the world, I'll be standing there going, "Well... I'll be damned."

    March 8, 2011 at 8:46 pm |
  4. Brian

    lol people still believe in god

    March 8, 2011 at 8:44 pm |
  5. Ian

    Hate god? no one ever said we hated god... we said we don't BELIEVE in god.. He's not real.

    HOWEVER... personally speaking if he DID exist.. after all the miserable things he has done and all the people who have suffered in his name.

    Yes I would hate him

    March 8, 2011 at 8:42 pm |
  6. educateurself

    JOregon has evidently never seen a Bible.

    March 8, 2011 at 8:32 pm |
    • JOregon

      Show me where in the bible it says God loves everyone.

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

      I've "seen the Bible" and it doesn't explicitly say "God loves you" or any other explicit phrase with the same message.

      March 8, 2011 at 8:37 pm |
    • Evan

      JOregon, John 3:16: For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. "

      March 8, 2011 at 8:38 pm |
    • educateurself

      John 3:16

      March 8, 2011 at 8:39 pm |
    • Jim Stevenson

      My apologies.

      March 8, 2011 at 8:40 pm |
    • JOregon

      The Greek is a very capable language.
      The bible could have said God so loved man or mankind or the people of the world.
      It uses the word kosmos,
      Kosmos relates to the world God created.

      God so loved…
      His creation.
      The world he created.
      The world.

      It was good.

      Genesis 1:4, Genesis 1:10, Genesis 1:12, Genesis 1:18, Genesis 1:21.
      Genesis 1:25 And God made the beast of the earth after his kind, and cattle after their kind, and every thing that creepeth upon the earth after his kind: and God saw that it was good.

      He loved it, including man.
      But then sin entered into the world, it was no longer good.
      We are taught that God loves everybody from the earliest age.
      We sing the song, “Jesus loved all the people of the world.”
      People come up to you in the street and tell you, “Jesus loves you.”
      But there is not one single verse of scripture that says anything like this.
      One the other hand there are several verses that teach just the opposite.
      Psalms 11:5 The LORD trieth the righteous: but the wicked and him that loveth violence his soul hateth.
      Romans 9:13 As it is written, Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated.

      March 8, 2011 at 8:45 pm |
    • educateurself

      1 John 4:8

      March 8, 2011 at 8:47 pm |
    • educateurself

      He that does not love has not come to know God, because God is love. 9 By this the love of God was made manifest in our case, because God sent forth his only-begotten Son into the world that we might gain life through him. 10 The love is in this respect, not that we have loved God, but that he loved us and sent forth his Son as a propitiatory sacrifice for our sins. 11 Beloved ones, if this is how God loved us, then we are ourselves under obligation to love one another.
      And we ourselves have come to know and have believed the love that God has in our case. God is love, and he that remains in love remains in union with God and God remains in union with him. 17 This is how love has been made perfect with us, that we may have freeness of speech in the day of judgment, because, just as that one is, so are we ourselves in this world. 18 There is no fear in love, but perfect love throws fear outside, because fear exercises a restraint. Indeed, he that is under fear has not been made perfect in love. 19 As for us, we love, because he first loved us. 20 If anyone makes the statement: “I love God,” and yet is hating his brother, he is a liar. For he who does not love his brother, whom he has seen, cannot be loving God, whom he has not seen. 21 And this commandment we have from him, that the one who loves God should be loving his brother also.

      March 8, 2011 at 8:54 pm |
    • educateurself

      (Deuteronomy 7:9) And you well know that Jehovah your God is the [true] God, the faithful God, keeping covenant and loving-kindness in the case of those who love him and those who keep his commandments to a thousand generations,

      March 8, 2011 at 8:57 pm |
    • JOregon

      1 John 4:7 Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God.
      1 John 4:8 He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.
      1 John 4:9 In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him.
      1 John 4:10 Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.
      1 John 4:11 Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another.
      1 John 4:12 No man hath seen God at any time. If we love one another, God dwelleth in us, and his love is perfected in us.

      1 John 4:16 And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him.
      1 John 4:17 Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as he is, so are we in this world.
      1 John 4:18 There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love.
      1 John 4:19 We love him, because he first loved us.
      1 John 4:20 If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen?
      1 John 4:21 And this commandment have we from him, That he who loveth God love his brother also.

      Everyone that is loved by God is saved. That is the teaching of 1 John 4. These verses are being spoken to believers.
      Believers have their sins wiped clean by the blood of Christ.

      1 John 1:7 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.

      As such believers are clean in the sight of God and God no longer sees their sins.
      That is why the following doesn't relate to the saved.

      Psalms 5:5 The foolish shall not stand in thy sight: thou hatest all workers of iniquity.
      Psalms 5:6 Thou shalt destroy them that speak leasing: the LORD will abhor the bloody and deceitful man.

      March 8, 2011 at 8:58 pm |
    • JOregon

      Every time the bible talks about being loved by the Lord it is someone that is saved.
      No where does the bible say God loves every individual person saved or not.

      March 8, 2011 at 9:01 pm |
    • educateurself

      2 Peter 3:9 "He does not desire any to be destroyed"

      March 8, 2011 at 9:06 pm |
    • educateurself

      matt 5:43 “YOU heard that it was said, ‘You must love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ 44 However, I say to YOU: Continue to love YOUR enemies and to pray for those persecuting YOU; 45 that YOU may prove yourselves sons of YOUR Father who is in the heavens, since he makes his sun rise upon wicked people and good and makes it rain upon righteous people and unrighteous. 46 For if YOU love those loving YOU, what reward do YOU have? Are not also the tax collectors doing the same thing? 47 And if YOU greet YOUR brothers only, what extraordinary thing are YOU doing? Are not also the people of the nations doing the same thing? 48 YOU must accordingly be perfect, as YOUR heavenly Father is perfect.

      March 8, 2011 at 9:10 pm |
    • JOregon

      No he doesn't want anyone to perish, just as he doesn't want anyone to sin.
      When we sin our bond with God is broken.
      I love Dogs, would never want one to turn out mean. If a Dog ripped into one of my Grandchildren I wouldn't love THAT dog. I would hate it.

      March 8, 2011 at 9:11 pm |
    • JOregon

      matt 5
      God is the Judge because he knows the heart, we do not.
      There are those we figure must be saved only to find out they are wicked – God already knew.
      There are those we figure couldn't possibly be saved, People we figure they have no idea what God wants, or what the bible says 😉
      God knows the heart.
      We do not have Gods vision, we are to love all. God sees what we cannot.

      March 8, 2011 at 9:16 pm |
    • JOregon

      I have addressed your verses how about addressing the ones I have given you?
      Psalms 11:5 The LORD trieth the righteous: but the wicked and him that loveth violence his soul hateth.
      Romans 9:13 As it is written, Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated.
      Malachi 1:2 I have loved you, saith the LORD. Yet ye say, Wherein hast thou loved us? Was not Esau Jacob’s brother? saith the LORD: yet I loved Jacob,
      Malachi 1:3 And I hated Esau, and laid his mountains and his heritage waste for the dragons of the wilderness.
      Psalms 5:5 The foolish shall not stand in thy sight: thou hatest all workers of iniquity.
      Psalms 5:6 Thou shalt destroy them that speak leasing: the LORD will abhor the bloody and deceitful man.

      March 8, 2011 at 9:23 pm |
    • educateurself

      he loves all people and doesn't want any to be destroyed. he does not love and approve of all conduct though. he asks all of us to change our ways to be acceptable to him.
      Psalms 15 ) A melody of David. 15 O Jehovah, who will be a guest in your tent? Who will reside in your holy mountain?  2 He who is walking faultlessly and practicing righteousness And speaking the truth in his heart.  3 He has not slandered with his tongue. To his companion he has done nothing bad, And no reproach has he taken up against his intimate acquaintance.  4 In his eyes anyone contemptible is certainly rejected, But those fearing Jehovah he honors. He has sworn to what is bad [for himself], and yet he does not alter.  5 His money he has not given out on interest, And a bribe against the innocent one he has not taken. He that is doing these things will never be made to totter.

      people who insist on doing badness will not be allowed to do so forever. the time will come when he will put an end to it and he wants all of us to choose the right side for ourselves. that's a personal choice not to be decided by anyone but the individual...

      March 8, 2011 at 9:39 pm |
    • JOregon

      educateurself ,
      Let me quote you here.
      “...the problem lies with People's interpretations of what is written, adding their own flavor and twists as they see fit instead of letting the printed words speak for itself.”
      You are not letting the printed word speak for itself.
      I spent years searching the bible, one goal was to find a verse that says God or Jesus loves everyone. Never found one. What the printed word said is God hates the wicked, and those that God does love are the elect.
      We have been taught, that God loves everyone.
      It is a feel good teaching. It does not hold up to the scripture. It is indoctrination.
      Many people go through life seemingly blessed. Nothing goes wrong, never in need, blessed all through life.
      Unfortunately that should be a clue they were not blessed by God. He didn't love them. Many have never have been chastised.
      Hebrews 12:6 For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth.

      March 8, 2011 at 10:05 pm |
    • Susan

      @JOregon "I love Dogs, would never want one to turn out mean. If a Dog ripped into one of my Grandchildren I wouldn't love THAT dog. I would hate it."

      Obviously you don't understand dogs. Dogs don't turn out mean, it's their owners and how they are treating the animal. The only reason it would "rip" into your Grandshild is if it felt threaten and you were not being dominant enough to be the leader. Your analogy su-cks, you don't understand animals and it truly shows you don't understand crap!

      March 8, 2011 at 10:16 pm |
    • George

      "Many people go through life seemingly blessed. Nothing goes wrong, never in need, blessed all through life." That is so true isn't it. The Catholic church is worth billions, not to mention all the other churches that seem so blessed. That means they were never blessed by God...how true now in this day and age as the "truth" continues to come out.

      March 8, 2011 at 10:25 pm |
    • JOregon

      Susan,
      Wish what you said was true, it is not. There have been many examples of good loving dogs ripping into a baby, or child.
      They ARE animals.
      The Pitbull was a good breed, but then the wacko's started breeding traits of aggressiveness into them.
      If you remember the Mike Vick episode. If a dog wasn't aggressive enough they killed it, if a dog was exceptionally aggressive they bred it to create more dogs with that trait.

      March 8, 2011 at 10:25 pm |
    • Evan

      JOregon. John 3:16 starts off "For God so loved the world..." God loves everyone, regardless of whether or not they believe.

      March 8, 2011 at 10:26 pm |
    • Susan

      JOregon you watch way to much TV and continue to show you truly don't understand dogs. Thank you for proving my point.

      March 8, 2011 at 10:27 pm |
    • JOregon

      George,
      I'm not Catholic and I don't have a lot of respect for Catholicism. However you example doesn't hold water. For instance the public outcry over the abuse issue seems to be a chastising.
      On the other hand there have been Popes that don't seem to have ever felt the chastisement of God.
      I'm thinking more in terms of individuals like, Pope Benedict IX, rather than organizations.

      March 8, 2011 at 10:33 pm |
    • JOregon

      Susan,
      I rarely watch TV, haven't watched for the past 2+ weeks.
      You are in denial.

      March 8, 2011 at 10:35 pm |
    • George

      "I'm not Catholic and I don't have a lot of respect for Catholicism. However you example doesn't hold water. For instance the public outcry over the abuse issue seems to be a chastising.
      On the other hand there have been Popes that don't seem to have ever felt the chastisement of God.
      I'm thinking more in terms of individuals like, Pope Benedict IX, rather than organizations."

      Wishy washy or what... The problem is you weren't fully thinking about the statement you made or it's implications that demonstrates how short sighted your post was.

      March 8, 2011 at 10:37 pm |
    • Susan

      "I rarely watch TV, haven't watched for the past 2+ weeks.
      You are in denial."

      LOL! That's the best you got....It's shows you don't know what you are talking about. LOL!

      March 8, 2011 at 10:39 pm |
    • JOregon

      Post wasn't short sighted George, you just don't understand.

      March 8, 2011 at 10:42 pm |
    • JOregon

      Susan
      I understand animals apparently better than you.
      I hope nothing horrible happens to anyone you love because you think you can make an aggressive breed non-aggressive.

      March 8, 2011 at 10:44 pm |
    • Susan

      I work with wolves and rehabilitate rescued animals. So, yes I do know what I am talking about and humans like you who as-sume they know everything. I have been doing it for 20 years.

      March 8, 2011 at 10:47 pm |
    • George

      "Post wasn't short sighted George, you just don't understand." That is just an excuse because you can't back yourself up.

      March 8, 2011 at 10:49 pm |
    • JOregon

      Evan,
      It does not start out with, “God so loved mankind, or God so loved the people of the world, or God so loved humanity...” Though if that was what God had wanted it could have.

      John 3:16 For God so loved the world (kosmos), that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

      John 17:14 I have given them thy word; and the world hath hated them, because they are not of the world (kosmos), even as I am not of the world (kosmos).
      John 17:16 They are not of the world (kosmos), even as I am not of the world (kosmos).

      Kosmos has to do with this earth, or the creation.
      In no way can you make (kosmos) to mean man.

      March 8, 2011 at 10:56 pm |
    • JOregon

      Susan,
      So you are saying a normally loving dog can't possibly attack a baby?
      You're right up there with the Animal trainer that was killed by the Orca.

      March 8, 2011 at 11:02 pm |
    • JOregon

      George,
      Maybe it's because your original post doesn't make the point you seem to be trying to make, whatever that is.

      March 8, 2011 at 11:03 pm |
    • educateurself

      I'm not sure I'm still following your reasoning anymore... Did I misquote something? I copied the verses exactly as they are printed. They spoke for themselves. It's not my style to talk in circles so if you think something i typed was wrong, state it directly.

      I am not contesting God's hatred of badness. we agree the bible is clear on that!
      He will not tolerate wickedness forever. Yes, the Bible says if a person makes him or herself an enemy of God he will oppose that one and they will not succeed...he does not approve of or love wickedness. Each person must make a choice in that matter.

      How is that connected to being blessed?

      March 9, 2011 at 1:31 am |
    • educateurself

      you said Kosmos Gr (world) could not mean mankind in general but what about all the other times in the Bible that it uses the same word in reference to mankind in general, humans as a whole?
      why and how is it that you are so sure of the application of the use of this word in this instance (john 3:16) and not all the others? have you decided to take exception with just this one verse or are they all to now changed to mean earth instead of humans?
      the idea that it couldn't possibly mean 'man' just doesn't hold up.

      March 9, 2011 at 1:50 am |
    • JOregon

      Ed-yerself
      I guess you are going to have to spell it out for me.
      Not one single verse you presented says God loves EVERYONE.
      We interpret what we read to mean something, and these verses are often interpreted to mean that.
      When we make an interpretation then we have to see if our interpretation holds up to the rest of the bible.

      Have we as people been given the command to love everyone? Yes, and you presented verses to show that. Do we have the vision and understanding of God? Who is authorized to Judge? Man? Or God?
      We don't see the heart, so we are to love. We can't know if that person will become saved or not, so we are to love. If we are saved that doesn't mean we were not once upon a time sinners, God has never sinned.
      Just because we are to love everyone doesn't mean God is.

      God not wanting anyone to perish is tied to God not wanting anyone to sin. It is not tied to God Loving everyone, if you are going to make that connection you need more.

      When you used Deuteronomy 7:9 did you not read what you posted?
      ...loving-kindness in the case of those who love him and those who keep his commandments...
      That is not all mankind. It is a certain set of people. He has set SOME aside to love.

      God is Love, those without have no place with him. God is merciful and kind, but for those that refuse to ask God for mercy, that reject him outright, there is no mercy. There is no love.
      God Loved Man, the pinnacle of his creation enough to save him. That does not mean he loves every individual man. He loved his creation.

      John 3:16 says absolutely nothing about loving everyone. The WORLD (Kosmos) is not a word that is used in that way – could you show me where you think it is?
      There is nothing wrong with interpreting a passage to mean something, like you do with John 3:16. Does it hold up to the rest of the bible?

      You have not addressed those verses that say CLEARLY God Hates Some individuals.

      Psalms 11:5 The LORD trieth the righteous: but the wicked and him that loveth violence his soul hateth.
      Romans 9:13 As it is written, Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated.
      Malachi 1:2 I have loved you, saith the LORD. Yet ye say, Wherein hast thou loved us? Was not Esau Jacob’s brother? saith the LORD: yet I loved Jacob,
      Malachi 1:3 And I hated Esau, and laid his mountains and his heritage waste for the dragons of the wilderness.
      Psalms 5:5 The foolish shall not stand in thy sight: thou hatest all workers of iniquity.
      Psalms 5:6 Thou shalt destroy them that speak leasing: the LORD will abhor the bloody and deceitful man.

      You must harmonize John 3:16 with those verses.

      March 9, 2011 at 11:20 am |
    • educateurself

      as i've already said we agree that he hates those who make themselves wicked. its very clear from many examples, some you have cited such as Esau. there is no disagreement on that.

      what i do not agree with is the assertion that evidently God must have meant he loved the "physical earth" so much, not the human life on it that the earth sustains. Let me understand what you're saying, he wanted to save the physical earth, not humans with his son's life?
      where does that leave humans then? if his son died to save the "earth" how does that benefit us as humans that still need "saving"???? we are not "saved" then because it wasn't for us it was for the earth?
      what was the point of his son dying then if it was to save the "earth" not humans?
      that's just silly.

      sorry if i'm being really dense but i just don't understand the implications of not applying kosmos to mankind, which is done in several other places in the bible. to me it seems obvious that Jesus died for mankind (not the earth), all of them, not just the "saved" ones. No one was "saved" until Jesus died.

      that's a huge assertion and opens a gaping hole in the whole theme of the Bible as well as invalidated the sacrifice of his son...that just doesn't match the rest of the bible. you're right an idea must be held up to the rest of the Bible to see if its consistent. this idea is not consistent.

      March 9, 2011 at 12:05 pm |
    • JOregon

      Ed,
      Kosmos doesn't have to mean physical earth. It relates to the entire creation. The universe that God created.
      For instance when Jesus says,
      John 17:14 I have given them thy word; and the world hath hated them, because they are not of the world (kosmos), even as I am not of the world (kosmos).

      He is not saying he, and those that God has given him, aren't part of the physical world. They certainly are physical and living on the earth. A believer is no longer part of the ways of the world, no longer a part of this wicked universe. No longer part of this cursed world. That is why we read:

      1 John 2:15 Love not the world (kosmos), neither the things that are in the world (kosmos). If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.

      We come out of the womb wicked.

      Psalms 58:2 Yea, in heart ye work wickedness; ye weigh the violence of your hands in the earth.
      Psalms 58:3 The wicked are estranged from the womb: they go astray as soon as they be born, speaking lies.

      Everyone is counted among the wicked before they become saved.
      I don't want to get too long, I'm sure you have heard the term “Spiritually Dead”.
      When A & E sinned they became separated from God. From that point on man comes with a dead spiritual body. Our hearts are stone.
      When we become born again it is the resurrection of our spirit inside. We are now part of another world, God's Kosmos.
      The sins that we used to love begin to lose their hold on us.

      You are not being dense, I am probably not explaining very well, kind of hard to do in a message board like this. Especially since I tend to mess up my spelling an words on occasion. I'm not as sharp as I was when I was younger.
      If you are still confused or need me to explain more I will monitor this conversation as much as possible.

      March 9, 2011 at 5:55 pm |
    • educateurself

      All humankind. Ko′smos, or the “world,” is therefore closely linked and bound up with mankind. This is true in secular Greek literature and is particularly so in Scripture. When Jesus said that the man walking in daylight “sees the light of this world [form of ko′smos]” (Joh 11:9), it might appear that by “world” is meant simply the planet Earth, which has the sun as its source of daylight. However, his next words speak of the man walking at night who bumps into something “because the light is not in him.” (Joh 11:10) It is primarily for mankind that God gave the sun and other heavenly bodies. (Compare Ge 1:14; Ps 8:3-8; Mt 5:45.) Similarly, using light in a spiritual sense, Jesus told his followers they would be “the light of the world” (Mt 5:14), certainly not meaning they would illuminate the planet, for he goes on to show their illuminating would be for mankind, “before men.” (Mt 5:16; compare Joh 3:19; 8:12; 9:5; 12:46; Php 2:15.) The preaching of the good news “in all the world” (Mt 26:13) also means preaching it to mankind as a whole, even as in some languages “all the world” is the common way of saying “everybody” (compare French tout le monde; Spanish todo el mundo).—Compare Joh 8:26; 18:20; Ro 1:8; Col 1:5, 6.

      In one basic sense, then, ko′smos refers to all humankind. The Scriptures therefore describe the ko′smos, or world, as being guilty of sin (Joh 1:29; Ro 3:19; 5:12, 13) and needing a savior to give it life (Joh 4:42; 6:33, 51; 12:47; 1Jo 4:14), things applicable only to mankind, not to the inanimate creation nor to the animals. This is the world that God loved so much that “he gave his only-begotten Son, in order that everyone exercising faith in him might not be destroyed but have everlasting life.” (Joh 3:16, 17; compare 2Co 5:19; 1Ti 1:15; 1Jo 2:2.) That world of mankind forms the field in which Jesus Christ sowed the fine seed, “the sons of the kingdom.”—Mt 13:24, 37, 38.

      March 9, 2011 at 6:40 pm |
    • JOregon

      Ed,
      Like I said:
      “Kosmos doesn't have to mean physical earth. It relates to the entire creation.”
      I don't believe Kosmos means “physical earth”, not sure why you would think I thought that?
      Not sure why you would think Kosmos would refer to all human kind?
      Would Jesus instruct us to...

      1 John 2:15 Love not the world (all humankind?)...

      That would contradict the commandment to Love one another.

      The world (the totality of our environment), that we live in, is guilty of sin. It has been cursed since man first sinned. We are born guilty of sin (Psalms 58:3).

      Quick note – if you are exercising you are working. If your salvation is based on you 'exercising' your faith your salvation is based on your work.

      Ephesians 2:8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:
      Ephesians 2:9 Not of works, lest any man should boast.
      Ephesians 2:10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.

      Faith is also a work:

      1 Thessalonians 1:3 Remembering without ceasing your work of faith, and labour of love, and patience of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ, in the sight of God and our Father;

      It is after all God that gives us faith:

      Romans 12:3 For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith.

      March 9, 2011 at 7:40 pm |
    • JOregon

      I should have added, notice how Romans 12:3 works with Ephesians 2:8.

      March 9, 2011 at 7:43 pm |
    • Susan

      "So you are saying a normally loving dog can't possibly attack a baby?
      You're right up there with the Animal trainer that was killed by the Orca."
      LOL!
      The issue is that a baby should never be left alone with the family dog. Duh.

      Dogs can become aggressive out of frustration and dominance. The frustration comes from a lack of exercise, and the dominance comes from a lack of leadership. This is an issue with the owner not the dog!

      March 10, 2011 at 12:09 pm |
    • JOregon

      No. It's an issue with the dog!
      Your response is right up there with, the boy never should have been left alone with a priest, or the baby never should have been left alone with the boyfriend, or – Well you pick the example.
      What you are saying is, ALL dogs are vicious you just can't trust any of them. So it's your fault if a child is injured.
      I only had one dog that was a concern around children, and we didn't keep that dog for long.
      You prove my point quite well, thank you.

      March 11, 2011 at 3:27 am |
    • Josh

      Susan you are right and this other poster is clueless. Thanks for supporting our four legged friends.

      March 11, 2011 at 12:29 pm |
    • JOregon

      Josh,
      You think she is right? You also think ALL dogs are vicious and can't be trusted?
      That is what she is saying.

      March 11, 2011 at 5:13 pm |
  7. Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

    Ya gotta love it when self-proclaimed "Christians" threaten people with eternal damnation after telling them how much God loves them.

    March 8, 2011 at 8:02 pm |
    • Anotheralt

      I was always taught that God loves us unconditionally, but apparently there's an * at the bottom saying that there's actually 1 condition where you have to believe in him. Seems unreasonable to me.

      March 8, 2011 at 8:04 pm |
    • educateurself

      As a real Christian, I do not believe that "eternal damnation" stuff as the Bible teaches to love even enemies . Not all find that concept easy to grasp.

      March 8, 2011 at 8:08 pm |
    • Jesus

      Simply take a moment to think about the following statement:

      "Hello, my name is Jesus. I love you deeply. I have loved you since you were conceived in the womb and I will love you for all eternity. I died for you on the cross because I love you so much. I long to have a loving personal relationship with you. I will answer all of your prayers through my love. But if you do not get down on your knees and worship me, and if you do not EAT MY BODY and DRINK MY BLOOD, then I WILL INCINERATE YOU WITH UNIMAGINABLY TORTUOUS PAIN IN THE FIRES OF HELL FOR ALL ETERNITY BWAH HA HA HA HA HA!"
      Yes, this is the central message of Christianity. See John 6:53-54 and Mark 16:16.
      Think about this message. We have a being who, according to the Standard Model of God, embodies love. Yet, if you do not get down on your knees and worship him, you will be physically tortured for all eternity. What sort of love is that?

      The utter silliness and contradiction of Jesus' core message should make it obvious to you: God is imaginary.

      March 8, 2011 at 8:28 pm |
    • JOregon

      The bible doesn't say "God Loves You".
      Billy Graham says it, but the bible doesn't

      March 8, 2011 at 8:28 pm |
    • Evan

      "Hell" is an issue very few Christians like to discuss. I, a Christian, certainly do wish everyone could get into Heaven. However, Jesus makes it clear that Hell is a real place. Unfortunately, numerous Christians abuse this and try to scare people into Christianity. But that doesn't work. An image of a loving God is what Christians should be using.

      "So why does a loving God send people to Hell?" God is loving; this is true. However, this is not his only quality: God is also all-just. He punishes people accordingly. Besides, would you call God "loving" if he gave both Hitler and Martin Luther King Jr the same fate?

      "How is an eternity in Hell a fair punishment for living a sinful life?" God is eternal, and our sins are all against God. God cannot contradict himself. If he allowed people to sin against him, he would be contradicting himself. Because God is eternal, the punishment we deserve must also be eternal.

      "How can we escape such a horrible fate?" The answer is simple: Jesus. Jesus is the only way to God. I know this sounds narrow-minded, but do you think things could work if all we did lead to God? We can't "earn" our way to God. God is perfect, and to enter Heaven, you must be perfect. 99.9999% perfect is not good enough. Doing more good things than bad things is not good enough either. We have all sinned; which one of us can say we have done nothing wrong? However, Jesus took the punishment we deserve for our imperfections on the cross. Jesus makes us perfect.

      "Then why do Christians still sin?" The Bible makes it clear we are "free from sin", but that does not mean we do not sin. "Free" means it does not control our lives, but because we are in the world, sin is unavoidable (unless you are Jesus Christ). Christians realize our sins hurt God, and do not find joy in doing evil. As Christ died on the cross, so we die to our sins. As Christ was raised from the dead, we are raised from death in sin.

      Christianity is not an explanation for the universe. Christianity is not an excuse to say youare better than someone else. Christianity is not just about getting into heaven. Christianity is about building a relationship with God.

      For more information, read the New Testament.

      March 8, 2011 at 8:31 pm |
    • educateurself

      Evan, I think you've seen one too many Hollywood films. The Koine and Hebrew word mistakenly translated as "hell" in the version you use actually means grave. Everybody knows that. No one actually believes that "burning hell" stuff anymore.

      March 8, 2011 at 8:37 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      And that pretty much confirms my beliefs about most of those who trumpet their faith and use it as a weapon with which to bludgeon those who don't agree with every one of their beliefs.

      My mother was as selfless a being as I've ever known. She was faithful and humble. She studied the Bible her entire life. She gave selflessly of her time and her possessions. She visited the sick and cared for those who were lonely. She nursed her own mother, her mentally disabled sister, my own father, his great uncle, the uncle's companion, through their final illnesses and death. She never complained. She raised 5 children and helped run the family business. I NEVER heard her condemn anyone who didn't view the Bible's teachings as she did. Not once did she judge anyone. She was diagnosed with cancer and died within a year. She never cursed God for her illness, though she certainly had ample cause.

      People like Heaven's Stinker and CW and their ilk should be ashamed of themselves. They are not the Christians I want to be. They are NOT the Christians I want ANYONE to be.

      March 8, 2011 at 9:32 pm |
    • Evan

      Just because evil happens to a person does not mean God does not love them. For God to destroy evil would ultimately be evil, for not only would it take away our free will, but God would have to destroy us, because we have done evil.

      Besides, Jesus solves the problem of both moral and natural evil. Your mom, for example, will not go unrewarded. God promised this. Evil people will not go unpunished. If someone, like your mother, dies of cancer, that will hardly even matter compared to what Jesus give us. Any suffering we endure in this life is nothing compared to the reward one may recieve in the next.

      March 8, 2011 at 10:30 pm |
    • JOregon

      Post wasn't short sided George, you just don't understand.

      March 8, 2011 at 10:40 pm |
    • Sharon

      "Post wasn't short sided George, you just don't understand."

      Have you had to much to drink tonight or something you are posting in the wrong place.

      March 8, 2011 at 10:42 pm |
    • JOregon

      No Sharon, I'm just old.
      Hit the wrong section, you a bit anal?

      March 8, 2011 at 11:26 pm |
  8. Mr. Pelican Pants

    People who hate God tend to hate any other authority as well. These are usually people who were abused, or teased as schoolkids, or raised by inflexible or demanding parents. Atheists are like adult film stars in the sense that there is almost always a story behind why they are what they are.

    March 8, 2011 at 8:00 pm |
    • Cedar rapids

      'These are usually people who were abused, or teased as schoolkids, or raised by inflexible or demanding parents. Atheists are like adult film stars in the sense that there is almost always a story behind why they are what they are.'
      well nice hyperbole and sweeping statements but unless you have any studies to back those claims up you are just blowing smoke.

      March 8, 2011 at 8:10 pm |
    • Jesus

      This is a common misconception among Christians... they assume that everyone believes in God, and that people who pretend not to believe must have had a traumatic experience that made them hate God. Commonly it is assumed that an atheist must have, say, prayed to God and not been answered, or had a loved one die, and then renounced God in anger.

      In reality, few people come to their atheism that way; and those who do usually don't stay atheist for very long. In the majority of cases, you'll find that atheists have thought very hard about their belief in God, and found that it just doesn't hang together logically. A great many atheists were raised in a religious household and decided, after much inner struggle, that they just couldn't continue to take their faith seriously. A few were brought up in atheist households and taught to think about the world and question conventional wisdom.

      Ironically, many evangelists use their own stories of traumatic events as a way of convincing people to find religion. Often you will hear stories of how a person had "hit rock bottom", was perpetually drunk and unemployed and had no hope for the future, and that's when they found the Lord. While they dismiss us by saying that we must have become atheists for dramatic emotional reasons, they use the same techniques to recruit new parishioners.

      March 8, 2011 at 8:15 pm |
    • rob

      @PelicanPants - please don't psychologize and make outrageous generalizations about atheists. I'm an atheist, and I don't have a problem with authority. I grew up in a stable household, loving parents, respected my teachers and my parents, went to college, and respected my professors. I now work hard as a teacher myself, I live in a regular suburb in a regular house with a regular car. Heck, I might be your neighbor. I respect my bosses and my colleagues, and I respect the students and parents for whom I work. I pay my taxes. I vote. I am proud to be an American. I have a successful marriage of 15 years and two wonderful kids and a pet dog. I have many friends. I'm a reasonable, trustworthy person who has compassion and love for his fellow human beings.

      Why do you want to dehumanize me just because I don't believe in a god?

      March 8, 2011 at 8:30 pm |
    • tallulah13

      You really have no idea about what you are talking about, do you? My dramatic road to atheism included the realization that my belief in a higher power was strictly based on the assumptions of the people around me in my youth.

      The more I learned about the formation and long, long history of this planet, the less I could find room for a supernatural power. Simple as that.

      March 9, 2011 at 12:02 am |
  9. QS

    I believe that believers today feel under attack because their control over the masses is finally starting to be pried away, and they're terrified that they may soon have to accept the fact that theirs is a worldview that ultimately divides rather than unites.

    Honestly, I believe a majority of at least those who identify as some form of Christian only do so out of obligation, for the sake of appearances. This way, even though internally they know they don't actually believe, they can avoid the stigma of being a non-believer in a society full of delusional fanatics who would turn on them in a heartbeat were they to profess their true feelings.

    March 8, 2011 at 8:00 pm |
  10. richard

    Please atheists, stop discouraging us.

    March 8, 2011 at 7:54 pm |
    • Anotheralt

      *hugs*

      ps your random unwillingness to believe in a possible lack of a God is just as annoying as an atheists unwillingness to accept the possibility of God's existence.

      March 8, 2011 at 8:02 pm |
    • Jim Stevenson

      Tehe.

      March 8, 2011 at 8:16 pm |
    • JAdams1776

      Please, Theists, keep your voodoo off my tax dollars and public policies.

      March 8, 2011 at 8:58 pm |
    • IXOYE

      What? God must want you to be discouraged. Try praying for the truth and you will realize that there is no proof of any god.

      March 9, 2011 at 1:49 am |
  11. NOLA

    If the central claim of Christianity is true..."God came down to earth in the form of a man, Jesus, who then willingly sacrificed his life as payment for our sins against him so that through faith in him we might have salvation from eternal punishment"...then why is it so offensive? I just don't understand why this is such a negative message for some many people. Could someone who doesn't believe this and has spoken openly about how ridiculous it is, or harmful it is, to believe this explain to me why this is offensive to them?

    March 8, 2011 at 7:49 pm |
    • Jim Stevenson

      That is an oversimplification of Christianity. I don't think nonbelievers are upset about the story of God sending Jesus down to earth to die for us.

      March 8, 2011 at 8:15 pm |
    • Jesus

      Have you ever thought about how bizarre the crucifixion story is? Imagine the all-powerful, all-knowing creator of the universe sitting on his magnificent throne in heaven. He looks down onto earth and says to himself:

      Those evil humans down on earth. I hate what they are doing. All this sin...
      Since I am all-knowing I know exactly what the humans are doing and I understand exactly why they commit each sin. Since I created the humans in my own image and personally programmed human nature into their brains, I am the direct author of all of this sin. The instant I created them I knew exactly what would happen with every single human being right down to the nanosecond level for all eternity. If I didn't like how it was going to turn out, I could have simply changed them when I created them. And since I am perfect, I know exactly what I am doing. But ignore all that. I hate all these people doing exactly what I perfectly designed them to do and knew they would do from the moment I created them. I HATE IT! I tried killing all the humans and animals once in the flood. That certainly did not fix the problem.

      So here's what I am going to do. I will artificially inseminate a virgin. She will give birth to an incarnated version of me. The humans will eventually crucify and kill the incarnated me. That, finally, will make me happy. Yes, sending myself down and having the humans crucify me - that will satisfy me. I feel much better now.

      It makes no sense, does it? Why would an all-knowing being need to have humans kill himself (Jesus is God, after all) to make himself happy? Especially since it is a perfect God who set the whole thing in motion exactly the way he wanted it? The whole story of the crucifixion is absurd from top to bottom if you actually stop to think about it.

      March 8, 2011 at 8:20 pm |
    • STL_LTS

      NOLA- I find the cental claim of Christianity, as you put it, offensive because of the kind of god that it demands that I worship. Of course Jesus dying for my sins seems very nice at first glance. But what does it say about god that in order for him to forgive me for even one sin he requires a blood payment? Would you require such a price in order to forgive your own child? Would you then make that forgiveness contingent on the death of one of your own children? To me, someone who makes such demands is not loving nor someone whom I would like to worship.

      If the Christian worldview is indeed true, then I can see the appreciation for Jesus. But I ask- if you are drowning in a stormy sea will you be appreciative of a lifesaver thrown your way? Of course. But how will you feel if the person throwing you the lifesaver is the one who pushed you into the sea in the first place? Of course you'll grab the lifesaver to save yourself, but why would you view the person on the boat as a loving savior? If Jesus saves us from the stormy sea, then you must recognize that it is god who shoved us out into the stormy sea in the first place- thus creating our need for a lifesaver.

      March 8, 2011 at 8:24 pm |
    • NOLA

      Jim – this is indeed an oversimplification of Christianity, see my qualifer..."central Christian claim" not comprehensive overview of an expanded version of theism

      Jesus – you're right, what you said doesn't make sense if that is really what happened, but your interpretation of the events and oversight of the trinitarian view of God shows that you lack any real understanding of the character of God. but you did raise some interesting questions.

      March 8, 2011 at 9:15 pm |
    • tallulah13

      I do not accept the torture-murder of a person to somehow atone for my made up sins. If I am so evil, I should be the one to pay for that evil. I think that making someone else die in a horrible way so that you won't be punished is disgusting and evil.

      March 8, 2011 at 11:49 pm |
    • Q

      Everything STL_LTS said, plus, the NT can't be divorced from the OT deity who indiscriminately drowned children and infants, demanded Saul slaughter children and infants (not to mention Elisha's she'bears, Abraham's "test", Jepthah's actual child sacrifice, etc, etc). I've heard all the apologetics here and none provide a remotely rational defense of these abhorrent, immoral behaviors.

      March 9, 2011 at 12:58 am |
  12. Loren

    Two words: Justin Bieber. Sufficient reason to hate God. 🙂

    March 8, 2011 at 7:48 pm |
    • tallulah13

      I think I like you.

      March 8, 2011 at 11:46 pm |
  13. suppose

    At the end of the day, it will be revealed to each soul crossing between this dimension and the next, or the next dimension and the one after, etc, etc,, that hatred of God is an illusion, that it is truly refusal of Self projected outward. There is no Self without God, there is no God without Self. We are forever locked into a dance of Is-ness that includes US as Co-Creators. It's easier to believe in a God who is responsible for everything, but just as science is discovering, we are just as responsible. No wonder we hate ourselves!

    March 8, 2011 at 7:47 pm |
    • Jim Stevenson

      Okay?

      March 8, 2011 at 8:12 pm |
  14. A Gal in Idaho

    I really appreciate this blog. I too have wondered at this situation.

    Thanks Mr. Schweizer!

    Keep writing!

    March 8, 2011 at 7:45 pm |
  15. educateurself

    Truth is to be found by those who search for it with honesty and humility.

    March 8, 2011 at 7:44 pm |
  16. caleb

    @non-believers, you all better be VERY certain that youre right, because you are going to be 'dead' for a long time (eternity of heaven or hell)

    March 8, 2011 at 7:38 pm |
    • Anotheralt

      I'm a believer. I'm a believer that many things are possible. One of those possibilities is that when I'm gone, it's game over. Trying to convince someone to have faith through an emotional appeal to fear (believe or burn in eternal fire) is just plain rude.

      March 8, 2011 at 7:43 pm |
    • Cedar rapids

      'caleb – @non-believers, you all better be VERY certain that youre right, because you are going to be 'dead' for a long time (eternity of heaven or hell)'
      And you had better hope you are worshiping the correct god else we could be getting company.

      March 8, 2011 at 7:46 pm |
    • vtrollsky

      @caleb I hope it's not true then. because if I have to believe in something for fear of buring for eternity I' hope there is no god because he sounds evil and capricious

      March 8, 2011 at 7:46 pm |
    • Jim Stevenson

      When you die, you will become fertilizer.

      March 8, 2011 at 8:13 pm |
    • IXOYE

      @Jim
      So in other words, not much of a change, eh?

      March 9, 2011 at 1:47 am |
    • caleb

      @vtrollsky
      God is anything but evil. In fact, He gave His one and only Son to die for your sins because He loves you so much. All you need to do is repent and accept this gift of eternal life. just at least consider it. He is willing that none shall perish!

      March 10, 2011 at 5:52 pm |
  17. John

    I contend its less about expressing hatred for God and more about hatred toward those who presume to speak for God.

    March 8, 2011 at 7:36 pm |
    • Ruby

      John, I think you have the right of it, well done.

      March 8, 2011 at 8:22 pm |
  18. josepherdon

    Great Scientists believes in God. Albert Einstein and Isaac Newton believes in God.
    Wannabes hates God.

    March 8, 2011 at 7:33 pm |
    • Anotheralt

      Science and God are exclusive. Science's only concern is how something happens. Religion tries to answer the "why." It's foolish to confuse the two. So saying that brilliant men took a leap of faith and chose to believe in something in the absence of knowing doesn't really mean anything.

      March 8, 2011 at 7:41 pm |
    • Cedar rapids

      Newton also believed in alchemy and believed metals were alive in some form.

      March 8, 2011 at 7:44 pm |
    • Kitty

      That proves nothing.

      March 8, 2011 at 7:51 pm |
    • Woody

      "From the viewpoint of a Jesuit priest I am, of course, and have always been an atheist."
      — Albert Einstein, letter to Guy Raner Jr, 1945

      "I have repeatedly said that in my opinion the idea of a personal God is a childlike one."
      — Albert Einstein, letter to Guy Raner Jr, 1949

      "The word God is for me nothing more than the expression and product of human weaknesses, the Bible a collection of honorable, but still primitive legends which are nevertheless pretty childish."
      — Albert Einstein, letter to Eric Gutkind, 1/3/1954

      March 8, 2011 at 8:14 pm |
    • Jesus

      "It was, of course, a lie what you read about my religious convictions, a lie which is being systematically repeated. 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." From a letter Einstein wrote in English, dated 24 March 1954.

      Sorry. You FAIL!

      March 8, 2011 at 8:24 pm |
    • tallulah13

      Wrong again, sparky.

      March 8, 2011 at 11:45 pm |
  19. educateurself

    Jehovah's Witnesses have the truth.

    March 8, 2011 at 7:32 pm |
    • pmmarion

      Jehovah's witnesses are idiots...

      March 8, 2011 at 7:35 pm |
    • educateurself

      How would you know?

      March 8, 2011 at 7:40 pm |
  20. Jeff

    God seems to be the one with the hate, he is the one that killed millions of people with a flood.

    March 8, 2011 at 7:30 pm |
    • JJ

      My God doesn't slay millions to make a point. Sorry 'bout yours.

      March 8, 2011 at 7:37 pm |
    • Jeff

      You have your very own God, you are special.

      March 8, 2011 at 7:47 pm |
    • cincykid

      Read the account in the bible to know why. The population had brcome very corrupt and the fallen angels were involved with the daughters of Adam. God decided not to end it all, but found that Noah and his family were the only ones that could be saved. Again, it wasn't God, but Satan that causes the turmoil in this world. God iIS love.

      March 8, 2011 at 7:49 pm |
    • Cedar rapids

      'God decided not to end it all, but found that Noah and his family were the only ones that could be saved. Again, it wasn't God, but Satan that causes the turmoil in this world. God iIS love'
      yeah because wiping out the world shows such great love and everyone, including the children and babies, were apparently beyond saving and deserved death.

      March 8, 2011 at 7:51 pm |
    • Brian

      @cincykid
      Yeah, those babies that he killed were soooo corrupt. Stop being an apologist for a hate-filled mythological character.

      March 8, 2011 at 8:29 pm |
    • Jesus

      how did Noah build the boat? How could four men and four women find, harvest, season, transport, cut, shape, assemble and seal all of the trees needed for a ship 450 feet long and 75 feet wide? That is a huge ship. For comparison, the Mayflower (which brought the Pilgrims from England to America) was only about 95 feet long, 25 feet wide and displaced 180 tons. The Mayflower was a big boat able to hold over 100 people, but it was a pipsqueak compared to the ark.

      Using the simplest multiplication, the ark would encompass about 14 Mayflowers, and would therefore weigh at least 5 million pounds. However, because the ark is so much larger, it would have to be far stronger than the Mayflower, making it far heavier. The very largest ships built at the height of the wooden shipbuilding era (the late 1800s) had a maximum keel length of about 250 feet, and the ark is nearly twice that big. This was an amazing vessel. And it was all built by four men and four women.

      It is impossible to imagine that eight people could build a boat that big. It is also impossible to imagine a 450 foot long wooden vessel. But let's gloss over that.

      Perhaps God helped? But if God were going to help, he would simply manifest a boat from thin air. There is no need for Noah to build it as described in the Bible.

      What about the animals, and all of their food? There are about 1.75 million known species of plants and animals (mammals, birds, insects, etc.) crawling around on the planet today, so they must have all been on the ark. There may be more than 10 million species total - scientists do not really know because we have come nowhere close to cataloging all of the species found on earth. [ref] We don't think about this because we are not biologists, but there are a lot more species on the planet today than most people realize. There are, for example, 20 differences species of vultures. Just vultures. There are 23 species of crocodilians. There are 40,000 species of spiders. And so on. And they all have highly specialized diets. Imagine 40,000 little spider cages, and imagine feeding all 40,000 pairs of spiders. Along with all 160,000 species of moths. And all 17,500 species of butterflies. [ref] And all 350,000 species of beetles. Etc.

      Is the boat big enough to hold millions of species? No. And it is definitely not big enough to hold all of the food they need for hundreds of days. For example, one panda bear needs about 30 pounds of fresh bamboo every day - not something readily available on a boat unless you have a large bamboo grove handy. Similarly, koala bears need fresh eucalyptus leaves. Walruses eat fish and lots of them. Lions eat antelope. Vultures eat carrion. One elephant eats something like 100 pounds of food per day. And so on.

      All of that food also means a whole lot of manure and urine. Imagine mucking out a barn that holds millions of animals. Could eight people do it? Certainly not.

      Then there is the commute. How did all of the animals found on the far corners of the planet today commute to the Middle East to board the ark? For example, how did pairs of kangaroos, koala bears, etc. commute thousands of miles (not to mention the treacherous ocean crossing) from Australia to the ark? How did walruses and polar bears and penguins make it? What about all of the specialized species in the South American rain forests? In South America, there are 130 species of legionary ants (forget all the other kinds of ants) that we know of. How did they get to Noah? Then they also had to commute back. And they all had to eat their highly specialized foods along the way.

      Then there is the DNA. There is no evidence in the DNA record that every animal species on the planet came from a single breeding pair that started reproducing 4,350 years ago. The amount of inbreeding in every species (along with the human species) would be tremendous.

      And what about the plants? All of them would be killed too by many months underwater. It would take awhile for things like eucalyptus trees and bamboo groves to grow back, assuming their seeds survived the floods.

      March 8, 2011 at 8:36 pm |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.