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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

    @Justina
    Btw, you are right, I do need someone better than myself. Point taken. That is one reason why I am with my wife and that I choose the friends that I do. They are better people than me, and push me to become better everyday.

    March 8, 2011 at 11:58 pm |
    • Justina

      Both your wife and you need God. Don't elevate your wife. You are another casuality of your own culture. Shame on you if you allow any woman morally better than yourself.

      March 9, 2011 at 12:01 am |
    • Justina

      Brian, you are a nice atheist. But your niceness is not good enough for your soul's salvation. May God bless you and your family and bring salvation to all of you.

      March 9, 2011 at 12:03 am |
    • ruemorgue

      @brian, we should both *pray* for justina. maybe her *god* will enlighten her and allow her to enjoy life.

      March 9, 2011 at 12:04 am |
    • Justina

      @Rue-, thank you. I am very thankful to God for my life. You need to know God in order to pray. Read the Bible.

      March 9, 2011 at 6:54 am |
  2. Tim

    At Revelation 16:12, it says that the "sixth" angel "poured out his bowl upon the great river Euphrates, and its water was dried up, that the way might be prepared for the kings from the rising of the sun." In ancient Babylon, the Euphrates was the life support for the city of Babylon, and upon being diverted by King Cyrus, these effectively "dried up", allowing for the overthrow of Babylon on October 5/6, 539 B.C.E.

    Of the meaning of the "waters" at Revelation 16, Revelation 17:15, the apostle John was told: "The waters you saw, where the harlot is sitting, mean peoples and crowds and nations and tongues."

    The "harlot" or Babylon the Great or world empire of false religion, is seeing her "waters" drying up that she sits upon, for "peoples and crowds and nations and tongues" are leaving the churches, along with other religious systems. There will soon come a time when religion will become so distasteful especially to the governmental or political systems on the earth, called the "wild beast" at Revelation 13, that these will see to false religion's total demise, ' hating the harlot'.(Rev 17:16)

    This though will be done at the behest of Jehovah God, who will "put it into their hearts (the world-wide governmental systems, starting with the United Nations) to carry out his thought." As Daniel read the handwriting on the wall, that of "Mene, Mene, Tekel and Parsin"(Dan 5:24-28), he said of ancient Babylon that her days were numbered, and so likewise with Babylon the Great. Her days are "numbered", and her "waters" or people that support the "harlot" or false religion is ' drying up', with many leaving either physically or just going through the motions without religion having any real effect on their life.(2 Tim 3:5)

    Some have even become atheists because of religion. Historian Alister McGrath explains: “What propels people toward atheism is above all a sense of revulsion against the excesses and failures of organized religion.” (Christianity Today, article "The Twilight of Atheism", March 2005)

    March 8, 2011 at 11:42 pm |
    • ruemorgue

      Have you ever heard the phrase *appeal to false authority"? It means quote the comments about one field (psychology) from an authority in *another* field (history). In this case, a self-serving quote.

      March 8, 2011 at 11:49 pm |
  3. Christfollower

    God prefers hatred over apathy. At least with hatred, there is real emotion and caring about something, compared to someone who calls himself agnostic and doesn't really think about these things and has no plans to. Someone who has strong emotion one way is capable of strong emotion in the opposite direction.
    Someone who feels strong anger or hatred against God doesn't know Him. I would hate that god if he were real, too. The truth is, God is so loving that He is not willing that any should perish, but all would come to repentance and salvation through faith in Jesus Christ, his only begotten Son whom He sent to put an end to sin and death, through His death and resurrection.
    Don't wonder why God would only provide one way to salvation, but be grateful that He provided a way at all. The world is not as grey as you think. When someone is naked, cloth them. When someone is hungry, feed them. When you have a family, love them and put their needs first in service to them. When you find yourself deep in your sin, reach out to the only one who can help, Jesus.

    "'When you said, 'Seek My face,' my heart said to you, 'your face, O Lord, I shall seek.'" Psalm 27:8

    March 8, 2011 at 11:21 pm |
    • ruemorgue

      without knowing *it*, you've identified the real disease - zealotry.

      alos, you call it *apathy*, others call it - the past. been there, dealt with it, time to move on with life. why continuously *revisit* what is *not* important? do you worry or get angry that a unicorn may poop on your lawn? of course not, unicorns don't exist, so why bother? you call it apathy because *unicorns* are important to *you* and you can't understanf the *total* lack of interest in your god(s) by what you apathetic atheists or agnostics.

      March 8, 2011 at 11:31 pm |
  4. ruemorgue

    @justina, you're the typical religious hypocrite. you condemn anyone who does not believe in *your* narrow set of beliefs. how dare they not believe in what i believe! that's is your level of reasoning, or ability to reason. a firm believer in absolute truths from a book of fiction as written by *hundreds* of authors and translators over 2000 years. yes, it *is* far easier for *you* to *know* the *truth* as you believe, than do face the *unknowns* and limitations of being human. i pity you.

    March 8, 2011 at 11:07 pm |
    • Justina

      Rue-, Typical atheists attack people without being able to prove their points rationally. Transmission and preservation of the Bible, both Old Testament and New Testament, was done completely trustworthy. Textual criticisms, Jewish history and archaeologies only proved that.

      March 8, 2011 at 11:30 pm |
    • ruemorgue

      @justina, if the bible was copied so completely *trustworthy*, why do the protestants, the catholics and the eastern orthodox churches *not* agree on which books should be in the bible? can't they agree on that simple point?

      March 8, 2011 at 11:37 pm |
    • me

      Hey Justina....you forgot to take your meds you religion-spewing nutjob!!!!

      March 8, 2011 at 11:41 pm |
    • Justina

      Rue-, the additional books don't touch any doctrine so it doesn'y matter. The omission would be a loss to readers but all the common canon books of all decent Christian denominations are sufficient. Just get a Bible, start reading, and be amazed at its incomparable greatness and truth.

      March 8, 2011 at 11:46 pm |
    • Brian

      @Ruemorgue
      Remember that Justina is the one TrueChristian ® and that all those that think, behave, or believe in anyway that is slightly different from her is evil and needs to repent. Only she knows the exact and true meaning of the Bible and God®

      March 8, 2011 at 11:46 pm |
    • Justina

      Brian, I don't think you are good. If you see me being attacked by bunch of atheists and if you were good, you'd be silent at your best or point out the cowardice of your atheist friends. Atheists are also known for mob attacking. Be honest with yourself, Brian. You need Someone better than yourself.

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

      now you're an expert on the bible, the omitted books are *not* important. who made that decision? if an entire book is not important and can be conveniently omitted, may be a phrase here and there, or a slight inconsistency is *also* not important? better, let's fix it! LOL

      March 8, 2011 at 11:54 pm |
    • Brian

      @Justina
      Wow. So you are completely free to demonize me for my "lack of belief" in a 3,000 year old book, but the second I point out your self-rightousness and unproven worldview it is an "attack". Beliefs, both mine and yours, are not free from ridicule, but don't demonize me and then play the victim.

      March 8, 2011 at 11:56 pm |
    • Justina

      Rue-, read all the versions of the Bible. You'll know. You are talking about stuff you have no idea about.
      Brian, you insisted you are good. Christians never act like you do though thy don't claim to be good. That's why.

      March 8, 2011 at 11:59 pm |
    • ruemorgue

      @justina, if you can't stand the heat, get out of the kitchen (CNN) and go to FOXNEWS. we both know you won't, though, you are a true *zealot* and you see yourself as a missionary and martyr, bringing the *word* to the those heathen atheists! LOL

      March 9, 2011 at 12:00 am |
    • Brian

      @Justina
      I am good. But I can also be an as*hole. Just like most people on this planet. "A little good, a little bad, like most folk." You on the other than, justify your badness by saying that the Bible says that that all people are inherently bad. You can be as cruel and as mean and unforgiving as you want, because you believe that god made you that way. That's an easy excuse to live with I guess. Be as bad as I want, but as long as I believe in Christ, I get to go to heaven. Sad.

      March 9, 2011 at 12:05 am |
    • Brian

      @Justina
      That is one of the most ill contrived roundabout excuses for Gandhi's goodness I have ever read. So it was the fact that the British colonial despots were Christian that Gandhi was capable in freeing his people. These Christians were slave owning oppressors, just like the evil leaders of the Southern Confederacy (I am southern and my gggfather was one of these men) and they used the bible to JUSTIFY slavery. Gandhi, a non Christian, who I am sure got some teachings from the New Testament, was a wonderful man, who you still believe is roasting in fire.

      March 9, 2011 at 12:24 am |
  5. Brian

    @Justina
    I am perfectly happy with my life. I have a loving family, good friends, a good job that pays well, helps people and that I enjoy going to every day. I get to travel and see some of the most beautiful places on Earth. I am friends with a variety of people of different faiths and cultures. I try my hardest to treat people with kindness because that is how I want to be treated. I don't need the threat of a fictional father of above to be the good person I am. I won't curse a god if I fall on hard time's either, just as I don't need to thank him for the life that hardwork, toughness, kindness, and luck have given me. It's a "blessing" to be able to just focus on this life and try to improve it for people in the here and now, and not worry about some absurd afterlife. I don't hate your god. I don't believe in it. And yes, I sometimes have a filthy mind, but don't we all?

    March 8, 2011 at 10:59 pm |
    • Justina

      Brian, enjoying your life on a planet with 3 billion suffering humans? A hell-deserving sinner. Don't talk of goodness unless you are better than Mother Teresa.

      March 8, 2011 at 11:04 pm |
    • Joseph

      Mother Teresa. even doubted there was a God in her diaries. Obviously you are only here to bash people since you don't do your homework.

      March 8, 2011 at 11:07 pm |
    • Brian

      Yes. I enjoy my life and I work tirelessly to try and help the billions that are suffering. Is it enough to help everyone, no (and that hurts sometimes) but for those that I can help it gives me joy and inspiration knowing that they are in a better situation. Is that such a bad thing? I think not, but you can continue to worship the god that you believe allows 3 billion to suffer. If I held that belief I wouldn't be happy either.

      March 8, 2011 at 11:14 pm |
    • Justina

      Brian, ignoring the Creator God is the worst perversion humans can commit in this world. Parents must be respected, husband/wife must be loved, children must be cared for, creation world must be protected, and the Creator God must be worshipped. You are in moral error from the foundation because you don't acknowledge your Creator though you are His creature. Human goodness is a relative thing among us in this world, never absolute. No matter how good you feel about yourself, you are sinful in your life and you have no defense on the Day when your entire life is accounted for. You need faith in Jesus that covers you against your eternal sin penalty. Christians are the ones who acknowledge the Creator rightfully, admit the facts of human sinfulness, trust in Jesus instead of filthy self, and live truly sacrificial life for both God and people.

      March 8, 2011 at 11:16 pm |
    • Joseph

      "Brian, ignoring the Creator God is the worst perversion humans can commit in this world. Parents must be respected, husband/wife must be loved, children must be cared for, creation world must be protected, and the Creator God must be worshipped. You are in moral error from the foundation because you don't acknowledge your Creator though you are His creature. Human goodness is a relative thing among us in this world, never absolute. No matter how good you feel about yourself, you are sinful in your life and you have no defense on the Day when your entire life is accounted for. You need faith in Jesus that covers you against your eternal sin penalty. Christians are the ones who acknowledge the Creator rightfully, admit the facts of human sinfulness, trust in Jesus instead of filthy self, and live truly sacrificial life for both God and people."

      How can you possibly think you can convert a person with a post like that. it is filled with hatred and lack of understanding. You are a lost christian that believe in their own self righteousness that is stuck in the ego of arrogance. You are just as bad as the priest that molest children. Your post proves what a hypocrite you are.

      March 8, 2011 at 11:19 pm |
    • Justina

      Joseph, every serious believer goes through time of spiritual turmoil. You are the one who need to read on her life instead of liberal-agenda newspapers.
      Brian, your happiness should not be important to you. The fact you care for your happiness proves you are selfish. It's your illusion you will be alright with your petty-level "goodness." The Bible is most realistic and accurate on mankind when it says no human is good. You need Jesus for cleansing and salvation of your soul.

      March 8, 2011 at 11:22 pm |
    • ruemorgue

      @joseph, correct observation. justina is a fine example of christian *love* at it's best. she should live in iran and be a ayatollah if it wasn't she's female (i guess).

      March 8, 2011 at 11:24 pm |
    • Justina

      Joseph, you are spiritually dead. That's why you feel hatred when encountering spiritual facts. It's Christianity that teaches molesting children is wrong. Barbaric mankind could not have known justice without Christianity.

      March 8, 2011 at 11:26 pm |
    • Brian

      @Justina
      "You need faith in Jesus that covers you against your eternal sin penalty. Christians are the ones who acknowledge the Creator rightfully, admit the facts of human sinfulness, trust in Jesus instead of filthy self, and live truly sacrificial life for both God and people."

      Well, if, in your eyes (and the eyes of your god), a mass murderer who dedicates the rest of his life to the devotion of Jesus and who truly believes in him, is a better person than Gandhi or the small children who die everyday from poverty without reading a bible, then go right ahead. That is in this REALITY is pretty vile.

      March 8, 2011 at 11:26 pm |
    • Condor060

      @Justina, Wow, you need some help.

      March 8, 2011 at 11:27 pm |
    • Brian

      @Justina:
      "It's your illusion you will be alright with your petty-level "goodness.""

      Its good to know that helping people rise out of poverty, get and education and put them in a situation where they can get proper medical attention is just petty level stuff. I was worried that what I and thousands of atheists, Jews, Christians and Muslims do everyday actually could help someone. I make sure that they know that god thinks I'm being "selfish".

      March 8, 2011 at 11:31 pm |
    • me

      Justina=whackjob....always posting God lies.....

      March 8, 2011 at 11:32 pm |
    • Justina

      Brian, Gandhi got his most profound thought from Jesus, and it worked because it was the Christian British he was against that his intention got through. It would not work against any type of pagans. If he were Christian, he could have freed dalits, but he could not and did not. It's only Christians who can free slaves permanently. Non-christians don't find reasons to fight for good of humanity until the end.

      March 8, 2011 at 11:56 pm |
    • Brian

      @Justina
      That is one of the most ill contrived roundabout excuses for Gandhi's goodness I have ever read. So it was the fact that the British colonial despots were Christian that Gandhi was capable in freeing his people. These Christians were slave owning oppressors, just like the evil leaders of the Southern Confederacy (I am southern and my gggfather was one of these men) and they used the bible to JUSTIFY slavery. Gandhi, a non Christian, who I am sure got some teachings from the New Testament, was a wonderful man, who you still believe is roasting in fire.

      March 9, 2011 at 12:25 am |
    • Justina

      Brian, Gandhi couldn't have done anything without getting education from the Christian British. Britain and America brought literacy, human rights, freedom and equality into the whole world, whether you admit or not. The native's abuses were far worse. As a woman, I'm so glad Westerners came to my region and defeated the local men. I wonder why they didn't come sooner.

      March 9, 2011 at 1:43 am |
  6. james

    I, for one, do not believe in God, yet I tolerate those who are religious and don't impose their beliefs on others. To me, those individuals are to be admired for their willingness to respect our beliefs as well.

    March 8, 2011 at 10:55 pm |
    • Justina

      James, atheists are intolerant and oppressive in the West. Grant religious people freedom of speeches.

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

      @ Justina So they can continue to persecute the minorities in this country. That is why this country was founded on separation of church and state to protect citizens from radicals like you. That's why the WBC won their court case recently. Too bad you don't know what you are talking about.

      March 8, 2011 at 11:04 pm |
    • Brian

      @Justina
      Really? You are free to post your religious beliefs freely on this board aren't you. You get to go to church, read your bible and preach on the street corner if you wish. 95% of Congress claims to be Christian, and 99% claim to have some form of faith. If you don't like the fact that the U.S. is predominately Christian, yet was founded upon the separation of Church in state, I am sorry. It is a pretty good deal for both atheists and Christians and those of other faiths. If anyone has the right to claim discrimination it would be those of no faith or those with a different faith than Christianity. But, receding discrimination of non-Christians (not in the case of peaceful Muslims) in this country doesn't mean that Christianity is being discriminated against.

      March 8, 2011 at 11:09 pm |
    • tallulah13

      If you have read her previous posts, you would know that Justina hates America and Americans. In fact, Justina seems to hate anyone who isn't Justina. It must be a very lonely life.

      March 8, 2011 at 11:37 pm |
    • Justina

      Tallulah, are you the one who pretended to be the false "Justina"? I love America more than you do.

      March 8, 2011 at 11:42 pm |
    • tallulah13

      I have never used a name other than Tallulah13 on these message boards. I have, however, read posts from you where you say very hateful things towards Americans. If you deny this, you are a liar.

      March 9, 2011 at 12:08 am |
    • Justina

      Tallulah, that's because you have defects in your character as I see now. I care for both you and USA as a Christian. You shouldn't be a stalker to me, you know; it's a crime. And it tells the nature of your kind of people. Don't blame if someone else predends to be Tallulah 13 in CNN. You always eat your own works.

      March 9, 2011 at 1:37 am |
  7. ruemorgue

    What an odd article! People who believe in a god, but who despise the god they believe in. I found his last conclusion more odd. People who believe and hate a god as a testament to the power of faith in a god. I believe it is more evidence to a severety confused group who can't release the crutch that some god idea provides to them. Call them agnostic/atheists wannabes.

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

      They are confused in the sense they the can even believe that such a ridiculous being even exists. Yet, they are rational in the fact that they understand this mythical being as something that is self-absorbed, overtly sensitive, ruthless, and child killing, and that it is something to loathe rather than love.

      If they were atheists, they would say so. Being an atheist would free them from this burden of believing that an evil spirit controlling the world. They truly believe in the myth God, but through correct interpretation of the Bible, understand the true nature of this fictional character better than Christians.

      March 8, 2011 at 10:46 pm |
    • Justina

      Atheists are the lonliest people in the universe. It's just tragic that they hate a god they crafted up in their own mind, not knowing the true God. But atheists don't listen to anyone except their own filthy mind so they will only get what their filthy mind deserve.

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

      <> Wow to think this is coming from a supposed Christian. You are not from this type of post.

      March 8, 2011 at 10:54 pm |
    • Justina

      God takes care of every child. It's atheists who are murderous after unborn children while Christians do their best to rescue them. Atheists don't want the burden of moral responsibility that they are born with because they themselves are their filthy, evil gods. Trees are known by fruits, and there will be Judgment Day.

      March 8, 2011 at 10:55 pm |
    • Peggy

      [Atheists don't want the burden of moral responsibility that they are born with because they themselves are their filthy, evil gods.] Where are you getting this from because you are speaking like you have some serious mental issues going on. You might want to seek help through Christs love.

      March 8, 2011 at 10:58 pm |
    • Justina

      Peggy, observation. Telling atheists facts are acts of Christian love.

      March 8, 2011 at 10:59 pm |
    • tallulah13

      Peggy, Justina is a sad, judgmental person. Her entire personality is based on a book written by bronze age people. She must be very lonely. I pity her.

      March 8, 2011 at 11:36 pm |
    • tallulah13

      I did a simple google search. These are prior posts from Justina to prove her dislike of America:

      Justina
      I used to respect Americans a lot, but not anymore after seeing these stupid mockery of religions in America. Americans, your racist grandparents were better than you 1000% in character.

      \Justina
      I never knew secular Americans also worship humor not just self. Pathetic... again.
      February 25, 2011 at 3:44 pm | Report abuse |

      Justina
      The reason Amnericans are ignorant of history and other nationals. They only learn British(hopefully) and US history, nothing else. And inaccurate at that. Be slaves to Chinese, please, if you are so unwilling to learn.

      Justina
      The middle-class Christian Americans should revolt against the super-rich and the controlling filthy liberals and create an independent Christian nation.

      March 9, 2011 at 12:35 am |
    • Justina

      Tallulah, I love America and that's why I post on CNN. Telling facts are expressions of love.

      March 9, 2011 at 1:32 am |
    • Q

      "Telling facts are expressions of love."

      Well then Justina...you are a classic example of arrogance born of ignorance.

      March 9, 2011 at 1:58 am |
    • Bridge Inspector number 32

      Justina hates America and is posting from a foreign country. Like Muneef, she cannot hide the tell-tale signs of her lack of proper English. Her everyday language is not English and it shows. She may not even be a Christian. Just a troll.

      March 9, 2011 at 2:01 am |
    • Justina

      Bridge-, I love America to the core and I'll do my best so the Founding Fathers will be proud of me, teaching these barbaric immoral secular Americans on the civilized Judeo-Christian values that they have forsaken. The language on earth is not just English. People you look down handle multiple languages unlike you! Be ready for the colored Christian missionaries from all over the world! ;-P

      March 9, 2011 at 5:23 am |
    • Tallulah13

      Justina you are mistaken about America's founding fathers. The most prominent of them were not christian, but deist. Most modern christians conveniently ignore that part of history.

      Your comments have consistently indicated that you wish that America was a theocracy. That is spitting on the work of the men who framed our Const it tuition. Either you hate America or you have absolutely no understanding of it.

      March 9, 2011 at 9:18 am |
    • Justina

      Tall-, where did their deism or political ideas and laws come from? The Holy Bible, nothing else. Westerners could have done nothing great without the Bible and the Judeo-Christian values. You are the one with no understanding on the founding and purpose of the nation of USA. Theocracy is impossible until Jesus comes back, I just wish the pollution by people like you would be minimum on earth.

      March 9, 2011 at 10:54 pm |
    • Magic

      Bridge Inspector,

      Justina's English is fine, but her atti.tude is not.

      March 9, 2011 at 11:40 pm |
  8. reader@florida

    reader to cynical ... the world is full of good people and you are one of them and I still ask you dont close your door...

    March 8, 2011 at 10:22 pm |
    • Justina

      Everyone is a sinner in reality. You can only dream of your own goodness, which in fact is non-existent.

      March 8, 2011 at 10:45 pm |
    • tallulah13

      Speak for yourself, Justina. You may be a bad person. I know many people who are just plain good.

      March 8, 2011 at 11:31 pm |
    • Justina

      Tall-, you think you know many who are plain good because you really don't know any of them accurately, and your mind is polluted to observe correctly to begin with.

      March 9, 2011 at 11:12 pm |
    • cynical

      I read the posts here, and shake my head. Last i checked everyone was allowed their own beliefs, no matter whether i agreed with them or not. I doubt any amount of arguing, bickering, pointing fingers, or throwing verbal tantrums is going to change anyone's opinion.But to see such blinded arrogant ignorance in some people, really makes me sad. You should not require a book to tell you what is right and what is wrong. Nor should fear or guilt be required to make people do the right things. Nor should it be a requirement to be a "good" person, that you must go to church. I have no interest in debating this stuff with anyone, just makes me sad to see this, if you don't believe like i do your wrong, evil, bad, and going to hell, or wherever. Thought all these religions were suppose to be open and accepting. Guess that's another lie.

      March 12, 2011 at 5:34 pm |
  9. reader@florida

    reader to cynical ... the world is full of good people and you are one of them.

    March 8, 2011 at 10:21 pm |
    • Brian

      Many people are good and don't need the threat of punishment or promise of paradise to do it. Be good for goodness sake. You know what is not good though? Knocking on people's doors and preaching to them about the threat of roasting in fire for eternity.

      March 8, 2011 at 10:38 pm |
    • Justina

      The Bible says everyone is a sinner. People are good only in their wishful thinking not in reality.

      March 8, 2011 at 10:43 pm |
    • Brian

      @Justina

      Okay, so no one is good. What is your point?

      March 8, 2011 at 10:50 pm |
    • Pat

      "The Bible says everyone is a sinner." That includes you so you are only digging yourself into a hole.

      March 8, 2011 at 10:51 pm |
    • Justina

      Brian, Pat, you need to ask God forgiveness, believe in Jesus for remission of your sins, and start living a new, godly life that God intends for you.

      March 8, 2011 at 10:58 pm |
    • MrHand

      Justina, you forgot to do your homework. Get off the internet and get to work. Pages 35-439. I want a summary of every chapter in plain English.

      March 9, 2011 at 1:21 am |
  10. Jeff

    It's about time for god to sacrifice another son, the last one is getting old.

    March 8, 2011 at 10:00 pm |
    • Justina

      He is coming back to rid of your kind of blasphemies forever. You'll be only sorry for your evil stupidity on that day and forever.

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

      "your evil stupidity" Nice judgment. You will be joining the poster too.

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

      @Justina Have you ever stopped to imagine what being tortured forever would be like? Do you really wish that on your fellow human being? Do you understand what forever means?

      March 8, 2011 at 11:06 pm |
    • MrHand

      Justina is very young, I think. Her responses and reasoning are like listening to a young girl who still has blind faith in whatever anyone says to her about certain things. Disillusionment is usually very painful. If it happens at all. Who knows? She might actually think about stuff sometimes.

      March 9, 2011 at 1:17 am |
    • Justina

      @MrHand, I'm very old and it seems 100 years ago that I had my last homework. Actually I want to write on German sceneries but some intolerant stupid people in CNN disabled me to write in the regular news section; so I'm stuck with people like you here.

      March 9, 2011 at 6:48 am |
  11. Elaine Bessette

    What in the world does feminism have to do with it! Is belief in God synonymous with patriarchy?

    March 8, 2011 at 9:59 pm |
  12. Non-theist

    Hitchens and Dawkins would just as equally reject a benevolent fictional god as unnecessary. Yes, they do find the intense God of the Old Testament both fictional and morally contemptible. But they have objected to even the most basic and bland assertion of any god's existence.

    March 8, 2011 at 9:55 pm |
    • Justina

      God of the Old Testament is holy, glorious, majestic, merciful, just and realistic on mankind, just as God of the New Testament is. People with dead conscience don't get it.

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

      @Justina – "The Bible says everyone is a sinner. People are good only in their wishful thinking not in reality." Christ Almighty girl, what is it that you have done? Are you saying that you are inherently evil? Sure sounds like that to me. I would not want to be in your shoes, god or no god.

      March 9, 2011 at 12:34 am |
    • Ramblin' Man

      My conscience isn't dead. I've suffered plenty and have denied myself quite a lot in order to help other people and to try to work within the system. As a victim of many crimes, I seek justice, but the vast majority of religious believers are not living what they preach and they infest the corrupt halls of government like co-ckroaches in a garbage can. Keep your religion out of our government. It has no place there and only corrupts the system.
      The system also corrupts your religion. Look at how the twisted politics of our easily bribed officials has changed how you express your faith. You no longer do good works, but spread subversion and treason in the name of your god.
      Religion in politics is admitting that your religion is false and too weak to change your hearts. You think you must enshrine the contradictory laws of your religion into secular law. All that does is lower our standard of freedom. This is America.
      If you want a theocracy why the hell don't you leave our country? We have laws here already. Do you want Mormons or Scientologists to take over and force you to worship as they do? Alll they have to do is mix religion and politics.
      When you gain experience in how people are and what you can expect from them, you won't be saying that stuff anymore.

      March 9, 2011 at 1:11 am |
    • Justina

      Ramb-, American justice is impossible without Judeo-Christian values. Where do you think Americans got all the sane laws? The Bible. Mankind had no concept of freedom and equality except from the Bible. Go back to elementary history class.

      March 9, 2011 at 1:29 am |
    • Medevac1

      Justina, you aren't an American are you? What country are you posting from?

      March 9, 2011 at 1:56 am |
    • TruthSquid

      Eureka! I get it, Justina. Two = two = two mints in one. Whew, simple. Uhhh, actually a little TWO simple.

      March 9, 2011 at 4:30 am |
  13. Will 18E

    "When it come to God-hatrred, a collective blindness seems to settle on us. First, we lack......"
    WE, US? speak for yourself.

    March 8, 2011 at 9:52 pm |
  14. cynical

    after 2 tours in the middle east, i have difficult time believing in ANY "god" that allows so much blood, death, pain and misery to transpire. Just because i have a difficult time believing, doesn't mean i still don't try, and just because you don't go to church doe NOT mean your a bad person. If that is the case what about all the soldiers that are in the field or deployed that cant go to church? Are they bad people now.... I have served with Muslims, i have served with a couple of gay soldiers that i would rather have at my back than a lot of other "Straight" soldiers. Keep your religion to yourself, and do NOT show up to my door preaching, i don't care what faith your trying to sell. I have seen too many killed because of religion. To me its almost a dirty word you don't use in polite company.

    March 8, 2011 at 9:52 pm |
  15. Mike

    Letterman style Top 10 list of reasons why God does not exist (if God existed, why would he allow these things to occur?)

    1. Pediatric Cancer
    2. Starvation
    3. The Holocaust
    4. Poverty
    5. Natural Disasters
    6. Slavery
    7. Murder
    8. Greed
    9. War
    10. Human destruction of Earth

    The fact is, we don't need the idea of God or the fairy tales that make up his story to explain the world anymore. We are now sufficiently intelligent that we can deduce through reason and evidence why we are here. No god that I would ever be interested in genuflecting to would allow the things I've listed to happen. And if god is both omnipotent and omniscient, then he knows what he is doing is evil yet allows it to happen anyway. Why then is this being, if he existed, worth our praise? And why does he need it anyway? Does he have low self esteem? God is simply a manifestation of man's ego. It's time we rose above this destructive force that has caused misery for centuries and truly used our brains to solve the problems that the idea of god has both caused and failed to solve.

    March 8, 2011 at 9:45 pm |
    • Brian

      Exactly.

      March 8, 2011 at 9:54 pm |
    • Marc Ellis

      The Bible was written by MAN, and perverted by all the churches to ensure income to keep the lies alive... It's a HUGE universe out there, we can't be the only ones out here...

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

      God is creating a people for eternity, this world helps make them into the people he wants.
      This world cannot continue, it is coming to an end.
      The pain and suffering of this world will be forgotten because it will by less than the blink of an eye.

      March 8, 2011 at 10:17 pm |
    • Heather

      Oh it's coming to an end because people buy into the notion that having babies is great (won't use contraception because of religion) and is causing an over population. Then there is the apathy of what is happening to the planet itself and the animals we share it with. It has nothing to do with God but all of those that are to lazy to do something about it and fill their lives with material things because their hearts are filled with greed.

      March 8, 2011 at 10:32 pm |
    • Evan

      1) God and evil can both exist. While it is true God made evil possible by giving us free will, we made evil actual.

      2) God does not destroy evil because he loves us. If he had to destroy evil, he would ultimately be doing evil, because we have done evil. If God didn't destroy everyone, he would have to draw a line. Where would that line be? What if you were one sin past that line?

      3) Jesus ultimately solves the problem of evil, both moral and natural evil. A good Christian who is murdered will not fail to recieve great reward, while the murderer will not go unpunished. If a good Christian is killed in a hurricane, that hurricane will be nothing compared to the great reward God has promised us. Ultimately, the problem of evil is a problem for unbelievers only.

      4) God is infinite, perfect, loving, just. We are flawed, selfish, broken people because we chose to disobey God. What are we doing trying to question why God does certain things? In the Book of Job, for a example, a righteous man suffers evil. The righteous man, Job, and his friends try to figure out why God allows evil. At the end of the book, God comes, and basically says "Who is running the universe?" God knows what He is doing, and we are best not to question it.

      5) God assures us he knows what he is doing. One who suffers evil for righteousness will not fail to be rewarded.

      6) God assures us our pain is temporary. If we live a life of pain and suffering, God will not fail to reward us in the next.

      7) God assures us evil will be defeated.

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

      Same comment every week get lame after a while. If you don't believe in God you wouldn't spend so much time trying to prove he didn't exist.

      March 9, 2011 at 12:12 am |
    • John

      Well said Mike. It should be obvious to all that a real god, as commonly described, would have no need of anything whatsoever including the universe and us. It would gain absolutely nothing from anything we could possibly provide. There would be no purpose for our existence and the reality is that there probably is none.

      March 9, 2011 at 12:22 am |
  16. sunshine&cornflakes

    @BuzzerKiller: I think Charlton Heston, I mean Moses, improved with the aging process, like many men do. Not fair!

    March 8, 2011 at 9:38 pm |
  17. devil's advocate

    the premise of this article is hypothesis based on a general definition of self-hatred, but couched in a diagnosis of a lack of awareness of self. it says more about the writer than the group of people he is writing about and about his own belief system. i'm sure there is some truth in his perspective but it is far too nebulous to herd all the subjects into one group. if people have deserted their god by expressing their anger with their god's malevolence, they've stagnated in their search for faith or more likely become stuck in vanity. OR maybe many of them are just struggling to justify a belief system that is outdated but still holds value for those who either pretend to believe, refuse to move forward in their faith, or refuse to think for themselves beyond the doctrine they've been given...but for the sake of humanity, it's time to just accept all perspectives and love each other unconditionally. all else is vanity and folly...

    March 8, 2011 at 9:29 pm |
    • Jez

      I will sum up what you just said in fewer words: How about we all just accept each others beliefs and love each other for who we are.

      March 8, 2011 at 9:38 pm |
    • Justina

      Jez, that never happens. In the West, unborn children are massacred by millions. Victims in a society rightfully causes strifes and calamities. Rightly so.

      March 8, 2011 at 11:39 pm |
    • TruthSquid

      OK, Justina. I get it. Your brainwashing-since-birth has caused you to not only ignore but attack the law of the land (abortion is legal) and give up control of your own body to your male misogynist mentors and deny to nonbelieving women control of theirs, because you are a messenger of this imaginary cosmic muffin. Classic bipolar. And as far as massacres... you don't seem to have any problem with the christian soldiers of the Crusades invading foreign lands and massacring muslim families so two thousand years later we face terrorism and death as a consequence. Those are facts you were never programmed with I suppose. I had a good christian education but then in adolescence I began to inventory the BS and lies and hate and false history and become a true patriot placing my Country and its Union ahead of greedy ministers and their robot congregations spreading self-serving anti-science tribal nonsense... and without the "god" overlay forced on it in the fifties.

      March 9, 2011 at 4:26 am |
  18. Luke

    "It requires courage not to surrender oneself to the ingenious or compassionate counsels of despair that would induce a man to eliminate himself from the ranks of the living; but it does not follow from this that every huckster who is fattened and nourished in self-confidence has more courage than the man who yielded to despair." – Soren Kierkegaard

    March 8, 2011 at 9:28 pm |
  19. educateurself

    as a sincere christian i appreciate and value your point of view and respect it completely. i too would not want to serve a god that did not care a thing about us and all our human suffering. on the contrary, he has promised and guaranteed to reverse all the damage done by allowing evil to prove itself totally incompetent as a ruler and make up for this detour in our purposed perfection thousand fold.

    March 8, 2011 at 9:25 pm |
  20. reader@florida

    Please everyone on this post who honestly is interested finding the answer to all these questions and issues and before it is too late please seek help from the Jehova's witnesses, dont close your doors to them. Only they have the truth. What I read on this post is only the natural result of centuries upon centuries of lies taught about God by the religious of this world that simply have mislead people and anyone with an intelligent mind has a good reason to the hate the God if not all the gods that the religions of this world have shown to them. BTW : it took Noah and family over 40 years to build the arc and is possible that he hired workers to help that not neccessarily believed in his commission.

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

      JEHOVAH
      Deuteronomy 10:17 For the LORD ( JEHOVAH) your God is God of gods, and Lord of lords, a great God, a mighty, and a terrible, which regardeth not persons, nor taketh reward:
      JESUS
      Revelation 17:14 These shall make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb shall overcome them: for he is Lord of lords, and King of kings: and they that are with him are called, and chosen, and faithful.

      March 8, 2011 at 9:33 pm |
    • SecularHumanist

      Whenever I hear somebody say "only they [we] have the truth" I run as fast as I can. Is there a more ominous statement? It augurs the beginning of the end of civil society, freedom, and critical thinking. It's the best example of the "mind-forged manacles" that William Blake wrote about.

      March 8, 2011 at 10:44 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.