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My Faith: A reluctant churchgoer 'gets the Holy Ghost'
The author (foreground, age 7), his late aunt, Sylvia Blake (left) and other family members outside their Baltimore church.
April 24th, 2011
12:01 AM ET

My Faith: A reluctant churchgoer 'gets the Holy Ghost'

By John Blake, CNN

(CNN) - I had my first brush with the “Holy Ghost” when I was 9 years old.  I’m still trying to digest what it meant more than 30 years later.

The day began as a typical Sunday. Aunt Sylvia herded me and my brother into her 1972 baby blue Chevy Impala and drove us to church for a service that would often last five hours.

Sunday worship at a black Baptist church wasn’t just long. It was scary. Elderly women who “got the Holy Ghost” during worship would thrash so violently in the pews that their wigs flew off. People shouted, wept and fainted.

This Sunday service started off no differently. But as the frenzy of the worship intensified, an invisible switch seemed to click on. A wave of heat rippled through the congregation as people beside me threw up their arms and shouted.

Suddenly, something seemed to slip inside of me. A tingling raced up my spine. I stood up to clap, scream - I didn’t know what I was about to do.

Is this, I wondered, the Holy Ghost that Aunt Sylvia sang about?

Singing gospel to keep muggers away

Easter Sunday is supposed to be about resurrection. For me, it’s also about remembering. When I see women herding boys in crisp new suits into the pews during Easter service, I sometimes think about the woman and the church that gave me my first lessons about faith.

I also think about an eerie encounter that I kept to myself for years because I knew it would sound so bizarre.

I didn’t join the church. I was drafted. My aunt forced me and my younger brother, Patrick, to go to worship service every Sunday.

We grew up in Baltimore, in an impoverished neighborhood so dangerous that my aunt would sing gospel hymns aloud as she walked us home from the mall at night. She thought church music warded off muggers.

My aunt wasn’t just my protector; she was my anchor. My mother was gone. My father, a rough merchant seaman, spent most of his time carousing overseas. I spent much of my childhood in foster homes with my brother.

Aunt Sylvia gave us a sense of family. She was a short, round woman who wore black wigs and wide, colorful hats with feathers to church. She would watch us on the weekends and buy presents for us when Christmas and our birthdays rolled around.

She never married; never had children. I told my elementary school teachers that she was my mother.

She was my biggest fan. She would collect my report cards, take me to museums and shower me with books that she nabbed from her job as a high school secretary.

I craved her approval even more than her scrumptious coconut cake. Whenever I made her particularly proud, she would give me the same peculiar look. She’d tilt her head to the left, stare at me in silence, and then her dark face would light up with a warm smile.

She was the only adult I knew wouldn’t abandon me.

Shunning church

My aunt’s smile, though, would turn into an icy glare whenever she saw me nodding off in Union Temple Baptist Church.

I thought my church was full of buffoons. I didn’t like the screaming and shouting, and I couldn’t stand the pulpit theatrics.

My childhood pastor, Rev. Churn, would sweat and yell during his sermons while taunting the congregation with lines like, “You don’t know what I’m talking about?”

He was right. I didn’t know what he was talking about; he shouted too much. When I was a kid, I thought that Rev. Churn was literally angry at the congregation because he yelled at them so much.

Once, during a fiery sermon, I thought about standing up and pleading with the congregation: “Just do what he says, and he won’t shout anymore.”

Despite my disdain for church, there was one part of service that I liked: “Testimony time.”

Testimony came at late-night services, as dusk approached and street traffic quieted outside. The services were less heated and more intimate, and during testimony, church members stood up at random to share a struggle and ask for prayer.

People often revealed the most personal details of their lives. But no one seemed to judge. Instead, people in the pews nodded and smiled, or chanted “weeeeell,” to encourage them.

Even as a fidgety kid, I was entranced. I can still remember how people visibly gathered strength when testifying, as if invisible arms from the congregation were encircling them.

Getting the ‘Holy Ghost’

Still, I wasn’t ready for any personal displays of vulnerability when my Holy Ghost moment came at 9.

When I felt that tingling race up my spine, I became afraid. I didn’t want to lose control. So when I involuntarily stood up in the pew during the service, I caught myself. Then I quickly left the church and took a walk in the cold night air until I calmed down.

As time went on, I resisted church even more. After entering high school, I mustered the courage to tell Aunt Sylvia I didn’t want to go anymore.

She was furious. She prayed aloud to Jesus. She tried to spank me. Then she retreated into silence as she drove me to church one last time with tears in her eyes. I never saw her so sad.

Soon, though, my time for tears would come.

In my sophomore year of college, I found my way back to church. A series of remarkable coincidences took place in my life. I made new friends and joined an interracial church full of people my age. And I shared it all with my brother, who quickly followed my example.

I also gained more respect for the black church. I attended college when there was a national debate about making the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday a national holiday. The debate prompted me to start reading about King and the civil rights movement.

The more I learned about the movement, the more I realized how crucial the black church was to its success. It gave the movement its spiritual fuel and many of its most courageous activists.

But my intellectual awakening didn’t quell my emotional insecurities. I had inoculated myself so much against organized religion as a kid that I began to think it just wasn’t for me. I didn’t think I was good enough.

One night, it all came to a head. I decided I was going to quit. How, I thought, would I tell people? What would my aunt say? I went to bed in despair.

Then, something strange happened.

I bolted awake, tears streaming down my face. I was on my back, right arm over my closed eyes, but I squinted anyway because I felt as if I were looking directly into the sun.

I felt a presence within that light. I was crying because I had never felt so exposed. This light seemed to bore through me, revealing my most sordid deeds, my inadequacies and my fears. I felt like an insect.

Despite that feeling of shame, I felt something even more powerful: love. It seemed as though this presence, something as immense as the universe, was telling me that I was accepted.

What do you do with such an experience? Was it a dream, a breakdown, youthful foolishness? I don’t know. But that moment changed me. I couldn’t quit. I had encountered something else besides my aunt that wouldn’t abandon me.

One last smile

As I think about that nighttime experience now, it takes on another meaning as well.

If my aunt was my childhood anchor, the black church was her source of strength. How could I reject the institution that nurtured her?

I thought all of the shouting in my childhood church was for show. I didn’t know the history behind the shout: slavery, segregation, people who “got happy” because life was so grim.

Faith, without emotion, is dead - that’s the lesson I absorbed from the black church, and from my aunt.

I never saw my aunt “get happy.”  But I can’t imagine she would have sacrificed so much for me and my brother if she wasn’t driven by a powerful emotion - love.

And I would have given up on my faith if I had not been overwhelmed by the emotion I experienced during my night of tears.

I never shared my nighttime experience with my aunt. It was too embarrassing to share with anyone. Yet she saw me and my brother return to church.

Three years after I graduated from college, though, I had to say goodbye to her.

She was 60, and dying from liver failure. I took a week off to visit her in Baltimore, but I didn’t go to the hospital to see her for several days because I kept making excuses. I didn’t want to accept that I was losing her.

I finally went to the hospital with my brother to see her one sunny afternoon. She was in a hospital bed, her once stout body shrunken, her dark complexion yellowed. She was unconscious.

I didn’t know what to do. I felt guilty for taking so long to see her. So I started to babble. I don’t know if I told her I loved her, or if I even thanked her.  But I do remember this: Though I went there to comfort her, she ended up comforting me, much like she did when I was a boy.

As I looked down at her, trying not cry, she opened her eyes.

She was too weak to talk. But she gave me that peculiar look - the tilt of her head to the left and the long stare - and then she smiled.

- CNN Writer

Filed under: Belief • Black issues • Christianity • Easter • Faith • Houses of worship • Lost faith • Opinion

soundoff (1,716 Responses)
  1. JD

    Would any of you atheists please explain why you even bother to read and comment on religious articles??? Do you REALLY think you are going to convince Christians there is no God? We know better and feel really sad for those who have never had an experience with God. But that is your choice just as it's our choice to believe. Why do you find it necessary to ridicule what you don't understand?

    April 24, 2011 at 11:55 am |
    • ZeebleZub

      JD, we understand it just fine. You are full of crap.

      April 24, 2011 at 12:01 pm |
    • Al

      Zeeble, I think I understand you just fine too.

      April 24, 2011 at 12:03 pm |
    • wrack

      I don't understand the concept of "believing by choice." It makes little sense. One either believes or doesn't. Would I prefer that a heaven exists? Sure! But I cannot, in the face of the collective knowledge about the universe, believe in the theological lore. The idea that there is some sort of choice involved is not logical.

      April 24, 2011 at 12:09 pm |
    • TheMovieFan

      You should take u2canC's advice right below your posting. He pretty much is posting about the same thing but is doing so far more respectfully.

      April 24, 2011 at 12:09 pm |
    • SkraggerMan

      Instead of staring directly into the sun (and mistaking it for a fire god), take a peek through my sun telescope and see magnificence that would have never been known by any preaching individual before you. Things are not always as they seem (as I'm sure God would know).

      I read religious articles to maintain a constant survey of popular opinion and contribute where I think my thoughts may be helpful. The above description of religious experience sounds more like a seizure than a genuine 'holy' experience.

      Sure there may be a God, but proclaiming its already known when it is only hoped is just bad taste and leads to proliferation of ignorance, conflict and violence

      April 24, 2011 at 12:15 pm |
    • kurtz

      b/c unlike you agnostic keep an open mind to all ideas, even those contrary to our opinion. Thus even though some of us may view religions as an intellectually lazy means of addressing the unknown, we still research them before arriving at this opinion. Moreover, in the post to this article I have noticed that the even the most rude responses of non believers never go so far as to suggest that their detractors should suffer unspeakable agony for all eternity for not seeing things exactly as they do. A better question is why do religious supporters denounce scientific studies without reading or researching them.

      April 24, 2011 at 12:17 pm |
    • Bill

      Auto-hypnosis and mass hysteria. Grow up.

      April 24, 2011 at 12:18 pm |
    • madman5150

      The thing is, any person who doesn't believe in anything will gravitate towards those people who do...because they have no one with which to share their views. I mean, let's face it– why are so many people who don't believe in a god posting on this page? Why aren't they in their oh-so-populous web sites and chat rooms, exchanging info on how stupid believers are? Exchanging snide little remarks about God? Oh- that's right- there are none! They have to come to sites like this for an audience!

      April 24, 2011 at 12:20 pm |
    • JC

      I've been on both sides of the fence. Scientific-minded, believing in only what can be seen and proven through evidence and experimentation. But i've also had experiences like the writer talks about, and i've witnessed and experienced things that no science known to man could ever explain. Don't think that because you don't believe in God that he can't reach out and touch you. If he ever does, I promise you will never forget it, or doubt it ever again.

      April 24, 2011 at 12:26 pm |
    • SouthernCelt

      Wrack,
      "Believing by choice" is more commonly called Free Will. Our Creator loves us and could make us believe, but making us believe would be kind of hollow so God gave us Free Will. We have to choose to believe. Freely choose God instead of what is evil or just plain morally wrong.

      April 24, 2011 at 12:27 pm |
    • Michael Turner

      Cruel people exist. Question: How does an atheist explain the cloning of Adam to get Eve?
      A rib cell is a stem cell, the Bible got it right, how interesting.

      April 24, 2011 at 12:39 pm |
  2. Matthew

    That's powerful; thanks for sharing!

    April 24, 2011 at 11:55 am |
  3. mike

    if this took place in a mental asylum, everyone would be under heavy medication

    April 24, 2011 at 11:53 am |
  4. Dan

    This is silly fairy tale stuff. When will CNN become a news organization?

    April 24, 2011 at 11:53 am |
  5. Angel

    I'm glad the first post I read was from the atheist; at least he appreciated the story from a literary viewpoint. I expected to see the usual amount of haters and non-believers commenting, and I always wonder, what exactly do you fear? Of course, what makes this world wonderful is that everyone can comment, but again, I wonder if you don't believe, why read the stories? Is it because that somewhere deep inside you, yes your soul/spirit, seeks to find that one story or message that awakens you to the truth? For that I say, keep reading, keep seeking, the message and the love of God is there for you. For the believers, I say, amen!!

    April 24, 2011 at 11:52 am |
  6. Fish Sandwich

    Wow. This guy's hallucination proves Jesus was the messiah and a bi polar madman.

    April 24, 2011 at 11:51 am |
  7. Joe

    Amusing how the self proclaimed atheists on these boards invoke "science" and not one of them is able to express the least comprehension of cosmological theory, genetic mutation, or gene flow.
    Well, I do understand them – very well. If you wish to indulge in debate, sally forth. There's a reason the word "theory" prefixes these references in scientific circles.
    Judging by the broken misspelled grammar ubiquitous here, I'd be more apt to apply a description like "bitter high school drop out" to you "atheists". You're an embarrassment.

    April 24, 2011 at 11:49 am |
    • PraiseTheLard

      And what term would you use to describe those clinging on to ancient fairy tales?

      April 24, 2011 at 12:34 pm |
  8. Brian

    The best advice I can give in this debate is that exploration often leads to belief. And belief often leads to proof. History bears this out regardless of science or principle on any controversial topic. After all, the earth isn't flat.

    It would be worthwhile for those who defend atheism to explore the concept of a Holy Trinity further. The experience may change your viewpoint–and your eternal outlook.

    "Those who have eyes, let them see."

    April 24, 2011 at 11:49 am |
  9. acura2010

    Something about that holy ghost I don't understand, but "I GOT IT"! Read the book of Acts 2:38. But for today's climate and all this bickering and uncertainty, read II Chronicles 7:14. If my people shall humble and pray, seek my face and pray and turn from their wicked ways, God will hear from heaven. America, seek the face of God. Not conservative politicians nor liberal beliefs We need to hear from heaven.

    April 24, 2011 at 11:46 am |
  10. Leonore H. Dvorkin

    The correct word is "reluctant," not "reticent." Reticent means unwilling to speak, preferring to keep silent or not speaking very much. If a person is unwilling to believe, or is hesitant to do so, then he/she is reluctant to believe.
    Reluctant means to be unwilling to act - or believe, in this case.
    Example: Timmy is quite shy. He is a reticent child who speaks very seldom, even at home, and he is reluctant to raise his hand in class.

    April 24, 2011 at 11:45 am |
  11. Canuck1979

    I'm sorry, anyone who believes in a talking snake has zero credibility and should be locked up in a looney bin. Just like how we call the ancient greek and roman religions "Mythology", in 2,000 years future humans will be saying the same things about your ridiculous beliefs. Grow up, and stop spreading this craziness to small children, and allow their minds to grow and learn what we know as fact. Religion stops the growth of human development. We are all afraid to die, making up stories and creating beliefs to help you sleep at night is counter productive.

    April 24, 2011 at 11:44 am |
  12. mike

    this is a story of hysteria.

    April 24, 2011 at 11:43 am |
  13. Sara SmilingforGOD Harris

    GOD Bless You ALL on this GLORIOUS RESURRECTION DAY!!! GOD is VERY WELL PLEASED with those that CELEBRATE Him 🙂 The day of Reckoning is Upon Us! I pray that EVERYONE has the Chance to Repent, before it's too late and MUCH LOVE (GOD'S *LOVE*) to ALL of YOU 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 7 SMILES FOR COMPLETION OF YOUR *SOULS*!

    April 24, 2011 at 11:43 am |
    • Darwin

      GOD'S LOVE apparently doesn't extend to Jewish children since He and Jesus were up there in the sky watching every detail as the Nazis murdered several million of them and their parents, AND THEY DID NOTHING TO STOP IT! And, since Jews reject Jesus, and the penalty for THAT in Christian doctrine is eternal damnation, then all these Jewish children are now BURNING IN HELL. You see, once you actually begin to LOGICALLY THINK what the consequences of Chrisitan doctrine actually are, you should be quite appalled!

      April 24, 2011 at 11:56 am |
  14. Darwin

    You can see the same ecstatic singing and shouting and enthusiasm at NAZI PARTY RALLIES, with meeting speakers driving their audience into a frenzy of devotion. And the doctrine they handed out to their gullible followers made just as little logical sense as Christianity. But of course, as Archie Bunker once said to Meathead, "Of course it don't make no sense! Dat's why dey call it FAITH!"

    April 24, 2011 at 11:42 am |
    • Rainer Braendlein

      Dear Darwin,

      you are somewhat backward. Have you ever thought about, what would happen, when you never would tidy up your appartment. After a while it would become a pigsty. That is reality. Darwin says your appartment would get tidied up after some million years without any efforts of yours.

      Congratiulations, you are really clever, but I don't know, whether it will really work.

      April 24, 2011 at 11:48 am |
  15. Agnostic

    I will pay someone $2000 cash for this experiment:

    Hi everyone, I use to believe in God when I was a child. I want to believe in him, but my whole life so far, 29 years, has led me to become agnostic. There is no proof there is a god and there is not proof that there not one. So I am in the middle of this battle between aetheist and believers. But I think I got the solution here, we can do a little experiment:

    Aetheists, if you truly believe there is no God then you won't have a problem helping me disprove God correct? Your asking how do we disprove it? Well I got a simple solution...The bible says there is a devil and demons and they are here on Earth. Well I need a couple of Aetheists to step up and help me disprove that there is a devil...Simple logic will tell you that if there is no devil, there is no God. Well aetheists, I need you all to be true to yourselves and want to know the truth. How do we disprove the devil you ask? Simple, you aetheists need to become satanic worshippers, santeria, voodoo, etc...Anything that the believers say are works of the devils. Aetheists, if u try it and it works then obviously there is a god. For if there is a devil, then that is proof in a God. Now keep in mind that according to the believers, in the bible it says that anyone who seeks the devil or messes with demons, will not be forgiven of there sins. It is like the ultimate fear tactic you aetheist would say...Well aetheists, will you still up and take on this experiment?

    April 24, 2011 at 11:41 am |
    • ZeebleZub

      You are no agnostic, so why don't you quit spamming this board with your retarded bullshlt fake agnostic "experiment"?
      As if anyone would trust you for that 2000 bucks? What a laugh.

      April 24, 2011 at 11:46 am |
    • KT

      dont listen to manmade words, use the mind and heart God gave U its very simple, the feeling of love the feeling of compasion, look deep into yourself u will have ur answer. Mans words are black and white you have to find your colors within. Dont think just feel and God will be with U

      April 24, 2011 at 12:00 pm |
    • Humble child

      I don't know about the whole trying to satanic worshipping voodoo thing, but I have a baby brother who was atheist or agnostic for a few years who decided too get his life right when God helped me get mine right. There are many physical proofs that support the Bible and its' stories. If you'd like you can buy the dvd's "Dragons or Dinosaurs" as well as "The Final Prophecies" off of amazon. I can honestly say that i did not grow up in a solid church setting, I had a few experiences with church, some much like the story of the writer, but as you truly have a mind to get closer to God you will have experiences that you will not be able to reason away, good experiences, as well as attacks from the opposite that try and discourage you from finding the truth. I am an Apostolic Christian, and I would encourage you to look into the an Apostolic church if you'd like. There's no need to play games with the devil, many times people don't come back from it. I hope you find what it is we are all looking for.

      April 24, 2011 at 12:06 pm |
    • Kairos

      PLEASE REPLY

      Hi Agnostic,

      I see you've been in a battle for a long time. I pray you may find peace and comfort in Jesus. In the account of one of Jesus' disciples, Matthew 7:7 he says "Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and the the one who knocks it will be opened. Or which one of you, if his son asks him for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a serpent?"

      God does not desire us to give us bad things but to come to the knowledge of him. He writes also in Romans 1:18-19 "For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth. For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse."

      God is fully expressed, his character and account in Jesus is in the Bible. If you want to know more about God I would get into His Word and start some where in the Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke, or John). If you read please don't miss the climax of the book. Since the beginning, in the book of Genesis, there is one creation that God made in his own image, and that is us. He desires to be in a relationship with us and one day we will be back with him. But, Adam disobeyed his command and now we are all damned to hell for what we deserve. We are sinful by nature, not matter how much we try to do good. Sometimes I'm surprised how much of an idiot I am haha. BUT please find comfort in what Jesus came to do. God himself came down through Jesus because he knew we couldn't do follow his perfect law ourselves. Through Jesus' death and resurrection, he took on the punishment from God that we deserved. "And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved." Acts 4:12

      Through Jesus, he has brought us back to himself, if we believe and follow him. It is a relationship, not a religion.

      The God I serve, fully expressed in the Bible and in Jesus, is a great and mighty God. And He is good.

      I know I like to ramble on but I took your "PLEASE RESPOND" to heart haha. I'd love to hear your thoughts if you'd like. . .

      April 24, 2011 at 12:12 pm |
    • Igor

      "Dragons or Dinosaurs"

      Oh yeah, solid proof right there. I often use Dungeons & Dragons as proof that I should not let trolls into my castle.

      April 24, 2011 at 12:16 pm |
    • Igor

      "Aetheists, if you truly believe there is no God then you won't have a problem helping me disprove God correct? "

      I don't really care much in participating in such an exercise in futility, which is ultimately what any "experiment": to prove there is no god entails. If you think such experiment is somehow required and will demonstrate anything except that you don't have 2k to your name, then you know bupkus about the burden of proof.

      April 24, 2011 at 12:20 pm |
  16. Somero

    Having stood engulfed by that exact same light, in shock and surprise, I am grateful for this account. something to remember is that a lot of "religion" is an effort to codify and reproduce this direct experience and inspiration. You can't really. But you can be humble enough to know that it isn't unique to one person or one time or one faith. It's what, for lack of a better word, we call God. That light shone through me in the most intimate way, the most complete way and the most loving way I had ever been known by another. I strive to be worthy of it.

    April 24, 2011 at 11:41 am |
  17. Barry

    Where is the term "Holy Ghost" found in the Bible? I can find Holy Spirit but not this ghost.

    April 24, 2011 at 11:39 am |
    • Bibletruth

      The term Holy Ghost is definitely in the bile, at least the King James. It just means Holy Spirit.

      April 24, 2011 at 11:45 am |
    • Steve Cohen

      Hello,
      The term "Holy Ghost" does not appear in the Bible; it is a term used by the Evangelical movement.
      The term "Holy Spirit" does appear in the Bible. Are you interested in finding out more about the Holy Spirit?

      April 24, 2011 at 12:00 pm |
    • Dani

      It depends on the translation you are using. If you are using the NIV then it is spirit. If the KJV then it is ghost.

      April 24, 2011 at 12:00 pm |
  18. BS Meter

    Sheep need a shepard. Say "baa" Jesus freaks. Oh wait, if I do not believe in his infinite love I am damned to eternal damnation. Passive aggressive little creation myth....

    April 24, 2011 at 11:37 am |
    • Igor

      Fortunately for you Melek Tawus is the true God and Savior. There is still a chance at salvation.

      April 24, 2011 at 12:26 pm |
  19. Agnostic

    Zeeble, u make no sense. And by the way, I am very vain...Im a model and i am in great shape....Your assumptions are stupid...Anyway if u really are aeitheist then take on the experiment...Ur not scared that there really is a devil, are u?

    April 24, 2011 at 11:37 am |
    • ZeebleZub

      Agnostic, it is you who make no sense.
      You cannot prove anything after death, which is what you are pretending to do.
      And what sort of idiot would say atheists just need to suddenly start believing in Satan to prove that a god exists?
      What makes you think someone who does not believe is going to believe a lie just to prove nothing exists?
      And no one would theoretically know until after death, so your whole idea is just retarded. You really suck the big one here. No shlt.

      April 24, 2011 at 11:44 am |
    • Agnostic

      Zeeble, apparently your reading comprehension sucks...By the way the insults are just childish..

      This is what i mean by the experiment: You don't have to die moron, what I am talking about is for an aetheist to be true to himself and do black magic or satanic magic, whatever u want to call it...The religious people will say santeria, voodooo, black magic, etc, is the works of the devil. So u can easily prove to us that there is no devil, if you try it and nothing happens. But what if something does happen? Meaning that the black magic works...Then u will be dammed in hell, because the bible says that this sin will not be forgiven...Which is playing with demons, satanic stuff.... Do u comprehend now, or should i write a little slower for you?

      April 24, 2011 at 11:51 am |
    • ZeebleZub

      So why not contact one of those Satanist groups? They'd be glad to take your money and show you that they can't do anything but try and gross you out.
      You keep proving that you are a fake.
      Any real agnostic would put the money where their mouth was – and pay a "believer" to prove their god exists.
      And no one would take it because they know they have no proof.
      And no one would trust you either. I sure as hell wouldn't. You'd probably just want to find out where I live so you could murder me.
      Prove your god exists or STFU.
      Why not pay to have "white magic" happen? Because there is no god.
      Asking an atheist to do something retarded is retarded.
      You are retarded and no agnostic. Too stupid to be an actual agnostic.

      April 24, 2011 at 11:58 am |
    • Igor

      "You don't have to die moron, what I am talking about is for an aetheist to be true to himself and do black magic or satanic magic"

      But that means pretending. An athiest by definition can't believe in Satan for the same reason he/she doen't believe in god. A pretend belief in Satan will neither prove or disprove its existence. A true belief in Satan means you are no longer an atheist, but a Satanist, Christian, Jewish or possibly Yazidi.

      April 24, 2011 at 11:59 am |
  20. vicki

    Thank you for your very moving testimony.

    April 24, 2011 at 11:35 am |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.