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May 8th, 2011
12:01 AM ET

In the heart of tornado-ravaged Bama Nation, a new battle cry: ‘Let go! Let God!’

By Wayne Drash, CNN

Tuscaloosa, Alabama (CNN) – The Rev. Kelvin Croom walks down the hall toward the sanctuary his father built 30 years ago with the help of legendary Alabama football coach Paul “Bear” Bryant.

“Just glad to be alive,” a deacon says.

“I know what you mean,” Croom responds.

With its painted cement block walls and low ceilings, the hall has the feel of a locker room corridor. In rooms off the hall, church members rummage through debris, trying to salvage anything they can. Windows shattered when the tornado hit. The roof of the fellowship hall upstairs blew off and crashed into nearby homes.

On Easter Sunday, three days before the tornado struck, Croom preached of salvation, of the need to rebuild one’s life, of finding hope even in times of desperation. The rejoicing and the stomps of feet had the pews bouncing.

The place oozed with love. So many people packed the church they literally filled the building to its rafters, with people standing all the way upstairs in the fellowship hall.

Back in the church for the first time since that service, Croom steps through the doorway into that sacred spot, the sanctuary of College Hill Baptist Church. His voice draws to a hush. The crimson carpet, the pews with their crimson cushions, the stained glass windows – everything is untouched.

“In here, you’d have no idea anything happened,” he marvels.

On April 27, a mile-wide tornado tore through Tuscaloosa, one of nearly 200 twisters to strike the South as part of a record storm. Hundreds died, including dozens in this college town – many of whom lived in the area known as Alberta City where College Hill Baptist sits.

The church lies at the center of the damage, as well as at the crossroads of faith, football and Alabama history. In a community where gospel and gridiron are interwoven like a hand-stitched Southern quilt, it all comes together at College Hill Baptist.

The Rev. Kelvin Croom tells his congregation, "We will rebuild!"

The building speaks of history, of a unique bond between two men – one white, one black – at a time when there were few such relationships. While Bryant is revered like no other, it’s Croom’s father, the late Rev. Sylvester Croom Sr., who stands as a pillar of the African-American community in this part of the state.

As a young man, the elder Croom couldn’t attend his hometown college. He couldn’t even step foot into the University of Alabama stadium. He’d stand outside the gate to watch games.

Eventually, though, he became spiritual adviser to Bryant and two other Crimson Tide coaches. He would come to grace the sidelines for years, decked out in his iconic white suit and crimson cowboy hat and boots.

When the elder Croom was starting the church in the 1970s, Bryant gave him a PA system. He gave the pastor money, too, sometimes thousands in cash, sometimes hundreds. “Whatever Dad needed,” Kelvin Croom says.

“He and my dad had a very unique relationship.”

Kelvin and his brother, Sylvester Jr., were among the first African-American football players at Alabama.

And when Gov. George Wallace apologized to Tuscaloosa’s African-American community for his staunch support of segregation and for barring blacks from entering the university, he came to the Croom family. “Will you forgive me?” Wallace asked.

Today, Kelvin Croom surveys the damage outside the church. The parking lot is littered with lumber strewn from homes, roofing tiles and other debris. With the second story gone, he’s not sure the building can be salvaged, even if the sanctuary is OK.

Behind him, a smashed church sign leans to the side, almost like a crooked cross. Two plaques remain intact: one honoring Bryant; the other honoring the elder Croom.

A portrait of the elder Croom survived the tornado.

“We were taught by my dad and we were taught by Coach Bryant, when situations come into your life, obstacles come, then you have to be strong,” Croom says.

“We have to let go what we’re tasting. This is a bitter pill, but God does have his way of resurrecting us. Yeah, we’re hurt … but we can rebuild and come back.”

Last year, his church made green T-shirts with a slogan in the form of a cross: “Let go! Let God!”

“We’ve been wearing the shirts. Now, we gotta live it,” he says. “Now that we have to deal with this calamity, you put aside racial barriers, religious and political. We’re one people. We’re Alabamians.”

He gives a soft holler: “Roll Tide,” the beloved chant of Alabama fans.

“It’s become more than a sports theme,” he says. “It’s a bond between people who have a common interest in humanity, who believe in a democracy, who believe in a higher power. It’s a nation. We call it Bama Nation.”

Across the state, people are mourning. The loss of life and property is indescribable. Thousands of houses across Tuscaloosa alone are damaged or destroyed. Scores of people remain missing.

Faith and football won’t replace the utter destruction that has shaken so many lives here. Yet it’s what people cling to. Conversations with those whose homes were destroyed often end with “Roll Tide.”

Last year the church made "Let go! Let God!" T-shirts. "We’ve been wearing the shirts. Now, we gotta live it," Croom says.

In the fall, they say, the sanctuary on Saturdays is Bryant-Denny Stadium, where more than 100,000 fans gather in the heart of campus to cheer for the Crimson Tide. On Sundays, the place of worship is any of the hundreds of churches throughout this thick Bible Belt region where Saturday’s chants are replaced by prayers and gospels.

It’s why a chemistry professor from Germany says, “The holy man in Alabama is not the pope. It’s Paul ‘Bear’ Bryant.” Outside Croom’s torn up church, a military policeman put aside his allegiance to cross-state rival Auburn University to protect the property from looters.

“I’m an Auburn fan,” says Sgt. Casey Chambers, “but above that I’m a true Alabamian.”

A handgun at his hip, Chambers says through a big grin, “I’m protecting y’all.”

'How we come together'

Terry Jones is the legendary noseguard who played for the Crimson Tide in the mid-1970s and went on to play for the NFL’s Green Bay Packers.

Now a strength coach at Alabama, Jones was in the team’s practice facility when the tornado ripped through Tuscaloosa. An announcement came over the PA system for everyone to take cover.

He rounded the corner into his office. On his wall, Bear Bryant looked down. Jones stared back at the man who shaped his life, one of five mentors who molded him.

“Where you thinking of going to school?” Bryant had asked him on a recruiting trip.

“South Carolina,” Jones told him.

Bad choice, Bryant said. “All you’ll do is play football, and you’ll lose all your games. What’s your second choice?”

When Jones responded with the University of Tennessee, Bryant leaned over. “You can go there,” the coach said, “but we’re going to kick your ass every year.”

Alabama strength coach and former NFL star Terry Jones weathered the storm at the Crimson Tide’s practice facility.

Jones became an All-American playing for Bryant. Yet, he says, he also owes much of his success to another man: the elder Rev. Croom.

Jones, who started playing for Alabama in 1974, remembered a story he heard from his older teammates. In 1973, the Crimson Tide was about to play Notre Dame in the Sugar Bowl. The black players for both schools planned to sit out the game to send a civil rights statement across the nation.

Bryant phoned his spiritual adviser: Get to New Orleans and mediate the situation. The Rev. Sylvester Croom gathered the athletes.

“This is an opportunity for you to showcase your talents and get to the next level, the NFL. Don’t jeopardize that,” the elder Croom said. “You’re the pride of the black community. Don’t let us down!”

Everyone suited up. The game went on. (Alabama fans don’t like to talk about the outcome; the Crimson Tide lost 24-23 on a field goal in the last five minutes, but the team still won the national title that year.)

All that went through Jones’ mind as he hunkered down in his office, the storm overhead. The 6-4, 320-pound giant owed his life to both those men. If the elder Croom hadn’t given that speech to the black players who preceded him, his career could have been over before it started. If Bryant hadn’t switched him to noseguard his senior year, he might never have starred with the Packers.

Bryant made his players attend church. He ingrained it in them: Football and faith help shape a boy into a man. Jones now serves as a deacon at College Hill Baptist Church.

Legendary Alabama football coach Paul ‘Bear’ Bryant mentored Jones and helped the elder Croom start his church.

In his office that day, he reflected on a quote from Bryant: “If you believe in yourself and have dedication and pride and never quit, you’ll be a winner. The price of victory is high, but so are the rewards.”

Life has been good to him, thought Jones, a small-town boy from Sandersville, Georgia, who broke racial barriers and crushed many a lineman along the way.

Jones braced for the worst. The wind whipped outside. The tornado missed his building.

“Every Saturday, I’ve seen how we come together – the football and the religion,” he says. “This storm, I think, brought everything together right here.”

Sermons in the barber chair

Clee Greene no longer walks with that pep in his step from when he first arrived in Tuscaloosa in 1960. He got off the back of the bus from Louisiana with a “dollar and quarter” in his pocket and has never looked back.

He’s now got a bridge named after him in Alberta City.

While Bryant brought black players to Tuscaloosa to play football, it was Greene who helped shape them into men. The barber on the other side of the railroad tracks would sit the young kids in his chair and preach to them about life and love, God and unity.

Clee Greene was barber and counselor to nearly every black University of Alabama football player for decades.

Nearly every black football player from the 1970s through the 1990s, from Terry Jones to NFL Hall of Famer Derrick Thomas, sought haircuts and counseling from him. At 73, he remains a father figure to Jones. “If you got nothing to do, you just go to Clee’s,” Jones says outside the shop. “He’s an institution.”

A pious man with veins that bleed Crimson Tide and Bible scripture, Greene says the tornado looked like the devil when it came through. “It began to make a tail,” he says in an accent as thick as sorghum. “It went up in the air, like it had arms and shoulders.”

Electricity poles snapped with gigantic flashes. The tornado screamed, and his house shook. “A train is coming in,” his granddaughter said as they huddled in a hallway.

“That’s not a train,” he told her.

Remarkably, his house is one of the few in Alberta City that wasn’t harmed. He runs his barbershop out of his house. He gives away more haircuts than he sells.

Sitting in his barber chair amid Crimson Tide memorabilia, he says God is trying to send a message with the tornado: “He wants us to get back to loving each other.”

It’s kind of like football, he says: “You got to dig down deep inside yourself and pull yourself up.”

What sustains him now amid such destruction?

Faith for one, he says.

The other? Well, Greene decides to demonstrate. He leaps from his barber chair and searches through his belongings. He pulls out a stuffed elephant, the Alabama mascot known as Big Al.

Terry Jones, left, and Clee Greene belt out the chant of Crimson Tide fans.

He presses a button. The elephant grinds its hips to the tune of the Alabama fight song. Greene places his nose to his shoulder and throws his arm into the air, like it’s an elephant trunk.

With Terry Jones at his side, Greene begins to belt out that iconic chant. The legendary noseguard joins in: ROLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL TIDE ROLL!

'We will rebuild'

Standing at the altar on the Sunday after the storm, Croom dabs the sweat from his brow with a white coach’s towel. Dozens in his flock lost their homes when the tornado gutted Tuscaloosa. Many lost friends and loved ones.

Tears and hugs, singing and rejoicing punctuate the service. The University Church of Christ volunteered space for members of College Hill Baptist to worship.

“Just tell somebody I need you to survive,” he preaches. “Tell the person next to you: I pray for you; you pray for me.”

The congregants pause. They share hugs and pleasantries. “Our community has been devastated, but God still lives,” Croom says.

The pastor calls everyone to the altar. More than 200 people huddle together. Some place hands on shoulders; others hold hands.

“Some of us looked death in the face. Some of us thought it was over in the storm. But God gave us new life,” Croom says. “The flock will not be scattered because of this storm. College Hill still stands. We’re here today!”

“Some will say the church is over there,” Croom booms, pointing toward the tattered building across town.

He then points at members of the congregation: “No, the church is where you go! And you go! And you go! … That’s where the church is!”

Kelvin Croom walks down the hall of his church; many members of his congregation lost friends and loved ones.

He preaches for more than an hour. A woman sings "Amazing Grace":

Amazing grace, how sweet the sound,
That saved a wretch like me.
I once was lost, but now am found,
Was blind, but now I see.

Croom implores the congregation to volunteer, to help thy neighbor. The church was planning a complete renovation before the storm. Maybe, Croom says, the tornado is a warning to be careful what you ask for. Now, they have no choice but to rebuild.

“Lord, I will serve you forever,” Croom hollers. “We will rebuild! We will rebuild! God bless you! God bless you!”

And in true Alabama fashion, he ends with the two words that have brought people here together for decades: “Roll Tide!”

CNN’s Sarah Hoye contributed to this piece.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Alabama • Baptist • Belief • Church • God • Houses of worship • Pastors • Prayer

soundoff (600 Responses)
  1. airwx

    The famous cowboy and a sidekick are camping in the desert, set up their tent, and are asleep.
    Some hours later, The famous cowboy wakes his faithful friend.
    "Faithful friend, look up and tell me what you see."
    Faithful friend replies, "Me see millions of stars."
    "What does that tell you?" asks The famous cowboy.
    Friend ponders for a minute.
    "Astronomically speaking, it tells me that there are millions of galaxies and potentially billions of planets.
    Astrologically, it tells me that Saturn is in Leo.
    Time wise, it appears to be approximately a quarter past three.
    Theologically, it's evident the Lord is all powerful and we are small and insignificant.
    Meteorologically, it seems we will have a beautiful day tomorrow.
    What it tell you, (fake native word)i?"
    The famous cowby is silent for a moment, then speaks.
    "Faithful friend, you Dumb Hoss, someone has stolen our tent."

    (thanks to Rich Deem)

    Are we missing civility?

    May 8, 2011 at 5:44 pm |
  2. Karlos

    Hey!
    We ALL know God punished the South for worshiping false gods....SARA PALIN, DONALD TRUMP, and FOX NEWS !

    May 8, 2011 at 5:42 pm |
  3. noreen akane

    II Timothy 3:7 "Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth."

    May 8, 2011 at 5:40 pm |
  4. endeavormike

    God had nothing to due with the tornados and he will have nothing to due with the recovery. It is a natural event. If you look at our Solar System, there are storms on every Planet. It is normal. Sorry, but I like to cut through the BS that is just me.

    May 8, 2011 at 5:39 pm |
    • tommas

      I thought the lights in the sky were angels, you are a blasphemer

      May 8, 2011 at 7:02 pm |
  5. ILoveGod

    I think it's pretty idiotic that atheists come to the "Belief" section of CNN and waste their time commenting on a God they supposedly don't believe in. That's like me, as a 30 year old, going to a blog to comment about Santa's non-existence. A total waste of time. All you atheists should start a blog about how dumb you are.

    May 8, 2011 at 5:39 pm |
    • PraiseTheLard

      "ILoveGod" wrote: "That's like me, as a 30 year old, going to a blog to comment about Santa's non-existence. "

      Well, if you had a large proportion of the population of your country actively promoting the worship of Santa, printing "In Santa We Trust" on the currency, inserting "Under Santa" into the Pledge of Allegiance, having a national day of Prayer to Santa, etc. wouldn't you want to put a stop to the insanity?

      May 8, 2011 at 5:44 pm |
    • tommas

      If >80% of the adult population did believe in santa and voted as what santa's few 1,000 yr old book tells them you would be concerned too.

      May 8, 2011 at 7:01 pm |
  6. Karlos

    Dear Don't Worry-
    Of course we Atheists believe in OURSELVES, there's no one else to believe in!
    Funny logic about this believers who thank God THEY were saved from the storms, yet the poor souls who lost their lives,
    must've been in God's doghouse.

    God NEVER gets blame for destruction, but is quick to get high-fives when things seem to go right. What a win/win situation he has!

    DON'T WORRY- pick up a science book for a change instead of a fairy tale and READ it!

    May 8, 2011 at 5:36 pm |
  7. NewsOrGossip

    Look within. Be Quiet (shut things out) and say Illuminate my mind with wisdom....teach me what I need to know that I'm filled with wisdom, peace, love, health, prosperity. This is what is meant by going to the "upper room". Everything you need is right there within you....just "First Acquire Wisdom".

    May 8, 2011 at 5:30 pm |
  8. ICEMAN

    can you prove this universe just made itself out of nothing? I mean yall talk like this is 100% fact BUT know one is able to do this task, If so they point me to the man that has done this mircle, I only know one.

    May 8, 2011 at 5:27 pm |
  9. So...

    Did anyone actually read the article or just jump onto the comments page to get into an argument?

    May 8, 2011 at 5:22 pm |
    • RTR

      That would be too much for most - to actually read the article. They might learn something if they did! Roll Tide.

      May 8, 2011 at 6:12 pm |
  10. ???

    What one believes isn't the problem. It is expecting others to live by one's beliefs.

    May 8, 2011 at 5:18 pm |
  11. Too Bad

    It's not the Athiest fault thier parents failed them. Now they are enemys of love, joy and hope. They are so misserable and bitter that they go on pages filled with people who are trying to be better humans and disscourage them from being happy. Man that is so sad that there are people who are hurting so much inside that they want everyone to live a meaningless hopeless lifes just like them. Hey guys Im finally happy and filled with love now try your best to tell me that I shouldn't feel that way, that I should believe in nothing because its so much better to be like you, filled with bitterness, enough to go online and bash peoples beliefs and hope.

    May 8, 2011 at 5:17 pm |
    • Observer

      Try again. It's not atheists and agnostics who are bitterly trashing gays or doctors who practice LEGAL operations. Far too many Christians preach but don't practice the Golden Rule.

      May 8, 2011 at 5:21 pm |
    • Anglican

      Observer. Yea, a and a's do no wrong. Sounds like you do not know many Christians.

      May 8, 2011 at 5:26 pm |
    • Observer

      @Anglican,

      Please stay on topic. I said NOTHING AT ALL about atheists and agnostics doing no wrong.

      May 8, 2011 at 5:30 pm |
    • Karlos

      your parents failed you in spelling....that's sad or SADD as you spell it. 🙂

      May 8, 2011 at 5:38 pm |
    • tommas

      Nail on head.... Most theists required childhood indoctrination (ie brainwashing)

      May 8, 2011 at 6:59 pm |
  12. Ohmybuddha

    First, I am a non-believer, then an atheist because I was a buddhist and have lived in here so I know about Jesus. I don't "believe in" science. Science is not religion. Science is science. I don't think there is anything wrong with the story, a heart warming story.

    When you say that religions caused so many wars, it implies that there haven't been so many wars if there hadn't been any religions. I don't think so. We, humans still would have had as many war as we have had. We used it? Yes, but if we hadn't had religions we have used something else. Was it an effective tool? Yes, I think so very much. Then again, there have been many fightings and killings between the Cathorics and the Protestants and among the buddhists, the moslems. There are racisms and discriminations in the same chritisn societies or buddhist socoeties or ...

    I don't know but when they say "Let it, let God", they are not talking about theology or existence of God. They're dealing with tragedy and try to have a faith in themselves and their comminuty. I may be too naive.

    You'd say I can't be in between. There is no middle ground. I understand in theory. Because if you truelly believe in your religion to be true you would not be able to accept the others. But if you have a faith in your religion, yourself and its teachings rather rather than theology. I don't know. I am not so smart. Yeah, I'm naive. Godspeed.

    May 8, 2011 at 4:53 pm |
    • Observer

      "There is no middle ground."

      Actually there is a middle ground – – agnosticism. The atheists and the Christians could both be wrong. Who knows? Maybe there is a God but he is much more like Jesus in the Bible than the often vain, arrogant, mass-killing God portrayed in the Bible.

      May 8, 2011 at 5:07 pm |
    • Thoughtsalots

      Just a thought, but "if" there is a god that created everything in the universe, isnt calling him "vain, arrogant, mass-killing" kind of silly. Would be like the ants in my ant farm getting upset when I move thier case around to clean the shelf they live on lol.

      May 8, 2011 at 6:01 pm |
  13. Bill In CA.

    Sounds like he been hanging around AA meetings...

    May 8, 2011 at 4:50 pm |
    • ICEMAN

      Religions isn't the only thing that caused wars, you had Women, EGOS, Food, Land, Power, these things alone caused many wars

      May 8, 2011 at 5:08 pm |
  14. painurse

    Being born and raised here in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, i would like to extend my deepest appreciation to any and all on here that have so graciously given towards our relief efforts; never have i seen anything of this magnitude, but on a grander scale, never have i seen such love and support from so many; yes, i am a born again, christian, bought and paid for by the blood of Jesus Christ and i am not now, nor will i ever be ashamed to call Him Saviour and Lord. It has been absolutely phenomenal to see Him provide for the citizens of this city and so many others by moving in the hearts of so many to give; to see the prayers of so many answered and so many needs met. If you are one that has given, we will be eternally grateful to you for you generiousity. My prayer is that all will come to know this awesome Lord and Saviour, truly the incomparable Christ!!! God bless you all!

    May 8, 2011 at 4:45 pm |
  15. Bob Rock

    I believe in Satin. My boxer shorts are made of that suff!

    May 8, 2011 at 4:42 pm |
  16. Roger

    The atheists I know are warm, caring, family-oriented, and reasonable people that I am proud to call my friends despite the fact that they do not believe my God or any other for that matter. "Hatred" is a term that does not exist within their vocabularies, yet the history of religion has proven that it is a concept all too common amongst its followers.

    May 8, 2011 at 4:33 pm |
  17. Joe

    I am pretty sure that this was a message of unity (UNITY) in a community that had their differences set aside by destruction. All of you, professing decency, argue in some of the most hateful and insulting manners (NOT UNITY), all the while NONE of you knows for sure. Stop judging others and tend your own garden.
    ROLL TIDE.

    May 8, 2011 at 4:32 pm |
  18. deter

    wow, this artical is LONG!!!

    May 8, 2011 at 4:27 pm |
  19. Renelda Moorehead

    PLEASE REMEMBER THE OLD SAYING: THERE ARE NO ATHEISTS IN FOXHOLES.

    May 8, 2011 at 4:23 pm |
    • PraiseTheLard

      You mean that foxes have joined a religious order?

      May 8, 2011 at 4:27 pm |
    • Bob Rock

      Foxeholes are for stupids. No reasonable person would be caught in one. That kind of idiotic warfare is truly only for mindless followers (religious nut-cases qualify). The atheists would naturally be too smart to be found in them.

      May 8, 2011 at 4:32 pm |
    • The truth is hidden

      Why does the atheist use nature when it is convenient and when it contradicts their view they fail to mention nature. If humans are the product of evolution then warfare is the result of evolved predatory relationships between two predator groups and even among their own species. I.E. The wolf and the mountain lion, the lion and the hyena , the dog and the cat and two dogs from different groups, two lions from different prides will fight more times than not? So if humans have been identified by scientist as Apex predators then war is inevitable! It has nothing to do with stupidity it is Natural without a moral truth and the consequences for violating that truth.

      May 8, 2011 at 6:58 pm |
  20. Dont Worry

    So what do atheists believe? In themselves? lol. a little arrogant no? Things of the earth are too perfect, the way we were created, animals, trees, flowers, the cycle of life.... Whats your theory? that we all evolved from little particles of a pond or something? Whatever. Although my personal relationship with God was found through Christianity, I believe that no religion is 100% correct for they have been passed down by IMPERFECT men, but there is not a doubt in my mind and soul that there is a higher power responsible for creating everything on earth. The earth that we humans are destroying.

    May 8, 2011 at 4:06 pm |
    • Bob Rock

      Atheists believe in logic and reason. Is that too much to ask of you? Apparently so.

      May 8, 2011 at 4:34 pm |
    • buffoon

      You seem confused, your deduction is based on no evidence but beliefs and a fable, "there is not a doubt in my mind and soul that there is a higher power responsible for creating everything on earth."

      May 8, 2011 at 4:45 pm |
    • buffoon

      Keep in mind that civilizations (hence moral/good/e vil) existed before any of today's major religions.

      May 8, 2011 at 4:55 pm |
    • buffoon

      All religions are the subjugation of self AND others. No more; no less. Without it, religions can't exist.

      May 8, 2011 at 4:56 pm |
    • ZackdaAnon

      Don't use "lol" like its all a big internet joke then go on to refute a well-founded scientific theory that has large amounts of evidence and can be and has been seen and recorded, and then go on further to say that everything is "so perfec that it must be by someones hand that they were made". If things are perfect and should have stayed that way always then God would not have created us. If he is all knowing, he must have seen the tragedies and horrors we would unleash. If he was an all-loving he would have at least guided us through it rather than lurk in the shadows.

      May 8, 2011 at 5:16 pm |
    • The truth is hidden

      If logic is the basis of your atheism and evolution is the logical conclusion on which you see truth, explain the evolution of morality which is an abstract concept? Where did it come from and is it an individual or group developed concept? With that in mind explain how animals rarely defend the weak and even sacrifice the weak , lame and elderly for the betterment of the whole and the strong predatorily animals are used to cull the numbers of the more passive, tribal and colony based life forms. This natural example justifies that the thief, murderer, the unfaithful spouse and the tyrannical governments are good for the group and humanity? Thus it should not be a crime or a reason to be offended when these things happen in sociaty. Because these are all examples of natural law implemented. Now, if we are animals evolved then we should have the same laws apply in our existence, but if not why do we as “higher life forms” have such a great difference in view from nature? If our view of morality was not given then where did it come from?

      May 8, 2011 at 6:25 pm |
    • Dorianmode

      What atheists "believe" or "self-talk" to themselves, (if belief = to accept as representing reality without evidence), is as varied as there are numbers of atheists. It's obviously not a coherent group. It's as varied as the many groups of those who label themselves as "believers".

      @The truth is hidden
      The answer to your question has been extensively debated, by many many scholars, and I will not repeat their many theories on the interesting subject you raise. Some of your logic, as well as spelling and grammar are flawed. The development of "morality" is debated in many anthropology texts, and books, and you obviously can think well enough for yourself to go find them. What the advantages that standards for individuals in groups provide to both them, and the group, is a huge subject. Good luck with it, it's very fascinating and enlightening. You seem well on your way to becoming a good skeptic ! Congratulations.

      May 8, 2011 at 6:52 pm |
    • tommas

      what would a imperfect universe look like.... you are not special. sorry

      May 8, 2011 at 6:56 pm |
    • The truth is hidden

      @Dorianmon
      I am not as good at English as I would like to be, but as you have said the expression of faith is so varied that the logic is unjustified from the view point of the "unbeliever". With this in mind, it can also be said that the atheist view is just as varied and if there is a consequence in the end for one or the other one will be wrong.

      May 8, 2011 at 7:13 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.