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August 6th, 2011
06:05 PM ET

'The Response' in pictures

Houston, Texas (CNN)– CNN'S Jim Acosta and Erika Dimmler are in Texas today for 'The Response' a gathering of Christians for a day of prayer and fasting, headlined by Governor Rick Perry (R) and others.

This is what the event looked like in pictures.

Read more about 'The Response' and it's political implications here and here.

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Belief • Christianity • Politics • Rick Perry

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soundoff (172 Responses)
  1. SeanNJ

    There's nothing about this that doesn't turn my stomach. Ugh. What a monumental waste of time.

    August 8, 2011 at 10:09 am |
  2. CW

    Hey all Atheist and Non believers,

    I see and have read all your rhet.oric.....since we pray what is it that you do?.....O..let me guess...sit around and make and poke fun at christians. By the way....seems to me prayer works better than your "fix the problem"...b/c if you don't let God lead you....your going down a road that DEAD ENDS....peace and much prayer was said for you as well.

    August 8, 2011 at 10:03 am |
    • TheRationale

      What do we do? Well if you want to make an analogy, Christians pray that the patient gets better, and atheists take them to the OR.

      August 8, 2011 at 10:08 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      @CW
      If this story was about thousands of people gathering together to sing "Kumbaya" in order to stamp out world hunger, would you believe that to be a useful, positive endeavor that feeds the starving?

      August 8, 2011 at 10:10 am |
    • Sue

      CW, present evidence that your god has ever acted on one of your prayers. Just one only, and be as specific as you can.

      August 8, 2011 at 10:10 am |
    • Laughing

      @Sue

      Don't you get it? Prayer most certainly does work. One time, I prayed to god to reveal himself to me, and right as I finished (well actually hours later) I heard this like.....knocking within the walls. People told me it was just my neighbor telling me to turn the music down, but I knew, I still know, that god was guiding my neighbors hand to hit the wall and there's your sign! 100% surefire prood that god is real because he knocked on my wall.

      Not enough for you? Ok, what about this. My friend had a really bad drinking problem, I mean, every night he would have like, 2 glasses of wine with dinner! 2! So I prayed to god to take the devil out of him and help him get over his rampant and horrible alcoholism. The next day we were having dinner and my friend decided to have water instead of his usual glasses of wine, PRAISE BE JESUS! See, my prayer directly affected my friend's drinking habits and now he will occasionally substi.tute other drinks for dinner.

      See, prayer makes complete and total sense and CW, although he might sound crazy, is actually the most sane person to ever grace this bored.

      Please, everyone tell your story about how jesus/god/odin came and answered your prayers!

      August 8, 2011 at 10:16 am |
    • Sue

      Laughing, I'm laughing. 🙂

      August 8, 2011 at 10:19 am |
    • Frogist

      @Laughing: Just this morning I woke up and thought, "Gee I'd love some hash browns." Then I went to Dunkin Donuts and gave a nice girl my money and she gave me some hash browns! Wha? Miracle! I know God had heard me and provided for my need of greasy potato snacks. Beat that!

      August 8, 2011 at 12:09 pm |
    • Laughing

      @Frogist

      Clearly a sign from god! He allowed you to have that thought, the money in whch to exchange for those delicious hashbrowns as well as gave the people in the Dunkin Donuts the apti.tude to make the hashbrowns you craved. God is indeed good to have let such a thing happen to you and answer your prayers. I think you took my spot in line though. I have this broken ankle that I've been avoiding going to the hospital for because I was sure since god answered all my other prayers, that he would surely fix my ankle right up. I guess you're need was greater than mine though because I know god listens to all prayers (he is omnipotent obviously). I truly hope you enjoy those hashbrowns, because you cost me the use of my ankle forever.....But that's not gods fault, he has a plan for everyone you see.

      August 8, 2011 at 12:36 pm |
    • Peace2All

      @Frogist

      What the heck...!!! What is this world coming to when Dunkin' Doughnuts has..."hash browns."...?

      Where are you... Jersey...? You'll have to fed ex me some of them 'hash browns' !!!! Hmmmmmmmmm.... yum ! 😀

      Peace...

      August 8, 2011 at 1:21 pm |
    • Frogist

      @Laughing: Oh no! I didn't know I could steal your prayer. Especially not for hash browns. I guess my need was greater than yours, or maybe you have some sin about you that you haven't cleansed yourself of. I took a shower so I'm all cleansed. I drew a cross on my faucet with the soap to make holy water come out. I think that's how that works. I suggest you do that next time before you wish... err I mean 'pray' for hash browns or whatever.
      @Peace2All: Yes! Jersey has the almight hash browns at our DD. They have to be so bad for you... all greasy and salty. But I can't help it. I had a late breakfast so I needed some extra calories! 😉 I don't have your address so I can't Fed Ex them. But I will think of you while I eat them... maybe I can do some Professor X type mind transfer so you can think you're eating hash browns too! LOL!

      August 8, 2011 at 1:51 pm |
    • Laughing

      @Frogist,

      It's cool, god never does evil, as it happens it looks like this time I was being too selfish when I asked him to fix me, maybe tonight when I go get hammered on jesus he'll let me know why he didn't magic my ankle better. You see, prayers only work sometimes, when they don't that makes about as much sense as when they do (and believe me, when they do you have to make sure to keep your eyes open because god won't just answer your prayer directly, which would be too easy, he has to do in a very roundabout so you're not supposed to know that he did it even though you know he did it, get it?), I'm just happy that hashbrowns were included in gods plan for you.

      August 8, 2011 at 2:18 pm |
  3. TheRationale

    Prayer.
    Doesn't.
    Do.
    Anything.

    In fact, actions like this are counterproductive. Instead of actually addressing the problem, people try to wish it away. The problem is still there, but now you think you've accomplished something. And they wonder why this country has money problems....

    August 8, 2011 at 8:36 am |
  4. William Demuth

    Once again we are treated to photos of former slaves exalting their former slave masters imaginary God.

    It seems all one must do is kidnap, enslave, impregnate and indoctrinate people, and within a few generations they will worship whatever they are told.

    When will they ever learn? They shall STAY slaves as long as they refuse to reject the lies of the men who dragged them here in chains, the same men who still keep them is financial bondage!

    August 8, 2011 at 8:27 am |
    • Captain Picard

      "There...are...four...lights!!"

      August 8, 2011 at 5:56 pm |
  5. fernace

    I am adimantlyagainst any religious gathering having ANY political implications!! Religion & politics should never be brought together, even in the same sentence! I want my church & belief system as far away from politics as possible! Have we just lost our minds in this country, to think this is a good thing for christians, or for atheist to make fun of jesus freaks getting high off their sky fairy!! It is an abomination & sacrilege!! Our governmental forefathers promised us that religion would not be mixed with politics & vice versa, but now Perry is 1ce again disregarding the rules of the government & using this as his launching platform! He says God talks to him! Huh! God talked to me today & told me to get the word to Perry to stop these shenanigans, because it's up to him & other elected politicians to fix the economy of this country, not Gods! God said He's not in politics, He's in spiritual healing & never the twain shal meet!! Thanks for letting me get that off my chest!! Feel better now! 🙂

    August 8, 2011 at 2:45 am |
    • Buddy R

      Atheism is a tiny cult. People of other religions have a right to express their faith also. Deal with it.

      August 8, 2011 at 5:48 am |
    • Buddy R

      Oh, you need to learn some history. Our forefathers prayed publicly. And all the historical buildings and monuments in Washington have Bible verse engraved in them. Deal with it, you live in a nation founded by Christians on Christian principles. You can always to go a communist nation of you want society to be atheistic.

      August 8, 2011 at 5:50 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      @Buddy R
      "As the Government of the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion,—"
      – Treaty of Tripoli, 1796

      August 8, 2011 at 8:47 am |
    • Peace2All

      @BuddyR

      So called "Christian principles" have been around one way or another well before the Christians tried to hi-jack these universal concepts and behaviors.

      Regards,

      Peace...

      August 8, 2011 at 11:08 am |
  6. wondering

    Is it better to die with hope, or die without hope???

    August 7, 2011 at 9:42 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      Must hope necessarily come from worshipping the supernatural?

      August 8, 2011 at 8:48 am |
    • Nonimus

      Hope for what?

      August 8, 2011 at 12:28 pm |
  7. jen

    This has nothing to do with the story at all. I am amazed at the caliber of potography. Apparently all you need is a camera, no talent required. Thes photos are about as interesting as a year book.

    August 7, 2011 at 6:19 pm |
  8. A_COL

    TX Gov Rick Perry & President Obama Both Invoke Their Faith into Their Politics … Yet It’s Perry That Gets Criticized?

    What’s all the hoopla about Gov Rick Perry and his faith? Here’s what the papers reported about how President Obama addressed his faith yet not a peep was heard about him being a religious zealot by the press:

    WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama said Thursday (3 Feb 11) that his faith has deepened during his two years in the White House … Speaking at the annual National Prayer Breakfast in Washington, Obama said "I pray that God will show me and all of us the limits of our understanding and open our ears and our hearts to our brothers and sisters with different points of view, that such reminders of our shared hopes and our shared dreams and our shared limitations as children of God will reveal a way forward that we can travel together."

    …and here is what Gov Perry said and he’s being portrayed as a religions fanatic:

    HOUSTON – Texas Gov. and possible Republican presidential candidate Rick Perry led a crowd of roughly 30,000 Christians Saturday (6 Aug 11), asking God to help a nation he calls “in crisis,” at a Christian-revival event he organized “Father, our heart breaks for America, we see discord at home, we see fear in the marketplace, we see anger in the halls of government, …. As a nation, we have forgotten who made us, who protects us, who blesses us, and for that, we cry out for your forgiveness.”

    I would opine that reporting on the religious proclivities of our politicians is a distraction from the real issue concerning Americans… In the words of VP Biden, it a 3-letter word… JOBS, JOBS, JOBS! (Nobody ever accused Biden of being able to count).

    Rick Perry is the ONLY candidate of either party, declared or undeclared, that can boast of creating jobs while in political office! During the Obama reign, half of ALL jobs created in the US were created in Perry’s Texas! Pretty impressive! BY contract, according to the Fact Checker in the 19 Jun 11 Washington Post, “since Barack Obama has been president…there are 2.5 million fewer jobs.”

    Also with the exception of Ron Paul, Perry is also the ONLY candidate that has ever served in the Military which the President presides over as Commander-in-Chief. Perry was commissioned in the Air Force in 1972 out of the Texas A&M Corps of Cadets ROTC program and after completing pilot training, flew C-130 tactical airlift in the States, Middle East, and Europe. He left the Air Force in 1977as a captain. Ron Paul, a medical doctor, was an Air Force active duty flight surgeon from 1963 to 65.

    At least nobody will have to teach Perry how to salute or identify the insignias of rank. If you want to know how I really feel about all the candidates, check out my Blog at: http://old-soldier-colonel.blogspot.com/

    August 7, 2011 at 2:54 pm |
    • Jen

      Rick Perry is a fat, plastic-haired idiot who doesn't understand that he is required to keep church and state separate. He should be booted out of office.

      August 7, 2011 at 3:40 pm |
    • PraiseTheLard

      I left this posting before, but someone decided to delete it… it went as follows:

      His religiosity is one reason why I didn’t vote for Obama (or Gore before him)…

      As for the armed forces… not everyone who spent time in the military has come out with positive attributes… Exhibit “A” would be “W”…

      August 7, 2011 at 4:16 pm |
    • Peace2All

      @A_COL

      Hey -Col...

      You Said: " TX Gov Rick Perry & President Obama Both Invoke Their Faith into Their Politics … Yet It’s Perry That Gets Criticized? "

      Well, I think 'one' of the main differences is that Gov. Perry was making a call as a politician for everyone... including those in political office e.g... other Governor's to join with him in his "The Response" which was arguably a "Christian" themed national prayer event. Calling for 'national' Christian-based prayer is certainly skating the line of a politician in office creating and supporting a religious event. And said event was undeniably Christian.

      So, with those 2 issues, I believe there is a problem with Gov. Perry in those respects.

      If... President Obama had tried to do the very 'same' thing, you would see the 'same' criticism's by not only the media, but by us here on the belief blogs, and many people all across the U.S.who are for as much 'separation of Government and Religion' as humanly possible.

      That's how I see that aspect IMHO.

      BTW-- And this is just a 'hypothetical' question, but would you be happy if a Governor of some state somewhere, who possibly was a Muslim called for a day of prayer for everyone to 'Allah' ...? Regardless, if in theory, the 3 major monotheistic religions are praying to the same God... just calling it different names.

      I'm 'guessing' the answer would be 'no.' And, I and a mult-itude of others, would be right there with you.

      Respectfully,

      Peace...

      August 7, 2011 at 5:01 pm |
    • Frogist

      In terms of job creation, it's a bit of a numbers game. And Politifact only counts Gov Perry's claims of job creation as "Half True". Many states created jobs, not just Gov Perry's Texas. Fourteen, in fact. If you take population size into account and if we disregard the number of jobs lost (which Perry does to come up with his stats), California is the state with the most jobs created. Furthermore, 23 other states have lower unemployment rates than Texas which is still at a high of 8%. And then we have to ask, how much of that "job creation" is actually Perry's doing.
      http://www.politifact.com/texas/statements/2011/may/29/texas-public-policy-foundation/texas-public-policy-foundation-says-texas-created-/
      But even beyond his bending of the truth regarding statistics about his ability to create jobs, his penchant for mixing politics with religion where worshipping the Christian God is a cure all for economic woes is ridiculous and dangerous for the reasons that Peace2All, fernace, The Rationale and others have said. Even his const!tuents in Texas, refuse to support his religious shenanigans. A recent poll in the Houston Chronicle actually puts Pres Obama's approval rating at 51% in Texas, and Gov Perry's at 54%. Yes, if an election was held today, Texas might become a blue state.

      August 8, 2011 at 1:12 pm |
  9. mylifemyway

    Wow, christians are silly!

    August 7, 2011 at 1:56 pm |
    • Alexv

      Amen to that!

      August 7, 2011 at 9:22 pm |
    • Val Kilmer

      How silly can you get? yeah! yeah! how silly can you get? ooh, yeah!
      I never have meant to stray but when you looked at me that way
      the night was young and gay Paris made me forget.

      Ii went to Paris in France, i found a little romance she was a-walkin' down the boulevard
      i know i should've been good i never thought that i would be double-crossin', baby cross my heart
      a little rockin' and a little wine got me thinkin' 'bout a little valentine
      what's a lonely boy to do she looked so fine

      how silly can you get? how silly can you get?
      no more foolin' round you bet how silly can you get?

      next morning woke all alone, little birdie had flown, left a number on the telephone.
      i walked right out in the street, spreadin' the hole in my jeans,found a paper with a message on it.
      should i call her up or should i tear it up? if i call her up then we can rip it up.
      what's a lonely boy to do she looked so fine.

      how silly can you get? yeah! yeah! how silly can you get? ooh, yeah
      i never have meant to stray but when you looked at me that way
      the night was young and gay Paris made me forget. – Top Secret

      August 8, 2011 at 6:03 pm |
  10. Reality

    Putting a kibosh on the "Response":

    Jesus was a bit "touched". After all he thought he spoke to Satan, thought he changed water into wine, thought he raised Lazarus from the dead etc. In today's world, said Jesus would be declared legally insane.

    Or did P, M, M, L and J simply make him into a first century magic-man via their epistles and gospels of semi-fiction? Most contemporary NT experts after thorough analyses of all the scriptures go with the latter magic-man conclusion with J's gospels being mostly fiction.

    Obviously, today's followers of Paul et al's "magic-man" are also a bit on the odd side believing in all the Christian mumbo jumbo about bodies resurrecting, and exorcisms, and miracles, and "magic-man atonement, and infallible, old, European, white men, and 24/7 body/blood sacrifices followed by consumption of said sacrifices. Yummy!!!!

    So why do we really care what a first century CE, illiterate, long-dead, preacher/magic man would do or say?

    August 7, 2011 at 8:14 am |
    • The Lionly Lamb of The Gods Does Roar

      @ Reality,

      Your "continual" posting in your "aboveness" of postly' toastly' pre-amblenesses makes me profess that "you are not quite there in soundness of mind". To berate any religion based upon silliness is a "non-coherency" given the "nature" of such a blatant and rather subtle blaspheming memorandum you continually base your posts upon. I too have my moments when I "go off the deep end" regarding my witticisms and like you, we are affirmed daily by reaffirmations' progressivenesses. Our two branches of Ideological soundness are still part and parcels of the same tree of Fractal Cosmologic Relatives which I dare say you have no clue as to what in GOD's name I mean by FCR.

      August 8, 2011 at 12:18 pm |
  11. David Johnson

    Jesus speaking:

    "If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer." –Matthew 21:22 (NIV)

    "I tell you the truth, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, 'Move from here to there' and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you." –Matthew 17:20 (NIV)

    "Ask and it will be given to you.... For everyone who asks receives." –Luke 11:9-10 (NIV)

    "Again, I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything you ask for, it will be done for you by my Father in heaven." –Matthew 18:19 (NIV)

    James 5:15 – And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise them up. If they have sinned, they will be forgiven.

    Let's be honest. Don't be afraid to use critical thinking. Jesus said the above, about prayer. Is it true? Can you post back to me and claim what Jesus said is true?

    Why has there never been a doc_umented case of an amputated limb being restored? Do you think an amputee never prayed or had faith?

    Double blind experiments, have all shown that prayer has no effect on illness.

    Because people have believed the promises of the bible, they have withheld medical care for their children. They prayed instead. Evidently, god was not moved by their faith. Their children died. Modern medicine could have saved them. OOoopsie!

    Why aren't Jesus' words true? Can you think of any possibilities? If Jesus' words aren't true about prayer, then how can we depend on anything else Jesus said? Maybe if we could "test" the afterlife claims, they would be no more real than the claims about prayer.

    A fundie once told me, that god always answers prayers in one of three ways:
    1) God says, "yes". You get what you asked for immediately.
    2) God says, "to wait". You will get what you asked for at some future date.
    3) God says, "no". You will not get what you asked for.

    Hmmm.... But I can get the same success from the carton of milk I have sitting on the breakfast table.

    1) If I pray to my magic carton, some things will come true immediately, just by chance and coincidence.
    2) Some things will come true at some future date, for the same reasons.
    3) If I don't get what I want, then my magic carton said, "no".

    I think there is a problem, when there is no difference between praying to a god and praying to a milk carton.

    Having a prayer answered, appears to require only 3 things: belief, faith and to be totally sure, you need others to pray with you.

    Hmm...

    Remember the Gulf oil spill?
    Remember how a ton of people prayed for god to stop the gushing?
    I was spellbound! I watched the real time video of the oil spill. I expected to see it stop. It did not. Human technology eventually capped the well.

    Remember when Rick Perry rallied his state to pray for rain? He issued a proclamation that for 72 hours, the citizens of Texas would all pray for rain. I thought, surely god would hear their prayers and open the windows of Heaven!
    The "days of prayer" ended Sunday, April 24, 2011. Texas is still experiencing exceptional drought.

    Studies have shown prayer does not work. Any miracles or answered prayers are the result of random chance, coincidence and selective observation. Believers tend to remember the perceived positive outcome of prayers and forget the failed.

    Christians MUST contest this. They must rent their clothes and Shout: "Do not put the lord your god to the test!" LOL!

    God, either did not care or does not exist. Personally, I'm checking the second box. LOL.

    Cheers!

    August 7, 2011 at 12:43 am |
    • Colin

      David, good post. I loved the carton of milk analogy.

      August 7, 2011 at 3:39 am |
    • Dave Dawson

      While David's friend Reality has copee and pasta, David couldn't get enough of recycled stuff like puddings.

      August 7, 2011 at 7:21 am |
    • HeavenSent

      David sounds like a lobbyist for stem cell research.

      August 7, 2011 at 10:34 am |
    • Reality

      It is even worse for "red neck" Christians because the cited passages, as per many contemporary NT scholars, were not uttered by the historic Jesus i.e. said passages were more embellishments by Matthew, James and Luke in their attempts to create a human deity.

      e.g. Professor Gerd Ludemann in his book, Jesus After 2000 Years, pp. 694-695.

      August 7, 2011 at 1:33 pm |
    • The Lionly Lamb of The Gods Does Roar

      Determining the efficacy of prayer has been attempted in various studies since Francis Galton first addressed it in 1872. Some studies have reported benefit, some have reported harm, and some have found no benefit from the act of praying. Others suggest that the topic is outside the realm of science altogether. According to the Washington Post, "...prayer is the most common complement to mainstream medicine, far outpacing acupuncture, herbs, vitamins and other alternative remedies."[1]

      To date, scientific and religious views on the efficacy of prayer do not agree, and much controversy still surrounds the subject. Medical studies have, at times, been interpreted in conflicting ways by different groups while other studies have been specifically designed to clear up such ambiguities, meanwhile debate continues regarding the confounding variables in some studies.

      Religious groups have objected to the very measurement of the efficacy of prayer and believe that what the studies measure is mechanical rather than real prayer. On the issue of intercessory prayer Christian teaching have emphasized the need for guidance from the Holy Spirit as to what needs to be prayed for and have taught that "God can not be coerced."[2][3][4]

      The philosophical controversy on this topic even involves the basic issues of statistical inference and falsifiability as to what it may mean to "prove" or "disprove" something, and the problem of demarcation, i.e., as to whether this topic is even within the realm of science at all.

      In comparison to other fields that have been scientifically studied, carefully monitored studies of prayer are relatively few. The field remains tiny, with about $5 million spent worldwide on such research. If and when more studies of prayer are done, the issue of prayer's efficacy may be further clarified.[5]

      Courtesy of wikipedia at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Efficacy_of_prayer

      August 8, 2011 at 11:58 am |
  12. Reality

    Reiteration is great for the learning process. As is reading and rational thinking followed by conclusions based on all of it.

    A response to the "Response":

    The Apostles' Creed 2011: (updated by yours truly and based on the studies of historians and theologians during the past 200 years)

    I might believe in a god whose existence cannot be proven
    and said god if he/she/it exists resides in an unproven,
    human-created, spirit state of bliss called heaven.

    I believe there was a 1st century CE, Jewish, simple,
    preacher-man who was conceived by a Jewish carpenter
    named Joseph living in Nazareth and born of a young Jewish
    girl named Mary. (Some say Jesus was a mamzer.)

    Jesus was summarily crucified for being a temple rabble-rouser by
    the Roman troops in Jerusalem serving under Pontius Pilate,

    He was buried in an unmarked grave and still lies
    a-mouldering in the ground somewhere outside of
    Jerusalem.

    Said Jesus' story was embellished and "mythicized" by
    many semi-fiction writers. A descent into Hell, a bodily resurrection
    and ascension stories were promulgated to compete with the
    Caesar myths. Said stories were so popular that they
    grew into a religion known today as Catholicism/Christianity
    and featuring dark-age, daily wine to blood and bread to body rituals
    called the eucharistic sacrifice of the non-atoning Jesus.

    Amen

    August 7, 2011 at 12:10 am |
    • The Lionly Lamb of The Gods Does Roar

      @ Reality,
      First, let me apologize for some of my prior posts that were bigotrous in nature. That said, I shall try to reciprocate upon "your creed". Is not Science a creed of people that have written their "mythologies" into existence regarding Science Facts that cannot be fully found out and/or comprehended? Can you tell me, Reality, "What does truthfully lay beyond our universe?" Can you also tell me, "What lies within the deepest depths of inner Spaces?" With these 2 questions, I dare challenge one and all to answer me with clarity these questions I pose to one and all! Of GOD be Creations, and By the Gods and Goddesses became manifestations of Celestial based Terrestrial Life Forms while “as” gods and goddesses manhood and womanhood were they created by the Gods and Goddesses of GOD!

      Thus Saith I, the Lionly Lamb Of all The Gods and upon the Aboveness of My Word, I do give My Materialization in Presentations as freely given and to be freely pondered.

      August 8, 2011 at 11:48 am |
    • FatAlbert

      400 years ago the idea that science could explain and explore the fundamental nature of reality was laughable. 50 years ago the idea that science could understand the nature and origin of the Big Bang was science fiction. Today scientists are using scientific instruments to peer outside our universe and see what is actually going on. And amazingly enough, what they are seeing is similar to what some philosophers have been saying all long. Our entire universe is a tiny fleck of foam on a storm tossed sea that extends infinitely in all directions, a sea that has been storming forever and will be storming forever.
      And this sea contains energy such that we can’t comprehend it. Our entire universe was but a tiny speck of this underlying reality, that’s how “dense” the energy is in the underlying reality “outside” our universe. And our universe is one of an infinite number of universes, in the past and it the future. (Although “past” and “future” have very little meaning outside our universe.) I’m having trouble grasping the idea of infinite myself, but it means that for every decision point in my life, there is a universe where I made a different decision. Doesn’t it? And when one looks about at all the decision points in people’s lives, that’s a lot of universes. Infinite is more than a lot though, right?
      The point I am making is that our universe doesn’t appear to have been created by God, it appears to have been a natural consequence of events in the underlying reality. A reality so vast and energetic it has created and will create an infinite number of universes. And science is on the verge of proving this. And no God or other supernatural being is needed to explain any of this. I mean, if God exists, he created a reality that has infinite energy and will create all possible universes and has always been here and always will be here. Clever trick, but there’s no longer anything to explain. “Reality contains infinite energy, exists forever, and creates all possibilities” pretty much covers all possible contingencies.
      It may sound mean, but claiming a God is required to explain reality and/or the Big Bang is now logically akin to saying God is required to explain the sunrise. Scientists are probing the nature of reality itself and the origin of our universe, the very same way they learned about the Earth orbiting the Sun and everything since, by logical application of the scientific method and using increasingly sophisticated scientific instruments. Some cosmologists have detected patterns in the CMB radiation that they claim may be “bruises” caused when our universe impacted other “nearby” universes before the Big Bang. This particular line of inquiry may or may not pan out, but it’s only one of many ways scientists are now exploring the very fabric of reality.
      We are at a historical junction akin to when Galileo showed the Pope that Jupiter has moons. Some people started to understand it then, that’s one of the reasons they called the Renaissance the “Age of Reason.” And we are coming to the inevitable end of the journey Galileo started with his little telescope. Humans invented God to explain things we couldn’t understand. Well, scientists have now shown that there isn’t anything left that requires a supernatural being to explain. I can’t prove there’s no God. We can never ultimately know whether we are foam in an infinite stormy sea or bubbles in an infinite glass of beer,” no disrespect intended, but they are talking metaphysics, not cosmology or science.
      As far as reality goes, the reality we live in, there is no God. That appears to be a scientific fact now, whether people like it or not.

      August 8, 2011 at 12:20 pm |
  13. henryKnox

    It was an excellent program with people having alot of fun and doing something positive for their country. Of course the tolerance displayed by the progressives is always uplifting and inspiring. That is if you consider name calling to be tolerant.

    August 6, 2011 at 9:08 pm |
    • gupsphoo

      Doing something positive? First demonstrate how prayers could be positive to any situation. Remember Rick Perry prayed for rain not too long ago. How did that turn out?

      August 6, 2011 at 9:43 pm |
    • Spiffy

      Why should religion be safe from criticism?

      August 6, 2011 at 10:03 pm |
    • Peace2All

      @henryKnox

      " It was an excellent program with people having alot of fun and (doing something 'positive' for their country). "

      How is that considered demonstrably and tangibly 'positive' exactly ?

      Regards,

      Peace...

      August 6, 2011 at 10:04 pm |
    • Free

      Spiffy
      "Why should religion be safe from criticism?"

      One can only assume that religion is just too fragile to survive without such protection.

      August 6, 2011 at 11:46 pm |
    • John Richardson

      Tolerance means that you were allowed to hold your idiotic rally, which you did. It doesn't mean anyone has to respect the small number of fools who chose to spend the day there holding their arms in the air, let alone respect the manipulators who organized this festival of sanctimonious self-congratulation.

      August 7, 2011 at 7:07 am |
  14. Colin

    Which of the following groups believes that an invisible being in the sky is watching their every move and will read their minds and answer their prayers using his super powers:

    (a) Small children, too young to know that is silly
    (b) Delusional schizophrenics
    (c) Evangelical Christians; or
    (d) All of the above

    August 6, 2011 at 8:55 pm |
    • The Lionly Lamb of The Gods Does Roar

      @ Colinectomy,

      Can you say with assuredness that there are No "invisible" Gods and Goddesses living in Places and Spaces that our Sciences cannot yet fully fathom? I speak about INNER and OUTER Space. Have you Colin ever been to these Places of Spaces? Has anyone? The vastness of these 2 Places is beyond anyone's abilities to, with clarity, understand. Sure, you just might believe there are otherly planets somewhere else within this vast Cosmos that we found our universe being a part and parcel of. And sure the immensity of Outer Space just boggles the mind! These Inner Spaces where Life has grown out of is a Scientific Miracle as is the Cosmos! The Chasms of matter has rather unique abilities that keeps its' material structures separate and apart from each other. These Voids of Space are the Holy Seas so to speak. Such seas of Space are the Stuff that keeps us guessing and draws the imagination out of those who dwell upon these 2 Spaces of Places. Dare you call me out on this Belief? Let me call you Atheists out by asking this. If there were No GOD, can you explain to me as to just how matter became Life if not by the hand of the miraculous and unknown?

      August 8, 2011 at 10:47 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      @lionlyLamb
      Being awed at the complexity and vastness of teh universe doesn't necessarily connote the existence of a god.
      Spinoza and Einstein shared your feelings regarding the wonder of the cosmos – but were not theists.
      You are falling into teh "God of the Gaps" argument – wherein anything that isn't fully understood is attributed to the supernatural.
      Just becuase something is currently unknown doesn't mean that it is ultimately unknowable. Attributing the awesome and the mysterious to God is to deprive yourself of teh greatest of all human attributes – insatiable curiosity!

      August 8, 2011 at 11:02 am |
  15. a person of the Name

    Just wow.... Ya'll think we are the fools? You don't know what it truely is. That is sad.

    August 6, 2011 at 8:51 pm |
    • What a clueless person of the Name

      After all this time, you still haven't figured out the reply button? Man you're a dunce. No wonder you believe in invisible friends.

      August 6, 2011 at 10:00 pm |
  16. Colin

    Poor delusional fools.

    I know evangelicals get offended when people call them stupid, but, dear god, they bring it on themselves.

    August 6, 2011 at 8:44 pm |
  17. J.W

    It is interesting that some of the protesters said that the heat wave was because of Rick Perry. I hadnt thought of that before. Although the heat wave is hitting some other states just as hard I think.

    August 6, 2011 at 7:22 pm |
    • frank

      Who knows, "ghosting" could be the next picture craze now that "planking" is old hat.

      August 6, 2011 at 8:45 pm |
  18. Kodes100

    Well Rick perry you couldn't even fill a stadium of 80,000!!
    You did not achieve half of that!

    August 6, 2011 at 6:54 pm |
    • Anti Christian Taliban Schizophrenics

      Got tp love the photos with delusional people holdin their hands up to the great wizard in the sky
      .
      Schizophrenia is a mental disorder that makes it difficult to tell the difference between real and unreal experiences, to think logically, to have normal emotional responses, and to behave normally in social situations.
      As the illness continues, psychotic symptoms develop:
      • False beliefs or thoughts that are not based in reality (delusions)
      • Hearing, seeing, or feeling things that are not there (hallucinations)

      August 8, 2011 at 2:29 pm |
  19. JP99

    Haha the hands in the air zombie conjuring cracks me up. Fuckin idiots high on lies and hypnosis lol.

    August 6, 2011 at 6:36 pm |
    • Awkward Situations

      These folks think if they raise their arms high enough and pray real hard they'll be able to conduct ghosts into their bodies, specifically the "holy" kind. Much like lightning rods! I feel bad for the arm-less Christians because I don't think prosthetic limbs are suitable conductors for ghosts.

      August 6, 2011 at 8:24 pm |
  20. What Kind Of Pop-Tart Would Jesus Buy?

    Great pictures. I just love the arms-in-the-air jive Christians do when they get high on their Jesus delusion.

    And it looks like a lot of those Texas Christians could use more than just one day of fasting!

    August 6, 2011 at 6:23 pm |
    • Martin T

      That's some funny stuff, and I LOVE IT!

      August 6, 2011 at 6:36 pm |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.