Four ways 9/11 changed America's attitude toward religion
Construction workers move steel beam pulled from ground zero rubble into its permanent home at the 9/11 Memorial Museum.
September 3rd, 2011
10:00 PM ET

Four ways 9/11 changed America's attitude toward religion

By John Blake, CNN

(CNN) - David O'Brien couldn't help himself. After the September 11 terrorist attacks, he became obsessed.

O'Brien read the stories of 9/11 victims over and over, stunned by what he was discovering.

He read about the firefighters who marched up the smoke-choked stairwells of the World Trade Center, though many knew they could die; the beloved priest killed while giving last rites as the twin towers collapsed; the passengers on hijacked planes who called their families one last time to say, "I love you."

"I was obsessed with these stories," says O'Brien, a Catholic historian at the University of Dayton in Ohio. "There were so many stories of self-sacrifice, not just by the first responders, but by people fleeing the building. There was this revelation of goodness."

O'Brien saw an Easter message in 9/11 - good rising out of the ashes of evil. Yet there were other religious messages sent that day, and afterward, that are more troubling, religious leaders and scholars say.

September 11 didn't just change America, they say. It changed the nation's attitude toward religion. Here are four ways:

1: A chosen nation becomes a humbled one.

One man died because he arrived early to work. A woman died because she decided to take a later flight. The arbitrary nature of some of the deaths on 9/11 still sticks with many Americans today.

Yet this is what life is like for billions of people on the planet today, some religious leaders say. A random event - a car bomb, a stray bullet - can end their lives at any minute.

Most Americans had not lived with this vulnerability until 9/11, says Mathew Schmalz, a religion professor at the College of the Holy Cross  in Massachusetts, who once lived in Karachi, Pakistan.

"We had this sense of specialness and invulnerability that 9/11 shattered," he says. "Given that a large section of the world's population deals with random violence every day, one of the outcomes of 9/11 should be a greater feeling of solidarity with people who live in cities like Karachi in which violence is a part of everyday life."

Recognizing that vulnerability, though, is difficult for some Americans because of how they see their country, Schmalz and others say.

They say Americans have long had a triumphalist view of their place in history. Certain beliefs have been engrained: Tomorrow will always be better; we're number one. The term "American" even reflects a certain arrogance. It casually discounts millions of people living in Central and Latin America.

The 9/11 attacks, though, forced many Americans to confront their limitations, says Rev. Thomas Long, a nationally known pastor who has been active in post 9/11 interfaith efforts.

"We're losing the power of the American empire and becoming more a nation among nations," says Long, a religion professor at Emory University in Atlanta. "The world is a much more dangerous and fragile place economically."

How Americans cope with their loss of power is ultimately a theological question, Long says. It's the same question the ancient Hebrews confronted in the Old and New Testaments when they faced national calamities.

The chosen people had to learn how to be humble people, Long says. Americans face the same test today.

"The challenge for every faith tradition is going to be helping people grieve the loss of an image of America that they once had," he says, "and acquire a modern understanding of ourselves on the world's stage."

2: The re-emergence of "Christo-Americanism."

Before 9/11, if you asked the average American about Ramadan or sharia law, they probably would have given you a blank look.

Not anymore. The 9/11 attacks prompted more Americans to learn about Islam. Books on the subject became best-sellers. Colleges started offering more courses on Islam. Every cable news show suddenly had their stable of "Muslim experts."

More Americans know about Islam than ever before, but that hasn't stopped the post-9/11 Muslim backlash. The outrage over plans to build an Islamic prayer and community center near ground zero; the pastor who threatened to burn the Quran; conservative Christian leaders who called Islam evil - all occurred as knowledge of Islam spread throughout America, scholars says.

"One of the sobering lessons of the decade since 9/11 is that religious prejudice is not always rooted in raw ignorance," says Thomas Kidd, author of "American Christians and Islam."

"Some of America's most vociferous anti-Muslim critics know quite a lot about Muslim beliefs, but they often use their knowledge to construe Islam in the worst possible light."

Many of these public attacks against Islam were encouraged by conservative Christian leaders such as Rev. Franklin Graham, the son of Rev. Billy Graham, who called Islam "wicked," and Pat Robertson, the Christian broadcaster who declared that "Islam is not a religion," says Charles Kammer, a religion professor at the College of Wooster in Ohio.

Kammer says Graham and Robertson helped fuel the rise of "Christo-Americanism," a distorted form of Christianity that blends nationalism, conservative paranoia and Christian rhetoric.

"A segment of the religious community in the United States has been at the forefront of an anti-Islamic crusade that has helped to generate a climate of hatred and distrust toward all Muslims," says Kammer.

Other strains of Christo-Americanism have swept through America before.

After 9/11, some political leaders said terrorists hated the U.S. because of "our freedoms." But America's record on granting those freedoms to its citizens is mixed, says Lynn Neal, co-editor of the book, "Religious Intolerance in America."

In the 19th century, the U.S government passed numerous laws preventing Native American tribes from practicing their religion. Mormons were persecuted. Roman Catholics were once described as disloyal, sexual deviants, Neal says.

"Religious intolerance is not a new feature of the American landscape. Despite being the most religiously diverse nation on earth, despite having a first amendment that protects religious rights...we as a nation and as citizens have often failed to live up to those ideas."

3: Interfaith becomes cool.

Interfaith dialogue - it's not the type of term that makes the heart beat faster.

Before 9/11, interfaith efforts were dismissed as feel-good affairs that rarely got media coverage. The 9/11 attacks changed that.

Interfaith events spread across the country. Mosques and temples held joint worship services. Every college campus seemed to have an interfaith dialogue. The Obama White House launched a college interfaith program.

Becoming an interfaith leader is now hip, some say.

"A generation of students is saying that they want to be interfaith leaders, just like previous generations said they wanted to be human rights activists or environmentalists," says Eboo Patel, who founded the Interfaith Youth Core in 2002.

Patel says at least 250 colleges have signed up for the White House interfaith program, which he helped design. The program encourages students of different faiths to work together on service projects.

"These young leaders will make interfaith cooperation a social norm in America, similar to multiculturalism and volunteerism," Patel says.

These new leaders include people like Sarrah Shahawy, a Muslim-American medical student at Harvard University and the daughter of Egyptian immigrants.

After 9/11, Shahawy says she felt the responsibility to educate people about Islam. She became an interfaith leader at the University of Southern California,  where she noticed a steady increase in student participation in the years after the attacks.

Shahawy says her generation is drawn to interfaith efforts because 9/11 showed the destructive potential of any exclusive claims to religious truth. The 9/11 hijackers carried out their attacks in the name of Islam, but Muslim religious leaders and scholars said that the terrorists' actions did not reflect Islamic teachings.

"For one religious group to claim a monopoly on truth should be obsolete," she says. The interfaith movement doesn't teach people that all religions are the same, she says.

Shahawy calls herself a proud Muslim. "But for me, there's beauty and truth to be found in many different religions."

4: Atheists come out of the closet.

There's one group, however, that sees little beauty in any religion.

Before 9/11, many atheists kept a low profile. Something changed, though, after 9/11. They got loud.

Atheist leaders such as Richard Dawkins, author of "The God Delusion," and Sam Harris, author of "The End of Faith," wrote best-selling books. Atheist groups launched national media campaigns with bold billboard messages such as "Christmas is a myth."

The pugnacious journalist Christopher Hitchens became the public face of a more combative form of atheism as he went on talk shows and lectures to defend not believing in God.

Criticism of all religion, not just fanatical cults, was no longer taboo after 9/11, says Daniel Dennett, a philosophy professor with Tufts University in Massachusetts.

"Atheist-bashing is now, like gay-bashing, no longer an activity that can be indulged in with impunity by politicians or commentators," Dennett says.

Atheists were driven to become more vocal because of the 9/11 attacks and America's reaction, says David Silverman, president of American Atheists. He says many atheists were disgusted when President George W. Bush and leaders in the religious right reacted to the attack by invoking "God is on our side" rhetoric while launching a "war on terror."

They adopted one form of religious extremism while condemning another, he says.

"It really showed atheists why religion should not be in power. Religion is dangerous, even our own religion," Silverman says.

Atheists are still the most disparaged group in America, but there's less stigma attached to being one, he says.

"The more noise that we make, the easier it us to accept us," Silverman says. "Most people know atheists now. They knew them before, but didn't know they were atheists."

Many Americans knew the people who perished on 9/11 as well, but they didn't know they were heroes until later, says David O'Brien, the Catholic historian who compulsively read the 9/11 obituaries.

O'Brien was so moved by the stories he read that he decided to write an essay for America magazine, a national Catholic weekly, entitled, "9/11 Then and Now."

He wrote: On 9/11, "Our people, my people, were tested and, for a shining moment ... they were found worthy."

He said many 9/11 victims didn't panic as their end drew near. They "thought not of themselves, but others ... when the chips were down." They saw themselves not as individuals, but as members of a "single human family."

So should we, he says, as we face new challenges 10 years later. The 9/11 victims aren't just heroes; they're our guides for the future, he says.

"The story is not over, not by a long shot," O'Brien wrote. "Look at all the love that day. Love can still write another chapter and keep hope alive for a better future. The meaning of 9/11 lies ahead, and it's in our hands, and maybe in our hearts.'

- CNN Writer

Filed under: 9/11 • Atheism • Christianity • Faith • Interfaith issues

soundoff (2,180 Responses)
  1. thecapnhowdy

    I had always known that uncontrolled religious movements could be dangerous within a democracy....I just never realized how dangerous and destructive these could get.....well after 911 I found out......had we not miscalculated the corruption before 911 we might have been able to avoid the entire sorry affair....this destructive affair that has reduced this nation to half its stature in just a few years....and now sends us all TOWARDS BANKRUPTCY! While we pretend to be holy warriors fighting for Jerusalem again...a thousand years after the last campaign failed.....what a truly sorry state....

    September 4, 2011 at 10:02 am |
  2. Tony


    September 4, 2011 at 10:02 am |
  3. Sabina

    9/11 was an eye-opener for me to the crimes committed in the name of god, allah, etc. etc. It was the beginning of the end of belief in god for me. It has been a liberating experience & I have never felt more free or more happy. And yes, I still am a good person and contribute to worthy causes and do volunteer work.

    September 4, 2011 at 9:58 am |
    • The Truth

      i'm glad you are a good person, donate, volunteer, but will you spend eternity in heaven or hell? you might want to find that out. There is only one way to Heaven.

      September 4, 2011 at 10:10 am |
    • harmonynoyes

      when people think and act on diabolical plans in the name of God, it doesn't follow that therefore God does not exist-
      you might wish those truly bad and murderous people didn't exist, and or, you might have to fight for what is good, right, and true, as per God

      September 4, 2011 at 8:22 pm |
  4. Mohammad

    The hijackers of 9/11, Robertson and Graham are on the side and they don't know it. The 9/11 hijackers not only hijacked planes and slammed them into buildings but also hijacked Islam. Not if we help it. Islam is a great religion, and the Koran is the final testament. Make no mistake about it, all negativities you hear about them in the media are narrow and wrong interpretations. The 72 virgins don't exist in Koran period, there are "hoor Ein" in Hadeeth (what Mohammad spoke of) but those are Godly creatures in heaven and no one really know much about. Sharia Law is not there to punish people but to ensure the well being of the society. When poverty spread back at the second Kalifate time of Omar ben Khattab, the punishment was stopped. Ironic how in Somalia the poorest nation on earth the first thing Al-Shabab did was to shop hands of those who steal. Islam has text for the handicapped, animals, and you can find even the atomic weight and mass of Iron in a 1400 old book. It corrected some of the stories that are mentioned in the bible like use of 'King' vs. 'Pharoah in Joseph story and science proved that at Joseph time there was a king not a pharaoh unlike at Moses time. Certainly Islam ensures woman and minorities rights, etc.

    September 4, 2011 at 9:55 am |
    • Tim in WI

      Another piece of sht liar.
      Feck off and die, you muslim piece of lying sht.
      And may your book of lies burst into flames and infest your face with fire forever, you sick fck.

      September 4, 2011 at 10:01 am |
  5. AC

    Is GOD so shy that he can't show himself to us "in the flesh"?
    If GOD exists why is he/she/it/them putting up with all the bullS–T and mumbo-jumbo we humans make up as religion?

    September 4, 2011 at 9:54 am |
    • Me

      He came in the flesh. His name was Jesus. He was also called Emmanuel, "God With Us".

      September 4, 2011 at 10:04 am |
  6. AC

    If GOD exists (regardless of what you believe) why does he hide so?

    September 4, 2011 at 9:52 am |
    • Greg Gilbert

      There is no reason. Human civilization has shown to invent religion. God would be naive to think there is a reason to hide, because doubters have all of human history to back up their belief.

      September 4, 2011 at 9:56 am |
    • cm

      Does he/she hide? Are you willing to pay attention? Faith is a difficult, but an admirable trait. Sure it would be easier if God had more of a physical presence on earth, but then would you or any of us learn anything from our human experience. History over and over again shows humans are not kind to those of the light; those who chose love – we end up killing them.

      September 4, 2011 at 10:05 am |
  7. Flying Spaghetti Monster

    Want to balance our national debt? Tax all religions.

    September 4, 2011 at 9:46 am |
  8. BigC222

    Not to mention that the American incarceration rate among 'Christians' is 40 times higher than it is among non-believers...

    September 4, 2011 at 9:46 am |
  9. R Anderson

    It wasn't Islam that caused 9-11, it was RADICAL Islam that killed innocent souls. It is now Christian RADICALISM that will kill, condemn and take away the rights of the individual in the name of their brand of righteousness. How very bigoted, self-righteous and wrong!

    September 4, 2011 at 9:45 am |
    • Gregorio

      Here is mainstream Islam in Saudi Arabia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Women%27s_rights_in_Saudi_Arabia

      The women not only can not vote, they can't even drive a car. Let's live in peace with Islam!

      September 4, 2011 at 10:10 am |
  10. Gregorio

    Are all you atheists telling me that the universe "just is"? Who believes in fairy tales? As sure as you are sitting at your keyboard right now, you will die one day. If there is no God, your life has no purpose. The entire Earth will be consumed by the sun in a few billion years. If existence right now is all you have, then that is no way to live. If the goodness of humanity is the best you can come up with, that is just not enough.

    God is and He loves you. If you have a consciousness, then so does the power that brought you to life. Know that you are loved.

    September 4, 2011 at 9:45 am |
    • Nope

      "If there is no God, your life has no purpose. "
      Speak for yourself. I'm not that in love with myself that I need a god to see to it that I live forever and ever amen. I don't need a fairy story to comfort me because i won't exist forever. There are mysteries in the Universe we don't understand. Time is subjective. Matter is recycled again and again and again. It's amazing! No one knows what happens to "us" as we conceive of ourselves. But it's most likely that NOTHING happens. Difference between you and me? I don't cry in fear about it and allow myself to be convinced of some narcissistic fantasy where I go on forever. I can be amazed with wonder about the truth. It is enough. The purpose of my life? Is to take care of myself and my environment for the next guy, and relish the wonder of it all... the wonder that I've evolved far enough to wonder at all! That is enough.

      September 4, 2011 at 9:57 am |
    • Tim in WI

      Fuuuuuck you, Gregorio. Your sht god doesn't exist at all. You can't even prove he exists in any way after thousands of years!
      Go take your shtty, fake "love" and shove it up your ass sideways, you fake priick.

      September 4, 2011 at 9:57 am |
    • john

      What a sad little man you are if you think that your life has no purpose if there is no god. Are you telling us you can't find any good to do on this earth if you aren't "rewarded" for it by god? I feel so sad for you religious people sometimes. It really breaks my heart to hear this nonsense. You guys have been heavily indoctrinated into religion and it's hard to escape. Trust me I know.

      September 4, 2011 at 10:06 am |
    • JJay

      Are all you Christians telling me that God "just is". You do not have one percent of the education to understand the possible origins of the universe. Like most people reality is too much for you to comprehend so you base your entire life on a fantasy, and will only vote for leaders who share your illusions, and base their decisions on it.

      September 4, 2011 at 10:09 am |
    • cm

      You 3 responders are mean and clearly undermedicated. What is with the attack? From my standpoint and what atheists preach is that there is no order to life – therefore no meaning. Its all random correct? You live you die nothing, right.?

      September 4, 2011 at 10:11 am |
    • ipizan

      "If there is no God, your life has no purpose" If your "GOD" inspires this shallow BS, I want no part of it! You are the fool, the hypocrite, and the weak. You have no purpose!

      September 4, 2011 at 10:11 am |
  11. contrast

    God created a black sky so that his light stars could be seen. Mankind must first experience a contrast (black sky) so that after death they might see (understand) the light. All religion ( all means all) is a created contrast for the appearing light (Truth) that all mankind will eventually experience (Love). God is not religious whatsoever. God is not going to harm anyone. Whosoever includes everyone at every point in existence. Whosoever calls out to truth will be saved from this created darkness.

    September 4, 2011 at 9:44 am |
    • no pain no gain

      tell that to those that died in the great flood or Egypt's firstborn. Or hell, in the bible it says that the moon creates light too. Or maybe you're right that god doesn't hurt or kill anyone. I can't imagine a figment of my imagination killing anyone either.

      September 4, 2011 at 9:58 am |
  12. Patrick Henry

    All the religious whiner-tards need to be put in a mental facility. Here it is TEN YEARS LATER and we still have a stupid pit where a couple of buildings fell down.
    This is ridiculous. We've had worse than 9/11 thrown at us, yet so many blubbering psycho-tools still act like babies after ten whole years!
    The real problems are not being addressed. America was taken over by traitors decades ago. They rule with money and no one else gets a say in how this country is run. We have very very few people to represent us in govt.
    Quit whining and take these shtballs out of office once and for all!

    September 4, 2011 at 9:44 am |
    • YUP

      I agree! Totally! I am SO SICK of the media trying to tell us how we all feel... what we all think... based on some subjective discussions with a bunch of Pu55ie5.

      September 4, 2011 at 9:50 am |
    • Chris Fewell

      Umm i dont know what pit you are referring too. The World Trade Center is completely under construction. Tower one is already at 1,000 feet and can be seen all over NYC. Tower 4 is 47 stories and climbing, the memorial is opening on 9-11 and towers 2 and 3 have also started construction. Just FYI. http://www.wtcprogress.com

      September 4, 2011 at 10:05 am |
  13. Chris Honry

    It's sad to see someone propagating something that is totally wrong and racist- "Using the term America for the USA discounts central and south America". Is there a country in either Central America or South America that has the word "America" in it's name like THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA? No, for your info there is not. That's why we call our country, the USA, "America", NOT because we are tacit racists as you write This whole country is poisoned with the excuse of racism everytime someone not White doesn't get what they want- "it must be racism".

    September 4, 2011 at 9:44 am |
  14. David

    I was very disappointed when agnosticism wasn't mentioned. Unless our numbers haven't grown like atheists, I think it's worth mentioning our beliefs). The average agnostic doesn't have beliefs, we have ideas. What we lack in pure blind faith, we make up for with a sense of wonder. We don't walk around like we're better than everyone else and we don't try and force our beliefs on others. For the most part, we just avoid religious people because we know that with the potential for great good, they can bring great evil. It's not because we are prejudice, but for the fact most religious groups believe it is their responsibility to spread those believes; like a virus. And just like a virus, when you try and reject it, bad things happen. If they would just leave us to our beliefs and not try and shove theirs down our throat, I doubt we would have a problem with them. For any person who already feels that they may be agnostic, don't buy into the what many say about it such as it's a "cop out". However, if you don't agree with the belief, I'm perfectly fine with that, too. Let your own ideas guide you and find out for yourself.

    September 4, 2011 at 9:41 am |
    • Baron Pizza

      If you like talking for other people you have no clue about, why not run for office? You can't be any worse than all the other chumps we've had trotting through the place.

      September 4, 2011 at 9:48 am |
    • cop out

      The cop out is organized religion. That is where "thinking" ends.

      September 4, 2011 at 9:59 am |
  15. SickOfTheMuslims

    The Muslims, who are such arrogant fools, have finally got our attention after existing so long in the middle east. They seem to think we will listen to them and put up with their BS. They are nothing but a bunch that follows their evil doctrine plagued with violence and deceit. Their so-called 'religion ' encourages using the sword against non-muslims and fighting until death. Women are slaves and boys are raised to treat them as such. Search the world to see the fruits they bear. The middle east has always been a mess. We do not need that here. I truly hope the days of multi-culturalism and tolerance are over and one day our political leaders will realize the vast majority agrees.

    September 4, 2011 at 9:41 am |
    • wisecrackenowl

      I agree that Islam is a terrible thing because unlike what the article stated, "that the 9/11 attacks were not true to Islam teachings", the attacks were very true to the words of the Quran. People who fit in in society are not fundamentalist so we become very tolerant for what we think is Islam because these people seem nice and only respect the beauty and truth of their religion. Islam and other religions do have beauty and truth to them, but when the fundamentalist show the true words and core of the religion all hell breaks loose. Honestly all religion is just as bad as Islam. Islam is not to blame, religion is. Christianity is just as bad with Christian fundamentalists. I just think it is hypocritical for any religious person to criticize another religion because I guarantee that their religion fundamentally is just as destructive, yet they believe in and defend their faith when they have no ground to stand on. And before I get hate comments, let me say that I am tolerant of all and I don't judge people because of their religion, I respect them. I just have an opinion and I can recommend some good books on the matter. One of my favorite books is Infidel by Ayaan Hirsi. This book is from the perspective of a Muslim woman and how she grows to realize the faults of Islam. I said my peace, thank you.

      September 4, 2011 at 10:14 am |
    • no pain no gain

      Replace islam with christianity and you'll get the same thing. I mean women are supposed to be subservient to their husbands right? ask michelle bachmann. she said so herself. What about all those soldiers who believe they're doing god's work out there in iraq and afghanistan by killing muslims or well...non-christians (infidels)? A nation under islam and under christianity would be nearly identical.
      There was already a time when christianity ruled. It was called the Dark Ages for a good reason after all.

      September 4, 2011 at 10:14 am |
  16. MoreSnow

    This is one religion-man's biased view and should not be front-page news.

    September 4, 2011 at 9:41 am |
  17. drpret

    Operating on belief of any kind is blind and dangerous, belief is deeply rooted with the emotional division of the mind.There is no logic and binding to the reality of the moment when operating emotionally. Therefore right and wrong becomes relative. One's right is another one's wrong. But we need emotions to survive and keep us going. Questioning belief is always a good thing and keeps you from going overboard. I see the events of 9/11 like the events that have haunted mankind since the beginning: "A war between belief systems" that will never end, I believe is the "human condition." I just hope we get better at controlling it.

    September 4, 2011 at 9:41 am |
  18. Michael

    Hell yeah we Atheists got louder, look at what religion has done, WHAT MORALS DERIVES FROM KILLING OTHER PEOPLE! DOWN WITH RELIGION.

    September 4, 2011 at 9:36 am |
    • SciGuy

      What basis does an atheist have for any moral principles?

      September 4, 2011 at 9:57 am |
    • BeatdownMan

      Moral relativism is how the world works, sciguy.
      Either you've got sympathy and empathy for your fellow human beings or you don't.
      It's that simple.
      If there were moral absolutes you wouldn't need a bible in the first place, you utterly clueless bag of simple-minded pig-slop.

      September 4, 2011 at 10:05 am |
    • Lawrence

      SciGuy – we are born as moral creatures, it's baked into our evolved DNA. Try, for example, 'The Evolution of Morality' by Richard Joyce. There are plenty of other sources. If we weren't born (sinless, i might add) moral beings to begin with, how could we read books like the babble and not be appalled at the character of Y-a-h-we-h? (who is, of course, A-l-l-a-h, who is of course J-e-5-u-s...very confusing...utter nonsense...the t-r-in-it-y from he-l-l...an eternal plague on humanity)

      September 4, 2011 at 10:34 am |
  19. no pain no gain

    It should be better said that criticism of all fanatical cults, not just the small ones, was no longer taboo after 9/11. Just because millions of people believe that a village of mole people live up their colon doesn't make it any less false. Same with these fanatical cults known as religion. A theocracy is a nation ruled by madness and led by mass hysteria.
    A christian nation will only lead to repression, persecutions, and death while the masses drunk off their imaginary friend will cheer in the streets savoring the blood on their hands while hungering for more.

    September 4, 2011 at 9:34 am |
  20. JennyTX

    Religions are theories, not facts. Stop saying your theories are true while other people's theories are false.

    September 4, 2011 at 9:33 am |
    • Kermit

      Atheism is a theory. Stop saying it is true and that every other theory is wrong.

      September 4, 2011 at 9:46 am |
    • bigDizzle

      Kermit, good point but it doesn't invalidate what Jenny said.

      September 4, 2011 at 9:49 am |
    • Tim in WI

      Religions are not theories but stylized propaganda belief systems.
      Atheism is a lack of a belief, not a theory of any sort.
      You guys are nuts, but that's just my educated opinion.

      September 4, 2011 at 9:52 am |
    • john

      @ Kermit

      Good point, but the Burden of Proof lies on the person making the claim. The default position is NOT that God exists. So if you think he does provide your proof.

      But that's the problem with you religious nuts, nothing you believe is evidence based. Which is why you guys rely on faith. But hey it's ok, keep throwing your money away to the church, people have sucked more money out of our wallets in the name of god than for anything else.

      September 4, 2011 at 10:18 am |
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About this blog

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.