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My Take: Are evangelicals dangerous?
Many evangelicals want to ban abortion, but does that mean they want theocracy?
October 15th, 2011
10:00 PM ET

My Take: Are evangelicals dangerous?

Editor's Note: R. Albert Mohler, Jr., is president of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, the flagship school of the Southern Baptist Convention and one of the largest seminaries in the world.

By R. Albert Mohler, Jr., Special to CNN

Here we go again.

Every four years, with every new presidential election cycle, public voices sound the alarm that the evangelicals are back. What is so scary about America’s evangelical Christians?

Just a few years ago, author Kevin Phillips told intellectual elites to run for cover, claiming that well-organized evangelicals were attempting to turn America into a theocratic state. In “American Theocracy,” Phillips warned of the growing influence of Bible-believing, born-again, theologically conservative voters who were determined to create a theocracy.

Writer Michelle Goldberg, meanwhile, has warned of a new Christian nationalism, based in “dominion theology.” Chris Hedges topped that by calling conservative Christians “American fascists.”

And so-called New Atheists like Richard Dawkins and Sam Harris claim that conservative Christians are nothing less than a threat to democracy. They prescribe atheism and secularism as the antidotes.

This presidential cycle, the alarms have started earlier than usual. Ryan Lizza, profiling Rep. Michele Bachmann for The New Yorker, informed his readers that “Bachmann belongs to a generation of Christian conservatives whose views have been shaped by institutions, tracts, and leaders not commonly known to secular Americans, or even to most Christians.”

Change just a few strategic words and the same would be true of Barack Obama or any other presidential candidate. Every candidate is shaped by influences not known to all and by institutions that other Americans might find strange.

What stories like this really show is that the secular elites assume that their own institutions and leaders are normative.

The New Yorker accused Bachmann of being concerned with developing a Christian worldview, ignoring the fact that every thinking person operates out of some kind of worldview. The article treated statements about wifely submission to husbands and Christian influence in art as bizarre and bellicose.

When Rick Perry questioned the theory of evolution, Dawkins launched into full-on apoplexy, wondering aloud how anyone who questions evolution could be considered intelligent, even as polls indicate that a majority of Americans question evolution.

Bill Keller, then executive editor of The New York Times, topped all the rest by seeming to suggest that conservative Christians should be compared to those who believe in space aliens. He complained that “when it comes to the religious beliefs of our would-be presidents, we are a little squeamish about probing too aggressively.”

Really? Earlier this month, comedian Penn Jillette - a well–known atheist - wrote a very serious op-ed complaining of the political influence of “bugnut Christians,” in the pages of The Los Angeles Times, no less. Detect a pattern here?

By now, this is probably being read as a complaint against the secular elites and prominent voices in the mainstream media. It’s not.

If evangelicals intend to engage public issues and cultural concerns, we have to be ready for the scrutiny and discomfort that comes with disagreement over matters of importance. We have to risk being misunderstood - and even misrepresented - if we intend to say anything worth hearing.

Are evangelicals dangerous? Well, certainly not in the sense that more secular voices warn. The vast majority of evangelicals are not attempting to create a theocracy, or to oppose democracy.

To the contrary, evangelicals are dangerous to the secularist vision of this nation and its future precisely because we are committed to participatory democracy.

As Christians committed to the Bible, evangelicals have learned to advocate on behalf of the unborn, believing that every single human being, at every stage of development, is made in God’s image.

Evangelicals worry about the fate of marriage and the family, believing that the pattern for human relatedness set out in Scripture will lead to the greatest human flourishing.

We are deeply concerned about a host of moral and cultural issues, from how to address poverty to how to be good stewards of the earth, and on some of these there is a fairly high degree of disagreement even among us.

Above all, evangelicals are those who believe that Jesus Christ is Lord and are most concerned about telling others about Jesus. Most of America’s evangelical Christians are busy raising their children, working to support their families and investing energy in their local churches.

But over recent decades, evangelical Christians have learned that the gospel has implications for every dimension of life, including our political responsibility.

We’re dangerous only to those who want more secular voices to have a virtual monopoly in public life.

The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of R. Albert Mohler, Jr.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Christianity • Opinion • Politics

soundoff (5,318 Responses)
  1. beth

    And, anyone who doubts evolution is showing themselves as dangerously, scarily uneducated and lacking understanding of science and the scientific term 'theory'. You won't find a scientist alive who doubts evolution. Anyone who takes Backman as a serious, legit candidate is certainly a scary person and true threat to democracy. Democracy works by having intelligent, educated and capable leaders, not jokes like Palin, Bachman, Perry, etc. Get some serious, intelligent and educated evangelicals to run at the least. I know some so I know they exist! Why do you put up candidates who have such low educational status?

    October 16, 2011 at 4:22 pm |
    • TheTruth72

      Please give me proof of macro-evolution. Thank you. You've basically just desecrated your own point with your first line.

      October 16, 2011 at 4:24 pm |
    • beth

      How about you stop sitting around and asking for proof and actually take a science course taught by an actual scientist at a university and learn something yourself. THere is zero debate about whether evolution exists among those who study this topic. Zero. Only in churches where non-scientists pretend to understand science to I hear of this debate.

      October 16, 2011 at 4:27 pm |
    • John Richardson

      @TheTruth72 Learn what "desecrate" means and then, yeah, go take a course on evolution by someone who actually knows the science, not your favorite creationist Mickey Mouse club pseudo-celeb.

      October 16, 2011 at 4:31 pm |
    • skarphace

      The problem is that many who believe in creationism refuse to take scientific proof as proof. I went to a baptist church once where the preacher taught that God put dinosaur bones in the earth and made them seem old just so that nonbelievers would be shown to have a lack of faith. I am serious, he actually said that.

      If you refuse to believe in proof, then giving you proof is useless.

      October 16, 2011 at 4:36 pm |
    • TheTruth72

      I have a BA in science froma 4 year university. I've taken courses that have discussed evolution and had no religion ideologies in them. Clearly I have knowledge (which means nothing in this world). Wisdom is what is needed. I'm still waiting for that proof by the way. Telling me that other scientists believe something doesn't convince anyone. By the way, John, desecrate works fine.

      October 16, 2011 at 4:38 pm |
    • RichardSRussell

      So, TheTruth72, before I waste any time on you, what would you ACCEPT as proof? Because we can show you a largely unbroken line of progressively larger fossils that begin with eohippus and end with the modern horse, each one differing slightly from what went before and came afterward, and each progressing upward in geologic strata exactly in the sequence you'd expect if gradual change over time were in fact occurring. And we can do likewise for literally thousands of other species as well. Would that do the trick for you? Because that's what the theory of natural selection claims SHOULD be found, and that's what we actually DO find!

      October 16, 2011 at 4:44 pm |
    • skarphace

      TheTruth: explain the fact that science has proven the earth to be much older than 6,000 years then? And please don't give me a line like 'God created the earth to seem billions of years old to confuse nonbelievers' unless you can give me the line in the Bible that clearly supports that claim.

      October 16, 2011 at 4:45 pm |
    • Andrew

      What kind of proof do you want? Would matching phylogenetic trees created independently via conserved genes and endogenous retro-viral DNA be proof? Would almost entirely matching nested hierarchy created via morphology (though the existence of convergent morphology makes this prone to occasional surprises) be evidence to you? Would Lucy or DIK-1 be evidence to you? What about Turkana boy, or Peking man? I mean, at some point, you're either dealing with a massive conspiracy singularly designed to trick people into believing evolution (and if you really did get a BS in an accredited university, you'd think you'd have heard about this conspiracy), or it's actually well founded science.

      Somehow though I get the feeling that you were just very effective at shutting your ears and ignoring facts that didn't fit your presupposed ideas. Confirmation bias can be a nasty thing.

      October 16, 2011 at 4:46 pm |
    • Charles

      The term 'macro-evolution' was created by the religious right to argue against evolution. No actual scientist uses the term. In fact if you ever brought it up in a classroom setting with one the only things it would do are;

      1. Demonstrate one's ignorance of the subject

      2. Allow one to assess the instructors ability to maintain a straight face when someone says something amazingly stupid around them

      It is similar to a person describing their growth from age five to age twenty-five as 'I went to bed one night and the next morning I was six foot tall, weighed 180 pounds, and had hair in new places'.

      October 16, 2011 at 4:47 pm |
    • TheTruth72

      Beth, can I flop your idea around? How does this sound to you? "There is no one that Jesus has revealed Himself to that doubts whether He exists and is living today." So now that you see the same type of argument made from my side, do you think that having a little wisdom before typing something in anger is for the best?

      P.S. I believe the quote I just made. But if someone makes a point and expects the other person to believe it, then if it is flipped around from the other's perspective and you don't believe it, it gets people nowhere.

      October 16, 2011 at 4:50 pm |
    • John Richardson

      @TheTruth72

      desecrate v.tr.

      1. (Sociology) to violate or outrage the sacred character of (an object or place) by destructive, blasphemous, or sacrilegious action
      2. (Sociology) to remove the consecration from (a person, object, building, etc.); deconsecrate

      Yep, you're the kind of smug moron who isn't even capable of admitting a mistake, That would also explain why you don't consider it of any relevance that basically ALL professional biologists believe in evolution. You just sit in your room with your preconceived opinions and then dare someone to try to cram some actual knowledge into your thick, stubborn head. Hey, nothing is easier than refusing to believe or even understand something. To engage in such laziness is a serious defect, but one only you can fix. We can't fix it for you. If you ever really do want to learn something about evolution, biology has been blessed with an enormous number of professional practi-tiioners who are lucid, reader-friendly writers and who have produced an enormous amount of very accessible work. But if you want to just sit around daring people to try to convince you when all you have to do is refuse to accept what anyone says absolutely what they in fact do say, sorry, that's an idiotic game and you won't find many eager to play.

      October 16, 2011 at 4:52 pm |
    • Real Deal

      TheTruth72
      "I have a BA in science froma 4 year university."

      A Bachelor of Arts in science - like what?... Social Science? Library Science?

      If you had classes which "discussed" evolution, they were not certainly hard-core science classes.

      –and–

      No, "desecrate" does not work. Nobody considers evolution "sacred".

      October 16, 2011 at 4:53 pm |
    • John Richardson

      That should be "absolutely regardless of what they say"

      OMG! I admitted that I made a mistake in my prior post! I'm melting!

      Oh, wait. No, I'm not. It's actually easy and painless to admit a mistake if you aren't burned with a gigantic but easily shattered ego.

      October 16, 2011 at 4:56 pm |
    • John Richardson

      Ahem. That should be 'burdened', not 'burned' ....

      October 16, 2011 at 5:02 pm |
    • TheTruth72

      Wow, lots of responses. Great thinking guys! I'll try to answer the best I can. Micro-evolution can occur and this is shown easily by humans who can adapt to various environments. Macro-evolution would refer to an actual species change on a grand scale.

      To respond to creation of the universe. The Bible says 6 days. Those 6 days don't have to be earth days. In fact, the garden of eden doesn't even have to be on earth. So all of God's creation could have been roaming both in the garden of eden and on earth for thousands or millions of years before the fall of Adam and Eve. What we have from there is history, about 6000 years. I can't tell you what happened before those 6000 years, just like history books have theories on how the dinosaurs died. During those 6000 years however, you can read that for yourself. By the way, see how awesome God is? Created the universe in His 6 days. Rested 1 day. Humans have been on the earth for just about 6000 years looking forward to a 1000 year rest. This was all written 1900+ years ago.

      Natural selection is debunked easily. Wouldn't it be better if a species could reproduce ase-xually? Ok, now let's look at the human race. I believe ho-mose-xuality is on the rise. Whether it be people coming out or people turning ho-mose-xual. Now, if that were to continue, let's say so that the majority of the world was ho-mose-xual, humans would have to find a different way to reproduce otherwise they'd die out. So then it would become a mess of artificial inse-mination just to live a ho-mose-xual lifestyle. Really messed up huh? (This is not a bash against people, but rather an issue which people need to think about regarding ho-mose-xuality.) Kinda makes you rethink natural selection huh?

      October 16, 2011 at 5:17 pm |
  2. Josh

    Back off, buster. We know your tricks. "Secularism" doesn't mean you can't practice your religion. It just means you shouldn't impose your beliefs on everyone else. If your high-handed morality compels you to want public school prayer, gay marriage bans, outlawing abortion, teaching "intelligent design" in schools, then buy an island, build a Jesus theme park and leave the rest of us the hell alone.

    October 16, 2011 at 4:21 pm |
  3. TheTruth72

    This article is ridiculous. I would like to use a quote from a friend of mine. "You aren't Christian if you aren't acting like Jesus. Jesus was all about peace and helping those that were poor, lost, broken, humble, hurt, and hungry. If a group that calls themselves evangelical Christians aren't doing things to help those types of people, then they can't really be evangelical Christians. So, the answer is NO. True evangelical Christians are not dangerous.

    October 16, 2011 at 4:21 pm |
    • TheTruth72

      Oops, forgot to put the final quotation marks. The quote was only one sentence long.

      October 16, 2011 at 4:23 pm |
    • skarphace

      Strange that many evangelicals in the Tea Party are adamantly against all that you list then.

      October 16, 2011 at 4:28 pm |
    • TheTruth72

      I'm not a political kinda guy. Heck, I'm still not a registered voter, but that's my choice. So, I can't argue with this. 🙂

      October 16, 2011 at 4:42 pm |
  4. skarphace

    The danger is that Evangelicals want our government to support their version of religion over all others. This is why they want creatonism taught in public schools. The First Amendment does not support this type of action. If any facet of Christianity is taught in public schools, then facets of all religions should be taught in public schools, including Islam.

    This is where the Evangelicals would balk: teach Islam to my children? How dare you? The same argument could be applied to them, but they refuse to see it.

    October 16, 2011 at 4:20 pm |
    • Zaq

      That's what happens when people think what they believe is true. Look at a schizophrenic, they think the voices in their heads are true, they just don't have a leather bound book to back them up.

      October 16, 2011 at 4:23 pm |
  5. beth

    You are a danger to a true democracy. You take time and attention away from the big issues and that is partially why Wall Street got away with ripping us off. You keep the attention on abortion and ignore the plight of the homeless and hungry, the countries we are at war with, etc. Does your compassion for others last only until they are born? Yes, we all vote from a world view but yours should not be pressed on everyone else. Don't like gay marriage? Don't have one. Don't like abortion? Work to get education to young children so they don't become young parents or young pregnant girls who have abortions.

    October 16, 2011 at 4:19 pm |
    • ava owens

      i'll go one step further, he talks of 'most americans question evolution'... um, no. besides nearly all 'christians' are not christlike anymore. THAT is why we fear this latest wave of holier-than-thou politicians..

      October 16, 2011 at 4:25 pm |
  6. Philip Hades

    "By now, this is probably being read as a complaint against the secular elites and prominent voices in the mainstream media. It’s not."

    Why would anyone think that? The author only spent more than HALF his op-ed piece complaining about a particular them. You'd have to be CRAZY to think he has some kind of ax to grind. Then of course, he end's the piece with a threat against people who he disagrees with.

    So yeah. I do think this entire article is a complaint against those who don't believe int he very narrow view of Christian Evangelicals, and the authors attempt to say it's not as utterly disingenuous.

    October 16, 2011 at 4:18 pm |
  7. Wigsnot

    We all have a chance to be who we want to be and to believe what we want to believe. Any form of religion has its radical side. Even Jesus was considered radical in a sense, yet not radical as defined (violence, hate, etc). I think we can guage our country right now on its current trend as to how well we are doing. Its clear Christianity in some forms is offensive to others and some people prefer God out of the picture. We have done an outstanding job of doing such a thing. Our children are perfect examples of how we are doing. Our morals are perfect examples of how we are doing. Our attention to hurting one another as opposed to helping one another, our attatchment to greed...to things, to objects.......and yet we value life like a thing, object,...we are so lost. All of us (including myself) very lost. Dear America, show me something, anything that says we are overall headed in a fruitful direction. I know, non believers will dismiss me, but when the obvious is on your TV, computer, magazine, etc.....you have to wonder, ....where did God go? We have pushed him out, told him to leave us alone, we can do it all on our own,.....right! proof is in the pudding folks,...right now the pudding taste like crap.

    October 16, 2011 at 4:17 pm |
    • MaryM

      You do not have to push your GOD out. Just dont try to push it down my throat or try to subvert government to your religion. NO RELIGION IN GOVERNMENT, PERIOD

      October 16, 2011 at 4:58 pm |
  8. sockeyerama

    Impressive response this article, approaching 3000 now and moving up quickly; most of it leaning negatively and away from the evangelical’s message. While not scientific, I’m getting the impression that the more the candidates try to infuse fundamentalism into the race, the more backlash they will inspire. It evokes an image of fundamentalist Lilliputians squawking over who is the most pious while they are wakeing a very annoyed, secular giant.

    October 16, 2011 at 4:17 pm |
  9. Colin

    Ok, so for the fifth time today, a Christian has assured me that I am going to hell.

    So, I have to ask, does that REALLY make any sense at all? Do a bit of fifth grade math on it.

    Approximately one hundred and ten thousand million (110,000,000,000) people have lived on Earth. Given all those who have, over the centuries, rejected the Christian god, or who have otherwise committed mortal sins, there must be literally thousands of millions of people burning for all eternity in the cosmic oven of hell set up by your all-loving god. Some must have been burning for thousands of years by now.

    About 100,000 people die every day. There must be a constant stream of thousands of forlorn souls every day into the one way pit of hell your all-merciful god set up and maintains.

    But, far, far worse than sheer overwhelming numbers is the extent of the punishment. There is no way out, no parole, no time off for good behavior. You don’t just burn, you burn for all eternity. Billions of people and thousands of daily new arrivals burning for all eternity!

    No criminal justice system in the history of the Human race, even those established by the most despotic of tyrants, comes close to matching the unfathomable barbarity of your “infinitely benevolent” god. I don’t have to kill, I don’t have to steal, hell I don’t even have to litter. All I have to do is refuse to believe in the Christian god and it will impose a penalty on me an infinite times worse than the death penalty.

    Hitler murdered six million Jews in his concentration camps, but compared to your god, Hitler was a bleeding-hearted wimp. A goose-stepping girlie-man. Your all-caring god not only burns billions more than Hitler, Pol Pot and all other dictators and tyrants added up, he keeps doing so to them for all eternity! I would not wish a bad sunburn on a person simply because they have a different religion to me, let alone fry them for ever.

    It is also odd that your all-loving god is also all-knowing and knows which souls will go to hell before they do. He even knows it before they are born, and yet he still creates them. He is worse than a psychopathic teenager than breeds litter after litter of kittens so he can slowly roast them in ovens.

    That's the problem, my Bible-cuddling friends, with using the same sky-fairy as both the carrot and the stick. It gets really, really silly, really, really quickly.

    October 16, 2011 at 4:17 pm |
    • DaveinCincy

      As a Christian....no one can tell you if you're going to he$%. Bottom line is free will. You can choose to do whatever you want with your time here..

      October 16, 2011 at 4:23 pm |
    • Shruti

      Awesome! I agree! Same can be said for other religions too! Secularism is the best!even God would agree if given chance to express his or her opinion!

      October 16, 2011 at 4:31 pm |
    • withoutgod

      DaveinCinci

      "You saw me before I was born and scheduled each day of my life before I began to breathe. Every day was recorded in your book!" [Psalm 139:16]

      So much for free will.

      October 16, 2011 at 4:35 pm |
    • student

      If its so "silly" then why do you bother about it? If it really is all a bunch of lies then why are you moved to write such paragraphs about it? Your theology you mentioned about people burning in hell at this moment is not Scriptural. The Bible says that there will be a "judgment day" for all the dead (See Revelation 20:11-15). If you are going to comment on the Book then you should at least read it dont you think? If you are going to publicly denounce Jesus as Messiah then you shoudl at least seek him first dont you think? Let me turn a little idea around for you: What if God does not send people to Hell in the same sense you think he does? What if people send themselves to hell by their decision not to accept Jesus? What if Jesus was right? What if He really is the Messiah? What does that mean for you? Are you willing ot put the time and effort to find the Truth? Or do you just want to stand back and accuse, slander and be angry at the God you dont believe in? Until you are willing to read the Bible and understand it maybe you should not judge? Isnt Jesus worth researching just in case He was telling the truth? That is up for you to decide. There will be a day when each of us has to stand before God. Are you willing to take the risk that there is not God? Once again, up to you. For myself, I have read the Scriptures with an open mind and found that Jesus really is the Messiah and He wants a close personal relationship with each of us.

      October 16, 2011 at 4:45 pm |
    • John Richardson

      Actually, student, Allah is going to throw all the christians into hell on judgment day. It's right in the Quran. You really ought to research it, you know, just in case ...

      October 16, 2011 at 5:06 pm |
  10. Peter E

    Yes I am sure every word of the Bible is true... The problem is, which Bible? There are dozens of versions currently being circulated throughout the United States alone, each with different translation, sometimes not just in vocabulary, but entire phrasing of passages.
    The much touted King James version was an authoritative version for hundreds of years. Most people don't realize that this version was translated under political pressure by protestants in order to defy and persecute Catholics. Before that the Catholic versions of the Bible weren't quite original either. For anyone bothering to take a mere five minutes to look up the history of the Bible, you'd realize that the 'official' 'original' version of it was put together by a council of bishops in the 4th century from numerous texts, some of them heavily edited, and some left out all together in an attempt to unify scripture. There was a whole lot more scirpture out there than just what those bishops left in the Bible, and even afterwards there were alternate versions out there.
    Each time we translate the Bible we necessarily edit it with vocabulary that has very different meaning today than it had when the original scripts were written. Thus we continue to impose our world view on the Bible, rather than what we claim is that we live by the word of the Bible. Anyone claiming they follow the 'Word of the Lord' and use the Bible to try to back that claim is either ignorant or a liar.

    October 16, 2011 at 4:14 pm |
    • lightingdarkness

      I would ask you your sources on your information here about the historicity of the Biblical texts. In regards to the comment, "you'd realize that the 'official' 'original' version of it was put together by a council of bishops in the 4th century from numerous texts". This is simply not true. The Council you are speaking of is the council of Nicaea in 325 A.D. It's purpose was in regards to the divinity of Christ, not the Gospels that were already accepted as the Word of God.
      In fact, the church did not decide what would be called Scripture, it merely recognized Scripture. Norman Geisler,author or co-author of some 70 books and hundreds of articles says it this way,"A book is not the Word of God because it is accepted by the people of God. Rather, it was accepted by the people of God because it is the Word of God."

      October 16, 2011 at 4:30 pm |
  11. David O.

    God is dead. Good riddance.

    October 16, 2011 at 4:14 pm |
    • TheTruth72

      Which god are you referring to, cause many proclaimed one's ARE dead. But only Jesus Christ is the true and living God that has raised from the dead. Go seek Him, He will tell you.

      October 16, 2011 at 4:18 pm |
    • Zaq

      No, God isn't dead! God never existed, so it couldn't die any more than Cthulhu or Snoopy.

      October 16, 2011 at 4:18 pm |
    • John Richardson

      @TheTruth72 God never existed and Jesus is dead. Sorry to have to break the news to you like this ...

      October 16, 2011 at 4:38 pm |
    • Gordon

      Considering no one has seen nor heard from him in thousands of years, he's not much of a god, if he even really existed.

      October 16, 2011 at 5:03 pm |
  12. matt

    Evangelicals ARE dangerous. You convince people of the existence of the invisible man, and all the horrid stuff int he Bible that goes along with it. Fundamentalist Christians deny science, the age of the world, the universe, and stymie any sort of progress in biology, and physics. Doomsayers about stem cells, hadron collider, etc anger to no end. All to what, have more people in your club?

    Atheists are the MOST HARMLESS because we're NOT organized. There are a FEW public spokespeople in favor of Atheism like Dawkins, Maher, and Jillete, but count that against the thousands of TV and street preachers. Trust me, we're no threat to anyone and wouldn't WANT to be. The fact is, Atheists see the world in plain English while the Chrisitans are still trying to figure out if the math in the Bible adds up (and it doesn't).

    Christians, just READ THE BIBLE COVER TO COVER and tell me you actually believe this nonsense! You're being controlled like so much sheep by your corrupt pastors. Time to hang it up, and learn science instead of faith. Faith is useless.

    October 16, 2011 at 4:12 pm |
    • Zaq

      Don't forget the Muslims, Taoists, Jews, Buddhists, and the rest. They all have believe in fairy tales too.

      October 16, 2011 at 4:21 pm |
    • beth

      Actually, Buddhists do not have any required beliefs and certainly don't believe in God. Taosism is not a religion, either, and doesn't have the same type of belief system that Western religions. Judaism is varied but the type to which I'm affiliated does not require any beliefs at all, either.

      October 16, 2011 at 4:24 pm |
    • lightingdarkness

      We exist, therefore God must exist
      A life permitting and finely tuned universe like ours is mathematically a miracle, therefore God exists
      Objective moral values exist, therefore God exists
      Jesus rose from the dead, therefore God exists
      Millions of people all over the world have changed their lives on account of their personal experience with God, therefore God exists.
      Those that do not accept this evidence are free to do so. That is their free will but if God exists, he exists independent of what anyone thinks.

      October 16, 2011 at 4:42 pm |
  13. Zaq

    Yes, they are.

    October 16, 2011 at 4:10 pm |
  14. PopeJon

    Did the dark ages really help bring liberty and democracy to mankind?

    October 16, 2011 at 4:10 pm |
    • Zaq

      Of course there wasn't, "God" was in vogue at the time.

      October 16, 2011 at 4:14 pm |
  15. DaveinCincy

    I'll be looking for next week's CNN article asking if Atheists are dangerous to America. The answer of course is yes. Too many selfish, self serving, intollerent, dolts in one place is certainly the end of a society built on giving, and protecting the weak.

    October 16, 2011 at 4:09 pm |
    • Henry

      Thanks for giving us an example of a tolerant person to compare atheists with.

      October 16, 2011 at 4:12 pm |
    • MaryM

      lolololol, wow thats all you've got? daveinCincy

      October 16, 2011 at 4:12 pm |
    • Zaq

      Wait, is this DaveinCincy for God? I read it as a sarcastic comment. I mean, when has the church protected people? Sure they let AA use their basements for meetings and give supplies to the homeless, but in general they drive ignorance into the minds of all they can. What isn't evil about that?

      October 16, 2011 at 4:16 pm |
    • Colin

      Oh yes, how could I have been so blind! Wow! I never knew how self serving I was being when I, as a straight person, would stand up for gay rights to Christians who demanded their rights be denied for their own selfish reasons. How could I have been so selfish as to actually believe in science, which uses a method designed to get to the truth and avoid personal biases in conclusions. I should have been a Christian who thinks that God cares about ME, and knows MY name, and listens to MY prayers. That isn't self serving at all!

      Listen guy, you are an idiot.

      October 16, 2011 at 4:17 pm |
    • DaveinCincy

      Just calling it like it is Henry....read the comments from atheists on this article. If my view of intollerence is incorrect, point me to any comment showing tollerance and I'll appologize. Sadly...you won't find any.

      October 16, 2011 at 4:18 pm |
    • TruthPrevails

      Such an article will never exist considering we are not the ones causing wars or mass killings in the name of any god. It is your failure to educate yourself that makes you think so. We have plenty of charities that do good: UNICEF; Doctors Without Borders to name a couple. We are fun loving, reason based; logic seeking people. We accept nothing at face value and instead seek the facts based on evidence. We don't believe that our earth is only 6000 years old because we have enough evidence to state otherwise. We believe in evolution because it makes more sense than man being created from dirt. We believe in taking responsibility for our own actions instead of using the god gap as an answer. We know that actions speak louder than words (in other words...prayer is useless). Stop being a hypocrite and educate yourself on what Atheists stand for. Your ignorance is what harms society.

      October 16, 2011 at 4:21 pm |
    • Henry

      Hmmm

      Which commandment is 'Two wrongs make a right'? Is that the one after obeying your father and mother?

      October 16, 2011 at 4:26 pm |
    • DaveinCincy

      @truthprevails- Prayer has been scietifically proven to help the healing process. You assume a lot about my willingness to seek answers. I'm a data driven person, and practice it every day. However...it doesn't mean I can't believe in God. Another big presumption by atheists is that Christians disregard science. In fact, they go hand in hand.

      October 16, 2011 at 4:35 pm |
    • MaryM

      truth, good post thank you

      October 16, 2011 at 5:13 pm |
  16. bigdakine

    Well I for one, am so glad that the Southern Baptists finally did get around to apologizing for Slavery

    October 16, 2011 at 4:06 pm |
  17. oneone

    God is perfect, never makes a mistake.

    He tested mankind with a talking snake

    Things didn’t work out like he originally planned

    He decided to change his religious brand

    He killed his son to “save” mankind

    From the curse and wrath of his self centered mind

    Now we have hell for those who doubt

    And the fairy tale salesmen have a lot more clout

    October 16, 2011 at 4:05 pm |
    • withoutgod

      That brought a tear to my eye. Thank you.

      October 16, 2011 at 4:12 pm |
    • Credenza

      What a load of cobblers! How old are you? I'd say juvenile or senile.

      October 16, 2011 at 4:19 pm |
    • MaryM

      Another good poem, thank you one

      October 16, 2011 at 5:15 pm |
  18. Steve the Goat

    Yes, they are dangerous. You are dangerous. How you end your article is not what the evangelists are saying. You end saying "We’re dangerous only to those who want more secular voices to have a virtual monopoly in public life." Your views are not mine. Keep them away from me. You are dangerous. You take a your way or the highway stance. Your rights end where mine begin. I will not pray to your imaginary friend in the sky. You want law to exist to require that. Don't say that's not what you want, because you want your false idea of a god to be what dictates the way the country runs. We will not survive as a society until the world realizes that the bible, the Bagavad Gita, and koran are all books written by man with no basis in reality and not influenced by your sky buddy.

    October 16, 2011 at 4:05 pm |
    • Colin

      You said it Steve.

      October 16, 2011 at 4:08 pm |
    • katheryn Kenyon

      Excellent Steve. Sky daddy is all they believe in.

      October 16, 2011 at 4:18 pm |
  19. Brian

    "wondering aloud how anyone who questions evolution could be considered intelligent, even as polls indicate that a majority of Americans question evolution."

    This made me giggle. The author is trying to imply that because the majority of americans question evolution, that must mean that questioning evolution is intelligent. To me it just reads as "The majority of americans aren't very intelligent", to which I agree.

    October 16, 2011 at 4:04 pm |
    • Brian

      "As Christians committed to the Bible, evangelicals have learned to advocate on behalf of the unborn, believing that every single human being, at every stage of development, is made in God’s image."

      If a fetus is made in God's image...does that imply God was at one point a fetus? If so...who gave birth to God? Uh oh...

      October 16, 2011 at 4:08 pm |
    • Rocket Peace

      Evangelicals get all hot and bothered when someone suggests the possibility of God literally ruling a country. All religion aside, do you really want a metaphysical being trying to run your government's affairs when an ordinary power-hungry human being can step in to "channel" God's demands? Sounds eerily similar to a certain other country that I'm sure you guys would love if they were Christian. I say it's time to cut the BS, grow up, and embrace logic rather than wallow in pitiful cesspool of emotion and faith like a naive high school student.

      October 16, 2011 at 4:15 pm |
    • Rocket Peace

      Excuse my previous comment being included in this thread. Was directed at someone else.

      October 16, 2011 at 4:16 pm |
    • Credenza

      Have you never stopped to think that God's Image is the soul / the spirit not the physical features???? Is that a bit complex foR YOU?

      Yes, of course it is. Because you spout rubbish withoiut logic or reason.
      We advocate pro-life because you not only murder babies by abortion – you kill the spirit.

      October 16, 2011 at 4:24 pm |
    • beth

      lol

      October 16, 2011 at 4:25 pm |
    • Real Deal

      Credenza,

      The NIH reports, "It is estimated that up to half of all fertilized eggs die and are lost (aborted) spontaneously, usually before the woman knows she is pregnant. Among those women who know they are pregnant, the miscarriage rate is about 15-20%."

      Your purported "God" is the worst killer then.

      Humans (science) actually have come up with ideas to prevent many of these spontaneous abortions.

      October 16, 2011 at 4:31 pm |
  20. sybaris

    Funny, evangelicals don't accept human evolution but being made out of dirt by an invisible sky daddy is much more plausible.

    October 16, 2011 at 4:04 pm |
    • Wigsnot

      Either matter created intelligence, or intelligence created matter. I prefer the daddy in the sky theory.- ya see something created evolution.....and that silly dirt your talking about.

      October 16, 2011 at 4:23 pm |
    • John Richardson

      There's more to physical reality than matter, wignot.

      Why do you assume that this creator you posit has to be male?

      October 16, 2011 at 4:35 pm |
    • sybaris

      .........and despite the mounting evidence for human evolution they still cling to no evidence for the existence of any god.

      October 16, 2011 at 5:01 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.