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Black, atheist and living in the South
A group of black atheists meets in Atlanta.
December 8th, 2011
01:56 PM ET

Black, atheist and living in the South

By Kim Chakanetsa, CNN

Editor's note: Listen to the CNN Radio broadcast about black atheists in the South:

 (CNN) - Benjamin Burchall first realized how different his experience in the South was going to be while looking for something to watch on television on a Sunday night.

"I couldn't find anything on television but religious programming,” says Burchall, 38, a former Christian minister and agricultural consultant who moved from Long Beach, California, to Atlanta for work in 2010, “And I thought, 'Oh my God, where am I? Is this all that is on television here?'"

And he quickly found other differences from West Coast living.

"I was not used to meeting someone for the first time and having their first question be ‘what church do you go to?’"

Burchall’s proud response to such queries was, “None.” He is part of an increasingly visible minority – black atheists living in the Bible Belt.

Mandisa Thomas, a mother of three, has lived in Atlanta for more than 13 years. An atheist since her early 20s, Thomas has a two-pronged strategy when it comes to dealing with the religion question. The first is simply not talking about it unless someone else brings it up.

The second is a kind of warning: “I will ask, ‘Are you sure you want to hear this?’” she says. The goal, Thomas says, is to avoid unnecessary confrontations.

But there are other situations that are simply a part of living down South.

Take the Walmart employee who suggested Thomas come back for gospel singer Yolanda Adams’ book signing, or the stranger who approached her and asked if she was born again and implored her to turn her life to Jesus when she said she wasn’t.

“There is an assumption that black woman in particular are religious,” says Thomas.

Statistics suggest that is a fair assumption to make. A much-cited study published in 2008 by the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life found that of all the major racial and ethnic groups in the United States, black Americans are most likely to report a formal religious affiliation. Less than 1.5% of blacks identify themselves as atheist or agnostic, compared with 5% of whites and 7% of Asians.

The same study notes that nearly four of five African-Americans (79%) say religion is very important in their lives, compared with 56% among all U.S.adults.

However, the trend among black Americans is toward greater levels of nonbelief. The number of blacks reporting no religion in American Religious Identification Survey almost doubled between 1990 and 2008.

In the South, this trend is witnessed by the emergence of groups such as the Black Nonbelievers of Atlanta (BNOA), and the Humanist Congregation of Greater Atlanta. The proliferation of YouTube videos and forum postings by Southern atheists also suggest a growing desire to build a community for the religiously unaffiliated.

Burchall says it’s not necessarily the case that there are more black atheists these days, “but there is an increase in the number of people coming out and saying they are black atheists.”

And there are more organizations looking to decouple black culture from religion. In January, Burchall and Thomas co-founded BNOA with the aim of bringing together black atheists who might otherwise be shunned by family and friends. Burchall and Thomas had initially joined an atheist group in Atlanta, but they wanted an organization that spoke directly to their experiences as African-Americans.

For most of American history, meaning in the African-American community has been tied to religion.

“The church has always been at the forefront of providing meaning, identity, mission and purpose for the lives of African-American people,” says Gregory Eason, the senior pastor at the historic Big Bethel AME Church in downtown Atlanta.

Many black atheists argue that Christianity was imposed on African slaves in the United States and are uneasy with how fully African-Americans have embraced it.

“It was forced on our ancestors; now their descendants have fallen for it hook, line and sinker and it has been such a part of our culture,” says Burchall.

“Oftentimes blacks believe that Christianity is black culture, and if you are not Christian you are not part of the community,” he says. “After all, it was Christianity that helped us through slavery times and the civil rights movement.”

For Mario Dorsey, an Atlanta native, Black Nonbelievers of Atlanta helped him feel comfortable with moving away from that tradition.

“I joined because I felt that in the black community religion was much more of a social movement, almost like a mass hypnotism,” Dorsey says. “It felt pretty cool to be part of a group that actually thought like I do.”

Like many black atheists, Dorsey does not announce his atheism loudly.

“For the most part I don’t walk around with atheist on my shoulder," he says. "Most people won’t know unless they ask me, but when I am asked I get this really weird reaction as if I’d said I torture monkeys for a living or something. It’s really weird.”

Dorsey acts as the organization’s lead online administrator. The role is particularly important as the Internet has played a significant role in recruiting members. Thomas, the current president, estimates they have about 30 people who regularly attend meetings. The community online is even larger, with up to 150 members.

Burchall, who left Black Nonbelievers of Atlanta in June this year to pursue other opportunities, has since founded another organization, the Humanist Congregation of Greater Atlanta.

Dominique Huff, another lifelong Atlantan, the son of a preacher, first heard about Black Nonbelievers of Atlanta on Facebook. He says he became a nonbeliever in high school.

It hasn't been particularly easy living in a city where “it’s always, ‘Have a blessed day,’ and you see churches on every street corner,” he says. But since 2000, Huff has slowly chosen to embrace his nonbelief, a decision that has not been easy for his minister mother.

“She is kind of in denial about it,” Huff says. “It is not a conversation we have. She still tries to pray with me. I pray along with her. I am like, ‘That’s where you at; that’s not for me.' There is like an invisible line we just never talk about.”

The online conversation is particularly vibrant, with numerous YouTube postings and blogs addressing the cultural taboo. A posting dated February 24, 2011, found on the Atheist Nexus, an umbrella networking organization, spoke of the difficulty of being black, atheist and homosexual in Mississippi. The member has since started a ‘secret’ Facebook group targeting other atheists and in April 2011 noted that of the 85 atheists who had joined, 10 were black.

The impetus for starting the group was made clear in a posting that read: “given how obsessed people in Mississippi are with Christianity, being an atheist here is very isolating and difficult. Add to that the fact that I'm Black and non-heterosexual, and we're talking social suicide.”

On ExChristian.net, a posting by a member identified as ‘kclark’ details the struggles of growing up in a religious household as a gay atheist in a small town in central Louisiana.

YouTube has become an especially popular outlet for African-Americans to declare their atheism. Jeremiah, a 20-year-old ‘living somewhere in the heart of the bible belt’ in April last year uploaded a video arguing that faith and the Bible are not evidence that God exists and affirming that he is proud to be an atheist. In a video uploaded in September 2009, Marquell Garrett, who is based in North Augusta, South Carolina, addresses the oft-asked question: where are the black atheists?

Garrett concludes that the consequences of declaring oneself an atheist in the black community have resulted in many nonbelievers remaining closeted.

Garrett also runs a blog titled Atheist Fighting Back Keeping Strong and Speaking Out‘ where he writes of his experiences of coming out as an atheist at age 14 in South Carolina.

Not all postings are related to a rejection of Christianity, however. A YouTube video by a member based in Birmingham, Alabama, who identifies himself as Bilal3700 details why he left Islam to become an atheist.

Unlike other parts of the South where activities by black atheists remain online, Atlanta appears to be spearheading the momentum with the creation of nonbeliever organizations such as the Humanist Congregation of Greater Atlanta, which allow a previously marginalized minority a voice and a community that goes beyond anonymous avatars.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Atheism • Georgia • United States

soundoff (1,233 Responses)
  1. Ungodly Discipline

    Question for the group. Is there any reason that I should respond to a HeavenSent post? It seems like this poster is irrelevant. Nothing to say.

    December 8, 2011 at 9:04 pm |
    • warmesTghosT

      Most of the time, no, but sometimes she says something so hilarious it's worth spoofing.

      She's a perfect example of Poe's Law.

      December 8, 2011 at 9:07 pm |
    • hippypoet

      i think its funny to respond

      December 8, 2011 at 9:25 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Say, do you like randi.org?

      Amen.

      December 8, 2011 at 11:14 pm |
    • TruthPrevails

      No need to respond to HeavenSent except to correct it and ask if she is off her meds again. HS, George, Hamsta all display the symptoms of schizophrenia...only they call it religion.

      December 9, 2011 at 5:44 am |
  2. hamsta

    Darwin einstein and just about every scientist is later proven wrong.the government still cant decide if margarine or butter is the healthy choice.but the original unaltered word of god has never been proven wrong.u will find that out when u die.

    December 8, 2011 at 8:56 pm |
    • warmesTghosT

      Just for clarity's sake, which is the True Word again? People keep coming out with so many and I find it hard to discern sometimes...

      December 8, 2011 at 8:57 pm |
    • George

      Amen, hamsta.

      December 8, 2011 at 9:03 pm |
    • George

      @warmesTghosT

      Discernment is a gift from God and requires prayer.

      December 8, 2011 at 9:08 pm |
    • Ungodly Discipline

      hamsta, where can one find an unaltered Bible? Every Bible has been altered. Over and over and over. Many books have been completely omitted. What in the world are you talking about. Are you REALLY that dense or just trolling?

      Here is how I respect the good book. When I am staying in a hotel and run out of TP (there are always two rolls) rather than use up a perfectly good roll of new TP, I reach for Gideon's Bible to finish the job.

      December 8, 2011 at 9:08 pm |
    • johnfrichardson

      Scientists don't expect to have the last word on anything. Science is expected to progress. Darwin and Einstein would have been disappointed if science was frozen in place at the time of their work. Math and science are two of the truly amazing achievements of humanity, and both have been oppressed by religion, especially science.

      Your dusty old "word of god" is demonstrably ignorant in many ways. Your claims are baseless. You are either profoundly ignorant, profoundly stupid or a liar.

      December 8, 2011 at 9:11 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Ahahhha. hamsta, you are truly a scream.

      If you and HS have s3x, you could produce a super-moron! Won't THAT give the scientists what-for!

      December 8, 2011 at 9:14 pm |
    • Ungodly Discipline

      And Richard if I may, if there IS a God, you won't find him without science.

      December 8, 2011 at 9:15 pm |
    • warmesTghosT

      Weird, George, how it requires "prayer". Prayer to who? If you had been born in Saudi Arabia you'd likely be praying to Allah. If you'd been born in Israel you'd likely be praying to YHWH. If you'd been born in India you'd likely be praying to Shiva. You were born in the US, and so you pray to Jesus.

      And as I've stated before on these boards, I was raised Jewish and I used to pray. It did nothing and so I stopped. My stopping also did nothing.

      Please proceed with your undoubtedly frothy exclamations about how I'm going to Hell. It makes me believe that Christianity is all about "love and forgiveness" all the more.

      December 8, 2011 at 9:18 pm |
    • George

      @warmesTghosT

      You need to repent to be forgiven.

      December 8, 2011 at 9:23 pm |
    • warmesTghosT

      George, I already told you, I tried to believe in both Judaism and Christianity when I was a child/teenager. They didn't (and still don't) make any sense to me.

      Further, the whole "repentence" thing. I think it's absolutely disgusting that Christianity teaches young, impressionable children that all humans are inherently "evil" and guilty of some archaic, divine "sin".

      Let me use an example. Humans and dogs get along very, very well because fundamentally we are very similar species temperamentally. If you raise a dog with kindness and love and gentleness, it will come out kind and loving and gentle. If you raise it with violence and anger, it will come out violent and angry. Human beings are neither good nor evil at birth, they are blank slates. What you get is what you put into it. Just like our best friends, dogs.

      December 8, 2011 at 9:27 pm |
    • Ungodly Discipline

      @warmesTghosT

      Thank you.

      I might I also add that if we don't put these silly dark age superst itions to rest we will never survive as a species. Which suits Christians just fine, they all want to die. Me? I would like to see our species explore the cosmos. Well, I won't be here to see it, but I like to imagine that all of the peoples of the world can pull together, sans religious nonsense, and make space travel a reality.

      December 8, 2011 at 9:38 pm |
    • warmesTghosT

      Ungodly – that is my greatest fear on this Earth.

      The fundamental problem is that Christianity teaches a human to look FORWARD to death. An atheist cherishes life to the fullest in the belief that this is all we get, therefore we are far more invested in the future of our species as a whole than any theist. Some of them are actually looking forward to "Judgment Day". You're looking forward to Judgment Day when 2/3 of the world's population will be damned to Hell for eternity and you call yourself moral? Ugh...

      You can see evidence of this "death cult" phenomenon every time some psychotic Christian mother decides to off herself but shoots the kids first. She wanted them to be in "Heaven".

      Utterly repulsive.

      December 8, 2011 at 9:50 pm |
    • warmesTghosT

      Sidenote – I would never use the Bible for TP, it's not the right type of paper. I have used it to roll spliffs though. Used pages 420 and 666.

      =D

      December 8, 2011 at 9:52 pm |
    • Rick

      if it was unaltered, you would not be able to read it. do you read hebrew?

      December 9, 2011 at 4:55 am |
    • Rick

      "Discernment is a gift from God and requires prayer."

      Meaning that it is SUBJECTIVE

      December 9, 2011 at 4:57 am |
    • hawkechik

      Really? Where are the unicorns and dragons then?

      December 9, 2011 at 12:05 pm |
    • FireInTheSky

      Exactly what original word of god is that? The Aramaic? The Latin? The Greek? The Olde English? Or the contemporary English? And more importantly are you suggesting there has never been any change in meaning of teh words from their original writings to now? If so, I have a magic money bag to sell you.

      December 9, 2011 at 1:13 pm |
    • estevan

      Are you a child?

      February 6, 2012 at 8:41 pm |
  3. George

    This article is highly slanted and sympathetic towards atheists. I don't see any objectivity in it at all. Where is the religious perspective?

    The one fact that I was glad to read was that there is a lot of religous programming down South. There are many good evangelical Christians down there, and I think that the rest of the country needs to follow the example of their religiousity.

    December 8, 2011 at 8:56 pm |
    • warmesTghosT

      "Religious programming"

      Well you got that part correct at least.

      December 8, 2011 at 8:56 pm |
    • Ungodly Discipline

      "good evangelical Christians"

      Oxymoron

      Even if you are a Jesus freak, Jesus was not a Christian and he wasn't an evangelist. He would most likely despise how Christians have twisted his memory for their own gain.

      December 8, 2011 at 9:13 pm |
    • johnfrichardson

      Sure, George. The good old South, where evangelicals fought against civil rights and where christianity continues to be woven together inextricably with right wing politics. Yeah, let's all emulate their wonderful example.

      December 8, 2011 at 9:13 pm |
    • George

      The South was misguided with respect to racism, but everything else that you mentioned is actually exactly what we need to emulate. We need to elect conservative Christian politicians who are guided by God and their faith.

      December 8, 2011 at 9:20 pm |
    • Sam Yaza

      Yeah sure because the united theocracy of America sound way better

      December 8, 2011 at 9:23 pm |
    • George

      @Sam

      Why don't you educate yourself and look up theocracy in the encyclopedia. Having God-fearing office-holders does not a theocracy make. Even if we get the Christian Amendment, we will still be a democratic republic.

      December 8, 2011 at 9:26 pm |
    • Bob

      The worst part is that George apparently actually believes some of the nonsense that he spews. But he did come around and admit that his god is pretty nasty, so we are seeing some progress. Keep on him; George does budge.

      December 8, 2011 at 9:28 pm |
    • George

      @Bob

      Of course, God can be terrifying. I never claimed otherwise. Where to you think the term "God-fearing" came from?

      December 8, 2011 at 9:34 pm |
    • Bob

      Let's go over the basics again, George. You seem pretty weak on the fundamentals of your own religion.

      Do you claim that there is a personal, loving god, one that is directly involved in each individual life, or not?

      December 8, 2011 at 9:39 pm |
    • Ungodly Discipline

      George, I spit on any God who is terrifying. What is the freaking point of that? If God doesn't love me without frightening me then fuk God. I had a couple of step-fathers like that. No thanks.

      December 8, 2011 at 9:44 pm |
    • Sam Yaza

      trying to go back and peace fint what may or may not be a curse word to post is tiresome

      December 8, 2011 at 9:49 pm |
    • Sam Yaza

      I will say this once you cannot serve god and the people at the same time
      (2 Chronicles 15:12) They entered into a covenant to seek the Lord, the God of their fathers, with all their heart and soul; and everyone who would not seek the Lord, the God of Israel, was to be put to death, whether small or great, whether man or woman.
      So I have to die because I’m a pagan and my leader serves god, or if he serves the people he violates his honor to serve god by allowing me to practice my faith

      December 8, 2011 at 9:56 pm |
    • George

      @Bob

      I claimed that God loved us so much that he gave us his only begotten Son as a sacrifice so that whoever believes in Him need not suffer the pains of hell. I did not claim that God was all loving nor that he could not be terrifying. God did after all destroy whole civilizations because they followed false gods and engaged in immorality.

      December 8, 2011 at 9:59 pm |
    • George

      @Sam

      This is exactly why we need to get America back to God.

      December 8, 2011 at 10:01 pm |
    • Sam Yaza

      um so that makes god good, I am one of those people you call immoral and Christianity demands I be burned at the stake so if a leader served god he would have to do it or e breaks one of the commandments in the bible and that violates the

      December 8, 2011 at 10:05 pm |
    • Sam Yaza

      ok i found the word the FCC does not want me to say (c o n s t i t u t i o n) ridicules

      December 8, 2011 at 10:07 pm |
    • Sam Yaza

      so I have to die or convert so you can have you Christian nation did you forget the whole reason why the county was founded

      December 8, 2011 at 10:09 pm |
    • George

      @Sam

      "Christianity demands I be burned at the stake"

      Show me anywhere in the Bible about burning at the stake.

      December 8, 2011 at 10:10 pm |
    • Sam Yaza

      (Exodus 22:17) though shall not suffer a witch to live

      The ritual to kill a witch is as follows
      hammer one nail into the heart one in the throat and one in the head put them on a stake and watch them burn or the put them on a stake and watch them burn if the escape there a witch

      December 8, 2011 at 10:15 pm |
    • George

      @Sam

      Relax Sam, you don't have to die or convert. However, if you don't convert, you will suffer eternal damnation.

      December 8, 2011 at 10:16 pm |
    • George

      @Sam

      Ok, Sam, you showed me. But are you a witch, Sam?

      December 8, 2011 at 10:19 pm |
    • Sam Yaza

      dude I’m in Jerusalem right now trying to get medical relief to Gaza. I live a life a courtesy and charity I have saved over 12 family on the verge of losing their homes and being homeless by buying the foreclosed homes and renting them back a very low prices some time even allowing them to skip several months of payment if thing are getting really ruff for them, I have also gave 4 homeless people jobs and a place to live free of charge so they can save up money to get their own place. I even help old ladies cross the street But I’m going to suffer for eternity, because I don’t follow a tyrant god
      good joke

      December 8, 2011 at 10:25 pm |
    • Sam Yaza

      Yes by Christian definition all pract_tioners of pagan religions are witches
      So if you are a
      Gregorian
      Wiccan
      Shintoist
      Toaist
      Lunistian
      Pagan
      Druid
      Or any other pre iron age religion you’re a witch

      December 8, 2011 at 10:32 pm |
    • Bob

      You're coming along, George. Good. Now, let's actually look at your claim and have you try to do some critical thinking about it, for a big change. You said "I claimed that God loved us so much that he gave us his only begotten Son as a sacrifice so that whoever believes in Him need not suffer the pains of hell." Uh huh:

      First, how is it again that hell needs to exist at all? Why does an omnipotent, supposedly loving being need to threaten its creations with awful torture like that?
      Second, why does a god need to steal the old scapegoat story for removing sin, from prior myths?
      Third, why does an omnipotent being need a sacrifice made of his son, to have anything else happen? Why not do the saving without all that nonsense?

      I can go on, and if necessary, I will, but at this point, if you are honest and smart, you will be beginning to realize that your whole bizarre collection of sickening Christian beliefs is complete nonsense and fiction.

      December 8, 2011 at 11:07 pm |
    • LinCA

      @George

      You said, "Even if we get the Christian Amendment, ..."
      Anybody advocating for a christian amendment is an enemy of the US.

      December 9, 2011 at 4:51 am |
    • Rick

      "The one fact that I was glad to read was that there is a lot of religous programming down South. There are many good evangelical Christians down there, and I think that the rest of the country needs to follow the example of their religiousity."

      If the body is a temple as Georgie claims, why is the south, full of those "good evangelical christians" always on the top of the list on unhealthy habits, be it obesity or smoking? I was watching a broadcast from Jimmy Swaggart's church, and the audience was full of fat people. Apparently, that "body as a temple of God" to them means to keep on expanding. Like a megachurch...only mega participants

      December 9, 2011 at 5:02 am |
  4. theoldadam

    Pie in the sky?

    I love pie!

    The Christian hope sounds pretty good to me. I want to be lifted out of that grave to spend eternity with a loving and forgiving God.

    Much better thans eons and eons of nothingness...or maybe something much worse.

    Thank you Jesus for your promise of forgiveness and eternal life with you (and no taxes or rent!)

    December 8, 2011 at 8:37 pm |
    • Sam Yaza

      You forgot no love or wisdom. Because there is no empathy or war
      Love is War
      "Without suffer there is no empathy, without empathy there is not compassion without compassion there is no wisdom" –the Great Dane

      December 8, 2011 at 8:45 pm |
    • warmesTghosT

      So you're a Christian solely for the rewards. Got it.

      Also your "all loving" and "all forgiving" God is going to damn 2/3 of the world's population to eternity in Hell simply for believing the wrong set of ridiculous stories.

      How caring of Him.

      December 8, 2011 at 8:54 pm |
    • George

      @warmesTghosT

      The idea that God is all about love is an idea of the hippies of the 60's and 70's. Yes, God is a God of love, but he is also a God of vengence and a God of Justice. People who hear the Good News and turn their backs on it or ignore it altogether deserve hell. That is simple justice. Just like a murderer knows it is against the law to murder and still murders. Don't you think that murderer deserves to face justice?

      December 8, 2011 at 9:01 pm |
    • warmesTghosT

      So dismissing your myths as ridiculous is as harmful to society as me intentionally taking another human being's life. That's your morality. All right...

      Perfect example of why I'm not one of you, and never will be. Besides I bet Lucifer can throw a way more wicked party than God.

      December 8, 2011 at 9:09 pm |
    • George

      @warmesTghosT

      Sin is sin. It all seperates us from God.

      December 8, 2011 at 9:14 pm |
    • johnfrichardson

      Eternal torture isn't justice, you creep.

      December 8, 2011 at 9:15 pm |
    • Sam Yaza

      Moscow 1917 the best party I ever thrown,… I don’t know though Cairo 2011 was fun to. Shame that both had bad result though, there’s always next time Virginia in 1775 was a little boring but great after party

      December 8, 2011 at 9:16 pm |
    • warmesTghosT

      "Sin is sin"

      So me lying to my grandmother at Christmas and telling her that I really love the lame three-wolf-moon sweater she bought me equates to me raping children and cannibalizing their remains on camera and then sending the footage to their parents. Sin is sin, right? That's your argument?

      And before you attack me for my examples, I came up with the lamest sin and the most horrible thing I could possibly think of as examples of your ridiculousness. Try to refrain from ad hominem if at all humanly possible.

      December 8, 2011 at 9:22 pm |
    • Bob

      There you have it, folks. Read above and you will see that George finally admitted that his god is a vengeant jerk.

      Great stuff, little George. You're making progress. Next for you will be to realize that your god doesn't actually exist and that his bas-tard purported son wasn't divine.

      Way to go, little George. Progress.

      December 8, 2011 at 9:24 pm |
    • George

      In the eyes of God, sin is sin. You need to repent and accept Jesus as your Lord and Savior. No matter what example you use, sin is sin. I could try to sugar coat, but I would be getting into situational ethics. No, to God, sin is sin.

      December 8, 2011 at 9:31 pm |
    • warmesTghosT

      George – you have no faith.

      You are telling me definitively what God thinks. You are telling me you know the mind of God. In YOUR mind, what you are saying is absolute and unassailable truth. That means you do not have faith, because faith is belief in the absence of proof.

      Further, all your "knowledge" was told to you by other humans. None of it came from God. Or am I wrong? Has God spoken to you directly? Do you have divine knowledge you wish to impart?

      Also, the picture you paint of God is utterly silly. You're telling me that the Being that created life on Earth and the complexity and grandeur of the entire Cosmos is so petty that without me believing in Him and begging Him for forgiveness that I'm going to Hell for lying to my grandmother to spare her feelings?

      How. Do. People. Believe. This. Stuff.

      December 8, 2011 at 9:40 pm |
    • Bob

      There's no getting out of it now, George. You've made the admission. Now, work through the consequences.

      December 8, 2011 at 9:40 pm |
    • Bucky Ball

      George,
      God doesn't have eyes. It may have some sort of gamma ray detection system however (?) And BTW, it isn't "love" or doesn't "see " either, because those two concepts require it, (god) to exist WITHIN space-time, (it's creature), and not apart from it's creature, which is nonsensical. "Seeing", and "loving" are PROCESSES which are TEMPORAL in nature, that means they PROGRESS, and THAT requires TIME to proceed. If god exists, it would have to be APART from it's creatures, and it's activities also would have to be possible apart from it's creatures Those concepts are anthropomorphic projections, and CANNOT proceed without time to already exist prior, or at least concurrently. Perhaps some philosophy might be in order. 😈

      December 8, 2011 at 9:44 pm |
    • George

      @Bucky Ball

      God exists within spacetime and without. I know that's hard for you to wrap your head around.

      December 8, 2011 at 10:21 pm |
    • warmesTghosT

      How do you know that, George?

      December 8, 2011 at 10:43 pm |
    • Bucky Ball

      But George, first, "before" it created space-time, it would have had to "start" existing, at that is nonsense. And secondly, you didn't read my post. "Existing" ITSELF requires time, as "existing" itself is a process. That cannot happen "without" time. That may be impossible for YOU to wrap your head around. The VERY LEAST that can be said about this, is that humans can say nothing about this subject, or know anything about that subject, which makes sense, as it just ends up being illogical. SO ultimately, you cannot say anything about god, because it is limited to ONLY human concepts, (which you just make up). Name ONE thing about god which is not a human projection.

      December 8, 2011 at 11:18 pm |
  5. George

    I pray that they will turn their hearts over to God.

    December 8, 2011 at 8:25 pm |
    • johnfrichardson

      Their minds have been freed, and that is a good thing.

      December 8, 2011 at 8:27 pm |
    • warmesTghosT

      You pray for us, we'll think for you.

      December 8, 2011 at 8:59 pm |
    • Bob

      warmesT, thanks. I love that line. It's so apt.

      December 8, 2011 at 9:25 pm |
    • Rick

      I pray that a speeding bus introduces you to jesus.....

      December 9, 2011 at 5:04 am |
    • Mildred the Mouth

      George
      Don't bother. Prayer does not work. It has been proven. Scientifically.

      December 9, 2011 at 5:44 am |
  6. captain america

    As long as the canadians stay out, it's all good.

    December 8, 2011 at 8:18 pm |
    • warmesTghosT

      Sometimes I wish I lived in Canada, then I likely wouldn't have to deal with mouthbreathers like you.

      Sorry for being so offensive, folks – I have absolutely no intention of insulting mouthbreathers by comparing them to the captain. Some people have terrible nasal congestion after all.

      December 8, 2011 at 8:59 pm |
  7. Heather

    Atheists have no idea what they're missing out on! Don't think all of the negative Christians here represent Christ because they don't! These people aren't real Christians! Read the Word. It is full of life and direction! You won't be disappointed! Have a beautiful day!

    December 8, 2011 at 8:09 pm |
    • Sam Yaza

      i was disappointed it was full of..well pictures say it all
      http://api.ning.com/files/Prfs9mYOn1PNtBfY4STzLUKh3EOUwRLCoRitUitegnjz8N8vMZc6LiEi7Eo3VAR66wxTx8woEgzZiNm6PgJzj4JFQzWmgjRt/BibleWarningLabel.png
      oh I’m not an atheist I’m a victim of Christian oppression

      December 8, 2011 at 8:14 pm |
    • warmesTghosT

      I think most of us know that not all Christians are fundamentalist, gay/Muslim/atheist hating bigots frothing at the mouth for Jesus.

      The problem is that enough of them are that they consti-tute a powerful political voting bloc that impinges their radical and idiotic beliefs on our country.

      Further, many of us are very knowledgeable about what we're "missing out" on. Your "messiah" had a beautiful message (for the most part) but anyone who's comprehensively read the Bible can see that it doesn't make any sense and is blatantly and patently wrong on many, many counts.

      What atheists are really missing out on is the social impact of "church". We don't really have a place to go to to connect with our community and share our common beliefs, mostly because we're such an eclectic group of individuals. The only real thing that ties us together is that we think...well, that you're wrong. No human knows the mind of God, and anyone who claims to is a liar or a fool.

      Anyway, happy holydaze!

      December 8, 2011 at 8:15 pm |
    • johnfrichardson

      Many non-believers were brought up Christian and several of us have experience with more than one denomination. About the only thing I miss about Christianity is Christmas eve services. The Christmas story is a powerful myth, one that speaks of hope during literally the darkest days of the year. But that hope was not fulfilled by the rest of the story and by the time they are yapping about resurrection around Easter, well, even as a kid I had this feeling that people couldn't really be serious about this ...

      December 8, 2011 at 8:33 pm |
    • Fallacy Spotting 101

      Post by Heather is the No True Scotsman fallacy.

      http://www.iep.utm.edu/fallacy/

      December 8, 2011 at 8:36 pm |
    • Ungodly Discipline

      Heather, Ask yourself this simple question:

      Why, when you read the Bible, are you not left in awe? Why doesn't a book written by an omniscient being leave you with a sense of wonder and amazement? If you are reading a book written by the all-powerful, all-knowing, all-loving creator of the universe, wouldn't you expect to be stunned by the brilliance, the clarity and the wisdom of the author? Would you not expect each new page to intoxicate you with its incredible prose and its spectacular insight? Wouldn't you expect the author to tell us things that scientists have not been able to discover yet?

      Yet, when we open the Bible and actually read it, we find it is nothing like that at all. Instead of leaving us in awe, it leaves us dumbfounded by all of the nonsense and backwardness that it contains. If you read what the Bible actually says, you find that the Bible is ridiculous. If we are honest with ourselves, it is obvious that an "all-knowing" God had absolutely nothing to do with this book.

      The reason why the Bible contains so much nonsense is because God is imaginary. The Bible is a book written thousands of years ago by primitive men. A book that advocates senseless murder, slavery and the oppression of women has no place in our society today.

      December 8, 2011 at 8:57 pm |
    • warmesTghosT

      Ungodly – I think it's a tiny bit presumptuous (even as an atheist) to claim definitively that God is imaginary. Now, if you make the distinction that the Christian God is imaginary – then I'm behind you 100%. Anyone who can believe that the Creator of Existence and the Cosmos as we know it would be so petty, cruel and evil as the Christian God is a loon. Or just brainwashed since childhood.

      December 8, 2011 at 9:03 pm |
    • Ungodly Discipline

      I am referring to the Christian, Islamic and Jewish God. My views of the Cosmos are far more complex.

      December 8, 2011 at 9:19 pm |
    • Hasa Diga Eebowai

      Your really missing out on heroine. It gets rid of all your worries, makes you feel great, and then makes you pray for the end.

      December 8, 2011 at 10:14 pm |
  8. hamsta

    Thats just the lies the vatican told u.now how bout that preacher?tides and offerings?10 percent of ur paycheck?what does god need with money?time to ask urself what would jesus do.jesus wouldnt eat unless everyone in his presence ate.jesus would help that little old lady across the street.thats what tides and offerings truly are.the holy trinity is one in the same?no theyre not.god tells me to stone u to death jesus told me to put the stone down and the holy ghost want to save ur sorry soul cuz that preacher man cant do it for$99.99.

    December 8, 2011 at 7:53 pm |
    • Ungodly Discipline

      Have you eaten today?

      December 8, 2011 at 7:55 pm |
    • The Phist

      Thanks for the wall of text. Would it be possible to arrange them into something legible, or at least edible?

      December 8, 2011 at 7:58 pm |
  9. hamsta

    no u dont see a tunnel with light.thats some crap out of the poltergeist movie.even ur church lies to u.theres no such place as hell and if there was ur already there cuz satan was cast to earth with a bolt of lightning.enoche noahs grandad tells u god is a space alien and even describes his spacecraft.thats exactly why the arrogant vatican uses their magic eraser.

    December 8, 2011 at 7:37 pm |
    • Ungodly Discipline

      Do you know what is that i love the dear-est in the world?
      It is the sav-agery of being...
      the teeth ba red to the wind,
      the defiance of the fist to the wind against,
      the nak-ed mind of rebellion to tyranny,
      the run against the storm and moving one step closer to the windswept plains,
      the c lick of the revolver against,
      the mob the kiss before the oblivion....

      Man, i am more than myself right now...
      A part of the sublime,
      master of none,
      subject of the one playing the heretic strings...

      The world revolves around my pivot,
      yet there is exquisite solitude
      Therein lies the happiness of being

      Bartender, another shot please ….. hic

      December 8, 2011 at 7:51 pm |
    • The Phist

      Hamster, I really have no idea what it is that you just said.

      December 8, 2011 at 7:53 pm |
    • Sam Yaza

      dude Samyaza is Lucifer not Satan whose name is Mastema who is still in heaven serving god according to everyone but Islam. And here is an added not go back and read enoch I spent only 70 generations on earth before revolting back in heaven after word I was thrown into the Angel Abaddon in the abyss for eternity you know the belly of the destroyer “beast” the place were traitor go in hell. At least learn your mythology

      December 8, 2011 at 7:57 pm |
  10. hamsta

    As i said before until uve been to the feilds of the nepholeme what u say means nothing.i will tell u this-god destroyed the cities of sodod and gammara for a reason.where do u think the word sodomy came from?and u think its ok for gays to lead ur church?that among other things is why u wont find god in church.

    December 8, 2011 at 7:26 pm |
    • Ungodly Discipline

      This is un-readable. Are you drunk?

      December 8, 2011 at 7:29 pm |
    • The Phist

      The biggest reason is that god doesn't exist. <3

      December 8, 2011 at 7:29 pm |
    • Hi, I'm Kim K, and I have a really big butt

      OMG. To say nothing of those other two cities.... Sodom and Gomorrah.

      December 8, 2011 at 7:30 pm |
    • TruthPrevails

      Gay people have as much right to be in church as you do!! They are committing no crime by being born gay!! Once again you need to do some research before spewing your mouth about stuff you obviously know nothing about. Try not being a bigot!

      December 8, 2011 at 7:34 pm |
    • Ungodly Discipline

      TruthPrevails, hamsta can't talk, can't type, can't spell, can't punctuate....what are the chances of hamsta understanding anything remotely scientific like genes or DNA?

      December 8, 2011 at 7:39 pm |
    • Sam Yaza

      wow how rude the Israelites burned Sodom and Gomorra because they were conquering the entire country you know killing woman, men and children and taking the virgins as slaves and said it was gods doing. That’s not only historical; the methods are in line with the bible and if god did burn down those cities then over love,… gods more evil then I perversely thought,… and you all wonder why I lead the revolution in the first place

      December 8, 2011 at 7:40 pm |
    • Sam Yaza

      ...Love is War...

      December 8, 2011 at 7:42 pm |
  11. tensai13

    You're a black man, you're an atheist, and you're living in the Bible Belt South – Are you also NUTS?

    December 8, 2011 at 7:25 pm |
    • Ungodly Discipline

      I don't know if he is nuts, but he certainly has some SACK!

      December 8, 2011 at 7:27 pm |
  12. jj

    And the point of the article is??????

    December 8, 2011 at 7:17 pm |
    • Ungodly Discipline

      I don't know I haven't read it yet.

      December 8, 2011 at 7:22 pm |
    • The Phist

      You aren't missing out on anything. I promise.

      December 8, 2011 at 7:30 pm |
  13. HeavenSent

    Heaven sent us tsunamis, earthquakes, floods, storms, and other natural disasters, plus cancers, lupus, typhoid, malaria, and other diseases too numerous to mention, that have caused horrid suffering and death to millions of innocent people.

    Wow, god must be quite the azzhole. And I'm an ugly and fat saggy old hag. And I fa-rt too much.

    December 8, 2011 at 7:12 pm |
    • Ungodly Discipline

      Fake Heaven Sent, one can never fart too much. It is very healthy.

      December 8, 2011 at 7:15 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Whatever you say Central Scrutinzer. I see you're back from your vacation at Penn State. Visit an old uncle for old times sake? Did you play dress up and pretend like you were 10 again? Ahhhhhhhhhhh childhood. What lovely times!

      December 8, 2011 at 7:27 pm |
    • Ungodly Discipline

      Central Scrutinizer?

      December 8, 2011 at 7:30 pm |
    • Bo

      It's HeavenSent's name for that god guy that she claims talks to her.

      December 8, 2011 at 7:46 pm |
    • Ungodly Discipline

      I see......good luck with that HS.

      December 8, 2011 at 7:54 pm |
    • HS

      I can play stupid too but you are CS as you said last night in one of your hateful posts. Where's LS to save the day? I bet it'll be along any moment to be your hero. If you had Jesus in your life then certain things never would have happened.

      Amen.

      December 8, 2011 at 8:07 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      AMEN. amen, amen, amen. AMEN! Amen, amen, amenamenamen. AmenAMEN. amen, amen, amen. AMEN! Amen, amen, amenamenamen. AmenAMEN. amen, amen, amen. AMEN! Amen, amen, amenamenamen. AmenAMEN. amen, amen, amen. AMEN! Amen, amen, amenamenamen. AmenAMEN. AMEN. amen, amen, amen. AMEN! Amen, amen, amenamenamen. Amen., amen, amen. AMEN! Amen, amen, amenamenamen. AmenAMEN. amen, amen, amen. AMEN! Amen, amen, amenamenamen. AmenAMEN. amen, amen, amen. AMEN! Amen, amen, amenamenamen. AmenAMEN. amen, amen, amen. AMEN! Amen, amen, amenamenamen. AmenAMEN. amen, amen, amen. AMEN! Amen, amen, amenamenamen. AmenAMEN. amen, amen, amen. AMEN! Amen, amen, amenamenamen. AmenAMEN. AMEN. amen, amen, amen. AMEN! Amen, amen, amenamenamen. Amen., amen, amen. AMEN! Amen, amen, amenamenamen. AmenAMEN. amen, amen, amen. AMEN! Amen, amen, amenamenamen. Amen.

      Carnal.

      December 8, 2011 at 8:11 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      As predicted, here's your cavalry. With no rider.

      Amen.

      December 8, 2011 at 8:23 pm |
    • Sam Yaza

      the funniest thing about the phrase “amen”, it is used to pray to Amen Ra you know the Egyptian king/god that is most famous for enslaving the Semites

      December 8, 2011 at 8:28 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Poor HS. No cavalry ever comes to your defense on here.

      December 8, 2011 at 8:52 pm |
    • Ungodly Discipline

      HS, I can only assume it was someone stealing my name. Probably YOU.

      December 8, 2011 at 8:55 pm |
  14. The Phist

    One of the reasons I'm glad I no longer live in the south.

    December 8, 2011 at 7:07 pm |
    • Ungodly Discipline

      Or the Bible Belt in my case. BACKWARDS!

      December 8, 2011 at 7:17 pm |
    • The Phist

      It was a horrible place.

      December 8, 2011 at 7:44 pm |
  15. Ungodly Discipline

    Here is a line of reasoning that Christians will frequently use to try to rationalize the complete lack of evidence for God's existence. In the book "The Case for Faith," the author Lee Stroble interviews Peter Kreeft, Ph.D. Dr. Kreeft says the following:

    "Scripture describes God as a hidden God. You have to make the effort of faith to find him. There are clues you can follow. And if that weren't so, if there was something more or less than clues, it's difficult for me to understand how we could really be free to make a choice about him."
    Clues? Hidden? According to the Bible God incarnated himself. He created an entire human body named Jesus. That is not a "clue" - that is a huge, obvious piece of evidence. It is very hard to "hide" a 170-pound human being who is running around performing miracles on every street corner. Then you collect the stories of those miracles and publish them in a book. Where is the hiding in that?
    There are examples of God's desire for publicity throughout the Bible. The best known is God's parting of the Red Sea in the book of Exodus, chapter 14:

    Then Moses stretched out his hand over the sea; and the LORD drove the sea back by a strong east wind all night, and made the sea dry land, and the waters were divided. And the people of Israel went into the midst of the sea on dry ground, the waters being a wall to them on their right hand and on their left.
    That is impressive, and it is utterly obvious. Thousands of Israelites witnessed this event. There are many other events that are equally obvious: manna from heaven, the Ten Commandments carved onto stone tablets, the Passover massacre and so on. All of it is described in the Bible, which God wrote so that billions of people can read about these events and experience them vicariously today.
    It is pretty hard to hide something that you do in front of thousands of people and then describe and publish in billions of books. Clearly God is not a hidden God.

    But there is an even more impressive sign that we often forget. If God exists and God wrote the Bible, then rainbows are actually proof that God exists. God is not hiding at all. If you read Genesis 9:12-13 you will find this:

    And God said, "This is the sign of the covenant which I make between me and you and every living creature that is with you, for all future generations: I set my bow in the cloud, and it shall be a sign of the covenant between me and the earth..."
    What could be more obvious than that? God left a sign for all future generations, according to the Bible. Clearly God does not want to hide.
    There are also plenty of cases in the New Testament. For example, Matthew, Chapter 17:

    After six days Jesus took with him Peter, James and John the brother of James, and led them up a high mountain by themselves. There he was transfigured before them. His face shone like the sun, and his clothes became as white as the light. Just then there appeared before them Moses and Elijah, talking with Jesus.
    Peter said to Jesus, "Lord, it is good for us to be here. If you wish, I will put up three shelters–one for you, one for Moses and one for Elijah."

    While he was still speaking, a bright cloud enveloped them, and a voice from the cloud said, "This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased. Listen to him!"

    These are not exactly the actions of a God in hiding. Apparently the free wills of Peter, James and John were not that important to God. And again it is published in the Bible so that billions of other people can read about it.
    Or take this passage from the book of Matthew, Chapter 3:

    As soon as Jesus was baptized, he went up out of the water. At that moment heaven was opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and lighting on him. And a voice from heaven said, "This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased."
    Again, not exactly a hidden God.
    Or this passage from the book of Luke, Chapter 2:

    And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger."
    Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests."

    When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, "Let's go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about."

    The free will of the shepherds was certainly tarnished a bit here.
    In 1 Corinthians 15:6, Paul says,

    Then he [Jesus, after the resurrection] appeared to more than five hundred brethren at one time.
    Those 500 people must have lost their free will. And John says:
    Jesus did many other things as well. If every one of them were written down, I suppose that even the whole world would not have room for the books that would be written. (John 21:25)
    That's an awful lot of miracles - so many that the world would not have room for all the books describing them. Presumably at least one person witnessed each miracle. Think of how many names fill just one phone book. Now imagine a whole world full of phone books. That's a lot of people. Weren't all of their free wills affected? How is God hiding if millions of people saw Jesus and the miracles he performed?
    Jesus claims to be God, and Jesus is a physical being running around Israel for all to see. He apparently performed millions of miracles in front of millions of people. The God of the Bible is not hiding - God is so hungry for publicity and exposure that he actually incarnates himself and then starts performing miracles for everyone on the planet. Then he creates a God-breathed book to describe everything and publishes billions of copies all over the world.

    Yet, for some reason, God wants none of us today to see any of those miracles because he "needs to remain hidden" so that he will not "taint our free wills." Does that seem likely? Or is it more likely that Jesus never performed a real miracle? When you combine this evidence with the fact that Jesus answers no prayers (start with Proof #1), it is clear to us what is actually happening. The idea that God is "hiding" is ridiculous. The fact is that God is completely imaginary, and that is the real reason why there is absoutely no evidence for God today.

    December 8, 2011 at 6:46 pm |
    • Ungodly Discipline

      Proof #1 – Try praying

      What would happen if we get down on our knees and pray to God in this way:

      Dear God, almighty, all-powerful, all-loving creator of the universe, we pray to you to cure every case of cancer on this planet tonight. We pray in faith, knowing you will bless us as you describe in Matthew 7:7, Matthew 17:20, Matthew 21:21, Mark 11:24, John 14:12-14, Matthew 18:19 and James 5:15-16. In Jesus' name we pray, Amen.

      We pray sincerely, knowing that when God answers this completely heartfelt, unselfish, non-materialistic prayer, it will glorify God and help millions of people in remarkable ways.

      Will anything happen? No. Of course not.

      This is very odd. Jesus makes specific promises in the Bible about how prayer is supposed to work. Jesus says in many different places that he and God will answer your prayers. And Christians believe Jesus, "54% of American adults believe the Bible is literally true." In some areas of the country the number goes as high as 75%.

      If the Bible is literally true, then something is seriously amiss. Simply look at the facts. In Matthew 7:7 Jesus says:
      Ask, and it will be given you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For every one who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened. Or what man of you, if his son asks him for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a serpent? If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him!

      If "every one who asks receives", then if we ask for cancer to be cured, it should be cured. Right? If "our Father who is in heaven gives good things to those who ask him", then if we ask him to cure cancer, he should cure it. Right? And yet nothing happens.

      In Matthew 17:20 Jesus says:
      For truly, I say to you, if you have faith as a grain of mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, 'Move from here to there,' and it will move; and nothing will be impossible to you.
      If "nothing will be impossible to you", then if we ask to cure cancer tonight, cancer should disappear. Right? Yet nothing happens. Note that if we take the Bible less-than-literally here, the statement "nothing will be impossible to you" becomes "lots of things will be impossible to you," and that would mean that Jesus is lying.

      In Matthew 21:21:
      I tell you the truth, if you have faith and do not doubt, not only can you do what was done to the fig tree, but also you can say to this mountain, 'Go, throw yourself into the sea,' and it will be done. If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer.

      If "you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer", then if we ask to cure cancer tonight, cancer should disappear. Right? Yet nothing happens. Note again that there is not a non-literal way to interpret "you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer", unless you replace "whatever" with "nothing" or "little."

      The message is reiterated Mark 11:24:
      Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.
      If God says, "believe that you have received it, and it will be yours," and if we believe in God and his power, then what should happen if we pray to cure cancer tonight? It should be cured. Either that, or God is lying.

      In John chapter 14, verses 12 through 14, Jesus tells all of us just how easy prayer can be:
      "I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing. He will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father. And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Son may bring glory to the Father. You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it."

      Look at how direct this statement is: "You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it." This is the "Son of God" speaking. Have we taken him "too literally?" No. This is a simple, unambiguous statement. Have we taken his statement "out of context?" No -Jesus uses the word anyone. Yet Jesus' statement is obviously false. Because when we ask God to cure cancer tonight, nothing happens.

      We see the same thing over and over again...

      In Matthew 18:19 Jesus says:
      Again I say to you, if two of you agree on earth about anything they ask, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven. For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I in the midst of them.

      In James 5:15-16 the Bible says:
      And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise him up. If he has sinned, he will be forgiven. Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective.

      In Mark 9:23:
      All things are possible to him who believes.

      In Luke 1:37:
      For with God nothing will be impossible.
      Nothing could be simpler or clearer than Jesus' promises about prayer in the Bible. Yet, when we pray to eliminate cancer, nothing happens.

      And keep in mind that this is Jesus talking here. These are not the words of human beings. These are not the words of "inspired" human beings. These are supposedly the words of God himself, incarnated in a human body. Jesus is supposed to be a perfect, sinless being. And yet, it is obvious that Jesus is lying. What Jesus says is clearly incorrect.

      Jesus is supposed to be God. God is supposed to be perfect.
      When Jesus speaks, he should speak the truth.
      Yet when we look at what Jesus says about prayer,
      he is clearly lying.

      If you would like additional proof, gather a million faithful believers together into a giant prayer circle. Have them all pray together in Jesus' name that God cures every case of cancer on the planet tomorrow. Pray sincerely, knowing that when God answers this completely heartfelt, unselfish, non-materialistic prayer, it will glorify God and help millions of people in remarkable ways. Now, we certainly have two or more people gathered together, and they have asked in Jesus' name, and we have not one but a million faithful believers who, by definition, have faith and believe. We have fulfilled every one of Jesus' requirements.
      Will Jesus answer the prayer now? Of course not. Your prayer will go unanswered, in direct defiance to Jesus' promises in the Bible. In fact, if you pray for anything that is impossible, your prayer will always go unanswered.

      If you are an intelligent, rational human being, all of the examples mentioned above show you that the God of the Bible is imaginary. What Jesus says about prayer in the Bible clearly is not true.

      In fact, we have ample scientific evidence to demonstrate that the belief in prayer is nothing but pure superst-ition.

      December 8, 2011 at 6:52 pm |
    • AtheistSteve

      UG

      Clearly you have done your homework. The incongruities you expose are clear. The facts indisputable. Well done. Better you than I however since I couldn't stomach churning through the swill trough that is the Bible to reveal these fallacies. I'll stick to defending reason using my strengths. Science and logic.

      December 8, 2011 at 7:36 pm |
    • AtheistSteve

      correction..UD not UG...lol

      December 8, 2011 at 7:37 pm |
    • Ungodly Discipline

      It is a hard job, but somebody has to do it.

      December 8, 2011 at 9:00 pm |
    • NatalieM

      @'Ungodly Discipline' – I find myself awed by your research and articulation! Truly brilliant and spot-on. As an ex-Christian (currently questioning/curious) this is the kind of thing that simply confirms my current path. Sad that the childhood of so many currently deluted Christians were paved with the same fear, hate and close-mindedness as was my upbringing – a very oppressive place from which to recover. An open and logical mind is the greatest tool we have.

      December 9, 2011 at 2:43 pm |
  16. Question

    What are those bored people discussing anyways?

    * Faithless
    * Hopeless
    * Meaningless
    * Godless

    December 8, 2011 at 6:44 pm |
    • rummie

      They all appear lackadaisical!

      December 8, 2011 at 6:47 pm |
    • Answer

      Apparently when they get together they discuss

      There is no God
      There is no God
      There is no God
      There is no God
      There is no God
      There is no God
      There is no God

      and close by singing ra ra rasputin!

      December 8, 2011 at 6:49 pm |
    • Answer

      Exactly.

      There is no god. The dogs that are christians like to keep their little toys and we just love taking them away.

      December 8, 2011 at 6:51 pm |
    • Harris

      Wow, is that all they discuss? that is so impressive.

      December 8, 2011 at 6:53 pm |
    • Lennon

      They also sing other songs, clapping their hands and shouting with joy!

      There is no God,
      There was no God,
      There will be no God.

      Clap! Clap!
      tomp your feet!
      Bang in on the big bass drum
      Boom! Boom!
      Boom! Boom!

      Phew what a relief that must be!

      December 8, 2011 at 6:57 pm |
    • fred

      Answer
      Ah, that is the problem they are not toys. If you are speaking of our faith in God that no one can ever thake away. I wil not give you the verses since you have heard them many times. Go to your history books and see how the faithful refused to reject God even in the face of death and burning alive. Not sure what your toys are but I bet if put even a small match to them you profess allah, Christ and even George Bush as miracle workers.

      December 8, 2011 at 6:59 pm |
    • what?

      "Christ and even George Bush as miracle workers."

      And both have been proven to be liars.

      December 8, 2011 at 7:01 pm |
    • Ungodly Discipline

      My guess, they are talking about family, problems, football, work, their kids. You know, the things people talk about when they are not wasting their time talking about God.

      December 8, 2011 at 7:01 pm |
    • Ungodly Discipline

      @fred
      We want to thake your toys away Fred. Oh, you are not going to give us the verses? How disappointing. What history books should we go to? Your last sentence is completely incoherent.

      December 8, 2011 at 7:09 pm |
    • fred

      Ungodly
      My comment was directed at Answer who hates Bible verses. Point being that history books reflect christians were willing to endure torture and burning alive rather than say Christ was not God. I doubt many atheists would hang onto their position under such physical pain. Not that they are weak and spineless rather it is meaningless to say Jesus to say so why endure the smallest of flame.

      December 8, 2011 at 7:17 pm |
    • what?

      "Point being that history books reflect christians were willing to endure torture and burning alive rather than say Christ was not God."

      So would many other people take the monks that set themselves on fire, the Taliban that flew into the empire state building. Just because you’re willing to burn for your god, doesn’t mean it’s right, especially when those gods are false.

      December 8, 2011 at 7:20 pm |
    • Ungodly Discipline

      Fred said, "I doubt many atheists would hang onto their position under such physical pain. Not that they are weak and spineless rather it is meaningless to say Jesus to say so why endure the smallest of flame."

      Fred, I still can't understand what in the world your last sentence means, but I willl say this. Athiests and Christians alike held in there pretty good when the Catholics were burning them at the stake. I did read that in my history books. Great religion Christianity, as long as you are doing the burning. Additionally, you have nothing to back up your statement, so why make it?

      December 8, 2011 at 7:21 pm |
    • Russ

      "Additionally, you have nothing to back up your statement, so why make it?"

      From what I have read Fred likes to make things up to feel better about his God.

      December 8, 2011 at 7:24 pm |
    • Answer

      @fred

      "My comment was directed at Answer who hates Bible verses."

      You would like for me to entertain you somehow by asking you to type them out? Well by all means please do. I could go on for a few years with just typing "ignored". If that pleases you?

      December 8, 2011 at 7:28 pm |
    • fred

      I was using history books since most people on this web site reject the things of God. I do not recall atheists failing to recant atheism in order to avoid torture in any history book. There were many of different faiths including witches that refused to bow to the ruling party that died under torture. If you know of an atheist point the way. I will even accept a wikki link.

      December 8, 2011 at 7:50 pm |
    • Answer

      @fred

      I was using history books since most people on this web site reject the things of God.

      What things are of god?

      December 8, 2011 at 7:53 pm |
    • fred

      Russ
      Well I like the new name you have given yourself for the evening, looks like your the one making things up. You can call what I say a lie but since you said I was as dumb as bag of hammers not that long ago consider that I am not making things up rather giving you my best understanding of what was written in the past 6,000 years.

      December 8, 2011 at 7:58 pm |
    • @fred

      "I do not recall atheists failing to recant atheism in order to avoid torture in any history book."
      You either have amnesia or are very very poorly-read. (or... a troll)
      (My own bet is on you being a very very poorly read troll.)

      December 8, 2011 at 8:02 pm |
    • fred

      Answer
      The word of God as reflected in Scripture, The truth as reflected in His Son Jesus. Now it is time to quote verses so I do not get it wrong:love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control

      December 8, 2011 at 8:04 pm |
    • Sam Yaza

      I’m sorry I don’t mean to burst you bobble Fred but Yahweh is no older than 3500 years before the creation of the Torah the Semites prayed to Asherah you know queen of the heavens who took baal as her husband and gave birth to explicit deleted

      December 8, 2011 at 8:10 pm |
    • fred

      Sam
      My "bobble" burst long ago so don't worry but ,there is no consensus as to the date of the written Torah which ranges from 450 BC to 900 BC (ignoring some who say it was written before creation since we have not found that version). That would place your thoughts between 5, 550 years ago and 6,000 years ago. I did say 6,000 years ago (check my reply) so I would call that a small leak in my “bobble”

      December 8, 2011 at 8:37 pm |
    • Stan

      "god" was a big guy who burst fred's anal cherry.

      December 8, 2011 at 8:41 pm |
    • Sam Yaza

      I no good at math but um 450BC to 600BC +2012AD=5,500-6,000 years…….. baka-hitsuji come on I know atheist are no good at math but math is the one science that proves god exist so learn it

      December 8, 2011 at 8:53 pm |
    • Answer

      @fred

      "The word of God as reflected in Scripture, The truth as reflected in His Son Jesus."

      The same garbage as always. F-u-c-k-i-n-g give it up.

      December 8, 2011 at 9:48 pm |
  17. Answer

    I love these news stories of people who realize that being an atheist leads to persecution but we don't mind. We're inherently strong because we can endure the small petty religious minds.

    December 8, 2011 at 6:41 pm |
  18. Felicia

    WALKING BY SIGHT, NOT BY FAITH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    December 8, 2011 at 6:37 pm |
  19. True Story

    Christianity is the biggest crock of shite in human history.

    December 8, 2011 at 6:04 pm |
    • Felicia

      ******APPLAUSE********

      December 8, 2011 at 6:38 pm |
    • warmesTghosT

      I don't understand how anyone who's read the Bible in its' entirety remains a Christian. The book is patently false and emphatically WRONG on so many very basic levels that it makes me dismiss the religion out of hand.

      Any "Holy" book that was "inspired by God" should at the very least make a lick of sense about things like the genesis of Creation and the beginnings of life on Earth.

      December 8, 2011 at 7:59 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      The Bible is the Word of God. The word "patently" as used thousands of times by Lucifer's followers in these comments does not turn your lies into truths.

      Amen

      December 8, 2011 at 8:32 pm |
    • Sam Yaza

      um excuse me but I believe my followers you the word “Love” more than anything, even more then the phrase we are greater than god. Seriously god play the oldest game in the book,…” yeah well he’s a Liar” uhmm “ever word out of his mouth is a lie” seriously god how childish are you. This is like that time when you destroyed the tower Babel divided the humans unity let madness and war spread like a plague all because they we trying to achieve something without you, so like a spoiled brat you nocked it down. Grow up god

      December 8, 2011 at 8:39 pm |
    • warmesTghosT

      So because I use the word "patently" I am the Devil's servant.

      Excellent reason why I'm not a Christian, thanks HS!

      December 8, 2011 at 8:51 pm |
  20. hamsta

    u can call breaking 47 bones losing half ur blood and being declared brain dead for 8 minutes near death if u want but i will tell u scientifically im not supposed to be breathing much less walking.just to let u know u wont find god in church.but ull find out at the feilds of the nepholeme.

    December 8, 2011 at 6:03 pm |
    • True Story

      I have news for you.
      You're still brain dead.

      December 8, 2011 at 6:05 pm |
    • TruthPrevails

      You can't tell us anything scientifically. Once again moron, NDE's are the brains way of dealing with trauma. You are so uneducated, my cat is smarter than you!

      December 8, 2011 at 7:41 pm |
    • Sam Yaza

      what luck i guess god does not want you like he doesn’t want Billy Graham

      nepholeme are you trying to say nephilim as in the children of the angels and humans,… you know the one god killed as he killed the humans involved because you know I know a little something about that here’s a hint goggle the name Sam Yaza as one word you may figure out who I am

      December 8, 2011 at 7:50 pm |
    • AtheistSteve

      Once again we see confirmation bias at work. Given the vast portion of people who are not "chosen by God" why aren't the majority of NDE's horrible foresights into the pits of hell? So many accuse other believers of not being "true Christians" then most reported NDE's should be ones of hopeless despair.
      The same applies to people who have been to a seance to hear from loved ones who have passed on. Why have none ever heard their loved ones spirits claiming to be in hell?
      Because it's all make believe. The afterlife is a delusion.

      December 8, 2011 at 7:59 pm |
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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.