15 faith-based predictions for 2012
January 1st, 2012
03:00 PM ET

15 faith-based predictions for 2012

To ring in the New Year, CNN's Belief Blog asked experts in religion, faith leaders, and a secular humanist about how the forces of faith and faithlessness will shape the world in 2012.

Here's what they told us:

1. The Republican Party will tap Mitt Romney as its presidential nominee, and America will finally have its "Mormon moment." As evangelicals try to figure out whether they can support a president who practices Mormonism, the rest of us will try to figure out whether Mormonism is a cult, a form of Christianity, or something in between. Meanwhile, visitors to Marriott hotels will finally crack open some of those nightstand copies of The Book of Mormon.
-Stephen Prothero, Boston University religion professor and regular CNN Belief Blog contributor

2. Despite all of the lessons that could have been learned from Y2K and Harold Camping, people will still rally around the idea that apocalyptic events are on the calendar for 2012. Some will turn to the end-date of the 5125-year-long cycle in the Mesoamerican Long Count calendar (closely associated with the Maya civilization) and a handful of folks believe cataclysmic events are awaiting on December 21, 2012. But the dates with will pass with little fanfare — except for those profiting from the sale of gold coins, generators, and dried food that you'd probably rather want to die than eat.
-Margaret Feinberg, author of "Hungry for God"

3. Continuing revolutions across the Arab world will raise alarming questions about the fate of the remaining Christians in the region, and will put the issue of religious persecution squarely on the political agenda. Sizable Christian populations now survive in only two Arab countries, Egypt and Syria, both of which could soon be under Islamist rule. At a minimum, expect to see inter-faith violence on the ground. In a worst case scenario, Arab Christians could face large scale persecution, forcing millions to seek new homes overseas. Watch too for religious persecution to be an emotive issue in the U.S. presidential race.
- Philip Jenkins, Penn State University professor and author of "Laying Down the Sword: Why We Can't Ignore the Bible's Violent Verses"

4. The year will see an increase in the number of people "coming out" as nonbelievers. Major events like the Reason Rally in March will be a catalyst for more people to publicly declare their secular worldview. The statements of popular celebrities George Takei and Ricky Gervais as atheists in 2011 are just the tip of the iceberg.
–Roy Speckhardt, executive director of the American Humanist Association

5. "All-American Muslim" will become a bigger hit than "Jersey Shore" ever was. Obsessed fans worldwide, regardless of gender, will begin rocking sassy colorful hijab (veil) and converting en masse. Tim Tebow will choose to fast in solidarity with Muslim football players and Tebowing will be replaced by Teprostrating. President Obama will jump on the bandwagon and replace VP Joe Biden with Keith Ellison as his running mate, guaranteeing his re-election in a landslide victory in November. Peace will reign on earth and pigs will have a new lease on life.
-Maysoon Zayid, comedian, actress and co-producer of the New York Arab American Comedy Festival

6. There's no question the worldview of most younger Christians already differs from previous generations regarding social justice, cultural engagement and politics. The next issue of probable divergence? The conflict in Israel and Palestine. The American church has largely purported just one theology about the modern state of Israel, but now questions are being asked - especially by younger Christians learning of persecution and human rights issues happening in the region - if the church should have a more active role in peacemaking. Is there a way for the Church to be pro-Israel, pro-Palestine and pro-peace?
–Cameron Strang, publisher of RELEVANT magazine

7. Significant numbers of millennials (young people born in the 1980s and 1990s) will continue to walk away from socially conservative religious traditions. Bringing them back will be tough, especially for religious organizations deeply invested in brick-and-mortar and bureaucracy. Millennials who are facing the erosion of access to affordable, quality education and meaningful employment and who stand to inherit from their elders a great deal of debt and environmental destruction want to know why and how faith matters.
-Joanna Brooks, Mormon author and columnist for Religion Dispatches

8. The year 2012 promises to be a time of great spiritual stirring in our nation. People are seeking both practical and spiritual answers to their problems. As a result, churches and media ministries that answer specific needs will grow in unprecedented numbers. We can expect to see the numbers of mega-churches and super mega-churches continue to grow. Culturally there will be marked return to helping the poor (both domestically and internationally) and political and social engagement by a younger/more racially diverse, evangelical people.
–Harry R. Jackson Jr., senior pastor, Hope Christian Church and president of the High Impact Leadership Coalition

9. Sabbath becomes trendy! Fourth Commandment makes a comeback! Sabbath named Time’s person of the year! A new movement sweeps the country. They call themselves 24/6. Worn out by being tethered to the grid 24/7, sick of being accessible all hours of the day, inundated by updates, upgrades, and breaking news, Americans finally rebel, demanding, “We need a day off.” People all over the country go offline for 24 hours every week. The simple break from the frenetic pace results in lowered cholesterol rates, fewer speeding tickets, and a reduction in marital strife. Peace, tranquility and contentment spread like wildfire.
–Jamie Korngold, rabbi and author of "The God Upgrade"

10. Women in the Middle East and around the world will rally in protest about the woman who was beaten, stomped on and stripped down to her blue bra (under her abaya) during a demonstration in Egypt. Women everywhere who have been oppressed by their religions will rise up, as they have already done in Egypt, to join "The Blue Bra Revolution." We're mad as hell and we're not going to take it anymore.
–Sally Quinn, founder and editor-in-chief of Washington Post's “On Faith”

11.“Occu-pew Church" – a movement away from counterfeit "Church-ianity," cult of personality and religion toward authentic grassroots personal faith, based on living and loving like Jesus. More churches will lose the moat dragon mentality, lower the drawbridge and dispatch members beyond the church service to church SERVICE, applying their faith in the community through volunteerism and outreach. A renewed global emphasis on prayer - especially for peace and reconciliation - as individuals and leaders recognize that personal spiritual peace in one's heart provides the only lasting foundation for physical peace among families, friends, neighbors - even nations
–A. Larry Ross, Christian communications executive representing clients like Billy Graham and Rick Warren

12. Hindu Americans will continue to become better advocates for themselves, particularly in the public policy arena. They will play a larger role in defining the manner in which Hinduism is represented in the media, academia, popular culture, and interfaith dialogue. The acknowledgment of the Hindu roots of yoga will continue to spread with more people seeing the connection. And the Hindu ethos of religious pluralism will take on a more prominent role in nurturing not only tolerance, but respect for and between the world's religions.
–Sheetal Shah, senior director of the Hindu American Foundation

13. In 2012 the lines between the sacred and the profane will get even more blurry: Scientists will religiously maintain their search for the elusive God particle (they won't find it); evangelical sports superhero and Denver Bronco quarterback Tim Tebow will continue to be both an inspiration to the faithful and an object of scorn to skeptics (he will be watching, not playing in, the Super Bowl); at least one well-known religious leader or leading religious politician will be brought down by a sex scandal (let's hope all our leaders have learned a lesson from former Rep. Anthony Weiner and stay away from sexting); and the "nones" - those who don't identify with one religion - will grow even more numerous and find religious meanings in unexpected places (what TV show will become this season's "Lost"?)
–Gary M. Laderman, chairman of Emory University’s religion department and  director of  Religion Dispatches

14. America’s evangelical community will have its hands full addressing both a presidential election and offering a biblical response to “end of days” Mayan prophecies surrounding 2012. With the economy emerging as the primary issue for the November election, America’s born-again community will have an opportunity to contextualize an alternative narrative to the polarizing elements from both the right and the left by reconciling the righteousness message of Billy Graham with the justice platform of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. By offering compassionate, truth-filled solutions and focusing on the message of grace, love, reconciliation and healing, evangelicals will demonstrate that the greatest agenda stems neither from the donkey nor the elephant but rather from the lamb.
- Rev. Samuel Rodriguez, president of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference

15. We are seeing the divide between younger generation evangelicals and older generation (baby boom and older) get wider every year both theologically and culturally (lifestyle). 2012 promises to widen the gap even more with Gen X and younger evangelicals having trouble understanding why the traditional lines make sense and/or just outright rejecting those lines.
–Mark Tauber, publisher at HarperOne

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Atheism • Christianity • Hinduism • Islam

soundoff (2,166 Responses)
  1. MissusPowell

    Noone can prove or disprove a God or Creator or Higher Power, whatever you wish to call him/her/it....so noone can prove they are right or others are wrong...furthermore, it is EGO that makes us all want to be RIGHT, so get over it. FAITH isn't about RIGHT and all the hate language only diminishes your discussion as it isn't about being RIGHT. Let it go, folks. It is all bigger than any one organized religion, color of skin, country, and most of all self. A MYTH IS A STORY THAT NEVER HAPPENED, THAT IS HAPPENING ALL THE TIME...said Joseph Campbell. You can look him up and you will find him...and many others seekers of truth and wisdom.

    January 2, 2012 at 5:32 am |
    • jeep

      You're too dumb to debate. I'm tempted to believe that you're really a troll pretending to be dumb trailer trash.

      January 2, 2012 at 5:39 am |
  2. Sgt. Tibbs

    ech-em....excuse me. Number 13. Are you aware of what the "god particle" even is? hint: It has less to do with "God" than it has to do with Mass...

    I bet they will find it: http://io9.com/5867512/two-independent-cern-experiments-are-closing-in-on-the-higgs-boson

    January 2, 2012 at 5:23 am |
  3. treblemaker

    Hey, extraspecial, your life proves the existence of God. How we choose to understand Him is the great conundrum.

    January 2, 2012 at 5:03 am |
    • jeep


      January 2, 2012 at 5:05 am |
    • Mirosal

      @ treblemaker .... no, human life is caused when a spe'rm penetrates the wall of the egg. When the spe'rm gets to the nucleus of that cell, enzymes start a chemical reaction, causing the cell to start splitting. Nothing divine or godly about it. Did you fail biology, or are you one of those 'creationists' who answer "God did it" to every question?

      January 2, 2012 at 5:23 am |
    • Rick

      How does life prove the existence of "God"?

      January 2, 2012 at 5:32 am |
  4. MissusPowell

    Joseph Campbell, reknown mythologist, said "A Myth is a story that never happened, that is happening all the time."

    January 2, 2012 at 4:43 am |
    • jeep

      Yes, our desire for a grand narrative that gives "meaning" to existence "happens" all the time. Some of us see it for what it is.

      January 2, 2012 at 4:51 am |
  5. T.L.O'Connell II

    Religion was formed to help create order. As religion grew more popular the leaders became more powerful. Now they enjoy power and power corupts. Revalations was created to promote power.(Do as we say or burn for eternity.) The Mayans quit with their calander because they got tired of makeing it. The Torra or old testament can not include the entire history of exsistance. It is more like a Readers Digest verson. (SO whatever wiz came up with 6 thousand years was an idiot.)

    January 2, 2012 at 4:17 am |
  6. Ted

    I believe in God although I will say that sometimes my belief wavers depending on what kind of cruelty we dish out to each other at the time. To say that the the universe was not created because there is no proof is ignorant. Lets think about this for a second. The Universe is billions of years old and if we cant explain it in the 50 years that I would consider us to be scientifically relevant then that means it wasnt created by an intelligent being? We cant explain the universe because as advanced as we think we are,we are still cavemen,and guess what 1 billion years from now we still wont know the answer because we will still be infants in the eyes of the universe.

    January 2, 2012 at 4:12 am |
    • Griffin

      So, because in 50 years humanity has not figured everything out, 'imaginary friend' did it?

      January 2, 2012 at 4:30 am |
    • jeep

      No, Ted, we are not "cavemen." Cavemen were cavemen. As for atheists being "ignorant," well that's funny on a few levels coming from you. Look, suppose I believed in examining chicken entrails to tell the future. Your informed, rational decision to dismiss my "method" as utter nonsense would not be "ignorant."

      By the way, if you choose to believe in some sort of "god," then try to be brave enough to admit to believing it without qualification, i.e., without a cowardly tip of the hat to us atheists in the form of "wavering" belief.

      January 2, 2012 at 4:37 am |
  7. yozhik

    I predict that The Flying Spaghetti Monster will favor the saucy!

    January 2, 2012 at 4:10 am |
    • jeep

      Spaghetti's good, especially with garlic bread and salad.

      January 2, 2012 at 4:53 am |
    • Pastafarian

      I for one have been touched by His Noodly Appendage. R'amen.

      January 2, 2012 at 7:42 pm |
  8. NoFoolLikeThat

    No evidence of supernatural beings or occurances, existance of a soul or of life after death other than hearsay.
    No evidence to support belief of one supernatural belief being more correct than any other.

    Strong evidence throughout history that people cannot seem to live without the above.

    January 2, 2012 at 3:52 am |
  9. jeremiah

    jesus is coming soon we all must repent this world is geting sicker and sicker

    January 2, 2012 at 3:51 am |
    • NoFoolLikeThat

      soon? Really? How soon? In your lifetime? Any solid evidence of that?

      January 2, 2012 at 3:54 am |
    • Duzinkiewicz

      Indeed the world is getting sicker and sicker. The measure of this is intensifying fundamentalism and deteriorating socio-economic realities that drive people to seek a false spiritualism, that is religion. Were Jesus to return he would probably wonder who are these Christians? I know them not.

      January 2, 2012 at 4:00 am |
    • Mirosal

      Are you Harold Camping's son by chance? We've heard that rhetoric for hundreds of years, so far, nothing has happened. And what about 80% of the world's population that does NOT follow your little book? Are they 'condemned' because they don't believe as you do? What a petty little childish 'god' you follow. If your 14 year old child is setting a place at the table for his imaginary friend, would you tell him to grow up and face reality? Or would you continue to let him believe that which YOU know isn't there?

      January 2, 2012 at 4:00 am |
    • yozhik

      yes he is. he usually comes on wednesday to mow my lawn.

      January 2, 2012 at 4:05 am |
    • Rick

      How soon is Jesus coming, jeremiah? One generation? Two? Five? Come on, if we need to repent, we need to know when? Or, perhaps there is no judgment and you are just blathering on about Iron Age mythology

      January 2, 2012 at 5:35 am |
  10. Mike H

    Every religion should make a full set of predictions at the beginning of the year and CNN can score the results at the end of the year. That way skeptical people can decide their faiths the way investors pick mutual funds.

    January 2, 2012 at 3:47 am |
    • Duzinkiewicz

      Exactly. Christians should remember how their earliest predecessors were absolutely sure Jesus was coming back anytime now. Most lack lack of humility to admit the lack of substances in their wishful thinking – and yet they love trust their prideful *special knowledge* and make excuses reminiscent of adulescents caught redhanded with the alcohol!

      January 2, 2012 at 3:56 am |
  11. jeep

    It's ignorant to believe that the universe was created with some sort of "purpose" because there is no reason to believe that it was. Do you actually believe that some sort of god "created" us through the evolutionary process? Do you believe that our having approximately 4% Neanderthal genes was "planned by God"? What is it about believing in fairy tales that is NOT ignorant?

    January 2, 2012 at 2:58 am |
    • Duzinkiewicz

      Belief mean exactly that: holding as true what is not know. But isnąt that exactly what we teach our children not to do and as long as they do it they have not fully matured?

      January 2, 2012 at 4:03 am |
  12. Joe Shet The Rag Man

    Religious nuts get more and more arrogant every year – that's a fact, not a prediction

    January 2, 2012 at 2:46 am |
    • Stan

      And atheists get more irrelevant

      January 2, 2012 at 2:54 am |
    • Mirosal

      Only the 2nd day of the year, and Joe already scored a touchdown, because Stan fumbled on his own 1 yard line.

      January 2, 2012 at 2:56 am |
    • apostate

      Actually, non-religion is the fastest growing group. Atheism is very relevant.

      January 2, 2012 at 3:00 am |
  13. tallulah13

    The chinese and jews have their own calendars that are much older than the one created by papal decree in 1582. And lets not even get started on how many names on that papal calendar have origins in pagan mythology. You mentioned January? The name comes from Janus, the roman god of doors.

    January 2, 2012 at 2:25 am |
    • tallulah13

      bad post. I'll put it in the right place now.

      January 2, 2012 at 2:25 am |
  14. vintage274

    This 2010 hype about the Mayan Calendar can be easily explained away. Mayan philosophy is explained in the Popol Vuh, the "Bible" of the Mayan people. The Mayans believed that the world passes through cycles. At the end of a cycle, it's like a fresh page is turned and there is an opportunity for a fresh start to a new calendar cycle. It's no different from the ritual we just went through yesterday except that it embraces a longer period of time and is based upon the interactions of our planetary system rather than just interactions between the sun and the earth. There is no apocalyptic language and no calling for an endtime. There have been a number of short calendars within the long-count, and mankind is still here.

    January 2, 2012 at 2:11 am |
    • Mirosal

      There is also a much simpler idea. They simply ran out of room in the space alloted for writing that calendar.

      January 2, 2012 at 2:16 am |
  15. IamDesigned

    So... could someone please is explain why is it foolish to believe that the universe was created with a purpose? Why is spirituality considered "ignorance"?

    January 2, 2012 at 2:02 am |
    • Samsword

      I don't think people have a problem with "spirituality," so much as organized religion. But I could be wrong.

      January 2, 2012 at 2:04 am |
    • Samsword

      Of course religion is merely a group of people sharing certain spiritual ideals. But personally I think that a lot of people are embittered by the actions of a few. Therefore the whole gets the bad reputation.

      January 2, 2012 at 2:08 am |
    • HotAirAce

      Because there is no evidence that the universe was designed, with or without a purpose, and the more we learn about the universe, the less we need to say "some god must have done." Because there is no evidence to support spiritually – none, zip, zero provided after 2000+ years. Because if you applied the very low standards of evidence for intelligent design and spiritually to any other subject, you would be ridiculed and sent for a mental healh assessment.

      January 2, 2012 at 2:24 am |
    • UrBFFJill

      Hey, it's not foolish to "believe" anything...it's just foolish to try to prove something that cannot be proven. Those that oppose creationist ideologies (myself included) are not against people having a blind faith that they are here for a higher purpose and that there is an all powerful, selfish, often spiteful, and somehow still loving, invisible man in the sky that knows everything that will happen because he made it that way...it's just that, well, we don't like logical systems of thought, like the scientific method, being misconstrued for the purposes of recruitment into an organized cult of faith. That kind of practice sets back progress and limits knowledge and intelligence for our generation and the next.

      January 2, 2012 at 2:28 am |
    • tallulah13

      Perhaps it's not so foolish as it is completely ego-centric. There is no evidence of purpose in the universe. Certainly what exists now is more a matter of successful adaptation than deliberate design.

      And as far as I can tell, spirituality isn't considered ignorant, but blind adherence to religion is a whole 'nother topic.

      January 2, 2012 at 2:39 am |
    • nepawoods

      While probably all things popularly touted as evidence that the universe was created with a purpose clearly are not, that is not to say there is no such evidence.

      January 2, 2012 at 2:44 am |
    • extraspecial

      it's foolish to "believe" that the universe was "created with a purpose" because of two main problems:

      one: belief - if you want to be less foolish, you will want to "believe" things that are true, and can be proven true, or at least demonstrated as being more likely than other things. you will then have to devise a way of discerning between convincing proof and less-convincing proof. faith aspires to a belief, which is its own goal. People who aspire to find the truth by examining convincing proof think that wanting to believe in something (like "god") is more foolish than wanting to make sure you ONLY believe in true things that can be proven (like "exoplanets") and NEVER believe in fake things that are just plain made up (like "fairies" or "the tooth fairy.")

      WHY not aspire to a belief for its own sake? What's the harm? Well, if you believe in things, then those things should help you live better. Otherwise, why know anything? Fake things, by definition, do NOT help you be a better person, engage your community positively, become wiser, or become more successful - they separate you from reality and make it hard to work in the world. One test of your beliefs' trueness is whether or not those beliefs lead to true predictions. Faithful people constantly make false predictions of how the world will respond to their actions, based on the falseness of their beliefs, and it hurts them, and sometimes the rest of us. False religious-influenced ideas include "I don't need to plan, because god will provide." or "society will fall apart morally if we allow gay marriage." or, "god will favor us if we stick to this unhappy marriage," or "if we let our kids read harry potter, they'll turn to witchcraft and become evil."

      In reality, you'll make false predictions about life, make bad choices, and vote in ways that harm ME and my freedom to marry, reproduce (or not), or listen to heavy metal music. So false beliefs are foolish from a philosophical and a utilitarian approach – they make you more wrong, and they hurt you (and me) when you attempt to act on them. This, I would argue, might be construed as "foolish," but I prefer "criminally tragic."

      TWO: "created with a purpose" - this is foolish because it's a statement loaded with narrative, not proof or truth. It makes a lot of sense to the human storytelling mind, because we have a hardware-level impulse to pretend that everything thinks just like we do. The standard of proof for an assertion of something which is ordinary, like, say, gravity (experienced by billions of humans daily) is pretty low. I don't feel the need to demand high-level simulations and mathematical models so that my belief that gravity exists can continue uninterrupted. Why? Because gravity is experienced daily, and predictions based on knowledge of gravity tend to come true with steadfast consistency. ("If I drop this pen, it will fall till it hits the floor." testable, and often-tested.)

      On the extreme other hand, "God" is a hypothesis which has never been tested, the parameters of the hypothesis that "god exists" (which is the necessary implication of your "universe was created with a purpose" hypothesis) are usually NOT testable in any way (in fact, the Bible warns us against testing whether god exists. Apparently, it ticks Him off! Go figure). And the effects of having a god in our world are not visible in any way, nor do predictions based on god being real (He'll do certain things, I'll make money if I send the church a donation, God's divine morals will keep society together, etc) are CONSISTENTLY wrong. This means that God's existence is highly unlikely. All we have are stories, and the stories are poetry, not proofs - they resemble many other human-created fairy tales featuring personification of impersonal forces, not the kind of stories we tell about true things that we know about, like gravity and how, say, diesel engines work. God is a different kind of "knowledge –" he is obviously a fable.

      Does this mean that the fable is worthless? Perhaps not, if this fable makes you think in ways that are positive and constructive. But it's extremely important to understand the difference between "inspiring story" and "description of reality." Otherwise, instead of being inspired to reason and tolerance, I'd be out devotedly searching for the mutant superheroes who inspire me personally. And that would be foolish.

      January 2, 2012 at 2:58 am |
    • Rick

      i got no problem with people believing the universe was created with a purpose. i have a significant problem with people who claim to know the purpose and and the need to preach on it

      January 2, 2012 at 5:40 am |
  16. Paul

    God is a powerful idea. No, human have not been made to image of God .. at best to the image of some aliens ... makes more sense than any of the BS any religious book ever said. No, God did not write any book, humans did.
    God does not watch over its people .. there is no such thing as God's people, there is however such thing as people's exploitation by other human through the means of religious beliefs ...
    All of this says nothing about God's existence nor about the truth on the purpose of life and specifically of human life, it only says the truth about how gullible people can be.
    Anyone who state the banning of human based on their religious beliefs .. is a real evil doers. so much for God's will.

    January 2, 2012 at 1:53 am |
    • Grammar Nazi (sorry for no pc)

      can you please use correct grammar....

      January 2, 2012 at 2:35 am |
    • jeep

      @grammar nazi
      I don't know, "can" he?

      January 2, 2012 at 2:46 am |
    • Mirosal

      @ Jeep ... Nazi used to correct word. He used 'can' because he was asking if Paul had the ability to use correct grammar. "Can you ....?" also means "Do you have to ability to...?"

      January 2, 2012 at 2:54 am |
    • jeep

      Nonsense. Grammarnazi was not asking about his ability to use proper grammar, (s)he was trying to ask him to USE proper grammar, otherwise (s)he would not have said "Can you 'please' ..."

      January 2, 2012 at 4:12 am |
  17. Pastafarian

    plus ca change, plus c'est la meme chose. 2012 will be no different.

    January 2, 2012 at 1:51 am |
    • Paul

      No, it will be exactly the same, predictably unpredictable.

      January 2, 2012 at 1:55 am |
    • Pastafarian

      that's pretty much exactly what I said 😉

      January 2, 2012 at 1:56 am |
  18. Barnacle Bill

    "Despite all of the lessons that could have been learned from Y2K and Harold Camping, people will still rally around the idea that apocalyptic events are on the calendar for 2012."

    Oh, the irony!

    The author believes in imaginary friends in the sky, yet has the audacity to criticize the fantasies of others!

    Typical religious hypocrisy.

    January 2, 2012 at 1:49 am |
  19. b4bigbang

    Ashton Kutcher: "Without Citing the Bible as a Reference tell me One Bad thing ABOUT GAY PEOPLE!"

    Just off the top of my head here's more than one:
    1) Higher AIDS incidence than non-gay population.
    2) Higher hepC incidence than non-gay population.
    3) Hemorroids
    4) Gay Bowel syndrome
    That's just off the top of my head quickly because i gotta go for now.
    Hope this helps!
    Peace in the new year

    January 2, 2012 at 1:48 am |
    • Pastafarian

      wow, I hope you were just trying to be sarcastic and that you're not really *that* stupid.

      January 2, 2012 at 1:52 am |
    • UrBFFJill

      I didn't know they provide internet access to mental hospital patients...

      January 2, 2012 at 2:31 am |
    • nepawoods

      He forgot to mention poopdick.

      January 2, 2012 at 2:46 am |
  20. Victor

    Great read. Some are believeable and some are not. It is a wait and see until Dec 2012. Just pray to the " God of your Understanding" and ask if this will happen to all mankind or just to you and your family and friends.Keep the answer to yourself and do something to change what negative might happen to a positive that will happen.

    January 2, 2012 at 1:46 am |
    • Diana

      But just "what if" its all true? Man..I would rather live a good life and have faith that I will be rewarded or something instead of just dying and turning to dust. I must have faith that I will see my Dad again one day...If its not true then I wont know it as I turn to dust, and I will have lead a good faith based life....but if it is true and I do see my dad again....where does that leave unbelievers...whether it is a religion or just a belief in God as our creator.

      January 2, 2012 at 2:33 am |
    • tallulah13

      Diana, some people don't need a fantasy of reward to be good people. I will die and be no more and that doesn't trouble me. What matters is that I live the one life I do have as best as I can.

      Here is my question to you: What if you are worshiping the wrong god? What if one of the thousands of other gods that humanity has worshiped throughout history is the real one?

      January 2, 2012 at 2:45 am |
    • Mirosal

      @ Diana .. 2 words ... Pascal's Wager .. look it up

      January 2, 2012 at 2:49 am |
    • nepawoods

      Diana, if you're gonna ask "what if it's all true", then why not "what if Islam is all true", or what if "God will reward the rational atheists" is all true? There can be an infinite number of conflicting belief systems that all include "believe this and you'll have eternal life". You pick a single one to gamble on. Why?

      January 2, 2012 at 2:52 am |
    • apostate

      @Diana So you don't care about what is true, all you care about is what makes you warm and fuzzy inside. Got it. Also, look up Pascal's Wager.

      January 2, 2012 at 3:11 am |
    • Non Believer

      nepawoods hit on the problem with "Pascal's Gambit". Which belief system should you follow?: Islam? Christianity? Easter Bunny? Santa? The Flying Spaghetti Monster???

      Most of us have too much to do to seriously get involved in this type of silly gamble.

      January 2, 2012 at 10:00 am |
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About this blog

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