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My Take: Don’t blame college for young people leaving Christianity
The author says the politicization of Christianity is responsible for young people leaving church.
February 28th, 2012
12:39 PM ET

My Take: Don’t blame college for young people leaving Christianity

Editor's note: Tim King, the communications director at Sojourners, blogs at sojo.net. Follow him at @tmking.

By Tim King, Special to CNN

(CNN) - Christianity in America is in danger. As former Senator Rick Santorum recently pointed out, young people are leaving the church in droves.

In the mid-1980s, evangelical 20-somethings outnumbered those with no religious affiliation – the so-called “nones” – by a ratio of more than 2 to 1. By 2008, those proportions were almost flipped, with young “nones” outnumbering evangelicals by more than 1.5 to 1.

An entire generation, my generation, is leaving the church. What’s the cause? Santorum blames higher education, telling Glenn Beck last week that "62% of kids who go into college with a faith commitment leave without it."

The “war on religion” has become a frequent bogeyman among Christian and political leaders. But the reason church leaders have failed to stem the tide of a generation heading for the exit door is that they keep looking for an outside enemy to blame when the biggest problems are inside the church.

The years young adults spend in college aren’t causing them to leave their faith; those college years are exposing the problems with the faith they grew up with.

The exodus has little to do with liberal college professors, which insurance plans should cover contraception, where mosques are being built, or whether or not the Ten Commandments are hanging in courtrooms, even if many religious leaders act as if these are the greatest Christian “battles” of our lifetime.

In doing so, they are actively pushing young people away from religion.

Don’t get me wrong. I don’t think young people are leaving the church in record numbers just because some Christians are Republicans. There are a lot of wonderful Christians who happen to be conservative and who are great witnesses for the faith. Many of them are in my family.

Rather, the exodus is about hypocrisy.

Last year, we saw Christian leaders raising the alarm about the encroachment of “radical Islamists.” They call for the restriction of Muslims religious liberties to practice their faith and build houses of worship. But this year, when it comes to contraception, the rallying cry is religious freedom.

Last week, Franklin Graham was asked whether or not he believed President Obama was a Christian. He gave a fair answer when he said it wasn’t his place to judge.

But when asked the same question about the faith of Santorum and Newt Gingrich, Graham’s standards changed. He answered that yes, he did think those men were Christian because of “political interests” and “spiritual interests.” Graham later backtracked, but the message was already out.

What did a lot of young people hear? To be a Christian you need to look like, talk like and vote like Franklin Graham… Oh, and something about sinners and grace.

Such political spectacles are driving a generation away from faith. It almost did for me, an evangelical Christian in my 20s who attends church on an almost weekly basis.

Most of my life I went to private Christian schools or was homeschooled. I had some wonderful examples of faith that inspired me. But as soon as I heard Christians on the radio or saw them on TV, I was ashamed to call myself a Christian.

The Jesus I read about in Scriptures taught love, acceptance, peace and concern for the poor, but the Christian leaders on TV and radio always seemed to be pro-rich, pro-white, pro-America and anti-gay.

By college I was getting ready to leave it all behind.

Thankfully, I had found meaning in work with the homeless and tutoring refugees. I heard Jim Wallis, for whom I now work, speak about God’s heart for the poor and oppressed. I sat in Scot McKnight’s North Park University classes in Chicago and learned about a Jesus who didn’t think like me, talk like me or live like me but who presented a radical challenge to be a disciple of this one they call Christ.

By 2004, I realized that the highest Christian calling in my life might not be to vote Republican. I still casted my ballot, but what was most significant to me that November was inviting 15 homeless men and women into my campus apartment to celebrate Thanksgiving with some other students and spend the night indoors.

I like politics. I think it’s important. Public policy matters because it affects people’s lives every day in ways we often don’t realize. But my primary concern for it comes because it affects the people Jesus called me to love and that the Bible tells me to be a voice for. This is why the use and abuse of religion during this election season is so troubling.

When Franklin Graham sets up double standards of faith for Republicans and Democrats, when Pat Robertson intones about a coming “secular atheist dictatorship,” when the Family Research Council’s Tony Perkins goes off about the dangers of repealing Don’t Ask Don’t Tell and other “anti-family, anti-religious, anti-Christian policies,” when the great test for the next President of our country is who has “real” theology and who has “phony” theology, it might make for good sound bites.

But it’s bad faith.

Blaming colleges, like Santorum did, is a lot easier than reforming the church. Finding an enemy outside of your religious faith might keep some young people in line for a little while and is probably great for fundraising. Heck, it might even mobilize an important voting bloc and win a few elections.

But it’s hastening the decline of Christianity for an entire generation.

I have a simple request for our nation’s religious leaders who keep finding “enemies of the faith” at every turn without ever looking inward. For Christ’s sake, stop talking.

Spend some time in prayer and think about what you say before you say it. Ask yourself, is the political gain, the next spot on cable news or the notoriety I can achieve really worth the damage to the church?

The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of Tim King.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Christianity • Politics • Rick Santorum

soundoff (1,729 Responses)
  1. Thomas

    College doesn't cause it. Reason doesn't cause it. Logic doesn't cause it. The fact that it doesn't make sense causes it. Reality tells us that random things happen good and bad, to everyone regardless of what they believe. Many of us would still believe in Santa Clause if parents never told us not to and exposed themselves as the gift giver. But not everyone believes in Santa so it's out there. I'm not saying there is no god, but I am saying that the supernatural events in Christianity can't be proven but it's been fairly easy to disprove. While people who supposedly have faith challenge that, they do so the same way a child accepts that Santa, the Easter Bunny and the Tooth Fairy are real. Someone told them something mysterious happened and then they have gifts, chocolate eggs and money under their pillows, so faith got a boost in childhood from deceptive parents fueled by the Christian religions mingling with older beliefs and their need to maintain a grip on the people. That grip that the religions maintain is like an emperor's grip on his empire, without his people he has nothing, so his belief in his own authority and importance hinge on motivating them to not flee and evade his rule. Religion, especially Christianity is susceptible to critical thinking so it many who begin to look at the world beyond their own existence might find that they no longer accept the mysteries of religion because they no longer believe in the mysteries of childhood.

    February 29, 2012 at 10:10 am |
    • Mr. N.

      Really, can you "disprove" any of the supernatural events on the bible?

      February 29, 2012 at 10:15 am |
    • Thomas

      Mr N, as easily as you can prove them.

      February 29, 2012 at 10:23 am |
    • Mr. N.

      Thomas, you are the one that claim they could be disproven. This is your show, bud. Put up!

      February 29, 2012 at 10:26 am |
    • Zeke2112

      "Really, can you "disprove" any of the supernatural events on the bible?"

      I hereby claim that you, Mr. N, were not the product of your mom and dad. The Great Noodly Appendage of his Pastaness reached into your mom and implanted his holy Meatball within her. It then took on human form and became you.

      See, I can make up balderdash that cannot be disproven. That does not make it any more likely to be true.

      February 29, 2012 at 10:35 am |
    • Thomas

      Mr N, as easily as you can prove them, which is the issue. After 2000 years you have nothing but the anecdotes written 100 or more years after that fact by people who weren't there to witness it. If 100 years from now someone writes that you walked on water, raised the dead or turned bread into fish and people follow the ones who write it and they say you did it and said you were the son of god, they might think Mr N is the messiah. But it wouldn't be true would it? It's not proven so It doesn't have to be disproved, it just isn't true.

      February 29, 2012 at 10:40 am |
    • Mr. N.

      Thomas, stop avoiding the question and going on tangents. Just provide evidence on your claims. It's the most basic tenant of critical thinking.

      February 29, 2012 at 10:43 am |
    • Jared

      Somehow, my comment got moderated, but the short of it was that the supernatural still happens today. I've seen people healed in an instant of long-term problems.

      February 29, 2012 at 10:43 am |
    • Robert Brown

      Jesus said in Matthew 12: 39 “An evil and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign; and there shall no sign be given to it…” They wanted him to show them a miracle, sign, evidence, or proof that he was the son of God. He refused. We can’t prove to you the existence of God by use of physical evidence. The witnesses of the events recorded them in the Bible and those who have been saved can give witness or testimony of their personal spiritual experience. So, if you require physical evidence of the existence of God you are not going to get it, but if you can accept the testimony of multiple witnesses we may be able to help.

      February 29, 2012 at 10:54 am |
    • Primewonk

      Mr. N wrote, " can you "disprove" any of the supernatural events on the bible?"

      In sciencce we do not prove things, we explain things. Proofs are for maths and ethanol.

      That being said, we have tons of scientific facts and evidence showing that your god was just plain wrong. For ninstance, your god claims that he created the heavens and the earth first and then said let there be light – although he didn't get around to creating any photon sources until day 4.

      However, we know that the universe is about 13.7 billion years old. Initially, the universe was way too hot and way too dense for visible light to exist. The universe had to expand and cool for 300,000 years before you could have light. The earth is much newer. It's 4.54 billion years oldd. Prior to earth forming, there were billions and billions of stars that formed and died.

      When your god – or the itinerant bronze-aged shepherds who claimed to hear god, gets the very first verse wrong in your holy book, it does not bode well for the rest of the stories.

      February 29, 2012 at 11:49 am |
    • Primewonk

      Jared wrote, " the supernatural still happens today. I've seen people healed in an instant of long-term problems."

      Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. Why won't your god cure an amputee? Surelt in the 200,000 years we have been human, there has been an amputee who has had enough faith to be cured. Hell, newts and starfish grow new limbs every day. Do they have more faith in your god?

      February 29, 2012 at 12:01 pm |
    • Rationalintn

      So Mr. N, the universe was created in 7 days, really? Where can I find a talking snake again? All humans are descendants of 2 white people? So darker skinned people are just really tan? Noah collected 2 of every animal? Really, every animal. It must have been a b!+€# going to pick up polar bears in the Arctic, then all the way to Antarctica for penguins, the old guy was certainly devoted. How about the man who lived inside a whale for 3 days? I'd like to see that one on Myth Busters.

      February 29, 2012 at 12:47 pm |
  2. Christopher Rose

    This article strikes a cord with me. I was raised southern baptist and evangelical in NC. My questioning of the church began when back in 1982 I asked my mother why I had black people in my class at school but none of them came to my church? Then as my parents divorced I was thrown into an evangelical church my stepmother attended. This was a "non denominational" church that seethed politics and indoctrinating it's followers. I watched as they attempted to Faith heal my stepbrother with muscular distrophy which in my mind was one of the cruelest events I have ever seen. I had the curch actvily encouraging my father who had PTSD and temper issues that "sparing the rod" was bad. At several times I was beaten to bruises for trivial offenses. Child protective services had to step in. The church activly preached founding a christian nation and being active in polotics for conservative causes. After being forced to "speak in tounges" and do other things against my will I became desperately depressed. In my mind I was being asked to check my brain at the door of the church. Not once did our church offer to do antyihng for the poor. It was all about raising money to build some new mega church. I started running away from home and failing school as my childhood was beeing trashed. As a teen I was not allowed to listen to music and if I bought a casette of say prince or madonna, if I was caught I was forced to burn it in the back yard. I couldn't watch the smurfs as the church said they were satanic. What I learned was church was all about control. Not the love of christ or helping others. Catholics, Protestants, evangelicals it's all the same. It's not about science and understanding and help. It's about beeing a sheep in a flock. Evangelicals are even wose. The are non denominational usualy precisley becasue they DO NOT want the oversight that comes from peer review. Becasue it's not about god but them building there own empire.

    February 29, 2012 at 10:10 am |
    • JM

      Yikes. That is sad.

      February 29, 2012 at 10:11 am |
  3. Bible 101

    Interesting comments, I am confident to say that the next time some strange horrible act happens
    to the US and or to something or someone you are aware of you will all call on the name of JESUS
    or how about this OMG(oh my God) or Lord have Mercy on us. The day is coming where(that is right)
    EVERYKNEE WILL BOW AND EVERY TONGUE WILL CONFESS " HE IS LORD" Stay tuned.

    February 29, 2012 at 10:09 am |
    • tallulah13

      Or not. After a few thousand years of god being a no-show, people with common sense realize that if you want something done, you have to do it yourself.

      February 29, 2012 at 10:51 am |
    • Rationalintn

      Amen Tallulah. As I've often said, god didn't save the dinosaurs and he's not going to save you either. In fact, there have been multiple mass extinctions on earth, and god didn't stop any of them.

      February 29, 2012 at 12:35 pm |
  4. Chris

    I do blame the church as a whole for people leaving their faith. They might teach basic Christian beliefs, but they are not teaching why the Bible can be trusted. They are not teaching kids that several thousand artifacts have been found confirming the accuracy and authenticity of the Bible. If one chooses to not believe it, that is their own choice. The fact is Christianity is a very reasonable faith whether one chooses to follow it or not. The church needs to start teaching why the Bible can be trusted, and go from there. Less people would be leaving their faith if they understood why they believe the way they do.

    February 29, 2012 at 10:08 am |
  5. glorydays

    Christians are the cause of the decline of Christianity. If the show what Christian behavior is, I don't want any, thanks.

    February 29, 2012 at 10:07 am |
    • Oh Yeah

      Every great Empire crumbles due to internal decay.

      February 29, 2012 at 10:13 am |
    • Mr. N.

      Yeah, because the likes of Stalin, Hitler, Pol Pot, and even guys from other religions (Osama), are a paramount of virtue!

      February 29, 2012 at 10:16 am |
    • Zeke2112

      Yawn. The tired lie of Stalin and Hitler being atheists? That all you got, Mr. N?

      If you can't understand how a religious person would abolish religion at the state level to consolidate his power, you need to develop some critical thinking skills.

      February 29, 2012 at 10:23 am |
    • Oh Yeah

      Mr. N.
      Stalin, Hitler, and Pol Pot were all dictators, and dictators don't like sharing power with anything, including organized religion. Plenty of Christians today, the new "Relationship" types, also seem to share these guy's dislike for organized religion. Strange bedfellows, eh?

      February 29, 2012 at 10:23 am |
    • Mr. N.

      Because dictators don't have followers. They get to power, and keep, entirely on their own, right?

      February 29, 2012 at 10:30 am |
    • Zeke2112

      "Because dictators don't have followers. They get to power, and keep, entirely on their own, right?"

      They do have followers. And once they obtain power, they use it to suppress any other obstacles to that power – including religion, freedom, the press, and family bonds. That doesn't make them an atheist, nor does it make them out to destroy religion purely because they don't believe. It's just contrary to their power base.

      February 29, 2012 at 10:48 am |
    • Mr. N.

      Really Zeke2112? Are you prepared to sit there and tell me that the followers of Mao, or Stalin, or Pol Pot were Christians? Have you even read what these dictators advocated? Who kept them in power? Do you think that Stalin walked the streets of Moscow killing and condemning 20 million Russians all by himself?

      Dictators are dictators because they sell an ideology, and that is typically a secular/atheist one. The weak-minded masses swallow it because, ironically, they think reason alone will make them transcend their current condition.

      If anything, the great 20th century dictators provide picture-perfect examples of how this idea of reason being superior to religion can be used to brainwash and sway the masses.

      The reality is: Reason and faith are not superior to one another because they're not even comparable! Their focus, nature, and the way in which they serve humanity, is meant to be complementary.

      February 29, 2012 at 11:00 am |
  6. Jimmy

    You have a choice.You can be a believer or a non believer.If you are happy being a non believer more power to you. I happen to be a believer and you can't change that.If you let a person like Bill Maher influence you either way I feel sorry for you.He is a really sad individual and not worth wasting time on.

    February 29, 2012 at 10:07 am |
    • Oh Yeah

      I know too much about religion to just 'chose' to believe anyway.

      February 29, 2012 at 10:18 am |
    • Zeke2112

      Glad to see you are a nice, judgmental, my-way-or-the-high-way Christian. Maher is a sad individual because he doesn't think like you? I guess that makes you a sad individual as well since you think nothing like me.

      February 29, 2012 at 10:21 am |
  7. Rachel in GA

    WillM...I was so glad to hear what you said that all people are hypocrits at some point. How very true and the reason why is that all people are sinners, including the one that wrote this article. WillM, I like you, follow my Savior Christ Jesus, not any person or organization or political party. We all have our own beliefs and opinions and we just have to do the best we can. I am for the most part a Republican and that is due to where they stand on the issues and they are closer to how I feel about the issues. As an American, I dearly love and want to protect our freedoms, including our religious freedoms. I do not believe that anyone in this country should be forced by law to do or pay for something which is against their moral convictions and that goes for anyone...Christian, Jew or Muslim. This is America and it used to be the Home of the Free and we are losing that. To Mr. Tim King who wrote this, I must say to you...this is America and the Churches, like anyone else, has the right to speak out, they have freedom of speech and they just are going by what they believe. Mr. King you say the exodous from the Church is about hypocrisy, but we ALL ARE HYPOCRITS INCLUDING YOU. We are all sinners. And for me that is all the more reason I need my Church and my Bible but most of all time spent with my Savior.

    February 29, 2012 at 10:07 am |
    • Rationalintn

      I don't like crime, it is against my religion. Therefore, I don't want any of my tax dollars to pay for criminals to live in prisons. Who do I contact at the state and federal level for my refund???

      February 29, 2012 at 12:57 pm |
  8. Oh Yeah

    The really ironic part is that lots of these college kids' parents were part of the "Jesus Freak" subculture of the 70's that rejected THEIR parents' version of Christianity.

    February 29, 2012 at 10:04 am |
  9. Common Sense

    Education. The mortal enemy of all religions.

    February 29, 2012 at 10:03 am |
  10. JM

    As Jesus said (paraphrased): Be on your guard against the teachings of the Pharisees.

    The problem is that the world gets a picture of Christianity from the people who purport to be Christians but who more closely resemble the people Jesus most harshly criticized. HE didn't spend his time criticizing the "sinners". He ate with with them and loved them. They loved Him because of His teaching, which flew in the face of the hypocrisy of the Pharisees who did their "good works" to be seen by men and thought that they were holy/better than anyone else.

    Jesus teaching is radical and good news. The teachings of Pharisees is critical and hypocritical and in no way good news. Their teaching is "God hates you. You are bad. We are good. This is our country. Get out."

    Really???

    Who would want to sign up for that belief system??

    February 29, 2012 at 10:03 am |
    • Common Sense

      Yawn.

      February 29, 2012 at 10:06 am |
    • Bobby

      "And in general, Christians have not been very good about loving gay people. Oh, they'll tell you they hate the sin but they love the sinner, but I don't see much love for the sinner." Ed Dobson, former VP of Moral Majority, Inc.

      February 29, 2012 at 10:11 am |
  11. Bob

    Kurt Godel stated, as an explanation to his famous "Incompleteness Theorem" that a field of knowledge can either be "complete" (IE fully understood) or internally consistent, but never both.

    In the battle between religion and science, it becomes obvious that science has accepted that they must be internally consistent while striving for completeness. Science will never achieve completeness, but scientists will continue to strive for it. Religion favors the necessity for completeness while striving for consistency. Religions thinkers will never achieve that consistency while maintaining their insistence on a complete philosophy.

    The point of my post is not to promote that one or the other is the correct way of thinking, but to show that people of one persuasion are ill-equipped to have a conversation with someone of the other persuation, due to the lack of agreement on the rules of engagement. A scientist simply cannot understand the logic of a Bible-thumper and vice-versa.

    Until we're willing to be more flexible in the way we think about things, communication on these issues is doomed.

    February 29, 2012 at 10:03 am |
  12. college & religion

    I think its awful that people confuse Religion with Faith.
    Many people have a tremendous faith in God (whatever their faith calls God) but they are just tired of organized Religion, the mix of politics/Religion.
    The early Christian followers weren't Baptist, Catholic, Protestant.... They were just Faithful Christians that did NOT exclude anyone, did not caste stones and definitely did NOT mix with Politics. Even Jesus said "Render unto Caesar what is Caesar's and render unto God what is God's". Jesus knew to separate Church & State for the good of both and that is what is so so missing from Santorum, Gingrich & the others.

    February 29, 2012 at 10:01 am |
    • William

      The early Christians lived under a brutal dictatorship. There was no such thing as freedom of speech or a political system that allowed public debate. They were fed to lions as a spectator sport because they understood what it meant to be a true follower of Jesus...."Unless a man take up his cross and follow me, he cannot be my disciple."

      February 29, 2012 at 10:13 am |
  13. SEAL Team Alpha and Omega

    There is a Christian author named Schaffer, I believe, who is saying the same thing: that the GOP does not represent the teachings of Jesus. Instead, they use wedge issues to make church goers hate Democrats, That is their strategy and it works to a large extent. Look at what and how Jesus said to treat your neighbor and others (remember the Good Samaritan?). I don't agree with every social issue the Democrats stand for, but they far more represent the views in society of how government needs to treat its citizens than Republicans. I want to literally throw up every time I hear a GOP candidate of Senator or GOP Congressman stand up and condemn President Obama at every turn. I have been a Christian since 1972 and it is easy to see that Obama is far more qualified and far more concerned about all classes of Americans than any GOP currently. In fact, every platform policy issue the GOP is for is contrary to the teachings of Christ. He admonishes us to help our neighbors (the GOP says everyman for himself); the want to end all EPA protections of the environment (Jesus warns about those who destroy the earth); Jesus tells employers to treat employees justly and fairly (the GOP says take away their bargaining rights, their safety equipment and more). The list is endless.

    Obama comes the closest to being a true representative of Christian and moral values, but today's far right pastors have brainwashed their congregations into believing that government is bad and a Democratic government is worse. Nothing could be further from the truth.

    February 29, 2012 at 9:59 am |
  14. Spidey-Man

    I'd say, kinda lke me, they grew up and stopped believing in fairy tales. Great article though. Serious. As long as no one gets hurt I say you can believe what you want. Key words there are "as long as no one gets hurt". Either physically, mentally or phycologically.

    February 29, 2012 at 9:58 am |
    • JiminTX

      The problem is that people ARE getting hurt by religion. It's responsible for denying certain people the right to marry and it is being used to try and deny women the choice they have with their body. Gandhi's observation that "your Christians are so unlike your Christ" has never been more true than it is today. A significant part of the US wants a fascist theocracy that will control people's personal lives like this country has never seen.

      February 29, 2012 at 10:08 am |
  15. asdf

    You know what country doesn't have this problem? Iran. Maybe we need a little more Sharia Law in this country to prevent people from exposure to anything. Oh wait, that's Santorum's platform already.

    February 29, 2012 at 9:57 am |
    • Jeepers

      What scares me is that some people are actually voting for him.

      February 29, 2012 at 9:57 am |
    • Mr. N.

      Of course! Santorum is for Shariah law, being muslim and all. Seriously what are people like asdf smoking when they come up with this stuff!

      February 29, 2012 at 9:59 am |
    • Jeepers

      Santorum thinks church and state should not be separate, much like Sharia law. The reason people came over on the Mayflower is because they didn't like the way the Catholic church was running England at the time. They wanted to practice their own religion as they saw fit. The founding fathers saw that a church run state was a bad thing based on the example of England and the pervasive power of the Catholic church. That is why they set up our government with the separation of church and state as a bedrock. We can all see how dangerous it is in Muslim countries where the government is controlled by religious authorities. That is the comparison.

      February 29, 2012 at 10:06 am |
    • Hasai

      "What scares me is that some people are actually voting for him."

      Yes; including a whole bunch of Dems looking to falsely skew the primary results, particularly in Michigan. Bloody sanctimonious hypocrites.

      February 29, 2012 at 10:10 am |
    • asdf

      @Hasai:

      If you're so concerned about that, why don't you get Newt to drop out of the race. He's being bankrolled by Romney supporters and doesn't have a snowball's chance in hell of winning. Paul has a better shot than him, and all he's doing is sucking away votes from Santorum.

      February 29, 2012 at 10:17 am |
    • Mr. N.

      asdf, your radical claims on Santorum paint you as more fanatical than Santorum himself (and that's a lot). If I were you, I'd quit before looking any more irrelevant.

      February 29, 2012 at 10:23 am |
  16. Robert Brown

    @SeilnoigileR

    You asked, “If nothing existed before God, and God is 100% good, and everything sprang from God, then what is the source of evil?”
    God created beings, but not robots, some turned against Him, hence evil.

    You asked, “Did God change the laws of physics after the 'flood' just so Noah could have a sign? In other words, were there no rainbows before this time at all?
    I don’t know about the physics part but the climate was different before the flood. The Bible says it did not rain before the flood (Genesis 2: 5-6).

    You asked, “If our species started with only Adam and Eve, then how did we get diversity within our species?”
    Angels (Genesis 6: 1-4)

    Hope that helps.

    February 29, 2012 at 9:57 am |
    • asdf

      While "angels" is a slightly less revolting answer than "incest" which is what genesis generally leaves the reader to conclude, it's equally ridiculous.

      February 29, 2012 at 9:59 am |
    • Zeke2112

      So a perfect being created imperfect beings and got mad when they were imperfect, wiping them out except for a select few and thereafter demanding worship and affection?

      Congrats – you've summed up why the Christian god is not worthy of worship.

      February 29, 2012 at 10:25 am |
    • Primewonk

      "God created beings, but not robots, some turned against Him, hence evil."

      Your god claims both omnipotence and omniscience. Thus, your god knew – before he even created the universe – that Lucifer would become the devil. Yet he created him anyway. In retrospect, this seems like a very bad idea.

      " I don’t know about the physics part but the climate was different before the flood. The Bible says it did not rain before the flood "

      This, of course, is a lie. There was no global flood. And it was raining on earth billions of years ago.

      " You asked, “If our species started with only Adam and Eve, then how did we get diversity within our species?”
      Angels (Genesis 6: 1-4)"

      Angels, being non-human, could not breed with humans. They would have had different DNA and chromosomes.

      All humans could not have originated from a single breeding pair – Adam & Eve, and then again from Noah's 3 sonsand wives. The lack of sufficient genetic diversity would have resilted in the human species becoming extinct within a couple generations.

      Seriously – do any of you fundiots ever crack open a science journal?

      February 29, 2012 at 11:00 am |
    • Zeke2112

      "Seriously – do any of you fundiots ever crack open a science journal?"

      Why bother when they can say that god himself twisted their very DNA to account for these problems.

      When you've got magic on your side, youi can pretty much explain away anything without resorting to science. 🙁

      February 29, 2012 at 2:25 pm |
  17. Peter

    Why do you need the guise of a religious figure to be a genuinely caring, thoughtful, and respectful human being to your fellow humans and the planet on which we all survive?

    February 29, 2012 at 9:57 am |
    • Mr. N.

      Because humans, left to their own prerogative, are not, by and large, thoughtful, or caring. There are exceptions, but sadly, not enough. Examples of former regimes that believed humans could do the right thing on their own include Salin's USSR, and Pol Pot's Cambodia.

      February 29, 2012 at 10:02 am |
    • handy

      Mr. N. You have no basis for discussion. You cite couple of examples of non-religious stupidity. But should I recount the thousands of religious violence that 'xian and 'slam have perpetrated? It's mind blowing and sadly still happening right now!
      So your argument is bogus. Stay in your bubble and don't push your belief on others. Thats the violence you keep committing.

      February 29, 2012 at 10:26 am |
    • Mr. N.

      handy, what believes have I pushed? Have I asked you to convert or anything like that? Funny how you cite critical thinking, and then resort to nothing but ad-hominems and straw-men arguments: The halmarks of someone that can't think critically.

      My question is valid: Where not talking about a few dictators, we're talking about the hunders of millions of followers that stood behind those dictators, hundreds of millions that shared their philosophy, philosophies that have caused the death of far more people like events like the crusades, or the inquisition, or any other judeo-christian conflicts ever did.

      February 29, 2012 at 10:35 am |
  18. Walter Johnson

    Young adults have a very busy time of life in going to college Many may stop goign to church, but that doesn't in any way mean that once their own life stabilizes and they are working in a career that they won't find time for religion. Some will and some will not, but the choice of religion or pure sectarianism hits them forcefully when their first child is born and they have to decide how they want to raise that child.

    February 29, 2012 at 9:56 am |
    • Mr. N.

      Great point! Humans grow in many dimensions, some more than others depending on where they are in life.

      February 29, 2012 at 10:03 am |
    • handy

      Very true Walter!

      February 29, 2012 at 10:22 am |
  19. Leo

    62% of kids who go into college with a faith commitment leave without it."

    Not a surprise, in college kids learn critical thinking which opens their mind up to all that is real. Things we can see measure and prove. They also get away from the constant brainwashing that they usually experience in most religious homes.

    February 29, 2012 at 9:55 am |
    • Mr. N.

      Really, Leo? If you believe that critical thinking is automatically opposed to religion, then I can see how you have indeed proved a point of brainwashing, except that you got who gets brainwashed wrong, and by whom.

      February 29, 2012 at 10:08 am |
    • handy

      Mr. N, religion and critical thinking? LOL!
      More likely, religion comes up with a critical thinking product like ID. When you are in danger, 'invent' something 'intelligent' to perpetuate your fantasy by co-opting/blending scientific ideas with lies.

      February 29, 2012 at 10:29 am |
    • Mr. N.

      handy, where in the bible is ID mandated, specifically? Please quote ad-verbatim.

      February 29, 2012 at 10:32 am |
  20. Pontius Pilate

    What utter rubbish. Jesus surrounded himself with zealot terrorists (Simon Zelotes, Juduas Iscariot - "sicarus" the zealot terrorist's gutting knife) in his inner circle, and his outer circle of 72 were just plain zealot thugs. His sermons were embedded with anti-Rome venom. To the Jew of the day, his implicit threats against Rome (as in the demon(s) named "Legion" - as in Roman - being driven into a herd of swine - as in boars, the mascot of the 10th Legion that protected the decapolis from the zealot terrorists) were obviouis and invigorating. To suggest that Jesus was full of love and concern - well, consider his response to the Phoenician woman who begged him to save her child: "...it is not meet to take the children’s bread, and to cast it unto the dogs." Yes, that Jesus was a real love bunny. Oh, yeah, loved Gentiles as much as he loved dogs, apparently. That such a brutal thug as Jesus should have a religous following is disgusting, revolting, sickening. Crucify him and all his followers. Let the vile corruption known as Christianity perish.

    February 29, 2012 at 9:55 am |
    • Nii Croffie

      Haahaahaahaa. Oh men! So u actually sat down to write that? Good you can now write your own Bible too. Congrats!

      February 29, 2012 at 10:08 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.