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April 28th, 2012
09:52 PM ET

My Faith: What does God sound like?

Editor's note: Listen to the CNN podcast of this piece: Karen Spears Zacharias is author of A Silence of Mockingbirds: The Memoir of a Murder (MacAdam/Cage, 2012) and is on Twitter at @karenzach.

By Karen Spears Zacharias, Special to CNN

I hear the audible voice of God. No, not in the same way that the Bible’s Eve did when God asked her outright and out loud: “Woman, what in my name have you done now?”

Scriptures don’t tell us specifically, but I suspect at that particular moment in eternity God must have sounded a lot like Perry Mason: “C’mon, tell the truth. You know I’m a specialist on getting people out of trouble.”

Bestselling author Patti Callahan Henry is a pastor’s daughter in Alabama. You’d think if God spoke to anybody, it would be a pastor’s child, but Patti swears she has never heard the voice of God. The only time God speaks to her is through the written word.

I find that odd since God talks to me all the time.


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Certainly God knows I’m an auditory learner, so if he wants my attention he has to talk to me. When God speaks to me, he sounds a lot like Garrison Keillor, host of the radio show “A Prairie Home Companion." In other words, he’s engaging, often very funny, and almost always an absolute joy to be around. Even when God’s mad with me (more often that I care to admit), he’s fairly good-natured about it.

Theologians who study this sort of thing say that our image of God is formed by our relationships with our fathers. That image is formed in part by how our fathers speak to us. If they bark orders at us all the time, we might hear God as a crank. But if our fathers speak to us in instructive, encouraging tones, we may hear God as our best coach. My father died when I was young, so I don’t remember his voice, but I’ve listened to Garrison Keillor pretty regularly for 25 years.

When my husband and I were raising our children, we banned television from our household. "A Prairie Home Companion" was our primary form of entertainment on Sunday afternoons. With Sundays as our Sabbath, I suppose it is natural for me to associate God with Garrison.

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Many people don’t even speak to God, much less listen to what he has to say. I imagine for some the thought of a God as Garrison Keillor would be pure hell, what with all that Guy Noir Private Eye nonsense and those saccharin sweet ketchup commercials. Perhaps like a good mother, though, God resorts to a variety of different voices to reach all of her children. Do you identify any of the following?

- Spock, from “Star Trek,” is the defining voice of God. Spock is half-mother (human) and half-father (Vulcan). Who could be more egalitarian, more Godlike than that? Anyone who thinks of God as arbitrary and capricious needs to have a chat with Mr. Spock, who once so rightly noted, “Nowhere am I so desperately needed as among a shipload of illogical humans.” Amen. Amen.

- James Earl Jones. If I heard that baritone voice calling to me from a burning bush, it would stop me in my tracks. Who cares that Jones couldn’t cut the muster at Fort Benning’s legendary Ranger school? That’s nothing more than boot camp for a bunch of hellions anyway. There is something about the thundering power of Jones’ voice that naturally evokes trust from us. And if we can’t have a God in whom we can trust, what’s the point?

- Surely, Jeff Bridges is the voice of God for all the remnant of Jesus Freaks now seeking refuge as Episcopalians. “I am not Mr. Lebowski,” Bridge’s says in Coen Brothers’ “Big Lewoski,” in one of the oft-quoted lines in that cult classic. “You’re Mr. Lebowski. I am The Dude, so that’s what you call me. That or His Dudeness or uh, Duder, or, El Duderino, if you're not into the whole brevity thing.” Of course, aging Jesus Freaks and Episcopalians alike are all about that brevity thing, so they happily go along with “the Dude abides,” another classic line from the film.

- Yoda, of “Star Wars,” is the voice of God for Zen-seeking, yoga-loving Emergent Christians. Emergents are the melting pot of Christianity, the place where hipsters who want to be spiritual but not religious go for community - typically a local brewery or Starbucks. “Luminous beings are we,” says Yoda. “Not this crude matter. You must feel the Force around you. Here, between you, me, the tree, the rock, everywhere!”

- Writer C. Terry Cline Jr. says when God speaks to him, it is in the scolding voice of Pee-Wee Herman - “What did I tell you?” In Cline’s latest book, "The Return of Edgar Caycee," Cline claims he was channeled by the previously deceased reincarnation guru, whose fan club has rivaled that of God’s. Is it any wonder God is miffed with Cline for conjuring up Caycee again?

- Your momma. Sonny Brewer, a Navy veteran and my editor at San Francisco’s publishing house MacAdam/Cage, says that the only voice he’s ever associated with God was his mother’s. Sonny’s mom has been nearly mute for nearly 20 years, the result of a stroke. “She can sing hymns but she can’t talk,” Sonny says. “When I think of God speaking to me, I think of my momma. Like God, she always loves me, even when I’m a bad boy.”

Whatever the cause, nobody enjoys getting the silent treatment. It is a particularly troubling matter when God goes silent on us, when we can’t hear his voice at all, whether it’s a tender whisper of encouragement, raucous laughter, or a thundering rebuke, it is then that we are most keenly aware of God.

Silence stills us. We pause and listen, ear pressed, waiting, anticipating, hoping for just a word of assurance that we have not been abandoned.

We all have had days when we feel like we’ve failed God. If in such moments we would listen to the wind in the trees, the waves curling on the beach, feet crunching in sand, and the song of the mockingbird as the evening sun sets, we would surely hear creator God singing hymns over us, his creation.

The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of Karen Spears Zacharias.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Movies

soundoff (3,288 Responses)
  1. HearingVoices

    The selection of voices seem to be what one would want God to sound like. Once upon a time, I believed I heard the voice of God. And it sounded like Kermit the Frog–I sort of was expecting some of what was listed in the article–I had the impression of a kindly old man for the most part, but no, I got Kermit.

    It took some time to decide why the voice was that of Kermit. When you think about it, Kermit was the only sane guy on that show and was the one who was in charge and giving advice to the rest of the cast. He teaches kids and adults alike, and is tolerant of all different types of people and personalities.

    Kermit, I noticed, is not very old testament. Not very Christian either, as far as I know (I am not either), but... after realizing that my expectations aren't necessarily what reality is or isn't, I decided I am fine with God having a voice similar to that of Kermit to me–although it would have been more impressive if he sounded like Gandalf or Yoda, or some other powerful, kindly father-figure.

    Taking into account Kermit is pretty meek as well, I decided I am OK with it, even if the entire concept seems incredibly ridiculous (a talking frog, and then the voice of God being that of a talking frog? Religion in general?)

    If nothing else I came away from the experience as realizing that Kermit's advice overall has been pretty accurate throughout his career. I wish I could say the same for those appointed to preach God's teachings.

    April 29, 2012 at 2:57 pm |
  2. martog

    Ten Reasons You Know you are an Atheist.
    1. You were likely brought up a theist (probably a Christian if you live in the USA) and had to do your own thinking to rise above the beliefs that still occupy the mind of the believer. This usually involved being smart and working hard at school and college so as to get a good, accurate view of the natural Universe and overcoming significant social pressure to dumb yourself down and conform. In short, you had the guts to ask the hard questions and the brains to spot the weak answers. The more you came to understand the Universe, the less reason there was to believe in a god and the more you came to appreciate human nature, the more you understood why billions of us still do.
    2. While rejecting the supernatural elements of the Bible, you nevertheless retain a large amount of the morality taught today by mainstream Christianity. To the extent you reject Christian morality, it is where it is mean spirited – such as in the way it seeks to curtail freedoms or oppose the rights of $exual minorities. In most other respects, your basic moral outlook is indistinguishable from that of the liberal Christian – you just don’t need the mother of all carrots and sticks hanging over your head in order to act in a manner that you consider moral.
    3. You know a great deal more about the Bible than most believers. This is because you took the time to read it yourself and did not rely on the primary-color simple stories you learned in Sunday school. You have also probably done some research into the historical Jesus and have a good handle on where he REALLY fit in to the broader picture of the Middle East at the time. Needless to say, his miracles and other magic powers soon started to look pretty unlikely.
    4. Your knowledge of basic science and history is much stronger than that of your average believer. You likely have a basic working knowledge of physics, astronomy, evolutionary biology and cosmology and a good idea of the history of life on this planet. This acc.umulated knowledge puts you in a position to judge the claims of the Bible in a critical light and they are almost always found wanting. To the theist, this makes you “elitist” and ‘arrogant”.
    5. You relish your role as a religious minority in the USA, as this gives you an impetus to fight and you understand how others with unpopular, but doubtlessly correct views have felt throughout history. There is something altogether satisfying to you about having a deep conviction you are right and being viewed with disdain for your views by the errant majority. You feel a quiet confidence that future generations will look back on you as a member of a class of trailblazers, as religious supersti.tions go into inevitable decline in popularity.
    6. You are likely more environmentally aware than your theist friends and colleagues and unlikely to fall for claims of industry and wind-bag politicians concerning the impact of man’s activities on the environment. You could no more act in an environmentally irresponsible manner because “god will keep us safe” than you could jump of a ship, believing King Neptune will keep you safe.
    7. You generally have a live and let live atti.tude, but will fiercely defend any attempts by theists to thrust their views on you or your children, directly or through control of school boards, the legislature or the executive. While you are prepared to debate and argue passionately with the theist on an intellectual level, you would never wish them harm or ill will. You know you are likely to be smugly told you will “burn in hell for all eternity” for your healthy skepticism. This highlights what you despise about religion, as you would not wish a bad sunburn on another, simply because they have a different religious view to you. You have never heard of an evolutionary biologist strapping a bomb to himself and running into a church yelling “Darwin-u akbar”.
    8. You likely know more about other religions than your average theist. This makes you less fearful of them and enables you to see parallels. You realize that, if you were born in India, you would have been brought up with a totally different religion. You realize that every culture that has ever existed has had its own god(s) and they always favor that particular culture, its hopes, dreams and prejudices. They cannot all exist and you see the error all faiths make of thinking only theirs exist(s). This “rising above” the regional nature of all religions was probably instrumental in your achieving atheism.
    9. You likely have a deep, genuine appreciation of the fathomless beauty and unbelievable complexity of our Universe, from the 4 nucleotides that orchestrate every aspect of you, through to the distant quasars, without having to think it was all made for you. You likely get more out of being the irrelevant ant staring up at the cosmos than you do in having to pretend that it was all made to turn in majestic black-and-white pirouette about you.
    10. While you have a survival instinct, you cannot fear death in the way the theist does. You know that the whole final judgment story, where you may be sent to hell if you fail, is Dark Ages nonsense meant to keep the Church’s authority. You also know that you were dead for 13,700,000,000 years before you were born. It is impossible for you to fear death, for the simple reason that you know the capacity to fear (or to feel pain or discomfort) itself dies. You will not even know you are dead. Fear of death is as meaningless to you as is the fear of a vacuum, the fear of not being born. You feel a lot more secure, and indeed a deep comfort, in this knowledge, than you would in trying to yoke yourself to some quasi-hope that every part of your intellect tells you is untenable.

    April 29, 2012 at 2:54 pm |
    • Mavent

      11: You're an insecure child who feels the need to whine loudly about things you don't believe in.

      April 29, 2012 at 2:55 pm |
    • martog

      Mavent, please refute WITH FACTS one thing I posted. otherwise, you are the one that sounds whiney.....

      April 29, 2012 at 2:57 pm |
    • Crixus

      Very well said! GOOD points. I am not athiest but agnostic and anti-religion which would be another logical outcome of the reasons you put forth.

      April 29, 2012 at 3:52 pm |
  3. Anonymous

    I've been raised strictly christian my whole life, and now as I'm coming into maturity, I have a lot of confusion about what I've been told my whole life. So many things that I've been told were evil, seem innocent. Christianity is confusing to a child raised by extremists.

    April 29, 2012 at 2:53 pm |
    • SomeDude

      Don't worry... you aren't alone. I had the same realization years ago. I hope you find out what I found out, too. Once you do, your life is gonna be much more awesome. 🙂 I'd tell you, but it won't work unless you discover it on your own.

      April 29, 2012 at 3:00 pm |
    • Anonymous

      Thanks, I hope I can. I'm expected to become a minister because my father is, but, I really don't want that for my life.

      April 29, 2012 at 3:03 pm |
    • Voice of Reason

      I have to agree with SomeDude. I was raised a Catholic and for close to 75 years I really didn't agree with the dogma but I did accept the thought of an afterlife. I studied quite a few of religions and philosophies and just went through my life still believing there was a higher power and an afterlife. Something happened through reading and exploring science, logic and reasoning that resonated with me and the bonds of ignorance were lifted and I haven't look back since. It is so very liberating and I am really beginning to enjoy life for the very first time.

      April 29, 2012 at 3:36 pm |
    • a reasonable athiest

      You are not the only one questioning that which is being thrust upon you.

      I was raised in a devout catholic family. I always had a few core doubts, but my youthful lack of confidence always led me to defaulting to trusting what my family/church community told me. The doubts started getting more numerous and stronger as I pursued a career in the sciences. The critical thinking skills I developed made it impossible for me to ignore the doubts any longer. After about 5 years of intense questioning and self-reflection during my late teens/early twenties, I made the change, and while my life may not always be rainbows and unicorns, at least it is finally *my* life. I get much more fulfillment out of my successes and learn much more from my failures because I own them. Good luck to you on your spiritual journey and hopefully you end up freeing yourself. Above all else, keep thinking critically and asking the hard questions.

      April 29, 2012 at 5:00 pm |
  4. Rallph Smith

    I've always wondered why god only talks to nutballs........RS

    April 29, 2012 at 2:52 pm |
    • Mavent

      I've always wondered why Atheists are such universal d0uchebags.

      April 29, 2012 at 2:54 pm |
    • martog

      Gee Mavent, Name calling....what a great response! I'm sure that's just what Jesus would do....Such a 'good christian' you are!!!

      April 29, 2012 at 2:56 pm |
  5. Reality

    HEAR YE ! HEAR YE ! HEAR YE ! screamed the gods of rational thinking:

    ONLY FOR THE NEWCOMERS

    The Apostles' Creed 2011: (updated by yours truly based on the studies of NT historians and theologians of the past 200 years)

    Should I believe in a god whose existence cannot be proven
    and said god if he/she/it exists resides in an unproven,
    human-created, spirit state of bliss called heaven?????

    I believe there was a 1st century CE, Jewish, simple,
    preacher-man who was conceived by a Jewish carpenter
    named Joseph living in Nazareth and born of a young Jewish
    girl named Mary. (Some say he was a mamzer.)

    Jesus was summarily crucified for being a temple rabble-rouser by
    the Roman troops in Jerusalem serving under Pontius Pilate,

    He was buried in an unmarked grave and still lies
    a-mouldering in the ground somewhere outside of
    Jerusalem.

    Said Jesus' story was embellished and "mythicized" by
    many semi-fiction writers. A bodily resurrection and
    ascension stories were promulgated to compete with the
    Caesar myths. Said stories were so popular that they
    grew into a religion known today as Catholicism/Christianity
    and featuring dark-age, daily wine to blood and bread to body rituals
    called the eucharistic sacrifice of the non-atoning Jesus.

    Amen
    (References used are available upon request.)

    April 29, 2012 at 2:51 pm |
  6. YeongNamSu

    I have heard God speak to me once, and send angels to send a message to me four times. The Holy Spirit has kind of used that still small voice to make me do things (That ended up saving or changing my life or someone else's) four or more times. When God talked, I heard Jesus, and knew it was him (Like that verse that says that my sheep know my voice). He was very calm, very loving, it was very peaceful, and I was very surprised. I didn't expect him to comfort me over my Scrupulosity like that. I felt so much love and acceptance that I almost cried.

    April 29, 2012 at 2:46 pm |
    • Voice of Reason

      Go to a doctor.

      April 29, 2012 at 2:49 pm |
    • YoungNameSue

      And now you feel special, do you, for hearing voices in your head. So how come your unfair goddy-boy didn't make those suffering kids in Africa hear him? Easier to let them just die, as usual.

      There's no god. Get over it.

      April 29, 2012 at 2:51 pm |
    • Elwood P. Dowd

      Yeong,

      I know. My 6'3" invisible rabbit friend named Harvey does the same thing for me all the time.

      April 29, 2012 at 2:56 pm |
    • sybaris

      Funny thing is people in every religion make the same claims.

      The mind seeks to validate what it wants to believe. You are hyper-tuned to anything of your faith and your reticular activating system is in full gear.

      It's the same as if you were an avid coin collector. Anything dealing with collecting coins captures your attention AND imagination.

      April 29, 2012 at 3:02 pm |
  7. Ian

    I want to thank God for making me an atheist....

    April 29, 2012 at 2:40 pm |
    • Driveby

      Useless article... would you ask a painter with no colors, what is it like to paint? Then why ask those with no God, what he or she may sound like. I scanned the blurb and drove by it. db

      April 29, 2012 at 2:55 pm |
  8. JesusChristLordGodAlmighty

    Listen my children, I have no voice because I don't exist. All the mindless sheep that need a reason for existing, you are just that, mindless...

    April 29, 2012 at 2:36 pm |
    • Mavent

      Feel better about not having any friends now?

      April 29, 2012 at 2:53 pm |
  9. Greg Trumpower

    I have audibly heard the voice of God, twice. His voice is very assertive and over-powering really. Everyone will hear his voice one day and will not have one doubt who's voice it is when they hear it. Some say they compare it to their earthly fathers voice. when I had a stoke while driving and blacked out...no one was in the car with me, yet God called my name Loud and i felt a shove on my shoulder and came back into reality from the stroke only to find i was about to hit a bridge and his voice awakened me just in time to swerve the car back onto the road. i pulled over and prayed for ten minutes thanking him for saving me. It was not my time to go. Oh people have said since I've talked about it I'm crazy, "Why would God speak to you? you're nobody". Everyone is somebody and if you believe, he will not let you down.

    April 29, 2012 at 2:34 pm |
    • JesusChristLordGodAlmighty

      Get to a doctor, have yourself certified and committed until you are cured, or molested by a catholic priest, whichever comes first.

      April 29, 2012 at 2:37 pm |
    • n8263

      The medical explanation for what you exerienced is much more rational than the religious one.

      April 29, 2012 at 2:41 pm |
  10. Rainer Braendlein

    It is possible to hear the voice of God in the true Christian Church still today.

    Up to around Pentecost dwelled in the Temple of Jerusalem. Today and since Pentecost the Christian Church is God's Temple.

    It is only hard to find a church, which is faithfull to her Lord and where the Spirit is still present.

    I myself am seeking desperately.

    For a period of time the Protestant Churches belonged to the true Christian Church, but they have turned apostate, because they ordain gays pastors. They are no longer God's Temple, but a dwelling of demons.

    The Catholic Church is no Christian Church, because she keeps papacy, which is an abomination in God's sight.

    Yet, in a reformed Protestant Church it could really happen that the Spirit speaks to you. Not audible, but to your conscience. It could happen that he would reveal to you certain sins and would show you that you need a redeemer.

    It is a pity that the Church has entered such a state of crisis and it has become difficult to find God's presence on earth.

    April 29, 2012 at 2:32 pm |
    • sam stone

      you can still hear the word of god. no churches, no texts needed. god is personal. top down faith is toxic, as evidenced by our rainy little friend here

      April 29, 2012 at 2:38 pm |
  11. StealthEl

    I don't hear the voice of God. Because I'm not schizophrenic.

    April 29, 2012 at 2:27 pm |
  12. martog

    Rather than inculcating our children with the primary-color simple Sunday school legends and myths most people do, might I suggest the following ten comandments to enable them to think for themselves.
    1. DO NOT automatically believe something just because a parent, priest, rabbi or minister tells you that you must.
    2. DO NOT think that claims about magic and the supernatural are more likely true because they are written in old books. That makes them less likely true.
    3. DO analyze claims about religion with the same critical eye that you would claims about money, political positions or social issues.
    4. DO NOT accept it when religious leaders tell you it is wrong to question, doubt or think for yourself. It never is. Only those selling junk cars get frightened when you want to "look under the hood".
    5. DO decouple morality from a belief in the supernatural, in any of its formulations (Christianity, Judaism, Islam etc.). One can be moral without believing in gods, ghosts and goblins and believing in any of them does not make one moral.
    6. DO a bit of independent research into whatever book you were brought up to believe in. Who are its authors and why should I believe them in what they say? How many translations has it gone through? Do we have originals, or only edited copies of copies of copies– the latter is certainly true for every single book in the Bible.
    7. DO realize that you are only a Christian (or Hindu or Jew) because of where you were born. Were you lucky enough to be born in the one part of the World that “got it right”?
    8. DO NOT be an apologist or accept the explanation “your mind is too small to understand the greatness of god” or “god moves in mysterious ways” when you come upon logical inconsistencies in your belief. A retreat to mysticism is the first refuge of the cornered wrong.
    9. DO understand where your religion came from and how it evolved from earlier beliefs to the point you were taught it. Are you lucky enough to be living at that one point in history where we “got it right”?
    10. DO educate yourself on the natural Universe, human history and the history of life on Earth, so as to be able to properly evaluate claims that a benevolent, mind-reading god is behind the whole thing.
    I sometimes think that, if we first taught our children these simple guidelines, any religion or other supernatural belief would be quickly dismissed by them as quaint nostalgia from a bygone era. I hope we get there as a species.

    ReplyReply AllMove...mls

    April 29, 2012 at 2:24 pm |
    • Ian

      Amen to that!

      April 29, 2012 at 2:30 pm |
    • sybaris

      Get outta here with that logic!!

      April 29, 2012 at 2:37 pm |
  13. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things .

    April 29, 2012 at 2:22 pm |
    • 10 Little Amish Girls

      When the gunman came into our school and took us hostage, we prayed and prayed that God would save us. The gunman shot us all in the head.

      Prayer works!

      April 29, 2012 at 2:24 pm |
    • Epinoia

      Perhaps God does exist. And perhaps you Fundies have it exactly backward. Perhaps God throws anyone into Hell who believes in ANYTHING (including Him) based upon insufficient evidence.

      "I gave you a RATIONAL MIND for a REASON! And look what you did with it!" (as He boots your pathetic soul to Hell)

      April 29, 2012 at 2:30 pm |
    • common sense needed

      It must have worked if you are here to post. Truth be told the poster knows nothing of the incident and is willing to abuse a tragedy further to try to make its sick point. First you know nothing of prayers answered or received and even less about God.

      April 29, 2012 at 2:32 pm |
    • Hitchens

      Hell is reserved for Satan and the fallen angels. It is not intended for mankind and provision has been made so no human being has to go there. If a person ends up in hell it will be due to their rejecting the sacrifice of God's Son and choosing damnation for themselves. Hell is a self inflicted wound.

      April 29, 2012 at 2:36 pm |
    • martog

      We're ALL born atheists....assuming we're born in God's image....then God must be an Atheist too! See,it's all you religious kooks that went astray!

      April 29, 2012 at 2:38 pm |
    • Those used guys.

      Prayer changes nothing beyond your closed mind, such as it is. Of courseif you could provide some proof, say all the people that prayed to survive all the Onward Christian Soldiers that slaughtewred them just for the hell of it, please respond.

      April 29, 2012 at 2:38 pm |
    • Voice of Reason

      @common sense needed

      Why don't you mirror you moniker?

      April 29, 2012 at 2:40 pm |
    • Hitchens

      Everyone is born with the breath of God directly from the throne of God. We are born knowing God and given free choice in life so that we may choose God in love and return to the eternity God has prepared for us. To suggest that we are born atheists is the height of stupidity. We are all born with an inner knowledge of God. To become an atheist, if that is even possible, you'd have to lie yourself into a state beyond reason.

      April 29, 2012 at 2:44 pm |
    • Voice of Reason

      @Hitchens

      You are delusional.

      April 29, 2012 at 2:47 pm |
  14. AL

    She should have quoted Spock from the #5 Star Trek Movie, when he told Doctor McCoy that the Vulcan's DID Know there is a God. "Doctor, Knowing that God lives does not answer as many questions, as it creates" (Paraphrased). When people REALLY know his plan, it's easier to understand..

    April 29, 2012 at 2:22 pm |
  15. teresa

    @the author: i, too, have heard the voice of my "God". I dont tell folks about it bcuz as you see from the comments, they have no faith and cannot comprehend a God that wants to serve them. I've only heard the voice 5 times, so audible that it stuns me and I look around to see if someone is in the room with me ( no one is), and the voice brings such peace, comfort and total guidance, I know who it is speaking. there is Only One that cares that much about me.

    For those of you who think people who hear "God" talk and wonder if we would be ignorant enough to listen to a command to kill someone: God doesnt ask us to sin. Killing is a sin. I'm so fascinated w/ the atheists that will use any of their energy and time to type and dispute the non-existence of God. Atheists use more energy NOT believing than ones who believe. lol

    April 29, 2012 at 2:17 pm |
    • Ian

      If you hear voices than you qualify for psychological treatment. Why should have have to exert energy to believe? Why should I have to talk myself into believing something so impractical? I was raised to go to church and all my questions were answered with one "cop-out" after another. "You must have faith", "God's ways are beyond our understanding". In fact, my life has never been better since I chose the path of an agnostic. No more guilt feeling haunting my every move. I still remain a good person. I don't steal, lie, cheat, and proceed to treat others with respect. The more I let go of the "God concept" the better my life has become.

      April 29, 2012 at 2:38 pm |
  16. Isabelle

    Seriously atheists...how could you not believe in wonderful God? OMG I can't believe ever being a nonbeliever

    April 29, 2012 at 2:16 pm |
    • martog

      Well then, Thank GAWD I'm an Atheist!

      April 29, 2012 at 2:22 pm |
    • Electric Larry

      For the same reason you don't believe in Thor, Zeus, Quetzlcoatl and Pele.

      April 29, 2012 at 2:22 pm |
    • Those used guys.

      I sell hardware and I think you should own a bag of hammers, a voice told me this in the movie Oh Brother Where Art Thou, check it out.

      April 29, 2012 at 2:30 pm |
    • sybaris

      Seriously Isabelle...how could you not believe in wonderful Ra? OMG I can't believe ever being a nonbeliever in Ra.

      April 29, 2012 at 2:39 pm |
    • a reasonable athiest

      Don't drag the living soccer god, Pele, into this discussion about primitive mysticism!

      April 29, 2012 at 5:09 pm |
  17. Lo

    Jesus loves atheists 🙂

    April 29, 2012 at 2:14 pm |
    • Jesus Jr.

      Were I jesus, I would prefer the atheists – the Christians are just plain nuts!

      April 29, 2012 at 2:20 pm |
  18. JLR

    I guess God doesn't talk to deaf people. Unless he makes house calls and knows sign language.

    April 29, 2012 at 2:12 pm |
  19. Agnostic

    USA has the world's largest Christian population of 247 million............

    April 29, 2012 at 2:11 pm |
    • sybaris

      ........and the most incarcerated. By the logic of the faithful though it should be those countries who don't practice christianity that should have the most criminals.

      April 29, 2012 at 2:40 pm |
  20. >>>>> LOVE JESUS CHRIST

    I hate religion, but love Jesus Christ

    April 29, 2012 at 2:08 pm |
    • bizziel

      Your a burned turd.

      April 29, 2012 at 2:12 pm |
    • Nice Try

      Sorry, but religion by definition is "the service and worship of God or the supernatural." Loving Jesus is, by definition, religion.

      You are trying to separate yourself from organized religion, and while that might sound good to you, the fact is you cannot. If you read the Bible, you are adhering to a major element of organization. If you attend any church service, you are participating in and conforming to organized religion. If you obey the doctrines of any part of religion (and you do), you are fully conforming to organized religion.

      Your statement sounds good, and it is a cliche in parts of Christianity, but the reality is that most people who say it are supporting and totally participating in organized religion. It is very difficult to not be part of it and still love Jesus.

      April 29, 2012 at 2:17 pm |
    • sybaris

      Yeah, the new pseudo-clever way of saying you're above it all. Just like "it's a relationship". Kinda creepy.

      April 29, 2012 at 3:07 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.