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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. lauradet

    Why not a female voice?

    April 29, 2012 at 6:20 pm |
    • Observer

      I'm not sure we could listen to Fran Drescher.

      April 29, 2012 at 6:22 pm |
    • Chris Johnson

      Yes, indeed. How about Alanis Morrisett? She did it (sort of) in Dogma.

      April 29, 2012 at 6:30 pm |
  2. VoiceOfReason

    Karen... I find much of what you said here to be ridiculous; too much to even itemize.

    April 29, 2012 at 6:06 pm |
  3. SPW

    He sounds like Larry David

    April 29, 2012 at 6:06 pm |
  4. Nii

    The transcendental meditation you just described proves that most so called Atheists synchretize their religion with another like Xtianity, etc.
    Christian meditation is slightly different as it aims for you to "worry" about de written word so much as to hear God's voice when it speaks among de noice

    April 29, 2012 at 6:03 pm |
    • RichardSRussell

      Atheism is a religion in the same way that bald is a hair color, "off" is a TV channel, peace is a type of war, and abstinence is a seks position.

      April 29, 2012 at 6:58 pm |
  5. d

    funny how so many people who laugh at Christians are admitted democrats yet the man most of them support in the white house is a self-avowed Christian.

    idiotic much?

    April 29, 2012 at 6:01 pm |
    • d

      unless of course they say that he's just saying that to get votes ... which would make one seriously question their decision to vote for somewhat like that.

      April 29, 2012 at 6:06 pm |
    • sybaris

      apples and oranges

      April 29, 2012 at 6:06 pm |
    • Observer

      Speaking of idiotic, the last guy in the White House talked to God all the time and we ended up with two wars (one he optionally started), the worst attack on our soil ever, and a plummeting stock market and economy.

      April 29, 2012 at 6:07 pm |
    • d

      @Observer umm...Obama admits he talks to God every day

      scared yet? I am

      April 29, 2012 at 6:08 pm |
    • Observer

      d,

      Apparently God is giving President Obama better advice.

      April 29, 2012 at 6:11 pm |
    • d

      I disagree. You said Obama and Bush are somehow different. I've always maintained they're pretty much one in the same and both of them scare the hell out of me.

      April 29, 2012 at 6:13 pm |
    • Observer

      d,

      It's sad that you can't see any difference between killing bin Laden and not caring or between starting $1 trillion wars for false reasons and not or a stock market that is PLUMMETING versus one that is UP 60%.

      It is refreshing, however, to hear an opponent attempting to trash him for being too Christian. Isn't he supposed to be a Muslim or communist this week?

      April 29, 2012 at 6:17 pm |
    • d

      you're not talking to a republican by any stretch – I've never voted for one and don't think I ever would. I'll give the NAVY SEALS credit for killing Bin Laden first and foremost, although it did happen to happen on Obama's watch. We killed Bin Laden almost ONE YEAR AGO dude, why are we still in Afghanistan? The most powerful man on the planet (Obama) can't get get our troops out by now? I don't buy it. THAT's my problem with him. Same old stupid foreign policy as Bush. Same old spending policy as Bush. Nothing different, just the face in the whitehouse.

      April 29, 2012 at 6:22 pm |
    • d

      Also, the stock market was up on Bush's watch too (90% of Bush's presidency), what's your point?

      April 29, 2012 at 6:23 pm |
    • Observer

      d,

      We can't just turn our backs and walk out of Afghanistan. Toss the nation away in that case.

      If you can't see any difference, I guess you'd just as soon go back to losing well over a half million jobs a month and have a plummeting stock market. Your choice, but I'd never go back. I'd rather have a stock market UP 60% rather than DOWN 22% under Bush, but no difference to you.

      April 29, 2012 at 6:27 pm |
    • d

      "We can't just turn our backs and walk out of Afghanistan"

      lmao, listen to yourself...you're a 2008 republican candidate!

      The stock market was 'up FOR 90%' of Bush's term, not up 90%. That's a fact not an opinion.

      April 29, 2012 at 6:31 pm |
    • d

      no scratch that, you're a 2012 republican candidate as well. What the hell is wrong with you?

      April 29, 2012 at 6:32 pm |
    • Observer

      d,

      FACT: During the 8 years of Bush, the stock market ended up with a LOSS of 22%. Understand?

      FACT: The people that invested in the stock market when it was high under Bush lost their shirt, on average, when the stock market TANKED under him and dropped in half before it was done.

      April 29, 2012 at 6:34 pm |
    • d

      are you thick? I KNOW it was a loss of 22%, that's not my point. You said the stock market is up under Obama. I said it was up at times under Bush as well, in fact 90% of the time it was up. Ya get it? Do you also get there is virtually no difference between the 2012 candidates (republicans vs. democrats) and 2008 for that matter? The last decent damn president we had was Clinton, but you're too young to remember that.

      Also, why do you assume the stock market isn't going to tank under Obama (or as a result of Obama's policies?)

      FACT: During the 8 years of Bush, the stock market ended up with a LOSS of 22%. Understand?

      FACT: The people that invested in the stock market when it was high under Bush lost their shirt, on average, when the stock market TANKED under him and dropped in half before it was done.

      April 29, 2012 at 6:38 pm |
    • Chuckles

      @d

      Do you hate Afghanistan? When we as a nation declared war in Afghanistan and toppled the government and occupied it, you can't simply unoccupy and get out, unless of course you don't mind a power vacuum that would lead to a greater enemy coming to power and potentially attacking us again with worse casualties? I understand you probably don't understand the ins and outs of war but as someone who was against going to war, it happened and you can't just reverse course at the drop of a nickel just because you're guy gets to the whitehouse.

      As for me supporting Obama? The main difference being that although he's christian, he believes I have every right to be an american citizen, whereas Bush openly stated that atheists should not be american citizens. Obama may go to church and pray (i.e. talk to god) but when push comes to shove, he'll make decisions based on reports and logic. Bush on the other hand admitted that god told him to invade iraq. I support the democrats more than the republicans because although there are just as many crazies in both parties, at least the democrats espouse the idea that I have an equal right to believe in what I want.

      April 29, 2012 at 6:42 pm |
    • Observer

      d,

      The stock market is up. Of course it could go down. It also could go up. You have NO POINT there.

      All we have is the record and FACTS to go by. You can PRETEND all you want, but Bush's record shows a LOSS of 22% and Obama's shows a GAIN of 60%. Claiming that "gee, it could go down" is a valid basis of COMPARISON is ridiculous. Talk about being thick!

      Has Obama started any $1,000,000,000,000 wars for FALSE reasons and then lowered taxes rather than pay for it?

      April 29, 2012 at 6:46 pm |
    • sam stone

      over-generalize much, d?

      April 29, 2012 at 6:50 pm |
    • d

      @Observer – oh you have to be kidding me. Your first paragraph was the flagship statement of the republican party for 8 years under Bush as democrats SCREAMED to get out of Afghanistan. Are you that stupid? Are you that shallow that you're now puppeting back republican press statements? pathetic, your party really has become pathetic.

      I would like to see a link as to where Bush stated that Athiests shouldn't be citizens. Regardless of if he did or didn't, he never pursued it as a policy and my point is that in policy, Obama and Bush are virtually identical (and you just proved my point by twice parroting a republican talking point that was echoed weekly for 8 years). I hope you reallize really how republican your party really is.

      Say all you want about God telling Bush to invade Iraq (I don't disagree with you) but don't forget that both the republican party AND the DEMOCRATIC HELD CONGRESS voted for it as well, so point your finger all day but you'll always have 3 pointing right back at you.

      April 29, 2012 at 6:51 pm |
    • d

      "The stock market is up. Of course it could go down. It also could go up. You have NO POINT there."

      No I do, and thank you for making it! The stock market DOES go up and down. So when you tell me that it's been up under Obama I say that's great, show me another metric that actually reflects economic health (like unemployment). Tell ya what, do me a favor and try talking to me once you graduate highschool and have passed reading comprehension 101..

      April 29, 2012 at 6:56 pm |
    • d

      adios kiddo, nice chattin`

      April 29, 2012 at 7:07 pm |
  6. Lol

    I think God must sound like a horse with diarrhea clearing his bowels, because the Bible is a massive pile of horse sh!t!!!

    April 29, 2012 at 6:00 pm |
    • Wiwsmoth

      TROLL DETECTED!

      April 29, 2012 at 6:11 pm |
  7. ferg liston

    there is no god. just a fairy tale. any voice you hear is just as imaginary as your god.

    April 29, 2012 at 6:00 pm |
    • JSkien

      Right on, Ferg! Y'all are fools and only listen to what your inner desires tell you. The voice that you fools "think" you hear is only your own, as humans unltimately choose to do what they feel is best and then tell themselves that is what their "god" wants only to make them feel better. Just live your life, be a good person, and die like everyone else. There is no "god" to save you and your life is simply burned out as anyone else in this cruel world. Stop looking for excuses and be free...fools

      April 29, 2012 at 6:33 pm |
  8. RichardSRussell

    "If you talk to God, you're praying; if God talks to you, you're schizophrenic." —Thomas Szasz, psychologist
     
    That said, Morgan Freeman!

    April 29, 2012 at 5:53 pm |
    • God's Oldest Dreamer

      1Corinthians 3:9 For we are labourers together with God: ye are God's husbandry, [ye are] God's building.

      It seems the plumbers or the sewage treatment folks or whatever other inside one's body of a building are having fun at the expense of their building! The logicalities between our buildings/bodies cannot function so well if the plumer's laborer is doing funny things within the logistical centers of brainyard central! It's a joke guys! 🙂 🙁 🙂

      I was once clasified as beig a paranoid shcizzophreni but 6 or 7 years ago I have been reclassified as haviing a schizzo-effective disorder!

      April 29, 2012 at 6:15 pm |
  9. Jerry Poel

    What does God sound like? A Mother... full of Love... singing to her child... How do I know this!? A recent Near Death Experience caused by third degree heart block when I spent a few minutes on the other side of life only to be told I had more to do and must return for a while longer... And yes, there is a portal of light. When you emerge you are enfolded by what I can only describe as a Mother full of Love... singing to her child!. This life is an allusion... a dream that we awaken from and know that we are still with God and never left.!

    April 29, 2012 at 5:48 pm |
    • n8263

      People of many religions have had near death experiences, complete with a bright light and hearing a god talking to them.

      Maybe this is explained by the biology of an oxygen starved brain, maybe there is something more, but obviously the cause is not the man made god of a specific organized religion.

      April 29, 2012 at 5:56 pm |
    • Nii

      A near death experience may be different for people of different religions. That is an objective observation. However the interpretation u gave is not the only one. It may also be the sub-conscious achieving its full-consciousness like the Bible describes in 1Cor 14.

      April 29, 2012 at 6:23 pm |
    • JSkien

      Hey Jerry, glad you are still here. However, those were just nerves freaking out in your brain. You really only saw what your brain fired off as you almost kicked the bucket. Good luck to you, this is your bonus round. Live it up, next time you might not be so lucky

      April 29, 2012 at 6:39 pm |
  10. p-body

    I like to think of god's voice sounding like
    Morgan freeman

    April 29, 2012 at 5:47 pm |
  11. Ashrakay

    To hear voices in your head is perfectly normal. The mind as a part of it's ceaseless monitoring and calculating is constantly interjecting "noise", snippets of conversations, rebuttals, songs, flash backs from high school and so on. THIS IS COMPLETELY NORMAL.

    However, to take that next step and state that those voices are god, my dead cousin, the devil, aliens or some conspiracy of people trying to control my actions is INSANE. What you are hearing is the echoing of your own egoic personality. That's why none of the information has been outside of the scope of what your brain is capable of producing. For example, if you've never studied calculus or advanced chemistry, your "voice" never provides the answer to a complex formula in these respective disciplines. However, the voice of a physicist or chemist, does.

    April 29, 2012 at 5:32 pm |
    • momoya

      Well-stated, and a good foundation for most nutjob believers to grasp onto.

      April 29, 2012 at 5:34 pm |
    • edwardo

      Very good comment. I enjoyed, learned, and agree.

      April 29, 2012 at 5:37 pm |
    • Observer

      Ashrakay,

      Excellent comments.

      April 29, 2012 at 5:39 pm |
    • Gene Dunbar

      Sadly, most of us (including myself sometimes) can't shut our own mouths long enough to hear what God has to say. How in the world would we know what God sounds like?

      April 29, 2012 at 5:44 pm |
    • Pyschotic Khaos

      Come on, everyone hears Gods voice and everyone knows Gods voice is the exact same as Morgan Freemans.

      April 29, 2012 at 5:47 pm |
    • Ashrakay

      @Gene Dunbar, Meditation is quite effective in quieting the mind and the mouth. It gives you plenty of space to hear the voice of reality.

      April 29, 2012 at 5:48 pm |
    • Nii

      ASHRAKAY
      Not all who cheer u on are ur friends. I have oftentimes found a particular voice which is incredibly accurate at predicting what is going to happen. I really do know which voices r mine but this particular one speaks as I deliberate over things in heartfelt prayer. You don't know it all.

      April 29, 2012 at 5:54 pm |
    • Observer

      Nii,

      Seriously, does the voice ever come up with good lotto numbers to end your financial problems?

      April 29, 2012 at 6:02 pm |
    • Nii

      Seriously OBSERVER is money the only thing you think about? I do not care for lottery and if I wanted money there are far easier ways to get it in my country. It has saved me from lots of situations which were worse than poverty including death.

      April 29, 2012 at 6:11 pm |
    • Observer

      Nii,

      Nice to hear from someone who doesn't want any money to help their life or those they love.

      April 29, 2012 at 6:20 pm |
    • Ashrakay

      @Nii,

      I have had, what I re.fer to as predictive dreams or predictive circu.mstances where I will be thinking about my sister and she will call. I know scientifically that we are ALL connected. We are all star stuff. We all evolved from the same origins and molecules. This is not mythology. This is science. These types of events are not at all surprising to me. Just because I do not understand what is happening does not mean that there is a paranormal or extraterrestrial explanation to those events.

      Richard Feynman used to walk up to people and say, "You won't believe what happened to me today. You just won't believe what happened." And they'd say what? "And he'd say, absolutely nothing." Because most people, when something happens to us, we think it's significant. And sometimes it's just an accident.

      April 29, 2012 at 6:21 pm |
    • J

      "To sustain the belief that there is no God, atheism has to demonstrate infinite knowledge, which is tantamount to saying, "I have infinite knowledge that there is no being in existence with infinite knowledge." – Ravi Zacharias

      April 29, 2012 at 6:22 pm |
    • Observer

      J,

      Good quote but it does NOTHING to prove God exists.

      April 29, 2012 at 6:31 pm |
    • Nii

      ASHRAKAY
      If by your own experience the ability to predict things sub-consciously is natural and maybe as a result of evolution then why do you think the Bible is teaching about the paranormal?

      April 29, 2012 at 6:32 pm |
    • J

      The proof that God exists is that people who believe and pray experience God.

      I have; my family has; friends have; church members have.

      If one doesn't bother "testing" faith/belief, you are unlikely to ever experience it and will just continue blindly mocking others who have.

      Did you ever read The Chronicles of Narnia when you were a kid? Many of the posts on here sound exactly like the dwarves in The Last Battle who grumpily refuse "to see". They see what they want to see.

      April 29, 2012 at 6:36 pm |
    • Ashrakay

      @Nii, "why do you think the Bible is teaching about the paranormal?"
      Because people 2000 years ago didn't have access to the scientific method and all of the modern devices that we have to measure the world around us. What we have found is, the more we know about our universe, the less room there is for god in it. He's being pushed farther and farther out, to the realm of other dimensions and pre-big bang fantasies. People 2k years ago are kind of like innocent children. I don't fault them. People in the 21st century though don't have any excuse for their intellectual laziness.

      April 29, 2012 at 6:42 pm |
    • Ashrakay

      @J, A classic religious tactic is to quote a work of fiction to explain their perspective. Do you seriously not see anything wrong with that?

      April 29, 2012 at 6:43 pm |
  12. *frank*

    Is this the kind of stuff that wins "Webby Awards"?

    April 29, 2012 at 5:27 pm |
  13. HAHAHAHAHAHAHA

    ROFLMAO!
    Oh, we've got a live one here, folks! LOL

    April 29, 2012 at 5:25 pm |
  14. bibleverse1

    His sheep know his voice.

    April 29, 2012 at 5:12 pm |
    • Observer

      Does that explain why so many seem blind?

      April 29, 2012 at 5:15 pm |
    • Jim

      blind is better than dumb as goats....

      Blind people have their other senses heightened while you can't fix dumb.

      Now that your childish little comment was turned back on you, try to stay out of battles with wits – you are unarmed.

      April 29, 2012 at 5:19 pm |
    • Observer

      Jim,

      Thanks for the juvenile insults. That's typical of many Christian HYPOCRITES. Ever heard of the Golden Rule? Didn't think so.

      April 29, 2012 at 5:22 pm |
  15. GOD DOES NOT EXIST

    AND THERE IS NO VOICE BUT YOUR OWN DEMONS INSIDE YOUR SCHIZOID HEAD.

    April 29, 2012 at 5:06 pm |
    • Augustine

      Prove it.

      April 29, 2012 at 5:09 pm |
    • edwardo

      Well said !!

      April 29, 2012 at 5:17 pm |
    • Jim

      wow! a screaming person posting a subjective statement on a board and he/she thinks he/she should be taken seriously.

      April 29, 2012 at 5:20 pm |
    • edwardo

      @Jim – Ever heard of the "Baker Act"? When someone hears voices they can be legally kept in a facility for 48 hours, without their consent. Some people hear voices that make them kill people. We throw those people in prison. Other hear the voice of god... we worship that. See how ridiculous your belief truly is? voices = schizo !!!

      April 29, 2012 at 5:31 pm |
  16. Erica

    There is no god...there are too many gods out there to determine which one is the "right" one...the only reason people believe in gods is because they fear an "afterlife."

    April 29, 2012 at 5:04 pm |
    • UrLost

      You should start to prepare yourself to be scare when you get to the other side if that is the way you see things.

      April 29, 2012 at 5:18 pm |
    • edwardo

      @urlost – The other side? There is no other side!! Enjoy your life now. Don't surrender it to a cult. It's the only life you're going to get. Make the most of it.

      April 29, 2012 at 5:33 pm |
  17. On Sunday's the Christians congregate in church; where do the atheists congregate?

    CNN! All day long, all night long!

    No wonder they don't hear God speaking to them 😉

    April 29, 2012 at 4:52 pm |
    • Cedar rapids

      so cnn can block out god? not exactly all powerful then is he?

      April 29, 2012 at 4:56 pm |
    • fred

      How come your all-powerful being needs worship? Vain or something?

      April 29, 2012 at 4:56 pm |
    • Phosphorus

      Right...no wonder Atheists don't hear voices in their heads that are indicative of a mental disorder. They don't spend part of a day each week listening to mythological fairy tales and fabricated indoctrinations.

      April 29, 2012 at 4:57 pm |
    • Lilith

      lol .. Atheists don't NEED to congregate, we just live our social lives with others in reality.
      So you must be an Atheist since you're here too?!

      April 29, 2012 at 4:58 pm |
    • sybaris

      Atheists only congregate when it is necessary to have more than one person to accomplish something. We don't sit in a church with 1000 others hoping that our collective imaginations will make it happen all by itself.

      April 29, 2012 at 5:13 pm |
    • RichardSRussell

      News flash: NOBODY hears God talking to them.
       
      A lot of people who THINK they do are just hearing little voices in their heads that, for some reason, always seem to agree with them. Hmmmmm, wonder why?

      April 29, 2012 at 7:01 pm |
  18. Kebos

    There's good material out there for anyone willing to approach religion with an open mind.
    1) Richard Dawkins video – The Root of All Evil
    2) Sam Harris book – The End Of Faith
    3) Richard Dawkins book – The God Delusion
    4) Christopher Hitchen book – god is not great
    5) CJ Werleman book – god hates you, hate him back
    6) Christopher Hitchen videos – Any youtube videos of his debates
    7) Great Christina – Why Are Atheists So Angry?

    April 29, 2012 at 4:51 pm |
    • Ashrakay

      Thank you for this list. I've read many of these but there are some new ones to me that I'd like to look into. I would also like to point out, that reading pretty much any analytical book whether it be science or philosophy, as well as analytically reading the bible, are great at helping one let go of the god fantasy.

      April 29, 2012 at 5:36 pm |
    • RichardSRussell

      Yeah, your autocorrect does the same thing mine does. That's GRETA Christina — tho admittedly she IS great.
       
      Also, go on YouTube and search for Tim Minchin, Mr. Deity, and Pat Condell.

      April 29, 2012 at 7:04 pm |
  19. 1word

    God loves everyone even the idiots that don't believe in him. He's so Merciful and I'm glad he allows us to make our own bed because in the end we will have to lie in it. If you don't give your life to God and you die you will be the one wishing you did. I've made my choice and I'll run with God than men.

    April 29, 2012 at 4:47 pm |
    • Observer

      Jesus said that if you call someone a fool, you could be sent to h-ell.

      Ooops.

      April 29, 2012 at 4:54 pm |
    • Lilith

      So God won't tell us himself & leaves it up to millions of people all saying something different & then punishes us if we choose the wrong lunatic to listen too .. nope .. If a God were to exist I'd have to give that God more credit for intelligence than that.

      April 29, 2012 at 4:55 pm |
    • Michael

      1word, I notice that you can't disagree with someone without insulting them. Imagine how you'd feel if an intolerant atheist called you an "idiot" for believing in God. Yet you have done that very thing to people solely because they have a different opinion. Maybe you should look up what your Jesus said about people who do such things. He predicted a very specific fate for those who call their brothers "fool," in particular.

      April 29, 2012 at 4:56 pm |
    • Cedar rapids

      "If you don't give your life to God and you die you will be the one wishing you did"

      in his everlasting 'love' and 'mercy', lol.

      April 29, 2012 at 4:57 pm |
    • Phosphorus

      Your concept of a god that demands unquestioning servitude and slavery, else eternal torment is a stupid and pathetic construct. To be so certain on the position that you would want to spend eternity with something that demands your servitude or it will torture you in ways you can't even imagine makes you just as pathetic as the fabricated deity you drool and lust over.

      April 29, 2012 at 5:01 pm |
    • Matt

      The Bible is very clear on the point. Please read the following comment and scriptures.

      • Why would it be wrong to have an abortion?
      God considers life sacred and views a human embryo as a distinct, living being. (Ps. 139:16) 16 Your eyes saw even the embryo of me, And in your book all its parts were down in writing,As regards the days when they were formed
      And there was not yet one among them.
      Killing an unborn child is murder, as shown by the fact that under the Law a person would be called to account for injuring an unborn child. (Ex. 21:22, 23)22 “And in case men should struggle with each other and they really hurt a pregnant woman and her children do come out but no fatal accident occurs, he is to have damages imposed upon him without fail according to what the owner of the woman may lay upon him; and he must give it through the justices. 23 But if a fatal accident should occur, then you must give soul for soul,
      Life begins at conception when the embryo starts to be formed and the scriptures below bring out that to cause the death of an unborn child is to be paid by the person who caused it with their own life. Pretty simple.

      April 29, 2012 at 5:08 pm |
    • Matt

      You are right about God loving everyone, as John 3:16 brings out, but he does not tolerate unrepentant wrongdoers. People have to be able to recognize that and make changes in their lives and live, not by their own ideas, but by the principles that he sets out in his way of communicating with them today and that is through his written word the Bible. What matters is living by his view of matters, not our own view.

      April 29, 2012 at 5:17 pm |
    • Observer

      Matt,

      Yes. The Bible NEVER mentions abortion. It does say that if you hurt another human being, the penalty is "an eye for an eye". If you cause a woman to lose her fetus, the penalty is just to pay a fine. You know, kind of like a parking ticket.

      April 29, 2012 at 5:18 pm |
    • n8263

      1word please try to be rational. You believe in one moronic god if he is real.

      Do you really think your god is that stupid?

      April 29, 2012 at 5:18 pm |
    • Josef Bleaux

      The bible is nothing but a book of ancient mythology. Nothing more. Overcome the brainwashing you've received since early childhood by using logic, reason and objectivity and it will become utterly obvious to you. Or continue to wallow in your fantasy world if you want, but don't try to push your ignorant fairytales on everyone else.

      April 29, 2012 at 5:36 pm |
    • sam stone

      1word: you are a slave. now, b, get back on your knees

      April 29, 2012 at 5:46 pm |
    • Ashrakay

      @Matt, If life begins at conception like you say, 20% of all pregnancies end is miscarriage, so then god must be the most prolific abortionist of all time. (paraphrasing Sam Harris)

      April 29, 2012 at 6:26 pm |
    • sam stone

      matt: what makes you think that the supposed mores of an iron age, middle eastern agrarian society apply to modern man?

      April 29, 2012 at 6:44 pm |
    • RichardSRussell

      Some years back, a young family lived next door to me. They had 2 kids, and the younger one, a boy of about 6, was a real terror. I think he had some kind of mental or emotional problems. His parents were real nice, and I think they were fit to be tied with him, since he was always getting into trouble.
       
      I didn't even like this kid, let alone love him, but if anyone had suggested that maybe I should put his hand on a hot stove, I would have been horrified at the very idea.
       
      Yet the "loving" God of Christianity is willing to put not only your hand on a hot stove for a fleeting moment but your entire body in enveloping flames for all eternity. You and I and everyone we know has more love in our little finger than your fiendish, sadistic God does in his entire (non-existent) body.
       
      God is not love, he is the Marquis de Sade to the millionth power.

      April 29, 2012 at 7:11 pm |
  20. Observer

    If people talk to God maybe they can tell us what he says about abortion since it is NEVER mentioned in the Bible, but it's fun to PRETEND it does.

    April 29, 2012 at 4:46 pm |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.