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My Take: Dear God: How to pray on National Day of Prayer?
President Barack Obama praying at a White House Easter event in April.
May 3rd, 2012
09:51 AM ET

My Take: Dear God: How to pray on National Day of Prayer?

Editor's Note: Stephen Prothero, a Boston University religion scholar and author of "God is Not One: The Eight Rival Religions that Run the World," is a regular CNN Belief Blog contributor.

By Stephen Prothero, Special to CNN

Dear Deity,

In the Milky Way, on planet Earth, in the United States of America, Thursday is our National Day of Prayer, so I am writing to ask You how to pray.

Seventy eight percent or so of U.S. citizens are Christians, so should we pray today to the Christian God? This seems to be the conviction of the folks at the National Day of Prayer Task Force, which pops up first if you Google “National Day of Prayer.” (By the way, do You Google, God? And if so do you ever Google "God"?)

The NDP Task Force refers to itself as “Judeo-Christian,” but it sure looks evangelical to me. It has been chaired since 1991 by Shirley Dobson, the wife of Focus on the Family founder (and evangelical stalwart) James Dobson. Its site quotes liberally from the New Testament, and one of its goals is to “foster unity within the Christian Church.”

A NDP Task Force press release begins: “Americans to Unite and Pray on Thursday, May 3rd, for the 61st Annual Observance of the National Day of Prayer." But will their sort of prayer really unite our nation?

Twenty four percent of Americans are Catholics, and God knows they don’t pray the way evangelicals do. Nearly 2% are Mormons and another 2% are Jews. And neither of those groups talks to You with the easy familiarity of born-again Christians.

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And what about American Hindus and Muslims and Buddhists?  Muslims agree with their Jewish and Christian neighbors that there is one God. But how to pray as a nation when some believers affirm more than one God and some affirm fewer?

As You obviously know, the 1.6% of Americans who call themselves atheists and the 2.4% who call themselves agnostics refer to today as the National Day of Reason. On their web site, they argue that our National Day of Prayer represents an unwanted and unconstitutional intrusion of religion into the workings of the U.S. government.

In his various proclamations of the National Day of Prayer, including this year's, President Obama has referred to prayer as an important part of U.S. history. He speaks of the Continental Congress and Abraham Lincoln and Martin Luther King, Jr. being driven to their knees by the force of the tasks set before them.

But when our national icons have prayed on our behalf, they have done so in generic terms. Washington addressed “the Almighty”; Jefferson called on “that Infinite Power.” They did so because they wanted prayer to unite us, not to divide us, and they knew from the start that different Americans call You by different names.

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But addressing “Providence” in vague pieties will not satisfy everyone either. The evangelicals at the NPD Task Force reject efforts to “homogenize” America’s many different ways of praying into one common prayer.

I see their point. Like language, religion is a specific sort of thing. If you are going to speak, you need to choose a language. If you are going to pray, you need to choose a religion (and a god). So if they want to pray to the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, more power to them.

But what happens when that particular prayer language is put forth as our collective national language? What happens when we pray, as Rick Warren did at President Obama’s inaugural, “in the name of the one who changed my life, Yeshua, Isa, Jesus”? Then prayer turns into a wedge, dividing those who call you Christ from those who call You Krishna (or do not call on You at all).

So I return to my original question: How should we pray on this National Day of Prayer?

But while I have Your attention (do I?) I have one more.

This year the NDP Task Force has chosen for its theme “One Nation Under God” and its Bible quote is: “Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord” (Psalms 33:12). Is our god You? Since 1954 we have bragged in our Pledge of Allegiance that we are "one nation under God." Are we?

All too often, it seems to me, we use You rather than following You. Democrats ask You to shill for them on tax policy and immigration. Republicans claim to speak in Your name on abortion and gay marriage. Does this annoy You — playing the pawn in our political chess games? Don't You sometimes just want to smite us?

Finally, before I let you go, I must ask You about the marginal tax rate for the wealthiest Americans. Perhaps You have more important things on your plate, but while I have Your attention (do I?) I must ask: What portion of their income should millionaires pay to the U.S. government? When President Kennedy came into office the highest income tax rate was 91%. Was that too high? Today it is 35%. Is that too low? (Just curious.)

This prayer is already too long, so I should stop. But if You are still there (are You?) maybe you could just tell me whether You follow the Roman Catholic Church. If so, could you comment on the recent fight the Vatican has been picking with American nuns? Do you think our nuns should be spending more time fighting contraception and less time caring for the poor and the sick?

And do get back to me on that how to pray thing. We’re all supposed to do it on Thursday, together.

Sincerely,

Steve

The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of Stephen Prothero.

- CNN Belief Blog contributor

Filed under: Barack Obama • Catholic Church • Christianity • Politics • Prayer • Uncategorized • United States

soundoff (4,673 Responses)
  1. Doc Vestibule

    "The most ridiculous concept ever perpetrated by H.Sapiens is that the Lord God of Creation, Shaper and Ruler of the Universes, wants the sacharrine adoration of his creations, that he can be persuaded by their prayers, and becomes petulant if he does not recieve this flattery. Yet this ridiculous notion, without one real shred of evidence to bolster it, has gone on to found one of the oldest, largest and least productive industries in history."
    [Robert Heinlein]

    May 3, 2012 at 1:24 pm |
    • MarkinFL

      You mean there isn't really an invisible, omniscient, universe spanning enti.ty that cares who I kiss? And here I thought I was so important that the universe cared what I thought and did.

      May 3, 2012 at 1:29 pm |
    • fred

      Doc
      “ the Lord God of Creation, Shaper and Ruler of the Universes, wants the sacharrine adoration of his creations”
      =>What god is that? Christ the full representation of God came to serve and save us. God has gone to great lengths to show us how much God has to give his creation. It is God’s nature to create wonderfully that even put Einstein in Awe. God did not demand Einstein worship any god and simply demonstrated the Glory of God to any that would accept it.

      “ he can be persuaded by their prayers”
      =>What? God is soverign and already knows what we want verses what we need.

      “ becomes petulant if he does not recieve this flattery”
      =>It is not for flattery it is because God does not want us to be led astray by the gods of our making.

      May 3, 2012 at 1:45 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      @Fred
      It states quite explicitly in the Bible that yours is a jealous God.
      4 of the 10 commandments are there to make sure you worship only Him – and if you don't, he'll send you to Hell.
      If God cannot be persuaded by prayer, why do people pray for Him to alter reality (ie: heal the sick).
      Eistein and Spinoza's concept of God was more of an abstract, pantheistic concept – not the anthropomorphic, anthropocentric ideal espoused by the Abrahamic religions.

      May 3, 2012 at 1:50 pm |
    • fred

      Doc
      The expression “A jealous God” represents Gods love for his creation and response to that love being taken by false gods and idols that bring death to the soul. It is not a demand for worship of God any more than when a parent attempts to prevent you from dating Stalin or Pol Pot.
      God does not send you to hell but your new love will drag you there. (P.S. eternal fire is reserved for Satan and his demons not the innocent dragged off by the wolves)

      “If God cannot be persuaded by prayer, why do people pray for Him to alter reality (ie: heal the sick).”
      =>Prayer unites you with Gods reality of the outcome. Proper prayer aligns your soul with Gods will in the situation. Given God knows your needs before you ask it would follow that the answer existed before the need. Much the same way the plan for salvation was in place before Eve took a bite.

      “Eistein and Spinoza's concept of God was more of an abstract, pantheistic concept – not the anthropomorphic, anthropocentric ideal espoused by the Abrahamic religions.”
      =>Correct, but Einstein’s and Spinoza’s beliefs do not change the nature of God or Gods purpose for creation any more than yours or the Pope’s does.

      May 3, 2012 at 2:21 pm |
  2. bsm1923

    I said a little prayer to the ONE TRUE GOD...THOR....and asked that his new movie "The Avengers" be totally awesome.

    May 3, 2012 at 1:23 pm |
    • Thor

      Prayer.......Granted!!!

      May 3, 2012 at 1:48 pm |
    • Patrish

      Of course it will be great, Joseph Whedon is the director!!!!

      May 3, 2012 at 3:11 pm |
  3. n8263

    @CNN, good article. Thank you!

    May 3, 2012 at 1:22 pm |
    • KerryE

      A National Day of Prayer is (1) for non-believers, an absurd and pointless pursuit of mass delusion, and (2) for Christians, a loving, usually unselfish, request made of a Supreme Being.

      Prayer, realistically, is nothing more than hoping, wishing and requesting that an omnipotent super being do something for the requester or for mankind. However, the futility of such a nonsensical exercise must be apparent when we look throughout our day to day history and see how many true believers, have, totally unselfishly, prayed that a loved one, friend, etc., who is suffering from a terrible disease and is in tremendous pain be afforded relief;......It didn't happen; the prayer went unanswered by an all loving omnipotent being who had the power to grant such relief. All loving? Omnipotent?

      What is the point in continuing to pretend that a 747 is a loaf of bread??? Wishing that something were so doesn't make it so.

      May 3, 2012 at 1:41 pm |
  4. Coug9

    Dear God:
    If I pray to a "generic" you, not calling you by your real name......would you get upest with me? Or if I am ok with others not knowing the "real you"......are you cool with that? If, like many in our nation, I warp your will into my own.....is that ok? Let me know....e-mail or text message works best for me.

    May 3, 2012 at 1:22 pm |
  5. thes33k3r

    We should have a National Day of Ignorance....oh wait.

    May 3, 2012 at 1:22 pm |
  6. Truth

    @voice of reason

    What are your credentials that has made you so smart? I ask a question about a brilliant scientist and you automatically say he's delusional since he believes in God. I'm curious to see what your credentials are since you claim so much knowledge. Please do provide.

    I'll start, I have a BS in Finance and am currently a financial analyst. Share yours, and be truthful.

    May 3, 2012 at 1:21 pm |
    • n8263

      I have read a lot of his comments and he is definitely an intelligent person.

      May 3, 2012 at 1:25 pm |
    • Truth

      @n8

      care yo address my prior question where you claim most non-believers don't call believers morons.....and then literally a few comments down your doing exactly that.....hypocrit.

      May 3, 2012 at 1:30 pm |
    • Voice of Reason

      My credentials? Oh, by the way I'm pretty impressed with yours! What does credentials have to do with it? It wouldn't matter if I was loaded down with credentials, delusional is delusional, period. If you believe in a god that falls into being delusional, prove it different.

      May 3, 2012 at 1:31 pm |
    • Truth

      @VOR

      I'll take that to mean you don't have many credentials.

      May 3, 2012 at 1:36 pm |
    • Voice of Reason

      @Truth
      @VOR
      "I'll take that to mean you don't have many credentials."

      You really are a ignoramus aren't you? It's a perfect example of seeing what you want to see, that 's religion for you!

      May 3, 2012 at 1:42 pm |
  7. oldpatriot

    I have held the belief that religion was invented by man as a social tool, one that created an evolutionary advantage for the believer and leveraged our brains structures that support the ability to imagine and envision people who are not present. This ability allowed for a greater cohesion in the tribe because the members could envision their loved ones who were gone on the hunt, allowing them to imagine them present prevented them from wandering off in their absence. This ability to imagine missing members of the the tribe morphed over time when the tribal charlatan found she could encourage people to imagine a non-existent member of the tribe and suggest that the missing members who had died were with this imaginary member.

    All of religion is the abuse of human imagination by other humans to control the tribe!

    May 3, 2012 at 1:21 pm |
  8. n8263

    Religion is delusional, prayer is delusional.

    You do not believe in religion because you honestly think it is true, you believe in it because you are afraid of the unknown. It does not take a genius to figure out all religion is man made, so for humanity's sake, please stop lying to yourself.

    May 3, 2012 at 1:20 pm |
    • James PDX

      Father Odin will strike you down for this blasphemy and you will never see Valhalla.

      May 3, 2012 at 1:26 pm |
    • JimBob

      How many times are you going to post the same comment? Moron.

      May 3, 2012 at 4:01 pm |
  9. Barney

    There is only one God. I pray you find him. Christ is the only way.

    May 3, 2012 at 1:18 pm |
    • oldpatriot

      Barney: I have never understood the idea that Christ is the only way – does this mean that infants born into non christian societies are doomed to hell because of the accident of their birth ?

      May 3, 2012 at 1:24 pm |
    • James PDX

      And does it mean that people living in North and South America who never heard of Jesus until the European Christians came and spread their disease and stole their land all went straight to Hell? That seems rather arbitrary and unfair.

      May 3, 2012 at 1:29 pm |
    • ocp

      How the hell do you "know" that? On what basis?

      May 3, 2012 at 1:29 pm |
    • Linder in FL

      Barney come out of your purple suit and know that your god is not everyone's god.

      May 3, 2012 at 1:30 pm |
    • MarkinFL

      "There is only one God. I pray you find him. "

      Is this like geocaching. Are there any coordinates for god? Is he like stuck under a park bench somewhere in Jersey?

      May 3, 2012 at 1:32 pm |
    • oldpatriot

      But barney I already have Peace, hope, joy, and love...all without a relationship with your imaginary God.

      May 3, 2012 at 1:35 pm |
    • Chazbo

      Barney, you do know you can get medication for your delusions, don't you?

      May 3, 2012 at 1:35 pm |
  10. Jeannette

    Matthew 6:5
    "And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by men. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full.

    May 3, 2012 at 1:18 pm |
    • oldpatriot

      Does that make Obama a hypocrite because he is pictured praying on the CNN Homepage ? and if it does shouldn't all past presidents be condemned for the same action ?

      May 3, 2012 at 1:26 pm |
  11. Genuis8

    To answer the question – How to pray to God (no matter when). This question was answered by Jesus Christ in the New Testament of The Bible, when he gave us, what is commonly refereed to now as "The Lord's Prayer".

    Anyone who wants to pray can, and no one should force another to believe in their God.

    May 3, 2012 at 1:18 pm |
    • Nonimus

      would that be the one in Matthew or the one in Luke?

      May 3, 2012 at 1:20 pm |
    • Bizarre

      Odd that Paul of Tarsus, who was supposedly visited by Jesus himself, and was the #1 spreader of the "word", never knew about that prayer (The Lord's Prayer)...

      May 3, 2012 at 1:24 pm |
  12. James PDX

    Dear God: Why do you care what I believe? Why is belief more important than action? Why should a bad person who believes in Jesus be rewarded and a good person who does not be punished? Shouldn't being good be a much more important criteria than belief? What good has belief ever done that can outweigh good actions? Believing you want world peace is useless rhetoric when compared to actively trying to bring it about. Just wondering. if you could get back to me before I die, that would be great.

    PS – What happened to all of the Native Americans who lived and died without ever hearing of Jesus? I know they say that location is everything, but seriously?

    May 3, 2012 at 1:17 pm |
    • Barney

      God's sovereignty and grace should never be questioned. Man makes many of the rules you are suggesting exist. God judges, and only God. He sees our hearts, and He and only He decides. However, if you want a relationship with God, you must have a relationship with his son, Jesus Christ. God gave His son to show us true love, and the gift of eternal life simply for accepting Jesus's sacrifice for us. He took on our sins for us. He was the perfect measure of love as an example for us. If you had to give up your son to be beaten and killed when all he did was love, then, many people simply blew it off like it was no big deal, or not even true. You would not recognize them either, just as they didn't recognize your son's sacrifice. And if was a free gift. Maybe for those who cannot be open to see this, God will not be open to see them.

      May 3, 2012 at 1:25 pm |
    • RavitzonRadkey

      " PS – What happened to all of the Native Americans who lived and died without ever hearing of Jesus? I know they say that location is everything, but seriously? "

      ..Exactly the premise of the Book of Mormon. Jesus appearing to the inhabitants of this land after his resurrection. Check it out.

      May 3, 2012 at 1:27 pm |
    • Rob

      Only God can answer the question on Native American's.

      Faith/belief is more important than actions because it takes faith. Anyone can do good works. What works are good or good enough, who decides that one? Faith/belief shows something more than works.

      May 3, 2012 at 1:28 pm |
    • oldpatriot

      barney is telling us that God is petty and vindictive and that if you don't show sufficient regret and compassion for his gift that he will smite thee! Remember that you must worship god fervently and if he is not pleased with your level of worship you will be smote upon! The god of Christianity and Judaism is shallow, vindictive, petty, jealous and horrible capricious, to say otherwise is to ignore half of the bible and all of human history!

      May 3, 2012 at 1:32 pm |
    • MarkinFL

      It certainly shows a propensity toward irrational thought.

      If I had to choose between someone doing a lot of good works and a true believer, I'd take the doer over the believer. Any god that chose otherwise is unworthy of anyone's consideration.

      May 3, 2012 at 1:36 pm |
    • Victorious

      The God of the bible is sovereign, loving, gracious, and just. But it is His love that leads us to His Son, Jesus Christ to reconcile us, sinners, to Him.

      May 3, 2012 at 1:54 pm |
  13. achepotlex

    52.387% of Christians are functionally retarded.

    May 3, 2012 at 1:16 pm |
    • docame

      That is politically incorrect, Dude! The proper terminology is they are 'intellectually handicapped' !

      May 3, 2012 at 1:20 pm |
    • MrHanson

      Hmmm. Interesting. I wonder where you get your statistics. Oh that's right. From your strawman.

      May 3, 2012 at 1:23 pm |
    • Barney

      God is fair and understands all things. However, in the Bible it says that the Word of God would be spread to all corners of the world. Those who have ears will hear it, and those who don't will not. But again, God is just, so questions as to "What about the baby that is born to a society that has never heard of Jesus?", well, God makes that decision. God's grace is enough. However, those who don't accept the gift of Christ will probably miss out on great things in this life and the next. No, not material things. Peace, hope, joy, and love...and a relationship with God.

      May 3, 2012 at 1:30 pm |
    • MarkinFL

      "Peace, hope, joy, and love...and a relationship with God."

      Well 4 out of 5 ain't bad. I'm satisfied.

      May 3, 2012 at 1:40 pm |
  14. Jacques Strappe, World Famous French Ball Juggler

    Let's get one thing straight. You can believe what you want. I'll be sure to leave you be. However, as soon as you start spouting off your bull as fact, I'm going to call it out, plain and simple. Feel free to pray. Just keep your prayer and your religion out of government inst-itutions. If you want to pray in school, pray silently. We don't need teachers leading group prayers. If your conscience won't let you live a certain lifestyle, fine. Just don't expect (and pass laws) other people to adhere to your lifestyle.

    May 3, 2012 at 1:15 pm |
  15. MrHanson

    Now Atheists shall bow their heads an repeat this prayer.

    Save us, Jerry, from the devils
    In the churches…Take a stand!
    Jerry, be our bless’d Messiah! Cleanse the vermin from the land!

    Rise up, Jerry! O, Hosanna!
    Scientism! Save us now!
    Humanism is The Answer!
    Brother Jerry’s Sacred Cow!

    Rid the world of this dysfunction!
    Amen, Jerry! Preach The Word…
    Evolution Revolution!
    Now you’ve got disciples stirred!

    What we need’s profound upheaval…
    Brother, Jerry! Save the day!
    Breathe out your sweet Coyne-o-nea!
    Heal our land, Jere, this we pray.

    Amen!!

    May 3, 2012 at 1:14 pm |
  16. Amy

    Why are some atheists so arrogant it's shameful. Just let people believe what they want as a long as it's something positive. I'm agnostic but I still go to church with my family because it makes them happy.

    May 3, 2012 at 1:13 pm |
    • Voice of Reason

      Do they know you are agnostic or do you hide it from them?

      May 3, 2012 at 1:17 pm |
    • LOL Religion

      You cannot be JUST agnostic. It is not a philosophical position between atheism and theism.

      Do you believe in deities? It is a yes or no question.

      (A)gnosticism only pertains to whether you think it is possible to know for certain if there are deities or not.

      May 3, 2012 at 1:19 pm |
    • achepotlex

      ummm...yea, the problem is that your "beliefs" are hateful, ignorant, dangerous and harmful to everyone they touch. Come up with some safer "beliefs" and we can talk.

      May 3, 2012 at 1:19 pm |
    • MarkinFL

      "as a long as it's something positive. "

      That part of the statement rather succinctly comes to the crux of the matter.

      Trying to restrict other people's civil rights is not "positive".

      May 3, 2012 at 1:43 pm |
  17. Student

    My question is to those of deep faith. Where did you get your faith from? As in the origins of your beliefs? Could you say, without the help of friends, family,etc pushing you to attend church or some other form or worship, that you wouldn't be so deep in faith? I thought it strange, as a child, that I had to go to a building to feel and see "God". However, I was more content and happy to feel and see "God" outside, with the plants and trees. I know my parent's went to church b/c they were forced, by fear of their parents and "Damnation". In history, religions have been forced on other people, very forcibly and aggressively. Making people choose, death and torture, or convert to a specific ideology. Then this fear translate to their children, who in turn do the same. Eventually, their fear turns to "devotion" a blind devotion and no questions are ask. If a question is asked of their faith, it is insulting and provokes fear.

    What I find now, that is very interesting, are those of faith who say that Muslims don't pray to the same "God" as Christians or Jews. Then some say that Jews don't pray to the same "God" as Christians. However, most of the western religions, Christianity, Judaism, Islam, etc, all believe in the "God" of Abraham. It's like all of those religions living under one roof, built by one "God" in separate rooms. Then each room prays or thanks the builder, and the rooms all believe the roof was built just for them, not all of them.

    May 3, 2012 at 1:12 pm |
    • AMM

      We're all born Atheist... You are told to believe in God when you grow up. People fear what they don't understand... Like death. So, religion is there for comfort. Think about the time before you were born... That's what death is like. God is imaginary.

      May 3, 2012 at 1:20 pm |
    • Pinewalker

      If you have these opinions due to a personal experience, maybe you ought to try another church.....or several others for that fact. Though what you say, may stereotype some actual people in the "church" today, I think most people attend out of love for their God and spiritual nourishment. I can say without reservation that my faith and religious practices have never been dictated by any form of fear or other negative emotion.

      May 3, 2012 at 1:31 pm |
    • It comes down to this...

      Actually, my faith came not from anyone in my family or circle of friends. My faith came from a serious search for truth and the meaning of life. You are wrong in assuming you know everything just because you have thus far not entered into a relationship with God through His Son, Jesus Christ. I find it amazing that those who are unbelievers often ridicule, mock and disdain Christians when unbelievers have no clue regarding what this faith consists of and how it is obtained. Then again, the scripture does say no one can come to the Father unless He enables them. That is something to pray for.

      May 3, 2012 at 1:38 pm |
    • Elwood P. Dowd

      @It comes down to this...
      "a relationship with God through His Son, Jesus Christ."

      I know some people who think that they have a relationship with Ganesh, the elephant god.

      For me, it's my invisible 6'3" rabbit friend, Harvey.

      May 3, 2012 at 1:45 pm |
    • Victorious

      Faith comes from hearing the Word of God. The Love of Jesus prompts us to obey Him. It is our response to His sacrificial love. Perfect love drives away fear.

      May 3, 2012 at 1:49 pm |
    • Mara

      Pinewalker wrote: "I think most people attend out of love for their God and spiritual nourishment. I can say without reservation that my faith and religious practices have never been dictated by any form of fear or other negative emotion."

      Well, I think most people attend for the sense of community and having an 'in-group" to belong to. As for your religious practices not being dictated by any form of fear or other negative emotion...bull hockey. The ENTIRE BASIS for christianity is Obedience. And if you *aren't* obedient and you *don't* do what you're told...punishment. Eternal torture, in fact. So when you say that fear or other negative emotions have nothing to do with Christianity – i.e. your 'religious practices' – you are not being honest, either historically OR dogmatically. You are *required* by the Bible to 'fear God'. Because he is a jealous god, an angry god, and a vengeful god. Seems to me that fear, jealousy, anger, and revenge are ALL negative, and your god embodies all of these traits, then it follows that your religion is *directly* based on those tenets. Obey or suffer the consequences. That's Christianity in a nutshell.

      May 3, 2012 at 2:34 pm |
  18. EatYouAlive

    " As You obviously know, the 1.6% of Americans who call themselves atheists and the 2.4% who call themselves agnostics refer to today as the National Day of Reason."

    Those numbers came from the ether regions and I don't mean hell.

    May 3, 2012 at 1:12 pm |
    • rhismom

      I was thinking the same thing...

      May 3, 2012 at 1:28 pm |
  19. Bob

    Thank you for continuing to affirm that the only group that can still be mocked are Christians.

    May 3, 2012 at 1:12 pm |
    • Voice of Reason

      I'll mock any god.

      May 3, 2012 at 1:18 pm |
    • n8263

      Flat Earth Society members would get more ribbing if there were more of them.

      If it is any consolation atheists are the most persecuted minority in America. The majority of Americans actually think you can not be moral without the belief in a god or gods. Of course it is totally irrational, just like religion.

      May 3, 2012 at 1:18 pm |
    • Jacques Strappe, World Famous French Ball Juggler

      Christians are perfectly content to mock non-believers, gays and those who believe other than they do. What goes around, comes around.

      May 3, 2012 at 1:18 pm |
    • Luis Rubet

      i mock all faiths involving deities

      May 3, 2012 at 1:20 pm |
    • LOL Religion

      The Christian persecution complex is hilarious.

      May 3, 2012 at 1:20 pm |
    • MarkinFL

      Shhh, I think it makes Bob feel special to be in the only group that can still be mocked. Let him keep his fantasy. It will look nice sitting next to his religious fantasies. Paranoia and superst.ition blend better than any herbs.

      May 3, 2012 at 1:48 pm |
    • JT

      It's so pathetic when the vast majority who demonizes and persecutes everyone else plays the victim when those who they persecute raise their bloodied heads to plead for the same rights and liberties.

      May 3, 2012 at 2:31 pm |
  20. robertholt

    I say, each person should pray according to their own beliefs and not try to come up with a prayer that will make everybody happy. It is my personal belief that the only way to know God is by accepting Jesus as their Savior. If you don't know the Son, you don't know the Father. Sorry if that bothers anybody.

    May 3, 2012 at 1:12 pm |
    • sam stone

      robertholt: it doesn't bother me what you believe. until folks who believe the same try to codify it into our secular law.

      May 3, 2012 at 1:14 pm |
    • fred

      Sam Stone
      What is it you do that is such an offense to Jesus ?
      If our Country simply enacted all the guidance given by Jesus we would have heaven on earth.

      May 3, 2012 at 1:17 pm |
    • Luis Rubet

      I think Gandhi said it best I believe it was " I like your Christ but not much your Christians they are very much unlike your Christ"

      May 3, 2012 at 1:28 pm |
    • docame

      Yo, Fred, dude. If we did as you say then it wouldn't be our country, anymore. America was founded on secularism, not christianity. Get over it already.

      May 3, 2012 at 1:28 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.