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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. Bravo Delta

    Stephen what was the point of this article? We go to a news website for news, facts and research, not for people's opinions. Billions of unique humans with their own individual insights live on this planet, why does CNN waste it's time posting one persons opinion? Opinionated journalism is modern day segregation. Journalistic extremism is the reason why American's are split left and right and no one can work together.

    May 3, 2012 at 12:14 pm |
    • James PDX

      If you go to a news website for facts, not opinions, why did you click on an article clearly noted as an opinion piece? Perhaps because you wanted to give your opinion? Hmm?

      May 3, 2012 at 12:17 pm |
    • Greg

      Well, since you came to the "Belief Blog" to read it, I think it is in the right place.

      May 3, 2012 at 12:20 pm |
    • MarkinFL

      Educated people understand the difference between the Opinion sections and the News sections.

      Editorial and opinion pages have been a part of news distributors for well over a century.

      Your argument is pointless.

      May 3, 2012 at 12:22 pm |
  2. jimtanker

    I’m staging a National Day of Irreverence. My goal today is to break every one of the ten commandments in Exodus 20. For those of you who don’t know what the ten commandments are (xtians mostly) go look them up. I AM NOT suggesting that anyone go out and break the law but using the infamous “Way of the Master” version. Lust after a woman to commit adultery in your heart, covet things instead of stealing, and hate (someone who cuts you off in traffic or a minister who says that you should beat your kids if they are gay) instead of murder.

    Enjoy your National Day of Irreverence and pass this on to as many people as you can.

    May 3, 2012 at 12:12 pm |
    • BibleBeliever

      WOW, I seriously pray for you. Forgive Him Father for he knows not what he is doing. Ahmayn!

      May 3, 2012 at 12:24 pm |
    • jimtanker

      Pray for me, and I'll THINK for you.

      May 3, 2012 at 12:30 pm |
  3. BibleBeliever

    Partial quote: "in the history of humanity there is NO EVIDENCE a super being EVER existed yet there are an abudance of STORIES of them... "
    =========
    Other than all of creation that proves His existence, you also have His land: Israel and His people: the Yehudim (Jews). They come from Abraham, Isaac & Jacob. Gee, where can this lineage be found? SCRIPTURE, THE BIBLE! Nuff said!

    May 3, 2012 at 12:12 pm |
    • jimtanker

      Like he said, NO evidence.

      May 3, 2012 at 12:13 pm |
    • sam stone

      bible believer: how do you make the leap from the concept of a creator to it validating YOUR view of the creator?

      May 3, 2012 at 12:14 pm |
    • Proud Atheist

      None of what you gave as evidence is ANY evidence whatsoever of ANYTHING.

      Your mythology is no different than the Greek's or the Roman's. Badly written stories to explain away what humanity didn't have the scientific knowledge to explain at the time.

      May 3, 2012 at 12:14 pm |
    • BibleBeliever

      My view of the Creator comes not only from HIS written Word but my personal relationship with Him. As a born again believer I know Him. You all speak out of disbelief because you do not know Him. I dare you to read His Word – from Genesis to Revelation. Find out Who He is, ask Him to reveal Himself to you. Go ahead, I dare you.

      May 3, 2012 at 12:22 pm |
    • BibleBeliever

      JimTanker quote: "Like he said, NO evidence."
      =======
      Then you're as BLIND as he is.

      May 3, 2012 at 12:23 pm |
    • MarkinFL

      I've read the bible, all of it. All of the dull dull repeti.tious parts, the cruel parts, the just plain ridiculous parts, even the bits that say nice things. Its about as convincing as an eight year old explaining why he NEEDS a BB gun.

      May 3, 2012 at 12:29 pm |
    • BibleBeliever

      MarkinFL by your comments regarding His Word you obviously read it with a hardened heart, a heart of stone...

      May 3, 2012 at 12:38 pm |
  4. wakeup333

    For those who say the National Day of Prayer isn't a law, so it doesn't violate the First Amendment ("Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion..."), you are WRONG!!

    It IS a law, and it DOES violate the First Amendment!!

    Wikipedia: "On April 17, 1952, President Harry S. Truman signed a bill proclaiming a National Day of Prayer must be declared by each following president at an appropriate date of his choice."

    "In 1988, the law was amended so that the National Day of Prayer would be held on the first Thursday of May. Two stated intentions of the National Day of Prayer were that it would be a day when adherents of all great religions could unite in prayer and that it may one day bring renewed respect for God to all the peoples of the world."

    This is a black-;and-white, literal, bald-faced violation of the First Amendment. It doesn't matter whether some choose to follow or ignore it. It's a law passed by Congress, performed annually by the President, broadcast nationally as a government-initiated act.

    Violation! Violation! Violation! Rational people, demand Congress repeal this ILLEGAL law!

    May 3, 2012 at 12:12 pm |
  5. morgana

    The Christian God is not God and is not worthy of the belief of those with their fingers on the button. Why do I say the Christian God is not God? I’m not talking about the enlightened being, Jesus, i’m talking about God. I know that sounds crazy to you, but the real God does not have plans to destroy this planet. That would be the Demiurge, you’ve been duped by a demon that calls himself Yaweh. Listen to the Gnostics, they were here long before and watched the deception unfold before being crushed by dark Christian authorities. Lets hope this evil false God doesn’t convince these people to destroy the planet any further.

    May 3, 2012 at 12:11 pm |
    • ScienceSoma

      And yet, like any other religion's version of mythology and theology, you have absolutely no proof for this claim. Without evidence, all religious claims are equally invalid, or at the least, unproven.

      May 3, 2012 at 2:01 pm |
  6. Betty

    voice of reason: I rather live for Christ and find out I am wrong than to live without Him and find out I am wrong. But than that is me and my choice. I respect your right to your choice. But then I have no common sense (say you) nor am I rational (say you).

    May 3, 2012 at 12:11 pm |
    • sam stone

      betty: what if you live for christ and find out you were wrong, not in the sense of their being no god, but rather in the sense of being a god other than that in which you believe. woud that not be making that god angry that you don't worship him/her/it?

      May 3, 2012 at 12:17 pm |
    • Proud Atheist

      The problem is – you'll never find out you're wrong – you'll just be dead.

      On the other hand, we'll all have had to lead OUR lives based on your delusional beliefs, because you and others of your deluded ilk demand that everyone ELSE live in delusion and stupidity just as you do.

      Screw that, AND your stupid religion AND the horse you rode in on.

      May 3, 2012 at 12:17 pm |
    • Jacques Strappe, World Famous French Ball Juggler

      Pascal's Wager. Look it up. That idea is very flawed.
      Your wager assumes that you have picked the right God. If you really want to be sure you better worship all of them. Otherwise, you better hope you picked the right God and the right belief system that corresponds to that God. There is a very small window of error there.
      It also assumes that God won't punish you anyway because you were only serving him for fear of punishment.

      May 3, 2012 at 12:18 pm |
    • CodyTeacher

      Much respect, Betty, but that argument kind of makes Christ sound like a back-up plan, "Just in case". Isn't there something to be said about the courage of advocating a riskier conviction because it makes more sense?

      May 3, 2012 at 12:19 pm |
  7. Barneyjake

    People at my company are vocal about how religious they are so others will think they have higher morals and can be trusted. Problem is, is that they'll use that as a reason to separate them from a situation they caused when covering their unethical behavior. Just another way to manipulate people I guess...sad, very sad.

    May 3, 2012 at 12:09 pm |
    • If horses had Gods ... their Gods would be horses

      They're very vocal because that's how you get brownie points for God .. see God, look at me look at meeee!

      May 3, 2012 at 12:14 pm |
  8. Code

    "One nation under God" was just a Republican trying to claim political support. It has very little significance. I was pretty young in 1954, but even then I recognized it for the insincerity of its "claim". It is even less significant now, even with all of he evangelicals try to clam it.

    May 3, 2012 at 12:09 pm |
  9. BibleBeliever

    Quote: ""Two hands working can do more than a thousand clasped in prayer" —Anonymous"
    ============
    This is SO BACKWARD. It's the other way around bozo. "Two hands clasped in prayer can do more than a thousand hands working." BibleBeliever

    May 3, 2012 at 12:08 pm |
    • momoya

      Prove it.

      May 3, 2012 at 12:09 pm |
    • Jacques Strappe, World Famous French Ball Juggler

      I would like you to go to a busy hospital and get them to implement this idea. Tell them to get 99.9% of the staff to quit doing their job and to pray. The other 0.1% can do their job. I would love to see the rate of success for that hospital.

      May 3, 2012 at 12:12 pm |
    • John

      No, no, no! It goes; "Working two clasped hands a thousand times or more can do more than an anonymous prayer."

      May 3, 2012 at 1:06 pm |
  10. Johnny

    Man you all have been pray'in for 100's of years, hows that working out for ya? still waiting for an answer....maybe no one is home??

    May 3, 2012 at 12:08 pm |
    • Betty

      how do you know? did you ask every person that ever said a prayer to come to this conclusion?

      May 3, 2012 at 12:14 pm |
  11. 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.

    Deluding yourself in religion does not change reality.

    May 3, 2012 at 12:07 pm |
    • Truth

      The reality of the situation is that you think what you do because of your insecurities and you don't want to ultimately be responsible for all your actions. I used to think exactly like you until I humbled myself and became completely honest with myself. Jesus Christ is real regardless of your opinion or how "smart" you deem yourself and how "delusional" you deem others.

      May 3, 2012 at 12:18 pm |
    • n8263

      If I did not want to be responsible for my actions I would become a Christian, then you can sin all you want because no matter what you are forgiven and "saved."

      The only people truly responsible for their actions are the non-religious.

      May 3, 2012 at 12:22 pm |
    • Truth

      You clearly demonstrate no knowledge or understanding of Christianity. Christianity is not about doing whatever you want because you're saved. That is, however, what you'd like it to be because that helps ease the uncomfort of your disbelief.

      May 3, 2012 at 12:33 pm |
    • God's Word

      To Truth: Au contraire, and I raise you one Holy Wrath.

      May 3, 2012 at 12:53 pm |
  12. sielingfan

    Is it really this easy to get published on CNN? Seriously. I'm super-super-serious. Email me, CNN, I can do a lot better and I'll do it on the cheap.

    May 3, 2012 at 12:05 pm |
  13. kenny

    religious people are ignorant naive morons who believe in adult fairy tales because they can't handle the reality of the natural universe and the FACT that they will cease to exist at some point in the very near future FOR THE REST OF TIME .... scary I know but you didn't exist before you were born and you won't exist ANYWHERE after you're dead... in the history of humanity there is NO EVIDENCE a super being EVER existed yet there are an abudance of STORIES of them... this weekend avengers comes out... i wonder if a few thousand years from now future us will worship them.....

    May 3, 2012 at 12:05 pm |
    • really

      and YOU will SURELY find out in eternity

      May 3, 2012 at 12:13 pm |
    • james

      Why do the greeks no longer believe in the Greek gods, but most believe in God?

      May 3, 2012 at 12:14 pm |
    • LOL Religion

      really, threatening folks with your imaginary friend is not nearly as effective as you'd like it to be.

      May 3, 2012 at 12:15 pm |
    • sam stone

      "Why do the greeks no longer believe in the Greek gods, but most believe in God?"

      church?

      May 3, 2012 at 12:20 pm |
    • sam stone

      "and YOU will SURELY find out in eternity"

      yep, nothing more convincing than empty proxy threats

      May 3, 2012 at 12:22 pm |
    • AC980

      Prove it.

      May 3, 2012 at 1:08 pm |
  14. Betty

    for a bunch of people that do not 'believe' you sure invest alot of time on the subject. I am afraid you protest too much!!!!

    May 3, 2012 at 12:05 pm |
    • DIY Diva Unleashed

      lol, touche, Betty!

      May 3, 2012 at 12:08 pm |
    • MarkinFL

      You do understand that we believe in religion, right? We see evidence of religion all around us and it impacts our lives daily. Thus our strong interest in the subject.
      However, that has nothing to do with believing in an invisible, omniscient, universe spanning being that cares about who I kiss.

      May 3, 2012 at 12:09 pm |
    • momoya

      Any reason will, do, Betty.. Any reason will do.. Keep those fingers firmly in your ears and keep singing "la la la la laaaa!"

      May 3, 2012 at 12:09 pm |
    • If horses had Gods ... their Gods would be horses

      For people who "KNOW' God(s) exist and completely "BELIEVE" in any particular religion .. you sure do feel the need to defend your belief/knowledge.
      We, who don't believe, are trying to bring a little reason to the believers before they force their "belief" on the rest of us .. since we all know that keeping your belief personal isn't enough for you.

      May 3, 2012 at 12:10 pm |
    • sybaris

      That's because we continue to educate ourselves and promote our kowledge based on the evidence. As yet, you cannot provide any evidence to the contrary so it is the fear of ignorance being championed over reason as to why we spend time on the subject and protest your delusion.

      May 3, 2012 at 12:13 pm |
    • Jacques Strappe, World Famous French Ball Juggler

      We fear that intolerance and ignorance bred from religion will end up winning the day. We are fighting against it every day.

      May 3, 2012 at 12:13 pm |
    • LOL Religion

      Your beliefs effect us negatively, we'd be insane not to care and take it seriously. Christian delusion constantly threatens to take away the reproductive rights of women and denies LGBT the right to get married. It also violates the establishment clause with things like the NDP and slapping God on our currency. You'd better believe we care.

      May 3, 2012 at 12:13 pm |
    • gager

      It's important for rational people to challenge nonsense. Otherwise there is a rise in nonsense.

      May 3, 2012 at 12:15 pm |
  15. james

    If I didnt vote for the current president does that mean that he and democrats alike are forcing their beliefs on me?..

    May 3, 2012 at 12:05 pm |
    • Darth Cheney

      No. It does not.

      May 3, 2012 at 12:09 pm |
    • MarkinFL

      No, it means you live in a democratic republic.

      May 3, 2012 at 12:10 pm |
    • james

      Thank you for proving my point

      May 3, 2012 at 12:22 pm |
    • MarkinFL

      So what is your point? The government may only act within the construct of the Consti.tution. Any law that is past and does not pass muster may ultimately struck down. It has already happened many times and will happen again.

      Again, what is your point?

      May 3, 2012 at 12:47 pm |
  16. Dear God

    Hey God? Millions of us have prayed for world peace and a cure to cancer and things like that, and, well, nothing is happening. We have prayed for that stuf for centuries, and still nothing. These are the kinds of prayers that a true loving God logically would answer, but nothing.

    The kind of prayers that you randomly answer are for Mildred Flatulencia to will the lottery, and for the boss to not notice that Edgar Schmuck blew it at work again. These are the kind of prayers you probably should not answer, but you do.

    So I have to ask this: Do you have a drinking problem?

    May 3, 2012 at 12:03 pm |
    • Larry L

      What sort of god would have the ability to help, but would require you to beg/pray before providing that help? I'm not the nicest person on Earth but I'd help people if they needed it. How much evidence do we need to show no relationship between prayer and outcomes? I'll point out the damaging weather raking across the U.S. this year goes right through the Bible-Belt. People crawl out of the wreckage and thank God for his mercy in saving them. It would have been nice if God would have simply not allowed the storm, or at least saved those other folks! If this was a scientific experiment it would have been over long ago...

      May 3, 2012 at 12:12 pm |
  17. If horses had Gods ... their Gods would be horses

    Prayer is actually an insult to God(s). It asumes God(s) plan isn't working and needs our mortal direction .. how presumptuous and arrogant.

    May 3, 2012 at 12:01 pm |
    • MarkinFL

      You noticed that too huh? Lot of weird things you have to go along with to accept these supersti.tions as reality.

      May 3, 2012 at 12:07 pm |
    • momoya

      Xian: Just pray and ask god for guidance.
      Stan: But, nothing happened.
      Xian: It must not have been god's will, then.
      Stan: So prayers don't work unless it's already god's will?
      Xian: Yeah, god's not going to answer your prayer if it's not his will to do it like you prayed.
      Stan: So if I didn't pray at all, would god's will still happen.
      Xian: Yes. God's will is going to happen regardless.
      Stan: So why pray?
      Xian: Because... because... ummm... FAITH!!!..... No, I mean RAINBOWS!!!.... wait... did I tell you how the other day god gave me the BESSSSSST parking spot right by the grocery entrance at Wal-Mart?!! Oh, god is soooo good!! jay-sus!!

      May 3, 2012 at 12:08 pm |
    • This Guy

      1) You assume all prayer is only presenting requests. 2) You assume God never asked anyone to pray. Both assumptions are incorrect. Sometimes I just talk with him about life. That's prayer. It's talking to him.
      I agree that asking God to do anything would be presumptuous, except that He tells people repeatedly in the Bible to pray to Him.

      May 3, 2012 at 12:09 pm |
    • really

      GOD needs nothing from us - and yet - has given mankind EVERYTHING

      May 3, 2012 at 12:17 pm |
    • MarkinFL

      Flood, famine, disease, Republicans......

      Thanks God. With friends like you, who needs Satan.

      May 3, 2012 at 12:48 pm |
    • Godless

      So "This Guy" says that god repeatedly tells people to pray to him, then "really" says a few minutes later than god needs nothing from us. Two statements, presumably from two Christians, that are in direct contradiction to each other. And people wonder why we can't take religion seriously.

      May 3, 2012 at 2:41 pm |
  18. Terry Scott

    I feel very deeply for this man who obviously knows no God and certainly not The God of our creation. I am grieved for his soul and for the fact that his slander of our faith ( all faiths) will be read by many and believed by few. I believe in God and in Hi Son, Jesus Christ.But, I respect others who believe differently. But to denounce our need to pray? Like I said, I am grieved for his lack of faith and the lostness of his soul. May God , somehow have mercy.

    May 3, 2012 at 12:00 pm |
    • LOL Religion

      Nothing like saying you respect somebody's beliefs in one breath and then subtly threatening them with the wrath of your imaginary friend in the next. How typically Christian of you.

      May 3, 2012 at 12:03 pm |
    • Clyde

      Well said

      May 3, 2012 at 12:11 pm |
    • Darth Cheney

      1) You don't "know" God, you confuse knowledge and belief.
      2) He does not commit slander, though you do clearly demonstrate that you do not know what slander is.
      3) You assume Jesus is God's son, of which you have no knowledge.
      4) You do not respect the author, or you would not falsely charge him with slander.
      5) He does not denounce our need to pray, just points out (in a mildly humorous way) challenges in making a unified prayer across a society comprised of people with very different, sometimes conflicting beliefs. The fact that you attribute this as denunciation says far more about you than him.
      6) You falsely assume the author lacks faith when all we know is that his faith is not exactly the same as yours
      7) You assume his soul is lost when we don't even know whether there is a soul, let alone the presumptuousness of unilaterally claiming said soul is "lost"? How do you know? Again, confusion of knowledge and faith.
      8) If there is a God, s/he is likely to be far more merciful than you believe.

      May 3, 2012 at 12:18 pm |
    • really

      thank you for that excellent answer - GOD allows each of to choose our own path - BUT there is only ONE path to HIM - THRU HIS SON JESUS CHRIST

      May 3, 2012 at 12:21 pm |
    • sam stone

      "BUT there is only ONE path to HIM – THRU HIS SON JESUS CHRIST"

      According to your belief system. Doesn't necessarily make it so

      May 3, 2012 at 12:27 pm |
    • John

      And I too, bow from my waist toward the after world and my God, Conan, pleading that He does not see fit to throw your pagan soul in His Cauldron of molten diamonds and that He not maketh you into one large canker sore and pour Bloody Marys on you, or cook you Luau-style over and over and over and serve you up to our deceased pets who He welcomes into His Heavenly kennel, for he beseacheth us to love one and other. Shouldest thou reject His generous offer for freedom from eternal agony, He implores all his children to weep for your condemned soul and to behold your torment from his pain-free, Happy AfterWorld.

      I can leave a brochure, God Bless, and have a nice day.

      May 3, 2012 at 12:32 pm |
    • nick

      And while you feel for this man,

      I feel for you and all those like you, who can't let go of a fairy tale your parents told you to keep you in line. I also feel that you have no sense of logic, reasoning, or understand history.

      May 3, 2012 at 1:25 pm |
  19. Truth

    This guy's an idiot. Everyday his articles are bogus and he clearly has no understanding of anything. He does however think he's clever and witty, but in reality he's sad, dull, and full of himself.

    May 3, 2012 at 12:00 pm |
    • DIY Diva Unleashed

      I have to agree after keeping up with his posts for a bit. Seriously? There is nothing more emergent or important to discuss? People pray to whomever they choose to pray for based on their belief system.

      May 3, 2012 at 12:07 pm |
  20. Anon

    Maybe only 4% admit they are atheist or agnostic, but between 1/8 (12%) and 1/6 (or 16%) of the country says they have no organized religous affiliation and do not practice. They are diests or just too afraid of the social consequences of admitting their stance.

    May 3, 2012 at 11:59 am |
    • MarkinFL

      And less than a third of those that claim to be Christian actually base their life decisions on their religion. Most just go to church (usually, if its convenient) and some of them pray before meals (at least on Christmas and Easter). Etc. Etc.

      Reality is that religion has lost its force in our culture and those that gained their power through it are fighting back. Problem is that they just do not have the real support of their purported followers. Maybe 25 to 35% are true believers (BTW, most of them are still hypocrites in constant need of forgiveness)

      May 3, 2012 at 12:04 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.