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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. EatYouAlive

    Fear Sells, Who's Buyin'.

    Apologies to Megadeth.

    May 4, 2012 at 10:24 pm |
  2. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things*.

    May 4, 2012 at 7:33 pm |
    • Pamela sanderson

      Apparently not

      I have been praying that you wing nuts get some common sense and snap out of your delusions and nothing but crickets......

      May 4, 2012 at 10:27 pm |
    • Etalan

      I see praying left you brain dead and could only post the same comment as before.

      May 4, 2012 at 10:30 pm |
    • Hitchens

      @etalan
      After trying to read through a couple of your posts the "brain dead "may be closer than you think. Mirror close.

      May 4, 2012 at 10:34 pm |
    • ElmerGantry

      @Etalan,

      This person is a troll. Repeatedly and consistently posts the same three words, rarely a few other words.

      This person feeds off other people responding to it but posts basically the same simpleton comment over and over and over and over....

      Do not feed this troll.

      May 4, 2012 at 11:08 pm |
  3. Martin

    The faces, the hearts, the swords, the chains of religion are ugly. "Do not think that I came to bring peace on the earth; I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. For I came to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law; and a man’s enemies will be the members of his household. Matthew 10:34

    May 4, 2012 at 7:20 pm |
  4. Pamela sanderson

    Keep clinging to your beliefs that go back to pre-scientific eras. But stop trying to convert those of us who have evolved to the age if reason and realize that these are nothing more than nice little stories to keep people under control with either the promise of salvation if we are compliant or the threat of fiery condemnation if we are not. Prayer fanatics are very quick to use prayer as the reason when an ill child survives but yet if that child dies despite prayer then they chalk it up to "well god works in mysterious ways" and he must have needed another angel. After all these years he must have rounded up billions of angels already so I doubt he needs that 30yr old mother of 3 with breast cancer more than her 3 children need her "down here".

    May 4, 2012 at 6:46 pm |
  5. Victoria H.

    "Now Hitler should have used that line too. LOL! No it just proves your god is a tyrant, not a loving god."

    If your house were burning down, and someone reached in to help get you out, would you turn the opportunity down? Or would you sit there, stubborn, and think "I can get out on my own" While your chances are way down of survival.

    May 4, 2012 at 6:06 pm |
    • Religion is not healthy for a boy's ass and other living things

      Are you trying to say that Hitler was a fireman?

      May 4, 2012 at 6:09 pm |
    • YeahRight

      "If your house were burning down, and someone reached in to help get you out, would you turn the opportunity down? Or would you sit there, stubborn, and think "I can get out on my own" While your chances are way down of survival."

      No, that is not it at all why burn the house to begin with that's the point. Your god created hell, your god makes the judgement to burn the people. Now ask yourself why would it do that because it's pure evil.

      May 4, 2012 at 6:09 pm |
    • Victoria H.

      Because he's lettting you choose now whether you burn in hell or be with him in heaven. Why aren't you getting this?

      May 4, 2012 at 6:14 pm |
    • momoya

      @Victoria

      1. Why would a good god make a hell?
      2. Why would a good god send people to a hell?
      3. Do you worry about the hell of other gods/religions?
      4. Why would a person who doesn't believe in your god be afraid of your god's hell?

      May 4, 2012 at 6:23 pm |
    • YeahRight

      "Because he's lettting you choose now whether you burn in hell or be with him in heaven. Why aren't you getting this?"

      Fear sells. Fear makes money. The countless companies and consultants in the business of protecting the fearful from whatever they may fear know it only too well. The more fear, the better the sales.

      May 4, 2012 at 6:27 pm |
    • TruthPrevails :-)

      Victoria: The better question is why are you not getting it? We tell you we do not believe in your god and you still spew on about it and what you believe is happening or going to happen. If we don't believe in your god, we sure as hell do not believe in heaven, hell or any of the other stuff that is as.sociated with it. Telling us what you think your god intends does nothing. You can't validate what your god intends because you have no way of knowing. Do not come back with saying anything about the buybull, we dismiss that to and probably know more about it than you do.
      You're not living life for the here and now, you're pathetically living it for something that you can't know exists...how pathetic is that? We are at least living our lives for today and to the best of our ability because we're not foolish enough to believe there is a second chance after this one. That is why I say you're living in a bubble, no matter what we say to try to help you understand we can't permeate it...you simply do not give a damn what the evidence is and for you it is a feel good measure to think you have the answers ans somebody looking out for you...newsflash, you really are on your own (you can't prove otherwise)...no magical being in the sky to protect you from us evil Atheists, nothing...zilch...you are responsible for all that you do in this world. Does threatening people with eternal torture make you feel good? I'd never wish harm upon anyone regardless of who are they, who they love, what they believe...it wouldn't be moral. So what makes you think you are doing any good by wishing people pain? To think like that is immoral.
      Whether you agree or not, that is reality.

      oh by the way: I'm not worked up...I'm just sick of your stupidity...it amazes me that people like you still exist in this world. I call it as I see it!

      May 4, 2012 at 6:57 pm |
    • PRISM 1234

      Victoria, Jesus already said WHY they don't' come to Him. Because they love darkness rather then light. They have denied their own souls, thy are not of our Father, but of their farther whom they follow and serve, who makes them ride high on his lies, telling them they are free, while holding them tight in his grip. Jesus said "My kingdom is not of this world", so they crucified Him. If He came today, they would do the same.
      Most of these people here who entertain themselves by throwning mockeries at us, they are reprobates. God has already turned them over to believe Satan's lies, because the love of truth was not found in them.
      But we are seeing in times we're living in the very thing that was foretold in the Scriptures, and we KNOW what time it is on God's timeline. Look up, dear sister, for our redemption draws nigh, and for us the Sun of righteousness will arise with healing in His wings!
      Hallelujah, even so COME LORD JESUS!

      May 4, 2012 at 7:19 pm |
    • saggyroy

      VH: "Because he's lettting you choose now whether you burn in hell or be with him in heaven. Why aren't you getting this?"

      Jesus died for my sins, I am not going to let that go to waste PAARTAAAAAY !!

      May 4, 2012 at 9:10 pm |
    • ElmerGantry

      If my house was burning down I would call something real like the FIRE DEPARTMENT.

      May 4, 2012 at 11:24 pm |
    • Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

      @elmer
      Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

      May 4, 2012 at 11:26 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Vicky dear, if your "god" is real, you should pray to him and ask for a functioning brain.

      It's something you need and if he's real, it's something he/she/it should be able to give you.

      I don't take advice from the brainless.

      May 4, 2012 at 11:28 pm |
    • sam stone

      victora: if your house was not on fire, and a person tried to drag you out, saying it was, would you go?

      May 5, 2012 at 10:53 am |
    • ElmerGantry

      Ding,

      Increase troll response by one.

      May 5, 2012 at 3:00 pm |
  6. One one

    My mind is incapable of conceiving such a thing as a soul. I may be in error, and man may have a soul; but I simply do not believe it. [Thomas Edison, Do We Live Again?]
    All Bibles are man-made. [Thomas Edison]

    So far as religion of the day is concerned, it is a damned fake... Religion is all bunk. [Thomas Edison]

    I believe today that my conduct is in accordance with the will of the Almighty Creator.

    – Adolf Hitler, Mein Kampf, Vol. 1 Chapter 2

    May 4, 2012 at 5:48 pm |
  7. One one

    On United flight 93 there was a lot of praying, Christians and Muslims. Everyone died a horrible death that was motivated by religion.

    May 4, 2012 at 5:28 pm |
    • Smit

      Your statement is false. It wasn't the religion that killed them. It was the people who had a nightmarish interpretation of the religion. If you actually take courses on religion you will see that most faiths are very peaceful in nature. It’s the people have construed versions of it that creates the violence. Don’t blame the faith, blame the people and the insane interpretation that they have.

      May 4, 2012 at 6:17 pm |
  8. kindness

    Accept Jesus christ as your lord and saviour. You never know how soon is too late. Trancend the worldly illusion of enslavement.
    The world denounces truth....

    Accepting Jesus Christ will result in something like seeng a new colour. You will see it .....but will not be able to clearly explain it to anyone else..... Its meant to be that way to transend any selfism within you.

    Currently.... your constructing your own path that suits your sin lifestyle.

    Look closely at the economy ponzi, look at how society idolizes Lust , greed , envy, sloth, pride of life, desire for knowledge, desire for power, desire for revencge,gluttony with food etc .

    Trancend the temporal world.

    Just think if you can find a truth you can take with you in any of these things. When you die your riches go to someone who will spend away your life. You will be forgotten.... history will repeat iteslf, the greatest minds knowledge fade or are eventually plagerzed, your good deeds are forgotten and only give you a fleeting temporary reward . your learned teachings are forgotten or mutated, your gold is transfered back to the rullers that rule you through deception. Your grave will grow over .
    Trancend your egoism and free yourself from this dominion of satan. Relise your a sinner and part of the collective problem of this worldly matrix... Repent....

    Evidence follows faith. Faith does not follow evidence..... Faith above reason in Jesus Christ.

    Read Ecclesiastes. Read corinthians.

    You cant trancend your own egoism by adapting a world philosophy to suit your needs. Seek the truth.

    Sell your cleverness and purchase bewilderment. You don't get what you want you get what you are in christ.

    I promise this has been the truth for me. In Jesus christ .

    Think of what you really have to lose. ...your ego?

    Down is up. Break the Matrix of illusion that holds your senses captive.

    once you do . you too will have the wisdom of God that comes only through the Holy Spirit. Saved By grace through Faith. Just like seeing a new colour.... can't explain it to a transient caught in the matrix of worldly deception.

    Your all smart people . I tell the truth. Its hard to think out of the box when earthly thinking is the box.

    May 4, 2012 at 5:23 pm |
    • Robert Brown

      Very well put!

      May 4, 2012 at 5:46 pm |
    • YeahRight

      "Accepting Jesus Christ will result in something like seeng a new colour. You will see it .....but will not be able to clearly explain it to anyone else..... Its meant to be that way to transend any selfism within you."

      Nah, it's just a chemical reaction in your brain which science has proved. Plus you can get the same affect and not even have to believe in your god. 😉

      May 4, 2012 at 5:49 pm |
    • YeahRight

      By the way....your post reeked of ego but it's so inflated you can't see it.

      May 4, 2012 at 5:50 pm |
  9. God's Oldest Dreamer

    "Our dead fathers who have returned once more to the heavens, sacred be your journeys! Forgive us your children of their ongoing ways for we know not what else to do! Our Kingdom is near done and and yet we are confused oh God of all our things made and ever made manifested by You! We go forth thru Time and in timeliness ways we do hamper our ills with not even a second look to see our faultiness means and weighs! Forgive us all still oh God! We are all unworthy of the treasured troves of knowledge you now levy upon our kindreds' mindsakes! I pray now that our spirited souljourners will find the way out from impending doom and sudden gloominess! I do fear mankind's ongoings and in their tinctured ways please oh God give them solace and peace to the bittered ends of my life in the Life of all there was and now is and will forever be here upon this rock we call our ownliness harborage!

    May 4, 2012 at 5:18 pm |
  10. Ken

    Atheist are the most hated group in the world

    May 4, 2012 at 5:12 pm |
    • TruthPrevails :-)

      You'd know this how?? Where are the stats that prove this or is this merely your own hate filled opinion?

      May 4, 2012 at 5:21 pm |
  11. Victoria H.

    And for those who want evidence, I cant give you any. And the reason for that is, God doesn't want to control us, he's testing to see how faithful we are. And I know someones gonna post some logical, politically correct comment below, but I don't need logic to tell me that I'm alive here today for a reason.

    May 4, 2012 at 4:14 pm |
    • Religion is not healthy for a boy's ass and other living things

      Sounds good to me.

      May 4, 2012 at 4:34 pm |
    • Denise

      No, Victoria, the reason that you can't present evidence for your god is because there isn't any that passes any rigorous test. You don't "need" logic because a logical look at your beliefs blows them away. You fear logic because it could take away your safety blanket. That's not a valid reason to believe.

      May 4, 2012 at 4:51 pm |
    • Victoria H.

      Actually Denise, I dont fear logic at all. I love listening to all of your athiests excuses. Its kind of humorous. You fear God because you dont know what all is out there for you.

      May 4, 2012 at 4:57 pm |
    • TruthPrevails :-)

      @Victoria H.: We don't fear your god...it is damn hard to fear something that we do not believe exists. You say your god can't be proven because he doesn't control people...what a joke!! Your god is a control freak based on the stories...the whole believe in me or else is rather controlling.
      Time to come out of your bubble and live in the 21st century child...your book is 2000 years old, not new information!! Time to get that through that closed mind of yours and stop putting people down for not believing in the same stuff you do. You're not a good christard, you're a wretched hypocrite (in your god's world that is sin and no amount of repenting will save your sorry ass-you'll never learn not to judge...you'll die like the rest of us and go nowhere but to your grace)!

      May 4, 2012 at 5:29 pm |
    • Victoria H.

      How in the world may I ask, am I being a hypocrit? I simply posted a video about 8 hours ago, and almost everyone on here has attacked me for it, everyone on here has judged me. You really don't have a right to call me a hypocrit. Also how is God controlling? Honestly? Hes not forcing you to love him, you have free will!

      May 4, 2012 at 5:50 pm |
    • YeahRight

      "Also how is God controlling? Honestly? Hes not forcing you to love him, you have free will!"

      Believe in your god or burn in hell – love that fear factor, greatest controller on the planet fear. There are on 33% of the people on this planet that believe in your god that means the other 67% (over 4 billion) are going to burn in hell for all eternity based on your religion. That is not a loving god...that is a monster.

      May 4, 2012 at 5:53 pm |
    • Victoria H.

      "(over 4 billion) are going to burn in hell for all eternity based on your religion. That is not a loving god...that is a monster."

      Thats why he's giving everyone THIS VERY DAY, to accept him. Sounds pretty fair to me.

      May 4, 2012 at 5:56 pm |
    • YeahRight

      "Thats why he's giving everyone THIS VERY DAY, to accept him. Sounds pretty fair to me."

      Now Hitler should have used that line too. LOL! No it just proves your god is a tyrant, not a loving god.

      May 4, 2012 at 6:01 pm |
    • Victoria H.

      "Now Hitler should have used that line too. LOL! No it just proves your god is a tyrant, not a loving god."

      If your house were burning down, and someone reached in to help get you out, would you turn the opportunity down? Or would you sit there, stubborn, and think "I can get out on my own" While your chances are way down of survival.

      May 4, 2012 at 6:07 pm |
    • TruthPrevails :-)

      Looks like poor little Miss Victoria got her arrogant, self-righteous feelings hurt...cry me a damn river!!! Re-read your posts Victoria...to quote you "people like you choose ignorantly not to believe in him. If you had a little faith, got off your high horse and accepted him, you would see changes." That is hypocrisy...who are you to tell people to get off their high horse and accept something that can't be proven with any form of evidence to exist? So yes, if you want to act like a hypocrite you will get called one. Try basing what you say off of stuff that is updated and can be backed with evidence, instead of a 2000 year old book and a god that is wretchedly evil.

      May 4, 2012 at 6:07 pm |
    • Victoria H.

      Woah, sounds like your getting a little worked up. Youre a hypocrit as well by judging me and coming back with potically correct comments, when people like are always whinning and crying about how Christians judge.

      May 4, 2012 at 6:10 pm |
    • YeahRight

      "You fear God because you dont know what all is out there for you."

      Fear sells. Fear makes money. The countless companies and consultants in the business of protecting the fearful from whatever they may fear know it only too well. The more fear, the better the sales.

      May 4, 2012 at 6:12 pm |
    • TruthPrevails :-)

      I'm the furthest thing from a hypocrite you twit!!! I call you out because you do not know what you are talking about and you have no evidence for your claims. That doesn't make one a hypocrite, that makes one rational minded. Christardation is full of hypocrites...there is little positive that comes from it. When you come here spewing that marriage is between man and woman and being ho.mo.phobic is good, then you get called a hypocrite. Nothing you base your beliefs off of is updated or based in reality. Your god can't be proven to exist and so we do not believe it. We care about the facts and keeping our minds open, sadly you can't say the same.
      You're living in a bubble...your delusions, not ours.

      May 4, 2012 at 6:19 pm |
  12. Victoria H.

    All of you guys are freakin crazy. I never said that there was evidence, I never said that all Christians are educated or perfect. I dont believe that even half the people that say they're Christian, are really even Christian. I never said I was perfect, logical, or educated. You guys are just attacking me just to proove me wrong. My whole point is, is that you people need to open your eyes, and quit being so stubborn. I myself have been in the situation where I did NOT believe in God, I understand where all of you are coming from. Just quit throwing stones at me, when you don't want me to throw stones at you.

    May 4, 2012 at 4:10 pm |
    • YeahRight

      Most of us posting are former Christians so you are actually wrong.

      May 4, 2012 at 4:19 pm |
    • Victoria H.

      ???? That made no sense whatsoever, but ok.

      May 4, 2012 at 4:46 pm |
    • Denise

      Victoria, you aren't very bright, so here's a bit more explanation: many atheists are former Christians who have looked at your religion hard and discarded it as the rubbish that it so obviously is. Athiests generally know more about Christian doctrine than Christians do; it is inappropriate to ask us to take a harder look at it, because we've already been there more deeply than you have and have soundly rejected your silly fictions.

      May 4, 2012 at 4:55 pm |
    • LinCA

      @Victoria H.

      You said, "All of you guys are freakin crazy."
      Look who's talking...

      You said, "I never said that there was evidence"
      That's the whole problem. To believe you have to accept a proposition in absence of any evidence. That's not rational.

      You said, "I never said that all Christians are educated or perfect."
      When did you realize that?

      You said, "I dont believe that even half the people that say they're Christian, are really even Christian."
      When they say they are, who are you to question them? They may not be the exact same flavor of christian that you are, but their claim is just as valid as yours.

      You said, "I never said I was perfect, logical, or educated."
      I think we can all agree on that one.

      You said, "You guys are just attacking me just to proove me wrong."
      If you display your ignorance, you should expect some response. In this case it's better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak up and remove all doubt.

      You said, "My whole point is, is that you people need to open your eyes, and quit being so stubborn."
      Provide a rational story, preferably supported by some scientifically valid evidence, and you'll notice a marked difference. Evidence is the key, the rest is just bullshit.

      You said, "I myself have been in the situation where I did NOT believe in God, I understand where all of you are coming from."
      I sincerely doubt you have a clue (pretty much about anything).

      You said, "Just quit throwing stones at me, when you don't want me to throw stones at you."
      Showing how ignorant your statements are, isn't throwing stones. It's a public service announcement.

      May 4, 2012 at 5:01 pm |
    • Victoria H.

      @LinCA

      Well I gotta hand it to you, you've shown me up. I have no evidence, to back up this whole creation of life. And you've came up with an excuse for every sentence of my defense. But don't you really think it's time to grow up, and quit making excuses for every thing?

      May 4, 2012 at 5:07 pm |
    • LinCA

      @Victoria H.

      You said, "I have no evidence, to back up this whole creation of life."
      The problem starts with believers actually needing an answer to questions that may not have any. The second part is that they are either unable or unwilling to comprehend the answers that science provides.

      Believers are quick to jump to the conclusion that their god (it's kinda funny that it's always theirs) did it, whatever "it" was. Any in doing so, they ignore that it doesn't answer anything at all. All it does is push the question to who or what created their god.

      Most atheist are comfortable not knowing all the answers. Most accept that while science provides a lot of answers, they may not be complete, or even entirely correct. They do tend to provide an explanation that fits the available evidence. Nobody gets angry if new evidence shows that the scientific explanation needs to be adjusted.

      You said, "And you've came up with an excuse for every sentence of my defense."
      That's just what I do. I find it easier to refute nonsense that way.

      You said, "But don't you really think it's time to grow up, and quit making excuses for every thing?"
      Grow up? Really? There is no fundamental difference between your god and the Tooth Fairy, Pink Unicorns, the Flying Spaghetti Monster or Bob the Magical Blue Sock. All have equal evidence and are therefor equally likely to exist. Even Santa Claus, the Abominable Snowman and Loch Ness Monster have a leg up on your god, as there is at least some evidence these creatures exist, or have existed.

      I shed irrational beliefs when I was 5 or 6, so if you're looking for someone that needs to grow up, may I suggest you look in the mirror?

      May 4, 2012 at 5:24 pm |
    • TruthPrevails :-)

      She lives in a bubble that can't be permeated because she is suffering from a case of the religious virus..she is one of the best hypocrites on this blog!! Someone should grab her parents and smack them silly for abusing this girl...brainwashing a child should be illegal!

      May 4, 2012 at 5:34 pm |
    • Victoria H.

      Wow hmm, I really dont think that the Santa Clause the tooth fairy, and pink unicorns died on a cross for everyones sins. But hey, if you wanna keep your heart of stone and stay on your high horse of self righteousness, go ahead.

      May 4, 2012 at 5:40 pm |
    • Victoria H.

      you wanna smack my parents who tried to save me from eternal damnation? Wow I think THAT'S a crime. Someone should slap your parents for giving a crap about that, oh but, they probably didn't want to heart your feelings 🙁

      May 4, 2012 at 5:43 pm |
    • Victoria H.

      *hurt

      May 4, 2012 at 5:45 pm |
    • YeahRight

      "Wow hmm, I really dont think that the Santa Clause the tooth fairy, and pink unicorns died on a cross for everyones sins."

      But there have been other pagan gods that have died for our sins and resurrected again maybe you should be worshiping them too. Yeah and they believed in baptism too. LOL!

      May 4, 2012 at 5:47 pm |
    • Victoria H.

      HAR HAR HAR!! Did any of them raise from them dead? and are any of them offering eternal glory and paradise?

      May 4, 2012 at 5:53 pm |
    • LinCA

      @Victoria H.

      You said, "Wow hmm, I really dont think that the Santa Clause the tooth fairy, and pink unicorns died on a cross for everyones sins."
      Neither did your god, or his son. Odds are that you Jesus is nothing but a myth. Even if he existed, it is exceedingly unlikely he was special in any way.

      You said, "But hey, if you wanna keep your heart of stone and stay on your high horse of self righteousness, go ahead."
      It isn't a "heart of stone", or "self righteousness". It is an inability to suspend my disbelief. If you want to convince me that your story is anything more than a fairy tale, you'll have to bring something to back it up. Evidence talks, bullshit walks.

      May 4, 2012 at 5:54 pm |
    • Victoria H.

      Whatever, I tried.

      May 4, 2012 at 5:57 pm |
    • YeahRight

      "Whatever, I tried"

      Plus when you factor in that the bible has been proven not to be an historical document you really loose credibility in your religion.

      May 4, 2012 at 6:00 pm |
    • Victoria H.

      Okay??

      May 4, 2012 at 6:02 pm |
    • YeahRight

      "Did any of them raise from them dead? and are any of them offering eternal glory and paradise?"

      Yes they did.

      May 4, 2012 at 6:11 pm |
  13. Thank GOD for His grace

    There is only One God (Creator) to pray to. Jesus Christ is God and All authority has been given to Him. Every Knee will bow and tongue confess that Jesus is Lord regardless if you believe or not. I pray each of you repent of your sins and believe, trust and obey in Him. It is the most important decision you will ever make on earth. Once you pass on it is too late. Out of love for each of you PLEASE heed this warning.

    John 14:6 – Jesus said – "I am the way, the truth and the life, No One comes to the Father except through Me."

    There is only one way to escape hell and have eternal life in heaven:

    How can you receive God's free gift of love and life?

    Romans 10:9-10
    "that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart
    that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved; for with the heart a
    person believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he
    confesses, resulting in salvation."

    A person receives God's free gift of love and life by placing faith in Jesus
    Christ. To believe is simply to take God at His word. With our heart
    (whole believing) we believe that Jesus is God's Son who died for our sin
    on the cross and arose from the grave to live in us as Savior and Lord.

    May 4, 2012 at 2:01 pm |
    • YeahRight

      "John 14:6 – Jesus said – "I am the way, the truth and the life, No One comes to the Father except through Me." "

      Everyone knows the story about Jesus and the woman about to be stoned by the mob. This account is only found in John 7:53-8:12. The mob asked Jesus whether they should stone the woman (the punishment required by the Old Testament) or show her mercy. Jesus doesn’t fall for this trap. Jesus allegedly states, let the one who is without sin among you be the first to cast a stone at her. The crowd dissipates out of shame. That story was not originally in the Gospel of John or in any of the Gospels. It was added by later scribes. The story is not found in the oldest and best manuscripts of the Gospel of John. Nor does its writing style comport with the rest of John. Most serious textual critics state that this story should not be considered part of the Bible.

      LOL!

      May 4, 2012 at 2:09 pm |
    • One one

      @yeahright. That's right. But the story was so popular the church leaders left it in. The bible is riddled with forgeries and inconsistancies. One example is Jesus last words on yhe cross. According to John, Jesus' last words were "It is finished". According to Luke, Jesus' last words before dying on the cross were "Father, into your hands I commit my spirit!", an expression of confidence. But According to Matthew and Mark, Jesus' last words before dying on the cross were "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?", an expression of doubt.

      May 4, 2012 at 2:38 pm |
    • Free of god

      Thus says the LORD, ‘Behold, I will raise up evil against you out of your own house. And I will take your wives before your eyes and give them to your neighbor, and he shall lie with your wives in the sight of this sun.
      –Samuel 12:11

      When you go to war against your enemies and the LORD your God delivers them into your hands and you take captives, if you notice among the captives a beautiful woman and are attracted to her, you may take her as your wife. Bring her into your home and have her shave her head, trim her nails and put aside the clothes she was wearing when captured. After she has lived in your house and mourned her father and mother for a full month, then you may go to her and be her husband and she shall be your wife. If you are not pleased with her, let her go wherever she wishes. You must not sell her or treat her as a slave, since you have dishonored her.
      –Deuteronomy 21:10-14

      May 4, 2012 at 4:07 pm |
    • kindness

      Accept Jesus christ as your lord and saviour. You never know how soon is too late. Trancend the worldly illusion of enslavement.
      The world denounces truth....

      Accepting Jesus Christ will result in something like seeng a new colour. You will see it .....but will not be able to clearly explain it to anyone else..... Its meant to be that way to transend any selfism within you.

      Currently.... your constructing your own path that suits your sin lifestyle.

      Look closely at the economy ponzi, look at how society idolizes Lust , greed , envy, sloth, pride of life, desire for knowledge, desire for power, desire for revencge,gluttony with food etc .

      Trancend the temporal world.

      Just think if you can find a truth you can take with you in any of these things. When you die your riches go to someone who will spend away your life. You will be forgotten.... history will repeat iteslf, the greatest minds knowledge fade or are eventually plagerzed, your good deeds are forgotten and only give you a fleeting temporary reward . your learned teachings are forgotten or mutated, your gold is transfered back to the rullers that rule you through deception. Your grave will grow over .
      Trancend your egoism and free yourself from this dominion of satan. Relise your a sinner and part of the collective problem of this worldly matrix... Repent....

      Evidence follows faith. Faith does not follow evidence..... Faith above reason in Jesus Christ.

      Read Ecclesiastes. Read corinthians.

      You cant trancend your own egoism by adapting a world philosophy to suit your needs. Seek the truth.

      Sell your cleverness and purchase bewilderment. You don't get what you want you get what you are in christ.

      I promise this has been the truth for me. In Jesus christ .

      Think of what you really have to lose. ...your ego?

      Down is up. Break the Matrix of illusion that holds your senses captive.

      once you do . you too will have the wisdom of God that comes only through the Holy Spirit. Saved By grace through Faith. Just like seeing a new colour.... can't explain it to a transient caught in the matrix of worldly deception.

      Your all smart people . I tell the truth. Its hard to think out of the box when earthly thinking is the box

      May 4, 2012 at 5:36 pm |
    • YeahRight

      "Accepting Jesus Christ will result in something like seeng a new colour. You will see it .....but will not be able to clearly explain it to anyone else..... Its meant to be that way to transend any selfism within you."

      Nah, it's just a chemical reaction in your brain which science has proved. Plus you can get the same affect and not even have to believe in your god or any god.

      By the way your post reeks of ego and it's so inflated you can't see it.

      May 4, 2012 at 6:04 pm |
  14. sortakinda

    "God is Love. And he who abides in Love abides in God and God in him. " That's how even non-believers may see a heavenly reward. Peace.

    May 4, 2012 at 1:41 pm |
    • MarkinFL

      Cool. All you need is love! Love is all you need. Works for me.

      May 4, 2012 at 2:05 pm |
  15. IslandAtheist

    They're doing it wrong, where's the burnt offering?

    May 4, 2012 at 1:06 pm |
    • mandarax

      Right? And don't forget to follow the instructions on how to properly smear the blood on your clothes and on the door of your tent!

      May 4, 2012 at 3:13 pm |
  16. JimBob

    @justsayin

    Yeah, that's a false statement. Please back that claim up with evidence.

    @Victoria H

    No offense, but you are no better than anyone else, believer or non-believer. We are all sinners, and we are all equal. Believing and/or accepting God doesn't make you better in the eyes of God. That is a huge false pretense that all too many Christians observe. Everyone will be held accountable for their actions in life. Answer this question for me: Why is it that I see people on Facebook who are devout Christians making daily posts about how God decided this or that for them, and has such a keen interest in their trivial daily crap, yet innocent children are murdered everyday in places like Africa and Syria? Where is God's grace and mercy for them? God loves all mankind, and I highly doubt he cares about how your vacation might work out. (Example of what I read on a friend's profile on Facebook) I hate to say this, but many many Christians are also uneducated and misinformed about the Bible and the messages and advice it actually contains.

    May 4, 2012 at 11:53 am |
    • a person of the Name

      Your right God is for it for everyone. He there with us all the time though as well and is very much interested in our daily lives.
      Seek God's wisdom in ALL things and He will lead you.

      May 4, 2012 at 12:30 pm |
    • a person of the Name

      Wow, that what I get for being in a hurry.

      May 4, 2012 at 12:35 pm |
    • God

      No god. Prayer and religion are a waste of time.

      May 4, 2012 at 1:04 pm |
  17. Reality

    Steve, Steve, Steve,

    ONLY FOR THE NEWCOMERS:

    There is only one prayer for the Christian folk i.e.

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Amen
    (References used are available upon request.)

    May 4, 2012 at 11:46 am |
  18. Vin

    If God existed, he'd prevent cancer and child molestation on the "national day of prayer" because he's a good god. Since that hasn't happened, he's obviously a figment of your imagination.

    May 4, 2012 at 10:08 am |
    • Victoria H.

      He doesn't prevent it because people like you choose ignorantly not to believe in him. If you had a little faith, got off your high horse and accepted him, you would see changes. A man at my church was blind, someoneone prayed over his eyes, and they were healed. That's not normal, or humane. It must have been something greater, do you disagree?

      May 4, 2012 at 10:23 am |
    • TruthPrevails :-)

      Wow, who raises people like Victoria? To remain so blind to the reality of the world and the updated evidence (not 2000 year old stories) is just sad.

      Victoria: When you are able to back your claims with actual evidence, you will have our attention until then you sound like just another delusional christian living in a bubble and not in the 21st century. You can't prove your god exists. There is not evidence to support it and as for faith, that is believing without evidence...in other words you don't care that what you believe is true or that it is based on anything factual, just as long as it doesn't mean you have to question things or explore new things. Your beliefs will be questioned and no amount of spewing god stuff at us will change our minds...we've been there, done that and dismissed it.
      As someone once said "When you understand why you dismiss all other gods, you'll understand why we dismiss yours."
      Have a pleasant day.

      May 4, 2012 at 10:35 am |
    • BRC

      @Victoria H,
      Let me try to boil this down so that everyone can see the basis of the point you made:

      Because there are people who don't believe in him, an all powerful and loving "God" allows innocents to suffer. This is why we should all worship him.

      Whether or not it's how you meant it, that's what you just said, it is the basis of many religions and the arguments that support them. I'm not going to bother picking it apart yet, but for now, I have to ask, does that statement makes sens to anyone? Does anyone actually think that is a valid thought process?

      May 4, 2012 at 11:06 am |
    • just sayin

      We are a Christian Nation with the majority. Christians are responsible for majority of what is wrong and bad in this country.

      May 4, 2012 at 11:37 am |
    • JimBob

      And why should God prevent these things you speak of, when they are caused by our own doing? Why should God do anything for us to prevent things that we have caused by our own ignorance and greed? How are we supposed to learn from our mistakes, and grow as a species? So many non-believers ask the same ridiculous questions, and prove that they know pretty much nothing about God, the Bible, and Christianity as a whole. Knowledge is power, education is the key.

      May 4, 2012 at 11:41 am |
    • MarkinFL

      Why do good and bad things happen in equal proportion to the devout and the unbeliever?

      I just do not see any advantage on a cost/value basis.

      May 4, 2012 at 11:53 am |
    • One one

      God lets bad people kill at will.
      The devoted say it’s because of “free will”.
      Then why do they pray, and pray, and pray?
      For god to help them, day after day?
      They pray to god to improve their fate
      Their own free will they ask god to negate
      “Free will” for us all…, from the god of peace!
      Who sends us to hell for a wrong belief.

      May 4, 2012 at 12:52 pm |
    • Mohammed_Islam

      Hello,
      It is very amazing that every single human created as unique... in terms of thinking, believing, even the fingerprints and so on... and the only reason for someone could testify that there is no God Almighty who runs this entire univers including this tiny little earth and then much more tinier little not like even a dot comparing the entire universe which are human being... why is that? the only reason is that the human created with a gift of 'free will' which has not been given to any other creatures... which is why human is the best creature in the entire creation.... if this 'free will' has not been given to the human then there will not be 2 belief systems whereas we now have more than three thousands of faiths around this tiny little earth...
      You were not exist before you were born and then when you came to this earth, you couldn't even move by yourself, you needed help till you become what you are now.... how is it being controlled your heart beats, the blood circulation, filtering of waste from your blood by kidneys and so on... countless features are executing in your body in every fraction of seconds... and now you are strong... few years from now you will an old as weaker than a child and then you will end your this earthly life... it can't be happening with anyone running this show, can it? if i say to you that i wanted to cross a canel and all of a sudden i saw some trees being cut and a carier/boat being made and it helped me to cross the canel/river... wouldn't you laugh at me and calling me crazy? its the same way that the entire univers is being controlled and running with The One who created and HE is not within this creation but HE is above the creation...

      As of healing: A person who believes in thousands of Gods, he is also praying to his Gods/Goddesses... and being healed... how do you explain it that he is praying to/asking a tree/cow and being healed? the way I see it is, every thing is pre determined and we have not access to the next moment about whats gonna happen to us or anything else... otherwise there will not be any accident or evil thing take place... you will be healed regardless of your faith whether u take madication or do not... we see lots of examples in our society.... i remember watching some program where Catholic preacher hits a blind/disabled/sick person's forehead and that person starts walking.... and i do not know what do they do... then there is no need of any hospitals, docs, nurses...
      Peace!!!

      May 4, 2012 at 1:33 pm |
    • sam stone

      "How are we supposed to learn from our mistakes, and grow as a species?"

      Dumping religion would be a good first step

      May 4, 2012 at 3:53 pm |
    • God Loving

      @Vin, maybe there is a reason that cancer still exists? You don't know God's purpose for this and should not question him.

      May 4, 2012 at 4:10 pm |
  19. ElmerGantry

    Word to the wise to all.

    Do not listen to the video posted by Victoria H.

    The summary; 6 plus minutes of person singing not much more than "how I love you, Jesus".
    Once is more than enough. Several time and you will be brain dead.

    Oh wait, I now know why the fündies listen to something like this over and over and over.

    May 4, 2012 at 9:22 am |
    • Victoria H.

      Wow sounds like I got your attention, and probably hurt your feelings, but honestly I'd rather hurt yours than Gods. And I also probably got you thinking. Also, you were too ignorant to adress that this song is about a generation rising up to take there place as children of God. And everyone I know thats listened to this song, has told me they've gotten chills, including me. I should add this as well, telling people NOT to watch a video, just makes them want to watch it more.

      May 4, 2012 at 9:53 am |
    • momoya

      Victoria

      I was a firm believer for almost 50 years, and have studied the bible more than 99.99% of believers.. Ritual can be very emotional; as an atheist, when I hear certain scriptures, sermon sections, or songs, I still have the exact same feelings and "chills" that I used to when I believed.. I still enjoy attending some church services and I still enjoy and love the bible itself.. The feelings stay the same if your attachment is/was emotional.. The problem is that there's just no logical reason to believe anything in the bible–much less its god..

      May 4, 2012 at 10:02 am |
    • Victoria H.

      Well, you know what? You've been hurt in the past. I can tell. If you were a believer for over 50 years, either you were extremely hurt and thats what caused you to quit believing, or you were never a believer in the first place. Probably just a prayer when you were a child, and now you consider that your golden ticket to heaven. Where is your faith? Are you that broken, to not open your heart? Gettting emotional is the Holy Spirit working inside you. I don't know who you are, but there is so much more for you. I wouldn't be talking to you right now, if I didn't believe that.

      May 4, 2012 at 10:12 am |
    • PSS

      @momoya you say there is no logical reason – for me it's logical to insure a car so why not my afterlife? I insure my car incase I am in an accident, I insure my afterlife since it is 100% fact that I will die (99.9% I may be raptured but lets not go there!) I really do want to live on after my death, and not 'through my children' or anything else I have left behind, maybe that sounds selfish but this is the promise of Christianity and it works for me. I certainly don't want to go to hell when I die, heaven sounds good and living in a kingdom with Christ as King suits me just fine. Christianity gives me the afterlife insurance that I want; I want to be me in an eternal body, not a horse or a bird, I don't need virgins, I can't honour animals or anything else as God, I know I'm not God and I would rather be a part of a Kingdom where there is no hatred, no illness that can't be cured, no unhappiness and where I'll be kept busy – nothing worse than clock watching. So there you are, for me it's perfectly logical.

      May 4, 2012 at 10:30 am |
    • Victoria H.

      He calling out for you. You know it. He's there to break your chains of depression. Or whatever your problem is with faith

      May 4, 2012 at 10:30 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      Pascal's Wager is a poor reason to be Christian.
      It can apply to any conception of the afterlife.
      Should people try to die in battle so they can get to valhalla?
      What is Joseph Smith won't let you into the Celetial Kingdom becuase you don't know the secret handshakes?
      What if Ma'at finds your heart heavier than a Shu feather?
      What is you don't have a coin for the ferryman?
      But I know you're Christian – in which case, how do you know whether Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, oriental Orthodox, As.syrian, Byzantine, Lutheran, Anglican, Presbyterian, Anabaptism, Brethren, Methodist, Pietism, Apostolic, Pentocostal, Charismatic, African Initiated, United, Quakers, Couthcotti.tism, Millerism, British-Isrealism, Latter Day Saints, Mennonite, 7th day Adventism, Kelleyism, Co.oneyism, Shakers, Methernitha, Strigolniki, Yehowism, Christadelphians, Christian Science, doukhobors, Iglesia ni Cristo, Makuya, Molokans, Subbotniks, Ebionism, Martinism, Rosicrucians, Rastafarianism, Santo Daime, or Umbanda is the REAL interpretation of your God's words?

      Which of the hundreds of english bible translations are you using? Each one is different and if God's Word is eternal and immutable, a translation error could have you behaving wrongly (had a list, but one of the 50 or so ti/tles tripped the word filter).
      If the One True Deity, shaper of The Universe, wishes their words to be transmitted and adhered to, they should have been a bit less ambiguous. Expecting people to select The Truth out of limitless possibilities on faith alone seems a sloppy way to run things – especially if the punishment for a wrong choice is eternal torment.

      May 4, 2012 at 10:54 am |
    • Madtown

      for me it's perfectly logical.
      --
      PSS, your "logic" sounds completely illogical, or at least only relevant to yourself. Which of course if fine, but your anology with car insurance is quite silly. Car insurance is tangible, "insurance" for your afterlife is not. I'd like to live on spiritually after I leave this life as well, and I believe we all will. But....I believe it's illlogical to follow a human constructed religion to draw conclusions about how that will all come about. The reality is, no one knows. Organized religion is a creation of mankind, an attempt to explain the unexplainable. I believe in God, but in general terms. I also think that different religions are like different routes up the same mountain. Don't worry about going to "hell", no such place exists!

      May 4, 2012 at 10:58 am |
    • MarkinFL

      Heck, living on spiritually after our bodies die is an interesting idea. Of course there is pretty much the same evidence for that as there is for gods, fairies and honest politicians.

      May 4, 2012 at 11:55 am |
    • momoya

      @PSS

      You're not making a va.lid co.mparison.. With car insurance there is legal, binding doc.umentation, and the terms are all easily proved.. With god belief there are no such a.ssurances.. You're not worried about going to the Muslim hell, are you?. What about the hell of the ancient Greeks?. No worries at all, right?. How you feel about the Muslim hell, and how Muslims feel about the Christian hell is how most non-believers feel about both hells.

      This video is very co.mprehe.nsive in disc.u.ssing the illogic in your post.
      .
      .
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gcw1YEtTQCw&feature=relmfu

      May 4, 2012 at 1:36 pm |
    • momoya

      @Victoria

      Yes, I've been hurt in the past; so have you.. Who hasn't?!?!?!

      Are you really suggesting that some people will believe in Jesus and the gospel message for their entire lives and only after death find out that they weren't a "True Christian?". Do you really suppose that god would watch a person investigate the bible for five decades and never give them any help or let them know that they are "doin' it wrong?"

      "Getting emotional" can't possibly be "the Holy Spirit working inside you.". Atheists get emotional; 'satanic' movies can arouse emotion.. I would say that "emotion" is much more connected with poor decision making than with good decision making.. I'm not sure you really want to use that argument.

      May 4, 2012 at 1:41 pm |
    • ElmerGantry

      @Victoria H.

      You way over estimate your effect. I only watched it so I honestly comment on it without being accused of commenting on something without having watched/listened.

      You did not hurt my feelings in the least, on the contrary I had a chuckle.

      Seems like I may have "Missunderestimated" you!

      May 4, 2012 at 11:17 pm |
    • Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

      Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

      May 4, 2012 at 11:20 pm |
  20. Please explain

    Religious articles are always my favorite to read because it brings out the vitriolic language that can be so amusing, and frustrating, to read. I HOPE that the people on here, espousing their opinions and beliefs as facts aren't really so die-hard and one dimensional. I know plenty who are, but know I also know plenty more who are not. Here's "My Take":

    Religion is a belief. Atheism is a belief. Neither can be proven. Neither the Bible, the Book of Mormon, the Koran, or any other religious literature out there can be considered factual. I know, I know. "That's just not true, the [enter name of book] is true and will lead you down the path to [add whatever you want – enlightenment, peace, reward, etc]." But in reality it is just a book. A story that was told first by one person to another person (anyone remember playing telephone as a kid?) and then eventually written down, and then rewritten, and then translated, and then retranslated, and then interpreted and then reinterpreted.

    The way I see it, religion is something that some people need. It provides a guidance or a sense of purpose in their lives. In so many ways religion brings comfort. Praying can be a great way to unload one's stresses, and it brings hope that something better is yet to come. And I do not think the power of hope should EVER be undervalued.

    Atheism is no different. It cannot be PROVEN that there is no higher power. And there is a comfort in "knowing" that a person is in control of their lives. It can be a relief to think there is no higher power playing with people as chess pieces or ignoring us entirely. That sense of control can be empowering and instill the same kind of hope in a person that prayer can.

    Rather than admonishing each other for our beliefs why not appreciate that we are all wonderfully different – whether as designed by God or nature – that these differences are what make this world so amazing (at at times truly abhorrent). The one thing I feel confident is saying, is that there is NO place in the universe quite like Earth. I for one, am happy to be here and even happier to be a part of the human race.

    May 4, 2012 at 9:13 am |
    • PercievedReality

      Please explain–very nice comment thank you.

      May 4, 2012 at 9:27 am |
    • momoya

      Much of the anger and vitriol can be attributed to backlash.. In my own case, I was fired from two different jobs, had multiple instances of vandalism and harrasment, and eventually had to move my family to another town.. All because I was honest with my "friends" about losing my faith.. Now I'm back in the closet and only express my opinions on line–NEVER in my own community.

      Atheism is not a belief.. Non-stamp collecting is not a hobby.. Bald is not a hair color.. Atheists LACK belief in gods.. Just because you don't believe in Santa doesn't mean you now have an alternate belief about another, similar situation to Santa's.

      I agree that many people need religion.. It's the opiate of the masses, and many times a little pain relief is a good thing for people.. In most cases, when I talk with believers I recommend that they do NOT look into their belief too much because many people need that model for their brain to cling onto.

      Atheism IS different.. Atheism is the more logical position.. It is up to the person making the POSITIVE claim to prove their claim.. If someone wants to sell you a 60,000 sq ft house at $25k, you're going to ask them to prove THEIR claim.. You don't have a claim–you're merely skeptical about the claim itself.. So it is with atheism.. We do not argue that "there is no god;" we simply argue that the arguments for god are not convincing.. If the person making the positive claim cannot show convincing evidence, then the more logical stance is disbelief.. (It is for this reason that when you make large purchases there are lawyers and tons of paperwork present.)

      We have no idea how uncommon or common earth-like planets are.. Just a week or two ago scientists discovered another solar system with 9 planets and having TWO PLANETS in the "habitable zone.". Even in our own solar system there are several moons that have great conditions for life.. We might have life on four or five planetary moons just within our star system!! The wild diversity of life in very extreme conditions (extremophiles) here on our planet implies that there is probably life elsewhere..

      May 4, 2012 at 9:33 am |
    • Huebert

      While atheism can not be proven to say that it is then on equal footing with theism is intellectually dishonest. It is also impossible for you to prove that their is not a race of microscopic fire monkeys that have an advanced civilization in the core of the sun. But everyone knows that their are no monkeys in the sun. The atheist position is the null hypothesis, it is the responsibility of the person making the positive claim to provide support for their theory and until someone can show evidence of god's existence the rational position is that god does not exist.

      May 4, 2012 at 9:38 am |
    • momoya

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KayBys8gaJY

      May 4, 2012 at 9:44 am |
    • mema

      Momoya....you truely are closing your eyes to the reality that indeed most atheist do argue againts the idea that God excist. In fact most go out of their way to come to a blog about faith, such as you have done, to post comments against God, belief, faith and even the simply idea of prayer. Why? Who does these these negative posts benefit? Atheists claim to believe in equal rights and freedom for ALL but who are the ALL they speak of? Its not believers! These they mock and attempt to belittle. I can not say if there is life on other planets but even if there is that in of itself would not shake my belief in God. Nothing, and I mean nothing can or will change my view on this matter. So why not simply agree to disagree on the subject. Stop the bashing and hate talk. Let everyone draw their own conclusions. It really is that simple!

      May 4, 2012 at 9:49 am |
    • momoya

      @mema

      Yes, most atheists argue that there is no reason to believe in any of the gods humanity has so far described.. The reason that they argue this is that nobody can show any verifiable evidence for anything "godly," or "spiritual.". It's stupid to believe in something without any evidence for it..

      Atheists have different reasons for arguing as they do on sites such as this one.. I know my own reasons, but I don't think it's common among atheists, and I imagine there's many different rationales for the behavior..

      Where do atheists claim "equal rights for all?". Atheism isn't an organization.. We don't think or do as a group, but as individuals.. Mockery is a good tool for exposing stupid ideas.. As a child growing up, sometimes my friends would mock my of terrible ideas that would have caused me much pain.. I also did it to them.. Sometimes I wish I had a friend that would have mocked my dumb idea that I didn't realize was dumb until after I did it.

      If nothing can change your view on a matter than you're incapable of growing in that area of your life.. Growth requires change.. Do you really have nothing left to learn from your beliefs?. I'm not bashing or talking hatefully; you're simply projecting your own feelings of insecurity and rejection..
      .
      .
      .

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-j8ZMMuu7MU

      May 4, 2012 at 10:11 am |
    • Woody

      "Atheism is no different. It cannot be PROVEN that there is no higher power", writes "Please explain"

      Atheist don't HAVE to prove there is no higher power. The believers are the people making the ridiculous claims of sky gods, angels, demons and the like. All atheists are asking, is for someone, anyone, to produce the tiniest morsel of indisputable evidence that would end the debate once and for all. If such evidence were produced, atheism and agnosticism would instantly disappear. Obviously, no one in the history of the world has ever produced such evidence.

      May 4, 2012 at 10:27 am |
    • Mark from Middle River

      >>>"Atheist don't HAVE to prove there is no higher power. "

      I think there was a time when sadly, Atheist were so in the closet with their view that there was not a push state a claim of the non-existence of God or Gods. In present day as more people are stepping out of the closet and proudly stating that they are Atheist more are opening with the claim of non-existence. With this more of the Faithful are asking "How do you know..or what is your evidence of non-existence. So far, many Atheist to this challenge reply that it is not up to them to prove their beliefs but it is up to the Faithful to disprove their belief. So now a growing number of Faithful are requiring the Atheist to prove his or her claim. This is why seeing Atheism as a form of Faith is disheartening to some Atheist because they know that in the end they can no more back up their claim than the Faithful back up theirs.

      May 4, 2012 at 11:34 am |
    • MarkinFL

      Mark, what a silly argument. Atheism is not a belief that needs to be proved. It like asking someone to prove that there are no unicorns. Can't be done. If you want to believe in sky fairies its fine with me. Just do not ask me to live by rules you imagine are required by invisible beings.
      Atheists are not a group or organization or any other thing. The only thing we all have in common is that we do not have any reason to believe that there are gods running about. I also feel no need to disprove gods. Heck maybe there are gods and they just choose to leave us alone. That's fine with me. However, if a god or two suddenly decide to start mucking about with us then I'll obviously reevaluate my position on the matter. Especially if it is riding a unicorn.

      May 4, 2012 at 12:30 pm |
    • momoya

      Mark has had his stupidity corrected about four dozen times on this forum on that exact point.. He knows he's wrong, but he doesn't have another argument, so he keeps on stating the same wrong stupidity over and over.. It's like he stores up his stupidity and then bathes in it in front of us every day.. It's pathetically sad.

      May 4, 2012 at 1:45 pm |
    • just sayin

      The "absence of" is the starting benchmark. There is nothing to prove other than ones who wish to prove their God exists. This applies to all religions. The ball has always been in their court regardless if they don't wish to accept this. I don't think religious people grasp the concept of evidence and proof of a claim. They are making the claim, not the Atheist or Agnostics.

      May 4, 2012 at 1:51 pm |
    • Free of God

      Why do people need religion in order to lead a good life? Doesn't decency and a set of good morals do the same thing? .. without invoking imaginary people.

      May 4, 2012 at 4:13 pm |
    • GLCarmine

      @Please Explain ... thank you very much. Mutual respect from all on both sides would better the entire situation.

      May 4, 2012 at 6:30 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.