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June 14th, 2012
12:40 PM ET

My Take: More doubts about God doesn't mean religion is weakening

Editor's Note: Stephen Prothero, a Boston University religion scholar and author of "The American Bible: How Our Words Unite, Divide, and Define a Nation," is a regular CNN Belief Blog contributor.

By Stephen Prothero, Special to CNN

When it comes to doubt, sometimes a little skepticism is in order.

As CNN's Dan Merica reported earlier this week, a recent Pew Research Center survey sees doubt rising sharply inside the millennial generation. Between 2007 and 2012, this survey says, the portion of young Americans (those 30 and uner) who say they never doubt the existence of God dropped sharply between 2007 and 2012, from 83% to 68%.

This report has stirred up a chatstorm in the blogosphere, with 2600 comments and counting on Merica's Belief Blog post alone. But does this data really say what many atheists want it to say? Is American religion really heading for a fall?

Look carefully at the survey question. What this data is tracking is the percentage of young people for whom doubt has never creeped into their faith. I don’t know about you, but most of the religious people I know experience both doubt and faith over the course of their spiritual lives. So the fact that more than two-thirds of young people say they have never doubted God’s existence seems to me evidence of America's extraordinary religiosity, not its disbelief.

That suspicion is supported by the fact that this same Pew survey found that millennials who identify with a religion is not declining. Moreover, according to Pew's U.S. Religious Landscape Survey, only 3% of millennials are atheists.

The takeaway, it seems to me, is not that religion is declining in America but that it is changing. Or, to paraphrase my Boston University colleague and sociologist of religion Peter Berger, what is shifting here is the how of religion. In short, doubt is a part of the spiritual lives of more young people than it has been in the past.

I have been spending way too much time lately with Google’s Ngram Viewer. This website allows you to see how prominent certain key words are in books published in various languages from 1800 forward. It’s also possible to see how these key words match up against one another over time.

I searched the Ngram database for the words “faith” and “doubt” in American English from 1800 to 2008. Here’s what I found:

For much of the nineteenth century, “faith” won out over “doubt.” But as Biblical criticism, evolutionary theory, and comparative religions started to chip away at traditional understandings of Christianity, “doubt” ran past faith in the late 1880s. For roughly the next century, the two terms tracked rather closely. During the Reagan Revolution of the 1980s, however, faith bypassed doubt.

What matters here is not the horse race. More significant is the fact that, since the late Victorian period, doubt has become part of the landscape of faith in America. To see doubt as a denial of faith is to misunderstand how most Americans live their religious lives.

The fact that doubt is now a part of faith for a significant minority of American believers strikes me at least as a sign of faith’s maturity, not its demise. Perhaps, like the millennials themselves, American religion is growing up.

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

- CNN Belief Blog contributor

Filed under: Atheism • Belief • Christianity • Faith • Polls • Trends • United States

soundoff (1,804 Responses)
  1. Dexter

    If you have doubts about God, then you should think about this: The sun is 93 million miles away from the earth. Why? The moon is 250,000 miles away from the earth. Why? Our planetary system that is our local system such Venus, Mars, Uranus all have a purpose. Why? The Milky Way is 100,000 light years in size (That the claim) On Light Year is 5.88 trillion miles. Why? Our biological and ecological earth is so well designed to sustain life and that life itself is beyond our ability to comprehend to the point we cannot as human subjects create from scratch a human. If you think you can then who created us? I've just touched the surface elementary style my dear watson. The world and its people are misled, misguided, abused, brainwashed and simply have no understanding of the wonderful works of God and the amazing spiritual knowledge that exists. Such a shame.

    June 14, 2012 at 2:25 pm |
    • ME II

      The truly amazing thing is that my wrist starts at exactly the same point that my arm ends. It's a miracle!

      June 14, 2012 at 2:28 pm |
    • D

      Definitely "elementary" level, that's for sure.

      June 14, 2012 at 2:29 pm |
    • ME II

      Ever wonder why you don't see dead baby polar bears in the Sahara... miracle.

      June 14, 2012 at 2:30 pm |
    • Tom Paine

      ME II, despite the attempt at sarcasm, it is amazing. Even if life exits on many other planets we are rather unusual to say the least. If a black hole swallowed up most planets, stars, or comets – no one would miss them (save perhaps us), no one would morn, and it would not effect anyone or anything. In some strange way, it seems fun to lots of people on here to mock people of faith. So be it. But don't discount yourself or your body. It is indeed a wondrous and rather unique thing.

      June 14, 2012 at 2:33 pm |
    • sam

      Dexter...the moon used to be considerably closer, and it gets farther away every year. Why?

      June 14, 2012 at 2:33 pm |
    • sam

      Tom, are you hitting on ME II?

      June 14, 2012 at 2:34 pm |
    • Tom Paine

      @ Sam... So much for a real discussion. I am opposed to fundamentalism is all forms, and that includes fundamentalist atheists which abound on here. Fundamentalist do not want to discuss – they want to state their opinion, feel it is fact, and mock anyone who sees the world any differently. It doesn't matter who you are. When you take the basic approach that lots of people you are talking to are idiots, then life is very simple, black and white. And you become none too different than the people you yearn to put in their place.

      June 14, 2012 at 2:46 pm |
    • *facepalm*

      Yup, someone certainly created this earth for us. In doing so, that being limited us to only living on about 1/4 of it. And from that, said being made much of it completely inhabitable.

      And in creating us, it made us amazingly energy inefficient, easily susceptible to disease and injury. And, just for kicks, the designer gave us an organ that is entirely unnecessary, provides little to no actual benefit, but can kill us.

      Your designer is either 1.) incompetent 2.) sadistic or 3.) doesn't exist.

      I'll go with #3.

      June 14, 2012 at 2:48 pm |
    • mrTestosteroni

      First off: Your questions: For instance, "The sun is 93 million miles away from the earth. Why? ". It's a stupid question. The answer? No particular reason. That's just the way the stones fell into place. Second, the fact that you don't know an answer doesn't mean that no one does. Third, just because a question has no simple provable answer does not mean that the answer is 'god did it with 'magic'. It only means that there are questions that we have no answer for. The differnece between you and me is I'm OK with that.

      June 14, 2012 at 2:56 pm |
    • Nick L.

      @Tom Paine,

      Almost 8 BILLION people on this planet. Right now, at this moment. That is NOT rather unique. That is an infestation. Your god has made us the vermin of our planet.

      June 14, 2012 at 3:01 pm |
    • Tom Paine

      Facepalm – if life is so terrible, why do we fight so hard to survive? Most people even in apparently hopeless situations will struggle for life. If you changed the percentages of land to water on this earth – life would not exist (at least in its present form). Everything is a delicate balance (which we are unfortunately working hard to imbalance and life on our planet suffers accordingly). Perhaps we are meant for the time we are here and nothing more. Consider this, if all the trees that ever were existed right now, what would the planet look like? We have massive troubles sustaining 7 billion people on earth. If we all were innately healthier and did not get sick, how much more would we use up needed resources for current and future generations. You can choose what you wish to believe but it doesn't change what is.

      June 14, 2012 at 3:01 pm |
    • Tom Paine

      @ Nick. Human beings are not very good at math (myself included). We don't tend to understand geometric numbers. You could put 100 billion people on every planet in the solar system (or rotating around them cause it would be hard to stand on a few of them!) and we still wouldn't hold a candle to what is the norm in this universe – lifelessness. So, before you jump into the agent on the Matrix's speech of humans being a virus, I am just pointing out that we are unusual, very unusual by what science shows us as we study the universe. Now, all that said, we do have to find a way for sustainability. Our little planet can only sustain us if we are wise – which we surely aren't being today.

      June 14, 2012 at 3:05 pm |
    • ME II

      @Tom Paine,
      My goal is not to mock, but to use sarcasm to make a point. In this case, the impression of design does not, in fact, imply design. There are reasons why things are the way they are and it's not necessarily because some being designed it that way. The reason my wrist exactly matches the end of my arm is somewhat obvious, However, similar logic can be used to determine why polar bears appear to be so miraculously adapted to the arctic, i.e. they adapted and evolved over many years and many generations to their environment.

      June 14, 2012 at 3:40 pm |
  2. wakeup333

    The point is NOT that two-thirds of Americans never doubt the existence of god. The point is that 83% of Americans used to be that dumb! So atheists are right to applaud an increase in people using their brains! (Small comfort, but at least it's a start!)

    June 14, 2012 at 2:24 pm |
  3. MandoZink

    I was very religious as a child, but I cannot help what happened. The more I learned overall, the more understanding I had. I eventually understood enough that I didn't need a god to derive meaning. That caused a domino effect of insight and better comprehension of reality.

    Education and analytical thinking greatly increase the tendency to relegate one's own theistic notions to the status of mythology.

    June 14, 2012 at 2:24 pm |
  4. TampaMel

    Everyone has got this turned around. Belief in God is not a statement for or against religion. People seem to believe that if you do not believe in a religion you must be an atheist. The fact is, one can believe in God and not in the dogma of anyone religion. Is this clear because liberal or conservative, educated or not this God/Religion connections seems to be something people cannot pull apart.

    June 14, 2012 at 2:23 pm |
  5. MandoZink

    What is important to the future advancement of mankind is to understand that our moral evolution, due to our early technological ignorance, required adopting the notion of a god to fulfill our growing desire to explain things in nature. Before science, we needed to know what was going on, and most cultures could be content if they imagined a superior, magical, benevolent being was responsible. We atheists get that. It was human nature. It is a 'vestigial' notion that continues to slip away as we become ever wiser. (By the way, look up ‘vestigial’ if you think we were created perfect.)

    June 14, 2012 at 2:23 pm |
  6. The Beagle

    Even if young people are now just more willing to confess their doubts than they were in the past, that's the first step to evaluating their religion without fear. A certain percentage of people who do that will abandon their faith.

    That's what happened in my own life. Once I was willing to confront my doubts and ask questions without being afraid, I realized my faith did not withstand scrutiny. After 40 years as an evangelical Christian, I walked away from faith.

    June 14, 2012 at 2:23 pm |
  7. MandoZink

    "Imagine the people who believe such things and who are not ashamed to ignore, totally, all the patient findings of thinking minds through all the centuries since the Bible was written. And it is these ignorant people, the most uneducated, the most unimaginative, the most unthinking among us, who would make themselves the guides and leaders of us all; who would force their feeble and childish beliefs on us; who would invade our schools and libraries and homes. I personally resent it bitterly."
    - Isaac Asimov

    June 14, 2012 at 2:22 pm |
  8. Jack

    Hello everyone. You are all welcome to visit my web site... thestarofkaduri.com

    June 14, 2012 at 2:21 pm |
    • money shot

      oh you mean prolapsed.net! Great Christian site.

      June 14, 2012 at 2:23 pm |
  9. money shot

    Kill children! God did in the bible to make a point, so should you!

    June 14, 2012 at 2:21 pm |
  10. pbernasc

    I would say it means the church is weakening ... either way, the reality is that people need religion or it will be chaos.
    Don't take me wrong . not all people,... just the masses of stupid losers ... imagine if they had nothing to believe in .. they'd be out in the streets killing each other ... and that's the sad truth ... this world needs a God story, so the masses do not take their stupidity for real and instead stay home watching TV and praying for something

    June 14, 2012 at 2:21 pm |
  11. MandoZink

    "There are many aspects of the universe that still cannot be explained satisfactorily by science; but ignorance only implies ignorance that may someday be conquered. To surrender to ignorance and call it God has always been premature, and it remains premature today."

    "Once you get it into your head that somebody is controlling events, you can interpret everything in that light and find no reasonable certainty anywhere."
    - Isaac Asimov

    June 14, 2012 at 2:20 pm |
    • Shadow

      I actually think Asimov had it wrong. The default position is that nothing exists. You have to prove something exists. So, trying to prove that god doesn't exist is the wrong perspective. It's like saying that you can't prove that unicorns do not exist. God doesn't exist, by default, until enough credible, verifiable evidence is obtained. And, that just isn't happening.

      June 14, 2012 at 2:46 pm |
    • Scott

      Well Said Shadow. That is the very basic nature of logic, reason and rational deduction.

      fFith is the repression of reason and logic. this cannot be an intelligent choice.

      June 14, 2012 at 8:06 pm |
  12. Patsy

    I fail to understand why religion is necessary on any level. Sure, it's important to gather in groups, but where does it say that doing so, listening to a preacher read from a bible, koran or other results in high morals and strong good ethics? How is it that a mythical jesus results in fewer murders, less stealing and lying? People can gather without needing faith in a god or a spaghetti monster, they can gather to hear from the community what is moral and what is ethical, faith isn't necessary.

    June 14, 2012 at 2:20 pm |
  13. MandoZink

    "There is no belief, however foolish, that will not gather its faithful adherents who will defend it to the death."

    "Emotionally, I am an atheist. I don't have the evidence to prove that God doesn't exist, but I so strongly suspect he doesn't that I don't want to waste my time."
    - Isaac Asimov

    June 14, 2012 at 2:19 pm |
  14. God at my sh•t out of my butt hole

    God wants us all to suffer so he can stroke his c•ck with our tasty tears of anguish.

    June 14, 2012 at 2:18 pm |
  15. Pastor Evans

    I all comes down to knowing the only true and living God, either you do or you don't!

    June 14, 2012 at 2:18 pm |
    • D

      No thanks. He/she/it sounds like kind of a d-bag from all I've heard.

      June 14, 2012 at 2:23 pm |
    • tell214

      I am living proof that there is a God! With faith I was saved from economic downfalls quite a few times. Only faith in God pulled me out every time, so don't tell me that there is no God.

      June 14, 2012 at 2:32 pm |
    • *facepalm*

      @tell,

      You pulled yourself out. I assure you that no divine intervention was required. I would imagine that the creator of the cosmos didn't alter the physical laws of his universe just for your financial gain. Stop selling yourself short.

      June 14, 2012 at 2:40 pm |
    • mrTestosteroni

      Tell214:
      There is no god.

      June 14, 2012 at 2:44 pm |
    • B.Baggins

      Pastor Evans absolute interpretation of belief or faith is correct; and that's why Dr. Prothero's angle in this blog post is demonstrably provocative, and seemingly dishonest. Doubt is indeed contradictory to faith. And the fact that doubt is increasing is understandably embraced by atheists and skeptics.

      Further, Dr. Prothero's reference to the related question of "identifying with religion" was disappointing. As a scientist, I'm not comfortable saying I'm an atheist (we're talking about lots of things that can neither be proved or disproved), but I certainly leaning that way, and really have no use for religiosity. That said, I'll bet if you ask me when I'm 80, I will say that I identify with the Catholicism of my childhood, particularly due to my orientation to service. In short, belief and religious identification can be VERY different/distinct things. Will Baggins

      June 14, 2012 at 2:50 pm |
  16. Ancient Curse

    Sounds like the author is in Stage One of the five stages of grief and loss - first comes denial.

    Eventually, after the "acceptance" stage, maybe he'll see that the thing that killed Christianity were the Christians themselves. If they would have stayed on message, and actually followed the teachings of Christ, there wouldn't be this much of a problem. But as it is, the Christian church is a hotbed of anger and hate - hardly the things taught by the Prince of Peace.

    June 14, 2012 at 2:18 pm |
    • Abolisher

      Even if they stayed on track with the teachings of Christ it would be bound to happen. His teachings aren't actually all that great; if you break down the sermon on the mount, for instance, there is much foolishness.

      June 14, 2012 at 2:21 pm |
  17. Jim Hahn

    What does this drivel mean? Absolutely nothing. Religion isn't going anywhere, but the number of people who practice it as an all-encompassing lifestyle is declining. Believing in a higher power is an excuse not to take responsibility for yourself. Living your life according to a thousands-year-old history book, is just plain silly. Kind of like cooking out of a cookbook from 1600s. That doesn't make a lot of sense either.

    June 14, 2012 at 2:18 pm |
  18. patrick

    I just say "god, what's that?" Then I just keep asking questions about god until the person says they don't have an answer to some question about god. Then I say they believe in something but they don't know what it is.

    June 14, 2012 at 2:17 pm |
    • tell214

      That's where Faith comes in. Religion is man made, Faith is not. One can be a Christian without following any religion.
      Let's remember that the biggest crimes against humanity were committed in the name of religion

      June 14, 2012 at 2:23 pm |
    • mrTestosteroni

      "Let's remember that the biggest crimes against humanity were committed in the name of religion"

      You're not getting off the hook that easy. Christians, Muslims, Hindus. They've got more blood on their hands than all the paper towels in all the wal marts in america will clean away.
      So my suggestion is: Let's get rid of all religion. Then you can go stand in a corner by yourself and have 'faith'.

      June 14, 2012 at 2:42 pm |
  19. PhillySW

    Even St. Thomas who walked with Jesus is referred to as "doubting Thomas", for not believing that Jesus was resurrected, until he saw for himself the wounds on Jesus's body. But here's the thing people, I'm a chrisitan, and I really don't give a rat's -know-what what you believe as true or not! I could care less. It's just as stupid of an argument with me getting into debate with someone for 3 hours what your birth name is supposed to be.

    Anyone that would argue with another person what their mother named them at birth, is actually dumber than the person that won't believe their name! Your opinion about something is just that, an opinion. I don't have an opinion about christianity, rather a fact, because I've lived the lifestyle for over 2 decades now. I have facts that Jesus is real in my personal life, and hundreds of others I've met over the years that spoke of the same experiences I've had.

    If you don't believe it, that's perfectly okay with me. But to talk about something you don't know, and then claim your opinion as FACT is completely different. That's just hypocritical. If you don't know, then just say exactely that. But don't talk about something that you know absolutely nothing about, as if it's a fact without the personal experience! They go hand in hnd.

    June 14, 2012 at 2:16 pm |
    • Really-O?

      @PhillySW –

      You are enti.tled to your own opinions (and beliefs). You are not enti.tled to your own facts. Do you know the difference?

      June 14, 2012 at 2:20 pm |
    • YeahRight

      "I don't have an opinion about christianity, rather a fact, because I've lived the lifestyle for over 2 decades now. I have facts that Jesus is real in my personal life, and hundreds of others I've met over the years that spoke of the same experiences I've had."

      Actually, it's all in your head. They have shown that it's just a chemical reaction in your brain and you don't have to believe in a god to get that same reaction. So, it's just yourself doing things for yourself and making things happen for yourself, no god needed.

      June 14, 2012 at 2:26 pm |
    • D

      Here's a fact for you to consider: any brain that goes 3 days without oxygen/blood flow would be so damaged and decayed that even if you could 'restart' it, the person would be less than a vegetable.

      June 14, 2012 at 2:27 pm |
    • *facepalm*

      So, you don't like people questioning your faith. Why? You find it inconvenient? Tough questions might make you examine your faith in difficult ways? You'd prefer to ignore the obvious immoralities contained in the bible?

      June 14, 2012 at 2:27 pm |
    • Inigo Montoya

      "fact". You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.

      June 14, 2012 at 2:28 pm |
    • mrTestosteroni

      Adherents to all religions profess to have the same knowledge that you claim to have. Who's right? The Muslims? The Hebrews? The Christians? The Hindus? The Buddhists?

      June 14, 2012 at 2:33 pm |
    • Mr. N.

      @YeahRight,

      No, they have shown the chemical reactions that make you feel a certain way, not the reason. Your argument misses the point nearly as badly as saying that experts have shown that words on the Rosetta stone are nothing but indentations left behind by chisels, so there is no point to them.

      June 14, 2012 at 2:36 pm |
    • ksocreative

      yeah, but why does anyone have to be sold the christian concept of god on the back of a story about a false resurrection?

      I mean there a two very distinct separators for ppl who pay attention to our existence:
      1. Ppl who know that the sign at the off ramp to turn right that says "keep moving" means to do so, versus stopping at the light holding up the flow,

      versus

      2. Those who believe in a resurrection of one person ever in the entire history of existence with no solid evidence.

      June 14, 2012 at 2:44 pm |
    • PhillySW

      @everyone – Again, if I EXEPRIENCED it for myself, then it did happen. I could care less if you believe it or not. Now, I know people that have been healed by terminal illnesses like HIV, and certain types of cancer that the medical community has no cure for. I KNOW them, you don't. So that IS A FACT. Just because you haven't met those people for yourself personally doesn't mean it's a fairytale, just because you don't have a scientific formula to disprove it.

      That's the point. Some things just are, regardless as to whether you can explain it or not. And again, I don't care whether you believe or not.

      June 14, 2012 at 2:45 pm |
    • YeahRight

      "No, they have shown the chemical reactions that make you feel a certain way, not the reason."

      LMAO wow are you clueless dude. The reason is you're accessing that part of your brain, it has nothing to do with a god since you can get the same reaction meditating. LOL!

      June 14, 2012 at 2:50 pm |
    • PhillySW

      @Really-O – Do you know the people I personally know that have been healed by HIV through Jesus Christ? You you know the people I personally know that have been healed from Cancer completely from their body without Chemo through Jesus Christ? Didn't think so, so it is a fact. It did happen, it is real. I witnessed it personally. And for anyone to tell me differently is completely your opinion.

      That's the difference, do YOU understand the difference?

      June 14, 2012 at 2:50 pm |
    • Sharon

      "Do you know the people I personally know that have been healed by HIV through Jesus Christ? You you know the people I personally know that have been healed from Cancer completely from their body without Chemo through Jesus Christ? Didn't think so, so it is a fact. It did happen, it is real. I witnessed it personally. And for anyone to tell me differently is completely your opinion."

      I was healed from cancer without believing in a God or chemo doesn't mean it proves your "Jesus Christ" did it. It's all part of living on this earth and there are unexplained things that happen doesn't prove there is a God. You can actually heal yourself through laughter and love without believing in a God. I believe it has to do with our brains and unlocking the secrets to it.

      June 14, 2012 at 2:55 pm |
    • Shadow

      PhillySW, are you claiming that they were faith healed? I assume they didn't have any medical care, at all? Is this true? There are a few occasions of miraculous healing. That doesn't make it supernatural. If the people of which you speak were under a doctor's care, then it was human medicine that cured them.

      June 14, 2012 at 3:00 pm |
    • PhillySW

      @mrTestosteroni – Good question. Well, all I can do is explain it to you like this. If I've studied, and tried the things in the bible for my life. And it was proven to my through inquiry that everything I've tried to apply to my life did happen as the bible said it would, then I don't have a reason to think that it isn't the correct way.

      If you read a manual that says do this, and that, and that to make something work for your computer, and everything works exactely the way the computer instructions said they would in the manual, then you wouldn't throw away your manual and then say "Yeah but I wonder what this other book says about installing this sme thing for my computer!"

      It worked, that's all you need to know for yourself. It doesn't really matter what others think when you experienced it for yourself to all pan out as accurate. That's the best way I can explain it. Christianity is really, and Jesus is as well, because I've have personal proof through experience. And others that I know can agree to the exact same thing.

      June 14, 2012 at 3:04 pm |
    • mrTestosteroni

      "that have been healed by HIV through Jesus Christ? "
      Jesus Christ gave them HIV to heal them of what? Sounds a little wacky to me.
      It's hard to take someone seriously when they can't write a simple sentence correctly.

      June 14, 2012 at 3:06 pm |
    • YeahRight

      "Christianity is really, and Jesus is as well, because I've have personal proof through experience. And others that I know can agree to the exact same thing."

      Do you know how many people through out history have made the same claims about their gods. The problem becomes in what some would claim are miracles but no one believe in a god. Many Atheists I know have had what many consider to be miracles in their lives without the need for believing in any form of a god. That's the point, just because you can't explain it isn't proof of a god.

      June 14, 2012 at 3:08 pm |
    • mrTestosteroni

      My question to you is rhetorical. The answer is that you are all correct and all wrong. Correct in that you believe what you say is true. As do all the others. Incorrect in that you cannot all be correct. At the most, only one religion has it right. My bet is that none have it right.

      June 14, 2012 at 3:11 pm |
    • PhillySW

      @Sharon & Shadow – Yeah but did you have terminal cancer? I hope not, regardless of your beliefs, I honestly don't wish bad health on any person. But, when a doctor has no hope for you, and you are healed through Jesus Christ, that you personally profess, then I don't know how "positive thinking" is the sole remedy. If that were the case, then no one would ever have to see a doctor for a lot of things less serious or as serious as cancer.

      But, you still can't explain to me how these people I personally know have been diagnosed as HIV free, from Board Certified Physicians, with the virus no longer in their body? And yes, they did take anti-viral medicine for a while. But so have millions of other HIV infected people for decades, like Magic Johnson. And even he tells you that he still has the virus. There is no doctor I know of that says that the virus eventually leaves your body.

      That's what I'm saying, jsut because people don't want to believe what they haven't been taught, doesn't mean it's not true. It just means you don't know. I know for a fact those people were HIV positive, and on medicine, with the physical reactions that go with that disease. And today, they have been diagnosed viral free, T-numbers are normal, and now they're body size is healthy, if not slightly overweight. That's a fact.

      June 14, 2012 at 3:14 pm |
    • PhillySW

      @mrTestosteroni – I agree that that particular sentence was not phrased as it should be. But then again, I didn't know that I was in college again writing a paper for my former professor. And if that is your basis for not believing someone because they used incorrect grammar, then you're just looking for an excuse in the first place to support your own personal bias anyway.

      June 14, 2012 at 3:18 pm |
    • Really-O?

      Wow! PhillySW is either an idiot, liar or both. I vote for both.

      June 14, 2012 at 3:37 pm |
    • YeahRight

      "But, you still can't explain to me how these people I personally know have been diagnosed as HIV free, from Board Certified Physicians, with the virus no longer in their body? And yes, they did take anti-viral medicine for a while. But so have millions of other HIV infected people for decades, like Magic Johnson. And even he tells you that he still has the virus. There is no doctor I know of that says that the virus eventually leaves your body."

      This would be documented in a medical journal if it was really true, so please point us to such a document. Or at leas the town and board that you speak of so we can inquire about it. I know many people who have medical miracles and they do get documented.

      June 14, 2012 at 3:40 pm |
    • YeahRight

      "If you read a manual that says do this, and that, and that to make something work for your computer, and everything works exactely the way the computer instructions said they would in the manual, then you wouldn't throw away your manual and then say "Yeah but I wonder what this other book says about installing this sme thing for my computer!""

      Men wrote the manual and men created the computer just like men wrote the bible and men created your god. LMAO!

      June 14, 2012 at 4:39 pm |
  20. Tom Paine

    Stephen, excellent analysis. Boy, the typical poster on CNNs religion blog is going to howl in protest though...lol.

    June 14, 2012 at 2:16 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.