June 22nd, 2012
11:27 AM ET

Prominent atheist blogger converts to Catholicism

By Dan Merica, CNN

Washington (CNN) – She went from atheist to Catholic in just over 1,000 words.

Leah Libresco, who’d been a prominent atheist blogger for the religion website Patheos, announced on her blog this week that after years of debating many “smart Christians,” she has decided to become one herself, and that she has begun the process of converting to Catholicism.

Libresco, who had long blogged under the banner “Unequally Yoked: A geeky atheist picks fights with her Catholic boyfriend,” said that at the heart of her decision were questions of morality and how one finds a moral compass.

“I had one thing that I was most certain of, which is that morality is something we have a duty to,” Libresco told CNN in an interview this week, a small cross dangling from her neck. “And it is external from us. And when push came to shove, that is the belief I wouldn’t let go of. And that is something I can’t prove.”

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According to a Patheos post she wrote on Monday, entitled “This is my last post for the Patheos Atheist Portal,” she began to see parts of Christianity and Catholicism that fit her moral system. Though she now identifies as a Catholic, Libresco questions certain aspects of Catholicism, including the church’s positions on homosexuality, contraception and some aspects of religious liberty.

“There was one religion that seemed like the most promising way to reach back to that living Truth,” Libresco wrote about Catholicism in her conversion announcement post, which has been shared over 18,000 times on Facebook. “I asked my friend what he suggests we do now, and we prayed the night office of the Liturgy of the Hours together.”

At the end of the post, Libresco announces that she is in a Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults class and is preparing for baptism. She will continue to blog for Patheos, but under the banner, “A geeky convert picks fights in good faith.”

According to Dan Welch, director of marketing for Patheos, Libresco’s post has received around 150,000 page views so far.

“Leah's blog has gotten steadily more popular since she arrived at Patheos, but a typical post on her blog is probably closer to the range of 5,000 page views,” Welch wrote in an email. “Even now, a few days later, her blog is probably getting 20-30 times its normal traffic.”

Libresco’s announcement has left some atheists scratching their heads.

“I think atheists were surprised that she went with Catholicism, which seems like a very specific choice,” Hemant Mehta, an atheist blogger at Patheos, told CNN. “I have a hard time believing how someone could jump from I don’t believe in God to a very specific church and a very specific God.”

Mehta says that Libresco’s conversion is a “one-off thing” and not something that signals any trend in atheism. “The trends are very clear, the conversions from Catholicism to atheism are much more likely to happen than the other way around,” he said.

But while atheists were puzzled by the conversion, others commended Libresco.

“I know I’ve prayed for her conversion several times, always thinking she would make a great Catholic,” wrote Brandon Vogt, a Catholic blogger. “And with this news, it looks like that will happen. Today heaven is roaring with joy.”

Thomas L. McDonald, a Catholic Patheos blogger, welcomed Libresco to the fold: “Welcome. I know this was hard, and will continue to be so. Don’t worry if the Catholics make it as for difficult for you as the atheists. We only do it to people we love.”

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Libresco says one of the most common questions she has received is how she'll deal with atheists now.

“The great thing about a lot of the atheist and skeptic community is that people talk more critically about ideas and want to see proof provided,” Libresco said. “That kind of analytical thinking is completely useful and the Catholic Church doesn’t need to and should not be afraid of because if you’ve got the facts on your side, you hope they win.”

Libresco is just switching the side she thinks the facts are on.

- Dan Merica

Filed under: Atheism • Catholic Church

soundoff (7,475 Responses)
  1. TheCapitalist

    All the "harm done by religion", pales in comparison to the true harm done by atheism and scientism... just see Mao's secular Communist revolution in China (millions of Christians killed, churches outlawed), Hitler's science/eugenics-based "building of a better man", Stalinism, Castro's Cuba, or Kim's North Korea.

    It is amusing to watch an atheist squirm and dig back 1,000 years to try to reference so-called "christian atrocities", when atheism/secularism/scientism has slaughtered millions just in the 20th century alone.

    June 23, 2012 at 11:21 am |
    • Chuckles

      Oops, you sort of outdid yourself when you mentioned these people were communists....

      Also, I don't really have to dig that far back to show what religion can do. You hear about the Taliban attacking the luxury hotel today? What about Jewish settlers trying to push palestinians out just so they can reclaim "holy land". What about the catholic pedo/philes that were just convicted yesterday?

      Sorry, is that too far back, do I need to predict a future event to show you how religion is still a detriment to this world?

      June 23, 2012 at 11:26 am |
    • Colin

      Communism was about as much an athesit movement as the space race was an astrology movement.

      June 23, 2012 at 11:33 am |
    • TheCapitalist

      Communism most certainly does have its roots in atheism. Mao essentially BANNED Christianity... churches are illegal in China. Marx wrote about the need to abolish religion in order to implement his utopia, because the state needed to replace God as society's focus. The greatest evils perpetrated on this earth stem from godlessness, or the belief that God doesn't exist, or the belief that "man is God".

      June 23, 2012 at 11:38 am |
    • Eric

      And how exactly can something be "rooted" in Atheist? Atheism is just a point of view on one question. Do you believe in a god. No.

      I don't know how you get from non-believe in gods to let's oppress everyone and kill everyone we don't like. We get back to the same thing of well Hitler was Catholic so there for all Catholics are killer psychopaths.

      June 23, 2012 at 11:41 am |
    • Ralph

      You fool, you need to get out more and at minimum,learn before you spew, Any finger pointing does not not deflct the attrocities performed in the name of religion. Mao was the same.

      June 23, 2012 at 11:41 am |
    • Cq

      Don't you mean the harm done by dictators, where you can add Hitler and all the absolute rule monarchy types that we've had throughout history? Sometimes, dictators are actually aided by the state sanctioned religion, or have you forgotten the Tzar led pogroms against the Jews in Russia, or the massacre of pagans in Christian Rome, or what we did to our own native peoples? Religion has been directly implicated to mass killings, whereas I don't think you can make a case for atheism being the sole reason for any such atrocity. There's even a lot of data to suggest that the more secular the country the more peaceful it becomes.

      June 23, 2012 at 11:43 am |
    • Chuckles

      Your ignoring that the people in these communist states died in the name of communism, not atheism. No one, at least to my knowledge, has ever tried to lead a nation and kill believers in the name of atheism.

      But lets take a step back again. Killing people is wrong and by trying to rationalize that your side killed less than the "atheist menace" you are somehow more tolerant and loving? Comparing kill tallies is pretty sick you if ask me, regardless of who was worse. But hey, if you feel better knowing that that christianity now only ra.pes little children and fringe elements rationalize their abortion clinic bombings through christianity but thats still much better than the nonexistent atheist menace who eats little children and kills people en mass every day then yay! your god wins! Now lets go find some unbelievers and convert them with the sword!

      June 23, 2012 at 11:44 am |
    • Chad

      State atheism is the official promotion of atheism by a government, sometimes combined with active suppression of religious freedom and practice.[1] In contrast, a secular state purports to be officially neutral in matters of religion, supporting neither religion nor irreligion.[2]
      State atheism may refer to a government's anti-clericalism, which opposes religious institutional power and influence in all aspects of public and political life, including the involvement of religion in the everyday life of the citizen.[3] State promotion of atheism as a public norm was first practiced during a brief period in Revolutionary France. Since then, such a policy was repeated only in Revolutionary Mexico and some communist states. The Soviet Union had a long history of state atheism,[4] in which social success largely required individuals to profess atheism, stay away from churches and even vandalize them; this attitude was especially militant during the middle Stalinist era from 1929-1939.[5][6][7] The Soviet Union attempted to suppress public religious expression over wide areas of its influence, including places such as central Asia.

      Soviet Union
      North Korea

      June 23, 2012 at 11:49 am |
    • trey

      Chad – this definition is helpful and as you can see there is no response, because you have highlighted what the a's say is not a correlation. But you will find they evade any attempt to commit to a ideology or an author i.e. Dawkins, Harris, et al.
      Yet they will tell you to use reason logic and read to be informed. Very evasive.......

      June 23, 2012 at 11:55 am |
    • Chuckles


      Here we go again. Naming communist countries that enforce atheism in order for the all powerful dictator to be able to rule with an iron fist. People in those places are killed because of communist dictators who want to enforce the communist state, not an atheist one.

      As for your little history lesson on when France and Mexico briefly attempted to have an official atheist state. Should we go a step further in put it in historical context, or is this line only reserved when atheists cherry pick lines out of the bible?
      France, in the throws of the revolution had huge issues with the church and clergy which owned most of the land and were trying to co-opt the revolution and create a theocracy by installing the church into the vacancy left by the aristocracy. The revolution was fought specifically to get rid of that type of rule, regardless of who was at the top and so atheism was the way the french decided to thumb their noses at the church and enforce more of a secular democracy. It didn't work out because the french were still believers even if they were having issues with the insti.tution and you can't force atheism (same can't really be said for religion, but that's besides the point). Mexico was extremely similar.

      Please understand what you are writing about before posting, it helps not having to be your history and science teacher all the time.

      June 23, 2012 at 11:58 am |
    • Chuckles


      if you want to play with the big boys, please learn how to critically read and come up with your own ideas instead of rambling about how "evasive" the atheists are going to be with their pesky fasts and knowledge.

      June 23, 2012 at 12:01 pm |
    • TheCapitalist

      Oh wow I guess CNN is censoring me now? Typical atheists...

      June 23, 2012 at 12:16 pm |
    • Helpful Hints

      The Capitalist,

      Bad letter combinations / words to avoid if you want to get past the CNN automatic filter:
      Many, if not most, are buried within other words, so use your imagination.
      You can use dashes, spaces, or other characters or some html tricks to modify the "offending" letter combinations.
      ar-se.....as in ar-senic.
      co-ck.....as in co-ckatiel, co-ckatrice, co-ckleshell, co-ckles, etc.
      co-on.....as in racc-oon, coc-oon, etc.
      cu-m......as in doc-ument, accu-mulate, circu-mnavigate, circu-mstances, cu-mbersome, cuc-umber, etc.
      cu-nt.....as in Scu-nthorpe, a city in the UK famous for having problems with filters...!
      ef-fing...as in ef-fing filter
      ft-w......as in soft-ware, delft-ware, swift-water, drift-wood, etc.
      ho-mo.....as in ho-mo sapiens or ho-mose-xual, ho-mogenous, etc.
      ho-rny....as in tho-rny, etc.
      hu-mp… as in th-ump, th-umper, th-umping
      jacka-ss...yet "ass" is allowed by itself.....
      ja-p......as in j-apanese, ja-pan, j-ape, etc.
      koo-ch....as in koo-chie koo..!
      o-rgy….as in po-rgy, zo-rgy, etc.
      pi-s......as in pi-stol, lapi-s, pi-ssed, therapi-st, etc.
      p-orn… as in p-ornography
      pr-ick....as in pri-ckling, pri-ckles, etc.
      ra-pe.....as in scra-pe, tra-peze, gr-ape, thera-peutic, sara-pe, etc.
      se-x......as in Ess-ex, s-exual, etc.
      sp-ic.....as in desp-icable, hosp-ice, consp-icuous, susp-icious, sp-icule, sp-ice, etc.
      sp-ook… as in sp-ooky, sp-ooked
      ti-t......as in const-itution, att-itude, ent-ities, alt-itude, beat-itude, etc.
      tw-at.....as in wristw-atch, nightw-atchman, etc.
      va-g......as in extrava-gant, va-gina, va-grant, va-gue, sava-ge, etc.
      who-re....as in who're you kidding / don't forget to put in that apostrophe!
      There's another phrase that someone found, "wo-nderful us" (have no idea what sets that one off).

      There are more, some of them considered "racist", so do not assume that this list is complete.

      June 23, 2012 at 12:19 pm |
    • Helpful Hints

      p.s. And you – typical Christian paranoia? 🙂

      June 23, 2012 at 12:20 pm |
    • Chad

      @Chuckles "People in those places are killed because of communist dictators who want to enforce the communist state, not an atheist one."

      =>..hmmm... re-writing history?

      here's reality:
      Communism begins from the outset with atheism; but atheism is at first far from being communism; indeed, that atheism is still mostly an abstraction. – Karl Marx

      June 23, 2012 at 5:10 pm |
    • Cq

      Perhaps atheism was more of an abstraction in Marx's day, but it is a very concrete position today.

      It is good of him to distinguish that atheism is not communism, which flies in the face of what TheCapitalist is trying to imply. I doubt that many atheists would actually fight for an "atheistic nation". What we fight for is what the Founding Fathers intended this country be: A secular nation. "Secular" does not mean state atheism. It just means that religion is kept out of government.

      Communist countries suppress religious organizations because those organizations, like the trade unions and liberal universities they also suppress, have a tendency of organizing opposition to their regime.

      June 23, 2012 at 6:22 pm |
    • Chad

      wow.. 2 for 2, wrong on all of them!

      I get it @Cq, I understand your deep wish that atheism didnt have such a horrendous track record in society. I definitively understand your attempts to re-write history so that it would see like that which happened.. didnt. I understand how impossible it is for you to try and extol atheism in the face of the abysmal history of countries with officially atheistic policies.

      actually, interesting little exercise.. find one state that had an official policy of atheism that wasnt a brutal regime.. I'll have to spoil the ending for you.. there arent any.

      anyway, on to your mistakes 😉
      – atheism is the foundation of Marxist-Lenninist communism, it wasnt an excuse... communists countries dont suppress religious institutions because they foster rebellion, rather as Lennin put it:
      Religion is one of the forms of spiritual oppression which everywhere weighs down heavily upon the masses of the people, over burdened by their perpetual work for others, by want and isolation. Impotence of the exploited classes in their struggle against the exploiters just as inevitably gives rise to the belief in a better life after death as impotence of the savage in his battle with nature gives rise to belief in gods, devils, miracles, and the like. Those who toil and live in want all their lives are taught by religion to be submissive and patient while here on earth, and to take comfort in the hope of a heavenly reward. But those who live by the labour of others are taught by religion to practise charity while on earth, thus offering them a very cheap way of justifying their entire existence as exploiters and selling them at a moderate price tickets to well-being in heaven. Religion is opium for the people. Religion is a sort of spiritual booze, in which the slaves of capital drown their human image, their demand for a life more or less worthy of man

      “Atheism is a natural and inseparable part of Marxism, of the theory and practice of scientific socialism.” -Lennin
      “The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness.” – Marx

      – Our founding fathers wanted a secular nation?
      please, try not to be to blatantly ridiculous.. attempts to re-write history need to proceed in small pieces 😉
      We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

      Government was established to secure those rights, and they recognized that those rights were from GOD.

      June 23, 2012 at 7:36 pm |
    • Cq

      Your examples only show the horrendous track record of dictatorships, where secular governments have perhaps the best track record of all. Few atheists in the USA would argue for a fully atheist government.

      The defining aspects of Marxist-Leninist philosophy would be more focused of things like universal social welfare, the elimination of the political power of the bourgeoisie, the abolition of private property, the emancipation of women, command economy, and a single-party state. Marx thought that religion would just die away as part of the old social order, but when it didn't after Lenin came to power they actually did try to eliminate it. Remember how the Orthodox church was a key factor in keeping the Tzars in power? They weren't very successful, as you know, so they made religion the scapegoat for why communism was failing. Atheism was never a major part of communism except as a rallying point for Western nations to oppose it. It shifted the focus away from the aspects of Marxist-Leninist philosophy that were still justly attractive.

      June 26, 2012 at 12:58 am |
  2. TheCapitalist

    The craziest religion is the one where they believe that if you put paper and ink in a room together, it'll "evolve" into a dictionary.

    June 23, 2012 at 11:16 am |
    • Chuckles

      never heard of that religion before. Does it have a name?

      June 23, 2012 at 11:17 am |
    • Colin

      Your analogy has a flaw. It would work if science claimed that man appeared spontaneously from non-living matter by chance, but it doesn't. Only the Bible claims that (ironically)

      In reality, it took about 4 billion years of Earth history for human beings to evolve. The process is well understood. Starting with a "simple" organism (and I say "simple" because even the simplest of organisms are complex, but I’ll come back to that) all of the offspring of that organism will all be slightly different to their parent, and to each other. No boy is identical in EVERY respect to his father.

      Those organisms with the traits that best suit it to survive are more likely to pass on their genes (and that advantageous trait) to their own offspring. A slightly faster lion, taller giraffe or better sighted hawk is more likely than its slower, shorter or more myopic brethren to live long enough to breed and pass on the favorable genes that gave it the edge. No rocket science there.

      So far, easy, but here is the key and the thing creationists don't seem able (or, perhaps, willing) to grasp. The way in which any child will differ from its parents will generally be small (such as eye color, height etc.) but, given enough time and enough generations, and provided some external element is selectively favoring specific traits, such as acute eyesight, the differences will add up. Over thousands of generations, so much cu.mulative change builds up that the great-great-great etc. grandson will be so different from its great-great-great etc. grandfather as to amount to a new species.

      If, for example, a dog breeder only ever allows the fastest male dogs to breed with the fastest female dogs, after many years of such selective breeding the resultant dogs will differ so much in body shape, leg length and, perhaps, lung capacity from their ancestor as to be considered a separate breed. No one set of offspring will differ greatly from its parents, but it will differ a little more from its grandparents, and even a little more from its great-grandparents etc., until we go all the way back to the original dog, which will be quite different in appearance.

      We see this around us everywhere. Ever heard of greyhounds, the most obvious example of breeding for speed? Very different to bulldogs, aren’t they. All breeds of dog alive today descended from wolves. In fact, it is likely that they all descended, ultimately, from a small pack of wolves that were domesticated in either the Middle East or Manchuria some 10,000 years ago. In any event, every last one of them, from the Teacup Chihuahua in Paris Hilton’s purse to the Great Danes of European car advertisements, are the cu.mulative result of selective breeding down different paths from the original wolf.

      Now, what are the chances of two wolves giving birth to a Chihuahua or Dalmatian? Virtually zero, but this ignores (like your dictionary example does) all of the intermediate steps – the generations – the tint steps – required to get from a wolf to a Chihuahua. It took 10,000 years, about 5,000 generations – 5,000 baby steps. I could not jump from New York to San Francisco, but I could certainly walk there in little steps.

      Evolution is, in fact, a work in process, as dog breeders all over the world, along with horse breeders, wheat farmers, rose growers, cattle farmers and all other professions that depend on the traits of plants or animals to make their living, selectively breed for desired traits. Why do you think horse breeders pay thousands of dollars for the fastest stud horses to breed with their mares?

      Even the most cursory of research into any branch of horticulture or animal husbandry quickly reveals that the size, variety, health, longevity and resistance to disease of most of our domesticated plants and animals were the thing of dreams as recently as 100 years ago. Indeed, biotech companies like Monsanto would quickly fall behind the competi.tion if they did not spend millions each year on Darwinian selective breeding programs.

      You really think that people in the 1500s ate fruit and vegetables of the size, nutritional value and taste we do today? Hell, there are hundreds of types of apple today. They did not exist a few centuries ago. Why do diseases “build up” a resistance to antibiotics. Individual bacteria don’t, but antibiotics sometimes only kill 99% of the bacteria, leaving a few individuals to breed and pass on the trait that allowed them to survive the antibiotic to their offspring. Gradually, these survivors and their descendents will outnumber the original, weaker disease. A new, more resistant strain of the disease has just evolved. Or did your all loving god create the new, virulent strain in an effort to kill people?

      Now, to go back to the point I left open at the start of this post, what evolution does not explain (nor attempt to) is how the first complex living things arose. However, the more we understand biological processes, the more we are seeing that there is a natural tendency for non-living organic compounds to clump together into increasingly complex forms. Experiments show this all the time. While explaining this process would take a while in an already long post, suffice it to say that no step in the process of gradually increasing complexity of organic molecules into simple life seems to be too complex to have happened without divine intervention. It just took a long, long time – hundreds of millions of years, and a big, big "Petri dish" – the entire Earth-before it occurred, perhaps even more than once.

      Finally, even if we were to assume that [the Christian] god created the first living cell, where does that get us? We immediately bump into the question of what created that god? God was always there, right? But this is the same as saying he "just happened" and God is even less likely than a 747 or a simple cell is to have "just happened." In fact, why is “God” considered an explanation for anything. It isn’t. It’s a cop out, a shrug of the shoulders. When a person attributes something to God, it usually means they haven’t got a clue, so they invoke a magic act by some unreachable, unknowable sky-fairy. All we have done is put a halo on a question mark and walked away from the challenge.

      Frankly, would any believer, absent having been taught it from when they were too young to question it, possibly conclude the existence of a creator-god as a thinking adult, based on what we know in science today? Much less the one that is straight out of late Iron Age Palestinian mythology.

      PS: The sky-fairy analogy is not original. It is cited in Dawkins as being from an unnamed blogger.

      PPS: I did not distinguish between “breeds” and “species” but that is simply a matter of degree of exactly the same process. Accepting one but not the other is like accepting the existence of inches but denying the existence of miles.

      June 23, 2012 at 11:22 am |
    • TheCapitalist

      Yes Chuckles... the religion goes by the name of atheism, or secularism, or scientism. Its god is mankind and self, and its prophets are Darwin, Dawkins, Hitchens, etc.

      June 23, 2012 at 11:23 am |
    • Colin

      The "Six Days and a Talking Snake" theory of galactic formation, hey? Quick question for ya, Capitalist. What is oil?

      June 23, 2012 at 11:26 am |
    • Chuckles

      Oops, I thought you actually had something interesting to say. My bad.

      So your saying that I "worship myself and science" (nope), that I revere these so-called prophets (nope) and that by somehow rejecting your faith that becomes a religion with rites, ceremonies and doctrine in of itself?

      Sorry kiddo, please try again, this time with actual facts.

      June 23, 2012 at 11:28 am |
    • TheCapitalist

      Colin, as in ALL my debates with atheists... you have resorted to your first bread and butter, which is to describe the process of natural evolution that not even Christians dispute. A thicker coat of fur or a faster dog... is a FAR cry from "something from nothing"... and if you dig back and retrace your evolutionary hypothesis, at some point, you have to acknowledge "something from nothing". Of course, the next thing atheists do is say, "well that's abiogenesis" blah blah blah... but after all the semantics and desperate attempts to sound smart as you regurgitate the spewings of your local atheist blogger... you cannot explain "something from nothing". The "dictionary" comment is a satirical jab at atheists because, at the end of the day, their explanation for life boils down to that statement.

      June 23, 2012 at 11:32 am |
    • trey

      "Adaptation, and evolution" are two different things...... Adaptation does not prove evolution...there are natural laws and phyics involved

      June 23, 2012 at 11:34 am |
    • TheCapitalist

      Chuckles... "sorry kiddo, try again"... is not an argument.

      Rather... it is your attempt to DEFLECT away from an argument that you can't win with SUBSTANCE, by attempting to denigrate and condescend to your opponent.

      YOU try again.

      June 23, 2012 at 11:35 am |
    • Chuckles


      So where did god come from? Nothing?

      Oops, thats got to be annoying when you have the exact same problem an atheist does right?

      June 23, 2012 at 11:35 am |
    • trey

      opps physics spelled correctly now

      June 23, 2012 at 11:35 am |
    • Colin

      But "something from nothing is exaclty what you talksing snake crowd claim. God magically came out of nothing, right?

      Now answer my question, what is oil?

      June 23, 2012 at 11:36 am |
    • Chuckles


      Do you really want me to go over exactly how atheism can not be a religion or can it suffice to say that atheism is a rejection of religion itself and nothing more. If you really are confused about what religion is, I would recommend going to this little known website called "www.dictionary.com", it'll help you get a definition and understand.

      And sorry to condescend, it's just hard when I feel like I'm speaking to infant who just learned how to type. I'll try my best sport to not make your big ego get damaged a little.

      June 23, 2012 at 11:39 am |
    • Colin

      Hello, hello, TheCapitalist.....You still there? What is oil? If your sky-fairy made it, why did he give it all to the Muslims?

      June 23, 2012 at 11:39 am |
    • Cq

      If you have no trouble believing that the most complicated, most intelligent, most powerful being imaginable always existed, came from nothing, etc... why do you have trouble believing that the least intelligent, powerful, complicated beings emerged naturally? Seriously, your view is like saying that you can believe in Superman, but the idea of Batman is too impossible to believe.

      June 23, 2012 at 11:49 am |
    • Nope!

      Capitalist, change your handle, because you give Christianity a bad name! I'm sure you pride yourself in name you chose, but God is not smiling on what you erroneously take pride in!

      June 23, 2012 at 1:36 pm |
  3. Mike

    Looks like to be an atheist today you have to hate those that are believers.....a Hell of a way to live...

    June 23, 2012 at 11:12 am |
    • Chuckles

      Um... no. Please try again.

      June 23, 2012 at 11:16 am |
    • Former Atheist

      Uhm... for the most part. He's right. The so-called "militant atheist" is an insufferable trend – maybe not paramilitary, but certainly far more vociferous than their predecessors who tended to ponder their godlessness in silence (or on paper).

      June 23, 2012 at 11:26 am |
    • Chuckles

      Most "militant atheists" as you put it aren't going after the believer, they're going after the belief. Most believers just take it personally and get all offended when an atheists gets the balls to stand up and say they have a big disbelief in god. I won't say there aren't atheists out there who have been hurt my religion a lot and want to strike back at the people who did it to them, but this "trend" you're seeing is nonexistent and the "hating the believer" part of being an atheist is just a believers persecution complex set in motion to rally the troops.

      June 23, 2012 at 11:31 am |
    • Cq

      We don't hate believers, but some of the things believers justify using their faith are pretty terrible. If your religion "makes sense" to you, more power to you, but if you want to make political decisions based on those beliefs that affect us all, then be prepared to defend your basis for making those decisions. Simple as that. 🙂

      June 23, 2012 at 11:53 am |
  4. Rainer Braendlein

    Europe is totally godless, although very many Europeans are Catholics.

    How is this possible?

    The simple reason is that the RCC doesn't preach the releasing gospel of Jesus Christ, but any nonsense. Although Catholics are baptized, they don't behave Christian in daily life, but are completely assimilated by the profane world. They lack the power of Jesus death and resurrection to overcome their sinfulness and to love God and the neighbour.

    Catholics need to get some education about their baptism and how it is connected with the gospel and the faith. Then they could become real Chrstians, which show and prove their faith by love and righteousness in daily life.

    June 23, 2012 at 11:11 am |
    • Mike

      Europe looks Godless....

      June 23, 2012 at 11:13 am |
    • Ralph

      Oh so complicated. Get off your a$$ and go see how others live, and how other think, and how others belive what they believe, and why they believe it, and you may then start to have an indication of what the world is about. It's fairly simple compared to your diatribe.

      June 23, 2012 at 11:22 am |
  5. Julie

    How sad for her.

    June 23, 2012 at 11:01 am |
  6. Peteyroo

    I have an idea that I feel will be fair to all sides. More than fair actually. Since religious folks are forever ramming their beliefs and fantasies down the throats of everyone regardless of religious persuasion through laws and statutes that are clearly religious, we thinking, nonhysterical folks should have a least one crumb thrown our way. I don't speak for all good and decent atheists of course, but I think I have a reasonable solution. Religious people can continue to spout whatever foolishness they please–no restrictions. The solution is to require a photo of Darwin to be placed next to every two-dimensional (flat) likeness of Jesus/God. Next to every three-dimensional likeness (statue) there should be placed a bust of Darwin. There is no need for text or explanation to accompany said respresentations.

    June 23, 2012 at 10:59 am |
    • shane

      That is ridiculous.

      June 23, 2012 at 11:03 am |
    • shane

      darwin and jesus are not opposing figures, and anyone who has a problem with statues is just a weirdo.

      June 23, 2012 at 11:05 am |
    • Peteyroo

      Shane, I hate to see you so confused.

      June 23, 2012 at 11:06 am |
    • Chad

      @Peteyroo "... Since religious folks are forever ramming their beliefs and fantasies down the throats of everyone regardless of religious persuasion through laws and statutes that are clearly religious..."

      @Chad "such as... what?
      Don't murder? you think that is religious because it's one of the 10 commandments?
      Don't commit perjury?
      Don't steal?

      what laws do you think are "religious"?
      The law that you have to be a Christian to live in the US? (oh wait.. .I dont think that's actually a law... 😉 )

      June 23, 2012 at 11:19 am |
    • Chuckles


      Try, the abortion issue, gay rights, wanting prayer in schools, wanting the 10 commandments placed in the court house.

      Your dishonesty knows no bounds.

      June 23, 2012 at 11:22 am |
    • Chad

      abortion issue, gay rights: are not "religious" issues, the proof of that is that within the Christian community there is support for both sides, AND there is support for both sides in the atheistic community. Right?

      prayer in schools, wanting the 10 commandments placed in the court house: those are certainly a based on Judeo-Christian beliefs, so you can complain about that. My advice is, if you dont like it, leave. 🙂

      Your dishonesty knows no bounds.

      June 23, 2012 at 11:42 am |
    • Chuckles


      Gimme a break, what is the only arguments against abortion and gay rights? Religious ones. By saying there are people who also support those issues and are religious doesn't nullify that the entire opposition is steeped in religious dogma and is directly related to religious people trying to force the rest of the country to bend to their twisted form of morality.

      As for the prayer in schools and 10 commandment things, yes, it's my right to complain and make sure it doesn't happen and since I like it here, I'll stay, but hey if you want prayer in schools, go to the Middle East, I'm sure they'd love to have ya. Theocracies over there are doing SO WELL!

      Oh, also repeating my last line is precious, as I know it's your way to try and get under my skin, but when we look at the dishonestly being spewed on this forum one of us is using every dishonest method in the book (YOU) and the other is just simply pointing out where your dishonestly lies (ME).

      June 23, 2012 at 11:49 am |
    • I wonder

      Put the 10 Commandments on your churches all you want. Wallpaper your home with them. Why on Earth would they be put on a court house?

      The Ten Commandments:
      1: Have no other gods – NOT A LAW
      2: Make no graven image – NOT A LAW
      3: Don’t take the name in vain – NOT A LAW
      4: Honor the Sabbath – NOT A LAW
      5: Honor thy father and mother – NOT A LAW
      6: Thou shalt not kill – NOT UNIQUE TO CHRISTIANITY (long pre-dated it)
      7: Thou shalt not commit adultery – huge number of Christians commit adultery by LEGALLY remarrying
      8: Thou shalt not steal – NOT UNIQUE TO CHRISTIANITY
      9: Thou shalt not bear false witness – NOT UNIQUE TO CHRISTIANITY
      10: Thou shalt not covet – NOT A LAW

      June 23, 2012 at 12:02 pm |
    • Cq

      I wonder
      The first commandment actually goes against the whole concept of freedom of religion, right?

      June 23, 2012 at 6:25 pm |
  7. shane

    If "debating smart Christians" is what made you a Christian then you are an idiot. The debate has been going for eons, I don't think it is that kind of issue.

    June 23, 2012 at 10:57 am |
  8. PaulvG

    Atheist, buddist, Christian, etc we all live by faith. A person can never know enough to avoid arriving at faith. As they say eternity is forever. You can always believe that this life is all there is. At some point faith defines our stubbornness (pride) or our humility in a search for truth.

    June 23, 2012 at 10:53 am |
    • Chuckles

      ahhh, the ole "they have faith too" as if by dragging down an atheist to your level legitimizes your unsubstantiated belief.

      I have "faith" the sun will set in the west today. I have "faith" that when I drive down the road, the other drivers aren't going to ram my cars. However I am fully prepared for the possibility that I will have an accident later today if someone does ram my car. You see how you are trying to pervert the word "faith" in order to try and invalidate an atheist and not trying to necessarily validate your own crazy belief?

      June 23, 2012 at 11:04 am |
    • Cq

      I don't have faith in anything. I have a lot of confidence in some things, but there is nothing that I would refuse to admit being mistaken in given enough evidence proving that I was wrong, which is what religious faith is all about.

      June 23, 2012 at 6:29 pm |
  9. StanCalif

    Converting to Catholicism? This is not converting to "Christianity". What are you trying to say?
    Catholicism is NOT true "Christian" by a long stretch! Let's get real here!

    June 23, 2012 at 10:49 am |
    • Peteyroo

      Just what is a true Christian?

      June 23, 2012 at 11:01 am |
  10. Rainer Braendlein

    I myself was raised Catholic, but never got to know the gospel of Jesus Christ in the Roman Catholic Church (RCC).

    First through the YMCA, which staged a evangelization in Nuremberg, I got to know the gospel at the age of 21.

    Up to to the age of 21 I knew nothing about Jesus Christ, the Bible, the Cross, the general Church, etc. in the midst of "Christian" Germany (meanwhile it became clear for me that German Christianity is only nominal to a large extent).

    Although the YMCY preached the gospel of Jesus rightly to me, they did not tell me anything about the connection between faith and baptism.

    The Free Churches assume baptism would be a mere symbolic act, which follows conversion and a public confession of the new faith, aslo an act of obedience. They reject infant baptism and baptize people, which have converted, again. The opinion of the Free Churches about baptism is totally wrong.

    In contrast, the Christian Church regards baptism as a sacrament, that means that God acts during baptism. Baptism is a marvelous process, in which we get born from above (not born again). By our natural state we can hardly grasp the gospel and thus the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ needs to get maken present by a divine miracle: At baptism we die and resurrect together with Jesus in a real way, so that it becomes easy for us to believe. After baptism we can be just obedient, because we have died for the sin and we are in Christ. We overcome our sinfulness by the power of Jesus' death and resurrection.

    As baptism is beyond time and space infant baptism is valid. Of course, today many people, which have received infant baptism, only live as nominal Christians. But as soon as they get to know the gospel, they can simply remember their infant baptism and in that moment it becomes effective and the believer gets the power to overcome his sinfulness and to love God and his neighbour.

    Even the Roman Catholic baptism is valid (I myself was baptized Catholic and even Luther), but the Catholics need some Protestant education about the faith, that means some information about the gospel. In the moment, when a Catholic realizes the connection between his infant baptism and the gospel, he becomes a Protestant or Christian: He follows Jesus in daily life by the power of Jesus death and resurrection. A Catholic, which has become a Christian (Portestant) will forsake the RCC, which is ruled by the pope, and join the Christian Church, which is ruled by Jesus Christ.


    June 23, 2012 at 10:45 am |
    • Tarzan

      Magic water good.

      June 23, 2012 at 10:52 am |
    • Rainer Braendlein


      You err. You should say holy or sacred waters, not magic waters.

      June 23, 2012 at 10:55 am |
    • Rainer Braendlein

      The sacramental baptism was insti-tuted by Christ himself and not by the lousy pope.

      Baptism is indeed a supernatural act or divine process, but has nothing to do with magic.

      June 23, 2012 at 10:58 am |
    • Tarzan

      Magic water protect Tarzan keep devil man away.

      June 23, 2012 at 11:03 am |
    • Peteyroo

      Sie sind in dieser Gegend der Hauptdorftrottel.

      June 23, 2012 at 11:03 am |
    • Colin

      Rainer, what is the difference between a divine act and a magic act?

      June 23, 2012 at 11:41 am |
    • Rainer Braendlein


      A divine act is done by God, a magical act is done by dark powers.

      June 23, 2012 at 11:48 am |
  11. IceColdATLien

    Hmmm, she an atheist who starts dating a catholic guy and she eventually converts to his religion... shocking! A woman converts to her man's religion... that never happens!

    June 23, 2012 at 10:37 am |
  12. AGuest9

    Funny how "bloggers" are celebrities now.

    June 23, 2012 at 10:15 am |
    • Really

      You've never heard of Leah Libresco? Her show follows the Bill Maher show on HBO.

      June 23, 2012 at 10:46 am |
  13. trey

    don't forget Sir William Hershel on this list!

    June 23, 2012 at 10:05 am |
  14. Rainer Braendlein

    Does anybody know the belief of Libresco's parents?

    June 23, 2012 at 10:02 am |
  15. Don

    Seriously? The moral compass? She sure chose a bad one. Just because one is Atheist, doesn't make one smart..... Though being smart does create a lot of Atheists.

    June 23, 2012 at 10:00 am |
    • IceColdATLien

      What do you mean? It's not Catholics started the Inquisition, systematically protected kiddie-rapists, discriminate against women and gay people, or force congregants to pay their way into heaven... oh yeah, that's exactly what Catholicism is all about. Fantastic moral compass for sure.

      June 23, 2012 at 10:40 am |
  16. Mike

    List of some very famous believing Scientists…..

    Nicholas Copernicus

    Sir Francis Bacon

    Johannes Kepler

    Galileo Galilei

    Rene Descartes

    Blaise Pascal

    Isaac Newton

    Robert Boyle

    Michael Faraday

    Gregor Mendel

    William Thomson Kelvin

    Max Planck

    Albert Einstein

    June 23, 2012 at 10:00 am |
    • Don

      Galileo was condemned by the very church he belonged to. And Einstein, contrary to your misquotes and out of context snags, was agnostic, and Jewish before that. He didn't follow Christ for the amount of time it takes an ant to pass gas. Most of your list were people who lived in a time when to question the church meant death. And their knowledge of the size of the universe, both large and small was on par with that of a modern day child. I think the hubble telescope might have render one or more of these guys to suspect the bible was an inadequate explaination.

      June 23, 2012 at 10:05 am |
    • AGuest9

      You can add Francis Collins to that list. But, it doesn't make any of them right. Also, Einstein believed in what, exactly? That seems to have varied wildly during his life and writings.

      June 23, 2012 at 10:05 am |
    • AGuest9

      Hawking believed at one time, as well, and now does not.

      June 23, 2012 at 10:09 am |
    • HotAirAce

      Any modern examples? After the time when everybody was expected to believe and to not believe might have cost you your life?

      June 23, 2012 at 10:09 am |
    • Mike


      Galileo was condemned by the very church he belonged to.

      So??? Jesus was killed by the leaders of the church.

      Einstein became a deist – a believer in an impersonal creator God:

      June 23, 2012 at 10:16 am |
    • Peteyroo

      Einstein did not believe.

      June 23, 2012 at 10:45 am |
  17. Mike

    Leah Libresco evolved.....Congratulations!!!!!!!!!!

    June 23, 2012 at 9:51 am |
    • AGuest9

      Became delusional, more likely.

      June 23, 2012 at 10:06 am |
    • Peteyroo


      June 23, 2012 at 10:46 am |
  18. Mike

    Yes, this amazing bio-chemical-electro complex being with all the blueprints in the genes just popped into existence because, because because.......it's magic!!!!!!!! Fairy Dust!!!!!!! Primordial Fairy Dust....yes a good name helps...... You can't be Serious!!!!1

    Richard Dawkins and Christopher Hitchens are two outspoken atheists who recently died who join a list of other dead atheists not able to prove where we came from....

    June 23, 2012 at 9:49 am |
    • Chuckles

      Dawkins is dead?

      Also, pretty sure your belief says that a magic guy came and zapped some dirt. It's not much better.

      June 23, 2012 at 10:06 am |
    • AGuest9

      A moldy old book offers no proof of where we came from.

      June 23, 2012 at 10:08 am |
    • johnfrichardson

      Dawkins is a mediocre biologist and an embarrassment to non-believers, but he is not dead.

      June 23, 2012 at 10:45 am |
  19. furreals

    this is news?

    June 23, 2012 at 9:46 am |
  20. Ralph

    Wow, flip flopped to suit the needs. The money collector will be smacking his lips.
    Things like genocide, murder, ra pe, thievry, ped o philia etc. Makes you wonder why anyone would openly admit to being associated with a cult like this.
    No free though anymore.
    Good luck in slavery.

    June 23, 2012 at 9:37 am |
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About this blog

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.