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'Where was God in Aurora?' comments show Internet as church for atheists
Some atheists may ask questions on the Internet that they wouldn't have asked in church.
August 1st, 2012
12:03 PM ET

'Where was God in Aurora?' comments show Internet as church for atheists

By Dan Gilgoff, CNN.com Religion Editor

(CNN) - The Internet has become the de facto global church for atheists, agnostics and other doubters of God, who of course don’t have bricks-and-mortar churches in which to congregate.

We see this phenomenon in motion every day on the CNN Belief Blog, where atheists/agnostics/humanists are among the most zealous commenters.

Recent string of posts around the question of “Where was God in Aurora?” (such as this and this) drew especially large waves of comments that show atheists are using the Internet to commune with one another and to confront religious believers in ways that they don’t usually do in church.

Atheists and other secularists have offline organizations that stage in-person meetings - the Secular Student Alliance has seen its number of campus chapters quadruple in the last five years, to 368 - but the Internet has probably played a bigger role in the rise of the so-called New Atheism. The movement’s adherents evangelize their godlessness, just as many religious folks evangelize their God, often taking to the Belief Blog to do so.

“A lot of millennials who are coming of age have found that the Internet is a fantastic place to talk about their doubt,” says Jesse Galef, communications director for the Secular Student Alliance. “Before the Internet, there was no place for young people to do that. The only place to go was really church, and that wasn’t always a welcoming place.

“But they can go online and discuss these ideas without being judged by friends and families,” Galef says.

For closeted atheists, the Internet’s anonymity is a big draw. A coalition of national atheist groups recently launched a program to transition doubting clergy to lives of open atheism by first having ministers come out anonymously in a closed online community.

Plenty of other atheists, though, are using the Internet to connect with real, named people through Facebook and other online social networks.

“It’s the ability to access a larger community, particularly for people growing up in religiously conservative areas,” Galef says. “There is nobody they can point to to discuss their atheism or their doubts about the Bible or their morality, and the Internet provides that.”

On Sunday, a guest piece from a Colorado pastor argued that it’s possible to reconcile the idea of a sovereign God with the existence of evil and tragedy. The post has drawn 4,239 comments as of Wednesday morning, largely from atheists.

One of those comments - a letter from God penned by an atheist commenter named Colin - caught fire online. Here’s how his letter opens:

"Dear Christians:

"God here. I thought I would take the time to personally explain my absence in the Aurora shootings. While I was at it, I thought I would also explain my absence during every murder, massacre and crime that has ever taken place in world history, and in every war, in every famine, drought and flood.

"You see, I do not exist. I never have. Did it really make sense to you that I would create an entire universe with billions of billions of planets and wait about 13,700,000,000 years just so I could focus on a few Jews from Palestine about 2,000 years ago while ignoring the rest of the 200,000,000 people on the planet at the time? Did I make those few Jews or did those few Jews make me?"

The letter has been posted on reddit, where it attracted another 1,000-plus comments. (Warning: The reddit comments includes foul language.)

The vast majority of comments come from sympathetic atheists and other secularists (the discussion is reddit's atheism thread), a striking example of such folks doing church without God online. Many of those comments are deeply personal, confessional and poignant.

Here are five of the best ones. Some respond to Colin’s letter from God, others to the Colorado pastor who wrote for the Belief Blog last weekend.

1. CarbonEmitter

"I grew up religious and decided to be agnostic (as an) undergraduate. Even though I am now in my late 20s, I still feel slightly guilty because my parents try to ram religion down my throat. My mom converted to my dad's religion (from Christianity to Islam) right before having a double lung transplant in 1995. They are now super-religious and attribute her miraculous recovery to her conversion.

"Reading posts like these remind me of how ridiculous religion is and help relieve my guilt. Thank you /r/athiesm."

2. tazadar

"I like what Carl Sagan said about reassuring fables.

" 'The significance of our lives and our fragile planet is then determined only by our own wisdom and courage. We are the custodians of life's meaning. We long for a parent to care for us, to forgive us our errors, to save us from our childish mistakes. But knowledge is preferable to ignorance. Better by far to embrace the hard truth than a reassuring fable.' "

3. RyGuy2012

"You know, it really irks me to no end to read the article from the pastor, as he claims to not have an answer for why God didn't prevent the Aurora shooting, but then claims to know for sure that God is there when people come to lend their support and sympathies for the shooting victims.

"I just can't wrap my mind around this logic. Like, the pastor must find some other explanation why people are good and do good things. It can't be that people can just be good on their own. Because, apparently (our) natural normal state is to be completely uncaring and disregarding? It's just such a very sad and low opinion to have of your fellow man.

4. funfetti_cookies

"Of course, he says that. You have to scare the people before giving them a reason to listen - "I held her hand as she died." What a great way to start your article. Also don't forget to mention Columbine so people remember that tragedy as well, but then go on to explain why God still exists and this is all part of his plan. Religion is nothing more but a scare tactic to control the masses.

5. ConstipatedNinja

"I don't share this much, but I was raped twice by my pastor when I was 6. And by I don't share this much, I mean that even my own parents don't know (as a side note, he's long since dead, so there's no sense in bringing it up). I had to sit in the same room (with) him for three hours every Sunday while he told everyone - including me - how a decent human being should act. I had to for four entire years before my family moved to a different state.

"When it first happened, I had no idea what was done. I was too young to understand. ... It's indescribable. You're told all this time about this ever-loving being that made you and has planned out your entire life. You're told that he'll protect you when you need it. You're told that if you're good, then he'll be good to you. So obviously, I wasn't good. I wasn't good enough. I was created and the creator of all things looked down upon me and decided that I was a bad egg. Do you know how rough that is for a 7-year-old? I still have problems with self-esteem. …"

That comment, which has been truncated above, provoked an outpouring of sympathy and support on reddit, including this comment:

rumpelstiltskin1

"This stuff is why I love Reddit. Yeah we are a room full of strangers but when it comes down to it we're a community. I love reading the stories of others and reading the heartfelt replies. I love that anyone can express themselves honestly and it will be well-received here (usually). And although this one is a little cheeky, I love that I can learn valuable life lessons of self-acceptance and being able to move on from a guy named ConstipatedNinja. Thank you for sharing your story, and I admire the willingness to share such a personal story; it's truly inspirational."

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Atheism • Colorado • Violence

soundoff (4,699 Responses)
  1. Rich

    You know, most persons of faith and belief, be it in God or not (for if you do not believe in God you have faith in your beliefs as much as the person that does believe in a Creator) are horribly dismayed by the vitriol and ignorance of so many people who take "anonimity" to mean I can be evil to others.

    Evil, whether spiritually or secularly based, clearly exists in the lack of kindness and tolerance I read in forums like these. I am so sorry that there is so little kindness and understanding – you can hide from each other electronically but you still have to live with your own words and hate at the end of the day.

    August 1, 2012 at 8:05 pm |
    • Moby Schtick

      Rich, what "evil" do people do in commenting on forums like this with mere black and white words? Be specific.

      August 1, 2012 at 8:08 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      I think you might be a little confused at what faith and belief are.

      August 1, 2012 at 8:08 pm |
    • IonShift

      "(for if you do not believe in God you have faith in your beliefs as much as the person that does believe in a Creator)"

      That right there is what most "believers" try to assert in their comments. When a Christian tries to assert that you still "believe" in something equal to your own imaginary friend what it is really saying is that they are absolutely terrified that people can successfully live their lives without it. If everything they have been told is a lie they psychologically couldn't handle it. Period. They have to assert that everyone still believes in one form or another just to stay deluded.

      August 1, 2012 at 8:17 pm |
    • LOL@"WhereWasGod"

      Faith...

      Belief...

      One can have both in a any number of things. It does not make them true, plausible, or even possible.

      August 1, 2012 at 8:23 pm |
    • Rich

      I guess that I that figured that a person has to believe in something, because if you don't believe in anything, you have a difficult time justifying any arguement for or against whatever idea or concept you are supporting.

      August 1, 2012 at 8:29 pm |
    • Rick

      I agree-there is a history of hatred and evil from both sides of the debate at times. I don't hate Christians, but I disgaree with them. If their belief brings them joy and comfort and they can refrain from harming others, then that is fine also. Personally, I find Buddha's teaching ring truer for me, starting with the Four Noble Truths- There is suffering inherent in human life. Much of the suffering is caused by ignorance and unhealthy attachments and cravings. There is a path that liberates humans from suffering. The Noble Eightfold Path is the blueprint for minimizing/eliminating suffering in our lives. I don't see anything in the Noble Eightfold Path that Christ would disagree with.

      August 1, 2012 at 8:41 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @Rich

      Not believing in god doesn't equal not believing in anything at all.

      August 1, 2012 at 9:02 pm |
    • silmaril

      @Rich"I guess that I that figured that a person has to believe in something, because if you don't believe in anything, you have a difficult time justifying any arguement for or against whatever idea or concept you are supporting".

      So you have to believe in something not to believe in it?

      August 1, 2012 at 10:18 pm |
  2. Kuiken

    Am I the only one who fú´cking get annoyed when atheists mention "Science" ? ahh so annoying

    August 1, 2012 at 8:05 pm |
    • IonShift

      Because science is killing god. Not quickly. Just slow and steady. A river of truth cuts away a little every day until...

      August 1, 2012 at 8:08 pm |
    • Voice of Reason

      I know, right? Science is such a drag, yuk! I mean it explains stuff and helps humans, how disgusting!

      August 1, 2012 at 8:09 pm |
    • LOL@"WhereWasGod"

      you probably shudder when someone says "Calculus" as well, ehh?

      August 1, 2012 at 8:21 pm |
  3. Kuiken

    I wish I could export all atheists to Saudi Arabia to learn a good lesson.....

    August 1, 2012 at 8:02 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      And that (unnecessary) lesson would be
      – that theocracy is bad
      – that the religious have no place framing laws
      – that the separation of church and state is a wonderful thing

      August 1, 2012 at 8:04 pm |
    • Kuiken

      You wouldn´t last for minutes. Atheism is death penalty in Islamic countries with sharia law.

      August 1, 2012 at 8:06 pm |
    • sybaris

      I wish I had more lions

      August 1, 2012 at 8:07 pm |
    • Rob

      What in the world does that mean? What, so we can see another example of barbaric, irrational religiosity and see how good we have it that you people don't try and kill us for our unbelief?

      August 1, 2012 at 8:07 pm |
    • IonShift

      I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV - Amazing comment!

      August 1, 2012 at 8:09 pm |
    • cestlavie3

      I doubt there would be any good lessons to learn. The beauty of America: I can subscribe to my faith unabashedly while others adhere to their unbelief. This is what great countries afford their citizens.

      God bless America ( or, random natural processes bless America, if you prefer).

      August 1, 2012 at 8:19 pm |
    • IonShift

      Some people need to feel afraid for the world to make sense. "Sharia Law" is the new "Terrorist"...

      August 1, 2012 at 8:20 pm |
    • LOL@"WhereWasGod"

      Very similar to the Catholics threatening to kill Galileo because he said the earth was round, and orbited the Sun...(you know, blasphemy)

      Nice to see they haven't learned anything in the past 1,000 years or so.

      What was your point? That blind religion equivocates to ignorance?

      I agree.

      August 1, 2012 at 8:26 pm |
    • Rick

      What happened to love your enemies and do good to those who do you ill? What happened to judge not, lest you be judged? Sometimes it seems like some "Christians" can't account for God's whereabouts and decide to speak for God themselves. If Christianity must defended, it would be more convincing if defended in a Christ-like manner.

      August 1, 2012 at 8:48 pm |
    • silmaril

      Which lesson would that be, that religious people can be intolerant? Hell, I only need your post for evidence of that.

      August 3, 2012 at 1:48 am |
  4. Tina

    Atheists are group of people who are mentally ill and pretend to hate God, their creator.

    August 1, 2012 at 8:00 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      We can't hat what we don't think exists.

      August 1, 2012 at 8:02 pm |
    • Voice of Reason

      And Tina is a small minded, short-sighted fool!

      August 1, 2012 at 8:03 pm |
    • LOL@"WhereWasGod"

      I cannot have hate for a fairy tale, nor its characters.

      I can, however, feel sorry for those who believe in one.

      August 1, 2012 at 8:03 pm |
    • DEEDEE

      Tina, You have NO IDEA what you are talking about. It sure shows what a nice church lady you are.

      August 1, 2012 at 8:05 pm |
    • IonShift

      Did you know that Ronald McDonald really exists and he opened a giant golden McDonalds restaurant on the dark side of the moon? What? You say that isn't true? Anyone who doesn't believe in the solid gold McDonalds on the dark side of the moon doesn't get any McNuggets.

      August 1, 2012 at 8:13 pm |
    • SpotOn

      Tsk, tsk. Mentally ill? Do you really think that insulting people for their beliefs contributes anything? Geeze, suppose someone called you mentally ill because you believe in one or more gods? You can have your mythology if you want and the rest of us will have reason.

      August 1, 2012 at 8:14 pm |
    • Andy

      You're pretending to know what's impossible to know.

      August 1, 2012 at 8:19 pm |
    • Rick

      That may be true in some cases, but why stereotype everyone who has decided that God does not exist? Some atheists and agnostics have decided to forego the "opium of the masses" and not drink the Kool Aid. Human nature being what it is, there is plenty of hatred and evil perpetuated by believers of various faiths and non-believers.

      August 1, 2012 at 8:53 pm |
  5. ArthurP

    One really has to wonder about people who worship an admitted mass murdering terrorist:

    "And it came to pass, that at midnight the LORD smote all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, from the firstborn of Pharaoh that sat on his throne unto the firstborn of the captive that was in the dungeon; and all the firstborn of cattle. And Pharaoh rose up in the night, he, and all his servants, and all the Egyptians; and there was a great cry in Egypt; for there was not a house where there was not one dead." (Exodus 12:29-30)

    (terrorism – killing those with no political power to force political change by those with political power)

    August 1, 2012 at 8:00 pm |
  6. F/U/C/K ATHEISTS

    Voice of Reason

    ^ ^ ^

    Is the biggest moron, bästard, idíot and rétardéd person in this planet. He will suffer in hell fire for sure 🙂

    August 1, 2012 at 7:59 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      Another sociopath who takes pleasure in the thought of eternal torture for those who disagree with him. Have you been taking lessons from HeavenSent?

      August 1, 2012 at 8:01 pm |
    • Voice of Reason

      OUCH!

      August 1, 2012 at 8:01 pm |
    • Standing on my head, trying any way I can to rationalise god's absense

      Lovely to see Christards delight in the eternal suffering of others. How delightful.

      August 1, 2012 at 8:02 pm |
    • LinCA

      @F/U/C/K ATHEISTS

      You said, "Is the biggest moron, bästard, idíot and rétardéd person in this planet."
      An adult who still believes in the Tooth Fairy calling someone else a moron. ROTFLMAO

      August 1, 2012 at 8:05 pm |
    • ArthurP

      Profanity: The attempt of a feeble mind to express itself forcefully.

      August 1, 2012 at 8:07 pm |
    • DEEDEE

      Another wonderful person, great! You better quick get your stupid butt to church so you can feel better about yourself.

      August 1, 2012 at 8:08 pm |
    • Andy

      I love vulgar Christians. They make me laugh.

      August 1, 2012 at 8:22 pm |
    • No Truth, Just Claims

      Andy,

      I get a newspaper from the ffrf.org most every month, they print their hate mail, you would enjoy that to no end.

      August 1, 2012 at 8:28 pm |
  7. Any atheist please answer.

    In the question of death and God we must presuppose, for the sake of argument that the God of the bible exists, right? Otherwise we are arguing about nothing. Then we not only must say that God did nothing to stop the Aurora shooting but he never does anything because everyone dies. He is responsible for all death. Most end here and use this as a reason for unbelief. But isn't that just half the story?? Isn't the God of the bible responsible for all life?? If you are going to put God on trial for death is it not logical to give him credit for life?? This should once again balance the scale. A response of "There is no God' is not a logical response.

    August 1, 2012 at 7:55 pm |
    • LOL@"WhereWasGod"

      Just because some kook wrote a story about "god" existing, does not make it so.

      No more than the Iliad makes a cyclops real, or Harry Potter makes magic real.

      If the only argument you can make is that "It's in the Bible", then not only have you lost the debate, but you have failed in the ability to think for yourself.

      Keep following...the rest of the lemmings are getting ahead of you.

      August 1, 2012 at 7:57 pm |
    • Voice of Reason

      "In the question of death and God we must presuppose, for the sake of argument that the God of the bible exists, right? "

      There lies the problem, presupposition, fail.

      August 1, 2012 at 7:58 pm |
    • Colin

      Actually, "there is no god" is a perfectly logical response and moots the rest of your point. Replace "God" with "the Pixie King" and the Bible with "The Pixie Chronicles" and you may see this point.

      August 1, 2012 at 7:59 pm |
    • No Truth, Just Claims

      We don't put him on trial for death, we put him on trial for existing...

      "Not guilty"

      August 1, 2012 at 8:02 pm |
    • Chris

      I don't understand your logic. Are you saying that in an argument about God and death we must presuppose that God does not exist? How is that an argument??

      August 1, 2012 at 8:09 pm |
    • No Truth, Just Claims

      No Chris,

      I am saying an "all loving, all knowing, ever present god that we can have a personal relationship with" could not exist, by definition, given the needless suffering that happens to innocent people every day. Of course the religious "answer" is no one is innocent, not even children or babies (original sin), we a guilty and should be punished for just being human. So much for the "all loving" part...

      August 1, 2012 at 8:20 pm |
    • Andy

      Of course a response that there is no God would not be logical to you. You're not telling us anything new.

      August 1, 2012 at 8:23 pm |
    • IonShift

      Harry Potter exists by that logic... Oh my... *That's* why the church was so afraid of Harry Potter books!

      August 1, 2012 at 8:24 pm |
    • Rick

      There's a great book everyone should read: Bible Myths and Their Parallels in Other Religions. Christianity is not a new religion. It is an amalgamation of previous religions (including paganism). The Gospel of Christ could as easily be called the Gospel of Osiris. The "God" of The Bible destroyed innocent women, children, and animals and ordered the Jews to slaughter their enemies-including women and children. God "allowed" Satan to torment Job as part of a contest between Go and Satan. And we're supposed to believe God is great, God is good, and God loves us (as long as we accept Christ as our saviour-if we don't, we face eternal hellfire for exercising our free will and no matter how well we lived our lives?)

      August 1, 2012 at 8:33 pm |
  8. Loi

    Today I passed thru NJ Turnpike and saw Jesus and Cross images everywhere........ thought it was a liberal state lol

    August 1, 2012 at 7:54 pm |
  9. sean

    Faith is a personal choice. No one can tell you what to believe. Those who choose not believe should just shut-up about it. If you find it impossible to shut-up on this subject, then maybe, try and do some good in the world. Pick-up garbage from your community streets, coach a team, star in a play do anything other then cry about other people chosen beliefs. And if you cant do anything else but complain about religion pick on all the religions the same. MAybe your arguments will be more interesting.

    August 1, 2012 at 7:52 pm |
    • Fluffy the Gerbil of Doom

      Faith is not a choice. It's a gift of the holy spirit. How can a believer know nothing about his system ?

      August 1, 2012 at 7:54 pm |
    • Chris

      Here's the thing – Dan the editor is equvicating two related but slightly different views:

      1. There is no such thing as a deity.
      2. Human belief in religion is harmful.

      Note that these aren't necessarily the same. In theory (and I know many Catholics who ascribe to this theory), you can believe that religion is harmful, but still believe in a god. So it's not that faith is a personal choice that folks are really arguing about; it's that such a belief is harmful.

      August 1, 2012 at 7:55 pm |
    • Voice of Reason

      Hey seany! Why don't YOU shut the f*uck-up?

      August 1, 2012 at 7:55 pm |
    • Snowdog

      Voice of reason: That is exacty the kind of response you receive from an atheist. Swearing and cussing beacuse they are threatened by love.

      August 1, 2012 at 7:59 pm |
    • sean

      bahahahahahahahahahahahahaha – thank God for Americans – gives the rest of us a pretty good laugh. Thank you for your responses to my post. You people if you received an education in America should go back to your high schools and demand a refund or that they should try again.

      August 1, 2012 at 8:03 pm |
    • Voice of Reason

      @Snowdog

      Hey snowy fog! Hugs and kisses back at cha!

      August 1, 2012 at 8:04 pm |
    • cestlavie3

      Fluffy. You are spot on, regardless of whether or not you subscribe to your own words,

      August 1, 2012 at 8:07 pm |
    • No Truth, Just Claims

      Sean,

      If faith is a personal choice how come most people just believe what they are tolf by their parents....doesn't sound like choice but it does sound like indoctrination.

      August 1, 2012 at 8:14 pm |
    • colojoe

      Secularists are becoming more vocal in response to the on-going efforts of the religious right to make their views the law of the land.

      August 1, 2012 at 9:17 pm |
  10. New York City

    Atheists........> Give me a GOOD reason why you don't believe in Jesus Christ or follow his teaching?

    Thanks!

    August 1, 2012 at 7:52 pm |
    • Voice of Reason

      Give me one good reason why?

      August 1, 2012 at 7:52 pm |
    • New York City

      So you haven't read the New Testament haven't you?

      August 1, 2012 at 7:55 pm |
    • Billy

      My two cents is that there are a lot more de facto atheists and agnostics in America than surveys indicate. A lot of people self-identify with the religion they were brought up in but privately question the sense of it. I was raised Catholic and for some reason still feel Catholic, but when I actually contemplate the existence of God and the reliability of the gospel accounts of Jesus' miracles the more I feel like they're probably just legends.

      August 1, 2012 at 7:56 pm |
    • Voice of Reason

      @New York City

      So you haven't read the Theory of Evolution haven't you?

      August 1, 2012 at 7:56 pm |
    • LOL@"WhereWasGod"

      Those would be the same reasons I don't believe in dragons, dracula, the creature from the black lagoon, or any other fictional character.

      August 1, 2012 at 7:59 pm |
    • FarLeft/Tallahassee

      Read my post below yours. 'His' teachings?! His teaching sound remarkably similar to teachings from a number of other purported deities, throughout time, some pre-dating christianity. Maybe those guys were jesus' older brothers? 'His' teachings just echo what is right and good about humanity, and I see it as no reason to jump-on a bandwagon called religion. I'm pretty comfy being good, just for the sake of being good. And if there really IS a god? I think he would agree with me. Though I'm not wasting any time praying for that.

      August 1, 2012 at 8:00 pm |
    • sybaris

      New York it's the same reason why you don't believe in Zeus, Ra or thousands of other gods.

      August 1, 2012 at 8:10 pm |
    • No Truth, Just Claims

      1. Not one piece of his philosophy was original. You would think "god" could teach us one thing that man had not already thought of.

      August 1, 2012 at 8:11 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      There's nothing wrong with following Jesus' teaching – 'love thy neighbor' are truly words to live by.

      But believing he is God. Nope. I'm not buying it.

      August 1, 2012 at 8:11 pm |
    • Greyhound37

      Give me a good reason you don't believe in the great and powerful, invisible, pink unicorn. You can't prove she doesn't exist.

      Same with the Flying Spaghetti Monster. His noodly appendages have touched many lives. I'm guessing you've never read The Gospel of the Flying Spaghetti Monster?

      August 1, 2012 at 8:21 pm |
    • Andy

      The only "proof" is a book written and rewritten years after the fact by camel herders.

      August 1, 2012 at 8:24 pm |
    • IonShift

      Give me *one good reason* why you don't believe that there is a solid gold McDonalds on the dark side of the moon. Done yet? Ok, give me one good reason why you don't believe there is a highly evolved society of talking lizards living deep inside the core of the earth - and they do needlepoint too. If something doesn't exists, you shouldn't be required to do mental gymnastics to summarize a thought that is basically, "Sorry, there is no imaginary friend standing next to me." It's not deep. It couldn't be simpler. There's nothing there.

      August 1, 2012 at 8:30 pm |
  11. FarLeft/Tallahassee

    The world is the 'church' for Atheists. Only the haughty, better-than-thou religions need to show-off their materialism by congregating in 'brick and mortar' buildings to call their own. And their own is exactly what they call them; nobody who doesn't hold-to their faith is allowed. What do we do when someone is sick?! We comfort them. We talk in quite, polite, understanding and sympathetic tones. We hold their hand, we hug them, we sit for endless hours and listen, we let them cry their eyes-out, and then we write on blogs to idiots who believe that their 'faith' is the only true one. And we expect no compensation from a deity, so grace, no return love. We give for the sake of giving, help for the sake of helping.., get the picture? Being good.., just to be good. Novel approach, huh?

    August 1, 2012 at 7:51 pm |
  12. CT Boy

    I cannot wait for a fundamentalist Christian president to declare Christianity as official religion and to poop on non-Christians!

    August 1, 2012 at 7:49 pm |
    • Voice of Reason

      Never going to happen there nut job!

      August 1, 2012 at 7:53 pm |
    • New York City

      You never know. 80% are Christians, 2% Jews and 0.8% Muslims.... majority wins

      August 1, 2012 at 7:56 pm |
    • Voice of Reason

      @New York City

      So big new york, you think we are going to change the 1st amendment and the establishment clause? Get real!

      August 1, 2012 at 7:59 pm |
    • Rick

      Be carefull brother, we must leave the judging to GOD the father.

      August 1, 2012 at 8:02 pm |
    • silmaril

      Which Christianity?

      August 1, 2012 at 10:27 pm |
  13. Jeff Lucas

    why do atheists always get their panties twisted in a knot every time someone mentions the name Jesus? Is it because deep down they know they're wrong to deny the existence of God, and therefore do not want hear the truth and shatter the false images that they serve?
    I dunno. But from now on when one of them spouts off at the mouth I'm gonna cuss them out. I'm sick of their prejudice towards the men and women of faith.

    August 1, 2012 at 7:49 pm |
    • Voice of Reason

      Hey Jeff! Allow me to be the first to cuss at you. F*uck you Jeff! How was that?

      August 1, 2012 at 7:52 pm |
    • Jeff Lucas

      BTW, did I mention, I read minds. I have an opening for you in 10 minutes. Put your dollar bill in the glass, and don't laugh when I come back out dressed as Madame Olga.

      August 1, 2012 at 7:52 pm |
    • FarLeft/Tallahassee

      Cuss me out Jeff, and you may more than you can handle on your hands. I don't take kindly to someone dissing my beliefs. I don't give one-whit for the name Jesus, nor do I condemn it. I have seen no proof of a god. Throw me a bone oh mighty yahweh!! Stop the slaughter in the Congo, halt the bloodshed in the Sudan, calm the Middle-East (now there's a task, and somewhere in that geographic region, if you believe the comic-novel, otherwise known as the bible, are jesus' people, yes?). Care to argue some more?

      August 1, 2012 at 7:55 pm |
    • LOL@"WhereWasGod"

      If Jews don't believe in the trinity, why in the hell would an atheist?

      Do you believe in dragons? Why not?

      August 1, 2012 at 8:01 pm |
    • LOL@"WhereWasGod"

      Jesus was a Puerto Rican carpenter, that was so shotty, they hung him on his last piece of work....

      August 1, 2012 at 8:10 pm |
    • Andy

      Cool. Nothing more entertaining than a vulgar Christian.

      August 1, 2012 at 8:26 pm |
  14. Snowdog

    God is awesome, God is great. He loves all you atheists and weeps for you for your unbelief. I love when an atheists turns into a Christain because they actually research themselves and find that the evidence for God is overwhelming.

    August 1, 2012 at 7:49 pm |
    • No Truth, Just Claims

      "evidence for God is overwhelming."

      You spelled "insufficient" wrong...

      August 1, 2012 at 7:56 pm |
    • IonShift

      Most Atheists know more about christianity, and other religions as well, than christians do. The momentum is actually in the other direction. People are leaving in droves. You don't know it because most Atheists don't "profess" their "beliefs". I translated that for you.

      August 1, 2012 at 8:03 pm |
    • LOL@"WhereWasGod"

      I love it when "believers" deny evolution, but line up for the latest H1N1 vaccine...

      August 1, 2012 at 8:09 pm |
    • Woody

      ".......the evidence for God is overwhelming." – Snowdog

      Please share this overwhelming "evidence" with the rest of the world. No one in history has ever produced ANY evidence that proves the existence of ANY god, not just the particular god that you believe in. You must certainly be the exception. If you, Snowdog, will share this evidence, that will survive all scientific scrutiny, you'll go down in history. You'll be the lead story on every news broadcast in every country in the world. You'll most likely win a Nobel Prize. All the atheists and agnostics, worldwide, will instantly fall on their knees in prayer. You'll be more famous than a rock star. Please share. The entire world awaits your revelation.

      August 1, 2012 at 8:36 pm |
    • silmaril

      Snowdog said:"the evidence for God is overwhelming"

      No it's not. Seeing something you can't explain and asserting god did it is not evidence. So us exactly HOW god did it or actual, physical evidence of his intervention and I might be more impressed. Magic is not and acceptable answer.

      August 1, 2012 at 10:33 pm |
  15. lily

    "The only place to go was really church, and that wasn’t always a welcoming place."

    why would an atheist go to church?

    August 1, 2012 at 7:47 pm |
    • Rick

      Hi Lily,
      We are all GOD's creations wether you believe it or not, he cares for you and love you more then you think. Remember, this life is short but, the next one will be for all iternity. regardles to what happens to us in this life, it is GOD's purpose and that purpose is only known to him but you can be sure of one thing, It will always be for our own good.
      GOD bless you and your family.

      August 1, 2012 at 7:57 pm |
    • LOL@"WhereWasGod"

      Why is it that none of the "believers" can properly spell?

      iternity??? you seriously wrote that?

      August 1, 2012 at 8:12 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      iTernity: the length of time an iPhone takes to find a signal

      August 1, 2012 at 8:17 pm |
  16. IonShift

    You're all athiests. I just believe in one less god than you do.

    August 1, 2012 at 7:46 pm |
  17. Kali

    God loves Atheists too.

    August 1, 2012 at 7:46 pm |
    • Rob

      No he doesn't. According to Jesus all those who do not believe in god shall go to a place of everlasting destruction (John 3:36). This doesn't even count the sadistic words of Paul or John the Revelator. We won't even touch other just as barbaric religions such as Islam and all the hate and death that seeps from the pages of their awful texts.

      August 1, 2012 at 7:55 pm |
    • IonShift

      Rob is an athiest a thousand times over... except for one. Those other religions have books too. You look at those that read those other books and believe in their own fairy tales as blinded, misguided, uneducated and foolish...

      August 1, 2012 at 7:59 pm |
    • IonShift

      Damnit all, I read Rob's reply backwards. Sorry Rob!

      August 1, 2012 at 8:00 pm |
  18. Mary

    How could someone not follow Christ?

    If you don't, then you must agree with killing, murdering, hating, being evil, etc.

    August 1, 2012 at 7:46 pm |
    • IonShift

      Haha... sarcasm is amazing.

      August 1, 2012 at 7:47 pm |
    • Voice of Reason

      You can't be serious, are you?

      August 1, 2012 at 7:48 pm |
    • Martin

      Millions of people or other faiths or no faith don't follow Christ. Ask them all how (you'll be very busy...)

      August 1, 2012 at 7:55 pm |
    • Rob

      Easily. Just as easy as killing all those people I do every morning with my Cheerios. Are you out of your mind?! Is life really that pathetically black and white for you?!

      August 1, 2012 at 7:57 pm |
    • LinCA

      @Mary

      You said, "How could someone not follow Christ?
      If you don't, then you must agree with killing, murdering, hating, being evil, etc.
      "
      Are you telling us that if it not were for your silly beliefs, you'd be a murderer? You'd have no problem stealing? You'd be a horrible individual? What would happen if it was proven beyond a doubt that Jesus didn't exist? Would you suddenly become violent?

      Does the following description sound familiar?
      – Born of a virgin on December 25th in a manger.
      – His birth was announced by a star in the East and attended by three wise men.
      – Was carried out of Egypt as an infant
      – He had twelve disciples
      – Performed miracles such as feeding bread to the multitude and walking on water.
      – He raised a man from the dead.
      – He was known as the Messiah, God's anointed Son, the Son of Man, the good shepherd, the lamb of God, the Word, the Morning – Star, the light of the world.
      – He was "the Fisher," and was associated with the lamb, lion and fish
      – He was crucified, buried in a tomb and resurrected.

      Of course, but I'm sure you knew that already, the above list describes the god Horus.

      But don't let facts get in the way of your little delusion. For the sake of everyone around you, never lose faith. I'm sure we don't want you roaming around as a murdering lunatic.

      August 1, 2012 at 8:23 pm |
    • Andy

      That's pathetic Mary. Maybe you would be a murderer without Christ.

      August 1, 2012 at 8:28 pm |
  19. Chris

    Why is the comparison to church specifically? There are tons of gathering places that people with common interests use. Why isn't the Internet the theme bar of atheism? Or the coffee shop of atheism? Can't CNN's religion editor see people without religion as actually separate from the religious, or does he need to recapitulate the tired old argument that atheism itself is a religion?

    Anyway, there are lots of religions who would reject the idea that a deity played any role in a random act of humanity. This is not necessarily a community of atheists commenting, then, as a group of people who do not see the works of a deity in the actions of man. Judaism, Deism, the more religions forms of Buddhism – these would all share the atheists' view that a deity does not interfere in humans' actions.

    August 1, 2012 at 7:45 pm |
    • IonShift

      It's true. They can't wrap their heads around the fact that Atheists already have full lives that don't include anything resembling a church that they have to invent their own church for them to stick them in and label them like they do with people of every other religion. Once they do that then they can calm down, everything will fit into their misguided worldview–it will all make sense again, and they can continue to cover their ears and hopefully pray loud enough to cover the voices deep inside their head telling them there is no invisible person floating around the room with us and reading our minds.

      August 1, 2012 at 7:55 pm |
    • Martin

      Excellent comment. People obsessed with religion can't help thinking atheists and agnostics are missing something and don't stop to consider how much more they have then folks who are religious.

      August 1, 2012 at 7:57 pm |
    • Martin

      I meant "than" not "then". Blame it on my fingers!

      August 1, 2012 at 7:57 pm |
  20. ?

    Hey atheists...... If someone is sick – how do you pray and comfort them?????????????!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    August 1, 2012 at 7:44 pm |
    • LOL@"WhereWasGod"

      We comfort them, why the heck do you need to pray to comfort a loved one?

      August 1, 2012 at 7:45 pm |
    • Mary

      How do you comfort someone that lost a family member?

      August 1, 2012 at 7:47 pm |
    • IonShift

      Praying to comfort someone lets you off the hook for comforting them yourself. Don't be lazy.

      August 1, 2012 at 7:47 pm |
    • Fluffy the Gerbil of Doom

      I sit with them, and hug them, and be there. I don't read them fairy stories.

      August 1, 2012 at 7:49 pm |
    • Voice of Reason

      First off, praying doesn't do shi*t, proven and secondly I would make sure they had proper medical attention and heavy doses of medication to ease any discomfort. That's humanity not some weirdo supernatural nonsense.

      August 1, 2012 at 7:50 pm |
    • Colin

      If one makes two list'; one of those ailments the various gods will miraculously cure and the other of those they will not, you'll find they coincide exactly with those conditions medical science (or the human body itself) can defeat – such as certain cancers, polio etc. – and those we cannot – such as amputations.

      Why do you think that is?

      August 1, 2012 at 7:54 pm |
    • We use medicine to cure them.

      Why pray for someone if you know medicine's going to do the trick? Just reassure them everything will be okay and they'll feel better. There's a reason we've refined it down to a science.

      SCIENCE WORKS.

      August 1, 2012 at 7:58 pm |
    • No Truth, Just Claims

      I don't pray, its a waste of time,

      I treat them like a friend should, the way your god should but doesn't...

      August 1, 2012 at 7:59 pm |
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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.