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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. Bill

    I gotta say that the atheists and agnostics and such here have absolutely no class. Why don't you people shut the hell up and let the folks in Aurora find comfort where they can? I don't know about God. Neither does anyone out there. Follow your beliefs, whatever they may be, and stop putting others down 'cause their beliefs differ from yours.

    August 2, 2012 at 12:27 am |
    • Trollalert

      Thanks, Bill.

      I will inform the internet.

      August 2, 2012 at 12:29 am |
    • Lucifer's Evil Twin™

      No.

      August 2, 2012 at 12:32 am |
    • ArthurP

      OK. They the religions chaps can stop using their religion to legislate my life.

      August 2, 2012 at 12:33 am |
    • Trollalert

      So as long as I say my sports hernia told me to be against abortion we're cool, right?

      August 2, 2012 at 12:39 am |
    • Standing on my head, trying any way I can to rationalise god's absense

      Yup. You have so much class. That's for sure.

      August 2, 2012 at 1:13 am |
  2. Kuta

    Why does every freaking discussion about God - pro or con center around Christianity? Your God is way too small.

    August 2, 2012 at 12:25 am |
    • Trollalert

      You mean height-wise or what?

      August 2, 2012 at 12:27 am |
    • ArthurP

      Well if I was made in his image that makes him about 5'2".

      August 2, 2012 at 12:31 am |
    • Trollalert

      OK, so Andre the Giant's god is who we are looking for?

      August 2, 2012 at 12:44 am |
    • Standing on my head, trying any way I can to rationalise god's absense

      Well, he was big enough to get Mary preggers.

      August 2, 2012 at 1:14 am |
  3. Blue

    The absence of evidence is not the evidence of absence...

    August 2, 2012 at 12:24 am |
    • Timetraveler

      That which can be asserted without evidence can be dismissed without evidence.

      August 2, 2012 at 12:27 am |
    • No Truth, Just Claims

      Blue,

      It is when you would expect to find evidence...but you don't.

      August 2, 2012 at 12:33 am |
    • Tim

      Absolutely true, but if you're trying to make laws that everyone has to follow, regardless of what faith they are, you better have some evidence to back it up and not just faith

      August 2, 2012 at 12:35 am |
    • Cq

      Believers have a case to make, that God is real, but without evidence it is an easily disregarded case. Why should nonbelievers be charged with the task of making the believer's case for them? Where else in the real world is that expected?

      August 2, 2012 at 12:41 am |
    • Blue

      In the case of Christians, the only place they derive belief is from trusting their ancestors who claim to have witnessed God first hand. I am not a Christian, but there's nothing particularly driving me that way. Christians who trust their ancestors back to the time their God walked the Earth are condemned constantly under the notion of the Church "creating a masterful money/power controlling scheme." These condemnations are made without any evidence. And Christians believe that their ancestors did all they could at the time to preserve evidence of God: they wrote it down; they couldn't quite catch it on camera at the time. Christians are condemned constantly for trusting others. Condemned without evidence. Again, I am not a Christian, but I am embarassed at how often the comment section here calls Christianity "ridiculous."

      August 2, 2012 at 12:54 am |
    • No Truth, Just Claims

      Blue,

      I was a Christian for 40 years, the reason I am not anymore is because the answers to my honest questions were illogical and when I pushed for better answers I was told you "just have to believe", that is ridiculous.

      August 2, 2012 at 1:07 am |
    • Blue

      I was a Christian for 24 years. When confronted with something, I was never told that I "just had to believe." You're right, what you were told is ridiculous. I was told that our basis for believing in God was rooted in our priest having been ordained by a different priest and so-on all the way back to the apostles. And yes, there's plenty of History Channel specials and articles on the crooked lineage of priests and Church, but none of it concrete enough to completely condemn the trust that Christians put in their lineage back to Apostle Whoever. I cannot tell you why I don't trust the lineage...it's a feeling...there's no way to write out evidence as to why I should/shouldn't trust the Church (without speculation). And as such, I cannot condemn my family for believing what they do. I cannot call it ridiculous.

      August 2, 2012 at 1:18 am |
    • 0G-No gods, ghosts, goblins or ghouls

      So Blue, what was so special thousands of years ago that some god saw fit to make their presence known? What is it about the last 2,000 years that prevents the same god(s) from making thei presence known now? Why should we not demand evidence for any god(s) when we do not accept the same lack of evidence in any other domain?

      Your post was nothing more than an appeal to maintain the status quo – to believe because most people have always believed. I don't think there could be worse reason to believe – in any domain.

      August 2, 2012 at 1:20 am |
    • Blue

      My family doesn't claim to understand how God works...why God comes or doesn't come...all I said is that they believe in God because they trust their ancestors. I didn't say they were jumping on the bandwagon because everyone is doing it. You put those words into my mouth. It is a poor practice in such discussion and does not allow for proper logic flow.

      August 2, 2012 at 1:30 am |
    • 0G-No gods, ghosts, goblins or ghouls

      There is no logical reason to believe in any god. If you applied logic, you would conclude that there is no factual, verifiable, independent or objective evidence for any god and given the thousands of years and millions of people that have been searching for same, the probability of there being any god is very low – virtually zero.

      August 2, 2012 at 1:41 am |
  4. CharlieW

    Anyone who would ask "Where was God in Aurora", just doesn't understand their creator. Not because they're not capable of understanding him, but they won't take the time and effort to search for him. They make a half-hearted effort or none at all and then declare themselves atheists or agnostics. Just because a personal experience does not turn up evidence of God, doesn't mean he does not exist. I have met numerous demons, a couple of angels, a few earth-bound spirits of dead humans and I met JC one time. God was and still is in Aurora. The question you should be asking yourself is why did he not intervene? And no it’s not because he’s a wrathful God and he’s mad at the people in Aurora or America. There is not enough space to give forth a valid argument here, but if you really want to understand the answer to the question, you will find it. It’s root lies in the fact that God will not normally interfere in the free will of an individual. A person is free to be good to someone or bad to someone, even kill them if that’s what he desires. He is free to choose a path to the Kingdom of Light or the Kingdom of Darkness. The understanding of why God will not interfere in free will is there for anyone who is willing to seek God until his / her questions are answered and they are brought into an area of understanding which will bring “that peace that passes all understanding”.

    August 2, 2012 at 12:20 am |
    • Observer

      "It’s root lies in the fact that God will not normally interfere in the free will of an individual.'

      So praying for things is a waste of time.

      Well done.

      August 2, 2012 at 12:23 am |
    • Damocles

      First off, I'd love to see the pictures/videos of these demons/angels/spirits that I'm sure you have as evidence. I mean, you make it sound like you took these guys out to lunch, maybe to a chick-fil-a..... hmmmm.... anyways the question I'm asking is how fast can they convict the actual living, breathing person that did this and make sure he is no longer a threat.

      August 2, 2012 at 12:29 am |
    • ArthurP

      You do realize that you contradict yourself in the above diatribe in regards to your statements about free will.

      August 2, 2012 at 12:29 am |
  5. 1amazed2u

    Pity for the unbeliever. Gnashing of the teeth.

    August 2, 2012 at 12:19 am |
    • Major Tom

      "Suppose we're worshiping the wrong god. Then every time we go to church we're just making him madder".

      - Homer Simpson

      August 2, 2012 at 12:24 am |
    • ArthurP

      Or how about the episode where Lisa is Joan of Ark and God is called to testify and both the French and English ask him bluntly who's side he was really on as he had told them both he was on their side.

      August 2, 2012 at 12:36 am |
    • Standing on my head, trying any way I can to rationalise god's absense

      There is help for you. See your dentist.

      August 2, 2012 at 1:15 am |
  6. Cindy

    Atheists are logical, analytical types. We don't have faith because we need things proven to us. There is not one shred of proof anywhere of any sky fairy. We are intelligent and spend our time asking "does this make sense?" If religious types had half a brain they would be asking themselves that every day. They don't though because they've been brainwashed. They are scared and they need someone or something to blame things on because their little minds can't fathom that sometimes there just aren't easy answers. Get over it. You are never going to have all the answers, but I do know that there is no sky fairy. I spent three years day in and day out thinking about why I believed what I was brought up to believe and what I came out with is that there is no sky fairy – stuff just happens. And that is it.

    August 2, 2012 at 12:19 am |
    • Trollalert

      Ahhh - the very center of the "aetheist troll" - "We are smarter than you!"

      Are not!

      Am too!

      August 2, 2012 at 12:25 am |
  7. Red

    We can see here that a lot of people are always afraid of what they don't know...it provokes shallow apologetics, like leaning on the Bible...and it equally provokes cowardly defenses, like calling other religions "ridiculous."

    August 2, 2012 at 12:17 am |
  8. Cindy

    You would think that 2,000 years later, 2012, and people are still believing in fairy tales. When are people going to grow up and realize that life here on this planet is dependent upon what WE do to help each other have good lives. But of course no one wants to take responsibility for this so they invent the sky fairy. This is is as good as it gets folks...time to get your head out of the clouds and start taking responsibility for your life, your mistakes and your achievements. Time to give doctors recognition when they fix our bodies and save our lives – through many, many years of hard work and studying – not because some sky fairy thinks you may be worth saving. If I hear one more person around me say "someone was looking out for you" I'm going to let them have it. Gee, what about all the other poor souls who no one looked after? It sounds so ridiculous to me now that I have a hard time not laughing in the faces of friends and family when they say stupid stuff like that. They sound like little kids waiting for Santa.

    August 2, 2012 at 12:12 am |
    • Kuta

      Absolutely! Grow up and accept that everything spontaneously created itself and all laws. Our universe is luckier than Lucky Charms. Everything was an incredible unfolding accident since then. Nothing special. We just happen to be one of a gazillion multiuniverses where everything is possible. Nothing created that either, move along already people!!

      August 2, 2012 at 12:19 am |
    • Trollalert

      Cindy, your plan to change the world by "laughing in the faces of friends and family" seems like a winner.

      August 2, 2012 at 12:23 am |
    • Cindy

      OH, and then who created this mighty god than no one has ever seen, talked to or anything else? chicken or egg. We can see the planets and stars. We can't see a god anywhere.

      August 2, 2012 at 12:26 am |
    • Trollalert

      Got it. So no one can see the moon landing site so it didn't happen - right?

      August 2, 2012 at 12:34 am |
  9. Trollalert

    I would aproximate 50-60% of the "believers" and "atheists" in this forum are actually of the same religion: "Internet Trolls"

    August 2, 2012 at 12:12 am |
    • Timetraveler

      The correct name is the "Trolls of the Internets". Do your research man.

      August 2, 2012 at 12:16 am |
    • Trollalert

      Curses wikipedia!

      August 2, 2012 at 12:32 am |
  10. I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

    @alterink,

    You say: So why are you trying so hard to prove there is no God?

    Who is trying to prove anything? There is only belief and non-belief, there is no proof either way.

    August 2, 2012 at 12:05 am |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      Ooops – posted in the wrong spot – see below.

      August 2, 2012 at 12:06 am |
    • ArthurP

      See the Devil made you do that.

      August 2, 2012 at 12:14 am |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      Yup, the devil stayed my hand when I needed to move the mouse to hit the reply button.

      August 2, 2012 at 12:18 am |
  11. atheist lover

    Check this out, Holmes is an atheist !! if he knew or believed in god he would not done that he is also very ill n god is so forgiving he will forgive him ,What your not seeing u atheist! is god is in you and your kids and every where ,the earth is chuck full of heaven ,u just need to open your eyes n heart most of you atheist at one time knew god loved god and somthing bad happen in your life and now you blam god for your own misunderstanding your EGOs have taken over your thought process and E.G.O. stands for you EDGED GOD OUT ,when you understand god u will get why he lets bad things happen those people who were killed ,actually bring and have brought the country maybe part of the entire world closer to god in prayer and thanksgiving YES closer to him in many ways,every one will be in the same place one day ,except the atheist they, like the bible says in the parable of the WHEAT N THE WEEDS will be seperated in the end and thrown in the lake of fire then u will wished u believed,EXAMPLE..every time i see a very ill health person phically or a deformed child i thank god for my good health n my healthy kids thats what he wants,i luv u atheists u help me bring god to all make peace with your selves and god !!and you wont be spreaden hate n evil n puke..n shooten people!!

    August 2, 2012 at 12:04 am |
    • Eric

      Hitler was a Catholic.

      August 2, 2012 at 12:11 am |
    • ArthurP

      Anders Behring Breivik – killed 77 wounded 242 was a devout Christian.

      August 2, 2012 at 12:12 am |
    • Cindy

      Articles I read said he spent a great deal of time in church and that it was obvious he had a mental disorder. Look at Hitler. He loved religion and look where that got 9 million people! Oh yeah, and where was the sky fairy then?

      August 2, 2012 at 12:13 am |
    • James

      @atheist lover I'm on to you, dude. You're an atheist pretending to be a Christian to show everyone how crazy Christians are. Good one! You nailed the crazy.

      August 2, 2012 at 12:14 am |
    • Damocles

      So the gist of your post is:

      My deity sometimes needs to use loving scare tactics to keep people on the straight and narrow. If it has to resort to killing 12 people so that 2 more might pray a little harder, its all worth it.

      August 2, 2012 at 12:14 am |
    • ArthurP

      @Damocles:

      You get a gold star and may now sit at the head of the class.

      August 2, 2012 at 12:16 am |
    • Heath

      Atheist lover: Did you ever go to school? Judging by your writing I'm guessing not. If you exercised your mind once in a while you would 1) be a coherent, if not talented, writer, and 2) be able to distinguish reality from fairy tales and so stop parroting the ludicrous propaganda your parents drummed into your head when you were young and gullible.

      August 2, 2012 at 12:16 am |
    • Lucifer's Evil Twin™

      You sound retarded. I'm glad I'm an atheist so that I don't have to hang out with you.

      August 2, 2012 at 12:18 am |
    • Damocles

      @ArthurP

      Ooooo gold star! Yes!!!! And head of the class too?? Awesome!

      August 2, 2012 at 12:22 am |
  12. Jack

    Good evening folks. Everyone is invited to visit – thestarofkaduri.com

    August 2, 2012 at 12:04 am |
  13. zar

    With all that is going on in this world....this topic seems....ummm....strange. The creator of the universe did not intend for the violent, depraved behavior that is present in today's society. We have video's of people having se-x with children, one deeply violent slasher film after the other, video games focused on killing, tv shows all about dead bodies and crime scenes...???????????? He gave us a free will....He was present in Aurora as He is present in Syria.....and He was present for World War ll.....all of heaven is watching

    August 2, 2012 at 12:01 am |
    • Ken Margo

      So If G-od is watching all this happen and not doing anything about it. Why do people worship him?

      August 2, 2012 at 12:03 am |
    • Observer

      "He was present in Aurora"

      58 wounded.
      12 dead.

      Shame on him.

      August 2, 2012 at 12:04 am |
    • Timetraveler

      "The creator of the universe did not intend for the violent, depraved behavior..." 🙂 😀

      LMAO!!! You've never read the Bible, have you? Go read it sometime – the whole thing, not the watered down Sunday school stuff. Then come and tell me "the creator of the universe did not intend for the violent, depraved behavior". LOL!!!!! 🙂

      August 2, 2012 at 12:06 am |
    • Observer

      "The creator of the universe did not intend for the violent, depraved behavior that is present in today's society'

      Poor planning. So much for perfection.

      August 2, 2012 at 12:09 am |
    • ArthurP

      "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 2, 2012 at 12:09 am |
    • Lucifer's Evil Twin™

      Keep telling yourself, "I'm not crazy, I'm not crazy"

      August 2, 2012 at 12:10 am |
    • Cq

      Didn't God supposedly give the angels free will first, only to have them rebel? Why would he think that it would be different the second time around?

      August 2, 2012 at 12:16 am |
    • Heath

      If your God is present in all of these tragic places, tell him to go home.

      August 2, 2012 at 12:19 am |
  14. ArthurP

    Note to all the 'True Christians' on here that are condemning the secular folk for their point of view – Matthew 7:1-5

    “Judge not, that you be not judged. For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and with the measure you use it will be measured to you.

    August 2, 2012 at 12:01 am |
    • PRISM 1234

      Speaking the truth about someone's con/dition and admonishing them and warning them about the consequences thereof, is not judging. Christians whose faith has been watered down by christian humanism-liberalism theologies can not see the difference between judging and condemning.
      Condemning is when one passes a harsh sentence on someone, which we are not to do, because God is the judge. But we are to warn them of the judgment of God that is waiting for them in eternity, if they remain in their rebellion, and don't turn to God. That's what needs to be understood by who count themselves to be Christians.

      August 2, 2012 at 12:22 am |
    • ArthurP

      You are changing the meaning of Gods words that Mathew's transcribed: Remember-

      Proverbs 30:5-6 “Every word of God is pure; he is a shield to those who put their trust in Him. Do not add to His words, lest He rebuke you, and you be found a liar.”

      August 2, 2012 at 12:43 am |
    • Cq

      PRISM 1234
      When some Christians automatically assume that nonChristians are without morals, or even that they deserve eternal punishment for the "wrong" choice of not accepting Jesus, that is a negative judgment upon our character, right? It certainly is not a positive judgment, nor is it even a neutral one, like saying Christians go to heaven, but we don't know what happens to everyone else.

      You see your beliefs as "truth", but wouldn't a racist also see his opinions as the "truth"?

      A "harsh sentence" like forbidding people the right to marry, for instance?

      August 2, 2012 at 12:50 am |
    • PRISM 1234

      @Arthur,
      No, I'm not adding or changing God's word. But those like you water it down and lower it's standards by changing it to suit their agendas.
      The Word of God is objective, NOT subjective. If speaking the truth of it is "judging", then I am in good company. So did the saints and prophets of old!
      You don't seem to understandr that where God has clearly made His truth and will known, believers should judge between truth and error, not only "standing" for what is right, but "withstanding" what is wrong.
      Be careful taht you don't find yourself in the wrong camp!

      August 2, 2012 at 11:22 am |
    • PRISM 1234

      Cq, if you have a problem with things I said here and in other posts I wrote to you, it is God and His word you have problem with.
      I don't judge you by condemning you, but tell you that the Word fo God has already judged you, because you oppose Him. I care about your soul, and do tot want you or anyone, no matter how hateful and spiteful they are to end up in that place of the damned called Hell. It's not a fictional place, Cq, I know is not. God is sending you people to warn you,,,, You say you don't believe in God, but as I said before to you, you have been given the same as every other human being: which is the witness of God imprinted on your conscience. But because you have denied the voice of your conscience, you have become dead toward God. Now satan has built a "fortress' in your mind, and blinded you to the truth. Nevertheless, you will have no excuse before Him.
      Look,friend, I know where you are, I've been where you are at some point in my life, I may not have been like you to degree as where you are, but I've rebelled against God and went my own way! But it didn't take but few sobering happenings God allowed tin my life, and it set me straight! God is merciful. But so long you allow Self to be your god, you will be separated from the only hope you and I have, Lord Jesus Christ. And what's obvious to me, its that your Self is your barrier.... But consider these words of Christ :What shall it profit a man if he gains the whole world but loses his own soul...for what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?" Our lives ar but a passing breath, but eternity is forever!

      Now, tell me, how do you say that what I told you here is "judging" you?

      August 2, 2012 at 11:59 am |
    • Cq

      PRISM 1234
      You are judging me just as much as a conservative and liberals may judge each other's characters. Within your belief system, people like me have to be seen as less moral and worthy than your fellow believers. That's elitism, sin't it? What's more, some Christians teach their children not to trust atheists, and to consider them bad people. That's prejudice, isn't it? I prefer to judge people on an individual basis. I know plenty of pretty nice Christians, but not all of them are great people just because they are Christian. If your mode of thinking forces you to assume that everyone who professes being a fellow Christian is automatically more moral and worthy than anyone who is atheist, or of a different faith, then I question your logic.

      August 2, 2012 at 1:15 pm |
    • PRISM 1234

      Cq, you're here often, so I can't imagine that it has escaped you to see my posts about so much of today's Christianity being blinded and following wolves in shepherd's clothing, because they have taken their eyes of the true Shepherd. In the same way you should know that I never claimed that all the unbelievers are immoral people, andf all doing evil things. I went in details about this subject with you, so I do think you must have short memory.....or is it maybe just selective memory, becaue you don't want admit certain things to yourself?
      But one thing I have to say I've learned, and it is that when people are set in their ways, and have made their own agendas to be god to them, they are beyond reach... In this may lay the reason why God allows tragedies into human lives. Because people are most humble when they are broken and vulnerable. That's when God can speak to them....but many even then won't listen! That's how God sifts human hearts. He is the LORD!

      August 2, 2012 at 2:09 pm |
  15. Tonyn

    Why do athiests feel compelled to proselytize so vehemently? Would your arguments be as vigorous if the discussion were about whether the earth was flat? Of course not. No one gets on the rooftop to shout that the moon is NOT made of green cheese. There is no "Non-Flat Earth Society". You are so animated because you are defending your belief...your religion...your FAITH...and athiesm is a faith, because it is impossible to disprove the existence of god...whether he exists or not...

    August 1, 2012 at 11:55 pm |
    • Timetraveler

      Our arguments were vigorous about whether the earth was flat. That's why you no longer believe the earth is flat. If it weren't for us, you would have happily gone on believing the earth was flat, and burning anyone who said it wasn't.

      August 2, 2012 at 12:00 am |
    • Damocles

      I would not argue the actual belief that the earth was flat because you can't argue what people believe in. What I would argue is if that belief is being used to hinder progress such as exploration or trade or whatever. Same thing with the cheesy moon... you can believe its made of cheese all day long, but when you try to compel others to believe or stifle exploration, then it becomes a problem.

      August 2, 2012 at 12:02 am |
    • Ken Margo

      @Tonyn We can prove the world is round. We can prove the moon is not made of cheese. You CAN'T prove G-od exists.

      August 2, 2012 at 12:06 am |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      @Tonyn,

      the proselytizing of atheists is but a pale reflection of the proselytizing of the religionists.

      It is a natural reaction. Think Newton's third law – for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction.

      August 2, 2012 at 12:12 am |
    • Jay

      Why we announce our theological belief (not faith, because faith is belief despite evidence to the contrary) so vehemently is because the atheist has had to endure many encounters with proselytizers proclaiming absolute authority about something in which we have no clue, but more importantly, neither do they. Thereby condemning people to an imaginary place of torment and damnation.

      August 2, 2012 at 12:12 am |
    • No Truth, Just Claims

      But the Christian god by definition is as absurd as Thor or Zues and is almost certain not to exist.

      August 2, 2012 at 12:15 am |
    • Tonyn

      There is a big difference between not liking it when a "religious fundamentalist" tries to impose his dogma upon you and becoming a "fundamentalist" youself in relation to your own beliefs. Athiests are largely intolerant conservative fundamentalists in regards to their own religion. Read through these posts and see how often the words "stupid" or "moron" or some other derogatory term is hurled at anyone who has the temerity to disagree with their supra-mundane knowledge of the Cosmos...and how is this supra-mundane knowledgedge aquired? You gessed it...FAITH...because it is impossibe to prove that there is no god...whether he exits or not...

      August 2, 2012 at 12:19 am |
    • Cq

      We don't need to prove that God doesn't exist. By looking at the available evidence and your arguments for why you think God exists we know that you haven't made your case. So, all we have to do is reject your claim. Simple.

      August 2, 2012 at 12:25 am |
    • clean5150

      Atheism is NOT a faith, in fact, it's a non-faith; a rejection of a belief and any gods or deities.

      August 2, 2012 at 12:25 am |
    • No Truth, Just Claims

      Tonyn

      Most comments are civil. There are name callers on both sides. I have tried to honestly answer and most would be happy to have a decent discussion.

      August 2, 2012 at 12:28 am |
  16. Lost then Found

    For many years I felt like my life was empty. I needed something. I was hungry. Then I found the Great FSM. He satisfied that hunger in me. I have found Him fulfilling. Especially after two or three helpings of Communion, with that scrumptious sauce. Mmmmmm.....MMMM. I BELIEVE!!!

    August 1, 2012 at 11:51 pm |
    • No Truth, Just Claims

      He boiled for our sins!

      August 1, 2012 at 11:54 pm |
    • therealpeace2all

      @Lost then Found

      I was also worshiping the FSM quite regularly and found that my 'blood sugar' levels were going ^

      Had to cut down on 'worship time' ! 😀

      Peace...

      August 1, 2012 at 11:57 pm |
  17. bobowen

    in the beginning God created.........yup, even atheists...though they kicked and screamed in utter disbelief.

    August 1, 2012 at 11:48 pm |
    • Damocles

      Actually, in the beginning, my mom and dad created me but I won't deny that I came into this world kicking and screaming.

      August 1, 2012 at 11:50 pm |
    • therealpeace2all

      @bobowen

      LOL... That's actually funny !! 😀

      Peace...

      August 1, 2012 at 11:50 pm |
    • ArthurP

      No if you read your Bible He you will see that created Adam and Eve who coupled with Free Will created intelligent secular humans.

      August 1, 2012 at 11:51 pm |
    • ArthurP

      Actually Adam and Eve are just part of an ongoing chemical reaction the started on our planet a few billion years ago.

      August 1, 2012 at 11:52 pm |
    • Lucifer's Evil Twin™

      Funny. Stupid. But funny.

      August 1, 2012 at 11:53 pm |
  18. Lucifer's Evil Twin™

    The problem with heaven...Full of Christians

    The problem with hell... Full of "good" Christians. So either way...it will suck.

    August 1, 2012 at 11:42 pm |
    • mickey1313

      I prefer the norse version of hell, you sit in the dark and feast, until the sun comes up and the warriors of heaven slaughter you. The you wake back up and feast more, then get slaughtered. much more entertaining for both sides then the christian concept of hevan and hel.

      August 2, 2012 at 12:06 am |
  19. kelvoir

    Religion speaks of Evil and Good, God and the Devil. The power of the Devil surpassed God's. THUS PEOPLE WERE MASSACRED, such a hard concept to grasp?!

    August 1, 2012 at 11:42 pm |
    • Observer

      kelvoir,

      So are you complaining that God created the Devil and now is helpless to stop him?

      August 1, 2012 at 11:44 pm |
    • Lucifer's Evil Twin™

      Or... a mentally ill man committed a horrible act and innocent people suffered. The law will now provide some measure of justice... End of story. Your god did nothing before, during, or after.

      August 1, 2012 at 11:49 pm |
    • kelvoir

      No, I am not complaining that God created the devil etc etc....I am explaining to people of how such an awful event could happen based on a religious point of view. This point of view is forged from what I have witnessed and heard...but I have not closely followed or studied religion in a church, myself.

      August 1, 2012 at 11:54 pm |
    • Thomas

      Man created the "devil" so that he/she could avoid taking responsibility for the horrible things they do.

      August 1, 2012 at 11:58 pm |
    • Thomas

      "The devil made me do it" YEAH....RIGHT.

      August 1, 2012 at 11:59 pm |
    • therealpeace2all

      @kelvoir

      " This point of view is forged from what I have *witnessed* "

      So... you've *witnessed* the Devil, etc...? Did I misunderstand you ?

      Peace...

      August 2, 2012 at 12:00 am |
  20. alterink

    I've never seen so many people try to disprove something they don't beleive in. Why make all the effort? If you don't beleive so be it what does it matter to you if I do? Why should the non-beleiver care what I beleive in, they're not concerned for my after life because to them I have none. So why are you trying so hard to prove there is no God?

    August 1, 2012 at 11:37 pm |
    • Observer

      alterink,

      It wouldn't matter at all if believers kept their religion in their homes and places of worship, but that's not the case. Far too many use their religion to deny equal rights or force their hypocritical beliefs on others.

      August 1, 2012 at 11:41 pm |
    • No Truth, Just Claims

      You are right, religious belief has NO effect on the rest of us

      August 1, 2012 at 11:45 pm |
    • steve

      alterink, you've never been part of any scientific endeavor. we constantly try to disprove things. all day. this is how we learn. nice try, though.

      August 1, 2012 at 11:46 pm |
    • ArthurP

      Not only that but they use there power to stifle our children's science education so that when the graduate they are only equipped to be low paying workers in service industries. Which will cause all the high paying jobs,industries and investment capital to move to enlightened countries like Canada where they are actually allowed to teach real science etc..

      August 1, 2012 at 11:48 pm |
    • BK

      Because some of us have been beaten down, threatened, lost our jobs, or otherwise persecuted simply for not believing. When we are allowed to live our lives without being chased about, we will gladly shut up.

      I myself have been threatened with death by my step-dad for refusing to say that I loved Jesus, and when I called the police and even when he admitted what he had said, they refused to press charges. That is the kind of things Atheists regularly go through in this country; they are mistreated and have no outlet to defend themselves.

      So what would you expect us to do? Sit silently while ignorant people propagate a wicked, violent religion? I think not.

      August 1, 2012 at 11:50 pm |
    • therealpeace2all

      @BK

      " I myself have been threatened with *death* by my step-dad for refusing to say that I loved Jesus, and when I called the police and even when he admitted what he had said, they refused to press charges. " 😯

      Holy sh!t ?!?!?!?!?

      Peace...

      August 1, 2012 at 11:53 pm |
    • PRISM 1234

      @ alterink
      . So why are they trying so hard to prove there is no God?
      Because deep down in their souls they are restless. Although they have rejected the voices of their consciences on which was , according to the Scriptures, was imprinted the knowledge that there is God, their souls KNOW that there is God. And because satan is their lord and has spun his web around them, they ar doing what he wants them to do. Every time Jesus encountered daemoniacs, they cried out, convulsed displaying demonic possession, but none of them remained neutral at His presence. So if we see what we're seeing here and on blogs like this one, it is because those who are in grip of satan have no rest in their souls, and although they don't understand why they are so filled with anger and malice, it is because they are doing the work of their father, who is the devil. This is not to say that every unbeliever who comes here and disagrees with believers has satan as his father. But the mockers and blasphemers and those who repeatedly reject the truth, are fo their father , the devil . There is only one sin that is unforgivable: and it is the sins against the Holy Spirit of God. When He testifies who Jesus Christ is, and person rejects His testimony, there is no salvation for this person. And I fear that many have crossed this line!

      August 1, 2012 at 11:58 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      @alterink,

      You say: So why are you trying so hard to prove there is no God?

      Who is trying to prove anything? There is only belief and non-belief, there is no proof either way

      (reposted from above)

      August 2, 2012 at 12:05 am |
    • ArthurP

      No it is just because deep down we hate hypocrisy and refuse to bended knee to an admitted mass murdering terrorist who's story was plagiarized by a bunch of bronze age priests.

      That and we are trying to free people of the slavery that is caused by living in fear that is religion.

      August 2, 2012 at 12:07 am |
    • mickey1313

      it is not the disbelievers that need to prove anything, it is the foolish believers that do. And the reason atheists are adiment about it, is because the evil christian groups get to be tax free while spewing there hate. If you want to loby the government you should be paying taxes like everything else. And I have never heard of an atheist starting a fight over the agrument, I have been personally atacked by christians for airing my beliefs. Incidently, it has never gone well for the christian antaginizers.

      August 2, 2012 at 12:11 am |
    • Eric

      Because you insist on your mythology being legitimized through legislation, and evangelized through public education.

      August 2, 2012 at 12:14 am |
    • kenb

      How about a few million people killed in wars because they have no or different gods?

      August 2, 2012 at 12:20 am |
    • No Truth, Just Claims

      We are spreading the good news that the violent, misogynistic, genocidal god of the bible is complete fiction.

      August 2, 2012 at 12:22 am |
    • Kuta

      So many atheists are just as dogmatic as xtians. They're just as sure God doesn't exist as xtians are sure a xtian God exists. Maybe you're both like parmecium trying to appreciate nuclear fission. Maybe God has as little to do with xtianity. Maybe, because I'm an agnostic. The most honest of the bunch by admitting I just don't fuggin know.

      August 2, 2012 at 12:23 am |
    • Cq

      No effort needed. People have stopped believing in 99.99% of all the gods that were ever created. Now, more and more people are realizing just how much God has in common with all these past gods. They look at the evidence, and believer's arguments for why it's a good idea to believe in him, and aren't convinced. Nobody had to "prove" that Zeus, or Thor weren't actually real. People just realized it, and they're realizing it about God too.

      August 2, 2012 at 12:34 am |
    • 0G-No gods, ghosts, goblins or ghouls

      Atheists spent very little if any time trying to prove gods do not exist 'cause we understand "you can't prove a negative."

      We do spend an inordinate amount of time challenging believers to back up their unfounded assertions and then shredding their silly claims of proof, repeti!tively, 'cause they have no proof!

      If believers would be honest and simply admit that there is a high probability that there are no gods, not even just one, then much of the debate would cease, and believers would have taken the first step towards curing their mental illness.

      August 2, 2012 at 1:34 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.