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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. Truth

    There is no god. Religion is a form of mental slavery.

    August 2, 2012 at 1:08 am |
    • Hobbit

      What has religion got to do with God?

      August 2, 2012 at 2:25 am |
    • Doug

      For when we cease to worship God, we do not worship nothing, we worship anything.

      August 2, 2012 at 7:44 pm |
  2. Question For Believers

    Does your god believe in a creator? One who created him?

    August 2, 2012 at 1:06 am |
    • † In God We Trust †

      Of course not. The Lord has no creator.

      August 2, 2012 at 1:18 am |
    • Question For Believers

      So.... he's an atheist?

      August 2, 2012 at 1:21 am |
    • Hobbit

      Do physicists believe that the Cosmos had a first cause? Or do they believe it eternal? It is begging the same question.

      August 2, 2012 at 2:27 am |
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    August 2, 2012 at 1:06 am |
  4. dcny

    For all what is happening around you is a matter of permanent design, but before i created you i surmised what you need in order to live and to protect yourself in the universe which i created long before you and I created those objects for your disposal so that you don't look up towards me any more.

    August 2, 2012 at 1:05 am |
  5. Mark

    Those who believe in God do so because they see a miracle around them every day and see an organized plan bigger than Mankind. Those who do not believe in the power of faith have never experienced it, so cannot accept what they have not seen and felt first hand. Evil has always existed, and always will. Sometimes horrible things happen and to some it seems as though God does not care since they are not prevented. Still, to blame God for being absent or deny His existence puts us in a position of judging something far beyond our comprehension. It has become fashionable among college students and faculty to doubt or deny God and replace faith with fact. Faith is what we have when the facts all run out.

    August 2, 2012 at 1:04 am |
    • Truth

      Actually people believe in god because they were convinced to do so by their parents, usually.

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

      When God does things like put down gays, it's because we know he is smart and perfect.

      When God does things like sitting around while people are slaughtered, it's because we can't comprehend him.

      Yep.

      August 2, 2012 at 1:09 am |
    • therealpeace2all

      @Mark

      " Faith is what we have when the facts all run out."

      That is a version of an 'argument from ignorance'... or... a 'god of the gaps' argument.

      Science continues to pursue... and ... find 'new' facts.

      Just because there are some 'gaps' in our understandings and knowledge in certain areas (at this point in time) doesn't *mean* that... God did it.

      It's not necessary to fill those 'gaps' with 'faith' and 'God' just because science hasn't found the answers..."yet."

      Peace...

      August 2, 2012 at 1:12 am |
    • yo yo

      I wish religion and faith were as simple as you put it, but in real life, it's far more complicated than that.

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

    People consider this news ???

    August 2, 2012 at 1:02 am |
  7. Truth

    Imagine there's no heaven
    It's easy if you try
    No hell below us
    Above us only sky
    Imagine all the people living for today

    Imagine there's no countries
    It isn't hard to do
    Nothing to kill or die for
    And no religion too
    Imagine all the people living life in peace

    August 2, 2012 at 1:02 am |
    • Get Real

      If wishes were fishes... he was shot anyway. Better advice would have been for John to get a concealed handgun permit, a bodyguard, or a personal shopper.

      August 2, 2012 at 1:07 am |
  8. Colin

    A few questions should help shed light on the relationship between religion and rational thought.

    The completely absurd theory that all 7,000,000,000 human beings are simultaneously being supervised 24 hours a day, every day of their lives by an immortal, invisible being for the purposes of reward or punishment in the “afterlife” comes from the field of:

    (a) Children’s fairytales;

    (b) Medieval mythology;

    (c) New age pseudo science; or

    (d) Christianity

    I honestly believe that, when I think silent thoughts like, “please god, help me pass my exam tomorrow,” some invisible being is reading my mind and will intervene and alter what would otherwise be the course of history in small ways to help me. I am

    (a) a delusional schizophrenic;

    (b) a naïve child, too young to know that that is silly

    (c) an ignorant farmer from Sudan who never had the benefit of even a fifth grade education; or

    (d) your average Christian

    Millions and millions of Catholics believe that bread and wine turns into the actual flesh and blood of a dead Jew from 2,000 years ago because:

    (a) there are obvious visible changes in the condiments after the Catholic priest does his hocus pocus;

    (b) tests have confirmed a divine presence in the bread and wine;

    (c) now and then their god shows up and confirms this story; or

    (d) their religious convictions tell them to blindly accept this completely fvcking absurd nonsense.

    I believe that an all powerful being, capable of creating the entire cosmos watches me have $ex to make sure I don't do anything "naughty". I am

    (a) A victim of child molestation

    (b) A r.ape victim trying to recover

    (c) A mental patient with paranoid delusions

    (d) A Christian

    You are about 70% likely to believe the entire Universe began less than 10,000 years ago with only one man, one woman and a talking snake if you are a:

    (a) historian;

    (b) geologist;

    (c) NASA astronomer; or

    (d) Christian

    I have convinced myself that gay $ex is a choice and not genetic, but then have no explanation as to why only gay people have ho.mo$exual urges. I am

    (a) A failed psychologist

    (b) A fraudulent geneticist

    (c) A sociologist who never went to college; or

    (d) A Christian with the remarkable ability to ignore inconvenient facts.

    The only discipline known to often cause people to kill others they have never met and/or to commit suicide in its furtherance is:

    (a) Architecture;

    (b) Philosophy;

    (c) Archeology; or

    (d) Religion

    What is it that most differentiates science and all other intellectual disciplines from religion:

    (a) Religion tells people not only what they should believe, but what they must believe under threat of divine retribution, whereas science, economics, medicine etc. has no “sacred cows” in terms of doctrine and go where the evidence leads them;

    (b) Religion can make a statement, such as “there is one god comprised of God the Father, Jesus and the Holy Spirit”, and be totally immune from experimentation and challenge, whereas science can only make factual assertions when supported by considerable evidence;

    (c) Science and the scientific method is universal and consistent all over the World whereas religion is regional and a person’s religious conviction, no matter how deeply held, is clearly nothing more than an accident of birth; or

    (d) All of the above.

    If I am found wandering the streets flagellating myself, wading into a filth river, mutilating my child’s genitals or kneeling down in a church believing that a being is somehow reading my inner thoughts and prayers, I am likely driven by:

    (a) a deep psychiatric issue;

    (b) an irrational fear or phobia;

    (c) a severe mental degeneration caused by years of drug abuse; or

    (d) my religious belief.

    August 2, 2012 at 1:00 am |
    • Tonyn

      Can your concepcion of the possible nature of the divine really be this narrow?

      August 2, 2012 at 1:32 am |
    • Doug

      The greatest act of faith takes place when a man finally decides that he is not God.

      August 2, 2012 at 7:39 pm |
  9. JustThe FactsMaam

    When Dan Gilgoff claims that the Internet is a "church" for atheists I think he is knowingly making one of the (patently false) charges that the uneducated make often in comments on the CNN Belief blog – that atheism is a "faith" or religion. Please don't insult us by name calling. The Internet is certainly a meeting place for atheists, rationalists and skeptics, but so is real life. I am a member of an atheist group on meetup.com, where we use the website primarily to arrange meetings and activities in real life. I am also a member of my local chapter of American Atheists. However, neither the Internet, nor our in-person meetings are our "church". And no church or synagogue that I have ever attended (I was raised Jewish) has anything like the open and intellectual discourse that I have with atheists. Of course the comments in the CNN Belief blog never get past the typical stale arguments (e.g. Without gods we would not be moral, Science can't explain everything, If atheists are wrong, they will be punished) that have been debunked many times (see Hitchens, Harris, Dawkins). There is so much posturing from the religious, and so little actual conversation, that I doubt minds are changed. Blogs like this attract lots of atheists, that's for sure, and I agree with Mr. Gilgoff that even the calm, reasoned posts by atheists are things that we cannot safely say at work, with casual friends, or even our families, and definitely not in church. So call it a Town Hall, a rolling seminar, or a bazaar of ideas, but the Internet is definitely not a church.

    August 2, 2012 at 12:59 am |
    • Get Real

      Mr. Gilgoff's blubbering retraction concerning "The First Internet Church of the Atheists" will be forthcoming. I'm sure it will be an emotionally-moving opine, pretty much transcendental in it's editorial apology.

      Atheists willl be able to use it as a prayer.

      August 2, 2012 at 1:12 am |
  10. JennyTX

    I wonder how many Christians read articles and comments like all these and secretly start to have doubts and wind up becoming secret atheists. I'll bet a lot of them.

    August 2, 2012 at 12:56 am |
    • Standing on my head, trying any way I can to rationalise god's absense

      True. I discovered here that Mother Teresa was an atheist. She said she "dared not name" what she was feeling, but it sure wasn't faith in a god, or Jeebus.

      August 2, 2012 at 1:04 am |
    • BlackCalvinist

      Not many. God makes a Christian....not the person themselves. There's plenty of people who will profess to be Christians, continue to play the role for a while, but the cares of the world and other things will eventually occupy more of their lives and they 'fall away'. There's so much sad in ConstipatedNinja's story, but I've seen it before....people abused by authority figures (religious ones), given false teaching ("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." is NOT found in the bible....in fact, Job is a case study in 'being good doesn't keep bad things from happening to you....') and then having to deal with all the other issues that come with abuse...and walking away from the church. I've also seen people heal from mess like this because they get some solid biblical teaching under them and they get around real Christians who come alongside, grieve with them, befriend them, serve them and work through their problems with them.....

      August 2, 2012 at 1:10 am |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      I don't think anything on an internet forum is going to change a deeply held belief. It just makes people on both sides argumentative.

      A believer trying to answer the question "where was God in Aurora" introspectively for him or herself might find themselves in a crisis of faith – but that's different.

      August 2, 2012 at 1:17 am |
    • Tonyn

      I wonder how many Athiests will mature and realize that they don't know everything? I would wager a great deal of money that most of the professed Athiests who have posted on this thread are under 30...

      August 2, 2012 at 1:39 am |
  11. uato

    Deeply appreciate everyone's contributions to this thread, great reminder that some level of discourse is still possible in a country where either pigging out or kissing at a fast food joint qualifies as political action.

    Just for sake of participating I do believe in a higher power and in a benevolent one as well. Do I understand that being(s)? No way.. Will I float around for eternity singing Enya? No idea. But fortunate to still retain optimism and faith in a better existence after this one.

    August 2, 2012 at 12:55 am |
    • Standing on my head, trying any way I can to rationalise god's absense

      So he question is, "why" ? On what basis have you chosen to abandon reason ?

      August 2, 2012 at 1:06 am |
    • uato

      Qualitatively the naturalistic arguments have merit but at the same time I see no reason not to believe. We're too insignificant and the universe is too vast, strangeness is possible. Who knows, maybe the sun is sentient and links to us with'little nano tendrils, I could care less.

      The fact is that indulging in faith makes me happy, and also inspires generosity to others and that also makes me happy.

      If it's all bunk and I end up worm food the what does it matter as I won't know anyway.

      Thanks for the question as it was thought provoking.

      August 2, 2012 at 1:13 am |
    • Get Real

      @ " Standing on my head, trying any way I can to rationalise god's absense"
      Curious name. One wonders why -you'd- bother, let alone challenge the beliefs of others.

      @ uato
      A fine philosophy. It'll be demeaned by atheists, but no matter.

      August 2, 2012 at 1:17 am |
  12. Styxhexenhammer666

    Hail Satan.

    August 2, 2012 at 12:49 am |
    • uato

      Thanks Kyle, let's go sing the greatest song in the world

      August 2, 2012 at 12:57 am |
  13. Timetraveler

    "Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able? Then he is impotent.

    Is he able, but not willing? Then he is malevolent.

    Is he both able and willing? Whence then is evil?"

    Is he neither able nor willing? Then why call him God?"

    - Epicurus

    August 2, 2012 at 12:44 am |
    • Tonyn

      Epicurius was not an athiest, by the way. He was basically a Diest.

      Not everyone believes in the same narrow god espoused by mainstream Judeo-Christian theologians.

      August 2, 2012 at 12:55 am |
  14. Tyler Warner

    Also believe it or not- despite the claims of muslims, "no religion" is the worlds fastest growing religious movement more than doubling in size since the mid 1990s alone, and its growth rate is actually rising. As for theism, pagans wiccans and Satanists are all growing faster than any other group.

    Hopefully this means in the future gay people or atheists will actually be able to live in "Alabammer" or "Teyacksass" or "missusippeh"

    August 2, 2012 at 12:40 am |
  15. Reality

    Putting the kibosh on religion :

    • There was probably no Abraham i.e. the foundations of Judaism, Christianity and Islam are non-existent.

    • There was probably no Moses i.e the pillars of Judaism, Christianity and Islam have no strength of purpose.

    prob•a•bly
    Adverb: Almost certainly; as far as one knows or can tell.

    • There was no Gabriel i.e. Islam fails as a religion. Christianity partially fails.

    • There was no Easter i.e. Christianity completely fails as a religion.

    • There was no Moroni i.e. Mormonism is nothing more than a business cult.

    • Sacred/revered cows, monkey gods, castes, reincarnations and therefore Hinduism fails as a religion.

    • Fat Buddhas here, skinny Buddhas there, reincarnated Buddhas everywhere makes for a no on Buddhism.

    Added details available upon written request.

    A quick search will put the kibosh on any other groups calling themselves a religion.

    e.g. Taoism

    "The origins of Taoism are unclear. Traditionally, Lao-tzu who lived in the sixth century is regarded as its founder. Its early philosophic foundations and its later beliefs and rituals are two completely different ways of life. Today (1982) Taoism claims 31,286,000 followers.

    Legend says that Lao-tzu was immaculately conceived by a shooting star; carried in his mother's womb for eighty-two years; and born a full grown wise old man. "

    Bottom line: Religion no longer matters, therefore this blog is no longer needed.

    August 2, 2012 at 12:39 am |
    • Doug

      'Putting the kibosh on religion'
      You and you alone just destroyed all religion on the planet with your thread. I'm devastated...oh my goodness.....
      You would think after many centuries someone would have said this and religion would have ended sooner.
      Its ok, your among the millions who said the same thing just to be proven wrong because Jesus love you.
      GOD BLESS YOU !!!
      YOUR FORGIVEN BY THE BLOOD OF JESUS CHRIST!!!

      August 2, 2012 at 7:20 pm |
  16. ben

    This article is absurd. Atheism isn't simply more popular on the internet. It's growing more popular all over the world. Generally speaking though, intelligent, educated, technological savoy people are atheists, and also own computers. Figure it out. LOL

    August 2, 2012 at 12:36 am |
  17. nsam

    Christianity and Islam are among religions which entertain the concept of God. But there are religions like Buddhism where there is no concept of a supreme creator. So there are a lot of people in this world who have religions but do not worship a creator. These people are not atheists or non-believers. They also believe in things but just that God is not one of them. One who think that believing in a concept of God makes a person a believer is a full of ignorance.

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

      Atheists believe in all kinds of things, including moral systems, philosophies, and ideologies, like democracy. You can have a very intricate set of guidelines by which to pilot your life without including the belief in gods.

      August 2, 2012 at 12:59 am |
    • Doug

      The atheist can appeal to nothing absolute, nothing objectively true for all people, it is just mere opinion enforced by might. The Christian appeals to a standard outside himself/herself in which truth and qualitative values can be made sense of.

      August 2, 2012 at 7:35 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @Doug

      You realize that you're making the same case of opinion enforced by might (divine edict from "god") right?

      August 2, 2012 at 7:50 pm |
    • Doug

      @hawaiianguest
      Read it again what I said again. Your not paying attention.

      Mine is not by might at all, but truth and qualitative values can be made sense of.

      Its ok dude. JESUS LOVES YOU !!

      August 2, 2012 at 8:16 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      Let me see if I can clear this up. Why should I take what any "god" says (assuming it even exists) and follow its moral code?

      August 2, 2012 at 8:37 pm |
    • Doug

      There is only 2 prizes you can win when you die.
      The one you want is Eternal life by following God's word. I'm sure you know the other one.

      If what you say is true then when we die nothing happens right? You just go to sleep and never wake up. Seems like you would expect a lot more right? I mean look at the world and the life all around. Does not make sense that all this is for nothing just to die and poof thats it.
      If I am right then all that I say and do will be weighted against me when I die. Heaven for all eternity with no pain, suffering and total joy or the other place.
      So of the 2 of us, which would you say has biggest price to pay at death depending on who is right?
      Many had near death and told others about it, but they felt they was over reacting.
      Our time here is a 1 time deal to get it right. This is pass or fail no make ups and no excuses.
      This is why you should consider at least thinking what I say.

      August 2, 2012 at 9:07 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @Doug

      Pascal's Wager is so boring. Two words refute it.
      False Dichotomy.

      August 2, 2012 at 9:14 pm |
    • Doug

      If it was false it would not have lasted through the centuries.
      If 1 part of the bible is flawed then its all flawed and would not exist today.
      You should read it cover to cover sometime.
      Where u go when you die is your pick.
      I feel so sorry for all of you. Your in a burning house and telling the Christian Firefighter "no its not on fire."

      August 2, 2012 at 9:28 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      Perhaps you don't know what a False Dichotomy is. It's pretty much treating two options as the only ones when there are more than that.

      August 2, 2012 at 9:34 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @Doug

      Also, I've read the bible cover to cover, 3 times now. I don't see what that has to do with anything.

      August 2, 2012 at 9:36 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      @Doug,

      you say: If it was false it would not have lasted through the centuries.

      The notion that death is the end is scary. It should give one pause. All cultures manufacture religions to assuage this fear. Islam has lasted for centuries too. Does this make Islam the correct answer?

      There can only be two logical answers:
      1. All religions are inherently true. We can eliminate this because they clearly contradict each other.
      2. All religions are inherently false.

      I choose the second alternative.

      August 2, 2012 at 9:47 pm |
    • Doug

      Oh my goodness... you just shattered my world.
      Its just amazing that for centuries this has been a known and yet no one has pointed this out on major news so we can end this religion. You would think this would be breaking news around the world...or the universe for that matter. The news loves this kind of thing. You know to put the true light on this matter once and for all.
      Geee....I don't know what to tell God. You think he knows?
      You all need to bring all your data and go live so the world can know and end Christianity once and for all.
      Jesus is on his throne in Heaven next to God shaking his head. He knows the gig is up.
      Well after you die and your kneeling before him make sure you mention this ok?
      Might keep you out of the you know what place. *wink wink*
      You think Satan is in on this too? This could be bigger then even Heaven.
      Don't worry tho, I'll keep praying for you cause need it.
      Stop drinking that Kool-Aid too.
      JESUS LOVES YOU AND SO DO I !!!

      August 2, 2012 at 10:10 pm |
    • Doug

      So what false doctrine what it?
      Here is a link to point them all out. http://www.godandscience.org/apologetics/false.html
      Or you have a new super false doctrine?

      August 2, 2012 at 10:14 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      @Doug,

      I don't mind being 'Captain Obvious' for the sake of a discussion. I appreciate the fact that you are willing to agree with what I said.

      So, why, besides your faith, do you feel you have a monopoly on truth?

      How come you are right and everyone else is wrong?

      August 2, 2012 at 10:21 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      I think that hawiiguest's assertion of a false dicotomy is the notion that:

      – Were there a God, he would see through someone living a 'well-governed' life just in case 'God is real' but without true faith.

      It is the negation of Pascal's wager.

      One either believes, or doesn't. A good life can be lived either way.

      August 2, 2012 at 10:25 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      Must run, catch you later.

      August 2, 2012 at 10:38 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @Doug

      False DICHOTOMY not False Doctrine. My goodness do you even read what other people write? Or do you just make assumptions without bothering to actually know what's being discussed.

      August 2, 2012 at 10:40 pm |
    • Doug

      @hawaiiguest sorry but your argument that God does not exist is so laughable I did not take time to spell check.

      Proof that the Human authors of the Bible were inspired by God
      And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. All scripture [is] given by inspiration of God, and [is] profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works. 2 Timothy 3:15

      It is interesting that one of the most common reasons for trying to deny the authority of the Bible is actually one of the strongest reasons for proving it’s divine inspiration and authenticity. How many times have you heard that the Bible can’t be trusted because it was written by mere men? It’s a common straw man argument that many atheists, agnostics and cults use to try to deny it’s authority and accuracy. But when considering the following facts, it's God-inspired human authorship is actually a strength, not a weakness:

      Collectively it was written over about a 1,500 year period. It had about 40 different authors. Yet in spite of that, the old testament books are in complete harmony with the new testament books. This is quite remarkable when you consider how difficult it would have been for 40+ men to have perpetrated a hoax as complex and wide-spread as the Bible over a 1,500 year period, and the fact that many of the Bible's authors died a martyr's death because of their absolute belief in it's authenticity.

      Numerous scientific facts that modern science didn’t discover until many centuries later appear in the Bible. Given the fact that jets, submarines and other modern technology were in rather short supply during Biblical times, how were mere human authors able to know these things with virtual 100% accuracy? For some examples of this scientific foreknowledge, see:

      http://Creationists.org/foreknowledge.html
      The Old Testament contains about 300 prophecies about the Messiah, Jesus. Just eight of these prophecies were examined in the book Messages from Heaven (See pages 58-61 of the book). The entire book can be read on-line at:

      http://www.eternal-productions.org/PDFS/MFH.pdf#page=67

      They calculated the statistical odds that just these eight prophecies would come true and it turned out to be one in 10,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000. That staggering number is even more amazing when you consider that there were about 290 more prophecies that also came true that they didn’t factor into the equation! It simply would have been impossible for mere men to have prophesied these things or even conspired with others many centuries after they had died to somehow "make" these things happen the way they did. The authors who wrote these prophecies were clearly inspired by God to write what they did. We can be certain that demons did not feed them this information because one test of whether prophecies are from God or from demons is the 100% accuracy test (Deuteronomy 18:22). Satan can get it right sometimes, but not always. The Bible authors had a perfect record.
      There are many prophecies about the last days. It certainly appears that a good number of them are coming true in this generation. The prophecies about Israel are especially stunning. For more information about these prophecies, see the video Countdown to Eternity at this link:

      http://creationists.org/countdown_to_eternity/english.html

      August 2, 2012 at 11:39 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @Doug

      Are you a poe? Seriously, your arguments are hilarious, just as the link you gave. You're the one that decided that I obviously haven't read the bible, probably because I don't agree with you, and you seem not to be able to conceive that people can disagree with you.

      August 3, 2012 at 2:51 pm |
  18. Tyler Warner

    We atheists don't "hold church" online, we merely do what we have since the first primitive apelike humans EVOLVED- point out the truth.

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

      Evolved.. HAHAHAHAHA look around the world and the only thing that has evolved is greed, lust, corruption and so on. So your a little correct, but not on what has evolved. Man's nature is sinful which is why Jesus died for us.

      Think about this.
      Someone once said that if you sat a million monkeys at a million typewriters for a million years, one of them would eventually type out all of Hamlet by chance. But when we find the text of Hamlet, we don't wonder whether it came from chance and monkeys. Why then does the atheist use that incredibly improbable explanation for the universe? Clearly, because it is his only chance of remaining an atheist. At this point we need a psychological explanation of the atheist rather than a logical explanation of the universe.

      August 2, 2012 at 7:48 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @Doug

      Apples and oranges, apples and oranges.

      August 2, 2012 at 7:51 pm |
  19. Doug

    'The atheist can't find God for the same reason that a thief can't find a policeman.'

    Seems to me if God does not exist, why spend so much time and effort trying to proved he does not?
    Haters will hate.

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

      "if bigfoot didn't exist, why would sane people not believe in him..and argue against believing in such foolishness"
      "bigfoot haters!"

      August 2, 2012 at 12:38 am |
    • LOL@"WhereWasGod"

      Why would I need to disprove something in order to NOT believe in it?

      I don't believe in dragons either. Are you saying I have to prove there are no dragons in order to not believe in them?

      At the same time, I'm sure that somewhere out there is a person the DOES believe in dragons......

      Belief does not equal truth. It is simply belief.

      If you want to believe in some mythical sky-fairy..no one is stopping you. If you expect me to NOT think of you as just as silly as the person who believes in dragons, then that is your problem.

      August 2, 2012 at 12:40 am |
    • Codepwned

      It's simple really, here let me show you how silly your argument is.

      "'The atheist can't find The Flying Spaghetti Monster for the same reason that a thief can't find a policeman.'

      Seems to me if Flying Spaghetti Monster does not exist, why spend so much time and effort trying to proved he does not?
      Haters will hate."

      August 2, 2012 at 12:46 am |
    • Keeping It Real

      Doug,

      Believers DO exist, however, with all sorts of fantastical ideas that they want to impose upon us.

      August 2, 2012 at 12:47 am |
    • Cq

      Bigfoot may exist, UFO aliens may exist, and God may exist, but none of the supporters of these things have made a good enough case for me to believe that they do exist. You could pull out Pascal's Wager and try to sway me with how dangerous it is not to believe in God, just in case, but pretty much all the gods had punishments in mind for people who didn't believe in them, and I know that you wouldn't advise believing in all of them, right?

      So, the way I see it, I could make myself neurotic by worrying which of the thousands of gods to believe in just in the off chance that a god lies waiting for me after I die, or I could file it under similar possible threats from other things for which there is no good evidence to support they're actually being real, things like vampires, for example. They could exist, but I'm not going to lose any sleep over it.

      August 2, 2012 at 1:16 am |
    • Get Real

      "Bigfoot may exist, UFO aliens may exist, and God may exist, but none of the supporters of these things have made a good enough case for me to believe that they do exist."

      Holy crap ! It's Pascal in reverse ! Instead of blind faith, you have blind denial ! This is too good – What a dichotomy! Of course we'll need a new name.

      Lacsap's Wager? How about you call it the "Kennel Ration" wager – you know, because "My dog's better than you're dog, my dog's better than yours..."

      August 2, 2012 at 1:46 am |
    • Cq

      Get Real
      Are you claiming to know that Bigfoot and UFO aliens don't exist? Can you provide proof of that claim? 🙂

      Pascal could have just as easily argued that believing in vampires and werewolves was safer than not believing in them only to regret it later, but where do you draw the line. There are hundreds of mythical creatures said to have existed. Couldn't they all potentially, one day, get me in the dark? Believing in all of them wouldn't make a person ever relax, and you would have to assume that no monster was ever make-believe. Same goes for gods, which is why Pascal's Wager fails.

      Getting late, so Good Night!

      August 2, 2012 at 2:08 am |
    • Doug

      Its so AWESOME that your all forgiven no matter what you think and say.
      Redemption for each of you runs out the day you die. Up to that point your forgiven.
      Many atheist have come to the Lord. They read the bible cover to cover and the more they looked around and thought about it the more the realized God is a real.
      The biggest lie ever told was Satan saying "I do not exist".
      JESUS IS FOREVER!!! You need to just humble yourself to him and ask for forgiveness and be honest about it. You will feel something deep inside of you like a cleansing water washing away the years of sins. Will be as if a great weight has been lifted off of you. The feeling is something words can not describe, but try to.
      GOD BLESS YOU ALL...

      August 2, 2012 at 6:58 pm |
  20. SPW

    There are the military atheist and the atheist that simply don't care.

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

      there is no such thing asw a 'military atheist' or even a militant atheist. An atheist doesn't believe in god, that's it. "Militant" on here just means "atheists who are not afraid to express themselves in public". I guess we should all shut up and let the lunatic 'believers' destroy everything.

      August 2, 2012 at 12:59 am |
    • uato

      honey badger atheists?

      August 2, 2012 at 12:59 am |
    • Standing on my head, trying any way I can to rationalise god's absense

      There are lots of atheists in the military.

      August 2, 2012 at 1:10 am |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      @Standing,

      I thought 'there was no such thing as an atheist in a foxhole'. Of course I could be wrong. 😉

      August 2, 2012 at 1:14 am |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.