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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. Epidi

    This Pagan just shakes her head at the zealots of every religion – or non religion as the case may be – even the zealots of her own. The hate mongering & taunting – is it really necessary? How do you expect anyone tho listen to your point of view while at the same time you are being so vile & hateful & intolerant of one another – saying such nasty things? I'm no fluff bunny by any stretch but I know this is not how people should treat one another – particularly when you want your voice and beliefs/non belief heard and taken seriously. I cannot take someone seriously in a conversation that is filled with such disregard for other human beings and venom towards others. A disgustingly human habit.

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

      I can't take anyone seriously whom claims to be Pagan. Also, I'm shocked that you're shocked people are not nice to each other on this blog.

      August 2, 2012 at 2:23 am |
    • Epidi

      I'm not so shocked as disheartened that people just spew venom anywhere and everywhere. Few can have a conversation without the trolls demanding payment. And as for you not taking me seriously as a Pagan – I'm not surprised – nothing much does where people are concerned.

      August 2, 2012 at 2:26 am |
  2. Barn

    I think this shows that religion is largely a phenomena of social pressure. The anonymity of the Internet gives people liberty to think what they want and then say what they want.

    August 2, 2012 at 2:08 am |
    • tallulah13

      I agree. The anonymity of the internet allows people to speak honestly, without fear of reprisal.

      August 2, 2012 at 2:56 am |
  3. Dan Cornellius

    For those that don't know, Jesus was killed by preachers and raping kids isn't really endorsed by God – it's fine if people are sour on religion for whatever reason, but all the christians out there aren't dumb or ignorant because they have a moral system and community they rely on to provide things everyone appreciates to some extent. It's fine to be an atheist but the real christians don't cram it down people's throats, being a real atheist should be the same way.

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

      Actually, I don't think the Bible ever condemned child molesters and neither did it mention abortion. Just wishful thinking for most Christians.

      August 2, 2012 at 2:10 am |
  4. Truth

    "God is mysterious" is just the copout explanation trotted out by theists for any time inconvenient events crop up.

    August 2, 2012 at 2:03 am |
    • Charles

      And love of self is the reason atheists give for not believing in God. It might require acknowledging something greater than ourselves, and Lord knows our me-first society just can't have that.

      August 2, 2012 at 2:15 am |
    • Lucifer's Evil Twin™

      "And love of self is the reason atheists give for not believing in God." very presumptuous of you. I've never claimed any such thing.

      August 2, 2012 at 2:25 am |
    • Mad Cow

      I once worked for a supervisor who was regarded as a deity by everyone that knew him.

      He worked in mysterious ways that no one could question.

      August 2, 2012 at 2:33 am |
    • tallulah13

      Sorry, Chuck. I don't believe in any god because there is no evidence to support the existence of any god. It has nothing to do with me and everything to do with the complete lack of proof.

      August 2, 2012 at 2:57 am |
  5. king of kings

    Hi Dee y'all I believe that I descended from dat dair dinosower poop its my granny and pawpaw well he was a flyingfish monkey he had purdy mouth that's were the mars rover came from.....

    August 2, 2012 at 2:02 am |
    • TheBob

      Another example of why siblings should not marry and have kids. Now somebody call the guys in white coats.

      August 2, 2012 at 2:05 am |
    • Lucifer's Evil Twin™

      Also a good example of the general education level of the majority of southern christians

      August 2, 2012 at 2:08 am |
  6. Wow.

    This is a fantastic article. THANK YOU for acknowledging atheists. Canada and most countries in Europe don't have to deal with the ridiculous religious nonsense and posturing that goes on in the United States. We are considered a laughingstock with our ridiculous Christian population rearing its pompous head at every turn– hypocrisy on parade. These other nations value common sense and the ability to think for ones' self– and those who are religous in these places go about their business and stay off the soap boxes. It is refreshing to see something on CNN that respectfully acknowleges that we are MANY and our numbers are growing.

    August 2, 2012 at 2:01 am |
  7. Tell It Like It Is

    Truth

    Or maybe god is just an evil sick twisted being with nothing better to do than laugh at chaos and terror?

    Even simpler: Maybe such a being does not exist.

    ***

    I'm glad my post troubles you, because it is obvious that you overwhelmingly object to it, and to a being in whom you don't believe, otherwise you wouldn't have jumped on it like you did. That's a start at least. So, perhaps someday...

    August 2, 2012 at 1:42 am |
    • Stefanie

      ..perhaps someday indeed.

      August 2, 2012 at 2:07 am |
  8. Truth

    There's an invisible unicorn only I can hear. The unicorn has had me write a book explaining that it created all existence instantly 100,000 years ago and that it wants you all to worship it and give me 1% of your yearly income to pay for unicorn temples and the unicorn priesthood. In return when you die you go to magical unicorn land and you will be rich and powerful and never sick and can fly, if you refuse to worship the unicorn you will go to dark pony land and the dark ponies will stomp on you forever while you writhe in agony. I can prove all this is true- it says so in my ponycorn book AND I can "feel the power of the magical invisible unicorn." Anyone attempting to deny or discredit this new one absolutely true religion is evil, and my ponycorn book says that we should expect such folks to exist and that is evidence the world is about to end "When the world is ending people will blaspheme the unicorn" (Book of Ponycorn 5:66)

    Do you believe the things I say here? Ask yourself why not, and then ask yourself why you would believe the EXACT same claims from any mainstream religion.

    August 2, 2012 at 1:41 am |
    • Dan Cornellius

      Being patriotic or believing in anything really, is equally dumb so we should probably stop using flags and reciting the national anthem – while we're at it, lets abolish belief in everything and rely only on Science and self preservation – wait, didn't Russia try that a couple decades ago? I believe it's called Communism.....it totally worked out for them too.

      August 2, 2012 at 2:10 am |
    • tallulah13

      Anything in the ponycorn book about morons who don't know the difference between atheism and communism?

      August 2, 2012 at 3:01 am |
  9. SamBa

    I'm an atheist... but these people offend and do not represent me. For those whose faiths are genuine to them, although I disagree with their beliefs, I recognize the positive benefits it has on their lives. I have seen and experienced firsthand the benefit that people's well-intended and thought-out devotions can bring to those around them. Any time I've done charity and volunteer work The Detroit Rescue Mission Ministries, I constantly hear people sing praises to god and Jesus. I don't argue with them, I keep my thoughts to myself. Why destroy their joy when as an atheist, I believe that in the end the result for all of us remains the same?? To me, the notion of trying to convince someone to abandon their faith is completely counter to what atheism should be. I believe that your religious belief does not matter, which is why I do not try to convince you otherwise. The only time I'll argue or intervene is when you try to convert me or others against their own organic wills.

    August 2, 2012 at 1:36 am |
    • Rational Libertarian

      Ignorance and stupidity must be constantly challenged.

      August 2, 2012 at 1:38 am |
    • Major Tom

      And I have seen and experienced firsthand the vile effects that people's well-intended and thought-out devotions can bring to those around them. Can you say 9/11? Can you say suicide bombing? Can you say Spanish Inquisition? Please.

      August 2, 2012 at 1:43 am |
    • Doug

      Though I would dispute your atheism I am appreciative of your civil and respectful tone. Thanks for your refusal to enter into insults.

      August 2, 2012 at 1:44 am |
    • Lucifer's Evil Twin™

      Sounds kind of cowardly. If you don't stand up for your rights, then you don't deserve to have them. The Jews thought the same as you, right before they were dragged from their homes.

      August 2, 2012 at 1:45 am |
    • Rational Libertarian

      Why would you dispute SamBa's atheism?

      August 2, 2012 at 1:46 am |
    • Lucifer's Evil Twin™

      @ Doug ... Are you always such a pu.ssy? Just curious.

      August 2, 2012 at 1:48 am |
    • Cq

      I tend to ignore people's superst.itions but, then again, nobody is marching against my right to own a black cat, and the astrologers aren't telling people who to vote for, are they?

      August 2, 2012 at 1:57 am |
    • Wow.

      They have every right to their own beliefs, but not to trample on anyone who does not believe as THEY do. Have you mentioned to these people that you're an atheist? I seriously doubt it. Because if you had, you'd have been met with No respect for your own beliefs by the vast majority of them, and your kindly live-and-let-live post would have been much different. I could stomach these people if THEY KEPT IT TO THEMSELVES. But they are loud, they are obnoxious, and their lack of acceptance of ALL other human beings and their beliefs and lifestyles is turning tides against them– with good reason.

      August 2, 2012 at 2:09 am |
    • Charles

      SamBa,

      What you said is how it should be. As a Christian, I sometimes feel compelled to remind people that men like Fred Phelps or Terry Jones or snake handlers in Eastern Kentucky don't represent my faith.

      But level of intolerance that some people show, however, galls me. No one is trying to outlaw atheism, and they shouldn't, but when I see some atheists calling for a ban on Christianitiy or religion in general those people have lost whatever moral high ground they had claim to in the first place.

      When it comes to my faith and the world, I am sometimes reminded of the words of St. Francis:"Preach the Gospel every day, and when necessary, use words."

      Be safe, brother.

      August 2, 2012 at 2:26 am |
    • Doug

      @Lucifer's Evil Twin
      Not always, but I am working on it. Why does civility offend you? Just curious

      August 2, 2012 at 2:34 am |
    • Lucifer's Evil Twin™

      Civility doesn't offend me... I try to be civil in real life... But it is no longer the norm in the general populace... NJ is spreading throughout the U.S.

      August 2, 2012 at 2:46 am |
  10. king of kings

    Yay chik fa la

    August 2, 2012 at 1:35 am |
  11. Tell It Like It Is

    Who knows the mind of God? And for what reason these particular individuals were murdered and others injured? I will submit that men are given free will ~ to do good or to do evil, and that God's purpose for either intervening or not is done through His Will and His Will alone. Maybe God's purpose has something to do with what came after the shooting, not before and not during. Everything according to His own will, and in His own time. and His own purpose. Maybe it was to prove to Him there was love and compassion for those affected ~ by people who cared and wanted to do something to help those who were experiencing extreme sorrow and despair at the loss of their own loved ones. But even that would be second guessing God. And a person really can't second guess God. It's not within a human's capability to do so.

    August 2, 2012 at 1:34 am |
    • Truth

      Or maybe god is just an evil sick twisted being with nothing better to do than laugh at chaos and terror?

      Even simpler: Maybe such a being does not exist.

      August 2, 2012 at 1:37 am |
    • Rational Libertarian

      Who knows the mind of the Easter Bunny? Or Santa? Or Kenny Powers? Or The Dude?

      August 2, 2012 at 1:37 am |
    • Cq

      Tell It Like It Is
      If nobody knows the mind of God why do Christians claim to know that God is "good" as we understand the concept? If he is so alien to our ability to understand him why do they assume that what he has planned for them in Heaven is something they'd enjoy? People imagine that it would be, and that in itself is very telling indeed. Every piece of fiction requires the reader to imagine for themselves what the author is describing, and isn't this what the Bible is doing as well?

      August 2, 2012 at 1:48 am |
  12. Help! I'm Confused!

    Is God Christian? Is He Jewish? Is He Muslim? Is He Hindu? Please someone help me sort it out!

    August 2, 2012 at 1:29 am |
    • Rational Libertarian

      He's an atheist.

      August 2, 2012 at 1:30 am |
    • Help! I'm Confused!

      So if God made me in His image.. then that means I'm an ath... but if I'm an ....

      Now I'm even more confused. Thanks a lot.

      August 2, 2012 at 1:38 am |
    • Rational Libertarian

      Yup, the whole thing is a serious mind fudge.

      August 2, 2012 at 1:39 am |
    • Cq

      Rational Libertarian
      You're right! If he were real he certainly wouldn't believe in any other gods and, since he wouldn't consider himself as his own god, he would be an atheist. 🙂

      August 2, 2012 at 1:40 am |
    • Rational Libertarian

      Good logic Cq.

      August 2, 2012 at 1:44 am |
    • Cq

      Rational Libertarian
      Thanks!

      Now, consider this. If God were real, and everyone stopped worshipping him, wouldn't he stop being a "god"? He'd just be a powerful being retired from the god biz, right?

      Oooh, it's getting late!

      Good Night

      August 2, 2012 at 2:12 am |
    • Mad Cow

      God looks like a plate of spaghetti with big meat balls and eyes on tentacle stalks. His name is The Flying Spaghetti Monster.

      Don't forget it.

      August 2, 2012 at 2:30 am |
  13. Truth

    Christian: "Sodomite demonic sinner! Repent or you will burn for all eternity!"

    Atheist: "Screw you bible thumper."

    Christian: "YEARRRGH He's using them ad hominems! Tryna oppress my freedom to tell him he's going to suffer forever!"

    August 2, 2012 at 1:27 am |
    • Doug

      Civill?

      August 2, 2012 at 1:31 am |
    • Lucifer's Evil Twin™

      LOL

      August 2, 2012 at 1:32 am |
  14. Sam

    Religion is nothing more than a tool used by one group of people to control and manipulate another group of people!

    August 2, 2012 at 1:23 am |
  15. Doug

    I find it interesting how the article speaks in such laudatory terms about how atheists and agnostics interact with one another as well with believers. But let's be frank; the majority of this so called 'dialogue' are merely angry, ad hominam attacks on those who believe. There may be some discourse that takes place in such blog interaction but the vast majority would not qualify as 'civil.'

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

      Most ad hominems come from the theists, not the atheists, in online discourse.

      August 2, 2012 at 1:22 am |
    • Observer

      Doug,

      The only somewhat subtle message from many Christians is that everyone either do exactly as told or else they are such disgraceful human beings that they deserve to spend eternity burning in hell.

      Now, what were you saying about insults?

      August 2, 2012 at 1:24 am |
    • Doug

      Observer
      I am genuinely sorry to hear that this has been your experience with 'many' Christians. That certainly is not the message of the Triune God as revealed in His Word. I would also be the first to admit that theists are at times just as guilty as atheists of ad hominem attacks. My point however is that there is very little by way of thoughtful and civil dialogue on this particular blog, on this particular issue.

      August 2, 2012 at 1:39 am |
    • Observer

      Doug,

      I will not argue with you about the mindless insults from others on here. There is no excuse.

      My statement is correct. No matter how you slice it, the premise of many Christians is that if you don't do exactly as they tell you, you deserve to spend eternity in hell. "That's what the Bible says".

      This is especially true when gays or pro-choice people are discussed. Many Christians ignor their hypocrisy and assure gays that if they don't change how they were born, they will go to hell. The same Christians call pro-choice supporters murderers even though the Bible never mentions abortion.

      Look at the "elephant in the room".

      August 2, 2012 at 1:45 am |
    • Charles

      Observer,

      You're right, in that many Christians use that line in dealing with non-believers, and it's unfortunate, because it's not their place according to the Bible. Jesus specifically told us NOT to judge (condemn) one another, and that the level of condemnation we use toward others is the same level as God will use toward us.

      This is why I am against gay marriage but refuse to judge gay people or insult them. This is why I am hesitant about supporting the death penalty. This is why I say it's not up to me when someone asks me if I think Adolf Hitler is in hell.

      The truth is, we all have issues we deal with, and my issue may be different from yours, but I will still have to answer to God for it. So it's not my place to tell you where you may or may not be going when you die.

      August 2, 2012 at 2:37 am |
  16. james

    I don't have enough faith to be an atheist

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

      Do you have to have faith that the other gods aren't real? Do you pine over your decision not to worship Apollo? How about something else, like vampires? Do you need faith in order not to feel threatened by them?

      Face it, the case for God being real just isn't strong enough for some of us, so we don't accept the claim. No "faith" required.

      August 2, 2012 at 1:24 am |
    • Keeping It Real

      james,

      Does it take faith not to believe in Ra? Vishnu? How about:

      Agdistis, Ah Puch, Ahura Mazda, Alerich, Allah, Amaterasu, An , Anasi, Anat, Andvari, Ansshar, Anu, Aphrodite, Apollo, Apsu, Ares, Artemis, Asclepius, Athena, Athirat, Athart, Atlas, Baal, Ba Xian, Bacchus, Balder, Bast, Bellona, Bergelmir, Bes, Bixia Yuanjin, Bragi, Brahma, Brigit, Camaxtli, Ceres, Ceridwen, Cernunnos, Chac, Chalchiuhtlicue, Charun, Chemosh, Cheng Huang, Cybele, Dagon, Damkina, Davlin, Dawn, Demeter, Diana, Di Cang, Dionysus, Ea, El, Enki, Enlil, Eos, Epona, Ereskigal, Farbauti, Fenrir, Forseti, Freya, Freyr, Frigg, Gaia, Ganesha, Ganga, Garuda, Gauri, Geb, Geong Si, Guanyin, Hades, Hathor, Hecate, Helios, Heng-O, Hephaestus, Hera, Hermes, Hestia, Hod, Hoderi, Hoori, Horus, Hotei, Huitzilopochtli, Hsi-Wang-My, Hygeia, Inanna, Into, Iris, Ishtar, Isis, Ixtab, Izanaki, Izanami, Jesus, Juno, Jupiter, Juturna, Kagutsuchi, Kartikeya, Khepri, Ki, Kingu, Kinich Ahau, Kishar, Krishna, Kuan-Yin, Kukulcan, Lakshmi, Leto, Liza, Loki, Lugh, Luna, Magna Mater, Maia, Marduk, Mars, Mazu, Medb, Mercury, Mimir, Min, Minerva, Mithras, Morrigan, Mot, Mummu, Muses, Nammu, Nanna, Nanse, Neith, Nemesis, Nephthys, Neptune, Nerhal, Ninazu, Ninhurzah, Nintu, Ninurta, Njord, Nugua, Nut, Odin, Ohkuninushi, Ohyamatsumi, Orgelmir, Osiris, Ostara, Pan, Parvati, Phaethon, Phoebe, Phoebus Apollo, Pilumnus, Poseidon, Quetzalcoatl, Rama, Rhea, Sabazius, Sarasvati, Selene, Shiva, Seshat, Set, Shamash, Shapsu, Shen Yi, Shiva, Shu, Si-Wang-Mu, Sin, Sirona, Sol, Surya, Susanoh, Tawaret, Tefnut, Tezcatlipoca, Thanatos, Thor, Thoth, Tiamat, Tianhou, Tlaloc, Tonatiuh, Toyo-Uke-Bime, Tyche, Tyr, Utu, Uzume, Bevus, Vesta, Volturus, Vulcan, Xipe, Xi-Wang-Mu, Xochipilli, Xochiquestzal, Yam, Yarikh, Yhwh, Ymir, Yu-Huang, Yum Kimil, Zeus.?

      August 2, 2012 at 1:24 am |
    • Lucifer's Evil Twin™

      And too stupid to stop being a christian

      August 2, 2012 at 1:29 am |
    • FSM Worshiper

      @Keeping it Real: how dare you drop the Great FSM from your list? You will be cast to the depths of Hell for all of eternity. May you never have noodly feasts ever again.

      August 2, 2012 at 1:55 am |
    • TheBob

      Oooohh!! Huitzilopochtli sounds badass! I'm going with Him!

      August 2, 2012 at 1:58 am |
  17. Blue

    I was a Christian for 24 years. When confronted with something, I was never told that I "just had to believe." @Cq, 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). I just don't. And as such, I cannot condemn my family for believing what they do. I cannot call it ridiculous.

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

      for me belief would equate to google and religion to google's sponsored results. Sometimes the sponsored ones have merit but always best to look further

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

      What did I say was "ridiculous" again?

      August 2, 2012 at 1:27 am |
    • No Truth, Just Claims

      Blue,

      I am talking about the dogma, I think you are referring to believing that the Catholic church is the true church.

      August 2, 2012 at 1:37 am |
  18. Truth

    This kid did a great job showing the religious for who they really are.

    youtube dot com slash watch?v=hOaLlyRId4I

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

      Actually this one he did is arguably better.

      youtube dot com slash watch?v=aO5BuNdk_Bk

      August 2, 2012 at 1:17 am |
  19. Ferit Tuzer

    atheists don't need to congregate.

    August 2, 2012 at 1:11 am |
  20. k

    If you don't believe in God ... ok. That's your call. But why then are atheists such adamant posters on a "belief blog"? It seems to me that true atheists simply wouldn't waste their time reading a blog about belief since, in their opinion, it's all a bunch of hogwash anyway. Stop wasting your time.

    August 2, 2012 at 1:10 am |
    • Observer

      K,

      If you believe in God . . . ok. That's your call. But keep your religion out of our government, government buildings, and keeping people from equal rights.

      August 2, 2012 at 1:14 am |
    • Eric

      Yea, Observer, you said it all. It takes a pretty ignorant person to not see the damage done by religion every day – I am an atheist and I post because I really do care about this country and world where my daughters will grow up in.

      August 2, 2012 at 1:16 am |
    • Cq

      Our "belief" is that God isn't real, just like it's the belief of most Christians that Zeus isn't real, see what I mean?

      August 2, 2012 at 1:18 am |
    • uato

      I agree, separation of church/state 'protects' religion. Why is that so hard to grasp. A marriage amendment now could be used as legal precedent for all sorts of crazy negative outcomes in a few generations. Keep them apart.

      August 2, 2012 at 1:23 am |
    • Get Real

      Atheists carry on because a.) they feel impotent against the growing American religious lobby, b.) they are attempting to undermine and mitigate American religious values with which they disagree, and c.) most of them are offensive little pri cks who are in the process of post-pubescent territorial claims on the American social structure.

      Politics and hormones. Little Leftists (We all start out as liberals, don't we... ) full of testosterone. "Look at me, mommy. Look at what I'm doing for our country." (Mom looks so sad... )

      But then, later, it's amazing what happens when liberals grow up and have kids.

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

      Get Real,

      Grow up. Learn some manners.

      August 2, 2012 at 1:35 am |
    • Cq

      uato
      What do you mean by "crazy negative outcomes"? Marriage would still be a legal contract so, no, there would be no way that people could end up marrying children, animals, themselves, or any other crazy thing that fear-mongers like to claim.

      August 2, 2012 at 1:36 am |
    • Get Real

      @ Observer

      It's a tough world out there when you step away from the keyboard. You can either take the bit ch slap and shut up, or try and prove me wrong.

      For you, I suggest the former. Based on your other posts I thing you should save yourself any more embarrassment.

      August 2, 2012 at 1:51 am |
    • Observer

      Get Real,

      Grow up. Save the juvenile name-calling for someone else.

      Children are "born" as conservatives. They aren't allowed to do any thinking for themselves. Their parents tell them everything in terms of black and white so they can understand. When they get older and think for themselves, they get more liberal.

      Yes, liberal-thinking undermined religous values. That's why we don't have slavery and discrimination against women and the handicapped.

      August 2, 2012 at 1:57 am |
    • Get Real

      Oh, we've got a live one here, folks. Tell me, "Observer" exactly what name did I call -you-, or are you assuming that you're one of the 'most' in my category c.)? Feel free to jump in and join any qualified generalizations to which you think you belong...

      Children are born and raised as children and taught basic right from wrong. If you truly believe that liberalization is the natural outcome of -all- experiential upbringing, then you're either wallowing in propaganda, wishful thinking, or outright denial.

      Exactly what modern 'religious values' endorse slavery and discrimination? Please don't quote me the drunken blatherings of a couple of rednecks from Mississippi.

      August 2, 2012 at 2:10 am |
    • Observer

      @Get Real,

      Read your original statement (c). Try to act like an adult.

      The Bible endorses slavery. It definitely discriminates against women and it quotes God as not wanting handicapped people in his church.

      Obviously, you haven't read the Bible. Maybe it's because you're too busy making up juvenile insults.

      Children are obviously raised to be conservative with everything told to them as black-and-white. It takes time and education for them to become more liberal in their thinking and getting past simple-minded black-and-white ideas.

      Your initial statements were ridiculous and not thought out at all.

      August 2, 2012 at 2:17 am |
    • Get Real

      Here, Ladies and Gentlemen, we have a classic case of "If I repeat my lies often and loudly enough (and play the aggrieved/insulted party) people will 1, believe me, and 2, feel sorry for me.

      Straight out of "Alinsky's Rules for Radicals."

      Sorry, little fella, but it doesn't work that way in reality. You just look like the loud, obnoxious, blathering, self-victimized political hack that you are. But because I'm a generous and patient sort, I'll give you one more crack at it, then I'm going to dinner and you can barrage me with all the drivel I won't be able to immediately respond back to.

      Clocks ticking.... Here's a hint. Be objective. You do know what objectivity is, don't you?

      August 2, 2012 at 2:42 am |
    • Get Real

      That's long enough.

      Night.

      August 2, 2012 at 3:20 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.