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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. Damocles

    Mmmm sleepy time. Good talking with most of you, have a great day/night.

    August 2, 2012 at 9:06 am |
  2. Dave

    Jesus does not tell us that when we follow Him we will have a wonderful life. He actually tells us that there will be suffering and that people will riducule us and persecute us. I follow Christ because His spirit lives in me and all I can do is show people Christ's love. My glory is through those whom I pour my life into because their actions are an outflow of Christ's glory and grace. I will not bicker in here, but I'd be happy to discuss anything calmly.

    August 2, 2012 at 9:06 am |
    • ArthurP

      Do you Christians know it is a Sin not to keep your noses out of other peoples lives.

      Proverbs 20:3
      It is an honor for a man to keep aloof from strife, but every fool will be quarreling.

      1 Timothy 5:13
      At the same time, they also learn how to be lazy while going from house to house. Not only this, but they even become gossips and keep busy by interfering in other people's lives, saying things they should not say.

      August 2, 2012 at 9:25 am |
    • Dave

      The Proverbs passage relates to quick to anger quarreling. And I do not think God is upset with me delivering an option to follow Christ in this chat as you were implying in the Timothy verse. I am not angry or quarreling at all! I am actually very excited about this! In the great commision Jesus tells the disciples that they will be flung out and spread the good news. That's all I can do. I cannot judge people. Just spread Christ's message.

      August 2, 2012 at 9:37 am |
    • sam stone

      Dave: How is the spirit that lives in you (that you identify as Jesus) any different than the spirit of Vishnu that resides in Hindus or Jah that resides in Rastafarians, or any number of other gods?

      August 2, 2012 at 9:44 am |
    • Dave

      Sam, Good question. I will admit I do not know much about rastafaian. I do know that the word Jah comes from the word Hallelujah which means praise ye the Lord. It has also been linked to Yaweh which means Lord. I am not afraid to admit that's pretty much all I know about that and I will not pretend to know more haha. The hindu god is different because it is just one god among many devas, as they call them, in the hindu religion. Jesus lives in us, we live in Him and He lives in God. It's a wild and difficult to comprehend strategy that God has used to use us in His Trinity. God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit are all one, and only one, creator and ruler.

      August 2, 2012 at 9:58 am |
  3. Jose K

    All gods are diminishing gods. Even the Christian god gets smaller and smaller over time.

    People used to belive that the christain God made the sun move about the earth. Then Copernicus proved that the earth moves around the sun. God's role became smaller.

    With EVERY scientific discovery the Christian God becomes smaller and smaller. It is called god of the gaps. Using a god to explain everything you do not know.

    -

    "We are all connected biologically, to the planet chemically and to the stars atomically. We are in the universe and the universe is in us"

    This thought brings me joy, makes me feel connected and gives my life meaning.

    August 2, 2012 at 9:02 am |
    • Wayfaring Stranger

      Jose K..........wall a crock!

      August 2, 2012 at 9:07 am |
    • jungleboo

      Thank you Jose, K. It is enough to know and feel these thoughts, and to participate in creation itself through our good work, "...to make known the unknown." When all is said and done and each of us breathes our last breath, the happiness will be in knowing that we have loved being on this Earth, in the material realm, where things "matter". No need to fantasize about something called the "hereafter". What a waste of earthly time that is.

      August 2, 2012 at 9:17 am |
  4. wisco1991

    Theres not enough christian comments on here let alone anyone forcing there beliefs for there to be so many offended atheists lol wth. Chill out if your so right ha

    August 2, 2012 at 9:01 am |
  5. vancouverron

    I am always fascinated by the fact that throughout the history of mankind, even before the god of abraham, the best predictor of the god of a child is determined by the god of the parents. Can you imagine the odds? So if you worship, say, a chair, there is a high liklihood that your children will come to worship the chair as well.

    August 2, 2012 at 8:59 am |
    • Jose K

      This is the most stupid analogy I have ever hearn. You're an idiot! Go join Heavens gate! I hear they are recruitng for 2029

      August 2, 2012 at 9:04 am |
    • WASP

      @jose: he actually has a point.
      1) according to location of birth does contribute to which religious faith or lack there of the child grows up with. i was born in the southern states and grew up.........yup you guessed it southern baptist.
      2) as far as worshipping various objects their was a group of pacific islanders that would by mistake got airdrops of food that had floated offcourse, when the food stopped coming they built replicas of the "giant birds" aka planes that had given them food and worshipped them to attempt to make these "gods" happy and get them to bring more food. see misunderstanding of natural things in the world creates gods

      August 2, 2012 at 9:19 am |
  6. Bob

    So much hatred. Sad really.

    August 2, 2012 at 8:58 am |
    • John

      You would think Christians would be more loving considering Christ's teachings.

      August 2, 2012 at 9:04 am |
  7. Bible Clown©

    Apparently being the editor of a "Belief Blog" isn't as rewarding as you'd think. What an angry, hurt article! I think we may have damaged someone's childlike faith by not being properly respectful of the sky man and his friends.

    August 2, 2012 at 8:56 am |
  8. Russ

    "Can't we all just get along" RIP Rodney King

    August 2, 2012 at 8:52 am |
  9. Ryan Cameron

    Or, more accurately, the church feeds off human misery like vultures on a corpse. Whenever something awful like this happens, the pastors and priests get elevated unjustifiably with made up credentials and pontificate on exactly what the "creator of the universe" is thinking...as if they have any idea. Its sickening.

    August 2, 2012 at 8:49 am |
    • sleepytime

      Yep. Go to most poor neighborhoods and you can see this in action. It may be hard to find a supermarket but liquor stores, instant loans places and churches can all be found in abundance preying on the desperate.

      August 2, 2012 at 9:02 am |
    • sam stone

      sleepytime: i think it is called swinging for the fences

      August 2, 2012 at 9:48 am |
  10. Medic Bradley

    Let me start by saying that I am not a religious person. It is completely unacceptable to shun down others for their beliefs. This country was essentially built with a freedom of religion clause. I know that in the past people have completely thrown that out the window, and maybe today's society is ran of filthy greedy sorry rich stuck up (insert unfriendly word here), but that's not how this country was supposed to turn out. I am sorry you can't blame your problems on one person, and maybe you were dealt an unfair hand of cards. If you can sit here and attack others for what they believe, you are no better of person then any other extremist. Enjoy your sorry miserable life by finding joy in tearing down others, and if there is a hell... there is no doubt in my mind. You will find it.
    Yours Truly,
    Just Another American

    August 2, 2012 at 8:49 am |
    • richunix

      Which "HELL" are you referring? The one described in Greek mythos (HADES). Funny how GODS are renamed from earlier GODS and of course we need that new improved ever eye catching miracle THAT NO ONE HAS EVER SEEN (other than the story teller)….

      August 2, 2012 at 8:54 am |
    • John

      So if I said I have faith in Santa and wanted to take away your right to wear black shoes, grow a beard or laugh, based on nothing but my Santa religion you would not have a problem with that, right?

      August 2, 2012 at 8:54 am |
    • BU2B

      Ridiculous beliefs deserve to be ridiculed. Simple as that. When these fairy tales are used to justify some of the hate that goes on in this country, the backlash is justified.

      August 2, 2012 at 8:59 am |
    • Alex

      I have not seen athiests try to stop the free practice of any religion. And if you are referring to athiests calling believing in God a fairytale or stupid, then I think you need to grow a thicker skin. I mean, have you had your child come home from Catholic School and tell you that you are going to hell. I have. So don't cast stones at athiests for being intolerant as you tell people they are going to hell. I mean lets compare, and athiest says religious people are stupid for their beliefs. A religious person says an athiest is going to suffer eternal damnation in a lake of fire and suffer everlasting agony. Which is nastier and more hateful?

      August 2, 2012 at 9:19 am |
  11. Your Religion Might Be Bullshіt If...

    Good guidance:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MtX_R-V5Cws

    August 2, 2012 at 8:45 am |
  12. ArthurP

    A Christian is someone who does not have the strength of character to be good and just without the ongoing threat of divine retribution.

    August 2, 2012 at 8:44 am |
    • independentlyowned

      Amen.

      August 2, 2012 at 8:50 am |
    • Bill Deacon

      An atheist is someone who thinks they don't need mercy and forgiveness. See anyone can generalize

      August 2, 2012 at 8:56 am |
    • sleepytime

      Arthur's generalization actually made sense and raised a relevant point though, Bill.

      August 2, 2012 at 8:58 am |
  13. josh1

    Well, if God sees the bigger picture, let him explain it sometime!

    August 2, 2012 at 8:44 am |
  14. Louis

    To deny the existence of God is the same as denying the existence of evil, and we have plenty of evidence of the existence of evil in the world history. The truth is that there is obviously an opposition to all things. Evil is inspired by Satan and good is inspired by God. For those who are not closed minded they can see lots of good in the world also. As for God in Aurora, this world is obviously not all there is. We see things in a very finite way, which leads us to believe that this world is very unjust. That's true. God sees the bigger picture and will make sure that good is rewarded adequately and evil is rewarded adequately. Justice will prevail. The victims of Aurora will be compensated for the evil done to them as will the perpetrator also be "compensated" justly by a just God.

    August 2, 2012 at 8:36 am |
    • JPIV

      I like that post. Well put and GOD really does see the bigger picture. Again, that was well put.

      August 2, 2012 at 8:38 am |
    • notawingnut

      You need a lesson in basic logic. Enough said.

      August 2, 2012 at 8:40 am |
    • Wayfaring Stranger

      notawingnut........where's that got you?

      August 2, 2012 at 8:41 am |
    • BU2B

      Fail. The fact that there are bad people in this world does not mean that god exists.

      August 2, 2012 at 8:41 am |
    • josh1

      obvious...

      August 2, 2012 at 8:43 am |
    • rizzo

      Hate to tell you friend, but evil is a human construct, no supernatural being necessary.

      August 2, 2012 at 8:43 am |
    • Wayfaring Stranger

      BU2B..........Fail. The fact that you say there is not god does not mean that he does not exist.

      August 2, 2012 at 8:44 am |
    • Jose K

      If you devote yourself to god and his son existence will eventually be filled with joy. Otherwise, existence will be filled with torture and torment.

      Which human beings in positions of power paralleled god's behavior? Lincoln? No! G Washington? No

      The Christian god has more in common with Saddham Hussien that he does me!

      August 2, 2012 at 8:47 am |
    • ArthurP

      Wayfaring Stranger .... Fail. The fact that you say there is a god does not mean that (he)He does exist.

      P.S. A good Christian would capitalize the word 'he'.

      August 2, 2012 at 8:49 am |
    • Wayfaring Stranger

      Jose K...........you like chaos, good it's coming. Read the news!

      August 2, 2012 at 8:49 am |
    • Damocles

      Wait... wait.... are you ignorantly giving up your right to punish a wrong? 'god gets justice in the end'.... that sets my teeth on edge. Ok louis, by your wish lets just go ahead and throw out the whole legal system because, hey, god will judge at some point, course it might be after the criminal has lived a long and productive life and you have been living in fear that the criminal might return. Sure, I'm totally for that.

      August 2, 2012 at 8:49 am |
    • PraiseTheLard

      Did you come up with this for your Creative Writing class?

      August 2, 2012 at 8:49 am |
    • BU2B

      "Fail. The fact that you say there is not god does not mean that he does not exist."

      This is a true statement. However, the null hypothesis is that god does not exist. It is up to those who claim a specific god to prove "his" existence as the alternative hypothesis. We don't get to assume the alternative hypothesis up front, like most religious do. If we did that, all gods are real because you can't disprove invisible made up beings that we cannot detect.

      August 2, 2012 at 8:52 am |
    • Wayfaring Stranger

      BU2B........fail again.....it is up to you to prove he does not exist because we know he does and if you chose to not believe that is your problem, so you prove he doesn't exist, isn't that why you are here? You're the one that can't detect it, not us. You can't see gravity.

      August 2, 2012 at 8:56 am |
    • notawingnut

      BU2B, accurately said, but really, how many really understood what you said?

      August 2, 2012 at 8:58 am |
    • Bman

      Did you watch the video? I don't think you did.

      August 2, 2012 at 9:01 am |
    • Cyprus

      Good and Evil are a human construct. These arguments with Christians are truly mind-boggling. How is it that you can't see you've been indoctrinated? How is it that you can't see that if you born in Saudi Arabia you would be Muslim and not Christian? So your "choice" to be a Christian has never been a choice, it was forced on you by your parents and by a society that accepts stupidity in the name of religion. It's just amazing to me that people live their lives with blinders on, never questioning why they believe what they believe. I suppose life is more comfortable that way, but it's sad for those of us that can see the truth.

      August 2, 2012 at 9:02 am |
    • jungleboo

      @ wau off and stranger: No, you can't "see gravity". But you can feel it, you fool, and you can quantify it. Stick to your Buy Bull classes. They have led you directly into the goofy room you inhabit inside that head of yours.

      August 2, 2012 at 9:03 am |
    • Jamie

      @Wayfaring Stranger. I would like you to PROVE that there is no such thing as leprechauns. I'm assuming that you don't believe in leprechauns...so prove that they don't exist!

      August 2, 2012 at 9:04 am |
    • BU2B

      Obviously Wayfaring either didn't understand what I said or didn't read it. I guess I should ask him to disprove the Flying Spaghetti Monster, because I "know" he is real based on a book that I read.

      Yes you can't see gravity, but it is detectable. If I jump up, I come back down. But for your god, when I have tried to talk to "him", my brain makes up responses, but I do not pretend that they are telepathic messages from "god".

      August 2, 2012 at 9:07 am |
    • notawingnut

      wayfaring can persoannly provide an *incontrovertible* testimonial that god exists. darn !!! that's good enough for me !!!

      August 2, 2012 at 9:10 am |
    • notawingnut

      BU2B, you're wasting your time with Wayward. True Believers ... BELIEVE! Logic is irrelevant to him, other than to twist it around and confuse the issue.

      August 2, 2012 at 9:13 am |
    • Tony

      Good and evil exist in every one of us. That is our nature as human beings. This is true for believers and non-believers alike. How this is attributed to any deity is beyond me.

      August 2, 2012 at 9:45 am |
    • sam stone

      "To deny the existence of God is the same as denying the existence of evil"

      Seems like an enormous leap in logic

      August 2, 2012 at 9:52 am |
  15. ArthurP

    Any Christian that uses the Bible to support their discrimination of Gays secretly wishes they could keep slaves just like it says in the Bible.

    August 2, 2012 at 8:34 am |
    • Wayfaring Stranger

      it's not discrimination, gay is sin, is locking up a murderer discrimination cause god made him to want to kill, etc.

      August 2, 2012 at 8:36 am |
    • Tyler

      @ Wayloser
      According to that logic – God wants people to be gay, so then what is wrong with that?

      August 2, 2012 at 8:37 am |
    • Wayfaring Stranger

      Tyler......wake up, my point exactly, people chose to be gay, just like they chose to kill. Get with the program! It's all sin and does not deserve to be justified by law!

      August 2, 2012 at 8:39 am |
    • BU2B

      Comparing gays to murderers? One difference is someone being gay doesn't affect you, but having a murderer on the loose does affect you. Why are Christards so concerned with things that DO NOT affect them? Ok, so you say being gay is a sin, so don't be gay. Same with contraception. If you don't like it, don't use it! Nobody is shoving those pills in your mouth.

      August 2, 2012 at 8:45 am |
    • rizzo

      @Wayfaring Stranger: I need some advice. My neighbor trims the hair at his temples and refuses to keep kosher. Should I denounce him to the local clergy, or just organize an impromptu stoning for him with my neighbors? You seem like you're pretty up on Biblical rules so I just thought I'd ask...

      August 2, 2012 at 8:45 am |
    • Wayfaring Stranger

      rizzo.......i suggest that you let him worry about his hair and you worry about your our kosherness.

      August 2, 2012 at 8:48 am |
    • rizzo

      @Wayfaring Stranger: Then I suggest you let everyone else in the world worry about who they want to get it on with unless they want to get it on with you.

      August 2, 2012 at 8:52 am |
    • ArthurP

      Unless he is also Gay then in that case feel free to make his life as miserable as possible.

      You know I am finally getting the hang of this religion stuff.....

      August 2, 2012 at 8:52 am |
    • Wayfaring Stranger

      rizzo..........got get it on with whoever you want in the privacy of your home so we and our children don't have to be disgusted by the vulgar display of manly men holding hands and then you won't hear a word from me. You say we shove religion down your throats, well stop shoving your twisted lives in our faces and the faces of our children. You go hide and then we will.

      August 2, 2012 at 8:59 am |
    • Jamie

      I'm more disgusted by people using their religion to justify discrimination and hate than I am when I see two people who love each other showing affection in public.
      You know we lived in a twisted society when people would rather see two men holding guns than holding hands.

      August 2, 2012 at 9:09 am |
    • sam stone

      Wayfaring: People choose to be gay? Based on what?

      August 2, 2012 at 9:55 am |
  16. Jared

    27 pages of comments? Some mods, just want to watch the world burn

    August 2, 2012 at 8:29 am |
  17. Ben A. W.

    I asked believers why God didn't stop the bullets.
    All I got was, God's not superman. Only superman can stop bullets.
    Says it all.

    August 2, 2012 at 8:28 am |
    • Wayfaring Stranger

      Same reason he don't freeze your fingers to type the trash you type. Free will.

      August 2, 2012 at 8:30 am |
    • stiggy

      if god himself (HIM?) told you to believe in HIS evolution....would you?

      August 2, 2012 at 8:38 am |
    • Adam

      And I'm quite sure your simplifying what they said. They probably also said that being all-powerful isn't like being Superman. Being all-loving and all-powerful is also about perfect justice. Our sin has a perfect response from God (the source of goodness itself) and it is for us to suffer. Some. Not the most amount possible.

      True power and true love includes true justice. Being all-powerful isn't the ability to snap your fingers and have anything under the sun happen. If God took all the pain away and there was no justice for sin, He actually would be sinning Himself, would therefore not be perfect, and therefore would not be worthy of our praise and worship.

      August 2, 2012 at 8:40 am |
    • Wayfaring Stranger

      stiggy.........he didn't.

      August 2, 2012 at 8:40 am |
    • rizzo

      @Adam: "Being all-powerful isn't the ability to snap your fingers and have anything under the sun happen."
      Yeah that's actually what it is, despite your weak justifications that is the exact thing that 'all powerful' means.

      August 2, 2012 at 8:48 am |
    • Damocles

      @Adam

      Some suffering is ok? Really? What, exactly, is the right amount of suffering? 2 cups? A pound? My child getting cancer? Maybe a dash of heart disease to kick it up a notch? BAM! Now we are cooking.

      August 2, 2012 at 8:57 am |
  18. Brahm

    Church for many atheists is a hike out in the woods, a stroll on the beach, or a paddle down a river.

    August 2, 2012 at 8:24 am |
    • richunix

      Sigh, I could use that about now, know any good places?

      August 2, 2012 at 8:25 am |
    • Wayfaring Stranger

      But mostly the internet cause they are too obsessed with fighting the invisible God to go take a hike! If not, log off and go take a hike!

      August 2, 2012 at 8:26 am |
    • Adam

      It's a much more beautiful experience when you can worship a perfect loving Savior. Perfect loving Savior > Chaos

      August 2, 2012 at 8:30 am |
    • CRayDallas

      Yeah that is really going to help them after they take that final breath in this life.

      August 2, 2012 at 8:31 am |
    • A Universal Unitarian Woman

      Atheists can attend Universal Unitarian churches.

      August 2, 2012 at 9:05 am |
  19. Wayfaring Stranger

    If there is not God why are atheists so obsessed with his existence? Doesn't make sense.

    August 2, 2012 at 8:21 am |
    • Observer

      It doesn't make sense to YOU.

      If Christians would keep their religion in their homes and churches and stop trying to force it on others to deprive them of their rights, this wouldn't be an issue.

      August 2, 2012 at 8:23 am |
    • richunix

      We are not, just tired of hearing it does.

      Stephen F Roberts: “I contend that we are both atheists. I just believe in one fewer god than you do. When you understand why you dismiss all the other possible gods, you will understand why I dismiss yours.”

      August 2, 2012 at 8:24 am |
    • Wayfaring Stranger

      Observer........now that makes total sense. Christians should stay locked in their homes and be quiet but atheists are free to rant and deprive Christians of their rights. UnAmerican!

      August 2, 2012 at 8:24 am |
    • Observer

      Wayfaring Stranger,

      What rights are you being "deprived" of, other that your "right" to try to force your religion on others?

      August 2, 2012 at 8:28 am |
    • Wayfaring Stranger

      Observer.........our rights to speak out for what we believe like you constantly do!

      August 2, 2012 at 8:29 am |
    • Observer

      Wayfaring Stranger,

      Guess again. You're on here. Is that all you can come up with?

      August 2, 2012 at 8:30 am |
    • stiggy

      atheists are sick of a world dominated by religious zealots who want laws made/kept/enforced based on their religion...anti-choice on abortion, anti-evolutionists against the teaching of science in schools, the word god on our money..in our courts....politicians constantly bowing to pressure by religious right wingers...it's endless...and all for a childlike belief in a non-existent toothfairy, santa clause....if their jesus did come back...they would hate him and call him a socialist...we're sick of it....we need adults to start acting like 21st century adults...time to put a 2000 year old fairy tale to bed for good!

      August 2, 2012 at 8:31 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      @Wayfaring Stranger
      Your persecution complex is showing, sir.
      One can hardly claim that America is hostile to white, Christian males.

      August 2, 2012 at 8:31 am |
    • CRayDallas

      Observer – You want Christians to keep their religion in their homes and churches and not force it on others, then why can't atheists do the same thing with their beliefs?

      August 2, 2012 at 8:35 am |
    • Wayfaring Stranger

      Observer.........that's enough, my freedom of speech, and freedom of religion.

      August 2, 2012 at 8:35 am |
    • jungleboo

      "Observer........now that makes total sense. Christians should stay locked in their homes and be quiet but atheists are free to rant and deprive Christians of their rights. UnAmerican!" Can you really be so ignorant in logical discussion? Keep your foolish THOUGHTS about Eternal matters in your own head, in your own house, or in your community house of worship, and stop trying to turn the USA into a Theocracy of YOUR choosing. Your basic problem is that you dismiss everyone else's freedom to live an uncluttered life. To be a Christian, you HAVE to force others to FOLLOW you. We are not buying it, and you are not welcome to force political issues of YOUR goofy morality in our political arena. It is not "..one nation under God." It is "ONE NATION. Period.

      August 2, 2012 at 8:36 am |
    • Observer

      CRayDallas,

      Where are atheists forcing their beliefs on you? Do they put up signs in schools saying "God is dead"?

      August 2, 2012 at 8:37 am |
    • Wayfaring Stranger

      Doc Vestibule.........sell that lie to chick-fil-a

      August 2, 2012 at 8:38 am |
    • Observer

      Wayfaring Stranger

      "Observer.........that's enough, my freedom of speech, and freedom of religion."

      Where is your freedom of speech being stopped by atheists?

      Answer please, if you can think of anything.

      August 2, 2012 at 8:41 am |
    • Wayfaring Stranger

      Observer.........at chick-fil-a

      August 2, 2012 at 8:43 am |
    • WASP

      advice ignore troll known as wayfarer, he's here for kicks and has almost nothing to contribute other than riling everyone up and causing arguements that lead nowhere.

      @way: yes i called you a troll, i've dealt with you before and you haven't come across as anyone of interest to waste time on. when you stop with the picking fights, then maybe we can have an adult discussion involving sharing of points to each of our sides of the topic at hand.

      August 2, 2012 at 8:44 am |
    • Bible Clown©

      Obsessed? I put about 15 minutes into this yesterday. I bet you were here all night trying to convince each other there's a god. I have a life.

      August 2, 2012 at 8:44 am |
    • Observer

      Wayfaring Stranger

      "Observer.........at chick-fil-a"

      How many people in our nation did not have freedom of speech at Chick-fil-a yesterday? What did any of that have to do with atheists?

      Please get serious and cut out the nonsense.

      August 2, 2012 at 8:45 am |
    • Wayfaring Stranger

      jungleboo............i will just as soon as just as soon as all atheists to the same thing. As long as you can rant and curse my God then I will defend Him. Want me to shut up then you begin!

      August 2, 2012 at 8:46 am |
    • Wayfaring Stranger

      Observer.............They are fighting for the founder of chick-fil-a right to honestly answer a question when asked based on his religious values. If they don't stand up the atheist will continue to try and push them out of town. UNAMERICAN!

      August 2, 2012 at 8:53 am |
    • Observer

      Wayfaring Stranger,

      "As long as you can rant and curse my God then I will defend Him.'

      No atheist has EVER cursed your God. They don't think he exists.

      You didn't think that through at all. Stop making things up.

      August 2, 2012 at 8:54 am |
    • PraiseTheLard

      Stranger: you want to defend "Him"... how do you know it's not a "Her"? How do you know it's there at all?

      August 2, 2012 at 8:56 am |
    • Observer

      Wayfaring Stranger,

      No one said the manager couldn't say what he said. You don't seem to comprehend things well at times. They picked on him for the organizations he supports.

      August 2, 2012 at 8:57 am |
    • rizzo

      @Wayfaring Stranger: "Observer........now that makes total sense. Christians should stay locked in their homes and be quiet but atheists are free to rant and deprive Christians of their rights. UnAmerican!"
      Not unAmerican, it's Christian to keep your religion at home. Christ said not to be like the Pharisee, preaching his religion on the street for everyone to see. The Christian religion is a PERSONAL religion. It's about being nice to everyone, not out religiousing everyone else.

      August 2, 2012 at 8:59 am |
    • Wayfaring Stranger

      Observer.........and how is that not discrimination. Do you want someone to tell you who you can and can't support. It's his business, he should be able to believe and support who ever he wants. THIS IT AMERICA, or it was! Atheists are such hypocrits!

      August 2, 2012 at 9:05 am |
    • Bman

      Ok Stranger how about we round up all the christians again and start feeding them to the lions. I hear that kind of activity really strengthens one's faith, and brings out the truly religous. Wouldn't that be good?

      August 2, 2012 at 9:05 am |
    • Observer

      Wayfaring Stranger,

      You continue to show comprehension problems. This was a dispute about gay rights, not atheism.

      It's pretty irrelevent to this discussion. There were atheists on with both sides and Christians on both sides.

      Try to concentrate on the topic here.

      August 2, 2012 at 9:11 am |
    • notawingnut

      Actually atheists and theists are both zealots and obsessed with their beliefs. Then you have people who are just plain indifferent to religion and don't care. Think about it. Do I really care about astrology? It's irrelevant, just like religion.

      August 2, 2012 at 9:19 am |
    • Bozobub

      Then, *surprise*! You're an atheist, notawingnut. Lack of belief in Deity is all that's required.

      August 2, 2012 at 10:09 am |
  20. JunkYardDog

    Die and find out. I guarantee you, on your death bed you will not be wondering if there's a God but what will happen to you in the afterlife. But in our Republic, I ask that you respect our differences of beleifs. I respect your decision not to belive in God, do not belittle mine to belive in God.

    August 2, 2012 at 8:18 am |
    • richunix

      Stoic logic dictates: When you die, you will know if there is a heaven or hell, for it there is neither. You will not know nor will you care, therefore the fear of death is needless.

      August 2, 2012 at 8:22 am |
    • Wayfaring Stranger

      richunix.........don't see where he said he feared death.

      August 2, 2012 at 8:27 am |
    • Matt

      It's not a decision. You don't decide to believe that grass is green and not blue. You make observations, and then conclusions based on those observations. How can anyone decide to believe anything?

      August 2, 2012 at 8:33 am |
    • stiggy

      fear of death is NO reason to believe in a non-existent being...it's childish....a 2000 year old fabel...the same MEN who started this mess believed the world was flat...women were chattel...on and on....ancient archaic childlike thinking...tooth under the pillow?

      August 2, 2012 at 8:34 am |
    • ncgh

      "Die and find out. I guarantee you, on your death bed ..."

      And you KNOW this? HOW?

      August 2, 2012 at 8:50 am |
    • Jose K

      If what you do and how you life your life is helps diminish suffering then I can respect you.

      However, I can not respect anyones beliefs when they are based on innaccurate and self contradictory evidence.

      August 2, 2012 at 8:53 am |
    • Bible Clown©

      I nearly died a couple of years ago, and it was a week before I remembered that I was supposed to have been fearful of being boiled by gods when I died. Never even crossed my mind that a bunch of red devils with pitchforks might be waiting to attack me. I guess it's because I just don't believe in that stuff, sorry. Maybe you could try to scare me some more in case I get sick again?

      August 2, 2012 at 9:00 am |
    • Bman

      The only way the religous will keep their churches out of politics is if we start to persecute them again. Bring on the Lions.

      August 2, 2012 at 9:19 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.